Daily Archives: 20 September 2007

The future of ODIs in question?

I must admit that I was a Twenty20 sceptic when it first hit the scenes.

Now, after a week-and-a-half of non-stop T20 action, I am asking a fundamental question about the future place of one day international cricket (ODI). Is the future of ODIs secure?

I personally do not see a need for ODIs anymore. What’s the point? Why don’t we just have T20 games for the slam-bang-fun and have Test matches for the purists? The ODI product does not add anything substantially different to what the Twenty20 game provides.

Cricket has always wanted a product that it could take to Europe and America. Cricket always wanted a product that it could take to the IOC and, through it, to the Olympic games.

T20 is it! The T20 game is over in 3 hours.

There is the adrenaline rush. The game is over before you have had a chance to settle down in your seat and have a meat pie and a can of coke. There are heaps of opportunities for the advertisers to parade their products. It also allows plenty of opportunities for a DJ and scantily clad men/women to demonstrate their assets as well as their musical/dancing abilities! And it is entertaining too. It is an ODI game without the needless drudgery of overs 15 to 45!

I think that the ODI game has reached its use-by-date and should be phased out over a 1 year period.

Am I alone in feeling this way?

— Mohan

Yuvraj 6 Sixes video

Yuvraj has sweet revenge

After being on the receiving end,  being hit for 5 sixes in a row, Yuvraj finally had his “revenge” by belting 6 sixes in an over against the English. The sixes seemed to come after a bit of verbal joust with Freddie Flintoff that seemed to spur him on.

Here is the CricInfo commentary of his 16 ball 58 –

16.5 Tremlett to Yuvraj Singh, no run, short and lively welcome from Tremlett
16.6 Tremlett to Yuvraj Singh, FOUR, driven uppishly over the covers, he gave himself room and timed that sweetly

India 159/3   Yuvraj Singh 4* (2b 1×4)

17.2 Flintoff to Yuvraj Singh, 1 run, swung into the leg side, well picked up
17.4 Flintoff to Yuvraj Singh, FOUR, half-volley which he squeezes with an open face over point for a one bounce four … a high-risk shot but his connection was sweet
17.5 Flintoff to Yuvraj Singh, FOUR, short, hooked into the heavens where it hangs for several seconds before plopping two yards in from the boundary and perfectly between two approaching fielders
17.6 Flintoff to Yuvraj Singh, 1 run, chipped to long-on

India 171/3   Yuvraj Singh 14* (6b 3×4)

18.1 Broad to Yuvraj Singh, SIX, that’s out the ground, super shot over cow corner and it just kept going up
18.2 Broad to Yuvraj Singh, SIX, now that really is sweet, no more than a dismissive flick off his legs, swatting a fly, and the ball arcs deep into the crowd beyond backward square leg
18.3 Broad to Yuvraj Singh, SIX, he’s hitting them everywhere, he steps to leg and smashes the ball over extra cover and it keeps on travelling … the fireworks start on top of the scoreboard … they’ve been going off in the middle for some time
18.4 Broad to Yuvraj Singh, SIX, Shiver me timbers!: Broad goes round the wicket, bowls a filthy wide full toss and Yuvraj steers it over backward point and it clears the rope again
18.5 Broad to Yuvraj Singh, SIX, down on one knee and larruped over midwicket, that one was more nine iron, it went into the night sky and dropped with a thud in the jubilant crowd …
18.6 Broad to Yuvraj Singh, SIX, and he has, Yuvraj leans back and smacks that over wide mid-on … it was the maximum from the moment it left that bat and the crowd were roaring as it flew

India 207/3   Yuvraj Singh 50* (12b 3×4 6×6)

