My Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘Ghambir

How things can change in couple of weeks in cricket. I wrote an article couple of weeks back about DD and DC dominating the IPL2, but while DD are still at the top of the rankings, DC is fighting with the rest of the teams for the Semi-Finals spot. CSK have been the biggest movers in the last few weeks. They have now won 5 games in a row to move to the second place behind DD.

CSK have got the right combination going with Jakati and Tyagi being great additions to the team. Batting at the top has been firing for them and the bowlers are doing their job. CSK have almost got themselves at the door for the semi-finals spot. They have 4 games to go and 1 or 2 wins will ensure them a spot in the semi-finals. The only concern for the CSK is their fielding. They have dropped awful lot of catches in the tournament and almost lost the game against Kings X1 due to their bad fielding.

Dhoni was quick to acknowledge the same. They gave an improved performance against the Rajasthan Royals over the weekend but they have a long way to go in that respect. Batting has been phenomenal with Hayden at the top doing wonders for them with great support from Raina, Badri and Dhoni. Bowling has been adequate with Murali doing well with Balaji, Tyagi, Jakati and Morkel doing the support act. All in all it has been a brilliant week for the Dhoni’s men. I hope that they lift the trophy this year.

Delhi has continued their brilliant run in the competition with couple of wins over the past week and has done well without Sehwag. Ghambir has captained the team well and David Warner has done the job for them in the absence of Sehwag. Their bowling also has been consistent with Nannes and Nehra doing a brilliant job at the top and Mishra doing a good supporting act. I would like to see McGrath getting a game in the competition. Probably they can rest Nannes for a game and give McGrath a go as Delhi are almost a certainty for the semi-finals spot.

The Rajasthan Royals though have had a good week too. As I am writing this article they are playing Deccan Chargers in an important game. RR have won 3 and lost 1 over the past week and are currently sitting at number 3 in the rankings. Batting has been the biggest worry for the RR’s and Shane Watson pulling out due to injury would have been a big setback for them. RR though has found a good opening partner for Smith in Naman Ojha. He has been consistent and has looked good. RR though is still to find a consistent playing X1. They are also well placed for a semi-finals spot at this moment.

DC though has had a bad week. After four wins on the trot, they have just won 1 out of the next 5 games. They are barely hanging on to the top four at this moment with Kings X1, Mumbai Indians and BRC breathing down their neck. With KKR totally out of contention, it’s between, Punjab, Mumbai and Bangalore to compete to get to the top four this week.

Bangalore play KKR tomorrow and a win would place them in top 5 and a shot to push for the semi-finals spot this week. All in all it has been another fantastic week in IPL2 with constant changes in the ranking with every game. The top spot has changed at least 3-4 times over the last week which shows how close all the teams are this year. I am happy as my team has finally captured the form which got them to the finals last year and I hope that this year they go one step further.

Dhoni with the trophy after India completed a 1-0 win in the test series against the Kiwis

Dhoni with the trophy after India completed a 1-0 win in the test series against the Kiwis

41 years of wait finally ended as India completed 1-0 series win in New Zealand. This win will be particularly sweet for the seniors in the team as they have been on the receiving end on more than one occasion. It was a fantastic performance by the Indian team and was a total team effort.

I was little bit disappointed that we were unable to close out the 3rd test and win the series by 2-0 margin. When the rain halted the proceedings on day 5 with New Zealand on 284/8 the only thing which came on every Indian supporter’s mind was If only we had 10 more overs. If we look back at the 4th day’s play India batted too long I thought. We should have probably given NZ a target of 550-575. I don’t think that the Kiwis would have had a realistic chance of scaling that score against the Indian bowling attack.

Anyways that’s just in the hindsight. Nothing should be taken away though from the team as they have completed another major victory. They just have two more mountains to climb, Australia and South Africa. If they can achieve this while Sachin, Dravid and Laxman are still in the team it will be really great. Yeah there is one more location India hasn’t won that often which is Sri Lanka. Twice in last ten years we lost the series after going in to the final test with 1-1 score line.

