Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Hyderabad Sunrisers - IPL 2013

They are listed officially as a new team but in reality they are still pretty much the Deccan Chargers all but in name. The players have all been retained so will still see Sangakara, Parthiv Patel and Dale Stein take the field. 

The Sunrisers have decent players, but they never seem to work for them. This year Ishant Sharma is back, this after he spent alot of the past season injured. He and Stein together will be a threat to any team. 

Darren Sammey the West Indies captain is the newest addition to the squad, he will add experience but may find himslef out of the squad every now and then. 

South African Quinton De Kock is an exciting player, but is behind both Parthiv Patel and Kumar Sangakara as wicket-keeper. Deccan chargers were good until they let Gilchrist go, after that they have struggled. I do not see much  changing in their form or luck, so therefore predicting another poor season for them. Sangakara is likely to keep the captaincy, but it is yet unknown as if he will be given the role or not. 

Captain: Unkown
Star Man: Dale Stein
Six Hitter: Cameron White
Leading Bowler: Dale Stein
My prediction: Group stage

Pune Warriors - IPL 2013

Pune Warriors have been very unlucky this season, there captain Michael Clarke has been ruled out for the whole competition. I believe that it will be former captain Yuvraj Singh who will take over the captaincy, although it would not surprise me if Steve Smith is given the job. 

Pune have always been towards the bottom of the table, but  I feel they have a good chance this season. The loss of Clarke is a blow, I think they could surprise a few people this year. 

The other foreign players are good, Angelo Matthews, Marlon Samuels, Steve Smith, Luke Wright, Tamin Iqbal and Wayne Parnell. These are all players who are made for T20 cricket. Marlon Samuels has also starred for the West Indies in their World T20 victory. He will be key to their chances, if he is to perform they may upset a few of the bigger teams. 

This is a team that has been inventive in the past, showing faith with Steve Smith as a batsman and on the odd occasion promoting Parnell as a batsman. Talking of Smith he is up there as one of the best fields in the tournament, this is with Pollard and Kohli. 

Captain: Unkown
Star Man: Marlon Samuels
Six Hitter: Marlon Samuels
Leading Bowler: Bhuvneshwar Kumar
My prediction: Semi Finals

Punjab Kings XI - IPL 2013

This team has been constantly finishing near the bottom of the IPL group over the last few seasons. It will take them something special to turn their form around. That something could be one of the openers, Adam Gilchrist or Paul Valthaty. We all know how good Gilchrist can be, especially in the shortest form of the game, but he has been retired from the other forms of cricket for a long time now. Valthaty had alot of expectations on him because of the season before when he scored a few centuries making a bit of a name, but he did not live up to these expectations.

The crowd and fan support for Punjab is huge, with the team carrying the whole state. They do not have that one Punjabi player who can galvanise the crowd further, so again this will be down to the likes of the openers, Shaun Marsh and David Hussey to perform. 

Whenever Punjab are playing there is always a side show Priety Zinta and her celebrations, this is probably because their cricket isn't that great. They have plenty of players who are experienced in T20 cricket but these players are ageing. I don't see to many players fearing from Mascarenhas, or Mahmood as there bowling has slowed down considerably from their peak. 

Surprises can happen in the IPL, but I really believe that Punjab will be near to the bottom of the table at the end of the season. 

Captain: Adam Gilchrist
Star Man: David Hussey
Six Hitter: Adam Gilchrist 
Leading Bowler: Parvinder Avana
My prediction: Group Stage

Rajesthan Royals - IPL 2013

The Shane Warne project is over, he used to be the captain and coach of Rajesthan. Now Rahul Dravid does both of these roles, he also opens the batting. Last year Rajesthan pushed hard to get out the group and only just fell short. I predict them to be even better this year as they have a young side packed with experience.

I like the fact that they have a collection of players who are not big names, but good players. People like Brad Hodge, Owais Shah are good players in T20 cricket. The star man Shane Watson has been off form for a while now and needs to perform if Rajesthan are to do anything. 