19.2 Flintoff to Yuvraj Singh, no run, full toss and a wide one – it pitched nearer the keeper than the stumps – Yuvraj leaves and then he and Flintoff chat
19.3 Flintoff to Yuvraj Singh, 2 runs, improvised chip into the leg side, he stepped to the off and eased it one bounce to deep midwicket
19.4 Flintoff to Yuvraj Singh, SIX, Flintoff’s turn to suffer, a full swing and launched over long-off
19.5 Flintoff to Yuvraj Singh, OUT, finally he doesn’t quite get hold of one and thwacks a full toss to long-on. It matters not one jot, he’s done his job and the crowd stand in appreciation
Yuvraj Singh c Collingwood b Flintoff 58 (14m 16b 3×4 7×6) SR: 362.50

India 216/4   Yuvraj Singh 58 (16b 3×4 7×6)


After a well-crafted win, India still in with a chance…

India crafted a victory today and kept her hopes alive of a semi-finals berth in the T20 World Cup.

India were spurred by a brilliant 58 off just 16 balls in 14 minutes of brilliance by the dashing Yuvraj Singh. In the process, Yuvraj Singh hit Chris Broad out of the park for 6 sixes in the 19th over of the match — the first time that this feat has been achieved in T20 matches. In the process, Yuvraj Singh also made the fastest T20 half-century — off just 12 balls! From memory, his half century had six 6s, three 4s, two 1s and one dot ball!

By winning this match handsomely, India kept alive her chances of a semi-finals berth. All they need to do is to beat South Africa. I believe they have the run rate issue solved as a result of this win against New Zealand.

Even three dropped catches — two off the bowling of the hapless Joginder Sharma and one off the bowling of Sree Santh — did not help England’s pursuit of 218 runs. Yuvraj Singh missed a sitter at point. R. P. Singh slipped as he went for a catch at 3rd Man. Joginder Sharma dived at square leg behind the umpire — and was perhaps unsighted by the umpire — and dropped another easy catch to make up the drops. But the team also fielded and caught well. They bowled well in patches to deny England a victory. Harbhajan Singh’s catch on the boundary ropes was sensational — perhaps even the catch of the tournament so far!

India went in with Jogidnder Sharma instead of Ajit Agarkar. This was a good move. Despite the runs that he leaked, I think this was a good move. India may persist with this option for the final game against South Africa. An option well worth considering is that of Yusuf Pathan for Joginder Sharma. The older of the Pathan brothers is a thinking bowler and can give the ball one heck of a tonk. However, I think Joginder Sharma will have learnt from this experience and may get the nod in the final do-or-die game.

India also went in with Rohit Sharma instead of Dinesh Karthik,

The Indian bowlers bowled reasonably on a somewhat flat pitch. In particular, Pathan was impressive. He bowled at about 130kmph and bowled with accuracy. He also bowled a few well-disguised slower balls. Sreesanth seems to have dropped the verbals and the needless glares. He seems to be doing an Ntini in his follow-through these days. He runs through and immediately turns and sprints back in that distinctive Ntini-way! He seems to have learnt from his England experiences.

Andrew Flintoff’s verbals banter seemed to have spurred Yuvraj Singh onto his onslaught. But at the man-of-the-match award, Yuvraj Singh was all diplomacy and indicated that what was said on the field would be left on the field. This is good to see.

Finally, a word on M. S. Dhoni’s captaincy. With each outing, he continues to impress. He is not a “formula captain” who works off a set song-sheet. He was willing to move and change his bowlers around. He tried to attack early on and when nothing much happened, he switched to a clever defence ploy. He could have had a man on the mid-wicket fence. This may well happen in the next match which is at the same ground. He also bowled his best bowlers in the last 3 overs. If anything, he perhaps should have tried an over or two from Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh around the 12th over mark.

The win was, however, in my view, crafted mainly by a solid start by Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag. They played sensibly and provided a sold platform for a later-overs launch. I think I need to re-assess my views on Gambhir! He is batting well and appears to have a good head on his shoulders. Sehwag, in my view, is not quite there — the ball that jags back will continue to find him. But he is playing more freely now than I have seen in some time. Moreover, he is looking fitter and meaner than ever before. Hopefully he will crack the big one soon.

A big game against South Africa coming up. Bring it on…

— Mohan