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Monday, September 28, 2009

Watch Australia v India Live Streaming, Champions Trophy

Australia v India, Champions Trophy, Group A, Centurion

India in battle for survival

September 27, 2009

Ricky Ponting raises the bat after getting his half-century, Australia v West Indies, ICC Champions Trophy, Group A, Johannesburg, September 26, 2009
A big Ponting score can be the difference between mediocrity and dominance from Australia

Match facts

Monday, 28 Sep 2009

Australia flag India flag Australia Vs India

Venue :9th Match Group A, SuperSport Park, Centurion
Live action starts from: 12:30 GMT (18:00 IST) ODI Australia Tour of England 2009 One Day International Match

Monday, September 28, 2009
Start time 14.30, 12.30 GMT

Big picture

There are all sorts of scenarios and permutations about which teams could make it through to the semi-finals in Group A but the simplest is this: if Australia beat India, it will be Pakistan and Australia who progress. The group will be done and dusted with two games to go. Things become more complex if India win. They will be in prime position due to their remaining game against a weakened West Indies and Australia's fixture against an unbeaten Pakistan. However, should India and Australia either both win or both lose their last group game, net run-rate will be required to determine the semi-finalists.

It means that there's a lot riding on this day-night encounter and neither team enters the match in peak form. India have the advantage of familiarity with the conditions at Centurion, where they lost to Pakistan on Saturday. Australia are coming off a win but it was a scratchy and in parts unconvincing victory against an under-strength West Indies in the different conditions at the Wanderers. It's hard to predict a winner, though the bookmakers favour Australia.

Australia will be most concerned about breaking India's opening partnership early; Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar have troubled Ricky Ponting's men in the past and Australia's fast bowlers lacked penetration against West Indies. The presence or absence of the stiff and sore Michael Clarke looms as another potential key. Unlike India, Australia aren't automatically out if they lose but it will be a hard road back. The teams meet for seven one-dayers in India in October and November but none will matter as much as this game.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

Australia - WLWWW

India - LWLWW

Team news

Clarke's stiff back ruled him out of the game against West Indies and Australia will be hoping he can get up for what should be a much tougher contest with India. Should Clarke prove his fitness, Australia must decide who to leave out and it's not an easy decision. Callum Ferguson, Cameron White and James Hopes are the likely contenders to drop out of the side and despite an excellent start to his international career, Ferguson could be the unlucky one as he does not offer a bowling option.

Australia (possible): 1 Shane Watson, 2 Tim Paine (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Hussey, 5 Callum Ferguson/Michael Clarke, 6 Cameron White, 7 James Hopes, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Brett Lee, 10 Nathan Hauritz, 11 Peter Siddle.

MS Dhoni said he felt three bowlers short at times, such was the ease with which runs were scored in the middle of Pakistan's innings, and India are certain to play five specialist bowlers on Monday. Harbhajan Singh did not bowl well against Pakistan but he is a bogey player for Australia and regularly lifts against them. The other bowling options in India's squad are Praveen Kumar and the legspinner Amit Mishra, who is a strong contender. Praveen could edge in ahead of RP Singh, who took 1 for 59 in nine overs against Pakistan.

India (possible): 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Sachin Tendulkar, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Yusuf Pathan/Amit Mishra, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 RP Singh/Praveen Kumar, 10, Ishant Sharma, 11 Ashish Nehra.

Watch out for...

He might have retired from Twenty20 internationals but Ricky Ponting remains Australia's most important player in ODI cricket. He was magnificent in compiling 79 against West Indies in difficult conditions and a big Ponting score can be the difference between mediocrity and dominance from Australia. He has made plenty of runs against India, but Harbhajan and Ishant Sharma have caused him problems. As always with Ponting, the key is piercing his defences within his first couple of overs at the crease.

Ishant Sharma was one of the better bowlers against Pakistan with figures of 2 for 39, but he has struggled for consistency. But he has enjoyed success against Australia in the past and has nine ODI wickets at 19.33 against them. Importantly for India, he has a bit of a hold on Ponting, having dismissed him six times in international cricket. The ball angling in to the top of off stump troubles Ponting early and Ishant will be a key man for India for that reason alone. He has also dismissed Clarke six times, so Ishant may be hoping Australia's vice-captain passes his fitness test.

Pitch and conditions

India have the advantage of having just played in Centurion, where the conditions are different to the Wanderers. The surface is much slower and provides more assistance to the spinners. Runs are available if the bowlers fail to adjust and Australia will need to sharpen their efforts after struggling to run through West Indies on a cracking and helpful Johannesburg pitch. There is also a strong chance of showers in the evening, so the teams should bear that in mind at the toss.

Stats and trivia

  • Australia and India seem to play each other so often that it's hard to believe they haven't met in an ODI for 18 months, when India wrapped up the CB Series at the Gabba. It's so long ago that Adam Gilchrist was still playing

  • India have won four of eight ODIs they've played in Centurion; Australia have won four of seven. Both teams have lost their past two one-dayers there

  • Not since 2003 have India won a one-day international in South Africa; in the meantime they've lost six

  • The last time these teams met at Centurion, India were walloped by nine wickets, during the 2003 World Cup


"We all know we need to play better than we did today against India"
Ricky Ponting after Australia's scrappy win over West Indies

"From now on it's like a knockout tournament for us. If we don't play well we can pack up our bags and go home."
MS Dhoni after India's loss to Pakistan

Friday, September 25, 2009

Watch India v Pakistan, Champions Trophy Live Streaming

India v Pakistan, Champions Trophy, Group A, Centurion

Less hype, more context

September 25, 2009

Match facts

Saturday, September 26, 2009

India Vs Pakistan

Venue :6th Match Group A, SuperSport Park, Centurion
Live action starts from: 12:30 GMT (18:00 IST) ODI ICC Champions Trophy 2009 One Day International Match

Start time 1430 (1230 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar shares a joke during training, Bangalore, August 30, 2009
No sleepless nights for Tendulkar this time

For once, India and Pakistan will not be playing on an island. India-Pakistan matches are usually separate events within the main event, oblivious to the larger picture of the tournament, but this game doesn't seem to be the usual matter of life and death. For once, this match, though the first big clash of the Champions Trophy in terms of traditional rivals coming face to face, is more about the cricket.

What's helped is the tight draw in the tournament format. Pakistan, who have been more vocal in setting up the match (Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul and Younis Khan have been quoted on how badly they want to beat India), will know only net run-rate can keep them out of semi-finals if they win this match. India, blighted by injuries to Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan, have a year and a half of good work done in ODIs to defend. A loss in their opening match will leave them needing to beat Australia and possibly run-rate calculations to go their way.

