Saturday, 9 April 2011

IPL4 vs ECC112

Today's Guardian features a brilliantly hilarious - and astute - column by Barney Ronay, comparing the contrasting allures of the IPL and the County Championship.
"There is of course a natural polarity between these two extreme interpretations of the word "cricket". The IPL is brash, expansionist and draped in a cladding of new imperial glamour. It wants to conquer the world. The ECC is old, quiet and draped in a cladding of house dust and summer‑tog cagoule. It wants a nice cup of tea...
"On a commercial level there was only ever going to be one winner here. Mumbai Indians are currently sponsored by Pepsi, Mastercard, Kingfisher, Wrigley's gum and Royal Stag whisky, which taken together really does sound like a particularly taxing night in. This season Yorkshire's sponsors include Bryan's Fish & Seafood Restaurant and Aunt Bessie's Yorkshire Puddings. At the time of writing there is no word of any plans inside Headingley to introduce the Aunt Bessie's Yorkshire Puddings Moment Of Success, or to designate any outbreaks of six-hitting as a Bryan's Fish & Seafood Restaurant Maximum."
Go check out the full piece on the Guardian website.

Friday, 8 April 2011

IPL time: am I a Tusker or a Super King?

It's that time of year again.  Less than a week to catch one's breath after the World Cup and the IPL is already kicking off.  This time around I find myself with a dilemma over whom to support.  Over the past three seasons, I've become a pretty serious Chennai Super Kings fan.  Despite the major reshuffles elsewhere, CSK have kept the vast majority of their squad together, so it's likely I'll be rooting for them.  However, one of the few players they did lose was Murali, who is now going to be playing in a team captained by fellow Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardene.  I'll have to wait and see which way my heartstrings tug me when the two sides face off, but in today's opener, there's no question whom I'll be cheering on.  Come on the Super Kings.

Monday, 4 April 2011

An appalling, abysmal day for cricket

The ICC's decision today to reduce the 2015 World Cup to a 10-team tournament - excluding all associate nations - is nothing short of appalling.  There have been a lot of good articles and blog posts written about this by people whose opinions are identical to mine.  One I'd recommend is this post by Jarrod Kimber.  I'm certainly going to do as he suggests and email to enquire "why they thought it was a good idea to take the world out of the world cup."

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Some thoughts on the World Cup final

Yesterday's result was pretty disappointing for me, but I still managed to enjoy watching what was probably the best World Cup final since 1992.  I like a lot of the Indian players and was happy that Sachin finally got to pick up a winner's medal - and do so in front of a Mumbai crowd.  India were the better team both on the day and across the tournament as a whole.  Their superb batting line-up was the main reason for their success but importantly they also stepped up the discipline levels of their bowling and fielding in the knockout stages.

As for exactly where the game was won, the thing that really stood out for me was the contrast between the way Gautam Gambhir batted after the fall of Sehwag and Sachin's wickets and Sri Lanka's approach in the first 15-20 overs of their own innings.  On the biggest cricketing stage of all, Gambhir had the guts to keep attacking despite the early setbacks.  He didn't blaze away wildly but did take take calculated risks, advancing down the wicket and hitting over the infield frequently enough to keep India up with the required run rate. That Gambhir had the confidence to do this was partly down to the fact that he knew his side had plenty of batting to come.  Sri Lanka, on the other hand, seemed all too aware that in Angelo Mathews' absence, their tail was rather long and had to be shielded.  While there was clearly a need for caution, I can't help thinking that Tharanga and Dilshan could have been more positive in their approach at the start.

There's been a lot of criticism of Sri Lanka's team selection by Sky and BBC pundits, which I think is largely unfounded.  It seems likely to me that most of these pundits are (understandably) unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the 33 ODIs Sri Lanka had played against India between January 2008 and yesterday's final.  While I might still have preferred to see Ajantha Mendis in the side, including Suraj Randiv was a perfectly rational move, given both his recent record against India and the difference between the playing conditions in Colombo and Mumbai.  The slowish pitch and massive boundaries at the Premadasa Stadium were tailor-made for Mendis and Herath to choke opposition sides, while the truer batting surface and smaller ground at Wankhede would have rendered them less effective.  Randiv, a taller spinner who generates more bounce, was a reasonable bet.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...