Warner in blazing form--enters WC hot list | Daily News

Warner in blazing form--enters WC hot list

Like the "Most Wanted' list, this is the time to watch out for the "World Cup Hot List" with the 2019 World Cup fever hotting up with each passing day.

On our WC Hot List, given their batting form, we have two of the most feared batsmen in cricket, Australians Steve Smith and David Warner. And then there is that rumbustious South African with his wily spin Imran Tahir.

Warner and Smith's form with the bat In the money bag Indian Premier League would have warmed the cockles of the Australians who are the reigning World Cup champions.

Warner and Smith donning pads and handling bats for Sunrises Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League fired the warning shot that even after being ‘sin binned’ for 12 months showed that they have not rusted nor lost their thirst and hunger for runs which made them feared batsmen.

Warner captaining Sunrises Hyderabad and opening batting, showed the urgency and momentum of old as he blazed away with nonchalance to hammer a blazing 85 off 43 balls an. Smith although not making big scores but 20s and 30s, showed that he has it him to get better and be feared when World Cup time comes around.

Warner then slaughtered --yes slaughtered--the Royal Challengers Bangalore attack to blast an unbeaten 100 in 55 balls with 5 fours and 5 sixes.

So this duo is already signaling that they are warming up for the current World Cup Champs, Australia. The Aussies have won the Cup many times before, although not one of the favourites this time round.

But they will be straining every nerve, sinew, and muscle to rule the one-day cricket world and retain and keep the trophy among the 100s of trophies adorning their cupboards this time too.

With the Australians jellying together led by big-hitting Aron Finch who is going great guns, beating India in a five match one-day series 3-2 and then continuing drubbing the Pakistanis in the desert 5-0.

In the five matches played, Finch has been in blistering form with the willow making two magnificent hundreds, just missing another by just 10 runs and another big score. Australian selectors will stick with him as captain for the defence of the World Cup.

Australia led by Michael Clarke won the previous World Cup also tagged the ‘cowboy game’ in the final played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground rodeo beating New Zealand led by Brendon McCullum in the final.

The glamorous event conducted by the International Cricket Council was co-hosted in New Zealand and Australia and was a resounding success. England and Wales will co-host the tournament this time round and are determined to put up a show, better than the best known.

Imran Tahir a treat

On our WC Hot List is South African Imran Tahir. He has mastered one of the most difficult arts of bowling--Leg spin-- by practicing for hours on end, sweating it out and working hard to master his trade.

Once mastered and one becomes a feared bowler, it's difficult to read and counter. Batsmen are non-plussed not knowing which way the ball will spin – leg to off which is the stock leg spin, or off to leg which is the googly. There is also the top spinner in their repertoire.

While the googly is bowled to baffle the batsmen, wicketkeepers ask the bowler to make a signal when bowling the googly, lest they go the wrong way and become a laughing stock.

Leg spinners are a rare commodity in today’s game and one leg spinner who is not only making waves but celebrate the taking of a wicket in an eye-catching and funny manner is South Africa’s Imran Tahir.

Tahir with his many variations is a bowler batsmen find difficult to read. Once he has captured a wicket his celebrations are unlimited, punching the air, running a few yards and celebrating like a kid would do when given a lollipop. He is a treat to watch.

In the run-up to the World Cup, we shall portray the talents of many of the others on our WC Hot List. So stay tuned!

Duminy quits 50-over cricket

One sad event that took place during the final one-day game between Sri Lanka and South Africa in SA and which was not given the publicity it deserved was the bidding of adieu by Jean-Paul Duminy from the 50 overs game ’.

With the 2019 World Cup only a couple of months away, it is surprising that Duminy decided to quit. With his natural flair, especially for this style of game with his lusty hitting as he showed against Sri Lanka when the acting captain, tantalizing off-spin bowling and safe fielder he would have been an automatic choice in the SA team for the World Cup. And was surely on our WC Hot List.

Twelve World Cups have been played with West Indies, Australia, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka have held aloft the World Cup and with South Africa who has yet to lay their hands on the WC tipped as one of the favorites this time round, Duminy quitting would take away the muscle from the SA cricket body and immensely lessen their chances of holding aloft the silverware at least this time round.

The South African Cricket Board should have spoken to Duminy, got him to see reason and explained to him his immense value to the team in its bid to win the WC for the first time and got him to do a rethink.

Apropos my previous ‘Comment’ titled Pride to St. Sebastian’s, an avid reader of my column in Canada Basil Fernando writes in to say that in addition to the three Fernandos who played for St. Sebastian’s in a Test there was also Duleep Mendis and Flavian Aponso who were also taught their basics by Bro. Patrick.

Also, another reader from California Lalith Karunaratne informs me that there were four Josephians who played in a Test. In addition to Angelo Mathews, Dimuth Karunaratne and Roshen Silva there was also Sadeera Samarawickrema who played in the same Test.

My thanks to them.

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