Cricket: Australian Champions Trophy 2013 Squad Preview

ICC CT13 Logo (from thenewstribe.com)

ICC CT13 Logo (from thenewstribe.com)

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

Cricket: Players In Focus: Peter Siddle and Phil Hughes

Peter Siddle, Boxing Day 2012 (photo mine)

Peter Siddle, Boxing Day 2012 (photo mine)

The Australian cricket summer took a series of unexpected twists and turns.  From the series loss to South Africa, to the Aussies losing several pace bowlers to injury, it was a long and toiling summer.

Two players who stood the test of summer were Phil Hughes and Peter Siddle.  The battler and the workhorse were prime indications of players who had worked hard to prepare themselves for the test (and in Hughes’ case, the one-day) series. Continue 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: Player In Focus: Matthew Wade

Matthew Wade v Melbourne Renegades, Dec 7, 2012 (photo mine)

Matthew Wade v Melbourne Renegades, Dec 7, 2012 (photo mine)

Matthew Wade has copped more proverbial bouncers at the throat recently than you could poke a stick at.  All through it he’s pressed on, despite being rested for the first part of the one-day series this summer against Sri Lanka.

Since moving to Victoria from the island state of Tasmania, Wade’s career has blossomed beautifully.  Culminating in test and ODI debuts last year for the national squad, Wade is continuing to build on the criticism he is receiving and his experience. 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: 2012 World XIII (Tests, T20’s, OD’s)

James Anderson, 2010 (photo mine)

James Anderson, 2010 (photo mine)

Well, it is that time of year again.  The time where obsessed cricket fanatics (such as myself) sit down, ponder for hours, and then finally write some sort of scribble about the top players for the year.

This is a first for me, and I’ve decided to pick 13 players worldwide who will make up my inaugural World XIII.  They are in no particular order.

When some of you read this, you might ask ‘where’s Brendon McCullum, or perhaps Hashim Amla?’  Yes, I did consider them, but in my mind didn’t make the cut for 2012.  Their years were both excellent and helped lead their teams to some great victories, but in my mind they were beaten by others for consistency and other similar factors.  Add to the fact that picking just thirteen players is extremely difficult.

Amla was ahead of McCullum in breaking into the squad however. Continue reading

Cricket: Under The Microscope: Melbourne Stars

Melbourne Stars (sourced from Google Images)

Dubbed ‘Melbourne’s favourite cricket team,’ the MCG will be swamped with green this summer as the Melbourne Stars vie for the BBL|02 title.

Making the finals last year by the skin of their teeth, and bowing out gracefully against the Perth Scorchers, the Stars have once again recruited a strong team, with the likes of Captain Shane Warne, David Hussey, and Sri Lankan icon Lasith Malinga.

As we approach the start of the tournament, three weeks from now, let’s take a look at some of the big name players that will don the green shirts this summer: Continue reading

Cricket: Australian summer preview: South Africa and Sri Lanka

The Australian cricket international summer series of tests, one-dayers and Twenty20 matches is hammering on our doors once again, and this time the Aussies will be facing South Africa and Sri Lanka.

While the Proteas and Australia are ahead of Sri Lanka in the ICC World ratings, neither team will be pushovers.  Sri Lanka proved that they can take it to the end, collapsing in the ICC World Twenty20 against the West Indies in the final.  South Africa boast the likes of Jacques Kallis, AB De Villiers, Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn.

With the first test set to begin on November 9th, here’s a look at what the Aussie crowds can expect from what looks to be a top-notch summer:

Continue reading

Cricket: How much longer: Ponting and Hussey

With another Australian cricket summer fast approaching (with series against South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies) it comes as no surprise that there will be questions over the squads picked.  With the first test against the Proteas at the Gabba on November 9th, the selectors will need to think long and hard as to whom makes the cut. Continue reading

Cricket: ICC World Twenty20 Preview

As the Australian summer draws ever closer, the Aussies must overcome their recent series loss to Pakistan in the UAE (and their subsequent rankings drop) and contest the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka, starting on September 18.

Well off the top of the ICC T20 rankings, with South Africa and England sitting first and second respectively, Australia must progress into the final if it has any chance of pushing itself up the rankings, currently in tenth position, prior to the 3rd T20 against Pakistan to be played on Monday night.
Continue reading