Tag Archives: Indian cricket team

Mid Tournament Musings-1

A random selection of my thoughts, observations and expectations on the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup.

  • Could the timings be any more frustrating for the vast majority of us who don’t live down under? Bah. #cricketinausornzproblems #suddenlybigonhashtagsfornoapparentreason
  • McCullum and his side both are spouting menace and intent, left, right and centre. Case in point- their absolute mauling of England.Has there ever been a NZ side this thorough and dangerous? I definitely don’t think so. Could this be New Zealand’s best shot at making the title theirs? YES YES YES. Home advantage-check. Competent captaincy-check. team balance- double check. Add to this generic list of pre-requisites, the searing form the kiwis have been in in the lead up to and in the first games of this tournament and the great touch McCullum is in, and you’ve got a threatening side that is definitely one of the favourites. Their hotly anticipated tie with the aussies is sure to be a match to watch out for. It’s definitely going to be a game of high passions, considering it marks the long awaited return of Clarke and Lehmann’s comments on radio (http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc-cricket-world-cup-2015/content/story/835999.html) are sure to cause a ripple-effect one way or the other. Probably the definitive game in this rather lacklustre group. Australia Nets Session???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
  • India vs South Africa is set to start in a couple of hours, as I write this. As an Indian fan, this is the contest I, and indeed fans all over, have been waiting for. While it’s well understood that this isn’t a “make or break” contest, by any means, for either of the hosts, it’s importance need not be stressed. These are quality teams that will try to one up each other at any cost, to establish their status quo within a more or less sorted (in terms of who’s going ahead) group. (seriously, don’t even get me started on the sheer inefficiency of this tournament format; long live the bloody sponsors). Twitter is awash with the hashtag #IndvsSA. I must say I really enjoy this sort of uber-hype leading up to an important and competitive (i hope) game of cricket. It really confers a degree of legitimacy and real “feels” to the supposedly meaningless and end-less pursuit that watching sports is widely held to be. I would love to talk about whom to watch out for and conditions and all that but I don’t think I can add anything to what’s already been discussed at length on many other forums before. I’m just wildly excited at the prospect of a humdinger and am licking my lips even as I try to stay awake all night (damn you australia!) Personally, I am really keen on seeing how India deal with Amla, de Villiers and the pace battery. Some sort of a premonition tells me it’s going to be a special innings from Rohit (Wouldn’t read too much into that kind of nonsense though). MS Dhoni’s return to prime batting form is something Indian fans the world over are waiting for with severely bated breath. Would it be greedy/wishful to want to see something like the CLT20 2013 mauling of Steyn? Sigh.

CRICKET-WC-2015-IND

  • As I write this, Afghanistan have posted a total of 232 against Sri Lanka. I hate myself for repeating what has become a cliche by now in cricketing circles, but is anything being done by the ICC to promote/encourage the talent/interest in these regions?. Surely, their potential/performances merit investment- both monetary and otherwise. Ireland too, in the same breath.
  • For those of you who don’t know yet, ICC has launched a pretty cool fantasy league at fantasy.icc-cricket.com. Super fun and pretty cool prizes too (although, if you haven’t started by now, it’s gotta be mostly for the fun).
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Musings – India vs New Zealand , 1st ODI, Napier

  • Corey Anderson is the find of the year. The boy bats and fields like he’s on coke and can bowl decently in addition. Brilliant performance.
  • I know many will disagree, But, Rohit Sharma is a flat track Bully. Plain and Simple. He needs to up his game massively (in the off season) if he wishes to contend for a place on overseas tours. With the World Cup right round the corner, India still struggles to find an established opening pair. Gambhir and Vijay seem like possible options to try out. I’m still divided on Dhawan (especially his weakness against the short ball ) Let’s see how things go in the rest of the series. I would also permit myself to think that Raina has been given too long a rope.
  • Virat Kohli is making even the staunchest of cynics have a second thought. Definitely India’s best batsman and indeed one of the very best on the planet. Consistency and flair sans parallel. Centuries in the sub-continent, South Africa, Australia, West Indies, England and now, New Zealand, (he’s 25 for fuck’s sake) say something about his approach to the game in addition to his precocious talent. And boy oh boy what finesse!! Such pomp in his strokes. Brilliant innings today!!
  • Dhoni’s innings was appreciable too. He wasn’t seeing the ball very well in the beginning and there was some awkward stuff outside off-stump.Nevertheless, he displayed grit. He took his time, constructed a solid base and let Kohli do the merry making. Later, he chimed in with his own fireworks to get his strike rate to 95+,but in the end, fell prey to the same caught-behind dismissal that has taken his wicket on so many away games. India were cruising when he and Kohli were at the crease.
  • I especially wanted to make note of India’s performance on the field today but couldn’t do so because the first innings was at like 6.30, my time, and I was fucking half-asleep. But, considering the kiwi’s spirited efforts (notwithstanding the dropped catches) on the field (especially, ground fielding) makes me think that India wouldn’t hurt by upping their fielding a little bit.
  • Ravindra Jadeja can’t bat. Yes he’s hit a couple of  ODI half-centuries on dead tracks. Since when is that all that it takes for somebody to be labelled an “All-rounder”. Oh the gall!! He’s a decent bowler but that’s it. I beg all those responsible to stop perpetrating the illusion that this guy is the answer to India’s need for batting depth.
  • I have watched Ashwin for about 3-4 years now and I have always been a fan. Nevertheless, him being under the radar ATM is completely justified and he really needs to pull up his socks and be more patient, testing and accurate (especially on tracks like these).
  • I really think Cheteshwar Pujara should be in the ODI squad. Haters can fuck off. The man can bat! In my opinion, there is no such thing as a test-exclusive batsman who can’t play LOC. Well maybe that’s true for T20s but for the 50 over game, you would do well to have, at least, one solid, consistent batsman like Pujara. Especially looking at the recent ODI debacle in SA and now, the clusters of wickets today, I really feel the team lacks any anchors spare Dhoni and Kohli. If Pujara is given a look in and asked to play his natural game in crisis scenarios, it could well mean the difference between a  win/loss . On days when the top order gets rollicking, he could play a little lower down. Didn’t they learn anything from the last 15 years or so? At first, Dravid was touted a test specialist unsuitable for the LOI format, but he is India’s 3rd highest run getter in the format and has spared us the blushes on INNUMERABLE occasions. The Indian ODI side, though on a great peak, really needs that sort of a rock-solid batsman who can steady a sinking ship.
  • Mohamed Shami is a revelation! I see a brilliant 2015 WC prospect here.I’ve been observing him since the home series against Australia and he’s impressed me with every turn. Especially in the SRT farewell tests, he was brilliant. Likewise, was spot-on in his line and length today (well for most part. I mean he’s 22!) and was relentlessly posing threats to the kiwi batsmen. Though he turned out a tad expensive, he did a sterling job of picking up 4 wickets. I am incredibly curious to see what a bit more game-experience and conditioning is going to do for this guy. In the same vein, Mitch McClenaghan is also a promising starlet to watch out for. Searing pace and decent accuracy make him a real threat in these conditions.
  • Brendan McCullum’s aggressive captaincy (albeit with a few gambles and blunders) deserves a mention. Also, the NZ side need to be commended for not giving up hope when the show really seemed to be going the Indian way.
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