Monday, 14 July 2008

Paris to host 2012 Olympic Games

After I made a perfect prediction for the first Test match, I thought I might have a go at the booming property market… So, I couldn’t have been more wrong about what would happen at Lords’. If you look at previous results I should have been at least in the right ball park, so what changed. I think there were two key differences to previous matches:

  1. England batted well. They don’t do it much so there was no way I could expect that to happen! The openers Strauss and Cook laid a solid foundation. Pietersen and Bell then played quite beautifully with ample support from Broad. I do wonder why England managed to bat really well against South Africa and no so well against a clearly inferior attack like New Zealand. It will be interesting to see if they can do it twice.
  2. South Africa bowled rubbish. Dale Steyn, world number two, did not live up to billing. Ntini bowled like Jason ‘Put him on at both ends’ Gillespe did in the 2005 Ashes. A class act gone to seed. I hope we are not watching the demise of a quality performer. Morkel was impressive and clearly the best on offer. Harris, well, I wondered if the England tail-enders had been told to gift him a wicket or three so that South Africa would have to pick him in the next Test. Harris or Nel is presumably the choice– I would take Nel on any surface and any day.

South Africa looked underprepared, it may be that IPL cricket has softened them a bit – there is no challenge in bowling 2x2 over spells every few days. Of all the teams that could turn up looking a bit … tubby … I didn’t expect the normally professional South Africa to be one of them.

It looks like it may be a close series, which is excellent news after the “why haven’t we beaten them yet” groundhog days playing New Zealand.


Anonymous said...

Everyone has a lot to say about Dale Steyn, give him a chance, don't underestimate his abilities you may be pleasantly surprised still.
Even the SA comentators have shot the poor bugger down, slips up once and he's in trouble !!!
Give him a break.

Rob said...

He looked impressive in the Indian test series on what must have been similarly slow wickets. Maybe he enjoyed his holiday in the IPL too much (