Showing posts with label Cricket Articles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cricket Articles. Show all posts

Monday, January 25, 2016

India plays Australia in the first T20 at Adelaide tomorrow.

India plays Australia in the first T20 international ahead of the upcoming World Cup T20 in march in India.

Team managements of both the teams are looking to give new comers the chance to see how they fare, based on the performances, they could be selected for the World Cup in India.

Adelaide pitch seems to be evenly balanced whether you bat first or second. So the team winning the Toss can opt according to their strengths like batting or bowling first and take that early advantage from the opposition.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

India bats again at Melbourne in a crucial match in the series against Australia

India batting first after Australia elected to field after winning the Toss. Rohit Sharma was out early for 6.

Thereafter Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli built the innings together with a 119 run partnership for the second wicket, and then Shikhar Dhawan was out for a patient knock of 68.

As the last reports came in Kohli 71 Rahane 19 India 170/2 was the scoreline.

It is bowling which is of a concern for the team as was seen on two batsman friendly wickets at Perth and Gabba.

Melbourne is altogether a different wicket, you need to toil hard to get runs it is not that easy for the visitors.

But when the hosts will come out to bat it will be an altogether different story. They will surely come bang bang as they have nothing to loose and they are already two nil up in the series. Home conditions is an added advantage.

Rishi Dhawan has been included in the place of R Ashwin in the playing eleven.

320 should be scored for defending against a strong inform batting lineup. I would be happy if the team wins with even a 280 too, but that isn't the case as has been observed in the earlier two matches. Australia easily managed to chased down two 300 plus totals.

Rishi Dhawan is too a late a change, he should have been in the team from the first match, but one or two players inclusion or exclusion doesn't matter, it is a team game. The team should collectively have to perform out of the ordinary to win. And Australia looks in ominous form as usual at home.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ravindra Jadeja could be send up the order to do the Pinch hitting

Spinners can't do much on surfaces like Perth, which are very flat and the ball doesn't grip on the surface of the pitch.

Bowlers from all the teams have gone for runs in the recent past at Perth.

In such circumstances one is forced to think, was India short of another 50 runs. 

Indian batters did well but more could have been scored from the pitch if someone do the pinch hitting up the order to boost the Overall team total.

Brisbane is too similar where bowlers if hit the deck hard can take wickets.  Though it may not be such a huge scoring game as Perth.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

It is totally a different ball game Down Under

 India need to play to it's strength in the upcoming series against Australia in January 2016 where it is scheduled to play three T20's and Five ODI series before the WorldT20 Finals in India in March.

The last match it played down under was the semi-final of the World Cup 2016, which India lost to Australia by a huge margin. 

233 was India's reply to Australia's 328/7.  Though India managed to pick early wickets in that match but could not stop Steve Smith from scoring a hundred that helped Australia score a huge total.

If we take a look at Australia's batsmen playing in Australia's grounds you can observe their fluency of strokes.

It comes from sheer reading of the pitch conditions in Australia, which are quite similar in places like Hobart and Melbourne. If you hit the deck hard at these grounds you are in position of extracting that little element of surprise which can get you a wicket.

Bowling in Indian conditions and on Indian wickets is a different proposition, here our conditions early in the morning are different than in the afternoon and also the pitch plays differently during the day. Spin friendly tracks don't offer much bargain.

But in Australia the bowlers can extract something out of the placid tracks if you hit the deck hard and maintain line and length.Melbourne is such an example, the ball after hitting the deck plays differently than in the subcontinental conditions. 

Indian batsmen expect the ball come to them fast but the bounce is different to that of the Indian pitches, that offsets the technique of many an Indian batsmen except a few like Kohli and Vijay who adjusted well against the likes of Mitchell Johnson.

Many Indian batsmen performed very well in Australian conditions worth mentioning Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. 

Laxman had that ability to play it on the rise, negate the bounce of the ball with wristy strokes, that very few can play. When wrists come into play it becomes a headache for the bowler to set the field for the batsmen.

Indian batting and bowling should be according to the conditions in Australia when playing in Australia. 

