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

  • India and Pakistan have a lot in common

    One ended Australia's unbeaten 34-match run while the other stopped their 12-year run as champions. Both India and Pakistan defeated Ricky Ponting's men back to back to set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash at Mohali.

     

    Dhoni's India booked their World Cup semi-final berth defeating defending champions Australia by five wickets in the quarter-final while Pakistan had it easy against a sorry West Indies - who lost the match by 10 wickets.

     

    So what did the two semi-finalists do for their famous victory over Australia?

     

    Unlike previous editions, cricket pundits were sure Australia won't go far in the tournament without the likes of Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. They missed them dearly, didn't they? Afridi and Dhoni were closely monitoring Australia's unalterable decline and took full advantage of the inevitable cracks. The huge call for Ponting's head - at just about time - contributed to the eventuality. (Ponting stepped down as Australia's Test and

    Read More »from India and Pakistan have a lot in common
  • Dhoni needs to be on the offensive

    Long story short, if India are to beat defending champions Australia on March 24th, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has to bring back his old-self. With time, the Indian captain has become defensive in his approach - which at times has cost our cricket-mad country. Sure we won the World Twenty20 under him and challenged Australia's hegemony at the top - but those attacking instincts have somewhat perished.

     

    He probably has the best team right now - batting wise. Bowling wise, the pitches here in sub-continent will always suit the batsmen. If our bowlers can't perform in England, Australia or South Africa we have a case for worry - not here. Did anybody say anything about fielding? We are improving.

     

    Coming back to Dhoni's captaincy; his wasted attempt of making a bowler out of Piyush Chawla (in what appears to be an attempt to prove critics wrong) cost India 174 runs in three matches before sense prevailed in Chennai. He doesn't lack the nous.

     

    He's got to bring his attacking style

    Read More »from Dhoni needs to be on the offensive
  • Who will replace Ponting?

    So, on Wednesday, news trickles in – Ricky Ponting has been given an ultimatum and that we should be ready for the press conference where he will announce his retirement from ODIs.

    First up, the Australian skipper, who’s had a long poor run with the bat, was asked if this was true.

    “It’s false,” he said smiling.

    Peter Roebuck in his SMH column wrote that Ponting’s days are numbered. I only wonder what these pundits will have to say if Australia win their fourth successive World Cup.

    So if Ponting’s place in the side is under threat, let’s ask the next question: who will replace him as captain?

    The 36-year-old, despite his poor form, is one of the most feared batsmen in the game. Ask India. But Ponting understands his slump.

    Australia’s captain for nine long years jokingly said, “If I had been scoring the runs that I would have liked to have scored in this World Cup, then I probably wouldn’t be answering a lot of these questions.”

    Ricky, in his desperate attempt, egged reporters to come

    Read More »from Who will replace Ponting?
  • We love hating India; don’t we?

    Let's begin with the basics: India's loss to South Africa was the first defeat in this edition of the World Cup. And despite this bad hair day, India still top Group B and is certain of a place in the quarter-finals. We could crib and cry and say our three wins in the group came against minnows - but remember what a 'minnow' called Ireland did to England?

     

    - India has amassed 1,405 runs in their five matches so far - thrice batting first and twice chasing. They have taken a total of 44 opposition wickets - bowling out Ireland and Netherlands before 50 overs. Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar (twice) have scored centuries while Gautam Gambhir (twice), Yuvraj Singh (twice) and Virender Sehwag have registered half-centuries in those matches. Yuvraj Singh got a five-wicket haul once during one of those matches. So, appearances to the contrary, we aren't doing too badly after all, in two of the three departments of the game. Our fielding sucks, did you say? Of course it does,

    Read More »from We love hating India; don’t we?
  • Cricket is funny: A game of glorious uncertainties

    There was this reporter next to me in the media box, typing vigorously on her little laptop between the 30th and 35th overs of the Ireland innings. Her laptop made a strange noise when she shut it down, and then she went on her phone and walked out of there. She came back at around the 45th over and asked, "What the hell just happened here?"

