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Friday, August 28, 2009

Cricket Quiz - 3

The cricket Quiz will be posted every Friday and the answers to the quiz must be sent to me via email ( on or before Wednesday. Therefore the last day for this quiz is 2nd of September. Please write in the subject cricket quiz.

The answers will be published every Friday with another set of questions along with the winners of previous quiz.

1.) How many runs did Sachin Tendulkar score in his first two ODI's for India?
Zero (0). He scored ducks in both matches.

2.) Who holds the record for most sixes in test cricket?

Adam Gilchrist

3.) Which venue hosted the first International T20 match?
[HINT - The match played was between Australia and New Zealand.]
Eden Park, Aukland on 17-2-05. The match was won by the Australians by 44 runs.

4.) Which Pakistan legend wrote an autobiography called "All Round View"?
Imran Khan.

5.) Name this West Indian cricketer [In the Picture],
Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers (Gary Sobers).

The Winner(s) of the Quiz are, Deepak Balamurali, Armaan Ahmed, Kirby Meehan, Stephen and Vikas Yadav.
- Congrats.

This weeks questions are,
1.) Against which team did Sehwag make his debut as captain in tests?

2.) Who made a score of fifty or more (50+ runs) in nine consecutive ODI's for Pakistan?

3.) Which player has the magical match figures 19-90 (19 wickets for 90 runs)?

4.) Name the bowler who took a hat-trick against Kenya in the 2003 World Cup?

5.) Name this bowler,

Good Luck.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Legendary Folklore

Only yesterday, he was writing his farewell script.
Picture Courtesy - Straight Point
Now, we read it as folklore.
England's big burly all rounder has bid farewell to his whites. Andrew Flintoff, the legendary modern all rounder has ended his test career on a high by winning the Ashes and extracting revenge from Ponting and his men for 2007.

England are now left with a huge burden as they try to replace Freddie. Stuart Broad, son of Chris Broad is the likely person who can try to fill into the shoes of the big man. Flintoff, much in the news for his drinking habits constantly found himself trying to prove to his critics his ethic, as in the 2007 World Cup, but now his very 'not professional' career is at the hearts of the English who once were horrified by this merry all rounder.
Flintoff, a player who gave his 100% every time he stepped on to the field soon found himself down with many injuries. With a bowling action that put enormous pressure on his body, he soon found his body crash. But the man from Lancashire was a determined man, who carried himself into battle and put in his best and pulled together his team mates. His refusal to submit to any situation, irrespective of the odds and his refusal to admit that any situation over faced him shows just what a determined and hard man he was.
Geoff Boycott, once said that, "He never bowls a bad spell". This was true in many ways, as Flintoff with a ball was a beast who would run in at full speed and bowl fast, accurate and with plenty of energy. The 'go-to' man for wickets in tough situations, always bowled to the best of his ability. One of his best spell is against, the Australians when he brought a well settled in Stephen Flemming batting on 100 to a stand still. He had the ability to make the batsman dance to his tune. His 5-19 against the Windies showed just this. Flintoff, never really performed to his full potential against India, but watching him in the Chennai test when India chased down an huge total in the fourth innings, it was Freddie alone who was causing discomfort to Sachin, while all others gave easy runs. He was able to make the ball speak even on a dead wicket. Perhaps his greatest over he ever bowled was at Edgbaston, Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff bowled an amazing over 'The Over of the Series' as Mark Nicholas said. The over where he made Ponting look like an ordinary batsman. Really ordinary. [video]
Flintoff was always filled with energy ready to go at the batsman. He always seemed to have a few words to share from the slip cordon. He probably is one of the few who can match the Aussies in 'verbal disintegration' of the opponents.
Vaughan and Hussein both describe Freddie as their best 'go-to' man at their time of leading England. It must be no surprise that under Vaughan, he won the Ashes after 16 years in 2005, even if he surrendered it another 16 months. 2006-2007 Ashes is probably the only low in his action filled career.
As a batsman, Freddie was just as ruthless. With his counter attacking style, he was gem of a batsman to have down the order. With sheer muscle power he often cleared even the biggest grounds in the world with ease. In his prime, he could make a bowler go into a state of utter confusion. His duels with Warne are something, I'll never be able to forget.

