Thursday, June 5, 2008

Royal win for Royals

Finally Rajasthan Royals has won the inaugural IPL T20 cricket series. There were the favorites. But most of the cricket pundits tagged them as an underdog at the start of the tournament. Well, I also had the similar belief. They were distinctly ahead of all the other teams and really deserve to be champion.

Rajasthan team was not full of star players, but they did play like star players. Most amazing thing was that they maintain their consistency throughout the tournament. Smith and young Asnodkar were just brilliant at top of the other whereas Pathan and Watson were in demolishing mood in the middle order. In the bowling department Warne, Tanvir and Munaf were doing brilliant job. Though they perform very well as a team, its most of the credit should go to the Warne. I don’t need to say anything about his greatness as a player. If you name 10 greatest players the cricket has ever seen, he will definitely be there. But in IPL he has shown how good he is as a captain.

Dhoni again has shown what a fine player and good captain he is. Chennai beat Punjab thrice in the tournament, which has arguably the best composition of all the teams. In final also he stretched the match to the final over or to say the final ball. Chennai did some serious mistakes in the field and that was very much apparent. Yousuf Pathan was dropped twice and in the last over Balaji bowled wide ball fetching two runs that turn deadly as the match went to the last bowl. Though Dhoni’s team emerges as second best in the final the difference between them and the Royals was not that big. Dhoni is cool customer. He do not show much emotions on the field, still he keeps his players motivated. I never have seen him getting dejected when his team is not performing well.
That keeps the moral of the team always high. He is turning out to be very fine find for captaining Indian team.

This IPL has given the chance to most of the local lads to show their talent. That was the perfect stage for them to show what they have in them. And some of them really grab this opportunity with both hands. Swapnil Asnodkar, Goni, Amit Mishra, Goswani are few of them. Some of these players like, Rohit Sharma, Yousuf Pathan and Suresh Raina took this opportunity to reestablish themselves in the Indian team. This could also be curtain for some of the veteran players. I need not name them. They should realize that they have done enough for the country over the years and it is time to move on. Nobody is comparing them with anybody. They have done it all and it is there in history which can’t be negated. So, it is time to make some sensible decisions.

India next venture is tour to Bangladesh and then Asia Cup. My best wishes are with them.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

IPL fever !

When IPL was started, I made 3 predictions. First, Hyderabad is the strongest team of the IPL and they will run through all the other teams. And other is that the Rajasthan and Banglore are the weakest team, with Banglore having little edge over Rajasthan. Well atleast two of my prediction has gone awfully wrong. Team Hyderabad is competing with team Banglore for the last spot in the table tally. And Rajasthan is ravishing all other teams in the competition.
Well, I have reasons for my predictions. Just look at the line up of the Hyderabad team, Gilchrist, Symonds, Afridi all these players can be categorize as most devastating players of the game of cricket. On the other hand there are only 2 players to talk about in the Rajasthan line up, Warne and Smith. These players couldn’t be termed as serious players of the T20 game. Actually, there are some individual good performances from Hyderabad team. Gilchrist and Rohit Sharma features in the leading run scorer list and R P Singh is the leading wicket taker in the tournament. While in the case of Rajasthan only Warne features in the list of leading wicket taker, there is no one in leading run getter list. So, what makes team Rajasthan so successful and what went wrong for team Hyderabad? I am not still able to figure out.
Vijay Mallaya said that, his friends felt his team is more like test team. Guess what? I also got the same feeling. If BCCI is planning to have test series for IPL, my money would be on Banglore team. Seriously, there is no other serious T20 player (batsmen) in Banglore team, not surprisingly there performance is pathetic in the series.
Mumbai has made astonish come back. After loosing 4 games starting games, they won 6 games in a trot. Many are giving its credit to Sachin’s come back, I don’t know why? In none of the game in which Sachin appeared his contribution is significant. On the other hand it is Sanath Jaysuriya who is more instrumental in their wins. Well, in India we tends to get emotional with Sachin. No, doubt he is one of the finest player game has ever seen, but he is not a God. We should give credit to the deserving candidate.
Now, a days everyone is going against Shahrukh Khan, firstly Big B, then Amir Khan and now ICC. ICC has objection for Shahrukh’s presence in his own players dug outs. He owns Kolkota team. He is paying those players. And I don’t find any good reason for not allowing franchise owners to meet there players in their dug outs. I don’t know what is ICC point of contention there.
Rajasthan has confirmed its seat for semi-final and there are quit a few contenders for the other 3 berths. With Banglore and Hyderabad are virtually out of the competition, fight is between remaining 5 teams. I got the feeling that, Chennai, Punjab and Mumbai will make to the semis. Well, I am not going to put any money on them!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

All about IPL

Whole nation is gripped by the ongoing cricket fever of IPL T20 series. It is something that India has never witnessed before. To be frank I never expect such a response to IPL matches, but the jam packed stadiums proved me wrong. The reason for my apprehension for the IPL series was the poor response to the Subhas Chandra’s ICL tournament. Well, IPL has all the money power behind it and it is always helpful to pull the show.

