Sunday, April 19, 2015

Rajasthan Take on Chennai as the In-Form Teams Go Head to Head

IPL8: Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings at Ahmedabad, 19th April 2015 - Match Preview

Rajasthan and Chennai have been the best teams thus far in the IPL 8 and they clash today at Ahmedabad after which one will finally not have a clean slate. While McCullum and Dwayne Smith have been thrashing the living daylights out of opposition bowlers, Rahane has quietly gone on about his business. Raina and Faf have shored up the middle order for the men in Yellow while Smith and Faulkner have done the scoring for the Royals when the going has gone tough.

Both the teams also have enough firepower in their bowling line ups. The veteran Ashish Nehra has picked up a couple of 3 fer's already and he has the young Ishwar Pandey and Mohit Sharma for support. Rajasthan have Chris Morris and Tim Southee along with Dhawal Kulkarni who have made the early breakthroughs for the Rajasthan team. R Ashwin is the spin king for Chennai while the 43 year old Pravin Tambe still gives it a tweak that leaves the batsmen guessing!

Steven Smith has tormented Dhoni right through the last 5-6 months but now he finds himself on a ground where Dhoni can finally give it back. I look forward to this little battle between these two players, how they go about plotting each others downfall.

Key Battles: Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings

Tim Southee vs Brendon McCullum

R Ashwin vs Steve Smith

James Faulkner vs Dwayne Bravo

This one promises to be a good game of cricket with the two in form teams clashing with each other. These two are also the teams which met in the first ever Final of the IPL 7 years ago!

Which team are you supporting? Who do you think will win?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Redefine Your Smartphone Experience with the ASUS ZenFone 2

Smartphones today hold an important place in our day to day life. We can hardly live without them and they have almost become a part of our own body. It is thus imperative that we choose one that is made for us and one that will give us the maximum pleasure and the ease of use. With new models packed with all the latest and innovative features flooding the market every other day, it has become an arduous task to choose one fitting your bill.

The ASUS ZenFone 2 is about to be launched and I will give below 5 reasons why I think that the ASUS ZenFone 2 could redefine your smartphone experience!
  • Luxurious Ultra Thin Ergonomic Arc Design

The first thing that attracts an user towards a new phone is its look and design and this is where the ASUS ZenFone 2 wins the battle hands down. Coupled with killer looks that taper to extremely thin 3.9 mm at the edges for a stunning finish and a luxurious brushed metal finish with the signature concentric circle detailing the ZenFone will give bragging rights to anyone that will flaunt this beauty! It is also available in 5 different colors that you can choose to match your style and up the glam quotient.
  • PixelMaster

The 13 MP rear camera is perfect to capture stunning images and the 5 MP front camera with its 85 degree wide arc lens provides for terrific selfies and clear video chats. The low light performance is unbelievably good as the ZenFone, through its latest technology increases the light sensitivity by an astounding 400% to give pictures that will make heads turn. The shutter lag is zero which makes sure that you do not miss anything of importance and everything is caught in real time. The manual controls open up an entirely different horizon and the ZenFone 2 will almost feel like a DSLR in your hands.
  • Performance for Today, and Beyond

This phone is packed with an upto 2.3GHz 64-bit intel Atom Z3580 processor and a 4 Gb RAM that will enhance the phone experience by almost 3 times and the gaming experience by 7 times when compared to its predecessor. The Super Quad Core processor enables the apps to open in the blink of an eye, the games to run smoothly and the internet pages to open without any lags.
  • BoostMaster

The ASUS BoostMaster technology facilitates super fast charging of your ASUS ZenFone 2 device. The ZenFone 2 battery is charged to almost 60% in 39 minutes! Now that means that you no longer need to worry about constantly charging the phone and can enjoy watching movies or playing games at almost every possible moment when you want to. The high capacity 3000mAh battery means that you can probably go through an entire day without charging the device, thus enabling you to enjoy your phone!
  • Incredible SonicMaster Audio

The world renowned ASUS Golden Ear team provides the user with the best audio that a smartphone can offer. The SonicMaster technology delivers a crisp, crystal clear audio that remains unaffected whether you are on headphones or on speakers.

