Bikash Singh

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Bikash still thinks cricket's a gentleman's game. And that our batsmen run away with most of the prizes.

Blog Posts by Bikash Singh

  • No. 3 - The missing link

    Filling the void left by Ricky Ponting is proving to be exceedingly difficult for Australia.



    If you've got the axe hanging over your head always it is really hard to relax and play your natural game - Steve Waugh
     
    These are harsh times for Australian cricket and Darren Lehmann's recent warning shot could do more harm than good in a time like this. "Blokes are missing straight ones, that doesn't help. We have to learn from our mistakes. If they don't learn, we'll find blokes that will," warned Darren. Perhaps he was just frustrated that Australia from 147 for one went on to lose the all-important Chester-le-Street encounter by 74 runs, chasing 299.
     
    The dismissal of Usman Khawaja sparked a collapse that is painstakingly hard to explain.
     
    Playing for their places

    Half of Australia's batting problems are down to the fact that Khawaja, Steven Smith, Brad Haddin and even Shane Watson - as Lehmann puts it - are playing for their places in the team. That kind of pressure is never going to allow them to play to their best - as Waugh mentioned above.
     
    Khawaja's lack of absorption, after heRead More »from No. 3 - The missing link
  • Testing times for AB and C

    ... unless Australia win at Old Trafford and South Africa do themselves some good in the T20s.



    I love the game as much now as I ever have that's for sure. I have no intention to walk away from this game right now - Michael Clarke
     
    One is desperately looking to avoid being only the second Aussie captain to lose seven Tests in a row, while the other is trying to salvage some pride in the three Twenty20 Internationals after being routed 4-1 in the just-concluded ODI series against Sri Lanka.
     
    The men in the spotlight are AB de Villiers and Michael Clarke - and both are being done in by some quality cricket by their opponents, as well as transition and injuries.
     
    South Africa, without the services of premier fast bowler Dale Steyn, leading all-rounder Jacques Kallis and former ODI captain Graeme Smith, never looked comfortable against Lankan spinners, apart from that one match in Pallekele where David Miller's robust innings helped his team end their 11-match losing streak in on Sri Lankan soil.
     
    Australia's batting/man-management on the other hand has been in a parlous state of affairsRead More »from Testing times for AB and C
  • Hey Aussies, bring your David back

    ...because the 'Goliath' in England you face only he can slay.


    Unless Jimmy Anderson bobs up in the Zimbabwe side, Warner scoring runs won't count for anything - Allan Border

    Cricket Australia's decision to send the wayward left-hander on an African safari (to get some time in the middle) defied logic/belief beyond imagination. [Warner was suspended and then sacked from the team for punching England's Joe Root in a Birmingham pub before the first Ashes Test.]

    If the management wanted him to get some time in the middle, Warner should have stayed back in England and faced the likes of James Anyon, Monty Panesar and Steve Magoffin in their practice match against Sussex. Or for that matter, even the Australian pacemen in the nets, but in England. However, Darren Lehmann and co felt Warner's cause would be better served facing Kyle Abbott, Beuran Hendricks, Kyle Jarvis and others during Australia A's tour of Africa - conditions that are vast different from those on offer in England.

    And the 26-year-old proved them right by hammering 193 for Australia A Read More »from Hey Aussies, bring your David back
  • Ganguly and co need to act fast

    The Indian domestic structure needs some serious structuring.


    "We can't only be winning at home and losing overseas. I don't know how many teams have lost eight Tests in a row overseas, like we did, in England and in Australia. How could the technical committee not take note of this dubious happening?," former India captain Sourav Ganguly said recently.

    Ganguly, who heads the BCCI's technical committee, also felt it was time for domestic cricket in India to be restructured as it hadn't been done in recent years. His knowledge to assess the game and the situation instantly makes him the perfect catalyst for getting the best out of players. The question however must be raised: why has it taken Ganguly and Kumble on the technical committee for these overdue changes? And why don't Indians play county cricket anymore?

    Coming back to the changes, it took Ganguly's stewardship for changes to be proposed to the domestic structure and nature of the wickets in the country. The committee proposed overhauling the Ranji Trophy and recommended doing away with

    Read More »from Ganguly and co need to act fast
  • Stalking Ajinkya Rahane

    A summation of the impressive run of scores the young Royals opener has made in IPL5.


    There is no storm attached to his name, no scoop, no switch-hit and neither does he strike fear in the minds of bowlers; or does he? But he will hurt you where it hurts – just ask Sreenath Aravind, Deccan Chargers and some other parties who have been at the receiving end.  We know by now that this little fella is no one trick pony like Paul Valthaty. Where is Paul anyway?

    Rahane doesn't look like one of those players who would take Twenty20 cricket by storm - one of the reasons he was found warming the bench during his tenure with Mumbai Indians. But today, opposition think-tanks have an extra job – that of finding ways to contain him. The name Ajinkya Madhukar Rahane, today, sends jitters down the opposition’s spine. And with Shane Watson having rumbled into town to lend the pack some Royal steel, former champions Rajasthan look irresistible.

    I am not sure if Royals will make the play-offs, but Rahane looks ready for the next level - India.

    Dravid and Rahane made an effective opening partnership this IPL. Here's a look at how the youngster has fared

    Read More »from Stalking Ajinkya Rahane
  • After IPL, Pujara targets West Indies tour

    More than IPL, Pujara will be itching to reclaim his lost berth in the Indian squad when India embark on a long journey to the West Indies.


