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Tag Archives: Yuvraj
For different reasons, both India and South Africa (RSA) — ranked #1 and #2 in the world respectively — are in some turmoil leading up to the First Test between these two countries starting 6 Feb.
Team India has a few wounded soldiers in her ranks while the RSA team management has suddenly imploded. After being summarily dismissed from the ICC Match Referee panel after his infamous contributions to the Sydney Monkeygate Test, Mike Procter has been sacked as Cheif Selector in his own country and along with him, his entire selection committee! The RSA coach, Mickey Arthur has stepped down too, citing difference in vision with Cricket South Africa (CSA). The selection panel now comprises Gerald Majola, CEO of CSA, Keppler Wessles and interim coach van Zyl.
Seems to me to be a case of too many chiefs and too few Indians!
Which is really a nice segueway to the problems the Indians are facing themselves.
Unlike the dramas in RSA which are of Pakistanesque proportions, the problems that Team India faces are all injury related. And frankly, since it is the on-field stuff that really matters, I feel that India are behind the eight-ball in this clash of two champion sides.
Rahul Dravid, V. V. S. Laxman, Yuvraj Singh and Sree Santh are all on the injury list. Two of these are vital for the teams’ success against the second ranked team in the world. One of these injuries is a blessing in disguise, in my view, while the other is neither here nor there (but mostly there)!
Rahul Dravid is in sublime form and will be a vital cog in the armoury against a very good pace attack that includes Dale Steyn, Morkel and the fast improving Wayne Parnell. Similarly, in recent times, Laxman’s role in the spot that Sourav Ganguly vacated has been one that he has relished. He has been solid and has adapted well the the changing needs of that important role, which requires acceleration at times and a blocking-rebuilding at times of an upper-order crash.
If both Dravid and Laxman remain injured, my view is that RSA will start as favourites in the Test series.
Yuvraj Singh’s injury will bring a ray of hope to any of the many understudies who are waiting in the wings of Indian cricket. And there are plenty of those waiting to strut their wares in a middle order that seems almost impregnable. Players like M. Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Mohammed Kaif, Badrinath, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey and Cheteshwar Pujara would have picked up their bats as well as their prayer beads as soon as they heard of Yuvraj Singhs’ injury! A few of them may have to put their hands up and put on a show when the South Africans come to town.
I suspect that 2 middle-order positions may be up for grabs. In saying so, I assume that Yuvraj Singh is certainly out of the 1st Test and perhaps one of Dravid or Laxman may not play.
I feel that, given his recent probationary stints, M. Vijay must be a shoe-in for one of these spots. Logically, Badrinath ought to be the one that claims the other spot. He has spent many years in the wings. However, he might miss out on the basis of his recent poor showing in the Duleep Trophy and Mohammed Kaif’s recent strong (and timely) form — he has scored a double-century and a century last week in the ongoing Duleep Trophy.
Sreesanth’s injury is less of a concern to me. Bowlers like Sudeep Thyagi will fit the bill quite nicely. Moreover, I think India will prefer going with two pacemen and two spinners in the Tests against RSA.
Ideally, the team selection ought to wait until the end of the Board President’s XI game. However, the team for the 1st Test is being selected today. The Indian selectors should go for the following team, in my view:
Rahul Dravid / M. Vijay
V. V. S. Laxman / Rohit Sharma
Yuvraj Singh / S. Badrinath
M. S. Dhoni
Pragyan Ojha / Mishra
Ishant Sharma / Sudeep Thyagi
The teams for the Irani Trophy and the Challenger Trophy, the traditional curtain-raisers for the cricket season in India, have been announced. By and large, the teams are good and sound in what is expected to be a good season in India; one in which several Team India stars are expected to turn out, somewhat unexpectedly, for their home states.
The Rest of India team features two Team India players who are on their comeback from injury: Virender Sehwag and Sree Santh. Zaheer Khan is still on the mend and so it appears as though it will be a while yet before we see him in action for India.
Cheteshwar Pujara is another notable absentee. He had an amazing run in last years’ Ranji Trophy and went onto the injury bench just prior to this year’s IPL. He misses out because he he is till injured.
