For the Aussies, is it ‘Better luck next time’ yet again?

Glenn MaxwellAfter yesterday’s thriller against the West Indies, the big question is that what on earth would it take for the Australian side to win this particular ICC trophy? which essentially is the only ICC trophy that they haven’t been able to lay hands upon. Last night’s loss to the Windies means it is going to be very unlikely for them to turn the odds even time around.

Now let me put things into perspective and take a step or two back to reflect upon their overall preparation for this particular edition. Ask anyone, and i feel the same, that when the tournament started, they looked one of the strongest sides on paper, probably alongside India and Sri Lanka. They looked like winning it or at least advancing to the knock out stages of the tournament.

They were coming from a mix of good well fought and comprehensive wins, some of their players were in tremendous form, they still are, and the ability of their strikers looked unmatched. I mean how good is this for your top 5: Warner, Watson, Finch, Maxwell and Bailey, and then Faulkner, Haddin in the lower middle order. Crazy isn’t it. Seems they’ll just murder any opposition. And not that they haven’t.

In both their games till now, they have batted well with some folks doing extraordinarily well. What would you call Maxwell’s innings against Pakistan? I call it carnage. But you can choose your synonyms.

However, somehow they haven’t been able to cross the line on both the occasions. Against Pakistan, they’d hit Umar Akmal playing best innings of his life, and later Pakistan holding their nerve after the Maxwell onslaught, with Umar Gul also getting into some sort of rhythm. And against the West Indies, the free flowing Gayle upfront and in the death overs the typical West Indian muscle power of Bravo and the skipper Darren Sammy. Ah! When a batsman is in that kind of mood, you can just sit back and admire. Cant do much about it Aussies!

Although mathematical combinations and all those net run rate sciences still tells you that they still aren’t completely out of it, but it’s very less likely that all that maths and science would work in their favour the way they’d like. Let’s wait n watch.

Because otherwise, well, better luck next time!

Photo Credit: Wikipedia


ICC World T20 2014, Back with a bang!

Cricket Exclusive

ICC World T20 2014Alright folks! So it was day one of the ICC World T20 2014 and it was all excitement and buzz. Something that’s much expected from all ICC Tournaments. It started with Bangladesh taking on the effervescent Afghanistan, and later in the evening Nepal up against Hong Kong. One could argue that the actual competition is yet to begin and this phase of the tournament is essentially minnows fighting it out against each other, but because these teams are playing to qualify for the bigger phase, in both the matches the teams were all charged up and raring to go.

First match of the day saw an inspired Afghanistan, coming from some good Asia Cup matches, against the home side Bangladesh. The atmosphere in the ground was electric and what’s fascinating to see in this country is the love for their home team. After an ordinary Asia Cup, the kind of response Bangladesh team saw was amazing, the most resilient crowds that we’ll ever come across. The painted lions were all roaring.

Bangladesh didn’t disappoint their fans this time and riding on their spin power, easily triumphed the Afghans who got the t20 theory rub on them a bit too much. They played too many big shots too early. ‘Everything has to go out of the park boys’ looked like the theme of their team. I am sure they’ll realise it as they play more games at this level that it ‘s not all bang bang and 20 overs are still to be played.

The second match which promised to be a better contest, turned out to be rather one sided. Again the side with good spin options came out victorious. Nepal’s spinners with the kind of bite their deliveries offered were too sharp to handle for the Hong Kong batsmen. Nepal looks a very promising side, with some really handy players.

Very early in this tournament, with the kind of turn and bounce we saw from the pitch, it looks like spinners are going to play a huge role in shaping big games. It may not be the batsman’s game all the way.

Watch out for the Ajmals, Naraines, Ashwins and Tahirs of the world!