Friday, 4 March 2022

Rod Marsh, the former Australian Wicket keeper Passes Away

Rod Marsh, the former Australia wicketkeeper, died last week in an Adelaide hospital after having a heart attack in Queensland. He was hospitalised last week after going into cardiac arrest. Marsh, an aggressive left-handed batsman and one of Test cricket's best wicketkeepers, played 96 Tests for Australia between 1970 and 1984, amassing 3633 runs, featuring three hundreds. Marsh owned the world record for maximum Test dismissals (355) at the time of his retirement. During an epic combination with fast bowler Dennis Lillee, it included the classic "c Marsh b Lillee" entry in a scorebook, which has been replicated a record 95 occasions in Test cricket. Marsh also played in 92 One-Day Internationals, scoring 1225 runs at 20.08 and dismissing 124 batsmen. Marsh earned his first-class debut for Western Australia in the 1968-69 campaign and ended up playing 257 first-class matches for the Western Australians, amassing 11,067 runs at 31.17 and achieving 869 dismissals.

Marsh's collaboration with famed fast bowler Dennis Lillee, famed for his athletic keeping, is the most prolific bowler-wicketkeeper alliance in Test history, with 'caught Marsh, bowled Lillee' being recorded 95 times - a record to this day.

After retiring and becoming a selector, Marsh stepped on to lead Australia's selection committee from 2014 to 2016. Marsh is a part of the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, Sport Australia's Hall of Fame, and the International Cricket Council's Hall of Fame, and he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to cricket in 1981.

His children Paul, Dan, and Jamie, as well as his wife Ros, survive him.

"This is a terrible day for Australian cricket and all those who loved and revered Rod Marsh," Cricket Australia chairman Dr Lachlan Henderson remarked. "Caught Marsh, bowled Lillee' has iconic importance in our game, and Rod will be regarded for the manner he played the game and the joy he brought to audiences as a member of several great Australian sides."

Rod was a monumental force in Australian cricket, serving the country for for 50 years, from his debut in the 1970/71 Ashes series to his period as National Selector, during which time many of the current batch of Australian men's cricketers came into direct touch with him. He was fantastic to work with since he not only knew the game thoroughly and out, but he also had a way of putting you at ease.

He was renowned as a bold and tough batsman, but over the course of a decade, his dashing batting and skill behind the stumps elevated him to one of the sport's all-time greats, not just through Australia, but worldwide. Marsh was also a left-handed hitter who became the first Australian wicketkeeper to achieve a century in a Test match. During his career, which was cut short by World Series Cricket for two years, he scored three Test hundreds.

While Marsh's on-field heroics were legendary, he was also a keen observer of the game and a sought-after coach and talent scout around the globe. Marsh was the inaugural head of an ICC world coaching academy in Dubai, and he commanded Cricket Australia's academy before moving to England to do the same.

He has also worked as a commentator and, in 2014, was appointed as Australia's chairman of selectors, a role he occupied for two years. As a gesture of respect for Marsh, Australia's Test players are set to wear black armbands when the first Test against Pakistan begins later Friday in Rawalpindi.

The Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) president Shane Watson and chair Greg Dyer issued a joint statement saying, "Rod's service, or more precisely, his remarkable link, can be traced back through all generations of players before and after his own, all the way to the current group. They will all be devastated by his death. Rod's impact on cricket is immeasurable."

Sunday, 30 January 2022

India's Loss to South Africa in ODI: A Review


The ODI series versus South Africa was an unforeseen tragedy for team India and coach Rahul Dravid. India lost the series 3-0, and experts including the Indian coach believes the first and third matches were lost due to "bad shots." The recent ODI results of the current South African team hasn’t been enviable. India wasn’t expected to lose the ODI series, in this manner.

Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli kept India's pursuit on course in both games, but neither batter was able to turn their half-centuries into massive knocks. In the absence of Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja, the middle and lower-middle order struggled to complete the task once Dhawan and Kohli were dismissed. But again India need to look into better options than Hardik Pandya, because of his inability to bowl. India cannot afford to play Hardik as a pure batsman. India has better options of pure batsmen.