     

    It turned out she had already filed a report of sorts, all about how England had won - and by the time she returned, that report had become fiction, with Kevin O'Brien busy sealing England's fate. She was excited for the Irish, of course, but she also had to do her work all over again as O'Brien led an Irish charge that resulted in the unfancied minnows scoring better against the supposedly resurgent English side than India, fancied to win this tournament, had managed to.

     

    Two World Cup matches at Bengaluru saw teams scoring a staggering 1,332 runs. In the first match, India scored a huge 338 and hoped the job was done, till Strauss and his

    Read More »from Cricket is funny: A game of glorious uncertainties
  • ‘Unplayable’ Kotla in great state for World Cup

    Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium returned to international cricket for the first time since the Boxing Day debacle of 2009 when an India-Sri Lanka ODI here had to be abandoned due to a pitch considered unfit for play.

    Read More »from ‘Unplayable’ Kotla in great state for World Cup
  • The other Pathan

     

    He lets his willow do all the talking. He may not know the nuances of proper cricketing shots but he forces opposition captain and bowlers to continuously re-work their plans. He is not any other number seven batsman who is happy to return to the pavilion after playing short cameo knocks.

     

    Yusuf Pathan is not just brutal; with time he has evolved into a mature and responsible cricketer. Yusuf, who is calmer in his approach to batting now opens up easily and without letting the opposition get under his thick skin. It's pointless sledging him - he pretends he does not understand!

     

    Yusuf has ensured the Pathan name will be in India's team sheet for the 2011 World Cup - his younger brother Irfan was in the 2007 Cup team which was sent packing at the group stage itself. The elder Pathan is part of an Indian squad which is capable of emulating Kapil Dev's 1983 World Cup winning team.

     

    The younger Pathan was perhaps the best all-rounder India had after Kapil, but he now seems to have

    Read More »from The other Pathan
  • Yuvraj: The Wrong Man

    Kris Srikkanth and his selection committee have managed to keep most of us happy with their selection of the 15-member World Cup squad. The Sehwags, Sachins and Zaheers playing on sub-continental pitches provide hope, yet some outstanding issues give you pause for thought.

    The first is this: how, in an ideal scenario, do you select a World Cup squad and prepare it for the big event? In the months leading up to the event, you pick players you have in the frame, try them out in the designated rules, experiment with alternatives. Then, once you are sure of your final selections, you bring them together as a team to see how they jell with one another. And that raises the first issue - the likes of Munaf, Nehra, Chawla and Yusuf have not been traveling as part of this team until very recently. This in turn means that we are still not sure what the playing eleven will comprise of, and how the players will fit into the various roles. To underline this example - though Piyush Chawla has been

    Read More »from Yuvraj: The Wrong Man
  • Who will replace Gary Kirsten?

    This particular Indian team now is starting to find that they are quite enjoying the habit of winning - Kirsten

    Gary Kirsten commands the kind of respect few Indian coaches did in the past. Manning the cricket team is a lot tougher job than handling finance ministry in India. Mr. Pranab Mukherjee might agree to this. However, the South African maverick has managed to perform his duties with maximum ease and greater results. His departure after the 2011 World Cup is inevitable as Gary wants to spend time with his family back in South Africa. Fair enough!

    Since joining the Indian camp in 2007-08, the former Proteas opener helped the team to achieve the elusive number one position in Test cricket. You can still argue Gary got the best of the Indian team for the desired result.

    He didn't come with a plan. He offered what worked for the Indians. And yeah...he lacked the Chappell-like love-affair with spotlight - much to the benefit of the playing group.

    I remember Sehwag singing praise

    Read More »from Who will replace Gary Kirsten?
  • IPL Auction Day 2: Umesh, Munaf strike gold; Jayasuriya unsold

    17.59 - Oh wait. Kaif is back in business. Pune have gone for him. Now Deccan have retaliated, put 110,000. RCB cut in with 130,000. That's where it stays. Bangalore have Kaif for 130,000. That should be the end of the auctions. For good.

