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
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August 23, 2008

Where Is Sreesanth???

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:12 pm by techtwist

After being ruled out with a side strain injury that he suffered during the Indian Premier League, Sreesanth must have felt the sting after some good show by Ishanth Sharma and Praveen Kumar. He would be eagerly waiting to have a crack at the big stage sooner so as to be in the wings before its too late. He was left out for the Kitply Cup in Bangladesh, the Asia Cup in Pakistan and the Sri Lankan tour. He has also been left out from the squad for the Champions Trophy.

But Sreesanth has made it to the squad for the series against Australia A team which will be touring in September. This should help him to get some match practise. They will be here to play a couple of three-day games. Tamil Nadu’s Subramaniam Badrinath will lead the India A team for this series. He succeeds Mohammed Kaif who lead the India A team for the previous major tie against the South Africa A team in 2007. The squad also sees Akash Chopra and Wasim Jaffer not included and instead they have the out of form Robin Uthappa and Piyush Chawla who would be wanting to make the most of the opportunity to get back into the ranks. The squad is listed below :

  • S Badrinath (capt)
  • Parthiv Patel (vc)
  • Shikhar Dhawan
  • Ajinkya Rahane
  • Mohammed Kaif
  • Cheteshwar Pujara
  • Robin Uthappa
  • Piyush Chawla
  • Sreesanth
  • Vinay Kumar
  • Sudeep Tyagi
  • Dhawal Kulkarni
  • Mohnish Parmar
  • Sahil Kukreja
  • Amit Mishra

The first game commences on 3rd of September and the second on the 9th of September.

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.

May 10, 2008

First Hat-Trick Of The IPL

Posted in IPL tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:58 pm by techtwist

None expected him to even play consistently and he was out of the first few games for the Chennai Super Kings as he wasn’t match fit. But he’s back now with a bang. Lakshmipathy Balaji was almost a forgotten figure of Indian Cricket. But this effort would remind everyone about his presence.

He bowled an amazing spell leading a rather weak attack. He ended up with figures of 5/24 of 4 overs. This also included the first hat-trick of the IPL when he picked up the dangerous looking Irfan Pathan, Piyush Chawla and V.R.V. Singh. It is a feat to reckon. He also picked up two crucial wickets of Yuvraj Singh and Shaun Marsh who were going at a good speed before being halted. This ensured that the Chennai Super Kings beat King’s XI Punjab by 14 runs.

Earlier in the match, Subramaniam Badrinath ( 64 runs of 47 balls ) and M.S.Dhoni ( 60 of 43 balls ) put up a brilliant show with the bat and helped the team from a tricky situation with aggressive batting to help them post 181/4 in 20 overs. Both played some exquisite shots and had the crowd on their feat. Then it was Marsh ( 58 runs of 38 balls ) who also came to the party along with Irfan Pathan ( 40 runs of 18 balls ). The game also had a good display with the ball when the King’s XI restricted Chennai Super Kings to 181 when they were set to score over 200. Then it was this tremendous spell by L.Balaji which was well supported by other Super Kings Bowlers.

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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