Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Rain Gods saves Australia in Chennai.

Last test it was Umpires against us now this time Rain. May be luck was with Australains. It was very frustating to see the match end this way. I was hoping yesterday morning that atleast we might get 30-35 overs but that was not to be. Very very disappointed we had more than fair chance to win this match with the way Shewag started.

But we should realise that India should have finished match in the 4th day itself but excellent batting by Gillespe and Martyn. Gillespe did that for second time against India in recent times. It really look dumb that Clarke remaind unbeaten. In the first innings Katich remained unbeaten I thought both should have gone for big hits.

In Chennai there are some positives to take esp Shewags batting.When he asked after his innings how warne bowled he replied "He got wickets but he did not bowl well" thats same I feel nothing much to fear of him.

I was not at all happy with Partiv reatined in the squad. His batting is very impressive but his Keeping let us down very much. Kaif was very impressive he and Parthiv gave us very good lead with out them Australia would have been in front rest of middle order was still a worry for us. Hope they come good in next test.

With 0-1 and 2 test to play its deja-vu can India pull it off this time ? Will Tendulkar return to third test ?

I had great pleasure of being in the ground when Warne made the record. He was really enjoying the moment. At that evening he was making fun for Crowds it was really very enjoying experience and Langer in other side was dancing for our tunes. All the Australian players are pleasing crowds and crowds enjoyed them much.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Chennai Test First Day

Today I saw the match in stadium for the first time. Its an unbelivable experience. If you have never seen it in a packed stadium you miss a lot. In morning its only half packed. I went to ground around 9am and got my first shocker Austaralia won the toss and batting. Atleast I was happy that I could see all Indian players. Indian team included Zaheer Khan I did not except it.

In the first session Australia hit our bowlers every where. Zaheer Khan was going almost 6 an over. Over all run rate was nearly 5. I did not come to watch this. I was stunned to see this and at lunch they were 111/0. I was reading paper for last half hour before lunch.

I took lunch outside and returned lately around 1.00. I heard a huge noice comming I know immediately first wicket was gone. It was Hayden and two balls later Langer too got out. The game was getting intresting at both wickets feel to Harbajan. Both Kumble and Harbajan bowled well. Damien Martyn was out last ball before Tea.

After Tea Kumble was deadly. Aussies did not know how to play him. Yuvraj droped Katich at short leg. Its a very easy catch.
Kumble was running through wickets at other end.

Gilchrist, Gillespe and Kasper walked before given out. Gillesepe for second time in this series and Kasper after given not out. It would give a lot a respect to them when they do some appeal. I am very impressed by Gillespe he may not be specialist batsman but its special somone walks in the consecutive innings. After Kasper walked Shepard looks confused. Yuvarj returned favour by walking.

At close of play Indian were 29/1 with Shewag and Pathan in the crease. Longer Shewag stays in the crease he will just reduce bring us close to Aussies first innings total quickly. If Shewag is there during Tea then it will be question of what will be the lead. Strangely not many are worried about Yuvarj dismissial simply most surprised he syrvived this long.

One strange thing I had in morning was after each 4. I was looking for reply !! Just used to TV. btw we had a Screen in corner.

Today Indian have got a very good position in Test. But the walking of three Australian batsman won many hearts here and showed true sportsmanship. Thats the way to go with Gilly leading ..

Too tired today to write a detailed report I will do it after this test..

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

My Team for Chennai test

After India loss in the first test there will be change in Indian team. Agarkar should come in for Zaheer Khan. If Sachin is not playing (last time I was of thinking that he will play) bring Kaif in and open with Yuvraj. I think Chopra has to be dropped for this test.

It wont be bad idea to attack Mcgrath in opening overs which Shewag can do that perfectly. Yuvraj is very big worry he is just fishing outside the off stump always. He is a good attacking player but I dont know how long he can survive Mcgrath with the kind of technique he showed in last test match. Stil they are worth gamble in one test match.

Dravid had rare failure in first innings he made up in the second he will be as reliable as ever Its who bat around him has to support. Laxman was very disppointing in the first test. He got a good ball in first innings but he made that look great ball and got out in second innings very early both against Warne.

