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.

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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”

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”

Pollard knock in vain, Indian top order fires, Evin Lewis Injury & More- Five Talking points & Analysis- India vs West Indies Third T20 Mumbai December 2019

Kieron Pollard’s fine half century went in vain, as India defeated West Indies by 67 runs in the third and the final T20 International at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday. Pollard has played more games at the ground than any other Indian international bar Rohit Sharma, and his familiarity with the venue showed as he smashed six sixes and five fours in his 39 ball 68.

The visitors, fresh off a fine chase in Trivandrum, remained unchanged while India brought in Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav in place of Ravindra Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal to strengthen their bowling. Pollard won the toss, and as he had done in the Kerala capital, opted to bowl first.

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Five Talking points & Analysis- India vs West Indies Second T20 Thiruvananthapuram December 2019

A fine half century from West Indies opener Lendl Simmons- his first in this format since the 2016 World Cup, saw the visitors defeat India by 8 wickets in the second T20 international at Trivandrum on Sunday.

Simmons’ 67, ably supported by quickfire knocks from Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran, saw the Windies comfortably overhaul the target of 171 with nine balls to spare. Continue reading “Five Talking points & Analysis- India vs West Indies Second T20 Thiruvananthapuram December 2019”

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”

Five talking points & Analysis- India vs Bangladesh Second Test Kolkata November 2019

India completed yet another innings victory- their fourth successive in tests at home this season, as they comfortably beat Bangladesh in Kolkata on Sunday.

Here are our talking points from the country’s first day & night test.

1. Team India create history

As mentioned above, this victory over Bangladesh was India’s fourth consecutive tests win by an innings, making them the first ever team to do so. South Africa were humbled in Pune & Ranchi and Bangladesh suffered the same fate in the first test at Indore.

This maiden pink ball game was also the shortest in terms of deliveries bowled in a test in India (968), beating the previous record of 1028 against Afghanistan last year.

2. Two concussion substitutes used in the same innings

Bangladesh’s troubles with the bat were further exacerbated when Liton Das & Nayeem Hasan were forced off the field after being struck on the helmet.

Since the introduction of the concussion substitute rule, four of the five players who were replaced had been facing India’s bowlers at the time of the blow- another indication of how threatening the Men in Blue’s pacers have become over the last couple of years.

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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 First Test Indore November 16 2019

India’s pace battery again came to the party as the hosts annihilated Bangladesh by an innings and 130 runs in the first Test at Indore. With this win- achieved within less than three days, Indian skipper Virat Kohli overtook Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the captain with most innings victories in the country’s history.

Here are our talking points from the first test.

1.Mayank Agarwal’s rich vein of form with the bat continues

Mayank Agarwal’s dream run with the bat continued as he notched up yet another test double hundred. His 243 was more than what the entire Bangladesh team achieved in their two innings (150 and 213)

Both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli fell cheaply, but Agarwal ground Bangladesh’s bowlers into the dust with his double century. He was particularly severe on both Mehidy Hassan and Taijul Islam, and reached his 200 in Sehwag-esque fashion by smashing Mehidy into the stands.

In each of their four home tests this season, India have managed at least one double centurion- a key factor in their success.

2. Three consecutive wins by an innings for the Men in Blue

India continued from they had left off against South Africa by completing yet another innings victory here against Bangladesh. This Indore win means they have now won three successive tests by an innings for the first time since 1993/94. They are not just beating their opponents but mercilessly trampling all over them.

3. Bangladesh batsmen no match for India’s bowlers

Bangladesh batsmen came a cropper against India’s fiery pace attack. The trio of Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami wreaked havoc in both the innings as the visitors crumbled in the face of some accurate bowling.

Apart from Mushfiqur Rahim and to an extent Liton Das, all the other Bangladesh batsmen struggled to get going. Despite skipper Mominul Haque winning the toss, (something Faf Du Plessis was unable to do for South Africa on their entire tour) the Tigers slumped to a heavy defeat.

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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”