What we learnt from ” India Vs New Zealand ” 2nd Test Match

India 0-1 down in the series were looking set to worsen their record away from home.
Haven’t won a match since 930+ days. So, the pressure to win is very very high.

The Kiwis on the other hand, were on cruise mode with due performances from their seam team.
So, in a nutshell, I’ll describe each day, and then we read, what we learnt from this match.

Day 1:

Brendon Mccullum kept his losing record intact in terms of losing tosses, and India chose to bowl.
A surprising decision, but paid well in the end.
Ishant Sharma repeated his 2nd innings antics in the previous test with a 6 wicket haul again with Shami taking the rest. For the first time Indian seam line up took all 10 wickets in many years.
India batted for the post tea session making a 100/2 with Dhawan cruising for another century.
Advantage – INDIA

Day 2:

India, batted well almost for the entire day, with Dhawan missing out on a century.
The night watchman Ishant made a gutsy 26.
The tailenders contributed well for the team.(Zaheer – 22, Jadeja – 26)
Star of the day is Ajinkya Rahane who scored 118.
New Zealand seam line up got 9 on 10 wickets. not bad eh?
India got a lead of 235, Great..!!
New Zealand end the day on 24/1 trailing by 222 runs.
Advantage – INDIA

Day 3:
Mccullum and Watling rescued the Black caps after they were trailing 94/5
A partnership was forming, which was slowly rescuing them from an innings defeat, to avoiding a follow on, and then giving a decent target.
No good performances from the indians.
The bowlers were worn out.
For a while, Zaheer bowled a spell which was on the stump. Pure class!!
Advantage – 50-50

Day 4:
Mccullum and Watling made a partnership record and batted the entire day.
Phew!! What a record. 350+runs is not what you hear for the 6th wicket.
Then, James Neesham , the debutant scored a century. It’s like, whoever was batting from the home team played India like their toy.
The Bowlers like usual were a failure. it seemed they weren’t into the match and hoped it would all end like a bad dream.
Advantage – New Zealand

Day 5:
Mcculum completes his triple hundred with style thus joining the league of  Sir Donald Bradman and Wally Hammond as the only players to have scored a double century and a triple century in consecutive Tests.
Stupendous achievement!
In that course, he broke Martin Crowe’s long time record since 1991 of scoring the highest runs on this ground (Previous was 299 in the year 1991-92)
The match was declared, and thus India was given a daunting target of 430+
It was obvious nothing could be done!
But, we batted decently with our future star, Virat kohli scoring a consolatory hundred for the visitors.


8 Things we learnt from this match:

1) Brendon Mcculum is the man everyone must thank. he truly played a captain’s knock, didn’t he? He showed everyone how a aggressive batsman can slow down his game to great lengths just for his country.

2) Ishant Sharma is the most unpredictable Indian player ever.

3) Our batting seems to have finally found the swing, not only the top order, but also the tail enders contributing.

4) The Kiwis need more variety in the spin department. Expecting everything from their seamers can backfire anytime.

5) Rohit Sharma needs to find his zing back again, if he wants to cement his place in the team.

6) Our bowling looked like it was getting back to track, but the key to success always remains Consistency.
    We need more of it.

7) Watling and Mcculum need to be given a special praise for their performance. To rescue your team from the losing stage to get them to a decent position is commendable.

8)The men in blue’s next task is England which is 5 months from now which means after 2 months,
India will have a record for not winning an away test for more than 1000 days!!

What we learnt from the FA Cup matches this weekend

I’ll be mentioning the two prime matches,
Manchester city vs Chelsea
Arsenal vs Liverpool

10 Things we learned in Chelsea vs Manchester city match:

1) Chelsea defense was tested with John Terry absent. The defense looked good, but not at their best.

2) Jovetic was surely inspirational and every effort of his was giving hints during the entire match of the impact he will create. He scored a brilliant goal, with another attempt hitting the cross-bar. (Unlucky)

3) Yaya Toure was having a go at whatever ball he got. Unsuccessful though. In the absence of Fernandinho, he has been burdened with extra defensive duties.

4)Samir Nasri is back and this is good news for Man city.

5) Petr Cech has been impressive this season conceding very less goals but that has been the case due to a strong and disciplined defense.

6) Oscar / Lampard were missed, as the need for someone to direct the play from the center was lacking.

7) Kompany was harsh throughout the game but effective.

