England vs South Africa 2nd Test Day 1 & Day 2

Posted: Monday, December 28, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , ,

England are 190/3 at Lunch on Day 3. Cook is on 75 from 173 balls. I'm glad he finally scored runs. When he came to the crease, he was fully aware that he has not scored many runs in recent times. This is his 50th Test. He has scored 2 centuries in his last 25 matches while he scored 7 centuries in his first 25 matches. Cook is the youngest ever player to play 50 Tests for England. Seems like England are never going to drop Broad or Cook. I would have said Anderson too, if England wouldn't have dropped him in the 1st Test against West Indies in the Caribbean earlier this year. The reason why I wanted Cook to be dropped is because he has technical flaws. I want him to work on them and come back into the team soon. When Strauss came into the side, he was an aggressive batsman but, to cement his place in the Test side, he changed his game a bit. He is still capable of playing aggressively, which he showed in this Test too. Cook, on the other hand, went the other way. He was picked to play Tests for England way back in 2006 against India. He has been scoring runs with a good strike rate in County cricket to prove that he is good enough to play ODIs for England. I want Cook to play in Tests only and Broad to play in ODIs and Twenty20 only. Test cricket is tough, wickets are hard to come by. Also, he can become a better bowler in ODIs if he concentrates just on them. England have better bowlers. I can't believe Sidebottom is still sitting out.
The review system is a funny thing. It didn't benefit England one bit in the 1st Test but in this Test, when the umpire gave Boucher not out, the 3rd umpire gave it out, using technology. Then when Morkel was not out and England reviewed it, they took 45 seconds to do it, which is a lot. The review system has worked in this Test but it still kills the excitement. Imagine watching the 5th Ashes Test, England need 1 wicket to win the Test and the Ashes, England appeals, the umpire gives it out, England players and fans are celebrating, Australia reviews it and the 3rd umpire says it's not out.
By the way, in the KP run alone marathon in the 1st Test, KP wasn't out, Trott was, as KP kept running and passed Trott, who was slightly out of the crease. This Test will be a draw, if bad light or rain interrupt the game like they did on Day 1 and Day 2. I simply adored the 7 overs bowled after tea on Day 1, which produced 3 wickets. On Day 2, Onions and Anderson were rather awesome with the new ball, created trouble for Morkel and AB de villiers, but it was Broad who got the reward. Onions bowled much better than what his figures will tell you. But the MOMENT OF THE MATCH was Smith's run out by Cook.

England vs South Africa 1st Test Day 5

Posted: Saturday, December 26, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , ,

My apologies for a late post. The Day started with my top 2 crushes Jimmy Anderson and vice captain Alastair Cook batting though they didn't last long. Though Anderson struck a four like batsmen, he must be enjoying batting with his batting buddy. Cook and Smith didn't score runs in both the innings. Bumble said that he heard England will play Cook in all 4 Tests no matter what. I was surprised to hear that he is the vice captain. England were in a good position until Kevin Pietersen ran alone. You never know whats gonna happen with this guy. His life is like a movie. Read his wikipedia page. England were 172/3 before he got out. I actually thought England can win it from here. Trott was at his usual best, 55 off 152. Wonder why he scores runs at a low strike rate in South Africa. Mickey Arthur, South Africa's coach, said during the Test that he heard his players saying, "Hey Trott. How are you, Trotty?" and one of the South African fast bowlers had lunch with him. No wonder he doesn't appreciate all this. Fat ass. Trott made 69 off 212 balls. Swann left England at 218/9 with 19 balls left to survive. At that time I thought, whether Onions will play the next match or not, will be decided now as Sidey is a better batsman than him. But he survived 12 deliveries. I loved Swann's Man Of The Match speech, "I was just telling the guys that we are keeping Test cricket alive single-handedly." I think they remembered the Cardiff Test as much as me.

England vs South Africa 1st Test Day 4

Posted: Sunday, December 20, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , ,

England finished Day 4 at 11/1 after South Africa declared at 301/7. England need to score 364 to win the match, which is a mammoth total on this pitch. South Africa got Strauss early. All 4 days belong to South Africa. England only ended Day 3 on a high note. It has been seen, that on all days, a lot of runs have been scored in the last hour. England sent James Anderson as a nightwatchman who looked as determined as he did at Cardiff. He is England's wall. Swann must not be happy, he'll bat at No.10 and he won't have Jimmy as partner this time. The reason why England can save this Test is because the No.10, the nightwatchman has as much ability of playing for long as the openers. Cook was watchful this time and I hope Kevin won't be too defensive (Remember how he played at Cardiff?). I haven't seen England got out quickly except the 1st Test against West Indies at Sabina Park and 4th Ashes Test at Headingly this year. England have a good tail, Onions is better than most teams' No.11 too. Anderson has gained some confidence by coming out as a nightwatchman after Hoggard retired. For tailenders to score runs, you have to show faith in them.
I'm quite gutted at the way most English batsmen got out in their 1st innings. No, I'm not angry at them. Kevin was bowled on a no ball which wasn't given as a no ball, Bell's head probably freezed when he got out, Broad's dismissal was full of drama. South Africa took 34 seconds to review and Broad claimed that the South African players received a signal from their dressing room. Now I know why their fat coach was laughing. Such a chumpstain. South Africa hired Jeremy Snape and Duncan Fletcher in the past few years, which is nothing else than funny. I don't think it's helping them one bit. It's funny that they hire thier staff with England in their mind.
This time, it may not be a matter of runs. It's the competition of playing most deliveries. This is prefect for Trott, who scored 28 off 117 in the 1st innings. In the warm up game too, he was 3 off 50 before hitting a few boundaries. I guess this is the way he likes to play in South Africa. Cook and Anderson were not taking singles yesterday. In the 2nd last over, Anderson turned Cook down, referring that he'll play the dangerous looking Morkel while Cook plays Harris. Then, in the last over Cook turned Anderson down. To be honest, I don't like this stuff. I'm glad they survived but this target isn't impossible to reach. And even if your team is 8/9 wickets down and you are playing with a No.11, you should still take singles because if you don't, it gives the bowler confidence and more deliveries to work at you. Looking forward to watching my top 2 crushes batting together, I don't get a chance to see this everyday. Goodbye.

England vs South Africa 1st Test Day 3

Posted: Saturday, December 19, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,

It's Lunch on Day 4. South Africa are 80/4. Yesterday was a good day. England did well to reach 356 after being 242/8. Twitter buddies James Anderson and Graeme Swann shared a partnership of 106 runs! Swann scored 85 while solid batsman James Anderson scored 29 off 78. This was Anderson's second highest score in Tests. This is the second time he has scored 29, the first time being in the 2nd Ashes Test a few months ago. His batting has improved a lot. By the way, he scored more runs than his batting buddy Alastair Cook. And this time, Anderson was looking to play shots as well. He hit Harris for a six, which was quite unbelievable for me. It was his first six in Test cricket. It seems as if Cook is only in the team for fielding, he fields quite well though. Even though Broad got rid of Kallis in the 2nd innings, Swann and Cook played a big role in it. England had tied down  Kallis by some brilliant stops, he scored 4 off 32.
When Anderson and Swann were batting, I wanted England to bat till the end of the day but Anderson's wicket probably made Swann feel quite bad, he didn't show much faith in Onions and started playing shots. The applaud Anderson got when he got out made my smile wider. I've always felt that the breaks work better for the bowler than the batsman. Anderson took a short break because of cramps in his hand just before he got out. That is enough to break concentration. England didn't bat till the end but they got an early breakthrough which was fantastic. Anderson bowled Prince and South Africa sent Harris as a nightwatchman, who didn't annoy England much as Anderson sent him back to the pavilion early in the morning. England must have had a good night after ending the day on a good note. They have a big task ahead. Anderson may have to do what he did at Cardiff but that's not what the batsmen would want. Cook must get some runs now. In the 1st innings when Cook was batting, I felt that I havn't seen him in long. Oh yeah, the last time I saw him, he was England's captain in the Twenty20 lol. For the next Test, I would bring in Sidebottom for Anderson (if he is injured) or Cook (even he is not injured). Yeah, I won't get to see all my crushes if the two Andys think the way I do. There is no use of playing an injured fast bowler. For England to win, they must get South Africa all out for less than 150. Hope they field well and support the bowlers. I'm leaving, the twitter buddies are bowling, Cheers.

