Posts Tagged ‘Virender Sehwag’


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

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The Champion Team - INDIA..

Winning the World Cup that not only every Indian player had seen, in fact it was the dream that every Indian had seen, and it is not a dream anymore but reality. Yes, India is now the World Champions. They defeated Sri Lanka by 6 wickets to win the final and the tournament.

What an effort this was, simply amazing. India in their last four matches beat every other world champion. They beat 2 time champion West Indies in their last league game, then 4 time champion Australia in the quarters, 92 winners Pakistan in the semis, and then the 96 winners in the finals. This world cup belonged to the subcontinent teams, as three teams finished in the top four, and two of them made it to the finals. This is the first time this has happened. In fact except for 1987, a subcontinent team has been in the world cup final since 1983.

Everyone before the tournament said that they wanted to win the cup for the special Sachin Tendulkar, and this was evident when after winning the players took Sachin on their shoulders for a victory lap. Everyone was emotional, right from Sachin to Sehwag to Harbhajan to Yuraj to Sreesanth as the tears of joy dripped from their eyes. But that was the moment these players, and even every Indian will never forget for their lives. On one side dreams were fulfilled, on the other side dreams broken. Muralidharan quit cricket on not that high as he would have loved to, and Jayawardhane’s century went in vain. This is the first time when a World Cup final centurion has ended on the losing side. 

With this win now MS Dhoni has become the only caption to have won almost every major tournament. He has taken India top of the ICC rankings in test matches, won the T20 world cup, the IPL, the champion’s league, and now the WORLD CUP.

Coming back to the match, it started with Sri Lanka batting first. The start that Indians got was fabulous, with Zaheer Khan bowling 3 maiden overs on the trot. But later Mahela Jayawardhane played an extra ordinary innings scoring a century and taking the total to a formidable 274. Yuvraj was once again the best bowler picking up 2 wickets. Zaheer bowled beautifully and picked up 2 wickets, but his figures were damaged in the last three overs when he gave 44 runs. Harbhajan Singh dismissed the dangerous Dilshan. Munaf was very economical, but the only disappointment in bowling was Sreesanth. Once again, he leaked runs in heaps. I really don’t know why he was included in the playing XI ahead of Ashwin. Overall the bowling was decent, but they way they leaked runs towards the end was horrifying. 275 looked a very tough target, especially when the pressure of chasing in the World Cup final. The best part of the day was the fielding of the team. They fielded like tigers, and stopped numerous runs. They way Yuvraj and Raina fielded was something beyond belief. Had it not been that standard of fielding and the opening spell of Zaheer the target to chase could have been way more than 300.

Nevertheless, India had to chase 275 to win, and all eyes were set on the explosive Sehwag and legend Sachin. And both disappointed, by getting out early as the score read 31 runs for the loss of 2 wickets. Really, I must say I had lost hope at that time. But it was then for gen..next, to step up and Gambhir played one of the finest innings under pressure. He eventually got out for 97, and missed on a very well deserved century. Kohli played a good knock of 35 runs. But it was Dhoni who played another great knock under pressure scoring an unbeaten 91 and Yuvraj finished the proceedings with an unbeaten 21. Must say, Dhoni was criticized all month long for his batting, and what a time he chose to rise to the occasion and silence all the critics. He won the man of the match for the effort, though I feel it should have been given to Gambhir. Yuvraj won the man of the tournament award, and then India picked up the trophy, to be crowned world champions.

But yes I would also like to mention the contribution of Indian coach Gary Kiersten here. He has been an inspiration, and has changed the belief of the side completely. Under him, the team has taken the no.1 spot in test matches, and now the World Cup. With this his tenure as a coach also ends, hopefully he will be back later to take the team to new heights.

This is probably the last world cup for Sachin Tendulkar, but I hope that the he plays in the next one as well (just being optimistic). Now with his biggest dream in his kitty, I hope he does not quit the game. The urge to win the World Cup made him perform better and better, I hope that after the win he should not quit and continue his game as his is in a dream form right now. I think he should not look to retire for at least the next two years if not till the next World Cup.

In the end all I can say is well done India and congratulations for the victory. Keep on going this way, 2015 is not far away.

To two LEGENDS - SACHIN & MURALIDHARAN


India beat arch rivals Pakistan yesterday, to get into the final match of the biggest tournament in cricket. Now they will face Sri Lanka in the World Cup final on Saturday.

