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Posts Tagged ‘Ishant

India Red captain badrinath with the challenger Trophy

India Red captain badrinath with the challenger Trophy

The challenger trophy featuring three teams comprising of the best talents from the Indian domestic scene ended in Nagpur over the weekend. India Red beat India Blue to claim the Challenger Trophy. The challenger trophy, once the primary competition to showcase the talent of best players from the Indian domestic scene in the limited overs version was totally overshadowed by the CLT20. I am not even sure if any selectors or the viewers expressed any interest on this year’s tournament.

I don’t understand the logic of having both the competitions at the same time when the BCCI knows that India is due to play Australia in an ODI series. As MS Dhoni himself does not consider T20 as a yardstick for ODI selections, the BCCI could have had the probable Indian players to participate in the Challenger series instead of the CLT20. It would have been better if Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and others had played in the challengers rather than the bang bash CLT20.

Since challengers Trophy is a short tournament, the players could have been back for the second round if their respective IPL teams had qualified for the same. Anyways that aside, the tournament itself was interesting. There were lots of youngsters in view and few of them impressed with their performances. India Red was amazingly the strongest of the three teams this year as traditionally India blue used to be the better side comprising of the current Indian players. But unfortunately the Indian seniors were either injured or were playing in the CLT20.

Batting was not that easy in the challenger trophy except for one game in which the India blue scored 350. The batting in the tournament threw some new names like Abhinav Mukund and some known names like Shikar Dhawan, M Vijay, Badrinath, Aniruddha S etc. It was great to see players like M Vijay and Shikar Dhawan playing well as they are considered to be the future of Indian batting. M Vijay especially showed that he can bat in the shorter format of the game too. Tamil Nadu all rounder Ravichandran Aswin also impressed with his bowling in the competition. He was very economical in all the games and also picked some crucial wickets but did not receive too many chances to display his batting capabilities.

He could be an option for the Indians in the upcoming series against the Aussies. It was baffling to see that Pujara never got a game in spite of him being in fray for the selection for the past year or so. He seems to be scoring heavily in the domestic cricket but doesn’t seem to be in the mind of the selectors. The bowling was the strong point for India Red with Munaf and Tyagi being the chief contributors. Munaf was excellent in the series along with Tyagi but Ishant was once again disappointing. Ishant picked up wickets but was very expensive throughout the series. I think that he needs a break from cricket to get back his pace and accuracy. Getting bashed around in every single game cannot do any good for his confidence. Munaf has been bowling pretty well in the recent times and Tyagi even though started badly finished very well in the last couple of games.

It was a good tournament and threw some interesting names for the selectors to look at when they sit down for team selection on the 15th of this month. I am hoping to see some new names in the squad for the upcoming series against the Aussies.15 or 16 selected for the first few games but we have to wait and see.

Sehwag will be playing for Delhi Daredevils in the upcoming CLT20 (Pic Courtesy Cricinfo)

Sehwag will be playing for Delhi Daredevils in the upcoming CLT20 (Pic Courtesy Cricinfo)

The CLT20 starts in few days and no one is excited about the same. India’s early exit from the CT has barely evaporated our minds and we have this meaningless tournament from BCCI. CLT20 is money making venture from BCCI to cash in on the success of IPL. It has domestic teams from other countries too but I can care less as to whom they are. Deccan Chargers (IPL Champions), Delhi Daredevils and Bangalore Royal challengers will participate from the IPL in this event which is set to begin in few days time.

India’s exit from the CT and also the World T20 has left people questioning their rankings and I hope that the players take this time to work on their weakness. India is going to take on the Aussies at the end of this month and this extravagant circus cannot be an ideal preparation. I am happy that Ishant and Bajji aren’t a part of this. I would have been happy if the Indian players hit the nets and practice harder on developing their skills rather than participate in this meaningless tournament.

