HEADINGLEY TEST 2021 REVIEW

Courtesy : Reuters

GRAVITATE ROBINSON

Bizarre ! Losing wickets in a heap inside a session on the fourth day at Headingley was incredible.  That’s how Indian batsmen catapulted from a commanding position at 215/2 at the close of the 3rd day and crumbled under the feet of an incisive swing bowling spell from the English bowler.  The Terminator, Ollie Robinson, used the ammunition of the second new ball. 

It’s difficult to fathom a bowler, facing a dangling damocles sword on his head for a 5 match suspension in next two years for his boorish comments on his Twitter handle in his boyhood days which was haunting him, gave credence to his selection. . Those revelations surrounding Robinson are laced with a tinge of irony.  It didn’t deter his spirit as he went about his business and made a mark in the English bowling attack.

The adulation of the rival captain that he is a “real find”  and his own Captain’s assertion of”phenomenal”  are indications of what will be in store  for the tall and suave  Ollie Robinson, who had a rich haul of 5fer at Headingley which decisively took the game away from India as India nosedived to a meek surrender and lost the Test by an Innings & 76 runs. 

When India were sitting pretty at 215/2 at the close on the 3rd day with Chateshwar Pujara finding his form and Kohli playing a second fiddle to him.  It seemed India would bounce back in the second essay like a rear guard action of India way back in 1967 when the young captain Nawab of Pataudi did it here.  But alas, Indian fans’ expectations were belied as this young man in his fourth test dented India’s hope with his persistent line and length.  Ollie Robinson’s “ace up my sleeves” performance with the red cherry tormented Indian batsmen and they were clueless to face him with the second newball.

Robinson’s five scalps in the second Indian innings was breathtaking. His candid admission that he learnt tricks from the senior pro, GOAT, Jimmy Anderson about gripping the seam, cadence repeatable action and his ability to thump out an excellent, consistent, probing length. He also produced a knuckleball – changing his grip even as he gathered to deliver – which also demonstrated his  range of skills.

His 7 wicket haul in the Test also earned him the Player of the  match award and with 16 wickets he’s the leading wicket taker of the 5 match series of either side.

In fact  with his stock ball the one delivered with a wobble seam got Kohli who was circumspect around outside off stump  as the ball drifted and straightened as Kohli edged it in the slip cauldron and was held by his English counterpart.

Next in his armoury was the innocuous delivery which darts back into the batsmen.  He also moves the ball in both ways sometimes confuses the batsmen and Chateshwar Pujara’s case was a classic example.  Pujara padded up an outswinger which would have hit his off stump and was plumb in front of the wicket.  Then there was a pageantry show of Indian batsmen walking to the pavilion as Craig Overton, a doppelganger of the ace swimmer, Michael Phelps giving the finishing touches to Indian innings.

Robinson eulogises the services of Jon Lewis, the bowling coach whose methodical approach helped him to hone his skills.

Ollie Robinson grew up as a seam bowler bowling a variety of slow balls, seldom bowling offspin.  He was no rabbit with the bat.  In fact he was a power hitting lower order batsman.

Under the tutorship of bowling coach Jason Gillespie at Sussex he furthered his reputation as one of the new ball bowlers of Sussex.

On his debut against the visiting New Zeland a few months back at Lord’s he had a dream debut taking 7 wickets in the match and in just 4 Tests he had 23 wickets including two 5fers against the visiting Indians.

LORD’S TEST REVIEW 2021

England vs India 2nd Test, Day 5 Highlights: India Beat England By 151 Runs To Take 1-0 Series Lead

LORD’s TEST REVIEW-2021

Courtesy : ndtv.com

“The way we played in the second innings after being put under pressure – Jasprit and Shami were outstanding. We had the belief we can get them out in 60 overs. The tension in the field in our second innings, what happened there, helped us. Putting their hand up was something we were really proud of, and we wanted to let them know,” said Virat Kohli in the post-match presentation.

In hindsight  India’s victory at Lord’s yesterday  may flatter you that it was a facile victory at the Home of Cricket but It was a hard fought victory.  It was an Independence Day bonanza for India.

It was India’s tailender batsmen who got the victory for India with their bat and ball.

On the fourth day India was tottering at 181/6 with only Rishab Pant , the recognised batsman at the crease.

And soon England saw the back of Pant walking to the pavilion after he edged a delivery from Olie Robinson..   

And the Indian tailenders were exposed with just 157 runs lead.   And here Indian tailenders showed the grit and guts to stand up and challenge the England bowlers.  First Ishant Sharma who showed some resistance and batted for a while adding some useful runs.

Then came the unbroken 89 runs partnership for the 9th wicket between Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah  who hit  their career best  of 56 & 34 runs respectively and took the game away from England.  This wicket partnership was priceless. 

England lost the plot and the Indian tailender pair was piling on the agony of England players.  They were at their wits end.  The field placing was awful as both Shami and Bumrah were nudging singles and braces .

At 298/8 with a lead of 271 runs, the Indian captain declared the innings setting a tantalising total of 272 runs for England to chase in 60 overs.

England started the chase on a jarring note as both their openers were out for a duck and back in the pavilion.  And they lost another two wickets before tea was taken.

After tea, India’s champion bowler, who bowled horribly in the first innings bowled a beautiful outswinger and Joe Root’s defence only saw the ball lobbed into the waiting hands of his counterpart Kohli who grabbed it with both hands.  England’s main hope for the draw was gone.

And the situation would have been worse had the ever vigil  Kohli taken a catch from Buttler.  But the ball ballooned of his outstretched hands. Jos Buttler was just on 2 runs.  The lady luck smiled on England’s team.

Buttler and Moeen Ali batted with abundant caution for more than an hour.  But when Siraj came back for his second spell, he was highly motivated and straightaway stuck when his outswinger delivery saw Moeen edging it to Kohli at first slip.  And Sam Curran, who was on King pair, edged an outgoing delivery to keeper, Siraj was on cloud nine.  His double strike in the same over opened the gates for India to exploit the weaklink of England’s batting.

Then the obdurate pair of Buttler and Ollie Robinson saw their resistance and batted for almost an hour.   Time was running out for India.  Fortunately the light was not an issue.

Again the man of the hour stuck gold when his innocuous incoming delivery rapped on the left pad of Ollie Robinson.  The vociferous appeal by Indian players were not conceded by Umpire. Then Kohli immediately referred it to TV Umpire.  The TV Umpire stuck down the decision of the Umpire Richard Illingworth and asked him to reverse his original decision of Not Out.

So, England’s No.11 batsman James Anderson strolling to the wicket hanged around 2 balls of Siraj but his third ball saw it breached Anderson’s defence and he was bowled through the gates.  There was rambunctious celebration by Indians as they picked up the stumps as souvenirs for their victory.

India won by 151 runs and lead the 5 match series by 1-0 with 3 matches yet to be played.

Earlier put into bat under overcast conditions, India had a rousing start with Rohit Sharma going great guns hitting all over the park and K.L. Rahul played the second fiddle.  And after his exit at 126/1, it was K.L. Rahul who took control of the game played magnificently and hit a scintillating century ( 129 runs).  And India finished with 364 runs. And Jimmy Anderson finished with fifer and Ollie Robinson & Mark wood  also chipped in with couple of wickets each.

England with their captain Joe Root at his best piled up 391 runs with a masterful unbeaten by him ( 180*)  and Mohammed Siraj was the pick of the bowler with 4 wickets.

The Century by K.L. Rahul gave India strong foundation in the batting and also won him the Player of the Match award.

It was India’s 3rd win out of the 19 tests played here at the Home of Cricket. 

