Saturday, December 24, 2005

India Wins the Series 2-0 and become #2

India completed their 2-0 whitewash in the test series against Srilanka and in the process became the second best team behind Australia replacing England.The series was way closer than the final scoreline indicates but the Indian team wouldnt be complaining.The series would be mainly remembered for the controversy surrounding Ganguly's expulsion from the third test rathar than the happenings on the field.

The Indians would be happy with their performance on the field though as they came through with an impressive scoreline of 2-0 in hard fought series.The Indians were bailed out on numerous occassions by the lower order after the top 5 failed more than once(They contributed more than 70% of Indian runs this series).The lower order batting of Yuvraj,Pathan,Harbajan,Kumble and agarkar along with Dhoni deserves a special.The Srilankan performance was marred by missed opportunities on the field.Their top order failed to convert good starts and their bowlers were unable to dismiss the Indian Lower order.

The Srilankans would like to forget the Indian tour as they were thrashed 6-1 in the oneday series and were beaten 2-0 in the test series pushing them to 7th in the ICC rankings.The Victory against the Srilankans and a creditable performance against the SouthAfricans in one-dayers should give India enough confidence to take on a confident Pakistan next month.

Kumble again was the man of the series with 20 wickets inching closer to the magical 500 mark.Harbhajan was declared the man of the match for his 10 wkt haul.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Indians Struggle on a Rain Curtailed First Test

After torrential rainfall had eaten into the first three days of the first test and most of the fourth day,the Indians put up a horrible display.There was nothing much to gain for both the teams,but enough time to inflict few psychological blows on each other.In the end we have to say that the Lankans came on top in whatever cricket was possible in Chennai.

Indian batting lacked any sort of application as everyone except for Dravid,Sehwag and Dhoni failed to cross 30 run mark.The much awaited return of Sourav Ganguly was a disaster as he just contributed 5 runs to the total.Well overall the Lankans would be happy with their two premier bowlers Vass and Murali being the chief wicket-takers.

The Indians have to come in with better performance in the second test to win the series which could see them jump second on the ICC test ranking.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Pakistan On The Brink

Pakistan are all set to take the test series after England finished on 121/2 on the 4th day with Ian Bell on 60 and Collingwood on 37 unbeaten at the crease when bad light stopped play.The English team arrived in Pakistan with the hopes of continuing their Ashes form but were outplayed by a rejenuated Pakistani team.

The Pakistanis were hugely benefitted by the return of Shoaib to full fitness and bowling well.Shoaib dismissed Markus Trescothick for a duck and the England captain for 13 after pakistan had piled on 636/8 with the help of a double hundred from Yousuf Khan(Previously known as Yousuf Youhana) and a hundred from Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal.Inzimam chipped in with a 97,coming back after being retired hurt.

England have lost this series on the back of their Ashes triumph defeating the world number 1 team Australia.They would be clearly dissapointed as they were totally outplayed by the pakistani team. The series showed the complete lack of preparation from the English team to play in subcontinent conditions.Now the English team can just hope that this experiance would help them to put a better show against the Indians next year.

India V Srilanka - Everything to Play for

Torrential rain fall in chennai made sure that the first days play between India and Srilanka be abandoned without a ball being bowled.Its highly unlikely that any play would be possible on the second day too as more downpour has been predicted.

If and when the play starts the main focus would not be the match itself but whether Ganguly will make it to the final X1 or not.Ganguly's selection in the first test match has raised a few eyebrows considering the form of Yuvraj Singh with Kaif waiting in the wings.Sourav being chosen as a Batting allrounder makes it clear that the selectors are not confident about his batting ability.The other interesting situation for the media would be the interaction between Sourav and Chappell after their clash in the Zim tour.

The Indian team with a young side have done wonderfully well in the one-day series against both south Africa and Srilanka.The most noticable aspect of the Indian performance was their much improved fielding which was brilliant at times.The Bowling and batting though needs to be more consistant in order to have a serious crack at the World Cup.

India go into the test series against Srilanka with an opportunity to become the second best team in the ICC rankings provided they beat the islanders by the margin of 1-0 or 2-1(Srilanka can topple the Indians from 3rd position by defeating them).The Srilankans have everything to play for after their humiliating 1-6 loss to Indians in the one-day series.Overall it seems to be an interesting series with both the teams playing with some incentive but nothing can match the excitement of whether or not sourav will make it to the final X1.