    Young Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who has recovered from a threatening knee injury, will lead the India 'A' contingent on a tour of the Caribbean islands in June. West Indies 'A' will host India to three four-day matches, three one-day matches and two Twenty-20s.

    The Indian squad constitutes a number of players who have represented India at the highest level.

    Pujara, who walked into the Indian Test squad with a reputation as a run-machine in the domestic circuit, made a memorable debut against Australia in Bangalore scoring a gritty 76 in the second innings, coming ahead of Rahul Dravid at No.3. However, an unfortunate knee injury - during last year's IPL playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore - forced the Saurashtra batsman out of action for five months.

    As India prepare for life after Dravid, the youngster will have to quickly settle into cricket's top level.

    More than IPL, Pujara will be itching to reclaim his lost berth in the Indian squad when India embark on a long journey toRead More »from After IPL, Pujara targets West Indies tour
  • The 'curse' of modern cricket

    IPL5 hasn't been short of heated words and animated gestures, best exemplified by Ganguly's wild celebration of Pietersen's wicket.

    Pune Warriors with their captain Sourav Ganguly (centre).

    Our first target would be to finish among the top four - Sourav Ganguly


    In their inaugural season last year, Pune Warriors India finished ninth among 10 teams, just ahead of Delhi Daredevils -- who are now the new favourites in the money-spinning league. With a line-up that includes Virender Sehwag, Mahela Jayawardene, Kevin Pietersen, Ross Taylor and David Warner (to join later), Daredevils on flat Indian pitches are turning out to be a nightmare for bowlers. However, Delhi were put to sword by Warriors, and by one Sourav Ganguly in particular, on April 21 at Kotla. Sehwag and KP threatened to take the game away from Pune but the man with  the golden arm -- Dada -- ensured that they made it much more difficult for Delhi and its skipper to score through the gaps.

    The home team -- chasing 193 runs -- were in control needing 106 from 66 balls until Sourav came along in the 10th over. The former Indian skipper struck with his first ball, getting rid of Pietersen for 32 and the celebrationRead More »from The 'curse' of modern cricket
  • The importance of man-management

    There is no doubting that no one understands the common cricketer's mind, heart, soul, and yes, insecurities, as well as Ganguly.


    Pune Warriors India's captain Sourav Ganguly speaks with his teammate Marlon Samuels.


    Silence engulfed the newly-built Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium Saturday April 14 when Pune Warriors India lost its guide/mentor/captain in the ninth over. The home team had got off to a positive start in its chase of 156 against defending champions Chennai Super Kings when the avoidable happened — Sourav Ganguly was run out for 16 off 16.

    The all too brief knock included a cover drive played the way only Ganguly can — the sort of stroke that prompted Rahul Dravid to once say, "On the offside, first there is God, then there is Sourav Ganguly." It is the kind of stroke you can't describe — but if you have seen it once, you never forget it.

    The former Indian skipper walked back to the dugout and confined himself to a seat, moving only to stand and applaud when Steven Smith hit the winning runs. Till then, while his mates were out in the middle chasing down a good target, there was no boisterousness, no exuberant cheering of every stroke, no triumphalism, till the work was complete. And his Read More »from The importance of man-management
  • Jadeja and the fine art of getting by

    Ravindra Jadeja - Show me the money!



    We identified him as a special talent - Shane Warne

    While Sourav Ganguly's astute captaincy has had the headline writers in a tizzy, one Ravindra Jadeja - the most expensive buy in this year's IPL auction - is trying hard to make the world believe he was worth it.

    Chennai Super Kings paid $2 million (or more) for the all-rounder from Saurashtra. Narayanaswamy Srinivasan and co got him for an undisclosed sum after a tie with Deccan Chargers - the very side Ravindra destroyed on Saturday with a superb all-round performance. After a blazing cameo of 48 runs in 29 balls, the left-hander came back to haunt the home team - claiming five wickets for 16 runs from his quota of four overs.

    Jadeja lives up to price tag as Chennai thrash Deccan


    "I wanted to please my mom and my family", said Jadeja. Modest!

    After a season of extraordinary development, which has taken even his critics by surprise, Ravindra Jadeja has established himself as the most exciting young all-rounder in Indian cricket today. Read More »from Jadeja and the fine art of getting by
  • Australia draw first blood

    The home team humbled India by 65 runs in the opening tri-series international at MCG . The tourists were bowled out for 151 chasing 217 runs.

    Scorecard | Action in Images | Impact Index

    Australia overwhelmed India by 65 runs in the opening tri-series international at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The tourists were bowled out for 151 - another unimpressive batting performance - chasing 217 under Duckworth-Lewis method.

    The contest was reduced to 32-over-per-side following the loss of more than three hours of play due to rain.

    Clint McKay celebrates after taking the wicket of Rohit Sharma at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.India got off to a horrific start with both their openers - Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir - back in the pavilion for just 13 runs. Mitchell Starc did the cleaning work for Australia in his first two overs.

    However, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma dealt positively with the best of the Australian attack before being undone in a spectacular fashion by Clint McKay - who took two wickets in three balls. The pitch suddenly came to life, runs dried up and boundaries almost disappeared after the twin blow in the 12th over.

    Suresh Raina came and left as if he had some unfinished business left in the dressing room.

    Read More »from Australia draw first blood

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