Uncategorized Archive

UNDER PRESSURE

The captain of the Indian Cricket team, MS Dhoni, has admitted that his team was under pressure while chasing down the target of 133 runs in the fourth innings in the Mohali test match.

India eventually managed to pull off the win with 15 balls still to be bowled.

It was Dhoni himself who secured India’s victory by hitting three back to back fours.

Talking to the reporters in the post match press conference, Dhoni said, “We were one batsman short and our lower order batsmen were not in the best of forms. So, we were definitely a bit pressurized while chasing down that total.”

“It got very tight towards the end. I didn’t want to take any risk. So, I played out a few overs cautiously.”

“It was a great performance by the spinners on the fifth day. The wicket was not a rank turner and not many balls were turning sharply. It was important to bowl accurately on that sort of wicket which our spinners did and thus, got wickets.”

“The inclusion of Jadeja in the test team has certainly made a lot of difference. With the ball, he has been quite outstanding in the series so far.”

“Also, we shouldn’t forget the contribution of fast bowlers in this match. Bhuvneshwar was superb with the new ball in the second innings and the three wickets that he got in the last session of the fourth day pushed Australia behind.”

When asked about the fitness of Shikhar Dhawan, Dhoni said, “He has injured his knuckles quite badly and he is not likely to get fit before the fourth test match. So, there is a good possibility that we will have a new opening pair in the fourth test match.”

The fourth test match of the series will start from 22nd of March.

BOPARA PLAYS FOR DOLPHINS

Ravi Bopara will play for Dolphins in the upcoming domestic T20 tournament in South Africa. The chief executive officer of KwaZulu Natal Cricket Union (KZNCU), Jesse Chellan, gave this information to the reporters yesterday.

However, the English all rounder might have to miss a few starting matches as he is currently in Bangladesh playing for Chittagong Kings in the BPL and he will be able to join Dolphins only after the end of his commitments with the Kings.

The domestic T20 competition in South Africa will begin on 15th of February and will finish on 7th of April.

Bopara had featured for Dolphins in the 2010-11 season as well and had performed brilliantly for them in the 40-overs tournament. He had scored 336 runs with an average of 42. He had also taken 15 wickets with an average of almost 21.

When asked if he is excited about playing for Dolphins again, Bopara said, “Yes, I am pretty excited about it. I had enjoyed a lot when I played for them a couple of years ago. The standard of cricket in South Africa is really high. The pitches over there are also of high quality. So, it will be another enjoyable experience for me.”

“My performance was really well when I had featured for Dolphins last time around. Hopefully, I would again have a great tournament.”

Bopara is currently not playing for the England team in any format of the game. Last time that he had played for England was against Sri Lanka in World T20 Championship in September last year.

Bopara’s recent form hasn’t been that good. In the BPL, he has played 7 matches for Chittagong Kings so far, but, he has managed to score just 101 runs.

BAIRSTOW RULED OUT

The wicketkeeper batsman of the England Cricket team, Jonny Bairstow, will not be able to participate in the ODI series against India because of family problems. The series is going to start from 11th of January next year.

Bairstow was also a part of the test and T20 squads of England for the tour of India. He had been included in the playing XI in the second test match, but, he wasn’t able to do well and he had to make way for Ian Bell in the third match.

In the opening match of the T20 series, Bairstow was not given playing opportunity. He was expected to be included in the playing XI for the second match. But, unfortunately, before the match, he had to fly back to England due to family problems.

The 21 years old Yorkshire batsman, Joe Root, has replaced Bairstow in the ODI squad. Root had made his test debut in the recently played test series against India and in his very first test match; he scored a brilliant half century.

Since, Jonathan Trott is not in the England team for the ODI series against India. So, there is a good possibility that Root would get the chance to make his debut in ODI cricket in the upcoming series.

Talking to the reporters, the chief selector of the England cricket team, Geoff Miller said, “Jonny Bairstow would miss the upcoming ODI series against India because of a family illness. On his place, Joe Root has been included in the squad. He is a great young talent and in the test series, he showed that he is capable of handling the pressure at this level. So, we have decided to give him a go. Hopefully, he would stand up to our expectations and would do well in the ODIs as well.”

ENGLAND WILL WORK HARD

The top order batsman of the England cricket team, Jonathan Trott, has said that his team will have to work very hard if it has to give India a tough fight in the remaining matches of the test series. In the first match of the series, Engand had to suffer a humiliating defeat by 9 wickets.

Talking to the reporters ahead of the second test match, Trott said, “We were outsmarted by the Indian players in the first test match; there is no doubt about that. But, it happens sometimes when you go on an overseas tour. We were not quite adapted to the conditions and couldn’t quite adjust our game for the slow and low wicket.”

“We certainly put up an improved performance in the second innings of the Ahmedabad test match. Obviously, the skipper showed us how to tackle the spin bowling. He played with great determination and composure and we need to take a leaf out of his book. That was really a very impressive knock. To play such a knock under subcontinent conditions requires great skills.”

When asked if he has some special plans to tackle the Indian spinners in the second test, Trott said, “No, there is nothing special. May be I need to put my bat in front of the pads. But, look, it takes only one ball to get you out. In the second innings, I was putting the bat in front of the pads, but, it still took the edge.”

“I think we need to play positively as well. In Ahmedabad, we looked to defend too much and that was one of the reasons of our downfall. We need to play a few more shots against the spinners.”