He was an amazing fielder, and what a 'cowboy' throw he did when he ran out Ponting at the Oval. Often at slips, Freddie possessed one of the safest pair of hands in England.
We may have seen the last of him wearing whites, but surely he would live in the hearts of all cricket lovers. As the Oval saluted him again and again, there ought to be a recognition that we will never see his likes again.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A captain strives, yet Fails.........

As the Australians after a disastrous Ashes campaign look to regroup, their captain has come under immense public scrutiny.

Ricky Ponting, a batsman with tons of talent and potential and a captain par excellence has an axe hovering over his head. After nearly two decades of Australian domination thanks to the leadership of Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh, and Ricky Ponting, the era of dominance and invincibility is finally waning. Ever since Australia were so outplayed in India late last year, the team has struggled to perform consistently at the highest level . Ricky Ponting's world champion tag now lies in history.
The harsh reality must be dawning on the men from down under who after the retirements of key players have struggled. Ponting, Simon Katich and Michael Clarke, the only remaining players from 2005 have lost twice in England. They had their chance for revenge and failed against a inferior outfit than the 2005 vintage. Surely showing the lacking 'Australian aura'. Ricky Ponting regularly said Australians play their best when their backs are to the wall, but that's not true with this side. The new Australian team, is not lacking in talent but is not consistent and therefore unable to produce the same results as before. This is an outfit that can't transform any situation into a win, especially under extreme conditions, and just this we saw at the Oval.
But surely, the answer is not sacking Ponting. James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's chief executive, has said sacking Ricky Ponting from the captaincy would be "completely unfair". "Ricky's had a very, very good series." Sutherland told, "He's been under incredible pressure. I thought the dignity and poise that he showed in defeat was something that all Australians should be very proud of." The most battered man from the Ashes must be Ricky Ponting. Seeing him in Oval after the match, one could see just how shattered and hurt he was, even though he tried to put on a straight and brave face. A champion player, no doubt.

Ricky Ponting, the batsman had a wonderful series and Ponting the captain wasn't bad either. But Ponting's captaincy was truly below his usual high standards. Ricky Ponting in the last 12 months has done quite a lot of mistakes as a captain. Many times the decisions of captains may not be always right but they also do no tend to affect the result of the match much, and thereby these miscalculated decisions or wrongful judgments go unseen. But this has not been the case with the Australian skipper. With a new team, fair bit of experimenting must be done to understand their full strengths, but these experiments have gone horribly wrong for Australia making Ponting look dumb and stupid. Everyone makes mistakes, and Andrew Hilditch, Australia's chairman of selectors, has conceded that everyone in the Australian side misread the pitch in Oval. So the blame must not entirely fall on the captain's shoulders.
To Ponting's defense, it must be said that building up a team from scratch to match the 'unbeatable Australian team' is no easy task that can be done overnight. Ian Chappell, the former Australia captain, has backed captain Ricky Ponting to stay on as the leader despite being the only second Australian captain to lose two Ashes. "Obviously with Australia losing the series and Ponting losing the Ashes in England for the second time, there will be some queries about his captaincy, there will be some sniping about his captaincy," Chappell said. "Overall I thought he did a pretty fair job as a captain. And when you consider the turnover of very good players that he has had under his captaincy - no other Australian captain has had to cope with that. And I think he has done remarkably well to keep Australia afloat in a situation where they are still a team in transition." Ricky Ponting has done just that. He has managed to keep his team afloat and living in the pale shadow of the invincible team of yesterday.
"Now is not the right time to sack Ponting as captain," Chappell said. "For starters if you sack him you will probably lose your best batsman because I don't think he would want to continue if he was sacked as captain.But the most important thing is I don't believe that he deserves to be sacked as captain, he's still the best man for the job." A world class batsman, a brilliant fielder and an outstanding captain is not something Australia would want to lose now, especially in this transition period.

