Tag Archives: Kevin Pieterson

Can England overcome the Indian spin challenge?

1984/85 was the last time an English team won a test series on Indian soil. It has been a long wait and in that time India had developed into a dominant force at home. India have lost only one series at home in the last decade. But this time though the hosts are the most vulnerable. The Indian team has just lost great players in the middle order and is trying to find the ideal replacements. The bowling too is going through a transitional phase.

The time when Anil Kumble used to torment the visiting teams on turning surfaces are long gone and India are playing with two young spinners who are trying to make a mark. Ravichandran Ashwin has had a great beginning to his career and in partnership with Pragyan Ojha has done a great job in the home tests. The spin partnership will obviously be tested to the fullest against a tough English team. With all due respect to New Zealand and West Indies who toured earlier, this is probably the toughest batting line up to which the Indian spinners would bowl to.

The Indian team will be hoping that their openers fire. The middle order of Kohli, Sachin and Yuvraj will be the key against the English spinners. India will also hope to have a fit Zaheer throughout the series.

The English team too has their fair share of worries. They will be thrilled to have Kevin Pieterson back in the team to bolster the middle order. The English batting line up has struggled to play in the subcontinent on turning surfaces. Even though the Indian spinners are not in the same class as Ajmal, they would be surely a handful on the subcontinent wickets. The English team has a lot to prove and a win in India will surely be a huge step.

The English batting will rely on Cook, Trott and Pieterson to put up big totals and Swann to lead the bowling attack. England will know that batting well in India is extremely important and under these conditions countering the Indian spin attack will be a challenge.

This test series will be extremely important to both teams. This is a start of a tough home season for India and they would want to start that with a convincing win. The English team after faltering in Dubai and Sri Lanka would want to prove that they can play well in the subcontinent conditions. There is no doubt that this series will be decided as who wins the battle between the Indian spinners and the English batsman.

The series takes off tomorrow and the fans would be hoping for a tight contest. The Indian team will want to win this convincingly and the English team will want to deny the hosts the same. Let the games begin!!

England return as India prepare for the test series

The English team have decided to comeback to India to play the 2 test series after the Mumbai blasts. The team had left home following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai after a 5-0 one-day drubbing. Currently the English team is practicing at Abu Dabi before they fly to Chennai to play their first test. The Indian team for the test series has been announced and Yuvraj makes a comeback after the disastrous Australian tour earlier this year. Yuvraj is all set to grab the vacant spot in the Indian middle order after the retirement of Sourav Ganguly. The rest of the squad will remain the same with Sehwag and Gambhir at the top of the order.
Zaheer and Ishant will take the new ball with Harbajan and Amit Mishra managing the spin department at least for the first test in Chennai. I would put the Indians as the favorites in this two test series going by the recent form and the strength of the squads. England just have two world class performers and would rely heavily on their captain Kevin Pieterson and Andrew Flintoff to have a chance in this series.
This series is very important for cricket in India after the Mumbai blasts. A safe series would go a long way in ressurrecting India’s image among the western countries who are not that keen travelling to the sub-continent. Its funny though to see the entire western community supporting India after the attacks which shows how much impact money can have on cricket and mentality of the respective boards and players. I am sure 10 years ago the same England team would not have returned to India after a terrorist attack of such magnitude. Coming to India is advantageous for the players of the English team as it enhances their chances to be a part of the second edition of IPL.
Whatever may be the reason for the England team’s return its great for Indian cricket. I sincerely hope that this series would be a hard fought one and will be remembered for the performances on the field.

England return as India prepare for the test series

Dhoni at the practice session

Dhoni at the practice session

The English team have decided to comeback to India to play the 2 test series after the Mumbai blasts. The team had left home following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai after a 5-0 one-day drubbing. Currently the English team is practicing at Abu Dabi before they fly to Chennai to play their first test. The Indian team for the test series has been announced and Yuvraj makes a comeback after the disastrous Australian tour earlier this year. Yuvraj is all set to grab the vacant spot in the Indian middle order after the retirement of Sourav Ganguly. The rest of the squad will remain the same with Sehwag and Gambhir at the top of the order.