    17.57 - That's it. The auctions have ended. Ganguly hasn't been recalled. No Gayle either. Murali Kartik has been picked up by Pune.

    17.55 - Robert Frylinck, taken by Delhi for 20,000.

    17.53 - Rangana Herath, unsold.

    17.52 - Aiden Blizzard goes to Mumbai for 20k. Still no signs of Sourav Ganguly. Is it really the end for him?

    17.51 - Nathan Rimmington, up for 20,000, goes to Punjab.

    17.49 - Michael Lumb of England next. Deccan take him for 80,000.

    17.47 - Luke Ronchi, unsold. Colin Ingram has been taken by Delhi for 100,000.

    17.47 - Moises Henriques sold to Mumbai for 50,000.

    17.46 - Xavier Doherty, unsold again.

    17.44 - Loots Bosman, unsold. What a complete waste of time this re-auction is. Remember, teams requested these players to be brought back for re-auction. Now, no one wants to buy them. Strange.

    17.42 - Kiwi Colin de Grandhomme, unsold. Glen Maxwell, unsold. Tim Southee, unsold.

    17.41 - Kiwi Jamie How, up for 50,000. Unsold.

    17.40 - Jonathan Vandiyar, the left-hander from South Africa, has gone to RCB for his base price of 20,000.

    17.40 - Dmitri Mascarenhas, the former Rajasthan all-rounder, goes to Punjab for the opening bid of 100,000.

    17.38 - Adam Voges next. Unsolf. Complete farce and a waste of time.

    17.38 - Wasim Jaffer. Unsold.

    Alert - Dhoni has won the toss and elect to bat against South Africa in the only T20 International. Click for scores and commentary.

    17.36 - Travis Birt next. Sold to Delhi for 20k.

    17.34 - Juan 'Rusty' Theron next. He goes to Deccan for 85,000.

    17.33 - Lendl Simmons, for 50k. Unsold. Someone needs to explain why these players have gone unsold after being recalled.

    17.32 - Murali Kartik next. Left-arm spinner, up for 200,000. Pune have gone for him. Kartik would be a relieved man. Bangalore pull out at 400,000. Pune get him for 400,000.

    17.29 - Mohammad Kaif. No takers again. The farce continues.

    17.28 - Dillon du Preez. No bids again. This is a farce, a disgrace. Why were these players recalled if nobody wants to bid for them?

    17.27 - David Miller, 100k, for the left-handed bat from Australia. No bids again.

    17.26 - Daniel Harris, right-handed bat from Australia, no bids again. What's happening here? Harris joins VRV in a select club.

    17.25 - VRV Singh is next. Base-priced at 100,000. No bids. Surprising. Why was he recalled then? VRV has now the ignominy to remain unsold twice in the same IPL auction.

    17.25 - Ryder was base-priced at 100,000. The left-handed opener cum right-handed seam bowler has been sold to Pune for 150,000.

    17.23 - Now bids will be invited for unsold players nominated by the teams.

    Jesse Ryder is first.

    17.02 - We had missed one name in the sold players' list. Nuwan Pradeep has gone to Bangalore for 20,000. Thanks watstherein_name for pointing that out. Never miss a beat, do you?

    Meanwhile, Wasim Akram is thrilled to have Unadkat at KKR.

    16.42 - Lots of readers are unhappy that their favourite teams don't have the right players for each positions.

    Have some patience folks. The player buying doesn't end with these auctions. The teams also have to get players from their catchment areas. Some players, including foreign ones, will be bought outside the auctions.

    So, don't be sad. There's a lot of team-building left before the first IPL match is played in April.

    16.35 - The auction ends. A five minute break will follow. 353 players went under the hammer over the last two days. Stay tuned. Sourav Ganguly could be brought back for another round of auction for the unsold players.

