• The Mumbai Indians have made a solid start, achieving our first objective of getting some early momentum but every match is going to be crucial in this year's closely-fought tournament. So, while it is satisfying to be early tournament leaders, we know that we have to stay completely focused on every single game.

     

    Saturday's game against Bangalore Royal Challengers is going to be particularly challenging. They've got one of the best batsmen of the tournament in Jaques Kallis at the top of the order as well as some other powerful strikers in the middle of the innings. They also have got some pretty handy bowlers and a balanced attack.

     

    However, we are also fortunate to have a really well-balanced bowling unit. Sachin Tendulkar always has lots of options available and that is a real bonus for us. What's more, we have some genuine wicket-takers with the likes of Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga, which is crucial in this format of the game.

     

    Kallis is not the only old-school batsmen

    Read More »from Mumbai Indians have made a solid start
  • As an admirer of his pure, unadulterated bowling skills ever since I saw him make his debut against India at Chennai in December 2008, I was delighted when Graeme Swann picked up his maiden ten-wicket haul in Tests against Bangladesh at Chittagong. One is certain, it will not be his last for if anything the England off spinner is making rapid strides and his best is surely yet to come. 

     

    Off-spin has never been England's traditional strength, even though ironically they have produced arguably the greatest purveyor of this subtle art in Jim (19 for 90) Laker. The finest and most successful England bowlers have been those who hurtle them down at fearsome pace or swing the ball prodigiously. Even when it comes to spin bowling the best have been left armers like Hedley Verity, Tony Lock and Derek Underwood. 

     

    After Laker, there have been off spinners like David Allen, Fred Titmus, Ray Illingworth and John Emburey but none of them are in the outstanding category. Swann, however, I venture

    Read More »from Swann is made of sterner stuff
  • The Indian Premier League (IPL) is completing its first week but it would still take a brave man to predict the champion team of this edition. However, it is clear that all teams have taken on board certain ideas from the first two IPLs and seem more attuned to the demands of Twenty20 cricket.

     

    One of the most important lessons learnt over the last two seasons is that the best thing one can do is keep things simple. You can be guilty of over-planning, which is something I suspect happened with Kolkata Knight Riders. I think Brendon McCullum is good captaincy material because he has a shrewd cricket brain. However, confusing theories like the multiple-captain theory, controversies and over-planning saw the team flounder.

     

    The champion teams are led by two men who are extremely talented and believe in getting the basics right. In Season One, Shane Warne opted for players who were available for the whole season instead of going for superstars. This helped him immensely because while the

    Read More »from I would give the Chennai boys an edge

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