Moments in Cricket that jolted Nations
Now that we’re witnessing a potentially scarring Indian performances on home soil, I wondered how many times have we, or for that matter, other teams have been a part of that one unfortunate match which changed the way they played. Or that one forgettable incident, that defined them as chokers, bullies, fragile under pressure or whiners.Here’s a short list of the events which all these teams would like to happily forget…
1. Bowing out of the Stars – West Indies
During the early 1990s, the West Indies team was reeling from the retirements of players like Jeff Dujon, Clive Lloyd, Gordon Greenidge, Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner, and Michael Holding. Viv Richards retiring in 1991 was a final blow to the West Indies team whose ferocity and genteel will forever be written on priceless parchment in in-erasable ink. The journey which started from world cups of 1975 and 1979, ended with the 0-5 defeat from the hands of SA in 1998-99.
2. SA’s tour of Australia 2008-09- Australia
The Australian team had lost many of its fine players, but still was the best in the circuit. It took 11 honestly hard working men from across the Indian ocean to officially stamp the claims big-mouthed nations like India and England were making- that of demise of Australian dominance on world cricket.
It wasn’t bad news for the cricketing community, as it would arguably throw the cricketing world into a feeble balance. Australians were thrashed 4-1 in One Dayers, after a 3-2 drubbing in tests. This loss at home, after losing 2-0 to India in India, meant that even the most aggressive of Australian throats had to pucker up and concede the end of their great dominance of the game.
Though, unlike many other teams, they still remain one of the top class outfits in world cricket today.
3. Kiwis mauled by The Tigers ( 2010-11)- New Zealand
Honestly, much is never expected of the kiwis. So whenever they make into the semis of a tournament, the world gasps in awe. A NZ squad in mid-2000?s had the steepest negative slope descend one can think of. Their best talents had either retired, or gotten injured or had already ran out of steam. Even after all this, they were expected or rather, one hoped, that they’ll at least crush Bangladesh in Bangladesh. There was all sorts of crushing in that series, there’s no doubt about that. When the NZ team landed in Auckland after the tour, they could not believe that they had suffered a 4-0 whitewash from the hands of the worst team in the world. They quickly realized that they were not far from being the next contenders for that demeaning spot.
4.India’s tour of West Indies (2006)- India
India was having a ball in WI. They had just ended up winning their first test series in the West Indies in 35 years. Winning the first ODI had taken some effort. Chasing 198 with Yuvraj Singh on the crease, in the second ODI, Bravo came along to outwit the batsmen. With 2 to get from 3 balls, Yuvi got cleaned up and cried like a little girl, while the Windies made merry on the field. India’s unbroken streak of 18 continuous wins, batting second was demolished. India ended up losing that series 4-1 and were thrown out of the world cup in WI in first round, in next years’ WC, which was held here itself.