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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

support Men in Blue win in today's Semi finals

In 2011 when India played Pak – the Nation almost came to a standstill – such is the madness of Cricket crazy India (yours truly is in the centre of madness)

Today India play New Zealand at Manchester .. ..  Lancashire County Cricket Club was founded  in 1864 as a successor to Manchester Cricket Club, Lancashire have played at Old Trafford since then and, in 1865, played their inaugural first-class match, beating Middlesex at Old Trafford. Cyril Washbrook became Lancashire’s first professional captain in 1954.  In 1895, Archie MacLaren scored 424 in an innings for Lancashire, which remains the highest score by an Englishman in first-class cricket. JOur own Farokh Engineer, the flamboyant keeper and opener played alongside Clive Lloyd between 1968-76.  Years later, the left-arm spinner Murali Karthik too played for this club.

Old Trafford is England's second oldest Test venue after The Oval and hosted the first Ashes Test in England in July 1884. The venue has hosted the Cricket World Cup five times - and is set to host  a record four semi-finals - 1979, 1983, 1999 and 2019. In 1956, the first 10-wicket haul in a single innings was achieved by England bowler Jim Laker who achieved bowling figures of 19 wickets for 90 runs—a bowling record which is unmatched in Test and first-class cricket. Despite its rich cricket history, the venue was perceived as dilapidated and lost test status in 2009. Extensive redevelopment of the ground to increase capacity and modernise facilities commenced soon after in an effort to safeguard international cricket at the venue. The immediate reference of modern times of this place would of course be – ‘Manchester United Football Club’ the professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester; founded in 1878.

His rise has been meteoric – I have heard of Dilip Sardesai, grew up seeing Sunil Gavaskar amass runs, Gundappa Vishwanath oozed class, Sandip Patil entered as a big hitter, Krish Srikkanth sought to redefine the way Indians played, then came the golden era of ‘Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag’ playing together – and when the fab 5 went missing – Virat kohli rose and is in great heights now.   Do you know that when Virat Kohli debuted in WI in a Test match – his co-debutants were Praveen Kumar and Abhinav Mukund.  Mukund outscored him in both the innings but went on the play only 7 tests.    Kohli made his ODI debut at Dambulla in Aug 2008 opening with Gautam Gambhir !

Look at the way he dominates bowlers -  Virat Kohli has not scored a century in the World Cup. In fact, Kohli has not reached three figures in his last ten ODI innings. The last time he experienced such a barren stretch was in the five-month period between January and July in 2017, when he went without an ODI century for 11 innings. It is a strange feeling not just for Kohli, but to people around the game in general, as we've all come to expect special things from the man who is just eight short of matching his idol Sachin Tendulkar for the most number of ODI centuries (49) at just 30-years-old, having played much less number of matches.  One  factor that has forced Kohli to adopt a different role is the success of the Indian openers is  Rohit Sharma scoring  five centuries this World Cup.   This wonder has made 6613 in 77 tests with 25 centuries and 11285 in 235 with 41  centuries.

Team India has played New Zealand 106 times and has won 55 times [1 tie and 5 NR] – In World Cup Cricket it is 3 in 7 – 1975, 1979, 1987 (2), 1992, 1999, 2003.  In 1975, Indians led by S. Venkatraghavan were not prepared for the shorter version – and were defeated.  India made 230 in 60 overs – Abid ali topscoring 70 – NZ chased and made 233 in 58.5 overs.  Glenn Turner made 114.

In ICC U19 WC at Kuala Lumpur in 2008 – it was a clash of Kohli’s India against Williamson led Kiwis. NZ made 205/8 – India chased and won with ease – a revised DL target.  Virat Kohli was the man of the match.  Kiwi had Williamson, Guptill, Corey Anderson, Southee and Trent Boult.  Indian team was – Taruvar Kohli, S Goswami, TM Srivastava, Virat Kohli, Saurabh Tiwary, Manish Pandey, Sir Ravindra Jadeja, Iqbal Abdulla, Pradeep Sangwan, Argal and Sidharth Kaul.

The last time the 2 teams met in 2003 – the  match in Centurion saw another New Zealand top-order batting – a score of 146 did not test the Indians led by mercurial Sourvav Ganguly.   Zaheer Khan had figures of 8-0-42-5; other wicket takers being Srinath 1/20; Ashish Nehra 1/24, Harbhajan Singh  2/28; Sehwag 1/3 & Dinesh Mongia taking 1 off his only delivery.

Let us support Men in Blue – Team India reaching Finals and winning it

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
9th July 2019

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