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Words on Cricket

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Updated: 2018-01-15T21:56:47.569+05:30


100dulkar - The Unconquered Emperor


All criticism, all discussions, all talks came to an end with Tendulkar's 100th international ton. The feat which no cricketer conquered in past and none will achieve in future. It was landmark which kept entire country in desperation for more than a year. Finally moment arrived and entire country enjoyed the moment with joy and felt relaxed barring few cricket experts and fans who criticised Tendulkar for the loss against Bangladesh which eventually resulted in India's exit from the Asia Cup.But let me tell you one thing 289 is not a small score to chase, if your bowlers don't bowl proper line and length than any target is achievable. Look at Pakistan which lost to India even after scoring 330. Whom to blame Mohammad Hafeez or Jamshed, who scored century in losing cause and put up opening partnership of more than 200 runs. If someone is not blaming Hafeez and Jamshed for Pakistan's loss than you don't have the right to blame Tendulkar as well, who has done something which is impossible to achieve.When Tendulkar started his cricket nobody expected him to reach such heights, but this champion cricketer conquered the cricket world and now he is 'Unconquered Emperor' of cricket world. What makes Tendulkar so special. We all know he is genius with the bat but there are many players who were genius and were better than Tendulkar yet not achieved much.One such example is Vinod Kambli, the closest pal of the Master. Both Tendulkar and Kambli started their cricket together and Kambli was considered more talented than Tendulkar but we all know where Kambli is currently. Talent alone don't make champions it is constant focus, hardwork and dedication which makes champion and certainly Tendulkar don't lack any of these. These 22 years are like dream for the fans across the world especially for Indian fans who witnessed many great innings from a genius who is known as 'God of Cricket'. Tendulkar created end number of happy moments for Indians, for which Indians will be thankful to him forever. Cricketers came and gone but Tendulkar stood firm with his craftsmanship with his bat and spread the joy and that's what makes Tendulkar special. In these beautiful 22 years Tendulkar recieved lot of accolades but at the same faced equal criticism as well which I think is really disgusting. Man who has given so much to the country how can be criticised. But it happened and that is cruel reality. Tendulkar was blamed for losses as if he is the only player in the team responsible for the lossess. Always criticised that he is playing for his individual records and not playing in the interest of the team. Even after scoring epic ton he was blamed for the team's loss. But I believe it is really unjustice to the man who has done so much for the country. Each of his centuries which came in losing cause don't become less important because Master did his job but his other colleagues failed to perform their duties.Remember cricket is a team game and one player can't change the fortunes, it is combined effort of 11 players which decides the results, so other 10 are also equally responsible. We must not forget that Tendulkar is our pride and we have to give him all the respect in the word and look towards his positive traits and approach and try to learn from it instead of criticising him without any reason. Tendulkar and Dravid are an institutions in themselves, both on-field and off-field. If Dravid is 'Wall' hard to get past than Tendulkar is 'Unconquered Emperor'.Site developed by Abhishek Jain[...]

Rahul Dravid - The Master Technician


I don't have privilege of watching any of the Sunil Gavaskar's innings. Never watched Gundappa Vishwanath batting. Don't have any idea how Geoff Boycott and Vivian Richards batted as I never watched them batting. But I am lucky enough to watch Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Jacques Kallis and Virender Sehwag batting. All these stalwarts have class of their own and quite unique also in their way of batting. But one man who stands tall among all these stalwarts is Rahul Dravid, simply because of his great technique which made him one of the finest batsman of all time. Yet lost in aura of all greats. I can say one thing for sure, among all the batsmen I watched, I found Rahul Dravid far superior when it comes to technique. Tendulkar have all the records in the world, Kallis is great all-rounder, Sourav Ganguly finest Indian captain ever, Virender Sehwag the crusader, VVS Laxman the elegant right hander. But among all Rahul Dravid stands tall, yet always remained in shadow of all these greats and never got the credit for what he did for Indian cricket. He is player who holds the distinction of scoring highest runs in the test matches which India won. So he is easily the match winner. With the retirement of Rahul Dravid, Team India lost the biggest ever match-winner of all time. When he started his career he was labelled as test batsman but  with his sheer determination and dedication to the game, made him one of the finest ODI batsman as well who went on to score more than 10000 runs in ODIs as well, which is no mean achievement.What makes Rahul Dravid, the champion? I think its his patience which  make him the champion. I have seen bowlers getting tired because of aggressive stroke-making of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, which is quite natural. But Rahul Dravid is unique. He weared down bowlers and made them  look vulnerable with his slow batting which was quipped with great technique. He never scored runs at rapid pace, yet he succeeded in murdering the bowling with his killer patience and cool temperament. There is more to Rahul Dravid, apart from is batting. His advices proved priceless for many cricketers of his era who came to him for tips. Ask Younis Khan, how Rahul Dravid's words helped him in coming out of lean patch. Ask West Indian Kirk Edwards, who scored century after talking to Dravid. Ask Rohit Sharma who learnt to put  price on his wicket after Rahul's advice. Ask Ricky Ponting whose career was saved after getting advice from Dravid and this list is endless. Cricketers across the globe one way or other way benefitted from Rahul Dravid. With the retirement of Rahul Dravid, an era has come to an end and it is impossible to replace someone like Rahul Dravid who did so much for Indian cricket and that too selflessly. Truly a great team-man and greater batsmen of all time. I rate him above Tendulkar when it comes to winning matches for India. Rahul is the encyclopedia of batting and any batsmen who wants to make it big in international cricket, must watch Rahul's batting videos. Even he is captaincy record is quite good and most of the matches India won abroad in his captaincy.Team India won series in West Indies, England and also won test match in South Africa. So truly a great captain as well.I hope BCCI will use Rahul Dravid's experience for enhancing the quality of Indian cricket, so that we get many more great cricketers in future.Site developed by Abhishek Jain[...]

Senior vs Junior : The ugly game of Indian cricket


It all started in 2007, when Mahendra Singh Dhoni first time took over captaincy of T20 team. He insisted that seniors must remain out of the T20 format and that's why Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar opted not to play in T20 format and Virender Sehwag was also ignored on the ground of injury, later Sehwag himself claimed that he was fit enough to play but he was dropped. Senior vs Junior match commenced in 2007 itself and whatever we fans are witnessing is expansion of that little rift.In 2008 K.Srikkanth became chairman of selectors and  Dhoni also took over test captaincy from Anil Kumble  in Australia. Same year IPL also started and in auction N.Srinivasan owned Chennai Super Kings bought Mahendra Singh Dhoni at record price. At that time N.Srinivasan was secretary of the BCCI and now he is President of the BCCI. Srikkanth also became brand ambassador for Chennai Super Kings and now these 3 guys (K.Srikkanth, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and N.Srinivasan) started misusing their powers. Moment Dhoni became captain of ODI and test team, he felt uneasiness because of presence of the seniors in the team. He already succeeded in keeping  them out of T20 team, but also wanted to keep these seniors out of the team from all the formats. His first victim became former India captain Sourav Ganguly who was in sub-lime form in 2008 and was playing best cricket of his life since his return to the team in 2006. But Ganguly's days were counting and finally he was forced to announce his retirement in 2008, because of the constant pressure from Chief Selector K. Srikkanth, Ms Dhoni and N.Srinivasan, Dhoni's constant statements opposing seniors, in media during that time created lot of furore and finally Sourav Ganguly announced his reitrement after Australia series.Dhoni also achieved success in keeping Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman out of the ODI team labelling them slow movers but he and board had no guts to keep Sachin Tendulkar out of the side, so Sachin played ODIs regularly till World Cup last year. Somehow Dravid and Laxman were scoring runs consistently at test level so they were hard to be axed from the  test side, also Indian team failed to find able replacement of Sourav Ganguly in test matches which forced Dhoni to kept playing Dravid and Laxman. India tried all options but couldn't find Sourav's replacement for 3 years and finally Kohli replaced Ganguly in the team after shaky start to his career. But India still have to find able replacement of Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar. But so far no one comes even close to these stalwarts among youngsters, so it is difficult to axe stalwarts like Laxman, Dravid and Tendulkar atleast from the test side. But somehow Dhoni is not happy with the seniors and want young team whom he can control and that's why mediocre players like Raina still finding favour of Dhoni. So cat fight is on in the team and it is difficult to say whether Team India win the tri-series, down-under or not but one thing is sure Captain and team members throwing their dirty linens in public and BCCI is trying to wash these dirty linens. God help Indian cricket, which has lost its ground and reputation in world cricket.Site developed by Abhishek Jain[...]

