Posts Tagged ‘Australian Cricket Team’


For the past couple of months what has happened down under in Australia has certainly raised this question amongst all the cricket experts, ex-cricketers, and to some extent amongst most of the Indians as well now. However this question has not just been hovering for Sachin, it has been even more gruelling on Dravid and Laxman two more legends of Indian cricket.

Two regretful overseas series in the past 6-7 months, in England in July last year and the one in Australia this January has certainly raised many questions in the big 3. Well certainly the 3 are the fag ends of their careers, but surely I feel they aren’t over as yet. Yes the age is against them, and that’s why probably with every batting failure the question gets bigger and bigger. I believe that players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Suresh Raina are the ones that are adding that extra pressure on these big 3, since they proved their worth in the ODI format and now are ready to play regularly at the Test level. Something that is not really possible till these big 3 fade away.
But if we see at their performances in the past matches I really do not feel that they played that badly. In England, Dravid was exceptional scoring runs at will and in a situation when the other batsmen were getting out cheaply. In Australia, Sachin started with a bang and only faded out towards the end of the test series. Well honestly this is not the first time they questions have been raised. Dravid was really under pressure in 2009-10, when even the likes Pujara were included into the side citing him as a replacement for Dravid in future. But, Dravid has survived backed up with decent performances, and some of them at such a level that he had to be recalled to the T-20 and ODI sides in England after a gap of almost 3 years. Then how can really be a bad series thereafter (that too, when all the innings were not failures) ask him to think of retirement.

Sachin too was under tremendous pressure in 2007 when he was struggling to score rums, to an extent a century getting out in the 90s on numerous occasions. I guess a similar situation has returned when the wait for his 100th century has extended over 10 months. But he came back from that slump with a bang and 2009 and 2010 were exceptional years for him, making him touch the heights nobody would have believed 4 years ago. So to write him out after a just one series is not a good idea I believe. Maybe the pressure of the 100th century is building on him and once that is of his back, he might just start scoring big runs at will again. But honestly this is for the first time I have seen Sachin being dropped/rested from the team when he is fit and available for selection, that maybe under the rotation policy but that certainly is a message.

Now talking about Laxman, yes he has had two bad overseas series but then he has always been the disaster management man for the past many years, bailing the team out of treacherous situations on numerous occasions. He has not had too many big scores in the past few matches, but he surely has been consistent. And he already out of limited over cricket, his survival in test matches would be critical for him, and in similar situation is Dravid as well.

Now with Ponting having announced his retirement from ODI cricket the pressure will be on Sachin to take a similar step and maybe Laxman and Dravid also think of hanging their boots. Now with Indian cricket team not playing any test matches in the coming 6-7 months would mean that would give enough time for Dravid and Laxman to think. But what that would also mean that they would be away from international cricket for that long. Also, with no overseas cricket for almost two years now means that Sachin would hardly play the ODI format, especially since he has been very selective in which ODI tournament he plays for the past couple of years. This surely looks like that there will be very chances of seeing him in the coloured clothing for the Indian team. And, with this giving ample opportunities for Raina, Kolhi, Sharma to cement their places in the team.

But still the question remains, whether the big 3 should retire. Definitely I believe it is always great to announce your retirement while playing then to dropped and then announce it from the sidelines. But then has that time come? Well only time will tell that I think.

The big 3: VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, and Rahul Dravid

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Sehwag after scoring 200

Since Virender Sehwag emerged at the international scene he has always been called as the clone of Sachin Tendulkar, because of the many similarities in their batting styles. But today, probably he has proved this saying correct by doing what only Sachin has done it before, and not just doing it even bettering it. Yes, Sachin Tendulkar created history by becoming the first player ever to score a double hundred in a One Day International and now Virender Sehwag has become the second to do so and now after scoring 219 has the highest individual score in ODI cricket bettering Sachin’s 200 not out.

Now this is the fastest double hundred in ODI cricket, and now has also equaled the record of 25 fours in a single innings (incidentally Sachin is the other one who holds this record and he too had made this during his mammoth innings of 200 not out). Also, this is a great moment for him because he is captain the team in the series and this innings has led the team to a series victory. There was a lot of pressure on him regarding his form, but I guess now this innings has silenced all critics. But to be honest, I really don’t believe if the concept of being out of form really works on Sehwag. I think he just plays the same way every time, and sometimes he scores a zero and sometimes a double hundred or even at times a triple hundred. And yes honestly, the kind of player Sehwag is one can even expect a triple hundred from him in ODI cricket.

There was another comment which I read somewhere, that now Virender Sehwag has become the first human to score a double century in ODI cricket. By using the word human is not only something for Sehwag, but also is a great testimony for Sachin, since for every fan (which includes Sehwag as well) he is not a human but god. I remember after scoring the double century Sachin had said that it is just a record and can easily be eclipsed sometime. He also said that he would be very happy if an Indian can do that. Also when asked whom did he think can actually do that, the first name he mentioned was that of Sehwag’s. And now see all that has come true, it is like Sachin’s wish was Sehwag’s command. 

