Dinesh Chandimal has acknowledged that his batting line up faltered on the opening day of the second test match at Jamtha. As per the Sri Lankan skipper, considering the nature of the wicket and also the quality of the Indian batting, nothing less than 350 was going to be ideal.
The Indian Cricket team will try and take an unbeatable lead in the ODI series when they take the ground against West Indies tomorrow at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium.
The situation at present is that both teams have one win each and the one winning the next game makes sure that they will not be losing the series.
India, obviously because they have the knowledge of their home conditions, have more of a chance of pulling it off, but, West Indies is not a bad team at all in limited-over cricket.
Yes, they let the game slip out of their hands in Delhi, but, that happens with teams that play such aggressive brand of cricket.
The day when these Caribbean guys get it right, they make it a hell of a job for the opposition as they showed during the first game down there in Kerala.
The conditions in Himachal will not be typical Indian though. The wicket there is sort of hard and the ball goes through quite fast there. So, if you have a bit of vulnerability against pace and bounce, you might be found wanting.
Also, because of the fact that the stadium is situated quite high above the sea level, the ball seems to fly a little more there and that would help the West Indies batsmen who like going for big, aerial shots.
The weather forecast is pretty okay. The threat of rain always hovers over the games in Himachal Pradesh, but, this time around, if the weather department is to be trusted, the sky will be clear and the game should go on without any hindrance.
One match in the series has already been abandoned because of the horrendous weather condition in Andhra Pradesh. So, it has effectively remained only a 4-game series now.
George Bailey, who was the stand-in captain of Australia in the ODI game against South Africa the other day in Harare, reckons that his batsmen had put up a good enough total in that match.
Australia scored 327 runs at the loss of 7 wickets and hunting down that total, South Africa didn’t look in any sort of pressure. With extreme comfort, they got to the winning mark which led people to say that perhaps, the Kangaroos were 20-short on that very flat surface.
Although Bailey also admitted that the pitch was flat and scoring runs was easy but, according to him, a score of more than 300 in defendable on any surface if the defending team bowls and fields well.
Speaking in the post match press conference, Bailey said, “I don’t think we were short on runs. It was easy batting on that surface, but, despite that, this score could have been defended and to be fair to our bowlers, they made the batsmen commit mistakes, but, unfortunately, the catches didn’t get held and we paid the price for that.”
Bailey himself was one of the culprits as far as dropping catches is concerned. He could have sent AB De Villiers back to the hut in his mid eighties if he had held on an easy chance.
Bailey did have a good match with the bat though as he was the second highest scorer for Australia after the centurion Aaron Finch. Batting at no. 4, the skipper scored quick 60 odd runs and got Australia, which had gone onto the back foot after losing back-to-back wickets of Hughes and Marsh, going again.
The Kangaroos have to play their next match on Sunday. Bailey might not have to captain in that match as Michael Clarke is supposed to be fit by then.
Craig Kieswetter will have to go under the knife to recover from the injury that he suffered while featuring for Somerset in the county championship game against Northamptonshire the other day.
It was a short pitched ball by David Willey which Kieswetter didn’t manage to handle well and got hit on the face. That was a nasty blow and the wicketkeeper was down on the ground.
The medical staff ran in and had a look and it didn’t take them long to understand that the 26-year Old needed to be taken to the hospital immediately.
Kieswetter went through a few tests in the hospital after which it was confirmed that his eyes were alright, but, there was a fracture in his nose as well as in a couple of other facial bones and there is no option available other than the surgery.
It’s unclear how much time it will take Kieswetter to be back in action again. But, he is going to miss a few matches, that’s for certain and it will hurt Somerset because the right hander had been in pretty good form in the ongoing season.
Against Northamptonshire, it’s Alex Barrow who kept wickets in the absence of Kieswetter.
Yesterday, Kieswetter uploaded a snap of his on a social networking side in which his face was looking scary. There was so much swelling in the areas close to his right eye that he was not able to open that eye.
However, the good thing is that Kieswetter’s eyes didn’t suffer any severe damage. If anything nasty had happened to his eyes, it might have put a full stop on his career. There have been cricket players in the past whose careers ended because of eye injuries. Mark Boucher is the most recent example of that.
After missing the Asia Cup, the Indian captain MS Dhoni is all set to make a comeback in the World T20 Championship. He will be captaining India in that tournament.
India missed Dhoni a lot in the Asia Cup, not as captain, but, as wicketkeeper-batsman. The middle order of the Indian team looked very weak in the absence of this charismatic player.
Now, with him getting fit for the World T20, India can pose some serious threat for the other teams.
Dhoni’s record in the shortest form of the game is highly appreciable. He bats very low down the order; still his average is pretty good. Also, he has a strike rate close to 150 to go with that healthy average.
Apart from his batting abilities, Dhoni makes big difference from behind the stumps too. He is one of the quickest keepers going around in international cricket. He whips the bails off in fraction of a second. Some of the stumpings that he has done in the Indian Premier League and in the other tournaments have been extraordinary.