Indian Cricket.....The Lost Giant


In 1989-90 season when India lost the series in New Zealand, Bishen Singh Bedi, then coach of the Indian team said that 'Throw this Indian team in Pacific Ocean'. These were very harsh words used by any Indian coach. Now 22 years later, after drubbing in England and Australia, I must say 'Throw This Indian team in Indian Ocean' but before that throw entire BCCI in Arabian Sea which is very near to the BCCI headquarters. 8 consecutive overseas defeats in the span of 7 months is really hard to digest and that too for the team which enjoyed No.1 ranking in test cricket for more than 2 years. Really fail to to understand this dismal turnaround in performance of this very talented team which is considered as best batting line-up in the world and 2 of the highest run-getters are part of this team.There are 3 reasons for this dismal turnaround. No.1 Defensive Captaincy, No.2 Poor Team Selection and No.3 Too Much Cricket.Many cricket fans did not agreed upon defensive captaincy of MS Dhoni when I raised this issue in this blog 1 and half years back.  Dhoni's defensive captaincy started 2 years back, but team was winning consistently so nobody bothered about it. But I must say, although Team India earned the No.1 ranking in test matches but never won series in England, Australia and South Africa in last 4 years. It means Team India won most of the matches at home. Many will say Indian team won in West Indies and New Zealand, but one must remember that both West Indies and New Zealand are way below in ranking and not considered quality side these days. So there is big question-mark on that No.1 ranking of Indian team. Indian team had a chance of winning more test matches in South Africa, England and Australia, if Dhoni had tried aggressive strategies instead he opened the field for opposition batsmen after putting them on mat and this happened in South Africa last year, it happened in England and it happened in Australia. Even in the series against West Indies(Home and Away) last year, Dhoni did same mistakes but fortunately we won the series. Dhoni's batting also affected because of the captaincy pressure and wicket-keeping  skills were never great.Poor team selection is also one of the reason why Team India lost the plot. Last year Rajasthan won Ranji Trophy but none of the player from Rajasthan team got selected in Indian team. Fast bowler Pankaj Singh who is among top wicket-takers in domestic cricket this year and last year, completely ignored by the selectors. Pankaj Singh bowled is heart out  on slow-low pitches and played important part in Rajasthan team's glory. Instead bowlers like Abhimanyu Mithun and Vinay Kumar who hails from South Zone played ahead of Pankaj Singh just because chief selector is from South Zone. Deepak Chahar had a wonderful debut season for Rajasthan last year, also ignored by selectors for England tour where he could have proved lethal because of his swing. But not selected. Varun Aaron warmed the bench on that entire England tour. Abhinav Mukund was clearly ignored after 2 failures. He started well in England with 49 run innings in his first test at Lord's but not persisted after second test, instead Sehwag was brought back, though he was not fit enough to play and result is in front of everybody. Suresh Raina was persisted even after repeated failures at test level ahead of talented players like Rahane and Rohit Sharma. If this is not enough selectors still not learnt from their mistakes and dropped Rahane from the Tri-Series down-under. Rahane spent close to one month with this team in Australia has come back home without playing a single test match on this tour. Ishant Sharma has done nothing except one good tour of West Indies, got selected for the tour down-under ahead of Irfan Pathan who is in  fantastic form and rhythm this domestic season not selected for test series down-under. So selection played pivotal role in debacle. This year also Rajasthan won the elite trophy and man who made it po[...]

Respect the legends.


Over decade and half fab four served the country to the best of their abilities. One of them retired 3 years back from International cricket who Is still remained most successful captain of India and that is Sourav Ganguly. It's been 3 years, Team India failed to find his replacement and now entire media and few so-called cricket experts who don’t even stand near to these legends, talking about axing Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. I think these former cricketers who have become experts on TV, at times behaves like supreme authority and talks rubbish about the legends. Some of these cricketers must introspect their records. Talking about legendary trio, I think there is lot of cricket left in them and they must not retire under pressure. Look at Sachin Tendulkar, he went through lean patch between 2005 and 2007, but made grand re-entry on cricket field and haven’t looked back since. He scored first ever double century in One-Day Internationals after his re-entry and he’s been playing best cricket of his life since 2007. Although, he has not scored test century in last 1 year but scoring runs consistently with healthy average and still contributes heavily to the team. Tendulkar is necessary for Team India because he play dual role of player as well as mentor.Talking about Rahul Dravid, one must not forget that he was the highest test run scorer in 2011 calendar year. He scored 6 centuries last year and has been in sub-lime form. Not to forget he went through lean patch in 2009-10 season but got among runs last year. He was the most successful player on that disastrous tour of England with 3 centuries to his credit in testing conditions. Moreover, he opened the batting for the sake of team’s cause. He is a great team-man and always lived upto the expectations of the team. There is lot of talk about his dismissals in the ongoing series, where ball gone between his bat and pad quite often in the ongoing series and crashed into the stumps, but one must not forget that he is having this technical flaw right through his career and in-coming deliveries always troubled him, so it’s not new to Dravid. It only came into lime-light when team is not doing well overseas. But Rahul is still scoring runs. He is the only batsmen in Team India, whose overseas average is better than his home average. Do not forget that he is second highest run-getter in test cricket after Sachin Tendulkar with more than 13000 runs to his credit with 36 centuries. Rahul is still going strong and youngsters in the team can learn a lot about batting from this great wall.What to say about VVS Laxman, man is known as ‘God of Crisis’ in Indian cricket. In last test series against West Indies he scored brilliant century (176*). This wrist magician has bailed out Team India India from many crisis situation. In his debut test against South Africa in 1997, he bailed out India from trouble with brilliant half-century. He did fantastic partnership with Anil Kumble and helped India to win that test match from hope less position. I think it is unfortunate that touch player like Laxman don’t have lot of centuries to show but he has scored 17 hundreds and that too batting at No.6 position where he didn’t get much support from the other end. Had he batted up the order I believe, he would have easily ended with more than 30 hundreds. But he never complained about his batting order and did his best for the team and won many matches for India from hopeless situations. After Sachin Tendulkar, he is the biggest enemy of Australian bowlers. In current series things are not going well for him but I am damn sure, this lean patch will get over very soon.It is VVS Laxman who scored brilliant 96 against South Africa last year at Durban, which helped Team India winning the test match. So, it is wrong to say that Laxman is burden for the team. If we look at his career in last decade start[...]

Acid Test is awaiting Dhoni at Perth...


Acid test is awaiting captain Dhoni at Perth, when Team India will take on resurgent Aussies in 3rd test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. India already down 2-0 and will be playing at Perth to save the series. Loss at Perth will shatter all the hopes of Indian fans and win will certainly bring smile on the grim faces. But it is not going to be that easy for Team India. Although, history is with Team India, if Team India take some inspiration from last tour, in which they won at Perth, then I believe their task will become simple. Talking about resources, I think team India have all the arsenal in the world to beat Aussies, only thing required is little application by batters and bowlers, also require some impeccable and offensive strategy from Captain Dhoni. If Dhoni continue his defensive tantrums, then it will going to be difficult task for Team India at Perth.First of all, Dhoni will have to select correct personnel to fight this battle and first change he has to make is to replace out of form Virat Kohli with talented Rohit Sharma. Everybody knows Rohit Sharma is far more talented than any other youngster at present. So its right time for Rohit to make his debut. There is also good sign for Team India, as all the batsmen except Kohli have the half century under their belt going into this test, so form of the batsmen is not going to be a problem. Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Gambhir and Sehwag had spent fair bit of time out in the middle in last two test matches only problem they faced, that they couldn't convert those 50s into big hundreds and that's where these batsmen have to be careful. Especially, for Tendulkar, it will going to be a important test match to score his 100th ton and he can take inspiration from his 1991 innings, in which he scored brilliant hundred at the same venue and announced his arrival in International cricket. Tendulkar must get rid of that monkey on his back which is haunting him for last one year. Talking about bowling, I believe India have all the resources in place in this department and bowlers need little cushion of runs. Bowlers also need aggressive and appropriate field placings as Umesh, Zaheer and Ishant are bowling quick with good rhythm, if they get little support from Dhoni, then I think they can pick 20 wickets without any problem. Conditions in Perth will also favour the bowlers as pitch is going to be green top and will have lot of bounce which will assist quickies to pick wickets, only thing is required from the bowlers is to put the ball in right areas and allow the pitch to do the trick. Perth wicket is heaven for the fast bowlers, if bowlers apply their mind then they will be able to trouble all the Aussie batsmen. Toss will going to be a crucial factor in this game as whoever wins the toss will opt to field first. So, its important for Dhoni to win the toss and go for the kill. Ashwin will certainly enjoy bowling at Perth due to good bounce from the pitch. He is tall and will extract good amount of bounce which will trouble Aussie batsmen. It's going to be golden chance for Rohit Sharma to prove his batting prowess, if he gets the nod to make his debut. As far as Australia is concerned, they will be under no pressure, whatsoever, going into this test match, as they are enjoying unassailable lead in the series. Ponting and Hussey are back among runs and got rid of sword which was hanging on their heads before  start of the series and this is not going to make life  of the Indians easy as they allowed Ponting and Hussey to got among the runs in last two test matches. Captain Clarke is in sublime from, must be in immense confidence after hitting that brilliant triple hundred at Sydney. So Aussie batsmen are in full form and looking good to score few more runs. Bad news for Australia is that, young bowling sensation Pattinson is ruled out of the series due to injury which can be a good news for Indi[...]

