Posts Tagged ‘Paul Collingwood’

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? 🙂

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Well, well, I never actually expected to see KP in charge for at least another 4 – 5 years, so it’ll be a pleasant experience to see him lead the side out for the fourth test against his country of birth.

Michael Vaughan had to retire in unfortunate circumstances. I feel he deserves a whole blog post, so I won’t say anything more about him (the post will come only next week, as I’m really bogged down with office work) in this post.

However, Collingwood’s resignation was a big shock at first. I was gaping at my monitor when I saw Cricinfo’s main page saying that Colly also retired. He’s a really great guy, one of my all – time favourites (behind Lara, Warne, Symonds and Jayasuriya) because one of a handful of cricketers who can really make a big contribution in all 3 departments. But, you know, thinking deeply about it, I do realise that he hasn’t made much of a big contribution during his captaincy, and his record of 10 wins in 25 ODIs (and a big failure at the T20 world Cup) really tells you the reasoning behind his decision.

Now, coming to the man of the moment, Kevin Peter Pietersen! This guy could well be the person who can really give England the impetus in T20s and ODIs. Just look at it, he must be the most (perhaps only) brash and confrontational cricketer that is present in the England team, and he may be able to pass it on to his team – mates. As they say, the team copies the attitude of the captain, and with KP’s attitude, England may become one of the most successful limited over’s side captain that England may ever have.

As far as tests are concerned, this guy may be able to take it to the Aussies, and get the urn back from the Aussies, but this is only dependent on the batsmen and bowlers given to him. I just sincerely hope that he doesn’t pick only from the ‘family’ like Michael Vaughan used to.

So, I’m quivering, and I just can’t wait for the start of the next test on Thursday. Just as we thought the 4th test might be drab because it’s a dead rubber, KP’s appointment may just be the dose to make this test a one to watch!

My apologies for not posting for nearly a week, I just started on my first job this week, and so I got a bit busy.

Ah, we have a violation of the often misunderstood ‘Spirit of Cricket’. If you haven’t seen it yet, just go to the link.

In a nutshell, Grant Elliott was called for a quick single by Kyle Mills, and Ryan Sidebottom, who was the bowler, ran across the pitch to get the ball to effect a run out, but in the process, collided against Elliott and both fell flat to the ground. Pietersen swoops in and throws the ball to Bell, who whips the bails off at the non – striker’s end.

But what followed was, indeed sensible stuff from the umpires, as Mark Benson asked Collingwood if he wanted to revoke the appeal. Collingwood denied the opportunity, and he was given out, to the utter disgust of Elliott and the NZ dressing room. Hats off to Mark Benson for not giving the decision immediately.

However, justice was served, and an overthrow gave NZ the game. The NZ boys were really pumped up, and many of them refused to give any handshakes.

Later, during the post-match conference, Collingwood apologised for the decision, saying it was done ‘in the heat of the moment’.

However, I’m not really convinced by this. Though a lot of pundits have applauded his humility, I would say that he may have known that it was against the ‘Spirit’ of the game, but decided that winning was of utmost importance. He may have decided that he would apologise regardless of the outcome.

This also doesn’t show well on the skipper, and also serves to grill down the view that today’s cricketers are ready to win at all costs, even if it means knocking down the stumps when the batsman had a genuine collision with a fielder.

However, former England skipper Nasser Hussain had something interesting to say about this. He says that the umpire should’ve gone over to Colly and told him ‘Look we have had a look at this upstairs; it has just been a genuine collision we are going to call a dead ball and get on with the game.’ It would’ve taken the heat out of the situation.

However, Collingwood has been banned for four matches for going behind the ‘over-rate’ twice in the past 12 months, which means he’d miss the last ODI against NZ, the ODI against Scotland, the T20 and the first ODI against South Africa.