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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Will CSK put it past KXIP .... ? Pankaj Sharma and something from Roland Garros

This tall player who is in limelight now played his Only ODI in June 2010 – ODI 2988 at Harare against Sri Lanka, yes in the Zimbabwe Triangular series….. India scored 268 and were wiped out by Dinesh Chandimal who made 111.   The debut was not all that impressive ! – since then it has been a norm ……. Every season for the past five years this fast bowler from  Rajasthan finishes  among the top wicket-takers in the Ranji Trophy. He has helped Rajasthan to successive Ranji Trophy titles in2010-11 and 2011-12, finishing as the top and third-highest wicket-taker respectively in those years. This year, his 39 wickets puts him only behind Himachal Pradesh's Rishi Dhawan in the wicket-takers' list – he was continued to be neglected.

At 6'4", Pankaj is the tallest fast bowler along with Ishant Sharma. Capable of swinging the ball both ways, Pankaj uses his height and a strong arm to generate lethal bounce. These are some of the skillsets Pankaj has polished over the years in domestic cricket to be recognised as one of the most dangerous fast bowlers in the country. Pankaj aims to utilise that vast experience with the chance he has now – to  play in England.

In the IPL, the defending Champions, the team with a great load of ex-players as advisors, went down in the eliminator, after finishing fourth, with seven wins from 14 matches. Mumbai Indians were one of two teams to sweep their home games in 2013. This year, their batting was continuously disappointing in the UAE but on their return to the Wankhede Stadium, they toppled Kings XI Punjab, the most dominant team of the season. They dropped only one game at their home ground. Lendl Simmons provided impetus at the top and with his performances; yesterday Dhoni’s men had their measure in their backyard.

Tomorrow will see two teams with contrasting IPL history…  CSK have made it past the group stage in all seven seasons – reaching five finals - Kings XI are yet to make a final. Their best showing was reaching the semis in 2008.  Kings XI was the one team Super Kings failed to outclass in both attempts in the league stages. They have one more chance to rectify that - in the second playoff. Super Kings' weak link - the bowling - was highlighted in both games as Kings XI posted 200-plus scores. In the first meeting, in Abu Dhabi, sixties by Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum powered Super Kings to 205 but the target was cut down to size in spectacular fashion by Kings XI's Glenn Maxwell. Maxwell's switch hits and reverse sweeps stunned Super Kings as he smashed 95 off 43 balls, David Miller made a clinical 54. In Cuttack, a "home" game for Kings XI, Maxwell carried on from where he finished, pounding 90 off 38 balls to lift Kings XI to the season highest 231. Super Kings never threatened the target but still managed 187. It is time for CSK to bounce back now…….

Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, has said he didn't expect such a weakened Indian side for the upcoming three-match ODI series. The visitors announced a 15-man squad without eight of their regulars - captain MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli are among those not making this trip. The team will be led by Suresh Raina, who was not part of India's last ODI assignment, and only four members of this squad -- Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny and Wriddhiman Saha -- will be flying to England to join the Test team.

Day five of Roland Garros 2014 saw the 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova set up an intriguing third round clash with 2009 Roland Garros victor Svetlana Kuznetsova.  Last year’s Wimbledon semi-finalist Kirsten Flipkens went out. She faced the 98th-ranked Israeli  Julia Glushko, who had fallen either in qualifying or the first round of all 11 tournaments she played this year ahead of Roland Garros 2014, saw off the No.21 seed 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

One of only three players to defeat Rafael Nadal on clay this year, Captain Consistent David Ferrer has moved a step closer to a quarter-final rematch with his countryman at Roland Garros, cruising past Italian qualifier Simone Bolelli on Suzanne Lenglen Court. The perennial Spanish No.2 could beat Nadal in a Grand Slam final in straight sets – so lot set to happen this week end

Whom are you supporting ?
With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

29th May 2014.Photo credits : cricinfo.com & rolandgarros.com

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