Wednesday, 27 February 2008

How can we get Strauss in the side?

Andrew Strauss was not selected for the tour of Sri Lanka and has not played between that unselection and the selection of the touring party to New Zealand. So, how could he be picked for the tour to New Zealand if he had been dropped for the previous tour? Why wasn't say, to pull a completely random name out of the hat: Mark Ramprakash (who has managed to averaged over 100 in the last two seasons) chosen ahead of him?

Strauss managed 4 in 25 balls in the first tour match and has been selected for the second (and final) warm up match. If he fails again, what excuse will they use to include him? Who could they drop to make way: Owais Shah who made 96 in the warm up match?

Monday, 25 February 2008

Same old, same old

New Zealand beat England 3-1 in the ODI series and it must be said thoroughly deserved to win. New Zealand does not have a team full of star players; Vettori is an excellent spinner and Oram is quite good on his day. So how does a team of good county players beat a world class England team? The obvious answer is because they are better. New Zealand work well as a team and have players that, although not world class, can regularly produce good performances. England do not.

The England line up is desperately short of fire power in the upper and middle order. The one stand-out player – Keven Pietersen has been in a long decline. The bowling attack, with the exception of Sidebottom looks poor. Anderson has series figures of 37 1 270 4, that is a run-rate of 7.3 per over and a wicket every 68 runs. I am not sure if Anderson’s selection can be justified in future. Broad at least has better figures: 38 3 206 8 … and he topped the batting averages.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Thriller in Napier

The One Day International (ODI) series between New Zealand and England has finally produced a match worth watching. The forth match of the series, in Napier, ended with a thrilling tie meaning that New Zealand lead the series 2-1 with a match to play. The wicket at Napier was an excellent ODI wicket. It was fast, had a true bounce with short boundaries square of the wicket and a fast outfield. In the end New Zealand blew an easy win, they needed 25 from 24 balls with four wickets left including Jamie How who was on 128 at the time.

The match saw 680 runs and 13 wickets, clearly a batting paradise, so which bowlers did England pick: J Anderson, R Sidebottom and S Broad. That is three bowlers, not the required five. England ‘filled in’ with twenty overs from Collingwood, Shah and Mascarenhas. Collingwood is not a bad one day bowler but with that selection there is no room for mistakes or an off day. Anderson went for 86 from his ten but Collingwood had nowhere to turn. So who bowled the last, vital over: Luke Wright. That was definitely not based his previous efforts... because that is the only over he has bowled in the competition. To be fair it worked, and New Zealand only managed six from the last over but can you imagine the fuss that would have been made if the first ball of the over had gone for six...

Wednesday, 13 February 2008


There have been four International matches between New Zealand and England on the current tour. In the first two New Zealand were hopeless, completely outclassed and played like a team who didn’t know how to win. It was with little expectation of a good match that I watched the first 50 over ODI. Well, I was correct but this time it was England who turned in a dreadful performance. Poor batting and worse running. The 2nd ODI was even worse, England thumped by ten wickets. Very poor. Come on guys…let’s see a decent game.