Awesome Aussies and Red Indians | Sunday Observer

Awesome Aussies and Red Indians

Undoubtedly the two awesome teams in T/20 and Limited Over Cricket in the world are Australia and India who are studded with some excellent performers in these formats of the game.

Their players are natural and need no teaching of basics like in Sri Lanka and some most other teams. They know when and how to adapt to situations and the coaches Justin Langer and Ravi Shastri have only to sit back and watch their charges doing the right things needed in these versions of cricket.

But these two cricket’s super powers have had fluctuating fortunes in their outings in recent times. That’s a good thing to bring reality to their hopes. Yet that should do their game a lot of good what with success in the T/20 World Cup in Australia being El Dorado.

We first start with the Australians led by Aaron Finch. Finch is a thinking captain and his concentration is unflinching. As an opener he is devastating once he gets going. That rubs down on his partner David Warner and together they can make mincemeat of any attack with their dashing batting.

They showed how devastating they could get when they slammed an over 250 unbroken stand to beat India in a 50-over game with both scoring centuries. Why the Aussies don’t open with Finch in Test cricket is inexplicable.

Then following the openers are Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Andrew Carey and with another mauler of bowling Glen Maxwell to come after recovering from injury. They should be a formidable outfit.

Labuschagne has been a revelation. From the time he donned pads as substitute for Smith in the Ashes series against England, runs have been flowing from his blade with great consistency. Sachin Tendulkar, the Indian batting god who has watched the right-hander wielding the willow paid him the greatest compliment when he said that Labuschagne is his clone. Now that is something that Labuschagne can be proud of.

The Aussies will be making their next tour to South Africa soon. Smith the former Aussie captain and David Warner vice captain will be bracing up to face booing music by the African spectators when they return to the scene that was termed the ‘Sandpaper Gate’ for tampering with the ball. They paid heavily for this cheating which was in poor taste and unacceptable at this sacred level.

In bowling they have speed men who bowl with great accuracy and are penetrative in Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Patrick Pattinson with two immaculate spinners in Adam Zampa right arm leg spin and Ashton Agar left arm leg spin.

Their fielding is super class. It’s very important in these styles of game and seldom do they drop a catch, let a boundary go or miss a run out of opposing batsmen.

Having said that we move on to India who is the other awesome side. They have a bunch of immensely talented players in all aspects of the game. In captain Virat Kohli they not only have a shrewd captain, but one who could lift their spirits and game with his masterly batting.

A heavy scoring batsman, he has maintained amazing consistency with the bat.. If and when India loses an early wicket he walks in and undaunted run scoring strokes cascades from his bat and then begins a run flow.

In openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan they have too murderers of any bowling. Both have proved themselves with Sharma being a rightie and Dhawan a leftie.

When Finch a rightie and Warner a leftie begin their run riot it reminds the writer of Sri Lanka’s two dashers Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharane who brought a new dimension to the World Cup won by Sri Lanka in the 1995/96 tournament with their pinch hitting that opposing bowlers had no counter to. Ah! how we yearn for those days to reappear. It seems and idle dream, unfortunately.

Sharma and Dhawan are followed by free scoring batsmen in K.L. Rahul, Kholi, Iyer, Manesh Pandey and Ravindra Jadeja who can put any attack to the sword. In bowling they have Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Sani and spin twins Chahal right arm leg spin and Kuldeep Yadav left arm, two accurate spinners who are miserly when given the ball. The Indians too are an excellent safe fielding side with quick movers on the field with safe catching hands.. In Ravindra Jadeja they have a reliable all rounder. His fielding in the covers and throwing are treats to watch.

When it comes to the next big money bag tournament – the T/20 World Cup in Australia in October, these two teams will be strong contenders with cricket fans wagering heavily on them. Going on the form shown by Australia and India if any other team wins the trophy it will be a travesty of justice.

Leaving Australia and India to concentrate on their game and build up, we move to Rawalpindi and to Pakistan’s speed bowling sensation Naseem Shah who had the Bangladeshi batsmen wobbling in the knees with his thunder and lightning speed bagging a hat-trick and becoming the youngster at 16 years and 359 days to perform this magic.

Looking like former right arm paceman Waqar Younis in his heyday, the writer watching Shah bowl on TV predicted that the right armer would shake and stun opposing batsmen and rewrite the record books. He has obliged the writer.

With a lot of more bowling to do, the Pakistan coaching staff will have to nurse and nurture him carefully and he will take the country’s game to a higher level. At the moment he is in a hurry, bubbling with enthusiasm to let fly at batsmen, not only dismissing them, but if hit by his bouncer could suffer permanent injury and deprive them of their livelihood and put them out of the game.

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