Watch India vs West Indies Test Series Live Streaming on Internet

India is touring the Caribbean islands, for their Test match tour against the West Indies team. The India team is under-strength with Tendulkar, Sehwag, Gambhir and Zaheer Khan missing the tour. This will set up an exciting contest with the West Indies team which is a pale shadow of their old legends.

If you are keen to catch matches online, then tune in to Youtube.com/tensports for a live streaming of the three test matches.

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Test Series Schedule (West Indies v India 2011)

  • 1st Test: West Indies v India at Kingston (June 20-24, 2011)
  • 2nd Test: West Indies v India at Bridgetown (Jun 28 – July 2, 2011)
  • 3rd Test: West Indies v India at Roseau (July 6 – 10, 2011)

It will also feature Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina as Test regulars, while it will be the first time MS Dhoni captains India after the famous World Cup victory.

So who do your think will win the series? Drop in your comments.

Indian cricket team on a high as administrators reach new lows

cricket_highs_lowsFirst let me start by wishing  all our readers a Happy New Year! 2009 is the year when CricTalks was born and we plan to make it grow to become a significantly popular cricket blog. For that we need to write a lot of posts and updates along with implementing ideas. I promise this year you will see a marked increase in frequency in posts. More of that later in some other post. Now I want to review how was 2009 for Indian cricket.

This was a interesting year considering the Indian team reached heights that it had never reached before but unfortunately the game’s administrators also reached lows they had not reached before. Lets start with the lows first so that I can end this post on the highs. 😉

Lows…

The administrators have consistently goofed up on scheduling and bad planning. They have done it with such an alarming rate that it is more or less expected. Here are some lows that stand out.

  • Only two test matches were scheduled for 2010. That too against Bangladesh. They are now hastily discussing a Test series with South Africa for later in the year. This is happening only because India tops the ICC Test Rankings. If India does not play Test matches chances are that they won’t be able to maintain the ranking.
  • Lack of interests in Test cricket has been shown but turning out bland and placid pitches where teams are regularly scoring 600+ scores with numerous draws.
  • Another nail in the coffin was the ODI in Delhi which was canceled because of a unfit pitch. Later on interesting facts have come out that associations are spending more money on meetings and discussions rather than purchasing cricket kits. All said an done the administrators have all shifted blamed from one person to another and some have even blamed Sri Lanka as being reluctant. Strangely none of these men who run the sport has still taken responsibility for the fiasco.

Highs

Okay enough of the lows, lets talk about the highs in Indian cricket. Last year ended with India winning home test series against the Australians and England. This year they started with a visit to New Zealand.

  • India won a test series in New Zealand after 41 long years. India was playing as favourites but often they have not been very good travelers. India won the series 1-0.
  • Then came the IPL and the T20 world cup disaster. India toured West Indies after that and won the ODI series there. They followed it up by wining Compaq Cup. They did a few bumps with losses in Champions trophy and losing the ODI series against Australia.
  • India finally came into their own against Sri Lanka. They beat them 2-0 in the Test series. They also beat Sri Lanka in the ODI series 3-1. India has thus gained a Test ranking of #1 which is the highest ever it has gone.

Feel free to tell me what do you think about Indian cricket administration and the team through your super comments. 😉

Fascinating Test cricket battles in the week ahead

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The week that lies ahead will see some fascinating Test cricket action. It is quite a unique time as all Test playing nations except Bangladesh are involved in a test series. England is touring South Africa, West Indies are touring Austrialia, Pakistan are playing in New Zealand and closer home Sri Lanka will play the final Test of the three match series tomorrow against India.

India play Srilanka at the historic Brabourne…

India takes of Sri Lanka tomorrow at the Brabourne Stadium. It is a stadium that has been known to be the bastion of culture and legacy when it comes to cricket in India. The association which runs the stadium (CCI) had a falling out with the Mumbai Cricket Association back in the early 70s. This led MCA to construct a new stadium called the Wankhede. The two associations have gotten closer now a days and with the Wankhede stadium undergoing a major re-building exercise Brabourne gets its chance to host one more Test match after 36 long years. Last time Test cricket was played at the Brabourne, Sachin Tendulkar was not even born!

India will be keen to win this Test match as it will haul it upwards to being the No 1 ranked Test team in the ICC rankings. This will be quite an achievement for the Indian team who are not particularly hailed for their ability in Test cricket.

