That’s exactly what the Poms must have felt after they snatched a two run victory over the Aussies yesterday.

There was a House-Warming ceremony at my best friend’s place. She had flown down after a year and since both sisters would be flying back again, her parents decided to have the pooja to invite all friends and family for the occasion. There was complete chaos when there were 80-odd people in the house and we “kids” (As we are still referred to, despite post-graduations, jobs, and marriages!) still managed to watch the last half hour of the match.

When we switched on the television set we were in for a few shocks:

  • First that Australia were still batting
  • Second that they were just 30–odd runs from the target (How in the world could that have happened? They required 107 at end of third day’s play and no recognized batsman left to get anywhere close to the victory target! But then with Aus anything is possible!)
  • Third that Warne had taken the attack to the Poms and Brett Lee and Kasprowicz (I feel a sense of pride everytime I get his name right:-)) were still doing the same!
  • Fourth that England were on the defensive to no.10 & no.11
  • Fifth that the England fans were emotional and involved! Boy, they’ve been so cold in the past, this was a pleasant change.
  • Sixth being the shock I would’ve got had Aussies won! ( England saved me the agony and thank god for that!)

My first immediate reaction was, “Guys, if England lose this, there is no way they will come back from this defeat in the Ashes!” Only to read today in the papers that someone else echoed similar thoughts. I’m again mighty pleased at myself, after all, a lot of the game is also played in the mind!

The England defeat would have been heart wrenching. The game so badly needs a change, and a challenge to the Aussie dominance. I’ve never rooted against Australia, they have always been my top favourites. But I was also bored seeing the same script echo day in and out, match after match, series after series (India- Aus series over the years being a fine exception, not the 2004 one, but we still managed a win, even though it was thanks to the devilish pitch at Mumbai).

There was no serious rivalry in the offing, the Ashes were dead and then this England team brought a ray of hope. I was not rooting against the Aussies, I was rooting for the game. The Aussie dominance though fascinating, could kill the game if it lasts longer. No sport has charm if there is no rivalry. Take any sport, a champion way ahead of others, simply destroys the charm of the game and the sport loses its audience. What’s the big deal about Sampras winning at Wimbledon, Schumaker winning the World Championship, Australia winning matches?

And then we, the humble sports lovers,look for those small events that are big deals! Kolkatta 2001, Adelaide 2003 was a big deal and so is this test win by England. For me it’s a huge deal:-)

Australia is struggling, how often have we heard this from their side? England is fighting back, Ashes are not going to be won that easily.The England team finally believes that its opponents are not invincible.

The Aussies are mortals after all! We had almost forgotten that fact hadn’t we?

P.S:Sorry, the last few posts have been about the Ashes, but it’s been exciting. It’s cricket, it’s one of my loves, it’s “The Ashes”, how can I not talk about it???

Saurabh has spun a nice story around it, God’s prophecies, Harry Potter, LOTR , and a few more tales and ya cricket too thrown in:-) Read it here.


Underdogs on their way…


Mind if I ASK?


  1. Minal


    I did try to imagine, and I saw that the Ashes had died! Right there and then. No way England could’ve come back in this Ashes and in the near future!!!

    The England team would have required some serious therapy! You are right!

    Indian team currently needs loads of therapy! You have anyone in mind who can give them some?

    It’s very frustrating when you see these talented blokes perform so miserably!

  2. Michael Higgins

    Imagine if the Aussie had pulled that off. The whole England team would need therapy.

    Hmm…Maybe the Indian team needs therapy.

  3. Tugga

    Minal, I have another point of view on this matter. I completely agree with the cultural difference thing. But the point you make about the freedom struggle, for example, is something I think I must differ upon. You should rephrase it thus, “even a 5 year old had the determination to WORK and FIGHT for freedom”. You will understand that it is not the same thing as having the determination to succeed. It is the difference between the goal driven western philosphy and the work driven Indian philosphy as was explained in the Bhagvad Geeta

  4. Minal

    Leon: First thanks for dropping by.Don’t let go of your interest in the game because of our “inconsistent” team:-) Some other teams are playing fine cricket. Start watching.

    @mit:It is cultural, no doubt. I understand your point and I would prefer the same. That’s why we inculcated some grit from John Wright and hopefully will get some more from Greg Chappell.

    It’s kinda hard to digest that a bunch of good talented players cannot put up a fight. Our country has had a great history, the freedom struggle, where even a 5 year old had the will and determination to succeed.

    We have taken too many things for granted and part of it reflects in the way we play!

    I never expect a victory all the time but a good fight ya I sure do, I think I’ve the right to:-)

  5. @mit

    Minal – I just admire the sheer grit and confidence of the Aussies and the never say die spirit even in the face of a defeat.

    In contrast, Indian team never looks comfortable even when they are a step away from victory.

    I seriously think that it is all cultural — something to do with how we are all brought up — it does not work in sports though…. i would rather like an arrogant John Mcenroe than a humble Ramesh Krishnan (wrong analogy — but hope u get the point)

    BTW – Thanks for blogrolling me !

  6. Leon

    I agree with you in thinking that a change would do a world of good to international cricket.

    The aussies loss against bangladesh was hilarious.. lol

    Let me also state here that my interest in cricket has waned after the Aussies thrashed India in the last world cup… :-(.

  7. Minal

    Of course the Aussies deserved it. They earned it and they have an amazing fighting spirit, a great killer instinct and as you said A Never-Say-Die attitude!

    One can never take that away from them. They are the ones who brought back the audience to test-cricket making it more enjoyable than the ODIs.

    A great rivalry would just do the game good.

    Thanks for dropping by:-)

  8. loverBoy

    Yes, after some time you get bored to see the same team win all the series but then they deserved it, didn’t they? I just love Aussies’ confidence and never-say-die attitude.

    Nice post. Will come back to read more of your blog.

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