Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Hi all..
I wish you and your family a happy and prosperous new year 2009..
May this new year all your dreams turn into reality and all your efforts into great achievements...

-Srinivasarao Vundavalli

A great year for cricket

The year 2008 will be remembered in cricket history forever... 2008 is the beginning of the end of an era of Australia's domination in the world cricket. 2008 brought a new life to test cricket. India and South Africa are the stars in 2008. Both these teams are the strong contenders for the top spot in test cricket.

IPL was a great success... "We don't even watch one day cricket...then how can we watch test cricket....the future is Twenty20 cricket's"....This is what we have been hearing recently...All the cricket fans, former players, cricket analysts.....everyone who is attached to cricket have been saying just one thing..."Test cricket is in danger"...

But the two test match results, at the end of 2008, in a span of a week gave a new life to test is the first test between India and England Chennai in December, and the second one is the first test between Australia and South Africa at Perth in December...And also out of 46 test matches that took place in 2008, 35 matches got the results which shows that test cricket has gained some speed.

And the year ended on Australia losing a test series to South Africa, at home, after 16 years..

The performances of teams in 2008.

India: No doubt 2008 will remain as a wonderful year in India cricket. Dhoni took on the test captaincy and now he is the captain of team India in all formats of the game. There are so many unforgettable moments like test series win against Australia in India, CB series win, test and ODI series win against England, IPL etc.. Sehwag, Gambhir, Tendulkar, Zaheer, Ishant, Harbhajan and Dhoni's captaincy took India to great heights.. Sehwag, Gambhir, Tendulkar and Laxman crossed 1000 runs in tests in a calender year..The year marked the end of an era with Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble bidding adieu to international cricket.

South Africa: South Africa is on a roll under Smith's captaincy. SA won 11 of their 15 test matches played in 2008. SA has been very consistent in all the formats of the game. Smith is the leading run scorer in tests in 2008 with 1656 runs in 15 test matches. Amla also crossed 100 runs in tests in 2008. Steyn is the leading wicket taker in tests in 2008. SA has got a new talent in the form of Duminy. De Villiers has been in good touch..If they continue this form, they will surely be No.1 in all formats..

Australia: 2008 is the year Australia don't want to remember. 2008 marked the end of an era of Australia's dominance. Australia's great wicket-keeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist retired in 2008 after CB series. The effect of the retirement of McGrath and Warne was completely visible on the team's performance. Australia lost to India and SA in successive test series at the end of the year. The form of their top order batsmen like Hayden, Ponting and Hussey has been their main concern. Bowling department is also looking weak with no one, except Johnson, performing well. Retaining Ashes is their main focus in 2009.

Sri Lanka: Mendis is SL's new weapon. Asia cup win was their biggest win in 2008. The team was not up to the mark in a series with Zimbabwe. With Mendis and Murlai in the bowling department, and Jayawardena, Sangakkara, Dilshan in batting department, SL looks ahead for a great future.

New Zealand: Stephen Fleming retired after the test match against England in Napier. Except Vettori and McCullum no other player performed well for New Zealand. New Zealand has many new players. It will take a little time before they all adjust. NZ got mixed results in 2008.

England: After England lost the four match series against South Africa, captain Michael Vaughan stepped down from the captaincy. England appointed Kevin Pietersen as their new captain. England's whole concentration has been on Ashes. England won the hearts of many people by coming to India and play the test series after Mumbai blasts. Pietersen was their star in 2008 with Flintoff, Strauss, Collingwood performing consistently. Stuart Broad is a rising talent. England's bowling department is also good with Sidebottom, Anderson and Harmison.

West Indies: The form of West Indies was very bad. They won only one test match in 2008. The team depends a lot on Gayle, Sarwan and Chanderpaul.

Pakistan: 2008 is a worst year in Pakistan's cricket. Pak did not played even a single test. They played some ODIs and won many matches but all of them came against weak teams. Pak is pleading other teams to come and play in Pak. Neutral venues seems to be the only option for Pakistan. Pakistan's great player Mohammad Yousuf joined ICL. It was a big shock to Pak. Aisf was accused of using drugs in IPL and banned from all formats of cricket.

Bangladesh: Bangladesh cricket was under shock when 14 of their cricketers joined ICL. But with many other youngsters like Shakib-ul-Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mortaza, the team performed well under the captaincy of Ashraful. But the results were not satisfying. On a whole, their performance improved a little bit.

Smith, Sehwag, Gambhir, Steyn and Mendis were the stars of 2008.

Hoping for a much more exciting cricket in 2009...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Day/Night test cricket

Wouldn't it be fun to watch the final hours of test cricket at night after coming home from work.

Keeping in mind the amount of damage T20 is causing to Test Cricket and as popularity of test cricket is decreasing among spectators , it seems to be a better idea to implement day/night test cricket.

Cricket Australia has been very keen to introduce the day and night tests. But the major problem in this kind of tests is to find a ball that can be used for 80 overs and make sure that it does not lose its visibility under any the circumstances.

Positive points :

1. There won't be any instances of game being stopped due to bad light.
2. This move would allow more people to watch at grounds and on television.
3. Hot and humid climates can be avoided.
4. Bad light would no more be a problem.

Negative Points:

1. Teams bowling at night may have problems with the ball. But as it is a 5-day game, it won't effect the game much as the other team may also get into the same situation to bowl during the night.
2. Changing the ball to suit the day/night cricket.
3. Color of the ball.
4. Fielding may be difficult in presence of dew factor. There will be a lot mis-fields as the ball easily slips away from hands.

