Archive for the ‘T20 World cup’ Tag

Pakistan Enter the T20 World cup finals!

This was truly a thrilling win for Pakistan in more ways than one. Not only they have come out against all odds, they have done it with the flair that we associate Pakistan cricket with: unpredictability.

When you see Afridi most of the times, getting out in first few balls, you would think why this guy was ever considered a batsman? And then he comes up with an innings like that one. Sheer brilliance! Luckily, his bowling in ODIs and T20s has been consistent to earn him a place in the side.

This win can do wonderful things for Pakistan cricket and I am hoping they will continue their great form in the finals.

I am hoping for a Srilanka vs. Pakistan final. Lankans have done a great job in the tournament so far and they look like they won’t go down without a fight. WI on their bad day can look very dismal. Malinga vs. Afridi would be a great battle to watch for. I have no particular favorite between the two as India is already out.  Whoever the winner is, the final will be more likely than not be a grand entertainment affair.

The defending champions are on their way out!

I accept it. The team that can not defend 150 or chase 150 against oppositions like West Indies and England should not really be in the race.

There will be plenty of analysis of what was done wrong and what could have been done in the days to come.

However,  the image of MSD taking singles and getting Yusuf back on strike when 60 runs were required from 30 balls will be in my memory for a long time. Such a sensible batting this.

India lose the first game of super 8 round to West Indies

And I am going to stick my neck out and say it, I expected it. India did not look very convincing in either of the two games with Bangladesh and Ireland. It was apparent that any fairly good side will be competitive for them. In spite of having the famed batting line up and good spinners, Indians have not looked as good as South Africans or Srilankans apart from that one practice match against Pakistan. It has been mostly individual performances saving grace for them.

Dhoni’s insistence to play at #3 in earlier games did not give Suresh Raina essential time in the middle. It is does not take much for an in form batsman to slip out of it. Not that Dhoni has gained anything by it.  India’s bowling in death overs still looks patchy. RP Singh deserves a chance in the next match instead of Ishant Sharma. He can’t be worse than Ishant and can bowl a few Yorkers and lower full tosses in the death overs – something that Ishant is lacking. In the batting order, Gambhir still isn’t at his best, Dhoni is struggling. Ground fielding has not been upto the mark either.

Having said that, nothing can be taken away from WI the way they went about chasing the score. To use that beaten to death term ‘momentum’, WI has the momentum with them now. Even when Gayle went early, Simmons and Bravo kept attacking. They smartly attacked Ojha who has been instrumental in getting wickets for India.  While bowling they worked out Yusuf by not giving him anything pitched up. I know figures of 31 from 23 still look good, but we all know Yusuf can do a lot more damage than that.

I hope India gets a few things right, mainly their Batting order, Ground fielding and bowling in death overs in the next two games. As the situation stands right now, even England on their good day (read: Peterson scores) can beat India.

And the downward slide continues for the Aussies…

And the downwards slide continues for the Aussies. Probably they were taught in cricket academies in the past decade that the sun of Australian Cricket team never sets. But now, they find themselves in the deep darkness and no way out. The world ODI champions knocked out in the first round of t20 WC.

Usually a team in this situation may have questions like – Why are we not finding a quality spinner? Or why are we still playing the type of cricket that won us one day matches 10 years back? What is Ricky Ponting doing in a t20 game? What is Michael Clarke’s role in the team? What are our selectors’ really doing? However, the previous years experience suggests that what instead they might actually be working on is the new “mental disintegration” technique for the opposing teams because obviously, the existing ones have failed them miserably off late.

Such is the mental disintegration really! Chris Gayle slammed them all across the park and then the spinner from Srilanka baffled them to no end with his bag full of spin tricks. Sigh…. Where are the friendly umpires and the match referees? We have a chucker in here.