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The 2015 season of the Indian Premier League (abbreviated as IPL 8 or Pepsi IPL 2015) is the eighth season of the IPL. Kolkata Knight Riders are the defending champions having won the title in the 2014 season. The complete tournament is expected to be held across different cities in India unlike the previous season. The tournament was started on Wednesday, 8 April 2015 after the end of the 2015 Cricket World Cup. A total of 60 T20 matches will be held in the entire tournament. No matches will be held in Kolkata between April 12 and April 25 due to Municipal Elections.

Franchises retained 123 players 8th IPL season before moving into auction. The released players provided an option to register themselves for auction. 6 Players were transferred across teams before the auction took place. In the Pepsi IPL 2015 auction held on February 16 at Bangalore, Yuvraj Singh was sold to Delhi Daredevils for 16 crores INR, for a record bid in IPL auction history. A total of 67 players were sold out in the auction and all franchises spent total of 87.60 Crores to buy players.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Gautam Gambhir is the 'Second Wall' of Indian batting: Virender Sehwag

http://www.cricinfo.com/db/PICTURES/CMS/92600/92694.jpg
India's stand-in Captain Virender Sehwag called Gautam Gambhir 'The Second Wall' of Indian cricket, saying his marathon knock helped the team draw the second Test against New Zealand.

Gambhir (137) spent almost 11 hours at the crease and faced 436 balls, hitting just 18 boundaries in close to two days in the middle — an innings reminiscent of teammate Rahul Dravid, who is dubbed 'The Wall'.

"Gautam was the one who saved the game for us. I think we can call him the 'Second Wall' of Indian cricket," Sehwag said.

"He has been playing fantastic cricket and he is becoming a better batsman with experience. He failed in the first innings here but came back brilliantly to save the Test in the second innings."

The Black Caps scored 619 for nine declared in their first innings and bundled India out for 305, forcing the tourists to follow on.

Sehwag said the team strongly believed they would not lose the Test, even though the batsmen failed in the first innings.

"We did it against Australia in 1999-2000 and we did it in Adelaide in 2004 when we won the game. We were very sure we could bat through the two-and-a-half days."

India head to the third and final match in Wellington with a 1-0 lead in the series after their 10-wicket victory in Hamilton.

Sehwag said the team is now looking forward to the third Test starting in Wellington on Thursday.

"We are playing good cricket and back ourselves. It doesn’t matter what situation we are in, we play our game,” he said.

"We are not bothered about the situation, the conditions, the wicket or what’s going on. We are in our own space and we know what we can achieve.”

Gautam Gambhir is the 'Second Wall' of Indian batting: Virender Sehwag

http://www.cricinfo.com/db/PICTURES/CMS/92600/92694.jpg
India's stand-in Captain Virender Sehwag called Gautam Gambhir 'The Second Wall' of Indian cricket, saying his marathon knock helped the team draw the second Test against New Zealand.

Gambhir (137) spent almost 11 hours at the crease and faced 436 balls, hitting just 18 boundaries in close to two days in the middle — an innings reminiscent of teammate Rahul Dravid, who is dubbed 'The Wall'.

"Gautam was the one who saved the game for us. I think we can call him the 'Second Wall' of Indian cricket," Sehwag said.

"He has been playing fantastic cricket and he is becoming a better batsman with experience. He failed in the first innings here but came back brilliantly to save the Test in the second innings."

The Black Caps scored 619 for nine declared in their first innings and bundled India out for 305, forcing the tourists to follow on.

Sehwag said the team strongly believed they would not lose the Test, even though the batsmen failed in the first innings.

"We did it against Australia in 1999-2000 and we did it in Adelaide in 2004 when we won the game. We were very sure we could bat through the two-and-a-half days."

India head to the third and final match in Wellington with a 1-0 lead in the series after their 10-wicket victory in Hamilton.

Sehwag said the team is now looking forward to the third Test starting in Wellington on Thursday.

"We are playing good cricket and back ourselves. It doesn’t matter what situation we are in, we play our game,” he said.

"We are not bothered about the situation, the conditions, the wicket or what’s going on. We are in our own space and we know what we can achieve.”

Saturday, March 28, 2009

West Indies Captain Chris Gayle on possible protest: 'This is the right time'

http://www.cricinfo.com/db/PICTURES/CMS/55400/55498.jpg
West Indies Captain Chris Gayle wants the ongoing talks between the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to change pace and speed up, much like his innings in the third One Day International against England at Kensington Oval last Friday. To some, it might appear that the two-day meeting held in Barbados last week was successful in averting further protest action. But Chris Gayle gave journalists no such guarantee when he addressed them at the Accra Beach Hotel, the day after that dramatic win.

Sunday’s fourth game, which could seal the series for the West Indies, is an important one in many ways. A win for the home team should worry the West Indies Cricket Board since the last match will not be needed as the decider and therefore the players might feel they would have nothing to lose. In the words of Gayle “this is the right time.” Read more of what he had to say to the small group of journalists....

On his innings of 80 off 43 balls in the third ODI......

I really enjoyed every moment of it until the last ball when I got out. The game was already set up and we came out with a victory. It was a real team effort. From the way we started out there was brilliant. The conditions earlier to bat, the first couple of overs, the ball was seaming around, but after that, the wicket tended to be a very good batting wicket.

We got the better of England, which we wanted to do, and our start was very important with the ball. Those were the key points we spoke about, that we need that sort of start, picking up key wickets and it happened in this game and we saw that eventually we bowled them out which was pretty pleasing. In the batting department, to win the game that dramatically, in that fashion, was very very pleasing. The fielding was brilliant as well, it’s just for us to actually continue Sunday from where we left off.

On the confidence in the team.....

We’re confident, but not over confident and also nervous as well because tomorrow is another important game. You actually want to win the series and that will ease a lot of pressure off us. We just have to stick with the basic things, go out there and have fun, like we did in the last game, and prove that we can actually win the series.

On the ongoing talks and how winning was confirmation of their focus on the game....

Yes, there was a lot of speculation before the game whether the game would be going on. I pointed out to you guys that I was looking forward to the game, but at the same time, we are still disappointed in the manner in which things have been handled. I would like to point out to you that I didn’t speak to [Dinanath] Ramnarine [WIPA President] before the last press conference. When I got back feedback, I got some disappointing news. It’s not too good and I saw even articles where my name has been tarnished about choosing IPL over the England tour, which I had spoken to you guys about before. When I went back, I saw these things. It’s not good.

On whether he is disappointed and angry, and if he feels he is being undermined.

Undermined, but at the same time, I am a professional, so once I step out in the middle, I will be ready for cricket. But at the same time, when there are issues to be dealt with, then it should be dealt with. I am still disappointed with the way things have gone. I think they are still trying to bypass WIPA and we the players actually instruct WIPA to go about what we want at this point in time. It is not the case that WIPA actually goes out on its own and does these sorts of things. We the players ask for these things, these changes. From a contractual point of view, WIPA is the one to sort these things out. At the same time, I am disappointed from what I hear. I hear a lot of rumours out there. They want to make WIPA look like they are the bad ones, which they are not, so we actually are very disappointed. We just have to play this game tomorrow and see what happens in the next couple of days.

On whether the final game in St Lucia is under threat...

There’s a possibility, I can tell you straight up. I am not going to go around any corner. We need this to be solved before the series is finished and forget about all these disputes, so it’s a possibility. Players have actually come to me disappointed to see their names out there in the media tarnished, and it’s not good. What was the arrangement was there shouldn’t have been any comment regarding the negotiation and to see these comments [by Donald Peters, WICB CEO] being put out, trying to get the public against us for one, which I don’t think that will happen. But at the same time, we are all big men, we have to make our own decisions, but it is very disappointing to see we as players being tarnished out there.

On whether there will be further talks, and if they are prepared not to play in St Lucia...

Yes, there will be talks definitely. Yes, definitely.

On whether it isn’t an unreasonable time frame to sort out the many issues before the series finishes...

Yes, that’s true, there are a lot of issues, but at some point we should actually reach some sort of agreement rather than give us the mind thinking that things will be OK, and then when things are over, you might not get it sorted out. This is the right time. At least we can reach some sort of stage, there should be some sort of guarantee to actually make sure things will be resolved and maybe later on after the tour, I am sure we can finish the rest of the issues.

On the top two issues that the players would want to be sorted out next week....

The biggest one is not about we as international players. It’s about more so the First Class players. We need a better structure when it comes on to match fees. We just want everybody to benefit out of this. It’s not about us who’re playing for the West Indies, but it’s more for the regional players to benefit. This has been going on for years and it is about time some sort of progress is made. Guys play First Class cricket for how many years and have nothing to show really. You have to play for the West Indies to earn some sort of living, which is very disappointing. It’s not about us really. We are just actually trying to help other players to benefit, so whatever strike there might be, it’s for the other rest of players, definitely.

On whether there really is the possibility of a strike in St Lucia....

Well, if we don’t come to some sort of agreement, yes. This is Chris Gayle saying that.

On how much control he personally has over this decision...

Well, it’s not about me really but we all decide these things as a group. This time, we determine certain things.

On the possibility that whatever meeting that is set up between WIPA and WICB might be after the series is finished...

Well, that might have to change.

On what part IPL plays in this and what permission he has got....

You know....come to think of it, up to this day, no one has actually come to me about it. Word on the street is that there will be a two-week window and we’ll have to be back for the England tour. I am sure at some stage, they should actually discuss it. I don’t even know what to say to be honest with you. Even though I said that I would go, they still haven’t come to me even though I said that.

