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England Vs New Zealand Women 2021 Series Review: Beaumont & Knight Too Much For New Zealand

England Vs New Zealand Women 2021 Series Preview.

This series was dominated by two individuals—Tammy Beaumont and captain Heather Knight. Apart from these two, England also found match winners in Nat Sciver, Freya Davies, Sarah Glenn, and Katherine Brunt.

On the other hand, except for Amelia Kerr & Amy Satterthwaite, New Zealand were not in the fight in their own backyard. There was stand-in captaincy for Sciver, injury to Lea Tahuhu, and even a bit of Billy Bowden as well. Here is a quick review—The stats, highlights, and more! Keep on reading, and let us know your thoughts!

Also Read: Ind Vs SA Women Series Preview, Who Cares About Women Cricket?

Results – England Vs New Zealand

ODI Series: England Win 2 – 1

  1. England Women won by 8 wickets *Heather Knight
  2. England Women won by 7 wickets *Natalie Sciver
  3. New Zealand Women won by 7 wickets *Amy Satterthwaite

* Player of Match

Player of SeriesEnglandNew Zealand
Most RunsTammy Beaumont – 231 runs
(best of 88*, 3 – 50s, average 231.00)
Amy Satterthwaite – 135 runs
(best of 119*, 1- 100, average 67.50)
Most WicketsNatalie Sciver – 5 wickets
(best of 3/26, average 16.60)
Amelia Kerr – 4 wickets
(best of 4/42, average 28.00)
England Vs New Zealand Women ODI Series Stats

T20I Series: England Win 3 – 0

  1. England Women won by 7 wickets *Sarah Glenn
  2. England Women won by 6 wickets *Freya Davies
  3. England Women won by 32 runs *Katherine Brunt
Player of SeriesEngland
Tammy Beaumont
New Zealand
Most RunsTammy Beaumont – 102 runs
(best of 63, 1 – 50, 100.99 SR)
Amy Satterthwaite – 76 runs
(best of 49, 122.58 SR)
Most WicketsFreya Davies – 5 wickets
(best of 4/23, 4.71 economy)
Leigh Kasperek – 4 wickets
(best of 2/24, 6.61 economy)
England Vs New Zealand Women T20I Series Stats

The Highlights

England

  • Individual runs do not win you matches, great partnerships do. Tammy Beaumont & Heather Knight were not only consistently among the runs, they stitched the English team together. Beaumont is literally in almost all the match-winning partnerships. Dream tour for her (although struggles for Danni Wyatt continued).
    • Beaumont-Knight 94 (113), Beaumont-Sciver 103 (129) & Beaumont-Jones 79*(87), Beaumont-Knight 109 (151)
    • Wyatt-Beaumont 59 (53), Knight-Beaumont 83 (73), Jones-Dunkley 36 (31)
  • While the experienced top order dominated the ODI leg, the bowlers were the stars in the T20Is. Sarah Glenn’s miserly 2/11 in 4 overs in the first T20I & Freya Davies’ wonderful outing of 4/23 sealed the 2nd T20I. Only 8 T20Is old before the series, Davies was the find of the T20I tour for England.
  • The experience of Katherine Brunt was on spot in the 3rd T20I. At half way stage, 128 seemed too low to defend but Katherine Brunt’s 2/19, Sophie Ecclestone’s 2/19, & Mady Villiers’ 3/10 bundled New Zealand for just 96.

New Zealand

  • It was a tough tour for Sophie Devine. After hitting the fastest women T20 century in the domestic Super Smash tournament, much was expected of her as the captain-all rounder. Scores of 16, 6, 15, 2, 8, 0 and only 2 wickets across the 6 matches was way below her usually excellent standards.
  • Amelia Kerr, the young prodigious (Devine used to babysit her) allrounder continued her dramatic rise in world cricket. Although the stats do not show it all, she was constantly threatening the pair of Beaumont-Knight in the ODIs. Performance of 4/42 & 72* in the 3rd ODI helped seal New Zealand their sole victory in the series.
  • The women of the hour in the 3rd ODI was Amy Satterthwaite, completing her 7th ODI century with magnificent knock of 119* (128) after the White Ferns were 15-2. Another 49 came in a T20I. The only real resistance from the New Zealand batting came from her. Otherwise, T20I scores of 96, 123, 96 & ODI scores of 178 & 192 are not much to write home about.

Also Read: What Can Ellyse Perry Not Do?, What If India Won the 2017 World Cup?

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We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

England New Zealand
Emerging PlayerFreya DaviesAmelia Kerr
Surprise PackageKatherine BruntLeigh Kasperek
Broken Cricket DreamDanni WyattLea Tahuhu (injured)/Sophie Devine
England Vs New Zealand Women Awards

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!

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Where Do They Go From Here?

Australia Women will tour New Zealand for 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs, starting March 28th. For England, The Women’s Hundred will finally take stage from 21st July-21st August. This will be a huge game changer for women’s cricket.

The ODI World Cup (which was to be held during this time in New Zealand this year) is postponed to February of 2022.

Where do New Zealand cricket go from here? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

Image Courtesy: Katherine Bruntpaddynapper, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

India Vs England 2021 Test Series Review: Sharmas, Spinners Overshadowed By Umpiring, Pitch, and Rotation Policy

India Vs England 2021 Test Series Review.

We billed this series as the “Final Before the (WTC) Final” and after overseas victories for both India (vs Australia) and England (Vs Sri Lanka), the series had hype for the right reasons.

Instead this series will be remembered for exactly the wrong reasons—Discussions about the pitches in Chennai & Pink Ball Test, rotation policy & England’s treatment of Moeen Ali, and hasty umpiring decisions (along with Kohli’s priceless reactions).

There were some good days for cricket as well with Ishant Sharma’s 100 Tests & 300 wickets, Joe Root’s 218, Anderson’s dream over, Foakes’ & Pant’s wicket-keeping, R Ashwin’s 100 & 9-fer, Ashwin’s 32 & Axar’s 27 wickets, Sundar’s 85* & 96*, Rohit Sharma’s masterclass, and Pant’s reverse sweep (to Anderson) in a brilliant 100.

Read till the end for my picks for the best moments, emerging players, controversies, and much more! COMMENT BELOW ON YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS.

*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.

Results – England Vs India

The reason why I did not enjoy this series as much was due to the lack of competitiveness. 227 runs, 317 runs, 10 wickets, and an innings victory was in complete contrast to the edge-of-the-seat stuff (last session draws/chases) in the Australia series.

Test Series: India Win 3 – 1

* Player of Match

  1. England Won by 227 Runs *Joe Root
  2. India Won by 317 runs *Ravichandran Ashwin
  3. India Won by 10 wickets *Axar Patel
  4. India Won by An Innings and 25 runs *Rishabh Pant
Player of SeriesEnglandIndia
Ravichandran Ashwin – 189 runs (best of 106, average 31.50, 1 – 100)
Most RunsJoe Root – 368 runs
(best of 218, average 46.00, 100s/50s – 1/0)
Rohit Sharma – 345 runs
(best of 161, average 57.50, 100s/50s -1/1
Most WicketsJack Leach – 18 wickets
(best innings – 4/54, best match – 6/178, 28.72 average, strike rate 53.6)
R Ashwin – 32 wickets
(best innings – 6/61, best match – 9/207, 14.71 average, 35.2 SR, 3 5-fers
India Vs England 2021 Test Series Stats

The Highlights

England

1. We Miss The Non-Converting Joe Root

At the beginning of 2021, Joe Root’s stats read 17-100s, 49-50s. After the Sri Lanka & India tours, his stats read 20-100s, 49-50s. His last 6 Test matches show:

  • 228 & 1 (run-out), 186 & 11, 218 & 40
  • 6 & 33, 17 & 19, 5 & 30

Notice something? He converted 3 daddy hundreds, and then followed it up with 3 middling Test matches (mainly due to the intelligent bowling of Axar and Siraj). Now, we should not be too harsh on Root. The law of averages surely catches up, he had additional stress of captaincy, and he even bowled his heart out including a 5/8.

Still, the Joe Root who scored consistent 60s & 70s might have been more than handy on this low scoring tour. The 50th 50 would be cherry on top of his personally successful season.

2. Batting Wins Matches

Catches win matches? Sure. Need to take 20 wickets to secure a Test victory? Maybe.

How about batting with scores of 178, 134 & 164, 112 & 81, and 205 & 135? Definitely Not. This is called batting yourself out of a Test series. Let us dig a bit deeper:

  • Pope 153 runs at 19.12 (best of 34), Sibley 134 at 16.75 (best of 87) – 4 Tests each
  • Burns 58 runs at 14.50 (best of 33), Bairstow 28 at 7.00 (best of 7, 3 ducks), Crawley 67 at 16.75 (best of 53) – 2 Tests each

For international level cricket, if your Top 5 comprises of these players, barely-in-form Root-Stokes, and Buttler/Foakes, then this is just not going to cut it.

Maybe a certain Joe Denly might have been able to weather the storm better. If not the centuries, at least the Denturies would have come.

3. Anderson, Foakes & Lawrence The Bright Stars

Let us take out the stats for the moment, and look at the bright side.

Winning a Test match is not easy. Winning away even harder. Hence, the 227 run victory in Chennai should be regarded as a huge accomplishment, regardless of the 3-1 margin. (The issue was not the score line. Rather, it was the way they lost the final 3 Test matches).

Jimmy Anderson’s 6/40 in Galle & 3/17 in Chennai should rest the ‘Clouderson’ and ‘poor away record’ claims. That 3/17 included one of the best overs of reverse swing you will ever see. A well set Shubman Gill was bowled through the gate, Rahane survived an umpires call appeal, and then carbon copy bowled. Does not get any better than that.

