• 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
  • One bad day at the office can hinder a team's progress in a tournament in which the competition is intense. This has been brought home by India's challenge in the ICC Champions Trophy which grounded to a screeching halt at the preliminary stage.

     

    In a tough group involving Australia, India and Pakistan every match was going to be vitally important for a team to progress to the semifinals. West Indies the fourth team in the pool were clearly not in the picture at all even as the tournament commenced. With their second string side they were going to be lambs for the slaughter. But Australia, India and Pakistan were obviously evenly matched and the games involving each other were going to be crucial.

     

    Much was made about India having a realistic chance at lifting the trophy outright for the first time (they had shared the title with Sri Lanka in 2002), largely on the grounds of their successful run in ODIs over the last year. After all, Dhoni and his men had got the better of Sri

    Read More »from Dhoni’s luck deserted him
  • Eoin Morgan has been a revelation and England coach Andy Flower will be delighted that he has produced as his talent suggested he might.

     

    England have long needed someone to inject some fire and aggression in the middle-order, and Morgan has proved a real find.

     

    The Middlesex man has been superb, and for him to double up as a stand-in wicket-keeper just shows how talented and adaptable he is.

     

    For a batsman to be so explosive and confident so early in his career is very impressive indeed, and to have someone to put the ball out of the park is fantastic to see.

     

    England have always had trouble finding batsmen to play aggressively in the middle overs of an innings, going back to when myself and Neil Fairbrother had that role.

     

    In the modern game you need players down the order to take the game to the opposition, and that is exactly what Morgan has been doing to great effect.

     

    Owais Shah has played extremely well, particularly in his incredible innings against South Africa, while

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