Talking Points from India vs New Zealand 2nd T20 Auckland January 26 2020

Lokesh Rahul continued his good form with the bat with yet another half century as India comfortably defeated New Zealand by seven wickets at Eden Park to go 2-0 up in the five game T20 series on Sunday.

Here are our talking points from the game.

1. Black Caps failed to capitalize on the start given by Guptill

Martin Guptill’s 20 ball 33 gave New Zealand a good start after they had won the toss and chosen to bat first. But the rest of the batsmen were unable to make use of the solid foundation he had laid upfront. New Zealand were 56 after 6.3 overs but only managed to crawl to 132/5 at the end of their allotted 20. Even worse, they managed only 22 runs of the last four overs- a figure that could have been even worse if not for Tim Seifert’s outrageous six over extra cover off the penultimate ball of the innings.

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, both of who had struck at nearly 200 in the first T20, simply struggled to get bat on ball and scored 32 runs off 44 balls between them without managing even a single boundary.

2. Colin de Grandhomme fails again

He fell for a two ball duck in the first T-20, and Colin de Grandhomme again failed to impress at Eden Park. Promoted ahead of Ross Taylor, he scored 3 (5) before spooning a simple return catch to Ravindra Jadeja. De Grandhomme is the designated power hitter in the New Zealand middle order and his failures have not helped the Black Caps’ cause in this series.

3. Jadeja and Bumrah strangulate the Black Caps

Jadeja’s fine spell of 2/18 saw India choke the Black Caps in the middle stages of the innings while Jasprit Bumrah was again his usual miserly self at the death. Between them, the duo had combined figures of 3/40 in 8 overs and were the architects of India’s triumph. Continue reading “Talking Points from India vs New Zealand 2nd T20 Auckland January 26 2020”

Bumrah excellent, poor Indian fielding, great Guptill catch & more- Talking points from Black Caps vs India First T20 Auckland 2020

Fine half centuries from KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer helped India comfortably chase down a stiff target of 203 in their first T20 against New Zealand in Auckland. The visitors used the short straight boundaries at Eden Park to good effect as they coasted home with a full over to spare.

Here are our talking points from today’s T20I clash.

Bumrah excellent: On a pitch where over 400 runs were scored, Jasprit Bumrah was again excellent with miserly figures of 1/31 in his 4 overs. Those 31 runs included a misfield and an overthrow which cost 8 runs instead of the two they should originally have, which means his figures would’ve read 1/25. He conceded only two fours and on a day when his fellow pacers Shardul Thakur and Mohammad Shami were carted all around the park, his stellar spell was as important to India’s victory as Rahul and Iyer’s knocks.

Poor Indian fielding: Perhaps it was the jet lag, but India’s fielding was seriously off the pace today. Apart from the misfield and overthrow mentioned above, there were plenty of other lapses- the biggest of them being Yuzvendra Chahal’s dropped catch of Kane Williamson. The NZ skipper could’ve been caught in his 20’s, but poor positioning saw the ball sail over Chahal’s head for six. It didn’t cost them today, but it’s an area Virat Kohli will demand instant improvement in ahead of the second T20.

Great Guptill catch: The Black Caps mirrored India’s fielding- they had two shots at running KL Rahul out in the sixth over, but fluffed both, and Ish Sodhi then dropped a skier that would’ve seen the back of Kohli. However the catch that eventually sent the Indian skipper back to the pavillion was an absolute stunner from Martin Guptill- another great display of athleticism from the Black Caps star. Continue reading “Bumrah excellent, poor Indian fielding, great Guptill catch & more- Talking points from Black Caps vs India First T20 Auckland 2020”

India’s ODI & T-20 Squad for New Zealand Tour 2020- Prithvi Shaw receives maiden ODI call up

Here are the Indian squads for the upcoming T20 and one day series against New Zealand. Left handed batsman Shikhar Dhawan was originally named in both squads, but was ruled out due to a shoulder injury that he picked up during the third and the final ODI against Australia in Bengaluru

T-20 SquadOne Day Squad
Virat Kohli (c)Virat Kohli (c)
Rohit SharmaRohit Sharma
KL RahulKL Rahul
Shreyas IyerShreyas Iyer
Manish PandeyManish Pandey
Shikhar Dhawan Sanju SamsonShikhar Dhawan Prithvi Shaw
Rishabh PantRishabh Pant
Shivam DubeShivam Dube
Washington SundarKedar Jadhav
Ravindra JadejaRavindra Jadeja
Kuldeep YadavKuldeep Yadav
Yuzvendra ChahalYuzvendra Chahal
Jasprit BumrahJasprit Bumrah
Mohammed ShamiMohammed Shami
Navdeep SainiNavdeep Saini
Shardul ThakurShardul Thakur
Continue reading “India’s ODI & T-20 Squad for New Zealand Tour 2020- Prithvi Shaw receives maiden ODI call up”

