03 December 2006
Since my last post, the cricket buzz in Aus has hit fever pitch. As those of you that follow the game would know, England's performance in the opening test in Brisbane can only be described as dismal. In the run up, the mantra amongst the Aus cricket team and followers was "it has been 4nn days since we lost the Ashes and are now pursuing our quest to return them" (to their rightful place). And at the first test's conclusion there were few doubts that the quest would be successful However I found that the Aus cricketers' confidence and arrogance to be distasteful and indeed dangerous! McGrath fro one made light of suggestions that he is too old to be participating at the this level of competition after his six wicket haul, only to pull up with an injury (bruised heel) that put him in doubt for the next test in Adelaide.
Well two days into the Adelaide test, the scenario has changed somewhat, with Australia beginning to realise that the result of their quest may not be quite as certain as it seemed only a few days ago. The similarity with the progress of the previous series in England is not lost on them: where after a good start they lost McGrath and then proceeded to loose the next three test matches and the series. I have no doubt that this will make the Aussies even more resolute to ensure that such history will not be repeated, and with England (with the help of their South African originating players, as is also often pointed out here) not being quite the pushover as once thought, I am looking forward to a competitive series, and hopefully a balanced one, by the time the squads arrive in Melbourne for their Boxing Day clash!
I have also found it encouraging to read that Monty Panesar, the English cricketer of Indian descent, has reportedly not experienced or seen any of the racial prejudice that is now regularly attributed to the Australian crowds, I just hope that he will get his chance to play! He may well just do that if Harmison does not prove his worth this morning!