Also I feel that Ricky Ponting's heir, Micheal Clarke is still not ready to lead a side. He may have come of age in the recent Ashes series, but still he remains behind as a young member of the team despite his experience. 'Pup' may have graduated into the 'Aussie top dog', but are his young shoulders ready to carry the responsibility and burden of captaincy?

This Ashes showed the world that Ricky Ponting too is human. How it must have hurt to know that the prestigious prize was so near yet so far away, and that he had done everything and contributed his all, and yet destroy everything to reach the urn. Surely, this was the first time anyone experienced such a mixed bag of this proportion.

This is the saga where a captain strives, yet fails.........

Monday, August 24, 2009

England's Ashes Glory.........

Yesterday, was a day that would be etched in the memories of all English and also every other cricket follower. The day would not only go down as 'England regained the Ashes' day but also the day when 'perhaps England's best all-rounder was seen wearing a white shirt with the three lions.

After the English managed to score 373 in the second innings, the match was all but over. The Aussies did a brilliant fight back but on a pitch that claimed 23 wickets in just the first two days, little could be done to prolong the inevitable. Micheal Hussey alone stood tall among ruins as the English cruised to a 197 run victory and thereby regaining the prestigious Ashes urn.

England after 2005 have been through troubled times and especially after the disappointing white wash down under a few years ago, England though favorites were always viewed with doubt and speculations. Strauss who took over the reigns after the controversy between Pietersen and Moores, and when English cricket was truly into troubled times has molded a team that has regained the ashes.

Andrew Miller writes, "He took over with England in turmoil, but in eight months has forged a team that has regained the Ashes. For Andrew Strauss there can be no praise high enough." Surly this is Strauss' finest hour. Comparisons will soon be made between him and Micheal Vaughan, I'm sure.

The Oval was also the place where Andrew Flintoff bid adieu to whites. The burly all-rounder who had inspired so many English victories probably couldn't have asked for a better farewell.

Surely a new era has emerged under a new brave captain.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cricket Quiz - 2

The cricket Quiz will be posted every Friday and the answers to the quiz must be sent to me via email ( on or before Wednesday. Therefore the last day for this quiz is 26th of August. Please write in the subject cricket quiz.

The answers will be published every Friday with another set of questions along with the winners of previous quiz.

Answers to Cricket Quiz - 1.

1.) Who invented the famous 'Doosra'?
Saqlain Mushtaq of Pakistan

2.) Which Aussie captain said, "If you get Dravid, Great. If you get Sachin, Brilliant. If you get Laxman, it's either a mistake or a miracle." ?
Steve Waugh

3.) Name the only captain to have declared his team's innings when he was batting and not out in the nineties (93*).
[HINT - It happened in the first test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 1991-1992]
Imran Khan

4.) Which Indian batsman holds the record for most test innings before scoring a double century?
Saurav Ganguly

5.) Who is this former English skipper [In the Picture]?

Nasser Hussain

The winners of the Quiz are,
Deepak Balamurali - Congrats Mate.

This weeks questions are,

1.) How many runs did Sachin Tendulkar score in his first two ODI's for India?

2.) Who holds the record for most sixes in test cricket?

3.) Which venue hosted the first International T20 match?
[HINT - The match played was between Australia and New Zealand.]

4.) Which Pakistan legend wrote an autobiography called "All Round View"?

5.) Name this West Indian cricketer [In the Picture],

Good Luck.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mutiny in Delhi

The open revolt by the Delhi opener (Sehwag) on issues that DDCA was corrupt and interfered in selection matters by playing favorites caught quick fire and soon more players have joined hands along with Sehwag against DDCA . The rift between Virender Sehwag and the Delhi District cricket Association (DDCA) has just got bigger.

This was clearly seen today when Sehwag and 6 others decided to skip a Ranji fitness camp that DDCA had kicked off yesterday. Along with Sehwag the other main rebels are Gambhir and Ishant Sharma.
Surprisingly, Ashish Nehra attended the camp. The only senior member in the camp.

Sehwag had earlier threatened to leave the Delhi team for Haryana, saying that he was frustrated with the interference in selection matters.

