Dear Rahul,

You did your role in Sri Lanka and South Africa, but because we feel that we don’t make enough stupid decisions, we have decided to drop you from the series against Australia. We have a point too, what if you make good runs against them? How will we justify our dropping you then?

See, we want you to play in tough conditions where the pitches are slow, chasing is impossible or the other extreme, where the bounce is enough to make some of your team-mates whine. It’s easy to drop you then, you see.

We regret to inform you that we have completely decided to ignore the fact that you top scored against Pakistan. Instead that is our crux in blaming you that you couldn’t take us across the finishing line. You should have done it, not the horde of finishers we have in the Dhoni, Raina, Yusuf and Kohli. They are all young, how will they learn. You on the other hand are not. It’s the sad truth my friend. Our selections aren’t based on performances, only on age. Except Sachin, you know, because he’s Sachin.

If its any consolation, you’ll be the first name down in the book if we tour South Africa or New Zealand circa 2002. Because like we said, we love having a reason to drop you.

With best wishes,

Kris Srikkanth and his merry band of nitwits

P.S: Just to make you feel better, we have also sacked Venki and Robin, you guys played together a lot, maybe you can talk to them?

Have the big cricket bosses messed up again?

From what I can understand, 14 teams have been split in groups of two.

And each of the 7 play each other. The top 4 from each group go on to play the knock-outs in the quarters from there on.

Now I’m all for the quarters, I loved the 96 World Cup with the most superb one-day cricket in the quarters.

Don’t kill me, but I think the World Cup 2007 format combined with the World Cup 96 would be a brilliant combination.

16 teams. Groups of 4. Top two from each group into the quarters and so on. The only slip up here is that an upset can completely take a big team out of the competition. Remember 07?

But otherwise, 31 matches and we are done. One thing they could have learnt from the Champions Trophy was this.

In the present case, the teams play 42 matches before the quarters. And if the teams play to their ranks, those 42 are going to drag like crazy.

Although it’s not hard, it’s definitely better than the 07 World Cup format. No Super Eights or shit like that.

I have other crazy formats in my mind, but one of them involves crazy triangulars to decide the semi finalists. So I’ll let all that be.

Trinidad and Tobago are my new favourite side for this Champions League.

This was their first match I saw, and that also the highlights. But man, there was some sort of manic energy about the way they played. To say they outplayed Somerset would be incorrect, it was like Somerset never managed to come on to the field at all.

T20 is about exciting cricket, and Trinidad and Tobago serve it up in huge doses. I loved the fact that they played 3 spinners. And of all differing varieties. Wonder if they are scheduled to play in Delhi in the next stage. That could be a huge boon and a curse for them. Their batsmen seem to want to beat the leather out of every ball bowled, and the Kotla doesn’t really help those who do that. Of course, their offie, leggie, and chinaman could have a ball out there.

The NSW side seems like the Blue Australians. The colours have changed, the stupid machine still works.

I desperately want Gilchrist around for the next stage, and Laxman. So they’ll have to stop a rampant T&T side tomorrow. We shall see.

By the way, didn’t Dinesh Karthik just teach Mendis a good tight lesson. I was so hoping for another Yuvraj.

Maybe another day, some other poor bowler.

One question, did Jayawardene keep wickets today?

He spins my head right round, right round. Forgive the song, it just started playing as I began this post.

He literally does. Throughout the county season in England, I knew Laxman was upto un-Laxman things in T 20 cricket. I actually got a glimpse today live.

As I talk he’s on 29 with 6 of the most T 20 shots for the boundaries. Flat bats, heaves, upper-cuts. And he just hit an ugly shot in the air. This is not Laxman we are watching is it? Let’s see how this goes, we still haven’t seen a wristy flick yet.

Ah, a normal cut for 4. Oh no, that was Symonds.

Another heave. In-between was the first Laxman flick of the day.

So I conveniently disappeared after wishing New Zealand into the finals of the Champions Trophy.

