Waugh says West Indies will provide realistic gauge for Australia

first_imgLONDON – Steve Waugh has warned Australia that the West Indies’ array of stroke-makers and aggressive bowlers will pose the first serious threat to the World Cup holders.Former Australia captain Waugh was impressed with the no-nonsense way his country defeated minnows Afghanistan by seven wickets in their opening match on Saturday.But the 54-year-old believes the West Indies will provide a much sterner test when they meet at Trent Bridge on Thursday.Led by flamboyant opener Chris Gayle, who thumped 50 runs off 34 balls, the West Indies wasted little time polishing off Pakistan by seven wickets after bowling them out for 105 in their first match.It was an impressive show of strength from the two-time champions, and Waugh is intrigued to see how Australia fare against one of the tournament’s most talented but unpredictable teams.The West Indies will provide a more realistic gauge on how the team are tracking, for they possess a squad full of match-winners that can dominate if they gain any sense of ascendancy in a match,” Waugh wrote in a column on the International Cricket Council’s media page.“They are the most watchable team in the tournament, with a batting line-up that can kidnap any bowling attack with brute force.“No ground is big enough when this behemoth of a batting order clicks into overdrive, but they also have a vulnerability against high-quality bowling as they tend to play one-dimensional at times.”As well as their powerful batsmen, two-time World Cup winner Waugh was also impressed by the West Indies’ pace attack, which bludgeoned Pakistan into submission with a bouncer barrage.Andre Russell, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas and Jason Holder proved too hot for Pakistan to handle and Waugh said: “For the first time in a long while, they have fast-bowling depth.“Every side in this tournament will be wary of playing the Windies, and I wouldn’t want to face them in a knockout match.They are the sort of team that, if they get on a roll and build some momentum, then they could win it all.”“They are the sort of team that, if they get on a roll and build some momentum, then they could win it all.” (Cricketer International)last_img read more

Salah favourite to complete awards hat-trick

first_img0Shares0000Mohamed Salah, pictured in November 2017, is the Premier League’s top scorer with 13 goalsACCRA, Ghana, Jan 3 – Liverpool star Mohamed Salah hopes to add the African Player of the Year award in Ghana Thursday to his rapidly expanding collection of individual honours.The Egyptian, scorer of 23 goals in all competitions midway through his first season at Anfield, has been voted BBC African Footballer of the Year and Arab Player of the Year. Salah, Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane of Senegal and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund and Gabon are the contenders for the highest African individual football honour.The scoring feats of Salah have installed him as the public and media favourite to succeed Algerian Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City as the number one African footballer.“I want to be the best Egyptian footballer ever,” said Salah after receiving the BBC award last month.Since arriving at Liverpool from Roma in the close-season, Mohamed Salah has already scored 10 times, including four in his last three appearances“When I came to Liverpool I hoped to show everyone my abilities. I scored a lot of goals with Roma and am very happy being successful at Liverpool.”Salah also starred for Egypt, scoring five of the goals that qualified his country for the 2018 World Cup in Russia after a 28-year absence from the global showpiece.Mane will also be in Russia next June, adding abundant creativity to a physically formidable Senegal side.Gabon did not qualify and Aubameyang shunned several World Cup call-ups, a fact that could count against him.Salah and Mane will leave Accra soon after the awards ceremony as Liverpool have a Friday night FA Cup third-round derby date with Everton.Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen KloppHowever, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp did not hesitate to release his African duo for the Accra ceremony, which will include six other awards.“It is a sign of respect,” he told reporters in Liverpool. “We sleep in a hotel and they sleep in a plane. That is the only difference.”Salah is a doubt for the Merseyside showdown, though, having missed the English Premier League victory at Burnley this week owing to a groin strain.Should Salah be named Player of the Year, he will be only the second Egyptian after 1983 winner Mahmoud al Khatib to hoist the symbol of individual brilliance.Mohammed Salah poses with his BBC AFOTY award at Liverpool’s training ground in Melwood. PHOTO/BBCIt would be the first time since 1986 that north Africans have won successive editions of the poll, which this year involved national coaches, journalists, officials and the public.Morocco midfielder Mohamed Timoumi was the 1985 winner, followed by compatriot Badou Zaki, one of two goalkeepers to be voted the best African footballer.Footballers from the west of the continent have dominated recently with Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon and Yaya Toure of the Ivory Coast each winning four times.While Salah has made the top three for the first time, prolific Bundesliga scorer Aubameyang finished first once and second twice in the past three award ceremonies.Mane came third last season, but his valuable input for Liverpool has been overshadowed by Salah, second in the Premier League scorers’ charts behind Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more