The DDCA counter attacked saying that Sehwag's outburst was a pressure tactic to include his cousin Mayank Tehlan in Delhi Ranji team. The India opener has dismissed the charge saying he never interfered in selection matters.

Madan Lal also stands behind Sehwag's allegations and said yesterday, "I agree with him (Sehwag). These things have been going on for the last 5-7 years. But I'm pleased that Viru has come out with this to clean up the DDCA, which is very important." Madan Lal was a former Delhi Ranji team captain and coach. He is well known in the DDCA and has great knowledge of the system.
He blamed the DDCA President Arun Jaitley for the current mess saying, "I thought things would change when he (Arun Jaitley) became the President. But the way things are going on - and he must be knowing it - he is the President of the DDCA. I don't know whether he has the time for this sort of thing, because he is too busy with the things going on in his political party (BJP)."
Chetan Sharma, the chairman and Vice President of DDCA also stands behind the dashing opener.
Surprisingly the President has taken time of his busy political schedule and decided to meet Sehwag sometime this week to discuss upon the 'issue'.

This definitely tarnishes the game's image, but atleast things are brought to the light and now steps would be taken to curb corruption, and against falsely accusing a player as 'nepotic'. Atleast I hope action wll be taken.
Haryana Cricket Association has already invited Sehwag to play for the state. Delhi's loss is apparently Haryana's gain.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Trott and now Denly........

Kent's opening star batsmen, Joe Denly, has been called up to replace the injured Kevin Pietersen in England's one-day squad for their seven ODI series against Australia and also the Champions Trophy in South Africa. Denly, 23, is the only uncapped player in a 15-man squad.

The English selectors are sure showing confidence in youth and are planning ahead. With debutant Trott named for the final Ashes match at Oval, and now Denly in the ODI squad, all signs point in one direction. A new English team for the 2011 World Cup.

Denly has been knocking on the doors of the English dressing room for quite some time and the selectors have finally given him the go ahead. Denly, young and dashing is quite a player to have. With his amazing range of shots he plays and a steady mind that understands the game, I won't be surprised if he turns out to be another Kevin Pietersen in another 3 or 4 years. The 23 year old lad has amazing talent and potential to excel at the highest level.

On his selection, Denly said,"I won't look to change too much. I'm confident that I've got the game to step up to the next level and I cannot wait to represent England. I've played for the Lions but stepping up into the main side is great for me. I did pretty well against the Aussies for the Lions and will hope to carry that on for the rest of the summer." If he does just that then England will have a new star among their ranks.

The Bizarre English Selections

  • Robert Key, is back on the sidelines, along with Essex's specialist wicketkeeper, James Foster. I believe Key should be given a chance in the longer form of the game. But why take Rob out?
  • Where has Dimitri Mascarenhas gone? He is in not part of the ODI squad. And what about Graham Napier? Didn't he perform well in the domestic circuit that he was included in the T20 squad?
  • Bopara manages to retain his place in the ODI squad. How is this possible with his recent run with the bat against the Aussies?

  • And how come the English have two different ODI captains for two different series?

Squad for ODIs v Australia & Champions Trophy: Andrew Strauss (capt), James Anderson, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Joe Denly, Andrew Flintoff, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wk), Adil Rashid, Owais Shah, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright.
Squad for ODI v Ireland: Paul Collingwood (capt), James Anderson, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Joe Denly, Andrew Flintoff, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wk), Adil Rashid, Owais Shah, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright.
Squad for Twenty20 internationals v Australia: Paul Collingwood (capt), James Anderson, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Joe Denly, Andrew Flintoff, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wk), Adil Rashid, Owais Shah, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott, Luke Wright.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dravid makes a comeback

I never thought of hearing any better news than this today. Rahul Dravid the wall, has made a comeback into the Indian ODI team after almost two years. Dravid who was included in the 30 probables for the Champions Trophy has now been selected in the final 15 headed to South Africa. He replaces the inconsistent Rohit Sharma.

Being India's batting backbone for the last decade, Dravid now finds himself in the same place. Will he again revel in his No.3 place is to be seen. But I bet that Cheeka (K. Srikanth) and his men are sure of it. I just hope this becomes an huge turning point in Indian cricket like Saurav's comeback in South Africa was.

