Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why Sidhu walked out of the 1996 England tour

Navjot Singh Sidhu at Old Trafford
Former India opener Navjot Singh Sidhu walked out of India's 1996 cricket tour of England because he thought his captain, Mohammed Azharuddin, was constantly abusing him, a new book by former Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Jaywant Lele claims.
The tour is remembered for the infamous walk-out by opener Sidhu, citing differences with his captain, but the exact reasons have never been spelt out by the persons in the middle of the unsavoury drama or the Indian cricket board.
Lele's memoirs: 'Kapil forced Sachin change follow-on decision'
Lele revealed in his autobiography I was There - Memoirs of a Cricket Administrator that Sidhu could not stomach the constant bad mouthing of Azharuddin and abandoned the tour in a huff without being aware that the swear words used by the then skipper were commonplace in his home town Hyderabad and no disrespect was meant.
Finally, it was Mohinder Amarnath, a member of the panel that probed the matter, who managed to coax him to reveal the real reason for his tour walkout, says Lele in the book.
Lele has recalled that the Board had conducted an enquiry into the incident and nothing came out in the first meeting of the special committee in Mumbai, where Sidhu refused to reveal the reason.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Team India Gear Up For A Whitewash

England will be desperate to avoid a second successive series whitewash in India, when they take on the Men in Blue in the fifth and final one-dayer at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday.
Having come nowhere near beating the Indians in the four matches thus far, the England players who seem to running out of ideas, will have one final crack at the world champions, in an effort to end the tour with a victory to their name.
AP Photo
It was the same old story for the visitors in the fourth ODI at Mumbai, as the English team failed to put up a competitive total, and was blown away by six wickets with almost ten overs to spare.
England once again failed to provide the finishing touches to their innings, and was bowled out for 220 in 46.1 overs.
Apart from some of the self inflicted wounds, England have also been caught on the wrong foot by some fiery bowling by, what could be described as the next generation of Indian pacers.
After sitting out the first three matches of the ongoing series, Varun Aaron, well and truly announced himself on the big stage by castling three lower order batsmen, to bring an abrupt end to the England innings.
Even though it’s still early days to go overboard with Aaron, he could just turn out to be the ideal weapon to polish off the opposition tail.
Playing at home, the Indian batsmen seem have rediscovered themselves, and the situation was no different at Mumbai on Sunday.
Virat Kohli once again steered Team India’s chase, as he finished with unbeaten innings of 86, and Suresh Raina more than played his part with a score of 80 from 62 balls.
England on their part seem to have completely lost the plot in conditions which have not quite suited their style of play.
Their batting has proved to be insipid and their bowling toothless; Tim Bresnan, batting at number eight was the highest scorer in the Mumbai clash with a run a ball 45.
Although Steve Finn continues to impress with his pace and bounce, the rest of the bowlers have consistently misfired, which have allowed the Indians to recover time after time, after the loss of early wickets.
Memories of the 5-0 hammering during the 2008 tour must already be doing the rounds on the minds of many of the England players, and it would take a brave man to bet in favour of the Poms preventing back to back whitewashes in India.

Monday, October 10, 2011

CLT20 Finals : Mumbai Wins - Post Match Analysis

Chennai, Oct 10: Mumbai Indians beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 31 runs to clinch Champions Trophy T20 on Sunday, Oct 9 at Chennai.
Today, it was another team show by Mumbai as the spinners delivered on a wicket which was assisting the. 140 was defended admirably and they are now the CLT20 champions.
In the semi-final, a great cameo towards the end by Suryakumar and Sathish allowed Mumbai to reach 160. It was the turn of Missile Malinga to wreck Somerset as he picked up 4/20 to seal a spot for Mumbai in the final.
The third match was washed out. However, Kanwar and Pollard lit up their innings with some stunning hits. In their match against NSW, the batting failed and they were handed a heavy defeat.
The second match was a low-scoring humdinger against T&T. After bowling out T&T for 98, Mumbai's batsmen struggled to get going and they gifted their wickets away. At one point, it looked like Trinidad and Tobago would pull off a stunning win but a miscalculation from Darren Ganga allowed Yuzvendar Chahal to sneak in two runs and give victory to Mumbai.
It all started with the match against Chennai Super Kings. On their fortress, Malinga and Harbhajan shared a brilliant partnership to ensure that Mumbai snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. It was a stunning win and that gave Mumbai the confidence as they marched on in this tournament.
No Rohit Sharma, No Sachin Tendulkar, No Munaf Patel at the start of the tournament. To confound their problems, Davy Jacobs also left home with an injured thigh. However, Mumbai played like a complete team and they have reaped rich rewards in the tournament.
Franklin: RCB got some crucial wickets at the back end and we knew that we had a fight. This is a great feeling. It has been well documented that we did not have key players but we played well.
Pollard: It was a total team effort. The youngsters put their hands up and all contributed. We had a motivational speech by Michael Horn and Pollock also focused on the importance of keeping it simple. Malinga is crucial and Franklin was also great. We believed in ourselves as we started to field. We did not have key players but that got the team closer.
In three years of Tendulkar's captaincy, Mumbai Indians have never managed to win a single trophy. In Harbhajan's first stint as captain, he has managed to get some silverware to the team. What an effort.
Smiles all around in the Mumbai camp. What an effort from them in this championship. At one point, they played five foreigners at the start of the tournament because they did not have local players in the squad. Suryakumar Yadav was injured and that was the reason for playing five foreigners.