For India to win in Australia and SA they have to improve their fielding and catching as this let them down badly in New Zealand. If Ishant hadn’t spilled a sitter of Ian O’ Brian of Sachin India probably would have won 2-0. So that’s one area which we have to work on. The second area of concern is the third seamer. I would prefer Sreesanth to come into the squad in the place of Munaf. Munaf is a good bowler but sometimes he looks lifeless on the field. I am not even talking about his bowling but just his body language which sometimes is not that encouraging.

Well overall this has been a fantastic series for the Indians. Winning the one-day series 3-1 and later winning the test series 1-0 will give lots of satisfaction to the Indian captain. There were some great individual performances from Ghambir, Zaheer and Harbajan. Sachin, Dravid and Laxman also batted brilliantly and gave consistent performances throughout the tour. Dhoni’s captaincy throughout the tour was excellent and aggressive. All in all a fantastic performance and a great win by Team India.

India are on the verge of winning their first test series in New Zealand as the hosts are struggling at 167/4 at the end of Day 4 chasing an impossible 617 to win. The Indian batting and the bowling has been far superior to the Kiwis in this tour which was far more evident in this test match. The Indians got to 379 in their first innings thanks to the lower order batting.

The Indians were reeling at 204 for the loss of 6 wickets at one point but a brilliant partnership between Dhoni and Harbajan got the visitors over 300. Both of them scored half centuries. Harbajan and Zaheer continued the agony for the Kiwis as India ended up with 379 in their first innings. The Kiwis though in their response were rolled over for 197 due to a brilliant spell of swing bowling from Zaheer. Zaheer was ably assisted by Harbajan who picked up vital 3 wickets.

The Indians batted well in the second innings riding on a brilliant hundred from Ghambir to set 617 to chase for the Kiwis. There are few criticisms on Dhoni as he batted on longer than required on the 4th morning but I guess he knew what he was doing. I guess even if we had 18 more overs in the day we couldn’t have gotten much further. Probably New Zealand would have ended up with more on the board.

Even though there is forecast for rain tomorrow, I hope that we get enough overs in to dismiss the Kiwis as it will be a well deserved victory for the Indian team. This will also be the 100th test win for the Indians and their first test series victory in NZ in 48 years. I guess there is lots of history in the making tomorrow and a well earned series victory in sight for the men in blue.

Dhoni would want to win the series 2-0

Dhoni would want to win the series 2-0

India escaped with a draw in the second test against the kiwis at Napier through the batting of Ghambir, Laxman and Dravid. India batted out 2 and a half days to save the game which was a great effort but considering that it was a follow up to a thumping win just a week ago was a little disappointing for me. The Indian fielding was mediocre to say the least in New Zealand first innings where they kept dropping catches to let NZ score 619 after reducing them to 23/3 on day 1.

Nothing should be taken away from Taylor and Ryder though; they batted beautifully to get NZ innings on track. Indian batting also was woeful in the first innings. The top order kept playing atrocious strokes to throw their wickets away. It seemed like Sehwag and co thought that they will get to the Kiwi total in 20 overs. India fell 314 runs behind the Kiwi total after the first innings. But resilient batting from Ghambir and the rest of the top order saved India from the blushes.

India now travels to Wellington to play the final test of the series and they will know that this will determine the success of this tour for the team. Dhoni will for sure come back into the side and the rest of the team will remain the same barring any injuries. Dhoni will know that the conditions will be tough in the windy city and the temperatures really low. The pitch for sure will have something in it for the pacers and Dhoni will be hoping to win the toss and bowl first.

If India manage to win or draw this test this will be their first series victory in NZ for 40+ years and it will be a great achievement for the team. The victory will be sweet for the seniors who were humiliated in their previous tour here. Daniel Vettori and NZ will be hoping to stop just that. They would want to carry the confidence of the Napier game and try to go one step better and win the game to square the series.

Let’s hope that we get yet another uninterrupted game and cricket is of the highest standard.

