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Preview of Sri Lanka Vs India First Test match at Galle:

Sri Lanka Vs India
After a highly successful long home session which laid road for the Indian team to become No.1 test side in the world, they begin their quest to stamp their domination away from home. It might not be easy by any means, there awaits a long away season where the entire unit is going to be tested in different conditions.
Having said that, the start of the season won’t be the case, as the Indian team, meet their familiar Foe in Sri Lanka under conditions which are a carbon copy of what they get back at home. The same foe they conquered in 2015 to make history. Sri Lankan team of 2015 were much better equipped both in terms of skill and experience than what they are today. To say more of their current situation all the managed to do in recent times were that they pulled off a victory from jaws of defeat against a low profile team in Zimbabwe. Which makes them not a real deal for this mighty Indian side to topple isn’t it?
But Indian team has few issues of their own to sort out due to injuries for their top order batters. A week back Murali Vijay was ruled out of entire series due to wrist fracture so the third opener in Mukund was set to take that spot. But Mukund doesn’t have a good amount of runs on his back in recent past, added to it he is a shaky starter which makes him a weak link to start with. To make things worse in form Rahul is ruled out of the First test with viral fever, which makes Dhawan spot in Playing 11 inevitable unless Virat decides to use a make shift option in Pujara to open. It’s known that Dhawan was dropped from test cricket after he failed to make use of ample opportunities presented to him prove his worth. So pairing him with Mukund at the top makes India top order very vulnerable and may be an opportunity for the underdog Sri Lankan side to take upper hand in the series opener at Galle. So pairing Pujara with Mukund to open will be a wise choice as Puji has done it during 2015 Sri Lankan tour also he did a classy job so no need to doubt his credibility, this ploy also finds a space for Rohit in Playing 11. It will not be a bad choice after all as Rohit had a decent run in test cricket before getting sidelined by injury also his track record in Asian conditions is not all that bad. This makes shift move also will make Indian batting order sturdier at the top and more beefed up in lower middle order. This makes a more reliable solution, to say the least. Not too many worries in the bowling department, if at all Indian’s try to accommodate Hardik then only few selection questions will be thrown onto the table.
So best Playing 11 on offer for India:
Mukund, Pujara, Virat, Rahane, Rohit, Saha, Ashwin, Jadeja, Kuldeep, Shami and Umesh.
Second best Playing 11:
Dhawan, Mukund, Pujara, Virat, Rahane, Saha, Ashwin, Jadeja, Kuldeep, Shami and Umesh.
No point of Playing three seamers in Asian conditions that also eliminates Hardik selection headache to a greater extent, as both Ashwin and Jadeja are true all-rounder’s in this format of the game which gives the team a great balance. But with recent news suggesting that Hardik will make his debut, there might be a shock to see Kuldeep being left out. If the track on offer is flat and good to bat for first 3 days, then 3 seamer option might be open for the grabs and Hardik will sneak in. If a dust bowl is on offer and still Hardik makes the cut then I fear Virat has decided to use Hardik as Second pace bowler which might not be a great choice.
Speaking of Sri Lankan unit they do lack quality player’s big time now and are over dependent on Rangan Herath to win games at home. They seriously lack depth in batting front it’s been the case since the retirement of Mahela and Sangakkara but now their bowling unit also looks clueless. For instance, during 2015 Series against Indian they had Dhamika Prasad in their unit who gave them much needed new ball breakthrough in every game. Now they are without his service due to some unknown reason, which makes their bowling all just Rangana hearth. To add salt to their own they also Lost Dinesh Chandimal for first 2 games of this series due to illness. Even with the late resurgent of Tharanga and some flashes of brilliance shown by Kushal Mendis and Gunatilaka their batting unit doesn’t look all promising against the likes of Ashwin and co. So with all these limitations the best 11 Sri Lanka would likely put on filed tomorrow might be
Best Playing 11 on offer for Sri Lanka:
Karunaratne, Gunatilaka, Mendis, Tharanga, Mathews, Dickwella, Gunaratne, D Perera, R Herath, Pradeep, L Kumara
Thus on paper and even on Field, this series looks a big mismatch. Unless Rangan spins his magic chances of Sri Lanka winning game looks bleak. On the other hand, Virat & CO does know that they cannot take it as a cake walk, few blatant mistakes might open up the gates for the underdogs in a big way. If Indian Play Rangana with respect and take one session at a time, not just the first match at Galle also the series will be totally in India’s favor if not a brown wash of 3-0.
Form Gudie:
Sri Lanka WLWLL
India WDWLW
#SLvIND #Galle #Meninblue #ViratKohli

Indian team Head coach announced. But all three men are appointed.

