I did say last week that I gave Australia little chance of winning the World T20 tournament, however I did expect them to put up a better fight in the group stage. And it does take a little bit of value out of my tickets to the double-header at Lord's on Friday :(
We've just come off an IPL series where only six bowlers played 10 matches or more and avergaed less than a run per ball. What was the common denominator? They (Murali, Duminy, Harbhajan, Kumble, Karthik, Raina) are all slow bowlers, and half of them are part-timers. Spin bowlers averaged 1.5 runs less per over than pacemen in the 2009 IPL.
So what was Australia's tactic? Bowl fast, bowl fast, bowl fast. Blind Freddie could tell you that slow bowling in the middle overs of a 50 over game slows momentum. In T20, it makes the batsman work harder. No dinky lobs over fine leg, no flailing the bat knowing a thick edge will go for four, make them earn their runs.
Brett Lee - possibly the most over-rated player in cricket, Nathan Bracken and Shane Watson got carted - they don't offer anything new and most of them barely play domestic T20 games. David Warner is the only T20 specialist in that team, and even he was lucky to get a game!
Wise words from an AAP journo I haven't seen before -
Stark reality of an early exit
T20 is a completely different mindset. Tactics need to be different, mentality needs to be different, selection needs to be different. Poor effort from Ponting and his selection panel.
Still, the Ashes are far more important anyway.....