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Before the tournament began, there was a lot of talk around how it was the time for the South Africans.
AB did it.
Greame did it.
Arthur made the mickey out of it.
Shaun Pollock did it.
Ashwell Prince’s half brother’s step-son did it.
Err, it kind of fell apart today. I know it’s not good to harp when they’re down but I’ll do it anyway. So, as it’s raining down in Centurion, hopes of South Africa putting up points today seems to have been washed away.
I caught some of the match, and I just kept getting the feeling that the Saffers kept taking SL way too easily. Like it was meant to be. As if the winner of the match had been written from the start.
And what is with not even bowling even a over with their spinners during the Power Play overs? They aren’t that bad, really.
Dilshan was fabulous. No mincing words there.
If anyone can explain me the logic of winning the toss and fielding while having two spinners in the side, please send me. No wait, what will I do with it, just post it to Smith and Arthur.
What is with South Africa and these blunders in the ICC tournaments. I’m sure Shaun will shudder at the thought. Hope Smith doesn’t have to do the same.
When I read the headline for this article, I figured he meant England’s top player.
But NO, he means the world’s top player. And it’s apparently hard to look beyond Andrew Strauss for the top cricketer of the year. I had to re-read it 4 times to confirm what I just read.
So here’s Andrew Strauss’s record for Tests and Odis since August 13, 2008 to August 24, 2o09.
Averages close to 60 in 14 tests, of which 7 are against the Windies. Won’t take that away from him, the other 7 were against Australia and India. So it’s pretty decent (but definitely not Player of the Year decent). Oh I almost forgot, he also lost a series to the Windies. Maybe that’s a qualification for the awards.
All his odi’s were against West Indies, and really did those Odi’s ever hold any significance? In any case, he averaged 43 over them.
These Ashes are given way too much precedence. All England luckily managed to do was beat a less-than-decent Australian team which had already been beaten comprehensively by India and South Africa. I don’t know about everyone, but the Ashes were among the least quality of cricket series I have seen. It was a matter of who could play worse. Except for the crowd atmosphere and Ricky Ponting’s innings.
I’ll just link up to the 3 other players ODI and Test Stats in this period along with Strauss:
If you only look at these 4 players, the top player has to be MS Dhoni. Captained over all 3 series wins against Australia, NZ, and England, while averaging 55 in Tests. And had a phenomenal ODI year averaging 60 and again having a fabulous record leading India under him (17 to 5 W/L ratio). Strauss has nothing on this.
Among the others, Johnson was fabulous in parts, but blew cold too many times against India and during the Ashes. Mind you, a very useful batsmen still.
Gambhir had a really great year Tests (averages 80+) but a mediocre ODI year.
So it’s a no-brainer really.
But wait, had the ICC not been on crack, AB De Villiers and Greame Smith would have made this list and Andrew Strauss would not. But they are not, and if I had to pick the award would probably be between AB and MS.
Just for the record here are Smith’s and AB’s records:
Before I finish, just some priceless Robbie quotes :
“As it is, given the nominees we have, it is fiendishly hard to look beyond Strauss.
England’s captain now occupies decidedly rarefied air. Among batsmen who have led their country in upwards of 15 Tests, only five – Don Bradman, Jayawardene, Sobers, Graham Gooch and Lara – have averaged more than Strauss’s 56.14.”
Oh my god, rarefied air? Haha? And when did the player of the year have to be compared to batsmen way before this time. And you have to check out the XI he’s put up. Please, please kill me. He’s got that fucker Broad in his XI.
If Strauss wins that award, oh no, so sorry, I’m going to puke now.