New Zealand host Pakistan…

Not sure if New Zealand will have their confidence high after last weeks win over Pakistan. The Pakistan team came very close to an unlikely win over the Kiwis. But I still feel Pakistan have some inherent technically challenged opening batsmen along with some sparkling yet not reliable batting lineup. They have a great bowling line up too but I still feel it would not be able to match up to New Zealand’s usual dose of resoluteness and professionalism. The Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan begins on 3rd December 2009. If you are in India you should be able to catch the action on Ten Sports in early morning around 430 am.

Australia host West Indies in Adelaide…

In the first Test Match Australia declared their innings at 480/8 and bowled out West Indies twice in less than 2 days. The match was over on the 3rd day itself and was one sided more of less from the first day’s first session. This sort of a defeat does not speak very highly of West Indies’ chances in the second Test at Adelaide. This match starts on Friday morning at 5.30 in the morning. Indian viewers should be able to catch the game on Star Cricket.

India destroys Sri Lanka in Kanpur Test

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Last time a Test match was played at Green Park in Kanpur, India won the test against South Africa but because the match was over in 3 days the Kanpur pitch came up for a lot of flak. This match which was being played against Sri Lanka got over in 4 days but no one can really complained about a bad pitch. Not after India amassed a massive 642 runs with their top 6 batsmen scoring 3 centuries and 2 fifties amongst them. The surprise was not really the Indian batting coming good but the changes made to the bowling. These changes did go along way to get India its 100th test victory.

Changes that work for India…

India dropped Amit Mishra and Ishant Sharma and included controversy’s favourite child S. Sreesanth along with Pragyan Ojha. Ojha picked up 4 wickets in the whole match which was decent and S.Sreesanth ripped across the Sri Lankan batting line up in the first innings to pick up a five wicket haul. It was a welcome sight to see an Indian fast bowler take five wickets in India condition which is a rarity.

Sri Lanka had one too many spinners…

Kanpur might have had a spinning wicket but Srilanka lost the plot with picking 3 spinners and only one seamer. Two spinners are more than enough. You only pick three spinners at the cost of a seamer if the pitch has been recently ploughed by a tractor. India won the toss and with no real seam attack to trouble the openers it was not a surprise that India amassed 642.

Brabourne awaits Test Match cricket…

brabourne_1The Brabourne Stadium will be hosting the final Test match in the series and Srilanka will be looking to win in India a test match for the first time ever and level the series. The Brabourne will be hosting a Test match after 36 years. The last match played there was India v England and it ended in a draw.

So who do you think will take win in Brabourne? Let me know through your comments.

Image Credits: Cricinfo

Who is killing Test cricket? T20 or the curators

With the rise of IPL and T20 cricket in general a lot of voices have showed concern that Test cricket might die out because the entertainment of T20 simply cannot be replicated by Test cricket. Some people are taking the middle path that Test cricket, ODIs and T20 all have their place. A lot of people watching cricket are younger people and hence they choose T20 over Test cricket.

test_vs_odis1

Is T20 really hurting Test Cricket?

Some might argue T20 cricket is making Test matches look boring and might even finish of the game. But I do not think Test cricket is losing it’s charm in India because of T20. I think it is because of the pitches Test matches are being played on.

Over the last 2 years India hosted 13 Test matches. 7 were drawn, 5 won by India and 1 lost. This includes 4 test series out of which India has won two and tied one. The 4th series is still continuing against Sri Lanka and guess what the first match is was drawn.

Now compare Test matches being played in Australia in the last two years. There were 9 Test matches held, 5 won by Australia while they lost 3. One match ended in a draw.

The stark comparison is there for everyone to see. When you play on sporting pitches of Australia there is a result 8 out of 9 times, where as in India there is a result 6 out of 13 times. Take for instance the Test match that just got over against Sri Lanka. 1598 runs were scored and only 21 wickets fell over 5 days. The worlds highest wicket-taker was bowling on a fifth day pitch leave alone taking wickets, he could hardly even trouble the batsmen. T20 is not the villain here, the pitch curator is the villain for making such feather beds.

Importance of Test Cricket

If you kill Test Cricket, you kill cricket. This will happen because the art of bowling is really polished and unrestricted only in Test matches. If a bowler picked up 2 wickets in 4 overs for 40 runs in a Test match, the bowler has bowled well. The scenario in T20 becomes different as 40 runs are too many. The focus is on runs rather than wickets for a bowler.

Test cricket is pure cricket. The batsman have to score runs, the bowlers have to take wickets. The simplicity of this concept brings about the skills in a cricketer out in its purest form. What do you think? Let me know with your comments.

