Symonds dropping - a big blow to Aussies
Australian cricket selectors have picked what they think is the best
squad to defend the Ashes in the Five Test series against England which
will begin in old blighty once the Twenty20 World Cup is over.When the
Ashes series was previously played in Australia, the Englishmen led by
Andrew Flintoff suffered their worst ever defeat when they were mauled
This time round the Englishmen will be led by another Andrew, South
African born Andrew Strauss who with his success in the recently
concluded series against West Indies must be confident of stuffing the
In the Australian squad that was announced on Wednesday by the
Australian selectors, it came as a surprise to note that Andrew Symonds
that dashing allrounder was missing. He had been dropped.
Now Symonds is one batsman who can tear any threatening attack to
shreds and win a game with his exciting and devastating batting. He can
also bowl tight medium pace and if required tantalizing off spin.
True he had his problems and missed out. But in recent times against
Pakistan in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and then in the ongoing Indian Premier
League Twenty20 in South Africa, it was apparent that he was quietly
slipping into top gear.
When he looked as though he had booked his flight to England, his
hopes went up in ashes and it sure would have disappointed him. Probably
it would have worried the selectors too. But that is how selections go.
But it can be predicted that Australia skipper Ricky Ponting will
miss the heroics of Symonds. Symonds in addition to his cricketing
abilities, has the knack of getting under the skins of his opponents.
In this Ashes series where no quarter will be asked or given and
which is going to be fiercely contested, Symonds upsetting influence
would have been additional ammunition for the Aussies.
Symonds was always a favourite of skipper Ponting. How come Ponting
could not convince the selectors this time? But the selectors would do
well to have him stand by, so that they could summon him, if a player
It is heartening to see the return of Brett "lethal" Lee to take his
usual place in the Australian pace attack force. With the Aussies
lacking a quality spinner who can run through a side, it is apparent
that England will make wickets to suit spin considering that they have
Graham Swann off spin and Monty Panessar left-arm spin.
Former Aussie master batsman Dean Jones did not seem to be a
favourite of Lee and said he would not support Lee"s selection to
England, because he was convinced that the paceman had still not fully
recovered from surgery.
But the Aussie selectors cocked a snook at Jones and included Lee and
along with Stuart Clark, Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenaus and Peter
Siddle should fire life threatening pace and worry the England batting.
Left-armer Doug Bollinger was unlucky to miss out.
The Aussie selectors know better and have plonked for the men who
they are convinced would deliver again and retain the Ashes in
convincing style, like they did the previous time round.England's
cricket hit a new low when they were massacred 5-nil, must be determined
to show the lion in them and have the Kangaroos hopping around for
survival. Whether the Englishmen would succeed would be interesting to
watch.The Ashes series evokes tremendous interest and it would not be
any different this time round. Until the series begins and is played,
the gladiators out in the centre and the supporters will keenly follow
its outcome with the excitement being electric.
Shame on the Windies
True the Englishmen walloped the cricketers from the Caribbean
2-zero. But they must not be complacent and think that everything is
well with their game and think they can do the Aussies in this time.
West Indies were completely outplayed. They did not seem a team
capable of matching up to England and giving them a contest. The Windies
won the series in the Caribbean 1-nil and if their form this time round
is an indication, then that win was just a flash in the pan.
Sad when one thinks of what Windies cricket was in the past.
For a team to succeed it is paramount that they have a dynamic
leader. Their present leader Chrys Gayle was no class. He was always
seen parking himself in the slips, hands in pockets and doing sweet
nothing to motivate his troops.
It was reported that he was contemplating quitting the captaincy. The
quicker he does it would be for the good of the game in the Caribbean.
Ramnaresh Sarwan who was unceremoniously deposed must be given back his
rightful captaincy slot.
In favour of Gayle it must be said that he is a devastating hitter
when he gets going and is a treat to watch. But then how many times does
he get going? The hall mark of a great batsman is consistency. Gayle
sadly lacks this essential.
Former Sri Lankan coach John Dyson now doing the same job with the
Windies must be wondering what magic he should perform to get this
highly talented set of cricketers into a set of terminators.