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Posts Tagged ‘shanthakumaran sreesanth’

It’s a cliche to say that you can’t judge a pitch until both sides have batted on it, but it certainly seems that India have made better use of the Kanpur pitch than Sri Lanka managed.

Sreesanth marked his comeback by tearing through the latter’s batting line-up, taking 5-75 as the tourists were bowled out 413 runs short of India’s first innings total, and then dismissing Dilshan in the second innings as Sri Lanka ended Day 3 on 57/4 following on, still 356 behind. He found movement off the seam in the morning session, reverse swing in the afternoon, and – perhaps most tellingly – consistency more or less throughout the day.

Given Sreesanth’s past temperament, it’s worth noting that, by and large, his trademark theatrics seem to have been absent today – perhaps Indian cricket’s prodigal son is ready to live up to his potential.

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Kings XI Punjab
Punjab have been relatively quiet in the transfer market, having added only Jerome Taylor, Ravi Bopara, and the previously obscure Burt Cockley. Sarwan has departed – having apparently only been on a one-year contract – and a number of key players will only play part of the season (Shaun Marsh, Brett Lee and James Hopes are all likely to be called away by Australia).

As with last season, much will rest on the shoulders of Yuvraj, who will be expected to provide batting pyrotechnics every time he plays. If he can find form whilst the Australians are unavailable, and Marsh can continue his impressive form from last year, then the Kings XI are capable of mounting a strong challenge.

Kolkata Knight Riders
The KKRs build-up has been dominated by talk of multiple or rotating captains, but the unusual situation has partly arisen out of the fact that the side has so many top-class players at its disposal. Chris Gayle is made for Twenty20 cricket, as is Brendon McCullum (who should be available for the whole season). David Hussey, Ricky Ponting and Ajantha Mendis will probably only play cameo roles, but home-grown talents such as Cheteshwar Pujara will be available throughout.

Sole auction signing Mashrafe Mortaza probably won’t alter the balance of the side much, but Umar Gul’s bowling will be missed, putting a lot of pressure on Ishant Sharma.

Mumbai Indians
A disappointing start last time around saw Mumbai fail to make the play-offs, and the Sreesanth slapping incident stirred controversy. He’s out with an injury, so discipline may be less of an issue in 2009. Dwayne Bravo’s recent form has been impressive, suggesting that he will be a key player with both bat and ball, and the additions of JP Duminy and Graham Napier should boost the batting.

Zaheer Khan has also come in for Robin Uthappa, whilst a number of the overseas players can offer something with both bat and ball, leaving the side well-balanced in the middle order. Harbhajan has so far failed to impress in Twenty20 cricket, but is likely to feature throughout.

Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan confounded a lot of people’s expectations with their victory last season, but key player Shane Watson could miss much of the 2009 season due to international call-ups. Tyron Henderson comes in as cover, but the lack of big-name players (Graeme Smith’s recovery from injury may also prove more costly for the Royals now that they have lost the element of surprise.

Rajasthan, of course, are nominally my team, so all the best to them.

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India have made a couple of eyebrow-raising call-ups in the last 12 months, and the latest is Dhawal Kulkarni, the precocious medium-pacer who featured in Mumbai’s recent Ranji Trophy success, having only made his debut in that competition in 2008.

Also called up is L Balaji, who completes a remarkable comeback from a stress fracture in 2005 that threatened to being his career to an end. More recently, he took the IPL’s first-ever hat-trick.

Where these selections leave the likes of RP Singh or Sreesanth (who, it has been brought to my attention, was recently voted the Sexiest Indian Vegitarian alive) isn’t entirely clear, but the tour of New Zealand could be a good opportunity for Kulkarni or Balaji to emerge as crucial elements of India’s attack.

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According to Wikipedia  (at time of writing, anyway), a beamer is “an uncommon (illegal) cricket delivery which reaches the batsman at head-height, without bouncing“.

A beamer from the likes of Sreesanth or Brett Lee (who has form for that sort of thing) can be particularly scary for a batsman, even if he’s Andrew Symonds.

That said, the beamer is a natural consequence of the serious quick bowler going full pelt, and it seems the habit dies hard.

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… since Friday (that youtube post was pre-set), and I come back to this.

Holy Cow. I guess that Harbhajan has always had something like this in him, but you’re never really ready to see a grown man cry.

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If catches win matches, then careless hands cost runs.

Dropped catches come in many types. Firstly, there’s your common-or-garden fumble, like this one which gave Sehwag a repreive.

Then there’s the ‘celebrating too soon‘, which has afflicted even the great Brian Lara.

Lara has much reason to bemoan his luck with the dropped catch, especially as he also fell victim to another type, the ‘hope no-one saw it‘, when he was dismissed even though Steve Waugh hadn’t taken the ball cleanly.

If you do drop a catch, don’t do what Sreesanth did and follow it up with an overthrow. That could be decribed as a ‘salt in the wound’ drop, which just makes you look silly.

Of all the drops, though, the most feared is the ‘beer drop’. Avoid this at all costs.

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