After Cook, England roasted
Despite win, Dhoni has no kind words for Motera picth
Everyone needs to contribute, says Cook
Sachin faces Testing times
Paunikar stars for Railways
Andhra consolidates position against HP
Czechs beat Spain to lift Davis Cup
Anil head of IOA election panel
Bathinda eves beat Tarn Taran in relay race
5 years on, it’s Hamilton again at Texas
Other boards must run DRS on greed
After Cook, England roasted
Ahmedabad, November 19
Last summer, India endured much pain and suffering in England — now they are top dogs. Clearly, on the current international scene, teams are tigers only at home.
Pujara, opening in the absence of the bereaved Gautam Gambhir — who had flown to Delhi yesterday due to the death of his grandmother — outscored Sehwag in their partnership of 57 off 59 deliveries. Man of the Match Pujara remained unbeaten on 41, and ended up with 247 runs for the game without getting dismissed. Sehwag fell when he tried to smear Graeme Swann down the ground for a six and was caught on the edge of the boundary by Kevin Pietersen, who managed to stop himself a hair’s breadth short of the rope.
In their brief innings, Pujara, Sehwag and Virat Kohli displayed better footwork and timing than the opposition did in 229 overs in two innings. Pujara’s drives on the off and whiplash flicks and pulls on the leg were timed to perfection. England’s spinners bowled 13.3 of the 15.3 overs India took to win, and were merrily plundered for 70 runs. Swann was driven at will, Samit Patel bowled like a non-bowler. To be brutally honest, it seemed Patel wouldn’t trouble Indian batsmen in this lifetime, or even the next two or three. Every Ranji Trophy team in India has one or two bowlers such as him trying to get a game.
England’s experts have berated their team for not selecting Monty Panesar as the second specialist spinner. Panesar’s inclusion may or may not make a difference; however, it would be instructive to study the five Indian wickets that fell to Swann in the first innings. He did take out Gambhir, Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Kohli and MS Dhoni, but all except Kohli were attempting overly aggressive, non-Test match strokes. England took nine Indian wickets in this Test, eight of them to careless shots. Young Pujara was the shining exception, displaying proper Test match technique. England didn’t have a shadow of a chance against him.
This new Ahmedabad track fooled everyone. With dark spots of wear and tear near the batsmen’s feet, it looked dangerous. But it proved to be completely innocent. Such a track should have produced a dull draw. The game ended in England’s mauling because they didn’t play the ball —cliché ahead! — on merit, especially in the first innings. They were nervous and fearful, and they wanted to impose themselves on the Indian bowling too quickly. Their best batsman, Pietersen, has much mirror-looking to do — in reflection, not vanity.
Alastair Cook was the exceptional Englishman. He can bat on and on… Remember, he scored 294 against India at Birmingham last year, though in his own conditions. It may be churlish to find fault with his adjective-defying 176 here, but possibly he could have been freer with his scoring. He clearly was batting time here, but he made just 94 in the full day yesterday, off 214 balls. His mind was focussed only on survival — but only an Adam Gilchristesque knock, with a rain of runs, could have saved England.
Once Ojha removed Cook today, with one that turned and kept low, it was only a matter of time before England capitulated.
“When you go to bed tonight, and you've scored a big hundred, you do smile and you can be proud,” Cook said later. “But I'd have been even prouder if I'd survived today and dragged a draw out of it.”
Yes, it was a pitch made for a draw. But frozen by fear, or lack of familiarity with the conditions, England lost their wickets in bunches — seven for 71 in the first innings, the first five for 76 and the last five for 50 in the second. Cook’s defensive batting, his strength of the mind kept them alive on track.
