Tag Archives: Asia Cup

Irfan replaces Vinay Kumar

Irfan Pathan replaces Vinay Kumar for the Sri Lankan ODI series to begin later this month. Vinay Kumar suffered from an hamstring injury and has been ruled out for 3 weeks. The addition of Irfan for sure is a blessing for India as this gives them an all-round option in the line up.

Speaking to the press after the announcement Irfan said he is ready for the series and hopes to give his best.

“Obviously, when I was overlooked initially, I was thinking about what are the areas I needed to work upon and was focusing on my training at the National Cricket Academy,” Irfan told PTI.

“I am pretty satisfied with the hours that I have put in at the nets and in the indoor sessions there. After this call-up, the focus will shift to the Lankan series.”

Irfan will be hoping for a good show in this series and would hope to cement his place in the ODI X1. He seemed to have his swing back when he played in the Asia cup earlier this year and his batting would be a definite advantage for the Indian team lower down the order.

“I played 8 ODIs after my comeback and have got 13 wickets. I have scored around 100 runs in the five innings that I have batted. For someone like me, the more I play international matches, the better I will get,” signed off Irfan.

 

 

Asia Cup squad – Seniors return as expected

Mahindra Singh Dhoni will want a good performance from the team after the debacle at the World T20 and Zimbabwe

The team for Asia cup was announced earlier this week and as expected the seniors have returned to the squad after being rested for the tri-series in Zimbabwe. The experiment of playing an A team in Zimbabwe back fired badly as India crashed out without making the finals losing twice to Zimbabwe. The Indian bowling was poor and the batsmen were inconsistent. The star performers from that tri series have been retained though in the squad to Srilanka for the Asia cup (The other two teams being Pakistan and Bangladesh).

Rohit Sharma who made two centuries in Zimbabwe makes the squad, so does Virat Kohli. The selectors have given another chance to Dinda who was ordinary in Zimbabwe and also Ravichandran Aswin who turned in a decent performance in the only chance he got on the tour. Ravindra Jadeja has been retained in the squad after he scored couple of valuable 50’s on the tour, even though his bowling and fielding has been largely disappointing.

Yuvraj Singh has been dropped for the Asia cup due to his poor form and fitness. He was one of the members in the squad pointed out by Gary Kirsten as being unfit to play any form of cricket. Yuvraj’s form has deserted him since his return from injury and I hope that he takes this break on his stride and really works on his fitness and form. He is a brilliant limited overs player and India would want him fit and firing for the World Cup next year in India.

Sachin Tendulkar has been rested for the Asia cup as per his request to be able to spend more time with his family. The rest of the squad pick themselves with Dhoni returning as the captain of the team. Ghambir and Sehwag will return to the top of the order with Raina, Kohli and Rohit forming the middle order. The all-rounder spot will be up for grabs and will be a tossup between Aswin and Jadeja. Dhoni will be back donning the gloves followed by Bajji, Zaheer, Praveen and Nehra completing the X1.

Saurabh Tiwary makes his India debut after a brilliant IPL for the Mumbai Indians. I doubt that he will make it to the final X1 though unless there is a injury or a dead game where India can experiment. I hope that he gets a chance though as he is an exciting talent.

All in all a decent job by the selectors considering the options they had. The onus will be on the experience of Sehwag, Ghambir and Dhoni. The bowling even though experienced might do okay on the slow Lankan pitches. Bajji will be crucial and so will the part-time spinners. I hope that we put up a decent performance this time and hopefully will reach the finals.

Squad: MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Pragyan Ojha, Ashok Dinda, R Ashwin, Saurabh Tiwary.

Young bowlers disappoint in the Zimbabwe tri-series

Dinda has been very disappointing in the ongoing tri-series in Zimbabwe

The ongoing tri-series in Zimbabwe has proven one thing for sure that India will continue to struggle with the bowling well into the future. When Ishant Sharma made his debut he looked the part. He troubled the best of the best and bowled with pace and accuracy. There was never a doubt that he had enormous talent. The only frustrating part is that he let it all go within the matter of a year.

This has been the problem with the Indian bowling over the years. They all come in with a bang but fade away in couple of years. The list is endless; Nehra, Pathan, Munaf, Sreesanth, RP Singh, Ishant Sharma etc. have followed the same pattern. But looking at the current set of bowlers in Zimbabwe, they seem well short of International standard. None of them have even troubled a Zimbabwe team who has hardly played any international cricket.

This shows that we don’t have any good prospects coming up in the near future to take over the bowling mantle. So with the Indian team having a busy schedule ahead of them this year we surely need Ishant and Sreesanth back to their best. With India playing tests against Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa this year, we need one of these two to be back to their best. Even though BCCI had a noble thought of playing almost an A team in the Zimbabwe series I feel that they missed a trick by not having an experienced bowler to guide these youngsters.