No matter what Amit Mishra says, the Indian bowling has been a disappointment over the past year and Dhoni was right to criticize the same. No matter how good your batting is, you cannot expect them to score 300 every time they walk out to bat. Ishant Sharma has lost his pace and seems pedestrian and so does RP Singh. It seemed as though the Indian bowlers are just going through the motions thinking that the batsmen would dig them out of the hole as they have done often in the past. When that does not happen, the Indian bowling gets shown pretty badly.

Bowlers have to be rotated especially in a busy season like this. We cannot keep going back to the same bowlers again and again. If RP was injured, he should have played domestic cricket to prove himself before making a comeback into the Indian team. He looked pretty listless in the CT. The selectors have to get Sreesanth back into the team and have to try out Sudeep Tyagi in the X1 against the Aussies. It seems like Munaf also looked good in the recently concluded Irani Cup game. If kick on the backside is something what the Indian bowlers are looking for then the selectors have to give it to them. It has been proven in the past that the Indian bowlers start well but within their first year lose their effectiveness.

Does money and adulation play a part? Yes it does. Ishant Sharma gets paid $950000 to play 40 days of cricket in the IPL, so why will he work on his fitness and improve? If getting bashed around for 40 days can earn you that much why work on your bowling and improve? It seems like only the players who want to make a comeback to the Indian team take even IPL seriously. India has a long season ahead of them and just a year and a half away from the WC. I hope that the selectors take the hint from the captain and blood some youngsters in the team.

Dhoni’s comment of IPL not being the gauge to pick players for the longer format is not far from the truth. Yusuf has proved the same over the past year. India needs to do something with their bowling otherwise they will be left behind in the race. I hope that India becomes the number 1 team in both the formats but for that to happen, we need a good bowling attack. Sudeep Tyagi, Sreesanth, Ishant, RP, Nehra, Munaf, Zaheer, Mishra, chawla and Bajji are the bowlers for India for coming few years and we have to identify the right combination by rotating them often.

Rahul Dravid castled by Jeetan patel in India's warm up game against NZ

Rahul Dravid castled by Jeetan patel in India's warm up game against NZ (Courtesy Cricinfo)

Captain MS. Dhoni will have a lots to think about between now and Saturday when India take on a buoyant Pakistan team in the first match of the ICC Champions trophy. India played NZ in their only warm up match before the tournament started and were badly beaten by 101 runs. The problem for India was again the bowling. India for sure has one of the worst bowling line up among the top 7 teams (excluding WI) and it’s going to certainly diminish their chances of winning the Champions Trophy.

Ishant, RP and Praveen yesterday were pretty ordinary and went for more than 7 an over. Only Mishra, Yusuf and Raina were economical which again puts the Indian captain under lots of pressure. Spinners being the best bowlers might force the captain to go with Mishra and Bajji in the lineup compromising a fast bowler. Praveen might be shown the door after yesterday’s performance but the rest aren’t that great either.

Ishant Sharma has been really poor over the past year and has consistently gone over 6 runs per over. He has never been able to restrict the runs or take wickets. Nehra after his comeback had a good WI series and bowled well in patches but again lacks consistency to lead the pace attack. RP Singh has just made a comeback after injury and is yet to regain his pace and swing. So India has to totally rely on Bajji and the part-timers to restrict the run flow if they decide against 2 spinners.

The batting also seems a little bit rusty but expecting them to chase 300 every time is expecting too much. The Indian batting is strong but they can collapse once in a while like they did yesterday. Yeah agreed that Sachin wasn’t playing but to rely on just one player is taking the team back by 10 years. The news from the team management is that Ghambir isn’t 100% fit, which is a shock as he has been picked in the squad. I don’t know why you would pick a player for an important trophy if he not 100% fit.

I think that they have to think about Yusuf Pathan’s position in the team too. He hasn’t done anything significant with the bat in the 50 over game and has bowled okay in the chances he has been provided. I guess Irfan will be a better all rounder for India in limited overs format. Looking at the current scenario the Indian team is long way away from being the number 1 team in the world. Probably in the current scenario we are good enough to be number 3 team but unless we improve our bowling we can’t claim to be the world’s best.

