August 2, 2011
Four days of Test cricket.
Two and quarter days of fighting cricket. The remaining was trash. Add in some vaseline, Bell runout gate and all you get is a waste of time.
India’s 2nd innings was a joke. Laxman and Dravid perhaps were too frustrated and let the others do some of the cleaning. What did the others do? Sachin made another meaningless half century. Harbhajan forgot to feign injury while batting to score 40 odd. Dhoni and his ODI boys did the usual. There is no excuse for this.
One cannot blame the bowlers too much. They toiled hard on day 1 and on day 3 without support. Some of field settings at key times were the most defensive I’ve seen in a decade. It felt like we were back to the post-Azhar Sachin and second-innings-Azhar age. Granted, the bowlers caved at time, bowling outside off, wide, and making it easy for the batsmen to score. What was required was some unity and team spirit. There was nothing like that going on. Maybe that had to do with divisiveness on Bell run-out-gate.
Ganguly was right. This season will tell us just how good a captain Dhoni really is.
As after any drubbing, there are more questions than answers. But I don have one answer – India are losing this series.
I will eat crow if they level!
April 3, 2011
That’s a sentence I thought I might never say!
That punch of Dhoni’s that was sent high into the stands, brought a billion dreams come true. And those of some old souls who didn’t live to see. This is big! This is the World Cup and yes, it’s true. India have won it!
This team, ably coached by Gary Kirsten et all, has given us many wonderful memories. From Perth to Wankhede, it’s been a wonderful journey. Not a roller coaster ride, but a smooth nearly blipless one. Thanks to Kirsten and co. Thanks to Dhoni for the cool headed leadership. Today, not even the harshest MSD critic would have a gripe in saying that he deserved the man of the match, perhaps more than any other time – for Tendulkar yesterday did what he normally does in tournament finals and deciders for over a decade. Thanks to the young team for bringing us all this joy! But let us not forget those who, since ’99, have sown the seeds for this victory in spirit. I still feel bad about 2003, but this is not the day for that!
This day, we celebrate!
And yes, this victory is for the people of India!
Cheers Team India! Vande Matharam!
October 4, 2010
What a day of Test cricket it’s been. From Ishant’s bouncer’s and Zaheer’s yorkers to Hilfenhaus’s chin music, it’s a been a whirlwind of a day!
India ended the day at 55/4 needing another 161 runs to win the match. Gambhir got a shocker (some decisions have been seriously bizzare), Dravid threw his wicket away after taking 16 balls to get off the mark, and Sehwag soon followed suit. With VVS Laxman’s condition unknown, Australia may need only 5 more lower order wickets. I must say it’s odd that Dhoni sent Raina in when as a wicketkeeper batsman and captain Dhoni should have come out himself. Dhoni’s not been in great form. In fact, I can’t remember the last time he’s scored a decent 50. But this could have been an occasion.
On a day when India bagged a silver and bronze at the CWG, the cricket team’s fortunes at teetering by a thread. But that isn’t unusual, or is it? The accolades in other sport often comes when the cricket is floundering. Or are we just playing too much cricket? 😉
September 24, 2010
A cracker of a semi final awaits today where Kumble’s Bangalore will take on Dhoni’s Chennai. While much has been said about Chennai on paper, they have exposed some chinks this tournament.
Bangalore’s batting on the other hand has been a bit off color. Add to that a Kallis-shaped-hole, and the balance gets affected. Apart from Kohli and Dravid, the batsmen have not really lived up to their names. Uthappa has been a yo-yo behind the stumps.
One expects to see a decent match between two evenly matched sides!
September 19, 2010
Cricket is still alive! That was one hell of a match that went down to the wire, burnt the wire and proceeded to the Super Over. Chennai Super Kings’s tactics vs. the Aussies was a treat to watch. While many may take issue with Ashwin bowling the super over, I think Dhoni’s choice was a decent one. Maybe my choice would have been Raina, and yes, that’s a mighty gamble. But that’s the thing with gambles; if you pull it off it looks great, if you don’t it looks ridiculous.
Victoria Bushrangers did well to tie the match. Liked to see the spunk from Peter Siddle. The tournament is still alive for them as well. CSK’s aren’t in too much trouble, so this result opens up the table for their group a bit more. It’ll be interesting to see who makes it.
Having said all that, I think the tied result needs to stay that way even in a T20. It’s a significant result with a special meaning.
August 5, 2010
Now this is what you call a Test. This is more exciting than adrenaline overdosed T20. The match is evenly poised now, esp, with Sehwag snatching both openers. Earlier in the day, the Indian middle order collapsed again. Raina played very well to get to his 62. I’m turning into a fan. If only he could do this well overseas. Laxman got his trademark half century, but one expected more of him. I don’t have high expectations for Dhoni the batsmen, so wasn’t exactly surprized by the proceedings. I just had a smug smile when he was dismissed for 15.
Mishra and Mithun batted brilliantly and showed more poise that the top order (minus Sehwag). I hope that SB is wrong when he says this might be the last of Mishra we see for sometime.
The first session will be crucial tomorrow. India need to pile on the pressure and get 2-3 wickets and wrap the SL innings quickly to get a result. I think this series deserves another result.
May 7, 2010
The super eights are here. SA managed to not choke yesturday against NZ (allright, I’m being a bit harsh). But India have other plans.
For the teens of this age who may not have watched India in the 90s need not worry. There’s a 90-s style collapse going on. Vijay walks in hits a few, and leave. Ditto for Gambhir. Then Raina. Yuvraj gets another duck, carrying his spotless IPL (fix?) form.
I have been skeptic about this Indian batting line up for some time; which is also reason why I didn’t rave about India’s victory over SA in the first stage of the tournament. I don’t see batting stability or experience apart from Gambhir (Dhoni doesn’t count for me, neither does out-of-form Yuvi). As I write this, Dhoni has already fallen. Jadeja? Who is this Jadeja (deja vu – another 90s reminder) What is Ravindra Jadeja doing? Is he in as a fielder? After the dropped catches today, perhaps we need a new term for his place in the side.
Is the bowling better?
India are 40/5. They will need more than miracle to win this one.
Looking forward to a 90-s style excuse for loosing this one.
PS: I will eat crow (and my words) if India win this!
End of 90-s style rant.
PPS: Apparently there’s another fan of the old fashioned batsmen on cricinfo. “Umair: “It’s clear no lessons have been learned from last year’s disastrous England World Cup — the young Indian bats, weaned on the flat tracks of the IPL, cannot cope with fast, short-pitched bowling on livelier tracks. Just as SA has kept faith with Kallis and Smith; and Australia with Hussey, India should have included some older players with better technique. The fact that a Dravid isn’t going to have a 200 SR in an IPL match doesn’t mean he wouldn’t add value on pitches like the ones in England last year or this one.”
Yes, Dravid should have been there and that’s not just the Dravid-fan in me.