Sehwag after crossing 200 mark

But truly with this innings Sehwag has entered the record book in such a way that it would be very difficult to remove his name from the record books easily. Though, his style is best suited for the shorter format of the game Sehwag has excelled in test cricket more, scoring two triple centuries. And to certain extent has not really made his mark in the ODIs and Twenty20 cricket because of which he has come under a lot of criticism. But now he has silenced all the questioning mouths, and the way he has done it, I think only he could do it that way. But I just wish that just by looking at the bowling attack of West Indies Sehwag’s innings is looked down upon, as Sachin had scored it against the best bowing attack, South Africa. I am saying this because scoring 200 runs is not a joke, and once it scored the opposition bowling attack is inconsequential. Today was just Sehwag’s day, and proabbaly had it been South Africa or Australia also Sehwag would have scored a double hundred.

Also, apart from Sehwag, but majorly due to him India crossed the 400 run mark in ODIs for the fourth time which is again a record. The score of 400 has only been crossed 10 times till now of which India has crossed 4 times now, South Africa and Sri Lanka have done it twice and Australia and New Zealand have done it once. 
In the end I would like to wish Sehwag for his achievement and I hope that Sehwag’s fires big down under against the Australians, as his explosive batting would really be needed if India want to win in test matches and ODIs there.

Sehwag thanking the almighty after scoring 200


It is now going to be a dream Wednesday next. An India Pakistan semi final in a tournament like world cup, how much more can any cricket fan ask for. And that too followed by an India Australia quarter finals. Amazing….

Finally India has shown why it is a top contender to pick up the trophy this time. The beat the last 3 time world champions Australia comprehensively. I do not think anyone expected India to pick up their game to such a high level today. I knew that it was very much possible for India to defeat Australia, but they had to play their best cricket for that. And India did exactly that!
Suddenly, the Indian team has risen up to every ones expectations, and almost has silenced all the criticism that the team was receiving in the last couple of weeks.

R Ashwin- bowled very well...

Today the bowling was good, disciplined, except Munaf Patel. And yes Harbhajan Singh was good but disappointing because he expected to pick up wickets and probably dismiss the top middle order for India. But again he has gone wicket less which has been disappointing. Zaheer was very good again, as usual. Ashwin was brilliant too, now this really confuses me why wasn’t he played earlier. And not to forget Yuvraj, the all rounder was amazing. He was very good with the ball again picking up 2 crucial wickets.

He crossed 18000 run mark

Now with the bat, I must say India played really well chasing. Both Sachin and Sehwag gave a decent start. Though I expected Sehwag to score a few more, and more quickly. Sachin was brilliant till he was dismissed. He scored a very important 50, also surprising the 18000 run mark in one day internationals. Gautam Gambhir played a very good knock, scored a 50 but then could not continue.  Then came Virat Kohli who got decent start but just threw it away and then MS Dhoni also got out leaving India 5 wickets down with over 70 runs to get. And then when everyone was losing hope Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina scripted a victory that Indians will remember for a very long time to run. Both these players played as if there was no tomorrow. To play Raina today was a masterstroke I must say. He played very sensibly and got India home at the end. India has lost wickets in heaps earlier, and today I realized the difference. It was Suresh Raina. The team needed a player like him, as been has been a finisher for the team over the past few years.

And now a talk on Yuvraj Singh. He has been brilliant in the series so far. He has emerged as the all rounder that the team has needed. Today also he played a match winning knock. And the form that he has shown, especially when his place in the playing XI before the start of the tournament was also on doubt is something explicable.  And yes let me acknowledge the team for the last part as well, the fielding department. Today India fielded very well, something one does not see every day.

And yes in the end I would like to point out the effort of Australian captain Ricky Ponting. he played an amzing innings under pressure, but lost to the young Indian exuberance. And suddenly the team that had not lost a single match in the last 2 World Cups, has lost 2 consecutive matches and is out of the tournament. It must have heart breaking for Ponting as this edition could have made him the first captain to win 3 consecutive World Cups. 

Now the world will look forward to the high profile match on Wednesday, 30th March 2011. The game between arch rivals India and Pakistan. Surprisingly Pakistan has been very good in the tournament so far and defeating them will not be easy for India. Though if I look at the World Cup history I would be very relaxed, because Pakistan has never been able to defeat India in World Cups.  But will this record remain intact after next week, I hope that happens. But one can never say anything as cricket is very unpredictable and is know that records break every now and then. And if Pakistan manage their first ever win against India, it will be the ideal situation to do so.

Suresh Raina - India's masterstroke in the game..

Now coming to India’s strategy for the next match. I believe they should drop Munaf Patel, he has been given an extended run. Maybe Sreesanth can come back in his place. That would get some fire back into the opening attack. The other change can be getting Yusuf back in place of Virat Kohli. Now that can be very harsh on Virat, but with Yuvraj in top form he can come in at no. 4 followed by Dhoni. Then I do not believe Virat is of any use at no. 6 or 7. That is the place where Pathan can come handy and can be very dangerous towards the end of the innings. And yes Pathan can be handy with the ball as well, though I am not really sure if that would help against Pakistan who play spin bowling well. But anyways these decisions are to be taken by the management.

Hopefully India will play some great cricket in the next match and move into the finals very easily. And yes not to forget 2 matches (semi-final and finals) left, the stage is set for Sachin to score his 100th international hundred, and then score his 50th one day hundred in the finals. Amazing way for Sachin to fulfil the dream of picking up the World Cup trophy.