As far as the champion’s trophy goes, India will be hard pressed to beat Pakistan and Australia who have a good batting lineup and much better bowling lineup than India. I will not be surprised if we don’t make it to the semis. It all depends on how our batsmen play against the Aussie and the Pakistani bowlers.

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.

The Indian team who has already won the series 3-0 would want to keep the momentum going by winning the final ODI at Auckland. The Indians probably will rest few of their key players but still would want to retain the core. Dhoni would probably want to rest Zaheer and give Munaf or Balaji or Kulkarni (If available for ODI’s) a chance as it will help him to decide on the third seamer for the first test.

I guess Ishant will still play as he looked very rusty in the 4th game. The batting though will be interesting but I would assume that Dhoni and Kirsten would not want to make too many changes in the squad. The Kiwis confidence has been dented in the ODI’s and India would want to leave it that way. Any let up in pressure would give the hosts enormous confidence for the upcoming test series. The Indians though would want to guard against complacency which could creep into their games.

In the past year or so they have not been that good in the dead rubbers. In Srilanka last year the Indians were leading 3-1 going into the final game and lost badly chasing a modest target. Earlier this year they repeated the same mistake as after leading 4-0 they let up the pressure in the final game. This series though is not just about the ODI’s but since the test series is just around the corner the Indians would want the New Zealanders to be under constant pressure to win.

This has been yet another great series for the Indians but there have been some flaws which were eclipsed by the batters. The fielding has been very poor, catches have gone down at crucial times, bowling has lacked discipline but in spite of that they have won which should give the team confidence. But to be at the top Gary Kirsten needs to work on ironing out the flaws. The Indian one day team is made of youngsters and should not be having any issues with fielding.

The New Zealand captain though would be looking for a win to end the series. They have been battered to submission by the Indian batting but would want to end the series on a high. The test series is just around the corner and a win here would give the team a lot of confidence. Vettori would know that and would want to reverse the trend a little bit. The key for the home team to win is to bowl with more discipline and get rid of the Indian openers fast which they haven’t been able to do since the Twenty20 games.

Once they do that the Indian middle order will be under pressure and would have to consolidate. Lets hope that this game is also as exciting as the previous ones and I am predicting an Indian win again.

The Indian team who has already won the series 3-0 would want to keep the momentum going by winning the final ODI at Auckland. The Indians probably will rest few of their key players but still would want to retain the core. Dhoni would probably want to rest Zaheer and give Munaf or Balaji or Kulkarni (If available for ODI’s) a chance as it will help him to decide on the third seamer for the first test.

I guess Ishant will still play as he looked very rusty in the 4th game. The batting though will be interesting but I would assume that Dhoni and Kirsten would not want to make too many changes in the squad. The Kiwis confidence has been dented in the ODI’s and India would want to leave it that way. Any let up in pressure would give the hosts enormous confidence for the upcoming test series. The Indians though would want to guard against complacency which could creep into their games.

In the past year or so they have not been that good in the dead rubbers. In Srilanka last year the Indians were leading 3-1 going into the final game and lost badly chasing a modest target. Earlier this year they repeated the same mistake as after leading 4-0 they let up the pressure in the final game. This series though is not just about the ODI’s but since the test series is just around the corner the Indians would want the New Zealanders to be under constant pressure to win.

This has been yet another great series for the Indians but there have been some flaws which were eclipsed by the batters. The fielding has been very poor, catches have gone down at crucial times, bowling has lacked discipline but in spite of that they have won which should give the team confidence. But to be at the top Gary Kirsten needs to work on ironing out the flaws. The Indian one day team is made of youngsters and should not be having any issues with fielding.

