Friday, February 19, 2010

India South Africa 2010 Test Series: Match 2 Day 3

What a day for India!

  • Once again, a marriage across generations. On one side, you had the fluent Laxman and on the other side, a brutal Dhoni. Let's compare their style a bit

  • VVS Laxman is for a purist. Elegant, beauty to watch him bat, correct technique, minimum efforts for the maximum results, superb timing, accurate placement. Great efficiency while batting. Very patient. E.g. he played 6-7 overs without a run on this day. Hardly ever plays a shot in anger.

  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Backhand specialist. Hits every shot - even a single with a lot of power. Belongs to the Symonds, KP, Polard, Gilchrist generation. Great personality and charm. Outgoing, outspoken and successful

  • South African agony was increased after they put down the catches. Catches Win Matches. & Drops Loose Matches. What a good prrof of that in the whole series.

Monday, February 15, 2010

India South Africa Test series Match 2 Day 2

  • Why on the earth did Mahendra Singh Dhoni - the India captain, send a night watchman? I am never a fan of those. Its a sign of fear and flawed logic. If Dhoni can't stay for long at the crease, how can some worse batter do it?

  • The South African bowling attack was really shattered today. Sehwag toyed with them. And Sachin dismantled them slowly. What a pair!

  • Wayne Parnell does not deserve a place in this team. Maybe the old war-horse Mkhaya Ntini will replace him in future series

  • What a waste of opportunity by M. Vijay and Subramaniam Badrinath! Suddenly, the future Indian batting generation looks weak again

  • Should India not win this match from this point, they would deserve a fast dropdown from rankings. The match is now perfectly setup for a clinical finish for them. Will they have the killer punch? The knock-out strength?

  • Or will the coming-back-from-behind champion attitude be demonstrated by the champion Test cricket team - The Proteas?

  • Sehwag and Gambhir took some really awesome singles in the morning. That's the key to their success, I think. What an anti climax that their stand had to be broken by a run-out!

  • Great crowd at the Eden Gardens, Kolkatta. Way to go...

Cricket: India Vs. South Africa 2nd Test Match - Day 1 @ Eden Gardens, Kolkatta

My quotes:

  • Why did Pieterson come in as an opener when Aswell Prince was in the line up? It proves that Prince is the non-preferred opener. Not good for the team balance.

  • One of the most famous turnarounds. 8 wickets in 50 runs! No wonder that they call this team Chockers :-)

  • Talking about Bunnies of opener captains, Graeme Smith is the biggest bunny that I can remember. More than Darryl Cullinan of Shane Warne. Hats of to ZAKS.

  • Zaheer Khan, match after match, looks like a better and better bowler. OLD WINE :-) Much like Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, Javagal Srinath. Very un-like Anil Kumble :-)

  • Harbhajan Singh also keeps making comebacks. Another great bowler in the team

  • India still miss an all-rounder. Even he is a national level and not international class, he must be given a chance in Tests. Candidates? Ravindra Jadeja, Irfan Pathan, Yousuf Pathan, Abhishek Nayar. Anyone else? I always believe in Long Term Vs. Short and Higher Risks for Higher Returns. Got to make the difficult choice sometimes. I am hugely disappointed that Dhoni has not tried it yet.

  • Hats off to Ishant Sharma for being the rawdy fast bowler that every good team so desperately needs

  • Is Amit Mishra good enough to deserve so many chances in Tests? Or are there no other good enough spinners in India anymore? Why not Ramesh Powar?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

India South Africa Test 1 Day 4

- Only one team played like Champions and deserved to be one.
- The all rounder question has come back to haunt India again.
- Dhoni has lost a game. And has fortunately not given any excuses.
- Selectors have admitted a mistake and have now moved on.
- If Dinesh Karthick has been selected now, in the 2nd Test, then why was he not selected in the First?
- Sreesanth is back in the Indian cricket team - despite doing nothing of note in the last 2 months! Inexplicable!
- Why is Yousuf Pathan not in the team?
- Only two players from India had the fire in the belly to reach 3 figures. Sehwag & Sachin. But they both got out after reaching 100. Whereas the 2 centurions from South Africa made it big - and that was the difference in the two teams.
- What type of pitch will it be? Minefield? Dead rubber? Even? Or a fast one!
- If this does not motivate the India Cricket Test team, then nothing else can. 0-1 down. Test championship up for grabs. Home record on the brink of collapsing. It is NOW or NEVER.


