Before I launch into a scathing criticism of the Australian cricket team, I must disclose that I have not seen one ball bowled in the current Pakistan series.
However, from what I can deduce, we are now limping to our first series defeat in 20 years versus a country that is:
- a) Playing a ‘home series’ in a different country due to an ongoing unpredictable security situation
- b) Still reeling from various scandals, including a spot-fixing controversy that saw a handful of their best players sent to jail
- c) PLAYING A HOME SERIES IN A DIFFERENT COUNTRY DUE TO AN ONGOING UNPREDICTABLE SECURITY SITUATION!
Given the current geopolitical climate, the Australians went to the Middle East to do battle with the Pakistan they thought they knew: a team of hot-headed extremists.
In reality, this could not be further from the truth.
Despite the Middle East being seen as a scary place rife with extremism, the Pakistan team – led by in-form batsman Younis Khan – has surprised the Australians by compiling calm, measured knocks backed up by sustained pressure in the field, all delivered with a winning smile.
The Australians came prepared for extremist activity, but ultimately we are the ones displaying such reckless intent. Our batsmen are nothing more than suicide bombers, throwing their wickets away with reckless, ill-advised shots. Looking for quick runs in order to steal a headline; to win a few hearts and minds, but nothing else.
We are led to believe that our bowlers are toiling hard, but with little success. But there’s just no strategy in place; no dedication, or commitment, to the cause.
They have been met by an enemy who is resilient and has a long-term game plan. Pakistan has adopted an attrition warfare strategy: breaking down the opposition “to the point of collapse through continuous loss of personnel and materials.”
In response, Australia has adopted a blitzkrieg response, just as the Germans did in WWII. This strategy has proved flawed. Using concentrated force and speed to break through enemy lines has proved a fruitless tactic against a cohesive, united unit in the form of Pakistan.
For too long, Australia has relied on Mitchell Johnson’s firebombs to fight against the opposing forces of
Islamic extremism test-quality batsmen. But Pakistan are a much greater enemy than were given credit. A quick-fire 37 off 28 by Glenn Maxwell (batting at 3) is no way to win a war.
Australia has been found severely lacking. We underestimated our opposition, quite possibly due to recent negative media coverage on embattled nation states such as Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc.
Australia came to the Middle East expecting unpredictable guerrilla violence, but instead were greeted with an army marked by unified leadership, democratic centralism, unity, loyalty and – above all else – discipline.*
We came looking to degrade and destroy our enemy, but maybe we should just work on batting for a whole session and bowling dot balls in order to build pressure.
By Dave Edwards
* Just to be clear, I’m talking about cricket here.