Friday, September 24, 2010

CL T20: Chennai to the final by beating RCB

Ever since Dale Steyn walked off the field without bowling a ball, events unfolded in Chennai's way. It started from Suresh Raina murdering bowlers and continued into the Bangalore innings that never gained momentum and eventually folded up for 123/9 to concede a comprehensive 52-run win.

After water from the heavens turned the Twenty20 affair into a 17-over showdown, it was fours (5) and sixes (6) from Suresh Raina's bat that stormed the Kingsmead as the big-match player butchered Bangalore bowlers, punishing them for 94 runs in 48 balls.

Bangalore were always behind the eight ball chasing a revised target of 176 as per the D/L method. Rahul Dravid got a golden ball duck, which triggered a procession of Bangalore batsmen that continued until the fall of last wicket.

Only Manish Pandey (52 off 44) put up some fight against a Chennai attack that showed teeth right from the first ball. Both Doug Bollinger (3 for 27) and Albie Morkel (1 for 13) were unplayable and took full advantage of a freshened-up pitch under overcast skies.

The middle and lower order of Bangalore tried to use the long handle but were doing that in a losing cause and in that endeavour became victim to Muralitharan (2 for 38), R Ashwin (1 for 32) and L Balaji (1 for 13). 

The turn of events started in the Chennai innings when Steyn hurt himself after the rain delay while taking a catch to dismiss Michael Hussey (6). The premium fast bowler hit his head and back badly on the ground, which left him dizzy and not in a state to bowl a single ball.

Bangalore became a bowler short and that too of the quality of Steyn who could run through an opposition with his sheer pace.

From that point on, it was exclusively a Suresh Raina show. The southpaw feasted on Bangalore bowlers who had no answers to Raina's prolific stroke play. Watching Raina go berserk, Bangalore almost resigned to the fact that they would be chasing a mammoth total and looked like waiting for their turn with the bat.

Murali Vijay was the other notable contributor in the Chennai's 174-run effort, scoring 41 off 32 balls in an 81-run second-wicket partnership with Suresh Raina.

Chennai will now face the winner of second semifinal between South Australia Redbacks and Warriors to be played on Saturday.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

England's Ashes Team : Tremlett and Panesar return for Ashes

The England selectors today named a 16-man tour party under the captaincy of Andrew Strauss for the forthcoming Ashes Test series in Australia with Surrey pace bowler Chris Tremlett and Sussex left-arm spinner Monty Panesar both recalled to the squad.
Tremlett, who won the last of his three Test caps against India in 2007, is recalled to the England set-up for the first time since the tour of New Zealand in 2008, while Panesar wins a place in the tour party after a successful domestic season which saw him take 52 first-class wickets for his new county.

Surrey’s Steven Davies has been named as England’s deputy wicketkeeper behind Sussex’s Matt Prior and is the only member of the squad uncapped at Test level.
The selectors also today named 11 players to be awarded 12-month England central contracts with Warwickshire’s Jonathan Trott and Middlesex pace bowler Steven Finn each winning a central contract for the first time. A further five players have been awarded incremental contracts.
Today’s announcement also included the naming of the 16-man England Performance Programme squad, which will be based in Australia in the lead up to the first Ashes Test in Brisbane through until the start of the third Test in Perth.
Michael Carberry, Craig Kieswetter, Ajmal Shahzad and James Tredwell, who have all represented the senior England side over the past 12 months, are among those included.

England Ashes Test squad

Andrew StraussAlastair CookJames AndersonIan BellTim BresnanStuart BroadPaul CollingwoodSteven DaviesSteven FinnEoin MorganMonty PanesarKevin PietersenMatt PriorGraeme SwannChris TremlettJonathan Trott

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sachin Tendulkar shortlisted in three categories at the ICC Awards 2010

Sachin Tendulkar shortlisted in Cricketer of the Year, Best Test Player of the Year, Best ODI Player of the year categories at the ICC Awards 2010.

