Virender Sehwag’s feat of fastest 300!

29 03 2008

NEWSFLASH: Hurricane Sehwag hit South Africa real bad today. There have been no casualties reported yet, but chances are many South African players are going to have heart burn, some like M Ntini most probably will have nightmares which will prevent them from getting sound sleep for quite some time… Economic damages are likely to run into millions as South African player’s brand value might tumble.

Alright, time to be serious, What a blinder of an inning… brilliant attack… daring, swashbuckling… but never ever did he seem in trouble. If one saw the innings, they would see that Sehwag was never in trouble. He was in control.

South Africa having made 540+ in their first innings, now see their lead drop to 40 odd runs with India having batted just 4 sessions… South Africa definitely seemed out of any ready answers to get wickets. Conditions are not easy for them… Chennai pitch is flat… but it has a history of dramatic crumbling in the last day.

Chennai is hot… I am an Indian, when I say hot, I MEAN IT IS HOT AS HELL!!! It is so humid in chennai and to see the South African players toil so hard, run so far… I feel bad for them…

Coming back to the hero of the day (and possibly for a lot longer time if he can break Lara’s record! ) . This was Sehwag’s 2nd score of 300+. That makes him only the 3rd person to ever have done so (Lara and Bradman are the only ones who have done that previously). He now holds the record for being the fastest in terms of balls faced to get to 300!

Sehwag never comes across as a typical test batsman, but he is the only one from the Indian team who ever seemed capable to make that big a score. He scores fast, relieves pressure of others, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman & Ganguly, they always seem to lose focus or run out of partners when attempting that.

Watching Sehwag play is a pleasure, that guy looks like he is out to enjoy his game… his last ten centuries have all been scores over 150… just that they are spread out…

Many scenes from today’s game are etched in my mind, one being Smith running all the way to the boundary and getting beaten by the ball at the last moment!!! Such was their day… no chances came their way, nor did they ever look like creating one…

So, at end of day 3 the score stands at (for complete scorecard click here) :

SA 1st innings – 540 all out

India 1st Innings – 468/1 Sehwag 309* Dravid 65*

Will Sehwag break Lara’s record??? I certainly will pray for that… looking at the way he batted, surely does not look like he needs any prayers!!!





Hair Restored

20 03 2008

Hair today?Darrell Hair – the umpire sacked and left out in the cold for nearly two years over a controversially abandoned cricket Test between England and Pakistan, has been reinstated as one of the game’s top officials.

Ever since Hair and colleague Billy Doctrove penalized Pakistan five runs for alleged ball-tampering during the fourth and final Test against England at The Oval in August 2006, Darrell Hair has not officiated at the top level in cricket.
The decision incensed the Pakistani team, and their captain Inzamam-ul-Haq refused to take the field. This resulted in the match being abandoned after tea on the fourth day with England awarded the first victory by forfeit in the history of the game.

A meeting of the world’s top cricket-playing nations cleared Hair to umpire at the game’s top levels (ODI’s & Tests). Of late, Hair’s only been officiating one day internationals involving minor cricketing nations.
Even though Darrell Hair has been cleared to officiate after taking part in a 6 month long (ahem) ‘rehabilitation program’, it’s unlikely that Pakistan will change their belief that he is unfit to umpire at the elite level.

For his part, Hair maintains that he made the right call on that fateful day.

“It’s easy to say, look, if I’d known how to deal with that sort of issue, the communication and management issues then, if I knew then what I know now I may have done things differently.
But I don’t believe so because there’s a certain limit to what the umpire needs to do under those circumstances and I believe that both the umpires fulfilled those obligations both with the ball tampering and the refusal to play.”

Hair believes that the way he was treated – compared to Billy Doctrove who also officiated at the match (and wasn’t penalized) – is an indication of the influence the very strong Asian Bloc has over the ICC.This had to be just prior to Hair removal…

This is something that was mirrored in the way the ICC dealt with the furor that erupted Down-Under during the Sydney test match between India and Australia. India responded to contentious decisions with the tried ‘n’ true bully-boy approach of ‘well-then-we’ll-take-our-bat-and-ball-
and-go-home’.

Both issues serve to highlight the growing gulf in international cricket. The old nations England and Australia in the corridors of power, are finding themselves challenged by the economic giants on the Asian continent.
And it’s an economic power that we’ve seen India bring to the fore in recent times…
I for one am not entirely sure that it’s good for the game.

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Streaker NAILED Down Under

5 03 2008

During a One Day International cricket final in Australia – Australia vs India (Australia lost… sigh), a streaker managed to avoid security and take the field, but stupidly ran very near the rather large Andrew Symonds.  Symonds – unimpressed – lands a vicious, punishing hip & shoulder on the guy… take a look for yourself:

Security quickly moved in and apprehended the miscreant.
Interesting to see that the way this is dealt with is the same in both hemispheres…





Aus Vs India, 7th ODI CB series 08

17 02 2008

Cricket discussion with Kapsii, who’s a lil’ bit like ‘Daniel-in-the-lion’s-den’ here – an Indian fan in what’s predominantly an ‘Australian-cricket-site’. He does ok tho’… 😉 Kapsii normally writes over at ‘People and things that annoy me‘.

