Tag Archives: WI

Sterner tests await Dhoni and Kirsten

Dhoni will be aware that the series against the WI is one of the most important in his captaincy career

Dhoni will be aware that the series against the WI is one of the most important in his captaincy career

Now that T20 WC is done and dusted, it’s time for India to fly down to the Caribbean for a 4 match ODI series. The team announced is sans Sachin, Sehwag, Zaheer and Pathan and is quite an inexperienced one. Ashish Nehra gets a call back to the Indian team due to his fine performances in the IPL and Abhishek Nayyar is the only new face in the squad.

The Indian team will directly fly over to the WI from London on the 21st. It will be a different experience for Dhoni who has hardly put a foot wrong during his tenure as a captain of the national side. The failure in the T20 WC is going to hurt for sure but calls to drop him is little premature I think. Dhoni is an excellent leader and India is still the third best team in 50 over and Test formats.

Even though the team is less on confidence we should beat the WI even with this depleted team. The bowling will be spearheaded by Ishant and Harbajan and the batting by Dhoni and Yuvi. Ghambir I guess will do fine in the 50 over format as he was in reasonable form in the T20 WC. Rohit Sharma also will be a key player in the team.

Dropping Irfan Pathan was a bad decision I feel as he is the only other player to have toured WI before. Nehra has been there too and so has Harbajan, so the Indian bowling will do fine but it’s the batting which will be a major worry for the Indians. Irfan could have solved that issue coming in at no 7 as he is a very good bat and a decent bowler at the start. In the absence of Zaheer, he would have been a good bowler to have in the squad.

I hope that the experiment with Rohit opening the bat will end after the T20 WC and someone like Vijay can join Ghambir at the top. Rohit can come at number 4 and Raina can bat at number 3. The Indian captain though would want to come back to his aggressive best. It will be a test of character for the Indian captain as this will show how well he can handle the pressure.

Winning this series will be of utmost importance for the team as this will also propel us closer to the top spot in the ODI rankings. In a way it’s a good thing that India isn’t flying back home after the T20 debacle but on the flip side, watching the other teams battling for the title cannot be good either. Anyways this series will be an important one for the Indians and I hope that we win.

The team has been great over the past one year or so and I hope that we bounce back the same way we did after the 2007 WC.

Tactical errors cost India a place in the semis

India crashed out of the World T20 this Sunday after they lost to England by 3 runs at Lords. Needing 154 to win, the Indian batsmen made 150/5 to lose the game to England. The Indian top order was found out by the WI pace bowlers in the previous game when they bowled short pitched stuff to Rohit, Ghambir and Raina who looked unsettled against the same.

England used the same tactics and was successful again. I know that there was only a day between the two matches but why didn’t Indian coach and captain find a way to counter it. It was a given that the English bowlers would try the short pitched stuff again. The overall captaincy of Dhoni in the World T20 was strange and sometimes hard to understand. He made too many tactical errors which cost India at crucial times.

First of all Yuvraj being the senior member in the team, should have always batted at number 4. I don’t understand why you need to hide a batsman who is the best in the side and could have made the English bowlers nervous. Sending Jadeja ahead of Yuvraj was baffling to me.

The other striking error was not bowling RP Singh at the death. RP Singh replaced Irfan Pathan for this crucial game and bowled a brilliant first spell just giving away 13 runs in his first 3 overs for the wicket of Luke Wright but still Dhoni decided to bowl Ishant and Zaheer who were more expensive. It’s a known fact that Ishant is not a good bowler at the death but RP Singh is. Ishant and Zaheer went for too many runs in the end giving England an easy passage to 150 when they had no chances of getting there at one stage.

England scored 53 runs in the last 5 overs and they did not have to take any risks. Harbajan bowled 2 wides which went for 4 and that too in the crucial last over when the first 5 balls had only yielded 2 runs and a wicket. The only thing Bajji had to do it to bowl straight and India would have won the game. The extra 5 runs given pushed the score beyond 150.

Overall the batting and the bowling in the campaign for India was too inconsistent to say the least. Well all in all it was a pathetic performance and India for sure will be hurt by this. The next series will commence pretty soon against the WI where we play 4 ODI’s and hopefully we can do well. The Indian youngsters need to work hard against the short pitched bowling as WI has a good pace attack.

It seems like Sachin might not go to WI which will be a huge blow to the Indian chances. Sehwag might come back to the side which will boost the top order and I hope that we get back Sreesanth in the team along with Munaf. WI pitches are slow and low and we need bowlers with pace in the team. Zaheer might also not play in the series due to injury.

