Preamble on the Spirit of Cricket"Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its Laws but also within the Spirit of the Game. Any action which is seen to abuse this Spirit causes injury to the game itself."
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Indian Cricket News April 2005
Coaching India was humbling: Wright
"I have given everything... If I look at myself in the mirror at night, I can say I have given it my best," Wright said in an interview published in the latest issue of The Week magazine.
The New Zealander singled out the win against Australia during the home series in 2001 as the high point of his stint as coach, saying he would be lucky to see anything like that happening again.Wright also conceded that he was at odds with Indian captain Sourav Ganguly sometimes, but it all was aimed at making the latter a better captain. "Sourav and I are great friends. We are a odd couple sometimes. He is the captain and my job is to make him a better captain, and hopefully that is what we have worked towards," Wright said.
Wright said captaining India was a tough job but both he and Ganguly were fortunate that they had the likes of Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble who had been tremendously supportive.
'Sachin will never be the same again' Discuss Sachin
"When you are 21, you are the best, with a perfect sight and good hand-eye co-ordination," the former West Indian captain told reporters here. "At 26, you get a lot wiser. Tendulkar is now a very mature player. "He is now more into a fortifying role and not flamboyant. But you must respect that he has grown older. "He cannot always fulfil the things that are expected of him. "He may be looking to play the way he started his career, but that is not always possible." Tendulkar, one of modern cricket's most prolific batsmen, enjoyed mixed success in the recent home contests against Pakistan.
Needing one more Test century to break compatriot Sunil Gavaskar's world record tally of 34, Tendulkar hit three half-centuries in five innings but could not prevent Pakistan from gaining a series-levelling win in the third and final Test at Bangalore.
In the six-match one-day series, which Pakistan won 4-2, Tendulkar had scores of four, two, six, 123, one and nine. The Bombay batsman is the fourth-highest scorer in Test cricket with 10,134 runs, behind Steve Waugh and Allan Border and Brian Lara.
Tendulkar remains the most successful one-day batsman with 13,642 runs and 38 centuries.
"If Tendulkar left cricket right now, he will still be a legend," Richards added.
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Pakistan complete series in style; IND 2-4 Discuss ODIs
Shoaib Malik (72) Inzamam-ul-Haq (68) and Yousuf Youhana (50) were the main scorers in a total of 303-8.
India's innings was interrupted for 15 minutes when bottles were thrown onto the outfield with the score 94-6 and they were eventually all out for 144. It was their heaviest one-day defeat by their arch-rivals, surpassing a 143-run loss in Jaipur in 1999. The game began just as Friday's encounter at Kanpur had ended with Shahid Afridi taking the attack to India's bowlers. After failing to score off the first ball he faced, Afridi followed that with 4-4-4-6-4 from the next five as Ashish Nehra's opening over cost India 22.
Pak-India series decider in New Delhi today Discuss ODIs
The match will be watched by Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the middle of tight security conditions as the ground will be virtually surrounded by security forces, Indian law enforcement agencies and rangers. According to the curator of the pitch, the pitch is a batting paradise and will do a bit in the first session.
The last time a match was held in March 2002 on January 31 between India and England. England won the nail-bitter by 2 runs. Pakistan will be playing their first match in this ground. As the record suggests India has 50-50 record winning 5 and loosing 5 in ten completed games. According to the Indian newspaper, "The Telegraph", Indians are making two changes in the XI which got pummelled by Afridi in Kanpur: Ajit Agarkar replacing Lakshmipathy Balaji and Ashish Nehra coming back either for Anil Kumble or Harbhajan Singh. The attack, therefore, is going to have a 3-1 look with Zaheer Khan being the third mediumpacer.
As for Pakistan, indications are they will retain the Kanpur XI as Mohammed Sami hasnt recovered from his injury. Right now, he cant be risked, informed the paper.
Inzamam expresses 'hope' of winning; Dravid 'confident' of winning Discuss ODIs
Its good to see the way weve fought back. Even in the Test series, we came from behind to draw level. The players are confident after winning three consecutive one-dayers.