Zaheer and Ishant will take the new ball with Harbajan and Amit Mishra  managing the spin department at least for the first test in Chennai. I would put the Indians as the favorites in this two test series going by the recent form and the strength of the squads. England just have two world class performers and would rely heavily on their captain Kevin Pieterson and Andrew Flintoff to have a chance in this series.

This series is very important for cricket in India after the Mumbai blasts. A safe series would go a long way in ressurrecting India’s image among the western countries who are not that keen travelling to the sub-continent. Its funny though to see the entire western community supporting India after the attacks which shows how much impact money can have on cricket and mentality of the respective boards and players. I am sure 10 years ago the same England team would not have returned to India after a terrorist attack of such magnitude. Coming to India is advantageous for the players of the English team as it enhances their chances to be a part of the second edition of IPL.

Whatever may be the reason for the England team’s return its great for Indian cricket. I sincerely hope that this series would be a hard fought one and will be remembered for the performances on the field.

IPL isnt promoting anything

Indian team practice at Green Park

The dismal performance by the Indians against the visiting South Africans clearly proves that the players were not ready for this battle. Unfortunately over the past few weeks IPL has been given more media coverage than the current test series. The Indian players talking about their plans about a tournament which has not yet started and which isnt an International fixture either shows their lack of interest in this ongoing test series. The South Africans on the other hand are taking this more seriously and are deservedly ahead in this series dominating both the games played till now.

BCCI’s excuse for IPL is that it will promote cricket, but where? I dont think Twenty20 tournament atleast in India needs any promotion. How many players from Kenya and Bangladesh are part of IPL?So what and where are we promoting cricket?BCCI are just trying make the most of the popularity gained by the latest version of the game in India after the WC win. BCCI has no interest to promote anything by having this tournament. BCCI as a board will become richer and the players who signed up will make money. Other than the two parties mentioned no one is gaining because of this tournament. Players have already started suggesting that this should be part of ICC’s annual schedule which is hilarious as this is not an International tournament.

This is an Indian domestic league which has international players signed up for, similar to county cricket in England. ECB isnt asking ICC to include their Twenty20 league in the International calender. If BCCI is going to have this tournament in the middle nowhere without taking the International calender into consideration then they better be prepared to miss some key players on International duties. This is getting completely out of control. When BCCI started this concept I was totally for it as the concept was completely different for cricket but now I am not able to stand it anymore.

The English players who said that they dont want to be a part of the league want their own domestic tournament adjusted to accomodate IPL. This is just getting ridiculous. Why would ECB reshedule their domestic tournament to accomodate another country’s domestic tournament? Its the players who should decide where they want to play. Which league they want to represent, no board is going to reschedule anything to accomodate a 44 day tournament. The problem is that these ameturish comments have come from players like Kevin Pieterson and Ricky Ponting.

BCCI has made sure that the players themselves are looking forward to IPL more than their International fixtures. Before the Pakistan tour was called off, there were few Australian who were dissapointed that they wouldnt be able to make it to the first edition of this league. The Indians already seem to be more interested in promoting their franchise rather than putting extra hours in practice for an International series. The series against the South Africans was very important for India as this was a follow up to a successful tour down under. A good performance by the home team would have made sure that they would be the undisputed number 2 in test cricket.

The performance in Ahmedabad Shows that we dont deserve that tag. The youngsters should realise that they can score plenty of runs or claim plenty of wickets in IPL but as Kallis rightly put it, only your performance in test cricket will be remembered. There have been lots of players who have great record in domestic cricket but the viewers will only remember the Laras, the Tendulkars or the Kumbles of cricket. Playing for the country gives a player the ultimate satisfaction and that should be the first priority for any cricketer. BCCI might make lots of money and probably the team owners will do too but they have to be careful that they dont bring a divide among the cricket fraternity. Again I stand by my statement that BCCI isnt promoting anything through IPL but just are reiterating the fact that they are the big boss of cricket.