Tuesday, January 2, 2007, marks the start of a tremendously important game for both the Australian and English cricket teams.
The Australian team, stinging from the loss of the Ashes series in England in 2005, is after a 5 – 0 whitewash of the English team to wipe out the pain of the loss the Ashes and to show that they are still the premier cricket team that the rest of the cricketing world has to try to catch up to. It’s also important because 4 of the senior members of the team have announced their retirements and this represents the last test they will play for their country on home soil. Whilst many of the pundits predicted Australian cricket was being caught up to by the rest of the world at the end of 2005, the Australian team have simply “shifted gear” and raised the level of their play yet again as if to say to the rest of the world “Come on, we aren’t done yet. If you want our place, then you’ll have to fight bloody hard to take it.”
The English team, on the other hand, are looking to avoid the embarrassment of losing the Ashes 0 – 5 just 12 months after they won them. They are looking to retain some smidgeon of the pride they gained when they won the series on home soil in 2005.
It seems to me the only hope the English team have of avoiding a whitewash lies in the weather forecast for Sydney over the next week. Although, given the way the English team have capitulated in the previous games of the series, I reckon it would take 4 days of rain to give the English any chance of avoiding a whitewash.
C’mon Aussie, c’mon, c’mon…..