Sachin Tendulkar! What is next?

February 24, 2010

Sachin Tendulkar 200* in ODI

Sachin Tendulkar 200* in ODI, Cricinfo.

Am I late to the party, probably is as lot of people are getting hits they only dream for 1 liner “Sachin you are God” so well done guys, actually well done Sachin you did it for all.

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Harbhajan Singh still know how to take wickets and Hashim Amla you beauty

February 18, 2010

I am usually into putting up long posts with some intention and on topics which made me itching and for that I need time which is a rare luxury these days for me. But these two guys make me do this, a short little hasty basty post.

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England just made the Group-B wide open

September 26, 2009

Well wow what a victory it is or it could be for England in long term. England beat Sri Lanka in fourth match of Champions Trophy 2009 after coming from a miserable ODI series against Australia at home. They need something to breath. something to sink and they just got it in the form of green lively pitch and a toss win. What a toss win that was and what a decision it was to field first, well done Strauss.

Anderson and onions in their first spell did what they should have done in those conditions, hitting the seem at right areas. Ball had movement and bounce not much for the likings of Sri Lankan top order’s attacking  nature. They went hard on ball and paid the price specially The Dilshan and King Sanga. But hates  off to middle order actually to Kandamby a new found and amazing Angelo Mathews. They bring the total to 212, at first I thought oh thats enough for Sri Lankan bowlers to defend giving poor form of English batsmen.

But Sri Lankan bowlers missed the plot and England plan was clear, stay there keep wickets. Sri Lankan bowlers had performed very well in recent past but they most of the time they worked hard on slow and low pitches and made their own ways to get wickets by variety and a specific line length but here this was a green pitch and I think fast bowlers missed the right length. They really hit the seem, moved the ball enough specially Kulasekara but they missed the right length to hit and force the batsmen specially little extra careful ones. Malinga was clearly struggling with his length.

Two Ms (Murali & Mendis) were, well not as effective because of no help no turn in pitch and English men were clearly there for some business and they negate them pretty well specially Mendis after all the hype about him. Rest is what you know England won their first match and a tough one.

Now in Group B, Sri Lanka have 1 victory out of 2, South Africa have 1 out 2 and 1 for England. Interesting? Sri Lanka and South both can win one more and if England can beat New Zealand all three will have 2 victories but what if New Zealand win 1 or both of their next, what if Sri Lanka or SA or both unable to win their next matches, oh its all open now. Group is turned into a tussle from an easy going expected group that I think of at start.What a beauty of this format only one odd or even probable win could change things to great extent.

Looking forward for some exciting matches coming up.


Whats Up in Champions Trophy till now Sep 24th

September 25, 2009

Hi Guys, I am back after a week lay off. My week was great had some quality time with my family in home town, had great EID holidays.

During my absence Champions Trophy kicked off with somewhat un-expected result in first match. Sri Lanka trashed South Africa in rain effected match though rain doesn’t affect the result much. It was once again Dilstruction happened to SA and then when they were looking to give it a chase Mendis once again horrifies the opponents in his first outing against them. And most interestingly my first prediction went wrong yahoooooooo.

Pakistan won against Windies second tier team with some effort on a good lively pitch. Bowling was very good early on reducing WI to 47/7 but then they got relax and allowed them yes they actually allowed them to add 80 odd runs to 47/7. Those 80 could have cost big time if couple of more wickets had fallen but thanks to Umar Akmal and some rare Afridi’s sensibility they were home comfortably at the end. Best thing about the match was the role of youngsters specially Aamer and Umar Akmal plus some good discipline and willing to compete at this level by West Indies.

In third match South Africa keep their hopes alive by beating New Zealand which once again suffered not so good batting performance. NZ seriously need some performances/performers in their batting line up. They bowled well (not great) but the total was too less for a team like SA and pitch like  Centurion. 

Today is the fourth match and till now Sri Lanka is in trouble on a very green bouncy swinging surface. Strauss won the toss and elected to field which met with some criticism right away but they took four wickets in first 5 overs. Very interesting, England is getting some life after ODI nightmare back home and making Group B very interesting (too early? full match is still on, ok).

