Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why did India lose a test series at home after 8 years?

The test series between India vs England started on 15th November and ended on 17th December. So, after a very intense battle between two teams for 1 month & 2days , England won the 4 match Test Series 2-1. Indian fans were very dissapointed after seeing the outcome of this series as it was said to be the 'Revenge Series' because India lost 4-0 to England in 2011.

Things got very intense in the Nagpur Test
Many Questions have been raised about the Indian Team , Captain and Coach. Some people have also been saying that BCCI and Selectors are not taking right steps and are not looking forward to make India a good Test Team.I will try to answer some questions which are being raised after India have a lost a Test Series at home after 8 years.

Q 1. Did the Captain's decision making cost India the Test Series?

Ans: MS Dhoni asked for spinning tracks even after winning the 1st match at Ahmedabad because he had the confidence that English batsmen will struggle against the spin and Indian batsmen will play spin well but Indian batsmen failed twice in a row at Mumbai and Kolkata. In the last Test Match at Nagpur Captain himself  had to take the burden of taking India to a safe postion and Kohli also helped him by staying at the crease & scoring a brilliant century. So, If we only blame the captain for the loss , it would be very harsh on him. MS Dhoni also played 3 spinners on two occasions which was also criticised by many. 1st occasion was the Mumbai Test where the ball was spinning but our spinners failed to take wickets. No doubt , Cook and Pietersen played well but what happened to our spinners. Ojha and Ashwin donot have that much experience of playing Test Matches at International Level but Harbhajan Singh also didnot take wickets of top order batsmen of England Team when it was needed the most. So, it can be said that Captain Dhoni had made plans but it could not be executed well.

Q 2. Why did the Indian Openers didnot bat well and rest of the batting line up also failed under pressure?

Ans: Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir have been opening the batting at test level for a very long time for India but it has to be said that India losing test series abroad and at home has been largely due to their failure of not making a good opening partnership. It is high time that selectors should look for another good opening pair for India and i think Rahane will be the best Option to try with Sehwag. Gautam Gambhir in this series scored some scores of 40 and 60 but never went on to make a big score which was really very dissapointing and i think after getting settled on the crease he sometimes looked a bit over confident and a bit impatient also. Sehwag's inconsistency with the bat is a major worry for the Indian Team.

If we see the performance of the batting in the middle order which was also not good. Sachin Tendulkar scored a good knock of 76 Runs in the 3rd Test Match but in all the other innings he failed. People have again started raising questions about his retirement but i am sure that sachin will analyse his own perfomance in this series and will take appropriate decision on whether he wants to continue playing or not.

Pujara scored a double hundred in the 1st test match but didnot play well in the next 3 Test Matches. Kohli didnot score well in the 1st 3 Test Matches but he played an unbelieveable knock in the Nagpur Test as he played sensibly on a slow pitch and took his time to score runs which helped him to get to his 2nd Test Century. Pujara and Kohli are very good young talent and they should be given more opportunities because they will improve with experience.

Yuvraj Singh was not able to play spin well under pressure and i think it is because his defence is not that good . So, when good quality spinners are bowling and Yuvraj wants to stay on the crease , he is not successful as he is not able to defend for a long time.

MS Dhoni played a great knock of 99 Runs in the 4th Test and showed us his other side of the game where he didnot go for the big strokes and played for consolidating at the crease. He didnot do that well with the bat in the 1st 3 Test Matches.

So if we summarise the batting of the middle order in this series. The main worry is that they didnot perform well together in an innings. If 1 batsman played well , the others failed which clearly showed us that why Indians were not able to make big partnership which is very important to win a test match.

Q 3. What is Coach Duncan Fletcher doing?

Ans- Indian Team Coach has also come under criticism because after he has been given the post of the coach , India's performance has declined and the main worry is Indian Team is losing many test matches. I think Coach is not doing his job in a good manner . He should be making some alternate game plans when team is not doing well and when we see the body language of Team India we see the aggression missing which we saw in the 2011 world cup and before that and it was due to coach gary kirsten as he motivated the team well. So , Time has come to change the coach. He is clearly not doing his work for which he has been assigned by the BCCI.

 There are also many other questions that people are asking but i have just tried to answer some main topics. After losing this test series , i am sure the BCCI , Selectors and the players will take test matches seriously. Players will know that it is not that easy to win a test match against a good quality side even if you are playing at Home.

So, I am very Sure that MS Dhoni and his team will bounce back in the test series vs Australia in February. They are also playing T20's and ODI's vs England and Pakistan in the coming days. We know that performance of Team India is very good when it comes to ODI's and T20's .If India wins the majority of those matches then i am sure they will take that confidence in the test series vs Australia.


