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Them two


The two spinners continued to mesmerize the cricketing world through most of that decade before giving way to the region's more popular pairings of Hall-Griffith, Sobers-Gibbes and or course onto the foursome pairings of the 1970s and 80s. Our last claim to fame in this unique Test phenomenon is of course Walsh and Ambrose whose ultimate retirements seemed to bring a coda to it all here.

Most Test countries have enjoyed similarly popular bowling pairings over the years but has there been anything like Warne and Mc Grath.  The killer striker forever setting up the innings for the spinner to mop up (particularly in a fourth innings) ad nauseum. Over the last 10 years, Australia has been well served by many gifted and effective batsmen as well as willful and clever captains but let's be honest, its fortunes have been built on the shoulders of this partnership, both now the most successful bowlers in their respective formats.

They were at it again last night with Warne flipping the script a bit by doing the early roughing up before leaving it to the taller half to clean it all up most ruthlessly. Once placed on the backfoot, England were kept there while facing a relentless array of variable pace, turn and cut.  No other team would have lasted.

And all this while global audiences had been inundated over the past few days with commentary teams that repeated that they were now both past their prime!?!

Like their peers Lara, Murali, Gilchrist and Tendulkar*, these two 'mates' have now established themselves as historically peerless. They exemplify the final characteristic of being winners, relentlessly unhappy with their performance until briefly being sated with another success. More than on any occasion, this is the one that I shall remember best when I think of them - Test bowling could not have been better illustrated.

* - Tendulkar's temperament remains a question mark yet his ODI record shall not be bettered in my lifetime and his gritty knock last weekend was a reminder of what he is about.

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