The ICC Awards ceremony is now in its seventh year and this year is being held in Bengaluru. Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006), Johannesburg (2007 and 2009) and Dubai (2008).

ICC Awards 2010

Short-lists of nominees

Cricketer of the Year :

Hashim Amla (SA)

Virender Sehwag (Ind)

Graeme Swann (Eng)

Sachin Tendulkar (Ind)

Test Player of the Year :

Hashim Amla (SA)

Virender Sehwag (Ind)

Dale Steyn (SA)

Sachin Tendulkar (Ind)

ODI Player of the Year :

Ryan Harris (Aus)

Sachin Tendulkar (Ind)

AB de Villiers (SA)

Shane Watson (Aus)

Emerging Player :

Umar Akmal (Pak)

Steven Finn (Eng)

Angelo Matthews (SL)

Tim Paine (Aus)

Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year :

Ryan ten Doeschate (Ned)

Trent Johnson (Ire)

Kevin O'Brien (Ire)

Mohammed Shahzad (Afg)

Twenty20 International Performance of the Year :

Michael Hussey (Aus) for his 60 not out in 24 balls against Pakistan in the semi-final of the ICC World Twenty20 2010 in St Lucia on 14 May

Mahela Jayawardena (SL) for his 100 in 64 balls against Zimbabwe in Guyana on 3 May and his 98 not out in 56 balls against West Indies in Bridgetown on 7 May 2010 both during the ICC World Twenty20 2010.
Ryan McLaren (SA) for taking 5-19 against the West Indies on 19 May in Antigua

Brendon McCullum (NZ) for his striking of 116 not out in 56 balls against Australia in Christchurch, New Zealand on 28 February

Women's Cricketer of the Year :

Katherine Brunt (Eng)

Shelley Nitschke (Aus)

Ellyse Perry (Aus)

Stafanie Taylor (WI)

Umpire of the Year :

Aleem Dar

Steve Davis

Tony Hill

Simon Taufel

Spirit of Cricket :


New Zealand

Sri Lanka


Pujara new face in Test squad against Australia

Out-of-form Yuvraj Singh was today dropped while young Saurashtra batsman Cheteshwar Pujara was selected in the 15-member Indian squad for the two-Test series against Australia, starting October 1 in Mohali.

Pujara was the lone new face in the team announced by the Cricket Board selection committee.

Yuvraj has been named captain of the 'Rest of India' team which will take on Ranji champions Mumbai for the Irani Cup from October 1.

Pujara has been a prolific run-scorer in the domestic circuit and for quite some time the right-hander was in the reckoning for a place in the national team.

The 22-year-old's dominance with the bat in domestic circuit can be gauged from the fact that he has so far made 14 centuries and 13 half centuries during his five-year-old first class career.

Indian team for Test series: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, V V S Laxman, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, S Sreesanth, Pragyan Ojha, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara.

Rest of India team: Yuvraj Singh (capt), Abhinav Mukund, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, S Badrinath, Saurabh Tiwary, Parthiv Patel, Piyush Chawla, R Ashwin, Jaydev Unadkat, Umesh Yadav, R Vinay Kumar, Manish Pandey, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ravindra Jadeja.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

India's all-time XI

MS Dhoni has made it to ESPNcricinfo's India all-time XI, beating record-holding wicketkeepers Syed Kirmani and Kiran More, by virtue of his superior batting. Dhoni was picked by seven members of the 11-person jury, which was unanimous in voting Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Vinoo Mankad into the XI.

The No. 5 spot divided the jury the most, and Vijay Hazare, who played only eight innings in that position (one of them in the Adelaide Test of 1948, where he made two centuries), was preferred over the likes of Gundappa Viswanath, MAK Pataudi, Dilip Vengsarkar, Mohinder Amarnath and VVS Laxman.

