The English Premier League, like its Indian cricket equivalent, is a harsh environment to grow up in. Pots of money, a fancy car a week if you feel like it, an endless stream of faux-celebrity girlfriends and groupies. Parasitic agents and hangers-on. But for every idiot like Bowyer who hits the skids, there are others like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, exemplary professionals who have lasted nearly as long as Tendulkar at the top. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Yuvraj Singh’
Posted in cricket, ICC World Twenty20 2009, tagged Dale Steyn, Dileep Premachandran, Doosra Redux, ICC World Twenty20 2009, India, Johan Botha, MS Dhoni, Roelof van der Merwe, South Africa, Wayne Parnell, Yuvraj Singh on June 17, 2009 | 3 Comments »
And so India finished their Super-Eight campaign with an unblemished slate. Three games, three defeats, and the most dismal defence of a title since Sri Lanka were sent packing from the 1999 World Cup, also in England. As for South Africa, eliminated on home soil by the Indians two years ago despite losing just one game, they go into the semi-finals with a perfect record, just like Sri Lanka. Pakistan and West Indies will need to play out of their skins to deny them.
India’s self-destruction at Trent Bridge was almost comical, though the fans who had flocked to the ground despite the meaninglessness of the fixture certainly weren’t amused. From 47 for 0 at the end of the Power Play to 64 for 4 after the next six represented a very steep decline, and when Yusuf Pathan then lofted one tamely to short cover, the end was nigh. The two Singhs, Yuvraj and Harbhajan, tried to go down swinging, but there wasn’t much conviction in the effort. (more…)
Posted in cricket, ICC World Twenty20 2009, tagged Dileep Premachandran, Doosra Redux, England, ICC World Twenty20 2009, India, Kevin Pietersen, MS Dhoni, Ravi Bopara, Ravindra Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan, Yuvraj Singh on June 15, 2009 | 18 Comments »
One more game, in Nottingham on Tuesday, and the Indian cricket team – not to mention a massive media entourage – will be heading home. By the time new champions are crowned at Lord’s next Sunday, the erstwhile champions will be back home, wondering just how they made such a pig’s ear of the title defence. Sloppy in the defeat to West Indies on Friday, they were too clever for their own good on Sunday, messing up a run chase in the face of sustained short-pitched bowling from a disciplined English attack. That they got so close in the end merely highlighted the failure of their tactics, and opened up a whole new can of what-ifs.
Yusuf Pathan scored off every ball he faced to finish with 33 from 17 balls, while MS Dhoni ended the game unbeaten on 30 from 20 balls. By the time Yusuf came to the crease though, 67 were needed from six overs. Yuvraj Singh had faced a similar situation, walking out with 92 required from 57 balls. Why had it come to that? With Yuvraj in such prime form, was there really a need to send Ravindra Jadeja up the order, especially when the 20-year-old had played just one ODI and two T20 games for India? In a crunch game, why would you back a new boy over an old hand?
As it was, Jadeja struggled horribly, barely middling a ball in an innings of 25 from 35 balls that sent the asking-rate soaring. (more…)
Posted in cricket, ICC World Twenty20 2009, tagged Angelo Mathews, Dileep Premachandran, Doosra Redux, Dwayne Bravo, ICC World Twenty20 2009, India, Lasith Malinga, Lendl Simmons, MS Dhoni, Pakistan, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Yuvraj Singh on June 13, 2009 | 1 Comment »
The Indians fans that had come early to Lord’s whooped it up in the early part of the afternoon, as Pakistan stumbled badly in pursuit of a modest Sri Lankan total. But any Pakistani supporters that stayed back for the later game soon got their chance for payback as West Indies produced a high-class performance to push India toward the abyss. Lendl Simmons took a mind-boggling catch to dismiss Gautam Gambhir and then batted beautifully for 44, but it was Dwayne Bravo that took the game away, following up 4 for 38 with a dazzling 36-ball 66.
At one stage, the required rate was climbing up to 10, but Bravo cut loose with some gorgeous orthodox strokes, targetting the straight boundary and cover with equal fluency. India lost it in two overs, with Ishant Sharma giving up 16 and Harbhajan 15 in the 17th and 18th overs of the innings. India had done well to take the game that far, but ultimately they paid the price for the poorest of starts. Having slumped to 29 for 3, they were then marooned in treacle for eight overs as the bowlers frustrated Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni. Dhoni’s 11 spanned 23 balls, and it was left to Yuvraj to inject some urgency with some stunning shots in the final overs.
Yusuf Pathan chipped in as well, but you always sensed that they were 10 or 15 short. (more…)
England succumbed to Minnow Flu on Friday, while Australia slipped up on Saturday against a team that were once titans but are now prone to playing like pygmies. There would have been more than a few nervous Indian fans ahead of the game against Bangladesh at Trent Bridge, with memories flashing back to a Port-of-Spain afternoon when India were pushed towards the exit of the 50-over World Cup. This though is a very different Indian team, enjoying a remarkable run of success, and there was no element of complacency in their approach to this game.
The media, increasingly becoming a tawdry joke with its unprofessional and at times disgusting scandal-sheet approach to news, had tried to cause a stir in the build-up with talk of a rift within the team, and the players reacted in the best possible way with a comfortable 25-run win. There are still areas to improve, but the manner in which they dug themselves out of a couple of small holes was once again testament to the big-match temperament that the Indian Premier League has helped many of these players to develop.
Pragyan Ojha took 4 for 21 on his debut, but the real game-clincher was an innings of 41 from just 18 balls by Yuvraj Singh. India were heading for a total around 150 when Yuvraj lashed out at Naeem Islam and Rubel Hossain, and he might well be worth a promotion in the next game. MS Dhoni sent himself in at No.3 today, but with Suresh Raina and Yuvraj in such devastating form, it makes sense for the captain to drop down the order once the Super Eight starts. (more…)