    RCB owner Vijay Mallya says former captain Anil Kumble will play an important role in rebuilding their team. 

    16.27 - Francois du Plessis is here to wake everyone up. After a hotly contested bid, Chennai take him for 120,000.

    16.21 - Abhishek was the only first one to answer that last quiz question correctly. Dale Steyn is correct; he had tested positive for a higher-than-permitted level of morphine, but it was not a punishable offense.

    16.21 - Chris Lynn has been bought by Deccan for 20,000.

    16.13 - Rilee Rossouw of South Africa, sold to RCB, for 20,000.

    16.06 - This quiz is more fun that the auction. Thanks for the responses, guys.

    Next question.

    Which fast bowler tested positive for a drug in the second season of IPL? Hint: it was not a Pakistani cricketer.

    We'll post the answer in 15 minutes.

    16.05 - Rohit Sharma is correct. Well done James, who was the first to answer.

    15.55 - OK, next quiz question:

    Mashrafe Mortaza, who just went unsold, got hit for 26 runs in the final over of an IPL match. Name the batsman who hit him for a last-ball six to win this match. Answer in 10 minutes.

    15.54 - Alfonso Thomas wakes us up. There's a hot bidding war going on. Pune take this South African all-rounder for 100,000.

    15.52 - Yawn! Well done, those who answered MS Dhoni to that quiz question.

    15.40 - A handful of other little-known international players have gone unsold. This is sleep inducing. To kill time, let's have a little pop quiz.

    Who was the highest paid cricketer at the first IPL auction in 2008? Post your answers in the comments.

    15.39 - Thomas Smith, unsold. Darren Stevens, unsold. Gah.

    15.37 - Morne van Wyke, unsold. Meanwhile, news is the KKR want to use Sourav Ganguly as a mentor. Glen Maxwell, unsold.

    15.36 - Mark Cosgrove, unsold.

    15.36 - Junaid Siddique, unsold. Joe Denly, unsold.

    15.35 - Mahela Udawatte, unsold. Teams are preserving money here. They want to go for quality buys later on.

    15.34 - Imrul Kayes, unsold.

    15.33 - Darren Ganga, unsold.

    15.32 - Peter Ingram, unsold. This is getting boring here. Just one sale in the last 35 minutes.

    15.32 - David Miller, Adrian Barath, unsold.

    Next, batsmen.

    15.30 - Mitchell Starc, unsold.

    15.29 - Iain O'Brein, the blogging, tweeting Kiwi. Unsold.

    15.29 - Nuwan Zoysa. Unsold.

    15.28 - Rory Kleinveldt, unsold.

    15.27 - James Pattinson, 100k. And KKR break the duck after lunch. KKR take Pattinson for his base price.

    15.25 - Sajid Mahmood, unsold.

    15.24 - Stuart Clarke, unsold. Dilhara Lokuhettige unsold.

    15.22 - Dammika Prasad, unsold. Darryl Tuffey unsold. That's 27 on the trot.

    15.22 - Panyangara of Zim, unsold. That's 25 players on the trot, unsold.

    15.20 - Chithaka Jayasinghe, Mohammad Mahmadullah, unsold.

    15.19 - M Pushpakumara, Rayad Emrit, Lee Carseldine, Akalanka Ganegama unsold.

    15.18 - Chamu Chibhabha, Asanka Fernando, Gayan Wijekoon, all unsold.

    15.16 -Next, all-rounders.

    15.15 - Ramnaresh Sarwan, Thilana Kandamby, Mohammad Ashraful, Hamilton Masakadza unsold.

    15.13 - Ricardo Powell, Xavier Marshall, Loots Bosman, Lendl Simmons, Thilan Samaraweera, Phil Hughes - all unsold as the bidding restarts.

    15.02 - We resume after the lunch break. There's talk that Sourav Ganguly and other unsold players may be brought back to the bidding process once the original list of players finishes. Currently, the schedule for the 2011 tournament is being drawn.