Pakistan were trailing 1-0 in the three-Test series before bouncing back to win the third and final match at Bangalore to level the series. When we came here we were written off, but I am happy we have been able to fight back, said Inzamam. Inzamam is confident the spirit shown by his players on the tour would lead to a series victory. This tour was very important ... The main thing on this tour is the way we have fought back. That is why we are in this position. Inzamam said leg spinner Danish Kaneria, who took 19 scalps in the tests, and paceman Naved Ranas 14 wickets so far in the one-dayers had provided depth to the bowling.
We lost the last match because of Afridis remarkable knock. That made all the difference. One cannot do anything if somebody bats like Afridi did yesterday, said Dravid. The India skipper, who top scored for India with 86 in Kanpur, said he did not believe his team was under pressure even after losing three successive matches. Its disappointing to lose three matches in a row, but weve played some good cricket in the series. We now need to have just one good day on the field. We have the potential to level the series, said Dravid. He said the team was motivated to win the crucial game, which is also John Wrights last as India coach.
There is always motivation to win whether it is somebodys last match or not. John has been with the team for close to five years. It has been an eventful journey, he said.
We have valued his contribution. He will be missed not only as a coach but also as a friend.
Awesome Afridi pummels India into submission; IND 2-3
The 25-year-old opening batsman, who also holds the record for the fastest one-day hundred (37 deliveries), equalled West Indian Brian Lara's 45-ball effort against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 1999.
Afridi struck a 46-ball 102, all but eight runs coming in boundaries, as Pakistan made 252 for five in 42.1 overs in reply to India's 249 for six.
It was Pakistan's third successive victory after losing the first two matches. Earlier Naved-ul-Hasan's accurate opening burst rattled the Indian top order as they limped to 38 for 3 at the ten-over mark. Apart from the relentessly disciplined length that Naved maintained, the batsmen also had to contend with a pitch with variable bounce as the batsmen struggled, edged and finally fell. India made 249-6 and Naved-ul-Hasan ended up taking 3-35. Captain Rahul Dravid hit 86 while Mohammad Kaif gave the innings a boost with 78 off just 88 deliveries.
India made three changes from the team beaten in Ahmedabad. Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble and Dinesh Mongia all came into the side as Sourav Ganguly, Ashish Nehra and Murali Kartik made way. Though Ganguly's six-match ban is suspended following his appeal, the selectors asked him not to fly from Calcutta to Kanpur and the side was instead led by Dravid, who won the toss.
And now BCCI asks Ganguly not to play fifth ODI !!
Since less than 24 hours remain for the start of the Kanpur match, the board felt it is extremely important for the players to concentrate and focus on the match so that they could bring out the best performance, the boards secretary Karunakaran Nair said in a statement. In view of this, the board has decided to continue with the selected team for the Kanpur match, he said. This position was duly explained to Ganguly and he appreciated the boards decision.
While Media speculates on his career, Ganguly might be back in action as early as April 15th!
Ganguly, 32, headed home yesterday pondering his future, as the ban follows some dismal batting form that had prompted booing from India's cricket-mad fans at several venues during the current home series against Pakistan. Replaced by vice captain Rahul Dravid , Ganguly is just 33 runs short of becoming only the world's third batsman to score 10,000 runs in limited-overs internationals after team-mate Sachin Tendulkar and Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq.
"Things could not have panned out better for Ganguly and the national selectors,'' said The Times of India in a front-page report yesterday with the blaring headline "ICC forces Sourav to cool his heels.''
A six-match ban at this stage could mean the end of the road for Ganguly'', said The Hindustan Times newspaper. The newspaper said the ICC ban saved Ganguly and the national selectors a difficult decision.Meanwhile, Ganguly has appealed against the six-match ban imposed on him. A media release confirmed that the ICC had received formal notice of the appeal late afternoon London time. This means that Ganguly is eligible to play India's fifth one-dayer against Pakistan at Kanpur on April 15. Under the code of conduct the ICC will appoint a commissioner to adjudicate the appeal within 48 hours. After this commissioner is appointed, and hears from the relevant parties (including Chris Broad, the match referee who imposed the ban) he has seven days to reach his verdict. The appeals commissioner has the power to increase or decrease the penalty as he sees fit. Besides the ban, Ganguly, as skipper, was fined 30 per cent of his match fee and the other players were penalised 15 per cent.
