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.