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**Official** Indian Domestic Season 2013/14

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
The season will begin shortly, with two Challenger Trophy teams announced- India Blue and India Red.

India Blue squad for the Challenger Trophy: Yuvraj Singh (capt), 2 Akshath Reddy, 3 Naman Ojha (wk), 4 Mandeep Singh, 5 Ankit Bawane, 6 Abhishek Nayar, 7 Manish Pandey, 8 Piyush Chawla, 9 Ankit Rajpoot, 10 Vinay Kumar, 11 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 12 Iresh Saxena

India Red squad for the Challenger Trophy: Irfan Pathan (capt), Robin Uthappa, Abhinav Mukund, Saurabh Tiwary, Gurkeerat Mann, Kedar Jadhav, Smit Patel (wk), Yusuf Pathan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Abhimanyu Mithun, Umesh Yadav, Suraj Yadav

Delhi have yet to announce their team, but this time, the State team may be a lot more competitive. These Blue and Red teams are usually very disjointed, and made the most against a Bengal side that was missing Dinda, Shami and Manoj Tiwary. This Delhi team will have at least four players trying hard to secure or regain their places in the national side.

In other news, Ramesh Powar joined Rajasthan, Ashok Malhotra is Bengal's chief coach while Ganguly is the chairman of the state's coaching committee (to help develop cricket at lower levels). Harmeet Singh, on the other hand, is struggling to get a contract, after that match-fixing mess where he was barely involved, and his bid to join Vidarbha was unsuccessful. Hopefully he won't miss out on this season.
 

Daemon

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'A' games against WI should be interesting too, with Zaheer, Gambhir and Sehwag being given a second chance. Good to see Kaif getting a chance as well as Praveen Kumar (albeit in the limited overs squad)

India A squad for the first four-day game: Cheteshwar Pujara (capt), Jiwanjot Singh, KL Rahul, Manpreet Juneja, Rajat Paliwal, Harshad Khadiwale, Parvez Rasool, Bhargav Bhatt, Ishwar Pandey, Mohammed Shami, Ashok Dinda, Rohit Motwani (wk), Dhawal Kulkarni, Paras Dogra

India A squad for the second and third four-day games: Cheteshwar Pujara (capt), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Sheldon Jackson, Abhishek Nayar, Paras Dogra, Uday Kaul (wk), Parvez Rasool, Bhargav Bhatt, Dhawal Kulkarni, Zaheer Khan, Ishwar Pandey, Mohammed Shami, Mohammad Kaif

India A squad for the three 50-over games and one T20: Yuvraj Singh (capt), Unmukt Chand, Robin Uthappa, B Aparajith, Kedar Jadhav, Naman Ojha (wk), Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Jaydev Unadkat, Praveen Kumar, Sumit Narwal, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mandeep Singh, Rahul Sharma
 

CricAddict

International Regular
'A' games against WI should be interesting too, with Zaheer, Gambhir and Sehwag being given a second chance. Good to see Kaif getting a chance as well as Praveen Kumar (albeit in the limited overs squad)

India A squad for the first four-day game: Cheteshwar Pujara (capt), Jiwanjot Singh, KL Rahul, Manpreet Juneja, Rajat Paliwal, Harshad Khadiwale, Parvez Rasool, Bhargav Bhatt, Ishwar Pandey, Mohammed Shami, Ashok Dinda, Rohit Motwani (wk), Dhawal Kulkarni, Paras Dogra

India A squad for the second and third four-day games: Cheteshwar Pujara (capt), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Sheldon Jackson, Abhishek Nayar, Paras Dogra, Uday Kaul (wk), Parvez Rasool, Bhargav Bhatt, Dhawal Kulkarni, Zaheer Khan, Ishwar Pandey, Mohammed Shami, Mohammad Kaif

