The Australian team had to face defeat in two matches in the very beginning of the World Cup.Image Credit source: PTI
On Sunday 15 October, Afghanistan surprised the entire cricket world by defeating the current world champion England at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi. This was Afghanistan’s first win in the World Cup 2023, while England’s second defeat. This defeat was shocking in itself and an even more shocking picture was seen in the points table, in which 5-time champion Australia was at the last position among the 10 teams. No one would have expected this before the tournament started but when times are bad, anything can happen. In other words, when the decline comes, mistakes start happening and an example of this was seen in the match against Sri Lanka.
Under the captaincy of Pat Cummins, the Australian team had reached India with the hope of winning the World Cup title for the sixth time. Before coming to India, he had to face defeat in 3 consecutive ODI matches in South Africa. Despite this, hardly anyone would have doubted Australia’s ability. Hardly anyone would have imagined such a situation in the points table. Australia had to face defeat from India in its first match and defeat from South Africa in the second match.
mistakes and misunderstandings
Two consecutive defeats had already dealt a major blow to Australia’s World Cup campaign. In such a situation, in the third match he had to face Sri Lanka, which itself had lost two of its matches. It was important for both the teams to win this match. The Australian team had to bowl first and from here its series of mistakes started. Captain Pat Cummins took a bad and shocking decision on the very first ball of the match. The umpire rejected the appeal for LBW against Pathum Nissanka on the ball of Mitchell Starc. It was visible that the ball hit the bat first but still Cummins took DRS and the very first decision proved wrong.
Then two balls later, Mitchell Starc had a chance to run out Kusal Perera on non-strike, because he had gone out of the crease even before bowling the ball. Now this is where Starc got caught in the misunderstanding of showing so-called ‘sportsmanship’. Instead of running Perera out, he let him off with a warning. This in itself has always been an issue of great debate but this way of getting out is correct according to the laws of cricket and hence Starc should have used it.
If this was not enough then the Australian captain made a big mistake. In the 10th over, there was a strong appeal for LBW against Perera on the ball of Glenn Maxwell but the umpire gave not out. The Australian captain was in fear after losing the first review and hence this time he did not take the review. Once again his decision proved wrong as the ball hit the stumps directly. The result of all this was that Australia missed two chances to take wickets and Sri Lanka took full advantage of it. Both the openers scored half-centuries and gave a good start to the team by making a tremendous partnership of 125 runs for the first wicket. Also, Australia was pushed on the backfoot from the very beginning.
The team is already in bad shape
Not only bad decisions, but the Australian team’s performance on the field has also been poor. Even if batting and bowling are ignored for once depending on the circumstances, there can be no excuse for the team’s poor fielding. In the last match against South Africa, Australia dropped not one or two but 6 catches. Wicketkeeper Josh Inglis took a catch against Sri Lanka also. After such performances and decisions, it should not be surprising if the Australian team fails to qualify for the semi-finals.