Australia’s triumph at the Gabba will not be remembered for the outstanding cricket played by the home side, but sadly for the disappointing antics of certain players. This is not the first time, nor unfortunately will it be the last, when the behaviour of cricketers overshadows the high quality action on the field. Remember the nail biting Indian SCG test match a few years back and subsequent aftermath.
I should be celebrating the fact that our test match victory drought is over, that Nathan Lyon got to lead “Under the Southern Cross I stand” for the first time and that Mitchell Johnson appears to have overcome his demons and once again become an intimidator on the world cricket stage. Unfortunately, I’m not.
Some may call me unpatriotic, but I am really struggling to give my full support to the Australian side at present. A team needs to earn the right to play the game with a flair of arrogance. Mouthing off in the press when an opponent is on the ropes is cheap. Calling another professional athlete scared or weak is disrespectful. You only earn the right to play with arrogance if you have the victories on the board in varying conditions over a consistent period of time. Unfortunately, the current Australian side is still a long way from earning this right.
The players need to be remember that prior to the Gabba, their performances were littered with inconsistency and, on many occasions, were substandard. They were unable to win the critical moments of test matches – unable to apply the killer punch when on top and guilty of meekly surrendering test matches when on the back foot.
The Australians have just broken an embarrassingly long test match victory drought. Not so long ago they were being bamboozled by the turning ball in India and unable to counter the ball reversing in England whilst not being able to reverse the ball themselves. Did Australia’s opponents in those instances publicly mock them about their inadequacies? You know the answer.
Humility in professional sport is often forgotten, particularly in cricket. The game is a wonderful leveller. You can be on top of the world one day and not knowing where your next run will come from the next. Someone should remind David Warner of this or bring it to his attention. He will be prone to these fluctuations throughout his career, given the style of cricket he plays.
Humility and sportsmanship should be qualities at the forefront of every captain’s personality. The best leaders are those who play tough, attacking cricket in the right spirit. Watching our current leader sledge a tail ender bunny being peppered by hostile short pitch bowling (denying it, then subsequently admitting to it) was nothing short of embarrassing. That is not tough cricket.
I for one think the antics of the Australian players will galvanise the English into action. Despite being comprehensively outplayed, they will be stinging at the criticism leveled at them by their cocky opponents. The sad news of Jonathan Trott’s departure will only steel their resolve further. They are a consistently good side and the Australians need to start paying them the respect they deserve.
A message to the Australian cricket team – it’s time to eat some humble pie boys. There are still four test matches to go and consistent performances has not been your forte in recent times.