Archive for July, 2010
Former England bowler Angus Fraser has questioned the decision to remove Steven Finn from cricket for six weeks following his successful spell in the England side earlier this summer.
After taking 15 wickets in two test matches against Bangladesh, cricket betting pundits note how the 21-year-old was placed on a strengthening programme for the majority of June and July.
Finn returned to action for Middlesex last week and will be involved at Trent Bridge tomorrow when England take on Pakistan in the first test of the series.
Fraser – who Finn views as a mentor and example of how he wants to bowl – says that you always want your “players to learn while bowling” and that he had his “reservations” about the fact that Finn was “all of a sudden taken out of cricket.”
Fraser did acknowledge the fact that England have a long-term plan for Finn as an international cricketer and that avoiding burn out was important, but he remains uncertain about whether the Middlesex bowler can return to the form he showed earlier this summer.
The 44-year-old said: “Steven struggled a fortnight ago in our second XI and looked rusty in patches against Sussex last week. We’ll get a better idea against Pakistan.”
It is in the test matches against Pakistan – which online sports betting expects to be very close – that England will want to reap the rewards of resting him, after all. If a fresh Finn comes out all guns blazing and takes plenty of wickets, it would have worked perfectly.
Fraser would love to see this happen of course as he wants nothing but success for Finn, he is just unconvinced at the moment about whether England are going the right way about handling his early international career.
We shall have to re-assess in a few days!
Andrew Strauss has been having his say on the surprise resignation of Shahid Afridi. The all-rounder stepped down from his role as test captain after just one match in the helm – the 150 run-loss to Australia last week.
Strauss – who had been set to go head to head with Afridi in the test arena later this summer – said that the news will “put a strain on the Pakistan team”.
It has been one problem after another for Pakistan in recent years, after all. There have been a number of captains, players coming in and out of retirement and issues with being able to play international cricket in their home country.
Salman Butt will now lead the team in the second test and the forthcoming matches against England and it seems safe to say that he has a very tough job on his hands.
Speaking about the task ahead of Butt, Strauss said he will have to “keep them on an even keel” in an attempt to improve the team’s fortunes after a few years where there has been “a lot of upheaval for Pakistan.”
As ever with Strauss though, he is continuing to focus on his team as a priority. He will know that if his team continue to show the form they have done in recent months, that they will defeat Pakistan and would be cricket betting favourites with our without Afridi.
Strauss says that England are preparing to face a “motivated and talented” Pakistan team and nothing has changed after recent events. He went on to say that it is crucial for England to play “good solid cricket from the first day of the first test”.
With the test series against Pakistan being the last one before the Ashes, Strauss will be aware of how important it is that England continue the momentum that has built up in the test arena over recent months.
Pakistan will be a much bigger test than Bangladesh that is for sure. They have their problems, but when they get focused on the cricket, they have some players that can threaten England’s online sports betting favourites tag.
There would be no better way for England to prepare for the winter than with a hard fought test series win against strong opposition though. If the likes of Steven Finn can continue his progression and Kevin Pietersen can gain some form, it would be all the better.
Afridi’s resignation and the stress it has put on the Pakistan team may make England’s task slightly easier this summer, but they still have their work cut out to get the job done.