West Indies and Pakistan big threats for India: Experts

India will go into the tournament as one of the favorites but Ganguly has cautioned them against the rampaging West Indies. “This is the time for them to get the attention of the cricket-loving public and they would want to seize it. If they get going, they can be very dangerous,” he said. India lifted the inaugural T20 World Cup held in South Africa in 2007 but have since struggled to impose themselves on this format bowing out of the super six stages in the 2009 and 2010 tournaments. ”

“West Indies is a strong Twenty20 team because they have got the best four Twenty20 players in the world,” said Manjrekar, who played 37 tests and 74 one-day internationals from 1987-1996. Pakistanis have that thing about showing off their skills. “They have always been the show-off of world cricket. Come an ICC event, that’s Pakistan’s opportunity to show the world what they are made of. ”

“They also have a good fast bowling attack with Fidel Edwards and Kemar Roach – all bowling at 90 miles an hour,” Ganguly added as former India player Sanjay Manjrekar, sitting next to him, nodded in approval. ”

Ganguly also talked up Pakistan’s chances of adding to their silverware in the 2009 edition. “They have got bundles of talent. “Guys like Chris Gayle, (Kieran) Pollard, Dwayne Smith, Andre Russel, and they got (off-spinner) Sunil Narine. Shoaib Akhtar, you know, wanted to show off his bowling. “The thing with Pakistan is that because there is not enough cricket happening back home, they are not in the spotlight very often. They have got the players who can clear the boundary with ease and they will be playing in the sub-continent,” Ganguly enthused. Manjrekar reckoned Pakistan, who have not hosted international cricket since 2009 because of the volatile security situation at home, would give a good account of themselves in Sri Lanka. He can be a match-winner. and if the pitch is conducive to spin, Dhoni is a master of using his slow bowlers,” Manjrekar added “The Indian team has got plenty of match winners… “They are a powerhouse,” Ganguly, who will be part of the commentary team in Sri Lanka, told reporters on Tuesday. The talented Pakistanis and the volatile West Indians will pose the biggest problem for the Indians in the upcoming T20 World Cup to be held in Sri Lanka, according to former cricketers Sourav Ganguly and Sanjay Manjrekar. “India always have a great chance, especially in limited-overs cricket. ”

Both former players, however, still expect India to stave off every challenge and go on to win the title.


Andrew Strauss retires from professional cricket

“After much thought over the last few weeks, I have decided to step down as England Test captain and announce my retirement from all forms of cricket. He followed up with another century, his 21st and one shy of the England all-time record, at Trent Bridge but averaged just 17. I will be an interested spectator. England Test skipper Andrew Strauss has announced his retirement from professional cricket. 91 in those 100 Tests. “He has been a fantastic captain, has led from the front for three and a half years and is a true ambassador for the game. “I know this can’t have been an easy decision for him and everyone in the dressing room will be sad to see him go. Strauss acknowledged the loss of form and even attributed his retirement to it, saying he was not batting well enough as he would have liked. I was pretty sure I was going to make this decision before the Kevin Pietersen situation arose. “There are too many people who have helped me on this incredible journey to mention them all by name, but I would like to thank all the Middlesex and England players I have played alongside, as well as the phenomenal coaches and support staff with whom I have been fortunate enough to work. If I’m honest, I’d very much like to go out on my own terms with my head held high. He scored 7037 runs at an average of 40. ”

Strauss, in charge since 2009, saw England lose their number one ranked Test status to South Africa this month following a 2-0 defeat in a three-match series where the opening batsman struggled for runs. “To have played 100 Tests for your country is a phenomenal achievement and I want to congratulate him on a superb career. For a captain to perform his role properly it’s important not to be a passenger and it’s important that people aren’t speculating whether you should be in the side. “I’m very excited by this new challenge, it is a huge honour to be appointed Test captain and I am very much looking forward to captaining the side in India this winter and beyond, but my immediate focus is on this current NatWest one-day series. I haven’t batted well enough for a long period of time now. Strauss has played exactly 100 Tests, the last of which was the game against South Africa at Lord’s where his side surrendered the top spot in Test cricket. ”

