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Struggling Sri Lankans Selecting Rookies for Fun!

sri lanka.PNG

Sri Lankan Test Cricket is on the verge of meltdown. Only winning 4 of the last 12 Test series, over a dozen (and more…)debutants and a lot of experienced faces departing the International scene. Gone of the days where Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara leading the team with the bat and in the field and Murali Muralitharan, Rangana Herath and Chaminda Vaas destroyed batting line ups at ease with Murali’s indispensable 795 wickets imperative to Sri Lankan success. 

Now, Angelo Matthews leads a side with his 80 ,experienced but still young caps, with increasing debutants coming and going with a settled side seemingly lost at the selection policy. The recent Australian series saw plenty of debutants as the depth of Sri Lanka cricket was tested right to the bottom including a seam attack full of debut players and Kasun Rajitha in the final test.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/25929049/sri-lanka-drop-chandimal-south-africa-tour-karunaratne-made-captain

Consistency seems to be at the heart of the issues in a non stop cycle. Injuries have also been a major problem in finding the right test players. Roshen Silva had been having an impressive summer for the Sri Lankans with important knocks against England and New Zealand but had been side lined with an injury from the conclusion of the Black Caps tour and then surprisingly dropped for the Proteas.

Schedule has been gruelling on the Test front with England visiting and then subsequent Oceania tours against New Zealand and Australia and then the upcoming visit to South Africa. On the field form has been an issue but off the field drama has captivated and engulfed the side with disgruntled and unhappy players, coaches and selectors of late with the team manager changing regularly.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/25920260/two-double-tons-first-class-game-angelo-perera-achieves-rare-record

South African Squad Analysis

  1. 8 of the 17 man squad selected have played five tests or fewer
  2. The surprise axing of Dinesh Chandimal as captain comes after taking charge in 2017 and despite team performances, his form has been above most other batsmen.
  3. Four players selected are uncapped.
  4. Ireland A matches and Premier League form seems to be at precedence to Test players
  5. A pace attack containing an overall caps of just 8 caps (added to when Lakmal returns in the second test)
  6. Angelo Matthews remains a key player missing through injury
  7. Dilruwan Perera has 38 caps and has been a mainstay of the squad as spinners have drifted in and out of the squad but he has been axed
  8. Wholesale changes indicate a more youthful look at the future. 

Malinda Pushpakumara and Asela Gunaratne will surely be disappointed to miss out as Pushpakumara was touted as an experienced head to take the mantle of left arm spin from Herath and Gunaratne has an average of 56.87 in only 6 tests and a high score of 116. 

http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/25696950/malinda-pushpakumara-bags-all-10-wickets-innings

Instead Lasith Embuldeniya takes the spinning mantle with other left arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan whilst batsmen Angelo Perera and Oshada Fernando take the batting spots. Some players have experience in age with Milinda Siriwanda returning from a 3 year hiatus and Kashual Silva returning from big scores in the Premier League. The tried and tested method has been chucked firmly out of the equation with chopping and changing the incentive for Sri Lanka’s demise but could be their turn around if the selected players perform against a potent South African attack and batting line up in foreign conditions.

On paper, it looks a comfortable victory for the Proteas in home conditions where the seamers create lively bounce and threatening pace whilst their batsman bat with poise and patience but don’t underestimate the Sri Lankans who all have an incentive to play for their spots. 

http://www.srilankacricket.lk/news/sri-lanka-test-squad-for-south-africa-series

A recipe for disaster or a recipe for success!

 

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Who to Watch : IPL 2019 Special Part 1: Indian players!

