India beat the Kiwis but questions remain unanswered

Well, that was a bit of a let-down, wasn’t it?

Going in to the final ODI of the series, the Kiwis had shown fantastic character and fight to tie the ODI series 2-2. However, Vizag saw India wrap up an easy 190 run win so that everyone could have an early night before Diwali celebrations begin on Sunday.

The Kiwis were bowled out for 79, their lowest score against India. Rohit and Kohli scored half-centuries. Amit Mishra picked up five wickets. The long tour seemed to finally get to the Kiwis and it looked like some of the Black Caps had already mentally checked-out.

While the win was a nice little Diwali gift, India will need to do some thinking. While the Champions Trophy 2017 is set to start next June (8 months away!), India only play three more ODIs before then.

Here are four question marks that continue to hang over India’s limited overs team.  Read More …

AB: The Amazing AB de Villiers Autobiography

Last Sunday, a friend gifted me a copy of AB de Villier’s autobiography “AB” for my birthday. I have only managed to read three chapters but two things have already blown my mind.

  1. AB has spoken with God. Not once, but twice.
  2. AB has clarified claims about him being the greatest sportsman ever.

Let us take the second mind-blowing revelation first.

Here is a screenshot of the Sky Sports article on AB De Villiers which appeared on 28 February 2015. I have set out below AB’s clarifications from Chapter 3 of his book against each of these claims.

abdv-sky-sports-article

 

“Collaborated with South African singer-songwriter Ampie du Preez on the song Make Your Dreams Come True which has 138,290 hits on YouTube. We’ll let you be the judge.” COULD NOT VERIFY ON YOUTUBE but AB’s rendition of “Yeh Dosti” on YouTube has 843,526 views as of 19 October 2016. Go check it out.

“De Villiers was shortlisted for South African national hockey and football squads.” FALSE. ABdV has never played beyond school level at hockey and has only ever played football (soccer) at cricket warm-ups!

“He was the captain of South Africa junior rugby.” FALSE. ABdV played rugby at school level but not at national level, nor was he captain!

“Is still the holder of six national school swimming records.” FALSE. ABdV claims that broke his school’s under-9 breakstroke record, but no national records. Read More …

India v New Zealand ODI series: Fantasy Cricket Tips and Preview

India v New Zealand ODI series 2016 (16 October – 29 October 2016)

The Teams

Coming off a crushing 3-0 loss in the test series, New Zealand will be banking on their explosive batting line-up for a fresh start in the ODI series.

The Indian ODI team looks fairly different from the test team – Dhawan, K.L. Rahul, Bhuvi are injured, Raina is ill with viral fever and Ashwin, Shami, and Jadeja are all rested for the first three ODIs. 

While the Kiwis are #7 in tests (India are ranked #1), New Zealand are the #3 ODI team (India are just below at #4). The pressure will be on M.S. Dhoni’s men to win by a 4-1 margin and leap-frog the Kiwis in the ODI ranks.

The Venues

Dharamsala, Delhi, Mohali, Ranchi and Visakhapatnam.

Our Fantasy Picks

Here are our top 3 fantasy cricket picks from each side for the ODIs. Read More …

New Zealand Tour of India: 5 Takeaways from the Kiwi-wash

Pure agony fuelled 1 Tip 1 Hand’s first ever blog post in August 2014. India’s tour of England was in shambles and Dhoni’s test side was on its way to losing 3-1. Virat Kohli was woefully out of form. The bowlers were ineffective, catches were being dropped and the Indian line-up was collapsing regularly – we even wrote a post about how the Indian test team cannot bat, bowl or field.

We really have come a long way since then.

Kohli took over the mantle of test captaincy after Dhoni decided to retire from test cricket. India actually competed in the test series in Australia. We won a tight series in Sri Lanka. The South Africans were humbled 4-0 in India. The scoreline was 2-0 in favour of India in the West Indies. Most recently, the Kiwi challenge was swept aside 3-0. Finally, Kohli’s India grabbed the no.1 test ranking.

Here’s our wrap-up of the India v New Zealand test series. Read More …

Is Team India guaranteed the No.1 test ranking?

It’s not often that the top test ranking changes as often as it has in 2016. Last Monday, Virat “fitness freak” Kohli’s Indian team crushed New Zealand by 178 runs and with that toppled Pakistan to regain their number 1 status – for the third time in 2016! India began the year at number 1 overtaking South Africa and got back on top briefly in August but over the last ten months, Pakistan and Australia have also held the top spot.

How the ICC calculates test rankings

Some of you will remember that India was top of the (test) pops from late 2009 to early 2011. But how does the ICC calculate test rankings?
– Points are calculated based on a complex weightage formula. Matches two years or older get less weightage (50%), matches less than two years old get more weightage (100%).
– Each team is given one rating point for every win, half for a draw and one bonus point for a series win.
– Ratings are also determined based on the relative rankings of the teams – so if you keep winning against teams that are ranked lower than yours, your rating points increase but slowly.
– It is possible for a team to win a series and suffer a fall in ratings. This would happen if a highly ranked team defeats a low ranked team by a small margin and the results of other series go against them.

All very complex! For those who are really interesting in the mathematics, have a read of this ESPNCricinfo’s summary of how the rankings work.

Where is India in the ICC test rankings right now?

For all you Indian fans who have gone to check out the official ICC test rankings, do note that these are updated only after every series so India is still showing as number 2 with 110 rating points with Pakistan on top with 111 rating points.

Interestingly, the CricBuzz website has reported that India will fall back to number 2 if they lose the third test in Indore. The reason CricBuzz gives is that both Pakistan and India will have 111 ratings points but Pakistan will be ahead of India on decimal points. However, this is contrary to the official ICC position which says that India is guaranteed to be number 1 at the end of the series even if New Zealand earn a consolation win (but Pakistan will have a shot at reclaiming its ranking shortly against the West Indies).

Confused? So are we!  Read More …