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 …

West Indies-Australia-South Africa Triseries: Preview and Top Fantasy Cricket Tips

It’s been a few days since the IPL wrapped up and if you are still suffering from IPL Withdrawal Syndrome (yes, it’s a thing!), perhaps the ODI Triseries between West Indies, South Africa and Australia starting on 3 June to will help ease your symptoms. And for those you missing your daily fix of fantasy cricket, OyeCaptain is running leagues for the triseries as well.

The Teams

Australia, South Africa and the West Indies. The West Indies are still the subject of selection politicking – despite not having played in the domestic ODI tournament, Pollard and Sunil Narine were picked for this triseries while the other “rebels” DJ Bravo, Chris Gayle and DJ Sammy were not.  The Windies will also be disappointed after missing out on qualification for next year’s Champions Trophy in England and will be out to prove a point. South Africa, led by the magnificent AB de Villiers, will be competitive but their team composition has issues of its own – they have apparently rested Dale Steyn but he is playing T20 cricket in England! At present, the World Champions Australia look the most settled of the three teams and will be the ones to beat. Mitchell Starc should make his return from injury to strengthen the Aussie bowling line-up.

The Venues

Guyana, St. Kitts and Barbados. The pitches in the West Indies have become much slower and lower than in the heydays of the West Indian pace attack. Expect the spinners to dominate proceedings with the quicks having to rely on changes of pace and cutters to pick up wickets. Batting will not be easy and anything above 275 will be competitive on these difficult pitches.

Our Picks for your Fantasy Cricket Team

We have picked our top Fantasy Cricket XI from across the three teams for the entire tri-series so make sure these guys are in your teams! Enjoy!

Read More …

Opinion: Is Virat Kohli the best batsman in the world?

I remember having a conversation at the end of 2011 with one of my co-bloggers about this youngster called Virat Kohli who was just starting to make a few runs for India in ODIs. I told him then that this guy would be a future star for India, maybe even the next Sachin. While we chomped on our respective orders of butter chicken in a restaurant in London’s Covent Garden, my friend dismissed the idea outright. He said that he had hoped the same of Gambhir but he was now on his way out of the team. He said despairingly we would never find anyone even half as good as Sachin or Sehwag.

Five years later, here we are.

The kid is now captain of the Indian test team. He has nearly won us two WT20s single-handedly and is on track to beat Sachin’s record of 49 hundreds in ODIs. He has effortlessly slipped into the vacuum created by Sachin’s retirement and now shoulders the expectations of a cricket-mad nation. I still feel a bit smug about my prediction.

Let’s face it. If Virat Kohli was in any team other than India, we would have probably hated his guts. The carefully arranged hair, the plucked eyebrows, the Bollywood (ex?) girlfriend and the incessant sledging would have annoyed us no end.

But Kohli is one of ours and we love him. With our cricket-watching population, this makes him the most loved cricketer in the world. Simple mathematics, yaar.

But can he lay claim to being the world’s best batsman? Read More …

Singh is King : Australia v India, 3rd T20

Another Kohli special in a big chase. Raina is batting well at the other end.

It’s Yuvraj Singh’s first innings for India since 2014.

The last time he played at the international level Yuvraj scored 11 off 21 in the final of the T20 World Cup. Strike rate – 52.

He was dropped from the team for nearly two years because India had lost a world title. Some heads had to roll.

But he made his way back to the team. He sat with his pads on, watching the kids feast on the bowling for two games.

When he finally got to bat in the last game of the tour, he scratched his way to 5 off 9 balls. Strike rate – 55. Read More …

No pressure, no diamonds #AusvInd

Visualise this.

You are batting beautifully. Hitting the ball right in the sweet spot. Finding gaps in the field. The fielders are fumbling. The bowlers have resorted to sledging. You respond by smashing them even harder. The fielding captain is looking to the heavens for inspiration.

The run chase is under control. All is well with the world. You are already planning your post-match celebrations.

It’s been a massive partnership.Finally, a wicket goes down. Might be a tired shot or a loose one. Never mind, plenty of wickets left in the bank. Read More …