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Indian Domestic Season 2015-16


Cricketer Of The Year
Ranji Trophy is already on, two days down. Some games have plenty of wickets falling, some, big batting scores, some, a little too much rain.

Karnataka, champions in the last two editions, were skittled out for 189, trailed Assam by 5 runs and are now unbeaten on 77. Assam's Syed Mohammed took seven, while Karnataka's wickets were shared evenly. So were batting failures on both sides.

Delhi and Rajasthan, two poorly administered teams, lost plenty of wickets on either side, but Delhi were far behind, by over 102 runs, and they too responded with stable batting, at 176/1, with big scores from Chand and Gambhir. Rajasthan, without the injured Pankaj Singh, seem unlikely to take a bagful of wickets once the wicket flattens out.

Shootout at Chennai, as wickets are falling left, right and centre in the TN/Baroda match. Bharghav Bhatt and Yusuf Pathan and for TN, Rahil Shah, are getting plenty of wickets. Not many getting runs.

Pankaj's rival for a place in the Indian team, Ishwar Pandey, had a poor outing on a flat deck as MP played UP on a very flat deck in Moradabad. But UP played very negative cricket, still batting at 656/5, showing no intent to take 20 MP wickets. Sarfaraz Khan, a Mumbai lad, shifted to UP and narrowly missed a double-century.

Mumbai, on the other hand, are struggling to get Andhra wickets. Andhra, promoted last season, are currently at 213/4. Ricky Bhui scores a hundred, ex-India batsman Kaif is on 89.

Three centuries and a double for Punjab- the double scored by Gurkeerat, picked for ODIs, while Mandeep, close to 50 FC games, scored a century. Uday Kaul, never considered a wicketkeeper prospect in Tests, scored a century, to add to his impressive FC figures. The other team is Railways, and one-time Test prospect Karn Sharma picked up one wicket in two days.

Sehwag, not an India prospect these days, scored 92 and young Haryana batsman Himanshu Rana scored a hundred. They managed 332, against a Maharashtra attack far from impressive.

Umesh Yadav, very much an active India prospect as a fast bowler, had a great game with the bat, as he scored a very fast century for Vidarbha, who amassed 467 against Odisha. He didn't pick any of the two Odisha wickets for 79.

Hyderabad scored a healthy 325 against Goa, with contributions big and small, from top to bottom- except from Ashish Reddy, who was out cheaply and didn't take a wicket yet, as Goa are at 47/1. Rituraj Singh, who was struggling to take wickets for Rajasthan and then Jharkhand, had a good game with three for Goa. He's stuck in yet another mediocre team, all because of the chaos in Rajasthan cricket administration.

Thankfully he's moved away from Jharkhand as well. They've batted very poorly against Services, whose batting isn't much better, and may lose within three days.

J&K were dismissed for 328 by Kerala, with contributions all round, including from the much-loved Parvez Rasool- who struggled with the ball when Kerala came out to bat, now at 158/2. The less-fancied all-rounder Ram Dayal was out cheaply, and picked up one wicket.

Tripura vs Saurashtra may just be a plank for Ravindra Jadeja to come back to the Indian side. Let's see if he can pull his team out of Group C first.

Followers of the Indian domestic scene love to watch or read about Rishi Dhawan, the HP all-rounder. He's out of action as HP doesn't have a game this time. Hopefully he can pull HP out of Group C mediocrity, or move out to a better team, if he has to compete with Jadeja for a place in the national side.


International Regular
Sir Jadeja back in form with 90 and 11 wickets in a innings win for his team in the Ranji trophy first round. Expecting a triple hundred in the next match.


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Jadeja seems to be one of those guys who bats better with more responsibility. Even his one test 50 came at a crucial time IIRC.

This is annoying because I hate guys who bat worse just because they are lower down the order (like Stokes).

However if Jadeja can get some decent scores this season, then maybe it's worth a shot batting him at 6 with Saha/Ashwin as 7/8 and seeing if the added responsibility brings out the batsman in him.


Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Can we please not have him near the test team again, thank you. Mishra is finally getting his due chances. Plus he is not tail-endery with the bat.


