Wednesday, November 27, 2013

India won the series against West Indies, now heads to South Africa - Final ODI at Kanpur

With the conclusion of lot of hula bola involving the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, here is another victory for the Indian cricket team. This is the second victory for the home team in a straight. They won the recently concluded ODI series against Australian side.   

The highpoint of yesterday’s final match between India and West Indies was India’s new batting sensation Shikhar Dhawan`s 119 off 95 balls and Yuvraj Singh`s enduring hit of 55 runs as India won the match with 23 balls to spare. 

Put in to bat first, West Indies side lost the wicket of Johnson Charles early in the innings. From there on, Kieran Powell and Marlon Samuels stitched a crucial 117-run partnership for the second wicket which was finally broken by Ashwin. West Indies lost some quick wickets in the middle overs but Darren Bravo and Darren Sammy added unbeaten 67 runs for the sixth wicket partnership which boosted their team’s score to 263 runs.

Ashwin made a huge contribution to conclude the match earlier than expected by taking two wickets, while other bowlers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami and Ravindra Jadeja picked one wicket each. All these wickets helped India to quickly wind up the visitors.

Indian skipper Dhoni was all the way praising the improvement in the bowling performance of the team. He said, “If you compare the Australia series to the kind of death bowling we did today...even if we were missing the yorkers, it was not by much. They were ending up as low full tosses and that is a big improvement for us.”

In reply, India lost the wicket of Rohit Sharma (4) and Virat Kohli (19) with 60 runs on the board. But Dhawan, who has been sublime form right throughout this year, once again rose to the occasion and along with Yuvraj Singh added 129 runs for the third wicket.

Both these batsmen punished the Windies bowlers and even though Sunil Narine troubled Yuvraj on several occasions, the left-hander scored a half-century which would have come as a huge relief for him and the team management.

Dhoni added, on his batsmen’s consistent performance, “Rohit (Sharma) and Skikhar (Dhawan) gave a very good start, Virat has been as consistent as ever, and we have finished well with the lower-order.”

“We usually play on these kinds of tracks in Delhi and I am used to playing on them. I knew there would not be much bounce and the drives were on. Happy with my form, the team is doing great,” he said.
“This year has been great and I hope to continue to play like this. In the previous two ODIs also, I was playing well but got out. So I wanted to score big today,” Dhawan said.
“We have scored a lot of runs...all the batsmen and that is why we are ODI number one side now. But the real challenge will begin with the South Africa tour. It’s a challenge but this team likes challenges. I think we are good enough to stand up to it and we won’t disappoint our fans,” said Man-of-the-Series Kohli.
Towards the end, it was a cakewalk for the Indian team and Dhoni played a cut shot off spinner Permaul for the winning runs. Dhawan was declared the Man of the Match while in-form Virat Kohli was adjudged the Man of the Series. 

India will now tour South Africa where they will play three ODIs and two Test matches. The first Test will begin from December 5.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

2nd ODI India vs West Indies in Visakhapatnam - Match Preview

Team India have been truly the dominant force in the home series against the West Indies. With the drama of the Sachin Tendulkar retirement over with the two extremely one-sided Tests, there was some hope raised that the West Indies would do better in the shorter format of the game.

But the first one-dayer in Kochi, too, saw India prevail over the visitors. A dominant India now would look to seal the one-day series at Visakhapatnam on Sunday, by taking an unassailable 2-0 lead against a struggling West Indies.

Opener Chris Gayle has been ruled out of the remainder of this tour and the subsequent three Tests against New Zealand due to a hamstring injury, according to a statement issued by the Caribbeans.

The West Indies team physiotherapist C J Clark confirmed that Gayle tore his hamstring during the first One-day International on Thursday, at Kochi.

“Chris will need three to four weeks to recover from this injury, and he is returning to the Caribbean for injury management and subsequent physical rehabilitation,” said Clark.

“He will be assessed continuously over the period with a view for him to be fit for the five ODIs and two Twenty20 Internationals in New Zealand.”

