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Showing posts from May, 2017

Preview - ICC Champions Trophy 2017 - England.

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England have never won the ICC Champions Trophy. They had reached the final for the first time in 2004 but failed to get past West Indies. Then reached the semi-final in 2009 but lost to Australia. In the last edition of the tournament in 2013, a deficit of five runs separated them from the title. Home conditions will definitely be on their side in this tournament. But more than anything, it is the modern-day limited overs England team which has earned itself the tag of 'Favourites'.In the last 12 months, England have lost only one (against India in India) ODI series. The last series which they lost in England was against Australia in September 2015. In the last 11 times that England has batted first in ODIs, nine times they scored totals of 300+. The equation went up to 444-3 in an ODI against Pakistan. They fell short of just four runs (296-6) in the remaining one time. Such has been the strength of their batting order! Expected Playing Eleven1) Jason Roy 2) Alex Hales 3) Joe…

Preview - ICC Champions Trophy 2017 - South Africa.

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Since the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, South Africa have lost only a couple of bilateral ODI series (vs Bangladesh in 2015 and the ongoing series vs England), which throws light on their recent ODI form and is a testimony as to why they are the No. 1 ranked ODI team. They wouldn't have expected to be 0-2 down with a match to go in the existent series. However, they should be relieved that the drubbing has come in the series before the Champions Trophy and not in the Champions Trophy.
The Proteas won the inaugural edition of the Champions Trophy in 1998 (when it was known as the 1998 ICC KnockOut Trophy), which is till date their only major ICC event title. They lost in the semi-final to India in 2000 and 2002. Lost in the semi-final to West Indies in 2006 and then to England in 2013. If they get the permutation and combination of their all-rounders and bowlers right, this could well be the year for them.
Expected Playing Eleven1) Quinton de Kock (wk) 2) Hashim Amla 3) Faf du Plessis …

Preview - ICC Champions Trophy 2017 - Bangladesh.

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'Thrilling' would be the best word to describe the Bangladesh team in the current scenario. The team is on a spree of success, which it had never experienced before. Their mindset, their performance and the current ICC ODI rankings are testimony to it. Talking of mindset, the modern-day Bangladesh players take part in every match with a vista to win. Even if they lose, one or two individual stand-out performances are part of the loss.
Since their 15-run win over England in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Bangladesh have defeated Pakistan, India and South Africa in bilateral series on their home deck. As recent as this Wednesday, New Zealand became their latest victim as they were thumped them by five wickets in the last match of the tri-series in Ireland. Throwing light on the ICC ODI rankings, Bangladesh have jumped to No. 6 with 93 points, their best ever. In the rankings, they are above Sri Lanka, Pakistan and West Indies - all former world champions. Bangladesh will be featu…

Preview - ICC Champions Trophy 2017 - Pakistan.

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Current No. 8 in the ICC ODI rankings, it will take a lot out of the Pakistani team to win their maiden ICC Champions Trophy title. Pakistan have won three out of eight ODIs played this year. They lost to Australia 1-4 down under. However, they won 2-1 against West Indies in West Indies last month.
Sarfraz Ahmed took charge from Azhar Ali in the series against West Indies. It will be interesting to see how he handles the big role in an ICC tournament such as this. If the senior names in the Pakistan squad play to their potential, moving forward in the tourney will not be as strenuous as it looks from the outset for they have a very talented bunch of youngsters as support.
Irrespective of the results, Pakistan have looked a better team since Mickey Arthur has joined the team as the head coach. The team, as a whole, would want to gain from his experience and move ahead in a positive direction.
Expected Playing Eleven1) Ahmed Shehzad 2) Azhar Ali 3) Babar Azam 4) Mohammad Hafeez 5) Shoaib M…

Preview - ICC Champions Trophy 2017 - India.

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Rain had curtailed an ODI match to a 20-over fixture. A rich brand of economical bowling helped MS Dhoni defend 130 by a deficit of five runs at Edgbaston, Birmingham. India had won the ICC Champions Trophy for the second time. Four years down the line, India will once again take field in the English conditions in the quest to win their third Champions Trophy title.
In what will be Virat Kohli's first attempt at an ICC trophy as a captain, the team has all what it takes to lift the trophy. "I am very excited to be playing as captain in my first major ICC competition. As far as the team goes, we won last time because our fast bowlers did very well, our spinners were strong and our opening batsmen did well.", Kohli said during a press conference in England.
"They were the main three factors. This year the team is a lot fitter, the cricketers are a lot more mature because that was a very young group four years ago. It has gained a lot of experience in the last three or f…

Preview - ICC Champions Trophy 2017 - New Zealand.

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New Zealand have a history with the ICC Champions Trophy. The Kiwis won the second edition of the tournament in 2000 (when it was known as the 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy) under Stephen Fleming. Since then, they reached the semi-final (2006) and final (2009) but lost to Australia both the times by 34 runs and six wickets respectively.
The current squad contains a bunch of exuberant names with some experienced campaigners. The versatility of their batsmen consolidates the line-up. A quartet of fast bowlers and a duo of spinners add variety to the bowling division. Under Kane Williamson, the black caps would be looking grab hands on their second title after a long wait of 17 years.
Expected Playing Eleven1) Tom Latham 2) Martin Guptill 3) Kane Williamson (c) 4) Ross Taylor 5) Neil Broom 6) James Neesham 7) Luke Ronchi (wk) 8) Mitchell Santner 9) Tim Southee 10) Mitchell McClenaghan 11) Trent Boult

SpecificationCaptaining the side in the absence of Williamson has yielded both results and runs …

Preview - ICC Champions Trophy 2017 - Sri Lanka.