Dravid captain; Kumble, Sriram back in Indian side
The Chennai southpaw picked 29 wickets on the India under-19 tour of South Africa in 1992-93 before leading the team against Australia in 1994-95. A reliable number three batsman, he has opened for his state and is ready to fit into the Indian side at any position. He was also the first winner of the Gavaskar Border Scholarship in 2000 to the Australian Institute of Sports. Indian Team for the last two matches: Rahul Dravid (Captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag , M S Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif, Dinesh Mongia, S Sriram, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik, Ashish Nehra, L Balaji, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar.
Ganguly slapped six-match ban, Dravid to captain India
In Ganguly's absence, Vice Captain Rahul Dravid would now lead the side while swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag has been made Vice Captain, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Joint Secretary Gautam Dasgupta said here today.
India took 236 minutes to bowl 48 overs against Pakistan, exceeding the allocated time limit by 26 minutes. "No excuse was offered by the captain," said Match referee Chris Broad. Ganguly, who has been under fire for poor batting form, was penalised 70% of his match fee for the same offence in last week's third one-day international.
Pakistan ties series after marvellous run chase; IND 2-2
No change in batting order, says Ganguly; Pitch to favor team batting first!
He has made just 61 runs in eight innings 48 in five in the Test matches, and 13 in the first three one-dayers on Pakistans current tour of India.
When you dont score, there is bound to be criticism, he acknowledged. But I cant deny the fact that I have also got support from the media. As captain, I have a responsibility to score runs. I have been a success before, there is no reason why I cant do it again. The important thing is how quickly I can come out of this slump. The Sardar Patel Gujarat stadium is as good a place as any for him to shed his lean trot. In late 2000, he had made a sparkling 144 against Zimbabwe, the highest individual score at this ground. Not only that hundred, I have got two Test centuries here too, he said. I have good memories of playing here, I hope it turns out lucky for me again tomorrow. Ruling out a change in the opening combine here, Ganguly added, I wont be opening, not in this game. We will stick with Sachin and Sehwag for here. I dont foresee any changes in the batting order. With a lush green out-field, the pitch is a batsman's paradise that has witnessed many exciting matches after acquiring the status of an international stadium in 1986. Needless to say then, the pitch is batsmen friendly. An average inning score in 18 innings played here in nine matches, which also includes matches played by other teams, is 224 runs. The average of 1st innings, team batting first, stands at 237 runs. Results of all the One-Day International matches played here indicate the team batting first went on to win the tie. Concentrating on the seven matches India has played at Motera, the host lost two matches as the team succumbed while chasing the target set by the opposition.
SC permits Kotla to host sixth one day
Putting aside its earlier contentions with the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) over the safety issue, MCD stressed before the court that the stadium was safe to host the match.The stadium, which DDCA President Arun Jaitely once said would be having five star facilities, will accommodate Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistans President Pervez Musharraf along with 30,000 spectators during the match.
India yet to win a major home series since 2000
We played bad cricket, says India skipper Raj
An unbeaten 107 by player-of-the-final Karen Rolton set up Australia for their fifth title in eight tournaments as Belinda Clark's team joined their male counterparts as world champions. Australia scored 215 for four in their 50 overs and bowled India out for 117 for a comfortable victory.
Rolton joined England's Enid Bakewell as the only other batswoman to hit a century in a women's World Cup final. Bakewell's 118 was achieved against Australia in the first final in 1973. "We just played bad cricket on Sunday," said Raj. "We had four run-outs, there were lapses in fielding and bad bowling in the later stages. "Australia played good cricket and they deserved to win."
India coach Sudha Shah was equally scathing. "It was very bad display. Our top-order batting just caved in," said Shah. "They just didn't apply themselves properly while chasing and they just put themselves under pressure unnecessarily. As a result there were four run-outs.
Anju Jain top scored for India, making 29 as the top order struggled against the tight Australian bowling which saw the Indians collapse to 64 for six wickets and lose four players through run-outs.As the Indian tail folded, the Australian women tied up the match to emulate their male compatriots who crushed India by 125 runs in the men's World Cup final in South Africa in 2003.