LORD’s TEST 2021 PREVIEW

LORD’S  TEST 2021  PREVIEW

Courtesy : Insidesports

INDIA -ENGLAND 2nd TEST

After nature played its game at Trent Bridge in the first test, the stage is set for yet another show at LORD’s , London tomorrow ( 12.8.2021).

The tame draw at Nottingham was cruel to India as they were sitting comfortably at 52/1 at the close of fourth day.  But the persistent rains prevented any play on the 5th day.   India brimming with that confidence in their ranks will try to keep that momentum in the second Test at Lord’s.

India started its Test cricket History at Lord’s way back in 1932 under the leadership of Col. C.K. Nayudu, suffered humiliating defeats at Lord’s , including India’s lowest score of 42 ( of course now 36 is their lowest score made  in Adelaide in 2020-21 ) in 1974 in the second innings. Until 1986 India couldn’t  muster a win  at Lord’s. 

In 1986 a spirited Indian team under the captaincy of India’s mercurial all rounder Kapil Dev won the Test series by 2-0 including  a win at Lord’s, thanks to all round performance of Kapil Dev.  Another win came in 2014 under Dhoni when Ishant Sharma & Bhuvnesh kumar made merry in bowling  and A. Rahane scored a century.

Though Lord’s is not a favourite hunting ground for India as they won only 2 times out of the 18 outings, but this time around India is capable of upsetting the applecart of England team as their bowling unit is raring to go at the opposition in full throttle as we have seen at Nottingham when England were skittled out just for 183 runs on the first day.

The injury scare is there for both teams with India missing Shardul Thakur who is nursing a calf muscle injury and both the senior pros of England bowling attack, Stuart Broad and James Anderson are doubtful starters for Lord’s Test.

For England their captain, Joe Root, one of the world’s best batsmen stood tall among the ruins at Trent Bridge. Sans Root, their batting unit is in shambles. Openers wobble and middle order is not firing and the tail didn’t wag as Bumrah cut them to size in both innings.  Now, with Moeen Ali , recalled from his THE HUNDRED tournament duties, may  replace the out of form Dan Lawrence.  And in the bowling department, two bowling spots up for grabs as the two senior pros are doubtful starters.  Mark Wood and Saqib Mahmood( who had a good outing in the shorter formats for England) may fill the void.

For India it will be a selection headache as to whether to include a fourth seamer or the spinner R. Ashwin in the playing XI. As Kohli prefers the template of 4 seamers and one spinner in England conditions, and in all likelihood Ishant Sharma will make the cut into the XI.  The batting performance of Indian team was good  despite the failure of the bigwigs,  viz., Pujara, Kohli and Rahane.  K.L. Rahul, fighting for his place in Tests, found his mojo and the indian tail wagged and put indian team in a commanding position at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.  So, there may not be any changes in batting line up. So, it’s advantage India at Lord’s. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

TRENT BRIDGE -2021 TEST REVIEW

TRENT BRIDGE TEST 2021 REVIEW

IND-ENG FIRST  TEST

Courtesy : AFP

To put it bluntly, the rain and Joe Root stood between India and victory  in the  first Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham yesterday.  India was in a comfortable position after securing a formidable lead of 95 runs in the first innings and bowling out England in the second essay for 303 runs.  India were sitting comfortably at 52/1  at the close of the 4th day requiring another 157 runs in 90 0vers on the final day.  The rain god didn’t relent  and with persistent rain, the ground was in a puddle of water. 

Early Lunch was taken, early tea was taken and finally early bed time was taken on the final day on 8.8.2021. The Umpires were hapless and had to call it off and the play was abandoned on the 5th day..

Trent Bridge ground was helpful to Indian team whenever it played there. Out of the 8 outings here from 1959, India had lost just two times and won 2 tests including a series win 2007 with a win here.

The takeaway from this Test was K.L. Rahul on a comeback trail didn’t disappoint as his timely 84 runs in the first innings enabled India take a substantial lead in the first innings and India’s No.1 pace bowler ,Jasprit Bumrah found his rhythm and was among the wickets. His 9 scalps in the match will boost his confidence after a low lying performance in WTC Final.  The mercurial all rounder and athletic fielder, the familiar scene of Ravindra Jadeja swirling his bat in celebration after scoring a half century ( 56 runs) in the first innings  was visible and the Indian tail wagged contributing a valuable 46 runs after the exit of Jadeja.  The young diminutive  wicket keeper Rishab Pant was in his element behind the wickets and his useful call for a caught behind review was worth mentioning.   Indian’s choice of 4 seamers and one spinner paid off as all the pacers hit the deck and got wickets.  The continuous failure of the trio, viz., Pujara, Kohli and Rahane in the top order is a point of concern.

For England their mainstay was the Captain Joe Root who anchored both the innings and was the top scorer in the match including a Century.  In the second innings though not full of conviction, Root survived a close call in the leg side glance as well as early reprieve with the ball falling short of the slip cordon and run out chance.  The absence of neutral umpires was a point of bother for the Indians as the umpiring standard of English Umpires was below par level as Root’s leg side faint edge was well taken by wicket keeper and the Indian players vociferous appeal for the catch  was turned down by the Umpire  as India already exhausted 3 DRS reviews. It left a bitter taste for Indians as Root went on to score a century amidst the ruins in England’s second innings also.  The legendary English pacer hit a purple patch with the ball as he scalped 4 wickets including the prize wicket of Indian Captain, who edged an outswinger the very fast ball he faced.  And Olie Robinson, swinging the ball both ways got a fifer. 

Now the team caravan moves to Lord’s to play the next Test on 11th Aug with stakes high for both teams.

EDEN GARDENS STADIUM, KOLKATA

KOLKATA – EDEN GARDENS GROUND- MECCA OF INDIAN CRICKET

https://youtu.be/7CHC7Pp4WC8 (inside Ground- Video)

KOLKATA

Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), “ the city of Joy”,  is the capital of India’s Bengal state. Founded as an East India Company trading port, it was India’s capital under the British Raj from 1773–1911. Today it’s known for its grand colonial architecture, art galleries and cultural festivals. The famous Ramakrishna Math is situated in the outskirts at Belur, Kolkata.

EDEN GARDENS

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Although the original ownership of the land on which the cricket grounds now stand is disputed, it is likely that it was once owned by wealthy zamindars of the village of Gobindapur, which was combined with the villages of Kalikata and Sutanuti by Job Charnock in 1686 to create Calcutta. The zamindars, forced to leave their land, were compensated handsomely to settle in other parts of the city, and the property came under the control of the East India Company.

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EDEN GARDEN STADIUM

Courtesy : Google

Location: Dr. B. C. Roy Club House, Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Established: 1864

Seating Capacity: 66,000

Floodlights: Yes

End Names: High Court End, Pavilion End

Home Team: Bengal and Kolkata Knight Riders (IPL)

DISTANCE OF PITCH

According to Wikipedia distances from the center of the pitch to the boundary is about offside 66 Meters and onside 69 Meters, High Court end side 64 meters and Pavilion 71 Meters around the ground.

HISTORY

Though there is no definite information about the history of Eden Gardens, some believe that the land belonged to the Maharaja of Cooch-Behar, while some are of the opinion that it was the property of the Auckland Family. However, one thing which is certain is that the land was conferred to Governor General’s family, who, in turn, presented it to the citizens of Calcutta for recreational purposes.

It was, then, that the Calcutta Cricket Club was established, Eden Gardens serving as it’s headquarter. In the year 1871, the pavilion was built with which started the history of playing cricket in the ground, amidst Sylvan surroundings. However, it was in the year 1917-18 that the first ever first-class match was played. The foremost test match played was in January1934, against Douglas Jardine’s MCC. Since this first match, the ground has hosted more test matches than any other venue in India. Talking about the one day internationals, the first match was played in 1987 February against Pakistan.

