Steve Waugh slams Dhoni’s demand for turning pitches
England need to make bold choices to arrest the slide
Viru due for special knock in 100th Test
Ojha, Pujara on the rise in ICC Test rankings
Yuvraj should focus more to cement his Test place: Kapil
Punjab content with draw against gritty Railways
Muzumdar’s ton gets Andhra 3 points
Beckham to bid adieu to Galaxy
Saina returns to action in Hong Kong Open
Steve Waugh slams Dhoni’s demand for turning pitches
New Delhi, November 20
"Dhoni's comments this morning were really negative to the game, when he said Indian curators to doctor the pitches, which I can't understand," Waugh said during the India-Australia Innovative Forum.
The Indian skipper, after winning the first Test against England at Ahmedabad yesterday, expressed his displeasure at the Motera wicket and said that "we wanted the curators to prepare the pitches that will turn from day one".
"You want to be aggressive and be the best in the world, you got to take all the conditions and not always ask for the conditions that suits your style of play. I was a bit surprised with that. I think if you are looking to be the best in the world you got to learn to play in all conditions."
The former great said that during his tenure as the head of the Australian team he was never bothered about what sort of wicket they were playing on.
"I captained the side for 57 games and never once had a word with the curator about what sort of pitch we are going to play," Waugh said. However, the veteran of 168 Tests said that India were the favourites to win the four-match rubber against England. "India are a strong side, always hard to beat in India and some of the young players are coming through, which is great sign for Indian cricket. (Cheteshwar) Pujara getting a double century, Virat Kohli, (Pragyan) Ojha taking wickets, it is great for Indian cricket. "You got to have to turn out of this, no players are bigger than the game, someone will always step up. Sometimes you get too carried away that experienced players are irreplaceable but the natural thing will happen, someone will step up to play and take that role. India will will win this series, I think they will win it 3-0 because the pitches will suit their team," the 47-year-old said.
India can 'brownwash' England: Raja
Former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja feels India can go on to "brownwash" England in the ongoing Test series if it wins the second match of the series starting November 23 in Mumbai. India have taken a 1-0 lead in the series after winning the opening Test in Ahmedabad by nine wickets yesterday. Rameez felt the wicket will turn even more in Mumbai and this would work to the home team's advantage. "If England lose in Mumbai then India will have the clear edge. India will then have the excellent opportunity to go for a 4-0 result, which can be called a 'brownwash'," Rameez said. "India can win all the four matches and I feel the wicket will turn more in Mumbai. India definitely have the upperhand but England have shown the stomach for fight and the series would be an intersting one," he said. India were humiliated 0-4 by England in an away series last year and winning at home would be sweet revenge for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men. "England's bowling seems weak given the pitches here. Indians, on the other hand, are masters of spin," Rameez explained.aRameez praised young Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored 206 and 41 in the Ahmedabad Test to win the man of the match award. "Pujara played a fine innings. England may be technically weaker but are a mentally strong unit. I feel to score over 200 against a team like that is the hallmark of a confident batsman," he said. But Rameez felt Pujara should not be compared to Dravid. — PTI
Former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja feels India can go on to "brownwash" England in the ongoing Test series if it wins the second match of the series starting November 23 in Mumbai.
India have taken a 1-0 lead in the series after winning the opening Test in Ahmedabad by nine wickets yesterday. Rameez felt the wicket will turn even more in Mumbai and this would work to the home team's advantage.
"If England lose in Mumbai then India will have the clear edge. India will then have the excellent opportunity to go for a 4-0 result, which can be called a 'brownwash'," Rameez said.
"India can win all the four matches and I feel the wicket will turn more in Mumbai. India definitely have the upperhand but England have shown the stomach for fight and the series would be an intersting one," he said.
India were humiliated 0-4 by England in an away series last year and winning at home would be sweet revenge for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men. "England's bowling seems weak given the pitches here. Indians, on the other hand, are masters of spin," Rameez explained.aRameez praised young Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored 206 and 41 in the Ahmedabad Test to win the man of the match award. "Pujara played a fine innings. England may be technically weaker but are a mentally strong unit. I feel to score over 200 against a team like that is the hallmark of a confident batsman," he said. But Rameez felt Pujara should not be compared to Dravid. — PTI
London, November 20
The suggestion, nay the promise, that they were ready for India in the first Test, which duly ended in defeat by nine wickets yesterday, was a teeny-weeny exaggeration. Almost nothing that most of their batsmen did in the match indicated conviction, belief or confidence.
It has been the story of virtually the entire year. England’s middle order has been seriously short of form and runs as it was in this latest defeat, the seventh in 12 Tests this year, which they started as the world’s No 1 side. How long ago that seems.
