The Ashes 2013: Five things Australia needs to do to recapture the Ashes
The most adulated tournament in the cricket annals – the Ashes – is about to begin. With five Test matches to be played in England, the spectators are surely in for a treat. While all the cricket fans are gearing up to witness this spectacle, choosing their sides and adversaries, both teams have a lot at stake to gain and lose. A few years back, the Ashes was reduced to a one-sided affair thanks to the great Australian team of the 1990s. They basked in the glory of being the Ashes winners for 16 long years, from 1989 to 2005. However, the English regained the Ashes at home in 2005 thanks to some wonderful knocks by Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff and co. with the bat, and Steve Harmison and co. with the ball. Since then, the Australian stronghold on the cup has been loosening. The greats of the legendary Australian team have retired from all forms of the game, and Cricket Australia has struggled, and apparently failed miserably, to infuse the right replacements. The present Australian team looks languid and absolutely out of sorts compared to the English team which is acclaimed to be the best in the world right now. Australia needs to do many things to recapture the cup that they lost to England two years ago at home.
Stop imitating, start innovating
The biggest mistake being committed by the current Australian team is trying to imitate their precursors. The newcomers will have to emerge from the shadows of their former greats, and rely more on their instincts rather than just trying to replicate what their predecessors did on the field. The pressure on them is enormous for sure, but to be moulded into a good team you need to back your strengths and soak in pressure. The Australian think tank should alter their game plan according to the strengths they currently possess, rather than just trying to acclimatize or fit youngsters into the roles played by their former greats. This is bound to be counter-productive, as it might demand something from the youngster which he cannot provide. Hence, it is very important for Darren Lehman to chalk out new plans and strategies for this team, which is entirely different both in terms of talent as well as style of play from the previous teams the Aussies are used to seeing. The Australians should follow the Indians’ example in this regard.