A notable and exciting inclusion is young TN opener, Abhinav Mukund, who gets a call on the back of a successful Ranji season. He may not play, given the presence of M. Vijay and Virender Sehwag as openers. However, this is a step in the right direction for this young left-hander.
Two notable exclusions are Parhiv Patel and Mohammed Kaif! The former has been edged out by the exciting talents of Wriddhiman Saha and the 22-year old, Punjab ‘keeper, Uday Kaul. However, this non-selection must come as a rude shock for Mohammed Kaif in both the Irani game as well as the 3 Challenger teams! Remember that Mohammed Kaif is a contracted Team India player! This non-selection, on the back of the fact that he did not get selected for the Rajasthan Royals in this year’s IPL, must be a blow to the young man, who must wonder where his career is at.
Kaif has probably been edged out by 24-year old Pune batsman, Kedar Jadhav. Irfan Pathan and Munaf Patel get a chance to reconstruct their Team India prospects through this Irani game.
I expect the following Rest of India (probable team):
M. Vijay / Abhinav Mukund
Manoj Tiwary / Kedar Jadhav
Wriddhiman Saha / Uday Kaul
S Sreesanth / Sudeep Tyagi
The Mumbai team for the Irani Trophy sports a healthy look under the leadership of Wasim Jaffer and with the presence of Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane. Prashant Naik gets a look in given that Amol Muzumdar has moved in the off-season to Assam! The probable Mumbai Team is:
Vinayak Samant / Sushant Marathe
Rahil Shaikh / Murtuza Hussain / Saurabh Netravalkar
OJ Khanvilkar / Iqbal Abdulla
This should be a cracker of a contest and should set the scene for the rest of the India season.
The Challenger Trophy squads:
Yuvraj Singh (capt.)
Saurabh Tiwary / Harshad Khadiwale
Wriddhiman Saha (wk)
R Ashwin / Ishank Jaggi
Sudeep Tyagi / Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Parthiv Patel / Uday Kaul (wk)
Suresh Raina (capt.)
Manoj Tiwary / Ravi Inder Singh
Chetanya Nanda / Sadab Jakati
MS Dhoni (capt.)
Kedar Jadhav / Dhiraj Goswami
Yusuf Pathan / Jalaj Saxena
Ashok Dinda / Suresh Kumar
A few surprises here. First, while it is nice to see Suresh Raina’s elevation to captaincy, is it a bit too early for him? Does he really have captaincy material? Second, it is interesting to note that, as I have pointed out before, Mohammed Kaif can’t find a place amongst the best 42 players in the land! Mind you, this set of 42 players does not include players from The Bangalore Royal Challengers players (like Robin Uthappa, Praveen Kumar and Rahul Dravid) and The Deccan Chargers players (like V. V. S. Laxman, R. P. Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Rohit Sharma, Tirumalasetti Suman and Venugopal Rao) who are playing in the Challengers because the Champions League will be on at the same time as The Challengers. This means that Mohammed Kaif is not amongst the 51 best ODI players in the land? And he still carries a central contract? Baffling…
The teams look well balanced and will be a nice selection platform for the endless series of ODIs against Australia.
OK, India won the series and it is significant in more ways than one. But, what a let down the last day of the 2nd Test between India and England turned out to be? What irks me is not the fact that India didn’t win the match, it’s just that India didn’t try.
Granted, the pitch did not deteriorate as much as people thought it would and England could have still played out a draw. But we will never know, will we? Dhoni as a leader, probably went a notch up in the books of Yuvraj and Gambhir for allowing them to try and go for their hundreds and individual glory. But at what cost? Dhoni’s first duty should have been to try and win the match, not let players play for their personal glory. In an ironic sort of way – both players missed out on their centuries and in a way, I think justice was served.
I have been a big fan of Dhoni’s captaincy, but I think he got it really wrong this time. There is a lot being said and written about in the media about how India has the potential to become the No. 1 side in the World – but they will never get to it unless they start playing for wins. Hopefully Dhoni realizes that…
But in spite of the last day’s happenings and BCCI’s farce of staging the game in Punjab that lead to the equivalent of just 4 days worth of cricket, India can take a lot of positives from this game and the series. But, more on that later…
That is the percentage of players in the 16 man squad touring India who have origins or links to the Indian sub-continent – Owais Shah, Amjad Khan, Monty Panesar and Adil Rashid. To add to that, Ravi Bopara, Sajid Mahmood and Samit Patel have been part of the ODI squad or the Performance squad (or both).
