Tuesday, 27 March 2007

A Cracker Beckons

The real business starts today. The prelims threw up their share of surprises and threw two sub-continental giants out of the tournament. Conditions in the Caribbean were supposed to suit India and Pakistan more than some of the other teams, but sadly all it took was one tricky opponent and a boatful of self doubts to carry the two former champions to the exit door. It was another example of how the World Cup should be viewed differently and not taken lightly as other tourneys.

It would be extremely difficult for fans in India and Pakistan to digest the fact that their team s will not be competing in the second stage of the event but let us understand the show must go on and the two sides did not deserve a place in the next stage.

Sorry for the cliché, but the opening game in the Super-Eight offers a mouth watering contest. Australia in their current form should start as favourites but with the funny twists the shorter version can throw up, one must be very brave to put one’s money entirely on the World Champions.

I have my reasons to believe that the West Indies will push the Aussies hard. The hosts have not hit the right form with the bat, as the scorecards suggest, but all it needs is one tornado from the broad blade of Chris Gayle or Brian Lara to equate things in the middle. Gayle is long overdue for a big one, and Lara always reserves his best for the Aussies.



image courtesy cricinfo.com

If the West Indies were to bat first and post a total in excess of 270, we have a good game on our hands - the wickets slow down considerably, and the West Indian attack has the right ideas on these conditions. The spin of Gayle and Samuels will play a major role and it will all boil down to how the West Indians can keep up with the Australian intensity.

Ricky Ponting on the other hand has some happy problems to deal with. Mike Hussey has not been amongst the runs but can come good the moment he is allowed to bat for a reasonable period of time. (That has not happened thus far). The return of Andrew Symonds has given the required fillip to the batting while all the other batsmen are tonking the ball as if it is their birthright.

There are some chinks in the bowling department, as the Proteas proved, but given the kind of batting depth they possess and the ability to save a fair chunk with their athletic fielding, the minor shortcomings in the bowling department is likely not to pose problems.

It looks a good match on paper; I am putting my money on Australia, but not discounting the Windies, especially if they are to set a target.

12 comments:

Aswin Kini said...

Yes Krish, i agree, " Aussies are the current favorites, but things are turn topsy-turvy in this silly game". But i have already seen the chink in their armor. GlenMcgrath will be accurate but not effective as he was once. Shaun Tait, Nathan Bracken and Brad Hogg, make a decent and penetrative attack.
Let's assume that Australia set a score of 270 against West Indies. If Gayle, Chanderpaul, or Lara get going, it is difficult for the Aussies to contain them. I fear the worse when they face New Zealand, because they have powerfull hitters like Mccullum, Oram, and of course Mcmillan.
I bet that Aussies will lose in the Semifinals. I guess the opponents would be either SouthAfrica or NewZealand. And if neither of them don't upset Australia, WestIndies will definitely will.

This World CUp deserves to see a new Champion emerging. Let's face it, the Aussies are a great team, but they never deserve a Thrid World cup. If they do win, Cricket stands to be the greatest loser.

Anirudh Lohia said...

First of all let me thank you posting your valued comment in my blog.

Well your title of this post says it all. Not only this match but most of the matches of super eight will be exciting with the top notch teams taking on each other.

Sir I am sorry for changing the topic but do you also feel that its time that BCCI should take some bold steps.

Satz said...

Hey Krish
Aussie Bowling is not the same without their old horses....However they have a great plan of targeting the opposition's main player & this plan usually works in their favour....It would be interesting though to see if Chanderpaul performs as traditionally Australia has not been India for him to score tirelessly ;-)

I agree with you Krish completely that the toss is important as I see the only chance for Windies winning this is if they chase or else one of their bowlers has to bowl out of his skin & Aussie Batsman must have an off day while chasing...