He is now the third England skipper to be ‘seen off’ in as many tours of England by South Africa captain Graeme Smith. I wasn’t going to improve batting-wise, I’ve run my race. Strauss, 35, was set to play for county side Middlesex against Worcestershire following the Test series loss to South Africa but withdrew from the team on the morning of the match starting Tuesday, leading to speculations in the media that he was about to resign from his post as Test captain. “Not in any way. ”

The new captain Alastair Cook paid rich tribute to Strauss, saying the latter was a skipper who led from the front. “Andrew’s contribution to England cricket in recent years is evident to everyone who follows the sport, but only those of us who have been lucky enough to share a dressing room with him are fully aware of his immense contribution to our success. I’ve been thinking about it for a while. Alastair Cook, the ODI team’s captain, will take over from Strauss in Test cricket as well. Nasser Hussain resigned during the England-South Africa series in 2003, Smith’s first series as Proteas skipper, and Michael Vaughan stood down five years later He has enjoyed modest returns with the bat in recent years and his 122 against the West Indies in May was his first Test century since November 2010. 83 in six innings against the South Africans. It hasn’t been a consideration at all for me. “I am extremely proud of everything I have achieved as a cricketer, and I have found myself very fortunate to play in an era when some of English cricket’s greatest moments have occurred. “It has clearly been a tough decision to make, but I believe that it is both in the best interests of the England cricket team and myself to step down at this stage. “Particular mention has to go to Andy Flower and Duncan Fletcher in that regard. “I have loved every minute of it and all that remains is for me to wish Andy, Alastair and the rest of the team the very best for the coming months. “For me, the driver to it all was frankly my form with bat. ”

He denied that the Kevin Pietersen saga had anything to do with his decision, saying he had already made up his mind before the situation became big. It would also be remiss of me not to thank Middlesex county cricket club, the ECB and the PCA for their support and guidance over the years. “No-one can play international cricket for any length of time without having an incredibly strong support network around them, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family for going through it all alongside me over the course of my England career. “Once the series is over I will turn my attention to the Test captaincy and building on the work Andrew has started. Strauss went one step further and called it quits with immediate effect.

Jamshed steers Pakistan to victory

Pakistan’s batting, which folded for 198 in the first ODI, showed a remarkable improvement as Jamshed and Mohammad Hafeez raced to to a fifty run stand to set their team on course. David Warner, who played an uncharacteristically slow knock with his first run coming off his 19th delivery, and Michael Clarke (37) slowly took the score to 74 before the spinners struck in quick succession. Earlier, Michael Hussey came up with a resolute fifty which helped Australia post a competitive 248/9. But, when the decision reviewed, replays showed that the ball pitched had outside leg stump. Hussey though held firm to add 66 runs for the fifth wicket with George Bailey (39) and then forged a rapid 58 run stand for the sixth with Glenn Maxwell (28). Nasir Jamshed missed out a well-deserved hundred, but his knock of 97 off 98 balls and Azhar Ali’s unbeaten 59 off 86 helped Pakistan to a comfortable seven wicket win to square the three match ODI series by 1-1. But Australia’s hopes of getting back in the game was squashed by but Azhar Ali, who scored a patient half-century and put on an unbeaten 59 run stand with skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (35 not out) to see Pakistan home. Even when Hafeez got out Dan Christian, pulling one straight into the hands of Hussey, Jamshed remained unperturbed as he treated the Australian bowlers with contempt. Jamshed received good support from Azhar, with whom he added 101 runs for the 2nd wicket while Mohammad Hafeez (23) was also involved in a solid opening stand with Jamshed worth 66 runs. The 37-year-old left-hander held the innings together with a knock of 61 off 72 balls which helped Australia recover from a precarious 87-4 after they won the toss and batted on a firm pitch at the Abu Dhabi Stadium. Jamshed hit 11 fours and two sixes in a stylish batting performance. After that, it was all smooth sailing for the Pakistan batsmen and the duo of Mitchell Starc and Pattinson, who shared eight wickets between them in the first match, failed in the excessive dew as they found the ball hard to grip, dismissing just one batsman. Asad Shafiq, who was the next man in, had a short outing as he was bowled by Pattinson on 9. Saeed Ajmal, who finished with 4-32, was threatening to keep Australia to inside 220 at one point. Hussey and Maxwell fell to Ajmal in the 46th over and it took quick hitting by Christian and Starc during the death overs to help Australia to a challenging total. Mohammad Hafeez dismissed Clarke while Ajmal accounted for Warner — both trapped in front of the wicket Chasing 249 for victory, Pakistan had Jamshed to thank for his positive batting which kept Pakistan in control at all times. The start did not go well for Australia as they lost Mathew Wade to Junaid Khan for 7 in the second over, bowled after he was dropped by Umar Akmal a ball earlier. But as he carried on, he was cramping badly and was out to Mitchell Johnson, playing a tired-looking shot to mid-off. Junaid Khan finished with 3-52. At the start of the second innings, Australia thought they had Jamshed out leg-before to James Pattinson when he was on four.

