Saturday, 5 November 2011

ICC International ODI and Test Cricket

International Cricket Series History

Cricket appears to have an eventful and colorful history, although the exact origins of the game are unknown. The name "cricket" may have come from the word "cric". The word cric stood for the hooked staffs carried by Shepards. These may have been the first cricket bats. Cricket in its early days in England was considered a child's game, not to be played by serious adults.
In 1598 there was a written record of a game called "creckett" or "crickett". This may be the first recorded mention of the game that is played today. By 1611 cricket had become an adult game. Considered illegal and immoral, two men were arrested for playing the game rather than going to church. More and more arrests were made as the game grew in popularity.

In the year 1788 the "Laws of Cricket" were born. The Laws were written by the Marylebone Cricket Club. Except for some minor revisions, these laws are still adhered to in present day cricket. One notable change was in 1864 when over arm bowling was first used legally. Cricket is the only sport today that has laws instead of rules. Gaining even more respectability in the late 1700s, cricket became the game of "gentlemen". The Laws of Cricket were used for play in England and the Eastern United States. These laws covered the length of the pitch, the distance from the pitching crease to the bowling crease, wicket size, and ball weight.

The very first Cricket series - 1800s

The cricket fields were leveled and manicured in the 1800's. Up until this time the fields were rough and bumpy. South Africa and Australia began to play cricket seriously during this time. In the year 1844 the first international game of cricket was played in the state of New York in the United States. This match was played between the United States and Canada. Later, in 1877, England traveled to Australia for the first international test match. The match was played in Melbourne Australia. The Australians won the match by 45 runs.

India vs West Indies 2011-12 Cricket Series in India

India vs West Indies Test Series 2011

Delhi Test, Nov 6-10, 2011

India vs West Indies 1st Test, Day One

West Indies won the toss and bat first. Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Varun Aaron and Rahul Sharma will not be in the playing XI. Ashwin and Umesh get their Test caps.
India XI: MS Dhoni (Capt, Wkt), R Ashwin, R Dravid, G Gambhir, VVS Laxman, PP Ojha, V Sehwag, I Sharma, SR Tendulkar, U Yadav, Yuvraj Singh

West Indies XI: DJG Sammy (Capt), CS Baugh (Wkt), D Bishoo, KC Brathwaite, DM Bravo, S Chanderpaul, FH Edwards, KA Edwards, KOA Powell, R Rampaul, MN Samuels

Hours of play (local time, IST): 09:30a start, Lunch 11:30a-12:10p, Tea 2:10p-2:30p, Close 4:30

India vs West Indies 2011-12 Cricket Series in India

Darren Sammy captain, Adrian Barath in

Opening batsman Adrian Barath has been included in West Indies' Test squad for their tour of India after recovering from a hamstring injury. Barath missed the two-match series in Bangladesh and his return comes at the expense of Lendl Simmons.

West Indies Test Squad: Darren Sammy (captain), Carlton Baugh (wkt keeper), Devendra Bishoo, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Fidel Edwards, Kirk Edwards, Keiran Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Shane Shillingford, Lendl Simmons.

West Indies will announce their squad for the five-match ODI series later.

Harbhajan, Raina out of Test squad

Spinner Harbhajan Singh, who has taken 406 wickets in 98 Tests, was left out of the Indian squad for the first Test - against the West Indies to be played in New Delhi from November 6 - announced in a media release by the BCCI after a meeting of the selection committee in Kolkata on Friday. Middle-order batsman Suresh Raina was also missing as other senior players including Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh returned from injuries. Unorthodox off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, leg-spinner Rahul Sharma and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha are in the 15-member squad.

India Test Squad: M S Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, V V S Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Rahul Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron.

The squad for the second Test in Kolkata from November 14-18 and the third Test in Mumbai from Nov 22-26 will be announced later.

India Vs West Indies Cricket Series 2011 -3 TESTS, 5 ODIS in India

3 TESTS, 5 ODIS in India

Nov 6 to Dec 11, 2011

Date and TimeMatchVenue
Sun Nov 6 - Thu Nov 10
04:00 GMT | 09:30 local | 00:00 EDT
1st Test - India v West IndiesFeroz Shah Kotla, Delhi
Mon Nov 14 - Fri Nov 18
04:00 GMT | 09:30 local | 00:00 EDT
2nd Test - India v West IndiesEden Gardens, Kolkata
Tue Nov 22 - Sat Nov 26
04:00 GMT | 09:30 local | 00:00 EDT
3rd Test - India v West IndiesWankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Tue Nov 29 (D/N)
09:00 GMT | 14:30 local | 04:00 EST
1st ODI - India v West IndiesBarabati Stadium, Cuttack
Fri Dec 2 (D/N)
09:00 GMT | 14:30 local | 04:00 EST
2nd ODI - India v West IndiesDr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam
Mon Dec 5 (D/N)
09:00 GMT | 14:30 local | 04:00 EST
3rd ODI - India v West IndiesSardar Patel Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad
Thu Dec 8 (D/N)
09:00 GMT | 14:30 local | 04:00 EST
4th ODI - India v West IndiesHolkar Cricket Stadium, Indore
Sun Dec 11 (D/N)
09:00 GMT | 14:30 local | 04:00 EST
5th ODI - India v West IndiesMA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai
Dubai: International Cricket Council (ICC) Haroon Lorgat Chief Executive said the verdict of the court of London, in the case of corruption against three Pakistani players should serve as an "additional warning" for cricketers who are tempted to engage to corruption.

Lorgat read a statement here on Tuesday night at the headquarters of the International Criminal Court and said the guilty verdicts against Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir guilty of guilt appear to be consistent with the findings of the independent judicial corruption was appointed earlier this year to hear the charges.

The trio was involved in the fixation point during the Lord's Test against England in 2010. Three members appointed by the arbitration of the International Criminal Court, and found them guilty in February Butt bandit, who was the captain during the test, 10 years, while Asif and Aamir suspended for seven and five years.

"To be clear, the development of criminal courts in England has no effect on them, the suspension period, which shall remain in full force," said Lorgat.

"We hope that this decision is seen as another warning to all who could, for whatever reason, be tempted to engage in corrupt activities," he said.

Asif and Butt in front of the prison in Southwark Crown Court in London on Tuesday found them guilty of conspiracy to defraud and accept corrupt payments.

Butt was found guilty of two heads - conspiracy to accept corrupt payments and deceive - but the fast bowler Asif was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud. Aamir already pleaded guilty to charges.

Pakistan Cricket Players Receive Jail Time For Fixing Matches

The former captain of Pakistan's national cricket team was sentenced to 30 months in prison today, and two other teammates also received jail time for conspiring to fix international matches. The three players were accused of manipulating the final scores in five test matches against England in 2010.
Related: Dirty Cricketers Convicted; Dodgers Close to Being Sold Off

Bowler Mohammad Asif received one year and Mohammad Amir (who pled guilty) received six months. Captain Salman Butt received the harshest sentence since the judge identified him as the ringleader who talked his more impressionable teammates into the scheme.
Related: Banks, Meet Your Sports Team Soulmates

The "spot fixing" scandal has transfixed the cricket world and calls for major reforms. As one of the poorest paid teams on the world stage, Pakistani stars are often the target of fixing schemes. Amir reportedly even received bribe simply to stay away from a different match fixing scheme involving other teammates. The players were caught in a sting by the News of the World tabloid.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

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Bishoo spins West Indies to series win

West Indies 355 (Kirk Edwards 121, Powell 72, Shakib 5-63) and 383 for 5 dec (Bravo 195, Kirk Edwards 86) beat Bangladesh 231 (Shakib 73, Fidel Edwards 5-63) and 278 (Tamim 83, Mushfiqur 69, Bishoo 5-90) by 229 runs

            Devendra Bishoo led to the victory of the West Indies' last day of March in Mirpur with his daughter for five to offer a series of successful build confidence ahead of a more difficult task in India. Mushfiqur Rahim was a great hope in Bangladesh calmly led his team to its first test as captain, but was betrayed by his colleagues with experience who have succumbed to his instincts instead of attacking their control. Mushfiqur When he fell just before lunch, in a robbery a legbreak Bishoo, a victory for the West Indies became a mere formality, and wrapped quickly after the break.

Smart statistics

West Indies '229-run win is their fourth victory in eight Test against Bangladesh. Their two losses came in 2009 when they are weak on one side of the series at home.

The loss of the twenty-ninth of Bangladesh 35 rapid test. Their only victory was against Zimbabwe at Chittagong in 2005.

Devendra Bishoo is 8 per 152 is the best match figures by a West Indian spinner in a test suite or neutral since Lance Gibbs '9 for 143 against India in Mumbai in 1975.

Congratulations Darren 195 is ninth on the list of best performance by the West Indian batsmen in the subcontinent. Chris Gayle is at the top, with his 333 against Sri Lanka in 2010.

Fidel Edwards 5-63, 11 is the number five on the pedestrian path testing. Currently has 149 wickets in 48 tests at an average of 36.47.

