Advertisements

england

This tag is associated with 47 posts

England verus West Indies: Let the fireworks flow


England take on the West Indies tonight in Kolkata in the sixth edition of the T20 World Cup.

Neither team is a stranger to the pressures of a final; both have emerged victors in the shortest format of the game.

Joe Root and Chris Gayle will be the cynosure of all eyes.

They are key players for their respective sides.

But finals have an uncanny knack of producing unlikely heroes.

The biggest stars have to perform to the greatest expectations.

Can they? Will they?

Some simply choke under the weight of expectations. Remember Ronaldo in the World Cup final in France in 1998 and his mysterious illness? It could well have been him and not Zinedine Zidane holding up the trophy. (Ronaldo did make amends in 2002. And it was Zidane who got the boot for his infamously provoked headbutt in 2006.Still not a Suarez.)

That’s not the point of this exercise.

It’s simply that cricket is a team sport and that it takes eleven players to get the side across the line.

The better side is simply the one that can keep it together more consistently and more often than other sides.

Those are the teams that make it through a tournament and emerge victorious.

Will it be Eoin Morgan’s England? Or will it be lovable Darren Sammy’s musketeers?

I really don’t know and I really don’t care.

For once, in this tournament I can be neutral and simply say, “Let the fireworks begin.”

Advertisements

Batting prowess overseas in seaming, swinging conditions predicates success


Team India appears to have turned the corner with Manish Pandey’s scintillating ton ending the losing spree of games in the ODI series. The spin bowlers and newcomers Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bhumra joined the party in the first T20. The scoreline now reads 4-2 if the matches were an eight game series.

It has been my pet theory that if Indian batsmen do well in South Africa, Australia, England and New Zealand, they can be counted on as long-term prospects and should be persisted with more than any other batters who may pile up runs by the dozen on the subcontinent but who come up a cropper against the antipodeans and the English.

Towards this end, I decided to gather some stats about how Indian batters have fared against the above four teams in their home conditions.

The following is a list of Indian batters who average above 30 against South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia overseas.

Tests
Player Span Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 0
SR Tendulkar 1990-2012 63 114 9 5387 241* 51.3 17 23 6
R Dravid 1996-2012 46 89 10 3909 233 49.48 10 17 2
SM Gavaskar 1971-1986 32 57 2 2464 221 44.8 8 11 4
SC Ganguly 1996-2008 32 59 4 2311 144 42.01 5 13 4
VVS Laxman 1997-2012 41 75 8 2710 178 40.44 5 15 4
M Azharuddin 1985-1999 30 48 3 1731 192 38.46 6 5 1
GR Viswanath 1971-1982 27 50 3 1805 114 38.4 2 16 3
DB Vengsarkar 1976-1992 37 64 6 2014 157 34.72 4 10 6
V Sehwag 2001-2012 29 54 0 1788 195 33.11 4 6 7
MS Dhoni 2006-2014 32 55 5 1529 92 30.58 0 11 5

The list is illustrious reading like a who’s who of Indian cricket in Tests with Mahendra Singh Dhoni bringing up the rear with an average of 30.58 with a highest score of 92 in 32 Tests and 55 innings.

Virender Sehwag, surprisingly, ranks just above him with an average of 33.11 from 29 matches and 54 innings. His highest score is 195 with four centuries to his name.

Let’s look at the list of players who have averaged over 30 in ODIs.

ODIs
Player Span Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 0
V Kohli 2011-2016 35 34 3 1282 123 41.35 1443 88.84 4 7 2
RG Sharma 2008-2016 34 32 4 1140 171* 40.71 1437 79.33 3 4 1
R Dravid 1996-2011 53 53 5 1922 123* 40.04 2763 69.56 1 20 2
MS Dhoni 2006-2016 57 52 8 1737 84* 39.47 2117 82.05 0 14 2
SM Gavaskar 1974-1986 22 21 3 701 92* 38.94 1327 52.82 0 6 0
M Azharuddin 1985-1999 48 47 10 1416 93 38.27 2062 68.67 0 12 1
RA Jadeja 2011-2016 24 21 8 466 87 35.84 476 97.89 0 3 2
S Dhawan 2013-2016 20 19 1 621 126 34.5 674 92.13 1 3 1
SR Tendulkar 1990-2012 82 82 3 2584 163* 32.7 3301 78.27 4 14 4
AM Rahane 2011-2016 22 21 1 634 106 31.7 782 81.07 1 3 2
RJ Shastri 1982-1992 22 20 4 505 62* 31.56 887 56.93 0 4 2
SC Ganguly 1996-2007 46 46 0 1443 127 31.36 2008 71.86 2 11 5
SK Raina 2006-2015 34 30 2 869 100 31.03 871 99.77 1 3 0
V Sehwag 2001-2012 35 35 1 1027 125* 30.2 1099 93.44 3 3 3

