AR Hemant

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Somewhat of a contrarian.

Blog Posts by AR Hemant

  • Join Us On The India-Pakistan Live Chat!

    Have your say on the mother of all cricket rivalries.

  • Why It’s Not Looking Good For India

    THOUGHTS FROM ADELAIDE: Dhawan’s runs were a positive. But other problems persist.

    India lost the World Cup warm-up game in Adelaide on Sunday.India lost the World Cup warm-up game in Adelaide on Sunday.

    INDIA’S BOWLING

    First, the most obvious pain-point. India bowled precisely one well-directed yorker all innings, and it resulted in the wicket of Patrick Cummins. Why aren’t they bowling more? Stonehenge might be an easier mystery to crack. True to the trend, India’s wayward seamers lost their radar straightaway as Australia came hard at them. MS Dhoni bowled five seamers today. Of them, only Umesh Yadav had an economy of less than six. Their top spin option, Ravindra Jadeja worryingly bowled only two overs and got smashed for 19 while Ravichandran Ashwin overcame a poor start to do a good holding job against David Warner and George Bailey. Stuart Binny with the new ball may trouble lesser teams in pace-friendly conditions. But teams like South Africa (who open with Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock) would relish his dibbly-dobblies. This is a set of bowlers that is consistently failing to get its basics right. It can neither take wickets in a bunch, nor can it build pressure through

    Read More »from Why It’s Not Looking Good For India
  • AB de Villiers claims three records in one innings

    Fastest fifty. Fastest hundred. Most sixes. The South Africa captain has them all.

    Fastest fifty. Fastest hundred. Most sixes. The South Africa captain has them all.

  • These Notable Cricketers Won't Be Playing The World Cup

    Having made the probables list for their countries, these talented cricketers couldn't survive the final cut.

    Having made the probables list for their countries, these talented cricketers couldn't survive the final cut.

  • Five Thoughts About India’s World Cup Team

    Understanding Binny's selection, Yuvraj's exclusion, and India's biggest weakness.

    Stuart BinnyStuart Binny

    About the Yuvraj Singh situation...

    Remember 2010? Yuvraj almost didn't play the World Cup. He had been dropped from the ODI team due to poor form and fitness. But at the cusp of the World Cup, he was brought back because of the feeling that you couldn’t leave somebody of his age and experience out. Good move. But four years later, Yuvraj is still no better and has failed to grow out of the exact same problems: form and fitness. A hundred against a set of retired international bowlers at Lord’s or one on a Saurashtra featherbed will not have the impact that leads to a comeback. Besides, where does he fit into the line-up that has now been taken over by new players like Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja? It’s a surprise Yuvraj’s name was discussed at all at the selection meet.

    Why Rayudu, Binny & Axar?

    The World Cup is a high-pressure tournament. To win it, you need players with match awareness and the ability to dominate key moments of a game. Their track record shows

    Read More »from Five Thoughts About India’s World Cup Team
  • Why Dhoni’s Test Retirement Is A Good Thing

    In his shock retirement, Dhoni showed rare unpredictability that had been missing from his Test captaincy. But it was time for him to move on.

    MS Dhoni led India in more Tests – 60 – than Gavaskar, Ganguly, Azharuddin. His 4876 runs and 294 dismissals are the most by a wicketkeeper from his country. Only Sehwag has hit more sixes than Dhoni’s 78. He was India’s most successful Test captain, but his record was diminished by years of strategic ineptitude. His safety-first tactics often helped him in one-day cricket but let him down heavily in recent Tests. It was time to go. India won’t play another Test till the end of an exhausting summer by when Dhoni would be touching 34.

    Dhoni has had a large, unenviable workload of keeping, batting and captaining in nearly every game he’s played since 2008. Nobody else in cricket has pushed his body and mind through as much strain. He had turned grey quickly, though he rarely complained about the enormity of his tasks. By his own admission some months back, he had to retire from Tests to preserve himself for India’s World Cup defence.

    Dhoni’s batting, his athleticism and reliability

    Read More »from Why Dhoni’s Test Retirement Is A Good Thing
  • Stop Telling Virat Kohli To Calm Down

    He’s proved adequately that he knows how to channel his aggression. He won’t need Australian cricketers with dubious behavioural records to advice him.

    Shane Watson, Brad Haddin have a go at Virat Kohli on Day 5 in Melbourne. Shane Watson, Brad Haddin have a go at Virat Kohli on Day 5 in Melbourne.

     

    On the matter of Virat Kohli talking about his problems with Mitchell Johnson, the quote of the day comes from David Warner.

    “If that's the way he wants to go about his cricket then let him be. At the end of the day we also play cricket the aggressive way. Though I personally feel that whatever happens in the field should stay on the field. It shouldn't be brought off the field,” he said.

    This talk of things “staying on the field” sounds all good till you realise it is coming from a guy who only last year punched Joe Root at a bar—presumably, a bar located off the field.

    What about the time their coach Darren Lehmann went on a radio show—presumably one not located on a cricket field—to call Stuart Broad a cheat, and wished the Australian public would abuse him and send him home crying?

    Besides, who decided it’s a good idea for things to “stay on the field”, as Ryan Harris insisted the other day? Maybe I don’t want it to “stay on the field” after you’ve abused me all day, made

    Read More »from Stop Telling Virat Kohli To Calm Down
  • Here's What India Did Wrong In Brisbane

    India's inability to finish off the tail is a rarely-discussed aspect of their poor Test record abroad.

    Dhoni counsels Varun Aaron during a typically leaky spell in Brisbane.Dhoni counsels Varun Aaron during a typically leaky spell in Brisbane.

    Often, cricket games could boil down to one big moment. Win that moment, and you win the game. Lately, India has let go off many such moments in Test cricket. And a lot of those moments had to do with dismissing the opposition’s tail-end.

    Each time, MS Dhoni has had a ready response to why he'd failed. Explaining the Brisbane loss, Dhoni said it was "20 bad minutes" here and there that cost them the game.

    Let's take a look at what India were doing when they had a chance to finish off Australia in Brisbane. This was the moment Brad Haddin got out—the first 20 minutes of Mitchell Johnson's innings. How did India fare?

    Johnson's weakness, as with many left-handers, happens to be full deliveries angling away around the off-stump. The key was to keep him engaged in that area early on. Instead, Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav sprayed the short stuff on him. Predictably, it didn't work. Had Dhoni done his homework on Johnson? It didn't seem so, looking at the line of attack he chose in those

    Read More »from Here's What India Did Wrong In Brisbane
  • The short history of the last-ball sixer

    From Miandad to Marsh, here's a look at instances of cricket's most glorified finishing move.

  • Tendulkar promises to spill secrets in new book

    Would Tendulkar's autobiography be honest, no-holds-barred? Or would he continue to be pragmatic, safe, and utterly boring?

    Would Tendulkar's autobiography be honest, no-holds-barred? Or would he continue to be pragmatic, safe, and utterly boring?

Pagination

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