IPL 5’s success brings with it challenges for BCCI

After almost two months of non-stop cricket, the IPL 5 is finally over. There were some tight finishes, tough battles and the inevitable controversies surrounding the tournament, but now that it is over, it’s safe to say that this season of IPL will be remembered for the on-field cricket. And that’s how it should be. From a purely cricketing point of view, it was probably the best of all seasons; all the teams barring Pune Warriors and Deccan Chargers competed hard consistently and there was no clear favourite. The start to the tournament was a bit slow – the first week of the tournament had dull and one sided affairs but the heat picked on with time as the teams produced innumerable close matches. The race to the play offs was tighter than ever before, and it all culminated in a fitting final at the Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai where the Kolkata Knight Riders pipped the defending champions in their own den. In a way, it is good for the IPL as a tournament that a new side won the trophy, as it once again reiterates the best aspects of the IPL – unpredictability and equality. Of course, some teams are stronger on paper than the others, but as the likes of Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals displayed, any team can beat anyone in this format.

The biggest success as far as the BCCI and IPL organisers are concerned has to be the way the Indian public has embraced the tournament, especially after the negative aura surrounding it when it began this season. The Television ratings and general interest suffered a drastic dip in the last season due to various reasons, the biggest one being the timing of the tournament immediately after the emotionally draining World Cup. India’s dismal performances in England and Australia and the consequent IPL-bashing threatened to make this season an even bigger flop, but it has turned out to be the exact opposite; the same people who blamed every Indian defeat on the IPL turned out in huge numbers at the stadiums across venues and were treated to some entertaining cricket. It would be unfair to blame the people for being hypocrites though; the average Indian fan had a horrid season and deserved to end the season with some smiles, which is what the IPL is all about.

It is not a bad thing as well.The IPL is often wrongly projected as the mother of all villains that spoils cricket in India, which it certainly isn’t. In fact, it has its own benefits, the biggest of them being the monetary benefits it brings along to the domestic Indian cricketers. When people talk about the money involved in IPL, they often refer to the “excessively paid” players, but often neglect the impact the tournament has created on fringe domestic cricketers who have sacrificed a lot for a career in cricket. The concept of IPL has made the lives of many of them much more secure, and has made cricket a professional career in many ways. Monetary aspects apart, the IPL has made India’s domestic cricketers interact with coaches and players from other countries, and has gone a long way in removing the ‘inferiority complex’ or fear, which is often associated with a young Indian player. In one of the fringe players in the domestic cricket, Arun Karthik’s own words “we don’t see them (foreign players) as someone superior. They are just another human being playing the same game”.

