Both Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath have just played their last test match. The fifth and final test in this Ashes series, which have had whitewash written all over, ever since Steve Harmison bowled that terrible first ball (to the slip!). The Ashes series is won by Australia 5-0. In a way, Aussies hit the final nail on the coffin by hitting a six to a 5-0 whitewash (In fact, a six from Mathew Hayden leveled the score, which was followed by a single to win). I never believed that England was in any sort of vicinity to win Ashes, even though the hardcore English fans may disagree.
More than the commanding Aussie win, what make this day so important is the news that two of crickets all time bowlers, one a champion spinner and the other a supreme fast bowler, are no longer in line to play a cricket test match from now on. That is sad; very very sad indeed. Cricketing world will miss them sorely. I don’t think too many people would disagree with me, if I dare to say that without Mcgrath and Warne, Australia wouldn’t have been a champion team of this class. This statement should not be taken to diminish the importance of many of their other class players (including Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting).
It has been a pleasure watching Shane Warne at the bowling crease. He had brought a charm of his own, when it comes to whatever he does on the cricketing field, whether it is art of spinning round the legs or the constant ‘talking’ from the second slip, or the appealing for leg before. While average batsmen of this era looked quite clueless against his bowling, it was hard work for champion batsmen when he was there in opposition. Tendulkar and Laras had their stamp of authority at times (Tendulkar perhaps was more solid…only perhaps!), but you could never say that Shane was easy picking. It is only fair to say that it was near even contest between Shane Warne and the batting mast roes.
Glenn McGrath, arguably the best accurate bowler of this generation is irreplaceable. Time and again, batsmen around the world were made to struggle against his off stump precision bowling.
Both Warne and McGrath leave behind a legacy, which cannot be replaced in the near history. They have their blocks firmly booked in the annals of cricketing history. Cricket fans are going to miss their presence in the field.
Another brilliant test cricketer have also joined the duo on retirement. Justing Langer, a fantastic opening batsman for Australia decided to call it quits. Perhaps, the two bowlers celebrated retirement dropped the shadow on Langer’s retirement, but that is no indication of the value addition this player brought to test cricket.