Five Talking Points from India vs Bangladesh 3rd T20 Nagpur November 10 2019

Deepak Chahar registered the best ever figures by a bowler in T20 internationals as India beat Bangladesh by 30 runs to clinch the three match series 2-1 at Nagpur on Sunday. Chahar also took a hat trick, which means Indian bowlers have achieved that feat in all three formats of the game (Shami against Afghanistan in the ODI World Cup and Bumrah against the West Indies in the 2nd test on India’s tour of the Caribbean) this year- quite a remarkable achievement.

The Tigers lost wickets in clusters (12/1 and 12/2, 110/3 and 110/4, 126/5 and 126/6, 144/9 and 144/10) and couldn’t quite capitalize on the platform given to them by opener Mohammad Naim’s splendid 48 ball 81. Continue reading “Five Talking Points from India vs Bangladesh 3rd T20 Nagpur November 10 2019”

The return of Dale Steyn, a near century for Janneman Malan & more- Talking Points from Jozi Stars vs Cape Town Blitz MSL 2019

The 2019 edition of the Mzansi Super League kicked off on Friday evening in Johannesburg with a high scoring clash between the Jozi Stars and the Cape Town Blitz. The North-South derby went the way of the Cape side, who beat the defending champions by 15 runs at the Bullring.

Here are our talking points from MSL 2019’s opening game.

Dale Steyn’s still got it: If not for Dale Steyn, the Blitz would’ve probably not won this game. In a match that produced over 400 runs across 40 overs, the veteran pacer finished with stunning figures of 3/25 from his four. His two over spell at the death, taking out the well-set pair of Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen, was key to halting the Stars’ run chase just as it seemed they would coast home.

If he keeps up this form, Steyn may just get a chance to atone for the 2015 and 2019 ODI WC disappointments at next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

Janneman Malan misses out on a century: Malan could’ve easily scored the first century for MSL 2019, but finished just one agonizing run short on 99* (59). He had an opportunity to get to his 100 on the final ball of the Blitz innings, but was unable to get bat on ball. Cape Town scored only 13 runs off the final two overs, but fortunately for the visitors, it didn’t hurt them in the final analysis.

Should the Stars have promoted Ryan Rickelton?: Did the Stars miss a trick by not promoting Ryan Rickelton up the order, potentially ahead of van der Dussen or even Dan Christian? The 23 year-old southpaw, fresh from a double century for Gauteng against Free State, only got two deliveries to face. The likes of Rickelton and Marques Ackerman are the type of youngsters Proteas fans are hoping will come good in the MSL, but neither of them really got a chance to showcase their wares here- Rickelton had to swing from the word go, and Ackerman didn’t even make the Blitz playing XI. Continue reading “The return of Dale Steyn, a near century for Janneman Malan & more- Talking Points from Jozi Stars vs Cape Town Blitz MSL 2019”

Five Talking Points from India vs Bangladesh 2nd T20 Rajkot 2019 November 7

A masterful 85 from Indian skipper Rohit Sharma in his 100th T20 international saw India thrash Bangladesh by 8 wickets and level the three match series in Rajkot on Thursday. There were fears that this game might be washed out by the cyclone near the Gujarat coast, but thankfully for both the fans and the players, the rain stayed away, and we had an uninterrupted evening of play.

Here are our talking points from yesterday’s fixture.

1 Bangladesh’s batsmen fail to kick on

Four of Bangladesh’s top five batsmen scored 29 or more- all at better than a run a ball, but were unable to convert their starts into something big. The pitch was a good one for batting, with 170 being the par score in IPL games at the venue, but the Tigers were only able to make 153 on it.

2 Another eventful day for Rishabh Pant

Pant thought he had Liton Das stumped early in the latter’s innings, but he had collected the balls in front of the stumps, which made the third umpire disallow the stumping. Das was then given another reprieve when Rohit Sharma dropped a skier. He was eventually dismissed in a bizarre manner, going for a non-existent single without noticing that the ball had fallen just in front of him. Continue reading “Five Talking Points from India vs Bangladesh 2nd T20 Rajkot 2019 November 7”

Historic Tigers win, forgettable Dube T20 debut & more- Five Talking Points from India vs Bangladesh 1st T20 2019 Delhi

A fantastic unbeaten 60 from wicket keeper Mushfiqur Rahim, helped Bangladesh draw first blood in the T-20 series against India at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi on Sunday. Many had expected this game to be a walk in park for India in the absence of Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan, but the visitors surprised one and all by claiming their first ever victory in this format against the Men in Blue.

India's playing XI vs Bangladesh-2019

Here are our talking points from the game.