I wanted to write this post immediately after the match ended yesterday, but probably as the match ended being an Indian cricket fanatic, I was on cloud nine. And it has taken me almost half a day to get back to normal and write the post. I went to have ice cream late night after the match with my family. And that is time I realized that I am not the only cricket crazy person over here. There are many more cricket crazy people around. There were hundreds of bike riders, riding away to glory, carrying Indian flags, and chanting “India..India”. My grandmother was really amazed seeing such type of behavior and enthusiasm all around. I guess this is what an India-Pakistan match does to the country. When the match started the country had got to a halt, and then as the match ended everyone burst out of their homes in a joyful mood. I later too joined my friends late after midnight to celebrate the Indian victory. Probably this is the day I will not forget for a long time. In fact now I have planned for a bigger celebration if India wins the world cup final.

Now coming back to the match, I won’t say it was a one sided affair. But yes India did manage to win it convincingly in the end defeating Pakistan by a comfortable 29 runs. Though Pakistan had their moments and built up the enthusiasm right till the end. It started great for India as Sehwag got away to a flier, but once he left, it was probably more of a struggle to score runs. Sachin got as many as 6 lives in the match (he was dropped 4 times, a stumping was missed and an LBW decision was turned over by the review system). I don’t think that Sachin would have got these many chances in his complete career as well. However, this opportunity also did not help him scoring his 100th international hundred. But definitely his 85 run knock was the crucial point in India’s win. Gambhir did start well, but I guess he got flown away in emotions and almost threw his wicket. And then Kohli was scratchy, and got out at what can be called as a crucial stage, especially because the very next ball Yuvraj was dismissed to an almost unplayable delivery. Dhoni again was not at his best, but did try hard to help India recover from the two quick jolts. On the other hand Raina played well towards the end, which again raises a question to my mind as why wasn’t he played in the earlier matches of the tournament. Anyways India managed to score 260 runs, though which was too less compared to what everyone felt especially after the start the team had got. The scores dipped from a probable 330 to 300 to 280 and finally ended 260.

Then started the second session where India had to restrict Pakistan to less than 260. It looked a herculean task, because Pakistan bat very deep in the order, and India’s bowling has been a problem in the world cup. But since the last two matches India’s bowling and fielding has been improving by the rate of knots.

And once again when the fans were feeling low, Indian team picked themselves to just another level. Every bowler raised his game to the occasion. Though Zaheer was the most expensive of the lot, but he bowled in the situations of the match when the Pakistani players were trying to score hard, and his two crucial wickets were very important. Same is the case with Nehra and Munaf. Well everyone was shocked with their inclusion in the game, but they justified it very well. Both of them bowled their skins out and probably this has been their best effort in the tournament, I one must say what a time to get this. Harbhajan Singh has been a disappointment in the tournament especially since he has not been able to pick up wickets that were expected of him, but in this match he almost turned the game in India’s favor by picking two wickets of the most dangerous batsman and at crucial times. And now the recent batsman turned all-rounder Yuvraj, played his part as well. He was a little expensive but picked two important top order wickets which allowed every other bowler to build the pressure.

With this win, India have kept their World Cup unbeaten record against Pakistan intact. I guess everyone was confident, rather over confident of India’s win seeing the past history. But now I have understood why everyone felt that. Though as Shahid Afridi had said before the match that Pakistan would not allow Sachin to get to the magic figure, and yes they succeeded in that, but the 85 runs that Sachin did score proved a little too costly for the Pakistan team.

ll in all this was a great team effort. But the job is not over yet, India will face Sri Lanka in the finals. Sri Lankan batsmen have been on fire especially their top order, and their bowling is nowhere close to being a weak one. So this match is not going to be a close one.

Well the stage is set for the grand finale. And everything is falling into place. The match is in Sachin’s home, Mumbai. And what a time this will be for him to get to his 100th international hundred. World Cup finals, in India, and to top it all in Mumbai, in front of home crowd on home ground. What else can anybody dream of? If this hundred can lead to the World Cup win, I guess that moment Sachin will remember all his life.