India A squad for the three 50-over games and one T20: Yuvraj Singh (capt), Unmukt Chand, Robin Uthappa, B Aparajith, Kedar Jadhav, Naman Ojha (wk), Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Jaydev Unadkat, Praveen Kumar, Sumit Narwal, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mandeep Singh, Rahul Sharma
Yes, Looks like they are bringing back all the old guys again.. Gambhir, Sehwag, Zaheer, Praveen, Kaif, Uthappa, Yuvraj, Yusuf and Irfan..
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
The selection of Mohammed Kaif for the long haul is a good one, given his form in the past five years, and then, the past two. An average in the high forties, and nearly 40% innings result in a score over fifty. His OD record over five seasons isn't so good, but in the last two, he's hit some form. As an immediate replacement for Tendulkar, he's just the right person.

One thing I'm not happy about is the presence of age cheats in the domestic scene. Far too many fake their age either at the behest of associations trying to get easy wins, or as a result of their Indian team ambitions.
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
A point to note is that both Yuvraj Singh and Ashok Dinda have supremely good records while playing in the Duleep Trophy- Yuvraj has an average of 90, while Dinda seems to be at an altogether different level as a bowler, with 52 wickets in ten games at a strike rate under 40! Let's see what we can make of that.

I also hope the Rajasthan/Central Zone folks make the best use of Meenaria's new-found all-round ability, but also keep him scoring plenty of runs. He's a really neat and strokeful batsman to watch, has plenty of striking power, pinches a lot of singles, and appears to be another Yuvraj Singh in the making, and definitely a better batsman than Jadeja. He has, however, taken most of his OD wickets in the last season and a little beyond (15/18 career wickets in the last 11 games), and does little with the ball in FCs- and add to that a rather modest OD batting average, although better in the same last 11 games.

Ishwar Pandey will be one bloke to watch, since he's begun well and is taking it further nicely- one more good season and he's definitely an India prospect. I'm not too optimistic of Shami, though- he doesn't have it in him to be a striker for India. Parvez Rassool, though, should get a full all-round role in the FC series and he anyway carries his team, J&K, most of the time. Dhawal's lack of pace and physique may weaken him as a strike bowler, but he's exceptionally good on the field, and can score plenty of runs, so that will make him useful, not just in a Duncan Fletcher way, and he too has played more than fifty FC games.

The batting may be something to ignore, as there are plenty of prospects, enough to fill three teams. The only ones to watch will be the opening batsmen- JJ, Jagadeesh and Rahul have done well, but all of them are very new and inexperienced in domestic/reserves level itself- and need more season to prove themselves.
 
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Contra

Cricketer Of The Year
Yuvraj smashes a century in the first game, would love to have an in-form Yuvi back in limited overs cricket. Looks fitter too.
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
A lot has been said about Yuvraj's fitness, and he was emphatic in his century in that game, which also featured Yusuf Pathan's two-runs-a-ball sore of 70 and a neat support act from Mandeep Singh, but that was another flat pitch on which the Indian bowlers struggled, Indian filler bowlers were taken apart but the West Indian reserves still crumbled by 77 runs.

Irfan and Praveen are missing from this series, because of recurring injuries. These two just can't stay fit now.
 
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Daemon

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Conditions don't look easy to bat in, at least early in the innings. Narwal looks pretty average to me, think a slower Bhuvneshwar with an outswinger. Gets decent movement off the seam at least.
 

Daemon

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What's with these WI A players and their List A averages? None of them >30..
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
Unmukt Chand's start was incredibly slow. This may just cost the team the match. As also the West Indian spinners actually turning the ball and going for wickets.
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
West Indies A win by over 60 runs. One dropped catch can definitely make a difference, like Yusuf dropping Carter at seven did. Carter made a match-winning century. Chand's poor strike rate, though, still cannot be excused.

