My Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘Twenty20

Srilankan Jubilant after defeating India at SSC

Srilankan Jubilant after defeating India at SSC

Murali and Mendis combination bowled the Indian team out inside two days on a pitch where the home team had piled up 600 runs for the loss of just 6 wickets. The Indians showed no application or patience on a pitch which was not that threatening. Murali and Mendis accounted for 19 of the 20 Indian wickets to fall where as the Indian spinners just managed 2 between them. I would agree to Manjrekar’s comments that Indians are no longer masters of spin which they used to be few years ago.

Mendis had a perfect debut as he captured 8 wickets in the match and Srilanka won by an innings and 239 runs. He was largely helped by the excellent perfromance by the great Murali, who got the ball rolling for the lankans in the first innings. The Indians put themselves under pressure as none of the top 5 converted the starts they got. Sehwag played a reckless hook shot to get himself caught at the square leg boundary to gift his wicket to the home team. It looked like the Indians were still in the Twenty20 mood while at the crease.

VVS laxman tried to save his team from further blushes by getting the score over 200 with the help of the tail in their first innings. Anil kumble will be very dissapointed with this performance as this has become some sort of a habit for the Indian team. The consistancy is something which the team lacks and both the captain and coach would be aware of the same. During the recent test series against the South Africans after matching blow for blow in the first test the team crumbled to a heavy defeat in the second test.

This will really be a hard loss to bounce back from. Srilanka are a very hard team to defeat at home and now with Murali with his tail up the Indians need to do some serious planning to tackle him. The Indians should take heart from the way they bounced back in Australia after a similar performance in Melbourne. Anil Kumble though would realise that things can only get better from here. The coach and captain should work with the players to come up with a plan to deal with the Srilankan spin twins.

Even though all the focus is on Murali and Mendis the Indian think tank should not forget Vaas who might have few surprises up his sleeve for the second test. All in all this is the moment of realization for Kumble’s men and we will know how much this defeat has hurt the team when they take the field at Galle.

Dhoni takes the test series off

Dhoni takes the test series off

Dhoni is one of the few cricketers in the Indian team to feature regularly in all 3 formats of the game. He has been playing non-stop cricket over the last 12 months and was sure in need of a break, a sentiment shared even by the coach of the Indian team. In the last 18 months Dhoni has been involved in 14 test matches, 56 ODI’s, 8 Twenty20 International games and 16 IPL games. Dhoni recently had mentioned during the Asia cup that back to back matches are causing player fatigue.

Even though Dhoni found support in Anil Kumble and Gary Kirsten, the BCCI was not that happy with his comments. Over the last few years players from different countries have complained about player burnout and India is the country who play most cricket every year. Australia’s famous rotation policy evolved due to this very reason.

Dhoni has now decided to pull out of the Srilankan test series a decision which is being scrutinized in the media over the past few days. Former players are providing their opinions, the seniors in the team are being approached for comments on this subject. Personally I feel that the comments by Sourav Ganguly on this subject was unnecessary. Seriously I dont see a reason for such a reaction, its Dhoni’s decision to take a break and everyone knows that he needed one. The one-day captain might have thought that taking a break from test matches where he is more dispensable might be the appropriate thing to do.

The media is after this decision because of the fact that Dhoni has decided to take the test series off instead of the one-day series which is to follow. They are also complaining that IPL is one of the major reasons for the player burnout and fatigue. Frankly for me I would rather see Dhoni take a break in tests rather than in ODI’s and Twenty20 where his presence is more important. I am sure that Dhoni has put enough thought into this decision and needs to be left alone. Everyone agrees that he needs a break and as far as I am concerned Dhoni’s decision is spot on.

India is playing a lots of one day matches in the coming 12 months and would require a fit and rested Dhoni leading them. Parthiv and Karthik are good test players and I am sure that team would not be missing Dhoni’s services that much in the test series. Dhoni has made a bold statement by skipping this series knowing the after effects of his decision. Now we have to wait and see if this precedence set by the skipper is followed by rest of the members in the future.

IPL architect

Whatever may have been the intention, the BCCI have hit the bulls eye with the IPL. The Twenty20 league has been a runaway success accross India and also among the other cricket playing nations. I was rather surprised to see few articles regarding the multi million dollar league in few news papers in America too like Washington Post and Newyork Times. This shows that anything which is packaged and presented well will appeal to the audience. Like most of people I too was little bit skeptical about the launch of IPL due to the glamour of the Bollywood associated with it. I was also worried regarding the quality of cricket to be played in the IPL.

After 21 games into the league I am just blown away by the commitment shown by the players towards this league and the competition has been top notch. The players seem to be enjoying playing with each other and sharing dressing rooms with their so called rivals just few months ago. I was always fascinated by the thought of seeing a scoreboard which reads Smith c Tendulkar b pollock, this can be a reallity in IPL. Yes there has been some controversies in the past few weeks but we can term those as a teething problem for the league.

