Sunday, December 30, 2007

Are we competitive enough?

Sooooooo………after a long time this is my new posting, I was kind of busy these days.
Well …… India has done well to beat Pakistan in ODI as well as Test series. I have written my views for the one day series. For test series I like to make some points……….
First, is that our new test captain has done an excellent job…….really he has. At the mature age of 38 he was enthusiastic, motivated and energetic. The most important thing was that he has the belief that he gonaa win.
Again Ganguly has shown to the world that he still has fire in his belly. May be technically his batting is not as sound as Sachin or Dravid. But, he is passionate for his game and that is what matters. Others Batters has done reasonably well. Bowling was also not especially. We need to find out some who fits in the Kumble’s shoes.
Now, coming to the first test of Australian. What to say all things has been said by our captain himself . Our batting was nothing but PATHETIC. Indians were over defensive. Actually the situation was like that, result was bound to come. But our famed Indian batting line up didn’t realize that. The way they were playing, I got the feeling that they want to save the match. How can one save the match by playing DEFENSIVELY for two days. One has to play their natural game. Where was the commitment they showed in famed Eden Garden win, where India won the match instead of subjected to follow on in the first innings. I was not expecting Miracles, what I was expecting was little bit fight. But our famed batting line up surrendered meekly.
Last time when India visited Australia they managed to draw the series. Because that time our batting was superb. But this time the way things are going, its seems to be complete white wash. Now, I think only Miracle can save INDIA.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Series win for INDIA but....

Well, India won the series, that to after 24 years on the Indian soil against Pakistan………
Sounds strange, right? India could done it this time because, this team of Pakistan seems to be little be weak. But they managed to win two matches of the series. Actually both the teams were quite competitive.
From the Pakistan side there middle order paid for them, Shoiab was also excellent through out the series so is Umar Gul. At the top Salman Butt gave the good opening in most of the matches, which help Pakistan to post hugh scores. Pakistan captain done well to win the last match, in that match he scores some good runs too. He is new to this job, with time he will definitely mature. Last match win sure gonna help Pakistan in test matches. There key players Yousuf and Younis are in good form, bowlers to are bowling well. They are really ready for the test series.
As far the India is concern…India should have the last match of the ODI series. That match was more important from psychological point of view. As Pakistan has won that match momentum is with them for the test matches. India do have some positives from the one day series. Sachin is in ominous form so is Yuvraj. Dhoni has also played some good knocks. But there is quite a few changes in the Indian test sides. India is also playing under new captain. Also India has got three spinners in the test squad, that is something unusual.
So, it gonna be really interesting encounter. What I can say is that India has the edge over Pakistan but you never know ……………

Saturday, November 10, 2007

IND-PAk: 2nd ODI

I guess I need to rethink on my prediction , what I made, on my previous post. In last ODI ,that was one of the fantastic chase I have ever seen. Most striking feature of that chase was the pace of the innings. It seems to be very plan innings of Pakistan. They started very cautiosly, kept wicket in hand, and in the end overs went for a kill. That was old classic chase. All credit goes to the Pakistani batsmen, especially Younis Kahn. ………I was hearing on the commentary, that Younis is no good in chasing big total (he is able to score at the brisk pace). But I guess he proved everybody wrong……..
Actually India also faced similar situation in the Nagpur one day against Australia, in the recently concluded series. Ganguly was doing all well, but the problem was he couldn’t pace his inning properly and at the end run rate was to high for our lower level batsmen.So, there is somtheing to learn from Younis innings.
Well India responsible for its own loss. India was poised to score somewhere around 350-360. That would have been literally impossible target to chase. But the comeback spells from Umar Gul and Shoib broke the back of Indian middle order. 321 is also good enough total to defend on any kind of wicket. If the team is losing after posing such a big total then there is something serious to think about.
Wicket was turning when harbhajan was bowling. If Murali Karthik could have played the game, then he could had major impact on the game. He bowled very well in the Guwahati game. Left arm spinner is always difficult to handle than right arm spinner. So , dropping Murali doesn’t make any sense. Well I think that ploy was adopted to give chance to Sehwag, who once again failed. India should understand that winning matches should be given the top priority. Chances can be given to players when the series is sealed.
Now a days shuffling of batting order has become very regular. No one knows who is coming next. Why Dhoni is kept changing his position in batting order??? He should realise that he is more effective up the order than lower down the order. It is difficult even for Dhoni, to start hitting from the word go. He does take some time to settle down and after that he is very much capable of playing long innings. So why he is still playing down the order. He is capable of hitting centuries, then why he going there to make 30-40 runs? I don’t have any clue.
Now , coming to test captaincy.It really hurts to see some one like Kumble, who is one of the finest and senior most player in the team has to wait so long to become captain. We were trying to convince Sachin who has miserable record as a test captain, and we are giving captainship to Kumble when we are out of choice…….pathetic. In my view Kumble has won more test matches than any other player in India. He should have given this honour long before. Making him captain when he is about to retire doesn’t make any sense.
Well coming back to IND-PAK series. I guess India must have learnt some lessons from the last match. I guess they will be well prepared this time. India should remember what happen last time when Pakistan visited India, India won first 2 matches, then Pakistan went to win 4 matches ………..winning the series.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ind-Pak 1st ODI

