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Thread: Indian domestic season 2006-07

  1. #1
    Cricketer Of The Year Arjun's Avatar
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    Indian domestic season 2006-07

    The following schedule for the Indian domestic season 2006-07 has just been announced on CricInfo.
    Code:
    Date Tournament Venue 
      
    01-04 Oct Challenger Series Chennai 
    09-13 Oct Irani Trophy Vidarbha 
    Nov-Jan Ranji Trophy  Various Venues 
    10-20 Feb Ranji One-Day Tournament Various Venues in East Zone 
    25 Feb-09 Mar Deodhar Trophy North Zone 
    19 Oct-17 Nov Duleep Trophy East Zone
    Mumbai's coach for the last season, Karsan Ghavri, has shifted to Tripura. Rajasthan and Saurashtra are the new teams in this year's Ranji. There is still a debate on who will be invited as the international entry for this year's Duleep Trophy, after the KZN Dolphins from SA pulled out. Questions are still asked about what is going on in the Delhi camp.

    With Railways relegated, this year's Ranji just won't be itself. That was one competitive, versatile team, where ordinary individuals came together for some extraordinary performances, even against top teams in their groups. Champions the season before, relegated in the next one, it's been quite a rough ride for this team, whose fate was decided on both counts by the nonsensical first-innings lead rule and bonus points. While selectors may ignore some of the best players on show in the domestic scene, Railways have a lot to perform, to prove they belong in the top flight.

    Of the two teams promoted last year, Haryana are still in the league. Sadly, bizarre comments and selections in that camp have weakened the team a lot. Their captain, Ajay Ratra, was dropped because of 'a few dropped catches and several batting failures', though his captaincy had a major role in their victory in the Plate league and their subsequent promotion to Elite. Since, the captaincy has been shared by spinner Amit Mishra and middle-order bat Shafiq Khan, while another opener has been playing as wicketkeeper. Not surprisingly, they struggled to bowl teams out cheaply. A surprise package was Sachin Rana, a stock medium-pacer who's had a good season as a batsman, even getting over 200 runs in a match. India prospects Amit Mishra and Joginder Sharma were not so lucky.

    There has not been much news around the domestic scene so far, except for the drama about the Duleep Trophy's international entry. Let's just hope there's a good team brought in this time. First, we have seen England A come, and except for a win against a Tamil Nadu B side, they lost every match, including a laughably dumb defeat to South Zone. Surprisingly, this was actually a reseve England side. Then we saw Bangladesh send a reserve team which predictably got crushed in the next season's event, and then a Zimbabwean C team (the regular Test/ODI side was a B team anyway) get crushed some more. We were expecting some action with Dolphins coming to town, but that couldn't happen. Who knows who's coming.

    The Irani Trophy follows the Challenger series, and this is a fantastic chance for the selectors to pick a full-strength or experimental Indian team as Rest Of India. It will help the game a lot, as the Indians can not only get some extra practice, but the young team from Uttar Pradesh can also learn a lot. Likewise, the Challenger series should be played as a workout for the Indian ODI side against two reserve or academy teams.

    Mumbai are not the same team that we've expected, which would otherwise dominate the proceedings. The exodus of key players to teams like Baroda and Maharashtra has left some big gaps in the team. While not much can be said of Nilesh Kulkarni's captaincy, the exit of Bahutule has left the team an all-rounder short, and they've often played a bowler less, finding it difficult to bowl teams out. Robin Morris may be out of action once more, while the likes of Wilkin Mota and Abhishek Nair are not seasoned. That said, this is a young Mumbai side, and with India-A player Rohit Sharma in fine form, they can turn things around.

    Will Mumbai regain past glory? Will Baroda move one step ahead of being mere upstarts? Will Maharashtra do one better than last season? Will UP defend their Ranji title? Will they win the Irani Trophy as well? Will Ramesh Powar dominate again? Will Rohit Sharma lead the batting ranks? Will we see some real action in the OD's? Or a threat from abroad in Duleep? Wait and watch.
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  2. #2
    International Coach adharcric's Avatar
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    Good stuff Arjun. I'll proceed with a short summary on ten key players to watch this season.