England vs South Africa 1st Test Day 2

Posted: Friday, December 18, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , ,

There was a bit more to Day 1 than my last post. The first spells by James Anderson and Stuart Broad were pretty good. Broad got a wicket but Jimmy didn't. James Anderson swung the ball both ways, which is a great ability. Without a doubt, he is the best swing bowler in the world at the moment. Anderson lacked enthusiasm and was struggling from a knee injury but his bowling wasn't that bad. He deserved the wicket of Kallis much earlier than he got it. Kallis was out lbw, the umpire gave it not out and so did the fucking review system. There have been 3 instances so far when the review system has given the wrong decision. Once, Kallis was out off Anderson, then de Villiers was out, caught by Prior off Swann, a few balls before he actually got out and then the most bizarre, just before lunch on Day 2, Morkel was given out off Swann but the HawkEye said it's going over the top! Oh come on, HawkEye is not always right, hot spot works better than that.
Currently, England are 143/3 on Day 3 after bowling South Africa out for 418. Anyone can score runs but the key wickets are Strauss, Pietersen and Trott and they have got rid of 2 of them. The thing is, for England to collapse on any given day, you have to get these 3 out quickly. If these 3 score some runs, the rest can take it to 350. There are more chances of a draw or South Africa winning it than England winning it as the pitch is deteriorating. On this ground, England have never lost a Test and South Africa have played 14, won 11, 2 drawn, lost one to England!
Swann is a champion bowler. He took 5 wickets in the South Africa 1st innings. He doesn't have a natural talent for spin bowling but he is very smart, strong mentally. In County, he used to open the batting and play as a handy spinner. I don't know why Rashid and Tredwell, called as cover, are in the squad. I don't know why teams do this. There is no use of keeping a player in their 15 man squad when he is not going to play in the series. England have more than 15 because a few were called as cover for injured players. These guys should just be playing matches for England performance squad or development squad since the County season is over rather than sitting around. I also heard that County matches will be played early next year at Abu Dhabi so that players can play more, which is a good news.

England vs South Africa 1st Test Day 1

Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , ,

South Africa finished Day 1 at 262/4. The score will tell you that the equation is balanced but it's not. Not when England are playing 4 bowlers and 2 of them are struggling with fitness- James Anderson and Graham Onions. Jimmy's knee injury has been a problem for long. He isn't fit since the 4th Ashes Test. England should have played Sidebottom in place of Anderson. There is no problem with playing 4 bowlers but you have to use them well. When Michael Vaughan was England's captain, 4 bowlers seemed enough. In fact, more than enough against New Zealand last year. England's batting improves under Strauss but I'm not so sure about bowling.
As a girl, I love to watch James Anderson but not when he is down in the dumps. England must be thinking that playing Luke Wright instead of Ian Bell would have been better. It's still pretty early for Wright to make a mark in Tests, he is just trying to play well in Internationals. I'd reckon playing Tim Bresnan wouldn't have been a bad ploy. Flintoff retired because he wanted to finish on a high but England still need him. Yesterday, I just felt really good to watch a Test match. I'm predicting a draw. The match is about to start. Until next time, take care.

England vs South Africa: Bring It On

Posted: Monday, December 7, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , ,

The rivalry between England and Australia only exists on-field now except for the pre-Ashes banter. But the rivalry between England and South Africa is heating up. They hate to see each other win. By wrapping up the one day series 2-1, England became only the third team to win a one day series in South Africa and only the second team to win a bilateral one day series in South Africa. India have climbed up to rank 1 in the ICC Test rankings. Oh for fuck's sake, they don't play better than all teams in Tests. They have only played 6 Tests this year, 3 at home, 3 in New Zealand.
Back to England vs South Africa, James Anderson took 5 wickets in the 4th ODI and then commented that he has bowled better for England. I couldn't agree more. I remember the Natwest series between England and India in 2007 in which he was superb. I also remember England tour of New Zealand and New Zealand tour of England in 2008, in which Sidebottom and Anderson took all the wickets and Broad was the supporting bowler. In his career, he has usually bowled well in South Africa, England and New Zealand but he hasn't had much success anywhere else. Figures won't show but he learned a lot during England tour of West Indies earlier this year. I havn't seen any series as unfair as that Test series.
England are playing very well now. I don't want any change in the squad. They are a good team in all formats now, probably after 1992. They have the potential to be the World No.1. Bresnan is the only one in the team who can be replaced but he can play when you have wicket takeres because he is economical. The matches between World XI and Australia show us that the best players don't win, the best team does. But considering the history of England cricket, changes are must. Freddie will be back, probably in the summer of 2010. Also, Collingwood, Jimmy, Strauss may not play in Bangladesh. Cook will captain England. It's hard to understand how ECB works, Cook captained England in their 2nd Twenty20 International but he didn't feature in any of the ODIs. He is good enough to play for England in Tests, ODIs but now we have Trott, Morgan so he should play in Tests only. This will sound bizarre but the place of the future England captain is in danger. He is trying hard to secure his place in the One Day and Twenty20 England squad. He should just concentrate on developing his batting for Tests. I heard James Anderson and Alastair Cook, both want to captain England. This is so funny for me. I never thought my top 2 crushes would be battling for captaincy. Jimmy said that being from the north and a fast bowler, he is unlikely to captain England. I would say he should just worry about his bowling, I doubt if captaincy will work for him. He has a lot to learn. He is more consistent now, he is naturally a better bowler but he has to find a way to take wickets when England aren't playing in South Africa, New Zealand or England.
Apart from the One Day series win, there is another good news, England have won the inaugural Cricket Legends of Barbados International Cup in the Caribbean. There are talks of a Test Championship, which I'm in favour of, given that West Indies or any other minnow don't play. Cheers.

Life As a Cricketer

Posted: Sunday, November 15, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , ,

Life as a cricketer isn't as wonderful and glamorous as it sounds. Yes, they enjoy playing cricket. Yes, they have a lot of fans. So what's better than being paid so much for something you love to do? May be a normal life. It's very tempting to become an International Star but don't be fooled by this adulation. Travelling around the world isn't as good as it sounds. And being the WAG of a cricketer isn't good either. There are cricketers who are happier playing in English County than playing for England. Kevin Pietersen commented on the tour of West Indies earlier this year, that "England dressing room is the worst place to be." He wanted to go home but captain Strauss didn't allow.
Let's take a look at the number of matches teams have played this year:

                    Tests Played        ODIs  Played           T20s Played        
England                                               14                         20                            8  
Australia                                              13                          40                           10
India                                                    6                          32                           10
Pakistan                                                9                          20                           11
Sri Lanka                                              11                         27                           13
South Africa                                          6                          20                           12
New Zealand                                         8                          24                           12

I don't take guarantee for any of the statistics mentioned in this post. You are welcome to point out any mistakes, it will be appreciated. I really think that cricketers should get more rest. There is a huge difference between the number of matches each team has played.  Every team should rest for at least 2 months after World Cup, 1 month after ICC World Twenty20, Ashes, ICC Champions Trophy.

