• One day cricket is alive and well. That is the paramount lesson driven home by the successful conduct of the sixth edition of the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa.

     

    The cynics who questioned the very survival of ODIs in the wake of the raging popularity of Twenty20 cricket were made to eat humble and distasteful pie by the on field happenings during the two week long tournament which saw many outstanding performances, unexpected results, keen contests and - most important - the spirit of cricket being upheld by sporting gestures.

     

    I remember at the height of the popularity of Fifty50 in the eighties and nineties there were those who were quick to write the obituary of Test cricket. "Will Test cricket survive" became the most common headline in media comment. But despite growing skepticism, Test cricket continued to attract interest and I for one have always believed that the longer version of the game will never die and that all three formats can co-exist.

     

    As I said, the sixth

    Read More »from Aussies remain the No. 1 team in this format
  • It's wonderful to get an opportunity to defend our ICC Champions Trophy title on Monday, thanks to a near-perfect performance against England in the semi-finals.

     

    In the league stage, we did just enough to make it to the last four - we were below par against the West Indies, and against Pakistan we made heavy weather of chasing down a modest total.

     

    However, what was heartening was the fact that we found a way to claw our way back in both games. We have always prided ourselves for our record in tournaments, and one of the reasons for that is that we always find a way back from the brink of a loss.

     

    In the semi-final we excelled in all departments, and we go into the all-important game with a lot of confidence. The record partnership between Shane Watson and myself was very satisfying because it was proof of the potential Watson possesses as an opening batsman.

     

    On Friday, Watson showed he is capable of constructing an innings, waiting out difficult spells and hitting the big

    Read More »from Satisfying to be in the finals
  • So where does the Indian cricket team go from here in the wake of the early exit from the ICC Champions Trophy? I am aware that there are a couple of questions that need to be answered but I also know it is not the time to press panic buttons.

     

    Let's start at the top. Not unexpectedly MS Dhoni has taken most of the flak for the defeat. He has been the man who could do no wrong, who could walk on water, who led the Indian team to one success after another in ODIs (he is also yet to lose a Test match as captain). The cynics during the height of his success said he was lucky in that he had too many things in his favour. But then don't all successful captains have more than their share of good fortune?

     

    On the other hand the more balanced cricket followers were of the view that too much could not be made of the luck factor. Even with everything falling into place one could not have Dhoni's record as captain just on this factor alone. After all he had notched up too many significant

    Read More »from It is not the time to press panic buttons

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