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 …

Sportsmanship: The spirit of any sport

Watching PV Sindhu embrace Marin after losing out on an Olympic gold medal may have reminded you of Kipling’s words inscribed at the entrance to Wimbledon’s Centre Court. Here was a 21 year old who already had all the wisdom in the world – dignity in defeat and respect for her opponent.

So let’s forget all the problems with cricket for a second – sledging, match-fixing, spot-fixing, Mankading etc etc. Let us instead look at three of most famous pictures of sportsmanship in cricket and feel good about sport. Here are three instances of cricketers who met with the imposters, triumph and disaster, and treated them just the same. Read More …

Can’t bat, can’t bowl and can’t field. Say hello to the Indian test team (Part 2).

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose – Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

So…nearly two weeks have crawled by since the first part of this post (read part 1 here.)

Ravi Shastri is the new team director. Derbyshire has signed Cheteshwar Pujara. Virat Kohli’s horror run has merely traded formats and coloured clothing for flannels. India lead a series against England 1-0 after the second game (familiar scoreline, anyone?).

The test series defeat still hangs in London’s air like a pall of gloom.

It’s not the defeat that hurts. It’s the gutless manner in which we capitulated – dropping catches, bowling poorly, collapsing innings after innings.

But it was only to be expected. I think it’s rather stupid for anyone to expect our test team to do well abroad. In all honesty, it’s a miracle we still manage to win at home.

Why, then, do we lose test matches?

Read More …