With the Big Bash coming to its end soon and International cricket back with a bang (not for England) and one day formats, Short Leg looks at the next franchise league in the lucrative Indian Premier League 2019. Photos from @cricbuzz with Kolkata’s team missing so Short Leg will select players without the image of team. ( 1 from each squad – part 2 will have the other 4 teams.)

chennai super kingsdelhi capitalskings xi punjabkolkata knight ridersmumbai indiansrajasthan royalsroyal challengers banagloresunrisers hyderabad

Prithvi Shaw (Delhi Capitals)

Shaw shot his way to prominence when he was just 14 after scoring 546 from 330 balls in a Harris Shield match for his school Rizvi Springfield. That innings contained 85 fours and five sixes – and since then has risen dramatically through the Indian ranks all the way to the Test squad at the age of 19. In those two test matches, he hammered a debut century and became the youngest Indian since Sachin Tendulkar to score a Test century. Shaw plays in an attacking style with fearless ball striking with his maiden Test century the third fastest 100 on debut in history. Despite missing out of the recent Australian Test series through injury, Shaw remains an integral part of the squad at such a young age. He featured 9 times in IPL 2018 for Delhi scoring 245 runs at a strike rate of 153.13 with a highest score of 65. Opening for Delhi was successful and his confidence from his performances for the national side as well as his domestic sides explain the reasons he is compared to Tendulkar and is expected to shine in IPL 2019.

Varun Chakravarthy (Kings XI Punjab)

The 27 year old mystery spinner has got his chance in the IPL 2019 season to kickstart his domestic and possible international aspirations. Making his List A debut in 2018 for Tamil Nadu in the Vijay Hazare – Trophy, he performed consistently well becoming leading wicket taker for the competition with 22 in 9 matches. His bamboozling action and spin, predominately bowling leg spin but constantly fooling batsman, made him sought for around the IPL. Last year he got experience and featured as a net bowler for the Chennai Super Kings as well as the Kolkata Knight Riders and coach Carl Crowe was quoted saying, “The millionaire Varun.” Sold to the Kings XI at a massive 8.4 Crore, his chances of playing will be at a restricted rate with spinners Shadab Khan, Ravindra Ashwin and Mujeeb Ur Rahman ahead in the pecking order but his potential should get him a shot.

Shivam Dube (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Dube is a 25 year old all round package bowling right arm medium fast (mid 130s) and batting powerfully as a left hander in the middle order. Like Chakravarthy, Dube’s name didn’t get around in the youth system as he took a 5 year break before returning at 21. He also played in the 2018 Vijay Hazare and shined with his array of variations at a fantastic economical rate of 4.53 with 13 wickets – striking at over 135 in strike rate with the bat as well. His most impressive outing was in the Ranji Trophy where he has scored 454 runs and 21 wickets with two centuries and two five wicket hauls. His all round ability will be under scrutiny but the experience he will gain from playing with AB de Villers, Virat Kohli, Colin De Grandhomme and co will be invaluable in his quest for a spot. 

Manan Vohra (Rajasthan Royals)

Vohra was labelled early on in his career by Yuvraj Singh as an outstanding talent which has yet to been utilized and proven to its best potential. Making his IPL debut in 2013, he played an eye catching 43 for the Kings XI Punjab and from there has had an indifferent career after moving onto to RBC and now the Royals. He is an experienced campaigner of IPL cricket, playing 49 matches at an average of 23.53 with a high score of 95 in the IPL 2017 for the Punjab side. After joining RBC in 2018, he featured very little as the team had a wealth of opening batters and when his chance came, he failed to make a good enough impression. The Royals have made significant changes to their side and Vohra will be aiming to replace D’Arcy Short (not retained) at the top of the order in a year where he will play for Lindfield in the Sussex Cricket League following the conclusion of the IPL. 

The IPL 2019 is set to be another fascinating  domestic competition to cure our winter blues and kickstart our summer excitement. One Indian player from the Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders and the Chennai Super Kings will feature in Part 2 which you can see alongside many other topics on this site very soon. 

अलविदा (Goodbye in Indian)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Ton Theunis de-dropped Bruyn?

A very old trading card nonetheless the only South Africa related one I have.

Theunis De Bruyn. A hard hitting South African batsmen who has conquered the domestic level yet on the International stage – its a different story. With the exception of his maiden Test century against Sri Lanka in July 2018, De Bruyn has failed to hit the heights so far of what was expected of him.

