Monday, 16 October 2006

Bollocks

The first game of the season is tonight. And this morning Shane Bond woke up with a sore back.

Sigh. It was all so predictable really. I am starting to genuinely believe that there is something psychosomatic in Bond's injuries. Perhaps he has had so many injuries now that he becomes overly tense and nervous before a match, tense and nervous enough to cause his body problems?

Still, there is some black humour to be found in Bond's breakdown. For a start it will cause Ian Chappell and Mark Richardson no end of frustration, having just rendered their newly published columns instantly obsolete.

Anyway. Back to the match. In his preview of New Zealand vs South Africa for Cricinfo, Anand Vasu seems to lean towards picking New Zealand as favourites. On the positive side of the ledger, we haven't suffered the kind of preparation Herschelle Gibbs has enjoyed. And, as South Africa's only recent matches have been against Zimababwe, they have not exactly been playing competitive cricket lately. And perhaps the biggest thing currently in our favour could well be South Africa's captain. The man Dylan Cleaver has dubbed "the skipper the world can't stand".

But I have to admit that I found Jonathan Millmow's forecast that our underdone bowlers will wilt (see below) convincing. And John Bracewell's rather predictable bout of hubris leaves me expecting the arrival of hubris' mate, nemesis.

If I am forced to make a pick, then I am going to go with whichever side wins the toss. You wouldn't think the toss would matter too much on the sub-continent, but I am willing to bet the heavy evening dew is going to start to take effect on the day-nighters sometime soon. Expect the New Zealand seamers or Ntini and Pollock to be a handful once the sun goes down.

3 comments:

Karel said...

Extremely dissapointed with the news Bond is out. However, from memory South Africa is the one team he doesnt seem to do as well against as all the others so perhaps its for the best. We need to win at least two of our pool matches to progress forward so I guess it may work out should he get over his stiff back in time for the Pakistan game.

As for tonights match, i'll be keeping my eye on Vincent and Marshall. Vincent especially had a terrific county season and from the two warmup games seems primed to unleash a big one. His comeback to form starting a year or so ago has been great. As for Marshall, i just have a bit of a hunch. He's always had class but his form in the past season or two was dire. I still cant believe they didnt take Taylor (or Ryder for that matter) to blood em in but i have a hunch Marshall now has something to prove.
Assuming they bat first, if we can restrict them to anything below 250, we're in with a shot. Ntini seems to have the wood over us so heres hoping he has an off night.

Looking forward to your comments regarding the match tomorow. Lets hope it's a better match than the last two we've seen thus far.
England (as a ODI side) are awful.

Suhas said...

I guess this means Gillepsie should be in right? Though the conditions seem to indicate New Zealand will be reasonably happy going in with Franklin, Mills and Oram. South Africa prevailed 4-0 last time, but remember that in at least three of those games the Kiwis held the upper hand for most part. Yes, Ntini is the key and a lot depends on whether the top order can see him off without much trouble. pakistan and Sri Lanka look good at the moment, so this is really New Zealand's best chance for a win. I mean, the conditions appear slightly more in their favour.

Vincent looks exciting at the moment but needs to be more selective in his shotmaking. I get the impression he's looking to smash everything to the boundary, and gets carried away. As for Marshall, he needs to be shielded from the top order...number five or six maybe.

And does Fleming have a plan for Justin Kemp this time around? I recall Lance Klusener stealing a number of games from the kiwis years ago, and on the evidence of last year's series, Kemp is the new Klusener. He'll be a definite factor at the end of the innings.

cricket in blood said...

I think, i have that hunch, that feeling about kemp...that he has that brilliance whic makes us go ga ga over Lance Klusener..

that never-say-die attitude..
ICC Champions' will be worth watching...

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