October 29, 2008

When Focus Meets Aggression

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:14 pm by techtwist

The Australians are being forced to experience certain gestures which they generally force on their opposition. They clearly looked out of sorts. They are being made to look desperate, be it either with the bat or the ball. They are being outplayed in all the departments. The Indians are showcasing a Masterclass to the world about how to tackle the mighty Aussies. It has become very clear that the Aussies also succumb to the pressure.

Brett Lee did well to pick Virender Sehwag early and Mitchell Johnson picked up Rahul Dravid with the score reading 27 for 2. Gautam Gambhir played a role of holding one end up initially. Sachin Tendulkar, at that time, was at his sublime best stroking the Aussies around the turf. The way he moved into those drives were a treat to watch. Clearly, the pressure of record seems to have evaporated and it was very evident from his strokeplay.

The duo put on a 100+ stand and ensured that India was in a decent enough position. Sachin fell just before the stroke of tea to Mitchell Johnson who was bowling at good pace. But Gautam Gambhir ensured that the Indians never lost their track and kept the score board ticking. Laxman soon got into his own and again this duo put on another 100+ for the fourth wicket ensuring that there was no more wickets.

Gautam Gambhir was taunted in all the possible ways. He never held back and gave them what they deserved. He treated everything on merit. He was ruthless to Shane Watson and it was a special moment to watch him dance down the track and clear the ground off Watson to reach the magic figures for the second time in a fortnight’s time against the World No.1 team. This is only the fourth occasion of a player scoring hundreds in successive tests against the Aussies since 2001. Gambhir had loads to say even during the press conference. He rubbed salt into the Aussie wounds pointing out their flaws. Clearly, Australians are on the backfoot and lets hope that Gautam Gambhir scores his maiden double tomorrow. He was on 149* at the end of day’s play and another 51 runs shouldn’t be a problem.


October 21, 2008

India Maul Australia At Mohali

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:22 pm by techtwist

Indians have drawn first blood. They have ensured that they have won emphatically. The margin of 320 runs is the highest for India ( other than victories by an inning’s margin ). What a time to win in such a fashion? Few milestones and records were also broken in due course. Indians collectively won the game.

Clearly Australians looked out of sorts when a mammoth total was put in front of them. Gambhir and Sehwag again showed that they are one among the best in business in any form of the game. The game was already won when that partnership flourished for the second consecutive time.

Australians were completely low on morale which was very clear when Ponting didn’t toss the ball to his out of form spearhead Brett Lee on day 4. He even gave Hussey a ball but didn’t let Lee bowl. He was seen chatting with Lee who looked very disappointed. The Australians surrendered meekly on Day 5. Within almost one and half hours, the five Australian wickets were gobbled up by the Indians. Zaheer Khan swinged the cherry both ways and the Australians were caught completely off guard.

There were many contenders for the Man Of The Match. Ganguly for his match winning century in the first innings, Gautam Gambhir for his consistent show in both the innings ( a century in the second innings can’t be forgotten ), Amit Mishra for his five for, Ishant Sharma for picking up the crucial wickets. But the award went to Mahendra Singh Dhoni who flourised in both the innings with two fast paced fifties. He has finally admitted that his strength is to play his shots and he has promised to curb them only if situation demands. It will surely help him big time.

In another week’s time, the action will shift to Delhi.

September 12, 2008

Symonds Loses His Place

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:50 pm by techtwist

After a fortnight long drama and debate, Andrew Symonds has been left out the Australian team which will be touring India later this month. CA has made a clear statement that they will not tolerate any nonsense stuffs even if it is from a senior player which is a pretty good move. But then I personally feel that they’ve gone a step further as he had already been sent home during the Bangladesh series which in itself is a great insult.

What this has done is that the Australians will be without one of their better weapons against the Indian spinners. The very fact that Symonds has averaged about 77 in the last 12 months of test cricket displays the genuine touch he is in. Also, this line up will be short of another spinner in Symonds as he is very capable with the bal specially when the wicket helps him.

