Thursday, June 4, 2009

Warm ups Blow Cold

After a couple of warm days of the ICC World Twenty20 warm-up matches, the final day was a dampner.

With Pakistan taking on India, it was expected to be the hottest day of the warm-ups, but it just blew cold.

The victorious teams - Netherlands, South Africa, England, and India - chased and won one-sided games with ease; by 7, 6, 9, and 9 wickets respectively.

Take Aways from Day 3 of the Warm-Ups:
  1. Dirk Nannes bowls really well, but fails to pick up wickets. Same happened in the IPL; I wonder if its got something to do with luck.

  2. Sri Lanka are staring at a first round exit with their thin and out of form batting.

  3. Herchelle Gibbs is going to have a big tournament. Lots of runs!

  4. Muralitharan is still being saved; poor guy will end up playing 2 games and going home.

  5. West Indies aren't much without Gayle at the top; Sarwan needs to bat higher up.

  6. England may have just unleashed a rare once-in-a-lifetime aggressive opening pair - when was the last time one of their openers hit 5 sixes in an innings?

  7. The IPL did for Bopara what it did for Marsh and Watson.

  8. Younis Khan still doesn't know what he's doing with his bowlers.

  9. Mohammad Aamer is a talent - till now you had heard; now you have seen!

  10. Pakistan need to open with Ahmed and Akmal and bring Fawad Alam into the side. I will not stop saying that.

  11. Rohit Sharma may have just cost Sehwag his opening spot; or Gambhir?

  12. Dhoni will bat at 3 throughout the 20-20 world cup.

  13. Ishant Sharma is going to have one hell of a world cup.

  14. Pakistan's fans, I don't think there's anything to worry about - we played our warm up matches against the best 2 sides in the tournament; and if all goes well, we won't meet them again before the semi finals.

On a closing note, I have a question:

Has anyone missed the cheerleaders and the music during the warm-up games?


Make your pitch on this post...



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27 Pitched:

  1. LiB said...
     

    cheerleaders and music hasnt even crossed my mind once...i like my cricket without them! ;)

    but what i am not liking is Younas Khan's brain at the moment! The guy has got no clue and goes into twenty20 with a ODI mind setup, hell even there you change your bowler if they are hit around, but no he HAS to get 3 overs each out of his opening bowlers...

    against Saffers i thought he is just giving the bowlers match practice but tonite he went a step further by introducing bowling changes either too late or never! it seems like he has trust issues with the bowlers at his disposal!

    i dont think Younas is cutout for captaincy at twenty20 or for that matter the management, they too are all at sea... i just dont know how Fawad Alam can be made to sitout after what all he has done..

    rather than the presidency asking PCB abt shoiab akhtars warts, i suggest they should ask why is fawad alam benched match after match!?!

    and as far as todays match was concerned, Ahmed Shahzad and Rohit Sharma played spoil sports! fools!

  2. Farooq Syed said...
     

    Just expanding on your points about Pakistan, at the moment the captain has know idea who should bowl at what stage, he is not willing to experiment or try to do anything different. In T 20 a captain needs to have multiple plans, so if Plan A fails, he can quickly move to plan B and plan C. At the moment we dont seem to have any plan. Younis needs to take a leaf out of his former IPL captain Shane Warne and surprise the opposition with slight unconventional cricket. Aamer looks very impressive with his pace and bounce, he should bowl with the new ball and Umar Gul who suprisingly looks totally off color should bowl in the latter stages. The second issue we need to sort out is our batting order. Malik needs to bat higher up the order, he looks in good form, his ability to score runs without taking much risk, rotating the strike and superb fitness can help others bat around him. Its not the defeat but the manner of it which should bother us most, two spineless and tame performances by a team which is capable of so much more.

  3. Leela said...
     

    Younis Khan still doesn't know what he's doing with his bowlers.


    Agreed Q.

    Ind-Pak contests in the past have always been about great batsmen v. great bowlers... did not look like that today.

  4. Krish said...
     

    This could very well be England's year. Home conditions. Good opening batsmen.

  5. Q said...
     

    LIB: abt the cheerleaders - exactly.. I don't think anyone noticed they were missing.