Monday, November 12, 2012

It's time for Revenge.....

This time Diwali is going to be special as India vs England Test Series is going to start from 15th November. Every Indian still remembers the defeat of the Indian Team last year in England. After winning the ODI world cup, Team India was looking to be No.1 in Tests also but England defeated India 4-0 in the 4 match test series. But that defeat was on English soil with Team India not being able to handle the English pacers very well.

Now England have come to India to play a 4 match Test Series. English Team are well known for not playing the Spinners well. In India were most pitches are spin friendly and with quality spinners in the Indian team it's not going to be easy for England team to emerge victorious on Indian Soil. Meanwhile, a controversy is also going on that BCCI and Selection Committee have not picked any Spinner for practice matches that England play before the all important test series. I completely agree to the fact to not allow any spin practice to the England Team because whenever Team India tour's abroad we see only fast bowler's and bouncy pitches for Practice games. So, It's all fair to not allow them any spin practice.

New Selection Committee has also picked the test team and it's very nice to see Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh back in the Squad. Ishant Sharma is also back and he should prove his talent in this series after coming back from an injury. So let's see what happens when the action starts. England team will have to rely on Kevin Pietersen as he plays spin really well. Indian Team have got good spinners and most importantly the support of the Home Crowd.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Yuvraj Singh - The CHAMPION is BACK

Yuvraj Singh has finally returned to International Cricket. The last 1 and 1/2 years have been very eventful for Yuvraj.Now going back to the 2011 world cup, All eyes were on India as they were playing a world cup at home. Indian team was under a lot of pressure and the man who took the challenge to make India win the world cup was Yuvraj Singh. He batted in an awesome manner, bowled magnificently and fielded like a tiger.

The whole country celebrated with the Indian Team. At that time no one knew what the future is going to show. Few months later, a news came that Yuvraj Singh is diagnosed with a Rare Germ Cell Cancer in Lungs. This was a shocking news and Yuvraj had to leave for USA for his treatment.

Every Indian Cricket fan prayed for his good health. Yuvraj himself showed a lot of courage and was very brave throughout his treatment. Chemotherapy takes a lot of toll on the body both mentally and physically. He didnot loose hope and kept his fans updated through twitter. All these years we knew Yuvraj as a player who played for India and won matches with his wonderful batting. Now we knew a new Yuvraj who can fight any situation with his strong determination. Chemotherapy went on and slowly Yuvraj started recovering.

Yuvraj Singh then returned to India after his treatment. But the battle was still half won. He was very eager and raring to go to play for India. He started doing his training in a very steady and planned way. The Champion Player was trying hard and he also played some practice matches.

The t20 world cup and 2 t20's vs NewZealand was coming and selectors selected him in the final squad. That was the happiest news for every YUVI fan. But it didnot go well with many former players as they criticised the selection panel for being emotional in selecting Yuvraj and he should not make a comeback soon But the fact was Yuvraj was selected as he was declared fully fit.

The 1st comeback match for Yuvraj was vs Newzealand and he came into the field with the Indian Jersey after almost a year. It was a dream come true for him. Yuvraj said that he felt as if he was making his debut again. He had tears in his eyes when he came to field. He also batted well in that match and almost made India win.

T20 world cup came and he performed very well with the ball. He batted well in the last game vs South Africa. We saw some shots of the past where Yuvraj was hitting the ball out of the boundary with his elegance and brilliant timing. He also got the Man of The Match Award which he dedicated to his mother and all the cancer patients.

So, guys get ready to see some more match winning innings from Yuvraj as he will get better with time. After playing no International match for a year, he showed he can still play like a champion.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

India's Chances in World T20 2012

Indian team during 2007 T20 World Cup
Indian Team have started their campaign in the 2012 T20 World Cup. T20 which is a format in which you can expect the unexpected. So when we look back at the previous t20 world cups and india's performance, nothing bright can be said about it leaving the inaugral t20 world cup in 2007 which India won. So what to expect from India in this t20 world cup?

If we see India's batting order first, In the top order sehwag and gambhir will open the innings. Openers have to play a major role if india needs to reach the semifinals. Seeing the experience they both have they should be able to play their role but at the same time the wayward approach they have shown in the 1st match is highly irresponsible and they both need to plan their game according to situation. Now going to the middle order, 1st name which comes is Kohli and he can play quality innings against any opponent and under any situation. Yuvraj is also back and he can change the game from any situation + he is also very useful with ball. MS Dhoni and Raina can finish the game very well. Rohit Sharma is also back in the form but the worry is will he be able to score runs in pressure situation, only time will tell.

