Posts Tagged ‘Dinesh Karthikh’


IPL 6 FINAL

Finally Mumbai Indians win the IPL trophy, and with this the most star-studded team finally get a hold of the trophy that eluded them for the last 5 years. And with this Sachin Tendulkar gets hold of a probably the only trophy that was missing from his trophy cabinet.

Mumbai Indians have always been a heavy spender at the IPL auctions trying to get hold of players that could possibly win them the trophy. They had won the Champions League in 2011 but somehow IPL trophy has eluded them. This year around they made many strategic changes like appointing Anil Kumble as the mentor, John Wright as the chief coach, and Ricky Ponting as the captain. This gave the world the opportunity to watch Sachin and Ponting open the innings together, definitely a breath-taking sight.

Though Ricky Ponting in the playing eleven did not work for them, but the courageous step of dropping him from the playing eleven and appointing Rohit Sharma as the captain proved to be a master stroke. Though I do believe that Ponting would have played a huge role from the sidelines, of mentoring Sharma to take on the captaincy.

Also Mumbai was one of the strongest team in the IPL with a very strong bowling attack of Jhonson, Harbhajan, Malinga, and Ojha (and all the other youngsters that got a chance proved themselves). Again the batting was bolstered by Karthikh, Sharma, Pollard, and Smith in supreme form ably supported by Rayudu and Sachin when required. But what took the cake was their fielding. Ponting and Pollard were involved in some breath taking catches, and their ground fielding was also superb with the likes of Sharma, Rayudu and Smith diving around and why should it not have been when they were being mentored by none other than Jhonty Rhodes.

Finally Mumbai Indians lived up to the expectations of their fans and they created that magic by being unbeaten at their home venue (Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai).

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But to be honest I am not really sure if all the Mumbai Indian fans were excited by this victory, as soon after the victory, came the announcement that Sachin had retired from the IPL. Probably we might get to see him one last time in the Champions League donning the MI clothing. I don’t know if the IPL would remain the same from next year with the absence of Sachin. Also, I am not sure for myself, as my alliances have been with Mumbai Indians for all these six years and that has largely been due to Sachin’s presence in the team. Though maybe he still would be around next year in a mentor’s role but I am not sure if my alliances would still remain with the team.

Also, came the announcement from Rahul Dravid from IPL, unfortunately since he is out from international cricket, this year’s Champions League would probably be the last time we would get to see him play on the screen. Again, towards the end IPL was surrounded by this spot fixing controversy. I really don’t know, why would any player indulge in such an activity, as IPL already a very high paying league, and all this has done is brought dejection towards the league in the minds of the fans all over the world.

All I can hope is that IPL would remain the same as it has been over the past 6 years with or without legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, and amidst all the spot fixing haphazard that happened this year.

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miNow this is something the cricketing word would be looking forward to, seeing Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting bat together. Ohh, what a sight it is going to be. Hopefully, we would get to see this in this years’ IPL as Mumbai Indians have bought Ricky Ponting in this years’ auction. Though he has been bought at the base price (maybe because he has retired and also as he was not in a great form before his retirement). Mumbai are known for such partnerships as in the first two seasons, it was Sachin opening along with Sanath Jayasurya, another legend from the shorter form of the game (The top two ODI run getters of that time). And now it could be Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting opening together (The top two test run getters).

The other buys in this season for Mumbai Indians were, Phillip Hughes, Glenn Maxwell, Nathan Coulter-Nile, and Jacob Oram. Well Jacob Oram is always a great buy because of his all-round capabilities, but I am not sure of Glenn Maxwell especially since he has been bought for a million dollars. Not sure whether he is worth that hefty amount especially when you are not sure whether he is going to make it to the playing eleven. Mumbai did not buy any Indian player this time (there were hardly in the auctions though), and again look a little weak on the Indian bench strength, but surely have the players that can take the team to the title.

The complete list of players is:
Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Rohit Sharma, Munaf Patel, Amitoze Singh, Dinesh Karthik, Pragyan Ojha, Ambati Rayudu, Dhawal Kulkarni, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Aditya Tare, Pawan Suyal, Suryakumar Yadav, Sushant Marathe, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rishi Dhawan, Jalaj Saxena, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Aiden Blizzard, James Franklin, Mitchell Johnson, Dwayne Smith, Ricky Ponting, Phillip Hughes, Glenn Maxwell, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jacob Oram.

To be honest, the seven Indian players that would make it to the eleven would be:
Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh / Pragyan Ojha (As I don’t see both the spinners playing together), Munaf Patel, Dhawal Kulkarni / Abu Nechim Ahmed.
(On second thoughts there can be a high possibility of playing both Harbhajan and Ojha in the team and that would mean only 1 from Munaf Patel, Dhawal Kulkarni, Abu Nechim Ahmed and in that case it would be Munaf, provided he is fit, else it could be Dhawal). But this would impact the selection of the 4 foreign players to a large extent.

The four foreign players that would make it to the eleven should be:
Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, James Franklin / Mitchell Johnson / Jacob Oram, Ricky Ponting / Dwayne Smith
(To be honest, Pollard and Malinga undoubtedly make it to the eleven if fit. The other two slots would be depending on the requirement, whether they need two all-rounders, or 1 all-rounder and fast bowler, or all-rounder and a batsman, or a fast bowler and a batsman. Given that Johnson is primarily be a fast bowler but can also fill in the all-rounders spot. With the entry of Oram, Franklin’s selection looks difficult unless he used as an opening batsman.)

