Monday, October 10, 2011

Are You Aware About ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Committee And Galle Incident?

How many among us are aware about International Cricket Council’s (ICC) controlled ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Committee? Well, this committee has set some minimum standards for any pitch across the globe that claims to conduct an international match. All cricket playing countries have to adhere to these standards for all their international pitches. This committee was formed in 2006. As the name suggests the standards not only point towards the pitch only but outfield also.
The test match that was played between visiting Australian team and hosts Sri Lanka in Galle from August 31, 2011 to September 4, 2011; came under the scrutiny of this committee as the pitch did not behave normal during the match. The pitch has been declared by this committee having poor quality that needs to take appropriate measures to make it as per standards set by the committee. The next step of the process is that an senior pitch expert of the committee’s panel team (Andy Atkinson, in this case), will visit the pitch under question within a stipulated period after declaring it unfit, and will inspect the pitch thoroughly.
An inspection report with shortfalls and corrective measures will be submitted after the completion of inspection process. The country (SL, here) in turn has to ensure that prior to scheduling any international match on that pitch (Galle, here), a report has to be submitted to ICC committee that confirms about all corrective actions completed satisfactorily.
The whole story began when a concern was raised by Chris Broad, a member of Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees about the poor quality of Galle in which Sri Lanka had lost the match by 125 runs. Broad’s concern was based on the unnatural turn and bounce experience during the match.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Champions League Twenty20 Finals: Mumbai Indians Sealed The Fate of Royal Challengers Bangalore Despite Low Score of 139

No changes were done to any of the two teams playing in their finals having the same players that played the semi finals. Mumbai Indians started well with a sixer on the last ball of the first over of innings, clearly indicating their intentions right from the word go. Mumbai Indians won the toss and decided to bat first.

Blizzard got run out in the 2nd over when he along with the opposite end player stood helpless at one end of the crease only. It was Blizzard who only ran from the batting end and reached the other end where Kanwar was standing without any initiative to take run. Actually it was no run and unnecessarily Blizzard gifted his wicket.  Ambati Rayudu came next. He opened his innings with a 4. At the end of 2nd over MI were 15 for the loss of 1 wicket.

MI need to make at least over 160 runs to keep their chances alive as the RCB team has solid players like Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and others. Last ball of Nannes in 4th over of the game clean bowled Kanwar at his individual score of 10 and MI was 24 for the loss of two. James Franklin was next to bat. It was a Yorker ball. 2 wickets down declined MIs run rate and at the end of 5th over they were 30. Nannes had a good bowling figure of 2 overs 9 runs and 1 wicket that of Kanwar. Franklin hit his first and innings 2nd six in the 6th over on the bowling of Aravind.

Aravind is the topper in most sixes hit so far with 10 to his credit. When Franklin and Rayudu were going great guns, Rayudu got out at 22 made in 21 balls, while trying to hit a big shot over mid on that got mistimed.  The run rate was revived back to 6.96. Yadav was next to join. In 10 overs Mumbai Indians were 71 for the loss of three wickets. End of 12th over saw MI with 82 for 3. It was Yadav who broke the silence by hitting a big six in the 13th over followed by a 4 on the next ball. It was 14 overs made in 13th over and the score got improved to 96 for 3 with 7 overs more to go.

Franklin roared back in the 14th over to complete 100 runs of the innings. But the next ball saw Yadav’s departure getting run out in an unfortunate manner when Vettori did a quick action to take the bails off before he could get his bat in while trying to get back to his crease that he has left when Vettori bowled to Franklin. Mumbai Indians were 105 for 4 and Kieron Pollard came in the middle to take the charge. Franklin was at 41 at that moment of time. The next ball was a great cheer for Royal Challengers Bangalore when Franklin left the crease getting run out trying to take 2nd run which was not there. Franklin made 41 off just 29 balls.

Two wickets in two consecutive overs gave a double blow to MI team. Run rate was 7.45 in 15th over. Vettori’s last over’s first ball which was 16th over of the game gave a big blow to MI when Pollard gave a soft catch to mid on player and got out on just 2 runs. It was Captain Harbhajan Singh who joined but could not stay for long when he got lbw out on the 3rd ball of the same over. MI was reduced to 109 for 7 with 4.3 over left in the innings. Lasith Malinga opened his innings with a straight six over the bowler, Vettori. MI score was 115 for 7 at the end of 16 overs.

Finally a target of 140 to win was set for RCB to grab the trophy. The score seemed easily achievable with so much batting depth available with the RCB team. But top 4 batsmen were back to pavilion by the closing of 12th over with score on the board as 73. With Tilakratane Dilshan, Chris Gayle Virat Kohli and Mayank Agarwal getting out, RCB went into defensive mode and probably that brought in more risk and danger to their balance batsmen. The next 3 batsmen were back within 19 runs reducing the score to 92 for 7 in 17th over, thereby making it a tough task when only Saurabh Tiwary as a batsman was left in the side. The low score of MI turned into a blessing for them as the fate had something else written on the wall.

In the 18th over when Tiwary also was sent back to pavilion, the story was much clearer. 42 runs were required in 15 balls to win. Kudos to Harbhajan Singh who played a captain’s knock by dismissing two most dangerous men on the RCB side – Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli and later scalped the wicket of RCB Captain Daniel Vettori also. Yuzvendra Chahal also did a marvellous piece of bowling of 3 overs 9 runs and 2 wickets.

