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India are back in the series with a bang

They came, they saw and they conquered India in Nagpur to get back to the driver’s seat. But Eden was different. Having a debutant and a out of form player on the top to guard the No.1 spot and ICC Mace gave in a start for the Visitors.

But, Zaheer didn’t allow to settle to openers as he struck timber of Graeme Smith once again in the same fashion he did in Nagpur. With Hashim Amla coming back after a double ton, it looked so that he is continuing were he left last night.

While Amla continuing his class work, in the other end was Alviro Peterson, the debutant who bloomed into the first class team then directly to the South African team.

India were unable to restrict both of the batsman. Amla scored his runs, flicked, cut as usual. He carried his way to another spectacular century. Even though there were quite enough appeals, he did not lose patience. On the other end, the newbie was untouched by the bowling of the Indians. He milked runs with ease.

He had great confidence as he did not get scared to the turning ball. He became the 3rd South African after Jacques Rudolph and Andrew Hudson to score a century on his debut. But, for India’s fortune Zaheer struck a beauty after a 209 run partnership as Petersen edged the out swinging ball.

South Africa paused their inning after scoring 228 for the loss of 2 wickets. Hashim Amla was unbeaten on 114 and Jacques Kallis yet to open his account.

The match drastically turned in the last session after tea. What would a top team do to retain their No.1 Spot? They will just wait for every opportunity and grab it with both hands. The Indians did so in the last session.

Just the 4th ball after tea, Hashim Amla was sent back to the hut by Zaheer Khan for 114. This started the end of South African Inning.

Harbhajan started striking bowling beauties. Where did he hide these deliveries in the first match? Superb performance as Bhajji and Zak led the Indian team from the front which was lacking in the first test.

Kallis was struck by a top spinner from Harbhajan which was indeed superbly caught by VVS Laxman at first slip. His dream run ended for only 10 runs.

Harbhajan in his next over got two beauties. First Ashwell Prince for 1 and then JP Duminy for a duck. Both of them were struck LBW in the same fashion as the umpire raised his finger.

From 228-2, The Proteas fell to 253-6 in a short period of time. To add to this in the next over, AB De Villiers, the only recognized batsman left was run out in a disastrous mix up with Dale Steyn.

Soon, wicket less bowlers of the series, Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra got something to smile at in the end of the day as they picked up Paul Harris and Dale Steyn.

From 218-2, the visitors fell and lost 7 wickets to 266-9. All regards goes to Harbhajan. India desperately in to win this test match.

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Proteas really the favorites at Eden

With a stupendous performance in Nagpur, The South Africans are waiting for the Eden Gardens test match starting this Sunday to whitewash India and become the World Champions in test Cricket.

But probably for the Indian side, it might be some good news around because VVS Laxman will have a return to the inexperienced middle order at his favorite cricket ground, the Mecca of Cricket. But, for the Hyderabadi, there might be some surprise waiting in the other end as the South African batsman AB De Villiers has sent out a strong warning to him.

The batsman, AB says that they will be surely aiming for 2-0 victory and are fully prepared for it. He says we are playing good cricket with back to back wins in last 2 tests. They are in a condition to play some brand cricket. He tells that VVS Laxman surely will be tested even though he is an expert.

The South Africans say that they would be ready to play on any wicket after hearing the controversy of the Eden turner pitch.

Shocking news for the Visitors is the their Skipper Graeme Smith has injured his finger during his practice session. His participation in the last test is still in doubt. The X-Ray has been taken and it has been confirmed that it is not a fracture. But reports show that it might be some kind of ligament damage. Smith has been injured a many times in the recent past and his participation is not yet confirmed.

If Smith won’t play it won’t be surprising to see if AB De Villiers will lead the team. AB accepts that the victory in Nagpur has come because of Players like Kallis, Smith and Boucher who took the leading roles.

Lastly, AB Quotes that They will never let it down.

Raina, Sreesanth and Karthik in for Eden test

The Board of Control for Cricket in India, after seeing the shameful performance by the Indian team in the first test which ended today, have made three major changes to the Squad for the second test match which is starting on 14th, just a 4 day gap.

Wriddhiman Saha, the Bengal keeper who played a cameo role of 36 runs has been replaced one of the most experienced wicket keeper of India, Dinesh Karthik.

The Tamil Nadu Skipper was dropped and Saha was surprisingly selected ahead of him. But now again Karthik is recalled. Everything happening is strange!

The Veteran batsman, VVS Laxman though has not recovered from his injury so he is not picked up. Rohit Sharma was a selected as a cover for Laxman, had suffered a ankle injury just before the start of first test is been replaced by the One Day batsman, Suresh Raina.

