At CT13, Australians yet to show intent, intensity and hunger


CT13 Ian BellIt was supposed to be a ‘Super Saturday‘, but didn’t turn out one.

England and Australia were playing their first Group A round-robin league match against each other and given their rivalry (Ashes and otherwise) it promised to be one cracker of a game. But for some reason, the Aussie side that turned up for this clash was far from what we are accustomed to see for last so many years. They simply lacked fire.

England sporting their new red jerseys, looking fresh in new colors batted first and posted 269/6 with Ian Bell playing a superb innings of 91. This was a decent score on that track but nothing of the size that can seemingly intimidate the Australians. But it did.

When the Aussies came out to chase, there was no intent to go about it. Batting included, during the whole match, one just didn’t find the glimpse of aggression that is so native to Australian. They went about their business in a manner that is so unlike them. The zeal, the hunger to win was somewhat missing. Yes, the Haydens, the Gilchrists, the McGrawths and the Warnes don’t play the game anymore but the Australian body language has to have successors who can keep the attitude of these champion cricketers alive.

More than the loss, it was disappointing to see the manner in which they lost. They sure can fight better than this.

Australia play New Zealand next in Edgbaston on Wednesday and this is a good opportunity for them to come in their own. More so because these are two sides who have always been fighting it out against each other and thus aggression naturally makes its way into the contest. This may well be the catalyst that Australia need to get going.

They are a strong side, with multiple match winners. It’s only the famous Aussie attitude that they need to rediscover and there on they’ll be a side to watch out for.

Photo Credit: Nick Boalch

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Super Eights – Everything is super about them!


ICC World twenty20 Super Eights
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Day 1 of the Super Eights at ICC World Twenty20, and all of a sudden one feels how beautifully and fittingly written are these lines from Urdu poetry – “Aghaz aisa hai to Anjaam kaisa hoga” (if such is the inception, well, what to expect in the end). ICC World Twenty20 2012 has started to come into its own; super eights on day 1 itself has announced a cricket bonanza, which is ready to unwrap in the next two weeks – big time.

Game 1 of the Super eights between Sri Lanka and New Zealand went to super over after the scores ended in a tie. At one stage when Sri Lanka was chasing, around the 17th over, they were looking like chasing the target easily but some really good seam bowling by the Kiwis lead by Tim Southee made a match of it. Eventually however, a brilliant catch from Dilshan turned the fortunes in Sri Lanka’s favour and made sure they got the first two points.

In game 2, the West Indies showed why they are a big contender to win this edition. All through the 40 overs, what stood out was the West Indian spirit. There was no pressure on them whatsoever. They are one side who truly enjoy their game; the dance moves and the run out warnings from the very special Chris Gayle were titillating enough to make you dance along as well.

England looked a bit out of sorts. Though a late burst from Eoin Morgan who went at a strike rate of almost 200 did bring some hope to the Englishmen but his lone effort wasn’t enough. The surprising thing about the English chase was that they only lost four wickets, which means that they had set batsmen at the crease during their chase, and this to an extent raises some doubts on Alex Hales’s ability to pace his innings. Hales scored 68 from 51 balls and that, for an opener, as per the modern standards is somewhat on the slower side, given the fact that he stayed at the crease for almost the whole course of English innings and that too on the Pallekele batting paradise.

Overall, day 1 was full of excitement with two sides who did their basics better than the other two ending up on the winning side. Day 2 brings us two other very big and important group 2 games from Premadasa, Colombo. South Africa takes on Pakistan in the first of these, so be ready for the all greens battle and the battle of South African pace and Pakistan’s spin. Then late evening, India plays Australia which is a big-big game; the war of words have already begun and the sides are raring to go. The coming week promises a lot and it can only get better from here.

Kamran Akmal in Pakistan’s ICC Twenty20 World Cup Squad – PCB’s Condonation


English: Kamran Akmal keeping wicket for Pakis...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kamran Akmal is back in the Pakistan’s squad for the ICC World Twenty20, 2012. The tournament begins on September 18th, 2012. Kamran hasn’t played for Pakistan for over an year now, his last international appearance was in the ICC world cup 2011.

His inclusion would definitely strengthen Pakistan’s batting that is going through a bad phase. This return however has surprised a few because there wasn’t much clarity on his position with International Cricket Council (ICC). Akmal was sent a notice by ICC’s anti-corruption unit and he also got summoned by the integrity committee. He however claims that ICC has cleared him of all the charges.

Pakistan is in Group D with New Zealand and Bangladesh and they look strongest in their group. Two other players who have made a comeback are Abdur Razzaq and Imran Nazir. Nazir being an aggressive opening batsman would look to provide the innings with flying start and Razzaq who has always been a fine all-rounder, very dependable, on his comeback would want to make a point.

Other than India, England and Sri Lanka the team that looks like making an impact is Pakistan given their world class bowling and handy bits and pieces players who are relatively dangerous in the shorter format of the game.

It promises to be an exciting 20-day affair with some quick-fire batting, toe crushing Yorkers and acrobatic fielding displays. And lets not forget the colour and glamour around the ground :D !!!

Pakistan squad for the World Twenty20 2012 in Sri Lanka:

Mohammad Hafeez (Captain), Shoaib Malik, Nasir Jamshed, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal (WK), Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Imran Nazir, Asad Shafiq, Raza Hasan, Yasir Arafat, Mohammad Sami, Sohail Tanveer, Umar Gul and Dave Whatmore (Coach)WW6PXY4QQTKV