• Oh, for a Roger Binny or a Madan Lal. Or an Anil Kumble. Without someone emulating their feats next February and March, Indian dreams of World Cup glory are likely to get a cold-water reality check long before the final on April 2. If history has taught us anything, it's that the team with the best bowlers wins the competition. It may have evolved from a two-week sprint in 1975 to a six-week marathon these days, but the formula for success has changed little. Teams that bowl the opposition out win trophies. Those that bowl waist-high full tosses and concede 84 runs in the final five overs, as India did during the victory in Vishakapatnam, usually end up watching the final stages on television.

     

    Back in '75, not one West Indian batsman made more than 200 runs. But with Bernard Julien and Keith Boyce taking 10 wickets and Andy Roberts eight, the men from the Caribbean weren't handicapped by the inconsistency of the batsmen. It was a slightly different story four years later, with Gordon

    Read More »from Not a fine balance
  • - S Dhawan and SS Tiwary were capped by India in this game. They became the 188th and 189th cricketers to represent India in one day games. They became the 18th and 19th Indian cricketers to make their one day debut against Australia.

     

    - Australia capped JW Hastings and MA Starc were capped by Australia in this game. They became the 184th and 185th cricketers to represent Australia in one day games. They became the 12th and 13th Australian cricketers to make their one day debut against India.

     

    - India won the toss and elected to field providing the 19th occasion of India inserting the opposition in one day games.

     

    - MJ Clarke and MEK Hussey added 144 runs for the third wicket in this game providing the 45th occasion of a three figure partnership posted by Australian batsman against India. It also provides the seventh occasion of a three figure partnership posted by Australian batsmen against India for the third wicket. The other six occasions are - 100 runs between AR Border and KJ

    Read More »from 2nd ODI: India vs Australia at Vishakapatnam – Statistical Highlights
  • No team can be on top forever. If it is particularly formidable it can be No 1 for an extended period at most. But sooner or later it has to come to terms with the fact that their superstars are aged, are past their best or have called it a day and the replacements are just not good enough for the team to remain numero uno. And, even as this process continues another team is able to have the right composition to make their way to the top.

     

    A look at the game's history will unearth many such cases. Perhaps the earliest example is the Australian team of the 20s. With the awesome figure of Warwick Armstrong in command and with players of the calibre of Jack Gregory, Ted McDonald, Charlie McCartney, Warren Bardsley, Jack Ryder, Bill Ponsford, Bill Oldfield and Arthur Mailey in the ranks they simply outplayed both England and South Africa. Along the route they won eight matches in a row against England, including the first 5-0 clean sweep in Tests. It was not that England and South Africa

    Read More »from No team can be on top forever

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