Kevon Cooper was a surprise package of last season, he started the tournament on fire, taking many wickets and scoring alot of runs. He made a bit of a name last season but went off the boil, this season will tell if he was playing out of his skin or if he was actually good but the fame got to him. 

Sreesanth will finally get the chance to show himself to the Rajesthan crowd after he was injured for his debut season with the side. The other bowlers who may feature depending on the squad make up include Brad Hogg and Shaun Tait, both are inconstant through age or accuracy. Dravid and Rahane have shown they have a good partnership, both will want to carry this on. It is the first time we get to see Dravid after his retirement. 

Captain: Rahul Dravid
Star Man: Shane Watson
Six Hitter: Brad Hodge
Leading Bowler: Sreesanth
My prediction: Group stage

Monday, 25 March 2013

CSK - IPL 2013

The most successful team in IPL history, it is no co-incidence that they are. With Dhoni as the captain, he has seen it all and won it all. There tactics are to retain the most players, this has given them a bit more consistency and familiarity. 

The yellow kit is in my opinion the nicest out of all the teams, which is good for branding. As for the team they also have some very huge brand names, Dhoni, Raina and Vijay have all been stars of past seasons. Ashwin is the key bowler. CSK lacked the much needed pace options last season and yet still pushed hard for the semi finals. 

This season I do not see too much changing, it will be interesting to see if Bravo and Albie Morkel can fill this void again. They have some players coming  into the competition in form, Dhoni, Ashwin and Jadeja all starred for India recently. Faf Du Plessis has also had a good year, I will think he will play instead of Mike Hussey. 

Murali Vijay is an interesting player, he broke into the Indian side just before the first IPL as a very correct batsman. He then spent the next few IPL seasons as a blaster who didnt bother with feet movement, now he is back to his old self lets see how he approaches this. 

As mentioned above Bravo, Jadeja and Morkel give CSK great batting depth, its just the fast bowling options I worry about. We know one thing, that is Dhoni's team will be competitive.

Captain: Dhoni
Star Man: Dhoni
Six Hitter: Suresh Raina
Leading Bowler: Ashwin
My prediction: Group Stage

RCB - IPL 2013

Who knows what you will get from this team, they are either sublime or terrible. They can beat any of the teams on a good day but will they have enough good days this season? 

I remember last season a game they lost where Vettori had run out of all his regular bowlers so he asked Kohli  to bowl the second last over. This over cost them the match. The good news is that Vettori will not make that mistake again, he is no longer the captain, it is now Kohli. 

I can't believe I have gone this long without mentioning Chris Gayle, he is the teams extra factor. He has taken to this competition like a duck to water, its his stage. He has made himself the first name that anyone would think of when talking about RCB.

Another quality player in their ranks is just only the South African limited overs skipper. AB Devilliers is definitely one of the best and most inventive batsmen in world cricket. As for spin options RCB have Muralitharan, Vettori, Gayle and Dilshan. Another fun part of the IPL will be watching Zaheer Khan waddle around the boundary. 

Their Indian players include Pujara and Vinnay Kumar, both players who will want to stake a claim for the Indian team in the shorter form of the game. 

Captain: Virat Kohli
Star Man: Chris Gayle
Six Hitter: Chris Gayle
Leading Bowler: Dan Vettori
My prediction: Group Stage

Delhi Daredevils - IPL 2013

When Delhi topped the group stage last year it was all looking very good, they were by far the best team in the group stage. Everywhere you look in their squad you see a top player. 

Last season Delhi invested in many of the worlds leading batsmen, to their already star studded batting line up. They had Warner, Sehwag, Pietersen, Jayawardene and Ross Taylor to name a few. Well now Taylor has left, probably just to be guaranteed a place in a team. Others who do not come close to making the Delhi Darevils team are Andre Russel and Van der Merwe, two players I rate very highly in T20 cricket. 

