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Showing posts from March, 2014

What can India gain from the Australia match

India is in a great position - they have already qualified for the semi-finals and comfortably so.   Australia on the other hand have had a disappointing outing.  They have lost both the matches they have played so far - to Pakistan and West Indies.  They did come in playing some good cricket but have flattered to deceive.  And in both the games, they were in a position from which they should have won the games.  But things have not gone their way and they find themselves almost out of the tournament.  At the time of writing this blog, Pakistan looks like they will beat Bangladesh comfortably - and if that happens, Australia is out.

In this situation, what can India hope to get from this match -

Momentum.  This is one of the most important aspects of team sports - and something fans don't necessarily understand well.  It is impossible to tinker with your performance levels - up and down - at will.  This is like a ship and you cannot turn it back and forth in high seas.  Dhoni unders…

When you come to shoot, shoot - don't talk #henrygayle

What is sport without a little side story 

The West Indians beat the Australians in a thriller yesterday in Dhaka.  No big surprises there - the Windies are in fact the defending champions for the World T20 crown.  But what was surprising was the way they celebrated after the win.  You would not blamed if you thought they had won the cup again.  Darren Sammy hit James Faulkner for 2 consecutive sixers and ran towards the dug out like Usain Bolt with pads.  Darren Bravo threw his bat in the sky and ran in circles a la Shoaib Akthar.  And the normally passive Chris Gayle broke out into an angry Gangnam.  What was going on?

In a match last year, Faulkner got rid of Gayle and then shouted obscenities at him when Gayle was walking away.  He was promptly fined for that and clearly there was no love lost between the two players.  To add further spice (masala in these parts of the world), Faulkner went on to say two days ago that 'he doesn't particularly like the West Indians' and &…

Cricketing Issues that should occupy Dhoni’s mind : India Vs Bangladesh

It is fair to say that the upcoming match versus against Bangaladesh is probably the least of Dhoni’s worries.   But as true cricket fans, let us focus on the cricket – shall we.  We will have lots of times to read about BCCI and Supreme Court and CSK and RR in the days to come.  Not that those things are not important – they most certainly are.  But the reason why we love this game is to follow what happens IN the field of play, not OUTside.
Here are the things that team India have to think about –
Yuvaraj Singh: Do we give him one more go.  We have given him 2 chances and he has failed miserably.  What is more troubling is the kind of cricket he has tried to play.  He has been defensive and week – not the Yuvaraj we love.  I am going to venture and say he will get another outing today.  And this will be his last chance to prove he still deserves to play for India.Opening batsmen:  Both Indian batsmen, surprisingly, are looking very shaky.Shikhar wants to hit is way out of trouble (not…

4 things India needs to do to beat West Indies today

After the surprisingly good performance against Pakistan, what should India do to win against the West Indies today? Play the same team.  The only player who did not play well the other day was Yuvaraj Singh.   He needs a couple more matches to get back to form.  He is such an impact player that India needs to continue with him to get him back to form.Watch out for Sunil Narine.  Sunil Narine is for West Indies what Saeed Ajmal is for Pakistan.  And the slow, turning, bouncing wickets of Bangladesh are very helpful to his type of bowlers.  Target to get 20 to 25 runs from his overs – try not to give him any wickets.  There is really no point trying to be too aggresive against him.  He is the only threatening bowler in West Indies.Watch out for Gayle at the top.  Unless Bhuvaneshwar and Shami bowl well – Gayle will take them for plenty.  Again, Dhoni might open with Ashwin in order to counter Gayle.   He might even bowl Ravindra Jadeja inside the first 6 overs.  Gayle has not been in pr…

8 things India should do to beat Pakistan today

Get off to a fast start while batting.  Of late, the Indian start in limited overs cricket (both 50 overs and T20) has been very sluggish.   A big part of the reason has been Rohit Sharma – he just takes too much time to settle down.Get the combination right.  Dhoni has a few important decisions to take in this regard.  In my mind the following players will play for sure – Shikar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvaraj Singh, M S Dhoni,   Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami.   Question is who will open batting for India along with Dhawan.  Will it be Rohit or Rahane.  Rohit Sharma has struggled off late while Rahane has been playing well, albeit down the order.  I still think Rohit will get the nod – but he has to pull some good performances, else he will not play too many games in this tournament.And who will be the final bowler.  Will it be the spin of Amit Mishra, pace of Varun Aaron or all-round capabilities of Stuart Binny.   Given that …

IPL 2014 - Mumbai Indians team analysis

The Mumbai Indians have always been the high-flying team of IPL.  They had the big buys in almost every year of IPL and kept a very high profile.  And over the last couple of years, they have started matching their performance with their profile – with wins in IPL 2013 and Champions League in 2011 and 2013.  Let us see how their team looks this year. Rohit Sharma, Mike Hussey, Ambati Rayudu and Apporv Wankhade are the pure play batsmen in the team.Corey Anderson, Keiron Pollard, Shreyas Gopal and Jalaj Saxena are the all rounders.CM Gautam, Ben Dunk, Sushant Marathe and Aditya Tare are the wicket keepers.Lasith Malinga, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Jasprit Bumrah, Josh Hazlewood, Marchant de Lange, Krishmar Santokie & Puwan Suyal are the bowlers. 
The bowling looks pretty good with Malinga, Zaheer, Bajji and Ojha.The batting is strong at the top – with Rohit Sharma and Mike Hussey, but looks weak beyond those two.The power in the team comes from the two big guns – Cor…

Rajasthan Royals - IPL 2014 team analysis

I was really looking forward to analysing the Rajasthan Royals team – they have a reputation of being the moneyball team of IPL.  Here is my analysis of this team. Brad Hodge,  Ajinkya Rahane, Unmukt Chand and Karun Nair are the pureplay batsmen in the team.    Tim Southee, Dhawal Kulkarni, Kane Richardson, Deepak Hooda, Vikramjeet Malik, Ankit Sharma, A Mishra (not the Indian leggie) and Pravin Tambe are the bowlers.Sanju Samson, Ankush Bains and Dishant Yagnik are the wicket-keeper batsmenShane Watson, Stuart Binny, Steven Smith, Rajat Bhatia, Abhishek Nayar, Iqbal Abdullah, Kevon Cooper, Rahul Tewatia, James Faulkner and Ben Cutting are the all rounders.
At first glance, it is obvious that the team has gone in for lots of all-rounders than specialists.This seems to be different from the approach taken by the other teams.
The international players in the team are a formidable bunch – Watson, Steve Smith, Kevon Cooper, James Faulkner, Tim Southee, Brad Hodge, etc.Picking 4 from this bun…