But the task is not easy. Sri Lanka is team because of whom India had to see the end of their World Cup campaigns in 1996 and 2007. I guess this is right to avenge those losses. The team has been doing well, but I somehow still believe that Pathan should come into the side, in place of Kohli. Though I was unhappy that Ashwin was dropped for the side, but Nehra’s and Munaf’s will only add to the selection headache. But that is a nice thing to have I believe.
In the end I would like to congratulate India for this memorable victory, and also wish them all the best for the big match on Saturday.


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!


Woh this was breath taking stuff.. The match between India and England ends in a tie. This is only the fourth ever tie in World Cup History. No winner, no looser amazing. Which team will be more disappointed in not winning the match? I guess both, but if you actually see, India has just thrown it away, by not winning this one.

It started of very well for India; they scored 338 which was a target that would have taken something to be chased down. But i am not sure if actually India would be happy with the score. India was past 300 in the 45th over with 7 wickets in hand, but still they managed only 338, losing 7 wickets in the last 25 balls. Though it must be said Sachin batted beautifully, getting up his 5th World Cup hundred, his 47th ODI, and his 98th International hundred. He was well supported by Gambhir and Yuvraj who scored half centuries each. But what cost India the win is that they did not play the complete quota of overs, got out with a ball to spare. And to top it when Zaheer got run out in as the last wicket trying to get a double, the run was called a short run, which meant a run wasted and so a wicket. I guess that run cost India the victory.

In the second half England started off well. I must say Strauss played one of the finest world cup innings to almost get his team home.  His knock of 158 will be regarded as one of the greatest in the history of world cup cricket. Just when they were cruising with 61 required of 54 balls to win, it was Zaheer’s spell which turned things around, he picked up 3 quick wickets, leaving India ahead. With 29 required of the last two over 3 wickets in hand, it looked as if India were to reach home finally. But they just threw it away and gave away 28 in 12 balls, to end this match in a tie. Now, should we call this as an escape for India, or should we call it a chance thrown away is something that I am confused of.

Another big concern is that the batsmen have played really well so far, but have the bowlers done that. Today the bowling was tested, and it almost failed. When the opposition is set a target of 339 to win, one expects a big victory, not a tie or a loss. I think India needs to pull their socks in this department or a world cup win will only be a dream. How long can one just rely on Sehwag and Sachin to fire? How many times will they be able to score 300 plus runs? And even if they do that what is the guarantee that the bowlers will bowl well. I really think India needs to reassess. They definitely have the strongest batting line up, but also one of the weakest bowling line ups. Today also except from that exceptional 3 over spell from Zaheer, the Indian bowling was nowhere close to a decent one, leave aside a good one. If it wasn’t that spell Zaheer, india would have lost the match badly. India really needs to work up this or they would be exploited badly in the later stages of the games. Do not forget that this time there are three knock out stages, and I am not really sure if the Indian bowlers are up for it.

In the end I hope that Indian team would definitely think about it, and also I would like to wish the team all the best for the coming matches. Also I would like to wish Sachin for another gem of an innings and how luckily it is not gone in vain. Hope they do not play any lack lustre cricket and come up victorious.


The teams have announced the players they want to retain for the next three seasons starting from 2011. The committee had earlier announced that a team can retain a maximum of 4 players with a maximum of 3 Indian players. Yesterday 8th December 2010 was the last day to announce the retained player names by all the franchises (teams). I was thinking that the franchises will be going mad over thinking which four players they could retain. They really would be having problems in selecting 4 players from their present lot. But to my surprise (well IPL has been full of surprises) the teams made this selection very easy. In fact three teams decided not to retain any player, while two teams retained only a single player. Only Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings were the teams that retained its maximum quota of 4 players. Well this is really a surprise since I believed that most of the teams would try and retain the players who have performed really very well for them in the earlier seasons. For example, Rajasthan Royals did not retain Yusuf Pathan, Kings XI Punjab did not retain Irfan Pathan and Kumar Sangakarra, Delhi Daredevils did not retain Gautam Gambhir, Dilshan, and Karthikh, Royal Challengers Bangalore did not retain players like Robin Uttappa, Anil Kumble, and Jacques Kallis while Deccan Chargers did not retain players like Rohit Sharma, Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds and RP Singh.

This new season of IPL has been in news and controversies since the last season ended, but I hope that all the controversies will end with this and we can have a good season of T20 cricket.

Here is the complete article from cricinfo.