From Captain Marvel to Captain Zero...


Entire media is after Dhoni's blood after 6 consecutive test defeats overseas. The same media which called Dhoni ' The Captain Marvel' or 'Captain with Midas Touch' or 'Captain Cool' is now projecting the him as a villain and zero. What a turnaround this has been for Dhoni. But this is the cruelty of life. Faster you climb up the stairs of success, eventually come down at double speed. Dhoni, man who made Indian team World T20 Champion, World Champion in ODIs and also made Indian team No.1 in Test cricket has become the biggest threat for Indian cricket nowadays, according to media.But I must say this has not happened overnight. It all started with the transformation in the mindset of Dhoni some two years back when he changed his batting style from offensive to defensive and similarly that mindset also affected his captaincy. Dhoni won matches in last 2 years but more with luck and not because of his captaincy skills. I wrote this in my earlier posts as well, that although Dhoni is winning matches but he has become defensive captain and lacks vision. But the damage has been done and now situation is such that if India lose next two test matches down-under then that will end the Dhoni's career as captain.Team India won many matches under Dhoni's captaincy but he failed to win test series in England, South Africa and Australia. India only won test series outside sub-continent was one in West Indies and another in New Zealand and everybody know that both, West Indies and New Zealand are bottom ranked teams in world cricket. So Dhoni has not done anything special overseas in his captaincy stint so far. We won in England and West indies under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid. But failed to win series in England under the captaincy of Dhoni last summer and lost the test series in shameless manner where England white-washed Team India. We drew the series in Australia under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly but there is no possibility of winning or draw in ongoing series against Australia under the captaincy of Dhoni. So I don't think that Dhoni is extraordinary captain as he made out to be by media and he has become villain overnight for same media. But fact is that zing and buzz we used to see in Sourav's captaincy is completely missing in Dhoni.There is no denying that India won the World Cup of ODI under his captaincy, also won the inaugural T20 World Cup and became No.1 team in Test matches but one should not forget that the team through which Dhoni achieved these success were built by Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid. So giving full credit to Dhoni for these successes will not do justice with former captains whose blood and sweat involved in building this Indian team. Dhoni also lacks the sight of picking up talent. Sourav Ganguly was excellent in picking up talent. If we look at Dhoni's captaincy stint, we will fined that none of the players picked up by Dhoni. Players, whom selectors found suitable got into the team which was not the case with Sourav Ganguly who gave us fabulous players like Zaheer Khan. VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra and list continues. I still believe Dhoni lacks leadership qualities and I think Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble were far better captain and man-managers than Dhoni. End of captain Dhoni has already begun. Site developed by Abhishek Jain[...]

Series win for Team India is a distant dream....


Yet again visitors lost the  1st test match of  series. It has happened end number of times in the past gets repeated again and again. This time also many excuses given but I think those excuses are of no use because, Team India reached Australia well in advance. So Team India had enough time to prepare for the series and get used to the conditions down-under. Team India can't complain about practice matches as well because they got 2 practice matches, which I believe enough for the preparation. Team India lost the first test match because of poor selection and some defensive strategy by its captain.So what lies ahead for Team India. There is close possibility of England tour horror show to continue. Series loss is confirm and I can bet on it anytime. I won't be surprised if result will be 4-0, which  is likely to happen, after watching India's performance in the 1st test match at Melbourne.2nd test match of the series starting tomorrow at Sydney Cricket Ground, it is a happy hunting ground for few Indian players and conditions will be home like, so I think Sydney provides best chance to Team India for squaring the series. But this is not going to  happen because Indian team have the problems in plenty. Gambhir is not in form. Big question-mark on Sehwag's consistency. Captain Dhoni is going through rough patch in test matches. VVS Laxman didn't look in commanding position, as he was in past against Australia. To top of these selection will going to play crucial part as well. If team management decides to play Virat Kohli again, who failed to impress everybody, especially overseas, will back fire badly. Although, as I mentioned SCG is like home away from home for Team India but this time it is going to be a green top as per the curator and Team India will not going to get the rank turner which is the basic nature of SCG pitch. So ghost of trouble waiting for Dhoni and his men at Sydney.So, What India can look forward to in 2nd test match at Sydney. I think to win SCG test, they have to play out of their skins. Gambhir, Dhoni and Laxman have to get among runs and Rahul Dravid will have to rectify the chinks in his technique, which often result in his downfall. Incoming delivery which passes between his bat and pad, get crash into the stumps. As far as master is concerned, I think he has to forget about his ton of tons and play naturally. Sydney is happy hunting ground for master where he averages over 200. After Sachin, if anybody like SCG the most, is VVS Laxman, who has distinction of scoring 3 consecutive hundreds on this very ground in last 3 outings, if he scores one more here than I believe Indian team have the chance of winning this match but that is highly unlike at the moment because of poor performance in first test. I believe, time has come for Rohit Sharma to make his debut. We all know how much capable and talented Rohit Sharma is among all the youngsters but team management have to take this call by dropping out of form Kohli, who don't have the technique to survive in test arena. For Gautam Gambhir, this test match is going to be a do or die game. One more failure and he will be out of the squad as Rahane is waiting in the wings to replace him, so he will be under immense pressure going into this test match. But we all know Gambhir is a very good batsmen and hopefully will get into the form in 2nd test match as he has done in the past and he is class act. But to come out of the slump he has to play straight and play few shots through cover, mid-off and mid-on rather than playing them through slips and gully. He also have to bring out his pull shot which he used early in his career. If Gambhir does this minor adjustment, I am confident he will get big runs. Aussies are ready with all their arms and ammunition to tame this Indian team. They successfully did that at MCG and they are[...]

Defensive strategies of captain Dhoni not helping Team India


Once again Team India started the series on a losing note on foreign soil. Australia won the test quite  easily at Melbourne and Team India is sulking in exile, so are the fans. What a pity, on a part of the team which was No.1 test team in the world few months ago and remain No.1 for more than 2 years but suddenly England tour happened and all those fake imagination of Indian fans washed away as Indian team was white-washed by England. With defeat in Melbourne Indian team lost 5 test matches in a row, now on foreign soil. Captain who was proud on his record of not losing any test series in last 3 years, now suddenly under grief of losing 5 test matches on foreign soil, But I think captain Dhoni have to blame himself for this debacle rather than giving any excuses about batting bowling or fielding. I believe its a case of poor defensive strategy and nothing more than that.When Dhoni made his debut on International scene in 2004 , he made his reputation of aggressor but over the years he lost his aggression and became to defensive. Especially, after becoming captain, sudden change happened in his batting and captaincy approach. From hard-hitting Dhoni to nudger and pusher, this is quite extra-ordinary transformation. Dhoni's batting transformation affected his captaincy as well and he has become too defensive in his strategy and field placings. Although India have done well under his captaincy but I must say India lost many opportunities in new last few years where they could have easily won the series or match but lost it because of the defensive tactics of captain Dhoni. Latest example is Melbourne test, where India failed to seize the advantage twice in a match. Once Australia was reeling at 214-6 but Dhoni allowed the Australia's lower-order batsmen to get past 300 run mark by setting defensive field. In second innings Australia were 27 for 4 at one stage but Dhoni opened field for Hussey and Ponting and allowed them to pick singles easily which reduced the pressure on Aussies and that 115 run partnership proved too costly for India. Not only that, even last wicket added more than 40 runs for Australia in same innings as Dhoni allowed them to do so. Hence, India lost the game.I must say India bowled really well in Melbourne but Dhoni's defensive field placing didn't sync well with Indian bowling and robbed the chance of winning the first test match of the series. This year in Edgbaston test match, Ishant Sharma had taken 3 wickets in 16 deliveries. England had slipped to 62 for 5 . India were back in the match. There was even an outside chance of the winning it. Suddenly there was a competitive atmosphere. England went into lunch with a knot in their stomachs. India chewed with a renewed sense of vigour. But Dhoni again failed to seize the advantage and din't gave bal to Ishant after lunch who tormented England innings before lunch. Matt Prior and Stuart Broad took full advantage of this move and got out of the tangle by scoring easy runs off Praveen Kumar who looked completely exhausted in his spell. Normal service was resumed by the end of second session as England fought back to take charge of the match. Poor strategy of Dhoni cost India a test win. Similar tactics, Dhoni also applied last year in South Africa and lost the test match. We have also seen how opposition tail hurts Team India regularly. Actually opposition tail wags not because of India's poor bowling, it is because of poor strategy and field placings by captain Dhoni. We saw that in home series against West indies where West Indian top-order scalped quite easily by our bowlers but their lower- order batsmen made life difficult for Indian bowlers only because of defensive field placings.I believe Dhoni must talk to Sourav Ganguly, who always played and captained aggressively throughout his career. This will help Dhoni big [...]