The build-up for this match, though, has been different from the last time the two teams met at the same venue, in the 2003 World Cup. Sachin Tendulkar then lived the match a year in advance. Everywhere he went, he was reminded of the match. He said he couldn't sleep properly for 12 nights leading into the game. March 1 was a day people of two countries lived for. If you had asked Tendulkar of this match six months ago, he would have - rightly - not known of any such fixture. Before March 1, 2003, the teams had not played each other for three years. In last three years now, they have played 17 ODIs, six Tests and two Twenty20s.

Hype or no hype, once the match begins, Centurion - and the rest of world, wherever the match is telecast - will be engrossed. Albeit slowly, the atmosphere will build. It can't be such a bad thing if a cricket match is a cricket match and not a war.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

India - WLWWL
Coming off a tri-series win in slow-and-low Sri Lanka, they will need to quickly adjust to livelier pitches in South Africa. Centurion, though, has assisted spin and makes for a smooth transition.

Pakistan - WWWLL
The bowling unit looks almost perfect, as it showed in the win over West Indies. Batting is the weak link, and they need bigger contributions from senior batsmen.

Team news

Gautam Gambhir and Younis are fit and ready. But for India the good news is offset immediately by the injury to Yuvraj. They should go with the same batting line-up that won in Sri Lanka, except for Gambhir replacing Yuvraj and Rahul Dravid moving down the order. They will be tempted to play two spinners at SuperSport Park, which has brought much joy to Ajantha Mendis and Roelof van der Merwe in the first two matches. The bowling has been cause of worry for India, and those last three slots will be the most discussed.

India (probable) 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Sachin Tendulkar, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 6 Virat Kohli/Dinesh Karthik, 7 Yusuf Pathan, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9, 10 and 11 three out of Ishant Sharma, RP Singh, Ashish Nehra and Amit Mishra.

Who does Younis replace? Misbah-ul-Haq seems the most likely candidate; Umar Akmal would like to think he has earned another match after his Man-of-the-Match performance against West Indies. There seems no need to tinker with the bowling combination.

Pakistan (probable) 1 Imran Nazir, 2 Kamran Akmal (wk), 3 Younis Khan (capt.), 4 Shoaib Malik, 5 Mohammad Yousuf, 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, 9 Mohammad Aamer, 10 Umar Gul, 11 Saeed Ajmal

Watch out for...

Pakistan bowlers v Indian batsmen: As has so often been the case, this is the deciding mini contest. Pakistan have three different kinds of fast bowlers, and two different kinds of spinners, who will need a perfect show from opposition batsmen, if they are to be outdone.

Gautam Gambhir and Shahid Afridi Last checked they had to be physically separated from a mid-pitch altercation, in Kanpur. Since then Afridi has become a different man, so mature he seems almost possessed. Will he able to keep his calm when he comes to bowl to Gambhir? Will Gambhir survive for that long?

Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammad Aamer Tendulkar knows all about pressure, playing Pakistan, and playing Pakistan in pressure games. Will he try to bully and unsettle a 17-year-old opening the bowling against him?

MS Dhoni and Younis Khan Two men seemingly above negative emotion and most likely to stay composed in tense circumstances, and rightly the captains. Are they too cool for an India-Pakistan match?

Stats and trivia

  • Pakistan have beaten India only once in an ICC tournament, in the 2004 Champions Trophy. India have won in the World Cups in 1992, 1996, 1999 and 2003, and also twice in the 2007 World Twenty20.

  • Umar Akmal and Mohammad Aamer have never played India in an international. Neither have Virat Kohli, Amit Mishra and Abhishek Nayar played Pakistan.

  • Tendulkar, with 2381 runs to his name, is 22 short of Inzamam-ul-Haq's record aggregate in India-Pakistan matches. In current teams, Dravid (1823) and Afridi (1404) are the other leading run-getters.

  • In 14 ODIs against Pakistan, Harbhajan Singh has taken nine wickets at an average of 71.11 and a strike rate of 90.6 balls per wicket.


"I was told four weeks rest but I want to take my chance tomorrow, playing against India. Maybe if it wasn't India I would've skipped this match"
Younis Khan forgets his injury to take on traditional rivals

Watch Australia v West Indies, Champions Trophy Live Streaming

Australia v West Indies, Champions Trophy, Group A, Johannesburg

More mismatch than rematch

September 25, 2009

Match facts

Saturday, 26 Sep 2009

Australia flag West Indies flag Australia Vs West Indies

Venue :5th Match Group A, New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Live action starts from: 07:30 GMT (13:00 IST) ODI ICC Champions Trophy 2009 One Day International Match

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Start time 9:30 am, 07:30 GMT

Brett Lee celebrates the dismissal of Adil Rashid, England v Australia, 4th ODI, Lord's, September 12, 2009
Brett Lee found form in England and will be one of the keys for Australia

In theory this is the rematch of the most recent Champions Trophy final. In reality, it looms as a serious mismatch. In 2006 in Mumbai, an Australian side featuring Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath, Damien Martyn, Brad Hogg and Andrew Symonds polished off a disappointing Brian Lara-led West Indies outfit to take the title. Flash forward three years and Australia, the defending champions, have lost much of their aura and sit second on the ODI rankings. They are by no means favourites to hold the title but they should kick off their tournament with victory over a mish-mash of second-string West Indians who were beaten at home by Bangladesh but did give Pakistan a scare this week.

Australia have just beaten England 6-1, so their form is impressive. However, they have only just arrived in South Africa and without any warm-up matches they must resist the temptation to treat this game as a centre-wicket practice. A resounding win is required to give them momentum ahead of their matches against India and Pakistan - the teams are competing for two semi-finals spots. Weariness could be a factor and Ricky Ponting said this week the squad featured a lot of tired bodies after a four-month tour of England. Australia are also without their one-day specialist Nathan Bracken, although there is plenty of pace-bowling backup in the squad.

For this replacement West Indies side it's business as usual - they enter the game as severe underdogs with no expectations on their shoulders. Gavin Tonge, who starred against Pakistan, forms part of a handy attack along with Darren Sammy and, if he plays, Kemar Roach. But the batting is fragile and West Indies' best hope could be to bowl first and hope for early-morning swing and seam to upset Australia's top order.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

Australia - LWWWW

West Indies - LLLLNR

Team news

Australia have lost their highest-ranked one-day international bowler, Bracken, who has been sent home due to an ongoing knee problem. It means a reshuffling of the attack, which will be led by Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson. All the bowlers were given a run during the series in England and Peter Siddle appears the likely immediate beneficiary of Bracken's absence. Australia will also be without their vice-captain Michael Clarke, who was suffering from back pain after the flight from England to South Africa. He missed Thursday's practice but the coach Tim Nielsen said his condition was "improving". His spot could go to the allrounder James Hopes.

