Posts tagged with "cricket"
Saturday, March 9, 2013 10:24:48 PM
Saturdays can be a weird, kind of still day, depending on your personal circumstances, of course. This Saturday I was listening to England play New Zealand in the first test match. It is taking place in Dunedin, New Zealand. Yet, I listen live and can write a blog post about it even while it is happening. Nick Compton was just out for 117. His first test century in difficult circumstances having been on a pair when he came to bat in the second innings.
The dis-association with what is happening "back home" in England, from where I write, is stark in some ways. It's cold outside here, as you would expect in the middle of winter, yet our batsmen are playing in a southern hemisphere summer.
The two pitches that are coming up in this series should suit the England bowlers and this was, in many ways, New Zealand's best chance to win a match. It looks now (22:22 UTC, 09032012) as if the match will be drawn. But credit to New Zealand, most would have suspected a whitewash before the series began and for them to have seriously inconvenienced England is a big achievement. They seem to be one world class bowler light but the batting line up is more than capable.
Saturday, January 28, 2012 5:57:54 PM
On 03-MAR-2009 terrorists attacked the bus transporting the Sri Lankan cricket team to the second test in Lahore, Pakistan. As a result of that attack Pakistan has not been able to play test cricket at home, in Pakistan, since.
Imagine the effects on players who are technically playing at home but are, in fact, playing on foreign soil in the UAE. That is where, today, Pakistan pulled off a stunning test victory over England.
You have been picked as one of the best cricketers in your entire country. You are asked to represent your country in a sport that is revered by your countrymen. Then you are told that you will not, for the foreseeable future, be able to play test cricket on Pakistani soil. The fact that the Pakistani players are able to beat the number one rated test team in the world is a great testament to their courage.
From a sporting point of view, England's batting collapse in their second innings of the second Test match in Abu Dhabi was humiliating for them. They were undone by a slow turning pitch and two young Pakistani spinners. Abdur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal took 15 wickets between them in the match. It's been well known for a few years that Kevin Pietersen is suspect against left arm spin, but the entire England top order looked almost clueless in the match.
With Australia white-washing India, England will probably remain the number one test team for a while but it appears that we may be in a period where the top three or four teams are very close to each other. I hope that there won't be calls for too many changes tin the England set up. They have lost to a better side in conditions that they weren't suited to. This does not make them a bad side. Rather, praise Pakistan. They have now won four Tests in a row (and seven out of their last nine) as well as four series in a row. They are very good and in the circumstances that they now have to play "home" matches, superb.
Thursday, December 29, 2011 7:26:00 PM
Australia have beaten India in the first Test of the four match series.
Who would have thought only a year ago, that the much vaunted batting line up of the Indian test side would become the weak link in the side by the end of 2011?
The relative failure in England could possibly have been excused by typically English conditions favouring an excellent English bowling attack. But below par totals in the lost First Test in Australia suggest a more deep seated problem.
The combined age of the top 5 is 176 at an average of 35. Tendulkar and Dravid are 38; Laxman 37, Sehwag 33 and Gambir 30. A creaky top order? Tendulkar is on the verge of reaching a milestone that will forever cement his place amongst the greats. He needs just one more century to be the only batsman to have scored 100 international centuries. He's been on 99 since scoring 111 against South Africa on 12th March in the World Cup. He says that 100 is just another number and, "I am not thinking about it. I am thinking about playing good cricket. I am enjoying my game." Fair enough, but whilst simply scoring centuries is not going to win you test matches, the entire batting unit seem far less invincible than they once were.
The current Australian attack is a couple of bowlers short of world class, so the failures in the First Test will only add to Indian fans' worries.
I've no doubt that "The Little Master" will score his hundredth hundred, but the long term future of India's batting line-up may be more questionable. There are new, younger batsmen waiting in the wings - Virat Kohli is only 23 and already a test regular at number 6. The selectors, however, seem reluctant to drop one of their star names. I suppose they know that when Dravid or Gambhir for example are dropped, that'll be their international careers over. Will this reluctance continue? I suspect the response to be one match down in the series may determine some long term futures for some of India's top stars.
Saturday, August 27, 2011 8:50:11 PM
Listening to Leicestershire currently romping to victory in the T20 final at Edgbaston on BBC R5LSX!
Good stuff from the Foxes. Languishing at or near the bottom of the County Championship, but, once again, reaching the final, and now winning, the Twenty20 competition.
Fantastic, but how I wish they were more accomplished at the long form of the game.