Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Twenty15 Line-up

With the last day’s play of the year approaching, Slipstream Cricket presents the cricketing XI of Twenty15 A.D.

1. Pink Ball 
30th November, 2015: The first ever ball bowled using a pink ball in international cricket. History was witnessed. It was well received and hopefully it will open up Test cricket to more audiences.
The First Pink Ball
2. Australia - The World Champions
At their home turf, Australia regained the World Cup, while New Zealand became everyone’s favorite second team. Special mention - The Kiwi captain Brendon McCullum’s letters requesting leave for his supporters & asking for Indian fans to support the Kiwis in the finals.

3. Picture of the Year 
Grant Elliott smashes Dale Steyn for a six and then comes down the pitch to offer his hand to the bowler who is lying flat on his back. A better picture for sportsmanship could hardly have come.

4. Corruption
The cricketing world continues to reel with corruption charges. Some more players and officials got banned. N Srinivasan, the ICC & BCCI chief honcho had to step down because of Supreme Court intervention. 2 IPL teams were suspended. A Test match was conducted by an independent judge. Chris Cairns faced a perjury trial in London where his own team-mates gave evidence against him. While he was acquitted, the charges made by the likes of McCullum, Vettori and Ponting do not really absolve him in the public eyes. And there were many other unfounded allegations. Mohammed Aamir is back after serving a 5-year ban and his own team-mates are not exactly happy on his return
The corruption net is only growing wider.

5. Safety First
Umpire Paschim Pathak wore a helmet while officiating in a Vijay Hazare Trophy match. Given the increasing number of on-field incidents it is a good idea and hopefully others will also emulate him.

6. Cricketing Promos
It was a great year for the cricket promotional campaigns with Star Sports mauka series and the Ashes promo “We didn’t start the fire" being standout ones.

7. The Afghan fairy tale continues
Afghanistan became the first Associate to beat a full member in a bilateral series by beating Zimbabwe. They continued their rise by breaking into the Top 10 of the ODI rankings by the year-end. They bring a ray of hope into the increasingly murky world of cricket. Certainly deserve Test Status alongwith Ireland.

8. Contest of the Year – Wahab Riaz vs Shane Watson
It was an attritional battle with Shane Watson managing to see through the Wahab Riaz spell in the World Cup Quarter-final. It was fiery and engrossing spell in the midst of an ordinary match.

9. The English Turnaround
England entered the World Cup and then made a quick exit after getting hammered by all and sundry. The whole cricketing world came as one to have a good laugh at the English expense with the likes of Malaysia, Singapore & Japan challenging them for a game on their return. But fortunes turned around as a revamped England ODI team started playing brave cricket and registering big victories. Brave cricket basically meaning selecting players who could belt the ball to all corners of the ground from the word go. A philosophy the rest of the world had adopted some 20 years back.

10. Comment of the Year
Kumara Sangakkara was an under-achiever – so said none other than his own father. All this after nearly 28, 000 international runs (:O)

11. Arbit Stat of the Year - 542
That is Adam Voges’s current batting average against the West Indies. A statistical anamoly which will get corrected in due course if West Indies start thinking about playing Test Cricket

12th Man - Ian Bell
The patron saint of Slipstream Cricket lost his Test place after announcing his ODI retirement. It will be a pity if this was the last that we had seen of him in international cricket. After all he does hold some unique records like being the highest ODI run-getter for England and the only English player to win the Ashes 5 times.

That’s all for the year. Wishing all readers a very Happy cricketing year 2016.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Vijay Hazare Trophy 15-16: Jharkhand

The Jharkhand campaign came to a halt in the Qaurter-Finals stage against Delhi. Put into bat, Delhi racked a total of 225 on a two-paced dodgy pitch with uneven bounce. The Jharkhand chase got derailed with a completed failure from all the batsmen, save for Dhoni who remained unbeaten on 70 in a combined team total of 126. Finally Dhoni got going but the other batsmen could not put in the kind of performances which had carried them to the knock-out stage.

Overall, it was a good campaign for Jharkhand with 5 wins and 2 losses. And there was a lot of media spotlight with Dhoni playing. And with Ishan Kishan appointed India Under-19 captain for the World Cup, the media coverage only increased with the game being telecast live. Good media coverage backed by a decent performance should certainly improve the chances of the players especially the likes of Nadeem, Tiwary, Jaggi, Rahul Shukla, Kaushal Singh et al.

Trivia: Varun Aaron was leading the team which had the national team and the U-19 team skippers in the line-up.

Season Stats:
Top Scorers
  1. Ishank Jaggi - 237 @ 39.50
  2. Saurabh Tiwary - 193 @ 38.60
  3. MS Dhoni - 179 @ 35.80
Top Score - Saurabh Tiwary, 87* vs Kerala

Most Wckets
  1. Shahbaz Nadeem - 13 @ 13.15
  2. Rahul Shukla - 13 @ 17.62
  3. Sonu Singh - 7 @ 5.00
Best Performance - Sonu Singh 4/15 vs Railways

Player Count: 15
List A Debuts: Ankit Dabas, Sonu Singh, Vikash Singh

Coming Up Next: Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy from January 3rd.