If not Zaheer, they should have at least had Irfan or RP Singh as it would have also given them a chance to make a comeback to the Indian team. With all the bowlers being new and with zero international experience, they have come well short of expectations. Losing to Zimbabwe two games in a row is unacceptable even for an Indian A team.

Umesh Yadav, even though looks promising is way inconsistent to bowl at the international level, so is Dinda. With the spinners also disappointing in the current series it seems like it will be difficult to look past Bajji for some time to come. India needs to really unearth a potent combination soon as they have few important series coming up.

So it will be interesting to see what the bowling combination would be for the upcoming series in Srilanka and the Asia cup. I am expecting Zaheer and Bajji to be back in the test team but the rest of the attack is still undecided. I guess it’s time to go back to Ishant and Sreesanth and hope that they hit form.

No Surprises in the test squad

The Indian team for the upcoming Srilankan tour was selected couple of days ago and predictably the seniors were back in the side. Gautham Gambhir made it back to the test team due to his great showing in the ODI’s and Twenty20 and Pragyan Ojha was also drafted in the 16. Gambhir’s inclusion in the side was expected as he has been our most consistant player over the last 8 months or so and deserved a chance at the top of the order in tests. Rohit Sharma also made it to the test squad owing to his great performances in the one dayers but I doubt that he will make it to the final X1.

The notable absentees in the test squad were Yuraj Singh and Irfan Pathan and Harbajan Singh made it back into the team after serving a ban for slapping Sreesanth in the IPL. Quite frankly I am not that surprised or puzzled on the omission of Yuvraj as he was given a long run in the middle order after his hundred against pakistan. Yuvraj has always produced that one special innings time to time but lacks the consistancy at the test level. Irfan’s was more of a shock as he had performed creditably in the test series in Australia bagging man of the match award in the perth test match.

But overall the selectors have done a great job. The batting looks solid and the bowling attack seems decent. India possess a great top six and I would go to an extent of calling them the best in the world when it comes of. Sehwag and Gambhir will open in the first test for sure, followed by Dravid, Sachin, Ganguly and Laxman. Parthiv or Karthik will occupy the number 7 spot. The advantage for the Indians with Karthik and Parthiv is that they can also open the batting if we decide to go with 5 bowlers. Pathan’s absence might leave a long tail for India but I guess thats the risk we have to take in the absence of a genuine allrounder in the squad.

The bowling will depend on the pitch conditions and I would prefer Ojha in the place of Harbajan if we go with two spinners. Ojha was very impressive in the Asia cup as he was able to get wickets in the middle overs, a department India struggle a lot in ODI. India will go with Zaheer and Ishant if playing only two pace bowlers. Overall the test series will be a great watch as everyone will be eager to see how the seniors handle mendis after his stupendous showing in the Asia Cup. Dhoni openly admitted in the media that the Indian batsmen were clueless against the genial spinner from Srilanka after the Asia Cup final.

Dhoni will not be playing in this series giving an opportunity to either Karthik or Parthiv to showcase their talent. All in all an interesting battle is on the cards when the two team meet on the 23rd of July at the SSC.

No Surprises in the test squad

Prgyan Ojha and Rohit Sharma

Prgyan Ojha and Rohit Sharma

The Indian team for the upcoming Srilankan tour was selected couple of days ago and predictably the seniors were back in the side. Gautham Gambhir made it back to the test team due to his great showing in the ODI’s and Twenty20 and Pragyan Ojha was also drafted in the 16. Gambhir’s inclusion in the side was expected as he has been our most consistant player over the last 8 months or so and deserved a chance at the top of the order in tests. Rohit Sharma also made it to the test squad owing to his great performances in the one dayers but I doubt that he will make it to the final X1.

The notable absentees in the test squad were Yuraj Singh and Irfan Pathan and Harbajan Singh made it back into the team after serving a ban for slapping Sreesanth in the IPL. Quite frankly I am not that surprised or puzzled on the omission of Yuvraj as he was given a long run in the middle order after his hundred against pakistan. Yuvraj has always produced that one special innings time to time but lacks the consistancy at the test level. Irfan’s was more of a shock as he had performed creditably in the test series in Australia bagging man of the match award in the perth test match.

But overall the selectors have done a great job. The batting looks solid and the bowling attack seems decent. India possess a great top six and I would go to an extent of calling them the best in the world when it comes of. Sehwag and Gambhir will open in the first test for sure, followed by Dravid, Sachin, Ganguly and Laxman. Parthiv or Karthik will occupy the number 7 spot. The advantage for the Indians with Karthik and Parthiv is that they can also open the batting if we decide to go with 5 bowlers. Pathan’s absence might leave a long tail for India but I guess thats the risk we have to take in the absence of a genuine allrounder in the squad.

