Posted on/at 1:39 PM by The Cricket Corollary
Posted on/at 1:27 PM by The Cricket Corollary
It won’t be any sort of consolation but, when they reflect on their achievement in reaching the final, the Black Caps should – and hopefully will – feel very proud of themselves.
Even during the final when things once again looked bleak and their backs were to the wall, they carried on fighting and refused to give up. We’ve all been in situations which seem hopeless – and we all have some experience of escaping from them and winning games which had surely seemed lost. Every run might be vital and that’s the way you have to play, either batting or fielding. Treat every run you score, or save, as though the match depends on it.
Australia, on the other hand, oozed confidence from the first day of the tournament until the last. Ricky Ponting’s men might not be able to repeat the feats of Gilchrist, Hayden and McGrath on the field but they can copy the body language of their great predecessors and learn to play like winners.
Personally I really enjoyed watching the top orders battle against the new ball on a pitch which offered the fast bowlers seam movement. It may have been said a hundred times already but that’s no reason not to say it again: Cricket is a contest between bat and ball and when conditions are loaded unduly in favour of one above the other then it is no longer a contest. At least, not a fair one.
Opening batsmen should have to work hard in the early stages of any game before conditions become a little easier. That’s why I batted in the middle order!
No doubt the debate and discussion will continue about the future of the 50-over format but, in my opinion, this tournament has done more than enough to remind people that there is still a place for all three formats of the game. I would happily entertain the idea of reducing ODIs to 40 overs and using up all power-plays by the 35th over but it doesn’t have to happen as a matter of urgency, if at all.
It may not have been a ‘classic’ tournament or one which will stick in our memories for years to come but it was still a fine tournament, well organised and well supported. You cannot hope for a classic race every time, even when the best teams in the world are involved.
As a batsmen I have to say that watching a man score an unbeaten hundred to win a match is one of the most satisfying things you can hope to see. Goodness only knows how satisfied Shane Watson must feel after doing it twice in consecutive matches!
Posted on/at 5:32 AM by The Cricket Corollary
What do you make of India's early exit in the ICC Champions Trophy?
Posted on/at 5:24 AM by The Cricket Corollary
Posted on/at 11:26 AM by The Cricket Corollary
It is a big tournament for me, especially considering that the third edition of IPL is going to be held in India. So I hope to build a sound platform for IPL by getting to know the sub-continent conditions through the Champions League.
How different is playing in the CL from playing for the Mumbai Indians?
It will be a new experience for me in terms of playing in India as we will be playing in front of a different sort of crowd. While playing for the Mumbai team I had a chance to interact with players from different parts of the world. But here I will be playing with the guys I have known for years. Whether it is for South Africa or Mumbai or for Cobras my aim is to help my team win.
You are a key player for Cobras. Does that put any pressure on you?
Not really. I am not worried about expectations that people have from me. Obviously, it will be big challenge for me to play and excel in a tournament like the CLT20, but that is something I am eagerly waiting for. Here I have to adapt quickly to the sub-continent conditions as they differ from what we get in South Africa. I really feel confident about the tournament and our chances in the Champions League.
Have you assessed your first opponents, the Royal Challengers Bangalore?
Well, they definitely are a good side. That they were runners-up in the IPL shows their strength. They have some exceptional players in their ranks like Dravid and Kumble But Cobras are right up for the challenge.
Does the absence of Graeme Smith affect your chances?
It will be tough to replace a guy like Graeme. But I feel we have enough depth in our ranks to seriously challenge our opponents. I think we have a very good skipper in Andrew Puckett who has good experience of the intricacies of T20 format. We just need to focus on our strengths and a good start will go a long way in boosting our chances in the CL.
There is a lot of talk about T20 affecting the future of Tests and one-dayers. Your take?
I feel Test cricket is going to stay no matter what. We have seen huge crowds in the Australia vs South Africa series in both the countries and the Ashes too draw a lot of viewers. So there will be crowd for good and tight contests. It (T20) might affect the one-dayers, unless the authorities come up with some modifications to the existing format. I guess it will need a special effort to keep the one-dayers going.
Do you think playing in tournaments like CL will help South African domestic cricket?
Oh yes. It will be a good experience for many guys in the team, especially the young ones who will get a hang of different conditions. But the process will take some time to come into full effect.
