Tag Archives: Ravindra Jadeja

Indian Rookies Have A Lot To Play For

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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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Rampaging India Continue Their Bull Run!

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By Kartik Kannan

India continued their bull run in England with yet another convincing win in the ICC Champions trophy, trouncing West Indies by 8 wickets and 65 balls to spare. The Indian victory, was largely built around Ravindra Jadeja’s spin bowling and the batting of Shikhar Dhawan, both of whom have hit purple patches in 2013, for extended run of great form. Ravindra Jadeja put the brakes on the Caribbean juggernaut, by choking runs and claiming wickets with his fastish off spinners, while Shikhar Dhawan tore into the very attack that had Pakistan at sixes and sevens last week, that had Kemar Roach interestingly this time taking the brunt, giving away 47 of 6 overs. Shikhar Dhawan’s consecutive hundred, was built without a faux paux, in an aggressive counter attack that was largely built around the squares on both sides, including 10 fours and a six to bring up his hundred.

Put into bat, the West Indies found their mojo early on, with Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles being severe on Bhubhaneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav. With 2 boundaries over deep midwicket, and 2 trademark slaps over the bowler, Chris Gayle was slowly getting into ‘RCB’ mode, just when a short of length delivery from Kumar, crapming Gayle for room, lifted enough for Chris to make a meek cut  at the ball, only to have Ashwin cling on to sharp chance above his head.

Darren Bravo and Johnson Charles, then steadied the innings with a 78 run stand in 89 balls, with the pace being set by Johnson Charles, after an  lull in the early stages of the partnership where he preferred to play of the backfoot watchfully. Johnson exploded with 2 sixes over Long off and Deep Midwicket and managed to work his way around 3 boundaries behind the wicket through glances and late cuts. While he was batting, a stat that was beginning to hang like a Damocles sword over the Indian bowling, was that he had a 100% conversion to scoring a century, whenever he has crossed 50, but Ravindra Jadeja’s introduction changed all of that, when he trapped Johnson Charles, Marlon Samuels and Sarwan, all of whom fell pray to playing for the turn against fast non turning deliveries. While Charles and Samuels were out leg before, Sarwan, in an attempt to glance the ball, was caught down the leg side. 3 wickets in 14 balls, giving away 5 runs, Jadeja had West Indies on the backfoot.

Even as these wickets well, Darren Bravo, struggled to score runs, and his misery soon came to an end, when he came down the track in frustration to clear Ashwin, and tried checking his shot after being done in by the flight, and Dhoni stumped him to leave West Indies at 140/5 in the 34th over. Pollard and Dwayne Bravo steadied the innings by knocking the ball around, but their wickets at crucial junctures in the game, followed by a couple of tailenders falling left West Indies miserably positioned at  182/9 by the 46th over, for a side that was 100/1 in the 19th over.

They say ‘Cometh The Hour, Cometh The Man’ and Darren Sammy came into playing an aggressive cameo that made you wonder, how could the West Indies have possibly believed he wasn’t good enough for the first game. Sammy, who’s played a large part in the renaissance of the Carribean cricket from the nadirs of 2008/09, chose to announce why he belongs to this team, by putting up his hand up, to clean the mess when it mattered. A flat batted six over covers in between a six to Long off and Long On, just made mouths drop as he successfully managed strike with number  11 (Roach) to bludgeon 9 boundary hits(4 sixes) in a 15 ball exhibition, scoring 52 runs, helping West Indies put a respectable 233, which incidentally is how much South Africa set Pakistan the other day.

Given the way, chases have been funnily difficult, one wondered if India were to fall prey to choking while chasing a moderate target, but India came out with all guns blazing and smoked out the Caribbean pace attack. It was a lively chase that saw Indian openers strangely dominate square off the wicket, with no hits in the arc between covers and deep midwicket, with all of the 17 boundaries scored between Dhawan and Sharma. Virat Kohli, was unlucky to have missed out on the run feast, done in by a Narine special, bowled round the wicket, but Dinesh Karthik made merry of an attack that had by then given up to notch up a fifty, while allowing Dhawan to score his ton around the same time, leading India to a domineering 8 wicket victory, that pushed Pakistan out of the tournament.

