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Chandan last won the day on April 4 2009

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  1. Chandan

    Pujara, what a performance!

    Australia v India Fourth Test: Kohli’s India conquer final frontierGIDEON HAIGH 12:00AM JANUARY 7, 2019 Not much in sport is unprecedented, but today, regardless of whether a ball is bowled at Sydney Cricket Ground, history will be made, with India consummating a series victory in Australia for the first time in its life as an independent nation. Twenty years or so ago, Steve Waugh popularised the idea of success in India as being Australian cricket’s “final frontier”. Success in Australia, still more elusive, has been India’s. They beat England in England as far back as 1971, Pakistan in Pakistan in 2004; they have won World Cups at home and away. But for India, Australia has been a place of individual rather than collective accomplishments, cherished for their rarity. When Vijay Hazare scored twin centuries at Adelaide Oval in 1948, he was gifted a gold cigarette case by India’s High Commissioner, which he carried the rest of his life — empty, he being a non-smoker. Indian cricketers have been great favourites in these climes: Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar et al. Indian teams have been recurrently underpowered, outmatched, sometimes fissiparous. The Nawab of Pataudi’s 1967-68 touring party contained representatives of five religions; Bishan Bedi’s a decade later featured five strong-willed past or future captains. This team has one leader, almost one mind, that of Virat Kohli. Whatever Tendulkar’s greatness, he was always first among equals — the equals being the like of Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag, Ganguly. Kohli commands undiluted attention, amplified by proliferating media platforms, so that he can seem everywhere at once, and perfectly comfortable being so. As outsized a personality as he is, however, Kohli was capable of committing this team to a goal larger than himself — what he called the “obsession” of away victory, which he has been inculcating in Indian ranks since assuming India’s captaincy in the corresponding Test here four years ago. Kohli’s predecessor MS Dhoni was notable for his equanimity, taciturnity and high ignition temperature. Kohli distinguished himself at first by his greater combativeness and volatility. On this tour, Kohli has shown other sides to his personality, in Melbourne speaking of his squad with an unexpectedly paternal air: “You see guys growing in their confidence levels and that is a beautiful sight to see.” Asked to describe how his attack prepared for bowling under Australian skies, Kohli paid them a disarming tribute: “In bowlers’ meeting, I usually just sit and listen.” Make no mistake, simply surmounting the challenge of the conditions in Australia is immense. Historically it has been like prising open a crocodile’s jaws: we still have the best win-loss ratio of any country in the 21st century. Then there have been Australian cricketers to contend with, traditionally so robust and resourceful — albeit this summer not so much ... But while a lot of attention has focused on Australia’s absentees in this Border-Gavaskar Trophy, India’s, some voluntary, some compulsory, are worth noting. Some firm resolutions were taken at the selection table a couple of months ago, when India opted against bringing Shikhar Dhawan and Karun Nair, accomplished batsmen with prior experience against Australia. Likewise were there injuries to absorb. Coming into the Adelaide Test, India lacked their premier all-rounder Hardik Pandya, first-choice keeper Wriddhiman Saha, pace prospect Shardul Thakur and, after a mishap in the tour match, hotshot opener Prithvi Shaw. Indisposition stopped Ravi Ashwin after the first Test; serial failure ruled out Shaw’s replacement Murali Vijay after the second. A share in the plaudits belongs to India’s physiotherapist these past 3½ years, Paddy Farhart of Sydney via Kings XI Punjab, whose ministrations have eased and comforted a four-man attack through 20 days of cricket in 33. Jasprit Bumrah (25), Kuldeep Yadav (24) and Rishabh Pant (21) have confirmed themselves as a generation no longer in waiting, while Mayank Agarwal (27) has offered a glimpse of strength in depth at home, where the likes of Shreyas Iyer (24), Shubman Gill (19), Yuzvendra Chahal (28) and Abhi Easwaran (24) also await opportunities. Not every hunch has paid off: KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma finish the series as enigmatically as they began. Whether Kohli’s partialities amount to prejudices remains an open question. But one reinvestment has. Cheteshwar Pujara has sometimes seemed to have more admirers abroad than in India, which is ironic considering his extraordinary home record (average 62, 10 Test centuries). But with last year’s retirement of Alastair Cook, he has become arguably the sole keeper of traditional crafts of Test match batting, like a fine furniture maker in a world of IKEA. In all four Tests, Pujara has been called upon to act as an ersatz opener; in all four, his wicket has been the decisive one, Australia able to make inroads at Perth when for once he failed. By rights Pujara should today be named man of the series. Certainly he has made some history which Indian batsmen on future tours of Australia will be exhorted to emulate. https://goo.gl/Miaija ------------------------ Had read many such praises for Pujara in English media too. English commentators too had been such big fans of his skills. But not Indians. Why?
  2. Chandan

    Pujara, what a performance!