Hi…… so India Pakistan series started with a thriller. Well it was not actually thriller but an easy win for India . Thanks to some brilliant bowling by Harbhajan and Murali Karthik in the first innings and brilliant batting by the batters in the second innings.

Dhoni……..he is a real hero. He lead from the front. He went up the order and finished the job by himself. ……I always advocate for Dhoni playing up the order. He can play control as well as attacking innings. He can be devasting on the flat Indian pitches. He has great scores to his credit at no. 3 position. Then there is no reason, why he shouldn’t play up the order.

Yuvraj is now developing as most important batsman in the line-up. I guess he is the most feared batsman in the Indian line –up. Gambhir is cementing position in the team. He was unfortunate in the past as he didn’t get the opportunities as Sehwag got. No problem with opening pair……….they are best in the world.

Many people must be thinking that Dravid has got unfair deal. But I think leaving Dravid out of one day squad is right decision taken by the selectors. Dravid is no doubt is a great player, he has played 10 long years. Now many young talents is coming up. Its time to move on for senior players and give more opportunities to younger player. …………Ian Healy, former Australian wicket keeper was a great player, but if would have not moved on, then we would have not seen Gilchrist. Dravid was always a better test player than the one day player. Now he should concentrate more on test than one day. He can always come back when replacement players is doing well.

Well coming back to India-Pakistan series, I guess Indian are favorite to win the series. With absence of Inzamam in the middle order, Pakistan batting line up seems to be too weak. And with the absence of Asif bowling is ordinary. Shoaib has to carry the entire bowling department on his shoulder. With India winning first match, I think India will win the series by 4-1.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Time to take tough decisions

Hi ,
India once again proved that they are the world champions of T20 cricket. It was really smooth riding for Indians. Bowlers done their job perfectly well, specially spinners. Irfan also has improved a lot after making his comeback in the team. Batting also clicked, apart from Sehwag all enjoyed their batting. The way Gambhir and Uthappa batted, they had made strong statement for their permanent seat in the team.
I thought Indian team management can lesson or two from T20 victory. Though its another version of game and some what different from ODI, we can carry on some positives from that match.
We are doing consistently well with our young guns. They bring positive energy to the team. Though our senior players are doing well, its time that they should concentrate more on Test cricket and leave ODI and T20 for our young guns. I am not saying that they should be totally phase out. But young new players should get adequate opportunity, specially when they are doing well.
Pakistan is due to come and then Indians will be visiting Australia, so some tough competition is ahead. India need to do some tough decisions.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Consolation win