Australia lift Women's World Cup; India runners-up World Cup Finals
Four run outs wrecked India's hopes and Cathryn Fitzpatrick picked up two late wickets as they were all out for 117. Women's World Cup final, Supersport Park, Centurion: Australia 215-4 (50 overs) beat India 117 (46 overs) by 98 runs Details
Inzamam looks forward to level ODI series; Ganguly fined match fee
A fighting 64 by Irfan Pathan, for his maiden one-day half- century, was India's only consolation, apart from 28 from vice captain Rahul Dravid and 32 from Mohammed Kaif as the Pakistani pace battery scalped wickets one after the other. Indian wicket keeper Dhoni, who scored a match-winning 148 in the second one-dayer, hit out in front of his home crowd but was caught slogging at Naved. "No it's not about a lot of pressure, because Veeru has been scoring runs regularly. Our middle order had not got much of a chance. This is the first time that they got a chance. Its' not a big deal and we will make a strong comeback in the forthcoming matches," said Dhoni. Meanwhile Indian captain Sourav Ganguly's woes continued with the ICC fining him his entire match fee for his side's slow over rate in the third one-day international against Pakistan in Jamshedpur.
Ganguly was ordered to appear before an ICC hearing following the match in which his bowlers took almost 30 minutes longer to complete their 50 overs than the allotted three-and-half hours. "We have learnt he has been fined his full match fee. We have to wait for a formal announcement from the ICC," an Indian cricket official told Reuters.It is the second time in six months that Ganguly has had to front an ICC hearing over his side's slow over rate.
Naved-ul-Hasan wrecks India; IND 2-1
Irfan Pathan's spirited 64, his first one-day international fifty, was the only real resistance as the visitors cut their deficit to 2-1 in the series.
Naved removed Virender Sehwag (2), Sourav Ganguly (4), Mahendra Dhoni (28) and Yuvraj Singh (1) to reduce India to 82-6 in reply to 319-9, Salman Butt hitting 101.
Naved returned to claim the final two wickets as India slumped to defeat. He first burst onto international scene with his one-day debut against Sri Lanka at Sharjah immediately after the World Cup when Pakistan dropped eight players after the first round exit. Pakistan 319 for 9 (Butt 101, Malik 75, Nehra 3/57) beat India 213 all out in 41.4 overs (Pathan 64, Kaif 32, Naved 6/27) by 106 runs.
Pakistan look to keep hopes alive : Third ODI today
Younis is likely to replace Mohammad Hafeez, while paceman Iftikhar Rao and spinner Danish Kaneria could come in for Mohammad Sami and Arshad Khan. Pakistan unsuccessfully chased big targets in Cochin and Vishakapatnam and batting first could be the key to winning at the Keenan Stadium, with hot weather forecast.
India are without paceman Lakshmipathy Balaji, who has a side strain.
The tourists have a good record in the eastern city, having won the last two one-dayers between the teams. India (from): Sourav Ganguly (Captain), Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar , Dinesh Mongia, Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Dhoni (Wicket Keeper), Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra. Pakistan (from): Inzamam-ul-Haq (Captain), Salman Butt, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan, Yousuf Youhana, Mohammed Hafeez, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal (Wicket Keeper), Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammed Sami, Iftikhar Rao, Shahid Nazir, Arshad Khan, Danish Kaneria.
'Azhar admitted to taking Rs 10 lakh': Outlook; Azhar denies
The newsmagazine claimed that a fax copy of the note, written at the height of the fixing controversy, is a recollection of what transpired during Azhar's eight-hour grilling by the CBI. It was among the documents recovered during an income tax raid on a Mumbai home in 2000, the magazine claimed.
The magazine claims that Azharuddin's note also said, "I told the CBI that I took Rs 10 lakh for providing information in three games." He identified the matches as the Titan Cup tie against South Africa in Rajkot in 1996, a match against Sri Lanka in 1997 and a One-Dayer against Pakistan in Jaipur in 1999. When contacted in Hyderabad, Azharuddin, who is serving a life-ban for his role in the match-fixing episode and now fighting it in court, told Outlook, "What can I say. I can't remember these things."
The report will appear in the Outlook issue dated April 18, which will hit the stands on Saturday (April 9). The note also took potshots at Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and a certain Sachin. In Picture: Inzamam and other Pakistani players trying out the equipments in Azhar's Gym. Also in the picture is Sangeetha Bijlani.
