• Besides living up to its reputation as the second most important event in the ICC calendar, the sixth edition of the ICC Champions Trophy currently being held in South Africa carried the added responsibility of warding off the growing challenge from Twenty20 cricket which over the last couple of years has caught the public fancy in a big way.

     

    At the halfway mark there is little doubt that the ICC Champions Trophy has done much to generate interest once more in ODIs. The right conditions, the right pitches and the right attitude has seen large crowds, vibrant contests and outstanding performances. The up and down results have been a bonus. Things are bound to get better and the cynics who wrote the obituaries of the ODIs have been way off the mark.

     

    Not unexpectedly the early exit of South Africa, India being virtually out of the tournament at the preliminary stage and England's resurgence have been the main talking points. Few gave Andrew Strauss' men any chance particularly after

    Read More »from England the team of the moment
  • 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
  • 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

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