Hi ………At last India was able to achieve a consolation victory. The last time India successfully chased a target against Australia was way back in 1998, in Sharjah. Since then, India have attempted the task, 18 times, and failed on 15 occasions, with three matches, including the first game of this series in Bangalore, having no result. So it was really a great victory in that sense.
In Nagpur, India was to close to the victory. But India lost its way in the middle of the innings. After losing the wicket of Sachin and Saurav, (and then Pathan), downfall starts. With required runrate more than 7 runs per over Yuvraj and Dravid was not able to rotate the strike. In the process they lost their wickets and when Dhoni and Uthappa came the target was really out of reach…………….So, where the things went wrong. Though Ganguly was brilliant with bat, his strike rate suggest that India was chasing somewhere 275 not 318. India was 3-203 in 36 overs, requiring 115 more runs to win in 14 overs with 7 wickets in hand. Why, didn’t India start onslaught from that very moment, why they let pressure to build on them selves?
We had their time in each match. All through this series, India have had Australia in some trouble early on. In the first game Australia went from 90 for 4 to 307. In the second they turned 66 for 3 into 306 and, in the third, 135 for 3 became 290. In the sixth game, Australia went from 129 for 4 to 317.
Mumbai match was just a consolation win. Hats off to Murali Kathik and Zaheer Khan, both were brilliant with bat and ball. Apart from that their was really nothing to mention in Indian credit. Well 4-2 lost looks much better than 5-1 lost.
Now India has to do some serious thinking regarding……. role of the seniors in the team (specially Dravid), batting order and fielding. Or else its really gonna be tough…….

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

4th ODI IND- AUS : Dhoni's Dhamaka.......

It was a thriller of a match. At last India manage to pull out a victory over mighty Aussies, after three long years in ODI's. India also broke Aussies 14 match winning streak. For India all things went right from the beginning. Our finest opening pair, Sachin and Saurav gave us once again a solid start. Though, Sachin was not in his owns in the starting overs, he good thing he had done he didn't give up his wicket. From the other end runs were coming freely from the Saurav's bat. We had good partnership and that was the key to India's big total. Though Aussie were consistently bowling body line, India had a merry in their final overs. Yuvraj, Dhoni and Uthappa done their job perfectly.

Though Hayden was on the roll from the start, maintaining close to six runs per over was always difficult. In the process they lose some wickets creating pressure on themselves. But, again Symonds played a belligerent innings. At one time when Hayden and Symonds was on the crease, Indian chance was seems to be diminishing rapidly. Then Murali got the rid of Hayden, flighting the boll, tempting Hayden to go over the top. That was a brave bowling by Murali. But, real highlight was R P Singh's where he got rid of Symonds and then run out Hogg on the next ball.

Once again India gave too many runs in the initial overs, it is something that India need to think about. Their is no value addition by Dravid playing that low in the order. So, India need to think about his position in the team. Sometimes hard decision need to be taken for the benefit of the team.

Well, for me Dhoni was again the star of the match, effecting two brillant stumpings and scoring rapid fire fifty in the final overs of the Indian innings. For, Dhoni lets all sing..........Mahi ve.....

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Are we competing?

Hi, Now the Three ODI's of the series are over. And the way India lose last two matches, India winning the series seems to be distinct possibility. Forget the series; India should save themselves from the clean sweep. Its not gonna be easy. Australia are playing there best cricket, as they always do. And there reserves are as strong as there playing eleven. So, the big question is what can India do?

Well I like to put some suggestion for this..........

Dhoni or Pathan should play up the order

India is not scoring enough runs in the power plays. When the team is chasing score nearing 300. They need to take the advantage of field restrictions. We have players to that, Dhoni has done this number of times and his success rate is very high up the order so he is the best candidate for this job. All his big scores has came, when he was playing up the order. While playing down the order he is curbing his natural instinct. He is doing not any justice to himself nor to his team.
Another man who has done this job effectively is Irfan Pathan. If India lose him early that wont be a big lose but his runs at top of the order will be bonus to the Indian team. If some one says that his batting will gonna spoil his bowling, then I will say that it’s a bullshit. There is no logic at all, how one’s batting can spoil one’s bowling. People who are all advocating this please reply me back

Dravid should bat in the middle order

Dravid is the best person who can navigate the innings in the middle order. He has done it before and there is no question of why can’t he do it again. There will support from players like Yuvraj at the lower order, who can play really big shots if required. Dravid role should be to carry the Indian innings through the middle overs. Off late India is losing its way in the middle overs and losing way before the completion of the match. So Dravid need to do what, Izamam was doing for Pakistan or what Clarke is doing for Australia.

