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Everything posted by Chandan

  1. Gill? Does he open in longest format? In all the IndA games, he came one down. So I don't think India is grooming him as an opener.
  2. Sorry to act as a spoiler but out of 80 matches, he played only 17 as an opener. But in those 17 he had a healthy avr I agree. Still too small a sample and spread over too long a period: https://tinyurl.com/y3z4vw58
  3. This is the question so many of us are asking? Why being hypocrites, why show that a selection is going on, why invite others for the post? No one is going to fooled by all this.
  4. Did you expect any changes? We should have won test series in SA but lost. Any changes? We should have won in England, but lost? Changes? No. Should have won WC too. But could not make to even final. I'll be happy with the exit of Shastri only. But even that'll happen? No.
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. If one is forced to changed his style and is constantly pressured to play other way, how to expect him excel in such circumstances?
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Very much. Selectors need to to be asked every bit.
  16. 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.
  17. 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?
  18. 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?
  19. 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.
  20. https://goo.gl/2WaQmr The summer of Pujara: Test specialist delivers again for India By Malcolm Knox 3 January 2019 — 7:23pm The Sydney Test match was only nine balls old when Cheteshwar Pujara was in the middle, once again unprotected by his openers. In Adelaide he was in after 12 balls; in Perth, 18 and four. Seldom had he enjoyed the luxury of watching some cricket. He doesn’t seem to mind batting, though. Pujara doesn’t start an innings so much as book himself in. Five hours later when he passed his century, Nathan Lyon asked him, "aren’t you bored yet?"The answer was non-verbal: another hour, 30 more runs, not out overnight, an early start Thursday morning. No, not bored yet. This summer of Pujara is now grooved into habit. First, he lined up his bat like a fishing rod, choking down on the grip, ready to take the short handle to Australia’s bowlers. The merits of this innings might be understated because Pujara was able to negate the menace, but when he began, this looked like four-down-by-lunch kind of morning. Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc had been unlucky to get KL Rahul out just the once in his five minutes against the new ball. The pitch had bounce and the bowling was fast. You would have called Hazlewood’s delivery to Rahul unplayable – fourth stump, kicking off a length – until you saw Pujara come out and deal with such deliveries as if they were throwdowns. Starc and Hazlewood hurled down many of what to ordinary batsmen would have been wicket balls, and Pujara let them all go; a High Court judge of length. When he had to defend, his bat reverberated off the ball, yielding to its force as if batting were a form of judo. Lyon came on just before lunch. Pujara had been ably supported by Mayank Agarwal, a keen student who is learning how to play short-pitched bowling as he goes. But Pujara versus Lyon has been a highlight of the series. For such a patient batsman, his piano legs needing a specialist removalist to get him out of his stance, Pujara has the lightest and quickest feet of any batsman in world cricket except maybe Steve Smith. That he uses his feet against spin mainly for defensive purposes is neither here nor there. Pujara’s quickness has baffled and frustrated Lyon, whose pace usually forbids such liberties. Unable to toss the ball up, Lyon tried to push Pujara back, whereupon the ball could be tucked away for a single behind those massive haunches. Agarwal finally holed out after an excellent 77, and Pujara was joined by Virat Kohli. In Kersi Meher-Homji’s new chronicle of the Indian-Australian rivalry, From Bradman to Kohli, is a surprising statistic. Even before this series, Pujara had a higher average against Australia than either Kohli or Sachin Tendulkar. Most of those runs had come in India, and indeed Pujara had been dropped for the Sydney Test match four years ago. He has also been dropped in South Africa and, six months ago, was dropped in England. With some characters, the cruel-to-be-kind philosophy of selection seems to pay off. The Australians tried their repertoire of bowling plans. When they pitched up, Pujara clipped them wide of mid-on. They resorted again to bumpers, which he took on the helmet and on the shoulder. Pujara’s front side has been hit more than any other human part this summer. That might be a statistical certainty, given the number of balls he has faced, but it is also a benchmark of his courage. He’s a boxer who can take a punch. Amid all this, he was scoring more fluently than in his Adelaide or Melbourne centuries, even permitting himself a little Kohli arabesque of the wrists after an on-drive and a flamboyant swish at Starc. He outscored and outperformed his captain. Second banana no longer, he helped himself into the gifts served up by a nervous Marnus Labuschagne. Then Starc came around the wicket. Pujara clipped the first ball off his pads and cut the second, two boundaries that gave the rope more of a clap than a kiss. To raise his hundred, he turned Starc off his hip for another four. Lyon, on the boundary, thought he might stop it but couldn’t. Yet again, Pujara had been underestimated. He was in full spate now, allowing himself an exuberant celebratory air-uppercut, letting himself go like the proverbial extroverted mathematician. (How can you tell an extroverted mathematician? He dares to look at your feet while talking to you.) Pujara was having Pujara-style fun. So 2019 began as 2018 had ended, with a Pujara hundred. Beneath all this is a pressing question. Will Australia ever produce another batsman like this, with neither the ambition nor the aptitude to score 30 off eight balls for the Somewhere Whatsits in the Something T20 League? Will India? Are we seeing a revival of a dying art, or one of the last of its kind? It’s a shock that we’re even asking. Look at the evidence: a Test batsman, a jack of one trade, has delivered India the main prize. ---------------------------------------------- Bored? That's not in Pujara's dictionary.
