Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Filthy Deliveries – The ZEITlies Cricket Blog


1.       It’s all about the batting
Many thought the size of the sub-continental stadiums, coupled with  local groundsmen that often moonlight as road layers, meant that the batting paradise of the 2011 World Cup was unlikely to be repeated in the bouncy, pacey, jumpy all together more leary environment of Australia and New Zealand. As the first phase of the competition nears completion, after twenty or so scores of over 300 and two scores of over 400, the 2011 competition seems like it was held on a minefield at Sabina Park.

The ICC are looking to curb the size of modern bats.
2.       Ireland aren’t that minnow
In 2011 when the Irish scalped the English many thought it was a flash in the pan. After all, what could a team like Ireland do, whose best players are kidnapped to play for nasty old England as soon as they become good. Four years later, after notching up an impressive win against the West Indies and showing a darn sight more fight than their erstwhile masters, the Irish have once again showed, they aren’t that minnow after all.

3.       Pitches are pancake like at worst
Notwithstanding English batsmen’s ability to make good wickets look like horror shows, the tracks in New Zealand and in particular, Australia, have been as flat as they were in the 2011 tournament in the sub-continent. Sadly, it seems that the days of sporty wickets in ODIs are largely gone – regardless of what Peter Moores said after the New Zealand game.

4.       England lose to Bangladesh
Never again would the embarrassment of the 2011 exit to Bangladesh be repeated, proclaimed a mournful and repentant ECB as the last competition drew to a close. Four years, two re-scheduled Ashes tours, and six-months of unbroken ODI cricket later, the English are once again licking their wounds after another embarrassing knock-out to Bangladesh. A leopard may change its spots, but England will always get tonked in World Cups.

A regular feature of the modern day World Cup.

5.       India are right there again…
Fine, they won it in 2011 because it was in their backyard. Who couldn’t win a World Cup if it was in their own backyard? I scored 300 against my brother and mum in my own backyard, and I was only 11. Sure they had the best team and looked the most dominant side, but it’s because it was in their own conditions, right? Well, with maximum points after the first five games of the 2015 tournament, it seems like they might be able to do it in foreign conditions too…   


1.       Scoring 300 doesn’t mean you’re hard anymore…
When India lifted the trophy in Mumbai 2011, the losing Sri Lankan captain, Kumar Sangakkara, ever graceful in defeat, suggested even a total of 300 wasn’t safe from batting line-up like the India’s, evoking the idea of 300 being a mythical total that only the very best could attain. You had to be hard to get 300. Not anymore pal, 300 means you can play. 400 means you’re hard.

2.       New fucking Zealand!
Aside from assuming the role of obligatory beneficiary to South Africa’s choking in 2011, New Zealand were largely absent from the last competition. This time however, with a captain jacked up on Maxi-Muscle, impressive bowlers and fervent support from the home crowd, New Zealand look like world beaters.

This time they mean buznuss in the crikut...
3.       Left-arm seamers are hot shit
In 2011 it seemed to be the tournament of the slow dobbler and the rolling dabbler, who would eat up deliveries in the middle overs and suck the life out of an opposing batting side. As a welcome change, 2015 has seen the resurgence of left arm seamers steaming in from over the wicket and generating that often elusive dimension in modern cricket, pace. Starc and Johnson are potent for a strong Aussie side, whereas the giant Irfan forms a dangerous partnership with Rahat Ali for Pakistan. Alistair Cook must be thanking his lucky stars that he isn’t there.

4.       Sachin Tendulkar isn’t there
For the first time since 1987, Sachin Tendulkar isn’t at the World Cup. In 2011, he had a middling tournament, notching an imperious hundred against South Africa in the group stages and 85 to help India past Pakistan in the semis. But when his team lifted the trophy in the final, it was declared to be a win for him. This time, the little master is nowhere to be seen and one would hope that any victorious Indian team would refrain from wheeling him out. Funnily enough, that weird bald man who paints himself green and orange with the word ‘Tendulkar’ on his chest is still there.

He's still there... obviously.
5.       We now know what ‘keys to success’ are…
They brought us myriad innovations with Packer’s World Series Cricket, including the very notion of coloured clothing that is now so unmistakable when thinking of ODI cricket today. Now the Aussies are at it again, giving us illuminated stumps from the Big Bash, sexy real time graphical things called ‘hitzones’ and a whole bunch of weird statistical crap called ‘keys to success’, which may as well be called, ‘fucking obvious statistics’…

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