    ***NORTH ZONE***
    Abid Nabi ~ now that he's under the selectors' spotlight, he needs to grab this opportunity by its horns and dominate domestic cricket.
    Joginder Sharma ~ the penchant for young talent is clear and the non-performing Sodhi's A-team spot is ripe for the taking for an all-rounder like Sharma.

    ***WEST ZONE***
    Pinal Shah ~ fresh off a Border-Gavaskar Scholarship stint in Australia, it will be interesting to see how the young Baroda keeper does this year.
    Rohit Sharma ~ this talented teenage middle-order bat is already an A-team fixture and will now look to take Mumbai back to its glory days

    ***CENTRAL ZONE***
    Pravin Kumar ~ after emerging out of nowhere last year, he will look to show some consistency and help his side to a repeat title
    Piyush Chawla ~ now that everyone has faced his bowling for a season, let's see if he can dominate in the same fashion

    ***EAST ZONE***
    Abhishek Jhunjhunwala ~ another surprise gem from last year, he is now a middle-order stalwart for a new-look Bengal side
    Shahbaz Nadeem ~ the teenage prodigy is settling down on the domestic scene and he has a chance to stand out as a spinner in the relatively weak East Zone

    ***SOUTH ZONE***
    Gaurav Dhiman ~ another B&G Scholarship recipient who will bat at the top for Karnataka
    Lakshmipathy Balaji ~ a comeback, at least to domestic cricket, is on the cards and it would be surprising if he didn't see any action this season

  3. #3
    Cricketer Of The Year Arjun's Avatar
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    You've intentionally picked the youngsters, especially the U-19 players. There are older, yet better and more effective players than some of those mentioned.

    For instance, looking East, you can't ignore the Bengal new-ball pair of SS Paul and Ranadeb Bose. Both have been taking wickets consistently for East Zone and Bengal, and both are of different styles. Paul bowls at medium pace without giving much width, and occasionally swings it, keeping a line and length for a long time. Bose, on the other hand, bowls a little faster, and attacks the batsmen often, making them play. There's the U-19 seamer Abu Nachim Ahmed, but there's little known of him, and only some consistent performances by him for Assam will get him noticed. Likewise, SS Das, Arindam Das, Laxmiratan Shukla and Nikhil Haldipur will have a lot of runs to score, and it will be interesting to see how all-rounders Sanjay Raul and Sanjib Sanyal fare.

    In Central Zone, you have the best performing all-rounder in India playing for Railways. JP Yadav may only get Tier II action now, but there's nothing to better his all-round record anywhere in India. Moreover, he's no bit player, but an opening bowler (his team's best bowler) and a batting lynchpin, who can hit a few big shots when needed, but he's also got some big hundreds to his credit. He lacks pace, but in India, who's got it? There's TP Singh, who's playing for India A in Australia, so he's definitely one to watch. However, he's no contender for the Indian team in any form.

    There's opener Amit Pagnis, who has played for India A in the past, and is still a contender, especially for ODI's. He's one who likes to play a sheet-anchor role and support his partner as much as possible. Fans may remember him as an ex-Mumbai player who often wasted good starts he got, but he's built partnerships at the top quite often. Then there's Sanjay Bangar, the utility man. He can bowl stocks of overs, then stick his neck out to build a partnership when he's batting (often opening), and when needed, suddenly go on an all-out attack. UP is a young side, with several players, prospects or otherwise, doing their bit for the team, if not themselves. If RP Singh doesn't get another India cap, he could be taking wickets in bucketfuls here.

