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”

Talking Points from England vs New Zealand 14 July 2019- The Greatest World Cup Final Ever?

England ended their 44 year wait for a Cricket World Cup title as they were crowned 2019 champions at Lord’s after a dramatic final hour that saw both teams tied in both regular time and the Super Over, forcing the officials to declare Trevor Bayliss’ men winners on the boundary countback rule.

It was the third successive time that the host of the World Cup had lifted the title, following victories for India in 2011 and Australia in 2015.

The final was a tight, attritional affair, but the end was truly dramatic, and probably catapulted it to No.1 on the list for best ODI’s ever. Certainly the best World Cup final ever, and with it being telecast on Free-To-Air in the United Kingdom, would’ve potentially inspired thousands of young kids to take up the game. Here are our talking points from this epic fixture.

The Guptill “overthrow” that took a deflection off Ben Stokes’ bat

Perhaps the biggest talking point of them all! With 9 to win in 3 balls, Canterbury born Stokes hit Trent Boult to deep midwicket and set off. While the former was returning for the second, Martin Guptill’s throw from the deep inadvertently took a deflection off Stokes’ bat, and went past keeper Tom Latham to the boundary.

Umpire Kumar Dharmasena signalled six runs (2 for Stokes and 4 for the overthrow). As cruel as it was for Black Caps fans to stomach the decision in real time, it was made worse after the legendary Simon Taufel said that his umpiring mates had made a mistake- it should’ve been five runs instead of six, and that Adil Rashid should’ve been on strike for the penultimate delivery instead of Stokes. In another universe, this could so easily have been a maiden NZ World Cup win.

Trent Boult steps on the rope

James Neesham had produced a fine 49th over under pressure, and it would’ve been a match winning one but for Boult’s lapse in judgement on the boundary. Stokes went for the big hit, and Boult claimed a catch on the boundary, but failed to notice the rope behind him, and stepped on it before he could potentially throw the ball to Guptill for a relay catch.

Mitch Santner ducks under Jofra Archer’s bouncer in the final ball of the New Zealand innings

Perhaps not as noticed as the two errors above, but it did cost New Zealand. On the final ball of the Black Caps innings, Santner simply ducked under an Archer bouncer instead of attempting to hit it, and wasn’t even able to run a bye. In a game when there were two “ties”, an extra run might’ve seen NZ being crowned World champions.

Will the boundaries rule be canned by the ICC?

In their wildest dreams, the ICC would not have expected this final to end the way it did. Deciding the winner on the boundaries rule doesn’t feel like the appropriate way to decide a World Cup champion- some would argue that NZ should’ve won it because they bowled England out in regular time and lost only 8 wickets in theirs. Should the trophy have been shared between the two teams? Or should there have been another version of “sudden death” to decide the winner after the Super Over tie? The debate will continue for ages.

Should Kane Williamson have asked Lockie Ferguson to bowl the Super Over?

Trent Boult has been Williamson’s go-to man in the last four overs, but the left armer was slightly wayward today, bowling a bunch of full tosses and length deliveries instead of nailing his yorkers, and finishing with 0-67 in his 10 overs. On the evidence of how things panned out in regular time, Ferguson, with his ability to bowl both fast and slower bouncers as well as yorkers, might’ve been a better choice.

Jason Roy and Jos Buttler hold their nerve

Roy and Buttler were the only two batsmen to strike at close to a run a ball on a pitch where their team mates struggled. But they will be immortalised in English cricket history for their roles in that final ball run out of Martin Guptill. Roy, who had misfielded earlier in the Super Over, showed great awareness and speed to throw the ball to Buttler, who held his nerve and cleverly positioned himself in front of the stumps to run out the diving Guptill.

Fan Analysis & Talking Points from India vs New Zealand- the 2DI World Cup Semi final!

New Zealand advanced to their second successive World Cup final with a stunning eighteen run win over favourites India at Old Trafford. Here are our talking points from this thrilling ODI (or should that read 2DI?) clash at Manchester.

CT 2017 encore for India

Going into this tournament, if there was one ever-present worry in the minds of Indian fans, it was about their middle order, and whether they could handle a pressure situation. India’s top 3 had scored nearly 70% of their runs in this tournament coming into this semi-final but had a collective failure today in Manchester. It was, in some ways, deja vu for the fans who had seen their 2017 CT final defeat to Pakistan. India’s middle order didn’t stand up that evening, and didn’t do so today either.

Martin Guptill’s run out of MS Dhoni

Dhoni is not the methodical finisher he was a decade ago, but still remains a force to be reckoned with. He took the game to the final 2 overs, and swatted Lockie Ferguson for a six over deep cover to bring the equation to 25 off 11. The very next ball, he attempted a second but was run out by a fantastic direct hit from Martin Guptill in the deep. If the ball had bounced before hitting the stumps, or had needed the assistance of the fielder, Dhoni, so good between the wickets, would’ve comfortably made his ground. It was a matter of inches at the end, and with that one throw, Guptill made up for the miserable World Cup he’s had with the bat. If New Zealand go on to win the World Cup for the first time in their history, that Guptill run out will be the stuff of legends, and talked about till the end of eternity.

Guptill Dhoni Run out World Cup 2019 Semi-final

Why didn’t India sent Dhoni in earlier?

Bizarrely enough, with the score at 5/3, India didn’t sent MS Dhoni in, and the veteran only strode to the middle at No.7 when they were five down. His power hitting abilities may have reduced with time, but Dhoni remains a fine defensive player, and could’ve easily performed the role Karthik and Pandya (unfamiliar to them mind you) were asked to. It would’ve allowed India the luxury of another power hitter at the death, and with 42 to win in 4, you’d probably have backed the Men in Blue.