“Ganguly, Dravid shown the door, Kohli stays on

Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir are among the big names released by their IPL franchises, along with Brendon McCullum, Chris Gayle and Andrew Symonds, while Virat Kohli is the surprise retention for his team for the next three seasons. Wednesday was the deadline for the franchises to name the players they would retain from their current squads and while there is no common thread running through the choices of players retained and released, the key factors seem to be form, brand appeal and age.

Kolkata Knight Riders, Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab have decided not to retain any of their players, while all the other IPL franchises have held back at least one current player. Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, the 2010 finalists, have retained the maximum of four players each, in the process parting with half of the $9 million salary cap available to teams.

According to the auction rules for IPL 4, teams can retain up to four players, only three of whom can be Indians. The retained players – who must have been part of the franchise’s registered squads for the 2010 season – will be valued at $1.8 million for the first player, $1.3 million for the second, $900,000 for the third and $500,000 for the fourth.

Mumbai, as expected, held on to Sachin Tendulkar, the highest run-scorer of the 2010 season, offspinner Harbhajan Singh, West Indies allrounder Kieron Pollard and Sri Lanka seamer Lasith Malinga. Chennai took the Indian trio of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and M Vijay out of the auction, in addition to South African allrounder Albie Morkel, their regular opening bowler. Delhi Daredevils retained only Virender Sehwag, meaning Gambhir – their captain for the last two seasons – is in the auction pool.

The most interesting choice came from Royal Challengers Bangalore whose sole retention is Virat Kohli, currently on an impressive run in ODIs. There is no place for Dravid, their icon player, nor for Anil Kumble, their captain and the head of the state association. Kolkata’s decision to drop Sourav Ganguly, the biggest cricketing name to emerge from the city and the face of the franchise’s on-field persona, is a bold step.

Punjab’s decision to release all their players was expected following their dismal 2010 season, which means Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Yuvraj Singh will go under the hammer.

Siddhartha Mallya, owner of the Bangalore franchise, said the decision to retain just one player was backed by financial logic. “You must realise that with retention, a big chunk of your budget gets taken away,” Mallya told ESPNcricinfo. ” Mumbai and Chennai have kept four players, which means that half their budget is gone. It finally comes down to how much money one was going to lose. We have a big balance sheet but we have lost $1.8 million for keeping one player. We still have about $7-odd million left but if we had retained four then we would have had to buy virtually an entire squad with the remaining half.”

Age is not a universal disqualification. It didn’t count in Tendulkar’s case, nor in that of Shane Warne, Rajasthan’s coach and captain, who was retained by Rajasthan Royals, along with Shane Watson, a day ahead of the deadline. One franchise official explained the difference: “Warne is a global brand so that only helps to promote the franchise.”

If Rajasthan opted for Warne because they have always viewed the IPL as a global brand, Mumbai went with Tendulkar and Harbhajan for their popularity. Pollard and Malinga may have made the cut on account of being impact players, who have backed up their strong Twenty20 credentials with consistent performance.

Sehwag’s match-winning abilities, coupled with his rapid emergence as a brand, clearly had a say in Delhi’s decision to retain him. MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina must have been shoo-ins for Chennai following their compelling IPL and international form. Vijay’s performances, coupled with his potential to attract a strong local fan-base, must have tilted the scales in his favour, while Morkel’s proven all-round skills were always going to be an asset. If there is a stranger in this crowd, it could be Kohli. Despite his owners trumpeting his recent performances, Kohli is still work in progress. But he is young, ambitious and has the youth appeal – all qualities of the UB Group’s target audience.”

The retained players:

  • Mumbai: Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga
  • Chennai: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, M Vijay, Albie Morkel
  • Rajasthan: Shane Warne, Shane Watson
  • Delhi: Virender Sehwag
  • Bangalore: Virat Kohli



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 today won his first ever ICC award bagging the cricketer of the year award (Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy). I must say he has added yet another feather in his cap. His form in the past year has been outstanding and has also achieved great heights in cricket history in the past year. If we talk about these awards Sachin won the award but missed out in the other two categories where he was nominated. The best ODI player of the year and the best Test player of the year. These awards went to AB Devillers of South Africa and Virender Sehwag of India respectively. Also MS Dhoni was named as the captain of the ICC team of the year. I must say that this year the Indians have been on the top of the list. Here is the complete article from cricinfo:

“Sachin Tendulkar has won his first ICC award, the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, by being named the Cricketer of the Year during the 2010 ICC Award ceremony in Bangalore. Tendulkar, however, lost out in the other major categories he was nominated in, with Virender Sehwag winning the Test Cricketer of the Year award and AB de Villiers claiming the ODI prize.

