Monday, February 28, 2011

Wow… What a match, India Vs England

India Vs England – 27 Feb 2011, ICC Cricket World Cup

From the first ball itself, there was excitement unlimited! In the first, Sehwag hit 3 balls just over or close to the English fielders, all at catchable heights. Sachin scored a breathtaking century, his 47th in ODI cricket. England came back well in the last 7-8 overs and especially Bresnan bowled very well during that period. India eventually folded up for 338 runs.

England started off in a blistering fashion but a superb catch from Munaf saw the back of Kevin Pietersen. Then the Indian spinners came into action but couldt not restrict the flow of runs. The partnership between Strauss and Bell leading England to the point where they required about 70 runs from 60 balls. The match turned once again with quick wickets and England panicked. With just 3 wickets left, they needed 29 of the last 2 overs. 3 sixes in those overs by tailenders and the match was tied!

The match lived up to its expectations, the hype and the hoopla… Really it was a mouth watering clash as I had described it in my earlier post!

Friday, February 25, 2011

India VS England

The Key Battles between the two big sides -

1. KP/ Andrew Strauss VS The Indian new ball bowlers

The Indian fast bowlers looked rusty against Bangladesh and England could provide a much sterner test for them. Only Munaf looked good to me. India may play an extra spinner against England and open the bowling with him, thus ; leaving out Sreesanth.

2. Swann VS Indian Middle Order

Swann is one of the best spinners in world cricket today and his ten overs in the middle of the innings may well decide as to how the Indian innings pans out!!

3. Indian Spinners VS England Lower Middle Order

Harbhajan Singh and the part time Indian spinners will be licking their lips in anticipation of bowling at the English players. Though I must add that Trott and Bopara along with Collingwood are good players of spin...

All in all it will be a mouth watering clash between the two sides come this Sunday.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The First BIG Match of ICC World Cup 2011 - South Africa v/s West Indies

Today is the first Big Match of the ICC World Cup 2011...South Africa v/s West Indies

And aren't we all excited about it ?

I am looking forward to watching one of my favorite players Chris Gayle...
A big hitter, will he be able to lift the West Indies team in the world cup with his performances and inspire his men to lift the cup for their country?

What are your thoughts? Which team are you supporting today?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My review of Team India for the game Vs Bangladesh

Virender Sehwag9/10 – batted like a champion, 1 point deducted for getting Sachin run out.

Sachin Tendulkar6/10 – looked in great touch, unfortunate to get run out.

Gautam Gambhir6/10 – looked good while on the crease… should have carried on.

Virat Kohli9/10 – proved to be the perfect foil for Sehwag, paced the innings well.

Yuvraj Singh5/10 - didn’t bat… bowled Ok, fielded Ok.

MS Dhoni6/10 - didn’t bat… good captaincy, could have been more attacking with the field settings.

Yusuf Pathan6/10 – bowled well but dropped a catch.

Harbhajan Singh8/10 – bowled extremely well and restricted the batsmen after they had got off to a flying start.

Zaheer Khan6/10 – good economy… but didn’t look threatening.

Munaf Patel8/10 – the pick of the bowlers… bowled accurately, picked wickets and looked in rhythm.

Sree Sreesanth0/10 – bowled poorly… wides, no balls and short balls… was extremely disappointing.

Overall Points

Batting – 8/10

Bowling – 5/10

Team – 7/10

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Other Than Cricket???

What else will you do during the World Cup 2011 is going on… Obviously apart from watching the cricket!!

Well I would be –

1. Playing Fantasy Cricket on Cricinfo where I can pick my own players and manage the team and the best part of it all – If I am good enough and lucky enough I can win a lot of cool prizes by the end of the tournament!!

2. Reading Chinaman by Shehan Karunatilaka… I have already read some 50 pages and hope to finish this 400 odd page turner by the end of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011!!!

What are your plans… What will you be doing??
Do tell me in the comments section!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

First View in the World Cup 2011

Some things that we will for the first time in this World Cup – The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011…

1. Batting Power Play

A very interesting addition to the game, it allows the batting team to choose a segment of 5 overs when only 3 fielders are allowed outside the 30 yard circle. Very useful during high run chases or for recovering from a slow start, it also keeps the fans interested in the game for longer periods of time in the middle overs.

2. Free Hit

The ball after the No Ball is called a free hit – the batsman cannot be out on this ball except for being run out. Charges up the spectators and livens up the game all around the park.

