Shikhar Dhawan scored another hundred

Shikhar Dhawan scored another hundred on the Sri Lanka tour yesterday and propelled India to a position where they can think of controlling the test match yet again.

Virat called the toss of the coin right on the third occasion in a row and batting first after that was not the hardest decision in the world to make.

Unlike the previous two venues, there was a little bit of seam movement early on in Pallekele, but, the Sri Lankan bowlers especially Lahiru Kumara refused to pitch the ball up to the openers for some reason.

The young right arm fast bowler continued going short at Dhawan despite being taken to the cleaners on such type of deliveries in the first test match.

The treatment was no different here either as Dhawan nailed his horizontal bat shots almost every time he was presented the opportunity and because of his brisk batting, India’s rate of scoring the runs in the first session was more than five runs an over.

It was only after the fall of the wickets of the openers that the hosts were able to pull it back a little bit, but, they would still be disappointed with the fact that India went past 300 again on Day 1.

However the game has not gone away. The ball will seam again early on tomorrow because of the location of the ground and the breeze that blows across it especially in the morning and Sri Lanka also has the second new ball to take advantage of.

But then again, the area they put the ball in is going to be very, very important. If they put it half way down the pitch again, it doesn’t matter how much of seam movement is there, they will be smashed again.


Bangladesh are leading Sri Lanka 1-0 in the three-match ODI series.

They won the first match by 90 runs. This was after they had won their first Test game over the same opponents two weeks ago in Colombo. Bangladesh are now hoping to make history on Tuesday when they won their first series ever against Sri Lanka.

MortazaMashrafe opines that the Test victory would be a good thing for Bangladesh even though he tried pushing the pressure off the players. He asked that the team take the game one after the other until they reach the promise land.

“This will have a good impact on Bangladesh cricket if we can win the series here. I don’t want to talk about a 3-0 result, which brings pressure to the players. It is better if they don’t think about it. Let’s do it match by match. We have to be mindful that the opposition will be giving it their best too. We should focus on playing our best cricket,” Mashrafe advised.

Mashrafe added that he expected the opposition to pick up their pace, seeing that they are 1-0 behind. He said that Sri Lankan team knows how to play “aggressive cricket” so the Bangladesh team would have to execute their plans properly.

Sri Lanka have tried shaking things up by bringing in NuwanKulasekara and NuwanPradeep. They want pacier bowlers as the strip for the second ODI is grassier compared to the one used for the first match. The middle part of the strip had more grass but it seems they would keep the wickets.
Bangladesh were impressive in the first ODI as they posted their best result of 324 cricket away from home.

TamimIqbalwas batting till the 48th over. The captain of the One Day and Twenty20 national cricket team praised Iqbal’s efforts, asking the rest of the team to learn from him.

Brett Lee on Ear Problem Awarenss

Brett Lee has urged every mom and dad to immediately address any ear related problem that their child suffers from and complains of because the initial ignorance of the problem may result in it getting bigger and getting irreparable eventually.

Lee endorses a company which manufactures hearing machine and recently at an event of the company, he shared a personal experience with the public.

The former Kangaroo speedster revealed that one of his own kids had the hearing problem as he had injured himself at a wrong place once, but, luckily, it was treated on time and he managed to recover completely.

As per Lee, it’s not that the children have this problem only after they have some kind of an accident or they take a blow around the ear, the problem can be there by birth as well and that’s why whenever a child is born anywhere in the world, the appropriate tests should be done to make sure that he is hearing alright.

Lee says that one of the mandatory things that the Aussie doctors do after the birth of a child is that they examine his hearing capability and if they find that the child has any difficulty in hearing, they treat him immediately, but, that doesn’t happen in most of the hospitals in India and that’s something that the Government has to initiate.

Citing the example of Kerala where the Government has issued directions to the public hospitals to necessarily examine the hearing capability of every child that takes birth, Lee reckons that the government of other states should do the same because that’s necessary.

A survey suggests that more than half of India’s population doesn’t have a 100% hearing capability and in the opinion of Lee, the reason behind that is only the ignorance.


Virat Kohli was still finding his feet in the world of cricket when Chris Gayle joined the Royal Challengers as an injury replacement in 2011.

So far, with all their time playing together for the Indian Premier League, the respect they have for each other has quadrupled.

And with Kohli’s recent career best 235 score at the Wankhede Stadium, the respect and admiration Gayle has for the Indian Test Captain has only increased.

