Thursday, November 9, 2006

Ashes 2006-07 - A follow-up to the revival of the beautiful game

The Big Giants of the game (as per their current ICC Test Rankings) are back again, with the carnival moving this time to the land of kangaroos. And so the memories of their last year clash moves, and so do we; taking into the account the further addition that it needs during next three months of extensive cricket between them. Last time around, no doubt, they touched us and moved us, roused our senses and stirred our souls, made us live through their joy and despair. With no particular preference, the majority of the fans of the game all around the world, were happy to see the outcome of the series when the champions were beaten at their own game. Barring the collective slump, it was more of a busting by pace and bounce, swing and seam. Ofcourse, with pinged Harmison, tentative Hoggard, incessant Flintoff, and pinned Simon Jones, any line-up would have hustled, chinked over.

Australia had held the Ashes since 1989 and there were genuine fears the series was starting to lose its appeal, but all that instantly changed owing everything to this shock of last year. But this time again, this is Advantage Australia, thanks to all those not-so-good phases that England team had gone through, with many of their key players who played an important role in their last encounter, down with injury lay-offs, viz-a-viz, Vaughan, Giles, Jones, Flintoff. England's performances have deteriorated so rapidly since their Ashes win in 2005 having won just five of their last 13 Tests, including one by forfeit. Latest example being their dismal show at the Champions Trophy, ofcourse, they will be hoping to get back to winning ways in Australia. Michael Vaughan and Simon Jones will miss the tour (with former to get fit by third test), and though Giles has been included in the squad, but he was out for most of the year with hip problem.

Unlike that, the manner in which Australia have trampled over all corners this winter (winning CT of late), it suggests that retaining the urn will be an even bigger challenge for England than regaining it.

Nevertheless, Ashes fever is building up making it hard for record-keepers. Still some time left before the first ball is bowled in the follow-up to last summer's classic but interest in this tour is already aproaching fever pitch. James Sutherland, the chief executive of Cricket Australia, claims the series is already "shaping up as the biggest sporting event in Australia since the 2000 Olympics". England's cricketers have already arrived in Sydney on Nov. 5. Unlike their early predecessors who made the trip Down Under in steam ships, Flintoff's team travelled in a real style, flying first-class in a jumbo. The low-key arrival was a far cry from the wild scenes and drunken celebrations that followed their extraordinary show last year, which breathed new life into one of sport's greatest rivalries.


dk said...

"shaping up as the biggest sporting event in Australia since the 2000 Olympics".

Ashes is being blown out in proportions this time, thanks to the unexpectedly amazing performance by englishmen in 2005, but with the current scenario, there is not much that this traditional series has to offer and if english are to get some excitement in the series, flintoff and pieterson are the names!

Nitesh said...

i still don't feel this series will be one sided, Aus Eng series are like india-pak series Eng will raise their game and will fight, starts will play a gr8 role in this series as it always is in Aus so cook will have to come gr8 guns and dk rightly said about likes of flintoffs and pietersons should fire
monty or giles both are gr8 players
so waiting for the series

Nitesh said...

where are the labels u forgot
add them

and nice video