West Indies Captain Chris Gayle on possible protest: 'This is the right time'

http://www.cricinfo.com/db/PICTURES/CMS/55400/55498.jpg
West Indies Captain Chris Gayle wants the ongoing talks between the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to change pace and speed up, much like his innings in the third One Day International against England at Kensington Oval last Friday. To some, it might appear that the two-day meeting held in Barbados last week was successful in averting further protest action. But Chris Gayle gave journalists no such guarantee when he addressed them at the Accra Beach Hotel, the day after that dramatic win.

Sunday’s fourth game, which could seal the series for the West Indies, is an important one in many ways. A win for the home team should worry the West Indies Cricket Board since the last match will not be needed as the decider and therefore the players might feel they would have nothing to lose. In the words of Gayle “this is the right time.” Read more of what he had to say to the small group of journalists....

On his innings of 80 off 43 balls in the third ODI......

I really enjoyed every moment of it until the last ball when I got out. The game was already set up and we came out with a victory. It was a real team effort. From the way we started out there was brilliant. The conditions earlier to bat, the first couple of overs, the ball was seaming around, but after that, the wicket tended to be a very good batting wicket.

We got the better of England, which we wanted to do, and our start was very important with the ball. Those were the key points we spoke about, that we need that sort of start, picking up key wickets and it happened in this game and we saw that eventually we bowled them out which was pretty pleasing. In the batting department, to win the game that dramatically, in that fashion, was very very pleasing. The fielding was brilliant as well, it’s just for us to actually continue Sunday from where we left off.

On the confidence in the team.....

We’re confident, but not over confident and also nervous as well because tomorrow is another important game. You actually want to win the series and that will ease a lot of pressure off us. We just have to stick with the basic things, go out there and have fun, like we did in the last game, and prove that we can actually win the series.

On the ongoing talks and how winning was confirmation of their focus on the game....

Yes, there was a lot of speculation before the game whether the game would be going on. I pointed out to you guys that I was looking forward to the game, but at the same time, we are still disappointed in the manner in which things have been handled. I would like to point out to you that I didn’t speak to [Dinanath] Ramnarine [WIPA President] before the last press conference. When I got back feedback, I got some disappointing news. It’s not too good and I saw even articles where my name has been tarnished about choosing IPL over the England tour, which I had spoken to you guys about before. When I went back, I saw these things. It’s not good.

On whether he is disappointed and angry, and if he feels he is being undermined.

Undermined, but at the same time, I am a professional, so once I step out in the middle, I will be ready for cricket. But at the same time, when there are issues to be dealt with, then it should be dealt with. I am still disappointed with the way things have gone. I think they are still trying to bypass WIPA and we the players actually instruct WIPA to go about what we want at this point in time. It is not the case that WIPA actually goes out on its own and does these sorts of things. We the players ask for these things, these changes. From a contractual point of view, WIPA is the one to sort these things out. At the same time, I am disappointed from what I hear. I hear a lot of rumours out there. They want to make WIPA look like they are the bad ones, which they are not, so we actually are very disappointed. We just have to play this game tomorrow and see what happens in the next couple of days.

On whether the final game in St Lucia is under threat...

There’s a possibility, I can tell you straight up. I am not going to go around any corner. We need this to be solved before the series is finished and forget about all these disputes, so it’s a possibility. Players have actually come to me disappointed to see their names out there in the media tarnished, and it’s not good. What was the arrangement was there shouldn’t have been any comment regarding the negotiation and to see these comments [by Donald Peters, WICB CEO] being put out, trying to get the public against us for one, which I don’t think that will happen. But at the same time, we are all big men, we have to make our own decisions, but it is very disappointing to see we as players being tarnished out there.

On whether there will be further talks, and if they are prepared not to play in St Lucia...

Yes, there will be talks definitely. Yes, definitely.

On whether it isn’t an unreasonable time frame to sort out the many issues before the series finishes...

Yes, that’s true, there are a lot of issues, but at some point we should actually reach some sort of agreement rather than give us the mind thinking that things will be OK, and then when things are over, you might not get it sorted out. This is the right time. At least we can reach some sort of stage, there should be some sort of guarantee to actually make sure things will be resolved and maybe later on after the tour, I am sure we can finish the rest of the issues.

On the top two issues that the players would want to be sorted out next week....

The biggest one is not about we as international players. It’s about more so the First Class players. We need a better structure when it comes on to match fees. We just want everybody to benefit out of this. It’s not about us who’re playing for the West Indies, but it’s more for the regional players to benefit. This has been going on for years and it is about time some sort of progress is made. Guys play First Class cricket for how many years and have nothing to show really. You have to play for the West Indies to earn some sort of living, which is very disappointing. It’s not about us really. We are just actually trying to help other players to benefit, so whatever strike there might be, it’s for the other rest of players, definitely.

On whether there really is the possibility of a strike in St Lucia....

Well, if we don’t come to some sort of agreement, yes. This is Chris Gayle saying that.

On how much control he personally has over this decision...

Well, it’s not about me really but we all decide these things as a group. This time, we determine certain things.

On the possibility that whatever meeting that is set up between WIPA and WICB might be after the series is finished...

Well, that might have to change.

On what part IPL plays in this and what permission he has got....

You know....come to think of it, up to this day, no one has actually come to me about it. Word on the street is that there will be a two-week window and we’ll have to be back for the England tour. I am sure at some stage, they should actually discuss it. I don’t even know what to say to be honest with you. Even though I said that I would go, they still haven’t come to me even though I said that.

Bollywood-style cricket feast

http://im.rediff.com/movies/2007/sep/25sld3.jpg
South Africans are bracing themselves for loads of cricket action — Bollywood-style — when cricketing heroes such as Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Sourav Ganguly, Brett Lee, Makhaya Ntini and Kevin Pietersen take to the pitches for the tournament.

The IPL, a franchise-based Twenty20 competition organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, features the world’s best cricketers.

And apart from the cricketers, excitement is also mounting about the high-profile owners of the teams, which include Bollywood heavyweights Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Shetty, who are expected to make appearances at the games.

Shetty owns a share of the Rajasthan Royals, Zinta co-owns the Kings XI Punjab team and Khan is the owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Shetty’s spokesman Lucy Heather said the actress, who earned worldwide fame as a contestant on Big Brother UK two years ago, was involved in the planning of the tournament.

“ She will attend as many matches as possible. She was disappointed that the IPL could not take place in India, but said she understands the reasons why.

“Security-wise it would have been very difficult to organise. Shilpa would have preferred her home country, but rather South Africa where the weather is better than England.

Heather said Shetty was due to start filming in England after the IPL tournament at the end of May — as lead actress in the movie The Man, a Bollywood remake of the film The Bodyguard.

The IPL tournament was moved from India after concerns that players’ safety could not be guaranteed because it coincided with the country’s general election.

India’s general election is said to require about two million policemen.

Security and intelligence sources believe that if the IPL tournament were held in India, it would have become the prime target of a large-scale terrorist strike similar to the November Mumbai attacks and the recent shooting in Lahore, Pakistan, where Sri Lankan cricketers were targeted.

Warnings of specific threats against the players came from the governments of the states hosting matches, including Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

The decision for India to sacrifice the IPL tournament for the sake of security was taken after security agencies carried out a detailed threat assessment for the event and the country’s national election.

IPL tournament director Dhiraj Malhotra said security would be beefed up, with extra private security .

“Teams will start arriving from next week. They will be rotating between the different venues,” said Malhotra.

Cape Town will host the opening game on April 18, and the tournament final will take place in Johannesburg on May 24. Of the 59 games to be played, Durban is expected to host 16 — the lion’s share of the tournament.

It is understood that Indian cricketers were keen to play in Durban because of the large-scale support they enjoy in the city.

KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union chief executive Cassim Docrat said Bollywood stars, including Khan, Shetty and Zinta, would attend the opening ceremony in Cape Town.

“The IPL thrives on Bollywood, with some stars being directly involved as shareholders. They are looking forward to being here and supporting their teams,” said Docrat.

“The city (Durban) will have the greatest opportunity to see all the teams as well as all the stars connected with them.”

Addressing safety concerns, Docrat said security had been “beefed up and intensified”.

National police spokesman Senior Superintendent Vishnu Naidoo said the South African Police Service was working closely with all government departments on a joint operation intelligence structure.

“We hosted the Cricket World Cup and the ICC World Twenty20 Championship without any problems. South Africa has a blueprint as far as security measures are concerned,” said Naidoo.

India’s consul-general in Durban, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, said the event would create huge spin-offs for South Africa.

“Millions in India will be watching the games on prime time Indian TV.

“This is a great opportunity to project South Africa as a tourist destination.

“There will be thousands of visitors, from movie stars to sports personalities,” said Shringla.

Bollywood-style cricket feast

http://im.rediff.com/movies/2007/sep/25sld3.jpg
South Africans are bracing themselves for loads of cricket action — Bollywood-style — when cricketing heroes such as Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Sourav Ganguly, Brett Lee, Makhaya Ntini and Kevin Pietersen take to the pitches for the tournament.

The IPL, a franchise-based Twenty20 competition organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, features the world’s best cricketers.

And apart from the cricketers, excitement is also mounting about the high-profile owners of the teams, which include Bollywood heavyweights Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Shetty, who are expected to make appearances at the games.

Shetty owns a share of the Rajasthan Royals, Zinta co-owns the Kings XI Punjab team and Khan is the owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Shetty’s spokesman Lucy Heather said the actress, who earned worldwide fame as a contestant on Big Brother UK two years ago, was involved in the planning of the tournament.

“ She will attend as many matches as possible. She was disappointed that the IPL could not take place in India, but said she understands the reasons why.