In one-day internationals, India always start slow, preserving wickets. "We certainly could perform more in the middle overs," Dravid remarked when asked if they should tweak the template. We understand the blueprint, and a major part of that blueprint is determined by the composition of your team. Some of the players who help us balance the roster and provide all-around possibilities at Nos. 6, 7, and 8 were unavailable for selection. When they return, maybe it will give us a bit more depth, allowing us to play in a somewhat different way.

The Indian spinners were outbowled by their South African peers throughout the tournament. The Indian spinners are failing to be a real threat to those foreign batsmen even on the subcontinent pitches. Indian which boasted of some quality spinners like Bedi, Prasanna, Chandrashekhar and Kumble in earlier times, now fail to produce such spinners who are feared by the opposition batsmen.

 The team needed to improve their wicket-taking in the middle overs. In the third ODI, India attempted something different: their seamers hit the deck more regularly than they had in the first two games, and they got marginally greater results. During the middle overs, India will most likely need to strengthen their wicket-taking alternatives. Spinners assume a significant role in this.

Prior to the tournament, stand-in captain KL Rahul stated that Venkatesh Iyer will be the squad's sixth bowling option. Iyer, on the other hand, did not bowl an over in the first ODI, but he did deliver five in the following before being kept out for the third.

There has also been some debate about Iyer's batting position, but Dravid stated that the team administration was "quite explicit with him" about his purpose in the team.

For KKR [in the IPL] and at times for Madhya Pradesh, he batted towards the top of the order, however he has also batted in the middle order for MP. The Indian team was hunting for a No. 6 bowler who could provide a sixth bowling option. Because they had a lot of alternatives at the top of the order right now, especially when Rohit returns, that was the job they assigned to him. But Venkatesh Iyer who was selected to the team purely on the basis of his heroics in the IPL, failed to deliver the goods. India need to have a better option as an all rounder.

Deepak Chahar's batsmanship in the final ODI was one of the few bright spots for India in the series. India were 223 for 7 at one point in their chase of 288, but Chahar, who was playing his first game of the series, smashed 54 off only 34 balls to get them near. In Sri Lanka, he had pulled off an identical chase, but India ended four runs short tonight. Chahar and Shardul Thakur, who played as seam-bowling allrounders and scored 50* and 40* in the first 2 ODIs, were praised by Dravid. It's wonderful to have players like Chahar and Shardul, who have shown they can contribute with the bat in recent games. Players like these, who can impact with the bat at a lower level, make a huge influence.

                                                                               Deepak Chahar

Except for Surya's chance in the 3rd ODI, India's middle order has remained unchanged. Aside from that, they didn't make any changes to the batting order. The team's management wants to provide them with a steady run and a sense of stability. When you give people that, you have to demand performances, and big ones at that, because that's what people expect when they play at this level for their nation.

Saturday, 11 December 2021

New Zealand Vs India, 2021: Review

The 2 test series didn’t go well for the Kiwis. Much was expected from the young New Zealand side, but once again they were deceived by the Indian pitches. This time Kiwis seemed to be ready for the turning pitches of the subcontinent. They had 3 sinners in their ranks, but failed to win the test matches. India registered yet another home series victory against the New Zealanders. The Kiwis hasn’t managed a win in their last 12 matches in India, with their last win coming way back in 1988 at the Wankhede.

First Test Match, Kanpur

The first test match at Kanpur was played on a sporting wicket, and there was equal assistance for both bowlers and batsmen. Kohli was rested and Ajinkya Rahane was leading the Indian side. India managed 345 batting first, riding upon a gritty century by the debutant Shreyas Iyer. The debutant showed great skill and application while making the knock. India were in a spot of bother at 145/4, but Ravindra Jadeja (50) and later Ashwin played played some usedful knocks down the order to take India to a somewhat commanding position. Tim Southee was exceptional with the pace and swing and he took 5 valuable Indian wickets in the first innings. Jamieson too contributed with 3 scalps. In reply New Zealand managed 296 runs. New Zealand openers Tom Latham and Will Young made 95 and 89 respectively to give the Kiwis a solid start. At 150/0 , Kiwis were expected to take a huge lead. But thing went wrong for the Kiwis from there. Axar Patel dismissed 5 Kiwi batsmen, while Ashwin 3 of them to terminate the New Zealand innings at 296. India took a useful lead of 49 runs.