Cookie Named Captain!

Posted: Monday, October 12, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,

No, England have not sacked Strauss. And he hasn't even resigned like Pietersen, Collingwood and Vaughan. Strauss has been rested for the Test series against Bangladesh so Alastair is the stand-in captain. This may prove to be too much responsibility for the young lad who is making a comeback in one dayers on the tour of South Africa. He has been trying to get into the one day side by scoring runs at a good strike rate in County.
England have made dramatic changes to their squad for the tour of South Africa. Luke Wright, Steven Davies and Adil Rashid have been included in the Test squad. Liam Plunkett is making a comeback while his Durham teammate Steve Harmison has been left out. Talks of Harmison's retirement are the talk of the town but he's only 30 so I believe he has some hope for the future.
In the One Day squad, Cook is making a comeback and the exclusion of Shah is a shocker. England scored 323 against South Africa in the Champions Trophy and Shah contributed 98 to that score. I don't think any English batsman has played such a smashing knock in the past few years. The only reason could be that he is playing for Delhi in the Champions League Twenty 20. It may seem bizarre but this is all I can think of. Trott, after playing only one Test, has been included in the squad. I'm not saying he is a bad option for One Dayers but if they wanted to bring him, then why not in the Champions Trophy, why now? By the way, Sajid Mahmood is also making a comeback to the England side.
England make a lot of changes in every series. Onions made his Test, One Day debut this year, Bresnan made a comeback, Trott made his debut and guess what, the year isn't over yet! Every year, a lot of players make their debuts for England, their dreams come true. But most of them fade away after a while. Then they make their comebacks. So why does this happen? Why does ECB picks so many new players every year? I just found out, Luke Wright's average in County (4 day matches) this year is 52. And ECB officials usually talks about County performances when they announce the squad. There are 18 Counties in domestic cricket in England and so many good players. I guess they just look at the stats each year and pick the players but changing the team again and again will not let them settle down. During Champions Trophy, I thought England would finally become a really good, consistent one day side but hell no! ECB wouldn't let that happen.
James Anderson is in Manchester while Swann and Broad are in South Africa. I don't know what they are doing there,with a month to go for the 1st Twenty 20 International against South Africa. Luke Wright is with them too, though he was supposed to play for Sussex Sharks in the on-going Champions League Twenty 20. What's so lovely about South Africa which is keeping them there?
Until next time, take care.

Perfect Start For England And Pakistan!

Posted: Saturday, October 3, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , ,

I see trees in green, red roses too and England in blue! Yeah, after playing seven ODIs in red, England are back in blue. England and Pakistan started the Champions Trophy in perfect style by winning two matches. England lost their third to New Zealand while Pakistan too lost their third match to unbeaten Australia. England were the underdogs going into the tournament, now they are the favourites! England played their first match at Wanderers, where the pitch helps the bowlers. Winning the toss at Wanderers almost wins you the match. James Anderson and Graham Onions striked early with Sri Lanka struggling at 17/4. England then let Sri Lanka recover a bit. The fifth wicket fell at 81 and England should have brought jimmy back to bowl them out quickly. It was clear that England came out with plans and they wanted to stick to their plans. Collingwood and Wright bowled some overs. They were bowling well but they are not wicket takers. Broad and Anderson then finished the Sri Lankan innings for 212. England lost two early wickets and that scared me a bit because the only England batsman who looked reliable throughout the summer was gone. But Colly, Shah, Morgan and Prior finished the job with the bat. Strauss must not be happy that England lost 4 wickets but nevertheless, at least they chased it. This match was held at Wanderers, where the ball swung. And when the ball swings, there is no one better than James Anderson. I thought he deserved the Man Of The Match with figured of 3-20 in 9.3 overs. But Collingwood it, must be happy. Colly and Shah were very keen to make their mark in this tournament, didn't do well in the one day series against Australia where Shah got the starts but got out hit wicket once, run out a few times.
England did much better in their 2nd match. Winning the toss and choosing to bat first at Centurion, England scored 323! Unbelievable! Strauss can now trust his batsmen a bit. England scored most of their tuns in the middle overs. Shah and Collingwood shared a partnership of 163. Shah fell at 98, Collingwood 82. Morgan made 67 in just 34 deliveries! England smacked South Africa for 12 sixes. I had heard Kepler Wessels saying that England don't have power players. What does he think now? Most commentators had completely written off England, especially their batting. True, it's hard to expect England to score 323 but I had always thought that England have power players, even without KP and Freddie. England have proved that winning is not about 2-3 players, it's about the team effort, the fielding, the confidence and the spirit. Nick Knight had said that England have the potential but so they have the confidence to be a good one day side? They are not as bad in one day as people suggest. They defeated South Africa 4-0 last year and West Indies 3-2 earlier this year. West Indies are not as good as they used to be but this series was played before their top players had feud with their Board. Even then, West Indies wasn't among top teams but most teams lose when they play in the Caribbean, England didn't. Back to the match against South Africa, Smith played a crappy innings of 141. Crappy because his shots didn't impress me, he was dropped, he was out lbw, wasn't given. England had plans for Gibbs, which worked. Anderson took the first wicket. When teams are chasing 300+, they should try to keep the wickets in hand rather than trying to score at a high run rate. When Swanny bowled Duminy, I thought England should win it from here and when Anderson bowled Boucher, it was over for South Africa. South Africa had to score 313 to keep their chances of going into the semi final alive but they didn't. Anderson finished with figures of 3-42. He took one of his wickets with cross seam, which was a bit surprising and he also bowled an in-swinger in the last ten overs, which was awesome. He does swing the ball both ways consistently.
England lost the toss at Wanderers. New Zealand decided to bowl first as expected. England were strauggling at 18/3 when Collingwood came in, who showed some resistance. Collinwood scored 40, Bopara 30. England were 117/9 when James Anderson cameo out to bat and England took the batting powerplay! As if jimmy is a hitter. England do all the funny things so why not take the batting powerplay when Sidebottom and Anderson are batting? Jimmy may not be a hitter but Sidebottom did hit a few boundaries and jimmy hit a shot which cleared the fielders in the circle! It was a weird shot and it was the first time I have seen jimmy play a shot like that. I think he should just stick to his natural style of batting. We now how stubborn he can be. He showed that at Cardiff. New Zealand let the last pair add 29 to the total. England were bowled out for 146. Though they did well to bat for 43.1 overs. After two fantastic matches, England gave us a horrible show of batting. But we forgive them for it, we are too busy celebrating the two wins. They cannot be blamed for this. They were victims of a deadly pitch. The pitch helped the Kiwi bowlers in the whole innings. Even M S Dhoni took a wicket here in India's last match against West Indies. He hasn't take any wicket in first class matches. New Zealand started their run chase pretty well McCullum's slogs and edges, which went for fours. Lady luck was with them. May be because England players weren't looking as good as they usually do. The first wicket fell at 84. New Zealand were 113/2 and 118/4. They chased the target with the loss of 6 wickets so the momentum is still with England going into the semi final. Broad took 4, Anderson 1, Sidebottom 1.

