Posts Tagged ‘Preview’

India v/s Australia 3rd Test Preview

October 28, 2008

Dear Readers,

For the interesting match facts and figures between India and Australia for 3rd Test, click below:


– About Cricket –

Sandesh Kumar


Australia v/s Bangladesh 3rd ODI Preview

September 5, 2008

Australia v Bangladesh, 3rd ODI, Darwin

Match facts

Australia want to wrap up the series as comfortably as possible after thrashing Bangladesh in the first two games © AFP

Saturday, September 6, 2008
Start time 9.30am (local)

The Big Picture

Australia have wrapped up the three-match series by winning the first two matches but it is the one-sided nature of those games that is the biggest concern for Bangladesh. The first was decided by 180 runs, the second by eight wickets. Bangladesh made 74 in the opening game and 117 on Wednesday. The captain Mohammad Ashraful was critical of his side and said it was a much better team than the results reflected, although the men lacked confidence against the world’s top team. Bangladesh will be aiming for a competitive effort to finish the series. For Michael Clarke, the goals are not only to win but also to give some of Australia’s lesser-known players a chance to shine.

ODI form guide

Australia – WWWWW (most recent first)
Bangladesh – LLLLL

Team news

Australia’s desire to make absolutely certain of a 3-0 result means they are unlikely to tinker with their best eleven. In any case, they have little choice. Brett Geeves is the only man who could potentially come in, having picked up two wickets on debut in the opening game.

Australia (possible) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Shaun Marsh, 3 Michael Clarke (capt), 4 Michael Hussey, 5 David Hussey, 6 Brad Haddin (wk), 7 Cameron White, 8 James Hopes, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Nathan Bracken, 11 Stuart Clark.

A few players showed promising signs in the second match. Dhiman Ghosh’s lower-order striking was briefly entertaining and Junaid Siddique and Shakib Al Hasan held off the Australia attack for some time. With Raqibul Hasan unavailable due to his broken thumb their batting options are limited and the same top order might be retained.

Bangladesh (possible) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Mehrab Hossain jnr, 3 Junaid Siddique, 4 Mohammad Ashraful (capt), 5 Shakib al Hasan, 6 Alok Kapali, 7 Dhiman Ghosh (wk), 8 Mashrafe Mortaza, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Nazmul Hossain, 11 Shahadat Hossain.

Watch out for …

Nathan Bracken Did the top-order damage on Wednesday with some excellent swing bowling. If Bangladesh bat first again he could the man to make quick inroads into their line-up. Appears comfortable as the leader of an attack missing Brett Lee and his consistency and accuracy continue to make up for his lack of genuine speed.

Shakib Al Hasan One of the few men to have shown impressive glimpses in both games, Shakib showed some much-needed patience in compiling 19 in the second match. His dismissal came from a good Mitchell Johnson inswinger rather than a loose stroke and Bangladesh will be hoping he can again be composed on Saturday. His left-arm spin has been just as important and he has four wickets, including the cheap removal of Clarke in both games.

Umpires Amiesh Saheba, Peter Parker.

Pitch and conditions

The drop-in pitches in Darwin have not been the easiest surfaces to bat on, although Australia have made it look considerably simpler than Bangladesh. The players will be expecting early seam and swing and whoever bats first must work hard through the first hour.


Another hot and sunny day is predicted, with a top temperature of 34 degrees.

Stats and trivia

Bangladesh have won one of their past 14 one-day internationals, with the only success coming against the United Arab Emirates. In the same time they have won the toss on ten occasions.

In the past two matches, Cameron White has more than doubled his wicket tally in ODIs.

Bracken needs two more victims to become the seventh Australian to claim 150 one-day international wickets.

– About Cricket –

Sandesh Kumar Jaggi

India v/s Sri Lanka 3rd ODI Preview

August 23, 2008

India v/s Sri Lanka 3rd ODI Preview

August 23, 2008

Sanath Jayasuriya hasn’t fired yet in the series but he returns to a venue where he has an imposing record against the Indians

Match facts

Sunday, August 24, 2008
Start time 2.30pm (local time) 0900 (GMT)

Big Picture

Mahendra Singh Dhoni and S Badrinath saved India the blushes with a series-levelling win in Dambulla on Wednesday, but the manner in which the win was achieved suggests Sri Lanka remain the favourites for the next game. The venue will suit them too: the last three matches will all be played at the Premadasa Stadium, a venue in which they have won 44 ODIs and lost just 17, giving them a win-loss ratio which is among the best by any team at any ground.

