Monday, May 31, 2010

India create record of maximum ODIs

India surpassed Australia in playing the most number of One-day Internationals when they crushed Sri Lanka in the tri-nation cricket series in their 742nd match.

The record-breaking match turned out to be a memorable one as India overhauled the target of 243 with 6.3 overs to spare at the Queens Sports Club yesterday.

Australia have played 741 ODIs so far to hold the second position, while Pakistan are in third place with 715 ODIs.

Fourth in the list are the West Indies (636), followed by Sri Lanka (599) and New Zealand (584).

India played their first ODI on July 13, 1974 -- against England in Leeds. India had lost the match by four wickets.

Pick of the Day: Sahara remains sponsor of Team India

Sahara remains sponsor of Team India: 

Sahara Group on Monday bagged the sponsorship rights of the Indian cricket team with a bid of over Rs 3 crore per match.

Sahara is incidentally the existing sponsors who spent Rs 400 crore over a four-year period for team sponsorship.

Six firms had purchased the bid form from the Cricket Board after it published a tender notice calling for bids for the Indian men's team, women's team, India A squad and the under 19 squad, but only Bharti Airtel and Sahara sent the security deposit (Rs 50 crore). 

Raina forgot to tell umpires about power play:

 Inexperience showed as India captain Suresh Raina forgot to tell on-field umpires about bowling Powerplays he intended to take against Sri Lanka in the tri-series match. Raina won the toss and asked Sri Lanka to bat first.

After the first 10 overs, the field setting indicated that Powerplay had been taken by the Indian side but there was no official communication from Raina to the umpires. The confusion prolonged till the 15th over after which the fielders were pushed back in the deep, as is done after the Powerplays.

One more over went like this before Raina realised the gaffe and approached the on-field umpires, who told him that they had not been informed anything about Powerplay. The episode provided much amusement to Sri Lankan captain Tillakaratne Dilshan who was seen giggling.

Eventually, official powerplay was taken from 17th to 22nd overs and Raina conceded his mistake after the match. "I forgot it. I thought I had told the umpire about the Powerplay, but he said I hadn't," Raina said.

 Watson weds Lee Furlong:

Australian all-rounder Shane Watson and fiancee Lee Furlong, a Fox Sports reporter, have tied the nuptial knot in a low-key, private ceremony in New South Wales. 

The couple exchanged vows before 65 family and friends under a rain-soaked marquee at Killcare, a suburb of the Central Coast region.

Amongst those present were Australian skipper Ricky Ponting and his wife, Rianna, fast bowler Brett Lee and radio king Alan Jones, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Limited by Furlong's shooting schedule on FOX8, the pair has gone for a super-quick honeymoon at Hamilton Island's plush Qualia Resort before they return to Brisbane on Saturday to allow her to resume shooting 'Football Superstar'. 

According to reports, they will take a longer holiday once Watson winds up his obligations for the New South Wales Blues in the domestic cricket season.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cricket Comes to USA

Sri Lanka and New Zealand will stage the first cricket matches on US soil between two ICC full members, a move officials hope will launch a US boom for the sport.

Saturday and Sunday afternoon matches will be staged at Lauderhill's Central Broward Regional Park, the only ICC-approved venue in the United States.

But it’s often forgotten that the first recognized international match was actually played in Staten Island, N.Y., nearly 170 years ago.

The game returns to the U.S. this weekend, this time with colored clothing and a much shorter format, as New Zealand plays Sri Lanka in two international T20 games in Lauderhill, Fla.

The 20,000-capacity facility, which must still upgrade lighting to ICC standards in order to host night events, tried in vain to land a match ahead of the 2007 West Indies Cricket World Cup.

But with an India property developer sponsoring the Pearls Cup T20 matches and Indian Premier League officials talking about staging US events as early as 2011, the US breakthrough could be only a hint of greater things to come.

A 2009 study conducted by Columbia University estimated there were 15 million cricket fans in the U.S. and 200,000 who play recreationally, according to Don Lockerbie, chief executive of the USA Cricket Association. Cricket in the U.S. was also the subject of a critically acclaimed recent novel, “Netherland,” by Joseph O’Neill.

But only a small fraction of cricket fans in the U.S. actually follow cricket that’s played in their homeland. An overwhelming majority are expatriates eagerly tracking the performance of their mother country.

Cricket’s experiments with globalization aren’t new. India and Pakistan played an annual series in Toronto for three years in the mid-’90s and there have been games in Morocco, Singapore, Netherlands and other nontraditional venues.

The most famous neutral venue is the United Arab Emirates — so popular that a stadium there has staged more one-day international games than any other.
It is hoped that the T20 format heralds a change. Over the last few years, the three-hour spectacle has gripped cricket’s main centers — India usually comes to a standstill during the Indian Premier League season — but T20’s most important contribution may lie in extending cricket’s boundaries and drawing outsiders in.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why India crashed out from T20 WC?