The Seamers Sudeep Tyagi and Abhimanyu Mithun have been axed from the side.

S Sreesanth who had suffered an hamstring during the Bangla tour has recovered from his injury and he has been included in the side for the Kotla test.

SQUAD FOR EDEN TEST:

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Capt)

Virender Sehwag

Gautam Gambhir

Murali Vijay

Sachin Tendulkar

VVS Laxman

S. Badrinath

Harbhajan Singh

Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan

S.Sreesanth

Ishant Sharma

Pragyan Ojha

Dinesh Karthik

Suresh Raina

I have found strange decisions made by the selectors:

  • Selection of Dinesh Karthik

First of all why was Saha selected.?

As a backup for Dhoni ahead of Karthik. No one thought he would get a chance. But luckily he got. Now, he was selected as a backup and as a debutant, he did what he could do.

Now why is Karthik selected?

Saha should have been given another chance. If you would drop him, then why did you pick him? Its stupid selection.

  • Abhimanyu Mithun dropped-

First of all, why was he selected?

The selectors say that youngsters need a opportunity and so on. But it is sure that he won’t get a chance. Then why did they pick him?

Even Tyagi was simply picked! Ok, I accept he was a backup.

Ok. Now, Instead of Mithun a batsman could be selected.

  • Selection of Raina

Even though, Raina is a kind of experienced played, it is not great to debut a batsman in a important series.

So, there is likes of Wasim Jaffer. He is a great test class batsman. He has loads of talent and he has represented the Indian side.

So, its totally a kind of OK selection!

South Africa win!

Its indeed a great performance by the South African bowler Dale Steyn and both the test batsman Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla. Its a shame for a No.1 for best defeated by a inning and following on.

The result was obviously known a day back when India were struggling at 220-7. But although, today The Indian batsmen put a very good fight. They closed in all just were short of 6 runs to avoid innings defeat which would have saved some pride.

But, all has gone now. We can pat the backs of the South Africans. Meanwhile, it is my duty to elaborate on my team and some of the good performances by them.

First of all, Tendulkar’s hundred. He was the performer of the Day in India’s point of view. The master of cricket is always there to save a match for India.

He tried doing so but in the process there was not enough support for the Maestro. His hundred came under heavy pressure. It was even more than Blaise Pascal’s pressure capacity.

Hmm, Tendulkar is great doing that. But he tried his best. No support in the other end couldn’t make his efforts successful.

Dhoni gave him a partnership but that was not enough. Badrinath’s role too was small.

I was amazed with the batting of new Lad Wriddhiman Saha who missed out of a half century.

He tried his best to save the day as he scored a 36 runs. He had good support from Harbhajan and Zaheer Khan with whom he had 50 run partnerships.

Harbhajan played as if it was a One Day game. He soon got out for an Leg before scoring a cameo of 39 runs.

Zaheer’s support was excellent. He his 2 sixes in the process. It looked so that he would go on to score a fifty but was in a urgent and gave away his wicket cheaply.

As said, when a wicket falls other wickets start to fall. This happened so when Steyn came back to bowl. First Saha fell for a LBW, then the last wicket Amit Mishra.

At Last, India fell short by 6 runs to avoid innings defeat. Hope this never happens in Eden Gardens.

India perish for 223, Proteas enforce follow on

Its not that kind of batting that a World No.1 Team should have. With South Africa scoring 558 and declaring, India needed a minimum of 400 runs so that they can stay alive in the test. But, all expected became the reverse.

Resuming the innings, the Hosts started of at 25-0, but soon Gautam Gambhir perished for only 12 runs knocking a out going ball. This started the South African Proceedings, as Murali Vijay too fell just adding 4 runs to the total and bowler of a superb in-swinger which he had left.

Tendulkar, too didn’t add much to the total who added seven runs and perished of a outside edge. India were struggling at 56-3.

Rightly, the Indian middle order was exposed as Badrinath, Dhoni and only Saha were yet to come. But, the Debutant Badrinath played superb cricket. He is a great find for the Indian test team who will surely cement his place ahead of Yuvraj if he given many opportunities like this.

The Sehwag-Badrinath combine that had bailed India out in the second hour of the first session couldn’t quite carry on the good work through the post-lunch session. After scripting a perfect counter-attack and going on to score a blazing century, Sehwag perished to a loose shot.

However, debutant S Badrinath and captain MS Dhoni ensured that there was no more damage and took India to tea at 221 for 4.

But, after the tea it was disastrous. Unexpected things happened. What do you expect a team to do from 221 for 4? You won’t think this that India would perish for 233 losing 6 wickets in 41 balls.

