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    October 17, 2005

    Super Test: Australia whip World XI in four days

    A thrashing by over 200 runs in under four days in the six day Super test and a 3-0 drubbing in the one-dayers means that the concept of a Super Series between the best and the best of the rest is in serious danger of being relegated to being a one-off event.

    The ICC's CEO Malcolm Speed has now made it clear that such a series would recur in the future only if one team stood out from the rest of the cricketing world. However, this does contradict the ICC's original media release announcing that the first edition would be held in Australia and that every four years, the top ranked team would play one-day internationals and a one-off test against a team comprising cricketers from the rest of the countries.

    While I do think that the concept of the Super Series deserves to be given more opportunities, to succeed or to fail, you could have your say on the issue too by voting in the poll at the top of the right hand-side navigation bar.

    Back to the cricket though. The World XI started off in sight of victory needing to score 330 runs on the fourth day, with two more days in hand, and eight wickets in hand. Dravid and Lara started off solidly, with Lara keen to avoid a duck, which would have given him a sequence of 0, 5, 0, 5 & 0. Dravid watched Lara belt a few breathtaking boundaries on the off-side but couldn't add too many of his own as he edged Warne to slip. Shortly thereafter, Lara was out caught behind off Warne when the ball bounced unusually. 50/2 had become 69/4 and hopes for a successful chase now depended solely on Inzamam, Kallis and Flintoff.

    Inzamam's 12000-odd km journey to Australia was made to seem even more pointless when he was given out lbw to Lee's yorker, the ball almost definitely going down legside. His one run for the game certainly would make his performance the most well paid batting display in the history of cricket, earning US $25,000 for his effort. Add in the flight ticket and it becomes apparent that Graeme Smith's motivational talk doesn't seem to have had too much of an impact.

    Kallis and Flintoff then struck a few bold blows to enhance their reputations as the <insert South Korean electronics giant name here> ICC Players of the Year. But Stuart MacGill, who missed out on any meaningful action during the Ashes, struck when he had Flintoff holing out to the substitute Brad Hodge, in for the injured Katich, at deep square leg.

    Kallis was batting quite well, but sans the required support. In any case, 230 odd runs to win with four wickets in hand was a well nigh impossible task. Boucher was nicely caught by Hayden at slip off Warne. A couple of overs later, MacGill snapped up three wickets in an over, including two in two balls, got himself a five wicket haul and ended the agony for the World XI, spectators, administrators and other fans of the concept.

    On Saturday, I realized the level of imbalance in the World XI. Five, if not six, out of the side preferred fielding in the slips. Now unless the field was spread thus, it would have been impossible to accomodate everyone in their favourite positions.

    Matthew Hayden's century on the first day, his second innings 77 and some good slip catching won him the man of the match award. Gilchrist's glovework, his murderous hitting in the one-dayers and his first innings blitz won him the man of the series award.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 4:46 PM |
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