    I've been thinking abt Younis and what he might have been doing, and will respond to that in a bit, keeping in mind what Farooq has said below.

    Re: Fawad Alam.. I fail to understand.

  6. Q said...
     

    Leela: it sure didn't look like that.. wasnt a typical Ind-Pak match.. India made it look too easy..

  7. Q said...
     

    Krish: u think? maybe, but this is the first time I've seen them do well in T20...

  8. Q said...
     

    LIB, Farooq: now regarding Younis.

    I was just thinking that maybe Pakistan was using these warm up games to try all their bowlers and batsmen out to c what their best combo could be.

    If that was the case then it still beats me as to why they did not give Fawad Alam a game.

    Apart from him, all the squad members got a game.

    Maybe, just maybe after trying all these bowling combinations, Pakistan will get it right in the actual games and give Aamer the new ball. The boy looked very good today.. a few problems with the wides but they can be over come. He was the most difficult to get away.

    So Aamer takes the new ball, with Gul and Tanvir an over each.. not more..

    Aamer shud bowl 2-3 at the top I reckon..

    Then u can have the spinners come on. Malik and Alam to help Afridi and Ajmal.. and then end with Gul and Tanvir - they both are good at the death.

    With the batting is quite obvious that Ahmed looks the best of the openers so he's in. Akmal shud partner him imo, and that gets Alam in.

    Malik definitely higher up as u suggested Farooq.. and Younis lower down..

    I would play the team in this order: Ahmed, Akmal, Malik, Misbah, Alam, Younis, Afridi, Tanvir, Gul, Aamer, Ajmal.

    Younis should look to play the role he played today.

    Giving him the benefit of the doubt, hopefull he was just testing his bowlers in all conditions.

    Remember, Pak hasn't played int'l crkt in a long time and these were the only matches where they could test themselves.

  9. Krish said...
     

    I was not too serious about England winning. But I think they should not be underestimated either. After their debacle in West Indies, they have come back strongly as a team and have been performing well in England. As a unit, they are also preparing mentally for the Ashes. What could be more satisfying than to knock out Australia in the 2nd round? A win against India or South Africa then takes them to the semi, where who knows what can happen.

    I know, improbable and I wouldn't be thinking it if the Cup was being held elsewhere.

  10. Farooq Syed said...
     

    that looks to be the best combination, with just a slight change.younis probably at 4 is a better option as misbah is better in clearing the fence towards the end. I hope the management gets it rite cum the main round.
    And as for englands chances in this tournament --> "Zero"

  11. Chullanz said...
     

    Q; aamer is really a good talent he has got the pace and quality. now seniors have to groom him properly.
    Dhoni may not bat all the time in no.3 slot.if india loose one opening wicket with dhoni to follow will affect the total run rate and the other batsman on the other end. now a days he reminds us the old dravid who used to make other batsman sleep in a one day.one more point i need to add is india's lower middle order is wafer thin. if any team can claim first 3 wickets(rohit,raina in order to make it 3 gambhir) within 10 overs they will have a cake walk.Thats what the performance indicates. you may think about jadeja but he doesnt have match winning quality. he just makes some runs to ensure himself a place in the next match. i never seen him trying to win the match in the previos outings.

    about fawad ..poor guy i hv seen him looking to the ground like 80's devdas during aus-pak series. he has got talent quality and proven record. what else u required?? may be his lady luck is waiting for an occassion..who knows ,one fine day fawad will walk in to the ground for the price of yunis khan (according to me the weakest link )

    p.s: how about mayanti? still in dubai?

  12. John said...
     

    Dhoni wont bat a number 3 if a wicket falls in the first 5 overs. No chance. He conveniently promotes himself up the order when the situation is reasonably safe and only needs to be exploited well.

  13. Q said...
     

    Krish: I see what u r getting at but odds on England being 1 of the 2 instead of SA or Aus in the semis are not too great.

    But I'll tell i'll tell u wat - if they r to do it, they will probably do it with this team than any other.

  14. Q said...
     

    Farooq - I agree abt Younis and Misbah.. change them around..