Posted on/at 11:24 AM by The Cricket Corollary
Diamond Eagles are generally up against the domestic teams of
It is obviously going to be challenging for us but we have tried to collect as much of information as possible about the other teams and have come well prepared to deal with it. Out main focus, though, would be on our own game. We have done very well as a team and we are fully aware of our strengths and weaknesses. We will play accordingly and try to give our best on the field.
Your team doesn't have too many big stars as compared to the other teams in the tournament. Do you think that is going to be a disadvantage?
Which team do you rate as the most difficult to beat in the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 2009?
What do you think about the concept of top domestic cricketing teams contesting in a tournament?
Do you think with no national interest at stake, this concept is going to work here in
How will your own experience of playing international cricket help the team consisting of all youngsters, who do not have much experience of playing outside
On a personal note, do you miss playing international cricket?
Do you think the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 will give you similar opportunities as international cricket used to? How much are you looking forward to it?
Although you could never cement your Test place in the South African squad, you always managed to find a place for yourself in the ODI team for most of your international career. Would you say that your style of play is more suited to the shorter version of the games?
Although, the international records suggest that, I don't think so. I have always enjoyed the longer version of the game more and according to me, scoring runs in a Test match or a four-day game is always more satisfying as a batsman than hitting runs in one-dayers or T20s. No doubt Twenty20 cricket is very good, but Test cricket is obviously the best format of the game.
Posted on/at 11:06 AM by Bella
Posted on/at 6:00 PM by The Cricket Corollary
And I feel absolutely confident that I would not offend New Zealand’s players or their supporters by suggesting that it is primarily their team work and commitment as a unit which has got them into the Champions Trophy semi final.
I wonder how many of the Black Caps would make a current World XI? Certainly a few more now than would have been the case at the beginning of the tournament but even right now I suspect most people wouldn’t look too far beyond Daniel Vettori although mentions would be made of Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor and Shane Bond. And two of their best players, Jesse Ryder and Jacob Oram, are injured! It has been a fantastic achievement.
On the one hand it is hard to qualify – and certainly quantify – the term ‘team spirit’. Often it just happens naturally but, on the other hand, a captain or a coach can try enhance it by telling his players to support each other, physically and emotionally. When somebody takes a great catch, run to him quickly from wherever you have been fuilding and make sure he knows how much you appreciate it.
When a bowler is tired and hurting, tell him that you understand, and look in his eyes when you do it so he believes you. Tell him that you’d happily share the pain if you weren’t so useless.
Remember, at all times, that nobody drops a catch on purpose, nobody deliberately bowls a half volley, run outs happen even to the most experienced partnerships and everybody plays a bad shot from time to time. Empathy and encouragement with team mates goes a lot further towards improvement than criticism.
And then, of course, there is appreciating what skills you and your colleagues do have rather than regretting what you don’t have. Grant Elliott is a classic example of a player performing to the very maximum of the parameters he has set himself. He knows exactly what he is capable of and concentrates on doing that rather than becoming distracted by something he can’t do.
Take a close look at the New Zealand players during the final, if you are lucky enough to be able to watch it. See how the fielders support and encourage each other, how the bowlers are made to feel special and nobody allows either their own head or a team mate’s head to drop.
New Zealand’s cricket teams, of course, have always felt like a special ‘band of brothers’ because there are so few of them in the first place and maybe the team spirit they have at the moment has just happened naturally. It doesn’t matter either way but it is what has got them to the final. And if they win I can’t think of anyone who would begrudge them the title.
Posted on/at 3:29 PM by The Cricket Corollary
Posted on/at 9:14 AM by The Cricket Corollary
This is the first time that I removed all Saffers. Honestly, they did not preform well and they're not playing at the moment so I took them off. If they preform well again I might add them.
Have you ever noticed that I took Jacques Kallis of the list. The reason being that he has lost a lot of weight and I am very proud of him. The other reason is that he has his own charity trying to make children's lifes better. How can I hate him?
I took Graeme Smith of the list once, thinking I should give him the benefit of the doubt. Well, he has earned his place back on.
