"This is just absolutely typical for Australia", is what most of the regular blokes who participate here at the Baggy Green would be thinking.
A victory in this game would have guaranteed us a semi-final spot. Frustratingly we will have to wait for our upcoming game against Pakistan after the clash against India was rained out.
I feel really good about our upcoming game, and indeed the standings are very exciting now, especially seeing The Proteas tossed out of an ICC tournament yet again, yet not surprisingly. And Eoin Morgan, that Irish lad, I warned you all about him briefly a few months back! He made a good impression on me somehow in the 2007 World Cup and in English colours he is showing it off. He has been one of the key players for Middlesex, who Phillip Hughes played a brief stint with. What an innings by Eoin!
I will gladly share my opinions on that match when my team has a better standing in the tournament!
The way it is folks, is that a victory against Pakistan or no result will give us the edge ahead of India to have that semi-final spot. If India beat West-Indies (please no) they would have to beat them by a massive margin to boost their net-run rate. All Ricky and the crew require is one point! That is it! Bring on Pakistan!
But it's a pity as mentioned that we wouldn't have seen a conclusion to this game, as I was keen for a bit of payback after last years Commonwealth Bank series, notably Gilly's anti-climatic exit from One Day cricket.
Shane Watson is on a strange dip all of a sudden. Sylvester, a regular poster on the site, commented on Watto's performances and brought me to the realisation that Watto has made a duck in his last 3 innings. To be honest, I am not too worried. His experience is so critical in this series, and I am just going strongly along the belief that given his performances against Pakistan a few months back, and the knowledge that the form is there when thinking back to some not to distant solid performances. Watto will bounce back, and his bowling has been a massive addition to our bowling ranks which is even more important with Nathan Bracken out of the picture.
Tim Paine is just doing a great job at the top of the order and unfortunately fell after just reaching his half-century. He takes his chances, improvises and really guards his wicket like a meant-to-be Opening batsman.
His confidence is starting to show, and it was quite something to see two Tasmanians leading the way, not for the first time in recent matches too! Ricky Ponting and Paine in 5 innings together average 52.80 runs and experience and youth is what I want to be seeing as this team, Punters team, develops. When Brad Haddin returns he will be most certainly taking back his place, but Tim will be keeping an eye on that spot, and I really hope he is given a similar chance like Had's was when Gilly was our front-line Keeper. Hads was used on many occassion as a specialist batsman and often had a few matches with the gloves.
Graham Manou on the other hand must remain the Test reserve Keeper as the man is an outstanding glovesman! More on this another time though!
Punter is on song and played another fine innings showing why he really is to so many the best batsman in World cricket! He anchored the innings, wasn't complacent and played his shots freely with the intent to wear down India's bowlers by keeping things ticking along. Momentum developed nicely and Punter looked due for another century. But not for the first time were Michael Hussey and Punter involved in a run-out in a really strong position.
Atleast Huss managed to reach his fifty, and carry onto 67, but like Punter he was deadset on a century undoubtedly.
Huss leaped onto some trademark pull shots and was as always quick with the singles to keep his momentum hyper-active. Like Punter and Paine he was out very cheaply!
Gutted for Punter though as he has been batting in a way that I have missed in the One Day game. He is proving just how important he is to Australian critics, and it's another reason I want to win this Trophy. So all the Ponting critics may learn where respect is due towards not only a maestro of the game and a living legend of Australian cricket, but a bloke who really takes alot of responsibility as Captain who is leading an Australian team that is in a very unique position. Not since Allan Border's days any how!
India on the other hand look a little fried, especially Ishant Sharma who really made a good impression on me the way he came onto the International scene against us in the Border-Gavaskar series last year. Amit Mishra was effective, but other than that I would have enjoyed the last 8 overs against their attack. I like the powerplay strategy too. Instead of a hit-out, Huss and White used it to knock out the singles and wisely clip away anything poorly delivered. I like the strategic element of the power-play and I am all for it.
But the 50 over game is in no threat, I do believe the media is making it seem worse than it is, and the minor tweaks are enough now. Three powerplays, free-hits and a mandatory ball change is all we need. Now the ICC must just ensure that the formats are moderated. Been down this road before though, we'll revisit it soon!
Cameron White was into the swing of things and rather chuffed he clubbed a six that distanced at 98 meters! Ah, when the Bear hits it out the middle, as a bowler you can take a breather and watch the fireworks.
But then the rain seemed to fall upon Centurion at such a fluent rate the water build up resulted in the promising efforts amounting to nothing more than 1 point!
But it is important to have it none the less, and now the big task is ahead!
Our progression in this tournament depends entirely upon our efforts against Pakistan!