Kashmir willow

Nice shot of a bat being made from Kashmir willow

Kashmir willow


Notes from the pavilion for October 17th

Links of note from the past 24 hours:

The thing that didn’t happen

Watching glimpses of the India vs Australia and Sri Lanka vs England ODI series, I’ve been struck by just how conventional these ODI games have been. We were told last month that the arrival of the Twenty20 game would revolutionise tactics and game-plans in the 50 over game.

But it hasn’t happened. The Sri Lanka vs England games were especially low-scoring, attritional affairs, and that played right into England’s hands. No doubt the slow and difficult batting conditions contributed to that. But even in relatively free-scoring Indian venues, the same old rhymes and rythyms of the 50 over game have continued.

It is early days, of course, but what this might point to is that there is little real impact that the two games can have on each other. Those extra thirty overs are clearly making a difference to the way that teams go about their business. I cheerfully confess to being surprised by this turn of events.

Andrew Symonds hits out

Fresh after being subjected to monkey chants, Andrew Symonds has struck back by smashing a brilliant century in the sixth ODI. He’s also had a bit to say in a newspaper column.

Right now, I’m not allowed to comment on exactly what went on. But I’m not the most deadly serious bloke. Life goes on.

One thing I can comment on is that’s there is quite a bit of feeling between the two sides. Now that it’s started, I can’t see things changing greatly. We certainly won’t be taking a backward step.

The feeling has come from the carry-on that surrounded their Twenty20 world cup win. When we got here, it was just everywhere.

Our blokes thought it was really over the top. Some of the things their players have been given and the way they are treated, it’s like they are rock stars and princes.


Since winning the Twenty20, the Indians have been very chirpy. Our first one-dayer was a very verbal affair and the third game was the same.

It was nice to give them a real thumping (in game five). They were very quiet after that game.

To be honest, I think they are showing a bit of bravado.

We’ve had the edge on them here and we’ll get them again in Australia this summer.

To be honest, I’d rather there was rather less of the verbals and a little bit more concentrating on batting and bowling. So far, the sixth ODI has been rather more peaceable- hopefully this trend will continue.

The Australia-India spat

So Australia and India are embroiled in a spat all about Australia’s favourite tactic: on-field aggression. The Indians claim Ricky Ponting’s team have been using “harsh words” to their batsmen, while Australia suggest that India have misinterpreted “what aggressive cricket means”.

I can’t help feel this has been blown out of all proportion – by both parties. Australia are renowned for their tough-talking bullshit on the field of play, and equally famous for not being able to take it themselves. Remember England in the Ashes in 2005? Simon Jones flinging the ball into Matthew Hayden; Paul Collingwood, and others, shouldering up to an incensed Hayden. The bullies are always the biggest of cowards.

But I’m on Australia’s side for once, and not out of sympathy owing to their utter humiliation by England today in the Rugby World Cup (yeehaw!). India: for God’s sake, grow up and get on with it. If the nasty Australians really get out of hand, there are enough stump mics and cameras to witness the event. There’s a sense that India are appealing to the world, that somehow they are being victimised by Australia. Australia do this to every other team and although it occasionally boils over, it’s just part of their game.

It doesn’t always work for other teams though. India should just forget about trying to out-sledge them – it is not working.

Your thoughts?

Handbags at 22 yards

Thanks to work commitments, I didn’t see much of the second ODI between Australia and India that seems to have stirred up something of a hornet’s nest, with boys behaving badly on both sides. But from what I have seen, it has been pretty pathetic, and the captains on both sides need to tell their players to pull their heads in and stop acting the goat.

That goes double for Australia. The entire team is pretty much full of experienced players who should know better then to get involved in slanging matches. For example, Symonds should have stayed out of it when Sreesanth tried to confront Brad Haddin-  Haddin was showing with the bat that he was quite capable of looking after himself.

It’s a bad sign, because in the next twelve months or so, India and Australia are basically going to be in each other’s faces all the time- a nightmare of bad scheduling again. So it would be good if they could all get along.

Ye Gods! A Test match is happening!

We don’t get a lot of South Africans or Pakistanis in these here parts, but there IS a Test match going on as we speak- South Africa, batting first, are 104 for 1, with Gibbs on 50 – Smith out for 42.

Ahh. White clothes and a red ball. God is in his heaven and all is right with the world, et cetera!

Meanwhile, England play Sri Lanka in a Fifty/50 tonight, and Australia play India tomorrow. But who cares? Tests are the best!

India arrive home

A quiet and dignified welcome by Mumbai to India’s World Twenty20 winning team. An understated reaction as ever.

More people

Even more people…

Cars and more, more, more people

ICC World Twenty20 Final: India v Pakistan

So, the final is upon us, and it is the dream one for the ICC- India vs Pakistan. The success of both teams in this tournament will do more then anything to popularise this form of the game. There’s no doubt we shall be seeing a lot more of it in the years to come- a fact that must engender mixed feelings in the players as well as more traditionally minded fans.

Both India and Pakistan have made it to the final thanks largely to the efforts of some of their less heralded players; the new format has given a new lease of life to some fringe players too. The final will add the weight of expectations to the players, which I hope will not dampen the freedom with which they play.

I saw the group game that took place in Durban between the two sides, that ended in a tie, with India winning the subsequent bowl-out. I think the final will not be quite as close but at this stage, I cannot pick a winner. Although given that it is being played at Johannesburg, traditionally favouring the chasing side, the toss might be as crucial a factor as anything else.

Keep an eye on Cricinfo’s scorecard, and leave your thoughts on the match in the comments below.

Twenty20 video highlights: Yuvraj Singh goes bonkers, again

Some highlights for those who haven’t seen them of Yuvraj going a trifle berserk against Australia in the second semi-final. 70 from 30 balls! What game is this?

Click here if you can’t see the mayhem. It’s really quite massive.