Dropped Krunal Pandya catch costs India dear

Bangladesh’s batsmen, despite having wickets in hand, had found it difficult to accelerate on the slow Kotla pitch. The Tigers needed 33 off 16 balls with the impressive Yuzvendra Chahal bowling his last over. Mushfiqur, who had fought his way to 38 off 36, attempted a slog sweep. It went straight down the throat of Krunal Pandya at deep midwicket, but the all rounder inexplicably dropped the catch. Not only did Pandya squander the opportunity to get rid of Bangladesh’s best batsman, but he also let the ball trickle over the rope for a boundary. Buoyed by that four, Mushfiqur proceeded to take Khaleel Ahmed apart in the next over and finished on 60* (43) to guide Bangladesh to a famous victory.

Two LBW reviews not taken

As mentioned above, Yuzvendra Chahal was impressive on his return to the line up. He rapped Mushfiqur twice on the pads in the same over early in his spell. India choose not to review either, even as replays showed three reds on both occasions. To make matters worse, the hosts also wasted a review on a Soumya Sarkar edge that was never there in the first place. The crowd at the Kotla made their feelings known with chants of “Dhoni Dhoni”, implying that India may not have committed these blunders had the veteran been behind the stumps. Continue reading “Historic Tigers win, forgettable Dube T20 debut & more- Five Talking Points from India vs Bangladesh 1st T20 2019 Delhi”

India T20 Squad for Bangladesh Series Announced- Shivam Dube and Sanju Samson included

India have today announced their squad for the upcoming test and T20 series against neighbours Bangladesh. The selectors have chosen to keep faith with the same test squad that demolished South Africa 3-0, but have made a number of changes to the T20 team with one eye on next year’s World Cup in Australia.

What changes have India made to the T20 squad for the Bangladesh series?

From the squad that toured the West Indies and won 2-0 in the Caribbean, India have made four changes. Out go skipper Virat Kohli, spinner Ravindra Jadeja and pacers Navdeep Saini and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and in come wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson, all-rounder Shivam Dube, pacer Shardul Thakur and leggie Yuzvendra Chahal.

With regular skipper Kohli rested for the three-match Twenty 20 series, Rohit Sharma will lead the Men in Blue against Bangladesh Continue reading “India T20 Squad for Bangladesh Series Announced- Shivam Dube and Sanju Samson included”

Five Talking Points, Fan Analysis & Player Ratings- India vs South Africa 3rd Test Ranchi 2019

South Africa’s miserable tour of India finished with another massive defeat in Ranchi, the first time in over 80 years that the Proteas have lost successive tests by an innings.

Here are our talking points from the fixture in Ranchi.

Proteas test debuts for Linde and Klaasen: South Africa made as many as five changes for this Ranchi test. Two were injury enforced from Pune- Markram and Maharaj, while Theunis de Bruyn, Vernon Philander and Senuran Muthusamy were also shown the door.

George Linde and Heinrich Klaasen both made their test debuts. While Linde acquitted himself well, with handy knocks in both innings and four wickets in India’s first innings, Klaasen had one to forget, making just 6 and 5 in two outings at the crease.

Given that Rudi Second was originally the reserve wicket keeper on tour and that Kyle Verreynne is churning up some impressive numbers on the domestic circuit, it may be a while before we see Klaasen in tests again.

Both debutants also had the rather unique distinction of batting both their innings (in full) on the same day! Continue reading “Five Talking Points, Fan Analysis & Player Ratings- India vs South Africa 3rd Test Ranchi 2019”

The Theunis de Bruyn conundrum- Should the Proteas persist with TdB ?

Theunis de Bruyn’s spot in the South African lineup appears to be under serious threat as the Proteas head to Ranchi for the third and final test against India this weekend. Already 2-0 down in this series, the third test would normally only be of academic interest, but the introduction of the World Test Championship means there are points at stake, and both teams will be taking this as seriously as they did the Vizag and Pune ones.

De Bruyn’s case is an interesting one. Hailed as the next AB in South African cricket circles, he had to wait a long time for his debut despite dominating attacks for fun back home. It came two and a half years ago in Hamilton, and in the unfamiliar position of opener. The Titans star had a nightmare debut- out for a duck in the first, and run out in the second innings after a collision with Hashim Amla.

He has been in and out of the side, and only got a serious chance to cement his place in the starting XI after De Villiers retired, which was on the tough tour to Sri Lanka last year. To his credit, a fighting 101 on a turner in Colombo effectively saved his career, but mixed returns against Pakistan in the home summer and now away in India, means that his position is under threat again.

After 11 tests, De Bruyn only averages a measly 18.95. Half of them have been played away from home. Given South Africa’s representational requirements, and the fact that Zubayr Hamza is waiting in the wings, De Bruyn looks like the person most likely to be axed ahead of the home summer.

Continue reading “The Theunis de Bruyn conundrum- Should the Proteas persist with TdB ?”