Let’s try to understand some aspects of IPL……

From where this IPL idea coined from?

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) launched the Indian Premier League (IPL) on September 14, 2007. Based on the lines of the English Premier League (EPL) and the National Basketball League (NBA), the IPL is said to be the brainchild of BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi. The idea was first floated in 1996 but was shot down as the board felt it would go against the zonal system of domestic cricket. The project moved into top gear when the Zee group launched a rival Indian Cricket League on similar lines in April 2007.
BCCI has formed an IPL council that comprises former BCCI president IS Bindra, vice-presidents Rajiv Shukla, Chirayu Amin, Lalit Modi and Arun Jaitley, and former cricketers Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri. While the BCCI officials are honorary members, Pataudi, Gavaskar and Shastri will be paid for their services. The IPL governing council will have a five-year term and will run, operate and manage the league independently of the BCCI.

What are the franchises and their teams ?

The franchisees will own the eight teams in the fray. They can run them in their own styles, bring their own sponsors and even name the team according to their choice. They will even be free to list their teams on the stock exchange.

Each franchise would have to buy sixteen players at the minimum, out of which four should be from India and under the age of 22 and four other local players hailing from catchment areas earmarked by the IPL for each of the eight franchises. Five icon players of India -- Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag - are not part of the bid process as they have to play for their respective city franchises - Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mohali and Delhi. Among the icon players, Tendulkar will be part of the Mumbai franchise owned by Ambani's REL, Dravid will play for the Bangalore franchise owned by Vijay Mallya's UB Group, Ganguly for Kolkata owned by Shah Rukh's Red Chillies Entertainment, Yuvraj for Mohali owned by Preity Zinta, Ness Wadia, R Burman and Group and Sehwag will lead the Delhi team, owned by GMR Holdings. The other three franchise owners are Deccan Chronicle Group (Hyderabad), India Cements (Chennai), Delhi (GRM Group) and Emerging Media Group (Jaipur).The player fees of any icon player - being 115 per cent of the highest player fee in that franchise's squad - will count towards the upper limit. The cap placed on bids for a pool of international players by each franchise does not include the local (apart from the iconic player) and under 22 players whose minimum salary has been fixed as US 20,000 dollar. For the Ranji and other auction players the base price has been fixed as US 50,000 dollar per year. The contract with the player will be for a fixed term of three years. Each franchise can have a maximum of two centrally contracted Australian players in its squad or a maximum of two Australian players from each state association in its squad, as per the agreement arrived at between Cricket Australia and IPL.

Following are the teams and their franchise..

There are 8 teams in the inaugaral Indian Premier League Tournament

Mumbai Indians - Mukesh Ambani - Captained by Sachin Tendulkar
The Team:-
Sachin Tendulkar (India, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm off-break, medium pace bowler)
Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka, Left-hand batsman, Slow left-arm orthodox bowler)
Harbhajan Singh (India, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm off-break bowler)
Robin Uthappa (India, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm medium pace bowler)
Shaun Pollock (South Africa, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast medium bowler)
Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast bowler)
Dilhara Fernando (Sri Lanka, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast medium bowler)
Loots Bosman (South Africa, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm medium pace bowler)
Players signed in the interim between first and second auctions:
Pinal Shah, Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane and Yogesh Takawale
Players signed in the second auction Tuesday:
Ashwell Prince (South Africa, Left-hand batsman, Left-arm slow bowler)
Saurabh Tiwary (India, Left-hand batsman)
Manish Pandey (India, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm off break bowler)

Bangalore Royal Challegers -Vijay Malya - Captained by Rahul Dravid
The Team:-
Rahul Dravid (India, Right-hand batsman, Off-break bowler)
Jacques Kallis (South Africa, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast medium bowler)
Anil Kumble (India, Right-hand batsman, Leg-break googly bowler)
Cameron White (Australia, Right-hand batsman, Leg-break googly bowler)
Zaheer Khan (India, Right-hand batsman, Left-arm fast medium bowler)
Mark Boucher (South Africa, Right-hand batsman, Wicketkeeper)
Wasim Jaffer (India, Right-hand batsman, Off-break bowler)
Dale Steyn (South Africa, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast bowler)
Shivnaraine Chanderpaul (West Indies, Left-hand batsman)
Players signed in the interim between first and second auctions:
Sunil Joshi, Balachandra Akhil, R. Vinay Kumar, Bharat Chipli, J. Arun Kumar, K.P. Appanna, Devraj Patil
Players signed in the second auction:
Misbah ul Haq (Pakistan, Right-hand batsman, Leg-break bowler)
Abdur Razzak (Bangladesh, Left-hand batsman, Slow left-arm orthodox bowler) Virat Kohli (India, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm medium pace bowler)
Shreevats Goswami (India, Left-hand Batsman, Wicketkeeper)
Ross Taylor (New Zealand, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm off break bowler)

