Thursday, 12 April 2007

Ben on...the business end

Things are going to heat up for the Black Caps with tonight's match against Sri Lanka, far and away the toughest opponent so far.

Indiatimes has a nice run down of NZ's prospects in the match, discussing the Black Caps' form* and the players most likely to give us trouble.

Strangely though, the article doesn't take into account the predictions of Indiatimes' own astrologers. According to the stars, it is going to be a close game, with New Zealand barely favoured to win.

*The article has NZ in second place, though we are in fact first on the points table. This is probably just a simple mistake, but it does perpetuate the never-ending tendency of Indians to underrate the Black Caps.


Ben said...

Cricinfo have put up a couple of previews as well: 1, 2.

Suhas said...

This is one Indian who is firmly behind the Black Caps, though I myself have a tendency to underrate them! I must admit I'm quite apprehensive about the threat the Lankans pose. NZ have seen a lot of Sri lanka in the recent past, and the absence of Malinga might well work in their favour. Although both teams favour sluggish pitches which allow their slower bowlers to do their thing, I suspect NZ wants to stick to their preferred strategy of chasing. Which may be a bit dangerous against the Lankans as India, West Indies and England have already found out. Expect the toss to be vital.

My worry is NZ haven't really been tested in a while. Lou Vincent's loss is really hard to cover, Fleming is rarely at his best against the Lankans (Vaas in particular) and Fulton and Marshall look rather vulnerable at the top. Ross Taylor's return should be interesting to observe. I personally feel Sri Lanka, with a suspect middle order, might be more beatable when asked to chase down a score so from Fleming's point of view it's worth reconsidering the bowl-first fixation. Especially when you consider teams have been routinely getting 300 plus scores first up.