India 521/8d & 80/1 (15.3 ov)
England (191 all out in 72.4 ov)
England-(II) (overnight 340/5)
Cook b Ojha 176
Prior c & b Ojha 91
Bresnan c(Rahane) b Khan 20
Broad c & b Yadav 3
Swann b Ashwin 17
Anderson not out 0
Total: (5 wkts in 154.3 ovrs) 406
Fall of wickets: 1-123, 2-156, 3-160, 4-199, 5-199, 6-356, 7-365, 8-378, 9-406, 10-406
Bowling: Yadav 23-2-70-3,Ojha 55-16-120-4, Ashwin 43-9-111-1, Sehwag 1-0-1-0, Zaheer Khan 27.3-5-59-2, Tendulkar 1-0-8-0, Yuvraj Singh 4-0-17-0
India 2nd innings (target 77)
Sehwag c KP b Swann 25
Pujara not out 41
Kohli not out 14
Total: (1wkt; 15.3 overs) 80
Bowling: Anderson 2-0-10-0, Swann 7.3-1-46-1, Patel 6-0-24-0
Ahmedabad, November 19
"I don't even want to see this wicket. There wasn't enough turn and bounce for the spinners. Hopefully in the coming matches we'll see the wicket turn, right from start, or as soon as possible so that the toss doesn't become vital," Dhoni said after the nine-wicket win over England.
"What we want to see is two good sides competing against each other with the toss taken out of the equation," he added. Dhoni said the ICC match referees cannot question turning tracks.
"I don't think the match referee can question a pitch just because it's turning. When the wicket seams right from the first delivery nobody asks questions," the India captain said. "What you don't want is ridges in the wicket and then one ball hits your head and next your toe." He was not worried that matches, on such turning tracks, would end in three or four days as he felt the importance of the toss would be gone.
"At times, in the subcontinent, on pitches like this, the toss becomes vital. The only way to take the toss out of the equation is to have pitches that turn right from the start. The game may end in 3.5 days, but both teams will have an equal opportunity to win the game," said Dhoni. Dhoni said his team had to really work hard for victory here though they made England follow on 330 runs behind. "It was not so easy. We were on the field for two, two-and-a-half days. The bowlers had to bowl very patiently.
Ojha bowled close to 80 overs, Ashwin bowled 72 overs. And they were supported well by the fast bowlers," Dhoni said.
"As the game progressed the pitch got slower and slower. I don't think there was much turn. The odd ball turned but there wasn't enough bounce for the edge to carry to the slip fielder. It was about keeping one or two deliveries out and you were set for the game." Dhoni said the turning point in the match,came in the final session of day two and first session of day three as England folded up for under 200.
“It was the last session on the second day and first session on the third day that really shifted the game in our favour," said Dhoni. The Indian skipper also praised his fast bowlers and said they contributed a lot. — PTI PTI
Ahmedabad, November 19
"If we have to win this series, we need everyone to contribute. There's absolutely no doubt about that. Everyone has to stick his hands up and say that," Cook said. "The lads have not performed as much as they would have liked in this game and they would be very disappointed. That's cricket and we have to bat strong as a team," he added. Cook said his team will need to improve in a lot of areas.
"When you get beaten by nine wickets you have to look at a lot of areas. There will be a lot to ponder to. There was a small chance of saving the Test, but we could not take that today and that has cost us," he said after his side was beaten with more than one session to spare at the Sardar Patel Stadium.
Though happy to score his third century on the trot as captain, having got two against Bangladesh earlier when he was standing in for the now-retired Andrew Strauss, Cook acknowledged that it was not for a winning cause. “I am very happy the way I batted, to score any hundred is special for England. To score in that situation made it even more special for me, but the result is really what matters at the end of the day.
"We were not good enough in the five days to win. We showed a lot of character towards the second half of the game.We got bowled out for 191 in the first innings and it was pretty much there we lost the game," said the England opener.Cook, who batted for more than nine hours spread over three days, saw nothing wrong with the wicket though he conceded that the team management might have made a mistake by leaving out Monty Panesar.
"I thought it was a very good cricket wicket. We thought it behaved better than we expected to. There was a bit for the spinners.
"We have to look at our selection. We thought we did the right thing (by leaving him out). Results show we might have got it wrong," said the left-handed batsman.
"We can score runs against this Indian attack, it's just that we have to score in both innings and give ourselves a chance of winning the game. There are a lot of quality players in that dressing room who have scored hundreds against every attack in the world," he said. — PTI
Sachin faces Testing times
Ahmedabad, November 19
Four days ago, Tendulkar completed 23 years in Test cricket — that’s an amazing achievement, unlikely to be ever matched. Over the last few days, greats such as Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev have hailed this feat.