How I missed Dravid's elegant square cuts and his pull shots!

Sachin Tendulkar along with Raina also make their way back into the team, and left arm spinner Ohja has been replaced by Amit Mishra. Sehwag would be missing the action along with Zaheer Khan.

The Indian batting looks steady and strong, but the bowling is lacking any inspiration. Nehra would be the spearhead once again, with Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, and RP Singh under him. Bowling in death a huge factor in ODI's is always where the Indian bowlers falter. I pray that Ishant, and R.P. Singh will be consistent unlike the way hey bowled in the Windies.

Kris Srikkanth, the chairman of selectors, said it was the "best possible Indian team". "It's a very balanced team and we are confident they would go on to win the Champions Trophy in South Africa." Surely this is the best possible team and should be able to salvage the lost pride in the T20 World Cup.

India one-day squad: Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (capt/wk), Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra, RP Singh, Amit Mishra, Dinesh Karthik, and Abhishek Nayar

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cricket Quiz

I am hosting a cricket quiz at Writer's Lounge. The same quiz would be posted here and participants are welcome to try it out.

The Quiz will be posted every Friday and the answers to the quiz must be sent to me via email ( on or before Wednesday. Therefore the last day for this quiz is 19th. Please write in the subject cricket quiz.

The answers will be published every Friday with another set of questions along with the winners of previous quiz.

That is all. So go ahead and break your head. The first Quiz is easy. :D

So here goes,
1.) Who invented the famous 'Doosra'?

2.) Which Aussie captain said, "If you get Dravid, Great. If you get Sachin, Brilliant. If you get Laxman, it's either a mistake or a miracle." ?

3.) Name the only captain to have declared his team's innings when he was batting and not out in the nineties (93*).
[HINT - It happened in the first test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 1991-1992]

4.) Which Indian batsman holds the record for most test innings before scoring a double century?

5.) Who is this former English skipper?

Send your answers to my mail id( last date for sending answers is 19 Aug till 8PM.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The other options for No.3.

England's humiliating innings defeat at Headingley has thrown the Ashes wide open and turned this weekend's squad announcement into the hottest topic of the summer. With Kevin Pietersen missing from a flat-lining middle-order and Collingwood, Bell and Bopara scoring only 16 runs in within their 6 wickets at Headingley, changes are sure to be considered, particularly at Nos. 3 and 4.

The two main contenders are Mark Ramprakash and Robert Key. But here in this article I look at their contenders in the race to wear the white shirt with the three lions.

Jonathan Trott - He is England's form batsman in county cricket with 910 runs at 82.72, only behind Trescothick and Ramprakash and Hampshire's opener, Michael Carberry. The aggressive right-hander can be Kevin Pietersen's perfect replacement. But as a debutant his nerves are sure to shaking and a place like Oval for his debut in a high pressure match would hardly be the place where the 28 year old asked to bat for his country.

Owais Shah - A familiar face in the English dressing room might find himself back into the room once again. He is familiar with the first down position. And as a member of the ODI team he would be a front runner. Shah had a go at No. 3 for three Tests in the Caribbean this spring, but his short run was marred by run outs though he showed that he was a talent to look out for. He's been in decent first-class form for his county Middlesex this season, with 552 runs at 50.18 this year, and the selectors who prefer bot to gamble too much would likely go ahead with him.

Marcus Trescothick - Marcus may be retired and have stress related illness, but still England's most successful left hander may be in the fray against innumerable odds.

Ravi Bopara - The selectors may retain the trust they have in Ravi Bopara and give him a final chance. With his talent, confidence and potential, he is just an innings away from form and could be retained in the team. But due to his recent failures and the public out cry the selectors may have to think twice about him, leaving him at their mercy. He right now is England's rabbit in the headlights.

Ian Bell - Despite numerous odds, Bell continues as a favorite. Having played competitive cricket against the Aussies before, and being a replacement for Kevin Pietersen, may find himslef at favour with the selectors. But having failed miserably in Headingley with 11 runs from two innings may find himself at the selectors mercy too. But he did score a half century at Edgbaston and his performance in the 2005 Ashes may just be able to help him keep his place. Bell and Bopara can't do much worse than now, can they?