Selection blunders, Proteas batsmen again poor and more- Talking points from South Africa vs England Port Elizabeth 2020

England registered their first overseas win by an innings since 2011 Sydney as they comprehensively outplayed South Africa in Port Elizabeth. Tailenders Keshav Maharaj and Dane Paterson frustrated the visitors for a while on the fifth morning, but the end was inevitable and Sam Curran’s run out saw England emerge victors by an innings and 53 runs. Maharaj did equal the record for most runs in an over in test cricket (28) as he took Joe Root to the cleaners, but there was precious little otherwise to cheer for the home fans.

maharaj root 28 run over

Here are our talking points from the clash in PE.

1. Proteas get selection wrong.

It’s the batsmen who have struggled more in recent times, but the Proteas bizarrely opted to strengthen their bowling for this game and dropped batting all rounder Dwaine Pretorius. Even worse, the extra bowler selected- Dane Paterson, toiled hard but was clearly ill-suited to this track. The conditions did not help Vernon Philander either and despite playing five bowlers the Proteas were forced to chase leather as England racked up nearly 500 runs after choosing to bat first.

sa cricket team v england pe 2020

2. South African batsmen continue to struggle

South Africa’s batsmen again came a cropper as England ran through them at St George’s Park. In the first innings, the Proteas lost half their side for 109; in the second innings they were 83/6 at one stage. While England had two centurions in Ollie Pope and Ben Stokes, the highest score from a Proteas top six batsman was 63 from the bat of Quinton De Kock, with none of the others even crossing 40. The fact that the Maharaj/Paterson last wicket partnership was the hosts’ highest of the innings tells a story by itself.

3. England’s youngsters impress

Ben Stokes again proved his worth in the longest format, and he was ably supported by England’s youngsters. The visitors had five players younger then South Africa’s youngest player in KG Rabada and each of the quintet played vital roles- Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley laid the platform upfront, Ollie Pope brought back memories of Ian Bell with a sparkling 135, Sam Curran made a crucial 44 and effected the run out that won England the game and Dom Bess claimed a 5 er in the first innings. If they continue to progress at this level it will only augur well for the side’s future. Continue reading “Selection blunders, Proteas batsmen again poor and more- Talking points from South Africa vs England Port Elizabeth 2020”

Off Day for Pat Cummins and Mitch Starc, Rohit Sharma’s 29th ODI Century & More- Talking Points from India vs Australia Bengaluru 3rd ODI 2020

A fine 119 from Rohit Sharma, the 29th century of his ODI career, helped India chase down 287 in Bangalore and register a come from behind 2-1 series victory over Australia.

The hosts were a batsman short after Shikhar Dhawan injured his shoulder while fielding, but Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli’s 146 run stand put those worries to rest as Ravi Shastri’s men cruised to victory on a good Chinnaswamy batting wicket.

India were unchanged for this clash, retaining the same XI that had done the business in Rajkot, while Australia brought in Josh Hazlewood for Kane Richardson. Opposition skipper Aaron Finch won his third consecutive toss of the series and opted to bat first this time around.

Here are our talking points from the game.

Off day for Pat Cummins and Mitch Starc: Australia opted to strengthen their bowling by including Josh Hazlewood for Kane Richardson. While Hazlewood did his job- he was absolutely miserly in his first five overs, going for just ten runs, Cummins and Starc had a bad day at the office.

Cummins went for 64 in his 7 overs, while Starc finished with figures of 0/66 in his 9. Their poor lines and lengths ensured that the pressure built by Hazlewood at one end was always released at the other, and even worse, they didn’t take even a single wicket between them.

You cannot afford two of your strike bowlers to have an off day while defending a under par total on a good batting wicket, and that unfortunately, is exactly what happened to Aaron Finch’s men.

Rohit Sharma scores 29th ODI century: Sharma’s 119 was the backbone of India’s chase. With regularly opening partner Shikhar Dhawan not available, he found the boundary regularly in the opening overs to ensure that pressure didn’t build on KL Rahul and Virat Kohli. The MI star hit a whopping 6 sixes in his knock- the rest of the batsmen (Indian and Australian) only managed 3 between them.