In the second innings, Southee and Jamieson took 5 quick wickets and India were at one stage 51/5. The Kiwis hopes were raised. But once again Shreyas Iyer took the game away from the Kiwis. He made a quality 65 runs. The Indian wicket keeper Wridhiman Saha made a solid 61 and Ashwin contributed with 32 runs. India declared their innings at 234/7. Interestingly the Kiwi spinners Rachin Ravindra and Somerville went wicketless in the match. Ajaz Patel took 3 wickets in the match. In the fourth innings, New Zeland lost the early wicket of Wiil Yong . But Tom Latham and Somerville stood solid and played 146 and 110 balls respectively. When Somerville departed for 79/2, New Zealand has played 35 valuable overs. Then came the skipper Kane Williamson. Latham and Williamson played till the 55th over. After that New Zealand witnessed a minor collapse, when they were made to 155/9 in 90th over. Indians smelled victory in the latter part of the day. But Rachin Ravindra despite his failure with the ball, held one end when he played out 91 important deliveries and kept Indians at bay. When the bad light stopped play, New Zealand had the joy of managing a draw in the first test match of the series. Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin took 4 and 3 wickets respectively in the 4th innings. The Kanpur wicket was a sporting one and didn’t turned viciously as is expected on the 5th day of a match in India.

Second Test Match, Mumbai

Kohli had returned to the Indian side as captain. But this time, Kiwis missed their captain Kane Williamson and Tom Latham were their stand-in captain. India won the toss and elected to bat. The Indian opener Mayank Agarwal made a 311 ball 150 and Shubhman Gill contributed with 44. Axar Patel made a half century. The combined efforts took India to 325. But this Indian innings will be written in golden letters. Interestingly this may not be due to the efforts of the Indian batsmen, but the sheer brilliance of the Indian born New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel. The Kiwi spinner became the third bowler in history of Test cricket to take 10 wickets in an innings. Ajaz Patel had the figures of 119/10 off 47.5 overs. The English spinner Jim Laker and Indian spinner Anil Kumble have achieved this feat before. The New Zeland first innings was a tragedy. Their innings were ended up for a paltry score of 62 runs. Only Jamieson (17) and Latham (10) managed to cross doule figures. The Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj was the wrecker in chief, with the 3 quick wickets of the top order batsmen. Latham, Young and Ross Taylor were dismissed by Siraj in quick succession. Later Ashwin and Axar took 4 and 3 wickets respectively to restrict the Kiwis to 62. In the second innings, India made 276/7, before declaring the innings. Mayank Agarwal made a half century in the innings. Ajaz Patel took 4 wickets and Rachin Ravindra took 3. But the failure in the first innings hurt the Kiwis badly and there was no escape from it. The Mumbai wicket had more turn and assistance for spinners than the Kanpur wicket. New Zealand had to chase down above 500 to win the test match or play down more than 2 days to draw the test match. Both seemed to be impossible or unrealistic. The writing was on the wall. Only Daryl Mitchell (60) and Henry Nicholls (44) managed to put up some resistance. The New Zealand innings ended up in 167 runs. India managed their largest victory in terms of runs. India won by 372 runs.

                                                                            Ajaz Patel

So once again New Zealand failed to overcome the Indian barrier. India won the series 1-0. India came close to victory in the first match too. But India is concerned about the current form of their batsman Ajinkya Rahane. Virat Kohli needs to find a big score. Shreyas Iyer made a good debut. Mayank Agarwal too made a century. But these batsmen need to adjust to the bouncy and swinging oversees conditions. They should not be carried away by these small successes. Indian management did well to rest Bumrah and Shami. The Indian players need to be given such breaks. The continuous schedules are take a toll on the physical and mental wellbeing of the players.



