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Session-dashboard - Tracking Test Matches as they progress.
Tracking T20 run-chases in an innovative manner - See here.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Equal series wins in limited overs in UK

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The Indians were expected to easily win the two matches in Ireland, which they did easily. In England, they were facing a team that whitewashed Australia 5-0 in ODI series! The T20I series was first and the Indians pulled off a series win versus the hosts. Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur were tried out as new ball bowlers but the wrist spinners not only undid all their inexperience but also restricted the scoring and took important wickets at the right time.This did not stop India to lose their first ODI series under Kohli.

Image Courtesy: Cricinfo website

India pulled back things with a win in the T20I series to make it level. All over to the test series. Again, the weather has been good, ball is not doing anything in the air, wickets are perfect for batting. If it continues, India will outbat the hosts for a 2-1 series win. Any change in the brittle weather will alter the result. Virat Kohli & Ajinkya Rahane are the two batsmen who have to lead from the front, scoring a couple of centuries if India has to do well!The Indian team, for the last two series has lost the one who has got his name on the Lords Board - Praveen Kumar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The loss of Bhuvi will be more than that of Bumrah. Umesh Yadav and Isant Sharma should take the burden of the seam bowlers while Ashwin and Jadeja will be back. How will Kuldeep fit in is a question mark.Pandya is the all-rounder and the Indians must be feeling very confident to start the test series after the limited overs series!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

After Afghan history, India are off to UKI

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India finished the historic Afghanistan inaugural match in two days ( with their captain & main keeper injured). Post that, they have embarked on another tour to UK & Ireland ( where they lost badly 1-3, despite winning the first test). Legendary Tendulkar calls this as the most comprehensive bowling attack in years!Virat Kohli averaged less than 15 last time, making Jimmy Anderson take a jibe much before the tour was even planned ( though Anderson himself has not performed that well outside England)!

All in all, the series starts in Ireland with a T20I, followed by limited overs series ( giving time for the players to settle down!) There are reinforcements available from the A team, who are also in the same country playing well so far (Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Shubnam Gill, Shardul Thakur will fancy their chances in case of an emergency).

With good experience for all players in the team & bright, sunny weather this year, I expect the visitors to win 2-1. The ODI series will be well-fought as the hosts are No.1 in the world and have just white-washed the Aussies! Let us see what happens! Kohli & his men will be keen to show their mettle, after South Africa.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

IPL10 - the awards go to...

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After the completion of the IPL10 season, here are the awards we have chosen to award to the respective players. Have a look & feel free to comment!

  1. Dad-Of-the-IPL - MS Dhoni. He was the captain of the Dads Army. Not only that,  if the videos were to be seen right after the final got over, Dhoni was seen playing with his daughter, leaving his team to relish the title win!
  2. Bowler-Of-the-Tournament - All Leg-spinners. Indian or foreign, there were a large number of leg spinners in the tourney. Even Ashwin started off bowling leg-spin in many matches!
  3. Catch-Of-the-Tournament - AB De Viliers Spiderman catch has to be it! Nothing other.
  4. ABD-catch-of-the-tournament - Trent Boult came trumps with his catch to dismiss Virat Kohli!
  5. Worst-team-of-the-tournament - RCB Back-room team, who picked the team that flops so badly despite containing the best two players in the world!Either the ex-players did well ( e.g. Gayle) or the players from the region did well (e.g. KL Rahul).But, not RCB. God knows if they will reach the last four in the next few years!
  6. Jasprit-Bumrah-of-the-IPL - Basil Thampi, for his good showing and precise yorkers! He has to be given more chances to show his true mettle
  7. Budding-keepers-of-the-IPL - Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant shone in the IPL, giving themselves a chance to target the national slot. Dinesh Karthik, Parthiv Patel are still around while Naman Ojha was not to be seen!
  8. Comeback-team-of-IPL - Punjab under Ashwin did well but could not go all the way!
  9. Gentleman-of-IPL - Kane Williamson was a great guy leading SRH to the finals with his genteel nature & proactive captaincy. Too bad his team ran into Daddy's boys!
  10. Power-hitter-of-IPL - Ambati Rayudu seemed to have developed new muscles this year to power his way through the opposition. Was it hyderabad Biriyani or Chennai Sambar? He only knows!
  11. Confusion-in-IPL - Why Rohit Sharma did not open regularly was a question mark! Even when his team was not performing!
  12. Irritating-opener-of-IPL - Sunil Narine for his terrific shows at the top of the order!
  13. Youngsters-of-IPL - Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Prasidh Krishna, Shubnam Gill, Deepak Chahar impressed with their games & temperament. Worth looking for!
  14. Flop-show-of-IPL - Glenn Maxwell, D'arcy Short - For all their hype, their performances were nothing to write about!
  15. Openers-of-IPL - KL Rahul & Chris Gayle. Brought Punjab back from wild & cheer into Preity's eyes. Great chemistry in the combination!
Please note that this is is only for fun and not to be taken seriously. Do take it in the right spirit and share your thoughts please!!

