Johnson Doubts Flintoff Performance

Although Andrew Flintoff has made his comeback in the shortest form of the game in England’s domestic set up, Mitchell Johnson doesn’t feel that he would be able to sign up for any team for the next edition of the Big Bash League which will be played towards the end of this year.

Johnson who has recently returned to Australia after representing Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League said, “Andrew’s been out since quite a while, 5 years to be precise I reckon. So, for him to come back and perform as well as he used to, it’s extremely difficult.”

“Cricket has changed a lot in the last couple of years especially the shortest form. It has become faster and even the active players are finding it hard to adapt themselves according to it and here we are talking about somebody who hasn’t played for a long time. So, for me, he has no chance to make it to the Big Bash. I wish him all the best though.”

However, Stuart Law, the ex Australian player who has coached the BBL team Brisbane Heat in the past, has a slightly different thinking than Johnson regarding Flintoff.

Law reckons that Flintoff gives his 100% in whatever he tries and thus, there is no reason why he can’t be backed to make a successful comeback as a professional cricketer.
Talking to a reporter yesterday, Law said, “See, it’s hard to say anything unless he plays a few matches, but, as far as my personal view is concerned, I back him to reach that level again.”

The main reason behind Flintoff’s retirement back in 2010 was his knee which had been giving him troubles quite regularly. He had gone through surgery as well to get rid of that problem, but, he kept struggling with it and thus, he eventually decided to retire.

Buttler Believes He Can Be Englands Gilchrist

Jos Buttler reckons that he can play the same role for the England test team as Adam Gilchrist used to play for the Kangaroos a few years back.

Gilchrist redefined test match batting when he was at the peak of his career. Coming at no. 7, he played numerous attacking knocks for Australia which proved to be match winning contributions at the end.

Buttler hopes to do something similar for the Poms if he gets the opportunity to play 5-day cricket.

Buttler has been one of the regulars for England in the shorter versions of the game in the last few months, but, he hasn’t got a test call up yet. He is expected to get that this summer though as there is no better alternative seem to be available for the English selectors at the moment.

England had flown to Australia to play the return Ashes series with two wicketkeepers i.e. Jonny Bairstow and Matt Prior, but, both of them failed miserably during the series which resulted in people saying that the time had arrived for Buttler to be drafted into the test side as well.

In the limited one day internationals that Buttler has played so far, he has shown that apart from the hitting power, he has got the ability to occupy the crease too which is so important in test match cricket.

As far as Buttler’s record at first class level is concerned, it’s not overly impressive, but, it’s pretty decent for somebody batting lower down the order. He averages just over 30 in about 50 matches. He has recently changed his domestic team as well. From the upcoming season onwards, he would be seen representing Lancashire in county cricket. Earlier, he used to play for Somerset.

KP IS HUGE LOSS

The wicketkeeper of the England Cricket team, Jos Buttler, has admitted that Kevin Pietersen’s exit is a huge loss for England cricket, but, at the same time, he has also said that people need to move on from that controversy now.
Many English cricket lovers are still having a debate on Pietersen’s axe. Some think that it was a foolish decision by ECB, while, some think that it might prove to be blessing in disguise.

According to Buttler, there is no point debating now as the decision has already been taken and it can’t be reversed.
Buttler is a part of the England squad which reached West Indies yesterday to play ODI and T20 matches.

Now, with Pietersen not being there, he is probably the only power hitter in the England limited overs side and he might be asked to bat a bit higher in the matches against West Indies.

So far in his career, Buttler has generally batted at 7 and has played some very useful innings for England at that position, but, people who have followed him closely in county cricket say that he is someone who can play solid cricket as well in the middle overs.

Some experts reckon that he might be a good choice for the test matches too as he is technically and temperamentally strong, but, considering how inexperienced Buttler is at the international level, the selectors might not take the risk of picking him for England’s next test series.

When asked if he thinks that he is ready for test cricket, Buttler said, “It’s hard to answer this question. Until I get the opportunity, I would not be able to know if I am good enough to play 5-day cricket.”

Buttler’s average in first class cricket is just a little more than 31.

PAINFUL TOUR IS OVER

The painful tour of Australia is finally over for England. They lost the final T20 match too by a huge margin.

England played a total of 13 international games on the tour out of which they lost 12. These numbers are enough to suggest how much humiliation the Poms suffered during their time down under.

When they had taken the flight to Australia, they would have been expecting themselves to bring all the three trophies home, but, right from the time the first ball got delivered in that Brisbane test match, nothing went right for them.

They didn’t only get defeated, they got annihilated. Apart from the defeat in the second one day international in which they pushed the Aussies to the limits, every other defeat was huge. You could have had massive cricket betting odds at William Hill if you’d bet on such a series of disasters.

