By Martin Hearnden
The sporting relations between Australia and New Zealand are long, well storied, dramatic and probably felt more keenly on this side of the Tasman. The one side to beat is Australia, always Australia. This sentiment is based on a very healthy desire to get one over our cocky superior cousins but also contains a less than healthy dose of envy, insecurity and jealousy. We really struggle with their inherent confidence.
Australia over-achieves on the world stage, name the sport, they compete and achieve. They have Olympic winter sports golds for heaven sakes. But this is about cricket, what about the cricket?
Australia are the most successful side in the history of test cricket. Actually, I can’t back that up but I think the statement is on pretty solid ground. They play the game exactly the way it should be played in respect of the batting, bowling, fielding and captaincy. The sole objective is to win, no such thing as glorious failure here. I make no case for their behaviour though, aggressive yes, boorish and sneering no.
An England side that contained Anderson, Broad, Swann, Pietersen and Prior was a particularly unlovely, vain glorious bunch, admit it, we all cheered when Australia smashed all of the hubris out of them 5-0 in Australia in 2013/14. OK, England look a little different now, but do you really warm to Joe Root and Alastair Cook? Stokes is just a Judas. Then there is their penchant for picking anyone who rocks up for a couple of years, declares a dodgy allegiance and tattoos 3 Lions on their arm.
We also have the UK/English media. Cricket and Rugby are joined at the hip in England, same strange delusion arrogance, same ever so disdainful dismissal of anything colonial. And the gloating, great losers the English, rubbish winners.
Not very convincing I agree, but if Australia play their best cricket, keep the unpleasantness to a minimum your correspondent will be happy.
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