We need some new adjectivesThe likes of 'astonishing', 'mind-boggling', 'incredible' became officially obsolete today. New Zealand smashed their way past 346 to break their own record for a chase for the second time in two days time, this time by just 1 wicket. The stats are just pouring Dead Sea-scale salt into the abscesses: Australia now have the four best chases of all-time against them; this was their 5th straight loss to an old enemy; Michael Hussey has probably the worst ODI captaincy record of a Test-playing country's captain.
What's worse are the potential psychological scarrings. A team that made grown-up men cry must be in dire need of every psycho-analyst in the land. They threw everything at the opposition and still lost. Their bowling has just been shredded. Warne was smart enough to bail out, reputation intact. Nathan Bracken, conceding a six and a four in the last over, is the new Chetan Sharma. We run the risk of ascribing too much impact to these events, but the main damage has been to the bowling which is not really missing too many superstars. Australia's main strategy in the last couple of years has been to out-bat the opposition in the first innings. But these chases have severely eroded any defensive confidence in the camp and must greatly embolden the others.
The main test is to see what happens when Ponting comes back. We'll know then if it's a slide or a minor blip. Don't discount the famous Aussie resolve that won seven games in a row in 1999 to lift the Cup on the balcony of Lord's.