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2009, a golden year for India.

If it was India beating the Kiwis down under, If it was the IPL in South Africa or If it was Sachin Tendulkar completing his 20 years in crickets, The most of them was India achieved their feat of becoming the No.1 Test Team in 2009.

After the sagas of winning the 2007 T20 World cup,

All hoped that they will do it in 2009. But they could not defend their title in England but gave it away to their arch rivals Pakis.

It looked like India is the No.1 team in One Day but that also easily ended in 24 hours losing the home series to The Kangaroos.

But with the negligence of Test Cricket by BCCI too, India playing only six test matches in a year could achieve this feat of becoming the No.1 team in Test Cricket. It was a 18 month wish that was fulfilled by Dhoni and Co against The Islanders in The CCI or commonly called Braboune stadium.

If 2-0 win against the Lankans put the Men in Blue on top of the World, they should rewind the 1-0 win against The Black caps that came down under after 4 decades.

But in the one dayers, Dhoni and co bearded The Lankan Lions in their den,

thumped the Kiwis in their own Land and

Hit the West Indians in the Caribbean islands  to win their fifth series in a row.

We cannot forget the Compaq cup in Sri Lanka where they won the Knock out

but they cut out a sorry figure in the Champions trophy coming back home with only one win.

The home series against The Kangaroos gave them a chance to become The No.1 ODI team but they surrendered to Ponting and Co who returned with bragging right.

Most of all these losses is the huge loss in England T20 World Cup to defend their title. They screwed the minnows Bangladesh and Ireland easily but lost the other three big games in a row to come back home with what? Nothing, but losing the title to The Pakis.

The million dollar tournament IPL was a huge hit this year as it was moved to South Africa after general election problem in the country.

All this was squeezed in 365 days so there was really no time for rest for the Men in Blue. But the poor factor is that India go to Play only 6 test matches in this time.

In fact, the BCCI has scheduled only 2 test matches for the next 11 months.

HIGH POINT

Becoming the NO.1 team in tests needed a lot of hard work. It was not only the one year but a hard work of a decade. There were many obstacles for The Team but finally got to No.1 in Braboune stadium against Lanka with Sehwag’ superb innings.

LOW POINT

WIth Dhoni becoming Indian captain it looked it they are going to win all the matches. But they didn’t even care to defend their T20 title and came out of Champions Trophy without a fight.

WHAT 2010 HAS

With India becoming NO.1 team it is very difficult for them to defend that title. The Men in Blue has to beat The Kangaroos, The Proteas and The Lankans not in Home conditions but away.That journey will start when India tour South Africa in the end of 2010.

Another factor, BCCI too has to do a thing- they have to arrange more test matches six tests in a year is not enough.

The Men in Blue have to improve in bowling and fielding to win shortened versions. Even if their batsmen score 350+ or even 400 the bowling and fielding department has to improve  a lot. Even 414 seemed not enough against the Lankans.

India will have a go again to the T20 World coming awaiting for them in West Indies before they play in the 2011 WC

Another mantra will be rest players in some series and give chance for youngsters and others to Capitan. Virat Kohli scored a awesome innings.Even Sehwag’s captaincy was very good winning two matches in a row.

His words after winning-“I was actually supporting Sri Lanka. My superstition is that whenever I support India, we lose. So I was supporting Sri Lanka.” Sehwag’s prayers worked as India won by 3 runs against SL at Rajkot.

2010 is also awaits a packed schedule

From The Bangladesh ODI Tri Series

To Bangladesh Test Series

India- South Africa test series

THE IPL

THE T20 WORLD CUP

and many games to go.

For a must win match Lanka pose India 316 as the target

With India winning 21, it was a must win match for The Islanders so they came in with many changes and high spirit. It was a different start as Dilshan and Tharanga kept quiet until the 6th over. In the 9th over, Dilshan pulled Nehra’s bouncer which was brilliantly caught by Virat Kohli.

As Dilshan departed for only 9, Ishant Sharma was introduced. The flow of boundaries started when Jayasuriya and Tharanga scored 20 runs of Ishant’s 1st over. Jayasuriya was in fine knock but it ended when Zaheer Khan struck him for 15 of 15 balls.

The Captain himself came in to bat today at No.4. Tharanga and Sanga were scoring runs in a brisk pace not allowing the bowlers to settle. It was a fine batting from both as Tharanga scored 100 and Sangakkara with a 50. But the 126 run parnership ended when The Lankan Skipper tried to attempt a cheeky shot but deceived but the spin of Harbhajan and stumped by Karthik for 60 runs.

The Experience Mahela came in as Kumar departed. Runs were coming very good in both ends. As they put on a 36 run partnership, The batting powerplay was chosen and Zaheer Khan was introduced. But in his first ball he struck the Tharanga’s timber and made him to depart for 118.