In the end I would wish India all the best for the next match. Hopefully India will win!


The first stage of the event is over, and the second stage will start in 2 days from now. Unlike the previous three editions, this time the tournament is going the tournament is going to have three knock stages, which are the quarters, semis and lastly the grand finale. The schedule for the quarterfinals is as below: 

Q-F MATCH DATE TEAMS VENUE
1 March 23, 2011 Pakistan v West Indies Dhaka
2 March 24, 2011 Australiav India Ahmedabad
3 March 25, 2011 South Africa v New Zealand Dhaka
4 March 26, 2011 Sri Lankav England Colombo

There are no surprises in the final eight teams that have come through. Although, Bangladesh did fight very hard to squeeze through, but could not make it in the end. Surprisingly, Australia has not topped its group; in fact it has ended the first stage at third position. And again surprisingly Pakistan has topped the group. No surprises on the other two teams in the group A to qualify. I had expected Sri Lanka to end second in the group, and New Zealand fourth or probably third, once they had defeated Pakistan, but it has not turned out that way in the end.

In group B, the matches have been very different than expected. However, there are no unexpected results there. The ranking I had thought initially has eventually happened, but the surprising thing is how it has happened. South Africa topped the group, India second, England third, followed by West Indies. However, I had given a chance to Bangladesh to make the cut; but unfortunately, they lost out on the net run rate.

Now if India can defeat Australia, it can well probably be an India-Pakistan, high profile semi-final clash. But India will have to defeat Australia; it looks very difficult, but possible. Hopefully that will happen.

In the end I would wish India all the best for the tournament ahead.




Well the final scores do depict that India did thrash Australia, but to be honest it has not really been that easy as the final scores suggest. In the first test match India somehow managed to escape the doors of defeat and ended on the winning side, big thanks to great innings from VVS Laxman and Ishant Sharma.

In the second test also Australia had come all guns blazing in their innings, and made Indian team look an ordinary team for some time, but in the end India did fight back and proved why they are the number 1 team. And finally a great innings from Sachin Tendulkar led to the foundation af a great series win. And then later on the fourth day the Indian bowlers responded and made the series win come as a clean sweep on Australia, the first time they could do it to Australia.

Zaheer Khan was given the man of the match award in the first match because of his bowling performance, but it was Sachin Tendulkar who was adjudjed the man of the match for the second test to go with the man of the series award.

Many other records were made during this series. India won their 3rd consecutive match in a row. Dhoni continued his capataincy form in Test cricket as a he has never lost a series. In fact India have now not lost 8 consecutive series. Sachin notched up his 49th hundred and his 6th test double hundred and in the meanwhile also passed the 14000 run mark in test matches. Dhoni completed his 150th dismissal in test cricket while Zaheer Khan reached the mark of 250 test wickets. Virender Sehwag equalled the record of making fifty or more in 11 consecutive matches (this now equals with Vivian Richards and Gautam Gambhur). In fact Sachin Tendulkar has now scored a fifty or more in 10 consecutive matches (and this is still an active streak).

Well these were definitely the high points of the series. But there were many low points in the firm of injuries as well. Ishant, Gambhir and Laxman got injuries in the first test match. This gave an opportunity to Cheteshwar Pujara, and yes he did not disappoint others by scoring a fluent fifty in the final innings and the setting the platform for a great  victory.

With the no.1 position in test matches confirm for sometime now, India would really be feeling happy of it. But on the other side Australia has slipped to the fifth position in the ICC rankings for the first time. And this could be very hurting for them as this would mean that for the first time they would be ranked lower than England at the start of the Ashes.

I end this here hoping that India continue its good form and defeat New Zealand which is next up in the test series. Though before that we have the ODI series against Australia. But I guess the biggest test of the Indian team would be at the end of the year when they would visist South Africa for the test series. I wwould like to wish the team best of luck for their coming tournamnets.


Sachin Tendulkar went onto score his sixth double hundred in test cricket today. He reached his hundred yesterday, and completed the double today. In fact day before yesterday he crossed the 14000 run landmark of in test cricket. For the statistics, this is his 6th test double hundred, 7th International double hundred (he has one in the ODI’s), 49th Test hundred, 95th International hundred, and 76th first class hundred. Also this is his 20th 150+ score in test cricket which also is a world record and also his 25th 150+ score in International cricket, which again is a record. This double hundred will be special because in this match Sachin crossed the 14000 runs mark in test matches, also his knock has laid a good foundation to the team to win the series against Australia. Also he has scored a 150+ score against each test playing nation (he had reached this record two months back itself). Also his last test hundred had come about two months ago (he has played only two matches between that) and that was also a double hundred. This is his 49th in test cricket, and he had got out on 98 in the previous match. Had he got the two runs, this could have been his 50th.

He came into bat when two quick wickets had fallen. India was in a situation of trouble as he took guard. But he hung in initially, tried getting in a few runs along with Vijay. And the duo went for a memorable partnership. This partnership saw Sachin reach his 49th test ton, while Vijay scored his maiden ton. And they both stitched a mammoth 308 run partnership. Sachin later went onto score his double hundred, and was finally dismissed by George (a debutant) at the score of 214. Amazingly, while George had come to bowl his first over, their were funny comments posted that he should have been brought against Sachin as he loves to get out to a debutant, as his first wicket. I found that amusing especially after the later stages since Sachin went on to score a double hundred. But surprisingly Sachin did end up being George’s first test wicket.

