Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Baggy Green gets its due

For the first time since 2006-07, the year Australia switched to the Baggy green uniform which was until then sun yellow, Australia managed to not only win the series but also wipe out the opposition as though it was dust on a smooth wall. It was in the Commonwealth Bank series 2006-07 that included England and New Zealand when Australia wore the baggy green for one dayers. And also was the season since Commonwealth Bank took over the sponsorship of the tri nation one day tournament that is held in Australia every year. Until then, it was known as Victoria Bitter series or in short the VB series.

And, since 2008-09, the policy of a tri nation tournament was scrapped for reasons best known by cricket Australia and was converted into a bi-lateral series divided into two halves. But, the moment Australia switched to baggy green, all sorts of disasters started. And these disasters were even worse than losing a series. For, Australia were in the driver's seat throughout the tournament and only lost the finals of the Commonwealth Bank series. In 2006-07, Australia were found winning 7 out of the 8 games played against England and NZ in the league stages only to lose the finals 2-0 to England.

Then, in 2007-08, it was India & Sri Lanka along with Australia who participated and Australia won 5 out of the 7 games played, with a loss each to Sri Lanka and India in the league stages. Once again, it was Australia who lost the series after India won the two finals in the best of three. Then, in 2008-09, the tri nation tournament was converted into two bi-lateral series' against RSA and NZ, with the former being won by South Africa 4-1 and the latter being leveled 2-2 in the five match series that were played. There, Australia did a mini South Africa.

Finally, in the current Commonwealth Bank series' that involved five match bi-lateral series' against Pakistan and West Indies, Australia not only won the series but also whitewashed the opposition completely. Australia failed to lose even a single one day or a T20 game against both Pakistan and West Indies. All that could not go well with Australia was the 4th one dayer against the West Indies which was abandoned due to rain. Or else, Australia could have well boasted of a 14 match unbeaten streak in ODIs after winning 5 ODIs against Pakistan, 4 against WI and 2 against India last year.

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