In hindsight, it was a good toss to lose for Brian Charles Lara. There was no pressure of a target yet they played like there were bound by some invisible chain. Stroke makers look like horror stories when they don't play their natural game. There was no sense in a player like Chris Gayle prodding around; he is never going to win matches for
There are batsmen in the side with specific tasks. They must adhere to that. The problem with the West Indian line up is the role for each player is not clearly defined. Lara looked good in the knock against
It was not a pleasant sight for me, personally, to actually see the hosts capitulate. Let me admit it: I was brought up admiring the likes of Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards and Gordon Greenidge, and to see such a dynasty crumble like this is not good for world cricket.
Stephen Fleming, who is leading a well-tuned unit, is actually doing a fine job as a skipper. The batting order, which has often been wayward, has a semblance of solidity to it now. Fielding has always been their strength, but the biggest bonus for them is the form and rhythm of Shane Bond who with almost a magic touch gets the breakthrough when Fleming throws the ball to him.
The Kiwis really look set for bigger things in this World Cup. It is time they shed their 'also ran' tag and reached the summit. It would be a fitting tribute to a well-knit team.
It is also going to ask a lot of the analysts today to keep listeners engrossed in a match that resembles a minor county tie . It will be one-way traffic, barring a Herculean effort from the Irishhmen. To talk about upsets is OK, and to call this a game of glorious uncertainties is all fine, but if Ireland is going to get past England then the next game featuring Ireland will no more be mismatched.
Even upsets will have their charm only if they are far and few between. Based on cricketing merit, I will back the English to sail through this one comprehensively.