Posts Tagged ‘Munaf Patel’

Ganguly possibly out for Australia Series

September 8, 2008

Irani Trophy 2008-09

Mohammad Kaif is the likely candidate to replace Sourav Ganguly in the Rest of the India middle order

Sourav Ganguly has been left out of the Rest of India squad for the Irani Trophy match in which I think is a signal from the national selectors that it is time to start phasing out India’s veteran middle-order. Other notable exclusions for the season-opener are Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma and S Badrinath – but Mohammad Kaif has returned to the reckoning after his 94 for India A against Australia A.

The Rest team for the match against Delhi, which starts in Vadodara on September 24, is meant to feature probables for the Australia Test series in October. Ganguly’s exclusion raises once again a question mark over his international future – he is already out of the ODI picture.

A national selector and a senior BCCI official said the selectors consulted Anil Kumble, the India Test captain, and Gary Kirsten, the national coach, before dropping Ganguly. Both Kumble and Kirsten were completely on board with the decision, they said.

One of the selectors also spoke to Ganguly about the decision and the former India captain has “accepted it”, the selector said.

I think it is a signal to the team, he’s 36-37 and it was getting increasingly tough for him to cope with the fielding and fitness levels expected from him at the international level. I think it’s time to start the process of bringing in the next set of players.

While the decision to drop Ganguly was based on a dip in form and his diminishing fielding skills, selectors said, the selectors were not convinced that Yuvraj was completely fit.

However, both insisted that Ganguly’s Test future could still be revived by the new national selection committee, which will pick the Test team for the four-Test series against Australia starting on October 9.

Apparently, the selectors are hoping that Mohammad Kaif, who impressed them with a well-made 94 in the India A vs Australia A match in Bangalore last week, will fill Ganguly’s slot in the middle. “There is also a good chance for Badrinath (the India A skipper),” the selector said. “Badrinath came up with a convincing display in Sri Lanka last month and he is a fantastic fielder too. But again, it is up to the new selection panel.”

He said that Yuvraj’s fitness was the main reason why he was dropped – the left-hander has been dogged by a knee injury, and is also believed to be nursing a shoulder injury.

Meanwhile, Ashok Dinda, the Bengal medium-pacer, got a surprise call-up to the squad while Sachin Tendulkar, who declared himself fit for the match has made it along with Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. Parthiv Patel, the other promotion from the India A side, is likely to open the batting with Wasim Jaffer.

Badrinath, meanwhile, will continue leading India A side, in the limited-overs tri-series, involving Australia A and New Zealand A, starting on September 15. His deputy will be Suresh Raina, fresh from impressive showings in the Asia Cup and in Sri Lanka. Dinesh Karthik, who lost out on the Irani Trophy slot to Parthiv, will be India A’s keeper in the tri-series.

There were rewards for those who did well in the inaugural IPL: Swapnil Asnodkar, Abhishek Nayar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Yusuf Pathan and Wriddhiman Saha found themselves in the 15-member squad. Hyderabad opener DB Ravi Teja was included, as was Saurashtra’s Jaydev Shah. Irfan Pathan and Praveen Kumar, India’s ODI regulars, will also play in the series, while Piyush Chawla and Robin Uthappa, dropped recently, get another chance to impress the selectors.

Rest of India squad: Anil Kumble (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Wasim Jaffer, Mohammad Kaif, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Parthiv Patel, RP Singh, Ashok Dinda, Harbhajan Singh

India A squad for tri-series: S Badrinath(capt), Suresh Raina, Robin Uthappa, Swapnil Asnodkar, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Abhishek Nayar, Irfan Pathan, Praveen Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Piyush Chawla, Ravi Teja, Yusuf Pathan, Jaydev Shah, Wriddhiman Saha

– About Cricket –

Sandesh Kumar

Munaf fined 75% of match fee

August 21, 2008

August 20, 2008

Munaf Patel has been pulled up for his abusive remarks to umpire Gamini Silva in the second ODI

Munaf Patel, the Indian fast bowler, has been fined 75% of his match fee for a breach of the ICC Code of Conduct during the second ODI against Sri Lanka in Dambulla.

Munaf was found guilty of a Level 2 offence by match referee Chris Broad at a hearing following the conclusion of the match which India won by three wickets. Munaf was found to have breached clause 2.8 of the Code which refers to “using language that is obscene, offensive or of a seriously insulting nature to another player, umpire, referee, team official or spectator.”

The incident related to remarks made by the player to umpire Gamini Silva after the official turned down an lbw appeal. During the course of the hearing Munaf pleaded not guilty to the charge but did admit to speaking aggressively to the umpire.

“I accept that in international cricket there is a lot of passion but that does not excuse players talking back to umpires in an aggressive manner, as happened in this case,” Broad said. “That is unacceptable and I hope this decision and the fine imposed demonstrates that fact.”