The XI: Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Vijay Hazare, Vinoo Mankad, Kapil Dev, MS Dhoni, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Erapalli Prasanna.
Readers' XI: Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Vinoo Mankad, Kapil Dev, MS Dhoni, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Erapalli Prasanna.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mumbai eye opening win

The Mumbai Indians are facing the TINA factor. A shock loss to Highveld Lions in the opening game has put them in a spot of bother. Needing a win in at least two of their remaining three games now to keep their chances alive for the last four stage, the IPL runners-up must win their game against South Australia Red Backs here on Tuesday.

A strong team, Mumbai were touted as among the favourites to lift the title but their supposedly strong bowling lineup let them down as skipper Sachin Tendulkar lost the plot shuffling his bowlers without a plan and failing to utilise two of his best bowlers' full quota of overs. Sachin Tendulkar the batsman tried to make amends, but Mumbai still landed nine runs short.

On Tuesday, there will be no place for any such goof-ups, especially with the Red Backs having pocketed a win against the Lions. If the team management decides to use Ryan McLaren for just one over in the game, they're probably better off using the services of all-rounder Dwayne Bravo. Also, Saurabh Tiwary is a must add to the Mumbai line-up ahead of even JP Duminy. Tiwary has the strength to send the ball a long distance and even though Duminy has the home experience, he's not the player to take Mumbai home.

Mumbai's batting is in good shape with Tendulkar himself in great form and this is really the time that Ambati Rayudu, who ran himself out cheaply, and Tiwary to show their mettle. A performance here could well propel them in the scheme of things for the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

Mumbai's worry will be their bowling. But if Zaheer can keep his cool and not give away 17 runs in an over again, Mumbai do have the firepower to rein in any team. Lasith Malinga is among the best in business and Harbhajan Singh too can sting it for Mumbai. With Bravo and Kieron Pollard, expect a lot of change in pace and they can be tricky customers to deal with.

The Red Backs, on the other hand, will be bouyed with their win over the Lions. Captain Michael Klinger hit a brilliant 78 off 67 balls and his early dismissal is crucial for Mumbai's success. Apart from Klinger, Callum Ferguson and Graham Manou are the other two capable of changing the equations in a jiffy.

The big question mark though is on their ability of managing strong partnerships. Even in the last game it was Klinger who anchored the innings and a quick collapse at the top will put them under considerable pressure.

The bowling though looks good. One can expect scorching pace from Shaun Tait, who picked up three wickets in the game against the Lions. Daniel Christian too produced some timely breakthroughs, but Gary Putland was not that economical and Mumbai must target him and upset his rhythm early.

Left-arm spinner Aaron O'Brien does have a good record in the KFC Big Bash, but it will be quite a challenge for him to bowl to a team that can play spin with their eyes closed. Mumbai are definitely not unbeatable, but if Tendulkar the batsman can lead rather than Tendulkar the captain, the game will definitely be a one-sided affair.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Group Captain Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar

Senior Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar was, on Friday, conferred with the Indian Air Force's honorary rank of Group Captain to honour his cricketing achievements and contribution to the nation.

Tendulkar is the first sportsperson to be conferred a rank by IAF and the first personality with no aviation background to receive the honour.

In 2008, India's World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev had received the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel of the Territorial Army.

The 37-year-old Tendulkar was inducted into the Air Force as its brand ambassador with IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik doing the honours in a glittering ceremony at the Air Force auditorium in the capital city.

In a career spanning more than two decades, Tendulkar has crossed many milestones and holds almost every batting record.

He is the most-capped Test cricketer in the world with 169 matches to his name.

Tendulkar has played 442 one-day internationals, just a couple of matches less than Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya's record of 444.

The veteran right-hander has scored 13,742 runs in 168 Tests at an average of 56.08, notching up 48 hundreds and 55 half-centuries in the process.

He has 17,598 runs, including 46 centuries, in his 442 one-dayers. The Mumbaikar also holds the distinction of being the first batsman to score a double hundred in ODIs.