P.S. - Group Stage Reveiw (Link)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Vijay Hazare Trophy 15-16: Jharkhand Group Stage Review

Dhoni playing in a domestic game after many seasons dramatically increased Jharkhand’s media coverage. in a first, we had full page articles in Mumbai Mirror for a Jharkhand List A Game. And the increased attention helped the team's cause as they marched into the quarter-finals after winning 5 of their 6 games and topping the Group stage. 

Game 1: Jharkhand [210 (50)] beat Jammu & Kashmir [205/7(50)] by 5 runs
Points: Jharkhand 4, Jammu & Kashmir 0
Team: Ishank Jaggi, Ankit Dabas, Anand Singh, Saurabh Tiwary, MS Dhoni, Kumar Deobrat, Kaushal Singh, Shahbaz Nadeem, Varun Aaron, Rahul Shukla, Jaskaran Singh
List A debut – Ankit Dabas
Key Performances: Ishank Jaggi (54), Kaushal Singh (53), Shahbaz Nadeem (3/28)

Game 2: Jharkhand [177/7(47)] lost to Gujarat [179/4(40.5)] by 6 Wickets
Points: Jharkhand 0, Gujarat 4
Key Performances: MS Dhoni (44), Nadeem (2/36)
Team Changes: None

Game 3: Kerala [236/8(50)] lost to Jharkhand [240/5(47)] by 5 wickets
Points: Jharkhand 4, Kerala 0
Key Performances: Rahul Shukla (3/47), Saurabh Tiwary (87*), Kaushal Singh (48)
Team Changes: None

Game 4: Haryana [133/10 (33/50)] lost to Jharkhand [134/1 (29.4)] by 9 wickets
Points: Jharkhand 4, Haryana 0
Key Performances: Shukla (3/33), Nadeem (2/17), Aaron (2/21), Jaggi (62*)
Team Changes: In – Monu Kumar; Out - Jaskaran

Game 5: Jharkhand [216/8(50)] beat Karnataka [169/10 (45)] by 47 runs
Points: Jharkhand 4, Karnataka 0
Key Performances: Jaggi (50), Deobrat (47*), Nadeem (3/15), Sonu Singh (3/20)
Team Changes: In – Sonu Singh (making his List A debut); Out - Monu Kumar

Game 6: Jharkhand [211/5 (45)] beat Railways [96/10 (37)] by 115 runs
Points: Jharkhand 4, Railways 0
Key Performances: Tiwary (49), Sonu Singh (4/15), Nadeem (2/21), Ankit Dabas (2/20)
List A debut for Vikash Singh, who has previously played 10 T20 games
Team Changes: In – Monu Kumar, Vikash Singh; Out – Aaron, Shukla; Deobrat leading the team

Season Stats
Top Scorer: Ishank Jaggi - 236 @ 47.20
Highest Wickets: Shahbaz Nadeem 13 @ 11.15
Player Count: 15
Captain Count: 2
List A debuts: 3

Coming Up Next: Quarter-final against Delhi on 23rd Dec

Monday, December 7, 2015

Ranji Trophy 2015-16: Jharkhand vs Hyderabad

Match Summary: Hyderabad (145 & 269) lost to Jharkhand (388/8d & 29/0) by 10 wickets 
Points: Jharkhand 7, Hyderabad 0 

Jharkhand continued their fantastic turn-around with a third bonus point win on the trot. And qualified for the quarter-finals after a gap of 2 years.

Hyderabad collapsed in the first innings with Jaskaran Singh, Kaushal Singh and Shahbaz Nadeem taking 3 wickets each. Jharkhand scored briskly and built up a huge lead riding on Saurabh Tiwary's unbeaten double century. Hyderabad resisted strongly in the second innings and managed to turn around the deficit. But Jharkhand easily chased the small target without any loss and racked up their third consecutive bonus point win.

Game Notes
  • Team Changes: Rahul Shukla came back in place of Samar Quadri.
  • 2nd first-class century for Shiv Gautam.
  • 15th first-class century for Saurbah Tiwary.
  • 3rd fifer for Rahul Shukla and second for the season.
  • 3/32 - Jaskaran Singh's career best bowling figures 
Season Stats
Top Scorer: Saurabh Tiwary 677 @ 67.70
Most Wickets: Shahbaz Nadeem 45 @ 17.16
Player Count: 21 from 8 Games
Captain Count: 3 from 8 Games

Points Tally - 31 from 8 games. Finished second in the league table behind Saurashtra (36). Earns them a place in the knock-outs as well as a promotion to the big league of Group A or B next season, which provides a better platform for the likes of Tiwary & Nadeem to be noticed by the national selectors.

Coming Up Next - The Ranji Quarter-finals begin 3rd February, but before that we have the Vijay Hazare Trophy commencing on 10th December, where Jharkhand fight it out in Group B. With the national team unlikely to have any tours, there is a likelihood of the likes of Dhoni and Aaron playing for Jharkhand which will be a real boost-up for the team