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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Season ended with loss for Team India

Certainly one of the performance which India like to forget as quickly as possible. It was written on the wall for India before the start of the match when they decide to experiment with few new players by resting experienced ones but India have to remember that they are not like Australian team which can win even with inexperienced players. So what went wrong? First of all Dhoni again proved unlucky with toss and secondly inexperienced bowling gave too many runs in Powerplay without picking up any wickets early on.

Proteas won the toss and elected to bat and as I mentioned in my earlier posts about Hashim Amla that became true as he fancied himself to near hundred but before getting out for 87 he gave the platform to Proteas to put up solid total on the board and with centuries from Kallis and A.B put them in the commanding position after their 50 overs. I was disappointed with the performance of Sreesanth whom I thought will use his experience and spear head the bowling attack It was evident from that total of 365 on the board that India will have to climb huge mountain to win this one but their dream of winning shattered when they lost 2 wickets within 1o overs and then onwards never coped up with run-rate which climbed with each over. Some resistance came from Kohli, Rohit and Raina but failure of Dhoni and Yusuf put them into defeating position. In my yesterday's post I mentioned if India have to win then Dhoni and Yusuf have to come good with bat in absence of key players but both failed with the bat and India lost the match. Important thing was India lost 3 wicket on full tosses which was even more disappointing that too of spinner.

India have to re-think on their pool of players who will be certainly playing in World Cup and have to keep irregular players like M.Vijay and Dinesh Kartik out from one-day squad who will not be playing in next World Cup because Sachin, Shewag & Gambhir will be filling top three spots and we already have settled middle order with Dhoni, Raina, Kohli, and Yuvraj will return soon after recovering from injury. So selectors have to be precise and pick players like Manish Pandey and Abhishek Nayar and give them experience to make them part of the side and will be certain to play in middle order if something happens to any batsman.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Proteas will play for pride at Ahmedabad

Indian International cricket season will end with the match to be played at my home town Ahmedabad. India will experiment with new players as they will be going into the match with six less inexperienced players at the same time Proteas will play to salvage some pride. Season has gone well for India as they lost only 3 ODIs which includes tri-series final at Dhaka and one Test against Proteas and I feel they will try to end the season with win. But if India wants to win than I think few new players have to make big contribution and this will prove that India's bench strength is good enough or not to take on International cricket. In absence of two heavy weights Sachin & Sehwag I think its difficult to win but still there are players in the team who are capable of winning matches on their own only thing required is they focus on the game like Sachin Tendulkar do. Key players for tomorrow will be Yusuf Pathan and MS Dhoni if these two guys click than India will be home provided they get little support from openers and lower order.

On the other side Proteas will try to win this match and I feel they will not experiment much with their line-up except for one or two changes and will go all out out to win this match. Its will be easier for their bowlers as they don't have bowl to Sachin or Sehwag. So I think Proteas will have upper hand. As far as Pitch is concerned, Motera wicket always helped bowlers and batsman and dew will also not be a factor here in Ahmedabad.

Something will be missing for Spectators in terms of classy stroke-making because of the absence of Sachin & Sehwag but hope that future of Indian cricket performs well in this match and make most out of this golden opportunity and create problems for selectors by providing them multiple options.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Proteas Outplayed at Gwalior

What a great display of stroke-making at Gwalior by team India which outplayed Proteas in the match and eventually losing the series as well. It was great win but yet there are certain things where Team India have to improve, as we all saw they picked wickets in first powerplay but Proteas were still scoring at 8 runs per over, fielding again was big let down as there were lot fumbles, so if India have to win World Cup and wants to achieve No.1 ranking one-day cricket then they have to improve on bowling and fielding because batsman can't win you match everytime.

Coming to the performances, I feel Proteas lost wickets because they were completely shocked with the strokeplay of Indian batters and in that awe they lost their concentration which resulted into their wickets. AB Divilliers played good knock for visitors as he was the lone man fighting that battle by scoring century at more than run a ball.

I feel Sehwag take ODIs very casually as he thrown his wicket yesterday as well like he did in entire career that' s why he is having paltry average of 34 in ODIs which is far below compared to his test average of 52. I think Sehwag has to re-think on his approach to the batting in one-day cricket because if player like him stay on the wicket for 20 overs can take the game away from the opposition and moreover his strokeplay can dent any opposition's pysche which results into more wins for India in ODIs.

