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Thread: Australians have alot to say now that they're winning ? - Tony Cozier

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    Australians have alot to say now that they're winning ? - Tony Cozier

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    NO ONE is more painfully aware of the rapid disintegration of West Indies cricket than West Indians themselves.

    The proof has been before our eyes for at least a decade now, at our once-filled grounds, on our television screens, in our newspapers.

    Once the most powerful force in the game, it has become so weak and woeful that its Test and ODI teams languish in the nether regions of the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings.

    The reasons for the sorry state of affairs are myriad but easily identified. As responsible as any is the environment of constant confrontation between an inept administration, all but bankrupt both financially and intellectually, and mollycoddled players who have been allowed to become idle and indisciplined for lack of leadership.

    For all that, the abuse and scorn heaped on the team in the Australian press following its defeat in the first Test in Brisbane last week--by an innings and in three days-was undeserving. Much of it was simply beyond the pale.

    The circumstances of the match were largely overlooked. Until it was significantly pointed out by the Australian coach Tim Nielsen, so too was the recent history of the first Test at the Gabba.

    And comparisons with Australia’s similar decline in the 1980s, when their overall win-lost ratio in 92 Tests was 18-36 (5-16 against the West Indies), were conveniently ignored.

    Instead, we had this supercilious comment from Malcolm Conn, the long-serving writer for The Australian: ’Have the West Indies really sent their full-strength team to Australia? Surely the real team must be still on strike, because if this is the best the combined might of the Caribbean can muster, then Test cricket is in terminal decline.’

    He was in the Caribbean with the Australian team in 1984 when the West Indies did not lose a single second innings wicket in the five Tests, winning the series 3-0 on the way to six successive victories.

    As I recall, no one suggested then that Test cricket was in terminal decline because of it.

    Nor was there any consideration by the West Indies board that the series ’should be cancelled and all tickets refunded’, the line Ben Dorries came up with in the Brisbane Courier-Mail after the Brisbane match.

    And, as bad as the Aussies were back then, they were not chided that their Test cricket had become ’a complete and utter joke’, another of Dorries’ pearls.

    Captain of Australia during that dismal period was Kim Hughes.

    In his 28 Tests at the helm, Australia lost 13 Tests, against four victories. He resigned in 1984 after his team had been beaten for the fifth successive time by the West Indies, ironically at the same Gabba.

    He cut a forlorn figure as he openly wept in front of the assembled media, pleading: ’The constant criticism, speculation and innuendo by former players over the past four or five years have finally taken their toll’.

    Given such a background, he might have been expected to keep his thoughts about the present situation to himself. Instead, he weighed in.

    The West Indies, he charged, were ’an embarrassment to themselves’, adding that Chris Gayle doesn’t believe in Test cricket and ’his body language suggests he doesn’t want to captain’.

    ’I’m a passionate person about Test cricket and this was not a Test,’ Hughes added.

    It was an observation that could be applied to his last five Tests against the West Indies that produced two defeats by an innings, two by ten wickets and one by eight wickets.

    As he made his whimpering exit from the captaincy, did Hughes think, as he did now, that ’it’s not fair on sponsors and the public, who would be asking `why did you accept this lot’.

    I doubt it.

    Even though the West Indies had shown signs of improvement, drawing short series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand and regaining the Wisden Trophy with a 1-0 triumph over England in the Caribbean earlier in the year (the same

    England that defeated Australia in the summer to regain the Ashes), the outcome of the Brisbane Test was not surprising.

    They had been beaten in their eight previous Tests in Australia and had not won a series there since 1992-93.

    They arrived hardly a month after the upheaval that had led to the second strike in four years by the main players and were palpably unprepared for such a tough assignment.

    Their fastest bowler, Fidel Edwards, remained at home suffering from back and knee injuries.

    Gayle made a flying visit to Jamaica to be with his ill mother and arrived back only two days before the toss.