Highest Wicket Takers Of ICC Champions Trophy After The Group Stage
1. Wayne Parnell - 11 wickets, Ave - 17.81, Economy rate - 7.00
2. Stuart Broad - 10 wickets, Ave - 15.50, Economy rate - 5.50
3. Ashish Nehra - 8 wickets, Ave - 15.50, Economy rate - 4.76
4. James Anderson - 7 wickets, Ave - 16.42, Economy rate - 3.89
James Anderson has improved a lot in the past few years. Earlier, he wasn't a good death bowler, now he is. It's ridiculous that ICC Champions Trophy is only being played on two grounds. The crowd in the last few matches hasn't bee good. How would it be? For how many matches will the people of Centurion and Johannesburg pay? Besides, they are saving their money for semi finals and final. The South African Cricket Board is doing this for money, which sucks. I'm glad the final is at Centurion and England are not playing their semi final at Wanderers. It annoys me that wickets are not considered at all while calculating the net run rate. New Zealand won by 38 runs and 4 wickets, lost by 5 wickets. England won by 6 wickets and 32 runs, lost by 4 wickets. Still, New Zealand finished on top of the group. Stuart Broad may not play in the semi final due to a torn buttock muscle. So the twitter buddies James Anderson, Graeme Swann and rival Tim Bresnan may play together today! Watch out for it! Also, Prior is still recovering from illness so Davies may replace Bopara. Morgan did well behind the stumps in against South Africa and New Zealand. It just didn't feel like England's keeper is injured and Morgan is the stand-in wicket-keeper until he missed a chance to stump Smith.
Very excited for today's match! England in a semi final of an ICC event! This is jimmymycrushie, signing off. Cheers!

Another ICC Event

Posted: Friday, September 25, 2009 by jimmymycrushie in Labels: ,

With every ICC event, comes a chance to make history, for England. They are the underdogs. If they play the way they did in the first 6 ODIs in the recent Natwest Series against Australia, they will lose all three matches but if they play to win, like they did in the 7th, they are bound to win. In the 7th one-dayer, they looked good from the first ball, with a wicket in the first over. They looked like a winning team. In the ICC World Twenty-20, after losing to Netherlands, the Pakistan game was a must win and they did it! Then after losing to South Africa, they had to beat India and West Indies. They ousted the defending champions but lost to West Indies. The West Indies, who lost one day series to England in their own backyard, the West Indies, who were whitewashed in Tests as well as ODIs in England earlier this year. Before the match, I thought England are through to semis unless it rains and it did. The fate of England in an ICC event decided in 9 overs. In the CB series 2007, after having lost 5 of their 6 matches, they needed an ideal outcome in 5 matches. They had to defeat both Australia and New Zealand, they wanted Australia to beat New Zealand and they had to win 2 of the 3 finals. All of it happened, like a fairytale story. James Anderson took 5 wickets in the only match England won in their first 5 matches. In England's 3rd match of the series, Jonathan Lewis grabbed 4, Jimmy 2. In England's 4th match, Lewis's figures were impressive, 1-31 in 10 overs, so were James Anderson's figures, 2-47 in 10 overs. But England couldn't chase 211, being bowled out for 120. After that, both of them were sent home to get fit for the World Cup. In the next game, England were bowled out for 110. Then they lost to New Zealand, won against Oz with Freddie as captain. Colly and Plunkett were the stars in their next match, in their win against New Zealand. In the first final, the bowlers shared the wickets to bowl Australia out for 252 and Belly and Colly finished the job with the bat. Kevin Pietersen had said he would play in the third final but the third final wasn't needed. In the 2nd final, England scored 246 and Oz were 152/8 when it started pouring heavily. Game over. England were declared winners. Champagnes popped out.

If they could do it then, why not now? True, the challenge is tough and this is not a tri-series, this is just another ICC event. And West Indies isn't even in their group this time. Freddie isn't fit either. But they know, they have the potential. If they are gonna reach the semis, I expect them to defeat New Zealand and either Sri Lanka or South Africa. They must drop Bopara and Bresnan and bring in Broad/Sidebottom and Luke Wright. The contests between England and New Zealand are very interesting, both are evenly matched teams. On their day, none can beat England but their day doesn't come often in ODIs and especially in ICC events since 1992. The last time they reached the final in an ICC event was in ICC Champions Trophy 2004. Perhaps a humiliating defeat to Sri Lanka would be ideal so that games against South Africa and New Zealand are must win games and England plays their best. I don't know why they are not picking Cooky, he is batting so well in County Cricket. He is not just a Test batsman now. And why are they playing in red jerseys? England's color is blue. But hey Jimmy looks very hot in red. Hope they do well today. Come on England!

England vs Australia One Day Series

Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: ,

Both teams are playing quite badly in this series. Both are not playing with their best team. While England's star cricketers Pietersen and Flintoff are injured, Australia's Ricky Ponting returned home after Ashes and didn't play the first 3 one dayers. His comeback has revived interest in the series but only a bit. England rested Paul Collingwood and James Anderson for the 4th match of the series. The 6th match will see England's third star making a comeback. England cricketers are not too keen to play in this series. I wonder how many of them care that they havn't won a single match in the series. The ECB will never schedule the Natwest One Day Series between England and Australia after the Ashes in the future, at least they shouldn't. England's players were not too happy that the ECB had scheduled a match against Ireland  less than a week after Ashes. Strauss, Broad, Jimmy didn't play in it and the ones who played were delighted to avoid a humiliating defeat. England won the match only by 3 runs (D/L method). This year has seen England lose a Test series against the islanders, lose a Twenty-20 to Netherlands. They were criticized a lot for both defeats but they played well in both of them. They are not playing well in this series though. Do I mind? Na. Who cares about a one day series? Not an English Cricket Fan at least. I'm quite used to seeing England lose one dayers. Though I will have a beer if they avoid a whitewash. Jimmy didn't take any wicket in the 4th, 5th Test, 1st, 2nd Twenty-20, 1st ODI. That's more than a month! Though you can't blame him for not taking any wicket in the 2nd Twenty-20 because not even a ball was bowled in that match. Seems like the Sweetypie is more busy in twittering, spending time with his girls than bowling...lol. By the way his twitter username is jimmyanderson9 and ECB has confirmed it. I'll watch how Australia defeats England today. It will be interesting to see if England bats first and scores so low that bowlers don't have a chance of winning the game or if England bowls first and keep the spectators interested until the batsmen throw their wicket away. Until next time, take care. Cheers!

Ashes 2009 Facts

Posted: Wednesday, September 2, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , ,

Highest Wicket Takers
Hilfenhaus- 22 wickets, average 27.45
Siddle- 20 wickets, average 30.80
Johnson- 20 wickets, average 32.55
Broad- 18 wickets, average 30.22
Swann- 14 wickets, average 40.50
Anderson- 12 wickets, average 45.16
Highest Run Scorers
Strauss-474 Runs, 5 matches
Clarke- 448 Runs, 5 matches
Ponting- 385 Runs, 5 matches
North- 367 Runs, 5 matches
Katich- 341 Runs, 5 matches
Haddin- 278 Runs, 4 matches
4 Or More Wickets In The Innings
Graeme Swann- Thrice
Ben Hilfenhaus- Thrice
Stuart Broad- Twice
Peter Siddle- Twice
James Anderson- Twice
Mitchell Johnson- Once
Graham Onions- Once
Andrew Flintoff- Once
Marcus North- Once
Best Batting Averages
Jonathan Trott - 80
Michael Clarke - 64
Andrew Strauss - 52.66
Marcus North - 52.42
Ricky Ponting - 48.12
Shane Watson - 48
Best Bowling Averages
Ben Hilfenhaus - 27.45
Stuart Broad - 30.22
Graham Onions - 30.30
Peter Siddle - 30.80
Nathan Hauritz - 32.10
Mitchell Johnson - 32.55
Best Batting Averages Among Bowlers
Graeme Swann- 35.57
Andrew Flintoff- 33.33
Stephen Harmison- 31
Stuart Broad- 29.25
Nathan Hauritz- 22.50
Ben Hilfenhaus- 20

England Regain The Ashes!

