Impressive Nortje, Twin Failures for YJB & more- Five Talking Points from Proteas vs England-2019

Mark Boucher’s first game as South Africa coach saw the Proteas beat England by 107 runs at Centurion- a long awaited win after a torrid year for Faf du Plessi’s men. For a brief while, England threatened to do what Sri Lanka had done at Kingsmead earlier this year, but their hopes were dashed after the home side took the second new ball as they lost their last seven wickets for 64 runs.

Here are our talking points from Days 2,3 & 4 at Supersport Park.

1. Impressive Anrich Nortje

Chosen ahead of Beuran Hendricks and Dane Paterson, Nortje justified his selection with a fine all round performance. He took the key wicket of Ben Stokes- arguably England’s best test batsman this year, in the first innings, and then got both Rory Burns and Joe Root in the second innings. He also made a vital 40 as nightwatchman- no Proteas batsman faced more deliveries than him in their second innings, and he was also involved in their biggest partnership of the game (91) with Rassie van der Dussen.

His combination with Kagiso Rabada looks very promising for South Africa and they will be hoping the duo can go from strength to strength.

2. Twin failures for YJB

It was a game to forget for Jonny Bairstow on his return to the England test team. The manner of his dismissals at Centurion will again raise questions about his suitability for the longest version of the game- he was bowled by Anrich Nortje in the first innings and attempted an ill-timed swipe at a swinging, wide delivery from Rabada, only to give a catch to Zubayr Hamza at gully. Continue reading “Impressive Nortje, Twin Failures for YJB & more- Five Talking Points from Proteas vs England-2019”

Dean Elgar’s first golden duck, impressive Sam Curran & More- Five Talking Points from Proteas vs England 2019 Centurion Test Day 1

South Africa began the Mark Boucher era with a batting display that felt more like one that belonged to his predecessor Ottis Gibson as they reached 277/9 at stumps against England at the end of the first Day at Centurion.

There was a very good crowd at Supersport Park for this Boxing Day game- nowhere near what the MCG had earlier in the day (80,473 for Australia vs New Zealand) or even what Newlands will have for the New Years’ test, but still an excellent one by Centurion’s standards, aided by the travelling Barmy Army.

England will probably be the happier of the two sides, but will also see the first day as an opportunity missed after having the Proteas on the ropes at 111/5 at one stagein the second session.

Here are our talking points from the first day’s action at Centurion.

A maiden golden duck for Dean Elgar: The first ball of the series saw Elgar nick a Jimmy Anderson ball down leg to Jos Buttler. It was an early Christmas gift for Anderson, playing his 150th test, and a first ever golden duck for Elgar, who has never previously been dismissed on the first ball that he’s faced in his 60 test career.

Mixed returns for South Africa’s debutants: The Proteas handed debuts to Rassie van der Dussen and Dwaine Pretorius. The former, apart from Elgar, was the only one of the top 8 not to cross double figures, but the latter looked decent for his 33. Both fell in identical fashion- caught by Joe Root at slip off the bowling of Sam Curran.

Sam Curran impresses: Speaking of Curran, the 21 year old was the pick of England’s bowlers at Supersport Park. Whenever a South African partnership threatened to become dangerous, Curran nipped it in the bud. As mentioned before, he took out both Van der Dussen and Pretorius, and also opener Aiden Markram and the innings’ top scorer, Quinton de Kock. Joe Root had only four pacers to turn to because of Ben Stokes’ troublesome knee, and Curran ensured that his captain’s decision at the toss to field first didn’t go against the visitors.

Curran’s selection also merits asking another question- did South Africa err by not picking Beuran Hendricks on this track?

SA v Eng Continue reading “Dean Elgar’s first golden duck, impressive Sam Curran & More- Five Talking Points from Proteas vs England 2019 Centurion Test Day 1”

India T20 Squad vs Sri Lanka 2020 & ODI Roster for Australia series Announced

After completing a 2-1 series win over the West Indies, India have today announced their squad for the upcoming T20 and ODI series at home against Sri Lanka and Australia respectively. The Islanders will play three T20’s against the Men in Blue on the 5th, 7th and 10th of January, with Guwahati, Indore and Pune being the venues. The three One Day internationals against Australia will take place at Mumbai, Rajkot and Bangalore (January 14, 17 and 19, 2020)

What changes have India made to the T20 squad that will take on Sri Lanka?

