ibnlive » Blogs

Thursday , May 24, 2012

Where are India's Twenty20 bowlers?


0IBNLive IBNLive Google Buzz

When India chased down a mammoth 320 runs in just 36.3 overs against Sri Lanka in Hobart earlier this year, a mammoth, unprecedented feat had been achieved. Virat Kohli, the star of the match, had later revealed that this had been made possible by breaking down the chase into two Twenty20 matches. Scoring 160 in 20 overs had been par for the course and hence the pressure never really got to the team. That was remarkable thinking and reason enough for the experts to hail the shortest format of the game which had indeed provided another dimension to 50-over cricket, and to the Indian cricketers. The Indian batsmen, having played a crucial role in the world's biggest Twenty20 tournament, the IPL, have now begin to treat chasing 10 an over with irreverence. That's one of the biggest gifts of the IPL to Indian cricket, the nerve to....


Wednesday, May 09, 2012

IPL transfer window needs a financial cap


0IBNLive IBNLive Google Buzz

Kings XI Punjab skipper Adam Gilchrist thinks the IPL is gradually becoming a league of 'haves' and 'have-nots' - is his concern realistic, or is he just being overly critical? His appeal to find a level playing field for all teams, monetarily, could be brushed aside by the cynics as a case of sour grapes - Kings XI could not find the money to buy players at the auctions due to their impending court case. Or, one could also argue, that IPL, or any league for that matter, isn't supposed to be equal. Aren't Manchester United and Real Madrid the best teams in their leagues because they have the deepest pockets, and hence best players? So, what's the fuss to make a level playing field for all the teams in the IPL - parity could make the sport boring because the fun of following a sport is in the presence....


Thursday , April 26, 2012

IPL is more than a hit and a giggle


0IBNLive IBNLive Google Buzz

IPL 5 may not have garnered the same TRP as the first three seasons but the cricket has been very entertaining thus far. It's been three weeks and the pre-tournament favourites like the Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore have fallen more often than expected, while the dark horses like the Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals have started looking like making it to the play-offs. The lesser known players too, like Shahbaz Nadeem, Parvinder Awana, etc., have taken centre stage. The unpredictability of the T20 format has started to come to the fore. Besides this, there's something else that ought to catch everyone's eye. Unlike the previous seasons, this time around, some of the legends of the game, who have lost contact with top-flight cricket, are finding it tough to keep up with the demands of T20 cricket. Gilchrist has looked a pale shadow of the....


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Leave the switch-hit legal, at batsman's peril


0IBNLive IBNLive Google Buzz

Even though it is believed that Mushtaq Mohammad was the first man to play the reverse-sweep way back in the 1970s, it took almost an eternity for this extravagant shot to be a part of the modern cricketer's repertoire. Even in the current era when a lot of players have started practicing this shot in the nets, only a handful of batsmen have managed to master this stroke. Most batsmen try to refrain from playing the reverse sweep unless push comes to shove. It is not only a difficult shot to execute and control but also extremely risky. It takes a lot of effort to make your arms/hands work in a completely opposite direction to the one you practice each day, which is the bottom hand following the top hand. Most strokes that a batsman plays follow the basic principal of the top hand setting the play in motion....


Thursday , March 29, 2012

State of domestic cricket venues is pathetic


0IBNLive IBNLive Google Buzz

Even though players from the first-class circuit have been fretting over the abysmal conditions in domestic cricket for years now, it took a bitter remark from Harbhajan Singh to draw everyone's attention. He found "the condition of the outfield shocking, making sliding and diving while fielding a huge risk." He was representing Punjab during the Vijay Hazare Trophy and seemed completely taken aback by the sorry state of affairs. About three years ago, during a first-class match, my team was told to refrain from using spikes on practice surfaces. When we inquired the reason behind such an absurd order, we were told that the pitches in the practice arena would deteriorate beyond repair if we played with spikes on. That was rather bizarre. The fact that we were preparing for the domestic Twenty20 tournament and were expected to play with spikes in the matches was of no importance.....


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What makes a player Dravid-like?


0IBNLive IBNLive Google Buzz

It took Rahul Dravid's retirement to force us out of our slumber. Crucial questions like 'who would clinch No.3?' and 'who would be the next Dravid?' are beginning to surface only now as India find themselves in the lurch. Ironically, the same voices, vehemently campaigning for his retirement, are now looking for a Dravid clone. Unfortunately though, in the midst of all this talk surrounding the new No.3, the larger, more critical point has been missed - 'What makes a player Dravid-like?' What is it that made Dravid, 'Dravid'? Whoever aspires to fill that void now, must realize, that Rahul Dravid wasn't just a name, but a whole philosophy. Live like a monk Even on days when there wasn't a cricket match the next day, Dravid would still prefer to follow a set routine, including hitting the sack early and waking up early too. This meant that he didn't....


