• A couple of years ago Anil Kumble while paying handsome compliments to the Indian batting said that the huge totals piled up gave the bowlers that much more freedom and the confidence to do well. He was talking of Test matches but the same can be said about the shorter versions of the game in which Indian cricket's traditional strength - the batting - has frequently lived up to its lofty reputation.

     

    Bowlers win matches it is said but the same does not always hold good for Indian cricket for often it is the batting that has helped the team to come up trumps. The famous Natwest Trophy final in England in 2002 is a case in point but it is by no means an isolated one.

     

    The point made by Kumble was driven home in no uncertain terms by events at Nagpur on Wednesday. With the cushion of a total of 354 behind them the Indian bowlers could perform with utmost confidence and the result was a most emphatic victory that leveled the series.

     

    And, while, the second game in the seven-match

    Read More »from Dhoni took full control
  • The two English sides - Somerset and Sussex - did not set the Champions League on fire, but that was mainly to do with their inexperience of playing Indian conditions.

     

    There is not enough international experience in Somerset or Sussex's squads and that has probably counted against them as they crashed out of the inaugural competition.

     

    If you look at the IPL sides they have such a wealth of experience at the highest level of the game, as do teams like New South Wales and Trinidad and Tobago.

     

    For Somerset to lose their second most experienced player in international terms, Marcus Trescothick (pictured), it left far too much pressure on Justin Langer to lead the side.

     

    You simply cannot afford to lose one of your key players when the squad is so thin. I would not say that the two English sides were naive, but it certainly took me two A-tours in India to adjust my game to the conditions and gain experience.

     

    The style of cricket is required in India demands that you exploit the

    Read More »from Experience eluded English teams
  • More matches like the one we had between India and Australia at Baroda on Sunday and there will be no more talk about the survival of ODIs in the face of the onslaught of the raging popularity of Twenty20 cricket.

     

    Indeed, if the Champions Trophy had a responsibility towards upholding the popularity of Fifty50 amidst obituaries being written about the format, the ongoing series between the two top teams in the game has perhaps a greater responsibility towards the same objective.

     

    If most of the contests can match the thrills and excitement of the opening encounter, then the players will be doing a great service to ODIs. It will prove that the one-day game is still alive and well and the obituaries are premature.

     

    In the ultimate analysis, it is a pity that one team had to lose such an engrossing tussle and that by a margin of four runs. Right from the time they won the toss Australia always looked the better team thanks to their batting, bowling and fielding but the Indians'

    Read More »from Very little to choose between the teams

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