Weekly Tidbits: Australia, Pakistan in more trouble, IPL auctions…

It was quite an interesting week of cricket – ODI cricket for a change, though I would have preferred to talk more about Test cricket.

South Africa mows down the clueless Australians

South Africa won the ODI series 4-1 thereby going on top of the ICC ODI rankings. The last match that was played last week had a new fast bowling hero – Tsotsobe – who ran through the Australian top and middle order after Hashim Amla‘s matured innings gave them a big total. Tsotsobe’s left arm seam bowling is a good asset to their attack which is otherwise dominated by right-armers.

Australia deep down under further

Soon after the South Africa’s successful visit, the Kiwis started their campain in Austraila on a winning note as well. In fact, the New Zealand’s batting lineup is not anything great but the Kangaroos were tamed by the Kiwis in the low scoring first ODI in Perth, mainly due to the lack of confidence with the Aussies.

The Australians managed to create controversy as well with their Wicket Keeper Haddin calling it all wrong and cheating the spirit of the game. With Symonds‘ radio outburst not settling yet, clearly Cricket Australia is not heading anywhere in particular. Moreover, Australia’s decision to rest Ponting came as a huge surprise as this could be the indication that the dashing Australian captain could be soon axed – from his captaincy responsibilities – ahead of the Ashes series in England during June-September this year.

Pakistan cricket in dolldrums

Though with the axing of Shoib Malik the Pakistan team as a whole may benefit, the governance of the PCB and its future took a beating when ICC decided that Pakistan will not get to host Champions Trophy due to the perennial security issues there. On top of that Miandad, the ever controversial Pakistan cricketer, has resigned from his role of the PCB Director. In another setback to PCB, a court has now suspended PCB’s ban on ICL players. With the injury scares, dope scandals still on and no team visiting Pakistan, it’s not going to be a good year for Pakistan Cricket.

India is doing good

The Indian cricket team touring Sri Lanka right now had a couple of good outings whereby they took a 2-0 lead. The Indians, despite lack of match practices, did not look rusty and the batting, bowling and some exceptional fielding of the younger side overpowered the Lankans. It looks like Mahendra Singh Dhoni hardly misses a toss.

The week ahead

England is taking on West Indies in their first test match on 4th Feb where as Australia will play New Zealand in Melbourne and Sydney this week. India’s remaining one dayers in Sri Lanka will also be completed this week.

The high-profile IPL Season 2 auctions will be kicked off this week as well. The main focus will be the English players who are first-timers at IPL.

On a low profile there’s also a Kenya-Zimbabwe match this week.

Looking forward to the exciting week of cricket, in particular the England – West Indies test match and Australia – New Zealand one-dayers.

Weekly Tidbits: England is back, Nathan Bracken to Bowl Spin, Dhoni’s Gesture and more…

England resumes…

The England team is finally back in India to complete the tour. Looks like the ECB’s security advisor gave a go ahead to the tour after his short diplomatic visit to India last week. I am sure the cricketing fraternity and BCCI will be relieved! And the PCB must be wishing that they had enough money to buy any number of cricketers and cricket boards around the world!

Are the English players really happy?

Bracken to bowl spin???

Well, that is quite a strange news! Nathan Bracken, the ODI pacer of Australia, is working on improving his test selection chances and the opportunistic route that he is taking is via spin bowling. Everybody knows that Team Australia is in the lookout of the right composition for their test side and the main problem is lack of good spin bowlers. It seems, Nathan even unleashed his spin against Tasmanians in a domestic match and took 8 wickets!

Could it bring a positive change to Australia and Bracken?

On a lighter note, could Shaun Tait have done it as well 🙂 His injuries and fears are related to express fast bowling alone, so…

Dhoni’s gesture

India’s no-nonsense captain, known for his unorthodox ways of living life and cricket, has donated his income from two matches for the terror victims in Mumbai. Good gesture MS! I wish many others, who are after running high profile restaurants and fitness clubs, did a similar job.

PCB considering neutral venues

The Pakistan Cricket Board is seriously considering the option of a neutral venue, for the planned tour of India to Pakistan, due to the terror situation in both countries and the looming worries of a military action. At the moment this seems to be the only chance for Pakistan to play some test matches in the next four to five months or so.

Selection Controversy & Leak out of confidential BCCI matters

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is in spotlight for a not so good reason for the first time! Apparently the Indian skipper is not happy with the selection of Irfan Pathan, at the cost of R.P. Singh, for the reminder of India-England ODI series.

Now, the key thing here is that neither Dhoni nor the BCCI spokesperson has talked about it! The media has been talking about this ‘FLASH NEWS’ continuously and even made statements that Dhoni is willing to relinquish his captaincy. Dhoni later clarified that he’s not commented anything to the public or media and that slowed down our stupid TV channels’ energy levels for good.

Scenario 1

Supposing that Dhoni has taken a stand against the dropping of R.P.Singh, I would think that he’s living in fool’s paradise. It’s not even a year since he got the most prestigious and responsible role in Indian cricket. He has really proved his worth and continuously improving as well. At this point of time, if he wants to flex his muscles, he may become nobody in no time. Also, just in case he has been speaking to the media on this topic, it is again bad for the Indian team and Dhoni himself.

Scenario 2

If Dhoni fought in the selection committee meeting with his playing eleven in mind, but played it diplomatically (which I think he would have done), somebody else within the BCCI selection panel or in the office is leaking out confidential news to the media. This is not the first time that confidential matters have been leaked out (They even leaked out Greg Chappel’s mail to BCCI on Ganguly matters).

If scenario 2 is the case, somebody within BCCI or in the vicinity there in is making money out of all these backdoor activities.

I thought things were getting better with the Indian cricket – both on and off the field, on the game as well as governance. It seems not everything is fine yet!