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I Told You ! Jersey changed and India lost

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It's surely very disappointing to say the least. But this is how Indian team's luck has been going. Jersey changes...India looses ! The first T20 was in any case a disaster but the 2nd wasn't far behind either. Perhaps, the second T20 made the Indian pace attack a bit weaker with Ishant Sharma getting his shoulder injured while fielding. He never returned back on the field. And another disaster that could be in this whole tour for India is Brendon McCullum's sublime form. He is looking unstoppable. While on the other hand, for the first time both the Indian openers(Viru and Gambhir) looked helpless and of course...scoreless.

One of my friend was so frustrated about this loss that he screamed in my ears: "All the Indian wins now look to me a fluke." And maybe he's right. I was there in the school when the match was being played. I managed to get back home when the last ball was about to be bowled. I looked at the full scorecard and was completely shocked. Back in the game...Pathan was taking this run-up and I was praying the god like anything. But it was all too late. Pathan bowled a short one which in my opinion wasn't a bad one. When the ball was hit in the air, my heart just like McCullum was in my mouth. Luckily his heart came down to it's original position while I was still in a state of shock and was cursing Rohit Sharma for dropping that catch. But it wasn't a easy one to pull off.

What this series win has showed is that the Kiwis are one of the best team in this format and why not...they have beaten the world champions twice, in fact thrice(Yes! In all India-New Zealand encounters) counting the T20 world cup victory. Doesn't seem like India can win this T20 world cup. And I would recommend other Indian fans not to expect from their team. You know why ? Just like the inaugural T20 championship where not many had much hope(including me) of Indian victory, Dhoni and his boys proved them wrong. Similarly, if you ask too much from the team, they are obviously going to be in pressure.

Anyway, coming back to the present tour, I would like to see India hit New Zealand back hard in the ODI series.

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India vs New Zealand Twenty20 series : The preview

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If India is really worried it is probably due to the weather rather than New Zealand. Because of this poor weather the Indians doesn't seem to getting used to the conditions in New Zealand which is completely different than that in India. Obviously, the Kiwis are comparatively inexperienced than the T20 world champions. Though again they do have the home advantage. And to make it higher is the low weather conditions which aren't letting India to practice to get used to the conditions.

Also, India had previously lost to New Zealand in the T20 world cup. Revenge must be on the back of the minds of Dhoni and Co.

Vettori had earlier said that hard hitting guys like Dhoni, the Pathan Bros, Yuvraj, Sehwag can hit the ball easily out of the small grounds in NZ. And one of my friend said: "If Yusuf, Dhoni and Yuvraj can hit the ball out of the grounds in Australia and India,then, even players who aren't known for their big hitting like Gambhir, Rohit Sharma can clear the boundary rope quite easily." And if you look at the big hitters in the Kiwi side, Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum are one of the most famous names. But batsmen like Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina have proved that T20 is not just about clearing the park. Instead strike rotating and quick running between the wickets is also very important. And when it comes to quick running and strike rotating, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir are probably the best partners doing it regularly followed by their captain M.S. Dhoni.

In my opinion, the key players from both the sides would be -

India - Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh(big hitters to entertain the crowd), Pathan Bros(gosh...people would be expecting too much from them after their heroics in the T20 game against Sri Lanka), The bowling duo of Zaheer and Ishant( to see whether they prove good in conditions which are probably favorable to them)

New Zealand - Vettori(one of the best spinner and now the leader of the Kiwis), Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum(big hitters and match-winners), Jacob Oram(one of the finest all-rounder who has the skills to clear the grounds and pitch the bowl in the right areas)

The first T20 game is going to be played tomorrow in Christchurch.

For the full schedule click here.

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When a helicopter disrupted cricket : It happens only in India !

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You've heard of cricket matches being stopped for rain, injuries and even streakers. But how often do we hear of matches being stopped by helicopters ? The Ranji one-dayer between Punjab and Services on Saturday was stopped for a full 26 minutes when a private helicopter landed bang in the middle of the Indira Stadium. Yes, you read it right. A helicopter landed in the ground.

As bizarre as it sounds, the pilot apparently mistook the 'H' sign — which stands for the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association — at the north end of the ground as a helipad!

To add to the confusion, a fire had broken out near the stadium, the smoke from which, the pilot misinterpreted as smoke signals.

Such was the force of the copter's rotors that the sightscreen at the pavilion end of the ground was shredded to pieces, while the cameras in pace for the BCCI coach umpire were destroyed.

