Tag Archives: Dinesh Karthik

Indian Rookies Have A Lot To Play For

parvez rasool

By Kartik Kannan

India are currently ranked No. 1 in ODIs and one of the hallmarks of a top-ranking side over time is the quality of bench strength. While India get ready to play Zimbabwe without some of their senior players, it’s a good opportunity for some of the newcomers to perform and prove that the team’s DNA is not dependent on a few individuals, but is a high-performance culture that runs deep. I am reminded of the quadrangular series between England, Zimbabwe, Australia A and Australia in 1994-95, where the finals were contested by the two Australian sides. That showed to the world that Australia’s second XI was better than many international sides. India can learn a thing or two from that series as they aim to build an ODI team for the future. Over to the youngsters.

Parvez Rasool

The offspinning allrounder from Jammu and Kashmir has made it to the team on the back of consistent performances in the domestic season. Rasool will be looking to ease himself into the international scene in Zimbabwe, where the pressure on him to deliver would be lesser. He’s had a taste of the highest level, having played against the touring English and Australian sides recently.

If Rasool clicks, India would have found someone to share the spinners’ workload with R Ashwin. Rasool’s partnership with Ravindra Jadeja, who turns the ball the other way, will make for interesting viewing in the middle overs.

Pepsi IPL - The Final CSK v MI

Mohit Sharma

Mohit Sharma’s rise to the top was fast-tracked by his 2013 IPL season for the Chennai Super Kings. Mohit’s key strength is the ball that goes away, and he bowls an impressive attacking line. He was handled well by MS Dhoni in the IPL, and that surely played a part in his success. Having Mohit and Bhuvneshwar Kumar – a swing bowler who bowls at a lesser pace – bowling in tandem will give India an edge with the new ball.

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Cheteshwar Pujara

India’s new-found performance man in Test cricket finally gets a chance to shine in the shorter format. Despite a tremendous List A average of 56.97, Pujara has unfairly been labelled as a slow run-getter. Given his recent successes, there’s no question over his technique on tricky wickets or against good quality seam bowling. In recent times, India have missed a sheet anchor in ODI cricket, and with two new balls coming into play, Pujara could be just the man for them.

Jaydev-Unadkat

Jaydev Unadkat

Unadkat sure knows the demands of international cricket, having endured a forgettable Test debut in South Africa in late 2010. He is a vastly improved bowler now, and has forced his way back into the set-up with consistent IPL performances. He has also had very successful A tours in New Zealand and England in the last couple of years. Zimbabwe’s spongy bounce could be helpful to his style of bowling, which relies on hitting the seam more often than not. His inclusion brings variety to India’s inexperienced seam-bowling group.

Ambati Rayudu

Having been one of the lynchpins of Mumbai Indians’ renaissance since IPL 3, Rayudu’s chance to represent the India team comes at just about the right time. He will lend depth to the middle order, and in Dhoni’s absence, could slot in as a finisher. Dinesh Karthik is likely to be India’s first-choice wicketkeeper, which could work against Rayudu. But if he gets a look-in, possibly ahead of Ajinkya Rahane, he should make it count.

This article was originally published at cricinfo and has been published with the authors permission

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India Look Good To Lift Champions Trophy 2013

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By Ganesh Subramanian

Post IPL, there were apprehensions of India’s performance in a tournament as important as the Champions Trophy, given the constant travelling and playing associated with the IPL. At the end of Group B matches, with India cementing their place in the semi-finals, one can say that those apprehensions have been well and truly given a decent burial.

India’s young brigade have responded to the challenges in the tournament featuring the top 8 ODI sides with clinical demolition of three quality sides in the group stage and look good to add more victims to their list. Seaming conditions in England have always troubled the sides from the sub-continent and India has overcome that hurdle with consummate ease.

It’s difficult to rack our brains and try remembering a time when the top order has been so consistent. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, a new opening pair for India, have responded brilliantly so far and have been instrumental in India posting big totals batting first or professionally chasing down targets. In fact, it would be fair enough to say that opposition teams did not have the luxury of running through the Indian batting lineup beyond Dinesh Karthik.

Such is the remarkable maturity with which the top order has done the job. As always, there is a worry that the likes of Raina, Dhoni and Jadeja haven’t had much batting practice. But the fact is that these three have had some decent outing in the tournament so far including the warm-up matches and can be expected to step up to the plate when needed. All these have been achieved with an out-of-form Virat Kohli. It’s not too hard to imagine the bowlers’ plight once Kohli finds his own in the tournament.

Indian bowling, probably a trifle weak compared to its batting, has gone about its job quite efficiently despite not possessing some star bowlers like the other sides. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav have ripped the heart of the opposition batting line-ups by slicing open the top order of opposition teams and spinners Jadeja and Ashwin have tightened the noose in the middle overs to ensure that the opposition challenge is snuffed out even before it got going.

The fielding looks tigerish with the likes of Jadeja, Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik swooping down on opposition batsmen like a vulture onto its prey, cutting off singles, choking the run flow and also effecting runouts. Dhoni’s captaincy, as always, has been admirable. With attacking fields like slip, silly point and leg slip, Dhoni has never given a breather to the opposition. Dhoni has even found use for the slowest fielder in the team, Ashwin, by getting him the slip cordon.

After beating Pakistan, a first for India in the Champions Trophy, Dhoni looks all set to add another trophy to his cabinet. Time to bleed blue!

