England cricket tour of Australia 2002/03
Having just comprehensively stuffed Pakistan (World #3) a nation of outrageous cricketing talent and notoriously fragile temperament (including a victory in under 2 days) the Australians now return home for the Ashes series against the visiting Englishmen.
[aside]We think it is very important that if you claim to be the world champions that you earn this accolade by playing other countries both home and away[/aside]
As usual, the Australian team has the impression of looking wonky, despite their dominance. Both batting and bowling in each Test seemingly resting on too few shoulders. Of course, the trick is that 1) there are several shoulders capable of bearing the burden and 2) they seem to share the burden around.
The Aussies have won the past seven series and held the Ashes since 1989. The money is on a continuance. My head says the same. I don’t know if any of the SDMB Poms would put any hard-earned on them.
There are some solid credentials amongst tourists, including the top order and some promising tearaways, though they are light on experience. The team’s leaders are making positive statements, though I’d prefer they were mute until they put some runs/wickets on the board.
It wasn’t always this way. I remember when the boot was firmly on the other foot. Watching in the wee small hours as Botham and Willis pinched the Headingley Test in 1981. It still leaves emotional scars. As do the 14 consecutive matches without a win in the mid 80’s or the lessons dealt out by Illingworth’s hard as nails team in the 1968 and 1971/72 series.
So why aren’t I gleefully waiting on another mug-a-pom-athon?
Well, call me old fashioned, but I want to watch a contest, not a cameo talent show. A full series of 5 day matches, not Le Cage aux Folles in flannel. Give me a gritty last day struggle for a draw, not 8 wickets in a session of carnage and all over bar the mop-up.
So I’ll be in the Members for the Boxing Day Test @ the MCG hoping for a competition and barracking for the Aussies … but if it’s 2-2 when we get to the SCG, I’ll join the Barmy Army for the first day. Carn the Poms.
[ Australian deportation proceeding have probably already been begun. :eek: ]