About two years back, Australia’s Test cricket team became entangled in a ball-tampering scandal during the third Test of a series in South Africa. Captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft were the key figures involved in an incident dubbed ‘sandpapergate’ and one which would cast a dark shadow over the sport. Steve Smith was stripped of captaincy and handed a ban along with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft. The Australian cricket authorities were forced to make changes in personnel. Justin Langer, a retired top-class batsman, was brought in as head coach and Tim Paine was made team captain.
For all cricket lovers, who are in desperate need of some decent viewing during this time of isolation and lock-down, the newly released Amazon Prime" "The Test: A New Era for Australia’s Team" is worth the watch. This is an in-depth, behind-the-scenes, eight-episode examination of a cricket team in crisis. It chronicles 18 months in the travails of the Australian national team, from the squad’s all-time lowest point to its return to relevance in the 2019 World Cup.
Born in India I have been passionately following the game as much as I can from the late 1970's and 1980's and it continues to provide non-stop entertainment and excitement. Australia has been one of the most successful cricketing team and been a dominant force for decades winning multiple World Cups and other ICC trophies. I always admired Aussie team for their fighting spirit but never liked them as a team as most of the team members were arrogant, offensive and knew that these players would do anything to win and I strongly felt that what happened in Capetown was something they totally deserved.
With regards to this documentary..Where do I start?
The series takes a deep look at coach Justin Langer’s ruthless yet humble characteristics and attributes, both as a former player and as a potential manager of a team that had hit rock bottom in 2018. Coach’s vision was also quite clear and obvious from the start – " that is to build a team that will earn the respect, not only of their own country, but of the cricketing world once again".
This documentary showed all the raw moments of the players and coaches and this showed you the person behind their own titles. It brings forward the real people, real emotions and real drama that unfolded after what happened. The series was thoroughly enjoyable, it's rare for outsiders to see inside the inner sanctum of a test dressing room and that was great. Everybody in the Aussie dressing room was very passionate and charged up and not afraid to show their frustrations. The camaraderie was almost tangible and the way the team stuck together through thick and thin was amazing to watch. The behind-the-scenes footage shows all the drama and emotions of winning and losing matches all before Australia departed for last year’s World Cup and Ashes series in the country of their biggest rival, England. After watching two of the episodes, cricket fans will have a completely different perception of the Australian cricket team. First time in my life I will use the word respect and Aussie cricket team in a sentence. It was great to see what Aussies thought of Virat Kohli and the Indian Cricket team. However, I am surprised that they didn't include the part when Virat Kohli pleaded to the fans to stop abusing Steve Smith when the crowd booed him constantly during the India-Australia World Cup 2019 game played at the Oval.If you're a true lover of the game, if you can put aside team loyalties and just applaud the 'Rising from the Ashes to win the Ashes', this series is for you.