I thank Indian Newslink for the opportunity to write on Cricket issues.
It has been a great cricket season so far.
We have seen the Black Caps beat Australia in Hobart and then destroy an inept Zimbabwe. Australia then raised its game in the marquee series against the might of India in Australia.
I know many people have wondered why India was not more competitive in the Test Series and I have to say it has me a little perplexed as well.
The series was billed as a battle between India’s batsmen vs Australia’s bowlers and so it turned out to be. India has always struggled overseas and I know many of the plans we would come up with involved a lot of bouncers to try and intimidate the Indian batsmen.
The pitches in India do not bounce much and therefore getting the ball flying around their ears sets up everything else you bowl and as happened in England last winter, India struggled to compete with those tactics.
I have heard many excuses as to why India could not win. These include disinterest, the IP and money.
I do not think any of them was correct.
The Australians get paid well, they play in the IPL too and hence it cannot be the ‘IPL excuse.’
I do not think there is a single answer.
I thought they were beaten fair and square using tactics that were spot-on against India’s low bouncing specialists.
On top of this, the Indians play so much cricket and I hence thought they were a little lethargic. I spoke to my Chennai captain M S Dhoni at the Champions League in September and he said that they had five days off in six months.
Such a schedule was crazy.
A little closer home, the Black Caps are just beginning their series against the might of South Africa. I cannot wait to see how this series pans out.
I am watching this from afar, as I am currently playing the Bangladesh Premier League. I of course miss the action at home.
I think the Black Caps need to play very well to beat the South Africans but they are certainly capable. The South Africans have pace to burn with Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and newcomer Marchant De Lange.
Our ability to combat this barrage will have a huge bearing on the outcome of the series. We do not get exposed to this in New Zealand and hence our ability to adapt quickly will be a key to success.
As I wrote this piece, it was 1-1 in the T20 series with Marty Guptill and Richard Levi each winning a game for their teams.
That is what I enjoy about the T20 format; players skills are there for everyone to see and the opportunity to win the game singlehandedly is what you dream about as a player.
I am prepared to say whoever wins the battle at the top of the order (Levi or Guptill) will give their team a great chance at winning the series 2-1.
I look forward to the next issue where it looks like India will be taking on Australia in the annual Tri-series finals in Australia and we will be well into the South Africa vs New Zealand battle as well.
So until then, enjoy cricket and my picks are for India and New Zealand to win their respective series. If that happens it will certainly make me happy.
Scott Styris is an all-round cricketer with Black Caps. He is a right-handed middle order batsman and medium pace bowler. He is currently in playing for the Bangladeshi Premier League in that country. He will soon be playing for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL matches in India. Scott will write a regular column in Indian Newslink.