Will Team India break the jinx down under : Preview - Agneepath Series


Agneepath! Agneepath! Agneepath!9 tours, 36 test matches and only 5 wins, is the history of Team India down under. It can be considered worst performance for the country which produced legends like Gavaskar, Mankad duo, Amarnath duo, Tiger Pataudi, Kapil Dev, Mohd. Azharuddin, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag. Above all, in last 9 tours Team India failed to win series as well, in Australia. As a cricket fan I really fail to understand why we were not able to win a single series down under so far inspite of having players, who are considered as legends, kings and gods of cricket. Its really sad for the fans of this country that they witnessed only series loss and draws down under in last 60 years. There are individual performances which really kept alive the interests of Indian fans but in terms of team performance it is really a sad state of affair for the country where cricket is considered as religion.Michael Clarke vs Mahendra Singh DhoniAgain Team India is on tour, down under, stage is set, all tickets for the Boxing Day test  match which begins on 26th December, at famous Melbourne Cricket Ground has been sold out in advance. One last time legends like Tendulkars, Dravids and Laxmans will go at Aussies and Indian fans hoping that this time team will not return empty handed. There is reason behind this hope is that Aussies are not the best test side in the world today as they used to be couple of years back and it will  going to be easy to beat the depleted Aussies. But I must say, it will not going to be easy for Team India to win the series this time round as well, no matter how vulnerable Aussies are currently. Aussies don't have the brilliance of Waugh Duo, Gilchrist, Langer, Hayden, McGrath, Warne and Brett Lee but they have the players who will certainly upset this Indian side and main reason for this,  is poor team selection by Indian selectors. India already looks more vulnerable than Aussies atleast in bowling department as their two main bowlers in Ishant and Zaheer are not 100% fit, moreover, they have very poor back-ups in Abhimanyu Mithun and Vinay Kumar who are not test class bowlers. So Indian bowling is weak and to win the test match you have to pick 20 wickets. If any of the bowler breaks down mid-way, in the test match then it will certainly not help the cause of Indian team. So onus of bowling more is on the shoulders of young Ashwin and Yadav who will be playing their second test series of their career and that too on the soil of Australia.Ishant SharmaSelectors have done big mistake by not picking Irfan Pathan and Ashok Dinda ahead of Mithun and Vinay Kumar. Both Dinda and Irfan are in superb form and picking up wickets consistently in domestic tournament in India but I think selectors have already decided the fate of Team India and if fans are thinking that India will win the series this time then I think this is a day dream, because this will not going to happen. Conditions will be tough and Austrlians will come hard at Indian team. Mindgames have been already started from the Australian side and the way Aussies are preparing and targetting Indian players off the field is the indication of what will happen on the field where Aussies will try and dominate the Indian side. Only hope for India, is from its world famous batting line-up which boasts of Sehwag, Gambhir, Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman who are capable of winning the test matches  but they also need back-up from the bowlers which is not in existence at the moment. Only fully-fit and in-form bowler is Umesh Yadav in pace department and Ashwin in spin apart from these two rest of the bowlers are not fully fit or they are not in great form.Rohit SharmaI believe Team India must p[...]

Selection of injured players continues in Indian cricket.


Disaster of England tour is still fresh in the minds of Indian cricket lovers but I think Srikkanth led selection committee and BCCI have forgotten that disastrous tour of England and that's why they again repeated the mistake by sending injured Ishant Sharma on the all important tour of down under. How often we see injured player travels with the team and enjoy the paid holiday from BCCI. Zaheer khan returned from the tour of England after bowling just 2 overs in the  test match at Lords. Zaheer failed to complete the tour down under twice in the past and this time also scene is not that great as well.It is good that Harbhajan is not selected for this tour otherwise one more injured player had travelled with the team. Recently it is revealed that Harbhajan is carrying the shin injury for long time and he will going to miss out entire Ranji season for Punjab. Actually BCCI don't have any plan in place to control the injuries to its key players. Cricket fan can understand that injuries cannot be controlled but BCCI can atleast take an initiative that injured player don't board the plane for the important tour. But that is also not happening. Every player try hard to get selected despite injuries and eventually fan suffers due to  below par performance of the team.I think time has come to punish the players who hide their injuries and make themselves available for selection. Recently Anil Kumble resigned from the post of Chairman-National Cricket Academy because  board didn't accepted his injury management programme. So it is clear that BCCI is not serious about injury management. Not accepting Kumble's word is disaster because Kumble is legend and he hhas played cricket at highest levels and knows all about injuries that hampers the player's career.Even after getting to know that Ishant is not fully fit, he has been not replaced and board allowed him to continue on the tour. What happen, if Ishant play first test in Melbourne and breaks down after one or two over? Just like he broke down and  left the ground in Canberra practice match where he just bowled 5.3 overs and for rest of the match he was sitting in dressing room with his troubled ankle. Even team manager Shivlal Yadav also lied to the media and fans, stating that Ishant was supposed to bowl only six overs. What kind of excuse is this? I remember, when Greg Chappell was hooted by the Indian fans he showed his middle finger which created lot of anger among fans, but the BCCI, Vice-President Rajiv Shukla gave senseless statement in favour of Greg Chappell that finger of Chappell had some pain and he was trying to cure his finger by raising it. Such senseless statements are regular from BCCI officials and selectors in defence of their acts. If we hear some senseless statement from K.Srikkanth about Ishant's injury, we will not get surprised at all, because we Indian fans are ready for such senseless statements.When India returned from England this summer, selectors clearly said that they will pick up only fit players for the next tour but they again repeated their mistake and picked up injured player like Ishant Sharma for the series against West Indies where Ishant performed below par and picked up just 9 wickets in 3 test matches. Everybody knew Ishant picked up ankle injury on that England tour, yet selectors selected him.Selectors still had that chance to test the Ishant Sharma ahead of all important Australia tour by asking him to play in Ranji game during ODI series between West Indies and India but selectors failed to do so and that's why injured Sharma is on that tour. Now Indian bowling looks hopeless as there is question mark on Zaheer's fitness as well and only solace India have in bowling is new pace sensation Umesh Yadav. Abhimanyu Mithun and Vinay Kumar failed to [...]

Master, Disciple and Double Ton


It was Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 when 'GOD of Cricket' Sachin Tendulkar created world record, hitting first double ton in One-Day Internationals against mighty South Africans at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh. No player in the history of ODI format achieved this feat before Master. It is unique club of double ton where Master ruled for almost 19 months but finally his record broken by his disciple Virender Sehwag on Thursday, 8th December, 2011 against depleted West Indian side at Indore co-incidently again in the state of Madhya Pradesh. 'Nawab of Nazafgarh' joined 'GOD of Cricket' in this unique club of double ton in ODI format. Well lot has been said about these two amazing records but everyone forgot that after hitting 200 Tendulkar clearly said in one of his interview that only one man can break this record and that is Virender Sehawg. How true Master was in that interview. That's why Sachin Tendulkar is known as 'GOD' because god knows everything well in advance. Now I must say, it is unfair to compare both the innings but I feel Master's inning was much better as he played that innings against world's best bowling attack of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. That innings of Master was chance less while Viru was dropped twice. Master remained not out but Viru got out.  I must say  Master's innings was artistic and all his strokes looked beautiful. Viru played the brutal innings where he butchered and muscled the West Indian attack. It was completely different innings by Viru.After this innings of Virender Sehwag, entire media started calling him GOD but I believe it is unfair to compare Viru with Sachin Tendulkar because both have different approach to the batting and this unnecessary comparison definitely put additional pressure on Viru. No doubt Viru is master class and he is biggest entertainer in modern cricket and I can vouch nobody will ever match Virender Sehwag in batting, the way he bats nobody today or even in future will bat like him. He simply kills the bowler and their bowling skills on his day. it is impossible to break majority of Sachin's record while it is impossible to bat like Virender Sehwag and that too consistently. Look at Viru's record. When he started his career everybody labelled him batsmen of limited overs game, but over the period, he is more successful in in longer format of the game. His record in test matches is awesome. Every cricket pundit criticised his lack of footwork and technique, but he proved every cricket pundit wrong as he has scored close to 8000 runs in test matches so far with an outstanding average of 53. while in ODIs he crossed 8000 runs recently. He has scored more than 16000 runs in international cricket and in all these, he had hit 37 hundreds which is no mean achievement for a player who relies purely on hand-eye co-ordination.Talking about Viru, I must say Virender Sehwag always admitted that he is disciple of Sachin Tendulkar, tries to learn from Sachin Tendulkar and I believe he is absolutely correct because Sehwag tries to copy Tendulkar everytime he bats and succeeds most of the time, so Sehwag is real disciple of Tendulkar and thats why he is succeeded in breaking Tendulkar's unique record. Now what else lies ahead, I believe now Tendulkar will certainly look to score another double ton in ODI, i am saying this because knowing Sachin Tendulkar for so many years, he always likes competition and take unique challenges and achieve them. So Nobody will be surprised, if Sachin Tendulkar go on and break Viru's record. Difficult but certainly not impossible for a man who has scored 99 hundreds in International cricket. I must say no one else will achieve the feat of scoring double ton in ODI and this privilege will remain with Master and Disciple only, fo[...]

Team India finally met with an accident.


