Saturday, September 26, 2009

Shocking bowling performance lets India down!

All good things come to an end, and it finally did happen. After a long hiatus, India did finally manage to loose to Pakistan at a major international tournament. Pakistan started tremendously with Imran Nazir and Kamran Aklam, thrashing the bowlers to all the corners of Wanderers. At that time it looked that Pakistan had a huge advantage by winning the toss and that batting under light would be tough as the pitch would get low and slow. But, as things turned out, as the match progressed, the playing conditions did become good . For Dhoni loosing the toss , would have been a blessing in disguise, provided they bowled well, which unfortunatley they did not !

What let India down?- Three major factors! - After having Pakistan 70-3 in 15 odd overs, we just relented the pressure. I have never seen such a klutzy performance from India, after being in a strong position. May be the absence of Yuvi and Veru not only played dearly and affected our batting order. but had a huge influence on how Dhoni used his limited bowling attack. What mistake he did (albeit it is easy to say now) was that he thought of doing away with the 5th bowler`s quota of over`s at the earliest, which to some extent he was able to do (This technique works well in sub-continet, but in SA i think Bhajji should have be introduced and efforts should have been to take wickets). But, in the process he gave away Yosuf and Malik, easy singles and time to settle. A cardinal sin in Cricketing Parlance!

Second- Harbhajan was brought in too late and too add salt to injury he bowled shockingly. I hate the way he bowls too many bowls on the leg side which ends up going for 5 wides. After the batsmen got set, whatever India did, Pakistan came with up with something better. The ball was just kissing the boundaries to often. Shoulders were down! It was as if a t20 t20 match was on. No wonder Pakistan scored 165 runs in the last 20 overs. Wew! Indeed a challenging t20 score.

Third- India started well. In spite of absence of yuvi, veru and early fall of sachin, their was still a chance for India to pull of a a thriller, courtesy of flamboyance of Ghambir (which he gave away through a silly run out) and determination of dravid( he was left alone, too much for the wall) and a quick fire by Raina (star for future). But in the end, India fell way short and the sad part being was that they even could not complete its quota of 50 overs (a point which they would surely be ruing in next two matches). Pakistan was the better on the day, India did play well, but the poor bowling let them down. A score of 270-280 could have easily chaseble.

Time to regroup- Pakistan is almost certain to reach the semi-final courtesy their high run rate. So India needs to re-group and come out all guns blazing against Australia. They need to beat them and West Indies and that too handsomely, otherwise they would be home early, joining the country and their families in the festive season, minus any cricket!

All the best!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yuvi`s Injuiry- India could have done without that!

If the omission of Virender Sehwag was a big blow to the zillions of Indian cricket fans (incld me) then the unexpected injury to Yuvraj Singh is even a bigger blow which has further escalated their pain and is huge disappointment for all the cricket fanatics. Viru and Yuvi, have, over the past one year, taken the game of cricket to a different level and brought back crowds, due to their dazzling style of batting. Both Viru and Yuvi have shown utter disdain towards the world best bowling attacks. Be it Australia, England, South Africa, Newzealand..they have sent their bowling attack to the cleaners!

The blow of Yuvi in particular (Since shewag was expected) is a sad news not only for the Indians but cricket enthusiasts world over. Who would not want to see a 12 ball 50 or six sixes in an over (expect if you are Chris broad; but i am sure even he would have been happy to see the last ball sail over midwicket since it meant his name would go down in record books). Yuvi would also be missed esp in South Africa, since the bouncy pitches suits his style of batting.
I am sure now that Yuvi is out, it would be tough for India to beat the in-form teams i.e. Australia after their 6-1 thrashing for England and Pakistan who have hit some form after victories in warm up games. But, I am a born optimistic (esp after India`s recent performance Chennai, Australia, T20) and have full faith in Dhoni`s Men.