This innings was very important for India, as India were looking to consolidate the situation after Australia had played very well in the first two days. India knew that Austarlia would press for a win to level the series and that is why Sachin’s knock gets even more important. Now it looks as if Sachin has almost saved the match for India (though with still a full day to go nothing can really be predicted). With India in a good position, the result now depends on Australia, how much can they score and can they restrict India for a lower total (especially when Laxaman the hero of the last match is not in the team). A draw also can push Australia down in the ICC rankings, down to number 5 and that is what can make Australia even more dagerous. Also one must say that Vijay played very well.

If we just talk about Sachin, after the day three ended he was batting at 191 needing just 9 to reach a double, but almost everyone had started speculating him of getting his first triple century. I guess that is the expectation from this little champion whenever he comes out to bat. He did disappoint his fans as he was looking good till he got out. But all I can say is most of us are disappointed as he could not get a triple. That is the expectation level of all his fans, it just keeps on increasing.

With so many records under his belt, he is literally competing only with himself. I wish him all the best for future and hope that he gives us many such instances in the near future. Now I am eagerly waiting for his 50th test hundred and 100th international hundred, I hope he gets to these landmarks in this year itself (especially since it the 50 mark is just one hundred away and India is going to play 5 more matches in the year).


Sachin Tendulkar completed 14000 runs in Test cricket here today in the second test match against Australia. He has become the first batsman in history to do so. He was also the first player to reach the 12000 and 13000 run marks. In fact if you see his ODI record he had become the first player to achieve the mark of 10000 runs and then also every subsequent 1000 runs. Now he is batting on 44 and when the play begins tomorrow everyone’s eyes will be set on Sachin to see if he can get his 49th test hundred. He has 48th test hundreds so far to go with 46 in the ODI format.

Also all I can say is that Sachin is having a great year so far and he also had aggregated 1000 test runs this year, and this is the sixth occasion when he has scored more than 1000 runs in a year. Sachin had played a very good innings in the first match where he missed his 49th century by just 2 runs, he definitely would be looking to reach that mark in this innings. He so far has looked very good in the 44 runs he has scored, and definitely would be looking to get a lot more.

This innings would be very crucial for India since they had lost two quick wickets before Sachin came in to bat and also India would looking to win or even draw this test match to win the series. It is not many times a team gets to defeat the Australians. And I guess Indians will be looking to set the record straight. And for this Sachin’s innings is going to be very crucial also because there is no Laxman in the team in this match.

In the end I would like to congratulate Sachin for his new record, and hope that he would get many more in future. Also I would wish him best of luck for tomorrow and hope that he contimues this great form.


India script an emphatic win, a very thrilling one indeed. To be honest, if I look back at the situation India were in before the start of their second innings, this should have been a very comfortable win and not a thrilling one. In fact, because of the top order collapse India also were knocking at the doorstep of a loss, but Laxman and Ishant Sharma had different ideas. They from that situation scripted an unbelievable victory.

Talking from the start of the test match, India were on the back foot very early on the first day itself when they lost Ishant Sharma as a bowler due to a knee injury, but an amazing spell of reverse swing bowling by Zaheer Khan towards the end of the day got Indians back on track. So the first day ended on an equal note though one can say that the Indian team just had their noses a little ahead at that point of time.

One can say that the second day was also an equal day but this time Australia were a little ahead as they had a decent total on board and even though India had got off to the flying start they lost both their openers by the time the play ended that day. The third day again was in a similar situation where the match was evenly poised with Australia just a little ahead. The day initially was dominated by Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Suresh Raina scored fifties to lift the total. Sachin missed his 49th test hundred by two runs and India just fell short of Australian total by the day ended.

The fourth day was the one that had many twists, the first session belonged to Australians after they got of to a flying start, and it looked as if the test match will end in a boring draw unless the Australians want to back themselves by declaring and then press for a victory. The second session saw the opposite and India bounced back very hard to dismiss the Australian side for a low total of 192 and set themselves a target of 216 to achieve in four sessions. By then it looked as if now it should be a comfortable victory India, but then Australian bowlers struck and India were 55 for the loss of 4 wickets by the end of the day, and it looked an uphill task for India to achieve since it had lost its top four batsmen and there were doubts if Laxman could bat. That meant it was left only on Sachin and Dhoni to look at for a victory.

When the day 5 started everyone knew Sachin was the key to Indian success, though in my heart I believed if Laxman could just stay in the middle India would win, because just a month back India were in a similar situation against Sri Lanka when these two batsmen won it for the team. The day started and India moved ahead steadily before Zaheer Khan was dismissed as the fifth wicket and then Laxman walked in to bat. Suddenly the Indian team picked up the momentum and the pair added 40 odd runs in no time before Sacin was dismissed. This led to a type of collapse and when Harbhajan got out the score read 122 for 8, with India needing 94 to win. Then walked in Ishant Sharma to join Laxman in the middle. The task looked impossible to achieve but the kind of determination showed by the two batsmen especially Ishant was extraordinary. Sharma scored 31 invaluable runs and they crossed the 200 hundred mark and then Ishant Sharma was dismissed to a bad decision with India still needing 11 rums more to win. Then Laxman played sensibly trying to score the remaining runs. Ojha got saved on an LBW shout that looked out and that ball went for an overthrow for 4 runs making India requiring just 2 to win. The victory was sealed the very next ball, when the ball was deflected by the pad of Ojha and it moved towards the boundary and in the meanwhile the batsman ran the required two runs.