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Indian cricket must accept it needs improving


0IBNLive IBNLive Google Buzz

Statistics are known to hide a lot more than they reveal, yet when they do the talking, they can be pretty unforgiving. A look at India's report card overseas, since June 2011, tells us just that. Two whitewashes in England and Australia made the score line 0-8 in Test matches, while a whitewash in England and a below-average performance in the CB Series in Australia made it 3-7 in ODIs with two tied games. Post the England debacle, the 'wise men' made us believe that it was the players' injuries that had marred our chances and that India's appalling performance overseas was merely an aberration. Little did we realize then, that even if injuries had played spoilsport, we still needed to work on our bench strength. After all, good teams don't mull over the personnel they are missing, for they always have able replacements ready. Did Australia miss Shane Warne....


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vijay Hazare, Deodhar Trophies need restructuring


0IBNLive IBNLive Google Buzz

The 'wise men' have a tough job at hand, for once. The onus of curative action after India's abysmal showing overseas now lies solely with them. With India dismantling the Sri Lankan attack in a crucial game of the CB Series, there is every chance of a warped sense of satisfaction to seep in. We must realize though, that everything is not right with Indian cricket just yet. Good sense must claim superiority in picking up the right personnel for the upcoming Asia Cup, keeping in mind the experiences from the last two foreign tours. But, with most current players hopping out of form, where do the selectors look for change? One answer would be domestic cricket - specifically, the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the national 50-over tournament, currently under way. Good performances in first-class cricket ought to be rewarded with the right breaks, and as far as one can....


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Jadeja in the second phase of his career


0IBNLive IBNLive Google Buzz

Thanks to the IPL auctions, Ravinder Jadeja has become the latest million-dollar baby of Indian cricket. Teams fought with each other to procure his services for the fifth edition of the IPL and eventually Chennai Super kings outbid the rest in a secret ballot. Life seems to have come a full circle for Jadeja-not too long ago he was crucified by one and sundry for his inability to hit sixes while batting lower down the order, which eventually led to his exclusion from the side. The fact that he was contributing with the ball and also in the field didn't matter much. Team India had found a better player in Yusuf Pathan, who then replaced him in the World Cup. Jadeja had to reinvent his batting and discover the fifth gear. He did that and a lot more in the fourth edition of the IPL. He cleared the fence with....


Saturday , February 18, 2012

Sehwag at the crossroads


0IBNLive IBNLive Google Buzz

Thanks to the rotation policy adopted by the Indians, Virender Sehwag is most likely to return to the playing XI against Australia at Brisbane. Gautam Gautam and Sachin Tendulkar have already shown signs of being 'in form'. Hence, the pressure of bouncing back has shifted on to Sehwag, however much we'd like to play it down. He ought to, in this last leg of the league phase, make the most of the chances he gets in order to stay relevant in the latter half of the tournament. It would be fair to assume that India would like to field the 'in-form' XI in the business end of the tournament and Sehwag, in his current form, seems to be the weakest link. There should be no doubt about whether Sehwag can turn it around. He indisputably can; how is the big question. Allow me to digress here....


IBNLiveIBNLive
IBN7IBN7

More about Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra is the 245th Indian to represent India in Test Cricket. A batsman in the traditional mould, he played 10 Tests for the country in 2003-04, and has played over 120 first-class matches. He is considered one of the best close-in fielders India has produced after the legendary Eknath Solkar. Chopra made a formidable opening combination with Virender Sehwag, which was believed to be one of the reasons for India's success in Australia and Pakistan in 2003-04. A grand total of 783 runs came off Chopra's bat in Delhi's title-winning Ranji Trophy in 2007-08. Chopra currently plays for the Rajasthan Royals of the Indian Premier League and represents Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy, after having played for Delhi for over a decade. He also amassed a massive total of 734 runs in Rajasthan’s Ranji victory in the year 2010-11. In 2009, Chopra turned author with Beyond the Blues: A First-Class Season Like No Other. The book garnered critical appreciation while Cricket Pundits like Suresh Menon claimed it to be "the best book written by an Indian test cricketer” in his review for www.cricinfo.com. Aakash continues to tell the story of Indian cricket, its frustrations and fantasies, through his popular weekly column in The Hindustan Times, www.yahoo.com, www.cricketnext.com, sports magazines and through various TV shows.
IBN7IBN7

IBN7IBN7
IBNLiveIBNLive