Thursday, 18 November 2021

Curse of India's Opponents in T20 World Cup


Pakistan and New Zealand are the teams that beat India by a huge margin in the first two matches of the Super 12 round of the Twenty20 World Cup this year. Pakistan, who came to the tournament with the best team, beat India for the first time in the World Cup and many thought they would finally end up as the champions of this edition of T20 World cup. But the verdict was different. Australia lost to India in the warm-up match, defeating Pakistan in the semi-finals and New Zealand in the final.With this, another coincidence in the Twenty20 World Cup continues. No team that defeated India in the group stage of the Twenty20 World Cup has ever won a trophy in the same World Cup. Sri Lanka defeated India in the final of the 2014 Twenty20 World Cup. The Windies defeated India in the semi-finals of the 2016 World Cup and later clinched the title. But these 2 matches do not fall in the group stage.

What was the fate of the teams that beat India in the group stage of the Twenty20 World Cup? Let's do a test,

2007– (Winners India): India topped the group in the preliminary stage. The teams shared the points after the India-Scotland match in Group D was abandoned without a single ball being bowled. The best teams in the 4 primary groups clashed again in 2 groups. Only New Zealand beat India in Group E. The victory was by 10 runs. Pakistan beat New Zealand in semi-final. India beat Pakistan in final.

    Indian Team with the 2007 T20 World Cup

2009– (Winners Pakistan): India was undefeated in the preliminary group stage. India lost to South Africa, the West Indies and England when the top 8 teams in each of the four groups met in two groups. In the semi-finals, Pakistan defeated South Africa and Sri Lanka defeated the West Indies. Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in final


2010– (Winners England): India was once again undefeated in the preliminary group, which included Afghanistan and South Africa. India lost to Australia, West Indies and Sri Lanka as the top 8 teams in Group 4 met again in Group 2. England beat Sri Lanka in the first semifinals. England beat Pakistan in the second semi - final to lift the title.


2012– (Winners West Indies): India continued their undefeated streak in the preliminary stages comprising England and Afghanistan. Australia defeated India when the top 8 teams in Group 4 met again in Group 2. Australia and Pakistan advanced to the semi-finals on the back of a net run rate from the group that included India. The Windies beat Australia in the semi-finals and Sri Lanka in the final.


2014– (Winners Sri Lanka): India topped the group stage by defeating West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh. India beat South Africa in the semi-finals but lost to Sri Lanka in the final.


2016– (Winners West Indies): New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan and Bangladesh in the group that includes India in the Super 10. This time New Zealand defeated India. But in the semi-finals, New Zealand was defeated by England and India by the West Indies. West Indies went on to clinch the cup.

             West Indies with 2016 T20 World Cup

 2021– (Winners Australia): Pakistan and New Zealand beat India in Super 12. Australia defeated Pakistan in the semi-finals and New Zealand in the final.

                            Pakistan defeated India for the first time in a World cup match in 2021 

Monday, 12 July 2021

Bangladesh Wins Test Match Against Zimbabwe

Bangladesh Vs Zimbabwe : Test Series 2021

Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe by 220 runs to win the one-off Test. Throughout the Test, the tourists displayed a lot of spirits, particularly with the bat, as their batsmen took advantage of the favourable batting environment. Liton, Mahmudullah, and Taskin's resilience enabled them to achieve a big first-innings tally in the opening innings. The scores by Shanto and Shadman in the second innings enabled them to set a massive target of 477 for the opponents. Bangladesh was 132/6 at one point in their first innings. You have to seize key moments in the game, and Zimbabwe was unable to do so. Bangladesh was successful in doing so, and Mominul and his team deserved that win. Brendon Taylor batted brilliantly for Zimbabwe but was caught out at the wrong time. Kaitano had a strong debut. His 311 ball 87 in Zimbabwe's first innings warrants a special note. In the first and second innings, Brendon Taylor hit 81 and 92 runs, respectively. Zimbabwe was in a good position, but they squandered it. Zimbabwe has cleared the 200-run mark in the first innings with only two wickets lost. Zimbabwe performed admirably, but only in bits and pieces. Bangladesh has a strong team with world-class players.

                                                           Brendan Taylor

In terms of bowling, Mehidy was the best of the bunch with nine wickets, but Taskin deserves a standing ovation for his outstanding all-round performance. He had a match-defining partnership with Mahmudullah for the ninth wicket in the first innings, scoring 75 runs. In the morning session, he was brilliant with the ball, taking four wickets for a total of five scalps in the Test. Both teams' fielding was subpar, so they'll need to improve before the limited-overs series begins. Individual efforts from Taylor and Kaitano stood out for Zimbabwe, but the rest of the batters were unable to contribute as the team fell well short of the mark. In the first innings, Muzarabani claimed four Bangladesh wickets.

For his stunning century of 150* in the first innings, Mahamudullah was named man of the match. He had also announced his retirement from test on third day of the Test match.  Liton Das batted admirably but fell short of a century. Taskin and Mahamudallah worked well together. Taskin was a little impatient at times, but they formed a nice collaboration, and the total came out well. Liton and Mahmudullah's partnership was significant, as was Taskin's 75-run innings. Although the ground was so flat, Mehidy grabbed 9 wickets on it. As a result, it was a true team effort. Shakib also picked up some key wickets.

                                                      Mohammed Mahumudullah

Many cricket experts questioned Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque's decision to play with eight batters in the playing XI. Bangladesh will be full of confidence after this victory, and they will be hoping to repeat it in the ODI series. Following this one-off Test, Zimbabwe will play three ODIs and three T20Is, so it would be intriguing to see how they respond in the limited-overs contests. Bangladesh has a very strong One-Day International team, but given the circumstances at home, Zimbabwe should be able to compete better. This is all we have from the Test.

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

New Zealand Clinches The World Test Championship

New Zealand edged India in a final that had its ups and downs in the first innings thanks to a full effort on Reserve Day. The Kiwis made the most of their slim 32-run lead, bowling India out easily in the second innings to set a goal of just 139 runs. New Zealand trounced India by eight wickets at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Wednesday, with Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor delivering unbeaten innings of 52 and 47 runs respectively. The Kiwis have won their first world title. Kane Williamson will take the lead from the start to guarantee New Zealand does not falter in the last stage this time.

Winning toss, New Zealand sent India to bat, for making use of the bowler-friendly damp conditions. The Kiwi bowlers responded well to their captain’s decision, by restricting India to 88/3. But then Kohli and Rahane lead the Indian fightback and India reached 149 before losing Kohli to Jamieson. Kiwi pacers tested the Indian batsmen with their swing and length. Jamieson adjusted his length well on the second day of action to trouble the batsmen. Batsmen were made to play more deliveries rather than allowing them to leave them comfortably. At a stage, India was 200/6, but their first innings folded up for just 217, with Jamieson picking up a five-wicket haul. Boult and Wagner picked up two wickets each and Southee scalped one.

In New Zealand's first innings, the top 3 batsmen made good starts with Conway making a half-century and Williamson making a gritty 49. Latham made a valuable 30 to provide a good start for the Kiwis. But in the middle Kiwis lost some way with Indian bowlers especially Shami, Ishant, and Aswin picking up wickets in regular intervals. At some point in time, it looked as if India will gain some lead. But Indian allowed the Kiwi tail to wag and that cost them dearly. Jamieson and Southee made 21 and 30 respectively and New Zealand gained a crucial 32 runs lead. Jasprit Bumrah bowled well in patches but looked ineffective at times. Unfortunately, the Indian pacer went wicketless in the match. Jasprit Bumrah should not have been selected for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand, according to former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim. He alleged that the selectors chose him based on his reputation rather than his present form.

In the second Inning, too Indian batsmen were undone by the Kiwi pacers. Rohit Sharma looked good but was dismissed for 30 by Tim Southee. Indians lost wickets at regular intervals and were dismissed for 170. New Zealand had to chase down the target of 139 on the final reserve day of the match. In the second innings of India, Southee was the wrecker in chief as he took 4 crucial wickets. Boult, Jamieson, and Wagner picked three, two, and 1 wicket respectively. New Zealand lost Conway and Latham early in their chase. But Taylor and Williamson ensured victory for New Zealand without losing further wickets. Williamson displayed great character in leading from the front while making contributions with the bat and making some timely decisions. New Zealand played well to lift the trophy beating India. Many cricket pundits had predicted an Indian win, but the Islanders proved them all wrong. The selection of venue for the final was also criticized worldwide. The selection of England as the venue at this point was truly inappropriate. The match was interrupted by rain and some days were completely washed out. The match was extended to the sixth day which was the reserve day for the test match. But these interruptions could easily hinder the rhythm of players. Now the Indian fans are looking forward to their team in Sri Lanka under Shikhar Dhawan. New Zealand fans, at last, got a world title to cheer about, and it has been fittingly achieved under Kane Williamson.

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Hong Kong Cricket Sixes History


The Hong Kong Cricket Sixes is a tournament organized by the Cricket Hong Kong. The tournament is sanctioned by International Cricket Council and is generally held at the Kowloon Cricket Club. Matches are intended to be watched on television, with rules and a setting that encourages aggressive attack and high scores. The tournament is best suited for the all rounders, as all players except the wicket keeper need to bowl an over. All editions of the tournament were held at the Kowloon Cricket Club, with the exception of the 1996 and 1997 editions, which were held at Hong Kong Stadium.


Pakistan won the inaugural trophy in 1992. Wasim Akram was chosen as the man of the match. Teams from Pakistan, England and South Africa have won the tournament 5 times each. The Indian won the 2005 edition. In 2006, South Africa beat Pakistan, the five-time champions. Sri Lanka won the World Cup in 2007 after defeating an All-Stars team that included Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Shane Warne. In 2008, the All-Stars went to the tournament, with Brian Lara of the West Indies and Stephen Fleming of New Zealand as attacking members. They were joined by Sri Lanka, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, and hosts Hong Kong. Eight teams competed in the 2009 tournament, which ran from October 31 to November 1, with South Africa beating Hong Kong in the final. The Hong Kong Cricket Association was awarded HK $ 3.5 million by the Hong Kong Government's Mega Event Fund (MEF) to host the event in 2011, with additional funding provided by the KARP Group. The rules of tournament have been tweaked to meet the objectives of the Mega Events Fund, which promotes Hong Kong as Asia's event capital. The competition begins on Friday of the weekend and lasts two to three days. The number of competing teams was increased from 8 to 12 teams with the addition of 4 more teams, which comprised of a 3 international teams and 1 team of invitational squad of international players. Because of certain issues related to the time constraints HKCA did not make another MEF application in 2012 , and decided to rely on a smaller grant of government's ‘M’ Mark scheme. This resulted in a abated tournament played over two days on 27–28 October with just eight teams. All-Stars side was not a part of that edition of tournament. After 2012 there was a time gap before the tournament returned in 2017. This was mainly due to lack of funds. In 2013, the Hong Kong Cricket Association submitted  applications for MEF contributions. At first they had submitted for HK$10 million, but later they revised it toHK$5 million. But all these applications were turned down and the tournament was cancelled due to lack of funds. The organizers were left with only HK$1 million from the M-Mark scheme to compile the tournament. They couldn’t get enough sponsorships from private side too. After a delay of 5 years the tournament was held again in 2017. In that 19th edition, South Africa defeated Pakistan in the finals. Pakistan batting first made 123/6 in 4.5 overs. In reply , South Africa made 124/4 in five overs. South Africa won by 2 wickets.

Match rules

The Laws of Cricket apply, except:

1. Each match is played between two teams, comprising of six players. Each match consists of a maximum of five overs of 6 balls each, bowled by each side. The final match has eight-ball overs.

2. Every member of the fielding side, except the wicket keeper bowls one over each.

3. Wides and no-balls costs two runs.

4. If five wickets fall before the completion of 5 overs, the last remaining batsman bats alone with the fifth batsman, who was out acting as a runner. He always takes the strike. The innings is complete when the sixth wicket falls or the quota of 5 overs are completed.

5. When the batsman reaches 31 runs, they retire. A batsman who previously retired on reaching 31 runs, can return to the crease once the other lower order batsmen has been out or retired.

6. The winning team obtains 2 points for each.

7. There wont be a free hit after the no ball.