But the absence of Veeru and Yuvi, would mean the pressure would once again fall on the strong shoulders of World Best Batsman (I hpe Aussies r listening) Sachin Tendulkar. Well there has been a huge debate over Sachin and Pointing, as to who is the best among them. I think for a person who has studied the game of cricket it should be a cake walk in deciding who is the best. Pointing no doubt has scored big hundreds and was a part and lead the invincible Aussie team. (Until warne, gili, Mcgrath, Hayden departed and they were dethroned of their No 1 crown both the one days and tests )
But even during that time Pointing was never under as much pressure as our Hero.ala Sachin da has been. I have forgotten on how many occasions the fate of the match depended on how sachin performed. Even after playing for 18 years, India`s dependence on Sachin has not dwindled , albeit it has reduced a bit due to players like yuvi, veru, dhoni et al. In fact i think you all would agree to say that Dravid might be the wall but sachin is the foundation of that wall, who time and again has been handling the relentless pressure and not even once has crumbled or budged . Sachin, indeed he is a pure genius and sheer delight to watch. I am afraid, the day he retires the game would not be be the same! So if you take all things in fairness there is no iota of doubt that who is the greatest batsman ever....

Well come Saturday, India once again would be stop to watch the rivalry rekindle between two teams who have given the world of cricket some glorious (& nt soo glorious) moments to cherish. Whether it is in India, Pakistan, Sharjah, Duabi, Singapore, Canada or South Africa, it is indeed a unsubstitutable feeling to watch them play. Due to the absence of Sehwag and Yuvi ( both have scored heavily against arch rivals Pakistan) the match would be well balanced. But if u ask any Indian, my money is on men in blue....
Let the game begin!

अ गेनुइने फेन!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Pakis have done it again! Battered, buthchered and bruised after the tormenting time during the home series against Srilanka their confidence was all time low. There was no motivation and things were shaping up so bad that young cricketers were felleing threatned that they might not aftger all be able to make thier home series debut as ICC came down sharply on PCB.

If the blasts were bad, things were getting worse on the pitch. Pakistan lost the one day series against Australia (3-2) in Dubai. The only bright spot though during the entire tour was a convincing victory in the only t20 match againt the aussie (Bt these days everyone beats the Aussies in T20, so i am not sure how much confidence boaster was that ?) Nevertheless, they came to England with no hopes and were truly labelled as the Underdogs!(I stil dont know the origin of the term underdogs?? my guess could be these r a special species of dogs who dnt bark, dnt shout and r incapable of doing anything)

India on the other hand had a poor series and there performance to put it in one word would be "listless". Whether it was injuries, IPL or mental exaustion. India performed below par and yes the customs/Indian Govt did allow them back home but without the elusive Throphy..".Aane Dho shouted one man at the airport but inlike the pepsi campaign they came empty handed". But, lose or win, one thing is sure, when India plays the whole country when you see mad rush at the roadside TV shops, at first you wonder that free TVs are being distributed to people below poverty line under so called Rajiv Gandhi Scheme, but then suddenly you ponder to realise..oh today the match is on!! You might be getting late for home then wht the F*** it`s just an over..lets have a peak! And that`s how the crowd builds on...!!!

Can anybody guess who would be most disappointed to see Indian`s knocked out of the cup?? Hmmh nopes..not the players, not BCCCI at all, not the zillions of fans, come on no not the wives and family of the players(they shld be happy on the contrary).....They are the few any only (thanks to the exorbitant license fee. Delhi it is 28 lakhs and so in AP) the BAR OWNERS. There is a direct proportionality between booze consumption (beer here, bias is ok) and cricket esp when India is playing. The bar owners r alwayz prasing lalit modi for IPL (56 mathches in a row phew!) and their smile even got bigger with the advent of T20 world cup in England. Besides cricket the other best thing was that these matches were played in evenings (unlike australia or newzealand) the best time for the bars. India`s lost meant the good days are over, byt as they say the show must go comes the west indies series starting 26th june and then the champions throphy in South Africa..I see the effervescent smile coming back on these bar owners. But for now they have to abide by the empty seats and low sales.

