India take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the test series. Here's a look at how the Indian players performed in the 6 wicket win at Mohali
James Pattinson who was dropped from the Australian squad for the Mohali test for failing to follow team orders alleges it all to be a BCCI conspiracy. All the latest of that story.
Have a look at the 'ball of the century' bowled by Ravindra Jadeja - a talented, young cricketer from India with just three test caps under his belt!
India go 2-0 in the series with another convincing win against the hapless Aussie side. Here's a look at how the Indian players performed.
Is it time for the legendary master blaster batsman from India to walk into the sunset and hang up his boots?
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Ever felt foolish after saying something, and the exact opposite happens the very next second? Well Ranil Abeynayake has, and here's a video of him and Ganguly:
I think this is what you call a commentator's curse.
Have you ever had the awkward feeling after you said something by mistake? Have you made your friends roll on the ground laughing to tears after some words slipped out accidentally and innocently? Well we all have done that but probably not in front of cameras and the world audience. George Bush was a master at it, but now he's got big time competition from Australian coach Tim Nielsen. Take a look at his verbal goof-ups.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Sachin's double ton knocked the living day lights of the South African team. South Africa needing 402 runs to stay alive in the series fell fast as they scored 248 runs before being bundled out handing India a 153 run victory and also an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ongoing Micromax ODI series.
There can be no adjectives to describe this work of genius, people call Sachin Tendulkar. He is the leading run scorer in test and ODI, and has 93 centuries to his name. He has played the game for 20 years, and still the same fire and commitment rages within him, as it did when he just entered International cricket. If anything, yesterday's knock just reinforced the idea, that Sachin is simply the greatest man to have ever lifted the willow.
Sachin scored 200 (not out) runs in just 147 balls with 25 fours and 3 big hits over the rope at an astounding strike rate of 136.05. That's one hell of a strike rate! In other words, it's Sachin's second fastest ODI century. It was a chanceless innings where Sachin was given no respite. That's not all that makes this knock so special. This innings was not an innings against an average team like Bangladesh, but rather against South Africa- a team that has alway been in the top three ranks as far as One Day Cricket is concerned. The South African bowling is perhaps the world's best bowling at the moment. Even with the absence of a quality spinner in their ranks, South Africa have a strong bowling line-up with the likes of Steyn, Langeveldt, and Parnell.
Sachin at the age of 36 when most sports people (except in golf) call it a day, came out wearing his helmet, gloves, and his leather strap pads on a sunny evening in Gawlior. Tendulkar stayed at the crease from the very first ball till the very last ball of the innings. That's 300 balls or 226 minutes, when he weaved magic in front of a spellbound audience in Gawlior and around the world. And considering that it is an ODI, there is no respite or break, and Tendulkar had to scamper about at the age of 36 (He's almost 37). Talk about high levels of fitness! Sachin, after his mammoth innings came onto the field to field against the South Africans. Age has no effect on this man, does it?
Sachin's innings was so well paced that if anyone wrote a book on 'How to pace your innings', they got a perfect example to cite. Sachin was in an aggressive mood and he plundered his way to his fifty in quick time, but after that Sachin slowed down (he still scored at a run a ball though) and made steady progress towards his century. Once Sachin had his ton under his belt, it was back to haunting the South African bowling as he sent the South African team on an hapless leather hunt.
Sachin's innings consisted of 25 hits to the fence. The most in an ODI by a single player. He also had 3 big sixes against his name. Tendulkar scored 59% percentage of runs in boundaries! The boundaries might have been small and the out field lightening fast, but still the ball must be put there, and put there he did.
Sachin is like wine. The older it becomes, the more precious it is. Let's all hope that this is just a start and that the legend of Sachin Tendulkar will climb many more Mount Everests in the world.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I'm spellbound and speechless after watching Sachin's scintillating knock. I am at a loss for words, and cannot possibly describe the innings by Sachin in words. So I conclude this epic post by saying there is nothing left to say but,
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Australian pace supremo, Brett Lee has finally made the much speculated announcement and thereby hanging up his whites. Brett Lee who is Australia's fourth highest wicket taker had suffered from a left fractured leg, which required two surgeries and a side strain that kept him sidelined for most part of 2009 announced that his body couldn't cope up with international test cricket and announced his retirememnt today. He told Channel Seven "I'm not 21, I'm 33; Trying to bowl at 150kph for five days is very hard on the body." This brings an end to the test career of one of Australia's most reputed pace bowler who rejuvenated the art of fast bowling in the modern era.