    Far North, Punjab seamers Gagandeep and VRV Singh will be worth a watch. Gagandeep is a risky swing bowler, while we've seen VR Singh in action, and we know what he can do. Gagandeep has over 200 FC wickets and has even travelled with the Indian team, but was unlucky to miss even the tour matches in Bangladesh. VR Singh hasa lot of potential, but is simply not refined, and the domestic season will help him sharpen his skills. With former all-rounder Reetinder Sodhi becoming a specialist batsman, new-ball bowler Ishan Malhatra (CricInfo is confused about the spelling) now has the dual role to play. There's also Nehra, on a comeback, and the bowler with the best ever figures in an ODI tournament final, while his partner, the less glamorous Bhandari, will continue doing what he's been doing all along. But who is Ishant Sharma? Looking for youngsters, the Delhi selectors selected this young giant who impressed in the opportunities he got, but we saw less of him as they regressed to picking players with stronger connections than those more talented, and the team suffered. Let's hope they get their act together this time.
    Last edited by Arjun; 14-07-2006 at 05:54 AM.

  4. #4
    International Coach adharcric's Avatar
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    Definitely was an intentional effort as I wanted to restrict my list to ten players and mention the new star potential. A few remarks ...

    - TP Singh's domestic record isn't anything to rave about, so I wonder how he got selected for the A side. I saw in the news a few months back that he was in the nets for the selectors, but it must have taken something special to get him there considering his relatively mediocre record.

    - What's the status on Ashish Nehra and do you expect him to suit up for Delhi at the start of the season?

    - Why does Gagandeep Singh keep getting overlooked? We've seen SS Paul and now Sid Trivedi get a call-up, but Gagandeep himself has an excellent record and age on his side. I've heard he's at least quicker than medium as well, so what's Paul got over him?


  5. #5
    Cricketer Of The Year Arjun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adharcric
    Definitely was an intentional effort as I wanted to restrict my list to ten players and mention the new star potential. A few remarks ...

    - TP Singh's domestic record isn't anything to rave about, so I wonder how he got selected for the A side. I saw in the news a few months back that he was in the nets for the selectors, but it must have taken something special to get him there considering his relatively mediocre record.

    - What's the status on Ashish Nehra and do you expect him to suit up for Delhi at the start of the season?

    - Why does Gagandeep Singh keep getting overlooked? We've seen SS Paul and now Sid Trivedi get a call-up, but Gagandeep himself has an excellent record and age on his side. I've heard he's at least quicker than medium as well, so what's Paul got over him?
    Oh, ten players? Sorry. Anyway, I don't know what's happening in the Delhi scene, since there's not much coverage given on television, even on the New-Delhi-based NDTV. Strange, there's little or no coverage given.

    About Gagandeep, he's only a swing bowler, not very tall and has white-ball issues. Maybe the Indian team needs a seamer for Tests AND ODI's, so the likes of SS Paul and RR Bose keep popping in. He's not a batsman at all, while a few bowlers of a similar style can also score runs, but he's one of the best fielders among the seam bowlers.

    Definitely, the selection of TP Singh is a mystery, unless they think he's another all-rounder option, but from the same team, Sanjay Bangar and JP Yadav are significantly better, especially in one-dayers.

  6. #6
    International Vice-Captain Jungle Jumbo's Avatar
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    I've been watching the India U19 vs England U19 ODIs recently, and India look pretty impressive - especially in the field, where they appear alert and dynamic. Shahbaz Nadeem, the slow-left armer, looks a decent prospect, with a gentle, fluent action and a well flighted delivery. All the commentators have been salivating over Ishant Sharma, who is consistantly bowling at over 82mph, and hits the seam ball after ball - very accurate. Yomahesh and Abu Nechim Ahmed also seem to be lively seamers with the new ball, as seen in the U19 World Cup this year. Parvez Aziz has the shots to cause some real damage at the top of the order in the one-day game, though I am less sure about his left-arm spin. Sumeet Sharma could become an ideal ODI spinner, bowling quickish off-breaks from wide of the crease. Bodapathi Sumanth, a middle-order batsman, has played a match-winning knock this evening, including some of the cleanest sweep-shots I've ever seen. Not seen much of Tanmay Srivastava with the bat, but for a sixteen-year-old his captaincy is very calm and composed.