These are the 5 features that I look forward to the most when the ASUS ZenFone 2 will come out. Which of these features appeal to you the most?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Dream XI

My Dream Team from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Tillakaratne Dilshan - Picked him over Martin Guptill because of his consistency.

Brendon McCullum - Destroyed attacks left, right and center.

Kumar Sangakkara - The run machine, elegant, classic.

AB De Villiers - The most innovative batsman of this World Cup.

Steven Smith - The man for the knock-outs!

Glenn Maxwell - Awe inspiring batsman-ship, handy part time off spinner.

Grant Elliott - Ice-Man bat, all rounder to boot!

Mitchell Starc - Deadly yorkers, pace.

Trent Boult - Classic left arm swing bowler!

Wahab Riaz - Fast and furious!

Daniel Vettori - Accurate and economic, wicket taker in the middle overs.

Reserve Batsman - Martin Guptill

Reserve All Rounder - Corey Anderson

Reserve Fast Bowler - Mohammad Shami

Reserve Spinner - Imran Tahir

What will be your Dream Team from the ICC World Cup 2015?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

5 Cricketers Who Retired at the End of World Cup 2015

Two Fast Chums, A Batting Freak, Two Captains and Dan the Man!! All fade into the Sunset!! Goodbye!

Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka

The elegant left hander from Sri Lanka had announced that the World Cup 2015 will be his swansong from ODI cricket. He came into the Lankan side in place of the diminutive Romesh 'Lil' Kaluwitharana and through sheer hard work; determination and single minded focus blossomed into one of the best batsmen of our era. He constantly remodeled his game according to the time and the fact that he scored 4 consecutive hundreds in the World Cup 2015 remains a testimony to how he could still have continued playing the game some time. There was to be no fairy tale end to his long career though as Sri Lanka lost the Quarter Final clash against South Africa. He played 404 matches scoring 14234 runs at an average of almost 42 with 25 tons and a mind numbing 93 half centuries!!

A Fairy Tale Farewell eluded the Great Kumar Sangakkara
as Sri lanka crashed out at the 
Quarter Final stage with a huge loss to South Africa

Mahela Jayawardena, Sri Lanka

The close friend of Kumar Sangakkara and one of the most elegant stroke makers the game has ever seen had also indicated that the World Cup 2015 will be the last time that he will be seen playing an ODI for Sri Lanka. He started very early and was a champion school cricketer before he was leapfrogged into the Sri Lankan set up at a young age. He was one of the shrewdest captains that played the game and his presence in the middle order as well in the middle while the team is in a crunch position will be sorely missed. He steered Sri Lanka out of the woods with a composed century against Afghanistan and his centuries in the 2007 Semi Final against the Kiwis and his ton against the Indians in the 2011 Final will surely remain as his most cherished ODI innings. He played 448 matches for the Lankans scoring 12650 runs at an average of around 33 with 19 tons and 77 fifties.

Shahid Afridi, Pakistan

He seemed to have been around forever and he never changed his game right through his career. He had began his ODI career with the fastest ODI ton off just 37 balls against the Lankans in the 1990's and he went out in a trail of fire in his last innings against the Australians in the Quarter Finals as well. Known as 'Boom Boom' to fans all around the globe, he always provided thorough entertainment either with the bat or with the ball. His showman pose after picking up a wicket will always stir fond memories in those who watched him play. He played 398 ODI's for Pakistan scoring over 8000 runs at a strike rate of 117 and made 6 tons and 39 half centuries. He also picked up 395 wickets at an average of 34.5 and maintained an economy rate of 4.62 right through his long career.

Michael Clarke, Australia

Although many people do not give him the credit that he deserves for his ODI contribution to the Australian cricket the fact remains that he retires with an exemplary record and the numbers that he possesses are a testimony as to how much the Australian team will miss him. He was also a fine leader and his aggressive field settings and attacking moves meant that Australia played a brand of cricket that made the right sound, always. He was a brilliant player of spin bowling and shored up the middle order with class and panache many times. He retired as a World Cup winning captain at MCG as Australians beat the Kiwis by 7 wickets. He appeared in 245 matches for the Aussies making 7981 runs at an average almost touching 45 which included 8 tons and 58 half centuries.