Ganguly looked ok in 1st innings before he got good ball. In second innings its stupid runout. Agreed tight single is there but I dont know any will trust Gangulys call when you know about his running between the wickets.

I once belived Kaif would be future captian of India. He won under-19 world cup leading Yuvraj and co. But lot has happen then and now he is finding hard to be in team itself. After 2002 ICCCT his form went downhill barely surviving in the team. Still I like him very much hope he gets a game in Chennai as his for recently is good.

Parthiv did good job with bat in first innings and unlucky in second innings but still his glove work is not impressive. I think that Dinesh Kaarthick might be atleast in the team for next two tests.

Harbajan was very impressive in second innings. If he had bowled the same way in first innings particularly on first day then the result might be intresting. Kumble is ok but I would like to see him take more wicket in Chennai.

Irfan Pathan was excellet when he opened on the first day. May be he is developing as major strike bowler for India. His dismissal of Langer was very good revrse swinging yorker with almost 90Mph. His batting is not bad either he scored most runs in first test. I wish that will not be case in Chennai and top order comes good.

Next bowling spot is bit intresting Zaheer is not that impressive no harm in trying Agarkar in place. Agarkar is always going to get his bunny Langer. If the pitch is good for spin which Chennai always is and team may be thinking along lines of having three spinners. Last time both team played here(2001) India played three spinners and Zaheer.

I would love to see Sachin Tendulkar as third spinner rather than Murali Karthick. What I hear is there is no problem with with his bowling and he is not a bad bowler esp if conditions suit him. In recent Asia Cup in Sri Lanka he was our best spin bowler. Conditions in Chennai and Srilanka are very similar.

Any how I believe most wickets will be taken by Harbhajan and Kumble. Third bowler is going to be just support cast. With Shewag(he was first selected as allrounder) and Yuvraj around to bowl it wont be a bad bet. I agree it might be very risky.

If we dont win in Chennai we might lose the series and Nagpur is highly unlikely to produce result. India has to win this match at all cost. If thats means playing Tendulkar as third spinner let it be. It would be intresting to compare Tendulkar and Warne and would be better spinner. I believe Tendulkar record wont be much worse than Warne.

My ideal match would India wins toss and bats first get around 700 for loss of 3 or 4 wickets denying Warne his record and Winning by atleast innings and 217!! runs.

Moreover I have ticket for Chennai test match and I would love to see Tendulkar in action. I will update each day after seeing the play.

This is the first match I will be seeing in ground.

My Team will be

1.Yuvraj Singh
2.Vrendhar Shewag
3.Rahul Dravid
4.V.V.S Laxman
5.Sourav Ganguly
6.Mohammed Kaif
7.Parthiv Patel
8.Irfan Pathan
9.Harbhajan Singh
10.Anil Kumble
11.Ajit Agarkar/Sachin Tendulkar

Any comments ? I know most wont agree with my selection of Tendulkar. But this just my opinion.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Australia Wins the Test

Australia won the first test with the comfortable margin of 217 runs. They played better than us and deserved winners. In normal circumstances we should be calling for players head esp Top order batsman who failed for the second time. Instead of that what both umpires did made it little sympathetic towards batsmen.

Of all the persons who got bad decision I feel for Chopra most. He might not be picked for next test and his career might be over. To understand the frustation of Indians you should have see what happened in this test. In second innings Gillespe walked away after getting out when Bucknor was shaking notout. Very nice of Gillespe.

In morning of the 4th day I lost count how any LBW's was turned down against Martyn whos was playing with Pad rather than with bat. Shewag was given out LBW for thick inside edge. He had a word with umpire when walking back. He was fined 65% of match fee. Harsha Boghle has written a nice article about Umpiring in this test.

Warne took 4 wickets in game. Two of them gifted by umpires. I don't see him as threat to Indian batsman anyway. If our lower order can play like this on the last day then our top order could do much better. Shewag can be murderous against spinners. Just in practice match he took 35 runs of Murali Karthick in one over(including a no ball). I hope he betters it against Warne in Chennai.

I was dreaming too much on the third day but India did much better. India lost match in first two days and started playing well only on the third day. You cant win match with this kind of performance against worlds best side.

