"Talent is nothing without opportunity"
"You're not remembered for aiming at the target, but hitting it"
Twenty20 used to be boring.
Rajasthan's state cricket academy is a complete mess, and the best players get no recognition at the national level. Nagraj from Cricinfo tells us the whole story.
Lalit Modi actually did a lot of good work, if these people are to be believed.
Bengal all out for 114 in extreme swinging conditions at Indore, where slow-medium left-armer Samad Fallah takes seven for 58. Ball moving all around, and Bengal batsmen clueless.
Maharashtra well on the way to winning the semi-final. Put up 455, and have taken a wicket already. Great year for them. They've had success largely due to their bowling performance, which, in a way, is disappointing if you watched them this season whenever they were covered by STAR. Their bowlers bowl at less than medium pace and hardly move the ball much, so they would struggle on flats, against better batting sides. Make no mistake, Mumbai and Bengal played poor cricket against this side. I wouldn't expect them to make the knockouts from Group A or B, and if they don't get pushed back to Group C, it's good for them. Even then, Kedar Jadhav and to some extent Harshad Khadiwale have done very well for their team, and India caps are not far- Jadhav, in particular, should be playing in place of Suresh Raina, Rayudu and all those feeble ODI specialists in the Indian side.
Karnataka made the most of a seaming wicket and an overly aggressive Punjab batting side- their run-rate was healthy, but at a cost- they were bowled out for 270 within 63 overs. Punjab, in turn, have choked Karnataka's top order, with Gony taking out Rahul early and Jaskaran getting Mayank Agarwal off a bad ball, after he played out a 22-ball duck. Uthappa still out there. Having a good season as an opener, although he's played only four games this season. Vinay Kumar takes five cheap wickets on this seaming wicket- if only he was capable of chipping batting sides on flats.
Last edited by Arjun; 19-01-2014 at 09:24 AM.
Its really irritating to see that some of the guys are captaining their domestic side just because they have international experience. I mean a guy should know his team well, he should know his players inside out, its better to choose someone who plays more regularly with the team and has some leadership qualities rather than someone who has no interest in team's progress in the longer run.
Today Harbhajan sent Jaskaran Singh at number 11, he is primarily there for his bowling, but the guy is a natural striker of the ball and can hit a quick-fire 30-40. Its not a big deal tbh, but It shows that Harbhajan has no clue about his players and doesn't take that much interest in the team either. Stupid to see such guys as captains of their domestic teams.
And if a lot of people here don't know, even Sreesanth was made the captain of his state team.
Last edited by karan316; 19-01-2014 at 12:26 PM.
"People try to compare between the players of the past and the present, but the conditions under which the Bradmans and the Comptons played were different," - Sobers.
There may be a lot wrong with Bhajji's captaincy, but sending Jaskaran at 11 isn't really one of them- maybe next time, he'll do it right. But about this issue, I feel it's more of a celebrity/personality trap of sorts, that the selectors are obliged to appoint the international player as captain, or he won't really feel good about it. This reminds me of reports of Azhar deliberately under-performing under Sachin's leadership.
Harbhajan's captaincy is questionable, but he's bowling rather well. Plenty of drift, and he's trying hard on a pitch that doesn't turn. Good stuff, although a comeback is still not likely. Compare that with Jadeja, who is completely clueless when it doesn't turn, but still has a permanent place in the side.
Just how good is Manish Pandey? Career average of 53, series average of 51, yet another fifty, a score over fifty in at least three innings. Top notch. He's also sufficiently experienced, with over 50 FC caps. Plenty of fifties in this description. Pity it runs out when you look at his limited-overs figures, but at least we have a Test specialist prospect, especially with Manoj Tiwary's frequent injuries.
Sandeep Sharma is also very impressive. In his 20th FC game, he's swinging the ball at a decent pace, and also gets good bounce. This is his second season, and he's been good in both. He's also had success in the limited IPL chances he's got.
Maharashtra are in the finals on account of some rather poor cricket played by Mumbai and Bengal and already they've got a new-found over-confident fan following on Cricinfo, who feel they are the team to beat, and they've won against extreme odds and they will win the trophy. Overstatement, surely. They have to face Karnataka, who are not playing so poorly, and have topped Group A and been doing well in the knockouts against good teams, if they make it. Even Punjab isn't really a pushover, and Maharashtra will still have their task cut out for them.
Bad light stops play as Karnataka are at 446/5. Time to declare, as Punjab have more or less given up, with Gurkee and Taruwar bowling nearly 30 overs. Only one day left. Punjab can't win from here.
