T20 World Cup 2010: The plight of a South Africa fan

May 10, 2010

This T20 game frustrating more people than it should. Suddenly, 8 runs per over is do-able and 20 runs per over in the last few (even while chasing) should be possible.

If we India-supporters are disappointed abt India’s campaign, the South African supporter is angry. Take a look at some of their comments in the cricinfo commentary from today’s match:

Dale: “Why is Gibbs still playing for South Africa? He bring nothing to the team! No runs at all. Time to leave out the old-timer.”

Dale, have you watch him field for the Deccan Chargers? You guys should have a Ravindra Jadeja. Then you will know!

Mark Jaspan: “It’s amazing how regardless of the format T20 or ODI. SA only know how to play one way: go at 5 runs an over until the run rate is 10 or 12 then rely on Albie / Kemp / Boucher / Kluesener to get us out of it?”

Now this is pure frustration. I honestly feel sorry, but as a SA supporter (now that India is almost out), I feel your pain, Jaspan!

Simon: “how can we (South Africa) honestly be called contenders in a competition in which our side has no balance, no guts to play Rusty Theron who is a proven death bowler, and no character to fight out the tough moments? if we really wna be an international powerhouse like aus, we need to seriously look at our balance and stop playing 50/50 players like gibbs and van de merwe. i am an AVID south african supporter and this tournament has been blatantly disappointing, no matter where we end up.”

Seriously, it’s getter more and more bitter.

Faraz: “Why are teams even trying to make it to the Final? Just give the cup to Australia.They are unbeatable!”

Faraz may have a point this tournament. Maybe the bouce is helping the Aussies. But I’m curious about how this would have panned out, if the Aussies were left out of the tournament. Maybe Ireland would have taken the cup? 😉

Richard McEvoy: “Bouch has hit over a ton of international 6’s, may we have a few now matey!”
16.1 Mohammad Aamer to Boucher, 1 run, 137.5 kph, full delivery around off stump line, driven
Robert Brown: “well Rainbow nation! i think the sun has just gone out.bye bye “

If you were wondering what happened after that.

17.2 Saeed Ajmal to Boucher, FOUR, Crunchy. He goes for the sweep and connects well. The ball screams 
over the square-leg umpire!
17.3 Saeed Ajmal to Boucher, no run, goes for the slog sweep but doesn't connect
17.4 Saeed Ajmal to Boucher, OUT, Trapped in front! Bouch tried to work this one to the on side 
but played all around it. 
Pakistan inch close to the victory line

MV Boucher lbw b Saeed Ajmal 12 (14b 1×4 0x6) SR: 85.71

Sad isn’t it?


T20 World Cup 2010: India crumbling 90-s style

May 7, 2010

The super eights are here. SA managed to not choke yesturday against NZ (allright, I’m being a bit harsh). But India have other plans.

For the teens of this age who may not have watched India in the 90s need not worry. There’s a 90-s style collapse going on. Vijay walks in hits a few, and leave. Ditto for Gambhir. Then Raina. Yuvraj gets another duck, carrying his spotless IPL (fix?) form.

I have been skeptic about this Indian batting line up for some time; which is also reason why I didn’t rave about India’s victory over SA in the first stage of the tournament. I don’t see batting stability or experience apart from Gambhir (Dhoni doesn’t count for me, neither does out-of-form Yuvi). As I write this, Dhoni has already fallen. Jadeja? Who is this Jadeja (deja vu – another 90s reminder) What is Ravindra Jadeja doing? Is he in as a fielder? After the dropped catches today, perhaps we need a new term for his place in the side.

Is the bowling better?

India are 40/5. They will need more than miracle to win this one.

Looking forward to a 90-s style excuse for loosing this one.

PS: I will eat crow (and my words) if India win this!

End of 90-s style rant.

PPS: Apparently there’s another fan of the old fashioned batsmen on cricinfo. “Umair: “It’s clear no lessons have been learned from last year’s disastrous England World Cup — the young Indian bats, weaned on the flat tracks of the IPL, cannot cope with fast, short-pitched bowling on livelier tracks. Just as SA has kept faith with Kallis and Smith; and Australia with Hussey, India should have included some older players with better technique. The fact that a Dravid isn’t going to have a 200 SR in an IPL match doesn’t mean he wouldn’t add value on pitches like the ones in England last year or this one.”