I feel after 2 losses Proteas will come hard at Indians in 3rd ODI at Ahmedabad because now they don't have anything to lose and its upto India to win series by clean sweep without getting complacent as it happens in the case of India more often.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Magician Sachin humbled Proteas and World

In my last post I wrote about Sachin that he is God and he should be left alone from any comments and I must say why he is God of Cricket, he has proved once again. This time he took toll of Proteas and humbled them as well as world with his magical bat and supreme command over his innings, moreover important thing was he scored all his runs without runner which shows how good his fitness is and he again came on the field when Proteas came out to bat. With this double ton magic in one-day cricket new standards of batting has been set and it will be difficult for anybody to reach that kind standard except Sachin himself.

Whatever Sachin has done in last 20 years I feel nobody even get closer him because its impossible for human beings to reach the level of God and Sachin is indeed a God of cricket. Today when he scored double hundred few experts talking non-sense about his innings like it was flat wicket,bowling attack was weak,etc., tell me how many players got the 200 in ODI even on flatest of the wickets. Last year Rajkot wicket was flat but even Dilshan couldn't achieve that feat, Gibbs chasing 400 above target against Australia couldn't achieve it also. When we talk about bowling attack I must say South Africa is having currently best attack in world and Dale Steyn is No.1 bowler in ICC ranking. So those so-called experts have to keep their mouth shut and enjoy the God on field and must pray that he entertain us forever with his magical bat. When talking about these rubbish comments of experts I must say they have to look at their own records as well and they will get the answer that how flat was wicket and how weak the bowling attack was.

So all in all another great feat achieved by the master and in doing so he entertained us thoroughly with his great batting and I am sure lot many of the same yet to come.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fight for No.2 continues at Gwalior as India struggling with injuries

After India won 1st ODI at Jaipur, its time to wrap up the series at Gwalior itself but I feel Proteas look favourite to win at Gwalior simply because they almost reach on verge of winning in 1st ODI after losing 7 wickets and India after gaining all the advantage till 45 overs gave the chance to Proteas to claw back from bad situation and allow them to take the match till last ball and victory margin for that win was just 1 run.

India's main worry is their fielding and bowling which is sub-standard and is hurting them right through the season. Although India won most of its matches this season but they won because of batting and where batting didn't click they lost, take example of Final in Dhaka against Sri Lanka where India wasn't able to score close to 300 and they lost. So I feel its time to look at some fresh options in bowling and India have options in their reserves. India also have to work hard on the inability of not picking up the tailenders cheaply because this is hurting them badly since last 2 seasons in all forms of the game.

Moreover India's worry increases because of the injury to Sehwag and he looks like doubtful starter for tomorrow's game. India have already lost 4 key players. Also this season MS Dhoni remained unlucky as far as toss is concerned, he lost most of the tosses.

As far as Proteas are concerned Kallis looks in great form with bat and ball. Moreover their fielding is great.I feel tomorrow they will play Amla instead of Loots Bosman because Amla provides solidity to the batting order. I think they lost first ODI because none of their batters stayed at wicket. I feel Proteas will win tomorrow as India given them advantage in 1st ODI by allowing their lower order batters to take the match till last bowl. So I feel its advantage Proteas for 2nd ODI.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Shifting of Cricket World Cup 2011 out of sub-continent?

Today Chief Executive of New Zealand cricket Mr. Justin Vaughan expressed his concerns about security in Indian sub-continent and suggested the option of shifting World Cup2011 to Australia and New Zealand. I feel these white countries should keep their mouth shut before making any comments. As we all know India. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh already hosted many sporting events in last one year without any trouble and security was top class during these events. Currently South African team is touring India and tour is in its last phase.

I feel when it comes to sub-continent white countries becomes coward in their approach. They don't feel comfortable touring sub-continent because they feel that they won't be able to cope up with the conditions prevailing in sub-continent and lose the games. Secondly they don't want that Asian countries develop and challenge them, but I must say as far as cricket is concerned India is the cricket hub now and the kind of money and feelings involved with cricket in India is huge. Cricket is not just a game in sub-continent, it is religion.

So I feel if ICC take any such step of shifting World Cup than all 4 teams from sub-continent must boycott the World Cup.

