Whenever a team finds itself in shambles, the first person to face the axe is the captain of the team. And it is more so in case of the Australian captain Ricky Ponting who had no choice but to be at the receiving end when his team was all out for a partly total of 127 in the second test at Sydney against Pakistan. Tongues have already started wagging against the Australian skipper's favor when he chose to bat first in the so called green top in Sydney, which Ponting did otherwise. Whatever may be the reason, Australia's score card can never read anything else if not for the truth.
However, everyone (including me) would be shocked indeed when a team like Australia loses its first 7 wickets at a score less than 75. And as it is in front of us, Australia's final score reads 127 all out. I just wonder as to how many people would have died all over the world from heart attack after the Aussie batsmen did such an unbelievable feat and that too at Sydney! Though Australia are not with the greats like Adam Gilchrist, Damien Martyn, Simon Katich, Justin Langer and others, Australia are still the opposition to beat by most of the teams around.
Australia still have Mike Hussey, Ponting himself along with Shane Watson who can make a decent batting line up. And another reason for the Aussies to kick themselves is the fact that they have been bought down to their knees by a team that have not played a single test match in the year 2008. Scorecard reveals that the highest run getter in the first innings of Australia was Mitchell Johnson who scored 38 runs and added to that was the fact that he was the lone six hitter in the innings and also the batsman who hit five boundaries that was more than anybody else in the Australian first innings.
And it was not Danish kaneria who posed some problems for Aussie batsmen who are bad players of spin comparatively. But, it was some Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Sami, the former who was suspected of doping charges and the latter who has come back to play test cricket after more than two years, since the ICL was a failure. All that the Pakistan team needed to demolish the Aussie batting line up was four bowlers, out of which the ten wickets were shared by the three fast bowlers viz Sami, Asif and Umar Gul. And yes, this was the venue where the onfield umpires viz Steve Bucknor & Mark Benson played for Australia to get them their 16th consecutive test win 2 years ago.
I hope Ponting would surely recall the moment and miss the services of these two men more than someone like McGrath & Warne.