    If the mgmt does get this team to play on Sunday, then I would believe that Younis was just testing and trying in these warm ups and with good reason.

    If not, then God save Younis from some wrath!

  15. Q said...
     

    Chullanz: Aamer is probably the best bowler to come out of Pakistan since the 2 Ws. His potential is even bigger than Shoaib's and Asif's.

    He will play for a long time for Pak if he can be kept away from the sins that illed Shoaib and Asif.

    Dhoni - I guess ur right. An early wkt and Raina will probably walk out to bat.

    Jadeja - he's talented but doesn't have the big shots for T20, but I think he has a future on ODIs and even tests.

    Fawad - it beats me man. I have no idea why he continues to be benched!

    Mayanti - sadly, I have lost track of her.

  16. Q said...
     

    John - u r probably right.

  17. scorpicity said...
     

    Am happy that I get to hear Bumble again. Hopefully there won't be too many over the top Indian commentators.

  18. Rayden said...
     

    First to answer your question - did not think of cheerleaders and music till I read your blog.

    Regarding the warm up games, I would not read too much into those. Its like formula one races - the friday practise session always has the minnows of racing toping the charts. All the teams simply experiment with their car setups. Then during main qualifying and the main race, only the top teams do well and those who top the practise charts are all at the bottom.

    So the warm up games were just that - warm up and some experimenting. I am just upset that Dhoni keeps bringing himself on at number 3 when its convinient for him. There were 2 or 3 other Indian batsmen who really needed the match practise.

  19. Rayden said...
     

    Hey also wanted to add, Pak really needed to sort out their top 3 batsmen. Akmal should open man. Other than that I cannot comment much as I could not really understand what Younis Khan was trying to do during the warm ups.

    One last thing - yesterday's live coverage by you guys was a lot of fun. Do let me know when you guys will be doing it next.

  20. Q said...
     

    Scorps: Hopefully not.. though I will miss some of the stupidity of the likes of Rameez, Danny, etc..

  21. Q said...
     

    Rayden: I dont think many people noticed the absence of cheerleaders, which begs the question - do we really need them in T20s?

    Interesting analogy regarding the warm ups and F1.. lets see if these are an indication of anything or not..

    As for Pak - I agree, Akmal needs to open. Alam needs to come in. I've been screaming abt this for so long.. I don't why they're not thinking.

    For Pak's sake, lets hope Younis gets it right.

  22. Q said...
     

    The LIVE coverage WAS a lot of fun Rayden. The turn out was awesome! I think we have about a 100 or so followers.. was amazing.

    Thanks for turning out. We'll definitely be doing more of them and will keep you posted through the blogs.

  23. Tifosi Guy said...
     

    Q

    Yes - I did ' miss' the DC cheerleaders. They were ' smoking hot' mate and definitely worth having them in the T20 WC.

    The thing I didn't miss was that darned Strategy break.

  24. Wasim said...
     

    Changing the batting order and including Fawad Alam and Aamer in the line up won't help until the senior players like Younis, Afridi, Gul, Misbah and Malik perform as they are supposed to, their is a lack of positive intent displayed by these players.

    I hope every thing is fine in the dressing room as some of the guys have not performed upto their potential. Malik was in superb form, Misbah and Akmal were also in form and Afridi was great with the ball. I can't understand how these players all of a sudden lost their form and are showing no interest in winning the matches.

  25. Wasim said...
     

    I don't think I have ever paid any attention to the cheerleaders or the music during IPL. So I am not missing them at all.

  26. Q said...
     

    TG: good for you then cos the cheerleaders will be ON from today when the cup starts.. they only weren't there for the warm ups.

    Thank God for no Modi breaks!

  27. Q said...
     

    Wasim: i agree that the seniors need to take responsibility.. though Younis and Misbah did play well against India. Malik was looking good b4 he got done by Ojha.. Ahmed was also promising.. so we still have hope.

    In the field though, after a few overs the team looked like it had given up. Afridi seemed totally out of it.

    I have heard of some dressing room politics but I hope those are just rumours.

    Hopefully Younis was just experimenting with the bowling.. and thankfully we do have an easy route to the semis..

    Cant wait for it to start!

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