Sri Lanka's win over Australia and that too with a bonus point has livened up the tri-series. The tie against India will also be a factor in the final stages of qualification and there is every chance that the net run rate may well come into play too. Sri Lanka need its batting to fire just like India because the bowling of both teams is just a bit short of the experience that is needed to defend even good totals.
Like India rely on its top three batsmen to flourish, so also do the Lankans. If Dilshan, Sangakkara and Jayawardene don't score then Sri Lanka doesn't have too many on the board just as when Tendulkar, Sehwag and Gambhir don't get many, India doesn't have many. Yes, there is the skipper, Dhoni who singlehandedly is turning defeats into wins from impossible situations and the Lankans could do with someone like that down the order.
As expected the one ball not bowled in the 30th over has created a lot of noise from people who obviously have never ever made a mistake in their professional lives, and what has been quite amusing is the way that one ball is seen as depriving India of a win. What is clearly forgotten is that when the final ball of the match was bowled, India had only one wicket left and so they also could have lost if that ball in the 30th over had been bowled.
Maybe it's this undying optimism that erupts into something else when India lose. Be that as it may, the rest of the tri-series is certainly going to be interesting after this Sri Lankan win over the Australians. The Aussies have now lost two matches back to back and have their skipper out of action for some more time too which won't help their cause either, looking at the wonderful form he is in.
There is always a lot of talk about the bench strength in Australia, but if that was a fact then why would the captaincy go back to Ricky Ponting and not to someone younger? If Australia had bench strength do you think that Ponting and Hussey with their lack of runs for almost a year would have survived?
How Dhoni reached that delivery is a wonder
Australia did try out some younger players, but found that they were not yet ready and so had to stick with Ponting and Hussey, who having got the opportunity grabbed it, and have now pushed back any chance of the younger players for another season at least.
Over in United Arab Emirates, the England team having been whitewashed in the Test matches are looking to dish out the same treatment to Pakistan in the limited overs matches, and have already won both the ODI’s played so far. England’s selectors did not pick Alastair Cook despite his prolific form in Australia last year for the ICC World Cup that followed the Ashes series in Australia.
They did not select him for the five match one day series after the Ashes series either, but after Andrew Strauss decided that he was going to concentrate on Test cricket and not play one dayers they turned to Cook, who has made a stunning return to the limited overs format.
Since coming back into the team he has reeled century after century and at a good scoring rate too and has shown that leaving him out when he was in the form of his life was a big mistake. He is carrying on with the same form batting sensibly and with two successive centuries helping England to wins in both the one dayers so far. He is easily the CEAT International Cricketer of the Week.
Professional Management Group