Coming now to the bowling. So much talk is going on about playing 5 bowlers in the playing 11. I would say that it would be better to leave this to the captain and let him decide if he is comfortable in playing a 7-4 combination or a 6-5 combination. Zaheer Khan is the main bowler but is he the right choice for the t20 format? Stats don't show great numbers for Zaheer in the t20 format. Irfan pathan is looking in great rhythm and has got different varieties. Balaji and dinda are also equally good. Ashwin is spinning the ball well and he reads the batsman's mind before and bowls accordingly. Harbhajan is a very experienced bowler but his form in the recent past is a worry and he has also not played enough international matches in recent past.

At the end i would like to say that we should just sit and watch to see what happens in the coming matches. Whatever team we have got is not a worry but if every Individual gives his 100% , I assure you that no one can stop India from becoming World T20 Champions again.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cheteshwar Pujara- The Next Rahul Dravid

Cheteshwar Pujara, born on 25th January 1988. He has so far played 64 Domestic Test Matches and has scored 4,639 Runs with an average of 53.32. He has made 14 centuries and 21 half centuries at domestic level. So, All the hard work he put at domestic level is now showing very good results at International level. Recently the introduction of IPL has reduced a player's hardwork in order to reach the Indian Team. If a player scores a IPL 100,He just gets selected for ODI or T20 Team.

Cheteshwar Pujara's Domestic Career clearly shows his ability as a Test Player. The way he selects the ball to play the right shot.Cheteshwar Pujara who just played his 3rd International Test Match scored a Brilliant 159 Runs vs Newzealand Team. Cheteshwar came into bat at No.3 Postion. The position which originally belonged to Rahul Dravid when he was part of the Indian Squad. Cheteshwar played some excellent stokes all over the ground. He picked up the length of the ball pretty early and played some good shots of the Backfoot. He also played some On-Drives in Copybook Style. The whole Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Hyderabad applauded this Magnificent Innings.

So, Has the Indian team found the next Rahul Dravid. I know this statement is too early to say. Rahul Dravid was known for his battle in tough situation. He always played for Team's Concern and tried his level best. Cheteshwar has a lot of domestic level experience and this is good for the Indian Team. He also has the capability to continue his innings for long period and he doesnot lose his concentration after scoring a 100. In a Test Match, Long Innings from a batsman is the need if a Team has to win. 

Indian Team Captain and Management has to show confidence in Cheteshwar Pujara and make him play most of the Test Matches. He will definetly deliver the goods.At the Present moment, Cheteshwar Should play only Test Cricket and if he concentrates in only one form of the game.He will Definetly Succeced.

So,We as an Indian Cricket Supporter will have to Just Wait and Watch.Lets See what the Future brings for Indian Cricket.We should be assured that Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara will definetly do well at Test Level.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Virat Kohli- The Rising Star of Indian Cricket

India have won the ODI Series against Srilanka. 4th ODI started with Srilanka getting off to a good start and then they lost wickets at crucial intervals.Manoj Tiwary who finally got a chance in this match bowled really well and got 4 wickets. India had to chase 252 and when India started to chase, Gautam Gambhir got out 1st Ball and then Sehwag also departed quickly. Then came in the Man who has been in splendid touch with the bat in one day internationals he has played in the recent past and the man is none other than VIRAT KOHLI.

Virat Kohli- To describe him in one word is impossible. He is stylish, elegant and most importantly a brilliant striker of the ball. Whenever India is chasing and there is pressure, Virat kohli comes out with flying colors. When he first burst into the international arena he had already been the captain of the Indian team which won the U-19 World Cup in 2008. He was soon selected in the Indian team and made his ODI debut on 18th August 2008 vs Srilanka.There was also so much talk about his attitude. Many rumours also came out about him that he doesn't behave properly and is not interested in doing batting practice.  So inspite of all those things surrounding him he kept improving on his game and i think a lot of credit goes to his self belief. He scored his 1st Century vs Srilanka on 24th december 2009. The match situation was not good when he came to bat in this match,Indians were 2 down and chasing a mammoth total of 316. He got involved in a good partnership with Gambhir and made India win that game by 7 wickets. At that time also he showed that he is ready to face any situation and he is not the one who will crumble under pressure.

2 years and 7 months have gone by from the day he scored his 1st century. Now he has 13 centuries from 88 ODI matches. He was also the part of the Indian team which won the 2011 world cup. He played a very crucial role in the world cup final by making a good partnership with gambhir. Whenever Virat Kohli comes into bat and he gets settled,he always goes on to score a 100. Virat Kohli's ability to regularly convert those 50's into 100's clearly shows his good temperament. He uses his crease very well and that's why he plays malinga with confidence. He has all the shots in his kitty from leaning copybook cover drives to stylish pull shot.

