England vs India 1st test, Birmingham

We could smell victory right from day 1, nearly won it but eventually it slipped off our hands. This has been the fate of the 1st test of any away series, for long. This time we went the closest to winning it. That’s a positive way of looking at it for a die hard cricket fan. And being a lover of the game, I am equally mad with the outcome of the match!

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Shikhar Dhawan is not made for the red ball version of the game. He doesn’t have the temperament to match a good test opponent. This is not just about his abysmal batting but also his fielding. A player is known as a bad fielder even if he drops a catch, dropping 3 is an unpardonable sin. He is known more for his batting abilities. So that front could have been something he would have amended his wrongs with. But fate had some other plans. Its very surprising that he keeps getting so many chances when now we can boast of a great bench strength. The yo-yo test isn’t everything. Mr Shastri should really re-consider his strategies. Same goes with Murali Vijay. He has only 1 good score (vs Afghanistan) in his last 10 innings. His love affair with bad form has stuck with him since the South African tour like a fungus that he isn’t able to get rid off. Even if the somewhat crazy think tank decide on playing Vijay for another game, they should replace Dhawan.

Virat Kohli, the current king of the cricketing world. This is being Rambo in sports. Had it been a domestic match, he could have won the team a match single-handedly. However, the subject is international test and against one of toughest test nations. Its a team game, 1 player cannot balance the equation of the rest of the batsmen. He played with a lion’s heart. I wonder if he’s repenting his decision not to play Pujara. I am sure Rahane will bounce back. He’s just going through a bad time. He has played some splendid knocks for India. Some might object Pujara’s selection due to his stats against the playing conditions. He too is known for holding up 1 end even if the runs had dried up. In the 1st match that’s something no one could do. The 2nd test team composition will be interesting!

New Zealand v India - 2nd Test: Day 5

Joe Root is turning out to be a good captain. Forget his first Ashes as a captain. Its evident that he is learning and as a batsmen, another King! The England team played like a champion side. They might not have the mace now, but soon they will.

This team is not balanced. If I was the part of the think tank, I would have played KL Rahul to open with Vijay followed by Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, DK, Pandya and the lower order. We have Nair and Pant too on the bench.

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Well yes it hurts to lose to Pakistan especially in the finals! Pakistan deserved to be the winner. They outplayed India in all the departments of the game. Congratulations! My respect for coach Micky Arthur has increased 10 folds now. He saw the vulnerability of the batsmen after the top 3 and exposed it bluntly. This indeed cost us the trophy. Also I feel Kumble didn’t plan proper on how to combat Amir. Rohit Sharma’s stats against Amir is appalling. And he got all top 3 in his 6 overs. 

Emotionally I would love to see Yuvi & Dhoni play for another 10 years. But realistically they are ageing and there is a huge prospect of young Indian players brewing at the back ground. Players who too needs to be given experience at the international level. There is a stream of opinion who thinks its just a game and everything is fine. I beg to differ. This was the final of the tournament we were set to defend. Losing to Pakistan in a final is really sad. Doesn’t matter if the middle order had less match experience but what about career experience? The mighty Indian batting lineup consists of only 3. Both these players will have to deliver match winnings innings more often. 

I wonder what is Ravinder Jadeja considered as? All rounder or bowler? His bowling stats of the CT 2017 is heart breaking. The #1 bowler in tests goes wicket less in a major tournament. And if an all rounder he failed when it mattered the most. Maybe a bad day at work for most of the Indian players or maybe this is where some signs shouldn’t be overlooked.