Indian-coaches

One might say Ravi has come through all hurdles to reach here. It was obvious when Kumble was appointed, Ravi said few things against Sourav on the interview process. It made one thing evident CAC were not convinced with Ravi as head coach last time around but so was Virat with Kumble’s appointment, isn’t it? Virat had a great rapport with Ravi and even the entire team was more comfortable with Ravi. It’s a no-brainer when Kumble resigned BCCI was forced to re-open application for head coach job so Ravi can get into the scheme of things again.

 

After all the drama yesterday and today finally it is clear that Ravi Shastri and Virat combo is back again. Still, CAC seemed to be not totally convinced so they have got Zaheer and Dravid into the support staff team. Many might feel that Virat had got what he wanted and overpowered BCCI, CAC or very arrogant to throw out Kumble etc. But I strongly believe the captain & team have right to get a coach who is more in line with them and is able to create a positive atmosphere within the team. Because at the highest level players are matured enough to know their responsibility, from a coach expectation, is to keep the team together and ensure morale is high. Then comes his role on tactics and improving player’s performance. The second part cannot be done if you fail to get in line with the team and captain. Which makes it clear that a “Headmaster” type coach will never be able to achieve what is expected out of him at this level.

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Overall this combination of Ravi, Zaheer and Dravid seems to be not bad by any means. Ravi’s positive energy with Dravid’s skill and Zaheer’s knowledge transfer to our strong pace bowling unit has all the making of a strong dominant Indian team in Test and ODI level. T20 is a different game we need a change in bowling unit to fix that. All a Coach can do is suggest to bring that change in T20 team to fix us in that format. Let us all hope that this start studded coaching staff with our present lot of skilled players will push Indian Cricket forward and make us as a dominant force as the West indies of 70’s & 80’s or Australia of last decade. #Ravishastri #Rahuldravid #Zaheerkhan #BCCI #Indianheadcoach

Headache of Selecting Headcoach for Indian Team.

By now the news has come out that Ravi Shastri is out of contention. So Sehwag or Moody are the only choice for Virat to select from. It is tricky as there is myopia that Hindi speaking coach is preferred and that’s what team also expects etc. But in this situation will that be preferred above the credibility and track record parameter? If not Moody is the obvious choice but will Virat be subjective? All his talk on making the team the best ever etc. were all emotional and fascinating to hear and watch. But now it’s time to do that and also this decision might be a big milestone for that to happen, isn’t it?

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Sehwag is really a lovely character and a great player. He is never going to be a pain for players, he will be a better fit in that aspect than even Ravi Shastri. He has also played with few of current players for a decent amount of time, which in his case is a good thing as he is easy going guy and not a strict Anil Kumble type. But for all the positives there are worries or downside that lingers with him. He might be just a big YES man for Virat, he might not even have any say even if its opinion it can just be kept aside by Virat in seconds. Which might backfire results in a big way.

When we think about his experience as a coach which is in IPL. Track record in IPL poor, team selection and strategies the less we even talk about it is better. Yes just one IPL he had Head coach role too early to judge but still very less experience in that role might also be the drawback to be Head coach of Indian team.

Tom Moody, on the other hand, have had good coaching experience at international level and also more or less a clam coach who works at the back like Gary. So which again goes smooth for Virat and co, so no real threat of headmaster style from him. Also, we have seen his IPL stint with Sunrisers, from his decision in picking players at auction (Yes he a just part of the decision, still has a big say). Selection of young players in playing 11 and also the way he worked with Warner, Williamson was fantastic to see. The kind of interaction he has at boundary lines and sidelines with Warner and co, showed his passion, awareness about the game also his great rapport with the players.

But the downside of it is, is he going to able to gel with Indian support staff? Also, he might not be sure about what to expect from Virat and co after the way in which Kumble was taken down. So that might be in his corner of mind when he walks into the dressing room at first. Also, we might not know on Virat part on the expectation from Moody end. Record wise and personality wise Moody is not a bad choice at all.

But will Virat and co still be leaned towards Indian origin coach or will they make a wise choice going with Moody? Who do guys see as the right choice?? #Indiancoach #Tommoody #Sehwag

 

India Vs Pakistan Champions Trophy 2017 Finals

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So it has all come down to the mother of all games to decide the Champion of Champions for this edition. Even though this Champions trophy hasn’t been the best as many games washed out and few teams have gone out due to rain married games, still, there were some unpredictable results and upsets which have made this tournament live up to the expectation. We all can hope that the tournament lives long and not scrapped. It is more meaningful than useless bilateral series.