"Since arriving here and having had to travel from Durham down to London and London to Johannesburg, he's stiffened up quite considerably," Nielsen said. "At the moment it's a day-by-day proposition for us and he's improving, but with the whole tournament in mind we're taking a conservative approach, so he won't play tomorrow."

Australia (possible): 1 Shane Watson, 2 Tim Paine (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Hussey, 5 Callum Ferguson, 6 Cameron White, 7 James Hopes, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Brett Lee, 10 Nathan Hauritz, 11 Peter Siddle.

Neither the fast bowler Kemar Roach nor the batsman Kieran Powell played in the loss to Pakistan and they could strengthen the West Indies line-up. The real team news, of course, has been well documented before the tournament began. Not much was expected of the side and they put in a commendable effort in the opening game. But regardless of which XI they put out on the field, they should be far too weak for Australia.

West Indies (possible): 1 Dale Richards, 2 Andre Fletcher, 3 Devon Smith, 4 Travis Dowlin, 5 Floyd Reifer (capt), 6 David Bernard, 7 Darren Sammy, 8 Chadwick Walton (wk), 9 Nikita Miller, 10 Tino Best, 11 Gavin Tonge.

Watch out for...

Having sat out of the entire Ashes series, Brett Lee had a point to prove in the one-dayers in England. What he confirmed was that he remains a fearsome force in one-day cricket with his fast, accurate bowling and mastery of the yorker. It was enough to rattle England and if he finds his rhythm, the weakened West Indies top order will have a major challenge on their hands.

West Indies have found a quality bowler of their own in Tonge, whose 4 for 25 against Pakistan gave his team a sniff in a low-scoring match. West Indies' batting does not look threatening, so their best chance may be if Australia's batsmen don't give the Caribbean attack due respect. If that is the case, Tonge has the ability to pounce.

Pitch and conditions

The Wanderers was the venue of the low-scoring Pakistan-West Indies match, and the early-morning start will add to the assistance for the fast bowlers. The forecast for Saturday is sunny and 28 degrees.

Stats and trivia

  • The 15 men in the West Indies squad between them have played 130 one-day internationals; Australia's 14 remaining players have a combined 1094 ODI caps

  • Australia's recent form at the Wanderers is good. They beat South Africa there in a one-day international in April, having also triumphed in the Test match there earlier in the tour

  • Australia and West Indies met in the final of the previous Champions Trophy in Mumbai three years ago. It is likely only five players from that match will take part in this game: Ricky Ponting, Lee, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey and Shane Watson


"West Indies will get the respect they deserve from us. There is nothing we can do about the contractual dispute."
Ricky Ponting.

"Hopefully [the pitch] will be behaving the same way when we meet Australia. I will put the ball on the same spot and let the pitch do the same."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Watch England Vs Sri Lanka, Champions Trophy Live Streaming

England gearing up for ICC Champions Trophy

Friday, 25 Sep 2009

England flag Sri Lanka flag England Vs Sri Lanka

Venue :4th Match Group B, New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Live action starts from: 12:30 GMT (18:00 IST) ODI ICC Champions Trophy 2009 One Day International Match

ICC Champions Trophy could well be the chance for England to regain its short-lived glory.The English cricket team could not bask for long in its victory in the Ashes when they were battered badly in the ODI series against Australia following the Ashes.

However, in order to do so Engalnd will have to sweat it out as they are poised against a confident Sri Lankan side in their opening match at New Wanderers.

The Sri Lankan team is riding high with its victory over the Proteas and will be a tough nut to crack.

Brandishing their armor on the battle field of cricket for Sri Lanka are the likes of Tillakaratne Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya among the many ready to cut the English teams bowling attack to shreds.

So the England cricket team better beware!!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Watch South Africa v New Zealand, Champions Trophy Live Streaming

South Africa v New Zealand, Champions Trophy, Group B, Centurion

South Africa have little room for error

September 23, 2009

Match facts

Thursday, 24 Sep 2009

South Africa flag New Zealand flag South Africa Vs New Zealand

Venue :3rd Match Group B, SuperSport Park, Centurion
Live action starts from: 07:30 GMT (13:00 IST) ODI ICC Champions Trophy 2009 One Day International Match

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Start time 9:30 am, 7:30 GMT

Graeme Smith's leg stump is knocked back, South Africa v Sri Lanka, Champions Trophy, Group B, Centurion, September 22, 2009
Graeme Smith's dismissal triggered a collapse against Sri Lanka. South Africa cannot afford another one

The format of the 2009 Champions Trophy - a lean version compared to its flabby predecessors - leaves little margin for error: teams can afford one slip-up at the most during the group stage and South Africa have used theirs up in the opening game against Sri Lanka. They will not be knocked out if they lose again but will become dependent on other results going their way before net run-rate comes into the equation. It's not a predicament any team wants to be in, not least one that was ranked No. 1 in the world earlier in the week.

South Africa, therefore, will be giving Thursday's match in Centurion must-win status. They gambled in the opening game by picking 20-year-old Wayne Parnell ahead of Makhaya Ntini, and by choosing to field first despite naming two specialist spinners in their XI. Graeme Smith, though, said after the 55-run defeat that he wouldn't have done anything differently. South Africa came into the tournament with no international 50-over match-practice since April and were found wanting. They cannot afford to be found wanting tomorrow.

Their opponents don't possess the unorthodox and unique talents of the Sri Lankans but New Zealand make up for that with discipline, doggedness and sheer hard work. Rarely have they failed to make it past the first round of an ICC competition. Daniel Vettori's team, though, has had a poor run in ODIs this year, losing eight games and winning only five. Their last two defeats were heavy ones to India and Sri Lanka during the Compaq Cup and they've had mixed results in the two warm-up matches in South Africa as well: they lost the first one to the Warriors but bounced back to beat India, one of the tournament favourites, convincingly in the second.

