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India vs Bangladesh T20 Series Preview: Can Depleated Bangla tigers weather the toxic atmosphere in the Indian capital to upset the host?

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The three-match T20 series between India and Bangladesh is said to commence tomorrow. The Venue for 1st T20 game of the series is the ground formerly known as Feroz shah kotla was renamed recently as Arun Jaitley Stadium in remembering the former Finance minister Arun Jaitley. The Air condition in the Capital has been in the news for the wrong reasons and from my personal perspective. I would say it is not such a good move to stick to going ahead with the game considering the Air quality is rated highly toxic to breathe. One can only hope this does not create any drastic effect on these Athletes.

The Delhi Air might even take a back seat here as the atmosphere in Bangladesh dressing room is more toxic than in comparison, with all the recent happenings starting with the players strike, Shakib fiasco and Tamim withdrawing from the tour it is definitely the last place you want to be in. In T20 format even with full strength squad Bangladesh has not had the best results nor was threatening to play against. To add to it the loss of Shakib is a huge blow considering his all-round presence & experience. But this is a good chance for the team to try out a few youngsters and it would be the best time if you are a young player coming through the ranks in Bangladesh cricket to put your hand up. The opportunity is there to be grabbed.  It would be interesting to see if depleted Bangla tigers would fight hard having been pushed against the wall or will they totally capitulate.

BCCI, on the other hand, rested Virat to keep a check on his workload, which is a clever move. It also opens up an opportunity for a few fresh faces in the likes of Samson, Rahul or Shreyas Iyer to come in & step up. There are few more missing due to injuries with Hardik, Bumrah & Bhuvaneswar Kumar are still recovering few fresh faces in Shivam Dube & a couple of quicks in Khaleel, Shradul are selected. The situation is tailor-made to test our bench strength & improve the core of the team, but as I have already called out in my article at the time of Squad announcement the selectors did not make the most out of it. It would be interesting to see the Playing 11 India will put out tomorrow.

The nature of the Pitch will be up for debate & discussions. In this years IPL, the home team Delhi Capitals were very vocal in expressing their unhappiness towards the slow nature of the track offered in this ground. But when we look back at the 5 international T20’s that have been played here in the last 4 years period the scores were not all that bad. But to go with the 5 international T20 games spread around 4 years does not give us a clear picture. Also, the toxic air adds more mystery around. So it will interesting to see what option Rohit would have in mind, considering he has been vocal to accept the team has been poor batting 1st in T20 games & must learn to do a lot better if they are set to win big tournaments. Also, the new batting coach is in agreement with the logical fans thought which is as a batting unit the approach & performance of the Indian team in T20 game has not been up to the mark & has called for a change in approach. This is also something on a personal level I have been crying out for almost the last decade.

It is played as a day/night game, so dew factor might not be such a big deal. As both teams will play by the time the dew is already set in. But some due is expected not much as the skies won’t be that clear as per prediction. So the team’s need not sweat too much on dew factor to decide team combination but could have an eye for it.

Possible Indian team playing 11:

Rohit Sharma(C), Shikar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyesh Iyer, Rishab Pant(WK), Kurnal Pandya, Shivam Dubey, Washinton Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal.

My best Indian team Playing 11: 

Rohit Sharma(C),KL Rahul, Sanju Samson,  Rishab Pant(WK), Kurnal Pandya,  Shivam Dubey, Washinton Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shardul Thakur

Possible Bangladesh team playing 11:

Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim(WK), Soumya Sarkar, Mahmudullah (C),  Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Aminul Islam, Shafiul Islam, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman,

#IndVsBan #bcci #Rohitsharma #bcb #T20

 

Indian Squad for Bangladesh T20’s announced: A selection of two halves. Are we heading in the right direction for 2020 T20 WC?

There are few fresh faces introduced with the likes of Shivam Dube getting a maiden call up & Sanju Samson recalled into the squad after a good show in Vijay Hazare trophy.

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On the other hand retention of ShikarDdhawan for another low profile series shows gives us a glimpse of poor selection process from the past and lack of clarity toward the future. There were more questionable calls made in the bowling department with the selection of Shradul Thakur being the pinnacle of it.

