Talking points- India vs New Zealand First Test Wellington 2020

New Zealand thumped India by 10 wickets in the first Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series. The victory was also a major milestone for the Black Caps- it marked the 100th test win in their history.

Here are our talking points from the first test.

1. New Zealand tailenders bat India out of the contest

Having been bowled out of 165 in the first innings, India themselves managed to reduce New Zealand to 225/7 early on Day 3. The visitors would have been hoping to get through the lower order to prevent the Black Caps from taking a sizeable lead. However the pair of Colin de Grandhomme and Kyle Jamieson had other ideas and effectively batted the Men in Blue out of the contest by adding 71 valuable runs for the 8th wicket.

To add insult to injury, No.11 Trent Boult also managed a quickfire 38 from just 24 balls and propelled New Zealand to a total of 348, thereby allowing the hosts to take a healthy (and ultimately match winning) lead of 183 runs in the first innings.

2. Rare failures for Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah

The two are probably India’s most valuable players but struggled in Wellington. Kohli had scores of 2 and 19 here, while Bumrah finished with figures of 26-5-88-1, both well below their usual standards. Even Cheteshwar Pujara, normally so reliable, batted for long periods and had starts, but couldn’t convert them into bigger scores. Continue reading “Talking points- India vs New Zealand First Test Wellington 2020”

Talking Points & Analysis- India Women vs Australia Women T20 World Cup 2020 13432 Attendance

Leg spinner Poonam Yadav produced a match winning spell in her comeback fixture as India Women stunned defending champions Australia by 17 runs in the opening game of the Women’s T20 World Cup in Sydney on Friday.

Here are our talking points from the match that was played in front of a 13,432 record crowd.

Shafali Verma plays crucial innings at the top: After being put in by Australian skipper Meg Lanning, it was imperative that India started well, and they managed it thanks to Verma’s breezy innings at the top. The Rohtak teenager hit a quickfire 29 off 15, and had more hits to the fence (5 fours, 1 six) than the rest of the Indian batters put together.

Verma effectively hit 29 off two and a half overs- India themselves managed only 17 off the final three despite having six wickets in hand. It was a vital innings in the context of things on a slow, sluggish wicket.

India slow at the end: As mentioned above, India got only 17 runs off the final three overs of the game. They appear to depend too much on their top four for power hitting and acceleration- 17 in the final three with six wickets in hand is almost unheard of in this age of T20 cricket, even on a slow wicket. It didn’t cost them here, but could well hurt them later on in the tournament. Continue reading “Talking Points & Analysis- India Women vs Australia Women T20 World Cup 2020 13432 Attendance”

England’s first T20 win in Durban, another thriller & more- Talking Points from Proteas vs England Kingsmead 2nd T20

England set up a thrilling finale to their T20 series against South Africa after beating the hosts in Durban. The clash at Kingsmead was similar to the opening one in East London, but it was Eoin Morgan’s men who held their nerve on this occasion and prevailed by two runs. This was England’s first ever T20 international win in Durban after having lost their two previous games at this venue to India and New Zealand during the 2007 World Cup.

Here are our talking points from the clash.

Redemption for Moeen Ali and Tom Curran: The villains of the first game at Buffalo Park ended up being the heroes at Kingsmead. Ali’s stunning 39 off 11 balls allowed England to cross 200 when it appeared that they would just about limp to 170, and Curran held his nerve by defending 3 from the final two balls.

Quinton de Kock excellent: Matching Ali shot for shot was South African skipper Quinton de Kock. Easily the most talented batsman in this Proteas lineup, the SA skipper smashed 65 off 22 to give his side a fine start. The rest of his team mates aren’t quite at his level batting wise, as was evident in the way they struggled after his departure, and it appears that captaincy is doing him no harm.

Should JJ Smuts be batting higher?: Smuts plays in this side because he is also a capable bowler, but wasn’t required to turn his arm over here. His 13 (12) was damaging to the Proteas cause in the middle of the innings and undid all the good work done by De Kock at the top. In his defence, Smuts is an opener and not a middle order batsman, but it appears that South Africa appear to be lacking in power hitters that can smash the ball from the word go. England have plenty of them, but the Proteas don’t.

