Posts Tagged ‘england’

Having seen Mohammad Yousuf back in the news, this is the train of thought that went through my mind:

“He’s been out for nearly 18 months, but still feels he has plenty to offer to the Pakistan cricket team…I’ve been out for nearly 9 months, but I still feel that I have ‘plenty’ to offer to the cricket blogosphere”.

Yes, I’ve never really been a very regular blogger, largely due to the fact that I’ve been too lazy to do anything whole-heartedly.

Also, it’s always been a little dispiriting, churning out posts but having only a handful of people viewing them, let along commenting on them.

However, looking at the success of fellow bloggers like Jarrod and Leg Side Filth, and having followed their blogs even during the times when they were not so famous, I realized something….these guys kept churning out good content, even though, initially, there weren’t a lot of people commenting. However, due to the fact that they never gave up and continued, they are where they are now.

Therefore, this shall be my last comeback…I promise to update this blog at least 2 times a week, though the possibility of more posts is likely.

Therefore, I’ll start with a short note on the West Indies-Australia test series:

I couldn’t really catch any of the action on TV, largely because of the late nights spent at work.

However, I was eagerly following the live commentary, and the signs were encouraging from West Indies’ point of view.

They seem to have a very very good bowling attack, with Fidel Edwards, Kemar Roach, and Ravi Rampaul leading the attack with Darren Sammy, the unassuming skipper, for support. They also have some good spinners in Shane Shillingford and Devendra Bishoo (the potential of Sunil Narine is unknown since he’s at the IPL, but from the amount of spin that he imparts on the ball, it can be confidently said that he will be a more successful mystery spinner than Ajantha Mendis was). 

However, as has been the case for quite a  long time, their batting has been disappointing, with the exception of Shiv Chanderpaul and, to a certain extent, Narsingh Deonarine. They seem to be prone to frequent collapses. 

To a certain extent, such shoddy batting was covered up, during the limited over series, by some superb power-hitting from Sammy, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell.

However, I don’t think that such power-hitting would cut it in Test Matches, where you need guys batting for longer periods in order to get good totals.

Therefore, if West Indies are to have a chance of at least winning a Test in the upcoming tour of England, the batting definitely needs to pull their pants up. It’s not gonna’ be any easier there, with England’s highly competent bowlers and the balls swinging in all directions.

Though the WI bowlers will have a good time there (not so sure about the spinners), the onus is gonna’ be on the batsmen, who will have to deliver if WI are to put up a fight!

Hellos, everyone!

Yes, I’ve been extremely bad and haven’t been posting a lot lately, but with exams for 2 separate qualifications (over 3 days) coming next week, can you blame me? *putting on Bopara’s puppy expression*

However, I have to tell you, Jarrod‘s ‘When Freddie Became Jesus’ sure does serve a good purpose in keeping the mind away from all your stresses (including nagging friends).

I had started reading the first couple of pages when I got it in mid-January, but, for some reason or the other, I had stopped reading beyond the first 2 pages.

However, a couple of days ago, I opened the box which contained my ‘stash’ of cricket books and, my goodness, you wouldn’t believe the carnage that took place there!

Hoggy’s hair was in a mess (Welcome to My World by Matthew Hoggard), Gilly was in tears (True Colours by Adam Gilchrist) just like he was before WACA ’06/’07, Michael Simkins was half the size he was on the cover (Fatty Batter by Michael Simkins) and Warney had his latest range of ‘Spinners’ underwears on his head (Wisden 2007).

However, amongst the rubble, there he was. Jarrod Kimber, standing tall, grabbing Freddie by his cock and compelling me to read his book. He threatened that non – compliance would lead to Freddie’s cock becoming like a squeezed orange and, so, in the interests of Rachel Flintoff, I took it out and re-started reading it.

Anywayz, got through the first 50 pages and, I have to say, I do agree with Alex when he said the following in his book review of When Freddie Became Jesus

People always talk about the swearing and the sex references when they talk about Jarrod’s writing. Jarrod himself often plays up to this, but he’s doing himself a disservice in doing so. It makes it sound gimmicky, when it’s nothing of the sort. The truth is, he’s a sharp writer and the occasional ‘fucken’ is just window dressing.