    On the morning of the match, Ramnaresh Sarwan’s stiff back eliminated him from the starting XI. Halfway through the first day, the only tested fast bowler, Jerome Taylor, damaged his hip badly enough to put him out of the tour.

    These were serious handicaps, especially for the opening Test at the Gabba where Australia had prevailed in 15 of their 20 Tests since beaten by the West Indies in 1988.

    Six of those victories were by an innings, three by ten wickets, two by more than 300 runs, five by more than 100 runs. Gayle’s team simply added to the list.

    Yet, after Sri Lanka went down by an innings and 40 runs in 2007 (Australia 551 for four declared) or England by 277 runs in 2008 (Australia 602 for nine declared and 202 for one declared), there were no snide remarks in the Australian media such as ’this summer will be defined by the comical, not the competitive’. (Jamie Pandaram in the Melbourne Age) and ’how on earth can anybody be expected to maintain interest in this dog-eared series for two more Tests’ (Robert Craddock in the Brisbane Courier-Mail).

    There has always been a general perception among West Indians that their successes are grudgingly accepted by others, their failures celebrated.

    At the height of their powers, when their fast bowling was its unequalled strength, legislation limited the number of bouncers in an over to one and there were proposals from serious commentators that the pitch should be lengthened. Prior to the tour of England in 1991, David Frith, editor of Wisden Cricket Monthly, damned the team as ’the most fearsome, the most successful and the most unpopular in the world’.

    ’Their game is founded on vengeance and violence and is tinged with arrogance,’ Frith wrote.

    Now there is growing support for the specious thesis that the game in the region would be stronger if fragmented into its separate parts.

    Fortunately there are those of substance and influence with a more sympathetic, and realistic, take on West Indies cricket, men such as Greg Chappell.

    ’The region of the West Indies has been one of the great cricket-playing regions and it would be an absolute tragedy in my view if we

    lost the West Indian region to

    cricket,’ he said in his recent Bradman Oration in Melbourne. ’I’m hopeful that some of the work that’s being done to help West Indian cricket become strong again is successful because I think they’re a very important member of the cricket family,’ he added.

    It is up to West Indians themselves, on and off the field, to silence the detractors and fulfil Chappell’s hope.

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    Dorries and Conn in journalistic integrity shocker.

    Glad someone said it, though. That said;

    There has always been a general perception among West Indians that their successes are grudgingly accepted by others, their failures celebrated.
    The WI are hardly alone here. Doubt he'll get much sympathy for this point of view in OZ.

    At the height of their powers, when their fast bowling was its unequalled strength, legislation limited the number of bouncers in an over to one and there were proposals from serious commentators that the pitch should be lengthened. Prior to the tour of England in 1991, David Frith, editor of Wisden Cricket Monthly, damned the team as ’the most fearsome, the most successful and the most unpopular in the world’.

    ’Their game is founded on vengeance and violence and is tinged with arrogance,’ Frith wrote.
    Histrionics aside, it certainly does put paid to the ridiculous idea that the WI team of the 80's were loved by all and sundry, full of gentlemen cricketers. People admired their success and the standard of play but, as with the Aussie side of the last 15 years, you don't win as much as they did by being nice about it.
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 01-12-2009 at 08:55 PM.
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    Not to mention the fact Aus slid from number 1 to 4 in the test rankings in roughly 6 months. This is probably the best time for the Aus players and AUS press to be humble because they haven't been world beaters all year.


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    School Boy/Girl Captain Joe Ninety's Avatar
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    Ben Dorries is a sorry excuse for a writer and I'm embarrassed to even be in the same city as the paper he 'writes' for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Ninety View Post
    Ben Dorries is a sorry excuse for a writer and I'm embarrassed to even be in the same city as the paper he 'writes' for.
    One must ponder if this is all aimed at damaging the confidence/moral of the WI players, because I can't think of a team deserving of such severe and dishonest critisim, taking in consideration all that has happen in the last two years to present day.

