Friday, February 24, 2012

Cricketers must put the country above themselves

What has been a matter of speculation till now is finally out in the open. The Indian cricket team is having to deal with a serious rift between captain M. S. Dhoni and vice-captain Virender Sehwag.

Whether this rift is behind the lacklustre showing of the Indians in Australia, or questions raised over the team's dismal performance have caused things to boil over, is unclear so far. What is certain is that ego tussles between two senior players threaten to mar further the fortunes of the under-performing team.

The potshots that Dhoni and Sehwag have taken at each other at recent press conferences over the rotation policy being followed for senior players were clearly uncalled for. Such issues are best settled within the confines of the dressing room, and the fact that the captain and his deputy chose to wash the dirty linen in public indicates that all is not well with the channels of communication within the team.

Dhoni and Sehwag seem to consider their personal tussle more important than the interests of the team, and the expectations of millions of Indians. It need not be stressed here that their importance stems only because they represent India in the international arena. Realising that they are not larger than the team would help them lend a perspective to the issue bedeviling their ties.

While there is no denying that it is Dhoni's prerogative as captain to choose the eleven that he wants to field, this should not lead to autocratic functioning on his part, especially as regards senior players who have served Indian cricket for long.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sri Lanka sets India 237 to win

Sachin Tendulkar will continue his pursuit of a 100th international century as India chases a victory target of 237 against Sri Lanka in a tri-series limited-overs international.

Sri Lanka recovered from two early setbacks to reach 236-9 in Tuesday’s tri-series match, with No. 4 Dinesh Chandimal run out for 81 after sharing important partnerships of 51 for the third wicket with Kumar Sangakkara (31) and 94 for the fourth with skipper Mahela Jayawardene (43).

Vinay Kumar took a wicket in the last over and returned the best bowling figures of 3-46 for India. Ravichandran Ashwin took 2-30.

Tendulkar was recalled after being rested for Sunday’s four-wicket win over Australia. The leading batsman in cricket hasn’t posted a century since March.

Sri Lanka hasn’t won a match yet in the series and, after winning the toss and electing to bat, didn’t get away to a positive start.

Vinay Kumar had Upul Tharanga caught behind off the second ball and recalled paceman Irfan Pathan had Tillekeratne Dilshan (16) also caught by Mahendra Singh Dhoni as Sri Lanka struggled to 28-2 in the eight over.

Chandimal and Sangakkara set about slowly recovering the innings and took the total to 79 before Sangakkara got a leading edge as he charged at Ashwin in the 20th over and was caught at point.

Chandimal and Jayawardene both made important contributions before falling within seven deliveries as Sri Lanka lost three wickets for 11 runs. Kumar broke the partnership when he trapped Jayawardene lbw as he returned to the attack in the 37th over. The 22-year-old Chandimal stroked six fours and a six before he was run out to make the total 178-5.

Two overs and only six runs later, Ashwin had Thisara Perera (5) caught at deep mid-off attempting to hit out.

Angelo Mathews (17), whose attempted quick single resulted in Chandimal’s dismissal, was run out himself after guiding Sri Lanka to 210—7 in the 47th over. Sachithra Senanayake scored 22 from 14 balls and was unbeaten at the end of the innings.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Ind vs SL: Angelo Mathews strikes as Sachin Tendulkar misses ton again

Sachin Tendulkar, who was playing well and looked destine for 100th ton, was bowled by Angelo Mathews for 48 in the second ODI of the tri-series against Sri Lanka at the WACA in Perth.

The master blaster played a sensible knock of 48 off 63 balls, which included five hits to the fence, before Mathews got better of him in the 19th over.

Tendulkar added valuable 75-run for the second wicket with Virat Kohli to revive India run chase after they lost Virender Sehwag (10) early.

Chasing a modest 234-run target, India lost opener Sehwag in the third over to be reduced to 14/1 in 2.3 overs.

Sehwag started in a typical aggressive style as he hit two fours in his short 8-ball stay on the crease before Kulasekara took a running catch at the third man area off the bowling of Lasith Malinga.

Asked to field first, Ravichandran Ashwin (3-32) and Zaheer Khan (2-44) led a fine bowling display by India as they restricted Sri Lanka to 233/8 on Wednesday.

Ashwin dismissed three crucial Sri Lankan middle-order batsmen as the Islanders failed to increase their tempo in the entire match and set a modest 234-run target for the Indians. Ashwin finished his ten overs spell with impressive figure of 3 for 32 runs.

Zaheer started Indian attack on the right note as he took two early wickets after Sri Lanka decided to bat at the bouncy WACA pitch.


Sunday, February 05, 2012

Yuvraj Singh will receive help from government

Yuvraj Singh, who is undergoing cancer treatment in the United States, has received wishes from Indian Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Sunday.

Maken said the government will help Yuvraj, as the nation prays for his speedy recovery. "Wish Yuvraj a speedy recovery! Asking officials to find the quantum and nature of help required. Government shld & will help him," Maken tweeted last night.

Yuvraj, who played a stellar role in India's ODI World Cup triumph last year, has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy in the US. (Read)

The 30-year-old left-hander has been in US since last month being treated for what was earlier claimed to be a tumour in the lungs by his family. But it has now been diagnosed as malignant and Yuvraj is currently undergoing chemotherapy in the Cancer Research Institute in Boston.

His physiotherapist Dr Jatin Chaudhary, however, assured that the ailment is curable and the batsman would be fit to resume cricket in May.

"It is a rare tumour and is cancerous but it has been detected in stage one itself. Doctors had to decide whether to continue medication or go for chemotherapy but since parts of the tumour are just above the artery of his heart, there was a danger that while running it could burst. But it is 100 per cent curable," Chaudhary said.

"The doctors decided that he would have to undergo chemotherapy and he travelled to the US on January 26. End of March, he would undergo a CT scan and should recover by then. After that it is just some rehabilitation in April before he is fit to be back on the field in May," he added.

"Thankfully no surgery is required, he is already a lot better than what he was and can't wait to be back on the cricket field," he said.

Chaudhary said the detection of cancer was delayed by wrong diagnosis by an Indian hospital.

"His first biopsy report was stolen from his car and the second from a hospital, I don't want to name, did not give the correct diagnosis. It was a Russian doctor who detected the cancer and after consultations with doctors in US, it was decided that Yuvraj would undergo chemotherapy," he said.

"Once he is done with chemo in March, his rehabilitation would be complete by April end and he would be perfectly fit to play in May," he added.

Yuvraj has played 37 Tests, scoring 1775 runs at an average of 34.80.

He has 8051 runs at an average of 37.62 from his 274-match ODI career, the highlight of which was his stellar role in India's World Cup triumph last year.

In 23 Twenty20s, Yuvraj has scored 567 runs at 31.50.