As India prepare to play their first game against New Zealand, they will know that it is going to be a tough tour. New Zealand have been in good form, and even granting that the West Indians looked as if they were just counting the days to get back home, the Kiwi team’s performance was top class.
It is becoming increasingly harder to beat a side at home. Not too long ago England looked unbeatable in England, but the same team looked completely out of their depth in the series that was played in Australia where they were walloped in all five Tests.
So India will have to play well above their best to put it across the Kiwis. What is difficult is to get over the time difference and the jetlag, so it was good that the Indian team arrived almost a week before they play their first game, and while they have not had any warm up games, the weather looks hot, so that should work in favour of the Indians.
The Australians are just not letting up, and the manner in which they have won the second one-day game chasing 300 will demoralise England even further. James Faulkner did the rescue act once again just like he had done against India not too long back and in a similar situation where the Australians had to chase over 300 runs then.
The Lankans too are determined to hang on to their lead after winning the second Test against Pakistan. Angelo Mathews is once again playing a captain’s hand, and it does look an uphill task for the Pakistanis unless Saeed Ajmal does some magic and bamboozles the Lankans in the second innings. The Pakistani seniors, Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq have shown that experience matters, and it is up to them to ensure that Pakistan are kept in the game.
Mahela Jayawardene had been having a lean time in recent months, and that has led to some ignorants to question his place in the team. He came up with the right response, letting his bat do the talking and got a terrific hundred. What made it even more worthwhile was that he was batting with a split webbing which meant that he would not have been able to grip the bat properly.
Mahela Jayawardene, for his century that paved the way for the Lankan win, is the CEAT International Cricketer of the Week.