Popularly called the Lord’s of Asia, Eden Gardens is the oldest cricket ground in India and also one of the finest in the world. It was established in the year 1864 .Apart from a cricket ground, Eden Garden comprises an indoor cricket stadium, two indoor sports complexes and the All India Radio building. The stadium hosted its first ever first-class cricket match in 1917-18. The first test match of this stadium was played in January 1934. A one day match was played here for the first time in February 1987, between India and Pakistan.

LOCATION

The stadium is situated in B.B.D. Bagh area of the Kolkata city near Secretariat and Calcutta High Court.  It stands in more than 50 acres of blissful landscape.  The verdant pathways of Eden Gardens are shaded by huge mahogany, mango and Banyan trees that make it a peaceful place to sit and enjoy the marvels of nature.  There is also a 3 storeyed Burmese Pagoda in red and yellow that was brought here by Lord Dalhousie.  

A brand new pitch cover was installed in 2016 from England. The entire ground can be covered in 15-20 minutes.

It’s the second largest stadium in the country with 66,000 capacity after renovation.  It  is also used for Football matches.

The entire stadium and the surrounding land still is administered by the Defence Ministry, without whose permission no event  can take place. The Cricket Association of Bengal is merely a lesser and not the owner. 

Modernization Of Eden Garden

The first time ever Eden Gardens was revamped was in the 1987 World Cup. Being the venue wherein the final match was to take place, the ground was given a face lift and covered stands were built all around, with a modern ClubHouse and pavilion. In the present times, the Club House holds the office of the Cricket Association of Bengal. Floodlights were first installed in the year 1993, in the stadium, on the eve of the five-nation tournament, held to celebrate the CAB Diamond Jubilee. The ground played host to all the day-night one-day international matches in the tournament.

Present Scenario

Eden Gardens holds the distinction of being one of  the largest cricketing facilities in the world. It is a dream-come-true for all the cricketers in the world, when they play in this magnificent and gigantic lush green stadium. Boasting of one of the largest seating arrangements in the world, the average number of people attending the matches has never been less than 50, 000. The stadium is always filled with people, who cheer the players and keep their hopes alive and the spectators play as the 12th man for the home team. . However, on the flip side, crowd violence has marred some of the key matches played in this ground.

Eden Gardens, today, is basking in the glory and has reached the pinnacle of success. Whether it was the epic India-Australia Test match in 2001, or the hat-trick clinched by Indian spinner, Harbhajan Singh, against Australia or South Africa’s comeback into International cricket, or even matches against the arch-rivals Pakistan, Eden Gardens has always been known to produce some of the most exciting and electrifying cricket encounters. The stadium is also the home ground of Kolkata Knight Riders, a franchise of the recently started India Premier League (IPL).

UNIQUE  ARTWORK

The walls of the ‘Pride of Indian cricket’ gets wall art like any other cricket stadium. What’s fascinating about the wall art is that it has been prepared by over 25 students from Kolkata’s Government College of Art & Craft. The decoration of the project was managed by Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). The wall art is about four storeys tall on one side.

“Our basic idea was to capture the feeling – the awe and excitement people feel when for the first time they see the historic field,” said Sayan Mukherjee one of the artists responsible for the work, “As children, when we walked in for the first time here in the stands, we felt like it was a magic, a transformation and through this work, we wanted to highlight that. 

”Here are a few photos of Eden Gardens’ wall art work :-

Photo Courtesy: Indian Express

Photo Courtesy: Indian Express

The Kolkata stadium also has the paintings of cricketers celebrating their success. The entrance of the stadium has photos of legendary cricketers Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly, Jhulan Goswami and others. 

BIG  BELL

Kapil Dev rung the bell just before the Indian and New Zealand teams walked out for the national anthem on the opening day of the second Test at the Eden Gardens at Kolkata on Friday. ( in 2016)

India vs New Zealand: Kapil Dev inaugurates bell ringing ritual at Eden Gardens

Former Indian captain Kapil Dev with CAB’s president Sourav Ganguly. AP

India’s first World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev rung the bell just before the Indian and New Zealand teams walked out for the national anthem on the opening day of the second Test at the Eden Gardens at Kolkata on Friday.

Accompanied by Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) President and former India captain Sourav Ganguly, Dev completed the much sought-after ritual in front of a motley  crowd.

Looking dapper in a suit, the 1983 hero wore a wry smile on his face as all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was seen witnessing the event keenly from the players’ dressing room. The ringing of the five-minute bell, introduced at Lord’s, London is a ritual started in 2007. An international cricketer or administrator or a well-known enthusiast of the sport is asked to perform the act.

Ganguly had stated that every morning it will be rung by a cricketer from either side or ex-players.

The one at Lord’s is located outside the Bowlers’ Bar of the pavilion and is rung to signify the imminent start of play.

FACILITIES

The stadium’s outfield and drainage system came under a lot of criticism.  When Sourav Ganguly became CAB President in 2016, he made sure that a new covering process was done in the outfield , so that the outfield does not remain waterlogged for long.  The drainage system was also upgraded. Previously the CAB had only 3 super soppers in place.  Keeping in mind the unpredictable weather conditions, Sourav ordered 2 more super soppers from Australia so that even if it rained, the ground could be made ready for the match to resume quickly.

Eden Gardens had installed a new electronic scoreboard like MCG.  The new scoreboard will show all the details, highlights and graphics of a match.

The raised sight screens would provide the Indian batsman a better view of Pakistani pacer Mohammad Irfan, who stands 7 feet and one inch tall.

“After consulting the umpires, we have raised the height of the sight screens which has resulted in reduction of around 850 seats at the Club House and High Court ends,” Cricket Association of Bengal joint secretary Subir Ganguly said.

The reduction of the seats is a blow to the ordinary cricket spectators.

NEW DRESSING ROOMS

The International Cricket Council (ICC) wanted  two more dressing rooms at the Eden Gardens which will host the World Twenty20 final in 2016. The Eden Gardens had only two dressing rooms, one for the home team and the other for the visiting team before T20 WC 2016. . But as the women’s World T20 final will also be held on the same day, cricket’s world governing body has asked the CAB for four change rooms and now it has 4 dressing rooms.

2011 Renovation

Eden Gardens underwent renovation for the 2011 World cup.  Renovation had been undertaken to meet the standards set by the ICC for the 2011 World Cup. The  Cricket Association of Bengal retained the team of Burt Hill and VMS to renovate the Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium. The plans for the renovated stadium included a new clubhouse and players’ facilities, upgrades of the exterior walls to give the stadium a new look, cladding the existing roof structure with a new metal skin, new/upgraded patron amenities & signage and general infrastructure improvements. The upgrade also meant reduction of the seating capacity to about 68,000 from around 94,000 before the upgrade.

The stadium hosted three scheduled World Cup 2011 Matches on 15, 18 and 20 March 2011. In the last of these three matches (Kenya vs Zimbabwe), the stadium had the lowest ticket-purchasing crowd in its recorded history with 15 spectators having bought tickets.

The Historic stands of Eden Gardens

The stands of the Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata are named after prominent cricketers and soldiers of Indian Army. The names include that of Sourav Ganguly, Pankaj Roy, Jagmohan Dalmiya, and B. N. Dutt.

Some of the names of the Soldiers after whom 4 stands are named include, Colonel Neelakantan Jayachandran Nair, Havildar Hangpan Dada, Major Dhan Singh Thapa and Subedar Joginder Singh Sahnan.