Micheal Lumb - Son of the prolific Yorkshire opener Richard Lumb, who is in the 30 probables for the Champions Trophy might be an option. A very very long shot option.

Ed Joyce - May find himself like Lumb in the fray with a almost zero chance. But the 30 year old Irish does have immense talent and can prove his critics wrong. With his new found form with Sussex, who know what twist life has planed for him.

Joe Denly - England's most talented batsman in the future may find himself in the search if the selectors decide that investment in the future is in need. Denly with amazing talent and with his amazing range of strokes very well could be a front runner if it wasn't for his age. At 23, he still turns quite a lot of heads his way.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Who gets the No.3 spot?

With the English middle order in complete dire straights, Bopara, and Bell are likely to be replaced. And with the all important and prestigious first down spot vacant (no. 3), speculations are rife. With Flintoff back, the middle order still looks vulnerable.

England's middle order is testing the selectors' loyalty. Contributing a paltry 16 runs for six dismissals in 17 overs at Headingley, the call for change is now deafening.

With Bopara, and Bell most likely to sit the Oval match out, their replacements are being highly debated. Veteran Mark Ramprakash is the favorite. The 39 year old has been in prolific form this year in county cricket scoring 1,209 runs at 100.75 for Surrey. Ramprakash is all set for a comeback and what a moment it will be for him if he is recalled! Ramprakash has played 52 Tests for England, the last of which was in 2002 averages only 27.32 in the international arena. But surely if a comeback is offered to him, who knows what he can do with the talent he has. I say that Ramprakash is the best bet.

The other player likely to be called for international duty is Kent's batsman, Robert Key. Key like Ramprakash has an outstanding record in the domestic circuit and is someone whom I regard as international material. Key who has often been the spine of Kent like Ramprakash to Surrey may find himself wearing the three lions. The prestigious number 3 spot could go to him.

In a recent poll by cricinfo, Ramprakash comes ahead of all for the spot.

The loyal selectors may still continue to field Bopara, and Bell. If this happens, the selectors better hope that they perform else the English media would surely be after them for fielding the out of form batsmen.

Let's just hope that whoever gets selected will do justice to their selection and will contribute. The most important men in the world right now seems to be the English selectors.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lessons from Headingley......

There are numerous lessons to be learnt from Headingley, for the English team. After losing by by an innings and 80 runs, the series leveled, the tie breaker at the Oval, the English have plenty of homework to do. Especially on team balance.

The English in the Ashes have won a match because of their bowlers. The English have been let down hugely by their batsman. This can be seen by the result of the Headingley test. Apart from Strauss and Cook in the top order and Prior down below, the other English batsman seem to have forgotten what batsmanship means.

The English middle order with Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara and Paul Collingwood (nos. 3, 4 and 5) have managed to score only 16 runs between themselves in the last match. The top order is expected to put the runs on the board but with 3 top order batsman not among runs, this cannot be expected. Collingwood is going through a lean patch. But Bell and Bopara have been among the runs ahead of the Ashes. What happened to their sublime form they had before the Ashes?

On a track where the Australians scored 445 runs losing only 10 wickets, any team would need to be extremely talented to lose 20 wickets for just 365 runs.

If the English now with no top order batsmen, put enormous pressure on the bowlers. The bowlers are expected to attack and take wickets while at the same time they can't give away any runs. The bowlers are also expected to bat and score for the lack of runs from the batsman. Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann top scored in the Headingley test being only 2 of the 3 English wickets that scored more than 50 runs in the test.

The lack of runs by the English batsman is also seen in their hundreds tally. The century tally after four Tests is 7-1 in Australia's favour. Marcus North and Micheal Clarke being the main contributors. While the Aussie middle order is humming sweetly, the English are in dire straights.

This unequal balance tilts even more in the Australian side. The Australian camp has five of their batsmen averaging over 50 while the English camp has no one averaging over 50 runs. Andrew Strauss is the only England batsman with a series average higher than 40.

