Ravi Shastri

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Blog Posts by Ravi Shastri

  • New Zealand will find it hard to upset balance Proteas

    South Africa, which tops the Castrol Index with 190 points, will start overwhelming favourite in its ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 quarter-final against New Zealand.

     

    It has the right kind of combination that covers all bases. In what is a huge departure from the past, it packs so much variety in its bowling to the point that it can even lay great emphasis on spin bowling. I would imagine leg-spinner Imran Tahir will return to play this important match and make South Africa that much more formidable.

     

    The moot question really is whether South Africa has got the temperament. If you look at how it has fared in the past, it is clear that its teams have been brilliant in the league stages or in five-match series where they have been aware of the cushion of bouncing back even if they lose a game or two. The problem for South African teams has been their showing in knockout stages.

     

    The pressure gets to them when they become aware that if they have a bad day, they can be knocked out. As

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  • Skippers Afridi, Sangakkara leading from the front

    With the
    quarterfinals of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 about to begin, it is a good
    time to assess the form of the captains of the eight surviving teams. Let me take
    up the performance of the skippers in the league stage in the order in which
    they figure on the Castrol Index.

     

    Pakistan captain Shahid
    Afridi
    (Castrol Index 115) is the kind of character who has been
    inspirational. He has had a very good tournament with the ball, claiming 17
    wickets and securing a Bowling Efficiency of 103 - the best among those who
    have bowled more than just a couple of overs. He has the kind of body language,
    the energy and the presence on the field that rubs off on the other players.

     

    Daniel Vettori
    (Castrol Index 93) is a quality player himself but he can only do so much
    tactically with that New Zealand side. Because of the kind of talent it has,
    the team seems to be going through its paces. If Vettori can put up a big
    performance by getting wickets in his 10 overs, he can add more value to New

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  • Castrol Index graph during England’s win was revealing

    A couple of days back, I kept an eye on the Castrol Index that showed how hard England had to work to close the 115-51 gap that the Dutch had opened up after their innings in their match at Nagpur. It was only in the 46th over of their chase that England managed to nudge ahead and won with a smart Extreme Performance Batting.

     

    England were pretty ordinary in Nagpur. Their batting seemed okay but let us not forget it was playing Holland that did not have a great bowling attack. The fielding was very shabby to say the least - they dropped catches and their ground fielding was pathetic. One got the feeling that they thought the rule had changed in one day cricket and you needed three in the 30-yard circle. The number of times they had just three fielders in the circle and had people running up and down was embarrassing and funny.

     

    England can only improve but India will have to play badly to lose that game.

     

    In their opening game, India could not have asked for anything better.

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