Cricket – Australia versus India

Australia lead the four test series 2-0 after wins in Brisbane and Adelaide. Both tests were close for at least three days until Australia took control. India will rue a few moments and decisions in both matches. While the visitors batting has looked strong enough their bowling still looks light on, and taking the twenty wickets required to win a match looks difficult. They took 16 in Brisbane as Australia faltered slightly chasing not much more than a hundred to win. With Umesh Yadav and Ravi Ashwin the Indian’s looked stronger in both batting and bowling and this will give them some hope for the third test. The key wickets for India are those of David Warner and Steve Smith. They have been Australia’s best batsmen for the last twelve months and are holding the side together while others contribute sporadically. Shane Watson and Brad Haddin are hardly even doing that and both are in desperate need of a descent score. It will be a day to remember for Joe Burns who will make his debut for Australia, replacing the injured Mitch Marsh. Australia’s bowling attack has wicket takers and match winners throughout and it is this that gives them the edge.

Tip – Australia to win and secure the series.


Cricket – South Africa versus West Indies

It looked like being a one sided series before a ball was bowled and the first test did nothing to suggest otherwise. South Africa batted the West Indies out of the match then dismissed the Windies twice without needing to bat again to secure an innings plus victory which broke plenty of records. It’s hard to imagine anything other than a South African victory in the second test. Robin Peterson and Quinton de Kock may have been ruled out with injury but in Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers South Africa have arguably the two best batsmen in the world at the moment (2 and 3 on the ICC batting list behind Kumar Sangakarra) and a pace attack that is as dominant as any seen in the last twenty years. The West Indies lost Kemar Roach, who had looked their most dangerous bowler, to injury during the first test and he will be missing for the rest of the series. They will be hoping that Shivnarine Chanderpaul and some of their young batsmen will show some discipline and fight to make their showing more respectable.

Tip – South Africa to win.


Cricket – New Zealand versus Sri Lanka

The most difficult to predict of the three tests that start on boxing day sees New Zealand taking on Sri Lanka in Christchurch. Both sides strength is in their batting, though if the ball is swinging both have fine proponents of swing bowling. New Zealand are coming off an impressive series against Pakistan in the UAE and will be confident that they can defeat Sri Lanka given the home ground advantage. They’ll be missing the big hitting Corey Anderson but with Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Brendan McCullum still boast a middle order that are all in good form and will be eager to impress at home.

Tip – New Zealand to complete a trifecta of home winners in the boxing day tests.


Sailing – Sydney to Hobart

The Rolex Sydney to Hobart starts in Sydney Harbour at 1pm on Boxing Day. With 117 boats to take to the start line there will be three waves. The most interest will be in the first, with the likely winner to come from one of the five super maxis that will be lining up. Wild Oats XI has dominated the race in recent years and will once again start as favourite. But this year the race for line honours could be far closer than some of the recent battles. Comanche, an American yacht, is making its open water debut. Only a few months old it has all the mod cons and a quite different design. It and Perpetual Loyal are the biggest (and heaviest) boats in the field and will be favoured by the conditions forecast for the opening 12-24 hours. The initial forecast has strong winds against the current which will generate big surf and swell. When the winds drop off Wild Oats, which is lighter, has greater manoeuvrability and will come into its own. Ragamuffin 100 is the fourth of the super maxis. It has been rebuilt considerably since last year and thus is a slightly unknown quantity. Ragamuffin and Perpetual Loyal are on the third line of betting at $7. Rio 100 is the fifth and least fancied of the super maxis.

In addition to the race for the line honours is the arguably more prestigious race for Handicap Honours. This is calculated based on a boats time, length, weight etc. Wild Oats has won both categories twice but this year conditions are expected to favour the smaller boats, with conditions improving after the first day or so. The weather also means that a race record is extremely unlikely. The first boats will probably cross the line sometime on Sunday afternoon, but the race for handicap honours may not be decided until much closer to New Years Day.

  1. Julian S says:

    How come there haven’t been any updates for so long? What is happening in the world of 20-20 big bash, when does the tennis season begin, what about a quick look forward to the Asian Football Cup … so much on, no time for a summer break!


  2. sportussion says:

    January is a busy time, lots to look foreword to. But all in due course Julian!


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