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.

SuperSport Series

Posted on/at 11:06 AM by Bella

I've been keeping an eye on the Domestic Series. News is that starting October 28 our MTN ODI series will include the new trial changes. Overs will be reduced to 40 overs each, allowing 12 players a side and allowing the batting side to pick Powerplays. However while the teams can pick 12 players, only 11 can bat and field. The first Powerplay will extend up to 10 overs and the second for five and both must be taken before the 35th over. For one, four fielders will be allowed outside the ring, and for the other three. Also for rain delays overs will be deducted immediately, and matches will be played over a set period regardless of the weather. There will be substantial prize money and bonuses for players and franchises.

"CSA believes the new format will be a dynamic alternative to the dull periods that have crept into the 45-over version by providing added excitement and playing intensity. This change is part of CSA's vision of giving fans the excitement and action they want without losing any of the basic skills that are an integral part of the game. At the same time, we will also be preparing our players for the 50-over international version if that does not change. And if it does become shorter, then we will have a head start."- Gerald Majola, CSA chief executive.

The SuperSport series has already started. The Proteas returned to their domestic teams after SA's early exit from the CT. Lets take a look how they are doing:

Lions vs Warriors -Match Drawn
Prince       34(92)
Botha        88(184)         19-3-61-0-3.21
Parnell      33(99)            23-1-122-4-5.3
Tsotsobe    7(18)            19-5-60-1-1.35
Ntini            0(6)               21-4-57-1-2.71

Dolphins vs Titans -Match Drawn
Amla         27(101)
Hall           48(122)          12-5-21-1-1.75
Abdulla       1(11)            15.4-3-62-5-3.95
M Morkel    1(11)            25-4-71-1-2.84
A Morkel     8(13)           19.1-5-70-4-3.65
Harris          0(18)           11-2-23-2-2.09
Rudolph    39(95)


Jonty Rhodes' blog

Posted on/at 6:00 PM by The Cricket Corollary

There is an old saying in cricket – and probably in all team games – that the best players don’t necessarily make the best team. In fact, I’d say it was almost a rarity for the best team to have all the best players, especially at international level.

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

Who will lift the trophy?

The lists

Posted on/at 9:14 AM by Anonymous

There are 2 lists on this site. The TTC's top players, which is for players who "wowed" me (Brandon). The other one is a list of players that I am not very fond of. Please remember that these are my own personal lists.

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.

If you disapprove of the list then you are welcome to try and switch my mind, but come well armed. I am open to anyone who can convince me to add or remove a player.

They did it

Posted on/at 8:51 AM by Anonymous

Finally, a team I've been rooting for has secured their place in the final. I better not jinx them.

Eliminating the bad fish

Posted on/at 8:34 AM by Anonymous

I am getting desperate here. How the hell will we get rid of Smith? He is such an embarrassment. I don't care anymore who'll replace him as captain.

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. 

Luke is a little sh*t

Posted on/at 8:09 AM by Anonymous

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.

England had faith in him. I thought they would have replaced him already. But I will give the man a second chance. He hates Smith and that makes it okay.

Dilshan on the Dil-scoop

Posted on/at 7:01 AM by Anonymous

Why are you trying to take this scoop shot regularly?
(Laughs) To score runs at faster pace. Why should I give dot ball to the bowlers?
 When did you start taking this stroke regularly?
 During the ICC World Twenty20.
Because I was asked to open the innings during the ICC World Twenty20.
How did you master the stroke?
I used to take this stroke sometimes back home but I spoke to myself and decided to go for it. Accordingly, I started practising in front of bowling machine which gave me lot of confidence. Firstly, I did practice with less speed. Gradually I prepared myself for regular stroke.
Lot of ex-cricketers are of the opinion that you might lose your teeth if you miss any of the scoop shot. Are you aware of this?
Yes, some amount of risk is there. I am trying to reduce the risk by practicing it regularly. Risk is everywhere in life, yet man has to go ahead.
 People have named it the Dil-scoop.
Yes I know this. I think the media used this name during ICC World Twenty20.
 How do you manage the scoop from a Yorker delivery?
Again, I would say by practicing only. Yorker delivery can fetch wicket for bowler and  I decided to counter it by the Dil-scoop.
 Will you be able to scoop against a bouncer?
I will go for hook for the bouncers.


Posted on/at 4:01 PM by Anonymous



Follow Tim Bresnan on twitter.

AB out of Champions League

Posted on/at 3:47 PM by Anonymous

Another one bites the dust... AB de Villiers is out of the Champions League. Cricket South Africa has withdrawn him because he complained about his lower back pain. Bad luck for his domestic team, the Nashua Titans.

"AB de Villiers developed left lumbar pain four weeks ago, during preparation for the ICC Champions Trophy tournament," Despite extensive physiotherapy combined with anti-inflammatory and analgesic medication, his symptoms persisted and an MRI scan was done. He has severe left lumbar spasm and without medication was unable to move freely during the ICC Champions Trophy tournament. We have thus decided to withdraw AB from all cricketing activities for the next four to six weeks in order to allow for proper management of his condition and prevent further injury." -Shuaib Manjra, chairman of CSA's medical committee.

"I am obviously disappointed to miss the Champions League," he said "and I wish the Daredevils all the best for the tournament."-AB de Villiers

Jonty Rhodes' blog

Posted on/at 3:34 PM by Anonymous

Who would have thought that India, Sri Lanka and South Africa would all fail to make the semi finals? In many ways, the unpredictability of the tournament makes it work. If the Champions Trophy continues to develop a reputation for being unpredictable and throwing up surprises (there has been a different winner in every tournament so far) then it will go from strength to strength.

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.