R P Singh should play

I don’t know why RP Singh is not playing. My personnel feeling is that, R P Singh is would be the good option in place of Sreesanth. R P has good control on his line and length than Sreesanth. He also don’t get carried away like Sreesanth. Aggression is good for fast bowler, but Sreesanth is showing to much. RP was one of the best bowlers in T20 WC. So his tail is up, he should play.

Harbhajan should look to take wicket

I got the feeling in the last two matches that Harbhajan is concentrating more on stopping runs than taking wickets. Best way to reduce the scoring rate is by taking wickets. Harbhajan is India’s strike bowler and he should bowl like a strike bowler.

Now, India will be playing there fourth ODI tomorrow, no doubt moral of the Indian team will be down. They may try to do all sought of things, they need to be relax in first place. Captain Dhoni has got good thinking head on his shoulder. This is really a trying conditions for him. I have faith on my captain, so do the whole India .

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fantastic videos of T20 WC

Check these fantastic videos of the Indian Journey of T20 WC.....just follow the link ( copy paste on your browser )

1) Yuvraj 6 sixes in one over india vs england 20/20 world cup. world record for maximum 6's in an over (20/20 international)

2)Brief highlights of Yuvraj spanking the hopeless Aussies for a quickfire 70 runs off 30 balls in the Twenty20 semi final for India.

3) 10 key moments from T20 World Cup

4) Chris Gayle smashes a world record 1st and fastest century T20 20-20 World Cup for West Indies v South Africa on 11/9/07 He scores Chris Gayle smashes a world record 1st and fastest century T20 20-20 World Cup for West Indies v South Africa on 11/9/07.He scores 117 off only 57 balls!

5)An action packed T20 world cup match between India and Pakistan ended in a Tie and staged second bowl out in game's history.

6) Last over of IND-PAK final of T20 WC

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lovely poem.........On Dhoni

Hi, to all cricket lovers. My friend Lav has written a beautiful poem on Dhoni.......just check it out.

A boy from Jharkhand dreamt… dreamt BIG. Really BIG indeed
Critics said “you need stars to zeal off, you need heroes to peel off “
But he had some other ideas…
When his team was down on 157 & he came back to the battlefield he knew although we couldn’t deliver big, but they also have to reach till there… And it laid a foundation to THE PILLAR, THE PILLAR of BELIEF, ATTITUDE & VICTORY.
Yes he was Mahendra Singh Dhoni; INDIAN CAPTAIN who took INDIA through the galleries of ups n downs, the cut-throats, & nerves shakers to the GLORY “The Champs of T20”.
Do you always need a curriculum to start off anything…? Do you always need some rules to be followed…? Do you always need codes to be tested for…?
Why can’t it should be something of your own… Why can’t it be…??
Humiliated in school, dejected by situations, fled away by the masses… n Rejected always in lieu to succeed…
Go on…guys…Make your own rules… follow your dreams… create that belongs to you…
N live it up your own shot… as the star should never sprout off… never strut off … The ways will might be orthodox. The styles may be unusual…but monitor it, nourish it… n yes .GO FOR IT…..
You’ll be ACCEPTED…You’ll definitely be…

--by Lav Chawla

Hurray......We Won!

Hi, I am writing this article after 2 days after the completion of IND-PAK T20 WC final. I have purposely waited for 2 days to write this article, just to get the reactions from all quarters. Praiseing is showering on Indian Team from all parts of the world. But there are some dissapointed fans of Pakistan Team who could'nt digest this loss and get indulge in blame game ( there is cricket community in orkut.com, and this is going on there). Well these are only emotions that are errupting in this form, we cant really blame them.
Well India went to the WC as underdogs with experience of only one match. No one was expecting India to achive this feat.But India has done this in a style that to by deafeting some of the best team in the world. Kapil has rightly said , now expectations are high from this team. If we could win upcoming series against Australia and Pakistan, then that will be cherry on the cake.
Now Dhoni is going to captain Indian team in the slightly longer version of the game and that to with all the seniors around. Dhoni has got every abillity to emerged as a great captain, what he need is support from the team specilly from seniors.It is really interesting to see how seniors gonna behave under Dhoni? It is really interesting to see how Dhoni gonna control seniors?

