Monday, February 7, 2011

World Cup Campaigns Begin



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True to form, England began their World Cup campaign by doing what they do best. Whining! Two "slams" to the schedule by the English cricketing nobility - Pietersen and Maclaurin. This time strangely the schedule is being criticized for too much rest between games by Pietersen. The other guy is slamming the combined Ashes and WC schedule for being too busy.


Apparently, England don't play their best cricket when they are awfully busy or fully rested. It appears that the reason they have lost against Australia in the ODIs is because that schedule does not reflect true World Cup 'practice'. So they simply didn't put their heart and soul into practice ODIs that were not really practice.

Interestingly enough, they are going home to England for three days prior to flying to Dhaka. The ICC masterminded this additional leg in the journey to further tire out the English team. Right after that, they will have a surge of rest. The World Cup organizers and ICC, led by the cunning Indians, are hoping that this combination of extreme travel and extreme rest will kill England's ability to make an impact in the World Cup.

Unlike England though, Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand are not as busy. Since Australia played exactly the same number of days as England, but at home, their schedule counts as rest. Given how hard Australia had to work to beat England in the ODIs, it appears to some that both teams were resting.

Pakistan and New Zealand were simply practicing resting while playing their games. The Pakistan board decided to check out the team's ability to cope with pressure instead by naming the captain a little later than normal. Unfortunately, for England, Pakistan seemed to have coped with this just fine. Amazingly, there have been few media freehits by Pakistani players swearing allegiance to one candidate or another. Surprisingly, the last complaint heard from a Pakistani cricket player was from Usman Khawaja who hasn't received an RSVP for his offer to jump off a bridge.

Sri Lanka and West Indies have quietly fine tuned their World Cup preparations. Both played out some meaningless ODIs. But Sri Lanka are not practicing at the World Cup venues. They have decided to level the playing field by not seeking home advantage. With this in mind, they delayed readying the grounds. Eden Gardens on the other hand was also England's practice venue and hence had to be jettisoned from hosting the England-India game.

India have started their preparations very smartly. In order to avoid miffed egos, they picked all their first string players. Unfortunately, most of them are injured. So as the injuries tumble out of the closet, the real team will be named just a day prior to the start. This is a great ploy to upset all the plans that Bangladesh has made to beat India again. Sehwag, Praveen Kumar, Nehra, Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh are all expected to be replaced. If not anything, India want to prove that they truly mean it when they say that they take every match seriously.

Graeme Smith once again got ahead of himself. His team went to the 2007 WC expecting to win. So this time they are expecting to win but they have decided to define winning as getting into the finals. Here's the priceless quote, "In 2007 we went there with the expectation of winning the tournament, and put ourselves under so much pressure," Smith told the IOL Sport website. "Yes, you have to want to win the World Cup and that has to be your mindset, otherwise, what's the point of going there. Reaching the final is the goal."

Related Posts

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  3. Team slogans for the world cup
  4. India can't win the World Cup


9 comments:

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

Vidooshak

Would you be interested in exchanging links with my site http://www.cricketbettingblog.com/, I can ensure you my site is not a whining or whinging site, well ok, maybe it is a bit.

Cheers
Dean

likeatracerbullet said...

Oddly, the buildup to this World Cup feels subdued...

Golandaaz said...

dean @ CBB, done

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

@ likeatracerbullet, you're right.

It will probably pick up in the week before, but then with the length of the tournament I wouldn't be surprised to see interest fall away a bit until we get to the business end of it, next September, or whenever it is.

@ Golandaaz, like wise, thanks.

Vidooshak said...

It feels like there's no stars anymore. No Warne, Freddie, Akram, Lara, McGrath, Hayden, Ganguly et al. This is a World Cup full of choir boys.

Indya Post said...

Hi guys,

really funny article. We are launching our new website Indyapost.com. With your permission can we feature this blog post as a guest post as part of our world cup preview? We will credit your website prominently with a link-back! our email is theindyapost@gmail.com

Kind Regards,
Indyapost.com team

Golandaaz said...

IP, Yes that should be fine

Indya Post said...

@ Golandaaz,

Many thanks! I will send you a link to the article, once its published in our website with a link back. Should we mention the author's name as Vidooshak?

Also with your permission could we change the title as "Sneak Peek: World Cup teams' secret strategies exposed!"

Cheers!
Indyapost.com team

Golandaaz said...

@ IP; yes credit it to Vidooshak @ Opinions On Cricket