It isn’t just that history favours them; they are the better team on current form as well. The batting stuttered badly in the second game, but there’s enough firepower and experience in the top order to ensure that the mistakes aren’t repeated, while the bowling, especially in home conditions, hardly ever falters.

India, on the other hand, have plenty of top-order worries: the batting line-up has failed to decode the mysteries of Ajantha Mendis, and even a target of 143 seemed like a huge mountain to climb. Gautam Gambhir’s return will be a plus, but the rest of the batsmen will need to lift it a couple of notches as well. The bowling, especially the display of Zaheer Khan, has been terrific so far, and the onus will probably be on them to cover up for the deficiencies of the batsmen.

Form guide (last 5 ODIs)

Sri Lanka LWWLW

Watch out for

Sanath Jayasuriya clearly loves facing the Indians at the Premadasa Stadium, and the fact that he has only scored 23 from two innings in the series so far suggests he is due for some runs. In his last seven innings against them here, Jayasuriya has topped 50 five times. Expect more fireworks on Sunday.

Gautam Gambhir has looked the best equipped to play spin among the current Indian batsmen, and if he sees off the new-ball threat, he could well provide the solidity that the team has lacked in the first two games.

Badrinath v Murali and Mendis: Badrinath handled the Sri Lankan spin threats with plenty of assurance in his debut innings. Can he repeat the act?

Team news

Sri Lanka’s middle order folded without a trace last Wednesday, but Mahela Jayawardene made it clear that changes will not be made on the basis of that one display. That means Chamara Silva – who has six single-digit scores in his last nine ODI innings, including ducks in his last two – will retain his place. Chaminda Vaas is likely to return, though, after recovering from a hamstring niggle that kept him out of the previous ODI, and will get an opportunity to take the one wicket he needs to join Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Muttiah Muralitharan in the 400-wicket club. If Vaas passes the fitness test, Dilhara Fernando will probably sit out.

Sri Lanka (likely) 1 Sanath Jayasuriya, 2 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 3 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 4 Chamara Silva, 5 Chamara Kapugedera, 6 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 7 Chaminda Vaas, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Thilan Thushara, 10 Ajantha Mendis, 11 Muttiah Muralitharan.

With Gambhir having recovered from a stiff neck that kept him out of the second ODI, the Indian team will see at least one change. Rohit Sharma, who made a second-ball duck in that game and has struggled recently, will probably make way for Gambhir, while Badrinath will keep his place in the middle order after an impressive and composed unbeaten 27 on debut.

India (likely) 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Virat Kohli, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt & wk), 6 S Badrinath, 7 Irfan Pathan, 8 Praveen Kumar, 9 Harbhajan Singh, 10 Zaheer Khan, 11 Munaf Patel.

Pitch & conditions

The pitch is expected to be firm, and a better one for batting than in Dambulla, but the weather could have a major role to play as well: rains disrupted India’s practice session today, and more thundershowers are forecast tomorrow. The Premadasa Stadium is tied with the SSC as the grounds to have hosted the maximum number of washed out games – six each – and if the forecast turns out to be accurate, this ground could sneak into sole leadership position in a rather unwanted category.

Stats & Trivia

  • In day-night games at the Premadasa since 2000, teams batting first have won 23 times and lost ten. Sri Lanka have a 11-2 record when batting first during this period. When chasing in day-night games, their record drops to 6-4.

  • India have an 8-12 win-loss record in day-night games here, but under lights against Sri Lanka that records drops to 3-10. In the last five completed games against the hosts they’ve won one and lost five.

  • Jayasuriya has scored 2212 runs at the Premadasa Stadium. Only Inzamam-ul-Haq, with 2464 runs at Sharjah, has scored more at a single ground.

  • Jayasuriya has an outstanding record against India at this ground, averaging 52.22 at a strike rate of 96.60, but Jayawardene and Sangakkara haven’t had as much success here.

