The downfall of the Australians continues. Who would thought South Africa could win this match given the fact they looked almost out of the game at the stumps on Day 2. They still managed to pull back into the game, courtesy J.P. Duminy and Dale Steyn. South Africa have now won their first ever test series in Australia - a drought that lasted for almost a century ! The Proteas are now on the verge of dethroning Aussies of their No.1 position if they win the third and the last test match in Sydney beginning from 3rd January 2009.
Proteas are the only side after India beating Australia in back-to-back matches in the last decade. This year will definitely be a forgettable one for Australia. Blame it on the loss of legends like McGrath, Warne and Gilchrist or their loss of consistency ( in other words inconsistency) over the years which cemented their position as the best in the world. But now, the cement seems to be crumbling down.
The only positive for Australia in this game would be Ponting returning back to form. And the negatives ? A lot ! Hayden continues his poor run. Brett Lee and Shane Watson ruled out of the game due to injures. And of course, so many records going against their name.
Before this game Hayden said that he would decide if would retire after this series or not. If I would have been in his place, I would have surely taken retirement from the game. But of course, its all up to him.
Meanwhile, Ponting has become the first Australian captain in 16 years to suffer a series defeat on home soil. Last time Australia lost a series at home was against the West Indies in 1992-93.
I would recommend the selectors to pick a new and young captain. Maybe someone like Michael Clarke will be a good successor of Ponting to do it. We saw it in the only T20 game he captained Australia against the T20 world champions, India in Melbourne last year, Australia completely blanked India in that game. He now has enough experience in international cricket to lead his side well. We have already witnessed youngsters like Dhoni and Smith doing it for their national team. And the result ? They have done phenomenally well, and are of course in the race to become the new world champions.
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Tuesday, December 30, 2008 |
Yipee !!! It's Christmas time ! I wish all the readers of Crick-O a Merry Christmas.
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Thursday, December 25, 2008 |
It was perhaps one of the most boring draw that I have ever seen. To make it worse, was the heavy fog and early bad light. Almost 90 overs were lost due to fog and bad light. That means almost a day ! Most of us(especially English fans) will criticize BCCI for why at this time of the year did they held this match in Mohali. A location which is a bit southern to Mohali, like Delhi could have been a better choice. But the problem with Delhi was obviously just because of 26/11 attacks. And perhaps more criticism would be coming for the slow start by the Indian batsmen on Day 1. Both - Gambhir and Dravid had a slow approach towards their game. Though both of them hit brilliant tons,but by Day 2 of the game it looked like it is surely going to be a draw.
The only possibility of a result was when England ended Day 3 on 282-6. Further on Day 4 there was a delay for about 2 hours again. India quickly bowled the English tail as soon as the play started. Then the Indian batsmen started the innings on a slow note after the fall of Virender Sehwag's wicket. The fourth day ended with India making 134 runs with the loss of 4 wickets. The lead was by 285 runs by then. The play started late again due to bad light on Day 5. At least 2 hours of play that was equal to at least 25 overs were wasted. I expected India to extend their lead by 30-40 runs more and declare with setting the target around 330 runs. But Dhoni and his team had something else in their mind. Dhoni's decision to declare came when about 1 hour of play before tea break was left. Gambhir and Yuvraj, both missed their tons. By the time India declared they had set England a target of 403 runs.But it was all too late. England came to bat and lost Alastair Cook quickly. They were 27-1 at Tea. By the time the day finished England could manage only 64 runs.
Gautam Gambhir was declared the Man of the Match, and Zaheer Khan was the Man of the Series.
India won the 2 test match series 1-0.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008 |
Looking at the modern day test cricket, most of us will believe a target of 350-450 is not enough. And well we have already witnessed it happening not only once, but twice. First it was India who sprang a surprise and successfully chased the target of 387 runs against England in Chennai, then it was South Africa, who again showed that Australia are not much far away from being dethroned.
Many of us won't have given South Africa a chance, ever since they were rattled for 281 runs in their first innings. Even when Ricky Ponting and his men would have entered the ground to bowl to South Africa in their last innings, where they needed 414 runs to win, they must have thought that they were atleast going to draw this match. Not only that but, they started looking dangerous, when Mitchel Johnson dismissed McKenzie to leave South Africa 19-1. But captain Graeme Smith was in some other mood. He smashed a brilliant knock of 108 of just 147 balls. Along with Hashim Amla he took the score from 19-1 to 172. That was an awesome 153 runs partnership. Finally Johnson struck again. Smith was caught plumb to leave South Africa at 172 for 2. As often the case is, when one partner is out after a long partnership, the other one follows him to the pavillion. Soon Amla was caught behind by Haddin for a good knock of 53 and South Africa were left reeling at 179-3.