So coming back to today’s Final. Both teams have just faced one defeat and have made commanding performance in Semi-finals, which makes today’s game even more exciting. Pakistan after their First game defeat against India have made remarkable come back and bowled their hearts out to reach this far. On the other hand, Indian team except for their defeat against Srilanka they have played as a unit and were really strong in every aspect. But still there so few worrying factors for both.

India has done so good still lack proper Fifth bowler, Hardik cannot be trusted as he leaks runs. But if they use Kedar and Yuvi to fill that gap should be fine. One more factor is Indian middle order is not tested totally, even though it has experience if put under pressure it will be interesting to see.

Pakistan, on the other hand, have played every game expect the first game on slow surfaces. So there has been some help for bowlers, their real test will be if a flat track is offered for today’s game which is expected. Their batters also haven’t scored well immaterial of the surface anything above 260 will be a challenge for them if they chase.

So for the Indian team, if they win toss choose to field as in this tournament it has always been chasing team winning games and also India’s strength is to chase even for big games.

On the other hand, Pakistan Should try to bat first because they are poor in chasing and if the Indian team score anything close to 300 it’s very difficult to chase it.So bat first try to put runs on the board.

My Playing 11 for Indian Team: Rohit, Shikar, Virat, Yuvi, MS, Kedar, Hardik, Jaddu, Ashwin, Bhumi, Bumhra. Can’t see any changes as Virat want to stick with all-rounders than one more pure bowler in Shami.

Pakistan 11: Fakhar,Azar, Babar,Hafeez,Malik, Imad,Sarfaraz, Shadab,Amir,Hasan,Junaid.
#IndVPak #CT2017
Pic Courtesy: Naresh Denni

India Vs Bangladesh CT2017 Second semi final Match preview

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So with Pakistan spoiled hosts party yesterday to register their spot in Finals. It ensured that the final battel for supremacy for champion’s world cup is going to be between Asian teams.

Also the trend of surprises or one can say upsets continues in this edition of CT2017. With that into consideration, today’s contest between India and Bangladesh cannot be taken as one side encounter by any means. Having said that we all know that Indian team is good at playing big games they have proved it in past on many occasions, on the other hand, this is the first time Bangladesh is playing in Semi-final of a tournament of this magnitude. One might say the Tigers have nothing to lose but their nerves will be tested considering the fact that expectation back home is very high for them in recent past immaterial of their real ability. If India team play to 80% of their potential they will come out on top, but Bangladesh needs to give more than 100% to get a shot at a win.

Playing 11 for India: Shikar, Rohit, Virat, Yuvi, MS, Kedar, Hardik, Ashwin, Jaddu, Bhuvi, Bumhra.

Everyone wants Shami in, but I don’t think Indian team is going to drop either Kedar or Hardik to accompany him. So same 11.

Bangladesh 11: Tamim, Sarkar, Imrul, Sabbir, Mushfikur, Shakib, Mehedi, Rubel, Mortaza, Mustafizur.

Hope to see a good encounter. #IndVBan #CT2017 #Bleedblue

England Vs Pakistan 1st Semi-Final Ct 2017 Preview

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The 2017 Champions Trophy has been a tournament of rain married encounters, some shocking upsets, and surprises as top dogs were knocked out by minnows.

But now that the tournament has reached its business end, will the same trend continue or will the favorites thrive now? It’s a tricky situation now as both semifinals are exactly similar in the frame of the contest. It’s David vs Goliath on paper as well on the field.

As the first Semi final game if setup between tournament favorites England and unpredictable Pakistan team. Cardiff is the venue, it will be interesting so on what will be there to offer on the track. Will there be some assistance for bowlers or a flat batting paradise?

The only ray of hope for Pakistan to win the contest is if the track has some assistance for the seam or a slow two-paced surface. But England team will like to have it to their strength in their back yard which is a flat surface with plenty of runs available. We all know England have scored 300+ almost 4 out of 5 times in recent 2 years or so. On the other hand, Pakistan has struggled to score anything close to 250 runs immaterial of the nature of the surface. So that makes it a big mismatch of a contest.

Pakistan must be prepared for flat track and their batting unit must rise today to give them a chance. This England unit bats deep and is very aggressive in the field as well. So can’t expect them to be sloppy as Srilanka against who Pakistan scrapped a victory to reach the semifinal.

