Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Australia whitewashed

Very rarely does a team like Australia get whitewashed despite Australia losing their days of glory. There have been several teams like India, South Africa and England who have inflicted a defeat on Australia in all three formats of the game. But, one has to bring it to his notice that all those nations have not been able to whitewash Australia. Last year and in 2008, India was successful in defeating Australia 2-0 in the Border-Gavaskar trophy where Australia lost both the games which they played. If not for these, there have been many situations where Australia have lost one off T20 or an ODI to India.

But, England had a 3-1 win over Australia in Ashes 2010 which was not a whitewash. However, coming to yesterday's game between Australia and Sri Lanka at Pallekele, Sri Lanka had a run for their money against Australia when they had a run for their money. If not for Jayawardane's 86 runs at the top of the Sri Lankan innings, no other batsman from Sri Lanka ever stood up to the challenge. Jayawardane was there in the crease until the 7th wicket from Sri Lanka fell. In between, Sangakkara gave Jayawardane some support when there was a 46 run partnership between the two.

Looking at the Aussie bowling, it may well be said that the pitch was tough for the batsmen and Mahela Jayawardane's 86 should definitely take the focus more than anybody else. Of course, anybody looking at the scorecard would be convinced seeing Ajantha Mendis' haul of 6/16 from his four overs that included an over maiden. But, with that sort of a pitch staying at the crease when 7 wickets fell from the other end deserves more than what Mendis took home. In my view, it should have been Mahela Jayawardane who should have walked away with the honor and not Ajanta Mendis.

In most of the case regarding T20 games, the man of the match is given to the wrong person and to a wrong department. Batsmen are given the award for the stylish hitting when the pitch favors them and like it happened yesterday, bowlers are applauded with the award when there was enough turn and bounce in the pitch. There were two bowlers from Australia as well who returned with 3 wicket hauls when Brett Lee and Hastings were the lucky guys. Another player who lonely handed the Sri Lankan bowling was Shane Watson who scored a quickfire 57 runs from 24 balls.

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