March 21, 2009

India Win – One Down, Two To Go

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:43 pm by techtwist

What a spectacular sight for the Indian fans around the world? We have been showcased with a truely professional show by the Indian team. Right from Day One, they’ve been on top of the New Zealand team and never let them bounce back to change the balance of the game. The seamers took the advantage on the First day sending six Kiwi batsmen into the pavilion in the first session itself. Thanks to Zak and Ishant Sharma. The duo seem to enjoy each others’ company. The hosts had no way of getting back from there on.

Daniel Vettori and Jesse Ryder played superb century knocks, but it didn’t seem enough as they managed only 279. Indians then sent the Kiwis on a leather hunt. There was contributions form everyone. Sachin was at his best hitting almost every delivery out of the middle of his bat. He got company from almost everyone. Rahul Dravid also looked comfortable and scored a half century. He deserved a century for his sheer class. But none the less, the job had been done.

It was a great sight to watch Sachin play his straight drives and the back-foot punches with such ease. Except for the delivery that got him, he never made one mistake. He, I think, has missed the opportunity of scoring a double hundred for the second time in this series, the first being during the ODI series. Zaheer Khan chipped in with a 51* and that took India past the 500 runs mark.

Even during the second innings, the bowlers were up to the mark. They did everything right and took wickets at regular intervals without letting the Kiwis build a partnership. Harbhajan produced his best spell away from home picking up six wickets that left the Kiwis gasping. They had no answer to the turbanator. For the first time ever, I found Munaf Patel impressive. Even he chipped in with couple of wickets. More than the wickets, it was his discipline and consistent pace that impressed me the most. India was set a target of 39 which they scored off in no time. The game came to a close in under four days and thats impressive. We have outclassed them in every department of the game.

Dhoni magic still seems to be working and it is a very good sign. With almost every batsmen in the top 6 looking in good shape, the Kiwis have a lot of work to do.We will see a lot more changes in the Kiwi line up for the second test and if the weather permits, we should have a good contest on the cards. We can expect another run feast during the next test mainly because of the form that the batsmen form both the teams (mostly Indians) are showcasing.

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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

August 27, 2008

India Clinch The Idea Cup ODI Series

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:53 pm by techtwist

A splendid performance by the Indians ensured that they go on to win their first ever bilateral tie in Sri Lanka. Special credit should be given to Zaheer Khan who was amidst a brilliant spell. He was ably supported by Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel and Harbhajan Singh.

As for the batting department Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina played a couple of good innings in consecutive matches and that partnership ensured that enough damage was inflicted to the Lankans. They way they handled both the spinners, Ajantha Mendis and Muttiah Muralidaran was creditable. Probably this should end the talk of Indians not playing spin properly in recent times. MSD should be a happy man.

August 8, 2008

ODI Squad For The Idea Cup And The Champions Trophy

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:47 pm by techtwist

As usual, there has been a lot of surprises in the squad that has been recently annouced for the upcoming Idea Cup ODI series and the Champions Trophy in Pakistan. Happy news,however, is that Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are coming back into the squad.

Tendulkar last played in the finals of the CB Series in Australia. He then missed most of the IPL and the Bangladesh ODI and the Asia Cup due to the recurring injury that he suffered in Australia. Zaheer Khan last played an ODI against Pakistan last November when they toured India. He was left out for Australia due to a strained ankle. MSD is coming back after opting out of the on going Test series.

Temperamental fast bowler Sreesanth has been declared unfit and hence will be out of the Champions Trophy as well. Niranjan Shah has asked him to prove himself in the domestic circuit. Virat Kohli has been the surprise package. He was the Captain of the Indian under-19 team which lifted the World Cup earlier. He has a tremendous potential and he admits that he was below par in the IPL and has promised to give his best shot if given a chance.

Robin Uthappa, Yusuf Pathan and Piyush Chawla have been dropped forom both the squads. I feel that Piyush Chawla deserved a chance as he has the potential to blossom well. Pragyan Ojha has been included instead of him as he provides the variation with his left arm spin. Both, Robin Uthappa and Yusuf Pathan, were in an indifferent form and their fate was very much known.

Meanwhile, Ishant Sharma has been rested for the Idea Cup and will be back for the Champions Trophy. He has been clocking good speeds in the on-going test series and surely needs a break to deliver at the Champions Trophy. Parthiv Patel and Munaf Patel have been included for the Idea Cup and have been excluded for the Champions Trophy. Here’s the Squad :

  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt)
  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • Gautam Gambhir
  • Virender Sehwag
  • Yuvraj Singh
  • Rohit Sharma
  • Suresh Raina
  • Virat Kohli
  • Parthiv Patel
  • Irfan Pathan
  • Praveen Kumar
  • Harbhajan Singh
  • Zaheer Khan
  • RP Singh
  • Munaf Patel
  • Pragyan Ojha.

April 7, 2008

Indian Team For Kanpur Test

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:54 pm by techtwist

The Indian team for the crucial test at Kanpur has been announced. Ishanth Sharma and Munaf Patel have made it to the 16 member squad while R.P.Singh has been left out of the squad. Ishanth Sharma’s presence brings in some freshness into the Indian pace attack which has managed just 3 wickets in this series so far compared to the 26 by the South African pacers.

I’m disappointed to see Gautam Gambhir left out of the squad. This will make sure that if Wasim Jaffer is left out, then Yuvraj Singh or Mohammed Kaif would get in and even might be forced to open the innings in that case. The batting line up must pull up their socks and put up a strong show so as to level the series.

If we get to see square turners at Kanpur, then even Piyush Chawla might get a look in. Meanwhile, Romesh Powar has been called in as an replacement for Anil Kumble who is suffering from a groin injury as well. With Tendulkar already out the match, this would be a big blow for the Indians.

I would be thoroughly disappointed to see both, Munaf Patel and Romesh Powar, play together as I feel both are incapable of putting up a decent enough show on the field.

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