Tag Archives: Kaif

India A vs Zimbabwe Select

While the attention of Indian cricket fans is on the England India series, the India A team has been playing Zimbabwe Select in two 4-day matches. After the first two days of the 1st test, India A is sitting pretty as expected.

Apart from Cheteshwar Pujara, all the batsmen got going, but none of them managed to score a hundred. Uthappa scored 88, Parthiv Patel 67, Kaif 63, Rohit Sharma 66, Badrinath 62 and Piyush Chawla 58. Irfan Pathan would have been disappointed with his duck. He later conceded 36 runs of just 6 overs without taking any wickets when Zimbabwe batted. Makes me wonder whether we’ve seen the last of Irfan in the national (senior) squad.

Zimbabwe are currently 129/4 in reply to India’s 489.  Here is the link to the scorecard.

-Mahesh-

Advertisements

India A team

As we were discussing the teams for the Twenty20 Worldcup and the first test between India and England, the selectors announced the squad for the India A tour to Kenya and Zimbabwe. Here is the team –

  • Mohd. Kaif (Captain) – Middle order Batsman
  • Parthiv Patel (Vice-captain) – WK, but picked as batsman
  • Robin Uthappa – Opening batsman
  • C Pujara – Middle order batsman
  • S Badrinath – Middle order batsman
  • Rohit Sharma – Middle order batsman
  • Rajesh Pawar – Left Arm Spin
  • Mahesh Rawat  – Wicket Keeper
  • Piyush Chawla – Leg Break Bowler
  • Arjun Yadav – Middle order batsman
  • Pragyan Ojha – Left Arm Spin
  • Irfan Pathan – Left Arm Medium Pace/Left hand batsman
  • Yo Mahesh – Right Arm Medium Pace
  • Pankaj Singh – Right Arm Medium Pace
  • Niraj Patel – Middle Order batsman

So, whats wrong with this team? Plenty.

  • Opening batsmen – India currently has a lack of opening batsmen and it is time to try out genuine openers. It was pointed out by this article too (Thanks, Chandan). Apart from Uthappa, there is no one. Why wasn’t M Vijay picked? He is an opener and barring Uthappa and Tiwary has scored more runs than anyone else in the Ranjis. He is also only 23 years old. Sure Parthiv now opens the batting for Gujarat, but c’mon…Apparently, Chopra wasn’t picked because of his age (29 years!), while Rajesh Pawar (28 years) finds a place in the team. IMHO, trying out Chopra before the Aussie tour should have ranked high on the selectors agenda.
  • Fast bowlers – Yo Mahesh and Irfan Pathan are good choices, but why weren’t Munaf and Ishant picked? Or VRV Singh?? Pankaj Singh is definitely a surprise selection.
  • Left arm spinners – Do we really need two? Why not pick one offspinner instead? Yusuf Pathan has been picked up for the Twenty20 shortlist. Surely, he could have been given a try. Or R. Aswhin, the off spinner who took 31 scalps in 4 matches and was named bowler of the year in domestic cricket, could have been given a go.
  •  Arjun Yadav – Will someone please explain to me why he was picked? Apart from being Shivlal Yadav’s son and being able to threaten people with a stump, please give me one good reason.
  • Suresh Raina – Why wasn’t he picked? In an interview to Hindustan Times a day before the team was announced, Raina says he is now fully fit, but he wasn’t picked. Apparently, Manoj Tiwary is also not fully fit to be included in the team.
  • Joginder Sharma – He had a good domestic season and India is looking out for all rounders. Why wasn’t he picked? I think this is a shocking omission.
  • Sehwag – I think India needs Sehwag. It’s a pity he is not in the Seniors team and doesn’t find a place in the  A team either. They could have named him captain and Kaif vice captain. Bajji must be glad he is playing for Surrey, chalking up much needed match practice and experience, while Sehwag must be hoping to score some runs in the local Buchi Babu tournament.

Ok, now that I’ve let my steam out, I do agree that there can only be 15 people in the team and selection is not an easy task. But the team(s) that Mohan picked earlier had a good combination of people trying to get back into the team and people in the fringes of national selection. On the other hand, this team contains people like Arjun Yadav….

-Mahesh-

Possible India-A Team (Edit)

Given the recent comments on this blogsite on my original post on this topic, below is a fuller list of potential India-A players.

