Archive for January, 2012
Although England didn’t get the result they hoped for in their second test with Pakistan, it is fair to say that for the neutral we got to see an outstanding Test match in Abu Dhabi.
The spin of the ball that the wicket provided made for some fantastic cricket. Previous Stan James Review Test matches on that ground had been played on really flat pitches and we’d seen three double-hundreds scored there, but the bwin betting advice assured us that this one was looking different – and they were right.
The quality of the spin bowlers – on both sides – made it a brilliant game to watch from a neutral point of view.
Unfortunately for England though, the difference between the two teams wasn’t down to the quality of bowling but the quality of batting. Pakistan had a much better time with the bat and that’s the simple reason to why they won, and they deserved it.
England put themselves in a great position in the last innings by restricting Pakistan to 145 but they failed to deal with the spin.
I found it strange that England seemed to be playing backwards when it was crying out to be played forward. We seems tentative and safe while Pakistan, even Misbah-ul-Haq was hitting down the ground for sixes.
I recall England getting batting experts to learn how to deal with Shane Ward a few years ago, as you need to have the quick feet to try and change the length of the bowl, and that you need to be proactive in getting runs rather
I’m sure that’s the thought process for the current England players, but there’s a difference between having a plan and then executing it. They are unable to do what is necessary to combat spin.
They need the confidence to do it and that requires a clear and decisive mind. They also need the technique to be able to do it. England’s batsmen are lacking both of those things right now.
Virat Kohli’s battling maiden Test century didn’t exactly come in ideal circumstances, but at least it has given the beleaguered India fans something to get excited about. The 23-year-old batted through not only aggressive bowling from the Aussie pace attack, but also a large amount of aggressive sledging from the rarely shy Australian fielders.
Despite his team-mates falling around him, Kohli battled on with a determined focus, reaching his century after a nervous few play-and-misses – before the clearly delighted Indian celebrated as if he’d won the World Cup. The youngster admitted the 100 had been even sweeter after having to put up with such a ferocious verbal assault in Adelaide. Those looking at the cricket betting odds will know this.
“They sledge when they get frustrated. Obviously it was hot out there, and constantly they were sledging the players so they could spoil our concentration,” he said.
“To give it back verbally and then score a hundred is even better.”
“I like to play my cricket like that. I like to give it back.”
While Kohli’s usual game is that of the modern Indian player; plenty of aggressive stroke-play and great use of the wrists. His innings at Adelaide required him to show he had the ability to become a genuine top Test match batsman; playing each ball on its merits and not chasing the big shots. Fans of Betfair betting should bear this in mind.
After such a dismal 12 months for India in the Test match arena, and with more dark times coming up when this ageing squad begin to hang up their whites, Kohli’s innings gives the passionate fans someone they can believe will become the next great batsman. The pressure will now improve on the 23-year old after this century and the question will be whether or not he can handle that and push on in his career.
The second test between between England and Pakistan really is turning into a cracking test match.The placid pitch that the two teams are playing often result in a stat fest but it has shown so far that this pitch is more conducive to spinning.
Both the stan james review and the bwin review have seen the previous test matches end up in comfortable draws with three double hundreds being recorded giving the it the nickname of a ‘Batsman’s Paradise’. But this match is different.
Pakistan who have been used to this green before realised straight away that it was going to play differently to their previous encounters here, and it has made for some fascinating cricket. The spinners have been on and the fielders surround the batters, as the appeals cry out to the Umpires who have to be eagle eyed and 100% focused for each ball. It makes for some tense cricket which is great to see for those who love the game.
Pakistan are of course favourites and are expected to win but it will be interesting to see if England can get a lead to make the test that little bit more interesting.
Allistair Cook has been talking about how England are feeling that little bit more comfortable with the bat in the second day as he and Trott recorded 166-1. It helped them get into the groove of things which will hopefully see the rest of the line up go into Bat with that little bit more confidence.
They are second best at the moment, but we shouldn’t write them off just yet. What we do know though is that it will be a fascinating few days of Cricket.
English fast-bowler, Chris Tremlett, will not be able to play in his country’s second Test match with Pakistan, due to injury. The Hampshire-born cricketer, who did not take a scalp during England’s humiliating ten-wicket defeat in Dubai, last week, has a “sore back and side”, to quote the BBC.
Described as a “big fragile giant” by the Guardian, an allusion to Tremlett’s 6ft 8in stature and his tendency for frequent injury, Tremlett’s current ailment is an old ‘war wound’, something he picked up during England’s Test match with India, back in July 2011. The condition kept him away from the national team’s clubhouse for six months. People looking at the Sri Lanka cricket odds online will be wondering what sort of impact this will have.
Tremlett’s absence increases the likelihood that Steve Finn will be drafted into Andrew Strauss’ squad for Wednesday’s Test. Monty Panesar and Graham Onions are also ‘possibles’ to replace Tremlett. The loss of the bowler remains a blow for England, despite plentiful replacements in the side’s ranks.
England, as evidenced by comments from Matt Prior, yesterday, and Alastair Cook, earlier today, are determined to overcome the unexpectedly difficult challenge posed by Pakistan, when the two teams meet in Abu Dhabi, tomorrow. Cook added that the opening line-up of himself and Strauss will endeavour to correct the mistakes of last week’s Test.
“It’s our job to lay the platform. We didn’t do that in Dubai”, Cook explained. The two cricketers collected a combined total of 33 runs, during the first Test, as England were bowled for 192 and 160. The only batsman to demonstrate any vitality was Prior, who clubbed 70. “We can put it right [tomorrow]”, Cook added.
