Tag Archives: Rohit

India Vs New Zealand – Can India fight back?

New Zealand team is on a high. They have just knocked India off their perch and are sitting pretty in the series with a 2-0 lead. Their batting and bowling is doing great and they have the Indian team under pressure. The Indian team though has been struggling with both bat and ball. The only reason they came close in both the ODI’s is because of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni being in great form.

The bowling is a bigger concern. Except for Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami, Indian bowling has been really poor. They haven’t been able to keep the runs down nor have they been able to take wickets. Ishant Sharma has been really poor and India needs to drop him for sure. He has not been able to keep the lid on the scoring after good opening spells by Kumar and Shami. He hasn’t picked up wickets either. Varun Aaron finally might be able to get a look in.

The spin bowling too needs a rethink from the Indian think tank. Ashwin hasn’t picked up any wickets over the last 2 months and he hasn’t been too economical either. It will be prudent on the part of the think tank to include either the seam bowling all-rounder Binny or replace Ashwin with Mishra. India has Rohit and Raina already who can bowl some good part-time spin if needed. It will be interesting to see if Dhoni does change the combination in this all important game.

The opening also been a concern. Dhawan and Rohit have been really slow at the top putting tremendous pressure on the middle order. Rohit has been really slow at the top of the order and he hasn’t been able to capitalize on the starts either. Rohit’s strike rate outside Asia is a poor 72.03 and his average also is a modest 35. India needs to make a decision whether to push the inform Rahane to open with Dhawan and pushing Rohit to the middle order.

This is a crucial game for the Indian team and the think tank needs to make some harsh decisions. Dhoni has been really adamant with his team selections and it hasn’t worked out for him till now in the 5 overseas ODI’s. This is a must win game for the Indians and it will be interesting to see how the young players respond.

Change is unavoidable but needs to be planned

As Dhoni said after India’s loss at Perth, the seniors need to be phased out. The Indian selectors during the golden Dhoni-Kirsten period did not try too many middle order candidates and sudden influx of young players isn’t going to help the situation. India needs to start by giving Rahane and Rohit Sharma a chance in the final test. The series is already lost and this will be a great chance to try out these youngsters.

The phasing out should be carefully planned. There are reports that VVS Laxman might retire after this series so this will be ideal time to test out Rohit Sharma at number 5

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Time to think ahead for team India

The Indian test team has hit a road block and has pretty much gone downhill over the past year or so. In spite of the high of winning the world cup in 2011, the Indian team has for sure taken a step back in test cricket. The legends Sachin, Dravid and Laxman are at the cusp of retirement and we still havent got any replacement tested at this level. The big three have been great servants for the Indian team and with more than 35000 test runs and close to 100 centuries between them they have been one of the best players in the world. Replacing them is going to be hard task for the management. Let us look at some possible candidates for the middle order.

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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.

MCA launches yet another T20 league in India

MPL (Mumbai Premier League) is the latest addition to the ever growing T20 leagues in India. This one is being launched by the Mumbai cricket association (MCA) to cash in on the popularity of the T20 format and the success of IPL. The worst part is that this league is supposed to follow the IPL next year and Sachin Tendulkar is expected to play in this league. Since this league is organized by the MCA even Rohit and Zaheer would be expected to play in the league as well.

We already have IPL, CLT20 and a corporate T20 league which hogs our calendar and most of the Indian national cricketers play in them. We all know what excessive cricket can do to a player … Ishant is a fine example. We are just a year and a half away from the 2011 WC and India does not even have a settled pool of players decided yet.

If every other state decides to have such a league then the players would not have time to play for the country. India is trying to become the best side in the world and unfortunately the biggest hindrance for that is coming from the home board. It seems like BCCI does not care how the team performs; instead they are more worried about the players being available for the IPL.

It seems very funny when the players complain about overdose of cricket as they are the ones signing up to play in the various leagues around the world. Including the Australian T20 league, which is already in place, there are going to be at least three leagues every year where international players will be participating apart from the International games which absolutely doesn’t leave them with any rest.

If the Indian team aspires to be the best in the world, the players have to stop appearing in every league they are invited to play in. The players have to pick and choose the leagues they would be representing so that they are fit and available when the National team requires them. MCA has set yet another bad precedent in India and I hope that the rest of the state boards don’t follow suit.

A good series win but lots to think about for the Indian captain

The Victorious Indian team with the trophy

The Victorious Indian team with the trophy

India won their 5th straight series and their 3rd straight overseas. Looking at such a record it would seem that India has no issues but that’s not the case with the Indian team right now. Both Gary Kirsten and Mahendra Singh Dhoni will know that they have lots to think about in the coming two months. The record of Dhoni has been brilliant since he has taken over the captaincy. Except for the bad performance in the T20 WC, the Indian team has had a great year and a half.

They have won away ODI series in Australia, New Zealand and Srilanka (Twice) and won a test series in NZ. They also beat Australia and England at home and drew a series against the South Africans. They are sitting pretty at the number 3 spot in both forms of the game which is fantastic and the current scrappy series win adds to that brilliant record of Dhoni as a captain.

