Friday, 22 February 2013

International Cricketing stars of tomorrow

The retirement or close retirement of many of the worlds top stars in world cricket means that a new generation of players will have to build their way up to these levels. I have listed a few possible players who could become potential stars for their countries. 

The players on the list are all under the age of 25 and have not fully established themselves yet. So people like Virat Kholi or Steven Finn will not be on the list even though they are still young. 

1. Unmukt Chand: (India)

People in India are getting very excited about this boy. Another opener from Delhi in the mould of his idol Sehwag. Being only 19 years old he has already played IPL and first class cricket. He also has been identified as a leader with his Indian under 19 team winning the world cup. The previous guy to achieve this was non other than fellow Delhi and India star Virat Kholi. 

His next challenge is to hold down his place in Delhi Daredevils IPL team, then hopefully get a chance for the national team in T20's. He may face a problem that Sehwag and Gambhir are slowly being fazed out of the Indian team. This is a bit early for him to be drafted into the side, meaning that he will have to wait for people like Rahane and Vijay to fail. I being Indian am very excited by this payer.

2. Joe Root: (England)

The 22 year old made his test and ODI début in India in 2012. Root had been ear marked from a very young age as being an England player, this pressure did not seem to get to him, he seemed to have taken to international cricket like a duck to water. What must be more satisfying for the English cricket fraternity is that he was always seen more as a test match player, yet he showed the other side of his game in the ODI series playing shots such as the Dil Scoop.  

In my opinion it is only a matter of time until Joe Root becomes the opener in all forms of cricket, but for now he has shown he is also a finisher in fifty over cricket and stable number 6 in tests. He also is a handy spinner to have in the squad. 

3. Quinton de Kock: (South Africa)

This guy has the potential to be as good as Adam Gilchrist. An aggressive wicketkeeper-batsman, he has been recognised by South Africa already playing a few games at the age of 20. He obviously is behind AB Devilliers but could be the answer if Devilliers wants to concentrate on captaincy and batting. 

He will find it tough to break into the South Africa team soon, because the batting line up is so good, but he is the long term answer for them. 

He has been selected by Sunrisers Hyderbad in this years IPL, behind Sangakara and Parthiv Patel, so he may only feature as a batsman. Mark Boucher is coaching the young talent as he is ear marked as the next big thing.

4. Johnson Charles: (West Indies)

Technically this player is not good at all, he divides opinion but in the short formats of the game he is and will be highly effective. A powerful opener who swats away every ball, he is a little bit like Richard Levi of South Africa but better. People may not be aware but he is also a good wicket keeper. Already in his short carer he has 1 ODI century and 2 fifty plus scores in T20. His partnership with Chris Gayle is highly effective and will scare any bowling attack in world cricket. He was also part of the West Indies team to lift the T20 world cup in 2012. 

With a bit of concentration he could develop his game and maybe become a bit like David Warner by moving to test cricket. All I know that he is hugely entertaining to watch. 

5. Shami Ahmed/Bhuvneshwar Kumar: (India)

The signs are early but it seems that India finally have two bowlers after Zaheer who can swing the ball both ways and trouble top batsmen. I would also add in injury prones Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron into the mix and India now have a good group of bowlers. As long as these players are developed in the right way they should be able to help India play in countries where swing bowling is key, places like England and Australia where India have struggled.  

Both made their début at the end of 2012 and showed why the selectors had picked them. Kumar is the only player to have got Tendulkar out for a first class duck, this was also only his 11th game. 

6. Moises Henriques: (Australia)

Being 26 he is over the age for being considered young, but I still think he is a star of tomorrow. As I write he has made his test debut for Australia today in a test against India. He looked very composed batting with Clarke making 68. We have seen him in the Big Bash and Champions League where he has shown his talent for the Sidney Sixers. 

He is not just limited to batting, also being a good bowler and good fielder. One of those natural cricketers who will do well if given the chances. He has the huge burden of coming into the side in place of Mike Hussey, lets see how it goes. I for one think he will be a success for Australia. 

7. James Faulkner: (Australia)

Another Australian allrounder that makes the list. At 22 he still has a long way to go in the game but the signs are looking very promising. He is just one of many young Australian bowlers that have come through the system in the last year. He very much is similar to a young Shane Watson, who also started as a middle order batsmen.

