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Sight Screen

Monday, June 27, 2005

Sung in C-Minor

A week is a long time in sport, a columnist in one of the British papers pointed out over the weekend.
A fortnight is even longer. In mid-June, the British press was celebrating, with unbridled enthusiasm, the imminent demise of Australian cricket.
One defeat later, everything has changed -- even a five-wicket victory over Bangladesh this weekend triggers not hosannas, but doomsday warnings. Perhaps this is where -- and why -- England will lose the Ashes: in the mind, which does not really believe the old enemy can be toppled; a mind that, at the first reverse, goes uh-oh, here we go again, it's business as usual.
The British press, this weekend, sings a uniform tune: 'Sure, we beat Bangladesh again, but watch out, the portents are ominous'. It's the line David Hopps takes in the Guardian; Vic Marks, also in the Guardian; Angus Fraser in the Independent; Richard Hobson in the Times; Derek Pringle in the Telegraph; and Mark Nicholas, in the Telegraph, who says:
Having seen a lot of Australia these past three years, I do not buy into the theory that their powers are waning. Personnel have changed but only in Jason Gillespie has there been any discernible ease off the throttle. If there is a difference, it is the way they play. The batsmen score quicker than ever, which brings the entertainer tag along with a hint of vulnerability, but the bowlers frequently resort to long spells of attrition.

Heck, even stand-in captain Marcus Trescothick, whose decision to bowl first in the Chester-le-Street game is universally acknowledged as one of the main causes for defeat, marks England's win over Bangladesh and its passage to the finals by issuing a dire warning to his own team.
Wasn't it the English poet of Avon who said something about there being a tide in the affairs of men? There is a tide for sure -- trouble could well be, England is too busy looking for sharks in the water.
PS: Still busy with a few personal issues, will be back here later in my evening.


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