England continues to Reign Down Under

Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , ,

The English played like 20 year old reckless beings
Kudos to Alastair Cook and Paul Collingwood. To Alastair Cook, for facing the challenge and coming out as the top performer of the Ashes 2010 by quite a distance. And to Paul Collingwood, for quitting Test cricket. England were reluctant to drop him and he had his chances but the continuity of his tough times have been too long in recent times. He has made it easy for himself and for England. Many cricketers want to end their career on a high, so as to be remembered. And not just remembered, but remembered as successful. But this was the right time to go. He is 34 and will continue to be England's captain in the shortest format and play in One day Internationals and IPL.

The Indian Premier League is a funny thing and provides a lot of stories for the media. Recently, the auction for the 4th edition.  Kevin Pietersen (previously Royal Challengers Bangalore) will play for Deccan Chargers, Stuart Broad (IPL debutant) for Kings XI Punjab, Eoin Morgan (previously Royal Challengers Bangalore) for Kolkata Knight Riders, Paul Collingwood (previously Delhi Daredevils) for Rajasthan Royals, Owais Shah (previously Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders) for Kochi, Dmitri Mascarenhas (previously Rajasthan Royals) for Kings XI Punjab, Michael Lumb (previously Rajasthan Royals) for Deccan Charger. The list of the unsold is obviously long. But some unknown players have been 'bought' for huge amounts while Graeme Swann, Matt Prior, Luke Wright, Ravi Bopara, Chris Gayle, James Anderson etc. have gone unsold. And in this bid for humans, it is a humiliation for the unsold. Sourav Ganguly and Brian Lara have also gone unsold but I don't think there is anything wrong in ignoring past heroics. James Anderson is a must-have in Tests but not in Twenty20s. The schedule of the English and ego-clashes of BCCI and ECB must have also been considered.

Meanwhile, in the cleaner form of cricket, England have made a record of winning 8 Twenty20 Internationals in a row, overtaking Pakistan and South Africa. The last time England lost a Test series was in Feb-Mar '09, one day series/tournament in Sep-Oct '09, Twenty20 series/tournament in June '09.

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England set for 3-1 Ashes victory

Posted: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,

It had been a while since I stopped enjoying this Ashes, but watching Cook and KP bat reignited the fire. Alastair Cook is having the time of his career. He is the one who was being considered for making the way for someone else, before Ashes, but rose to the challenge, quite magnificently. He's been itching the Aussie eyes. Australia's new "discovery" Michael Beer almost got Cook out. But almost is an important word. After he was given out Billy Bowden doubted that it might be a no ball and so it was. Cook was walking away and it was nice to see KP call him back. Bell, too scored a ton and continued his tradition of almost never scoring a century when no one else did before him in the innings. It's been only once when his century came when no one else reached 3 figures. That happened earlier this year, against Bangladesh. But not like he has always only capitalised on opportunities, there's been 70+ scores when runs were badly needed. And his ton in '05 against Pakistan came when England were 39/2 and he shared a partnership of 154 runs with Kevin Pietersen. KP, Cook, Bell seem to bat well with one another.

Meanwhile, at the SCG, England are in command and winning the Ashes by 3-1 seems likely. I'm not much concerned with an innings defeat. For me, 3-1 is more than enough. It's Down Under, it's against the ex-World No.1, it's the Ashes.

Some interesting stats about the hot Cookie

Alastair Cook has spent the most time ever in a 5 Test series, over 36 hours at the crease. Cook is now the 2nd highest English series scorer with 766 runs behind Wally Hammond's 906.
He is engaged to former glamour model, Alice Hunt. I heard she is 33 and was among the England WAGs involved in Allen Stanford fiasco.

Brief scores after Day 3:
  • Aus 280 (Johnson 53, Watson 45, Anderson 4/66, Bresnan 3/89)
  • Eng 488/7 (Cook 189, Bell 115, Strauss 60, Prior 54*, Johnson 3/97)

Year End Specials: Highest Wicket Takers in 2010

Posted: Saturday, January 1, 2011 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Click on the image for full size view.
Tests                                                                                                                  M     W     Ave     SR   Win %   D   L
Graeme Swann (Eng)
Dale Steyn (SA)
James Anderson (Eng)
Morne Morkel (SA)
Zaheer Khan (India)
Steven Finn (Eng)
Harbhajan Singh (India)
Mitchell Johnson (Aus)
Mohammad Amir (Pak)
Mohammad Asif (Pak)

Win % = Percentage of the team winning when the player took 4 or more wickets
D = No. of matches drawn when the player took 4 or more wickets
L =  No. of matches lost when the player took 4 or more wickets
SR (Strike rate) = Balls per wicket. For e.g., if a bowler took 10 wickets and bowled 50 deliveries, his strike rate would be 5. The lower the strike rate, the better it is. Not to be confused with batting strike rate.

One Day Internationals                                                                 M     W     Ave     SR
Shakib Al Hasan (Ban)
27 4626.00 32.4

Ryan Harris (Aus)
16 40 15.17 19.6

Shafiul Islam (Ban)
23 32 31.56 30.1

Stuart Broad (Eng)

Abdur Razzak (Ban)

Doug Bollinger (Aus)

Ashish Nehra (India)
20 28 31.9633.2

Graeme Swann (Eng)

Clint McKay (Aus)

Kevin O'Brien (Ire)