Virat Kohli tops this list with an average of 41.35 from 34 innings with four tons and a highest score of 123. Rohit Sharma follows with 40.71 from 32 innings and three hundreds.

Surprising entries in this list include Sunny Gavaskar, Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina.

For an orthodox player, Gavaskar proved to be versatile and averages 38.94 from 21 innings with a highest score of 92 not out. Gavaskar scored just one hundred in the ODI format in 1987 in his penultimate game against New Zealand.

Jadeja makes this list—placed somewhere in the middle—with 35.84 from 21 innings with a highest score of 87. Dhoni’s faith in him might not be misplaced after all.

Dhoni’s other blue-eyed boy Raina averages 31.03 from 30 innings with a highest score of 100. He brings up the rear followed by Virender Sehwag with 30.2 from 35 innings. Evidently Sehwag was not the impact player against these four sides in their backyard. These are stats though and stats never tell the whole story.

The above two tables are for players who have played a minimum of 20 Tests or 20 ODIs.

There are no equivalent statistics for T20s. There are no players who average above 30 and have played 20 T20 games.

English: Fans wave the Indian flag during a ma...

Fans wave the Indian flag during a match against Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The following table lists batters who have averaged over 30 since Jan 1, 2005 against the four sides.

Tests
Player Span Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 0 4s 6s
A Mishra 2011-2011 1 1 0 84 84 84 141 59.57 0 1 0 10 0
KD Karthik 2007-2009 5 8 1 364 91 52 736 49.45 0 4 0 46 1
V Kohli 2011-2015 17 34 1 1612 169 48.84 2791 57.75 7 4 3 191 3
AM Rahane 2013-2015 13 25 3 1069 147 48.59 1909 55.99 3 6 2 143 4
M Vijay 2010-2015 14 28 0 1108 146 39.57 2512 44.1 2 7 2 145 8
G Gambhir 2009-2014 13 26 1 982 167 39.28 2252 43.6 2 5 2 123 2
SC Ganguly 2006-2008 10 20 2 698 79 38.77 1163 60.01 0 6 2 85 6
KL Rahul 2014-2015 2 4 0 130 110 32.5 315 41.26 1 0 0 16 1

Amit Mishra is the anomaly averaging 84 from one innings.

Except for Dinesh Karthik who did well overseas especially in England and Gambhir who’s still struggling for form,  the rest are rightly pencilled in by the selectors when it comes to choosing a Test side.

ODIs
Player Span Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 0 4s 6s
MK Pandey 2016-2016 3 2 1 110 104* 110 86 127.9 1 0 0 9 1
AT Rayudu 2014-2015 6 5 1 197 64* 49.25 265 74.33 0 2 0 16 5
YK Pathan 2009-2011 8 6 2 187 105 46.75 139 134.53 1 1 1 16 12
SC Ganguly 2007-2007 7 7 0 249 72 35.57 339 73.45 0 3 0 32 5
G Gambhir 2007-2012 19 18 1 576 113 33.88 750 76.8 1 3 0 47 2
R Dravid 2006-2011 14 14 1 428 92* 32.92 517 82.78 0 4 1 39 5
V Sehwag 2006-2012 13 13 1 387 125* 32.25 325 119.07 1 2 1 52 11
RV Uthappa 2007-2008 7 7 1 190 51 31.66 240 79.16 0 1 0 18 1
PA Patel 2011-2011 7 7 0 221 95 31.57 273 80.95 0 1 0 26 3

In ODIs, Pandey’s recent exploits see him top the list. Rayudu, Uthappa and Parthiv Patel offer the selectors an abundance of riches when it comes to choosing a replacement for MS Dhoni. Yusuf Pathan makes the list as well with a stupendous average of 46.75 from six innings.

