Monday, May 3, 2010


Zimbabwe and England open their campaign in the World Twenty20 Championship today after the Super Sunday yesterday, in which the top-4 teams in international cricket met at St. Lucia.

In the first match, India rided on Suresh Raina's 60-ball 101 to bat South Africa out of the match. In the end, the scores suggested that South Africa did make a match out of it. But in reality, they were out of it by the time Kallis and Smith started their acceleration. The hits towards the end were bound to come... but they were just meant to reduce the margin of defeat, not to avert the defeat.

The South African strategy was questionable. Loots Bosman opening the innings with Kallis is a good idea, but if Greame Smith is pushed to No. 3 for its implementation, then it is not so good. Bosman is an ideal replacement for Smith if his fingers are broken... but when healed, Greame Smith should open the South African innings in all formats of the game.

And Kallis needs to rethink his strategies as well. He said at the start of the IPL that he wants to become the best Twenty20 player in the world. And for the best part of that tournament, he looked like it. But then it all started going wrong. His strike rates were questioned all round, and he's done nothing since then to show that he might want to learn and change.

All said and done, I also felt that Dhoni's strategies were a tad unwise. Going in with three specialist spinners in the form of Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja alongside part-timers like Yusuf Pathan, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh seemed a little overboard. Maybe he wanted to rest Zaheer Khan, but he could have tried R Vinay Kumar in that case. He does not want to bowl 20 overs with spin. Once the batsmen are used to the pace of the wicket, they can take toll. Kallis and Smith showed that towards the end of their partnership. As a result, none of the spinners had extremely impressive figures. In contrast, Ashish Nehra had another brilliant day in office.

The second match between Australia and Pakistan saw the ODI Champions putting in a clinical performance to outso the defending champions. Mohammed Aamer bowled a 5-wicket last over, but that wasn't enough to swing the momentum completely towards the Pakistan side, and in the end, the score of 191 proved too much for them.

Overall, it was a good day's (night's in India) of cricket even though both the matches eventually turned out to be a little one-sided.

1 comment:

Barry said...

Steyn bowling only one over with the new ball didn't look good either.