“Security-wise it would have been very difficult to organise. Shilpa would have preferred her home country, but rather South Africa where the weather is better than England.

Heather said Shetty was due to start filming in England after the IPL tournament at the end of May — as lead actress in the movie The Man, a Bollywood remake of the film The Bodyguard.

The IPL tournament was moved from India after concerns that players’ safety could not be guaranteed because it coincided with the country’s general election.

India’s general election is said to require about two million policemen.

Security and intelligence sources believe that if the IPL tournament were held in India, it would have become the prime target of a large-scale terrorist strike similar to the November Mumbai attacks and the recent shooting in Lahore, Pakistan, where Sri Lankan cricketers were targeted.

Warnings of specific threats against the players came from the governments of the states hosting matches, including Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

The decision for India to sacrifice the IPL tournament for the sake of security was taken after security agencies carried out a detailed threat assessment for the event and the country’s national election.

IPL tournament director Dhiraj Malhotra said security would be beefed up, with extra private security .

“Teams will start arriving from next week. They will be rotating between the different venues,” said Malhotra.

Cape Town will host the opening game on April 18, and the tournament final will take place in Johannesburg on May 24. Of the 59 games to be played, Durban is expected to host 16 — the lion’s share of the tournament.

It is understood that Indian cricketers were keen to play in Durban because of the large-scale support they enjoy in the city.

KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union chief executive Cassim Docrat said Bollywood stars, including Khan, Shetty and Zinta, would attend the opening ceremony in Cape Town.

“The IPL thrives on Bollywood, with some stars being directly involved as shareholders. They are looking forward to being here and supporting their teams,” said Docrat.

“The city (Durban) will have the greatest opportunity to see all the teams as well as all the stars connected with them.”

Addressing safety concerns, Docrat said security had been “beefed up and intensified”.

National police spokesman Senior Superintendent Vishnu Naidoo said the South African Police Service was working closely with all government departments on a joint operation intelligence structure.

“We hosted the Cricket World Cup and the ICC World Twenty20 Championship without any problems. South Africa has a blueprint as far as security measures are concerned,” said Naidoo.

India’s consul-general in Durban, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, said the event would create huge spin-offs for South Africa.

“Millions in India will be watching the games on prime time Indian TV.

“This is a great opportunity to project South Africa as a tourist destination.

“There will be thousands of visitors, from movie stars to sports personalities,” said Shringla.

Ganguly knew about multiple-captain theory - Buchanan

http://www.cricinfo.com/db/PICTURES/CMS/82100/82144.jpg
The war of words between John Buchanan and Sourav Ganguly escalated further with Buchanan, the Kolkata Knight Riders' coach, saying that he had already discussed with Sourav Ganguly the controversial theory of multiple captains for the team before making the announcement in a press conference on Wednesday. Ganguly had earlier denied any knowledge of this development, but Buchanan insisted that the two had had discussions on the issue during the IPL's first season.

"I had detailed discussions with Sourav during last season's IPL about his future role," Buchanan told Anandabazar Patrika, a Kolkata-based daily. "The developments were not at all new to him. We had spoken about the importance of having alternative captains." Buchanan's remarks contradict the statements of Ganguly, who had said he had no idea about this strategy. "All I can say is that I was not consulted on this. Frankly, it's a new concept. It may work, it may not."

The decision has evoked strong reactions in Kolkata, with Ganguly fans burning effigies of Buchanan, whose security has been strengthened in the wake of these protests. But the coach explained that this format of the game required a completely new approach, and adapting to this would be difficult for most of the old-timers.

"Not just Sourav. Ponting, Gilchrist, Sachin, Laxman, Dravid - for them the onset of Twenty20 has perhaps come at the wrong time. They still can manage because of their sheer talent. But I'm quite clear in my thinking. Like Sourav, they are also nearing the end of their playing careers. The game needs a 'new dawn'. And the light will be provided by the numerous unnamed, uncapped players waiting for their chances."

When he was reminded that India had won the World Twenty20 under one captain, Buchanan responded by saying the game had undergone much change over the last one-and-a-half years.

"At the time there wasn't much research done about the Twenty20 format. I don't want to undermine India's achievement. But it's true that most of the renowned international players were missing then. The state-level players showed more efficiency and sharpness during the tournament. Gone are those days. The world of franchises has completely changed the face of Twenty20 cricket, The game is progressing. This is what I had explained to Sourav."

Buchanan didn't clarify as to who would lead the team during various stages of the match, saying that any of three or four senior players - including Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum - could take charge.

He did say, though, that he understood Ganguly's reluctance to accept the new idea, admitting that Steve Waugh would have reacted similarly had he been in Ganguly's place. "Steve would have been worried the same way. He is also been brought up the traditional atmosphere. I had spoken to him before I left Australia and told him about my new plans. 'Again a new idea?' Steve said."

Ganguly knew about multiple-captain theory - Buchanan

http://www.cricinfo.com/db/PICTURES/CMS/82100/82144.jpg
The war of words between John Buchanan and Sourav Ganguly escalated further with Buchanan, the Kolkata Knight Riders' coach, saying that he had already discussed with Sourav Ganguly the controversial theory of multiple captains for the team before making the announcement in a press conference on Wednesday. Ganguly had earlier denied any knowledge of this development, but Buchanan insisted that the two had had discussions on the issue during the IPL's first season.

"I had detailed discussions with Sourav during last season's IPL about his future role," Buchanan told Anandabazar Patrika, a Kolkata-based daily. "The developments were not at all new to him. We had spoken about the importance of having alternative captains." Buchanan's remarks contradict the statements of Ganguly, who had said he had no idea about this strategy. "All I can say is that I was not consulted on this. Frankly, it's a new concept. It may work, it may not."

The decision has evoked strong reactions in Kolkata, with Ganguly fans burning effigies of Buchanan, whose security has been strengthened in the wake of these protests. But the coach explained that this format of the game required a completely new approach, and adapting to this would be difficult for most of the old-timers.

"Not just Sourav. Ponting, Gilchrist, Sachin, Laxman, Dravid - for them the onset of Twenty20 has perhaps come at the wrong time. They still can manage because of their sheer talent. But I'm quite clear in my thinking. Like Sourav, they are also nearing the end of their playing careers. The game needs a 'new dawn'. And the light will be provided by the numerous unnamed, uncapped players waiting for their chances."

When he was reminded that India had won the World Twenty20 under one captain, Buchanan responded by saying the game had undergone much change over the last one-and-a-half years.

"At the time there wasn't much research done about the Twenty20 format. I don't want to undermine India's achievement. But it's true that most of the renowned international players were missing then. The state-level players showed more efficiency and sharpness during the tournament. Gone are those days. The world of franchises has completely changed the face of Twenty20 cricket, The game is progressing. This is what I had explained to Sourav."

Buchanan didn't clarify as to who would lead the team during various stages of the match, saying that any of three or four senior players - including Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum - could take charge.

He did say, though, that he understood Ganguly's reluctance to accept the new idea, admitting that Steve Waugh would have reacted similarly had he been in Ganguly's place. "Steve would have been worried the same way. He is also been brought up the traditional atmosphere. I had spoken to him before I left Australia and told him about my new plans. 'Again a new idea?' Steve said."

Gayle criticises Pietersen for Chanderpaul comments

http://shinymedia.blogs.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/06/21/74844558.jpg
Chris Gayle, the West Indies captain, has hit out at Kevin Pietersen for making critical comments about Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

"Every time he [Chanderpaul] gets runs he never fields," Pietersen told the Daily Mail. "There's always an injury or something. That has really got on my nerves here. It leads me to think he plays for himself."

Gayle said Pietersen had "no right" to make such comments. "I did talk to him and told him, 'You don't need to stoop to that level'. He didn't actually apologise and if he could apologise that would be nice," Gayle told BBC Sport.

"We're all big men. There's no need to go to that level and try and degrade other players. No-one wants to be degraded in this manner. We're all human beings and everybody is playing this sport to enjoy the game but to take it to that level is very disappointing.

"Whatever issues he had, he should have kept to himself. I've played with Shiv for years and, as a captain, I get tremendous support from him both on and off the field. His batting in both forms of the game has been brilliant and to hear these sorts of comments out in public has been very disappointing."

Pietersen, however, had praised Gayle. "I've loved playing against Chris Gayle," he said. "He's funny and relaxed but he's a real competitor. He's a comedian with a heart of gold and this series has been played in a real good spirit."

Gayle criticises Pietersen for Chanderpaul comments

http://shinymedia.blogs.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/06/21/74844558.jpg
Chris Gayle, the West Indies captain, has hit out at Kevin Pietersen for making critical comments about Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

"Every time he [Chanderpaul] gets runs he never fields," Pietersen told the Daily Mail. "There's always an injury or something. That has really got on my nerves here. It leads me to think he plays for himself."

Gayle said Pietersen had "no right" to make such comments. "I did talk to him and told him, 'You don't need to stoop to that level'. He didn't actually apologise and if he could apologise that would be nice," Gayle told BBC Sport.

"We're all big men. There's no need to go to that level and try and degrade other players. No-one wants to be degraded in this manner. We're all human beings and everybody is playing this sport to enjoy the game but to take it to that level is very disappointing.

"Whatever issues he had, he should have kept to himself. I've played with Shiv for years and, as a captain, I get tremendous support from him both on and off the field. His batting in both forms of the game has been brilliant and to hear these sorts of comments out in public has been very disappointing."

Pietersen, however, had praised Gayle. "I've loved playing against Chris Gayle," he said. "He's funny and relaxed but he's a real competitor. He's a comedian with a heart of gold and this series has been played in a real good spirit."