LC Dhan Singh Thapa and Subedar Joginder Singh were the war heroes of 1962 Sino- Indian War and were awarded posthumously with Param Vir Chakra, the highest wartime military gallantry award in India. Col NJ Nair and Havildar Dada sacrificed their lives while fighting insurgents in Nagaland and Kashmir respectively. Both were awarded posthumously with Ashok Chakra, India’s highest peacetime military gallantry award

.Best Moments 

  • In 1977,  New York Cosmos played a Football match against Mohun Bagun at the stadium.  Edson Arantes do Nascimento “aka”  Pelé played in that match for the Cosmos. The match was drawn at 2–2.
  • 16 football fans died in a stampede after a derby league game between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan on 16 August 1980.
  • Eden Gardens hosted the 1987 Cricket World Cup Final  which was the first ever Cricket World Cup final hosted outside England. The match ended with Australia defeating England by 7 runs. This was the first time Australia won the Cricket WC Final. 
  • The 1996 World Cup semi-final was called off and Sri Lanka awarded the match after crowd disturbances following an Indian batting collapse.
  • During the 2nd final of the  1997 Independence Cup the Test and ODI captains of the Indian cricket team of all time (with a few notable exceptions) were given a lap of honour around the stadium.
  • In 1999, leading Indian batsmanSachin Tendulkar was run out after colliding with Pakistan’s Shoaib Akthar.  Akhtar had impeded Tendulkar and the crowd rioted, forcing the police to evict the spectators. The match continued in front of an empty stadium.
  •  Kapil Dev took an ODI hat-trick against the Sri Lankans in 1991 at the ground.
  •  Harbhajan Singh took a hat-trick against  Australia in 2000/01 at the ground. He became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket.
  • In 2005, in an ODI against  South Africa, the Eden Gardens crowd booed the Indian Team  and Greg Chappell because Sourav Ganguly was  dropped from the team. Chappell allegedly showed middle finger to the crowd.
  • In 2005,  Sachin Tendulkar scored his 10,000th run in Test Cricket against Pakistan on this ground making him the second Indian batsman and fifth overall to achieve this feat.
  • Eden Gardens hosted the historic 199th (penultimate) Test match of Sachin Tendulkar’s career against West Indies from 6-10 Nov 2013. India defeated West Indies by an innings and 51 runs in 3 days.
  • On its 150th anniversary, on 13 November 2014, Eden Gardens witnessed the highest ever score by a batsman in One Day Internationals, a 264 off 173 balls scored by Rohit Sharma  during the 4th One Day International of Sri Lanka vs India at the venue.
  • On 3 April 2016, in this venue, within a span of hours, the finals of the ICC world cup Twenty20 tournaments for the women and for the men were won by the respective women’s and men’s teams of the West Indies.
  • The stadium hosted the 200th and 250th home tests for India in 2005 and 2016 respectively.
  • On 22 January 2017, Ravindra Jadeja became the first Indian left arm spinner to take 150 One Day International wickets, when he dismissed  Sam Billings of England.
  • On 21 September 2017,  Kuldeep Yadav became the third bowler for India to take a hat-trick in an ODI after  Chetan Sharma and Kapil Dev When he took a hat-trick against Australia.

Iconic Matches Played at Eden Gardens Kolkata

1962- India  Vs England: India gained victory in this match. This was the first match where India beat England in a test match at Eden Gardens after a long period of 10 years. India had won the match by 182 runs thanks to brilliant spin bowling by Salim Durrani ( left arm orthodox) and Chandu Borde (leg break) and Poly Umrigar (off break).

1975- India Vs  West Indies: Though India could not win the test series, the third test match in a 5- match series went on to become a legendary victory when India beat West Indies by 85 runs. The match was played against  the likes of  Sir Andy Roberts, Bernard Julien, Roy Fredericks and Lance Gibbs in the West Indies team,  the diminutive Gundappa Viswanath hit a magnificent century and paved the way for India’s win here after 2-0 down in the series.

1993- India Vs South Africa:  When the ball was tossed to Sachin Tendulkar by Captain Azaruddin to bowl the ultimate over to defend a paltry 5 runs, it was a shocker to everybody. The iconic win of this Hero Cup final match was pulled off by none other than our own master blaster, Sachin Tendulkar with his miraculous bowling over at the last moment. India won the match by 2 runs.

2001- India Vs Australia:  A watershed moment in the history of Indian test cricket.  Another iconic match is remembered when India was asked to follow-on and  due to the sudden twist pulled off by partnership of V.V.S. Laxman and Rahul Dravid when the first four batsmen took a quick return to the pavilion very early into the match. Rahul and Laxman played the full 4th day without being separated  when V.V.S. Laxman hit a marathon 281 runs and Rahul Dravid 180 runs putting 376 runs for the 5th wicket and India won a match that was thought to be lost in the beginning.

2005- India Vs Pakistan: After losing to Pakistan at Mohali in the test series, India went on to win the thrilling match at Eden as well as the entire series thereafter.

2013- India Vs West Indies: This match is termed iconic as it marked the last test match played by Sachin Tendulkar of his career. It marked the end of an era.

2019- India Vs Bangladesh : On 22 November 2019, India’s first ever DAY / NIGHT  test match between India and Bangladesh  was hosted at Eden Gardens and the game was inaugurated jointly by the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Bannerjee and the President of Bangladesh which India won comfortably by an Innings & 18 runs. 

INDIA-ENG TEST SERIES PREVIEW

INDIA -ENGLAND  TEST SERIES IN ENGLAND PREVIEW- 2021

Courtesy : Times of India.

As the  battle lines are drawn for another awe inspiring Test series between England and India Test series and getting underway today at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, let’s peep into the history of the rivalry.

The Pataudi Trophy (named in 2007 after India’s illustrious cricketer M.A.K. Pataudi )was claimed by India once only in the inaugural series in 2007 under the captainship of Rahul Dravid with a solitary win at Trent Bridge, Nottingham in the 3 Test series.

The India-England  Test series will kick start the second edition of ICC WORLD TEST CHAMPIONSHIP  (WTC), which will be played in 2021-23 cycle. 

More than winning the Pataudi Trophy, a feat India last achieved under the leadership of RAHUL DRAVID in 2007, Kohli said the challenge for his team was to win in “situations which are not ours”.

INDIA IN ENGLAND 

India and England played 62 Tests in England from 1932.  England won 34 tests and India won 7 tests.

After 22 outings, India registered its first Test win in English soil in 1971 at The Oval under the leadership of Ajit Wadekar with Indian spinners having a field day led by the unpredictable  leg spinner Chandrasekar and it also marked India’s Firstever Test series win in England.

India had to wait for another 15 years for the next series victory as the team led by the mercurial all rounder Kapil Dev.  Kapil led his team into a tumultuous win in 1986 by 2-0 by winning comprehensively both in Lord’s and Headingley, Leeds.

Then under the leadership of “The Wall”, Rahul Dravid in 2007, India won the Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham and also the series with 1-0.

Though India did win a Test in 2014 under M.S. Dhoni at Lord’s with Ishant Sharma & Bhuvneshkumar bowling their best, but India had to suffer heavy defeats in the remaining 3 Tests.

In our last outing in 2018 under “King “ Kohli, we could manage a solitary win in the 3rd Test at Trent Bridge with Kohli leading from the front with 97 & 103 runs and Jasprit Bumraha’s incisive spell, after a humiliating innings defeat when they were blown away by the English pacemen and Chris Woakes scoring a magnificent century in the 2nd test at Lord’s.

Now, India with well acclimatising with the weather conditions at England and a practice match before the Test series are well equipped to take on a depleted England side in the absence of their mercurial all rounder Ben Stokes, bowlers Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes due to injuries.  England will include the young all rounder Sam Curran who made a sensational start in 2018 against India and Jonny Bairstrow in place of the injured Ollie Pope.

