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 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 23, 2008

Sehwag Destroys Chargers

Posted in IPL tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:09 am by techtwist

Virender Sehwag was just a hit away from becoming the fastest centurion in T20 Cricket. He was stranded on 94 as the Delhi Daredevils chased down the set target of 143 in 13 overs. Virender Sehwag was very ruthless and raced to 94 off just 41 balls. Earlier in the day, Rohit Sharma scored a blistering 66 off 36 balls to help Hyderabad Deccan Chargers to 142/8 after a distaterous start. The daredevil line up was boosted by the availability of Mohammed Asif who picked up two crucial wickets at the top. But the day belonged to Virender Sehwag who rocked the crowds after surviving the lbw appeal in the first over bowled by Chaminda Vaas.

March 9, 2008

IPL Team Review – Hyderabad, Deccan Chargers

Posted in IPL tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:52 pm by techtwist

Hyderabad – A city of varied culture and the land which has given rise to many sporting stars like Mohammed Azharuddin, V.V.S.Laxman, Sania Mirza etc. . The team was brought by the print media group – Deccan Chronicle for USD 107.1 million.

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After the confusions they had initially about their icon player, they’ve decided against Laxman and Andrew Symonds has taken the role. Just like Chennai Super Kings did, Hyderabad has also gone in full fledge to buy Andrew Symonds, the second highest bid player in the auction. Let us have a look at the team.

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R.P.Singh – He is one of the new found faces of Indian Pace Bowling. He is very good with the ball as he has this uncanny nature of swinging the cherry both ways. He aslo looks very seducive with his action as it doesn’t look as pacy as it gets to the other end. He’s a skidy customer but yet can surprise the Batsmen with the bounce that he can extract. He did well during the T20 World Cup. He has been brought by the Hyderabad team for USD 875,000. Quite a good ploy to get him in.

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Rohit Sharma – He has been one of the best players in the just concluded CB series down-under. Evenwhen he made his International debut during the T20 World Cup, he played a couple of match-winning knocks which showcased his calibre. He is electric in the field and is a handy player to have in the team as he can shift gears and manage his innings properly. He was brought by Hyderabad for USD 750,000.

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Adam Gilchrist – The name itself triggers terror in the heart of the Bowlers around the World. He might have retired from his International duty. But it is our privilege to have him here to continue his good work at this format. He can tear apart any attack with such an ease. He’s simply unstoppable once he gets going. His exploits behind the wicket is exemplary. I’m eagerly waiting to see him back in action again after his lay-off. He was brought by Hyderabad team for USD 700,000.

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Shahid Afridi – Even this name strikes terror in the Bowler’s heart. But his inconsistency can be a key factor.The player of the T20 World Cup was a perfect fit for this man. He can bowl his quickish leg-breaks as well. He has the highest Strike -Rate for the year 2007 in ODI’s at about 170 runs per 100 balls. In the T20 World Cup, it rose upto 197 runs per 100 balls. He can spell devastation with both Bat and Bowl. He was brought by Hyderabad for USD 675,000.

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Herschelle Gibbs – He is a big match player.You can always count on him for big scores. Again, he has all the time in the World to hit the ball out of the park as and when he wants. He is simply one of the best fielders around in International Cricket. He can take the game away single-handedly. He was brought by Hyderabad for USD 575,000.

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V.V.S.Laxman – He is one of the classy Batsman that the world has ever seen. He plays some stylish shots which ropes in admirers around the World. He has this habit of building partnerships but lacks the ability for big shots. He’s a slow mover and has been often critisised for his fielding. He has to prove a lot in this format. He has been brought by Hyderabad for USD 375,000.

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Chaminda Vaas – He is one of the most brilliant Bowlers that Sri Lanka has produced. He can swing the ball both ways and has a very good slower one. He can make sure that runs are cut off when he bowls. He keeps on trying in the field. He also has the ability of playing big shots and can clear the field consistently with ease. He has been brought by Hyderabad for USD 200,000.

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Scott Styris – A man capable of changing things around. He is very good with the bat and his ability with the ball makes him special. He can don both the roles and perform exceedingly well. His current form is the only cause of concern. But his ability as a player can’t be neglected. He was brought by Hyderabad for USD 175,000.

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Nuwan Zoysa – He was very good when he first broke into the International scene. He used to extract good pace and bounce due to his height. He was later troubled by injuries and has been out of the Sri Lankan squad for quite sometime now. He has this habit of picking up wickets at regular intervals. He was brought by Hyderabad for USD 110,000.

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Chamara Silva – He is one of the new finds of Sri Lankan Cricket. He is very consistent with the bat and is also a good finisher. He can take a game away from the opponents with getting noticed too much. He bats lower down the order and provides that extra cushion for his team . He is a very good fielder and he was brought by Hyderabad for USD 100,000.