2nd and 3rd problems are solved by Cricket Australia. It has been trying to host Test matches at nights for the long time. CA commissioned the CSIRO in July to manufacture a revolutionary all-conditions ball suitable for Tests in Australia played from 1pm to 9pm. Cricket Australia is assured that it is possible to develop a suitable ball for day-night tests.

Australia and Pakistan are going to become the first teams to play a night Test next November in Adelaide according to a report.

I think a bit of thinking should go in before putting this idea into practice.

any thoughts?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What went wrong for England? Plan or Effort ?

I was very thrilled to watch the first test match between India and England.This is one of the test matches in the recent times that I enjoyed to the full extent. Thanks to Sehwag who changed the complexion of the game with his awesome innings.

Englang dominated the test till 2nd session on day-4. They set a seemingly unchasable target. But Sehwag's brilliant innings moved the game into India's hands. Sachin and Yuvi completed the formalities. Sachin was simply awesome with his match winning century.

Pietersen and his men might have been really happy after they set a target of 387 to India. But their happiness did not last long. England dominated about 70% of the game but ended up on losing side becuase of firing Sehwag, cautios Sachin and coolheaded Yuvraj. England missed a golden opportunity to win the test match. They would have gained a lot of confidence before the Ashes had they won the game.

England coach Peter Moores said that it was because of the poor team effort England lost the game after being in the driver's seat for 11 sessions. Except Strauss, Cook and Collingwood, the rest of the English batsmen were not up to the mark. In bowling department, except Flintoff, all the other bowlers failed. Panesar was a huge disappointment.

England scored less than 3 runs per over in both the innings where as India scored more than 3 runs per over(close to 4 runs per over) in both the innings. Englang should have been a bit more aggressive like India. Had they scored a bit quicker, they could have set a much more tougher target and made sure that India had no chance to win the game.

I think it was a combination of poor game plan and team effort that cost England the match.

But again it was the complete team effort from India which won them the test match. India has been the best in every form of cricket in recent times and continues to be the best...

Thanks to England for coming to India after mumbai terror and for a brilliant game.

looking forward to another thrilling match in Mohali...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Whatelse are the selectors expecting from him?

I was shocked to know that Pujara is not included in India's 15-member Test squad for the two match series against England.

Many current and former cricketers and the critics have praised Pujara as next Dravid.

He is a new wall in the making....

He is India's new run machine...

Scoring runs is a routine for him...

He scored 3 triple centuries for Saurashtra in a span of 24 days - one in the Ranji Trophy and two in an Under-22 tournament -- this season.

He has consistently displayed the quality of playing long innings.

The levels of concentration and determination, he shows at this age, are awesome.

It looks to me that he is completely addicted to scoring hundreds.....

If selectors consider the form, Pujara should not have been left out.

I think this is the right time to give a chance to Pujara.

"Pujara's shown his ability to stay at the wicket for long and that's the most important ingredient to a Test prospect.", says Srikkanth.

Then why didn't they select him ?

Whatelse are the selectors expecting from Pujara?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

India to cut-off ties with Pakistan?

It is really sad to see the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. The attacks have damaged India's relationships with Pakistan. Cricket between these two countires is also largely affected. Though there is no official confirmation, many news channels have reported that India's tour of Pakistan is cancelled. As it is found that the terrorists who attacked Mumbai have links with Pakistan, Central Government refused India's tour of Pakistan. It is also decided that there should not be any cricketing ties with Pakistan in future.

There was no cricket between India and Pakistan for almost two years during Kargil war in 1999. After some talks the cricketing ties were resumed in 2001.

The sources also ruled out the possibility of India playing the series at a neutral venue as proposed by PCB. It is known that many of our cricketers like Sachin, Dhoni are reluctant to tour Pakistan. In any way, cricketing ties between India and Pakistan are certain to be affected for sometime.

Is India's decision to stop cricketing ties with Pakistan right??
Will this decision have any effect on world cricket?

Anyway I hope India and Pakistan will resolve their differences soon....

Money power should save

No team has toured Pakistan for the last one year showing security concerns. India has also witnessed terrosit attacks in main cities in the last few months. But I think the teams will tour India because of BCCI's money power. Other boards will lose financially if they don't tour India. Cricket is adored in India and in international cricket, it is India that generates 70% of crickets income.

Coming to England's test tour, BCCI may use IPL as the weapon in bringing them back. If England refuses to tour India, the chances of the England players playing in IPL will be nil. Already many England cricketers are worrying for not playing in IPL. The relationship between ECB and BCCI has not been so good. There has been many disputes over ICL players, ECB deciding to unveil new league, ECB not allowing their cricketers not to play in IPL etc.. If England refuses to tour India now, the relations between ECB and BCCI may slide down furthur. If England team comes to India, India can prove that playing in India is safe.

Australia and South Africa who are the partners of Champions League will want cricket to be played in India. Both these boards will get US $3 millions if CL is played. The amount may increase in future. I don't think the boards want to lose this amount.

After England's tour in India, there won't be any other matches in India untill IPL, except Chamiopns League. Everything will be normal by that time. India is trying to host the 2 test matches against England by providing a tight security and trying to prove that everything will be fine and there won't be any problem to host 2011 world cup.