• It's been a challenge for Australia to come straight into this tournament with no acclimatization or practise. True, we were in the heat of battle during the recently-concluded one-dayers against England, but conditions here are vastly different from the ones we had gotten used to in England.


    Our opening game was played in really difficult conditions, and the pitch at the Wanderers was borderline dangerous when we started our innings. Paine got a few sharp raps on his knuckles as the ball was moving and rising dangerously. Mitchell Johnson help us get to a very good total on that track, which helped us win quite comfortably in the end. The devils in the wicket had been laid when the sun dried out the wicket, and we had to defend our total in much more batsman-friendly conditions.


    The tournament has been a little bit of a lottery especially in the day games. Sri Lanka got a rough one when they batted against England in very difficult conditions. It's early summer in South Africa and

    Read More »from I am looking forward to playing India
  • Just about every game is a knockout from here onwards which is a fantastic endorsement of the format of the tournament because there's no cruising for the players and no blinking for the supporters. Miss a game at your peril - you might not see your favourite team again.


    I've thoroughly enjoyed the tournament so far although I have the feeling that we've only seen the support act so far and the real thing is about to burst onto stage. It only takes a couple of brilliant individual performances or a really close game, a classic contest and suddenly everyone is talking cricket. 


    It looks very obvious to me that the tournament is being played in a great spirit and there are plenty of smiles on the players' faces. I wonder whether that might become a feature of the ICC Champions Trophy. With $2 million at stake for the winners I'm not suggesting for a moment that the players won't be taking it seriously but it's not the ICC World Cup and, perhaps, this tournament can provide an

    Read More »from Miss a game at your peril
  • There is no doubt that when there is a strain in relations between India and Pakistan, the tension does affect the players and spectators. There is more pressure from fans to do well and suddenly all the energies of followers on both sides of the border seem to be directed towards willing their team to a win. All this holds true for the game that will get underway at Centurion tomorrow.


    Pakstain started their campaign a couple of days ago against a depleted West Indies side. The batting did not inspire much confidence with the top order floundering against a very ordinary West Indian attack. It's early summer in South Africa and the ball is moving pretty sharply.


    The Pakistan openers Kamran Akmal and Imran Nazir seemed to be struggling, and a better team would not have allowed Pakistan to come back after the early reversals. Under such circumstances, Younus Khan's absence might have a telling impact on Pakistan’s performance.


    When conditions assist bowling - particularly pace

    Read More »from Pakistan have the pace attack to exploit SA conditions


(1,344 Stories)




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