Australia still lacks T20 depth and power

Adam Zampa could be Australia's spin weapon, along with Ashton Agar (Picture: IDI/Getty Images)

Adam Zampa could be Australia’s spin weapon, along with Ashton Agar (Picture: IDI/Getty Images)

After two games at the 2016 World Twenty20 in India, Australia still does not look assured in the format – even after a blistering innings against South Africa in a three-match warm-up series.

Usman Khawaja’s purple patch continued with 58 in the win against Bangladesh, but Australia’s next highest score was 26 (15 balls) from Glenn Maxwell.

Adam Zampa’s 3/23 was also noteworthy, but there is still an overarching problem: the Aussies haven’t played to the conditions, and need to sort out a few more batting woes. Continue reading

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Drawn series, big wins, but England problems still remain

England's situation encapsulated by Gary Ballance (photo: Getty Images)

England‘s situation encapsulated by Gary Ballance (photo: Getty Images)

New Zealand catapulted themselves to victory at Headingley in the last match of their two-test series against England this week.  One game prior, at the revered Lord’s, they were brushed aside by 124 runs.

Social media was awash with fans giving New Zealand the upper hand headed into the first test.  Continue reading

CWC 2015: Kiwis are very hard to crack. Cricketers are even harder

Trent Boult screams for an appeal (photo: ICC)

Trent Boult screams for an appeal (photo: ICC)

After just two matches, it is abundantly clear why everyone’s talking New Zealand in this World Cup.

They’re consistent, they’re like glue that doesn’t pull apart, and it’s extremely hard for most opposing teams to breakthrough the top six. However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing.

Scratchy and patchy might best describe the Kiwis road back to confidence. Household names now were just little specs in 2013. The biggest winning margin was 86 runs, whereas in 2014, they had four wins bigger than 50 runs or five wickets – a testament to the hard work the squad made to get back to an ultra-competitive level.
Continue reading

CWC 2015: New Zealand v Sri Lanka – Kiwis are intimidating at home

Kane Williamson against Sri Lanka (photo: Getty Images)

Kane Williamson against Sri Lanka (photo: Getty Images)

ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP

New Zealand v Sri Lanka

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Hagley Oval, 12pm AEDT

(Prediction: New Zealand. They’ve spent months at home preparing)

New Zealand

Like Australia, New Zealand have expectations placed upon them to do well at the World Cup.  One advantage for the Black Caps is they do not have to play a single game away from home, until the final, assuming they progress through the rounds. Continue reading

Cricket: Day/night test cricket a pink blow to the heart

Kane Williamson of NZL v West Indies; shots like this may disappear with the pink ball (photo: WICB Media/Randy Brooks)

Kane Williamson of NZL v West Indies; shots like this may disappear with the pink ball (photo: WICB Media/Randy Brooks)

As the traditional form of the game, test cricket is not something that can – or should – be radically altered.

Now, though, that scene has the potential to change. Continue reading

Cricket: Money runs deep down the wicket

(Image: 9Cric)

(Image: 9Cric)

There is no doubt that “money talks” in the international sporting world.  Unfortunately, to the detriment of the game, it extends beyond this realm, even digging into domestic and local matches and events.

Recent events have dug up some shocking accusations and finger-pointing; and former New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent is at the centre of it. Continue reading

Cricket: Twenty20 bowling “101”-is it really that hard?

Dale Steyn v Mitchell Starc (photos: Getty Images)

Dale Steyn v Mitchell Starc (photos: Getty Images)

Recent performances in world Twenty20 cricket – especially with the ball – has got me thinking; is there anyone in a national side that still knows how to bowl a good yorker or land it on an uncertain length for a batsman consistently?

Mitchell Starc can hardly be forgiven for his penultimate over debacle against the West Indies in the World Twenty20Continue reading

Cricket: World Cup Launch

Cricket World Cup (from Online Sports Directory)

Cricket World Cup (from Online Sports Directory)

Docklands a sea of colour as 2015 Cricket World Cup fixtures announced

(the official launch was held on Tuesday, simultaneously in New Zealand) 

Several hundred people eagerly piled into the Peninsula function centre at Docklands on Tuesday morning, as the International Cricket Council (ICC) prepared to announce the venues, pools and fixtures for the 2015 Cricket World Cup, and officially launch the tournament. Continue reading

Cricket: Players In Focus: Alastair Cook, Martin Guptill and Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle playing for the Sydney Thunder, Jan 2013 (photo mine)

Chris Gayle playing for the Sydney Thunder, Jan 2013 (photo mine)

Sports teams need leaders.  Whether it be a captain, or an experienced head, someone on the field needs to be able to take charge and encourage.

England captain Alastair Cook, New Zealand opener Martin Guptill and West Indian whirlwind Chris Gayle continue to light up stadiums around the world with powerful performances, and are three such players who are not only leaders for their team, but also their country.

Cook

Since taking over the test captaincy from Andrew Strauss in August of 2012, Cook immediately established himself as a captain who could also be tasked to perform at the top of the order. Continue reading