“This last season has been really special for the entire team,” Tendulkar, who also received the People’s Choice Award, said. “I think right from the start of the season, when we won in Sri Lanka and I scored a hundred in the finals, and from there on the season took off for us. We became No. 1 in the Test rankings, something we all wanted to achieve, and we’ve been able to maintain our performances in the last ten months.”

Tendulkar fought off competition from Sehwag, Hashim Amla and Graeme Swann, the other nominees in the Cricketer of the Year category. Previous winners of the Cricketer of the Year award include Rahul Dravid, Andrew Flintoff, Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Mitchell Johnson.

During the period under consideration for the award – August 24, 2009 to August 10, 2010 – Tendulkar scored 1064 runs at an average of 81.84 in ten Tests. He made 914 runs in 17 ODIs at 65.28, and also scored the format’s first double-century against South Africa in Gwalior. Tendulkar is presently third on the ICC’s rankings for Test batsmen, and tenth in ODIs.

MS Dhoni was named captain of the Test team of the year, which included Sehwag, Kumar Sangakkara, Swann, Tendulkar, Amla, Simon Katich, Dale Steyn, Jacques Kallis, James Anderson and Doug Bollinger.

Ricky Ponting was captain of the ODI team of the year, leading a side comprising Tendulkar, Shane Watson, Michael Hussey, de Villiers, Paul Collingwood, Dhoni, Daniel Vettori, Stuart Broad, Bollinger and Ryan Harris.

Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand batsman, won the award for the best Twenty20 Performance of the Year for his 116 not out against Australia in Christchurch in February. McCullum edged out Hussey, Mahela Jayawardene and Ryan McLaren, the others nominated for the Twenty20 award.

Netherlands allrounder Ryan ten Doeschate won the Associate Player of the Year award. ten Doeschate’s performances during the English domestic season has made him a sought-after player in international Twenty20 competitions. He has been signed by Tasmania for the Big Bash and by Canterbury for New Zealand’s domestic tournament.

Steven Finn, the England fast bowler, won the award for Emerging Player of the Year. Finn, 21, made his Test debut against Bangladesh in March and has since taken 32 wickets in eight matches.

New Zealand won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award for the second time in row and the third time overall. Aleem Dar, the Pakistani umpire, also won the Umpire of the Year Award for the second time in a row.

Rachel Heyhoe-Flint, the former England women’s captain, was the first woman cricketer inducted into the ICC’s Hall of Fame, while Shelley Nitschke, the Australian allrounder, was the Woman Cricketer of the Year.”


India win the third test match and level the series 1 all. There were many questions raised about the no.1 position of the team, especially after the loss in the first test. But India has managed to silent the critics. And they will stay at the top of the ICC test rankings for some more time. Well again India has not lost a test series. As I had written earlier that it has been a very similar story for sometime where India do not start well in the series and then go on to improve as the series progresses. In this test series also India lost the first, drew the second and won the third. Had they managed to draw the first (especially as more than a day was washed out) they would have won the series. But never the less eventually India has managed to draw the series, and with this India has not lost a test series for some time, more than a year (definitely since MS Dhoni has become the captain). I guess that is the one of the main reasons why India is at the top of the list.

This series has not been very easy for the Indians; first of all they were going into the series without their strike bowler, Zaheer Khan. And then before the start of the series, Sreesanth was ruled out which was a big dent in the bowling department, and had become over dependent on Harbhajan Singh especially seeing the form of Ishant Sharma. And then Harbhajan Singh failed to deliver. In the first test match despite more than a day being rained out, India lost the match. The bowlers failed to pick up wickets and the batsman just could not manage to live up the reputation. Overall it was a very much forgetful match for India, but not for Sri Lanka, as with it being the last match of Muralidharan, he also ended up with the magical 800 wickets figure and also the team ended up winning the match.

