Thursday, 20 November 2008

A New Love Affair Starts

Day 1 of Australia v New Zealand at The Gabba. Australia 214, New Zealand 7-0.

Andrew Symonds makes 26 on his return. At least he remembers the difference between holding a fishing rod and a cricket bat. Progress.

Ponting is, not surprisingly, very happy Symonds is back, sparking off rumours of a bromance. After declaring he wants the Symonds "of old," Ponting continues: "that's what we all love about him. We love his personality and the way he is around the team. I love the way he goes about his cricket on the field as well...he adds that X-factor, he adds that great presence in the field."

We get it Ricky, you're really, really happy. NWG is very pleased for you.

Smog Smothers England's Hopes (Again)

Now England have a new enemy and its name is smog. Admittedly, India played better than England again and even if the light had not deteriorated would most likely have won. But, now we will never know. Smog has robbed us of a result.

And there were some highlights. A change in the England batting order helped matters. Bopara (60), instead of languishing down the line-up, was promoted to open with Bell (46) and they added 79 for the first wicket. Finally, a decent start.

Shah (40) has also been thrown down the order, coming in after Flintoff (26), but that seemed to work for him and work for England.

England's efforts in the field were also slightly improved. What Nightwatchgirl means is that Yuvraj (38 - call that a score?) didn't make a ton and was actually, hold the phone, out. This is a definite improvement.

So, there are positives and negatives to be taken from this game. Another advantage is that the next game is a day/night and therefore there will be light(s). A game with a result, how novel.

But there remains a slight problem. England must now win every game to win the series.

A small ask then.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Nightwatchgirl's New Top 10

Nightwatchgirl has a new Ashes Top 10 on the great blog that is Line and Length. This time it's Ashes heroes born in another country to which they represented.

See what you think.

Nightwatchgirl likes a friendly discussion.

Graeme Swanns In To Save The Day

Graeme Swann has been added to the England ODI team for tomorrow's game in the hope that he can perform some sort of miracle.

This seems unlikely.

Both Broad and Pietersen have been giving interviews detailing how "we're still a good side. We beat South Africa 4-0." And how England "definitely have a chance."

Nightwatchgirl doesn't see it that way. England still rely on past games to make themselves feel better. They must learn from their mistakes. Just because you beat a team in one series, this will have no bearing on another, unless you are, like, really good.

England are not.

Score some runs, take some wickets.

Take it one run at a time.

England need to start from the bottom and work their way up.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Yuv(raj) Got To Do Better England

India are just too good. Another win under their belts and another example of England's batting and bowling being shown to be average, when what is required is exceptional.

Only three Indian batsmen were needed to take the game away from England. Yuvraj, once again showed his new all-rounder status, amassing 118 runs and 4-28, Gambhir (70) and Pathan (50) proving that all that's needed is some big hitting and confidence.

England once again failed to bowl India out and it was only Broad who showed some liking for the Indore pitch, with figures of 4-55.

England's batting showed slightly more resolve. Prior (38), Shah (58), Pietersen (33) and Flintoff (43) made decent scores, but the game needed every batsman to dig in and prosper.

A loss by 54 runs is definitely an improvement from the last game. That's a positive. Nightwatchgirl wants to be an optimist....but it's really, really hard.

The next game on Thursday needs to see an England bowling attack demolish the Indian batsmen and an England batting side scoring runs like they're going out of fashion.

There's the bigger picture to think of now. 2009 is a big cricket year and England must be up to the challenge, or Nightwatchgirl is going to cry.