A reign ended, an era completed: Ponting broken, Australia defeated

Published: March 25, 2011

Australian captain Ricky Ponting reacts after failing to stop a boundary by Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh. PHOTO: AFP

In 1999, Shane Warne broke millions of Pakistani hearts at Lords’ as did Symonds in World Cup 2003, but from a true cricket fan’s perspective it was sad to see India outplay Australia.

As we bid farewell to the supremacy of what was perhaps the second greatest team the sport has ever been privileged to see after the great West Indian team of the 1970’s and 1980’s, I cannot help but reflect what the hard-nosed Aussies gave to the game of cricket in their 12 years at the top of the pile.

Classy Kangaroos

The panache, flair and vigor of the Kangaroos was admired by all who witnessed them annihilating opposing teams throughout the middle and late 90’s and the first decade of this millennium. They always left their opponents in awe of this accumulation of true cricketing geniuses.

Was there a better sight in the World Cup of 1999 than Glenn Mcgrath mentally defeating the best batsmen of the world with his unerring accuracy? Or Shane Warne making mincemeat of a batsman with his barrage of leg-breaks, flippers and googlies?

They would then bring out the likes of that artist with a feather of a touch, called Mark Waugh when batting.  Providing the raw hitting power would be the likes of Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting and to finish up you could always rely on their ever-dependable captain Steve Waugh.

Along came the World Cup of 2003, where Symonds proved with his battering of the brilliant Pakistani attack that the end was far from near for the Australians, and who can forget the way that Ponting and Damien Martyn decimated the Indian bowling in the final of the World Cup to stamp their authority on cricket’s most coveted prize for another four years.

An ageing side

By the time of the 2007 World Cup, the squad began to show signs of age, but beginning to take over were the likes of young Shaun Tait and Michael Clarke.

The real masters in Hayden, Glichrist and McGrath though, were not going to go out of the game without a real and whizz and a bang. They all combined wonderfully well to crown another fine Australian World Cup campaign with victory, with Gilchrist again showing why he was deemed the best wicketkeeper batsman of cricket history perhaps with a masterful 149 in the final.

The exit

And finally, the World Cup 2011 began with calls for Ponting’s head increasing by the day. They got through the group stages unscathed, even though losing to Pakistan must have hurt, but obviously not as much as the loss against India in the quarters.

Here ends the era of a team that has enriched the game of cricket for so long and his given pleasure to millions around the world with their never-say-die attitude. Seeing Ponting on his knees, utterly defeated truly brought home the meaning of the age old saying:

What goes up must come down.

Saad Hassan Khan

Saad Hassan Khan

A final year electronic engineering student at the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology. His interests lie in sports, reading and writing.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Alien

    They were the best cricketers but not at all good sportsman….. rude and arrogant…… was about time as you said ‘what goes up must come down’….. Recommend

  • nazeer

    you cant say australian reign has ended..its sure ricky will lead the saide for atleast five years ..because he will be there until he breaks sachins records..all the best ricky..i am an indian..i love u..Recommend

  • Dr. Amyn Malik

    Nicely written…I just contend one thing.

    They were the greatest team the sport has seen, not the 2nd greatest!Recommend

  • Salman

    Nice blog. I think its the end of australia’s reign. But surely they will comeback with some new good talent though it will not hurt to see another team starting its reign. Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    Well written, but I particularly enjoyed seeing the down fall of Ricky Ponting, his arrogance and his lack of sportsmenship has been a major turn off when watching Australia play. Even just now, against Pakistan he should have walked, his former Vice captain Gilly did that in the 2003 World Cup in a SEMI FINAL, same situation, Gilly walked, Ponting didnt. He has on many occassions shown short temperedness, aggression, arrogance and lack of sportsmenship.Recommend

  • Prashant

    @nazeer:
    have you read your comment? and you are still calling yourself an Indian….. you are making fool of yourself ;)Recommend

  • Ritesh

    I believe the writer’s hatred for India is evident.. As a die hard fan of Indian cricket and worship GOD for his services to Indian Cricket and a reader of Tribune I am just surprised for such a writer is allowed to continue for his biased opinion on feeling sad abt losing to India I am sure the feeling would have been different if it was West Indies would have knocked Australia out.. Just plain disgusted with this biased yet unfortunate factually incorrect writer..Recommend