Tag Archives: Bangladesh

The i3j3 Cricket Podcast — Episode-3 

The i3j3 Cricket Podcast (Episode 3), where Mahesh Krishnan Paddy Padmanabhan, Vish Krishnan and Mohan Krishnamoorthy ramble on about the India V Bangladesh Test match, Ashwin’s 250 wickets, BCCI v Supreme Court and other cricket stuff.

The third episode of our once a fortnight cricket ramble is here. Have a listen…

I3j3 Cricket Podcast Episode 3

Logo Credit: Sooraj Ramachandran

Deserving the Asia Cup

It was a deserving day of cricket. But only Bangladesh deserved to win the finals. Even before players could wake up. Everybody in the world was sure that Bangladesh will win the Asia Cup, because, well, they deserved it, making the whole point of playing the game an utter waste of time. But ah well, some ICC Rule number 137897. section a. said that it deserves to be played.

So, if Holy Fans of The Holy Game were to have it, the Holy Finals would…errr…should have panned out, deserving-ly, like this –

Toss – The match referee flips the coin, Misbah calls “heads”, and the referee catches the coin, puts it in the pocket and shrugs to Misbah, “Hey, Bangladesh deserves to win the toss, mate.”

So, Bangladesh wins the toss and they opt to bowl. They deserve to.

Hafeez and Jamshed walk out to open, and Athar Ali Khan already has uttered “My Word” 47 times. That’s alright. He deserves to do that.

Mashrafe Mortaza will open the bowling for Bangladesh. Wonderful bowler. Destroys India, does nothing more than that. Has more injuries than wickets. And Bangladeshi crowd goes berserk when he gets dropped for non-performance or even injury. That candidate always deserves a spot in the team.

So, here he comes, bustling like a train, and it’s a wide to start the innings. Wide down the leg side, and Mushfiq had to jump like a toad to pouch that one. But don’t worry, the umpire doesn’t signal a wide. Mashrafe has been through a lot. He deserves a good first ball.

A few overs go by, in which the other fast bowler, whose name I don’t remember now, and as I deserve for that, I get flak for forgetting, gets two wickets. One because the umpire gave an lbw when the ball seemed away and comfortably went  to the keeper’s hands. But, well, that ball deserved an LBW to its credit. And the other wicket was because Hafeez thought the bowler should deserve another wicket for being a fast bowler on the Bangladeshi cricket team. So, he shoulders arms and lets the ball come and hit his stumps. Bangladeshi Polka Dots dressed fans are ecstatic. Hafeez tells them that they deserve to be happy, just like Sacramento Kings’ fans must be.

Also, Mr My Word and Mr Safety are replaced by Mr Running The First One Hard (imagine saying hard in #huan tone) and Mr Just 65 Runs To Go For The Century.

Pakistan are 143/3 after 32 overs. They now decide that the Bangladeshi bowlers deserve to have done better. so, Pakistan’s score is revised to 123/4. Shakib is a wonderful bowler. My word. Also, Mahudullah, Suhrawadi Shuvo, Abdur Razzak and the other 17 spinners in the side. So, they all deserve to see a better score on that big screen.

Pakistan will not get their batting powerplay. Come on… Why should they? They don’t deserve to hit more runs.

And Afridi deserves to be out. So, the bowler bowls the ball, keeper collects it, returns it to the bowler and the bowler dismantles the bails. And appeals. All batsmen are inside their respective creases. But, Bangladesh deserve to get rid of Afridi early. So, Afridi is out. Striker standing inside the batting crease is run out at the non-striker end. Bangladesh deserve to make history.

Shakib al Hasan finishes with figures of 10-1-42-2. Wonderful bowling. He deserves some more overs. So, he gets to bowl 4 more overs. Gets 2 more wickets at the expense of just 8 runs. My Word.

Pakistan end their innings at 254/8, after some rocking and rolling smashing hits from Misbah and Umar Gul. Fans did not expect this, so they weren’t sure if they deserved it or not. So, they were granted the permission to score freely.

Oxford dictionary meanwhile announce that they decided to award the word “Myword” to Athar Ali Khan. Their press release said “He deserves to have a word of his own, so he doesn’t abuse other words.”

Tournament organizers decide that Bangladesh deserve another win in the tournament. So, they toggle the result of the tournament opener and award Bangladesh with the win over Pakistan in the opener. The organizer said “Nasir Jamshed did not deserve to play that kind of innings.” So, Bangladesh have topped the league table.

There is no rain, but the D/L method score will be applied on the Pakistani Score. D/L – Deserve to Lose. So, the target for Bangladesh is not a paltry 132 runs in the whole 50 overs.

Umar Gul will open the attack. And sends in a toe crushing yorker at Tamim Iqbal, who totally misses the ball trying to play it across the line, and the middle and leg stump for the same angle that Afridi forms with his arms while celebrating a wicket. The umpire then goes to Gul and says, “Hey, Tamim deserves a second change.” And, Tamim can stay.

But Gul manages to remove Tamim Iqbal three more times in the same over, and Tamim had to leave. Even some Bangladeshi fans were irritated and said that Tamim doesn’t deserve another chance. Pakistan have made a breakthrough. They had to go back and close the flood gates thrice in the same over, but they can finally leave it open.

Afridi comes in to bowl along with Ajmal. Afridi has been removed off the attack because of moral policing. People complained that he is only 18 years of age and has been faking an increase in age for the last 13 years. So, he doesn’t deserve to bowl. And yes, as is the general opinion amongst everybody, Ajmal doesn’t deserve to bowl at all.

So, Pakistan are reduced to bowling out the overs with Gul, Hafeez, Cheema, Younis Khan and Hammad Azam. In spite of Bangladesh losing wickets now and then, they get some runs on the board through Shakib al Hasan’s bat. He deserves to be the number one all-rounder in the whole universe. Martians deserve to immortalize Shakib by planting a statue of his when they visit Saturn next.