Chennai Super Kings - India Cements - Captained by MS Dhoni
The Team:-
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India, Right-hand batsman, Wicketkeeper)
Jacob Oram (New Zealand, Left-hand batsman, Right-arm medium pace bowler)
Albie Morkel (South Africa, Left-hand batsman, Right-arm fast bowler)
Suresh Raina (India, Left-hand batsman, Off-break bowler)
Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka, Right-hand batsman, Off-break bowler)
Matthew Hayden (Australia, Left-hand batsman, Right-arm medium bowler)
Stephen Fleming (New Zealand, Left-hand batsman, Right-arm slow medium bowler)
Parthiv Patel (India, Wicketkeeper, Left-hand batsman)
Joginder Sharma (India, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast medium bowler)
Makhaya Ntini (South Africa, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast bowler)
Michael Hussey (Australia, Left-hand batsman)
Players signed in the interim between first and second auctions:
Shadab Jakati, Sudeep Tyagi, R. Ashwin, Srikkanth Anirudha and S. Badrinath
Players signed in the second auction :
Napoleon Einstein (India, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm off break bowler)
Abhinav Mukund (India, Left-hand batsman, Leg-break googly break bowler)
Viraj Kadbe (India, Right-hand batsman, Leg-break bowler)

Delhi Daredevils - GMR Group - Captained by Virendra Sehwag
The Team:
Virender Sehwag (India, Right-hand batsman, Off-break bowler)
Gautam Gambhir (India, Left-hand batsman)
Manoj Tiwari (Indian, Right-hand batsman, Leg-break bowler)
Mohammad Asif (Pakistan, Left-hand batsman, Right-arm fast medium bowler)
Daniel Vettori (New Zealand, Left-hand batsman, slow left-arm orthodox bowler)
Dinesh Karthik (India, Right-hand batsman, Wicket-keeper)
Shoaib Malik (Pakistan; Right-hand batsman, Off-break bowler)
AB de Villiers (South Africa, Right-hand batsman)
Tillekaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka, Right-hand batsman, Off-break bowler)
Farveez Maharoof (Sri Lanka, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast medium bowler)
Glenn McGrath (Australia, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast medium bowler)
Players signed in the interim between first and second auctions:
Yo Mahesh, Shikhar Dhawan, Mithun Manhas, Rajat Bhatia and Mayank Tehlan
Players signed in the second auction :
Pradeep Sangwan (India, Left-arm medium pace bowler, Right-hand batsman)
Brett Geeves (Australia, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast medium)

Deccan Chargers - Deccan Chronicle - Captained by VVS Laxman
The Team:
Virender Sehwag (India, Right-hand batsman, Off-break bowler)
Gautam Gambhir (India, Left-hand batsman)
Manoj Tiwari (Indian, Right-hand batsman, Leg-break bowler)
Mohammad Asif (Pakistan, Left-hand batsman, Right-arm fast medium bowler)
Daniel Vettori (New Zealand, Left-hand batsman, slow left-arm orthodox bowler)
Dinesh Karthik (India, Right-hand batsman, Wicket-keeper)
Shoaib Malik (Pakistan; Right-hand batsman, Off-break bowler)
AB de Villiers (South Africa, Right-hand batsman)
Tillekaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka, Right-hand batsman, Off-break bowler)
Farveez Maharoof (Sri Lanka, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast medium bowler)
Glenn McGrath (Australia, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast medium bowler)
Players signed in the interim between first and second auctions:
Yo Mahesh, Shikhar Dhawan, Mithun Manhas, Rajat Bhatia and Mayank Tehlan
Players signed in the second auction :
Pradeep Sangwan (India, Left-arm medium pace bowler, Right-hand batsman)
Brett Geeves (Australia, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast medium)