India need the bowlers who can hit the deck hard while maintaining the line and length. Ashok Dinda comes to my mind, his bowling actions is quiet distinct and he could derive bargain out of  pacy wickets like the ones in Australian conditions, I think.  

Umesh Yadav and Aaron they both are qutie similar, bowling fast, they are not going to bother the Australian batsmen much who would like the ball to come on to the bat. Especiall with players like Smith who would want to smack the ball out of the ground, the bowlers could do little to stop the stroke play from such batsmen.

Instead the team needs bowlers who can bend the back hit the deck hard like James Pattinson is doing in against the West Indies. Mitchell Johnson was clever enough to use the conditions to his liking, he even used to hit the deck hard, even though he bowled to a sling shot action.

In Australia if the bowlers are just going to run in and bowl fast, it is probably the batters gonna hit each delivery as powerfully as possible for maximum runs.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

West Indies bowling strategy similar to that of Hobart Test.

Australia dominates the Boxing Day Test and  at stumps - Day 1: Australia were 345/3 (90.0 ov, Usman Khawaja 144, Joe Burns 128, Jerome Taylor 2/83) .

It was good attendance at the MCG on the boxing day with 53 thousand people watching the match.

Earlier West Indies having won the Toss elected to field first sending in inform Australia to bat. The batsmen made most out of a placid track after David Warner was out early for 23

At the close of play captain Steve Smith* 32(49) and Adam Voges 10(24) were at the crease.

Jason Holder gave only 33 runs from 17 overs with economy of just under 2 runs per over.  Jerome Taylor two wickets for West Indies.

It was hard toil for West Indies pace bowlers, after having won the Toss elected to field first.

Many people criticized  that decision, but I think West Indies didn't wanted to expose it's inexperienced batting line up to a new ball on the first day.

 If there was a batting collapse then it would be difficult for West Indies to come back in the match and could demoralize the team batting prospects.

It happened at Hobart with only exception of Darren Bravo who made a hundred in that Test to bring some confidence back in to the team.

Australia is set for a big total at the MCG, what West Indies could do is to use as many spinners to halt the Australian scoring rate.

The team need to take a fresh look at it's bowling strategy, Hobart and MCG look very similar, where the West Indies team bowlers in particular couldn't extract much bargain. 


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Are the batsmen to blame in the IndvsSA Test series? Too much T20 cricket?

India faces regular seaming and bouncing tracks away from home and infact India did a splendid job in away conditions off late.

But is it the same case with the visitors Who always play with the strength of their pace bowlers ? Is it not the case that Imran Tahir did perform well in the series and the fact that South Africa batsmen were found wanting with the bat?  Indian batsmen faltered too, that indicates the mindset. And moreover Indian batsmen were found wanting and look to be more comfortable with T20 type wickets.

South Africa will have to cope up with the spin playing tracks in the sub-continent. How far India can stretch the home advantage is the question? Did India went far and presented pitches as being reported or did the batsmen of both the teams did not perform?

Narendra Hirwani in 1988 once bamboozled West Indies team and set a record on Test debut by taking 16 visitor's wickets, even so Anil Kumble took 10 wickets against Pakistan. 

Hindustan Times reports that the pitch has been referred to the committee by ICC. 

ICC says pitch for the Third Test in Nagpur was poor, Report under review - Hindustan Times

ICC should take a holistic view and strike a balance with the fact that Sub Continental teams teams too face fast and pacy tracks not best for their comfort while playing away from home. 


Friday, November 27, 2015

Are the pitches in the Test series against South Africa upto the International Standards ?

There is lot of suspense over the way the pitches are being prepared in the series against South Africa.

I think it was for the first time that these type of wickets were on display in the Indian subcontinent. Even when the likes of  Anil Kumble, Raju and Bhajji bowled, the pitches were not so muddy.

Wickets used to offer considerable support for the pacers early on in the Test match, say like the morning session of first day of the Test match until the shine goes off the ball. I remember India scoring many more runs against England at the same ground if I am right.