Brett 'Binga' Lee was a promising youngster from NSW who made a dashing entry into test cricket at the age of 23 when he took a five wicket haul in the first innings against the touring Indian team. Lee ended the match with 7 wickets and helped Australia to a 180 run victory. Brett Lee was a typical pace bowler, who had tons of pace, the perfect out-swinger, the vicious yorker, well disguised slower ball and plenty of raw energy combined with the will to succeed. As his career progressed, Lee will add to his armoury a wicked off-cutter, a deadly bouncer and a nagging off-stump line (that he learned well from McGrath). Added to this the young pacer from Wollongong, had a dashing smile, a perfect jump for joy celebration and a variety of hair styles, making him one of the most charismatic and sought after bowler. He was the perfect pin up poster boy who never backed away from the lens. He was also an ideal ambassador of the game, who played the game in the true spirit and was a gentleman who never found his shirt dirty with controversies. He has also acted in a Bollywood movie and plays bass guitar for the band, 'Six and Out'. Lee is a rock star cult figure, and a fast and furious quick bowler who made the world love and adore him.
Lee spent much of his days wearing the baggy green under the shadows of Glenn McGrath and Jason Gilespie, but still Lee managed to carve an image for himself and asserted himself as one of the best fast bowlers the world has seen. Brett Lee has 310 test scalps in 76 matches. He has an incredible bowling average of just over thirty (30.81) with ten five wicket hauls to his name.
Lee was a bowler that every captain would love to have. A player who gave hundred percent in anything he did, he was more than a skipper could ask for. He was extremely fit could bowl long spells and still sustain his high pace. He ran in hard every time and was always sniffing around like a hunter near his prey's home. He made the best of batsmen look very ordinary and was ruthless in cleaning the tail. Lee was also a dynamite in the field who will dash some fifty meters and put in a dive just to save a single run - that too after just completing a long spell under hot and humid conditions. Lee was that kind of bloke whose commitment to his team can never be questioned. He was simple, modest and also very down to Earth kind of person who made plenty of friends all over the globe. He was a highly respected player in the Aussie team who would voice his thoughts in team meetings without faltering and an equally respected opponent by those whom he played against.
Lee, took over the role of Australia's senior most bowler and also the role of their strike bowler after McGrath retired. He was true mentor and lead the Aussie pace attack sans Mcgrath and Warne with great grit. He made a mediocre Australian bowling bear some teeth and as the Australian dominance in test cricket started to wane, Lee showed that Australia was still a side that was to reckon with. I feel that one of the reasons of Australia's loss of the Ashes last year was due to the absence of Lee. After the retirements of many Australian greats, the team looked week, but nevertheless with Lee in the side, Australia were almost the same invincible group in the late nineties and early twenty first century, but without him, they were a very average side. The current Aussie team has plenty of youngsters in the bowling line up and Lee was instrumental in bringing them and grooming them.
Sadly, this roaring warrior couldn't finish what would have been an outstanding career due to injuries, but having said that Lee will look back at his career and his journey with the baggy green as an highly satisfying one. Shane Lee's brother will be missed sorely not only by the Australians but also by every cricket fan around the globe.
Monday, February 22, 2010
True, South Africa drew the test series against India, when they should have easily have won it, but they didn't choke and give India the test crown. Rather a team that was in turbulent waters with their coach leaving and their selection panel getting the boot, have done marvelously well. They traveled to India, to play the top ranked test team in their own backyard and stretched them to every possible inch. I've never seen a team perform such as South Africa did in the test against India in India in recent times. They came so close to winning and will look back at this series with just enough satisfaction to say that the test series was a missed opportunity.
In the first ODI [SCORECARD], yesterday in Jaipur India did all the right things and had South Africa down on the rug with the visitors sitting at 180 for 7 still needing 119 runs at about 7 an over. All their batsman sans Kallis were back in the hut and things looked like a easy win for India. Fate had other things planned and in the end, India scrapped through to a win by a meager run.
After the top order sans Kallis (89) chocked chasing the Indian target of 299 runs, South Africa found able batsmen in Wayne Parnell and Dale Steyn (and help from Sreesanth - who finished the match giving 74 runs in just 9 overs). The duo added 50 runs in just 32 balls as they brought their team just a whisker away from victory. I think, gone are the days when South Africa lost by choking. Now, South Africa are losing without even choking. Finally they started playing cricket.
From an Indian perspective, India did well despite the absence of major players. Jadeja played magnificently and Rajasthan Royals will dearly miss his services (He was banned by the IPL governing body). Shane Warne agrees with me on this issue. Also Raina seems to have come of age and it's clear that he has worked on his weakness against the short deliveries. It was great to see him pull and uppercut the bumpers thrown at him by the Saffers.
