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)

May 1, 2008

Pidgeon Flies Again

Posted in IPL tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 10:25 am by techtwist

Glenn McGrath was back again with what he does best, contain the batsmen and pick up wickets. He bowled a terrific spell of 4/29 off four overs against the struggling Bangalore Royal Challengers. This effort has to be credited as this is the first 4 for in the IPL and also made sure that the Banglore Royal Challengers lost the game by 10 runs. All his 4 wickets were top order batsmen. This clearly shows that he is at his best though he has retired from International Cricket.

Earlier in the day, Gautam Gambhir and Shikar Dhawan batted beautifully to push the Delhi daredevil’s score to 191/5 of 20 overs. Gautam Gambhir scored a fluent 86 off 54 balls an Shikar Dhawan scored 50 off 33 balls. As for Royal Challengers, Jacques Kallis ( 54 off 44 balls ), Rahul Dravid ( 38 off 30 balls ) and Mark Boucher ( 31 off 17 balls ) played notable knocks which took them to the verge of victory and they crumbled again to loose the game closely by 10 runs. A lot of thinking has to be done by the Bangalore Royal Challengers and its high time they bring in Misbah-Ul-Haq to bolster their line-up.

April 10, 2008

South Africans To Miss Four Games

Posted in IPL tagged , , , , , , , at 7:35 pm by techtwist

All the South African players signed up for IPL will be unavailable for the first four games as they have decided to go to South Africa to play for their respective teams in the Standard Bank Pro20 Tournament. This came just days after Lalit Modi annouced that some of the South African players had recieved a green-signal from their County.

This means that the South Africans are set to miss as much as 25% of their pay. Jacques Kallis in particular will loose as much as USD 200,000. The Bangalore Royal Challengers will be the worst hit as they would miss Kallis, Dale Steyn and Mark Boucher. The South Africans will be in the fray from April 25.

April 6, 2008

The Great Indian Tamasha

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 8:18 am by techtwist

From heros to zeros in just three days of Test Cricket. The Indians never stood the test of character. Before we go into this, congrats to the South Africans for the way they outplayed us in every department. We were left with no margin for a comeback right from the first session. Greame Smith had told that they would go in with fresher plans for the game and it did the trick for them.

Day 1 saw the Indian Batsmen faling like the nine pins. Some of those were a beauty but mostly it was due to the shots that they played on these tracks. This again questions the ability of the Indians to adapt quickly to the tracks. Had they had that ability, they would have played better. Not that the Indian Batsmen aren’t good, but theie lack of application did cause their downfall.

After being bowled out for 20 overs on Day 1, Indians had a lot of work in their hand. Rather they let go the South Africans when they weren’t able to pick up quick wickets. The South Africans had all the time in the world to score big and thats what they did. They shouwed how to apply oneself and play on such tracks. Jacques Kallis and Ab DeVillers were outstanding.

Even in the second outing, the Indians couldn’t do much with three days of possible play. The Indians tried their best to postpone the defeat rather than to play themselves into the game. They were left gasping for air and were thoroughly outplayed. This has already left a couple of questions to the selectors asking for whether this was the best team that they could get in. Well, wasn’t this the same team that did well downunder and the first test here?

Anyways thats a different question. Here are some of the other information about this Test match which the Indians should think about :

  • Giving the South Africans enough time to have a look of our bowlers
  • Giving away the momentum
  • Giving South Africans the much needed confidence
  • It is learnt that Anil Kumble didn’t like the green top and yet decided to bat first. He did the same at Perth. But there, they were mentally prepared to take on green tops. Here they were expecting turning tracks and Batsmen friendly tracks that caused their downfall.
  • The Indian attack had no teeth or bite in them.
  • On Day 2, under the clod cover, the Indians started of the proceedings with their spin twins showing the Captain’s lack of confidence on seamers. Or was it the over-confidence on their ability.

Clearly Anil Kumble was made to think differently. Here are the other stats :

  • This was South Africa’s highest victory margin against the Indians.
  • Greame Smith has equalled Hansie Cronje’s record of 27 Test victories under his leadership.
  • This is India’s third defest under 3 days against the South Africans, their 17th overall.
  • The only high point for Indians was that they broke the record for the highest score in a day at Motera when they scored 328.
  • Saurav Ganguly made his highest score against the South Africans when he scored 87 surpassing his 73 at Johannesburg.

Clearly Indians had nothing going their way.

March 30, 2008

Master And Blaster Batter South Africa

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:12 pm by techtwist

Day Three and Day Four of the on-going Test series between India and South Africa at Chennai was indeed the day when many records tumbled and were aligned again. I will not forget these two days as I was a part of it. I got an ideal opportunity to witness a piece of history and also to watch the Master – Rahul Dravid and the Blaster – Virender Sehwag at their sublime best.

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Virender Sehwag was at his devastating best who is making his comeback. He showed his ability in the final test at Adelaide with a blistering 150+. He has come back here and has played what is rated as the bestTest innings that has been played in recent times. He played a flawless knock. Not once did he offer a chance to the South Africans. It was totally chanceless.

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He played from dawn to dusk with equal enthusiasm and aggression. Rather he was going great guns as time went by. His first 100 came off 119 balls, his second off 82 balls and his third off 80 balls. Not only this, he also closed in on his milestone with lusty blows just like he did in Multan exactly four years ago. His attitude is what rocks. He said that he wanted to prove a point after being dropped out of the team.

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This inspired him to prove that he belongs to this place and is here to rule it. He was particularly destructive against Paul Harris. He was bowling outside the leg stump so as to cut down the run flow. But Virender Sehwag was in a different frame of mind and played some stunning shots with the spin, against the spin, reverse sweep, what not. He scored more than 100 runs against Paul Harris.

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Rahul Dravid on the other hand was a beauty and was all class. Initially he was struggling, but once he got himself in, his defence was as solid as it can be. South Africans couldn’t do anything. He built his innings slowly but steadily. The crowd was behind Virender Sehwag and also wanted to see Sachin, they didn’t love Dravid’s innings. But yet he kept his calm and played in a manner that he knows best.

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It was like seeing beauty and the beast at the same time. Totally different class acts at each end and complementing each other. Both remained unbeaten on Day 3. Day 4 saw the crowd full of enthusiasm expecting a 400 from Sehwag. But he fell when on 319. Sachin Tendulkar walked in with a huge roar and left the stadium without troubling the scorers.

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Meanwhile Rahul Dravid went on to complete his 10,000th Test run when on 80. He then acknowledged the crowd and his family who were also present. He was so very expressive and his expressions told the whole story abouhis struggle for the last 1,000 runs he scored. He admitted that this last 1,000 runs was a learning curve for him.

India were finally bowled out for 627 after a devastating spell from Dale Steyn. South Africa started the second innings and Greame Smith kicked off to 20 quickly. But then Harbhajan Singh got him. Day 5 didn’t have too much in it. But Neil McKenzie went on to score 155* which was built beautifully. In due course India also got rid of Hasim Amla, Kallis and Ab DeVillers. The match finally ended in a tame draw.

None the less, we have seen some incredible batting performances and that might set the tone for the rest of the series. It was an ideal platform for both the teams to get their eye in. Fittingly, Virender Sehwag was named as the Man Of The Match for his stunning performance.

Rahul Dravid :

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