The big signing this year is Johan Botha, the spinner they didn't really have last year. His signing will cause problems in selection for Delhi as all their top stars will want to play. It was probably having a selection of too many top international players that cost Delhi last season. They could not fit in their best bowler Mourne Morkel in the crucial semi-final. 

You would think Delhi are all about Sehwag, but I believe that Kevin Pietersen has become a bigger star in Delhi. Last season there was a massive craze for him, giving him the attention that eventually lead to his isolation from the England team for a few months. I am also very keen to see if Unmukt Chand is given a chance in the side, this is a player who we keep hearing about. I think that this will be a blue year with Delhi beating Mumbai in the final.

Captain: Mahala Jayawardene
Star Man: Kevin Pietersen
Six Hitter: Sehwag
Leading Bowler: Mourne Morkel
My prediction: Winners

Mumbai Indians - IPL 2013

In sport every now and then you get a person or team who are called the nearly men. The best example of this is Jimmy White who famously kept loosing the world championship in the final. Mumbai Indians are the nearly men of the IPL. They are always one the favourites to win the competition, they have the best fan following mainly due to Sachin Tendulkar yet they seems to falter in the semi finals or final. They have won a Champions League, but this is not a competition that many people take to seriously. 

Once again Mumbai have a new captain, this is after Sachin was the captain in 2011, Harbhajan in 2012. This year the job is given to their big money signing Ricky Ponting. Its not a surprise that Harbhajan had been stripped of the captaincy after last year he could not control his players attitude towards umpires. 

What will be interesting is to how Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting will play  together. This will be a sight to behold. I can imagine them batting while Kallis is bowling, this will be the three players of their generation going head to head. 

Once again Mumbai will be one of the best fielding sides with Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard out there, passing on the messages of Johnty Rhodes. Mumbai have a strategy of recruiting many young Indian players as well as young relatively unknown players. This has been pretty successful for the team on the whole.   

Team Facts:

Captain: Ricky Ponting
Star Man: Sachin Tendulkar
Six Hitter: Kieron Pollard
Leading Bowler: Lasith Malinga
My prediction: Runners Up

KKR - IPL 2013

The reigning champions, Kolkata were the surprise package of last season. Not too many people expected them to win and now the pressure has increased on them to play just as good. Their success of last year was mainly down to a few key factors, these were mainly in the form of Kallis and Narine. 

They also have good players in Brett Lee, Brendon McCullum, Shakib Al Hasan, Ryan TenDoeschate and Eoin Morgan. The only problem is that these players cant all play at once. The flop of the IPL over the last two seasons has been Yusuf Pathan, surely he will fire this season. 

The team will be once again be lead by Gambhir, a man on a mission. Last May he must have been ontop of the world, being the captain who won. This time around he has to prove himself again, he has been dropped from the national side. 

In terms of the Indian contingent there is promising fast bowler Shami Ahmed,  wicket keeper Manvinder Bisla who is as good as any attacking batsman in the competition. 

Off the field the owner Shah Rukh Khan will want to continue his gloating, I am sure that he enjoyed the last IPl more than any other. The seasons before had been very poor for KKR, always falling short. I do not predict them to win the competition this year, but I think they will run the winners close. 

Team Facts:

Captain: Gautum Gambhir
Star Man: Jacques Kallis
Six Hitter: Brendon McCullum
Leading Bowler: Sunil Narine
My prediction: Semi-Final

Sunday, 24 March 2013

IPL 2013 nearly here

The umpires are dusting off their hats, the owners suiting up and Danny Morrison warming up his vocal cords, this can only mean one thing. Its back, IPL 2013, starts Wednesday 3rd April. It may not be every ones cup of tea but it seems for now the competition is here to stay. I for one love the competition and will be watching with interest. I will nail my colours to the wall and state my liking for Delhi Daredevils

I was very disappointed last season when they fell short in the semi-final despite being the best team in the competition. This year we have a change to the team names, what used to Deccan Chargers are now Sunrisers Hyderabad. In my opinion this was a farce, the team had been punished and were thrown out because the owners problems. It would have made more sense to award the contract to another city, like Ahmedabad. 

