Sunday, October 21, 2007

India proved supremacy in Twenty20

The Indian side looked strong from the word go in the first Twenty20 ever played on Indian soil.

The best thing that I liked about the game was that the entire team appeared united and every player was actively involved in a positive spirit.

The Australian bowlers just did not stand a chance. In fact there was a stage when I felt that the Australian side was looking helpless. They just could not understand what went wrong overnight.

The same Australian team dominated the entire ODI series of 7 games, but in this one Twenty20 match the tables looked turned about.

The strength displayed by the Indian team was just too great. Even Sehwag's early dismissal was unable to spoil the sentiment even of a moment. Gambhir, Uthappa, Yuvraj, Dhoni were on top.

In the game at Brabourne Statium in Mumbai, Dhoni's Devils proved that they are worth of the World Championship Title that they won at South Africa in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2007 less than a couple of months ago.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

There is no place for racism in life

An excellent tour of Australia in India for 7 ODI games has come to an end.

The tour will go down in the annals of Indian cricket with a black spot where a talented member of the guest team was subjected to racist comments by the Indian audiences at more than one venue.

After the Vadodara game Andrew Symonds had reported against racist abuse from the audience. The matter was viewed seriously by the ICC, the Indian board and the Australian board. Sharad Pawar and Creagh O'Connor presidents of BCCI and Cricket Australia respectively even issued a joint statement that there was no place for racism in cricket just before the match at Mumbai.

Unfortunately, the incident was repeated at Mumbai on 17th October during the last ODI of the series. A photographer captured certain spectators enacting monkey chants on camera.

I agree with Ricky Ponting that there are many people in the country who find the incident embarassing. It is shameful that such behaviour has been witnessed in India, a country that takes pride for its secularism.

I can only hope and pray that such incidents are not repeated. Not only on the cricket ground but nowhere. There is no place for racism in life.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Andrew Symonds shines at Nagpur

Australian middle order batsman and all-rounder - Andew Symonds - was the man of the day at Nagpur in the 6th ODI against India on 14 October 2007, Sunday.

A consistent and reliable player - Andrew - played true to his reputation.

His unbeaten century (107 in 88 balls) paved the wave for a huge total of 317 that the Australian side compiled when they batted first after winning the toss. As a bowler he proved himself to be the most economical - 10 overs 39 runs.

All in all - he stood out as the single name that played an important role in Australia's 18 run win against India.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Vadodara game brought India to its knees

The Indian cricket team which was up to now basking in the rays of the Twenty20 victory has been humbled by the Australian side.

Neither the Indian batsmen nor bowlers were able to cope up to the Australian attack. Loosing all wickets for a meagre 148 left scope for lot of criticism from all types of cricket loving audiences.

The Australians on the other hand have played consistent cricket. A steady game - consistent batting and bowling performances. They were on top during the 5th ODI palyed at Vadodara right from the word go.

It brought back memories of the ICC World Cup 2007 played in West Indies in March-April 2007, how the Indian cricket team was not able to even make it to Super 8 Series.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Phew! India and its close finish victories

It seems that the Indian cricket side has made it an habit of close finish / nail biting victories.

Since the start of the Twenty20 games, all the victories that the country's cricket team has managed to claim all have been close finishes. All games were open right to the last over with scales tipping from one side to the other like a wild pendulum.

This was also the case in the yesterday's 4 ODI match against Australia that was played at Chandigarh. After loosing 2 games and 1 draw (washout) the Indian team fought back hard to bring itself back into the series.

Right into the last over the game was wide open with the opponents standing a better chance to win Dhoni's Devils fought and fought good. They managed to win the match and tame the Australian Kangaroos who have been on a winning spree all around the global arena.

The Indian team needs to buck up and put a little more into the game so that the audiences have a comfortable time watching their team win, instead of the present high tension scenario that sends the viewers' blood pressure shooting through the roof.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The pressure on seniors is very high

Post Twenty20 the pressure on the senior players who have rejoined the team has increased many fold.

Known as stalwarts of the Indian side - Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly - face the extra pressure during the series against Australia that is being played in India this season.

Dhoni and his team played excellent cricket and showed team work in South Africa to win the hearts of the Indian masses. The team had to be re-aligned to accommodate the seniors of Indian Cricket.

If their performance is not up to the mark they are definitely in for a lashing from the cricket fans. The first game saw Sachin dump his wicket in the very third over at Bangalore. Luckily, rain washed out the game and stopped any adverse reaction to the miserable display was suppressed.

Had India lost, these senior players would have definitely not have heard the last of it.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Twenty20 team receives a hero's welcome

After conquering the world in the Twenty20 tournament just concluded at South Africa, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys have reached India on 26 September 2007.

They were awarded a hero's welcome.

From the airport the team went taken to Wankade Stadium for a felicitation ceremony organized in their honour. They travelled the route in an open bus, waving out to the thousands of fans who lined the streets to greet them.

Traffic jams and rains failed to douse any of the enthusiasm of either the fans or the cricketers.

At the stadium, however, the politicians tried to hog the show. BCCI big guns and Maharashtra politicos sat in the front row on the stage. Captain Dhoni was the only one to get a seat in the front row.

The politicians were immediately taken by the press for trying to shine in the light of the cricketers achievements.

The team prepares for the forthcoming games against the Australians which will be played in India.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dhoni and his boys lift 1st Twenty20 World Cup

India has done it.