3. UDRS (Umpire Decision Review System)

Each team is allowed to ask for the review of the on field umpire’s call if they are not satisfied with it. The 3rd umpire then, with the aid of super slow motion cameras, various angles, hawk eye etc. takes a decision and relays the message to the on field umpire. Each team is allowed 2 unsuccessful reviews per innings.

I love this UDRS concept and believe that it reduces the pressure on the umpires and also increases the correct decision percentage to almost 100%. I have always wondered why Dhoni and Sachin are against such a wonderful concept…

Any other thing that I have missed here, add them in the comments section!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Predictions for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 – V

Some big names we may never see playing a World Cup again…

Many cricketers often choose to retire after the World Cup, while for others age becomes a factor and they never play WC’s again. Some players are deserted by form at the wrong time while some injure themselves and never get a chance to represent their country at a WC again…

Some of the most famous and most recognizable faces in international cricket for whom this may be or certainly is the last hurrah are –

1. Sachin Tendulkar (India)

2. Muttiah Murlidaran (Sri Lanka)

3. Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)

4. Ricky Ponting (Australia)

5. Brett Lee (Australia)

6. Scott Styris (New Zealand)

7. Jacques Kallis (South Africa)

8. Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies)

9. Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan)

10. Paul Collingwood (England)

Which one of these players will have the glittering trophy in their hands on April 2nd and will walk into the sunset with a huge smile on his face??? It’s anyone’s guess at the moment…

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Predictions for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 – IV

My predictions for the 5 players who I think will leave the 2011 World Cup mid way due to injuries…
I think that the following 5 players will walk out of the tournament after injuring themselves, thus also hurting their team, in this World Cup…

Shaun Tait (Australia)

Jesse Ryder (New Zealand)

Zaheer Khan (India)

Umar Gul (Pakistan)

Keven Pietersen (Australia)

The Darkhorse – Virender Sehwag (India)

I have a strong feeling that at least some of these players will leave the players will leave the world cup due to injuries. They all have a history of being injured at wrong times and are very fragile, known to breakdown often!

Do you have any other player in mind??

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Predictions for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 – III

My predictions for the top 5 upcoming players of the World Cup 2011…
I think that the following 5 players, though playing in their first ever World Cup will play a very important role for their team.

1. Imran Tahir (South Africa)

2. Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka)

3. Yousuf Pathan (India)

4. Adrian Barath (West Indies)

5. Jonathon Trott (England)

The Darkhorse – Cameron White (Australia)

These players – all playing their first world cup are rated highly, and can become big names post this edition of the tournament. They have the talent and the mentality to remain calm under tough situations.

So do you agree with my list or are there any other names that crop up in your mind???

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Predictions for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 – II

I believe that the following 5 bowlers will create the maximum number of problems for the opposition batsmen and will always trouble them. They will also keep the scoring rate in check whenever required.

Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)

Greame Swann (England)

Morne Morkel (South Africa)

Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)

Muttiah Murlidaran (Sri Lanka)

The Darkhorse – Shaun Tait (Australia)

All the bowlers are experts in their respective styles and have enough in their armoury to adapt to even flat wickets. I expect one of them to lead the wicket taking charts this year.

Do you agree with my list??
Do tell me your favorites…

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Predictions for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 – I

My prediction for the top 5 batsmen of the 2011 World Cup…

I think that the following 5 batsmen will have the maximum effect and will emerge as the leading run scorers in this world cup…

Sachin Tendulkar (India)

Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka)

Chris Gayle (West Indies)

Hashim Amla (South Africa)

Shane Watson (Australia)

The Darkhorse – Tamin Iqbal (Bangladesh)

All these batsmen are very attacking and are probably in the best form of their lives. They are all known to score at over a run a ball or close and can easily adapt to different stages of the game.

Do you agree with my list??
Do tell me your favorites…

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Team Review – India


Strengths – Definitely the strongest of the tournament boasting of a wealth of experience, firepower and loads of match winners. Sachin and Sehwag can rip apart any bowling line up and they are followed by Gambhir, Yuvraj, Kohli, Dhoni and Pathan. The fact that the World Cup is in India will further add to the woes of the opposition captains.

Weakness – Not much but the recent bad form of Raina, Dhoni and Yuvraj is a concern. Also the injuries to Sachin, Sehwag and Gambhir which have not allowed them much match practice recently.

