The World Champions displayed champions’ stuff, but should not forget the help meted out to them by the men in the middle. Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden were gone for all money by the second over. The latter was plumb in front to
Billy Bowden should never forget he has a job on hand, his innovative signals and humour are all well appreciated but unless they are laden with the right decisions the original plot is lost. A player's stature should never come in the way of an umpire’s call. A classic example is Shane Warne bagging a sizeable number of wickets by putting pressure on the umpires.
I have always held Abdul Qadir a better exponent of leg-spin than Warne. In the 80's the straighter one from the spinners never met with the approval for a LBW shout. Umpires started changing their view only from the mid-90's on this subject. Without taking a iota away from Warne, let us be honest in admitting that his standing as a player put that extra pressure on the umpires and their changed perception helped him add a lot more to his kitty.
Coming back to the match:
The top-order takes time to rebuild the innings, and valuable time is lost. Promoting Andrew Flintoff as opener might have been a far shot. Then again, it might have worked. His form with the bat has been his biggest problem. With the field restrictions in place and the ball coming on to the bat, Flintoff could have turned a corner and it would have solved two problems for
The Aussie juggernaut continues to roll. It seems to have answers to every question posed. It is going to take something extraordinary from either
In other matters of note, the Google cricket blogging contest is still wide open, moreso than this tournament if comparisons are to be drawn. Remember to send in your entries soon. I will be thrilled to keep pace with your posts!