Posted: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: ,

After the awesome Ashes 2005, humiliating Ashes 2006, came another wonderful series. It's always exciting if the last match of the series is the decider, no matter what the format is. Four years ago, England only had to draw the Test to win the series but this time Asstralia had as much chance to win the Ashes as England. Though Australia would be the happier team if the 5th Test was drawn, considering they would retain it. Now let's take a look at individual performances.

James Anderson
Jimmy batted well, bowled well in the first 3 Tests. He was the hero at Cardiff, highest England wicket taker, 26 in England's first innings, very valuable 53 ball 21* in the 2nd innings to help England draw the Test. He opened the bowling in the 1st Test with Stuart Broad and with Freddie Flintoff at Lord's. He liked bowling with his new ball partner, Lancashire team mate. When your fellow bowler is bowling well then you just have to keep it tight, which is exactly what jimmy did. At Lord's in the first innings, he took more wickets than Fred but there was not much difference in the quality of their bowling. A jubilant James Anderson said after the first Test, "Freddie deserves credit for getting Australia out cheaply as much as I do." A 4-for  by jimmy and good bowling by other bowlers got Australia out for 215, this is what set up the road to victory. After the Lord's Test, England were already celebrating, as if the Ashes had already been won. In the 3rd Test, Onions and jimmy ripped Australia apart in the first innings and England scored 376 but rain denied them victory. All of them looked pretty happy during the Test but they had more work to do, which they found out in the 4th Test. Freddie was injured so coach and captain didn't allow him to play although he wanted to play. Coach Petals commented "Flintoff, Pietersen not essential for win." Matt Prior had back spasms five minutes before the toss, so the toss was delayed and he decided to play. England batted first, were bowled out for 102. Jimmy pulled a hamstring while batting in the first innings. Everything was going Australia's way, the momentum was with them. England came out stronger in the 5th Test, needing a win to regain the Ashes. Freddie did play, which boosted their confidence. England scored 332. Jimmy got out on duck for the first time in his Test career. Unbelievable! Australia were bowled out for 160. England declared on 373/9, jimmy not out on 15. England set Australia a record total of 546. Australia were going pretty well at 217/2 but a direct hit from Freddie got rid of Punter. Fred had been stiff in the field, which is what prompted Hussey to call for a run. Hussey was batting for his career but I'm not sure if you can stay in the team after getting your captain out. Australia managed to score 348 in 102.2 overs, Hussey the last one to fall. Jimmy didn't take a single wicket in the last two Tests but I don't think he minds that, winning the Ashes was all that mattered. Before the 5th Test, he had said "This is the one game that matters, it doesn't matter what has happened in the rest of the series. Freddie would want to end his career on a high so we gotta win it for Fred."
Stuart Broad
Stuey was crap in the 1st Test. Scored 19 in the first innings, 14 in the second and took only one wicket in the Test. He didn't contribute much in the Lord's win either, 16 runs, 2 wickets. He was okay in the 3rd Test with 55 runs, 2 wickets but statistics don't tell you much about a player. Some players perform when it matters, some don't. Jimmy and Monty played a big role in the series just by surviving some deliveries and Stuart Broad's  55 didn't help England much. He was pretty good in the 4th Test but I really think a good bowler would get the opposition out cheaply on his day. It was clearly Stuart Broad's day, he scored 61 too but it didn't help England much. He was rather awesome in the 5th Test, 37 runs in England's 1st innings, 5 wickets in Australia's 1st innings, and this time Australia only scored 160. He scored 29 in England's 2nd innings and took a wicket in Australia's 2nd innings. An all-round performance got him the Man Of The Match. He plays all one-dayers, Tests, Twenty-20s England play since quite some time, this performance will guarantee his place for atleast a year lol. I know I criticized him after the 4th Test but I'm not taking my words back. Onions and Sidebottom are still better bowlers than him in Tests. Stuey in awesome in one-dayers, Twenty-20s but he ain't that good in Tests. I guess now he can compare himself to his dad, who scored 3 centuries in Ashes 1986/87, the year Stuart was born in.
I'll reflect on other players in my next post, watch out for it!

It's Not Over Yet

Posted: Thursday, August 20, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: ,

The fifth Ashes Test is just about to start. It's the finale, the match that will decide whether England will go on a bus ride again or Ricky Ponting's dream of winning an Ashes in England will come true. The fourth Test was a disaster, atleast for England fans and cricketers. The Edgbaston Test was the only Test which was evenly matched, Australia clearly the better team at Cardiff, England at Lord's, Australia at Headingly. Though England were slightly ahead at Edgbaston. The last is going to be very special, given that it's the last Test of Freddie's career, unless he comes out of retirement, which is unlikely.
James Anderson bowled well, batted well in the first 3 Tests. He pulled a hamstring in the fourth Test while batting in the first innings. It's very important for a fast bowler to be fully fit because you can't bowl full without strength. Currently, jimmy is the 4th highest wicket taker alongwith Stuart Broad. But he has bowled much better than Broady. England team for 5th Test: Strauss, Cook, Trott, Bell, Collingwood, Prior, Broad, Anderson, Freddie, Harmy, Swann. I'm glad that they have dropped Bopara but they should have dropped Broad too. He ain't good enough to play Tests for England. Onions is a much better bowler than him and Broady doesn't perform when it matters. True, he took 6 wickets at Headingly but that didn't benefit England. When jimmy or Freddie take 6 wickets or even 4 or 5 wickets, the oppostion doesn't score 455. They are the guys who win England matches, Broad doesn't. The match will start in about 11 minutes so I'll give my eyes some rest and then watch the match. Hope England will regain the Ashes, cheers!

Anderson And Panesar Save The Day!

