August 4th, 2016 — 8:48am
Bipul Sharma’s batting in the last two playoff matches has made people wonder why he was not played earlier by the Hyderabad franchise.
Before playing in the eliminator game in Delhi where he hit Morne Morkel out of the park twice in the 20th over to add some handy runs to the total, Bipul had played only one game in this year’s IPL
Hyderabad’s preferred policy in the league stage was not to play any specialist spinner and just to go with 4 pace bowlers instead, but, whenever, they came across a sluggish deck and had to have some spin in their ranks, it was always Karn Sharma, the leg spinner, whom they chose.
But, Bipul, with his hitting and also, with his economical bowling, has shown he could have been a better bet and could have helped Hyderabad seal those close affairs which they couldn’t due to inefficient lower order batting support.
Bipul smashing Morkel the other day was actually seen by some people as the chancy hits coming off well and nobody credited it to his skills, but, when he did the same to the Lions attack and that too to one of the very best death bowlers in the world, Dwayne Bravo, he ensured he drew some credit for that because it was skilful.
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June 7th, 2016 — 7:34am
Virat Kohli’s batting always takes the front seat and overshadows his captaincy to some extent, but, in reality, he is a fine captain as well at the age of only 27.
His choice of the bowlers against Gujarat Lions yesterday especially at the start was brilliant.
It’s the opening duo of Gujarat which is the most dangerous part of their batting line up and the other captains generally look to minimize the boundaries against them in the power play.
But, Virat was ambitious and was keen on sending them on their way back as he knew even if he got a few overs away without giving too many boundaries, that was of no good as Finch and McCullum could explode any time and make up for whatever little wasted time.
So, it was about the dismissal of those two and that too early on and Virat set up great traps for them.
He fed McCullum with left am spin knowing that the former Kiwi skipper would try to loft the spinner which he did and unfortunately for him, because of the spin on the ball, the shot was mistimed getting the perfectly placed fielder at long off into play. Continue reading »
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April 18th, 2016 — 10:47am
Now that each of the eight sides has played at least one game in IPL 9, it’s a good time to analyse those early matches and see how they are shaping up for the rest of the groups.
Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore started the campaign as favourites to claim their first title and an emphatic win over the Sunrisers has enhanced that particular position. Continue reading »
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January 14th, 2016 — 12:34pm
MS Dhoni batted at no. 4 in the last couple of games in the series against Bangladesh and did fairly well, but, would he continue batting at that same position in the games versus South Africa too?
Dhoni has always seen himself as a finisher and has performed that role successfully for a number of seasons for the Indian team, but, for the last one year or so, he has find it a little difficult to bat with the same strike rate coming down the order at no 6.
There was a time when it was virtually impossible to ball to the Indian captain in the dying phase of the Indian innings for he was so good at collecting boundaries straight down the ground and through midwicket with his immense power, but, that aspect of his game seems to have faded away a little bit.
It’s not that he has lost his power, but, his ability to send the ball flying over the ropes at any point of time has certainly been missing.
He is, however; still pretty good at stealing the cheeky singles inside the 30-yard circle and taking on the boundary riders’ arms to convert ones into twos and thus, it has been suggested that now at this stage, it’s better for him if he puts himself slightly up the order for India and tries to play the accumulating role leaving the finishing role for somebody else. Continue reading »
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November 30th, 2015 — 2:11pm
The tour of Zimbabwe has presented a golden opportunity to some fringe Indian players to showcase what they are capable of and press their claims for a couple of places that are up for grabs at the moment.
Guys like Robin Uthappa who has been knocking the door of the national team for quite a bit of time would not like to let this series go without making an impression.
Apart from Uthappa, Murali Vijay too would see it as a make or break for him.
While, Vijay is a regular in India’s test side now, he still has not quite nailed it at the One Day level.
His fans might say he has not got as much time as some others have as far as getting settled in limited-over Cricket is concerned, he has been in and out of the team, but, whatever the case might be, Vijay is 31 now and if he does not do that much in these Zimbabwe One Dayers, he might find himself limited to just test Cricket in future.
It remains to be seen whom out of Uthappa and Vijay does the stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane pick to open with himself or if he puts both of them at the top of the order and get himself to one down.
Rahane normally plays no. 4 for India, but, recently, MS Dhoni had pointed out that the Mumbai batsman was not that comfortable rotating the strike in the middle overs against the slower bowlers.
The 26-year old might like to stay in the middle order and show his regular skipper that he is good enough to score playing at that position too.
However, there are more chances of him opening the batting and maybe Uthappa batting one down.
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October 4th, 2015 — 6:03pm
Ravindra Jadeja has finally paid the price of being inconsistent with the ball as he has been left out of the Indian One Day International side for the tour of Zimbabwe.
Jadeja had a disappointing World Cup and then, he proved to be a failure in the recent series against Bangladesh as well.
And, finally, the selectors ran out of patience.
The quick rise of Axar Patel might also have played an important role in Jadeja’s axe.
Axar is a young, talented left arm spinner who is actually capable of offering more than Jadeja.
Maybe in batting, he lags behind a little bit, but, he is just making his way in the international arena and deserves to be given a fair run.
The thing with Axar is that he can play the role of an attacking spinner as well.
At the moment, as has been the case with all the left arm spinners in the recent times, his stock ball seems to be the arm ball, but, at times, when he tries to bowl it slower through the air, he looks quite impressive.
So, he has got that another dimension to his game as well which Jadeja probably doesn’t have.
As he plays a bit of Cricket at the international level and earns experience, he will only get better as a bowler, Axar.
The Indian team is playing most of the Cricket in the subcontinent in the coming year or so. Continue reading »
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