The usual suspects will be in the running for the tournament, Mumbai Indians will want to show they are more than a team who are perennial losers, either in the semi final or final. On the other hand Chennai Super Kings will want to get back to winning ways, being the most successful team. If Delhi falter this year then they could be labelled the new Mumbai Indians. Last years surprise winners Kolkata Knight Riders will want a repeat of last year, while all the other teams will need to rise to the challenge. 

I have below listed a few predictions:

Winners: Delhi Daredevils - They were the best team last year, topping the group. A star studded team with many top international players. They threw away the semi-final last year by not playing Morne Morkel the leading wicket taker in the semi final for tactical reasons. 

Leading Wicket Taker: Lasith Malinga - He has been there and there about in this category since IPL 1 and there is no doubting that he will take many wickets. 

Most sixes: Chris Gayle - When thinking of this category only one name came to mind. Others who could possibly challenge him are fellow West Indian's Pollard and Marlon Samuals. 

Player of Tournament: Virat Kohli - As this is a guessing game, I have gone for my favourite player. He has not always lived up to his potential in the past IPL's and for that reason I think he will fire. He is also the captain of RCB now, which is a big stepping stone for the Indian captaincy in the future. 

Player to watch out for: Nathan Coulter-Nile - A young Australian bowler who is very highly rated. He could be good if Mumbai Indians play him. He will be under the guidance of players such as Ponting and Tendulkar. 

Click on the team names below to go the team page:

- Kolkata Knight Riders
- Chennai Super Kings
- Mumbai Indians
- Royal Challengers Bangalore
- Delhi Daredevils 
- Rajasthan Royals
- Punjab Kings XI
- Pune Warriors India
- Sunrisers Hyderabad

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Win or Lose the New Zealand series England have been rubbish!

As I write this England are currently sitting at lunch on day three of the final test match at 92-5, this is after New Zealand scored 443 in their first innings. This means they have made it hard for themselves to win the match and therefore the series. After the historic win in India and previous highs this is very much a low. 

Before the series had started I heard a former England captain confidently state this was the best England team in history and that they should wipe the floor with this poor New Zealand team. I do not totally disagree with that statement but it hasn't quite worked out as planned. This smacks of an over arrogant team who are very under prepared or just not bothered. They seemed up for the games against South Africa and India, so why have they not turned up in New Zealand?

In my opinion England have gone back to the old English mentality, this is to forget about the current series and concentrate on the next series which they believe is more important. The media do not help in this, the amount of times I have read that this is a build up for the Ashes. The bad form started before a ball had been bowled in the test series, I have to agree with Geoff Boycott that England spent to much time doing other activities such as bungee jumping instead of practising.  Did they believe that New Zealand were so poor that they could just turn up and beat them?

Rain saved England in the first test, otherwise they could have actually lost that game. They were better in the second game but are back onto the form of the first game again. What is interesting is that the players who had to prove a point have performed, and the people who were on form before this series are on poor form. Have these people just not turned up because they are sure of their place in the summer? People like Cook, Trott and Bell should be ripping into this bowling attack. The only batsman to do something of note is Compton, this is probably because he had something to prove. 

Ian Bell has done what he usually does, as in he plays well if the team play well. I have never seen the guy dig England out of a hole, he goes missing when the pressure is on. Alistair Cook has been really poor also not looking a shadow of the player he was in India. Same could be said for Jonathan Trott and even Kevin Pietersen, who has been dismissed by a left arm spinner again in the series. I can guarantee one thing, that these guys mentioned will be much better when it comes to the Ashes, I wonder why.