Indian fielding has finally improved and the dive from Sachin in the last over saving a boundary was what turned things in India's favor. Though still not any where near the quality and level of South African fielding, it is making strides in the Indian side.
If the test series was anything but intense rivalry and close competition, then the ODI series has just magnified the intensity. But isn't it queer that even under such intense pressure and competition, no player has crossed the line. Truly, this is how cricket was meant to be played, when it was called as the gentleman's game.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
The match started with South Africa winning the toss and elected to bat first on a beautiful track and replaying the Nagpur nightmare as they went into tea sitting pretty at 228 for just the loss of two wickets. Things looked ominous. But after tea, India struck back as Ishant, Zaheer and Harbhajan found themselves among the wickets. The next day South Africa was dismissed for 296 runs and India piled on the runs on the backs of Sehwag and Tendulkar who carved themselves a well deserved century. Day 3 was another Indian day as M.S. Dhoni and Kolkata's favorite son - V.V.S. Laxman pushed India forward and declared at a summit of 643 runs, leading the visitors by 347 runs. Day four was a day when the rain God's played havoc on India and let only 35 odd overs to be bowled. Nevertheless India chipped away three important wickets, leaving South Africa with seven wickets and 98 overs to survive on the final day. Zaheer Khan was ruled out and India entered day three with just one pacer and two spinners. The day slowly progressed as India found themselves into the South African tail just after lunch, but then Amla came up with a masterly rear-guard play with the tail and bought his team within striking distance of salvaging a draw, when another son of Eden Gardens picked the last South African wicket to complete one of India's hardest fought victories.
The pitch was just outstanding and encouraged a dual between the bat and ball. It had good bounce, and didn't crumble like many pitches tend to do in India as the play progressed. It had a slight grass cover and aided the seamers as well as the spinners. All in all the curator produced one of the best test wickets seen in India in recent times. Where else would you have gotten a result after scoring seven centuries?
India being so thoroughly outplayed in Nagpur made a comeback that was hampered by injuries and nature that is characteristic of a champion team. The team showed great determination and grit and always had the self assurance that they were the best. The confidence and the steely resolve was seen in the third session on the first day when India reduced a menacing looking South Africa from 228 for 2 to 266 for 9.
The Indian batting which crumbled like a pack of cards in Nagpur, came up with one of it's stellar performance. Sachin and Sehwag set the match up well but it was Dhoni and Laxman who pushed home the advantage.
The Indian bowling also looks in great shape. Zaheer has been on top form and is bowling better than he ever did. Ishant looks to be making a comeback. He is looking more focused and fired up and is ready to go at the batsman. His spell on the first day was just amazing. I feel Ishant will go a long way if he works on being consistent with his line and length. Harbhajan's love affair with Eden Gardens continued as he showed his ability and talent to the world. In the absence of Kumble, Harbhajan has gone off the radar, but if todays performance is anything to go by, then he's back in business. Bhajji flighted the ball more this innings and used plenty of variations. He spun the ball and looked to vary his pace. The drifter into the left handers that got Duminy and Prince in the first innings is a perfect example of this. Also Harbhajan now looks like a more relaxed bowler. He is patient and takes his time setting a batsman up for his downfall. Amit Mishra is a youngster who showed great heart in the match. He picked up the wickets when India needed them and kept things bottled down well at one end. Mishra looks to be a more compact bowler and I see him as the future leggie of Indian cricket.
South Africa had their moments, but none was bigger than Amla. Hashim Amla batted for more than 1000 minutes in the series and scored 490 runs being dismissed only once in three innings. He single handedly almost saw South Africa home. Amla is a picture of concentration and focus. He understands his game and knows very well his weakness and strengths and plays accordingly. He is watchful and alert but at the same time isn't afraid to throw his bat at the bad deliveries. Amla is South Africa's biggest gain from the series. Averaging at 490 runs with three centuries in as many innings show that he is batting as well as ever has. He also seems to be one of the few batsman who has settled well in Indian conditions. Smith, Prince and Duminy have all failed miserably and this only elevates the value of Amla's runs. He was in for a barge of short pitched deliveries, and some of the best spin in the world, and he braved them all and looked like a man who would be unsettled at nothing. Amla, like Harbhajan raised his hand when his team needed some major contribution and did an extraordinary job. This man is destined for greatness and belongs to the same league as Rahul Dravid, Steve Waugh, and Brian Lara. It was a pity he couldn't take his team across the finishing line but after 494 runs, 1033 balls, 42 fours and 1 six later - Hashim can be incredibly proud, as he almost single-handedly took his team to the number one rank this series.
