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

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.

Friday, January 12, 2018

South Africa away tests - Indian batsmen lose way to bring their team down

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In the first test match against South Africa, India played after NO practice games, only for their bowlers to lift the nation's hopes with a great display of seam bowling. Reduced to 12-3, the Proteans managed to post a respectable 286. Till then, the two surprise picks in the playing eleven had done well. Firstly, Jasprit Bumrah, had given a good performance with the ball (picking the wicket of the great AB De Viliers) while Hardik Pandya chipped with that of Faf du Plessis. Even Ashwin picked up two to finish off a great display by Indian bowlers.

Image Courtesy - espncricinfo.com website

The batsmen started in the evening of the first day and conditions looked they were easier, in comparison. The weather conditions was bright on Day 2 but the Indian dressing room was gloomy - the wickets were falling regularly to the quartet. Rahane was dropped to accommodate Rohit Sharma, based on current form - this pick didn't go as per form (as did Dhawan's inclusion over KL Rahul). The Indians gave a lead of 77 runs.  Thanks to a near-hundred by Hardik Pandya, the lead was manageable! Pandya rode his luck to take India to a respectable situation.If only, the others had shown similar guts and determination!!

The second innings saw the Indian team score five more runs than their rivals but the lead conceded was more than enough to lose the test match!

The bowlers showed they could do well overseas but the batsmen couldnt match them - Only if the two shine, India has a chance in this series!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Sri Lanka home tests - India win but not as expected

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After the brownwash in Sri Lanka, when the tourists came to India, all expected a repeat of the scoreline, but it was not to be! India won the series 1-0 as they couldn't take three wickets more in the first and five in the final test. But, they were consistently superior in all departments!! The lasting memory from the test series was the Delhi smog, not the batting or bowling!

Monday, October 23, 2017

ODIs - India reach No.1 position

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Thanks to their wins away versus Sri Lanka and at home versus the Aussies, India reached the No.1 position in ICC Rankings!

Sri Lanka series

The ODIs were closer as compared to the test series, thanks to the young spinner Akhila Dananjaya. India coasted while chasing - winning by nine, three, six and six wickets  - and crushed the Lankans after setting a huge target.Openers Rohit, Rahane or Dhawan continued their good form while Pandya surprised everyone with his exploits with bat and ball. MSD showed he could still win matches for his country while Manish Pandey remained in contention for a spot in the middle order with Jadhav. Bhuvi took his first five wicket haul while Shardul Thakur impressed as a backup quick The spinners and Bumrah were terrific to hand India a sweep of the ODI series!

Thursday, June 01, 2017

IPL10 - Third title win for Mumbai

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IPL 10 started after a series of tests at home. The pace quickened and how - it seemed tests were on fast forward mode.

From the beginning, the slot for the top and bottom three teams remained the same. RCB was the biggest disappointment, especially with the team on paper. Another heavyweight, Mumbai Indians, funded by ultra-rich Ambanis won the title, pipping the Pune team by a single. Overall, the final reflected the closeness of the tournament.
This year saw the emergence of Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan with the bat - let us see if they go on to bigger things.MSD also showed that he was still a force to reckon with,
It has been a great tournament so far. In 10 years, all the initial icon players have become coaches or mentors. New players have emerged, both domestic and foreign. New captains have been identified. Let us see what happens next year for that will dictate the next ten years of cricket, not just IPL!

Image Courtesy: espncricinfo.com website