Cricket, England, England cricket, England vs Pakistan, English cricket, James Anderson, Michael Yardy, Sanya Michelangelo, Twenty20
Amid all the controversies, a week after a 4 Test series, England took the field against Pakistan, who were without Amir, Asif and Butt. It took me a while to start enjoying the game. Not because of the match fixing but only because I had got accustomed to watching them in whites. I started enjoying when Swann came to bowl, in the 7th over and the fun did not end there. Swann took 2 wickets in his first 2 overs. What Twenty20 brings is Collingwood and athletic fielding. Have always loved the way Colly captains the side. Uses the bowlers well and doesn't put much pressure on anyone. He is never tensed himself and inspires with his scintillating fielding. On the other hand, there were quite a few changes to the Pakistan side which played at Lord's. Shahzaib Hasan (the centurian against Somerset), Fawad Alam (scored 97 against Somerset on Thursday), Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul replaced Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed, Salman Butt, Azhar Ali, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif. Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Irfan will join the team for ODIs. England went with their strategy of ICC World Twenty and dropped James Anderson. Broad is a fiery bowler in Twenty20 and ODIs so it was obvious to pick him. Swann has been very successful in all formats and looks promising. So it comes down to Jimmy, Shahzad, Sidebottom, Bresnan if Yardy plays as he did on Sunday, rightly so. Jimmy and Sidebottom are both swing bowlers but Jimmy goes for some runs. I remember Collingwood used to do an excellent job in using Jimmy. When Jimmy would go for some runs, he would take Jimmy out of the attack and bring him back when the pressure would be on the opposition in both Twenty20 and ODIs. Anderson is better than Bresnan but Bresnan isn't too bad in Twenty20 and One-day since he is economical. Shahzad, Anderson, Sidebottom, Broad, Swann are all wicket-takers so it helps to have Yardy and Bresnan along with them. I think England also consider Bresnan's batting but in Twenty20 bowlers can't do much with the bat. Even Afridi (No.6) couldn't do much as he went for 16* and Razzaq kept waiting. You don't need 10 batsman for 20 overs, hard to score when wickets fall anyway.
England won the match rather easily with Morgan top scoring with 38* and Yardy doing well with 35*. Davies batted brilliantly for his 33. The guy looks nice and calm and he is good behind the stumps too. Kieswetter shouldn't have been playing in International cricket now. He needs a break from the pressure of the Internationals and must go back to Somerset. Shoaib Akhtar bowled pretty well, didn't look fit though. He was tired after bowling 3 overs. Surprisingly, England dropped a few catches. They were good in stopping the boundaries but Bresnan and Wright dropped one catch each. Broad dropped a difficult chance off his own bowling so he cannot be blamed for that.
There has been too much talk on this issue. Former cricketers, cricketers who still play, everybody has been commenting on this issue. Media, bloggers and websites have been busy covering it. They got news. But I reckon there are better things to do. The fans should rather concentrate on cricket. The last thing I read was Vettori calling for a life ban. The last notable thing I read was Pakistan’s high commissioner in London Wajid Hasan saying that he sensed a conspiracy in ICC’s decision to suspend the players. He said the players had opted out of the rest of the tour and ECB chairman Giles Clarke was happy with it. He said that after ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat and ICC president Sharad Pawar talked, they prepared a 5 page notice, handed it to the players and they were suspended. Now, we don't know what the truth is here but I did hear about the players opting out before hearing about the suspension. I don't like Sharad Pawar, don't know which fools wanted him as president. Remember, he is the one who was pushed off the stage by Ponting. I wonder if anyone involved with ECB or any former player can be pushed off the stage. Pawar got no respect.
Wouldn't be wrong if Pakistan is banned from cricket, their own players like Yaseer Hameed and Rashid Latif are speaking out against their team mates. Some suggesting that "they do it in every match". PCB are still trying to save the players though. Gross. I don't wish to talk about this issue anymore. I am, therefore, burying this topic.
Meanwhile, Kevin Pietersen and Dimitri Mascarenhas have both been fined by ECB and Hampshire respectively. I don't think there was a need to fine KP since he already apologised for it. Mascarenhas has also apologised now. Take a look at his tweet:
Chairman of selectors came to Liverpool and didn't even come and say hi.. what a p****.. Doesn't take much to say hello does it?
England vs Pakistan 2nd Twenty20: 7 September
Fielding has been a big difference between these two sides over the years. On Sunday, Pakistan's fielding was as usual, say, bad, that's the least I can say about it. England did a good job in ground fielding but were unlike themselves when the catches came. Kieswetter will play as the only ones who missed out on Sunday were fast bowlers Ajmal Shahzad and James Anderson. There is a long time for the next Twenty20 (after the Ashes) so Kieswetter will go and play for Somerset for a while anyway. Since they dropped KP and Ian Bell will play for Warwickshire before returning to International cricket, the only option in my view was to play Prior as a batsman, wouldn't have been a bad idea. Pakistan's batsmen could not score enough runs even though they only lost 4 wickets so Afridi and Razzaq must move up the order.
England take on Pakistan at 17:00 GMT tonight. Cheers!