Zimbabwe’s victory over Pakistan is quite clearly the big event of last week though the Australians winning the one-day series and thus salvaging something out of what was turning out to be a disastrous tour was also a big boost for Australian cricket.
The Aussies will now feel a lot more confident when they come to India for the one-day series next month but also will feel that they can bounce back and do better at home against the old rivals than they did in England. Their main problem has been batting and here they have been disappointing not only as far as technique is concerned but also temperament.
The one big plus of Australian sides of yore was their never say die spirit and the will to fight till the end. That kind of effort was seen only rarely in the Test series and for maybe a session here and there.
That does not win Test matches and England’s bulldog attitude meant that they could rally after a couple of setbacks and come back hard at the opponents. The Australians have announced a strong team for the India one-day series but Michael Clarke is unlikely to come looking at the return Ashes series that starts in November. He would want to not just get his back all right but also take some well earned rest for he was one of the few successes of the tour.
Zimbabwe’s win was a terrific one considering the fact that they were playing a strong Pakistan side. They had given the tourists a run for their money in the first Test but lack of experience meant that they could not deliver the knockout punch when the opponents were on the ropes.
Talking of money, the Zimbabwe players played despite not being certain that they would get their fees for the Tests. Never let it be said that cricketers only think of money for what Zimbabwe players did was a shining example of putting country above oneself. Hopefully the fees will be distributed sooner rather than later and the players get to enjoy the rewards of their splendid efforts.
In B.V.Vitori and T.L.Chatara they seem to have quality bowlers capable of rattling the best in the world and with the unsung Prosper Utseya once again keeping a tight lid on the runs, the Zimbabwe team does seem to have a balanced attack.
Shane Watson has been under fire for a lacklustre tour and he came back in the last one dayer to get a hundred and turn the scales in his team’s favour. Rahat Ali despite getting 7 wickets in the Test however was unable to do that with his bowling for Pakistan and these two share the accolade of the CEAT International Cricketer of the Week.
Professional Management Group