Ignore the first order batsmen Bangladesh will continue to raise questions about their ability to bat for long periods. Their performances were characterized by bursts of Stroke attractive, and soon reaches the case, but also betrayed the sacrifices and incomplete picture of the situation. Tamim had fought with caution on the fourth day of surviving two close calls, and that the accusations by Raqibul Hasan. Third more than the fifth day, however, came Bishoy Tamim, who was shooting the ball out of the rough, and tried to drive more coverage in more, but cuts to slip. After getting there, 100 tracks mostly non-threatening, and the opportunity to be still alive, he threw his wicket.

Instead, Mushfiqur seemed indestructible at the other end. He worked as a ball, using his wrists had been committed to the game on the ground, and was quick to send a bad deliveries. He reached forward with the help of Fidel Edwards to cover his half century and drove the ball beautifully over half of all Bishoy out. But the moments of death in the morning, was deceived by Mushfiqur legbreak fast Bishoy, who had been fired and saliva out of the victory of his defense and to remove the carrier.

West Indies upset their fair share of tripe, and Chakib first three lines were all long jump. But there were also risks in its approach. Too often, Shakib tried to sweep from outside off stump rough, almost into the hole while trying to clear mid-tones-off, and as he reached his half century with a pull off Fidel Edwards, felt the West Indies one occasion during his stay in the paddock. It was not too big a surprise therefore, when attempting to paddle Darren Sammy produced a top edge and a second door.

Bishoo was called upon to play a leading role on the final day, but turn and bounce was not alarming. He managed to extract more turn and bite the track all the other spinners in this game and its variations in length and pace, with googly was too much for the lower order. Attacks with four large sensor after lunch, he caught Nasir Hossain IPN with a bad "of the UN, Naeem Islam with a more upright, and had Suhrawadi Shuvo on the slip to fulfill its mandate of five. KEMAR Roach Rubel Hossain slipped past the defense to give the West Indies their first win on the series since 2003.

The victory was created by a few significant individual achievements - century, Kirk Edwards and 86 in this game, girl Congratulations Darren percent, five Bishoo and incisive spell from Fidel Edwards in the first innings. Bangladesh, meanwhile, were left to rue the lack of discipline in his batting, which cost them an opportunity and a series that might have been saved.

 

West Indies hardly got us out - Mushfiqur


Side gate that sealed the victory in the West Indies, Bangladesh, against the West Indies, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 5 days, 2 November 2011

Mushfiqur Rahim: "There are times we do not know what to do, go slow or speed up the pace.

Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, said that his team had the talent of some irresponsible Mirpur Test defeat on the last day. Bangladesh, he said, is to work in their temperament. West Indies finished 229-run win to take the test and the series on Wednesday, while Bangladesh is successful Bat Out fifth day is relatively easy to follow.

"They [West Indies] has just out, we shared the wickets," said Mushfiqur. "[Shivnarine] Chanderpaul said after the game, that" whenever we think of you came out. Do not do it [BAT recklessly] in the future. "

Coming on the fifth day, Bangladesh needed 344 points to win, and Tamim Iqbal was beat is 82 plan, Mushfiqur said, was to not lose more than two sessions wickets. "Our gameplan was to bat session of the meeting. To win would be great, but the draw was not so bad. It would have been difficult to bowl us if we had lost more than two wickets session."

But Bangladesh lost Tamim in the third over of the day, and Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur in quick succession before lunch. "After Tamim, sadly gone, and I beat Chakib until about 25 minutes for lunch. There were 12 overs left before the new ball and I thought that if we had played until noon and negotiated over the next ten overs, they would not be able to do something for us. "

Tamim edged to slip while trying to run Devendra Bishoo - who turn many of the rough, the only help bowlers proposed pitch - while Shakib is attempted paddle sweeps Darren Sammy has produced a top edge which was snaffled by Chanderpaul . Shakib is the error, Mushfiqur said, the game swung in favor of the West Indies.

"He [wicket Chakib] was the turning point," said Mushfiqur. "He did not play a good shot, he knows it too. I have not seen a picture like that of Test cricket.'s Batting a ball game, a miscalculation and you're out. Chakib know what it is today and I hope not do it again. "

The team, Mushfiqur said, need to work on the art of building a test input. "We do not play with long sleeves in the tests, the lack of time. You have to play with long sleeves, if they win or draw a test match. We have to work on this issue, make it a habit of playing long sleeves.

"There are times when we do not know what to do, to go slow or speed. Our thoughts should be to make a big knock after we have set ourselves. We lose concentration when a wicket falls at the other end. Batting is choosing the right ball, and I think we really need to work with these things. "

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Bowlers lead SBP to big win

It took State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) a little over 20 overs on the final day to wrap up an innings and 46-run win over Faisalabad at the Sports Stadium in Sargodha. The only resistance came from Faisalabad's overnight pair, Asif Hussain and Zeeshan Butt. Resuming on 116 for 3, the pair took their stand beyond the hundred-run mark, before being separated with the score on 141. The final six wickets then fell for just 16 runs. The bowlers shared the wickets around, but legspinner Kashif Siddiq was the best of them, claiming 4 for 22.


The game between Karachi Blues and Habib Bank Limited (HBL) at the National Stadium in Karachi was called off without the third innings being completed. HBL went from 80 for no loss to 210 for 4 on the final day, a lead of 192 runs over Karachi, at which point the game was halted. Both openers, Shan Masood and Ahmed Shehzad, went on to complete half-centuries and put on their second century partnership of the game. Shehzad was subsequently banned for one game for dissent.


Sialkot managed to hold on for a draw against National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) at the Jinnah Stadium in Sialkot. They began the final day on 29 for no loss, following on and trailing by 138 runs. But a strong showing from their top order made sure they secured the match. Five of the top six got into double figures, with Mansoor Amjad top scoring with 99. Amjad was on course for his seventh first-class hundred, but was run out going for his 100th run.

Waqar Ahmed's seven takes Peshawar to top

Peshawar beat Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) by 42 runs at the Arbab Niaz Stadium in Peshawar, powered by a seven-wicket haul by Waqar Ahmed. Waqar Ahmed had claimed two wickets on the fourth day, and took another five on Wednesday to finish with 11 in the game. Ali Waqas, Khurram Shehzad and Imran Khalid all scored half-centuries, but none of them could bat out the overs needed to secure a draw. This is Peshawar's fifth win in five games, which puts them at the top of the points table.

Karachi Whites registered an easy nine-wicket win against Hyderabad at the Niaz Stadium in Sind. Hyderabad had resumed 36 runs ahead, with one wicket in hand in the follow-on. The last pair added 19 runs on the final morning to set Karachi Whites 56 for a win. Opener Fazal Subhan was run out cheaply in the chase, but Zeeshan Jamil teed off from the other end. Jamil smacked 41 not out off 30 balls with six fours and two sixes to mow down the paltry target in 8.1 overs.

United Bank Limited (UBL) claimed the eight wickets that they needed and sealed their match against Lahore Shalimar at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground by 146 runs. The hosts began the final day on 81 for 2 in pursuit of 385 and, as none of their batsmen could build a long innings, folded for 238. Opener Mohammad Hamza and Asif Raza showed slight resistance with knocks of 60 and 46 respectively, but it was not enough to save the game for Lahore Shalimar. Fast bowler Mohammad Irshad finished with the best figures for UBL: 4 for 67.

Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) beat Multan by an innings and 61 runs inside three days at the Multan Cricket Stadium. Multan, following-on, collapsed from 77 for 3 to 114 all out. They were not helped by the fact that their captain Naved Yasin was injured and so could not bat in either of their innings. Only Moinuddin managed to hit a half-century for Multan, scoring 53 before he was picked up by new-ball bowler Rahat Ali. Rahat was the wrecker-in-chief, claiming four top and middle order wickets to take his match haul to seven.

We counted on MacGill to play on - Nielsen

Stuart MacGill is borne aloft as he exits the Test arena for the last time, West Indies v Australia, 2nd Test, Antigua, June 3, 2008
'MacGill isn't talked about much but he took 200 Test wickets. By then he was probably older than he needed to be to play every Test match for a couple of years'


Stuart MacGill threw Australian cricket's plan for life after Shane Warne into a state of confusion when he retired almost two years earlier than expected, the former national coach Tim Nielsen has said.

Nielsen revealed in an interview with ESPNcricinfo that the team expected MacGill to play on until the end of 2009, rather than ending his career in the middle of the 2008 West Indies tour.

Such a path would have had MacGill face India, New Zealand, South Africa and then England on the 2009 Ashes tour. Instead, his retirement started a cycle of scatter-shot spin bowling selections that continued unabated for three years, and may only be settling now after Nathan Lyon's success on his first Test tour in Sri Lanka.

Nielsen admitted he was unsure whether in all that time the team and the selectors knew exactly what they were looking for in a spinner.

"I just wonder whether we ever clearly understood what role we wanted the spinner to actually play," Nielsen said. "We came off the Warne era and the MacGill era, MacGill retired in the West Indies in '08 which was why Beau [Casson] came in to debut.

"What really was the issue was we counted on MacGill to play through until the end of 2009 really, and when that changed, it put us under a bit of pressure from a spin bowling stocks point of view, we had young blokes who weren't quite ready and maybe thrown in the deep end a bit early. At different times there were decisions made that it might actually hurt them more to keep going rather than just yank them out and let them play a bit more Shield cricket."