[Originally Written for ESPNcricinfo]

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TGIF: Twitterati’s Take on Sreesanth and His Towel Antics

Enough of seriousness on spot-fixing in cricket. We thought we would bring some humour in the context. Here’s presenting ten tweets we found laugh worthy in an otherwise tension struck world. 

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Sir Ravindra Jadeja  (@SirJadeja)
Is a Towel ok? to  get the Aadhar Card picture clicked? – #Sreesanth

NimS ‏(@NimsPatel)
“Dupatta for ladies and shirts for men mandatory for Aadhar Card.” #Sreesanth can use his towel as a Dupatta no? # Aadhar Card

Atiya Zaidi (‏@atiyaz)
Dear Shakespeare,
There does seem to be something in a name.
Sree+santh
Sri+nivas

Kamaal R Khan – KRK (@kamaalrkhan)
If #Sreesanth is innocent as he is claiming then Sunny leone is still Virgin.

Faking News ‏(@fakingnews)
#Sreesanth agreed to #SpotFixing as he needed money to pay for a job in Indian Railways.

Tanmay Bhat ‏(@thetanmay)
Trying hard to think of a joke better than Sharad Pawar and N Srinivasan saying they have zero tolerance for corruption.

T S Sudhir ‏(@Iamtssudhir)
Apparently #Sreesanth’s watsapp was tracked by sleuths of Delhi Police. Interestingly his status msg on watsapp is `Love my life’

cypher_singh ‏(@imanish_singh)
Bhajji is the only cop who slaps a criminal even before he could commit a crime. Sir Jadeja level breached. #ipl6 #sreesanth

Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats)
Bookie: So, what plan today? #Sreesanth: I’ll get smashed for over 10 runs per over. B: Ok. So, you’ll bowl badly? S: No, no. Normally.

Manish Kr. Khedawat (@mkkhedawat)
It Looks like #Sreesanth took Surf Excel’s punch line “Daag achche hote hain” a bit too seriously.

Hoping you enjoyed the Twitterati’s take on Sreesanth’s towel antics. We especially loved the Harbhajan wala from Cypher Singh. Look at this space for more on such great comedy tweets.

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Rebut To “Chennai Super Kings Fans vs 1.230 Billion Indians”

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For me the IPL was over the moment Mumbai Indians won it and the trophy was given over to the winning captain. A Chennai fan though Anuj Chennai, wrote an unnecessary article on why Chennai fans are subject to global criticism and why they are the best side in any case. A rebut point by point was needed and here it is.

1. Most consistent team: Go find out how much your team was brought for, how much was paid for some marquee players and how much someone like Sir Ravindra Jadeja got. Now let’s compare it with spends by some teams like the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab. If with that kind of spend, those teams can win and reach best four, its a shame for teams like CSK and MI if they do anything less than winning. On the same yardstick, don’t compare a franchise based model with a national model (Australian cricket team). Here if you can pay and you have deep pockets (by now we all know where the deep pockets were coming from) you can buy the best, in Australia it’s not money that players are bought for. I hope you are getting the point drawn.

2. CSK fans and Madness: This is something I would somewhat agree to. Even an auto-rickshaw driver in that state and city comes down to exploitation of anyone who he figures out cannot speak the language. That’s how they border everyone and chuck them out. As far as praising Pakistanis are concerned, this is a serious case of split personality disorder.

3. Yeah, You Alienate Others: Anuj again makes a great point in number three when he says it can be frustrating for a fan supporting any other franchise in the stadium. The entire idea of IPL was to divide and if the so called literati of Tamil Nadu is being fooled by it, hats off to Lalit Modi, what a proof of concept this is.

4. The Anthem Is Pathetic: Frankly, I would not mince words in calling the Anthem as poor as it can get. Korbo Lodbo Jeetbo and Halla Bol are far better in lyrics and Music qualities. Just adding jingoism is not creating an anthem. Probably ‘Kolaveri Di’ best explains the music there.

