Cricket: Ashes Report – 22 July 2013


The link below is to an article that reports on issues facing Australian cricket and why it is heading in the same direction that the West Indies did after they ruled the world for a period.

For more visit:
http://www.espncricinfo.com/the-ashes-2013/content/story/653981.html

Twenty20 World Championship Under Way


The Twenty20 World Cup has begun in the West Indies with early victories to New Zealand (over Sri Lanka), the West Indies (over Ireland), Pakistan (over Bangladesh) and India (over Afghanistan).

Highlights can be found at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/CricketLinks

The Twenty20 Website:

http://www.cricket20.com/

CRICKET: World Twenty20 Boilover


Congratulations are in order for the Netherlands Twenty20 cricket team at the Twenty20 World Cup in England. The Netherlands have defeated hosts England in a boilover. The World Cup of Twenty20 cricket kicked off at Lords between the lowly regarded Netherlands and hosts of the World Cup, England.

The English side batted first, scoring 5/162. After a 102 run opening partnership between Ravi Bopara (46 from 34 balls) and Luke Wright (71 from 49 balls), England slumped to 5/162 from their allotted 20 overs.

The Netherlands reached the required total of 163 for a win on the final ball of the match, with four wickets in hand. Top scorer for the Netherlands was Tom de Grooth with 49 from 30 balls faced.

 

 

In the match between Australia and the West Indies, Australia managed 7/169, with David Warner top scoring with 63 from 53 balls faced. The West Indies easily chased this total down, scoring 3/172, with Chris Gayle (88 from 50 balls) and Andre Fletcher (53 from 32 balls faced) setting up the win in the 16th of their 20 allotted overs.

 

In other matches, New Zealand defeated Scotland and India defeated Bangladesh.

 

 

See also:
http://cricket.yahoo.com/
http://www.cricket20.com/

CRICKET: WEST INDIES DESTROY ENGLAND


The West Indies have humiliated England in the test match at Sabina Park by an innings and 23 runs. England was all out for 51 in their second innings. Jerome Taylor took 5 for 11, as he destroyed the English batting line up. West Indian skipper Chris Gayle scored 104 in the West Indian innings.

The West Indies have a 1 – 0 lead in the test series with 3 matches still to play.

ABOVE: A report on the match

CRICKET: CURRENT WORLD BOWLING RATINGS


The latest International Cricket Council World Bowling Ratings list has Muttiah Muralitharan at number one and Dale Steyn moving closer to the number one spot after a very good 2008 for the South African quick.

Being out with injury you would expect both Stuart Clark and Brett Lee to drop out of the top ten in the coming months, as Mitchell Johnson continues his climb up the rankings.

Sadly, there are no West Indian quicks in the top ten.

The top 10 are:

1.    Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka)         897

2.    Dale Steyn                 (South Africa)    858

3.    Makhaya Ntini            (South Africa)    796

4.    Stuart Clark                (Australia)         790

5.    Mitchell Johnson        (Australia)          741

6.    Ryan Sidebottom        (England)          723

7.    Harbhajan Singh         (India)               686

8.    Shoaib Akhtar             (Pakistan)         684

9.    Brett Lee                     (Australia)         680

10. Chaminda Vaas          (Sri Lanka)        676

 

BELOW: Footage of Muttiah Muralitharan taking 9 for 65 against England at The Oval in 1998.

BELOW: Footage of Muttiah Muralitharan getting his 65th (6 for 26) 5 wickets in an innings against India in 2008.

CRICKET: CURRENT WORLD BATTING RATINGS


The latest International Cricket Council World Batting Ratings list has West Indian batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul at the top, which quite ironic given the current status (7th out of 9 test playing teams) of the once great West Indian cricket team. However, Chanderpaul has been a standout batsman for the Windies for quite some time and is most certainly one of cricket’s most reliable batsmen.

Sliding just out of the top ten at 11 is ‘Mr Cricket’ or Michael Hussey (753). The once reliable Hussey has been in something of a form slump just lately and this has also seen his batting average (61.56) come down to earth and be more representative of Hussey’s true batting potential. Matthew Hayden’s (678) fall has continued and he now rests at number 18 in the ratings. Sachin Tendulkar (683) is at 16 with V. V. S. Laxman.

The top 10 are:

1.    Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies) 900

2.    Mohammad Yousuf        (Pakistan)       880

2.    Kumar Sangakkara        (Sri Lanka)      880

4.    Mahela Jayawardena     (Sri Lanka)      854

5.    Kevin Pietersen              (England)         832

6.    Ricky Ponting                 (Australia)        827

7.    Graeme Smith                (South Africa)  810

8.    Younus Khan                  (Pakistan)         799

9.    Michael Clarke                (Australia)        772

10. Gautum Gambhir          (India)               771    

 

BELOW: Footage of Shivnarine Chanderpaul reaching 100 in the 3rd test against England at Old Trafford on the 11th June 2007.

CRICKET: AUSTRALIAN TEST TEAM IN DECLINE


I have been saying it for some time now – both on and off this Blog – the Australian test cricket team is in decline and coming back to the field. The recent test series results against India, New Zealand and now South Africa seem to show that it is indeed so. It had to happen – just as it happened to the world dominating West Indian team of yesteryear. Teams rise to the top and come back to the mix as another rises to the top.

Which is the top team now? Is it South Africa or is it India? England pretended to make a claim for the top ranking a little while back, but these two teams seem far more serious in their respective attempts. A test series between these two teams will perhaps show us the answer.

In the mean time it is likely that South Africa will defeat Australia in the current test series in Australia to the tune of 3 – 0. That is my prediction.

