Monthly Archives: May 2007

Srinath’s words of wisdom

Srinath has made some very interesting comments and provided, what I think to be, valuable advice to the bowlers, in this article. His comments on Zaheer Khan are especially very interesting. I also tend to agree with his views on the two types of captaincy, a bowling captain seems to be a more practical option.

 – Srikanth

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Leave Tendulkar Alone!!!!

The tirade against Tendulkar has reached new idiocy levels. It is one thing to expect volatile, immature, irrational followers of Indian cricket to make ludicrous charges against the great man, it it totally another for the so-called reporters of the game to write irresponsibly. The article by Siddharth Monga in cricinfo is a case in point. It seems that Sachin is in a damned if I do, damned if I don’t situation with these charlatans. He fails, and they are after his blood, he scores and they seek more blood, he scores slowly and he is compared with Ponting and on and on. Tendulkar should probably approach these buffoons on a daily basis and ask for a “to-do list” and perform like an assembly line cricketer. Mohan has repeatedly mentioned on this blog as to how Tendulkar of today is not the same one we may have seen even two years back, he has changed, he has become more human and he struggles like everybody else. But is there anyone, anywhere in the horizon of Indian cricket today who can do any better. For goodness sake, he has scored two centuries pretty much back to back and has put India in positions of winning on both occasions. As I have mentioned earlier, the ball is literally in the bowlers’ half, they did not perform in Chittagong, hopefully they will deliver here in Mirpur. What if he attempted to score quickly after Dravid got out and triggered a collapse? India have managed to reach a score which practically closes the door on them having to bat again, they have provided more than enough time for the bowlers to get even a more reputable side out twice. And Tendulkar has played a very crucial role in bringing India to this position. Give it a break guys, leave the fella alone, he has delivered in the past albeit differently, he continues to deliver in a more humanistic way. Why does he alone have to always prove himself to ridiculous levels of detail (thank god they have left his personal life alone, else, given a chance, they will start questioning his way of raising kids as well I suppose!!). He is a champion, will continue to be one, and will always remain the greatest player to have graced our generation for me….

– Srikanth

Team India Probables for England series

The selectors have chosen 29 players as “probables” for the England series. The team will be selected on June 12th after two “conditioning camps”; one for bowlers, in Mysore (June 4-8) and one for batsmen, in Bangalore (June 9-12). The selected team will then have a camp at the NCA in Bangalore on June 13-16.

The 14 Bowlers for the bowlers’ camp are:

Zaheer Khan, Rudra Pratap Singh, V R V Singh, Ishant Sharma, S Sreesanth, Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, Ranadeb Bose, Munaf Patel, Anil Kumble, Ramesh Powar, Rajesh Pawar, Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Oza.

Piyush Chawla and V Yo Mahesh will be at the Australian Cricket Academy from June 2 and so, have not been included.

The group of 16 bowlers (including the 2 who will be in Australia) perhaps represents the best bowlers in the land and seems to be fair. There are no real surprises there, I’d say — although one might say that Ajit Agrakar is always a surprise in any selection!

The 15 batsmen who have been chosen are:

Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Wasim Jaffer, V V S Laxman, Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Virender Sehwag, Dinesh Mongia, M S Dhoni, Dinesh Kartik, Rohit Sharma, Mohd Kaif, S Badrinath and Yuvraj Singh.

Again, there are no surprises there. It is certainly nice to see Mohammed Kaif back in there. Tiwary misses out. Although his operation was successfully completed in London, he will not have recovered in time to make the cut! Suresh Raina is on the outer. He will have to work hard next season to come back into the minds of the selectors.

— Mohan

Even better Day 2

India tightened the grip on the match on day 2. Dravid, Tendulkar and Karthik completed their hundreds, making it the first instance in test cricket where the top four batsman have compiled a ton. Dhoni made a cameo scoring a quick fire 50 before India declared at 610 for three.