Kolkata Knight Riders - Shah Rukh Khan/Juhi Chawla - Captained by Saurav Ganguly
The Team:-
Sourav Ganguly (India, Left-hand batsman, Right-arm medium pace bowler)
Ishant Sharma (India, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast bowler)
Chris Gayle (West Indies, Left-hand batsman, Off-break bowler)
Brendon McCullum (New Zealand, Right-hand batsman, Wicketkeeper)
David Hussey (Australia, Right-hand batsman, Off-break bowler)
Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast bowler)
Ricky Ponting (Australia, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm off-break bowler)
Ajit Agarkar (India, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast medium bowler)
Murali Kartik (India, Left-hand batsman, Slow left-arm orthodox bowler)
Umar Gul (Pakistan, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast medium bowler)
Tatenda Taibu (Zimbwea, Right-hand batsman, Wicketkeeper)
Players signed in the second auction :
Salman Butt (Pakistan, Left-hand batsman, Right-arm off break bowler)
Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm off break bowler) Siddarth Kaul (India, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm medium pace bowler)
Iqbal Abdulla (India, Left-hand batsman, Slow left-arm orthodox bowler)

Kings XI Punjab - Preity Zinta/Ness Wadia - Captained by Yuvraj Singh
The Team:-
Yuvraj Singh (India, Left-hand batsman, Slow left-arm orthodox bowler)
Irfan Pathan (India, Left-hand batsman, Left-arm fast medium bowler)
Brett Lee (Australia, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast bowler)
Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka, Left-hand batsman, Wicketkeeper)
Shanthakumaran Sreesanth (India, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast medium bowler)
Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm medium pace bowler)
Piyush Chawla (India, Left-hand batsman, Leg-break googly bowler)
Ramesh Powar (India, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm off-break bowler)
Ramnaresh Sarwan (West Indies, Right-hand batsman)
Simon Katich (Australia, Left-hand batsman)
Players signed in the interim between first and second auctions:
V.R.V. Singh, Karan Goel and Uday Kaul
Players signed in the second auction :
James Hopes (Australia, Right-hand batsman, Right-hand medium pace bowler)
Luke Pomersbach (Australia, left-hand batsman, Right-arm off break bowler)
Tanmay Srivastava (India, Left-hand Batsman, Right-arm medium pace bowler)
Ajitesh Argal (India, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm medium pace bowler)
Kyle Mills (New Zealand, Right-hand fast medium bowler, Right-hand batsman)

Rajastan Royals - Emerging Media Group - Captained by Shane Warne
The Team:
Shane Warne (Australia, Right-hand batsman, Leg-spin bowler)
Md. Kaif (India, Right-hand batsman, Off-break bowler)
Graeme Smith (South Africa, Left-hand batsman, Off-break bowler)
Yusuf Pathan (India, Right-hand batsman)
Munaf Patel (Indian, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast bowler)
Younis Khan (Pakistan, Right-hand batsman)
Kamran Akmal (Pakistan, Right-hand batsman, Wicket-keeper)
Justin Langer (Australia, Left-hand batsman, Right-arm medium pace bowler)
Players signed in the interim between first and second auctions:
Pankaj Singh, Anup Revandkar and Dinesh Salunkhe
Players signed in the second auction :
Dimitri Mascarenhas (England, Right-han batsman, Right-arm fast medium bowler)
Morne Morkel (South Africa, Left-hand batsman, Right-arm fast bowler)
Shane Watson (Australia, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm fast bowler)
Sohail Tanveer (Pakistan, Left-arm pace bowler, Left-arm batsman)
Taruwar Kohli (India, Right-hand batsman, Right-arm medium pace bowler)
Ravindra Jadeja (India, Left-hand batsman, Slow left-arm orthodox bowler)

Money involved in IPL …

IPL is a new concept and Modi is pleased with the kind of revenue BCCI has managed to generate -- Rs 4,000 crore (Rs 40 billion) from television broadcasting rights and another Rs 3,000 crore (Rs 30 billion) from franchising the eight teams.
In a few days, the team owners will bid for players that they want in their teams. The estimated value of each player could range from Rs 20 lakh (Rs 2 million) to Rs 2 crore (Rs 20 million) depending on his experience and stature.

IPL revenue…

TV rights of $1.026 billion for 10 years from Sony-World Sports Group (WSG).
Team franchises: $726 million for 10 years.
Prize money: 16% of TV revenues, with winner taking purse of $4 million (about Rs 16 crores)
Franchisees: 8 who will get 64% of TV revenues to begin with, share becoming less as teams are added and tapering down over the 10 years of the contract.
Players: Up to 130 players, including 32 from a foreign pool of 84 IPL contracted cricketers, are likely to get sums ranging from $1 million to a minimum anticipated wage of $50,000 per season.
ODI comparison: In a typical ODI in India, BCCI gets close to $8.5 million from TV. Title, ground and apparel sponsors pay $1 million, ground sponsorship $1.7 million, bringing a total revenue of $11 million per match day.IPL figures will be far less per match day. BCCI is worth nearly Rs 10 billion from current total assets of Rs 9.6 billion of which investments are Rs 7.5 billion. Last fiscal profits were Rs 232 crores.National first class cricketer: Earns match fees of Rs 35,000 per day and shares prize money for domestic tournaments of Rs 4.2 crores.
International cricketer: Earns match fees of Rs 2.60 lakhs per ODI and Rs 3.5 lakhs per Test, besides an annual retainer ranging from Rs 60 lakhs to Rs 25 lakhs, depending on his rating in four categories.
IPL fees: Ranges from $400,000 to a projected minimum of $50,000 per player per season.