Amidst the chaos, out came a man from the copter, seemingly oblivious of the mayhem his pilot had caused. He was there to look for the additional district magistrate. In fact, it was only when the HPCA officials had told the pilot had landed at a cricket ground, did he realise error in judgement.

Meanwhile, match referee Brijender Singh said the matter would be reported to the BCCI. As far as the damage to the BCCI equipment was concerned, Singh said the matter would be dealt with between the BCCI and the HPCA.

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Finally...it's getting better !

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It's just of an update to 'Crick-O is looking for a team member and some technical help'.

Finally I am able to change the blog design and also overcome a few errors that kept on bugging me. In fact, now I am confused about the changing of the blog design. I have a few ones, and of course, since it is a single blog, I need a single design as well. So I took help of my friends on Facebook and so far the one I didn't think was the best is winning. If you are on facebook, you can add me as a friend too and help me choose one of them.

Anyway, though I am still worried about the team member issue. Either someone has to come forward to help me carry this blog ahead, or one could be seeing only 3-5 posts per month. My passion for writing on this game has taken me till here so far. I don't it to be shattered.

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Why does BCCI always has to do something ridiculous ?

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They are at it again. Somebody said right about the present situation of cricket in India :

"Morons are on the run and are ruining the game"
BCCI has again proved why they are the stupidest board of the game. The Indian team ODI jersey is simply getting darker and darker!

Previous ODI T-shirts

One might wonder if the Men in Blue would turn Men in Black. Who knows ? Maybe, by the time I pass out my school, the Indian jersey could turn just around the color of the Black Caps(New Zealand). The New ODI Jersey

Maybe you are rich BCCI, but remember that recession might hit you as well!

Alright, now to be honest I am seriously worried about the growing hype around the team. Why ? Because whenever the hype grows up, the Indian team goes down. And to add to the woes is this new Indian cricket team look. Whoever the designer of this new look is, in my opinion he/she can be criticized as well as praise about. Criticized because of this dull, fugly look and praised because as Dhoni said,"Hopefully, this one won't get too dirty and this would save the laundry charges as well"!

Maybe I am being superstitious, but I am seriously afraid that NZ tour might be a disaster as World Cup 07 was when before it started, the Indian team jersey got another new look.

Yuvi's a good model indeed !

Throughout this presentation, Yuvraj was at his hilarious best, and this pose of him explains it all. Harsha Bhogle, who was the host of this event kept the audience in good humour with his Q & A sessions with MSD, Yuvi, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, Dinesh Kartik and Rohit Sharma. Yuvi chose to add 'ask Dhoni' to a few of his replies. For instance when asked if he was happy with his batting position at No.4, he said: "Very happy, but you have to ask Dhoni. He decides the batting line-up."

In any case, even as I am ending this post, the fear of a disasterous tour of NZ is still looming large on my mind.

Anyway, I wish India the very best for their tour. Go India !!

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My Fantasy World

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Well..well. I was in 7th grade when I wrote this poem. The topic ? Again cricket ! Here it goes :

My Fantasy World of Cricket

My Fantasy World of Cricket
That's my life.
Playing for my country and it's pride.
And hurdling with greats like Sachin and Ganguly.
My Fantasy World of Cricket

My Fantasy World of Cricket
Where I would love to take a wicket,
Swing the ball around,
So that the batsman falls on the ground.
But I know that he would be frowned.
My Fantasy World of Cricket.

For Scoring Runs,
You have to forget all fun.
You have to be serious,
Because the bowler is fast and furious.

There goes the ball over the rope,
Winning a million's hope.
I can't believe it !
Sachin is coming towards me,
As he's going to hug me.
That's my fantasy world of cricket.

Rishabh Jain

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Crick-O is looking for a team member and some urgent help

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Perhaps, the toughest time of my life is near. Soon I would be promoted to 9th grade which would mean higher studies and it will become very difficult for me to stand everything. These four years(9th grade to 12th grade) are going to be very important ones for me. So I have decided to get teamed up for this blog. You can contact me for more information.

Also, I am looking to make a few changes to the design of this blog. But I need someone for this as well since Blogger is taking hell out of me and showing some bX errors. So I need an expert to get me out of this situation.

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Is the chairman of selectors being too partial to his state players?