Though there are uncountable reason but some of the them can be considered as disastrous. If we carry out separate match analysis than every player will be blamed, but as a whole these are some consequence -

 Pitch related problems: The Indians played a predominantly spin oriented attack even at Barbados whereas the West Indian pitches seem to have regained their pace and bounce. Other teams like Australia and England banked heavily on their pace attacks and succeeded.

Short-pitch ball: The Indian team were unable to handle shot-pitch stuff from the quickies. India capitulated against fast bouncy deliveries and lost key wickets. They did not realise that with only two bouncers per over permitted they should have waited for length balls to hit.

Strategic issues: By not practising together as a team between matches since 'the players were tired' and by not sending an advance party of the coach and players who were free from the last stage of the IPL they had little time to acclimatise.

Selection errors: Those who saw Robin Uthappa, Virat Kohli and S Badrinath bat during the IPL, would wonder why they were not picked for Team India. Uthappa in particular has the ability to take on pacy short pitched bowling and score at a rapid pace while doing so. With Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag not in the team, India needed Uthappa to bat up the order in the West Indies.

Waning form: Unfortunately for the team, two of its main batsmen, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh were woefully out of form. Yuvraj was unlucky to see one or two good hits go straight to the fielders on the boundary, but Gambhir looked totally out-of-sorts. Coupled with the disastrous performances of Murali Vijay and Yusuf Pathan, this meant that India's batting firepower was greatly diminished.

Praveen's injury: Praveen Kumar bowled impressively in the only two matches that India won. His injury left the team without a genuine swing bowler who could make crucial early breakthroughs.

The IPL effect: MS Dhoni had the guts and the plain-speaking-ability to state the facts as they stood at the post match conference after the loss to Sri Lanka. He blamed the IPL, not for the amount of cricket played, but for the post-match parties and the excessive travelling involved in the 45 day extravaganza, that left the players jaded and stale.

The J factor: Ravindra Jadeja may be one of the most talented all-rounders in the country but he has been found wanting in the last two World Cups. Sent in at number three at Lords last year, he lost his team precious time by scoring at less than a run a ball. In the Caribbean he was woefully short on confidence and was hit for several sixes.

Zaheer below par: India's pace spearhead Zaheer Khan bowled well below his penetrative best and cost India extra runs. He went for over 40 runs in most matches. Ashish Nehra was more effective in the death overs but ploughed a lone furrow.

Dhoni's absence: He seems to be absent in the field all the time, his decision making ability was not upto mark, his focus and control was not matching the pace of international cricket, which became the main reason of the exit.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

India on brink of exit

Again poor batting show by Indians, they seems to be short in planning. Poor execution and judgment put them into exit mode. They repeat all previous mistakes, Some major ones -
      • Bowl first after winning the toss, dont know what was in the mind of Dhoni, early movement hardly matters in T20 and WI prove that by not loosing the wicket.
      • Playing with one extra batsmen, which ultimately cut the place of one specialist bowler, same of last match.
Talking about the qualify chances, they would need a miracle to reach the semis now as a win for Sri Lanka over Australia in the other Group F match at the Kensington Oval would mean they no longer had a chance of reaching the final four.

If Australia defeats Sri Lanka and West Indies in their next two matches and India beats Srilanka in their last encounter, then it will come down to run rate which will be the only slight chance that India will have to make to the semis.

Now come to field, the only man which ride WI from the starting to the end is Gayle. He butchered the Indian bowlers with a whirlwind 66-ball 98 as West Indies posted a competitive 169 for six after India skipper Dhoni put West Indies to bat.

The southpaw slammed five fours and seven sixes and involved in three crucial partnership with Shivnarine Chanderpaul (23), Darren Sammy (19) and Keiron Pollard (17) to take his team to a competitive score.

Gayle mixed aggression with caution to single-handedly anchor the West Indies innings on a damp but drying wicket which wasn't conducive for stroke making at the Kensington Oval. He piously defended his citadel when the bowlers demanded respect and treated them with casual disdain when they begged to be punished.

The skipper was calm and resolute when Harbhajan Singh (4-0-16-0) was in operation and ensured his side did not lose wickets even when the Indian had the game in control after five overs which yielded just 26 for no loss.

But the moment the off-spinner went off the attack, he opened his broad, muscular shoulders to annihilate the rest of the Indian bowlers.

He was in no hurry to rotate the strike while raising 80 runs for the first wicket with Chanderpaul.
Gayle lashed out at the bowlers with power and precision and showed scant respect to Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Ravindra Jadeja as all his sixes sailed over the pickets to the utter delight of the local fans.

