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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

IPL 2016: Sir M. S. Dhoni (RSG)

I am kind of compelled to write today due to my faith in Sir M. S. Dhoni and the phase through which he has gone through in the ongoing IPL so far. It was not pleasant sight to see Dhoni during the presentation ceremony after that match with Gujarat Lions. One thing all Dhoni followers and India must understand that his team of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) which had consistently performed well in the prior IPL tournaments does not exist and has been split. Thus he has been left with new squad which would be expected to take its time to perform. Thus two teams are quite young in this IPL tournament viz. Gujarat Lions and Rising Super Giants. Looking at Gujarat Lions the side looks to be quite balanced especially due to McCullum, Finch, Bravo, Raina, Jadeja all are performing quite good and well supported by the rest of the squad. In the case of RSG I felt that they have got the right combination now that after KP got injured and got replaced by Albie Morkel. Despite this RSG failed to perform to bring victory home in its match against KKR. The reasons I felt was Ashwin looked helpless with his two overs. M. Ashwin and the other left arm spinner could have tried to bowl round the wicket, maintaining stump attack while ball was spinning well and the wicket was also quite dry. It is always difficult for the right handed batsman to hit the ball pitching on the left corner or sometimes outside the peripheral vision. ***Also Albie Morkel could have kept batsmen surprising by changing the length rather trying to bowl full pitch to get wicket, especially considering that conditions were not in favor of swing bowling***.RSG could have tried to build the pressure on the KKR with the increasing required run rate. Still I would like to give RSG a credit for the first match with the new UNIT/ TEAM. Only message I have for Sir M S Dhoni is that we would like to see his team making strong come back from this moment in this IPL. My best wishes to RSG.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

ICC T20 World Cup final between England and West Indies

Thoroughly enjoyed this final game of 2016 T20 ICC World Cup and was mad shouting and supporting West Indian team for their outstanding team and fighting performance after a long long time. I wanted West Indies to win this game more than usual mainly because of insensible comments by Mark Nocholas in a column for ESPNcricinfo on March 3 as "West Indies are short of brains but have IPL history in their ranks." Also when WI was batting, Willey was trying to imitate D J Bravo’s dance on champion song.  To be honest, it never suited Willey to dance like that. Maybe Willey should admit that he is not a good dancer. The adversity from which West Indies team came up as a World Champion, I am sure England or no other team for that matter could have shown guts to play for their own nation. It shows that the head and the heart of West Indian players right in their places and functioning well in harmony in the interest of their nation. I think now Marc Nicholas has to question himself if that statement was meant for West Indies or for England? Cricket is the game innovated by England however for long time England was not playing competitive enough to be even close to be called World Champions until T20 was launched and innovated. This year West Indies has won 3 world cups viz: under 19, women’s T20 and men’s T20. So who is the best executioner? Certainly not England. That statement by Mark was sheerly uncalled for. And I am so happy that WI gave a strong answer to him by their performance. I was also overwhelmed by the team spirit and performance which WI team showed in the middle of negative forces coming from the WI Cricket Board itself. I am thrilled, entertained and awed by the performance of Marlon Samules, Carlos Brathwaite. I only wish that no matter how many differences West Indies camp has with the Board or amongst the players, they should always come together in the interest of their nation, to entertain people who like to watch WI perform at its best and to come out victorious as world champion in any form of cricket. It leaves no doubt that WI is full of cricketing skills and potential. And the reason I always like watching them play and win is because they enjoy the game, they play in true spirit of the game and don’t indulge in activities other than cricket to try to overcome their opponents. They try to have fun on the ground and also bring joy and happiness to the people who love this game. Finally, the last but not the least, a special thanks to Dada Ganguly for offering such a nice, balanced wicket to hold the final game, which turned out to be the most entertaining and thrilling end for this wonderful cricket event.

Friday, April 1, 2016

ICC T20 World Cup semi-final between India and West Indies

I’m little late to write about this however cannot stay without. I heartily congratulate West Indies for its wonderful performance in all three departments i.e. bowling, fielding and batting. 

I would like to highlight some of the mistakes Indian team made yesterday.
1st and foremost mistake was of dropping Shikhar Dhawan on the Wankhede wicket known as batsmen’s paradise. Shikhar could have scored runs at much better acceleration than Ajinkya Rahane. Ajinkya’s role comes into picture when India tends to lose wickets at short intervals and on tough turning Indian wicket. We all presume Ajinkya to be on the path of living legend Rahul Dravid, although he has lot to achieve and prove in order to be considered as replacement of Rahul Dravid. Ajinkya suits well in the middle order to gain control of the game especially when India has lost momentum and also wickets. Ajinkya would have been better replacement for Suresh Raina who failed miserably in this world cup. Manish Pandey was a good addition to replace Yuvaraj I feel, however unfortunately he did not get chance to shine his bat.
2nd mistake was, I found Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane got too complacent in the middle overs till the time Ajinkya got out and were happy with 1s and 2s. Once again I would like to highlight the fact that the venue was the Wankhede and not the Eden Garden. Both should have stepped on the gas. Everyone would agree that West Indies scored most of its runs through 4s and 6s and yet won comfortably. India should have focused for minimum 225 runs to defend. 

3rd mistake was to give Ravindra Jadeja 4 overs who was thrashed at the run rate of 12 runs per over. Although M S Dhoni did mention in the post match conference that the ball was wet due to dew on the ground I did not see any fielder carrying napkin or something to dry up the ball frequently in order to help bowlers to get good grip on the ball. Legendary leg spinner Shane Warne used to carry white napkin on the ground in conditions where ball used to get wet. 

Although I am an Indian, yesterday I did enjoy clean performance by the West Indies team, especially after losing Chris Gayle. In depth overs also West Indian bowlers did not give enough chance to Indian Batsmen and kept changing line, bowling repetitively just inside the wide line, kept deceiving with the pace of the ball, making it tough for Virat and M S Dhoni to hit for 4s and 6s. And I really felt bad when Virat was to be trusted with his bowling skills in the final over where WI needed only 6 runs. Indian team did commit few mistakes right from the selection of best 11, as best 11 were not on the field. And then second mistake was not to read well the available conditions and make best use of those and also skills in the available squad. It was sad to see Harbhajan on the bench especially when India was losing in India and Ravindra Jadeja bowling.

In the name of love of this sport, best team did win.