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A solitary win in eight ODI matches in the year 2017 proves why Sri Lanka is at No. 6 in the ICC ODI rankings. They lost 0-5 to South Africa in South Africa earlier this year and then came back from behind to win the third ODI against Bangladesh to draw the home series.
His recent form and fitness suggests that Angelo Mathews is no more the Angelo Mathews we knew about. He will be donning the Sri Lankan colours after a hiatus of nine months. Having said that, the 29-year old all-rounder would be longing to be back among the runs, the wickets and the fitness!
In what was their best attempt in the ICC Champions Trophy, Sri Lanka shared the title with India in 2002 on home soil. They lost to India in the semi-final by 8 wickets in 2013. They might not seem as the favourites this year, but you never know with this game of cricket! Expected Playing Eleven1) Niroshan Dickwella 2) Upul Tharanga 3) Kusal Mendis 4) Dinesh Chandimal(wk) 5) Angelo Mathews (c) 6) Asela Gunaratne 7) Seekkuge Prasanna…

IPL 2017 - 'The Top XI'.

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VIVO IPL 2017 is done and dusted now. The tourney was onlooker to some hard-fought and some one-sided matches. 60 matches were played over the past 47 days. There were a lot of masterly performances during the entire duration of the IPL. After considering all such recitals, here is a list of eleven players who form the 'Top XI' of this season of the Indian Premier League.

David Warner (c) - If there had been a vacancy for a synonym of consistency, the word 'Warner' would have been the first choice. The 30-year old captain of SunRisers Hyderabad ended the 10th season of IPL as the highest run-scorer with 641 runs under his belt. Maintaining an average of 58.27 and a strike rate of 141.81 for over 14 matches is no mean task. Warner continued his splendid run from IPL 2016 in terms of both batting and leading the side.Hashim Amla - Apart from scoring two centuries and two half-centuries in this IPL, Amla also broke the cliche regarding the inability of his style of batsmen…

Preview - ICC Champions Trophy 2017 - Australia.

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Just like the ICC Cricket World Cups, Australia, the current World Champions, are leading the way in the ICC Champions Trophy as well. As of now, they have won two titles (in 2006 & 2009). Even India has won the same number of titles, but they had shared the title in 2002 with Sri Lanka. Australia might not be the team it was once known for, but some individual heavyweights still have it in them to win the trophy for their nation.
The selectors have chosen a 15-man squad which comprises of some swashbuckling batsmen, value for money fast-bowling all-rounders and a brigade of high-speed bowlers. The squad has been named after taking into consideration the combo of modern-day limited overs cricket and the English conditions.
Expected Playing Eleven1) David Warner 2) Aaron Finch 3) Steven Smith (c) 4) Travis Head 5) Glenn Maxwell 6) Marcus Stoinis 7) Matthew Wade (wk) 8) Mitchell Starc 9) Pat Cummins 10) John Hastings 11) Josh Hazlewood SpecificationDavid Warner and Aaron Finch form a f…

Preview - Final - RPS vs MI.

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After 58 matches, 18,518 runs, 694 wickets, 94 half-centuries, 3 hat-tricks and 62,85,293 (and counting) tweets, the final of the 10th season of the Indian Premier League is ready to roll. Post the qualifying round, the top two teams of the points table have made their way into the final. In what will be the 'Maharashtrian Derby' for the fourth time in this IPL, the winner will take home INR 15 crore in addition to the IPL trophy.
Rising Pune Supergiant and Mumbai Indians will lock horns at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad tomorrow. In three head to head matches this year, Pune has gained a lead of 3-0 over Mumbai. The deficit has varied from seven wickets to three runs to 20 runs. Indians finished at the top spot in the points table but have somehow managed a way to not defeat Supergiant this year. Both the teams had defeated each other once in the last season of the IPL.
Rising Pune Supergiant are most likely to take field with the same eleven that played in…

Review - Eliminator - SRH vs KKR.

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The pitfall of not finishing on the top two spots in the points table of the Indian Premier League is that you get a sole chance to stake your claim for the final match. The sole chance, often known as the 'Eliminator', was given to SunRisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders last night. The match was scheduled to happen at the neutral venue of Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
Both teams were differentiated by a single point in the points table, which made it difficult to pick an out and out favourite for this encounter. Both teams were led by captains, who made sure that their overall tactics were well supported by their own bat. Captain of Kolkata Knight Riders, Gautam Gambhir, won the toss and elected to field. It seemed that the toss was a draw when the opposition captain in David Warner expressed desires of batting first. Both teams had made four changes to their squad. Kolkata included Ishank Jaggi for the first time in the season as a replacement for the injured Manish…

The numerals of IPL 10.

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The tenth edition of the Indian Premier League is into its fag end now. The last match of the league stage was played last night between Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. The encounter was a full stop to the 56-match spread out league stage.
The top four teams who will feature in the play-offs were decided not before the penultimate match. Such is the essence of the Indian Premier League. Mumbai Indians, Rising Pune Supergiant, SunRisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders have all qualified for the playoffs.
Indians are set to face Supergiant in the first qualifier tomorrow. A raring Mumbai crowd will be behind their home team. The first eliminator will be played between SunRisers and Knight Riders on the day after tomorrow in Bengaluru.
It is perhaps the most apt time to compare the numerals of all the eight teams for they all have played the same number of matches as of now. Only Royal Challengers Bangalore and SunRisers Hyderabad have play…