Some random thoughts on the Indian Cricket team

15 02 2007

Indian team for the world cup has been announced. In a way it was on expected lines but still a few questions remain. First of all, why the experiments? We stuck to an experiment mode for nearly a year, trying out every new player who has played some Ranji cricket but what has been the result. Ultimately we have stuck to a team that was pretty similar to the one before these experiments started. Ganguly, Zaheer, Kumble are back. If we had to stick to the old guns then why did we overlook them in the first place? Greggie needs to answer this question.

Then secondly, there is a case for Laxman and Kaif too. Laxman was just plain unlucky to miss out on the 2003 world cup when his place went to Dinesh Mongia. He had hoped that he would play in this world cup but he’s not there in the team. And then there is Kaif, who was dropped due to poor form. He was also unlucky in a way because by the time he was dropped, his state team UP had finished its quota of Ranji matches. He had no other way of proving his form.

And then there is Sehwag. He has simply not learnt from the criticism given to him. Looking at the way he got out in yesterday’s match, I don’t think its right to take him to the world cup. He can’t handle the short pitched ball directed at his ribs. Wat’s he gonna do in West Indies? And he has got a lot more opportunities than Laxman or Kaif to prove his form. He is still there, they are not.

You think this team can win the world cup? I don’t think so. I’d be happy if they qualify for the semi finals. Read the rest of this entry »


Sreesanth rockz!

18 12 2006


Here is a priceless video. This was S Sreesanth’s reply after he was sledged to his limits by South African bowler Andre Nel. Having been at the receiving end of Nel’s sledges right through days 1 and 2 of the first test at the Wanderers, Sreesanth decided to hit back. This is one of the most pleasureable sight from an Indian batsman, even the greats like Ganguly and Sachin could not do anything close to this. Click here if you have difficulty in viewing it.

India lives, to die another day

22 09 2006

Now seriously this title would have been apt for India after their last match against the West Indies in the ongoing DLF Cup at Kuala Lumpur. The way they played their last league match against Australia was simply horrendous. Here’s the tournament roundup:

West Indies lost from a position of strength in the opening match against Australia. They lost their last 9 wickets for just 29 runs and in the process gave away the bonus point to Aussies. They were a bit lucky in their next league match against India as they won it by the D/L method. Then rain came in as a blessing for India as well when their match against Australia was abandoned. Then in a surprise the West Indies beat Australia in the return-league match to storm into the final.

This left India with the option of winning both their last matches to get into the final. They somehow managed to beat Windies by a narrow margin of 16 runs in a low scoring match. They survived by their tenterhooks. Nobody expected India to win that match after they folded up for just 162. But they did the unthinkable, even when Lara was firing with a blazing unfinished 40. Had India lost that match, the tournament would’ve been over for them. But they lived then, only to die today.

India’s performance has been worse than being simply called shoddy. Its like back to the old days of the ‘90s when we used to depend on only one batsman – Tendulkar. In recent times his form has been suspect, so much so to earn the nickname Dropdulkar from me. But his performance in this tournament was more than what I have come to expect from him in recent years. A 141 in the opening game followed by a 65 in the 3rd match looks good but it has been coupled by 2 failures against Australia.

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Now coming to Australia, it seems like India has a mental block against them (despite the fact that we’ve imported our coach from Australia). Aussies play mind-games, this is very well known all over the world. One of these mind-games was a statement by Glenn McGrath that since Tendulkar has got his hundred in the first match he is bound to fail against them. How true! Not once, but actually twice Tendulkar failed against them. This was an Aussie team that it not at its full strength and still they’ve made Indians look like a bunch of street players.

This became India’s last match before the Champions Trophy but the team management has problems galore. Sehwag is nowhere close to even moderately good. Yuvraj needs to get booted out of the team once again. Pathan is looking like a player unable to cope with the rigours of international Cricket. Captain Dravid fires once in a while. Kaif is insecure about his position in the team. What the hell is going on in this team?

And they say experimentation is the buzzword. What experiments? They’ve experimented too much with Pathan, so much so that this young lad has lost his golden touch with the ball and in the process is slowly turning into a batsman who can bowl in bits and pieces. They’ve shunted Sehwag down the batting order and Dravid moves in to open the inning. Kumble finds no place in the team. Sreesanth is dropped for the big tournament. And in this muddle, Dinesh Mongia makes a return andscores a fifty after taking a crucial wicket in the all important match. Where the hell was he for 17 months? – This was a question asked by a TV commentator today.

On a different note, I think I will stop watching India matches live on television. The commercial breaks spoil the entire match. They don’t even get the chance to show the scoreboard or the replays of batsmen dismissed. I’d rather read articles related to the match on Cricinfo.

I actually won!

30 06 2006

I actually won a contest. It is amazing really but it is true. Last week I got a call from Hutch that I was one of the winners of the Hutch Super 3 contest that was held in early February during the India-Pakistan ODI series. What had actually happened at that time was that I started playing this SMS based contest, in which I had to guess 3 performers of the day for each ODI match. They had a scoring system according to which they used to sms every contestant about the points he/she won. What I didn’t know initially was that the contest cost me INR 6 per SMS. When I cam to know of this fact I was shocked. But by then 3 of the 5 matches had already been played and I had little option left to unsubscribe from the contest. Still I thought that it would be better to stop sending the SMS for the remaining 2 matches but to my dismay, they still charged me @ INR 6 per match. I thought that I had wasted INR 30 for nothing. The prize of the contest was a Rahul Dravid autographed Cricket bat replica. I didn’t expect to win it but I did. I have no idea how I won it, and am baffled that they declared the winner after 4 long months. Still, I am happy that I won. Here is a picture of the set of Cricket bat replicas clicked from my cameraphone.