December 21, 2008

South Africa Nail Australia

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , at 1:08 pm by techtwist

Yet another stunning run chase in Tests making it two within a week. First it was India chasing a near impossible 387 versus England at Chennai where the wicket was doing quite a bit for the spinners. Now, it is the turn of the South Africans against the mighty Australians at Perth chasing 413, the second highest target. They have managed to nail the Aussies by six-wickets.

In both the cases, the openers have done their job. It was Virender Sehwag for India who set up the chase with a blitzkreig and it was the South African skipper, Greame Smith, who set up the chase with a stunning century. He played with such an authority that the Aussies didn’t have any of their plans working.

There were also timely contributions and good partnerships from Jacques Kallis, Hasim Amla and Jean Paul Duminy with all the three scoring fifties. Duminy was playing in his debut game and it must be a really proud moment for him. AB deVillers started of from where Smith had left and even he scored an amazing century keeping the Aussie attack at bay just like Tendulkar did for India by carrying the innings till the end. Except Mitchell Johnson who picked up 11 wickets in the game, none of the Aussie bowlers troubled the South African batsmen. Johnson was exceptional and no wonder he picked 11 of the total 14 South African wickets in the game.

The celebrations will be very wild and this paves way for an interesting fight for the second spot on the Test Rankings and both the teams fighting for this spot are doing very well. It would be interesting to see India and South Africa lock horns with this form.

P.S. : Since 2000, a total in excess of 300 has been chased down on nine occasions, the most in any decade. Clearly the targets are easily being chased down in the fourth innings with proper application and good game knowledge.


August 3, 2008

India Level The Series At Galle

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:46 pm by techtwist

Indians have done it again when their backs were completely against the wall. What a way to comeback after suffering the third biggest loss? No one expected India to win the game. But then, the Indians have proved their mettle once again. Anil Kumble said he was not surprised by this victory as he had full faith in his team and knew what every member was capable of in their dressing room.

First, it was Sehwag in the first innings with that magnificient 201*. It was his 11 century on a trot which has been converted into a 150+ score. What a feat? It was a terrific display of his mental strength to comeback in such a way after the first test loss. He single handedly took India to a position of comfort. Then it was Harbhajan Singh who picked up six wickets to back Sehwag’s effort. Sehwag and Gambhir again propelled India to a good start and as usual, the Indians fumbled out of nowhere. The worst part is that they looked pretty comfortable against the spinners.

Then Ishanth Sharma and Zaheer Khan bowled beautifully. Both looked good for more wickets. Ishanth Sharma in particular was at his devastating best. It reminded me of his duel with Ricky Ponting at Perth ( Listen To What Sanjay Manjrekar Had To Say About Ishanth Sharma ). He was consistently around the 135-140 kmph mark. His spell was inspirational. By the time the spinners came, the damage was already done. Credit should go to the 19 year old lad for his efforts. Then Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble completed the other formalities and we won by 170 runs.

There were few more areas where we could improve and if we can get that right it would be a another cracker of a contest in a weeks time. Mahela Jayawardene was so very impressed with Ishanth Sharma that he has already hinted at a pace bowler in his line-up. The highlight of this match was how the openers nullified Ajantha Mendis and Muralidaran. It was a treat to watch them dominate the Sri Lankan spinners. If they can repeat the show, we can probably bag this series.

April 10, 2008

Shaun Tait Is Set For A Comeback

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , at 6:54 pm by techtwist

Shaun Tait looked a happy man when he said he was hungry to get back to Cricket and start doing what he knows best, pick up wickets. He had quit International Cricket indefinitely in January and said he wanted to spend time for himself after a poor show at Perth against the Indians. Even then, he was given a Central Contract by Cricket Australia.

Shaun Tait also said that he was very disappointed with the media when they said he was suffering from depression. He said “I didn’t get diagnosed with depression although a few media people have been displaying that. I get annoyed with the media. They cause a hell of a lot of problems in general. I don’t think the media realise what they do to people’s lives. They ruin people.” That surely shows how hurt he was.

He also said “It’s given me a massive desire to come back and play cricket rather than concentrate on other things in my life and have a crack for a few years.I am the only South Australian with a [Cricket Australia] contract and have a point to prove.” Clearly he knows what his job is. Thats a positive sign for both, himself and Cricket Australia. He is scheduled for a comeback in T20 competitions in English County in a couple of weeks time.

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 31, 2008

Devastating Spells – Part 1

Posted in Cricket tagged , , at 8:39 pm by techtwist

Recently, I’ve been checking out videos on Youtube and I’ve come across a few awesome ones. I though that I would put it up here and share it. The first one is the Famous Spell by Curtly Ambrose on a bouncy and seaming WACA ( Perth ) wicket against Australia. I’ve not seen such a spell of fast bowling in my life. The analysis at one point read 7 for 1 ( ??? ). Doesn’t it sound crazy? It was the first innings of the Fifth Test. Check out the video.

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