West Indies threaten boycott of fifth ODI

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The possibility of a boycott of the fifth and final ODI between West Indies and England in St Lucia looms large with the West Indies captain Chris Gayle indicating that his team may not take the field on Friday if outstanding issues with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) remain unresolved.

Only two days ago, Gayle said that the pay dispute wouldn't affect the remainder of the series and West Indies' forthcoming tour of England, with the hope that it would be resolved. However, speaking ahead of the fourth ODI in Barbados on Sunday, Gayle admitted his disappointment with the way the negotiations had unfolded between the board and the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA).

"I can say straight up that a boycott is a real possibility," Gayle told reporters on Saturday. "I am not going to go all around the world. I am going to say it plainly, 'we need to have these matters resolved before the end of the series', so we can forget about all of these disputes."

The WICB and WIPA had a two-day meeting earlier this week in Barbados to settle a number of issues including outstanding payments to the players from previous overseas tours. This happened after Dinanath Ramnarine, the WIPA president, quit as a director of the WICB, stating his position had become untenable due to the ongoing dispute.

Gayle said the fourth match will proceed as scheduled but the fate of the fifth will depend on the developments over the next few days. "I am disappointed with the way things have been handled. I think they (WICB) are still trying to bypass WIPA, and it is we, the players, that are instructing WIPA about what we want at this point in time," Gayle said.

"This is not a case, where WIPA goes off on its own and introduces these sorts of things. We, the players, have asked for these changes, so basically from a contractual point of view, WIPA are the ones to sort them out, but I am disappointed from what I hear.

"There was a lot of speculation before the [third ODI] about whether the game was going on. I know that I said I was looking forward to the game and so on and so forth. I would like to point out that I had not spoken to Ramnarine before attending the news conference [on Thursday], and when I got the feedback [from him], I got some disappointing news. It is not too good.

"There are a lot of rumours out there, and they want to make WIPA look bad, and WIPA is not a bad thing, so we are very disappointed and will play this game on Sunday and see what happens in the next couple of days after this."

He also expressed his disappointment at reports in the media that five senior players were considering skipping the tour of England for the IPL in South Africa. It is understood that up to five players are upset that the tour clashes with the IPL and the WICB reacted saying a statement will be issued soon regarding their availability.

"The players have come to me and are disappointed to see their names out there in the media tarnished," Gayle said. "It is not good. It is not right.

"The arrangement was that there was to be no comments regarding the negotiations, but we see these comments coming out, trying to get the public against us, which I think will not happen. But we are all big men and we all have to make our own decisions.

"Up to this day, no one has really come to me about playing in the IPL. But there is word on the street that there is a two-week window, and I could then fly to England."

West Indies threaten boycott of fifth ODI

http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2007/09/12/southafrica4_narrowweb__300x415,0.jpg
The possibility of a boycott of the fifth and final ODI between West Indies and England in St Lucia looms large with the West Indies captain Chris Gayle indicating that his team may not take the field on Friday if outstanding issues with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) remain unresolved.

Only two days ago, Gayle said that the pay dispute wouldn't affect the remainder of the series and West Indies' forthcoming tour of England, with the hope that it would be resolved. However, speaking ahead of the fourth ODI in Barbados on Sunday, Gayle admitted his disappointment with the way the negotiations had unfolded between the board and the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA).

"I can say straight up that a boycott is a real possibility," Gayle told reporters on Saturday. "I am not going to go all around the world. I am going to say it plainly, 'we need to have these matters resolved before the end of the series', so we can forget about all of these disputes."

The WICB and WIPA had a two-day meeting earlier this week in Barbados to settle a number of issues including outstanding payments to the players from previous overseas tours. This happened after Dinanath Ramnarine, the WIPA president, quit as a director of the WICB, stating his position had become untenable due to the ongoing dispute.

Gayle said the fourth match will proceed as scheduled but the fate of the fifth will depend on the developments over the next few days. "I am disappointed with the way things have been handled. I think they (WICB) are still trying to bypass WIPA, and it is we, the players, that are instructing WIPA about what we want at this point in time," Gayle said.

"This is not a case, where WIPA goes off on its own and introduces these sorts of things. We, the players, have asked for these changes, so basically from a contractual point of view, WIPA are the ones to sort them out, but I am disappointed from what I hear.

"There was a lot of speculation before the [third ODI] about whether the game was going on. I know that I said I was looking forward to the game and so on and so forth. I would like to point out that I had not spoken to Ramnarine before attending the news conference [on Thursday], and when I got the feedback [from him], I got some disappointing news. It is not too good.

"There are a lot of rumours out there, and they want to make WIPA look bad, and WIPA is not a bad thing, so we are very disappointed and will play this game on Sunday and see what happens in the next couple of days after this."

He also expressed his disappointment at reports in the media that five senior players were considering skipping the tour of England for the IPL in South Africa. It is understood that up to five players are upset that the tour clashes with the IPL and the WICB reacted saying a statement will be issued soon regarding their availability.

"The players have come to me and are disappointed to see their names out there in the media tarnished," Gayle said. "It is not good. It is not right.

"The arrangement was that there was to be no comments regarding the negotiations, but we see these comments coming out, trying to get the public against us, which I think will not happen. But we are all big men and we all have to make our own decisions.

"Up to this day, no one has really come to me about playing in the IPL. But there is word on the street that there is a two-week window, and I could then fly to England."

Gambhir leads India's fight for survival

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Gautam Gambhir's unbeaten 102 won't be released on a highlights DVD anytime soon, but it was an invaluable contribution to his team's cause. Thwarting Daniel Vettori's canny guile and staving off everything New Zealand threw at him, Gambhir constructed his fifth and most attentive century - and his first outside the subcontinent - to help India crawl towards their distant goal of saving the Napier Test. Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar weighed in with crucial innings, and the fact that New Zealand's only wicket today was because of an umpiring error was indicative of India's control.

It was a tough, combative performance from India's batsmen while New Zealand were disciplined, rather than dangerous, and gave away only 205 runs in the day. But they lacked the edge to roll India over a second time on a track which was getting easier to bat on. When Dravid departed because of a wrong call shortly before tea India trailed by 178 runs. Mild shadows were already spreading across McLean Park when Tendulkar began to steadily build on the base built by Dravid and Gambhir.

In the same over, Tendulkar scampered a single to raise his fifty off 89 balls and Gambhir skipped down and collected four over mid-on to reach his hundred. He didn't stop there and ensured he batted through the day. Against England in Mohali, Gambhir had batted 214 balls for his century. Today's effort surpassed that for durability and given the immense pressure India were under should rank up there with his double-century against Australia last year. Ball by ball, minute by minute, over by over, Gambhir gnawed at a controlling New Zealand attack.

Unlike Dravid, who has a reservoir of patience, Gambhir had to restrain himself and he did so admirably. Gambhir hit two flowing boundaries in the first 45 minutes of the day - square drives off Chris Martin and Iain O'Brien - but then crawled along. A naturally attacking batsman against spin, Gambhir had to adopt a restrained approach against two crafty slow bowlers. It was captivating.

You could sense he wanted to go after Jeetan Patel yet had to curb his aggression. So if the ball was wide he mostly resisted playing and repeatedly thrust his pad at it. There was only one anxious clip to mid-on and one hit over mid-off for four against Patel. He crossed 2000 Test runs today, the third fastest India to do so after Virender Sehwag. Known for his flair, Gambhir proved he could be dour, a trait India will be thankful for.

The other man to thank was Dravid. Before this tour his critics were questioning his form and two crucial half-centuries should silence everyone. Dravid carried heavy responsibility on his shoulders - not least because of his dismissal yesterday, which was the start of a collapse - but went about his business with great skill and efficiency. With stubborn support from Gambhir, he added 72 in the first session.

India were in such a somber mood that only six boundaries were scored in the second session. Buoyed by their defiance in the morning, Dravid and Gambhir restarted with confidence and brought up their century stand. Dravid got his fifty off 180 balls but his vigil was undone with a habitual forward defensive to Patel, caught by Jamie How at short leg. Unfortunately for Dravid replays showed there was no bat on ball.

New Zealand took the second new ball soon after the tea break but were attacked by Tendulkar. Twenty-two runs came in the first four overs with the new ball: Tendulkar hit three boundaries in one Martin over and another against O'Brien in the next. He also flicked a four and pulled a six off the same bowler. It was vintage Tendulkar, while at the other end Gambhir took 32 balls to score his first run of the session.

New Zealand appeared to employ the come-and-get-me strategy, using spin primarily and not placing much faith in pace. There was no swing for the fast bowlers, so the approach from Vettori and Patel was to keep it tight just outside off stump. India's recovery has set up an enthralling final day. New Zealand need to regroup and focus on playing intense cricket, much as India did today

Gambhir leads India's fight for survival

http://www.cricinfo.com/db/PICTURES/CMS/86200/86218.jpg
Gautam Gambhir's unbeaten 102 won't be released on a highlights DVD anytime soon, but it was an invaluable contribution to his team's cause. Thwarting Daniel Vettori's canny guile and staving off everything New Zealand threw at him, Gambhir constructed his fifth and most attentive century - and his first outside the subcontinent - to help India crawl towards their distant goal of saving the Napier Test. Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar weighed in with crucial innings, and the fact that New Zealand's only wicket today was because of an umpiring error was indicative of India's control.

It was a tough, combative performance from India's batsmen while New Zealand were disciplined, rather than dangerous, and gave away only 205 runs in the day. But they lacked the edge to roll India over a second time on a track which was getting easier to bat on. When Dravid departed because of a wrong call shortly before tea India trailed by 178 runs. Mild shadows were already spreading across McLean Park when Tendulkar began to steadily build on the base built by Dravid and Gambhir.