  7. #7
    Cricketer Of The Year Arjun's Avatar
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    It's been a long time since I last posted, so we've missed out on the soap opera behind the supposed return of Maharashtra's Sairaj Bahutule to Mumbai. First he said he's coming back, the Maharashtra blokes, with whom he's on contract, were fuming, while Mumbai officials said they have no problem. Then he said he's staying with Maharashtra, so it was now the turn of the Mumbai officials to get irked. Well, the Maharashtra cricket board is paying Sairaj a hefty package and he is bound by a contract, so that's the power of a legal document. As for Mumbai, their frontliners are either ageing (Nilesh Kulkarni and Amol Mazumdar) or on national duty (Tendulkar, Jaffer, maybe Powar), so their under-performing youngsters (Abhishek, Wilkin, Usman Malvi, A'vishkar Salvi, Marathe, Kukreja and the rest) have to step up.

    There's an excellent article on the Railways team on the CricInfo India front page. Clearly, this is one versatile team that's been living in conditions not fit for a top cricket side, for a team that's challenged the big guns of the North and West.

  8. #8
    International Coach adharcric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arjun
    As for Mumbai, their frontliners are either ageing (Nilesh Kulkarni and Amol Mazumdar) or on national duty (Tendulkar, Jaffer, maybe Powar), so their under-performing youngsters (Abhishek, Wilkin, Usman Malvi, A'vishkar Salvi, Marathe, Kukreja and the rest) have to step up.
    Mumbai will get the services of Rohit Sharma, right? That should be huge and they have another promising middle-order batsman in Indulkar (who hasn't really performed enough yet). The young seamer Waingankar should also be there and he'll be returning from a Border-Gavaskar Scholarship stint in Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Arjun
    There's an excellent article on the Railways team on the CricInfo India front page. Clearly, this is one versatile team that's been living in conditions not fit for a top cricket side, for a team that's challenged the big guns of the North and West.
    The consolation here is that there aren't too many guys from Railways that have a realistic chance of making the national squad now. JP Yadav and Sanjay Bangar may still be useful all-rounders, but they are getting older and older and it's pretty obvious that the selectors would take younger options like Sharma, Kumar or even Sodhi over them any day. Amit Pagnis is younger, but he's not even in the top 10 as far as the openers' pecking order goes. Two guys who do matter are Murali Kartik (still ..) and TP Singh, but the former doesn't need to prove himself on the domestic circuit anymore and the latter is now an A-team fixture. Thus, as far as crucial players not getting to face the cream of the crop, this isn't as bad as it could be.
    Last edited by adharcric; 03-08-2006 at 11:46 PM.

  9. #9
    Cricketer Of The Year Arjun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adharcric
    Mumbai will get the services of Rohit Sharma, right? That should be huge and they have another promising middle-order batsman in Indulkar (who hasn't really performed enough yet). The young seamer Waingankar should also be there and he'll be returning from a Border-Gavaskar Scholarship stint in Australia
    Rohit Sharma is a newcomer, so his performance will be one to watch. Waingankar is another bowler picked up from a school team, and he's another one to wach, especially after the BG scholarship. Already Siddharth Trivedi, Munaf Patel, VRV Singh and RP Singh have earned that scholarship and most of them are in first-class action.
    Quote Originally Posted by adharcric
    The consolation here is that there aren't too many guys from Railways that have a realistic chance of making the national squad now. JP Yadav and Sanjay Bangar may still be useful all-rounders, but they are getting older and older and it's pretty obvious that the selectors would take new, young options like Sharma, Kumar or even Sodhi over them any day. Amit Pagnis is younger, but he's not even in the top 10 as far as the openers' pecking order goes. Two guys who do matter are Murali Kartik (still ..) and TP Singh, but the former doesn't need to prove himself on the domestic circuit anymore and the latter is now an A-team fixture. Thus, as far as crucial players not getting to face the cream of the crop, this isn't as bad as it could be.
    That's the problem. Railways players have never been given a fair try, unlike their more illustrious counterparts in Mumbai, TN, Karnataka and Delhi. It's something we've seen over the years. As for JP Yadav and Bangar, both are good enough for the current Indian ODI side, if not Tests, until Irfan regains full form and is fully ready, and the younger all-rounders are seasoned. Pagnis, formerly a Mumbai opener, has often been ignored despite reasonably consistent performances in both forms of the game, and formed a very capable partenrship with Bangar and at times JP Yadav. Murali Karthik also has as much of a chance, except that he's been given enough chances unlike the others and has little to show, while the competition for that place is intense. TP Singh is not much of a contender, even if he's younger. Ultimately, they've proven themselves to be as good as their more glamorous counterparts in other zones, but haven't got the recognition or even the basic facilities a first-class team needs.