Yes, the IPL has indeed had some bad effects on Indian cricket in the recent past – especially in the Test format – but more often than not, the problems have been due to the way IPL has been managed, and not due to the concept of IPL as such. The success of IPL-5 makes it even more imperative that the BCCI and the administrators of IPL show more responsibility in the way the tournament is handled in future. The fact that people have shown their support for the tournament carries with it an implicit dangerous sign – that no matter how the national team performs, the fans can always be appeased by a couple of months of IPL. This is where the biggest challenge for BCCI arises – they can either use the IPL as a tool to erase nightmares of Australia and England, or stand up to the challenge and prioritise national cricket above everything else. To their credit, the board has taken a few steps in the right direction especially when it comes to domestic cricket, but there is a long way to go. The IPL may have provided a quick relief, but it remains to be seen if it will continue to work towards rectifying the mistakes of the past. Yes, the average fan might have (temporarily) forgotten the disastrous Test results in the last season, but the BCCI cannot afford to do the same. Season 5 has shown that the IPL is here to stay; it is upto the BCCI to show that the IPL can stay without interfering with the national team’s performances.

Kolkata Knight Riders beats Delhi Daredevil by 6 wickets


Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Deccan Chargers by 5 wickets



Batsman Status Runs Balls 4s 6s SR
Daniel Harris run out (Virat Kohli) 47 41 2 4 114.63
Shikhar Dhawan not out 73 52 10 1 140.38
Cameron White c & b Prasanth Parameswaran 45 24 2 3 187.50
Kumar Sangakkara (C) not out 10 3 1 1 333.33
Parthiv Patel (W)
Ashish Reddy
Akshath Reddy
Amit Mishra
Dale Steyn
Anand Rajan
Veer Pratap Singh
Extras: 6 (b – 1, w – 3, no – 2, lb – 0, penalty – 0)
Fall of Wickets 1/86 (Daniel Harris 11.5ov.)
2/168 (Cameron White 19.1ov.)
Zaheer Khan 4 0 32 0 0 1 8
Abhimanyu Mithun 3 0 33 0 0 1 11
Prasanth Parameswaran 4 0 45 1 0 1 11.25
Muttiah Muralidaran 4 0 18 0 0 0 4.5
Tillakaratne Dilshan 1 0 17 0 0 0 17
Syed Mohammad 3 0 27 0 0 0 9
Chris Gayle 1 0 6 0 0 0 6



Batsman Status Runs Balls 4s 6s SR
Tillakaratne Dilshan b Veer Pratap Singh 71 54 8 2 131.48
Chris Gayle b Anand Rajan 26 22 1 2 118.18
Virat Kohli (C) c Dale Steyn b Amit Mishra 9 9 1 0 100.00
Asad Pathan c Dale Steyn b Amit Mishra 4 4 0 0 100.00
AB de Villiers (W) not out 47 17 5 3 276.47
Mayank Agarwal lbw b Ashish Reddy 18 6 1 2 300.00
Syed Mohammad not out 4 1 1 0 400.00
Zaheer Khan
Abhimanyu Mithun
Muttiah Muralidaran
Prasanth Parameswaran
Extras: 6 (b – 0, w – 4, no – 2, lb – 0, penalty – 0)
Fall of Wickets 1/91 (Chris Gayle 10.4ov.)
2/102 (Virat Kohli 13.1ov.)
3/106 (Asad Pathan 13.5ov.)
4/117 (Tillakaratne Dilshan 15.2ov.)
5/143 (Mayank Agarwal 17ov.)
Shikhar Dhawan 1 0 11 0 0 0 11
Dale Steyn 3 1 30 0 0 0 10
Veer Pratap Singh 3 0 34 1 0 1 11.33
Anand Rajan 3.5 0 44 1 0 2 11.48
Ashish Reddy 4 0 36 1 0 1 9
Amit Mishra 4 0 28 2 0 0 7

Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by 2 wickets

Batsman Status Runs Balls 4s 6s SR
Murali Vijay b RP Singh 41 29 4 3 141.38
Faf du Plessis run out (RP Singh) 9 11 0 0 81.82
Suresh Raina c RP Singh b James Franklin 36 21 3 2 171.43
Dwayne Bravo b Lasith Malinga 40 33 4 1 121.21
MS Dhoni (C) (W) c Rohit Sharma b RP Singh 25 15 2 1 166.67
Albie Morkel b RP Singh 3 3 0 0 100.00
Ravindra Jadeja c James Franklin b Lasith Malinga 9 6 0 1 150.00
Subramaniam Badrinath not out 1 1 0 0 100.00
Ravichandran Ashwin c Harbhajan Singh b Lasith Malinga 0 1 0 0 0.00
Ben Hilfenhaus
Shadab Jakati
Extras: 9 (b – 0, w – 5, no – 4, lb – 0, penalty – 0)
Fall of Wickets 1/47 (Faf du Plessis 5.2ov.)
2/52 (Murali Vijay 6.4ov.)
3/114 (Suresh Raina 14.1ov.)
4/158 (Dwayne Bravo 17.5ov.)
5/162 (MS Dhoni 18.3ov.)
6/169 (Albie Morkel 19ov.)
7/173 (Ravindra Jadeja 19.5ov.)
8/173 (Ravichandran Ashwin 20ov.)
Robin Peterson 2 0 22 0 0 0 11
RP Singh 4 0 28 3 0 1 7
Munaf Patel 4 0 46 0 0 1 11.5
Lasith Malinga 4 0 25 3 0 1 6.25
Harbhajan Singh 3 0 14 0 0 2 4.67
Dwayne Smith 2 0 26 0 0 0 13
James Franklin 1 0 8 1 0 0 8
Batsman Status Runs Balls 4s 6s SR
James Franklin c Murali Vijay b Ben Hilfenhaus 1 9 0 0 11.11
Sachin Tendulkar c Faf du Plessis b Ravichandran Ashwin 74 44 11 1 168.18
Rohit Sharma b Ravindra Jadeja 60 46 6 2 130.43
Dinesh Karthik (W) b Dwayne Bravo 11 5 2 0 220.00
Ambati Rayudu b Ravindra Jadeja 0 2 0 0 0.00
Dwayne Smith not out 24 9 2 2 266.67
Robin Peterson run out (Faf du Plessis) 0 2 0 0 0.00
Harbhajan Singh (C) c sub b Dwayne Bravo 0 1 0 0 0.00
Lasith Malinga b Ben Hilfenhaus 0 1 0 0 0.00
RP Singh not out 1 1 0 0 100.00
Munaf Patel
Extras: 3 (b – 0, w – 3, no – 0, lb – 0, penalty – 0)
Fall of Wickets 1/8 (James Franklin 2.2ov.)
2/134 (Sachin Tendulkar 15.5ov.)
3/147 (Dinesh Karthik 17ov.)
4/148 (Ambati Rayudu 17.3ov.)
5/149 (Rohit Sharma 18ov.)
6/151 (Robin Peterson 18.3ov.)
7/158 (Harbhajan Singh 19ov.)
8/159 (Lasith Malinga 19.2ov.)
Ben Hilfenhaus 4 1 34 2 0 0 8.5
Albie Morkel 3 0 34 0 0 0 11.33
Ravichandran Ashwin 4 0 28 1 0 1 7
Dwayne Bravo 4 0 39 2 0 2 9.75
Shadab Jakati 3 0 27 0 0 0 9
Ravindra Jadeja 2 0 12 2 0 0 6

