I’m back, and other World Cup stories

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged, not sure why, hey-ho. Anyway, I’m back, fittingly on a day that India have chased down Australia and given them a savage street-beating. Fortunately this Australia side is so ugly already that the scars will be of little consequence.

I’ve been doing some other stuff. The Chuck Fleetwood-Smiths are an extension of Two Pricks at the Ashes. Check us out on YouTube.

Meanwhile here are some thoughts on day 7017 of what has surprisingly been a rather excellent World Cup.

Michael Yardy

Best wishes. Every man is an island and all that, he’s made the best decision for himself and hopefully he can manage his problem at home. Ravi Bopara’s reaction – Yardy hadn’t popped into his room to play Fifa for a few days apparently – was refreshingly (or depressingly depending how you look at it) naive on a day when everyone else has been treading on eggshells.

I’m not sure whose bright idea at BBC 5 Live it was to shove a microphone in Geoff Boycott’s mouth. His comments were unfortunate but not malicious. He’s a man from a different era with no pretensions of understanding the subject he was quizzed about, but he’s also got a problem keeping his mouth shut. Let’s hope he doesn’t become a victim of the need to keep the story moving.

Ricky Ponting

One of the greatest. Such a tough bastard. No form, little fluency, and yet still manages a hundred against the hosts in a World Cup quarter final. It could have been a match-winning innings if his bowlers could have managed basic line and length as India began to melt in the pressure cooker. Instead just more scrutiny. Stay or go? I’d say go Ricky. It’s not about you any more. This team is not going to get any better soon and they need to move on. Michael Clarke may be a preening, fey metrosexual but it’s his turn.

Adil Rashid

The right-wrong pick at the wrong time. Rashid should have been here instead of Yardy all along. He’s a better batter, and a developing leggy. England have doubts about his temperament – translation he’s a cocky git. But he’s young and has time. What any leg-spinner needs is the confidence of his captain and I can’t anticipate Rashid being a Strauss favourite. For that reason and with England juggling opening batsmen like Warney does blondes, I’d have brought a proper opening bat out. Craig Kieswetter is in decent form and hits nice and straight, but Alastair Cook would be the sensible choice. Batting on these pitches is not about smashing it, it’s about knowing your game and your scoring areas, which Cook does. He scored ODI runs in Bangladesh last spring and would have significantly enhanced England’ s chances here.

Australia

If your bowlers can’t control where they bowl the ball you’re not going to stay in the tournament. A poor side who won’t be missed, save the ageing Ponting, Brett Lee and Mike Hussey.

India

Still less than the sum of their parts. A side that struggle to convince in the field, and struggle for cohesion with the bat. Yuvraj steadied them superbly today, when some brainless running and a slapdash cameo from Dhoni had stuck them in the shit. The suspicion remains that had Australia just concentrated on line and length for a couple of overs they would have collapsed again. Into the semis, which is good for the tournament, but Pakistan must be favourites for what will be an epic game.

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2 thoughts on “I’m back, and other World Cup stories

  1. puff puff pass mate, if you really think Pak are favorites for the semi, because that’s some good shit you must be smokin. No way are Pak winning this one, in the Punjab, against a team that was good enough to go nose to nose with SA, IN SA, not a month ago. Pak have 3 players – Afridi, Younis and Misbah. India have 3 players – Sachin, Yuvi and Zaheer. Our 3 are better than their 3. The other 8 on either side do not matter. As we demonstrated against the Australian 3 of Ricky, Hussey and Lee today, our 3 are better than any other 3 out there. India will win. Must be good grass tho, don’t bogart it now.

  2. Agree with everything except the last line. That too, agree it’s gonna be an epic game but Pakistan favourites? Tad unfair to the current Indian team. Despite their fielding woes, they still possess the strongest batting line-up in this tournament. And it’s unlikely that they’ll wilt to Afridi’s spin like the other nations did. Their batting is struggling a bit and there is a huge reliance on their bowlers. So, on paper, India have their noses ahead at this moment.

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