After escaping two very near accidents, Team India finally met with an accident at Motera. Luck is one such thing which don't remain with you forever and that's what happen with Virender Sehwag and his team. Team India managed to win first two ODIs where luck played important part but finally luck went to the West Indies camp leaving India in all sorts of trouble. There is no surprise because this loss, expected by fans after the performances in first two ODIs. But one man who survive through these accidents is Rohit Sharma, who stood tall in all three games and helped Indian team in winning two games  and almost the 3rd one, had he got little support from one of the top-order batsman. As they say cricket is a team game and each and every player have to contribute,  if team wants to win. Rohit Sharma looked too classy in his three outings and I feel he deserves the place in test eleven ahead of Virat Kohli. Rohit Sharma is far more talented than any other youngster and this reflects in the way he approached this series.Indian team must blame themselves for this loss because players like Sehwag and Gambhir missed the practice session ahead of this all important ODI and that lack of practice reflected in their performances where captain and his best friend scored duck. Winning combination also tampered with and Abhimanyu Mithun included at the last moment because Chief Selector K.Srikkanth wanted Abhimanyu Mithun to play this ODI, so tampering with winning combination is also one of the factor. Now West indies have tasted the blood and they will come hard in next two ODIs, so Team India have to play out of their skins to win this ODI  series but all depends on how well our top-order performs. I believe Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir are ideal as an opening pair and with Australia tour near, they have to start opening together to build the rapport and momentum between them ahead of all important tour. Parthiv has done nothing substantial with the bat so far in the series, so he should be batting in lower order. Ideal No.3 is Virat Kohli and I think Rahane deserves to be in the team in place of out-of-form Suresh Raina who looked completely off-colour in his international stints in last few months. Ravi Rampaul is one man who haunted India badly in last 2 ODIS and Indian team have to find  out the ways to tackle this Rampaul factor. Sunil Narine who made his debut  for West indies looked quite impressive. He will definitely trouble Indian batsmen in coming matches, so Indian batsmen have to adopt simple policy of attacking this mystery bowler, if Indian batsmen play him defensively then he will definitely do lot of damage in coming matches.Now two ODIs remained and selectors have included Irfan Pathan in the team who is in sublime form this Ranji season. Pathan has picked up 21 wickets at an average of 14 in 4 games, he played so far which includes 3 consecutive 5 wicket hauls. But I must say he is unfortunate to become the victim of selection bias as after performing so well in domestic cricket he is not selected for Australia tour. instead Abhimanyu Mithun got the nod ahead of him because Mithun hails from south zone and Chief Selector is also from south zone. So its a clear bias because Mithun has done nothing for Karnataka team this season. But since he hails from south and that went in his favour.Team India have to work hard in remaining 2 ODIs if they want to win the series. If India lose this series and top-order batsmen continue to fail then team will go to Australia without any confidence which will affect their performance in Australia as well where they failed to win single test series so far.Site developed by Abhishek Jain[...]

Vangipurappu Venkat Sai Laxman - God of Crisis for Indian Cricket


281 V/s Aussies, 2001If Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is God of Cricket then I must say Vangipurappu Venkat Sai Laxman is God of Crisis. This Stylish Hyderabadi  has added lot of glory to Indian Cricket by his ability to play in crisis situation and turn the games in favour of India. Who can forget his epic 281 at Eden Gardens. Team was on the doorstep of losing that test match in 2001 after follow-on but this Stylish Hyderabadi turned the match in India's favour with fine stroke play and beautiful wrist work and won the match for India and gave the confidence of winning the series as well. But I  must tell you it was not easy for Laxman at the start of his career. No player comes close to him in using the wrist while playing and that is his great asset and makes him elegant and stylish.96 V/s Proteas, 2010 He was on the domestic scene since early 90s but never selected because that time team was having some good players in its rank. Likes of Azhar, Manjrekar, Tendulkar, Dravid, Sidhu, Ganguly, Kambli. So it was difficult for the selectors to accommodate 'Very Very Special' Laxman in that star studded batting line-up. But finally he got his due in 1996-97 season when he made his test debut against South Africa at home. Even in this first test match, when India was in trouble, when they lost 4 wickets for just 82 in second innings, it was Laxman who bailed them out of the trouble by scoring gritty half-century in that second innings and did fantastic partnership with Kumble and helped India eventually to win that test match by 64 runs. So, Wristy VVS Laxman is the crisis man for Team India since his debut. It is unforutnate that he did not participated in single World-cup ever since his debut and after spending more than a decade in International cricket though he was more talented then many other cricketers who played for the country and played in World Cup. He never featured in ODI team consistently which I feel is loss to the Team India. But he never complained about that and did his job to the perfection for the team. 91 V/s Kiwis, 2010Intial 3-4 years, he was in-and out of the team but not because of poor performance but due to changes in his batting-order. He was never allowed to settle on the one spot. He opened for India and he batted on almost all the spots for India when required and that too without hesitation or questions and when it comes to drop somebody from the team then sword was always hanging on his head and was dropped many times. Come 2001, credit goes to Sourav Ganguly who insisted selectors to include VVS Laxman in the team after Laxman's good show in domestic cricket and rest is history. After 2001 Laxman became integral part of this Indian batting line-up and never looked back since then. He played some fabulous innings for Team India and always played crucial role in team's success in India or Overseas. The way he bats, he looks like a painter who is painting green canvas with his silken strokes. His bat turns into brush and runs becomes the creation. I believe if he played in top-order then he also owned more than 30 centuries but he often played down the order and mostly with the tailenders which reduced his centuries to just 17 which is not a true reflection of his talent.103* V/s Sri Lanka, 2010Looking at Laxman's contribution  in Indian cricket and his ability to play crucial innings in crisis times makes him greatest batmsen of all-time. If we look at second innings batting of all the Indian batsmen then I must say nobody is near Laxman's average. He is averaging more than 50 in second innings which tells about his temperament and ability but on the sad note I must say  Stylish Laxman never got that fame which his[...]

Team India aims for white-wash at Wankhede


  After a gap of 4 years, ‘Test Cricket’ is returning to the Wankhede Stadium, a ground which saw Team India lifting ICC Cricket World Cup trophy this year. Third and final test match between India and West Indies will begin tomorrow at this historic venue and Team India will aim for the white-wash. At the moment Team India is dominating the series with 2 assailable wins and series is already pocketed by Dhoni and his men. So what lies ahead for Team India to achieve in this  final test match. Well it’s a good time to test the bench strength.I think selectors have done good thing by dropping Yuvraj Singh and included Rohit Sharma, who is in sublime form at the moment. Sharma has done no harm to his reputation this season, as he scored two magnificent big hundreds in Ranji Trophy, so it is good time to get him in the playing eleven. Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane also deserves the chance but only one of them can be included but for that team management have to rest either Dravid or Laxman which is highly unlike but if it happens then this move will give clear idea about the selection for Australia tour. Kohli got his chance in West Indies as he played 3 test matches their but failed to deliver that time, so it is right time to test him in the final test match before selecting the team for Australia. Experiment can be done in bowling as well, if Dhoni and Fletcher wish. I think it is wise to give chance to Varun Aaron by replacing him with Ishant Sharma who failed to grab the opportunity in two games played so far. Aaron have the pace and he has already promised a lot during the ODI series against England. In spin department, I think Rahul Sharma must be included in place of Ojha or Ashwin. So good time  for experiment, if team management wants to do. Third test match is equally important for Sachin Tendulkar as well. So far Tendulkar has managed only one century on his home turf in his illustrious career. Tendulkar is also on the verge of creating history. His epic 100th ton is much awaited in cricketing fraternity, as well as among the fans and everybody hoping that it will come in Mumbai, but I think we have to wait till One-Day series because it is highly unlike that his epic hundred will come in this test match looking at his performance on Wankhede in past, so we have to wait for sometime. I think Team India must try youngsters in this final test match. Look at Umesh Yadav and Ashwin, both grabbed the opportunity with both hands and performed very well. So I think we can trust on youngsters and must blood them in. As far as pitch is concerned, it is going to be fairly quick at Mumbai as per curator but remember in Mumbai pitch is made of red soil which have little carry initially but from Day 2 onwards it becomes dust bowl and support spinners. Who can forget test match between India vs Australia four years back on this venue. Pitch turned square in that match and troubled the mighty Aussies, so I don’t go by curator’s word and I firmly believe pitch is going to be a turner with little carry initially. Dhoni’s injury scare is also a worry for Team India as he skipped the morning practice session. Let’s hope Dhoni gets fit in time to lead the team at Wankhede. As far as West indies is concerned they are coming in this match with series loss, so they will definitely try to redeem themselves and will look to save some pride. Second innings of last match must have given them some confidence of how to tackle the Indian spinners. But they have to work hard on their basics if they want to win the final test match. They have very good young and talented batsmen, who can do well but these youngsters have to show applicat[...]

