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Showing posts with the label IPL-2021

Indian Cricket: Who Would Be Or Ought To Be The Test Captain?

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The sudden stepping down, somewhat inevitable, of Virat Kohli from test captaincy has started a raging speculation in India about who would be or ought to be the new Test captain. Earlier in the year 2021 we had suggested a split-captaincy regime, particularly after the stand-in Test captain Ajinkya Rahane led India to an incredible Series victory over Australia in Australia overcoming the 36-all out syndrome and the departure of Virat for home. Rahane had been the test vice-captain for quite some time and therefore, there should’ve been no hassles to make him the regular captain, relieving Kohli the burden of captaining all three formats. In hindsight, we can say that had that decision been taken Kohli would’ve continued to be the white-ball captain thus the confrontations and ego-plays between BCCI and Kohli could’ve been avoided. However, that was not done, and during the last one year Rahane has been in very poor form and perhaps he had played the last innings of his test career th

Cricket: Should The Toss Be Tossed Away?

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Although the practice of tossing the coin before a cricket Test match by the two captains is as ancient as the game, in recent times we have seen a huge lot of cases where the toss winning team puts the losing team at distinct disadvantages, including an evolving negative mindset. In some cricket playing nations like England, Australia, the West Indies and New Zealand where the focus is on grooming fast bowlers pitches with grass are prepared and once the host team wins the toss in a day match they put the opposition into bat, particularly if the morning is cloudy apart from the moisture fresh on the grass, and obviously the visiting team suffers not at all due to their fault or their weaknesses. The reverse of this is true in countries, particularly India or Sri Lanka, where the focus is always on the spinners, grassless slower-flat pitches are prepared and the toss-winning team naturally bats first, because in most cases the pitch begins to turn dangerously from the 3 rd or the 4 th

T20 World Cup: England and Pakistan Enter Semi Finals!

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England and Pakistan, the unbeaten teams so far in Group-1 and Group-2 respectively, have earned 8 points each with one match each remaining and have sealed their places in the semi-finals. England is probably the best team of the tournament defeating all tough rivals easily and busting the myth that teams winning the toss and bowling first go on to win the matches which, in fact, have been a trend in the sluggish pitches and the dew factor later in the night at Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai. However, England in particular and also Pakistan have proved that any good team can always win under any circumstances. It had been really tough for England to bat first against Sri Lanka, particularly handling the Lankan good spinners; but their in-form batsmen took up the   challenge and Buttler went on to hit the first century of the tournament remaining unbeaten thus helping the team to put up a healthy total of 163 runs. And then, their bowlers and fieldsmen delivered as in all previous matche

T20 World Cup: New Zealand Crush India As If Fulfilling The Hot Favorites’ Death Wish!

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For the second time in a row India captain Virat Kohli lost the toss, this time to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and the latter unhesitatingly decided bowl first. In Dubai, the venue of this crucial encounter, in all the six matches played so far the chasing teams have won all the time. If that was not enough Kohli took Ishan Kishan in place of a supposedly injured Suryakumar Yadav and allowed him to open which was somewhat justified as left-right combination. But the biggest shocker came when Rohit Sharma, one of the most successful openers for India in all the formats of cricket, did not come in to open. As I mentioned in an earlier post the dropping of a sound opener Shikhar Dhawan who performed very well in the IPL-2021 was a huge mistake and his absence is now felt at every moment apart from disturbing the right-left combination. Then, the non-bowling, the supposedly non-fit Hardik Pandya still remained in the team. The team lost its balance completely and that effectively e

ICC Cricket T20 World Cup-2021: The Big One Tomorrow As Super-12 Rivalries Start!

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The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup-2021 started in Oman and UAE with an upset in Group-B qualifiers when Scotland delivered a shock defeat to Bangladesh on 17 th October and the qualifier stage concluded on 22 nd October with another history-making upset as Namibia edged out the test-playing nation Ireland and entered the Super-12 stage for the first time. So, we have now qualifiers: from Group-A—the topper Sri Lanka enters the Group-1 and runners-up Namibia in Group-2 of the Super-12 while the Group-B topper Scotland enters Group-2 and the runners-up Bangladesh in Group-1 of the Super-12 stage. The six teams in each group will play matches between themselves on a round-robin basis and the two top teams of each group will sail into the semi-finals. The highly competitive and tough rivalries of the Super-12 stage starts today with Australia  meeting South Africa in the first match in Abu Dhabi and England facing defending champions the West Indies in the second match in Dubai. Notwithstandi

Cricket T20: ICC Men’s World Cup-2021 Begins In Oman And UAE!

