India’s 50th Win in WC which came in 100th over of the match and can’t ask any more than this.

Although India won the match, its Afghanistan who won the hearts in the match. Coming to this match with no wins and playing against a best team and took the game to 100th over is a big effort. During first innings, when they are bowling with great intensity and line & length, everyone thought it’s their strongest part and expected that , and at the same time they thought batting will collapse and will not give a great challenge to wrist spinners , but  the batsmen too played with great intensity and played both the wrist spinners so well than any other team in this WC. It forced Virat to make lot of bowling changes during the match. Before the match, everyone thought it will be an easy game for India and Afghanistan will be on back foot but by the end of the day it was not an easy game for India especially in the batting. It was a great bowling performance by Afghanistan bowlers. Hats off to the Bowlers.

Indian bowlers did a good job with the ball, but wrist spinners are not able to pick wickets in the middle of the innings which made the fans little tensed about the chase. But it is the bowling changes made by Virat which got the breaks. Making Hardik to continue bowling,he got hit for runs and continue to bowl short balls. Keeping an over for Chahal for the end which took dangerous Rashid wicket. Bought Bumrah in the middle and able to pick two wickets. For India it was fast bowlers who did the job.

Last two overs are the real match winning overs. It was almost 6 to 8 yorkers in last 12 balls which gave 50th win to India. Well done Bumrah and Shami.

After the match, so many comments saying that Jadhav and Dhoni played very slowly and Dhoni and Shankar should be replaced by Pant and Karthik. But what you expect when 4 wickets are down with just 136 on scoreboard. The imp Kohli got out and its just Hardik after Jadhav and Dhoni.

Accepted they didn’t rotate the strike well but except Kohli, none of the batsman did that in this innings. I guess as there is no batsman after Hardik which made them to play like that and they want to take the innings to 45th over and to score big in last 5 overs.

But whatever we say this does not look good for India as none of the batsman tried or felt comfortable to rotate the strike – not even the openers, middle order. If this is a big match and if opposition has a great batting, then we could have ended in other side of the result. 

But Dhoni and Jadhav partnership was the one who took India to a reasonable total (20 to 30 runs short) although they played slowly. Its clearly evident how wickets fell after Dhoni and Jadhav got out. It happened after 45th over and that’s the reason we didn’t get affected much. If that happens at 34 or 35th over then what will be the score and what will be game result after seeing Afghanistan Batting.

Let’s come to the match.

Rohit and Rahul started the innings in the same manner what they did in last game. They want to see off the new ball and want to lay a platform for the middle order. But this time it was the pitch that helped Afghanistan style of bowling and didn’t allow India to settle down in first 10 overs.

Rohit got out early in the 5th over to a beautiful delivery by Mujeeb Ur Rahman. It was a second ball of the 5th over and Mujeeb landed the ball on the off stump and it holds the surface which moved back through the defense of Rohit. He got bowled for just 1 of 10 balls.

Virat came to the middle and same as usual, he took the charge of the innings, and started playing beautiful shots.

On the other hand, Rahul took his time, but it was too slow as an opener. But the credit should be given to Afghanistan bowling which utilized the condition to 100% and the bowlers kept lot of pressure on Rahul. The strike rate was dropping, and Rahul tried to play a reverse sweep and got out. But it was Afghanistan bowling who made Rahul to play that shot by drying his runs. He scored 30 of 53 balls.

Shankar came to the middle at no. 4 and there is a point for him to prove as no 4. Started slow and didn’t look strong in the middle in first 20 balls he faced by scoring just 10 runs. But at the other end, Virat was flowing like a river and didn’t put pressure on Shankar although his scoring rate was low. They both tried to form a partnership and want to take the game deep till 30 to 40 overs. Except Virat, no other Indian batsman looked comfortable in the middle.

In 22nd over, Virat reached his 3rd consecutive 50 in the tournament and to surprise he is yet to reach his first 100 in the tournament. Shankar looked good after first 20 balls and when everyone thought he will score this chance, he played an unnecessary sweep shot to Rahmat Shah in 27th over and got out. He himself was frustrated after that shot.

Dhoni walked into the middle when the score was 124 in 27 overs with loss of 3 wickets. He started very slow as like other batsmen. 31st over was the turning point of the match when Virat tried to cut the ball in Nabi bowling and gave straight catch to Rahmat Shah. The entire stadium went mute so as the commentary box. The only batsman looked comfortable in the middle and scoring at a good strike rate.

Although Kohli got out, I guess every Indian was happy because it was the chance for the middle order to get some batting time in the middle and score a good amount of runs before India finishes their league matches.

