World Cup Game 4 – India v Pakistan

This is the game thread for this much trailed match. Please feel free to jot down what you like, when you like.

So the hype has been incessant, as if this has been something special at World Cups. As alwayst the truth is somewhat different – there’s some shocking old figures from the very few times these two have met in this competition. Did you know it has produced just one century in the history of their meetings, and that by Saeed Anwar is just 101 (made at Centurion)? Games appear to suffer from the pressure of the occasion.

Sachin Tendulkar has two of the four highest scores in their World Cup meetings, with a 98 in the same game at Centurion, and an 85 in the 2011 Semi-Final. The other score over 80 was by Navjot Singh Sidhu at Bangalore in 1996.

In their previous World Cup meeting in Australia, in 1992, India won in the early stages of the competition. This game was played at Sydney. If ever a game represented a bye-gone era, this was it. Pakistan were 40 runs short with one over left. Miandad batted for an age for 40.

The last meeting was the Semi-Final in Mohali in 2011. Wahab Riaz produced Pakistan’s best figures against India in the World Cup in that fixture, but the best in the series at the main ODI competition is held by Venkatesh Prasad, who took 5/27 at Old Trafford in 1999.

This match is played at Adelaide. Peter Kirsten (84) holds the World Cup record at this venue, made against India in 1992. Azharuddin holds India’s best score in the World Cup at that ground with 79. Pakistan played there against England in 1992, when they were bowled out for 74. Salim Malik and Mushtaq Ahmed both made 17, so the Pakistan record had better go!

World Cup records:

Sourav Ganguly – 183 v Sri Lanka at Taunton in 1999. India have 20 World Cup centuries.

Imran Nazir – 160 v Sri Lanka at Kingston in 2007. Pakistan have 13 World Cup centuries.

World Cup Game 3 – South Africa v Zimbabwe

Game thread for this match being played at Hamilton.

These two have met twice in World Cups, with this one being the first meeting since 1999 at Chelmsford, when Zimbabwe shocked South Africa, and in the process eliminated England from their own tournament when the hosts completed their loss to India the following day. The other meeting was in 1992 when the two teams met at Canberra.

Given the paucity of meetings, World Cup records for this fixture look ripe for beating. The highest individual score is 76 by Neil Johnson at Chelmsford, while South Africa’s highest score is the 70 made by Kepler Wessels in Canberra.

Peter Kirsten, Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusener are the only other players to make half centuries in this fixture.

Neil Johnson has the best bowling figures as well, with 3/27.

South Africa are my choices for the competition, and Zimbabwe are not expected to put up much of a contest. Let’s see….

Post-Match Moan Special

Comment here, but as this is more their bag, go over to the Full Toss.

I’ll have the reactions of my own later.

And here they are.

First of all, you have to have belief. I really don’t think they believed they could win today. They felt that they had to play Australia in an opening game in front of their largest crowd, and they just didn’t think it was on. Sure, they will tell you that they had this belief, but it is, as we are increasingly finding out, not a guide to future performance in listening to these media-trained automatons. Australia are in our heads. Just 18 months or so ago we scored around 270 in a Champions Trophy game in our backyard and we won it at a canter. That team had a good number of the players we met today, but we had mental strength over them. I still maintain we are the only team to win a test series 3-0 and come out of it believing we might have lost! We gave up our mental hold over them, and that’s the biggest crime of the end of Flower’s reign.

We had them at 70/3 and still allowed them to make 342. Good grief. There’s a lot said about our garbage death bowling, and I have to say I was sleeping and then tending to my sick border collie so unable to watch the game in this period. But it takes an innings long debacle to allow a score like that on the board. Then our batting subsided meekly. This was a performance that lacked heart and belief. James Taylor showed what could be done if you got in and picked your spots, and although a lot of the congoscenti are saying that it was easy pickings because Australia had taken their feet off the gas, this doesn’t ring true with me. Australia want to humiliate us, it is in their DNA. They want us buried, because, unlike us, they don’t feel any sorrow for losers. Just five or so years ago we sat here lording over the Aussies wondering when they’d next give us a contest. That arrogance is coming home to roost.

But in the end, this doesn’t really matter. As so many say, the format means that losing these games do not mean the competition is over. We need to win against those we are favoured against and perhaps nick one against Sri Lanka or New Zealand, and we’ll be safely in the Quarter Finals. Then it’s that puncher’s chance old crap. Our clearing of the decks, our minute, detailed preparation under the greatest coach of his generation, has come to this. Praying we might get lucky in three fights in a row. I weep. I truly weep.

This game taught us little, other than confirmation that our coaching and selectoral staff have the propensity to drop WTF decisions on us. Taylor has done really decently at number 3, but this brains trust thought the better option might be to drop Taylor to 6 to accommodate a test number 3 who has played one full ODI since June. It’s just mind-numbing. Others will go into it in much greater detail than I, but this should be one nail in Moores’ coffin should we go down that route.

Morgan’s lack of form is also a concern. This is also something the anti-KP lobby (I refuse to believe there is much of a pro-Cook one) are throwing at us refuseniks. “Look at Morgan, he’s not getting the stick that Cook is” is the lamentable, pathetic, mind-numbingly tedious drivel coming from these people who don’t quite reach “clown” status when it comes to debating this. This sort of thinking makes me want to poke needles in my eyes, pull them out of my socket and stick them in acid.

By any measure, and by the way he actually plays, Cook is not an ODI player now. There’s a great piece on Tim Sherwood by Spurs fans saying why Villa shouldn’t hire him. “He played Kyle Walker as a #10” is repeated ad nauseam. Persisting with Cook, who could not make a run, nor make them at any great pace when he did, and the circus surrounding him was a crushing error and akin to playing Walker behind the striker. This is our coaching brains trust trying to be too damn clever.

Morgan has a century amongst all these ducks, had one in Australia last year as well, and when he makes runs, he makes them at an electric pace. He is in shocking form, but he has more likelihood of getting it back than Cook, who was never really suited for ODI cricket in the first place. Stop using your anti-KP blindness to avoid the truth. Yes, Morgan isn’t doing well. But Cook never would have. We tried for so long that even these clowns in the ECB realised it. There are plenty of this apologists on the Guardian, but some absolute sockpuppet on the Telegraph who trolls incessantly is being wilfully obtuse. You’ll know him if you read below Boycott’s article today.

The KP appearances on BTL are now as tiresome as they are inevitable. Again, no doubt, people will be saying I want him in the team instead of someone else. Again, these people will just pass on their ignorance and not be bothered with what I am saying. That’s increasingly their problem, not mine. KP’s points need addressing, deny it if you want, but he’s not exactly being proved wrong on much at the moment (and hold your gums on Taylor – plenty of others agreed with him given he didn’t play for ages). It’s tiresome he does a Q&A on this evening, but he’s right about Downton, and deep down, you all know it. Admit it.

I also tried to get a fight like cornered… meme going on Twitter this morning, but no-one was biting. They were supposed to be English related, as we don’t have many tigers. Here’s some examples…

Be interested in your own suggestions.

UPDATE:

David on the comments on The Full Toss pretty much nails it for me…

The big thing to me between Aus and Eng is look at Finch, Maxwell & Warner, then look at Hales, Stokes & Roy. If Finch, Maxwell & Warner were English they’d be looked at with suspicion, not trusted, criticised in the press and be kept at a distance from the international side, they don’t play like the establishment men want, they don’t follow the MCC, Eton & Harrow coaching manuals, yet all match winners for Australia. Hales & Stokes, 2 players gone backwards big time under Moores, and Roy wouldn’t be trusted by the current management.