  21. REALLY? How many people thought so? They all need to come and say sorry to Pujara openly!
  22. But first you have to think of taking 20 wickets if you want to win. These bowlers have been taking 20 wkts in every match.
  23. https://goo.gl/fqKxeW Curator Promises Lush Green Wicket for Adelaide Test Cricketnext Staff | Updated: December 3, 2018, 8:59 AM IST In news that will surely be music to the ears of the fast bowlers, Adelaide curator Damien Hough has promised a lush green pitch for the first Test between India and Australia which starts on Thursday. The Adelaide Oval has been known to assist the fast bowlers, but one major difference will be the fact that this will be a day game. The previous three Test matches at the venue have been day-night games, where fast bowlers have often called the shots. However, the curator has said that preparations for the pitch will remain the same. "We won’t do anything differently," Hough told The Weekend Australian. "The preparation will be the same. The only difference is we get the covers off earlier and we start earlier. "We do the same preparation for red-ball cricket and pink-ball cricket at Shield level. The best way to get an even contest is to leave some grass on there and get that balance between bat and ball. "Right now, we really feel that this is where it’s at for the pitch." The inaugural day-night Test in 2015 lasted only three days, with the Kiwis succumbing to the hosts by three wickets. The following year saw South Africa last four days while the first ever day night Ashes Test last year finished on the first session of the fifth day. While those matches were played with the pink ball, the red Kookaburra ball will be used this match with India refusing play a day-night Test this series. A green top will be helpful for the home side’s pace battery of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins but India too boast a well-rounded fast bowling attack, with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma. --------------------------------- Good to know that flat wickets won't be rolled out. Our bowlers are useless on flat tracks.
  24. https://goo.gl/xHY4aB What we learned from India’s warm-up match in Sydney: Pressure on Rahul, bowling headaches and more He looked in better touch in the second innings, but come the first Test in Adelaide, it’s make-or-break time for Rahul. Sydney: One look at the scorecard and you could see India were sent on a royal leather hunt by Cricket Australia XI on days three and four of their only warm-up game that ended in a draw on Saturday. Only two CA batsmen didn’t get into double figures; the lowest score apart from that was 35; and the last pair put on 57 runs. It was so frustrating for India that Jasprit Bumrah – who was otherwise not named in the initial list of 14 – had to bowl to end the Australian innings with his seventh ball (a perfect yorker, of course.) From inside the dressing room, though, things appear a bit different. Both R Ashwin and Murali Vijay stressed on the fact that this was just a game to fine-tune their preparations – a glorified net session if you will. And that is the Indian team’s wont – they just don’t rate non-First Class tour games as sufficient practice. Why that is so, is a debate for another day. For now, there were key conclusions to be made from the three days of action at the SCG. It is a big series for KL Rahul “He is not a youngster, but someone who has played 30-odd Tests. He has a responsibility and a role to play in this team,” said coach Sanjay Bangar, after Rahul played a loose drive in the very first hour of this game and fell cheaply in the first innings. Usually, the Indian contingent is such a tightly knit unit that there will be never a negative comment from within this camp. Perhaps in the last three or four years, Bangar’s words are perhaps the closest you will come to see criticism in a media interaction. And make no mistake the message has been delivered to the batsman concerned. It was his first time in South Africa and England this year. That excuse isn’t valid anymore. Rahul has been to Australia before; he knows these conditions, at least theoretically, because he traded for a long time on that debut hundred in Sydney four years ago. And he has been afforded a long rope very few get, to set his form and timing in order. The 2018 IPL season and that T20I hundred in Manchester seem a long time ago now. Rahul has struggled for consistency and a constant shuffle/threat to his spot across formats hasn’t helped. Awful as Prithvi Shaw’s injury was, it does help provide some security to Rahul ahead of the first Test, especially in light of Murali Vijay’s second innings’ hundred. He looked in better touch in the second innings, but come the first Test in Adelaide, it’s make-or-break time for Rahul. India look set to play six batsmen... The absence of