Wednesday, December 15

Look out for that spark

Like I said, I have been erratic, and promise to be so for some more time.
(I wonder who's noticing, but heck- don't hurt saying it!)

Some exciting cricket is in prospect tomorrow onwards. First the Australian summer will hope to actually hot up against Pakistan, and then the English and South Africans take each other on. Both the visiting sides have had a torrid time in tour games, but for both that is unlikely to change the pre-tour predictions and chances.

Pakistan, famously, are unpredictable. It is unlikely there is any other adjective used with such frequent consistency for any other team as this one for these guys. The series is unlikely to have any scoreline besides 3-0, barring the weather. Yet, Pakistan is one of those teams (nesides your own) who you don't mind watching despite knowing they are most likely to lose. In fact, their losses often conceal thrilling spells of cricket and dazzling bursts of passion that get lost in the scoreline. Those few periods of excitement are always worth waiting for, just that you never know when they will hit and you- and you might miss them just as easily. All talk Shoaib can still serve up some spectacular bursts of raw speed and destruction, though who knows if he will. His spells will hold the key- first up, and the reverse swinging second/third spells. If he is ineffective in all of these, the others will be hard pressed to put the Aussies batting under any sort of pressure.

England, on the other hand, are likely to win despite their tour loss- at least on paper. They probably have the most backers (and justifiably) for the second best team in the world tag. Not without good reason. Harmison and Flintoff are going to be key men in the series, and the batting lineup shood come through moe often than not. No one looks a sure shot for a glut or runs in the series, but as a lineup they should come through. Kallis, Smith and Co. will be happy to be back in home conditions facing predominantly pace bowling on familiar tracks. They will suddenly loook far more complete than they did In India, but whther the bowling can back them up enough is yet to be seen. i would guess England winning 3-1 or something. It is a long tour, though, and the poms could tire. Especially for the seven ODIs to follow. But that's a while away.

Closer still is the second test at Chittagong, with little likely to change the pattern of Bangladesh cricket. India should win again, and win big. Of some interest will be the possibility of any more records. Oh well, let see. It is a boring December season for India, while there will be few more sparks (or at least, more weighty if predictable sparks) around the holiday season elsewhere.

Rhodes doesn't want to be the fielding consultant at the India NCA. What a pity. He wants to "take a break from cricket and learn the ropes in the corporate world", he says. Though he 'hastens to add that he does not rule out cricket coaching'.

No comments: