Cricket has had its origins in the Great Britain. In contemporary times, Cricket has found its home in the sub-continent with India considering the game of bat and ball as a religion. But, “Ozzies” from down under are most definitely the reigning champions of this game. The professionalism, the ruthlessness with which they have played cricket in the last two decades or so has arguably earned them the title “The Invincibles” slightly ahead of the West Indies team of the mid 80’s.
How cricket in Australia is defined? Is it the synonymous to the greatest batsman ever to have walked on the cricket pitch, Sir Donald Bradman? With an astounding average of 99.96 is Sir Don, the best thing that has happened to the Australian cricket. Most around world would not mind agreeing with the fact that in Australia cricket can be termed as Sir Donald Bradman.
But, if Sir Don is a thing that happened some 70 years ago, the present scenario is such that any other team would gladly be their best ever playing half as good cricket as the Aussies play these days. Australia has been the top cricketing nation for the past 2 decades. With three consecutive world cups in their bags, Australia undoubtedly is the best team of all times.
If Australia can boast of having the greatest batsman of all times, then they can also boast of having the best ever leg-spinner, if not the best spinner of all times. Yes, he is the controversial yet legendary, Shane Warne. With 700 odd wickets in his kitty he is at present the highest wicket taker in test matches. They are not far behind in the fast bowling department too, with the likes Denis Lillie, the master craftsman of swing bowling. Jeff Thompson considered the fastest bowler of all time, the machine like Glenn Mcrath, the fast and furious Brett Lee.
If these were some of the bowlers that rattled most batsmen, Aussies also have a list of batsmen who could easily give the best of the bowlers a real hard time. The first in the list come the Chappell brothers shrewd, disciplined, the best observers of the game. Ian Chappell also considered the best captain in the mid 70’s. Then came the likes of David Boon, Allan Border- the world cup winning captain, Dean Jones. Then it was the era of Mark Taylor, most people remember him for his 330 runs against Pakistan where he could have easily been selfish and broke the record of Brian Lara of the highest test score but he chose victory over his personal glory. The Waugh brothers, Mark Waugh considered as the most elegant of batsmen ever to have played and Steve Waugh is undoubtedly the shrewdest captain ever. In fact, Steve Waugh is a testimony to the mental strength of the Aussies, who can forget the famous line from him, “Mate, You just dropped the cup”.
And today Ricky Ponting following in the foot steps of Steve Waugh, along with the likes of Adam Gilchrist, is surely well on his way for being the world champions for the 4th consecutive time.