In the end the hungrier team won, and the mantle for test dominance rests with India, again.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
You Tube isn't the only new revolutionary idea in the IPL this year. From the makers of many revolutionary ideas - Paddle Sweep comes the Interblogactic IPL Battle. "What is it?", you ask. It's a contest by eight bloggers, where we cover the IPL from each team's perspective, non stop.
It's a contest, more like a war, because as the teams fight it out on the field, we will be fighting it out here. I am writing for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Club RCB has been kind enough to back me in this venture. I'm fighting for my favorite team and can't wait to get the party on the road. The other competitors are,
The rules are simple; really really simple. The rules along with the points system can be found at PaddleSweep - Interblogatic IPL battle - Everything you need to know.
So from March 12th, there will no non-stop IPL action coverage on Poshin's World and also on the Royal Challengers Bangalore's official website, by yours truly. So sit back and watch the battle as it plays out in front of you.
For any more information regarding the contest, see Paddle Sweep.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Morale of the story? That's some pretty good Tea! Steyn finished with career best figures of 7-51 as India folded like a pack of cards and showed the world that without Dravid or Laxman, India is just a very average team.
Following on, India find themselves 66 for two and trailing by 259 runs. An uphill task await for India, but there are a few things to be optimistic about. Even though Cricinfo has written India off by giving it a 1.1% chance of winning this test and 16.1% of drawing it, I say things look brighter.
India is a team that believes that it is invincible at home, and will fight till the very last breath. Also India is currently ranked number uno and know only too well that if they lose this series, it will be highly impossible to regain that place this year and in a two match series, there is not much time to play catch up. Considering that South Africa got 9 of their 10 wickets with pacers, India will be banking on the plan that if they play and don't lose wickets to the pacers, then they can take a toll on the South African spinners. Also India is one of the few teams that play better under pressure and when they find themselves with their back to the wall. It happened in March 2001 and why shouldn't it happen again? India find themselves in a similar position, and will be hoping to repeat the epic saga that unfolded in Calcutta. The only set back is that the stars of the 2001 are missing, and how badly was Dravid and Laxman missed today! But with Sachin, Murali Vijay, and Dhoni, India have the players for the job. India have everything to lose if they lose this match and primarily it is their pride, and the number one spot.
Just like Aakash Chopra tweeted, it's "time to show character and prove that we are number one for nothing...we have it in us to fight and surprise..". Here's hoping for a revitalizing contest.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Pakistan bowling as usual was good, and thanks to some tight fielding (surprising that Pakistan fielded well, considering their recent performances) restricted Australia to a miserly 127 thanks to Umar Gul's 3 strikes. Umar once again showed just why he's the best in T20 and what a performance he came up with to restrict Australia to their third lowest score in T20's. David Hussey was the lone fighter in the Australian team and his small partnership with the captain, Micheal Clarke helped Australia reach a plus 100 score. The younger Hussey looks to walk in the footsteps of his brother and is a wonderful find for Australia. The Pakistani fielding finally came good and effected three run outs.
Australia being bowled out cheaply needed to strike early, and this they did through Shaun Tait. Tait bowled with fire and looked to spill blood on the pitch. He was fast and furious and rushed the batsmen. The Pakistani batsmen were pushed onto the back-foot and looked afraid to face his deliveries. It was some of the best hostile fast bowling I've seen in recent times. It must come as no surprise that the tormentor clocked the fastest ball on Australian soil - bowling at 160.7kph. In his first spell he never bowled below 150 Km, and made Johnson look terribly slow. Tait who always had the talent to succeed at the highest level, finally seems to have come out of the many injuries that hampered his career so far. Ever since I saw him in 2006, I knew that I had seen a sensation and was bitterly disappointed at the way his international career had progressed so far. But if today's are anything to go by, Tait is on the comeback trail, and it won't be long before he becomes a regular for Australia in the shorter formats. With the absence of Brett Lee, Tait will be eying his spot, but so will Nannes. But Nannes, can always turn up in orange colours if Australia reject him. I believe it's Tait's time now.
Pakistan's batting was woeful yet again and melted under the pace of Tait. Only three players of the Pakistani team reached double figures, and one of them was a bowler - Umar Gul (10). Pakistan has a lot to think about, but one of their worries over Kamran Akmal is over. Kamran looked in perfect touch and was unaffected by the pace assault his team was targeted at. Kamran looked like he could do it for his team, but sadly he didn't, and his amazing 64 runs from 33 balls became just another good knock in the valley of despair. But Kamran will be a happy man even though he ended on the losing side, because he finished what was a miserable tour for him and Pakistan on a personal high. He showed and world his worth and just why he is in the team and hopefully proved his critics wrong.
Pakistan must do a study on their disastrous tour and forget the art of losing.