Don’t Get Cocky Wattie and Clarkie !Your Boys Just Got Plain Lucky!”
Posted on September 4th, 2011
Top Spin By Suni
Do we see a bit of brash cockiness on the part of Shane Watson who has bragged that ” We’d have won bowling first too!” - Shane Watson, the Australia vice-captain, has said his side bowled so well to Sri Lanka’s batsman that they would have won the first Test in Galle even if they had lost the toss and fielded first which seems a bit of overkill on the part of Mr.Watson as it was the Sri Lankans who defeated themselves with rank irresponsibility in a game they could have won! This was proven to a great measure by how the Aussies were bowled out twice for low scores and in the end even the 370+ target seemed gettable for Sri Lanka even minutely at one point until Harris got his lucky breakthrough and the debacle started.
This was also an object lesson for ground curators not to mess with experimental wicket preps in the hope that it would suit local spinners as that too seemed to have been a factor which backfired on the Lankans as the Aussie spin pace combination were quick to pounce on the consequent advantage to them and capitalised on it.
For his part, after the win in the 3 game series, Australia’s captain Michael Clarke who at times was tested by the Lankans, joining in on the Watson chorous has said that he felt the toss had been critical, and decried a pitch on which that was so. But Clarke seems to have beeen patting his boys on the back about how Australian bowlers had been so disciplined and balanced in their work etc etc. and all the usual cliches the Aussis so love to indulge in after a win seemed to ring a bit hollow. To suggest inasmuch as Watson’s opinion was that bowling first would not have made much difference seems irrational as they too in every likelihood could have easily been shot out by the Sri Lankans on a pitch that seemed like it already had four days of wear and tear .
While the Aussies a la Clarke and Watson are entitled to bask in the glory of this win which seems fain compensation for the thrashing they recieved at the hands of the Englishmen in the Ashes Series comcluded the Sri Lankans need to be taken by the scruffs of their necks alongside their coaches particularly in the batting department who somehow see to have instilled a fear of pace bowling into their mindset so as to be totally defensive and crumple as a result once their opponents smell blood, either that or the emphasis needed as seems lacking in many sub-continent teams, to be able to counter pace with an attacking approach in the manner of a Jayasuriya ( who must have been wincing watching Sri Lanka’s pathetic first innings perhaps wishing he was at the crease!~ said whistfully of course) or a Shewag whose firepower is well known to the Aussies, where the moment they get a battering the likes of Watson, Johnson and perhaps even Harris tend to go on the defensive! This was quite apparent in the Sri Lanka second innings whe Mahela Jayawardena and Angelo Matthews were at the wicket together although they finally succumbed to the trepidations of an ill prepared pitch perhaps and a renewed, tails raised Aussie attack which delivered. And not so much hype as was indicative of the Watson – Clarke rhetoric about how homogeneous, imposing and formidable this bunch of Aussies are !
Probably sounds like a bonanza to the Aussies as Watson had said after the match quoting an item in Cricinfo “To be able to win a Test match in Sri Lanka is a really good effort. I know batting first helped the cause but we did bowl very well as a group throughout the whole Test match” bur ro go further to suggest that ” and in the end I don’t think it would have mattered that much whether we batted or bowled first.” is brash cockiness as in all probabilities it could have mattered had the Aussies lost the toss and were sent in! Watson and Clarke could easily have been singing a different song!
That they did bowl as well as they have for a number of years, field brilliantly and were able sustain pressure for a long time and make it hard for Sri Lanka to score runs of course needs to be acknowledged and all in a game of Test cricket where the roles could easily have been reversed had the Lankans got a few breaks too!
So Wattie and Clarkie you dear olde boyes! don’t play soothsayers just yet! hold your comments about the Aussies in the next two Tests as the Lankans could easily spring a surprise on you as the series isn’t quite over and like they say “it aint over till the fat lady sings!” although she seemed absent in Galle and bound to be there for the next two. There’s no need to go on about the merits of Ponting and the quickness of Harris and what a tidy bunch of players the Aussies are and how easy it’s going to be to whitewash the Lankans as you came into the series a bit shaky and even named underdogs by a few prominent cricket authorities, you probably got plain lucky!