[thechat] World Cup predictions

Paul Cowan evolt at funkwit.com
Sun Mar 2 17:42:01 CST 2003

Madhu wrote:
> MORE batting depth? With 7 specialist batsmen? You've got to be kidding.

Sorry, poorly worded. It was late, and I was tired.

India's batting _depth_ is great (theoretically, anyway). They need
more batting _consistency_. They've got plenty of talent, but it
never (in what I've seen, anyway) comes together. A one-man stand
from Tendulkar or Dravid isn't enough. When they all kick in, a score
of 270-280 is a foregone conclusion. Unfortunately, the second tier
of players often seem to let the others down and they fall short.

Maybe Laxman should have replaced Ganguly?

> That's Akhtar's problem too. He can think only of bowling fucking fast,
> which is pointless. A batsman able to handle 150 kph will not flinch at
> kph. That's how Tendulkar hammered him for 18 runs in his first over.

Akhtar is a _hopeless_ one-day bowler. Or, to put it another way: shit
bowled at 160km/h is still shit -- it's just FAST shit. His line is
in the Australia game he only bowled two wides, as far as the umpires were
concerned: if I was umpiring, I would have called ten, I reckon. A LOT
of his balls go a long way down leg.

Admittedly, his "bowl as fast as you can" strategy often WORKS, but he
really isn't going to trouble someone like Gilchrist or Tendulkar with
his poor-line, average-length crap.

When Lee tries to emulate him, you're right: he does the same thing.

Australia's victory over England was, I'll admit, fairly pathetic, and
reveals what I've always said is the #1 problem with Australia: complacency.
Australian cricket fans have lost count of the number of times the Aussies
have stumbled against easybeat competition, particularly when chasing
very small targets (sub-170) in one-dayers or the last day of a test.

Hopefully the shock from England might get them back on their toes.

England played Australia the only way you can: with aggression. A
'containment' strategy doesn't work, you have to go in hard. If England
hadn't lost those early wickets, they could have posted 250 easily, they
were playing fairly well early. Bowl for wickets, not run-saving, early
in the innings: crack Gilchrist/Hayden/Ponting early, and panic starts
to set in. Even  if you give away a very quick 50 or 100, early wickets
are your only chance. Bevan in particular can't always be relied upon
when the pressure's on: he tends to bat best when he's not even needed.

The form of Bichel and Lehmann is pleasing: Bichel, in particular, has long
been a bridesmaid (more appearances as test-match twelfth man than anyone
else in world cricket), and I'll admit I've been a naysayer, but he's
excelled himself at the World Cup. Good stuff. I would have named Symonds
as the weak link pre-cup, but even his form has been superb.


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