Franchises must buy more local players

The much-anticipated IPL auction of this year is just a handful of days away from the real world now. It will be that time of the year when the soi-disant demigods of the game will be up for sale. The celebrated names on the cricket field will be hawked across the eight franchises and depending upon their needs, demands and budget, these franchises will build a team by luxuriating in some money-spinning deals.
The reason why this year's auction is a hot topic is because it is going to be a mega auction which will see a significant revamp in the structure of almost all teams. The two-day auction is likely to be a witness to numerous startling decisions. The Indian Premier League is at a level now where a lot of things have to be kept in mind before taking a decision for there are other facets involved which are far away from the competition between the bat and the ball. A commercialised event, as it has been for some years, a lot of pondering goes behind the development of the brand …

What is lost is not just a series

There were theories regarding this Indian Test team being the best so far to compete in and against South Africa. There were talks as to how each player of the current lot understands his role and responsibility in the team. There was confidence to the extent that the idea of playing a warm-up match was shelved. 
But within a span of 13 days, things have changed. Well, the results have forced us to think likewise for what is lost is not just a series, but, an aspiration. An aspiration to continue the current form in overseas conditions and the greater aspiration of winning a Test series in South Africa.
Selection conundrums? Plenty! They were, they are and they will remain until and unless they are worked upon. Be it the openers, the middle-order or the wicket-keeper, there is no set procedure at the moment.
India were banking heavily on Murali Vijay (69 runs in two matches at an average of 17.25) and Cheteshwar Pujara (49 runs in two matches at an average of 12.25) before the series. Th…

Preview - First ODI - India vs Australia

It is not for the first time that Australia are completing a tour of India in multiple trips. Talking about Australia's visits to India in the past decade, they played a seven-match ODI series in 2007. In the following year, they played a four-match Test series. The Aussies featured in another seven-match ODI series in 2009.
In 2010, they visited India for a short tour, i.e., two Test matches and three ODIs, out of which two ODIs were abandoned without a ball being bowled. In February-March 2013, they played a four-match Test series on the Indian soil. They returned back in October to play a one-off T20I and seven ODIs. Perhaps, their itinerary of 2017 was made on similar grounds. A four-match Test series in February-March, followed by a five-match ODI series and a three-match T20I series in September-October. Australia beat Pakistan 4-1 in ODIs this year (in January). However, they haven't won a match in the same format since then. Playing an ODI series against India in India w…

Will Sri Lanka be able to end their own misery?

To remember the last time when the Sri Lankan cricket team was going through such a horrendous patch can be a tedious task. Any format of the game, home or away, they have been down and out in the past year or so. On this tour, there have been instances which depict that even the fans are losing interest now.
Well, that is how audiences around the globe tend to react. One and the only one thing, which can improve all of this is a road back to wining ways. One and the only name which can change the current situation is the Sri Lankan team itself. No one, but, the Sri Lankan players themselves will have to put in the efforts to end their own misery.
The first time India whitewashed Sri Lanka in a bilateral ODI series was way back in 1982 when Sri Lanka played three ODIs at Amritsar, Delhi and Bangalore and lost them by 78 runs, 6 wickets and 6 wickets respectively. India increased their domination to 5-0 around three years ago in 2014. If they win today's match, the score (5-0) might …

The metamorphosis of the English line-up

Nick Compton. Joe Root. Michael Carberry. Sam Robson. Jonathan Trott. Adam Lyth. Moeen Ali. Alex Hales. Ben Duckett. Haseeb Hameed. Keaton Jennings. Mark Stoneman? Wondering why all these names have been written above? Well, these are the Test opening partners of Alastair Cook since the retirement of Andrew Strauss. Surprised?
You should be. 11 opening batsmen in a span of five years deserves a decent amount of this human emotion. But, such has been the level of transition in the England Test squad.
Had England been given the option of a 3-1 series victory over South Africa before the start of the series, they would have excepted it gleefully. South Africa came back from behind to level the series at Trent Bridge. With Faf du Plessis back in England, it seemed as if the result of the series would go down till the wire.
With victories at The Oval (by 239 runs) and Old Trafford (by 177 runs), England sealed the series without much discomfort. It was also the most desired start for England …

Review - Day 1 - 1st Test - SL vs IND.

India is back to cricket's ancestral format after a spree of limited-overs tournaments since April. Irrespective of Sri Lanka's current form and rankings, it is generally difficult to play against them on their home soil. Surprises tend to happen on the island. The last time a No. 1 ranked team (Australia) played test cricket in Sri Lanka, they were whitewashed 3-0.
Even before the start of the series, the score was levelled at 1-1 in terms of players lost to injuries for the first test. Sri Lanka had to take field without their newly-appointed captain, Dinesh Chandimal. On the other hand, the visitors were without the services of their opener, Lokesh Rahul, who is down with viral fever. However unfortunate it may sound, Rahul's fever solved the confusion regarding India's opening pair. Abhinav Mukund and Shikhar Dhawan were set to open.
India's captain, Virat Kohli, won the toss and elected to bat. In a move that solved another selection conundrum, Hardik Pandya was…

Preview - WI vs IND - 1st ODI.

The last time India toured West Indies for a bilateral ODI series was in 2011. Subramaniam Badrinath, Yusuf Pathan, Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel were a part of the Indian squad in that series. Talking about the hosts, among the current team, only Devendra Bishoo was a part of the squad that faced India in 2011. Both the teams have faced each other 116 times in ODIs, with West Indies winning 60 matches and India 53.Out of the 28 matches that both of these teams have played in the past 10 years, 18 have been won by India and seven by West Indies. The numbers throw light on West Indies' domination in the past and their lacklustre performance in the recent times. In what will be India's first series post the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, the management would be eager to try the two fresh faces, which have been named in the ODI squad. Having not been a part of the Champions Trophy, West Indies would want to resurrect their campaign at the highest level. They had hosted Afghanistan for…