Monday, 30 October 2006

NZ vs Australia semi-final

So we will be facing Australia in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy. I suppose if we are going to win any kind of cricket tournament, we will invariably have to have to beat Australia at some point. But it is unfortunate that we have to play them in the semi-final of this tournament, if only because the pitch is going to suit them down to the ground. The match will be played in Mohali, the same ground where Australia so comprehensively outplayed India. Not only is it a good batting wicket with plenty of bounce - which will suit Australia's flat-track bullies - but if it suits any one type of bowler over the others then that bounce means it will suit Australia's taller pacemen. Mohali might as well be in Perth.

Perhaps even more of a concern than the pitch is Glenn McGrath's return to his parsimonious best, while Mitchell Johnson finally looks to be fulfilling all the hype.

Hum. This is an awfully negative assessment isn't it? Perhaps I have been reading too much Richard Boock lately.

PS Posting has been sporadic lately because the site has been down an awful lot. Let's just hope Blogger can pick up its act a wee bit.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're making excuses already Mike... I bet Steve Flemming doesn't agree. If he can keep hitting hte ballwith his bat instead of his pads and Bond is on song, NZ are a huge chance.

Anonymous said...

Not regarding cricket, but you might want to upgrade your template to Beta - all of users on Classic Blogger have been having major problems; and eventually everyone will have to convert to Beta anyway.

In short: Blogger's been down for Classic Users, not Beta Users. Move, sloth.

In pure pessimistic fashion, I would have preferred it if New Zealand weren't facing Australia in the semi final either; seeing as the pitch is just like what you see in Australia - if it weren't for the hoardes if Indian fans and lack of eucalyptus trees, it might as well be Australia.

Still, I have my fingers crossed that Bond and Fleming and the others will all come good.

Ben said...

I think it's great we're playing Australia in the semis. I'm looking forward to a good game (which I will have to follow on CricInfo as there is no radio commentary).

Just remember: "New Zealand team is not very high in talent but they can beat the best."

Suhas said...

I too must admit that I'm a bit apprehensive that it's the Aussies whom the kiwis will meet in the semis. As far as the conditions go, and all the talk of it being virtually like playing in Australia, remember: New Zealand actually have a good recent ODI record in Australia (the VB series in 2002, and the Chappell Hadlee series a couple of years ago). In fact, the reversals all happened in NZ when they lost 5-0 in 2005 and 2-1 later that year in the Chappell-Hadlee series. Much as the conditions are made for Lee, Johnson and McGrath, it probably means Kyle Mills and Jacob Oram finally have a chance of proving their worth against the strokemakers at the top of the Aussie batting lineup. Of course, fingers crossed Bond makes a contribution and Vettori is his ususal self against the Aussies.
Despite the 274 in the last game, the batters are still feeling their way around. Hope they've taken the cue from Fleming and Styris on how to go about things. They've seen so much of Australia in the recent past they should know what to expect at least from Lee, Bracken and McGrath.

parker said...

I'm sure a few of the Aussies haven't forgotten Bond's last outing against them at Port Elizabeth, one of the greatest one-day bowling displays I've ever seen. Like all Aussies, they tend to underate New Zealanders which is why we tend to compete quite well against them, all things considered. Unfortunately recent teams we've fielded against them have been ridiculously understrengthed. Remember the sorry sight of Jeff Wilson's comeback? We're in with a good chance this time. I'm a big fan of Styris, but he's not crucial to our success.