west indies

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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.”

Virat Kohli: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t

Virat Kohli does not mind being repeatedly out.

What he said:

“For me it doesn’t matter if I get out playing the same shot again and again, at least I am feeling clear and confident in the mind.”

Virat Kohli is back to his usual cocky self on recovering some semblance of form against the West Indies with a somewhat laboured fifty in the second ODI.

What he really meant:

“I could always eschew the shot, you know. At least, I’m not playing and missing. And hell, my batting’s sure missed by the team and the fans.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Just like it doesn’t matter to me that the arm-chair critics keep harping on my relationship with Anushka Sharma. I am clear and confident in my mind about her.”

English: Anushka Sharma at a Band Baaja Baaraa...

English: Anushka Sharma at a Band Baaja Baaraat press event (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chris ‘Gangnam’ Style: West Indian braves invoke ‘Reign Dance’ at World T20 2012

Virender Sehwag: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

Virender Sehwag at Adelaide Oval

Virender Sehwag Advises Against Advising Tailenders

What he said (via Times Of India):

“Whatever you tell No. 10 or No. 11, they always do what they want to do.”

Virender Sehwag is one relieved skipper.

Batting minnows, Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav, knocked off the required 11 runs to secure victory in the first ODI against West Indies at  Barabati Stadium, Cuttack.

Prior to the ODI series, the third Test match between the two sides ended in a thrilling draw with the scores tied. Then too, it was left to the tailenders to complete the job.

Sehwag said:

I was sitting in the same place and not moving! It’s good to win another nail-biter. Whatever you tell No. 10 or No. 11, they always do what they want to do. I just told them to play till the end and whatever happens is fine. Rohit and Jadeja batted really well in that partnership and we should have won it easily from there, but still good to end up winning. We hope to learn from our batting mistakes in the coming games.

Darren Sammy was the disappointed captain—again.

Sammy said:

Everytime you lose it is quite disappointing. We just didn’t have the last spark to take us past the finish line. The opening bowlers did well to give us a start and we fought all the way to the end, but it wasn’t enough. We could have done things differently, we even bowled 23 extras, but I would like to commend the boys. They fought with never-say-die spirit and it is going to stick.

What he really meant:

“When tailenders bat, they do what they want to and don’t want to, too.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Isn’t cricket a game of glorious uncertainties? So what if I’m missing fingernails?”

Graeme Swann: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

Graham Swann at Lord's Cricket Ground 20th Jul...

Graeme Swann Is No ‘BullDog’

What he said:

“I can’t make speeches like Churchill and I’ll try to be as natural as I can.”

Graeme Swann—the comedian—takes over from Stuart Board as skipper of the English T20 squad for two matches against West Indies next week.

Swann claimed:

It’s a Twenty20 series with a lot of young lads so I’ll have to change the way I am from the Test side.

I’m very much the joker in the Test team, I’m there for a stupid quip at the end of the session. With this Twenty20 side, I’ll naturally have to be more grown up and mature about things.

But I don’t intend to be deadly serious and change too much. I believe a fairly high-spirited approach has made me the cricketer I am.

I’ll certainly look to keep that going within my own game and, if that’s infectious to others, then great.

What Swann really meant:

“I have games to win, not speeches to make.”

What Swann definitely didn’t:

“I’ll just get the Windians to fall over—laughing their guts out.”

Kirk Edwards: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

What he said:

"In life. It’s me. Always."

Kirk Edwards has no illusions about being someone else. He’s always himself, frank and forthright. Or at least, that’s what he believes.

What he really meant:

“Can I be anyone else? It’s hard enough being myself.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“The name’s Edwards. Kirk Edwards. And I’ll have that martini shaken, not stirred.”

Kirk Edwards: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

Harbhajan Singh - Ind Vs Eng,Mumbai, March 29,...

What he said:

"I use my feet. Whether it’s Harbhajan or not … I don’t play names."

Kirk Edwards is not intimidated by Harbhajan Singh or any other spinner. He’s got twinkling feet.

What he really meant:

“I play each ball on its merits. It doesn’t matter to me who’s bowling.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Does Bhajji turn the ball?”

Kirk Edwards: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

What he said:

“I never saw Viv leave a ball because I only saw highlights.”

Kirk Edwards is a debutant with panache—with bat and microphone. Viv Richards was his childhood hero whose batting he saw only in highlights. Edwards had to learn to leave the ball in the traditional manner—through coaching.

What he really meant:

“Viv Richards never left a ball go by, I swear!”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Viv Richards made bowling look easy.”

Daryl Harper: What he said, really meant and definitely did not


What he said:

“It’s about as common as Indians eating beef burgers."

Australian umpire, Daryl Harper, takes a huge swipe at Indian cricketers— simultaneously defending his track record, following the criticism directed at him  by the Indian captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. In a series of caustic remarks—interpreted by some as having racist overtones— that included “I should never have applied the laws of cricket to Indian players.", the Australian let fly letting Indians know how he felt about their accusations. Harper says that the ICC  proved that 94% of his decisions were right and that his mistakes were as rare as Indians eating beef.

What he really meant:

“That’s how strongly I feel. So there!”

What he definitely didn’t:

“I’m a vegetarian.”

“McDonald’s have offered me a job—in India.”

Chris Gayle’s travails highlight ‘club vs country’ debate once more

Chris Gayle on the field at the Telstra Dome d...

What will Chris Gayle do? What can he do?

The West Indian bat is not forgiven by the West Indian Cricket Board (WICB).

“It’s our way or the highway” was the message to the Jamaican all-rounder in the latest meet between representatives of the WICB and the West Indian Players Association (WIPA) called to resolve the differences between Chris Gayle and WICB.

The aggrieved board insists that Gayle retract his statements,critical of the board’s functioning specifically about mishandling his injury and his turning out for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the  IPL.

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