8) Man City were more aggressive and that’s how they won many duels and the game.

9) Yaya Toure tackled Matic well during the entire match.

10) Not a single decent shot on target, no wonder the blues lost the match and that means, Jose has a lot to ponder upon with this tactical change.

10 Things we learned in Liverpool vs Arsenal  match:

1) The Gunners had the maximum aggression which was effective in the long run for them.

2) Sanago had a decent start with good shots on target leading to the first goal.

3) Liverpool lost possession on regular intervals which meant, Advantage – Arsenal.
    Flamini kept everyone at a good distance from the Penalty area. Experience counts doesn’t it?

4) Luis Suarez felt burdened with extra duties as no one in the mid field was providing quality balls, thus  resulting in Suarez turning into the play maker, rather than going for goal.

5) Alex Oxlade Chamberlain had a brilliant match, and I’m of the opinion that he has the best starting run-up  in the league. The burst of quickness proved to be too good for 

6) The Mesut Ozil we know was back.. the passes, through balls, vision were way above excellence. His passes gave the gunners a much needed boost in their attack.

7) Liverpool deserved a penalty at least again…but the decision went against them.. it could have been 2-2 and from there who knew, the match could have gone either way right?

8) Stevie G was inspirational in the dying stages of the match with his range of short passes, long passes and crosses. Even though it was good, it came late in the second half. Maybe too late to win!!

9) Daniel Sturridge missed chances which were questionable as Liverpool could have led during the match. both attempts to lure away the keeper failed. The match for the lad went bad to worse. A funny moment with him tying shoe laces of Fabianski was hilarious.

10) A request to Arsene Wenger… Please start Lukas Podolski. Its clear that from recent matches, either Giroud has lost form or he has been over used and needs rest. Maybe Podolski is being saved for the Bayern Tie but he is a experienced person and thus his presence is needed.

Mitchell Johnson – The next Bowling Legend?

Name         – Mitchell Johnson
Age            – 32
Role           – Fast Bowler, Sometimes an All rounder.
Nicknames – Notch, Midge, Chomps

Johnson has been a regular starter with the Aussies, spear heading their attack, acheiving success almost everytime.
The year 2013 was clearly the year of Midge.
He has been phenomenal with the ball, and contributing a little with the bat too.
Wickets have been a regular thing for him as he got his team victories too easily.
The guy with the mustache has given batsmen of many nations, sleepless nights.

Now, a little bit of history:
When we think of fast bowlers who are legends, some names we would get would be,
Glen McGrath
Courtney Walsh
Courtly Ambrose
Waqar Younis etc

These cricketers at their time, were legends on field.
Their performance was mesmerizing to anyone and everyone who watched them play.
There was one thing the above bowlers had in common, i.e Consistency!

Midge has been consistent all year in 2013, and he doesn’t seem to slow down soon.
In 2014 he is continuing to destroy every team that comes in his way.

Here is a list of a few of his last test outings right from The Ashes and the ongoing series with South Africa.
Bowling figures: (Ashes)               Bowling figures: (South Africa)
 1st test  – 9 / 103                         1st test – 12/127
 2nd test – 8 / 113
 3rd test – 6 / 140                        
 4th test –  8 / 88                         
 5th test –  6 / 73

Now, tell me, how do you rate this guy?
Too good ain’t he?
Yes he is..!!
49 wickets in his last 6 tests mean he at least picks up an average of 8 wickets a test.
That is an incredible feat.

Also he does have a fifty in one innings. That’s decent for a full time bowler.
These stats are just a piece of recent information.
He has been a legend in the making from many years with decent performances.
But this Ashes, he stole the limelight completely.
Everyone started noticing him more and more with every match.
And i think after a while, his fan base will increase to a new height.

We all know he has been bought by Kings XI Punjab for $1.15 million.
That’s a huge price but i think he fits the bill,
Mumbai Indians will surely miss his presence and yes,
Batsmen will have to beware of this guy, as he has a fetish of watching castled wickets and sad faces of batsmen.
Hoping to see him get better and better!

All statistics from ESPN Cric info:

Jose Mourinho’s view on Chelsea winning the EPL


  “Jose Mourinho is Chelsea, Chelsea is Jose Mourinho..”

