Friday, 27 March 2009

More WTF happened?

Since the 51 all out I'm still lost as to how an entire team sucks bottom. A team which is, undeniably, good. Not excellent. Not remarkable. Possibly not even all that memorable. But still... good.

Now there was, as was demonstrated handsomely by the man Gayle, no nasties in the pitch, yet there are certain scorecards which would initially say otherwise.

Are there not questions to be asked about how, for example, Pietersen allowed himself to be so brash and bold and get out for 3 off of 15? There's always so much comment saying that that's the point of him. That's his genius, and if you try to contain him, you'll ruin him. That's surely just drivel. As a responsible player, one who was in that very squad getting the 51, he should have something in his mind to watch out for a potential collapse.

Dimi did well considered, 36 off of 76. Now that must have been reasonably painful for a dude with an ODI strike rate over 120. But he did it, whatever "it" was. Shouldn't these world class super hero mega god batsman be able to see what might happen if they were to end up with similar stats to those already departed?

More and more I'm inclined to think I'm missing something. That if I had my way my England squads would be drab, miserable and would lose. But then I'd tried to think that about Amjad Khan, and I'm more than convinced I was right all along.

[btw, please note Lemmings are, in honour of the occasion, resplendent in England replica kits]

Monday, 23 March 2009

IPL all over the place

Strange times for one of, if not THE, most respected and world renown sporting contests this plant has ever witnessed.

To move the IPL from India after it's legendary 6 week history, which is truly etched into the very bedrock of anyone who would describe themselves to be a member of the human race is truly shocking.

Or at least poor little Lalit mightn't make quite so much money if he has to take reasonable measures to actually address major safety concerns.

Up until about 30 minutes ago, I was assuming the chance of the IPL moving to England this year as opposed to letting the Saffers have it was just laughable. I don't know too much about domestic cricket down there, but the waves of apathy I'd expect to swamp an average IPL match between then Dehli Dongles and the Mumbai Mushrooms at Edgabaston on a cold Thursday mid-afternoon would really be quite sizeable. No one would be hanging from the scafolding, and playing the matches in full daylight also would take a massive amount of atmosphere away to boot. But now due to those pesky logistics, it seems that the South Africans powers that be seem to think even less of their "chances" of playing host than I do of ours.

At the current rate, will the IPL ever settle into a sane steady format? Or is it always going to be this bizarre pile of greed, legal action and bitter bitter resentment? Are other sporting tournaments this shambolic? I know that the Preiemer League, 6 Nations etc... certainly aren't, but is it common for other shabby tournaments to be as badly handled as, well, just about *EVERY* major event in world cricket?

Ixnay on the Straussay

Can we - by which I mean Bob "Looks like one of those Germans from Eurotrash who dress up as babies" Willis - please now stop slagging off Strauss in the short form for a while now? He's clearly not the future world saviour leader of men, but he's... OK. Or at least, he always was "OK" and so far as captain, he's been excellent, by way of responsible, with the bat. Who else has stats anything remotely resembling his? The Lord Megachief of Gold, of course. Judge a man by the company he keeps.

105 yesterday doesn't prove that much all on it's lonesone, but even the long view says he's fine, and no one need have replaced him personally. Of the currently feasible players, only KP, Fred, Bell, Shah and Colly have a better average. Yes, yes, I know that could basically say that everyone else in the squad is better than him, but well... Look, he has an average above 30. Prior hasn't, Mustard hasn't, Bopara hasn't, Wright hasn't. Bopara doesn't even have as good a strike rate.

As an aside, Cook also *statistically* fits in to everything said about Strauss there too... Please let me have statsguru. Right or wrong it's all I've got to base an opinion on most of the time.

I don't know quite what has happened to Bob recently, but it's pretty pathetic. Did it start with those pathetic Bobby's Dazzlers links on Cricket AM? That was fscking awful, and I think some scroat of a producer (does Adam Mountfield moonlight for Sky?) decided to bring more personality into his pundit persona. Certainly no one else there capable of having a controversial opinion. Rather him say that that Colville I guess. Makes my skin crawl.

Am I unwittingly advocating a team which is exactly what's been wrong with ODI for the last however many years? I'd have thought starting with good batsman and just encouraging them to be a little more positive would be better than continually telling a bunch of sloggers to stop getting out. Might be duller to watch, but more chance of a respectable defeat at least.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Windies make mockery of cricket. Yet again.

England seemed to be heading in the right direction, by the very reason that pushed D/L in our favour once Ramdin was out, so it wasn't too unreasonable to think that they were going to win. As such I won't say that John Dyson's screw up with primary school mathematics changed much. It's such a shame to see the rules being so selfishly applied though.

In a similar way to the groundsman blatant preparing dead pitches during the test series to ensure draws, this is a horrible way to twist things to your advantage. As has already been pointed out in so many places, they are by no means the first to do this, and technically they are entitled to do so, but what happens to the Spirit of the Game in situations like this?

Whilst he seldom seems to know what day it is Bumble was right with his continual chanting of "Play the game! Play the game!" and maybe this will teach the Windies, and indeed, other teams, a thing about sportsmanship. Unfortunately it'll probably just teach them not to let a pensioner read a newfangled spreadsheet.

Is there nothing that can be done about this sort of behaviour? Obviously with something as basic as a shitty pitch nothing realistically can be done to save the match at the time, but when a team is just being a big old spoil sport can the umpires (oh shit, dodgy ground already) not have the final say? I don't think there are many people who wouldn't, if they were put into a darkened room and told to think carefully at the risk of unleashing the badgers, confess they'd rather see a good fair match than their own team win by default.

Letting umpires use their own version of common sense was shown to be a very dubious thing with the referral trials, but surely letting them say "Look, there are a floodlights... just turn them on." can't be a bad thing, with only tired stuffiness getting in the way of simple logic like this happening.

Either way, let's not think about poaching Dyson any more, huh?

Sunday, 15 March 2009

I hate him, I hate him, I hate him

How chuffed was I to see Amjad Bloody Khan in the T20 XI??




For when it mattered a toss, he bowled shit, and dropped a painfully easy catch off of Dimi. He picked up 2 wickets when it couldn't matter less, with Sarwan fancying finishing it off in glory and coming up short to no real concenquence, and just about the same rationale for Bravo's catch.

So now after sucking TWICE, can we please please put this sorry little waste of space back where be belongs in the KCCC 2nd XI?

And elsewhere... Why wasn't Rashid playing?? Why bother with Batty as the solo spinner when everyone expects Rashid to be the incumbent spinner in all forms of the game within 3 years.

And finally... Why all the grief to Strauss? He tonked the ball during the tests as if he was playing ODI, why was there so little faith in him? I said out loud to my assembled audience (wife, cat, dog) that he wouldn't be the worst performing batsman, and by buggery he wasn't. He wasn't great, sure, but then no one was, and whilst *he* wasn't setting the world on fire, there was no one else waiting for their chance to sort it out.