  10. #10
    International Coach adharcric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arjun
    That's the problem. Railways players have never been given a fair try, unlike their more illustrious counterparts in Mumbai, TN, Karnataka and Delhi. It's something we've seen over the years. As for JP Yadav and Bangar, both are good enough for the current Indian ODI side, if not Tests, until Irfan regains full form and is fully ready, and the younger all-rounders are seasoned. Pagnis, formerly a Mumbai opener, has often been ignored despite reasonably consistent performances in both forms of the game, and formed a very capable partenrship with Bangar and at times JP Yadav. Murali Karthik also has as much of a chance, except that he's been given enough chances unlike the others and has little to show, while the competition for that place is intense. TP Singh is not much of a contender, even if he's younger. Ultimately, they've proven themselves to be as good as their more glamorous counterparts in other zones, but haven't got the recognition or even the basic facilities a first-class team needs.
    It probably is unfortunate, but it's the reality. Yadav and Bangar may be good enough in your opinion (I won't comment on that), but they really don't stand any chance at all because of the number of talented young lads that are ahead of them in the selectors eyes. The past is the past; Pagnis may have deserved a call-up but here are the guys who are ahead of him right now for the selectors: Sehwag, Tendulkar, Uthappa, Gambhir, Dhawan, Ganguly, Jaffer, Vidyut, Pujara and possibly more ...

  11. #11
    Cricketer Of The Year Arjun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adharcric
    It probably is unfortunate, but it's the reality. Yadav and Bangar may be good enough in your opinion (I won't comment on that), but they really don't stand any chance at all because of the number of talented young lads that are ahead of them in the selectors eyes. The past is the past; Pagnis may have deserved a call-up but here are the guys who are ahead of him right now for the selectors: Sehwag, Tendulkar, Uthappa, Gambhir, Dhawan, Ganguly, Jaffer, Vidyut, Pujara and possibly more ...
    Yadav and Bangar may be old, but they're seasoned, unlike the present bunch of talented young players. Recent performances have shown that the likes of VRV Singh, Uthappa, Dhawan, Sodhi, Parthiv Patel, Sree Santh and RP Singh are not fully developed, unlike their older counterparts in the domestic scene. Moreover, even at their age, the Railways stalwarts serve a purpose none of these youngsters can, bar a few. There's nothing suggesting that they should not be in the Indian team at all. Why, even Ganguly, Laxman and Kumble are likely to get a national recall!

  12. #12
    Cricketer Of The Year Arjun's Avatar
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    Now there is talk about Pravin Amre being coach of the Mumbai side. He's actually willing to take it up, and the whole story is there in today's Times Of India.

  13. #13
    Cricketer Of The Year Arjun's Avatar
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    Now the Maharashtra cricket board say they want to get some foreign players in their team. They've mentioned Matthew Hayden and Stuart MacGill. While the inclusion of MacGill will give more batting opportunities for Munaf Patel and headaches for Sairaj Bahutule, it's a good move to get a top batsman from overseas, who can take apart pace attacks. This will be a learning experience for young pacers all over the country. We would like to see some big-hitting batsmen (all-rounders or otherwise) as well as some swing bowlers who can adapt to different conditions well, and of course, a few tearaway pacers.

    So whom would you like to see playing in an Indian domestic side this time? And for which team?

  14. #14
    International Vice-Captain Jungle Jumbo's Avatar
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    What are the roles on overseas players in India? I presumed that they weren't allowed, but only because I'd never seen one before.

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    Cricketer Of The Year Arjun's Avatar
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    There was an experiment of getting West Indian fast bowlers way back in the 60's, but that didn't work too well. I'm not too sure about the rules, though the Maharashtra cricket board have enough money to enforce them.

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