Everything that could have gone wrong with English cricket on the tour went wrong. A couple of senior players left the tour in between, the captain took a hammering from everywhere for his defensive mindset, the best batsman of the team got out playing reckless shots, the best bowler kept struggling for wickets right through, the regular wicketkeeper got dropped, the news of the disputes in the camp came through.

Now, at this point of time, nobody knows who would be skippering the England side in the next test and ODI series. Although, Alastair Cook hasn’t hinted at all that he is in a mood to resign but, it’s also a bitter truth that England doesn’t seem to be going towards the right direction under him.

But, the problem for England at the moment is that there are not too many suitable candidates for captaincy other than Cook. It’s hard to imagine them going back to Kevin Pietersen who is considered as one of the most unpopular characters in the dressing room.

TAKE THE POSITIVES

The England cricket team might have lost the Adelaide test match by a big margin, but, there are some positives to take out for them from that match. One of those positives is the way Joe Root batted in the second innings.

The last few weeks haven’t been easy for the 21 years old Yorkshire player. He had gone to Australia thinking that he would open at least in the first couple of test matches. But, that didn’t happen. He was demoted in the batting order in the first test match and was asked to bat at no. 6.

It seemed as if Root would bat at that position throughout the series. But, it wasn’t to be. Because of Jonathan Trott’s departure, his batting position was changed again in the Adelaide test match and he was promoted to the one down position.

It’s not easy for a young player to bat at different positions in back-to-back test matches. But, Root adjusted quite well. He showed great technique against the Aussie pace battery in the second innings at Adelaide and scored 87 runs.

The way he was batting during that innings, he deserved a hundred. But, with just a few overs remaining in the 4th day’s play, he became Nathan Lyon’s prey and returned to the pavilion.

Root had made good contribution in the second innings of the Brisbane test match as well. He had actually run out of partners in that innings. He had remained not out for a hard fought 26.

Now, it looks certain that Root will continue batting at no. 3 for the rest of the ongoing Ashes series and the England team management would want him to carry on his form as they can’t afford any more defeats in the series.
The third test match of the series will start from Friday.

BIG TOTALS NEEDED

The off spinner of the England Cricket Team, Graeme Swann, has said that if his team has to win the Ashes series for the 4th consecutive time, it will have to post big totals in Australia.

The Ashes series is going to start in about a couple of weeks’ time in Australia and the build up to that series is huge. There are some interesting statements already being made by people from both sides. One of those interesting statements was made by the Australian coach Darren Lehmann last week. In one of his interviews, Lehmann said that the cricket that the England team played during the previous Ashes series was pretty boring.

When asked about that, Swann said, “You can expect these sorts of statements to come from the opposition camp. I am not surprised to hear all this.”

“I think we were the deserving winners in the previous Ashes. Yes, we were not at our peak, but, we soaked up the pressure better than Australia and that’s why we won.”
“We are looking to carry on in the same fashion in the upcoming Ashes too. If we win the Ashes again, it will be a very special achievement.”

When asked what will be the key for his team in Australian conditions, Swann said, “We will have to try and post big totals every time we go out there to bat. That will put them under pressure.”

Swann was the stand out performer for his team in the previous Ashes series. He had taken the most no. of wickets for England in the series. He had played all the 5 test matches and had grabbed 27 wickets. He will again be the trump card for the English captain Alastair Cook in the upcoming Ashes.

ASHES T20

The England cricket team will take on Australia in the first match of the 2-match T20 series at Ageas Bowl on Thursday.

This is only the second time that England is going to face the Kangaroos in the shortest format of the game on home soil.

Stuart Broad is back to captain the England T20 side after not featuring in the home series against New Zealand before the Champions Trophy, and is being touted by bet australia as the main England hope.

Michael Carberry is a new face in the England T20 squad, but, he is not expected to be included in the final XI. The team management would like to go with the regular openers, Michael Lumb and Alex Hales, at least in the first game.
Luke Wright will bat at no. 3 and he will be followed by Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara.

As far as bowling is concerned, England is likely to go with 3 quickies and 1 spinner. The 5th bowler’s quota will be shared between Joe Root and Ravi Bopara.

On the other hand, Australia is a very dangerous batting unit in this format of the game. Warner and Watson at the top of the order can take any attack to the cleaners on their day.

There is a competition between Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh for the no. 3 spot and Finch might be preferred because of his recent form in South Africa.

The experienced duo of Adam Voges and George Bailey will take care of the middle order and then, to put the foot on the accelerator towards the end, there are a couple of big hitters in the lower middle order i.e. Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell.

Australia might go into this match with a 4-man pace attack and rely on the part timers like Glenn Maxwell and Adam Voges for slow bowling.

The Ageas bowl generally produces batting wickets. So, this can be a high scoring encounter.

