Posts tagged ‘latest cricket news’

July 6, 2011

India aim to end Caribbean trip on a high

Roseau (Dominica): Out of form young batsmen seem to be India`s only concern as they aim to sign off their Caribbean sojourn on a high by clinching the third and final cricket Test against the West Indies, starting on Wednesday.

The Indians, leading the three-match series 1-0, may have to make some changes to their batting line-up on a Windsor Park track which is expected to offer pace and bounce.

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has ensured a continuation of his unbeaten record in a Test series but he would have to take a call if Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli are to get yet another chance after their disastrous outings so far in the Caribbean.

The two already have the writing on the wall as they haven`t been picked for the series against England, starting in mid-July.

While Vijay has hurt his position with an aggregate of 22 runs (5.50 avg) from the four innings of two matches, Kohli has done no better than 46 runs (11.50) and is only now realising the vast chasm between a limited overs and a longer format game.

Vijay`s nemesis has been Ravi Rampaul who has got him in all the four innings while Kohli has found Fidel Edwards too hot to handle, having been dismissed by the Barbadian in three of the four innings he has batted.

India needs their replacement as the West Indies` new ball bowlers have had the complete measure of these two young batsmen.

Thus Parthiv Patel and Subramaniam Badrinath can fancy their chances in the final Test if Dhoni prefers to reshuffle his cards.

Both Patel and Badrinath have had little batting since the one-day series ended, more so with the Chennai batsman who wasn`t picked for the last ODI in Jamaica and has been out of action for three weeks.

Interestingly, the choice is not as straightforward as it seems. Badrinath played two Tests against South Africa at home 16 months ago and aggregated a meagre 63 runs (21.00 avg), having been claimed by speedster Dale Steyn in two of his three innings.

Patel has played just 20 Tests since first turning out for India against England at Trent Bridge nine seasons ago. He last played a Test against Sri Lanka three years ago.

His career statistics of 683 runs (29.70) aren`t too pretty either. But such has been the disintegration of Vijay and Kohli that Dhoni would be tempted to replace them, more so since the pitch for the final Test could again have his batsmen`s trial by fire. If Dhoni persists with Vijay and Kohli, with the realisation that they are better bets for future than either Patel or Badrinath, he would have no such hesitation in replacing Abhimanyu Mithun with Munaf Patel who himself hasn`t played a Test for over two years, despite his limited overs heroics this year.

West Indies, if anything, are in a bigger batting mess than India.

While India has turned to experienced Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman to bail them out in the two Tests, West Indies haven`t had such luck with Ramnaresh Sarwan who has been left out in favour of Kieron Powell.

So West Indies must have a batting replacement of Sarwan (29 runs at 7.25 avg), if not of opener Lendl Simmons who too has been all at sea against Indian pacers, having made 46 at 11.50. His performance is completely at odds to what he did in the preceding one-day series (177 runs at 35.40 avg).

Kirk Edwards and Kieran Powell are two youngsters waiting in the wings. The former has the reputation to bat for long hours and the latter an attacking young colt – qualities which are presently sorely missing in the present West Indian batting line-up.

There is little else that West Indies can do though there is a general perception that Kemar Roach, widely regarded as the fastest of all, would be a better bet than someone like skipper Darren Sammy, especially given the pitches on offer.

India are hoping that two of its key members hit their strides in this Test.

Dhoni, despite two wrong decisions awarded against him, has only 23 runs at 5.75 average from the series, and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is still two short of his 400-wicket haul, having claimed five wickets at 35.60 average from the two Tests. Squads:

West Indies: Darren Sammy (capt), Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Fidel Edwards, Kirk Edwards, Kieran Powell, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels and Lendl Simmons.

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt-wk), Abhinav Mukund, Murali Vijay, Parthiv Patel, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma.

Umpires: Asad Rauf (Pakistan) and Richard Kettleborough (England)

The match will start at 7.30 p.m Indian Standard Time (IST).


June 11, 2011

Raina: Dont belittle our performance by calling Windies ‘weak’

Antigua: Jun 11, 2011


A second-string India’s dominance in the ODI series against the West Indies has raised questions about the quality of the host team, leaving visiting skipper Suresh Raina livid as he feels this amounts to belittling his young side’s good show.