The New Zealand captain though would be looking for a win to end the series. They have been battered to submission by the Indian batting but would want to end the series on a high. The test series is just around the corner and a win here would give the team a lot of confidence. Vettori would know that and would want to reverse the trend a little bit. The key for the home team to win is to bowl with more discipline and get rid of the Indian openers fast which they haven’t been able to do since the Twenty20 games.

Once they do that the Indian middle order will be under pressure and would have to consolidate. Lets hope that this game is also as exciting as the previous ones and I am predicting an Indian win again.

It was a great performance by the Indian team to win the one day series in New Zealand for the first time. Yesterday’s match again was rain affected and the way Sehwag and Ghambir kept India way ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis (DL) calculation was absolutely brilliant. The Indian bowling though was patchy. The start was good but they did not keep up the tempo letting Mccullum and Ryder to get off to a flier. Yuvraj and Yusuf Pathan were brought into the attack and they were successful in putting the brakes on the Kiwi openers.

The Indian fielding again was not up to the mark. There were lots of misfields and missed chances along the way during the New Zealand innings. Brendon Mccullum was given two reprieves during his innings of 77 and Dhoni’s miss stumping was the worst of the two. India’s bowling at the death was also not that spectacular as they were carted around easily by Andrew Mcglashan and Grant Elliot. After the rain interrupted first innings New Zealand reached a competitive 270/5 in 47 overs which was bumped up to 281 for the Indians to chase by the DL. Ishant Sharma was rusty on his return to the side and was inconsistent. Even though he picked up two wickets he was really shabby with no balls and got hit around a little bit.

Hopefully he will get his act together before the important test series to start in a week’s time.
So India started their innings needing almost 6 an over which is kind of tough in a game with so many rain interruptions. Well it’s not something which troubled the Indian openers though as they took the kiwi bowlers to the cleaners. Nothing worked for the New Zealand captain last night as the Indians rattled along at over 7 runs per over. All the bowlers were treated with equal contempt by the Indian openers. Sehwag blasted his way to a brilliant one day hundred of just 60 deliveries which is an Indian record. It was a display of calculated hitting and it came of brilliantly for the Indian opener. Sehwag finished on 125 unbeaten when the rain interrupted play for one final time. The Indians were racing along in the pursuit of 220 of 36 overs as they were 201/0 in just 23.3 overs.

The Kiwis will be really disappointed in losing the series 3-0 as this is the first time they have lost to the Indians at home. Dhoni and his team though would be enjoying this moment as it adds yet another brilliant win to their resume. The Indians though would want to finish the series 4-0 and get as much confidence as possible for the test series. They would have been bolstered by the news of Rahul Dravid scoring a fantastic hundred in the New Zealand domestic game. All in all a great performance from the Indian team after losing the first two Twenty20 games. Hope they carry this confidence to the test series too.

Sehwag blasts the kiwi bowlers on his way to his match winning 125 no in the 4th ODI

Sehwag blasts the kiwi bowlers on his way to his match winning 125 no in the 4th ODI

It was a great performance by the Indian team to win the one day series in New Zealand for the first time. Yesterday’s match again was rain affected and the way Sehwag and Ghambir kept India way ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis (DL) calculation was absolutely brilliant. The Indian bowling though was patchy. The start was good but they did not keep up the tempo letting Mccullum and Ryder to get off to a flier. Yuvraj and Yusuf Pathan were brought into the attack and they were successful in putting the brakes on the Kiwi openers.

The Indian fielding again was not up to the mark. There were lots of misfields and missed chances along the way during the New Zealand innings. Brendon Mccullum was given two reprieves during his innings of 77 and Dhoni’s miss stumping was the worst of the two. India’s bowling at the death was also not that spectacular as they were carted around easily by Andrew Mcglashan and Grant Elliot. After the rain interrupted first innings New Zealand reached a competitive 270/5 in 47 overs which was bumped up to 281 for the Indians to chase by the DL. Ishant Sharma was rusty on his return to the side and was inconsistent. Even though he picked up two wickets he was really shabby with no balls and got hit around a little bit. Hopefully he will get his act together before the important test series to start in a week’s time.