Posted: Monday, July 13, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,

Headlines Of The Day: English hottie James Anderson And Monty Panesar have saved the first Ashes Test! England were 70/5 with minimum 78.5 overs remaining, Ashes 2005 hero Freddie Flintoff and Paul Collingwood at the crease, a draw seamed like a miracle. Flintoff lasted for 23 overs, scoring 26 runs in 71 balls. Ponting took a low catch at slip to get rid of Fred, who kept looking at the Aussie fielders till Ponting told him "Yeah, I've caught it. You are out mate." Broad scored 14 off 47 deliveries, never looked comfortable at the crease. Swanny in. 2nd last over over before tea, Swann faces some chin music from Siddle. 3rd ball of the over hits Swann on his finger, physio called. 5th ball of the over, hits Swann on the elbow, physio has more work work to do here, Bumble says "Here comes the magic spray again." 6th ball of the over, smashes him in the helmet! 10 minute over. I didn't mind the delay though. No, not because I think time wasting would reduce some overs or it will rain but because if Swann and Colly bat till tea, I will be okay for 20 minutes, nervous at the moment. Swann and Colly shared a partnership of 62 runs off 117 balls. Swann was a bit unlucky to get out, the ball bounced lower than expected. Cutiepie in. I thought, all rests on the shoulders of Colly and jimmy because Monty is the next man in. First few balls faced by jimmy made my heart beat faster than ever. Jimmy survives 5 balls off Hilfy. Johnson continues to bowl far away from the off stump and a few deliveries outside leg, as if Australia are on a backfoot and trying to draw this Test. Making it easier for England. Bowling change, NH replacing Hilfenhaus. If you want to know why Australia are not going to win the Ashes, click here. 1st ball of Haurtiz over, Anderson steps back and cracks him square, 1 run, jimmy wants 2, come on Colly show some faith in Jim, he is a fighter. But no, Colly asked jimmy to step back. By the way, jimmy completes his half century of innings without a duck. 6th ball of Hauritz over, hits Colly on the pads, outside off, Punter takes a good "catch", appeals, Aleem Dar denies him, Ponting is in dismay, what for? This is the first time I've seen Straussy without a smile on his face. Johnson continues, Anderson on strike. 1st ball, Colly wants a run, jimmy sends him back, oh gosh! Colly would be gone had the fielder hit the stumps, but no, he's another Stuart Broad. Jimmy takes a single on the 5th ball. England 225/8, 15 overs left in the day. England need to score 15 runs to avoid an innings defeat. England 228/8 in 90 overs. 2nd ball of Johnson over, short, wide, jimmy smacks him for four! The good thing about jimmy is, he may be a tailender, he may not have scored a half century, he may give his give wicket away, but no matter what the situation is, he will smack a terrible delivery. Over 94: bowling change, Siddle replaces Johnson, gets Colly out. 11.3 overs left in the day. Monty in. I am wondering why he's in the team, he missed a run out, he hasn't done anything with the bat, took only one wicket. Had Sidebottom or Onions or Harmison been selected, England would still have a chance for saving this match. They field better than Monty, they bat better than Monty, they may have taken more than one wicket. Collingwood faced 245 balls, a class batsman, briliant fielder. Oh that reminds me, he has been Monty's batting coach over the last few days, hope Monty's batting has improved. Monty survives two balls, Anderson takes a single off the last ball. Jimmy survives the whole Hauritz over. Siddle steaming in, England need 5 more runs to make Australia bat again. Panesar takes a single off the last ball. The crowd cheers every block, a maiden over is cheered more than people cheered when Yuvraj Singh hit those six sixes. Jimmy hits Siddle for two fours in a row, Australia have to bat again! Minimum 7 overs reaming in the day's play with England 244/9. 102nd over: North replaces Siddle. 2nd ball of North's over, Panesar hits four! He's on 7 now, improved his Test batting average a bit. England's 12th Man Shafayat and physio waste a bit of time, oh this funny. Ponting says a few words to the bearded 12th man, who hits back at Punter. He's a frustrated captain. England 252/9, they have saved the Test!!! Ponting can't bilieve it! Nor can I! I have rarely been so happy in my life, never been happier! Test cricket is boring? Who says that? This was only a draw but so entertaining. I don't think anyone has ever enjoyed a Twenty20 as much as English Cricket Fans enjoyed today! The crowd cheers for our two new heroes, James Anderson and Monty Panesar! Collingwood's efforts has paid off. He not only batted well but teached Monty a thing or two about batting. Ponting was declared Man Of The Match. Booed when he came to receive it. Before the match, Australians have been saying that since the match is in Wales, not England, there will be more support for them. But whom are we kidding? Jimmy took two wickets, scored 26 in the 1st innings, 21 not out in the 2nd, great game for him. I can proudly say I'm a huge James Anderson fan. Johnson didn't look impressive in the match, I don't know how he took those 5 wickets. Australia usually plays better at the start of a series than they do at rest so England have a better chance to win Ashes. Perfect game for England. Tests are exactly what they are called, they test you. But England were not tested against West Indies in the 7 Tests they played this year. They were tested in this game though. The female fan in me wants to see Broad play but the cricket fan doesn't. I'd rather have Onions, Sidey or Harmy. Monty must be dropped too. England have a lot of work to do. The batsmen were too tensed. Kevin, too defensive. In this Test England proved that when they have to draw a Test, all the No.11 batsmen have equal ability. Cook needs to be more responsible. Bring in Belly for Bopara, who failed against Sri Lanka, scored all his tons against West Indies, lucky to make his Ashes debut. When Collingwood reached his half century, it looked like he's showing the bat to the dressing room. England batsmen need to do their job, bowlers usually do theirs. This was Australia's highest total against England in 75 years. This was England's worst bowling performance in a long time. Next Test begins on 16th at Lord's, the squad will be announced this afternoon. Cheero!

Battle begins at Cardiff

Posted: Thursday, July 9, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,

After all the talk surrounding the Ashes, Glenn Mcrath predicting a 5-0 Australia win for the 3rd time in a row, Ashes finally got underway yesterday. Cardiff, where a Test is being played for the first time, is in Wales, not England. No one knew exactly how the pitch is going to be, although most believed it would help spin. England captain Andrew Strauss said before the match that there is something in this pitch for everyone.
England won the toss and choosed to bat first. England didn't started the day well, Alastair Cook fell to Hilfenhaus on 10. Bopara, Strauss got the starts, both scoring 30 odds but didn't go on to score big runs. Bopara fell to Johnson on a slower delivery, soft dismissal. Pietersen and Collingwood showed some resistance by scoring 60 odds. Prior and Flintoff entertained the crowd. It was good to see Freddie back among the runs. Siddle has been bowling well all day without much luck but finally bagged two vital wickets. Jimmy was sent as a nightwatchmen, a move which surprised many, delighted me. Although I would have been happier if Prior and Flintoff would bat till the end, I didn't mind seeing jimmy on the first day of Ashes. I don't understand why England sends Broad before Swann, who opens the batting for Nottinghamshire. England finished the day with 336/7 with James Anderson not out on 2, meaning he has played 49 innings in his career without getting out on duck. It's a rare record for a No.11 batsman. I've seen him getting out on duck in one dayers a few times, god knows why no bowler has got him out on duck in Tests. His highest score in Tests came when he was sent as a nightwatchmen, scoring 34 against South Africa at Leeds, Headingly in July last year while his highest in ODIs is 15.
Back to the match, I think it's evenly poised with Australia coming back in the match with the wickets of Prior and Flintoff late in the evening. England are playing two spinners which is a bit risky because Monty has not been bowling two well in recent times. The man missing out is Graham Onions, who was selected in the 13 man squad alongwith Ian Bell for the first Test. Harmison is back in contention by taking wickets for England Lions against Australia just before the first Test. The match is going to be even more interesting today because England's strength is bowling and Australia's stregth is batting. It will be very interesting to see how jimmy looks and bowls, he is in the form of his life, swinging both ways consistently. This is his chance to become an England hero, an Ashes hero.