Indian team have a dilemma  to choose the best XI, though there are indications from the Captain’s pre-match interview that the all rounder Shardul Thakur will make it to the playing XI and Mohamed Siraj will also make a cut into the final XI.  Two spinners may be a luxury in England pitches and the captain will be tempted to include the all rounder and athletic fielder Ravindra Jadeja into the XI and leave out R. Ashwin.

We have to wait and see whether the history will repeat at Trent Bridge as India has most success here with 2 wins here.     

England (possible): 1 Rory Burns, 2 Dom Sibley, 3 Zak Crawley, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Ollie Pope/Jonny Bairstow, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Sam Curran, 8 Ollie Robinson, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Jack Leach, 11 James Anderson

India (possible): 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 KL Rahul, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Rishabh Pant (wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Ishant Sharma / Mohammed Siraj, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Jasprit Bumrah.

THE OVAL ground, LONDON

Courtesy : google images

CRICKET  GROUNDS- THE OVAL, LONDON

The Oval, currently known as Kia Oval for sponsorship reasons, is an international cricket ground in Kennington in the London Borough of Lambeth, South London.

The Oval has been the home ground of Surrey County Cricket club since it was opened in 1845.

The ground is owned by Prince of Duke Charles ( Duchy of Cornwall) and the only ground in England NOT owned by the County club.

It was the FIRST ground in England and second in international cricket ( MCG, Australia was the first ground) to host Test cricket in Sept. 1880.

HISTORY

The Oval is built on the former Kennington Common.  Cricket matches were played on the Common throughout the early 18th Century.  However, as the Common was also used regularly for public executions for convicts, cricket matches had moved away to Artillery ground by 1740s.

In 1844, the site of the present Kennington Oval was a market garden owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.  The Duchy was willing to lease the land for the purpose of a cricket ground and on 10th March 1845, the first lease was made, which was later assumed , issued to President of Montpelier Cricket Club by the Otter Trustees who held the land from Duchy to convert into a subscription cricket ground for 31 years at a rent of 120 pounds per annum.

 Prince Charles, Duchy of Cornwall, owner of the ground gets a slice of ticket prices , every drink, pie and programme sold.  The Duchy of Cornwall, who is still the owner of the ground, the property Estate which generated profits 14 Million pounds last year, provided Prince Charles personal income.  Prince Charles, the 24th Duke of Cornwall became entitled to the full income from the Duchy’s profit on his 21st birthday in 1969.

Original Contract for turfing The Oval cost 300 Pounds, the 10,000 grass turfs came from Tooting Common and were laid in the spring of 1845 allowing the first cricket match to be played in May 1845.  Hence, Surrey County Cricket Club was established in 1845.

On 3rd May 1845 the Club acquired the remainder of the leasehold of land for a further period of 31 years.

The Pavilion was built in 1898 designed by the famous architect A.T. Muirhead, who also built the pavilion for Old Trafford, Manchester.  Although much altered in subsequent years it still retains its original character.

GROUND INFORMATION

The Oval wicket  has 27 pitches more than any other cricket venue.  It has 5.5 acres , the largest playing area for Test matches in the northern hemisphere.  The playing area  is very large, extending to 168 metres by 148 metres.

It has 3 entrances viz., Hobbs Gates, Kennington Oval including turnstiles and Vauxhall End.  There is a separate Members’ enclosure.  There are 3 covered stands and 9 uncovered stands.

Name of Ends : Pavilion  End and Vauxhall End.

ABORIGINES  VISIT

In 1868, 20,000 spectators gathered at The Oval for the first game of 1868 when the Aborigines (Australia) began cricket tour of England ( for a 47- game tour)  and played the first match here and was the FIRST tour of England by any foreign country.

FIRST TEST MATCH

The First Test Match in England was played here  between England and Australia in September 1880 and thus became the Second Cricket ground to stage Test matches.  This  One-off Test was won by England by 5 wickets.  The Grace brothers , W.G. Grace, Edward Grace and Fredrick Grace played for the First time for England and W.G. Grace hit a  century on debut  (152 runs) and  for the FIRST TIME for England in Tests and Australia’s Captain  W.L. Murdoch also scored  a century ( 153 * ).

BIRTH OF ASHES  TESTS

In 1882, Australia won the one-off Test played here by 7 runs within two days.  The “Sporting Times” printed a mocking of an obituary notice “ English cricket had died and that the body will be cremated and the Ashes taken to Australia “   which led to the creation of the “ ASHES” Trophy which is still contested whenever England Plays Test against Australia.  

History at The Oval

https://www.kiaoval.com/about-us/archive-history/ ( video)

The oval hosted the First FA Cup Final in 1872..  Football Association cup is an annual knockout football competition in Men’s domestic English football.

England hosted Australia at The Oval in 1880 it’s First ever test match

In 1882, Australia defeated England at The oval for the first time on British soil, leading the “Sporting Times” newspaper to declare the death of English cricket and beginning what would become known as “The Ashes” test matches between these two countries

In 1884, the First double century in a test was scored by Australia’s captain Billy Murdoch.

England’s dramatic 1 wicket win in 1902 inspired by it’s batsman Gilbert  Joseph’s sensational century against Australia

Australia’s 701 in 1930 as Don Bradman ( 244) and Bill Ponsford (266) put on 451 runs for the 2nd wicket and win for Australia by an Innings & 39 runs

England 903/7 is their highest in tests till date and they beat Australia by an Innings & 579 runs in 1938 and it was Australia’s heaviest defeat in Tests , when Len Hutton scored a  monumental triple century ( 364 ) 

Don Bradman’s farewell duck in 1948 Ashes  to the spinner Eric Hollies

Michael Holding’s 14 wickets & Vivian Richards blitzkrieg 291 ensured Windies win in 1976 by 231 runs.

The fourth and final Test of the 1979 series against India here was also magnificent.  England set the visitors a target of 438 runs to win.  India got off to a terrific start with an opening wicket partnership of 213 between Sunil Gavaskar and Chetan Chauhan.  However wickets began to tumble and at the close India were tantalising 9 runs short of their target with two wickets in hand ending at 429/8.  Gavaskar’s monumental knock of 221 runs in the chase was one of the greatest innings ever seen at The Oval.

England’s speedster Devon Malcolm’s 9/57 against S.A. in 1994 set up win for England

In 100th Test at The Oval, England’s win by 239 runs over South Africa  in 2017 inspired by a brilliant century by Ben Stokes , debutant Toby Roland Jones’s 5/57  and Moeen Ali’s (England’s off spinner) Hat trick, first time at The Oval

Unique Featrues

The Gasholders outside the ground belong to the Victorian age, which means they were properly constructed.  Since they have not developed a crack, let alone a leak from the supply that is still in everyday use.

Courtesy : kiaoval.com

The iconic Victorian Gas Holder outside The Oval in south London is secured after the structure was granted Grade II listed status and now it is used as a prominent advertising hoarding for matches.

VAUXHALL PLEASURE GARDENS

The vauxhall pleasure gardens are located near to the Oval ground. The first and most important of these gardens, Vauxhall, was established in 1729 by the entrepreneur Jonathan Tyers. While the site had been a place for Londoners to gather and buy refreshments since the 1660s, Tyers realised that there was a market for paid entertainment. He also knew that charging an admission fee (of one shilling) would discourage pickpockets and prostitutes.

MUSIC CONNECTION 

The connection between Music hall and cricket was strong in the 19th century and 20th century.  Matches pitting teams of county players against comedy stars of the day were regularly played and raised large sums of the money went to charity.  In 1873, the Oval hosted a game that raised an amount of 70 pounds for the Music hall Sick Fund.  In late 1890s, Dam Leno, a comedy star of the day formed a group called the “Dainties” drawing many of the stars to play in such fixtures.  In 1898, Dan Leno’s team attracted wide publicity when they took on the employees of Dulwich’s Grove Hotel, it was well received by spectators.    