Another disturbing thing is that the England top order has struggled with a swinging ball today, this is very odd. Compton had the right idea with his hundred and eighteen ball, thirteen, the rest were impatient.  He and Matt Prior can stand up at the end of the series and state they have batted well, oh and I should mention Steven Finn. In terms of bowling Broad did his usual, a similar thing to Bell. He only plays well one game in ten. This is usually the game were people are questioning his place in the team. I still think England will win the Ashes, only because Australia are going through a tough period. Not too much should be read into of the poor Aussie tour of India, considering it is the first tour of India for most of the players. They will have slightly more common conditions to play in when they arrive in England.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Kevin Pietersen keeping a lower profile?

Do you remember the old Kevin Pietersen, the one who to the outside world seemed like a party boy from South Africa who was chasing the limelight. Since this time I believe his perception has changed so much. If you cast your mind back to around 2004, Pietersen was the young confident guy who had a mow hawk which was sometimes blue and sometimes blonde. He had publicly stated his love for his new country and showed this off with his new tatoo of the three lions. 

His so called chasing of the limelight seemed to be on the field as well as off. The media made him into a bit of a celebrity after his marriage to popstar Jessica Taylor. It was as if they wanted him to be crickets answer to David Beckham. 

The young KP seemed to have bags of talent and potential coupled with a reputation for not being a team player. This on a few occasions may have come across on the field with many believing that he sometimes used to play for personal glory rather than the teams success. I do not know the man personally but it always seemed like he was an individualist rather than a team player. After following his career a bit more I can say I was wrong about him. 

He does not fit the normal stereotype of your regular English test player like others such as Alistair Cook do. He was brash, aggressive, very confident that he would become one of the worlds best players and carefree of any persons opinions. The key events of his early international career were the ODI tour of South Africa where he was given alot of abuse for leaving the country of his birth and the final Ashes test of 2005 where he announced himself to the cricket world. 

A stick that people have used to beat KP with is the fact that he is South African, so every time he fails to perform people mention this. I do not know why this matters to England fans as he is the best English batsman. He has shown time and time again that he wants to play for England, and has been good for them as well. 

Recently there has been an issue with Pietersen and the other players, which lead to an unfair exile. This and the Peter Moores affair which lead him to be stripped of the England captaincy are odd occasions where he has not faired well. At the start of his international career I would have put money on him being dropped by England for his awkward personality. 

He has been the star for England since his first Ashes series, from this point onwards he has always been expected to be the best batsman for England. Like any person he has had his dips in form, but mainly seen good times with England. Another good thing about him is that he is a big game player, he has seen England to number one in the test rankings and a world T20 title. More recently Alistair Cook has taken over the mantle as being the go to batsman, this has been a really interesting period for KP. He is not talked about as often as Cook any more, this may not have sat well with the old Pietersen. 

I think the old Kevin Pietersen would have tried to be more aggressive and make sure people talk about his game. In this period where Cook just keeps scoring runs he has quietly scored runs. He was a star in the Ashes win down under as well at the test victory in India, mixing well with the in form Cook. In my opinion he knows that there are two big series coming up which are back to back ashes and has put his head down waiting to star in these. I have no doubt that he will be a star in these series. 

The reason I think he is focused on this double ashes series is that he had the chance to quit international cricket in 2012 and become a player like Chris Gayle, travelling around the world making big money in T20 cricket. He choose to go back to England and it would not surprise me if he ends up winning both of the series and retires. 

He also has changed his perception off the field, it is evident that he is now a more mature person. His press conferences used to be very defensive, now he knows when to joke. He famously called Yuvraj Singh a pie chucker, for constantly getting him out. You would think that this could be something to get the Indian public as his enemy, on the contrary he is loved in India. Pietersen can count many top top international players as his friends, people such as Shane Warne, Darren Gough and Virender Sehwag. He always tweets when he arrives in India, this is normally in Hindi. From his tweets he does not seem like the arrogant person that I believed him to be at all, he seems very humble and down to earth. 

I would say that because of the IPL his popularity has sky rocketed, he is now one of the most loved cricketers in India. This was rewarded by him earning a role on Indian television for the world T20 which he had been left out of by England. He has been the only England player that has made any sort of impact on the Indian Premier League, and constantly advocates for teams to buy others. 

