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Cricket News - by Craig Hill


Back in 2003 I wrote a paper analysing every ball of the Cricket World Cup. I have now taken those results and applied them to the current tournament, predicting that Bangladesh will meet India in the final.

To find out why, visit

The first test match between India and West indies had been won by India with a margin of 63 runs, which is quiet enough for a low scoring match.

The main question is does west indies have enough substance to beat No 1 test team in the world. The match has been completed in just three and half days. The captain of west indies Sammy has made a statement that they can beat the No 1 team in the world. Dear Sammy, Just wake up from the dreams. Being positive and confident is good for the team spirit, but my dear friend, check out the reality.

First, except Chadrapaul and Sarwan, Do you have a batsman who can last more than 2 sessions in the test match? Bravo is new and yet to prove his credentials. On the other side, Dravid and Laxman alone can bet for 2 days for India and win/ save test match.

Second, If you take away the runs scored by last 2 players in the second inning, the top 7 even couldn't make 150 runs. When you are chasing 326 against the quality bowling, your top order has to fire.

Third, don;t forget India is playing with out their 6 top choice players. If Indians would have played with their full strengths, the match would have been completed in two and half days.

Though west indies bowling shown signs of fireworks and troubled Indian batsman. Bishoo and Rampual were very impressive. They need to work on their batting and fielding. You cannot drop simple catches and give life to Dravid or Laxman.

The positive for India is the batting of Suresh Raina and Harbhajan. Bhajii has been proving that he can be considered for an all rounder spot at 7 from the last two series. Raina Justifying his tag of breakthrough bowler. Only thing he needs is to be more consistent with is batting.

From bowling point of view, Pravin Kumar And Ishan sharma both did a great job in absence of Zaheer. The remaining two test matches will be a great opportunity for youngsters like Vijay, Mukund and Virat kohli to claim their places in the strong Indian batting line up. Badrinath should be given one opportunity to showcase his domestic cricket form at an international cricket.

My prediction for the series result is clean sweep by Indians.

The latest edition of The Big Issue Magazine features veteran Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting on the cover and question’s whether his Test team is being upstaged this summer by a brash new form of cricket – Twenty20. Grab a copy now from your local vendor or purchase a subscription online. $5 with $2.50 going straight into the pockets of homeless and marginalised Australians (

Australia Win First Test Over India

December 29th 2011 17:09
Australia's pacemen demolished India for 169 in their second innings as the home side claimed a 122-run win in the first Test at the MCG.

Australia resumed on day four at 8-179 and were dismissed for 240, setting India a target of 292 to win.

Man-of-the-match James Pattinson led Australia's bowling, taking 4-53 in India's second innings after also scoring 18 not out and 37 not out.

His fellow Victorian quick Peter Siddle also played a key role with figures of 3-63 and 3-42 in the match and contributing a vital knock of 41 in Australia's first innings of 333, helping to set up a 51-run lead on the first dig.

Ben Hilfenhaus claimed 2-39 after his career-best haul of 5-75 in India's first innings.

Sachin Tendulkar top-scored with 32 in India's second innings.

The second Test of the four-match series starts in Sydney on January 3.


New Formats May Threaten Test Cricket

October 20th 2011 09:31
England's test captain, Andrew Strauss, fears cricket administrators are in danger of sowing the seeds of the sport's downfall if the five-day format of the game is neglected.

Strauss, enjoying a break from the game while England contest a one-day series in India, has led England to the top of the test rankings since being handed the captaincy in 2009, but is worried about the way the game is heading.

Doubts over the International Cricket Council's (ICC) proposed 2013 World Test Championship and the fact that the home series against South Africa next year has been slimmed down to three tests have done little to allay Strauss's worries.

"I have concerns about the state of test cricket," Strauss said in an interview in The Times newspaper on Tuesday.

"I am very much aware that if we are arrogant and assume that test cricket will always be there, we are sowing the seeds of our own downfall."