Jadhav walked in, Dhoni and Jadhav played very cautiously.Jadhav walked in and it was Dhoni and Jadhav who needs to frame a good partnership at that point of time. They played cautiously and took the innings deep till 45th over.  It was a slow partnership, but we need to see the conditions as explained in my first comments. Dhoni tried for a big shot in Rashid over and got out and its Hardik who came to the middle. Even Hardik who is in the best form for couple of months found it difficult to rotate the strike or to hit the big shots. It was not Hardik day and he got out to 7 runs of 9 balls.

Jadhav reached his 50 in 50th over and much needed innings to Jadhav who didn’t play or who didn’t get a chance to play in last couple of months due to the injuries.  Finally, Gulbadin Naib got 2 wickets in 50th over and India scored 224 runs in 50 overs.

2nd innings

Afghanistan started their innings better when compared to India and looked cool although the runs are not flowing freely. May be its because the required run rate was not so big and the ball is not doing any thing for bowlers. It was 6th over where Shami gave the breakthrough with a superb delivery splitting the middle and off stump.

Gulbadin Naib and Rahmat Shah played like champions and it looks like the game was running away from India. After Indian batting, everyone thought Indian spinners will be in charge of the second innings but they both batted beautifully and never looked troubled by Indian wrist spinners. Although they are not scoring at a good rate but because the target was not so high, there is no hurry for them to score big.

The partnership looking dangerous and it was Pandya who brought the break. In the previous match, the short ball was the hero for England against Afghanistan and Pandya was trying that ball for couple of overs but went for runs. Although he went for runs, he kept trying that ball and got the Afghanistan captain out.

Once again they looked good with 42 runs partnership between Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi and the game will drift away from India if they both continue to bat like that. Then as usual the captain looked all around the ground and picked his wicket taker and gave the ball to Bumrah. He once again provided double break in the same 29th over by taking both the set batsman wickets. This was the turning point of the game and almost it is the over that put India in winning line once again.

Once the two wickets were down, it was Indian bowlers who bowled to their line and length and slowly taking the run rate up the ladder. It was Nabi on the other hand who started playing calmly but he needed a good support on the other end which was not the case. Najibullah Zadran and Rashid Khan looked dangerous but didn’t score big enough and didn’t support Nabi. Both scored 21 and 14.

It was a good captaincy by Virat to bring back Chahal when Rashid is in mood of hitting. Chahal tossed up the ball, Rashid looked for a big shot and the ball was in Dhoni’s hands. Everyone knows what will happen if the batsman goes on front foot and when Dhoni is behind the stumps. It was a big wicket at that point of time as Rashid started throwing his bat and he can connect some big shots which can bring the required run rate.

When Rashid was out, Nabi started to hit big and he bought the match till 49th over where they require 21 balls in 12 balls. In this T20 era, 21 of 12 balls is not a big deal and most of the times, the batting team will be the winners but not when World No1 bowlers bowls the 49th over. Bumrah bowled 49th over and he bowled Yorker after Yorker and gave just 5 runs. So, it was 16 runs needed in the last over and Nabi was on strike.

Shami who came in place of Bhuvi needs to bowl with a big heart. The first ball went for four runs and second ball Nabi went for a short but straight to the fielder. There was a chance of taking a single, but he wants to be on strike. The third ball is again a Yorker and no room for Nabi to play a big shot and it was straight to Pandya at long on. This was the ball which confirmed India’s win. Shami took two wickets in next two balls and became the only second Indian bowler to take a hattrick in WC after Chetan Sharma in 1987.

Finally, India won the match in a nail-biting finish in the last over.

Well done and great effort by Afghanistan team which made India to pull up their socks and to strike hard to win their 50th win in WC.

It’s a Super Saturday…India Vs Afghanistan.

India and Afghanistan clash in WC. One Country is yet to start their journey in the points table and another country which won all the matches till now. It should be an easy game to India and it should be easy win too. But Afghanistan has a very good bowling attack (although Rashid is not good form) and they can trouble the best batsman in the world. India should not take this game on a lighter note after defeating 3 big matches

All eyes will be on team selection whether Virat picks the same team or he will go for experiments by giving chance to bench players like Karthik and Pant.

Shami will come in place of Injured Bhuvi and that is 100% confirm. Shankar is also injured and based on his fitness, either Pant or Karthik can come into final XI.

The pitch and ground are known for high scoring games and more than 600 runs scored in last 2 out of 3 matches. It is expected to be a high scoring game today as well.