Tendulkar the Great

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When Tendulkar walked out to bat in a Test match for the first time, Rajiv Gandhi was India’s Prime Minister, the Berlin wall stood and USSR still existed. The internet was nascent, mobiles phones were hardly used in US and never used in India. Most of us reading this article were probably less than 10 years old. The world has changed dramatically but Tendulkar remains the best in the world.

Tendulkar completed 20 years of international cricket on 15th November 2009. Out of the 21 men who played in his first test match he played in, all of them have retired over 5 years ago.

His technique, determination, brilliance, ability and talent all have been hailed over the years by everyone who has attempted to write about cricket. I do not want to write about it, it would be mere repeating of words. But hats off to a man who plays 20 years at the highest standard and has only let his bat do the talking.

I do not wonder at the ability to play for 20 years or the talent which scores the highest number of runs in Tests and ODIs. I wonder what goes on behind that cranium of Tendulkar. Does he feel the pressure at all? Does he feel tired of expectations and the criticisms? Does he think like we mortals do?

I reckon he is the perfect example of a person who feels comfortable with his own ability, does his best and puts on a invisible coat of something which makes him immune from all the pressure of expectations around him.

With a total of 12,773 runs in Test cricket and 17,178 runs in ODIs, Sachin Tendulkar has nothing to prove. He is already a legend and will remain so until Cricket is played. But he continues to play, as if he is not aware of his own achievements.

Some people have criticized Tendulkar at various times. Often the grouse being he doesn’t win India matches. Often people forget that Tendulkar has won India many matches but being a team sport he cannot win all matches. To all the critics of the great man and fans alike, I would like to remind that Tendulkar will someday retire and there will be a day when you wont ever get to see Tendulkar take his stance playing for India on live television or at your local city stadium. So sit back and enjoy the last few years of this great man’s career and appreciate anything that he has to offer because players like him don’t come along everyday and we are lucky to be around in the Tendulkar Era.

Has ‘Team-India’ become ‘Indian-Team’ again?

What is the difference between ‘Team-India’ and ‘Indian Team’ ?
India team
Both are the nick names of Indian cricket team.The Indian cricket team -when they were nicknamed as ‘Indian Team’- consisted of many great players like Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly, Srinath, Kumble etc. All of them were able to win matches themselves and the team was the strongest on paper, but the weakest in reality. It’s because during those days, India had a habit of winning all matches except the final or the Tie-breaker match. We can clearly see it in the 2003 world cup, the tri-series that came after that. Anyway, the concept of ‘Team’ didn’t had much value at that time.

TEAM INDIA

Then comes the ‘Team India’ under MS Dhoni. We can understand the importance of ‘Team India’ from the name itself. This concept gives importance to the team. Under Dhoni, a clevert captain, India attained new heights during this period. India had a lot of gain which included the T20 world cup, #1 ranking in ICC ODI Rankings and many other foreign series. The team was full of youngsters and rather than a ONE MAN SHOW, they had a TEAM WORK SHOW. Instead of individual performance, they concentrated on the victory of team.

But recent results shows that India is going back to its old ‘INDIAN TEAM’ concept. They losses in T20 cup, ICC Champions Trophy etc.. shows it. With the recent loss to Australia, it clearly shows us that the glorious times of Dhoni and his friends are coming to an end. We can only pray to God to not to let it happen like that.

What is your Opinion about this ? Is ‘TEAM INDIA’ going back to the INDIAN TEAM ? Let me know through your comments here.


[Editor’s Note: This post is submitted by our guest blogger Rajeelkp, alias Reji. He is a teen blogger who blogs at labofweb. He loves web, blogging and social sites.

If you, too would like to write for CricTalks, please check this. Details about our revenue sharing programs are  here.]

A Prince called Ganguly

9-1-2009 1-56-28 PMHe started his career way back in 1992 in Australia. It was a complete disaster and he went back into the oblivion of domestic Indian cricket. Then in 1996 when Vinod Kambli was dropped for a series in England and the selectors replaced one mercurial lefthander with another from Bengal was taken.

Considered to have weak footwork, not much of a power game and a questionable attitude Saurav Ganguly entered the Test arena with a lot of detractors and a lot of questions. He answered them all with a century on debut and then another in his second Test match. Over the years he rose to become one of the most stylish left-handers in Test cricket and the most profilic run getter in ODIs after Sachin Tendulkar.