This time as Tharanga departed there was a surprise in wait for the Indians when Thisara Perera was sent in. No one thought he would play so well. But he blistered fours and six as he went on to score 31 of 14 and was caught out bowled by Nehra with a beautiflu catch in sqaure leg by Jadeja.

Jayawardane too was run out with a athletic performance by Nehra for a direct hit. Then with interruptions of light failure match started and Lanka managed to score 316 for the loss of 6 wickets.

The most shameful part for Indian cricket as the lights went of in the middle. This happened in IPL too. Its real shame which wasted 1520 minutes.

From 165/1 Sri Lanka end up 239 all out.

The game started as usual. Lanka won the toss and choose to bat. Luckily for India, Yuvraj was in the side. As usual Tharanga and Dilshan started hitting, pulling. But fortunately for India, The Dilshan storm got out even before scoring a fifty. He scored his 41 off just 18 balls when he top edged a bouncer of Ashish Nehra in the seventh over. Even though Dilshan departed Sangakkara and Tharanga kept going until the 100 run partnership broke when Kumar

Sangakkara was stumped in Stand in Skipper Sehwag’s off break. Then on the wicket tumbled as if one cycle is pushed with others in a row. Upul Tharanga was beautifully bowled by Ravindra Jadeja for 73. With both set batsmen back in the hut, new batsmen came in. It was difficult because the Indian spinners were attacking from both ends.

The Lions lost Mahela for 3 runs because of his pull which was caught by Raina. After his wicket at 173, Kapugedara and Kandamby put on a 31 run partnership when Chamara Kapugedara was clean bowled by Ravindra Jadeja.

As Mathews flied back home suffering from an injury, Nuwan Kulasekara came NO.7. Ishant Sharma after his starting spell with an economy rate of 15 was introduced into the attack when he took two wickets of Kandamby and Randiv. Kandamby lost his wicket for a walk while Suraj Randiv edged his first ball he faced.

It was last hopes of Kulasekara to take Lanka home with a decent target set for India.But he failed to do so as Ravindra Jadeja bowled on his pads and he a given out plum for 10 of 14 balls.

Mendis and Malinga continued for 18 runs. The most important moment for Malinga was that he scored a six and a four. But this partnership too couldn’t take Sri Lanka home with a 250+ target as Jadeja again hit the timber of Mendis making him walk out to the pavilion for 6. Soon after in the next over Ashish Nehra made the wicket got for a walk when Malinga was clean bowled for 13 in 44.2 overs with 239 on the scoreboard.

Its a kind-of good ask for The Men in Blue. It was not expected that Lankans would go down for 239 from 165 for one. The pitch helped the spinners as India restricted The Lankans for what was to be a 300+ wicket.

Another good news for India

Fast bowler Dilhara Randi Fernando has been ruled out of the one day series against India because of a finger injury.
Murali and Fernando will fly back to Lanka today or tommorow.
Dilhara Fernando injured his finger in yesterday’s match while attempting to take Manhendra Dhoni’s Catch.
Both of the injured player will be replaced by Muthumudalige Pushpakumara and Suraj Randiv, for the rest of the series.
Sri Lanka are due to play a tri-series with India and Bangladesh in Dhaka from January 413.
THANK YOU
LETS SEE ON 18th MATCH.

Good news for India

‘The spinning assasin’ Muralidharan has been ruled out of the India series after undergoing a test and confirmed his finger injury. He will fly back home today.
Due to his injury, Murali had also been ruled out of the two Twenty20 International games at Nagpur and Mohali and the first ODI in Rajkot.

Murali Ruled of the One day series.