India Bowling looks strong although Bhuvi is out. Shami and Bumrah will make a good fast bowling pair. In the middle order – Kuldeep and Chahal always do the magic. When comes to batting, the middle order still needs to get runs in this tournament, so this will be a good chance for the middle order to spend some time in the middle.

Now with Dhawan ruled out officially for the entire tournament, it will Rahul who will be the opener for the rest of the WC and it’s time for the team management and Virat to look at 4 more seriously and they need to confirm either Karthik, Pant or Shankar at 4. They can’t take risk of testing the players at 4 in important games against England, WI and SL. So, whatever they want to test, the need to test in this game and they should fix no 4 position. My vote will be Pant as it will give some left-handed batsman in the middle and right left combination will always a plus point in the middle overs of the game.

Rahul should play up to the mark and should provide a good platform for the middle order. It’s a big shoe to fill as Dhawan is one of the best batsmen when comes to ICC tournaments.

On the other hand, Afghanistan is shortage of confidence with issues in and out of the ground. Change of captain before tournament, controversy of moving out the best batsman, Rashid not in form affected their form in this tournament. But Rashid is a champion bowler and we can’t take him lightly. The batsman didn’t give enough support to bowlers till now and that’s the reason they have not won any game in this tournament.

Let’s tune to star sports and see how Afghanistan challenge the Indian team today.

See you all after the match – Signing off jack.

India Vs Pakistan – Indian team added one more victory to their list in this WC and making the count to 7-0.

Rohit scintillating 140. Rohit ticked his fastest ODI century in this match and played like a Hitman from ball 1. Never looked rusty at the pitch even though Amir was going through a super spell with conditions supporting fast bowlers a little bit. He started cautiously against Amir and new ball and once the first session (1-10 overs) is done, he raised the accelerator and played to all parts of the ground. Specially when spinners came to bowl, he went against them and smashed boundaries. He reached his fastest ODI 100 in 30th over and looked in a good position to reach his 4th double hundred. In 39th over, he tried to improvise the short (scoop shot) and gave an easy catch to Wahab at short fine leg.

Rahul matured half century as an opener in his first match. Rahul played very well although he didn’t make a big score. He played well because it is his first match as an opener with Rohit in WC and a high- pressure game. He played the first phase very cautiously and helped Rohit to play freely. He looked in a great touch with pull shorts, cut shorts and reached his half century in 22nd over with a big six over extra cover. In the next over, he got out to a slow ball when he tried to play over the covers.

Kohli backbone innings till the end. Kohli as usual , one more day in office kind of game. Came in, played superbly and took India to a great score. The good thing about his innings is when Rohit is in full form, Kohli just took singles and gave the strike to Rohit and he played at a strike rate of 60 to 70. Once Rohit got out, he pressed the accelerator and started smashing the ball and within no time, the strike rate reached 95 to 100. Finally got out to a bouncer in 48th over but replays showed that it’s a not out and Kohli walked out.

Kuldeep’s magic spell in the middle. During my pre-match analysis, I said Kuldeep will be my choice as he will put pressure on Pakistani batsman and he did the same thing during the match. Pakistan lost just one wicket and scoring at 4 to 5 runs per over, Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman started scoring with big boundaries. Kuldeep was good till that time by not leaking much runs but didn’t get a wicket. In 24th  over , he bowled a dream ball for any spinner , he tossed up the ball, it pitched just in front of the off-stump and turned back in and bhoom , its clean bowled. Superb delivery to get rid of the dangerous batsman. In his next over, he again tossed up to Fakhar Zaman who is trying to play sweep and got edge and simple catch to Chahal. These two wickets opened the gates to Pakistan Middle order.

Hardik came in as soon as Rohit got out but didn’t create the impact as in last match in first 10 balls but after that once again, he proved why he is a dangerous batsman. But this time his heroics is with the ball. After Kuldeep picked two wickets, it’s the experienced batsman Hafeez and followed by Shoaib Malik.     In 27th over, Hafeez Played a nice-looking flick short but to his bad luck, it was straight to the only man at deep square. It was not a great ball, but it looks like the fielder was tailor made to that ball. In the next ball, he bowled Shoaib Malik with a great ball, just bounced on to Shoaib Malik and turned back in to get a inside edge. These two wickets confirmed took Indian winning percentage to 98%.

Match Analysis.

Pakistan won the toss and as everyone expected they took bowling to utilize overcast conditions and took advantage of first 10 overs. But India went into bat with a different plan to see off the first 10 overs and take advantage of their strong batting lineup like Australia Match. India planned and executed to the top mark.

Rohit and Rahul played a very careful innings in first 10 overs and didn’t play big or risky shots against Amir. On the other end Hasan Ali failed to keep up the pressure created by Amir, so India took advantage of that and scored good amount of runs in his bowling to keep the run rate at a decent clip.

