I really don't remember my last blog on cricket. I imagine it too be long long ago. A lot has happened between two blogs of cricket. But brooding over incessant rains in my part of world for the last 36 hours the best thing I could do was to blog. The beter thing was too blog on cricket. I must confess, newspaper and cricket websites (Yahoo! Cricket and Cricinfo) have given me enough info to blog about the test matches which are under way.
Test Matches and visiting teams flayed by injury.
I have been following cricket for some time of my life now but rarely have I seen two good teams competing with best of 11 memeber. There seems to be injury to some of the key player. Sachin Tendulkar was on recuparating list when India was touring West Indies. There are test matches under way, England host Pakistanis and Sri Lankans play host to South Africa. Both the visiting teams namely Pakistan and Sri Lanka have there fare share of good players being injures. Paksitan has Shoaib Akhtar on the injury list. He is the main stay of Pakistani bowling, there is Razzaq but he hasn't has that much pace. Shoaib has blown away best of the batting line ups with shear pace and sometimes change of it.
England will remember him for his scything role he played when England was touring Pakistan in winter. Pakistan came back from behind to win the test series. Inzamam and Shoaib carried Pakistan thorugh to what was a very intruiging series. Shoaib has few chances to come back, as his injury is taking way to long. Pakistan will press him into action as soon as he is deemed fit.
South Africa has two former captains injured/unavailable for selection, Shaun Pollock and Greame Smith. Jacques Kallis is also abstaining for the reason which I have got no clue about. It is a sorry state for South Africans who are looking to build up a new team.
Cook cooks a tonne.
Alistair Cook has a centruy on debut, that makes him a select band of players who have managed to do so. The English selection commitee have done well to throw in a 21 year old. The English policy of selection is odd coz they dont intorduce players onto international arena before they touch 25. Alistair Cook has very well defined limitations. He is not a stroke player so doesn't goes about flirting like a playboy in around bombshells. He is rock solid in defense and can also handle spin well. His maiden century against India is a testimony to that fact. He missed out against Sri Lanka but cmae back well against Pakistan to notch up a hundred.
Bell rings a century too.
Ian Bell use to be number three against the Aussies during the Ashes. The poor chapo use to come up when McGrath and Warne would be teasing the English with some old tricks. He had a torrid time but the bowlers are not to be blamed. He sometime walked into the trap not realizing that batting wasn't exactly running around the park. He was also the undoing on English in India. I have not seen the play enough but English batting has not blasted the Pakistani attack. The just scored at 3.5 an over, which by the way is now thw average run rate acroess the board. It was good to see Bell extending his ticket in the English playing 11.
Pietersen suffering from Laxman syndrome.
Pietersen has his sublime and powerful packed stroke play to Laxman smooth drive and wrist flicks. The analogy is still there though. They both have been guilty of having starts and not converting. Laxman careers meanwhile suffered due to his wavering starts and rare conversion. Pietersen may suffer the same fate. I think he has to be serious when he gets to forties and thinking of rotating the strike often.
Sangakkara excudes a smashing double.
Sangakarra who seems to be end of any misery of Sri Lanks is perhaps the most complete player in absence of Attapattu. he and Jaywardene (Sri Lankan captain) came together when the score board read 14/2 and they went on to shatter all batting record of patnership. Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka are a different propositions. South Africa meanwhile are perhaps caring snow sledges in tropical forests. I dont thing they have the right type of bowlers or bowlers who are good enough. Nicky Boje should be a pleasure for anyone who knows how to hold the cricket bat. If South Africa's best spinners is Nicky Boje then they really don't have any spin bowling talent. This is not taking anything away from Sangakarra though. He is really good and perhaps second best to Gilchrist. It is not time to take out the daggers yet as Dhoni has still to play as many Tests as Sangakarra. He unfourtunately missed out on a triple century by unlucky 13 runs. May be some other time who knows.
Jaywardene standing really tall.
There was often case in Jayawarden's career that his reputation has preceeded him. There was often a comment saying he does score big enough. There are some players who just enjoy scoring runs as captains. There are presently Ponting, Inzamam, Dravid, Lara, Greame Smith (currently injured) and may I add Jayawardene. This list includes perhaps the best among the currently playing. These playes score and the scoring big runs. Jayawardene has scored his highest 374 runs, highest by any Sri Lankan captain. I am not sure if there is any other Sri Lankan captain who has scored a triple. I remeber Ranatunga to be the captain when Jayasruiya scorea a triple. Jayawardene missed his quadrpule century by 26 runs which is 13 x 2 = 26.
Wow aquadruple would have been a great feat.
Pakistan and South Africa are way behind the host as they are marred by injuries and poor first innigs score. Jacques Rudolph and Kevin Pitersen are clear disappoint for their respective teams. A review of the two test as soon as the Tests are over.