Posts filed under ‘India’
Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, and Zaheer Khan were all notable absentees from India’s ICC Champions Trophy squad for this summer’s tournament, casting doubt over the future of the experienced trio’s international future.
Pragyan Ojha and Cheteshwar Pujara were another two big name players to miss out on the 30-man party that will travel to England for the final ever Champions Trophy.
While the omission of Harbhajan and Zaheer may not have been massive surprises considering both have been missing from the one-day side for some time now, there were more than a few raised eyebrows when it emerged Sehwag wouldn’t be in the squad.
Despite struggling with his form since the turn of the year, many cricket betting news outlets expected India to keep Sehwag at the top of the order for a tournament India will feel they can win.
It’s clear the selectors are focusing on looking to the future, but it still seems an odd decision to leave out a batsman who just two years ago hit the highest ODI score with his sensational 219 against the West Indies.
Fellow Test outcast Gautam Gambhir will travel to England after being named in a squad which also includes a number of untested youngsters in Jalaj Saxena, Siddharth Kaul, Kedar Jadhav and Ishwar Yadav.
Fit-again Umesh Yadav and Praveen Kumar have also been included among the 30 man party which will be cut down to a final 15 in May before the tournament begins the following month.
And there is a place for Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder Parvez Rasool, who makes history as the first player from the troubled region to join the senior international ranks.
For fans taking advantage of an in-play bet offer; this Indian squad still has enough quality in it to cause any team problems, and not many would rule India out of mounting a real challenge in this year’s tournament.
England players have been left scratching their heads in recent days as they try and work out why the side has lost form so dramatically in their one-day series with India.
After their thrilling victory in the opening game at Rajkot there was real belief among the squad as well as punters at Betfair.com that England’s sub-continent woes had been put behind them.
However, the home side have strolled to victory in the following two matches, culminating in Sunday’s joyous win in Ranchi, captain MS Dhoni’s home town.
England were skittled out for just 155 in that game, failing again to spin bowling, with Ravi Jadeja taking three key wickets in the heart of the England innings. The fact Jadeja was not generating much turn, on a relatively flat pitch, puts the technique of England’s batsmen in the spot-light
It was England’s lowest score batting first in a completed one-day international since they made 146 against New Zealand in the Champions Trophy in Johannesburg in 2009, some 68 matches ago.
So what went wrong? Well it appears the middle order struggle if the opening few batsmen do not get things off to a decent start.
Though there has been plenty of work gone into spin bowling, it appears England’s confidence is fragile and old habits rise to the surface when the pressure is on and wickets are falling.
While that puts pressure on the likes of Alastair Cook and Ian bell at the top of the order, those below them should start to take responsibility.
The performance of young rookie Joe Root, who hit 39, was a major positive, other, more experienced team-mates would do well to take not of the composure shown by the young Yorkshireman in the fourth ODI in Mohali on Wednesday.
England head to New Zealand next month, make sure you check out their T20 odds at Betfair.
England’s hopes of securing a confidence-boosting ODI series win over India suffered a huge shock on Tuesday after Alastair Cook’s side crumbled to a 127-run defeat in Kochi.
Having come into the game off the back of their first one-day victory against India in 13 attempts, the visitors were slight favourites in the India v England betting to make it 2-0 in the five-match series. They were even on course to achieve such a feat as India feared an embarrassing loss themselves – at one point being 174-4 with a few overs remaining.
Yet a staggering 82 runs off the final six overs soared India’s score to a respectable, yet nevertheless still beatable, 285-6. Seamers Steven Finn and Jade Dernbach took two wickets each but that was as much as England could boast as captain MS Dhoni (72) and Ravindra Jadeja (61 not out) knocked 82 from 36 deliveries to force India back in the game.
England still must have sensed their chance but when Ian Bell fell for a single the warning sirens began to sound. Kevin Pietersen steadied the ship before Cook fell for 17, and when Joe Root and Chris Woakes went in the same over to Jadeja, the tourists’ spine was broken as they made just 158.
The embarrassing 127-run loss was the second worst ever ODI defeat to India in England’s history and gives Cook and co. a major reality check heading into the next three matches. England are unlikely to change their XI and to be honest they shouldn’t, for their batting display will have ruined any confidence mustered from that first match outing and those who flopped in Kochi must be given a chance to redeem themselves.
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The result of warm-up games are largely irrelevant and quickly forgotten once the real action starts, but the manner of England’s two ODI defeats this week must be causing Ashley Giles some alarm.
England’s new limited overs coach, taking the role as part of a new job-share arrangement with Andy Flower, will demand improvement ahead of the first ODI in Rajkot after six and nine wicket defeats in the space of two days, even though he knows the India v England betting is against his side given their recent wretched record there.
At least the displays are going in the right direction, well beaten by India A on Sunday, England at least put up a fight against Delhi.