In 7th over, Wahab got into the attack but its already late as the Indian openers were comfortable and played him well with out much discomfort. The next bowling change was Imad Wasim, the only bowler who looked a decent enough in the entire match after Amir.

When once Amir was taken off and spinners came into the attack, it was India’s game and they started scoring big shots. In 12th over Rahul and Rohit smashed two fours and six to Shadab Khan and Rohit reached his 34 ball Half century with a four.

In 22nd over, Rahul reached his half century with a big six to the midwicket.  As spinners are not much effective, Pakistan Captain bought back Wahab. In his first over, he got two official warnings as he is stepping into the dangerous area on the pitch when he is trying to bowl over the wicket. This forced him to come around the wicket and then he got Rahul’s wicket for the first ball. Rahul tried to play over the covers and gave a simple catch to Babar Azam.

Kohli waked out to the middle and started his innings slowly similar to Australia match. On the other hand Rohit is busy in sending the ball to all parts of the ground. As Rohit took the responsibility of scoring, Kohli played an anchor role and didn’t bother about his strike rate. Rohit in 30th over, reached his fastest ODI hundred. He looked good to reach double hundred but in 39th over, he tried to play scoop and gave an easy catch to Wahab.

Panday walked in as everyone thought and looked rusty in his first 10 balls but after that he started hitting. In 44th over, he tried helicopter shot to the biggest side of the boundary and got out in the deep. It was a massive wicket as he could have gone and scored big.

Dhoni came in but to everyone disappointment he got out to Amir. He tried for a big shot, edged and caught by keeper. The entire stadium turned to silence as their hero got out to just 1 in his so-called last game against Pakistan in World cup.

In 45th over, Kohli reached 11k runs (fastest by a batsman in ODI history). What a batsman, run machine, India backbone, Indian Captain. Superb display of batting by Virat Kohli throughout his journey and made fans happy by reaching 11k runs , the third Indian Batsman after Sachin and Saurav.

Rain god came out after 45th and halted the game for 30 min and when play resumed, Kohli got out to Amir which was not out but he walked out.

Jadhav and Pandya looked reasonably ok and took the score to 336 for 5.

Pakistan started well although the scoring rate was low, they started well without loosing a wicket in first 4 overs. Bhuvi got injured in 5th over which ruled him out for the entire match and for couple of matches to go. Kohli gave the ball to Shankar to complete the two remaining balls, and in his first ball in the WC, he got Imam -ul-Haq’s wicket. It’s a straight ball with a small deviation into the pads and caught LBW infront of the wicket.

Babar Azam came out and along with Fakhar Zaman, played a good innings and made Pakistan to come back into the match. Although the scoring rate was going up, those two tried to play the spin off and want to attack Pandya or Shankar. They looked dangerous in the middle . Brilliant captaincy by Kohli once again as he continued with Kuldeep although they tried to see him off. In 24th over he bowled a brilliant ball to get rid of Babar Azam and in 24th over he tossed up the ball and got rid of Fakhar Zaman.

He opened the gates to the Pakistan Middle order with those two wickets and as asking rate going up, its very difficult for any new batsman to go after the bowlers from first ball.

In 27th over, Hardik confirmed the win with two wickets , Hafeez and Shoaib Malik. Once they both got out , its just a formality innings as the run rate went beyond the chase with 10 in an over and without standard batsman at the pitch.

Imad and Sarfaraz tried to build the partnership but it was too late. Sarfaraz got out to Shankar in 34th over when he tried to play off side but got an inside edge. With this wicket , its confirmed that India is going to make the count 7-0. Rain god also came to know that and as already the match became one-sided , he came into the party and halted the match for almost 20 to 30 min. Play resumed and Pakistan got a revised target of 302 in 40 overs. So they have to score 136 of 30 balls when the play resumed which was an impossible task with 6 wickets down.

Imad and Shadab played till 40th over and Pakistan reached 212 for 6.

To all Indian fans joy, India emerged as a winner for 7th time against Pakistan and Virat successfully carried 27 years record and kept it alive for next 4 years.

More than a win against Pakistan, its once again a clinical performance by Indian team with Bat and Ball and registered their 3rd win without a loss in WC.

With all this confidence, they will be playing with Afghanistan on Saturday.  Super Sunday with India win.

See you all on Saturday. Signing off – Jack.

It’s a D day…India Vs Pakistan. It’s a 6-0 … All eyes waiting to watch, all conversations are about it, all discussions are about that because its India Vs Pakistan match.