Recently Australia have tried alot of new players, so any player who doesnt perform when given the chance could be discarded, Faulkner has to take his chances. Watson has gone through a tough period recently having many injuries and a loss of form, which saw him dropped as opener down the order. If this form continues I believe that Faulkner or another all-rounder will have a good shout to make the starting team. I hugely doubt any decision over Watson will be made before the Ashes though. 

8. Kane Williamson: (New Zealand)

In what has been a disappointing period for New Zealand cricket Kane Williamson has been highlighted as the future. He is nailed on to be the star of the team after Ross Taylor and Brendan McCullum retire. In my opinion he will also one day become the skipper of his country, having previous captaincy experience with New Zealand under 19's. 

A classy batsmen who already has three ODI and three test centuries to his name. It has been said that for a young guy he has a calm head, a similar quality to that of former captain Stephen Fleming. New Zealand need to produce more players of his ability to compete to their former standard. Only time will tell if he can be any where as good as Fleming.  

9. Chris Morris (South Africa)

This 25 year old bowler is relatively unknown, having only played only one T20 for South Africa. In that match he gave away 19 runs and took two wickets. He probably would have got another chance since there but has injury problems. Morris is a bowling allrounder similar to Lance Klusner. 

His greatest achievments came in the 2012 Champions league, one which earned him his international call up. He is a very promising bowler who attracted a bidding war between IPL giants Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. It will be interesting to see how well he does in the IPL, the last unkown player to go for big money Sunil Narine was one of the players of the tournament last year. Could Morris be this years Narine? 

10. Dinesh Chandimal: (Sri Lanka)

This player has seems to have been around for quite a while now, having played 50 ODI he now needs to permanently establish himself in the test team. He has  five test appearances to his name scoring four half centuries in this time. This shows his talent maybe questions his ability to concentrate and reach the three figures. to his name  A very stylish and classy player, he has all the ability to become a Sri Lankan great. He has been described as the player of his generation, but this generation does not seem as good as the last. He soon will not have the support of Jayawardene and Sangakara to fall back on. 

Chandimal's versatility is similar to Dilshan as he also wicket keeps and fields anywhere. I think he could fill a void left by some of the greats but he needs to start showing this sooner rather than later. 

11. Jos Butler/Johnny Bairstow: (England)

These two represent everything good about English cricket right now. Multi-talented batsmen who are both excellent fielders who can also keep wicket. The similarities between the two are uncanny even both haring the same initials. 

Right now they are both competing for the same spot as ODI keeper, but there will be a time in the near future where both will appear in the same England side. Bairstow had his test debut first but recently Butler has taken a step ahead in ODI keeper role. Both good prospects for England. 

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

My finding of the woman's world cup

The latest woman's cricket world cup has ended, and to most people it has not made an impact on their minds at all. This is a real shame as it was the most promoted woman's world cup in history, with heavy advertising in both England and India. Saying that for the people that did watch, the competition levels seemed to have improved since the last tournament.

For those people who do not know what happened Australia were crowned champions for the sixth time. The other two power nations of woman's cricket England and New Zealand finished third and fourth respectively. West Indies, Australia's opponents in the final showed their inconsistent nature in the tournament. It seems that the batting relied too much on the explosive Deandra Dottin. 

Dottin has to be one of the players of the tournament for me, she showed great power smashing many sixes. Australia's Lisa Sthalekar seemed to have great control of her bowling, making her hard to play. The standard of fielding in this competition also came at a surprise, with most teams being pretty good. Another surprise was the rise of Sri Lanka, they qualified out of their group for the first time. 

India the hosts seemed to be playing with a lot of pressure, in particular they needed to score 253 runs against Sri Lanka. The girls did not have a clue how to approach this, they knew they didn't have to win, but had to make the run rate. The Indian team did not take singles when they were on offer and decided to leave full tosses alone. There has been a lot of talk about the BCCI not caring about their woman's team, it would surprise me if they do not get enough funding. 

England the raining champions were good, but not as good as usual. They did come top of their group but a nail biting two run defeat to Australia in the super sixes probably cost them a place in the final.

