India vs Pakistan is a contest which is a money milking cow for the ICC and Star Sports has been promoting this match as #SabseBadaMoh. I just hope that the English weather holds up and we are treated to a spectacle by both India and Pakistan. One thing is for sure though, the ground will be packed, there will be noise, there will be passion in the air and a silent prayer on the lips of the millions who will witness this encounter!
Mumbai Indians have one of the most rounded squads for IPL 2017 and while other teams having been sweating over the injuries of key players, Mumbai welcome their leading batsman and captain Rohit Sharma; who is returning after a long lay-off. MI will be hoping to ‘Hilao the Duniya’ & pick up their third IPL title as they have also roped in the astute Mahela Jayawardena in their backroom staff!
Royal Challengers Bangalore, traditionally, have one of the most glittering line ups in IPL but for all their riches, they are yet to lay hands on the silverware in the previous 9 seasons. RCB fans would want to believe that IPL 2017, the 10th season of the Indian Premier League is where they get lucky finally!
Punjab decided to hand over the captains arm band to ‘The Big Show’ Maxwell for IPL 2017 and a lot will indeed depend on how Maxi goes right through the tournament. With Murli Vijay & Martin Guptill set to miss the initial games due to injury, Maxwell along with Miller and Morgan become the fulcrum around which the Punjab team will revolve.
Gujarat Lions played like long time professionals belittling the fact that they were new-comers the last time around and topped the league table. Although they failed in the playoffs, but their style of play left none in doubt about the talent and fire power that they possess.
They took a big decision of replacing MS Dhoni with the red hot Steve Smith as the captain of their sinking ship. The other big decision was getting hold of the best all rounder in the game today, Ben Stokes. They also have Imran Tahir, Zampa and Rahane who will all need to step up for them at key moments.
The reigning champions of IPL and they will look to defend their title under Aussie David Warner again. They have made some interesting changes to their squad and will be confident of reaching the knock out stages of IPL 10.
Delhi Daredevils are a team that have not always performed according to the talent and potential they possess. Barring a couple of seasons early when Sehwag and Gambhir fired for them, they haven’t reached the knock out stage of the IPL.
This South African side is a beast and they blanked the Australian’s 5-0 recently at home in ODI’s so it won’t be easy for Sri Lanka but if the Lankans put on show the same grit and determination that they displayed when playing the T20 format then they have the calibre to surprise their much fancied opponents.
So after the three match ODI series that saw bowlers from both camps getting murdered; the India England cricket caravan moves on to the most destructive format of the game with Kanpur set to host the first T20 of the three match series. With scores of week over 300 a norm in the recently concluded ODI series, this promises to be a run fest as well with both India and England boasting of some massive strikers of the cricket ball.
He is, without any doubt the greatest captain India has ever produced and India were lucky to have a guy with such temperament and tactical nous to lead them at a time when stalwarts like Sachin, Ganguly, Kumble, Dravid and Laxman bid good-bye to Indian cricket.
He was a brilliant batsman, a canny off spinner and combined with his panther-like reflexes anywhere in the field, he was every captains dream – Dilshan you will be sorely missed! Thank you for all the memories, All the Best for your future!!
Considering that the Lankan first innings ended at a meagre 117 followed by 203 by Australia in their first dig and Lanka managed 177 (without Mendis’s contribution of 176) and finally Australia in the last innings who were bowled out for just 161 – Kusal’s 176 stands out like a beacon amidst havoc all around.
The batting depth and the class of Virat, Gayle, De Villiers and Watson definitely gives RCB the advantage in addition to the fact that they will be playing at their home ground at the Chinnaswamy but Bhuvi, Mustafizur, Sran and Henriques might just be the bowling attack that can tame the beast of the batting line up that awaits them.
Both England and West Indies have won this tournament before and both of them will be raring to go at each other for what will be a thrilling finale to this hugely exciting edition of the WT20 2016.
The English bowling appears to be their weaker suit with their pace bowlers lacking the consistency and the spinners being taken to the cleaners by Mathews and co at Kotla in their last game.
It came down to the final over bowled by Hardik Pandya as Bangladesh required 11 to win and 10 to take the match in the super over. Mahmudullah got a single off the first ball and Mushfiqur then smashed two 4’s in two balls to bring the equation down to a simple 2 off 3 balls for Bangladesh.