In the same over, Tendulkar scampered a single to raise his fifty off 89 balls and Gambhir skipped down and collected four over mid-on to reach his hundred. He didn't stop there and ensured he batted through the day. Against England in Mohali, Gambhir had batted 214 balls for his century. Today's effort surpassed that for durability and given the immense pressure India were under should rank up there with his double-century against Australia last year. Ball by ball, minute by minute, over by over, Gambhir gnawed at a controlling New Zealand attack.

Unlike Dravid, who has a reservoir of patience, Gambhir had to restrain himself and he did so admirably. Gambhir hit two flowing boundaries in the first 45 minutes of the day - square drives off Chris Martin and Iain O'Brien - but then crawled along. A naturally attacking batsman against spin, Gambhir had to adopt a restrained approach against two crafty slow bowlers. It was captivating.

You could sense he wanted to go after Jeetan Patel yet had to curb his aggression. So if the ball was wide he mostly resisted playing and repeatedly thrust his pad at it. There was only one anxious clip to mid-on and one hit over mid-off for four against Patel. He crossed 2000 Test runs today, the third fastest India to do so after Virender Sehwag. Known for his flair, Gambhir proved he could be dour, a trait India will be thankful for.

The other man to thank was Dravid. Before this tour his critics were questioning his form and two crucial half-centuries should silence everyone. Dravid carried heavy responsibility on his shoulders - not least because of his dismissal yesterday, which was the start of a collapse - but went about his business with great skill and efficiency. With stubborn support from Gambhir, he added 72 in the first session.

India were in such a somber mood that only six boundaries were scored in the second session. Buoyed by their defiance in the morning, Dravid and Gambhir restarted with confidence and brought up their century stand. Dravid got his fifty off 180 balls but his vigil was undone with a habitual forward defensive to Patel, caught by Jamie How at short leg. Unfortunately for Dravid replays showed there was no bat on ball.

New Zealand took the second new ball soon after the tea break but were attacked by Tendulkar. Twenty-two runs came in the first four overs with the new ball: Tendulkar hit three boundaries in one Martin over and another against O'Brien in the next. He also flicked a four and pulled a six off the same bowler. It was vintage Tendulkar, while at the other end Gambhir took 32 balls to score his first run of the session.

New Zealand appeared to employ the come-and-get-me strategy, using spin primarily and not placing much faith in pace. There was no swing for the fast bowlers, so the approach from Vettori and Patel was to keep it tight just outside off stump. India's recovery has set up an enthralling final day. New Zealand need to regroup and focus on playing intense cricket, much as India did today

Saturday, March 21, 2009

India win india Vs newzeland test match1,And take 1-0 series lead

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Dominant India defeated New Zealand by 10 wickets in the 1st Test to take 1-0 lead. This is India's first Test win in New Zealand since 1976. Sachin Tendulkar was adjudged Man of the Match for his brilliant 160 runs. Harbhajan Singh took six wickets in the match.

India wrapped up New Zealand's second innings on 279 with the hosts giving a 38-run lead. Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid opened India's 2nd innings to hit another 39 runs for the historic win, which seemed almost like a formality. Gambhir hit a brisk 30 off 18 balls and Dravid added 8 runs to take India to a memorable win in New Zealand after 33 years.

With their overnight total of 75/3, New Zealand's Ross Taylor walked in to replace Kyle Mills, who was removed by Munaf Patel on the last ball of the third day's play, along with Daniel Flynn resumed batting on the crucial fourth day. The hosts were then trailing by 166 runs with seven wickets in their pocket.

Zaheer Khan initiated the proceedings with the new ball and lanky Ishant Sharma joined him in. Daniel Flynn looked alert since morning and cautiously raised third half-century of his Test career to take New Zealand past 100-run mark.

But Flynn-Taylor partnership could only add up 35 odd runs to the scoreboard as the latter gave away his wicket to Patel for mere 4 runs. Sehwag took a neat catch to give early breakthrough to the visitors. Jesse Ryder stepped in next when New Zealand struggled on 110 for 4.

Ryder was expected of some consistency with his form but failed to live up to the hopes and added just 21 runs to the board before he fell to India ace spinner Harbhajan Singh. He caught him plumb before the wickets. James Franklin then joined Flynn who looked set in the middle.

At the stroke of lunch, the hosts managed 146 runs at the loss of five wickets. First session saw 71 runs being added to the scoreboard at the cost of two wickets. Flynn and Franklin were careful enough to push New Zealand past 150-run mark.

Harbhajan Singh continued with his spell and signaled danger for the depleted Kiwi batting line-up. Franklin (14) was his next victim, who gave an easy catch to Munaf at point.

Brendon McCullum joined Flynn at the crease to reach up to the set total by the tourists and in turn set a decent lead to save the match for their side. But Harbhajan struck for the third time to cut short Flynn's outing through Gambhir's catch at forward short-leg. His 67 runs gave a sense of hope to beleaguered Kiwis which was soon diminished by the mighty Indians.

New Zealand struggled at 161 for 7 when skipper Daniel Vettori came in to revive Kiwi innings. He made 21 runs and gifted another Kiwi wicket to Harbhajan off Dhoni. Ian O'Brien entered next to partner McCullum and both played safe on 5 and 30 when New Zealand were 216/8 at tea.

O'Brien (14) stuck around for a while, supported McCullum well and made his way out. McCullum raised his 13th half-century of his Test career in the last session. It was yet again, Harbhajan who did the honors for India, clinching sixth wicket of the match in the form of O'Brien.

McCullum (84) looked set to smash his third Test century but part-time spinner Yuvraj Singh spoiled the party with the help of Laxman at short fine-leg. 38-run lead was all Kiwis could manage and India were virtually set for the first Test win in New Zealand since 1976.

In reply to hosts' first innings total of 279 runs, India were all out for 520 runs with a lead of 241 runs. Tendulkar led Indian batting's motivated performance.

India win india Vs newzeland test match1,And take 1-0 series lead

http://akshar100.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/sachin.jpg
Dominant India defeated New Zealand by 10 wickets in the 1st Test to take 1-0 lead. This is India's first Test win in New Zealand since 1976. Sachin Tendulkar was adjudged Man of the Match for his brilliant 160 runs. Harbhajan Singh took six wickets in the match.

India wrapped up New Zealand's second innings on 279 with the hosts giving a 38-run lead. Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid opened India's 2nd innings to hit another 39 runs for the historic win, which seemed almost like a formality. Gambhir hit a brisk 30 off 18 balls and Dravid added 8 runs to take India to a memorable win in New Zealand after 33 years.

With their overnight total of 75/3, New Zealand's Ross Taylor walked in to replace Kyle Mills, who was removed by Munaf Patel on the last ball of the third day's play, along with Daniel Flynn resumed batting on the crucial fourth day. The hosts were then trailing by 166 runs with seven wickets in their pocket.

Zaheer Khan initiated the proceedings with the new ball and lanky Ishant Sharma joined him in. Daniel Flynn looked alert since morning and cautiously raised third half-century of his Test career to take New Zealand past 100-run mark.

But Flynn-Taylor partnership could only add up 35 odd runs to the scoreboard as the latter gave away his wicket to Patel for mere 4 runs. Sehwag took a neat catch to give early breakthrough to the visitors. Jesse Ryder stepped in next when New Zealand struggled on 110 for 4.

Ryder was expected of some consistency with his form but failed to live up to the hopes and added just 21 runs to the board before he fell to India ace spinner Harbhajan Singh. He caught him plumb before the wickets. James Franklin then joined Flynn who looked set in the middle.

At the stroke of lunch, the hosts managed 146 runs at the loss of five wickets. First session saw 71 runs being added to the scoreboard at the cost of two wickets. Flynn and Franklin were careful enough to push New Zealand past 150-run mark.

Harbhajan Singh continued with his spell and signaled danger for the depleted Kiwi batting line-up. Franklin (14) was his next victim, who gave an easy catch to Munaf at point.

Brendon McCullum joined Flynn at the crease to reach up to the set total by the tourists and in turn set a decent lead to save the match for their side. But Harbhajan struck for the third time to cut short Flynn's outing through Gambhir's catch at forward short-leg. His 67 runs gave a sense of hope to beleaguered Kiwis which was soon diminished by the mighty Indians.

New Zealand struggled at 161 for 7 when skipper Daniel Vettori came in to revive Kiwi innings. He made 21 runs and gifted another Kiwi wicket to Harbhajan off Dhoni. Ian O'Brien entered next to partner McCullum and both played safe on 5 and 30 when New Zealand were 216/8 at tea.

O'Brien (14) stuck around for a while, supported McCullum well and made his way out. McCullum raised his 13th half-century of his Test career in the last session. It was yet again, Harbhajan who did the honors for India, clinching sixth wicket of the match in the form of O'Brien.

McCullum (84) looked set to smash his third Test century but part-time spinner Yuvraj Singh spoiled the party with the help of Laxman at short fine-leg. 38-run lead was all Kiwis could manage and India were virtually set for the first Test win in New Zealand since 1976.

In reply to hosts' first innings total of 279 runs, India were all out for 520 runs with a lead of 241 runs. Tendulkar led Indian batting's motivated performance.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sachin becomes highest run-getter in New Zealand

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72 – Number of runs scored by Gautam Gambhir in his maiden appearance in New Zealand. With this he has now scored fifty-plus scores in each country except Bangladesh.

407 – Number of runs scored by Rahul Dravid at Seddon Park in Hamilton @ 101.75. He becomes the first Indian player and fifth in the world after Stephen Fleming, Craig McMillan, Daniel Vettori and Chris Cairns to aggregate more than 400 runs at this venue. His average is by far the best among all players, which is almost double of the next best of 51.18 by Vettori.