Who will get what

Television rights fee from Sony-WSG - 20 per cent of $ 918 m
Promotion fee from Sony-WSG - $ 100 m
Franchisee fee - $ 723.6 m
Central sponsorship money - BCCI will keep 40% of the total
Merchandising revenue - 12.5% of the totalTeam owners (individually) Broadcasting share - 10% of BCCI's TV rights
Central sponsorship - 7.5% of the total
Gate receipts - 100%Merchandising - 11 % of the total
Stadium hospitality - 100%Prize money - $ 3 m for the winning team
PlayersAuction money - Could swing from a few lakhs to croresSalaries - Minimum to be paid $ 20,000 a year
Endorsements - Individual deals
BroadcasterRevenue from advertising (Rs 225,000 lakh per 10 seconds) Subscription from cable TV viewers

IPL T20 fixtures……

April 18: Bangalore v Kolkata at Bangalore
April 19: Mohali v Chennai at Mohali and Delhi v Jaipur at Delhi
April 20: Mumbai v Bangalore at Mumbai; Kolkata v Hyderabad at Kolkata April 21: Jaipur v Mohali at Jaipur
April 22: Hyderabad v Delhi at Hyderabad
April 23: Chennai v Mumbai at Chennai
April 24: Hyderabad v Jaipur at Hyderabad
April 25: Mohali v Mumbai at Mohali
April 26: Bangalore v Jaipur at Bangalore; Chennai v Kolkata at Chennai
April 27: Mumbai v Hyderabad at Mumbai; Mohali v Delhi at Mohali
April 28: Bangalore v Chennai at Bangalore
April 29: Kolkata v Mumbai at Kolkata
April 30: Delhi v Bangalore at Delhi.
May 1: Hyderabad v Mohali at Hyderabad; Jaipur v Kolkata at Jaipur
May 2: Chennai v Delhi at Chennai.
May 3: Hyderabad at Bangalore at Hyderabad; Mohali v Kolkata at Mohali
May 4: Mumbai v Delhi at Mumbai; Jaipur v Chennai at Jaipur
May 5: Bangalore v Mohali at Bangalore
May 6: Chennai v Hyderabad at Chennai
May 7: Mumbai v Jaipur at Mumbai
May 8: Delhi v Chennai at Delhi; Kolkata v Bangalore at Kolkata
May 9: Jaipur v Hyderabad at Jaipur
May 10: Bangalore v Mumbai at Bangalore; Chennai v Mohali at Chennai
May 11: Hyderabad v Kolkata at Hyderabad; Jaipur v Delhi at Jaipur
May 12: Mohali v Bangalore at Mohali
May 13: Kolkata v Delhi at Kolkata
May 14: Mumbai v Chennai at Mumbai; Mohali v Jaipur at Mohali
May 15: Delhi v Hyderabad at Delhi
May 16: Mumbai v Kolkata at Mumbai
May 17: Delhi v Mohali at Delhi; Jaipur v Bangalore at Jaipur
May 18: Hyderabad v Mumbai at Hyderabad; Kolkata v Chenna at Kolkata
May 19: Bangalore v Delhi at Bangalore
May 20: Kolkata v Jaipur at Kolkata
May 21: Mumbai v Mohali at Mumbai; Chennai v Bangalore at Chennai
May 22: Delhi v Kolkata at Delhi
May 23: Mohali v Hyderabad at Mohali.
May 24: Delhi v Mumbai at Delhi; Chennai v Jaipur at Chennai
May 25: Bangalore v Hyderabad at Bangalore; Kolkata v Mohali at Kolkata
May 26: Jaipur v Mumbai at Jaipur
May 27: Hyderabad v Chennai at Hyderabad
May 28 and 29: Rest days
May 30: First semi-final at Mumbai
May 31: Second semi-final at Mumbai
June 1: Final at Mumbai

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

India – South Africa Test Series

IPL 20Twenty series has been started in a big way. With almost all the big players of the world playing, it has been able to attract the attention of the whole world. But, I will discuss this whole IPL T20 series in my next posting. Here I want to discuss, just recently concluded test series between India and South Africa.