Today one more guest added to the conversation as never before and special guest is Rain. Already Rain is on top of the table in this world cup in just 4 matches where other teams are struggling to even get 6 points.

As everyone is praying that rain should stay away. Let us also pray and hope that the rain will not create a major hindrance to the match today.

Coming to the match, whatever the form of the player is, however the pitch is, whatever the conditions are, it doesn’t matter who is the bowler, who is the batsman, who is the fielder, the only thing matters in today’s match is the pressure. Whoever will come up by defeating the pressure, they will be the better batsman, better bowler, better fielder and finally the winner of the Match.

However, history says India never lost to Pakistan in a World Cup match. So, India along with strong lineup has an added advantage of history scores. It’s a new game and new day but always the history will give the confidence. On the other side, Pakistan coming to this match with a confidence of winning Champions trophy against India. So, both the countries are coming to the match with their own confidence backing their lineups.

The condition of the pitch and weather, it is raining for last two days and overcast conditions on Sunday as well. So, the pitch had been under covers for most of the time in last two days.

There is a forecast of rain in the latter off the day. So, who ever won the toss, will chose to bowl as first hour will support seamers due to overcast conditions.

India may go into the match with two changes, Shami comes in place of Kuldeep and Karthik/Shankar comes in place of Dhawan. As couple of media reports say that if it’s a full 50 overs match, then Shankar will come into place or if it’s a short game, Karthik will come into the picture. Whoever is coming, it will be high pressure game for them. For me Kuldeep should play instead of Shami as he and Chahal can be very dangerous in the middle order as they can add more pressure along with the India Vs Pakistan match pressure.

All eyes will be on Rahul as he is opening for the first time in this World cup that too in a crucial India Vs Pakistan match. He should prove the trust of Indian management and should give a good start to Indian team. Rohit on the other hand looks in a great touch and it is a matter of time, he will explode on the ground.

Kohli as usual will be super key in today’s match as he can play a match winning innings in any conditions and on any pitch who so ever the bowler is.

Dhoni, Pandya should finish the innings as they did in Australia match to make India reach high score or to reach the other side of the line.

Jadhav didn’t get much time in the middle in first two games, but he is one kind of a player who can come, bat and stabilize the innings or increase the run rate without much game time.

When it comes to Indian bowling, Shami has 90% of chance to play in final X1 and if that is the case, it will be super entertainment fast bowling by Indian pacers where Bhuvi and Bumrah already proved how lethal they are. So Shami comes in, then Chahal will be lone spinner and he has the capability of leading the middle owners alone. Pandya or Jadhav will share the 5th bowler share but somehow it seems Jadhav will play a key role with this bowling too.

When it comes to Pakistan, the top three batsmen are very important to Pakistan team and if we can pick couple of early wickets, then it will put lot of pressure on the middle order which didn’t perform well to the expectation till now.

Amir and Wahab will be the key bowlers for Pakistan and they can trouble Indian batsmen specially openers.

Overall it will be a great match with Pakistan fast bowling vs India batsman and Indian Pace bowling Vs Pakistan top order.

Let’s tune to Star Sports and enjoy the biggest sports event.

India VS Australia – A big match – Two top teams.

It’s a Virat Kohli trademark captaincy by trusting the two wrist spinners. But at the end of the day it resulted in a match winning decision.

It’s a batting marathon at oval. Rohit and Dhawan gave a wonderful start to Indian innings which was carried by Virat till the end.  Dhawan back to the form with super 100 and Rohit supported him well in first 10 overs with out loosing a wicket. Once Rohit got out, it was Kohli who was anchoring innings at one end and Dhawan went with this flow and reached a superb 100.

Dhawan got out at 117 trying to switch the gear to reach a massive total. Normally most of the teams lose their flow with fall of a wicket but it’s a great move to send Pandya ahead of Rahul. Pandya played a brilliant innings by scoring 48 of 27 balls and just fall a short of fastest fifty in this world cup. MSD walked in and put all the comments (he takes lot of balls to settle) in the dustbin and scored a quick 27 of just 14 balls with 192 strike rate.

With little outing, Rahul once again proved his position is fixed in the team by scoring 11 in just 3 balls taking India to a massive total of 352/5.

Second innings started well for Australia with out loosing a wicket in first 10 overs but they started slow and never looked like they want to get a head of required run rate. It seems like they want to adopt the same style of Indian innings keeping the wickets in hand and explode in last 15 to 20 overs. The only thing they might missed is the pressure of a big score ahead and pressure of hitting every ball out of the boundary.