As Virat Kohli is rested & Hardik still injured at least a couple of new faces were expected to fill their spot in top 6. But the selection made again puts us under a lot of cloud cover and makes us question is there any viable strategy among selectors & team management.  This brings up another point to talk about on what Virat & Selection committee meant a few months back when they addressed the media speaking about selections are to be made keeping in mind finding right combination & backup replacements for upcoming T20 WC next year? Let us dissect how this selection makes very little sense towards the statements made

  • It all starts with the selection of Shikar Dhawan. I don’t want to go into the path of projecting Shikar’s ordinary international T20 stats because it is there for all to see & have been discussed enough. Even if we assume Shikar as the first choice we need a proper backup opener to get enough games isn’t it, so at least KL Rahul deserves all 3 games in this type of series. But now it looks like Rahul will be playing at no.3 spot again, which makes no sense. What is the point of testing him in a spot he doesn’t flourish in the process we are also not finding proper 3rd opener?
  • Addition of Samson looks promising but if KL Rahul plays as no.3 then where does Samson play? It is going to be a toss-up between Samson/Pant at no.4, which makes no sense. To start with Pant needs more game under his belt and even more, is needed in the case of Samson. If Pant plays 2 games and Samson gets a solitary game it won’t help anyone there. Not just that Sanju Samson shined well for Rajasthan Royals in IPL playing in top 3, again a top-order player at no.4 or no.5, how many times we have seen this mistake being made in selection. To makes matters worse Samson might be tried even further down the order the same bizarre situation Manish faced.
  • Already the likes of Shreyas Iyer & Manish Pandey in the same squad offers so much confusion. But now let us take a look at the number of top 3 players in the current squad Rohit, Shikar, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey and Sanju Samson. This is such a horrendous situation for the team & those players. Why do you need 6 players who play predominantly as top 3 to be part of the Squad for a 3 match t20 series? Who is going to benefit here, I find the selection of Shikar made it worse. He is 34+ also has a very average T20 record, with the Indian team needing to find 3rd opener his selection makes no sense. If he is dropped/Rested KL Rahul would have got his deserved opening slot, which makes no.3 spot open Shreyas Iyer/Samson can complete for the spot at least. Pant at no.4 would be ideal. Which will just leave Manish Pandey’s case hanging in balance, to some extent he deserves it. He is someone who got few opportunities as no.4 which he literally failed to utilize which made them go for Shreyas at no.4/no.5. Manish can at least be considered to have missed his train. Just exclusion of Shikar gives so much clarity but it fathoms how selectors could not see it nor have any vision towards building a good T20 side. But for-2007 T20WC( that victory was by no surprise was won by a squad where the obvious bias was not involved in the selection) the selection of Squad & playing 11 was just so Indian isn’t it.
  • On the all-rounder selection part, the selectors have been brave & thoughtful call is made overall. The retention of Washingon Sundar & Kurnal Pandya is a good sign. Inclusion of Shivam Dube looks to be a refreshing move, he had an ordinary IPL but post that in domestic & India A circuit has shown promising signs. He is a powerful lad who can smack few blows but his game awareness & temperament at the international level would be tested. Jadeja looks to have been rested but it will be interesting to see how will Indian team accommodate him with Kurnal and Sundar in 15 moving forward.
  • The wrist-spinner selection also looks questionable why do you need two right arm leg spinner in Chahal & Rahul Chahar. It would have made more sense for Kuldeep to have been in place ahead of Chahal. Considering Chahal with his experience is an automatic choice and Rahul Chahar is tried for better variation & has a point to prove.
  • But away from the bizarre six top 3 batters selection the worst of this selection could be seen in the recall of Shradul Thakur. As Bhumrah is not available I was expecting Bhuvi to be in the team. Also with Deepak Chahar in team it is evident you have a good opening bowler in him but you need a proper death over that is where this selection of Thakur baffles everyone. Bhuvi having not played many games in the recent past should have been selected only if injury scare can be the reason here.  Shradul Thakur has zero skills to bowl at death so what is the point of trusting him in t20 format? This brings a question on if Khaleel will be trusted as the guy to do the job to reduce the damage at the tail end of the innings? He is still very young and had a mixed outing in the international circuit, it would be asking too much of him. In the bowling department if Bhuvi is rested for an experiment, then what stops resting of Shikar or Rohit to properly test & find replacements for batting unit which has been a concern for years in this format?(Except Virat & Rohit to some extent none have lived up to the expectation nor won us games).This is either a biased selection policy or lack of vision to find & address the underlying issues.