Therefore, without further ado, *drumroll*, here are those absolute gems which I promised for yesterday, but at least remembered to post today! 😛

On seeing Richie Benaud for the first time in flesh in the media box

He was so close to me that I could have turned around and licked his trouser leg. And don’t think that it didn’t cross my mind

On the difference between the previous 2 ashes and the 2009 one

Where 05 and 06/07 had greatness, 09 had Ravi Bopara and Nathan Hauritz

His opinion on the Ashes as a whole

Like I said, the Ashes series is not between the best two team in the world, but between two teams that play the Ashes. Is it too late to invite South Africa and India?

Firstly, a heartfelt apology for disappearing once again! I was planning to write a post about 2 days ago but I suddenly re-discovered the wonders of tweeting (I say re-discovered because, about 6 months ago, I was tweeting) and found it easier to do rather than having to write posts every day or so. However, seeing as they only allow 140 characters (that’s not even 30 words!), I’ve come up with a post! 🙂

Yesterday was a special day. As far as i can remember, since the 2007 T20 World Cup, yesterday was the first day that 3 test matches were being played. This meant that I’d have a full day of test cricket. This is how it worked out:

5:00 AM – 12:00 PM : Pakistan vs Australia @ Hobart
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM : India vs Bangladesh @ Chittagong
1:30 AM – 9:30 PM : England vs South Africa @ Johannesburg.

Since I sleep at around 11:00 in the night, I’ll be deprived of just 2 hours of test cricket!

Pakistan vs Australia was plain frustrating. It’s one thing to see the team you support surrender meekly. When West Indies lost to Australia in the first test, I wasn’t too depressed, just disappointed a bit because West Indies didn’t put up a semblance of a fight.

However, when Pakistan had a good chance to make a fairly decent score (considering at least 4 out of those 6 batsmen were quite good) and didn’t do so, it was just outright disappointing. Moreover, it is quite befuddling to hear MoYo say that he wanted help on captaincy! It seemed more like he was asking for a ‘Captaincy Coach’!

I don’t think that any captain has ever said that they want help openly. Going and asking successful captains for tips is one thing, asking them how to captain is just plain tomfoolery! All this is made worse when you remember how MoYo openly craved for the captaincy!

Moving on to the England South Africa match, it was quite dejecting. The writing was on the wall once England got shot out for under 200 in the first innings. Smith, once again, played an ugly but magnificent knock (now, how many times do you hear ugly & magnificent in the same line?). Boucher continued his rich form in the series to prove that there’s still some fuel left in the old man’s tank.

I was personally gunning for South Africa to lose all 3 series so that Mickey Mouse could shut his mouth once and for all. After the T20 series, I was hoping for at least 2 series losses to SA but that didn’t materialize as well! Pity!

Daryl Harper has copped enough stick from everyone, so I don’t think I need to say any more. All I have to say is, ‘RETIRE DARYL‘!

The presentation of a fridge to Ashwell Prince was strange, to say the least. He didn’t do much of note in the series, but he wasn’t to be blamed. What can you expect when you put a player, who is very successful at No.5, in the opening slot? It’s disaster in the making. Perhaps it was a “We’re really sorry about all this” gift from CSA to Prince.

Last, but not the least, is the Bangladesh India match.

Sehwag, with typical candour, said that Bangladesh was an ordinary side and couldn’t take 20 wickets. The ‘quotable quotes’ have been summarised by someone from BCC!

Shakib (the Superman of Bangladesh Cricket) and Shahadat Hossain picked up 5 each to get halfway to the target. Though they’ve lost 3 wickets, they’re still in the hunt, IMO, and it has the makings of a fascinating competition, light permitting.

We really should encourage candour from more players like Sehwag. England is set to tour Bangladesh later this year without Andy Strauss and so this is what we can expect from the stand-in skipper, Mascaraman:

“Yea, Bangladesh are an improving team. We’ve seen how they played against West Indies last year and how they took the fight to India. They have a very good bunch of players, especially Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan. Mashrafe Mortaza’s coming back from an injury and so he’d be raring to play. It would be dangerous to take them lightly as they are a <i>very</i> good side.”

Now, I’m not trying to say that Bangladesh are a bad team. In fact, they really <i>have</i> improved in recent times, shown clearly by the fact that they crossed 250 in 3 out of the 4 matches in the tri series.

What I’m coming to say is that captains and players should be honest. They should be taught to speak their mind rather than vomit some diplomatic garb.

Of course, this should be done in moderation. You don’t want to have situations like what was seen with MoYo, where he publicly castigated Salman Butt for his poor running. Though he did score a century the next day, I’m sure Salman would’ve appreciated it if MoYo hadn’t done that. It’s akin to your parents scolding you in front of your guests when you were young!

