Saturday, February 15, 2014

Johnson - Test Cricket's New Star

"...Johnson had become the seventh Australian to claim 250 Test wickets and not surprisingly picked up his fourth Man of the Match award from the past six Tests."

-- Johnson's 12 wickets destroy's South Africa, ESPN Cricinfo

Wow, 4th Man of the Match in 6 Tests! The guy is in 'zone'. This is some legendary performance from ace Australian fast bowler. He is now worthy to sit with greats of this game like Dennis Lillee, Glenn McGrath, Curtly Ambrose, Malcom Marshall and others.

May be such a sterling performance and complete domination by bowlers in the long form of cricket would give some respite to otherwise invariable trend of 'miniaturization' of cricket where runs flow freely and the only thing a bowler is reduced to do is 'safety first'. No umbrella fielding, no aggressive setups. Penchant of Indian audience for hitting runs all the time, IPL and endemic culture of 'flat wickets' in South Asian Sub-continent all have contributed to making the game of cricket tilted against bowlers. That is why one savors the 'art of bowling' when one sees it. Even Indians are enjoying fast bowling by Indian bowlers like Shami, Ishant Sharma and others in Down Under stadiums. This is some scintillating Test Cricket. Worry is with the world of cricket firmly titled towards it's pay master - Indian audience; how to protect Test Cricket which is producing some amazing matches lately. I guess as more Indian bowlers bring victories and great games, like what Indian Team is currently doing in New Zealand; Indian audience will start appreciating the art of bowling. Ever since masters of spin bowling retired from Indian Cricket Team, Indians have not had taste of fine bowling. Hopefully Johnson's performance and bowling by Indian players will make Indians to appreciate a true contest between Ball and Bat.

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