Having spent most of his career in the shadow of Warne, MacGill became Australia's No. 1 spinner at the end of 2007 but immediately ran into a range of physical problems, from chronic knee trouble to the damaging emergence of carpal-tunnel syndrome, which robbed him of feeling in his spinning fingers.

"MacGill isn't talked about much but he took 200 Test wickets. By then he was probably older than he needed to be to play every Test match for a couple of years," Nielsen said. "He'd played a lot of Test cricket by the time he got the opportunity to be the only spinner, he must've played 50 Test matches, and he had chronic knees, he'd been around the system for a long time.

"What we did do after that was speculate a couple of times, that didn't quite work out, [Nathan] Hauritz has been pretty good I reckon. Because we've had a few spinners in a row it continues to be talked about, and in the background under all that you say is SK Warne. Someone we relied on and loved to have for so long, was no longer there.

"It was a hard place to be as a spinner because there was this public expectation of the next Warne and our Test match victories a lot of the time happened with the quicks doing damage in the first part of the game and then Warney cleaning up in the second half. When we didn't have that sort of option there was pressure put on publicly and I'm sure they felt it themselves, so it wasn't that easy."

Among the most curious cases in Australia's spin saga was that of Jason Krejza, dropped only one Test after taking 12 wickets on his debut in India as an aggressive bowler. Nielsen said that looking back, Krejza might easily have been persisted with, though he also highlighted the problem of bowlers learning their trade at Test level because they were not given enough room by their states in first-class cricket.

"In hindsight it is easy to say exactly that, we should have stuck with him," Nielsen said. "The hard part was he was very inexperienced, a bit like us having to pick Hauritz out of the NSW second XI. Everybody yells and screams about the selectors having to pick spinners, well I'd like the states to start picking some spinners as well and sticking with them.

"While the selectors can be panned for that, it is bloody hard to go up and learn your caper at the highest level. We need to get these kids in there and give them a run and a chance to get their heads around first-class cricket, and learn. Ideally by the time they get to Test match cricket they've been up and down and through the mill a couple of times, and understand how to cope when its not spinning a lot in Perth or its not going that well in Brisbane. They've learned by playing there.

If you play all forms of cricket, you may end up being mediocre'


Fast bowlers are on the verge of becoming an endangered species. They suffer many, and frequently recurring, injuries these days, owing in part to the volume of cricket being played. And fewer seem to come up through the ranks than before. ESPNcricinfo picked the brains of five of the finest of the species at a fast bowling conference organised by the Lord's Taverner's in London in September, to find out why the art of pace is on the decline.

Junaid Khan signals the dismissal of Tillakaratne Dilshan, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Dubai, 1st day, October 26, 2011
Andy Roberts: "Pakistan have fast pitches? People are complaining about the lack of fast pitches, yet Pakistan have a number of great fast bowlers"


Have relentless scheduling, placid pitches, and playing in three different formats without many breaks had an impact on the modern-day fast bowler?

Glenn McGrath Yes and no. To be a great bowler, to be successful, you have to be able to perform day in and day out, in different conditions all round the world, and then you can probably say to yourself, "I've done a pretty decent job."

I'm not sure what the exact problem is with modern-day fast bowlers: even in Australia a lot of quicks are getting injured. In 1995 I came back from West Indies and I had lost a lot of weight. I had torn my intercostal muscle, and I thought if I wanted to be successful at Test cricket and play a long time, I'd have to do something differently. So I found a guy and trained with him and worked as hard as I could to get physically strong, and that helped me stay in good shape. So whether scheduling these days is not allowing that recovery or time off to build your strength back, to get fit and get strong again… maybe that has a little bit to do with it.

Would I decide to play one form of the game to prolong my career? Some guys do that. I never wanted to. Test cricket and one-day cricket were two different formats of the game, with different challenges. You had to go with different plans, and I actually enjoyed that. Throw Twenty20 into the mix and again you need a different gameplan and a different way to go about it. So I would play in all three formats of the game.

Curtly Ambrose The workload is a bit too much, to be quite honest. I mean, guys are going from one tour to the next without having any time to recover. Your body needs time to recuperate. So some of the guys get injuries so often.

Richard Hadlee It is all about the bowling loading. If you condition yourself to playing three different formats, you train differently. And if you are alternating between different forms, you might not be right for one form or the other. In one-day cricket you tend to bowl more wide of the crease and angle the ball in to crack the batsman up. In Test cricket you want to get closer to the stumps, running the ball away, where you have the field set to catch. Now in Twenty20 you bowl similar to one-day cricket - wider, directly into the batsman to cramp him; the field is set differently.

It creates different stresses and strains on the body in trying to bowl differently. You cannot avoid that. You have to make a decision about what form of the game you want to really play. If you want to play all forms of the game, you find that you do not become effective in any, and that creates mediocrity.

Andy Roberts I do not think it is scheduling. I do not think the reason is the pitches. Pakistan have fast pitches? People are complaining about the lack of fast pitches, yet Pakistan have a number of great fast bowlers. It has nothing to do with a pitch, because the ball does not gather pace once it hits the pitch. You are fast because you are fast through the air. If you are saying you do not get response from the pitch, that is different. But do not say you do not have fast bowlers because there are no fast pitches.

How many great fast bowlers did you have in the history of cricket up to 1990? How many of those fast bowlers had back injuries? These modern-day fast bowlers do not bowl half the overs I bowled. In my first season in county cricket I bowled 800 overs between April and August. Then I went to India and bowled 200 more overs.

We used to have boots made to specifications. The boots today's fast bowlers wear are light, and that could also be a problem.

Clive Rice It is not about the workload. Just before I started playing, guys in England bowled 1600 overs in a county season. Guys today have it easy. The more you bowl, the better you become. Even when we were playing, there was a theory that we were playing too much. Playing in England, if you were not available to play all the time, with all the rain, you would not have played. If you had a sunny period then you bowled a lot of overs. You were tired, but you could only be pleasantly weary and you got on with it. And you learned. When you were bowling at Viv Richards or at Sunil Gavaskar, you told yourself not to bowl in the wrong spots, because otherwise you would disappear.

I am not sure why they are getting injured. Maybe they have moved on to playing on indoor pitches [in training], which have concrete bases that mess up your back. If there is a soil base, there is a bit more give.

It is up to the bowler to make sure he stays fit. A fast bowler, to me, is like a sprinter in athletics. You have got to be able to sprint, not just jog in to bowl. Then you can stand up to it. You see the guys with long run-ups, but you are not running 5000 metres. You have got to run in with a purpose.

Is speed overrated?



"Anyone who is a fast bowler wants to bowl as fast as he can and bowl the magic 100mph delivery. But at the end of the day you have to have control, bowling at a good pace" Glenn McGrath



Hadlee Speed isn't everything. But if you have natural speed with a good technique, it is a good asset to have. A lot of youngsters are either too full or too short. But once they start hitting that magical length, beating a batsman off a length, where the batsman is not sure whether to go forward or back and is crease-bound, that is when the fast bowler is going to be effective. It does not matter if he is then moving the ball in the air or off the track. You are creating three ways to get the batsman out: caught behind, lbw and bowled. If you are too full or too short, you are only giving yourself one chance.

McGrath My hero was Dennis Lillee. You look at the Windies teams of the 1970s and '80s - they were incredible, with all their fast bowlers running in, bowling like the wind. Anyone who is a fast bowler wants to bowl as fast as he can and bowl the magic 100mph delivery. But at the end of the day you still have to be consistent. You have to have control [while] bowling at a good pace. I tried to bowl as fast I could, but I had reasonable control, so that helped me.

Rice Everyone likes to bowl 90mph. And if you do bowl that sort of speed, the guys batting are under a great deal of pressure because of the speed at which it is coming. It is like driving a Formula 1 car to driving a salon car - there is a huge difference. So the bowler should find out how quick he actually he is, and then when he finds what this top pace is, he should settle down. Vary your pace by bowling 90% and 100%.

Are fast bowlers over-coached?

Ambrose Back in my time I was never really coached, per se. I learned my craft as I went along. And because I am a very, very proud person I wanted to be the best at what I do. I wanted my team to be the best. So I was forced to learn and learn quickly. But I believe guys should be coached, because when you are in the middle you [the bowler] do not see everything. When you are playing, you focus on some things, but you do not readily see the mistakes. That is where the coach comes in. The coach can point out the mistakes that you make and tries to correct them.

But we tend to rely too much on technology when coaching. I am not saying you cannot use it, but sometimes technology is overused. Whatever you put in the computer is what it gives out. The best form of coaching is in the nets. You can go on a computer and map out strategies about getting batsmen out, and everything looks perfect. But when you go in the middle, it is a different ball game altogether. What happens if the batsman decides to change his way of batting?

McGrath When I was young I did not have any coaching or did not model myself on anyone else. The first time I had coaching was when I was 22 - with Dennis Lillee - and that was more about refining my action. Sometimes these days young bowlers can be over-coached. They could be over-bowled or even under-bowled. You have to let the guy find his own action - as long as it is not a mixed action which is going to cause stress fractures. If he has got a good basis to build the action on, then let him go and bowl as much as he wants to.