Purest form of Cricket is Real Cricket.....Test is Best


src="" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border:none; width:450px; height:80px">  Since last two years there is lot of concern spread among the cricket fraternity and media about the survival of test cricket which is also know as purest form of cricket. Cricket experts feel test cricket is losing its popularity and too an extent they are correct as well because spectators are not turning up for the test matches at the venues where it is played. But I must say still people love test cricket and there is audience which watch the test cricket as well but on television and on Internet.  So it is too early to say that test cricket is vanishing. According to me purest form of cricket is still test cricket, only thing require is to promote this format of the game aggressively and intelligently. The first officially recognized Test match commenced on 15 March 1877, contested by England and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground(MCG), where Australia won by 45 runs. England won the second ever match (also at the MCG) by four wickets, thus drawing the series 1–1. From this first test series in 1877, more than 2000 test matches have been played in a period spanning over a century, so it is not correct to say that test cricket is vanishing. It has survived for more than century which itself shows that people love the longer format of cricket. It's hard to believe that Test cricket is in trouble, especially as India and England play out the first of their clashes to be the top-ranked Test nation in front of packed stands at Lord's. But the possible demise of the sport's oldest, most testing, most complex and most loved format has been a talking point for some time. Ongoing series between India and West Indies is drawing very few people to the venue but one has to remember that West Indies is not the same team as it was in 70s and 80s. So lack of contest is solely responsible for less crowd. I think BCCI must take test cricket out of the metros and play it at smaller venues where till date people have been deprived of live test cricket. Live test cricket will definitely become novelty for the people of smaller cities and will definitely go and watch the test match and this way it will get more popular and its reach will become more wider. As International Cricket Council Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat pointed out last week, Test cricket has never been marketed as aggressively or cohesively as ODIs and T20s. That's partly because, with its endless bilateral series, the only outcome of which is to move up or down a ranking decided by an complex mathematical formula. Test cricket lacks the sort of focal point provided by the World Cup or World Twenty20. The solution is the World Test Championship, recently confirmed for England in 2013, where the four top-ranked teams at the time, right now, it would be India, South Africa, England and Sri Lanka will battle it out to be the first ever official champion of Test cricket. It's a good idea, but cricket has never done anything like this before and inevitably there are complications. One is that the sport would have three different world title-holders but then, with the rankings, it sort of does already. A bigger problem is that the Test format has never lent itself to knock-out competitions as it involves a lot of draws, and obviously people don't want joint world champions, and audience certainly don’t entertain drawn semifinal. But I think for semi-finals rules can be changed and which every team scores more runs in entire test match must be decl[...]

Team India eyeing series win at Edens


src="" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border:none; width:450px; height:80px">  Second test match of the series between India vs. West Indies going to start on Monday 14th November, 2011 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Team India will go into this test match with series victory motto. On the other hand West Indies will look to tame the Indian team and will try to level the series. Hence, contest at Eden will become very interesting. Team India won the Kotla test after conceding the  lead of 95runs in first innings and that must have given great confidence to this MS Dhoni lead team. Openers and middle-order batsmen except Yuvraj Singh had decent outing at Feroze Shah Kotla and got into the form very early which is very good sign. Bowlers did fantastic job for Indian team at Kotla and will certainly continue their good work at Edens as as well.  Pitch will not be the same, as it was at Kotla, as per the curator of Eden. According to curator, pitch is hard with little shine on the top and will assist spinners on last two days of the test match which will definitely rejoice the West Indian pace battery but remember India also have a very decent pace attack at the moment and that will definitely come into play, if pitch will assist the pace bowlers. Ishant and Umesh bowled brilliantly at Kotla but without much luck, so they will definitely cherish the carry on the wicket. As far as spinners are concerned, I think bounce will assist them as well, especially R.Ashwin, who is tall and definitely use the bounce because of his height. Everything went well for India in the end at Kotla but there were few jitters which haunted India on Day 2 of the Kotla test especially in batting and Indian batsmen have to be careful in approaching their batting and ensure that no batting collapse happen as it happened in Delhi in the first innings. India also have to plan the wicket of Shivnarine Chanderpaul because Chanderpaul is the man who has scored tons of runs against India and he simply loves batting against India. MS Dhoni and the team think-tank have to find the way to get Chanderpaul out without scoring too many runs. If Chanderpaul fell early then West Indies will not be able to score much runs. This will also going to be a special test match for Sachin Tendulkar, if he succeeds in getting his epic hundred on  epic Eden Gardens. Epic ton of Tendulkar is much awaited among fans and cricketing fraternity but somehow it has not come so far. Let’s hope this epic ton comes at Eden. I also feel it is right time to try out Ajinkya Rahane or Virat Kohli in place of Yuvraj Singh which will give us fair idea about the new talent as well. As far as West Indies is concerned, except Chanderpaul none of their batsmen clicked in Delhi and that is the irony of this new look West Indian team. Guys are young and this tour will going to be a good learning curve for these young West Indian players. Brathwaite, Kirk Edwards, Kieran Powell and Darren Bravo looks promising but failed to deliver so far and if West indies have to do well then all these batsmen have to score big runs and support Chanderpaul who is an anchor in this West Indian line-up. I think if West Indies promotes Chanderpaul at No.3, then this will certainly boost their batting because at the moment there is too much inexperience prevailing in that West Indian top-order. If Chanderpaul bats at No.3 then he will definitely guide the young batsmen and help them to score big runs which eventually help the cause of W[...]

Wait is getting longer and longer for epic 100.


src="" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border:none; width:450px; height:80px">  The ‘GOD OF CRICKET’ once again missed on his epic 100th international hundred and fell for 76 at Feroze Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi on 4th day of 1st test match between India and West Indies. Wait is getting longer and longer for the epic ton. Master batted beautifully for his 76 runs and increased the curiosity of spectators by playing an authoritative cricket, especially today morning. The way Sachin was batting it looked like he will reach his goal but to his and fans disappointment, he fell well short of his epic hundred while pulling short ball of leggie Devendra Bishoo. Decision looked 50-50 but umpire ruled it in favour of the bowler and great man walked away from the ground to pavillion after putting India in commanding position but without completing his 100th ton. This shows that even GOD can’t get everything when he wants. Now fans and GOD have to wait for Eden Gardens. I think this epic hundred is destined to come on this historic ground. As far as Indian team is concerned, they regained their confidence of playing test match which was  vanished in the last series against England. Season at home , so far has been good for MS Dhoni and his men as they white-washed England in ODIs and now won the first test match against West Indies and will be hoping to win the next one at Eden Gardens. Although first 2 days belonged to West Indies in this test match which really disappointed the fans but Indian team clawed back very well on 3rd and 4th day and won the test convincingly in just 3 and half days. Lot of positive things happened in this test match for India as they found new hero in R.Ashwin who single handedly crushed West Indies batting on 3rd day when all were hoping of another disaster in Indian cricket. This offie from Chennai bowled with lot of guile and variation to which West Indian batsmen had no clue and fell like nine pins in their second innings. Indeed it was spectacular performance by R.Ashwin on debut. Now this performance of Ashwin will certainly jeopardies the situation of Harbhajan Singh who is fighting hard to make comeback in Indian team. Harbhajan have played one game so far in Ranji Trophy and remained wicketless even after bowling 28 overs in the entire match. After such a sterling performance of R.Ashwin certainly selectors will not favour Harbhajan. So now it is upto Harbhajan to do something extraordinary in domestic cricket if he wants the ticket to Australia. Two more test matches to go in the series against West Indies, if Ojha and Ashwin continue their good form in next two test matches then certainly Harbhajan will go out of the schemes of selectors, so either Harbhajan have to bowl brilliantly in Ranji Trophy or Ojha and Ashwin have to bowl poorly in remaining two test matches. in only either of the scenarios. lies the chance for Harbhajan Singh. Pacers Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma bowled with their best of the ability but didn’t get much help from the slow-low wicket of the Kotla but nevertheless both Ishant and Yadav looked impressive while bowling and given lot of hopes to the Indian team. Finally India found real fast bowlers who can trouble any batting line-up in the world. Both of them bowled  with lot of pace and line-length were emaculate. Both claimed two wickets each in the match. I think if they will get little support from the wicket then they can do wonders. Talking about Indi[...]