Karnataka through by bad light. If they don't do silly things like what Mumbai and Bengal did, they can easily take out Maharashtra. I wonder what Hyderabad will serve this game- yet another belter, or something sluggish? Manish Pandey is in some seriously good form, even now. With Manoj Tiwary's serial injuries, he should be in the running for a place in the Test side.
Zol's been asked to train with the U19 squad ahead of the WC instead of playing the Ranji final.
Mumbai and Bengal were simply outplayed by them, whether they beat Karnataka or not is another thing, but they've reached the finals by doing well throughout the tournament.
Last edited by karan316; 23-01-2014 at 05:34 AM.
Jammu and Kashmir have a problem-ridden State Board. As many observers pointed out, it's on life support, and cannot breed quality cricketers, so they should move out. Yet, they've impressed everyone by coming to the quarters, and actually challenging a team that was playing good cricket. They don't have too many prospects- just Rasool (Ram Dayal, Sami and Mudhashir are only gentle medium pace, while Reshi isn't relevant), but it's a remarkable rise from where they began. Maharashtra, though, seem to have good facilities and plenty of money, but the management there has been rather poor- ex-Mumbai player Bahutule settled there for a while, but left, citing poor management. They're not on oxygen like J&K, but are perpetually sleepwalking.
I can imagine Kedar Jadhav playing ODIs for India, but Samad Fallah opening the bowling? Not quite. Shrikant Mundhe bowling first-change and batting at eight? Too much. Chirag Khurana as all-rounder? Long shot even to replace Jadeja or an off-form Ashwin. Khadiwale? Maybe, but he was stifled by an ageing Zaheer, so he's not really perfect.
Talking of Rasool, of all the all-rounders we've seen play over the last two years, he's been very impressive. Scoring plenty (over 1200 runs), he can be India's six or seven. Should make it as a batsman first, who can also roll down plenty of overs to support the lead spinner. He's had a relatively poor run with the ball this season, though, but putting both seasons together, his figures all round are a huge improvement over his career average. His OD figures, though, are poor, but it's difficult to take OD figures in Indian conditions seriously- it's such a lottery. And, of course, there's Rishi Dhawan, who's been getting better, but won't get much room to improve when he still palys for HP, a bottom-tier team. Definitely, we should have Kedar, Rasool, Dhawan, Pankaj, Pandey (both) and maybe Harshad in India's 2015 World Cup plans, and near Test selection. Grumpy Gauti, though, may stage a comeback, since he's scored 500 runs across the season on pitches that he wanted bowler-friendly, to take his FC team ahead.
Plenty were pushing for Manpreet Juneja's India debut, on account of his stupendous debut season. His follow-up season, though, was dire. Don't know what to make of Jalaj Saxena- although a good batsman, he's been dire throughout his career with the ball, and has come good only this season, a patchy one with the bat. At least he's been performing in a higher tier, unlike Rasool and Rishi. Also Sandeep Sharma, very productive over two seasons, but only medium pace, and swings it a little, and he's also just two season old.
Here's an article on Daljit Singh's push for sporting wickets yielding results from Yahoo. It's a welcome sign. It hasn't really thrown up oddball successes as is often the case in some North Zone games, but we're seeing some decent bowlers leading the pack.
Last edited by Arjun; 25-01-2014 at 06:39 AM.
Something to think about. Murali Vijay has played 44 ODs not in India uniform, and in these, averages 50 and strikes over 81, with six centuries and seven fifties, and is also the Test opener, for now. Not bad at all. Surely, in the post-Sehwag era, he can step up to open for India? Alternatively, Robin Uthappa has averaged a little less than 50, with six centuries and four fifties (how's that for conversion?), and has opened regularly, although Karnataka seem to play three different openers in their games (they also have T20 specialist Mayank Agrawal and fresh recruit Lokesh Rahul) so he's not a permanent opener. Besides, Grumpy Gauti has had a very good, if not great, Ranji season, although a bit patchy. Better than continuing with an out-of-place Rohit Sharma, who actually has much better figures at number five. Who's your ODI opener for India?
Another point to note is that many of the best players in Ranji, particularly in the last two seasons, have very poor OD figures. Ishwar Pandey has an average of 30. Rishi Dhawan, over 30, a wicket a match, and unimpressive, tail-end batting figures. Parvez Rasool, more matches than wickets, average of 45. On the other hand, the folks who have tasted success in the domestic ODs have been oddball cases, who've done well only in one season- Pritam Das from Assam, Aussie scholarship holder Shrikant Wagh from Vidarbha and the much-taunted Sachin Baby from Kerala being examples. Would you then base your ODI selections on what you get out of these odd results?
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