Also with respect to Aussie behaviour lets see how well they "behave" in this match... I had some thoughts on the same
http://satzstuff.blogspot.com/2007/03/australia-gentlemen-psoter-boys.html

Aurindam said...

hi Krish,
I am putting my money on WestIndies. Why?? Well .... may b just bcoz u put ur money on Australia ;). Let's c who wins ;)

Bravo Bravo Bravo [echoes]
and ya
Gayle too!!

Srikrishna Chintalapati said...

Hi Krish, Would you like to take a look at my Blog too .. which I wrote on the same subject.

http://srikchin.blogspot.com

Seths said...

Krish, What's next for Indian Team?

Arpit said...

Its really hard for me to take the fact that team India is out of this big tournament. As for now Australia deserves this Cup.
But Cricket is always a game of ups and downs and anything can happen. Lets see.

And as what Aswin says above "the Aussies are a great team, but they never deserve a Thrid World cup."

I just want to remind that Aus has already 3 World Cups in their bags.
And this will be their fourth one.

Ranjeet Adkar said...

Aswin,

I dont agree with you.

Based on the current form, how-so-ever we might not like the fact, but Aussies do deserve to win the this world cup! Whether other teams like NZ, SL and SA allow that or give them a fight by reminding them of their 5 consecutive ODI defeats just before the world cup, is to be seen!
But look how they have bounced back, last 4 matches have been 300+ scores. Such consistency! Amazes me!

Ranjeet Adkar said...

Krish,

Aussies main competency today is their batting and not their bowling. Their strategy, as I see it, is going to be as follows: Win the toss, elect to bat and then bat the other team out of the game. Their bowling is decent, but no where what it used to be an year or two ago.yes, they can be defeated, so it will be interersting to watch who will bell the cat!

Aswin Kini said...

Hi Arpit, i missed the word " COnsecutive". Yes! Australia have already won three world cups, 1987,99, and 2003. Well, i just wanted to make a point that if Australia do win this World CUp(Which i hope they won't), The game stands to be the biggest loser. No team has dominated Cricket for so long apart from the Great West Indian team. BUt the WI had all-time greats like Clive LLyod, Vivian Richards, Joel Graner, Michael Holding etc. Well look at Aussies, i can only find a few ALL-TIME greats Hayden and Ponting.
Please don't tell that Mcgrath is also an all-time great. According to me, he is just another good, accurate, fast bowler who has taken lot of wickets thanks to some great catches by Aussie fielders and of course, his BLOODY SELDGING.

In my point of view, Aussies do not deserve a third consecutive World Cup, because they are just a good team, i have seen better teams who have underperformed against Australia.
I just wish that either NewZealand, SouthAfrica or Srilanka takes this World CUp away from Australia.
@ Rajneet: SouthAfrica are a much better ODI team than Australia. While Srilanka and NewZealand have a better balanced unit. So don't be surprised if Aussies are beaten in the Semis.

Aurindam said...

....in continuation...

Ahem!!
May b the kangaroos went 40-50 runs too far for the caribbeans. :o
So What??
Lara and Chanderpaul are there too!!
:)
May be they'll miss the likes of Lambert and Powell in the later stages of their innings. Dunno y but was suddenly reminded of them.

Paint It Blue said...

Krish,

As an avid cricket fan, I remember the days when you took apart the bowling on Australian soil. You were one of the explosive one-day batsmen in the mid-eighties.

With regards to the World Cup... after Day 1 of the game between Australia and West Indies, you'd surely be favouring the Aussies. 320-odd on a dicey pitch is probably 50 runs more than they need.

I think after losing those games in Australia and NZ before the World Cup will have toughened up the team and make them even more focused on the prize.

I think India's demise came about because of complacency and not respecting the opposition. With the likes of dravid and Tendulkar in their side they would have been one fo the favourites before the tournament started.

But it all bodes well for the Aussies. After they wipe away the West Indies, their only other major challenge will coem from sri Lanka. Going into the semi-finals undefeated will re-invigorate their confidence and surely make them outright favourites to win a third straight Cup!