IPL surely is a boon for cricket lovers. The game lasts only for 3 hours in total and you get to see stars from all around the world under the same roof. The games have been exciting, the players have been wonderful and overall the league has been a success. I just hope that revenue gained from the IPL is channelized in a proper way to improve the domestic cricket standards in India and making that more interesting. Well all in all this has been a successful venture by the BCCI.

So like it or not Twenty20 and IPL are here to stay.

Redskins

IPL is the hottest and most happening event in all of India for the past couple of weeks and as usual politicians have taken this opportunity to grab the headlines. Its always been the case in India where the politicians comment on things which is currently hot in the media to gain fame. This actually is pathetic but for them this is a boon to make a name for themselves.

The recent addition to such attention grabbing comments from the politicians was regarding the Cheerleading squads hired by the IPL franchices to perform in the breaks. Well the accusations from the media and the politicians have been that its offensive and abusive to the Indian culture. The media as we all know has blown it out of proportions since they are frustrated with BCCI shutting them out of IPL. Whoever says that the cheerleaders are affecting Indian culture should just speak for themselves. Being a politician doesnt mean that they are speaking on behalf of the entire nation.

As a person who loves the sport and watch the game just for the action in the middle I dont care who is dancing beyond the boundry line. I dont think that the cheerleaders are affecting or abusing anything in India. Well yeah one thing I agree is that this concept is new for Indian sport and will take time getting adjusted too. India in the past few years has experianced a phenomenal change in its outlook. Take the example of the bollywood movies which we watch with our kids most of times, isnt that affecting Indian culture? One of the comments in the media by a political leader was that Indians respect women as gods, dont we go and see movies in which heroines roam around with skimpy outfits?

So why all of a sudden raise concerns about the cheerleaders in Twenty20? If we are talking about the TV viewing public then wasnt this a part of the Twenty20 worldcup also? Well the reason for all this unnesessary concern about the Indian culture is to make hay when the sun shines. All these politicians know that if we say something while one of most important event in the history of Indian sports is going on they can grab the headlines. They have also used the media’s frustration on the BCCI very cleverly to their advantage.

As a follower of cricket I seriously dont want to be a part of this hypocrisy from the politicians. I dont care if the cheerleaders are dancing or not dancing, covered up or skimpily clothed as long as there is a hard faught cricket match going on. I guess most of the cricket lovers around the world will share my sentiments on this but again this is my opinion I am not speaking for anybody here.

Sharukh Khan

IPL began on friday with a match between the Kolkata Knight riders and Bangalore Royal challengers. we all know the hype behind this tournament and everyone was waiting for the big opening to see how the teams square up. The match in itself was not that interesting as it was completely one sided affair. The RC (Royal Challengers) were beaten by one of the greatest innings seen on cricket field by any player on any format from Brendon Mcullum of Kolkata Knight Riders. Mcullum smashed every bowler from the Bangalore team to finish with the highest induvidual score in this format when he made 158 n.o of just 73 deliveries.

The match was one sided as the team lead by Rahul Dravid collapsed to make just 82 and losing the game by 140 runs. I was lucky enough to watch all the games this weekend and also all the teams in action. My first impression was that Kolkata team owned by Sharukh Khan seems to be the team to beat. They have the right balance with the right mix of youth and experiance. The Knight Riders have played two and won two.

The other team which was very impressive was the Chennai Super kings lead by Dhoni. The Super Kings scored 240 in 20 overs riding on another great century in two days this time by an Australian Micheal Hussey. Hussey made 116 n.o of just 54 deliveries ably assisted by Hayden, Raina and Badrinath. The Super Kings have an excellent batting lineup but barring Murali they have a very week and inexprerianced bowling lineup.

The next team which impressed me was the Delhi Daredevils lead by Virender Sehwag. The team has a very good bowling attack lead by the great Glenn Mcgrath who looked like he had been bowling all the while. The batting lead by the captain himself looks impressive too.

The Bangalore RC who had a forgettable first outing came back strongly to defeat the Mumbai Champs lead by Bajji in the absence of Sachin. The RC team which I thought as the weak link in this tournament actually look strong in the presence of experianced Chandrapaul, Kallis, Boucher along with the captain Dravid which came into play against the Mumbai team in a tense chase. The team also contains promising youngters like Virat Kohli who impressed one and all with his batting in the U-19 world cup.

The Kings X1 lead by Yuvraj, looks a strong outfit too inspite of their loss to the chennai team. They have a good balance in team and their bowling lead by Brett Lee looks fine. As I am writing this article they are battling with the Rajathan Royals lead by Shane Warne. The Rajasthan Royals seem like the weakest in the championship with a weak bowling attack apart from the genius Shane Warne himself. Their batting too looked very weak against the Delhi Daredevils attack.

The Deccan Chargers though were undone by a bad pitch in Eden gardens where both teams struggled to score runs freely. We can probably assess their strength and weeknesses in the coming games.

All in all the tournament was an interesting watch with all teams to trying to find their feet in this format. We will probably know about the teams more as the tournament progresses in the coming week. Lets hope that the standards improve and we have more close games in the coming week.

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.


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