Whatever it takes!!!
For home tests, its perfectly plausible to bat Jadeja at 6 with Saha Ashwin and Mishra to follow... Maybe Bhuvi at 10 if we are lucky :)

Away from home, maybe Binny can take that spot.


Cricketer Of The Year
Win for Punjab. Good for Gurkeerat, who's played himself into form before the SA ODIs.

Jharkhand in a big mess. What a fall for a team that's given India one of their greatest cricketers and has a few more prospects.

Yet another home match for Maharashtra ends in a draw. That so many of their blokes average over 50 is unsurprising.

What should come as a surprise is that UP's bowlers, often among the best performers, struggled on that one flat deck, and so did Ishwar Pandey, a leading bowler until last season. It was 700 against 600.

Mumbai lost the lead. This first-innings difference has got to come down to just one point, not two, so that more result-oriented performances are encouraged. Unless they're like Services vs Jharkhand and Tripura vs Saurashtra.

TN vs Baroda was a great game for spinners and possibly some non-spinning slow bowlers. I do hope no inquiries are conducted to censure the Chennai pitch when pitches like Pune are biased towards the other extreme.

Let's not ask for too many seaming/bouncy tracks. We now see Indian FC teams produce plenty of bowlers who look great when the going is good, but are shown up incompetent when the pitch is flat.


Cricketer Of The Year
Mumbai, smarting after losing points to Andhra, bulldozed Punjab for 164, and Shreyas Iyer, excluded from T20Is for a struggling Shikhar Dhawan, scored a very fast 50. Except that this is 4-day cricket, and he needs to build a big innings for Mumbai to win. Young seamer Balwinder Sandhu (sounds familiar? a little too much) grabbed a chunk of Punjab wickets.

Bengal crossed 300 runs, but are almost all out, with three wickets each to Karnataka veteran Vinay Kumar and Sharath, who's getting more games now. Not much success for spinners Suchith and Gopal.

Saurashtra are now all over Jharkhand, but wait, their lead is down to a slender 37- as Jharkhand have rolled them over. Jadeja scores 58 and takes 6 wickets- but we're also seeing Nadeem get four, and Varun Aaron, with only four overs needed, take an early wicket.

Rajasthan, still without Pankaj Singh, are struggling at 147/5, against Assam, newly promoted.

Not many runs for Maharashtra, out of their comfort zone in Pune, facing Odisha at Cuttack- they are at 231/5, with Harshad Khadiwale top-scoring at 74.

Then there's Baroda, looking capable of winning their next match against Railways- with T20 specialist Hardik Pandya grabbing five wickets to bowl Railways out for 168. These are the only FC wickets he's taken so far.

In the battle of two Group C teams with all-rounders, J&K have the upper hand, at 274/8, with Parvez Rasool scoring a century- but Ram Dayal is out cheaply. Rishi Dhawan, now in action, took three wickets- for an excessive 98.

Much like their last game, TN batsmen are falling cheaply, but for slightly bigger scores, this time against MP- they are now at 225/5, with prospective India seamer Ishwar Pandey grabbing two.

Ishant Sharma, who missed a few phone calls, didn't miss the chance he got, taking three Vidarbha top-order wickets. Delhi have the upper hand, playing the stronger team. Vidarbha have Badrinath and Jaffer, both Ranji veterans, but are missing Umesh Yadav.

Gujarat vs Andhra is essentially Parthiv Patel vs Sivakumar and Vijaykumar- a century against the five wickets to fall at 250.

For Kerala, Rohan Prem scores a century against Hyderabad, missing Pragyan Ojha and Ashish Reddy. Sanju Samson, famous for his hilarious fan club on Cricinfo comment pages, was out for just one.

Services vs Goa. Anybody to watch here? Nobody to pick for India, though.


International Regular
Sir betters his exploits in the previous innings with 7 wickets now. 13 for the match and 24 in 2 matches so far with a 90 and 50 in 2 innings to boot. Only the 300 remains now.


International Coach
Out or Not Out?