Sachin Dived for India's Victory at Jaipur

Tension, pressure, excitement,etc. whatever you can say but Sachin hold his nerves and dived to save boundary at Jaipur which eventually helped India to win the match at Jaipur and lead the series. I am amazed to see how many times Sachin saved India by his batting, bowling or fielding. That one run which Sachin saved was responsible for South African defeat and I can say when Sachin is on ground India's hopes never die.

Although India won the match but Dhoni few mistakes which I hope will be corrected in next ODI at Gwalior.

1. Dhoni picked 3 frontline bowlers for the match and relied on Jadeja and Yusuf which was not correct. You have to go with atleast 4 bowlers and when you have bowlers on your bench, why make them tourists.

2. When Virat Kohli is settled on No.3 and doing well why did his batting order changed and forced to play on No.5 and what was Dinesh Kartik doing at no.3 when his record suggest he is better batsman down the order.

3. What Dhoni was doing at N0.4 that also remained the mystery when he is settled No.5 batsman and often finish the matches.

4. Lastly when there were 3 overs of Praveen Kumar remaining, who is playing as your frontline bowler why did Dhoni asked Raina to bowl because from that Raina over course of match changed where Steyn hit him for 2 sixes which gave Proteas the momentum and they almost reached on the verge of victory.

5. Fielding was not all up to the mark and needed to be worked on, although good thing was India didn't drop any catches but the way Proteas fielded they save atleast 30 run whereas Indian team was clearly struggled in ground fielding and conceded 20 runs. I feel in next two matches fielding will decide that who will win the series.
Great innings by Kallis and lower order bashing have boosted the moral of Proteas and I feel they will come-back strongly and put India on the backfoot if India continue to make the mistakes like they did in Jaipur.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Challenge of One-Day No.2 ranking

After well fought Test Series its time for 50-50 cricket. Indian team looks bit weak beacuse 4 of its major match winners are not playing in first 2 one-dayers and it is going to hurt if the available experienced players don't play well. On the other side, south African batting lineup looks little weak because of the absence of their regular captain Smith but they have match winners in their team and they also retained the Hashim Amla for this series after his great performance in Test Series. I feel Amla will give solidity to their middle order and he will be the one player around whom entire team will revolve.

Talking of Indian side, I feel return of Yusuf Pathan will boost the team because he is one player who can change the course of game within over or two but it is also an important series for Yusuf because this series will decide his future as a International cricketer. If he comes good I feel India will not feel the absence of Yuvraj Singh who is the match winner in one-day cricket for India. This series also give opportunity to Virat Kohli to prove that he can score runs against the best opposition and if he continue his form which he had shown against Lankans then I feel India will be difficult to beat. Another player who will be followed in this series is Sehwag, he is having fantastic record in test cricket but some how he is not that successful in one-day cricket, I feel if plays in one-day cricket like Test then he can produce many victories for India. he is one player who can crush any bowling side in the world, so he will be the key for India in this series. If he fails then India will lose this series.Another important aspect which gives advantage to South Africa is their fielding and that will make the difference, as we all know Indian fielding compared to South Africa is weak and lot will depend on the fielding and catching if India looks to win this series.

The way both team contested in Test Series I believe this will turn out to be cracker of the series. I feel at this moment its advantage South Africa purely because of their fielding and except Smith all their players are fit which is not the case with India.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Question needed to be answered after Test Series

Series levelled at Great Eden Gardens, India retained its crown of No.1 in ICC ranking but this series have left few questions which needed to be answered very soon. In Nagpur as we all saw how Indian middle order struggled in absence of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, relacements like Vijay and Badri didn't look promising as they didn't show the temperament and technique for Test Match.
Till date we tried Yuvraj Singh as replacement of Sourav Ganguly but he also didn't establish himself in this team so question is who after the retirement of Rahul, Sachin & Laxman. Its a serious question needs to be addressed immediately. I feel we have the talent but our selectors are not giving opportunities to the deserving candidates and show Zonal bias in selection, so who are deserving candidates for middle order after the retirement of our seniors? There are currently five players to whom we have to give opportunities and nurture them and they are Manish Pandey, Abhishek Nayar, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina. We all found how well Abhishek Nayar and Manish Pandey played in Board President's XI match against South Africa yet they were not selected for the First test. Had they been selected in place of Saha and Badrinath I feel we must had different result to the Test series. Anyways that is over but now we have to focus on these players and give them full opporutnities and nurture them.