On the turning pitches, Ben Foakes’ keeping was absolutely magnificent. His split-second stumping of Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant in the 2nd innings of the 2nd Test were quite something. (His batting showed signs of defiance, but could not reach his heights of his debut). Finally with 73 on debut and 46 & 50 in the final Test, Dan Lawrence showed some signs of steel.

Finally Channel 4 coverage was a win-win situation for the fans.

India

1. Axar Patel Invokes His Inner Embuldeniya, R Ashwin – The Man of the Hour

Just like Embuldeniya troubled England prior to this tour, Axar was the concern this time around. Straighter one, bounce, turn, guile, he had it all.

The best part is that Axar was not even supposed to play this series if not for Jadeja’s injury. 27 wickets at 10.59 with 4 5-wicket hauls & 1-10 wicket haul (best inning – 6/38, best match 11/70). Even got the opportunity to take a five-wicket haul at his home with some crowd. Stuff of dreams.

R Ashwin has got to be the most intelligent player in international cricket. He has a YouTube channel, reads books in his free time, is an engineer, can mess with the batsmen due to the Mankad-threat, talks to the media about a ‘bad pitch’, walks the talk with a 106 on the Chennai turner, and bamboozles the batsmen with skillful bowling.

The dismissals of Ollie Pope (carrom ball, beats the bat, bowled) in the final Test have to be my moments of this series.

2. The Sharmas Come To The Party

Wonderful achievement by Ishant Sharma for his 100th Test & 300 wickets. Just rewards for a brilliant journey over the last decade. Although this series was spin-dominated, Ishant Sharma 4.0 still has several years to offer to Indian cricket.

Rohit Sharma went very much under the radar this time, but India’s series victory was in jeopardy without his contributions. 161 on a tricky pitch was the turning moment of the series, and he followed it up with patient 26, 66 & 25*, and 49. In these low scoring matches, runs on the board provided the cushion for the spinners to dominate.

3. India’s Big 3 Just Not Good Enough, Depth Covers the Spots

Just like many other well-wishers, I had predicted Virat Kohli to come back in this series with a tough 50 at the start and a a double century by the end. The tough 72 in the 2nd innings at Chennai definitely came, but nowhere near the elusive 71st international century. Here are the stats:

  • Virat Kohli: 172 runs at 28.66 (best of 72, 2-50s, 2 ducks)
  • Ajinkya Rahane: 112 runs at 18.66 (best of 67, 1-50, 1 duck)
  • Cheteshwar Pujara: 133 runs at 22.16 (best of 73, 1-50, 1 duck)

I do not remember so many ducks by these 3. Nor do I remember a series where none fired.

Apart from Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Washington Sundar, & R Ashwin all outscored the middle order stalwarts. Since India emerged victorious, the cracks are temporarily filled, but questions should be asked.

After that Melbourne innings, Rahane has not done enough. Pujara is doing fine and crucial to India’s line up, but is not converting to daddy hundreds at the moment.

Given India’s depth, is it time to breed in the next generation? Is it time to rotate home/away batsmen as India rotates fast bowlers/ spinners?

Also Read:

Controversies

Umpires

The umpiring decisions in the 2nd & 3rd Tests caught the attention of the public. It was not necessarily the decisions made, but the manner in which they were decided (Ben Stokes’ catch – on field out, but turned over quickly). A standard procedure & muting the umpires’ conversation may be the way to go forward here.

Pitch

By the end of the series, it was easily recognized that England’s lack of batting application led to their downfall, not the state of the pitches. However, 2-day & 3-day matches do not anybody a favor, either. The pink ball Test is supposed to get more public to watch the game, but most of these matches are ending in 3 or 4 days, which is counterintuitive. The first Test may have been the most balanced pitch, even though it was slow & attritional for the first day and a half.

Rotation Policy

Finally, the rotation policy. England’s rotation policy has possibly extended the careers of Broad & Anderson, given a chance to youngsters fighting for a national spot, and is important in the coronavirus era due to mental health. Rotation is not necessarily a bad thing, but how it was implemented in this series was dodgy.

Archer, Burns, & Stokes were rested for the series in Sri Lanka, while the rest of the squad stayed. However, Buttler left after one Test, Moeen Ali finally playing a Test only to go back home (due to miscommunication), Bairstow played the last two, Woakes left without playing, so on and so forth.

I cannot imagine how much the constant traveling & jet lag, inconsistency in selection & unsettled line-ups, and not having enough practice games might have impacted their minds. I can understand rotation between series, but during a series is a bit much.

And if this rotation was for the preparation for upcoming T20 World Cup & IPL, losing out to the WTC Final spot at home should seriously be questioned.

Awards

We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

India made Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel (greatest understudy of all time), and Washington Sundar into world class all-rounders. England took a world class all-rounder in Moeen Ali and practically destroyed a budding career.

IndiaEngland
Emerging PlayerAxar Patel Dan Lawrence, Rotation Policy
Surprise PackageLower Middle OrderDom Bess’s Full Tosses; Joe Root’s 5-fer
Broken Cricket DreamShardul Thakur – Did not get a game after a 92 & 4-fer at Gabba
Dreams Broken For Fans Wanting Ashwin to become the 4th player to do the double of 100 + 10-fer
Stuart Broad’s Asian Dream, Jonny Bairstow’s Test Career, Moeen Ali
India Vs England 2021 Test Series Awards

Where Do They Go From Here?

A 5 match T20I series & 3-match ODI series to follow, preparing for the upcoming T20I World Cup in India. Then, we will have the IPL, England will play a couple of test matches against the New Zealand at home, and finally India Vs New Zealand for the WTC final.

After England’s victory at Chennai, I declared that this English team could rival the 2010-2012 team due to the good mix of youth, experience, & abroad victories. I guess that was a bit premature.

Was this India Vs England 2021 Test series the ‘greatest story of all time’ like the India Vs Australia? Nope.

Was it as controversial as the South Africa Vs Australia scandalous ball tampering series? Not really.

At best, this was just a Meh kind of series. Had its moments, but did not capture the imagination of the next generation. Sums it up for the World Test Championship.

What did you think of the India Vs England 2021 Test Series? Let us know!

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Copyright (2021: 3/11/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

Image Courtesy: Axar Patel – Anand Anil, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

West Indies Vs Bangladesh 2021 Series Review: Young West Indies Rises Again In the East

West Indies Vs Bangladesh 2021 Series Review.

Amidst the India Vs England series, the Pakistan Super League, and IPL Auctions around the corner, this series was not really supposed to be the marquee series. In hindsight, this series will be remembered forever due to the extraordinary feats of Kyle Mayers and Nkrumah Bonner.

As Ian Bishop exclaimed, “These men have achieved what many thought was impossible.”

There were other moments as well during the series—Shakib Al Hasan’s much anticipated return, Rovman Powell’s ODI resurgence, Mehidy Hasan Miraz & Mominul’s tons, and finally, the new West Indian ‘engine room’—Jermaine Blackwood, Bonner, Mayers, Joshua Da Silva, and Alzarri Joseph.

*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.

Results – Bangladesh Vs West Indies

ODI Series: Bangladesh Win 3 – 0

* Player of Match

  1. Bangladesh won by 6 wickets Shakib Al Hasan*
  2. Bangladesh won by 7 wicketsMehidy Hasan Miraz*
  3. Bangladesh won by 120 runsMushfiqur Rahim*
Player of Series (Bangladesh)
Shakib Al Hasan
113 runs (1 – 50), 6 wickets (best of 4/8)
West Indies
Most RunsTamim Iqbal – 158 runsRovman Powell – 116 runs
Most WicketsMehidy Hasan Miraz – 7 wicketsAkeal Hosein – 4 wickets
ODI Series Stats

Test Series: West Indies Win 2-0

  1. West Indies won by 3 wicketsKyle Mayers*
  2. West Indies won by 17 runsRakheem Cornwall*
Player of SeriesBangladeshWest Indies
Nkrumah Bonner
231 runs (2 – 50s, best of 90)
Most RunsLiton Das – 200 runs
(2 – 50s, best of 71)
Kyle Mayers – 261 runs
(1- 100, best of 210*)
Most Wickets Taijul Islam – 12 wickets
(best of 4/36 & 8/144 match)
Rakheem Cornwall – 14 wickets
(best of 5/74 & 9/179 match)
Test Series Stats

The Highlights

West Indies

ODIs

  • The West Indies batting underwhelmed in the ODIs with scorecards that read 5-56 (122 all out), 8-88 (148 all out), 6-117 (177 all out). Questions will be asked for the second string squad & the necessity of mental health breaks during COVID, but the Test series saved those questions for now.
  • In all the collapses, one batsman stood out—Rovman Powell. 28, 41, & 47 briefly resurrected the West Indies’ innings, but he would want to convert those in the near future.
  • With not many runs on the board, only Akeal Hosein stood out with a 3-wicket haul.

Tests

  • Rakheem Cornwall joins the party. Ever since his international selection, questions have always surrounded him – whether it is his fitness or batting ability. 14 wickets in the series and great slip catches will ensure he stays in the squad for a while now.
  • Time to talk about the debutants—Kyle Mayers & Nkrumah Bonner. The talk of the town. Debuting at the age of 28, his maturity was on-spot with a 40 and a 4th innings 210*. Mind blowing. Successful chase of 396 with a partnership of 216. Although Bonner did not scale the heights of a century, he contributed in both matches with 17 & 86 and 90 & 38.
  • With the glory surrounding Mayers & Bonner, Joshua Da Silva has quietly emerged as a solid middle order option for the West Indies. Scores of 42, 20, 92, & 20 did not light the world on fire, but the partnerships surely did (99, 100, 88, 118).
  • Alzarri Joseph is turning out to be a gem for the West Indies. After his 86 against New Zealand recently, he came up with a 82 in Bangladesh. Future fast-bowling all rounder?