But it also needs to be noted that Tendulkar has gone 26 innings, and 22 months, without a Test century. During this period, he’s been on two tough tours — England in 2011 and Australia in 2011-12. He has admitted the mahashatak bogey – after getting stuck on 99 international centuries — put immense pressure on him.
However, since getting that 114 against Bangladesh in a One-day International in March this year, Tendulkar’s struggles in Test cricket have continued.
After making 80 against Australia in the Sydney Test this January, Tendulkar has made 15, 8, 25, 13, 19, 17, 27 and 13 in eight innings, for an average of a shade over 17. The last four of these innings were played at home. His last century at home came in October 2010, the 214 against Australia in Bangalore. He has gone without a century in his last four series, involving England, West Indies, Australia and New Zealand. In 10 starts this year, he’s made only one half-century. Actually, the manner of his dismissals has been more disconcerting than the low scores. He’s got out bowled or LBW several times, suggesting that he’s slowing down.
He has seemed to play well before a sudden lapse in concentration. And in the first innings here, he played a bad Test shot, a lofted drive that was caught by Samit Patel.
Gavaskar has suggested that it is age that is causing problems to the master. "With age, the feet don't come to the pitch of the ball, the eyes don't pick up the ball early," Gavaskar said. Tendulkar accepted the Rajya Sabha nomination earlier this year — was it a sign that the genius was planning for life beyond cricket, finding something significant to do after winding up his cricket?
Rohtak, November 19
After folding for a humiliating 66 in the first innings, Haryana scored 300 in their second innings, courtesy good batting by their lower-middle order. Chasing 148 for an outright win, Odisha ended the day at 60 for three with Govind Podder (19) at the crease.
Resuming at 165 for six, Haryana added 155 more runs in the day as Yadav scored 66 runs and shared a superb 72-runs stand for the ninth wicket with Mohit Sharma (28).
Their partnership and a useful cameo by Chanderpal Saini (15) gave Haryana bowlers something to fight for. Haryana lost Abhimanyu Khod (74), who added 18 runs to his overnight total, in the first session of the day. Yadav though continued to fight from the other end and was the last man out.
Yadav's 66 came off 148 balls as he batted for three hours and 37 minutes. He helped himself with four boundaries. Continuing with the fighting spirit, Haryana bowlers then did a good job by knocking out three top-order batsmen. Mohit Sharma drew the first blood when he had opener and rival skipper Natraj Behera (17) caught by Rahul Dewan. Chanderpal Saini then trapped the other opener Sandeep Mulia (12) to put pressure on the visitors.
Jayant Yadav dismissed Biplab Samantray (8) in his first over in the fag end to end the day on a high for the hosts.
Brief Scores: Haryana 66 and 300 all out in 129.2 overs. (A Khod 74, J Yadav 66; B Mohanty 4/57) Odisha 219 and 60 for 3 in 24.3 overs. (G Podder 19 batting; J Yadav 1/4). — PTI
Bhubaneswar, November 19
At stumps, Paunikar was unbeaten on 113 off 156 balls with the help of 18 fours and a six as Railways came up with an improved batting performance in their second essay after starting their innings trailing Punjab by 109 runs. Paunikar was ably supported by his opening team-mate V Cheluvaraj (40 off 81 balls) as the two produced 108 runs for the opening stand. Earlier, Punjab added just 84 runs to their overnight score of 230 for five before being bowled out for 314 in their first innings in reply to Railways' 205.
Punjab's overnight star batsman Uday Kaul could add just four runs to his yesterday's score to complete his century before Railways skipper Sanjay Bangar cut short his stay, caught by Anureet Singh. Kaul faced 213 balls during his patient knock which was studded with 12 boundaries.
