October 20, 2008

Australians Are No More Invincibles

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:55 pm by techtwist

The title may sound harsh. But thats the fact and I stick by it. So many things have been said about the Asian team faltering down under on true wickets. The tides are changing and the Asian teams, specially India, have come a long way and have started giving the Australians a run for their money. When was the last time you say an Aussie Captain speak negatively? It all reflects in their performance.

Australians should consider themselves lucky to have won the toss in Bangalore. They helped themselves to a commanding position on a good batting track. I knew very well that they would falter had they batted second. Credit should be given to Ticky Ponting and Michael Hussey for the way they scored their centuries.

But at Mohali, the script was re-written with Indians getting a chance on the fresh wicket and they readily grounded the Aussies from the word go. Right through the Test, everything seems to be going in India’s favour. Sachin Tendulkar accomplished two records, Saurav Ganguly achieved a personal milestone, Mishra was found to be more than a handful and bagged a five for on debut. They couldn’t have asked for more.

Coming to the fact that Australians aren’t invincibles anymore is very evident from the way they are crubling just like the Indian wickets do. They seem to have developed a phobia over the cracking wickets. Also the Aussies are finding the Indian pacers too hot to handle. Indians seem to be well equipped with the pace men providing the fire power to support the already successful spinners. Australians have a lot of work to do to master spin. Their best player of spin, Matthew Hayden, is also out of touch. A lot will depend on his performance in the next couple of tests.

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October 1, 2008

Ganguly – The Man Of Comebacks

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:39 pm by techtwist

The history repeats. To my liking ( or even to Ganguly’s for that matter ) it has happened very quickly. Saurav Ganguly was again on the verge of being pushed aside and out of International Cricket for once. But his strong record has saved his head again. One of the selectors said his experience, character and resilience has put him ahead of the youngsters like Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif. They feel these three qualities are very important for a tough series against Australia.

As a build up to the series, Saurav Ganguly is expected to play a India A test against New Zealand A as he has not been a part of the current team who are at a conditioning camp at Bangalore. Ganguly has an impressive average of 50.67 aggregating 1571 runs since his comeback in December 2006 during which he has also scored a maiden double century. The surprise packages were Amit Mishra and Subramaniam Badrinath. Both made it to the 15 member squad.

Badrinath said he expected a call up. What the selectors have done is that they have sent a strong message. Badrinath will be under the shadow and will me the most likely one to replace Ganguly. Meanwhile Mishra will be the third spinner and likely to be the successor of Kumble. Too ealry to make a call. But this seems to be the pattern. Pragyan Ojha and Piyush Chawla were left out. I felt Ojha deserved a place in this squad.

Meanwhile the news from the camp is that the team has been really working hard on its fitness and the bowlers on getting their rhythms right. They were made to bowl with teh fifth stump just to get thier ” just outside off stump ” line right. The first Test starts in Bangalore on October 9. The second is in Mohali from October 17-21. The squad for the remaining fixtures, in Delhi and Nagpur, will be named after the second Test. Here’s the squad :

  • Anil Kumble
  • Virender Sehwag
  • Gautam Gambhir
  • Rahul Dravid
  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • Saurav Ganguly
  • V.V.S. Laxman
  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni
  • Harbhajan Singh
  • Zaheer Khan
  • Ishanth Sharma
  • Munaf Patel
  • R.P. Singh
  • Subramaniam Badrinath
  • Amit Mishra

May 14, 2008

Blast Causes Confusion

Posted in IPL tagged , , , , , , at 1:13 am by techtwist

After the recent bomb blast in the Pink-City of Jaipur, the home team’s match scheduled for this weekend has become a big question mark due to security reasons. The match will mostly be played in Bangalore after the Bangalore Royal challengers have offered the IPL with the option. A match between these teams has already taken place here and even this might be on the cards.

As for the Jaipur Rajasthan Royals players, none were disturbed by this blast as most of the team in holidaying at Goa while the others have gone home on a break. The Jaipur Franchise is yet to cinfirm this rescheduled plan.

April 28, 2008

Dhoni Sizzles At Bangalore

Posted in IPL tagged , , , , , , , at 9:39 pm by techtwist

M.S. Dhoni hit a whirlwind 65 off just 30 balls against the Bangalore Royal Challengers pushing the team total to a respectable 178/5 after a mediocre start. At one stage the Chennai Super Kings were 62/2 off 10 overs and it needed some quality hitting which M.S. Dhoni and Michael Hussey managed to sneak in. M.S.D was particularly harsh on anything over pitched and powered his way to 50 off just 24 balls. He was out of the penultimate ball of the innings and Michael Hussey of the very next ball trying to clear the fence.

The 19th over saw 24 runs being scored off Dale Steyn by M.S. Dhoni who smacked him for a couple of lusty blows in due course. That changed the entire innings and propelled Chennai Super Kings’ total. It looks a good enough score and lets see how this goes from here on.

March 13, 2008

IPL Bidding – Round 2

Posted in IPL tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:39 pm by techtwist

I was rather waiting for this to check out how the teams qould finally look. This round was rather a low profile one unlike the first phase. But here there were equally good players on offer. Teams like Mohali and Bangalore made the best out of this as they hadn’t pushed so hard in the first phase. The other teams like Chennai and Mumbai had to play safe as they got the cream of the players in the first phase itself.

Here I’ve just listed out the players who were bid for in the second phase and their respective teams. I’ve not included the price tags that was set for each of them.

Bangalore pushed in for two players namely Misbah-Ul-Haq from Pakistan and Shreevats Goswami, the member of the Indian under-19 team. He’ll act as the second wicket-keeper in the team. Misbah brings in that key factor of a flexible player and can be very handy for the Bangalore Royal Challengers.

Jaipur were rather very focussed on signing some higher rated players like Dimitri Mascarenhas from England (The first English Player on auction), Morne Morkel from South Africa and Sohail Tanvir from Pakistan. This bolsters the team and Shane Warne has a problem of plenty as he can play only four Foreign players in his team. So I doubt whether all the three above might get a chance to go the distance.

Kolkatta on the other hand were going in with only two players namely Iqbal Abdulla and Siddharth Kaul, both bowlers. This leaves only Saurav Ganguly as their star Batsmen as the Australians might not be available this year.

Mohali went in with the under-19 star Tanmay Srivastava and Ajitesh Agarwal. Yuvraj might have to sit and think a lot before picking his XI as he has loads of Foreign players on offer.

Mumbai brought in few youngsters namely Manish Pandey, Saurabh Tiwary and Pinal Shah. This makes Mumbai the only team to have non-International wicket-keepers leaving Pinal Shah and Yogesh Takawale to step up to the occation.

The other teams remained unchanged.