India's frontline seamers were decent. Vinay Kumar has had a good series so far. It's the filler bowlers who've gone for plenty. Yuvraj has not bowled today, and only four in the previous game. Not a good sign, given his all-round form over the past four years.
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
It's 313 for India A to chase. Last time, John Carter of Mars took the match away with a century (gifted by Yusuf Pathan at seven). Will Trekkie Kirk Edwards (can't call him Captain, that's Kieron Powell) win the game again? There was also a rapid-fire fifty by Leon Johnson, and lower-order players Devon Thomas and Ashley Nurse have made some smashing contributions here. This is more of the West Indies batting we know and love- clean hitting, powerful strokes, and smart innings-building.

This is also, sadly, a typical Indian bowling unit. The part-time or filler bowlers are a soft spot, and in three games out of three, they have the worst economy rates of the bunch- and not enough wickets to show either. Add to that a replay of Indian seamers' weaknesses on flat decks and in the final overs, as the last ten overs went for a hundred runs, though, to their credit, they nicked six of the nine wickets to fall in that period.

Sid Kaul's flat deck nightmare continues. He's been leaking runs left, right and centre since his selection for the A-team tour for South Africa. That's a very far cry from the bloke who was a leading wicket-taker in the last season's Ranji Trophy, and the sooner he fixes his flat-pitch weaknesses and adds some serious pace, the better.

Vinay Kumar has had a good series, with six wickets in three games, and a decent economy, although Unadkat has overtaken him in the wickets tally with five in this game- but his economy may raise some eyebrows- but still a lot, lot better than the dreadful economy rates of the part-timers who lack striking power.
 
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Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
A little perspective required here. Yuvraj Singh has been stereotyped as an ODI/T20I specialist not good enough for Tests or FCs. Yet, if you dig up his domestic/FC stats, you'll find that while his average for Punjab is a modest 43 with six centuries, he seems to be a much better player for higher levels, short of Tests
  • North Zone (average 90, 7x100 of which 1x200)
  • Rest of India (average 63, 1x200)
  • India A (average 51, 1x100)
  • India Board XI (average 111, 1x100)
  • Even the Indian team's tour FC games (average 47, 1x100)
So that's a combined average of 76.3 with eleven centuries, in 24 games for teams not Punjab (state side, lowest in FC) or India (where he's been in and out) and Yorkshire (a very dire 2003 season picked way before he was ready). These are not Ranji Trophy stats, but a combined figure of Duleep, Irani, India A (the kind that plays foreign reserves/futures, not the team from the silly Challenger Trophy), Indian Board XI and India's frontline touring side. Hardly laughable. It makes a lot of sense to bring this up, since he's also gained some new-found bowling form over the past four years, in limited-overs cricket. We're now seeing Jadeja as a frontline Test all-rounder, with bowling ability no more than that of Yuvraj, and not even fractionally as good with the bat. If Yuvraj can last a season of FC cricket, he may, at the very least, replace Jadeja as the all-rounder.
 

CricAddict

International Regular
A little perspective required here. Yuvraj Singh has been stereotyped as an ODI/T20I specialist not good enough for Tests or FCs. Yet, if you dig up his domestic/FC stats, you'll find that while his average for Punjab is a modest 43 with six centuries, he seems to be a much better player for higher levels, short of Tests
  • North Zone (average 90, 7x100 of which 1x200)
  • Rest of India (average 63, 1x200)
  • India A (average 51, 1x100)
  • India Board XI (average 111, 1x100)
  • Even the Indian team's tour FC games (average 47, 1x100)
So that's a combined average of 76.3 with eleven centuries, in 24 games for teams not Punjab (state side, lowest in FC) or India (where he's been in and out) and Yorkshire (a very dire 2003 season picked way before he was ready). These are not Ranji Trophy stats, but a combined figure of Duleep, Irani, India A (the kind that plays foreign reserves/futures, not the team from the silly Challenger Trophy), Indian Board XI and India's frontline touring side. Hardly laughable. It makes a lot of sense to bring this up, since he's also gained some new-found bowling form over the past four years, in limited-overs cricket. We're now seeing Jadeja as a frontline Test all-rounder, with bowling ability no more than that of Yuvraj, and not even fractionally as good with the bat. If Yuvraj can last a season of FC cricket, he may, at the very least, replace Jadeja as the all-rounder.
:laugh:
 

CricAddict

International Regular
But still, I will love Yuvraj to be back in form and playing for India in all formats.. Very good player and can provide some experience to the middle order as well as all round ability..

Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvaneshwar, Yadav, Ishant could be the team for India once Sachin goes..
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
End to a slightly disappointing, if not terrible, ODI series that India A lost. Was this another win-the-toss-win-the-match series? Were India A not playing as a team? Were they just playing for places in the national side? There are a few positives, but the one big negative is that none of them, except Yuvraj and Vinay, played for a series win. ODI prospect Kedar Jadhav had a poor series, throwing his wicket away prematurely in both instances.

Two, no, three things may be noted- the Indian A team, albeit a different one from the one that squashed New Zealand A, has handled chases between 250 and 300 in even conditions nicely, but in a high chase, they fall apart, no matter how many batsmen they have. The combination of four bowlers with Yuvraj/Yusuf/Baba did not work. Clearly. West Indies A, on the other hand, choked the Indian A batsmen with tight bowling for the entire innings. The pace of the West Indian bowlers, vs the lack of pace of the Indians, also made a difference- the array of fours, sixes and easy singles could not be attempted on Cummins, bowling over 140K often.
 

JontyPanesar

U19 Vice-Captain
A little perspective required here. Yuvraj Singh has been stereotyped as an ODI/T20I specialist not good enough for Tests or FCs. Yet, if you dig up his domestic/FC stats, you'll find that while his average for Punjab is a modest 43 with six centuries, he seems to be a much better player for higher levels, short of Tests
  • North Zone (average 90, 7x100 of which 1x200)
  • Rest of India (average 63, 1x200)
  • India A (average 51, 1x100)
  • India Board XI (average 111, 1x100)
  • Even the Indian team's tour FC games (average 47, 1x100)
So that's a combined average of 76.3 with eleven centuries, in 24 games for teams not Punjab (state side, lowest in FC) or India (where he's been in and out) and Yorkshire (a very dire 2003 season picked way before he was ready). These are not Ranji Trophy stats, but a combined figure of Duleep, Irani, India A (the kind that plays foreign reserves/futures, not the team from the silly Challenger Trophy), Indian Board XI and India's frontline touring side. Hardly laughable. It makes a lot of sense to bring this up, since he's also gained some new-found bowling form over the past four years, in limited-overs cricket. We're now seeing Jadeja as a frontline Test all-rounder, with bowling ability no more than that of Yuvraj, and not even fractionally as good with the bat. If Yuvraj can last a season of FC cricket, he may, at the very least, replace Jadeja as the all-rounder.
I think your point is a good one but it still doesn't contradict the bigger problems with Yuvraj. He can be incredibly inconsistent in the longer format of the game (he looked on top of his game at Ahmedabad but looked out of sorts by the time India had been destroyed in Kolkata); I directly attribute this to never fully developing a solid track record in Ranji. Yuvraj's second major problem is technical. He loves driving and lazily getting on the front foot. That's ok in the subcontinent. But if he's not fundamentally sound on the front foot and he can't remain composed off the backfoot outside the subcontinent, leave aside stroke-making (remember Broad bullying him with the short ball?), he'll still come up short. Yuvraj's third major problem is fitness/laziness. We'll see if he starts taking care of his body as he should, but too often he's carrying extra weight.

He's bloody good on flatter ODI pitches, but I wouldn't bring him anywhere near the test conversation (though he inevitably will be). I'd offer a similar critique of another LHB...Suresh Raina, yet he is always kept in the mix for the test squad surprisingly.

