Well Played New Zealand – Unlucky South Africa

NewZealand v South Africa

Todays semi final saw the two sides who are dubbed as semi final chokers face off. Unlucky for South Africa they still hold the tag. It turned out to be the game of the competition so far. From the moment when the anthems were played to the very last ball, every single player gave it his all. It must really hurt for the players and fans of South Africa to have lost such a game.

The game reminded us all of how good top level 50 over cricket can be. As a neutral it was amazing seeing the big names all perform in a game. Im sure none of that matters for the players of South Africa at the moment, but they should really take some credit in the way they played their cricket. They must feel they are really jinxed with world cup semi finals.

Since the last world cup South Africa have been the stand out side for about three and a half years. They only started to falter in the lead up to the world cup. Conversely New Zealand have really gone a bit under the radar, always having the players but never the right performances when it matters. It does help that they have played every game in their own country so far, but the final will be in Australia.

There is something to having home advantage at a world cup. India and Sri Lanka battled out the last final (the two countries who have most exposure to those types of pitches) and this one possibly could be New Zealand v Australia.

The other semi final should be another cracker. India did not perform against the Aussies all winter, not winning a single match against them all tour. This is the match that matters the most. Can India bring their A game? This is what they have done throughout the world cup, if they do it should be another massive match.

All in all I feel the four best sides were in the semi finals, after that it all depends on what happens over the course of 100 overs. I really have a feeling for India now, but you can never say never with Australia. Bring on Thursday morning.

India thrashed away from home again!

Indian Cricket

Its happened again, the Indian cricket team are performing as per usual outside of India. We have all seen this before, namely the last two big tours the side has played. After the shambles in England and annihilation in Australia the players had vowed to put things right in South Africa.

To the casual follower of international cricket it seemed that the team had turned a corner. This based on India’s great home form. Beating all teams in front of them at home has masked the poor away form. It is all well and good Virat Kohli saying that his side are not scared, but what does that matter if they are made to look rubbish?

There is still one ODI match left aswell as a two match test series. Lets hope that India can show a little more fight in these matches. I personally will not hold my breathe, as India are a far better ODI side, what can we really expect from the test side.

South Africa v India series COULD have been as good as The Ashes!

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The Indian cricket team have set off for their mission to conquer South Africa. This much anticipated series has been dubbed as a make or break series for the current side. The current crop of talent seems to be able to destroy most teams at home, barring England. Conversely they have failed miserably on their last two big tours abroad. Another pounding on an away tour will result in this side being labelled as flat track bullies, but a win will change public opinion to something more positive.

My problem with the tour is that it is a very short tour. The whistle stop tour means that we probably will not learn too much about both teams. I believe that cricket is all about personal battles, I would have loved to see how Virat Kohli faced up to Dale Stein over a five test match series. What is surprising is that there are only three ODI internationals, normally India play at least six or seven.

The two match test series is pretty pointless. Winning or not loosing this series could be down to luck. For example the first match could be rained off, this then becomes a one match series, then anything could happen. It doesn’t make one side better than the other. Factors such as winning the toss in the first match could play a part in winning this series.

Questions must be asked of the scheduling, why did India fit in a silly home series against the West Indies to facilitate the retirement of Sachin? Instead India could have had a longer tour of South Africa, adding to the importance of this series between two of the giants in international cricket. In my opinion the longevity of an Ashes series makes that a much more intriguing series to follow. The BCCI seems to be making Indian cricket cheap, thus loosing die hard fans by making the Indian side play constant short series’s. It is not fair on the Indian players who will not get a chance to adapt to the South African conditions, they will be back home before this adaptation period will take place.