Overall as much as the introduction of a few new faces & retention of few young players are the positives. The poor strategy on selecting too many top 3 players, not having an eye for replacements overshadows the good moves made.

The selectors & team management needs to open their eyes big time to ensure we build a strong squad & proper playing 11 in the build-up towards the WC, it cannot be again a team depending on two players in the batting department to shine. Only if they succeed in doing so we will get past the final hurdle in ICC events something which has been a constant issue in the last 5-6 years. This squad is not just for 2020 WC as there is back to back WC by 2021 in-home soil for the Indian team. The vision seems to be bleak but one can only hope with Ganguly as BCCI head he looks into it with a different view to ring in some changes. #bcci #teamselection #indiansquad #IndVsBan

India Vs South Africa 2nd Test Post Match Analysis

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India beat South Africa by an innings and 137 runs in Pune to take unassailable 2-0 lead in the Freedom series, the second test was more or less the same as the first test, to make it worse the game ended well inside 4th day even though the track still remained true for batting till 1st session of 4th days play, so it can be marked again as a one-sided affair.

Though Proteas made a sensible change to their playing 11 with 3 pacer combination, both Philander & Nortje failed to give any support to Rabada on a track that did offer some assistance for quick bowlers when the ball was hard & new. On the other side, their spinners once again failed to impress as they looked flat all along, Day 1 is not the easiest to bowl for them but on Day 2 they still never looked like creating a wicket taking opportunity, something which would have hurt them on a personal level and as a unit. To add more salt to their wound a complete abysmal show from the batting unit made it far too easy for this Indian team to breeze past them to victory. The track offered was perfect due to many reasons. For starters, it had something for the quick bowlers on Day 1 to exploit, it remained true for more than 6 sessions which have enough opportunities for batters to score and even on 4th day the track did not crumble but it started to offer more for spinners which made it an Ideal Subcontinent wicket. The competition between bat & ball was even, Faf & co knows there is no excuse to call for now. In fact, both the test matches were played on balanced pitches by no means they were rank turners.

The only point that will be up for debate would be the toss factor, it again went in favor of the home side. But still, you need to make the most of the given opportunity isn’t it and the Indian team did that by putting up 600 runs on the board. Had th Proteas got the option to bat first they would have done the same? Not certain considering the way they crumbled in both the innings when the pitch did not behave a lot different, but they might have been in the game much longer. Having said that this track by far had no demons to stumble on to an innings defeat, there was lack of intent & application from Faf & co which was shown in both the innings as Maharaj & Philander pair stood apart as an example to show what it takes to play long innings.

At the end of this test match, Virat and his men have lot of positives to take with the likes of Umesh Yadav coming back into the team to hit the ground running with wickets, Saha was outstanding behind the stumps, Jadeja the all rounder looks to have come of ages he has now earned the title to be called as all-rounder, Virat himself got his first 250+ 11 innings due for a hundred he made it a big daddy hundred to shown again what a class act he is and finally the bowling unit is hunting as a pack. This series is not about just Indian spinners running all over with wickets, the pacemen have also equally contributed by chipping in important breakthroughs at the top order with short but firey spells. One area of concern would be cleaning the tail, something Virat will be aware of.

Speaking of South African camp, they will be dejected. There can’t be many positives to look back considering the margin of defeat. But if they want to take something out of the game they can look at Rabada’s spell, not just his wickets but every time he got to bowl he troubled the Indian batsmen. He gave his all unfortunate not to have the support from other end.  The Maharaj&Philander partnership saved them from flat out embarrassment. Away from that, their batting unit looked no better than any Domestic team but the biggest concern was again as a bowling unit struggled & failed to taken 10 wickets to close out the innings this will the biggest concern for Faf. You just don’t win test matches unless you bowl out the opposition.