Hadlee We bowled and bowled and bowled. We ran. We did not use the gym as much as they do today. You have computers telling you what you are doing right, what you are doing wrong. Those tools are useful to have, but sometimes simplicity is the best way to go.

Roberts The teachers who turn into coaches, coming in with their scientific approach to fast bowling, are causing the decline of fast bowling. They are literally changing a fast bowler's action, from using the body to using shoulders. You cannot bowl fast for long with your shoulder. I am not against the biomechanics, but bowlers are being over-coached and the coaches are coaching the wrong way.

Rice We learned certainly from watching other guys bowl, and copied them. Today if a coach has got a particular idea he is trying to instill in a person, maybe that is over-coaching the guy, because that is not the nature of how he wants to bowl or how his body is letting him bowl. As a bowling coach you just need to give him advice in terms of improving his skills and getting the simple things done right. If you change the action and stuff like that, then there will be problems.

Has Twenty20 watered down the fast bowler?

Hadlee It is a very destructive game for all cricketers, honestly. They get into bad habits. What sort of rhythm can you get into by bowling four overs in two different spells when you have got only 12 minutes to bowl in a match? You cannot become efficient with restriction and limitation in the game like that.

Roberts If you have a good fast bowler, he would be more effective in Twenty20 cricket than anybody else. If you bowl a 95-100 mph delivery, it would be very, very difficult for anybody to slog you over long-on or long-off.

Dale Steyn exults after striking early in his spell, Deccan Chargers v Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2011, Hyderabad, May 5, 2011
Andy Roberts: "If you have a good fast bowler, he would be more effective in Twenty20 cricket than anybody else. If you bowl a 95-100 mph delivery it would be very difficult for anybody to slog you" © AFP
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Ambrose Twenty20 to me has a part to play in cricket because it is exciting and fans love excitement. But it is a game for batsmen, really. However, it should not affect the fast bowler because you are only bowling four overs maximum. As a matter of fact it could be a learning process for the bowler. Twenty20 can be a sort of stepping stone for a fast bowler to work out ways of containing the batsman when he is really going at you.

Has cricket generally made it harder for fast bowlers to succeed by protecting batsmen too much?

Ambrose There is nothing in it for the fast bowler. Modern-day cricket favours the batsman in every aspect. The pitches are mostly flat and not conducive to fast bowling. Then they have this one-bouncer-per-over rule.

McGrath I do not mind it too much. Hopefully the rules do not change too much. At the end of the day you have to be able to adjust. As a bowler you cannot just say, this is the way I bowl. If the rules change, you adjust accordingly.

I am very much a traditionalist. The way it is being played, I prefer to keep it that way. The modern-day cricketer is playing the same game we played 10, 20, 50, 100 years ago. There have been a few rule changes in this time, but I am fine.

Rice It has even become harder for fast bowlers bowling at tailenders, because now they bat with the helmet on and all the padding in the world. When we bowled at them I would say to the tailender, "Are you trying to prove you are a batsman? If you are I am going to hit you in the head.

A harsh lesson for Pakistan to learn

Predictably the conviction of Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif on cricket corruption charges is producing hurt, bitterness, resentment and embarrassment in Pakistan. Former cricketers have appeared on television saying it is all a matter of shame. Fans are angry Pakistani stars have been ensnared by the British legal and penal system.

These are natural emotions provoked by unprecedented events, but sometimes you have to chop off a gangrenous limb to save a life. Losing the limb is painful, even debilitating. Yet it must be done for survival. Pakistan's convicted spot-fixers represent the gangrene that had been eroding the fabric of Pakistan's game. It hardly seems a coincidence that, following their exit from the team, Pakistan's fortunes on the field have improved.

Just as the salvaged patient and his family need to be grateful to the surgeon who performs the amputation, Pakistan cricket and those who love it owe a debt of gratitude to the News of the World and its clever investigative team. Were it not for this now-defunct tabloid's brilliant sting, we would still be in denial.

Over the years, several other cricketing names have been implicated in the treacherous schemes of rigged cricket outcomes, but prior to today nothing had been proven in this manner. South Africa captain Hansie Cronje's being convicted resulted from a confession, not prosecution. By far the most important reason why Butt and Asif are now facing prison terms is the penetrating quality of the media exposé that brought them down. Pakistani fans who are upset that their compatriots have been specifically targeted should understand that ultimately Butt and Asif fell victim to the weight of the evidence against them, not to any kind of national or other form of discrimination.

Corruption is notoriously difficult to establish. At one level this means that whatever is proven in a court of law, like today, represents the tip of the iceberg. Judging from the copious amounts of hearsay and innuendo related to match-fixing and spot-fixing that cricket followers have experienced in recent years, it could be a very large iceberg indeed. They may be the only ones who have been caught, but it is likely Butt and Asif are not the only ones involved, and this is surely not the only instance.

A major benefit of this guilty verdict is its value as a deterrent for would-be fixers. Butt and Asif are crooks on a grand scale, and must be sentenced and stigmatised accordingly. Granted they are not murderers or violent criminals, but they heartlessly trampled the innocent expectations of a hopeful nation. That is a close second.

The fight against corruption in cricket is far from over. In fact - with due respect to the ICC's ACSU and other related efforts to date - it has quite possibly just begun. Implications of the verdict against Butt and Asif are multiple and far-reaching, starting with the paradigm shift that corruption in cricket is no longer just a conspiracy theory. Take a moment to let that sink in. We have cherished cricket as a gentleman's game and revered it as a metaphor for morality. It is neither. Yet berating cricket as a sport would be the equivalent of blaming the victim of a rape. The fault lies with corrupt players and the corrupt bookies who entice, seduce and mislead them.



It is fortunate that the dynamics of the situation have taken the matter out of Pakistan's hands. Pakistani Test cricketers are about to go to jail in a foreign country for something they did on the field of play. This is not something you can brush under the carpet



Significantly this verdict provides an opening into the demand side of spot-fixing's supply-demand equation. So far all the anti-corruption hoopla from cricket administrators has focused on the dishonest players who provide the spot-fixing services. The crooked gamblers and shady punters who have created such an overwhelming demand for these services have been left untouched. The ICC and its member cricket boards now have an ideal opportunity to expand investigative probes into this murky betting underworld. They will have at their disposal powerful global entities such as Interpol, as well as local law enforcement agencies in all the Test-playing nations. At the core of rigged cricket betting is an engine of organised crime. It must be searched out wherever it exists, and it must be killed. And safeguards must be put in place that provide the game with enduring protection from this evil. A good deal has already been done in this regard, but Butt's and Asif's guilt reveals that it has not been enough.

Pakistan cricket has proved itself to be resilient before, and in all likelihood will do so yet again. Since the forfeited Oval Test of 2006, this team has suffered doping scandals, petty administrators, a coach found inexplicably dead in his hotel room, terrorism against a visiting team, and - for the foreseeable future - inability to play at home. The team's upswing following last year's infamous Lord's Test, when the spot-fixing disgrace initially broke, suggests it has moved on.

This is a welcome sign, but it comes with a critical caveat: nothing is to be gained by moving on unless there are lessons learned. In a sense it is fortunate that the dynamics of the situation have taken the matter out of Pakistan's hands. Pakistani Test cricketers are about to go to jail in a foreign country for something they did on the field of play. This is not something you can brush under the carpet. It is a lesson that will be learned, even if forcibly. Circumstances leave little choice.

Apart from Butt and Asif, other Pakistan players have been named. None of them is currently in the team. Depending on the continuing fallout of this ongoing crisis, they could remain sitting out for a long time, perhaps forever. Pakistan cricket is lying with its underbelly bared in the blinding glare of spectator attention and media spotlight. Forget actual wrong-doing, this team cannot risk even the remote perception of wrong-doing. That, if nothing else, promises to keep tricky behaviour in check. That can only be good news for Pakistan cricket and its fans.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Mohammad Saad, bowlers lead Lahore Ravi to big win

Lahore Ravi completed a whopping innings and 185-run victory over Quetta within three days at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Mohammad Saad went on to add over a 100 runs to his overnight score of 84 and steered the hosts to 487 for 9. He fell for 188, but by then Lahore Ravi had secured a 315-run first-innings lead. Emmad Ali and Asif Ashfaq then went on to destroy the Quetta top order, while Waqas Aslam polished off the tail. If it hadn't been for an unbeaten fifty from captain Taimur Khan, the margin of defeat would have been much worse for Quetta.

On the third day at the Niaz Stadium in Sind, Karachi Whites' bowlers set their team up for an easy, big win against Hyderabad. Hyderabad had resumed on 161 for 5 in reply to Karachi Whites' 371, and promptly collapsed in the morning session. They folded for 197 courtesy incisive spells from Tabish Khan and Ali Mudassar, Karachi Whites' new-ball pair. Akbar-ur-Rehman enforced the follow and another collapse ensued. In their second innings Hyderabad went from 43 for 0 to 111 for 8, before a half-century stand between Mir Ali and Zahid Mahmood prevented an innings' defeat. Spinner Faraz Khan was the pick of the bowlers this time round, claiming 4 for 68. Ali fell for 86 just prior to stumps, as Hyderabad finished 36 ahead with one wicket in hand.