FACILITIES

Between 1993 and1996 the pavilion was completely renovated and enlarged by adding two storeys to provide additional seating for members, executive suites, restaurants and an improved library.  There are many famous paintings and items of cricket memorabilia in the various parts of the pavilion as well as in the SCC Centenary Library on the top floor of the building.

There is a splendid new clock above the members’ main pavilion entrance.  Near the main Hobbs Gate is a brick sculpture of Sir Leonard Hutton. 

In 1988 a new executive box was constructed at the Vauxhall End.   A large TV screen was installed high above Vauxhall Stand to broadcast action replays of the Cricket.

The First Aid room is located beneath the Bedser Stand and there are two further points at the Vauxhall end and Peter May stand.

The Club Museum  :  The Sandham Display room in the pavilion explains the history of Surrey CCC and the AMP Oval and contains Surrey and England memorabilia including the oldest known cricket bat in the world, and all the trophies that Surrey have won over the years.

Cricket coaching facilities, cricket nets, other sporting or recreational facilities are available.

Car parking facilities are available only for players and officials . Street car parking in and  surrounding ground or car parks in central London a short distance away.

Good viewing areas and designated viewing areas are available for people using wheelchairs. 

The Kia Oval offers a variety of Catering options around the ground.  On county championship and ODI fixtures there is Deep Blue Retaurant, a burger van, an ice cream van and beer carts located in the Pavilion forecourt as well as The Feathers Pub located behind bedser stand serving drinks and snacks.  On T20 match days, it has a food village at the Vauxhall end of the ground featuring some of the finest street food vendors as well as LIVE band music.

Toilets all around the perimeter of the ground with baby changing facilities are located in OCS stand as well by entrance of Lock Laker stand.

STADIUM TOUR

Stadium tours are available every Friday & starting at 11 a.m. unless a T20 or international fixture taking place.  Tickets must be booked thro’ their e-ticketing site or the office on any day.  The cost varies from 22.65 pounds onwards.  Tours will be approximately 90 minutes and visitors have to arrive at John Edrich Gate ( underground end) and to go to reception.

  • Entrance to the stadium
  • 90 minutes guided tour
  • Access to changing rooms, Members’ pavilion, committee room
  • Learn how cricket equipment is made
  • Skyline view of London from roof terrace
  • Tea or coffee on arrival

VIEW FROM SHARD TOWER (LONDON)

The building 95 storey Shard was designed by world renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano.  This architectural marvel is the tallest building in the European Union and its distinctive shape has defined the London skyline.  If you visit the view from Shard, you will get a breathtaking 360 degree view of London from more than 300 meters above the city.

DEVELOPMENT 

The oval overhauled their drainage and irrigation system at a cost of 7,50,000 pounds.  The project aimed at draining 30 mm of rain water per hour in order to resume cricket matches as early as possible.

4 permanent flood lights masts have been installed at The Oval. These new lights have been developed combining latest technologies to ensure that the lights will remain focussed in the ground and not neighbouring areas.  These new lights were installed in 2008.

In 2002 started the redevelopment of Vauxhall end which included demolishing outdated Surride, Fender, Jardeine & Peter May North ends and creating in their place a single four-tier ground stand, currently known as 1845 Stand.

In 2007, the Lock & Laker & Peter May South stands were replaced.

In 2013, a new project was started called “wings” to either side of the 1845 stand at the Vauxhall end of the ground. The development helped to increase the total capacity to 24,500.

In 2015, the Peter May & Tony lock stands were demolished and replaced by a single new and much larger stand named Peter May.

M.S. DHONI- BIRTHDAY BABY

M.S. DHONI, BIRTHDAY BABY

MS Dhoni Net Worth

“ thanks a lot of ur love and support throughout. From 1929 hours consider me as Retired “ – a terse message posted by M.S. Dhoni on his retirement from International cricket on his Instagram page on 15.8.2020 as there were speculations rife for more than a year since 2019 World cup Semi Final ( played in England) Vs New Zealand impending his retirement announcement.  Ultimately this match turned to be his last International match.

MSD’s TRAVAILS

Between 2000 & 2005 India saw 12 wicket keepers starting from M.S.K. Prasad and at last India found a Wicket keeper in M.S. Dhoni.   He donned the gloves for the first time  for India in 2004 for ODIs and 2005 in Tests.  And rest is history.

Dhoni’s rise is a rags-to-riches story and has been a one of a phenomenal success, punctuated by occasional blips in performance.  Dhoni is the ideal icon for modern India. Aggressive with decorum, mostly along with stardom and an apparent happy-go-lucky Midas touch, Dhoni is the perfect blend of a role-model and pin-up star.

Dhoni took his father’s advice “Don’t let the success get to your head keep going”.  A rather simple word of caution but not necessarily easy to execute.  The Indian youth has grown to mock the word, but Dhoni has taken victories in his stride along with defeat in equanimity and gave importance to evaluation at a micro-level as a tool to pave the way forward with relative indifference to the results.

Dhoni went on to become quintessential Captain Cool, arguably the world’s best finisher and one of the all-time greats of Limited overs cricket, bringing about a revolution that put the onus on the batsmen to pull off unlikely chases.

ICC’s TRIBUTE TO M.S. DHONI

M.S Dhoni Retires from International Cricket: ‘One name, a million memories’, ICC pays tribute

Courtesy : ICC’s twitter

Highlights:  

  • M.S Dhoni announced his retirement from International cricket. 
  • ICC pays tribute to M.S Dhoni ‘One name, a million memories. 
  • ‘One of the Greats’  

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, one of the greatest captains in cricket history and the best finisher, retired from international cricket on 15 August 2020. Now Dhoni will never hit the ground in Team India’s jersey, he informed his fans through a video on social media. 

The former captain decided to retire without playing a farewell match. His fans wanted to have a grand farewell match when captain Cool retired. The International Cricket Council (ICC) bid farewell to this legendary player in his style. The ICC has posted a video on their social media account showing Dhoni’s entire career. 

The ICC has put a 3-minute and 11-second video of Dhoni on their Twitter handle. It contains memories of all three ICC Trophies won by him. Dhoni has lightning-fast stumpings and the sixes of his World Cup 2011 which will be remembered for centuries and will be cherished forever. 

Not only this, but ICC have put the cover photo of Mahendra Singh Dhoni on their official Twitter page. In which Dhoni is seen with the 2007 T20 World Cup, 2013 Champions Trophy and 2011 ODI World Trophy. Dhoni is the only captain in the world of cricket history to have the fortune of winning all three big ICC titles. 

Dhoni scored 4876 runs in 90 Tests for India, which included 6 centuries. At the same time, he has 10773 runs in 350 ODIs. In the ODIs, Dhoni has scored 10 centuries and his average is 50.57. Talking about T20 bouts, he scored 1617 runs. 

ENVIABLE RECORDS

  • 50.57average in ODIs
  • 47 instances of Dhoni being unbeaten in successful chase in ODIs.  Incidentally, India have lost only 2 matches, when Dhoni was NOT OUT in a chase (i) against Pakistan in Kolkata in 2013 ( ii) against ENGLAND in 2019 World cup.
  • 9 instances in which Dhoni completed a successful chase with a SIX including 2011 WC Final at Mumbai.   No other players achieved this feat more times than MSD
  • 229 SIXES hit by MSD in ODIs, only Rohit sharma hit more SIXES ( 244) for India than Dhoni.

