The new season

It has been a long time since we saw the men in blue in action. Last time when we saw them, they travelled to Durban to lose a meaningless t20 by the reportedly out-dated and debatable D/L method. Before that we were crushed out of the asia cup by the highly spirited Bangladesh. After the extravagant  IPL , here comes the new season as the men in blue travel to the island beneath. Though it’s a often repeating fixture it gives us the much needed enthusiasm as we get to see some international action. The absence of Indian cricket forced the cricket worshipping Indians towards the EUROs and Wimbledon and now we are back preparing for the long season including the big fishes-England and Australia in the latter stages.

Just before the start of the series, the outrage thirsty social media were hugely boosted by Sehwag, Sachin and few more issues. The sultan of Multan was reportedly misquoted as the papers claimed him saying World cup win was a result of team work and not a Dhoni show (What’s wrong?!). However, Viru refused and actually accused the media for the ploy through his official twitter account. Coming by this quotes(yes, misquotes) and the ‘rift theory’ that emerged from the tour down under we can certainly be sure of the team issues. Anyway both Viru and MSD will be prepared to share the dressing room once again by now.

Leaving team rift behind, there were usual selection outrages and questions. Why no Sachin? Why Vinay and why not Irfan/PK? Sachin’s commitment (oh dear?!) was raised by few wise journos yet again. The author from wisdenindia.com brings you to a state of dilemma as he has few(very few indeed) genuine questions for Sachin to answer. And the rest looks ‘glory seeking’. Though the limelight was with the master blaster Vinay kumar’s inclusion reminds oneself the funny Amarnath quotes on selectors.

Regarding Irfan Pathan- After a successful domestic season, when the belief in him was restored it needed to be prolonged given his early burst and a much improved line/length after his injury spell. With next world cup in NZ/Australia Irfan could be the answer for Dhoni’s search of medium pacer/allrounder.

So what could be the best eleven?

For the start, you can never think beyond Viru, Gautam and The new vice-captain for the first three slots. Rahane with a great IPL season in his belt can only hope for some injuries for the top three. Then comes a debate. Rohit or Manoj Tiwary? . The former being more talented will surely get his chance but his horrible inconsistency will be his first enemy. Should Rohit fail once again Selectors have a huge job ahead of them. So make or break season this for Rohit. Then comes the captain into the crease with the tag of ‘one of the best finishers of limited overs game’. Yuvraj’s absence is nothing more than a blessing for both Raina and Pathan as one of them should have given the way for the most valuable player of the world cup. Regarding the main four bowlers- Ashwin, Zaheer and Umesh should easily get nod. With Sri Lanka offering slow pitches India will go with Ojha rather than Dinda who had a great(really great!) domestic season. The eleven should look like,

1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Gautam Gambhir, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Irfan Pathan, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Zaheer Khan, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Pragyan Ojha

EURO2012:A REVIEW by Anand.S

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IT WAS OVER AND IT WAS SPAIN AGAIN. FAVOURITES. DEFENDING CHAMPIONS. AND THEY LIVED UP TO IT. ITALY, SURPRISE FINALISTS GAVE IT ALL, BUT SPAIN WERE TOO HOT TO HANDLE IN THE NIGHT OF THE FINAL.  NOT ONE OF THE BEST TOURNAMENTS, BUT HAD SOME REALLY GREAT, AMAZING MOMENTS. IN THE END, ITALY CAME ALL THE WAY ‘FOUR’ NOTHING ! !

TOPS:

ANDREA PIRLO(ITALY):

pass master. Orchestrated the Italy mid . italy’s xavi! 95% pass accuracy says it all. Continued from where he left off for juventus winning the Italian league. Massive impact in Italy reaching the finals. A class act !

IKER CASILLAS(SPAIN):

Concede only 1 goal in the entire tournament. A true leader. Italy could have got back into the final had it not been some really good stops from the real Madrid man. Most international victories than any other player.

CRISTIANO RONALDO(PORTUGAL):

He didn’t step up to take a penalty, they said. He was wasteful in the semi, they said. But he was the man who took them there, they never said. ‘Cristiano’  for the first time stepped up to the occasion in international stage. Had a horror outing against Denmark but was unplayable against Netherlands and Czech republic.

ANDRES INIESTA(SPAIN):

Golden player of the tournament as selected by UEFA. Hardly gives the ball away. Can play in numerous positions. Has a great partnership with his club compatriot xavi. He is unplayable, any day. A valuable asset to Barcelona and spain. Was given 5 out of 5 ratings for the final by a famous football site.

MATS HUMMELS(GERMANY):

Great tournament for the young man. Defended brilliantly whole tournament. One of the best german players in the group stages. Wasn’t sure of starting when entering the tournament, but was given an opportunity by his coach and he repayed him.

FLOPS:

NETHERLANDS:

The dutch were one of the favourites heading into the tournament, but never really got going. The egos between top class players didn’t help it either. Didn’t even pick up a single point in the tournament. Poor.

KARIM BENZEMA(FRANCE):

Huge expectations from the French on their no.10. but was poor throughout the entire tournament. Didn’t score a single goal and if he had played well, maybe france would have gone far in the tournament. But, showed signs that we would see a better benzema in 2014 world cup.

JAMES MILNER(ENGLAND):

Milner started every game for England but didn’t repay the faith shown in him by his manager. Was often wasteful in passing and never really got behind any defender on his RM position as he was most of the times defending, behind RB Johnson.

ROBIN VAN PERSIE(NETHERLANDS):

The man who won the golden boot in epl. 1 goal in 3 matches. Wayward finishing. Had he taken his chances, holland would have gone to the knockouts. After the euros, MR. arsenal said he is going to leave arsenal.

LUKAS PODOLSKI(GERMANY):

Scored on his 100th cap for Germany. But the new arsenal signing didn’t live up to the expectations. Was ‘rested’ for the last group match and substituted at half time in the semis. Disappointing.

THE  BEST XI

CASILLAS(SPAIN)

COENTRAO(PORTUGAL)   RAMOS(SPAIN)     PEPE(PORTUGAL)     ALBA(SPAIN)

DE ROSSI(ITALY)

PIRLO(ITALY)    INIESTA(SPAIN)

BALOTELLI(ITALY)    FABREGAS(SPAIN)    RONALDO(PORTUGAL)

THE FLOP XI

SZCZESNY(POLAND)

VANDERWIEL(NETHERLANDS)  RAMI(FRANCE)  DUNNE(IRELAND)    WILLEMS(NETHERLANDS)

VAN BOMMEL(NETHERLANDS)

MILNER(ENGLAND)   YOUNG(ENGLAND)      PODOLSKI(GERMANY)

VAN PERSIE(NETHERLANDS)   BENZEMA (FRANCE)


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