Openers:
Virender Sehwag, Aakash Chopra, Robin Uthappa, Shikar Dhawan

Middle-order bats:
Dinesh Mongia, Suresh Raina, Mohammed Kaif, S. Badrinath, Venugopala Rao, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli

Wicket Keepers:
Parthiv Patel, Puneet Bisht

Pace-bowlers:
Munaf Patel, Ajit Agarkar, V Yo Mahesh, Rakesh Patel, Ashish Nehra, Irfan Pathan, Joginder Sharma, V. R. V. Singh

Spinners:
Harbhajan Singh, Rajesh Pawar, Piyush Chawla, Murali Kartik, K. P. Appanna, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Sayyed Iqbal Abdulla, Shahbaz Nadeem

Given this scenario, it is possible for us to construct an India-A and an India-B as follows (each with 16 players in them):

India-A
Virender Sehwag
Shikar Dhawan
Dinesh Mongia
Mohammed Kaif
S. Badrinath
Suresh Raina
Parthiv Patel
Piyush Chawla
Ajit Agarkar / V Yo Mahesh
V. R. V. Singh / Ashish Nehra
Murali Kartik / K. P. Appanna / Sayyed Iqbal Abdulla / Shahbaz Nadeem

India-B:
Aakash Chopra
Robin Uthappa
Cheteshwa Pujara
Venugopala Rao / Rohit Sharma
Manoj Tiwary / Virat Kohli
Puneet Bisht
Irfan Pathan
Harbhajan Singh
Rakesh Patel / Joginder Sharma
Rajesh Pawar / Pragyan Ojha / Amit Mishra
Munaf Patel

The one other player that perhaps could be added is Gagan Khoda. But that would be at the exepense of one of the lefties — perhaps Abdulla…

— Mohan

Composition of India-A Teams

I was recently reading this interview in The Hindustan Times by Dilip Vengsarkar, the Indian Chairman of Selectors. There was a comment by Vengsarkar on the composition of India-A sides that got me thinking.

Vengsarkar said that in his view, “the BCCI must organise [India-A tours] on a war footing“. I don’t think any Team India fan would disagree with him on that view. I am not sure if the BCCI is listening though! There is no reason why India-A should not be continually on tour to some part of the globe. An alternative would be for India-A and India-B to constantly play against each other! Why not? How else would you know if, for example, Munaf Patel has tested himself in a match situation?

Vengsarkar then says that, in his opinion, “the right age group would be the under-25s“.

I am not sure I agree with that view. I think India-A should include players who are on the fringes of national-team selection and if they happen to be under 25 years of age, then so be it.

If we take the current Team India that is in the UK as the representative team of the moment, then we can think of the following players who are on the fringes of national selection (for Tests matches).

Openers:
Virender Sehwag, Aakash Chopra, Gautam Gambhir

Middle-order bats:
Dinesh Mongia, Suresh Raina, Mohammed Kaif, S. Badrinath, Venugopala Rao, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Cheteshwar Pujara, Robin Uthappa

Wicket Keepers:
Parthiv Patel, Puneet Bisht

Pace-bowlers:
Munaf Patel, Ajit Agarkar, V Yo Mahesh, Rakesh Patel, Ashish Nehra, Irfan Pathan, Joginder Sharma, V. R. V. Singh

Spinners:
Harbhajan Singh, Rajesh Pawar, Piyush Chawla, Murali Kartik, K. P. Appanna

I may have missed some names. If I have, please add them to the Comments section and I will update this list a few days later…

Note that only some of these 27 players are under-25. But most of them are often mentioned in the context of being on the verge of consideration of national duties. I think that a subset of this set of players should constantly play either in some part of the world or in India against each other. That is the only way to (a) keep the seniors honest, (b) ensure that people like Irfan Pathan and Munaf Patel are match-fit, (c) ascertain true bench strength, (d) sharpen match skills of players in a slightly higher-intensity setting than the Ranji Trophy setting.

Views?

— Mohan

Rebuilding India – Drawbacks on the bowling front!