From making his debut in March 2017 against New Zealand to his most recent caps against Pakistan at home, De Bruyn has been in and out the team without cementing a place in the Proteas top order. With the retirement in 2018 of AB De Villers freeing up a top order spot alongside JP Duminy’s retirement from the national team in early 2017, places have been up for grabs. South Africa have been very successful in Test matches and bar the lost series against Sri Lanka, South Africa had won 6 on the bounce. Different formats of selection were chosen with De Bruyn featuring twice in England (2017) as a specialist batsman before the role being taken for 3 series by allrounders. AB De Villers retirement led De Bruyn straight into the team for the Sri Lankan series where he scored his first contribution to the Proteas. However, an underwhelming Pakistan series with debutant Zubayr Hamza impressing in the final test has led to reports De Bruyn will be dropped for the return of captain Faf De Plessis.

De Bruyn’s record at first class level is second to none with an average of 45.55 backed up with 12 centuries and 19 half centuries. An experienced campaigner of the domestic level at 26 shows his potential and undoubted ability at higher levels yet for South Africa so far an average of 20.55 only registering the sole hundred in a stand out match. As mentioned before, South Africa with the loss of a key fast bowler tend to have an allrounder at 6 and De Bruyn certainly hasn’t put up a case to be the fifth bowler. His first class level saw 11 wickets taken at 38.31 but his test bowling has been disappointing wicketless from 17 overs at an expensive 4.35 per over.

Whilst coach Ottis Gibson is backing De Bruyn, his poor form and his failure to replicate the first class form he has shown consistently will lead to questions about his spot in the side. With captain Faf returning from a one match suspension, either Hamza or De Bruyn are likely to be axed and with Hamza performing well on debut, De Bruyn looks certain to be dropped.

Be sure to revisit the site with more international and domestic cricket topics and articles as well as virtual gaming coming very soon! Short Leg

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Express pace Wood to chop down some stumps in Windies?

Mark Wood. A promising player that so far his international career hasn’t taken off due to predominately longer term injury and less match time in 4/5 day formats. He has pace – 90mph+ to be precise and has bounce that can frighten any top order batsman around the world. He has 156 first class wickets at an average of 27.83 and 8 five wicket hauls. His impact for England has come mainly in shorter formats with ODI being his stronger suit. Yet, going into 2019 his place at the Cricket World Cup looks in doubt due to his lack of match time and the better form from the likes of Tom Curran, Olly Stone and David Willey. Speculation before and during the 2017 Ashes series didn’t prove to be the case as he didn’t feature. At the age of 29, Wood’s playing days are shortening due to his various injuries and something needs to click for such a promising player.

His call up to the West Indian Test Series comes as Warwickshire’s Olly Stone flies back home with a stress fracture in his back. Stone has had limited opportunity on the International stage with his debut series coming in Sri Lanka (October 2018) and impressed with his pace and heavy bounce in the ODI series. Wood comes in as a like for like replacement but his lack of match practice in the Test arena might mean he plays as a back up seamer.

However, Wood brings a new dimension to West Indies which England should take advantage of with his old and new ball skills alongside his quick pace which will test the inexperienced West Indies batsmen. Whilst, England might not use Wood to change a winning formula, this will be Wood’s chance to show he can be an England Test fast bowler in a permanent position. He has the attributes but not the performances in the arena to show his worth to the side.

Away from Wood, England will be faced a tricky challenge with West Indies making wholesale changes to fix a losing team. But, England’s impressive form in Sri Lanka most notably with their spinners leaves them favourites in similar away conditions to make it 2 on the bounce.

Wood’s chance has come and he will be sure to make the most of it as his International selection hangs in the jungle. To read more articles cricket related, revisit the site and comment below whether Wood will start in West Indies?