5. No One Has Alienated Chennai: No hard feelings bro, your state and land is as much a part of this country as any other. Don’t feel alienated. This feeling of yours leads to the people there thinking everyone is an enemy around. Change the thinking, embrace others, believe me the feeling will be mutual.

This article did not mean to hurt anyone. It only meant rebutting a few erring points laid out in the one by a fanatic fan. 1.230 billion people love when AR Rehman wins an Oscar and when Sridevi gyrates her body to the tunes of Mr. India. We are proud of the Kamal Hasans and Rajnikanths of Tamil Nadu. We are proud of a Tamilian Muslim President called APJ Abdul Kalam but we do not like when someone proudly rants that he/she is more important because of their lineage and state.

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Why CSK Look Good To Win IPL6

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Ganesh Subramanian dons the CSK hat and tells us why whistle podu times would be back again this edition of IPL.

As I write this one, CSK are joint top of the points table alongside Rajasthan Royals, a team which just broke some over confidence that might have set in the yellow brigade. For me this loss comes at the right time. It will help the team get back to the drawing board with a few concerns after the easy victories that came their way off late.

They also lead the fairplay awards tally. Apart from this the orange and purple caps sit proudly on the heads of two of the most consistent men in the yellow brigade, Mike Hussey and Dwayne Bravo. So are there chinks in the armour of the most consistent team across all editions of the IPL or are they right on course for another title reign? Let’s explore.

With 10 wins on the board, people expressed apprehensions as to whether CSK are peaking too early. To fuel their belief, CSK lost to Mumbai Indians by a whopping margin. But then look at the next game. They were up against a team that has not lost a single home game this season, the Sunrisers Hyderabad, and needless to say, CSK put the defeat out of its mind and whipped Hyderabad as if the defeat against MI never happened.

Let us look at the key contributors to the success story so far.

hussey

Michael Hussey: While his younger brother is searching for that elusive form for KXIP, the Huss Mikester, as Danny ‘Mad Max’ Morrison calls him, has elevated his batsmanship to another level. Mixing attack and defence as the situation calls for, this Western Australian has dissected attacks with a surgeon’s precision. No wonder he finds himself with the Orange cap at the moment, engaged in a see-saw battle with Chris Gayle for its possession. How much did Australia miss this veteran when they were whitewashed 4-0!

dwayne bravo

Dwayne Bravo: This West Indian has had a dream run with the ball so far with 21 wickets and has been Dhoni’s go-to man in the death overs. Apart from handy contributions with the bat and being more than an electric fielder, he’s making a mark with his dance moves as well.

Mohit Mahipal Sharma: He has been the surprise find for CSK this season with 13 wickets to his name. Bowling at a bustling pace and not afraid to use the short delivery, this Haryana speedster has consistently picked wickets in every match. Dhoni has cleverly used him often finishing his quota of 4 overs in a single spell.

Suresh Raina: With 458 runs at an average of 50.88 and a century and 99 to his name, both being not-outs, the leading run scorer overall in the five years of IPL history, Suresh Raina has hit a purple patch. He shrugged off an indifferent start to the tournament and has come up with match-winning knocks at the key No.3 position.

M S Dhoni with the bat and Ashwin with the ball have made some handy contributions, but they would surely agree that they would have liked to be a lot more consistent. Murali Vijay showed glimpses of form in the last innings and CSK will hope that this Tamil Nadu batsman returns to his run scoring ways sooner rather than later. Chris Morris, Ben Laughlin & Jason Holder haven’t had as much success as they would have wanted. Same is the case with the much trolled SIR Ravindra Jadeja!

Having secured the playoffs spot, I would like to see other players in the squad being given an opportunity and Dhoni has indicated so in his last post-match presentation. I am especially eager to see the Srilankan mystery spinner Akila Dhananjaya.