FLOWER BACKS BROAD

The coach of the England test team, Andy Flower, has hailed Stuart Broad for his wonderful bowling spell on the fourth day of the 4th Ashes test match which was played at Durham.

Broad dismissed 6 Aussie batsmen in his spell after tea and helped his team bundle Australia out for just 224 runs to seal the series.

Broad bowled some great deliveries in that spell. The one that he bowled to dismiss Michael Clarke was just unplayable. It drifted in and then, moved away to knock the stumps over. Clarke was completely bamboozled.

Talking to the reporters at the end of the match, Flower said, “Stuart is an impact player who can change the game in just one spell on his day.”

“He is tall, bowls with good pace and if there is swing available, he is a very tough bowler to face.”

“He hadn’t got too many wickets in the first three test matches despite bowling decently. But, he continued putting the ball in right areas and he was rewarded eventually.”

When asked about Tim Bresnan who contributed both with the bat and the ball at Durham, Flower said, “Tim’s contribution was vital. The runs that he got towards the end of our second innings were extremely valuable.”

“He batted solidly when it was needed and then, after the dismissals of Ian Bell and matt Prior, he shifted gears and got some quick runs.”

Bresnan scored 45 runs in England’s second innings and helped the home team extend its lead over 290.

Then, with the ball, the 28 years old Yorkshire man got rid of Australia’s two most dangerous batsmen i.e. David Warner and Shane Watson.

Unfortunately for England, Bresnan will not be able to take part in the 5th test match as he has suffered back fracture.

England v New Zealand 2013

The England cricket team will be embarking on a tour of New Zealand next month – the first such visit to the country since 2008 – and will be playing a series of Test matches, Twenty20 internationals and one-day internationals during the tour, offering a feast for both cricket fans and those who enjoy betting on the game with sports betting sites. As of yet there is not much information available at these sites about the odds being offered for the tour, but it is only a matter of time before such information becomes available.

Successful cricket betting does tend to depend on having some grasp of the game, because it can seem rather arcane and difficult to get your head around for anyone who doesn’t; but for those who would like to bet successfully on cricket events like this tour of New Zealand there are ways of achieving this. Although there will always be tips sites to help those who don’t have much knowledge of the game, a better way for a betting fan to get over any cricket phobia might be to play one of the cricket games at online casinos.

Games like the slot The Umpire Strikes Back in gamingclub.co.uk combine a traditional slot format with video and audio designed to evoke the experience of being on the cricket field. With this, plus the symbols based on cricket – like bats, balls, wickets and helmets – they can help a non-cricket betting fan start to understand the game a bit better, in an environment which is conducive.

After all, for those able to appreciate the game, betting on the England tour of New Zealand will offer lots of potential bets to place, including betting on the winners of each match, the highest run scorers for each team, the players who will take the most wickets, the highest scoring opening partnerships and the method by which the first player will be dismissed.

OUT FOR 232

The England cricket team was dismissed for just 232 runs in their first innings on the second day of the first test match against New Zealand which is being played at Lord’s.
At the end of the first day, the score of England was 160 for the loss of 4 wickets. The two not out batsmen at the crease were Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow.

These two young men looked good in the first hour of the second day. They showed good technique against the moving ball and didn’t play too many shots in anger. They were looking set for a big partnership, but, all of a sudden, Root perished in a strange manner.

It was an incoming delivery from Southee which was going further down the leg side after pitching in line of the leg stump. Root tried to glance it, but, he glanced it too fine. The wicketkeeper took a good catch diving towards his left and the umpire’s finger went up.

On the very next ball, Matt Prior was also dismissed. It was another in swinger from Southee and this time his line was spot on. It pitched on the off stump and was hitting Prior’s pad in line of middle and leg. The umpire had no hesitation in giving that out and all of a sudden, the scorecard was showing 192 for 6.

The tail-enders couldn’t survive for too long against the swinging ball and England was all out on a modest score just after lunch.

In reply, New Zealand had a disastrous start. Both the openers were in the pavilion with only 7 on the board. The ball was moving a lot and Alastair Cook was on the attack. Batting was looking extremely difficult.

Ross Taylor decided to counter attack and that ploy worked for him. With a flurry of boundaries, he forced Alastair Cook to be a bit defensive and spread the field.

Taylor put up a partnership of 93 runs with Kane Williamson for the third wicket before being adjudged leg before wicket off the bowling of James Anderson.

Dean Brownlie walked out to bat after the fall of Taylor’s wicket and he was playing quite calmly. But, just before the end of the day’s play, Steven Finn trapped him in front of the wicket with a quick, full, incoming ball. The on field umpire didn’t give that out and Alastair Cook had to take the help of the DRS system to get the decision in his favour.

The New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum along with Kane Williamson negotiated the remaining overs safely. At the end of the second day’s play, the score of New Zealand was 153 for the loss of 4 wickets.