Favourite ODI Innings (Part 2 of 3) – Virat Kohli’s 133* v Sri Lanka

This is the second part of our feature and Ashwin has picked his favourite ODI innings– Virat Kohli’s 133* v Sri Lanka at Hobart. You can read the first part here.

The birth of a superstar

Game 11 of a trination series in Australia is being played at Hobart. India’s past four games read tie, loss, loss, loss, loss. Coming into this match against Sri Lanka, India needed the bonus point to just stay alive in the series.

India win the toss and chose to field, meaning that they will know the bonus point equation when they come out to bat. The bowlers fail to deliver. Dilshan gets to 160*, Sangakkara smashes a century off just 84 balls and Sri Lanka walk off the field smiling with 320 on the board. India need to chase the total within 40 overs to secure a bonus point. To put things in context, India has just suffered 3 back-to-back losses while chasing, all of which were sub-300 targets and their last outing saw them being bowled out for 165. 321 in 40 overs is perhaps a bit more than daunting.

None of this seems to matter to Kohli as he walks out to bat. At that stage, India need 8 runs an over. Sachin and Sehwag are back in the hut. He proceeds to make a mockery of the chase. 16 Fours, 2 Sixes take him to 133* off just 86 balls. One sequence against Malinga, considered the world’s best bowler at the time, reads 2-6-4-4-4-4-1-4-4. That’s 33 runs in 9 balls.  Read More …

South Africa’s Tour of India: Third ODI, Rajkot

The SA tour so far has had it all.

Rohit Sharma tons. Check.

[Click to watch H/Ls of 106 (66) and 150 (134)]

India’s Rohit Sharma celebrates after completing his century during their first Twenty-20 cricket match against South Africa in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamsala, India, October 2, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Last over loss. Check.

[1st T20, 1st ODI]

ms-dhoni-kagiso-rabada

Virat Kohli being an angry young man after being run out. Check (twice).

Pathetic behaviour by an Indian crowd. Check. Read More …

Gully Cricket : Is it dying a slow and painful death?

Been back in India for about a week. Came upon this scene while walking around my house in Gurgaon.

A dusty patch of land surrounded by overgrown weeds.

IMG_2895

Within minutes, a cricket match (the Thums Up Trophy?) commenced.

participants

Naturally, I could not resist and asked to join in. The players were happy to oblige. I swung my bat every ball with no other thought but to hit it as far as possible. I scrambled in the dust to field the red tennis ball. I bowled loopy leggies since anything quick-ish was outlawed. Several of the classic gully cricket rules were on display. Read More …

Cheteshwar Pujara: Take a bow!

A lively pitch assisting both seam and spin. Your skipper loses the toss and you’re out there opening the batting. Your opening partner goes second ball shouldering arms to one that jags back in.

Not the best circumstances to try and make your comeback into the test team?

Unless you are Cheteshwar Pujara.

You respond the only way you know how. With runs. Tough runs while your team-mates crumble under pressure. You grit your teeth and grind it out.

Solid forward defence against pace. Fleet-footed against spin. Old fashioned test cricket.

So what if you had to carry drinks for your more ‘talented’ team-mates in the last few games?

Technique. Temperament. Test match hundred.

Cheteshwar Pujara, how we’ve missed you. Take a bow!