    Today's top buys included Daniel Christian, Umesh Yadav and Munaf Patel. Venugopal Rao was richer by $700,000.

    14.00 - Australian Shane Harwood and West Indies' all-rounder Ravi Rampaul goes unsold as we head for lunch. We will see you after an hour.

    13.59 - Strangely there are no bids for West Indies' Fidel Edwards. He was with Chargers last season.

    13.58 - No buyers for Andy McKay.

    13.57 - VRV Singh, former Punjab employee, goes unsold.

    13.56 - Jerome Taylor of West Indies goes to Pune.

    13.54 - Bangalore gets Johan van der Wath at base price os $50,000.

    13.52 - South African Andre Nel and New Zealand's Ian Butler go unsold

    13.50 - Pankaj Singh, retained by Rajasthan, 95,000.

    13.50 - Chris Tremlett, Ashes hero, unsold.

    13.50 - Ryan Sidebottom, unsold.

    13.50 - Mkhaya Ntini, unsold. He is playing his farewell international match today. Don't miss it.

    13.49 - Lonwabo Tsotsobe, unsold.

    13.48 - Chanaka Welegedera, unsold.

    13.46 - Jeevantha Kulatunga, unsold.

    13.46 - Kaushalya Weeraratne, unsold.

    13.45 - Graham Napier, unsold.

    13.45 -  Prosper Utseya, unsold.

    13.43 - John Hastings, gone to Kochi for 20,000.

    13.42 - Andrew McDonald, sold to Delhi, 80,000.

    13.39 - Mitchell Marsh, brother of Shaun, son of Geoff, captain of the Australia juniors and U-19 World Cup winner. Good talent, formerly with Deccan Chargers.

    Sold to Pune for 290,000 where his father Geoff is the coach. Interesting.

    13.36 - Ryan ten Doeschate, the Dutch all-rounder. Sold to 150,000 to Kolkata. He's the ICC Associate Cricketer of the year.

    13.35 - Darren Sammy, unsold. Aaron Redmond, unsold.

    All-rounders segment next.

    13.31 - Michael Klinger, Aussie batsman, 20k. Sold to Kochi for 75,000. Kochi are going after some batsmen now.

    13.30 - Neil McKenzie, 100k, unsold.

    13.29 - Lou Vincent. Remember him? Unsold.

    13.28 - Owais Shah, 200k. Sold to Kochi for base price.

    13.27 - Jehan Mubarak, starts at just 20k. This could be a good bargain buy. But Mubarak is unsold.

    13.27 - Shivnarine Chanderpaul - unsold.

    13.26 - No takers for Simon Katich.

    13.25 - Martin Guptill, Kiwi batter, excellent fielder, 100k. Unsold.

    13.24 - Jacques Rudolph, 100k, unsold.

    13.24 - Jonathan Trott, starting at 200,000. Unsold.

    13.23 - Bryce McGain, unsold.

    13.21 - Surav Randiv, Chennai bid for 50,000. Sold for 80,000 to Chennai.

    13.20 - Ray Price, Zimbabwe, any takers? Still unsold.

    13.20 - Aaron Heal, unsold.

    1.20 - Jason Krejza, who took 12 on Test debut in Nagpur, unsold.

    13.19 - Xavier Doherty, Australia, 100k, no takers. Unsold.

    13.19 - Suhrawadi Shuvo, Bangladesh, 50k, unsold.

    13.18 - Abdur Razzaq, Bangladesh, 50k. Will KKR go for him? No. Unsold.

    13.18 - Spin bowlers next.

    Kochi's side is loaded with bowlers. Wonder what's their strategy. Who would be their captain? We're thinking Mahela or Brendon McCullum. Here's a thought: what would happen to the team if Sreesanth was its captain? Comment away!

    Read More »from IPL Auction Day 2: Umesh, Munaf strike gold; Jayasuriya unsold

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