It promises to be a keenly contested match between two teams who will be eager to get a win under their belt, New Zealand so that they can seal their semi final spot and Pakistan so that they can stay in contention for the same. Another thing of interest in this match will be the captaincy of Williamson and Afridi – while Williamson has seamlessly taken over from Brendon McCullum, Afridi seems to be struggling and is under huge pressure to perform especially after the loss to India.
Rubbery and extremely supple the work that he put on the ball using those wrists was almost magic. He could put balls pitching miles outside the off stump through the leg side or he could cover drive them or straight drive them as and when he liked. At times it seemed that the impact of ball on bat was happening in extra slow motion while he was batting. It depended on his mood and he could baffle the opposition with his batting.
Known for his quick arm action, Wasim had the ability to both swing and seam the ball and his Fantastico control and high pace made him a genuine threat for any opposition batsman. He was known to conceal the ball during his run-up so that the batsman could not get a view of the ball, especially when he reverse swung the ball. It was almost impossible to play him when the ball began to reverse swing, he was a master exponent of the practise having mastered the art meticulously.
Waqar’s ability to move the ball colossally in the air and the fact that he targeted the base of the leg stump almost always succeeded in getting the batsman in an ungainly tangle. Delivering toe crushing yorkers at top speed was his speciality and hence he was also nick named ‘The Toe Crusher’.
It will be an engrossing duel in the ICC WT20 2016 at Dharamshala where the ball will certainly do a bit at the high altitude and with the picturesque snow clad mountains providing the backdrop I am eagerly awaiting Kohli Vs Amir lip smacking battle to resume!!
Which Bowler do you think will end up wearing the Purple Cap at the end of IPL 2015?
Which Batsman do you think will end up wearing the Orange Cap at the end of IPL 2015?
They seemed to have a nice nucleus when they beat India in that famous 2007 World Cup win in the West Indies. The memory of a 17 year old Tamim rushing down the pitch and slamming Zaheer Khan in the stands still gives me nightmares. Another 17 year old, Mushfiqur Rahim, had played a pivotal part in that historic run chase that doomed India.
Steven Smith has tormented Dhoni right through the last 5-6 months but now he finds himself on a ground where Dhoni can finally give it back. I look forward to this little battle between these two players, how they go about plotting each others downfall.
Two Fast Chums, A Batting Freak, Two Captains and Dan the Man!! All fade into the Sunset!! Goodbye!
Fiery Bouncers of Wahab or the deadly swing of Boult or the toe crucshing yorkers of Starc!! Which was your favorite spell from this World Cup? Which bowler do you think bowled that magical spell tilted the match that should have been listed here?
Which was your favorite innings from this World Cup? Which batsman do you think played an innings that should have been listed here?
These were the 5 Top Wicket Takers of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. Which of these bowler surprised you the most, I was definitely surprised to see two Indian fast bowlers in the top 5!
Steven Smith lies in the 6th spot with 402 runs in 8 matches at an average of 67 and a strike rate of 92 but he made telling contributions in the Aussie victory as he made afifty against the Pakistanis in the Quarter Final, a century in the Semi Final against the Indians and an unbeaten half century in the Final against the Kiwis!!
The D day had finally arrived. After 6 weeks of some pretty riveting cricket the two best teams had reached the final. It was to be played at one of the most iconic cricket grounds in the world – the MCG. Some 90,000 spectators were expected to fill the huge stands and fill they did, those stands were all a vast sea of green and yellow spattered with black and beige!
It has come down to this, finally. The two host nations, Australia and New Zealand will battle it out for the ODI World Cup 2015 in Melbourne at the iconic MCG in front of expected 90,000 screaming fans. Both the have taken similar routes to the Final, Australia beaten only once throughout their campaign (New Zealand defeated them by a solitary wicket at Auckland) while New Zealand have been unbeaten and have an unblemished record. Let us look at how the two teams stack up for this mother of all matches.
Hosts Australia have made it to yet another World Cup Final where they will meet New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the 29th March to decide who is the ODI champion. Their campaign was marked by a whitewash against the Bangladeshi’s and a narrow loss against co-hosts New Zealand at Auckland. Let us look at how their World Cup has been thus far and how they reached the finals.
New Zealand have been unbeaten thus far in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and they have played very well indeed, deserving finalists they are too. Led by an aggressive captain and a bunch of players willing to give it their all and backed by a vociferous crowd, New Zealand have not only won matches but also won the hearts of numerous cricket fans and warmed their hearts. Let us look at their campaign so far.