As far as Yuvi's bowling goes, it's in some ways better, some ways worse than Jadeja's. B/c Yuvi's tall, he can extract a little more out of a pitch than Jadeja though both give it only a mild tweak. But Jadeja's role is really one of containment first, wicket-taking second (unless the pitch is really helpful). I'm not a Jadeja fan really, but he's far more accurate than Yuvraj, and that's what Dhoni and Fletch are (justifiably) looking for.

I'll give Yuvraj this too...he has improved remarkably vs spinners. He really has developed a very strong sweep even against the turn...very Hayden-esque. I remember him being all at sea when he first debuted
 
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JontyPanesar

U19 Vice-Captain
The season will begin shortly, with two Challenger Trophy teams announced- India Blue and India Red.

India Blue squad for the Challenger Trophy: Yuvraj Singh (capt), 2 Akshath Reddy, 3 Naman Ojha (wk), 4 Mandeep Singh, 5 Ankit Bawane, 6 Abhishek Nayar, 7 Manish Pandey, 8 Piyush Chawla, 9 Ankit Rajpoot, 10 Vinay Kumar, 11 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 12 Iresh Saxena

India Red squad for the Challenger Trophy: Irfan Pathan (capt), Robin Uthappa, Abhinav Mukund, Saurabh Tiwary, Gurkeerat Mann, Kedar Jadhav, Smit Patel (wk), Yusuf Pathan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Abhimanyu Mithun, Umesh Yadav, Suraj Yadav

Delhi have yet to announce their team, but this time, the State team may be a lot more competitive. These Blue and Red teams are usually very disjointed, and made the most against a Bengal side that was missing Dinda, Shami and Manoj Tiwary. This Delhi team will have at least four players trying hard to secure or regain their places in the national side.

In other news, Ramesh Powar joined Rajasthan, Ashok Malhotra is Bengal's chief coach while Ganguly is the chairman of the state's coaching committee (to help develop cricket at lower levels). Harmeet Singh, on the other hand, is struggling to get a contract, after that match-fixing mess where he was barely involved, and his bid to join Vidarbha was unsuccessful. Hopefully he won't miss out on this season.
I'm really keen to see Chawla bowl...he seems to do really well every time he goes to England, but will it finally translate elsewhere? That said, I'm never sure how much to make of a List A match, his Ranji performance will reveal all.

Isn't Irfan injured? I thought that's why he can't play in the India A matches?

Mukund looked like such a promising batsman when I saw him in the WI and even in England, who simply lacked the mental toughness to not throw his wicket away after getting set. I don't know what has got the better of him, but I still hope he can return to his potential.

Harmeet should have been playing for even a Group C side to at least get some FC experience under his belt. He wasn't breaking into the Mumbai XI...so I don't know what he was waiting for even prior to the match-fixing scandal.
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
I think your point is a good one but it still doesn't contradict the bigger problems with Yuvraj. He can be incredibly inconsistent in the longer format of the game (he looked on top of his game at Ahmedabad but looked out of sorts by the time India had been destroyed in Kolkata); I directly attribute this to never fully developing a solid track record in Ranji. Yuvraj's second major problem is technical. He loves driving and lazily getting on the front foot. That's ok in the subcontinent. But if he's not fundamentally sound on the front foot and he can't remain composed off the backfoot outside the subcontinent, leave aside stroke-making (remember Broad bullying him with the short ball?), he'll still come up short. Yuvraj's third major problem is fitness/laziness. We'll see if he starts taking care of his body as he should, but too often he's carrying extra weight.

He's bloody good on flatter ODI pitches, but I wouldn't bring him anywhere near the test conversation (though he inevitably will be). I'd offer a similar critique of another LHB...Suresh Raina, yet he is always kept in the mix for the test squad surprisingly.