I am very happy that Bucknor is not umpiring in any more test in this series. Will Sachin Tendulkar play in Chennai ? I hope so. He may not score a single run but his mere presence in team means a lot.

I was very unhappy and angry over umpiring on the 4th day so I though it not best to blog and show my anger on them. Poor Billy Bowden I like him. He is a nice character but what he did to Shewag was very hurting. Bucknor case is different I believe his time is over.

Friday, October 08, 2004

India fight hard on the third day

I was very happy with the way India played today. I know most probably India will loose this test match. I was never unhappy about losing it will happen some times that's part of life. What worried me a lot was lack of confidence from the top order and they way just crumbled yesterday. Today Pathan and Patel showed the fighting spirit. I always like this from Patel right from his first innings his batting was not much of a problem. His batting is more than enough for an Indian Keeper.

The way both played Warne was very encouraging. Warne is going to be main threat in last innings if we can nullify him then things might be interesting. Even yesterdays Laxman's dismissal was not that great delivery. Its good delivery hitting the steps but its a lack of concentration much like his 3rd test dismissal against Akthar. Warne has 2/78 still Indian batsmen played very confidently against him.

When is Gilchrist going to declare ? They already have 355 run lead. I feel that 450 will be next to impossible to chase in less than 5 session but it will give a chance to India. So Aussies would just want to make sure that they dont loose this match at any cost before thinking about winning. What will be safe score. I think they will set target of over 500 with just over 4 sessions. They will be trying to get it as soon as possible.

If we keep run rate like today that will be fine. Assuming we have target of 500 with 120 overs. I believe that they should open with Yuvraj and Shewag. It might click and work in Yuvraj favour. If not Yuvraj knows he cant play next game(assuming Sachin return for the game).

I have admired Yuvraj skills a lot. I remember in World Cup against Pakistan after Tendulkar got out there was some tense moments Yuvraj played well and scored very good. Sachin praised that innings after match. He played many innings like that so he might be real match winner. I don't think so he can break in to Indian middle order for another 4/5 years only hope for him to get permanent place in team is either open or we have Wicket Keeper opener. Not many are comfortable with second idea.

We might not win this game but if Shewag scores a big century then required rate might be with in our range. We can easily score 350 in 90 overs provide a big century from century. His scoring rate will be almost run a ball it helps a lot. We might chase 150 in last session if we have wickets. I know India always like to play for draw in this situation unlike dare devil Aussies but still I am allowed to have my dream.

Gilchrist not forcing follow on showed how much they fear Indians. Add to that dubious declaration he made in 2001 vs Eng. He will be thinking hard about not losing first. 500 lead is maximum anything above 550 is insane especially if it gives aussies less than 4 session.

Another thing might happen is dismissing Aussies with in 450 lead with 5 sessions(150 overs)to play that might be very interesting.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

What will Gilchrist do Tomorrow ?

It devastating to see the way Gilchrist played in the morning. He took the game away from India with such an attacking cricket. The was way Clarke played is very impressive I feel that either Martyn or Lehman will be dropped when Ponting returns.

Very good find for Australia I doubt even if Ponting was there he could have played this well. Aussies run rate in the morning was excellent it made up for the yesterday. They finished with 474 bit more than I expected and lot quicker.

India started innings terribly losing Chopra in 1st over. It puts tremendous pressure on him. I don't know if he will be selected again. But he will have a chance in 2nd innings where his contribution will be very important. Real shocker is Dravid getting out. In the absence on Tendulkar it will be dravid every one will be looking upon. Mcgrath got the man he wanted.

Then Shewag and Ganguly had nice little patnership. Both were playing nicely until Shewag got out. Its disappointing to see him get out after settling well. Then it went all downhill at the close of play India are 150/6 with Patel and Pathan in the crease. If lower order could add another 50-75 runs that will be good. Harbajan could be interesting he can score some quick runs when least expected. Anything over 220 from here on should be excellent.

Now Gilchrist will be thinking should he enforce follow on or not. As it is highly unlikely that India is going to avoid it. I think that he will not force follow on and he will bat till he get a unbeatable lead of around 600 and give India a little over 5 session to bat in a difficult wicket.