The most probable eleven looks like:
Opener – Sachin Tendulkar
Opener – James Franklin / Dwayne Smith
No. 3 – Ricky Ponting
No. 4 – Rohit Sharma
No. 5 – Dinesh Karthik
No. 6 – Ambati Rayudu
No. 7 – Kieron Pollard (Number 5, 6, and 7 can rotate depending on the match situation)
No. 8 – Harbhajan Singh
No. 9 – Lasith Malinga
No. 10 – Munaf Patel / Dhawal Kulkarni (Dhawal only in case Munaf is unfit)
No. 11 – Pragyan Ojha
12th Man – Mitchell Johnson
This gives them 4 bowlers (2 quick and 2 spinners) and 3 part timers in Pollard, Smith / Franklin, and Sharma. This looks like the team that would play in the eleven. But I somehow feel, with Munaf out of action for a long time, and Harbhajan not in great form off late, this looks like a weak bowling attack, with only Malinga the saving grace. Also in the batting, apart from Smith at the top and Pollard in the end they don’t have players can play big shots. All of Sachin, Ricky, Sharma, Karthik, Rayudu would be players who take time at the crease before playing big shots.

The other option could be play, Johnson instead of Smith / Franklin, which could look a good bowling attack, but that means a depleted batting. Especially in this case who would open with Sachin from Ponting, or Sharma, or Karthik, or the poor Rayudu (he has had to perform many different roles every season)? This would be surprising.

This is why I feel that they really don’t have big Indian names in the lineup, and the ones that they have are not really in great form. They have always tried to have a great foreign players bench strength, but that does not really matter as only 4 of them can play and of them Malinga and Pollard take the spots, leaving to a lot of choices for the remaining 4 spots.

Also, I have included Ponting in the playing eleven, because of his captaincy. With Sachin, having to take the captaincy again when Harbhjan stepped down, I think Ponting can be given the responsibility since Sachin too wasn’t very keen on captaincy.

Anyways all I can hope is that the team plays well, and wins its first title this year.

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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 finally wins the Asia Cup after 15 years. With this they also win a multi-nation series after some time now. Incidentally the last time won a multi-nation tournament was a tri-series tournament in Sri Lanka. Win this win the team would probably go to the second spot in the ICC ODI team rankings.

Everybody played well in the series, whether it is the batsman or the bowlers. In the first game, it was the bowlers who stole the show, then in the second match it were the batsman who took away the show. In the third match both of them failed and then in the final match both of them came to the party, winning the cup for the team.

Gautam Gambhir performed well in the start of the series, while Dinesh Kartikh did well in whatever opportunities he got. MS Dhoni has been very good in the series, both with the bat and behind the wickets. Surprisingly the bowlers have done well to, especially the faster bowlers (something that is not the strength of the team). In the finals India defeated Sri Lanka with a big 81 runs. In the bowling department, Praveen Kumar, Harbhajan Singh and Jadeja were good, but Nehra and Zaheer Khan were outstanding on the day. They picked up early wickets and at regular intervals, something that the team is not known for. In the batting department too, Kartikh was very good up at the top who laid the foundation for a decent score to defend. But the bowlers made this score look a mountain task to achieve.

Finally I would like to congratulate the team for the achievement and wish them best of luck for the future series. They play Sri Lanka in a test series in some time. Now we will have the return of legends, Sachin and Dravid in the team adding that extra strength. I hope they would win the series and maintain their stay at the top of the ICC Rankings chart.


India again lose in a tri-nation tournament. Well this is not something new for the team, in fact I had written a post on it earlier as well when the team lost a tri-series. Something that is different this time is that Indian team were the favourites to win the tournament, and they could not qualify even fo the finals. This is more shocking when you see that Zimbabwe was the third team. It gets even worse because India lost both its matches with Zimbabwe.

Yes I can agree with the fact that seeing this series, the selectors thought of resting it’s major players, and sent in a second string team. This team was very inexperienced, and so one can say that it was tough for them. But with Zimbabwe as a team and then even Sri Lanka were not full strength, loosing like this is not exceptable. Specially seeing that they lost both their matches to Zimbabwe, and in fact in one of them they even gave away the bonus point.

The team that was sent only had Suresh Raina as the player who is a permanent playing XI player. Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthikh, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan are more or less injury replacement players. A lot was expected from them. As most of the others were new on the scene. Rohit Sharma played two good knocks but they were not sufficient. Jadeja also contributed well, specially after his pathetic performance in the T20 world cup. A lot was expected form Karthikh, Raina (the captain), and of course Yusuf Pathan. But they all could not contribute substantially. The bowling was weak, as almost everyone was a new face. Three fast bowlers and a spinner made a debut in the series, This itself speaks about the lack of experience in the bowling department. And with this the batting also failed, making the team face such a result. Overall six players made debut in the series, this really shows the lack of experience in the team. Virat Kohli was named the vice captain for the series, he had hardly played 25 matches before the series.

I am not sure what the selectors have to say on this. Were they over confident in regard with this series? Well I am not sure, as giving rest to the senior players is a good decision, but you really cannot give rest to top 10 players of your playing 11. I think this is ridiculuos. With this they not only lose the series, but might have to fall down in the ICC rankings as well, because they lost matches to teams ranked much below them.

Anyways what has happened cannot be got back. Even we cannot say that the players should be sacked from the side for their poor performance as most of them will be dropped to get back the main players who were rested for the series.

If we take out the positives from the series, then they definitely have got to be Rohit Sharma and Pragyan Ojha. Ojha really bowled well throughout the series. Sharma got back to back hundreds, and finally proved that he is not just an IPL player.

In the end I will wish the team (the team with the best playing 11) all the very best for the future tournaments.