Team India geared up to face Windies.


src="" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border:none; width:450px; height:80px"> After disastrous 2 months in England where Indian team lost its No.1 ranking in tests, Indian cricket is back on track with 5-0 whitewash of England team in the home ODI series recently.  Now West Indies is in India to play 3 Tests and 5 ODIs and Indian is beaming with confidence to beat West Indians. Injured players returned to the side with full fitness and that will boost the team composition further. Induction of few youngsters in the team reflects the thinking of Indian selectors which clearly suggest that Indian Cricket is looking toward future. It was nightmarish 2 months in England for MS Dhoni and his team but this team forgot that disaster and pulled itself back and now eager to challenge any team in the world once again.  This series against West Indies will give us idea who will be going to take the flight to Australia which is very important series for Indian Cricket. Everybody, from cricket experts to media created hype of Australian tour and forgot the West Indies series, but one must not forget that performance of Team India in the series against West Indies will give the correct idea of how Team India will going to perform in Australia, so series against West Indies is most important. This series is going to be a make or break series for few youngsters like Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, R.Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane. If these guys come good in this series then I am sure Indian team will do well in Australia as well. Rahane, Aaron and Yadav had a wonderful tour of Australia earlier this year with ‘India A’ team and they have the experience of playing in Australia which will going to benefit Indian team to an extent. But before that series, all important series against West Indies beginning tomorrow at Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi. It is important series for few stalwarts as well. Likes of Sehwag, Yuvraj and Sachin are going to make a comeback to the Indian team and they have to play out of their skins to get into the top form. This series although remembered for the long time if Sachin Tendulkar gets his epic 100th century in International cricket. Already there is talk about Sachin’s hundred and that’s the way this series is promoted by the media. But I think it is ridiculous to hype the series on one personal landmark. Such kind of hype will create pressure on Sachin Tendulkar, so according to me it is advisable to ignore this fact and look at it as normal series and leave great Tendulkar alone to achieve it. This series is also in news because of the exclusion of Chris Gayle from the West Indian team. West Indies board once again ignored the giant  which certainly robbed little bit of competitiveness from the series. Without Gayle, West Indian team looks a club side but one must not forget that cricket is a funny game and anything can happen in this game. Who knows West indies get one more Gayle from this series. Although recent series against Bangladesh has given enough idea to the West Indian team about the conditions prevails in subcontinent and they will come well prepared so even without Gayle they will compete hard, no matter how their team is termed in media. There bowling have little upperhand compared to india because Indian team will go in with 3 debutant bowlers in this series. Series against West Indies will going to be interesting and Indian team wil[...]

Important Ranji Trophy Season in the history of Indian Cricket begun today.


src="" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border:none; width:450px; height:80px">Future of Indian cricket will depend largely on this Ranji Trophy season which begun today with 13 games across India on opening day. Now why current Ranji Trophy season is so important for Indian cricket? Answer is simple our stalwarts like Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar will retire with in next six months or one year probably and Indian Cricket Team will be in need of the players who can replace these stalwarts and take the Indian Cricket forward. Although it is difficult to replace these stalwarts because till date Indian cricket failed to replace Sourav Ganguly, the most successful captain and great batsman of Indian team. But the way few players are emerging from the domestic scene it looks like Indian cricket is moving forward in good way and selectors are also experimenting with the youth and preparing them to take more responsibilities. Team selection for the series against West Indies is one such step towards the future of Indian Test Cricket. Now who are the players to watch out this domestic season? There are many talented youngsters who will replace our stalwarts in next one or two years in test team. These cricketers are Manish Pandey and Robin Utthappa(Karnataka), Saurabh Tiwary(Jharkhand),  Abhishek Nayar and Rohit Sharma(Mumbai),  Ravindra Jadeja and Cheteshwar Pujara(Saurashtra) who made dream debut in a test match against Australia last year at home. Abhinav Mukund and Murali Vijay(Tamil Nadu), Suresh Raina(Uttar Pradesh) and Manoj Tiwary(West Bengal). Apart from these fairly known faces there are few relatively unknown faces will also be under the eyes of selectors and they are Unkmukt Chand(Delhi), Mandeep Singh(Punjab) and Ashok Menaria(Rajasthan). These are the batsmen to watch out this Ranji Trophy season because these players are considered as future of Indian  Cricket as far as batting is concerned.Ajinkya Rahane(Mumbai) and Virat Kohli(Delhi)already selected to play for India against West Indies in coming home series. Now who are the bowlers and all-rounders who will represent the Indian Test cricket in future. Well options are plenty  in bowling as well. We  have many potential bowlers who will definitely make a mark,   S.Sreesanth(Kerala) is  very young and will be watched out closely by selectors this season. There are many fast bowlers  who are itching to get into Indian team and they are Praveen Kumar, Sudip Tyagi and R.P Singh(Uttar Pradesh), S.Aravind and Abhimanyu Mithun(Karnataka), Deepak Chahar and Pankaj Singh(Rajasthan) and Abu Nechim(Assam) are the major fast bowlers. Talking about spinners well we have quite a few talented youngsters and they are Iqbal Abdullah-Left-Arm Spin(Mumbai), Bhargav Bhatt-Left Arm Spin(Baroda) and Amit Mishra-Leg Spin(Haryana) . As far as all-rounders are concerned Irfan Pathan is the first name which comes to the mind who has recovered well from his injury and looking forward to make a comeback in this domestic season. Apart from Irfan Pathan there are 3 more potential all-rounders are there and these are Yusuf Pathan(Baroda), Baba Aparajit(Tamil Nadu) and Bhubneshwar Kumar(Uttar Pradesh). Fast bowlers Varun Aaron(Jharkhand) , Umesh Yadav(Vidarbha) and Ishant Sharma(Delhi) already selected to play for India against West Indies in coming series. Spinners R.Ashwin(Tamil Nadu), Rahul Sharma(Punjab) and Pragy[...]

Lord once again hurt India


src="" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border:none; width:450px; height:80px">  While I am writing this post, the epic test match is in anti-climax stage and climax is more or less certain unless some drama happens before that, in anti-climax. The first test match of 4 test match series between India and England got underway  on 21st July and four days are over with home team enjoying the distinct advantage while visitors are struggling hard to save the test match. This epic test match saw brilliant display of batting from Matt Prior, Kevin Pietersen and Rahul Dravid, as both  Dravid and Pietersen got brilliant hundreds on a testing surface, brilliant bowling spells from Praveen Kumar, Stuart Broad and Ishant Sharma. Misery of  great Tendulkar continued at this ground as he failed to cross the thirties on this very venue one more time and century on this ground is still far away from him. If we talk about England I think they batted in tough conditions and also bowled in batting friendly conditions, while Indians got the best batting conditions to bat and best bawling conditions to bowl but failed to take advantage of that and England turned the tide in their favour by battling it out in tough conditions. But Indians were unlucky to lose its premier fast bowler Zaheer Khan on the first day due to injury and other 3 bowlers failed to make any impact on Day 1. Dropped catches of Trott and Pietersen also aggravated the wounds of Indian bowlers and it is pity that, captain who dropped those chances. So far in this match captain Dhoni dropped four crucial catches and India paid dearly for that. Tactics of Indian captain in the field were also far from the reality so far. When Ishant was bowling well on Day 4, he didn’t continue him after lunch and that’s where match slipped from the hands of India. Mistake even became more visible when Ishant returned with new spell and immediately picked up the wicket of Eoin Morgan which clearly showed that, had Ishant bowled just after lunch India must have got into the comfortable position and could have thought of winning the match but Dhoni failed to take advantage of the moment. Moreover, in first innings Dhoni batted for 102 balls and scored just 27 runs and didn’t force the issue, as if he was out there to save the test match in first innings of the game. Had Dhoni played his natural game, Indian would have reached closer to the English score in first innings but Dhoni kept playing defensively and finally got out to he new ball. Dhoni used these defensive techniques in his batting many times but he failed often while playing defensively. He has to understand that, he is not technically sound as Rahul Dravid, so he has play his natural game and score runs which will help Indian team in winning more test matches. We all saw when wickets were falling Matt Prior played his natural game and got his team out of the trouble by scoring brilliant hundred. Dhoni has to learn that. Also there is saying offence is the best form of defence. In the past few matches, Dhoni’s wicket-keeping standard has gone down considerably and he is out of form in batting as well. We all know, how capable Dhoni is, with the bat but only when he play his natural game. I think time has come, when Dhoni have to think about his batting and have to accept the fact that he is not a technically sound batsmen and have to play his natural [...]

Litmus test ahead for Dhoni and his men


src="" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border:none; width:450px; height:80px">  After reasonably successful Windies tour Team India is confident of doing well in upcoming series in England. Although Team India won both ODI and Test Series in West Indies but that win is not emphatic enough considering the huge gap of ranking between the two teams. India, the No.1 ranked team expected to win the series with either whitewash or at least 2-0 but they won it by 1-0 which is not considered substantial win considering  the weak opposition and sub-continental like conditions. Although win is win. Now Indian team will face the English challenge and this tour will establish Indian team’s supremacy in world cricket, if they will win this series and victory in English summer will certainly clears all the doubts over Team India’s ranking, which has been raised by various cricket experts world over. But series is not going to be easy as England is deadly dangerous in their own backyard, also they are confident side after five series win in a row which includes victory over Australian team in famous Ashes series down-under. So stern test ahead for Dhoni and his men.From West indies tour India gained few things and one of them is the bowling. Before this West Indies tour there were doubts about Indian bowling especially in fast bowling department but those doubts are clear now and India have good fast bowlers in Ishant Sharma who grew in stature after this Windies tour, debutant Praveen Kumar impressed in batting friendly conditions and Munaf Patel also played his role. So as Zaheer Khan returned to the side,Dhoni have the option of going in with 3 quality fast bowlers and in helpful conditions of England Indian bowlers will certainly do wonders especially Praveen Kumar who has given born to lot of expectations because of his special swing bowling. So if England prepares the bowling friendly wickets then their batsmen will also go through the big test against the Indian seamers. As far as batting is concerned, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman are in good form but return of maestro Sachin Tendulkar, who is in sight of his 100th ton in International cricket and opener Gautam Gambhir will certainly boost the batting of this Indian team. Form of Raina is also good and it will going to be a difficult choice for Dhoni to go with Yuvraj or Raina. Sehwag will join the team in 2nd or 3rd test match depending on his fitness and that will further boost the Team India’s batting but for one man this tour will going to be a very important and that man is Abhinav Mukund who had disastrous debut in West Indies but came back well in 2nd and 3rd test and hence earned the berth for England tour. If Mukund will play well in first two test then it will certainly boost his confidence as well as India will also get the new solid batsmen who will easily take the place of Rahul Dravid after his retirement. So exciting series in prospect and Indian team have to play out of their skin to beat England in England and it will not going to be easy but also not impossible as Indian team defeated England last time when they toured under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid. India can take inspiration from that tour and that will definitely make their job easy. Talking about success of the Indian batsmen, well they have to play  the deliveries late in English conditio[...]

