Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Aussie skipper wary of spin

Australia captain Michael Clarke reckons spin is going to be a massive factor in his side's upcoming battles with Sri Lanka and his team must improve if they wish to prevail.

The two nations are meeting in Twenty20, one-day and Tests matches, with Australia already having gone down 2-0 in the two-match Twenty20 series. Those following the cricket odds will be wondering if they can bounce back.

In the second match, spin king Ajantha Mendis claimed a world record six-wicket haul and Clarke is hoping his side can stand up better to such bowling when the 50-over one-day series begins.

But Australia are a team suffering for form, as they are coming off their 3-1 Ashes reverse last winter, and have looked to revitalise their fortunes by calling up a host of younger players to bring through a new generation. The cricket betting promotions show they need improvement from somewhere.

At least Clarke, who takes over the captaincy from T20 skipper Cameron White, can bring senior batsmen Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey back into the side as Australia look to prove their mettle in the one-day series before the vital three Tests.

"We will get a lot of spin to face. If we are to win the series we have to play spin well," said the skipper.

"If we play our best cricket there is no reason why we can't win the series."

Clarke has described Mendis as a "good bowler in all forms of the game" and the Sri Lanka spinner looks likely to play a major part in the upcoming one-day and Test series between the sides.

Monday, August 1, 2011

India hit by Sehwag blow

India are not sure when Virender Sehwag will join up with their squad in England, but the batsman will miss the first two Tests.

The 32-year-old missed the recent tour of the West Indies after having an operation on his shoulder, although it was originally thought he would be fit for the first Test against England.

But Indian officials say his recovery if taking longer than expected and they await further news on his progress. People looking at the India cricket betting will know what a big miss he'll be.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admits Sehwag will be a big loss for the tourists and coach Duncan Fletcher says they have heard that he "maybe over for the third and fourth Test".

The opener is expected to be replaced by Abhinav Mukund for the opening two Tests – at Lord’s and Trent Bridge – after impressing in the Caribbean.

Mukund scored a half-century (62) in the third Test against the Windies and is likely to be asked to open with the ever-impressive Gautam Gambhir.

Dhoni admits that India are a team that "relies on the openers quite a bit" and feels a good start will help them "capitalise with the middle order".

The India skipper added: "There aren't many cricketers in the world who can have the impact he (Sehwag) can. Of course we'll miss him, but the good thing for Indian cricket is it gives a chance to a youngster like Mukund."

The first of four Tests begins at Lord’s on Thursday July 21, with the two teams then doing battle at Trent Bridge, Edgbaston and The Oval, before one Twenty20 international and five ODIs.