There is chance of winning a game after playing really bad, but their is no chance if the atmosphere is bad in dressing room......................I wish this never gonna happen.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Indian ODI new captain: Dhoni

After taking the charge of T20 world cup, Dhoni was the front runner for the bigger seat.............captainship of the ODI team. Now it is official, he is the captain.
But the big question arises is that, can be a successful captain? Specially in the presence of Big Three ..........Sachin, Saurav and Rahul.In the past Azaruddin has to faced this kind of situation when he was named the captain of a team having 5 former captains.But situation is quit different in Dhoni's case. Dhoni is quit junior to the Big Three with only 80 odd matches under his belt..........while big three has a combined experience of around 1000 matches.One can't deny this fact that there would be EGO problem. Can Dhoni tell to the Ganguly .........go and field at the boundary, when he wants to field at slips? Or can he tell Sachin and Saurav to bat at 5 or 6 when they want to open the innings? I don't know. But what I know is that he has to do it if he thinks so.........then only he can prove himself as a captain.
One more issue I want to discuss is that Yuvraj has got more experience than Dhoni, why Dhoni is preferred over Yuvraj. I guess Yuvraj is more regular member of the ODI team than any other member in the team.Then why Dhoni not Yuvraj.........Can any one give me the answer? Well our selection criteria is always full of surprises, this is just little one of them.
Dhoni has got tough assignment to start with....Aussies and then Pakistan. For me these two teams are the toughest to beat in ODI's. Dhoni is captain for probationary period of two series. He has to show his calibre in three roles........wicket keeper , Batsmen and CAPTAIN. Can he prove himself to the expectations?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

20twenty fever

Hi............I am not a big fan of 20-20 cricket, I never was. But this world cup has created some interest in me.
It all started with thriller with Gayle hitting century. But that was not enough, South Africa manages easy victory..........thanks to the some ordinary bowilng by Windies. This tournament also has some upsets....adding to the excitement. Zimbabwe beating Australia & Bangladesh beating West Indies. Again Ind-Pak match was the match of the tournamant till date. Some how India manages to maintain their world cup's winning habit over Pakistan.
For me man of the touranament till date is Sanath Jayasuriya. Ohhhh he was awesome.He is defying his age. He is proving thats this game is not only for youngs ...........this is may be lesson to our selectors, who thought other way round.
Now india is in super eight with tough opposition to face ........ New Zealand, South Africa and England. India need to work hard on batting.......well 20-20 is bats men game. I can only say..............."Chakk de India"

Monday, September 10, 2007

7th ODI: oops we did it again........

Not again. How many times India gonna do this? India has adopted the habit of failing in crucial games.......i mean finals.Its started from the start.... when Ganguly was trying to get out in every ball he was facing. And evantually he done it. Tendulkar ance again started with great character........and evantually got out to poor some descision.Dravid also got the same fate.Yuvraj and Uthappa only could provide little entertainment. It was Dhoni, who had showen the character of the Indian batsmen.He played real mature innings. The partnership he got with R P Singh was really fantastic.It was heroic effort from him.
Defending a low total, India's only chance was to bowl England out, and RP Singh gave them a great start by dismissing both openers in his first over, Luke Wright mistiming a pull and Prior steering a catch to Dhoni. At 11 for 2 England, briefly, were on the back foot.
Another wicket would really have put the cat among the pigeons, and while Singh and Zaheer Khan gave it their all, there were too many loose balls to exercise the pressure that was needed on the two new batsmen. Once they had shot their bolts, the lack of depth in India's attack was exposed.
Now, 20/20 on the horizon.......with new captain , it will be different ball game.
I hope India could do better in this tournament. ALL THE BEST INDIA.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Beautiful poem by my friend: Lav Chawla...........

