While many people think Ravichandran Ashwin should not be picked in the Indian XI on the England tour, Graeme Swann has a different opinion. Swann reckons Ashwin should be the first choice for India as a specialist spinner simply for the experience and the skill that he has.
The Indian middle order batsman Suresh Raina scored his 4th One Day International hundred yesterday playing in the second game of the One Day series against England at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.
The left hander from Uttar Pradesh changed the whole match with his outrageous batting. Before his arrival there at the wicket, India was struggling to maintain a run rate of even 4, but, as soon as he walked in, the ball started travelling outside the fence and the pressure was back on the visitors.
Fortune favoured Raina at the start though as he got a few cheeky boundaries to get himself going. He survived a very close LBW shout as well while sweeping Tredwell, but, soon, he found his feet and smashed the English attack everywhere.
It was an inning of authority by Raina. He made a statement there. There were doubts over his credentials as a One Day Player away from the subcontinent and he certainly proved a thing or two.
The English side, as expected, tried to pepper him with the bumpers, but, to his credit, Raina left them very well for the first half of his inning. However, once he got set, he didn’t look shy of taking the bumpers on.
In the batting power play, Raina lofted Woakes for a straight six over his head after which the bowler’s immediate response was a hostile short ball and the 27-year old was ready for it. He was deep inside the crease waiting on the back foot and he deposited it over the fine leg boundary for another six. So, he played with the minds of the bowlers too.
It was the one of the best knocks played by an Indian batsman overseas in limited-over cricket.
Stuart Broad bowled well during India’s first innings in the Nottingham test match, but, there was no sprint in his stride. He was not running in as fast as he normally does. He was looking a bit tired and exhausted which resulted in people raising questions over his fitness.
Broad had some fitness issues towards the end of the last season as well and because of that he had been kept out of the limited-over matches at the start of this season.
Thereafter, he was included in the England squad for the test series against Sri Lanka and he looked alright in that series.
But, on a flat Nottingham pitch against India, he seemed to be just ambling in. He is capable of bowling close to 145 kilometres per hour, but, he was bowling with the speed of just about 130.
He got a couple of wickets though and one out of those wickets was immensely valuable as it was of Virat Kohli. Broad got him outfoxed with a fabulous delivery which just came in a little bit after pitching.
Broad is not a workhorse sort of a bowler. He is an attacking bowler who can devastate the opposition batting line ups. He has done that in the past. England is expecting him to make a big impact in the ongoing test series, but, he will have to increase his intensity if he has to do that.
He is not going to get a five-for or six-for just by ambling in and bowling line and length.
When India had toured England in 2010, Broad was in peak form and he had given headaches to every Indian batsman except Rahul Dravid in that series. He had got more than 20 wickets to help England pull off a whitewash.
The England Cricket Team lost the 2nd T20 match against West Indies by 5 wickets yesterday at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown. With that defeat, they lost the series as well. Now, they would go into the third and final match only to restore their pride.
The Caribbean team was playing without their champion mystery spinner Sunil Narine who had got injured in the first match; still they didn’t give England an inch and put up a thoroughly professional performance.
The toss was won by the English stand-in captain Eoin Morgan who decided that his team would bat first.
The left arm seamer Krishmar Santokie gave England some early blows with his variations. The leg spinner Samuel Badree provided him ample support by keeping it tight from the other end and it was because of the effort of these two that the Poms were struggling big time when the power play finished.
Although, Jos Buttler and Alex Hales did some rebuilding work, but, so much damage had been done upfront that despite their partnership, England managed to reach just over 150.
For the power packed West Indies batting line up, it was a nothing score on a flat pitch. Dwayne Smith and Chris Gayle as usual started with booming hits and then later on, the calm heads of Samuels and Simmons took over.
West Indies was still in trouble though at the end after losing some quick wickets, but, Darren Sammy who is renowned for finishing games did his job to perfection and by hitting 3 sixes and a couple of boundaries, he saw his team home.
The man of the match award went to Santokie who made a significant impact in the match with the ball. He managed to dismiss 4 English batsmen.
England’s young middle order batsman, Ben Stokes, scored his first test century on the 5th day of the third Ashes test match which was played at Perth, Western Australia. However, despite his brilliant knock, his team couldn’t chase down the huge target of 504 posted by the Aussies. England lost the game by 150 runs.
Stokes’ knock was really a big positive for England. The young man was under huge pressure when he had walked out at the crease, but, he maintained his composure and played good, aggressive cricket. He took on the short balls dished out my Mitchell Johnson and also went after Nathan Lyon whenever he tried to give the ball some loop.
Nobody had expected the English team to get even close to that huge target and rightly so because of the consistently deteriorating Perth surface. But, Stokes by building a couple of big partnerships with Ian Bell and Matt Prior respectively had threatened to take the game away from the Aussies at one point of time.
At lunch on day 5, England required just 170 odd runs to win and they had 4 wickets in hand. Anything could have happened from that stage. England just needed Stokes to be there in the middle, but, that didn’t happen. While trying to sweep Nathan Lyon, the Durham left hander under edged one to the wicker keeper and returned back to the changing room.
The Aussies didn’t take much time in knocking over the England tail after that. Mitchell Johnson with his hostile fast bowling claimed 2 out of the last 3 wickets and helped his team regain the little urn after a long period of time.
There are two games still remaining in the ongoing Ashes series. They will be played at Melbourne and Sydney respectively.
The captain of the England cricket team, Alastair Cook, has said that he is not going to take Shane Warne’s statements about his captaincy seriously.
Warne has recently criticized Cook’s way of captaincy again and has said that if Cook continues leading the England side in a negative way, England will have to pay a heavy cost for that and they might end up being beaten by Australia in the upcoming Ashes.
