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  1. 23 points
    Indian fast bowler, Md. Shami, was on fire during the closing stages of the Johannesburg test match in January 2018. As quick yorkers and stump directed deliveries came spearing in one after another, the South Africans were losing wickets fast and crashing to a test defeat on their home turf. And we won rather quickly after this. This test match win was rather unique ... India won it without playing a single spinner while playing 4 specialist fast bowlers and a seamer-allrounder ... for the first time in our history. And what an elated feeling it was for the fast bowling fans of India ! Forty years back, the only way to differentiate between an Indian pacer and an Indian spinner was to look at the length of their run-ups. After that, we produced one good test quality pacer per decade ... Kapil in the 1980s starting 1978, Srinath in the 1990s and Zaheer in the 2000s. The 2010s decade saw a sea change. With much improved strength and endurance training, nutrition, world class facilities and fitness coaches at the NCA, rampant use of speed-guns in coaching facilities, good cricket infrastructure in many parts of India, bubbling confidence of Indians due to a fast growing economy, rookie pacers interacting with world class coaches and players in the IPL, good U19 and A-team structure etc. ... fast bowling culture finally arrived in India. And in 2018, we have so many good quality genuine fast bowlers right from the U16 stage to the senior team. Now, the 5 test series in England is about to be played. Let us take a look at the resources available to us. Pacers selected in the squad to England for the first 3 tests -- Jasprit Bumrah Age 24 Test Average 25.2 and SR 48.1 Speed range in test matches - 135 k to 148 k Bowling style - Right arm fast Bumrah is a hit-the-deck genuine fast bowler who is around 6 feet tall. He has a high arm and unorthodox action. Gets good bounce , zip off the deck and seam movement wherever possible and is a very accurate bowler. He started off as a pacer who bowled indippers most of the time ... but in the last 9 months he has also developed the delivery that moves away slightly. This has made him a very dangerous bowler. He is a thinking bowler who adapts to situations fast and is a quick learner. This, along with his ability to combine pace and bounce with skills, has made him a genuine wicket taker. He bowled with great intensity and pace in his debut test series in South Africa and ended up with 14 wickets from 3 tests ... and his transition from white ball to red ball cricket was rather smooth. His unfortunate thumb injury will make him miss the first test. I hope he gets fit for the second game. He has all the qualities to be the leader of our pace attack. Md. Shami Age 28 Test average 28.9 and SR 51.2 Speed range in test matches - 135 k to 147 k Bowling style - Right arm fast He is a short, well built, genuine fast bowler who combines pace and bounce with good skills and has an excellent ball release and seam position. He is a master of reverse swing both ways and gets consistent seam movement too wherever available. Although not a classical swing bowler, he can bowl conventionally swinging balls when conditions are helpful ... and takes the ball away from the right-handeres. He also has a vicious and skiddy bouncer which he uses liberally. Shami in full flow is a sight to behold and this has made him a low average and low SR bowler. But his career has been marred by knee injuries which has made him miss many a series. Adding to his injury woes has been some acute marital problems in the last 8 months, which has shaken him mentally. I hope he is in the mental frame of mind to give his one hundred percent in the upcoming test series. If he is firing on all cylinders, our job will become much easier in England. Umesh Yadav Age 30 Test average 34.9 and SR 58.0 Speed range in test matches - 135 k to 150 k ( but has bowled 130 k to 145 k in the last few months ) Bowling style - Right arm fast He is a skiddy fast bowler, around 5'11" , who can combine pace with outswing. But his weaknesses are lack of consistency, accuracy and insufficient bounce for such a quick bowler. He has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome. We