They started off on Boxing day: 26th December. The season with Pakistan is nearing its end. Here’s a look at the results throughout the series:
1st Test: Australia VS Pakistan at Melbourne (26th Dec-30th Dec, 2009)
Result: Australia won by 170 runs.
2nd Test: Australia VS Pakistan at Sydney (3rd Jan-6th Jan, 2010)
Result: Australia won by 36 runs.
3rd Test: Australia VS Pakistan at Hobart (14th Jan- 18th Jan, 2010)
Result: Australia won by 231 runs.
1st ODI: Australia VS Pakistan at Brisbane (22nd Jan, 2010)
Result: Australia won by 5 wickets.
2nd ODI: Australia VS Pakistan at Sydney (24th Jan, 2010)
Result: Australia won by 140 runs.
3rd ODI: Australia VS Pakistan at Adelaide (26th Jan, 2010)
Result: Australia won by 40 runs.
4th ODI: Australia VS Pakistan at Perth (29th Jan, 2010)
Result: Australia won by 135 runs.
5th ODI: Australia VS Pakistan at Perth (31st Jan, 2010)
Result: Australia won by 2 wickets.
One easy observation off all this is — taking nothing away from the Aussies but Pakistan dug the pit themselves. Yes, they were outplayed but this all began after the Sydney fiasco. After Australia showed their fighting spirit in the Sydney test and won from the mandibles of defeat –Pakistan seemed to have given up. As far as Australia were concerned there was no looking back in their case. They wanted to improve on their performance and Damn well they did. The Aussies not just improved but dominated Pakistan throughout the test as well as the ODI series. The Aussies were relentless with their pace attack and bombed the Pakistani’s with 150+kmph bowling at the WACA. Some of the best performances that raised an eyebrow or two in the Test and ODI series are:
Umar Akmal- Umar Akmal performed pretty decently throughout the tour. He got constant starts in both the Test and ODI format. However, he wasn’t able to convert that into a big one. Perhaps, that was his only short-coming. Otherwise the young 19 year old has performed very well on just his second tour outside the sub-continent and his first against one of the top ranked teams. Umar Akmal is one to watch out for and it is vital that the Pakistani board do take good care of him and nurture the young man’s talent. One wasted opportunity that went begging was Akmal at 3. The management and the skipper Yousuf should have promoted the younger Akmal to 3 considering Younis khan’s poor run with the bat. Nevertheless, Akmal did the best possible,
He could do. Unfortunately, it was not enough for his team.
Mohd Asif- Asif broke into the spotlight with a wonderful display of bowling in the first innings of the Sydney test match with a 6- for. The lanky pace man with his wing and seamed got the Aussie batsmen wanting and was instrumental in bundling out the Aussies for a paltry score of 127. Asif however, was plagued with injuries throughout the series and missed out on quite a few matches. However, he did make good use of his opportunities and performed well in both forms of the game.
Mohd Aamer- Mohd Aamer, in spite of playing very few matches. He is Pakistan’s most interesting and exciting prospect in the future. Aamer with his skiddy pace and all this just at the age of 17 troubled Australia’s best batsmen. His swing at pace didn’t allow the batsmen to score freely especially in the death Overs. In an era where bowlers are injured more than wrestlers the Pakistan cricket board must like Umar Akmal nurture Mohd Aamer’s gifted talent so that he remains injury free and is Pakistan’s next left arm sensation.
Hard to name the whole team but, the whole team must be credited for their performance and for bringing the best out of each other at crucial moments.
Shane Watson- Shane Watson has simply matured beautifully as not just as batsman but an all rounder. His batting skills in both forms of the game have been exemplary and he has chipped in with his bowling at crucial moments across both series providing crucial breakthroughs. Watson had a wonderful test series against the Windies and continued in the same vain as Pakistan arrived. He deserved a much needed break at the latter stages of the ODI series. Watson is finally reaping the awards he put in behind the scenes. Watson must ensure that his body stays injury free and willing and the 27 year old could become one of the best all-rounder’s in the world.
Simon Katich- Katich has continued his good form for about a year now and has been one of Australia’s most un-noticed consistent performer. Katich’s effort must be lauded as he has been party to many Australian wins.
Michael hussey-MR. Cricket. The perfect name for the man. Fortunately, for Australia he has proven his test spot as well and has made it its own before too many questions were raised. He now looks a firm number 4 for the ashes and shall be one of australia’s pilgrim at the top of the order.
Ryan Harris- Played 3 matches picked up 13 wickets including two five fors and bagged the man of the series award. What a revelation! Truly, describes Australian cricket.
Doug Bollinger– Bollinger made his test debut last season against south Africa at home. His performance was ordinary. Take things forward 1 year later. With Mitchell Johnson resting for some part of the season Bollinger is Australia’s strike bowler. And, mind you Bollinger is still only a replacement for lee or bracken. Is that all about to change? Possibly, yes. Bollinger hasn’t put a foot wrong and should keep his spot even if Australia play full strength.
Both teams had weaknesses. Pakistan need to improve on their lackluster fielding and must show more will and determination in improve. Somehow one feels that with Mohd Yousuf as captain that spark seems to be missing. Pakistan need to Improve soon enough so that they can put forward a better display in the sole T20 contest where fielding is of utmost priority and then carry the same against England.
For Australia everything seems perfect at the moment. If they’d want anything, that would be their captain to strike gold again. Ponting after a super series in the Champions trophy as well as a good one in India has looked pretty average and much below his standards. Barring the match at Hobart ponting has had one of his worst home seasons. But, who can ever question Ricky Ponting. Who can ever question a great.
One thing is for sure ponting will definitely fight back and prove his critics wrong. As far as Australia are concerned they must win this one off T20 contest especially with the young blood that they have infused into their squad and better their T20 record. Australia have an ODI series with the West Indies to come followed by a trip to New Zealand for a 2 T20, 5 ODI’S and a 2 test series. They would want to continue their winning run and re assert their power as the number one ranked team in all formats of the game.
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