That’s it for now, hang on to my tweets to hear more from me!

http://twitter.com/crickettragic

No, my silence hasn’t been due to Sri Lanka being on the brink of elimination from the Champion’s Trophy, but due to an excess load of work, I haven’t been able to post. However, that hasn’t stopped me from keeping track of the Champion’s Trophy, so here’s what’s been happening.

The fact that England are the 2nd team to have qualified to the semis have baffled everyone, including yours truly. After getting a right-royal drubbing from Australia and nearly got swept away 7-0, I did not, in my wildest dreams, expect England to play like they were the best team in ODIs ever.

Morgan, who looked a bit out of his depth, sizzled. Shah suddenly remember how to run and Collingwood realised that he could play big shots with the ‘Blockingwood’ bat!

As for SL…sigh! I really had high expectations for SL for the first time in a world tournament because I felt we had the best batting order in nearly 3 years. Our middle order had always been a problem. However, in Samaraweera, Kandamby and Mathews, we had a middle order which could bail us out in case Jayasuriya and Dilshan both failed. However….I just can’t point the finger to what went wrong…

West Indies haven’t done a bad job at all, bringing both matches really close till the class of the better team shone.

As for South Africa…..dear, oh dear, do I have to mention the C-word again? I just don’t know what’s up with them. If I’m not mistaken, they are the only team to have a full-time mental conditioner but they still can’t get into a final, let alone win one. I just get the feeling that the Saffers are mentally weak! Full stop. It’s the same situation with the Bangladeshis. They have a good load of talent, but just don’t have the mental fortitude to win consistently.

IMO, Andrew Strauss was wrong in denying the South African skipper a runner. Yes, it is all about proper conditioning of the body, but still, it can be quite energy – sapping to bat 40+ overs.

I can understand ruthlesness, but there is something called the ‘Spirit of Cricket’. Yes, this has been a sticky point in many instances as it is hard to define what exactly this ‘Spirit’ is. Let me give you a simple definition:

The Spirit of Cricket is playing the game in a hard, yet fair way

It means that you play aggressive cricket, but play fair. I wouldn’t have recalled Mathews if I were Strauss. It was Mathews’ fault that he was ball – watching. There was no way Onions could have possibly seen him coming (he would have had to sprout eyes on the back of his head). However, Smith did nothing wrong and all player suffer cramps when playing for so long. It will become a sticky point when some of his own players, most notably Owais Shah (who does have a tendency to cramp quickly), suffer cramps and need runners.

On the subject of Powerplays, I’d like to refer to the first match of the competition, between Sri Lanka and South Africa.

The scenario is this: Dilshan is carting the ball around the park and the mandatory 10 over powerplay has finished. As the fielding captain, do you take the powerplay or not?

IMO, it should be a sure NO! The simple reason is, he’s obviously finding the boundaries easily because there aren’t enough fielders at the boundary. We all know that Dilshan doesn’t hit big like, say, a Morgan or a Symonds, but he hits them fast. Perhaps, the presence of more fielders on the boundary rope can stifle the runs and, perhaps, even get a wicket. I would’ve taken the Powerplay after Dilshan was dismissed.

SL also erred in not taking their powerplay immediately. It didn’t cost them in the end, but I feel that Sanga should’ve taken the powerplay immediately after SA’s one. It was clear that Dilshan wanted the pace in order to play his shots and Smith wasn’t willing to bring in the spinners during the powerplays, so we could’ve milked a lot more runs.

Well, that’s that! The CT has been an unqualified success in that it makes life difficult for a team when they have lost just once! It does bring me to the question which Mike Holmans raised in the Different Strokes blog in Cricinfo. Why do we hate the CT so much when the World Cup is such an elongated piece of shit?

CT FTW!

PS – Just saw that there’s been a mad jump in the number of unique visitors to this blog in the last 3 days…can anyone enlighten me why? 🙂

Oh deary dear!

Posted: August 27, 2009 in england
Tags: , ,


On the day that the ECB decided to abolish the domestic 50-over competition, England are surely on the fast track to suffer humiliation at the hands of Ireland, a team who will surely get test status in 5 years!

England have only mustered 203/9 in their 50 overs, the Aussie Trent Johnston having picked up 3/25 in 10. Yep, that wasn’t a typo, he’s an Aussie. Played first-class cricket with the likes of Brett Lee and Mark Taylor.

I’m giving Ireland a 70% chance of beating England!

BTW, is the red jersey that England is wearing a badly timed prank? They look to be playing like the only other red team, Canada! :O