The original T20 squad named for the West Indies series had Shikhar Dhawan in it, but the southpaw withdrew due to injury and Sanju Samson was named as his replacement. Samson, who didn’t feature in any of the three T20’s (one of them was in his home town of Trivandrum), retains his spot, and Dhawan comes back in as a straight replacement for Rohit Sharma, who has been rested for this tour. The other three changes are in the bowling department where Mohammad Shami (rested), Deepak Chahar (injured) and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (injured) make away for Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur and Jasprit Bumrah.

India T20 Squad vs Sri Lanka 2020

What changes have India made for their ODI squad for the Australia series? Continue reading “India T20 Squad vs Sri Lanka 2020 & ODI Roster for Australia series Announced”

Five Talking points and analysis from the Third ODI between India and West Indies Cuttack-2019

Virat Kohli scored a masterful 85, as India ended 2019 on a winning note by clinching the third and the final one day international at Cuttack against the West Indies by 4 wickets on Sunday.

The home side handed Navdeep Saini a debut in place of the injured Deepak Chahar, while the visitors went in with an unchanged XI. Having lost the first two tosses in Chennai and Vizag, Virat Kohli finally won one and not surprisingly, opted to field.

India Lineup vs WI Third ODI Continue reading “Five Talking points and analysis from the Third ODI between India and West Indies Cuttack-2019”

Rohit breaks records, both skippers get golden ducks & more- Five Talking Points from India vs West Indies 2nd ODI Vizag

Fine centuries from Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul saw India level the ODI series in Vizag with a thumping 107 run win over the West Indies. Visiting skipper Kieron Pollard, as he had done in Chennai, opted to bowl first, but India’s openers effectively batted them out of the contest. Sharma and Rahul added a massive 227 for the first wicket, laying the platform for the likes of Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant to go hammer and tongs in the final ten, and the hosts’ mammoth score of 387 was always going to be too much for the Windies to chase.

Wary of the fifth bowler problem that surfaced in Chennai, India opted to bring in Shardul Thakur for Shivam Dube. The Windies made two changes- Evin Lewis and Khary Pierre coming in for Sunil Ambris and Hayden Walsh Jr. respectively.

India's Playing xi against West Indies-2019

Here are our talking points from the game.

Shami double wicket over turns game on its head: In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami is the default leader of this Indian attack and skipper Virat Kohli’s go-to man. Kohli only asked him to bowl 3 overs upfront, leaving the bulk of his overs for the back end of the innings.

The Windies were threatening to script a miracle win with Nicholas Pooran and Shai Hope leading the charge. At 192/3 in the 30th over, they were ahead of India’s score at that very stage of the game, and going by the old logic of doubling your 30 over score, perhaps even in with a chance of chasing down 388.

Shami first got Pooran out with a bouncer and then got the dangerous Kieron Pollard to nick to Pant off the very next delivery. The game effectively changed in these two deliveries- none of the remaining Windies batsmen had the hitting range of Pooran and Pollard, and the hosts cruised to victory.

Golden ducks for both skippers: Speaking of the Pollard dismissal above, it was the first time in ODI cricket that both skippers scored golden ducks in the same game. Continue reading “Rohit breaks records, both skippers get golden ducks & more- Five Talking Points from India vs West Indies 2nd ODI Vizag”

Tips for India vs West Indies- 3rd ODI

The year (or decade too, in this case) is about to come to a termination point. For the Indian who also happens to be an ardent fan of cricket, this year can only end well if the national cricket team can turn out to be victorious in the upcoming ODI match after having won the T20 series with a dominating 2-1 game score, whilst being dominant in all the three matches. While extensive analysis can be put forth about the T20 match where West Indies won (in order to learn from their mistakes and take the upper hand in the ODIs), there is a lot more to understand than the average armchair analyst can fathom. Continue reading “Tips for India vs West Indies- 3rd ODI”