The result was almost clear with 18.5 runs per over required in last 2 overs and no established batsmen left for RCB.  The second highest runs for RCB were from Extras which was 20. Top scorer was Dilshan with 27 runs. In his last over and innings’ penultimate over, Malinga took the 9th wicket of RCB. Last over required 32 runs to win with only 1 wicket in hand. Abu Nechim took the last wicket of RCB in his and innings’ last over thereby closing RCB innings at 108 all out.

Mumbai Indians Win CLT20 finals by 31 runs.

Dean Jones Is Right But Highlighting A Problem Without Proposing A Solution Is Damn Simple

When you are in a bad shape, everyone becomes your well wisher in terms of telling you what you could have done to not to fail in all the areas where you have failed, or highlighting your failures with a subjective solution.

That is what is happening with Team Australia these days. First Darren Barry proposing an overall change in the team management, coaches and selectors, and now Dean Jones telling something which is known to all and probably a kid also can give that statement. Who doesn’t know that when a team is not doing well and failing repeatedly, it need a savior, a hero, a leader, a show caser, a demonstrator, a consistent result getter.

As per Dean Jones, Australian team needs some kind of hero or heroes to revive back the honors and play extremely well consistently in South Africa in both versions of game, ODI and test. The rhythm, momentum and vigor definitely need to be revived back and who is not trying for that. I don’t think team Australia is short of determination or will power, only it might be a question of a focused approach.

Who knows some old lions may roar back in South Africa or a new lion may demonstrate the sharpness of his paws. Let us wait and watch the game. And then India also will be touring Australia one they are back from South Africa.

Champions League Twenty20 Finals: Preview: MI or RCB?

I would call it a balanced game with both teams having equal chances in the final of CLT20 that is to be played in Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium on 9th Oct 2011. All credits go to the Mumbai Indian Coach Robin Singh for enabling the underdogs to reach finals of the game. Having so many good players out of the team including Sachin Tendulkar due to various injuries and other reasons, Mumbai Indians had least chances of reaching to the finals of the game.

Credit also go to all players who played well in a great united manner to act as an enabler for each other and brought the team to finals. All eyes will be on Kieron Pollard to play a big game and score some bounty runs. The danger man Lasith Malinga is also able to move the direction of any match as he did in the semis against Somerset. Somerset were seen all set to cross the target of 261 and win the game when Malinga clean bowled four of their batsmen to turn it around.

Royal Challengers Bangalore can not be treated as any less than MIs. Chris Gayle is the man who has all powers to win game under any circumstances. Dirk Nannes, Saurabh Tiwary, Md Kaif, Virat Kohli; all are able to play big games. The RCB coach Ray Jennings would definitely be making some last moment strategies with his team on how to tackle each of the MI player in finals.

Looking at the pitch of Chennai, the team that wins the toss should first go for batting as there will be good help to bowlers in the second innings. Winning the toss and taking the right decision would be an advantageous factor.

David Warner All Set To Roar In The Upcoming ODI Series

Champions League Twenty20 is a good international platform to show your talent. The players from almost all countries participate in this event and based on their solid performances here set an indication for their respective country’s cricket board to consider them for the next upcoming shorter form of the game viz Twenty20 or One Day.

Two hundreds in two neck to neck games prove definitely about any player’s potential, concentration and depth. A ton in T20 is obviously an indication of higher level of knowledge in technique and a superb concentration. Yes, you are right, the pointer is towards David Warner, who has been well appreciated by Anthony Stuart, the New South Wales coach.

Warner is ready to roar in the upcoming ODI series after he has been named as a part of Australian ODI team. He is quite ambitious and hopeful about his selection in the upcoming test series that has to be played with South Africa.

Australian Cricket In A Stale State

Australian Cricket is not in a very healthy state and getting stale unless a makeover takes place to give it a transformed image and functioning. This is what has been commented officially by Darren Berry who used to be Team Australia’s wicketkeeper beside having the same role with his home team of Victoria.

Berry feels it is already late to give it a call and change the faces in the management that is in control of cricket Australia. Not only management, but the selection committee and training staff also need a transformation in terms of replacement. Berry also wishes to get some big legendary names be associated with the new management, selection committee and the trainers.

There is a lack of commitment, accountability and responsibility at the current level of all departments including the players. After the disclosure of Argus report that was investing the last year’s failure in the Ashes, the points highlighted almost match with what he has said.

Mumbai Indians Lands Safely In CLT20 Finals

Somerset was beaten by Mumbai Indians in the Champions League’s 2nd semifinal (CLT20). Earlier Bangalore’s Royal Challengers were the first to launch their landing in finals by winning in the 1st semi final. Mumbai, having so many of its players out of tournament due to one reason or the other was never a hot contender for a berth in finals. But they have managed to do so with a graceful victory in the semis against Somerset. The match was played in Chennai’s Chidambaram Stadium.

MI played first and made a challenging score of 161. Somerset played well with the help of a superb innings from Craig Kieswetter who made 62. It was Lasith Malinga from MI who dominated on Somerset batsmen with his dangerous and magical spells. He took 4 wickets for just 20 runs. And all the 4 wickets he took were by shocking the batsmen with a clean bowl.

James Hildreth was the other batsman from Somerset who made 39 and added an amazing 83 with Kieswetter but could not become the savior for their team to sail them into the finals.