Here in Ahmedabad, the middle order, from three to six, contributed 68 runs but it was merely prolonging a dismal sequence. The collective average of those crucial run-scoring positions this year is below 30 and in no individual position is it above 40.
The first Test, far from being a surprise to shock the statisticians, was entirely predictable based on recent evidence. To this, England’s captain, Alastair Cook, and their wicketkeeper, Matt Prior, were noble exceptions. They were the top two scorers in both innings and their survival yesterday was the tourists’ solitary hope of saving the match.
When both went in the first hour, Cook for an epic innings of 176 and a match aggregate of 217, Prior for 91 giving him 139 runs in the game, the defeat was inevitable. It arrived before lunch had been digested, India romping deservedly home by lashing the meagre 76 runs they required in 93 balls.
That England took the match into the fifth day after their first innings capitulation was a matter of honour which offered a crumb of hope. The importance of the toss should also not be overlooked. Any side would have wanted to win it on the surface supplied here but self-assured teams overcome such setbacks.
Cook conceded after the match that they probably got their selection for the match wrong, which means that the team will almost certainly be changed for the second Test that begins in Mumbai on Friday. The obvious amendment will be the inclusion of a second spinner, Monty Panesar, since hindsight has now confirmed that in India such a balance is merely a statement of the bleedin’ obvious.
But the tourists will also have to replace Ian Bell, who left the stadium before the match was finished yesterday to fly home to be with his wife for the imminent birth of their first child. Bell had a poor match and he is one of several players trading on reputation and past performance. It is fervently to be hoped that a safe arrival will provide a richly gifted player with the incentive to score more runs more often.
There are several options open to the selectors, a party of 17 giving them an array of permutations. Presumably, Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan are competing for the place vacated by Bell, and Morgan’s left-handedness seems to be an asset, particularly with so many overs of spin being bowled at them. Bairstow can already consider himself unfortunate. One of five No 6s to be used by England in 12 Test matches this year, he has also made the highest score in the position, 95 at Lord’s, followed immediately by the second highest, 54.
In effect, he was dropped for the next Test match, the one that ended yesterday, albeit that it was three months later. It is permissible to wonder whether England would have dared do it, despite the failings he has revealed against spin, had he scored the extra five runs for his maiden century .If the selectors were in a bold mood, they may pick both Morgan and Bairstow, dropping Samit Patel. This would be extremely harsh on Patel who was the victim here of a poor decision. — The Independent
FINN RULED OUT
Mumbai, November 20
"There should be more players like Sehwag. Players like him would bring back crowd to Test cricket. I want him to score a hundred in his 100th match," said 1983 World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev on the sidelines of the release of a book on Sehwag's teammate Yuvraj Singh.
The 34-year-old Sehwag scored his first Test century in almost two years in the first game of the ongoing four-match series against England at Ahmedabad — a blistering 117 — to set up the platform for the huge Indian first innings score of 521 for 9 declared.
India rode on the 34-year-old Delhi star's ton, an unbeaten double century by young batsman Cheteshwar Pujara and a nine-wicket haul by left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha to carve out a thumping nine-wicket victory and go 1-0 ahead in the series.
Former chief selector and ex-India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar said he was a big fan of Sehwag, popularly known as "Nawab of Najafgarh". "He is an outstanding cricketer. He has played his (style of) game every time. There was a lean patch (in between) but he went on with aggression. If you see his Test record it is amazing, it's a milestone for him. I am a huge fan of his. I hope he scores a hundred in his 100th test match," Vengsarkar said.
Sehwag, who is set to join a select list of eight other Indian batsmen, including Kapil and Vengsarkar, who have played 100 Tests, made a sensational debut by scoring 105 at number six in 2001 against South Africa at Bloemfontein.
Asked if Sehwag should change his batting style in Test cricket in the absence of senior players like Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, Vengsarkar said, "No. He is doing well. He is an outstanding cricketer." — PTI
Dubai, November 20
The other Indian in the top-20 are pace spearhead Zaheer Khan (up one place to 14th) and off-spinner R Ashwin (steady at 18th). Not a single Indian features in the top-20 of ICC’s batting chart but Cheteshwar Pujara has rocketed 35 places to the 24th position. Alastair Cook has returned to the top 10 by rising four places to seventh.
Matt Prior has become the fifth England batsman inside the top 20 after achieving a career-best ranking of 18th.
Virender Sehwag is now in 22nd position after gaining one place following his 23rd Test century. — PTI
Mumbai, November 20
"I hope he plays well in Test cricket, which is his passion. In one-dayers and Twenty20, there is no better stroke player in the world like him. But he needs to establish himself in Test cricket. He needs to focus better," said Kapil at the launch of the book 'Yuvi', penned by senior journalist and columnist Makarand Waingankar, here.
