Tag Archives: One Day International

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.

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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.

cheteshwar-pujara-2

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

Why ICC’s FTP Is Useless

ICC

Ganesh Subramanian, our cricket expert talks of why a packed calendar of ICC could still be justified if they pack it with relevant stuff and make sure important events don’t get lost to nature’s fury

So immediately after a good, exciting Champions Trophy comes a meaningless triseries featuring India, West Indies and Sri Lanka. Although Indian fans are delighted with the Indian victory in an exciting final, it begs the question whether the series must have been scheduled in the first place coming against the backdrop of a highly intense champions trophy. What was supposed to be Srilanka’s tour of West Indies ended up as a meaningless triseries.

While ICC’s FTP’s fundamental premise is the fact that member countries, that is, the top test playing nations play each other in each other’s home territory atleast once in 4 years. Often this rule is not adhered to as individual boards tend to cater more to their commercial interests than stick to the FTP.

As a result, tours are cut short, ODIs and T20 are increased, Test matches are pushed to the backseat and so on. Also the ICC has a fascination for scheduling important ICC events in rainy seasons in different countries. Also the concept of reserve days are accommodated or neglected according to some random whims and fancies.

An important tournament like the ICC champions trophy has no reserve days for rain affected matches and it’s sad that the tournament final turned out to be a 20-over affair, thanks to rain and absence of reserve days. On the contrary, the meaningless triseries that just concluded had reserve days for all the matches.

The ICC’s logic for shelving the Champions Trophy was again appalling. ICC’s logic means only 1 global event for each format of the game – The ICC CWC, World T20 and Test championship. Now who says that only 1 global event needs to be there for 1 format.

Despite the success of Champions Trophy this year and appeal from former players like David Gower to reconsider the decision of doing away with the Champions Trophy, ICC hasn’t budged from its idiotic stance and had maintained that the recent CT played was indeed its last edition. Instead of meaningless and obsolete triseries, ICC would do well to preserve the sanctity of global events like the ICC.

One can only hope that atleast in future ICC’s FTP is designed rationally and helps preserve the sanctity of this glorious game of uncertainties.

Why We Still Cheer For Team India

dhoni with CT

Ankush Kumar tells us why some fans will always cheer for Team India and nothing to the tune of fixing, conflict of interest and media hype will bother them

The only conflict is his interest in the success of Team India perhaps. The silence at the final press conference before MSD left for English shores was a damp squib. The media still generated their masala and hounded him no end. His integrity was questioned; social media and its lame authors nailed him from all quarters.

MSD and his boys were cornered tigers, and like they do a step backwards was taken. Only to make a giant leap forward and here they are crowned winners of the last edition of the champions’ trophy.

The final yesterday was robbed of a great contest by the weather. For a long period the beer in the refrigerator disappeared with each thundershower that hit Birmingham.
By the time the contest actually began I was left sipping only cold water. Mind you that was equally intoxicating as India scripted a win from the jaws of defeat.

Last time when South Africa choked at the international stage, England was their nemesis. This time the English relived the same tag that has haunted them since 1979. If ever a time machine is invented, England should go back in time and erase the memory of inventing the sport.

They way they have lost big-ticket finals since 1987; they don’t deserve such great tags. India on the other hand played outstanding cricket from the word go. When they won the first two warm up matches, lot of us felt they were flattering to deceive. But the way they romped home against quality sides reconfirmed their tag of being the number one ODI side in world cricket today.

Today as it stands MSD has become the first captain to win all major ICC titles; this would not have been possible without the support of the technical team yesterday.
The ICC goofed up for not having a reserved day for a big final, but quick thinking by them ensured that we at least had a rain-curtailed match. The high drama in those forty overs was enough for the audience who had waited patiently to make their monies worth.

Last time when Team India won the CWC, Nasser Hussain had said ‘since they haven’t beaten England the win is not complete’. Today as it stands sir ‘Shut up & Bounce’. Every time the sport has hit by an alien source, Team India, has countered the demons and come out triumph. This one though is sweeter as it has come in overseas conditions. Well not quite! Yesterday Birmingham looked more like the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai than in England.

It turned out to be home territory for us. The crowed jeered the Pommies and cheered us. The pitch that should have been bouncy turned square, Alaistar got cooked and MSD was yet again crowned Mr. Cool!

Captain Cool did not miss an opportunity to thank the BCCI for their contribution in developing great infrastructure that has helped Team India grow as a fielding unit. He in a very subtle manner also highlighted to the west that ‘India are the big daddies of world cricket today’.

This victory means a lot to fans like us, who have stood by our heroes in times of crisis, we have never questioned the integrity of our soldiers, we have always believed that theories like conflict of interest or scandals like spot fixing can never be a deterrent for the love of the game, and today our superstars have repaid us back by not just winning the championship but by doing it in style.

P.S: England is supposed to be the mecca of cricket, but it’s Team India that ‘Lords’ over the world today.