Posted on/at 8:51 AM by The Cricket Corollary
Posted on/at 8:34 AM by The Cricket Corollary
As much as I want it to be Botha, it's not going to happen, he is not in the Test squad. Parnell? He is only 20. I doubt Kallis or Bouch will take over. I'm sorry to all you baby AB lovers but I can't see him as captain. So who is left? Gibbs, well, that's never going to happen. Duminy? Maybe. I'd prefer Petersen, but he is always on the bench.
Mike Procter, that bloke who left Morne out of the squad, thinks that the South African one-day cricket side needs more specialists.
“We probably placed too much emphasis on all-rounders and did not have enough specialists. Perhaps we should return to a side that is almost like a Test line-up, with six specialist batsmen, four bowlers and a wicketkeeper. In the bowling department, in particular, we were short of another specialist. Another batsmen in the middle order could have held things together when the wickets were falling. Mark Boucher can get 30 or 40 runs at No 6 in the order, but we needed another specialist there.”
He also thinks that ROFL and Albie should bat at #3. But Graeme Smith disagreed: “You have world class batsmen in Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers batting at No 3 and 4. They have all the shots in their repertoire to benefit from such a situation and I don’t believe a big hitter would have fared any better."
What is your plan with baby AB? He is in the squad as a batsman. Do you want to move him up the order to #1? Then I agree. Both Mickey Arthur and Procter believes Cape Cobras swing bowler Charl Langeveldt should come into the equation when he is fit.
“We will keep a close watch on the SuperSport games over the next few weeks to ensure we pick the right squad to take on England,” said Procter.
We know what this means. They will start from scratch.
Posted on/at 8:09 AM by The Cricket Corollary
Yes, I've said it. After praising his hobbit ass and calling him the player to watch, the little shit didn't preform in the ICC CT. That is until yesterday. But it's still not good enough. I'll be watching you in the Champions League, buddy.
Posted on/at 7:01 AM by The Cricket Corollary
- When did you start taking this stroke regularly?
Posted on/at 3:47 PM by The Cricket Corollary
Posted on/at 3:34 PM by The Cricket Corollary
It still bemuses me that some people say there is no room in the calendar for a two-week gathering of the eight best teams in the world and high-paced scrap for a trophy that is, to all intents and purposes, a ‘mini World Cup.’
It has been a delight watching New Zealand and England cruise to semi-final places against seemingly impossible odds. The Black Caps lost no less than three key players to injuries in the group stage but still managed to reach the last four. Daniel Vettori has been a delight to watch, as a bowler, a captain and a person. His recalling of Paul Collingwood after the second run out fiasco of the tournament was certainly the right thing to do but still deserves enormous credit for cool thinking under pressure. It’s all too easy to let things slip. You only have about 60 seconds to make a decision and time flies when the eyes of the world are focussed on you.
England, too, have defied the odds. It’s hard to believe they lost six in a row to Australia and arrived in South Africa with even Andrew Strauss admitting that there were “serious concerns” about their one-day cricket.
It’s hard to know what to say about Pakistan…! Habitually written off because of their inconsistency and volatile temperament, they still rise to the big occasion more often than not. Nobody ever seems to know what makes them tick. I wonder if they know. Nonetheless, they are brilliant individuals and when they ‘click’ as a unit then they are a match for anybody, though the shorter forms of the game seem to suit them better.
I’m not surprised to see Australia in the semis and I won’t be surprised to see them in the final, either. And I certainly won’t be surprised to see them win it. They must be regarded as the favourites now and, after the disappointment of losing the Ashes, they aren’t lacking in motivation to give their supporters every form of consolation they can. A win here would go a long way to appeasing the hurt of their supporters. Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey and Brett Lee have the experience and determination to make that happen.
Every team goes through highs and lows and sometimes there are very good reasons – or bad reasons – for their loss of form. But there are also times when practical and unavoidable factors play their part, like injuries, lack of match practise and plain luck!
If a team loses 12 out of 15 one-dayers then there is clearly a long term problem, but when teams as good as Sri Lanka, India and South Africa are castigated and threatened with sacking the coach and captain after losing two out of three games then I can’t help feeling that there is a bit of an over-reaction taking place.
There are winners and losers in sport. That’s how it works now and that’s how it has always worked. And sometimes the underdogs win, which makes it even better.