Being a Delhi Daredevils fan he is the stand out name in the side, despite there being many top stars. It was evident that their campaign fell short after he left last season. KP is in my top three players currently, he is only beaten by MS Dhoni, who has a similar story to KP and Virat Kohli. He is always a player I enjoy watching as a neutral and a player I fear when playing against India. 

Monday, 4 March 2013

An insight into Bangladesh cricket series V Sri Lanka - (Guest written)

There is a fascinating series starting on Friday, between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. I wanted to know a little bit about Bangladesh's chances. As I do not consider my self to be very knowledgeable on Bangladesh cricket, I have got a little piece written by a good friend of mine Tahsin Hussain. Here is what he had to say about the series and some of the key players for Bangladesh. 

So come Friday Bangladesh play their first of two test matches against Sri Lanka in Galle. The big question  is of how Bangladesh will cope without their allrounder and key player Shakib Al Hasan? First and for most they have to deal the pressures of test cricket, which they have yet to fully master. Years have gone by in which Bangladesh have been less than impressive in the longest format of the game.

So how do they approach the upcoming test matches without their influential spinner? 

Firstly, in test matches they have to play each session, then they have to repeat this the next session and so on. In the last test series against West Indies they did really well, but could not finish games off in both tests. The young players are coming good and if they put their hands up and perform they should be able to make the series competitive. 

So without Shakib which players could step up?

I have picked out five players who could have a big say if Bangladesh are to do anything in the series. They are opener Tamim Iqbal, the young emerging batsman Anamul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim the skipper, the vice captain Mahmudullah Riyad and emerging spinner Shohag Gazi.

What does Tamim Offer?

He has the ability to explode at the top of the batting order and has the pedigree to dig in and play a long innings. We have seen this talent in the past, namely in 2010 where he scored back to back centuries against England, averaged over 50 in test cricket and was also named Wisden's Test Player of the Year, ahead of Graeme Swann and Virender Sehwag. He is only the second Bangladeshi to win any such wisden award, the other player being Shakib in 2009. 

What does Anamul Offer?

he is just 20 years of age and has already shown leadership qualities captaining Bangladesh in the last Under 19 world cup in Australia. He came out the tournament as the leading run scorer, making two hundreads and also winning a few player of the match awards on the way. he made his ODI debut against West Indies in Bangladesh's first game of the Sahara Cup 2012. The very next match he was making his first senior test century scoring a match winning 120. In domestic cricket he averages 44 and already has 7 centuries to his name. I like many other fans think very highly of this player, he not only could be the best batsman in the future but likely to be considered as a future captain if he continues to progress.  

What does Mushfiqur Rahim offer?

Being the captain of the national side there is added pressure on him to perform. Test matches are nothing new to him as he made his debut at the age of 16. Now 24 he has valid experience to lead by example, he is great at assisting the younger players into the squad and helping them develop for test cricket. It is funny that you consider a player of 24 to be a senior player, but he defiantly is, playing alot of international cricket, he is just one of a number of young players who have been around for a while in the squad. His test average is hardly anything to shout about being just under 30, but we have seen in the recent BPL tournament that he is on form. He ended the competition as the leading run scorer. His leadership will be crucial in determining how Bangladesh perform in the series. 

What does Mahmudullah offer?

He is one of the most underrated Bangladeshi players at the moment. In the last year and a half he has been the stand out performer. Not only does he offer a great spin option, he is a batsman who can bat long innings. His test century against New Zealand proved that he is a calm batsman, exactly what the team need from a lower order batsman. He will also have to step up a little bit more as the other all-rounder Shakib is missing. 

What does Gazi offer?

He was called upon last year for his international debut against the West Indies. In the ODI series he was very influential and ended up being the leading wicket taker. He backed this up by being the leading wicket taker in the BPL. His lower order batting is another asset, he has a first class century to his name. Another allrounder which could shows alot of promise for Bangladesh. 

