Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Legends don't retire

I was in no mood to pen down anything after witnessing a one sided affair between Lankan Lions and Proteas but this is the picture seen on social media that has forced me to pay a tribute to both the legends Mahela and Sanga.

It took almost 23 Years for South Africa to put a full stop on its knockout hoodoo. RSA has become the first team to enter Semi Final of the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. Kumar Sangakkara and Jayawardene wouldn't have expected such a retirement !

One must really feel for Sanga and Mahela....why mostly legends end their careers in a tragedy! Be it Dravid, Sourav, Sachin or Ponting .

The leading run scorer of world cup (541 runs in 7 matches) with four consecutive centuries was looking annoyed at the other end while no one stayed to "make it a day" memorable for them.

Cricket has produced many greats and pair across International arena but the jodi of Mahela & Sanga will always be remembered as the greatest ambassador of cricket.

The pair of Sourav- Sachin had also enjoyed many more success but personally i feel watching this pair bat was eye soothing. There is a common saying that Legends don't retire and same is the case with this pair.

Sri Lanka takes the 'C' word from South Africa :
The first quarter-final between the two more schizophrenic teams of the tournament yielded a below expected result, perhaps we as an spectator were looking for some fight, grit and determination from both sides but the unnecessary experiment costed SL a home ticket.

It was looking that they have taken back the most talked tag of chokers "C" from Proteas. I am still thinking that has SA really brushed aside the tags of chokers by chasing down the shortest World Cup knockout target of 133. We will have to wait for the Semis now..May the best team win.

On big days, you are looking for early signs that everything is going to be all right. Too much experiment sometimes yields the worst result for you. If you can remind April 02, 2011(Final) an experiment at the wee hours of game was introduced by SLankan side in that match also.

2007 (Final) , 2011 (Final) and 2015 (QF) SL has been the most consistent team in big tournaments but the irony they  couldn't win it.

Sri Lanka tried all sorts of verbal gamesmanship. introducing debutant offspinner Tharindu Kaushal as a "duplicate Murali" and "mystery spinner". They made mystery moves, too. Kusal Perera was asked to open although Lahiru Thirimanne had scored 261 runs at the top of the order this World Cup.

A small margin of error brought an exit for Srilankans and disappointment for the most passionate Srilankan fans but the two legends will be missed in ODIs.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

World Cup 2015 : Three more hurdles !

'It's a six....Dhoni finishes in style ! India after 28 years lifts the world cup and the party begins in Mumbai' these were the words of Ravi Shahstri way back on April 02, 2011.

India team is three games away to win the heart of 1.252 billion people and it will have to face three more hurdles to write the history.

As an avid fan of cricket we cherished the moment most because I was no where in 1983.

6th Match of ICC World cup 2015 @Seddon Park (Hamilton)... again it was MS finishing with a six but it was a group match ! Perhaps Dhoni has got the habit of finishing the games with winning runs. Stat portrays him the best captain India has ever produced.

First and foremost before reading this piece i wanna assure you that ; this is not a negative thought but a precaution to the team which may help to bring glory and pride to the Nation again.

Probably India captain MS Dhoni doesn't follow much into stats and records as he can be seen saying but this world cup is pouring many more stats in his kitty. MS became the topmost ODI skipper for India as he lead his side to his 176th game as skipper, against Zimbawe in their Pool B match.

He surpassed former skipper Sourav Ganguly as the most successful Indian captain in terms of ODI victories achieved on foreign shores. A win over Zimbabwe was his 60th victory on foreign soil. Even in the lexicon of cricket pandits Team India has become 'the favorites' in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 !

Once the weak and talking point of team India slowly and steadily has become the strength. Kudos to those bowlers who got a "dramatic change" from nowhere down under to taking 60 wickets in six matches except some run outs ! I have rarely seen Indian bowlers bowling with 135-145 km/h speed. These feel very pleasant to eyes.

Team India is on Seventh moon with 10th consecutive World cup win on a trot and 6th win on a trot in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, bowling out the opponent and taking 60th wicket when Umesh Yadav scalped his 10th wicket.

Forget talking stats too was somewhere diving in stats...Here comes the knock out stage and this team probably needs a little bit introspection before going for it. There are still some weak points that needs to be focused.

Team India has outplayed, oufielded and outbowled every single opponent in group matches. There is no dearth of doubt that ' For Men in blue the journey from being sidelined to becoming the favourites' is more than a fairytale. But there are some stats, some strong and some weak points for team India before they march to knock out ! Team India has reached at a stage where even a margin of error can be lethal.

(a) Rohit Sharma's Form :
He may be the first man on planet who has scored two double hundreds in ODIs but for me he is still struggling to middle the ball out of the park in the ongoing world cup. He is player of more caliber than making some runs against the teams like Ireland and Afghanistan.Wish he would come good in next matches India will play.

(b) No plan 'B' or 'C'
A team winning the event like world cup is a milestone in itself. For me this team has no genuine all rounder as it was Yuvi in last world cup held in 2011. Team India looks devoid and bamboozled when their bowlers are being attacked. 75 Runs conceded by Ashwin in his ten overs, the most he has ever conceded in an ODI while Jadeja ended  with a figure of 10-0-71-0. For me these stats may prove vital against  the likes of Kiwis and Aussies. India hardly looks with plan B or C on the field. Don't know why i am saying this ? A match can be won by one-player isn't it but why eleven players then.

(c). Sir Jadeja a consistent headache :
Fondly called "SIR Jadeja" by tea mates and MS himself Ravindra Jadeja has proved out to be nothing, 6 Matches so far 18 runs after batting in 4 games and took 7 wickets after bolwing 48.4 overs. Why the much talked Sturat Binny is not in the team, bcz Dhoni lacks trust in him or no Axar Patel (as an all rounder). Where is the young team, the new team with fresh bloods.

Forget it .....the captain is as good as his team is ! You can't put everything under carpet. The team only gets praise till it is winning....Everyone will start raising questions once or a while perhaps it will fail in any of the knock out matches. Perhaps Ms would be able to pick those middle stamps as souvenir.

Fingers crossed....! not as a fan but fanatic Wish this team to win just three more games QF, SF and Final to bring the glory and pride for a cricket crazy nation. India...India !


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