Bangladesh

ODIs

  • Tamim Iqbal’s batting has been effective without being flashy, unlike the pre-2015 Iqbal. A senior top-order batsman & now captain, he was responsible with scores of 44, 50, & 64. With 7360 runs in ODI, he is definitely Bangladesh’s all-time best ODI batsman. And he is only 31.
  • Shakib Al Hasan’s return to cricket after his 1 year ban was seamless. 4/8 in the first ODI, player of the match, and player of the series. Unfortunately, the injury cut his Test series short. Next place? IPL with KKR. What a steal (Although he is skipping the Sri Lanka Test series).
  • Mehidy Hasan Miraz is the next all-rounder in line after Shakib Al Hasan. Already a star, he regularly contributes with the bat and ball. In the ODI series, he was the highest wicket taker.

Also Read: Bangladesh Fab 5 – Tamim Iqbal, Mashrafe Mortaza Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad

Tests

  • Speaking of Mehidy Hasan, Test match batting. 103, 57, & 31 – losing cause but kept his shoulders high.
  • Liton Das, another budding youngster, has largely underwhelmed in his short career so far. Averages of 28.62, 30.97, & 22.71 in Tests, ODIs, and T20Is, does not justify his talent. Pretty 20s and 30s are not going to get you too far in international cricket, but scores of 69, 38, 71, & 22 show growing signs of maturity for Liton Das.
  • Captain Mominul Haque quelled the voices around him with a second innings 115 in the first Test. 3048 runs at 41.18 with 10 centuries and best of 181 is a decent record, but he needs to play more of these “captain’s innings.”

We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

Bangladesh West Indies
Emerging PlayerMehidy Hasan Miraj, the Test batsmanJoshua Da Silva & Ian Bishop’s commentary
Surprise PackageLiton Das Rakheem Cornwall
Broken Cricket DreamShakib Al Hasan (injured)Jason Holder’s captaincy (Braithwaite permanent?)
West Indies Vs Bangladesh 2021: Awards

Who would have been your Emerging Player for the West Indies Vs Bangladesh 2021 series? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please subscribe!

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Where Do They Go From Here?

Bangladesh

Bangladesh will fly to New Zealand for 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs. Then they will tour Sri Lanka in April to complete the twice postponed WTC series.

West Indies

West Indies will tour Sri Lanka for a T20I series. Returns for Chris Gayle (who cut his PSL campaign short for international return) and Fidel Edwards (Kolpak deals end with Brexit). Definitely looking like a side who is willing to go for their 3rd World T20 World Cup title.

Gayle even said he will try to play cricket till 45. Wow. GOAT.

In the New Zealand Vs West Indies Series Review, we questioned if the sun has set on West Indies cricket? In Bangladesh, a young West Indies rose in the east.

Image Courtesy: Chris GayleNAPARAZZI Via CC by SA 2.0

Pakistan Vs South Africa 2021 Series Review: Pakistan Successfully Host Complete Series As South Africa Fail To Make a Mark

Pakistan Vs South Africa 2021 Series Review—a historical series. South Africa’s first visit to the nation after more than a decade.

The return of Aiden Markram and Hasan Ali, the absence of Mohammad Hafeez, lots of Mohammad Rizwan, and curtains to Faf Du Plessis’ Test career. We look at the highs & lows, broken dreams, emerging players, and World T20I Watch.

Also Read: Pakistan Super League 2021 – Everything You Need To Know Quickly, South African Players Who Play For Other Countries

*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.

Results – Pakistan Vs South Africa

Test Series: Pakistan Win 2 – 0

* Player of Match

  1. Pakistan won by 7 wicketsFawad Alam*
  2. Pakistan won by 95 runsHasan Ali*
Player of SeriesPakistan
Mohammad Rizwan
166 runs, 100s – 1, best of 116*, 83.00 average, 1 catch
South Africa
Most RunsFaheem Ashraf – 171 runs
(50s – 2, best of 78*, 85.5 average)
Aiden Markram – 227 runs
(100s – 1, 50s – 1, best of 108, 56.75 average)
Most WicketsHasan Ali – 12 wickets
(best of 5/54 & 10/114 match)
Keshav Maharaj – 10 wickets
(best of 3/90 & 6/208 match)
T20I Series Stats

T20I Series: Pakistan Win 2 – 1

  1. Pakistan won by 3 runs Mohammad Rizwan*
  2. South Africa won by 6 wicketsDwaine Pretorius*
  3. Pakistan won by 4 wicketsMohammad Nawaz*
Player of SeriesPakistan
Mohammad Rizwan
(6 catches)
South Africa
Most RunsMohammad Rizwan – 197 runs
(1 – 100, 1 – 50, best of 104*, average 98.5, 145.92 SR)
David Miller – 116 runs
(1 – 50, best of 85*, average 116, 156.75 SR)
Most WicketsUsman Qadir – 4 wickets
(best of 2/21, 6.90 economy)
Tabraiz Shamsi – 6 wickets
(best of 4/25, 5.08 economy)
T20I Series Stats

The Highlights

Pakistan

Test

  • The energizer is back with Pakistan. Hasan Ali’s domestic resurgence has translated directly into international performances. 5/54 & 5/60 match winning 10-fer. Skiddy action, the passion, and the celebration.
  • In the last 5 first class matches, Fawad Alam has scores of 139 (vs NZ A), 102, 109, 45. Consistency and the 109 at home. Destined.
  • It is the season of Faheem Ashraf-Mohammad Rizwan partnership. After a streak of match-saving consecutive overseas 50s for Rizwan, he finally converted to a ton with 115* in Rawalpandi. Similarly, following his 91 in New Zealand, Ashraf followed up with 64 and 78* in Pakistan.

T20I

  • Rizwan strikes again. Followed up his Test century with a 104*, 51, and 42 in the T20Is. Brilliant. Just brilliant. And if you thought that was consistent enough, now has scores of 71 and 41 for Karachi Kings in the PSL.
  • Usman Qadir – Like father like son. Wonderful spell in the first T20I. Brilliant in his own right, he is here to stay in international cricket.
  • Let us talk about the ones missing in action (at least offline), shall we? Mohammad Hafeez and Sarfaraz Ahmed. The best Pakistan T20I batsman over the past year, Mohammad Hafeez opted out of the international series due to T10 league & clashes with the quarantine dates for the South Africa series. Yet, he was active on Twitter and had a few exchanges with former captain and current substitute, Sarfaraz. Hopefully, it is just a one-time thing and Pakistan cricket can move on.

Also Read: Umar Gul – The Magician With the Yorker

South Africa

Test

  • It seems that Aiden Markram debuted ages ago. After his brilliant start to Test cricket in 2017, it seemed that Markram was in an eternal downward spiral. Still only 26, this overseas tour of Pakistan may well be a watershed rejuvenation moment for Markram. Long career ahead.
  • When one door opens, another closes. While Markram excelled, Quinton de Kock had a horrific series with the bat. 4 innings – 46 runs. Now, he is also released as the Test captain and has taken a mental health break from South Africa’s domestic tournament.
  • Speaking of closed doors, Faf Du Plessis. The sun has finally set on a career marked with tenacity, grit, leadership, and hope. A Test career that started a bit late due to the great South African generation, a debut stonewalling to remember at Adelaide, a few blockathons here and there, a lot of Australia and India, captaincy records, and an iconic 199 to cap it off. Hats off Faf. Be sure to read our tribute to Faf below.

Also Read: Faf Du Plessis & ABD De Villiers – Friendship and the Quest of the World Cup

Embed from Getty Images

T20I

  • KILLER MILLER IS BACK!!!! Look at some of the hits here. 85* (45) with 7 sixes albeit in a losing cause. Almost half a decade since this type of innings. Good signs for the Proteas looking forward to the T20I World Cup.
  • Moving to the bowling side, Dwaine Pretorius slowly inking his name in the T20I XI. A 5 wicket haul including a brilliant yorker. Scalps of Babar Azam and in-form Mohammad Rizwan. Not bad.
  • Tabraiz Shamsi has been the unsung mainstay of South African bowling recently. The fast bowling unit bar Rabada (and now, Nortje) seems to be a revolving door, but the absence of Imran Tahir has not been felt due to Shamsi. Highest wicket taker in the T20I series with a miserly economy.

The Awards

We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

PakistanSouth Africa
Emerging PlayerHasan Ali 2.0, Fawad Alam 3.0, and Rizwan-Ashraf partnershipLeft Arm Spinners
Surprise PackageUsman QadirReturn of Aiden Markram
Broken Cricket DreamMohammad Hafeez-Sarfaraz Ahmed Twitter Exchanges Test retirement of Faf Du Plessis
Pakistan Vs South Africa 2021 Review: The Awards

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!\

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Where Do They Go From Here?

These two teams will be back in action in April with Pakistan returning the favor with 3 ODIs and 4 T20Is, completing a postponed series from last year.

South Africa are still in a transition zone. The longer they stay here, the worse it gets. It is good to see the younger generation of players stand up, but hope it all meshes by the time the World T20 Cup hits later this year.

Pakistan are one to watch for the T20 World Cup. The PSL is being held at the right time, enough time for young stars to appear and get some international games under their belt.

World T20 Watch

Leading up to the World Cup, we are picking a 15 player squad after each series.

Pakistan

For reference, here was our earlier WT20 watch for Pakistan’s squad in our Pak Vs NZ series review. Some new faces have come into play, while some players have dropped off the list.