India upset holders in Women's World Semi; to meet Aussies in Final
Rachel Pullar took 4-39 for the Kiwis but India reached 204-6 thanks to Raj's 91 not out, which included nine fours.
New Zealand slumped to 37-4 in reply and although Maria Fahey battled to an unbeaten 73, they were all out for 164. Women's World Cup semi-final, Potchefstroom: India 204-6 (50 overs) beat New Zealand 164 (43.3 overs) by 40 runs
Kumble all-time great, Sehwag most exciting, Sachin gone cold!
Although the annual named Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne as the best cricketer of 2004, it pointed out that Kumble stood out by grabbing more wickets - four more than his Aussie rival - "and no one could claim he had not earned them".
"Not even his glittering team-mates could hack the pace. There were times when Sehwag appeared to be playing in a bubble, apparently oblivious of the quality of the bowling or the context of the match," said the book.
Shane Warne was named International Player of the Year while Michael Vaughan's England made a slice of history by capturing all Five Cricketers of the Year accolade. How the Indians fared in 2004:
12 Tests: 946 runs @ 63.06
31 ODI (22 as wicket-keeper): 1,025 runs @ 39.42; 22 catches as keeper, 3 stumpings.
12 Tests: 1,141 runs @ 63.38; no wicket for 82
27 ODI: 671 runs @ 25.80; 15 wickets @ 38.86.
10 Tests: 915 runs @ 91.50; 5 wickets @ 55.20
21 ODI: 812 runs @ 40.60; 19 wickets @ 24.26.
12 Tests: 513 runs @ 32.06
25 ODI: 837 runs @ 41.85.
12 Tests: 142 runs @ 12.90; 74 wickets @ 24.83
13 ODI: 26 runs @ 8.66; 8 wickets @ 68.87.
7 Tests: 155 runs @ 17.22; 38 wickets @ 25.68
11 ODI: 62 runs @ 20.66; 13 wickets @ 32.00.
Agarkar added to Indian squad; Balaji out!
Agarkar, whose last one-day appearance was against Bangladesh at Dhaka in December, has taken 203 wickets in 134 matches. India leads the series 2-0 with the remaining matches to be played in Jamshedpur (April 9), Ahmedabad (April 12), Kanpur (April 15) and New Delhi (April 17).
Pakistanis insured for $445,000 in Gujarat Discuss ODIs
India and Pakistan will play the one-dayer on April 12 in Ahmedabad, the commercial capital of Gujarat state where at least 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, were hacked, burnt or shot to death in 2002 following the death of 59 Hindus in a train carriage fire blamed by state authorities on a Muslim mob.
Gujarat Cricket Association president Narhari Amin said each of the 16 Pakistan cricketers and support staff will be insured for $22,000 for the two-day duration of their stay in Ahmedabad. "This insurance is to safeguard us against any eventuality," said Amin, adding this was the first time cricketers were being insured for security reasons. Some 15,000 police and security personnel will be on hand to guard the cricketers at the hotel and the 47,000-capacity Gujarat stadium where the match will be played, Amin said.Footnote: By getting the BCCI to change the Test venue, the Pakistanis not only distorted Gujarat's image worldwide, but managed to obtain a silent apology and confession of sorts from the Indian Government. By insuring the visiting Muslim players, they have played right into the Pakistani hands and have proved to all beyond doubt that the Indians accept the fact that India is not safe for Muslims. Are there no self-respecting Indians alive in India? What is next?!
Cricketers learn to cope with intense heat ahead of 2nd ODI today Discuss ODIs
In Cochin, the mercury touched 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit) during the series-opening match and the relative humidity was measured at 65 percent. But the temperature had shot up to 37 degrees Celsius and the relative humidity stood at 70 percent when the teams took to the nets for practice early Monday in Visakhapatnam on Indias eastern coast. "Playing in these conditions is very tough. April in India is always like this," said vice captain Rahul Dravid , reflecting the views of players on both teams. "Its a matter of how we cope with the conditions. Youve got to manage your time and recover well, on and off the field," said Dravid, who batted for 47 overs to score a composed century in the first one-dayer, but stayed in the dressing room when India came out to field. He did not field at all at Cochin. "One has to leave enough in the tank for the next match, and whoever manages it better will win the series," he said. Pakistans vice captain, Younis Khan, said his team was also testing ways to avoid heat exhaustion. "During non-match days, were trying to reduce the heat-related problems through shorter training sessions," said Khan, who missed the first one-dayer due to viral influenza. Dravid added India would stick to the batting order with out-of-form skipper Sourav Ganguly at No.3. "Its a challenge for any team to carry along players who are out of form, and still manage the same result," said Dravid. "Im sure Ganguly will get runs sooner or later."