But not so in this series I suppose, the wickets were quite muddy, ball gripped the surface eternally, turning sharply. Doosra's were simply unplayable.

I won't say that it is unfair. Because both the teams have equal opportunity to bat and bowl.

But is it acceptable according to the international standards?

Like when India travels abroad, mostly down under, the pitches at Perth and Brisbane have that pace and bounce that Indian batsmen sometimes falter at.

In the Brisbane Test when Johnson quickly removed the Indian middle order and the whole Indian batting line up came under pressure. But the pitches were up to the international standards I suppose offering nice pace and bounce.

I think it is an ethical question here more so that the matches in this series were totally lopsided, with the hosts completely dominating.

I was particularly aghast to see when some of the deliveries didn't rise even up to the knee of the batsmen


Thursday, November 26, 2015

India outplays South Africa in the spin department

India has clearly outplayed South Africa in the spin department. Both Ravi Ashwin and R Jadeja have provided the impetus the team India needed.

Imran Tahir on the other hand performed extremely well for the Proteas, but there was little support for him from Harmer. Instead it was Morkel who provided crucial breakthroughs for the proteas.

With Dale Steyn on the sidelines South Africa were just missing the edge they needed to give a good fight back .

Batsmen of both the sides were clearly outplayed by the spinners in the match. With the top score being 40 runs by Murali Vijay after three innings in to the match.

Many are arguing that pitches prepared in the series are spinner friendly. But I think both the teams have fair chance of winning the match, those who ever win should take the title.

Bowling friendly or batsmen friendly, a pitch plays true for both the sides and better team wins in the end.


South Africa chasing 310 in the second innings in the Nagpur Test

India is clearly way ahead in the third Test against South Africa in Nagpur. After hosts being bowled out for 215 in the first innings.

Proteas succumbed to a very low score of 79, courtesy guile and spin of R Ashwin (5/33) and Jadeja(4) on the second day of the match.

Murali Vijay top scored in the Indian batting line up with 40 runs. While Duminy top scored for SA with 35 runs.
India in the second innings replied with 173 in 46.3 Overs. Imran Tahir took 5 wickets in 11.3 Overs while Morkel took 3 in 10 Overs. Shikhar Dhawan top scored with 39 runs in the second innings for India.

South Africa are left to chase 310 runs in the second innings to win the match which looks very difficult. 

In reply SA are 21/1 in the second innings.


Friday, February 13, 2015

New Zealand wins the World Cup 2015 Opener against Sri Lanka at ChristChurch

 Sri Lanka loose the opening match to Co-hosts New Zealand at ChristChurch by 98 runs.

Earlier Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to field first hoping to get early wickets in overcast conditions. But Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum stitched a 111 run partnership for the first wicket propelling New Zealand into a strong position. 

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor stitched another 57 run partnership for the fourth wicket. And after that New Zealand lost both Williamson and Taylor in quick succession to leave the New Zealand total at 193/4.

And after that Corey Anderson joined Grant Elliot to build another 65 run partnership. Elliot was out for 29 runs.

Luke Ronchi the wicket keeper batsmen joins Anderson for the last six Overs building a quick partnership of 51 runs in just 26 deliveries. With some tight hitting by Ronchi and Anderson the team total reaches 331/6. It was altogether71 run partnership between the two.

Some sloppy fielding give Corey Anderson a new life who skied one from Lakmal and in the next Over Malinga yorks Ronchi to take his wicket off a no ball.

For Sri Lanka it was one wicket apiece for Lakmal and Herath, while Mendis scalped two.

Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga were little bit expensive for Sri Lanka today,  Herath bowled a tight spell for 37 runs in 9 Overs taking wicket of McCullum.

Sri Lanka replying to New Zealand's 331/6 scores 40 runs of first 10 Overs, with Dilshan and Thirimanne building the first wicket partnership. At the score of 67, Dilshan returns a simple catch to Vettori in the 13th Over. 

Thirimanne is joined by Sangakkara and the two take forward the Sri Lankan innings then Thirimanne 65 is bowled by Trent Boult at 124/1. 