    So why not let him work his own style and see? Why keep pressurising him accelerate? And it was not just before SA but going on since last 4 year. Only the year Kumble was coach, had this nonsense stopped. Started again the moment Shastri came. Turning point was the series in Australia when they let Pujara bat the way he does. Result is in front of everyone. Australian tracks were not flat. Those who say that Adelaide, MCG and Perth were flat need to go and see the definition of flat track.
  3. Chandan

    Pujara, what a performance!

    If one is forced to changed his style and is constantly pressured to play other way, how to expect him excel in such circumstances?
  4. Chandan

    Pujara, what a performance!

    6+1+4 has been the conservative formula, especially on bowlers friendly tracks. In that way the combination was right in 3 tests. At Perth having no spinner was a huge mistake because of which they had to pay for. Then going to attritional batting rather than fearless strokeplay etc was another tactical shift which succeeded in grinding the opposition bowlers down. Still plenty of room for improvement, eg, getting good openers, a consistent #5 and #6 who can shepherd the tail too. We also need to look after our seamers and encourage them to improve their batting like English or Australians.
  5. Chandan

    Pujara, what a performance!

    What terrible slow learners!!! SA as well as ENG was a big opportunity for India to win the test series where they could have played with attritional batting tactics which they had here and 4 bowlers. Also the dreadful injury management robbed india of their best bowler in Eng--Bhuvi. Ind would have been unbeatable there had they been a little more intelligent and worked towards it working out their tactics before and looking after their players accordingly. Oh! How I missed Kumble.
  6. Chandan

    Kohli's captaincy watch thread

    And that Jadeja injury fiasco/farce after the 1st test? Captain saying they did not consider spin at any stage, even after the match, while coach saying that Jadeja was not selected because he was not fully fit. What a big lie it was, we all saw that, as Jadeja fielded thoughout the test from deep, from close-in from everywhere and kept bowling in nets. Plenty of articles regarding this.
  7. Chandan

    Pujara, what a performance!

    Pujara and captain? Just few matches back he was not even a a regular in XI. I'm sure selectors must have been a part of team managements decision of dropping Pujara so many times in last 4 years despite performing so well. So its obvious they have problems somewhere, maybe with his scoring rate or something. He doesn't seem to be anywhere near the leadership group either despite being a senior member. Kumble used to back him to hilt. But Shastri doesn't do so, and its obvious. Virat never did.
  8. Chandan

    Is the captaincy burden getting too much on Kohli?

    Kohli is amazing as a batsman but his workload is insane. That will start taking its toll at some point. Captaincy has nothing to do with it. Ind needs to manage Kohli and Bumrah very carefully. India's injury management has been dreadful anyway. So I don't know who'll take care of that and how. But these two players need to be managed most carefully.
  9. Chandan

    Pujara, what a performance!

