Category Archives: Cricket

Five Talking Points from Australia’s First Test

Firstly, I want to say congratulations to South Africa for defeating the Australian’s on home soil at the iconic WACA ground in Perth. Being the first time Australia has lost the opening Test of the Summer since 1988, the South African’s have displayed all-round terrific performances to win the first Test match.

1. Rabada is a special talent

Everyone warned us about Kagiso Rabada coming in with his fierce bowling technique but boy I was not prepared for the display he gave during the first test. Throughout both innings no matter how many overs whether it was eight or nine he continued to look fresh every ball he bowled.

Bowling at speed Rabada was able to capitalise on the pitch and hit the crack with most deliveries. This was crucial as he also accomplished bowling a  5-fer finishing on figures of 5 for 92 in the second innings and test figures of 7-170.

The 21-year-old will be looking to continue his form and impress against Australia in the second test at the Blundstone Arena in Hobart.

 

 

2.       Australia can not blame DRS for losing

Although the DRS system caused controversy especially amongst the Australia fans after Steve Smith’s dismissal in the first innings and Shaun Marsh in his first innings, Australia can not blame the system for losing the first test.

Yes the decisions were very unlucky but again with the technology rules are rules and it comes down to umpires call (like most games).

I’m sure Australia will definitely be looking to change their batting technique especially when facing Rabada and Keshac Maharaj.

smith-confused-after-dismissal
Steve Smith questioning his dismissal after coming down the wicket. Photo Credit: cricket.com.au

 

 

3.       One of the greatest run outs of all time

Unlike most Australians, I dislike Dave Warner quite a lot but this does not mean I think he ever deserves to get out (nor do I want him to as I want Australia to win) but the run out by Temba Bavuma was absolutely incredible. It was one of the best run-outs I’ve ever seen, with a 0.267 reaction time and to throw the ball whilst his legs are flung up in the air the direct hit was definitely rewarded as he dismissed danger man Dave Warner.

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Temba Bavuma’s incredible run out. Photo Credit: cricket.com.au 

 

Lots of jokes were made about his dismissal on social media regarding Warner being able to watch the run-out on his OLED TV (due to being involved in their advertisements throughout the games).

 

 

 

4.       No Dale Steyn, No Worries

The discussion throughout the entire week was how much South Africa was in trouble without their star bowler Dale Steyn. His injury came to a huge shock to everyone but it was a blessing in disguise for South Africa as it put attention on Philander and Rabada who both played an exceptional role assisting the South Africans with defeating Australia.

Although Dale Steyn can storm in and bowl deliveries at 145+ km/h will definitely be missed by spectators and teammates but I don’t think South Africa have too much to worry about especially after the performance of Vernon Philander and Rabada fitting in quite well.

 

5.       Philander an all-rounder?

Vernon Philander has impressed me alongside his teammate Rabada this Test match especially after scoring 73 in his second innings to assist with South Africa’s total of 540.

He bowled 4 for 56 in the first innings and 1 for 55 in his second innings which is phenomenal bowling.

His huge contribution and effort with the ball and bat throughout both innings played a significant role in South Africa’s defeat.

 

 

Feature Image Photo Credit: cricket.com.au

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Australia’s Fast Bowlers dominating the team

Do Australia need more variety in their bowling line up to perform better as a whole?

Australian fast bowlers have taken over the Australian team with the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, James Faulkner and Mitch Marsh. They are all performing brilliantly hence how they have a position in the team but are the coaching staff focusing too much on pace bowlers instead of working on our spin bowlers.

Pat Cummins celebrates a wicket. Photo credit: Cricket Australia
Pat Cummins celebrates a wicket. Photo credit: Cricket Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only a couple of spin bowlers have been selected into the World Cup side and most are in the team for their batting skills. Michael Clarke and Steve Smith are both spin bowlers but it is an unusual site to see either of them bowling. Cameron Boyce is very talented and he has not been selected to play a World Cup game but should they give him a chance? Xavier Doherty and Maxwell are also well known Australian spin bowlers but they have not been performing to the high standards of the pace bowlers.

Variety is fundamental in the game of cricket but the talent and skills to perform in difficult situations and under pressure is vital.

Maybe the Australian coaching staff need to spend more time with the spin bowlers allowing them to get adequate skills and practice to perform as well or better than the pace bowlers.

Personally I think variety is really important in the game of cricket and having spin bowlers selected should be  compulsory. With the likes of spin bowlers such as Cameron Boyce and Adam Zampa who are very  talented, can perform under pressure and play clever cricket.