This man has completely overturned Stamford Bridge’s fortune the moment he stepped in.
The flow of titles, applauders, and achievements have been increasing under his term.
This year he returned back to the place he calls his Home.
Currently as you are reading this, Chelsea has been on top of the table for a couple of days.
Jose says, that his only goal for this year is to finish in the “TOP 4”.
Surprising right?
Why would he say that?
Below are some of my view points.
1)Below par attacking ability by strikers:

From the past two seasons, Chelsea has been suffering from striker blues, as the dwindling form of Fernando Torres and the other attacking option i.e Demba Ba have been underperforming to great extent.
So much, that Jose had to sign Samuel Eto’o. Though he has been average, the overall structure of our attack is still below normal.

2) Midfielders as substitute attackers:

The midfielders, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Ramires and Lampard were overburdened with their responsibilities as they had to make sure that a goal is scored, apart from making the play.

3) Manchester City and Arsenal:

These two teams have been the ones who we dethroned for the top spot.
But for the first 24 weeks, they have been the ones handling the pressure and the fame of being No.1
Manchester City whose home record we broke, had a stupendous record of scoring at least 3 goals per match. Now that is something every Premier league manager is to be wary of.
Arsenal on the other hand have surprised everyone, with their signing, their tactics, their guns blazing attitude which gives everyone that ray of hope for a premier league title last won during Thierry Henry’s reign.

4) Losing many points:

Losing points at places where all 3 points can be taken is not what will win us the title. The match at Hawthorns, both home and away were really interesting. Even though I’m a Chelsea fan, i thought they deserved the win, but a late controversial penalty got us a point. Karma is a bitch and yes it did come back to haunt us as they leveled the match 1-1. Also, we have lost many opportunities in Mid-season to go on top by dropping points. Not a good sign.

5)Team not up to the mark:

I do not fully agree with this, but maybe he thinks that the team is not of winning material and thus he is convinced that settling at top 4 would be better.

6) Mind games:

Now, everyone knows how the mind games are played by Jose.
He is well known to mentally tackle the other team and the manager in a bid to win the match and surprise them with his tactics.
Many a times those tactics have been questioned.
But all in all, his mind games are like a mystery until its revealed.

These are my pointers and i would love your comments.
Everyone is free to suggest.

Future of Football in India

Now we all know what sports to India meant in the early 2000’s
It meant.. CRICKET..
Obviously the other sports did exist, but not only were the player less but also, the opportunities provided.
Now as the years progressed, so did our viewpoints on various other sports.
Here is a list of sports which people began to watch:

1) Indian league (Football)
2) English premier league (Football)
3) Spanish premier league (Football)
4) Italian league (Football)
5) Indian Badminton League
6) Indian Hockey League
7) Olympics ( Weight Lifting, others)
8) Boxing Matches
9) Lawn Tennis ( Worldwide )

So, we can see a list of new sports which the common man could enjoy watching.
The highest being Football, which has now been revolutionized in India.
Over the course of 7-8 years i.e from 2006- present, Indian fans of football have been increasing on a vast scale.
Gone are the days, when people would stay at home and watch matches.
Now, they attend screenings, visit their favorite team shops, cafes to buy merchandise and flaunt their support.
The majority of supporters have increased the number of players too.
There is a division of football in Mumbai which is as follows,

Third division    – 152 clubs split into 19 groups with every group having 8 clubs
Second division – 56 clubs split into 7 groups with every group having 8 clubs
First Division     – 48 clubs split into 6 groups with every group having 8 clubs
Super division    – 30 clubs split into 3 groups of 10 teams each
Elite division      – 14 clubs in one division
Then the winners will advance to, I-League 2nd division, and then finally, the main stage, “I-League

So just imagine, if every team has a minimum of 11 + 5 players in their squad then how many players are into this sport?
The number might reach around 8-10,000 players which is a huge number.
Worldwide, scouts who search talent for their clubs  have also termed India as the next big thing.
Many football schools of different English clubs have started their schools here.
So kids if this generation can get training, play on better grounds, get better facilities, and meet football stars and who knows, might become famous also!

Also by the time the teams reach the Elite and I-league, players get paid per match which thus makes the sport more worthwhile for the players.

The audience for these matches over the years have increased by over 100%
The club names Dempo, Churchill brothers, Goa, Salgaocar, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, etc have become household names for football fanatics in India.
These clubs are a source of finding the best players to represent India in World Football.
We rank 156 in World football which is not a good sight, but from where i see it, there is a huge scope of improvement, as we have nothing to loose and a lot to gain.