Strauss has something to prove at the crease; he has not scored a century for well over a year. Cook, on the other hand, suffers the burden of expectation, having hit two hundreds in one match, back in August 2011.
After England succumbed to a disappointing defeat to Pakistan in their return to action since last seasons heroics, it seems that the Cricket world are already hitting the panic button as an England loss is a popular bwin free bet. Andrew Flintoff has said that England looked a little rusty in their first Test defeat against Pakistan in the bwin review, and he has also said that he would like to see Graham Onions and Monty Panesar brought into the team.
The former England all rounder, insists that the panic buttons shouldn’t be hit just yet as he believes that England were completely taken by surprise in unfamiliar surroundings and believes they can turn things around in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi has been labelled as the batsman dream as there have been three double century’s recorded there in just three tests. It will be difficult for England as a result of the slow wickets but Flintoff insisted there was no reason to believe the world’s number one Test team had suddenly lost all their ability.
“They’ve not played Test cricket for a while, the conditions are pretty different to what they’re used to, and we’ve always been slow starters,” Flintoff told Sky Sports News.
“Pakistan played better than probably anybody thought, and England looked a little bit rusty.
“The hard thing now is trying to get back into the series because the next one’s in Abu Dhabi, it’ll be another low, slow wicket which doesn’t make for entertaining cricket. So it’s going to be tough but I think we can salvage something from it.
“Everyone’s jumping to the panic buttons already, saying we’re not very good, but it’s only a matter of months ago we were beating everyone so I wouldn’t worry too much about it.”
Despite the batsmen being the main culprits in the first Test, there looks like being changes to the bowling unit for Abu Dhabi, and Flintoff would like to see a couple of bowlers introduced to the attack.
“It’s often the case, batters run the team! They’re deemed the ones who have the brains so the bowlers get changed all the time.
“I’d love to see Monty in the side. The other guy I’d like to see play is Graham Onions, I think on those wickets he’s slightly smaller, he’s skiddy, he attacks the stumps and he can reverse it, so I’d be tempted to bring Onions in for Tremlett and see how he goes.”
It will be a tricky test for England, but Flintoff acknowledges that it is difficult for most teams to perform well in such conditions, but insists that England will have enough to pull thorugh:
“We’ll be fine, it’s probably the last stage of England’s development as a team is winning out in the sub-continent and there’s no better winter this time to show it.”
England had a fantastic 2011 by becoming the number one team in the world as the bwin review shows. But already in 2012, it is proving that maintaining that number one status will be harder than than actually achieving it.
Englands first test of the season with Pakistan in Dubai has so far been largely embarrassing and a Pakistan test win is a popular bwin free bet.
Andrew Strauss has admitted that England had been “caught off guard” by Pakistan after slipping to a three-day, 10-wicket defeat in the first Test in Dubai.
We thought being out bowled out for 192 was bad enough on the first day but England collapsed even further after being all out for 160 on the second day.
Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal has a great couple of days as he finished with 10 wickets in the match despite the pitch offering him only moderate assistance.
“There are plenty of things to ponder but we are not going to press the panic button. We need to come back strong and show our character and resilience in the second game.”
Andrew Strauss Quotes of the week
“We are disappointed with the way we played,” Strauss said on Sky Sports.
“Losing five wickets in that first session when we shouldn’t have done put us on the back foot and from there we were always behind in the game.
“There are plenty of things to ponder but we are not going to press the panic button. We need to come back strong and show our character and resilience in the second game.
“We got caught off-guard a little bit in that first session (but) all credit to Pakistan, they played exceptionally well and, once they got ahead, didn’t allow us back in.
“Our bowlers did a pretty good job but in both innings but our batsmen should have done better. We need to learn the lessons from it.”
Despite the loss, Strauss maintained that the preparations for moth matches were not an issue or a factor for losing the first test.
“I think our preparations been pretty good and we played some good cricket in the warm-up games,” he added.
“We just didn’t react well enough to the conditions, it wasn’t turning a lot and to lose wickets early against the spinners put the new batsmen under pressure.
“We should have been better but we are not going to make any excuses or panic.”
A growing injury list is rarely considered a boon at professional sports teams. However, the absence of several first-teamers from the Sussex Sharks squad could yet prove beneficial to the side’s upcoming County Championship campaign, by allowing younger players to break into the team.
Sussex are currently without England favourites, Matt Prior and Monty Panesar, for their pre-season tour of the Caribbean, in addition to 26-year-old all-rounder, Luke Wright. Murray Goodwin, of Zimbabwe, and Irish veteran, Ed Joyce, were also left at the bus stop, back in the South East.
The development, while awkward for a team aspiring to victory in the Caribbean Twenty20 (CT20), has allowed for some experimentation, with regards to the make-up of the Sharks’ squad. Sussex have selected six youngsters, aged 20-24, in the 13-man team for this month’s limited overs event. Anyone planning to bet on cricket online should remember this.
Heading the list of new arrivals is Matt Machan, 20. The southpaw batsman made his debut for Sussex in May 2010, against Cambridge. Machan, who has a batting average of 45.25, has enjoyed limited success at the crease, since then, playing in just three first-class fixtures for his club.
The youngster will be joined in the CT20 by fellow ‘up-and-comers’, Will Beer and Will Adkin. The Sharks’ ranks will be bolstered with a number of seasoned players, namely, Chris Nash, Amjad Khan, and Sussex’s captain, Michael Yardy. The squad is certainly one of the more unusual teams in the Sharks’ recent history.
Sussex will kick-off their CT20 campaign against the Netherlands, on Tuesday, a clash that will be followed by fixtures against Jamaica, Barbados, and newly-founded side, Combined Campuses and Colleges. Also involved are Canada, Guyana, the Leeward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Windward Islands.