Brett Lee made a strong impression during the 3rd ODI with a man-of-the-match award and a brilliant spell of bowling. Control, intelligence and aggression! Yes, it was aggression I liked from Binga.
Especially when he got Matt Prior LBW and gave him the silent send off just a couple feet from him. Binga showed some class out there and he's looking good in his stride with consistent pace.
I can't express how pleased I am to see our fast bowling champ back in action and putting in some wonderful performances.
He also had a bit of movement in the air as well and he generated good bounce from the SCG track and there were quite a few play and misses from the English batsmen early on.
Well done Binga, good to see him back on track. He hasn't been the same since his personal battles off the field since 2008, but after his efforts in the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy and this recent return, I hope he bows out on a high in the World Cup. He deserves it!
8 overs/ 27 runs/ 3 wickets/ Eco-rate 3.37
After Bingas bowling performance, backed up very well by Shane Watson and Xavier Doherty, England were rattled for 214. Xavier did a very tidy job in the absence of Nathan Hauritz. I have alot of belief that Xavier cause cause some damage in the sub-continent conditions and he'd compliment Hauritz well, but with Ritz in doubt I was pleased Xavier made his opportunity a good one after the selectors threw him deep into the crapper for the Ashes.
I also liked Watto's caught and bowled! But another no-ball referral? Come on now!
Our fielding has actually been marvellous.
Michael Clarke also took a sensational catch off an Eoin Morgan blast, and that little Irish chap can smack a cricket ball!
The run chase should have been easy but after Shaun Marsh & Cam White were victims to LBW decisions, along with Michael Clarke really struggling to find confidence, it was a shambles. We won due to discipline from David Hussey, but if we want to win the World Cup we cannot afford these batting performances.
A key ingredient to our 2007 win wasn't our bowling, it was that every game atleast three of our batsmen would stand up and put in strong performances. I am confident if this happens again we're in line to win. Sadly, we need to be honest...these batting efforts won't win it.
Watto first game, Marsh second game and then a disciplined David Hussey got us home with the batting. There have been cameo roles, but we need more big inputs.
Hopefully it's all peaking slowly.
Brad Haddin displayed some wonderful shots. Two perfectly executed lofted cover drives and good control with his pull shots. One thing I was annoyed about was the manner in which he went out after such a fine innings. Two men in the deep, a bowler taking pace off the ball and what does Hads do? Take him on in a situation where he needed to hold the fort. Out, I left the room in rage. Stupidity from Hads yet again.
Fortunately, I did root for Hads during his verbal warfare with Shazad. I thoroughly enjoyed that. Hads is a verbal buggar out there!
Steven Smith also offered a similar role to Hads. He was patient and I noticed quite a few forward defensive shots from Stevo but, like Hads, he had a short circuit and went for a daft hook shot when we were nearly home. Another sign of something we don't need, especially from Stevo who really needs to show the supporters why he's been trusted with batting duties. Was another moment of minor rage, but I was impressed with Johnny Hasting's just ensuring he gave Dussey the support to get us home, even though it took a bit longer than expected. But why rush it when in no hurry?
Dussey was disciplined. I have said it many times in this article but he's the type of guy I'd have expected to have done a Hads or Stevo type of shot.
Instead he was cautious, took his time and when he had sussed out the match situation, built a partnership and was comfortable he started to find the boundary with more ease. He launched some big shots as well, but he really went into cruise control. No sense of urgency, just a man on a mission. A man to get us home.
Well done Duss, that 68* was a match winning effort. This alone is a bit worrying as the run chase should have been a breeze.
Hopefully no more daft batting shots, atleast when the World Cup begins.
Michael Clarke may come under a bit of pressure now. He has failed with the bat all summer, has lost alot of public support (which was never big given he's not exactly what many have imagined as Captaincy material in terms of his image) but I hope he does contribute valuably with the bat for the remainder of the series.
My worry is a big one for him. I'm not jumping on the 'sack-Michael Clarke' band wagon, but I have seen this before where guys keep getting selected on default (or reputation if you will) and they continue to stuff up. Some days they bat with good technique but have no luck. The confidence drops, the average drops, the supporters and media become harsh and your player is broken. It can happen easily to a guy like Pup who has a very fragile relationship with the media, so I hope for his own sake he can come right. He's our Captain for the series so I will show respect but I think I'm just pointing out something logical and factual.
He is fortunate to still be there, but this isn't something new to this current side. He's been dropped before so he will know that feeling. But he went away and returned to be one hell of a batsman. Still hope he comes right this series. If not, it is a worry.
Well done though to the boys. That's 3-0, one more for the win. Australia Day for the taking!
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