Tuesday, May 31, 2011

England - The Most Entertaining Cricket Team Ever?

England are the most entertaining cricket on this planet. How they have become so is a total mystery. They may not be the best but are certainly the most entertaining. And that too across all three formats of the game (They also have 3 different captains in place).
England are the current T20 World Champions, a format in which they have lost to Netherlands also.
Their performances in the ODI World cup earlier this year, defied any sort of cricketing logic. A team which beat South Africa & West Indies and tied with India, while losing to Bangladesh & Ireland and getting pushed to the limit against the Dutch. The only consistency they showed was how they made every single game exciting and worth watching to the neutral followers.
And in Tests, the English have mastered the art of dramatic endings. In a 12 month period they produced 4 cliff hanger draws with the last pair on the crease fighting desperately for survival till the last over. (Against West Indies they were at the receiving end of it). Winter Ashes they beat the Aussies thrice by an innings while losing 1 match by an innings themselves. And today against Sri Lanka at Cardiff, they again showed up the maverick nature of cricket.
When the last day's play began after a rain delayed start, England were 91 runs ahead with some 57 overs of play left. A boring draw was the most likely conclusion. Ian Bell, the Sledgehammer of Eternal Justice (as he has been named) duly completed another Slipstream Century. And in a surprising decision Strauss immediately declared. First thought was why bother coming out to bat to add 5 runs to the lead while losing 4 overs. Bell was allowed to reach his personal landmark. And then Tremlett, Swann and Broad knocked out Sri Lanka in under 25 overs and helped seal an innings victory. (Some terrible, if you a Lankan fan, Stats here).
Certainly a maverick victory to say the least. Showed that the old adage still holds - In cricket it is not over till the last ball has been bowled and certainly not when England are one of the teams involved.

P.S. Now waiting for the "blame the IPL" for this defeat game to begin. 

P.P.S. Eagerly awaiting for the India-England Test series.

In other news, Shahid Afridi has retired from all international cricket. (Pakistan - the non-stop controversy continues)

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