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Krishnamachari Srikkanth is surely being too partial to his home state players. The Indian squad for the tour of New Zealand which is going to start late this February was announced. And I wonder from where did Dinesh Kaarthick fell into the squad instead of Ajinkya Rahane who has done far more better than him ? Is it just because Kaarthick is from the same state(Tamil Nadu) as Srikkanth ? Also Lakshmipathy Balaji was given a place in the squad. He failed to impress during the series in Sri Lanka. Though given the seaming conditions in New Zealand, it is understandable why he was in the squad. And of course, that was just one bad game for him.

It was good to see young Mumbai Dhawal Kulkarni in the test squad. I would have in any case picked him ahead of Balaji. Harbhajan Singh and Munaf Patel are back in the squad as well, though I wonder if the team needs them given the fact that the Indians did well even when both of them were not there. What really annoyed me the most was seeing Rohit back in the T20 squad. I still believe that he first need to make something in the one day matches and that too at a good speed before playing T20 cricket.

Even the previous chairman - Dilip Vengsarkar used to be a bit partial to his state team players. It was during that period that Rohit Sharma made his place into the team. He did reasonably well during that period. But he looks a bit off colour right now.

Anyway, the past is over and we now need to look at the present team selection for all three formats of the game going to be played in New Zealand :

Test squad:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, V V S Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, Amit Mishra, Dinesh Kaarthick, L Balaji, Dhawal Kulkarni, Murali Vijay.

ODI Squad:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, Dinesh Kaarthick, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Pragyan Ojha, Rohit Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Irfan Pathan.

Twenty20 squad:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, Dinesh Kaarthick, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Pragyan Ojha, Rohit Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Irfan Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja.

Over to you guys for your selection opinions.

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A day of Brothers doing it for their teams

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It doesn't happen every day or even every year. First it were the Hussey brothers who batted the Aussies to equalize the equation against the New Zealand setting up a thrilling decider on Friday the 13th. But in my opinion the better ones were the Pathan Brothers who not only saved India from the blushes but also showed why India is one of the best teams in this Twenty20 format.

It wasn't one of the greatest starts for India during bowling to their opposition as well.Irfan Pathan dropped a sitter that was offered by Dilshan when he was yet to open his account. Later Ishant Sharma caught Jayasuriya one handed of Irfan Pathan. He was on a onslaught and he not got out at that time of the game, Sri Lanka could have posted a massive total of over 200 runs. Finally when he got out, things slowed down for Sri Lanka. They ended posting a good total of 171 runs.

During the start of Indian innings when Sehwag and Gambhir got out early, it seemed all over for India. I switched off my T.V. for 10-20 minutes and just to check the position of the game, I started watching the game in Live Simulation on this blog. Yuvraj and Raina shared a partnership of 67 runs between themselves before both of them fell in quick succession. Wickets continued to fall in regular intervals and India were reduced to 116-7 before the Pathan Bros started their onslaught.

Hats off to all four of them (both the Hussey Bros and Pathan Bros) !

Twenty is really the most unpredictable format of the game.

By the way luck is really shinning on Dhoni. Even the tosses go his way and even if they don't, then there are his opposition captains that make a decision favoring Dhoni !

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India vs Sri Lanka T20 - Who has the edge ?:

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Alright guys, I am ready to watch today's exciting T20 game between India and Sri Lanka! To me the Indians seems clear favorites(not because I support Indian team but we know what the t20 champions can do). Though nothing can be said about this unpredictable game. You may seem to be thinking - "Okay, now we are going to win it clearly.", and then suddenly your team looses a couple of wickets and with it the chance of winning the match.

It is also going to be the first T20 game being hosted in Lanka, and I am pretty sure, the Lankan fans wouldn't like to go back with disappointment written all over their face.

There were a few surprises given to me by both India as well as Sri Lanka in selection matters. Sri Lankans won't be having Jayawardene and Sangakkara as well as the spinning duo of Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajanta Mendis playing this game. Which means things will get tougher for the stand-in captain Dilshan. Meanwhile in the Indian squad I was expecting a player like Robin Uthappa(form doesn't matter to me in T20 cricket). We can't forget his heroics during India's glorious win in South Africa. The rest of the squad seems pretty much fine and I was expecting this.

Here's my pick of Indian team's playing XI for today's game :
Gautam Gambhir
Virender Sehwag
Yuvraj Singh
Suresh Raina
M.S. Dhoni
Yusuf Pathan
Irfan Pathan/Rohit Sharma
Pragyan Ojha
Zaheer Khan
Ishant Sharma
Praveen Kumar

The Sri Lankan team looks very new to me and since I don't follow Sri Lankan cricket, I am not sure about their line-up. So I leave it to others to pick their playing for both the teams.