Adam Zampa Bowling Photo Credit: Matt King/Getty Images AsiaPac)
Adam Zampa Bowling Photo Credit: Matt King/Getty Images AsiaPac)
Cameron Boyce bowling  Photo Credit: Robert Prezioso/Getty Images AsiaPac
Cameron Boyce bowling
Photo Credit: Robert Prezioso/Getty Images AsiaPac

They both proved themselves throughout the KFC T20 Big Bash League and should have an opportunity to play for their country. I also rate Steve Smiths bowling highly and hope he and Michael Clarke does back Smith so he can show off his spin bowling talent. I definitely would like to see more wickets taken in the games by spin bowlers however watching some Australian pace bowlers bowl at 140+ km/h is thrilling to watch.

Michael Clarke to call quits?

Is Michael Clarke about to call quits on his cricket career?
Michael Clarke has worked hard to play for his country but is it all a cover? Once injured it’s very difficult to come back to perfect form and with all the time  Clarke has spent in the commentary box over this Summer has he found his new calling?

Michael Clarke has fought a hamstring injury for several months and has not been looking hopeful to return until he announced he would be returning as Australia’s Captain in the ICC World Cup series. The next game scheduled to play is on Saturday (28th of February) and all eyes will be watching to see if he does play and if he performs well. Performing well be an essential for Clarke especially if he hopes to stay Captain for the next couple of years, as Steve Smith is in exceptional form which is a quality a captain requires.

 

Michael CLarke batting is way to a terrific 64 in Australia's warm up match against UAE. photo credit- Wayne Ludbey.
Michael CLarke batting is way to a terrific 64 in Australia’s warm up match against UAE. photo credit- Wayne Ludbey.

 

No doubt he will return to the field when he’s ready but after the World Cup will he permanently return to the commentary box with the likes of ex Australian players of Mark Taylor, Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting (to name a few). It was only last year (2014) when he officially joined channel 9 commentary team so he could give his insight and knowledge with the audience.

The chance is quite high and he may be thinking it’s time to give his body a rest from the high demanding sport he loves.

Australia’s fairytale start to the Cricket World Cup

Australians could not have asked for a better start to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, beating England by 111 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The Australian team played brilliantly  and England struggled to find form to step up.

They went up against England and the highlight was Finch’s score of 135 and Mitch Marsh’s bowling figures of 5/13.

Mitch Marsh celebrating his wicket. Photo Credit: Peter Williams
Mitch Marsh celebrating his wicket. Photo Credit: Peter Williams

 

Aaron Finch batting his way to a terrific total of 135. Photo Credit: espncricinfo.com
Aaron Finch batting his way to a terrific total of 135. Photo Credit: espncricinfo.com

Aaron Finch and Mitch Marsh would’ve definitely dreamt about the fairytale of a game they had on Saturday night. Especially in the opener, they both stepped up for the team.

Steve Smith also did a great job in the field taking an incredible catch, restricting England’s batsman Joe Root to only 10 runs. He was seen jumping horizontal in a superman position before reaching out towards the left and finding the ball between the middle of both hands. It was a phenomenal effort.

It was a disappointing end for England as James Taylor was called out for lbw, he then reviewed it and it was not out but Anderson was run out. Personally because Taylor reviewed the lbw I believe it  should have been a dead ball but umpires did not agree. It was a shame for Taylor as he would’ve had the opportunity to bring up his first ODI century for his country and where better to do it than in the World Cup.

Michael Clarke shows off his fine form in Warm Up Match

It has been a great lead up to the ICC Cricket World Cup as Australians put on another brilliant performance at the MCG beating United Arab Emirates by 188 runs in the Warm Up Match.

Michael Clarke took the opportunity of the warm up match to show off how well his recovery has been going. He made 64 off 61 balls and then was bowled by Aziz. He proved himself out in the middle as he was the highest run scorer of the match. He found the middle of the bat comfortably and seemed to be really determined and focused at the job he had in front of him. It’s good to see him leading from the front, starting off the match well and setting a great example for his team. A very positive sight for Australian cricket fans.

Michael CLarke batting is way to a terrific 64! Photo Credit- Wayne Ludbey.
Michael Clarke batting is way to a terrific 64! Photo Credit- Wayne Ludbey.

Personally I thought Xavier Doherty came out as Australias secret weapon and played a brilliant game. He impressed by taking 2 wickets in 1.1 overs and only letting UAE concede 3 runs. This is game changing figures and Doherty’s hard work is clear with how well he bowled.

The young fast bowling  Australian duo of Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood continued to do an incredible job following up their first warm up match. Both making early breakthroughs with the top 4 line up of UAE. They definitely have proven they can stand up and perform when needed which is essential in the game. They have been very consistent and impressive throughout the summer as well as in the two warm up matches. I’m sure they have more to show in each game of the World Cup and hopefully they stay consistent throughout.

UAE struggled this match to find their form but I have no doubt they will come back fighting in every game of the World Cup.