Next question is who after Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan? I feel there are four bowlers in this reckoning they are talented and needed to be given good opportunities. These are Abhimanyu Mithun, Sudeep Tyagi, Jaydev Unadkat And S. Netravalkar out these four 2 got selected for the first test but didn't play so we have to look upto them and give them confidence. If select the and don't play them than it will hurt their self-confidence. Few weeks back Laxman raised a point that there is no class spinners in domestic circuit, I must say that is true and we don't have many spinners so we have to nurture 3 talents and they are Piyush Chawla, Pragyan Ozha and Amit Mishra. Team did good thing by retaining Amit Mishra for the one-dayers and also backed him in Tests. We saw he played important part in Kolkata because of the confidence shown by team in him, so we need to give confidence to new talent and blood them into team at the time when they are doing well in domestic circuit.

Next is the fielding, I think in last few matches we dropped lot of catches and that resulted into many losses in one-day and Test, so we need to improve our fielding immensely in order to compete with Australia.

Finally take a example of Australia even after the retirement of Shane Warne and McGrath they have lot of players to replace them because they give full opprotunities to the talents at the right time and we need to learn from them if we want to become number one in one-day and T20 and maintain our position in Test cricket as well.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Great win at Eden retained the Number One ranking of Team India

Another Five wicket haul by Harbhajan Singh at Eden in 2nd innings has allowed India to retain their number one position in test cricket it was enthralling and hard fought test match and also played on beautiful wicket.

It is also important that India won this match with 3 bowlers as Zaheer got injured yesterday and couldn’t take the field today. Superb performance by batters put India in commanding position and they won it by innings. Umpiring was really good in this series barring one decision of Ashwell Prince in 1st Test at Nagpur.

This win is also special because it was not played on the turning track which rarely happens in India. Lot said about pitch at the start of the match but it turned out be fantastic wicket and curator must be appreciated for this and I think if we prepare pitches like this in our domestic matches than we will have more chances of winning abroad as well.

Amla must be appreciated for showing grit and determination throughout the series which was evident from the fact that he was dismissed just once in the series, amazing concentration and skill displayed by this Indian origin South African batsman. He was the alone batsman from Proteas side who fought till the last hour and I must salute him for his spirit.

I think what went in the India’s favour in this test was the combined effort of the entire team and not the one or two players. Sachin, Sehwag, Dhoni & VVS Laxman batted really well and we also dropped less catches than proteas. On the bowling front Ishant gave the break through when it mattered the most and Mishra did very well by picking 3 crucial wickets of Smith. Kallis and A.B Divillier.

All in all great performance by team India and they did it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rain and bad light spoiled India's chance of win

Delayed start due to bad light on 4th day at Eden forced India to take wickets quickly but initially Dhoni didn't show any sign of picking up wickets which was suggestive from his defensive field placing as he started with 2 slips for pacers and only short leg and slips for spinners. Had he started with 3 slips then he wouldn't have missed the Alviro Peterson early on and same way if Dhoni had started with leg gully, leg slip, silly point in addition to forward short leg he must have picked up the Amla as one of the ball from Harbhajan took the edge and flown through leg gully area but that didn't happen and India was lucky despite these missed chances they got 3 wickets on rain curtailed day. Although Dhoni later on improved his field placing and given 3 slips and leg gully but yet I feel after having mammoth lead Dhoni didn't attacked much. Fine bowling display by Amit Mishra and Harbhajan have given chance to India to win this match but I feel weather will play very important role in this match and if it rains tomorrow then it will also wash the number one ranking of Team India.

I hope tomorrow Dhoni will attack more if match starts and try to pick-up wicket quickly if he don't attack much then I think India will not win this Test Match. On the other side Smith must be praying to rain gods. To sum it up there I feel more chance draw in this Test looking to the weather conditions and only 3 sessions of play left.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Advantage India on Day3 at Edens

Superb 2 double century parnerships between Sachin-Sehwag & Laxman-Dhoni has put India in commanding position at Edens on Day3. The way Laxman bats I feel like artist is just at its best. He is one batsman who looks absolute artist when he bats. India sieged the moment today morning by not allowing Proteas to take early wickets with new ball which resulted into the commanding position for India. Dhoni must be credited the way he batted without taking any pressure like he batted in Nagpur. Now here on I must say onus is on our bowlers to do something special and bring home the victory. As far as Proteas are concerned, I feel if they bat well then at most they will be able to draw the match which eventually a victory for them and for that their top 5 have play long innings and have bat atleast 5 sessions. I feel poor fielding cost South Africa dearly as they dropped as many as 5 chances of key Indian batters which I think highly unlike of South African standards. Here I must say Amit Mishra played key role as he saw that first half hour and didn't expose Dhoni early on which is also one of the factor for India gaining big lead.

