Nopes, don't get me wrong. Am not underestimatin' the Aussies, they still are the best team, and on sportin' terms, do deserve to win the cup. But then, after all, they are fallible, as was evident when an Collingwood-inspired outfit defeated them thrice in a row.. wow, I really can't recall that happenin' ever before.. And then, the Kiwis just scripted a perfect annihilation, handlin' them a 10 wicket defeat, for the first time in Aussie ODI history!! Avid cricket followers might argue, that the World Cup might change hands this year in the Carribean. I do second that thought, but not 'coz of the results, but more 'coz of the injuries to key players.. A bit of an analysis that I got into, and for me these folks might make a huge difference on the outcome of the Cup -
Brett Lee - Well, if this bloke misses out for his ankle injury, its gonna be ultra difficult for the team down under to regain the championship. Arguably, the hardest trier in the modern game, which also makes me a huge fan of his.. and it would be askin' too much of Shaun Tait to come in and have the same effect that Brett Lee does on the opposition. With all due concern, I really hope he gets fit in time..
Andrew 'Roy' Symonds - Well, the team has never look so disbalanced as it did in the CommonWealth Bank Series, once Symonds left coz of his Bicep injury. No more, did the opposition had to bear the sight of him lurkin' around the covers region, cuttin' off almost any ball hit in that vicinity and the batsman could finally do away with a few cheeky singles.. bowlers could bowl with a lot more freedom in the middle overs, without really fearing of gettin' hit into the stands.. and it was evident that Pontin' missed his off cutters in the middle overs.. No Roy, and that hits them by atleast a good 15%..
Sourav Ganguly - Incredible comeback.. villain one moment, and now the entire team looks to be kinda dependent on him after a year. The sublime drives through cover point are back, the pull over mid wicket is a big bonus.. but what stands out is the commmitment that he has shown. He's never been a great fielder, and niether is gonna be one, but its the commitment that he has shown, which has picked up on the other frail members. Gone for money, wasn't he a few months back.. u dare say that now!
Zaheer Khan - Is this just a coincidence, that the player who Ganguly was too fond off, went out almost the same time as his mentor.. and came back (with a bang) together as well.. hmm.. makes up for an interestin' storyline! He's never looked this fitter, this committed and this disciplined ever before! That spell of his on the final day at Newlands(which India Lost) was truly inspirational and was pretty sad that it wasn't capitalized by the others. India was gone for all money, but that 6-7 over burst against the likes of Kallis and Prince was somethin' he would be proud off. India does rediscover a potential spearhead, hope he doesn't fade away the way he did in the finals of 2003..
Jacob Oram - oh ho! Did someone in the Aussie media write, that he's a poor man's Chris Cairns, and did it piss him off.. phew, he whacked the Aussies all over the WACA park the next day.. and did it yet again against the poms the following match.. At 6 foot 7, this huge dude from across the Tasman, holds the key to their middle order, and makes up for an interstin' trio of McCullum, Oram and Vettori to take advantage of the slog overs.. Update: damn, he fractured his finger y'day takin' a dolly against the Aussies.. again that silly technique of catchin' the ball with palms pointin' up.. I'll have to put somethin' bout it for sure.. its so goddamn silly..
Well, don't think I missed Good 'Ol Collingwood.. Well, too much being written 'bout him everywhere, but this quote by Ted Corbett sums it up the best,
Instead, he is a great man, a never-say-die character who lives only for his cricket, and in the tradition of David Steele who confronted the all conquering Australians 30 years ago with courage.