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Monday, December 29, 2014

Is there remote chance of an Indian win at Melbourne .. Ishant's 300 wickets !

A test cap is what people yearn for ! – at Melbourne, alongside Joe Burns another 22 year old, got his chance and batted at number six though he  had never batted at that position even  for his state side in domestic cricket – and when he got out – ‘Stupid, irrational and suicidal’  were just some of the adjectives that were used to describe his debut innings.  In many ways, it was a position of comfort – a great stand of 262 had weakened and demoralised Aussie bowlers and he was to play a spinner. Perhaps  the occasion got the better of him – he was dropped once and yet got out the next ball.
photo credit :

Before that can you identify this person – she is a promising batswoman – hailed as the future of English Cricket ?

For the Indian fan, what will happen tomorrow …. Is there not a remote chance of an Indian win ? – will India try and play for a draw – would they go “allout” or would they be all-out !!! – the possibilities are unlimited and some exciting at Melbourne.  -  Possible rain; possible overnight declaration and challenging target, Indian batsmen freezing ….. . The Border-Gavaskar Trophy is not yet quite secured.  What would Steven Smith and the coach Darren Lehmann think to be an ideal target – will they play it safe or try to foster a win ?  Australia, for sure will have the Adelaide Test in the back of their minds on the final day in Melbourne, where they will begin the morning with a lead of 326 and three wickets in hand. Aggressive declarations are not unknown to the Australians but they will look for further runs on the fifth day, with a draw enough for them to win the series and India having shown solid chasing form in the first Test. On a deteriorating drop-in pitch at Adelaide Oval, India were set 364 and were bowled out for 315, Virat Kohli's century not quite enough as Nathan Lyon bowled Australia to victory.

So tomorrow offers great prospects to the eternally optimistic Indian fan !!!!

KL Rahul became the 284th Indian to don the Test cap. The Karnataka opener was called up for the Boxing Day Test against Australia, ahead of Suresh Raina, Naman Ojha and Wriddhiman Saha and dropping the immensely talented Rohit Sharma. Rahul was picked in the squad  after scoring tons of runs in domestic and touted as a batsman for the future.  The Indian team has done well to hand a cap to KL Rahul, the 22-year-old Karnataka opener with an eye on the future. He did get out playing recklessly – still one hopes that he makes amends in the 2nd essay and in the other opportunities. Now a days there are not many from Karnataka – Roger Binny was the earlier one – unlike yesteryears, when Bombay, Karnataka and Delhi dominated the scene.

At Melbourne, Ishant Sharma joined an elite list of those Indians who have more than 300 International wickets.  For once, I was bowled- thinking it to be 300 club in Tests which has Anil Kumble 619; legendary Kapil Dev 434; Harbhajan singh 413 and Zaheer Khan 311.   It actually is 300+ International wickets i.e., Test + ODI + T20 wickets which still has Kumble on top with 953; followed by Harbhajan 690; Kapil 687; Zaheer 597; Javgal Srinath 551; Agarkar 359; Irfan Pathan and Ishant Sharma 301….. and B Venkatesh Prasad 292.

Getting back to the olden days in Oct 1996, when India played South Africa at home, Sujith Somasundar walked with Sachin Tendulkar and that team had – Somasundar, Rahul Dravid, J Srinath, Sunil Joshi, Anil Kumble and Venkatesh Prasad from Karnataka  (6 in playing X1) .  In June 1982 at Headingley, Leeds  - Sunil Gavaskar’s side had Ghulam Parkar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sandip Patil, Ravi Shastri,  Suru Nayak  (6/11) – besides Viswanath, Yashpal, Kapil, Kirmani & Madanlal.

The photo at the start is that of Nat Sciver, 22 year old, considered to the future of England Cricket and hailed as a great hitter.  Sciver grew up playing football before switching careers to cricket – MailOnline reports that  Natalie, or Nat, Sciver was born in Tokyo and played football in a Polish youth league before taking up cricket. Sciver, 22, is a batting all-rounder good enough as a seam bowler to take a hat-trick in a Twenty20 international against New Zealand.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

29th Dec 2014.

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