December 11, 2012
by Eva Rinaldi
Bangladesh, after many years in the doldrums, at last has something to shout about. Wins against premier international sides in any match are as rare as an uncooked steak so to beat the West Indies in a five match ODI series has set delirious fans dancing in the streets of Dacca and beyond. The contest ended 3 – 2 in Bangladesh’s favour with outstanding and consistent contributions coming from new skipper Mushfiqur Rahim and his vice-captain Mahmudullah. Now is the time for other senior players to join Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah and help take Bangladesh to the next level.
New Zealand’s captain and outstanding batsman, Ross Taylor, and his employers have played out a very public spat in the last few days and Taylor has emerged with the loss of his job. Veteran Brendon McCullum has replaced him as skipper in all three forms of the game. New coach, Mike Hesson, a long time supporter of McCullum, has been agitating for a change since he took over in July. The NZ CEO, David White, has suggested that a compromise agreement had been reached with Taylor for him to continue as test captain only, but Taylor has rejected this and claims that he has been sacked. Needless to say, Taylor has now withdrawn form the Kiwis’ tour of South Africa with a consequent weakening of the team. Time perhaps for a kiss and make up and a little bit of KP style re-integration?
The Big Bash League, Australia’s domestic T20 competition has opened for it’s second season to the usual accompaniment of razzmatazz. It’s brash, it’s loud and it certainly isn’t bashful. Innovations this year (to please TV viewers) include helmet-cam and the light-up stumps. Once again, old timers, such as Shane Warne, Brad Hogg and Muttiah Muralitharan, have been wheeled out to a fanfare of nostalgia. Organisers are still are hoping to witness another ‘Ball of the Century’, but unfortunately Warne, the wanabee potential saviour of the Australian test team, is now 43 and is being treated with contempt by batsmen he would have bamboozled in his pomp. For the BBL, the jury (or should we say size of TV audiences?) remains out.
India, trailing 2 – 1 in the series, prepare to take on England in the final test at Nagpur starting on December 13. In a last ditch stand to salvage some credibility, the selectors have rung the changes. Veterans Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, together with Youvraj Singh, have been axed. Fast bowler Parvinder Awana and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja receive their first Test call-ups, while leg-spinner Piyush Chawla replaces Harbhajan. Skipper MS Dhoni and other ageing stars, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambir, have been given a stay of execution and live to fight another day. By contrast, England face few selection headaches and are likely to field an unchanged side. We wait with anticipation news of the state of the pitch, but expect another turner.
The Scoop 11/12/12