• There was a time in the not-so-distant past when Asian teams were routinely labelled underdogs for tournaments like the ICC Champions Trophy, particularly if it was being held in South Africa. To be fair, we often lived up to that pre-tournament billing with uninspiring displays, and struggled with the alien conditions.


    Fortunately, things have changed for Asian cricketers, who travel better these days and Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan all have real ambitions of winning the tournament.
    Non-Asian teams have become much better at playing spin on the subcontinent and we, similarly, have adapted to playing pace on bouncier and quicker pitches. Some of that stems from improved skills and technique but mostly from our growing mental strength and confidence. Our aim was to learn how to win in all conditions against any opposition and we now believe we can achieve that.


    While India must have been disappointed with their early exit from the ICC World Twenty20 in England, Sri Lanka and

    Read More »from Our bowling attack has been firing well
  • The prospect of South Africa being eliminated from the tournament after three days was too horrible to contemplate - so I didn't! I was always confident that they would be too strong for New Zealand even though the Black Caps have some dangerous players.


    The Proteas have not only stayed alive but did some useful work in repairing the damage which Sri Lanka inflicted on their net run rate. It didn't look like they were deliberately trying to score quickly which pleased me because you don’t take liberties with the game of cricket at any level, but certainly not in a tournament involving the best eight teams in the world.


    Having bowled and fielded brilliantly to dismiss New Zealand for just 214, it would have been unforgivable if South Africa had assumed that the hard work was done and taken victory for granted.


    It was an absolute pleasure watching them construct the run chase in the methodical and clinical way they did and, although the people around me in the Standard Bank

    Read More »from SA were in complete control
  • England start their ICC Champions Trophy campaign against Sri Lanka in Johannesburg on Friday - and it will be a tricky opener.


    Sri Lanka lost to India in the final of the Triangular Series recently and they'll be looking to come back hard in this tournament.


    In the opening match Sri Lanka looked sharp as they won by 55 runs via Duckworth/Lewis.


    On paper they are a dangerous side: England will look for short balls, hoping the Wanderers track will have a bit of bounce in it and some swing. The surface in the opening game in Centurion died a little bit.


    Sri Lanka dominated South Africa's bowlers; they were well on top before the rains hit.


    New Zealand are the other team in the group and it's not going to be an easy one for England to get out of.


    They haven't played well against Australia and they lacked a gameplan in that series.


    Combine those things together and England are a long-shot for this tournament, whatever they say. As an individual as part of that team you're not

    Read More »from Tall order for England in South Africa


(1,344 Stories)




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