  • Murali’s 14 wickets against India here have cost him 38.85 each, while Vaas has been more successful with 18 wickets at 26.16.

– About Cricket –

Sandesh Kumar Jaggi

Preview: Dominant South Africa as favourites

August 22, 2008

Match facts

Friday August 22, 2008
Start time 2.30pm (13.30GMT)

The gloves are on: Matt Prior returns as England’s wicketkeeper © Getty Images

Big Picture

Chastened by a 2-1 defeat in the Test series, England have their chance for redemption with the first of five one-dayers against South Africa, beginning at Headingley on Friday. Though much of the focus will be on Kevin Pietersen and how he leads his one-day side, perhaps the most interesting sub-plots of the series will be the return of Steve Harmison – who has come out of ODI retirement – and the opening partnership between Ian Bell and Matt Prior, returning to international cricket after 12 months. Their relationship at the top of the order will be crucial if England are to compete on level terms with South Africa, the No.2 ODI side in the world, who bristle with aggression (they welcome back Herschelle Gibbs) and nous (JP Duminy). With Paul Collingwood still absent following his dubious tactics in the one-day series against New Zealand earlier in the summer, and Ryan Sidebottom again injured, England have it all to do. However, with Harmison and Andrew Flintoff in the bowling attack, alongside James Anderson, they do have the fire power to cause some problems.

Form guide

England NLLLN
South Africa WWWWW

Watch out for

Herschelle Gibbs No longer favoured by South Africa as a Test opener, Gibbs comes into the series fresh and firing. A brisk 81 helped South Africa beat England Lions last week, and he offers an explosive, dynamic start to their innings. By his own standards he struggled to make an impact against Bangladesh earlier in the year, but nevertheless has four hundreds in his last fifteen matches. England can only dream of such riches. Opening the innings with his captain, Graeme Smith, will make for a thrilling denouement to the international summer.

Matt Prior Another series, another keeper for England, and this time they’ve gone back to the tried-and-failed Prior. Dropped after the Test series against India, headlines such as “Prior the buffoon should grow up” hurt his pride, but he has responded in the most sensible manner possible: scoring runs and taking catches. In the Championship alone, he has 841 runs at 56.06. It’s another opportunity for him with Tim Ambrose and Phil Mustard both failing to impress in one-day cricket and, you sense, it is one he is desperate to grab: this time, with both hands.

Team news

England are still without Collingwood, who is in the middle of serving a four-match ban following the one-day series against New Zealand, which alters their middle-order somewhat. Samit Patel made his debut in the drizzly encounter against Scotland this week, but it seems likely that England will opt for Graeme Swann and Luke Wright in their middle and lower-order. Again, Sidebottom has failed a fitness test meaning Tim Bresnan might another game or Harmison could be thrown straight back in. Owais Shah – who was “wasted” at No.6, according to Pietersen – will bat at No.3, as England ring the changes and opt for Bell and Prior as their latest opening combination.

England (possible) Ian Bell, Matt Prior (wk), Owais Shah, Kevin Pietersen (capt), Andrew Flintoff, Ravi Bopara, Luke Wright, Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, James Anderson

South Africa have injury concerns of their own, too. Albie Morkel (shoulder) has been ruled out, while his brother, Morne, is trying to shrug off a sidestrain. Meanwhile, Smith warmed up for the series with a neat 50 against England Lions, and leads a strong batting line-up with Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers providing middle-order power, but he too has an elbow problem. In addition, JP Duminy acts as a dynamic strokeplayer at No.5, along with his useful spinners. Talking of which, Johan Botha is South Africa’s main spinning option, having remodelled his action after he was reported by umpires in Australia during South Africa’s 2006.

South Africa (probable) Graeme Smith (capt), Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Mark Boucher (wk), Vernon Philander, Johan Botha, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Andre Nel.

Umpires: Ian Gould and Simon Taufel

Pitch and conditions

After the Twenty20 washout at Chester-le-Street there remains a concern that Headingley, too, may not be ready in time for Friday. Heavy showers were forecast for Thursday, and that trend was to continue on Friday too, making the toss all the more important. A fired-up Dale Steyn, who missed the last two matches of South Africa’s Test series win, could be an exhilarating prospect on a damp and seaming Leeds pitch.

