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!
1 Comment | Anil Kumble, Bangalore, Champions League, Chennai, Cricket, Dhoni, Dravid, India, Indian cricket, IPL, Kumble, Robin Uthappa, T-20 Cricket | Tagged: Anil Kumble, Bangalore, Bangalore Royal Challengers, Bangalore Royal Challengers vs. Chennai Super Kings, Champions League 2010, Champions League semi final, Chennai, Chennai Super Kings, CSK, Dravid, Durban, Kingsmead, Kohli, Kumb;e, Rahul Dravid, RCB, Robin Uthappa, Royal Challengers Bangalore, South Africa, Uthappa, Virat Kohli | Permalink
Posted by vmminerva
April 6, 2010
Kumble’s gamble of making three changes to the winning combination against Punjab, cost the Royal Challengers Bangalore dearly in their encounter against Delhi Daredevils. Dropping Steyn was not something I would have done, but Mithun compensated by getting Sehwag. Ross Taylor was not good enough on the day and neither has been Pietersen. There has been much hype about Pietersen being in the RCB camp. While KP is a great batsmen, he ins’t that much better than Dravid. Such being the case, RCB would have done better going with in-form Pandey. Furthermore Cameron White is best used as a substitute fielder. 🙂
RCB will have to get their socks up to maintain momentum and stop hoping Uthappa with hit a n 8 ball 22 when required.
1 Comment | Anil Kumble, Bangalore, Cricket, Dravid, India, Indian cricket, IPL, Kumble, Pietersen, Rahul Dravid, Robin Uthappa, Sehwag, T-20 Cricket | Tagged: Anil Kumble, Bangalore, Bangalore Royal Challengers, Cameron White, Cricket, Dale Steyn, Dravid, India, Indian cricket, Indian Premier League, IPL, IPL3, Kevin Pietersen, Kumble, Mithun, Pietersen, Rahul Dravid, RCB, Robin Uthappa, Ross Taylor, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sehwag, Steyn, T20, T20 cricket, Taylor, Uthappa, White | Permalink
Posted by vmminerva
March 20, 2010
This promises to be a cracker. Mumbai have won all that they have played and Bangalore the last two.
I would pip Bangalore here on momentum. But there are weaknesses, esp when batting first. Bowling has been traditionally good, going by last season’s standard; however this is India and the conditions in Mumbai may not be like last match’s Bangalore track. Kallis and Dravid are the staples, one can expect at least 60 from them put togather, if not more. Uthappa is a wild cracker – it may burst big or just fizzle out.
Mumbai have the Jayasuriya factor. Tiwary and Rayudu are also doing well. But the bowling can be suspect at time.
Can’t wait for 8pm.
4 Comments | Cricket, Dravid, India, Indian cricket, IPL, Robin Uthappa, T-20 Cricket | Tagged: Bangalore, Cricket, Dravid, Indian cricket, Indian Premier League, IPL, IPL 3, Jacques Kallis, Jayasuriya, Kallis, Kumar Sangakkara, Mumbai, Mumbai Indians, Rahul Dravid, Rayudu, Robin Uthappa, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sanath Jayasuriya, Tiwary, Uthappa | Permalink
Posted by vmminerva
January 28, 2009
News of IPL swaps have been doing the rounds for a few weeks now. With the Pakistani players doubtful for IPL’s season 2, the franchises seem to be in tizzy to replace them.
Bangalore’s Royal Challengers has Misbah on the roster but seems to have found a replacement in Robin Uthappa, who it was tactlessly swapped for Zaheer Khan. Apparently, sport is something Mallya has trouble understanding, for Zaheer was among the better performers for BRC last year and is in the form of his life at the moment. If that isn’t tactless enough, Mallya apparently is looking to make a captain out of Karnataka boy Uthappa. While that might be a moderately successful marketing ploy to get the local crowds crooning “Uthappa, six bekappa“, it would be a bit strange to have the likes of Kallis and Boucher reporting to the kid who doesn’t feature in India’s ODI line up. Granted, it is not out of the ordinary to expect that Mallya wants current skipper Dravid replaced, Uthappa might not be the right choice either.
Mumbai have gained Zaheer at the cost of Nehra. They have also “gotten rid of” (if I may use the term) Uthappa, for whom they have a better replacement in the traded Delhi Daredevil batsmen Shikar Dhawan. There is still more to see before one toss the “smart” crown around, but Mumbai seem to be singing the smartest song thus far.
19 Comments | Bangalore, Dravid, India, Indian cricket, IPL, Misbah ul Haq, Rahul Dravid, Robin Uthappa | Tagged: Ashish Nehra, Bangalore, Bangalore Royal Challengers, Boucher, Captaincy, Delhi, Delhi Daredevils, Dravid, Dravid captaincy, India, Indian cricket, Indian Premier League, IPL, Kallis, Karnataka, Mallya, Misba, Misbah ul Haq, Mumbai, Mumbai Indians, Rahul Dravid, Robin Uthappa, Shikar Dhawan, Vijay Mallya, Zaheer Khan | Permalink
Posted by vmminerva
August 19, 2008
The Indian ODI side has lost another battle to Mendis. I’d written them off even before a single ball was bowled in the series. Soulberry is postively miffed and strangely I thought they should have been doing exactly what SB suggests.
But the anxiety and emotion isn’t just about this series. It is about the so-called mission to win the World Cup in 2011.