The charge was laid by the four umpires on duty, Gamini Silva and Billy Doctrove, third official Tyron Wijewardena and fourth umpire RD Kottahachchi. The hearing was attended by Silva, Doctrove and Wijewardena, the player, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India’s captain, and Indian team manager Sanjay Desai.

– About Cricket –

Sandesh Kumar Jaggi

Yuvraj ton steers Indians to big win

August 16, 2008

Scorecard

Powered by Yuvraj Singh’s brutal century, the Indians cruised to a pre-ODI series 92-run win against a Sri Lankan XI at the P Saravanamuttu Stadium in Colombo. Yuvraj hit 13 sixes in a 121-ball 172, taking the Indians to 342 for 5, and in reply the opposition – comprising ten internationals – produced a sloppy chase, managing 250 in their 50 overs. It was a good way for the Indians to celebrate the 61st anniversary of their country’s independence.

The last time Yuvraj had scored a hundred in a limited-overs game had been on October 5 2007, against Australia. He dismissed that drought, albeit against a weaker attack, with a two-paced innings that lifted the Indians to a massive total. Yuvraj came in at No. 4 in the 13th over and struggled initially, often going hard at the ball, which resulted in mistimed drives and dragged cuts. An otherwise erratic Dilhara Fernando – his no-ball problem continued and he bowled too short – beat Yuvraj repeatedly off the upright seam, forcing him to hold back on his expansive strokeplay for a while.

But with Suresh Raina in good nick, the singles came easily. Raina broke free from a tense start by backing away and slamming Fernando over cover for four. He also had his share of mistimed shots, but came back well to blast a big six over midwicket off Jehan Mubarak. Like Gautam Gambhir, he too fell while trying an aggressive shot too many, giving Malinga Bandara his first wicket.

In the mean time, Yuvraj had settled in. Crucially, he was confident against spin – he hit Malinda Warnapura for a six in his solitary over – and his flicks across the line were all power and precision. He stood tall to punch the shorter deliveries through the in-field and his bent-knee while driving down the ground was pleasing.

Yuvraj blasted sixes off the first two balls of Thilan Thushara’s comeback over, the 36th, moving past fifty with the first. A whip over mid-on followed, and Yuvraj then trained his ire towards Bandara, striking his fourth six. His century came off 95 balls, after which he decided to have some fun. In 16 balls, he raced past 150, pasting Mubarak for three more sixes and a four in his final over and hitting his ninth and tenth sixes, both effortless swings over long-on, off a beleaguered Chanaka Welegedara.

Yuvraj’s final six was the pick of the lot, a stunning shot over long-off which nearly took out the press cordon. His 13 sixes were the second-most for a 50-overs innings in this decade, after Namibia’s Gary Snyman, who hit 17 during his 196 against UAE last November.

Yuvraj’s partners went unnoticed during his blitz, but they played their part in India putting up a mammoth total. Rohit Sharma scored a 42-ball 24 in an 85-run fourth-wicket stand, while Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s contribution to a 99-run stand, which came in just 6.4 overs, was a mere 16.

In reply, Upul Tharanga gave his team as robust a start as the Indians had got. He threw the bat at anything marginally over-pitched and wide, tucking into some indifferent new-ball bowling from Munaf Patel and RP Singh. While the two bowlers produced three good lbw shouts in consecutive overs they also gave too much width; Tharanga cashed in with an upper cut over third man and into the ivy-covered scorecard.

But the aggression was short-lived. Through a mixture of edges, top-edges and poor footwork it all started to go downhill. Mahela Udawatte had a fortuitous top-edge over point, followed it up with a perfectly-placed cut for four, only to then spoon a catch to mid-off. Warnapura fell to a very good catch from Gambhir at first slip, taken diving to his left. In the next over, after going past an electrifying half-century, Tharanga tried to pull RP but top-edged to the wicketkeeper, leaving the required rate at just under eight. In fewer than five overs the Sri Lankan XI had combusted.

Harbhajan Singh’s introduction tightened the Indians’ grip. His accurate offspin, backed by balanced and energetic field placing, kept runs at a minimum. A trigger-happy Chamara Kapugedera tried to sweep him out of the park but found deep midwicket instead. With the asking rate burgeoning to nearly ten an over, the sprightly Chamara Silva cut and swept Pragyan Ojha’s left-arm spin for boundaries. After 32 overs the Sri Lankan XI needed 191, and Ojha came back well to force a faint nick from Silva to Dhoni for 38. Mubarak remained in the hunt for a place in the national team with 60 from 74 balls but when he departed the side needed 118 from 15 balls, and the result was never in doubt.

India and Sri Lanka meet in Dambulla for the first ODI on August 18.

About Cricket

Sandesh Kumar Jaggi