As far as Proteas are concerned their main four bowlers conceded more than 100 runs which I think Smith couldn't have expected from them after their superb performance in Nagpur and that is the beauty cricket when you feel you are on top suddenly you are biting dust. To sum it up it was great day for Team India but real battle starts from here on to dismantle South African batting. I feel South Africa will fight back to draw this test.

I also think Ishant Sharma has the potential but I think he is not willing to put in that extra as we all saw that spell from him on first day how quick he bowled 3 overs after getting spat from team management, so he needs to be kept on his toes to perform at his best. If he will be insecured about his position in the team I feel he will perform well. At this moment he has taken his place for granted and that is not good for him and the team.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sachin-The God

I am the fortunate one who watched Sachin's entire debut series against Pakistan way back in 1989 on Doordarshan and I must tell you till now I have watched all his 92 centuries and that itself is a record in itself. There is no word in this world left now which can describe Sachin Tendulkar because all has been used for describing him in last 20 years so we can call him God which is the most common word and apt word for him. No matter how much you admire him it becomes very less such is the stature of this God. There is been saying in India 'If cricket is religion in India , than Sachin is the God' and thats perfectly apt for Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

Greatness of the man is such that no matter how big he has become, he is still a very humble and down to earth person and don't get carried away with his success. Manytimes when I hear his criticism nowadays, I feel that it is not worth now because he has now passed the phase where we criticise him for anything because he has done everything for the country in the field of cricket and whatever he is doing is now bonus.

In the last four matches he scored consecutive hundreds but all the hundreds came at the stage when India needed them the most and also don't forget his 100 against Lanka in Ahmedabad which helped India in saving that Test so you can say 5 hundreds in 7 seven matches is quite remarkable. It also shows what is the mental ability of this great man, that he absorbs all the pressure and yet don't give any expression of that pressure, that is commendable and worth learning.

So now let stop criticising Sachin on his failure and just enjoy his successes and keep admiring him for everything he has done and will do in future.

Eden Test is wide open with 3 wickets falling quickly

With little lead of 46 runs and 5 wickets in hand it seems situation in control for India but don't forget new ball is due and early start will change the course. Openers gave us decent start but again as we seen in this match one wicket leads to another wicket happened again today morning but thanks to Sehwag and Tendulkar for damage control. One wicket on that stage could have tilted the match in Proteas favour but Sachin and Sehwag did great job by not only staying on the wicket but also scoring runs at fair clip. It was evident in the evening how crucial was that pertnership because as one wicket fell, two more wickets fell in quick succession and all of sudden it looked like whatever advantage India had is nullified to an extent because of 3 wickets at the end of the day.

It is now important for MS Dhoni and Laxman to ensure that India have big lead. One more wicket of Dhoni or Laxman will create the havoc so it is important for them to stay at wicket. Lot depends on tail as well if everybody contributes 20 runs from their bat then also India will be having the lead of more that 150 but as new ball is due and Steyn getting back to his wicket taking way I don't think so it will be possible for India to take big lead.

The way 3 wickets fell today in quick succession towards the end, I am sensing collapse of Indian batting line-up tomorrow because Steyn & co. is too hot to handle for lower order batters as we seen in Nagpur.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Great comeback by Team India at Eden

Yes. Indeed its been great comeback by Team India at crowded Eden after biting dust for 1st two sessions of match on First Day. Bhajji made a great comeback at his favourite venue but yet he looks little out of sorts and will take time to come in full rythm. Zaheer as usual gave great start by picking Smith very early but the debutant Peterson and Amla(centurion from Nagpur) put Indian bowlers on the task for 2 sessions and finally Zaheer broke this partnership by getting support from Ishant Sharma, although Sharma got one wicket but he was instrumental in downfall of South Africans by bowling the spell which can be easily compared to his spell in Australia 2 Years back where he troubled Ricky Ponting.