A sea of blue greeted both the teams as they arrived at the famous Sydney Cricket Ground for this important Semi Final clash and the right to play New Zealand at the MCG on the 29th March 2015 in the Final match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. Australia won the toss and decided that they will bat first, the pitch looked like a belter and it was the same pitch on which Sri Lanka had nearly chased down Australia’s 370 odd just 2 weeks ago. Both the teams were unchanged for this fight.
Elliot let out a guttural roar but was the first to give Steyn a hand as he lay slump on the pitch after conceding that six. Faf fell to his knees at short mid wicket and De Villiers could not believe it. The Kiwi players were hugging each other and rushing out on the outfield. Morne Morkel was a picture of despair as he cried inconsolably. David Miller and AB De Villiers had red eyes too. Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum sported huge smiles. Daniel Vettori was emotionless as always. The fireworks lit up the Eden Park and the rest of New Zealand but the spark and the fire that the match had provided would remain lit in the hearts of the cricket fans for years to come. South Africa had not chocked this time around and they can hold their heads high as they gave everything they had to win this game. It was just that New Zealand were better on the given day.
Here is a small post looking ahead to the Semi Finals and my predictions for the Finals.
What are your predictions on the big matches coming up?
Let us see who are the Top 5 Batsmen who have plundered the most Runs and the Top 5 Bowlers who have snared the most Wickets up until the Quarter Final Matches:
It was time for the final Quarter Final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and co-hosts New Zealand were up against the Men from Caribbean at the scene where England were slaughtered by Tim Southee’s 7-33. Brendon McCullum won the toss and had no hesitation in deciding to bat first.
That was the start of the most brutal spell of fierce and nasty display of bowling by Wahab Riaz. He bowled brute after brute as Shane Watson, a fine puller and hooker of the cricket ball was ducking and fending balls off his throat and head. The balls either just evaded his head or landed short of the fielders until one reared up on him and he pulled instinctively. Rahat dropped a simple chance and the Pakistani shoulders drooped. Wahab had given his heart out in that spell and it was definitely the best fast bowling spell that I have witnessed.
India will face the winner of tomorrows Quarter Final clash between Australia and Pakistan at the SCG. The games will get bigger from here on in, the competition tougher and the stakes higher.
It was the last ODI that Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene played for Sri Lankans and they could not repeat their fairy tale script from the WT20 in Bangladesh where they bowed out on a high. There were a few tears and hugs all around for these two absolute legends of the game and they surely deserved a better end then this.
India was outsted from the World Cup in a picture of despair and embarrassment from the 2007 World Cup held in Caribbean. They did win against the Bangladeshi’s in Bangladesh in 2011 before going on to lift the trophy but that loss might still rankle them somewhere. MSD is the only surviving member from that horrendous match and he will want to lead his side in to the Semi Finals beating the team that gave him and the whole nation so much sadness 8 years ago.
Having won all their matches with relative ease India are placed at the Pole position. South Africa, despite losing to both the Asian teams India and Pakistan are in the second position. West Indies and Pakistan finish with the same number of points but West Indies finish in the 3rd spot due to a higher net run rate.
So all the matches in the Pool A are now complete and we have the 4 teams who will qualify to the next round of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 to play the Quarter Finals.
17th March 2007. 8 years ago, almost to the date, Ireland scripted a fairy tale victory against the Pakistani side. That loss meant that Pakistan bowed out of the World Cup 2007 at the group stages while Ireland progressed through to the next round.
The fate of both these teams has already been decided as far as the World Cup 2015 is concerned. India are comfortably placed at the top of Pool B courtesy a magnificent run which has seen them beat arch rivals Pakistan, pre tournament favorites South Africaand underdogs West Indies.
Both these teams have qualified for the all important Quarter Finals slated for next week. New Zealand have been relentless in their attack through their captain Brendon McCullum in all the three departments. They easily defeated Sri Lanka before blowing away England through Tim Southee’s 7-33 and then beat the Australians in a nail biter. Scotland did give them a scare but that could be brushed aside as a minor blip.
His hunger and determination and the amount of hard work he puts in, in the nets, is an inspiration to all the young up coming players. He is a freak, a genius and a batsman par excellence.
They have been annihilated this World Cup suffering huge losses to Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and now this. Bangladesh, well they have deserved this win. They have been the better side right through the World Cup and this victory means that they will most likely face India in the Quarter Finals. It was certainly a night to remember for the Bangladeshi fans and I hope they live up in the knock outs as well!
The task ahead of Ireland is simple, they have to win one of their next two games and they will land in to the Quarter Finals. India must win to secure their top position in Pool B and get the right to play Bangladesh (who defeated England earlier in the day to progress to the QF) in the Quarter Final.
