Heavenly father, it has been six days since my last cricketing confession. With much guilt I abdicate my sins, having strayed from the path of virtue and commitment to a life of daily Cricket World Cup blogging.
We are now at the end of Week 1 in a fascinating Cricket World Cup, let me give you the spin.
So far, the fixture hasn’t exactly been a glorified endorsement for the Cricket World Cup. So far the juggernaut cricketing nations have pillaged the association teams in a contest more akin to a UFC bout between Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva and a cracked-out midget with one arm. The only exception being the Dutch taking England down to the wire, but are England a force to be reckoned with anyway? I think not, at least in the ODI format.
To break it down for you nice and simple, the low-down goes a little something like this.
India: Looking really solid, the form team. They are simmering down like any good curry; consistency, diverse flavour and enough punch to clear out the pipes and have you coming back for more. The two Gods of Indian cricket, Sehwag and Tendulkar, are looking in great touch which may well be the all-important foundation for a winning 2011 Cricket World Cup campaign.
Sri Lanka: Slightly disappointing start to their campaign. Lacking real solidarity at the top of the order, need Dilshan to step-up as a senior player and lead from the front. Too much pressure on Sangakkara. Jayawardene needs to perform in the big games.
Australia: A lot of worries, a few shining lights. To see Johnson taking wickets is always a good sign for the Aussies. He is a real catalyst for a team that is as lifeless as a dead-donkey. Australia’s biggest issue going into the tournament will be an inability to apply pressure in the middle overs, where they lack real spinning options. They also need Watson to convert those 50s into 100s; it will allow the hitters lower in the order free-reign to play a natural game. I just don’t see the Aussies winning games when the top order fails, not enough thinkers in the middle to steer the ship. Where the hell is Mike Hussey?
South Africa: Looking a real threat in the Cricket World Cup. One of my picks going ahead. Had a little flutter on Betfair when they were still 7.0 to win the tournament. Have a real gem in their spinner department, Imran Tahir, who has bowled consistently well with great variation, flight and enthusiasm. Love watching this guy, not only is he Pakistani, but a leggie! I was always a Mushtaq tragic. Their batting top order is mercurial and loaded with experience, a loathsome prospect for weaker bowling attacks.
Pakistan: They are here to win, no bull. There is something about Pakistan right now, they are looking really, really ominous. The only problem is, can they sustain such a scintillating standard of cricket? We have all seen Pakistan do this from time to time, but dare I say it, fall over into a steaming pile of sh|t. One thing that is different this time – I have a lot of faith in their captain, Misbah Ul-Haq – quiet, unassuming but seemingly capable of reigning in the potential of his players. As I said, on their day, the can beat anyone in the Cricket World Cup.
West Indies: Any team with Gayle, Bravo and Pollard has to be given some credit. Whether or not they are here to win, is another story. Individual brilliance does not translate into a successful team. I am not convinced that any of the West Indian players care as much for the team, as they do their personal IPL contracts. Far too casual for my liking, Bob Marley reggae styles.
New Zealand: I like Kiwis and I like the New Zealand cricket team too. They are friendly people, but friendly people don’t win Cricket World Cup tournaments. Cricket World Cup tournaments are won by assho|es, take Australia for example.
Let’s hope by this time next week, the games will have been a little more competitive and we have some real insight into how the tournament may pan out.
Til next time, peace in cricket and godspeed.