Monday, June 11, 2018

IPL10 - CSK win for third time

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The IPL10 finished with its regular share of twists and turns, and the Comeback Star Kings (CSK) won it for the third time.

Picture Courtesy - espnCricinfo website

Called the "Dad's Army", CSK had nine players who were 30+ and turned the disadvantage to a plus! One of the oldies came to the rescue in every match, taking the team past the winning post in every match (Dhoni, Bravo,Rayudu, Tahir and Watson).

In the final, it was a great effort by CSK to win the title easily. Let us use the R-B factor to see how the winners got through. A look at the individual numbers (R-B) gives us good insight. Watson tops the list here too. Du Plessis and Rayudu have negative R-B but their contributions in partnering Watson when he was struggling was invaluable. All the others who batted, have a healthy R-B value, adding to the overall run-rate & ensuring CSK won the match by lots to spare. Just imagine the case that Dhoni, Bravo & Jadeja did not have to bat at all - that much fuel was available for CSK in the tank!!

Now, let us see the charts of SRH.Kane Williamson, Carlos Brathwaite  & Yusuf Pathan were the ones who did well with a R-B rate of 40+. The rest of the batsmen were guilty of consuming too many balls to score their runs! If the others had gotten up their R-B rate higher, CSK might have ended up chasing a score more than 200. But, as I mentioned earlier, three big-hitters did not step on to the field at all - Hence, CSK might have still ended up winners!

What do you think might have changed in the IPL final, in hindsight?Please share your thoughts.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

India win under 19 world cup,but

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While the Indian senior team was dominating South Africa in the limited over series in South Africa, their Under-19 comrades outshone their opposition in the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand, Coached by the legendary Rahul Dravid, the team won the final convincingly to lift the Cup against the powerful Australians! Overall performane by the Indians dominated the headlines, especially the fast bowlers, middle-order batsmen and captain Prithvi Shaw!

Images from Cricinfo website

While this is great, what becomes important is how many of these players make it to the senior team - have a look at the team that won in 2008 - Virat Kohli, Jadeja, Manish Pandey have graduated nicely but not much is known about the other players. Hopefully, we should nurture this team properly and ensure we get maximum representations in the senior team soon!

Friday, March 30, 2018

T20I tri-series - Last-ball six gets India the Nidahas Cup

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After the South African tour, the Indian selectors picked virtually a second-string Indian team to participate in the tri-series with hosts Sri Lanka and neighbor Bangladesh. No room for players like Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya. In came new faces like Washington Sundar, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur. With such a galaxy of new faces, India stormed to the finals and won the Cup, thanks to a cool Dinesh Karthik!

The Indian team closed out the international season with a memorable win and a dominating performance in the tournament, even with a second-string team. Kudos!!

All images from ESPN Cricinfo website
Clearly convincing wins by the Indians  over Bangladesh by 6 wickets, 17 runs, 4 wickets in the finals and over the hosts by 6 wickets, Only one loss versus Sri Lanka in the first match dented the performance slightly!

Karthik fidgeted around in his case and changed the lengths of the eight balls he faced, to slap a quick 29 to seal the match and tournament for India.

Throughout the tournament, it was consistent performances by Washington Sundar, Y. Chahal, Shardul Thakur that caught the eye of the Indian fans and Management. It augurs well to see that the pool for the Indian team is expanding with new faces. If Vijay Shankar had contributed as well with the bat, as he did with the ball, it would have been brilliant. But, nevertheless, this tournament was a BIG gain for the Indians! Next is IPL, where I am looking for newer faces!

Monday, March 26, 2018

South Africa T20Is - India finish series at the pinnacle

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After the ODI series drubbing,the Proteas decided to rest most of their seniors and announced a new-look team. With nothing to lose, the Indians continued their momentum to win the T20I series 2-1 to finish a great series for themselves (especially after the revversal in tests). The Indians won two matches by comfortable margins(28 runs, 7 wickets). Like the one-days, there was just one loss, mainly due to the weather. The confidence was so high that the Indians rested their captain in one match and still won!

Bhuvneshwar Kumar's good performances throughout the series was remarkable for his consistency, irrespective of the format - he started with a five-wicket haul in the first match and ended as the joint highest wicket taker in the series!