Bangladesh have 5 points from 4 games. England have only 2 from as many. Bangladesh have games against England and New Zealand left. England have still to play Bangladesh and Afghanistan. If Bangladesh win this then they move to 7 points and England cannot catch up. Thus this is a virtual Quarter Final for both these teams!
This Pakistan win means that they now have 6 points with the game against Ireland in hand. That will be a huge game and the winner will probably make the Quarter Finals. As for South Africa, they have lost to India and now Pakistan and the pre tournament favorites tag sits uncomfortably on their heads right now.
Sri Lanka have won their last 6 games out of 8 that they have played at this famed venue and they have won 8 out of 14 completed games they have played against the Australians since 2010. Both the teams will be pretty keen to finish at the second position behind New Zealand and we are sure to witness an epic battle.
It was a beautiful sunny day at Perth and with Australia having smashed over 400 just a few days ago against Afghanistan, the pitch looked a belter. Another high scoring game was in the offing but the bowlers from both the sides decided to have some fun of their own! West Indies won the toss and they decided to bat first.
This match will be very important for Pakistan as a loss here will put a serious question mark over their qualification in the Quarter Finals. They have a game against the Irish still to come and the memories of the 2007 game might come to haunt them again.
This is an important match for both sides, though more so for the West Indians. The Indians will look to win this one and top their Pool so that they might face either England or Bangladesh in the Quarter Finals. If India loses this one then they can finish in the second spot and might have to face either Australia or Sri Lanka which will certainly be a more daunting proposition. The West Indians will have to work very hard to make it to the Quarters if they lose this one.
Let us see who the Top 5 Run Getters are after the first 26 matches of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015!!
Let us see who the Top 5 Wicket Takers are after the first 26 matches of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015!!
Technology, since times immemorial, has always been a double edged sword; sometimes acting as a dear friend while at other times a bitter foe, sometimes a dangerous villain as also an audacious hero in other times, sometimes invigorating while it can also be suffocating in a matter of a few seconds… If used with care and if used correctly, it can lead to salvation else it has the potential to leave behind a trail of annihilation. Those in charge of being the guardians of our beloved sport must make it certain that Cricket is on the correct side of that dangerous blade!!
A Special Guest Post from my friend Narsimha Sarma Veturi who is an ardent cricket fan. In this post Narsimha looks back to the 2 weeks of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and also makes his predictions for the Quarter Finals, read on!
This Sri Lankan team is starting to peak at the correct time and they have a reputation of lifting their game in the big tournaments. Their batsmen are piling on the runs and they have now lost only 2 wickets and scored around 700 runs!!! England is down and almost out and their clash against Bangladesh becomes a virtual Quarter Final and if they lose that they can pack their bags and go home.
Starc produced two high class yorkers to dismiss Milne and Southee off successive deliveries and New Zealand were suddenly 146 for 9 with 6 still needed for a victory. Out walked Boult, the hero with the ball for New Zealand and he somehow kept out the two deliveries. Williamson nonchalantly picked up the first ball off the next over by Pat Cummins back over his head to seal the game by a wicket.
The skies were dark and there was rain in the air when the match started and right through the West Indies’s innings. A storm was about to hit the Manuka Oval in the Australian capital of Canberra. It rained sixes and and records were shattered.
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 has seen loads of action and some breathtaking cricket over the past one week or so. Let us take a look at some of the best pictures from the first 10 days of this World Cup! Enjoy!!
I do not think that the most ardent of Indian fan would have believed if anyone would have told him that these would be the results of India’s two opening games after seeing their performance in the tri series where they lost every single game. More than the win, it is the manner in which they have won which must warm the heart of every fan of the Men in Blue.
The team who wins this match might well decide who will top this Pool and hence get the right to play either England or Bangladesh (who knows they might just sneak in if their match against the Australians is washed out today due to cyclone Marcia).
Batsmen came and went. From 104-3 England managed to get all out for 123. Tim Southee had them on the ropes; the ball was talking in his hands. It was just an exhibition of high class swing bowling from one of the best. He finished with 7-33, the best figures ever by a Kiwi bowler and the 3rd best ever in a World Cup tournament after Glenn McGrath and Andy Bichel.
Tim Southee put on a high class exhibition of swing bowling as he had the ball talking and none of the English batsmen were able to decipher what was being thrown at them. Let us look back at how he got those 7 wickets one by one.
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