Tuesday, July 24, 2007

India-England first match

It was a competitive match and was sure one of the closest draws in recent times. The debate over England's over rate shows that England did in fact contribute towards the draw. They played better and deserved win the match in the end. But with the clear forecast of the rain, should have squeezed in more overs in the available time. On the other hand, team India did the right thing. The batsmen must have been told to hang in there and wait for the rains or bad light. Dhoni showed great temperament and proved once again that he can play according to the situation. Like any new player, he will have his share of struggle on tours, but he is fighting it out and is showing great determination. If he says that the sight screen was a problem, I will buy that without complaining. The Indian biggies havent fired yet and we can only hope that the players play to their potential and make the rest of the series interesting.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sreesanth vs Saqlain

I couldn't watch the match between India and Sussex closely, but I heard that there was a very interesting contest between Sreesanth the bowler and Saqlain the batsman. Here is a copy paste from cricinfo. Its self explanatory. Enjoy:

39.4 Sreesanth to Saqlain Mushtaq, no run, Saqi is at it again. It was full and outside off and he backed away a touch in an effort to slog it over cover. The bat hits the ground and there is an appeal. Sreesanth points to cover region and asks Saqlain to have another go
39.5 Sreesanth to Saqlain Mushtaq, no run, ah! here comes the bouncer. Saqi ducks under. Sreesanth gives a icy cold stare, Saqlain smiles back at him.
39.6 Sreesanth to Saqlain Mushtaq, no run, This is fun. Saqlain charges out again, Sreesanth hurls another bouncer and the ball climbs over the flashing blade. The batsman and the bowler have a chat.

Then Kumble slips in an uneventful over except a boundary. Next ball onwards the fun continues:

41.1 Sreesanth to Saqlain Mushtaq, no run, length-delivery on the off stump, Saqlain gets right behind it to defend to the off side.
Saqlain walks towards the bowler and says, "tu ka Shoaib Akhata hai ka?" ( Are you Shoaib Akthar?!)
41.2 Sreesanth to Saqlain Mushtaq, no run
41.3 Sreesanth to Saqlain Mushtaq, no run, More chatter. full and outside off, squeezed out to point
Saqlain to Sreesanth." Chahe out ho jaaon, main tero ko chakka maroonga! ( Even if I get out I will hit you for a six! He said smilingly.
41.4 Sreesanth to Saqlain Mushtaq, OUT, Oh ... the fun ends. Saqlain gets out without hitting a six. It kicked up from a length, on the off stump line and Saqlain dropped his wrists and got his bat out of the way. It appears as if the ball thudded in to the elastic strap of the left glove and flew to second slip. Saqi is not happy with the decision. Did it his forearm. The replays are not conclusive . Sreesanth celebrates with a jig.

Alas! It didnt continue for long!

Saqlain Mushtaq eligible to play for England?

Monty Panesar could never have expected a competition from Saqlain Mushtaq. But now, he has a thing to worry about. Saqlain Mushtaq has acquired a British passport and now is eligible and available to play for England.

The inventor of the off spinner's "doosra", Saqlain is one of the finest off spinners ever in the world. He managed to trouble the best of the batsmen when he played. He got out of the Pakistani team for an injury and PCB, for some very strange reason, never gave him a fair chance to come back. The last time he played for Pakistan, he didnt look like himself. He last played an ODI for Pakistan in 2003 and a test in 2004. He married a British born girl in 1998 and moved to London in 2004.

When asked, Saqlain said "I really don’t know, I haven’t thought about it because I have been out of cricket for the last three years. If they ask then I’ll think about it and discuss it with my family and with my friends as well."

Saqlain is now playing county for Sussex. He just gave an impressive performance against India in the practice game taking 4 wickets. His getting a British passport has brought in interesting possibilities. If he is interested and if the England team is interested, we might see Saqlain use his lethal weapons on Pakistan someday.

Reference: gulf-times

Monday, July 9, 2007

Non cricket: Anand wins Leon title for record seventh time

Anand has now twice won this title three times in a row. He beat Veselin Topalov 3-1 in the final of the Magistral Ciudad de Leon tournament. Its a record breaking sevent time for Anand.

Wonder mother

Four out of her six sons became international cricketers. One of them became a world cup winning captain and rewrote the country's crickt history single handedly. Nandani Ranatunga, mother of Arjuna Ranatunga has some exceptional contributions to international cricket. Bishawajit Roy writes about her on Colombo. Read the story here.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly left out of T-20 probables

The Indian selectors have ignored the best three batsmen of the team for the very first T-20 world cup tournament. It remains to see whether these players have opted out on their won ot have been considered not fit to play this kind of cricket. Where I did expect Dravid to be lefit out, but fast scorers like Sachin and Dada do know how to play a T-20 game. Waite for more updates.

The present list of probables: Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Sreesanth, Manoj Tiwary, Ajit Agarkar, Karan Goel, Zaheer Khan, RP Singh, Ishant Sharma, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rajesh Pawar, Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh, Joginder Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir, Munaf Patel, Niranjan Behera, Praveen Kumar, Aniruddh Srikkanth, Ramesh Powar, Robin Uthappa, Niraj Patel

However, good to see Yusuf Pathanin that list. He is the elder brother of Irfan Pathan and is an allrounder.

Wait for more news...

The three masters have in fact opted out on their own. This is a good decision. I personally don't like T-20 a lot and dont want to see great players lose their magic touch in this game of pinch hitters.

Source: cricinfo

Thursday, July 5, 2007

'I'm always thankful to Dalmiya' - Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar must have been dissapointed for the washed out match against India. He was supposed to make his come back with that. In an in an Asian News International report , he has said that he is thankful to Jagmohan Dalmiya for supporting him when he was going through the chucking controversy. Dalmiya was the president of ICC then.
"The first time, in 1999-2000, was awful. I'm always going to be thankful to Mr. Jagmohan Dalmiya, the then ICC president, for his support."
Shoaib also went on to justify the his position on the doping issue:
My own countrymen shunned me, with some even refusing to look at me. It was a terrible period. Everybody's body mechanism isn't the same and certain levels are higher in my body compared to others. My hormone level fluctuates. I didn't take drugs to enhance my performance. I don't need to. I don't know why I was treated so badly. The test didn't show I was an evil person. I've always been misunderstood. I've never seen myself bigger than the game.

Well, I wonder how Akhtar and Afridi are giving so many interviews when the PCB has clearly asked all the players not to give any public statements and to stay away from the media.

Reference: cricinco.com