Tag Archives: Virat Kohli

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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5 Times Our Heart Was In Our Mouth During IPL 6

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Action cinema and T20 cricket have many similarities, the most important being the fact that good ones in both do not give you breathing space. You have your heart in your mouth for most of the time as they happen. And though IPL 6 will always be seen from eyes full of doubt, there were moments when we all enjoyed the cricket on the ground. Here are the best 5 of them. 

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1. Gurkeerat Singh Flies: Did you see who was given the best catch of the tournament. The little unknown lad from Punjab, Gurkeerat Singh, took something most of us and even most cricketers would find hard dreaming. The batsman (Ross Taylor) had played one of his favourite shots and must  have added 6 to his tally but our man had better ideas. The celebrations after the catch were as good as the catch itself.

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2. Sanju Samson, the pocket sized dynamite: Rajasthan Royals have a habit of finding stars for IPL. If it was Swapnil Asnodkar once, it was 18-year-old Sanju Samson this time and if you listen to your heart this lad looks like having a longer shelf life than Asnodkar did. His innings against Royal Challengers Bangalore and the shots hit had to make you sit up and take notice. Rahul Dravid speaking highly of him was no-coincidence and if you thought the one innings against Bangalore was one off, the one’s after that broke the notion.

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3. Chris Gayle and his molestation of Pune Warriors: When Chris Gayle gets going the opposition do not stand a chance but when he molests a team, what do you do, that too a team with Allan Donald as bowling coach. Allan Donald admitted the assault left his bowlers ‘scared’. His 30-odd ball hundred and 66-ball 175 left an impression in the cricketing fraternities mind that no total is a good total in this format, provided you have in your ranks, someone who can tame any warrior.

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4. The Gambhir-Kohli Spat: How many occasions would two players from the same city fight with each other in front of the entire ground. Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli did not leave any mother-sister untouched when they took over each other in one of the games between their respective sides. Some event in a tournament which rewards fair play. As they say From among all the mysteries surrounding the Indian Premier League emerges one ever-lasting truth – you can take a Delhi guy to Kolkata or Bangalore, out can’t get Dilli of the said guy. 

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5. Pollard and his All-Round Abilities and Capabilities: We went about charming Shane Watson with all awards we had on Valuable quotient. We forgot though that we had someone called Keiron Pollard in the tournament who could bat like a monster, bowl like a miser, field like a agile leopard and in need sledge someone like Watson out of the match and even out of the dug-out. His catches will be known for more than just one season, his fielding would become education for the next of wannabees, his bowling in need was as awesome as anything and in need his batting was just one word, fabulously devastating (correction two words). Remember the final, it was he who actually made sure Mumbai had a total that was better than average. Sans he and Mumbai would have struggled against a menacing side like Chennai.

 

 

Delhi Delights Indifferent Hues: A Different Take on the Kohli-Gambhir Spat

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From among all the mysteries surrounding the Indian Premier League emerges one ever-lasting truth – you can take a Delhi guy to Kolkata or Bangalore, out can’t get Dilli of the said guy, writes Jaideep Ghosh.

If you’re from Delhi, you’ll know the expression – a scowl, stating ‘don’t mess with me’, a prized possession to be kept as carefully the latest smart phone, iPod/Pod and sneakers. This is to be carried everywhere –while driving, walking, in a restaurant, definitely in a bar (some even scowl in a dark movie hall!).

Now, this scowl can turn into a snarl in an instant (like when someone cuts you off on the road, which happens every 30 seconds). The snarl, which highlights bared teeth, jaw jutted out, is invariably flowed but some unparliamentary mention of the offender’s mother or sister. At times, even if it is snarly who is the offender.

So, any of you who saw the KKR-RCB would know – you can take Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli out of Delhi, but….

It all began early in the KKR innings when Gambhir was cut off by Moises Henriques (nothing like an Australian to add to the spice, I tell you) while going for a quick single. Presto! Gambhir Delhi-natural scowl approached a snarl immediately and this continued, into the RCB innings.

Kohli got out and Gambhir went into his ear straightaway. So much so that the KKR fielders had to come in and keep these two apart. There is another account which says that it was Kohli who started it. Either way, it was a street brawl, waiting to happen.

Now, Gambhir is always one stare away from a sneer and Kohli, not to be outdone, carries the scowl like a trophy. He really endeared himself to all with his command on classic roadside expletives during the Under-19 World Cup and though things have improved, evidently there is no way you can take Dilli out of his system.

This is more in the forefront now that he is leading another team (like the Under-19). Call me a sadist, but I am really looking forward to Kohli leading the India team. Dilli will become a universal language and attitude in next to nothing time!

The IPL is supposed to enhance competition, as well as camaraderie. The latter seems to be working fine with the foreign imports – even the Australians are smiling. But all of that, and the professions of how nice and friendly the IPL is, doesn’t have anything to do with something that is genetic in its composition.

But what’s life without our Capital? We love it – especially when we get to see a fight for free.

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