Another overnight batsman Bipul Sharma, however, provided some resistence and played an important 45-run knock which came off 76 balls and was laced with nine hits to the fence and one over it. For Railways, Hardik Rathod (3/75) and Krishnakant Upadhyay (3/86) shared six wickets between them while Bangar scalped two wickets for 36 runs. — PTI
Railways IInd inngs 183/2 (50 overs)
Cheluvaraj lbw b Sharma 40
Paunikar not out 113
Bhille c Uday b Bipul 8
Madkaikar not out 19
Total: (2 wkts in 50 ovrs) 183
Fall of wickets: 11-108, 2-129
Bowling: Gony 3.5-0-8-0,Sandeep 11-1-46-0,Amitoze 6.1-1-7-0, Siddharth 9-1-44-0,Rahul 13-0-52-1, Bipul 7-0-25-1
Nadaun, November 19
Himachal lost five wickets for just 41 runs to be all out for 265 after beginning the day at 224 for five in response to Andhra's first innings total of 372.
Andhra' second innings did not start well as they lost three wickets for just 18 runs with Rishi Dhawan bowling a fiery spell at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Stadium.
But Muzumdar and Sumanth lifted the side to 181 for three at the end of day. The duo put on 163 runs for the unfinished fourth wicket.
Meanwhile, Delhi reached 215/3 on Day Three. they need 347 more to get 3 points.
Brief Scores: (AP): 372 and 181/3 in 69 overs.((B Sumanth 73 batting, A Muzumdar 89 batting; R Dhawan 3/53) (HP) 1st innings: 265 all out; (Delhi vs Baroda): Baroda 1st Innings 561 (Ambat Rayudu 131, Abhimanyu Chauhan 113, Ketan Panchal 80, Gagandeep Singh Natt 76, Parvinder Awana 4/104) Delhi 1st Innings: 215/3 (Mohit Sharma 71, Unmukt Chand 51, Mithun Manhas 41 batting). — PTI
Prague, November 19
Stepanek, who jumped over the net and triumphantly waved his arms to acknowledge the 14,580 fans packed into the arena, was hugged by team mates before going to his wife with tears rolling down his cheeks after clinching victory in the final rubber.
His 6-4 7-6 3-6 6-3 win over Almagro meant the Czechs reclaimed the Davis Cup 32 years after Czechoslovakia won the trophy led by Ivan Lendl, who proudly watched this year's final at the 02 arena with his former team mates. It also made the Czech Republic the first country to win the Davis Cup and Fed Cup team trophies for men and women respectively and the mixed Hopman Cup event in one year.
"I was dreaming about it my whole life and now we're standing here as Davis Cup champions, it's amazing," said Stepanek after clinching the 100th Davis Cup final.
His success delighted a home crowd that had earlier been silenced when Spain's world number five David Ferrer cruised to a 6-2 6-3 7-5 win over Tomas Berdych to level the final at 2-2 after the Czechs won a four-set doubles rubber on Saturday. Ferrer's victory over sixth-ranked Berdych put Spain, who have dominated the event in recent seasons but were without injured former world number one Rafa Nadal, back in the hunt for a fourth Davis Cup crown in five years and sixth overall.
The two Czech players have carried the team since 2007 but lost the only other time the country has appeared in the final - a 5-0 drubbing by Spain in 2009 on the clay courts of Barcelona.
The pair played in all the weekend's matches but fatigue was not a factor for the effervescent 33-year-old Stepanek, ranked 37th in the world, who used all his experience to unnerve the 11th-ranked Almagro in the Spaniard's first final appearance.
Stepanek, who became the first man aged 30 or above to win a decisive fifth rubber in 100 years and has plans to play Davis Cup again next year, broke Almagro to claim the first set.
After missing a few chances to break his opponent at the end of the second set, Stepanek managed to force Almagro into several errors in the tiebreak which he won 7-0.The beginning of the third set was tight but Almagro served well and managed to win it before Stepanek clinched the fourth to send the Czech fans into raptures as Queen's "We are the Champions" blared through the loudspeakers. "I can't describe what I'm feeling right now," said an emotional Stepanek. "I came on the court with the mindset that I had to stay calm, hungry, motivated and concentrate... I was playing very aggressively today. I wanted to be the one who was active, who was controlling the game and it paid off."
The Czechs became the first country in 22 years to win the Davis Cup and Fed Cup in the same year but were pushed all the way by a Spanish team missing the talismanic Nadal.
"These are very tough moments," Almagro told Spanish broadcaster TVE after the defeat. "But we can't be down on ourselves in any way as we fought to the last moment.