So India started their innings needing almost 6 an over which is kind of tough in a game with so many rain interruptions. Well it’s not something which troubled the Indian openers though as they took the kiwi bowlers to the cleaners. Nothing worked for the New Zealand captain last night as the Indians rattled along at over 7 runs per over. All the bowlers were treated with equal contempt by the Indian openers. Sehwag blasted his way to a brilliant one day hundred of just 60 deliveries which is an Indian record. It was a display of calculated hitting and it came of brilliantly for the Indian opener. Sehwag finished on 125 unbeaten when the rain interrupted play for one final time. The Indians were racing along in the pursuit of 220 of 36 overs as they were 201/0 in just 23.3 overs.

The Kiwis will be really disappointed in losing the series 3-0 as this is the first time they have lost to the Indians at home. Dhoni and his team though would be enjoying this moment as it adds yet another brilliant win to their resume. The Indians though would want to finish the series 4-0 and get as much confidence as possible for the test series. They would have been bolstered by the news of Rahul Dravid scoring a fantastic hundred in the New Zealand domestic game. All in all a great performance from the Indian team after losing the first two Twenty20 games. Hope they carry this confidence to the test series too.

India put behind their dissapointing twenty20 outing with a strong performance in the first ODI at Napier. Everything went according to the plan for the men in blue starting with the toss. Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat on a good batting pitch and his batsmen did not dissapoint him. Newzealand bowlers were wayward and Sehwag along with Sachin got India to a flier before the rain halted the play for the first time. India were 27/0 in the 5th over.

The game began after a 2 hr 20 minute break as a 38 over a side contest. Sehwag and Sachin began positively putting on 69 for the first wicket of just 10 overs. Sachin was out trying to run Ian Butler to third man and much to the surprise of everyone the Indian captain walked out to the middle instead of Gautam Ghambir. I am sure that this was not something the Kiwis were expecting. Dhoni formed the anchor at one end allowing Sehwag followed by Raina and Pathan to play freely. After Sehwag departed for 77 there was a small dip in the scoring rate and with Yuvraj runout for 3 Newzealand would have felt they had a chance of restricting the score.

Raina walked in to join the captain in the middle and what happened for next twelve overs put Newzealand completely on the back foot. Raina played a brilliant innings. When he came on to bat the game was still in balance and India needed a good partnership. Dhoni and Raina added 110 in just 74 balls to put the Kiwis out of the game. Raina was out after scoring 69 of just 39 deliveries. It seems like Raina is at last fulfilling the potential he displayed when made his debut few years back.

278 to win of 38 overs was always going to be tough for the home team. They lost 4 wickets for just over a hundred when the rain stopped play for the second time. When the players came out the batting team needed an impossible 105 of 46 deliveries. Few overs later NZ found themselves 9 down with just 132 on the board when harbajan struck thrice in four balls. Daniel Vettori with Ian O’ Brian made sure that the home team arent bowled out. NZ finished on 162 for the loss of 9 wickets going down to the visitors by 53 runs.

India yet again turned in a clinical performance with both the batting and the bowling clicking well for them. Praveen Kumar swung the ball consistantly and troubled both the openers and Zaheer as always was consistant. Munaf Patel needs to step up in the absence of Ishant Sharma. Ishant will be out again for the second game in the westpac stadium at Wellington giving Munaf another opportunity to prove himself. India would most probably go with an unchanged team barring any injuries. NZ though have an injury scare with Brendon Mccullum and may think of playing Tim Southee in the place of Kyle Mills as the latter had a horrible first game. The hosts have a great record at the Westpac stadium and have won their last 5 ODI’s played here.

Daniel Vettori would want a better performance from his bowlers and would hope that they can draw level in Wellington. Dhoni and India though would want to take a 2-0 lead to put more pressure on the Kiwis.


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