The young men of Dhoni have done what the seniors were unable to do at West Indies earlier this year. They have restored the faith of the nation on India's cricketing strength.

Dhoni and his team has lifted the First Twenty20 World Cup at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on 24th September 2007.

It was a nail biting finish. Traditional arch rivals India and Pakistan fought hard for the trophy.

Pakistani bowlers put the breaks on the Indian batsmen. They successfully restricted the Indian batting order to a score of 157 at the loss of 5 wickets in 20 overs - a big score by conventional cricketing standards but quite small in the Twenty20 format.

When it was their turn, the Indian bowlers were not to be left behind. RP Singh and Irfan Pathan took 3-3 wickets each, while Sreesanth got 1. JP Sharma got 2 wickets, including the last wicket which got Misbah-ul-Haq. The sweep from Misbah-ul-Haq misfired and landed in the hands of Sreesanth.

All the best to the MS Dhoni and his boys on a splendid performance and congratulations everybody.

For more on the last match - see what the official web site has to say.

Here's an interesting heading... Wow! What a game. 1st Twenty20 World Cup goes to India

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Yuvraj Singh - Just wow!

Yuvraj Singh - Indian middle order batsman - just drove his fans crazy on 19 September 2007.

In the match Twenty20 game, India vs England, at Durban he drove each and every delivery off Stuard Broad over the boundary for sixes. Each hit was a good stroke - no fluke or blind strokes.

6 sixes in 6 balls - wow! He created history.

He scored 50 in just 12 balls - that too has gone down in history as the fastest ever in Twenty20 cricket by any batsman. In 16 balls he scores 58 runs.

His big innings was all that made the difference in the match which England lost by 18 runs.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

MS Dhoni is captain of Indian ODI team

Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, first arrived on the One-Day international cricket scene in Dec 2004 at Chittagong against Bangladesh. He made is Test Match debut almost a year later in Dec 2005 in Chennai against Sri Lanka.

Within 3 years, he has been selected as the Captain of the One Day International team of India. He shall lead the ODI team on the forth coming Australian tour.

The captain's berth had been recently vacated by Rahul Dravid when he put in his papers after the returning home from the England series.

The quest to finalize the captain for the Test Match teams is still on. Sachin Tendulkar has, reportedly, turned down the offer for the position.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is also the captain of the Indian Twenty20 team that is playing in ICC World Twenty20 - South Africa 2007.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

India vs Pakistan - An Electrifying Finish

The Twenty20 games witnessed a tie last night in a very interesting match that was played India v/s Pakistan.

Fears of a wash out loomed large as rains disrupted the beginning of the . The previous days game between India and Scotland had been lost to rains. But the game started shortly without any change in the number of overs to be played.

Tension could be felt in the air as Pakistan matched India's total of 141 in the last over. In the last ball, Pakistan needed only 1 run to win.

Wow! the pressure. I considered it more probable that Mashib-ul-Haq would get that run. But, still the Indian side was not willing to let go. Sreesanth's last delivery, Mashib tried to hit, but could not hit hard enough, stil he ran only to be run-out by Sreesanth at the bowler's end.

Then came the bowl out. Indian bowlers scored on each of the 3 balls bowled, but none of the Pakistani bowlers were able to strike the stumps.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Impressive start to the Twenty20 games in South Africa

It was powerplay all throughout.

A combined total of 413 runs in 40 overs by the two sides in a playtime of about 3 hours.

South Africa won the toss and elected to field first.

The West Indies amassed 205 runs, as what would appear to be a massive total by One Day International standards, in the allotted 20 overs. South Africa delivered an equally fast game by scoring 208 runs to achieve that target in 2nd ball of the 18th over.

The game today saw a shower of boundaries. There were 54 occasions in the course of the match when the balls travelled across the boundary for a 4 or 6 during the game. The impressive knock of 117 runs in 57 balls with 7 fours and 10 sixes earned him his man of the match.

The series certainly promises to be entertaining from the perspecitve of an audience.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

ICC World Twenty20 starts today at South Africa

ICC World Twenty20 - South Africa 2007 starts today at South Africa. The first game of the World Cup tournament will be played between South Africa and West Indies at Johannesburg.

The Twenty20 tournament at South Africa is set to usher a new era in the life of the game of Cricket. Each match in this tournament is expected to last about 3 hours, during which each side will face one inning each of maximum of 20 overs.

Some of the major differences in the rules from convention cricket are as follows...

  • Each no ball will cost the bowler 2 runs and the next ball shall be a free hit ball. The rules for a no-ball will apply for this ball, ie The batsman can be dismissed only by a run-out, hitting the ball twice, obstructing the field or handling the ball.

  • Each bowler gets maximum 4 overs.

  • Umpires can penalize either side with 5-run penalties for wasting time.

  • At the most there can be 5 fielders on the leg side at any time.

  • Maximum 2 fielders outside the 30 yard circle for the first 6 overs.

  • Maximum 5 fielders outside the 30 yard circle after the first 6 overs.

  • 20th over must start by the 75th minute. 6 penalty runs per over will be added to the score for the overs bowled after the 75th minute.

  • In case of a tie there will be a bowl-out to decide the winner.
The popularity of the present tournament will decide the fate of the Twenty20 format. The first international game in this format was first played on 13 June 2005 between England and Australia in Hampshire.

CRIC-GAME - Interesting Cricket Issues

I am starting this new blog today to focus on interesting cricket related issues.