New Zealand are a team without stars and rely on collective contribution from their batsmen to achieve a challenging total. Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill and Neil Broom have all scored half-centuries in the warm-ups but Brendon McCullum has failed. Their chances of beating South Africa will hinge on a few players coming good rather than one batsman making a stellar contribution. Their disciplined but sometimes bland attack has been spiced up by the return of Shane Bond and his pace up front is capable of rattling opposition top-orders before the ever-reliable Vettori brings himself on.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

South Africa - LLWWW

New Zealand - LLWLL

Team news

South Africa will once again be without Herschelle Gibbs, who suffered a side strain, which means Hashim Amla will continue to open the innings with Smith. Amla was bowled for 2 by Angelo Mathews in the first game. South Africa, though, are hopeful Gibbs will be fit for their final group match against England. There are no other likely changes to the XI unless South Africa opt for Makhaya Ntini instead of Wayne Parnell, who conceded 79 runs in ten overs against Sri Lanka.

South Africa (likely): 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 AB de Villiers, 5 JP Duminy, 6 Mark Boucher (wk), 7 Albie Morkel, 8 Johan Botha, 9 Roelof van der Merwe, 10 Wayne Parnell, 11 Dale Steyn.

New Zealand are likely to play seven batsmen with Vettori at No. 8 followed by the tailenders. For their attack, New Zealand will have to choose between playing a second spinner or a third fast bowler. Two of the three bowling positions are likely to be filled by Bond and Daryl Tuffey, which means the final spot will go to one of Jeetan Patel, Kyle Mills and Ian Butler.

New Zealand (likely): 1 Brendon McCullum (wk), 2 Jesse Ryder, 3 Martin Guptill, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Grant Elliott, 6 Jacob Oram, 7 Neil Broom, 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Jeetan Patel, 10 Shane Bond, 11 Daryl Tuffey/Kyle Mills/Jeetan Patel.

Watch out for...

The Graeme Smith that returned to international action after elbow surgery was leaner and fitter than the batsman during the ICC World Twenty20 in June. He gave South Africa a fast start in the run chase against Sri Lanka, biffing 58 off 44 balls before falling to Ajantha Mendis' first delivery. His team will hope for a more damaging performance from Smith as they aim to qualify from Group B.

Shane Bond's return from two years of exile is a couple of matches old but his performances during the Compaq Cup in Sri Lanka would have escaped viewer attention in most parts of the world. He provides New Zealand's new-ball attack with much-needed hostility and fans worldwide will tune in to see if he still possesses the long run-up and the extra pace that made the best of batsmen hop and duck.

Pitch and conditions

Rain brought an early end to the match between South Africa and Sri Lanka in Centurion but the forecast for Thursday is fair, although some cloud is expected. The pitch was flat and offered little in terms of swing and seam although it is unclear whether the same surface will be used tomorrow.

Stats and trivia

  • New Zealand have lost 13 and won only two of the 17 ODIs they have played against South Africa in South Africa. The two victories were in the 2003 World Cup and during the 2007 tour.

  • Bond has taken 23 wickets at an average of 22.43 in 13 matches in South Africa. Against them, however, Bond's average for his 16 wickets goes up to nearly 32. Vettori also averages an expensive 45.54 for his 11 wickets in South Africa.

  • Among New Zealand's current batsmen, Brendon McCullum averages the highest in South Africa. He's scored 237 runs in 10 innings at an average of 26.33.


"It doesn't matter to us that South Africa lost to Sri Lanka. We are under no illusions as to how good a unit they are."
Vettori knows the magnitude of the challenge that awaits his team in Centurion.

"We got a good wake-up call against Sri Lanka and now we have to do a big turnaround and there is not much time to do it."
Smith is also aware of the magnitude of the challenge that awaits his team in the days ahead.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Watch Pakistan v West Indies, Champions Trophy Live Streaming

Pakistan v West Indies, Champions Trophy, Group A, Johannesburg

Pakistan's game to lose

September 21, 2009

Match facts

Wednesday, 23 Sep 2009

Pakistan flag West Indies flag Pakistan Vs West Indies

Venue :2nd Match Group A, New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Live action starts from: 12:30 GMT (18:00 IST) ODI ICC Champions Trophy 2009 One Day International Match

Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Start time 1430 (1230 GMT)

Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik celebrate the win, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's, June 21, 2009
Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik would have to contribute with bat and ball if Pakistan are to get their hands on the Champions Trophy for the first time

Pakistan, a team with a dash of mercurial madness, are pitted against West Indies, who are fighting an identity crisis. On paper it's a mismatch: Weakened considerably by the ongoing imbroglio between the board and the main players, West Indies were swept aside by Bangladesh at home recently and few are giving them a chance in this tournament.

Both teams have a 20% success rate in ODIs held in South Africa against the top eight teams; this tournament presents an opportunity to change that statistic. Pakistan will look to ease themselves into the tournament with what should be, in theory, an easy outing. Their captain Younis Khan, who won't be featuring in tomorrow's encounter, has already raised the stakes by announcing that he wants to win the tournament in honour of Bob Woolmer, their former coach who died during the 2007 World Cup.

It won't be that easy, though. Pakistan haven't had the best of the years in ODIs, losing eight of the 13 games played; their batting has floundered repeatedly and they have been bowled out for less than 175 five times. It's a team in the rebuilding stage and instead of opting for an all-youth policy they have added a healthy bit of experience. They have been beefed up by the return of the ICL players in Mohammad Yousuf, Imran Nazir and the solid Naved-ul-Hasan.

If West Indies, derailed by controversy in the recent times, are desperately seeking some positive signs, they need only look at their history in this tournament. They have been runners-up twice and won it once so memorably in 2004. They lack even a single star but, freed of the weight of expectation, they can be a thorn in the flesh of the other fancied teams in their group.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

West Indies - LLLLW
Pakistan - WWLLL

Team news

Pakistan have an explosive talent in Mohammad Aamer, the left-arm fast bowler and a canny medium-pacer in Naved-ul-Hasan, along with a couple of good spinners in Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal. Their bowling can be expected to be consistent; it's their batting that needs to get rolling to push them ahead in this tournament.

Shoaib Malik, who hit a hundred at No. 3 in the warm-up game against Warriors, says he is willing to open the innings. He averages 37.35 as an opener, with two centuries and a fifty, and is likely to feature among the top three in the batting order. Though he has had a poor year, scoring just one half-century in 11 games with an average of 21.44, he has a very good record in South Africa, averaging 77.50 in five games with one half-century. Misbah-ul-Haq returns to the country where it had all started for him during the inaugural World Twenty20.

Mohammad Yousuf adds solidity to the middle-order and Mohammad Asif, though not slated to play tomorrow, will make his much-awaited return to international cricket at some point in the tournament.

