• The World Cup is 86 days away. India, however, has just 10 days of cricket left to get its house in order. Worryingly, the build-up is less than ideal. More worryingly, the team composition is clear as mud at this moment, and questions proliferate: do you persevere with out of form seniors, or try in-form rookies?

     

    India plays five ODIs against New Zealand at home this month, and five more against South Africa in January. The team also has two practice games against Australia and New Zealand, before it begins the World Cup campaign against Bangladesh on February 19.

     

    For now, set aside the merits of playing five ODIs on the fast, bouncy pitches of South Africa just before starting a Cup campaign on sub-continental wickets – while the ODIs against the Proteas may not be ideal preparation for the Cup, winning the series in SA against a side that has traditionally dominated India at home (SA beat India 4-0, the last time we toured) will provide a big boost. 

     

    Irrespective of how the

    Read More »from World Cup 2011: Is India Ready?
  • - New Zealand were all out for 193 in the first innings providing the 20th occasion of New Zealand dismissed all out for less than 200 runs in an innings against India. It provides the fifth occasion of New Zealand dismissed for a total of less than 200 runs when it has batted in the first innings of a test match. The other four occasions are - 186 at Wellington in Feb 1968 : 181 at Hyd-LBS in Oct 1969 : 187 at Hamilton in Mar 1994 and 145 at Bangalore in Oct 1995.

     

    - G Gambhir {78}, V Sehwag {74}, R Dravid {69*} and SR Tendulkar {57*} scored fifties providing the tenth occasion of first four batsman scoring fifties in a test innings. India's feat is the second such occasion against New Zealand, the first being at Mohali in Oct 1999 - DJ Gandhi {75}, S Ramesh {73}, R Dravid {144} and SR Tendulkar {126*}. Note : SC Ganguly also scored 64 not out in this innings making it first five batsmen scoring fifties.

     

    - G Gambhir {78}, V Sehwag {74}, R Dravid {69*} and SR Tendulkar {57*} scored

    Read More »from Nagpur Test: India vs New Zealand, Day 2 – Statistical Highlights
  • The cynics might say that the Ashes series are not the battles they used to be and have been overtaken in quality and intensity by contests between other teams. But nothing can ever take away the special aura that hovers around Tests between England and Australia. If any proof is required one has only to look back on the fascinating contest in 2005 which is a prime contender for the greatest series of all time.

     

    In any case the hype and the mind games have already commenced in real earnest. After all, this is going to be a battle between a resurgent England team and an Australian side plainly on the decline. For the first time in eons, England are ranked higher than Australia on the eve of an Ashes battle. And if the pre-series form is any indication England should start as favourites. They have won two of the three warm-up games and have had the better of a drawn match – all against worthy opposition.

     

    The batsmen have been among the runs, the bowlers have picked up the wickets,

    Read More »from England start as favourites

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