After the match-fixing scandal hit world cricket Saurav Ganguly was made captain of the India team. In this role he came into his own. At times brash, agressive and sometimes almost as if he did not care he led a team where young players were brought in and the team was being rebuilt. He led from the front and often rubbed the opposition the wrong way.

One of the most famous encounters Ganguly had was when he made Steve Waugh wait at the centre of the pitch before the toss. This angered Waugh who was on a winning streak that stretched for 16 Tests and one more win would give Australia a series win in India which was dubbed the ‘final frontier’ by Waugh. The constantly unapologetic Ganguly fought back the Australian strategy of ‘seldging’ with an Indian brand of ‘sledging’. Ganguly did not personally have a great series as a batsman but as Captain he was the only second Captain in history to win a test match even after being told to follow-on. India won the series 2-1 and Ganguly won the respect of his opponents as a tough competitor.

Ganguly lead the team and is the most sucessful captain for India in the number of Test wins. Bouncers troubled his doubtful technique but he hung in with simple guts and got glory. The iconic image of him taking of his shirt and waving it aloft from the dressing room at Lord’s when India won the Natwest Series still brings a smile to any cricket enthusiast. He ended his career amassing 7212 runs at an Avg of  42.17 with 16 centuries in test matches and 11363 runs at an Avg of 41.02 with 22 centuries. The records are impressive but more than his records no one forget his style and class because of which he was aptly nicknamed as “God of the Off-Side” by his team mate Rahul Dravid.

Link: cricinfo

What went wrong with the Indian Team at the ICC World Twenty20 Super8?

After the early exit of Indian team from the tournament, commentators, media and critics got busy with finding out the “exact” cause of the poor performance of the team. Rightly so, when there are no more matches to be played by the Indian team, that is the only thing they can talk about.

If there was an award for a team for best coverage around the world (whether or not winning matches) India would have won it by now already.

I tried to restrain myself at pointing out the problem areas but could not stop myself to collate the popular theories taking rounds. Here is a small collection of few of the reasons that are being talked about. Not sure about the ranking of these but there surely seems like more than one reason for India’s poor performance with each contributing to varying magnitude.

Lack of innovation

Dhoni, who is known for his smart thinking on the ground, missed the edge somewhere.

Absence of the right aggression

The fearless boys playing with sheer aggression, who won the 2007 title, were missing.

Complacency

It was very visible during the middle overs when they were batting at ease and were so confident that they would be able to hit around in the last five overs.

Fatigue

Too much cricket since October, 2008! This has been pointed as the number one reason for India’s poor performance. And, there is still not enough breathing time as the team leaves for West Indies straight from England.

Media trouble

For the first time, Dhoni faced stiffness from the media over Sehwag’s issue. Drift between the Captain and Vice Captain was making news all around. There was a definite loss of crucial time for the management, which they could have utilized in strategizing for the matches to come.

Dhoni ran out of big shots

No question about his work behind the stumps but his batting was a bit let down. For last one year Dhoni has been playing an anchor’s role in the Indian batting line up and has intentionally changes hi style to suit the requirement. When it was must required for him to hit big shots, he could not really get them going. We could not witness the explosiveness that he was known for.

Short-pitched bowling

West Indian and English fast bowlers devastated the Indian top order with short pitch bowling. Everyone started pointing out the shortcoming of the Indian batsmen. But, then what happened in the match against South Africa? It were the spinners who forced the Indian batting at the back foot. Clearly, the Indian batsmen looked jaded through out and just could not hit the balls out of the stadium.

Sending Jadeja up the order

When, the Indian batsmen were struggling against the English pace attack, inexperienced Jadeja was sent in, while in-form Yuvraj and Dhoni stayed in the dug-out. I still could not understand what was the message given to him when walked-in? Was he given the license to just hit around and let it be a gamble or was he told to stick around to consolidate the inning? What ever it was, both ways it was not a good decision. At least, does not look like a good one, after India lost the match to England by 3 runs while Jadeja scored only 22 off 30 balls. Shall we call it a match-losing effort or a match-losing decision?

Fielding mishaps

Indians were not consistent in the field. Though there were instances of exceptional fielding performances but were limited to only few individuals. Poor show by others brought the overall performance to just “average”. Boundaries were scored by opponents sending the ball between the legs of the fielders. Can a team afford to do that when the margin of errors and victories is so thin in T20 matches? Somehow the field placement too was a bit shabby, not so agile fielders in the team kept on finding the ball coming towards them more than the better fielders.

