England bounced out at home by India

Posted: Monday, July 21, 2014 by jimmymycrushie in Labels: , , , , ,

England vs India 2nd Test: 17-21 July 2014 played at Lord's, London

After losing a Test series to Sri Lanka, England are down 0-1 to India. England have always been one-day donkeys but they have been a highly regarded team in Tests. No more. I think England's players should be given a rest until they have rebuilt themselves. Or until they have regained their desire to win. Except for a few players, it didn't look like England is interested in winning. Neither did India, going by their low-key celebrations following the victory.

I'm disappointed. First, by the desire of the ECB and the grounds to make more money (dull Trent Bridge pitch and this series having 5 Tests) and then by both the teams. I wouldn't give as much credit to Ishant Sharma as the scoreboard seems to be suggesting. To me, it looks like neither of the teams are playing good cricket. And it also looks like they are lacking the desire to play and win. I don't know, perhaps it's because they are playing too much cricket. Perhaps both the players and the fans are being given an overdose of cricket and we know, too much of anything isn't a good thing.

I suppose India won because their desire for winning was a little higher than England. The celebrations didn't match the champagne popping ones by Rahul Dravid and Kapil Dev when their teams toured England.

Only Joe Root looked distraught following his dismissal (66 off 146). And he is, of course, the only batsman who batted well in the 2nd England innings. Moeen Ali looked good at the crease but the way he got out, on a short-pitched delivery, isn't how good batsmen do and it is what started the downfall – England batsmen getting out on the short ball, one after another. Except for Jimmy Anderson, the last batsman to be out, who was ran out by Jadeja (yes, Jadeja, of all men!). But you can't blame any bowler for not scoring runs, it's not their task.

Definitely, England need some changes in the team and they should have seen this coming following the 1st Test, in which they were saved by the record 10th wicket partnership of Joe Root and Jimmy Anderson.

This was going to happen following the exclusion of Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann and Jonathan Trott. Losing to Sri Lanka and India at home would definitely be a shame. It's already a shame to have lost the Test series to Sri Lanka and this game at Lord's to India. I hope the ECB and Cook and rest of the England camp see it. Even without the exclusion of key players, England could have done better.

Tests aren't played without a spinner. England must show faith in Monty Panesar or Adil Rashid or some other spinner who may be doing well at the domestic level. They also need to change their captain, who has been struggling with his form. He is definitely not leading from the front. Who is the experienced batter in this team? Who would take responsibilty? Who should be captain then, if not Alastair Cook? These questions are lingering over English cricket. But this English team isn't doing well, so I don't see why experiments shouldn't be tried.


See-saw battle ends in Draw on dull pitch

Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 by jimmymycrushie in Labels: , , , , , ,

England vs India - 1st Test: 9-13 July 2014 played at Trent Bridge, Nottingham:
This proved to be an interesting Test match despite being played on a dull pitch and ending in a draw. It looked like a subcontinent pitch, not English at all. I haven't seen such a dull ground in England before. I look forward to Tests in England because of the lush green grass and the swinging conditions.

England's grounds are very interesting. They are not same at all. We have Lord's, which is the only ground in the world to have a slope. This ground also have a legacy attached to it, so much that players are most honored to have played here. Scoring a hundred or taking five-fors means so much more here than anywhere else. England is known to have conditions suitable for swing bowlers but there are also grounds which support spin on Day 4 and 5.

We have been told that this pitch was made so batting friendly so that the ground could make more money since they are at a loss if a game ends early. But if we have pitches like this in England, no difference would remain between playing in the Indian subcontinent and playing in England. Doing well overseas would no longer mean much. Also, in their bid to make money, the grounds and the ECB could eventually lose much more than they gain, because if all Test matches end up in draws and make bowlers toil, people will eventually lose interest in Tests, and perhaps some in cricket itself.

The highlight of the game though, was James Anderson's 81 at No.11. The partnership that he shared with Joe Root turned the game around. Until this point, it was tough to tell whether India are the touring team or if England is. Their partnership of 198 is now the highest partnership in the world for the 10th wicket. Prior to this, punters around the ground could be seen excitedly using their Android betting apps or betting apps for iPhone to put their money on what appeared to be a very likely Indian win. No one could really predict what was coming next.

Joe Root scored his 4th hundred finishing on 154*. He now averages 47.17 after having played 18 Tests. He is a good find for England. Early on in his career, he has big hundreds to his name. His maiden century was against New Zealand at Headingly, Leeds, the second one was 180 vs Australia at Lord's, the third was in England's previous Test series against Sri Lanka, a big one, 200* at Lord's.

Trent Bridge has been Jimmy Anderson's favourite venue, having taken 53 wickets here at the average of 19.24. This is his highest among all grounds he has played on. He is also the highest wicket taker at Trent Bridge. The next five behind him, Bedser, Trueman, Warne, Statham and Snow have all retired so he is in no danger of losing this title anytime soon. After these fellows, Stuart Broad follows with 25 wickets.

Catch the 2nd Investec Test match between England and India live from July 17-21 at 11 am local time (10 am GMT, 3:30 in the afternoon if you are in India), coming to you from Lord's.

Thanks for reading. This is Sanya, signing off.

No room for One-Day

Posted: Saturday, June 7, 2014 by jimmymycrushie in Labels: , , , ,

Cricket is definitely changing. For the worse, in my opinion. I wonder why the governing bodies of cricket can't see it. Old cricketers would certainly agree with me, but even 10 years ago they might have said cricket used to be better. That's how people are, they think everything was best in their time. Except for opportunities. We always hear how we have it easier. I won't argue against it, because certainly as the world is progressing, more opportunities are being created in careers.

