Five Talking points & Analysis- India vs West Indies First T-20 Hyderabad December 2019

Skipper Virat Kohli scored a masterful 94 as India comfortably chased down a seemingly stiff target of 208 in the first T-20 against the West Indies in Hyderabad on Friday.

India traditionally tend to be slow starters- Bangladesh beat them in Delhi last month in that series opener, but with Kohli back in the squad, they didn’t falter against the T20 world champions in Gachibowli.

India's playing xi vs West Indies-2019

Continue reading “Five Talking points & Analysis- India vs West Indies First T-20 Hyderabad December 2019”

India Squad for West Indies ODI & T20 Series Announced- ODI call up for Dube, Samson axed

The Indian selectors on Thursday officially announced the ODI and T20I squads for their upcoming series against the West Indies at home next month.

Shivam Dube’s fine performance in the T20 decider against Bangladesh has earned him a maiden ODI call up, but Sanju Samson has bizarrely been axed despite not featuring in even a single game against the Tigers. Samson and Dube were the only two new call ups to the squad when India squared off against their neighbours last month.

How different are India’s ODI and T20 squads?

Interestingly, India’s ODI and T20 squads for the West Indies series are virtually identical. Fourteen of the fifteen players named feature in both squads- the only difference comes in the form of Kedar Jadhav (ODI’s) and Washington Sundar (T20’s). This is almost a full strength T20 squad for the Men in Blue- perhaps an indication of how highly regarded the Windies are regarded in that format.

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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”

India vs South Africa Third T-20 Match Report September 22 2019- Bengaluru

South African skipper Quinton de Kock led from the front with an unbeaten 79 as the Proteas comfortably defeated India by nine wickets in Bengaluru to level the series 1-1 on Sunday.

The home side went in with an unchanged line up, while the visitors included Beuran Hendricks in place of the injured Anrich Nortje.

Like he had in Mohali, Indian skipper Virat Kohli again won the toss, but this time surprised one and all by opting to bat first. The Chinnaswamy has a reputation of being a chasing ground and India’s win percentage in T20 internationals drops to below 50% while batting first (as opposed to a near 75% win percentage while chasing). Kohli said at the toss that it was an attempt to test his bowlers ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.

The opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma put on a quickfire 22 run opening stand before Beuran Hendricks drew first blood, with Rohit caught at slip by Reeza Hendricks. The left armer pacer has a fine record against Rohit in T20’s- 3 dismissals in 4 deliveries across 3 innings Continue reading “India vs South Africa Third T-20 Match Report September 22 2019- Bengaluru”

Talking Points- India vs South Africa 2nd T20 September 18 2019 Mohali

India started their home season with a comfortable seven wicket win as they brushed aside South Africa by seven wickets in Mohali. Here are our talking points from the game.

Another Virat Kohli masterclass:The only player to average over 50 in all three formats of the game, Kohli produced another chasing masterclass as India went 1-0 up in the series. He ensured that the hosts always remained ahead of the asking rate, and his 52 ball 72 was studded with some fine shots- none better than the flicked six off Kagiso Rabada towards the end of the chase.

Virat Kohli Average over 50 + in all 3 formats

He also took a fine diving catch to dismiss his opposite number Quinton de Kock just as the latter was beginning to look dangerous. Kohli was off the field in the final stages of South Africa’s innings with an apparent back problem- the only way the Proteas might have made a match of it was if he didn’t recover in time to take the crease. But he did, and once he got into his stride, the outcome was inevitable.

Temba Bavuma’s T20 debut: South Africa handed a T20 debut to Temba Bavuma and the gritty batsman made a pretty decent fist of it- scoring 49 off 43. However numbers don’t quite tell the exact story- Bavuma was 42 (31) at the end of the 14th over, and his struggles at the death meant South Africa couldn’t quite tee off. They managed only 16 runs between overs 16-19, and only got to 149 thanks to two sixes in the last four balls from Andile Phehlukwayo and Dwaine Pretorius.

Bavuma is a decent batsman, but South Africa possess too many similar players – several who can strike at a little over a 100, but take their time to get in. If they don’t convert (like Kohli did today), it doesn’t exactly help the team’s cause. Someone like Shreyas Iyer, with his ability to strike from the word go, would walk into this Proteas T20 side comfortably. Continue reading “Talking Points- India vs South Africa 2nd T20 September 18 2019 Mohali”

India T20 Squad for South Africa Series Announced- Hardik Pandya back, but no MS Dhoni

India have officially announced their squad for the three T20 internationals against South Africa next month at home.

The three fixtures will be played at Dharamshala, Mohali and Bengaluru on 15, 18 and 22 September respectively, following which the two sides will lock horns in a three-test series beginning October 2.

The Indian selectors have opted for continuity, opting to keep faith with the squad that did the job against the West Indies in the Caribbean. There is only one change- all rounder Hardik Pandya returns, with pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar making away for the MI star.

Somewhat surprisingly, there is no place for either Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal, with the selectors choosing to again back the trio of Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya and Washington Sundar in the spin department.

Former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni continues to be sidelined from the squad, with the Men in Blue looking to give rookie keeper Rishabh Pant as many opportunities as possible behind the wickets ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia next year.

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