If the above shows anything, it shows that the English batsman better start finding their form before the Oval test.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Headingley Nightmare

Yesterday, day two of play in the fourth Ashes test between the Aussies and the English at Headingley turned into a nightmare. A horrible nightmare for any English fan and the sound of angels to an Aussie fan.

The Aussies under Micheal Clarke and Marcus North added to English woes as they piled on runs with a century partnership between them. What a find Marcus North has been!! He's been a revelation in the Aussie middle order. With no Hayden or Gilchrist in the team, the onus had been on the batsman but North as shown no jitters and bats composed and calm with great elegance and class. But his consistency is what amazes me. Surely he has a long way to go.

Helping themselves, Marcus scored yet another century while Clarke fell just 7 runs short of it adding to the sorrow. In the end the Aussie scored 445 runs in their first innings and getting a lead of the size of a whale.

The stage was set for Strauss and Cook to rewrite history and pull perhaps the greatest miracle ever in history. But sadly Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus had other plans as they claimed five England wickets for 20 runs in the space of just 44 balls.

With the English down at 82 for 5, little can be done. An innings defeat looks likely and even if the English somehow with a miracle manage to fill in the deficit runs still they are more likely than not to let the men from down under level the series.

Surely all that can be done now is hope against hope the English can somehow regroup with Fintoff and make a final stand at Kennington Oval, London.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Ghost of Ponting

What happened to the English batsman yesterday? What happened to England yesterday?

The answer is a truly disappointing answer. The English were skittled out for 102 runs their lowest at home against the Aussies since 1997. With four ducks in the English innings, the English lasted for 33.5 overs. Peter Siddle and Clark ripped through the English as they shared 8 wickets within themselves.

Ponting yet again showed his class and appears to catch up with Tendulkar at an alarming rate. To make matters worse, Ponting averages over 100 at Headingley. His previous scores of 127, 144, 72 and 78 sure do speak a tale by themselves. He maybe back in the dressing room for now but the English are sure to be wondering about the second innings.

With the Aussies at 196/4 in just the 47th over cruising at over 4 runs per over, I just wonder whether this be the test where Australia draw alongside the English without Flintoff?
The answer to this question is simple. The answer is "God save the Queen".

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Aussies with LEEthal Edge.

Brett Lee is adamant he is fit enough to regain his place and lead Australia's Ashes fightback at Headingley tomorrow. Lee has missed the opening three Tests with a side strain but has bowled for the past week and believes he has done enough to demand selection.

The Aussie team despite being battered with lot of injuries to their major players would be looking to striking at the English as Flintoff struggles. The Aussie bowling with Lee back as the spearhead would be looking for a way to square off the series. Lee with his pace, bounce, swing, line and his ability to rough up the batsman with short pitched deliveries would be a welcome back addition to the Aussie pace battery that lacks the fire power.

With none of the Aussie pacers able to swing like Onions or James Andersen, would be looking at 'Leethal' Lee to give them the early edge b drawing first blood. Wouldn't Strauss be the perfect wicket for the Aussies?? I'm sure ponting would like nothing better.
When Lee was asked whether he was fit he reliped, "Yes, 100%." With Lee 100% ready and raring to go, the next match would surely be a cracker of a constant.

I conclude this post with Shane Watson's words. "He bowled at full pace, which is not the nicest thing to face in the nets when the nets aren't super flat," Watson said. "It's great for him to see him charging in. Obviously he's still maybe a game away to get under his belt before he might be in calculation for selection, but it's great to see him out there firing."
We'll only know tomorrow whether Lee will be given the chance to add to his tally of 310 wickets in test cricket.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The BIG SECRET behind Pakistan's T20 WC victory

Poshin's World along with Poshin wishes all a very very happy 'friendship day'.

I have recently learnt what was Pakistan's secret formula in winning the T20 world cup. Pakistan was ruled out by me as the champions yet they won and proved me wrong.
Ricky Ponting being just as confused as me at the result that made the Pakistanis world asked the Pakistani skipper, Younus Khan on what the secret behind the team's success what. And he was shocked by the reply.