United Bank Limited (UBL) set Lahore Shalimar an imposing target of 385, and then prised out two wickets late on day three to edge ahead at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. UBL's first-innings' lead of 112 was built on by their opener Mohammad Sami, who made 110 and they declared at 272 for 5. Lahore Shalimar's openers looked settled in - they had put on 62 - before a double-strike from left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti left them wobbling at stumps.

Akbar Badshah and Jamaluddin put on a century partnership to steer Peshawar into a position of dominance against Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) at the Arbab Niaz Stadium in Peshawar. The pair's stand was the backbone of the host's second innings and, though they folded for 196, gave them a 300-run lead. Bilawal Bhatti was the pick with the ball, completing a five-for. SNGPL were then in big trouble at 31 for 3, before a steadying, unbroken 61-run partnership between Khurram Shehzad and Ali Waqas took them to 92 for 3 at stumps, setting up an interesting final day.

Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) took control of their game against Multan on the second day at the Multan Cricket Stadium. Their new-ball pair of Yasir Arafat and Rahat Ali combined to restrict the hosts to 129 in their first innings, in reply to 304. Multan was made to follow on and lost three wickets cheaply again. Moinuddin, though, scored Multan's first half-century of the match and went to stumps unbeaten. He will be a key if they are to wipe out the 98-run deficit on day three and make KRL bat again in this game.

Mohammad Saad, bowlers lead Lahore Ravi to big win

Lahore Ravi completed a whopping innings and 185-run victory over Quetta within three days at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Mohammad Saad went on to add over a 100 runs to his overnight score of 84 and steered the hosts to 487 for 9. He fell for 188, but by then Lahore Ravi had secured a 315-run first-innings lead. Emmad Ali and Asif Ashfaq then went on to destroy the Quetta top order, while Waqas Aslam polished off the tail. If it hadn't been for an unbeaten fifty from captain Taimur Khan, the margin of defeat would have been much worse for Quetta.

On the third day at the Niaz Stadium in Sind, Karachi Whites' bowlers set their team up for an easy, big win against Hyderabad. Hyderabad had resumed on 161 for 5 in reply to Karachi Whites' 371, and promptly collapsed in the morning session. They folded for 197 courtesy incisive spells from Tabish Khan and Ali Mudassar, Karachi Whites' new-ball pair. Akbar-ur-Rehman enforced the follow and another collapse ensued. In their second innings Hyderabad went from 43 for 0 to 111 for 8, before a half-century stand between Mir Ali and Zahid Mahmood prevented an innings' defeat. Spinner Faraz Khan was the pick of the bowlers this time round, claiming 4 for 68. Ali fell for 86 just prior to stumps, as Hyderabad finished 36 ahead with one wicket in hand.

United Bank Limited (UBL) set Lahore Shalimar an imposing target of 385, and then prised out two wickets late on day three to edge ahead at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. UBL's first-innings' lead of 112 was built on by their opener Mohammad Sami, who made 110 and they declared at 272 for 5. Lahore Shalimar's openers looked settled in - they had put on 62 - before a double-strike from left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti left them wobbling at stumps.

Akbar Badshah and Jamaluddin put on a century partnership to steer Peshawar into a position of dominance against Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) at the Arbab Niaz Stadium in Peshawar. The pair's stand was the backbone of the host's second innings and, though they folded for 196, gave them a 300-run lead. Bilawal Bhatti was the pick with the ball, completing a five-for. SNGPL were then in big trouble at 31 for 3, before a steadying, unbroken 61-run partnership between Khurram Shehzad and Ali Waqas took them to 92 for 3 at stumps, setting up an interesting final day.

Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) took control of their game against Multan on the second day at the Multan Cricket Stadium. Their new-ball pair of Yasir Arafat and Rahat Ali combined to restrict the hosts to 129 in their first innings, in reply to 304. Multan was made to follow on and lost three wickets cheaply again. Moinuddin, though, scored Multan's first half-century of the match and went to stumps unbeaten. He will be a key if they are to wipe out the 98-run deficit on day three and make KRL bat again in this game.

Not the Johnson of '09, but a fine imitation

To watch Mitchell Johnson zip the ball through at pace on a bouncy Potchefstroom pitch, to see him curve the ball just enough to trouble the batsmen, it was impossible not to think back to his tour of South Africa in early 2009. On that trip, Johnson was at times unplayable, his combination of aggression, speed and swing a menace to South Africa's strong batting line-up.
At the time, it seemed Johnson could have been anything. In the two and a half years since, he has been everything: hero, villain, leader, follower, superstar, nobody. Back then he was the spearhead, the new-ball star who had just demolished Graeme Smith's men - and his hand - in Australia.
A new-look Australian attack was being built around him, but within two years he was being fitted in around the rest of the bowling group. On the last day before his thirtieth birthday, Johnson showed that he can still deliver some of those same traits that made him a champion in 2009, with his effort against South Africa A.
There was a hint of his aggression, when he banged in a bouncer that JP Duminy couldn't escape, his bat fending the ball down accidentally. There were moments of swing, perhaps most impressively an inswinging yorker that ended the innings by bowling the No.11 Marchant de Lange. And there was speed that troubled both batsmen and the wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, who at least once failed to get his hands in position in time to collect Johnson's delivery.
It wasn't the Johnson of 2009, but it was a recognisable imitation. Admittedly, the conditions could hardly have been more helpful. Peter Siddle was equally difficult for the South Africans to handle, and Vernon Philander troubled Australia's batsmen later in the day. Australia went in without Pat Cummins and Ryan Harris, both of whom would have thrived on the surface.
"We could have played all five [fast bowlers]," Johnson said at the end of day on which he took 4 for 38. "It looked like a bit of a WACA wicket ... You could see how much bounce there was and how much carry, there were a few balls that really took off today. Fast bowlers always love seeing that.
"There was a little bit of up and down [bounce]. It seemed like there was a spot from the top end that if you hit it back of a length it just went through a little bit low and if you bowled a touch fuller it was jumping. Especially with the newer ball it was doing that more so, and their boys did the same sort of thing, getting that bit of extra bounce as well."
Not that Johnson bowled with a very new ball. He hasn't had that job for some time: only three times in the past 18 months has he opened the bowling for his country in a Test. At first change he has been able to settle in to his rhythm without the pressure of being expected to curve the new ball like a hoop. And despite his love of South African conditions, it might not be something that changes on this tour.
"I'm happy to bowl wherever I'm needed for the team," he said. "I'd love to bowl with the new ball. If I get the opportunity to in the second innings I'll definitely put my hand up for it. I've bowled first change for a while now, especially in one-day cricket it's probably been my strong point. We'll wait and see.
"It didn't really swing as much with the new ball for myself. I got a couple to swing, but I found that it swung a little bit later on when I came on for my second spell. Peter Siddle said the same thing, he said it was swinging a little bit more as well. It's almost like English conditions, where you get the lacquer off the ball and get a nice shine on it, and it swings a bit more."
Johnson picked up two lbws in the top order, neither of which swung dramatically, and his delivery that bowled Robin Peterson was angled in to the left-hander. But Johnson is at his most dangerous when his variety surprises the batsmen, and that was the case on the first day in Potchefstroom.
Come the Cape Town Test, the conditions may not suit him quite as well, with a slower Newlands pitch likely. But he will love bowling at the Wanderers in the second Test. He took eight wickets in a Test there two and a half years ago and was Man of the Match, then ultimately Player of the Series.
He is not the same Mitchell Johnson that he was last time he visited South Africa, but he's performing a reasonable impersonation. For now, after his ups and many downs since the 2009 Ashes, the Australians will take that.

Guptill, Taylor put NZ in control on flat pitch

New Zealand 275 for 3 (Guptill 109, Taylor 76*, Williamson 49) v Zimbabwe
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Martin Guptill acknowledges the applause for his second Test century, Zimbabwe v New Zealand, only Test, Bulawayo, 1st day, November 1, 2011
Martin Guptill paced New Zealand's innings with a century but threw it away towards the end of the day 
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Matches: Zimbabwe v New Zealand at Bulawayo
Series/Tournaments: New Zealand tour of Zimbabwe
Teams: New Zealand | Zimbabwe


New Zealand's batsmen had the opportunity to dominate Zimbabwe on a lifeless Bulawayo surface but a cautious approach against restricting lines and fielders in run-saving positions limited their first day of Test cricket since January 2011 to a good one. With the bowling mostly as flat as the pitch, a gifted wicket in each session - including that of centurion Martin Guptill - let Zimbabwe escape from having a fruitless day, though they didn't help themselves by not taking the rare tough chances.


That New Zealand were three men down was due to Brendon McCullum's impatience, Kane Williamson's slowness in getting back into his crease and Guptill finding midwicket off a long hop. Ross Taylor and BJ Watling survived some close moments against the second new ball - the only time Zimbabwe's seamers created any sort of pressure - to end a solid, if unspectacular, day for their side.


Guptill and Taylor did not look like getting dislodged as they worked the bowling around in a 132-run stand for the third wicket, both men unwilling to do anything extravagant. Guptill batted with care, going without runs for prolonged periods as the Zimbabwe seamers bowled straight with either a short mid-off or short mid-on in place after lunch. With Ray Price bowling a leg-stump line from over the wicket, the onus was on New Zealand to either unsettle the bowling or make a mistake. They did neither, waiting for loose deliveries and putting them away.