Yes, Dravid should have been there and that’s not just the Dravid-fan in me.


India retain #1 spot in ICC cricket rankings

February 19, 2010

That was what the second test match was all about. After South Africa got the better of India in the first Test at Kanpur, India had to win, and did so fairly well.

Yet, for a team that wants to be #1, there are still some concerns, mainly surrounding succession in batting mainstay. Who after Dravid and Laxman? It would be harsh to dump Murali Vijay and Badrinath or label them unworthy after their lacklustre show in the last 2 matches. Still, the expectations were fairly high, and they didn’t live up to it. What happened to the India-A tours? These folk would do better on those tours when they aren’t in the playing Test XI.

That said, Zaheer bowled like a champion; Sehwag batted like he always does! It’s becoming routine now. 🙂  And Amla batted almost like a machine. Congrats to the team that awarded him man of the match and series!

Last of all, Congrats India.


South Africa choke again – Champions Trophy 2009 Roundup

September 28, 2009

What a roller coaster it’s been thus far? Sri Lanka beat South Africa and then loses to New Zealand and a Aussie-battered England. South Africa beat New Zealand but lose to England.

In the other group, tournament favorites (despite their issues) Australia suffer a scare against what they called a “second string” West Indies. Pakistan almost lose to West Indies and then embarrass the #1 ODI team India (more on this in my next post).

All these developments make the tournament more interesting upto the semi finals, but it remains to be seen if the interest levels prevail if the top 3 ODI teams don’t make it to the semi finals. Forget the ICC ratings, don’t we want to watch the best battle it out? Does wining two games in a row make a team better than one which has won several games in trott in the past which has bought them the interest and respect of cricket lovers world wide? Many questions that need answering. I will hold my opinions till the end of the trophy.

Who shall we blame now? Chokers South Africa or free spirited England? Shall we blame Andrew Strauss for denying Smith the runner? I do actually, because runners have been provided before for cramping batsmen, esp from the sub continent, and by denying the runner Strauss showed how insecure he was about Smith being there. Isn’t it easier to effect a run out when you’ve got three people trying to communicate with one another about taking a run? Returning to the blame game, shall we blame the injuries for India’s loss?

The organizers need to wake up about the pitch making malpractices. I have seen at least two games so far where the pitch played a Man-of-Match worthy role in a team’s victory. Not to take away from Shah-Collingwood or Malik-Yousuf in the games England and Pakistan played against South Africa and India respectively, but there was nothing in this for the seamers. If ODI cricket dies, let us not blame the format, for there is more to this than meets the eye.


South Africa vs. Australia – too much being made?

March 12, 2009

I understood the euphoria when South Africa won a series in Australia. What I didn’t get was the hype. The media was abuzz that this South African cricket team is the best and is perhaps #1. I had my doubts, but kept it to myself, for criticizing South Africa at that time would have been tantamount to dissing the IPL. There were definitely chinks in their armor. They were too dependent on Smith and Amla. It takes more than just two phenomenal batsmen to forge a team that will consistently and comprehensively beat others. If anything was proved in Australia’s tour of South Africa, it was this.

After Australia  has beat South Africa now, the euphoria has turned. Two newbie Aussie batsmen have been made stars, Phillip Hughes being  one of them is sacreligiously likened to Don Bradman. My issue is not with the analogy but the haste in declaring legends. Why are we in such a hurry? The guy has scored what one century? Ok, he might be young, but I find such analogies – both the likening to Bradman and the “catch ’em young” propaganda – ridiculous to say the least.

Moving back to my original point that too much is being made about South Africa and Australia, that South Africa beat them in Australia, does not mean that they are the best. The Australian victory now over South Africa also does not justify their ICC #1 ranking. The rankings –  like many other things concerning the ICC – need to be drastically revamped, for now it is far too dependent various external factors. Australia are nowhere near as consistent as they were in the last decade, nor are this set of individuals of that calibre. As for South Africa, their side of the late 90s with the likes of Klusner and Donald was certainly special, and would have been the best if only Australia weren’t as good, or some dark elements in that South African side didn’t fix matches.

To me, this Australian victory is nothing other their revenge over the Saffers. It doesn’t mean, prove or justify anything else.