Daniel Vettori, New Zealand

Vettori joined the Kiwi team as a young and gangly bespectacled boy and was soon one of the leading spinners of the game. He did not turn the ball much but his excellent control of the flight and pace along with subtle changes in line and length meant that he could always deceive the very best. The fact that he played for so long in the generally seaming conditions in New Zealand and prospered speaks volumes for the skills and quality of this man. He was the go to man for many a captain and was also a handy bat. He also led New Zealand briefly when they were in not such a good state and did so admirably. He will be remembered for his calmness and Zen like approach to cricket. He played 295 matches for the Black Caps picking up 305 wickets at an average of 31 while maintaining a miserly economy rate of just 4.1. He also scored 2253 runs at an average of almost 18 which included 4 half centuries.

Other Cricketers who retired at the end of this World Cup are Misbah Ul Haq, Kyle Mills and Brad Haddin.

Which of these cricketers will you miss the most and why?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Top 5 Bowling Performances of Cricket World Cup 2015

Here are my Top 5 Memorable Bowling performances from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015!

With Australia chasing just 214 to win in their Quarter Final match against Pakistan it seemed that they would romp home with the batting fire power that they possess. But Wahab Riaz had other ideas as he first got David Warner with a short ball that he top edged to third man. Then Wahab had the Aussie skipper Michael Clarke caught at short leg as he tried to evade a nasty bouncer. What followed though was mayhem as Shane Watson was tortured and traumatized by the spell of the World Cup. He was given bouncer after bouncer, each more nasty and pacy than the previous one as Watson's body convulsed in reaction. Had Watson been caught at fine leg while he was still in single figures the match would have panned out differently. Ultimately though, Australia weathered the Wahab storm and won by 6 wickets!

Wahab Riaz breathed fire as he was all over Shane Watson in a 
memorable spell of fast bowling at the Cricket World Cup 2015

England had started reasonably well against New Zealand and looked set to make a fist of the game but suddenly Tim Southee jolted them but a wonderful display of swing bowling. He first worked over Moeen Ali giving him a short ball and then pegging his off stump back with a hell of a yorker. Then Bell was taken as the ball first came in and then left him slightly to take the top of off pole. He went on to take 7-33 as he routed the English top order, the ball swing to his whims and fancies!

New Zealand and Australia met at Auckland in the Pool stage and with short boundaries bowlers were given no chance and a high score was predicted. Australia started reasonably well and were 70 odd for 3 when Trent Boult returned for a second spell. He broke the back of the Aussie middle and lower order in a spell that left the Aussies gasping for breath. That spell read 5-3-3-5 as he snaffled Clarke, Maxwell and Mitch Marsh among others! Australia were eventually bowled out for just 151.

In the same match where Boult bowled that magnificent spell, Starc made that match more memorable by almost snatching victory from the jaws of a defeat for the Australian team. He bowled Ross Taylor and Grant Elliott either side of the lunch break and with his yorkers finding the target, the batsmen had to be extremely wary. He bowled Adam Milne and Tim Southee off successive deliveries and had two cracks at Boult but Boult somehow survived and Williamson hit the first ball of the next over for a six to seal the match. Starc took 6-28 but still ended on the losing side!!

New Zealand were in trouble early on but they had recovered sufficiently, reaching 150-3 at the start of the batting powerplay, ready to launch an assault. That is when James Faulkner bowled a spell that changed the course of the match and tilted it in Australia's favor with certainty. He first got Ross Taylor caught at first slip and then bowled a peach of a yorker that cleaned up Corey Anderson the very next ball. He later picked up Grant Elliott, who was starting to just open his shoulders, thus punching the final nail in the Kiwi coffin!

Which was your favorite spell from this World Cup? Which bowler do you think bowled that magical spell tilted the match that should have been listed here?

PS - The image used is courtesy

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