IPL 2018 opening weekend: CSK returns with a bang and our fantasy cricket tips

What a start it has been to IPL 2018! CSK and their yellow jerseys made their much awaited return to the IPL fold at the Wankhede stadium against the defending champions, Mumbai Indians. Simply stunning!

In this week’s episode of Edges & Sledges:

  1. we talk to a Chennai SuperKings fan, Vishnu Mohan, about the CSK comeback and what it means to the people of this cricket crazy city; and
  2. we discuss the Delhi Daredevils and Gautam Gambhir’s role at his new franchise; and
  3. give fantasy cricket fans some of our best fantasy cricket tips – make sure you use these tried and tested tricks in your campaign this IPL!

If you missed it live, please watch the show on YouTube by clicking the video below. Please do make sure you SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel as well to make sure you don’t miss any of the upcoming episodes.

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Thank you for all your support and we really hope you join us next weekend when we go live on Facebook!

South Africa v India: The Freedom Series Preview

1992 – Kapil breaking orange(!) stumps to mankad Peter Kirsten upon South Africa’s return to international cricket.

1996 – Tendulkar’s off stump sent cart-wheeling by Allan Donald. 100 in the first innings in Durban, 66 in the second innings. Magic from Sachin and Azhar at Cape Town, ended only by a magical catch by Adam Bacher. Rahul Dravid’s maiden test ton at Johannesburg. The test series won by South Africa 2-0 after rain and bad light frustrated India’s hopes in JohannesburgDonald swearing at Dravid and Tendulkar while they cart him around in the ODI tri-series final.

2001- Sehwag’s hundred on test debut. Charges of ball-tampering by Tendulkar and an unofficial test match.

2006- Sreesanth’s magical spell at Jo’burg. 2-1 to South Africa.

2011 – Tendulkar (146) v Steyn (5/75). Spell-binding cricket. Series drawn 1-1.

2013 – A near world record chase of 458 at Jo’burg. A six wicket haul by Steyn and a farewell hundred by Kallis helps the Saffers take the series 1-0.

After what felt like a million meaningless cricket matches against Sri Lanka, India has reached South Africa. And if you are feeling a mixture of dread and excitement, you are not alone. The first test of the Freedom Series begins at Newlands in Cape Town tomorrow – finally some competitive cricket! Read More …

India v Sri Lanka: The Kohli-coaster rolls on

At the end of the first day’s play in Delhi, Kohli remained undefeated on 146. Three test matches against Sri Lanka have seen three contrasting tons from the Indian captain.

The first test at Eden Gardens saw Kohli get a ten-ball duck in the first innings. Walking in with Sri Lanka in the hunt for the win, Kohli’s second innings hundred on a spicy pitch swung the match decisively in India’s favour. One of his best efforts, one which nearly saw India pull off a famous come-from-behind win at the spiritual home of Indian cricket.

Kohli’s double hundred in Nagpur was pure efficiency after the Murali-Pujara show. He cut out risk and ground the Lankans into the dust without mercy. 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.

India v Australia, third test, Ranchi: Cricket’s dreaded C-Word

Our first post on this blog was way back in August 2014 – the same month we wrote about how terrible the Indian test team was at bowling, batting and fielding, and boy are we glad to see the progress Kohli’s side has made! In light of #DressingRoomGate, we decided to search our site to see just how often we had used cricket’s dreaded “C-Word” in two and a half years of blog posts, and here’s what we got:

Cricket Cheating

Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

While we have written about sportsmanship and cricket becoming a contact sport, not once in two and a half years on this blog have we used cricket’s forbidden C-Word. Indian skipper Kohli is often seen on camera screaming obscenities,  yet even he refused to say the word on camera. To quote Captain K –“I don’t want to mention the word … I would never do something like that on the cricket field”.

We’ll just go ahead and finally say it: Cheating.

That’s right, cheating – but what exactly is it? Here are some simple dictionary definitions:

  • To behave in a dishonest way in order to get what you want
  • To deprive of something valuable by the use of deceit or fraud
  • To violate rules dishonestly

The Incident

To summarise, on day four of the Bengaluru test, Aussie captain Steve Smith appeared to act in contravention of the DRS rules which state:

“If the umpires believe that the captain or batsman has received direct or indirect input emanating other than from the players on the field, then they may at their discretion decline the request for a Player Review. In particular, signals from the dressing room must not be given.”

That quick glance over to his dressing room has caused much uproar in the week since it occurred.

The Fall Out

Smith called it a ‘brain fade’, Kohli called it everything short of the c-word. Smith seems to believe it was a momentary lapse, which he regrets. Kohli claimed to have seen a pattern of abuse, and refused to buy the ‘brain fade’ explanation.The BCCI was outraged. Cricket Australia seemed unmoved by the incident but was outraged at the BCCI’s outrage. Heck, even Faf du Plessis chimed in for some reason.

The BCCI has since dropped its official complaint.

Our View

With all that said, what do we at 1 Tip 1 Hand make of it all?

To us, it made absolutely no sense that Steve Smith, with 52 tests of experience, seemed to immediately pin the blame on his partner Peter Handscomb, who was playing his 6th test. Heck, Peter Handscomb tweeted soon after to take all the blame, which now seems a bit too well-orchestrated. “Blame the new guy” is a pretty standard corporate world move, but not often used in the sporting world!

Yet, we believe in giving the benefit of the doubt, and great cricket comes above all else. The series has produced two incredible test matches, in completely different ways, and we can’t wait for the third test in Ranchi to start tomorrow. Also, calling someone is a cheat is a pretty big thing, when it comes to the gentleman’s game so we won’t label Steve Smith with the C-Word…just yet. However, Steve Smith will do well to remember that sports fans, especially Indian cricket fans, have very long memories. We won’t forget this easily and the label will stick if there are any further brain fades.

Let’s all move on now and get back to the cricket.

The 3rd test of the India-Australia Series kicks off in Ranchi on March 16th, 2017 at 9:30am IST.