Former chief national selector Dilip Vengsarkar, at whose academy Yuvraj played in his initial days, rued that the left-handed batsman did not play enough Test matches. "Over the years he didn't play many Test matches, which, I feel very bad about," Vengsarkar said. He put faith in his former ward when he became the chief selector. — PTI
Bhubaneswar, November 20
The final day's play turned out to be inconsequential as Punjab finished at 59 for two after Railways declared their second innings at 353 for five, with opener Amit Paunikar's 166 being the highlight.
The batsman was unbeaten on 113 overnight. His knock was studded with 23 boundaries and a six, and came off 252 balls. While scripting his big century, Paunikar spent 348 minutes in the middle.
Skipper Sanjay Bagar chipped in with 62, which came off 83 balls, and included seven fours and two sixes at the East Coast Railway Sports Association.Punjab would be glad that their bowlers hit the right rhythm in Railways' first innings. Once Sandeep Sharma and Siddarth Kaul bowled out the Railways for 205, it became quite easier for Punjab. Kaul then, in the company of Amitoze and Bipul, ensured that Punjab got a lead of more than 100 runs in the first innings. Raiwlays got a point from the tie. Railways batsmen performed much better in the second innings but that was not enough for them.
Earlier, riding on Amit Paunikar's unbeaten century, Railways produced a much-improved batting display to finish at 183 for two in their second innings and take an overall lead of 74 runs at the end of third day's play. Paunikar was supported by Cheluvaraj (40 off 81 balls) as the two made 108 runs for opening stand. — PTI
Punjab 314 & 59/2 (28 ov)
Paunikar cJiwan b Bipul 166
Madkaikar lbw Amitoze 37
Bangar not out 62
Rawat c Sidhana b Sandeep 31
Total: (5 wkts d; 102.2 overs) 353
Fall of wickets: 1-108, 2-129, 3-231, 4-281, 5-353
Bowling: Gony 3.5-0-8-0,Sandeep 19.2-3-57-1,Amitoze 13.1-4-23-1, Siddharth 15-3-52-0,Rahul 29-0-128-1, Bipul 22-1-78-2
Punjab ( target 245)
Jiwanjot not out 27
Goel retired hurt 0
Sidhana c Bhille b Anureet 16
Mandeep c Madkaikar b Upadhyay 1
Uday not out 12
Total: (2 wkts d; 28 overs) 59
Fall of wickets: 0-6, 1-32, 2-33
Bowling: Anureet 9-2-30-1, Rathod 7-2-16-0, Upadhyay 6-3-7-1, Bangar 6-2-5-0
Nadaun, November 20
Himachal Pradesh scored 108 for four in 47 overs and the match ended in a draw with visitors getting three points courtesy a first innings lead.
Muzumdar, who was overnight 89, scored 104 from 213 balls with seven boundaries. His overnight partner B Sumanth though missed out on hundred as he could score 81 after beginning the day at 73. In their chase, Himachal lost Aakash chopra (8), Prashant Chopra (0), Paras Dogra (9) and C Hemanth Kumar (10) cheaply. However Varun Saxena (not out 40) and Amit Kumar (38 not out) put up some resistance with an unbeaten 70-run stand for unfinished fifth wicket.
Brief Scores: Andhra Pradesh: 372 and 282/7 declared. (A Muzumdar 104, B Sumanth 81; Rishi Dhawan 5/77) Himachal Pradesh 265 and 108 for 4 in 47 overs. (Varun Saxena 40 not out, Amit Kumar 38 not out; P Vijaykumar 2/26).
Odisha register win against Haryana
Govind Podder (51) crafted a patient half-century and Deepak Behera scored a crucial unbeaten 35 under pressure to lead Odisha to a four-wicket win over Haryana in their Ranji Trophy Group B match.
Chasing 148 to win, Odisha began the fourth and the final day at 60 for three and completed the win after losing three more wickets.
Odisha earned six points, including a bonus point, from this contest at Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium. Podder, overnight 19, and Abhilash Mallick (3) started the proceedings but Haryana immediately made it a contest when Chanderpal Saini bowled the latter in the fourth over of the day.
Wicket-keeper Halhadar Das (6) joined Podder but he too departed early after being bowled by M Sharma. Two quick wickets sent some ripples in the visiting camp but Deepak supported Podder well and gradually took the side closer to the win.
The two shared a 43-run stand for the sixth wicket and this crucial partnership poured cold water on the hopes of the hosts.
Podder was castled by Sachin Rana when the team still required 24 runs. His 51 came off 120 balls with the help of seven shots to the fence. Lagnajit Samal (12) and Behera guided the side home. Behera took 96 balls for his 35 and hit six boundaries including a six in his crucial knock.
Brief Scores: Haryana: 66 and 300 Odisha 219 and 152 for six in 62.1 overs. (G Podder 51, D Behera 35 not out; C Saini 2/25). —PTI