Video Ranking: / five
Movie Rating: 5 / 5
Michael Clarke, the skipper of the Australian One Day International side, is expecting himself to get totally fit for the upcoming match against Zimbabwe which will be played in Harare this Sunday.
Clarke has not featured in Australia’s first couple of matches in the ongoing tri-series in which South Africa in the third team.
Clarke’s batting hasn’t been missed by the Kangaroos in those two games as they have managed to put up 300 plus on the board both times, but, yes, they have certainly missed Clarke’s leadership at times especially in that game against South Africa.
Clarke’s fitness struggles on away tours is not something new for Australia. Even during the Champions trophy, he had established a back problem because of which he had to miss the whole tournament.
However, it’s not the back problem which has kept him out this time around in Zimbabwe. He had actually stretched his hammy a little bit while warming up ahead of the start of the tri-series and it’s due to that he’s sat out on the tour so far.
The Australian fans would hope that the New South Wales man remains injury free going into the World Cup.
The Kangaroos might regain their status of World Champions in 2015 in their home conditions, but, Clarke’s fitness is the key for them.
In the absence of Clarke, Australia looks a slightly lost unit. George Bailey is a decent captain, but, he is certainly not as wise a tactician as Clarke is.
Clarke hasn’t been successful in winning an ICC title as captain so far and considering his age, he is not going to be playing One Day Cricket for too long. So, next year’s tournament at home is perhaps his last chance of achieving glory at World Stage as captain.
Online video Ranking: two / 5
Brian Lara was a part of the MCC XI in the exhibition match against the Rest of the World XI which was played at the Lord’s Cricket Ground, London last week.
Quite a few greats of the game were in both the teams. In Lara’s team, there was Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Brett Lee etc. while, in the opposition team, there was Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Kevin Pietersen and a few more.
So, it was a star studded encounter. The stands were completely filled as if it was an international match.
Batting first on a slow deck, Rest of the World XI posted a score of 293 on the board which was challenging.
But, MCC got such a good start from the openers that the task became too easy for them.
MCC’s opening pair got separated after a century stand when Sachin got bowled off the bowling of Muttiah Muralitharan trying to play a late cut on a delivery which was marginally too full for that shot.
After Sachin’s departure, Lara came on to the crease and he started playing his trademark shots on the off side. He cut Tino Best for a delightful boundary through point which got the spectators on their feet.
But, Lara, like Tendulkar, also threw away his good start as at the score of 23; he guided a short of a length delivery from Paul Collingwood in Adam Gilchrist’s hands. He was trying to collect a four through the point region again, but, the ball was a little quicker than his expectation and he couldn’t put it away.
The Caribbean legend, however, got a standing ovation from the crowd when he was returning back to the dressing room. Lara acknowledged the cheers by raising his bat towards the fans.
Movie Rating: / five
The Australian hard hitting batsman, Glenn Maxwell, had set the 7th edition of the Indian Premier League on fire by playing quite a few wonderful innings for his team Kings XI Punjab at the start of the tournament, but, he faded as the tournament came to India for the second leg and ended up at the third position in the list of leading run scorers.
Maxwell made three scores of 80 plus in the first three matches that he played in IPL 7 and all of a sudden, he became a superstar in India. People were hugely impressed by his ability of hitting sixes towards midwicket through slog sweep and over third man and point through switch hit.
Thereafter, he was expected to win each and every match for Kings XI Punjab and that pressure seemed to affect his game a little bit. Also, the wickets in India were much different from those in UAE where hitting through the line was easy. The Indian pitches that were used during the tournament had a lot of turn and thus hitting cross batted shots and switch hit was extremely difficult.
Despite that, Maxwell should have performed far better than the way he performed towards the end of the tournament especially in the playoffs. In the two playoff matches that Punjab played, Maxwell didn’t manage to get into the double figures in either of them. He, in fact, got out on a golden in the final match which was played at Bangalore.
The 25-year old all rounder who is known as the Big Show, however, was declared the most valuable player of the tournament. There was a close fight between him and Dwayne Smith, the Chennai Super Kings opener, for that award, but, he won it at the end.