The list of T20 players throw no surprises either.

T20s
Player Span Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 0 4s 6s
MS Dhoni 2006-2014 12 11 6 228 48* 45.6 216 105.55 0 0 1 15 5
D Mongia 2006-2006 1 1 0 38 38 38 45 84.44 0 0 0 4 1
AM Rahane 2011-2014 2 2 0 69 61 34.5 43 160.46 0 1 0 8 1
S Dhawan 2014-2014 1 1 0 33 33 33 28 117.85 0 0 0 2 2
G Gambhir 2007-2012 8 8 2 195 56* 32.5 173 112.71 0 1 0 23 2
R Dravid 2011-2011 1 1 0 31 31 31 21 147.61 0 0 0 0 3
V Kohli 2011-2014 6 5 0 151 66 30.2 110 137.27 0 1 0 17 2

These statistics , of course, don’t provide any sign of deserving talent among batters who have not appeared for India against these four sides in India colours.

India ‘A’ sides have toured overseas and Indian batters have prospered in hostile conditions. Those stats could have provided a larger picture of prospective talent.

But for me, it’s a no-brainer that if Indian batters have scored runs heavily overseas in these four nations, they are likely to do even better elsewhere and especially in home conditions.

Let no one tell you otherwise, least of all, MS Dhoni.

(All statistics courtesy Cricinfo’s StatsGuru).

Team India are No. 1 by default


Just three months ago, South Africa headed the ICC Test rankings. Today, they were knocked off their pedestal by a resurgent England. Team India are now No. 1 crowned by default on the back of their resounding defeat of the Proteans at home. Funny how in a matter of six Tests fortunes have changed and how. It also goes to show that if teams don’t put up a fight overseas and everyone concedes that South Africa were dismal tourists barring the final Test, their performance at home can take a nose-dive. England did something similar to India when they toured here following their 4-0 whitewash at home. MS Dhoni would perhaps reminisce about the time he led Team India to the peak four years ago, and perhaps knowingly wink at Virat Kohli saying, “I told you so.”

Michael Clarke bites the Ashes dust


“Another one bites the dust

Another one bites the dust

And another one gone, and another one gone

Another one bites the dust

Hey, I’m gonna get you too

Another one bites the dust

How do you think I’m going to get along, 

Without you, when you’re gone

You took me for everything that I had, 

And kicked me out on my own

Are you happy, are you satisfied

How long can you stand the heat

Out of the doorway the bullets rip

To the sound of the beat”

The above lines are the chorus to Queen’s famed song, “Another One Bites The Dust.”

How much must it mimic the state of Michael Clarke’s mind as he bid adieu to international cricket on the back of yet another Ashes loss in England?

Clarke would have loved to win in England as skipper and would certainly have believed that the urn would be his at the outset. They had just won the World Cup and were on a high.

Steve Waugh never conquered the Final Frontier that was India. He never captained the Aussies to a series win on the sub-continent.

A cricket shot from Privatemusings, taken at t...

A cricket shot from Privatemusings, taken at the third day of the SCG Test between Australia and South Africa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Similarly, the Ashes remained Clarke’s bugbear, his Waterloo.

A bad back, a sore hamstring, an injured then retired Harris, a missing Haddin and a lackadaisical Johnson all added to his woes.

The cup overflows and not with Ashes.

The skipper’s out, stumped.

Clarke leaves behind a great legacy as a batsman and skipper. Many believed that he did a wonderful job of rebuilding the side after the departure of Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and later Ricky Ponting.

But the replacements were not quite bunnies and thus the task of rebuilding anew falls on the young shoulders of Steve Smith.

The Pup is an old dog.

Clarke will always be remembered for his tact and sensitivity in tackling the shocking demise of Philip Hughes. He was the epitome of a gentleman and statesmanlike in his demeanour. His emotional oration moved his listeners to tears.

He will be missed on the cricket field.

He will always be welcome everywhere else.

Zlatan Ibrahimović: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Zlatan Ibrahimović thrashes trash talk at his 33rd birthday bash.