If he imposes follow on it will be very interesting. I think India should open with Yuvraj and Shewag and Chopra at three if wickets fall soon or at 6 if openers get through new ball. India will be chasing a deficit of around 300.

More I think about this match it looks like Calcutta match. Can India pull of a miracle this time too ?? May be day dreaming too much. When I see the my guess what I made yesterday it look foolish now so no more guesses .

Will the Gilchrist have guts to enforce follow on tomorrow ?? We will see it tomorrow. Brave man if he does. Aussies wins today's contest hands down. May be they have almost won the match also.

Interesting ..... Very interesting

Interesting .. Very interesting I wrote couple of days back about a error in asksteven column. When I checked it today that was corrected. But to my surprise they did not acknowledged there was an error in the column. I know that error would have been spotted by many and reply to personal mail is not possible. Still I feel that they could have just acknowledged that there was an error in the article.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Australia wins the day one of the first test in Bangalore

Australia won the day one of the first day first test match with very strong post tea session. Clarke is playing really very well. If he plays this well then I believe either Martyn or Lehman has to give up a place when pointing returns. In the last hour of play Australia scored very heavily. They came very hard at Harbhajan.

Earlier Katich and Clarke played superbly. When Clarke came to the crease they were in difficult position(149/4) with both Harbhajan and Kumble bowling in tandem bit they played well to get over that period. I thought Katich deserved a century he got out unluckily after doing all the hard work.

Hayden and Langer started the day rather uncomfortably with both Pathan and Zaheer bowling superbly. I though Langer was out in the first ball LBW but he got benefit of doubt. Hayden got out to sweep shot. I just get the felling if Hayden tries to be too aggressive he might be in for a bad series.

Inspite of scoring 52 Langer never looked comfortable. He was did in by Irfan's reverse swing. Martyn too went quickly.

Steve Bucknor turning down a catch for Lehmann was bringing very bad memories of him. Atleast I thought we are lucky its not decider and this his last test in this series. He got out soon playing a rash stroke. Parthiv patel's keeping is very disappointing. He dropped a catch and claimed it(may be he did not know it but I don't believe). Not at all convincing the way he keeps.

Tendulkar not playing today is very disappointing for me. I thought that he might play. I am still not comfortable with Chopra opening. What happens for next test match when Tendulkar returns ? will they drop Chopra and ask Yuvraj to open ? I don't know. If Yuvraj wants a place in test team its available only in opening. Otherwise he could play only when someone got injured. I would be very happy if Chopra make 100 tomorrow. But the problem is he is throwing away his starts.

Tomorrow we have to get rid of Gilchrist soon otherwise he will take total over 450 by lunch. If they got Aussies out in the range of 400-450 I will be very happy. Our reply tomorrow depends mainly on how well Shewag bats. If stays for 2 session we would have avoided follow on and look about getting first innings lead. Before dreaming too much I hope we finish of Aussies soon.

Aussies have perfomed better today. Lets hope tomorrow belong to India and another century stand from Shewag and Chopra.

Day 1: Australia 316/5 (Clarke 76*, Gilchrist 35*; 90 overs)

My Guess for tomorrow's score is

Aus 420 all out India 220/2 (century for shewag)

I forgot about Kumble's 400 . It was very nice he was able to get on first day itself. He deserves it.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Why for Tendulkar alone ?

One of my favourite columns I read weekly is asksteven in cricinfo. I have read many fascinating facts from that column. When I read yesterdays coloumn I was just amazed by error in it. If it involved any other name It might not be noticed but when Tendulkar name is involved many will be seeing it.

Its about hundreds in losing ODI's. The article said Tendulkar has 7 in losing cause and 25 in winning. How much hundred Tendulkar has ? 37 .. 28 in winning , 8 in losses and 1 No result. Here are stats from Cricinfo's stats guru for Tendulkar in which he scored 100 and team did not win.

