The Best cricket this summer…

Cricket Ball…is just starting in South Africa. The Aussies are up against the best team in the world and this series should be a cracker!

By virtue of the South African bowling being strong and the Aussie lineup being a bit suspect against good hostile bowling, I’m tipping them to come out on top during this series. As I write, I’ve just seen the Aussie scorecard change to 72/3. Atleast we can expect a good counter-attack by the middle-lower order.

New Zealand considered favourites against India?

The test series between New Zealand and India is shaping up to be a good one. Given the strength of the local batting and bowling, it is looking very ominous for the tourists. India’s batting is the key, as their bowling unit has looked pretty ordinary in the ODI’s that preceded the tests.

I’m excited about the upcoming tests and hope it turns out to be a good contest and I am favouring the Black Caps for this series.

Here’s cricinfo’s preview of the match.

The Summer of Sport Continues

The Australian Open Tennis is done and dusted. The International Cricket season is almost finished. There is just a week and a half left in the Big Bash. It feels like the Australian Summer of Sport is coming to an end and sport disappears from our radar for a little while.

Not quite! The beauty of Australian sport is that we also play Winter sports in Summer. The Hyundai A-League soccer has been in full swing since October and has another 3 months left before the finals. The Super Rugby 2014 season is just a couple of weeks away and I love the fact that international clubs play against each other in this competition. Oh, and there is the small matter of the pre-seasons for the AFL and NRL.

For those favouring indoor sports, the National Basketball League (NBL) has another two months left to go and Netball’s ANZ Championship is just a month away from it’s new season.

The Summer of Sport has a long way to go yet! :)

The future of Australian cricket is looking bright

Cricket BallIn case you haven’t heard (very unlikely), Australia won the Ashes on the back of some wonderful and aggressive cricket. I was fortunate to have seen most of it and have enjoyed every moment of the whitewash. We’ve seen some brilliant performances by Mitchell Johnson throughout the series, but it must be remembered that he wouldn’t have even got a look in if the first choice bowlers such as Jimmy Pattinson and Jackson Bird were available. Along with these two players making their comeback in the Big Bash League, the current lineup of Harris, Johnson, and Siddle as well as the backup players such as Starc, Hilfenhaus, Hazelwood, Coulter-Nile, and Bollinger, the Australian fast bowling stocks are looking good for another decade of dominance.

The challenge is to find a few batsman who can stand up and be counted with heaps of runs and mental strength for the rigours of test cricket.

I’m excited about the good times ahead! South Africa, here we come.

Corey, Misbah and Fancy Bails to start 2014

What a day the 1st of January 2014 has been in cricket. Just like the fireworks that welcomed the new year at midnight, there’s been some fireworks during the day as well.

Corey Anderson from the Black Caps played an amazing innings to start off the year, breaking the record for the fastest One Day International century. Poor Jesse Ryder played his heart out with a hundred in less than 50 balls but yet faded into the background with Corey’s hitting. Corey has been a wonderful talent that New Zealand have unearthed in the past year. Hopefully he’s going to be around for a long time and together with Ryder, Taylor and a decent bowling line up they can change the fortunes for New Zealand cricket.

If you want consistency, how could you go past Misbah-ul-Haq? What a year he had in 2013 and he’s started off 2014 making another hundred. For someone about to turn 40, he has simply held Pakistan’s batting together and also rescued them from crappy situations almost every time he’s come out to bat. Yes, he can be boring, but he sure is effective!

And what about the LED bails that decided not to move? That’s going to be talked about for a while. Just an stroke of bad luck for the Sydney Thunder team who just can’t seem to get going at all. I must admit I like the innovations that have been introduced in the BBL including the flashing stumps and bails, as well as the “UMP” Cam (Umpire mounted camera).