What happened to me? Well I did some traveling, visiting country side, visiting our farms and agricultural land meeting relatives, oh well I was able to watch 50% of first match. 90% of Pak vs WI. 0% of SA vs NZ on tv. Got access to internet for 30 mins only in whole week and so and so on. 

Pakistan vs India game tomorrow is the biggest attraction of this week and probably whole ICCCT 2009 and my next post will be match preview and prediction too *fingers crossed*. Don’t forget to check my predictions here for ICCCT 2009

See you soon. Cheers


Champions Trophy 2009-Team Review: South Africa

September 14, 2009
Cricket South Africa

Cricket South Africa

Currently the No. 1 ODI ranked team and the host of the tournament, what a strong contender of Champions, but wait does home ground add pressure? did any home team won any big tournament? aren’t they tagged choker? Phewwww thats interesting. It is South Africa dude.

The Team

South Africa squad: Graeme Smith (capt), Johan Botha, Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher (wk), AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, Albie Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Roelof van der Merwe

Well, could you expect a better squad than this? Big names, old guns, emerging players, young blood, hitters, defenders, match winners everything is there inside. A beautiful mix of cricket players and nicely balanced as a cricketing team specially as a ODI team with some backup options. Just try to make combination of best 11 out of them and you will find out wow it’s not that easy. They got choices for spinners Botha and van der Merwe plus the new addition left arm spinner Robin Peterson,what is left then? In fast bowling attack there is Styen, Nitini and Parnell with some support from all-rounders specially the ever green Kallis. Tsotsobe is an exciting new medium pacer who already have a promising debut against Australia. Then they have some explosive ODI batters like Gibbs, AB de Villiers, Albie Morkel with very strong support of solid batsmen Smith, Amla, Kallis and finisher like Boucher(?), wohoooo.

Strength

As obvious their strength lies in there complete and amazingly balanced team. South Africa has lot of choices to select final playing 11 and in each case they have the luxury of taking opposition, pitch and conditions in consideration and select the best that fits in their plans. Batting order is pretty deep with useful batsmen at top middle and lower middle order. Bowling attack probably first time in recent history of South African cricket is complete with full of variety. Fast and stunning, accurate medium pace, left arm swing, leg spin, off spin, left arm spin all covered. In most of the batting and bowling categories they have cricketers of proven quality of very high standards. Yes some are new and young too but that is sometime as good as experience and also good for the future of team. Team’s current position and situation is best time to build up future players of international standards.

From a team like this you can expect best of best performances. South Africa will be a worthy champions, (no choking this time which is likely to be the case). oh and I forgot home advantage, is there any seriously?

Weakness

Wondering what could be possible weaknesses of this team? First up an interesting one, choking tag, yeah it is still hot. Some people still thinks it is not removed yet and some are positive about it. In recent T20 Cup they lost semi final against Pakistan and were rewarded with choking tag once again. Personally I am mixed up a little bit here, they performed very well in all matches and in semi too but just not the best in semi. On the other hand Pakistan played really well, specially there bowling was very good add Shahid Afridi to it and there wasn’t much South Africa could do.

Beside that they will have some pressure of being playing at home, as there record suggests they haven’t had the best of times in mega events at home. May be this time they will be determined to change it, wait till the action begins.

Finding the best combination out of this squad could also be a little headache for captain with lot of good choices, isn’t it a good thing? Well sometimes it leads to some experiments which could last 2 or 3 matches which you can’t afford in such short tournament provided that experiment may lead to disaster. Although they are in relatively easy group but its ODI cricket and you never know.

Group

South Africa’s first challenge will be against Sri Lanka in opening match of Champions Trophy 2009, which is the strongest team of their group after them. Result of that match may have no effect on semi final qualifier if both of them win there next both matches which are against relatively weak/not well performing teams England and New Zealand.

Chances

South Africa is a favorite for the Trophy for sure. Qualification for semis is almost sure on paper. After that you will witness some awesome contest in next two matches (semi and final) to become champion.

So my percentage will be like 80% : 20% win:loss ratio.

Have a great run Proteas!