Any team coming into Indian soil and they allow the host nation to score 450+ in 1st Innings the game is 50% over and they will be chasing the game from thereon. Only salvation from there would be a draw to do so they must have the talent to bad out their skins for long hours, something this South African unit can’t as they lack the experience with talent pool also not looking good enough. Faf did mention during his Post-match press conference about the lack of experience his team is suffering from by losing the like of ABD, Amla, Morkel & Steyn in a year’s time. Indeed it is serious blow as they were the vital clog of their test team for years in contributing big time for their victories in away games in particular. But the bigger concern for them is lack of talent in Domestic circuit to depend on except for Markaram & to some extent Temba though both did not turn up this series apart from them can’t see the much of talent in the horizon. Where are the likes of next ABD’s or Amla’s? One of the main reasons for this is the increasing plage of Kolpak deals in that part of the world.  If this continues the Proteas might also fall behind as cricketing nation the similar way West Indies fell in the last decade and Srilanka in last 5 years. #IndiaVsSouthAfrica #Freedomseries #ViratKohli

 

 

 

 

Freedom Series 2nd test Day 1 Review

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The second test of Freedom series between India & South Africa started yesterday at MCA stadium in Pune. Virat Kohli on his 50th test won the toss and opted to bat first to no one’s surprise. The Pitch looked & played out to be a hard surface there was enough pace & carry which would have sure excited the South African unit.

There was 1 change in the line up for both the teams, something I did predict in my last post while analyzing the outcome of 1st test match, I was so close to being correct.  India opted for 5 bowlers strategy but having looked at the hard surface it was Umesh inn for Vihari, not Kuldeep. South Africans did the expected by going back to their strength bto bring in the 3rd seemer in Anrich Nortje & dropped Dan Peidt. It was a little surprise for two reasons Nortje ahead of Nigidi and the off-spinner dropped ahead of Muthuswamy who looked to have retained his place more for his batting credentials as he hardly did anything with the ball in hand. Also with Maharaj being your primary spinner why have another left-arm orthodox in Muthuswamy? It looked a very defensive move from Faf, showing less faith in his batsmen.

The first hour of the game was the purest form of test cricket, there was pace & carry, the combination of Rabada and Philander made the most of it. Both Rohit & Mayank were tested, they were beaten a few times but with some luck, Mayank survived and Rohit couldn’t. He got a Peach of a delivery from Rabada to nick one behind to decock.  A little bit of a lively track was Rohit’s technique found out? too early to answer but he would be slightly disappointed not to continue his form. Pujara came in at no.3, before getting off the mark he survived a sharp chance at forward short-leg as Temba Bavuma couldn’t hold on to it of Rabada’s bowling. Overall initial hour of play belonged to the Proteas. But post that Pujara & Mayank steadied the ship with a solid partnership, once Rabada was out of the attack, Faf & co looked flat. On day one track Maharaj got no big assistance with likes of Nortje he has express pace but bowled too full or short to conceded quick runs which did shift the game into balance. Indian went into Lunch with no more damage done.

Post lunch session began with Faf not opting to Rabada for more than an hour, it surprised many even Graeme Smith up there in com box pleading for his introduction. On the other hand, Mayank & Pujara slowly laid a solid foundation by latching up their 100 run partnership. As a pair, they attacked the spinners to make the most of the conditions on offer. By the time Rabada was brought in both the batters made it past 50 & Mayank was well into his 70’s. But the man with the golden arm struck a vital blow, as he removed the set Pujara, he nicked one behind to Faf in first slip, the carry to slip would have made the Proteas feel more at home. This wicket was crucial as the Partnership was taking the game away from them.  On the back of the wicket, Mayank raised to his Century in sublime fashion, his second in his short career and second consecutive hundred in back to back test games. He is turning out to be a class act, just turned 29 if he could continue to score at this rate will eventually play a big part in this team for the next 5-6 years. Virat, on the other hand, had an unusual slow start, maybe suggesting the track is not easy for the new batsman walking in.  Just as the partnership was trying to grow Rabada once again struck gold by removing the well-set centurian Mayank, he nicked one as Faf took a sharp catch at first slip. The scoreboard read 198-3, everyone expected the Proteas to smell blood there and attack for a few more quick wickets. But to everone’s surprise again Faf took Rabada off the attack which eventually allowed Virat & Rahane to settle inn. They both took India into the post-tea session.

