Why Zimbabwe, Why?

The Twenty20 world cup is fast upon us. Some of the prime contenders for the cup include the current world champion Pakistan, South Africa, India and the team constantly vying for any metallic hardware related to cricket, Australia. Australia were unceremoniously bumped off the tournament in the first round itself in the last edition of the T20 World Cup. Although, they have been saying all the right things for a while about the T20 competition has their attention and they really care about winning it etc, Australia have never seemed to care so much about the shortest format of the game.

I was hoping that this trend will continue this year as well, which means, one less contender for the cup. However, Zimbabwe, (oh that pesky Zimbabwe), a nation that has had many of its leading cricketers walking away from it due to the political situation in that country, still somehow has strung together a very capable group of young men – decided to give Australia a wake up call. Yesterday, in a practice match, Zimbabwe beat Australia by the slightest of margins (1 run). Even though it was only a practice match, considering the World Cup starts in a few days, you would expect the teams to take these games seriously, and from the looks of it, Australia did. I am very sure that Zimbabwe were looking to score any positives from this game, as on paper, they are far inferior to the quality and talent of Australia. The fact that they actually beat a near-full strength Australian team would’ve given them a shot in the arm and bodes well for their future. It also points to the crazy nature of the T20 format. Any team can beat any other team!

More importantly. Australia have been reminded of their futility in the last T20 World cup. They will not be taking any opposition lightly any more. This does not augur well for other teams. Australians are a pretty aggressive and competitive bunch, as it is. Now, with the shame of losing to a remodeled Zimbabwe team that can’t even hold a candle to all the talent and experience in the Australia team, they would be on their guard. Damn it Zimbabwe. You blew it for the rest us.

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