India hammers New Zealand to win their first test on Kiwiland after 33 years. It was a clinical performance from this Indian team as they thrashed the hosts by 10 wickets. Gautam Ghambir hit the winning runs as India reached the target of 39 runs in just 5.2 overs. Daniel Vettori and the New Zealand team will be aware that they have been beaten by the better team.

The pitch was really flat and New Zealand began the fourth day on 75/3 with Ross Taylor and Flynn at the crease. The Indian bowlers persisted hard and kept the balls in the right areas to induce false strokes from the Kiwi batsmen. Munaf removed Taylor for 4 to leave New Zealand 4 down and then it was Bajji show all the way. Harbajan demolished the Kiwi middle and lower order to leave them 199/8 with Brendon Mccullum stranded at one end with Ian O’Brien to join him.

Harbajan took his first fifer against the Kiwis and his first here in New Zealand. It was a great performance from Bajji considering that the pitch wasn’t suitable to spin bowling. The wicket was pretty flat and it was the variations which Harbajan had which caused the home batsmen to make mistakes. There was a frustrating partnership between Mccullum and O’Brien which took the Kiwis to 275 but once it was broken their innings folded up pretty quickly on 279. Mccullum was the last man out for 84 caught by Laxman of Yuvraj to leave the Indians to get 39 runs to win the game.

This was a great win by the Indians considering the pre-tour reports where it was said that the Indians would struggle in New Zealand. It seems like India will win this series if they play to their potential. Sachin Tendulkar received the man of the match award for his sublime 160 in the first innings which helped India to gain a 240 run lead over the Kiwis. It was a total team effort and rightly acknowledged by the skipper in the post match interview.

This is yet another feather in the cap for Dhoni after the T20 world cup and CB series in Australia. It will be better if India manage to win the test series. The teams meet again in a few days in Napier for the second test match and I would expect India to play an unchanged team. The Kiwis will be hoping to put up a better performance next time around as they would not want to lose this series.

Harbajan claims 6-63 as India crush New Zealand to win the first test by 10 wickets

Harbajan claims 6-63 as India crush New Zealand to win the first test by 10 wickets

India hammers New Zealand to win their first test on Kiwiland after 33 years. It was a clinical performance from this Indian team as they thrashed the hosts by 10 wickets. Gautam Ghambir hit the winning runs as India reached the target of 39 runs in just 5.2 overs. Daniel Vettori and the New Zealand team will be aware that they have been beaten by the better team.

The pitch was really flat and New Zealand began the fourth day on 75/3 with Ross Taylor and Flynn at the crease. The Indian bowlers persisted hard and kept the balls in the right areas to induce false strokes from the Kiwi batsmen. Munaf removed Taylor for 4 to leave New Zealand 4 down and then it was Bajji show all the way. Harbajan demolished the Kiwi middle and lower order to leave them 199/8 with Brendon Mccullum stranded at one end with Ian O’Brien to join him.

Harbajan took his first fifer against the Kiwis and his first here in New Zealand. It was a great performance from Bajji considering that the pitch wasn’t suitable to spin bowling. The wicket was pretty flat and it was the variations which Harbajan had which caused the home batsmen to make mistakes. There was a frustrating partnership between Mccullum and O’Brien which took the Kiwis to 275 but once it was broken their innings folded up pretty quickly on 279. Mccullum was the last man out for 84 caught by Laxman of Yuvraj to leave the Indians to get 39 runs to win the game.

This was a great win by the Indians considering the pre-tour reports where it was said that the Indians would struggle in New Zealand. It seems like India will win this series if they play to their potential. Sachin Tendulkar received the man of the match award for his sublime 160 in the first innings which helped India to gain a 240 run lead over the Kiwis. It was a total team effort and rightly acknowledged by the skipper in the post match interview.

This is yet another feather in the cap for Dhoni after the T20 world cup and CB series in Australia. It will be better if India manage to win the test series. The teams meet again in a few days in Napier for the second test match and I would expect India to play an unchanged team. The Kiwis will be hoping to put up a better performance next time around as they would not want to lose this series.

