Cricket: Rearguard action not enough to save average Australia

This Chris Rogers short edge shows Australia's situation in a picture (photo: Getty Images)

This Chris Rogers short edge shows Australia‘s situation in a picture (photo: Getty Images)

From ball one Pakistan played the Dubai conditions exactly right.  Many criticised the defensive mindset of the hosts top order batsmen, but it proved to be the ultimate victory as Australia was crushed by 221 runs.

While Mitchell Johnson’s stumping in the second innings – which left Australia reeling at 9/213 – was said to be lineball, there was very little the tourists could do under the onslaught. Continue reading

Cricket: Why Australia v Pakistan is nothing more than a “warm-up”

Australia celebrate over Pakistan in the 3rd ODI (photo: Getty Images)

Australia celebrate over Pakistan in the 3rd ODI (photo: Getty Images)

The entire series feels as though it is squeezed somewhere in between the start of the Australian season and the wrapping up of the Champions League Twenty20, just to keep the fans engaged.

Of course, this is not the case, and it is proving to be beneficial for a few of the Australian players.  Steve Smith registered his first one-day international century with some superb shots in the first of three matches in the series. Continue reading

Cricket: Precedents or just another ban: the Ajmal saga

Saeed Ajmal in training (photo: Reuters/SMH website)

Saeed Ajmal in training (photo: Reuters/SMH website)

Was he a target? Is he another in a long line that will be banned? How will Pakistan go without him now?

These are all good questions that surround off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.  Banned by the International Cricket Council this week for throwing, after having been once cleared in 2009 of any illegal action, this ban is an eyebrow-raiser.  Yet, it could well set a precedent of future punishment. Continue reading

Cricket: Australian Champions Trophy 2013 Squad Preview

ICC CT13 Logo (from

ICC CT13 Logo (from

It’s almost “the battle before the Ashes“.  Australia will be in England from June 3-23 for the very last installment of the ICC Champions Trophy.  If you wanted Ashes preparation, this is it.

While a few players in the Champions Trophy squad will not be participating in the coveted test series, a fair majority of the team will have several matches to adjust to both the playing and weather conditions in England.  Perhaps not outright favourites for the Ashes, Australia still boasts a very good one day record at the tournament, and will be looking to secure another piece of silverware.

The following is a look at each player in the squad and how they can help Australia to victory: Continue reading

Sport: Get on with the game

GWS and Carlton ruckmen head to head, 2012 AFL Season (photo mine)

GWS and Carlton ruckmen head to head, 2012 AFL Season (photo mine)

As a diehard sports fan, it really does disappoint me to watch so many different sporting codes go down in ruins these days.

There was the Melbourne Storm salary cap scandal a couple of years ago; the Pakistan cricket match-fixing incident; the current Australian drugs in sport crisis.  The list goes on, worldwide.

The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) released a report in February that had taken 12 months to compile regarding the state of Australian sport.  Instead of outlining possible solutions to help reduce the drugs, match-fixing and other illicit goings on, the fans and sporting public (on the majority) only got details of situations previous.

Continue reading

Cricket: Not So Much The ‘Gentleman’s’ Game Anymore

Shaun Marsh in action against India in 2011

The first game of Test cricket was played in March 1877, between Australia and England.  Charles Bannerman scored the first ever Test century-165 not out-and Australia won that game by 45 runs.  (The first international match was played between Canada and the United States in 1844)

What a way we’ve come since then.  We’ve had the addition of cricket-playing nations (there are 10 now), new technology, one-day cricket (and coloured clothing), rule changes, third umpire, the white ball, and numerous other items. Continue reading

Cricket: ICC World Twenty20 Preview: Australia v Pakistan

Aussie pacer Mitchell Starc

Australia’s Super Eight victory against South Africa leaves one more task-Pakistan, tomorrow night at 8pm AEST.  With Shane Watson in scintillating form (234 runs at 78.00) topping both the batting and bowling lists, Australia, ranked 9th coming into the tournament, now sit as possible favourites to take out the trophy.

With Mitchell Starc (6 wickets) and Mike Hussey (45 not out against South Africa) now having some considerable game time under their belts, the Australians will go in with every chance of a semi final berth. Continue reading