Ian Bell was the stand out figure, top scoring with 108 (to go with his 91 on Sunday) and sharing a partnership of 113 with Eoin Morgan.
Their total of 294-5 is certainly competitive and one that suggests the batsmen are starting to get to grips with the sub-continent pitches once more.
However, that hefty total looked smaller with each passing over as Delhi got struck into their task diligently, Dhawan and Chand getting them off to the perfect start with an opening stand of 98.
Dhawan struck an impressive 110 off just 109 balls but his dismissal simply roused Delhi further, with Milind Kumar (78 not out) and Rajat Bhatia (45 not out) seeing the hosts to victory by six wickets.
The main worry for captain Alastair Cook was the inconsistencies of Steve Finn, Stuart Meaker and Chris Woakes.
With James Anderson, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad at home, Cook has not real go-to man he can rely on, meaning some of England’s younger stars need to get to grips with international cricket quickly if they are to defy the cricket betting and inflict a debut defeat on new boss Giles.
Andy Flower was quick to hail his England side’s character after securing a historic series victory in India. The head coach watched on as his charges played out a draw in the fourth Test in Nagpur, sealing the series 2-1 and breaking 27-year wait to achieve the feat on Indian soil.
Flower and new captain Alastair Cook bounced back from an opening Test thumping in Ahmedabad, rallying the squad to bounce back with impressive victories in Mumbai and Kolkata. The draw in the fourth Test was enough to condemn India to their first home series defeat to England since 1985, just weeks after the cricket betting news had written them off.
Flower came in for his fair share of criticism following that nine-wicket defeat at the start of the series, and seeing his squad turn things around with some sensational cricket left the coach proud of what the team had achieved.
“It’s a great achievement for the boys. They’ve really done themselves and their country proud here, to come out here and show that they’ve learned things has been one of the special things about this victory,” said Flower.
“They’ve learned how to play spin a lot better. They’re obviously not the finished articles but they’ve also learned how to take 20 wickets in these conditions and how to be resilient. Those are all things they can be very proud of.”
The entire management can be very pleased with how the past few months have gone. Handling the return of Kevin Pietersen as well as preparing a team capable of beating the Indians on their own patch, Flower and Cook have proved they are capable of leading this England team back to the number one spot in the Test rankings.
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Ian Bell put to bed an erratic year in Test whites with a fantastic century to steer England to a 2-1 series victory against India this week. Coming into day five of the fourth Test needing to see out the draw, Bell showcased his patient side in a neat 116 from 306 balls.
While England rightly celebrated their first series win on Indian soil in 28 years, Bell will secretly be relieved he managed to contribute when it finally mattered. For Bell has not had the best of series after failing to score more than 28 in five previous innings before that ton.
He lost his place as sixth man after the first Test in Ahmedabad, falling for a duck and 22. Recalled for the third in Kolkata he made just 33 combined and his single in the first innings in Nagpur suggested this was a man out of form. In his column for Betfair Michael Vaughan suggested Bell could soon be out of the side.
Yet that composed 116 guided the England ship home, enough to earn the draw that was always in danger of slipping away from the tourists should India step up a gear.
Bell will be further pleased when considering his poor performances for the England Test side in 2012. He was part of the order that fell for just 72 all out against Pakistan in January and made just 51 in the three-match series. Yet an impressive three half-centuries against West Indies when England needed him most proved Bell’s durability in this side and meant he kept his place for the South Africa series.
Two half-centuries against the Proteas wasn’t really enough on home soil and Bell’s place was under severe threat with the emergence of Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root and the eventual return of Kevin Pietersen.
Yet Bell kept plodding away and rightly deserves credit for his century in this final Test of the year. 2013 will be a real marker of Bell’s ability, however, with a number of players competing for places for the back-to-back Ashes series (follow the link for cricket tips ahead of the Aussies’ arrival next summer).
Stuart Broad’s nightmare tour of India got worse this week after he was sent for a scan on his heel after bowling in the practice nets in Nagpur.
England are gearing up for what could be their first Test series win on Indian soil in 27 years after taking the third match in Eden Gardens by seven wickets to go 2-1 up in the series. Selectors dropped Broad after the seamer recorded figures of 0/159 over matches in Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
He was hardly missed at Eden Gardens: Steven Finn providing adequate cover with four wickets in two innings. Indeed, there was real doubt in the sports betting news world that Broad would return to the side for the fourth Test and this injury has only confirmed his exclusion from captain Alastair Cook’s plans.
Yet England may suffer from a lack of cover should Broad’s injury prove serious, for after the Test series they are scheduled to play two T20s before Christmas. As T20 captain, it is imperative Broad plays a part in these limited-overs games if he is to develop his leadership and mould a team capable of bettering their poor ICC World Twenty20 performance in September.