    But why Pujara has bear the brunt every time? Anyone remembers this? https://goo.gl/axuxf7 August 31, 2015 Why is Pujara given short shrift? MUKUL KESAVAN He averages better than Rohit Sharma but still has to fight for a place in the Test side, mostly because he doesn't play ODIs When Cheteshwar Pujara finished unbeaten on 145, having carried his bat through India's first innings at the SSC, his career Test average topped 50. He is the only current Indian batsman to achieve this distinction, and a distinction it is. There's much about batsmanship that is unquantifiable, but pundits and players alike agree that a 50-plus average over a reasonable number of Tests bears witness to a first-rate batsman. Pujara is a first-rate batsman. He is 27 years old, he has played 27 Test matches, and this should be his batting prime, but he is in this team on sufferance. Had either of the two first-choice opening batsmen, M Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan, been fit, Pujara would still be mooching around the margins of the squad, carrying drinks in for the men in the middle. When he passed 50 in this innings, Sanjay Manjrekar asked Sunil Gavaskar on commentary if Pujara had done enough to regain his place in the team or whether he needed to clinch it with a hundred. Gavaskar's elaborately considered opinion was that in the current set-up, Pujara needed a 150 to be in serious contention. A century and a half? What team of titans was this? And what bastion of Bradmans was Pujara trying to breach? When the Indian team came out to field, his lowly status in the team's pecking order was evidenced by his gear: he was wearing a helmet and shin guards under his trousers, a sure sign that he was the designated short-leg fielder. This scary position is generally reserved for the rookie in the team, because no one wants to be maimed by a meaty pull. In a culture where seniority counts for a lot, the helmet and guards told you how far Pujara had fallen. How had it come to this? Career averages are a poor guide to current form. So while Pujara at 50 is ahead of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Dhawan (all clustered around the 45 mark) and well ahead of Vijay and Rohit Sharma, his form since the tour of New Zealand in February 2014 has been poor. A couple of fifties in 20 innings is poor return for a batsman of his quality, and in that time his middle-order comrades, like Rahane and Kohli hit a rich vein of form. Also, because of Kohli's decision to play five bowlers, there was one less batting place to go around. This meant that with Dhawan, Vijay, Rahane and Kohli being automatic choices, Pujara was competing with KL Rahul, who had distinguished himself in Australia with a century, and that perennially promising talent, Rohit. Rahul is a fine young batsman who managed two centuries in his first four Test outings, but his future in the Indian team clearly lies in one of the two opening slots. If Dhawan and Vijay stay fit and maintain their form, it's conceivable that Rahul might set a challenge for the No. 3 position. But it's hard to see him edging Pujara out in a head-to-head comparison, especially after Pujara's comeback hundred. Pujara's real rival in the middle order is Rohit. Rohit is older than Pujara by a year, but to hear his admirers in the cricket establishment talk, he is a volcano of virginal talent about to erupt. After two hundreds against West Indies on debut, he has done little or nothing. If you compare his record to Pujara's since they last scored a hundred each, Rohit averages a little over 25 and Pujara just over 26. Yet it was Pujara, with much the better career record (Rohit averages 37 in 14 Tests), and unarguably the better Test match temperament, who was left out of the last Test in Australia, the Test against Bangladesh, and the first two Tests of this Sri Lanka series. Pujara has had to smuggle himself into the team by the back door by playing in the unaccustomed position of an opening batsman. Meanwhile Rohit has had a free run in the middle order. He was played at No. 3 (Pujara's preferred place, where he has played nearly all his Test cricket) till the first Test in Galle, and when he failed there, Rahane was kicked upstairs so that Rohit could find a more sheltered billet at No. 5. When Pujara was grinding through his massive innings at the SSC in Colombo, the commentary team, made up of Manjrekar, Gavaskar and Aakash Chopra, came to the curious conclusion that Rohit was tailor-made for the No. 5 spot because he could "express" himself and play with the tail. Suddenly it was as if Rohit had some natural lien on the lower berth, while Pujara would have to duke it out for a top-order place with the likes of Rahul and Rahane, or even one of the settled openers. We've been here before. There was a time when VVS Laxman was overlooked in favour of Yuvraj Singh, who was inferior to him by every measure known to Test match batsmanship. Yuvraj didn't like fast bowling and showboated when he should have knuckled down. But he periodically edged Laxman out because his patrons would talk up his attacking gifts or, all else failing, his ability to bowl left-arm slows. And the reason why these arguments carried the day was because Yuvraj, like Rohit, had an advantage that Laxman (later in his career) and Pujara can't match: a place in the ODI squad. Rohit is one of a long line of contemporary batsmen who play Test cricket because they look good playing ODI cricket. He won his Test place on the strength of his spectacular displays as a one-day opening batsman and he has held it in the expectation that his berserker ability to hit limited-overs double-hundreds might rub off on his Test match form. It is a truth increasingly acknowledged that a young man possessed of an ODI berth stands a better chance of holding down a Test match place than a young man without one. Pujara doesn't play limited-overs cricket in any format for India and hasn't been able to find an IPL franchise that wants him. Rohit, in contrast, is a lion in Lilliput: the shorter the format, the better he gets. This counts against Pujara because while Rohit and others like him are constantly in the public eye because of the modern cricketing calendar, he is out of sight and mainly out of mind except when Test cricket looms on the horizon. The camaraderie that comes from constantly playing ODIs and T20 cricket, the sense of always being in the mix, just never happens for Test match specialists like Pujara and Laxman (in his later years). Multi-format players are buoyed by their versatility; their team-mates in these formats, their captains, their sponsors, want them to succeed. The force, so speak, is with them. Someone like Pujara has to constantly make his own weather. The juggernaut of limited-overs cricket, which underwrites the game, has no interest in him. To point this out is not to suggest that someone is to blame for this state of affairs. It is the way cricket has evolved, and players like Yuvraj and Rohit can scarcely be blamed for their good fortune. It is simply to ask for greater discrimination from the powers that be when it comes to administering Test cricket and picking Test teams. It is not too much to ask that selectors be self-conscious about the dangers of allowing the stardust of limited-overs cricket to bedazzle them when they make their choices for the Test team. Nor is it conspiratorial to point out that Pujara's time in the wilderness had something to do with the fact that he belongs to an unfashionable cricketing province, Saurashtra, which has great cricketing pedigree but counts for nothing in the councils of the BCCI. Mumbai, of which Rohit is a native son, counts for a great deal. It may well be that Test cricket is dying. Perhaps the empty stands in Colombo where Kumar Sangakkara played his last Test were a sign. If this is true - actually, especially if this is true - all the more reason to make sure that this great game is carried to its ghat by the right pall-bearers, by serious men.
  10. Isn't WTC going to start soon? And in that all teams will start from zero? In that case India will be the team ending at number one at the old ranking system and that is ensured.
  11. Chandan

