Monday, June 24, 2013

Team India - Champion of the Champions 2013

Champion of the Champions Team India
ICC Champions Trophy is such type of tournament where one mistake can take the team out of the tournament. India not only became the champions by winning the final match but they also did not lose any single match from the start till the end of the tournament. They defeated 6 different world class teams if we count the warm up matches also. They bowled, batted and fielded brilliantly.
Most players who were part of the 2011 World Cup winning team were not there. The team was full of youngsters & they didnot have any experience of playing in any major ICC tournament but they showed what it means to play for India where expectations of millions are attached. More often than not these youngsters were able to absorb the pressure and come out victorious. The way they celebrated after the victory showed that how much this victory meant to them.

Shikhar and Rohit were for the first time opening the batting together and they didn't dissapoint us. They complimented each other really well. They took the responsibility on their own shoulders and they made sure that our middle order batsmen don't have to do that much work. Virat Kohli also showed his class batting when it came to the most important matches that is the semi finals and the finals. Ravindra Jadeja not only bowled well but he showed that he is a batting all rounder. Whenever he got the opportunity with the bat he did well. He also executed the big strokes when it mattered the most which was not seen when Ravindra Jadeja played the 2009 t20 world cup in England.

Our fielding was absolutely magnificent this time. There are exceptions such as Ishant Sharma and R. Ashwin who run a bit slow on the field but their catching is good. Our fast bowlers Bhuvaneshwar & Umesh always got us the intial breakthroughs which is very important to apply pressure on the opposition. Ishant also bowled well in the middle overs but he was expensive sometimes but no one can forget the two back to back wickets he took in the finals. In the spinning department, Jadeja always bowled really well. His accuracy was immaculate.

India won the Champions Trophy convincingly. This victory became more sweeter because India won in foreign conditions. This team looks great for the 2015 World Cup in Australia which is two years away. All the players currently in the side may not play the 2015 World Cup but I think most of them will definitely play. It has to be said that these youngsters have showed tremendous passion and they did great hardwork which turned this inexperienced team into a champion team.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Shikhar Dhawan - The Stylish & Fearless Opening Batsman of India

Shikhar Dhawan
Team India has found a New Opener who is ready to give his best at the International Level and is infact performing really well for Team India and his name is Shikhar Dhawan. In 2012, India lost many matches in One Day Cricket & Test Cricket. In most of the matches that India lost our openers Sehwag & Gambhir didn't play well. Indian Fans have always seen some very good opening pairs open for Team India be it Sachin - Sourav or Sachin - Sehwag or Sehwag - Gambhir. The Regular Failures of Sehwag & Gambhir brought disappointment on the faces of Indian Cricket fans.

India vs Australia, 3rd Test Match on 16th March 2013, Shikhar made his debut in Test Cricket and What a power packed knock he played. He played shots without any fear and once he got settled he didn't stop. He played the cut shot very well, pulled the ball with ease & played the cover drive on the up. What was good to see that he didn't play any pre determined strokes. He played with a simple logic of see the ball and hit the ball. Specially the cover drive came naturally to him. He timed his strokes pretty well. He scored 187 from 174 balls ( 33 Fours & 2 Sixes ). He showed a glimpse of his magnificent talent and announced his arrival at the International Test Level and Indian fans were very happy to see an aggressive opener open for Team India in Test Cricket.

Champions Trophy is going on and Shikhar Dhawan is opening the batting for India in One Day Cricket also and he has scored 2 centuries so far in the tournament. He hit a brilliant century vs South Africa when India batted first and then scored another century in the next match vs West Indies when India were chasing a good Total. So, It shows that he absorbs the pressure really well in big matches and can play well in foreign conditions.

Shikhar Dhawan made his debut in One Day Cricket in 2010 vs Australia but he got to play only 1 match and he didn't do well in that match, After that he went on to the tour of West Indies in June 2011 as an Opener. He did score a 50 in the 1st ODI match of that series but he didn't get regular opportunities after that because Sehwag and Gambhir had their places fixed in the opening slot. Now going back to 2004, Shikhar played the U-19 World Cup and became the Man of the Tournament for scoring 505 runs from 7 innings which is still a record in the Under 19 World Cup. His many team mates from the Under 19 Team like Suresh Raina , Robin Uthappa , RP Singh & Dinesh Karthik got into the Indian team but Shikhar didn't get his chance. He was disappointed but he kept performing at the Domestic Level and in many Ranji Seasons he scored piles of Runs. In 2012-13, Ranji Season he again scored lots of runs and Selectors were forced to select him for the Test Series vs Australia and we were able to see him play for India again.

We can clearly see the maturity and the patience in the way he plans his innings. He is now aged 27 and has already seen lots of up's and down's in his career. Whenever he comes in to bat he wants to play a big innings even when it is an ODI match. He is an Opener and if he gives the team a good start he makes the work of the middle order batsmen quite easier.

Shikhar Dhawan also has a style statement. He keeps a moustache and twirls it after he finishes a good innings. His style statement equally matches with his game play. In hindi, it can be said that he plays like a DABANG. The confidence on his face is always there which gives a lot of assurance to the Indian Cricket fans that he will do well with the bat.

All the Best to Shikhar Dhawan for the upcoming matches. He should now be given enough opportunities to prove himself even if he doesn't perform well in some matches. He is a fascinating talent and has shown that he can play well in any condition. He played his strokes in the same manner in England as he played it in India. He doesn't have any problem with the short ball or with the pace which is very good to see. In the coming years, hopefully we will see many more brilliant knocks from Shikhar Dhawan in One Day Cricket and in Test Cricket.