Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ricky Ponting's Weak Link ?

As all the cliche's say, a team is only as strong as its weakest link. What do you do when the team has more than one weak link? That is the problem facing Australian Captain Ricky Ponting. the past 5 days have highlighted Australia's weaknesses, Batting and Bowling, two seemingly crucial elements of the game. The problems stem from top and below, the top 3 not scoring enough runs, and the bottom 4 not getting enough wickets. Simon Katich is the only one who has been contributing at all to the cause, Ricky and Mathew have both been way below their best, and although Hayden has gotten some dodgy decisions and some brilliant balls, the best batsmen can grind out runs when the going gets tough, and they seem to make their own luck. Hayden's dismissal in the first innings showed how desperate he is to make some runs, such desperation aids no one, and if anything, creates too much pressure with which the human mind cannot function well enough to react to a ball approaching at 140Kmph. What it does, is muddle the mind, and confuse it to such an extent, that simple decisions, such as leaving a ball outside off, become 50-50, and you end up chasing, and edging balls you would normally leave 99 times out of a hundred. Matty Hayden has been plagued by uncertainty in his last few innings, no doubt the annoyingly incorrect judgements that keep cutting his innings, short weigh on his mind as much as the media's persistant rumblings that he has to be looking over his should at state-level players who are plundering runs with ease.
The team's problems aren't limited to Hayden's mental block, but it is symptomatic of the infliction affecting the majority of the squad. All jokes aside, the team is lacking that air of arrogance that literally won them year upon year of test match cricket games.