July 22, 2008
Yes, it’s finally here. I have been waiting for this India’s tour of Sri Lanka ever since the IPL ended (to be honestly about half-way thru the IPL), and almost feverishly after that Asia cup final which gave Mendis instant fame.
While India returns to its time-tested and experienced lot, I will resume my slightly biased blogging with the occasional pretense of objectivity 😉 Why you may ask? In the recently concluded Kitply and Asia Cup ODI series, I was indifferent, almost anti-Indian, as the team didn’t feel Indian-enough for some reason. But this Indian team is our age-old one and a loved one featuring the Big Three, Fab Four, Fab Five, whatever you want to call it. There is also the added evil joy in the absense of Dhoni (sorry SP and other Dhoni fans).
There’s plenty to excitement in store: umpiring referral, Tendulkar’s record beckoning, Mendis against the famed Indian batsmen, Murali vs. Dravid, Ganguly vs. Vaas (Dada has creamed him the past), Indian spinners and Dinesh Karthik.
So time to cheer. Indiyaah! Indiyaah!
July 22, 2008
There was an article lately on cricketnext about Dravid’s practicing against a spinner who has an action like Murali. Meanwhile, avid Dravid follower and fellow blogger K5-litij has dug up some curious facts here. I was intrigued enough and did my own research and the stats are interesting indeed:
1. Dravid has been dismissed by Murali 5 times, next only to Warne and Shoaib Akthar who have got him 7 and 6 times respectively
2. Dravid’s highest of 107 against Sri Lanka is his least highest-score (against each individual nation)
3. Dravid averages 30.6 against Murali.
Curious, aint it? Perhaps that is why he has said that it’ll be a mistake to focus only on Mendis.
Jokes apart, I would agree with that. Murali poses a definite threat and I also agree with Ottayan, who suggests that Vaas could be the most lethal.
May 11, 2008
Ganguly turns it on in his own characteristic way in the games against the Deccan Chargers today. His blisteringly 91, with a good number of biggies off Chaminda Vaas, reminded me of the World Cup ’99 match at Taunton when he and Dravid feasted off Vaas and others. But that was another day, in another era.
After a string of there-but-not-quite knocks, Saurav pulled it off this time with bat and brought forthhis form with the ball from the previous match in which he foxed the likes of Dravid. His captaincy was as one would expect: intense, effective and 100% Ganguly.
The Knight Riders came together well today in all departments. Ganguly and Hussey set the stage with the bat. Dinda and Laxmi Shukla bowled excellently for their part. Surely, they should be looked into during ODI selection. India’s bench strength seems much better than it seemed. And that is perhaps the most heartening thing from the cash-cow experiment that is the IPL.
While the Knight Riders performed as a unit, the Deccan Chargers, seemed to have lost it after the 5th over. They got the early wicket of an belligerent looking Salman Butt, but failed to capitalize on that with average bowling and sloppy fielding. After all, the Deccan Chargers were touted as among the stronger teams, but they seem to be doing just as good as the “Test XI” Bangalore Royal Challengers. What surprizes me even more is that they are getting less flak for their performance than the BRC. From here on, it looks like only herculian effort and a good number of miracles can see the DCs to the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, go Knight Riders! Ride ’em!