In an interview with HT recently in India on the sidelines of the USL Diageo road safety campaign, Gayle touched on a number of topics, including the proposal by MCC on the limitation of the size of bats, the problems facing cricket in the West Indies and a few more topics.s

When asked about the proposal on ground that plans to reduce/regulate the thickness of the bat, Gayle said,
“It doesn’t matter. Give me a toothpick, a knife or a fork, I will still hit sixes. Size doesn’t matter. Trust me, it is all about the weapon. They can cut down my size, but they can’t cut down my sixes.”

Gayle is also of the belief that the recent double century from Kohli in the Tests is just a tip of the iceberg as there are a lot more knocks that would come from him in the coming years. He however hopes the upcoming cricketing youngsters can learn from him and follow his example.

The Indian cricketer also talked about his secret; how he was able to party and still play the next day, attributing this capability to the rest he usually takes. He says he sleeps around 6am until 3.30pm or 4pm, after which, he practices at a particular time before staying up all night.

Gujarat Lions Played very well Again RCB

The Gujarat Lions revealed the chinks in the armoury of the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday.

Once Virat Kohli was out early, Bangalore was almost caught hopeless which was bizarre because it was a simple chase of 150 odd and the wicket was normal.

It was spinning yes, but, it always does in Bangalore and having played 7 games there, it was not as if the men in Red and Black had no knowledge of that.

But, they were so used to having their skipper bat from the first to the last ball that when they had to pursue the chase in his absence, they found it so unfamiliar and the panic was a result of that only.

And, with the middle order being run through by Gujarat in just 10 minutes or so, nothing other than a De Villiers’ effort could have got the hosts over the line.

The South African skipper, who is a Cricketing superman, operated with expertise though and with 79 runs, which were as valuable as gold in the situation, made sure the shocking looks of the thirty thousand capacity crowd turned into big grins.

But, that left Bangalore with a bit to think about ahead of the Sunday mega contest because they can’t be having such a middle order batting performance again that night.

Though Virat has been adamant at not playing Sarfaraz Khan for his poor fielding skills, he might be open to changing his opinion for one final game as the Mumbai born right hander is an excellent young finisher.

One of the other decisions might see Chris Gayle getting excluded to create space for the Aussie leftie Travis Bird who would be in the middle order if chosen with KL Rahul having to go up.

Kolkata Knight Riders need to concentrate on Batting for Finals

Kolkata Knight Riders would be ruing their soft batting execution at Green Park which got them losing their second game back to back and left them in a shaky situation for the playoffs qualification.

The grass on the deck meant the scores of 190-200 were not quite realistic even with the boundaries not situated at a huge distance.

Technique had to play its part while setting up the total for the opposition and Kolkata’s main weapon in that regard was their skipper and highest run getter Gautam Gambhir who had got a half century in the last game too.

But, with an electrifying Shadab Jakati catching him out of the crease with a great throw from short midwicket, it opened the gate for the Gujarat pacers to make their way into a not-so-technical middle order of Kolkata which did not rise up to the task.

Having had other pacers gaining from the juice in the wicket, Suresh Raina pulled off a surprise by getting the part timer Dwayne Smith bowling from one end and the big Caribbean repaid him with the figures of 4 for 8.

However, seeing the replay of the dismissals, the Kolkata batsmen would kick themselves for the lose shots they came up with against the ever-so-slightly moving balls of Smith which were not necessarily wicket taking if they had been handled more efficiently.

Kolkata also had the new ball making inroads for them and the chase of 120 odd still seemed problematic, but, Raina, straight out of his flight from Netherlands, took care of the matter with a fifty full of style which made the chase possible in the 14th over itself.

Gujarat is in the play offs now, but, their position in top 2 is not certain unless they win their last game against Mumbai too.

Rahul Dravid does not believe there is any technical thing

Rahul Dravid does not believe there is any technical thing to be sorted out in the batting of Cheteshwar Pujara.

It wasn’t much long before that Pujara used to be one o
f the certainties in the playing XI of India in the test matches.

But, that is not the case anymore. The right hander from Saurashtra is still in the scheme of things for India, but, he is in the reserves now and not a first pick.

The no. 3 slot belongs to Rohit Sharma at the moment.

Pujara is all set to be on the bench in at least the first couple of test matches in Sri Lanka.

But, Dravid has backed him to become an established member of the Indian XI again.

Dravid is working quite closely with Pujara these days as the two are the head coach and captain of the ‘A” team of India respectively.

In his interview yesterday, when Dravid was asked if he thinks there is any technical flaw as far as Pujara is concerned, the former Indian captain replied, “I don’t think so. I have seen him bat in the nets. He is alright. I know the runs did not come as fluently for him the previous season as they came at the start of his career, but, he is not the first one to have seen such a loss of form. It happens at the international level. You are up against good bowlers who find you out at certain times.”