As far as Yuvi's bowling goes, it's in some ways better, some ways worse than Jadeja's. B/c Yuvi's tall, he can extract a little more out of a pitch than Jadeja though both give it only a mild tweak. But Jadeja's role is really one of containment first, wicket-taking second (unless the pitch is really helpful). I'm not a Jadeja fan really, but he's far more accurate than Yuvraj, and that's what Dhoni and Fletch are (justifiably) looking for.

I'll give Yuvraj this too...he has improved remarkably vs spinners. He really has developed a very strong sweep even against the turn...very Hayden-esque. I remember him being all at sea when he first debuted
Yes, Yuvraj is a more complete batsman than he was ten years ago, and I feel he, and some other youngsters, were picked way before their time. As a specialist batsman, he was never much good, and frankly, he can make himself useful, despite his technical shortcomings, if he can bowl 20-25 overs a match, to rest the tired arms of the strike bowlers. However, given the strength of the current Indian bowling attack, he's just a weak link in a somewhat weak bowling attack- which is what handed the OD series to WI-A on a platter.

None of Yuvraj, Yusuf, Baba and Jadeja cut is as strike bowlers, unless the pitch turns at right angles. He's seriously one of the best batsmen on flat decks, but a poor bowler there, so if he can make himself useful on seam/spin-friendly pitches, you have, as an interim choice, a decent all-rounder, who can also bowl well without the layers of protection reserved for Jadeja and part-timers. Yuvraj is capable at containment, but economy under four is a long shot as easy singles may be taken off him. Limited containment is what he's capable of, and also rushing down several overs to rest the strike bowlers, but it doesn't seem to work out for a team with relatively weak bowling resources- five strike bowlers is the way forward.

I'm really keen to see Chawla bowl...he seems to do really well every time he goes to England, but will it finally translate elsewhere? That said, I'm never sure how much to make of a List A match, his Ranji performance will reveal all.

Isn't Irfan injured? I thought that's why he can't play in the India A matches?

Mukund looked like such a promising batsman when I saw him in the WI and even in England, who simply lacked the mental toughness to not throw his wicket away after getting set. I don't know what has got the better of him, but I still hope he can return to his potential.

Harmeet should have been playing for even a Group C side to at least get some FC experience under his belt. He wasn't breaking into the Mumbai XI...so I don't know what he was waiting for even prior to the match-fixing scandal.
Irfan is out for six weeks, sadly. Mukund has, possibly, a few technical issues to sort out, but he is a more improved batsman now. Maybe he hasn't been given the chances he deserves, and he's definitely better than wicketkeepers pushed up to open.

I don't know what's the matter with Mumbai's spin selections. They have been dire. Harmeet never got a chance, and Iqbal Abdulla was inexplicably dropped because he dropped one catch, while unknown Vishal Dabholkar and batsman-who-can-bowl-a-bit Ankeet Chavan (pre-fixing) were persisted with, even when they eased out Ramesh Powar. Dabholkar was an absolute desperate pick, and Chavan's out of the way, so Harmeet-Iqbal may be the choice for Mumbai this season.

I don't think I want Chawla playing another game for India, because he's a lot more dubious a choice than even post-fixing Sreesanth. It's one matter throwing one delivery away and another using the system to deny decent players their chance.
 

JontyPanesar

U19 Vice-Captain
I don't think I want Chawla playing another game for India, because he's a lot more dubious a choice than even post-fixing Sreesanth. It's one matter throwing one delivery away and another using the system to deny decent players their chance.
My sentiments are similar about chawla but he has been killing it for Somerset. Taunton is pretty flat too, and yet he's getting wickets in buckets. I think it might be partially due to the drift he gets when he bowls because his arm is high but he falls over while bowling. It's not too dissimilar to how qadir/mushy/afridi bowled (with the seam not perfectly upright, the ball is going to drift in to rhbs, and possibly late if there's some overspin on it)

Still he doesn't do jack in Ranji but mishra is no longer far and away India's best leggie
 

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