Three half centuries from the top order gave India a slender advantage in the first test match against New Zealand in Hamilton. The Indians began the day 250 runs behind the Kiwi total and soon lost Sehwag to a brilliant fielding from Franklin. Sehwag and Ghambir had a slight misunderstanding which left the former way short of his crease. Rahul Dravid joined Ghambir in the middle with the score on 37/1 and forged a good partnership to take India to 108/1 at lunch.
After lunch the Dravid-Ghambir combination took India to 142 when Gautam Ghambir was caught behind of Martin for 72. It was a good innings from Ghambir but he played one shot too many. Sachin Tendulkar joined Dravid with the score on 142/2 and took India to 177 when Dravid was bowled of a beauty from Ian O’ Brian for 66 leaving the visitors 177/3. Laxman and Sachin took India to tea.

After tea India lost Laxman for 30 with the score on 238. Laxman was scratchy throughout his knock of 30 and was dropped once of a difficult chance in the boundary by Ian O’ Brian. Yuvraj and Sachin took India to stumps with the visitors just 1 run behind the New Zealand total. Sachin accelerated at the end of the day when the new ball was taken to remain 70 not out with his 42nd hundred in sight. He is currently joined by Yuvraj who is unbeaten on 8 and would like to push the lead beyond hundred tomorrow.

The first session again will be really important and the Indians would like to keeps wickets in hand. The pitch has something for the seam bowlers and was constantly encouraging them throughout the day. Daniel Vettori will be happy with the bowler’s performance as they were able to keep the Indians to just 249 runs for the day. The best bowler for the hosts was Chris Martin who finished with 2 wickets and Ian O’ Brian who took the wicket of a set Rahul Dravid. Kyle Mills was disappointing and Vettori was not effective. Ryder bowled a few overs but was not that threatening.

Day 3 will determine which team has the upper hand as the game is slightly in India’s favor. Couple of wickets in the first session will give the hosts a chance to get back into the game. It will be interesting to see the approach of the Indians tomorrow as they were really subdued on day 2.

Three half centuries from the top order gave India a slender advantage in the first test match against New Zealand in Hamilton. The Indians began the day 250 runs behind the Kiwi total and soon lost Sehwag to a brilliant fielding from Franklin. Sehwag and Ghambir had a slight misunderstanding which left the former way short of his crease. Rahul Dravid joined Ghambir in the middle with the score on 37/1 and forged a good partnership to take India to 108/1 at lunch.

After lunch the Dravid-Ghambir combination took India to 142 when Gautam Ghambir was caught behind of Martin for 72. It was a good innings from Ghambir but he played one shot too many. Sachin Tendulkar joined Dravid with the score on 142/2 and took India to 177 when Dravid was bowled of a beauty from Ian O’ Brian for 66 leaving the visitors 177/3. Laxman and Sachin took India to tea.

After tea India lost Laxman for 30 with the score on 238. Laxman was scratchy throughout his knock of 30 and was dropped once of a difficult chance in the boundary by Ian O’ Brian. Yuvraj and Sachin took India to stumps with the visitors just 1 run behind the New Zealand total. Sachin accelerated at the end of the day when the new ball was taken to remain 70 not out with his 42nd hundred in sight. He is currently joined by Yuvraj who is unbeaten on 8 and would like to push the lead beyond hundred tomorrow.

The first session again will be really important and the Indians would like to keeps wickets in hand. The pitch has something for the seam bowlers and was constantly encouraging them throughout the day. Daniel Vettori will be happy with the bowler’s performance as they were able to keep the Indians to just 249 runs for the day. The best bowler for the hosts was Chris Martin who finished with 2 wickets and Ian O’ Brian who took the wicket of a set Rahul Dravid. Kyle Mills was disappointing and Vettori was not effective. Ryder bowled a few overs but was not that threatening.

Day 3 will determine which team has the upper hand as the game is slightly in India’s favor. Couple of wickets in the first session will give the hosts a chance to get back into the game. It will be interesting to see the approach of the Indians tomorrow as they were really subdued on day 2.