Luckiest cricket fan in Australia

November 25th 2009 02:14
Did anyone watch the All*Stars Twenty20 match on Sunday night? If so, you may have noticed the Johnnie Walker 12th Man.

Dave Cameron from the Gold Coast won the incredible opportunity to be 12th Man for some of the biggest legends in cricket, including Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Glenn McGrath, as part of the Johnnie Walker ACA All*Stars team.

Dave and 19 other finalists were flown to Brisbane on Friday to be put through their paces in a series of batting, bowling and fielding tests in the nets at the GABBA to prove to the judging panel that they had what it took to win the 12th man spot. But, in the end, it was Dave that proved to judges (Darren Lehmann, Damien Fleming, and Chief Executive of the ACA, Paul Marsh) that he was their man.

As part of his prize, Dave got to train with the Johnnie Walker ACA All*Stars Team on Saturday, stay with them in their hotel, be presented with the team kit and perform 12th man duties during the match last night. He also got to go to a swanky cocktail party with all the players and their partners.

Check out some footage from the selection day at YouTube - The Selection - Johnnie Walker ACA All*Stars 12th Man

Disclaimer: I work on behalf of Johnnie Walker

has anyone ever fancied taking their place in a team with some of the biggest legends in Australian cricket? Well this is your chance to join the Johnnie Walker ACA All*Stars squad, as they take on the KFC Australian XI in a T20 clash at the Gabba! (Disclaimer: I work on behalf of Johnnie Walker)

The All*Stars are a team made up of cricketing legends and the best of Australia’s emerging young talent. They will be captained by Shane Warne, and will feature former Test greats Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath and Matt Hayden.

Johnnie Walker is giving you a once in a lifetime chance to live the life of an international cricketer: you’ll train with the squad, stay in the team hotel, pull on the kit, carry the drinks at the game and also attend a players and partners season launch party.

Check out for details


October 26th 2009 01:17
Whilst for many people the demise of 50 over cricket is inevitable, surely the more pressing concern is that 20 over cricket will go the same way and be replaced by 10/10 games. Why? 50 over cricket is becoming obsolete because teams have mastered the ability to time their innings,leading to the tawdry "knock the ball around" overs between overs 20 and 35/40. Surely as 20 over cricket becomes more popular, teams will discover a consolidation period in their innings also. Admittedly it might be only for overs 7-14 but it will still happen. So this leads to 10/10 cricket to try and drive out the boring overs and then where do we stop. 5/5? 2/2? Or maybe Brett Lee and Chris Gayle should have a 6 ball contest so everythings over in 20 minutes. I fear that our generation's need for immediacy will lead to this.

Pakistan hold nerve in low-scoring brawl

September 30th 2009 03:31
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Pakistan tripped and stumbled and chased with the assurance of sleepwalkers, but ultimately a superior fast-bowling attack and depth in batting sealed them a low-scoring showdown. A fine bowling performance where wickets were shared all around ensured a woefully inexperienced West Indies were bowled out for an unthreatening 133 after they opted to bat. Pakistan's batting has floundered repeatedly this year and today they nearly lost it, bewildered by Gavin Tonge's four-wicket haul, before Umar Akmal and Shahid Afridi added 58 to finish the deal.

This match as a contest ended well before Pakistan could come out to bat. Floyd Reifer had spoken of the importance of this tournament for fans in the Caribbean, and vowed at the toss that his team would play "the best cricket possible". What followed was anything but, as a combination of accurate fast bowling and not-so-clever batting decided the direction of this match.

Afridi, captaining Pakistan for the first time in ODIs, had said after losing the toss that he would have fielded first on a surface he reckoned had a bit in it for his bowlers. He was spot on, and Pakistan's trio of fast bowlers exploited whatever juice there was. There were no magic deliveries or exaggerated reverse swing, just good old line and length but that proved sufficient for an inept line-up. The professionals stuck to the basics: Mohammad Aamer found a bit of seam movement, Naved-ul-Hasan swung it gently and varied his pace, and Umar Gul hit the deck hard to apply the chokehold.

