Brendon McCullum Interview

Posted on/at 1:45 PM by The Cricket Corollary

When did you come to know that Daniel Vettori will not be able to play the all important final?
After we came to the ground, Daniel said that he won't be able to play.
Which means you did not get ample time for preparation to lead in the final?
 It was a bolt from the blue that our captain will not be able to take the field. It was really a huge blow for the whole team.
Did you miss him as a bowler?  More than anything else, we missed him for captaincy. He has a great knack for inspiration. How will you explain the opening spell of Bond and Mills?
 Excellent. We wanted to create pressure on them. We wanted to reach to their middle order quickly. If we could have five wickets for 100 runs the game could have gone to for different directions. But our total of 200 runs was not enough. We should have scored at least 250.
How will you analyse the Australia's performance?  Incredible, they have got a good mixture of youth and experience. One of the Australia's plus point is their pretty good batting depth and they also know how to play under pressure.
But your team also fought?  Yes we did. Especially, when we had only 200 runs on the board. The way the whole team fought, I am proud for our team.  
Could you tell us something about Shane Watson?
 He took the game away from us. He has improved like anything. I dropped a crucial catch. If I would have held that catch at that time, certainly it would have been a different story. I am responsible for that miss. I started running back but was short by a couple of meters.

Shane Watson Interview

Posted on/at 1:39 PM by The Cricket Corollary

What makes you a special player during the ICC Champions trophy?  I did not do exactly well in 2007 as I was overawed with the atmosphere. This time, I was determined to do well.  Did you remember Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist while opening the innings for Australia?
 Both of them are big match players. It is difficult to maintain their consistency. Yet, I am trying my level best to win matches for Australia. I really love batting with new ball. I have enjoyed that thoroughly in this tournament.
You came into reckoning during the first IPL for Rajasthan Royals?
 I can not deny that. IPL has helped me a lot. It is a massive turning point for my life.
What is your biggest strength?  I only know to get maximum whenever you are in the best of form. So I am trying to make most of it. How do you rate the man-of-the-match award during the Final of the ICC Champions Trophy?  It is very–very special, indeed .I am lucky that I got the opportunity to open the innings for Australia.

Jonty Rhodes' blog

Posted on/at 1:27 PM by The Cricket Corollary

The writing was on the wall for New Zealand the moment that Daniel Vettori was forced to withdraw from the final. Then again, most of us thought that the writing was on the wall when Jacob Oram was injured, and then Darrel Tuffey, and Jesse Ryder…!

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!

Yuvraj Singh Interview

Posted on/at 5:32 AM by The Cricket Corollary

How are you coping with the finger injury?
 I feel better now. The doctor in South Africa told me that recovery would take at least 5-6 weeks. There is no pain now. I will have to go NCA (National Cricket Academy) for a check-up.

In 2006, a knee injury ruled you out of the ICC Champions Trophy. This time around, it's the finger.
 Injuries are part and parcel of any sportsperson's life but for me the bad luck is that it came at the wrong times. It is a bit unfortunate.

How are you planning to use the much-needed break?
 Actually, I didn't require it. After the tour to West Indies, we were given a two-month break. So this has become like a prolonged break for me. I would start batting again, once I recover from this injury. At the moment, I am just oncentrating on the India-Australia series.

The injury has cast a shadow over your participation in the series against Australia.
Nothing can be done. The doctor has told me to just rest and let the recovery happen. It also depends on me on how fast I recover. I want to work on my fitness and get fitter. I want to be in a great frame of mind before returning to the field.

What do you make of India's early exit in the ICC Champions Trophy?
 It was one bad match against Pakistan that led to the exit. It's sad. It doesn't depend on one person. We can think of a hypothetical situation where one person guides a team to victory. It's a collective responsibility and everybody has to work for victory.

Celebration Pics

Posted on/at 5:24 AM by The Cricket Corollary


JP Duminy Interview

Posted on/at 11:26 AM by The Cricket Corollary

How do you view the chance to playing in the Champions League? 
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.

Boeta Dippenaar Interview

Posted on/at 11:24 AM by The Cricket Corollary

Coming into the Airtel Champions League tournament, are you happy with the team's preparations?
Yes, we are really well prepared going into the tournament. We feel that we stand a good chance. We have come here early so that we can get the maximum number of warm-up matches and can adapt to the conditions and pitches faster and better.

Diamond Eagles are generally up against the domestic teams of South Africa. How difficult would it be to compete with the domestic teams of other cricketing nations in a tournament of international stature?
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?
No, I don't think so. Since we are a young side, the other teams wouldn't know much about us. That will be an advantage for us as we can spring some real good surprises. However, we are one of the two top teams in South Africa and I think we are a strong unit. Moreover, we always seem to have exceeded people's expectations and this time also we hope and plan do the same. Most importantly, we will have to play well as a unit and we look forward to doing just that.

Which team do you rate as the most difficult to beat in the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 2009?
There are so many good teams that it is very difficult to pin-point just one of them. Most teams are very strong, so I don't think I can single out any particular side that can pose a bigger threat to us than the others. We would have to be on guard against each one of them.

What do you think about the concept of top domestic cricketing teams contesting in a tournament?
I think it is a great concept. With so much cricket being played these days all year round, the supporters are actually looking forward to something different. And this particular concept offers something very new to cricket-lovers. Obviously, people support their respective national teams but here they will get to make a choice about which team they would want to go with. It's unique and interesting.

Do you think with no national interest at stake, this concept is going to work here in India?
Yes, absolutely. Indians are very passionate about their sports, especially cricket, and I have no doubt that they would appreciate watching some quality cricket and support the team of their choice in this Airtel Champions League Twenty20 competition.

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 South Africa?
It is not just me who will help the youngsters to get used to the conditions. In fact, we had a fruitful session with Allan Donald and now Sourav Ganguly will also join us in a couple of days to share his valuable experiences with us. That is something all of us are looking forward to. The boys are going to benefit a lot in the long run from these quality sessions with such great players.

On a personal note, do you miss playing international cricket?
Yes, of course I do. There is no better place to be other than international cricket for sure.

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?
I am very excited. In fact, not just I - the whole team is very excited and upbeat about playing in India. They are all looking forward to get out there.

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.