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Ashes 2010 – Has the Hunter Become the Hunted?

By Santo
The Ashes 2010 is just about to begin with much fanfare, as a battered and bruised Australian side will be competing to conquer the lost glory, which has been eluding the side for quite some time. Australians had enjoyed a roller coaster ride with such relish, as they set records in a hurry beating Tom, Dick and Harry that came their way mercilessly. But now, they are just past masters as they face an uphill task of capturing the imaginations of the cricketing public at large. Has the hunter become the hunted? Has Ricky Ponting lost the verve and tenacity to handle his team? Has the Australian team lost the Ashes in their minds? Lot of pummeling queries haunts the Australian team and the team certainly is in disarray.
England on the other hand has never seemed optimistic before the Ashes tour as they approach the Brisbane Test brimming with confidence, and the players are as fit as ten fiddles and are firing on all cylinders. Though the England team lacks match winners in the likes of Ian Botham, the present team has gelled well as they have been playing as a cohesive unit to register more success than ever. Andrew Strauss is right there at the helm, learning from his mistakes, and gaining in confidence with each passing day. England surely has got its target fixed for the Ashes victory, and as per Beefy Botham, England are well placed to win the Ashes without much efforts.
England certainly would be looking to turn a leaf from the 1981 Headingley Test which witnessed one of the sensational test innings of all-time from Beefy, who turned the tides by scoring a sparkling hundred to bring England back into the game, and with it offer England a chance to beat the mighty Australians. From a seemingly unassailable position, Australians were made to lick their wounds at the end of the Headingley Test when they were defeated comprehensively. Not many would know as to how Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh were lured into placing 15 Pounds with the bookmakers and predicting an England win as the outcome, and in the end, walked away with 7500 pounds as when England beat Australia in the Headingley test. Speculations apart, Botham’s 149 and Bob Willis’ 8 for 43 did the tricks for England.
Turning our thoughts back on Ponting, one wonders if Ponting would lead his country to the third Ashes defeat, which certainly would bring down his reputation as a captain. With McGrath and Warne, Ponting was sailing smoothly, but with an inexperienced and an ineffective bowling attack, Ponting has now got to conjure up tricks to outwit the Englishmen. With the Australians having their backs to the wall and with the Englishmen raring to go and taste the Ashes win at the Australian soil after a long time, a great contest is on the cards.

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