It was a blue brigade at the Wankhede stadium on 22nd December as India took on England in the second T20 match. There were lots of English supporters in the crowd cheering for their team.
This time around Shams n Wags were all out supporting India, unlike IPL matches where we both have separate favorite teams.As the match progressed, the crowd kept on pouring in. Although the stadium did not witness full occupancy, yet the entire Stadium was covered in Blue.
The spirits of the crowd were high and they kept on cheering for the Indian brigade. In between, there were some English supporters who were chanting ‘Barmy Army’
Even as Virat Kohli stepped in the ground, people started cheering for Kohli. It’s a treat to watch when a fielder is fielding at the boundary line. Be it Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina or Dinda, the crowd was cheering for them. Young Awana would have different story to tell though. He committed two blunders near the boundary for which he received ample stick from the crowd. As a result, he was intelligently removed from the boundary and was placed in some other position.
North Stand was chirpy as ever. I am sure that they would have given some ear music to the English fielders and ofcourse Awana.
Till 8 pm, people were flocking into the stands after waiting in the queue for more than an hour.There was a buzz in the ground with people blowing horns and whistling.The ultimate treat to the eye was the Mexican Wave followed by a huge roar.
The match went down the wire and on the last ball; entire crowd got stumped as Eoin Morgon hit Dinda for a six on the last ball when just 3 runs were required to win.
Its always a privilege to watch the match at Wankhede and the icing on cake is when Shams n Wags go and watch it together.
Many more opportunities to come and we will keep on writing more.
Sunday’s match will take us in flash back as India take on the defending champions England at the Premadasa. It was the first edition of the T20 World Cup in 2007, none other than our come back man, the ‘Yuvraj’ of Indian Cricket, belted Stuart Broad all over the park for maximum on all delivery in that over. Broad tried everything he could, in order to keep the ball with in the boundary limit, but all his efforts went in vain as the ball kept on crossing way beyond the boundary line. That ‘Broad’ over was the game changing moment of the match. Six-sixes in an over is a rare occasion and even more rare at an event such as World Cup. Ravi Shashtri‘s commentary was icing on the cake and we all are privileged that he was on air that moment.
Here are some of the zealous and exciting articulate lines from Shashtri:
“That’s huge, it’s a biggie”. “It’s smoke in the cloud”.”Just a flick of the wrist and off she goes into the crowd”.
“Second new ball has been taken as the first one is lying in the gutter”.”He has got the license to go for the full monty- six sixes”
Coming back to the current time, Yuvraj is looking fresh and strong and it does not give a feel that he has come back from cancer. He was out of cricket for more than a year. While playing for the T20 against New Zealand, he almost got India home. Had he stayed back on wicket, India would have won the match Against Afghanistan, he got wicket on the very first over. He was on a hat trick but could not get it. Yet he finished off with 3 wickets.
Indian top order is looking fragile at the moment with Sehwag and Gambhir failing to make partnership. It is just one man, if we might say so, Virat Kohli who is holding on the fort in every single match he is playing. Be it Test Match, ODI, T20 or warm-up match for that matter. He has proved every one that he is the right choice to Captain Indian side in near future.
The bowling attack looks very tired with Zaheer and Irfan not being able to create impact. Only the spin department is getting the wickets and holding on to the runs. In the fielding department, India has to hide Zaheer, Balaji and Ashwin in the field as they are amongst the slowest fielders.
What more to say about Rohit Sharma. He is enjoying his free vacation. It was surprising to see him bowl before Yuvraj and Ashwin. It was a pedestrian over in which he got clobbered for 10 runs.
It was pleasing to see Afghanistan putting up a brave show. They almost came closer towards the victory toying the Indian bowling attack. The key takeout is that they have to show patience and not throw away wickets.
England would give a fierce competition under the leadership of Stuart Broad.
Luke Wright, Stuart Broad, Morgan, Ravi Bopara, Gramme Swann are the key players for England.
Will history repeat? Will Yuvi will go for six sixes in an over is all we hope and pray for.
Till then keep watching the T20 Worldcup and keep following us on www.shamsnwags.com
The fourth edition of ICC T20 World Cup 2012 is scheduled to kick start on 19th September 2012. It’s the second biggest event after the IPL T20 2012 edition.For the first time it will be played in the sub continent. The first edition was held in South Africa,followed by England in the second year and West Indies in the third year.