No player will replace Gayle in the 15-member squad for the last two ODIs, but Kraigg Brathwaite will take his place for the Tests in New Zealand next month.

After a listless performance in the Test series, losing explosive opener Gayle has added to the woes of the Caribbeans, who now face a do-or-die situation to save the series.

There was no reversal of fortunes from the Test series, as India cantered to a six-wicket victory in Kochi, with 88 deliveries to spare, to take a 1-0 lead in the one-day series.

The Indian trio of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan have been the force behind the batting as they have shown no target is safe.

Friday, November 22, 2013

India win 1st ODI at Kochi against West Indies

In the first ODI played here at Kochi, India maintained an upper hand by pounding the visitors in the most possible horrible way. West Indies lost the match by six wickets in this opening match resulting in India leading the three match series with 1-0.

When Indian side was invited to field first, Indian bowlers like Jadeja and Raina exploited the slow conditions of the pitch at Nehru Stadium in Kochi and restricted the Wes Indies side to a meagre 211 run score with 1.1 over to spare. West Indies could never recover from the Indian bowling attacks. 

Later on when India started batting, the match became almost an one sided affair as Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma hit sparkling half-centuries as a clinical India continued their domination throughout the match. Kohli smashed a superb 86 runs off just 84 balls and recent sensation Rohit Sharma joined Kohli with a handsome 72. Both of them showered many fours and sixes and West Indies bowlers just could not check them from the beginning.  

India’s Shikhar Dhwan was sent to pavilion with just 5 runs in the fourth over and India for few moments was at loss. But soon the game started to change as Kohli and Rohit started to shower runs. Kohli’s inning was composed of as many as 9 fours and 2 sixes, while Rohit’s 72 haul was composed of 8 fours and 1 six. Rohit and Kohli joined hands and shared a 133-run second wicket stand that came off just 130 deliveries to lay the foundation for an easy win.

The defeat on Thursday was not the only shock for the visitors, but their biggest shock perhaps came in form of Chris Gayle’s injury. Chris Gayle, the Indie hit-man suffered a hamstring tear on his left leg during the first ODI against India, and the visiting team skipper Dwayne Bravo said it was the "worst" thing to happen to them on the current tour. Gayle has been ruled out of the remainder of the three-match ODI series after he sustained the injury while making a desperate dive to save himself from a run out chance. He was later carried out of the ground in a stretcher.

West Indies skipper later said, "Losing Chris (Gayle) is the worst to happen to us on the tour. He is our best player. He is no longer available for the series and that is a big blow for us. Psychologically, also it is not good for us. Before we landed in India, we lost Kieran Pollard and now we lost Chris and they are two of our best players."

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sachin Tendulkar, India already owes you a lot, but don't stop here

Today is unquestionably a day of special significance not only in the history of world cricket, but it is for sure a significant day in the Indian history itself. Legendry batsman Sachin Tendulkar Ramesh took departure from active international cricket along with his final and 200th test match here at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. With this an age came to an end.

During his long 24 years of career he scored many centuries in all formats of cricket, in India and abroad. He made his presence felt as a bowler and fielder of unquestionable capabilities. In long career he made many records and broken many of them which will be a mammoth task for his successors even to think of conquering them.

To borrow the words of former Indian captain Kapil Dev, "Cricket will go on and records will be broken, but there will never be a player like Sachin again. He was truly one in a billion. We should celebrate his retirement, not regret it." 

But there are few questions come to mind when we think about the place he has created over the years for himself. Does those unbreakable records are his only achievements? Is he liked by a more than billion population just he created such records? Is his popularity in India and abroad is limited to his high order of techniques of batsmanship and cricket strategies? I believe no!

Cricket for sure was the stepping stone or the platform upon which Sachin stood to create his high stature what we called today “Tendulkar”. You don’t need any other nouns to explain the meaning of this particular term as it is itself self-explanatory. I believe he earned what-ever he is today. Apart from his sportsmanship, what was unique with Sachin was his personality and individual character which has differentiated him from the rest of the crowd.