Hardik Pandya, added to the presence of Rohit Sharma in the squad, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to deduce this is what the think-tank is planning. Bangar hinted that opening combination and middle-order were two issues they were looking at. We now know Rahul-Vijay will open in Adelaide. And the middle-order won’t be such an issue if India were intent on playing only five prime batsmen plus Rishabh Pant. In Pandya’s absence, strange as it may sound, that doesn’t seem a likely option. So, barring any late surprises, the toss-up will be between Hanuma Vihari and Rohit Sharma. Having impressed in his singular outing at the Oval, Vihari has been a constant in the Test squad. He looked comfortable in the first innings here, stroking an easy-paced half-century and outscoring Ajinkya Rahane (no, he is not under pressure, at least ahead of the first Test) and came out to bat at number three in the second innings as if the team management were re-affirming their faith in him. Rohit looked comfortable in his first innings’ knock of 40 (55 balls) too. Then, he threw it away, as he often does in red-ball cricket. Ideally, it should be Vihari at number six in Adelaide. But the captain and the coach preferred Rohit in South Africa in a near-similar situation. Whether Vihari’s bowling tilts the scale in his favour, remains to be seen. ...but Kohli has bowling headaches Until his five-wicket haul in Nottingham, Pandya had limited impact as an all-rounder in overseas Test cricket. Even so, he did provide a unique balance to this Indian side – there was simple comfort in knowing that an alternative bowling option is available. Additionally, Virat Kohli has played five bowlers in overseas Test cricket almost without fail. Surely at the start of any series, be it in West Indies, Sri Lanka, South Africa or England, he has had five bowling options. Is it possible that he will ignore this set formula, in Pandya’s absence? In Cricket Australia XI’s innings, Vihari sent down 12 overs. Vijay bowled five overs. But it is in the skipper’s seven overs that a pointer comes forth – you know when Kohli has to bowl, India have a fifth bowler problem. Ashwin spoke about bowling in partnerships to stay ahead of the game on harder Australian wickets that do not spin or seam easily. Ideally, the aforementioned number six debate shouldn’t arise, at all. Like Kohli has done in majority of his stint as the captain, five proper bowling options is mandatory, especially in Australia. The bowling attack in that case would be three pacers, Kuldeep Yadav the spinner and Ashwin as all-rounder at seven. But it seems unlikely given India’s experimenting with that part-time bowling option at SCG. Watch out for Jasprit Bumrah Watching Umesh Yadav bowl 28 overs almost seemed futile. Unless there is some injury concern, he will not get to play a Test on this tour, for he seemed to be in competition with Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma for two spots. The third pacer slot is already nailed on. Seeing India toil for 150-odd overs, one thing became crystal clear — Bumrah is going to be Kohli’s X-Factor in this series. Single-handedly, Bumrah has changed the way India bowl in overseas Test cricket. Sure, there are Shami and Yadav who can move the ball both ways, Ishant who is a stock bowler and Bhuvneshwar Kuamr who can keep the ball on a string in helpful conditions. None of them have that constantly incoming attacking line that keeps batsmen guessing, and it is the singular reason why Kohli picks him for every overseas Test that he is fit for. On harder Australian wickets, Bumrah will bang that Kookaburra ball in and look to put the new ball’s seam to good use. And he is pumped up for it – just watch him celebrate that yorker — his solitary wicket in the seven balls he sent down. This could be Bumrah’s most influential Test series yet. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- No name of R Jadeja yet. He doesn't seem to be in the preliminary scheme of things. But knowing Kohli, has he planned properly for this series? Does he have clear tactics? In SA and Eng he has Plan A but no plan B. Does he have a plan B this time in case the 1st plan goes wrong/doesn't succeed/key player gets injuerd or goes out of form? Secondly, Kohli will be completing 4 years of captaincy this tour but he doesn't seem to be a good captain tactically at all. Nor does seem to be a good leader of the the team who has built a team in these 4 years,backed those players to succeed like Ganguly had done when he had taken India out of the difficult phase after the match fixing saga. A team with a diffirent culture was built under him from 2000-2004. So how long can Kohli be given?
  25. 3 spinners? In Australia? Even in Indian squads we rarely have 3 spinners. A sure recipe for disater!
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