Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Finally, after 123 days, Australia have finally lost something! The defeat to New Zealand in the 2nd Twenty20 match would statistically still be counted as a 'Tie'. I don't know why do they play the One Over Eliminator if they still want to count the match as a tie. All the previous cases of Bowl Outs are also listed as ties in the Cricinfo's archives.

In any case, Australia's last defeat in an international cricket match came on October 31, 2009 at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium, New Delhi against India. Since then, Australia's sequence has been:

ODIs v India: Win 3, NR 1
Tests v West Indies: Win 2, Draw 1
Tests v Pakistan: Win 3
ODIs v Pakistan: Win 5
Twenty20 v Pakistan: Win 1
ODIs v West Indies: Win 4, NR 1
Twenty20s v West Indies: Win 2
Twenty20s v New Zealand: Win 1, Tie 1 (Lost via One Over Eliminator)

In a space of 2 days, we have had two ODIs won by mid-table teams by 2 wickets with 7 or less balls to spare. One of the losing sides was the top of the table Australia, and the other one was at the opposite end of the spectrum, Bangladesh.

One match was finished off by a young 23-year old, already-played-for-two-countries, waiting-for-the-IPL Eoin Morgan. The other one was seen till the end by a 34-year old veteran, almost-12th-man, also-waiting-for-the-IPL Scott Styris. Both the winning captains were standing in due to the unavailability of their regular captains - one resting, the other recuperating. Both the 'finishers' have or have had been a part of Middlesex.

That's it. I couldn't find any more links between the 2 matches. But both have been good ODIs. Bangladesh gave England a good run for their money. Alistair Cook knows that despite the relatively easy assignment for his first stint at the helm of English cricket, things can get tricky if his batsmen continue to throw their wickets away in the 3rd ODI. A loss to Bangladesh would not only be embarassing, but also put his future as a captain of England cricket team in jeopardy. And going by what we have seen so far, that is a distinct possibility.

On the other hand, Ross Taylor and Daniel Vettori will know that Australia will bounce back hard. They have not lost an ODI series for about a year now, and will want to continue this streak for atleast 12 more months till the end of the World Cup next year. But they also know that their boys are capable of withstanding the Aussie attack. Kiwis have always been a fighting ODI unit, and with a chance to go up to as high as the No. 2 spot in the ODI Team Rankings, the Kiwis will not be budging to give an inch willingly.

So we have 9 more ODIs to look forward to (including the WI-Zim ones) before the IPL begins on the 13th March and then 1 more on the 14th. However, other than West Indies and Zimbabwe, these teams will still not be available to play due to their Test fixtures. Looking ahead to some exciting cricket on cards.

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