Pakistan (probable) 1 Imran Nazir, 2 Kamran Akmal (wk), 3 Shoaib Malik, 4 Mohammad Yousuf, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq, 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Shahid Afridi (capt), 8 Naved-ul-Hasan, 9 Saeed Ajmal, 10 Umar Gul, 11 Mohammad Aamer

Not much is expected of West Indies, nor have they done much recently to raise any expectations. Though weakened, they have some talent in Dale Richards, Devon Smith, and David Bernard in the batting department. Their bowling would be led by Kemar Roach and Darren Sammy, with Nikita Miller providing the spin option.

West Indies (probable) 1 Dale Richards, 2 Andre Fletcher, 3 Devon Smith, 4 Travis Dowlin, 5 Floyd Reifer (capt), 6 Kieran Powerll, 7 David Bernard, 8 Chadwick Walton (wk), 9 Darren Sammy, 10 Kemar Roach, 11 Nikita Miller.

Watch out for...

Umar Gul has never been the poster boy in his career but, of late, he has shouldered the burden of being the strike bowler with his talent backed by maturity. He has a very good yorker and is likely to get some seam movement with the new ball. The return of Asif is likely to benefit Gul, who has always seemed a natural follower than a leader.

Dale Richards is one of the few players in history who have opened their Test debuts with a six. He is naturally aggressive and is pretty good against pace bowling, but still faces the criticism that he fails to convert his starts. This tournament presents a great opportunity to showcase his talent.

Stats and trivia

  • Pakistan have played ODIs against only Sri Lanka and Australia this year, losing eight of the 13 games.
  • Mohammad Yousuf is the second-highest scorer after Saeed Anwar for Pakistan in Champions Trophy history, scoring 284 runs at 47.33, but averaging only 31.81 in ODIs played in South Africa.
  • Darren Sammy is the only player in the current West Indies team who has played in a Champions Trophy game before - he didn't bat but picked up one wicket from six overs.


"I want the people in the Caribbean to know that this is a West Indies team that is dedicated to the West Indies cricket. This is not a second-string team,."
Floyd Reifer tries to garner some support back home, where the team has been labeled as 'scabs' in some quarters.

"I know from experience that the batting is the most important thing while playing in South Africa. If our batting clicks we can win the competition. "
Shoaib Malik pinpoints the area where his team needs to get more consistent.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Watch Sout Africa v Sri Lanka, Champions Trophy Live Streaming

Sout Africa v Sri Lanka, Champions Trophy, Group B, Centurion

Nearly men kick off nearly tournament

September 21, 2009

Match facts

Tuesday, 22 Sep 2009

South Africa flag Sri Lanka flag South Africa Vs Sri Lanka

Venue :1st Match Group B, SuperSport Park, Centurion
Live action starts from: 12:30 GMT (18:00 IST) ODI ICC Champions Trophy 2009 One Day International Match

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Start time 1430 (1230 GMT)

Graeme Smith glances at the Champions Trophy during a press conference, Potchefstroom, September 17, 2009
Will Smith be any closer to that trophy in a fortnight's time?

Lack of choices can be a blessing in disguise. Hence we have potentially the best event organised by the ICC in a long while. Not entirely by design, though: there was no window for a longer tournament, there isn't even a reserve day for the final. So there was no space for flab or Super Sixes or Eights or whatever. Although Bangladesh can argue they had a better case than West Indies, few could have envisaged the political turmoil in the Caribbean when the tournament was being drawn up. As a result the preliminary groups are neither meaningless cakewalks nor so fickle that one freak loss ends the tournament for a team. Throw in the fact that the top three teams are so close to each other, the No. 1 ranking is likely to change hands more often in this tournament than the baton in a relay race. So good on the ODIs, which do with this shot in the arm.

It helps that South Africa has been the setting for memorable starts to world events. In the first match of the 2003 World Cup, Brian Lara's century helped West Indies beat South Africa by three runs in a tense finish. Four years later the ICC went to South Africa unsure if the World Twenty20 would be accepted by the audience. The same two teams, in 37.4 overs, hit all such trepidations out of the Wanderers. The possibility of an exact repeat has been ruled out by the draw, which pits Sri Lanka opening the tournament against the hosts, but a similar start is needed.

Both players in the act on Tuesday run the risk of becoming perennial best men: both have been consistent limited-overs teams for large parts of last 15 years, but only two players in each team have tasted success in an ICC event: Sanath Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan won the 1996 World Cup, and Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis won the inaugural Champions Trophy in 1998.

Since then South Africa have lost two World Cup semi-finals, one World Twenty20 semi-final, and three Champions Trophy semi-finals. Sri Lanka haven't been that consistent, but they too have lost a World Cup final and semi-final each, a World Twenty20 final, and shared a Champions Trophy final.

Not much has changed on that front: this is another best chance for South Africa to shrug off the chokers' tag, and although Sri Lanka are not starting off as favourites it would be folly to underestimate them. So let the nearly men kick the nearly tournament off.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)

South Africa - LWWWL
Forget their record in big tournaments, this is indeed South Africa's best chance in a big tournament. They are the most settled team among the eight, Australia are not what they used to be - their 6-1 win in England notwithstanding - and others generally have more issues to settle than the hosts. They last played an international match back in April. Will they be rested or rusty?

Sri Lanka - LWWLL
A new-look team trying to bring together mavericks, team players and veterans makes for interesting following. Their No. 5 ranking in ODIs should not prompt other teams to let their guard down.

Watch out for...

Dale Steyn has stated what the world knows in its heart of hearts but is not so convinced about when it comes to big tournaments. "If the team play to their potential, and this might sound cocky, I really believe no side can match us at the Champions Trophy." The world is waiting, Dale, for the "team to play to their potential".

Nuwan Kulasekara quietly became the No. 1 bowler in ODIs without many noticing, and has kept the ranking for some time now. Now he will be tested in the open and, if the conditions help swing, his accuracy, inswingers, and the odd one that goes straight could just confirm the ICC rankings.

Graeme Smith has not shied from making statements for his team, and on the first day of the tournament, with regular co-opener Herschelle Gibbs out, his team needs the leader in the front.

Kumar Sangakkara the captain has been conspicuous in trying to bring a hard edge to his skilled team, but Sangakkara the batsman last scored an ODI century in June 2008, against Bangladesh. Sri Lanka won't mind a reconciliation of the two Sangakkaras.

Team news

Either Hashim Amla or Kallis will have to step up to open with Smith in Gibbs' absence, due to a rib injury that has him out of the first match. It probably won't hurt the middle order, which looks settled - only Albie Morkel and Mark Boucher could be needed earlier than usual. The three most likely to sit out are Gibbs, Robin Peterson and Lonwabo Tsotsobe. Expect a toss-up between Roelof van der Merwe and Wayne Parnell for the final position.

