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Rejoice! Another trilogy is complete! But this time it’s a far cry from the Star Wars’ and Back To The Futures of this world, instead being focused on another of life’s true art forms - cricket. Sadly this last title, The Streak, has nothing to do with the naked antics of cricket fans, only a documentary containing footage from Australia’s record winning streak from recent times. The only flesh we get to see are the sunburnt arms and faces of the Aussie cricketers as we witness their modern day demolition now known as the greatest winning run in Test cricket history. And like its two predecessors, this disc certainly doesn’t disappoint. As they say, all good things come in threes.

Sixteen wins is an amazing feat by anyone’s standards. To do this in such a convincing fashion makes the streak more than worthy of a place in the Connoisseur series of DVDs. The Australian team eclipsed the record set by an awesome West Indian team in the 1983-1985 seasons. Their effort of eleven games was thought to be outstanding before Steve Waugh and his men started their run, beginning in Zimbabwe late in 1999 and ending in 2001 with a whitewash in India. No losses, no draws and very little rain in between, the whole team was on song.

The disc chronicles the winning streak over all sixteen matches, looking at the amazing feats with the bat and the ball and in the field. Leading run scorer Justin Langer lead the charge, with Steve Waugh, Mark Waugh and the now out-of-favour Michael Slater following closely behind in the batting stakes. Meanwhile Glenn McGrath stamped himself as one of the world’s best bowlers by snaring 76 wickets as he and Shane Warne (46 wickets) destroying the confidence and averages of the opposition batsmen.

Australia's number one fan
Included are the classic catches, trademark shots, hat tricks, debuts and fight-backs that made the sixteen matches all the more special. Thankfully this has been done justice by an appropriately detailed and thorough account of the events. In terms of story telling this disc is much better than the other two discs in the series purely because of the singular focus rather than a series of highlights from different teams, players and matches. You can see how the Australians went about their demolition and how different each series turned out to be. There are interviews with all the key players and even the team’s most ardent fan, “Sparrow”. Now that’s comprehensive.

Overall, this disc has just as much class than the other two and benefits from a single story to focus on for the duration. Aussie cricket lovers will need to chuck this one into their collections, along with the other two, as quick as Adam Gilchrist can score a century. I don’t know whether any Indians, Zimbabweans or West Indians will be forking out their hard earned for this disc, but nonetheless it will please any admirer of this amazing achievement.

Video
As with the previous two efforts, this disc doesn’t disappoint. Presented in full frame as it was broadcast at the time, the images look particularly impressive. There’s no stock footage or old tapes to have to deal with, with the relatively young age of the images being a major help in attaining such a good-looking transfer.  Sharpness is maintained and the colours are as good as can be expected when looking at greens and whites for the majority of the time.

Nothing at all distracting with the transfer, though I’m sure stunning visuals aren’t so important for this one as most viewers will be honing in on the action rather than looking for grain at deep fine leg.

Group hug
Audio
The Dolby 2.0 track is quite good, with no major problems to speak of at all. If anything the voices and sounds of the ball hitting willow are much clearer than during the actual TV broadcast, which is a major plus. You may remember I had issues with some harsh sounding audio on the second disc when someone like Bill Lawry gets excited, as he often does. Thankfully this is not the case on the third instalment, with all dialogue clear and at an acceptable level throughout.

Extras
Again, it’s hard to distinguish between extra features and footage that could have been included in the main piece in the first place, but with this disc it is made a lot easier due to the events playing out more like a story than the previous two. We are treated to batting packages from Michael Slater, Mark Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh, Brett Lee and Shane Warne, which are quite good to watch.

Also included is Brett Lee’s first over in Test cricket, which incidentally produced a wicket. There is also footage of Steve Waugh’s speech after the Australian’s ironically defeated the West Indies to beat their record and retain the Sir Frank Worrell Trophy.

There are also scorecards for all sixteen matches which are a welcome addition but are probably the equivalent of a theatrical trailer on a movie DVD. Nevertheless, an impressive package has been put together that complements the main feature quite well.

The fashion police stopped him in his tracks
Overall
This is a great recollection of the events surrounding the greatest Test winning streak in history. The record will undoubtedly remain unchallenged for quite some time, and even then it would take a truly great team to eclipse the feat set by Steve Waugh and his cricketing buddies. Probably the best disc in the series from a biased Australian point of view, but also because it is a more focused and involving look at a particular event rather than a series of highlights from around the globe. If you have the other two discs in the series don’t hesitate to complete the collection with this one. If not, grab all three and you won’t be disappointed.


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