While there is value in the vision itself (I do have some reservations on the over-emphasis that the World Cup is getting, but I’ll save that for another day), for some time now it has taken precedence to common sense. I think the selectors and us, the serious-Indian-cricket followers, have mostly overreacted to the T20 victory. Just because a young side that won us a World Cup in a abridged format does not mean that was the way to go. Again, we also overreacted to the ODI series victory in Australia, which I have said time and again was largely due to Tendulkar and some good fast bowling from the younsters: not the Uthappas and Rainas.
This reaction has brought about precisely two things: a meteoric rise in the importance of Dhoni and wholesale recruiting of inexperienced youth from an U-19 cricket team. Dhoni’s recent success has hidden his rather mono-dimensional-nature as captain and less-than-solid batting from scrutiny. Dhoni isn’t a thinking captain, Azharuddin was. Dhoni is a lucky captain, at least so far: his troups have delivered. While there is nothing wrong with that the lack of ingenuitity or depth is bothersome. Perhaps this is the series which might expose these aspects of Dhoni further more. I’m not suggesting that we sack Dhoni now. That would be knee-jerk and the problem isn’t really with the captaincy, though I must add he hasn’t been doing much either. Besides, we don’t have a replacement captain. Please don’t suggest Yuvraj, he’s even worse! This itself is a crisis unprecedented in the last 10-15 years. When Azhar had to go, there was Tendulkar; when Ganguly was sacked, Dravid was ready. Even when Dravid stepped down, Dhoni made it because there was no one else, not out of his own merit. The second issue is of more importance. We’ve had a good deal of failures even the recent past of 3+ years from the Chappel era of recruiting U-19s to the Indian team. A cursory look at these names leads credence to the view that this really isn’t the way to go: Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and Mohammed Kaif. In Rohit Sharma, Kohli and Ohja we perhaps have our next failed experiments. Domestic cricket is there for a reason and cricket is not a boys’ game. It involves either genius talent ala Tendulkar or just pure hard work. Gambhir learned it the hard way and is now back after having spent some time in the domestic circuit. Barring Tendulkar, the other Indian batting greats of today, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman roughed it out before they were even considered to represent the country at the highest level. The selectors need to look back this tradition, gather strength and change the way things are being done, though I fear it might already be a bit too late. Give it another year or a few more failed U-19 stars, and we might have to wait another generation for a set of solid batsmen.
Honestly, on the mission World Cup 2011, I honestly don’t see it happening. Teams that win World Cups generally have about 4-5 members who have played in an earlier version and have a mix of solid and swashbuckling batsmen and quality bowlers with variety. Australia in ’99 was probably the best Aussie WC team in the recent past. India’s 2003 WC squad was also probably our best and will remain that way for some time to come. I won’t comment on the 2007 WC here, much has been said about it. If honest effort is made to nurture good batting and bowling we might have a competitive 2015 WC squad, and unless anything miraculous happens I don’t see this particular ODI side winning a 50-over World Cup for us.
Meanwhile, in Soulberry’s thread, some have suggested what I have been ranting about for over eight months now: the reinstatement of Dravid in the ODI side. I would suggest that we include Ganguly too. We need some stability and some sanity. We need a batsman to hang around so the youngsters can learn what it takes to build an innings. Right now there is no mentor in the ODI team for the younsters. And please, Dhoni isn’t one! What happened to the rotation policy? We seem to only have a senior-elimination policy at the moment. Dhoni was picked as captain of the ODI side because he supposedly had a good rapport with the seniors, but the first thing that he did was sack Dravid and then Ganguly. We need to rotate the Big 3, not eliminate 2 and let Tendulkar chase his records. Having said all that, given the nature of BCCI, do I see it happening? No. But do I continue hoping? Yes.
I think at the end of this tour of Sri Lanka, we would have learned more lessons than we did in the past decade. The last instance of such a lesson-filled tour that I recall is probably the 99-00 tour of Australia. We need a good mix of the old and new to win matches and to build for the future. The veterans need to be around to show the way and the transition to the new order gradual. We have learnt a valid lesson from the ODI squad and one only hopes that after the 1-2 defeat in the recently concluded Test series, the same mistakes aren’t made with the Test squad.
18 Comments | BCCI, Cricket, Dhoni, Dravid, Ganguly, ICC Twenty-Twenty World Cup, India, India-Aus series, Indian cricket, Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Robin Uthappa, Sourav Ganguly, T-20 Cricket, Tendulkar, The Big 3 of Indian cricket, Yuvraj, Yuvraj Singh | Tagged: 2007 World Cup, Ajantha Mendis, Australia, Azharuddin, BCCI, Cricket, Cricket World Cup 2011, Dhoni, Domestic cricket, Dravid, Fab four of Indian cricket, Gambhir, Ganguly, Gautam Gambhir, Greg Chappell, India, India tour of Australia 2007-08, India's tour of Australia 99-00, India's tour of Sri Lanka 2008, Indian cricket, Laxman, Mendis, Mohammed Azharuddin, Mohammed Kaif, MS Dhoni, ODI cricket, Pragyan Ohja, Rahul Dravid, Ranji Trophy, Robin Uthappa, Rohit Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar, selectors, Sourav Ganguly, Sri Lanka, Suresh Raina, Tendulkar, Test Cricket, The Big 3 of Indian cricket, The Big Three of Indian cricket, U-19 Cricket, U-19 Cricket World Cup, Uthappa, Virat Kohli, VVS Laxman, World Cup 99, Yuvraj Singh | Permalink
Posted by vmminerva