A little disappointment of the competition was that other than Sky Sports and BBC radio the other media outlets barely mentioned this tournament. If the standard of cricket carries on improving at the same rate, I do not see why there will not be more interest in the next one.

Friday, 1 February 2013

ICC very weak as ECB & BCCI battle continues

The governing of cricket is meant to be down to the ICC, but in reality they do not have as much power as they should. A reason for this being that the two super powers of world cricket want to apply their own ways on the game. English cricket has traditionally been the association which had supremacy over world cricket, but the BCCI have firmly taken over role because of the wast amounts of money available to cricket in India. 

This seems to be the fundamental reason for the long term feud, it is very possible that the ECB do not like this shift of power. It is also possible that the BCCI want to have a bigger say on ICC matters using their powers for personal interests, just like the ECB have done in the past. 

The latest argument is over having a window to play domestic T20 competitions, this window could be worked so that it does not effect English domestic cricket, but this will mean cutting the IPL right down. This argument will never be settled because the ECB do not like players going around the world through the season and the IPL makes the BCCI a lot of money. The long standing issue over DRS is still going on. Giles Clarke recently advocating the proposal for the home sides having a right to choose if the system should be used without consultation of the away team. It is not clear why India just do not accept the system, but what is clear is that the ICC board will not make DRS mandatory until BCCI accept it. 

Another issue of dispute between the two boards is about how many teams should compete in the world cup. It has been suggested that non test playing nations support India as they want more teams in the world cup. The proposed test championship was also scrapped after India started to perform worse in test cricket. This is something that the ECB do not like, they without a strong Indian team could not generate enough interest. 

The ECB decision to pull out of the champions league for the next few years is also a little perplexing, this was a good way for county teams to earn a little extra money as well develop players. It is evident that the ECB jealous of the success of the IPL. This being a reason why they didn't allow any of the England players to play in the first few seasons. 

Another issue that other people have against English cricket is that the governors at the ECB are seen as a little snobby. This can be represented by English players and pundits alike only rating Ashes series above anything else in cricket. Australia on the other hand seem to realise that winning a world cup is on a par. Some of the England players also have had a run in with the board because they are depriving some top players of competing against the best players in the world. 

The arguments are not just between the boards but also the media. English media generally want India to create pitches that suit England and seem bowling. When they don't and England don't win they have a ready made excuse. The Indian media dislike the fact that the English media are focused only on England and ignorant to world cricket and the fact that they don't bother pronouncing players names properly. Wasim Akram stated a few weeks back on Indian TV that he doesn't talk to English media any more due to them being overly biased to England.

From the arguments of the last few years it can be suggested that both parties are at fault and a little stubborn when it comes to dealing with the other party. The power struggle will continue and there is no end to the general bickering which takes place. 

It is now time for the ICC to change the system of governance. My suggestion would be to make ICC full of former players who are voted in by current players and an election every few years. Players like Andrew Strauss and Rahul Dravid could have roles here. Only if the ICC get firm then all this silly fighting will end. 

IPL auction wont be as eye catching as the last few.

Its that time of the year again, the IPL auction on 3rd February is the first indication that the new season is close. This is normally the time where I start to get a little excited about the upcoming competition, this year however is different. I will be seeing what happens at the auction but I do not believe that it will be an affair as big as the other auctions. 

As always there are lots and lots of young Australian and South African players up for auction. In contrast there are only two England players up for the list Ravi Bopara and Matt Prior. Looking at the players who are up for auction I do not see any player getting close to the fee paid out for Jadeja to CSK last season. The highest base priced players are Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting both players who have something to prove in the shortest format of the game. Clarke having retired from international T20's a few years back. 

Johan Botha with all that IPL and T20 experience will attract many teams, he also brings a bit of leadership to a team. It seems that the majority of these players will be used to fill up squads but as we have seen in the past, a player who shows quality can be given a chance. Teams such as Delhi are packed with foreign stars so they will most likely be looking towards the Indian players such as RP Singh, Manpreet Gony or Abishek Nayar. 

All in all it will be interesting to see who goes where, only then we will be able to know what teams to watch out for. As for me I will stick to supporting Delhi Daredevils as they have a team containing Kevin Pietersen, Sehwag, Jayawardene, Warner, Ross Taylor, Irfan Pathan, Mourne Morkel and Yadav. 

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