The Indian fielding lived up to its billing. Ravindra Jadeja spilled Chanderpaul at 12 when West Indies had made 43 in 7.4 overs.

A little later, Gayle watched Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan collide with each other and drop what should have been a simple catch at short square. Gayle was on 46 in a score of 73 for no loss in 11.1 overs. He lived to flay the Indian attack in the death overs, adding 52 runs after the reprieve.

Forget the dropped catches, the out-fielding also left much to be desired. Jadeja seemed to have not got over his nightmare against Australia, as he floundered in the deep, letting the ball slip under his knees.
The 21-year-old was also to concede 16 runs in his first over, with Gayle and Darren Sammy slamming him for sixes.
The score could have been much more but pacer Ashish Nehra, who bagged three wickets for 35 runs, bowled a brilliant last over to restrict West Indies to 169.

For India, Suresh Raina hit a 25-ball 32 but it was Mahendra Singh Dhoni (29) and Harbhajan Singh (14) who raised India hopes in the death overs, but some outstanding fielding and bowling by Dwayne Bravo fizzled out India's challenge.

Bravo produced an outstanding direct hit from long on to get rid off Dhoni and then held a catch in the deep off Harbhajan before dismissing Ashish Nehra at short mid-wicket by Suleiman Benn to put the last nail in Indian coffin.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Disastrous second round starter for India

Awful batting show by Indians, all the big guns of T20 fuzed in front of Aussies..DISASTROUS..
Look at the score of some of top T20 batsmens - Dhoni (2), Yuvraj (1), Gambhir (9), Raina (5), Pathan (1), Vijay (2), they all contribute 20 runs..

Only Rohit Sharma waged a grim battle with an unbeaten 45-ball knock, scoring nearly 60 percent of the team's total with the help of four fours and six sixes but his single-handed effort could only delay the inevitable.

Harbhajan Singh (13) was the only other Indian batsman to reach double digit.

Barring the toss, which Mahendra Singh Dhoni won and opted to field, nothing went right for India today and the Australian team, under Michael Clarke, made a statement that they are determined to win the only major trophy missing in their cupboard.

Put in to bat, Australia rode on the blistering 104-run stand provided by openers David Warner (72) and Shane Watson (54) in 10-odd overs to post a commanding 184 for five even though they looked good for the 200-mark.

 Shane Watson and David Warner bludgeoned the Indian attack, awesome openers set the stands on fire with a plethora of sixes, while posting a powerful 104 runs for the first wicket in 10.5 overs.

Watson struck six sixes in his 32-ball 54 while the stocky Warner did one better -- hit seven sixes -- in his breezy 42-ball 72.

There were as many 16 sixes in the Australian onslaught, with David Hussey (35 off 22 balls,2x6) and Brad Haddin (one six) continuing what Watson and Warner had begun.

Among the Indian bowlers, Harbhajan Singh (4-1-15-0) had been at his constricting best, tying down the dangerous Watson in his crease, even bowling a maiden in the first over the innings.

Ravindra Jadeja, however, undid all the good work, conceding as many as 38 runs in his two overs.

Watson smashed the 21-year-old for three successive sixes in his first over. Warner struck three in his second to ensure India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni did not turn back to the promising left-arm tweaker.

India could do little but watch in desperation as Watson and Warner cleared the pickets with effortless ease. In fact, the ground seemed too small for the power-hitting, There were a couple of times when the twosome cleared the roof.

For Australia in the bowling, Dirk Nannes (3/25) and Shaun Tait (3/21) led India's rout.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Raina powers India into Super Eights

A superb ton by Suresh Raina powered India to a 14-run victory over South Africa to become the first team to qualify for the Super Eight stage of the ICC World Twenty20.

Raina became the first Indian and the third player in the world after Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum to make a T20 international hundred. The southpaw smashed nine boundaries and five sixes to take India to 186-5. After a slow start to their chase, the Proteas gave India a tough fight at the end as they scored 172-5.

Murali Vijay (0) and Dinesh Karthik (16), who replaced Gambhir, perished early as Indian batsmen struggled against the South Africa pace quartet of Rory Kleinveldt, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Albie Morkel.

India were in the woods at 32 for two in the sixth over, before Raina (101) and Yuvraj Singh (37) reconstructed the staggering innings. Raina had an escape on five when he was caught off a Morne Morkel no-ball. It was an expensive error by the fast bowler, with left-hander Raina launching a blistering assault as he reached his century off 59 balls. Together with Yuvraj Singh (37) he shared a stand of 88 in 10 overs.

India accelerated in the ninth over when Yuvraj swept spinner Roelof van der Merwe for the first six of the match and, two balls later, Raina lofted all-rounder Kallis high over wide long-on. Both batsmen were severe on fast bowler Rory Kleinveldt, whose four overs cost 48 runs.