Visakhapatnam gears up to host 2nd ODI; Teams arrive Discuss ODIs
Police had made elaborate security arrangements as policemen stood throughout the 12-km from the airport to the hotel. Meanwhile, Groundsmen under the supervision of the curator are working overtime to give finishing touches to the pitch and the outfield.
Women merge with ICC Discuss IWCC
Timmer, the former IWCC vice-president, hailed the move as "a very big step forward for women's cricket globally". "Now we can use all the 94 ICC members in the development programme." Timmer paid tribute to the level of organisation at the eighth Women's World Cup.
But the former Netherlands manager fears a gulf is opening between semi-finalists Australia, New Zealand, India and England and the rest. India progressed to the last four after beating West Indies. Details.
Lanka visit postponed indefinitely Discuss Srilanka
It maybe recalled that the Sports Ministry of Sri Lanka has suspended SLC for alleged financial irregularities besides allowing Thilanga Sumathipala, former cricket chief who has been accused of corruption, to attend an ICC Executive Board meeting in New Delhi last month.
Kolkata rallies behind Sourav Ganguly Discuss Sourav
No one denies Sourav's batting has hit rock bottom. Again, of the three top captains, Sourav's average is the lowest 37 against Azhar's 43 and Gavaskar's 50. The last Test series, 48 runs in 5 innings, is his worst ever.
But the question on the lips of 'non-calcuttans' is whether the records say the whole truth? Who needs a captain when half of the team play like world beaters? Sehwag and Dravid's batting pulled India thru the three tests and the first one day. The tail enders gave ample support. How much did the capatincy mattered? But in the one test India lost, it was Sourav's defensive approach that made the difference.
Discuss Sourav Ganguly's captaincy
Inzy applies for Indian Citizenship Discuss Inzy
"Inzy's surprise decision comes just days after a West Bengal family claimed that the Sultan of Multan was their descendent and were even prepared to hand over to him his 'rightful share of the ancestral property'." So ran the article in HT (Tabloid), causing a flurry of activity on message boards all over the cricketing world."There has been a mixed response to the news in Pakistan - from stunned silence to studied optimism.".
"Inzamam will, in all probability, settle in Kolkata... As part of his Indian inheritance, Inzamam will receive a mansion located on the outskirts of Kolkata and 700 hectares of irrigated land near Someshpur town where Ashadul's family lives." continued the April 1st article, with a warning "All Fool's Day!"
He atoned for his second ball dismissal earlier in the game by removing Abdul Razzaq, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Hafeez. Pakistan were finally all out for 194 in reply to India's 281-8.
Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid were the batting stars for the home side as they made 108 and 104 respectively.First one-day international, Cochin: India 281-8 (50 overs) beat Pakistan 194 (45.2 overs) by 87 runs
To strengthen the Pakistan team, the PCB selectors have sent pacer Rao Iftikhar, Shahid Nazir and all rounder Mohammad Hafeez for withdrawn Yaseer Hamid, Toufiq Umar and Mohammad Khalil. Shoaib Malik who was touring with Pakistan second string has also joined the side. However, the doors of return to the team have been closed for fast bowler Shoaib Akhter for discipline reason.
