Monday, February 9, 2009

Resurgence of Beckham and the Windies

David Beckham is doing the sensible thing by trying to broker a deal to AC Milan where at the cost of his status in Hollywood, his status in football is sure to surge. For all his off the field superstar image, Beckham has always been an excellent footballer. Beckham has never quite had the trickery to be a winger in the traditional sense, but his sublime right foot has meant that he has often been deployed in a role on the right wing from where his lethal crosses can cause maximum damage. With age though, Beckham has matured tactically resulting in Carlo Ancelotti deploying him on the right side of a central midfield three, a position from where Beckham can greatly influence games. It is amazing how some footballers are with age able to adapt and play in different positions so as to further their careers . Whilst a permanent move to Milan and a shift to the middle of midfield are likely to augment Beckham’s status as a footballer, Fabio Capello is unlikely to deploy Beckham in a similar role with the English national team who are blessed with a surfeit of talented central midfielders. Having said that though a move to Milan is sure to enhance Beckham’s chances of furthering his England career, even if he is restricted merely to a bit part role.


I was engulfed by a strange sense of satisfaction at West Indies’ superb victory against England at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica. International cricket needs the exuberance and vibrancy of West Indian cricket and one would hope that this victory reignites interest in the game of cricket in the Caribbean. Jerome Taylor’s splendid spell of fast bowling in the second innings was a throwback to the glory days when the fiery West Indian fast bowling attacks terrorised batting line-ups around the world. Taylor’s dismissal of Pietersen in the second innings with a breathtaking yorker fired at tremendous pace was the highlight of a truly astounding spell from the Jamaican.

The atmosphere around Sabina Park as the Islanders romped to victory in sensational fashion was I am sure extremely gratifying to most cricket fans around the world. It would be stupid to suggest that this victory marks the return of West Indian cricket to its heady days of glory and magnificence, but it certainly is a reminder to the world of what the Windies are capable of, when at their best.

England of course played their part by capitulating in characteristically humiliating fashion. Only a few months back, English fans were filled with expectations of what they felt could be a highly successful period under the captaincy of Kevin Pietersen. With Australia facing an unusual period of decline, the Ashes could not come sooner for the English. But since then dirty politics and internal upheavals have meant that England are back to a state of familiar disarray with Pietersen being stripped of his captaincy. England were woeful in the first test with their batting line-up unable to respond to the inspired brilliance of the Windies’ bowling attack. Ian Bell continued to let down the selectors who have shown an inexplicable faith in his batting abilities. Owais Shah who deserved to be given a chance a lot earlier must surely be brought in to replace Bell in the eleven for the second test. With Alastair Cook’s batting abject at times over the last year or so and with Monty Panesar’s highly ineffectual bowling, England need to take a careful look at their team set-up if they are to recover from this shocking start to the series.


Rahul Saha said...

Resurgent Windies my ass. The Brits suck away from home, thats all.

A Couch-side View said...

By resurgence, I meant not merely the quality of cricket played by the Windies, but the whole package. The atmosphere in the ground was fantastic and the spell from Jerome Taylor could have blown most teams away. As I said I was hoping this would be more than a mere temporary resurgence, but in expected fashion with the whole fiasco at the Viv Richards Stadium at Antigua, status quo seems to have been restored.