Mat Runs HS BatAv 100 50 W BB BowlAv 5w Ct St
339 13415 186* 45.01 37 69 128 5/32 44.91 1 101 0
9 1084 146 135.50 9 0 3 1/27 89.33 0 0 0

Runs W/R Ct St I *+ R Match

137 - - - 1 L World Cup 24 v SL in Ind 1995/96 at Delhi [1070]
- 0/41 0 0 2
100 - - - 1 L Singer C. 3 v Pak in Sin 1995/96 at Singapore [1091]
- 0/18 0 0 2
110 - - - 1 * L Singer WS 2 v SL in SL 1996 at Colombo (RPS) (d/n) [1106]
- 1/29 0 0 2 *
- 1/27 0 0 1 L CCC (UAE) 6 v Aus in UAE 1997/98 at Sharjah (d/n) [1325]
143 - - - 2
101 - - - 1 L ChT (UAE) 1 v SL in UAE 2000/01 at Sharjah (d/n) [1640]
- 0/22 0 0 2
146 - - - 1 L 3rd ODI v Zim in Ind 2000/01 at Jodhpur [1658]
- 1/35 0 0 2
101 - - - 1 L Std Bank 1 v SA in SA 2001/02 at Johannesburg (d/n) [1752]
- 0/51 0 0 2
105* - - - 1 N NW Series 5 v Eng in Eng 2002 at Chester-le-Street (d/n) [1851]
- DNB 0 0 2
- 0/45 0 0 1 L 2nd ODI v Pak in Pak 2003/04 at Rawalpindi (d/n) [2114]
141 - - - 2

I believe stats that cosidered for that column are taken before World cup after that he had centuries against Aus,NZ and Namibia in winning cause. Pakistan in losssing cause. I have not checked to stats for anybody else but I remember Gibbs century against NZ and WI in World cup and ICCCT both in losing cause.

And surprisingly both are include !! Then how did they got numbers for Sachin alone wrong ? I dont know I will mail them. I will let you know if I get any reply.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Sachin gives "tag of legitimacy" to the series

The Australians want to win the four-Test series against India with a "tag of legitimacy" by taking on a full strength Indian side that has Sachin Tendulkar in it. Gilchrist said that I think he (Sachin) will be there (for the first Test). Obviously, everyone would love to see him. He is the best batsman that I think I have ever seen. So, if we are going to win here (India) legitimately, it’s nice to play the best team possible,”

Q & A with Shane Warne. He says "Tendulkar is in my time the best player, without doubt. Daylight second. Brian Lara third. Rahul is in the best form of his career, but I would never say anyone is better than Sachin because I don't think they are"

I wonder who is that daylight ?? may be they have misspelled Dravid ??

Cricket365 writes about the importance of being Sachin. It concludes with the statement
"Injured or not, Tendulkar exerts a significant influence on the team and whether he is able to go ballistic with the bat or just barely hold on to it, his value is unquestionable".

Ian Healy writes that Ganguly is new Steve Waugh of mind games.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Sachin's Interview and Views about Ind-Aus series

Excertps from Sachin Tendulkar interview with Wisden. He says "Changes are going to take place and you always try and make changes to become a better player. The basic idea is to cut down on the risky shots and try and be as consistent as possible." Consistency is fine but why cant he come down the wicket ? He rarely comes down the wicket in recent times.

Mike Artherton writes in Telegraph about Pressure on Australia's ageing attack. He says "India is the hardest place to win".

Another article about Australia's real great barrier. The author says "The depth and quality of both sides' batting suggests that neither loss would be insurmountable but India would probably manage the better. Part of the reason is that Tendulkar, for all his breathtaking talent, is neither the best batsman in the world nor the Test Player of the Year. Rahul Dravid is".

Second point is right on money but Tendulkar not best batsmen in world ? I have some serious arguement regarding that but no explanations now and also he writes that Lara had said "Australia would not win a match and India's batsmen would dominate". Thats very encouraging.

Gideon Haigh writes in Cricinfo about The making of epics. He looks in to matters which make a series great. Very nice reading if you have a bit of time.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

The Team I would Like for Bangalore Test

The Team I would Like for Bangalore Test

Indian squad for first two tests puzzles me a bit. I was bit disappointed to see Dinesh Kaarthick not given a opportunity to be in the team especially after taking 15 member squad. If management is in such a decision I believe he should be given a fair chance in Indian A squad. Apart from that I am bit happy with over all selection even though its a big squad for home test. Murali Karthick may just got in because of Aussies have traditional problem with left arm spin I don't think so he will be playing any matches.

