Friday, January 23, 2015

Warner being criticized for on-field act

David Warner is not in the Kangaroos’ squad for their third game in the tri series against England, but, that has nothing to do with his on-field behaviour against India at Melbourne. The official word from the Australian camp is that the left hander has just been rested due to the hectic schedule in the rest of the summer. Warner was slammed by the critics for the way he had talked to the Indian opening batsman Rohit Sharma during India’s innings at MCG.

The incident took place when Rohit pushed a length ball towards cover point and tried to go for a single. But, seeing Warner getting to the ball quickly, he returned back to his crease. However, Warner still threw the ball and it ricocheted off Rohit’s pads to short fine leg and taking advantage of that, the two Indian batsmen changed ends.

Warner did not like that at all. He was of the view that morally Rohit should not have taken that run as the ball had ricocheted off one of his cricketing gears. If he had been out of the way of that throw, it would have gone straight to the wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. Warner was absolutely correct on his stand there, but, it’s his way of talking which caused his criticism. He animatedly went to Rohit and seemed to be saying some harsh words to him in anger. It was a bit ugly, whatever was happening and the umpires finally stepped in to separate the two.

Warner has breached ICC code of conduct quite a few times in the recent seasons and the critics believe that some serious action needs to be taken against him otherwise there comes a day when he would cross his line on the ground. The Cricket Australia officials are also said to have taken it on board, but, they have clarified that Warner’s exclusion from the team is only to keep him fresh for the World Cup and not for disciplinary reasons.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

India needs a change in game plan

The Indian fans would be a little worried to see India go down the way they went against England at Gabbatoire yesterday. It’s perhaps the worst that India has played in a One Day International game in the last two years. A 9-wicket defeat is not something that you want against your name with just weeks to go before the World Cup especially when you are the reigning champion. And, more than the defeat, it’s the body language of the players on the round which sends the message outside how they are feeling as a group and the boy language of the Indian players in Brisbane was negative to say the least. It seems that they just don’t believe that on a quick surface against a good bowling side, they can put on a decent score on the board.

India’s game plan was just so strange. First of all, they won the toss and batted first and that itself was a wrong decision as they should have tried to take advantage of the liveliness of the wicket first up, but, one can understand that. They perhaps wanted to experiment a little bit and see how they go batting first on a fresh wicket. But, if you are batting first and there is something in the surface, it means you have got to grind your way through. You have to look for bad balls. But, the Indian batsmen were just too outrageous. They were playing their shots and that too coming out of the crease against the moving ball. They were lucky that they were not in good enough form to nick a few, otherwise, half the side would have been back in the hut inside the first 10 overs.

There are many more such quick wickets which India will come across over the coming weeks and if they play like this, there might be a few more defeats on the way.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

MS Dhoni smashed the Aussie net bowlers in Melbourne

After almost two weeks, MS Dhoni was in the nets again and he was as calm as ever. He did everything that he does ahead of a game. Everyone knows his love for bowling. He looks for opportunities to bowl a bit of seam off and he starts almost all his practice sessions by rolling his arm over and he did the same thing in Melbourne too. He bowled a few deliveries, out of which a few were half trackers, then, he had a short chat with the coach Duncan Fletcher whom he still considers the boss though no one knows where the power in that Indian dressing room is centred at the moment.

And, then, at the end, the Indian captain had a long batting hit and boy, was he in a mood? A few youngsters, who had been brought in as the net bowlers, were pretty excited to be going to have the opportunity to bowl to one of the fiercest hitters in the game. Very soon they found out what they were up against because they were getting hit everywhere. They were in fact getting smashed, not hit because Dhoni never hits a cricket ball, he smashes it. Those teenagers were trying their best to keep the Ranchi talisman silent, but, all their efforts were resulting into failures. The helicopter was in full flow there at MCG practice wicket.

If any opponent player would have seen that practice session, surely a bit of fear would have crept in his mind. What is this dangerous wicketkeeper batsman up to? He is widely known as a player of big tournaments because he always delivers on big platforms. By the looks of it, he is gearing up for another of his big shows. And, why wouldn’t he be? After all, he is in charge of India’s World Cup defence.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Morne Van Wyk got his first international ton

They say that ‘talent always gets its due’ .Morne Van Wyk would believe in that saying after what happened in yesterday’s T20 match between South Africa and West Indies. The 35-year old wicketkeeper would have wondered a few times over the last couple of years that he might never play for his country again. The emergence of younger wicketkeepers had made Van Wyk go down the pecking order. But, De Kock’s injury brought him in the mix for this T20 series and boy, did he make use of the opportunity? He failed in the first two games, but, in the last game, he smashed the ‘White little thing’ to each and every part of Kingsmead.

The size of the boundary there in Durban was embarrassing, that’s true. But, the sixes that Van Wyk hit, well, they would have been sixes even if the game had been played at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Yes, they were that big especially the one that he hit off Dwayne Bravo in the last over of the game. That went well over the roof, out of the stadium. It was clean hitting. It was not as if the mistimed shots were going for sixes.

Van Wyk peppered the square boundaries on both sides. With a low back lift and a bat speed of knots, he took a liking to the West Indies bowlers, especially the quicker ones. He slowed down when the pace was taken off the ball by West Indies from 10th to 15th over, but, he finished with a blaze, taking South Africa’s score very close to 200, which despite those small boundaries and the giant sized Caribbean batting line up, was a challenging number.

South Africa won hands down in the end though. The series, however, went to West Indies.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

India’s batting must step up in the World Cup

The first part of the long tour of Australia is done and dusted for the Indian team and it actually did not go as bad as it could have been or as it was hoped to be. Four-Neil was the predicted score line of the series, but, it happened to be two-Neil at the end. With a little bit of luck, it could have been 1-1 or even 2-0 in the favour of the visitors.

The Indians had to score about 150 in Adelaide to win the game with 8 wickets in hand, while, in Brisbane, they were leading by about 160 when Australia’s tail came in to bat. But, on both the occasions, they lost. In Brisbane, it was their fault in the sense that they over attacked the opposition tail-enders with the short balls. They probably got a bit emotional there, trying to give it back to Mitchell Johnson and all those sort of stuff. It backfired.

But, one thing that was proved during the test series that this new generation of Indian players, they have come to Australia with some steel and if they are to go down, they would go down fighting. The opposition teams, be it Australia or someone else, will have to earn their wins. These youngsters are not going to just get steamrolled, certainly not batting-wise.
Bowling is not India’s forte yes. It’s not that they just can’t bowl. They can of course. But, their bowling is not able to win them games to be frank. If the World Cup is to be defended by India successfully, a couple of their batsmen will have to score in excess of 500 runs in the tournament and the men in blue have got such sort of batsmen in their touring party who can be deadly lethal if the ball does not move that much.