Amla played very well and it looked like he will not get out in this innings as well but one spell from Ishant made him little uncomfortable and which eventually resulted into his wicket. Now Team India in great position to dismiss South Africa under 300 but I feel real test will start for Team India when they bat tomorrow. I think our openers will not give great start to us in this Test as well and I am sensing another collapse of Team India because of the form of Dale Steyn and Co. This I am telling because wicket is greenish in nature and this will trouble our stroke makers to a great deal because it will not going to be easy to play strokes on moving wicket where bowlers move bowl at 140-145 kms. So tough ask for Team India to win this Test match and I feel South Africa looked to me clear winners at Eden.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Indian will not win series against Proteas.

As both teams moved to Kolkata from Nagpur pressure of winning also shifted. I feel Indian Team don't have any chance to win this Test Match as they don't have potent bowling attack as the main bowler Harbhajan Singh is not in good form and Ishant has also lost his pace, so bleak situation for Team India. As a cricket lover I want to see my team winning but we can't ignore the facts as well and facts suggest Team India don't have fire power to win this match.

Also the selection was not good for this series. I feel if India had inducted youngsters like Manish Pandey, Abhimanyu Mithun and Sudeep Tyagi in the final 11, Proteas must have got surprise as they don't know much about these players and India also got the chance to try out some raw talent which could have become great investment for them in future.

So to sum it up India will not be able to retain its number ranking. and Proteas will win the Eden Garden and become Number One.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

We don't want seniors in Team India?

Just a year back Sourav Ganguly was forced to retire from cricket and there was also the discussion over whether our seniors like Rahul, Sachin or Laxman should continue cricket or retire, excuse given was that they are old and not agile, not good fielders,etc. but in last four days we found how important our seniors are. Had Sourav Ganguly not forced to retire he must have played Test Match against South Africa because last time against South Africa Sourav played some important innings both at home and away. We would not have missed injury hit seniors that much because atleast we had two vastly experienced players in middle order but such is the attitude of our selectors and captain who don't want experience in the team. In one-dayers we missed exprience of Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid very much as we lost most of the final matches because of temperament of our young players who often need guidance of seniors. I hope now selectors and captain must have understood the importance of seniors and now onwards they treat them with respect.

Shameless performance by Indian Cricket Team at Nagpur

Shameless performance by Indian Cricket Team at Nagpur helped South Africa in getting upper hand the series. When Sehwag quoted saying Bangladesh is an ordinary side now what would he call Team India as Indian bowlers were not able to pick even 10 wickets of South Africa. Its time for some soul searching. I hope now selectors will give some thought in selecting the Team for Kolkata Test.

On the the other side Proteas proved that they are the only one who deserves that No.1 spot with their performance at Nagpur.Sachin got his 46th ton , that is great but he didn't stayed at the wicket when it mattered the most. I must say 4 out of six top order batsmen thrown their wicket rather than playing sensible cricket so temperament has been not that great from Indian side.Lot were said about MS Dhoni as captain and as batsman but I feel he was the big failure in this Test with bat and wicket-keeping. He may be a star but I don't think so he is a good test batsman as he is technically not at all equipped to play Test Cricket as the way he played the fast bowlers of South Africa.

Only the whole worst performance by Indian Team after 2008 in test cricket and I feel the way our batsmen playing it was looking like they were playing in Durban and not at Nagpur. I don't think India will win at Kolkata as well and I feel Proteas will win Kolkata Test as well, so lots to play at Kolkata for India. Again great performance by South Africa and they have revealed the truth of our heroes whom we believe demi gods in India.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Advantage Proteas on Day3 as Indian collapsed and follow-on

Brilliant spell from Dale Steyn(Steyn Gun) forced India to bite dust at Jamtha(Nagpur) on 3rd Day of First Test. Its been clear from the length Steyn bowled to Indians that he was looking to pick-up wickets. There were few bouncers bowled by South African bowlers in first innings which was hyped before the match and most of the deliveries bowled on good length. I feel Indians were thinking of bouncers too much that they played on the backfoot most of the time and got out to the pitched up deliveries. It was obvious from the footwork of Indians. Sehwag and Badrinath were the only batters who showed some resistance but Sehwag also fell cheaply in Second Innings where much was expected from him. Gambhir was unlucky in both innings getting out to peach of the deliveries.It was good debut for Badrinath who got 50 on his debut but that didn't help India from follow-on.