Another home series Win for India, Woeful Proteas & More- Talking points from India vs South Africa Day 3 & 4 Pune 2019

India completed a comfortable win over South Africa, thrashing the Proteas by an innings and 137 runs and taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three test series.

Here are our talking points from Day 3 & 4 at the MCA Stadium in Pune

India enforce the follow on for the first time ever against South Africa

Some what surprisingly, Indian skipper Virat Kohli opted to enforce the follow on at the beginning of Day 4. Kohli has traditionally been a captain who prefers to give his bowlers a break and does not usually ask the opposition to bat in successive innings.

This was the first time ever that India had enforced the follow on against South Africa. Kohli’s men are also the first to do so against the Proteas since England back in 2008. On that occasion, South Africa managed to come away with a draw at Lord’s thanks to third innings centuries from Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla and Neil Mckenzie. This set of Proteas batsmen is however far inferior to that batch, and there was to be no repeat of their 2008 great escape.

A record 11th home series win for India

This was the Men in Blue’s 11th straight home series victory, breaking the previous record of 10 held by Australia.

India are becoming neigh unbeatable on home turf- they have lost only one test in the last five years.

Most consecutive series wins at home

India’s seamers shine again.

India’s pacers have improved manifold in Kohli’s reign as captain. Even the likes of Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav- initially considered to wayward and unthreatening have become forces to be reckoned with in the last couple of years. South Africa were expected to struggle against spinners but had an equally tough time against the pacers.

India’s fast bowlers have averaged 22 per wicket as compared to South Africa’s 76. Given that they were without ace quick Jasprit Bumrah, those are stunning figures indeed!

Is this the end of Theunis de Bruyn’s test career? Continue reading “Another home series Win for India, Woeful Proteas & More- Talking points from India vs South Africa Day 3 & 4 Pune 2019”

Toss woes for Faf, another record for King Kohli and more-Talking Points from India vs South Africa Second Test Pune (Day 1 & 2) 2019

Here are our talking points from the first two days of the 2nd test between India and South Africa at the MCA Stadium in Pune.

Faf’s toss Woes continue

Given his side’s struggles in Vizag, Faf du Plessis would have been desperate to win the toss in Pune. Unfortunately, The Proteas skipper called incorrectly- making it the 9th consecutive time in Asia that he has lost the toss. Batting first is a massive advantage in these conditions and India’s batsman again made merry, grinding South Africa to dust over two days in the hot Pune sun as they amassed over 600 runs.

More records for King Kohli

Indian skipper Virat Kohli made his seventh double century here, thus breaking the record for the most double centuries by an Indian (6 by Sachin Tendulkar & Virender Sehwag). Kohli also crossed the 7000 run landmark in tests, became the first Indian to hit double centuries against six different nations and also registered his highest individual score in the longest format of the game.

To his credit, Kohli also put the Indian team’s interest above his own. Such was his mastery that he could have easily hit a triple century had he batted for another hour or so. However he sensed that South Africa’s batsman were vulnerable and there for the taking after having spent two long days in the field and chose to declare instead. His bowlers reciprocated the faith and took out three of the Proteas’ top four, leaving the visitors in all kinds of trouble at the end of Day 2.

India line up against South Africa in the second test 2019 Continue reading “Toss woes for Faf, another record for King Kohli and more-Talking Points from India vs South Africa Second Test Pune (Day 1 & 2) 2019”

The Faf leave, Second Innings Shami & More- Talking Points from India vs Proteas First Test Vizag 2019

A fine performance from India’s bowlers saw the hosts complete a resounding 203 run victory over South Africa on the fifth day of the first test in Vizag. The Proteas needed to bat out the whole day, but were unable to produce a redux of Adelaide 2012 or Colombo 2014 as they slumped to a heavy defeat.

Here are our talking points from Day 4 and 5.

A more than decent debut for Senuran Muthusamy: Muthusamy produced a fine performance with the bat, scoring 82 runs across both innings and remaining unbeaten in both. He deserved his maiden half century on Day 5, but was let down by Kagiso Rabada.

While his bowling may not have been as good, the Dolphins star’s resilience and doggedness with the bat will almost certainly earn him another test cap in Pune. He was promoted up the order in the second innings, and looked comfortable against the Indian spinners- far more than some of his team mates up the order.

Muthusamy’s debut means the likes of Dane Piedt, Theunis de Bruyn or even Vernon Philander may be shown the door if the Proteas selectors decide they need changes ahead of the second test.

Second innings Shami strikes again: The Indian pacer lived up to his “second innings Shami” moniker as he tore through the Proteas middle order in the first session. Shami had the trio of Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis and Quinton De Kock- all key players for the visitors, bowled and then returned at the end to take out Dane Piedt and Rabada. A deserved 5fer for the Moradabad bowler.

Second Innings Shami Continue reading “The Faf leave, Second Innings Shami & More- Talking Points from India vs Proteas First Test Vizag 2019”