Showing posts with the label IPL 2020

England Tour of India: First New Normal Cricket In India Since the Pandemic!

Undoubtedly the most cricket-crazy nation of the world, India had to go without official cricket for nearly a year due the COVID-19 Pandemic that raged in the country till September 2020. Three away cricket series against South Africa, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka had to be cancelled. The much awaited T20 cricket bonanza, the IPL, had to be shifted to the United Arab Emirates thanks to an empty slot left by the indefinitely postponed ICC World Cup T20 slated for 2020. For India, the IPL had been the start of the New Normal Cricket during September-November 2020 followed by its historic tour of Australia 2020-21, both under secure bio-bubble environment. Now, with the England cricket team touring India, the first official cricket Series is about to unfold from tomorrow, the 5 th of February 2021, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai: the first of the four-match Test Series between England and India.   In view of the pandemic that still has not said quits, new normal arrangements are

India Win Canberra ODI: No International Cricket Series Should Immediately Follow The IPL!

Even though the Indian Premiere League (IPL) is basically a T20 club-cricket tournament with multinational cricketers, the stakes involved in the tournament are immense. There is the great promise of moolah for every stakeholder: from the richest cricket board of the world BCCI to the national cricket icons or superstars, little-known domestic cricketers and international cricket stars. Every club or franchise is sort of produced by a business group or a rich investor, and all of the investors not only want their money back, but also shares of the net profits. The fantastic popularity that the IPL enjoys brings in the advertisers and commercial sponsors/co-sponsors. So, for obvious reasons nobody would ever like to give up on this annual bonanza, at any cost. No doubt, the BCCI had been desperate to organize IPL-2020 despite the pandemic, and finally grabbed the anticipated slot that was vacated by the ICC as the Cricket T20 World Cup-2020 could not be held. Not to speak of the other b

India Vs Australia: Cricket New Normal, COVID Stress, Pink Ball And Expectations!

  Photo: India started their tour of Australia in 2018-19 too from November 2018 to January 2019, and created history by becoming first Asian cricket team to beat Australia in a Test Series in Australia. They also became only the second team of the world to beat Australia in Australia in both the formats of ODI and Test. The first test of that series too started in Adelaide in December and in that cracker of a match India won by 31 runs, one of their slenderest of victory margins. Australia won the second test in Perth by 146 runs, and India sealed the series 2-1 by winning the third test in Melbourne by 137 runs with the last match ending in a draw in Sydney. Then they went on to win the ODI Series 2-1 too. Under Australia’s split captaincy regime for different formats Aussie wicket keeper Tim Paine was the captain in the Test series and Aaron Finch captained the Aussies in the ODI and T201 formats, and they met Virat Kohli as the all-format Indian skipper. The rivalry rema

Anticlimactic Twist To An Absorbing IPL-2020, KXIP And RR Eliminated!

IPL-2020 has been one of the most absorbing versions ever given very different terrains in the United Arab Emirates, its three stadiums being Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. Dubai is almost similar to the Indian flat tracks inducing high scores while the pitches in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah are on the slower side, both rather helping the bowlers yielding mostly modest scores, more than 200 runs very rare. That IPL 2020 is so absorbing is clear from the fact that only a couple of matches to be played in the final stage of the league, only one team has officially qualified for the play-offs and it is still not clear which three of the five teams would finally join MI there. Of course, Dhoni’s CSK had already been officially eliminated from the tournament, along with KXIP and RR as of today.   We had maintained in our earlier IPL piece that thanks to the slowish nature of the pitches the struggle between the bat and the ball was keener, and therefore, we were having many hard-fought humdin

Tour of Australia 2020-21: Indian Squads Look To Be A Judicious Mix!

Photo: The all-India cricket selection committee of the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) has yesterday finalized the Indian squads for the India Tour of Australia 2020-21 to be played from end of next month under new normal rules due to the pandemic. Three squads for the T20Is, ODIs and Tests have been announced with some significant changes of players/specialists. Rishabh Pant, who is reportedly unfit due to weight issues, has been left out of the shorter formats and included in the Test squad as the second wicket-keeper. This is despite he being the hype of the millennium when he was not selected for the ICC Cricket World Cup-2019, initially, and the Board eventually forced to select him due to Shikhar Dhawan’s injury, but largely due to the pressures created by the Pant fans on social media, the mainstream media hooting for him even with editorials and a range of cricket experts and ex-players crying for his inclusion. However, it proved to be a damp

IPL 2020: Super Cricketing Matches Over the Weekend!

Whenever we get to watch cricket of the highest order involving star national and international players we tend to forget about the format of the game and in which ‘type’ it is being played, international Tests or ODIs or T20Is or commercial league T20 matches, and we consider and cherish such games as treats. This exactly has been the case in all of the four matches of the Indian Premier League-2020 (IPL 2020) played over the weekend, that is on Saturday and Sunday, 17-18 October 2020 in UAE, each of the four matches being a humdinger down the wire, and several national and international cricketers displaying tremendous competitive spirit and superlative cricket.   Photo: The first game on Saturday was played between RCB and RR in Dubai. RR set a competitive target of 178, and RCB started the chase on a pitch slowing down and found shot-making increasingly difficult. They needed 76 runs off the last 41 balls when Virat Kohli departed for 43 runs off 32 balls, an