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Thursday, March 31, 2016

who will replace Yuvraj ~ Semi finals : West Indies play two

You see lot of power punch in that !

There are two semi final matches today featuring West Indies.  West Indies have been the eternal bridesmaids at the Women's World T20. Having failed to get past the semi-final stage in three previous attempts, they have a fourth chance at redemption when they take on Suzie Bates' New Zealand, who are in rip-roaring form, having won all their group games with a touch of disdain.

In the 1st Semis, England lost by 5 runs.  Mark Robinson, the head coach of the England women's team, blamed their five-run defeat against Australia in the World T20 semi-final on the squad's poor standards of fitness, and challenged his players to improve their running between the wickets in particular, after falling short in yet another major global tournament. Speaking alongside England's beaten captain, Charlotte Edwards, at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, Robinson said that the defeat was still too raw to contemplate its full implications. However, he exonerated Edwards herself from any criticism, saying that he needed "a few more warriors like the captain" to take the team to the next level.

Black caps were on a roll, just as they did in the ODI WC losing to Aussies in the finals.  Yesterday they were cruising at 107/2 in 13.1 – but eventually made only 153 !  Colin Munro was destructive with 46 from 32 balls, but Plunkett out-thought him with a deliberate line wide of off stump and Munro perished via a top edge to third man.    New Zealand managed only 20 runs from the last four overs - England's best-ever effort during that segment of a T20 innings - as Chris Jordan and Ben Stokes again put on the squeeze at the death.  When England batted,
Jason Roy electrified England's reply to far-from-imposing 153 for 8, his 78 from 44 balls ended by Ish Sodhi's dragged-down legbreak that beat his advance down the pitch and crashed into the timber. "I've got to realise I'm not a robot," Roy said earlier in the tournament.

All Indians are waiting for today’s match.  Fifty-two runs at an average of 13.00. Three overs, 19 runs, one wicket. One twisted ankle. At 34, these might well be the last set of numbers generated by Yuvraj Singh at an ICC event. A modest set of numbers for a limited-overs great, but they do not reveal the importance of some of his contributions.  India have played the same eleven right through the World T20, and Yuvraj's injury will force them into changing their combination for the first time. They have three possible replacements, none of them exactly like-for-like. Ajinkya Rahane, Pawan Negi and Manish Pandey.   

Remember India’s fortunes turned at SCG with a grand  win – the hero was Manish Pandey who shot into limelight with a century in IPL.  His century in third innings is the least by any Indian batsman.  Surprisingly, the earlier record holder is not Sachin, Sehwag, Dravid, Ganguly but Kedar Jadhav, who got his first century in his fourth innings, against Zimbabwe in Harare in 2015.

At SCG – the  first ball Virat Kohli faced in a tight and ultimately successful chase at SCG should have gone for four runs. Instead, the ball was called dead because it hit the spidercam on its way to the boundary.  Before that match, people were craving for Dhoni’s head  - some wrote : We don't know when Dhoni's next ODI will be, or if there will be one (can't bank on a farewell tour for Dhoni).

At SCG -  he was extremely pleased that two youngsters helped India cross the line they have been finding so difficult to chase. Manish Pandey, in his fourth ODI, and Jasprit Bumrah, on debut, finally provided the support Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli so badly needed.  Pandey remained cool. Not to mention the 10 or so runs he saved in the field.

On 23rd Jan 2016, chasing a tall 331 – Pandey’s 81 ball 104 not out ensured an Indian win.  My pick is on him replacing Yuvraj and coming higher in the order too…. what do you say ?

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

31st Mar 2016

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