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Andrew Symonds – He has done lots on the field for the World to recognise him. He is very good in all departments of the game. He can shift gears easily and can strike the cricket ball as clean as a whistle. His presence will itself bring energy into the team. His fielding stands out. He is such a player who can deliver under any situation. He is the second highest paid player and is brought by Hyderabad priced at USD 1.35 million.

This team looks quite capable of turning the tables around. But I feel they lack the cushion of a slow bowler. Other than that the side looks pretty balanced and has all the other aspects of the game well covered.The team is stacked up with the best big-hitters that the game has seen in modern times. The Coach for this team will be Robin Singh. The team is valued at USD 112,895,000. The logo looks very good, denoting the brute force that team possesses of.

For schedule of the Hyderabad team, kindly follow the link. For details about the Second Bidding follow the link.

March 4, 2008

Emperor Strikes Back – Does A Sharjah At Gabba

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:16 pm by techtwist

Few years ago, India and Australia locked horns in a best of three finals at Sharjah. One man stood between the Aussies and the Trophy, Sachin Tendulkar. He has been the nemesis of the Australians for quite sometime now. At Sharjah, he scored back to back centuries to seal the Trophy for India. The attack was then lead by Damien Fleming and Mike Kasprowicz who were torn apart by the Bombay Bomber.

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A lot has changed over the years. But still Sachin Tendulkar’s dominance in World Cricket remains the same. This week he displayed similar characteristic innings ( though got out for 91 in the second final ) to seal the CB series, the last of its kind. He thoroughly took control over the Australian Bowling attack lead by Brett Lee.

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Robin Uthappa joined hand with the Master Blaster to put up the best opening stand for the Indians in this series earlier. They set the tone and India looked well in course for a 300+ target. Everyone who followed looked good in patches. Gautam Gambhir looked very good at the crease and looked good for a big one. But then, he fell trying to push the accelerator.

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So did Yuvraj Singh. He started off hitting a six of Michael Clarke while facing just his second ball. He scored a fluent 30+ score with a couple of big hits. Sachin at the other end was pacing his innings quite beautifully without any risks. He moved on to 91 smoothly. Then he played a shot which he checked half way through. Ricky Ponting took a very good catch to dismiss Tendulkar just nine short of his 43rd ton.

Pitch Report :
The Indian innings was in a sort of trouble when they experienced a phase where they lost some quick wickets when they should have actually accelerated to post a huge score. But then they managed to score 259/9 after a couple of good overs. Michael Clarke did the trick with the ball picking three crucial wickets includidng Sachin’s wicket.

The Toss :

Australian run chase was rather disasterous when Adam Gilchrist got out for just two off the bowling of Praveen Kumar. Adam Gilchrist looked dejected to have not scored big in his final appearance. Soon Praveen Kumar sent back Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke.

Then there blossomed a partnership of 89 runs at almost run a ball between Andrew Symonds and Matthew Hayden. They played a similar innings even during the first finals. Australia looked on course needing just under run a ball for victory. The match turned around when Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds were dismissed by Harbhajan Singh in the same over.

The required rate started creeping when Michael Hussey joined hands with James Hopes and kept the required rate at check. They played quite beautifully. Soon Hussey fell with another 60 required. James Hopes played well with wickets falling regularly and striking some big hits on the way.

The stage was set for a nail-biter with another 13 required off the last over. M.S.Dhoni threw the ball to Irfan Pathan. He did well to concede just one off the first ball. The next ball he had Nathan Bracken caught by Piyush Chawla. The batsmen crossed over and James Hopes was back on strike. Another 12 required off 4 balls. Irfan Pathan bowled another dot ball and the onus was on James Hopes.

Then came the moment. James hopes hit the next ball straight to the fielder and the Indians rejoiced the moment.Ah!!! What a match. Surely a treat for the spectators. The match swung both the ways regularly. Ponting admitted that the Indians outplayed them thoroughly and deserved to win.

There were a few incidences that has to be forgotten like the Clarke incedence and the streaker running in twice. Andrew Symonds showed his power when he pushed down one of the streakers with his strong shoulders.

We have had some electrifying contest this time around Down-Under. It will be remembered for many incidences and events. Indians thus showed the World that the Aussies aren’t the Invincibles they were anymore.


So everything seems to have neutralised and we have had nothing short of a treat for our eyes. Ah!!! What a moment for any Indian Fan to see his team beat Aussies in a ODI Series Final in Australia after 23 long years. History Re-Written!!!

The Presentation Ceremony And Adam Gilchrist/Brad Hogg Farewell :

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