Match Pics

COURTEST CRICKET NIRVANA OR NEO CRICKET

India win a thriller

Over 800 runs in a day India just managed to win a exhilarating thriller in what I call a low class idiotic stadium(Madhavrao Scindia Stadium) in Rajkot today.
It seamed that India’s 414 for 7 looked too less for the Lankans as they just lost the match by 3 runs because of splendid last over from out of form Nehra.
This historic batting performance in home was scripted by none other than Sehwag. He smashed 146 off 102 balls. The format had changed from T20 in Mohali to 50 over cricket in Rajkot. But the acceleration from both the teams was the same.
If the Mumbai test was superb and Mohali brilliant, Rajkot today was devastating.
Sehawag was as if he wanted to hit a double century. He outscored the Lankan bowlers for 17 fours and seven out of the park.
The ball was swinging during the start as both Tendulkar and Sehwag played watchfully. After that Sehwag was in his way, flicking, pulling, trashing i have no other words.
When Sehwag was in his own way, Tendulkar too was scoring at a brisk pace. After the Indian openers thrashed the Opening Lankan bowlers, Sanga introduced Matthews who was thrashed for 18 by Sehwag.
The Lankans had something to breathe as Dilhara Fernando hit the timber of Tendulkar who was dismissed for 69.
Then came the Saga when Dhoni came in, at first he was nudging here and there. After that he took over Dilshan and Jayasuriya. He scored 72 of just 53 balls.
It was 35 overs and 300 on the board. As India took the batting powerplay, they lost 3 wickets for 33 runs. As India lost Sehwag(146), Dhoni(72) Gambhir (11) India almost lost their way.The Lankan bowlers started bowling well and India’s dreams of 400 was almost vanishing when Ravi Jadeja and Virat Kohli made India do that.Jadeja scored 2 sixes to take India to the total. After the target set all hoped that India will easily will but….
The Lankans started their innings in a positive note where Dilshan and Tharanga stared with fours with a high run rate as what was needed. Dilshan whacked, pulled, squeezed all the Indians bowlers. Where no Indian bowlers got any dismissals, Suresh Raina broke the partnership of the opening duo buy taking Tharanga’s wicket at 188. After his wicket as expected in form Skipper Sangakkara walked in. As usual he started thrashing and hitting sixes partnering Dilshan. Sangakkara whacked 5 sixes of the Indian bowlers when Praveen Kumar  got his wicket for 90 runs at 316. After his departure, The Veteran Jayasuriya walked into the crease. But but sadly he was stumped in the next over by Dhoni bowled by Harbhajan for only 5. Next to come was Mahela who too couldn’t find rhythm. Harbhajan got a relief by hitting the timber of Dilshan for 160 runs.
Mahela too ran himself out for 4 in the next over. Then build a partnership between Kandamby and Angelo Matthews who threatened India to take the Lankans home.But Kandamby was run out for 24 on 401. As Samaraweera came in for 6 down he too was runned out without opening his account. Both Kandamby and Samaraweera was run out in Zaheer’s over. The bowler who I called Experience Zaheer in the test matches became Expensive Zaheer who gave 88 runs in 10 overs.
The game was nicely balanced in the last over too where 11 runs was needed from the last over. Dhoni opted for Nehra instead of Praveen Kumar. He was the hero of the over as he restricted the Lankans for 411 and took Angelo’s wicket.
At last in the nerve thriller India won the match by 3 runs and Sehwag was declared man of the match for his 146.
THATS OFF FOR NOW
UNTILL NEXT MATCH IN NAGPUR ON 18th…
BYE

Im posting the squad for ODIs for now

TEAM INDIA
MS Dhoni
Virender Sehwag
Sachin Tendulkar
Gautam Gambhir
Suresh Raina
Yuvraj Singh
Zaheer Khan
Ashish Nehra
Shanthakumaran Sreesanth
Harbhajan Singh
Pragyan Ojha
Sudeep Tyagi
Virat Kohli
Ravindra Jadeja
Praveen Kumar

SRI LANKA
Kumar Sangakkara
TM Dilshan
Sanath Jayasuriya
Mahela Jayawardane
Chamara Kapugedara
Angelo Matthews
Thilina Kandamby
Muttiah Muralidharan
Ajantha Mendis
Dilhara Fernando
Lasith Malinga
Nuwan Kulasekara
Thilan Thushara
Upul Tharanga
Thilan Samaraweera

A Good news and A bad news

After becoming the top test team in the world, India have a chance to close in the ratings with the Aussies.

In the individual rankings, Indian skipper Dhoni has to perform very well to defend the number-one spot in batting list, while Yuvraj Singh can return to the top-three and Virender Sehwag can regain a top 10 spot with some fine performance in the series.
India being currently the 2nd ODI team with 122 points can narrow in with the Aussies who are 8 points ahead of them if India go on to win the series with a white wash.
On the other hand, this can be even worse,Dhoni and co can even slip down if they loose the series 14.
If India lose the series 14,they will drop down to 117 pts , just 2 pts behind the Proteas.

While Dhoni’s men will look to close in with Australia, The Lankan boys will try to climb up ratings from their current 7th rank by winning the series 32 or even better.
If they do it 32 they’ll go ahead of the Greens(Pakistan) and if they do better with 41 they’ll go ahead of the Black Caps and the English men.

Mr.Dhoni has a tight pressure from the Aussie’s Mr.Cricket(Micheal Hussey). They are apart just by 16 points. Dhoni has to bat consistently to improve his performance and safeguard his NO.1 batsmen which he has been keeping since  January.

Its not only Dhoni but India boasts Yuvi (7th), The Old man(Sachin) (8th), Viru (11th) and Gauti(19th) inside the top 20.
All the four guys are well placed to move up the order. Yuvi can come back to top 3 and Viru is almost touching under 10.


Lets leave the batsmen, In the bowling rankings Nuwan Kulasekara is NO.4 in the rankings from both sides. If he does well he can overtake The Blackcap’s Daniel Vettori who is 32 points ahead of him.

The other bowlers in the top 20 are India’s Bhajji ranked 11th and Sri Lankan spinning duo The Mystery man Mendis in the 13th spot and The spinning assasin Murali in the 14th spot.

In the rankings for all rounders, Yuvi is the lonely man ranked 4th from both sides.

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