I can see why some old cricketers used to feel that cricket was better even though I don’t agree. They feel it because cricket used to be more of a test, the bowlers challenged the batsmen more than they did 10 years ago. And the scales are only shifting further in the batsmen’s favour. Though England is not a heaven for batsmen like most other nations hosting cricket. Even in this day and age, teams can be all out for less than 100, as the recently concluded One-day series between England and Sri Lanka has proved.

I don’t really agree with them, because cricket certainly improved as far as I see it. Both the batting and the bowling improved. And the fielding has evolved the most. The catches that are being taken today were unimaginable a decade ago.

Cricket has been going the same way, agony of the bowlers increasing and the struggle of the batsmen decreasing. Sixes and phenomenal catching are the thing of the day. Why am I unhappy then? If I believed a decade ago that cricket is getting better, why don’t I feel so now?

I’m just unhappy because this new form of cricket, Twenty20 is spoiling the other two formats. At first, I had mixed views about it. My first reaction, “What, 20 over games? Might be good for domestic cricket.” I found it a bit interesting as the first time I heard of it, I saw Stuart Broad bowling for Leicestershire and boy wasn’t he impressive. It was the first time I saw him so naturally my interest was heightened. It was the summer of 2006.

8 years later, I feel Twenty20 is the worst thing to happen to cricket. Even earlier, I didn’t like the idea of a Twenty20 series, 3 of them being played on a tour. I heard the cricketers too first thought of it as a joke. Why wouldn’t they? Children play 5-10 overs games. I -thought grown-ups were made for sturdier stuff than that. The audience has turned a joke into the most popular form of cricket.

What’s sad is that one-day cricket is losing out the most. There are old fellas and also people like me who prefer both Tests and One-day to Twenty20, but at times I’ve found Twenty20 to be more interesting than one-day and that’s because of the interests of cricketers themselves losing interest in one-day.

Who would like one-day now? Some prefer the fast paced 20 over action which only requires you to give as much time as you would to a football game and there are others, who have been fans of Test cricket and the legacy that comes with it for many years. This tells us there are two types of people only. Either those who like history and tough tests or those who like to see sixes and are happy to have the time to watch a full cricket game in 3 hours.



Created by Sanya. © England Cricket Blog
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This wallpaper is my first one of Kevin Pietersen. I have often felt he deserved one, along side those of players like Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook and Steven Finn. This is a tribute to him as the ECB have ended his England career.

It came at a time when Kevin Pietersen had more runs than any other Englishman currently playing, in Test cricket. Only Graham Gooch, Alec Stewart and David Gower are ahead of him. Alastair Cook is close behind him with 8047 runs. Kevin has 8181 runs in Test cricket.

Kevin also has the highest runs by an Englishman in Test, One day and Twenty20 combined. In Twenty20 Internationals as well, he is the at the top among English players with 1176 runs with Eoin Morgan close behind at 1076 runs. In an all time list of career runs in the world in Twenty20 Internationals, KP is at 11.

ECB sure knows how to waste talent. I doubt if any English player will ever score 10,000 runs in Test cricket. Alastair Cook must be aware of the ECB.

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Has IPL changed cricket for better or for worse?

Posted: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 by jimmymycrushie in Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Everyone would agree the IPL has changed cricket. For better or for worse, remains a topic to be discussed. Surely, it is fast-paced and more suited to the younger generation and can help in increasing cricket's popularity. However, the people who take interest in IPL are not cricket fans and they will never be.

I'm not totally against IPL. It's not like I think it should be banned or would start a protest against it. It can't be banned of course. People wait for the IPL more than any other cricket tournament or series. If they enjoy it, who am I to complain?

But, I don't think it's a good thing to happen to cricket. It's a lot of things but it just isn't cricket. It has taken the focus of the players and the fans away from country matches, which is pathetic. It's not like Big Bash or the Twenty20 championship in county.

Both of them are domestic tournaments while IPL attracts more attention and disrupts the International calendar. The parties and high pay interest some players more than playing for their countries. You might say there is nothing wrong with it. If the players and fans prefer IPL, what's the harm?

But I say there is. Humans don't always know what's best for them. Like, people prefer reading novels over course books but that doesn't mean novels are better for them. I don't think the IPL is good for the world. And most importantly, it just isn't cricket.

Being an England cricket fan, I used to enjoy England's Test matches the most. Now, I have lost interest in cricket as the interest in International cricket has decreased. Also because the players themselves aren't as interested in it as they used to be. Playing for your country just doesn't mean as much as it used to. Since, cricket is going around all year, fans have lost interest as well.


What makes a team win?

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014 by jimmymycrushie in Labels: , , ,

There is much to be said about what makes teams successful. Do incredible players make a team successful, or is it the captain? The coach? The management?

While most would say all these factors matter, but I reckon what matters the most are the people behind the players. A lot goes into making a team. A lot goes into making a player as well. How does one become a player good enough for International standards? Surely, no one is born with it though some have better genes suited for sports.

I guess it's the conditions you grow up in, the type of cricket you play when you are young. What after it though? We see so many players playing well at the county level yet their potential isn't exploited when playing for the country.

I feel the selectors, coach and the dressing room environment plays a big role. While tough conditions while growing up makes incredible players, as we have often seen, like Don Bradman practicing batting with a wicket in his childhood, talented players need support to grow and do something for their country.

Common mistakes made by captain and selectors:
1. Picking/dropping players based on their personal preferences rather than performance.
2. Wasting time of players by keeping them on the bench for too long.
3. Not giving players any reason for dropping them. If you don't tell them where they are wrong, how would they know what they need to do to get back?
4. Dictating them like bad bosses instead of nurturing their talent and confidence.
5. Placing your ego above winning matches for your country.

Thank you for reading.