Coming back to pakistan, if we examine why pakistan are in the finals (that to twice in a row) is that they have no pressure of expectations. Casestudy INDIA in 2007 - Nobody in their wildest dreams would have even contemplated that India would witn the 2007 World cup. With a new team and inexperienced players( Sachin, Dravid, Kumble, Ganguly all were voluntarily axed .. a new oxymoron..) India suprised everyone with sintilating performance from players like Sehwag, Ghambir, Dhoni, Harbhajan and the sixes man..Yuvi (Infact he even leads, this year( so far) with max no of sixes in 2009 WC). On the other hand younsters like RP Singh, Rohit Sharma, Irafan, Yusuf pathan (debue in final) perfomed very well under the guidance of Dhoni..infact they had no pressure and no expectations. And as a reuslt they pulled off a great victory, albiet in the last over...(How can anybody forget the ball on which Misbah played a silly shot (wht was he thinking..was he dilshan.!!) and made 1 billion Indians jump, hug, cry, shout, scream, run, dance, drink, throw up, have sex (aftr the match) and sleep with a effervescent smile on their faces (which was last seen 24 years ago when Kapil`s men shocked the world by beating the Windies..I was three then..hmmh i think i too smiled..)

It wont be wrong to say the pakis are the Indis of 2007. The have no expectations, they have a mix of youth and experience and they have Shahid Afridi. I dont know where Afridi fits as per his experience quotient is concerned. He still looks so young, no body can believe he made is debue some 12 years ago and he sill has 10 years left in him. But when it comes to displaying is so kld experience in crunch matches, he leaves everyone speechlees. Remember the final in 2007 and the first ball dismisal againt SL in the recent WC. But then he is a match winner , as we all saw against South Africa, plus he has somehow improved his bowling incredibily should see the loop in his googlies and leg ones. So I can say that Afridi is still a mystery to me and will always remain ( he could even win the man of series twice in a that is so weird!)

The pakis have dhoni duplicate as captian Younis Khan. He too like Dhoni does not believes in flowing with the tide and comes up with decisions which are least expected. Rem the decision to give allam the 18 over against SA inwhich he went for 18 runs. Wuff..!

Pakis have loads of youngsters who are capable of unleashing their unknow powers, with the opponent oblivious of what to expect from them. Players like Shahziab Hasan, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Aamer,Saeed Allam all are names unheard of and have few of them are raw handpicked players who have less than 10 first class matches to flaunt about. Imagine they have 4-5 david warners in their team. Wow! Quite Dynamo power! Pakis are renowned to nurture young players but the problem is they dont sustain them..i have lost count of how many players have made debut for pakistan at the age of 15,16,17,18 and then have suddenly disappeared (hasan raza, imran nazir to name few). I doubt if anybody can tell me how many different opening combinations they must have had during the last 2 years to so..?

Coming to the final ..its tough to predict who will win it proves one thing..the dominance of Asia countires in the world cricket is as solid as the rock of gibraltor. India Vs Pak last year, Pak vs SL this time. 92 WC..Pak won..96 WC SL won, 99 WC..Pak in fina..2003 WC..India in Final..2007 WC..SL in final..With the Aussie performance matching the India Stock Market...soo "Volatile" , the day is not too far away that asians team will dominate one day and test cricket too..,

Tomorrow we will have a new World Champ. If i had to bet ( i have oflate won few bets but then sometimes poeple dnt keep their words) i would bet on the unreliable,underdogs, inconsistent, inexpereinced but yet capable of SUPRISING anybody on their day..!PAKIS!(Bt that should not be taken a reason that i would want them to win)

For india the only bright spot was that they held their record ntact of never loosing to pakistan in the world cup by beating them this time too..albeit in a warm up match..!!



no one expected them to be there , they have emerged from the dark, like the Spiderman