The Roar
The Roar

Rustom Deboo

Roar Guru

Joined July 2014

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Here’s my choice of a combined eleven of the last fifteen years:- Smith, Dravid, Lara, Tendulkar, Kallis, Chanderpaul, Gilchrist, Steyn, Ambrose, Murali, McGrath. Reserves – Warne, S. Waugh, Akram, Ponting/Laxman

Revisting King Kallis' best performances in whites

That MCG hundred is a good one Johnno, probably should have made this list.

Revisting King Kallis' best performances in whites

Well said Andy. Kallis is one of the two best all-rounders to have played the game, the other being Sobers.

Revisting King Kallis' best performances in whites

Just realised that I forgot to include his 3/38 and 6/54 against England at Leeds in 2003, which helped South Africa win by 191 runs. While not a strike bowler, he was certainly an effective partnership-breaker.

Revisting King Kallis' best performances in whites

This ought to have been a three-Test series. The last time Australia and Pakistan played (in England in 2010) was also a two-Test series, and a decider was sorely missed.

Ajmal has been in top form for Worcestershire but if the likes of Rogers, Clarke and Smith are willing to stay put, his threat can be negated. Counter-attacking may back-fire, that can be done against the part-timers.

I go for a 1-1 result again.

Pakistan, Australia's greatest challenge

Biltongbek, that’s a good point. Acclimatisation to alien conditions is a vital factor, especially in today’s era where at times, not even a single first-class game is scheduled before a Test series.

Is there a bigger dampener than a two-Test series?

Australia v South Africa deserves a four-Test series. It is the most exciting rivalry today; iit even trumps the Ashes.

Is there a bigger dampener than a two-Test series?

Johnno, Australia v West Indies playing a two-Test series is pretty ridiculous in my opinion.

And furthermore, the Windies have not exactly been pushovers in the last two series – in Australia in 2009-10, they came within 35 runs of winning at the WACA and in the Caribbean in 2012, they were in winning positions in all three Tests only to squander it all in a session or two.

Is there a bigger dampener than a two-Test series?

Thank you. Couldn’t agree more. Save for the World Cup and World Cricket League, ODI’s have become absolutely irrelevant. There should be a maximum of three ODI’s in any bilateral series.

Is there a bigger dampener than a two-Test series?

Thank you everyone for your valuable comments.

Time to revive cricket's trans-Tasman rivalry

Well said Timmuh. Without any scope of qualifying for a World Cup, cricket will shrivel in these promising nations. We have already seen the sad case of Kenya.

Cricket deserves a better World Cup format

Sheek, I feel Twenty20 is fine for the purpose of introducing cricket to far-flung countries. But nations like Ireland and Afghanistan – to name but two – are very serious about their ODI cricket, whatever little they get to play.

Indeed, 50-overs cricket and first-class games with ‘A’ teams is what will measure an Associate’s capability of rising to the Test level. That is how Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe (till 2003) flourished.

And at least Ireland and Afghanistan deserve Test status in the next two years, because of the genuine ambition of the players in these two countries. Easier said than done though, keeping in mind the ICC’s glass ceiling.

Cricket deserves a better World Cup format

Wasim, I see what you are hinting at. The condensation of the World Cup is a worrying sign and few years down the line I might not be surprised if the ‘Big Three’ get automatic semi-final qualification as you have mentioned, leaving the others to scrap for the fourth spot.

While that sounds a bit far-fetched, the truth is that without underdogs, the World Cup is no fun. Kenya in 1996 and 2003, Ireland in 2007 and 2011 are performances that are remembered for long. With ten teams, it is just another Champions Trophy with a different name.

Cricket deserves a better World Cup format

The 2×4 Super Eights add quality to the tournament. The each-one-plays-one Super Eight of 2007 was tedious, while suddenly entering quarterfinals will be a tad too short.

I believe what I have suggested is the middle path – it makes all games crucial and at the same time, rewards consistency. Also, a ‘top team’ (if it makes the second round) will get at least six matches while the ‘minnows’ too will have an equal chance of making the grade. Keeps everyone happy – officials, players, viewers.

Cricket deserves a better World Cup format

Sideline Comm, to an extent , relaxation of qualification rules works in favour of the Associate teams. But in the long run, nurturing home-grown talent is the way forward. I also feel that players should not be allowed to change countries at their whims and fancies. There has to be a line drawn, for this is not club cricket we are talking about.

I am glad you liked the article.

Cricket deserves a better World Cup format

James, you might have noticed Ireland’s performance in the 2011 edition. In the very limited opportunities they get, the Irish always manage to pack a punch. They will start winning regularly only if they get more experience. And that is possible only if they play the ‘big guns’. Just ten teams is quite a shame. For how long can international cricket be a closed shop?

Cricket deserves a better World Cup format

Johnno, absolutely agree with you that sixteen teams are perfect. But I would go with the 2×4 super eights as mentioned. Quarterfinals would result in a very hasty end to the tournament.

Cricket deserves a better World Cup format