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Development of Pandya as a cricketer has been a delight to watch.In many ways this guy has completed our side in almost all formats.Hitting ability aside ,the matirity and calmness he has shown in last 6 months exemplifies his development.
Much of Pandya's growth as a cricketer must be attributed to Dhoni at start and largely to Kohli for always backing him in every situation.There were times I thought him playing as a 3rd seamer is a slightly risky option but he has seldom disappointed with the ball in the hand.Going into the champions trophy final I thought he might be the weak link in the bowling but he turned out to be one of the best bowler on the finals day.Subsequently he has taken crucial wickets and now hardly can be treated as a weak link as I presumed he was in this side.Inclusion of variations like knuckle ball is a pleasant sight as well.
Batting has been a revelation.I remember I was not convinced that much after his 50 odd vs Eng at Eden Gardens in January this year , the innings was riddled with edgy shots.But 6-8 months after that,Pandya looks much more calmer, equally destructive against spinners or seamers but he does all that with a plan in mind.Never have I seen a batsman who finds hitting sixes against spinners as easy as this guy and even yesterday when Agar was bowling I knew chakka tou padega hi isko kabhi na kabhi and Pandya didnt disappoint.Now the growth part ,when he miscued one on a flighted loopy delivery, he knew he had committed a mistake and it was great to watch he didnt repeat it and on the contrary changed his modus operandi and hit Agar for a six using his feet.Maturity,calmness and game awareness everything was on display.
Now coming on to the nub of the point I am trying to make,looking at Pandya grow as a cricketer in this regime, a thought came in my mind that Rishabh Pant who I believe is an equally big talent,should be given a chance to become a polished cricketer like Pandya is on course to becoming.As I wrote earlier,Pandya has completed our side in many ways already but if Pant is a given a chance to become a player he has the potential to become ,our limited overs team can be the most dangerous side in the current circuit.We have one maverick in Pandya and there is still scope for one more in our side and Pant is ideal for that.
Now comes some people's apprehension that Pant can only play if Dhoni hangs up his keeping gloves.I dont believe that, Dhoni and Pant both can play,like Healy n Gilly circa 1997.The world cup is still 2 years away and I am desperately hoping Pant is in Kohl's scheme of thing  for that tournament because such a talent has to be tapped.

I think in the last two series ,its apparent he is needed in the side.He has always been a master of ODI format and knows how to remain in the game and not throw it away.The chases in  SL albeit mediocre totals ,once gain emphasized the importance of Dhoni in this side ,because deep down even the critics knew till he is there we are in the game. Coming to yesterday's game,watching the match I was also infuriated when he was playing those dots but eventually we reached a fighting respectable score.It was majorly thanks to Pandya's assault but when got out at the score of 205 ,it was still way below par.But once again the style of playing till the last ball of the innings helped and fighting total was reached Combining both 1st and 2nd point,one quality that one can ascribe to Dhoni is the art of building partnerships in Limted overs cricket.his sole aim in any limited overs format is to build partnerships and take the game deep and give himself and his team a chance.This attitude dates back to his 1st tournament as captain,WT20,2007.Remember the game vs Pakistan,when we were tottering at 20 odd for 3, he build a partnership with Uthapaa ,Dhoni was the sedate partner but eventually a respectable target was reached.Similarly in a must win game against SA,again we were in trouble ,yet again he played a key role in a match winning partnership with Rohit and yet again he played second fiddle.This quality is still intact and was on display yet again yesterday. I have been reading this nonsense a lot since yesterday that because Faulkner was there Dhoni was able to catch up in the Ind.To all those critics,if you have followed Dhoni's career, this has been the generally the case.He most of the time targets such bowlers and tries to gain maximum out of them.But its not the case that he cant hit other bowlers when he wants to.Yesterday that six over covers was refreshing to see and there is also a clear change in technique as well as set up when he bats these days , meaning there is an effort to evolve.  
Now on to the Negatives that invite criticism:
As mentioned earlier, his tactics playing sedate partner in partnerships and trying to be there till the end to maximize the runs till 50 overs ,brings one question to mind.Why his partner has to show some intent always and he becomes stagnant in the process of remaining there till the end.This question mark will remain with him ,because he has done that throughout his career.And I don’t think we will see any improvement in this regard with his batting especially while setting up totals.There was this thought that once he relinquishes captaincy he might change his attitude and play a bit more adventurously but obviously that was false belief. In a way he thinking of the team first that he should be there in the end and add extra 20-30 runs but with deteriorating abilities he fails to execute perfectly.
The most irritating part about his approach, is the proclivity hold back a bit longer than he should before going for the slog.Yesterday I thought he would open up post 45 overs mark atleast but he didnt and even Bhuvi helped him immensely during that period.The fact that he started going for runs only from 47 overs onwards is something thats not up to the mark and he needs to be more proactive in this regard specilaly on flatter wickets. Thirdly,it was nice to see him finish and chase those mediocre totals in SL but I have this big question mark on his art of batsmanship,when we will be chasing 300-350 kind of scores in near future.There is no scope of sedate batting at that time , there will be greater need of intent.Partnerships will still be the key in chases as always but his proclivity of playing dots and just being there can be a major handicap those situations.Major increase in RRR will eventually lead to wickets and such a situation should not forced upon any batsman. Obviously these are my assumptions what could happen in bigger chases with Dhoni but hopefully its not the case.
Overall, to sum up he is an ATG ODI bat and still deserves his place in the side for his batting as well.He has these negatives attached to his art of batsmanship ,which will always be brought forth when he fails to execute.There is also this discussion going on about batting at no.4 may be ideal for kind of batting he does these days but I like him coming at no.5 but not below than that.