Warner and Smith tried to put Australia in the match but they played too slow which made the run rate to go up. This made the other batsman outing a little tough as they need to score every ball and led to loose their wickets.

Bhuvi, Bumrah, Chahal and Kuldeep bowled to their line and length and never gave opportunity to batsman to free their hands.

Maxwell looked good but couldn’t play a long innings. Carey replicated the Pandya innings but it was too late and he ran out of partners on the other end which resulted in 316 All out and handed over the win to India.

1st Innings Powerplay.

Dhawan Century and the way Rohit and Dhawan played first 10 overs.

Kohli back to form innings.

Pandya and Dhoni T20 Innings.

A massive 352 total.

2nd Innings Powerplay.

Superb fielding by Jadhav to make Finch runout who is looking dangerous.

Slow as per his standards but an important fifty by Warner in a high scoring match

Its almost a Smith show but couldn’t play a long innings to win the match for Australia.

Kuldeep and Chahal as usual good performance in the middle overs

Carey superb innings.

Its an you tube link,

Now let’s join the match….

1st Innings

From Toss till the last ball it went in India way and to achieve that the Indian team played well.

India came out with a proper plan not to give away wickets to opening bowlers and they played a real cautious game in first 10 overs with scoring  4 to 5 runs per over but the most important thing is not giving away the wicket to Cummins or Starc.

After 4 overs, Dhawan middle everything and started scoring at a good rate. On the other hand Rohit played a little slow innings but the partnership they build is a crucial one.

Once Cummins and Starc didn’t bother the Indian Batsman much, Coulter- Nile bought into the attack but that move helped Indians to increase the run rate as Dhawan scored  a big over from Coulter-Nile.

Dhawan and Rohit Scored their half centuries without much trouble from Australian fast bowlers. They both scored a good rate by scoring 127 runs in 22 overs. In the 23rd over Rohit tried to guide the ball over the wicketkeeper but couldn’t get the elevation and got out to Coulter-Nile. It gave the break which Australians are looking for 22 overs but for India when the dangerous openers got out, even more dangerous Virat walked in.

He started slow similar to SA innings but by that time Dhawan was timing everything and scored atleast 4 in an over which took the pressure from Virat. In 33rd over, when India was 187-1 Dhawan scored his first century for this World Cup in a dramatic mixup between wickets but ended happy for him.

Once Dhawan reached his 100 he started hitting every ball out of the park as they decided to up the run rate to reach a massive total. In that course, Dhawan looked for a big six and got out.

Then just before that Commentators was discussing about who will come next and Pandya walked in ahead of Rahul which was a right move. He started smashing from the ball 1 . Kohli held up one end and Pandya started to hit from the other end and he scored a brilliant 48 of just 27 balls. He missed out on a fastest 50 in this world cup when he tried to hit over mid-off.

Dhoni walked in and this time he played like a long hair Dhoni by smashing the ball out of the park. His quick innings of 27 of just 14 balls and Rahul 11 runs of 3 balls took the score to 352.

On the other hand, Kohli looked in good form by smashing the boundaries and reached 80. Always great players look for team win rather than individual milestones. He proved it once again. In last 4 to 5 overs, he had a chance to score 100 but always tried to give strike to Pandya and Dhoni who is hitting big. He proved he is a true ambassador of the game.

2nd Innings.

Although it’s a massive score, Australians had a great chance of winning as it’s a flat pitch with no swing and with such a huge hitters on their side.

But Indian bowlers who framed a lot of Indian wins in the last 2 to 3 years, once again came to the party and bowled very well.

Bumrah and Bhuvi started very well with line and length and without giving any easy deliveries to Warner and Finch. The length was so important when they play against Aus as if Warner and Finch got a few balls in the middle, then its very difficult to stop them and they will score big. So Bumrah and Bhuvi packed them with no room which made them to take risky singles which resulted in Finch run out. It was a great throw by Jadhav from deep when Warner tried to take single.

Once Finch was out, it was Smith who came out ahead of Khawaja. Smith looked good, but he never tried to up the run rate when Pandya came into the attack. He is a 5th bowler and everyone thought they will target Pandya. Except one over, they didn’t try to attack Pandya as well. Pandya bowled well with lot of bouncers which made the batsman to go on backfoot and didn’t try to score against him.

Once the ball was given to Chahal and Kuldeep, it was altogether a different game as both the spinners took the game in control and didn’t gave any loose balls to score big. It was a great move by Kohli to bowl Chahal against the wind and the plan worked out. Warner looked for a big shot and got out in the deep. He scored a very slow fifty as per his standards but who knows, if he stayed long at the wicket, he can just belt the bowlers and can score at 120 to 150 strike rates.