Laxman played a miraculous innings scoring 73, but one must also praise the performance of Sharma who held his nerve and equally supported Laxman to achieve the impossible.

This must have been a heart break for the Australian team as they almost were ahead in the test match almost till the end but still lost thanks to a spectacular partnership. In the end I would like to congratulate India for a great victory. Now with this it is sure that India will not lose the series (something they haven’t for more than a year now, in fact almost 2 years). And also India has proved why it is ranked the number 1 test team in the world.


Should Rahul Dravid be dropped from the team. This is the question many people around the country, in fact all over the world are asking the national team selectors. Well I feel, this should not happen, as one should not judge a player that too of the caliber of Dravid by one poor series. I agree that Dravid had a bad series in Sri Lanka, but one can notice that he did not look out of form; it was just that he played some bad shots which cost him his wicket. Maybe this was because he did not have enough match practice before the start of the series (he is not a part of the one day squad). Also, it has not happened that this is the first time a player has not performed in the series. Dravid has been consistent for India for many years now, and this can be seen as not many players have scored more than 11000 runs in test cricket.

I don’t think that his career is over, in fact I do believe that he will also make a comeback something very similar to what Sachin has done. If I remember around 2006-2007, when Sachin was down with a lot of injuries and also was not able to perform the way he was known to, many people had started speculating the end of Sachin. It is almost 3-4 years from then, and if the selectors had dropped Sachin, we could not have witnessed so many records being broken. It was just a bad patch in Sachin life which he overcame with great ease, and now he is player better than he probably ever did. I guess Dravid also has a very similar character in him; he too is a great fighter and will surely comeback with high colors. And there is no point in dropping him from the test side.

Also there is one name Cheteshwar Pujara who is being claimed to take the place of Dravid in the team. I don’t agree to this either. Though Pujara has been performing consistently very well at the domestic level, he still does not have the international experience behind him. Test cricket is much more different from the domestic level. In fact if Pujara has to be groomed to play at that level and replace Dravid, he should be given chances to play the one dayers first, maybe when India had gone to Bangladesh, which would have been the best time to test Pujara, at least tried to get him used to that level.

Again even if selectors feel its time over for Dravid, why look at Pujara. I feel Virat Kohli has performed very well at the international level, he should get a chance before. Also what wrong has Badrinath done in the couple of test matches he played? They have the international experience behind them, and can be tried sometime during the home series. Also since Suresh Raina has made it to the test side there can be a possibilty of Laxman playing up in the order and Yuvraj Singh coming back into the middle order or with a similar set up get Dinesh Kartikh into the middle order. This might help Dhoni also relax form the wicket keeping job in the middle of the match if he wants to.

But I really don’t feel any changes required especially when Australia is coming here next. That will be a tough series and India will need Dravid in the team. Maybe if he fails then again then the other options as I have mentioned earlier can be tested in the next series when they face New Zealand. But the selectors will have to be very careful and intelligent with the changes since in December India will tour South Africa, where definitely, India will need the services and the experience of Dravid in the team.

In the end I would like to conclude as it is still very early to write of Dravid. And also if that is to be done maybe after a couple of series, I would like to suggest the selectors to go in for the options they have already tested at the international level.


India I can say have been a little lucky to maintain their no.1 test ranking because of the ICC ranking rules. Earlier it was being speculated that 2-0 series loss will see India drop down the list and with the wins Sri Lanka would replace India at the top. But that is not going to happen anymore. Because a sought of ICC cut off date (1st August) comes between the series. 

The rankings are calculated for a period of four years from 1st August. All the points get changed after this date. For example, now the points will be calculated from 1st August 2007 to 31st July 2011. So since Sri Lanka had won five tests and lost one test from August 06 to July 07, those points have been ceased. Similarly, India had won two and lost two in that period, and that has benefited the team. Their points have in fact increased from 124 to 130 despite losing the first test. And now they are 11 points away from the second placed South Africa. This change in points has seen Sri Lanka drop to no.5. After the Pakistan-Australia series they had climbed to no.3 position as Australia had dropped to no.4. Now after this change Australia are back at no.3.

Now due these change in points the result of the final test will not affect the position of India at the top. But it will definitely reduce the difference in the points. Yes this true, even India win the last test and level the series they lose 3 points and will end up at 127 points, such is the irony of the ranking system. This change has also helped India in the ODI format as well, as after the change they are back at the second place again.

Well now talking about the series so far. The Indian team’s performance has been disappointing so far. In the first game they were completely outplayed. They could manage to even the test match, something that one does not expect from the no.1 team in the world especially after almost one and a half day was washed out in the rain. The bowlers had a disappointing start, and then they could not wipe out the tail early, The Sri Lankans stitched a record partnership for the eight wicket, and I think that partnership was the primary cause of Indian defeat.