Sangakkara 39 is trapped LBW by Trent Boult and then Adam Milne clean bowls Karunaratne for 14. 

Jayawardene 0 is out edging to the keeper Ronchi of the bowling off Vettori. Jeevan Mendis could not keep one down from Milne and is out edging to the keeper for 4.

Sri Lanka looses the initiative by losing six wicket for just 44 runs, score now reading 172/6 with Mathews and Kulasekara at the crease. 

Sri Lankan has been bowled out for 233 in 46.1 Overs. by 98 runs.

Sri Lanka has been completely outplayed in all departments by New Zealand as they rise for the occasion and take a winning step forward in the World Cup campaign. 

New Zealand are competitive and strong contenders for the title in this edition. Vettori bowls a splendid spell taking two wickets for 34 runs in 10 Overs. Milne, Boult, Anderson and Southee take 2 wickets apiece.

Sri Lanka as common with the Sub Continental teams loose the initiative while batting, not feeling comfortable with  the pace of the wicket.

Corey Anderson is the Man of the Match for 75 runs and two wickets and all round performance.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

The World Cup winning team of 2011 for India was easily the most experienced and talented of the time in the world

The World Cup winning team of 2011 of India was easily the most experienced and talented in the world at the time. And it was no wonder that India won the cup so handsomely.

When you have Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Mahender Singh Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh and Gautam Gambhir then you could easily be on top of the world. The champs had to do it in front of the world and they did it in style, dominated the world with their eloquent style of Cricket that is not found in any part of the world.

Yuvraj Singh with his remarkable form with the bat won the Man of the Tournament award, which is one  award any player playing the World Cup cherishes for lifetime. And Yuvraj Singh won the award after match winning performances through out the tournament. 

Zaheer Khan with all his experience in One Day Cricket was the main spear head of the Indian team, and go to man in times when team needed him during the course of a match. Harbhajan Singh was the India's spin wizard who lend the team with a reliable spinning abilities and providing crucial break through at regular intervals.

In Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, India had a safe opening pair. Particularly Virender Sehwag with his amazing stroke play used to put pressure on any opposition with in no time. And the legend, maestro Sachin Tendulkar himself was there to provide that touch of solidity to the team, any team in the world would like to have such a player in the ranks. Dhoni was the captain cool, shrewd and tactical that kept India in the hunt and ensured the team won the World Cup, he was handful behind the stumps and was demolisher with the bat. Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli were experienced enough to keep India in good stead through out the tournament.

The players like Praveen Kumar, S Sreesanth, Munaf Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, Yusuf Pathan all provided the team with the cushion the team needed and with that strong bench India proved insurmountable to any opposition in the World.

Here on sub-continental wickets the ball does not rise as much and the tracks are batsmen friendly so to say, but still the batsmen had to play their strokes to put a score on the board for bowlers to defend. Or chase down runs as the Indian team did against Sri Lanka in the finals.

Sri Lankans as always are a respectable side with likes of Mahela, Sangakkara, Dilshan, in their side. But it was India's day and they finished their campaign in 2011 by coming out on the top. History has been created. India became the World Champions true to their repertoire.

After four years this World Cup edition is less than a week to start in Australia and New Zealand and most of the teams have warmed up for the occasion and ready to start their campaign.

In the preliminary stages we will see developing cricketing nations rub shoulders with their more experienced counter parts. Ireland, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Zimbabwe all the other teams have some element of surprise they carry in them. It is the exposure to more and more cricket that will make them more experienced. These teams have many times sprung a surprise by defeating top teams in the World Cricket. 


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

India need to attack pace bowling in World Cup with sound technique and temperament

World Cup is round the corner and all the teams are buzzing with confidence. 

India is on a long tour of Australia that started in December last  with Four Tests, a T20 and an ODI Tri-series. The team lost 0-2 in the four Test match series. Though the team lost but there were positives from the series to be taken into account.

In One day series the team did not do well, often loosing early wickets to pace bowling in Australian conditions. Many players did not adjust to pace and bounce that well, often edging catches behind the stumps.

