Friday, November 30, 2007

Looks like Pakistan just wants to finish off the tour and get back home

Every Indian batsman is in form and every Pakistan bowler is bowling horribly. No wonder India has 352 runs at a really good rate of 4.16 runs per over for the loss of only three wickets at the end of the first day of the second test match. I would say this is the perfect situation to press for an innings victory.

Infact, the Pakistanis are looking so bad and so unmotivated that I am already convinced this match is going to result in a big and easy victory for India. I also have a feeling that this series is going to finish with a 3-0 scoreline to show in favour of India.

At the moment, India is just having it too easy which makes the games one-sided and pretty boring to watch. Luckily, Jaffer's awesomely stylish batting made watching the game's progress tolerable. What a delightful batsman he is!

I only hope the Pakistan players(those of them who are not injured, that is!) stand up and show some teeth.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Life being a Railwayman

Just came across this nice write-up at Cricinfo from Sanjay Bangar(remember the guy?; the picture might refresh your memory).

He talks about how it is being a domestic cricketer playing for the railways, some memorable lessons and enjoyable moments during travel and the camaraderie he enjoyed with his mates.

Gives some nice perspective into how different life as a domestic cricketer is from the lives of international cricketers. Go read it if you haven't already.


Atapattu bows out of International cricket

There, another fine "aging cricketer" bids adieu to international cricket. Nice that he signed off in style by scoring a fighting 80 in his last test match while trying to save his side from utter humiliation against the Aussies (they lost the game and the series though). At least some consolation for him that he is leaving on his own terms after having had to have a bitter tiff with the selectors.

So, here's bidding TaTa and Goodbye to Marvan Atapattu. Guess he is heading towards India now. Rumours are that he will play for the Indian Cricket League. I wouldn't mind watching him play here. Quite a neat and stylish batsman he is; or should I say was?


Whay wasn't Yuvraj made the Indian ODI team captain?

This is why:

Yuvraj Singh has been fined 20% of his match fee for "showing dissent at an umpire's decision" during the final ODI between India and Pakistan in Jaipur.

Yuvraj was given out by umpire Suresh Shastri during India's chase, after he miscued a pull off Umar Gul to the keeper. However, instead of walking, an upset Yuvraj stood his ground, and indicated the ball had hit his shoulder and not his bat or glove. Replays suggested that the ball had hit his shoulder.

Agreed, Yuvraj was not actually out and it was some very incompetent umpiring by Suresh Shastri that brought his stay to an end. I also agree that he is an awesome player for India, probably our best ODI and Twenty20 cricketer right now.

But in situations like these, he does tend to go overboard with his reactions, doesn't he? I mean, that was serious dissent he showed towards the umpire! He just stood there staring coldly at the umpire for about 2 full minutes! And then he made this really cocky looking gesture indicating that the ball went off his shoulder and not the bat. Obviously, very unbecoming of a senior player, let alone the captain of a team.

And, I suppose, that is the reason why the top spot went to Dhoni who is by far more calm and calculating among the two; qualities that are absolutely crucial for a successful captain.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Couldn't agree more with Ian Chappell

The Sri Lankans sure don't seem to be enjoying the Australian tour very much. Actually, not many teams do.

Brett Lee is on fire and the Lankans are already following on in the first of two test matches in the series. They are in deep deep trouble and the Australians are on top.

I only hope India don't fare so badly in the test series Down Under. By the signs of things, whoever is handed the job of captaining the Indian team (I think it should be Kumble) for the series has his job cut-out.

Now I know what Ian Chappell meant when he said, had Sachin accepted the captaincy job, he would have put the future of his international career in jeopardy.

In his words:
Tendulkar has saved the selectors from what could've been not only an embarrassing decision but also a costly mistake. If he had accepted the captaincy and India went on to lose the series badly to Australia, it could have hastened his retirement.
Chappell might not have been very correct in advising Tendulkar to retire a few months ago, but this time around, I suppose his views are spot on.


Friday, November 9, 2007

Surprise surprise!

Congratulations to Anil Kumble!!!

The Indian selectors have sprung up many surprises in the past. But this one beats them all. And it is a pleasant surprise this time, which is something very rare. Though Anil Kumble was always in the race for test captaincy, I, frankly, never expected him to be made captain. Dhoni was the clear favourite, especially considering the selectors' rather funny habit of unconditionally preferring youth to experience when it comes to new selections or appointments. Besides, every rumour that was coming out from the BCCI camp was pointing towards Dhoni's appointment as captain.

Anyway, this is great news. Kumble does deserve the honour. He is one of the players who has been toiling for the team for many years with not much recognition. Plus, his vast experience and extremely sensible way of dealing with situations will come of use now. He has always been a self motivated player and this development will motivate him even more to perform well for the team.

So one Karnataka player stepped down from the mantle and another has taken his place. There have been talks of Dravid having stepped down owing to internal pressures. How long can Kumble survive? Lets see. The Australia series will be the perfect touchstone.

Lets hope the warrior with a big heart will lead India to a memorable series victory Down Under!


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Dravid's omission might not be that bad a decision

Almost as soon as news spread that Rahul Dravid was 'rested' for the final India-Australia one-dayer, almost every cricket follower started reeling out his opinion about the decision. Endless reams of paper have been devoted to discussing the issue and the majority verdict is that the omission was unfair and undeserving of Dravid.

Now, here are my two cents.

Dravid is undoubtedly a great batsman and has been a determined soldier for the team for a long time now. He also, probably, has many more jaw-dropping performances in store to offer to Indian cricket. But then there is also the irrefutable fact that his average from his last ten ODI innings is a paltry 9 runs. Plus, it is also a fact that a whole lot of talented players are waiting at the sidelines.

Ofcourse, it is only a temporary loss of form that Dravid is suffering from and as the selectors themselves say, the odds of Dravid making a comeback are very high. But surely, the process of regaining form does not need only international cricket. Domestic cricket can do the job just as well.

Also, it surely is not necessary to carry an out-of-form batsman in the team while many other capable players, if included, could do a better job.

Additionally, the decision will also send out a strong message to the players that Vengsarkar's recent threats about nobody's place in the team being permanent is not just a toothless remark.

Who knows, Rahul Dravid could come back to international cricket as a more stronger batsman and that could only be good news for India. So all things considered, Rahul Dravid's 'resting' may only be for the greater good.

By the way, on a side note, there is also the lingering question of why Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly were spared by the selectors even when they went through even longer stretches of even poorer form. But lets push that question aside for now!!