India is a close no. 2 and these two teams look set to dominate the next decade in cricket. Both have recently defeated Australia in a test series 2-0.
In winning the Test in MCG, Graeme Smith’s men become the first South African side ever to win a series in Australia, dating back to Percy Sherwell’s 1910/11 tourists. It’s been a long wait – and was thrillingly set up by their remarkable six-wicket win in the first Test in Perth last week.
I think Symonds and Hayden can go on a permanent fishing trip now. Ponting now learns that he isn’t a great captain but a mediocre one who had great players like Warne, McGrath and Gilchrist. To be a great captain you need to mould your mediocre side into world beaters – something Border and Taylor did for Australia and Shane Warne did for the Rajasthan Royals. Steve Waugh too simply inherited a great team from Mark Taylor.
Ponting is over-rated. The best captain for Australia would have been Shane Warne and its a shame Cricket Australia refused to make him captain. Now they are paying the price.
Australia also benefited hugely from 50-50 umpiing decisions going 9 to 1 in their favour in recent years, and the moment those decisions started going 5-5 (which is the right thing), they started losing. They should have never won the SCG test against India and would have lost that series too had umpires been fair.
Shane Warne, Gilchrist and McGrath didn’t need umpiring help to win as Ponting does, and that is the difference between the great Australian side of the last decade and this bunch of pretenders. One shudders to think that after Ponting, the captaincy will go to the immature Michael Clarke….and the slide will get worse. It is time to make Huseey vice-captain now and bring youngsters like David Hussey, Shaun Marsh into the side intead of the inept Symonds and out of touch Hayden. And the Bowling? sorry…no talent there anymore. Max they can do is bring Nathan Bracken back and hope Watson recovers from injury.