Phew...The long wait is over and for a change am seeing aussies in a position where they put all teams of world in , almost for a entire decade and more. They have been well and truly beaten by the proteas. Throughout the test and one day series , the proteas portrayed amazing team spirit and surprisingly it was the fledglings that took them to nadir. Indeed, SA rided on the shoulders of some young guns like Duminy, Botha, Steyn, Morkel(Albie) and Villiers. Not to discount the effort put in by the senior blokes, as this victory wouldn have been possible without those experienced campaigners as well.
Well, gone are the times when i remember, i switched on ESPN , hoping to see a bad aussie batting scorecard, instead would end up witnessing a score of 335/1 (Hayden 111* and ponting 45*, langer departed after inflicting enough damage). Gone are the dreaded times when we hoped the poor pair of kumble and srinath facing mcgrath & co, build a partnership and take india to victory, with the sccore being 112/8 and another 125 runs needed for victory. Gone are the times when strauss watched agape a scorcher from warnie, rattling the timber and finally the aussie unit's victory laps are becoming bygones.
So ruthless they were ,that any cricket fan (except the aussies,of course) would be cursing them under every breath of theirs and praying for a heavy aussie loss. To be frank i had even wondered, if in future the oz would turn world cup finals into a mere formality. There were even forwards going on, after 2007 WC, which said, hence forward the aussie team would only play the finals, to avoid time wastage. Every aussie loss was celebrated ( i still remember the match were bangladesh beat them in england). But even before one finishes saying the phrase - 'That's it, this is the end of the aussie domination.' , the aussies would just give a faint shrug and win the series with amazing ease. True that they have given nightmares to one and every cricketing team.
However, one can easily feel the lack of momentum and absence of 'going in for the kill' attitude in the current aussie unit. The absence of the senior pros are heavily felt. Infact there was a call for warne some time back , after the indian tour loss, but it sounds very absurd. They need to try and build up a young team for the future rather than banking on the old champs forever. Its blatant that the aussies are undergoing a transition phase and it always takes some time and experience, before they can gel together as the same old marauding gang. However the problem is the heavy expectations that these young inexperienced baggy greens carry on their shoulder. OZ have always been a juggernaut and defeat for such a unit is perceived unusual and 'OOO' in the cricketing world.
Punter's leadership will come under heavy scrutiny and am sure his team would be lambasted by the aussie media. Its gonna be hard time for that champion cricketer (well, am a fan of his batting and nothing else) who is coping to come to terms with the raw fellas, he has been provided with. It will be really interesting to see how punter grooms the newbies and gets the aussie team back on track
It is a real unusual situation for the OZ to be in, who now have been well and truly been ambushed by the Indians last year end and now the Proteas. They bet a lacklustre kiwi side, before the SA tour, but then the kiwis are coming back for one dayers this week. It should be a pretty interesting contest, this. The kiwis would definitely be influenced by the SA series victory and would be believing that they can do it too.Hope it peters out to be a even contest rather than the same 'OLD' aussie show :).