Dwaine Pretorius nearly pulls it off: Pretorius’ control and change of pace allowed South Africa to choke England in the middle overs (he went 3-0-17-1 when nearly everyone else went for 10 an over), and he nearly pulled off a stunning chase with his 25 (13). It wasn’t quite to be for the Lions all-rounder, but this was an impressive all-round performance from him.

Proteas a batter short?: As mentioned above, South Africa need to re-assess the balance of their side. A player like Pite van Biljon or Marco Marais or even Wihan Lubbe could lend some much needed power hitting to this side. There’s de Kock, and at a lesser level David Miller, but the rest aren’t destructive batsmen- certainly not in the mold of Roy, Buttler, Ali and Bairstow.

India vs New Zealand Third ODI Match Report 2020

KL Rahul’s impressive knock of 112 went in vain as India fell to a five wicket defeat in the third and final ODI in Mount Maunganui on Tuesday. The result saw hosts New Zealand take the series 3-0- the first time in over 30 years that India have lost all the games of a bilateral ODI series.

The visitors dropped Kedar Jadhav and included Manish Pandey, while the home side were bolstered by the return of regular skipper Kane Williamson from injury. Having recovered from illness, Mitch Santner also took his place in the XI with Mark Chapman dropping out. Continue reading “India vs New Zealand Third ODI Match Report 2020”

Kyle Jamieson impressive on debut, unwell Southee leads from the front & More- Talking Points from Black Caps v India Eden Park ODI 2020

A fine all round performance from Kyle Jamieson and an excellent half century from the in-form Ross Taylor helped New Zealand beat India by 22 runs at Eden Park and seal the ODI series. Here are our talking points from the game.

Kyle Jamieson stars on debut: Brought into the XI due to Scott Kuggeleijn’s illness, the lanky pacer had a dream ODI debut. Coming in at No.10, his 25* (24) helped New Zealand recover from 197/8 to post a competitive total of 273. Jamieson and Taylor added 76 runs in 51 balls and their partnership swung momentum the Black Caps’ way after India had fought back in the middle stages.

Jamieson was also influential with the ball- he took out Prithvi Shaw, who scored only boundaries in his knock of 24, including three off the first four deliveries of the innings, and later returned to rattle the stumps of Navdeep Saini, who was threatening to pull off an unlikely win for India in the company of Ravi Jadeja.

Unwell Southee leads from the front: Tim Southee was unwell and would probably not have played this game if the Black Caps had enough fit players in their ranks. The onus of leading an inexperienced attack fell on him and he didn’t disappoint- bowling his full quota 10 by the half way stage, and more importantly, accounting for Virat Kohli. The set up to dismiss the Indian captain was fantastic Continue reading “Kyle Jamieson impressive on debut, unwell Southee leads from the front & More- Talking Points from Black Caps v India Eden Park ODI 2020”

Winning start for Quinton de Kock the captain, excellent debut for JJ Smuts, Bavuma impressive- Talking Points from Proteas v England First ODI Newlands 2020

Quinton de Kock’s first game as South Africa’s new ODI skipper saw the Proteas crush world champions England by seven wickets at Newlands. De Kock’s century, his 15th for South Africa, and his 173 run partnership with Temba Bavuma helped the visitors chase down 259 with nearly two and a half overs to spare.

Here are our talking points from the fixture in Cape Town.

Everything goes right for Quinton de Kock: QdK could perhaps not have asked for a better start to his reign as ODI captain. He won the toss, something Faf du Plessis was unable to do in seven tests against England and India, and his decision to bowl first was justified as England were restricted to 258/8. Even his field placements and bowling changes worked a treat as the visitors struggled to build any real sort of momentum.

The Proteas were perhaps a batter short and had a longish tail with Beuran Hendricks scheduled to come in at 8, but de Kock and Bavuma’s impressive knocks ensured that the lower order was not called into action.

JJ Smuts impressive on debut: It was Smuts’ bowling, rather than batting, that probably secured his place in the XI- the Proteas were desperate for a top six batsman that could bowl. He claimed the dangerous looking Jason Roy early in the innings, and finished with 1/43 in his 10 overs.

Smuts’ selection allowed South Africa the luxury of a second spinner on a wicket that was slow, and if he continues in this vein, he might well find himself on the plane to India in three years’ time.

Continue reading “Winning start for Quinton de Kock the captain, excellent debut for JJ Smuts, Bavuma impressive- Talking Points from Proteas v England First ODI Newlands 2020”