Indian bowlers must have to take leaf out of South African bowlers how to bowl on sub-continent wickets. if they learn quickly it will be better for India for next Test Match. This match is already over as India is on the verge of defeat and nobody can save them from this not even God.
Selectors will also have great role now onwards in selecting the Team for next Test Match.

At the end we have to say South Africa outplayed India and I feel they deserve to be the No.1.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Advantage Proteas on Day2

Maiden double hundred not out by Hashim Amla has put SA in commanding position at Jamtha(Nagpur) on Second Day of First Test. Story of the day was quite similar to yesterday's as SA piled on Indian bowlers agony. I feel Amit Mishra bowled very well and he was unlucky not picking up the single wicket though he went past outside edge of the Proteas more than any other bowler in Indian side, sometimes luck play great part even if somebody gives his everything then also he don't get success and same happened with poor Mishra. Indian fielding looked completely out of sort as they mis-fielded and dropped the catches all day like school boys and this has become regular feature of Indian team nowadays. Some tactical errors also made by Dhoni in field placing as we saw mostly South African batters played spinners especially Harbhajan Singh behind the wicket on leg side and Dhoni did not covered that area and lot of singles leaked through square leg and fine leg. Had Dhoni placed fielders on Leg Gully, Leg Slip and Forward Short Leg together then it had helped spinners in putting pressure on the Proteas and it could have helped them in picking up wickets.

I feel SA declared bit late in the day, had they given 10-12 overs to the Indians today they must have picked up 1-2 wickets but they gave just 4 overs to Indian which were negated successfully by Indian openers. I think Day-3 will belong to SA as well. They have speed in their armoury and that will come handy on deteriorating wicket and bounce will become uneven, so tough times ahead for Indians. Only two results are possible now in this match and that is SA win or draw and I feel chances of SA winning is more looking to the conditions and the mammoth score they piled on.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Advantage Proteas on Day1

It is advantage Proteas on Day 1 at Nagpur. Centuries by Kallis and Amla ensured that South Africa will going to post huge total and will not bat again in this match. In the morning Smith won the toss and elected to bat and the two seasoned campaigner took full advantage of toss. Zaheer started well in the morning by picking both the openers inside 10 runs but after that it was Kallis-Amla show and this show will continue tomorrow as well if India wont strike early.

Kallis showed why he is regarded as great batsman.His innings had every thing which a cricket lover wants to see and alongwith him Amla showed great character. Indian bowling looked quite ordinary except Zaheer Khan who looked like picking up wickets in every spell in-fact he almost got Amla after lunch had Dhoni and Vijay not missed his catch. Field placing of Dhoni was also questionable after lunch as he started with only one slip. Poor catching of India is greatly responsible for their situation in the match as they missed 3 chances and poor catching and fielding is now closely associated with Team India for long.

Harbhajan disappointed very much today as he was expected to be the strike bowler for India because of his experience but he remained wicketless and couldn't contain the SA batters as well. Amit Mishra actually bowled better than Harbhajan. I think Harbhajan is not in best of the form right now as he is not picking up many wickets since last 10 matches and because of that he looks short of confidence right now. He has to re-think on his bowling.

So tough times ahead for India. I feel SA will win this series 1-0.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Proteas in India

Many things have been already said about the Proteas tour of India batting bowling fielding, strengths,weaknesses, players, coaches,records,etc. But to sum it all I feel Proteas have upper hand this time round because home side is already short of experience in middle order because of injuries to Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh and VVS Laxman who is again a doubtful starter. MS Dhoni is also suffering an injury.

On the other side Proteas are having good bowling side with Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Wayne Parnell but I feel key for them will be their spinners. How can we forget Australian Jason Kreza took 12 wickets in a match at the same venue last time when India and Australia played. If South Africa will use its spinners as an attacking weapon then they will be in great position to win this series. But if Proteas use spinners as defensive weapon then they will be in trouble.

As far India is concerned it is important that Virendra Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir takes the responsibility and put up good partnership at the top will make the Indian inexperienced middle order job easy. But as we all know Sehwag will not compromise on his strokes and he will play the way he known for so all the responsibility comes on Gambhir to calm down Sehwag.

Last thing watch out for chin music from Proteas atleast in first two sessions and that will be the big worry for Indian top order as we all know Indians are vulnerable to short pitch stuff and frankly speaking they cant handle it except for Rahul Dravid who is not playing this series. So odds favour Sout Africa to win the series and it will be 1-0 South Africa.