Sunday, February 25, 2007

The balance is returning

Australian cricket team's shocking series of losses is making rounds in the cricketing headlines. Although disheartening for the fans downs under, it is encouraging for the game of Cricket. After having dominated the previous year (and of course, the 5-0 victory in the Ashes series) suddenly the team is looking vulnerable. Perhaps that's what Justin Langer meant when he cautioned the team and management of the long-term after-shocks of mass-exodus of the senior players. Now that Lee is out of the WC, McGrath's legs are tiring and Hayden-Symmond's (albeit temporary) injury scares are still of concern, Australia's WC prospects do look a bit shaky. However, if you ask me which is THE most professional team in the world, I would say it's Australia, and there won't be many disagreements about it. So, they know what they have and what they want to achieve. They have their process of winning tried and tested, and ready for production. I am sure their performance will be nothing short of what's expected of the Champions.

From Gentleman's game to the Beautiful Game: watching the ManU v/s Fulham match yesterday was a treat. ManU were made to sweat and were looking down to losing vital 2 points before their visit to Fort Anfield next week. Considering that they may lose all or two points there, three points from the match against Fulham was the need of the weekend. The winning goal finally came from C. Ronaldo in the dying minutes of the game. By far, it was nowhere near-champions like performance from the Red Devils. Fulham was all over them, and should have gone on to score at least two more goals and won the game. But it was not to be, and ManU held on to take home three vital points.

The winds are changing, as they should. Battle for the top spot should be even and exciting, and not one-sided and dull. England and New Zealand's victories of late seem to have brought back the balance in the system. The Champions will be hungry for another title, but by no means it will be an easy task. This critical balance is important for the game and also for keeping the fans' interest alive. With the heated-up competition, in the end the spirit of the game and the fans are the eventual winners; apart from, of course, the real champions.

...and that's the way it should be.

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