Friday, March 09, 2007
Sunny: Aussies favourites but not popular
India great Sunil Gavaskar has launched an astonishing attack on Ricky
Ponting and his teammates ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup, saying
they were never popular winners.
who was this week re-appointed head of the International Cricket
Council's cricket committee, said Australia's recent setbacks on the
field should gladden the hearts of rivals and fans alike.
he conceded that the defending champion, recovering from five
consecutive limited-overs defeats with a scratchy win over Zimbabwe on
Wednesday, remained the favourite to retain the ICC Cricket World Cup,
which starts in the Caribbean next week.
comeuppance at the hands of England and New Zealand has gladdened the
hearts of not just the other aspirants for the ICC Cricket World Cup
but also the followers of the game,'' Gavaskar wrote in the latest
issue of the respected India Today magazine.
"There is not the
slightest doubt that in the past decade or so the Aussies have been
awesome in batting, bowling and fielding which has taken them to the
top of the cricketing ladder in both Test and limited-overs cricket.
they have also been awful in the way they have sometimes behaved on the
field much to the chagrin of the traditional fans of the game.
the West Indies teams of the 1970s and 1980s which dominated world
cricket in much the same way as the Australians are doing now, the
Australians are not popular winners.
"The Windies were feared
for the ferocity of their attack and the aggression of their batsmen
but at the end of the playing day the West Indian player was not only
admired but also liked.
"They went about their job in a no
fuss manner and hardly had anything to say to the opponents, unlike the
Aussies who have plenty to say and seldom in a humorous way. Banter
works - abuse doesn't."
Australia conceded the tri-series at
home to England 2-0 last month and was then thrashed 3-0 in New Zealand
after failing to defend 300-plus scores in the final two matches.
Gavaskar said Australia's powerful batting will make up for the bowling which had "lost its sharp edge".
would only be a fool who would rule out the Australians as the
favourites to win the ICC Cricket World Cup for the third consecutive
time," he wrote.
"If anything, their batting is still as
destructive as it has been and it's the bowling which has lost its
sharp edge and finding it tough to defend even huge totals.
number of times opponents have overtaken 300-plus totals that the
Australian have set is an indication that there is not the awe about
the Aussie bowlers that was there a season or so ago."
backed five teams - Australia, India, New Zealand, England and Sri
Lanka - as possible winners of the 2007 edition of the ICC Cricket