With great camaraderie, belief in each other, a great captain and different players contributing at vital times, it appears as if it will be difficult to stop the CSK juggernaut from its march towards yet another title reign. Much to the chagrin of a melee of anti-CSK groups that have sprung up on social networking sites and  amidst brainless talks of match-fixing every time CSK wins, one thing is for sure, it’s Whistle Podu time once again !

chennai super kings

4 Reasons Why We Love Rajasthan Royals

Rajasthan-Royals-IPL-2008-winners

 

An underdog and low-cost side, Rajasthan Royals have always performed, risen to the occasion, delivered and had one star puller. Here are 4 reasons you cannot deny being a fan.

  1. First Shane Warne and now Rahul Dravid, this team has always had one leader around whom a brigade of young players play. This icon player is chosen with due diligence. He is senior and credible enough to motivate and inspire and makes sure the team hinges around him. A clear case of a leader in charge vis-a-vis other teams where we almost on all occasions see everyone a part of the discussions and multiple thought processes working.
  2. The underdog quotient works big time for them. They neither have Dhoni, nor Tendulkar, nor Yuvraj Singh, but what they do have is a bunch of youngsters like Kevon Cooper, Ajinkya Rahane, Siddharth Trivedi and the likes who lift the spirit when needed the most. Who perform out of their skins to show they are no less, at least in a format which requires flamboyance more than any other thing. Take for example their last game against Kolkata. Sunil Narine was bowling his last over of another great spell and the Royals were struggling to get to 140. Who came to the party, a relatively unknown Dishant Yagnik. He hit a six and four and damaged a spell that could have so well been a match winning one.
  3. This is one team which has taken the setbacks of losing their stars pretty well. If Yusuf Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja were two key players for them in their winning first season effort, they lost both of them in the re-auctions. The loss probably impacted the players more as both Jadeja and Pathan have looked a pale self after having been disassociated with the Royals.
  4. Like all Indian rulers, especially from the state of Rajasthan, this team has made their home ground a fortress of sorts. They hardly lose a game, leave losing a game, it is pretty difficult to have them on the mat here even on occasions. Someone or the other pulls off something spectacular and victory comes home. This is one of their most attractive capabilities which need to be mentioned about them.

Not that there aren’t any more reasons (yeah Shilpa Shetty is definitely one reason which attracts loads of eyeballs) but to me these four are the key ones. We like this team because of a spirit and fight we don’t see from many other big sides in the tournament and we also like them because with Rahul Dravid at the helm they always keep the spirit of the game on top, even in a format where aggression is justified on occasions. 

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5 Reasons To Watch IPL Season 6

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Like it or hate it, Indian cricket’s biggest extravaganza is back and no matter where you try and run away to escape, some form of it will catch up. So better fasten your seat belts and enjoy the action. Here are my five reasons for this year.

1. This Would probably be the first time and maybe the last when I would see Sachin Tendulkar playing under an Aussie captain, that too none less than Ricky Ponting. Even if Sachin has not captained this side in one season (MI played under Harbhajan Singh then), the master blaster had always been in the forefront of things. Will we see the same this time or with Ponting at the helm, the Indian champion will take a backseat, only time will tell.

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2. This IPL could very well be the last one for many Indian and Foreign stalwarts. Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Mike Hussey and many others could actually call it a day from this tournament. So this will be a last chance to see some of the biggest heroes in action for the last time.

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3. Hyderabad has a new team and an exciting one at that. They have been one side which has always done the extremes. In season one, when they probably had the best team they turned out to be the worst performers and in season two and when nothing was expected from them, they actually lifted the trophy. They have a new look team this time with different owners, definitely something to look up to.

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4. If there is one justification IPL gives for its existence and help towards developing Indian cricket, it is the talented youngsters it throws up to the fore. The likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are without an iota of doubt the products of this tournament. It would be exciting to see who this season of IPL throws to the main league.

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5. And finally, one of my biggest reasons to look on for the IPL is none other than the West Indian great Chris Gayle. It’s his batting and spanking bowlers all and sundry is what makes the tournament just so extra attractive. The art in the manner he butchers bowlers of all statures is so much delight for the visual senses. I hope, this turns out to be another rollicking season for him and courtesy him, Vijay Mallya actually ends up winning something in an otherwise losing year on all fronts.

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