OPENERS ARE RESPONSIBLE

The skipper of England T20 side, Stuart Broad, has said that the openers should show a bit more responsibility and shouldn’t try to go after the bowling from the first ball. The English openers haven’t been able to give the team a good start in any of the four matches that England has played so far in the tournament. In the first three matches, England lost its first wicket in the first over of the innings. However, in the last match against New Zealand, the openers added 21 runs for the first wicket and the first wicket was down in the fourth over. But, Stuart Broad isn’t pleased with the performance of the openers at all.

After the match against New Zealand, Stuart Broad said, “The opening partnership is a bit of a concern for us. Good start is very important in T20 matches. If you lose two or three wickets in the first six overs, the run rate gets down as the batsmen out there look to consolidate the innings.”

“Our openers are trying to play too many shots at the start of the innings. They should take a few deliveries to get their eye in and then, try to play the big shots. They should take a leaf out of Chris Gayle’s book. Gayle never goes after the bowling right from the start. He takes a couple of overs and then tries to accelerate.”

When asked about the poor form of Craig Kieswetter, Broad said, “Craig is a very good top order batsman in this form of the game. He has got great power and he can play some extraordinary shots. He had played beautifully against India. In the last two matches, he has struggled a bit, but, I have got faith in him and hopefully, he would deliver in the further matches.”

JAMAICA DEFEAT ALL STARS

Jamaica has defeated Brian Lara All-stars by 3 wickets in the final match of the T20 for 50 Cricket Festival. The match was pretty close and could have gone either way. But, the Jamaican batsmen kept themselves calm during the final moments of the match and managed to win the match. The winning shot was hit on the 4th ball of the last over. Earlier, All Stars’ captain, Brian Lara, won the toss and decided to bat first. Dwayne Smith made his intentions clear in the very first over of the match. He hit the left arm fast bowler, Krishmar Santokie, straight down the ground for a brilliant six in the very first over.

However, All Stars lost the first wicket pretty early. Dave Bernard dismissed Justin Guillen when the score of All Stars was just 15. Brian Lara came out to bat at no. 3 and he received a warm reception from the crowd. Lara and Smith played some good shots and All Stars seemed to be going on the right track. But, all of a sudden, Smith threw his wicket away and opened the floodgate for Jamaica. That was a half tracker from Nikita Miller and Smith hit the ball straight down the throat of deep midwicket. After that, there was no big partnership for All Stars. Jamaican bowlers didn’t let the batsmen score the runs freely. At the end of the 20th over, the score of All Stars was 108 for 7.

Jamaica didn’t start well in reply and lost 3 early wickets. Fidel Edwards swung the new ball with pace and didn’t let the Jamaican batsmen play aggressive shots at the start. However, as the ball lost its shine, it became a bit easy to score runs. Xavier Marshall played a valuable knock of 29 and helped his team achieve the target.

RAIPUT IMPRESSED BY BATTERS

The coach of India A team, Lalchand Rajput, has said that the young batsman Cheteshwar Pujara plays a bit like Rahul Dravid. Rajput gave this statement after the brilliant performance of Pujara on the recent West Indies tour. The India A team visited West Indies recently and Pujara played some brilliant knocks on that tour. As per Rajput, Pujara has got a solid defense and he likes to bat for longer durations just like Dravid. He puts a lot of thought in his batting and he is a great learner. He has got a lot of class and he is talented enough to be a very good test player.

Pujara has played 3 test matches for India. He made his debut in test cricket against Australia in 2010 and in his very first test match, he played a match winning knock of 72 runs in the second innings. He impressed a lot of cricket experts with that inning. After that knock, he was included in the Indian test squad for the tour of South Africa. But, Pujara wasn’t able to handle the pace and bounce of the South African pitches and didn’t perform that well on that tour. He was left out of the squad after that tour. He has also been struggling a lot with the injuries in his short career. But, he is fully fit now and he is again in contention for the test matches.

After the retirement of Rahul Dravid, the no.3 spot in the Indian test team is currently vacant. There is a tough competition among some young Indian batsmen for that spot. Pujara is one of them who are in contention for the no.3 spot. Rajput said that Pujara would be an ideal replacement for Rahul Dravid and he should be given a chance to play at the no.3 position in the test side.

Captain salutes Team

The captain of the Indian Cricket Team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, has agreed with KKR captain and his team mate Gautam Gambhir by saying that a captain is as good as his team. He said that the main job of a captain is to manage his players well and try to get 100% out of them. But, if a captain doesn’t have the good enough players, he can’t do much. Dhoni said if you make someone the captain of a very weak team (which is full of mediocre players), no matter how good leader he is, he would not be able to convert that side into a winning side. So, a captain always needs skilled players to do the job for him.

After the disastrous performance of India on the England and Australia tour, there have been talks that Dhoni might be removed from captaincy. There had also been the reports of rift between Dhoni and Sehwag on the Australian tour. It had also been reported that Gambhir is also unhappy with the captain. Also, Gambhir keeps on saying in the media that a captain is as good as his team and if the captain doesn’t have quality resources, he can’t do much. These things were pointing towards the fact that everything is not all right in the Indian Team. But, Dhoni has said that there is no rift in the team and the team is completely united.

He has also said that the senior players are looking quite fit and agile after taking a long rest. Dhoni said that he started playing in 2004 and he hadn’t got such a long break since then. He said that the upcoming season would be a hectic one with a lot of matches coming on and the players have to maintain their fitness level.