Run-rate dipped in absence of mighty Sehwag….


src="" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border:none; width:450px; height:80px">  He made his debut for India as a middle-order batsmen and scored century against South Africa at Bloemfontein in his debut game. Looking at his batting style Sourav Ganguly who was captain of Indian team during that period asked Sehwag to open the innings and after that move history of Indian cricket changed many times  and new chapters added to the history of Indian cricket. Currently Sehwag is the most ballistic opener in world cricket, in all forms of the game. His sheer presence in the middle, creates nightmarish situation for the bowlers around the world. Nobody expected this success of Sehwag considering his unique hand-eye co-ordination technique in which footwork is minimum. But lack of footwork did not  affected Sehwag’s progress in international cricket, especially in test cricket where technique is considered above everything. Indian team won many test matches in last decade only because of Sehwag’s quick start at the top and it is Sehwag’s brilliance which helped Indian team in becoming the king of World Cricket. Sehwag is a completely unique batsmen in world cricket not because of his style of playing but also because of his views and thinking about his own batting. There is no complication theory in his batting as ‘ball is there to hit he will hit it’ and in doing so sometimes he dispatches good balls out of the ground as well. He is having clear mind and simplistic approach which makes him stand out above all the cricketers. Why did I wrote so much about Sehwag. Answer is simple Indian team is missing him badly  So far in 3 innings of two test matches,  Indian opening pair of Vijay and Mukund struggled badly and their pair didn’t survive for even 5 overs. So in the absence of Sehwag Indian team is missing some zing at the top but good starts are not only the factor, Indian team’s run-rate also dipped badly in the absence of Sehwag. Indian team with Sehwag at top, scored at an average rate of 3.70 runs in last decade in the test matches they played and in first session of the test match, team India scored at an average rate of 4.60 runs in last decade. But in West indies, now , run-rate of Indian team shattered badly as their average run-rate in two test match is paltry 2.20 runs and in first session it is worst as it dipped to 1.80 runs which clearly shows what impact Sehwag has on the game when he bats. Looking at other aspect of this, Sehwag, with his blitzkrieg batting dented the psyche of the opposition bowlers which helped middle-order batsmen to play comfortably without any pressure. Hence Sehwag factor made batting  easy for the great Indian middle-order. Credit for much of the Indian middle-order success in last decade goes to Sehwag and now we can see easily how Team India’s batting and run-rate is struggling without Sehwag and that too against weak bowling line-up of West Indian team. So Sehwag is the man for all season for Team India and lets hope he returns to cricket with England series next month and increase the run-rate once again. His batting is like rock music which force bowlers to dance on its tunes . Site developed by Abhishek Jain[...]

Dravid, Sachin and Laxman are still backbone of Indian Cricket...


  India won its first test in Caribbean after little struggle but this test match also highlighted that how much we depends on our senior pros for victories in test matches. Many cricket pundits and media again and again raised question over the age of our stalwarts. If possible these so called cricket pundits and media will definitely retire our senior greats and leave the blank space which will kill the Indian cricket. Indian cricket team  has failed to fill the Sourav Ganguly’s place yet in test squad, its almost 3 years, since that No.6 spot is vacant, chopping and changing happens all the time on that spot. India tried Yuvraj, Raina, Pujara, Badrinath but all of them failed to fill those big boots of Sourav Ganguly, so forget that we have players who will fill the boots of greats like Rahul, Sachin and Laxman atleast for next 2 years. But it can happen if these youngster learn from these great players. I am not against the policy of inducting youngsters in the test team. It is good that India have so many talented youngsters but they need experience and that experience they will get when they will play alongside greats like Dravid, Laxman and Sachin who will teach them how to handle different situations and conditions which will certainly help them to  perform well at International level and it can only happen when these stalwarts play for next 2 to 3 years. Youngsters like Kohli, Raina, Pujara, Pandey, Badrinath will certainly benefit by sharing the dressing room and pitch with these greats of the game. Look at the innings, Rahul Dravid played in  first test match, can we expect from any current youngster to grind the way Dravid did at Sabina Park which eventually helped India win the test match. There was great learning hidden in that innings if any youngster wants to learn how to bat on difficult pitch and difficult situation. Kohli debut made his debut in first test match of the series against West Indies at Sabina Park, Jamaica, but he failed to translate his success of shorter version on test arena, He clearly lacked the technique and temperament to play in longer version and for that he has to  look upto Dravid, Laxman and Sachin and that will only happen when he will play more cricket with these stalwarts. Kohli is a fine young batsmen but he has big technical flaw in his batting which will trouble him on the pitches which will assist the swing and seam bowing. He commits himself early on front–foot and play across the line, bat facing mid-wicket. This shot looks good on flat wickets but it will certainly trouble him on the moving pitches. But he can take help from Rahul Dravid to rectify his technical flaw and this is where experience of our stalwarts become handy. Media and cricket pundits must stop speculating about the retirement of our greats and allow them to play freely till the time they wish. Our stalwarts know when to retire and they will certainly retire when appropriate time comes. Till then we have to enjoy their batting and keep cheering them because Sachin, Rahul and Laxman are still backbone of Indian cricket. Site developed by Abhishek Jain[...]

Sri Lanka squandered advantage. India eager to start campaign with a win.


  Sri Lanka controlled the game in first session of 2nd test match at Lords after winning the toss but failed to capitalise on a good start provided by their bowlers. Lankan bowlers proved Dilshan’s decision correct when they picked up 3 quick wickets upfront which included the wicket of in-form batsmen Jonathan Trott and Captain Strauss. But Cook had other ideas and he got perfect support from Ian Bell as duo helped England in reaching safe total. Matt Prior and Eoin Morgan further strengthen the position of England. Prior is still not-out and looking good to get another hundred. Bell, Cook and Morgan scored brilliant half-centuries. It was unfortunate that Cook got out on 96 and failed to get one more hundred but he certainly saved England from embarrassment. Sri Lanka did everything right in first session but lost their way in second session  and they allowed England to claw back from the hopeless situation. Lankan bowlers however picked up six wickets at the end of first day but advantage is with England now as they are in comfortable position to dictate terms. Lankans really missed Malinga and Muralitharan and it was written all over on their day’s performance. Score was 22 when 3rd wicket fell but Lankans allowed England to get away with huge score at the end of first day. Tough times ahead for Lankans as series loss looming large over their head. India eager to start campaign with a win. Indian will start their Caribbean safari today with one off T20 games. On paper both teams are equal but in betting market India is favourite to win today’s contest. Pitches in Caribbean are much like sub-continent nowadays and this will certainly help the Harbhajan & Co.  Looking at Indian team it has some exciting talent and this talent have to perform on this tour because this tour will decide future of these young cricketers. it’s a golden chance and needs to be grabbed with both hands. India will open with Pathiv Patel and Shikhar Dhawan,that is sure. In middle–order India have players like Kohli and Raina who are in tremendous form and they will be supported by Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan and Badrinath. All these batsmen had a great IPL and will be looking to transfer their good form in International cricket. Who ever perform well on this tour will certainly get the ticket for England which will be following Caribbean tour. It will also test the captaincy skills of Suresh Raina who will be leading this Indian team 2nd time in his career. Duncan Fletcher have big challenge ahead of him. Looking at bowling, India have only Ishant Sharma who is genuinely quick. Likes of Munaf Patel, Vinay Kumar and Praveen Kumar are  swing bowlers. They will not get enough assistance from the slow low pitches of West Indies. According to me spinners will going to play big role on this tour as we all saw how Pakistani spinner Saeed Ajmal destoryed the West Indian batting recently. Looking at West Indian side, they are bit below par in the absence of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo. But they are in re-building phase and they will try out few youngsters against India. Among all the players Darren Bravo and Andre Russell looks like good talent. Apart from these two players West Indies have players like Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, Devendra Bishoo, Marlon Samuels who can turn the tides in the favour of home team. I think it is going to be an even contest co[...]