Thursday, April 26, 2007

Australia vs. Sri Lanka

So that's it. Aus vs. SL - that is the final lineup for the Cricket World Cup 2007. How boring to see Australia reach the final once again, a record 4th consecutive time they have managed it. And if they win, it will be a record 3rd consecutive win. In fact their domination of the game is so total that this is their 6th final appearance out of 9 WCs so far; the only times they did not manage to reach the finals were 1979, 1983 and 1992.

However, I want to see SL beat Australia. That is my personal wishlist. Sure, Hayden and Co. are batting like there is no tomorrow. And, McGrath and Co. are bowling similarly. It seems very hard to beat the Aussies in the current form. But they are beatable. SA showed that by hitting 436 when the Aussies piled up 434. NZ showed that recently, against an admittedly enervated Australian team.

But, I am tired of seeing Australian victories. I mean, come on, give us a break. We want to see these guys lose because we want a change. We are bored of the same old, same old. Hayden hits. Ponting punishes. Gilchrist gorges. McGrath murders. Bracken bellows. And Australia wins.

Australia have a continuous winning streak in WCs since the final of the WC99. The match before that was the famous tied match between them and SA. Since the final of the WC99, they have a spotless record which includes the whole of WC2003 and WC2007, so far. Sports journos are running out of superlatives to express their sheer awe of this team.

However, Australia's winning habit is killing enthusiasm in fans like me. Sure, I like to watch good cricket, which Asutralia provides in ample dollops. But there has to be some excitement in watching the match, the thrill of waiting to see the final 5 overs, where the match can go either way. Australians are too clinical in their execution and leave no scope for excitement in a match. It is like David vs. Goliath, except that the Goliath wins hands down all the time.

I don't mind a close and hard-fought victory for Australia. That would be any day better than a emphatic, convincing and one-sided victory. However, what would give me real pleasure is a SL victory; and I don't want a comprehensive one. A nail-biter, if you please, thank you very much. That is what the couch-potatoes of the world want.

I am wearing blue and yellow on Saturday. What about you?