The bowlers have been very disappointing in the series so far. Though one may say it is a depleted bowling attack, I do not agree to it, they only have Zaheer Khan out of the side, the other three bowlers are regular members of the playing eleven. And they have only managed to 15 wickets in the two test matches, leave aside a talk of picking up the 20 wickets in a match. Yes one can give the benefit of the doubt that the second test pitch was not good for bowling, but still I feel the no.1 test team should not give any excuses. The fast bowlers have still been good in patches, the spinners have been disappointing as they have managed only six wickets in the two test matches, and too three of them have been taken by Virender Sehwag. Harbhajan Singh has taken two wickets for 304 runs so far, while Pragyan Ojha has just managed 1 wicket at the cost of 311 runs. Something that is not expected at all specially on the sub continent wicket. The performance of Harbhajan Singh has really been disappointing since he is been regarded as a prospect to break Muralidharan’s record.

The batting department has been okay; they were decent in the first match but still could not avoid the defeat. They all played well in patches, Sehwag, Sachin, Laxman, Yuvraj and Dhoni. Both Gambhir and Dravid were disappointing. Though the batting department came very good in the second match specially Sehwag, Sachin, Raina, Dhoni, and Murali Vijay. Dravid was again disappointing in the match. Though I feel that he is due for a big one and will come good in the final test match.

If I talk about the overall team performance then it has not been good, but the team has shown very similar performance in the past year and are still no.1 in the world. What I mean to say that they have faltered in the first match of the series regularly for more than a year now, have always managed to back strong in the rest of the series. It looks like a very similar situation so definitely I will count on India winning the last test especially after playing well in the second match.

In the end I want to wish India best of luck for the last test, and also hope that they will manage to maintain their position at the top for a long time to come.

The ICC standings as of  30th July 2010 after the change in points.

ICC Test Rankings

    Team            Points
1.  India                   130
2.  South Africa         119
3.  Australia             113
4.  England               111
5.  Sri Lanka             111
6.  Pakistan               84
7.  West Indies           79
8.  New Zealand        78
9.  Bangladesh           7

 ICC ODI Rankings

     Team            Points
1.  Australia              132
2.  India                    118
3.  South Africa          115
4.  New Zealand        114
5.  England               113
6.  Sri Lanka             111
7.  Pakistan               98
8.  West Indies            67
9.  Bangladesh           53
10.Zimbabwe            36
11. Ireland                35
12. Netherlands        32
13. Kenya                   0


The T20 World Cup has ended and I must say England deserved to lift the trophy. They have never won a major trophy as yet, and so this victory will be something very special for them. Although one should spare a thought for Australia as they were undefeated in the tournament until the final, and not only undefeated they had played some great cricket till the final. The feeling of the only defeat coming in the tournament was in the final must have been a heart breaking one for them. They were completely outplayed by England on that day.

Australia entered the finals as an undefeated side. Though England did get a scare in the initial group stage when they came close to elimination, as they lost their first match to West Indies and drew the second match thanks to the rain (well they had not scored much in the first innings and could have easily lost the match to Ireland had it not been the rain). Though they also lost the first match due to the rain. They then won all there three super 8 matches to reach the semi-final stage.

They had a good team and it clicked together when they needed to do it the most. Pietersen has been their star player in the semi-finals and the finals. I must say it again that they really deserved to lift the trophy, something that has eluded them since they started to play cricket.

India did disappoint in the tournament but honestly I knew somewhere at the back of the heart that they could not win this. But having seen Pakistan make it to semis and India also were in a similar situation, I feel India had a chance if they had played a little better as they lost all the super eight matches, the last two being close finishes. India won only against Afghanistan and South Africa.

One good thing that happened this time around was that all the major teams made it to the next round, something that had not happened in the last two seasons.

The Final standings of the tournament are:
1. England – champions
2. Australia – runners up
3. Sri Lanka
4. Pakistan
5. New Zealand
6. South Africa
7. West Indies
8. India
9. Bangladesh
10. Zimbabwe
11. Afghanistan
12. Ireland

Coming towards the end I would like to congratulate the England team from my side for the great moment of glory. I hope the Indian team will rise to the occasion next time around. Although they might get a tough draw next time maybe grouped with champions England and Bangladesh, but I hope they will prove why they where the champions in the first edition. Also this time there is going to be the 50 over World Cup before the next T20 world Cup. Hopefully India will do much better there.


Once again India is out of the T20 World Cup, without qualifying for the semi-final stage. It has been very similar situation for India in the last two editions of the world cup. They entered the tournament in both the years after a very hectic IPL schedule. Last year India won both its matches in the group stage and then lost all its three matches in the super eight stage. Similarly India won both its matches in the group stage and lost all its three matches in the super eight stage in this edition. The only difference was that last year both the victories India got were against the minnows Bangladesh and Ireland. Well this year they did defeat South Africa, definitely a big team. They won the other match against minnows Afghanistan.

