Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Reliving Ashes 2009

Wow! That's the only word which comes to my mind when I think of the 2009 Ashes. It was one of the most awaited test series if not for anyone else, but for me. And it lived up to the expectation and how. Australians had their pride at stake, their champions tag at stake for the first time since may be around 200 or 2001. England were fighting for redeeming their lost pride. They had lost the last ashes in Australia 5-0. Added to this was the additional pressure of playing on home soil and to top it all, the responsibility of giving Freddie a fitting farewell. Freddie, one of the heroes of the 2005 victorious England team. So, this series had all it takes for a blockbuster.

Well begun is half done. Indeed, what a start the ashes had. The first test England holding nerve till the last moment to draw what seemed to be an Aussie game all the way. The second test began exactly from where the first ended. England picking up the confidence it gained from denying a must win for Aussie in the first game, came well prepared to Lords to defy history by winning in Lords against Aussies. Though rain tried its best to play a spoilsport in the third test, it was never short of excitement. It was England's turn to dominate and Aussie's turn to save the day. It was more like a repeat of the first test but just the roles were reversed. A charged Aussie after their effort in saving the 3rd game, caught England on the wrong foot in the 4th test and England lost by an innings, leaving it all to the final game. The tally at 1-1. The fifth test in itself had its ups and downs.After a brisk start by England in the first innings it lost its way but ended up with a pretty decent total. Aussies too began in style with the opening pair notching up quick runs but then it was Broad magic. He caused a remarkable collapse for the Aussie middle order and Aussie fell well short of England score. The confident England then amassed a big score in the second innings too leaving Aussie a improbable 546 to win in the last innings of the Ashes 2009. As expected, Aussie fought bravely, but for some run outs, I felt they would have still given more close finish. Finally, it was England which had the ultimate elixir. More than anything, it was a classic example of history repeats itself. Sample this, the final tally of ashes 2005, 2-1 in England's favour 2009 the same. 1st test and 3rd test formatted the same way. Only roles reversed. 2nd and 5th test , mere action replays of each other, only the numbers and stars change. It went to show the maturity which Aussies have gained to put up a brave front in all improbable situations and fighting it out to their best abilities and it is very welcome move from the Aussie board not to blame Ponting for the defeat. What goes up comes down and it is the downfall time for Aussie team. It is time for them to re-group and bounce back, which I am sure they will do sooner or later. Also, all through the series it is the test cricket which is the clear winner. This series has served as a life saving boon to the test cricket, the purest and oldest form of cricket.