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The much-delayed ICC (International Cricket Council) Men’s T20 World Cup-2021, originally scheduled in Australia from 18 th October to 15 th November 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 situation worldwide and shifted to India replacing the to-be-held Champions Trophy in 2021 and was again shifted to Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE) in view of the worsening pandemic situation in India, finally began on 17 th October 2021. This is only the official beginning, because for the first five days till 22 nd October the fixtures only figure teams to qualify for the Super-12 that begins from 23 rd October. The ICC has also earlier decided to merge the Champions Trophy (last played in 2018) with the T20 World Cup and this means that there will be a back-to-back T20 World Cups this year and in 2022 also. India play their first match of the tournament against the archrivals Pakistan on 24 th October, 2021, amid some dissenting voices concerning Pakistan’s continuing terror attacks in I

IPL-2021: The Last Of The MSD?

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The MSD of Indian and world cricket has been a phenomenon in terms of aggression yet simple approach, skillful captaincy in all three formats of the game, unorthodox right-hand batsman with raw yet powerful hitting, one of the best examples in wicket-keeping in world cricket, one of the fastest runners between the wickets and always smiling and composed in the field. MSD simplified means the one and the only—Mahendra Singh Dhoni. On October 15, 2021 in the IPL-2021 final in Dubai which was MSD’s 300 th match Dhoni led his franchise CSK (Chennai Super Kings), since 2008, to its 4 th Champion title defeating KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders) convincingly by 27 runs. The earlier title wins under Dhoni’s captaincy were in 2010, 2011 and 2018.   There have been rumors floating around in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) about the 40-year-old star cricketer’s retirement after IPL-2021 which seems realistic now that he has played the 300 th match and also winning the title, creating a moment of

IPL-2021: Play-Off Encounters To Start From Sunday, The 10th October!

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Finally, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) made it to the 4 th spot in the play-offs of the Indian Premiere League (IPL-2021) on the basis of net run-rate, staging an intensely spirited fight against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the first of the double-headers played in Sharjah on 7 th October. Thanks to a brilliant start led by the openers Shubman Gill (56) and Venkatesh Iyer (38) KKR put up a total of 171 runs for RR. Although the total was not unassailable the KKR bowlers responded equally intensely and bowled out RR for just 85, even lower than what they achieved in their previous low of 90 runs against Mumbai Indians (MI). For KKR the player-of-the-match pacer Shivam Mavi capturing 4 scalps for 21 runs in 3.1 overs, pacer Lockie Ferguson getting 3 for 18 runs in 4 overs and spinners Shakib and Chakravarthy capturing one wicket each. The huge victory margin further improved Kolkata’s net run-rate to over +0.5 which meant that Mumbai had to defeat the Sun Risers Hyderabad (SRH) by a margin

IPL-2021: Low-Scoring Matches In The UAE Low In Terms Of Cricket Too, Double-Headers To Decide The Fourth Play-Off Spot!

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The low-scoring matches during the second leg of the Indian Premiere League-2021 (IPL-2021) held in the United Arab Emirates are mostly lacking in terms of cricketing charms—meaning exciting and memorable knocks by celebrated international players—barring the lone century of the tournament scored by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener Rituraj Gaikwad that turned out to be for a losing cause and an exciting hat-trick by Harshal Patel of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). We are missing the usual great cricket by players like AB de-Villiers who is playing lower down the order for unknown reasons, David Warner, Chris Gayle who came and went out of fatigue without causing any harm to any opponent, Steve Smith, Andre Russell as usual, Kieron Pollard, Quinton de Kock, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and others. There are of course good knocks by Kohli, Sharma, KL Rahul, Glen Maxwell, Faf du Plessis, Shikhar Dhawan, Paddikal, Sanju Samson, Ravindra Jadeja and few others, but failing always t