Posts Tagged ‘Yuvraj Singh’


Sourav Ganguly is all set to make a comeback to the Indian Premier League, this time in the colors of Pune Warriors India instead of the Kolkata Knight Riders. Earlier during the auctions no team was interested in buying the most successful Indian captain. But recently he has been roped in by team Pune as a replacement for injured Ashish Nehra.

Pune has had a bad tournament so far, they won their first two matches comfortably but since then have gone onto to losing six consecutive matches and are now placed at the bottom of the group. But I feel, with Ganguly’s inclusion the team will get the balance it required. The stability he will get to the batting order, which has a bunch of dynamic players like Ryder, Yuvraj, and Uthappa will exactly what team Pune requires at the moment.

I am not sure if this move can really change the position of the team but yes, Sourav will be very eager to perform and silence all his critics, and this can be a god sent opportunity for him. Also, this just can be the incentive and motivation the team Pune was in a need of.

Also, now I am really looking forward to the match between Pune Warriors India and Kolkata Knight Riders to be held on May 19, 2011. Unluckily this is held in Mumbai and not at Eden Gardens Kolkata, otherwise it would have been great fun to watch the spectators to see whom they would have eventually supported, their biggest sporting hero or their city team. But unfortunately this might not be that evident since the match is held at Mumbai, but still it should be worth watching. Also, a similar affair was washed off when that time Dravid playing for Rajasthan Royals had to play in Bangalore against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Unfortunately, that time the rains played the spoil sport, but I hope this time they do not in the match of Sourav Ganguly against Kolkata Knight Riders.

The news from the Yahoo over Ganguly’s inclusion to team Pune:

“New Delhi, (PTI): After going unsold in the players’ auction, former India captain Sourav Ganguly made a dramatic return to the Indian Premier League by signing up for struggling franchise Pune Warriors as replacement for injured pacer Ashish Nehra.
"We were waiting for Ashish Nehra’s fitness report and ultimately the report came yesterday. I was already in talks with Ganguly and we decided that the amount of experience that Sourav has in cricket will no doubt help the team. So we finalised Ganguly last night," Pune Warriors Team director Abhijit Sarkar said referring to the finger injury that Nehra has been nursing.
Ganguly, who played for Kolkata Knight Riders for three IPL seasons captaining them in two editions, went unsold in the January players’ auction despite a rather modest base price of $400,000.
The 38-year-old refused a mentor’s role with KKR after that and there had been speculation of a possible comeback through another franchise. The left-handed batman was first sought by Kochi Tuskers Kerala but their application was rejected by the IPL’s Governing Council.
However, he signed on the dotted line for Pune on Monday, giving a major fillip to the side which has lost six matches on the trot after starting promisingly with a couple of back-to-back wins.”

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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.


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.