The match is going to begin at around 7pm IST(Indian standard time).

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I am still bored. So I'll go ahead with a few more weird stuff

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Seems like boredom is never going to leave me. This is sort of a continuation of one my previous posts. Anyway, IPL Season 2 is on the cards as I get some cartoons from season 1. Caption them :

BANG !!!

Very Much true ! The whole team needs to learn something from him.
Luckily for them, now there's K.P. !

And a couple of common cartoons -

Okay now ! Picture work over. Now I cover some of the most funniest sledges and quotes that I have ever heard :

Rod Marsh & Ian Botham: When Botham took guard in an Ashes match, Marsh welcomed him to the wicket with the immortal words: “So how’s your wife & my kids?” Botham replied: "My wife is fine but your kids are retarded"

Hughes & Javed Miandad: During 1991 Adelaide Test, Javed called Merv a fat bus
conductor. A few balls later Merv dismissed Javed: “
Tickets please“, Merv called out as he ran past the departing batsman.

Glenn McGrath (bowling to portly Zimbabwean chicken farmer Eddo Brandes): “Hey
Eddo, why are you so Fu*king Fat?”
Eddo Brandes:”Because everytime I F*c* your mother, she throws me a biscuit”

Ravi shastri v/s the Aussie 12th man (don’t remember who, and don’t want to slander
anyone) shastri hits it to this guy and looks for a single…this guy gets the ball in and says
“if you leave the crease i’ll break your f***ing head” Shastri: “if you could bat as well as you can talk you wouldn’t be the f***ing 12th man”

Perhaps, this shows how much Aussies used to sledge during the 80s - 90s. And now they are getting it back by teams like India.

Do you know any good sledges that you used or would like to ? Please feel free to post them here.

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God !!! I still believe India isn't that consistent.

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Obviously the standard has increased and somewhat it good enough as of now. But I must say, India could have done better today. They can't take a dead rubber lightly. The fielding was sloppy, the bowlers were whacked all over the ground by the Lankans which seemed pretty similar to the whacking they(Sri Lanka) got in the previous two ODIs. The batting wasn't up to the mark either. Should I blame everything to the toss ? Maybe I should. After all, the team who has won the toss has always won throughout the series. And as achettup replied to my comment in his post, it might have been very much true if Mahela had won all the 4 tosses in the previous games.

Though the best reason for this loss in my opinion is Dhoni's over-experimenting with the line-up. I would have wanted Zaheer and Sachin back in the playing XI if I also wanted Jadeja and Balaji as it would added some experience to the team. Jadeja did fairly well on his debut. He made a patient knock(although a quick fury of runs were needed) of 60 runs in 77 balls. Though he wasn't as impressive as a bowler as one might expect him to be. Balaji couldn't do much, since the Srilankans for on fire. So goes for the other bowlers as well.

Well anyway, now the series is over and India has done extremely well. While on the other hand Australia's downfall continues though it was a bit of relieve for them as they won the 3rd ODI against NZ. While the race for No.1 spot is still open. Before writing this post I also learnt that the team on the No.1 spot as on April 1 2009, will be awarded US $175,000 while the team in second spot will get US $75,000 by the ICC.

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Few funny cricket Pics (Just random)! Caption this :

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I was getting bored and this blog has been full of sophisticated posts. So I decided "why not post something naughty this time ? ;)"

So here we go -

Does test cricket really make them so tired ?
Or is it their lawn ?

Ah!! Kartik is having fun with Bhajji when suddenly Dinesh Kartik runs in like an idiot and exclaims -
"Me too ! Let me join in as well"

Totally Violent Cricket

Lee to Waugh : Hey, keep it carefully, maybe you won't be able to play men's cricket if you loose it !

Ooolala !!! This is amazing. Ah ! I like it.
Getting a feel of it before the captaincy blues !

Could he really do it ?

Shooowwisshh ! Should I call him Pakistan's new bowling coach ?
USA's very own Ajantha Mendis (His action seems similar to Mendis's)

Pakistan Army needs him more than the PCB.

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Pietersen, Flintoff becomes highest paid cricketers in IPL

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Finally the first auction of the IPL season 2 ended. And the English duo have been sold at a record price of a whooping $1.55 million US, beating MS Dhoni's price tag of 1.5 million.