Indian VS West Indies

“Earlier you termed us a young (second-string) side. Now you are terming the opposition too weak,” said Raina when asked whether India have been helped by the West Indies’ shambolic performance.


“The fact is that we all have played too well. Someone or other has put his hand up and we have prevailed,” he added.


Equally agitated by these suggestions was new coach Duncan Fletcher, who was rather agitated when asked about the occasional slip-ups on the field.


“These guys are players. They are not machines. There would be one or two slip-ups,” he said.


“I don’t think it (the West Indies) is a bad side. It’s an international side. It has players who have performed well in the past,” rebutted Fletcher on whether a tougher test awaits India when they tour England next month.


Fletcher was asked if he was surprised by the level of maturity the young Indians are exhibiting on and off the field.


“It’s a reflection on the pool of talent India currently have. It’s a reflection on India’s standard of cricket. IPL must have done some good. This pool of talent is a massive advantage to the Indians,” he replied.


During the second one-dayer, India needed 83 from 15 overs and Raina promoted himself up the order, upped the scoring rate and eased the pressure on his partner Virat Kohli and on his team.


Raina said it was part of plan laid out by Fletcher.


“Actually it was the coach’s idea. He felt that a right-left combination in the middle would work to India’s advantage primarily because West Indies had two leg break bowlers.”


Raina, who had a disastrous first stint as a captain, losing his matches against Zimbabwe of all sides last year, is setting the score right.


“This side has far more experience than that side which played in Zimbabwe. We have experienced bowlers in Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra and medium-fast bowlers Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel have bowled very well in difficult conditions,” he said.


The day also brought happy tidings for Praveen Kumar, who has been asked to stay back in the Caribbean by the Indian selectors to strengthen the team for Tests, now that both Zaheer Khan and S Sreesanth have been reported unfit.


Abhimanyu Mithun of Karnataka is also being flown in from India.


“He’s (Praveen) very happy to be part of the Test squad,” rounded up Raina, speaking up for the man who is now closer to Test debut than ever.


India’s pace bowling stock in the Tests in the Caribbean would be handled by Praveen, Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma and Abhimanyu Mithun.


June 7, 2011

India vs West Indies: Rohit Sharma guides India to easy win over Windies

Rohit SharmaPORT OF SPAIN: Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten half-century guided India to a comfortable four-wicket win over West Indies in the first ODI in Trinidad on Monday.

Sharma, who batted sensibly after India had slumped to 104 for four following the loss of three early wickets and opener Shikhar Dhawan for 51, made 68 not out in 75 balls as the world champions wrapped up victory with more than five overs to spare.

West Indies, batting first on a low bouncing pitch that suited spinners, could only manage 214 for nine from their 50 overs with Ramnaresh Sarwan (56) and Marlon Samuels (55) combining for more than half the team’s score.

Only three other batsmen made double figures and none scored more than 22. Sarwan and Samuels put on 82 for the fourth wicket but when they departed the tourists were able to stem the run flow and pick up regular wickets.

Harbhajan Singh was the pick of the Indian bowlers, capturing three for 32 from 10 overs.

India, playing their first ODI since winning the World Cup on home soil in April, were missing captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and master batsman Sachin Tendulkar and made a shaky start to their reply.

They lost three wickets in the first 16 overs and the game was still in the balance when Dhawan threw his wicket away just after reaching his half-century when he holed out in the deep.

But Sharma knuckled down and shared a vital 80-run stand with Suresh Raina that put India back on course.

Raina departed for 43 and although India lost a sixth wicket they got home safely, Harbhajan sealing the win with a six.

Sharma, who also hit a six and three boundaries, was named man of the match.

The second of the five matches is scheduled for Wednesday. The teams also play a three-match test series starting at the end of June.


June 7, 2011

1st ODI: Rohit, Dhawan seal easy win for India


India Vs West Indies

India VS West Indies

Port of Spain: Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan slammed half-centuries as India pocketed the first ODI of five-match series against the West Indies in style, defeating the hosts by 4 wickets.

Chasing just 215 for victory, India, despite having suffered early hiccups, made a lightwork of the West Indian total with Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and skipper Suresh Raina contributing with the bat.