Matt Henry the unsung hero

He’s received flak for his poor death bowling (see the West Indies game) but Matt Henry turned up today when his side needed him the most. He first snapped up Rohit Sharma, the tournament’s leading run scorer with five hundreds, with an absolute gem of a delivery that set the pace for the Black Caps, and also got rid of KL Rahul.

Henry’s death bowling is not his strongest suit, but with India needing 42 in 4 overs with Jadeja and Dhoni well set, he produced a tremendous final over with back of the length cutters that went for just five. It forced Jadeja to target Trent Boult in the final over Continue reading “Fan Analysis & Talking Points from India vs New Zealand- the 2DI World Cup Semi final!”

Five Talking Points & Fan Analysis- South Africa vs New Zealand World Cup 2019

New Zealand took a massive step towards the semi-finals as they beat South Africa in a final over thriller that all but ended the latter’s slim chances of making it to the last four. Here are our talking points from the game at Edgbaston, which was also the venue for that epic SF involving the Proteas two decades ago!

The Williamson dismissal that wasn’t reviewed

In Imran Tahir’s last over, with New Zealand at 173/5 in the 38th over, Kane Williamson was beaten as he attempted to glide the ball. Tahir had half an appeal on his lips, as he always does, but more importantly, Proteas keeper Quinton de Kock did not appeal. Replays showed that Williamson had edged the ball and if South Africa had opted for DRS, they would’ve had the Kiwi skipper out at a crucial period in the game.

The Proteas missed more chances (run-outs and dropped catches among them), but this is the one they’ll rue the most. Faf du Plessis did not enjoy the luck of his his Australian counterpart Aaron Finch, whose last second DRS review got rid of Wahab Riaz at a crucial stage in their game against Pakistan. In fact, Du Plessis wasn’t even aware that Williamson would’ve been out until Pommie Mbangwa told him in the post match presentation!

Kane Williamson Edge off Tahir World Cup 2019

Andile Phehlukwayo chooses the wrong time to have an off day

Over the last couple of seasons, Andile Phehlukwayo has been one of South Africa’s most consistent performers in this format and has rightly established himself as the Proteas No.1 all rounder. Unfortunately the Dolphins star had a bad day at the office- a five ball duck and 1/73 in 8.3 on a day when all his fellow bowlers went for under 5 an over.

Did Du Plessis err by not giving Aiden Markram a bowl?

Andile Phehlukwayo didn’t have a great day with the ball, but despite knowing Colin de Grandhomme’s struggles against spin, Faf du Plessis choose not to go to Aiden Markram for an over or two in the middle. De Grandhomme was cautious against Imran Tahir, and it would’ve been interesting to see him take on Markram with the run rate steadily rising. Perhaps a day when Du Plessis needed JP Duminy in the side- clearly didn’t feel confident enough to ask Markram to roll his arm over despite Phehlukwayo’s struggles. Continue reading “Five Talking Points & Fan Analysis- South Africa vs New Zealand World Cup 2019”

Talking Points from India vs Bangladesh & New Zealand vs West Indies- WC Warm-ups

The fifth and final set of World Cup warm-up fixtures saw India take on Bangladesh in Cardiff and West Indies square off against New Zealand in Bristol. For both Bangladesh and West Indies, this was their first warm-up after their earlier clashes had been rained off. Here are our talking points from both fixtures. Continue reading “Talking Points from India vs Bangladesh & New Zealand vs West Indies- WC Warm-ups”

Five Talking Points from India vs New Zealand & Australia vs England- World Cup Warm-ups 2019

The second set of World Cup warm-up fixtures saw India square off against New Zealand at the Oval and England take on Australia at the Rose Bowl. Both World Cup favourites fell to defeats, and here are our talking points from both games.

Swing and seam remains a potential weakness for Team India

When India toured New Zealand earlier this year, they won the ODI series 4-1, but one game stood out for fans and pundits, and that was in Hamilton, when Trent Boult wrecked the Indian top order in helpful conditions to register New Zealand’s solitary win.

Today’s game at the Oval felt like a throwback to that fixture, with Boult again making use of the overcast conditions to dismiss Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul cheaply.

Given how games in the recent past in England have been, fans were expecting flat decks and scores of 350+, but the four warm-ups so far have given only one score of over 300. Maybe the ICC is doing their best to ensure a better contest between bat and ball?

India have only one game at the Oval, and that’s against defending champions Australia. If the conditions are similar, the likes of Mitch Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Coulter-Nile could do damage similar to what Boult did. The Men in Blue will need to have a contingency plan for wickets that aid the opposition bowlers. Continue reading “Five Talking Points from India vs New Zealand & Australia vs England- World Cup Warm-ups 2019”

India vs New Zealand Hamilton Third T-20 Match Report-2019 February 10- NZ win 2-1

Colin Munro scored a brilliant 72 as New Zealand beat India by four runs in the third T20 International in Hamilton to win the three-match series 2-1 on Sunday. Continue reading “India vs New Zealand Hamilton Third T-20 Match Report-2019 February 10- NZ win 2-1”

India vs New Zealand Hamilton Third T-20 Match Preview-2019 February 10

After picking up their first ever T20 victory in New Zealand on Friday, India will be aiming to go one step further when they square off against the Black Caps in the series decider in Hamilton on Sunday. Continue reading “India vs New Zealand Hamilton Third T-20 Match Preview-2019 February 10”