The one-sided beat-down handed to SL by India and the passionate words of Andrew Fernando here, here, and here, shed some light on the current state of SL cricket.    Question is, where do they go from here?   How do they get more competitive? Do they?  Given the unprecedented level of churn and chaos that cricket is undergoing right now, Franchise T20 cricket is forcing a re-drawing of international calendars, as well as forcing cricket boards to drastically change how their domestic cricket is structured, played, coached and governed.  Sri Lankan Cricket will not have a popularity problem with the sport, unlike say England, Aus, NZ, SA.  But they are almost destined to have a funding and talent issue, given their population base.  It is no surprise that they have firmly allied themselves to the BCCI - its given them a funding lifeline without which things would have been even worse.  Based on Fernando's reporting, it appears that the lifeline may have been wasted to some extent by profligate and corrupt administrators.  A situation that's as sad as it is predictable.  The question is, what can SL cricket do to stay competitive at the international level?  
Cricket as we know it is changing.  And changing rapidly.  All countries and boards need to keep up with the modernization that has entered the game in this post-T20 world.  Top teams need top dollars in order to compete with the best in the world, and they need to create and/or strengthen their domestic cricket structures to ensure that they have a steady pipeline of skilled players coming through.   Boards need to work to provide their younger and developing players with platforms where they get to train and compete with and against the best possible circumstances - whether that's first-class cricket or Franchise T20 cricket.   Opportunities to 'develop' prospects apprenticing in international cricket over bilateral series will continue to shrink.   
I believe the answer is to double-down on its alliance with the BCCI.  The time has come for a Columbo Franchise to join an expanded IPL.  SLC already tried their hand at getting their own little franchise tournament going.   It died as soon as the Indian money stopped flowing through the "Champions League" tap.   They don't have the population numbers that the Bangladesh or Pakistan have to sustain their own league.  Nor do they have deep pocketed fans who can make up the paucity in numbers that Australia or England do.   Their best bet at acquiring and maintaining access for their unfinished talent to top-level franchise cricket is to partner with the BCCI, and a deep-pocketed Indian investor - let them get a piece of the profits, while extending the IPL's 7 domestic player rule to Sri Lankans for the Colombo Franchise.  This will create a self-funded pipeline and finishing school for Sri Lanka's younger cricketers.   7 Sri Lankans starting for an IPL team, means a dozen or so Sri Lankans are guaranteed roster spots in the top T20 league in the world.  Apart from the established stars that win contracts for the other teams.  If they don't do this, the only Sri Lankans who will get a chance to participate in these overseas leagues will be the ones that are already on their way to international star status.   
There are 2 immediate obstacles that stand in the way of this hypothetical scenario.  First,  This requires a bold and visionary attitude from SL cricket administrators, one that will set aside short-sighted provincial and nationalistic attitudes to recognize the long-term benefits to SL cricket.  And second, it requires equally visionary and pro-active leadership on the Indian side - both within the "non-profit" quasi-governmental BCCI, as well as the private IPL Council.   
From a BCCI perspective, adding the Colombo Islanders and the Dubai Stallions to the IPL makes complete financial and strategic sense.  You enhance and extend the IPL's pole position as the planet's leading cricket T20 league, expand your playing calendar, increase your fan-base, your profits, and gain/strengthen long-term allies at the ICC voting table in the process.   Geographic proximity and existing cricket infrastructure means the logistical challenges are minimal.  There is ample precedent for this - Look at the most successful sports leagues in the world, and you'll see that the best ones already span national borders - whether its the NBA or MLB in America, for example.  The NFL - widely considered to be the most profitable sports league in the US, is working hard to expand beyond its American footprint, and is investing heavily in building a platform that will ultimately lead to creating a Franchise in London.  The NBA has been quietly doing the spade work to lay the foundation for spreading its reach into emerging markets like China and India.   Unlike the NFL, The IPL doesn't even need to do the hard yards.  All it needs to do, is say yes.  