568 – Number of runs made by Sachin Tendulkar in nine Tests in New Zealand with the help of a single century and four fifties at an average of 47.33. He is now the highest run-getter for India in New Zealand. He surpassed Mohammad Azharuddin’s previous record of 521 runs from six games.

Sachin becomes highest run-getter in New Zealand

http://blogs.abc.net.au/photos/uncategorized/2008/03/02/15_sachin_tendulkar_2.jpg
72 – Number of runs scored by Gautam Gambhir in his maiden appearance in New Zealand. With this he has now scored fifty-plus scores in each country except Bangladesh.

407 – Number of runs scored by Rahul Dravid at Seddon Park in Hamilton @ 101.75. He becomes the first Indian player and fifth in the world after Stephen Fleming, Craig McMillan, Daniel Vettori and Chris Cairns to aggregate more than 400 runs at this venue. His average is by far the best among all players, which is almost double of the next best of 51.18 by Vettori.


568 – Number of runs made by Sachin Tendulkar in nine Tests in New Zealand with the help of a single century and four fifties at an average of 47.33. He is now the highest run-getter for India in New Zealand. He surpassed Mohammad Azharuddin’s previous record of 521 runs from six games.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

IPL Improved Indian Cricket: Kevin Pietersen

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After seeing India's brilliant performance in one-day cricket, former skipper and prolific right hand batsman Kevin Pietersen believes that the IPL is the reason behind men in blue's success and said if English players were to lift their game, they too must play in the Twenty20 tournament.

Speaking with BBC, Pietersen said, “I think the reason why India has gone through the roof is because of the Indian Premier League (IPL).”

''After missing out last year, there is no way we can get up there if we don't play,'' he said.

He feels that larger involvement by England players in the annual Twenty20 tournament would also help them in developing their stability in the ODIs.

Apart from Andrew Flintoff, Paul Collingwood, Owais Shah and Ravi Bopara, Kevin Pietersen is also among those five England players who would feature in the second season of the IPL which is scheduled to start from April 10. Last year (IPL Season 1) only only one England player, Dimitri Mascarenhas featured for the tournament. Howver, Mascarenhas played only one game for Rajasthan Royals.

Commenting over the current form of the Indian cricket team, Pietersen said, "India are taking one-day cricket to a different level.Have you seen the way they are playing in New Zealand? Then compare that to what we did out there last year - India are on a different level.”

IPL Improved Indian Cricket: Kevin Pietersen

http://newsinhindi.freshnews.in/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/k-piterson3.jpg
After seeing India's brilliant performance in one-day cricket, former skipper and prolific right hand batsman Kevin Pietersen believes that the IPL is the reason behind men in blue's success and said if English players were to lift their game, they too must play in the Twenty20 tournament.

Speaking with BBC, Pietersen said, “I think the reason why India has gone through the roof is because of the Indian Premier League (IPL).”

''After missing out last year, there is no way we can get up there if we don't play,'' he said.

He feels that larger involvement by England players in the annual Twenty20 tournament would also help them in developing their stability in the ODIs.

Apart from Andrew Flintoff, Paul Collingwood, Owais Shah and Ravi Bopara, Kevin Pietersen is also among those five England players who would feature in the second season of the IPL which is scheduled to start from April 10. Last year (IPL Season 1) only only one England player, Dimitri Mascarenhas featured for the tournament. Howver, Mascarenhas played only one game for Rajasthan Royals.

Commenting over the current form of the Indian cricket team, Pietersen said, "India are taking one-day cricket to a different level.Have you seen the way they are playing in New Zealand? Then compare that to what we did out there last year - India are on a different level.”

Series win is special, says skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni

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Auckland: M.S. Dhoni refuted the theory that India had handed New Zealand the momentum after the eight-wicket defeat in Saturday’s dead rubber.

“Before the one-day series, I was asked the same question because of the Twenty20 defeats,” said the Indian captain. “As I said, it’s not about what we have done. We have to start from scratch again. Nothing changes. Particularly when it comes to Test cricket, where you have to play consistent cricket over a period of time. I don’t think (the defeat) matters when it comes to the last game of a one-day series.”

Dhoni said India’s first ODI series win in New Zealand was special, but stopped short of measuring it against past successes. “I don’t believe in rating because every series is important,” he said. “Of course, it’s something special. But the things we have achieved in the past are not in consideration when you think about it right now. After a while when you sit back you realise that may be another series was more important because your team was not in form, and had to struggle harder to win,” Dhoni added.

Asked why he chose to bat in seamer-friendly conditions, Dhoni said, “We misread the wicket. We do make mistakes, but we should have negotiated the period when it was doing quite a bit. Throughout the series we have played big shots, which paid off, but this time we lost a few wickets and put ourselves under pressure.”

On Ishant Sharma’s verbal sparring with Jesse Ryder, Dhoni said, “It seems it was in the heat of the moment. But I believe they have sorted it out. It’s an ugly thing to happen on the field. But, fast bowlers, when they get hammered, sometimes react.”

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori said the improvement in execution of the bowling skills had made the difference. “Today, I thought they bowled really well,” he said.

“The wicket had a little more in it than the previous ones, but you still have to bowl well. You saw that a guy like Sehwag can still be explosive. Some guys who haven’t performed in the series stepped up. Oram was outstanding and Jesse Ryder came through with the ball.”

Vettori praised Ryder’s all-round performance. “It was a big game for him and he did everything that was asked from him. He hit the right areas and got the ball to do a bit.

“When chasing a smallish total it gives the batsmen a bit of license to play their game. But I thought Jess and Martin (Guptill) played good cricket shots throughout, and many of those disappeared out of the park.”

Series win is special, says skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni

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Auckland: M.S. Dhoni refuted the theory that India had handed New Zealand the momentum after the eight-wicket defeat in Saturday’s dead rubber.

“Before the one-day series, I was asked the same question because of the Twenty20 defeats,” said the Indian captain. “As I said, it’s not about what we have done. We have to start from scratch again. Nothing changes. Particularly when it comes to Test cricket, where you have to play consistent cricket over a period of time. I don’t think (the defeat) matters when it comes to the last game of a one-day series.”

Dhoni said India’s first ODI series win in New Zealand was special, but stopped short of measuring it against past successes. “I don’t believe in rating because every series is important,” he said. “Of course, it’s something special. But the things we have achieved in the past are not in consideration when you think about it right now. After a while when you sit back you realise that may be another series was more important because your team was not in form, and had to struggle harder to win,” Dhoni added.

Asked why he chose to bat in seamer-friendly conditions, Dhoni said, “We misread the wicket. We do make mistakes, but we should have negotiated the period when it was doing quite a bit. Throughout the series we have played big shots, which paid off, but this time we lost a few wickets and put ourselves under pressure.”

On Ishant Sharma’s verbal sparring with Jesse Ryder, Dhoni said, “It seems it was in the heat of the moment. But I believe they have sorted it out. It’s an ugly thing to happen on the field. But, fast bowlers, when they get hammered, sometimes react.”

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori said the improvement in execution of the bowling skills had made the difference. “Today, I thought they bowled really well,” he said.

“The wicket had a little more in it than the previous ones, but you still have to bowl well. You saw that a guy like Sehwag can still be explosive. Some guys who haven’t performed in the series stepped up. Oram was outstanding and Jesse Ryder came through with the ball.”

Vettori praised Ryder’s all-round performance. “It was a big game for him and he did everything that was asked from him. He hit the right areas and got the ball to do a bit.

“When chasing a smallish total it gives the batsmen a bit of license to play their game. But I thought Jess and Martin (Guptill) played good cricket shots throughout, and many of those disappeared out of the park.”

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cricket News : The finest ODI centuries

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/gallery/0379/037901.jpg

1 Virendar Sehwag (India) 125 not out off 74 balls, Hamilton, March 11, 2009

Two elements put this at the top - the fact that it's the most recent ODI hundred in New Zealand being neither.

Sehwag's innings was a masterpiece of destruction, his 100 coming off just 60 balls, making it the fastest by an Indian, fastest in New Zealand and seventh quickest of all time.

He opened the innings, India chasing a potentially awkward 281 at a rate of 6.04 an over.

But openers, while having first dibs against the hard new ball, are also at risk of nicking out early. Fat chance of that on Wednesday night.

From the off, the chunky little man from Delhi was in charge. New Zealand's bowling was ordinary, and powerless to shut him down.

Sehwag arrived at Seddon Park in strong form and, having shown a liking for New Zealand's small grounds, he simply flayed the attack.

The second reason he's No 1 is his strike rate.

He got his runs at a phenomenal 168.91 per 100 balls, miles clear of the next best, who was Chris Cairns, when he made 115 at 143.75 against India in Christchurch in 1999.

2 Sachin Tendulkar (India) 163 retired hurt off 133 balls, Christchurch, March 8, 2009

India banged on 392 for four in 50 overs that day, the highest total on New Zealand soil.

It was Tendulkar's 43rd ODI ton, made more meritorious as he had tweaked a stomach muscle around the 60s. Every time he swung out it hurt, he said later. Which begs the old line about how many he might have got had he been fully fit.

The first ODI double century was within reach. Once again, New Zealand's bowlers were clueless against a brilliant batsman taking advantage of ropey bowling and ludicrously short boundaries.

This was the innings New Zealand fans had been hoping to see from one of the game's all time greats on - almost certainly - his final trip here.

They might see another before the Indians fly home on April 8.