Probably Playing 11 for England: Hales,Roy,Root,Morgan,Stokes,Butter,Moen,Rashid,Ball,Plunkeet,Wood.images (13)

Though Morgan in press conference spoke about Bairstow might open, I feel they will give one more go for Roy. He is a game changed all he needs is one good inning.

Pakistan 11: Azar,Fakhar,Baber,Hafeez,Malik,Imad,Sarfraz,amir,Junaid, Hasan,Fahim.images (12)

Expect Pakistan to go with same 11. They might be interested in using the legi Shadab against england but might have a second thought about changing the winning combination.

Player battle that will decide the Encounter:

Amir Vs Root
Junaid Vs Hales
Hasan Vs Stokes
Fakhar Vs Wood
BaberVsPlunkeet
MailkVsRashid

#CT2017 #EngVPak #Semifinal

Pakistan Vs Sri Lanka CT 2017 Post Match Analysis

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So the second virtual quarter-finals between no.6 and no.8 team proved to be more of a contest than the No.1 side and no.3 side encounter yesterday.(Reason may be as both Pakistan and Sri Lanka are equally weak and unpredictable at their best).

Anyways at the end of the very strange day, strange? Yes because Pakistan managed to hold their nerve to win a close contest that too by chasing. Ya ya, I know you all will say “come on 237 runs to chase in current ODI games no big deal”. People we are here talking about Pakistan so give them slack they did bring their A game to win it. Okay, enough of jokes.

Having won the toss Pakistan opted to bowl. Though chasing never has been their strength but it is the trend to win in this year CT tournament. Srilanka didn’t get to best of all starts as they lost Gunathilaka cheaply. Then inform Mendis along with Dickwella got the recovery going. But Hasan Ali cleaned him up against the run of play with a beauty. That was a big blow as SriLanka managed to win the game against India on the back of a brilliant knock from Mendis. So the next thing SriLanka fans and supporters wanted was a solid 50 run or more partnership and didn’t want was a quick wicket. But Srilanka team had “other ideas” they choose Their next Virat Kohli the unreliable, out of form from the day of his debut Mr.Chandimal, so he did what he does best scored a duck to put SriLanka on the back foot. From then it was business as usual for Mathews to steady the ship. He did that with dickwella. But he fell with scoreboard reading 161/4, then true colors of Srilanka came to light. They just made a dramatic collapse and from 161/4 to 167-7. No credit taken away from Pakistan bowlers but losing 3 wickets for 6 runs during the middle overs doesn’t deserve a win in modern game one day cricket. Lakmal with gunaratne made some much-needed runs that got SriLanka to a decent total of 236, no way a match winning but still was very competitive against a reckless Pakistan batting.

Bowling wise Amir, Junaid were really good but Hasan Ali has been the best of the lot in this tournament for Pakistan.

Pakistan on his ‘Very Strange’ day started off to flier chasing 236. Credit to Fakhar Zaman he raised of in style and scored the fastest 50 by Pakistan player in CT history. When he departed it looked like Pakistan were ahead in the chase but after all we know their batting ability and temperament right. They suddenly slipped from 74-1 to 137-6. All their batters played reckless strokes they didn’t not have any calculation or awareness while chasing such small total. Mohammad Hafeez is still in team, I guess even he doesn’t know the reason of what for he is still selected or not dropped forever. But fortunately Sarfaraz was still in there and he along with the likes of Amir played a very sensible knock to drive Pakistan closer to the total. Huge praise to Amir for such a matured knock if not for his innings Pakistan had no chance what so ever. Still with more than 30 to get and only 3 wickets in hand Pakistan knew the game was far from over. Srilanka badly needed a breakthrough and brought in the old warhorse Malinga. Immediately he created a chance but for Perera’s drop of a dolly, Sarfaraz would have been back in the hut. Again the next over of Malinga created one more chance but that too was put down. So Sarfraz was twice lucky to stay. But with that, it was all over for sSriLanka also added to their worst catching they conceded over throws, byes & many miss fielding. That summed up their day, as Pakistan strolled to 3 wicket win and reached semi-final to meet the inform England.

With 3 Asian teams in SF one would hope the trophy will remain in sub-continent. But as an honest fan and analyst of the game only chance for that to happen is if India make to finals and defeat the might England. I don’t see Pakistan pulling a rabbit out of hat against the poms this time. Because Poms are no rabbits now they are Lions of ODI game. #PakVSL #CT2017