Though Mitchell Johnson who is the main spearhead of the Aussie attack took rest from the series, India could not win the series. Though it is another matter, in the last match it played against England at Perth, the team had a good start but could not convert into a challenging total in the end, the match was easily won by England.

In these conditions India need to adapt well and particularly should have the strategy to counter the likes of Mitchell Johnson, James Anderson and other host of bowlers from different nations. 

India are defending their World Cup title here in Australia- New Zealand of the World Cup 2015, if India puts up a meek response it will be difficult for India in crunch matches like Semi-Final and Finals of the World Cup.

India need to take every match seriously and prepare accordingly and don't give the opposition the comfort to attack in crucial situations of a match.

India need to make strategy to tackle pace bowling very clear and follow it.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Heading into the Cricket World Cup 2015 the list of injured players from different countries is a long one.

More and more players are now susceptible to injuries now-a-days than what we have heard about in the 80's or 90's when Cricket was such a pleasure to watch, free from all forms of excessive commercialization.

Cricketing injuries were unheard of in those times. Sir Viv Richards or a Sunny Gavaskar getting injured and not  available for a tournament as big the stature as World Cup was never expected.

Heading into the World Cup 2015 the list of injured players from different countries is a long one.

From India Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are on the watch list and the players are slated to undergo fitness test on February 7.

Injured players Ishant, Rohit, Jadeja to undergo fitness test on February 7 -Indian Express 

From Pakistan, front-line bowler Junaid Khan has been ruled out of World Cup 2015 due to Hamstring injury. Mohammed Hafeez is also reported to be on the watchlist and is sidelined.

Junaid Khan out of World Cup 2015 - BBC 

From Australia Skipper Michael Clarke had already withdrawn after the first Test with India and is on a recovery path. 

Shane Watson did not play in the last ODI's in the Tri series involving England and India due to hamstring injury.

Shane Watson to miss ODIS due to Hamstring - 

And the very recent scare is to the all-rounder James Faulkner who has suffered a side strain and withdrew from the match mid-way in the finals of the Tri-Series.

It is reported that the injury is not as serious to completely sideline the player, but given the nature of expectations from players these days, and in a major tournament,  is a cause of little concern. But given his exploits with the bat he should make it to the squad. 

James Faulkner could play as batsman only says Don Marsh - The 
Mitchell Johnson had to come out seeking rest from the team management and reported a slight strain on his hamstring to be allowed a months' rest before rejoining the team at Perth in the final of ODI tri series, which Australia won after his tremendous performance scalping three English players for just 27 runs in 7 Overs.

From Sri Lanka, Lasith Malinga underwent an ankle surgery in September last and has been selected in the World Cup squad subject to fitness test, he is reported to have missed one day series that was played in India, after the truncated West Indies tour of India and the England series in Sri Lanka. 

Sanath Jayasuriya on Sri Lanka progress leading upto the World Cup 2015 -

Given the amount of Cricket played these days the list could see many additions as the tournament progresses.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Australia wins the Carlton Mid Tri series comprehensively beating England by 102 runs in the final.

Australia won the Tri Series at the West Australian Cricket Association WACA ground in Perth on Sunday. It was a very good performance by Australia as it bounced back from early setbacks in their first innings when they lost 4 quick wickets for 50 odd runs.

Some patient batting by Man of the Match Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marshall rescued Australia from the precarious position providing a launchpad for James Faulkner later on, who belted English bowlers to score a quick fire fifty to entertain the Sunday crowd.

278 posted by Australia caused some unease in the English camp and the batsmen were not in the frame of mind they should have been while facing the likes of Mitchell Johnson, who returned to the Aussie squad after a well deserving rest for a month.

The moment Ian Bell got out to a peach of a delivery of the bowling off Josh Hazlewood, England were clueless in their style of batting and complete approach towards the chase.

James Taylor after hanging on for a while, played a poor stroke to give a low catch to Maxwell at point. Then Moeen Ali received a rising delivery which he could not fend and edged in the slips. Eoin Morgan was caught in two minds, whether to play or leave and was bowled by Johnson, who was on a hat-trick.

