A round up thus far on the NatWest ODI series

August 29, 2007

So 3 ODIs are up and England lead 2-1, after two top order batsmen let India down in their chase of 280+ plus score in the 3rd match in the series. Considering the order in which the results were achieved, it seems almost fairy tale; it seems like it was made to keep the fans interested and guessing.

After listening to Ian Chappel’s comments on the changes to the one day game, I would definitely agree with them: they are messing around with it a little too much. The new rule which states that non-striket can start his run when the bowler’s backfoot reaches the ground does seems like “cheating” (again, quoting Ian Chappel). Enough has already been done to degrade the quality of the one day game. The powerplays in my opinion are bringing the game down; you can win or lose a match because of the it. The shortened version of the game is becomming more of a mind game than a sport; granted, cricket has always been a 50-50 psychology-sport, but the balance has started to tilt, and I don’t like it. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.

Here are some highlights/lowlights from the ODIs thus far :
– Flintoff’s near come-back and 5-for (or should I say Michelle) 🙂
– India’s batting on ODI-2
– Piyush’s 2 of 2 against Pietersen
– Monty’s first succesful run-out

– Umpiring standards and Tendulkar’s missed ton (again!)
– Paul Colligwood’s hogging of England’s bowling attack
– India’s fielding
– India’s chasing
– Agarkar’s bowling

Meanwhile, there’s a very nice interview of the Prince of Calcutta. Check it out here. Siddartha writes this one beautifuly, evoking a good amount of emotions. You tend to picture scenes from the Ganguly’s younger days: those of power, aggression and attitude, all of which provided team India with a dimension that it never had (or wasn’t seen for some time until then). You see tinges of that very dimension now in Zaheer, Sreeshant, RPSingh, and Tendulkar.

Cheers to the improved team India!

After 21 years…

August 13, 2007

India cruise to a series win: finally, a series where the edge was not squandered away. There are some great pics on cricinfo.com of the epic finale. Check ’em out here.

Highlights and dramatics for me from Day 5 of the third test match at the Oval:
– Sreesanth comes good and gets his prize captain wicket of Michael Vaughan
– Tendulkar’s bowling
– Pietersen’s ton
– Little tussle between a very angry Anil Kumble and Pietersen
– Team India with the npower series trophy!

After the spectacular test series involving two well matched teams, there seems to be a thirst for more such test series; however, what is to follow is a series of 7 ODIs. It would have been better to have 5 Test series and 3 ODIs. 😦

Till 21 Aug, not much cricket to watch.

“Anil Kumble day” at The Oval

August 10, 2007

It was definitely India’s day at The Oval today, at the third test match of 3 Test series. When India started on Day 2 with 300 and odd runs with Laxman and a very edgy Tendulkar on 48 at the crease, 450 looked far away, however that was not to be. Tendulkar got his half century: a very different innings, calm yet troubled, slow but not without some stylish shots; there was one hook shot which showed everybody who he is, not that we don’t know, and two other good ones; so, good, that it looked liked that man on 82 was poised for a century. That, alas was not to be.

 After Tendulkar came Dhoni. With his scores from the series, you couldn’t expect much, but we were in for a surprize as a belligerent Dhoni got to 92. When one thought this was it, then came Kumble’s innings: one that all those who watched will remember for many years to come. With his brilliant unbeaten century, he becomes the second (after Shane Warne) with over 500 Test wickets and a century. What a record to earn at the age of 36! Today was definitely his day, perhaps on par with the day he got all 10 test wickets! Kumble defintely looked the part that he played today: a classy batsman, a determined man striving another record, not a tail-ender slogging for runs or struggling to beat his previous best of 88. So will Karnataka declare 10 August to be “Anil Kumble Day” or will they name a flyover after him? Whatever they do, I think he deserves every bit of the adulation he recieves.

The highlights of day for me are:
– Kumble’s unbeaten 110
– Tendulkar and Laxman’s half centuries
– Dhoni’s 92
Lowlights (from England’s p.o.v) 
– Prior’s wicketkeeping woes (as they continue today)
– Sidebottom’s ordinary spells

So the galacticos have amassed a mammoth 664, and got the early wicket of Strauss, which makes us believe more Indian-goodness is due. Cheers!