This competition is played every year. India were the flying winners of the first edition under the leadership of Ms Dhoni who was just appointed as the T20 captain.The team that won the cup was considered to be the so called B team with big names like Sachin Tendulkar Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly not being part of the squad. India had very limited experience in the 20-20 format that time around.
We still remember the final ball catch taken by Sreesanth of Misba Ul Haq, who had almost won the match for Pakistan.
“I was blank. I did not feel anything,” Sreesanth said when asked about that catch which ignited a flurry of joy in the fans present in the ground and millions watching over the television. People do remember Sreesanth and Misbah for their heroics, but the unsung hero was Joginder Sharma, who bowled his heart out in the last over.
Coming back to this year’s edition, it’s going to be played in SriLanka, a very beautiful country to visit. 26 matches to be played over 18 days across 3 venues. The venues chosen for the matches are 1) R. Premadasa Staium, Colombo,2) Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium Hambantota and 3) Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele.
India will take on the second qualifying team from the qualifier round on day one.
Who will be the favorites and who will be the underdogs is what we all have to wait and watch. Until then, share your views and comments.
T20 World Cup 2012 Schedule:
19 September (D/N)
Group A – India v Afghanistan
R. Premadasa Stadium,Colombo
19 September (D/N)
Group B – Australia v Ireland
R. Premadasa Stadium,Colombo
20 September (D/N)
Group C – South Africa v Zimbabwe
Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium Hambantota
21 September (D/N)
Group A – England v Afghanistan
R. Premadasa Stadium,Colombo
21 September (D/N)
New Zealand v Bangladesh
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium Pallekele
22 September (D/N)
Group B – Australia v West Indies
R. Premadasa Stadium,Colombo
22 September (D/N)
Group C – Sri Lanka v South Africa
Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium Hambantota
From a dream test debut at the Mecca of Cricket,to a premature retirement, he has seen it all. It was way back in 1996 at Lords where two youngsters had made their international debut together. One went on to make a century on debut, while the other was not so fortunate.He got out at 95. Yes we are talking about none other than Rahul Sharad Dravid.
A veteran of 16 years, 164 test matches, The Wall, Mr.Perfect, Mr.Dependable, adjectives you name it, are all short of words for this Indian Stalwart, called it a day on Friday 9th March 2012 at a press conference held in his home ground Chinnaswamy stadium Bangalore.
Dravid’s retirement has been an institutional loss. He was the perfect role model for the youngsters. Patience, grit determination was well imbibed with in him. Spare a thought for the Indian camp when they will just see photo frames in the dressing room, but will not find The Wall.
From opening the innings,to coming one down(many times in the first over itself), playing a sheet anchor role in the middle order, to taking great catches in the slips, rolling arms to break a partnership , to wicket keeping, Rahul Dravid has done it all for whatever is required on a cricket field.
A perfect ambassador for cricket, he has never been part of controversy except for one. In January 2004 Dravid was found guilty of ball tampering during an ODI with Zimbabwe. Actually it was just an innocent mistake that he had been trying to apply saliva to the ball when parts of a lozenge he had been chewing stuck to the ball; Dravid then tried to wipe it off. According to the ICC’s Code of Conduct, players are not allowed to apply substances to the ball other than sweat and saliva. Dravid was fined half of his earnings from the match. Former captain Sourav Ganguly also stated that it was just an accident.
Unbeatable technique, batting through sessions and dropping the anchor for hours together, he has always loved the game and had a great focus on the game. Nothing annoys him more than dropping a catch. His favorite fielding position was Slips where he has shared the slip cordon with Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman.
The winning stroke at Adelaide oval in 2003 Vs Australia will always be a part of our memory where Dravid, batting alongside VVS Laxman, batted through the skins of Australia and snatched victory out of the Aussie.
He is the only overseas player to have given speech during Sir Don Bradman’s Oration.
Let’s have a look at the stats of his illustrious career:
164 Test Matches,13288 Runs, 36 Centuries, 63 50s
344 ODIs, 10889 Runs, 83 half centuries, 12 tons.
In one of the off field instance, a prank was played on Rahul Dravid on the show MTV Bakra, wherein a girl proposed him. He became angry and he replied that at this age, she should concentrate on studies.
Although he might feel that he has retired at right time, Shams N Wags still feel that he could have called it quits on a higher note after playing a few more test matches. But as the famous statement of Sunil Gavaskar goes, better retire when people ask you why, rather than why not?
