February 14, 2013
West Indies have completed their limited overs tour of Australia. Following a 5 – 0 drubbing in the ODI series, they managed to salvage some pride with a 27 run victory in the sole T20 international in Brisbane. Gangnam style celebrations on the field accompanied Australia’s fall of wickets; cue delivery of copious supplies of rum and coke to the West Indies’ dressing room to mark their first win for 16 years against Australia in Australia in any format of the game.
Small consolation for Australia is that they seem to be competing simultaneously on two fronts. The test match squad is in India for a four match series; they are currently playing a warm up game ahead of the first test, which starts in Chennai on 22 February. Skipper, Michael Clarke, is optimistic of playing, despite struggling with a hamstring injury. India, controversial as ever, have dropped experienced opener, Gautam Gambir, from their squad for the first two tests, a move the selectors (all 8 of them) are saying is in line with their youth policy. Out of form veteran, Sachin Tendulkar, who retains his place, seems to be immune from such a policy. More controversy as, once again, the BCCI continue to rule out use of the DRS for the series and deny full media access to the stadiums.
New Zealand have pulled level with England in their three match T20 series following a convincing 55 run victory in the second match in Hamilton. This single result saw England drop from 3rd to 6th in the ICC T20 rankings. So is England, who had crushed New Zealand in the first match, suddenly a poor team or does the ranking system need something of an overall? A three match ODI series quickly follows Friday’s final T20 and then it will be time for England’s one-day coach to return home with supremo Andy Flower set to replace him for the test series.
Angelo Mathews has been appointed Sri Lanka’s new test and ODI captain, following Mahela Jayawardena’s expected resignation. He will have a long wait for his first match in charge in white as Sri Lanka have no further test matches scheduled until 2014. By then, England will have played 15 more tests, 10 of them against Australia.
Pakistan, currently playing the second and final test against South Africa in Cape Town, are already under the hammer. No side in the world seems able to match the all-round power of the rampant South Africans. Maybe Flower, at home with his laptop in freezing Essex, is in the process of devising a cunning plan.
Australia will meet the West Indies in the final of the women’s World Cup in Mumbai on 17 February. Australia, having previously swept all before them, surrendered meekly (conveniently?) to the flamboyant but inconsistent West Indians in their final Super Six match and in the process knocked holders and pre-tournament favourites England out of the competition. England, who now meet New Zealand in the play off for third place, are left ruing close defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia earlier in the tournament.
The Scoop 14/02/13