Twenty20 From The Eyes Of A Young Girl

Posted: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , ,

When I first heard about the concept, I was very critical of it, mostly because I was worried about the bowlers. And 10 wickets for 20 overs doesn't seem like a good idea to me. The first Twenty20 game I seriously watched was the semifinal between Leicestershire and Essex in the Twenty20 cup 2006. I also saw young Stuart Broad for the first time during that match. It got me interested, so I watched the final between Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire. Broady took David Hussey's wicket, which impressed me a lot. Now I'm a female, I can't keep talking about a bloke without mentioning his looks, he looked awesome, he had cold which made him look even more cute. I loved the way Nasser Hussain was commentating at that time, he kept saying, "Hit the deck hard young man, hit the deck hard". I just hoped this young bowler would come into the England side soon. And so he did, so he did. He debuted at Bristol in a Twenty20 game against Pakistan. He took 2 wickets in 2 deliveries, Shoaib Malik and Younis Khan. He also made his One day debut very soon, at Cardiff in the series following the Twenty20. Only 7 overs were bowled in the Pakistan innings, but that was enough for Broad to pick his first wicket in One Day Internationals, Shoaib Malik.
But his career was not going to be so fruitful, he was smacked for six sixes in an over by India's stupid slogger, Yuvraj Singh. I don't thin' he bowled that badly and Yuvraj Singh didn't show any bravery by hitting a 21 year old  bowler for sixes  in a small ground (Grounds in South Aftrica are petite) when his on-going battle was with Freddie Flintoff. Fred even got him out in the next over. And I don't think you can be called a great batsman for hitting sixes in a small ground when your average in Tests is 35. Twenty20 can never make anyone's career, it can only break career. I'm glad that it didn't effect Stuart badly. I'm sure that if an Indian bowler would have given that many runs, he would have been dropped, FOREVER.
Now, don't get me wrong people, I don't hate this format, i enjoy it, I'm just not in support of the Twenty20 tournaments. Too much of anything is toxic. I don't mind one or two Twenty20s in a tour but I don't see the need for a Twenty20 tournament, Twenty20 doesn't always ensure that the best team wins and obviously 20/9 is even worse. Also, there are too many tournaments in cricket these days, which has led to the reduction in series between countries. This year, we already saw IPL and ICC World Twenty20 and there is more, APL, Champions Trophy, Champions League Twenty20. I know some would argue that out of these, only ICC World Twenty20 and Champions Trophy are part of the FTP but it's quite tragic that Dwayne Bravo played in the IPL when West Indies were struggling in England. Personally speaking, I don't want to see any of these, not even Champions Trophy, only ICC World Cup (One Day offcourse) is good. Until next time, take care, Cheers.

ICC World Twenty20

Posted: Tuesday, June 9, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: ,

Firstly, I'd like to reply to the comment by anonymous on "Ashes 2009 Preview", I tried commenting a long paragraph but it didn't work, then I tried commenting a few words and there was no problem in it so I think you couldn't post it because it was too long. Anyways, thanks for your comment.
Now, this is my first post since the First Test against West Indies. I'm tired of watching England winning convincinly against West Indies. These two sides have played 16 matches against each other this year (including the warm-up before ICC World T20 and the Test in the Carribean in which only a few balls were bowled.) They will play against each other again in the quaterfinals since both teams have almost made it to the quaters. I don't expect West Indies to win against England this time either. They look such a weak side against England that it surprised me that they defeated Australia with about 4 overs to spare.
There have been a few upsets in the ICC World T20, West Indies defeating Australia, Ireland defeating Bangladesh, Netherlands defeating England. It is considered an upset that Ireland defeated Bangladesh but I expected it to be a match between equal sides. Ireland have now played two ICC events, World Cup 2007 and this year's World T20 and they have reached the quaterfinals of both! They couldn't qualify for ICC World T20 2007 in which Zimbabwe beat Oz. It's a pity that Zimbabwe, which was among the best teams once, couldn't even qualify for an ICC event. Actually, their board wouldn't let them qualify for anything. They had players like Heath Streak, Andy Flower (Current England team director) but now the all black team cannot be counted in the World Top 10 Teams. Ireland, on the other hand has been rising, the only problem is that all their players think in only one way- play in English County, make it to the Ireland side and if you are good enough, play for England. Eoin Morgan, who averages nearly 35 in ODIs was picked for the England side after playing 23 ODIs for Ireland. Ed Joyce, who helped Ireland qualify for the ICC World Cup 2007 was seen donning the three lions blue jersey in the World Cup.
When Netherlands defeated England, the faces of English cricketers and the headlines in the newspaper the next day told it all. The headlines were like, this was the darkest day in English cricket blah, blah, blah. Former English cricketers were all over the current England team who were quieter than ever. Perhaps it was the perfect thing. After winning 3 series in a row (against West Indies), 2 warm up games (West Indies, Scotland), they needed to be shaken, before the big quaterfinal games. I've always felt that it's better to play against a team of your standards than to play against minnows. If you win against them, you won't receive many complements but if you lose, everybody will come down pounding on you. In that match, Netherlands didn't play like a minnow. Usually when you see a match between minnows, you will realise that they are either good in bowling or batting, like Bangladesh have a few hitters, Ireland and Scotland have a few good bowlers. I like Seelar! And his celebration is nice to watch.
In the match against Netherlands, England bowled well, batted well. The only flaw was that they missed 6 run outs- 3 in the last over by Stuart Broad. Broad's career has been a bit tragic so far, when Yuvraj Singh (stupid Indian slogger) hit 6 sixes in an over, I did not feel like criticising Stuey, just wanted to give him a kiss to make him fell better...lol. Grounds in South Africa are petite so it's easier for the batsman. But T20 is not hell for bowlers in England. The last over Stuey bowled against Netherlands was superb, all 6 bowls were good. Only 1 or 2 of them went to the fielder, 4 or 5 bowls went to the keeper/bowler. I felt sorry for him at the end.
I think England are going to beat West Indies again so they have to defeat either India or South Africa to reach the semis. Hope they do well. Cheers.

Ashes 2009 Preview

Posted: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: ,

I would say both teams are struggling at the moment. England didn't win any Test in India or the Carribean but I think they played really well. They should have won the first Test in India and the series in the Carribean by 2-1. As Richie Benaud said "captaincy is 90% luck and 10% skill - but don't try it without the 10%", Kevin Pietersen declared in the first Test against India and England lost. I don't even think he has total 10% skill but he's not that bad. I personally think England are usually unlucky. What else can I say when they fail to take the last wicket and bad light ends the match (third Test, Antigua) and when they needed just 2 wickets to level the series in the last Test (fifth Test, Port of Spain, Trinidad)? When you see the Australian team these days, it looks like their bowlers are playing for a domestic team. Only Johnson seems to be good enough and Lee is injured and struggling. If they play without Lee, their bowlers will have a total of zero wickets in England. I believe their batsman are still good enough but you need bowlers to take 20 wickets to win a Test and English bowlers usually have a much better record at home than away. England's best bowlers would be James Anderson, Andrew Flintoff, Stuart Broad, Ryan Sidebottom and a spinner. I hope they all are fit by the time Ashes start but it's not at all easy for the selectors, coach and captain to decide on the bowling front. Apart from these England have Hoggard, Harmison, Simon Jones, Liam Plunkett, Jonathan Lewis, Chris Tremlett, Sajid Mahmood....the list is endless! I personally like Swann more than Monty and it's actually quite surprising that Swann is taking a lot of wickets in Tests. I always expected him to flourish in ODIs but not so much in Tests. He really impressed me in West Indies, he was the highest wicket taker even though he only played 3 Tests in the series. He's better than Monty also because he is an opener in county and has shown that he can bat well in International cricket too. Here's a list of the highest English wicket takers of the series :
                              M      W     BBI   Ave
Graeme Swann        3       19    5/57  24.05
Stuart Broad            5       12    5/85  30.58
James Anederson     4         9    3/24  38.00
Andrew Flintoff        3         5    3/47  30.20
Monty Panesar         3         5    2/34  54.00
Stephen Harmisson   2         4   2/49   36.75
Amjad Khan             1         1   1/111  122
Ryan Sidebottom      3         1   1/146  188
The figures don't look that good but then you have to blame the flat pitches for that. I'm happy that jimmy is getting consistent now. He has always been good but has been labelled as "consistently inconsistent". I also heard that he has a 3 month old kid named LOLa (born on 8th Jan, 12 days before my birthday!). I'm also glad that now we won't see England playing on flat pitches in the near future and I'll get to see them play happily on home turf! After all, England is the best place to play cricket! And after having a hard time in India and West Indies, they must win! Though they ended the tour of West Indies on a happy note by winning the ODI series! All the matches in the ODI series were close and exciting but still not as good enough as the matches played in England....hehe! Especially the day night matches in England are the best. So now we have to beat West Indies in England, win the Twenty20 cup and offcourse most importanty, the Ashes! Both teams are not as good as they were in 2005 but I think it will be close and hard to predict. ECB has not decided the captain for the Twenty20 cup, I would say Colly is the best! I don't think Strauss and Bopara are best openers for England, I would rather have Matt Prior opening with Strauss. You see the England cricket team and think who is the hitter? Who is gonna score runs at a good strike rate? Kevin Pietersen? Mascarenhas? Prior? Freddie? Well, Big Fred is bowling at his best but struggling at batting. You gotta give Prior a chance. England can even have two keepers in the team (Mustard, Prior or someone else) and one of them can open. It's such a relief that Strauss is not picked for the World Twenty20 squad, gosh it would have been a disaster if they would have. When he played in the Carribean, I thought, England picked the captain before choosing the team. Waiting for the first Test (May 6, Lords) against the islanders. Not interested in the IPL so have to wait a lot. Your comments will be appreciated. Thanks for reading.

