Category Archives: T20 World Cup 2010

Play selector for me

Now that the postmortem is underway in full flow, let us see how different the squad could have been, in hindsight.

Give me your best 14 that the Indian selectors could have included in the squad for the T20 world cup. If you wanna just give the playing 11 (as a batting line up) that’s fine too. You are allowed to take in to consideration the performance (or lack thereof, mostly) during the world cup to decide on a player as well.

The injury situation applies. So, you don’t have Sehwag and Praveen Kumar and since SRT has voluntarily withdrawn, he isn’t available either.

Anatomy of a chase

Sri Lanka just wrote the coaching manual on how to chase down a target on a tricky pitch. SL needed to get 144 runs (of the 164 they needed to win the match outright) to boot India out of the T20 World cup. The SL bowlers fought, clawed and yorked their way back into the game after India had scored a swift 90 odd runs in the first 10 overs of their inning and restricted them to just 163 off 20 overs, when a score in the neighborhood of 185+ loomed quite large.

After the initial reverses in the first two overs, the SL batsmen went about rebuilding the innings up. While the captain Sangakkara was digging in for the long haul, Dilshan found the perfect opportunity to get out of his rut to quickly score 30-odd runs which ensured the run rate did not fall too far behind. The scene of the one down batsman causing damage to India after the two dangerous openers have been gotten rid of, rather quickly and cheaply,  gave me the feeling of Deja Vu! Then came, the most crucial partnership of the match, which eventually gave a firm shove to India’s aspirations of sneaking in to the semis through the back door. Continue reading

Captain Crucifixion

India have been unceremoniously bounced out of yet another Twenty20 world cup and there is a lot of blame going around and most of it is gonna be at the feet of India’s captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Being the captain of Indian cricket team is one of the hardest jobs in sports, as the Indian media and fans deal only in extremes – in praise and in condemnation.The demands of the job have consumed some of the best players the game as seen, from Sunil Gavaskar to Sachin Tendulkar, and from Kapil Dev to Rahul Dravid. Now, MS Dhoni is getting a taste of it.

When Dhoni took over the captaincy of the Twenty20 team in 2007, because the senior players had made themselves unavailable, he led a team of mostly young, still fresh on the international scene players to a world cup win. Within a year of that victory, he had become the captain of the Indian team in all 3 formats of the game and has done a wonderful job of it. He has beaten Australia in a test series, in a ODI tournament (in Australia), drew a test series against South Africa and beaten the daylights out of a Sri Lanka team etc., and all this while being named the best ODI cricketer in the world. He has not let the burden of captaincy affect his form with the bat or the gloves, unlike say, Tendulkar. Continue reading

Do-or-Die Update

Mid way through the India-Sri Lanka match, India have made 163 in 20 overs. So, if Sri Lanka make 144, India are out of the tournament (that is still assuming Australia beat west Indies).

Rather strange inning it was. Initially, there was plenty of scoring and India got to 90 of 10 overs but managed only 70+ in the second half, even with the batting depth they have. Possibly due to slow pitch. From the looks of it, its a pitch where as the ball gets old, stroke making is difficult.

Key to India, early wickets and put pressure on Sri Lanka and make the 144 run chase seem like 180. As I write this, SL’s form batsman Jayawardana is out in the firs over. Hmm.. 1 down, 9 to go.

Some early thoughts on the do-or-die game tomorrow

1. Ravindra Jadeja is out.

2. Umesh Yadav makes an appearance not aware of the visa papers goof up. sorry.

3. If India win toss, will bowl first – To know the target in terms of boosting NRR

4. Need to keep Jayasuriya and Dilshan down.

5. I think India get through to Semis. (All is forgotten Jadeja)

Lessons unlearned

Team India’s current misadventure in the ongoing in the T20 world cup in the Caribbean seems to be a case of “those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.” In the 2009 T20 world cup in England, the Indian batsmen’s inability to handle sustained short-pitched bowling was severely exposed by West Indies and England.  India were unceremoniously booted out of the 2009 tournament in the super eight stage, having put in a meek effort. As always, there was a big outcry over the new line of India’s young brigade that could not handle the short ball but was soon forgotten as the attention turned towards the more traditional formats of the game and then, eventually, IPL 3.

The teams selected for the 2009 tourney and the 2010 are virtually the same, even the shoulder injury to Virender Sehwag. Although, it is possible that the Indian selection committee may have been influenced by the recent matches in the Caribbean, which had featured slow and low pitches, similar to the ones you typically find in the Indian subcontinent, where the Indian players would feel right at home and it is tailor-made for their front foot, hit through the line type of stroke play. Continue reading

Oh Bumble

I follow David “Bumble” Lloyd, the former player and coach of England cricket team and now a full time commentator, on twitter. After the India v WI “duper” 8 game today, he tweeted emphatically,

“India in trouble against short ball ”

Of course, its been common knowledge for a while that Indian batsmen (especially the current lot of younger players) are susceptible to sustained, fast, short pitched bowling. So, i congratulated Bumble on his detective skills as,

“No shit, Sherlock!”

To which, Bumble duly responded as such.

I am flabbergasted. I thought the British are masters of sarcasm and my sarcasm was lost on one of their very own!