Rating – 8/10


Strengths – A fit Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan can trouble the best in cricket. Nehra and Munaf can support them very well with wicket to wicket bowling. Ashwin and Chawla are good spinning options but I doubt that they will be required much. Also Dhoni has loads of part timers like Yuvraj, Pathan, Raina and Sehwag to call upon in difficult times.

Weakness – Zaheer’s fitness is a big worry as is Chawla’s and Ashwin’s inexperience. Also the fast bowlers are known to leak runs in the power plays.

Rating – 5.5/10


Strengths – Raina and Kohli are exceptional fielders and are very useful inside the circle. Dhoni is very good behind the stumps.

Weakness – There are slow movers like Munaf, Nehra, Zaheer and Sehwag. Even Yuvraj and Sachin are not what they used to be a few years ago.

Rating – 6/10

Overall Summary

Since the world cup is in India they are one of the hot favorites. Also a whole nation is behind them and they look to be in great form as a team. This is the best chance for India to win the cup back that they won in 1983… Go India!

Rating – 7.5/10

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Team Review – Sri Lanka


Strengths – An excellent top order with Dilshan, Tharanga, Sangakkara and Mahela. All of them are in good form, fresh and experienced to handle tough conditions. The middle order too looks formidable with Samaraweera, Kapugedera and Mathews. Even Kulesekara and Malinga can hold their own with the bat. They even have the option of playing the hard hitting all rounder Thisera Perera.

Weakness – Only early wickets can put pressure on this batting line up. Kapugedera has not performed consistently over the years despite a number of chances.

Rating – 7.5/10

Strengths – Led by the man who took 4 in 4, the possessor of the most dangerous Yorker, a lethal bouncer and a well disguised slower delivery – Malinga will be a handful. Kulesekara was the number one bowler in the Icc ratings till recently. He has the ability to swing the ball and is very consistent, wicket to wicket bowler. Then there is Murli – the greatest bowler of our era – the only man (other than the Australians) who has won a world cup, to be playing in this edition. Supporting him are Herath and Mendis who can be a handful on the Sri Lankan pitches.

Weakness – Probably the strongest bowling unit of the tournament with variety, quality, ability and experience with the help of home conditions, I can’t find any weakness.

Rating – 8/10


Strengths – The best fielding team from Asia and one of the very best in the world. Dilshan, Kapugedera, Mahela and Mathews are excellent. Sanga behind the stumps is as good as it gets.

Weakness – Slow movers like Tharanga, Samaraweera and Mendis can hamper them in the field.

Rating – 7.5/10

Overall Summary

The team has what it takes to lift the cup… Very balanced and one of my favorites for this year’s edition of the World Cup… Don’t be surprised if they go all the way… Your thoughts?

Rating – 8/10

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Team Review – Bangladesh


Strengths – Tamim has been a revelation for them and can score very quickly and has been consistent too. Even Kayes, the other opener has been good. The middle order has solid performers in Ashraful, Shakib, Mahmudullah and Rahim.

Weakness – Ashraful has been very inconsistent for them and the team has often crumbled under pressure.

Rating – 6.5/10


Strengths – An array of spinners to choke the opposition on the slow and low tracks at home. Shakib, Razaak, Mahmudullah and Naeem Islam can strangle any opposition. Even Ashraful can roll his arm over.

Weakness – They don’t have a good fast bowler as Mortaza is injured.

Rating – 4.5/10


Strengths – A safe fielding side they have improved immensely over the years.

Weakness – Pressure makes them loose control of the things and they seem to drop even the easy catches.

Rating – 6.5/10

Overall Summary

Playing on home soil, backed by packed stadiums, this is the best chance for them to prove their mettle to the world… Or will they crumble again due to extreme pressure and anticipation from the home crowds? It remains to be seen!!

Rating – 5.5/10

Friday, February 4, 2011

Team Review – South Africa


Strengths – One of the best batting line-ups according to me, with Smith, De Villiers and Duminy being the aggressors with Amla and Kallis providing a calming influence. All of them are in good form and can win a match single handedly on their day.

– Kallis was injured during the series against India and De Villiers out of sorts. These two are very important in the middle order and their form will be very important. Their batting looked very thin with a long tail in that series.

