Vantage point

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Decline of the Aussies

Everyone and their uncle have sprung forth to predict that this is the end of the Aussie domination of world cricket. The same articles that were written after the 2005 Ashes, the embarrassment in the Chappell-Hadlee Series, the retirements of Warne-McGrath and the defeat in the 2007 CB series, have been dug out, tweaked and published. I am NOT about to rush on judgment on that.

What I do find disappointing is the decline of the Channel 9 commentary team. Is it just me or have they become unbearably boring to listen to? Whenever I would look for a sopcast feed during the last 2 weeks, I would cringe if it turned out to be a Channel 9 feed. And I would be elated if it was an ESPN-Star feed. And when you seem even more unbearable than Ravi Shastri and Michael Slater, it means there is something seriously wrong with you.

As if Healy and Taylor were not irritatingly stupid and inarticulate enough to overshadow Benaud's sublime forbearance, they have added that prize oaf Mark Nicholas to the team. Nicholas fawns over the Aussie team in a manner that would make Sigmund Freud go into diagnostic overdrive. And of course, in the last few years, they have made it a 3-man panel, which makes things even more drab.

It is pathetic to see the once outstanding Aussie commentary team sound drearier than Michael Atherton on valium. Whether Ponting's boys are sliding from their perch or not, Channel 9's boys have definitely hit rock bottom.