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Archive for the ‘T20 World Cup’ Category

Battle Resumes At The ‘Home of Cricket’

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

The Lords has been a conundrum for English cricket since the World War II, as England could never beat the Aussies at cricket’s headquarters. England will strive hard to break this jinx not only to break that awful record but also to gain the upper hand in this ongoing Ashes. Nevertheless, it will be a great match on the cards.

Australia will be hoping for the replication of their efforts in the first innings, though they need to put in the effort for getting the 20 English wickets. Australian batting will have little to worry about, as the four centuries by their batsmen itself is evidence. Australia’s bowling department deserves a big applause for the kind of performance they have put in at Cardiff. In the absence of Brett Lee. Johnson and Co. bowled with great enthusiasm and energy with a mix of aggression, which found tough for the Englishmen. Hauritz was the surprise package for Australia, as he scalped a few valuable wickets, which almost put England on the brink of a defeat. Siddle too bowled with great energy and enthusiasm, which is a good sign for Australian cricket.

England would bank a lot on their marquee all rounder, Andrew Flintoff, for upsetting the Aussies. His fitness would be a cause of concern, but his presence will definitely charge up his teammates. English batsmen should emulate the perseverance shown by the Australian batsmen to build a good innings, especially on a lively track like Lords. The inclusion of in-form Graham Onions will boost the English bowling that had looked quite ordinary in the first test.

From dusk to dawn

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Pakistan has always been mercurial since the onset of modern cricket and they will remain like that also because that volatility is their hallmark. Pakistan never lacked talented players but they lacked cohesiveness every time. However, when Imran Khan helmed Pakistan in the 1992 World Cup, which they eventually won, they played as a unit. Pakistan lacked exceptional captains like Imran after that world cup and their ordinary performances were perfect examples for their lackluster leadership. Pakistan cricket was in a real mess when Younus Khan took over the captaincy. They were flooded with different controversies which involved their key players and officials followed by the terror attacks on the Lankan players which resulted in their isolation in the cricketing world. They were never favorites right through the World T20 and their hapless outing against the England in their opening match reinforced the points of critics. After their mesmerizing performance against the South Africans, they were eager to have that silverware, which they lost 2 years back to India by a whisker. Pakistan was clinical right through the final and as Wasim Akram mentioned, they were never authoritative like this in any of their past major battles.

Sloppy beginning

At the onset Pakistan didn’t look as ominous as they were after the first round. Their hapless performance against the England had invited criticism from all corners. Lot of people questioned the attitude of Younis Khan, especially his ‘smile in adversity’. In the next match, they had to battle their heart out to overcome an inspired Ireland. The batting strength of each team who competed in this tournament was more or less same notwithstanding, the depth of Indian batting line up who have Yusuf Pathan at 8. The bowling has been the decider of this edition of T20 WC. If we look at the bowling arsenal of all the semifinalists, we can see the diverse and quality bowling options each teams’ possessed. Pakistan has clear edge over the others in this department and the final is the perfect illustration of that. They have young Aamir and the come back all-rounder Abdul Razzak to embark on the proceedings, then a resurgent Afridi in the middle overs and at the death they have the ruthless Umar Gul with his toe-crushing reverse swing yorkers.

Overwhelming Gul and Afridi

In this edition, every team tried to avoid early hiccups during the power plays. As a result of that runs dried up in the first half and the onslaughts in the final overs got them enough runs to defend. But this strategy backfired against Pakistan as their strike bowlers Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi came in the later half of the match. In the middle overs, Afridi defied width and batsmen were forced to take singles. His quicker balls and other variations were hard to read and as a result runs dried up. When Umar Gul came to ball, the slog remained apparent and the batsmen had thrown their bat at everything. This also proved to be a failure as the batsmen had no answer for his reverse swinging yorkers. Pakistan also featured some smart slow bowlers who had supported this duo. In short, we can say that the bowling was the predominant factor of Pakistan’s World T20 triumph.

