I agree with India captain Virat Kohli that the booing of Australian pantomime villains Steve Smith and David Warner at the Cricket World Cup has already become tiresome.
If the pair have anything about them they will be motivated by the childish abuse. I’d ignore them and refuse to applaud every time they reach a batting milestone, which in Smith’s case will be regularly. Silence can be a much more effective weapon.
Other things of note from the World Cup.
1) It’s going on far too long. Whittling 10 teams down to four shouldn’t take five weeks.
On the surface every nation playing every other seems a fair way of finding the semi-finalists, but public interest is bound to wane as clashes early in the tournament are pretty inconsequential.
India played Australia last weekend in a high-class contest in front of a fervant, enthusiastic crowd, but just think how much more exciting the game would have been, and how even more vibrant the atmosphere would have been, if the losers had been in danger of going out.
Australia lost, but so what? Finishing fourth in the round-robin is as good as finishing first.
2) If Warner can develop from a one-day slogger into an effective Test match player there is surely no reason why Jason Roy can’t do the same?
England have no reliable Test match opener anyway so they should field a batsman who might get the side off to a flier before his inevitable dismissal.
3) England’s batting line-up is the best in the competition, but bowlers win tournaments which is why I expect us to fall short.
England need to get 350 just to be confident of victory thanks to an array of hittable bowlers - even a Bangladeshi player took us for a ton last weekend - and that will be tough to achieve against India, Australia and even the West Indies.
4) Jofra Archer is the exception to the rule and it’s been great to watch pace bowling make a one-day international comeback. There is no more thrilling sight in cricket than a speedster bowling to a compulsive hooker.
The West Indies demolition of Pakistan’s batting line-up was a highlight of the World Cup so far. Pakistan getting a huge score against England in their next outing increased ny concerns about the host country’s chances.
5) The boundaries are too short. International players shouldn’t be able to claim a maximum one-shot score by hitting the ball 60 yards. Lots of local players have their individual records enhanced by playing regularly on small grounds like Market Deeping and this is the professional equivalent.
6) Everything from non-swinging balls to those short boundaries is against bowlers in one-day cricket and now the dunces in charge of the sport have found bails that don’t fall off every time the wickets are struck. What a farce.
7) The standard of fielding these days is staggeringly high.
8) The competition should have been held in the summer rather than the rainy season.