Monday, February 08, 2010

India Vs. South Africa 1st Test Day 3

Interesting bullets:

  • Sehwag deserves to be a strong contender for the player of the last decade. More on that later, in some other blog post.

  • Dale Steyn is the best bowler in the world at the moment. Hands Down.

  • Golden Words: Getting out caught behind the stumps is always less embarrassing than getting bowled - leaving the ball.

  • The worst way to end the day for the ever so successful Sehwag is to send him to the face the press when all others in the team are too ashamed to face them.

  • What is the worst quote of the year (already!)? "I was trying to smell the ball - that's why I bit it". Second worst: "The new ball was very helpful. It started to suddenly move around. The seam came off and then it swung like hell" from Dayle Steyn. Why on the earth would you say such thing when you have taken 8 wickets in a day? Can someone coach them Media Management? Not to reveal all the secrets?

  • Not that the NEW-BALL episode is a controversy yet, but where are all the rules? And the rule makers? And the Ball Makers? Why do you need to change the ball every so often? Why is a replacement ball so different than the routine ball, that it can change the course of the match/series?

  • Can India save this yet? Yes they can. Will they save this one? They might.

  • Can India win this yet? They have, in the past. They still can. But they may not... Based on first 3 days, they don't deserve to!

  • What do champion teams do when they are down and out? They gather all their reserve energies, dig deep and bounce back. Is India a Champion team? Will their 9 batsmen play out then (minimum) 9 to 10 hours? . . .

India South Africa 1st Test @ Nagpur Day 2

My comments:

  • Who selects the playing 11 for India? Selection panel / team management (including captain Dhoni, Coach Kirsten and Vice captain Sehwag)?

  • The bowlers did not bowl good enough to get 10 wickets. But did they disappoint? Were they BAD? Even on the 2nd day, at least 2 chances were dropped, one plumb LBW missed. Its all so pathetic. India's fielding has plummeted in the recent past. They deserve a kick from the board (and by they, I also mean the coaches)

  • Has Sachin stopped bowling? Why?

  • Kallis was too slow. Looks like he was shooting for a draw instead of going for the kill. 3 runs or so per over is so 1990's! I feel that it is this difference between South Africa and other good teams (sometimes India and Australia) that becomes a hurdle in their way of becoming champions. Lack of Knockout Punch

  • Where has the Active Sports option in DTH gone? Tata Sky, are you listening?

  • AB Devilliers looks like the next star for South Africa. After JP Duminy has failed after achieving the stardom. ABD showed great attitude today, I think he can become a future captain.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

India South Africa 1st Test Match @ Nagpur - Day 1

A few observations

  • Rohit Sharma likes football more than Cricket

  • Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra can turn the ball, but cannot get wickets even on a turning pitch @ Home

  • South Africa 2 down for 6 in 6 overs. And then no wicket the whole day! What a classic...

  • India drop 1.5 half chances. Add these 2 wickets, pressure, good fielding and count in one more. 300 for 5 would have been a 50-50% score

  • Don't worry about who is playing and who is not. If India are to save this match, they must score (At least) 500 in the first innings

  • Why don't India play/groom an All Rounder like Abhishek Nayar? Would have been so useful to have a fifth (legitimate) bowler on such a hard day in the field
  • Kallis is THE BEST

  • Hashim Amla has turned out to be an under-rated out-performer

  • All Indian bowlers lacked teeth except Zaks-Zaheer-Khan who was good at the start of the day.

  • Empty stands on a weekend in a much-anticipated Test match? Disappointing...

Friday, February 05, 2010

India - South Africa Test Series

- World No 1 Vs. World No 2
- Best opening new ball pair vs. Best openers in the last few years
- Two very good, smart, successful and young captains against each other

What a mouth watering contest!

My prediction:
I think with Dravid out and with a struggling bowling unit (except Zaks) India will find it tough to beat South Africa. They will concentrate all energies against India after England, Arthur Gate and Board craziness. Their team looks fit and raring to go - with a good mix of youth and experience.

If India do manage to beat them, though, they will deserve the tag of Champions!

3 cheers to Cricket...