The in form Khawaja walked out and tried to up the run rate but with a superb delivery from Bumrah, the ball crashed onto the wickets making India move closer to the win.

It was the danger man Maxwell walked in and for sure all Indian fans would have worried a little bit. He has a potential to win matches and never bothered about run rate. He started in the same way hitting every ball out of the park and with the way he batted, the win percentage of Australian went little high.

By this time, Australians walked into the 40th over with 238 on the board. It was time for both the teams to change the gear . Smith and Maxwell started hitting at least 2 boundaries in last 2 to 3 overs for Bhuvi and Bumrah who were the hopes for Indian team. Bhuvi who is not at his best in last 6 months came to the party by picking two important wickets of Smith and Stonnis in the same over which confirmed the Indian Win by almost 80%.

In the next over, Maxwell had no choice other than going big and got out to Chahal. Chahal once again picked two important wickets of Warner and Maxwell. Just when Indian fans are celebrating the win, Carey looked very strong and started hitting the ball to all corners of the ground. With Coulter-Nile performance in the last match, with him at one end and the way Carey is hitting in the ball, again the winning chances of Australia looked little high although they need to score 12 runs in an over.

Finally, the Bumrah and Bhuvi combination started to show their game, picked the wickets in 45, 47 and couple of wickets in 50th over by handing the victory to the team.

India won by 36 runs in a crucial game and big game against Australia.

India Vs South Africa – First Match at WC2019

Match Highlights:

Straight from team selection, the India team is right on the target. They didn’t try new things, no trials, straight away they went with most consistent 11 from past 2 to 3 years.

Bhuvi and Bumrah as opening bowlers, Kuldeep and Chahal as spinners and Hardik as allrounder.

It’s a tough call on Jadeja but with first match in World cup, Indian team management did the right thing in going with 2 Genuine Spinners/2 Seamers.

Its an you tube link.

Powerplay Points:

1st Innings.

Bhuvi looked little out of the form but the greatest strength of him was not to leak runs in the beginning of the innings which is the most important thing for any team. (2 – 44)

Bhumrah looked in super form during the first phase and in the last phase as well by picking two important wickets at the beginning. (2 -35)

Chahal was the star of the bowling attack today by picking 4 wickets for 51 runs and breaking the dangerous partnership between Du Plessis and Van der Dussen in the same over.

Kuldeep does not look in great form, may be he still thinks about his form in IPL. But he is a champ and can join the party at any point of the series. (1 – 46).

2nd Innings:

Rohit played a superb innings by scoring his 2nd Hundred in WC. Its not the hitman today, it’s a different Rohit Sharma by rotating strike more than hitting boundaries. This was one of his best innings as there is something for the bowlers in the pitch and Rabada was on fire. Rohit played a matured innings and when Virat got out, he took the responsibility and played till the end and make sure India started their campaign with a winning note.

The most discussed No 4 _ – KL Rahul once again backed himself for No 4 by playing a good innings and had a great partnership with Rohit.

Dhoni came a head of Jadhav and played his cool innings as usual and he looked in great touch from ball 1.

Now let’s join the match….

From Ball 1 Bhuvi and Bhumrah on target, no width, no loose balls, right on the length. The duo made the SA batsman struggle to earn runs. Bhumrah with two super deliveries removed Q De Kock and Amla with two good catches as slip by Virat and Rohit.

As in last two years , the greatest strength for Indian bowling is the Spin Duo controlling runs and taking wickets in the middle. They are doing this for last two years taking at an average of 3 to 5 wickets in the spell of 20 overs between them.

Both, Chahal and Kuldeep debut WC match and they didn’t show any nervousness at any point of time. They were right on target and Chahal broke the important partnership between van der Dussen and Du Plessis by taking both wickets in the same over.

Those two wickets in the same over opened the gate to SA middle and lower order. Although there was a fight back from middle and lower order, the bowling from Chahal, Kuldeep was too good and they didn’t leak the runs.

Final phase of the game taken over by Bumrah and Bhuvi with super death bowling and Bhuvi ended the game with two wickets in the last over.

On the other end all the SA batsman got their starts but no one turned that into a big innings.

Couple of partnerships started between Du Plessis and van der Dussen of 54 runs, Miller and Phehlukwayo of 46 runs but none of them converted to big 100 to 120 runs partnership. At the end Morris and Rabada played a crucial partnership of 66 runs which took them to 227 which gave something to bowlers to bowl at.

2nd Innings – India Batting.

It was a bit shaky start by Indian Batsman Rohit and Dhawan by giving away wicket chances in the first over to Rabada and luckily both the balls landed in no mans land.

