Cricket, the game we love, is in revolutionary phase. Already 3 formats (Test, ODI & T20) ~ we may see Test-T25 (4 innings, 2 per team, 25 overs each) as suggested by Indian run machine Sachin Tendulkar in a recent interview.
One way or other, Tendulkar's run record doesn't look like breaking, ever..
Otherwise, Callum Ferguson, a young Adelaide batsman, may have challenged Indian batsman's achievements. Less than 25 year old, Ferguson has already played 15 games for Australia and made 449 runs at a solid average of 56.12. In fact, solidarity is something Callum can be given a PHD on. This right hander can play all the shots in book with a defence few bowlers can break through, and then there's his match sense. Callum Ferguson has shown in his short International career so far that he reads a game quite well and bats accordingly.
Today, at Brit Oval in first Natwest One day International, Ferguson (71, highest ODI score) finished what Shane Watson (46) and Cameron White (53) had started with a 82 run partnership for second wicket after English captain inserted visitors Australians in to bat first. Both Watson and White departed 18 runs apart, leaving their team on verge of a familier collapse they suffered regularly in test series. But, Callum Ferguson's match sense gelled perfectly with struggling Michael Clarke against some quality spin bowling from Graeme Swann and Adil Rashid. Rashid in perticular, bowled his overs very quickly, finished wicketless but his 10 overs cost only 37 runs.
Australian run rate stayed below 4.5 for a long time, but Michael Hussey's innovative 20 off 15 balls and James Hopes' 18 off 11 pushed Australian score to a respectable 260/5 (below par if you consider the average first innings score at The Oval in last 5 ODIs, which was 281).
England chase started without momentum. slowly, but steadily as Ravi Bopara worked his way to 49 from 88 balls and even usually freeflowing Matt Prior took 47 deliveries for his 28 after early loss of captain Andrew Strauss. Paul Collingwood struggled too and escaped couple of close runouts but Owais Shah looked in no trouble. Timing the ball perfectly, Shah was unlucky to hit his own wicket while playing a Mitchell Johnson bouncing delivery, on 40 (48b).
Shah and then Stuart Broad's departure brought Luke Wright and Adil Rashid together. and quite a bit of momentum too as England opted for their batting powerplay. Wright stroked his way to 38 off 27 with 4 fours and a six while Adil Rashid fighted till the end to remain unbeaten on 31 from 23 balls.
England, sadly, fell short by 4 runs!
Full Scorecard : 1st Natwest ODI 2009.
53 = Highest ODI score for Cameron White : upto this match. this was also the first fifty for White, who had a best score of 45 versus New Zealand coming into this game. Cameron batted at number 3 (higher than #5) for the first time in his career, and quite well at at, displaying experience he may have gained while playing for Somerset in English county circuit.
England bowled their overs in 3hrs 12 mins, good 18 minutes less than they were originally allotted! England bowled 18 overs in first hour which in itself should be some kind of record as most mordern teams send down no more than 13-14 in 60 minutes and end up eating innings intervals.