The two men at the crease were Kallis and Ab de Villiers. Once both of them settled down, they started scoring runs at a regular rate. By the time Kallis was dismissed, it looked to be all over for Australia. Kallis was dismissed after hitting a timely half century. South Africa needed 111 runs at that stage.
Dumminy then joined De Villiers. Australia looked completely helpless. De Villiers scored a brilliant ton, and was deservingly judged as the Man of the Match.
No one can say from where is Australia going to go from here onwards. All I can say is by March 2009 we will hopefully get to know who will be the number one team in the world.
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Sunday, December 21, 2008 |
India's tour of Pakistan which was scheduled to take place early next year has been officially called off, with Indian government refusing to permit the Indian team to tour in Pakistan following the Mumbai terror Attacks.
Ever since, Pakistani links have been identified in this terror attack, it always seemed in a jeopardy and could be canceled any moment.
The government in it's letter to BCCI president Shashank Manohar cited "recent developments as well as the overall circumstances prevailing at present" as the reason for calling off the tour.
I feel the Indian government took the right decision, for it was a concern about the safety and security of the players, and of course, with terror groups and stuff (that might create a fear in the players mind) they may not be able to concentrate fully on their game.
Anyways, ICC can't force BCCI anymore on this issue, since the decision by the government has already been taken, in which, ICC cannot interfere.
Now the PCB is looking forward to convince Sri Lankan board to send their team to play in Pakistan as a replacement for India. Things are not going PCB's way, as their are already going into deep financial crisis. All they can now do is hope that SLC agrees to send Sri Lankan team to Pakistan.
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Thursday, December 18, 2008 |
If I had to write the summary of the first four days (excluding the last session of the fourth day) of this first match between India and England, all I would have said is that it is a a repeat telecast of what we saw in the second test match between India and Australia at Mohali. But this time India were on the receiving end. But if one would see the whole test match, who would have said that India were ever in a bad position ? India were successfully able to chase the massive target of 387 runs courtesy Sehwag, Tendulkar and Yuvraj. One could say it was England's bad luck, but some of our experts have slammed their defensive approach towards the game. And it would definitely agree to the point that they were quite slow. Had in their second innings they would have scored more runs, and more quickly, it could have given them a chance to bowl out India.
In spite of Andrew Strauss scoring centuries in both the innings, England were not able to do anything. From England's perspective, would have been good to see is Collingwood back in form.
During India's tour of Australia which was held last year, Sachin scored a terrific century of 154 in one of the test match at SCG, and there was a banner which said - "Commit all your Crimes when Tendulkar is batting. They will go unnoticed because even the Lord is watching." And it proved to be true. On 26th November 2008 when Sachin was playing beautifully, the terrorist were on their way to Mumbai, for those terror attacks. By the time Sachin's innings ended, the Lord saw that the terrorist had already entered Mumbai. But it was all too late. Before the Lord could do anything, the terrorist had already terrorized the whole world, by killing numerous people. And then on 15th December, the Lord was watching Sachin play again, but this time it was dedicated to all those victims and their families who lost their lives in that terror attack.
Most of us,including Sachin himself have already said that is perhaps his best century.
The platform was already by Virender Sehwag on day 4. He scored an awesome and quick 83 of just 66 balls. He won the Man of the Match award deservingly.
India are leading the 2 test match series by 1-0. There's one more match to go, which will be played in Mohali from 19th December.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008 |
You might be wondering why I didn't update the blog for so long. Finally, my exams are over, and well, the next set of exams will be from February. Anyway, there is a big, good news for all the readers - you can now listen to Crick-O Bollywood Planet radio station ( Yes, finally 1 radio station complete!). Now for those who don't know hindi, or want to listen to English hits, it's going to come very soon indeed. So just hold your breath, and watch for it to come. For then, I'll keep updating you on the India-England test series, and other things happening in the cricket world, and mmorpg reviews as well.
To listen to the radio, you can check the Windows Media Player plugin which is on the top-right corner of the page.
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Friday, December 12, 2008 |