Enthralling Day 2 at the Oval


A quiet weekend spent at home essentially just being lazy. But the icing was watching a tantalizing day of test cricket between India and England. With the series level at one apiece, yesterday was an important day for both teams to tilt the series in their direction.

India started well, but a solid partnership from England’s low middle-order batsmen began taking the game away. Why Ashwin was not picked is a question everyone keeps asking, but indeed Jadeja stepped up to bring in the key breakthroughs.

With the openers setting a solid base for us to work our way to a competitive score, another enthralling day of cricket awaits us on Day 3.

The dark horse


England has a very talented squad. But what they do have this time around is luck as well. They happen to be on the good side of the draw. With the group of death dead, there are only two contenders for the title. Insatiable form shown by Italy. A style of play quite contrary to the ethos of the team. But todays 4-0 drubbing of Ukraine by England is a sound reminder that only the best is going to win the title.

Sterling true to his name has been anything but sensational. He has single handedly carved open England’s way to the last four. With Harry Kane joining the party in the important leg of the tournament and the first team to keep 5 clean sheets in this tournament in like forever, this defense needs quite something to be breached. Spain is the only other big name in the last four. The Danes are playing with a passion that has been shown by many others including the Swiss and Ukraine. An enticing semi ahead. Italy seems to have an easier road to the final. England will be pushed by the Danes for sure. They have nothing to lose. An enthralling last few games of the tournament to look forward to.

Well done Gareth!

Youthful promise


CjesgOcWYAAvIxE

Was watching the English football team take on Australia at home turf over an international ‘friendly’ and as the commentators put it, hoping it would be a competitive one. This was supposedly the second string line up playing and rich on youthful exuberance with many players fielded based on a wonderful season in the domestic clubs.

 

However, there were some like Jack Wilshere, who god knows on what merit is even in the squad. Having been injured for the whole last year and hardly having a look in in the last couple of minutes of Arsenal’s season, it was clear he was neither match fit, nor sure of what exactly is his job in front of the back four. It was weird to see Drinkwater playing ahead of Jack and to be honest, mightily ineffective against an Australian midfield that was not heavily pressing.

 

Rashford was elegant, composed and had his glasses on to foresee passes and played good link up football up front with Sterling. Indeed the former with his first strike on goal, volleyed home the lead, which by the way things have been this season for him, didn’t surprise any.

 

Defence is where England will be beaten in this Euro. Their preliminary squad goes in with the bare minimum players. Smalling on the left and Stones on the right, is an odd central pairing. Stones even though is playing in his preferred position for club and now country, has had a poor season by the self created exploits of last season. He has been in and out of a poor Everton season. Smalling on the other hand, started very well in his domestic stint, partnering Blind and being the lead center back. But his form dipped towards the latter end of the season and he was found out badly in the FA cup final. For all the plaudits ‘Mike’ received this season, him one on one with his back to goal still needs some convincing.
Against an Australian side not powered to break with speed, they were casual and comfortable and yet the English side could not even keep good possession in the game. Sterling and company will not be getting free rides in Euro 2016. We gotta wait and watch what’s gonna unfold. Rooney’s strike was worth savoring, but England should they have been at their best would have put at least 5 past the Aussies last night. Happy for the #mufc boys.