What he said:

“Let’s go back 15 years and all I saw then has come true. Everybody who was trash-talking me? Now they are eating their words. This is my real trophy.”

Swedish striker and captain of the national side, Zlatan Ibrahimović, lets loose a fusillade of criticism at his many critics while blowing out the candles on his birthday cake.

He said:

“So how did this punk from Rosengard get all the way to where I am now? Nobody believed I could do it. Everybody was trash‑talking. They thought I will go away because I have a big mouth. They thought this guy’s vision is crazy. It will not happen. But I had these dreams of where I would end up. And now here I am.”

On criticism driving him forward:

“Yeah, yeah. That’s my hunger. If I start to relax and I lose that then I had better stop my football. I need that hunger. I still feel I need to do things 10 times better than other players. Just to be accepted and to improve myself.”

On a documentary ‘From Rosengard With More Than One Goal‘ charting his meteoric rise from oblivion:

“It was emotional and the documentary took six months. I’m used to having a camera in my face but not a camera following me. When I did the book [the layered, cocky, poignant and very funny I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic] one guy followed me. This time it’s a camera crew. But I did it because I want to show everyone how my life is different from the inside and how I went all the way from Rosengard to the national team record. It’s also personal. You get to know my father.”

On being different:

“If you are different, or you have minimum possibilities, you can still succeed. I am living proof of that. I didn’t have that ‘wow’ life. I was not a ‘wow’ person. Those around me were not ‘wow’ people. I didn’t live in a ‘wow’ area. So my message to those who feel different, or unlucky, is that if you believe in yourself you will also make it. There is always a possibility. Everything depends on you.”

On the four goals he scored against England in November 2012:

“If you don’t score against the English teams you are not good enough. It’s always been like that. Whenever I played against the English I didn’t score. So they said I am not good enough. Next game, same thing. Oh, see, he’s not good enough. But this triggers me. This gives me adrenalin. People think they might break me but I am the opposite. I get more anger to demonstrate who I am.

I take risks in the way I play so sometimes it doesn’t look ‘wow’. But then came England. They were saying the same thing about me but I just said it will be fantastic – the first match in our new stadium. The first goal came and I was happy. When the second came I was crazy. And when the third went in I looked around. ‘OK, what will you say now?’ With the fourth, the bicycle kick, I thought: ‘That’s it. I don’t know what more I can do.’ Even if you live in England I have to say it gave me an extra-special feeling.”

On fatherhood and discipline:

“They would be totally punished (if they stole a bike, like he did when he was a kid). Yes, I did it but I was not controlled. We were on our own but it’s not the right way to act.

For me, now, discipline and respect is everything. Once they are 18 my boys can do what they want. But until then they are under my roof and it’s my rules. I want to be their father even as they begin to understand who Ibrahimovic is. You know? Zlatan. It’s not a picture I want them to have of me. Even when they joke and call me Zlatan I don’t like it. They must call me Pappa. For me that’s very sensible.

I don’t want them to see their father like my supporters see me. Wherever I go people recognise me. They want a picture of me. But at home I want to be Pappa. I don’t want to be Zlatan. When I go out I represent my club and myself, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but at home I’m 100% a family person.”

What he really meant:

“I’m 33. I’m a footballing legend. It’s been a journey, a wonderful one. My critics? They can eat their hats while I feast on my birthday cake.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“I have a thick skin. ‘Stoicism‘ is my middle name.”

 

 

Kevin Pietersen: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Kevin Pietersen promises to shoot from the hip in his autobiography, ‘KP: The Autobiography‘.

What he said:

Kevin Pietersen was the scapegoat for the Ashes debacle Down Under. Is that still news?

It is when you are promoting your version of events in your ghost-written biography. Hagiography, perhaps?

Pietersen publicized his to-be-released book with a series of one-on-one interviews beginning with the Daily Telegraph.

What he really meant:

“I was not the only non-performer on the Ashes tour. But I was the one with a history of run-ins with the authorities in the past. It was a  convenient excuse for them and they went to town with it.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Am I the GOAT or what?”

 

 

 

Kapil Dev Nikhanj: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Kapil Dev Nikhanj

What he said:

“I used to hate England because they ruled my country but I am happy they gave us the game of cricket, which they can’t play very well, and the English language, which I can’t speak very well.”