THAT really happened and the pick of the bowlers was Dale Steyn who scripted his best bowling performance taking 7-51.

After tea, immediately Dhoni fell. It was unlucky dismissal for Dhoni and whoever sees it would feel sad of him. Paul Harris did the trick pitching on the foot marks in the leg side.

Adding one run after Dhoni’s dismissal, Badrinath too fell in a cheeky fashion. Then tumbling started, first W.Saha for a duck, then Zaheer, Mishra and finally Harbhajan Singh.

A world class team to fall from 221-4 to 233-10 is bad isn’t it?

Maybe the team is lacking the batting of Dravid and Laxman. This happens when there are no good reserves who are ready to take the position.

India were asked to follow on by Greame Smith and they did so. The were trailing by 235 runs after been all out.

After scoring one run, Gambhir fell clean bowled to Morkel. Sehwag bashed 16 runs and he fell to Steyn.

Tenmdulkar and Vijay had pressure more that 251% to save the test match. Till now they have been doing so scoring runs in snail’s pace. 66/2 in 23 overs of play. 2 runs per over is great to save the test!

Amla’s double ton powers Proteas to 558

Surely, the visitors are holding the driver’s seat in this game as Hasim Amla and Jacques Kallis continued their brilliant partnership. Kallis soon got out within half an hour but Hashim Amla’s 11 hour stand facing 473 balls and scoring 253 not out ensured the total of 558 for 6 when Greame Smith told enough and declared the inning.

With the three overs remaining in the day, the Indians were asked to bat it out to save their wickets and both the Delhi Dashers did so scoring 25 brisk runs in a span of 3 overs.

The Indian Middle order will be tested tomorrow as the South Africans have managed a great 558.

Amla marathon performance was superb as he sent out a strong word to Indians telling that don’t ever be casual of out side. The bearded Visitor’s class was superb and his timing excellent as the Indian bowlers were struggling to take his wicket.

AB De Villiers too supported him at the other end scoring 53 to add to the 4th wicket Partnership but failed to continue as he was holed by Sehwag’s spinning delivery chipping it to the point fielder.

Duminy, couldn’t find his form as he fell for a Leg before for just nine runs walking back to the hut. But Boucher supported the Double Centurion almost till the end scoring a cameo but fell to Zaheer Khan.

As Amla scored his 250, Greame Smith declared the innings.

It was another great day for the Visitors who rattled India.

Innovate for a good Test cricket future!

Test cricket is dying. Only 15% of a year’s cricket calender is been played for Test Cricket. No one is ready to watch a test match. T20 is the passion. There are people criticizing that T20 has killed Test cricket. But it is not so!

Test Cricket is dying because of its boring features. And ICC is not doing the needy to save it. As every Tom, Dick and Harry is talking nowadays about Saving Test Cricket, I too have got this idea and now am going to write about it.

So what are the things that needs to be changed?

  • Instead of 90 overs a day, minimum of 100 overs has to be bowled in a day.
  • No Day test should be played. All should be Day- Night Test or Night Test Games.
  • No more of boring Lunch, Tea and Drinks Break. All these should be cut down. Only one break as a “Supper” break should come into existence. Day- Night Test matches should start at 14:00 Local time and go on till 21:45 in the night. Supper Break is after 60 overs at 18:00. 45 minutes is given for the break. This means 1 session before darkness and another session under lights.
  • Or it can be a night match-  starting at 18:00 in the evening and ending at 23:00 late night.
  • From a 5-day game, it should be tuned to a 4-day game. This means that the run rate of the team will increase and the match will finish off soon. This means that one team won’t take two full days for a result and then declare the innings.
  • The boundary distance from the wicket should be a maximum of 65 yards.

This has 2 effects (a) The batsmen can tend to hit sixes and fours and there will be more of boundaries. (b) The run rate will be more.

  • The bowling team has to bowl in an average 14 overs per hour. If their over rate is less extra penalty will be there for every hour. (i.e Extra Penalty runs= Total No. of overs to be bowled in an hour X No. of overs short by the normal over rate)
  • As before ball change due comes after 80 overs, now it has to be reduced to 60 overs. Any way the team should take the new ball before the 81st over.
  • World Championship of Cricket tournament should be held in two groups.