I know the Australians looked strapping in their uber-cool white jackets, and I know I couldn’t bother to give credit to them for defending their title. Sorry guys, if you hadn’t won so much in the first place, I wouldn’t be like this.

I know the Australians won it, but if you ask me this was Pakistan’s tournament for the taking. Over-confidence did them in. But that’s what the tournament was. Except for the finals probably, most of the results were complete reversals of the expected. England beat the Lankans and the Saffers. Are you telling me someone expected that?

That whole match-fixing fiasco in Pakistan is a disgrace. Come on, it’s one thing blaming India for everything wrong, but paying off Australian umpires is ridiculous.

So the world has moved from South Africa to India, to the Champions (again) League.

Originality is not the strong point it seems in the cricketing market-minds.

It’s so hard that writing “Champions League live streaming” gets me flooded with football links. Come on guys, it’s hard enough finding a link in any case.

Anyway in the Champions League, JP Duminy was so damn awesome yesterday. It was breathless stuff. I just saw the highlights. I can’t really bother trying hard enough to watch each of these gazzilion matches coming up. So I’m going to let the others get excited and catch the good bits on highlights.

Hope the League throws up a lot of excitement. Not like today’s Delhi and Victoria, when I was really hoping Sehwag would blast his way back.

In keeping up the pace with this magnificent tournament, an Australian collapse would have been the icing on an already very tasty looking cake.

Which is why what Hauritz and Lee did was wrong, plain wrong. They came in the way of a collapse against the world’s most collapsible team. Causing and demonstrating collapses is Pakistan’s thing. When they fall short of collapsing, the viewer feels robbed. Like we all were today. A one run victory would have made everything so spicy. Imagine the tension a little bit away if the Indians had to make that target in about 28 overs.

All the Indians would say how it’s all because India were the number 1 team in ODI’s. Everyone in Pakistan would say it’s only because we love playing India in the finals. Every Australian would hate the Poms. Don’t ask me why, why do we all dislike their cricket. West Indies would probably have caused the upset that they have so threatened to cause till then. South Africans would laugh at Australia, saying no one chokes better than us.

Ah Pakistan, I know you’re moving away to a world where you play better cricket. No collapses for us to see then?

We have the most interesting Champion’s trophy going on in years and I’m having to hop one flight from another.

The only match I caught till now properly was the India-Pak and what a match. That was one hell of a classic.

England has shocked everyone, themselves included. How were they the first team to reach the semi’s? Are we living in a parallel universe where England plays decent one-day cricket. Have they got aliens playing for them? Or just the Irish?

Pakistan seem to be winning everything while giving free hits wrapped in wrapping paper.

Australia seem to have a rather mediocre team and still are just one point from a semi’s place.

India seemed to have the match against Pakistan in the bag when they decided to give a return gift for all the free hits.

Sri Lanka blew hot and I loved them for it. And then they blew so cold I couldn’t believe they were the same team.

New Zealand thought they could make the Group B more interesting by beating the Lankans and promptly did so. And injured Jesse in the process.

The West Indies are brilliant. That’s all. Please don’t look at their batting. They probably have the most exciting pace attack next to Pakistan. And they don’t give too many free hits either. Except to Mitchell.

And South Africa.. what have you done? Did I hear it correctly? No semi-finals? Again? When it was your time. Everyone said so. And I believed it this time.

I really hope I’m able to catch the semis and the final. It’s going to be one hell of a finish as long as the weather keeps true. Come on SA, please ensure that now.

Everyone should take a minute out of their lives.

Kemar Roach just bowled what has to be the ball of the tournament.

Shane Watson just stood looking dumbfounded.

I couldn’t help but let out a scream. The joy at seeing that in-swinging yorker was unbelievable.

I wanted a picture of Shane Watson after the dismissal, but nothing’s come up as yet.

Ultimate. A fast bowler shattering the stumps first ball.

Rated R for Violence and Sheer Brutality: Sri Lanka vs England. Starting soon.

If you’re English, stay away.

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