SL test series is about to begin, Overseas tours are coming . In few days we ll be discussing team combinations
Every tours holds a key towards the future goal, n our goal is to earn our tarnished reputation overseas. The brand of cricket we have seen under kohli gives us high hopes and we also have a good bunch of players in the right age group. For that to happen this team has to fill its loopholes. 
1. backup opener
2. Backup keeper
3. wkt taking spinner
4. backup middle order batsman
5. Seaming all rounder
6. Fresh blood in fast bowling 
But there are some solution that can be found on this tour in  kuldeep n Pandya. The potential Wkt taking spinner and Potential seaming all rounder
But its important we play them and give them opp to learn .
1. Pandya- In overseas condition we need a 5th bowler + cushion in batting. Jayant yadav cant be our answer overseas neither can be jadeja whose batting is only good against spinners. So we are left with Pandya n Shankar , shankar is on A-tour and opportunity to give him 4 day games has already been missed. Pandya is someone who can destroy spinners and looks good against fast bowling. A bowler who clocks above 140k , get seam movement, bounce, bowls a wkt taking line and is deceptively quick. So he sounds a good package and better then binny n jadeja as all rounder. We have given chances to yuvraj, raina, rohit who failed so why we have fear with pandya . He might fail with bat but will still contribute with ball. A 5th bowler like him will always fetch wkts unlike binny who cud have done the role of containing. We played binny on last tour of SL so lets try someone better this time Pandya. Pandya will only improve if he plays. Come overseas tour we ll have to give him a chance so why not now, the way he takes on spinners who knws he might get the better of herath. If pandya plays all 3 test higher chances he ll come out as better cricketer. Also i have seen him take blinders in slips in domestic 
Another good slip fielder wnt harm among many droppers 
Test cricket can improve Pandya batting - as he is going to get more and regular opp with bat then in ODi at 7, and he ll keeping getting his 10+ overs for bowling as well. 
2. Kuldeep yadav- before i put his case, ill have to start with jadeja as for me kuldeep shud replace jadeja despite him being no.1 ranked
Do we  see jadeja as our wkt taking bowler overseas Do we see him going as an all rounder Shud we take 3 spinners overseas- ashwin , jadeja , Kuldeep   
I have one answer to all this question - NO . Then whats the harm in dropping him now. Yes its subcontinent- so we can give kuldeep a chance safely and didnt we win in SL last time without jadeja. Jadeja has become no .1 by bowling in India with Sg but now its all going to be kookabura and that ball diff has effected even our gr8 spinners in past. 
Ashwin did really well last time in SL and contributes more with bat then jadeja. For me if we have to win overseas we need a wkt taking spinner and that hs to be decided among kuldeep or ashwin, i dnt see jadeja as a wkt taking spinner overseas. Neither we shud carry 3 spinners overseas. 
Its high time we look at filling these gap holes on this tour, few opp have already been missed lets not waste anymore. IF we can trust these 2 in similar condition how wud we in tougher conditions 
Lets keep individual n individual rankings aside , its all about the team not individuals 

Before the start of the match, some wanted to dismiss Bangladesh's strength and ability to defeat a top ODI side and while many believed it was battle a for which Bangladesh were equipped to win technically but had all rested on how the tea handles pressure of such clash. New Zealand had defeated Bangladesh in all matches in their previous home series against them in 2016 and they just wanted to repeat the same performance. This match was important for them to stay alive in the tournament, although win wont guarantee anyone a semi-final berth as they have to wait for the outcome of Eng-Aus match .
New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat first. Martin Guptill provided them much needed quick start while punishing Bangladeshis pacers who looked off-colour. Taskin Ahmed who returned to the Bangladesh team for this match  provided them first breakthrough when he dismissed Ronchi for the score of 16. After losing two wickets by 13th over, experienced duo of Williamson and Taylor consolidated NZ inning with a century partnership between them. Williamson in particular has been in great form recently and scored a well crafted half century before getting run out on score of 57. 
NZ were 228 for 4 in 43rd over and looked to set a big target. That was the time when captain Mashrafe gambled and Mosaddek and brought him into the attack. It proved to be a successful bold move to throw the ball to an off-spinner in slog overs and NZ lost their plot with flurry of wickets while trying to up the ante late in the innings. NZ batting line-up has been facing this issue of weak lower order for quite some time and they were thoroughly exposed this time. They could manage only 37 runs in last 7 overs and biggest credit can be given to the Bangladeshi captain himself. Of course bowling also supported their move.
Although NZ lost the plot in final overs, target of 266 was not going to be an easy one for Bangladesh against pace attack of Southee, Boult and Milne. And it looked like one-sided affair, when Tim Southee completely blew the top order with great display of swing bowling in first 5 overs. Bangladesh lost Tamim, Soumya and Shabbir for single digit scores. Loss of Tamim was probably biggest blow to them as he has been backbone of Bangladesh ODI team for quite some time and struggles of the team without him was exemplified during their run chase against India in warm up game few days ago. 
When Shakib-al-Hasan, who is arguably the greatest Bangladeshi cricketer, joined Mahmudullah at the score of 33 for 4, chances looked bleak for the team and NZ were completely on the top. Bangladeshi fans had hoped for another miracle from Shakib as he has done in past multiple times, although he has not been in good form off-late after kicking off 2017 with a  great knock against NZ in first test in Newzealand.
Mahmudullah countered swing and short ball attack very well, while Shakib started playing his natural game. They eased to their fifties by 31st over while playing their trademark shots. Both batsmen never allowed required run rate to shoot up with consistent clean hitting for boundaries. 
With victory in sight and  Bangladesh needing 70 runs of last 10 overs, it was all upto the experience of these two batsmen and skills of NZ pacers. Bangladesh had faltered many time in tricky situations, but this time both batsmen just started playing all types of shots freely for which NZ bowlers had no answer. Pair reached 200 runs partnership in 45th over which is first for Bangladesh. In the end they cruised to one of their most memorable victories which they will cherish for long time.
Shakib reaffirmed his status of one of the best all-rounder in world cricket with this inning while Mashrafe once again proved that he is one of the best captain in world today.