  1. Babar Azam (C), 2. Mohammad Rizwan (WK), 3. Haider Ali, 4. Mohammad Hafeez, 5. Shadab Khan, 6.. Imad Wasim, 7. Faheem Ashraf, 8. Hasan Ali, 9. Haris Rauf, 10. Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11. Usman Qadir

Squad: 12. Naseem Shah, 13. Mohammad Nawaz/Zafar Gohar/Zahid Mahmood, 14. Sarfaraz Ahmed (WK)/Sharjeel Khan, 15. Iftikhar Ahmed/Shoaib Malik

Other Reserves in Contention: Imam-Ul-Haq/Fakhar Zaman (opener), Mohammad Hasnain/Mohammad Musa/Aamer Yamin (fast bowler), Khusdil Shah/Hussain Talat/Asif Ali (lower order finisher)

Wildcard: Sohail Tanvir

Probably curtains for Wahab Riaz & possible Mohammad Amir comeback.

South Africa

  1. Quinton de Kock* (WK), 2. Janneman Malan, 3. Faf du Plessis, 4. Rassie Van der Dussen, 5. Heinrich Klassen (C), 6. David Miller, 7. George Linde, 8. Chris Morris, 9. Kagiso Rabada, 10. Anrich Nortje, 11. Tabraiz Shamsi

Squad: 12. Andile Phelukwayo, 13. JJ Smuts, 14. Dwaine Pretorius, 15. Lungi Ngidi

Other Reserves In Contention: Lutho Sipamla/Bjorn Fortuin/Junior Dala, Pete van Biljon, Temba Bavuma/ Reeza Hendricks/Aiden Markram

Wildcard: AB De Villiers (WK), Marco Jansen?

What did you think of our Pakistan Vs South Africa 2021 Review? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below! Also feel free to share/discuss on our Twitter & Facebook pages!

Copyright (2021: 2/26/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

Image Courtesy: Photo by Mehtab Farooq on Unsplash

Ireland Vs Afghanistan 2021 Series Review: Afghanistan Edge Out Paul Stirling’s Brilliance

Ireland Vs Afghanistan 2021 Series Review in the UAE.

Ireland’s ODIs against the UAE were enthralling, except 2 ODIs were postponed due to COVID. Then, Afghanistan swept the crucial 3 match ODI series against Ireland. However, the series was closer than the 3-0 score line suggests. The series had various moments: Paul Stirling’s 3 centuries across the 2 series, Curtis Campher’s golden run, Gurbaz’s dream debut, Rashid Khan’s magical deliveries, reliable Rahmat Shah, and Asghar Afghan finishing things off in style.

Keep on reading for our analysis, emerging players, surprise packages, broken cricket dreams, and much more.

Also Read: Eng-Ind Series Preview, Eng-SL Series Review, Ind-Aus Series Review

*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.

Results

Ireland Vs United Arab Emirates ODI Series

Ireland Win 2 – 1

  1. U.A.E. won by 6 wickets *Chundangapoyil Rizwan
  2. POSTPONED
  3. POSTPONED
  4. Ireland won by 112 runs *Simi Singh

* Player of Match

Player of SeriesIreland
Curtis Campher
80 runs, best of 56, 2 wickets
United Arab Emirates
Most RunsPaul Stirling – 135 runs
(best of 131*)
Chundangapoyil Rizwan – 110 runs
(best of 109)
Most WicketsSimi Singh – 5 wicketsAhmed Raza – 3 wickets
Ireland Vs U.A.E. ODI Series Stats

Ireland Vs Afghanistan ODI Series

Afghanistan Win 3-0

  1. Afghanistan win by 16 runs *Rahmanullah Gurbaz
  2. Afghanistan won by 7 wickets *Rahmat Shah
  3. Afghanistan won by 36 runs *Rashid Khan
Player of SeriesIreland
Paul Stirling
Ireland
Most RunsPaul Stirling – 285 runs
(Best of 128, 2 100s)
Rahmanullah Gurbaz -180 runs
(Best of 127)
Most WicketsAndy McBrine – 6 wicketsNaveen-ul-Haq – 8 wickets
Ireland Vs Afghanistan 2021 ODI Series Stats

The Highlights

Ireland

  • Paul Stirling is having a stellar season. An aggressive batsman at the start of his career, he has truly transformed into Ireland’s top order main stay. Most ODI runs (576) since April 2020, 4 centuries, average of 82.28, 96 strike rate, and with age on his side (30), Ireland cricket is still in good hands. It’s a shame he did not make it to the final round of IPL 2021 auctions…
  • Curtis Campher, the South African expatriate, has been a revelation since his debut against England. Player of the Series in the UAE Series—this 21 year old is the next big thing of Irish cricket.
  • Kevin O’Brien, the hero of Bangalore and Ireland’s Test debut, is approaching the end of his career at the age of 36. With scores of 23, 2, 1, 0 & only 2 wickets, he really needs a second wind to justify his place against the incoming generation of Irish talent.

Afghanistan

  • Although star Rashid Khan won the man of the match in the final game of the series, Afghanistan’s series win was an all-round effort. Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Asghar Afghan, and Rahmat Shah contributed with the bat, while Naveen-Ul-Haq & Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman were effective with the ball.
  • Rahmanullah Gurbaz had a stellar debut – 127 runs with 9 blistering sixes. What Campher is to Ireland, Gurbaz is to Afghanistan. At the age of 19, he has a long career ahead of him.
  • Mohammad Nabi is currently going through the Kevin O’Brien crisis. Nabi, the stalwart of Afghanistan cricket, who has been a part of their rise since Division V cricket, needs to reinvent himself. 35 runs (2 innings) and 2 wickets (3 innings) may not be enough for the spinning all-round spot.

United Arab Emirates

  • The UAE probably got the worst of the COVID postponement. Since the UAE are in World Cricket League 2, they have to rank in the top 3 for the 2023 World Cup Qualification. They are currently at 5th and after winning the 1st ODI, at home they would have fancied their chances.
  • An impressive maiden century by Rizwan along with a wonderful partnership with Usman ensured UAE ‘upset’ Ireland in the first ODI.

We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

IrelandUnited Arab EmiratesAfghanistan
Emerging PlayerCurtis CampherChundangapoyil RizwanRahmanullah Gurbaz
Surprise PackageSimi SinghMuhammad UsmanNaveen-Ul-Haq
Broken Cricket DreamKevin O’BrienPostponement of ODIsMohammad Nabi

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!

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Copyright (2021: 2/13/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

Where Do They Go From Here?

Unlike the World Test Championship, the ODI Super League is still a fairly sensible idea. Ireland has already played as many games as England and Australia so far, while Afghanistan rank 4th. With the top 8 automatically qualifying (including India), Ireland are currently at 7th and need to be careful from here on now. Points against UAE and Afghanistan was their best bet. Of course, the sample size is small so far with Sri Lanka, South Africa, Netherlands, and New Zealand yet to play a game in the Super League.

Ireland are scheduled to play South Africa, Netherlands, and Zimbabwe this year, while Afghanistan are bound to play Sri Lanka and Pakistan (according to pre-COVID FTP, so this is bound to change).

A lot more cricket still to come, and we hope that Ireland finally starts reaping its rewards from the 2007 generation, while Afghanistan breaks into the big leagues.

Where do Ireland cricket go from here? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

Image Courtesy: Mohammad Nabi & Hamid Hassan – Afghanistan Press Kit Uploads | Flickr via CC ND 2.0

Joe Root Vs Lasith Embuldeniya 2020 Series Review: Oops, I Meant England Vs Sri Lanka

Joe Root Vs Lasith Embuldeniya. That’s it, that’s the end of the series review….

Just Kidding, but boy it felt like Root vs Embuldeniya, didn’t it? At one point in the 2nd Test, Embuldeniya was hitting sixes and the golden arm of Joe Root was called upon to take his wicket and clean up the tail.

Yet, this short two-Test series had several other actors and memorable moments. The 2-0 score line may not have been close, but the contest was enthralling, nevertheless.

Broad’s initial burst, Bess’s uncanny wicket taking ability, Dan Lawrence’s dazzling debut, Niroshan Dickwella’s high-five face slap, Leach and Embuldeniya’s brilliance, Sibley and Thirimanne’s revival, Dickwella’s sledging, Bairstow and Buttler’s solidity, Mathews and Root’s centuries, Dickwella’s 92, and of course, Jimmy Anderson being well…Jimmy Anderson (in Asia).

Read till the end for my picks for the best moments, emerging players, lookout for the India Vs England series, and much more! COMMENT BELOW ON YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS.

*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.

Also Read: England Vs Sri Lanka Preview, SA Vs SL Review, South Africans Who Played For Other Countries

Results – England Vs Sri Lanka

Test Series: England Win 2 – 0

* Player of Match

  1. England won by 7 wickets *Joe Root
  2. England won by 6 wickets *Joe Root
Player of SeriesEngland
Joe Root
2-100s, best of 228
Sri Lanka
Most RunsJoe Root – 426 runs (4 innings)Angelo Mathews – 213 runs (4 innings)
Most WicketsDom Bess – 12 wickets (4 innings)Lasith Embuldeniya – 15 wickets (4 innings)
Test Series Stats

The Highlights

England

1. Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler: Critics Go Out The Window

Joe Root just does not like scoring 100s. Either 50s or daddy hundreds.

Do you all remember a few weeks ago in the India Vs Australia series, the commentators were discussing about the Big 3? That seems ages ago. In the preview article, I argued that

“Root is still a stellar player with an amazing record. The fact that England do not seem to need him as much as the other countries is a reflection of the strength of this English team, not the fall of a rising career. I hope he answers his critics with the bat.

186, 228, 2/0, and 7 catches later, Joe Root has answered his critics in some style. He has gone from being criticized for his poor conversion-rate to becoming England’s #4 all time tally, surpassing Boycott, Pietersen, and Gower on the way (Suddenly, predictions of catching Tendulkar’s Test runs have opened since he is only 30).

