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Friday, January 02, 2009

Sydney, Christchurch, Chittagong

The first international cricket matches of 2009 go live tomorrow morning. Six of the Test playing nations will be in action tomorrow, and the next five days promise a lot of excitement and change.

Traditionally the New Year Test in Sydney starts on the 2nd Jan. Traditionally Australia begin as favourites. Not so tomorrow - the test is starting a day late, and underdogs Australia will go into the match trying to avoid an embarrasing first-ever whitewash at home. South Africa will be raring to make it 3-0 and climb to the top of the ICC Test Ratings.

Normally Bangladesh fans would expect only so much from their test team. Normally Bangladesh fans wouldn't expect their team to fold for under 200 while chasing the mammoth targets set by the opposite team. Not so tomorrow - Ashraful's men may have lost the last test, but they have inspired hope. Forget the result - few teams score over 400 runs in the 4th innings; Bangladesh scored 413 in the fourth innings of the last test! The bar has been raised like never before - Sri Lanka can be expected to come at the home team harder than before, but Bangladesh look like they can do the impossible now. Actually, it doesn't look impossible any more - and that's what makes the Chittagong test important.

The 3rd game is a less interesting one-day affair between two teams which have been stuck in the middle of the international cricket peckings for over a decade now. But it's a match of cricket - can that ever be too dull?!

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