1. Top 5 teams of the rankings should have a championship every 2 years.

2. Next 5 teams too can have championship every 2 years.

  • Decision Referral system should be in place.
  • Wide balls as in ODI and T20 Matches.
  • Free Hit for every over stepping no ball.
  • Stadium tickets for the Test matches should be 1.5 times the ticket for a T20 match for the whole test match. All entertainments like music played between the overs and cheer leaders in the stadium.
  • Even, small stadiums should be given a chance to host the matches. They too can attract crowds.
  • Indoor stadiums should come into being as no one can forecast the weather conditions. If this happens matches can go on independent of the weather. Instead of closing roofs which is a costlier idea this would be better.

LETS SEE IF THESE COME INTO EXISTENCE!

Kallis and Amla lead The Proteas!

The World Championship of Cricket started in Nagpur’s VCA Stadium today. The South Africans won the toss and chose to bat. India’s most experienced bowler Zaheer Khan struck both the openers home. First Ashwell Price went for a duck attempting for a shot. Next was amazing as the Proteas Captain, Greame Smith was clean bowler for 6. They were 6-2, but it went on to score 291 for 2 at Stumps, Day One.

Dhoni’s logic of not attacking the new batsmen was wrong and because of that they had freedom to settle. Instead of Bowling Zaheer, he opted for Part timer Sehwag. That caused all the havoc for the Indians.

Both Amla and Kallis continues for a great 285 partnership. Both of them scored centuries. 

Kallis played with greater poise and authority in the second session. He negotiated both medium-pacers and spinners with equal felicity.

Every time the two seamers chose the corridor of uncertainty, Kallis chose to shoulder arms. The ones going down the leg side was dispatched with disdain.

He batted impressively against both Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra. He smothered the spin with soft hands and read Mishra’s surprise googlies well. The two spinners did bowl occasional loose balls and Kallis invariably pounced on them.

The 34-year-old veteran paced his innings with extraordinary care and resilience and carved out a chanceless century to rescue his team. He peppered his fine innings with 13 fours and 2 sixes.

Lets see what happens tomorrow! Probably, The Africans won the day except for the first session.

THANKS, CRICKET NIRVANA

World Championship of Cricket starts tomorrow!

And we are finally in awaiting for the match to begin. It has been 3 years since both the test teams have met each other. The last one was new to forget as India’s Nawab of Najafgarh went on to score another triple century ,they were rattled for under hundred in one innings and the final match got over in less than 3 days.

So, now whoz in with a chance to win the match. India is surely missing the Wall, his absence will cost a lot. With Dravid missing out, the other six batsmen are:

Sehwag, Gambhir, Vijay, Tendulkar, Badrinath, Laxman.

  • The team still contains- top ordered explosive batsmen Sehwag and Gambhir who are in top form.
  • Next position No.3, it will lack the experience of Rahul Dravid. So probably, Vijay or Badrinath or even Laxman will play in his absence.
  • Tendulkar, no words to explain he is in great form. He should take responsibility for the whole team.
  • Meanwhile, Laxman too is in good form just fresh after a injury. Oh! I just got in news that Laxman is not certain for the match but it is not the final decision. Lets see!
  • Vijay and Badrinath are the domestic players who play for Tamil Nadu, both have a opportunity in their hands to perform well.

The Indian bowling attack consists of Harbhajan, Zaheer, Ishant, Mishra/Ojha/Tyagi.

  • Zaheer and Ishant are the two spearheads for the Indian Attack. They should take early wickets to put the visitors in pressure.
  • Harbhajan too, is important and he is the main guy to watch out for because he might make a difference.
  • The other one place probably will be filled by a spinner because it is a spinning track or even Dhoni may try something else.

So, Lets watch out who performs well for the Indian team.

Players to watch out for India: Sehwag, Gambhir, Zaheer and Harbhajan. The key roles are given to these 4 experienced players.

While, The Indian batsmen have to face the speeds of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnel who have the capacity to bowl over 150 speeds.

The spinners Johan Botha and Paul Harris would be in need for the Proteas for most of the stages of the match. Their performance in recent times is not upt o the mark.

So, awaiting to see what happens. Till Next time- its Bye.!

Bouncers will be our key: Morkel

Hmm, The 140+ speedster Morne Morkel has promised that his team will bowl a lot of bouncers in the tour. He sent out a warning to the Indian batsmen to be careful of their bowling.

With Dravid’s absence, the team’s middle order is quite weak and hence won’t have a great performance. So, The South Africans are watching out to attack the Indian batsmen and trouble them.

Anybody will get the top position if the team has won the series. For the Proteas, they need 10 victory or a clean sweep will take them to the top position.

While, for the Indians its the opposite. If they lose the series 01 they will go second. To remain No.1, Dhoni and co at least to draw this series or win both of them. Both the teams will be looking for the No.1 position.

Do watch about the Preview as we close into the match.

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