This opens up the spot for Shane Watson who would want to grab this opportunity with both hands. What a chance for him to flourisha the test level? This is soemthing that he was looking forward to. There are loads of fresh faces in this Australian team and the surprise inclusion has been that of the 36 year old leg spinner, Bryce McGain. This is not quite the Australian style. He is making his debut and obviously must be talented enough to make it to the big level. McGain has been the best bowler in the last season and his success has earned him the spot.

Just take at look at this Australian squad. In this, only four members (Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Simon Katich, Michael Clarke) were a part of the previous team that toured India.

Squad : Matthew Hayden, Phil Jaques, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Simon Katich, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (wk), Brett Lee, Jason Krejza, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Bryce McGain, Stuart Clark, Doug Bollinger

September 11, 2008

ICC Awards 2008 Round Up

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:24 pm by techtwist

West Indian Batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul bagged the ICC Player Of The Year. With this award, he is the fifth player to receive this prestigious award. He out did the other contenders in Greame Smith, Dale Steyn and Mahela Jayawardene.

South African Dale Steyn was awarded with the Test Player Of The Year. He was in a phenomenal form last year where he became the fastest to 50 test wickets. India’s ODI skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, was awarded the ICC ODI Player Of The Year. Even he has been in good touch steering his team home on many occations.

His deputy, Yuvraj Singh bagged the inaugral ICC T20 Player Of The Year for the six sixes that he hit in the T20 World Cup. The newest Spin Sensation, Ajantha Mendis ran away with the Emerging Player Of The Year Award for his splendid performance against the Indians. The Australian Umpire, Simon Taufel, got his fifth award as the Umpire Of The Year after being voted by all the Captains of the 10 member nations and the 8 match referees.

Sri Lanka received the award for Spirit Of Cricket for the second consecutive time for they have managed to behave very well on the field. English Skipper, Charlotte Edwards won the Women’s Player Of The Year after steering her team to a 4-0 win over the Indians. The ICC Test and ODI twelve have been announced and here is the list.

ICC Test Team of the Year : Greame Smith (SA, capt), Virender Sehwag (Ind), Mahela Jayawardene (SL), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI), Kevin Pietersen (Eng), Jacques Kallis (SA), Kumar Sangakkara (SL, wk), Brett Lee (Aus), Ryan Sidebottom (Eng), Dale Steyn (SA), Muttiah Muralitharan (SL). 12th man: Stuart Clark (Aus).

ICC ODI Team of the Year : Hershelle Gibbs (SA), Sachin Tendulkar (Ind), Ricky Ponting (Aus, capt), Younis Khan (Pak), Andrew Symonds (Aus), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Ind, wk), Farveez Maharoof (SL), Daniel Vettori (NZ), Brett Lee (Aus), Mitchell Johnson (Aus), Nathan Bracken (Aus). 12th man: Salman Butt (Pak)

September 4, 2008

Lee Raring To Play In India

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:38 pm by techtwist

After a terrible few days in his life during which he had a break-up in his marriage life, Brett Lee has announced that he is both physically and mentally fit for the tour of India. He sounded pretty keen to make himself available for the tour. Lee took leave during the ongoing Bangladesh series and used this time to get his head right and feels pretty good after the break from the game for a while.

He was seen back with the team at Darwin joking with team mates and keenly speaking to the support staff to ensure that everything was back again on track for him to comeback. Officially, this would be the first time that Brett Lee would be leading the attack. Last time around it was lead by Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillispie and Michael Kasprowicz. He played the role of the twelfth man and is keen to make his first appearance in front of the Indian crowd.

The Indians love Brett Lee for his sheer passion and his friendly attitude and Brett Lee also enjoys playing in India. He says it would be tough playing here and still he enjoys it. Talking about relationships – It sure does affect even the best.

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