Akshay Iyer

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Akshay loves everything to do with cricket and has been a supporter of the South African team since 1991

Blog Posts by Akshay Iyer

  • A shining moment for Twenty20 cricket

    Daniel Harris

    Daniel Harris's career-best effort in Twenty20 cricket eventually turned out to be in a losing cause.

    For about two weeks, the ongoing Champions League Twenty20 failed to attract spectators to the stadiums for most of the matches and it is safe to hazard a guess there weren’t too many takers for the tournament at homes either. This indifference was to be expected considering India’s woeful performance in England and the virtual non-stop cricket that has been played since the World Cup.

    The qualifying and group stage matches not involving any of the Indian Premier League (IPL) teams were hardly watched either at the stadiums or on television sets at homes; the ones involving IPL teams fared only a tad better (not taking into account when Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore played at home). Luckily for the organisers, the semi-finalists weren’t determined until the last two days of the group stage and this did help in attracting more eyeballs – both at the stadium and at

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  • Dear Dhoni…

    You have blamed yourself for Chennai losing to Mumbai last night.

    Now, your wicket-keeping and captaincy weren’t up to the mark in England as well, but we didn’t hear any apology or you stepping up then to take the heat.

    Just wondering if playing in the yellow jersey prompted this frank admission ...

  • Champions League’s Struggle to Remain Relevant

    The Champions League Twenty20 TrophyThe Champions League Twenty20 Trophy

    The Champions League Twenty20 Trophy

    India’s World Cup win in April feels like it happened a decade ago. A week later started the IPL, and then the Caribbean tour. And less than a week after the long, nightmarish tour of England, we now have the third edition of the Champions League Twenty20 (CL T20) – a tournament, which, to be polite, hasn’t caught on with Indian spectators.

    Nothing could highlight this better than the pulling out of Bharti Airtel from its five-year deal worth $40 million of being CLT20’s title sponsor last month. They’ve been replaced by another telecom behemoth Vodafone. Broadcasters ESPN-Star are buoyant and expect over $20 million in ad revenue.

    While the corporate may still be tempted to buy advertising spots on the ESPN-Star Network, putting bums on seats – especially for matches involving non-IPL teams – continues to be a challenge. And that’s probably why the tournament organisers introduced a qualifying round from which three teams would progress to the

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  • The Best of Dravid in One-Day Internationals

    Dravid in Taunton

    Rahul Dravid plays a shot during his brilliant 145 against Sri Lanka at Taunton in the 1999 World Cup.

    Rahul Dravid will be bringing down the curtain on his one-day international career at Cardiff later today when India plays England in the last of the five-match series.

    India are yet to defeat England on the tour, and Dravid will be looking to bow out on a high with a brilliant performance of his own as well as a win for India. In his 343 ODIs to date, Dravid has scored 10820 runs, including 12 centuries and 82 half-centuries with a highest score of 153 at an average of 39.06 and strike rate of 71.16 – more than acceptable numbers for a batsman who was considered too slow to play ODIs.

    Dravid has played many an important knock for India, and these are a few of his best innings (in no particular order):

    145 (129 balls) vs Sri Lanka at Taunton on May 26, 1999: Dravid’s career-best score is the run-a-ball 153 that he made against New Zealand at Hyderabad on November 8, 1999; during the

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  • India’s no-show at ICC Awards in poor taste?

    Indian team

    The Indian team claimed they received the invitations for the ICC Awards night "too late".

    England batsman Jonathan Trott was named ICC cricketer of the year while his colleague Alastair Cook walked away with the Test cricketer of the year award at the ICC Annual Awards held in London yesterday night.

    There wasn’t much to cheer about for India though as the only Indian player to win a trophy on the night was captain MS Dhoni, who won the Spirit of Cricket award for recalling England batsman Ian Bell after his controversial run-out in the last ball before tea on the third day of the Trent Bridge Test in July.

    However, Dhoni wasn’t present to receive his award as like the rest of his colleagues, he chose to give the “Oscars of Cricket” a miss.

    When queried as to the reason for the Indian players’ absence despite the team hotel being close to the award ceremony venue, team manager Shivlal Yadav claimed the ICC had sent the invitations far too late.  Yadav said he was informed only at 12

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  • India vs England: 3rd ODI at The Oval

    (Note to readers: We will post live match updates, analysis and expert views through the course of the third one-dayer between India and England. New updates will appear on top. Please hit the refresh button periodically.)

