Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Ben on...worthy opponents

Next up in the test schedule is Bangladesh. Given the pasting in South Africa, could it be that this coming series will give closer results than previous encounters? Jonathan Millmow seems to think Bangladesh are a big threat. And as if that isn't disheartening enough, apparently Afghanistan reckon they can give us a fight.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Ben on...other blogs you may like

Things have remained slow here at Mike on Cricket, even after the start of the cricket season. (It feels like there's something missing, but I can't put my finger on it...) So I have decided to steal some content from other blogs and have added a blogroll. The blogroll is greatly padded out by two whole new blogs, Sideline Slogger and Googlies and Grass Stains, both part of Stuff's burgeoning list of blogs.

All these blogs should make my life easier, as I can just point to them instead of making my own posts. I could, for example, have pointed to Richard Irvines' very funny post about the last defeat not being as bad as it could have been instead of bothering with my own meagre effort to say the same thing. I could also add Paul Holden's and Hamish McDouall's opinions on Matthew Sinclair to complement Karl's. And my clever post about New Zealanders and ducks that I never had the time to write has been done for me in Sideline Slogger.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Karl on ... the wrong batsmen are playing

What seemed quite apparent to me in the weekend's loss to South Africa were two things - our best batsmen were woefully out of touch and clearly hadn't played any cricket in a long time; and our new opening partnership look out of their depth.

A good coach should ensure that his players arrive on a tour with their eye in, and a good coach should ensure that the best 11 players take the field, not his favourite 11. There seem to be quite clearly issues between John Bracewell and two of our more experienced players: Lou Vincent and Mathew Sinclair.

The new selection panel should force Bracewell to play both of these players. Sinclair's 189 not out in a day just cannot be ignored.

And why did they not spend a couple of weeks in Darwin playing a NZ B side?

Monday, 12 November 2007

Ben on...the biggest losing margin, the thinnest of silver linings

Quite a lot has been made about this test being our heaviest defeat. (Have you voted in the poll?) While 358 runs might be the biggest losing margin we've ever suffered, surely our loss to Pakistan in 2002 by an innings and 324 runs was a worse defeat – in that game Inzamam-ul-Haq alone scored more than we managed.