3 Matthew Hayden (Australia) 181 not out off 166 balls, Hamilton, February 20, 2007

The highest ODI individual score made in New Zealand and seventh highest anywhere, Matt the Bat demolished New Zealand in leading Australia to 346 for five.

The bowling attack - Tuffey, Gillespie, Franklin, Patel, McMillan, Styris - wasn't New Zealand's finest but even so, 10 sixes told a story.

Hayden won the man of the match award, and should have been celebrating a consolation victory that night after losing the first two games.

But he looked sick as a parrot as he got his award, for this was no ordinary game ...

4 Craig McMillan (New Zealand) 117 off 96 balls, Hamilton, February 20, 2007

Because this was the night of the Mac Attack.

The belligerent Cantabrian played his finest innings to push New Zealand to 350 for nine, the highest score made in New Zealand at that time to complete a 3-0 sweep of the Aussies.

The crowd went ballistic as McMillan, who had come in at an unpromising 41 for four, climbed into an attack comprising Bracken - now among the world's best ODI bowlers - Johnson, Tait, Hogg, Watson and Voges. Five times he cleared the fence, to go with 13 fours.

McMillan got help from Peter Fulton firstly and after departing to a standing ovation, Brendon McCullum finished the job off with 86 not out. There were three balls and one wicket to spare.

A heady, exhilarating night.

5 Martin Crowe (New Zealand) 100 off 134 balls, Eden Park, February 22, 1992

In here for the occasion as well as the quality of the innings.

It was the opening day of the World Cup, New Zealand playing co-hosts Australia. A full house, with a tournament using a full round robin format.

New Zealand were 53 for three and in danger of sinking before captain Crowe and Ken Rutherford pulled things round with a 118-run stand.

Crowe reached his century in the final over, an outstanding, skilled innings which brought the ground alight. New Zealand reached on 248 for six and won by 37 runs.

New Zealand, under Crowe's innovative leadership, made the semifinals. For that month Crowe was perhaps the finest batsman on the planet.

This wasn't the fastest ODI hundred scored in New Zealand, or by a New Zealander. But it's importance is measured by more means than that.

THE 10 FASTEST ODI TONS
* 37 balls: Shahid Afridi (Pakistan) v Sri Lanka, Nairobi, Oct 1996, finished on 102, 11 sixes/6 fours
* 44 balls: Mark Boucher (South Africa) v Zimbabwe, Potchefstroom, Sept 2006, 147no 10/8
* 45 balls: Brian Lara (West Indies) v Bangladesh, Dhaka, Oct 1999, 117, 4/18
* 45 balls: Afridi v India, Kanpur, April 2005, 102, 9/10
* 48 balls: Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) v Pakistan, Singapore, April 1996, 134, 11/11
* 55 balls: Jayasuriya v Bangladesh, Karachi, June 2008, 130, 6/16
* 60 balls: Virendar Sehwag (India) v New Zealand, Hamilton, March 2009, 125 not out, 6/14
* 62 balls: Mohammad Azharuddin (India) v New Zealand, Baroda, Dec 1988, 108no, 3/10
* 64 balls: Jayasuriya v Netherlands, Amstelveen, July 2006, 157, 1/23
* 64 balls: Yuvraj Singh v England, Rajkot, Nov 2008, 138no, 6/16
* (13th=) 67 balls: Craig McMillan v Australia, Hamilton, Feb 2007, 117, 5/13

Cricket News : The finest ODI centuries

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/gallery/0379/037901.jpg

1 Virendar Sehwag (India) 125 not out off 74 balls, Hamilton, March 11, 2009

Two elements put this at the top - the fact that it's the most recent ODI hundred in New Zealand being neither.

Sehwag's innings was a masterpiece of destruction, his 100 coming off just 60 balls, making it the fastest by an Indian, fastest in New Zealand and seventh quickest of all time.

He opened the innings, India chasing a potentially awkward 281 at a rate of 6.04 an over.

But openers, while having first dibs against the hard new ball, are also at risk of nicking out early. Fat chance of that on Wednesday night.

From the off, the chunky little man from Delhi was in charge. New Zealand's bowling was ordinary, and powerless to shut him down.

Sehwag arrived at Seddon Park in strong form and, having shown a liking for New Zealand's small grounds, he simply flayed the attack.

The second reason he's No 1 is his strike rate.

He got his runs at a phenomenal 168.91 per 100 balls, miles clear of the next best, who was Chris Cairns, when he made 115 at 143.75 against India in Christchurch in 1999.

2 Sachin Tendulkar (India) 163 retired hurt off 133 balls, Christchurch, March 8, 2009

India banged on 392 for four in 50 overs that day, the highest total on New Zealand soil.

It was Tendulkar's 43rd ODI ton, made more meritorious as he had tweaked a stomach muscle around the 60s. Every time he swung out it hurt, he said later. Which begs the old line about how many he might have got had he been fully fit.

The first ODI double century was within reach. Once again, New Zealand's bowlers were clueless against a brilliant batsman taking advantage of ropey bowling and ludicrously short boundaries.

This was the innings New Zealand fans had been hoping to see from one of the game's all time greats on - almost certainly - his final trip here.

They might see another before the Indians fly home on April 8.

3 Matthew Hayden (Australia) 181 not out off 166 balls, Hamilton, February 20, 2007

The highest ODI individual score made in New Zealand and seventh highest anywhere, Matt the Bat demolished New Zealand in leading Australia to 346 for five.

The bowling attack - Tuffey, Gillespie, Franklin, Patel, McMillan, Styris - wasn't New Zealand's finest but even so, 10 sixes told a story.

Hayden won the man of the match award, and should have been celebrating a consolation victory that night after losing the first two games.

But he looked sick as a parrot as he got his award, for this was no ordinary game ...

4 Craig McMillan (New Zealand) 117 off 96 balls, Hamilton, February 20, 2007

Because this was the night of the Mac Attack.

The belligerent Cantabrian played his finest innings to push New Zealand to 350 for nine, the highest score made in New Zealand at that time to complete a 3-0 sweep of the Aussies.

The crowd went ballistic as McMillan, who had come in at an unpromising 41 for four, climbed into an attack comprising Bracken - now among the world's best ODI bowlers - Johnson, Tait, Hogg, Watson and Voges. Five times he cleared the fence, to go with 13 fours.

McMillan got help from Peter Fulton firstly and after departing to a standing ovation, Brendon McCullum finished the job off with 86 not out. There were three balls and one wicket to spare.

A heady, exhilarating night.

5 Martin Crowe (New Zealand) 100 off 134 balls, Eden Park, February 22, 1992

In here for the occasion as well as the quality of the innings.

It was the opening day of the World Cup, New Zealand playing co-hosts Australia. A full house, with a tournament using a full round robin format.

New Zealand were 53 for three and in danger of sinking before captain Crowe and Ken Rutherford pulled things round with a 118-run stand.

Crowe reached his century in the final over, an outstanding, skilled innings which brought the ground alight. New Zealand reached on 248 for six and won by 37 runs.

New Zealand, under Crowe's innovative leadership, made the semifinals. For that month Crowe was perhaps the finest batsman on the planet.

This wasn't the fastest ODI hundred scored in New Zealand, or by a New Zealander. But it's importance is measured by more means than that.

THE 10 FASTEST ODI TONS
* 37 balls: Shahid Afridi (Pakistan) v Sri Lanka, Nairobi, Oct 1996, finished on 102, 11 sixes/6 fours
* 44 balls: Mark Boucher (South Africa) v Zimbabwe, Potchefstroom, Sept 2006, 147no 10/8
* 45 balls: Brian Lara (West Indies) v Bangladesh, Dhaka, Oct 1999, 117, 4/18
* 45 balls: Afridi v India, Kanpur, April 2005, 102, 9/10
* 48 balls: Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) v Pakistan, Singapore, April 1996, 134, 11/11
* 55 balls: Jayasuriya v Bangladesh, Karachi, June 2008, 130, 6/16
* 60 balls: Virendar Sehwag (India) v New Zealand, Hamilton, March 2009, 125 not out, 6/14
* 62 balls: Mohammad Azharuddin (India) v New Zealand, Baroda, Dec 1988, 108no, 3/10
* 64 balls: Jayasuriya v Netherlands, Amstelveen, July 2006, 157, 1/23
* 64 balls: Yuvraj Singh v England, Rajkot, Nov 2008, 138no, 6/16
* (13th=) 67 balls: Craig McMillan v Australia, Hamilton, Feb 2007, 117, 5/13

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rain halts play after Virender Sehwag's sizzling ton

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Brendon McCullum top-scored with 77 as New Zealand reached 270 for five in 47 overs on Wednesday, with India set 281 under the Duckworth-Lewis method to win the rain-reduced fourth limited-overs cricket international and clinch the series.

McCullum put on 102 for the first wicket with Jesse Ryder, who made 46, but the New Zealand innings — twice interrupted by rain — temporarily lost momentum as five wickets fell for 73 runs between the 20th and 37th overs.

Wicketkeeper Peter McGlashan and all-rounder Grant Elliott helped restore the innings with an unbroken partnership of 95 from 61 balls for the sixth wicket, scoring at nine runs per over through the last 10.

McGlashan finished 56 not out on his home ground, posting his maiden half century in one-day internationals from 38 balls with five fours and a six. Elliott made an unbeaten 35 from 27 balls.

The target for India was revised because three overs were lost due to rain breaks during the innings.

Earlier, Ryder and McCullum looked comfortable in their opening partnership against an Indian attack restored almost to full strength by the return from injury of Ishant Sharma, who missed earlier matches with a shoulder injury.

They guided New Zealand to 50 in 43 minutes with Ryder providing 31 of those runs, then raised their century partnership at the end of the 18th over.