The ridiculous inclusion of Andrew Symonds while injured in the last test match came home to bite Australia when Brett Lee went down injured. Lee now appears to be out injured for some time and will join Stuart Clark on the sidelines – as will Andrew Symonds belatedly. Shane Watson will also be on the sidelines and his inclusion in the last team is as bewildering as that of Symonds, given that Watson was also injured and requires surgery.

It seems incredible to me that the replacements coming into the Australian team are simply those replacing injured players. The inclusion of Doug Bollinger is one that I have thought logical for some time, while Ben Hilfenhaus and Andrew McDonald are unexpected in my view.

If the selectors are going to keep Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle (which I suspect is a given), then I would also include Bollinger and Hilfenhaus, as well as McDonald. Who would go to make room for these three? Lee and Symonds (as well as Watson) have already been forced out due to injury. I would put Hilfenhaus in ahead of Nathan Hauritz. We just don’t have a spinner that currently cuts it at international level.

The selection that really bothers me is that of keeping Matthew Hayden in the side – if the selectors don’t know that it is time for him to go then surely Matthew Hayden must know! Even if he scores a reasonable or big score in the final test it is time for Hayden to make way for Phillip Hughes. Hayden has done little to justify his continual selection in the test team for some time and it is now becoming a sad tragedy to see this former great test opener heap embarrassment upon himself and the national team with each failure. It seems any big scores are now punctuated by a plethora of insignificant contributions with the bat from Hayden.

And one other thing – the attempt by Mike Hussey to take that skier in the last test – if you can’t see it in the sun there is little he can do about it. It looked embarrassing but there was little Hussey could do to change what was. The bigger concern for Hussey is his own poor form in the batting department. He must begin to contribute more soon too or he also could face the chop.

BELOW: The Michael Hussey attempted catch

BELOW: Graeme Smith speaks to Mark Taylor after South Africa won the second test and the series

CRICKET: INDIA OFF TO A GREAT START IN THE SECOND TEST


The Indian first innings in the second test against Australia in Mohali has finally come to a close, with India scoring 469. During the innings Sachin Tendulkar became the highest run scorer in test cricket, passing the great West Indian batsman Brian Lara.

BELOW: The footage below shows the wickets in India’s innings:

 

BELOW: Interview with Sachin Tendulkar

 

Howzat! … Cricket is Loosing its Appeal.


Following the lacklustre two test series between Australia and Sri Lanka, which Australia dominated, Australia will soon play a three match one day series (The Chappell/Hadlee Cup), followed by a four match test series against India.

The Chappell/Hadlee Cup One Day Series is looking little more than a whitewash affair for Australia, with reports that New Zealand Cricket is in disarray. It is hardly the news that Australian cricket fans want to hear. Following the dismal Sri Lankan Two test series easily won by Australia, Australians were hoping for some competitive cricket from New Zealand and then India.

News concerning India is beginning to filter through, with reports that a good number of players are unfit and some can’t even throw a cricket ball properly. This with the declining abilities of Laxman, Tendulker and co. as they age, does not lend itself to a promising test series against India. Are we to see the same brand of uncompetitive cricket that Australian cricket fans have come to expect in recent years? One would certainly hope not, for cricket is beginning to loose its appeal among its heartland in Australia.

Twenty20 cricket may well be the only thing that can breath new life into cricket for Australian cricket fans, but this may well be only possible if Australia begins to play matches against Australia A (and perhaps Australia B) on a regular basis.

If the current forgone conclusion cricket continues, the likes of Richie Benaud and Bill Lawry, might as well begin to look for other employment or consider retirement, for Australian are loosing patience with national sport. Most are clearly satisfied with the regular drubbing of England, but where are the opposition teams of earlier times? We long for a challenge such as that presented by the West Indies through the 1970s and 1980s.

Bring on some competition please!!!

Australian Cricket Team


The Australian Cricket Team has been copping a fair bit of flak recently – poor sports, arrogant, etc. What are my thoughts on all of this? I would tend to agree with those critics who say the Australian team is arrogant and that members of the team are probably full of themselves.

The behaviour of some of the team is especially poor, espeically in regards to onfield antics, etc. I’m thinking of the likes of Warne, McGrath and co. Off-field – well, the antics of Warne speak for themselves.

Though I do not believe it necessary to bring the game into disrepute or to show dissent toward the umpires when things don’t go the way you would like, I do have to say that the umpires must share some of the blame for the reaction of players toward them at the moment.

What do I mean? Some of the umpires and their bosses have said that umpiring is currently at a high standard – however, I would disagree greatly with that assessment. Just have a look at the recent Ashes series, the Australia-West Indies series, and the Australia-South Africa series. The number of poor umpring decisions has been incredible. Brian Lara, easily the greatest batsmen of his era, could hardly get a decent batting opportunity, being victim to terrible umpiring decision after another.

So players are not allowed to show dissent (and Lara certainly did not) – well I can almost forgive them (and probably do) when the umpiring is so ordinary. Adam Gilchrist’s recent dissent charge was probably justified – however, I can understand the frustration when the umpires keep turning in so many ordinary performances. Perhaps the umpires should improve their game before they start crying about players showing them little respect – after all, there is truth in the maxim that respect is earned.

The other thing I find incredible is the constant complaints about there being too much cricket and that players need a rest. Are you kidding? I saw a recent report that Australian cricket players are playing at the international level something like 100 days of the year. How tough is that? Half of that time they are sitting in the dressing room and a lot of the other time they are standing in the field waiting for someone to hit the ball in their direction – very hard work and exhausting! Perhaps they should get a real job like many other Australians who work at least five days a week and do real work that is far more trying than playing your chosen sport.

Perhaps they are getting too much money for doing so little :-)

There is little doubt that the Australian cricket team is the best in the world – but some healthy perspective and a dose of reality for the players wouldn’t go astray.