Tag Archives: Ishant Sharma

Depleted India Rout Zimbabwe To Take The ODI Series

ind vs zim

By Ganesh Subramanian

After M S Dhoni’s heroics in the final of the tri-series in the Caribbean, India embarked on yet another ODI series, this time against Zimbabwe. India was expected to dominate and probably win the series, but this 5-0 whitewash is slightly unexpected. Die-hard Indian supporters may vehemently disagree with this, but I am saying this on two counts. One is that India went in to the series with a new look squad with the likes of Ashwin, Dhoni, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar & Ishant Sharma rested. Secondly, Zimbabwe has always been a nation that has challenged India in cricket. They have been more of a thorn in the flesh kind of cricketing nation when it comes to matches against India. Remember the match in the 1999 World Cup when India lost by 3 runs?

Barring the first two ODIs where Zimbabwe managed to apply some pressure on the Indian side, the Indian team has been thoroughly professional in whitewashing the African nation. Zimbabwe batsmen appeared listless in the whole series, be it against pace or against spin. The batting has let them down badly in the series, mainly due to lack of contribution from their experienced pros. Brendan Taylor, the skipper, had a series to forget with the bat as well as with the gloves behind the stumps. The other seasoned campaigners like Masakadza, Elton Chigumbura and Sean Williams shone briefly in patches in the series and were not able to make a substantial contribution. The bowlers did their best but could not win matches given the low totals they were defending. The positives from the series for Zimbabwe have been Kyle Jarvis who looked impressive and Sikandar Raza Butt, who seems a good prospect for the future. Zimbabwe quickly needs to reflect on what needs to be done since they have series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka coming soon.

India must be pretty happy with their work in the series. All the batsmen have been amongst the runs at different points in the series. The seam bowlers have utilized the new ball to create dents in the Zimbabwean batting line-up and the spinners have polished off the innings quickly. Kohli’s captaincy has been impressive and he has been selfless in dropping himself down the order especially in the last 2 ODIs so that the others can have a hit out in the middle. Personally for me, I would have loved to see Parvez Rasool make his debut in the series to see what he has got. This was the best opportunity for the team management to try him out given that once Ashwin returns to the fold, it would be difficult for Rasool to get an opportunity.

Now India earns a much deserved rest for a couple of months before hosting Australia for one T20 and 7 ODIs followed by a tough tour to South Africa in November. The boys in blue need to make the most of this break to relax and enjoy themselves and get their batteries recharged for the series ahead.

Advertisements

India Look Good To Lift Champions Trophy 2013

CRICKET-CT2013-IND-AUS-WARM UP

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!

181538-shikhar-dhawan