None of the English batsmen put on a fight or a decent partnership and the match was completely lopsided in the favour of hosts, who are looking in great touch ahead of the World Cup 2015. 

James Faulkner walked off the field with a side strain and further reports are awaited. That was a cause of worry for team management ahead of World Cup, in an otherwise marvelous day of Cricket for the Australian team.

Glen Maxwell was Man of the Match for his 95 and four wickets. Mitchell Marsh was Man of the Series.


Friday, January 30, 2015

England enters final after another win against India at Perth in Carlton Mid Tri series 2015

India set a modest total of 201 for win against England in the last league match of the Carlton-Mid Tri-series which England won after some initial hiccups.

Earlier Eoin Morgan won the toss and elected to field first. India started cautiously, Rahane and Dhawan batted well and put on a 83 run stand for the first wicket and batted for 20 Overs.

It was a perfect platform for other batsmen to put on a decent score on the board later on in the innings, but the team lost next 8 wickets in quick succession and the scoreboard was 165/9 soon.

India lost 8 wickets for just 82 runs. The last wicket pair of Mohammed Shami and Mohit Sharma put on a 35 run stand to take the team total to 200 giving it some respectability.

England chasing the modest target lost Ian Bell cheaply to a ball that kept low due to uneven bounce in the pitch. Bell was given out lbw to delivery by Mohit Sharma.

After a breif stand of 26 runs Moeen Ali was out for 17 caught in the deep by Rayudu, then a flurry of wickets gave India a slight hope of coming back into the match. At that point in time the England score board read 66/5.

But Jos Butler joined a patient James Taylor, the duo put on a 121 run stand for the sixth wicket that brought England on the verge of the victory. James Taylor and Jos Butler then were out and England won by two wickets in the end.

Stuart Binny scalped three English batsmen on a docile pitch which supported seam bowling, justifying his selection in the playing eleven.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A must win game for England and India at Perth in Carlton Mid Tri series 2015

India and England meet at Perth in a semi-final like clash despite England having won a group stage match against India with a bonus point. 

Washed out game at SCG provided India with the much needed life line and the team need to make the most of the opportunity.

Both England and India have been below par their potential in the tournament so far. Both the teams would be looking to make amends at Perth. 

For India bowling is a big concern. Even if the batsmen put on a handsome total, Indian bowling department lacks wicket taking bowlers while containing the batsmen.

Despite the pitch at Perth traditionally supporting the bowlers, I personally think the team should go in with four bowlers, as this is not a game to experiment with the combination, but to go for an all out win. So going in with the best of  ability should be the option. 

Though England batting is not as strong as India's on the paper, Indian bowling still lack the control and the ability to provide crucial break through at regular intervals.

In Melbourne India lost wickets early and that held back the team to post on a big total, the team should prepare for alternative techniques while batting on fast and bouncy pitches. 

Steve Smith and Dave Warner present the most solid technique one should have, while batting in Aussie conditions. 

Smith shuffles around the stumps and doesn't allow the bowler to attack his off stump, and with his elegant stroke play on the on-side, he is a nightmare for the bowlers. 

Warner on the other hand, no matter how good length you bowl at him, just finds a way to drive through the covers given slightest of width from the bowler.

Indian batsmen should adapt to the conditions fast and be at their best at attacking the poor balls and leaving alone the good ones. That's one area that Indian batsmen could improvise in on this tour.

The way Rohit Sharma batted at Melbourne had given India much relief as he was short of runs on this tour, but his injury is a concern for India in run up to the World Cup 2015, hopefully he recovers fully in time for warm up games. 

Virat Kohli has remained quiet in the tri-series so far. Ajinkya Rahane didn't look like staying on for longer duration at crease.  

And Shikhar Dhawan's form is a concern for the team, the opener is having a lean patch at the top. In my view he is still the best opener India can play despite his nagging form.

In the bowling department, I would prefer India should go in with Umesh, Shami, Bhuvneshwar and Ashwin.

