India, Australia, and the start of a larger-than-life cricket yarn
The high-profile series plays out against the broader narrative of a World Test Championship
Ian Chappell’s Australia XI: Ashton Agar or Mitchell Swepson?
Big picture: get on the BGT hype train
There are no absolutes except for the absolutes, one of which is time and how everything fades in front of it. This is especially true of stuff that take place on a pretty green field because, well, they aren’t as important as that list of things you need to go get for your mum’s birthday or the supplies that your kid needs for class tomorrow.
Except sometimes, a game stands in defiance of its fate. Bradman’s duck. Sometimes it just refuses to fade away. Kumble’s ten. Sometimes it becomes larger than life. 1983. And 2005. Sport finds a way to be more because its people find a way to be more; to be better.
When Steven Smith yells “no run” after straight up leaving the ball, he is trying to be better. When Mohammed Siraj runs in again after just being hit for a boundary, he is trying to be better. When David Warner takes guard after being chewed up and spit out, he is trying to be better. When Cheteshwar Pujara plays through pain, he is trying to be better. This innately human trait binds the artist to their audience. It’s why a silly little game can bring so much joy.
On Thursday, at 9.30am local time, Australia will officially renew their quest into the final frontier. They’ve attempted this ten times since 1969 and only once have they succeeded, prompting the need for distinctly out-of-the-box ideas, including – but not limited to – an R Ashwin clone. Side note, should we expect a Jofra Archer clone ahead of the Ashes now?
India have their own challenges to navigate as well. They go into a series that could define their captain’s legacy without their best bowler and the phenom who won it the last time it was played. But that loss is mitigated somewhat by a feeling that these four matches could pretty much put the blue tick (wait, it’s gold now, isn’t it?) against their next superstar batter and the return of one of their biggest match-winners.
Also, all this plays out against the broader narrative of a World Test Championship. In other words, we may be about to see the 2023 final happen four times before it actually happens on June 7. So what are you waiting for? Get on the hype train.