Steve Waugh the then Australian Captain described the Indian tour as the ‘Final Frontier’ in 2001 and why wouldn’t he. The Aussies were ruling the roost and they beat every team with authority to register 16 consecutive wins. And then came the innings of life from Very very special Laxman and the ‘Wall’ Dravid at the Eden Gardens to end the Aussie Juggernaut.
Years passed away but the Men in Yellow somehow could never come from the thrashing they received at the hands of Indians. Their trails with subcontinent got messier with each passing year. The year 2014-15 was a major low in their cricketing history. The team was in transition period and they had lost the likes of Ponting, Hayden, Langer and Gilchrist. Ponting’s decade long leadership paved way for ‘Pup’ (Clarke). They had to face the than seventh ranked Pakistanis at now their new home venue Abu Dhabi. Pakistanis were recovering after losing the trio Amir Salman Butt and Asif to match fixing scandals. They had also lost the services of Ajmal. Pakistanis were rebuilding and they had only few players to rely on. On the other hands the Aussies were very strong and they had come off from a very good home run. But destiny had other plans.
Pakistanis crushed Australians and handed them one of their worst victories. A team which was lying very low made the Aussies as meagre B graded team. They were bamboozled by spin and were simply left licking their wounds in disgust. They had not anticipated this mockery. Before this series they had lost to India badly. A 4- 0 drubbing was handed out to them. What was going to be an exciting series ended in sour note. With the ‘homework gate’ scandal making headlines than the players. Non-spinners like jadeja ran amok.
They somehow escaped from the trauma of that thrashing by beating the black caps and Proteas. Confidence was galore as they had stabilized the batting and bowling by unearthing few youngsters like Hazelwood, Joe Burns and Usman Khawaja. Their next assignment was against a depleted Sri Lankans who had lost the services of Jaywardena, Sangakara and Dilshan. The Lankan lions were in transition and their batting was heavily dependent on captain Angelo Matthews. They ranked number seven in ICC rankings and were very low on confidence after losing the series in England. The Australians had a chance to end the rot of not winning a single test in sub-continent. They had come prepared as well by getting few practice games. But the same story unfolded and this time they had surrendered this time to old fox Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Pererra. The Lankans defeated Australians first time in Sri Lanka since 1999. A whitewash was not Aussies expected. It’s been 18 matches since they have won in sub-continent. The spinners are casting a web around them which they have failed to answer in unison. The sweeps, reverse sweeps are being caught.
The cat is out of the bag and lots of question marks are being asked on the team’s inability to conquer spin. Can the Men in yellow bounce back to answer the critics? Or will they be doomed once again?
Wait for Answer is not long as they are going to tour India soon.