Rating – 7.5/10


– In Steyn and Morkel they have world class bowlers who can rattle the batsmen with line, length and pace. They also have uncapped spinner Imran Tahir who is rated very highly and is being kept a secret for the world cup.

Weakness – Botha and Tsotsobe are inexperienced to bowl on sub continental tracks and the team does not have too many part time spinners.

Rating – 6.5/10


Strengths – A compact fielding side with even the fast bowlers Steyn and Morkel being natural athletes. Duminy will be the key in the 15 yard circle.

Weakness – With De Villiers keeping wickets, the ground fielding inside the circle will be weakened. Also he might not be comfortable standing to the spinners on spin friendly tracks.

Rating – 7 /10

Overall Summary

South Africa is always one of the pre tournament favorites in any ICC event but they always falter at some stage or the other. Can they overcome the mental barrier or will they choke once again??

Rating – 7/10

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Team Review – West Indies


Strengths – They have plenty of talent in Gayle, Chanderpaul, Bravo and Pollard. The big hitting of Gayle upfront and Bravo, Pollard late in the innings will hold the key for West Indies

Weakness – Over dependence on Gayle, inconsistency of Bravo and Pollard, weakness against spin bowling are the major concerns according to me. Can somebody like Adrien Barath or Darren Bravo stand up and be counted??

Rating – 6.5/10


Strengths – The bowling will depend on Roach, Sammy, Pollard and Bravo. The spin of Benn and Gayle can be useful in helpful conditions.

Weakness – Most of the bowlers are all-rounder’s and they lack a genuine strike bowler.

Rating – 5/10


– Players like Bravo, Pollard and Gayle are magnificent… even magical at times… A safe fielding unit at most times.

Weakness – They have some slow movers in Chanderpaul, Benn and Sarwan.

Rating – 6/10

Overall Summary

West Indian team looks pretty good on the paper but the inexperience of playing on spinning tracks might hinder them. It would be best suited for them if they play with the typical carefree Calypso flair without any pressure. What do you think??

Rating – 5/10

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Team Review – New Zealand


– They possess explosive players in Brendon Mc Cullum, Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill. These players are well supported by Styris, Franklin and Oram. Even the Vettori, Nathan Mc Cullum, Mills and Southee can contribute with the bat.

– Most of the batsman are in horrendous form and suffering from low self confidence.

Rating – 6/10


Strengths – Medium pacers like Mills, Southee and Benett are all disciplined sowlers. But their main trump card could be Vettori and N. Mc Cullum both good spinners with good control on the ball.

Weakness – Lack of genuinely quick bowler like Bond. And just like the batsmen the bowlers too are a group of men struggling with self confidence and form.

Rating – 6/10


Strengths – This is definitely their department at the moment. Players like Mc Cullum brothers, Guptill, Taylor are phenomenal on the field.

Weakness – Very little or no weakness at all. Only rarely does this unit have an off day in the field collectively.

Rating – 8/10

Overall Summary

They are 5 time losing semi finalists… that speaks volumes of their success… They are known to play as a team and rarely win by the efforts of a single player. Can they put their disastrous recent form behind them and go one step further??

Rating – 6/10

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Team Review – England


Strengths – Steady batting of Strauss and Trott sandwiched between Prior and Pietersen hold the key for England. In Morgan and KP, they have players who can change the momentum of the game very quickly. Theay can also rely on bits and pieces players like Collingwood, Broad, Swann, Yardy and Bresnen to contribute runs down the order.

Weakness – The top order is not as explosive as some of the other teams in the fray and might be a problem on the flat tracks while chasing huge totals. Collingwood is struggling and so is Pietersen.

Rating – 7/10


Strengths – They have a very reliable pace attack in Anderson, Broad and Bresnen who complement each other well. In Swann and Yardy they have spinners who can choke the runs as well as pick regular wickets for the team.

Weakness – It will be interesting to see how Broad and Swann come back after their injuries. Anderson and Bresnen rely mostly on swing but might be easy pickings on sub continental tracks.

Rating – 6/10


Strengths – A good fielding unit with safe pair of catchers.

Weakness – I have seen wicket keeper Prior fluff chances on numerous occasions and that could prove costly in a huge tournament.

Rating – 6.5/10

Overall Summary

With the World T20 title under the belt, they broke the jinx of reaching the finals of world cups and never winning it… They will be keen to prove that it was no flash in the pan. But do they have necessary firepower??
Rating – 6/10