 England on the other hand has risen up to the occasion and posted the first 300 plus total of the tournament at the picturesque Bellerive Oval, Hobart, courtesy a well crafted hundred by an in form Ian Bell. 

English camp also has experienced bowlers in James Anderson and Stuart Board. And most importantly Steven Finn is among the wickets for England.

The match should be an ideal preparation for the up coming World Cup 2015 for both the teams. 
The pitch at Perth at WACA is known for fast conditions with bounce and carry. 

Here's a web link providing some details of the WACA pitch in Perth

Perth Pitch Report by Sporting 

Another web link to the WACA stadium. 


Friday, January 23, 2015

Australia leads the points table in the Carlton Mid Tri Series with another win against England

Australia won against England in their second round robin tie at picturesque venue, Bellerive Oval in Hobart today by three wickets. Set 304 to score Australia reached the target in the penultimate ball of the match.

Skipper Smith once again played the captain's innings and scored a century to win man of the match award at Blundstone arena.

With this win Australia remains at the top of the table with fifteen points, England in the second position with 5 points. Two matches remain to decide the team to play Australia in the final. 

On 26th January India play Australia at Sydney and on 30th India will play against England. India need to win both the games to qualify for the final and England has to win at least one match with a better net run rate to pip India at the post.

Australia was without Warner and Shane Watson but still managed to beat England shows the depth of the Australian bench and it remains the favorite team to win the Tri-Series. 

England could have put pressure on Australia after Ian Bell scored a big century, but couldn't capitalize on the platform provided by Ian Bell. 

Earlier England scored at a brisk space to reach 100 run mark in 16th Over and 150 run mark in 25th Over.

Ian Bell reached 5000 runs in his 153 appearance for the England team. 

India has struggled with both the ball and the bat in this tournament, electing to bat it lost out at the Gabba and in MCG Australia chased down the Indian total of 269 runs quite comfortably.

But the Toss could be vital at SCG, as the pitch is getting slower as the day progresses and is not easy to score runs under pressure.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Steve Smith was outstanding against India helping the side with a series win

Steve Smith taking over the mantle as the Skipper of the Aussie team has shown tremendous form with the bat scoring at brisk pace and often taking the game away from the opposition in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar trophy series 2014-15.

Smith has grown into a run machine on this tour scoring 769 runs in 4 matches with a staggering average of 140 plus runs an innings, that is simply outstanding as a batsmen. Australia with the exception of Watson and Warner doesn't have that experience in their batting line up, their middle order is constantly under scrutiny with Michael Clarke having to skip series and then the unfortunate and tragic death of Phil Hughes made Australian middle order wanting for a compact batsmen. Mitchell Marsh too had to sit out of the eleven with injury.

Joe Burns was called in to the side, the batsmen is still catching up with the grind of an international tour, and was aggressive with the bat in the Aussie second innings of Fourth Test at SCG scoring a brisk 66. Haddin too was not among the runs as he was in the Ashes last season often rescuing Australia with late stands with the middle order. Smith had to click to keep the Indian challenge at bay and he did with ease, IPL experience could've provided him with the perfect foil in preparing agains the Indian pace bowlers.

The stance of shuffling across the stumps to negate the line of the bowler often unsettled the inexperienced Indian bowling attack who often were clueless than want of technique or effort, they were lacking in strategy and planning. Indian bowlers need to prepare mentally on an Aussie tour more than anything else.

Australia playing at home are always formidable and will never let the opposition bowling attack settle down, no matter what and often change the course of the match briskly and then they have a trump card in Mitchel Johnson who has the ability to take quick wickets and also is a very good with finishing the tail off. Given the limited resources, Smith has proved to be a good bet under the circumstances in which he led the team. 

It augurs well for Australian cricket with Smith performing so well. Of course he may have to give back the mantle to Skipper Clarke if he makes return to the team in the future.Crowds were simply missing Clarke, the team looked dull with out him in the dressing room. Especially the performance he had with the team last Ashes series is worth remembering for a long time to come.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Australia took a commanding lead of 348 runs at SCG on fourth day of the Test match.

