What he said:
What he really meant:
“One team’s aggro is another team’s folly, is it?”
What he definitely didn’t:
“I agree. The Indian side should go gently into the night.”
The English came, saw and were conquered.
The freshly crowned No.1 Test team were all at sea when it came to negotiating the sub-continent’s slow turners.
A 5-0 trashing might satisfy MS Dhoni and his young brigade ;the true test is to come when Team India tour Australia at the end of the year.
The Indians looked sharp in the field owing to young legs in the side.
A consolation T20 win for Graeme Swann, no little thanks to a belligerent knock by the man he termed not captaincy material in his autobiography, “The Breaks Are Off”—Kevin Pietersen.
The hoi polloi were not impressed; the stands were less than full for the games.
A surfeit of cricket coupled with the dismal surrender in England implies that fans cannot be taken for a ride—surely not all the time.
The squad picked for the first Test in the return series against West Indies at home has three express bowlers, each capable of bowling at 140+ kmph.
Does this mark the dawn of a new era?
Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron are chomping at the bit to have a go and make their mark on the selectors before the crucial tour Down Under.
Harbhajan Singh,however, has been sternly castigated by Krishnamachari Srikkanth and his merry men; he remains out of favour.
Rahul Sharma, Ravindra Ashwin and Praghyan Ojha are the twirlers chosen by the wise men of Indian cricket.
Virender Sehwag returns, Ajinkya Rahane is rewarded for his fine displays and Yuvraj Singh makes it back to the Test side and ‘Grade A’.
Virat Kohli has yet another chance to prove his credentials in the longer format of the game—should he play.
Kohli and Ishant Sharma have moved up in the Indian cricketing world—rewarded with Grade A contracts.
Ashish Nehra is the surprising omission from the list of contracted players. Why is he being punished?
The first Test match is scheduled for November 6, 2011 in Delhi at the Ferozeshah Kotla.
Two spinners and two pace bowlers are par for the course on sub-continent wickets.
Will Dhoni risk a Sehwag without adequate match practice? A similar move did not quite work wonders in English conditions. But then this is home advantage and the Kotla is the Nawab’s home ground.
Can Dhoni leave him out?
The second pace bowler’s spot is a toss-up between Yadav and Aaron—Dhoni’s call.
Rahul Sharma is the least experienced amongst the trundlers. Safe to say, he will not play.
The squad picks itself:
M S Dhoni (capt & wk), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag (Ajinkya Rahane), Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav (or Varun Aaron).
Of the two sides fighting for the No.1 Test spot, only one stepped up to the plate; that side was not India.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni won hearts with his sporting act on the third day of the second nPower Test series.
His team’s performance, however, raised a lot more questions.
The Indian team, in the 3rd Test, accepted a tame draw instead of grasping a victory within reach.
Much has been said and written about the Indian batting line-up’s unwillingness to take up the challenge of scoring 180 runs in 47 overs.
Not much has been made of the Indian bowling’s lack of incisiveness and penetration when they should have gone for the kill. The last five West Indian wickets added 121 runs between them.
The Indian and international press have unflinchingly condemned the No.1 team’s tactics.
The Indian Test team for the West Indies tour has been announced.
In a surprise move, Indian selectors rested Sachin Tendulkar. The master batsman will not feature on the entire West Indies tour. West Indian cricket fans are denied an opportunity to catch one last glimpse of Tendulkar before he bids farewell to the game.
The controversial shoulder injury to Gautam Gambhir and the sudden illness of Yuvraj Singh mean that this is one of the weakest batting sides to tour abroad in recent times.
When I think of Yuvraj Singh, I recall his unbeaten 84 in just his second one-dayer against the mighty Australians facing quality fast-bowling in the form of Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee.
His knock powered India to an unlikely win. A star was born.
If you don’t like the bracket you’re in, you can re-slot yourself in a higher one. That’s the message Saurav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble have sent out. The four were initially categorised into the 200,000 USD fold. IPL rules allow players to increase their base price and the members of the Fab Five (Tendulkar is the fifth) have chosen to do so.
None of the four were retained by their teams. Speculation as to why the four were not in the initial top bracket is useless. The IPL has done little to enhance reputations. VVS Laxman has struggled, Ganguly shone amidst his team’s inconsistency and Dravid is just coming to terms with T20 cricket.
The UK has acquired most favoured nation status among asylum seekers —at least among cricketing ones. Pakistani cricketer and wicket-keeper Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has sought safety there following threats from match-fixers. The 24 year old hit the winning run in the fourth one-dayer against the Proteas in the five match series in Dubai.
Haider alleged that he was approached to fix the fourth and fifth ODIs. Pakistani cricket continues to shrivel under the shadow of the recent spot-fixing scandal.
The first Test match between the Black Caps and India petered out to a tame draw.The great escape was engineered by two intrepid saviours,VVS Laxman and Harbhajan Singh.
The New Zealanders would surely have hoped to end the Indian innings early this morning but much as Vettori and Martin tried, the experienced duo of Laxman and Harbhajan would not let anything get past them.
The Black Caps, however, let a couple of half-chances go a-begging.
Once the first session was seen through without further loss of wickets, it was a matter for conjecture if Dhoni’s men would choose to continue batting or declare early to try and force a win.The Indian think-tank decided against an early declaration; discretion is the better part of valour.
Laxman and Harbhajan rode into the 90’s in contrasting styles; Laxman —calm and self-assured— radiating confidence and Harbhajan treating his time in the middle as a lark in the park ,with mighty swipes at the spinners.
Both batters looked good for tons but Laxman was undone by a terrible decision by umpire Davis given out leg before off an inside edge. Zaheer followed him back to the pavilion — out off the next ball — and the Kiwi captain was on a hat-trick that was not to be.