118 balls is quite a few. It’s two less than the entire number you get in a Twenty20, and 34 more than India won by in the last ODI when Sehwag became the world’s fastest Indian. But Short Of A Length Punter’s Biggest Fan Blog devoted seven of their eight paragraphs to analysis of Dhoni’s captaincy… Interesting way to look at it. Particularly given that the main gripe, that Mahendra took the bowling powerplay immediately after the first ten overs, is a marginal one anyway in my opinion.
I feel like Dhoni could argue that taking the powerplay at that point, defending such an abysmal total, meant that there was more pressure on the batsmen. The way Guptil and Ryder were batting, having men clustered inside the circle waiting for a miscue was as valid a tactic as spreading the field and hoping to stifle. ANYWAY. I’m not going to be drawn into the blame-the-Indians debate. This was New Zealand’s pride-salvaging first win in the ODIs, and deserves celebrating.
So why do I think we won? Because the Indians have only got one gear…
Filed under Cricket, Rugby
Having been shivering my way through England and Scotland these past couple of weeks, with the only cricket news being that monumentally cool (if on another level ineffably sad) Stanford scandal all across the front pages – one I’m gonna try and approach that this weekend – it was something of a culture shock to arrive back to last night’s Twenty20.
Our friends over at Short of A Length have challenged us to something of a blog war over the course of the series, so I suppose it would be remiss of me not to have a good long gloat at the result of the match, one which went decidedly against forecast, and hopefully sets up a fine battle over the coming weeks. The thing I find most pleasurable about the outcome, from a very parochial perspective at least, is the extent to which I see the same gnawing issues in India’s play that plagued them during that infamous series last time they toured here. Continue reading
Daniel Vettori and the least-coveted trophy in international sport
So this oddly interminable tour is finally over. Given that only about three hours of cricket was possible between showers, there was more entertaining cricket than we had any right to expect, and the West Indian side, chiefly through the unholy batting of Gayle and Chanderpaul, fought harder than they have in a while. Perhaps that was because they sensed that, in the Black Caps, they finally had come up against an opponent they had a shot at.
In the end, it wasn’t to be. They split the test and Twenty20 ‘series’ (insofar as two games of anything can be called a series) and lost the ODIs by the slenderest of margins. In amongst it we saw some sparkling debuts, some mediocrity maintained, and one player in particular leaning too heavily on a reputation not-quite earned. Here are DeadBall’s ratings for every New Zealander who participated in the tour.
Yesterday’s fifth day of the third and final test between Australia and South Africa tells us a thing or two about the state of world cricket. It also provides a useful yardstick for comparison with the current NZ team.
First, on the cricket. The state of Australian cricket is not quite as bad as some commentators have made it out to be. Yes it’s true that Australian teams of the last 15 years probably would have put the Jaapies away more quickly and efficiently than was done yesterday, but let’s not forget that you’ve essentially got a completely brand new bowling attack. Any player, even future greats, requires time to find their feet in international cricket. Having said that, there does appear to be one major difference between the current team, and those of the past. Spin. Continue reading
Steve Williams, perhaps New Zealand’s highest paid non-sporting athlete, drunk a little too much at a charity event the other day. Ended up calling Phil Mikelson a “prick“. He also relayed a particularly embarrassing story regarding Mickelson’s man boobs. When defending his statement Williams remained oddly cavalier, stating, “I don’t particularly like the guy myself. He pays me no respect at all and hence I don’t pay him any respect. It’s no secret we don’t get along, either.”
Switch tack to the Black Caps. Our good friend Craig McMillan has called Jacob Oram out for being “wrapped in cotton wool“. Oram latter delivered a terse response, like a refined character from a F. Scott Fitzgerald novel . “I understand people who have never bowled a ball in anger in their lives having a bit of a go at me for potentially being on the soft side, but it’s extremely disappointing to come from an ex-teammate,” he said. After which he sighed, took a sip of whiskey and turned his attention to the guests at the dinner party. Seems like a dark cloud has descended over the gentleman sports. I say, good show!