Team selection

Few selection related decisions than are under the scanner of the critics:

  • Playing an extra bowler in the batsmen oriented format of the game.
  • Giving priority to pick up extra spinner (Ojah or Jadeja) while Dinesh Karthik could not get a chance. Yusuf Pathan, Raina and Rohit Sharma could have bowled more along with Yuvraj Singh to fill in the gap.
  • Ishant Sharma was in the team all through while Praveen Kumar was not given any chance.
  • RP Singh, the in-form bowler and the highest wicket taker in the IPL, should have been included in all the matches. And at least must have been given to bowl full quota of his overs against England.

Missing Sehwag

Whether Sehwag hits a 50 or not, even if he is at crease for three overs, all the strategies and tactics of the opposition goes for a toss. Though on papers the Indian line-up looked so bright, no one could actually replace Sehwag. He is the one who actually scares the bowlers even before the match begins. Only Yuvraj Singh could add some sensation to the Indian batting, while others could not do much to actually trouble the bowlers.

Let us have a quick look at what everyone is saying…

Gary Kirsten (Coach, Indian team)

He blames players fatigue levels and minor injuries that they carried from IPL to WT20 for the poor performance.

“Fatigue was definitely a factor, as were many other things… I don’t want to use that as an excuse but it was a factor. We weren’t an energetic team…”

Kirsten had pointed out mental fatigue to be a big challenge even before the start of the tournament.

MS Dhoni (Captain, Indian Team)

MS Dhoni accepts the fact that the team’s performance was not up to 100% of their potential and missed to at par with the international standards.

“There never was a time when the majority of the guys performed in one match, it was usually two bowlers in one game or three in another, with an off-day for a couple of them, or one man scored and the rest didn’t so we never performed as a unit.”

Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar has backed the Indian Skipper- MS Dhoni and has refused to blame him for his team’s exit from the world cup.

“Dhoni will bear the brunt of the attack… but is there anybody better to lead India than him? “Dhoni is a young captain and is still learning the trade.”

Sandip Patil

He does not subscribe to the theory of blaming IPL for India’s poor performance and questions the experimentation with the batting order in the crunch matches.

“Tell me how come players of England, South Africa and West Indies (who participated in IPL) are praising it (IPL) to prepare themselves for the World T20?… How did he (Kirsten) allowed Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan to sit padded up while sending someone else (Ravindra Jadeja) up the order?”

LalChand Rajput

He gives credit to the others who, according to him, had better strategies that worked against India.

ICC World Twenty20: India reaches the Semifinals!

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Now, that is one heading I really wanted to write a post with… but Indian team’s performance in the Super8 let me down.

Nevertheless, the Indian team in Women’s T20 WC has given me this chance… 🙂

If you were busy following the men’s tournament and did not get a chance to check out what was happening in Women’s T20, here is an update.

Indian Women’s Team defeated Pakistan and Sri Lanka in their group matches to reach to the Semifinal stage. The other three teams that qualify for the Semi finals are England, New Zealand and Australia.

A Quick Re-cap

Indian Women’s Team was placed in Group B along with England, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Match 1

  • England Women vs India Women at Taunton – Jun 11, 2009
  • England Women won by 10 wickets (with 26 balls remaining)
  • India Women 112/8 (20/20 ov); England Women 113/0 (15.4/20 ov)

Match 2

  • India Women vs Pakistan Women at Taunton – Jun 13, 2009
  • India Women won by 5 wickets (with 14 balls remaining)
  • Pakistan Women 75 (19.5/20 ov); India Women 78/5 (17.4/20 ov)

Match 3

  • India Women v Sri Lanka Women at Taunton – Jun 15, 2009
  • India Women won by 5 wickets (with 7 balls remaining)
  • Sri Lanka Women 94/6 (18/18 ov); India Women 95/5 (16.5/18 ov)

Indian Women’s Team ended up second in their group after England (who won all the matches they played). India women now plays against New Zealand women, the unbeaten from group A, in the first Semi Final match on the 18th.

Fixtures

Day Time Match Venue Forecast
Thu Jun 18 5:30 PM IST 1st Semi-Final
India Women vs New Zealand Women
Trent Bridge Cloudy
Fri Jun 19 5:30 PM IST 2nd Semi-Final
England Women vs Australia Women
Oval Mostly Sunny

The matches will be played on the same venue for Men’s Semifinal before their matches and will be telecasted live on TV.