After a quiet period, Guptill skipped out of the crease to loft Price inside-out over long-off for six to move to 99. A pulled boundary off a long hop gave him his second Test hundred but he was out soon after, pulling a similar one from Hamilton Masakadza straight to midwicket.


Guptill's dismissal was similar to the way his two team-mates had fallen before him. After Taylor opted to bat in friendly conditions, McCullum threw away the opportunity to make a big score when he dragged an attempted pull off Kyle Jarvis onto his stumps.


Williamson and Guptill carried on unfettered but Zimbabwe had another gift coming their way when Williamson was run-out after lunch in freakish fashion. He tried to avoid a throw to the wicketkeeper from the bowler Ray Price but ended up being just short of his crease as he dragged his foot back.


The placidity of the wicket was on display as early as the second over when consecutive deliveries from Njabulo Ncube - one of five debutants in the game - bounced in front of Regis Chakabva, keeping wicket as Tatenda Taibu played as a specialist batsman. Guptill soon warmed up with three fours in Jarvis' third over, the second of which flew on the up between backward point and gully.


Zimbabwe had a couple of chances against Guptill; once when a powerful drive off Price went through the bowler's hands at head height just before lunch and again when Price could not get down in time at short mid-on as a punch went through his legs. With the three fast bowlers failing to get anything out of the surface, Price bowled a lot of overs and even part-timers Masakadza and Malcolm Waller were pressed into action.


How easy it was for the batsmen was evident when Guptill just plonked his front foot out and smashed Price for a straight six. Williamson looked a lot more fluent than Guptill, using his feet to loft Price for consecutive boundaries and timing the ball into the gaps off the seamers till he became the second New Zealand batsman to give it away when no bowler looked like getting him out.


In his first Test as captain, Taylor batted safely, going hard only at the cut when offered width and driving pleasingly through the off side. He was fortunate when Chakabva missed a sharp diving chance down the leg side off the second new ball. Watling became the next man to be let off as stumps approached when neither of Price and Chakabva went for a thick edge off the persevering Jarvis as it flew between them.


On such an unresponsive pitch, the excellent over-rate was the only thing going for Zimbabwe as New Zealand dictated the flow of proceedings, albeit at a leisurely pace.

Eden curator has a dig at Dhoni's 'ugly wicket' remark

Kolkata, Oct 27 (IANS) Veteran curator Prabir Mukherjee hit back at Mahendra Singh Dhoni for terming the Eden Garden's wicket for the fifth cricket ODI against England 'ugly looking', asking how could the Indian captain then bat for so long and top score in the match.


'He knows good English. He has the liberty to express his views. But I would only say had the wicket been 'ugly', how is it that the opening batsmen of both sides did well? How is it that Dhoni himself played for so long,' septuagenarian Mukherjee told IANS.


Mukherjee said considering the fact that it was a virgin wicket and international matches are not played at Eden Gardens at this time of the year, the 22 yards did behave well.


'I did not see any problem. England bowled very well to take the Indian top order. Problem is one always wants to get the wicket of his choice. If one does not get it, then it's a bad wicket, though facts may be to the contrary,' he said.


Batting in the first session, Indian openers Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane put on 80 runs following which India lost three wickets in quick succession before Dhoni blazed an unbeaten 75 to pilot India to 271/8.


In reply, England openers skipper Alastair Cook and Craig Kieswetter gave their team a sound start during a rollicking 129 run stand before England lost their way to the Indian spinners and folded for 175 to lose the match and finish on the wrong side of a 5-0 whitewash in the ODI series.


Dhoni, however, expressed his disappointment with the track at the post-match prize distribution ceremony, saying his team was fortunate to score 270-plus runs.


'If you see the wicket, you don't get the same kind of confidence. To some extent, it was a very ugly looking wicket. Once you are not really set, one ball can spin or keep low, the reverse swing the bowlers were getting in the afternoon, it was very difficult to score runs. We are fortunate to score 270-plus runs on a wicket like this.'

TIMELINE - Pakistan spot-fixing scandal

LONDON (Reuters) - Timeline of the Pakistan corruption scandal which resulted in former test captain Salman Butt and pace bowler Mohammad Asif being found guilty of corruption in a British criminal court on Tuesday. A third player, Mohammad Amir, pleaded guilty before the start of the trial.


Aug. 29 2010 - Police confiscate the trio's mobile phones after allegations in The News of the World that they had arranged for deliberate no-balls to be bowled in the fourth test against England at Lord's. Their agent, Mazhar Majeed, is arrested and released on bail.


Aug. 30 - Pakistan slump to the heaviest defeat in their test history, losing the series 3-1. Manager Yawar Saeed says the one-day series, involving two Twenty20 matches and five one-day internationals, will go ahead.


Sept. 1 - BoomBoom, official kit suppliers to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), announce they have suspended their commercial relationship with Amir and are reviewing their position with the board.


Sept. 2 - Saeed tells reporters before a warmup match against Somerset at Taunton that Butt, Amir and Asif will take no further part in the tour. The decision is welcomed by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke. The three players attend a meeting at the Pakistan High Commission in London. High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan tells reporters the trio had maintained their innocence but had asked the PCB to pull them out of the remainder of the tour because of the "mental torture" they had undergone.


Later in the day, the ICC release a statement saying the three players had been suspended under its anti-corruption code and face possible life bans.


Sept. 3 - The three are questioned separately by London police. ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat tells a news conference at Lord's that the sport faces its worst crisis since the 2000 match-fixing scandal which resulted in life bans for international captains Hansie Cronje (South Africa), Salim Malik (Pakistan) and Mohammad Azharuddin (India).


Sept. 4 - The News of the World quotes Pakistan opener Yasir Hameed as saying match-fixing was rife in the team. Hameed denies ever speaking to the Sunday tabloid. The newspaper also says a fourth, unidentified Pakistan player is being investigated.


Sept. 5 - Hameed attends a meeting at the Pakistan High Commission and afterward issues a statement saying he was duped into speaking to The News of the World.


Sept. 10 - Butt, Amir and Asif return home after agreeing to return to England if requested to help with the police investigation.


Sept. 14 - Police interview Pakistan pace bowler Wahab Riaz.


Sept. 18 - Lorgat issues a statement saying an investigation had been launched into the scoring pattern in Pakistan's innings in the third one-day international at the Oval on the previous day. Pakistan had won by 23 runs.


Sept. 20 - The ECB threaten legal action against PCB chairman Ijaz Butt after he suggests the England team had been bribed to lose at the Oval. Riaz and England batsman Jonathan Trott clash in the nets before play begins in the fourth one-day match at Lord's.


Sept. 23 - ECB say they will start immediate legal proceedings against Ijaz Butt unless he gives a "full and unreserved apology" for his allegations. Butt withdrew his allegations six days later.


Feb. 4 - Britain's Crown Prosecution Service charge Salman Butt, Asif, Amir and Majeed with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and with conspiracy to cheat.


Feb. 5 - Three-man ICC tribunal finds Salman Butt, Amir and Asif guilty of corruption. Butt is banned for 10 years, with five suspended, Asif for seven, with two suspended, and Amir for five.


Nov. 1 - Butt and Asif found guilty at Southwark Crown Court in London of "conspiracy to cheat" and "conspiracy to accept corrupt payments" for fixing part of a test match. It is later revealed Amir pleaded guilty before the start of the trial.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

England End India Tour On Winning Note

England 121-4 (Pietersen 53) beat
India 120-9 (Raina 39) by six wickets
Twenty20 International, Kolkata
Scorecard

England ended their dismal tour of India on a winning note by clinching a six-wicket win in the one-off Twenty20 International at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Kevin Pietersen defied a fractured thumb to score a fine half-century as England overcame India's score of 120 for nine with eight balls to spare.

On a slow track, India packed their side with batsmen and all-rounders but still failed to post a competitive score as Steven Finn returned three for 23, Tim Bresnan two for 19 and Ravi Bopara two for 16.

Samit Patel also took a wicket as only Suresh Raina (39 in 29 balls) and Ravichandran Ashwin (17 not out in 11) were able to dominate the bowling for any length of time.

Robin Uthappa made just one on his return to international cricket while Ajinkya Rahane's first Twenty20 International on home soil saw him fail to score while Ravindra Jadeja and Praveen Kumar also registered ducks.

In reply, Alex Hales (11) and Craig Kieswetter (12) gave England a good start but it needed Pietersen's stroke-filled 53 in 39 balls to put them into a winning position.

He hit five fours and three sixes before he was trapped in front by Raina but innings of 21 from Samit Patel, 14 not out from Bopara and two not out from Jonathan Bairstow were enough to ensure England took the spoils.


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Celebrity Interviews Video | Tamil Cinema Videos | Latest Trailers | Celebrity Videos | Tamil Actor and Actress Interview Video Clips

Kevin Pietersen Reprimanded For Dissent

England batsman Kevin Pietersen has been reprimanded by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for showing dissent during his side's Twenty20 International against India in Kolkata.
Pietersen set up England's six-wicket win with an innings of 53 in 39 balls but has been reprimanded for his reaction to being given out leg before wicket to Suresh Raina.
The charge was laid by standing umpires Sudhir Asnani and S. Ravi as well as third umpire Vineet Kulkarni and fourth umpire K. Srinath.
Pietersen pleaded guilty to the charge.
"As an experienced cricketer, Kevin should know that when the umpire raises his finger, a player should leave the crease without showing his emotions no matter what he may think of the decision," match referee Roshan Mahanama commented.

