India vs New Zealand, 1st ODI (Mumbai, 2017)

Since falling agonisingly short of the Champions Trophy, Kohli and his band of merry men have had a busy summer. India may have lost Anil Kumble as a coach but they have continued their stellar form to conquer Sri Lanka (3-0 in tests, 5-0 in ODIs), West Indies (3-1, ODIs) and Australia (4-1, ODIs). With the weather cooling down and Diwali celebrations nearly complete, the Indian team gets down to the serious business of hosting New Zealand for 3 ODI and 3 T20s.

The ICC Rankings tell us that India should win the ODI series while NZ should walk away with the T20 honours; India is the #2 ODI Team, up against the #5 ranked NZ side. Conversely NZ has top T20 billing against India’s fifth place.

Cricket, however, would be deathly boring if everything went to plan.

The ODI series kicks off Sunday, October 22nd, at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai (1.30pm IST). Read More …

Second Innings: The Refugee Cricket Project

A few months ago, while the Indian Premier League was on someone on our fantasy cricket Whatsapp group asked the others to make a guess at Rashid Khan’s age. Estimates varied between 30 and 600. Some Shahid Afridi jokes were thrown in for good measure.

The answer – 20 September 1998, making Rashid Khan 18. The wise one on our Whatsapp Group said – “When you have the Taliban in your backyard, you age faster“.

True that. Read More …

ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Preview & Top Fantasy Cricket picks

Bored of playing the same old fantasy cricket league? Ready to try something new this ICC Champions Trophy? Read on…

We are excited to announce the free-to-play 1Tip1Hand fantasy league on Fanto.

We think Fanto brings a different approach to fantasy cricket, removing budgets and simplifying substitutions by having an unlimited transfer window after every round of fixtures (4 matches). Registration takes 2 minutes and you can use the league pin BEC50D3004 to compete in our league. Check it out here to make the ICC Champions Trophy even more exciting!

To help you pick your winning combo, we have set out below our team previews and key players. Happy fantasy-ing! Read More …

IPL 2017 Preview: Part 2

One day to go for IPL 2017! Here is the second part of our IPL 2017 preview covering KKR, GL, KXIP and DD.

Read Part 1 here.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Skipper:                                  Gautam Gambhir

2016 Finish:                          #4 of 8, losing the eliminator to eventual champions

Best Finish Ever:                  2012 and 2014 Winners

First Match:                           Gujarat Lions vs. KKR at Rajkot, Friday April 7th, 2017 at 8pm IST

Team Balance:                      Probably the best balanced side of all – batting, all-rounders, spinners, pacers, young, old!

Players to Watch:

  1. Robin Uthappa: No longer playing for India, Uthappa continues to shine in the IPL; 3390 runs with 17 half centuries since 2008
  2. Trent Boult: Stuck in a stacked SRH lineup last year, he barely played, but will be an excellent fast bowling replacement for Morne Morkel
  3. Chris Woakes: T20 Strike rate of 139 with the bat, 400+ first class wickets with the ball. KKR may have found the perfect replacement for Andre Russell.

Gujarat Lions

Read More …

India’s Grand Test Season Ends (2016-17)

3-0; 4-0; 1-0; 2-1.

A football team would have been proud to win by such margins. Except, these are test matches won by India in four series this test season – New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia.

P13 W10 L1 D2

A win percentage of 76%. A loss percentage of 7.6%. Incredible numbers.

Pitches

All the talk before this home season was about turning pitches. About how Indian pitches were killing test cricket. About how India could only win on turning tracks.

Of the 13 test matches played this season, there were two pitches that turned square – Pune and Bengaluru. The others were good test wickets. Dharamsala where the Australia series concluded so dramatically was an atypical Indian wicket with pace, bounce and carry.

Tosses

India won 6 tosses out of 13. It is true that every time India won the toss, it won the test. However, India also won 4 games out of the 7 tosses it lost (with two draws and one loss), often coming from behind to beat scoreboard pressure. No luck involved there.

Character

Along the way we found out a few more things about the Indian team:

  • That Pujara might be a slow scorer, but is the backbone of the test line-up.
  • That Umesh Yadav has finally grown into the bowler he sometimes threatened to be.
  • That Saha makes runs when the going is tough.
  • That Ashwin played the Australia series with sports hernia (and will miss the IPL).
  • That Rahul played the last four test matches needing shoulder surgery (and will miss the IPL).
  • That Vijay played most of the season with a wrist and shoulder injury (and will likely miss the IPL).
  • That Kohli with three double hundreds in the season hurt his shoulder trying to save a single run for the team (and will miss part of the IPL).
  • That Kohli will carry the drinks for the team if it means he stays involved.
  • That the Indian team was obviously exhausted at the end of a long season but still put in one last heroic performance in Dharmsala to make Kohli’s India the current holder of the test trophy against every other nation.
  • That, this season, the Indian team this season put test cricket above all other forms.

IPL madness starts on Wednesday. This time, let no one say that the IPL is killing the test game.

We will remember this season of test cricket for a long, long time.