CAPTAINCY RECORDS

  • 332 matches as Captain in international cricket. Dhoni led India in 200 ODIs, 72 T20Is and 60 Tests.  He has the second most wins in Limited Overs cricket in Internationals, i.e. 151 games behind only Ponting’s 172.
  • 3 ICC Tournament titles, viz., 2007 T20 WC,  2011 World Cup and Champions Trophy in 2013
  • 6,641 runs as Captain- Wicket keeper in ODIs.  No other batsman has scored as many runs while leading the side and donning the gloves.  Dhoni led India in 200 while donning gloves.

WINNING AT HIGHEST STAGE  ( World cups)

Captain Won     Loss win/Loss %

Ricky Ponting        26     2                 13

Clive Lloyd            15        2                   7.5

M.S. Dhoni             14        2                   7      

 MS Dhoni Becomes First Cricketer To Earn Rs 150 Crore in Indian Premier League History After Being Retained by CSK for IPL 2021

MS Dhoni Becomes First Cricketer To Earn Rs 150 Crore in Indian Premier League History After Being Retained by CSK for IPL 2021

MS Dhoni has become the first-ever cricketer to earn more than Rs 150 crore in Indian Premier League (IPL) history. The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain scripted history after being retained by CSK ahead of IPL 2021 players auction. Dhoni was retained for Rs 15 crore by CSK ahead of this season’s auction. As a result, the three-time IPL winning captain has now earned over Rs 150cr in IPL history. Reports stated Dhoni had already earned over Rs 137 crore before IPL 2021 retention day. His earnings have now gone passed over Rs 150cr after being retained for another season by CSK.

MS Dhoni Info

HAPPY BIRTHDAY  MAHI !   LONG LIVE !

NEW ZEALAND TEST CHAMPION

NEWZELAND – TEST CHAMPIONS

“It’s a special feeling. It’s nice to get one under the belt. I’d like to thank Virat and the Indian team. The heart that our team showed was commendable. It’s the first time we have come away with a world title, and the 22 players who played a big part in getting across the line deserve all the appreciation. This will be remembered for a long time. We don’t always have all the stars, and we saw that in this match. We saw so much heart and commitment. We know how strong the Indian side is, in all conditions.”

Kane Williamson, New Zealand Skipper after winning the WTC title

Courtesy : Times of India

This wonderful 144 year old sport saw a World Test Champion the New Zealand team, at the altar of The Ageas Bowl, Southampton , England on the 23rd June 2021 for the first time.  A ICC  major tournament title eluding the Black Cap team at last found a major title as the Kiwis beat India in the World Test Championship Final. The long wait was over. 

A team that is playing test cricket from 1930 this title win is a great boost for the New Zealand.  Athers (Mike Atherton) calls this is the GOLDEN ERA of New Zealand cricket.  And for a change Michael Waughan’s prophecy came true.  And our own commentator DK called Fire and Ice when he referred to Kohli and Williamson. 

And the joy sees no bound as the New Zealand players get their hands on the coveted Mace, finally in the midst of fireworks light up still a bright evening sky in Southampton.

And the senior pro Ross Taylor hit the winning runs for the Kiwis and watching this feat from the other end is the Black Cap teams ever smiling captain Kane Williamson.  The two senior pros put in their best performance and showed so much patience, resilience that they were cut out of their task of winning the Inaugural WTC title.  And also a fitting finale for their Wicket Keeper batter, B.J. Watling as he gets his hand on the Mace.

Courtesy : Blackcaps tweet

What a match we’ve had. A pitch that gave us a result even though two entire days were washed out, and excellent foresight – we must now acknowledge – from the ICC, to have this sixth day in reserve. Two superb teams who both played terrific cricket, but New Zealand were definitely the better team on this occasion, with more fast-bowling depth, the greater ability to swing the Dukes ball, and a more robust lower order.

The Player of the Match, Kyle Jamieson, the the tall and lanky, Kiwi bowler rose to the occasion well with his  sterling performance on the big stage breaking the backbone of the Indian batting with a scalp of 7 wickets ( including 5fer in the first innings) and also a cameo with the bat stole the show and ably supported by the other pace trio Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner .

The Indian batting unit failed miserably in both innings though their pace duo of Mohd. Shami ( 4 wickets) and Ishant Sharma   did well in the first innings to give a moderate lead of 32 runs for the Kiwis.  The much expected Indian pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah went wicketless was a surprise.  Of course the overcast conditions 0n the 2nd day ( as the first day play was washed out) was favourable to the Kiwis bowlers who exploited the seaming conditions well and it was too hot to handle the  Kiwis new found pace bowler, Kyle Jamieson by Indian batters and they restricted India 217 runs in the first innings and only the skipper and his deputy put up a semblance of fight in the first innings scoring 40+ runs and in the second innings it was a meek surrender by the Indian batters as they were folded up just for 170 runs and the New Zealand had to score 139 runs in 50 odd hours.  The Kiwis showed no panic in getting the total.  

While chasing the total the Kiwis lost two early wickets to India’s ace spinner R. Ashwin and the runs were drying up for the two senior pros at the crease.  But both Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor showed no urgency and were playing a waiting game and attacked when the Indian bowlers erred.

ROUND UP

  1. Indian Eves team salvaged a draw in the one-off test at Bristol, England as their tail ender batters Sneh Rana & Taniya Bhatia showed resilience as they put in an unbeaten 104 runs for the 9th wicket after the Indian women were asked to follow-on on the 4th day at the closing hours on 19th June 2021.  In fact they didn’t play Test cricket for 7 years and this one-off Test draw was a very good achievement.
  2. At Goss Islet, St. Lucia (west Indies) in the 2nd Test between West Indies and South Africa it was again the domination of the Visitors as they romped home by 158 runs.  Keshav Maharaj, the slow left arm spinner became the FIRST South African bowler to claim HAT TRICK in Tests as he claimed 5 wickets for 36 runs .

WTC FINAL 2021

WTC FINAL- ROAD TO FINAL

The D-day is drawn on June 18 , 2021 at the Hampshire’s The Ageas Bowl, Southampton, England as the World’s Firstever Test championship and Kohli or Williamson who will join Clive Lloyd (   First Ever ODI WC title in 1975) and M.S. Dhoni ( first ever title T20 WC in 2007) is the million dollar question.

  WTC Final: Michael Vaughan Says “Fancy New Zealand To Beat India” In World Test    Championship Final. So, India will win the WTC Title as Vaughan was always proved wrong.

Stakes are high for both Captains viz., Kohli and Williamson as the ICC title still eludes them.

Indian Cricket Team is raring to play the inaugural World Test Championship(WTC) Final against New Zealand on 18th June at the historic stadium of The Ageas Bowl, Southampton, England.. 

INDIA’S JOURNEY TO WTC FINAL 

After two years of gruelling action which was played out between 9 teams, the Virat Kohli-led side and the Kiwis came out on top and will fight for the first-ever World Test Championship title.

The points system was changed mid-way through the tournament due to the Covid-19 pandemic as the test series all over the world couldn’t get completed. The Indian cricket team pulled off a stunning victory over Australia in their own backyard by 2-1 and then came from behind  with a resounding victory over England by 3-1 to book their place in the Cricket Image for Indian Cricket Team Journey To World Test Championship Final

WTC Final.

Image Source: AFP

The journey of the Indian team could have been a straightforward one, however, Pandemic caused a complete change in how the teams were supposed to qualify for the finals and the Virat Kohli led side had to fight back till the end.

India vs west Indies in West Indies, 2019

The first series India played under the ICC World Test Championship was against West Indies. It was a two-match test series which India won comfortably by 2-0.

In the first at  Sir Viv Richards stadium, North Sound, India won comfortably by 318 runs as  A. Rahane hit a powerful century in the second innings  preceded by 81 runs in the first innings and was adjudged man of the match.  Hanuma Vihari also hit a majestic 93 runs and Ishant Sharma took 5/43 in the first innings and it was Jasprit Bumrah’s 5fer in the second innings that turned the match in India’s favour.