Match Report: Sri Lanka pull up an epic heist to stun India at Oval
Sri Lankan batting line up displayed the same set of skills which Indian batting line up has been known for long time to stun Indian team and fans at Oval on Thursday. They might have started tournament as underdogs, but the ease with which they chased the target was nothing short of a confident champion team and it mirrored their batting dominance of late 90s and early 2000s.
Sri Lanka won the toss and invited India to bat first. India fielded an unchanged XI and started with same strategy which they have been employing last few years in ODIs successfully. Pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started slowly confidently to reach 138 in 25th over before Rohit Sharma was caught at long leg by Parera on the score of 78. Match was going according to their plans - putting up a solid start and going berserk at the end and they didn't fail in executing it despite losing Kohli for 0 and Yuvraj by 34th over.
Shikhar Dhawan proved yet again that he is a valuable asset when it comes to big tournaments. He scored his 5th century in ICC tournaments - 3 in Champions Trophy and 2 in World Cups and provided Indian team much needed acceleration in middle overs.
MS Dhoni continued his decade long form again against Sri Lankans and hit some powerful shots to reach his fifty in quick time. Some of his shots were captured by ICF admin @Rajiv from the stands and can be seen in videos below.

Sri Lanka had a nervy start with Dickwella being sent back early by Bhuvneswar Kumar. However Kusal Mendis and Gunathilaka displayed a wide array of strokes in their 159 runs partnership which set the tone of the chase. They not only managed to hit boundaries consistently, but were extremely good in turning strikes overs during middle overs which was crucial in ensuring that pressure was always on Indian bowlers. 
Sri Lankan team recieved some jitters with two quick run outs in span of 5 overs, however Mathews and Parera ensured that they were always on track before Parera pulled hamstring wih 50 runs left to chase. Gunaratne provided necessary big hits for them to cruise to the total with 8 balls to spare.
This win will provide much needed boost to young line up of Sri Lanka which has shown their brilliance and ability to chase few months back against Australia. With this win, all 4 teams are tied with 2 points in Group B with India at the top on the basis of run rate.
India has lot to ponder in their bowling department. What would worry them is not their inability to defend score of 320, rather the fact that their bowlers managed to pick only 1 wicket during Sri Lankan inning. They were rendered ineffective completely during middle overs leaving desperate Kohli to try Jadhav and himself as bowling options. They would be looking for more wicket taking options in their next match which is virtual quarter final. This could pave way for Shami and Ashwin in the team as Jadeja and Yadav struggled to create an impact in this match. Bumrah's form is another worry for team India and they would look to bounce back from this defeat. Batting would most likely remain same as indicated by Kohli's statement where he felt that India had enough runs on the board.
Sri Lanka would like to repeat their superb batting performance against Pakistan which is another virtual quarter final for group B. Champions trophy is at interesting junction and should increase interest among fans after rain dampening multiple matches. 

Hi there, my name is Charlie and I'm running a fan support initiative for the Champions Trophy - the way it works is that each of the 8 Champions Trophy teams are inviting their fans to send their support via a selfie that is posted on this mosaic:
The country that registers the most support wins the Fan Power Leaderboard. As passionate Indian cricket fans I'm sure you'd all like to see your team win, but you'd also like to see Indian fans winning the race to be the best fans in the world. Please submit your selfie and boost your support for team India! And then share this message

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