4th and the final Test of 2014-15 Border-Gavaskar trophy is interestingly poised at the end of fourth day's play. Australia scored a fast paced 251/6 and lead by 348 runs overall with one day remaining in the Test match.

Earlier India resuming to bat with the overnight batting pair of Wriddhiman Saha and Virat Kohli managed to score just under hundred runs with the team overall total being 475 all out in the Indian first innings.

Skipper Virat Kohli was out in the similar fashion as he was out at MCG in the first innings, he was out on 147 runs. Soon Ashwin joined Saha and the pair put up a healthy 50 run partnership, later Saha got out to a bouncer from Hazlewood.

Ashwin scored freely making  a well played fifty with Bhuvneshwar Kumar giving good support from the other end.

Later Australia started their second innings quickly loosing Warner to Ashwin edging into the slips and Watson too followed suit quickly. And then Skipper Smith joined Chris Rogers to score at a very fast pace and putting up a partnership of  80 runs before Rogers got out making a strokeful 56. This was Chris Rogers sixth consecutive fifty equaling some old time Australian batting records.

Then Joe Burns carried on the Australian momentum of the innigns scoring 66 runs of just 39 balls, with the help of 8 fours and three sixes. Haddin and Ryan Harris were at the crease when matched was stopped due to bad light with one over to go.

Australia are yet to decalre and have not indicated whether they will resume the innings tomorrow or not.

Steve Smith scored most runs in the series surpassing Sir Don Bradman's record of most runs by an Aussie player against India. With four test hundreds and scoring 769 runs. Smith overtakes Pontings record of 706 runs in a four match Test Series and 715 runs in a Test series against India by Sir Don.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Australia could've nipped Indian challenge at MCG in the 3rd Test keeping an eye on WC2015

There could be many possible reasons Why Australia went for a draw in the third Test. Skipper Smith said the side didn't want to give India a sniff at the Target, and mentioned India's strong batting line up as the reason behind. 

Though Smith was clear on the subject, it was not sounding like Australian. Australia are known to be ruthless in field and run down oppositions with sheer competitive brilliance. 

It could have been easily accepted, had Australia been touring and found in the conditions that it found itself on Day 4 of the 2nd innings. Australia lost quick wickets in the middle order in Smith, Haddin, Rogers and Johnson for 70 odd runs, putting Australia on the back foot. But not by much as Shaun Marsh recovered to post a match saving fifty on that evening, and Australia commanded the lead and could have stepped up the pedal.

But instead it slowed and slowed down it's innings until the match was over the next morning on the final day of the Test. Australia not only eat up the morning session, it did not declare till the lunch. That India played so and so is altogether a different story.

Why Australia did so, made a contest look so 'boring'? 

One reason could be that Australia did not want to give India any what so ever remote chance in the series keeping an eye on the up coming World Cup as India are the reigning champions. The Test loss though a little remote possibility, Australia wanted to play it very safe. As it could have opened up chinks in Australian team.

Post Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke era the side is yet to reach pinnacle of the ladder where it enjoyed that position of Top Test playing nation in the world for many years. South Africa has challenged that top position by constantly posing questions and successfully held the top position for a longer duration.

Though Australia might not be that worried for the Top nation rankings as much as the up coming World Cup 2015 which is hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

Given all the permutations and combinations, India did not fare that badly. As I remember when India played at MCG in 2012, it had lost the match. And this time not only it posted a hand some reply in the first innings, there was rejuvenated response from the batsmen to Australia's 508 in the first innings.

Though bowling is concern for India, it still carried the punch and took down the Australian top order and middle order occassionally. The batters responded well through out the series and lost out only a session or two.

Though on the face of it, it looks like Australia won the series, but it was not in the same fashion as it beat England in the Ashes in 2014.

Given the state of play Australian think tank might have considered for a lame draw than an all-out winning approach to sub-due the Indian challenge and nip it in the bud keeping an eye on World Cup 2015.