Saturday, June 27, 2009

India win finally

India beat West Indies by 20 runs yesterday. Not a big deal normally but matters a lot when this team has lost three twenty20 games in a row and clearly demoralised by both the defeats as well as Indian media. But this victory must have relieved some of the pressure. I believe the close contest will only help India as winning close matches gives you more confidence and when faced again with that situation you don't panic.

However, the positive coming out of this match is batting performance of Dinesh Kartik. I rate him very highly as a batsman but he was struggling with both bat and gloves lately. This knock should help him exorcize the demons of his failure in last two years. It is also a befitting reply to those who had written him off. Someone who has performed well in test matches as an opener in England and South Africa must have some solidity in technique but in India people have tendency to kick out someone who is down and eulogise someone who performs well. Most recent example is the way they are baying for blood of Jadeja and Rohit Sharma. I am sure these two guys will prove them wrong as Kartik has done.

Friday, June 26, 2009

India in West Indies

India are in the West Indies to play a 4 ODI series. I don't know why the BCCI scheduled just a 4 match tourney, but then many decisions of the BCCI are beyond my comprehension. However, this event gives a chance to a cricket crazy nation to see whether the debacle of Dhoni boys' in England was just an aberration or the team is in decline.

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

Twenty20 World Cup final

So, it is Pakistan vs Sri Lanka in the finals of the Twenty20 World Cup. I never thought Sri Lanka will make it to the final perhaps influenced by poor performance of Mendis in the IPL and under estimat8ng Dilshan's performance in the same tournament. Due to really poor display by India, Australia and New Zealand my predictions for this cup have gone awry. However, not many would have predicted Pakistan in finals and I chose them as my favorites in the tournament. So, all is not lost in my predictions and that gives me inclination to predict in future tornaments.

Coming to the final. If there is any player who can nullify the threat posed by Murali & Mendis, it is Younis Khan. Along with Misbah he can score runs at a decent pace against these two. However, Pakistan's best chance rests with dismissing Dilshan cheaply. He has been mainstay of Lankan batting. The Lankans rely heavily on him, Sanath, Sanga and Jayawerdene in their batting. It will be an interesting final as we witness yet another South Asian title clash. Congrats to Pakistan for making it to both the finals.

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

Future of Symonds

So Mr. Symonds has done it again. Just when everyone was debating his omission from Ashes squad, he made it clear what could have been on Aussie selectors' mind. After a sterling performance in the recently concluded IPL, both with the bat and the ball, his fans were expecting similar exploits in Twenty20 world cup. Today Cricinfo reports that Symonds' retirement seems imminent. It would be a huge loss for International Cricket if this happens. I am not a fan of Symonds in longest version of the game but for limited versions he is right there at the top. Australia will surely miss his services as an all-rounder. With Symonds gone Aussies only have two Davids (Warner and Hussey) as destructive hard-hitters. However, Australians give utmost importance to discipline and the way they played after loss of Warne in 2003 World Cup is enough proof to believe they will be a dangerous opposition to contend with.