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Big Bash 08 : Mid Season Review


BBL 08 has reached its half way stage in the extended season with plenty of sixes, wickets and many entertaining moments from the T20 Australian Tournament. Short Leg will reflect on the mid season turn point with a Team of the Season. There will be more Big Bash related articles very soon!

Table after Matchday 31

1 Hobart Hurricanes 12 points W: 6 L: 1 NRR: 0.806

2 Sydney Thunder 8 points W: 4 L: 4 NRR: 0.304

3 Sydney Sixers 8 points W: 4 L: 4 NRR: -0.037

4 Adelaide Strikers 8 points W: 4 L: 4 NRR: -0.076

5 Melbourne Renegades 8 points W: 4 L: 4 NRR: -0.627

6 Brisbane Heat 6 points W: 3 L: 4 NRR: 0.59

7 Perth Scorchers 6 points W: 3 L: 5 NRR: -0.302

8 Melbourne Stars 6 points W: 3 L: 4 NRR: -0.426

Stats so Far:

8561 runs scored, 0 hundreds, 42 fifties, 122.3 strike rate, 685 fours, 272 sixes

356 wickets taken 1,161.0 overs bowled, 96 highest score, 7.4 economy rate, 242 catches

Short Leg’s Team of the Season So Far

1 – D’Arcy Short (Hobart Hurricanes) 355 runs 251 balls faced HS: 96NO vs Melbourne Stars Average: 59.17 6s: 15 4s: 31 50s: 4 SR: 141.43 16-0-115-5  E: 7.19 Average : 23.00 BB: 2-17

2 – Jos Buttler (Sydney Thunder)  273 runs 202 balls faced  HS: 89 vs Hobart Hurricanes  Average: 39.00 6s: 10 4s: 26  50s: 3  SR: 135.15

3- Chris Lynn (Brisbane Heat) 313 runs 235 balls faced  HS: 84 vs Sydney Sixers Average: 52.17 6s: 17 4s: 22 50s: 3 SR: 133.19

4- Daniel Hughes (Sydney Sixers) 224 runs 172 balls faced  HS: 62 vs Perth Scorchers Average: 28.00 6s: 4 4s: 24 50s: 2 SR: 130.25

5- Ashton Turner (C) (Perth Scorchers) 300 runs 220 balls faced  HS: 60 vs Sydney Thunder Average: 50.00 6s: 9 4s: 21 50s: 2 SR: 136.36  1-0-7-0 E: 7

6- Sam Harper + (Melbourne Renegades) 189 runs 137 balls faced  HS: 56 vs Brisbane Heat Average: 27.00 6s: 5 4s: 23 50s: 1 SR: 137.96  2 stumpings and 2 catches

7- Tom Curran (Sydney Sixers) 28.5-0-209-11 E: 7.25 Average: 19.00  BB: 3-18 vs Melbourne Renegades 123 runs 84 balls faced  HS: 62 vs Sydney Thunder Average: 41.00 6s: 1 4s: 16 50s: 1 SR: 146.43

8- Rashid Khan (Adelaide Strikers) 32-1-157-13 E: 4.91  Average: 12.08 BB: 3-19 vs Brisbane Heat 63 runs 36 balls faced  HS: 21 vs Perth Scorchers 6s: 5 4s: 5 SR: 175.00

9- Steve O’ Keefe (Sydney Sixers) 31-0-224-13 E: 7.23  Average: 17.23 BB: 3-19 vs Perth Scorchers

10- Kane Richardson (Melbourne Renegades) 23.5-0-196-11 E: 8.22 Average 17.82 BB: 3-22 vs Perth Scorchers

11- Riley Meredith (Hobart Hurricanes) 27-0-204-11 E: 7.56 Average: 18.55 BB: 4-21 vs Melbourne Stars

With 28 games or so to play including the final, Big Bash 08 proves to be another exciting and entertaining domestic competition to free up our winter blues. Be sure to revisit the site for more Big Bash articles as well as a variety of other topics including the outcome of the inaugural Global Test Championship coming very soon.