Resurgent England still potentially rely on too few for too much

Joe Root plays through the off side in England's ODI win (photo: Getty Images)

Joe Root plays through the off side in England’s ODI win (photo: Getty Images)

As a feature of comparison, here are England’s test and ODI squads from the recent series against New Zealand: Continue reading

Harris the weapon, everyone else playing follow the leader

Preparation is key.  Even more so for Australia’s line-up of pace bowlers as the Ashes series in England draws closer.

Some have already cemented their places with some fine performances over the past six months, Ryan Harris included.  Continue reading

Cricket: World Twenty20: Did Australia blow expectations in Bangladesh?

The expressions from Bailey & Starc sums up Australia's campaign (photo: Getty Images)

The expressions from Bailey & Starc sums up Australia’s campaign (photo: Getty Images)

Australian Twenty20 captain George Bailey had big shoes to fill, after the national side won an astonishing 12 of 13 games against England during the recent summer.

Travelling to Bangladesh red hot on form, things took a turn the moment Pakistan wielded the willow in their first group game in Mirpur. Continue reading

Cricket: Twenty20 bowling “101”-is it really that hard?

Dale Steyn v Mitchell Starc (photos: Getty Images)

Dale Steyn v Mitchell Starc (photos: Getty Images)

Recent performances in world Twenty20 cricket – especially with the ball – has got me thinking; is there anyone in a national side that still knows how to bowl a good yorker or land it on an uncertain length for a batsman consistently?

Mitchell Starc can hardly be forgiven for his penultimate over debacle against the West Indies in the World Twenty20Continue reading

Cricket: India the proving ground for Ashes

Glenn Maxwell v Sydney Thunder, Jan 8, 2013 (photo  mine)

Glenn Maxwell v Sydney Thunder, Jan 8, 2013 (photo mine)

India.  The dustbowls.  Home of the raging turner or the swinging sensation.

Also the proving ground for a host of Australian players before the Ashes series in England in July.

Questions will include; do both spinners get played, which pacemen get the gig, and who is going to open the batting?

Nathan Lyon will relish the challenge of really getting the chance to prove why he is Australia’s number one spinner.  Michael Clarke returns to the country where he burst onto the test scene in 2004.

Will it be the left arm combination, the Mitchell’s, Starc and Johnson, who can undo India with pace and swing?  Or perhaps Peter Siddle will enjoy steaming in and kicking up a cloud of dust.

Chennai is the first venue between these two rivals.  And if there is going to be any indication of form, it is going to be the sub continent.

Here’s a player by player preview (the entire 17 man squad): Continue reading

Cricket: Why Glenn Maxwell is the right choice for the future

Glenn Maxwell (source from news.com.au)

Glenn Maxwell (source from news.com.au)

As another gaping hole opens up in Australia‘s batting stocks after Mike Hussey‘s retirement, it has once again brought the selection argument into the limelight.

Victoria‘s Glenn Maxwell was called up to the Australian squad for the New Year test, starting on Thursday at the SCG, with Shane Watson pulling out due to a calf injury.  He has been named 12th man, however. Continue reading

Cricket: Australia v Sri Lanka: Boxing Day Test Preview

MCG Panorama

Overview:

Momentum looks to be with the Australians heading to the MCG and the 2012 Boxing Day Test, after the Aussies found some spark to rout Sri Lanka on the final day in Hobart.

Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc, who both bowled more than 50 overs each in Hobart, were the catalysts for the turnaround in the final innings after Sri Lanka began to settle in.  Nathan Lyon, despite match figures of 2/133, bowled some superb tight lines to keep the Sri Lankans under pressure. Continue reading

Cricket: Sixers give Yorkshire Champions League hiding

Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale clean bowled by SIxer Josh Hazelwood

It was a no frills game for the Sydney Sixers in the Champions League yesterday in South Africa, the reigning KFC T20 BBL champions slaughtering Yorkshire by 8 wickets in Durban with an awesome display of line and length bowling, followed up by some brutal batting.  The Sixers won with 11 overs to spare, chasing a paltry total of just 97 for victory. Continue reading

Cricket: Players In Focus: Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc

Pat Cummins

Mitchell Starc

Australia has seen many ups and downs since the 2007 Ashes series when the greats Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer and Damien

Martyn all retired.  Spinners have been tried, tested, then subsequently “trashed”, batsman have come and gone, and the team has slid slightly in international rankings.

It isn’t all doom and gloom, however.  We’re now seeing the next bunch of future stars grace the biggest stage of cricket.  And they’re making an enormous impact.

Continue reading

Cricket: ICC World Twenty20: Australian Team Review

 

George Bailey at the ICC Twenty20 World Cup

Australia’s ICC World Twenty20 Tournament came to a close on Friday night on the back of a large 74-run loss to the West Indies.  Chris Gayle led the charge and helped the Windies post 205.  Australia never looked like threatening them, aside from a knock of 63 from captain George Bailey.

After scintillating and crushing form in their first four games, the Aussies seemed to “tone” things down against Pakistan, scraping through to the semi-finals on net run rate.  Against the West Indies, the firepower of Gayle was the key in setting up a monstrous victory.

Having come into the tournament ranked 9th, the Aussies looked the goods until their Super 8 match against Pakistan, where the question was raised: ‘what do Australia care about?’ after their appalling loss to Pakistan.

It will also serve as a reasonable base coming into the Australian summer, which commences next month.

Here is a review of each player that took to the field for Australia: Continue reading