A Glorious Summer of Sledge

As we stand facing the pointiest end of this bloody great season of cricket, each match really is bigger than the last.

Today’s SCG showdown pits two great Pommiebashing nations against each other. Both the Aussies and the Indians have been fiery all summer. Impassioned players have been bantering on and off the ground. Sure, the officials have occasionally questioned whether it’s all been appropriate, but we reckon it’s been a big and brilliant display of the feisty spirit of the game. It truly has been a glorious summer of sledge.

No, not this Sledge. The other one.

Australia versus India has been a showpiece of the season, ever since the Test series a few months back. It’s ended up as a genuine rivalry, with Indian fans slinging insults from afar and Aussie openers mouthing-off up close. Shane Watson being a Watto. It’s as if the fact that the Poms were playing so ridiculously poorly, that we all needed a new rivalry. (Man, those Poms really never looked any good, did they… I mean, just terrible. Hopeless. See you in July.)

The Aussies dominated the Indians in the Tests, but we all felt that the sub-continental contingent were under-performing. They had more in the tank. When were they gonna put the foot to the floor?

Well, they’ve since found their momentum in the World Cup – and what better time?

It all comes to a head today. There is pressure, but there is also glory. Oh, and then there is Karl Stefanovic.

I know you are, but what am I?

Have no doubt, the Indians are in this. Their heads are in it. Their spirits are in it. Their fans are freaking mad for it. The Swami Army are taking up 70% of the seats at the SCG. They’ll probably be making 90% of the noise – at least until the Aussie lads do something to take their breath away.

A lot has been made over the last couple of days, of the great sportsmanship on display during the gripping first semifinal between New Zealand and South Africa. Expect nothing less today. Sure, it’ll be expressed differently, because these teams have some real different, genuinely entertaining personalities. Expect fire and fury.

Hotter than Mum's Curry

Going in, or squirting out? [Photo by Matt G Dawson, used under Creative Commons licence]

As much as both sides are going all out for the win, both will feel that this game is a genuine challenge in and of itself.

The winner will move on to the MCG to take on a steamrolling Kiwi team. The loser will retreat for some reflection, taking consolation in the knowledge that they’ve shown world-class strength and determination all the way.

Besides, we are all Pommiebashers. We are family.