 5 for 7 – Jasprit Bumrah’s figures in the second innings,  was the least expensive five wicket haul by an Indian bowler in Test history.

In the second test at Sabina Park, Kingston it was Hanuma Vihari’s century in the first innings and followed by 53 in the second and again Jasprit Bumrah tore the west indies batsmen in the first innings to set up an easy victory for India by 257 runs .

Ind v SA, South Africa tour of India, 2019: 

In October 2019, South Africa came to India for a three-match test series. India being the home team won the series whitewashing the Proteas  by 3-0. In the three matches Rohit Sharma  scored heavily with 529 runs including  a double century and got two MOM awards and MOS award and  in the second test, Indian captain Virat Kohli was adjudged player of the match as he hit magnificent double century ( 254) 

Ind v Ban, Bangladesh tour of India, 2019:

Bangladesh came to tour India in November. The two-test match series saw  India beating them mercilessly by an Innings in both Tests including  India’s first ever Day/Night test match conducted in India at Kolkata. Ishant Sharma was the player of the series for picking up the most wickets(12). He was also the man of the match in the second test while Mayank Agarwal was the star in the first test. After the end of this series, India was cruising with 160 points.

NZ v Ind, India tour of New Zealand, 2020: 

India toured New Zealand in February 2020 for two test series. It was a disastrous tour for India as they lost both games. Indian batsmen failed to score runs as in both matches, two Kiwi bowlers – Tim Southee and debutant Kyle Jamieson – were adjudged player of the match. Southee was also declared man of the series for his 14 wickets. 

Aus v Ind,  INDIA TOUR OF AUSTRALIA,  2020-21: 

India toured Australia for a four-match test series in December-January. However, in between, the points system was changed and India had to somehow beat the Aussies to keep themselves in the race of WTC Finals. 

After suffering a humiliating defeat in the first test at Adelaide in the D/Nmatch registering a very low score of 36 all out in the second innings, India bounced back at MCG with a fine century by the Stand-in Captain A. Rahane and won the test, drawing the Test at SCG with a dour batting by Hanuma Vihari and Ashwin and finally winning the Test at GABBA, Brisbane in the twilight of the match by a scintillating knock by wicket keeper Risabh Pant and the young bowlers including 3 debutants Washington Sundar, T. Natarajan and Shardul Thakur delivered the punch.

It was a watershed series in Indian Test history as the bench strength rose to the occasion as the senior players were not available due to injury and Captain Kohli  was also unavailable due to the birth of a child. 

India defeated Australia 2-1 in the end, that too, with an almost second-string team

IND Vs ENGLAND IN INDIA

After the high of Australia, India still had to win at least two games against England to qualify for the WTC Finals but the start was not good as India lost the first of the four test matches at Chennai. However, as is wont  India made a strong comeback as they finished the series 3-1. With the series win, India not only qualified for the finals but also topped the points table with the highest percentage of points earned  – 72.2, the criteria for qualifying.     

NEW ZEALAND’s ROAD TO WTC FINAL 2021

After a rough start to life in the World Test Championship, New Zealand have become the first team to qualify for this year’s final in June.

NEWZEALAND TOUR OF SRILANKA

New Zealand’s road to the World Test Championship final got off to a rocky start in Sri Lanka. Playing in Galle, New Zealand slumped to a six-wicket defeat as captain Kane Williamson registered the rarest of ducks.  Though in the first innings both teams were in equal footing, in the second innings Srilanka prevailed over the Kiwis as the Srilankan Captain D. Karunaratne scored a brilliant century while chasing.  

But  Kiwis fought back brilliantly in the second Test  at Colombo inflicting a humiliating innings defeat and the Kiwis  did not leave the subcontinent empty-handed. Off the back of centuries from Tom Latham (154) and BJ Watling (104 not out), the Kiwis stormed home to an innings and 65 run win, levelling the two-Test series 1-1.

That saw Williamson’s side head home with 60 points in the WTC or – as would later become key – 50 per cent of the points available to them.

Australia 3 – New Zealand 0, December-January 2019-20

New Zealand’s hopes of making the WTC final were  dented severely   during the horror tour of Australia.

They crossed the Tasman with mounting expectations but were drubbed mercilessly by the Aussies  3-0 in the end.

In fairness to the Black Caps, they ran into an Australian team in ominous form. Marnus Labuschagne averaged 91.50 and scored two centuries including a double. David Warner and Travis Head each scored centuries of their own, and with the ball Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins all averaged less than 20.

At the end of the series, New Zealand still had only 60 points, 25 percent of what was available to them.

New Zealand 2 – India 0, February 2020

Then the Kiwis had fantastic home series against all major countries in 2020 and a slew of victories came in their way in home conditions. 

India had a dreadful series in New Zealand as they were beaten blue by the marauding Kiwis by 2-0.

New Zealand did not have to wait too much longer for more points though, beating Virat Kohli’s India 2-0 at home. That is two of the three losses India have suffered so far in the WTC.

In spite of their handsome victories at home against S.A. and Bangladesh,  India quickly found themselves on the backfoot against New Zealand, suffering a 10-wicket loss at Wellington where they failed to pass 200 in either innings. Southee (4/49) and debutant Kyle Jamieson (4/39) shared eight wickets in India’s first innings and the veteran helped himself to 5/69 in the second innings to leave New Zealand needing to chase just nine runs to win.

Jamieson backed up his fine debut with a five-wicket haul in the second Test (5/45) and by the match’s fourth innings, New Zealand were chasing a potentially tricky target of 132. A 103-run opening stand between Latham (52) and Blundell (55) ensured they got the job done with a minimum of fuss.

New Zealand finished the series with 180 points, 50 percent of what was available to them at that point.

New Zealand 2 – West Indies 0, December 2020

It was another 10 months before New Zealand played another match in the WTC, with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the cricket calendar.

With several series needing to be postponed throughout 2020, the ICC announced in November that the WTC finalists would be determined through percentage of points earned rather than total points.

At this stage, New Zealand sat fourth on percentage points (50), behind England (60.83), India (75) and Australia (82.22).

Having made up ground with their 2-0 win over India in February, New Zealand resumed their march to the final by beating the West Indies 2-0 at home.

Captain Williamson led the way in the series opener, scoring a momentous 251 at Hamilton, walking off to a standing ovation from the crowd and handshakes from most of the West Indies line-up. That proved the backbone of New Zealand’s total of 519/7 and an eventual innings and 134 run win.

Williamson sat out the second Test for the birth of his first child, but New Zealand found a way to get the job done without him.

Henry Nicholls stepped up with a big century (174) to help New Zealand to a total of 460, and five-wicket hauls from Southee (5/32) and Jamieson (5/34) in the first innings paved the way for an innings and 12 run victory.

For the third straight series New Zealand picked up all 120 points up for grabs, taking their percentage up 62.5 per cent.

New Zealand 2 – Pakistan 0, December-January 2020-21

New Zealand continued their winning streak when Pakistan toured, registering yet another 2-0 series win.

Returning from the birth of his child, Williamson was at the heart of his team’s success against the touring Pakistan outfit.

The captain started the series with a century (129) to set up a 101-run win at Mount Maunganui, and he took things a step further with a double-century (238) in the second Test, making it three hundreds in his past three matches.

Incredibly, he was still outshone in the second Test, with young quick Jamieson taking 11 wickets for the match (5/69, 6/48) to be named player of the match in an innings and 176 run win.

The 120 points collected took New Zealand’s haul to 420 and crucially their percentage of available points up to 70.

It also saw New Zealand rise to the top of the ICC Test Rankings.