Monday, August 08, 2005

Ashes: What has changed?


“While the England of old could have easily thrown away this match, today's England showed that they have the stomach to fight.”
Cricket is such a cruel and unfair game. I have simply copy-pasted above lines from one of the web sites where they were trying to suggest that there has been a revolutionary change in the balance between these two sides. The current England side is like never before in years.
But had Geraint Jones dropped that catch and the ball would have raced passed the fine leg boundary or had Michael Kasprowicz not nicked and hit next ball for four or had…………………. After all it was such a close call. Even if an extraordinary fielding effort saving a certain boundary by one tenth of a second would have failed, and even in that case we would have appreciated that effort, result was going to be in favor of Australia.
Same lines would have been writing about how Baggy Green guys never give it up, the “never say die” attitude they wear, they can win in any situation and what not. As for England, they just cannot win against Australians.
Being late by just one tenth of a second would have changed the history. Agreed this England side is better than the sides in recent past. Agreed they outplayed Australians for a considerable period of time in the test match, but still, has anything else changed.
England still seems to believe that Pieterson and Flintoff are enough to score loads of runs against Australians so others can save their form for future. They scored 407 on the very first day, but there was no Glen Macgrath to counter with. And the worst of all their beliefs, Shane Warne is a living legend; Every English batsman should donate his wicket generously.
That is the cruelty of cricket. You can always pull a length delivery. If you succeed, “Wow, the guy is such a good judge of length, can pull even good length balls. If you do not, “Has no one taught him the basics, pull only if the ball is shot of length?”
Difference between success and failure could just be a few millimeters on you bat.
Or taking the biggest example, remember that famous tie match between Australia and South Africa in 1999 world cup? Result was tie, means no team was better than the other. Still Australia got all the accolades because they qualified for the finals thanks to the tournament rules. Every one was either praising Australia for their game or crucifying South Africa for being chokers. But was the difference between the two sides was as big as it was shown? Donald run out was a goof up but were there none from Australia? What about the two simplest of catches dropped in final overs by Paul Reiffel or inability to stop Lance Klusner? Only if Klusner had saved one more of his so many bludgeons for that final over. With a changed result, Gibbs would have taken retirement without any guilt feeling.
But ifs and buts count only for those who write fiction. Reality is much bitter and cruel. And strangely all of accept the existence of luck which is nothing but a synonym for ifs and buts. But in case of failure only person who feels its existence is the victim. Like Australia would have been doing right now. Till then, let’s enjoy reading how this England side is a full of spirited and hungry-to-win cricketers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

kya re chammo, shee likne laga hai.