Ryder was 45 and McCullum 48 when the New Zealand hundred was raised but their partnership dissolved soon after when Ryder was caught by Suresh Raina off Yuvraj Singh from the first ball of the 20th over.

McCullum passed his half century in 92 minutes in a short-lived second wicket stand with Ross Taylor (5) but was out in the 34th over, with his team 155 for three, just as New Zealand had begun its batting power play.

The out-of-form Jacob Oram fell for one and Martin Guptill for 25 in the same period, weakening the New Zealand innings before the first of two interruptions.

Players left the field for 30 minutes during the 42nd over when New Zealand was 209-5 and again, more briefly, in the 44th over at 223-5.

India won two of the first three matches in the series and one was washed out.

Rain halts play after Virender Sehwag's sizzling ton

http://www.cricinfo.com/db/PICTURES/CMS/99300/99389.2.jpg
Brendon McCullum top-scored with 77 as New Zealand reached 270 for five in 47 overs on Wednesday, with India set 281 under the Duckworth-Lewis method to win the rain-reduced fourth limited-overs cricket international and clinch the series.

McCullum put on 102 for the first wicket with Jesse Ryder, who made 46, but the New Zealand innings — twice interrupted by rain — temporarily lost momentum as five wickets fell for 73 runs between the 20th and 37th overs.

Wicketkeeper Peter McGlashan and all-rounder Grant Elliott helped restore the innings with an unbroken partnership of 95 from 61 balls for the sixth wicket, scoring at nine runs per over through the last 10.

McGlashan finished 56 not out on his home ground, posting his maiden half century in one-day internationals from 38 balls with five fours and a six. Elliott made an unbeaten 35 from 27 balls.

The target for India was revised because three overs were lost due to rain breaks during the innings.

Earlier, Ryder and McCullum looked comfortable in their opening partnership against an Indian attack restored almost to full strength by the return from injury of Ishant Sharma, who missed earlier matches with a shoulder injury.

They guided New Zealand to 50 in 43 minutes with Ryder providing 31 of those runs, then raised their century partnership at the end of the 18th over.

Ryder was 45 and McCullum 48 when the New Zealand hundred was raised but their partnership dissolved soon after when Ryder was caught by Suresh Raina off Yuvraj Singh from the first ball of the 20th over.

McCullum passed his half century in 92 minutes in a short-lived second wicket stand with Ross Taylor (5) but was out in the 34th over, with his team 155 for three, just as New Zealand had begun its batting power play.

The out-of-form Jacob Oram fell for one and Martin Guptill for 25 in the same period, weakening the New Zealand innings before the first of two interruptions.

Players left the field for 30 minutes during the 42nd over when New Zealand was 209-5 and again, more briefly, in the 44th over at 223-5.

India won two of the first three matches in the series and one was washed out.

India chase 281 against New Zealand in fourth one-dayer

http://www.cricinfo.com/db/PICTURES/CMS/98000/98086.jpg
India were set a revised target of 281 off 47 overs to beat New Zealand in their fourth one-day international at Hamilton on Wednesday.

New Zealand made 270 for five from 47 overs but the tourists were set a higher target under the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Brendon McCullum and Peter McGlashan both blasted half-centuries as the Kiwis went on the rampage, chasing quick runs in expectation of a rain-shortened match.

McCullum belted 77, featuring seven fours and two sixes, off 95 balls, while McGlashan made an unbeaten 56 from 42 deliveries.

Grant Elliott chipped in with a quick 35 not out.

New Zealand need to win the match to keep the series alive after India won the first and third matches and the second was washed out. (Reporting by Julian Linden in Sydney; Editing by John O'Brien)

India chase 281 against New Zealand in fourth one-dayer

http://www.cricinfo.com/db/PICTURES/CMS/98000/98086.jpg
India were set a revised target of 281 off 47 overs to beat New Zealand in their fourth one-day international at Hamilton on Wednesday.

New Zealand made 270 for five from 47 overs but the tourists were set a higher target under the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Brendon McCullum and Peter McGlashan both blasted half-centuries as the Kiwis went on the rampage, chasing quick runs in expectation of a rain-shortened match.

McCullum belted 77, featuring seven fours and two sixes, off 95 balls, while McGlashan made an unbeaten 56 from 42 deliveries.

Grant Elliott chipped in with a quick 35 not out.

New Zealand need to win the match to keep the series alive after India won the first and third matches and the second was washed out. (Reporting by Julian Linden in Sydney; Editing by John O'Brien)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Indian batting star Sachin Tendulkar is doubtful for Other Final ODIs

For a long time, especially as the Naughty Nineties meandered away, the Indian batting started with Sachin Tendulkar and ended with him.
http://im.rediff.com/cricket/2007/sep/02sld1.jpg
His presence in the middle not only lifted the confidence in the dressing room; it also acted as a balm for the morale of the country.

Then, slowly, as the others gained confidence from his attacking strokeplay, the Big One transformed into the Big Three: Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid joined him with their own brand of touch-play or obduracy; as the new millennium arrived, it blossomed into the Big Five with VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag too playing stellar roles.

In the meantime, Tendulkar, plagued by injuries and wizened by the passage of time, evolved into a different mould.

Now suddenly, there are any number of match-winners and all of them are capable of as big hits and as much destruction as the little master-blaster himself.

So much so that his absence, either by choice or through injury, almost becomes insignificant to the grander scheme.

Tendulkar, and Ganguly and Dravid, pulled out of the Twenty20 World Cup and was pleasantly surprised to see the boys win it in style.

The team looks so cozy that Tendulkar doesn't want to disrupt it. "The team is doing brilliantly. I don't want to spoil the momentum by coming in," he said on Sunday night, after taking the Man of the Match award. In other words, he won't be available for the upcoming World Cup in England either. "Yes, I am not going there," he confirmed.

It's a different matter that India lost both the Twenty20 games in New Zealand; it looked like a different outfit as soon as the master returned.

Interestingly, even as Tendulkar is battling with a twitch in his stomach, probably a tear in his abdomen too, the Indian team is not panicking. "We will be fine even without him," a senior team member said.

"We will want him fully fit for the Test series later," he added.

Team manager Niranjan Shah said that Tendulkar's fitness will be known only later in the night. His absence will shift the focus back to Sehwag, who was displaced in the last game from his pre-eminent position.

As per current indications, he might not play the last two One-dayers. It will be a bitter-sweet thing, confessed New Zealand's coach Andy Moles.

"We may not want to bowl to him. But what a wonderful innings he played. He is a great player and the public might want to see him," he added.

But he quickly returns to the new philosophy. "I don't think the Indian team is going to miss him too much. It has too many very good players," he added, highlighting the fact that his bowlers are desperately struggling to match up to this lineup.

"They have world-class players. They are batting on flat tracks, in small grounds. Everything is working in their favour," he agreed.

"We are, however, making things easier for them by not bowling to our plans," he stressed. "The thing is they are very good, but not supermen. We know the areas we need to bowl in to keep them quiet. We have plans for everybody. But they are not even worth the paper, they are written on, if we don't stick to them," he snapped.

Indian batting star Sachin Tendulkar is doubtful for Other Final ODIs

For a long time, especially as the Naughty Nineties meandered away, the Indian batting started with Sachin Tendulkar and ended with him.
http://im.rediff.com/cricket/2007/sep/02sld1.jpg
His presence in the middle not only lifted the confidence in the dressing room; it also acted as a balm for the morale of the country.

Then, slowly, as the others gained confidence from his attacking strokeplay, the Big One transformed into the Big Three: Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid joined him with their own brand of touch-play or obduracy; as the new millennium arrived, it blossomed into the Big Five with VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag too playing stellar roles.

In the meantime, Tendulkar, plagued by injuries and wizened by the passage of time, evolved into a different mould.

Now suddenly, there are any number of match-winners and all of them are capable of as big hits and as much destruction as the little master-blaster himself.

So much so that his absence, either by choice or through injury, almost becomes insignificant to the grander scheme.

Tendulkar, and Ganguly and Dravid, pulled out of the Twenty20 World Cup and was pleasantly surprised to see the boys win it in style.

The team looks so cozy that Tendulkar doesn't want to disrupt it. "The team is doing brilliantly. I don't want to spoil the momentum by coming in," he said on Sunday night, after taking the Man of the Match award. In other words, he won't be available for the upcoming World Cup in England either. "Yes, I am not going there," he confirmed.

It's a different matter that India lost both the Twenty20 games in New Zealand; it looked like a different outfit as soon as the master returned.

Interestingly, even as Tendulkar is battling with a twitch in his stomach, probably a tear in his abdomen too, the Indian team is not panicking. "We will be fine even without him," a senior team member said.

"We will want him fully fit for the Test series later," he added.

Team manager Niranjan Shah said that Tendulkar's fitness will be known only later in the night. His absence will shift the focus back to Sehwag, who was displaced in the last game from his pre-eminent position.

As per current indications, he might not play the last two One-dayers. It will be a bitter-sweet thing, confessed New Zealand's coach Andy Moles.

"We may not want to bowl to him. But what a wonderful innings he played. He is a great player and the public might want to see him," he added.

But he quickly returns to the new philosophy. "I don't think the Indian team is going to miss him too much. It has too many very good players," he added, highlighting the fact that his bowlers are desperately struggling to match up to this lineup.

"They have world-class players. They are batting on flat tracks, in small grounds. Everything is working in their favour," he agreed.

"We are, however, making things easier for them by not bowling to our plans," he stressed. "The thing is they are very good, but not supermen. We know the areas we need to bowl in to keep them quiet. We have plans for everybody. But they are not even worth the paper, they are written on, if we don't stick to them," he snapped.