Tuesday, October 31, 2006

For an evolved cricketing audience

I have put in excerpts below from an article by Tim de Lisle, the ex-editor of Wisden. This gives you a good idea as to why the 'Champions Trophy' has been a connoiseurs delight, the average fan be damned.

It has been fun, mainly because it has been unpredictable. Hardly anyone would have guessed that the semi-final line-up would include not one Asian side. It's like a last four at Wimbledon, with the two top seeds (Australia and South Africa) joined by two surprise packets (New Zealand and West Indies). And although these two remain the outsiders, both of them, unlike most of those plucky tennis players, do have a chance of lifting the trophy. New Zealand have some form as a thorn in the Aussies' side, and West Indies, who giant-killed Australia, must be able to do the same to South Africa - though they still don't look more than an average team. If they do go all the way for the second time running, they will have climbed every mountain.
So what is the tournament's secret? Mainly, it's been the pitches, which have been quite untypical of both one-day cricket and the subcontinent. Sporting and quixotic, they have behaved as if determined to right the imbalance between batsmen and bowlers. They have been so variable that gameplans have come undone and matches have been won or lost by individuals showing the ability to adapt, from Runako Morton to Damien Martyn. It's been a series of exams that the students couldn't easily cram for.
Improvisation has been rewarded, but experimentation has been punished - both Duncan Fletcher and Greg Chappell, with hindsight, would surely have opted to mess around less with their line-ups and batting orders. Anil Kumble would have won matches; Andrew Flintoff, feeling his way back from a major injury, would have been happier in his natural habitat at number six.

P.S. I missed it all for Golf!


svety said...

Abhi, even to a non evolved cricketing audience, this post delivers ably.
Will not comment on the cricket but on the way u've written it. Absolutely amazing use of the language - "giant killed" rocks..

Abhigyan said...

Well thanks for the compliment, but this actually is an excerpt from an article by Tim de Lisle (have mentioned it right in the beginning). He articulated my thoughts much better than I could have.