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Mumbai Indians And The Problem Of Resources Vs Resourcefulness

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Mumbai Indians have a great team but a very poor resource utilization strategy. Venugopal Rajagopalan writes about that and more in this insightful piece.

Resourcefulness is optimal utilization of resources of a resource. From a corporate perspective, it is not cash that fuels the journey to the future, but the emotional and intellectual energy of every employee.

“A firm can sit atop mountains of cash and command legions of talented people, and still lose its preeminent position. Likewise, a firm can sometimes overcome enormous resource handicaps and successfully scale the heights of industry leadership” – Gary Hamel & C.K.Prahlad

Quoting another excerpt from the book Competing for the future – “Too often companies are judged in terms of resources rather than resourcefulness. Resourcefulness stems not from an elegantly structured strategic architecture, but from a deeply felt sense of purpose, a broadly shared dream, a truly seductive view of tomorrow’s opportunity.”

Now, relating this to Mumbai Indians’ case in the IPL, you can draw the same parallels. They have some of the biggest names in the business in the form of both players  and support staff. The likes of Sachin, Ponting, Pollard, Rayudu, Johnson, Oram, Harbhajan, Rohit Sharma etc prove that talent is there in abundance. In the coaching and support staff, we have people like John Wright, Anil Kumble, Robin Singh and even Mike Horn as a motivational speaker.

However, the point here is, you might have the best of resources and money power; however it’s of no use if you do not know how to utilize them. That’s what one can make of the performance of the Mumbai Indians team in all editions of the IPL. What’s the point in having spent so much to buy and retain a player of the pedigree of Kieron Pollard, if he gets to only face an average of 5-10 balls a match? In yesterday’s game against RCB at Bengaluru, he faced only 2 balls and that too at a stage where he hardly had any time to play himself in. You can’t possibly expect a man to come in to bat and hit an imaginary 30 runs in 5 balls and win you a match even he is Sir Vivian Richards.

MI has faltered in the area of strategy since the time IPL started. They lost the finals of the 2010 edition to CSK because of the very reason of not giving enough balls for Kieron Pollard to face and chase down the total. Their team management has not learnt from their mistakes in the previous editions at all. Any cricketing pundit would bat Pollard at #4 if not higher to give your match winner and best T20 player maximum time at the crease. It is not rocket science to understand that just giving him solitary 5-10 balls to face every innings is a waste for a player of his caliber.

Just imagine if Chris Gayle was asked to bat at number 6 by the RCB. Would RCB be the same force? The answer is a clear cut NO! T20 is a different ball game all together and the needs are different from the batsmen. However mouth watering the sight of seeing Sachin and Ponting opening the batting might be, the fact is that both are well past their prime. Either one of them, (ideally Ponting) should be batting at 3 or Rohit Sharma should be opening the batting for their batting order to be more effective. Pollard should be batting no lower than #4 or #5 to be effective in this format. Ideally, he should be coming in to bat not later than the 12th over of the innings to have maximum impact on the outcome of the match. If he fails to deliver or if there is a top order collapse, the Ambati Rayudus and the Dinesh Karthiks can surely resurrect the innings and get MI to a respectable total.

Will MI learn from yet another mistake or not, only time will tell, however it would be interesting to see if any other team would use this failed strategy to their advantage. Having said that, full marks to Vinay Kumar for bowling the perfect Yorker on that last delivery to Pollard under extreme pressure in that final over.

RCB Vs MI at IPL6 in Bengaluru

Bangalore win But IPL Won Big At Chinnaswamy

Sachin and Ponting

 

Sachin Tendulkar came to bat with Ricky Ponting, Chris Gayle continued his tornado batting in the T20 format and the audiences had a nail-biter, what more could be asked of IPL

After a dud first game in Kolkata (when was the last time Kolkatans, poor Kolkatans saw something that was exciting), T20 cricket was at its best, delivering things only this format and IPL could.

For starters Bangalore for the first time beat Mumbai in Chinnaswamy stadium, breaking a long-standing home ground jinx. There was nothing special though in the way they did it except for one man who almost on all occasions stands between Bangalore and losses. Yes, Chris Gayle again shone and this time on one foot, proving another fact that even on one leg, he is the best T20 batsmen the world will ever see.

It would not do justice to Vinay Kumar and Jaidev Unadkat if we do not give them some credit too. Mumbai had almost completed formalities in the 17th over with Dinesh Karthik spanking Daniel Christian for 24 runs. Mumbai needed 17 off the last two overs which in this format is a walk in the park. Kumar and Unadkat though had other ideas. Unadkat bowled the penultimate one and gave away just 7 runs, allowing Kumar a healthy 10 runs to bowl. It was then that this bowler often criticised for not doing justice to his potential delivered an over, very few could match. Giving away 7 runs, Kumar picked up two wickets and won the game for his side.

All this apart, the real big one was to see Test cricket’s two highest run-getters come out to open. It was certainly dream come true for cricket lovers across the world to see Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting come out to open in a format people thought was alien to them. Not only they came out to bat, they crafted a 50-run partnership. If this was not enough, another visual delight was to see Test cricket’s highest wicket taker bowl to them. Yes, it was Muttiah Muralitharan bowling to Tendulkar and Ponting.

One man though was unperturbed by all this. Christopher Henry Gayle began his party from where he left last season. He looked a little jittery to begin with but as he stayed on, runs began to flow. He got injured in the middle but continued till the end on one leg, only stating one fact, that no one is better than him in this format. Mumbai were in control till he let loose, and once he did, only one winner came out.

chris gayle Royal Challengers Bangalore wallpapers4