Who would have thought that when India play England, the Indians can’t openly discuss strategy on the field in Hindi or Punjabi?
The number of years since England have played a test at Chennai. They lost the last game played here by an innings and 22 runs, but they haven’t done too badly here – of the 7 matches played in Chennai, England and India have won 3 each, while one game was drawn.
That’s the number of runs that Yuvraj scored in his last 5 ODI innings. Very impressive. But his last 5 test innings have yielded him a grand total of just 49 runs including 2 ducks. The important thing is that he is in rollicking form at the moment and will be hoping to correct the imbalance in his Test statistics.
All that depends on whether he is picked in the XI, though…
Runs scored by Sehwag the last time India played at Chennai. What is more fascinating is that he scored them of 304 balls. Rahul Dravid played a long innings too – he played 13 balls less than Sehwag. His score: 111
Since his comeback, Sehwag has scored 1353 runs at an average of 61.50. Only Graeme Smith has scored more runs (1363) than Sehwag this year.
The number of wickets taken by Harbhajan Singh this year. He has been the highest wicket taker for India this year, but that doesn’t tell the real story. He has been consistent but not spectacular. For most of the year he has bowled flat and quick. He is now the senior most bowler in the Indian team and he has to take his bowling a couple of notches up.
The number of people deployed at the ground, the hotel and other places for security reasons during England’s stay. With Two thousand police personnel at the stadium alone, one does not have to worry about having enough spectators for the match.
I know what you are thinking – With so many police doing Test duty, would the crime rate go up in the city? The answer is No – the crooks would be too busy watching the game… 🙂
After a mid-innings sputter, India cruised home to record a facile victory over Hong Kong in its Asia Cup opener. The business end commences today with a game againts hosts Pakistan.
Gambhir, Sehwag, Raina, Dhoni, Chawla, Praveen Kumar and R. P. Singh had good outings against Hong Kong. Yusuf Pathan and Robin Uthappa did not get an opportunity to do much! Irfan Pathan will probably get back into the side provided his side-strain is no longer restricting his bowling.
Rohit Sharma had an ordinary game against Hong Kong and apparently looked listless in his 29-ball-11-run essay.
The India side is likely to be:
Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Robin Uthappa (or Yusuf Pathan), Irfan Pathan, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, RP Singh, Ishant Sharma
In a week from now, Team India travels to Bangladesh to take on Pakistan and Bangladesh in a tri-series ahead of the Asia Cup, which will also include Sri Lanka.
We at i3j3Cricket had predicted the team makeup and there were no real surprises when the selectors announced a team that was not too different from the one that had won in Australia in February/March this year. Given Sachin Tendulkar’s withdrawal, R. P. Singh’s return to the fold and Dinesh Karthik’s slide, the team make up was not too surprising. Some IPL performances were rewarded — notably Yusuf Pathan and Pragyan Ojha.
The team that has been selected has a balanced and youthful look to it. I will not be surprised if the team that takes to the park on June 10th (a week from now) against Pakistan is (in batting order):
Robin Uthappa / Suresh Raina
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Piyush Chawla / Pragyan Ojha
Sreesanth / Praveen Kumar / R. P. Singh
On current form, this is, in my view, a very strong team. The opening combination is a winning combination.
The IPL tournament has certainly thrown up a few names that could be in contention when Team India’s selectors sit down to pick the Team India ODI teams for Bangladesh and for the Asia Cup. These teams will be chosen on 30 May.
From the team that won in Australia when India last played a ODI — Harbhajan Singh will certainly not feature! He has had a ban slapped on him (pun totally intentional!).
Virender Sehwag feels that it would be fine for the young turks that have done well in the IPL to be considered for Team India ODI selection on the basis of their good IPL-showing. However, Dilip Vengsarkar, the Chairman of selectors is not one for making large-scale changes.
Having said that, it would be impossible to ignore the number of young cricketers that have put their hands up — some more compellingly than others!