2. The Rest of the Batting

  • Crawley had a horrid tour with the bat (4 innings, 35 runs at 8.75), Sibley with 62 runs in his 4 (including a 56* in his last innings), and Sam Curran at 7 a spot too high (2 innings, 13 runs at 6.5).
  • Bairstow (4 innings, 139 at 46.33) and Buttler (3 innings, 131 at 65.5) fared much better, while Dan Lawrence had little to show after his sparkling 73 on debut.

Bairstow at 3 again? Yes he is a good player of spin, but does he warrant a position in the squad? Several questions were asked pre-series.

With the struggles of Crawley and Sibley, Bairstow did a good repair job with 47 (93), 35* (65), 28 (73), 29 (28). A makeshift English #3 batsmen on foreign soil, successfully denting the new ball without converting it…Where I have I heard this before? Bairstow’s tour was so…Denly-esque.

3. Youth & Senior Pros Combine to Bamboozle Sri Lanka

  • Stuart Broad (3/34 at 11.33) & James Anderson (6/46 at 7.66): No Sign of Aging
  • Dom Bess (12/255 at 21.25) & Jack Leach (10/355 at 35.5): Here To Stay?

Stuart Broad’s resurgence in the past year or so has been heartening, and Anderson’s fitness just becomes better with age. Anderson’s home swing advantage has always clouded his greatness and longevity, but his 6/40 at Galle in the 2nd Test was as good as any.

Dom Bess himself admitted his bowling may not have deserved a 5-fer in the 1st Test. Maybe once or twice, you can call it a fluke but 5/30, 3/100, 4/49 along with a handy 32 with the bat shows he is willing to learn & improve his skills. Jack Leach’s numbers probably do not reflect his 110.5 overs worth of effort, but both of them are here to stay.

It is pretty clear that England are going to rotate Broad/Anderson, pick Mark Wood (tad unlucky this time around) for pace, and play both spinners for the upcoming India series (given Moeen Ali does not come back for Sam Curran).

Sri Lanka

1. Thirimanne & Angelo Matthews

Lahiru Thirimanne was our contender for the Broken Dream in our preview. Just look at his stats:

  • Average of 22.68 after 36 Tests, 1 century after a decade on the international scene

He came back with a solid 111 and 43 in this series, and has ‘extended’ his place in the side. Will take a few more consistent performances to cement his place. I was also looking forward to a Chandimal-Thirimanne-Mathews solid middle order foundation. Chandimal had a Bairstow-like with a 52 and a couple of 20s, while Mathews was Sri Lanka’s most run-getter including a hard-fought 71 and 110.

  • 88 Tests, 6194 runs at 45.54, with 11 100s, best of 200* Mathews is slowly approaching Sri Lanka’s Legend Status.

2. Inconsistency Kills The Cat

  • Mathews – 213, Thirimanne 171, Dickwella 140, Chandimal 109, Kusal Perera 102
  • (SL Vs SA): 396 & 180, 157 & 211, (SL vs Eng): 381 & 126, 135 & 359

Notice a pattern yet? For England, Root scored a mammoth 426 with Bairstow-Buttler scoring 139 & 131 runs respectively. Sri Lanka had 5 scorers over 100 & Mathews/Thirimanne did convert, but there were just not enough match winning partnerships. Partnerships are the key to success. As we can see from the beginning of the South Africa tour, Sri Lanka have scored 350+ 3/8 times, but they have also collapsed 4/8 times.

Sri Lanka were not bad, but inconsistency in the other innings killed any chance they had.

Here is Kumar Sangakkara’s reflection of Sri Lanka’s batting meltdowns.

3. Embuldeniya

  • 4 innings, 119 overs, 15/415 at 27.66, best of 7/37, 1 5-fer, 1 10-fer

The reason why batting inconsistency hurt more this time around is because with Lasith Embuldeniya, Sri Lanka actually believed they could win.

In the first match, chasing a mere 74, England were down 14/3. Embuldeniya made it look like a landmine, but just there were just not enough runs on the board. He bowled tireless spells, opened the bowling, and even hit an aggressive 40 (37) in the 2nd Test to take the score from 78-8 to 126.

The name, the action, the wicket taking ability – have Sri Lanka finally found someone to carry the legacy of Muralitharan and Rangana Herath? Only time will tell.

Also Read: Charisma of Sam Curran, Lasith Malinga: The Slinga, Slayer, & Superstar

Marks Out of 10: The Mendis Factor

(Not really. Let’s have some fun!)

  • 4 – Ducks in a Row for Kusal Mendis (including SA series). His replacement, Ramesh Mendis, carried on the tradition and opened his account with a duck as well.
  • 6 – Wins In a row for England in Sri Lanka. Huge accomplishment – Kudos! It is never easy to tour Sri Lanka at home and consistent results bode well. Oh yes. And England won without the likes of Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, and opener Rory Burns.
  • 8 – Short of a maiden hundred for Niroshan Dickwella. So close, yet so far.
  • 13 – Wickets Away from Anil Kumble’s 619 for the 3rd highest wicket-taker EVER for Jimmy Anderson. GOAT.

We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

Sri LankaEngland
Emerging PlayerLasith EmbuldeniyaJoe Root’s Super Conversion Rate & Dan Lawrence
Surprise PackageEmbuldeniya (Batting/Bowling/Everything) & Dickwella’s sledgingDom Bess’s 5-for & wicket-taking ability
Broken Cricket DreamKusal Mendis Zak Crawley

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!

Where Do They Go From Here?

Sri Lanka’s 2021 outlook looks filled. They will complete some of the WTC matches that were cancelled in 2020. They will host/tour Bangladesh, go to West Indies, & host Ireland for a Test match as well. Second part of the year will be focused on the T20I World Cup.

Busy Year for England this. 17 Test Matches on the cards (Maybe more if they qualify for World Test Championship Final). Next Up – India. 4 Tests, 5 ODIs, 3 T20Is from February 4th to March 27th (Add IPL, the Hundred, & World T20 World Cup in the mix as well). The series is key to the WTC finals. England currently at 4th but slowly inching up (Just 3% separates #4 England from #1 India).

Several questions on England vs India TV rights and squad selections as well. Bairstow, Curran, Wood rested for the first couple of Test matches, while Buttler flies home after the 1st one.

With India surprising expectations in Australia, will we see a similar triumph for England against favorites India?

Where do Sri Lankan cricket go from here? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Copyright (2021: 1/13/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

Image Courtesy: Jimmy AndersonNAPARAZZI, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

India Vs Australia Series Review 2020-21: The Greatest Story of Them All? Better Than Ashes 2005?

India Vs Australia Series Review: The Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Usually a Test series is made up of a few iconic moments. This series was a compilation of iconic moments stitched together into a series.

  • Injuries: PucovskiWarner & Ishant-Bhuvneshwar Kumar pre-series. Shami, Umesh, Ashwin, Vihari, Jadeja, Bumrah, KL Rahul, & Pucovski again during the series.
  • Adelaide: Kohli‘s 74 & Run-Out, India 36/9 via Cummins & Hazlewood, Paine & Burn score, Kohli returns home.
  • Melbourne: India’s resilient comeback win, Rahane’s magnificent ton, Ashwin-Smith duel, Rahane comforts Jadeja after run-out.
  • Sydney: Rohit Sharma returns to work, Shubman Gill’s emergence, Smith-Labuschagne master-student showcase, Siraj battles racial abuse, Matthew Wade’s brain fades, Paine drops & sledges, India hold on, Pant 97, Pujara-Pant + Vihari-Ashwin = Draw.
  • Brisbane: Nathan Lyon’s 100th Test & signed jersey by Team India, stranded on 399 wickets, Natarajan & Sundar debut, Saini injured, Siraj’s 5-for, Thakur-Sundar fightback, Gill’s 91 & Pant’s 89*, Pujara Fights Body Blows & Butterfly, 328 chased, The Gabba fortress breached.

The series went from being “too friendly” to racial abuses. There were plenty of mini contests like Paine vs Ashwin, Pujara vs Lyon, fielders vs the flying ball, & Pujara vs Cummins (my favorite battle) to name a few.

Here are my picks for the best moments, emerging players, and much more in this India Vs Australia Series Review! Comment IN THE COMMENTS SECTION below on your favorite moments.

*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.

Also Read: Top 10 Life Lessons from the Ind-Aus Series, Ind-Aus Test Series Preview, Prediction Results

Results – India Vs Australia

Test Series: India won 2-1

* Player of Match

  1. Australia won by 8 wickets *Tim Paine (Toss: India elected to bat)
  2. India won by 8 wickets *Ajinkya Rahane (Toss: Australia elected to bat)
  3. Match Drawn *Steven Smith (Toss: Australia elected to bat)
  4. India won by 3 wickets *Rishabh Pant (Toss: Australia elected to bat)

Interesting that toss went the wrong way in these games and batting second was not detrimental.

Player of SeriesIndia Australia
Pat Cummins
4/21 Best Innings, 7/69 Best Match
Most RunsRishabh Pant – 274 Runs (5 innings)


Cheteshwar Pujara – 271 Runs (8 innings)
Marnus Labuschagne – 426 runs (8 innings)

Steven Smith – 313 runs (8 innings)
Most WicketsMohammad Siraj – 13 wickets (6 innings)

Ravinchandran Ashwin – 12 wickets (6 innings)
Pat Cummins – 21 Wickets (8 innings)

Josh Hazlewood – 17 Wickets (8 innings)
India Vs Australia Series Review: Stats

The Highlights

India

1. Cheteshwar Pujara is a Legend.

  • 2018/19 – 521 runs, 100s-3 & 50s-1, best of 193, Average 74.42, Strike Rate 41.41, Balls Faced 1258
  • 2020/21 – 271 runs, 100s-0 & 50s-3, best of 77, Average 33.87, Strike Rate 29.20, Balls Faced 928

Statistically, Pujara had a worse tour than 2018 by double the margin in almost every area. In reality? His impact this time was just as important, if not more. If Pujara was not present at Sydney or Brisbane, neither would have drawn the 3rd Test nor won the 4th. The Australian bowling line up at the final session of 4th Test had all the energy drawn out of them through the defense of Pujara. On the last day, Pujara was unfazed despite so many blows to the helmet, chest, and the worst – finger jarring. Act of character and survival upon which India prospered.