The first test between India and New Zealand got underway in Hamilton yesterday and thankfully there was no rain delay. The Indian captain won the toss and invited the hosts to bat first. The pitch was supposed to help the seam bowler at least in the first session of play. The Indian bowlers did not disappoint the captain as the Black Caps were in tatters by lunch losing 6 wickets for 61 runs.

Zaheer had 2, Ishant 3 and Munaf 1. It was a perfect session for the visitors and it seemed like they will bowl out New Zealand for a 100 or 150. The revival for the Kiwis started after lunch when Daniel Vettori and Jesse Ryder joined hands. Vettori and Ryder had some luck along the way but they batted brilliantly to guide the home team towards respectability.

The next session until tea was fantastic for the black caps as they did not lose any wickets and the Ryder, Vettori combination still undisturbed. The final session continued in the same vein as Vettori and Ryder made the Indian bowlers struggle as the wicket eased up for batting. Vettori scored a brilliant hundred and looked like taking the game away from the Indians when Munaf finally struck. Vettori was caught of the bowling of Munaf for 118.

It was a brilliant innings from the captain leading from the front. Munaf accounted for Mills the very next ball with a brilliant Yorker for zero leaving the home team 8 down. Ryder still batting on 70 needed some one to stay with him Ian O’ Brian did that for a while. Ryder reached his maiden test hundred for New Zealand is having a dream run in this series. He already made his first one-day hundred this series earlier.

He looks like a brilliant prospect for New Zealand but would do well to lose some weight. The New Zealand innings though finally came to an end on 279 with Harbajan and Ishant getting one wicket each in the end. The best bowlers for India were Ishant with 4 wickets and Munaf with 3. The Indian openers had to negotiate 7 overs which they did without losing any wickets as they finished on 29/0.

The first session on Day 2 will be really important for the Indians as there might be some help for the pacers. The home team though would want to get rid of Sehwag fast as a session or two from him might swing the game decisively in India’s favor. The first day was brilliant and hopefully the second day will also follow suit in terms of action in the middle and also the weather. Let’s hope for another cracking days play.

The first test between India and New Zealand got underway in Hamilton yesterday and thankfully there was no rain delay. The Indian captain won the toss and invited the hosts to bat first. The pitch was supposed to help the seam bowler at least in the first session of play. The Indian bowlers did not disappoint the captain as the Black Caps were in tatters by lunch losing 6 wickets for 61 runs.

Zaheer had 2, Ishant 3 and Munaf 1. It was a perfect session for the visitors and it seemed like they will bowl out New Zealand for a 100 or 150. The revival for the Kiwis started after lunch when Daniel Vettori and Jesse Ryder joined hands. Vettori and Ryder had some luck along the way but they batted brilliantly to guide the home team towards respectability.

The next session until tea was fantastic for the black caps as they did not lose any wickets and the Ryder, Vettori combination still undisturbed. The final session continued in the same vein as Vettori and Ryder made the Indian bowlers struggle as the wicket eased up for batting. Vettori scored a brilliant hundred and looked like taking the game away from the Indians when Munaf finally struck. Vettori was caught of the bowling of Munaf for 118.

It was a brilliant innings from the captain leading from the front. Munaf accounted for Mills the very next ball with a brilliant Yorker for zero leaving the home team 8 down. Ryder still batting on 70 needed some one to stay with him Ian O’ Brian did that for a while. Ryder reached his maiden test hundred for New Zealand is having a dream run in this series. He already made his first one-day hundred this series earlier.

He looks like a brilliant prospect for New Zealand but would do well to lose some weight. The New Zealand innings though finally came to an end on 279 with Harbajan and Ishant getting one wicket each in the end. The best bowlers for India were Ishant with 4 wickets and Munaf with 3. The Indian openers had to negotiate 7 overs which they did without losing any wickets as they finished on 29/0.

The first session on Day 2 will be really important for the Indians as there might be some help for the pacers. The home team though would want to get rid of Sehwag fast as a session or two from him might swing the game decisively in India’s favor. The first day was brilliant and hopefully the second day will also follow suit in terms of action in the middle and also the weather. Let’s hope for another cracking days play.


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