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Rohit Sharma And His Nonchalant Execution Of Nonviolent Sixes

Based on how a bowler has visualised his delivery in his run-up sometimes that’s what happens: The bowler thinks that the ball has come out of his hand alright, it’s not full enough to be driven, not short enough to be cut or pulled, it’s not on the pads so that the batsman will clip it way and neither there’s enough room for the batsman to free his arms, who at best can dab it for single. But percentages favour it being a dot ball. And in response the batsman hasn’t move much in his crease, no real hint of footwork, no intent from him as the bat is coming down straight, it should hence go down as a dot ball and the bowler Read more…

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5 For 6, 4 In 4 And Many More – Mesmerising Malinga’s Thunderous Roar

The only bowler in the history of the game to claim a hat-trick in each of the consecutive ICC World Cups of 2007 and 2011 seemed a rather diminished force during CWC 2015. He appeared to be significantly slower in the following years in which he also put on weight. His yorkers were no longer as destructive as they used to be, his distinctive action was no more a secret to the world and his deliveries that were often hard to pick didn’t posses the same control and accuracy. Almost everyone thought his career was done a couple of years ago but he has returned to the scenes in a fashion that none of them would ever have imagined. Read more…

Steve Smith’s Memorable Return In Whites – A Comeback For The Ages

On the opening day of the Ashes 2019 at Birmingham Steve Smith was making a statement. He was the best test batsman in the world when the Cape Town saga took place that left him banned took place. And now there he was, some 15 months later, telling the world that he was still the best test batsman around. No fuss, no frill – it was almost as if Read more…

ICC World Cup 2019 – Teams That Didn’t Make It To The Knockouts

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A tournament having an abundance of harsh lessons and full of mediocrity have bulldozed Afghanistan over more often than not. Except for the games against India where they looked in some control for most of the game-time and against Pakistan where a brief reputation-enhancing sparkle took the game deep into the final over they have played some under-par cricket throughout the tournament. Their batsmen never really got going and even Mohammad Nabi, their most successful bowler in the tournament lacked penetration. But what hurt their chances more than anything else was the absence of a leader. Gulbadin Naib gave away runs at an economy close to 6.5 and scored runs at an average of just over 21. Rashid Khan was the biggest disappointment. Read more…

Emotions Pour, Dreams Shatter As New Zealand Gun India Down At Manchester

What could be the enduring memory of this wrenching encounter for the Indian fans? May be just a heartbeat short? A game that witnessed their hearts stop and run in an alternate fashion, a game that saw their dreams to die and reborn in a flicker first and then in a flame was eventually sealed out with Martin Guptill having his laugh over Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The Kiwi opener might have had a woeful outing throughout the tournament with the bat but he didn’t let his team down when it mattered. With Guptill finding the stumps from square-leg to beat Dhoni’s lunging bat India’s World Cup dreams were now irretrievably laid into the ashes for 4 agonising years, and for Dhoni – whose resounding six in the 2011 World Cup final is still imprinted in the hearts of every Indian cricket fan – it’s probably forever gone. Read more…

Rohit And His World Cup Hundreds – A Thing Of Beauty, A Touch Of Class

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That Rohit Sharma oozes batting talent is no longer a secret. He has got malleable wrists, knack to find the gaps, an extra half a second when he plays his shots and an outrageously special ability to hit sixes at will. He can play all the shots that are in the cricketing manual and a few more that not many others can, because some of the shots in cricket are made for certain players only. Take the Kumar Sangakkara cover drive for example – knee bent to perfection, the bat swing, the stamp of authority and all the elegance in the world. Rohit’s pull for that matter – the panache, the ease, the timing and the follow-through – all in abundance. Read more…

Clinical India Pound Pakistan To A Thrashing Defeat, Go 7-0 Up In World Cups

A standalone contest distilled out from white political noise and hype, regarded as one of cricket’s most anticipated rivalries, on its biggest cricketing stage has once again failed to live up to its billing. Such has been an India-Pakistan game when it comes down to the World Cups, it’s like an antidote to the Sharjah days that continues to feed off its golden past, yet evidences the present like nothing else does.

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The Men-in-Blues Are Off The Blocks As Hitman Strikes Gold

“Underperforming” – an apparently disheartening term that kept following Rohit Sharma like a shadow ever since the commencement of IPL 2019. Be it was the affair of not getting off to the dazzling starts he usually does or his temporal inability to convert them; he simply looked weighted down by the burden which was enforced upon him that he was underperforming. Yes, he scored 400+ runs in the IPL, but that he had taken 15 innings to get there and that too having opened the batting in all those 15 games is not what you’d associate with “Rohit Sharma the opener”. Read more…

What Went Wrong For India During Another “What-Could-Have-Been” Test Series On Foreign Soil

Could India have asked for a weaker England side for the 4th test at Southampton? English openers have been in the middle of a crisis right through the series. It’s almost as if their captain has forgotten how to score a hundred as he remains in quest of his 14th test ton having scored the 13th more than a year ago. Their middle order had someone to whom 4 was an uncustomary number to bat at. They had a keeper who wasn’t fit to keep wickets and a non-regular keeper who was having to bat at a relatively new position. Their fast bowlers seemed tired with their heads down while leaving the field at Trent Bridge and their spinners were never on par Read more…

A Redemption For The Ages, A Statement Towards The Critics

Not long ago in Australia, a fearless no. 4 was lining up international cricket for the very first time as the captain of a test team. From the opposite end rushing came Mitchell Johnson with an absolute screamer of a short ball that rose exceedingly quick and crashed into the helmet giving the batsman no chance to duck. It was the welcome that would have left most of the people cowering in fear, but not Virat Kohli, for whom it was an opportunity to make his point. Thereafter as he went on to probe the Aussie bowling surgically in order to complete what is regarded as one of his best hundreds even today, he just stood tall with that helmet Read more…