– About Cricket –

Sandesh Kumar

England fighting strong with Flintoff

August 1, 2008

Andrew Flintoff almost single-handedly kept England’s hopes alive at Edgbaston with an evening burst to bring back memories of his golden days. During a gloomy final session the tension levels rose and the crowd got behind the home side. Flintoff removed Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers having earlier claimed his 200th Test wicket by shifting top-scorer Neil McKenzie for 72. South Africa’s lead is 25, but this match is now wide open.

The highlight of the day – reduced to 65 overs by rain and bad light – came in the shortened last session with a duel between Flintoff and Kallis that provided some of most compelling viewing of recent times. Flintoff was at his most fired-up, knowing that England’s series prospects probably rested on how many wickets they could claim before the close. He revived memories of the Donald-Atherton confrontation, at Trent Bridge in 1998, as he rattled Kallis with pace and swing. He should have had him lbw on 55 when a yorker arrowed into his boot in front of middle, but Aleem Dar turned down Flintoff’s pleading to his dismay.

Flintoff had barely calmed down when his next over came around and this time he had his man, a searing yorker going under Kallis’ bat and uprooting off stump. From set-up to execution it was a row of deliveries to match the magical over he sent down to Ricky Ponting in 2005, and for the first time in the match Edgbaston found its voice.

AB de Villiers was given a tough examination – and appeared to get an edge off James Anderson on 1 but no-one appealed – and soon fell into Flintoff’s bouncer trap as he hooked down to Ryan Sidebottom at long-leg. Feelings between the teams began to boil over again with Prince and Mark Boucher clearly unhappy about the viewing from Flintoff’s end, but the England players quickly told them to get back to batting. The pair survived until the light closed in, but England will come hard again in the morning with the new ball four overs away.

The transformation from the England side that wallowed through the first session to the one that energised the closing stages was stark, but it remains to be seen whether they have already given themselves too much ground to make up. Given their current fragility with the bat a lead into three figures will put South Africa well on the way to claiming the series with a match to spare.

England were presented with ideal bowling conditions, but spurned the opportunity during a lackadaisical morning when South Africa only lost the wicket of nightwatchman Paul Harris. Even that was after a stand of 77 with Neil McKenzie, who continued as he has throughout the series, judging what to play and what to leave, drawing the bowlers to attack the stumps and then clipping them through the leg side. For a moment McKenzie feared his innings had ended on 29 when he edged Flintoff low to Andrew Strauss at first slip, but not for the first time in this series there was doubt over the carry. Strauss thought he’d caught it but didn’t look entirely convinced, McKenzie remained and Flintoff stayed on 199 wickets.

McKenzie’s hard work was rewarded when he brought up his fifty off 100 balls shortly before lunch. After the break he received a life on 57 when Collingwood’s miserable match continued with a spurned chance at second slip off Flintoff. However, Anderson gave England a much-needed boost with a brilliant piece of athleticism, sprinting from his follow through to hold Amla’s inside edge that ballooned into the off side. Anderson once again performed manfully for Michael Vaughan, moving the ball late at pace to trouble all the batsmen and could easily have had another wicket.

Anderson’s pumped celebrations were soon followed by Flintoff’s as he trapped McKenzie plumb in front, being the 12th Englishman to reach 200 Test wickets. Another wicket and England were back in contention, but it was only going to be a matter of time before Kallis made a contribution. It wasn’t without fortune, though, as he was twice troubled by yorkers, edging one past second slip and another within inches of his stumps.

Slowly the fluency returned as he picked off consecutive boundaries from Collingwood, although a thick inside edge did rocket into Tim Ambrose’s leg as he was stood up to the stumps. Vaughan eventually turned to Monty Panesar in the 52nd over, but he began poorly with a couple of short balls which were easily put away by Kallis. The half-century came off 93 balls in the first over after an hour’s delay as South Africa approached a lead. England needed something special to stop the series drifting away and Flintoff provided. He has given his country a lifeline, are they good enough to take it?

– About Cricket –

Sandesh Kumar Jaggi