Dua ki taaqat jo
Khuda ki rehmat chahe
Bulandi ka who taj Kahe duniyaKi kad hai chota…Par baate kare who badi…
Par mann to bawla
Na mane kisi ki Panchi ki udaan jo dekhiUdunga khule aasman mein main kabhiSulga aag main…
Aarzoo angaare bane
Ladkhadaya kabhi jo…
Maa ne chadar odhi… Har raaste ki woh thokar…Par zid mann mein jo paliDuniya ki ajab kahani
Taqdeer banaye khuda
Sapne kisis ki kabhi kaha sunte…
Jaisa meera magan ho…
Krishna ke liye…Chod duniya ki reet… Chahat yehi ki Duniye bhi rakhe yaad apni hasti Suraj ki har tapishSehta raha… Aaj haasil woh mukaam…Zindagi ko mil gayi tasveerPeeche mudta hun…
Yaad aati hai…
Woh galiyan…
Woh kashti jisse kiya paar..
Aaj muqamal har roshni…

Thursday, September 6, 2007

6th ODI: Tendulkar n Utthappa's show

Sachine has again shown to the world why he is so special. But it was Uthappa (47no), who was brought in at the expense of Dinesh Karthik, hit Stuart Broad for four with three balls remaining to clinch a memorable two-wicket win that keeps the series alive.
The hosts slipped to 137-5 at one stage,but recovered well to post a challenging total of 316-6 after winning the toss - Owais Shah leading the way with his maiden ODI ton. Kevin Pietersen made 53, Luke Wright smashed 50 on debut. Dimitri Mascarenhas five sixes in succession off the last five balls of the innings of the bowling of Yuvraj gave him a instant fame.
Indian openers walk on the field with the purpose. As Sachin started blazing all guns, Saurav played next fiddle to him. They are proving themselves as one of the best opening pairs in the world. Gambhir has played his part, now he ensure his place in the team for a while. It was off day for Yuvraj and Dravid. But, my biggest surprise was Dhoni. Though he scored 35 runs, he was not at his own. He was struggling to put ball away. With 20twenty world cup on the horizon, he has to do something with his batting. Off late he has no big score behind his name.
Bowling was again.....OK. I think India should have played one fast bowler instead of spinner.
Now, momentum is with India. England will feel pressure in the last match, which is virtual final. But, India has a bad history in final.
I hope, India could turn things around this time.From me ALL THE BEST INDIA.

Monday, September 3, 2007

5th ODI : India strikes back.......

That's the way to do it! India came back very strongly after the disappointing performance in the 4th ODI. India manage to do well because of it's batting. It was the top quality performance by the Indian Batsmen. Opening was the main feature of the Indian innings. Sachine and Saurav started the innings with caution and then beautifully pace their innings. They were well supported by the following batsmen. Specially Gambir has made the full utilization of the opportunity he got.
Talking about bowling and fielding.......Well Ganguly was the pic of the bowlers. Rest of them have done reasonably good job.........Mahendra Dhoni was special behind the stumps, but fielding was again below average. India really need to work on it's fielding.
Well..... I hope India will continue to do well in the remaining matches. Best of Luck India.
To watch highlights of the 5th ODI follow the bellow mention weblink.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Again pathetic display by india...........

I am talking about the 4th ODI with England which India lost, after coming to so close to the victory.It has becoming the habit of Indian team now.........loosing close matches.English tail-enders had shown great character to pull the match from the jaws of defeat.
So where the problem is lying.............I guess problem starts from batting itself. Why India is trying so many things in their batting line up? Whenever Indian wicket fall, people must be started guessing. Who is going to come next?Dravid and Dhoni position never certain in the line-up.
Why dhoni is playing like Karthik and Karthik trying to play like Dhoni?...........We started knowing Jaisuriya from the 1996 world cup, where he shook the cricket world with his explosive batting. Now, at the age of 37 he is more or less same. He has never changed his game and this is the secrete of his success.
Then Dhoni is forced to change his game. He likes to play in air. So, why can't he is not batting up the order regularly, while the field restriction are on. Most of his big score came at no. 3 thus he should bat at no. 3 or may be opener.
I think Yuvraj has played really well. He tried to remain their on the crease. He see off the fiery spell of Flintoff and then started accumulating runs.He is matured enough to take seniors position.Tendulkar also showed us ....why he is called as one of the greatest batsman ever. But enough is enough......now other players need take the responsibility....he is only human not a god.
At last talking about fielding......i can only say it is becoming pathetic. With this fielding efforts India could only dream of becoming a top team in the world.
Well bowling was OK, but still killer instinct is missing.India should have wind the match after taking 7 England wickets. But alas!
Well, we can only hope that India could display better performance in the remaining game and still win the series.