The second match was again a disappointment, not for the teams but for the game of cricket. It ended as a very boring match were batsman enjoyed, and broke a lot of records. The Indian batting lifted their level in that match but the bowling was disappointing again. Many including me were asking questions if the bowlers in the world number 1 team were capable of picking up 20 wickets in a test match. But that test match will be remembered for Sachin to reach his fifth test hundred. After this I did feel that India might not go back losing the series 2-0, but I also felt that levelling the series would have been very difficult especially after seeing the bowling attack.

Sachin has been, top scoring for India in the series

The third match was special for India as with this match Sachin would become the most capped test player ever. I must say what a record and what a journey he has had so far. But before the start of the test match Indian bowling department was again dented with the loss of Harbhajan Singh. Though after seeing the test match I think it worked in India’s favour as his replacement Amit Mishra not only picked 4 wickets but also scored very important runs down the order. Again India did not start well on the first day were India failed to pick up the wickets but they did come back on second day to dismiss Sri Lanka for just above 400 (though it would have been a very good total if India would have lost early wickets). India started off well with Sehwag and Sachin contributing well. Sehwag again played an outstanding innings. Laxman also contributed his bit for the team, and the new test find Raina again played well proving his selection in the team over Yuvraj. But the most important innings came from the bowlers Mithun and Mishra, both scoring 40s managed help the team cross the Sri Lankan total, and the Sehwag struck twice with the ball putting India a little ahead.

Virender Sehwag, player of the tournament

On the fourth day the bowlers particularly Ojha surprised everyone in the world (I guess that would include the team and yes himself also) by bowling a great spell and picking up three key wickets. And at one time the Sri Lankan team was 87 for 7 wickets. It never looked as if it was an Indian team bowling. I guess the team went into that day to prove the world why they are number 1 in test matches. But then again Indian team had to face the reality and Sri Lankan ended up scoring 267 giving India a target of 257. Then India lost three wickets for less than 50 on the board and again the match had shifted towards the Sri Lankan side. But I believe Sachin came on the field on the final day with a mission. And he was later joined by Laxman, to prove a point to the world. They both played well and laid the foundation for a great win. Sachin scored a good 50; while Laxman went on to score his 16th hundred. And finally the winning runs were scored by the new test team find Raina who again played a fine knock.

Laxman after scoring his hundred

In this series Sachin topped the batting charts scoring 390 runs, while Sehwag was next in line scoring 348 runs. In the bowling Ojha topped the chart picking up 8 wickets and the next in line was Sehwag with 7 wickets. Well I must say this series quite belonged to Sehwag as he contributed very well with both the bat and ball. Also Ojha bowled extremely well in the final match as his figures read 1 wicket for 311 runs before the start of the final match, while in the last match he ended with figures 7 wickets for 204 runs. I must say it has been the bowlers especially the spinners (Ojha, Mishra, and Sehwag) who have won the match for the team as they picked up 15 wickets between them which included 9 in the second innings. This is really a commendable effort if one sees that this bowling attack did have the names of Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh.

Pragyan Ojha, the highest wicket taker in the series for India

All what I can say at the end is that the bowlers really lifted their level and it could not have been a better gift than a win for Sachin who was playing his record test match. With this India have managed to maintain their no.1 rankings in test matches. Also for Sri Lanka it has been a good series as now they become third in the rankings, replacing Australia in the list.

In the end I would congratulate India for a great win, and now as the focus shifts to the tri-series tournament, I would wish India all the best for the series up ahead.

Suresh Raina, the find of the series


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


Sachin Tendulkar went onto score first fifth double hundred in test cricket today. He reached his hundred yesterday, and completed the double today. For the statistics, this is his 5th test double hundred, 6th International double hundred (he has one in the ODI’s), 48th Test hundred, 94th International hundred, and 75th first class hundred. Also this is his 19th 150+ score in test cricket which equals the record with Brain Lara and also his 24th 150+ score in International cricket, which again is a record. This will again be special because with this match Sachin equals the record Steve Waugh’s record of most test match appearances at 168. Also now he has scored a 150+ score against each test playing nation.

He came into bat when two quick wickets had fallen and then the third also feel in the next over. India was in a situation of trouble as he took guard. But he hung in initially, tried getting in a few runs along with Laxman. After Laxman’s wicket, the debutant Raina joined Sachin in the middle for a memorable partnership. This partnership saw Sachin reach his 48th test ton, while Raina scored his maiden ton in his debut match. Sachin later went onto score his double hundred, and was finally dismissed by Dilshan at the score of 203.