The Indian ODI squad that won in Australia included: MS Dhoni, Piyush Chawla, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Dinesh Karthik, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina, Virender Sehwag, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Sreesanth, Sachin Tendulkar, Manoj Tiwary, Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, RP Singh
Of these, apart from Dinesh Kartik and Manoj Tiwary, who have not set the IPL on fire, and Harbhajan Singh, who is not available for selection, not many have gone “backwards” in terms of their chances. Although Dinesh Kartik did win a game for Delhi Daredevils, one probably felt that he had blown a few chances to make an impression along the way. Munaf Patel has had an outing that could best be described as Munafesque! Praveen Kumar has also not had a fantastic IPL. However, I do not think he would be dropped.
On the other hand, players like Piyush Chawla, Gautam Gambhir, Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Sreesanth, Robin Uthappa and RP Singh would have appeared to have strengthened their cases.
So, it would seem to me that the following will be retained:
Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Suresh Raina, Sreesanth, RP Singh
That gives us a listof 14 players. I am assuming that Zaheer Khan is not considered. It may help India’s chances if he –like Rahul Dravid, V. V. S. Laxman and Sourav Ganguly — is asked to focus his energies on Test cricket!
Assuming that the selectors may select 2 more to add to the above list, the impressive bench could well boast
Of these, I have been most impressed with Manpreet Gony and Yusuf Pathan and would possibly get my nod ahead of anyone else.
So, my Team India ODI team would be:
Gautam Gambhir / Robin Uthappa / Suresh Raina
Irfan Pathan / Yusuf Pathan
Praveen Kumar / Manpreet Gony
Sreesanth / RP Singh
This was a must win test for India and when South Africa raced to 52 for no loss at the first drink break, it didn’t look good for India. First, they lost the captain to a groin injury, then Dhoni in his first test as captain lost the toss which could yet prove crucial in this game. Then the fast bowlers failed to impress. It definitely wasn’t going India’s way.
Then something happened. Yuvraj Singh, came on to bowl and claimed the wicket of Smith. With in no time two more wickets fell. Chawla had earlier claimed the wicket of McKenzie and suddenly the score read 161 for 4. For the first time in this series, the pressure appeared to be on the South African batsmen. Wickets started falling at regular intervals and they were finally dismissed for 265.
India will definitely take that. The bowlers have done their job, and it is now up to the batsmen to do theirs. India will be at a definite disadvantage batting fourth in this wicket. The batsmen will have to give India a good lead to be able to beat South Africa. The South Africans will again be aiming to beat India with pace but spin may hold the key to this game and that may come in handy for India.
The SBS score card for the day would probably read India 2, RSA 1. The SBS score card for tomorrow is most likely to determine who wins this game, but it all depends on how well India start in the morning.
What a bad loss. Being beaten by an innings and 90 runs – that too at home – It’s gotta hurt. Not just the fans, but it must hurt the team members too.
India needed to bat out of their skins to save the game, but they didn’t. Sehwag started with a couple of sixes, but left in a hurry. When Dravid got out, the writing was already in the wall (pardon the pun). Jaffer went soon after and then it was left to Ganguly and Laxman to stop the slide. They started putting on a partnership and as it happens so frequently, Laxman got out against the run of play with his score in the thirties.
Ganguly and Dhoni tried to prolong the inevitable, but a poor umpiring decision put an end to Ganguly’s innings. Dhoni scored a fighting fifty and Pathan chipped in with some runs, but India was well and truly beaten.
India have made a lot of progress in the last year or so – one big loss shouldn’t take that away from them. But they seem to play better when they are the underdogs. The favourites tag doesn’t sit well with them – every time they are pronounced the favourites in a tournament or match, they seem to put in a poor performance. I don’t think anyone would consider them to be the favourites in this series anymore…
In the series so far, Kumble hasn’t been his usual self and the fast bowlers have been ineffective. Ishant Sharma’s inclusion should boost the bowling. But it was the batting that let India down. The decision on whether to go with the extra bowler as they did in this game or pick Yuvraj as an additional batsman is going to be tough one. Will have to wait and see how this one unfolds.
But it is time for India to forget this match, regroup and try to level the series in Kanpur. India may be ranked No. 2 in the World, but at the moment they don’t look anything like the second best team – not by a long shot.