At one point it looked as though the game would be finished before the lights came on. West Indies' woes started in the first over, when Dale Richards spooned a return catch to Aamer. Andre Fletcher found it wasn't easy slogging Naved and when he got one that wasn't full enough to stab at, he scooped to backward point. Aamer got Travis Dowlin for 0, trying to cut one that was too full.

With the batsmen uneasy defending and playing off the back foot, Aamer settled for back of a length and beat the bat numerous times. Naved found movement when he pitched it up and the slips were kept interested. He hit a tidy line with the new ball and cleverly changed his pace, conceding just 12 off his first five overs.

Gul took a few deliveries to find his length, and when he changed his angle to around the stumps he immediately had Devon Smith - the most experienced batsman - lobbing a sharp, rising delivery to second slip. West Indies went from deep trouble to catastrophe in a matter of minutes when Aamer changed ends after a break and ripped one through David Bernard, and Gul nipped out Reifer and Chadwick Walton off successive deliveries. Gul was the pick of the lot, finding a superb line and getting the ball to sit up sharply.

Had it not been for some enthusiastic hitting from Nikita Miller, West Indies may have folded for their second lowest score ever. Miller, beginning shakily but gaining in confidence with three boundaries off Saeed Ajmal's second over, showed a technique and temperament that his batting team-mates so desperately lacked. He was last out for 51 off 57 balls as West Indies collapsed in 34.3 overs.

A target of 134 was easily going to be in Pakistan's range, but they still managed to make it a tough chase. The openers, with ten overs to negotiate before the lunch break, took the frenzied approach and paid for it. Tonge set the tone for a very good evening by bowling Imran Nazir with a full ball in a wicket-maiden opening over, and then undid Kamran Akmal for seam and carry. Tonge understood the virtue of pitching the ball up, yet also got it to bite off the pitch on more than one occasion. He smacked Mohammad Yousuf in the ribs and should have had him on 1 but Darren Sammy erred at second slip.

Tonge bowled a very consistent line, showing an aptitude to test the batsmen by pitching it up; Shoaib Malik was drawn into a fatal drive. Tonge's length was immaculate and Yousuf's was the only wicket he got off a shorter length. Otherwise his variation was generally full or on a good length.

At 76 for 5, after Misbah-ul-Haq edged Bernard, the match could have swung either way. Umar's entrance brought some stability to the proceedings and with Afridi, calmed nerves and sealed victory. Umar displayed the virtues required to negate the pressure and turn the heat back on the fielders, backing himself to go over the top. Even a severe rap from a Tino Best beamer didn't deter young Umar from finishing the job. West Indies displayed remarkable fight, but were a few runs short as Pakistan crossed the finish line in the 31st over.
Your text goes here

Following Australia’s historic Ashes defeat on Sunday, Australian Captain Ricky Ponting has been dropped from the up coming Twenty20 matches in England and Scotland starting Aug 28th. Other casualties include out of form batsmen Mike Hussey and seam bowler Peter Siddle.

Despite publicly backing Ricky and his teams’ performance throughout the Ashes series it seems that the Australian Selection Panel’s actions are somewhat different from their words – Australia lost to England therefore changes need to be made.

National Selector Andrew Hilditch commented that the Twenty20 squad was picked keeping in mind the looming World Twenty20 series in the West Indies in May.

Hilditch goes on to say that the omission of Ricky Ponting will provide a great opportunity for Vice Captain Michael Clarke to captain in the two Twenty20 matches and one ODI against Scotland.

“The selection panel is using the two matches against England to look at different make-ups to the squad and include players who we consider Twenty20 specialists in preparation for the ICC World Twenty20 next year," he said.

Gary Bowen

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