    01.51 am - This was one of India's better performances on this tour but it still wasn't enough to prevent England from winning yet another match. When India was 25 for 4 in the 11th over and 58 for 5 after 19 overs, it seemed the match would be over in a hurry, but Dhoni and Jadeja showed a lot of heart and spirit with their 112-run partnership and then Ashwin's cameo at the end took India to a respectable 234 for 7. Anderson did all the initial damage for England but was hit around in the death overs. Bresnan and Swann were excellent and economical with the ball.

    The biggest positive for India from this match was the impressive performance of Jadeja and he was deservedly named Man of the Match and will now hope to continue his good run going forward.

    England have

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  • Dravid shocker set to raise questions aplenty for DRS

    Dravid out in first ODI

    Rahul Dravid was adjudged caught behind despite there being no clear evidence on the Hot Spot.

    Rahul Dravid is going to have a bittersweet memory of what is most likely his last tour of England. He was by far the best Indian batsman on view as the visitors were humbled and whitewashed in the Test series, as a result of which he was summoned out of the blue to give some much-needed stability to India’s limited-overs squad in England. Dravid may have kept England’s brilliant bowling attack at bay so far in the series, but he has failed to do that against the Decision Review System (DRS).

    The DRS has played a controversial role in three of Dravid’s dismissals on this tour, the latest being the shocking decision of third umpire Marais Erasmus to reverse on-field umpire Billy Doctrove’s verdict moments earlier in the first match of the one-day series played at Chester-le-Street today. Dravid, who was playing his first ODI since September 2009, had made 2 from six balls, when Stuart Broad’s

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  • The Enemy Camp – Praise all around for ruthless England

    (Note to readers: 'The Enemy Camp' will be the name for Yahoo! Cricket's coverage of the English press during India's tour of England.)

    Sachin Tendulkar and night watchman Amit Mishra gave their teammates and Indian fans something to cheer about with their 144-run partnership for the fourth wicket on the last day of the four-Test series at The Oval. However, order was restored after Swann dismissed Mishra in the post-lunch session as India lost their last seven wickets for 21 runs to lose the Oval Test by an innings and eight runs as they were whitewashed 0-4 by the hosts. England have started their reign as the No. 1 Test team in style, while India has slipped to third in the rankings.

    England win 4-0

    This is only the seventh time in Test history that there has been a whitewash in a series of four matches or more.

    Former England player Derek Pringle writes in The Daily Telegraph that England have been consistent and are deservedly No. 1 in Tests, but tougher tests lie ahead:

    England have only ever

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  • The Enemy Camp – India come under fire again

    (Note to readers: 'The Enemy Camp' will be the name for Yahoo! Cricket's coverage of the English press during India's tour of England.)

    Ian Bell scored his maiden Test double century and his career-best 235 helped Andrew Strauss declare England’s first innings at 591 for 6. James Anderson dismissed Virender Sehwag in the first over of India’s innings and then Graeme Swann took three wickets to leave India reeling at 103-5 at stumps on the third day of The Oval test as England closed in on a series whitewash.

    Bell celebrates scoring 200

    Ian Bell continued his fine form with a career-best 235 at The Oval.

    The Daily Telegraph’s Steve James writes Bell should no longer play Dr Watson role:

    On Friday it went largely unnoticed that Bell reached his century before Kevin Pietersen. So he should have done really, as he had been at the crease longer, but we used to fret about such matters. And so did Bell.

    After all, it happened on the occasions of his first nine Test centuries that a colleague passed three figures before

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  • The Enemy Camp – Bell and Pietersen show

    (Note to readers: 'The Enemy Camp' will be the name for Yahoo! Cricket's coverage of the English press during India's tour of England.)

    The first session on the second day of the ongoing Oval Test belonged to India as they dismissed England’s opening batsmen – Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook – and conceded only 51 runs. The visitors’ joy, however, was to be short lived as normalcy was restored with centurions Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen dominating the toothless Indian attack as England scored 351 runs in the next two sessions to end Day 2 at 457 for three in 123 overs.

    Pietersen and Bell

    Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell put on exactly 350 runs for the third wicket - England's seventh-highest Test partnership of all-time and their best against India.

    Paul Beaver writing in The Guardian’s blog says Bell plays the straight man while Pietersen offers audacious entertainment to leave India as hapless fall guys:

    Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen, England's best two batsmen, are like a music hall double act, the

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