dont know which Umesh we are going to get, the magical wicket-taker or the club level bowler. Another problem he has developed in the last few months is bowling slower than he can. This is not a good idea for anybody, but especially for someone whose USP is pace. He has done it perhaps in search of accuracy. That hasn't happened though as most pacers are most accurate when they are bowling in full rhythm and normal pace. Bowling slower or faster than usual, both affect accuracy adversely. If he can combine outswing, pace and good lines ... he can be a handful in England. Ishant Sharma Age 29 Test average 35.5 and SR 65.9 Speed range in test matches - 132 k to 145 k Bowling style - Right arm fast-medium He is a 6'5" hit the deck pacer who has been around for more than 10 years. A slow learner and sub-par performer, he is lucky to have survived this long. But, in the last 4 years he has added value, in overseas test matches, as a workhorse pacer who can get in a lot of overs at a low economy rate while hitting the deck hard and maintaining lively pace. He has recently had a county stint and seems to have developed a better inswinger. His perennial problem has been bowling a bit shorter than ideal length and we will see whether this aspect has improved. Shardul Thakur Age 26 Test average - Yet to debut Speed range in FC matches - 130 k to 142 k Bowling style - Right arm fast-medium A short skiddy pacer, around 5'9" ... he seems to be the automatic backup seamer in all formats the moment someone is injured or rested. But is definitely not the best choice available, with so much good quality fast bowling talent available in India now. He is primarily an outswing bowler. If he can bowl a good line and length then he can be successful in England due to his ability to get outswing. He has a decent bouncer too. We have to see whether he can sustain pace in test matches. He is such a short seamer bowling at standard pace, whether he can make an impact, if the dry English summer does not offer much swing, needs to be seen too. Pacers who barely missed out due to injury or otherwise -- Bhuvneshwar Kumar ( injured ) Age 28 Test average 26.1 and SR 53.1 Speed range in test matches - 127 k to 142 k Bowling style - Right arm fast-medium India's best swing bowler who is capable of picking regular five-fors in helpful conditions or on greentops. His unavailability in swing-friendly England, atleast for the first 3 tests, is a big blow for us. He has a good seam position and can swing the ball both ways if conditions favour conventional swing, get some seam movement on greentops and is an accurate and thinking bowler. He often looks innocuous on flat or slow tracks though. After adding some pace and bounce, Bhuvi has become very competitive in test matches. He will be missed. Md. Siraj Age 24 Test average - Yet to debut Speed range - Was Bowling 135 k to 150 k in T20s ... Can he bowl 135 k to 145 k in tests ? Bowling style - Right arm fast-medium / fast A wiry, skiddy fast bowler, around 6'1", Siraj has progressed very fast after FC debut, with stellar FC, List A and A-team performances. He can bowl with genuine pace but does not always do so. His speed has improved a lot in the last 4 months. He started off as a bowler who bowled indippers mostly, but saw him bowling the away going delivery rather regularly on the just finished A-team tour to England. Previosly, most of his wickets were via skiddy quick stump directed deliveries, which fetches him lots of bowled and LBWs. He has been getting quite a few caught behinds in recent times. He has been in red hot form in the just concluded 4 day A-team series. Has picked up 15 wickets in 2 matches. Should have been picked in the test squad. Ankit Rajpoot Age 24 Test average - Yet to debut Speed range in FC matches - 130 k to 143 k Bowling style - Right arm fast-medium He is a very tall outswing bowler, around 6'3" maybe, who bowls at a lively pace. Can hit the deck hard when needed, for bounce and seam movement. Bowls a beautiful line and length too. Could have been an ideal pick for England but got injured just before the test squad was announced. He has been playing FC for a long time and has done well in both FC and on A-tours. His issues can be ... he is sometimes unable to maintain pace and intensity