In both these years India has not been able to play its full strength side due to the injuries that have happened during the IPL. The players have had to undergo a lot of burnout in the 40 days before entering a major tournament like the World Cup. Even Indian captain blamed the IPL for its loss in the World Cup this time (something he had not done last year). Indian started off well defeating Afghanistan and South Africa, but then faltered against Australia, losing by a huge margin. After this they just could not recover at all. They lost to West Indies and in their final match against Sri Lanka, almost till the final ball of the match it looked that India could win, but they just gave up probably in the last over. They went into that match with a must win situation and on top of that win with a minimum of 20 runs. They started well scoring 90 runs in the first 10 overs but could not capitalize on the advantage and scored only 73 runs in the last 10 even though they had 9 wickets in hand half way through their innings. Then in the second innings while bowling they got off to a decent start picking a couple of wickets early, but again when it looked as if they would definitely win the match (not by the margin of 20 runs, but a win never the less), they lost the match. In the last four overs they had 51 runs to defend to win, and 31 runs to have a chance of qualifying for the semi-final spot. From that situation in the match having lost it would have been the most disappointing thing for the team.

If I come to take out some positives from the tournament, then definitely for one it would be the batting of Suresh Raina. He scored a hundred against South Africa, and also played well enough in the other matches. Rohit Sharma too played very well against Australia, but apart from these the batting performances have been disappointing. Especially the performance of Murali Vijay who was chosen in the team as a replacement for Virender Sehwag, just could not fire at all in the tournament. His only noticeable performance came against Afghanistan. Also Ravindra Jadeja was a big disappointment in the tournament. He did not bowl well, did not bat well (though he did not get many chances to bat), and the worst was dropped quite a few catches. His noticeable bowling performance also came against Afghanistan. The other positive in the bowling department can be the performance of R Vinay Kumar. He really played very well in his debut and the only match. He somewhat was the good only bowling performance in the match against Sri Lanka. Also the most disappointing thing was that once Sehwag was injured Murali Vijay was chosen and not Robin Uthappa. Personally I feel that the form in which Robin was in during the IPL, he would have been the best choice as a replacement for Sehwag.

Apart from this there was nothing to cheer about for the Indian fans. If I talk about the rest of the tournament, the best thing was that all the major teams advanced in the second stage of the tournament (something that had not happened in the earlier two editions). Also England and Australia have played some great cricket. Pakistan has been very lucky getting into the top four stage while the last team that is Sri Lanka also have played some very good cricket in the tournament. They have played very well and they only faltered once in the tournament against Australia. By reaching the semifinal spot one can say that Pakistan has been one of the most consistent sides in the T20 format. They were the runners-up in the first edition, champions in the second. And now they have a chance to defend their title once again. Sri Lanka too has made it to the semi-final stage for the second consecutive time. Australia had made it to the top four in the first edition, and now will be looking forward to win the tournament (this is the only major tournament they haven’t won as yet). Well this can be the first time when England can try and win the tournament (they haven’t ever won a major tournament).

Well I end this post wishing Indian team all the best in their future tournaments. Also they will have to be very careful as next year again there will be the cricket World Cup 2011 sometime very close to the IPL. Hopefully next year the team will come up with some better performances.


24 February 2010 will be remembered in history as the day when Sachin Tendulkar created history by becoming the first player ever to score a double hundred in a One Day International. He created this by scoring 200 not out against South Africa at Gwalior. This effort also helped India win the match and seal the series, and along with it the no.2 ICC rankings in the ODI matches. Earlier his efforts in the test matches helped India maintain the number 1 position in ICC rankings of Test Matches. This record helps him achieve almost all the major batting records in ODI’s. The past one year has been great for Sachin Tendulkar in both forms of the game, and this has lead to show in the performance of the Indian cricket team as well. But yesterday’s performance can be called as the icing on the cake.

Sachin Tendulkar scored 200 in 147 balls yesterday, eclipsing many records on the way. This was his 46th ODI hundred; also he crossed the highest individual score of 194 earlier jointly held by Saeed Anwar of Pakistan and Charlie Converty of Zimbabwe. He then went on to become the first player to score a double hundred. Also this is his 5th 150+ ODI score out which 3 of them have come in the last 12 months. His innings included 25 fours which also is a record in an innings.

Many greats have applauded his efforts. While he was playing yesterday, Shane Warne tweeted and asked him to get to the world record and also said that he felt very happy that he is not bowling to him. Sunil Gavaskar applauded his effort and said that now he should try and score a 450 in a test innings and 250 in a ODI innings. Laxman also added that this effort is big and now one of the records left for Sachin is that of Lara’s 400 in a test innings. Amir Sohail added that Sachin literally was capable of this record because of his great respect to the game. I still can remember the moment when Sachin reached the Landmark and Ravi Shastri, the commentator at that moment announced that Sachin has become the first player on the planet to score a double hundred in an ODI. Many many legends came out yesterday and spoke out that Sachin really deserved to achieve this record, many of which include the likes of Kapil Dev, Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, Kumar Sangakara.

If we just come down to the records now holds almost all the batting records. He now has 17594 ODI runs, Sanath Jayasurya stands next in line at 13377 about 4000 runs behind him. Sachin now has 46 ODI hundreds and next is Ricky Ponting who is at 29 hundreds 17 behind the master. Sachin has 93 fifties to his name and 139 50+ scores in ODI’s. Now Sachin also holds the highest individual ODI score of 200 and is also the only player to score an ODI double hundred. If we talk about test matches he has 13447 runs with next being Lara at 11953 more than 1500 runs behind. Sachin has 47 test hundreds and next is Ricky Ponting with 39 and is 8 hundreds behind the master. He has a 101+ 50 scores in test matches which also is a record. One thing that he probably misses is a triple hundred in test matches. If we just see his International stats he has more than 31000 runs and 93 hundreds to go with it. This record cannot be of anyone else except that of the champion’s.