Sharma overtook Sanath Jayasuriya in the ODI centurions list and is now only one behind legendary Australian Ricky Ponting.

Australia miss Maxwell and Stoinis’ firepower: While Steve Smith held one end up, Australia’s inexperienced middle order missed the firepower of Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis. They were 173/2 in the 32nd over when Marnus Labuschagne fell, and looked well on course for a total of 310-320. However with Agar batting at 7 and Ashton Turner nowhere near the player who stunned the Mohali crowd last year, they ended up limping to 286 instead- a total that was never enough on this batting surface.

India chose KL Rahul to keep despite Pant being fit: Interestingly, India opted to continue with KL Rahul as their specialist keeper despite Rishabh Pant having recovered from his concussion. Continue reading “Off Day for Pat Cummins and Mitch Starc, Rohit Sharma’s 29th ODI Century & More- Talking Points from India vs Australia Bengaluru 3rd ODI 2020”

KL Rahul excellent, Rohit’s fake throw and more- Talking points from India vs Australia Rajkot 2020

An excellent 52 ball 80 from KL Rahul and fine half centuries from Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli helped India level the three match ODI series in Rajkot on Friday.

Australia opted to keep faith with the same XI that had done the job in Mumbai, while India made two changes by including Navdeep Saini for Shardul Thakur and Manish Pandey for the concussed Rishabh Pant.

India's line up vs Australia-2020

Australia's line up vs India-2020

Here are our talking points from the game at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

1. KL Rahul excellent

Twice in the middle stages of this game, India appeared to be in danger of losing their way- first when Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer fell in quick succession, and the other when Kohli and Manish Pandey fell within six balls of each other. However Rahul’s fluent 80 ensured that India did not waste the start that had been given to their openers. His quickfire innings was perhaps the difference between a score of 310-320 and the 340 that the hosts eventually got. Not only did the Karnataka star excel after coming into bat at No 5, but he also did a fine job behind the wickets, standing in for the unavailable Pant. He also effected a vital stumping to get rid of Mumbai centurion Aaron Finch.

2. Kuldeep’s double swings game India’s way

At 220/3 in the 38th over, Australia had a genuine chance of overhauling India’s target. However Kuldeep turned the game on its head by picking up the wickets of Alex Carey and Steve Smith in the same over Continue reading “KL Rahul excellent, Rohit’s fake throw and more- Talking points from India vs Australia Rajkot 2020”

Batting order change fails to come off, Records galore for Warner & Finch & More- Talking points from India v Australia First ODI Mumbai January 14 2020

An unbeaten 258 run opening stand- a record partnership for any wicket against India saw Australia annihilate the hosts by 10 wickets in the first one day international at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday.

The visitors gave Marnus Labuschagne his debut, but the South African born batting sensation had very little to do as Aaron Finch and David Warner flattened the hosts and finished the chase with 74 balls to spare.

India's playing XI Against Australia-2020

Australia's line up against India-2020

Here are our talking points from yesterday’s fixture.

1. Kohli’s decision to demote himself to No 4 backfires

As he had hinted in the pre-match press conference, Indian skipper Virat Kohli dropped himself to No 4 to accommodate Lokesh Rahul in the playing XI. The move didn’t quite come off- Kohli, arguably the team’s best batsman, only arrived at the crease in the 28th over and made only 16. It also seemed to mess with the heads of the batsmen below him in the order- Shreyas Iyer made only 4, while Rishabh Pant had to cover his natural attacking instincts in order to ensure that India got to a respectable total. The home side slipped from 134/1 to 164 for 5 and lost their way in the middle stages.

2. Finch again demonstrates batting prowess against India

Since October 2013, there have only been five opening stands of 100 or greater from a visiting team against India in India- Aaron Finch has been involved in everyone of them. It was almost a perfect day for him at the office- he won the toss, the much vaunted Indian batting line up failed to fire, his bowling changes were spot on and Australia romped home with 10 wickets to spare.

3. Records galore for Warner and Finch

As mentioned above, this partnership was the highest by any pair in ODI cricket against India. It was also the first time since 2005 that the hosts had suffered a 10 wicket defeat- the first in Kohli’s tenure as captain. Warner also reached the 5000 run milestone- the fastest Australian to the landmark, and fourth fastest to it after Hashim Amla, Viv Richards and Kohli.

Fastest to 5000 ODI Runs-2020 Continue reading “Batting order change fails to come off, Records galore for Warner & Finch & More- Talking points from India v Australia First ODI Mumbai January 14 2020”

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”