in 4-day matches. Navdeep Saini Age 25 Test average - Yet to debut Speed range in FC - 133 k to 145 k Bowling style - Right arm fast A skiddy fast bowler, around 6'0", he bowls a wonderful line targeting the top of off stump. He can seam the ball both ways. He bowled at high pace and with good intensity in the knock-out matches of last year's Ranji Trophy and picked up lots of wickets including fifers. He has been playing for India-A for 2 seasons now and was picked in our Test squad in the one off test versus Afghanistan. Conclusion -- If we had our 3 low-average and low-strike-rate pacers available for this test series ... Bumrah, Shami and Bhuvneshwar ... then our pace attack would have posed a tough challenge for England. Unfortunately, Bhuvi is injured and Bumrah will miss the first test atleast. This situation makes our pace attack hit or miss for the first test ... and it is time our 3 senior pacers, Shami, Ishant and Umesh, put their hands up and show some consistency and intensity. Things should improve if Bumrah is fit from the second test match onwards. @sourab10forever
  2. 21 points
    1 ) Choosing too many short medium-fast bowlers and probably instructing the lone fast bowler to bowl at a reduced pace -- I had pointed it out repeatedly ... too many short medium pacers don't work in international cricket. Most teams use one medium-paced swing bowler these days ... but too many do not work. Our pace attack looked very ordinary. Not a single specialist bowler chosen who can hit the deck hard and get bounce and seam movement. No variety at all. I found this fact amazing. 2 ) Choosing Raina for his ability to bowl 2 or 3 overs per match -- He has not been chosen in ODIs for a long time because his current ability / form is not good for this format. To choose him as a batsman because we need a 6th bowler is again poor logic. 3 ) Dhoni -- He is the super duper star who apparently can't be dropped based on non-cricketing reasons. But he is losing his hitting power day by day along with his confidence to try hitting big shots. But still hanging on to his spot despite a very low SR for a finisher, of only 84, in the last 3 years. He batted long in both the 2nd and 3rd ODIs but managed pathetic strike rates of 63 in both the matches 4 ) Not allowing Rahul to settle down at No.4 and dropping him arbitrarily -- I beleive this guy has the game to solve a part of our middle-order problems. A fabulous hitter who can hit the big shots with ease against both pacers and spinners. But is also a classical batsmen who does not have to slog to achieve the aforesaid. 5 ) Playing an unfit Bhuvi in the last ODI -- P.S -- a ) Rahane, Rayudu and Pandey are our back-up middle order batters in ODIs according to our batting coach, Bangar. So, future selection faux pas are already planned. b ) Rohit's slow, often super slow, starts is also a big problem but this topic is about selection issues ... and he has not come to the stage where he merits dropping.
  3. 21 points
    Ganguly straight talking yaasss Some of the points he raised: 1. India needs to pick between Dhoni and Karthick, Dhoni has been in bad form for more then a year. 2. U cannot drop KL Rahul, your best batsmen, give him a free run of 14-15 matches and then decide. 3. India's 4, 5, 6 is ****. There are better batsmen then Raina. His time is up. Only thing I didnt like was him advocating Rahane But he was spot on and blunt , Gavaskar gone hiding.
  4. 20 points
    Copy pasting my rant from another thread..... Kohli doesn't want another star to emerge when he is the king of brands right now. Some of these new players are stars of future and will eat into his brand market. The guy who got his chance at 19 does not believe in youth but relies on recycling old experienced lot. He probably wants to keep future competition out as long as he can.... He will make changes only when he starts losing as a captain and it starts effecting his brand value.  Kohli is a captain....not a leader.  Shastri is there just for the fun and money....while it lasts.
  5. 20 points
  6. 20 points
    Dhoni when he comes on to bat in November
  7. 19 points
    Hand 2: Dhoni will retire from tests, but play tests in all formats he bats This is the hand ICF chose.
  8. 19 points
  9. 19 points
    Gollum