To give him a testimony Vivan Richards said “I think he will fit in whatever category of cricket that has been played.. He can play in any era and at any level. I would say he is 99.5 % perfect.” A banner in Sydney by the Australian fans read “Commit all your crimes when Sachin is batting, they will go unnoticed, bcouz even Lord is busy watching him play”. I would agree with this as yesterday in India the railway budget, one of the most waited events in the country was announced, and by the end of the day not many news channels were interested in it. Everywhere there was just one news… “Sachin Tendulkar”. Even the newspapers today have this genius’s effort as their top news. I guess this really testifies the stature of this master player and also the achievement that he achieved yesterday.

In my earlier posts when I wrote about him scaling the 30000 international runs and the 13000 test run mark I did mention many records that I would love Sachin to achieve. I just forget to mention this double hundred in the list there. The others being a hundred international hundreds, well Sachin has reached 93 already and its just 7 more to go. Hopefully he may get there this year itself. Also I would love to see him win the world cup next year.
At the end I would wish him congratulations for this achievement and also wish him best of luck for his future. Hopefully he will give us many more such moments to be proud of.


The test series between India and South Africa will be similar to clash of the titans. It will be clash for No.1 spot. The winner of the test series will become the no.1 test team in the world.

With the No.1 title at stake and with so many injuries in the batting middle order, it will be up to the younger generation to grasp the opportunity and be counted. Similarly the experience players like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan will have to stand up and deliver. They will have to lead the way for the new players. The form that Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan have displayed in the last series, will somewhat lift the spirits of the team and motivate them to give in their best shot.

Meanwhile South Africa is looking set for the clash with their full fledged team. They will definitely come very hard against India. Their bowlers are very much in form, as that is one of the most important factors as to win a match a team needs to pick up 20 wickets. With the series starting in 5 days time it looks to be a cracker of a series.

I wish the Indian team the best of luck for the series hoping that it will win the series and keep the no.1 title with them. The last time a similar series had happened against Australia (One-day), India had lost unfortunately not making it to top spot.

The Indian team for the series is MS Dhoni (capt/wk), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, S Badrinath, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, M Vijay, Sudeep Tyagi, Abhimanyu Mithun, Wriddhiman Saha.


Shahid Afridi is banned for 2 matches for ball tampering. He was shown biting the ball on the large screen. This happened during the final one dayer against Australia. Incidentally, Shahid Afridi was the stand-in skipper in this match. Well this is not the first time Shahid Afridi has been penalised for ball tampering. He has been banned under the same account once earlier as well.

Also Pakistan lost the series 5-0. They already had lost the test series 3-0. And now with the T20 matches coming up against Australia, if Pakistan misses the services of Shahid Afridi, then for them beating Australia will be an uphill task.

Shahid Afridi has proved himself as a lethal weapon in the short forms of the game, specially the twenty twenty cricket because of his spin bowling ability and his devastating batting towards the end of the innings.

I guess this series has not been very good for Pakistan cricket. They have been completely been outplayed by the Australian cricket team. Well in the t20 matches I guess Pakistan will definitely be looking for their first win on the tour. With Afridi to miss the T20 matches this will just be a little more difficult.

Here is the cricinfo article. I am just pasting it here.

” Shahid Afridi has been banned for two Twenty20 internationals after being found guilty of ball-tampering during Pakistan’s two-wicket loss to Australia at the WACA in Perth.

Afridi, leading Pakistan for the second time in an ODI, in the absence of Mohammad Yousuf, was caught on TV cameras apparently biting the ball on a couple of occasions. The incident was reported to the on-field umpires by the TV umpire and after a chat with Afridi, the umpires changed the ball immediately.

Afridi was called into a hearing with the match referee Ranjan Madugalle immediately after the match. “Shahid Afridi has been banned for two T20Is after the incident,” a team official told Cricinfo. “He pleaded guilty to the charge.”

The punishment puts Pakistan into a quandary because Afridi is their Twenty20 captain and they end their tour of Australia with a Twenty20 in Melbourne on February 5. Yousuf, who captained Pakistan in Tests and ODIs, is not part of the Twenty20 squad and Younis Khan, who was captain before the tour of New Zealand which preceded this one, has retired from the format. Shoaib Malik, who was captain in all three formats this time last year, might be one of those in the running. Afridi will also now miss the first Twenty20 against England in Abu Dhabi in February.

“It’s unacceptable,” Intikhab Alam, the Pakistan coach, said. “It shouldn’t have happened but it happened and I feel sorry for him. Being a captain you should be above everything but unfortunately it’s happened.”

Afridi’s antics were part of a bizarre finale to the game, which sealed a 5-0 win for Australia. Opener Khalid Latif was tackled by a fan who broke through the security cordon and ran on to the field. Police have spoken to Latif, who is not thought to be seriously injured. But action is likely to be taken against the spectator and Pakistan’s management will also look at the incident in further detail.

“I thought it was disgraceful,” Australian seamer Clint McKay said. “Something you don’t want to see ever. For someone to go out there and to touch one of their players is not on. Hopefully it all gets put to bed and he gets a right whack. It’s probably the worst thing that can happen on a cricket field, so hopefully it gets stamped out and we don’t see it again.””