Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Litmus Test For West Indies

image courtesy cricinfo.com

The batting depth in the Kiwi ranks continues to wriggle them out of tight corners. A team with lesser might down the order might have suffered an Irish embarrassment. Three teams are clearly breaking free from the rest, and no laptops or plasma television sets for guessing which they are.

Stephen Fleming has under his command a bunch of cricketers who know their role to a fault. No frills, just plain tight cricket that cover the percentages well. The bowling is coming across well, and the form of Shane Bond augurs well for their chances and gives them the cutting edge.

Not depending too much on individual brilliance has always been New Zealand’s strength, if there has been any, and it could well help them turn the corner this time around. Peter Fulton played a matured innings and the few irritating rain breaks notwithstanding, the Kiwis ran up a total that I thought was a concrete proof of their batting might. The body language and ground fielding complimented the bowling well. These guys firmly deserve the top spot they enjoy at the moment.

The match to be played today bears more significance than any other in the tournament thus far. West Indies will back themselves if the wicket is to be on the slower side. South Africa have always struggled chasing on wickets where the ball does not allow them to hit through the line. Playing with hard hands is not the solution on these tracks; there were too many soft dismissals against Bangladesh that will rankle them for a long time.

The Proteas, though, are a tough bunch and should put the reversal behind them quickly and look ahead. The hosts on the other hand are fully aware that they are on a tight rope and things can’t get worse from here. Chris Gayle has to fire to give his side the impetus. Brian Lara would not like his ODI swansong to be a whimper. If Lara bats at three it would solve a lot of problems for the hosts who need the steadying hand of their skipper.

The hosts stand a bright chance if they are to bat first and post a competitive total. If they are to bat second the chances diminish slightly if one has to go by recent records. It would be sad to see the hosts fade early. Let Lara and his men come out smiling at the end of the day, and believe me, the World Cup will have enlightened further.

4 comments:

Satz said...

New Zealand have got one of the most balance d bowling attacks in this world cup along with the Lankans...They should be the most likely people to stop the Aussie juggernaut..The Australians would have to play their "A" game ( which they do consistently :) ) to beat them as an their batting has a chance of faltering against the best bowling attacks of the tournament..

As regards west Indies...Lara is & looks like in the near future also will be the key to win today...South Africans are vulnerable & they could either go with all guns blazing or falter...This is the best chance for the Windies to Come good..And I second your wish ( if someone is listening) for the Windies to come out smiling :)

Aswin Kini said...

Hi Krish, West Indies have dissappointed me again. Although they put a decent performance yesterday, they still lost against a superb southafrican side.

Well, i guess that South Africa would now be brimming with COnfidence. I strongly feel that South Africa deserve this cup, they have good allrounders, hitters, and a decent bowling attack. But thei susceptibility to spin is their major weak point.

It was sad to see Lara go out on such a dissappointing note. I guess it was not a fitting finale to his career afterall.

Indyank said...

Krish,

West Indies fails the litmus test as "South Africa virtually oust West Indies"

Please read this:
http://indyank.blogspot.com

Aurindam said...

Now that WI failed its litmus test can we finally settle down at the final four :
NeweZealand
Australia
Srilanka
SouthAfrica
(not necessarily in that order)
or r u still expecting some surprises from Bangladesh??
;)