My choice of openers will be Shewag and Yuvraj. Its hard on Chopra but the fact is that you have to be a match winner on your own to be in great team. I believe India is in door steps of becoming a great team. To be a great team your opening pair should set the tone. I have confidence in Shewag and Yuvraj that they will do it. If they fail then we might look in to Ghambir, Dheeraj or Sriram. Chopra did the job very well assigned to him to face off new ball but sadly its too much of luxury to have a opener for this reason alone.

Our batting strength lies with our Middle order. Its arguably worlds best middle order. If Tendulkar is not playing then we should play Kaif and open with Yuvraj. I would like to see Laxman at 4 if Tendulkar is not playing or at 5 if he is playing. If openers gave decent starts then our middle order will capitalize on that.

I think Parthiv is not best when he is keeping to spinners. He kept superbly to seamers in New Zealand but spinners he seems to have some serious problems. I for one who strongly felt he along with bucknor was reason for not winning Sydney test. But his batting is really improved I am very impressed with his batting in his last match with Pakistan. He outscored Gilly in last series with Australia. I will settle for anytime to a keeper who will out score Gilly. Hope he does that this time too.

Coming for the Bowlers we will be going with two spinners and two seamers. Spinners will be Harbajan and Kumble they pick themselves. Seamers are a bit tricky question. I would love to have Agarkar in the team he seems to bowl well against Aussies and get Langer quickly. But if they choose to have other other two that's too fine with me.

my team for first test will be

* Yuvraj Singh
* Virender Sehwag
* Rahul Dravid (VC)
* Sachin Tendulkar/Mohammad Kaif
* VVS Laxman
* Sourav Ganguly (C)
* Parthiv Patel (WK)
* Irfan Pathan
* Ajit Agarkar/Zhaeer Khan
* Harbhajan Singh
* Anil Kumble

Ganguly says "He was a shame to Indian Cricket"

Guess what Indian captian Ganguly said about BCCI President-elect Ranvir Singh ......

"It is a shame that we have had managers like him for India on long tours. He was a shame, a shame to Indian cricket"

he said that in reply to the question

Is it true that you refused to carry drinks onto the field early in your career?

I don't know where this story has come from. We had a manager on the trip to Australia in 1992, Mr. Ranbir Singh. He is probably the worst guy I have ever seen in my life. It is a shame that we have had managers like him for India on long tours. He was a shame, a shame to Indian cricket.

Luckily we have much better people now. That is the reason things like this don't happen against youngsters. I think he had some problem with Dalmiya (Jagmohan) and since I was from Bengal, he took it out on me.

Even schoolboys don't behave like this. I thought it was a shame to have him on the tour. For such long tours you need people of strong character and mind to look after the boys.

You can read full interview he gave to rediff 4 years back from this link


I would be very intrested to know what he feels about this now.

Recent India tour of Australia

Here is link to cricinfo website about recent Indian tour to Australia

India Vs Australia 2003-2004

This link to BBC site about Indian tour to Australia

India Vs Australia 2003-2004

Details about historic 2001 Test series

Many commentators have termed 2001 India Australia Test series as best 3 match test series ever played. You can find detailed report about the test series in BBC.

Calcutta Test

Chennai Test

Here is link to cricinfo website for the same series

India Vs Australia- 2001

History of Aus - India series (47-98)

Here is brief history for Aus-India Test series from ever relaible cricinfo. This was written before 1999-2000 India -Aus series. we all know what happen after that.

Australia-India History

Friday, October 01, 2004

Indian Squad

Australian Squad

Ricky Pointing is injured during Semi Final of ICC Trophy and he is replaced by Brad Hodge for first 2 tests. Adam Gilchrist is Captianing side for first two match and his deputy is Darren Lehman.

All player datas are linked to player data from cricinfo.

Schedule for Australia in India

30 Sep - 2 Oct vs Mumbai
6-10 Oct 1st Test Bangalore
14-18 Oct 2nd Test Chennai
26-30 Oct 3rd Test Nagpur
3-7 Nov 4th Test Mumbai