2. Youngsters & India A Deliver

  • In 2008, Sri Lanka unveiled the M Factor against India – Malinga, Muralitharan, Mahela, & Mendis (later Mathews).
  • Similarly, India had the S factor – Debutants Siraj, Sundar, Shubman, Shardul (first Test – 10 balls & injured).

Shubman Gill’s consistency & backfoot punches, Washington Sundar’s confidence, Siraj’s maturity, & Shardul’s ability to make things happen all contributed to India’s series victory. If one player could symbolize this series, it is Mohammad Siraj, leading from the front in his 3rd Test match. Father’s bereavement and on the back of racial abuse, he stood firm on his ground and delivered.

January 11th is Rahul Dravid’s birthday, India A & India U-19 Coach (2016-19), now the head of the National Cricket Academy, and a mentor to many of these youngsters. Rishabh Pant & Vihari, a product of the India A system, provided Dravid with a perfect birthday gift on the eve of his birthday. Pant will always be questioned, but when India needed him, he delivered.

3. Rahane & Team Management

  • In our India vs Australia preview, we said that after 2014, “Rahane has failed to go to the next level,” & needs a “Pujara 2018 or Laxman 281 to elevate to legendary status.”

Verdict: Rahane has now successfully elevated himself to legendary status – as a batsman, player, & captain.

Although Rahane’s Melbourne knock rejuvenated the side, special mention needs to go to Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun, the physios, & the support staff. In hindsight, the 36/9 rejuvenated the side, but it could easily have gone the 2011 England-Australia tours with 4-0. Credit to the team management & leadership group to keep the team together and motivated (The law of averages helped India as chances for the rest of the series went India’s way).

With all the Rahane vs Virat vs Rohit Twitter battles, one should remember that this is Kohli’s team (emphasis on fast bowlers & overseas victories) which Rahane took forward with Rohit & co in the leadership group. Team effort, no less.

Australia

1. Labuschagne, Smith, & Warner

  • 739 runs, 100s-2, 50s-4, best of 131, average of 49.27.

Sounds pretty good, right? This is the combined stats of Marnus Labuschagne & Steven Smith and vastly skewed by the performance in the last two matches. They were good, but not the usual. Smith lost the duel to R Ashwin over the series, while Labuschagne capitalized on dropped chances. For a side carrying injured openers, a Joe Burn, and a couple of inconsistent keepers, a lot more was expected from these two.

David Warner was visibly unfit, & 67 runs (from which 48 came in one innings) at 16.75 does not reflect a player of his caliber. Against Warner, every bowler looked like Stuart Broad.

Usman Khawaja & Shaun Marsh, anybody?

2. The Fall of Nathan Lyon & Mitchell Starc?

  • Starc took 11 wickets at 40.72 (74.7 SR) & Lyon with 9 wickets at 55.11 (SR: A whopping 124.6)

Alarming numbers. Lyon looked decent for the first couple of Test matches without much ‘luck,’ especially with Hazlewood & Cummins going through the Indian line-up. As the series progressed, it became clear that Lyon was having an underwhelming series. Pujara’s dancing down the wicket blocks & Pant’s hit was too much to digest. Starc? Inconsistent, out of form, & slightly injured. Amidst a long tour, COVID Bio-Bubbles, and against a certain Pujara, not rotating quicks cost Australia.

Speaking of inconsistent keepers, Tim Paine & Matthew Wade: A Tale of Two Careers.

  • 8, 33, 30, 40, 13, 4, 45, 0, and a whole load of ways of getting out

Look, I like Wade & Paine. Paine even had a great series with the bat, including a match-winning 72. I admire players who started early, were dropped, improved, & fought back into the XI. These two have been in-and-out since 2010-11 & have finally managed some success at the international level, but is it enough? One of Australia’s flaws this series was not capitalizing on strong situations, and Wade was always at the center. Not converting a single start might be too much for the Australian selectors. On the other hand, Paine will still be in the side at least as a batsman, but lots of question on his keeping and captaincy. Also, Tim & his Paineful reviews.

Murmurs about Alex Carey trying a summer England gig after being released from Delhi Capitals…

3. The Lone Bright Spots

Not everything was bad for Australia though.

  • 8 innings, 162.1 overs, 51 maidens, 21 wickets, 4/21 Best innings & 7/69 Best match

That’s Pat Cummins for you. Most overs bowled. Highest wicket taker. Most maidens. Player of the Series. Consistently threatened India’s batting from the first Test to the last. Intensity, eyes on fire, perfect line & length. Hazlewood was really good too, but Cummins was just on another level.

Debutants Cameron Green & Will Pucovski were of the highest quality. Although Green did not have much to show in the wickets column (none after 6 matches & 44 overs), he ticked several boxes. A tall bowler at 140 kph, safe pair of hands with 10 feet reach, can dig in when needed, and explode as his blistering 84 displayed. Pucovski never looked out of place with a confident 62, sandwiched between unfortunate injuries.

The Awards

We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series.

The 4th Test overshadowed the Broken Cricket Dream awards for Australia, otherwise Joe Burns falling career, Pucovski’s repeated injuries, & Wade’s dismissals were ideal candidates. Here they are:

India Australia
Emerging PlayerShubman Gill & Mohammad SirajCameron Green
Surprise PackageIndia’s Resilience & Character
Sundar, Shardul, Siraj
Tim Paine – The Batsman
Marnus Labuschagne – The outfielder
Broken Cricket DreamThe Injuries
The Dropped Catches
Kuldeep Yadav
Tim Paine – The Captain
Tim Paine – The Keeper
Nathan Lyon 399*
India Vs Australia Series Review: The Awards

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS!

Where Do They Go From Here?

In terms of the World Test Championship, India are at the top with the England home series to go, while Australia drop to #3 with a South Africa 3-match series to happen…somewhere (Australia virtually out of the WTC).

The India-Australia rivalry has taken the next step and few are even calling for a 5 match series. I am not sure if that should happen in the COVID environment and strict quarantine days, but definitely a possibility in the future.

Ashes 2005 Comparsion

Is the 2020-21 India vs Australia series the greatest test victory of all time? Probably not.

Ashes 2005 is usually hailed as the pinnacle of Test cricket extravaganza and rightly so. Both teams at their peaks, Australia’s 2005 meriting Top 2 All Time status (a squad which maybe only Steve Smith & Pat Cummins could have made), full crowds inspiring the next generation, England winning the Ashes (2-1) for the first times since 1986-87.

  • Was India’s Melbourne victory the greatest comeback of all time as the cricket Twitter family suggested at the time? No. Not even close.
  • Was India’s draw the greatest match saving draw of all time? Nope.
  • Was India’s chase at the Gabba the highest ever or the most enthralling? Nah.
  • The 36 All Out worst collapse of all time? Almost, but not really.

Legacy of the India Vs Australia 2020 Series

But the fact that all of the above happened in the same series under the backdrop of COVID-19 and depression around the world (both economically & mentally speaking).

India 36/9 at Adelaide, Kohli going home, Ishant-Umesh-Bhuvi-Shami-Bumrah less India, without the stars of Sydney in Jadeja, Ashwin, & Vihari, Siraj battling father’s bereavement & racial abuse. Gabbatoir breached. You cannot predict this. None of us could have.

So let me ask this again—Was the 2020-21 India-Australia the greatest ever Test series? No, but in terms of the context and stories, this may as well be the greatest story of them all.

Why compare anyway? I am just glad we have both series to cherish in our memories forever.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this India Vs Australia Series Review? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below! Also feel free to share/discuss on our Twitter & Facebook pages!

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Copyright (2021: 1/12/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

Image Courtesy: Hazlewood www.davidmolloyphotography.com from Sydney, Australia, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Sri Lanka Vs South Africa 2020 Test Series Review: South African Cricket Back On Its Feet Against Injury-Hit Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Vs South Africa—With the Pakistan-New Zealand series and Border-Gavaskar Trophy underway, this series almost went under the radar. However, the importance of this series cannot be understated, especially after the abandonment of the England-South Africa ODI series.

Although short in nature, the series had its moments—Sri Lanka’s positive start, Faf Du Plessis’ 199, Elgar’s heroics, Temba’s hilarious/unfortunate walk, the Lankan injuries, and Nortje’s coming of age.

Here are my picks for the best moments, emerging players, and much more! COMMENT BELOW ON YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS.