This whole series was like typical bollywood movie. It has got thrill, action, emotions, all the ups and down, and in the end happy ending (for Indians, of course ).

In the first test, Chepauk Chenai, provide a mouth watering track for the batsmen. The only way, the team could loose that match is by playing really bad. Well, South African team don’t have such habits. They send very strong signals to the Indian team that they mean business by posting a huge score of 540 in their first innings. India gave stern reply by scoring 627 in their first innings. Thanks to Virender Sehwag for his blistering 319. With comfortably poised on 468/1 at the end of day 3, they were bundled out for 627, just adding 159 runs and losing 9 wickets in the process. The only team that could win this test match at this juncture was India and South Africa was very much aware of that. They have to play it for draw, and they didn’t do any mistake. On that flat pitch it was not difficult also. They ended their second inning at the test match with 331/5.
If you try to take in depth review of this test match, you may get the feeling that it was South African team who has got psychological victory. Though India posted a mammoth score of 627 in their 1st innings, Sehwag has contributed more than 50% in that. But, in the case of South Africa that was not the case, their we centurion as well double centurion. So it was more like team effort than the individual efforts. Also in the bowling department, what I feel is that South Africa has performed better than India. Indian bowlers didn’t make any impact whatsoever. But, after overcoming the hindrance named Virender Sehwag, South African bowlers were all over Indian batsmen, winding them up very quickly. Thus, it was SA not India who excels in all the department of the game not India.

In second test, Motera Ahmedabad, it was all over for India in the first day itself, when they bundled out for just a paltry 76 runs. Though the pitch was more favorable to Africans than Indians, score of 76 runs in an innings can’t be justifiable. There was no devil in the pitch, and it was very much proved by fine batting performance of the Africans. India has to face one of the worst defeat of the recent times.

Third test, India had to win that. India used their most trusted formula, which work many times for them. Typical Indian turning pitch was waiting for SA at Green Park Kanpur. Just, after having first view of the pitch, Smith’s face become pale yellow. Even in the absence of Kumble, Indian bowlers proved lethal. In both the innings Africans were dancing on Harbhajan’s and Sehwag’s deliveries. Indians were also not that comfortable in their batting department but thanks to Dada’s (Ganguly) knock and Indian wagging tail, India could get valuable lead of 60 runs. In second innings Dravid and Ganguly made sure that their shouldn’t be more drama in that match. India leveled the series 1-1.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Great Adam Gilchrist

With the retirement of Adam Gilchrist, not only Australia but also the whole cricketing world has lost one of the greatest entertainers of the game. Arguably, he would be the best wicket keeper batsman world has ever seen. Well, he is one of my favorites, and really going to miss him. Here I got something about this great player and want to share with you. So, just check it out.

Adam Gilchrist

Full name Adam Craig Gilchrist

Born November 14, 1971, Bellingen, New South Wales

Current age 35 years

Major teams Australia, ICC World XI, New South Wales, Western Australia

Nickname Gilly

Playing role Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style Left-hand bat

Bowling style Right-arm offbreak

Fielding position Wicketkeeper

Test Debut Australia v Pakistan at Brisbane, 1st Test, 1999/00

ODI Debut Australia v South Africa at Faridabad, Titan Cup, 1996/97

First-class Debut New South Wales v Tasmania at Sydney, 1992/93

Adam Gilchrist entered the international cricketing scene as a wicket keeper/batsman with the Australian One Day International side against South Africa on 25th October 1996 in Faridabad. He was bowled by Alan Donald for 18, then effected his first dismissal by catching Hansie Cronje off Paul Reiffel for a duck. South Africa won the match by 2 wickets. In 1998, Steve Waugh elevated Adam to the pivotal position of opening batsman. In his second game, Adam scored 100 against South Africa and since then, has played a significant part in redefining the role of an opening batsman in One Day Internationals.

Adam was crucial in the team's winning performance in the 1999 and 2003 World Cups. Adam has taken a world record of over 400 dismissals in one day internationals and scored over 8600 runs at a phenomenal strike rate of almost 97 runs per 100 balls faced.

On 5th-9th November 1999, Adam replaced Ian Healy as wicketkeeper in the Australian test side in Brisbane against Pakistan. He was immediately into stride, taking his first dismissal by catching Mohammad Wasim off Damien Fleming for 18. Adam then scored 81 before being bowled by Shoaib Akhtar. Since that time, Adam has taken almost 370 dismissals in test matches and scored almost 5300 runs at an incredible strike of over 82 runs per 100 balls faced. Adam reached the 100 and 200 dismissal milestones faster than any other wicket keeper in test history and he is one of only two players to had averaged greater than 60 going through 3000 test runs.