Suresh Raina chipped in with fast-paced knocks that were not convincing - his skills and temperament though will be useful to the Indian team in days to come.

The Indians on the field were super, probably better than the home team in some cases! If they can continue this progress for few more years, it is difficult to stop them!
In MS Dhoni, Kohli has a great guide and friend on and off the field - he can only get better from here!

The emergence of Jasprit Bumrah as a dependable force in the limited overs format was another BIG takeaway for India!

Shikhar Dhawan shone in the limited over variety but could not translate the same to whites! But, he was a revelation in the T20I format!

All images from ESPN Cricinfo website

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

South Africa away ODIs - Comprehensive win for the Indians

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"Hisaab 25 saal ka" screamed the promos on television. Right on cue, the Indian team won their first ODi series in South Africa in a very convincing fashion. 5-1 was the final result, which left everyone stunned and numb to an extent, even an ardent Indian fan like yours truly was shocked at what happened.

Batting first or second, the Indians won convincingly (6 wickets, 9 wickets, 124 runs, 73 runs, 8 wickets). Just the one blip thanks to a wet pitch and DLS rule helping the Proteans once, the Indians were on a roll!

The captain played a BIG role in the series win, no doubt. Getting to 35 tons in his career is no easy feat - only Sachin stands in front of him now!

He was supported with the bat by Shikhar Dhawan in most matches!

With the ball, it was the wrist-spinners who provided the key breakthroughs to dismantle the Protean lineup ( already depleted by injuries to AB De Viliers, Faf du Plessis). Injuries, inability to face the spinners on seemingly slower ( and lower) pitches were a critical sin from the South Africans. The focus seemed more on a long-term vision, rather than the series ahead - this backfired badly. They learnt a HUGE lesson in the process and lost the series in a manner that their fans might have felt depressed.

All pictures from ESPN Cricinfo website

Kuldeep Yadav, helped by MS Dhoni's guidance from behind the stumps, was critical. Both the spinners were awesome with their performance, barring that lone defeat on a rain-truncated Pink Day!

Finally, a century to seal the series convincingly, for the captain! His first ODI series win after his wedding was very sweet!!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

South Africa away tests - India strike back with a great win

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If you wanted to know why they are called test matches, do save this one for quick reference. A test of patience, perseverance, technique, guts, temperament!! It was good to see the Indians not only come out on top but show the heart required to fight out on a pitch that the home team opener ( undefeated in the last innings) thought was dangerous to play! A great overseas win that is better than the one at Perth!

It was the match where India had nothing more to lose. The batting, bowling and fielding came to the party together. The selections were spot-on, with the errors ( Ajinkya  Rahane and Bhuvneshwar Kumar) rectified.  Bumrah and Shami stepped up with the ball (while Bhuvi was his usual consistent self) while Vijay & Rahane showed their class on such a nasty pitch ( Virat Kohli's runs were worth more than what the scorecard showed. It was a collective effort as everyone contributed in all the three areas. A great effort by the Indian team to go down valiantly in the test series - the next tour should see them reap greater rewards.

Image courtesy: ESPN Cricinfo website

Definitely a win that will shape this young team further! Watch out for the Indians!!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

South Africa away tests - India lose to Ngidi

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Lungi Ngidi was a debutant against the team ranked No.1 in the world, replacing a legend (Dale Steyn) in the second test of the series.But, he showed no nervousness versus the No.1 test side in the world. The Indians made some shocking team selections in the second test by dropping Bhuvneshwar Kumar to bring in Ishant Sharma. It is not sure what the impact will be on the players morale. Rahane has been sidelined so far in a similar manner, in favor of Rohit Sharma.

This move back-fired and the Indians lost the series with one test to go. Ishant was not a complete failure though - he did trouble the competition and picked wickets when it mattered, on a helpful pitch. Rohit just couldnt get going and clamors for Rahane got bigger from the fans.
While the Proteas were making the right changes and all the positive vibes were with them, the Indian ship seemed to be sinking! Virat Kohli made a majestic 150+ but when required, failed with the bat. Though the pitch was more like a sub-continent type, the Indians were skittled out by Ngidi fairly easily!
Image Courtesy: ESPN Cricinfo website

The match was made famous by the number of run-outs from both teams (Pujara dismissed twice run out was an ultimate disaster!). Ashwin picked up useful wickets that helped his bowling but more was expected in the second innings!While Pandya was great in effecting the runout of his bowling, his own runout was school-boy cricket, as Sunil Gavaskar said on air.