A random selection of my thoughts, observations and expectations on the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup.
- Could the timings be any more frustrating for the vast majority of us who don’t live down under? Bah. #cricketinausornzproblems #suddenlybigonhashtagsfornoapparentreason
- McCullum and his side both are spouting menace and intent, left, right and centre. Case in point- their absolute mauling of England.Has there ever been a NZ side this thorough and dangerous? I definitely don’t think so. Could this be New Zealand’s best shot at making the title theirs? YES YES YES. Home advantage-check. Competent captaincy-check. team balance- double check. Add to this generic list of pre-requisites, the searing form the kiwis have been in in the lead up to and in the first games of this tournament and the great touch McCullum is in, and you’ve got a threatening side that is definitely one of the favourites. Their hotly anticipated tie with the aussies is sure to be a match to watch out for. It’s definitely going to be a game of high passions, considering it marks the long awaited return of Clarke and Lehmann’s comments on radio (http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc-cricket-world-cup-2015/content/story/835999.html) are sure to cause a ripple-effect one way or the other. Probably the definitive game in this rather lacklustre group.
- India vs South Africa is set to start in a couple of hours, as I write this. As an Indian fan, this is the contest I, and indeed fans all over, have been waiting for. While it’s well understood that this isn’t a “make or break” contest, by any means, for either of the hosts, it’s importance need not be stressed. These are quality teams that will try to one up each other at any cost, to establish their status quo within a more or less sorted (in terms of who’s going ahead) group. (seriously, don’t even get me started on the sheer inefficiency of this tournament format; long live the bloody sponsors). Twitter is awash with the hashtag #IndvsSA. I must say I really enjoy this sort of uber-hype leading up to an important and competitive (i hope) game of cricket. It really confers a degree of legitimacy and real “feels” to the supposedly meaningless and end-less pursuit that watching sports is widely held to be. I would love to talk about whom to watch out for and conditions and all that but I don’t think I can add anything to what’s already been discussed at length on many other forums before. I’m just wildly excited at the prospect of a humdinger and am licking my lips even as I try to stay awake all night (damn you australia!) Personally, I am really keen on seeing how India deal with Amla, de Villiers and the pace battery. Some sort of a premonition tells me it’s going to be a special innings from Rohit (Wouldn’t read too much into that kind of nonsense though). MS Dhoni’s return to prime batting form is something Indian fans the world over are waiting for with severely bated breath. Would it be greedy/wishful to want to see something like the CLT20 2013 mauling of Steyn? Sigh.
- As I write this, Afghanistan have posted a total of 232 against Sri Lanka. I hate myself for repeating what has become a cliche by now in cricketing circles, but is anything being done by the ICC to promote/encourage the talent/interest in these regions?. Surely, their potential/performances merit investment- both monetary and otherwise. Ireland too, in the same breath.
- For those of you who don’t know yet, ICC has launched a pretty cool fantasy league at fantasy.icc-cricket.com. Super fun and pretty cool prizes too (although, if you haven’t started by now, it’s gotta be mostly for the fun).