Will this be the “slowest” world cup

March 2, 2007

It is now confirmed that Shoaib Akthar will join Brett Lee along the sidelines (or will be it in Sony Max’s commentary team) for the upcoming Cricket World Cup in the Carribean. There is genuine apprehension that this World Cup will suffer from lack of genuine speedsters.  Fans who like to see a fast bowler running in and delivering at close to 155-160 kmph will have to pray that Shane Bond, the last man standing of this exlcusive club, keeps his bones, muscles  and joints in good shape through the tournament.   Amongst the rest, that leaves Shaun Tait as the only bowler who can aspire to match Bond.   

Given this along with the general consensus that the pitches that will be laid out during the tournament will be on the slower, lower side, it would be fair to predict that this will be a “slow” world cup.  It would be perverse if this scenario were to played out in the land of Hall, Holding, Roberts and Marshall. 

On the other hand, it is quite possible that the lack of general bowling speed will be compensated by quicksilver fielding. I believe that the “average” fielding standard will be the highest of any world cup played so far.  Most of test playing teams, with the exception of India and to some extent Pakistan, have lifted their fielding standards since the last edition. Australia has benefited significantly with the inclusion of Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey. England has added Bell and Pietersen, Sri Lanka has Dilshan, South Africa have the wonderfully talented De Villiers. Even the much maligned Indian team will be hoping that newcomers like Karthik and Uthappa will choose the world cup as the stage for exhibiting their above average fielding skills.

For the sake of the billions of fans let us hope that efforts on the field will at least partially  compensate for the lack of thunderbolts that we can expect to be hurled at the batsman by the pacers. All the more reason for us to hope and pray, fervently at that, for Symonds’ return ASAP.


2 Responses to “Will this be the “slowest” world cup”

  1. Vivek Says:

    Good point. There was no acceptable way Akhtar and Asif could have participated though.
    If the pitches turn out to be like those last year when India toured, this could be a boring World Cup. But I feel there is too much at stake for those concerned to allow slow pitches.
    Also, India will have a better chance with faster tracks.

  2. Jason Says:

    Ganesh, you missed out on Lasith Malinga. He can hurl it real quick!

    The Windies pitches, have the tendency to get slower as the sun comes up, so bowling attacks that stick to an immaculate line and length coupled with subtle changes in pace will make a difference in my opinion!

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