This innings was very important for India, as India were completely outplayed in the first two days, and were looking at the doors of defeat after three quick wickets on the third day. 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). I guess this innings will also save India of falling from their no.1 position in the ICC test rankings. A defeat would have pushed them down the rankings. Also one must say that Raina played very well, especially considering that this is his debut match. Again Sehwag played well, but fell to a bad shot, just 1 run short of a hundred.

If we just talk about Sachin, after the day three ended he was batting at 108 still almost everyone had started speculating him of getting a double, and not just double many had already started talking about him getting to 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 but not completely as he did score a double century. 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.


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.


India have finally reached the place where they had reached probably only in the dreams before. Yes India is now No.1 in the ICC Test Rankings, a brilliant feat to have achieved. I would say it all started with Sourav Ganguly who made the team realize that it can win matches overseas as well with wins in West Indies and Pakistan. Later Dravid proved him correct with series victory in England and also registering its only test match victory on the South African soil. Later Kumble took the position and showed his character down under in Australia. Then stepped in Dhoni where he helped defeat Australia 2-0 at home, defeated England. Went to New Zealand to win its maiden test series victory and now after defeating Sri Lanka at home, he has lead the team to the No.1 spot in test matches.

Coach Gary Kirsten joined the team 18-20 months back, and since then has coached the team to the top. Well this series has been one of those were there have been a few outstanding performances, but overall in every match every player contributed towards a win. Every player stood up to be counted and that is one of the qualities of the champion team, and that is why it has reached the position as well. Dhoni too has been a remarkable captain. He has captained the side in 10 test matches and has won in 7 of them and lost none. Although people will still question his abilities as he has not proved in conditions of South Africa, Australia or England. But I feel when he does tour there he will prove his mettle there as well. The combination is great with likes of MS Dhoni coming in at no 7 to bat and yes finally it looks that India have got the combination to pick 20 wickets regularly. Even overseas the teams will think twice before preparing a green top in front of Zaheer, Ishant and Sreesanth and the calibre of Indian batsman. Yes the spin department is not as strong as it was when kumble and Harbhajan bowled in tandem but yes with the likes of Pragyan Ojha and Amit Mishra it does not look that weak as well.

India has had a shy to the No.1 spot in ODI’s having been there 3 times in the last three months but they haven’t managed to stay there any long. Hopefully this will not happen in the test matches and they will stay there for a long time. But with just 2 matches to play in the year it is more of unfortunate for them as Australia and South Africa (the other contenders for the No.1 spot) will be playing a lot more matches.

This series has been very good for India. Sachin crossed his 30000 international rum mark (although missed his 13000 test runs mark), Dravid reached 11000 test runs, Sreesanth and Zaheer made great comebacks to the team, Sehwag became the only Indian to score 6 double hundreds (although he missed to become the only player to score 3 triple hundreds just by 7 runs), Dhoni took his 100th catch to become only the third Indian keeper to do so and also scored 2 test centuries in the series to become the only wicketkeeper captain to do so, Gambhir became one of the few batsman to score four centuries in 4 consecutive matches. Apart from the individual feats India registered its 100th test victory in the series and yes to top it all it has become the world No.1 test side for the first time ever.

With all these records coming in the series, I can realize what a memorable series it has been for the country. Anyways in the end I would say that I am very happy for what the team has achieved and hope that it can maintain its position for a long time. And in the end I would like to congratulate the team for its great achievement and hope that they give us many more such moments to be proud of in future.

The ICC standings as of  6th Dec 2009

ICC Test Rankings

    Team            Points
1.  India                   124
2.  South Africa         122
3.  Australia             116
4.  Sri Lanka             115
5.  England               105
6.  Pakistan               84
7.  New Zealand        80
8.  West Indies           76
9.  Bangladesh           13

 ICC ODI Rankings

     Team            Points
1.  Australia              130
2.  India                    122
3.  South Africa          119
4.  New Zealand        112
5.  England               109
6.  Pakistan              108
7.  Sri Lanka             106
8.  West Indies            76
9.  Bangladesh           55
10.Zimbabwe            26
11. Ireland                25
12. Kenya                   2