South Africa (probable) 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 AB de Villiers, 5 JP Duminy, 6 Mark Boucher (wk), 7 Albie Morkel, 8 Roelof van der Merwe/Wayne Parnell, 9 Johan Botha, 10 Makhaya Ntini, 11 Dale Steyn.

Murali should be fit to take the field now. After the tri-series final that Sri Lanka lost to India, Sangakkara had said Murali was fit but they didn't want to risk him before the Champions Trophy. Whose place will he take if he plays is an interesting question. Unless it is a rank turner, Ajantha Mendis should be the man most likely to sit out.

Sri Lanka (probable) 1 Sanath Jayasuriya, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (capt/wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Thilina Kandamby, 6 Chamara Kapugedera, 7 Angelo Mathews, 8 Thilan Thushara, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Muttiah Muralitharan, 11 Lasith Malinga.

Stats and trivia

    • South Africa lead 5-1 head-to-head on Sri Lanka in ICC events. They lost to Sri Lanka in the 1992 World Cup, and tied with them in 2003, but have won all other encounters.

    • Murali, with 23 wickets, is the highest wicket-taker in Champions Trophy history.

    • Sangakkara, with 22 catches and four stumpings, leads the dismissals table for wicketkeepers.


    "Our team has a lot of variety. We have got a left-armer, we have got pace, we have got allrounders and we have got spin. It is nice as a captain to have so many options."
    Graeme Smith likes what he sees when he casts an eye over South Africa's squad.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Watch India Vs Sri Lanka Live Streaming Compac Cup Final

Monday, 14 Sep 2009
India flag Sri Lanka flag India Vs Sri Lanka

Venue :Final Match, R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo (D/N)
Live action starts from: 09:00 GMT (14:30 IST) ODI Compaq Cup 2009 One Day International Match

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Watch England Vs Australia 4th ODI Live Streaming

Saturday, 12 Sep 2009
England flag Australia flag England Vs Australia

Venue :4th One Day International, Lord"s, London
Live action starts from: 09:15 GMT (14:45 IST) ODI Australia Tour of England 2009 One Day International Match

Watch India Vs Sri Lanka Live Streaming Compac Cup

Saturday, 12 Sep 2009

India flag Sri Lanka flag India Vs Sri Lanka

Venue :3rd Match, R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo (D/N)
Live action starts from: 09:00 GMT (14:30 IST) ODI Compaq Cup 2009 One Day International Match

Watch India Vs New Zealand Live Streaming, Compaq Cup

Friday, 11 Sep 2009
India flag New Zealand flag India Vs New Zealand

Venue :2nd Match, R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo (D/N)
Live action starts from: 09:00 GMT (14:30 IST) ODI Compaq Cup 2009 One Day International Match

Monday, September 7, 2009

Watch Sri Lanka v New Zealand, Compaq Cup

Sri Lanka v New Zealand, Compaq Cup, Colombo

New Zealand seek to replicate Twenty20 form

Match facts

Tuesday September 8

Tuesday, 08 Sep 2009
Sri Lanka flag New Zealand flag Sri Lanka Vs New Zealand

Venue :1st Match, R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo (D/N)
Live action starts from: 09:00 GMT (14:30 IST) ODI Compaq Cup 2009 One Day International Match

Start time 14.30 (9.00 GMT)

Nathan McCullum is pumped up after dismissing Roelof van der Merwe, New Zealand v South Africa, ICC World Twenty20, Lord's, June 9, 2009
Nathan McCullum made the most of his chance in the second Twenty20 © Associated Press
Related Links
Analysis : Sri Lanka's chance to regain home dominance
Players/Officials: Nuwan Kulasekara | Brendon McCullum
Matches: Sri Lanka v New Zealand at Colombo (RPS)
Series/Tournaments: Compaq Cup
Teams: New Zealand | Sri Lanka

Big Picture

Sri Lanka, after consecutive Twenty20 defeats, and New Zealand, after a 50-over warm-up defeat to Sri Lanka A on Sunday, will attempt to kick-start the Compaq Cup on Tuesday, though the weather threatens to be a dampener. Scattered thunderstorms are predicted for each of the days this week and a short four-game tournament, already being criticised for its duration and practicality, needs to be competitive throughout to silence growing criticism of the 50-over game's future.

Sri Lanka, almost always formidable opponents on their own soil, do not start as favourites. New Zealand took plenty of confidence from two night wins at the Premadasa last week and they know their biggest shot at winning is getting into Sri Lanka's top order. New Zealand have repeatedly highlighted the importance of dismissing Tillakaratne Dilshan early to put pressure on Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, leaving a shaky lower order sweating.

Successive middle-order muddles during the Twenty20s left Kumar Sangakkara ruing the lack of application and calling on the players to introspect going into this series. Sri Lanka will hope that Sanath Jayasuriya finds form at a venue in which he has scored 2373 runs at 38.27, but contributions from the likes of Angelo Mathews and Chamara Kapugedera will be equally important. Another worry for the home side is that Muttiah Muralitharan is in some doubt after not recovering entirely from a groin strain sustained on day five of the SSC Test, and both teams will keenly await news on his fitness tomorrow.

New Zealand did little wrong in the Twenty20s. Their response to Dilshan's onslaught in game one was calm and their batting and bowling more than efficient during the series clincher. Their effective handling of Ajantha Mendis - who caused nightmares at Trent Bridge this summer - was another reason behind their victory over Sri Lanka.

Form guide

Sri Lanka LLWWW
New Zealand NrWWLW

Watch out for...

Nuwan Kulasekara had a fantastic 2008 in ODI cricket, and he translated that into a Man-of-the-Series performance in the home Tests against Pakistan. He was rested for the second Test against New Zealand keeping in mind Sri Lanka's heavy limited-overs workload, and returns to the format which he has dominated. In 15 matches in 2009, he has taken 26 wickets at 22.80 and has become Sri Lanka's premier one-day quick bowler.

Brendon McCullum has earned a reputation as on of the most feared hitters in international cricket, and after easing back to form with 49 in the second Twenty20 international, spoke of a calmness at the crease that was missing during the Tests. Seven years after his debut, McCullum still has only one ODI century; after warning his tri-series opponents about how his confidence has returned, he'll fancy his chances of improving that count in this series.

Team news

Murali's fitness will be evaluated later this evening and tomorrow morning before the game and Sri Lanka are hopeful he will be ready. Sri Lanka may hand young left-handed batsman Gihan Rupasinghe a debut, meaning Angelo Mathews may drop down a spot. Thilan Thushara will come back into the side after missing the Twenty20s and forms a potent pace attack along with Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga.

