Punter’s punt must have brought back the ghosts of Edgbaston ’05 as he watched the carnage unfold.
For the uninitiated, it was the Ashes 2005, the series which many (including myself) consider the greatest test series ever.
The first test match resulted in a resounding win for Australia by 300-something runs.
On the morning of the 2nd test, Glenn McGrath, who took … wickets in the first match, was sent to the hospital after he slipped on a stray ball during practice.
Not realizing that his bowling attach isn’t the same without him, Ponting decided to put England in to bat in conditions which can hardly be described as challenging to the batsmen.
The English openers, Strauss and Marcus Trescothick, replied in kind by getting off to a rollicking start. England ended up with 408 on the first day, which was the 2nd most number of runs made by England in a single day.
It is believed that that was the moment when Australia gave away the momentum built from the first test.
Coming to Sydney ’10, Ponting must’ve been absolutely stupid to have opted to bat. Not having watched the toss, I was under the impression (for some reason) that MoYo won the toss and elected to bowl, which is pretty much a no-brainer, considering the fact that the pitch was lush green and might have a bit of dampness in addition to the possible moisture in the air.
Knowing that Asif could well exploit it, it came as a shock to me that it was Ponting who decided to bat first. It was a clear over-estimation of the capabilities of his batsmen (esp. Phil Hughes, the most overrated batsman in Australia).
This could also be exactly the point where he gifts the momentum to Pakistan.
Granted, Pakistan’s batsmen are liable to collapse any moment, but even if they do so for about 300 or so, they still have a hefty lead of 180. Considering that the bowling has been reinforced with the addition of Gul and Kaneria, I can’t imagine how Australia could possibly win this match.