We have many great cricketers in Indian over the past fifty years. Kapil Dev, Gavaskar, Azad, etc. were just few names easily comes to mind when we think of cricket. But the name Sachin is different from them. He is different for his charisma. He is different for his equanimity. He is different for his dignity.

It is not that Sachin was not materialistic in his lifestyle. It was not he loves things what an average individual would love. In fact he is one of richest cricketer of India. Despite this he has maintained throughout his 24 years of long career an inimitable character apt for a public figure who could serve as an icon for national integration.

Possibly instituting an award or naming a stadium in his name is too cheap an act for his name. But we can do at least this much for his immense contribution to the world cricket and to India.

Sachin, don’t stop here! India needs much more from you and you have enormous potentialities to take Indian cricket to the next level. After all you are an inspiration for an average Indian who now can at least think of becoming another Sachin!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

West Indies 182 and India 157 for 2 on the 1st Day of West Indies VS India, Mumbai Test Match

The Indian cricket team after bowling out West Indies for 182 in the first innings yesterday at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai were 157 for 2 at the close of play on Day 1 of current match. Sachin Tendulkar who is playing his 200th and final Test is unbeaten on 38. Cheteshwar Pujara (34*) is giving company to Sachin at the other end of the wicket.

With an enormous amount of praises from all over the world for Sachin, yesterday Indian President Pranab Mukherjee joined other to appreciate Sachin’s contribution to the Cricket sports.

President Mukherjee yesterday hailed the remarkable achievements of batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar in the field for more than 2 decades. Indian conveyed confidence that the renowned cricketer will continue to serve the game as well as the nation.

He said "a great Ambassador of the game and of India" Mukherjee said he is a true icon who has inspired youth across the country by not only his stupendous records but by his conduct on and off the field.

"Sachin Tendular has decided to call it a day as far as cricket is concerned but I have no doubts that he will continue to serve the game and the nation,”.

Prashant Mhatre has Sachin Tendulkar's 12th Marksheet for 20 Years

This is definitely a treasure for Mr. Prashant who has held on to the original 12th mark sheet of cricket legend little master Sachin Tendulkar Ramesh for last 20 years since the time he found it in Kirti College. 

Prashant said to the Indian Express, "Me and one of my friends had just taken admission in Kirti College and were roaming around in the campus when I saw a mark-sheet lying on the floor. When I picked it up, the name on it read Tendulkar Sachin Ramesh. I couldn't believe my eyes. From that day, I have kept it with me. It's a precious thing to have"

Having laid his hands on it, Mhatre then went ahead to cross-check how authentic the mark sheet was. The center number sure belonged to the college where Tendulkar studied, though Mhatre is unsure of how much the maestro scored in which subject, given subjects are coded.

"I don't know how it was lying on the campus floor but I'm lucky to have this thing which no one in the world has. People kept records of Tendulkar's sporting success with them but I have kept his lesser-known academic record," Mhatre added.

Like any other Indian Mhatre wants to meet Tendulkar, and says life will not be the same post his departure. Tendulkar has been an inspiration to all Indians since the day he played for India and remains a motivating factor. "I wish I could meet him, the 200th Test match will be his last and cricket will not be the same for us. At least I have something which I will cherish till my death," he adds.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

India vs West Indies, Wankhede Stadium, India win toss, elects to bowl first

[Sachin Tendulkar arrives at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai to play his last and 200th international match.]

Indian captain Mahendra Singh won the toss and elected to bowl against the West Indies in the second and final cricket Test after which veteran batsman Sachin Tendulkar will bid adieu to the game.
“To the disappointment of the fans, we will be bowling first,” said Dhoni after spinning a specially minted coin to commemorate Tendulkar’s 200th and final Test.
The Indian captain’s decision invited boos from the crowd at the Wankhede stadium.
As for the team list, India are unchanged for the historic match, while West Indies have made two changes.
The visiting team has brought in Narsingh Deonarine and Shannon Gabriel into the playing XI.
BCCI President N. Srinivasan accompanied the two captains to the toss and presented the coin, which had Tendulkar’s image embossed on one side.