“Some of the innings that Cheteshwar has played in the past on tough wickets, the one in South Africa in 2013 and also, the one against England at Wankhede, those were out of the top drawer. He is a class guy. He is mentally tough too and I have no doubt that we would see him scoring tons of runs for India in test cricket again.”

Paul Collingwood has emerged as a dark horse

Paul Collingwood has emerged as a dark horse in the race of England’s coaching job.

Till yesterday, the name of Jason Gillespie was doing the rounds, but, after he concerns that it might not be a right thing to put an Aussie at helm for an emotional series like the Ashes, Collingwood’s name has come into the frame.
Collingwood might be very young for the post of the head coach of a test team, but, he has worked a little bit with the associate nations.

He was there in Australia-New Zealand as the coach of the Scotland National team during the World Cup.

So, he is not completely a nuisance in terms of coaching.

Collingwood was a successful captain as well for England especially in limited-over Cricket. He is said to have been blessed with a very astute Cricketing brain and these days, most of the teams are looking for coaches who finished their playing careers recently.

Somebody who played his Cricket in the eighties or the nineties might not know that much about the modern day Cricket because the game has changed so much.

So, that is a reason why Collingwood might be the best choice, but, the problem is that the veteran all rounder is still playing a bit of County Cricket and recently, he hinted that he would not mind playing for another 2-3 years.

If England has to lure him, it would take a big offer.

The England Cricket Board would come up with a name in two weeks’ time. In the meanwhile, an interim coach has been appointed in the form of Paul Farbrace.

Gillespie’s appointment actually might not turn out to be as good as it is expected given his Aussie nationality. But, he is the strongest contender at this point in time.
The new director Andrew Strauss has the complete authority to take the final call.

Ravichandran Ashwin has made a good turnaround

Ravichandran Ashwin has made a good turnaround in the recent past and most of the experts reckon it has happened because he has decided to start relying more on his original skill i.e. to bowl off spin.

After bursting onto the scene with wonderful performances, Ashwin had faded a little bit as he had tried to bring in more and more variations in his bowling, the carom ball and that delivery in which he used to pause a little bit in his bowling action and then, let the ball go.

It’s not that those variations were not that effective, but, he was overusing them and thus, making it easy for the batsmen to line him up. His off spin had sort of gone out of his repertoire.

But, last year, after being left out of the playing XI for the first test match against Australia which was played in Adelaide, he realized that he probably needed to return to his basics and keep it simple for himself.
And, as soon as he started doing that, it did wonders. He looked a completely changed bowler in the World Cup that followed just after that Australia test series.

He was putting flight on the ball, giving it a good tweak and was mainly trying to get the ball spinning in to the right handed batsmen and he reaped the rewards of it.

Even on the flat Australian pitches where it’s always difficult for the spinners to extract purchase, Ashwin was getting wickets and his performances were the key to India’s smooth run to the semi final round of the competition.

And, the 28-year old has continued the good work after the World Cup too. In every test match that India has played this year, Ashwin has been the pick of the bowlers.

Now, with a tough home assignment coming up for India against South Africa, Virat Kohli and the Indian team management would want their premier off spinner to remain in the same sort of shape.

Jason Holder capable of becoming a solid middle order batsman

Jason Holder, the captain of the West Indies One Day International team, is quite capable of becoming a solid middle order batsman in the coming future.

Currently, he is more of a specialist bowler and bats at 8 or 9, but, some of his innings in international Cricket off late have given the indication that he has quite a bit of batting talent in him and if he starts coming slightly up the order, he can be a decent contributor with the bat too for West Indies.

In a World Cup game versus India in Perth where almost all the top batsmen of his team were back in the hut on a quick and bouncy surface, the daringness with which Holder held the fort for the men in maroon; it was a display of character.

He scored a half century there and gave his team something to fight for.

Apart from that, Holder batted well in two other games too in the World Cup and that against strong oppositions.

Against South Africa in a group game, West Indies were chasing 400 and were 7 down under 100 when Holder came in and the skipper got a fifty there, playing some delightful shots.

And, then in the quarter final game against the Kiwis, it was the similar sort of situation again for the West Indies.
They were chasing about 390 and had lost wickets in clusters. Holder scored 40 odd there and was the last wicket to fall.

Holder is not the first tail-ender to get some handy runs in a big tournament. Some of the other guys have done that before.

But, when you see Holder play, you automatically get the feeling that he is a capable player. He does not slog. He times the ball, knows how to play inside out. He milks the balling too.

What’s interesting is that, coming from school cricket, Holder was actually a batting all rounder, but, because of his impressive height, he was advised to focus more on bowling.

However, now that he is an established international Cricketer, he should perhaps put on some work on his batting again.