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Tuesday, October 12th, 2004
3:47 pm - Loss


The last few agonising days have been spent listening and reading to the various theories of India's loss. They range from god-awful umpiring from the two men in the middle to the pathetic batting by the Indians. I find it quite bewildering and in no small measure belittling to the Aussies that none of the theories give them any credit. To me we lost because they played better and allowed us to play only so well. Here are some of the reasons why they won:


1)      Preparation: the Aussies were better prepared than the Indians. Looks like they have been planning this since the series down under. This was well illustrated with the fields set by Gilchrist in both the innings. The field was fairly defensive just a slip and a gully and a five-four off side field. Defence, it seems, is the best form of offence. This allowed the bowlers to bowl straight and on a wicket-to-wicket line. This is well borne out by the fact that no less than 11 Indian batsmen fell either bowled or LBW. This also prevented the Indians from scoring a lot of boundaries which they thrive on.


2)      Bowling: The best laid plans can come to grief if badly executed. This match was won and lost by the pace bowlers. Spin played a part but the pace was vital. Our new ball bowlers kept it tight. Pathan looked threatening at times but Zaheer was struggling for rhythm. Their new ball bowlers were relentless. They were able to extract more bounce from the wickets probably because they are taller. They found appreciable seam movement and used the reverse swing to excellent effect and above all bowled to the plan. In effect the Indian batsmen couldn't relax at any point in time. No one could ever feel set (admittedly not many of them played long enough for that).


3)      Batting: As with their field placement the Aussie batting was conservative and had none of the bravado you usually associate with the Aussies. Mathew Hayden who swept the spinners to distraction kept the sweep in the bag. Gilchrist's slog sweep has dented many a ad hoarding but he hardly unsheathed the deadly weapon and when he did it was controlled and along the ground. Katich and Clarke used their feet to the spinners. It almost felt that they were Ranji veterans. During India's tour to Australia I thought that Katich was the best player of spin outside India and his performance in the first innings just confirmed my belief. Instead of the usual Gung-ho approach we saw a more traditional style from the Aussies a slow start, a steady consolidation and an explosion in the end as the bowlers wilted.


4)      Fielding: In terms of performance while fielding things were more even, we didn't drop any easy catches whereas they dropped a couple and we even scored a run-out. But as usual their ground fielding was better than ours. What made the difference was they had better more innovative fields set to our batsmen while we stuck to the traditional fields. They played chess in the field and we couldn't wiggle out of their opening gambit.


But all said and done the match was closer than the score suggests. Though we were out of it virtually from day three, there were key moments in the game where it could have gone either way. That it didn't suggests that the Aussies played the big points better than the Indians. But all is not lost. The fight shown by the lower order and Harbhajan's form are glimmers of hope. We also know their plans now and can prepare accordingly. I once saw a sportsstar print ad. It ended by describing the poster which was of Lee and Hesh. "Beware", it said, "when you put it on the wall. 'coz when their backs are on it they fight back". Suits this Indian team to the T.

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Tuesday, August 10th, 2004
12:04 pm - hi

um- im not entirely new to cricket but i am new to this community- so hi there! im a BIG england cricket fan and my favourite player is Graham Thorpe cuz he can always save England! so yay for him! started watching cricket last year when england were playing south Africa at headingly because i saw james anderson's hair and thought'hmmm... interesting'
other fave england players include: freddie, geraint
other fave non-england players include: Stephen Fleming- i have tremendous respect for him
im not much of a footie fan but i do lke my rugby- however cricket is my favourite - beautiful game, innit?

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Wednesday, June 2nd, 2004
9:14 pm - Hi


Hi all. I've just joined the community. I've been watching the English test cricket side since poliphilo  & I got together in 1991, before then I thought it was boring.  Now I'm a major fan and hooked, although I only ever get to see the home matches at the moment.

It was nice to see Andrew Strauss do so well in his first test but is Michael Vaughan right to move down the batting to allow Strauss to open with Trescothick?   What happened to the idea of the right hand, left hand combination?  Are we going to make it easier on the NZ bowlers by having 2 left-handers open?  Strange isn't it that 4 out of the first 5 ( I think)England Batsmen are all left-handed.

I'm sorry to see Nasser finish now.  It would have been good to see him reach 100 tests - but he's probably right to go out on a high - and when his replacement has arrived (hopefully).

Good luck tomorrow guys.

current mood: hopeful

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Sunday, March 14th, 2004
12:34 pm - A batting collapse for the ages.

Did the Bangladeshis disguise themselves as the Windies?

47 all out! It's the worst innings in West Indies history (previous 51 all out at Queen's Park against Australia; March '99).

Harmy claimed the spoils of the collapse; 7-12 in 12½ overs, 9-73 in the match, both career bests.

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Thursday, March 11th, 2004
6:34 pm - Website

In conjunction with this community, I am making a website about England. It is not yet finished, but several of the pages of the West Indies tour are up, including an update of the situation at lunch on the first day. The website is at http://uk.geocities.com/cricketroadshow . Please feel free to comment on it.

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Wednesday, March 10th, 2004
12:31 am - Zimbabwe

The ICC will be discussing the Zimbabwe issue tomorrow. I personally am against us touring Zimbabwe, especially after reading recently about the things that are going on there now. I wish our government would come out and ban us from going. I don't see why they can't, and it would make things a lot easier for us with the ICC.

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Tuesday, March 9th, 2004
8:03 pm - Welcome post

This community has been set up to give fans of the England cricket team an opportunity to discuss matches, players etc. With the first test against the West Indies starting on Thursday, I suppose the topical issues are who should be in the team on Thursday, and whether you think England are good enough to win the series. Personally, I'm unsure of the wisdom of playing Jones and Harmison in the same team, but from what Fletcher has said, it looks like Anderson might be the bowler to miss out. I think on paper England are better than the West Indies. We can win the series, we just have to play with confidence in our ability.

current mood: optimistic

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