Well, guess its too late to have a live discussion, with match over and Australia winning comprehensively. But there is always a scope for post match discussions… 🙂

India had Australia (almost) . As an Indian fan it does disappoint me to add this “ALMOST” every time. What went wrong? Australia were 112/6 but how did they get to 203?

Australia as a team have that “Never Say Die” spirit so if as an opponent team, you do have them looking down the barrel, one should never take the foot off them… one should never take the pressure off. I was baffled when Yuvraj came on to bowl. India were playing 5 specialist bowlers, why did Yuvraj have to bowl?

When Hogg was at the crease I expected a seamer to bowl in tandem with Harbhajan Singh. Seamer would have had the capability to take wickets, while had they played out the seamer, they would have had to attack Harbhajan which would have again increased his chances of getting the wicket.

That is one thing I do miss in Indian team, the lack of confidence (as it seems) to go for the killer punch. For the Indian batting, I could not see much of it hence no comments.

For Australia, Micheal Clarke batted well, had he stayed there till the end, the target would have been much steeper. With the absence of Lee, still the bowling held together. Bracken looked good. But from what I hear, Hopes did a fine job too.

What do you guys think?

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Australia v India, CB Series, 4th ODI, Melbourne

10 02 2008

Start the game already… I have been repeating this phrase since the last two hours… I am starved to see a good game of cricket…

Well, in this 4th ODI, weather looks good & seems like the weather gods heard our prayers…

Australia have won the toss & decided to bat first… they also have made two changes, Haddin & Stuart Clark in for Hogg & Hopes. That does make them one specialist bowler short.

With India’s performance record in MCG, inexperienced team and again a lack of 5th bowler… Australia are the favorites… but this being cricket I would keep my money in my pocket.

While we wait for the match to start, I do hope every one saw the Lasith Malinga run out the other night… horror!!!!!!!!!!! thats what it was…





Goodbye Gilly – Australia vs India ~ 4th Test (Day 5 In Play)

28 01 2008

Huge.
Slow.
Ponderous.
That would describe the innings Australia amassed during Day 4 of the Adelaide test.

Adam Gilchrist - his last day of Test CricketStill, by having India bat part of the last session, and by taking Pathan’s wicket oh-so-cheaply… there is a glimmer of hope. A small shimmer of possibility… a tiny little sparkle of … well, you get the idea. In yesterday’s thread I stated that Australia needed to bat viciously during day 4, and amass a huge lead – sending India into bat in the last session of day 4 with a lead of 150 or so… they did send India into bat, but the batting was a little forgettable.

Day 5 finds India ahead by 8 runs, with a first innings tally of 526 and a second innings of 45/1 (thus far)… to Australia’s 1st innings of 563.
Whilst there have been some very good individual scores, neither side’s been particularly dashing. Centuries to Tendulkar (153), Hayden (103), Ponting (140) and Clarke (118) were all great… but only Sachin’s had anything remotely resembling a swashbuckling performance.
India’s first innings had a run rate of 3.44, Australia set a pedestrian 3.11.
Yawn.

It’s a pity that this test will be the last that Adam Gilchrist plays in – as it’s likely that it will end in a draw, and his first innings total of 14 is in no way indicative of the man’s ability. Hopefully, the ODI series will provide sufficient staging for his fare-thee-well.

So… Day 5. Verinder Sehwag’s on 31, and Rahul Dravid’s 11.

Let’s go.

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Slowly, Slowly – Australia vs India ~ 4th Test (Day 4 In Play)

27 01 2008

Well, post the excitement of Days 1 & 2… that sure was a yawner.
Nice opening stand from Jaques & Hayden – at least on paper – but for Jaques to make 61 off 219 balls, and Hayden’s century off 271, well, suffice to say it set up the situation we’re in now.
Haydos - great to have him back… Australia only made 290 in a day’s play.
Ugh.

The real mettle of the Australian team will be shown now. They need to go out & set a first innings total of around 700, then put the Indians in & try to get them out – in very quick fashion.
Do-able, but looking unlikely, with many Indian batsmen finding form at the moment.

Ponting and Clarke are now at the crease, both continuing the ‘carefully now’ approach the Australian batsmen have taken. Clarke’s 37 off 98 balls, Punter’s 79 coming from 150 balls faced.
The pace must pick up if Australia are to have any show of winning this… the thing is, if they’re going to try, then they have to risk losing it as well.
It will certainly do with being a little more cavalier out on the turf, especially with the ODI series just around the corner. If they can set that total, then they only risk a draw.

But can they? The Indian bowling certainly has held them in check. Pathan (24 overs, 1/70) & Harbhajan (28 overs, 0/70) have been very good, and Sharma has been excellent ( 22 overs, 1/47). That is one kid who’s going to be a phenomenal talent for years to come…

Day 4’s here, and Australia needs a total (today) of 380.
Bring it on.

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