Of Italian plumbers and Australian batsmen
December 3, 2012 in Uncategorized
Wow! A series win in Australia, the second one for the current group of players, is some achievement. Well done to the Proteas on a fine display of cricket.
The SA team’s mission to hold on to that number one ranking made me think of that excellent Nintendo game of yesteryear named Super Mario Bros. Especially SMB 2, which I played tirelessly as a pre teen. Sometime you reach a new level after taking a few punches and you start an extremely difficult level as “little Mario”. You must avoid absolutely every obstacle you cant jump on because one mistake and you must start over again. But eat that magic mushroom and you are allowed at least one mistimed jump on a crab and you can even punch through brick walls. Get a fire flower and you are war machine in 2D!
The Proteas worked very hard to get to this point of them being ranked number one in the world, but it would only have taken a series loss in Australia for them to surrender that title again. Pretty harsh if you take into account just how difficult it is to take on the Aussies in their own backyard.
But the series win is a symbolic power mushroom that will give us some space as well as make us a more powerful unit. I suspect that a series win in our next encounter will establish this team as a unit that will take some beating.
Perhaps the most telling attribute of the current squad is the ruthlessness displayed by them when previous Protea teams went the conservative route. Smith declaring at a very risky time during the first test in England to finish them off in the last over as well as the batting we’ve seen at the start of the second innings in Perth was something not often displayed by Protea sides in the past.
This team has a certain killer instinct that puts fear and doubt in the minds of their opponents that is absolutely thrilling to watch. The sooner this attribute boils over to the other formats of the game, the better.
I must admit. I never liked Ricky Ponting at all. For he was like cricket’s Ritchy McCaw. But, just like I saluted McCaw on his WC victory, I felt a heart warming respect for Ponting as I watched him take the field this morning. I even felt sorry for him for not getting a result worthy of the occasion, but I then remembered he is playing against us.
Ricky is a true gentleman of the game and, although things didn’t go according to plan in his farewell test, he came out on top more often than not. He is right up there with the greatest of the greats and he will be truly missed.
A true legend.
That handshake between Ponting and Smith was worth a thousand words. Two great servants of their respective countries acknowledging one another. One’s time is up and another has the perfect opportunity to lead his country to heights never reached before.
I just hope that Greame is up to the task.
As an avid rugby supporter I seldom get as excited about a game of cricket the way I go around about a rugby game, but there’s something about a well executed test that has an air of perfection around it.
You cant do anything but love it!