    Kohli's captaincy watch thread

    Very much. Selectors need to to be asked every bit.
  12. Chandan

    Kohli's captaincy watch thread

    No. He wouldn't have been. They categorically said that they didn't include Bhuvi in the team because he had played just 1 FC match after coming back from injury. Means they were quite clear that he wasn't prepared enough and just 1 FC match could not have readied Bhuvi for the rigours of test. How would it have changed for Pandya? He too had played just 1 Ranji match after coming back from injury. So how could they have included him, thinking he was ready for test rigours? If they had thought that way, which I hope they hadn't, another erratic way of thinking and impletenting plans.
  13. Chandan

    Dhawan is A+

    https://goo.gl/tZWa9i After the revised pay structure approved in 2018, A-plus category players get Rs 7 crore per year, while those in the A category, to which Pujara currently belongs, get Rs 5 crore. The B and C category players get Rs 3 crore and Rs 1 crore respectively. The A-Plus category comprises skipper Kohli, his limited-overs deputy Rohit Sharma, all-format pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and senior opener Shikhar Dhawan. ........... While there is a school of thought that the A-Plus category should be reserved for all-format performers, opener Dhawan is no longer a certainty in the longest format in the coming days, with the emergence of Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal, along with KL Rahul in the mix. The central contract could see another course correction with Rishabh Pant, now the first-choice keeper in Tests, being reinstated in the system after being dropped for the current financial year. __________________________ My Question is, how is Rohit considered an all format player?
  14. Chandan

    Kohli's captaincy watch thread

    Again the question arises that if Pandya didn't have to be played, why did they send an SoS for him? It'd have been better for his growth as a player if he was playing Ranji trophy here. Same thing can be said for Bhuvi too. If team management thought he was not fully prepared for the series, they could have conveyed it to selectors and Bhuvi could have done so by playing Ranji. This way standard of Ranji could have improved too. What's the point of carrying players who won't play in the series? Did Captain and coach want to give them paid holidays?
  15. Chandan

    Pujara, what a performance!