    Football equivalents of cricket teams

    In light of the recent FIFA World Cup, thought of comparing the cricket teams with football teams based upon history/ability/achievements/mindset/resources yada yada. 1. West Indies: Brazil Calypso/Samba...free spirited Greatest teams of all time once upon a time but not so successful in the last 20 odd years Greatest players....all time XIs will have max players from their countries Loved by all Immense natural talent which drives them to success without a strong domestic set up Swag/Flair 2. Australia: Germany Overall very successful Competitive in every era Very consistent in World Cups Many ATGs (2nd highest) Very organized, disciplined with high precision and scientific approach to the game Ruthless Excellent domestic structure and youth programmes which was/is able to consistently churn out high quality players 3. India: Italy Probably in terms of big success behind only Australia (Germany) and WI (Brazil) Punched above its weight and knocked out fancier teams in the past to win big trophies Mediocre for large parts but still a great history with a few top tier ATGs Both are very defensive teams (bowling=attack, batting=defence ) with max ATGs in defensive department (India=batsmen, Italy=defenders and GK) For most parts in big tourneys both are mentally tough units, very dogged India often stopped mighty WI('83)/Australia(ATG test streak) just like how Italy stopped many pre tournament favorites like Brazil, France, Germany in the past. Good domestic structure.....Ranji=slightly below par, IPL=best in the world, average it out 4. Pakistan: Argentina Chaotic, mercurial, unpredictable Have won the big trophies but not yet as successful as 1-3 Individual brilliance, X factor Lack of cohesion, full of controversies and soap operas Achieved success under strong dictatorial leaders Propensity to cheat with innovations like ball tampering, chucking, Hand of God, fixing... Unapologetic about cheating incidents in the past, they wear it like a badge of honour Domestic Structure LOL 5. England: England Invented the sport but watched other teams excel more Rich history but most greats from bygone era English media Historically the best domestic structure with great prestige, finest of the game have polished their skills in England.....finishing school for many ATGs Boring sides Nostalgia tards Ugly yet effective style of play, tenacious spirit which helped them perform beyond their capabilities 6. Sri Lanka: France Won all their trophies post 90s, since then possibly most consistent teams in big events Produced many freakish talents Very successful in a short span At their best as good as any of the other ATG units Tactically top notch Nice fakers, often resort to underhand means 7. South Africa: Netherlands Never won a WC in spite of being favorites many times, greatest nations to not win the ultimate prize in their disciplines Exceptional talent, very skilled Cryuff=Kallis...objectively greatest but not rated as GOATs by pundits 8. New Zealand: Belgium Punch above weight No standout ATG but many excellent players who gel well Never came close to winning a WC Honest triers Universally liked 9. Bangladesh: Some African country (Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria????) Lots of funds pumped in by governing body 1-2 high quality players surrounded by a bunch of mediocre players Occasionally upset higher ranked teams Too many false dawns Very passionate fanbase Perpetual victim mentality Feel free to add your choices...I don't follow football like I used to as a kid. I may have made some wrong assumptions and got a few observations wrong. But honestly quite difficult to find equivalents which everyone will agree upon . Pretty sure many ICFers are more knowledgeable in this regard !!!!
  10. 18 points
    Sanjay Manjreker will be going nuts.
  11. 18 points
    2 minute silence for those who thought Kohli will give up his spot at no. 3 for Rahul .
  12. 18 points
    Sab ke sab bike hue hai. Imagine the response if someone had tried this **** even as recent as late 2000s !!! In our worst era when Mongia-Prabhakar played weird match losing knocks against WI, they were banned from the tournament and an investigation committee headed by retired CJI Chandrachud was set up. That happened during Azhar's reign FGS. I remember Dada being out of touch in that 2005 ODI series against Pakistan, he was completely out of sorts. He didn't deliberately screw up like Dhoni here, but his intent wasn't delivering results. The onslaught he faced from news channels, my God these current players have seen nothing. There was a daily programme, once in the morning and then evening where news anchors from various outlets would be in a race to make fun of Dada......even if there were no match that day. That match ka mujrim show which featured Bedi, Abbas and Kirmani was savage. Bedi tore apart Dada every single day and audience laughed, cheered and clapped, Kirmani was more gentle (but firm) while Zaheer Abbas would try to defend the struggling southpaw without much success. Look at channels today, even genuine criticism is censored it seems...max to max they may sugercoat and try to find a positive/justification/spin for continuous letdowns. Who says we are no more milestone driven? It seems to me that at least experts, news channels and social media are more milestone driven now than 20 years back. Tab bahut gaaliyan barasti thi, aaj kal 200 runs se haare toh yahi dhoondh nikalenge ki bhai kisne apna 4000 runs/150 wickets/75 catches/100k likes/250k followers/10k retweets/30 girlfriends mark cross kiya aur poore show mein usi kaa jashn manayenge.....saale bhadve !!!! Shameless sellouts and Indian public ko jitna gaali de utna kam. Next time Dhoni sets foot in Chinnaswamy sab daud chalenge stadium mein Dhoni, Dhoni, Finisher Cool karne, and those cringe inducing placards and slogans I am not advocating hyper reactions and insults thrown at players, all I want is for questions to be asked and players/coaches being held to account. Sky Sports team does that succinctly, without going overboard. Dare I say even Pakistani and Bangladeshi experts/commentators have shown more spine to question the under-performing superstars of their teams, we are worst in that regard.
  13. 16 points
    Genuine swing fast bowler who never played in best bowling conditions of England and South Africa and always thrown on flat pitches of India and Australia. He lacked control earlier, but has improved a lot. My prediction - 20+ wickets at avg of 22-24 with 2 5-fers.
  14. 16 points
    He is already cursed with the burden of being a Dhoni fan
  15. 16 points
    kira