Kapil Dev Nikhanj cannot resist taking a dig at the English in his acceptance speech. The former Indian skipper was honored with a lifetime achievement award by the Indo-European Business Forum (IEBF) at a ceremony in the House of Lords in London.

The presentation was for his contribution to cricket and  his work in upliftment of poor and destitute communities through the Khushii society.

What he really meant:

“I’m happy we’re free of the British and that we now Lord it over them at the ICC even though we still can’t speak the Queen’s English equally well. I, of course, suffer from short-term memory loss and have forgotten that Team India surrendered the last three Test series.”

What he definitely didn’t but could have:

“It’s time the English relinquished sovereignty over the language as well. There are more English speakers in India than in the whole of UK.” 

Suresh Raina: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Suresh Raina

What he said:

“Even my mother asks me every time I come to Lucknow, koi ladki toh pasand nahi aa gayi wahan (have you selected a girl yet)?”

Suresh Raina is perturbed that no one including his mother believes that he visits Lucknow simply to catch up with his school friends.

Raina said:

“But I actually come here to just unwind with my friends. I have very few friends, and I share a special bond with them. I have a lot of matches coming up after the Champions League, there’s the West Indies tour in October. I know I will not be able to meet my friends for a long time now. So I made a short trip to Lucknow between two tournaments.  She(my mother)’s been after me for a while now to get married, especially since my closest friend has also tied the knot. Each time I go back home, my marriage is the topic of conversation.But I have put off any wedding talk till after the World Cup. Abhi ussi pe focus karna hai. (I have to focus on that.)”

The Chennai Superkings star revealed the secret behind his recent success in the ODIs and T20s against England.

“After I was dropped from the Asia Cup squad earlier this year, I did a lot of introspection as far as my game was concerned. I had to go back to basics, and just perform very well. I spent months with single-minded focus on training, fitness, discipline. I trained at the Lucknow Sports College and in Mumbai, and I spent a lot of time with my friends and family to regain my confidence. You can’t take everyone’s advice, because everyone has a different opinion, so you need to depend on your friends to give you the right advice. That confidence helped me to play my natural game, and tackle the pressure. Pressure tha (there was pressure), but I knew I can turn things around. When I got on the flight from Mumbai to London, I was ready to give my best. And I am so happy I did. It was very important.”

What he really meant:

“My mother wishes I’d make the most of my trips to Lucknow and kill two birds with one stone. Find a girl and meet my pals too. She’s pragmatic that way.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“What?! And be embroiled in a senseless wrangle with the press about the presence of a girlfriend or wife on tour?”

 

Sanjay Patel: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Sanjay Patel

What he said:

“They can go on holiday, or go back home. They can even come to India if they want.”

BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel minces no words about Team India’s bowling coach Joe Dawes’ and fielding coach Trevor Penney’s options on being relieved of their duties post the disastrous result in the Big Test series against England.

What he really meant:

“What they do now on their own time is none of the BCCI’s business. It’ s a purely professional transaction. They’re hired based on past results and recommendations and fired based on results and feedback. Can they have it any other way? Besides, they deserve a holiday—a well-earned one—and I can recommend no better place to vacation than India.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“How about Tourism India roping in Dawes and Penney as brand ambassadors?”

MS Dhoni: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Mahendra Singh Dhoni

What he said:

“Don’t be so jealous of IPL.”

The Indian skipper was quick to respond to a query from scribes whether Indian players would forsake the IPL and work on their Test game instead by playing county cricket in England.

What he really meant:

“County cricket doesn’t pay that much any more, does it? Besides, it’s an Indian league and why should the Indian players be elsewhere? Will our team owners and the BCCI be agreeable? Also, it’s the cricketers main source of income when they’re not playing for the national squad. Why ruin our fun, our time in the sun?”

What he definitely didn’t:

“The IPL’s like my wife Sakshi to me. You malign her(it) and you’ll have me to deal with.”

 

 

 

Advertisements

Number of readers subscribed

Read it on Apple News

Read it on Apple News

Read it on Apple News

Blog Stats

  • 86,914 hits

Stat Counter

RSS Sports, Health and Exercise

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: