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India’s U19 World Cup triumph 2018!

India’s U19 World Cup triumph!

India and Cricket are inseparable and so are the U19 World Cup Victories and Indian Cricket Team. Indian team today defeated the Australians to capture the 4th title which makes India the most successful team in the history, playing 6 finals overall. This team has showed the world the true champion spirit and have won every match on the road to championship. I would want to specifically talk about few points in this celebratory write up of India’s Victory.

Points:

Firstly, in whole of Tournament India U19 team never looked in pressure, did not face any tough situations or were criticized by any expert on their play. They had smooth game plan and executed them fantastically to reach the top of the world and that too as an undefeated team.

Second, Master class stroke play, high quality fielding and clever bowling is must for any team to win. India had all of them in the bank and that’s the reason we have seen tremendous fast bowling, quick fielding and fearless batting. Indian team in this tournament has rarely seen any misfields or any missed chances. What matters most though is the discipline that a player has towards his game and that makes him a valuable player. For example, we have Unmukt Chand (2014) the captain of Winning Indian team in 2014 tournament held in Australia. Plus none of the team members of the 2012 World Cup winning team are playing for Indian team today, even after 6 years.

India team this time has produced some skillful players and those who can be a superb addition to the India’s Future. Prithvi Shaw is already compared to the Great Tendulkar, Shubman Gill, Manjot Kalra, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Ishan, Anukul, Shiva, Mavi and many more. Almost all the 11 players have been extremely disciplined and showed class on the given day. I certainly don’t doubt the capability of the players and the discipline that they possess and will see most of them play for the senior team.

Nothing has changed in the players dedication levels of different winning teams but the deciding factor is the Coach. Coach is the one who doesn’t just look at the short-term goal of winning the trophy but also looks at long term results. That’s the major difference between the different coaches in this World Cup. What Rahul Dravid has done to the team is something that no coach in this era would’ve done. He has not only given them the required skill but also the patience and moral boost. His ideals would be imprinted in the minds of the players. We must not forget they are U19 and a bunch of teenagers. It is very hard to manage the boys of that age and he has done it successfully and turned them from Boys to Men. Not taking away the efforts the players have put, it’s always a Coach that builds the team and that is why the big man behind this victory after 6 six years is Rahul Dravid.

I don’t think I can stop speaking about the greatness of the wall of India – Dravid. Very soon these players will represent the respective state teams and few of them will play in IPL. All that they must do is not to lose the respect towards game and that’s the only thing that which will decide their fate. For the time being, everyone including the players and the whole country are basking in the glory of this great win!!!

India vs South Africa – No time to prepare?

India vs South Africa

This post is the result of the comments made by Virat Kohli on the tight schedule that Indian team is going through. He complained that there are just 2 days available to practice for South Africa series. When we thought all was good, Virat Kohli Team’s captain speaks his unhappiness about scheduling back to back series and no time gap for Bigger Series. BCCI and ICC should’ve done something about this but now it’s too late. With the new Test league coming up let’s hope that that will reduce this unplanned scheduling and give us a prepared and well contested Test Series. That Said, I am very hopeful that India will be able to give their best performance ever in the history India South Africa series.

Will India’s Dream run Continue?

Indian Team is on a roll and things look comfortable to beat the Lankans yet again and complete the Ninth Successive Test Series Win and will continue their dream run of making it 10th Test Series win when they lock horns against South Africa in the New Year. 2018 will kick off with what should be most thrilling and challenging Series in long time for India.  It’s not going to be easy for India to win the series against mighty Africans that too in their Home Turf. To make things harder the series is scheduled not more than 10 days after Sri Lanka series. We are playing Sri Lanka twice in six months once away and now home.

What if the series was limited to only Test Series and have a one month break for the South African Tour.  Sri Lanka series ends on December 24th leaving just 10 days for first test and 4 days before India pack their bags to Dark continent.

Let’s look at the past performance of India in South Africa! 

  • 1992/93  Winner-South Africa        1-0 (4)
  • 1996/97  Winner-South Africa        2-0 (3)
  • 2001/02  Winner-South Africa        1-0 (2)
  • 2006/07  Winner-South Africa        2-1 (3)
  • 2010/11  drawn                               1-1 (3)
  • 2013/14  Winner-South Africa        1-0 (2)

From the history we can see that India could never win a series against South Africans in their backyard. The closest they came was in the year 2010/11 which is best performance managing a draw series. Lights of Sachin, Dravid, VVS Laxman and Zaheer Khan played their part in the Drawn series.

With the thirst of winning first ever series still running high India needs to pick the best squad. Those who are good enough to play in the flat pitches. Bowlers who can hit the deck hard to pick wickets. We have been seeing a good amount of preparation by Pujara and Ashwin by playing English county. But most of the players have either played domestic cricket of International cricket in various formats.

Now all that can happen is resting some key players for the ODI and T20 matches against Lankans and play India A kind of team with them. Separate training camp should be there at least for two weeks from 10th December to 24th December. Every member who is playing in South Africa can be a part of the coaching camp. Then the team can rest for a week before leaving to South Africa after new year!

 

India falls just 10 overs short to win the first match! Who is to be Blamed?

In today’s post I will talk about one significant reason, why we couldn’t win the Kolkata test match though we were in a perfect position to win after taking 7 wickets for just 75 runs!

Another cricket match and yet another disturbance which is the reason why we had to see no result in the India Vs Sri Lanka first test match. If it was the rain that was bothering Indians fans for long time, this Test match we have seen different problem and that is Bad Light Stopping the Play.

Yes, Kolkata is the right place to schedule test match in the month of November and the first two days rains were unseasonal and nobody can be blamed for it, but BCCI should be blamed for time that Match was scheduled to start.

It is known fact that Sun rises late and Sunsets early during the winters and that makes day shorter. This phenomenon is yearly and BCCI being the richest cricket club in the world should have planned to start the Match at least a half-n-hour early. I am not blaming authorities for the rain but surely for the late start.

Every day we were to stop the match well before play time and almost 40 mins before. The late start meant that India was deprived of winning the match. Because if the lost time was available at least on 3 days which were not rain affected days then we would’ve had another 20 overs of play for. Indian would have comfortably won the match.

Why was the Half-n-hour not available for India for 3 days?

The actual session timings for any test match are 2 hours per session or to bowl minimum 90 overs in a day. In India matches are scheduled to start at 9:30 and go on till 5:00 – 5:15 PM. Two breaks are given that is after 1st session Lunch for 40-45 minutes and Tea after 2nd session for 20 minutes. Over rates are usually 13-14 per hour and that’s how we get to play 7 hours giving 90 overs per day. Let’s look at the problem now!!

Sunrise time in Kolkata 5:50 AM

Sunset time in Kolkata 4:52 PM

The above times are the average time taken from 16th November to 20th November.

So, if sun sets in Kolkata at 4:52 and at a stadium which is surrounded with trees there is high possibility that light starts fading 20 minutes before Sunset. Which means it’ll be 4:30 and we lose 45 minutes of play. Likewise, in Hyderabad also we are seeing that actual Sunset time is at 5:52PM but it starts getting dark by 5:30 PM. So, looking at all these things how can one can even think that play will be possible till 5:15 unless he is a Fool.

What can be the Solution?

Kolkata sunrises at 5:50 AM and in Hyderabad sunrises at 6:25 AM. Instead of starting match at 9:30 AM and playing till 5:00 PM. If the match starts 30 mins early that is at 9:00 AM then there are high possibilities of closing the day by 4:30-4:45 PM maximum. But the problem is the viewers. If you start match at 9:00 AM it is very early for people to reach the stadium because the time that we follow is Indian Standard Time (GMT +5:30). Many people start their day based on the time and not on the sunrise or sunset. How do we tackle this?

What is the Solution 2.0?

The drastic step that India needs to take and make matches easier to conduct is to change the Standard time zone that we follow. Why not we have two standard time zones? Lets call them   Eastern Standard time and Western Standard Time.

Eastern Standard Time (EST) can be taken at 90 degrees longitude which passes near Kolkata and Western Standard Time (WST) at 75 degrees longitude which passes near Delhi. So, EST and WST border can be the present IST which is 82.5 degrees. That means there will be 15 degrees gap between both the time zones. 7.5 degrees Eastern so 82.5+7.5 is 90 and 7.5 degrees to Western so 82.5-7.5 is 75. EST will be followed by the right side of 82.5 and WST will be followed by left side of 82.5 degrees. What happens now is that people following EST will be 6 hours ahead of GMT instead of 5:30 hours as per IST whereas people following WST will be 5 hours ahead of GMT instead of 5:30 hours earlier. That will mean that India will have Two clocks, and everything will work per the respective clocks.

For Example:

As per Indian Standard Time Bombay Sunrise is 6:50 AM and Kolkata sunrise is 5:50 AM.

As per my proposed WST Bombay sunrise will be 6:20AM and as per my proposed EST Kolkata sunrise will be 6:20 AM. So if sun rises at Kolkata at 6.20AM instead of 5.50AM as per IST, we can start the match at 9AM and sun will set at 5.20PM instead of 4.50PM and we can have play till 5PM instead of calling it off at 4.30PM. Isn’t it a perfect solution? Think about it!

I feel that time is up for India to wake up and bring this change, because in India cricket is Worth Million Dollars and all the stakeholders part of this will have to leap forward and make this change happen.

Blues Rockin in Whites!

Comfortable Victory for Team India and it’s yet another series victory for Team India with a match still to go. It is never achieved feat by Team India in Whites as they win the 8th consecutive series under the most promising captain Virat Kohli.

Will Virat Kohli become the most successful Indian Captain?

Let us look back at the 8 series victories.

  1. India vs Srilanka series at Srilanka August 2015: India wins 3 match series 2-1.
  2. India vs South Africa in India 2015: India wins 4 match series 3-0
  3. India vs West Indies in West Indies 2016: India wins the 4-match series 2-0
  4. India vs New Zealand in India 2016: India wins the 3-match series 3-0
  5. India vs England in India 2016: India wins the 5-match series 4-0
  6. India vs Bangladesh in India 2017: India wins one off test 1-0
  7. India vs Australia in India 2017: India wins 4 test series 2-1
  8. India vs Srilanka in Srilanka 2017: India wins 3 test series 2-0

India played 26 tests in last 24 months and have won 19 of them, lost 2 and have drawn 5 tests. That is a win record of 73% the highest ever from the time we started playing cricket in 20 or more tests. Is this the best test team in the World? This 8-series win is just one short of the record held by Australian team with 9 series wins. India has played every other test playing nation en route this record streak, except the Arch Rivals Pakistan. India has defeated teams which were in their top form and reached to the top of the table standing now as the champion team. Maybe only Pakistan can stop team India or May be not!

So, what are chances for India to equal or break that record with 10 series wins?

If you see the 8 series wins 3 of them came outside India while 5 came at home. It’s a well-known fact that Indians are tigers at home. Plus, out of the 3 wins abroad, 2 came against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka and another against West Indies. Both are weak teams and India should not have a problem beating them.

So, what are the next series lined up for India?

India will play a full series with South Africa in South Africa from December 2017 to February 2018 that involves 4 tests. This will be the real test for Indian team and Virat Kohli. A win here means India will create history because after that India will host Sri Lanka in 3 test series and that would be a cake walk. So, the toughest and biggest challenge will be in South Africa and that will put to rest the debate whether Indian team is really the No. 1 test team in the World today!!

Champions Trophy 2017

Champions Trophy

History

8th edition of Champions Trophy has just started in England. 3rd time its happening in England. Started in 1998, Champions Trophy was conceived as a knock out even happening once every 2 years. Bangladesh hosted the first edition and quickly it captured the mind space of cricket lovers. But the first major hurdle occurred in 2002. India was supposed to host the 3rd edition of the tournament in 2002 after Kenya hosted the 2nd. But just months before the tournament BCCI has given up saying the tournament is too expensive to host as Govt hasn’t given tax exemption. The tax rates on entertainment were very high during those days and substantial amount of BCCI revenue would go to Govt as tax. Hosting a tournament with 12 nations with just few matches would not bring revenue as most of the Non-Indian matches hardly bring viewership or ad revenue. And since its not a World Cup the excitement factor will also be very less. The tournament however was shifted to Sri Lanka BCCI hosted Champions Trophy only in 2006 when the then Govt. decided to make it tax free.

 India and Champions Trophy

But the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy in India has its own share of controversies. It was a 10 nation tournament held in 4 cities of Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Mohali in October-November. Just few months before in July there were blasts in Mumbai that killed many people. Some South African players were scared to travel to India as the match fixing probe was going on against them. People like Herschelle Gibbs feared arrest if they come to India. Anyways, the tournament started and the crowds were very less and there was no interest at all. India lost 2 out of 3 matches it played and couldn’t make it to semis. Final was between Australia and West Indies which Australia won through D/L method. Even in Trophy presentation there were controversies. Final was in Mumbai and then then Agriculture minister and big leader from Maharashtra Sharad Pawar was on the stage to present the trophy. Ricky Ponting, who was the captain then walked upto the stage, said “Hola buddy” to Pawar and patted his shoulder and asked him to give the trophy fast. Once the trophy in hand, another team member Damien Martyn pushed Pawar from the stage and Australians started celebrating. Everyone including Sachin Tendulkar reacted very harshly at the unprofessional behavior of Aussies.

 Controversies in Team India

After this, Champions Trophy was made once in 4 years instead of 2, and now the 8th edition is happening in England. It is also not without any controversies. The event is dominated by Kumble vs Kohli spat. Dressing room politics and differences of opinions was never new to India. The infamous Gavaskar vs Kapil spat was the story of 80’s and from then on there was always politics in Indian dressing room. In-fact Politics and Cricket in India go hand in hand. Its the politicians who head every state Cricket board in India and selection of players in every cricket board involves politics. So players who come up from this environment will play politics at any level. Everyone, be in Sachin or Saurav or Dhoni or Kohli everyone plays their round of politics. But the coach vs Captain saga was started with Greg Chappel and Saurav Ganguly. That really brought out many ugly things and had gone really sour. After that BCCI took extra care in appointing coaches. Kumble was appointed the coach after Ravi Shastri was eased out as interim coach. Shastri sulked but took it in his stride. Kohli and Shastri have a great equation and somewhere Shastri not being the coach affected Kohli indirectly. In putting Kumble as coach Dhoni extracted his piece of revenge on Shastri who conspired against Dhoni.

The Double K’s Saga

So what went wrong between Kohli and Kumble? Its like Discipline vs Free will battle. Kumble belongs to that school of thought where for a good performance you need to be disciplined. That includes cutting down on parties and staring practice sessions early morning. Kohli belongs to the school of thought that believes in Play hard and Party hard. He believes in giving it all on the ground and the same give it all on the dance floor. That would mean practice sessions will start late and that wouldn’t be taken very seriously. Maximum role of coach comes in practice sessions and with Kohli not taking them seriously has hurt the ego of Kumble. One thing led to another and finally it snowballed into a big ego clash between the two. Both are very strong willed individuals who stuck to their stand. Kumble’s contract ends with Champions Trophy and Kohli insists on not giving an extension to Kumble. Captain has no role to play in selecting the coach but in a politically surcharged environment everyone interferes in others jobs. Sehwag applied for the job and Shastri is keen on it. Now if Sehwag becomes the coach then he will be tougher than Kumble. That is something Kohli has to take note of. The only solution I can see is everyone keeping their egos and interference under check. Mind your business and give your best. That’s all Indian team needs right now.

The Big Match – India Vs Pakistan

On the Indo-Pak match, thankfully dressing room issues didn’t come onto the field. India started off brilliantly with a 100 run partnership and the match interrupted by rain multiple times went on to make 300 plus. Captain Kohli played a brilliant innings scoring a 80 and he was aptly supported by Yuvi. As Shastri put it in post match analysis, right from 2003 Natwest trophy in tournament after tournament in England, Yuvi has been delivering consistently. If he continues then India might go all the way and could even win for the 2nd time. India went on to make 319 in their 48 overs and Pakistan were set 324 run target. That target also was revised to 289 in 41 overs when rain interrupted the match again. Pakistan started off decently but lost the way once Shoaib Malik got out and were bowled out for 164. India win comprehensively by 124 runs. That takes India’s score in ICC tournaments against Pakistan to 13-2. A win against Pakistan is always something to relish but this one came very easily. It was always looking one sided. India will face Sri Lanka next on Thursday and then South Africa on next Sunday. One out of these two will take India into semi finals. Let’s wish the team all the best and relish the big win against Pakistan!
Happy Week Everyone!!

Indian Cricket Team

India -A place where cricket is treated as a religion, thanks to famous World Cup victory by Kapil Dev and team in the year 1983. This team was called as complete Indian team as the team had players from different parts of India, unlike previous teams where most of the players were from Mumbai. So, 1983 not just made one day cricket famous but has also made India a recognized cricketing nation.

Everything was perfect, but then came aspect of ‘bheda’ = ‘dividing’ in the team and that resulted in rifts. Groupism took the center stage, the Indian team was divided into 2 groups to be precise one led by Kapil & other by Gavaskar. This didn’t lead to anywhere for team India and it resulted in unnecessary damage to team India and players individually. When you represent the country, you represent set of people, not an individual which was highly followed in that era. People were more interested in individual milestones. Slowly time moved and we had great players like Sachin Tendulkar coming and tried to change the things but he alone was not able to make any change and he stepped down as a captain to be a normal player. Then started the new era in Indian cricket called the Dada era.

Sourav Ganguly a person who just not became successful captain he brought the change, the change which was most needed. He brought in players like Yuvraj, Harbhajan, Kaif, Dhoni etc he motivated young talents and built the confidence in the minds of team players. He was successful in winning NatWest series chasing down mammoth 326. He went on to become most successful Indian captain. Yes, we did lose Wc final in 2003 because it was still a team in making.

But his time is getting over what does he do!?

That’s when he groomed and created a new captain MS Dhoni. The era in which India won the World Cup after 28 years is Dhoni Era. Dhoni was just not a captain he was a mentor who supported young talent and kept on taking risks which were worth. Remember Joginder Sharma’s final over 2007 T20 Wc victory. He then went on to bring in players like Raina, Ashwin, Jadeja, Kohli and much more. Now we all know he is the most successful captain winning almost everything that’s there to be won. He was selfless and always put the team ahead in success but took all blame for failures. He failed in 2016 WC. Right when everybody was rooting him for Wc 2019 he had different plans.

He felt the time has come for him to step down & he silently moved on and before any rift could occur he instilled confidence in ViratKohli, he motivated him and groomed him for captaincy. Kohli now is more matured & does things much better than what he did earlier and he has put his emotions to a limit.

Dada & Dhoni were absolutely same expect with their style of handling yet their vision was bull’s eye. Now that the “Bheda” factor is no more seen in Indian team it’s Virat Show and he will be able to take India to new heights.

Understand that the last Sunday Victory was not just a few days’ work its continuous hard work and self-belief that the team is carrying in each of them. This confidence, motivation, self-belief and hard work are no ways going waste.

To end this Wishing ViratKohli very good luck for his new role. And you all just believe in self-belief! Success is waiting for you.

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