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    Hall of Fame Member aussie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilovecric View Post
    Not to mention the fact Aus slid from number 1 to 4 in the test rankings in roughly 6 months. This is probably the best time for the Aus players and AUS press to be humble because they haven't been world beaters all year.
    That doesn't mean anything. In 2002/03 according to those rating systems SA became # 1in the world after AUS had smoked them over 6 tests.

    Australia are no longer the dominant force of 95 to 2006/07. But they remain the best test nation in the world clearly.
    Last edited by aussie; 01-12-2009 at 11:39 PM.

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    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussie View Post
    That doesn't mean anything. In 2002/03 according to those rating systems SA became # 1in the world after AUS had smoked them over 6 tests.

    Australia are longer the dominant force of 95 to 2006/07. But they remain the best test nation in the world clearly.
    clearly how and to whom apart from one eyed Aussie supporters?
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    Hall of Fame Member aussie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by honestbharani View Post
    clearly how and to whom apart from one eyed Aussie supporters?
    Ha lord, yall cats lame. Any defense of AUS by a AUS fan is always biased for some reason.

    AUS closest challengers are obviously IND & SA. All 3 are even batting wise, but AUS has the far superior bowling attack & best depth in international cricket (although Hodge just retired).

    AUS only weakness now compared to the glory days of 95-2006/07 is that they would struggle to win in IND & SRI now.
    Last edited by aussie; 02-12-2009 at 12:03 AM.

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussie View Post
    Ha lord, yall cats lame. Any defense of AUS by fan AUS fan is always biased for some reason.
    Well yeah, it is. I doesn't mean it can't have merit or even be correct, but it's still biased.
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    Hall of Fame Member aussie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    Well yeah, it is. I doesn't mean it can't have merit or even be correct, but it's still biased.
    If it is you are suggesting that there is a natural biasness by defualt, when judging players in from your own team in cricket. For some people i guess yea. But i personally have never taken that approach, always try to call a spade a spade.

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    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussie View Post
    Ha lord, yall cats lame. Any defense of AUS by a AUS fan is always biased for some reason.

    AUS closest challengers are obviously IND & SA. All 3 are even batting wise, but AUS has the far superior bowling attack & best depth in international cricket (although Hodge just retired).

    AUS only weakness now compared to the glory days of 95-2006/07 is that they would struggle to win in IND & SRI now.
    I don't see how can you say any of that, given they could not even beat England in England... Something both India and RSA did...

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    A very good article by Cozier....

    I find the criticism by certain elements of the Oz media over the top, as usual.

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    Hall of Fame Member aussie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by honestbharani View Post
    I don't see how can you say any of that, given they could not even beat England in England.
    They defeated a better SA team at home before the Ashes. AUS problem to date in this post McWarne era has been inconsistent cricket & poor selections. AUS lost the Ashes more so than ENG won it - they weren't outplayed like in 2005.

    Quote Originally Posted by honestbharani View Post
    ... Something both India and RSA did...
    Haa yea that ENG team in 2007 didn't even have its full strenght attack. Plus nobody was talking about IND being a top test team in 2007.

    So what if SA won in ENG 08. AUS just defeated SA in SA.

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    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussie View Post
    They defeated a better SA team at home before the Ashes. AUS problem to date in this post McWarne era has been inconsistent cricket & poor selections. AUS lost the Ashes more so than ENG won it - they weren't outplayed like in 2005.



    Haa yea that ENG team in 2007 didn't even have its full strenght attack. Plus nobody was talking about IND being a top test team in 2007.

    So what if SA won in ENG 08. AUS just defeated SA in SA.
    An inconsistent team cannot be called "clearly" #1 in the world... mate, you have unproven seamers, unreliable spinners and good batting.. How does that make your side better than India or RSA? They are equal... And the claim about depth is just BS as usual.. I dunno what you know of Indian reserves but I have enough faith in Badri, Vijay, Pujara and Rahane to tell you that our test depth is nothing like our ODI depth... We have enough depth in batting and reasonable depth in bowling for tests... And Australia's reserves haven't been tested yet. We will see when they are...

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