5 most glorious team comebacks in cricket
Drama makes everything interesting. A narrative without ups and downs is monotonous. In sports too, success stories become humane and gain depth when they have a saga of struggle and failure stapled to them.
Some of the most memorable moments in cricket have arrived when the teams who were doomed and had no hope left, rose to the top and surprised everyone with their sensational comeback.
Rising from the bottom is easier said than done. Leaders have to bring something creative to the table to rekindle hope in the team. Motivating the men when there is very little to bank on is in itself a monumental task and not everyone is able to achieve this feat.
Here is a collection of five such glorious comebacks in cricket. Relive those incredible moments when teams bounced back from significant lows and brought the world to their feet with their stunning efforts.
#5. Australia relive the magic - 2013
The game of highs and lows is a statistical inevitability. In cricket too, a team, after staying at the top for a long duration has to step down and that transition is not often smooth. Australia was finding it out the hard way, as their stalwarts retired leaving a big void to fill.
Their replacements failed to recreate the magic and Australia sank to the bottom in 2013. South Africa arrived in Australia in 2012, tormented the hosts and returned home pocketing the Test series. India outclassed them at home in 2013 and during the Ashes of 2013, England dominated Michael Clarke's men without any trouble.
Australia hadn't tasted victory in nine straight Tests when England came for the Ashes of 2013/4 in Australia.
But in the first Test at Brisbane, Australia played the way they played in the 2000's and dominated the visitors. The game set the tone for the entire series and England went home after accepting a white-wash.
The rejuvenation happened at the hands of Mitchell Johnson who had ignited the spark in him and bowled as if a man possessed. He wasn't just fast, he was furious, unstoppable and at the best of his abilities. He ended with 37 wickets and an average of 13.97, the second highest-wicker was Ryan Harris with 22 scalps.
David Warner and Chris Roger brought back normalcy in the top order while Brad Haddin chipped in with effective scores in the lower order. Suddenly Australia had found the magic formula.
In the subsequent tour of South Africa, the winning streak continued. David Warner averaged 90 in the series while the chief tormentor was once again Johnson who grabbed 22 wickets in six innings.
Michele Clarke's team wasn't as great as the previous Australian sides but they were a force to reckon with courtesy a dynamite bowler who blasted the new ball with his fearless batting at the top order and a wicketkeeper who came to rescue the team with his composed and shrewd batting in the lower order.
But the life-support of the team was a left-arm pacer who with his handle-bar mustache looked like a renaissance painter from Italy but bowled like a man who was born only for the act of destroying the batsmen.