Zaheer struck with the very first ball of the innings dismissing Javed Omar for a golden duck. Habibul Bashar fell in the next over to RP Singh and as I was messaging the score to Mohan, two more wickets(Shahriar Nafees and Mohammad Ashraful) fell! The wickets were falling faster than I could type…and I type fast !!

Zaheer took two wickets of consecutive balls and the  “hatrick” ball was dispatched to the boundary. The next ball – a dropped catch. Talk about excitement and drama!

Shakib Al Hasan and Rajin Saleh tried to rebuild, but Dravid brought on Kumble and like the two bowlers before him, took a wicket in his very first over. At the end of the day, half the Bangladesh team were back in the pavilion and the score read 58 for five. Not a good day if you are Bangladesh supporter. For an Indian supporter you couldn’t have asked for more.

On day 3, India’s plan would be to get them all out by lunch and enforcing the follow on. With Kumble fully fit, it is unlikely the tail will wag as much as it did in the last test match.

-Mahesh-

Good Day 1

It almost seems like a repeat of the previous test with India on top at the end of Day 1. The top order shone and the Rain God stayed away. He probably watched the first session of play from afar and was too bored to pay a visit 🙂

But the most important thing for a batting team on day 1 is to not loose any wickets before lunch. With the threat of new ball gone, they can then accelerate freely, which is what Karthik and Jaffar did. The Karthik-Jaffar partnership seems to be an all or nothing affair. They have so far had 2 partnerships over 150 and 2 partnerships worth nothing! Karthik really led the way after lunch, before Jaffar joined the party, thanks to some innocuous bowling from Bangladesh. The heat and humidity were far more threatening than the bowling and it got rid of both Karthik and Jaffar. Jaffar got a hundred, but Karthik must be ruing his missed opportunity. He still has a chance of coming back tomorrow to finish off what he started.

India eventually finished at 326 without the loss of any wickets and Bashar must be cursing himself for putting India in to bat. Dravid on the other hand must be a happy man, having helped himself to 88* – He was also scoring at a healthy clip of four an over.

Tendulkar replaced Jaffar at the other end and he crawled to 9 of 31 balls. He must have decided to not give away his wicket so late in the evening, so as to come back in the morning and start fresh. Still, I am not a big fan of this slow over-defensive approach – he has to back himself and get out of this defensive mindset or teams like England and Australia will have him for breakfast.

At the end of the day though, India are sitting pretty and the aim must be to declare tomorrow around Tea.

-Mahesh-

India bat first

Given the pitch conditions and the fact that Bangladesh’s bowling line up is not that great, it was surprising to see Bashar win the toss and put India in to bat. Obviously, the Bangladesh camp would have discussed the toss before the decision was made – I just wonder what the rationale was. Did Bashar think Mortaza and co could run through the Indian batting line up? Or did Bangladesh think the Indian bowling attack was too strong to face on a day 1 pitch?? Or did he not have enough faith in his own batsmen??? Whatever the reason, it was a good one from India’s point of view 🙂

At the time of writing this post, India have seen off the new ball without loosing a wicket and are 50/0 of 18 overs. Mortaza has bowled 7 overs and given away 6 runs – it is quite obvious that the Indians consider him to be their best bowler and the strategy would have been to play him cautiously.

It is a no brainer that India would like to bat just once in this match and I expect the batsman to pick up pace after the lunch break and end up with a score well over 300 at the end of the day.  

-Mahesh-

Team India XII for the second Test

India has announced its XII for the second Test against Bangladesh.

India’s XII for the Test is:

Wasim Jaffer, Dinesh Karthik, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Mahendra Dhoni, Anil Kumble, Rajesh Pawar, Zaheer Khan, RP Singh, Ishant Sharma, Ramesh Powar

No Yuvraj Singh. No VVS Laxman and no VRV Singh! Clearly, one of Inshant Sharma or Rajesh Pawar will get a game here (unless someone gets injured match-day)!

It is likely that Rajesh Pawar will sit this one out.

— Mohan