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Posts Tagged ‘adam gilchrist’

Next season’s Twenty20 cup looks set to be an altogether more glamourous affair, with Middlesex having already signed Adam Gilchrist and hopeful of adding Sachin Tendulkar as well. Add to this the arrival of Ajantha Mendis at Hampshire, and county cricket in general is looking like it might be a little easier on the eye next season.

Lancashire, not to be outdone, have made Lily Allen an honorary member.

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Club cricket takes a new turn this week with the inaugural Twenty20 Champions League. Here’s a brief run-down of the sides involved:

  • The Cape Cobras, although without the injured Graeme Smith, will still have plenty of firepower with JP Duminy and Herschelle Gibbs the main threats. The lack of access to the large pool of overseas talent that the IPL teams will enjoy could be an issue, though, as could a lack of familiarity with subcontinental conditions from the non-internationals amongst the squad.
  • The Deccan Chargers boast a wealth of talent, with Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Chaminda Vaas and Scott Styris all in the squad alongside Indian players of the quality of Laxman and RP Singh. One of the IPL sides will be expected to win the competition, and the Chargers will certainly fancy their chances.
  • The Delhi Daredevils pulled off a coup in securing Dirk Nannes‘ services for the tournament, and some of his fellow Victorians may be cursing that decision on Friday when he could well open the bowling against the Australian side. Meanwhile, Gambhir, Sehwag and Dilshan could be an irresistable top order combination if they all hit form. The loss of Paul Collingwood to injury is unlikely to be felt too deeply (except by Collingwood himself, who has ‘a little niggle in his buttock’, no less).
  • The Eagles are on paper the weakest team in the competition, but the likes of Dillon du Preez and Ryan McLaren have overseas experience, and Twenty20 competitions have proved ripe for surprising results in the past, so they shouldn’t be underestimated.
  • New South Wales could upset the IPL hegemony, with the likes of Simon Katich and the famously big-hitting David Warner providing the runs, whilst Stuart Clark, Nathan Hauritz and Brett Lee will be a potent attack. If the problems which the Australian national side had in the World Twenty20 can be overcome, then NSW could be heading home with some silverware to go with their international players’ natty new white jackets.
  • Otago‘s chief asset, as ever, is the power-hitting of Brendon McCullum, but brother Nathan can also contribute. Dimitri Mascarenhas, available as neither Hampshire nor Rajasthan have qualified, has a strong track record in this format with both bat and ball, and is a strong addition to the squad.

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“I knew I’d hit rock bottom when one night I rolled over in bed to give my wife Mel a kiss goodnight and all I saw was Freddie Bloody Flintoff”.

You can read the less salacious and homoerotic parts of Gilchrist’s Cowdrey Lecture for the MCC here, or listen here.

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The two best Test cricket teams in the world move on to the second leg of their epic clash (the first was, of course, the recent series in Australia) as the Aussies embark on their first Gilchrist-less and Warne-less (and, for that matter, Lee-less, Hayden-less…) tour of South Africa. The series will be the first for either team to make use of the referral system, and it will be interesting to see how Smith and Ponting choose to utilise it.

For the tourists, much of the focus will be on the less familiar faces – the likes of old Bryce McGain and young Philip Hughes. Marcus North, recently signed by Hampshire, is also in line for a debut, probably in the First Test.

For South Africa, the faces will be more familiar given the team’s performance in Australia- even to the extent that a fit-again Ashwell Prince can’t break back into the side. The pace attack (especially Steyn), so potent in December, will be crucial once again.

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A few days ago, I had no clue who David Warner was. I’m going to stick my neck out and suggest that most non-Australians would have been in a similar position. In fact, many in Australia appear to have been unaware of the young gun: Cricinfo reported that “the scoreboard operators didn’t have a photo of him when the teams were displayed“.

Today, (or last night for antipodean readers), he announced himself on the international stage with a thumping 89 off 43 balls (the joint-fifth highest T20 international score ever) during Australia’s 52-run victory over South Africa. That type of form is likely to see Warner added to Australia’s ODI squad, and comparisons with Adam Gilchrist‘s swashbuckling style are already becoming very tempting.

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Even though it’s just a few short months since the last Test series between these two sides, so much has happened since that it seems like years have passed. The IPL, retirements and retirement announcements, India’s spot of difficulty with Mendis, that whole ICC Champions Trophy business, and even the possibility of the end of the world have all ensured that this things weren’t too dull in the absence of Monkeygate.

For India, much still rests on the shoulders of the old guard, who Australia will be looking to put under pressure right from the start of the series. With the exception of Sehwag, the batsmen were disappointing against Sri Lanka, but home advantage and a reasonably settled bowling attack will definitely count in India’s favour.

Australia, meanwhile, are fielding a young side, are without a ‘proper’ experienced spin bowler in one of the few places left where spin bowling reigns supreme, and are arguably the weakest they have been for some time. Even so, the bowling of Stuart Clark and the run-making abilities of their established top-order players will still be enough to give Anil Kumble’s men plenty to worry about.

I can’t see India winning comfortably, but they will certainly be more fired up than they were against Sri Lanka. Likewise, I can’t see Australia rolling over (when have they ever done that, except in some sort of rolling over competition?), but they aren’t the side they were even three years ago.

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With England about to start back-to-back series against the Black Caps, we should perhaps be grateful that this chap won’t be involved for a while.

That said, Shane Bond hasn’t always had it his own way against England.

From England’s point of view, there’s a lot of talk about James Anderson, and it would be nice if he could do this again.

The other topic of discussion recently has been batsmen-wicketkeepers. England haven’t had much luck with that for a while now.

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