hmm looking back I have been a little misunderstood here.
Matthew Hayden, a guy with Saute potatoes for brains, has come out saying Australia "intimidate" South Africa.. Well, duh, South Africa might be slightly wary of a side thats won the last two world cups at a canter..
What next? "Australia are a very scary side, be very scared" - Glenn "Pigeon" McGrath
Smith - "We are in this semi final to win"
Pietersen - "Not enough leg room in business class"
Its so boring, it really is one of my pet hates, the cliched, censored and gagged talk that permeates top level sports... "Yeah the guys are pumped", "It should be a great game", "We're in it to win", just a bunch of robots really..
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The Black Caps will be fine as long as they drop McMillan, demote Taylor to #5 (he's a hopeless #3 and doesn't generally come in until #4 for CD) and bring in the more dependable Hamish Marshall at #3. Taylor only works at #3 when we've had a good start, and that hasn't happened recently. McMillan's recent form in the slogfests in NZ was not true testament to his ability: he's not that good.
As for the bowling, I'd prefer Patel to play ahead of the short of gameplay Gillespie or Mason. However, the SL batsmen play spin well. Franklin should retain his spot but hopefully he doesn't bowl any of those brain-malfunction overs like the other night.
The Sri Lankas have always played Vetorri well (and ofcourse spin in general). But our fast men are just shocking atm, I don't think we can afford to play both Franklin and either Mason/Gillespie. I'd go for Patel, maybe even Martin (gasp).
However with a bit of bounce and movement early on Gillespie might come good - he did rip apart Sri Lanka in one ODI last year on a traditional NZ wicket.
Jeetan Patel is definately a much better option as a bowler than either Gillespie or Mason at this stage, and although the Sri Lankan play spin very well as a rule, he has a superb record against them. An average of 24 is superb, as is the economy rate of 3.43 which is excellent, especially considering he has played two thirds of those games on small New Zealand rugby grounds. James Franklin is likely to retain his spot due to his added batting at the end of the innings which the selectors value highly. I would be wary of how Jayasuriya takes to him early in the innings though, traditionally he has been smacked around a bit. Might be worth a shot if we open with Patel actually, it worked well against Australia.
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