"We are runners-up in the Davis Cup, not what we wanted as we came here to win the title but we are leaving with our heads held high knowing that we did a good job." The end of the season was bittersweet for Ferrer, who won a career best seven titles this year and claimed both of Spain's points against the Czechs. "I'm very happy with my game in this Davis Cup. I'm proud of the team. We fought to win here in Prague. But the Czechs were better," David Ferrer said. — Reuters
Anil head of IOA election panel
New Delhi, November 19
Singh's appointment was made by IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr S.Y.Quraishi. Quraishi resigned from the panel as he was not in agreement by the suggestion of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the Sports
Code of the Government of India should not be applied in the IOA elections. The election panel, headed by Quraishi, had decided to implement the Sports Code, whereverapplicable in the IOA elections, following a Delhi High Court order.
Now, Justice Anil Dev Singh, Justice V.K.Bali (retd), who is the returning officer and Justice J.D. Kapur (retd), make up the three-member panel.
Meanwhile, the IOA has received yet another letter from the IOC, asking it to ensure that the upcoming elections must be conducted exclusively under its constitution currently in force, and the rules of the Olympic Charter, without any external interference. Malhotra, in a detailed reply to the IOC, has pointed out that the IOA was in a dilemma as on the one hand, the IOC was insisting that its Charter and the IOA constitution should be paramount while the Government has formulated a Sports Code and it wants that the IOA and the National Sports Federations (NSF) follow that code in every respect ."The Sports Ministry (of the Government of India) has threatened that in case of the non- compliance of the Sports Code, it will withdraw its recognition to the concerned NSFs and even that of the IOA", Malhotra has informed the IOC.
"The High Court of Delhi has directed the IOA that it should follow the Sports Code while conducting the elections. Defying the orders will lead to contempt of court." he wrote.
"The IOA finds itself in a quandary as it has no power to defy the High Court. It has to go by the law of the land. On the other hand, the IOC insists on the adherance of its Charter and the existing IOA constitution. We are at the cross roads; we find all three- Sports Code, IOC insistence and High Court directive--are at variance with each other," Malhotra added.
Meanwhile, Rathee faction of the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI), received a boost when its claim to vote in the upcoming IOA elections was upheld by the Delhi High Court today.
Bathinda eves beat Tarn Taran in relay race
Chandigarh, November 19
In 800m final, Lovepreet Kaur of Bathinda took the gold while Manjot Kaur of Tarn Taran bagged silver and Aarti of Gurdaspur claimed the bronze medal.
In the discus throw final, Amandeep Kaur of Amritsar got the gold and Jaspinder of Muktsar won the silver. Manpreet of Sangrur bagged the bronze medal.
In high jump Naavjot of Sangrur took gold, Mandeep of Muktsar claimed silver and Jasveer of Sangrur won the bronze medal. Ferozpur will meet Bathinda in the final of kabaddi championship. Ferozpur defeated Ludhiana 36-21 and Bathinda defeated Mansa 39-24. In kho kho quarterfinals, Sangrur beat Fazilka by 6 points, Mohali beat Ferozepur by 10 points and Patiala beat Hoshiarpur by 6 points. SBS Nagar beat Bathinda by 11 points to reach the semifinals.
Austin (Texas) November 19
The Englishman also won the last Grand Prix held in America, when it was staged at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, one of motor sports oldest tracks. Hamilton, who will leave McLaren at the end of the season to join Mercedes, could not hide his delight, grinning ear-to-ear under a massive cowboy hat as he sprayed champagne from the top of the winner's podium. "It was wicked. I loved it so much. I am so happy," gushed Hamilton after collecting his fourth win of the season and 18th of his career. "I nearly lost my voice when I came across the line.
"Actually for that whole in-lap I was just screaming all the time, so happy. Not cool at all. "It's the first grand prix here, I won the last one in 2007 so to come back after such a long time and win in front of such a great crowd this weekend was very special."
As going away presents goes, it was about as good a gift as Hamilton could give McLaren as he prepares to move down the paddock. Team principal Martin Whitmarsh had stated earlier that Hamilton might one day regret his decision to leave the only Formula One team he has ever known but it could be McLaren lamenting the 2008 champion's departure more.