Yes, we have won the series and, yes the batting which has been the talking point for a while, has clicked, even though sloppily and sluggishly at times. As many have pointed on other blogs, this series was meant to favor India despite the WC loss. Despite the yo-yo(ness) in our batting, I do not believe that has been of concern. Strategically, it really does not matter if Gambhir, Uthappa, Tiwary, Mongia, Karthik, Rohit Sharma, Venugopala Rao etc. play. For the time being (at least till the next world cup) it does not seem necessary to seriously disturb the seniority in the side. You should have a combination of Dravid, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Tendulkar, Ganguly, or even Kaif play in the side. What really concerns me is the bowling department. This not just in the one dayers but more importantly in the tests. (Te batting seems even more solid and set in the tests, no concerns whatsoever!).

We do not have a match winner in the side!!One who can bowl a side out twice (or once in a one day). We can afford to give away 240-250 runs to a side like Bangladesh on a consistent basis. With Kumble on his way out and Harbajan findings ways to find his way out, the situation is pretty grim. I like what I see in Piyush Chawla (so does Bruce Yardley for what it is worth) but he isn’t there yet. Zaheer may have improved leaps and bounds but he still is a mystery to me. Sreesanth is a song and dance kid. Munaf Patel is good but does not inspire. Romesh Powar is rated well, but I fail to see anything more than the real good ones in Chennai leagues. I really do hope that this factor is addressed and dealt with soon.

Any thoughts!

– Srikanth

ODI team for Bangladesh – Ranji ODI stats giving some pointers?

As we have already started speculating about the ODI team to Bangladesh I just pulled up some stats from the Ranji ODI competition. This is the stats according to most runs scored for the top 10 batsmen.

Mat I NO Runs HS Ave SR 100 50 Ct St Team

W Jaffer 7 7 1 394 170* 65.66 84.18 2 1 2 – BOM
K Goel 7 6 1 369 111 73.80 74.69 1 3 3 – PNJB
BM Rowland 7 7 2 341 102* 68.20 87.66 2 1 2 – KNTKA
M Kaif 6 6 1 340 151* 68.00 88.77 2 1 3 – UP
SA Asnodkar 5 5 1 325 104 81.25 72.06 1 3 1 – GOA
D Mongia 7 6 1 299 97 59.80 81.91 – 3 4 – PNJB
G Gambhir 6 5 0 296 116 59.20 87.05 2 – 2 – DELHI
RG Sharma 7 7 0 296 102 42.28 82.91 1 1 5 – RAJ
AS Jain 6 6 1 286 95 57.20 69.24 – 2 – – RAJ
S Badrinath 7 7 2 278 120 55.60 87.69 1 1 4 – TN

From the above I really want to see Jaffer in the team. I think Mogia also should come in. Rohit Sharma does not seem to have scored in this competition, but he has done a lot this year apparently and he can bowl usefully.. I think Kaif may also get a call again. Though Tewary is not in the above list, he has done more than enough this year. The no 2 on the list Karan Goel is very young and is only 20.

Jaffer, Uthappa, Tewary, Dravid, Yuvraj, Mongia, Dhoni/Karthik, Powar, Munaf, Zaheer, Sreesanth, with Ranadeb Bose and Gambhir completing the 14. What say?

– Sanjay

Hollow symbolism

Sachin Tendulkar has landed in a controversy over cutting a cake that had the India tri-colours. Apparently he has defiled the Indian flag and hurt peoples sentiments

In another incident, Narayana Murthy of Infosys has been accused of disrespecting the National anthem by not singing it.

What do these incidents tell us?

To me both Tendulkar and Murthy are the real ambassadors of India, the real geniuses and the true patriots.

My heart swells with pride when people talk highly about Infosys in the same breadth as IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. Murthy did not sing the anthem because it may put his international employees in an awkward position. This is not being disrespectful but on the contrary very respectful and sensitive.

We often read in the papers that some sections of the society take offence to defiling statues and idols. But then the same junta look the other way when real atrocities happen to real people.

My point is, this misplaced values and hypocrisy is carried through to sports as well and that is one of the root causes of India’s collective under achievement. When some one achieves something great, there are a thousand prying eyes to find fault. The media is to be faulted as well for giving them undeserved importance.

Imagine the pressure on a player like Kaif and Dhoni whose effigies have been burnt and houses stoned.

‘Indianness’ is about tolerance, co-existance and secularism. As long as these sections of the society are allowed to get away with it, and the politicians stand by it progress can never happen.

Mohan Krishnamoorthy in an earlier post aptly wrote that “this is a truly sad reflection of a society that is bursting to be recognised a modern and a civilised one…”

It is time that the law comes down hard on these elements.

– Vish