After three years of humiliation from the cricketing pundits; England was barely a team, which could compete against the mighty Aussies. This team went through a roller coaster ride. England is the only team which has seen triumph and humiliation in last three years. When Australia whitewashed the English down under; one thing was very clear; that this defeat will be reckoned as a gigantic, monstrous, colossal defeat. It was terrifying to watch English batsmen, there were lot of Ooh’s-Aah’s when Mitchell Johnson was bowling with a pace and steep bounce.
England lost Jonathan Trot, Graeme Swan, Kevin Petersen, Andy Flower and lot of questions were asked about Alistair Cook leading the team. The repercussions were sackings, retirements, firings and voluntary withdrawals. Then came World Cup 2015, losing an ODI match in first 12 overs was an effort even Associate Members took longer than that to lose an ODI match. Then losing to a Bangladesh which were not minnows but can be beaten if England played to its potential.
If England didn’t invent Cricket they would have been sacked from a permanent member of the ICC. English are generous people; along with that they are persistent and have a fire in the belly to succeed. This is where England outfoxed the Australians. English started finding new talent; sidelining old veterans like KP, Matt Prior. They started investing in the Moen, the Root, the Stokes and the Wood. They started preparing their youngsters for the Judgment Day; A new coach was hired. It sounded as if the mission statement for the England Cricket team and Murphy’s Law were synonymous to each other.
“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
So, then there was Australia who was dominant throughout the World Cup. It did arose to the occasion and grabbed the World Cup title without any major contest. One can argue that the Aussies had no contest in the quarter final, semifinal and eventually winning the final. Then there was Steven Smith who had scored so many runs in the last season; due to which he became the number one test batsmen in cricket ratings. Then they went to WI and won the test match series convincingly. Whereas when English were in the Caribbean they put all their horsepower to draw the series. Until this point, everything was going Aussies way. But then the tide converged in to the English Favor, Australia lost their premier fast bowler who has been critical, to Australia’s victory in the last Ashes. “Ryan Harris“.
Steven Smith, The World Number One, batsman in the test cricket did say that If Australia played to its potential; English won’t even come close to winning a match. He was spot-on with his anticipation , because England didn’t come close to winning; they went way past the winning post and clinched the first test in a convincing fashion.
To draw a conclusion on why Australia lost the match, it is better to analyze why England won this match. Of course, Joe Root was instrumental setting up a big total, Ben Stokes aggressive half century helped England to set the tempo and Aussies bowling wasn’t able to create a havoc which they did in the Ashes 2013. Finally, Brad Haddin dropping Joe Root was a catastrophe and the final nail in the coffin was delivered by Moeen Ali by his spin bowling.
It was great to see England resurrect the pride, honor and competitiveness. Before the first test match started, England was enjoying the new found success in the ODI over New Zealand.
When Aussie wicket keeper was asked to express his view on this new resurrected England side which played instrumental cricket after their infamous defeat in world cup quarter final from Bangladesh. Haddin went on to say: “”I’m a bit puzzled by it. We’d come off the World Cup and everyone had played – it was just like they (England) were a couple of months too late. We played them in the first game of the World Cup when it counted and the pressure was on. I don’t really understand the talk. Did they not enjoy cricket before then? I don’t know. I don’t really get where they are coming from. That might be my naivety.”
To say the least, yes it was Brad Haddin’s naivety, complacency and over cleverness. Hopefully he will learn a lesson this time and won’t be so dumb and naïve.