Goswami, who had turned out for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL a few seasons ago, walked in to bat when the medium-pacers were getting the ball to dart around and decided to take his stance outside the batting crease.
He would often step out to the medium-pacers to throw them off the length that helped them swing the ball.
Skipper Vinay Kumar countered it by deploying a silly mid-off, hoping that it would discourage the batsman from stepping out. Goswami was undeterred, and as he ventured out one more time, Vinay on his follow-through swooped on the ball and threw it towards the stumps. Goswami's bat was grounded in the crease, but the ball struck the bottom of the bat, forced it off the ground and crashed into the stumps, with Goswami's bat in the air.
On an appeal from Karnataka, the third umpire declared Goswami run out, for there was no part of his body or bat grounded in the crease when the stumps were knocked down. Heated discussion around the fairness of the decision raged through the afternoon. While some believed that the appeal should have been withdrawn, others felt that the umpires went by the law and declared the batsman out.


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I dont know if the Laws make an allowance for the batsman's bat being forced out of the crease for reasons of their own doing.


Cricketer Of The Year
Plenty of results in this round. Railways, with two losses, have had a poor start, and another loss may threaten them with relegation to Group C.

Mumbai, stuttering in their first game, bounced back with an innings win against Punjab. Great game for Shreyas Iyer, runs for Aditya Tare and wickets for Sandhu. Terrible game for Yuvraj Singh.

Karnataka, though, were not so lucky, as the docile Bangalore pitch offered their bowling no assistance- nor did it offer Bengal's any, and Karnataka took three points.

While HP vs J&K was billed as the Parvez Rasool vs Rishi Dhawan match, a few big scores by other HP batsmen and less famous all-rounder Bipul Sharma together played a winning hand. That game had one more all-rounder from J&K, Ram Dayal, who had a poor game.

Delhi won with ease. Maybe Vidarbha was missing Umesh Yadav, as Ishant Sharma grabbed nine of the 20 wickets to fall.

Saurashtra, no Ravindra Jadeja, won again. Let's not make him an India player once more because of this, rather, let's wait till he pulls that team out of Group C.

Baroda won their game against Railways with some comfort- possibly the comfort of a square turner. Yusuf Pathan and Hardik Pandya may be out of the limelight that Jadeja is hogging, but did their bit with bat and ball to win the game- with help from slow bowler Bhargav Bhatt.

Assam, fresh from grabbing three points against defending champions Karnataka, grabbed seven by crushing Rajasthan. It's a welcome sign. Not so much Rajasthan's struggles, without a functional administration or Pankaj Singh leading the attack.

TN vs MP was a dull draw. The other drawn matches faded away before the second session on day four.


Whatever it takes!!!
DK scores a daddy hundred against Mumbai. Good time to make a big one and against the right team too. You get noted for performances against Mumbai even if they are a crap team at that point of time. Already he is leading the cricinfo poll on who should be the test keeper for India. Nice timing for once, DK.. :)


Cricketer Of The Year
Is this the Yuvraj of old? He's having a good time in the middle, at 42*.

Meanwhile, Ishant injured himself while warming up, and did not take the field at all today. Delhi now struggling to roll over Haryana, for whom Sehwag scored a fifty.

Odisha and Goa won their first matches in this event. I wonder what the Cuttack pitch is made of- enough bottle jokes are flying around.

Varun Aaron grabbed five quick wickets against Kerala, a decent (though also underperforming) Group C team. Except that he won't grab headlines like a media-savvy crown prince who performs best in his comfort zone. Unless he reverses Jharkhand's poor form and pulls them ahead in the rankings.
DK scores a daddy hundred against Mumbai. Good time to make a big one and against the right team too. You get noted for performances against Mumbai even if they are a crap team at that point of time. Already he is leading the cricinfo poll on who should be the test keeper for India. Nice timing for once, DK.. :)
Seems the best bet as a Test wicketkeeper, besides Naman Ojha. Very good with the gloves. Let's just hope he doesn't get scrambled by playing as an opening batsman or outfielder. He's also had a great 2014-15 Ranji season with the bat.


International Regular
Varun Aaron grabbed five quick wickets against Kerala, a decent (though also underperforming) Group C team. Except that he won't grab headlines like a media-savvy crown prince who performs best in his comfort zone.
The crown prince has scored 50s in all the innings he has batted so far. Aaron can barely score consecutive 10s. The crown prince has got 5 wicket hauls in all the innings he has bowled so far, 3 of them daddies. This is Aaron`s first 5.