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England Must Win

December 22, 2009

England hung on for a draw at the Centurion by the skin of an Onion peel….


Puns aside, South Africa earned those wickets with their persistence, England just thought it’d be the right thing to do as the South Africans do when in South Africa and tried their best to choke. Useless as they are, couldn’t even pull that off properly.

Swann was spectacular, he totally repaid my faith to keep him in the team instead of Stuart Broad and made me repent my decision to appoint Collingwood my trump player.

Shades of Cardiff yes but let’s hope the rest of the series creates a plot of it’s own, something as far removed from the Ashes as possible. In fact, I want the visiting team to win this series.

My primary interest in this tour is that a South African series win will see them regain the top spot in test rankings and displace the team that I think should head the table. I think the team at the top of the test table should not only remain there but they should also climb to the top of the ODI table.

Which brings me to the fourth ODI between India and Sri Lanka. These teams have played five series involving each other in the past two years, this is the third bilateral series and sixth overall and they’re scheduled to play each other in a tri series in Bangladesh within days of the end of this series.

And they’re still going strong at each other. You know what happened at Rajkot, you know what happened at Nagpur and some of you are still coming to terms with what happened at Cuttack. Now the action moves to the ground where the history between the two has been explosive.

The Eden Gardens at Kolkata.

Yuvraj Singh is among the only Indian batsmen to have had a good run at the Eden Gardens, he has two half centuries against one each to Virender Sehwag and Dinesh Mongia in the past decade so his replacement Kohli’s got his work cut out. Seriously, because Sachin’s 49 is the next best knock there in this decade!

Among the Sri Lankans, Jayasuriya has a good record here. SL paid heavily for not picking him when the pitch, the balance of the team, the injury to Mathews all screamed for his inclusion. India’s slow bowlers made merry, Kulasekara, Malinga and Mendis were all ineffective and SL went 1 down with two matches to go. Mendis was the most expensive one between them, with even the rookie Randiv getting wickets, Mendis is the one most likely to miss out on a match at his IPL home ground.

Dinesh Karthik looked in fine touch while he went about committing travesty at Cuttack. I think it’s just the joy of playing under a captain who trusts him that makes him enjoy his cricket so much more . The next match at Kolkata might see him come in earlier in the line up.

Dilshan, Tharanga and Sangakkara are the batsmen Sri Lanka are heavily relying on; they’re certainly the only ones delivering anything. Maybe Kandamby could play a greater role if he was promoted ahead of Jayawardene.

Kapugedera’s done nothing  in the two games he got, it’s not long before Sanga’ll run out of patience and dump his ass to have Samaraweera return and replace him.


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