"In this case, Kevin displayed excessive and obvious disappointment at the decision which sent the wrong signals to all those watching the match at the ground and on television, and as such, merited some form of action."

Pakistan Win Fifth Hong Kong Sixes Title

Pakistan prevailed in the final over England to be crowned Hong Kong Sixes champions for a record-equalling fifth time on the final day in Kowloon. Sri Lanka and hosts Hong Kong were the losing semi-finalists.


10th Place Play-Off: Bangladesh 113-2 beat New Zealand 37 all out by 76 runs


The day began with a match between Hong Kong Women and China Women after which it was time for the 10th place play-off between Bangladesh and the under-performing New Zealand. Bangladesh piled up 113 after being asked to bat by the Kiwis with Rony Talakdar, Shabbir Rahman and Nazmul Hossain all passing 30 as Mumbai Indians bowler James Franklin leaked 30 runs off his single over. The Black Caps then slumped to 37 all out in reply as Rapash Baisya and Mosharraf Hossain each took two wickets.


9th Place Play-Off: South Africa 98-2 beat Australia 51 all out by 47 runs


Defending champions Australia capped a miserable tournament with defeat at the hands of South Africa. They were bowled out for just 51 in response to South Africa’s 98 as Matthew Hulett ended with figures of three for five from his solitary over. Earlier, Hulett and Dillon du Preez had both made unbeaten 40s as the Australians toiled in the heat.


First Quarter-Final: Sri Lanka 121-2 beat Woodworm All Stars 118-1 by 4 wickets


The first quarter-final was a high-scoring affair as Sri Lanka overhauled the All Stars’ total of 118 off the final ball of the match. Sanath Jayasuriya, Lou Vincent and Ryan ten Doeschate had all reached 30 for the All Stars as Sachith Shanaka went for 36 from his over. Opener Kusal Perera made 31 in the Sri Lankan run chase and Chathura Peiris and Dilshan Munaweera added 30s of their own, but it was left to captain Chamara Kapugedera to hit the last ball for six to see them home.


Second Quarter-Final: England 101-4 beat India 99-1 by 2 wickets


England’s cricketers made it two wins in less than 24 hours against India’s cricketers with a two-wicket win in the second quarter-final. Indian openers Mayank Agarwal and Dinesh Karthik both passed 30, but Rikki Clarke bowled a tidy penultimate over to pull things back for the English. Captain Rory Hamilton-Brown hit a nine-ball 34 in reply and Tom Smith hit three sixes in four balls as England won with two balls to spare.


Third Quarter-Final: Hong Kong 101-3 beat Scotland 100-0 by 3 wickets


Hong Kong continued their good form with a comfortable win over Scotland. Saltires openers Calum MacLeod and Preston Mommsen continued their excellent form in passing 30 as their side reached three figures from the final ball of their innings. It wasn’t enough as Hong Kong’s Munir Dar opened the innings with 24 from seven balls and Nizakat Khan hit five sixes on his way to a seven-ball 30.


Fourth Quarter-Final: Pakistan 87-4 beat Ireland 86-2 by 2 wickets


Eventual champions Pakistan booked their place in the semi-finals with a hard-fought win over a tenacious Ireland in the last quarter-final. Paul Stirling top-scored for the Irish in their total of 86 as Abdul Razzaq and Sohail Tanvir both conceded just 11 runs from their solitary overs. Umar Akmal bludgeoned an unbeaten 40 from only 10 balls in the Pakistani run chase as they got home with two balls to spare.


Before the start of the semi-finals, a Hong Kong Development side beat their Chinese counterparts by 30 runs in a six-a-side match.


First Semi-Final: England 101-2 beat Sri Lanka 94-3 by 7 runs


England held their nerve against a late onslaught from Chathura Peiris to win by seven runs and book their place in the final. Darren Stevens hit 32 from 10 balls before retiring and Rikki Clarke added late impetus with 34 from eight as England reached 101 from their five overs. Stevens then bowled an outstanding opening over and reduced Sri Lanka to six for two before Thisara Perera and Peiris got Sri Lanka close.


Second Semi-Final: Pakistan 116-3 beat Hong Kong 84-3 by 32 runs


Pakistan hammered Hong Kong in the second semi-final to set up a clash with England as they prevailed by 32 runs over the hosts. Umar Akmal continued his imperious form with a six-ball 34 and was helped by contributions of 25 from nine balls, 24 from seven and 22 from five from the trio of Sharjeel Khan, Abdul Razzaq and Hammad Azam as Pakistan reached 116. Razzaq then took two wickets in the opening over of the hosts’ run chase and they never really recovered in spite of a late valiant effort from Haseeb Amjad who ended with 38 from 10 balls.


Final: Pakistan 154-5 beat England 119-6 by 25 runs


So to the final, which consisted of five eight-ball over per side, and a comprehensive win for Pakistan. They batted first and amassed 154 as captain Abdul Razzaq and left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir both returned to record half-centuries and hit Rikki Clarke for 40 in his solitary over. None of England’s top-order got going as Umar Akmal took three wickets in the second over of the innings to peg them back after a relatively successful start. Tom Smith (29 from nine balls) and Peter Trego (32 from 10) gave them hope, but they were bowled out from the final ball for 119.


Pakistan skipper Abdul Razzaq was named Player of the Final, while their leading batsman Umar Akmal picked up the Ben Hollioake Trophy for Player of the Tournament.

Kirk And Fidel Edwards Put Bangladesh Under Pressure

West Indies 355 (K Edwards 121, Shakib Al Hasan 5-63) v
Bangladesh 204-7 (Shakib Al Hasan 73, F Edwards 5-58)
Second Test, Dhaka, day two
Scorecard | Day One


Edwards Kirk and Fidel put the West Indies into a strong position on day two of the second and final Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka with a century and a five-wicket haul respectively.


26-year-old Kirk scored his second Test century in just his third match as the West Indies were bowled out for 355 and Fidel's return of five for 58 - his 11th five-wicket haul - heaped the pressure on Bangladesh, who closed on 204 for seven.


Almost single-handedly keeping them within range of the tourists was Shakib Al Hasan, who himself took five for 63 and then top scored with 73 in Bangladesh's innings.


Edwards faced 273 balls on his way to 121 and his innings included 14 fours and two sixes while Marlon Samuels (48) offered good support before Shakib removed both set batsmen as well as Carlton Baugh (6), Darren Sammy (1) and Fidel Edwards (9) to take his eighth five-wicket haul in Test cricket.


Fast bowler Fidel might have missed out with the bat but he soon tore into Bangladesh and had them reeling as he removed Tamim Iqbal (14), Imrul Kayes (29), Shahriar Nafees (7), Raqibul Hasan (0) and Mushfiqur Rahim (0) as the home side slumped to 59 for five.


Shakib, along with Naeem Islam, who made 45 before being run out, and Nasir Hossain, unbeaten on 34, helped revive the innings but he fell when he was bowled by leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo.


Debutant Suhrawadi Shuvo was unbeaten on two when stumps were called.


The series is level after the opening match, in which two full days were lost to rain, was drawn in Chittagong.

Dominant England Seal Series Victory Over South Africa 30 October 2011

England Women 121-3 (Taylor 40) beat
South Africa Women 118-2 (Brits 50) by 7 wickets
Third Twenty20 International, Potchefstroom
Scorecard


England Women completed an unbeaten tour of South Africa with a seven-wicket victory in the third and final Twenty20 International in Potchrfstroom.


After the second game in the three-match series was washed out, they added a 2-0 series win to a 3-0 One-Day International series win earlier this month.


Batting first, South Africa scored 118 for two but were swept aside as England reached 121 for three in just 15.5 overs.


Crizelda Brits top scored for the home side with 50 in 52 balls from the top of the order with Trisha Chetty (33), Chloe Tryon (18 not out) and Mignon du Preez (16 not out) also making handy contributions.


Brits was bowled by Arran Brindle and Chetty caught by Lydia Greenway off Jenny Gunn as excellent bowling from England kept runs at a premium - Georgia Elwiss and Laura Marsh conceding five runs per over or less.


In reply, England lost Marsh for two when she was bowled by Mazabatha Klaas but Charlotte Edwards (22 in 17 balls) and Sarah Taylor (40 in 28) took control of the innings and after Edwards was bowled by Tryon, Taylor added 76 for the third wicket with Greenway, who was unbeaten on 31.


Klaas had Taylor caught by Sunette Loubser but by then the damage had been done and it was left to Greenway and Brindle, who made nine in seven balls, to guide England to a comfortable victory.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Katich faces Cricket Australia sanctions

MELBOURNE, Australia —Cricket Australia said Saturday that former test opener Simon Katich will face possible sanctions under its code of behavior for making “detrimental public comment” about his strained relationship with captain Michael Clarke.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement he was “surprised and disappointed” to see comments made by Katich after new full-time national selector John Inverarity indicated the door was not closed to Katich for future selection.