Sri Lanka: (probable) 1 Sanath Jayasuriya, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (capt & wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Chamara Kapugedera, 6 Gihan Rupasinghe, 7 Angelo Mathews, 8 Thilan Thushara, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Muttiah Muralitharan, 11 Lasith Malinga.

Daniel Vettori, Ross Taylor and Shane Bond will be back after sitting out the warm-up loss on Sunday. Bond will replace Daryl Tuffey, who is not part of the ODI squad. If Brendon McCullum is given the wicketkeeping role then both Grant Elliott and Neil Broom, neither of whom did anything of note against Sri Lanka A, could feature. The second spinner's spot will be a toss-up between Jeetan Patel and Nathan McCullum, who impressed in the second Twenty20 and the practice match and brings more depth in batting and fielding.

New Zealand: (probable) 1 Brendon McCullum (wk), 2 Jesse Ryder, 3 Martin Guptill, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Jacob Oram, 6 Grant Elliot, 7 Neil Broom, 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Kyle Mills, 11 Shane Bond.

Pitch and conditions

The pitch at the Premadasa is a dry one and favours batting. Going by the recent trend, the side winning the toss will almost certainly opt to bat. The weather cannot be discounted, however, with rain never too far from Colombo. Scattered showers are forecast. The Premadasa is tied with the SSC as the grounds to have hosted the maximum number of washed out games - six each - and if the prediction turns out to be accurate, this ground could sneak to the top of a rather unflattering category.

Stats and Trivia

  • Sri Lanka have won 46 out of 75 ODIs at the Premadasa.

  • New Zealand have won three out of nine matches here, but only one against Sri Lanka.

  • In 30 matches since 2004, a 300-plus total has been achieved only four times at the Premadasa. On average, teams have managed 26.77 per wicket at a rate of 4.73.

  • Fast bowlers have taken more wickets at the Premadasa since 2004 - 262 at an average of 27.04. Spinners have managed 160 wickets at 32.53 apiece.

    Since 2004, the team winning the toss has batted first on 24 out of 30 occasions. In the last 11 ODIs, teams chose to bat every time and the result went their way on each occasion.

  • Murali has a bowling average of 26.37 and a best of 5 for 44 at this ground, with 69 wickets from 52 ODIs.


"If you know a trend, you know the past, you try and go out there and change it."
Sangakkara reacts to a question about conditions and the toss at the Premadasa.

"It's been good to have him back. He's a smart bowler. He probably doesn't have the genuine pace he had in the VB Series a couple of years ago [2007] but he's certainly a better bowler with the ability to read the game and read a player."
Brendon McCullum is glad to be back keeping wicket to Shane Bond.

"You can't really write him off, can you? He's got so much experience; he's been tearing attacks apart over the years, so we're not writing him off."
McCullum hasn't read too much into Jayasuriya's prolonged run of bad form.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Watch Sri Lanka v New Zealand 2nd Twenty20 Live Streaming

Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 2nd Twenty20, Colombo

Buoyant New Zealand seek encore

September 3, 2009

Match facts

Friday September 4

Sri Lanka Vs New Zealand

Venue :2nd Twenty20 International, R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Live action starts from: 12:30 GMT (18:00 IST) T20 New Zealand Tour of Sri Lanka 2009 Twenty20 International Match

Start time 19.00 (Local)

Ross Taylor scored 60 off 45 balls, Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 1st Twenty20, Colombo, September 2, 2009
Ross Taylor remains the key batsman in New Zealand's middle order

Big Picture

The last statement Daniel Vettori made after New Zealand snapped their winless streak on tour with a tense victory on Wednesday was that there was still a game to go to clinch the short series. Vettori knows how much confidence his side can take from anything they win on tour.

It was refreshing to see his face light up as he ran towards hat-trick hero Jacob Oram when New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by three runs. It has been a difficult tour for a side inexperienced in subcontinental conditions but the change in personnel for the Twenty20s seems to have infused life.

There is no ignoring the key role Vettori himself played, slowing his pace and teasing with his loop to take 2 for 11 in four overs in a Man-of-the-Match effort, but this was a victory fashioned by more than one or two individuals and that gave Vettori the most pleasure. The batting was shaky but the fielding exceptional, proving decisive in the outcome. A series win beckons, if New Zealand can keep their cool again.

For Sri Lanka, this was their third straight loss in this format, starting from the ICC World Twenty20 final. In all three defeats the batting has been a worry, especially the lack of contributions from the middle and lower-middle order. Kumar Sangakkara was left to rue another batting collapse after Tillakaratne Dilshan's amazing attack on New Zealand's bowlers set them on the way to victory. Dilshan aside, Sri Lanka had enough batting firepower but fell to a flurry of loose shots and were not able to forge partnerships. Sangakkara has put the pressure on his batsmen and demanded they evaluate themselves before the final game.

Form guide

Sri Lanka LLLWW
New Zealand WLLWL

Watch out for...

Ross Taylor, who remains New Zealand's cleanest hitter of the ball and showed his prowess with five fours and a six on Wednesday. Although not as breathtaking as Dilshan's innings, it was Taylor's knock that helped New Zealand to 141. With runs not forthcoming from Jacob Oram this tour, the visitors need Taylor to come up with the goods especially if the opening pair of Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder again fails to get going.

Mahela Jayawardene was run out by a superb direct his from Ryder in the first game, and that wicket set in motion a succession of dismissals. Jayawardene is in good enough form to play a match-winning hand - a couple sixes during training were a reminder of that - and he knows just how important runs from him are.

Team news

It is unlikely New Zealand will make any changes given that the unit they fielded on Wednesday won them their first match on tour. The lower-middle order was shaken up by Lasith Malinga, but the management should keep faith in them. Grant Elliott will keep Neil Broom on his toes.

New Zealand: (probable) 1 Brendon McCullum (wk), 2 Jesse Ryder, 3 Martin Guptill, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Jacob Oram, 6 Neil Broom/Grant Elliott, 7 Peter McGlashan (wk), 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Kyle Mills, 10 Shane Bond, 11 Ian Butler

Sri Lanka's batting let them down but they have no specialist middle-order players on the bench. Mahela Udawatte is primarily an opener, so Sri Lanka aren't likely to change their current combination. The bowlers all did well, which means Isuru Udana and Kaushal Lokuarachchi should still warm the bench.

