World 20/20: India and Australia Looking Good

3 05 2010

The major nations of world cricket got under way last night, India playing South Africa in a true heavy weight clash and Australia facing reigning world champions Pakistan. Like before, some thoughts:

India vs South Africa
India won by 14 runs.

Suresh Raina: Another limited overs specialist, Raina currently holds the record for the most ODI’s without a test match appearance which quite honestly simply goes to show how much depth India have to their batting. Yesterday his timing, footwork and ability to hit a ‘long ball’, as they say, were masterful. Who needs Sachin, Sehwag or Gambhir?

Kallis and Smith: Whilst on paper they did well putting on 97 together, in the end there were too many dot balls which meant that De Villiers and Morkel had too much to do in the last 5 overs. Kallis was the less guilty partner but we are not sure about the merits of Smith at 3. De Villiers can give the ball a serious hit and should probably have come in as Kallis was the man still batting.

The Game: Not the most exciting spectacle in the end as the Indian’s always looked too strong. Having watched the South African’s fail to compete we are very worried about our semi final prediction for the Proteas. Our basis for this prediction was that South Africa have one of the stronger bowling attacks around. The absence though of a selection of spinners to slow things down appears to be a flaw in their make up. Steyn, Morkel, Kallis and Kleinveldt’s bowling all ‘traveled’, in cricketing jargon. India on the other hand look strong and. unlike the Protea’s, have quite the selection of slow bowlers. We are not sure this proliferation of average bowling is good for the game of the cricket but it appears to be a crucial element of this tournament. More on that later though.

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Australia vs Pakistan
Australia won by 34 runs

Shane Watson: Brilliant innings from Australia’s opening batsman. Inevitably a great deal of the focus when Australia play is on David Warner, however, last night Watson proved that they have another powerful batsman at the top of the order. Scoring 81 from only 49 balls and hitting 11 boundaries, including 4 cleanly struck sixes, he proved how important he is to this Aussie side.

David Warner: Warner must be the most graceless batsman in world cricket, effective yes, good at 20/20 cricket yes, but we would still not pay to watch him. Classic moment came when he was interviewed during the game and said that he hoped that if he performed well in this format for Australia, he might get a go in the test matches (or words to that effect). Being Australian he obviously still considers test cricket to be the pinnacle of the game, but if he thinks that, in this age of specialisation, 20/20 cricket is a route into the test side he is probably much mistaken!

David Hussey: Brilliant innings of 53 in 29 balls just when Michael Clarke had threatened to push Australia into a quieter middle period. At one point hit 4 sixes and 28 runs off one Mohamed Sami over. For a man who appears to be so thin he might snap at any point, he hits the ball with immense power.

Mohamed Aamer: Figures of 4 overs, 3-23 including one wicket maiden, belie the fact that his young prodigy is only 18 and already Pakistan’s ‘go to’ bowler. We can’t find the requisite statistic anywhere but we are almost certain that no man will have ever bowled a triple wicket maiden in the final over of a 20/20 game. Not only that but on two of the other three balls, Kamran Akmal ran out Steve Smith and Dirk Nannes giving the Pakistani’s an extraordinary 5 wickets in 6 balls.

Australian Seam Attack: We were astonished to find that the Australians had left out the IPL’s best bowler Doug Bollinger, yet on this basis we can see why they thought they didn’t need them. Nannes, Tait and Johnson provide a fearsome three pronged attack, which also has the added value from a neutrals point of view that something is guaranteed to happen almost every ball. None of them are exactly line and length specialists, instead relying on pace, swing and aggression meaning that they will regularly end up with figures similar to Nannes’ yesterday of 3-41 from their alloted 4 overs.

Catches Win Matches: Yesterday’s games demonstrated this amply.

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So after the first 6 games our predictions made before the tournament are looking way off the mark. Sri Lanka go into today’s game against Zimbabwe having to win to qualify, which isn’t perhaps as simple as it sounds with Zimbabwe beating Australia in their warm up games. England then face the West Indies later knowing one win will see them safe through to the Super 8’s. With the Windies already qualified, and England facing a potential banana skin against Ireland on Wednesday, it would make life much easier for their supporters if they did it the easy way. How often does this happen with England though!

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2 responses

8 05 2010
Giordballs

Hi Bradders,

Found this quite interesting – particularly about Conan Doyle taking the scalp of WG Grace!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8662375.stm

14 05 2010
Bradders

That is interesting. thanks for that Giordballs. Having looked him up on cricinfo apparently Sir Arthur played 10 games in first class cricket, debuting at 41 years old! He did only take one wicket but i can’t find any reference to it being Grace…. I only quibble as I remember reading somewhere that it is supposed to be a myth…. Anyway who knows! Interesting stuff though.

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