Some people might say that he has scored most of his centuries in sub-continent but no one can forget the excellent 100 he scored in a test match vs Australia at Adelaide Oval earlier this year. Indian team performed poorly on that Tour and Virat kohli was the only man to score a century for India in that Test Series. He reads the game very well and plays according to the situation. He also tries to finish the game quickly when the target is within reach which transfers the pressure to the opposite team.

Indian team has always been benefited by the centuries of Virat Kohli. Out of 13 matches in which Virat has scored a century India have won 12 of those matches. Virat Kohli is also getting matuered by showing controlled aggression and as we see now a days he is doing a very mild celebration whenever he scores a century. He is also a very good fielder which strengthens the Indian team more. With all his latest achievements Virat Kohli is definetly the RISING STAR OF INDIAN CRICKET.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Raina and Pathan clinch victory out of jaws of defeat.

India vs Srilanka 3rd ODI at Colombo.
First of all this Match had a very good crowd attendance far better than 1st and 2nd ODI played at hamabantota. Srilanka won the toss and decided to bat first. Indian bowling looked very dangerous during the start of Srilankan innings.At one stage Srilanka were 20/3.Pathan and Zaheer were bowling a very nice line & length.After that Kumar Sangakara and Mahela jaywardene took over the charge and by playing the intial overs carefully they slowly started to turn on the heat by playing their strokes freely.Jaywardene got out but Sangakara continued and he scored a labourious well deserved century. Sangakara also got struck on his right hand's little finger when ashok dinda bowled a bouncer and he is now ruled out of cricket for 4-6 weeks which is a big blow for srilankan team.But after Sangakara got out Mathews and Mendis had a good partnership and Srilanka made 286. Now India had to chase 287 and chasing this total would mean India will be the 1st ever team to chase the highest total at R.Premadasa, colombo.

Indian reply started with Sehwag getting caught at cover by playing a uppish drive. Gambhir continued his form of the last match and Kohli was also going great with his elegant cover drives and pulls. Kohli got out and after that came a big surprise.MS Dhoni took a good decision and came up the order.MS Dhoni rotated the strike very well with Gambhir without taking any risk. Then came the batting powerplay in the 36th over and Malinga came back into attack. Malinga bowled 2 yorkers as he started the over.1st ball came inswinging towards dhoni and he got clean bowled. Rohit Sharma came in and the 2nd ball of the over hit his boot on the full and he was LBW.Rohit scored a Duck and his bad form continues in this series.Srilankans were Pumped up and India were 180/4.Gambhir scored his 11th ODI century but he soon got Run Out.Then came Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan . They played the batting powerplay carefully which ended in the 40th Over. Now the run-rate was going up but these two batsmen were not able to stroke the ball to the boundary. After the 42nd Over some luck favoured Raina and he started getting boundaries.Pathan also came into the party and he stroked some boundaries. Then Raina hit a SIX off Malinga which bought up his half century and India came near to victory.Match went into the last over and 6 runs were required for India to win the match. Irfan Pathan hit the winning runs and India clinched victory out of jaws of defeat.

Now India has a 2-1 lead in the Series but Srilanka will fight back hard.India needs to play well in all departments of the game in the next match and they can seal the series.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Preview: India vs Srilanka 3rd ODI,Colombo,2012

Writing a post for the first time in this blog which is dedicated to Indian Cricket.
India vs Srilanka these two teams have played so many matches in the recent past that it is very difficult to say which team will play like a champion on a particular match day. Talking about this micromax cup 2012 which started with India showing a powerful batting performance with the likes of sehwag and kohli firing all cylinders and srilanka dropping catches of some main players of indian team.In the end srilanka lost despite a wonderful batting performance from kumar sangakara.
Coming to the 2nd ODI- India showed a miserable batting performance.Gambhir played a fighting knock of 65 but didnot get any support from other batsmen.Srilanka chased a small total of 139 with ease.Dilshan and tharanga scored 50's.
Now the series is level at 1-1 and India will be looking for a fight back.In any 5 match series the 3rd ODI is of very much Importance because the Team winning this game will have a upper hand on winning the series. India needs to Pile up runs and for that the first four top order batsmen need to give a better batting performance and thier ground fielding + catching needs to improve  where as Srilanka have a very good bowling line up and thier bowlers are looking in very good form.
Colombo is the venue for this ODI and India have Played many ODI's on this venue.Gambhir and Sehwag are in good touch that is a good sign for Indian Team But India needs to get quick breakthrough during Intial Part of Srilankan Innings because Indian Bowlers have always been pretty expensive during the latter part of the innings.
We have a very intresting battle on our hands and this will be a series deciding match with both teams applying their full strength.