Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mighty champions stumped

-By Swetha Amit
‘Never underestimate anybody’ is an oft quoted saying.

It makes one to trace back to the hare and tortoise story, the end of which was an unexpected victory for the latter. The hare’s arrogance and over confidence cost its expected win only to emerge shame faced in front of its otherwise sluggish opponent.

It was a similar situation of the above case in the second T20 ODI yesterday.

The tournament favorite- Australians were counted on for a breezy win by a large margin and trash their so called ‘underdog’ team which made their fans place their safe bets blind folded. Who would have thought that the assumed occurrence will work the other way around. It came across as a pleasant surprise and probably a horrifying shock to Australian admirers when Zimbabwe stumped their beloved mighty champions on a literal basis.

Right from the ICC champions’ trophy 2006 to the WC 2007, the Kangaroos have spelt success and triumph which gave them a psychological edge. Especially over other competent and strong teams which seemed to crumble with nervousness and failed to put up a fierce fight.

The first innings in yesterdays match consisted of Australian batting. Those who were awaiting a phenomenal score were shattered to bits with the marvelous restriction by Zimbabwe to just 138/9. Wickets were taken brilliantly and the crucial one that being of Andrew Symonds in between who would have otherwise devoured the deliveries with a ferocious appetite for runs. The early fall of wickets boosted the confidence to Skipper Prosper Utseya’s men who were determined not to be on the receiving end this time as they were usually known to be trashed by their opponents-champions or no champions.

The rusty Kangaroos who haven’t played in a long while portrayed a tinge of cockiness in their countenance. It was apparent that they had taken this match lightly which worked against them and were taken aback with their inability to put up a large score for a chase.

Meanwhile Zimbabwe was experiencing a sense of glee as they geared up for the second innings which certainly wasn’t a piece of cake with the aggressive Australian bowlers to face. No sooner than the fiery batting started with Vusi Sibanda’s scoring 23 off 15 balls than wickets began to fall. However the continuous scoring began to create an edgy feeling in the Australian skipper who was found restlessly pulling out notes to calculate the runs needed according to Duckworth Lewis method if nature emerged as spoilsport. The expected showers from the skies almost created havoc from snatching the match from Zimbabwe when the kind gesture from above obliged the continuity of the game.

From there arose a tension filled atmosphere with the adrenalin levels rushing in full force with only 12 runs needed from the last over. A stupendous four sent a spark of delight and from there emerged a jubilant victory accompanied with a new hero-Brendan Taylor.

A look of dismay cast on the Kangaroos like a dark cloud casting gloom on a cheerful sunny day. Probably taken things for granted, their game proved to be rather unimpressive with a tinge of scorn which resulted in a deserving smack and a jolt.

While Utseya’s men are celebrating their new found triumph after their uptight struggle, they exhibit a profound surety in their body language. Their win is indeed a whack on the faces of those who expressed their haughty stance by undermining them.

This provides a learning lesson to Australians’ along with others who can apply these morals in their lives. No matter how much one is gifted with any talent, doesn’t give them a right to under estimate anybody’s potential or let triumph conquer their level headedness.

Success is always achieved with confidence and not by over confidence and cockiness. Overplaying your strength can ultimately result as a weakness in you in due course. It teaches one not to take anything for granted, instead it enables one to keep indulging in continuous perseverance and betterment which will bear rewards.

Nothing is impossible in this world. The magic and spirit is in all of us which when truly used to the maximum is sure to guarantee a victory even when the opponents are lions-in this case Kangaroos; as seen in yesterdays case.

What seemed as a child’s play is a lesson that the Australians aren’t quite likely to forget that easily. Their attitude of slack and laid back only led to a set back leaving them stunned and stumped simultaneously, propelling them to take the sport a little more seriously.

Meanwhile it’s proved that action speaks more than words can say with Zimbabwe’s sweeping success which is truly a slap on those who underestimated their worth.

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