They were once the Brazil of cricket. Besides the yellow jersey, it is also the ruthless killer instinct which had made the Australians resemble the Latin American soccer giants. Take any form of cricket and the team, powered by some fantastic talents and credible captaincy, didn’t allow its opponents to breathe easy even for a moment. But all that looks a matter of the past now.
The Australian cricket team has failed to impress its fans of late and its latest loss to Sri Lanka and India along with a drawn series in Bangaladesh, one of the Asian countries where it has traditionally done better, saw it losing the No. 1 tag.
Border, Taylor, Steve Waugh, Ponting… Aussies just went high and high
Australia was guided to the pinnacle in Test cricket by a series of magnificent captains in Allan Border, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke and also occasionally by that brilliant wicket-keeper named Adam Gilchrist. It meant to be a nationalistic mission for every generation of cricketers that came up Down Under to erase the not-so-great memories of the Kim Hughes era when Australia had lost six straight Test matches.
It is not that cricket’s popularity is waning in Australia but the priorities have surely started to shift. Television viewership has become a major revenue earner for the game, even more than the qualitative aspects and this necessity has made T20 more relevant than Test. The result: the fundamentals of Test batting have been overshadowed by the pyrotechnics of slam-bang cricket and that coupled with the Gen Y attitude ensures that the longer route to the peak is virtually a deserted one now.
Since the World Cup 2015, they have lost an ODI series against New Zealand twice, whitewashed by Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka,whitewashed by South Africa in ODI’s and lost the test series. Then lost a test series and an ODI series against India in India.