Even though Dhoni has an envious record as a captain he will know that things are only going to get tough. After the World T20 the picture has become little bit hazy for the Indian team. The team which had brilliant youngsters just few months ago is now questioning their talent at the big stage. The recall of Rahul Dravid in the probable’s for the Champions trophy reflects the state of mind of the selectors at the moment.

The English and the West Indian bowlers peppered the Indian youngsters with the short pitched stuff and they had no answers to counter the same. The same continued in the short series in the WI. If not for some individual brilliance India might have lost this series. Yuvraj in the first game and Dhoni in the third game saved the day for the Indians. Rohit Sharma has been struggling and for me needs a break from International cricket for some time. He needs to play more cricket at the domestic level and work on his inadequacies. The same goes for the other Indian youngsters.

If Rahul Dravid does get selected for the Champions trophy it will be a huge step backward for the Indian team. Even though it is a huge step back,the selection in itself cannot be questioned after the performance of the Indian youngsters in the World T20 and WI series. Jadeja needs to go and I am not sure if he will ever make it back to the Indian team. Karthik’s performance in the WI will also put a lot of pressure on the selectors when Sachin and Sehwag come back. Badri needs to get a chance in the middle order and so does Murali Vijay. Both of them are technically sound would be adding the much needed solidity for the Indian batting.

How long are we going to rely on Sachin at the top of the order? He probably has couple of years of cricket left in him and the youngsters need to show that they can take over the mantle. Raina and other youngsters can make use of this time off to work on their game. They need to figure out a way to effectively handle the short pitched stuff. The word travels pretty fast in the cricketing circles and I am sure that when India play in the champions trophy the youngsters will be tested again.

The bowling also needs some work but the return of Nehra to form will be good for the Indians. Ishant has to work on his variations, Harbajan has to control his faster ones and RP Singh needs to get back his zing. India would also be happy with Piyush Chawla’s fantastic all round performance for Sussex in the county cricket. He might find his way back to the team.

But all the issues aside this has been another good series win for the Indians and another overseas one. The team will be enjoying the welcome break from cricket but they will know that they have a tough season ahead.

Ajeesh wins the Airtel super singer 2008

Airtel Super Singer top 6 (Before the Recall round) Top (From the left): Ranjani, Prasanna and Renu; Bottom (From the left): Rohit, Ajeesh and ravi

Airtel Super Singer top 6 (Before the Recall round) Top (From the left): Ranjani, Prasanna and Renu; Bottom (From the left): Rohit, Ajeesh and ravi

Well at last the Airtel Super Singer winner was declared yesterday here in the US after almost a year of the competition. The week began with Prasanna being eliminated and the final three remaining were Renu, Ravi and Ajeesh to compete for the title. It was a really good run for Prasanna and he surely won many hearts with his entertaining performances.

Monday and Tuesday of the competition was basically a tribute to the top 22 contestants and awards were given to best performances in a particular genre. Ironically all the award winners were from the top 10, Santosh, Prasanna, Raghini, Vijay and Ranjani. Even though the others did not win any awards, it was nice to see all of them together in the Airtel super singer set for one last time.

Now coming to the actual finals which happened on Wednesday there were three contestants and it was good that the results were announced on the same day. I unfortunately was not aware of the change in timings and missed the entire performances of the contestants. I just saw the final song sung by Ravi which was from Dasavatharam.
Yuvan Shankar Raja was there along with other celebrity singers such as Chitra, Mahati, Karthik, Krish, Sunitha Sarathy and few others to grace the live event. Finally after few performances from the other super singer contestants the results were announced and Ajeesh was declared as the winner based on the viewer votes. Ravi came second and Renu ended up in the third position.

Personally I would have preferred Ravi to win the competition as he was a better all round singers but Ajeesh wasn’t too far behind. I am not that disappointed with the actual result as Ajeesh also has had a wonderful super singer 2008. Renu for me did not make the cut and I did not expect her to win the crown. I know that I have been really harsh on her in my previous articles but to be frank she did not possess the variety the other two brought to the table. She is a good singer but one dimensional but I think she will be successful in play back singing in the Sujatha mould.

Coming back to Ravi, he is a fantastic talent and has a great range. He has proven his caliber in western as well as folk and classical and would be very successful in the music industry. I wish him all success and hope to hear him sing in the movies.

So the Airtel Super singer 2008 winner was Ajeesh, a fantastic singer with a great voice. Had some issues with the open singing at the beginning of the competition but overcame the same with the help of the voice trainer Ananth I guess. Great future ahead as he is guaranteed a song in Yuvan’s music.

All in all it was an incredible journey which lasted for almost a year. I enjoyed watching the same and I hope that everyone following Airtel super singer had a blast too. I think next we have the super singer juniors and hope it’s also as entertaining as the senior version. Till then this is Giri signing off.