Cape Town, Nov 11: The most invincible team, the champions, real heroes were adjectives used for the Australian team until a couple of years ago before losing their Number one ranking in Tests and Twenty20 Internationals. Aussies, truly deserved the adjectives having shown its class in all formats of the game, registering a record that every opponent would envy about. A team of such stature has now witnessed a shocking low in Test cricket having been bowled out for 47 runs, its lowest since 1902 and the fourth lowest of all time.
[Scorecard: 1st Test, Australia Vs South Africa, Cape Town]
The Kangaroos, as affectionately called, underwent a lot of changes after the stalwarts, Steve Waugh, Mark Waugh, Adam Gilchrist, Ian Healy, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and other talented and experienced cricketers bid adieu to International cricket. This led to a transition phase under Ricky Ponting's captaincy.
The motive of rebuilding the team and strengthening the squad started in the absence of match winners. There was a period when all the players of the Australian team were considered to be match winners in their own way. That was the end of the golden era of Australian cricket which was highly fruitful for the players as they reaped gold with every series.
Into a trasition phase, the Australian team has undergone tremendous changes, as they look forward to regain their top spot in Tests and T20s. Plenty of cricketers made their appearance and due to certain difficulties, couldn't sustain in the competition, making way for a talented bunch of youngsters. With Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Michael Hussey, Ricky Ponting, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris and others, the team seems to have regained its balance. But consistency has still been the cause of worry. The team has not been able to perform to its potential off late.
A team in its transition phase is bound to face a few embarrassing situations, and Australian team is no different. The team has registered its lowest Test total after 1902. Playing the first test against South Africa, Australia were bundled for 47 runs in their second innings after having scored 284 in the first innings. Thanks tol Michael Clarke's monumental 151 which helped the visitors to post a decent score in the first innings. This has been Australia's fourth lowest Test totals in the history of Test cricket.
The other lowest totals have been against England in the Ashes. Australia's lowest Test total till date happens to be in 1902 when they were bundled for 36 runs by the English bowlers at Birmingham. In reply to England's 376/9 in the first innings, Australian batsmen made their pavillion parade as the English bowlers celebrated the fall of every wicket. The celebration would enthrall them as the Australians were dismissed for a paltry 36 that happens to be the least Test Total registered by them till date.
The next one being 42, against England again in the twenty seventh test match played in the history of Test Cricket at Sydney in the year 1888. After being dismissed for 42 in the first innings, conceding a lead of 71, were given a target of 209 by the English men and were again bowled out for 82 in the second innings witnessing a 127 run loss to England in February 1888.
Another disastrous test match in the history of Test cricket, wherein Australia registered their third lowest total of 44 in its second innings against England at the Oval in Aug1896. England with a first innings lead of 26, after being dismissed for 84 in the second innings, set Australia a target of 111 runs which was eventually won by England after dismissing the Aussies for a mere 44 runs.
The other lowest totals being 53, 58, 60, 63, 65, 66, 68, 70, 78, 80 all against England while their least Test total against South Africa was 75 since 1950 until the recent score of 47. 76 against West Indies in 1984 and 80 agianst Pakistan are the lowest totals by Australia in Test Cricket.
Interestingly, most of Australia's lowest totals in Test cricket have come against England except the recent score of 47 against South Africa in Nov 2011. The previous lowest score of 36 was registered in 1902, showing the dominance of Aussies against the rest of the countries and England during recent times.
It is indeed a shocking to see Aussies register their lowest total in 109 years. This definitely happens to be the turning point of Australian Cricket as they have witnessed a few embarrasing moments in the last few years. Though the team has had its share of victories and failures, with a relatively young team, anything can happen in the years to come. It all depends on how the team shapes up as they are look forward to regain their top spot in Tests and Twenty20s.