But there is a sad news for the Pakistani supporters that in form batsman Younis Khan who was in great form in the Test series aggregating 508 runs with an average of 101.60 is a doubtful starter as he has been suffering from fever. A sell-out crowd of 75,000 is expected to watch the match. "We were sold out days ago. It will be a packed house," said Karunakaran Nair, Secretary of the Indian Cricket Board and a key official of local Kerala (Cricket) Association. There will be flat wicket, not ideal for fast bowlers. For this, both the teams may switch over to more spinners. Indian captain Sourav Ganguly said, "Pakistan may have drawn the Test series with exceptional cricket, but the one-dayers are a different ball game and we are confident of doing well. We have happy memories of this ground after beating Australia and South Africa here in the past." On his captaincy, Sourav said, "That (captaincy) is for the selectors to decide. I have been around (as captain) for quite a long time. I have nothing to prove to anybody."The Pakistan captain Inzamam Ul-Haq said his team was high on morale after the brilliant Test victory in Bangalore, but warned them against complacency. "We cannot carry our win in Bangalore to Cochin. It is a new game and we (have to) start from the beginning,' said he. The Indian selectors have slashed spinner Anil Kumble, middle order batsman V.Laxman, opener Gambhir and wicket keeper Dinesh Karthic from the team for Yuvaraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Ashish Nehra and Mahender Dhoni. The batting strength of India is supposed to be the best in the world after Australia. They have qualities to face any kind of bowler for runs. The bowling power is also praiseworthy, consisting of Irfan Pathan, L.Balaji, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Murali Kartik. To the contrary, Pakistan are comparatively a weak side in all the three faculties of the game. The Pakistani batsmen often lose concentration on the pitch; the bowlers fail to keep the line and length of the ball and the fielders miss the easy catches even. The most trusted batsman is Izamam-ul-Haq. Others may or may not make runs. None of the bowlers is fearsome as were Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.
Stage set for first one-dayer in Kochi
''The wicket will be a purely batting track as is the practice in any one day match around the world," observed the curator of the pitch, veteran G. Kasturi Rangan.
Meanwhile, the government has announced a holiday for Kochi on the game day. The port city is brimming with activity and law and order machinery is working overtime. Five Team India players Rahul Dravid , Irfan Pathan, Mohammed Kaif, Harbhajan Singh and Lakshmipathy Balaji arrived in the city on Wednesday.
Sourav, India will hit back: Dravid
Pushpa, a professor by vocation, tackles mostly themes that blend man and nature. In a career spanning 40 years, Pushpa Dravid has held over 40 exhibitions in India and abroad, besides winning 14 prestigious awards, including the Karnataka Lalit Kala Akademi award.
On his skippers form, Dravid said: "Sourav has been around for ten years playing lot of cricket. He knows exactly what he needs to do and he is working at it," he said.
The first ODI is scheduled to be held in Kochi on Saturday.
Pakistan warms up with an 8 wicket victory; Malik finally meets his in-laws!
Anil Kumble omitted from Indian team for one-dayers
The 34-year-old Kumble claimed 17 wickets in the three-test series including a face saving 37* in the last innings when the frontline batsmen fell like nine-pins. The series ended in a 1-1 draw on Monday following Pakistan's 168-run victory in the final test in Bangalore.
Batsman Vangipurappu Laxman, wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik and opening batsman Gautam Gambhir were the other test squad members to be left out. India: Saurav Ganguly (Captain), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan, Murali Kartik, Dinesh Mongia, Mahendra Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Ashish Nehra, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Zaheer Khan.
Pakistan make three changes for India one-dayers
Pakistan shames India in ODIs Final with victory of 159 Runs
Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first on Sunday morning, which was proved to be right as Pakistani openers played well, especially, Shahid Afridi once again gave a marvelous performance, blazing 44 runs knock on 23 balls. Even after dismissal of Afridi, Pakistani batsmen batted with responsibility putting massive total of 304 runs on scoreboard for India. In reply, Indian team only managed to score only 144 runs in 27 overs.
It was a disappointing end to John Wright's five-year stint as India coach as his players failed to rise to the occasion in his farewell match. The fixture was watched for more than an hour in the morning by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Rana Naveedul Hassan was proclaimed as Man of the Series for gripping 15 wickets in the ODI series.
- v India A - Hyderabad: Pakistanis won by 8 wickets
- 1st ODI - Cochin: India won by 87 runs
- 2nd ODI - Vishakapatnam: India won by 58 runs
- 3rd ODI - Jamshedpur: Pakistan won by 106 runs
- 4th ODI - Ahmedabad: Pakistan won by 3 wickets
- 5th ODI - Kanpur: Pakistan won by 5 wickets
- 6th ODI - Delhi: Pakistan won by 159 runs