    An article for you: https://goo.gl/259PhE Cheteshwar Pujara – A Batsman Transformed? January 3, 2019/0 Comments/in Uncategorized /by Ben Jones CricViz analyst Ben Jones assesses whether the success of India’s No.3 is due to a technical change, or just their class shining through. Edgbaston, 2018. It’s not quite as evocative as the date which preceded it by 13 years, but for Indian cricket, it could come to be as prestigious a moment. On the 1st of August, India dropped Cheteshwar Pujara. They opted to pick KL Rahul, the swaggering talent of half-fulfilled wonder, ahead of their hard-knock proven No.3. It was a staggering decision, one that left the press box and the stands aghast. One senior journalist in the room, when the decision was announced, exclaimed “where the **** is Pujara?”. It was a sentiment shared by many. Even now, it feels like a bizarre decision, and that may have cost India that Test. They lost it by 31 runs. Rahul made 17 runs in the match. Yet if you proffer this opinion, that the decision to drop Pujara was a catastrophic error, you will be met with resistance from many who insist that the dropping was the best thing to ever happen to him. They insist that he changed his technique as a result of the dropping, altering the issue that had prevented him from completely dominating away from home in the way he had in India. It’s fair to offer this. Since being dropped, and then subsequently returning for the following Test at Lord’s, Pujara has faced 2,035 deliveries, more than any other batsman in the world. He’s faced more deliveries and made his runs at a better average than his captain.He has become a colossus, ascending to a level others have been unable to match. So, it feels appropriate to ask the question: has Pujara actually changed anything? The first thing to isolate is that the problem for Pujara, an untrusted tourist, was that people didn’t think he could play the moving ball away from home. Whilst this isn’t completely borne out in the data, the numbers do point towards a clear issues against pace – specifically, an issue against good length deliveries from seamers. This feels so incongruous, considering the caricature of Pujara. He is a wall, a Dravidian descendant who can bat for days – surely his resistance can’t be undone by the most basic of things, the ball on an awkward length? How can a man so solid average less than the 20.79 that top seven batsmen have averaged against those deliveries in the last two years? Yet the data suggests that, despite our impressions, this has been a flaw. Equally, since the the Birmingham rejection, that record has altered significantly. His career average against pace in SENA countries (28.89) has risen to 37.33. It’s not huge, but it’s allowed him to dominate. He has improved against all lengths, more solid in all areas, but most crucially he’s improved against those good length balls. There are a number of things one could do to counter this kind of issue. You could bat more or less out of your crease, in the manner of Virat Kohli. The Indian captain has taken to striking the ball on average 2.2m away from his stumps during this series, whilst others like Ajinkya Rahane have opted to make the most of their back foot strength and sit deep. However, Pujara appears to have done neither. An alternative option is that he’s playing the ball into different areas. If the batsman is looking to score in alternative areas of the field, and is succeeding, then that points to a change in technique. Across his career, Pujara has typically been heavy scoring behind square. That trademark cut, underrated in its aesthetic beauty and its ability to make you catch your breath, allows him to batter the seamers through backward point. If we compare that to how Pujara has gone in these last two away series, has that changed? Barely. These are minor alterations, the sort of small changes that are the result of an edged four here, a skewed drive there. Nothing has changed here. Pujara is still Pujara. So if the issue in the South Africa series – the one that preceded being dropped – was the way he played pace, and he hasn’t changed when or where he’s hitting the ball, then how has he changed his intent? In South Africa, he averaged a jot under 20, and struggled against the marauding seamers, let loose on hard, spitting pitches, but how did he respond? Has he run scared? Has he come out all guns blazing? Below is Pujara’s batting record in SENA countries, across his career. Since being recalled Pujara has attacked balls on his stumps less and attacked balls outside off stump more. He has, generally, been very aggressive off his pads, but cautious outside off stump, but this pattern has changed in that last six months. It is a tweak, an alteration in intent which hasn’t seen him score more heavily through off (as we’ve seen), but an alteration nonetheless. So what we’re seeing here is a man who has slightly increased his intent in one area, whilst slightly decreasing his intent in another. It is a man who has changed his modus operandi marginally, but has certainly not thrown his previous game away. This is unequivocally not a man transformed. And so, it’s fair to push back. Pujara has not become a different player since being removed from the side in Birmingham – he has simply regressed to the mean. This is a phrase that, for better or for worse, has become associated with analytics. Leave things be, we say, and everything will revert to the norm. Leave Stuart Broad in the Test side, and he will take wickets. Keep Jose Mourinho, and he will win games. It is an instinctively and emotionally difficult argument to take, and it is easy to throw it back in the faces of those who throw it in yours. But is is valid, and it is important. Because it’s simply a new version of an old idea. “Form is temporary, class is permanent”. Pujara will go to bed tonight with a Test batting average of 51.07. Of those to play 20 Tests in their career – the standard, accepted line where a sample becomes reasonable – just 32 men in history have managed to better Pujara’s record. Here before our eyes is a great of the game, a player of such skill and substance that only a generous handful of those before him could compete. Yet he isn’t trusted. Perhaps this is an aesthetic issue, though I’ve made my personal position clear. Perhaps it is a broader issue, his status as a man untethered to an IPL franchise leaving him with fewer hardcore supporters than others in his homeland. Perhaps it’s simply that, aware of the crop of wonderful players at their disposal, India’s selectors erred on the side of youth and aggression. But history will suggest that their decision was wrong. If Pujara plays in Birmingham, India may win that Test. They may remain faithful to a victorious side, and decide against including Kuldeep on the greentop at Lord’s. They may ultimately defeat an England side strong in spirit but low on confidence, and then arrive in Australia not with a point to prove, but with a supremacy to affirm. The history of Indian cricket could well have been oh so different. Yet ultimately, this is just another microcosm. Somewhere in the ether. Pujara is a great, a great who will transcend any of these series, and anybody who doesn’t acknowledge this is wrong. And yet, as Day One turns into Day Two across the harbour in this famous city, India are content. They have assumed a dominant position in their most important Test of the 21st century, their overnight WinViz an assured 66%. At this most crucial of moments, they are in control of their destiny. For that, they can thanks Chesteshwar Pujara: unassuming, unchanged, immoveable. Ben Jones is an analyst at CricViz.

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