The Drama Called English Cricket

Posted: Monday, March 23, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: ,

Yes, English Cricket is full of drama. It's an unscripted movie. In 2008, Collingwood and Vaughn resigned. They were the best. The best captains England could have. 

Collingwood is one of the best fielders in the world and he inspires others in the England squad to be a good fielder when he is the captain. He just lifts them up and it would not be wrong to call him a "superman". Which English Cricket fan can forget  the captain who led the side in the memorable Ashes 2005? 

Vaughn was smart and knew what to do in the situation of crisis. Then came the appointment of the egotistic Kevin Pietersen as the captain. He wanted the coach Peter Moores removed after a spat with him and thought that  the ECB will follow his orders. ECB not just fired Moores but forced Kevin to resign too. 

Rumours tell us that the spat was over not selecting Michael Vaughn when KP was vacationing in South Africa. 

This wasn't all, Allen Stanford offered ECB $20 million Twenty-20 Matches in the Carribean. This offer was made to India and South Africa too but they declined it but ECB accepted it very quickly. I didn't like the Stanford Super Series and didn't watch much of it. Matches in Carribean are not too enjoyable anyway. 

During one game, Matt Prior's pregnant wife, Emily, was seen sitting on the lap of the shithead Stanford. There were other England WAGs around him as well and the England cricketers didn't look too comfortable watching it. Stanford was also allowed to be in the dressing room with the players which they didn't like at all. 

This year, he is known as a fraud and the deal is over. Now, lets just keep the asshole aside and talk about the hotties. Firstly, I'm glad that the so called "consistently inconsistent" James Anderson is now getting consistent and he is 26 so he has a long way to go and time to improve a lot. He played really well against the Kiwis last year, but then, all England players did. 

Ryan Sidebottom was the star and taking most of the wickets. Jimmy and Broady were a great help though. They not only bowled well but batted well too. And even together! Ryan Sidebottom was the PCA Player of the year in 2008. 

England thrashed New Zealand at home and away too. They not only did this but defeated South Africa by 4-0 in ODIs as well. Then came the losing streak which was broken by a win against West Indies in the 1st ODI by winning by 1 run (D/L method). 

I love it when they play at home. England has got the finest grounds in the world ang the crowd is always good. Bad Light and rain interrupt matches rarely. England has the longest day in the world-16 hours so bad light is not a problem. 

Test cricket is largely dependent on English cricket fans. You won't see England playing with empty stands no matter where they play. Barmy Army are the best cricket fans in the world and they are known for cheering England in every situation. 

I've heard them chanting "He's big, he's bad, he's better than his dad, Stuart Broad! Stuart Broad!" and "Jim Jim Jim jimmy Anderson!" Freddie "Flinstones" and KP are cheered a lot and loved too. They would not throw stones at their players when the team is losing, like Asians do. Now, back to cricket. 

England certainly played better than India in the test series they lost 1-0 last year and better than the islanders too. But they didn't win either of them. India just chased the target in an inning after KP declared and WI wrapped up England for 51 in the 1st test. 

And they are not good in Twenty-20. So why do lose? Even though they play like like the world's best team in tests? Aren't they capable of winning? Sure they are. But England have always been like this. They would rarely be the World No.1 team or the World No.8 team. Neither the best nor the worst. 

They would not lose to Bangladesh but would not win the world cup either. Bangladesh have defeated Australia once and India twice but not England. Currently, they are not playing with their best team. It's like they choosed the captain before choosing the team. Why did Strauss play in the Twenty-20? 

And what the fuck is Batty doing in the team? Good for nothing. The batsman that England picked in the 1st two ODIs are not bad but they are a bad combination. Who are the hitters? Kevin Pietersen, Mascarenhas. But Mascarenhas is not doing well at the moment. And you need more players like those. So what if Swann and Freddie are injured? They could still play the uncapped Adil Rashid. And Luke Wright. Enough for today, goodbye!

England vs West Indies 5th Test Day 5

Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: ,

The match is still going on, tea is over so I've taken time off to post this. West Indies are 78/3 and England need 7 more wickets to win. The pitch curator said before the test that the pitch will help spinners from Day 2 onwards. However, it was totally flat on Day 2 and 3 and for the most part of Day 4. The West Indies lost their last six wickets for 111 in their first innings on Day 4. England declared on 237/6 at lunch on Day 5. They still have a chance of winning but after the 3rd test, we can never celebrate before it's over. The look on James Anderson's face yesterday brought tears to my eyes. Flat pitches are of no use, they just make bowlers cry and the test result in a draw. West Indies need 162 runs from 35 overs and it still doesn't seem like they are gonna win. It's a brave decision by England but it's a chance they had to take. If they win it, series will be levelled at 1-1 but it would be a big thing as they only had two sessions to bowl out West Indies and it's always great to end the series on a winning note. Earlier today, England batted beautifully and scored 157 in 23.4 overs. Kevin Pietersen scored his first century of the series after being dismissed in the 90s earlier in the series. I'm gonna go and watch jimmy now! Hope we'll have something to celebrate!

England vs West Indies 1st Test

Posted: Sunday, February 8, 2009 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , ,

Self interview

Q.1 Do you think that the bad days of English cricket have started?
Sanya: Nah, every team has their own ups and downs. England were all out for 46 against WI during England tour of West Indies in 1994 but bounced back in the series in which Alec Stewart scored a ton in each innings. I hope history repeats itself. The question is, who will play the role of Alec Stewart? I really think England will try harder because they all know that this was one of the darkest days in English cricket. Their 3rd lowest score in tests.

Q.2 When did you felt that England is going to lose?
Sanya: When Strauss got out. England were 4 down & Cooky, Belly, KP and Strauss were all gone. Obviously, I had some faith in Freddie, Colly, Prior, Broady and the tail but it was hard to pull it off, wasn't it? Till Stuey got out, I thought England will lose but WI will have to bat again.

Q.3 Do you wish to see any changes in the side?
Sanya: I'd like to see jimmy replacing Harmison and Owais Shah replacing Bell. Also, England can play Adil Rashid as the second spinner or even the only spinner.

Q.4 Is Harmison's career over?
Sanya: He has done really well in the past in the Carribean. In fact, his best performances have come in Sabina Park (West Indies) and Lords (England). But this time, he did not perform on either of them. When England went to West Indies in 2004, England won 3-0. In the 1st test WI were all out for 47, Harmison bagging 7 wickets. But the question that arises is, when will the old Harmison be back?

Q.5 Who is the culprit?
Sanya: It's 51 all out, the whole team is the culprit but it's the batting that has failed. Only KP, Freddie scored runs, a few from Bell, Sidebottom. Most of them have never played in the Carribean before and it's not easy which they must have already observed.