Kevin Pietersen was sold to Bangalore Royal Challengers and Andrew Flintoff to Chennai Super Kings. Paul Collingwood and Owais Shah were bought by Delhi Daredevils for $ 275,000 each. Australian spearhead Shaun Tait was bought by Rajasthan Royals which in my opinion is a great replacement for Sohail Tanvir who won't be playing this season. The super emerging player of South Africa - Jean Paul Duminy was bought by the Mumbai Indians for a massive $ 950,000.
Deccan Chargers bought a couple of West Indians - Dwayne Smith for $ 100,000 and Fidel Edwards for $150,000.

The lesser known Tyron Henderson will now play for Rajasthan Royals for $650,000. The complete list is available here.

The other auction is going to take place later either this week or at least within this month.

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Dirty Politics and terrorism contaminating Indo-Pak relations

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This is becoming a serious issue now. Recently Pakistan Government barred its players to play in the IPL this season. The reason ? Security concerns!

Now after the IPL, Pakistan is most likely going to rule out it's players from Indian Cricket League as well. Before this the Indian government did not permit Indian cricket team to tour Pakistan earlier this year in January. Seems like Pakistan is just giving it back to it's neighbors.

And all this is started ever since 26/11 Mumbai attacks. This tit for tat game is not only being played in cricket or any other sport, but in perhaps each and every small source of entertainment such as music, competitions and the list goes on.

Nobody would like a war at this stage as it could be devastating for both the nations. One can only hope for the improvisation of the relationship between both the countries but if it goes down, it will only open gate and that is surely gonna be war.

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A logical decision by the IPL Community

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I had previously listed 114 international cricketers who were going to be auctioned for the second season of IPL. I had also mentioned in that post what the consequences could be to auction so many players yet having so many restrictions to buy players from the auction.

Seems like Lalit Modi gave a hard thought to it and finally decided to cut the list to only 43 players with Pakistan players being ruled out by the Pakistan government due to security concerns.

Here's the new list of those final 43 players being auctioned along with their base price (source - cricinfo.com) :

Final list of players for auction (all figures in US$)
Australia: Aaron Bird (45,000), Brett Geeves (45,000), Bryce McGain (50,000), Daniel Harris (50,000), Dominic Thornley (50,000), George Bailey (50,000), Jon Moss (50,000), Michael Clarke (1,000,000), Michael Dighton (85,000), Michael Hill (50,000), Phil Jaques (100,000), Shane Harwood (75,000), Shaun Tait (250,000), Steven Smith (75,000), Stuart Clark (250,000).

England: Kevin Pietersen (1,350,000), Andrew Flintoff (950,000), Luke Wright (150,000), Owais Shah (150,000), Paul Collingwood (250,000), Ravi Bopara (150,000), Samit Patel (100,000).

Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan (75,000), Mohammad Ashraful (75,000), Mashrafe Mortaza (50,000), Tamim Iqbal (50,000).

New Zealand: James Franklin (50,000), Jesse Ryder (100,000), Kyle Mills (150,000).

South Africa: Gulam Bodi (100,000), JP Duminy (300,000), Morne van Wyk (100,000), Tyron Henderson (100,000), Yusuf Abdullah (25,000).

Sri Lanka: Thilan Thushara (100,000), Nuwan Kulasekara (100,000), Kaushalya Weeraratne (50,000), Chamara Kapugedera (150,000).

West Indies: Kieron Pollard (60,000), Fidel Edwards (150,000), Dwayne Smith (tbc), Kemar Roach (50,000), Jerome Taylor (tbc).

This list of only 43 cricketers makes a lot of sense now. After all it hopefully won't be a such a big waste of time for them as it could have resulted if all 114 players would have been placed in the auction.

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Is it a really a break or has he been dropped ?

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That's the question that many of my friends ask me over Ricky Ponting's future with Australia. This is one of the worst period he's ever going through. As often the case is, whenever a team is going through bad times, the captain is the first one to be slammed.

The Australian selectors have decided to rest Ponting for the second one day international (and perhaps he might be rested for the whole series) against the Kiwis after the tired captain lead his team to four continuous ODI defeats. This also means that Michael Clarke, who was rested for the first game against the Kiwis due to an injured thumb, would lead the side in the upcoming game(s) against New Zealand.

In my opinion, this is a significant move by the selectors as it would groom Michael Clarke a lot as a captain, and obviously this might reduce some burden from Ponting's shoulder.

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