Also Read: Eng-SA ODI Review, NZ-Pak Series Review, Ind-Aus Test Series Preview

Results – England Vs South Africa

Test Series: South Africa Win 2 – 0

* Player of Match

  1. South Africa won by an innings and 45 runs – Faf Du Plessis*
  2. South Africa won by 10 wickets Dean Elgar*
Player of SeriesSri Lanka
South Africa
Dean Elgar
1-50, 1-100, 127 best
Most RunsKusal Perera – 141 runs (4 innings)Dean Elgar – 253 runs (3 innings)
Most WicketsVishwa Fernando – 8 wickets (3 innings)Anrich Nortje – 11 wickets (4 innings)
Test Series Stats

The Highlights

Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka began the series with a complete team effort consisting of Chandimal’s 85, Dhananjaya de Silva’s 79, Dickwella’s 49, Shanaka’s 66* to get to 396, their highest ever in South Africa. In response, South Africa’s mammoth 621 was too much to save a match. Not even Kusal Perera could save the match with a 64, as he did with the best Test innings of all time in 2019.
  • 31.1, 2.1, 28.5, 21.1, 6.5 read Sri Lanka’s bowling card in the first Test, with injured bowlers. Even captain Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis had to contribute 13.5 overs.
  • Injuries were unfortunately the theme for Sri Lanka this tour. With 5 forced changes including Chandimal & Dhananjay de Silva (and Angelo Mathews injured pre-series), Perera’s 1st innings 60 and Karunaratne’s 103 were the only bright spots in the 2nd Test.

Honestly speaking, 0 tour matches, COVID uncertainty, and focus on Lanka Premier League was way too much for Sri Lanka’s longer format dreams.

Also Read: Lasith Malinga – The Slinga, The Slayer, The SuperStar

South Africa

  • Faf Du Plessis has been through a lot in the last few years. Waited 7 years for a debut, heartbreak in the 2015 WC Semi-Final, led South Africa admirably, with everything collapsing in the 2019 World Cup. He has stayed and become the beacon of leadership, helping the Proteas transition to the next generation. His 199 in the 1st Test—so close, yet so far. In context though, a very important statement. Another couple of years for Faf?
  • Dean Elgar had a brilliant series with a 95 & 127 in the 2 Tests. One of the best openers in tough conditions, his reputation continues to rise.
  • SA began this series with an appalling statistic – first time in a few decades that all batsman averaged below 40. Yep, you read that correctly. All, even Faf, Elgar, and captain Quinton de Kock were on the wrong side of 40. With welcome performances from Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma, Rassie Van der Dussen, and even Keshav Maharaj, the batting looks decent for the near future. Still need to guide against collapses.
  • In the absence of Rabada, Nortje rose to the occasion as the leader of the attack with a blistering 6-56. The supporting cast of Sipamla, Ngidi, and Wiaan Muldur chipped in with 10, 9, and 7 wickets respectively. Not quite Steyn-Morkel-Philander-Rabada, but these four displayed some potential for the future.

Also Read: Faf & ABD De Villiers – Friendship and the Quest of the World Cup

The Awards

We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

South AfricaSri Lanka
Emerging PlayerWiann Muldur Dasun Shanaka’s Workload
Surprise PackageBatting Consistency Vishwa Fernando
Broken Cricket DreamQuinton de Kock (In a series where each player had a breakthrough performance, QDK was underpar)Injuries Galore

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!

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Where Do They Go From Here?

England left South Africa early due to COVID concerns. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka arrived in South Africa for a Test series tour. While the SL-SA series was going on, England already reached Sri Lanka to quarantine. So England’s been in Sri Lanka before the home team, while Sri Lanka are completing the series in South Africa.

Interesting how life works.

In the next couple of weeks, England-Sri Lanka are due for a 2-match Test series, while South Africa travel to Pakistan after a decade for a historic tour. In terms of the World Test Championship, England are ranked 4th (with tours of Sri Lanka & India coming up), SA a distant 5th, and SL down at 7th. Although the WTC provides context for the teams that are still in contention, it is the opposite for teams that suffer early losses. Widens the gap for the lower teams. Things to think about for the WTC.

Finally, Brexit is complete, Kolpak deals out of the window, & Kyle Abbott back with the Titans. If talent stream does not go to other places like the USA, South Africa might be stepping in the right direction.

Anyway, where do you think Sri Lanka and South African cricket go from here? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below! Also feel free to share/discuss on our Twitter & Facebook pages!

Copyright (2021: 1/12/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

New Zealand Vs Pakistan 2020 Series Review: Williamson, Jamieson, And A Little Bit of Pakistan

New Zealand vs Pakistan 2020 Series Review.

Both New Zealand and Pakistan had multiple stories in this series—Kane Williamson & Kyle Jamieson’s continued 2020 brilliance, Fawad Alam & Daryl Mitchell’s fairytale hundreds, Azhar Ali’s revival & Shan Masood’s decline.

Here is our review of both the T20I and Test series between New Zealand and the Pakistan—the rising stars, falling gems, broken dreams, and much more!

READ TILL THE END FOR THE WORLD T20I WORLD CUP WATCH!

Also Read: Pakistan vs New Zealand Series Preview, USA Cricket Guide, Umar Gul Retirement Tribute

Results – New Zealand Vs Pakistan 2020

This series mirrored the recently concluded New Zealand Vs West Indies series. In the WI series, the T20I series was dominated by Glenn Phillips. Similarly, this time it was another top order, wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert.

The similarity does not end here. In both these series, Kane Williamson won the Player of the Match award for the first Test match and Kyle Jamieson won that award for the second Test match. While Jamieson received the Player of the Series trophy for the West Indies series, Williamson won the Pakistan series award.

Oh yeah, Williamson scored double centuries in both.

T20I Series: New Zealand Win 2 – 1

* Player of Match

  1. NZ won by 5 wicketsJacob Duffy*
  2. NZ won by 9 wickets Tim Southee*
  3. Pakistan won by 4 wicketsMohammad Rizwan*
Player of SeriesNew Zealand
Tim Seifert
2-50s, 84* best
Pakistan
Most RunsTim Seifert – 176 runsMohammad Hafeez – 140 runs
Most WicketsTim Southee – 6 wicketsHaris Rauf – 5 wickets
T20 Series Stats

Test Series: New Zealand Win 2 – 0

  1. NZ won by 101 runsKane Williamson*
  2. NZ won by an innings and 176 runs Kyle Jamieson*
Player of SeriesNew Zealand
Kane Williamson
2-100s, 238 best
Pakistan
Most RunsKane Williamson – 388 runs (3 innings)Mohammad Rizwan – 202 runs (4 innings)
Most Wickets Kyle Jamieson – 16 wickets (4 innings)Shaheen Shah Afridi – 6 wickets (3 innings)
Test Series Stats

The Highlights

Pakistan

T20Is

  • Mohammad Hafeez keeps improving with age. The 99* in the 2nd T20I was one of the innings of the year albeit in a losing cause.
  • In absence of Babar Azam, stand-in captain Shadab Khan showed maturity with his 42 (32) in the first T20I, taking Pakistan to a decent score after being 20/4. Rizwan, similarly, took responsibility in the third match with a match-winning 89 (59). The Babar-Rizwan-Shadab leadership group holds well for the future.
  • Abdullah Shafique (2/3 matches), Haider Ali (3/3), and Khushdil Shah (3/3) all had opportunities, but could not capitalize with series totals of 0, 22, and 43 runs respectively. With a struggling top order, maybe some re-shuffling is required. At a T20I strike rate of 145.89, Imad Wasim at #8 was a bit wasted.
  • End of Wahab Riaz? 0/64 with economy of 13.24 economy (4.5 overs). I am sure he will fight & comeback as always but time is running out.

Tests

  • Fawad Alam, one of the unluckiest player of the last decade, had the last laugh at the end of 2020. 11 years since his last century, Alam scored 102 (296), battling along with Azhar Ali & Rizwan for six and a half hours. Good effort by Pakistan, dragging the game from 0/2 to 271 in 123.3 overs. Almost saved the game if not for Santner’s jumping catch.
  • Pakistan scored 239, 271, 297, & 186. Sounds respectable right? Well if the #7 and #8 had not done rearguard efforts thanks to Mohammad Rizwan (71, 60, 61, 10) & Faheem Ashraf (91, 19, 48, 28), Pakistan would have been skittled for not too many. End of the road for Shan Masood and gully-catch-thrower Haris Sohail?
    • Masood + Haris = 8 innings, 38 runs, 200 balls.
    • Afridi + Abbas = 8 innings, 34 runs, 224 balls.
  • The bowlers had a horrid test series—usually Pakistan’s strong suit. Although Afridi and Abbas were disciplined, the wicket column was dry. Both Naseem and Yasir Shah were off-color with Yasir’s overseas stats continuing to worsen. Comeback story Zafar Gohar (missed Test debut in 2015 because he overslept) went wicketless.

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New Zealand

T20Is

  • Tim Seifert shows his class – 57 (43), 84* (63), 35 (20) at 139.68 strike rate with 7 sixes.
  • Jacob Duffy – what a debut! Player of the Match performance with 4/33.
  • Devon Conway has solidified his spot for the T20I World Cup with 63 (45) in the last T20I. Looks like Ross Taylor is on the way out in this format….

Tests

  • Kane Williamson—should I even write anymore? From the eliminator of the IPL, Williamson’s scores read 50*, 67, 251, 57*, 1, 129, 21, 238 & 1/16. Ends the year as #1 Test batsman.
  • Nicholls might have had the rub of the green with Pakistan’s dropped catches, but now has scores of 174 and 157 against West Indies and Pakistan. Not only is he scoring hundreds, he is beginning to score daddy hundreds.
  • Kyle Jamieson has taken everybody by surprise. A Test batting average of 56.5, bowling average of 13.27, four 5-wicket hauls and 1 10-wicket haul in his short 6-Test career, he is my ICC Allrounder for the next decade.
  • Tim Southee picked up his 300th Test wicket. What a gem this guy has been for New Zealand cricket. What a gem Boult-Southee are. Here are their uncannily similar stats in the past decade (courtesy Twitter).

