• As strategists, the Sri Lankans were outstanding and they excelled in executing their plans, Also, they recovered from a shocking start to run out comprehensive winners of the Asia Cup, leaving us in no doubt as to who were the superior side in the competition.


    To have held back Ajantha Mendis for the final rather than expose him to the Indians in the preliminary league was a masterstroke even if such a move is par for the course when it comes to mystery spinners or very young fast bowlers.


    Where India failed was in homework. Not enough may have been done in analysing the mystery spinner's bowling. I am certain the Indians would have had a video session to view the way Mendis bowls. But to play him in the middle is a different proposition altogether.


    What the Indians could not gauge quickly enough was the pace at which the spinner bowls. He is almost slow medium, perhaps much like Anil Kumble. While the Lankans always prided themselves on playing Kumble like they would a slow

    Read More »from Shielding Mendis before final paid off
  • It's no surprise that India and Sri Lanka face off for the finals tomorrow. Everybody had predicted that it would be difficult for Pakistan to make the finals, and that is exactly what happened. A fine win against India notwithstanding, the team lacked bowling power, decisive leadership and their batting looked good because the conditions are completely loaded against the bowlers.


    Full credit to India for beating Sri Lanka and qualifying for the finals. They looked a very good batting side on Thursday, and I was impressed with Mahendra Singh Dhoni'a composure during a pressure match. There were some voices of skepticism that suggested that Sri Lanka played under par because they wanted to play against India in the finals, but that is utter nonsense. A team that wants to lose does not score 309, and if they fielded a little below their best it was because the game was not a must-win one for them and quite often that does rob a team of some intensity. Such allegations take the sheen

    Read More »from India looks to be in better form
  • A considerable fuss has been made over the international fixtures list ever since M.S. Dhoni opened fire on the crowded scheduling. The Establishment ranged itself against the Indian ODI captain, pooh poohing his objections much like a stentorian schoolteacher.


    Before dismissing his objections offhand did they so much as spare a thought to the one reason why players are objecting so much now? Dhoni made a rather simple point about back-to back matches that actually have no place in a civilised cricket calendar.


    Players whose feelings against excessive cricket may have received sympathy for their plight in the past may have been surprised by the severity of the reaction from the board, the ICC and the public this time.


    But that is because not a whimper was heard when the ICL schedule was drawn up and adhered to in six hectic summer weeks in April and May.


    The problem is the Establishment is not seeing the wood for the tress. While the cricketers’ objections to the schedule

    Read More »from Back-to-back matches waste


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