"Is he (Hamilton) finding it tough to say goodbye? "I hope he is but I think we are going to try not to be emotional until the end of Brazil," said Whitmarsh. "We've got one more race to go. "As we said last night in front of everyone, we are here we're not saying goodbye, we want to win these two races. "That's six wins this year and we'd like it to be seven."
It has been a mixed season for Hamilton, who has claimed four wins but had to retire after leading in Singapore and Abu Dhabi.
He is anxious to leave McLaren on an upbeat note and now heads to Brazil for the season finale relaxed and ready to play the role of spoiler as Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso fight out the drivers' title.
F1's return leaves U.S. wanting more
Lewis Hamilton claimed the victory and Red Bull clinched the constructors title but the biggest winner at the U.S. Grand Prix was Formula One with commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone immediately calling for more races in America. "The future of F1 in the USA? I think we'll finish with three races here within the next three years," a beaming Ecclestone told reporters. "The race was fantastic wasn't it? Really was a super race."If you tried to plan this, to have the (title) race finish in Brazil, you couldn't have done a better job. "Everybody is very happy here. The governor's happy, they're all happy. You feel good when you've done something that works."
Alternator a ‘ticking time bomb’ for Red Bull
Red Bull and Renault will be working flat out to ensure Formula One championship leader Sebastian Vettel does not go into next weekend's title showdown in Brazil with a 'ticking time bomb' deep inside his car. The celebrations were muted by Vettel being denied his third successive crown for at least another week and reliability problems affecting team mate Mark Webber. —
Red Bull and Renault will be working flat out to ensure Formula One championship leader Sebastian Vettel does not go into next weekend's title showdown in Brazil with a 'ticking time bomb' deep inside his car. The celebrations were muted by Vettel being denied his third successive crown for at least another week and reliability problems affecting team mate Mark Webber. — Reuters
Other boards must run DRS on greed
Ahmedabad, November 19
“It was hard work for them,” Dhoni said of his bowlers, and continued: “Especially if you are expected to take more than 10 wickets to get the team out." India had the worse luck of the two teams with the umpiring, and the England team would tend to agree. “On DRS… I hear 12 decisions would have been overturned in the Test,” England’s Stuart Broad said today. “Potentially match changing, but India would have had 8 of them.”
DRS (Decision Review System) is not being used in this series, for it doesn’t enjoy the confidence of the Indian cricket board (BCCI) and the players. The BCCI, time and again, has been criticised by the overseas media and players for bullying the other cricket boards into not using the DRS in series involving India. That criticism is not undeserved — the BCCI walks alone on the DRS and doesn’t care what the others think. It’s quite undemocratic.
But the other boards deserve equal, if not greater, censure.Certainly, if the other teams and boards want to use it, they need to put it to vote at the ICC meetings.
If the other boards want it, the BCCI could be easily outvoted. Why isn’t that happening? Isn’t it because of the greed of the other cricket boards? Isn’t it because they fear that if they antagonise the BCCI, their finances would be hit? After all, in the matchless words of the late Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, the “BCCI is the invoice” of cricket. Seventy percent of cricket’s revenue is generated by India. The other boards and the ICC don’t wish to endanger their share.
The next time there are contentious or erroneous decisions involving an Indian team, players and media from other nations must put pressure on their own cricket boards to vote with their convictions, and not greed and prudence, at the ICC meetings. The BCCI has power and money. The other boards want money. And it should be easy to vote for it in the ICC meetings if the other boards are not blinded by greed.
Punjab take lead in CK Nayudu trophy
Brief scores: (Punjab A 493 all out in 142.1 overs vs Karnataka A 266 all out 79.2 overs (M Agarwal 70, A Kazi 72, Jaskaran 4/66, D Bansal 2/83, T Kohli 2/22) and 106/1 in 34 overs (R Samarth 25, Mayank Agarwal 69*)
Herath stars as Lanka routs Kiwis
Brief scores: New Zealand 221 & 118;Sri Lanka 247 & 93/0 in 18.3 overs (Karunaratne 60*, Paranavitana 31*,Boult 0/15, Patel 0/22, Bracewell 0/35). — Agencies