We like to spice things up with our own awards at the end of the series. Here they are:

New Zealand vs Pakistan 2020New ZealandPakistan
Emerging PlayerJacob DuffyFaheem Ashraf & Mohammad Rizwan
Surprise PackageTim Seifert & Daryl MitchellFawad Alam’s 2nd coming
Broken Cricket DreamDisappointed Fans (Because there weren’t any)The FIELDING, Wahab Riaz, & Haris Sohail

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Like, share with friends & family, & don’t forget to hit the orange button below!

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Where Do They Go From Here?

New Zealand

New Zealand finally achieve the #1 Test rankings, and they are inching ever close to the World Test Championship Final. Will be surprised if they do not make it.

And what do they get for being the #1 Test team? A mere FOUR TESTS in 2021. England get 17*.

  • Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell
  • Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner (played with a broken toe – Passion, commitment, but still needs to be careful there)

When Ross Taylor and BJ Watling are your 9th/10th best players in recent times, you know this is a damn good Test team.

Matt Henry had an understated outing, while Adam Milne is playing the Big Bash. Mitchell Santner, Jimmy Neesham, Sodhi, Blundell, Conway, Duffy, Phillips, Jeet Raval, Will Young – New Zealand’s depth in all formats is astounding.

*schedule may be subject to change given current circumstances

Pakistan

I predicted a 2-1 T20I win for Pakistan earlier in the Series Preview, but maybe I was too hopeful there. The T20I series looked close on paper, but New Zealand were, by far, the better side.

On the other hand, the Test result of 2-0, but losses of 101 runs/innings defeat does not reflect the true nature of the series. Pakistan had their moments. New Zealand had their moments. The only difference? New Zealand capitalized. Pakistan dropped. Azhar Ali’s 93 might have saved his career, but Masood & Sohail might be replaced by Babar and Imam (or who knows,…Asad Shafiq, anybody?).

In any case, looking forward, 2021 holds positive news for Pakistan as both South Africa and England are to travel to Pakistan after more than a decade of hiatus for a historic tour. In regards to the World T20I, apart from Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, and Shaheen Shah Afridi, several tweaks need to be made. They are a dangerous side if they can click together.

And finally….Hasan Ali is back.

In Quaid-e-Azam trophy, he was the Player of the Series and Player of the Match in the tied final. 106* (61) with 7 sixes in the final. Class player, had a dip, should make a comeback at the next tour to South Africa.

World T20 World Cup Watch

We are doing a World T20 Watch from now till the T20I world cup next year. After the end of each T20I series, we look at the current predictions of the WT20 squad as we get closer. Here is our predicted T20 XI line up and 15-man squad as of now based on this series.

Pakistan

  1. Babar Azam*, 2. Mohammad Rizwan (WK), 3. Haider Ali, 4. Mohammad Hafeez, 5. Shadab Khan, 6. Imad Wasim, 7. Faheem Ashraf, 8. Hasan Ali, 9. Haris Rauf, 10. Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11. Usman Qadir

Squad: Khusdil Shah/ Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed/Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hasnain/Mohammad Musa, Wahab Riaz/ Mohammad Amir comeback?

New Zealand

Since the next WT20 is in India, New Zealand might go with both Santner and Sodhi in the XI.

  1. Martin Guptill, 2. Tim Seifert (WK), 3. Kane Williamson*, 4. Glenn Phillips, 5. Devon Conway, 6. Mitchell Santner, 7. James Neesham, 8. Kyle Jamieson, 9. Tim Southee, 10. Trent Boult, 11. Ish Sodhi

Squad: Colin de Grandhomme, Mark Chapman/Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner/Jacob Duffy, Doug Bracewell/Scott Kuggeleijn

*Captain

What did you think about this New Zealand vs Pakistan 2020 Series? What are your World T20 line ups? COMMENT BELOW, and let us know what you think!

Image Courtesy: Kane WilliamsonDave Morton, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

England Vs South Africa 2020 Series Review: South Africa Need Soul Searching As England a League Apart

England Vs South Africa was one of the three series that began on November 27 along with the New Zealand-West Indies and the India-Australia.

With the Proteas coming off a stellar IPL season and England a force to reckon in today’s day and age, this was the series I was most excited about. Heck, I even predicted a resurgent South Africa to sweep the series 3-0! 3-0 did happen but in England’s favor, but the abandonment of the ODI series put a sour taste on this tour.

Here are my picks for the best moments, controversial moments, emerging players, World T20 Predicted XIs, and much more! COMMENT BELOW ON YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS.

Also Read: Eng-SA ODI Preview, Series Predictions, Ind-Aus Series Review, NZ-WI Series Review

Results – England Vs South Africa

T20I Series: England Win 3 – 0

* Player of Match

  1. England won by 5 wickets (4 balls remaining) – Jonny Bairstow*
  2. England won by 4 wickets (1 ball remaining)Dawid Malan*
  3. England won by 9 wickets (14 balls remaining)Dawid Malan*
Player of SeriesEngland
Dawid Malan
2-50s, 99* best
South Africa
Most RunsDawid Malan – 173 runsRussie Van der Dussen – 136 runs
Most WicketsSam Curran, Chris Jordan – 3 wicketsTabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi – 4 wickets
T20I Series Stats

ODI Series: Series Called Off

Although South Africa were swept apart in the T20I series, they still had some positives. After scoring their highest scores 192, I expected South Africa to take some form in the ODI series.

What actually happened? First ODI postponed hours before the toss due to COVID breaches and similar result in the 2nd attempt. The tour was abandoned and the England players were sent home.

Bummer.

The Highlights

England

  • Player of the series? Dawid Malan. Highest runs scorer? Dawid Malan. 2 Player of the Match awards in a 3 game series? Dawid Malan. Need to say more? Definitely cemented his place for the T20I World Cup. Why doesn’t Malan have an IPL contract yet?
  • Chris Jordan coming from an underwhelming IPL claimed some personal records – 50th T20I match & highest wicket-taker for England, going past Stuart Broad. Specialist death bowler for sure.
  • While Jonny Bairstow played a match-winning-come-from-behind knock of 86* in the middle order & Jos Buttler made a mark as an opener with an unbeaten 67, Jason Roy picked up only 30 runs combined. Food for thought with the likes of Tom Banton waiting?

Controversy 101

Eoin Morgan receiving coded signals from the dressing room – Yay or Nay? What do you think about this?

I think it is an interesting experiment as long as it does not influence DRS calls or causes delay in proceedings. Comment below and let us know your thoughts!

Embed from Getty Images

South Africa

  • George Linde was the positive of the series for South Africa. Miserly bowling figures of 2-20 (4 overs), 0-27 (4overs), & 0-26 (4 overs) along with efficient lower order hitting with 12*(6) & 29 (20).
  • Faf Du Plessis is not going anywhere and the du Plessis-van der Dussen middle order partnership is starting to take shape. Partnership of 127* (66) in the 3rd T20I took South Africa from a precarious position to a healthy total. The top 2 highest scorers for the Proteas in the series.
  • Maybe England’s batting is too good, but still in the past 12 months, South Africa barely defended 177 (won by 1 run), failed to defend scores of 222, 179, and 191, and gave away 204 runs in the first innings (lost by 2 runs). South Africa has some soul searching to do in the bowling front – an area they are usually good at.

Also Read: Faf & ABD De Villiers – Friendship and the Quest of the World Cup, Charisma of Sam Curran

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We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

South AfricaEngland
Emerging PlayerGeorge LindeDressing Room Coded Signals
Surprise PackageGeorge LindeJonny Bairstow (in the middle order)
Broken Cricket Dream3rd Seamer: B. Hendricks (0-56 in 4 overs), Ngidi (2-51 in 4 overs), Sipamla (0-45 in 2.4 overs)Jason Roy

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!

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Where Do They Go From Here?

A lot of Sri Lanka in the near future.

Sri Lanka are on schedule to tour South Africa for a 2-match Test series. At this point all reports are showing good signs in terms of the tour being played. After this series, England tour Sri Lanka for a two match Test series. After Pakistan return from New Zealand, South Africa will tour Pakistan in a historic move for 2 Tests and 3 T20Is.

South African cricket has endured a lot in the past year – mixed Black Lives Matter messages, constant changing of administration, COVID breaches, and much more (kudos to England for getting cricket back together and hosting West Indies, Ireland, Pakistan and Australia earlier). The abandonment of the ODI series (technically just postponed) puts a light onto future hosting in South Africa as well as the loss of finances.

Where do South Africa cricket go from here? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

World T20 Watch:

We are doing a World T20 Watch from now till the T20I world cup next year. Here is our predicted T20 XI line up and 15-man squad as of now based on this series. Several ifs and buts at this point, but it will get clearer along the journey.

South Africa still need some tweaking, while England look all set to claim their 2nd limited overs World Cup trophy.

England

  1. Tom Banton, 2. Jos Buttler (WK), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan*, Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood

Squad: Sam Billings, Tom Curran/Saqib Mahmood/Reece Topley, Jason Roy/Moeen Ali, Joe Root/Joe Denly/Other

*Captain

South Africa

Temba Bavuma did not have a great series, so I am putting Janneman Malan ahead in the XI. Bavuma should still get a few more chances before a final decision is made on his T20I career.

  1. Quinton de Kock* (WK), 2. Janneman Malan, 3. Faf du Plessis, 4. Rassie Van der Dussen, 5. Heinrich Klassen, 6. David Miller, 7. George Linde, 8. Andile Phelukwayo, 9. Kagiso Rabada, 10. Anrich Nortje, 11. Tabraiz Shamsi

Squad: JJ Smuts, Lungi Ngidi, Dwaine Pretorius/ Bjorn Fortuin, Temba Bavuma/ Reeza Hendricks/Aiden Markram

What did you think about the England Vs South Africa series? What are your World T20 line ups? COMMENT BELOW, and let us know what you think!

Image Courtesy: Eoin MorganBen Sutherland, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons, Getty Imates