It has been an exhilarating month-and-a-half for cricket aficionados. The two Test series in the antipodes, Australia and South Africa, witnessed enchanting, entertaining cricket from four sides.
The Ashes, whose history goes back over a hundred years, and the Sumo tie between the Goliaths of modern day cricket, India and South Africa, were a treat for the eyes. The Ashes more so for the excellent Hot Spot camera views. No complaints about umpiring decisions there.
Two tests began on the 16th of December, 2010. One at Perth, the other at Centurion.
The similarities were striking. Both pitches were expected to have something for the speed demons. And they did.
For Australia, after being shot out for 268 on the first day, it looked like deja vu. The Englishmen were on top and were pressing for an unprecedented third Ashes triumph, in the process, signalling their willingness to end the Punter’s reign at the helm.
Ricky Ponting feels that the Perth wicket will allow him the luxury of playing four fast bowlers. Horses for courses is the theory in play. It may well be a ploy that could backfire. The last time India played Australia in Australia, it was at Perth that the Indians pulled one back to make it 2-1 under the inspiring leadership of Anil Kumble. The Englishmen’s cause,however, is not helped by Stuart Broad’s injury and consequent absence.