Sunday, December 6, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Today is the final and I want to see India victorious in the finals in Sri Lanka after a long time. At least I don't remember any recent victory of India in Sri Lanka in any tournament involving more than two teams. Despite the loss I still believe India is a better team than Sri Lanka and some good bowling up front backed by some spine in batting may see India through. I hope Dhoni gets lucky today with toss.
Monday, August 17, 2009
But now that Dravid is back and is expected to provide some freedom to Dhoni, he should be in team for some considerable time rather than a one-off appearance provided his form is not a handicap for balance of the team. In fact he is the fittest of Big Three (others being Tendulkar and Laxman).
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
West Indies don't seem to be a formidable opposition esp. in absence of Fidel Edwards, but those who watched last ODI series India played in Carribean would vouch for the fact that West Indies can be very menacing in their home condition. India have looked a very good side in ODIs in last season triumphing over Sri Lanka, England and New Zealand in style. This time bowling looks more potent with RP Singh, Ashish Nehra, Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar in pace department and Harbhajan in spin. Also, to assist these players we have more-than-just-decent part-timers in Yusuf, Jadeja and Rohit Sharma.
It is going to be interesting to see how Murali Vijay and Badrinath perform. Vijay has looked solid as a batsman and should make most of the opportunity he has got in absence of Tendulkar and Sehwag. Badrinath has one more chance to prove he is worthy successor to legends of Indian Cricket in not just limited over format but also in the test cricket.
Around a week's break must have rejuvenated Indian players and now the run-a-ball innings of Dhoni and Jadeja could prove to be very useful in this format. There are not much expectations from this Indian team and it will only help them. For me, India are the favorites to win this series provided they are still not carrying niggles.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
So the dreaded thing has happened. With all the hype and glitterati of the IPL, very few of us would have thought India will not reach semi finals. But then the only test playing nation Indians have defeated is Bangladesh. Yes, they are still better than 2007 World Cup squad. But they lost to West Indies (without a significant contribution from Gayle) and England. England is the same team which was branded "chokers", a group of snobbish players and a team lacking talent after their loss against Netherland. Now the same team whose players play insipid county cricket "bounced" us out of the tournament as the Cricinfo reports. At the beginning of this tournament i had no hopes from England but they have left Indian team in hopeless situation.
With all the glitz and glamour of the IPL Mr. Modi and co. wanted us to realise what good the IPL has done to India. May be the IPL has made life easier for an ordinary domestic cricketer but scheduling it so close to an ICC event was bound to leave players jaded. Remember all these Indian players were subjected to intense pressure in their respective teams for about 40 days. A bit of pressure is good but to have 14 twenty20 games within a span of 40 days is just too much. I never thought anyone in India will celebrate dismissal of Tendulkar by Warne. But commercialism did that too. Team bonding? What is that man? Now they want 2 IPLs a year and add to it the Champions League. Where is the time for test cricket or for that matter any form of international cricket?
India is fast turning into England of World Soccer. All hype and no value.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
1. Pakistan Surprised! Yes Pakistanis are good at surprising their fans and critics alike. However I rate them as my favorites after watching them play in UAE against Aussies. They have wonderful attack in Akhtar, Gul, Tanvir, Ajmal and Afridi. Shoaib Malik gives them extra options. Afridi is in form of his life as far as bowling is concerned while Tanvir is very good in T20 and Gul was superb against Oz. In batting they have unlikely hero in Akmal who is is in sublime form while Misbah remains the danger man for oppositions. Salman Butt and Shoaib Malik provide impetus while Younis Khan provides stability. My only concern is that Younis doesn't get very slow in starting as he does in ODIs. In this format there is very little time to settle.
2. South Africa This is an all star squad but i keep them on number two due to their 'choking' abilities. Smithy, Gibbsy, AB, JP, Albie Morkel and Boucher form backbone of a very strong batting line-up. While Steyn, Botha, Abdulla, Morne form a strong bowling unit with options in Peterson, Kallis and van der Merwe.
3. India They too have a bunch of seven dangerous hard-hitters in Gambhir, Sehwag, Raina, Yuvi, Dhoni, Pathan and Jadeja. However, their bowling attack looks thin on paper. Zaheer doesn't seem to bowl as well in T20 as he does in other forms. Ishant and Praveen look clueless when under attack. RP Singh though looks good and with his experience of English conditions could prove to be India's trump card. Both Harbhajan and Ojha look good. Their biggest concern will be form of Viru and Gauti.
4. Australia Two years back every tournament had this team as favorite. Not now. Though they have lost sting of Haydos and Gilly, they still have in their ranks Symonds, Hussey brothers, Warner and Watson who can score runs pretty quickly. Along with Punter, Clarke and Haddin they form a pretty strong batting line-up. However, their bowling attack looks weak at least to me. I am not sure Johnson, Hilfenhaus, Siddle and Hauritz will bowl as well as they did in other formats recently.
5. New Zealand They don't have menacing stars except for perhaps McCullum but the way they combine as a team they can scare low rung teams and can on their day upset 'big four'. Ryder, McCullum and Taylor can provide the fireworks so much needed in this format while Mills and Oram along with miserly bespectacled skipper Vettori can stem the flow of runs against any team. Others though look ordinary.
6. West Indies Gayle, Sarwan, Shiv, Ramdin and Bravo can get runs for them and at quick pace but the rest will struggle in English conditions. Similarly bowling relies too much on Fiddy and Taylor. With Taylor not looking in best of forms it is going to be tough days ahead for them in this tournament.
7. Sri Lanka Their bowling remains their strength with Malinga, Murli, Tushara and Maharoof along with Mendis (if he plays). However, their batting looks iffy with only Sangakkara and Dilshan looking threatening although Jayasuriya and Jayawardhane can also do some serious damage. The last two have not been consistent and the injury lay-off of Jayawerdene is not going to help.
Others in contention are England and Bangladesh. To be honest I have more hopes from Bangladesh.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
However, I hope no one gets injured this time in the IPL to miss national duty like it happened last year to Haydos, Sreeshanth, Tendulkar and others.
Monday, April 13, 2009
It still remains very difficult for Afghans to qualify for the world cup considering that their victories in qualifying phase were against Bermuda and Denmark who are already out of tournament so Afghans do not carry any points from previous stage. But at least they have given themselves a chance. Don't forget Aussies won in 1999 without carrying any points from previous round in super six.