The post-tea session began as Faf refused to bring in Rabada into the game. Virat started to flourish as he started to rotate strike then took the attack to Maharaj & Muthuswamy to score more freely. Rahane played watchful innings to settle down at the other end. The Partnership helped India go past 250. Now with no other option to turn to Faf had to look for Rabada to do the magic, but it looked a little late to get him in for a decent spell as the light started to fade out.  At the stroke of 85th over with scored board reading 273/3 the umpires called off the day’s play due to bad light. The game is still in the balance but one could say India holds a slight upper hand as they have wickets in hand and are close to 300.

At the end of the day out of the two captains, Virat would be the happier one. Opted to bat on Day 1 track, with score little less than 300 with just 3 wickets down he couldn’t have asked for more. It would be a contrasting story on the Proteas camp they would think on the lost opportunity to push India on the back foot when Rabada stuck twice in quick time to remove both well-settled batsmen. To add to it Faf didn’t use his best bowler of the day to good effect, he stopped rabada’s spell whenever he got wickets & looked raring to go. Had he been kept on the attack whenever new batsmen came in, there is every chance Southafrica might be on the driver’s seat.

With the test well-poised Day 2 should be an exciting contest starting in a few hours’ time.  #IndVsSA #Freedomseries #GandhiMandelaseries

 

 

 

Perfect Curtain Opener for the Indian Home season as Rohit makes twin ton to restart his test career.

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Indian home season got off to a perfect start as Virat lead Indian team thumped South Africa team by 203 runs to win the 1st test match of Freedom series in Visakhapatnam.

The Margin of defeat actually does not reflect the game played across 5 days, to be honest. This South African team gave a good fight they did show grit & resistance than many expected.  But they were simply outplayed by a better team who are too good at home conditions. Many would agree to the fact that there are not many teams around the world that could come to Indian soil & push the home team on the backfoot in test cricket then let alone speak about winning a test match or the series. The last 6 years home record speaks for itself.

But having said that, as an unbiased cricket fan I must admit that on a few occasions in the last 6 years Indian team were provided tailor-made tracks in home games. Couple glaring examples would be the entire test series in 2015 against South Africa which I believe literally broke the Proteas confidence & moral. They came with a record of not having not lost an away series in 6 or 7 years if I am right and was made to face a near washout if not for the Bangalore rain-curtailed game with series ending 3-0 in the favor of Indian team.  Another example was the first two-game of the 2017 series against Australia. In the first game, the Indian team got embarrassed in Pune with a record defeat but were able to undo the mistake very next game in Bangalore.   The one factor that was common on both above said examples were, the tracks which were offered were rank turners or even can be called as minefields. The ball started to turn from day 1, so it was not a fair contest between bad & ball also it must be agreed that there was too much of a home advantage being exerted.

However, the track offered on Visakhapatnam for this series opener was nothing as compared to those rank turners. In fact, it had so many runs on offer & even on day 5 it was not turning square. It must be said this was a level playing field for both the teams and proper competition between bat & ball. But how much does the toss have an effect on the outcome of the game? Something to debate for but it has been the case ever since international cricket was played. Had South Africa won the toss to bat first the result would have been different? Not sure but looking at the way things panned out it would have been a lot more of a tight contest on day 5.

If we analyze the game from a bird’s eye view the first 3 days were the best to bat as there was very little to no movement on offer for pacers and no big spin on offer. To add to it the slow nature of the track made sure it was in favor of the batsmen to pill up on the runs. But to do that the batters need to access the condition right and get set as the track did not have the pace to hit through the line. Both Indian openers did that to perfection as they laid the foundation with 300+ record-breaking partnership. Mayank showed how valuable domestic cricket is to play long innings as he converted his first century into a double hundred and with Rohit played a power pack 176. From there it was known to South Africa that they were going to play catch up game for the remaining of the test match. The Indian innings ended with Virat declaring at 502/7 with few overs left for the close of day 2. The South Africans had to play out the nervy few overs before the close of the day, as expected they crumbled with Indian team picking up 3 quick wickets by end of Day 2 with the Score not even reaching 50 on board. The star of the First two days was undoubtedly Mayank and Rohit.