Adam is the only wicketkeeper in Australia to have captained the Australian Test and One Day teams and is acknowledged for his leadership and outstanding contribution to the Australian team in both forms of the game.

Many critics believe that Adam is the greatest wicketkeeper/batsman to have played the game. But more than his statistics, it is the manner and spirit in which Adam plays the game that makes him one of the world's most exciting and popular cricketers. He already holds the record for the most sixes hit in Test cricket (97) and plays Test cricket in much the same way as he plays One-Day Internationals.

In 2004 Adam was selected in Richie Benaud's All Time Greatest Team. He joined Sir Donald Bradman, Dennis Lillee and Shane Warne who were also chosen in this illustrious team. Adam said that he was humbled to be chosen in the team in front of so many other outstanding players and by a person who himself is acknowledged as one of the finest to have played the game.

Gilly's Stats

The only Australian wicketkeeper to have captained his country in both Test and One-Day International cricket.

The fastest Test wicketkeeper to 100 test dismissals ( v England, Headingley 2001).

The fastest Test wicketkeeper to 200 test dismissals ( v Zimbabwe, Sydney 2003).

At the date of his retirement, held world record for the most dismissals in Test cricket - 416 dismissals. (Since surpassed by Mark Boucher of South Africa).

At the date of his retirement, was world record holder for the most number of wicketkeeping dismissals in One-Day International cricket(472).

World record-holder for the most dismissals in an innings in One-Day International cricket.

Fastest strike rate in the history of One-Day International cricket for a batsman scoring over 5,000 runs.

16 One-Day International centuries scored at an average of 96 balls faced.

Highest score in any World Cup Cricket Final - 149 on 28th April 2007 in West Indies.

Fastest century in World Cup Cricket Finals matches.

"Best of the Best": In 2007, voted by 39% of the 168 players to have represented Australia in One-Day Internationals as the greatest ODI player to have ever represented Australia. No other player polled more than 19%.

Fastest strike rate in the history of Test cricket for a batsman scoring over 5,000 runs.

17 Test centuries scored at an average of 108 balls faced.

Second fastest Test century ever recorded (57 balls - second to Viv Richards; 56 balls) but fastest by an Australian in Test cricket. Also scored several other quick centuries (e.g. 84 balls - v India, Mumbai 2001 and v Zimbabwe 2003).

One of only three batsman in the history of Test cricket to average over 60 through 3000 test runs.

First batsman in Test cricket history to hit 100 sixes.

World record holder for a wicketkeeper for playing consecutive Tests without ever being dropped for form or injury - 96 after the fourth Test against India in Adelaide, January 2008.

Courtesy : www.adamgilchrist.com

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fastest 100 in ODI

Have you seen Shahid Afrid's fastest 100 in ODI, if not then check this out........

Best of Sharne Warne

With due respect to other greats, In my book Shane Warne is a best spin bowler cricketing world has ever seen. I guess, many of you people will agree with my views. If you don't then just take a look at this video. This video shows the best 8 deliveries what Warne consider to be his best in test cricket.

India On TOP!

I don’t know after how many years India has defeated Australia in two consecutive one day international. In recent time the only team that has given some tough fight to mighty Australian is India. And after beating Australians in two consecutive finals to clinch the series, India has proved that they are not invincible. Now I got the feeling that this series might be the lowest point in Australian cricket in last four years. After the retirement of their two regular one day players (Adam Gilchrist and Brad Hogg) situation only going to get worse.
Well, for India all things are going very fine. Indians played really good cricket in Australia. Test series was close contest and they manage to win the one day series. India has also won under 19 world cup. So, in last month it was all India.

In last series of Australia we got Irfan Pathan and this time we got Ishaat Sharma and Praveen Kumar. Rohit Sharma has also done reasonably well. Manoj Tiwary has not done enough to impress the selectors but I think he should be given some more chances to prove himself. But, I am really disappointed to see that Dinesh Karthik and Suresh Raina was denied of enough opportunities to prove themselves, especially when Yuvraj was not performing at all.
Now, India is on their peak and ready to take on South Africa on their home turf. Indian shouldn’t be complacent of their victory over Australia. South Africa was always a great competitor. They won’t be easy nut to crack.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Into The Finals……

India has reached the finals of the on going ODI series in Australia. So far, india has played some good cricket. Or, I should say they are playing good cricket in ‘pockets’. I am saying this because, we are struggling to keep things going in every match. Only in last match we could able to achieve comfortable win, thanks to fantastic performance by our two young fast bowlers. We should have won atleast one more match, first match that we lost to Australia.