It all comes down to the last over. Cheema has to bowl to Shakib and Shahadat Hossain. Bangladesh need 9 off the last over, only 2 wickets remain. How it came this close is anybody’s guess. You deserve to make a guess, you have a beautiful mind. It’s alright if you didn’t make it to IIT and then into IIM and earned $$$$$$$$$$$ in business. But you deserve to make a guess.

Cheema runs in, the 33-year-old coach bustling in with enthusiasm….and suddenly, the umpire stops Cheema on his tracks, asks for the ball, pockets the ball, tips the bail off the stump and declares “Bangladesh, we all know you deserve to win this. you win.”

And Yes. Bangladesh have won the Asia Cup. Congratulations, Bangladesh. Shakib deserved and got the Man Of The Final Over, Man Of  The Match, (and while Shakib goes to collect his man Of The Series Award, LSK exclaims “He is running the first one haaaard”), Man Of The Series, and also in advance, the man Of The World Cup and The Best All Rounder Award for the years 2012 to 2018.

Also, congratulations Sri Lanka on winning last year’s World Cup. You deserved it. We were just trolling you by winning it for ourselves. We are selfish like that – winning World Cups and all.

– Bagrat

So India, Dravid and Tendulkar win a lose-lose series…

Rahul Dravid has kept his head on his shoulders and feet on the ground after the win against Bangladesh. He did acknowledge that this was always going to be a “lose-lose series” for India. “Had we not done well, people would have said, ‘What’s happening?’ Had we won, it’s not a big deal. So it was tough in that sense.”

I like the poise with which Dravid speaks. His words are measured and not much has been out of place ever — apart from that outburst against Chetan Desai, Manager of Team India to South Africa wherein he is reported to have said, “I have read cricketing history and Desai’s name does not figure anywhere“.

His recent post-win interview reflects a balanced individual with a clear sense of perspective. He called this a lose-lose series.

But this was not merely a lose-lose series for India. It was a lose-lose-lose series. If India had done well, the cynics would have been out with the “After all this was agaisnt the minnows. So what the heck are you celebrating for?” wisecracks. If they had lost, the couch-potatoes would have woken from their slumber to chuck the very same potatoes at the team. The third lose facet is the physical dimension. This was an energy-sapping series. And it came at a time when Team India is going to be busier than I have ever known it to be — a series in Ireland with Ireland and South Africa (from June 23); an ODI against Pakistan (July 3); a tour of England for Tests and ODIs (from July 3 to September 8); the ICC Twenty20 Cup (from September 11 to September 24); a tour to Pakistan (October and November); a tour to Australia (December 2007 to March 2008)…

So it came at a pretty intense time for Team India in the aftermath of a disastrous World Cup campaign.

Given all of that, it was a reasonable performance against the team.

Tendulkar had a lose-lose-lose campaign too. If he had done well the cynics would have questioned the strength of the opposition. If he had done reasonably, they would have asked why he hadn’t done better. If he had done terribly, they would have asked for his blood!

But Dravid puts things in perspective when he talks to the bigger challenge that awaits them in England and beyond. But then, as Dravid says, “the conditions, opponents will be different”.

— Mohan

The opposition view

Here are a few links to the Bangladesh newspaper’s coverage of the action –

(Some of these links change on a daily basis, so if it takes you to another article, don’t blame me 🙂 )


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.


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.


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.  


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

Retrospective for the 1st test

In Software Engineering, at the end of a project (or an iteration),  the team gets together to discuss/review the project and to reflect on what worked, what didn’t; what the team learnt and what the team is still trying to learn. The review process is called Retrospective and it is something the Indian team would benefit from if they ran one at the end of every test and series.

Here is my version of the Retrospective for the first test –

What worked?

  • Karthik as an opener
  • The batting of Dravid, Tendulkar and Ganguly (although they gave their wickets away at the wrong time)

What didn’t work?

  • Timing of the series! Bad conditions, bad weather, bad pitch.
  • The Indian fast bowling attack lacked penetration, particularly in the second innings. Zaheer was very ordinary in both innings and he is supposed to be the most experienced fast bowler in the match.
  • Ability to dismiss the tail (If India had forced Bangladesh to follow-on, the results could well have been different)
  • Dravid’s rotation of his bowlers (For instance, I couldn’t figure out why Sachin was brought on so late in the first innings, or why the opening bowlers were persisted with for so long in the second innings)
  • Jaffar! Zeros in both innings? Not good. Not good at all. He is also the only specialist opener in the team.

 What did the team learn?

  • How important Kumble is to this team in sub-continent pitches! But we didn’t need this match to tell us that.

What are we still trying to learn?

  • Is the 5+1+5 batsmen-wk-bowler combination the right one? We ended up playing a 4+2+5 combination, which sounds a bit ridiculous. And, with Kumble sick, we still bowled with just 4 bowlers. Not sure whether we’ve worked this one out yet.
  • We still haven’t figured out what the right make up of the batting. Do we keep Laxman and Yuvraj out of the team?  Surely, you can’t drop Rahul, Sachin and Saurav – they all batted well, plus Dravid is the captain. Dropping anyone from the middle order is basically out of question. Karthik cannot be dropped after his good performance and Jaffar is the only specialist opener. Again, not sure what the right solution is.

I am sure there are a lot more. Please feel free to add them in the comments section.


India declare

As Mohan suggested earlier,  India should have declared at the overnight score of 384.  It makes more sense considering the fact that we lost another day to rain. Instead, they decided to bat on…and after two quick wickets and the addition of 3 runs, declared at 387 for 8!

Not a great move, I guess. They’ve handed the psychological advantage back to Bangladesh.