The bowling will depend on the pitch conditions and I would prefer Ojha in the place of Harbajan if we go with two spinners. Ojha was very impressive in the Asia cup as he was able to get wickets in the middle overs, a department India struggle a lot in ODI. India will go with Zaheer and Ishant if playing only two pace bowlers. Overall the test series will be a great watch as everyone will be eager to see how the seniors handle mendis after his stupendous showing in the Asia Cup. Dhoni openly admitted in the media that the Indian batsmen were clueless against the genial spinner from Srilanka after the Asia Cup final.

Dhoni will not be playing in this series giving an opportunity to either Karthik or Parthiv to showcase their talent. All in all an interesting battle is on the cards when the two team meet on the 23rd of July at the SSC.

Choking Hazard


Yet another finals and yet another loss. Its been a common sight in recent times to see the Indian team come to the final of a tournament and lose heavily in the same. When India won the Twenty20 world cup and the CB series in Australia all of us thought that the trend has reversed and the young Indian team has found a way to win the finals too. As seen in the last to finals it was not to be the case. The Indians after great performances in the round robin stages in both the Asia Cup and Kitply cup lost in finals to hand the trophy to Srilanka and Pakistan respectively.

This has been a problem for the men in blue for a long time now since the days when Ganguly was in charge (Azhar had more luck in the finals). Before the Twenty20 world cup India hardly won any tournament comprising of more than 2 teams since the 1999 World Cup. The only tournament India won was the Natwest Series due to the brilliance of Yuvraj and Kaif. Even in that final we were well on the way to another defeat before the great partnership happened. If we discount the Champions Trophy (2002) and the TVS Cup (2003) which we shared with srilanka and South Africa respectively, India hardly won any finals.

Well when we dwell into the reasons of those failures we can immediately zero in on the inconsistancy of the Indian top order in crunch games. The reason India was able to win the CB series against the Australia was because of the top order performances. Sachin and Uthappa gave India bright starts and the middle order capitalised on the same to seal victory. The Indian bowling also seemed to raise to the challenge in both the finals.Twenty20 win was due to the heroics of another top order batsmen, this time it was Gambhir. The Indian bowling also seem to choke in crucial games and lack the consistancey required for a tournament final, who can forget the nervous opening over from Zaheer in 2003 worldcup finals to hand the initiative to Australia. Zaheer also had trouble in the 2000 edition of ICC Knockout trophy against the Kiwis.

India would probably figure in the top 5 for the teams played in most finals but in bottom 3 for the teams winning tournament. Its seems like we have taken over the “Chokers” tag which was famously associated with the South African team. The Indian one day captain Dhoni would want to reverse this trend as soon as possible as this might become a habit for teams.

Choking Hazard

Dhoni Out in the Finals

Dhoni Out in the Finals

Yet another finals and yet another loss. Its been a common sight in recent times to see the Indian team come to the final of a tournament and lose heavily in the same. When India won the Twenty20 world cup and the CB series in Australia all of us thought that the trend has reversed and the young Indian team has found a way to win the finals too. As seen in the last to finals it was not to be the case. The Indians after great performances in the round robin stages in both the Asia Cup and Kitply cup lost in finals to hand the trophy to  Srilanka and Pakistan respectively.

This has been a problem for the men in blue for a long time now since the days when Ganguly was in charge (Azhar had more luck in the finals). Before the Twenty20 world cup India hardly won any tournament comprising of more than 2 teams since the 1999 World Cup. The only tournament India won was the Natwest Series due to the brilliance of Yuvraj and Kaif. Even in that final we were well on the way to another defeat before the great partnership happened. If we discount the Champions Trophy (2002) and the TVS Cup (2003) which we shared with srilanka and South Africa respectively, India hardly won any finals.

Well when we dwell into the reasons of those failures we can immediately zero in on the inconsistancy of the Indian top order in crunch games. The reason India was able to win the CB series against the Australia was because of the top order performances. Sachin and Uthappa gave India bright starts and the middle order capitalised on the same to seal victory. The Indian bowling also seemed to raise to the challenge in both the finals.Twenty20 win was due to the heroics of another top order batsmen, this time it was Gambhir. The Indian bowling also seem to choke in crucial games and lack the consistancey required for a tournament final, who can forget the nervous opening over from Zaheer in 2003 worldcup finals to hand the initiative to Australia. Zaheer also had trouble in the 2000 edition of ICC Knockout trophy against the Kiwis.

India would probably figure in the top 5 for the teams played in most finals but in bottom 3 for the teams winning tournament. Its seems like we have taken over the “Chokers” tag which was famously associated with the South African team. The Indian one day captain Dhoni would want to reverse this trend as soon as possible as this might become a habit for teams.