And, last but not the least; everybody is aware of Dhoni’s captaincy skills. He might not be one of the smartest tacticians, but, he is very cool-headed and always remains in control. He doesn’t get carried away at all even in the most tensed situations.
So, it’s great news for the die-hard fans of Indian Cricket that the regular captain of the team is back. His presence will take the pressure off the young players and thus, they will be able to express themselves more freely on the ground.
Without Dhoni, India had not managed to qualify for the final in the Asia Cup. They had lost to Sri Lanka and Pakistan and had ended up at the third place.
The captain of the England cricket team, Alastair Cook, has admitted that losing the ongoing Ashes series is the worst thing that has ever happened in his career.
Cook had been a part of the Ashes losing England team in 2006-07 as well, but, he was only a young player at that time and that defeat would not have hurt him that much. But, being a captain now, he feels much more responsible for the defeat and he was looking absolutely perplexed when he came out to answer the questions of the reporters in the press conference at the end of the Perth test match.
When asked if he thinks that his players have let him down in the series so far, Cook said, “No, I don’t think so. The boys have been training hard and trying their best on the ground. That’s what you expect from your players as a captain. The main reason behind our defeat is our form which hasn’t been that good.”
Cook isn’t completely wrong in saying that. Some of his players are really struggling with their form, but, that can’t be said for a couple of other guys i.e. Cook himself and Ian Bell. These two guys have been in decent form right through the series, but, they have got out playing bad shots on each and every occasion. Test matches are won by hundreds, not, by fifties. The players need to show application in this form of the game and that’s what the England players haven’t done.
However, the English side still has chance to restore some pride before returning home. They would not want to lose the remaining couple of test matches as well and catch their flight back home as a whitewashed Ashes unit.
The Indian captain, MS Dhoni, has hailed the young, right arm medium pacer Mohammed Shami for the way he bowled in his debut test match against West Indies at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
Shami took a total of 9 wickets in the match (4 in the first innings and 5 in the second innings) and helped India win the match by an inning in just three days.
The 23-years old bowler from Bengal was almost unplayable with the old ball. He got considerable amount of reverse swing and troubled each and every batsmen of the Caribbean side.
Talking to the reporters in the post match press conference, Dhoni said, “Almost all the medium pacers were getting reverse swing on that wicket, but, the most important thing was to hit the right lengths and Shami did that. He has got some pace as well and that helps especially when the ball is reverse swinging.”
“His seam position is fantastic. So, he can take the ball away from the right handers too and on quick and bouncy pitches, he is going to be more lethal.”
When asked about the other debutant Rohit Sharma who was declared man of the match for his classy knock of 177, Dhoni said, “I am very happy for him. He has got a lot of talent and now, he is translating that into performances. I hope he achieves more success in future.”
“He would have made his test debut a few years back, but, right before that test match against South Africa, he got injured and had to sit out. That was so unfortunate, but, you should always keep your faith in destiny.”
The second test match between India and West Indies will be played at the Wankhede stadium and it will start from 14th of November.
Michael Clarke might not play for Australia in the 5th ODI match against England which is going to be played at The Rose Bowl on Monday.
The back problem because of which Clarke had not featured in the Champions Trophy has started to trouble him once again and with an important 7-match ODI series against India coming up, the Australian team management is not looking to take any risk.
The former Indian player, Kapil Dev, has said that MS Dhoni is the best captain that India has ever produced.
Kapil was in Kolkata yesterday attending an award ceremony. He talked to the reporters at the end of the ceremony.
When asked about Dhoni’s captaincy, Kapil said, “He has done a wonderful job in the last 6 years or so. I don’t think India has produced a better captain than him so far.”
“The way he led a young team to the Champions Trophy title was incredible. He has got great motivational skills.”
When asked about the performance of the Indian team in the Champions Trophy and the recently played tri-series in West Indies, Kapil said, “The young guys were fantastic in England and West Indies. It was nice to see. Almost all the experienced players were out of the team, despite that; we managed to win both the tournaments. It’s really a big achievement.”
Kapil looked quite impressed with the young all rounder Ravindra Jadeja. He lauded him a lot and said that he is the one of the most valuable players in the team at the moment.
Kapil said, “Ravindra Jadeja is really turning into a fine all rounder. The last few months have been fantastic for him. He has got matured.”
“Jadeja is someone who can win you matches both with the bat and the ball. He is an exceptional fielder too. It’s always nice to have a player like him in the team.”
When asked if Virender Sehwag still has a chance to make a comeback to the Indian team, Kapil said, “Yes off course. He is a great player and a real fighter. He has every chance of making it to the Indian team again if he performs consistently in domestic circuit.”
The captain of the England cricket team, Alastair Cook, has hailed James Anderson for his brilliant bowling effort in the first Ashes test which was played at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.
Anderson took a total of 10 wickets at Trent Bridge (5 in each inning) and was declared man of the match.
The right arm Lancashire pacer bowled his heart out on the 5th day when Australia was trying to hunt down a target of 311. He bowled a mammoth spell of 13 overs in the first hour of the morning and with some cracking deliveries, he broke the backbone of Australian middle order.