Zippy Kamran

Kamran Akmal’s form at the top has been instrumental in the batting success. The Pakistani middle order had not fired all cylinders like the last year and still they managed to get reasonable scores, due to the blitz from Kamran Afridi and Shoaib Malik. The new group of young batsmen have also shown glimpses of talent, which we would see in detail in the coming future. All together the batting efforts have been on par. The fielding was also impressive as we had some breathtaking, acrobatic efforts from Afridi and Co. The only loophole was seen in giving the extra runs which they need to work hard on.

This World Cup triumph would not shed the tag of the mercurial nature of Pakistan but it would definitely heal the many wounds of a nation affected by terrorism and who keep cricket close to their heart. They have to put the same kind of performance to get rid of their volatile nature and to prove to the world that this triumph is not a fluke. That won’t be easy for Pakistan, yet it’s not impossible for the caliber of Pakistan who lost the same trophy last time in the blink of an eye.

Dhoni to be blamed?

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

The T20 World Cup ’09 was a disappointing tournament for the Indian fans. The expectations were at the peak. But the unexpected early knockout of the Indian team really made the fans show off their anger.

Winning and loosing are all parts of the game, like two sides of a coin. When we toss the coin, we can’t predict which side will come up. The same is the case with cricket; especially the T20 version.

But let us take a look at it from media perspective. Media has come up with a discussion on “Who is to be blamed for the failure?”. This kind of discussion, although not necessary, will help to identify the pros and cons of the team.

There are many hot discussions going on. The most common one is, whether the skipper has to be blamed for his poor performance and co-ordination. As we all know, Dhoni is a talented player and very efficient as a skipper. But this time, he had a clash with the media on Sehwag’s much spoken injury. Many senior players have come up with the opinion that Dhoni needs to manage the media with more care. This incident might have indeed made some sparks inside the dressing room, which in turn made the players to deviate from the game.

Another hot discussion is on Sehwag’s absence. Many questions arise on this context. How much did India miss Virender Sehwag, with the kind of opening and the spontaneous start he gives? Did his injury bring down the confidence level in the team? India did not have an alternate option on who could give a sparkling start to the Indian innings together with Gambhir?

The after-effects of IPL matches is yet another important aspect. The players could have been drained and tired after the IPL as matches were played on consecutive days with a total of 59 matches! This can be considered a reason for the world cup failure indeed. But still, a vital question arises. What about the players in the other winning teams, as most of them have also played in IPL? Many players are of the opinion that IPL matches gave them a real opportunity to tune their strengths for the world cup.

Anyway, India’s T20 world cup dreams for the year 2009 has come to an end. Still we can hope(as usual) that they will come back with real energy for the upcoming West Indies tour and the biggy, ICC world cup.

Choices Galore For Andrew Symonds

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

When Andrew Symonds was sent home from the World ICC Twenty20 in June 2009 it was foreseen by all as the end of his international cricketing career. The reason for his exile from the Australian team in the World ICC Twenty20 was for violating a clause in his personal contract with Cricket Australia (CA) that prohibited him from drinking. Cricket Australia had no other choice, but to send him home.

It is speculated that the Australian all-rounder will announce his retirement from international cricket on Wednesday.

His retirement may actually be a blessing in disguise for him. There are a several franchises and teams who would be thrilled to have him in their team.  The Pro20 franchises in South Africa have expressed their interest and if Symonds is interested, he could earn a fortune playing in South Africa.

Deccan Chargers, the champions of IPL2009 had already made it very clear that they would retain the services of Andrew Symonds no matter what.

Queensland Cricket has also expressed their support to Symonds and seeking to have him in their team.

England is also looking forward to having Symonds as part of the English County cricket.

All in all, the statistics suggest that Symonds has nothing to lose, but loads to gain, money-wise.

However, cricket lovers all over the world will definitely love to see Andrew Symonds turn over a new leaf, quit drinking and continue to play for Australia. Let’s wish him the very best!

T20 World Cup is near

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Now it’s the season for T20 world cup matches. The day at which we are eagerly looking into, is June 5th, the inauguration day of the world cup.

There is a talk that the spirit of T20 world cup has been struck down by the IPL matches. This may be because the IPL was conducted with high promotions and lots of advertisements. It attracted people from all over the world, since it is the second largest “money making” sport.

Anyway, this T20 world cup will be of the same importance for Indians as they are the current champions. Let’s have a look at the T20 schedule:

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