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Pakistan, New Zealand & Cricket in the Desert

November 5, 2009
Update: McCullum has since smashed a huge century. Jacob Oram has made runs and Scott Styris has picked up wickets. I would like to summarize what I have learnt by quoting Graeme Smith, “Things have a habit of coming back to bite you”.

 

While India and Australia make a lot of noise about each other, while England & South Africa do the same albeit with more clichés thrown, Pakistan and New Zealand are playing a short, 3 ODI, 2 T20 series in the UAE.

Although seemingly these are two low profile teams, they are make an exciting combination when it comes to watching live cricket matches. The spectacular collapses New Zealand have conjured when playing Pakistan have  mostly come in tests but who can forget Mohammed Sami’s blitz in Lahore in December 2003. From 155/4 to 157 all out! Who fcking collapses like that?

Players you’ve gotta have in your fantasy cricket team for this series:

Batsmen: Umar Akmal, Mohammed Yousuf, Martin Guptill & Ross Taylor have all been consistent this year. Aaron Redmond & Khalid Latif are the two makeshift openers from both sides who round up this list as  economical buys. Both have already hit crucial fifties at the top to claim their place in their respective line ups.

All Rounders: Shahid Afridi & Daniel Vettori (technically a bowler) are among the best in the world and are also the best players in their team. Trump players. The third all rounder could be between Abdul Razzaq and Jacob Oram. There’s not much consistency from either but I’d edge in favour of Razzaq. James Franklin is an outside bet if he is fit and available.

Wicket-keeper: Kamran Akmal. Brendon McCullum has had a horrid 2009 and still seems on a low while the understated Kamran has plundered whatever attack he has faced since his comeback into the team.

Bowlers: Saeed Ajmal is the only spinner of note left among the two teams to pick and he is a good buy. Mohammed Aamer and Shane Bond have been the best on display in the pace department and there is always Umar Gul to depend on to clean up the tail. Kyle Mills could have a good day if the conditions support him.

There are dudes I haven’t mentioned who could turn up the heat in the desert. Pick them up in your team and sit back to see who’ll trigger a collapse this time .

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