What I feel is that we are missing Dravid in the middle order. He used to give stability to the innings and carry the inning on his shoulder. In both the matches that we lost to Australia, problem was the same, we lost too many wickets too early. We are trying to many permutations combinations in the batting line up, but couldn’t solve the problem. Solution is simple, we want someone like Dravid in the ranks.

Dhoni is playing good cricket. But , this Dhoni is not the same person what we use to see some one year ago. Present Dhoni has lost his sharpness. We cant expect 36 runs from 66 balls from Dhoni, when team is chasing 317 runs to win. I don’t know why he is hesitating to bat up the order? I don’t know why he is changing his batting style? He shouldn’t forget that why he was picked in the team.

Australia are playing as a world champions, but I feel that they are not in best of touch. And India has got very good chance to beat them on their home turf. It will be a fight between young Indian side and experienced Australian side.

If India could win this series, then all the talks of seniors coming back in the ODI teams will stop once and for ever !!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

India-Australia test series........

Australia, India and Sri Lanka are into the one day series. And it was nothing but a boring start to the series with two abandoned contests in a row. But just concluded test series between Australia and India was one of the most exciting I have seen. It was full of drama, emotion, action and whatever you could find in typical bollywood movie. Lets discuss some of the issues there…..

Unwarranted Racial slur on Harbhajan……

Well this test series would be remembered more for the events happening off the field than on the field. Australians are infamous for bullying their opponents on the field. But this time they have tested the taste of their own medicine. This time also the issue was started by the Australians only, Bhajji just responded to them. Symonds accused Bhajji calling him ‘Monkey’ and Bhajji was saying that he called ‘Maaki’ not ‘Monkey’. It seems that Mr. Symonds was happy to be called ‘Maaki’ rather than ‘Monkey’. Well, decision came into Bhajji’s way and in my view its quite fare. Decision was given by the qualified judge and should respect that. But Australian is not happy with that decision they are accusing BCCI of using their money power to turn decision in their way. Decision was given by independent authority thus it suggest that Australians want to say that BCCI bribed judge, isn’t it??? Symond said that “People are questioning my integrity and this burns my heart.” Well people can question person’s integrity who was out atleast three times in a single inning and still continued to play (Sydney test).

Gilchrist said adieu to the cricket…..

In my book Gilchrist was the all time finest wicket keeper batsman in the world. And I know many carries the similar view. It is no doubt will be great loss to the Australian team. Well, Haddin is ready there to grab the Gilchrist position which he was holding for more than decade. But, I guess other team won’t complaint much. Now, within a year or so many quality players of the Australian team has retired (Langer, McGrath, Warne) and some of them are on the verge of their retirement. So, it’s a big question in front of them weather they can hold their position of “World Champion”.

Series Win for Australia but……..

Well, Australia has won the series, but win could go in the books as one of the controversial series between India and Australia ,thanks to all the controversies surrounding the Sydney test. ‘Satisfactory element’ is missing there. Well, I don’t think Australian bothers about it. For them winning was more important.

Positives for India……

Sorrow of losing the series will always be there for Indians, but there are some positive also which could be cherished. Last series of Australia gave India one fantastic bowler in ‘Irfan Phatan’ and this time we got ‘Ishaant Sharma’. This 19 years old, lanky fast bowler has shown enough promise, and could be long term prospect for India. Another big positive was ‘Virender Sehwag’, after losing his place in the Indian side he has returned with bang. His knock in the last match of test series will give him permanent seat in the Indian team. Dhoni was little off colour. But its only matter of time for him to come to his own groove.

Again the big talk after series involved Saurav Ganguly. Now there is no point in dragging this issue, selectors has made it clear that they don’t want Ganguly in the team. Ganguly should also understand this thing and should retire from one day.
Now India is doing well in the ongoing one day series. It is really interesting to see how Dhoni’s young brigade face the wrath of relative more experienced Australian and Sri lankan team.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

No more gentleman's game!

Hi…….Just concluded clash between India and Australia at SCGwas the record breaking 17 straight consecutive win for Australia, breaking the record of Steve Waugh of consecutive 16 wins. But, I real doubt that it would be remembered for the same reason. Because it was the test which has witnessed number of umpiring blunders and the most unsporting behavior of the host team in recent times. Just take a look of some of those………

Symond was out for atleast three times but he was not given out even once. He made a not out century (162). Give three lives to Kumble even he can score a century. But , why to blame Symonds, because it was Ponting who was leading them from the front. He want to win this match so much that, he downgraded himself and his team to play some cheap cricket. Even Gavaskar can’t resist himself. Let’s see what he has said about Ponting ……….

It was not the first time happening with Australia. Remember underarm delivery. They are the most talented team, but I am sorry to say they are the most unsporting and arrongant as well.