A great start to the cup for the host country. The game was well played in general by the host. It was not a great start to their innings after they were put in by Pakistan. The innings went rough from the beginning but somehow they were able to scratch a 240.
Then, when it came to defend the total, West Indies got a surprise gift in terms of the pathetic dismissals of the Pakistan top order. Seriously, what’s the deal with the Pakistan team? One day they perform like they can win the World Cup and the other day they completely lose it. This was the day they completely lost it.
Ultimately, it ended up being a walk in the park for West Indies and they are 1-0 up and presumably, one win away from the next stage. Great job, I am rooting for them!
Oh, and then today’s game and what happened in the last few days with Australia, specifically its captain. A lot of back and forth went on between Sunil Gavaskar who clearly does not like Australia, and Ricky Ponting who owes it to his country to step up and respond.
I don’t know why Gavaskar still has so much grief, though I must admit Australians are somewhat taking things for granted and behaving like they own the game. But at the same time, I have started losing respect for Gavaskar’s thoughts because he is too overly biased against Australia (and Australians, as seen in his clearly negative remarks about Greg Chappell).
Ricky Ponting and to a certain extent, Cricket Australia had two options – to ask him politely to shut up, or to come out with a statement with their thoughts and opinions. Knowing whatever I know of Australians, I am not surprised they chose option #2 and started pointing fingers at Gavaskar.
Of course the argument itself was pathetic. In response to Gavaskar’s comments about Australian behavior on the field, Ponting starts talking about not only the Indian team performance (in terms of wins and losses) but also, the current team’s performance which has nothing to do with Gavaskar’s behavior. So I think Ponting lost the debate right there by changing the focus of the attack. Classic finger-pointing at work.
Gavaskar of course closed the argument by brining David Hookes in the picture and talking about someone hitting the Aussies for their stupid behavior.
Not sure where it is going to lead the Indo-Aussie cricketing relations, but for sure shifts the focus for Australia. We are used to the Aussie and English press attacking the visiting Indian teams in the past, and I think Gavaskar is trying to turn the tables and start rattling the Aussies by attacking them through the press. In that respect, I think Gavaskar has done a great job on this World Cup “campaign” if I can call it that 🙂
Coming to today’s game, Australia showed that the losses against England and New Zealand recently were just blips and after being somewhat bogged down by Scotland, led by Ponting himself and a great finish, they were able to put a 330, where I thought 280-290 was the most likely target.
As I stopped watching, Scotland were 5 down for almost nothing and the result, which was a foregone conclusion became almost certain.
So, we have West Indies with a win against Pakistan, potentially staking a claim at the top spot in the group and Australia winning its gimme game so far. Looking forward to a tricky game for India against Bangladesh coming this weekend!