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Posts Tagged ‘Shane Warne’

The 4 Stalwarts From Down Under

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

The Australian team is facing tough times since their great players are frequently hanging their boots after every tournament. The present situation of the team could be attributed to the retirement of their all-time great players like Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne.

These folks have changed the entire dynamics of the game through their peerless career. Each one of them was special in their expertise and niche; when they played, they ruled the game and history was rewritten on several occasions. They were truly instrumental in getting the ‘Invincible’ tag for Australia. They carried on the legacy given by Steve Waugh, who enlivened the Australian team in the mid 90’s to perform at a different level and to become the world-beaters. These players have been the backbone of Australian cricket for the past few years and the void created by their exit is hard to fill.

Biggie Haydos

Mathew Hayden’s debut hasn’t been a mesmerizing one and it had triggered his exile from the national side for some time. He cemented his place in the Australian team with the help of an astonishing batting display against India in its own backyard.

Later, he alongside Adam Gilchrist forged one of the best opening partnership pair ever in the history of One Day Cricket. He seized the record of highest individual scorer in test cricket from Brian Lara. However, Lara retrieved it back after a short period of time.

He is known for his behemoth presence, which intimidates the opposition bowlers. To add to the bowlers’ woes, he comes down to the track before the ball is bowled, which forces the bowlers to keep it short, which eventually is Hayden’s strength.

Mathew Hayden will always be remembered for his powerful stroke plays, true dominance over all types of bowlers and his prowess in all formats of the game.

Dazzling Gilly

‘Just hit the ball’ is the philosophy of Adam Gilchrist, when it comes to batting irrespective of the format. He has revolutionized the role of the wicket-keeper batsman with his explosive batting. He has de-railed several lethal attacks, which includes the onslaught against Sri Lanka in the 2007 World Cup and several other matches.

Gilly’s overwhelming strike-rate of 96.94 in ODI’s, after playing 287 matches is indeed incredible. He was at the helm of the Australian cricket team, when they posted their first series triumph in India in 2004 after a long gap, when Ponting left out due to injury.

His entry into the test team changed the whole dynamics. His presence at No.7 helped the top order and middle order to play with sheer confidence, which apparently made the Aussies stronger than before. Australian batting has gained a lot from the solid starts provided by Gilchrist. His physical & mental fitness has been tremendous during his playing days.

When he came joined IPL after a gap of 14 months from his retirement, he exhibited the same energy he had when he played for Australia. When he led the Deccan Charges to triumph after their dismal performance in the previous version, it was yet another epic in his dazzling cricketing career.

Conjurer Warne

Shane Warne has been a surprise factor for Australia, ever since his debut. His first delivery during The Ashes, the one that pitched outside leg and hit the offstump of Mike Gatting, is considered as the ‘ball of the century’. He has been an aberration for Australia’s pace bowling legacy, which produced several legendary fast bowlers like Dennis Lillie and Glenn McGrath. It is still a mystery on how he could perform like this, which his predecessors and successors couldn’t do.

He has got 700 odd test wickets, majority of which came from the seamer-friendly tracks in Australia. His flippers were the deadliest in his arsenal and it was effective on all types of wickets. It was a paradox that Warne couldn’t replicate these performances against India. He had haunting memories each time Australia toured India. Finally, in 2004, on his last tour, he helped Australia to seal their solitary series triumph in India after 1967.

Like his cricketing skills, he has been always in the headlines for his flamboyant character, which finally led to separation from his wife. Despite all controversies, his contributions to the Australian cricket are peerless as Australia is still struggling to fill the shoes left by him.

Accurate Pigeon

If you want to know what ‘surgical precision’ is, then look at the video clips of Glenn McGrath’s bowling. The lanky fast bowler from New South Wales has fascinated the cricketing world with the accuracy of his bowling.

He could neither bowl at the pace generated by Brett Lee nor could he swing the ball like Wasim Akram. His run-up was quite simple, just like a warm up, and then followed by a smooth action. His main weapons were the steep bounce that he got due to his height and the line, which he bowls just a whisker outside the off-stump that leaves the batsmen clueless. When his fellow bowlers struggled, he has come up with magical spells that have won several matches for the Aussies.

Aggression was another attribute of Glenn McGrath, a typical Australian trait. That pedigree has led to several bickers on the field, which also got him the appointment with the match referee. McGrath was the Man of the Tournament in the 2007 world cup. The final match, which was won by Australia, has been his last appearance in the Australian colors.

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