Australian team rolled down to No.8 ranking

For the first time in many, many years, an Australian team is at no. 8 in the World rankings while walking into a World tournament.

Yes, can you believe it? The men in yellow at this point of time are the 8th ranked team in the world in twenty 20 format.

Well, their fans might say they don’t often appear in the international twenty 20 games and instead play more of the other formats of the game and that’s actually right.

But, what’s also right is that whenever Australia plays the twenty 20 games at the international level, they don’t manage to dominate.

It’s only recently that they were cleaned up by India in their own backyard in a series of 3 games.

They don’t even have a settled leader as far as their Twenty 20 team is concerned.

Steven Smith has showered praise on his retiring teammate

Steven Smith, the captain of the Australian test and One Day International team, has showered praise on his retiring teammate and one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, Mitchell Johnson, saying that when the Queenslander was at his best, it was nightmarish for any batsman in the world to handle him.

Johnson would no longer be featuring in Australian jersey as he has made the sudden decision to walk away from the international scenes after a period of 12 months or so where he has been largely out of form.

Johnson had been at his peak during the 2013 Season when he had managed to absolutely torment the touring English side and had helped Australia clinch a 5-0 Ashes series win against all odds.

Johnson continued his rhythm on the tour of South Africa as well which followed right after that 2013 Ashes and played a big role in Australia emerging victorious there, but, he suffered a dip thereafter and the 5-wicket hauls somehow just dried up.

He kept putting on good performances here and there, like the one which came against India in the World Cup semi final and also, the one against England in Lord’s earlier this year. But, the intimidating factor was missing and ahead of this Australian summer, some of the experts of Australian Cricket had even predicted that considering his lack of form and increasing age, the southpaw might look to retire at some point of time during the home season and that’s what he did.

However, the announcement to come in the middle of a series was not something that people would have expected.

Steve Smith would not be batting one down in the upcoming test

Steve Smith would not be batting one down in the upcoming test series against the arch rivals New Zealand.

He would demote himself to no. 4 to ensure the middle order contains some experience in the absence of Michael Clarke and Shane Watson both of whom bid adieu to red ball Cricket post the Ashes defeat earlier this year.

Not too many former players are convinced with this decision of Smith. They reckon there’s no point for the Aussie skipper to make any shuffling as far as his batting position is concerned. The most technically equipped player in the line up should be at 3.

But, Smith reckons if the opposition manages to have a couple of early breakthroughs with the new ball, then being at 4, he would hopefully be able to stem the flow a little bit.

That’s surely a negative mindset to have and the captains that Australia has had in the past haven’t quite seen things from that perspective.

Somebody like Ricky Ponting was always up for batting at the top without being bothered about the composition of his middle order or if there is enough experience there or not because he believed he’s the best player in the team and thus, he should hold the most important position which is 3.

CM Gautam reckons spending a bit of time with Michael Hussey during his stint at Mumbai Indians last year helped

CM Gautam reckons spending a bit of time with Michael Hussey during his stint at Mumbai Indians last year helped him improve his batting especially in the shortest form of the game.

Hussey played for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League for just a solitary season i.e. in 2014 before being released.

He did not feature in Mumbai’s  playing XI that much during that season, but, he was always up for mentoring the young players during the practice sessions, imparting his knowledge to them and according to Gautam, quite a few guys including him got benefitted from that.

In an interview, the Karnataka Wicketkeeper said, “That’s the beauty of the Indian Premier League you know. You, as youngsters, get the opportunity to see how the big guys go about their business, how they think ahead of the matches, how they assess the conditions, how they set small targets for themselves while batting, you learn a lot from that. I, personally, have been a big beneficiary of that tournament and I am sure many other young players in this country will tell you the same thing.”

“To be in the same side with somebody like Michael Hussey was a great honour for me. Picking his brains on certain things was just magnificent. He is such a humble guy, is always ready to help you. He has so much to tell you about batting. He is blessed with immense Cricketing knowledge.”

Michael Hussey is back in the Chennai Super Kings

Michael Hussey is back in the Chennai Super Kings squad, but, he is not getting the games.

The Yellow Brigade has already played 4 games in the ongoing Indian Premier League and Hussey is yet to feature.

It was said that Hussey might be preferred in the playing XI over Dwayne Smith, but, the Super Kings has shown the faith in Smith so far and rightly so as the Caribbean batsman had had an immensely successful time the previous season.

In the recent times particularly after the players’ auctions in 2014, CSK’s strategy has been to go hard from both ends in the power play and that has worked quite well for them.

If they make a change at the top of the order, they would probably have to alter from that strategy a little bit as Hussey is not a power hitter.

The former Australia International is a stroke player alright, but, he does not force the issue like Smith and that’s why, the CSK team management has kept him on the bench.

Hussey can be a good option for the middle order too, especially for that no. 4 slot where Faf Du Plessis plays.