Presentation Ceremony:
Harbhajan: I want to thank my team-mates. We were right in the game when we went to bowl. Our body language was good. It was a matter of getting Gayle, Dilshan and Kohli. Once we got them off, we were in the game and they were fantastic. When we went to the dressing room, we had the belief that we could defend this total. We gave our best shot and it worked. Lasith is a great player for Mumbai and he is a phenomenal player. It is great to have a player who can win matches out of nowhere. Franklin, Abu Nechim were great. We were not the favorites but to win in this competition in this manner is great.

Without Sachin and Rohit, if the team could achieve this, when they come back, Mumbai will go to greater heights.
Vettori: We fought back well after Franklin got them to a good start. 140 was gettable but everything went pear-shaped. The pitch would have been different from the one in Bangalore. Harbhajan really kept things tight in the middle overs. Mumbai played exceptionally well. After being in the finals of the IPL, we wanted to go one step ahead. However, we will try to do that in the IPL next year. We have some good players like Gayle, Dilshan but we could not go the distance.
David Warner gets the Golden Bat for scoring the maximum number of runs in this tournament.
Malinga: We were not in a good situation at the start of the tournament but we have ended on a high. I am playing only as a bowler in the team but I wanted to show that I can bat as well. We always tried to get somewhere between 140-145 and we wanted to pick some quick wickets. It was a good feeling to get rid of Dilshan. He is a great batsman. I enjoy playing for the Mumbai Indians.
Lasith Malinga is the MoS for his all-round brilliance. He took 10 wickets and for scoring 68 runs lower down the order. He also gets the Golden Wicket award.

Harbhajan Singh is the MoM for his match haul of 3/20 in four overs.
Rayudu: We have created history and it is an unbelievable achievement from our side since the last five years.
What can one say about Bangalore? Three finals and three losses. With the likes of Gayle and Kohli, one wonders why Bangalore have not won many tournaments. The over-reliance on the top order has resulted in Bangalore crumbling at the crucial stage. With Gayle and Dilshan departing cheaply, the rest of the batting order was exposed and they were completely taken apart by the Mumbai spinners. One can say for the moment that RCB are the new South Africa as far as choking is concerned

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Preview : RCB take on Somerset in a must win encounter

Preview: RCB take on Somerset in a must win encounter
RCB need to win all their remaining matches starting with Somerset, if they have to stay in contention for the CLT20 semis 

Bengaluru: Oct 2, 2011

Frustrated after two successive defeats, Royal Challengers Bangalore will aim for redemption when they take on a spirited Somerset in their Champions League Twenty20 group B game at the M Chinnaswamy stadium here on Monday.

Royal Challengers may have lost their games against Warriors and Kolkata Knight Riders but they are not out of the reckoning for a place in the semifinals.

Warriors, with a better net run rate, are leading the table with four points while Kolkata, who are placed second with four points, have finished their league engagements.

Bangalore's passage into the semis could be more demanding as they require big victories against Somerset and South Australia Redbacks. If they do so, they could improve their net run rate which could put them in contention for a spot in the semis.

The RCB top-order, which came a cropper in the last two outings, needs to live up to its reputation. If Chris Gayle.

Tillakaratne Dilshan and Virat Kohli score heavily, RCB could upset Somerset's applecart.

If they don't, the going would be tough for RCB who have disappointed their home fans.

Gayle got off to aggressive starts against Warriors and Knight Riders, but failed to convert them into big scores.

Skipper Daniel Vettori would be hoping that the Jamaican bats as well as he did during the last edition of the IPL.

Gayle had scored in the excess of 600 runs in 12 IPL matches, smashing as many as 44 sixes.

Kohli made a crisp 34 in the first match but fell for a blob in the contest against Knight Riders. The flamboyant right-hander will be seeking to make an impression in the do or die game.
Though Saurabh Tiwary, Mayank Agarwal and Mohammed Kaif have the potential to be match-winners, they have failed to get going in the CLT20. Tiwary could be accused of throwing his wicket away after making breezy starts.

It will be crucial that RCB fire as a bowling and fielding unit. While their bowling has been far from impressive, their fielding has been pathetic.

Bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad felt his boys were well prepared after an intense training program but it remains to be seen how they perform.

Somerset have come into the tournament with strong shows in the qualifiers and made a clean start to the main draw with a win to remain unbeaten in the league.

On Saturday, their match against South Australia Redbacks was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to heavy rain.

With three points in their kitty, a win on Monday will pitchfork them into the semifinals.

For the visitors, Roelof van der Merwe has been an inspirational force, with an impressive all-round show against Knight Riders.

If Merwe repeats his heroics, Somerset could augment their chances of qualifying for the semifinals from group B.

Skipper Alfonso Thomas, left arm spinner Murali Kartik and medium pacers Lewis Gregory and Peter make a fighting bowling quartet.

If they hold their nerves and bowl in the right areas, they could spell trouble for the struggling RCB batting line-up.(PTI)


RCB (Probable): Daniel Vettori (c), Chris Gayle, Tillakaratne Dilshan (wk), Virat Kohli, Mohammad Kaif, Sreenath Aravind, Abhimanyu Mithun, Dirk Nannes, Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad, Saurabh Tiwary, KB Arun Karthik

Somerset (Probable): Chris Jones, Nick Compton, Lewis Gregory, James Hildreth, Peter Trego, Roelof van der Merwe, Steve Snell (wk), Arul Suppiah, George Dockrell, Alfonso Thomas (c), Murali Kartik.