When asked about Warne’s remarks, Cook said, “I think the same statement had been made during the previous series as well and we had eventually managed to win that series. So, I don’t think I need to be bothered about his remarks.”
“What he said has not surprised me at all. He is an Aussie and he wants to get under our skin. It’s something which happens whenever we come here in Australia.”
Cook had not featured for his team in the practice game against Western Australia. That was England’s first practice game on the tour and Cook couldn’t play in it because of his back trouble.
However, the Essex batsman is ready to lead the English side in their second practice game on the tour which is going to be against Australia A. That game will be played at Hobart.
When asked about his back, Cook said, “It’s getting better and better. I had a long flight and I did some hard training straight after that. For a guy who has had a few back issues in the past; that was probably not the greatest thing to do.”
“It would have been nice to go out there and play a few balls, but, you don’t want to risk yourself on such an important tour. We still have a couple of practice games before the first test. Hopefully, I get some runs under my belt in these two games.”
The young Indian opening batsman, Shikhar Dhawan, has said that he has improved his temperament significantly in the last 12 months or so and that’s the main reason behind his consistency off late.
Dhawan has played some great innings for India this year and has established himself as a regular member of the team in all formats of the game.
James Anderson has said that he doesn’t want to be rested for the 5th and final Ashes test match which is going to be played at Kennington Oval, London.
England has already taken an unbeatable lead of 3-0 in the series and the 5th match is a dead rubber. So, there have been speculations that the hosts might opt to rest some of their senior players especially the bowlers for that game. But, Anderson has made it clear that he wants to feature at Kia Oval.
Anderson has not been at his best in the ongoing Ashes series. He had started in a blistering way and had grabbed 10 wickets in the opening test match. But, after that, he hasn’t been that impressive. In the last couple of test matches, he has struggled both with the new and the old ball.
Talking to the reporters ahead of the Oval test match, Anderson said, “My form hasn’t been up to the mark in the series. I could have bowled a lot better.”
“I don’t want to miss the last game. I want to go out there and get my rhythm back.”
“I am not feeling exhausted at the moment. The body is fit and fine and rest is not something that I need desperately.”
Last year, England was in the same situation in the test series against West Indies. They had won the series by winning the first two test matches and for the last game, they had rested Anderson.
There is a good chance that the England team management would do the same this time around as well keeping in mind that they have to play another Ashes series in Australia after a few months and Anderson will have a big role to play in that series.
The England cricket team has defeated New Zealand in the third ODI match played at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. England won the match by 34 runs.
With this win, England restored some pride. Now, they can go into the Champions Trophy with a much better mindset.
The Kiwi skipper, Brendon McCullum, won the toss and elected to bowl first. England lost its first wicket early in the form of Alastair Cook.
Cook got out leg before wicket off the bowling of Mitchell McClenaghan.
Because of the early departure of Cook, England couldn’t take full advantage of the first 10 overs. Bell and Trott were playing with a cautious approach and as a result, the run rate was a bit low.
The Warwickshire pair of Bell and Trott added 66 runs for the second wicket off 94 balls. That pair was split by McClenaghan who dismissed Trott at the score of 37.
Bell put another half century stand with Joe Root for the 3rd wicket which put England in a very good position.
But, Bell and Root got dismissed in a space of 5 deliveries which brought the Kiwis back into the contest.
The comeback man Ravi Bopara tried to steady the ship and played a sensible inning of 20 odd, but, he was not able to tee off. When he got out on the 5th ball of the 46th over, the score of England was just 210 and even reaching a score of 250 was not looking easy from that position.
But, the England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler came out to bat at no. 7 and with his power hitting, he changed the whole complexion of the game. He scored 47 off just 16 balls with 6 fours and 3 sixes and took England to a score of 287.
In reply, New Zealand started well, but, the English spinners got some quick wickets in the middle overs and put pressure on the Kiwis.
Ross Taylor built a couple of useful stands with the tail-enders and kept New Zealand’s hopes alive, but, Tredwell got rid of him in the 43rd over when the score of New Zealand was 235 and with that wicket, the game was almost over.
The last Kiwi pair couldn’t do much and New Zealand got all out on 253.
Sachin Tendulkar got out on 23 while playing for Mumbai Indians in their first IPL match against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Mumbai Indians were chasing a target of 157 runs and Tendulkar came to open the innings as usual. However, his opening partner in this match was a new one. He came to open with Ricky Ponting.
Both these legends started steadily. As the target was not a huge one, they took a few deliveries to assess how the pitch was playing. After the third over mark, they started going for the big shots.
Ponting was the one who started taking risks first. He came down the track against Dan Christian and hit him for a flat six over midwicket.
Tendulkar was quiet until the spinners came into attack. As soon as Muttiah Muralitharan was given the ball, Tendulkar changed gears. He welcomed Murali with a couple of lofted shots, one over bowler’s head and one over midwicket.
In the next over, it was Vinay Kumar’s turn. He bowled a back of a length ball and Tendulkar made room and lofted it over mid off for a four.
The master blaster had got set and he was threatening to take the game away from the home side. But, he got out in an unfortunate way.
He played a delivery towards short fine leg. The ball went straight to the fielder and there was no run there. But, Tendulkar tried to take a quick single. Ponting said ‘no’ loudly and sent Tendulkar back. But, Tendulkar had come too far out of his crease. He tried to go back, but, the throw was very good. The wicket keeper gathered it and took off the bails in a hurry.
It was a close call and the TV umpire saw it from different frames. He took a long time and then, finally gave his decision in the favour of the bowling team.
Mumbai Indians eventually got defeated by 2 runs in the match.