For England will be up against a resurgent India still hurting from their pitfalls at the World T20 and know the conditions on the subcontinent resemble what they found in Sri Lanka. Broad was as mediocre as England that tournament, taking just seven wickets from five games as his side limped out in the Super Eight stage.
After a gruelling four-Test series England’s bowlers will require a rest, meaning Broad heads the bill and carries the expectations into these T20s. Hopefully the scan will reveal only light damage to his heel, for without their leader later this month England’s T20 side will get nowhere.
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The plaudits Alastair Cook has received after effectively winning England their second Test match in India at the weekend are completely justified. The captain not only captured a record 23rd England Test century at Eden Gardens but orchestrated a scintillating 122 in the second Test in Mumbai.
Cook as been resplendent in England whites this tour and suggestions from batting coach Graham Gooch that he could go on better Sachin Tendulkar come as no surprise.
“Potentially [Cook] could go onto that sort of level,” Gooch told BBC Sport. “I don’t think he’s reached his peak.
“He’s got a good game at the moment and the application of that game has been exceptional in the last two matches.”
Indeed, Gooch is right to place Cook in the same league as Tendulkar after the England captain’s impervious recent form. He notched up his fourth Test century of 2012, adding to the four earned last year. In the 2010/11 Ashes series alone he averaged 127 and became the youngest player to make 7,000 career runs at the age of just 27.
Although the humble Cook won’t admit it, he must be eyeing up Tendulkar’s record of 15,643 Test runs and 51 hundreds. Tendulkar has been the figurehead of Indian cricket for two decades and will always be remembered as a true great; although suffering a poor 2012 he hit 76 against England at Eden Gardens to confirm that, at 39, there’s still life in those arms.
The target for Cook is clear. He is just under halfway to Tendulkar’s runs total and needs to double his centuries to even come close to that record. En route he must pass Ricky Ponting, Australia’s greatest ever batsman with +13,000 runs himself.
To place Cook in such an elite band of players may be seen by some as a bold move, but there is no reason to believe Cook won’t become a cricketing legend when he retires in 10 years time.
England’s potential to make a successful recovery from their opening-match Test defeat to India last week lies in the most part to their bowling attack, according to former batsman Geoffrey Boycott.
Boycott spoke to BBC 5Live on Monday, a day after England’s three seamers proved ineffectual as the team fell to a nine-wicket loss, and revealed his views on where England went wrong.
“I don’t think we stood a chance of actually bowling India out,” Boycott said. “[India’s] two spinners took 13 of their wickets and they won, it’s as simple as that.
“It’s extremely rare to get a pitch that helps seamers in India. I’ve seen one at the Jubilee Test on 1980: Ian Botham got 10 wickets and we won.”
Boycott couldn’t be more correct in his denouncement of England’s seamers, who struggled terribly over the first Test: James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan mustering a pitiful one wicket from 72 overs. Something needs to change before the second Test in Mumbai later this week and Boycott advocates mirroring the opposition.
The former opener suggests dropping a fast bowler in place of another spinner to play alongside Graeme Swann: the only effectual threat in England’s arsenal with nine wickets in the first Test. Yet Swann cannot do it on his own and there are loud calls in England cricket betting markets for the reinstatement of Monty Panesar.
Now, Panesar has proven his ability to turn the ball for England and is seen as the obvious replacement for a seamer. However, he is out of international form and doesn’t have that batting ability that Anderson, Broad and Bresnan provide.
Captain Alastair Cook therefore has a difficult choice to make. None of the seamers impressed in the first Test and all are under threat of losing their place, but with Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow also available for cover, Cook has plenty of choice to make before they attempt to defy the England Cricket Betting in Mumbai.
Nick Compton did his case for a place in the England Test side no harm with a well-crafted half-century in the warm-up clash against Mumbai A. Compton is vying for a place in the Test side against Yorkshire opener Joe Root, and it was Somerset star who stood out in the second warm-up match of England’s tour of India.
The batsman is battling it out to fill the opener position left vacant following the retirement of Andrew Strauss, and a calm 64 against Mumbai may have convinced the selectors to hand Compton the chance in the opening Test in Ahmedabad.
Root made solid live scores of 28 and 24 in his two innings, but Compton showed he has the patience needed to make a score on a turning Indian pitch, recovering from a first innings duck to make a valuable 64 in the second innings.
“As a squad everyone is trying to vie for that place and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have an eye on that opening spot and take a bit of confidence from getting the nod in the first game,” the South African-born batsman admitted after the match.
“So obviously that probably was pretty disappointing not to have taken that initial chance. This innings was just nice to kick on and probably get a score that I did desperately need.”
Compton’s experience may prove the deciding factor which sees him get the nod over youngster Root, though the online gambling is struggling to separate them.
Whoever gets picked the pressure will be on to get his international career off to a running start in some of the toughest Test match conditions in the game.
Replacing Strauss will be a really tough ask for any batsman, it remains to be seen whether Compton is the one.