Sri Lanka: (probable) 1 Sanath Jayasuriya, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (capt & wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Chamara Kapugedera, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Gihan Rupasinghe, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Malinga Bandara, 10 Ajantha Mendis, 11 Lasith Malinga.

Stats and Trivia

  • Malinga has moved into fifth place in the list of leading wicket-takers in Twenty20 internationals.
  • Taylor's 60 was his third half-century in Twenty20 internationals and he is New Zealand's second-highest run-scorer in this format after McCullum.


"A lot of guys don't have the baggage of the Test series and another win now will hopefully give us some momentum for the rest of the tour, and confidence for everyone. That's the most important thing in cricket."
Vettori knows just what self-belief can do for a team

"He's always been a good Twenty20 bowler and knows what he's doing. He's the one we have to really look at, how we're going to score singles off him. We're going to be talking about that."
Sangakkara knows Sri Lanka face a big challenge against Vettori.

Watch England v Australia 1st ODI Live Streaming

England v Australia, 1st ODI, The Oval

Australia primed to end tour on a high

September 3, 2009

Match facts

Friday, September 4, 2009

England Vs Australia

Venue :1st One Day International, Kennington Oval, London (D/N)
Live action starts from: 13:30 GMT (19:00 IST) ODI Australia Tour of England 2009 One Day International Match

Brett Lee is waiting to see whether he will feature in the final Test, The Oval, August 18, 2009
Brett Lee was briefly in ferocious form in the first Twenty20 at Old Trafford; his frustration at being benched all summer epitomises Australia's determination to claw back some pride

Big Picture

It's been a tour from hell for Australia so far. Their ICC World Twenty20 campaign (remember that?) lasted all of three days; they then contrived to lose the Ashes despite appearing to dominate all but a handful of (ultimately critical) sessions, and finally over the Bank Holiday, they were denied a bounce-back victory when rain wrote off the first Twenty20 at Old Trafford, before causing a complete washout in the return fixture two days later. Aside from a one-sided thrashing of Scotland in Edinburgh, it's been slim pickings of late.

But now here's a chance to claim some belated honours - seven ODIs in London, Southampton, Nottingham and Chester-le-Street, starting with a day/night fixture at The Oval on Friday. England themselves know what succour the 50-over format can provide to losing Ashes campaigns, having rounded off their whitewash tour in 2006-07 by swiping the CB Series - and Australia will not be starting the series from a position anything like as bleak as England's back then.

The Aussies looked on with amusement as England's final preparations descended into a football-related farce after Joe Denly was clogged by his team-mate Owais Shah, and their incentive to exact their Ashes revenge is epitomised by the frustration that has been steaming out of Brett Lee's ears during his banishment from the Test line-up. Should Australia somehow lose this series 5-2 then they will slip behind England in the one-day rankings, but surely they/ve suffered enough indignities, individually and collectively, for one tour?

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)

England - WWWWW

Australia - WLWWW

Watch out for…

Brett Lee does not have many recent fond memories of The Oval. He was overlooked for the Ashes decider on this ground last month, having been humiliated by Chris Gayle back in June, when Australia bombed out of the ICC World Twenty20 amid some of the biggest six-hitting ever seen in South London. But to say he is motivated right now is something of an understatement. Joe Denly did not know what had hit him when he fell to the first and only ball of his Twenty20 career to date at Old Trafford, as Lee cranked up the pace yet somehow retained a subtlety, as his slower ball to Jonathan Trott in the same over demonstrated. Right now he's playing for his international future, and England know it.

Ravi Bopara has suffered a rough time since the Ashes began. He managed 105 runs in seven innings before being dropped for the fifth Test, and has since followed up with one run in two attempts since returning to the top of the order for the limited-overs campaign. But he still retains the faith of his captain, Andrew Strauss. "It's important to keep things in perspective," he said. "International cricketers go through periods of good form and bad form. We're not robots, and if you're a good player you remain a good player, even if you're out of nick. He'll benefit from going out and expressing himself in the first ten overs, and that will clarify his gameplan."

Team news

Denly's demise means Eoin Morgan will surely return to the middle order, having been overlooked against his old team-mates, Ireland, in favour of England's Oval Test hero, Jonathan Trott. Trott has not been selected for this squad as yet, but could well return to the reckoning if Denly is ruled out for the whole campaign. Strauss, who sat out the Ireland fixture as well as the Old Trafford washouts, returns to the top of the order as captain, with Paul Collingwood returning to the ranks.

England (possible) 1 Ravi Bopara, 2 Andrew Strauss (capt), 3 Matt Prior (wk), 4 Owais Shah, 5 Paul Collingwood , 6 Eoin Morgan, 7 Luke Wright, 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 James Anderson, 11 Ryan Sidebottom.

Australia have been forced to field their third international keeper of the summer - and their fourth in all contests - following Brad Haddin's return home for surgery on his broken finger. And Tim Paine, his understudy, could well be asked to open the batting as well, with Clarke keeping Ponting's No. 3 berth warm in his absence.

Australia (possible) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Tim Paine (wk), 3 Michael Clarke (capt), 4 Michael Hussey, 5 Callum Ferguson, 6 Cameron White, 7 James Hopes, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Nathan Hauritz 10 Brett Lee, 11 Nathan Bracken.

Pitch and conditions

It looks dry out there, which is a start. After the bog of Belfast and the mudbath in Manchester, anything firm underfoot will suit the sides nicely. An added consideration will be the Oval floodlights, which are something of an unknown quantity in English conditions.

Stats and trivia

  • England have won their last five completed ODI matches in a row, a run of form they have not emulated since their tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa in 2004-05.
  • Australia have won seven of their last ten ODIs against England, including six in a row in the 2006-07 CB Series ... which England somehow claimed in the final. The sides have not met over 50 overs since the World Cup in Antigua in April 2007 (which Australia won, of course).


"I suppose, from our recent experiences in one-day cricket, we are looking to improve our consistency, we have see-sawed from very good to very bad, and that's something we need to address."

Andrew Strauss puts his finger on England's failings over 50 overs.

"Because we didn't get the result we wanted, I see more reason to get out here and have a really good one-day series, so we leave England with some positives. Winning this series is pretty important."

Michael Clarke wants to finish a tough tour on a high.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Watch Sri Lanka vs New Zealand T20 Live Streaming

Wednesday, 02 Sep 2009
Sri Lanka flag New Zealand flag Sri Lanka Vs New Zealand

Venue :1st Twenty20 International, R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Live action starts from: 12:30 GMT (18:00 IST) T20 New Zealand Tour of Sri Lanka 2009 Twenty20 International Match