 

But to everyone’s surprise, Day3 turned out to be anything but unexpected. South African team showed strong resilience & grit. As much as a surprise it was for many, the one aspect which did not surprise me was Dean Elgar’s innings.  I have always admired his grit & temperament to score tough runs on challenging conditions. The record speaks for itself, he has carried his bat to end of the innings 2 or 3 times to date which is not an easy achievement by any measure for an opening batsman. The surprise package was Decock quickfire innings of 111, he looked out of sorts last time he played against India in their backyard. But we saw a totally different approach from him. His innings ensure the Proteas stayed in the game when many though with fall of Faf wicket it was all over for them. Decock & some valuable runs for tailenders go them to 430 odd runs on the board, which was a respectable position considering no team score 400+ batting second against India for the last 6 years I believe.  Decock and Elgar stood out for the proteas but Ashwin picked up 7 wickets to show how valuable he is on such conditions. It was a pleasing moment to watch him come back into the team with a powerpack performance.

After a resounding fight on Day 3, the Proteas were expected to be fired up to test the Indian batters to make a match out of what they have got. As the day progressed it looked like Faf & his men had no strategy or Game plan to take then game to the Indian team. Rohit & Pujara started to stitch a brief partnership but a slow one there were few chances & nervy moments in the beginning but South Africans failed to capitalize on it. Once Pujara spent some time on the field he started to counter-attack, which was the first nail in the coffin for Proteas. Rohit then took the game away with his attacking game and also reached remarkable feet by scoring twin ton on his first Test as the opening batter. The first-ever opener to ever achieve such. His innings ensured India could take a lead of 400 runs well before the close of 4th day & even have the Proteas face few nervy overs. Overall by the end of the 4th day’s play, the South African team lost their most reliable batter in Elgar cheaply and had an uphill task of saving the test with an entire day 5 to playout which for sure daunted them. Rohit once again was the Star of the day also was equally supported by Pujara.

The first hour of Day 5 turned out to be the worst hour for the Protea. We could say an hour of Poor cricket & to face the best Second inning pacer in the world with the likes of Shami on a relatively variable bounce of the 5th-day track was the final nail in the coffin for them. South Africa’s middle-order flattered to deceive as they crumbled cheaply only for their tailenders to show some resistance and take the game past Lunch session. But the task much too much for Muthuswamy & Dan Peidt as they eventually folded post Lunch.  The stars of this innings were Shami & Jadeja.

 

So the overall verdict for this game is that the Track on offer was a level playing surface it was anyone’s game till day 3. Though South Africa was on the back foot from the time India score 500 in 1st innings there were never out of the game by any stretch till the end of day 3 which is a positive sign for the Proteas camp. They might look back at the first session of Day 4 & Day 5 to think had we bowled & batted better could we have got something out of the game.

 

Take away & issues to fix for South Africa:

As much as it makes sense, their biggest issue is on both innings they could not even come near to get all 10 wickets. Their spinners looked out of sorts there was no penetration. They have a big decision to make, would they still trust to go with 3 spinners for next game though except for Maharaj other two looked like partime spinner or they are better of to bring the likes of Lungi nigidi as the 3rd pacer. Decock & Den Elgar were the shining light but the rest of their batting looked clueless at times. Overall they can be happy for putting up a fight but must accept the fact that they have a lot of shortcomings to address very quickly if they to turn around the series.

Take away & issues to fix for India: I

t was a complete performance by the Indian team. They were clinical with both bat & ball in hand. The biggest individual contributor takeaway for sure is Rohit Sharma’s avatar as Test opener, Ashwin’s come back into his own mold. At this point, no big fix is required, but a debate of Playing 5 bowlers might be a question in mind for Virat. Considering the solidity of our batting order & also it looks like for this series the tracks on offer won’t be rank turners, so the 4 bowlers strategy might cause some heavy workload for the bowlers. The team management might consider Kuldeep to come in for Vihari. It would be hard on Vihari but if there is going to be a change that is the only likely one to happen unless some injury or unavailability of a player pops up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pant Punches above his weight to show he has got it.

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Many experts and people have started or will speak about Pant being there to finish today and will praise him calling he was left out of WC in a unfair manner.

So let’s keep that aside. For me the one aspect which made me like about his game the same thing I felt he was missing in every innings he played in his IPL or international limited overs career till today was the ability to find gaps to rotate strike & push for double from the word go when there is a opportunity. In a nut shell he did not slog & calculated the chase. Also the best part was he respected archer & Gopal to a great extent and only tried to score of their loose deliveries.

