Spirit on dis­play a big boon

NT News - - SPORT - BEN HORNE

ON Sun­day morn­ing, March 25, a na­tion awoke ashamed.

Those sand­pa­per scars run deep and will take time to heal, but six-and-a-half months later Aus­tralian cricket fol­low­ers re­dis­cov­ered what it’s like to wake up again with pride.

It wasn’t the ball-tam­per­ing act in it­self that was the real is­sue in South Africa, but the last­ing dam­age Aus­tralia’s ar­ro­gant ac­tions and at­ti­tude had done to the coun­try’s rich sport­ing fab­ric of al­ways striv­ing to play hard but fair.

On a de­te­ri­o­rat­ing day-five pitch in Dubai, a new-look Aus­tralian team proved over the course of 140 overs in the blaz­ing desert sun that the cul­ture of the baggy green is some­thing worth fight­ing for.

The fact that Aus­tralia lost 10-60 in the first in­nings showed that a green­horn team miss­ing David Warner and Steve Smith is vul­ner­a­ble.

But af­ter his cap­tain’s knock against Pak­istan to se­cure Aus­tralia one of Test cricket’s great es­capes, Tim Paine de­clared the foun­da­tions have now been set for a new era.

“That’s ex­actly the brand of cricket we want to play,” Paine said. “We know that to be­come a good team we first have to be hard to beat.”

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