He will always be remembered as thinking and a selfless cricketer.
While announcing retirement, Dravid said he would enjoy buying grocery and picking up kids from school, the responsibilities he had to ignore earlier because of the busy schedule and overseas tour.
Dravid’s exit has created a big void in the Indian Camp and as rightly said by Sachin Tendulkar “there can be no other Dravid”
Shams N Wags on Rahul Dravid’s Final Lines:
You have failed at times, but you have always tried. You have left with sadness, but you are India’s Pride!
In the end we would like to share a very interesting Quote by one of the FB Fan
“1st Person: Sachin is god!
2nd Person: If Sachin is god, then Saurav is god on the off side.
3rd Person: Laxman is the god of 4th Innings.
Then who is Dravid?
4th Person: When the doors of temple are closed, even the gods are behind the Wall!”
What a comeback it has been by the Indian’s? Virat Kohli provided India with a ray of hope to be in the Commonwealth Bank Tri Series. With an unbeaten 133 in 86 balls, Kohli has time and again proved that he is a class apart player. With 321 runs on board and get them in 40 overs was an uphill task, the Indian’s backed their batting line up. Sachin and Sehwag gave them a good start but could not capitalize. Gautam Gambhir steadied the innings along with Kohli with good aggression on both the ends. It was almost like a T 20 Match where throughout the innings, India had to score bang bang.
Virat Kohli didn’t play any of the pinch hitting shots. All of his shots were clean classical shots. He is a good contestant for captaincy and no one can hold him back from being captain.
In the end, Raina made it sure that he gave a good support to Kohli. This has been Kohli’s career best innings and now his tally moves to 9 centuries. This was the first century by an Indian batsman in this series.
Now all depends on the Australia Vs Sri Lanka where Australia has to win so that India qualifies for the finals.
Virat Kohli is the future captain says Shams n Wags. What’s your take on that?
It takes great amount of courage for the Indian players to go to Adelaide and play the last test match. Play a saving graces innings is only a way to salvage the blues of white wash. Seventh overseas test match loss has become a rattling nightmare for the Indian team. The demon’s in the pitch come only while Indians come to bat. For the Aussies, it has been a belter.
While the technique is less of an issue, lack of focus and planning the innings session by session has been the talking point. Test match is all about playing session by session and building a good partnership.
The top order has ceased to fire and the Wall- Rahul Dravid is eventually playing as an opener. In the two overseas series, the world has figured out that even the ‘Wall’ has a gate, and the gate has opened up 8 times in ten innings as he has been out bowled.
VVS Laxman, who has been perceived as a thorn in the arm has turned out as a mere pedestrian.
Gambhir and Sehwag are playing as if they are playing for Delhi and not for India. The Master Blaster has tried playing good innings, he has been in form, but somehow there’s a mental block in his mind about the hype being created about the 100th century.
Dhoni has not impressed any one with his captaincy and has not valued his wicket. Towards the third test match Virat Kohli showed some character, but did not last long as required.
Bowlers have done well in bits and pieces but have not been like a threat. Debutant Yadav has done extremely well. It’s time for Ishant Sharma to know in which areas to bowl.
The team has always complained about hectic schedule. They make themselves unavailable for some of the series. Why doesn’t the board look into the matter and put enforcement on resting the players from IPL matches as well.
The Indian team should put aside all the baggage’s and lead towards the fourth and final test match.
Whether or not Indians will come out with flying colors or get laid at Adelaide is just the matter of time.
Even before the batsman went hammers and tongs, there was a different type of attack in Melbourne. A day before the start of the Boxing Day test match, the hail storm hit parts of Melbourne. Reports say the hailstones were of the size that of the cricket balls.
Despite bad weather condition, the test match between Australia and India went underway and Aussies scored 277/6 at stumps.
Debutant Ed Cowan looked like he belonged to the test team for a long time. He showed good amount of patience on the crease negotiating the Indian seamers.
David Warner was playing and missing some deliveries and was attacking the balls that were meant to be hit. There was a little lapse of concentration that resulted into his dismissal. He was trying to over attack. He was Umesh Yadav’s first Scalp in Australia.
Shaun Marsh, yet another hyped Australian batsman was too friendly for the scorers as he didn’t trouble the scorers at all. In came the Punter of Australian camp Ricky Ponting. While Ishant Sharma was bowling all cylinders, his dismissals in India’s Last tour down under would have been going at the back of his mind.