India took 25 runs off Kleinveldt's last over, the 18th, with Yusuf Pathan hitting the first ball for six and then taking a single. Raina then struck three fours in a row, over long-on, through extra-cover and straight down the ground, before the batsman completed the over with a majestic six, struck off one knee and high over long-off.

Come the last over, Raina was on 95 and Dhoni was facing. But when he got on strike, for the third ball, Raina wasted little time in completing his hundred with a six over midwicket off Albie Morkel before getting out next ball. This was only the 23-year-old Raina's 13th Twenty20 international and his score easily eclipsed his previous best of 61 not out against New Zealand in Christchurch last year.

Dhoni ended the innings with a six as India scored a mammoth 75 runs off the last five overs.
South Africa started the chase on a cautious note losing the wicket of Loots Bosman early. Jacques Kallis (73) and Graeme Smith (36) then steadied the innings before taking the attack to the Indian bowlers. But the effort came a bit too late to help the South African cause.

Ashish Nehra was pick of the Indian bowlers as he conceded only 27 runs and picked up the wicket of AB de Villiers.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

WC T20 : India cruises Afghanistan, Pakistan survives Bangladesh scare

India galloped to a seven-wicket win over Afghanistan in their Group C World Twenty20 opener.

Chasing a winning target of of 116 runs, India made it in 14.5 overs with Murali Vijay (48) and Yuvraj Singh (23 not out) doing the bulk of the scoring. Skipper Mahendra singh Dhoni (15) struck two sixes to finish the match.

Minnows Afghanistan showed courage to stand up to cricketing giants India. Afghanistan have been the talk of this tournament as in only two years, they have risen from Division Five of the
World Cricket League to the elite 12-nation World Twenty20. They just missed out on qualifying for the 2011 ODI World Cup but have earned the full one-day international status.

The Afghan players have picked up most of their cricketing skills at refugee camps and managed to put together a team with the bare minimum and not even a stadium in their country.
So when the tall and sturdy Afghans took the field in blue and red-bodered jerseys, almost similar to India's, they gave their best and ensured they matched up to their rivals in cricketing skills as well.
Put in, Afghanistan lost wickets early and were reduced to 29 for three before opener Noor Ali (50 off 48 balls) and Asghar Stanikzai (30 off 33 balls) pulled them out of trouble. Ali and Stanikzai shared 68 runs, but both were dismissed on the same score of 97 and Afghanistan then lost five wickets for just 17 runs.

Ali played good cricketing shots and showed temparament to work the ball around on the slow track.
Stanikzai demonstrated power as he struck three sixes, all in the deep mid-wicket region, incuding a towering one off Harbhajan Singh.
But after their dismissal, Afghanistan lost wickets in heaps as the batsmen played attacking shots but were done in by the short deliveries. Ashish Nehra took three wickets giving away 19 runs.

Afghanistan were impressive in both bowling and fielding. Left arm speedster Shapoor Zadran worked up a good pace.
Right-arm medium fast Dawalat Ahmadzai got the wicket of Gautam Gambhir with Mohammad Nabi taking a fine catch at cover point.
Vijay, who had a fine run in the IPL and was included in the squad as a replacement for the injured Virender Sehwag, timed the ball well, hitting three sixes and two fours.

Leg spinner Samiullah Shenwari then took the wicket of Suresh Raina trapped lbw.
Medium pacer Hamid Hassin was the pick of the bowlers, dismissing Vijay and giving away just eight runs in three overs.

Afghanistan's bowlers made good use of slow nature of the turf and did manage to tie down the Indian batsmen in the middle overs.

After Vijay's dismissal, skipper Dhoni was in no mood to prolong their outing and struck Nowroz Mangal for two sixes to romp home.
Pakistan survives Bangladesh scare :
Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal both scored 73 and also shared a breezy 141-run opening stand to guide defending champions Pakistan to a 21-run victory over Bangladesh in the opening Group A match of the Twenty20 cricket World Cup.
Pakistan rode on Butt ((73 off 46) and Akmal's (73 off 55) top-order exploits to pile up a competitive 172 for three after skipper Shahid Afridi won the toss and elected to bat in the slow Beausejour Stadium.

Chasing the score, Bangladesh found themselves at the backfoot from the beginning, losing two early wickets but Mohammad Ashraful (65 off 49) and captain Shakib Al Hasan (47 off 31) kept them in the hunt with a quickfire 63-ball 91-run third wicket partnership.
Comeback man Mohammad Sami was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers with three wickets for 29 runs while he was ably supported by pace partner Mohammad Aamir (2/16) from the other end.

Ashraful and Shakib played sensibly with occasional hits to the fence to keep Bangladesh in the hunt.
But it was not be their day as needing approximately 10-an-over, both Ashraful and Shakib gave away their wickets in search of quick runs to eventually fell short by 21 runs.