    Speculation about Dhoni 's retirement

    This parasite won't leave the team until he is kicked out, itna drama saale retire hona hai to hoja, this is just his PR team trying to gain some sympathy for this phateechar
  16. 16 points
    If there was one man who couldve called a spade a spade..
  17. 16 points
    jalebi_bhai

    Misbahfication Meter !!!

    This post inspired me to make this
  18. 16 points
  19. 15 points
    Get life insurance and medical insurance first.
  20. 15 points
    It has become a norm now. After every dud performance from dhoni....there is a procession of defenders sent out. Kab tsk bewakoof banate rahenge? Do they realise that the people they fool are the people because of whom these matches are played. Bloody *ers ! If he played bad...atleast let him get the brickbats. Nah....this guy should not be questioned no matter what he does. He will keep ' finishing ' games like this with that smug look on his face. He will make one decent score worth something in one of many matches and the whole procession of ' in your face ' comments and memes will start.
  21. 14 points
    Forget about stats. After so much criticism, only solution this guy could find was to drop Rahul for Karthik. Yes, Rahul is the problem in this team. It can't go any lower. 2 good performances, 1 failure and you're sacked. Others can stay forever with failures.
  22. 14 points
    If somehow Dhoni does retire then expect Ishant Sharma to soon follow by jumping from a tall building. Will be loyal to the bitter end.
  23. 14 points
  24. 14 points
    Perhaps the booing has hurt him as it happened not once, but twice. Didn't he deserve getting booed though. Still feel that auspicious day of his retirement is just not gonna happen. He probably took the ball with him so thta he can suck more dot ball even when not playing match.
  25. 14 points
    Captain

    Time for Dhoni to go?

    This was my post during the IPL when Dhoni fans were jizzing themselves after he belted Negi. The days of Dhoni destroying quality bowling attacks are long gone ( England's attack is extremely mediocre btw). His hand-eye coordination has detiorated. Any Dhoni fan that still thinks he can make a comeback to his old self needs to look at what happened to "Sehwag" once his hand-eye coordination detiorated. Batsmen like Dhoni and Sehwag i.e batsmen who's game is based on hand-eye coordination instead of proper technique are sitting ducks once age catches up. Dhoni won't ever win games for the team consistently unless he can reel back his age by 3-4 years. The sooner he realises this, the better it would be for hIm and his fans.

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