India plays SA later today in their final game of the ICC WorldT20 and they have nothing at stake but the pride. I am sure that Dhoni and his men would want to end the tournament with a win which will give them some confidence ahead of the WI tour.

India are not No1 but most improved

I have been watching cricket for 20 years. I have been following Indian cricket since that time and looking at the progress they have made its heartening. I am not going to claim that India is the best side in the world but I will for sure say that they are one of the most improved sides.

Watching Indian team during the nineties was one of the most frustrating experiances especially when they toured abroad. Indian team was very good at home beating all top sides consistantly under Azhar and then Sachin but when they toured abroad they were clueless.

During the 90’s and till Sourav took over the mantle India toured Australia twice, England twice, WI once, New Zealand twice, SA twice, Zim twice and never won a single test. I almost resigned to the fact that India cannot. I will mostly look for some good performances from induvidual players like Sachin scoring a hundred or Kumble taking a fifer something like that and be happy with that.

It was dissapointing as we were constantly pasted by Australia and SA and the Indians had no answers. The tag of poor travellers was rightly associated with the team. Ganguly took over the reigns in 2000 after the match fixing row and boy did India improve after that.

I am by no means suggesting that we are blasting teams out since then but we are a fighting unit since Ganguly took over. We have won a series in England and WI. Drawn a series in Australia, Won a test in SA, won in Perth, Won a series in Pakistan and so many others such wins. In the last 8 years are so except for few series here and there we have at least managed to win one test match everywhere we have played.

I feel that we richly deserve the No 3 tag which we currently hold. The team under Dhoni has merely carried the legacy that Sourav has left behind. I would attribute most of our current success to Sourav and Wright combination in the way they nurtured youngsters like Sehwag, Harbajan and Yuvraj who are important cogs in present Indian wheel.

Dhoni has been the perfect leader India has been looking for and even though Kumble and Dravid did their best to keep the team going Dhoni has actually moved it forward a notch. Its too early to praise Dhoni and call him great but what he has done in the last year or so cant be cast aside as fluke. Its the consistancy which has got India the No 3 ranking.

As an Indian supporter who has been following the team for 20 years now its been a wonderful journey. From a team who just made up the numbers while travelling abroad to the team who are expected to win abroad regularly. The Indian captain and coach realise that they arent the No 1 side yet and have to consistantly perform to reach the pinacle which is a good sign.

I thought the team under Sourav called themselves world beaters too soon. I am also happy for Sachin who went on numerous tours abroad without ever winning anything in the 90’s most often rescuing his team from absolute pastings. Standing alone amidst chaos. Also for the numerous other Indian greats in the Nineties like Azhar, Jadeja, Srinath etc who would be really proud of what this current Indian team has achieved.

It was very thoughtful of Dhoni to dedicate the win in New Zealand to the seniors. Contrary to what the media portrayed of Dhoni, he is very respectful of the seniors which was very much evident when he called Anil to collect the trophy when we won the series against the Aussies and also requested Ganguly to captain in the dying moments of his final test match. This humility and respect will go a long way in Dhoni having a successful career as a player and captain.

This is an article of a happy Indian fan who knows that India have improved leaps and bounds from the frustrating 90’s. I am not claiming my team to be the best in the world right now as Australia and SA deserve those positions through the consistancy they have displayed over the years but we are the most improved in world cricket by a distance.

I am really proud of this team. They might not win everything but they will for sure compete.

IPL not the reason for England’s loss

Struass walks back after being dismised in the second innings

Struass walks back after being dismised in the second innings

I am kind of baffled by the articles floating around in the British media, blaming IPL for England’s poor performance against WI in the first test. It was like the media had already an excuse made up well before the start of the series “If something goes wrong blame the IPL”.

England had one poor session in the test match, eventhough humiliating, it can happen with any team. The England performance in the last year or so have been poor and their batting had been a suspect even before the series started.

I know that winning the Ashes is the pinnacle for the English players but just doing that will not make them No 1 in test cricket. England has to do a serious scrutiny at the reasons for their capitulation on the fourth morning rather than taking a easy way out by blaming the IPL for their loss.

I dont see any of the other teams complaining about IPL who have more players signed up in this years competition in comparison to 4 or 5 English players. This is the attitude which will make sure that the English team never becomes the best side in the world in any form of cricket. Beating the No 1 side in one series does not guarantee top spot in the rankings. England needs to realize the same pretty fast otherwise they will be left way behind.