He is just 21 as he goes by he will learn. I have said it before that he suits more for opening slot still I say it. he is best suited in opening slot for shortest format at least. But if he does not get that spot looking at his innings today gives a hope that he can be sensible to find gaps to rotate strike & go for big shots when needed.

But let’s not forget this is a flat track where you can play on the rise. I would like to see him play such role in a challenging Delhi or Chennai track. When I say this I don’t mean to ask him play similar type of innings with 200+ S.R. But a similar sensible innings but scoring according to the conditions and still able to guide the team in chase or even help them out decent total on board. Not taking any credit away from him but with the talent he does posses to be the next big thing in Indian cricket he needs to do this more on different conditions more consistently.

#IPL #Pant #DC #RRvsDC

Expected Indian Squad for World Cup 2019:

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As we know today it a big day in Indian cricket as the selection committee headed by M.S.K Prasad is about to announce the 15 member Squad for World cup 2019. Here is the Predicted Squad,

For the below 12 members select them self based on performance or form and team balance,

1.Virat Kohli (C)
2.Rohit Sharma (VC)
3.Shikar Dhawan
4.MS Dhoni
5.Kedar Jadhav
6.Hardik Pandya
7.Bhuvaneshwar Kumar
8.Mohammed Shami
9.Kuldeep Yadhav
10.Jasprit Bumrah
11.Yazvendra Chahal
12.KL Rahul

The first 11 is surely based on performance and form in recent past. But KL did not get enough chance to prove his place as 3rd opener but he is our best option as we have not tried anyone else in last few years so his selection as backup opener becomes a no brainier

Now comes the interesting part where there is scope to discuss about and some tough decisions are to be taken to fill the last 3 spots to make the 15.

Backup Keeper(Dinesh Karthik): As we all know the two names are DK and Pant. Both given the limited opportunity were not able to prove their mantel so an outright choice could not be made. But if a logical decision to be made then to me DK comes ahead of Pant here. The reason is DK has been assigned role of finisher also keeping in Kedar fitness we would need a finisher at no.6 for backup and DK has done it for us also he has the game to do it. On the other hand Pant is not sure what his role is yet. one thing is for sure he is certainly not a no.4 or no.5 in Odi format at least for now his game has not evolved yet. He was never tested as finisher either. Also experience of DK would help him so he gets the cut for me.

No.4 conundrum(Rayadu— Selectors choice Shankar— My choice): The vital spot in middle order which was not taken care by Indian team for years. So it would be either Rayadu or Shankar. On one hand Rayadu has been tested in the spot but have not yielded expected results against big teams. In other hand Shankar looked impressive while playing as no.5 or no.6 but never tested as no.4. But we fans and experts are the only people vouching for him to be slotted there, so not sure if team management is even having thoughts of this move. If we go by the traditional Indian selection mindset approach Rayadu will be in. But my choice will be Shankar he looks more versatile might even switch MS to 4 and Shankar to 5.

Extra bowler(Jadeja): This spot is for the extra bowler. It looks to me Jadeja will be the choice to fill this spot. Not sure if we have any good fourth seamer to choose, so jaddu the fielding all rounder will the cut. But if they want to go with a fourth quick then Khallel is the choice they might make as he has been the best among the worst.

So Predicted 15:

1.Virat Kohli (C)
2.Rohit Sharma (VC)
3.Shikar Dhawan
4.MS Dhoni
5.Kedar Jadhav
6.Hardik Pandya
7.Bhuvaneshwar Kumar
8.Mohammed Shami
9.Kuldeep Yadhav
10.Jasprit Bumrah
11.Yazvendra Chahal
12.KL Rahul
13.Dinesh Karthik
14.Rayadu
15.Jadeja

Stand by: Vijay Shankar

My 15 Squad:

1.Virat Kohli (C)
2.Rohit Sharma (VC)
3.Shikar Dhawan
4.MS Dhoni
5.Kedar Jadhav
6.Hardik Pandya
7.Bhuvaneshwar Kumar
8.Mohammed Shami
9.Kuldeep Yadhav
10.Jasprit Bumrah
11.Yazvendra Chahal
12.KL Rahul
13.Dinesh Karthik
14.Vijay Shankar
15.Jadeja

Stand by: Khallel Ahmed

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