For Bangladesh to have any chance of winning the test series against Sri Lanka the above named five players must perform to their potential and the other young players will also have to chip in. The series will be very hard as Sri Lanka have a fully fit team with the exception of their former captain Mahela Jayawardene. This in a way means that both teams will be without their best players. In my opinion Bangladesh will have to perform at 100 percent to win the test series, possibly the better chance of winning would come in the ODI's and T20 game to follow. The series consists of two test matches, three ODI's and one T20. 

Once again I would like to thank my friend Tahsin for this great article, it has been pretty informative. I will now be looking out for these players especially Gazi as he is the player that I have never heard of. 

End of the line for Sehwag?

I hate to pick out individual players, especially those who have been so great for their country, but Sehwag increasingly looks a shadow of his past. Over the past ten or so years he has been one of the best and most dashing batsmen in world cricket. Holding many many records he will go down as one of the great Indian batsmen. 

He also has been a huge reason why India have been so successful over the last ten years. It is no surprise that the decline of Sehwag has coincided with a loss of form for team India. His fast starts mean that India could allow other players to come in and take their time to settle while he kept up a good run rate. I am sure players like Gambhir and Tendulkar would state that he has played a huge part in their success. This can be highlighted again by seeing the form of Sachin Tendulkar and Gutam Gambhir, they do not have the guy on the other end taking all the pressure off or the guy that has blasted his way to a big score before they have come into bat any more. Subsequently their own form seems to have suffered. Is that just a coincidence that can be put down to ageing or have they been effected by Viru's form?

Sehwag has always had poor footwork, he's success is down to his impecable timing of the ball. My dad always says that if he had slightly better footwork he would be considered in the same list as Bradman, Tendulkar and Lara. He in my opinion is in the bracket of players just slightly below these players.  Many records have fallen when Sehwag is playing, being part of a great Indian side. He is the only Indian to reach three figures in test cricket, doing this on two occasions. I have also admired Sehwag's attitude, he is always smiling, every player and umpire like him, I doubt anyone has a bad word to say about him. 

Also his ambitious statements that he makes every now and then, for example when he first stated that he wanted to be the first player to score a double century in ODI cricket, people like Nassir Hussain very rudely mocked him. He wasn't the first player but second player to do this after Tendulkar. On another occassion on day five against England in a test series he stated that India would not play for a draw, the English media laughed at him trying to suggest that England would concede a world record total on day five, he lived up to his word and did it.

Currently he has a very healthy average of 49.95 in test cricket, but that will probably decrease soon, he has scored 23 test and 15 ODI centuries plus a total of 136 wickets in international cricket. This is not bad going is it? What cant be questioned is his ability to give his all for his country, but is it time  he recognises that India may be better off without him? India travel to South Africa soon and cant afford to take any passengers, his drop of a dolly catch in the first test did not cost India, but can you imagine him giving Amla, Smith or Kallis a second chance? 

The problem that India have is that there are not many players who can replace Sehwag currently. Vijay has been hit and miss in his international career, starting as a classical test batsman, then he became a slogger and currently showing his ability to grind out runs again after a four years of not being able to do this. 

Gambhir has been dropped from tests and kept only in ODI's, in my opinion he would be the safest bet to take over. Although his own form has been ropey. Another option is Rohit Sharma, he is a good player, he has been successfully promoted to opener in ODI cricket many times, he is similarly attacking to Sehwag. Rahane is a good player, but was exposed against Pakistan and has currently not played since being dropped from that ODI series. The young guy for the future is Unmukt Chand but he is very raw and untested. 

It will be a very tough decision for Sehwag or the selectors, but it is clear that if he doesnt perform in the third test against Australia then either party may make this call sooner rather than later. I just hope that if a new player is tried out, the fans of Indian cricket give him a chance, otherwise he will always be compared unfairly to Sehwag. 

Follow by Email