On Friday, the 36-year-old Katich said a dressing room altercation he had with then vice-captain Clarke following the Sydney test against South Africa in 2009 would prevent him from ever playing again for Australia. Katich said the incident was a key factor behind his Cricket Australia contract not being renewed in June.
FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2010 file photo, Australia's Simon Katich reacts as he walks back to the pavilion after losing his wicket during the first day of their second test cricket match against India, in Bangalore, India. Cricket Australia says former test opener Simon Katich has been reported under its code of behavior for making "detrimental public comment" about his strained relationship with captain Michael Clarke.

Katich, when asked about Inverarity’s comment that “the book is closed on nobody,” said: “It’s pleasing to hear, but I think you don’t have to be Einstein to figure out it’s not just the selectors that had a part in sending me on my way, so that’s one of those things.”

Asked who else played a part, Katich, who had a century for New South Wales in a domestic first-class match Friday, replied: “To be brutally honest, what happened in the dressing room here a few years ago probably didn’t help my cause.”

Cricket Australia said it “emphatically refutes any suggestion that Michael Clarke influenced the independent selection panel’s recommendations for the 2011-12 CA contract players’ list. The suggestions made by Katich are completely erroneous, inappropriate and unfair to Clarke, the selectors and to CA.”

Sutherland said details of Katich’s hearing will be released in the next few days.

Katich said Friday he had not spoken to Clarke about the incident.

Asked if he thought he would be part of the team while Clarke is still there, Katich said: “I wouldn’t have thought so, because that’s probably why I’m in this position in the first place.”

Clarke, speaking in Durban after Australia clinched the one-day series against South Africa, said he was not a selector when Katich had his contract cut.

“Since becoming a selector I’ve made it clear … that the door’s certainly not closed on anyone,” Clarke said. “But in saying that, I don’t think his comments are certainly helping him get back into this team at the moment.”

Katich has scored 4,188 runs at an average of 45.03 from 56 tests for Australia.

He was dropped from the national squad for the first time in 2007 and told that his test career was all but over. Katich responded by scoring a record 1,509 runs in the domestic Sheffield Shield, earning a test recall.


Ashraf wants international cricket in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan cricket's new chief Zaka Ashraf said Friday his main objective will be to bring international cricket back to his country after an attack by gunmen more than two years ago led to a boycott by touring teams.

Foreign sides have stayed away since March 2009 when gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore, leaving six police officers and a van driver dead.

"I will be working closely with our international partners to ensure that the millions of cricket loving Pakistanis are not denied the ability to watch their stars and the game they love on our country's soil," Ashraf said in a statement issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

"For that I intend to work closely with ICC, ACC (Asian Cricket Council) and other boards in order to ensure a good relationship with them. This would also help in confidence-building for their decisions to come and play in Pakistan."

Since 2009, Pakistan has played most of its 'home' matches in the United Arab Emirates.

As for the team, Ashraf thinks allrounder Shahid Afridi still has plenty to offer as a one-day player after coming out of international retirement.

Afridi quit international cricket after differences with former PCB chairman Ijaz Butt and ex-coach Waqar Younis. However, he made himself available for selection after Ashraf took over from Butt earlier this month and Younis stepped down for personal reasons.

"As a Pakistan national and as a cricket viewer I think Afridi is very good one-day player," Ashraf told reporters, adding that he would meet Afridi soon to discuss the player's future.

"He has contacted me, but I could say something only after we both meet with each other."

Pakistan is currently playing a test series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates and it is likely Afridi's fate would be decided before the one-day series begins on Nov. 11 in Dubai.

Ashraf had talks with several PCB officials at its head office in Lahore on Friday and also plans to meet with various former test cricketers, including his favorite crickter-turned-politician Imran Khan.

"I want to develop consensus on how to move forward after meeting with legends," Ashraf said. "I am a very good listener."

Ashraf said he needed at least "two to three months" to settle down and study the working of the PCB.

For well over a decade, the PCB has been governed on an ad-hoc basis with the chairman appointed directly by the president of the country.

The International Cricket Council has set 2013 as the deadline for all the cricket boards to run their operations democratically.

Ashraf successfully headed Pakistan's top agricultural bank — Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) — for three years before being appointed as PCB chairman.

England Beats India by Six Wickets to Avoid Cricket Tour Sweep

England avoided being swept on its cricket tour of India with a six-wicket victory in a Twenty20 match in Kolkata.

Kevin Pietersen, playing with a broken thumb, scored 53 as England, the reigning world champion in the sport’s shortest form, reached its victory total of 121 with eight balls remaining.

Steve Finn took 3-22 as India was limited to 120-9 after winning the toss and electing to bat. Suresh Raina’s 39 was the top score for the host, which won 5-0 in the one-day series between the teams.

England earlier this week was named the No. 1 team in the first International Cricket Council Twenty20 rankings. It’s also the world’s top-ranked Test team.


disciplined Indian attack in the fourth ODI

Mumbai, Oct 23 (England failed to capitalise on a good start and were bowled out for 220 by a disciplined Indian attack in the fourth ODI at the Wankhede Stadium here Sunday.
Electing to bat, England were given a flying start by openers Alastair Cook (10) and Craig Kieswetter (29) but they kept losing wickets at regular intervals to get all out in 46.2 overs.

The visitors' fallibility against spin was once against exposed with Ravichandran Ashwin (3-38) and Ravindra Jadeja (2-41) picking five wickets among themselves on a slow turner. They were well complemented by debutant pacer Varun Aaron, who picked three for 24.
England started off with two successive maidens but captain Cook and Kieswetter soon started scoring at a fast clip to put up 39 runs in 5.6 overs.
Kieswetter came specially hard on R. Vinay Kumar, smashing him for a six and two fours in the fourth over, forcing the Indian skipper Mahendera Singh Dhoni to replace the pacer with off-spinner Ashwin.
The lanky spinner's first five deliveries were hammered for 15 runs by Kieswetter, but Ashwin, on the last ball, trapped Cook leg before with a straighter one to end the over on a high.
England slumped to 39/2 within two balls as Praveen Kumar slammed a low delivery into Kieswetter's pad to get him leg before.
Jonathan Trott (39) and Kevin Pietersen (41) looked to build on the start with their 73-run third wicket stand but Vinay Kumar, back for his second spell, castled Trott's stumps to separate the two.
Pietersen, a bit subdued on the slow surface didn't last long and pulled a ball from Ashwin straight into the hands of substitute fielder Manoj Tiwary.
Jadeja and Ashwin then ran through the middle order, striking thrice in six overs.
Tim Bresnan, with run-a-ball 45, pushed the score past 200 but Aaron, bowling consistently at 140 kph, knocked off the bails of the lower order thrice to dismiss the visitors with 23 balls remaining

Need to improve bowling - Dhoni

MS Dhoni, the India captain, has said India still need to improve in the bowling department after their 5-0 series victory over England at home. He expressed concern at the fact that India's seamers did not complete their allocated ten overs in many of the matches because they had given away too many runs. Both Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron impressed with their pace during the series but Dhoni said control was as important as bowling quick.


"Of course it's a great series win," he said after the fifth ODI in Kolkata. "But our fast bowlers could not bowl 10 overs in many of the matches and we have to realise that's where we have to get better. It's good to have guys bowling quick but they also need to be able to keep the runs down and not give away a boundary an over.


"Even though we've won at home, we need to realise that when we go abroad there may not be as much turn for our spinners and so we will not be able to win if our fast bowlers don't bowl well. In other countries our part-timers may not be as effective as they are here."


The series win comes just a month after India were thumped in both the Tests and one-dayers in England. Dhoni said the criticism his side received after that tour did not worry him as he knew Indians were passionate about cricket and bound to react to a loss.


"It happens: you are appreciated when you do well and that should be taken with an open heart. I was not too worried about criticism. We know cricket is big in India. It's a part of our life."


India went into the ODI series against England with several senior players missing through injury, and Dhoni said while the influx of young players helped sharpen the fielding, the seniors were still needed. "It's difficult to replace the seniors talent-wise. But these youngsters have clicked as a unit. They are slightly better fielders. They may save 8-10 runs which matter in ODIs. They have reacted in the right way and been patient in waiting for opportunities to turn things their way. But we really can't really replace Sachin [Tendulkar], [Virender] Sehwag and Yuvraj [Singh]."


Dhoni was named Man of the Series after scoring 212 runs without being dismissed in the five games. He said that he would not be moving up the order, though, since he had adjusted his game to batting in the middle order. "The format of the game has changed. Now, with the Powerplays split, the situations are different. We have to be good at the slog overs and rotate strike as well. I have changed my style of batting. At No. 3 you can be flamboyant but at 5 and 6 you have to be careful."


India will play a Twenty20 international against England in Kolkata on October 29 and the organisers will be hoping for a larger crowd after disappointing turnouts over the one-dayers. An overdose of cricket and the absence of some star players were the reasons Dhoni pointed out for the empty rows in the stands at Eden Gardens. "We have played a lot of cricket in India: the World Cup, IPL and then the Champions League T20 were held here. Big stars like Sachin were missing from this series. This is also one of the biggest stadia in India so it's not easy to get a jam-packed crowd every time."