More than a shacky start , it was a great bowling by Rabada and well supported by Morris.

Dhawan got out to a super delivery by Rabada in the 6th over by scoring just 8 runs. Surprisingly Virat took time to settle, it looks like he want to spend time in the middle but somehow not able to deliver his magical innings which he do day and night on any day.

On the other hand , the Hitman Rohit Sharma  started playing a different innings than normal mostly looking to rotate the strike rather than hitting boundaries. Virat looked little uncomfortable and Rohit took the battle and started playing a very matured innings.

Virat got out for a superb catch by DeKock and the most discussed, commented and debated position – who will play at 4? In last one year Indian team tried so many players at no 4 and still it became a debatable point till the players landed in England for their warm up matches. Rahul with 100 in warm up matches gave answers to all the questions making his mark at No 4.

When once Virat Kohli wicket is down, always the Opposition will be in top gear and one level up because of the importance of Kohli’s wicket, so at that point of time , its not easy for a player to come and take the game in control but today Rahul played a good innings and looked in great touch from ball 1.

Rohit and Rahul going well with an 85 partnership and SA does have only one option to break the partnership. Rabada was bought into attack and got Rahul’s wicket with a mystery ball as Rabada himself was surprised after the wicket. Rahul played a good innings and made the mark once again at No 4.

Suddenly the volume in the ground went high as Thala Dhoni walked out. It was a good move by Virat sending Dhoni before Jadhav where you need a wicket holding innings and also telling Jadhav and Pandya that they should be more looking to finish the games for India in this WC.

Dhoni from ball 1 hitting everything in the middle and never looked in trouble. Rohit and Dhoni played a match winning partnership of 74 and in the process Rohit completed his 2nd hundred in WC. Rohit never lost his temper and never tried restless shots or reckless shots. He played every ball with the same intention as his first ball. He left so many balls and put away the bad balls which we can call as super innings under the conditions where it supports bowlers.

Finally Dhoni tried to finish of the game with big hit and got to Morris and then the upcoming finisher Pandya came in and smashed 3 fours to win the game for India and put up 2 points in the board.

It was  a great match for India to start their World Cup tournament . Its not a one man game today and that’s the reason, it’s an important win. Chahal and Bumrah did heroics with the ball, Rohit , Rahul and Dhoni did the same with the Bat. It’s a prefect match where everyone got the opportunity and everyone got sometime in the middle and played their roles.

About Myself

Hi All. I am Jack. Like every other Indian, I am huge fan of Cricket and in one word its my life. By Profession I am financial analyst but by heart want to be a cricket player.

During school, every day we used to play cricket in the evening. At home my elder brother used to watch Cricket in TV and that is how I started showing interest in Cricket. From there day by day, the love towards the game increased to multiple folds. During childhood, used to wake up early in the morning only to watch Indian matches in New Zealand and Australia with TV in mute so that it will not disturb the other family members.

After school, it’s a daily routine to play cricket and don’t ask about summer holidays, , its only one game “Cricket” from morning to evening. Didn’t bother about food, scorching summer heat, the only thing in mind is to enjoy the game. In the evenings, started playing the most popular one bump cricket game in front of the house. The childhood is all about cricket and with few of my friends who are really good players made the matches more interesting and challenging.

After school, got busy with studies and stopped playing cricket till I joined my Engineering. And again, with facilities like proper ground and cricket kits, we formed a team and used to play every weekend. This time it was more professional as we used to play against other college teams which added professionalism to my game.

At the end of Graduation and Post-Graduation, I felt bad as I thought I will not get a chance to play cricket again but to my luck which ever organization I have joined, they have a cricket team and I am part of it and this time its more and more serious as we used to play with other corporate teams which are even tougher to play.

Throughout all this journey, I have learned cricket step by step and whenever I got a chance meeting with professional cricketers, learned from them which changed my game and more over learned how to analyze the game.

I used to discuss a lot with my friends after matches and we used to discuss the pros and cons of the matches. I am a hardcore Indian fan so whatever the result is, I used to support the team but at the same time used to raise the negative points about the team as well but in a positive manner.

Once I created an account in FB, after couple of years, I started posting about the matches on Facebook and now if any one visited my profile, it will be only either cricket updates or cricket analysis. I always wanted to be a cricket analyst but somehow time and chance didn’t come in my way to turn my love towards cricket into profession. My Facebook page is full of cricket News and Cricket posts and analysis. I have been posting a lot of pre and post-match comments in Facebook and then I decided to start a Blog where I can write the same with more analysis and more in a professional style.