Ponting showed his class and silenced his critics by playing a wonder full innings of 62 runs. He was in good nick and scored runs at a good rate. No matter how much ever the Australia Media writes him off, he is the man to be watched. He would have been very pleased to get back to his form and he would have already constructed a thought of century in his mind just before he was caught in the slip by Laxman off Yadav’s delivery.
Aussies were 159 for 3- Yadav’ed.
‘Pup’ Michael Clark tried to show some resilience before he was Zaked. To follow him was Mr. Cricket (Mike Hussey) again not troubling the scorers, got Zaked.
Haddin and Peter Siddle showed some character down the order and towards the end of the day, made sure that Aussies reached a respectable total of 277/6.
Let us see what’s in store for Day 2 and subsequent days to come.
It was a custom that on 26th Day of December, the tradesmen collected their Christmas boxes or gifts in return for good and service throughout the year. Boxing Day is also St. Stephen’s Day. St Stephen was a little known saint who achieved eternal fame by being the first Christian to be martyred for his faith by being stoned to death shortly after Christ’s crucifixion.
It’s a holiday celebrated in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and other Commonwealth countries. Boxing Day originated in England in the middle of the nineteenth century under Queen Victoria. It is time to celebrate and spend time with family and friends with lots of food, fun, friendship and love.
Even cricket follows the significance of Boxing Day. Year 1950 saw the first ever Boxing Day Test played between Australia and England where in Australia emerged as winners by a nail biting 28 runs.
The Boxing Day Test match is a cricket Test match hosted in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia involving the Australian cricket team and an opposing national team which is touring Australia that summer.
It’s time for India to participate in this big occasion and stand tall. Many players in the Indian side are going to play for the last time in Australia. The players will miss playing in Australia. Even the Australian crowd is going to miss the Indian Biggies. Winning and coming back to India is going to be a greatest Christmas gift for the Indians.
Whether Indian’s will spoil the Christmas celebrations of Australia by winning at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) or will it be the host following the old tradition of ending the year on a high note is just a matter of time.
It has been quite some time that the Indian team has stopped being mere tourists. In the last down under tour, we managed to register a win in the world’s fastest pitch ‘Perth’ against the then invincible Australia. The Indian batsmen have started delivering big time in the foreign conditions. The very formidable Indian top order has loads of experience and all of them have toured Australia many times and proved their worth.
The name in itself sends scare to the opponents. Talk about the great Master Blaster, the Very Very Special Stylish Batsman, the Wall and the Butcher; we have all of them firing all guns. Besides these batsmen, we have serious opener in Gambhir and the Skipper Dhoni who is cool as a cucumber in any situation.
To talk about our bowling order, return of deadly Zak is going to add great value along with Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav. Ishant Sharma is a doubtful starter in this series due to ankle injury.
The Aussies will be relieved that the thorn in the arm- The Turbanator, the main character in the previous tour’s famous Monkey Gate is not playing this time around. There are some quality spinners in Indian squad in R.Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha.
Whether James Pattinson would have run through the top Indian order (according to his assumptions) or he would have been made into a Patis is out of question as he is not likely to play in the Down Under Series.
Just matter of a few days before the Border-Gavaskar Trophy kick starts on the Boxing Day. Rest assured lots of action, emotion, and sentiments are going to be a part of this tour.
In Rahul Dravid’s speech in Sir Don Bradman’s Orientation, the Wall revealed that the crowd gave a standing ovation to the Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar in the last tour thinking that they won’t be seeing the master in the tours to come ahead, and for that matter, the experienced batting line up won’t be seen, it’s time for them to just wait and watch their exploits with their batting weapon.
Till then, let’s get geared up for the Down Under Series.
What better opportunity than witnessing a life time experience of Dhoni striking the ball off the park for Six and India winning the World Cup Final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. It was just a few months back that India had pulled off a cracker of a victory. Opportunity is knocking the doors again and all roads will lead to the Wankhede tomorrow for the action packed India Vs England match where India has already won the 5 match series.
The Poms are already down and out, it’s now up to India to show how well they go all guns blazing and make the visitors feel out of place and show that if they are the champions in their own back yard, Indian’s are no less than Lions in their own Den!
Let’s wait and see where the series ends up. White wash is my call. What’s yours?