Rajasthan Royals beat Kings XI Punjab by 43 runs



Batsman Status Runs Balls 4s 6s SR
Rahul Dravid (C) c Parvinder Awana b Ryan Harris 46 39 8 0 117.95
Ajinkya Rahane c Nitin Saini b Ryan Harris 5 6 1 0 83.33
Shane Watson c Ryan Harris b Piyush Chawla 36 17 4 2 211.76
Ashok Menaria c Gurkeerat Singh b Piyush Chawla 34 27 1 2 125.93
Brad Hodge c Shaun Marsh b Ryan Harris 36 23 2 2 156.52
Johan Botha not out 14 8 2 0 175.00
Stuart Binny c Shaun Marsh b Ryan Harris 0 1 0 0 0.00
Ankeet Chavan
Dishant Yagnik (W)
Shaun Tait
Siddharth Trivedi
Extras: 6 (b – 0, w – 3, no – 2, lb – 1, penalty – 0)
Fall of Wickets 1/7 (Ajinkya Rahane 1.2ov.)
2/76 (Shane Watson 7.5ov.)
3/117 (Rahul Dravid 13.2ov.)
4/133 (Ashok Menaria 16ov.)
5/176 (Brad Hodge 19.4ov.)
6/177 (Stuart Binny 20ov.)
Praveen Kumar 4 0 32 0 0 1 8
Ryan Harris 4 0 34 4 0 0 8.5
Parvinder Awana 4 0 34 0 0 2 8.5
Azhar Mahmood 4 0 37 0 1 0 9.25
Piyush Chawla 4 0 38 2 0 0 9.5



Batsman Status Runs Balls 4s 6s SR
Shaun Marsh b Johan Botha 34 27 5 1 125.93
Mandeep Singh c Siddharth Trivedi b Shane Watson 7 6 0 1 116.67
Nitin Saini (W) c & b Shaun Tait 2 9 0 0 22.22
David Hussey (C) c Brad Hodge b Siddharth Trivedi 8 6 2 0 133.33
Azhar Mahmood b Stuart Binny 24 24 2 1 100.00
Gurkeerat Singh c & b Johan Botha 23 24 2 0 95.83
Abhishek Nayar not out 9 8 0 0 112.50
Piyush Chawla b Shane Watson 5 4 1 0 125.00
Ryan Harris c Johan Botha b Shaun Tait 3 5 0 0 60.00
Praveen Kumar not out 7 8 1 0 87.50
Parvinder Awana
Extras: 12 (b – 0, w – 6, no – 5, lb – 1, penalty – 0)
Fall of Wickets 1/8 (Mandeep Singh 1.3ov.)
2/29 (Nitin Saini 5.3ov.)
3/55 (David Hussey 7.3ov.)
4/59 (Shaun Marsh 8.3ov.)
5/95 (Azhar Mahmood 14.5ov.)
6/112 (Gurkeerat Singh 16.3ov.)
7/120 (Piyush Chawla 17.3ov.)
8/123 (Ryan Harris 18.2ov.)
Ankeet Chavan 3 0 32 0 0 0 10.67
Shane Watson 4 1 22 2 1 1 5.5
Shaun Tait 4 0 18 2 0 4 4.5
Johan Botha 4 0 21 2 0 1 5.25
Siddharth Trivedi 4 0 28 1 0 0 7
Stuart Binny 1 0 8 1 0 0 8

Samuels set to join West Indies squad in England

West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels is expected to finally link up with the touring party in England on Tuesday. The Jamaican was one of three players yet to join the squad which arrived in the UK last Wednesday, with batsmen Narsingh Deonarine and Assad Fudadin still stuck in Jamaica waiting for UK visas.

CMC Sports understands, however, that Samuels will join his teammates in Northampton, where the West Indies are due to play their second tour match, a four-day fixture against England Lions, starting Thursday. The West Indies are due to leave for Northampton on Tuesday morning.

Samuels has been playing in the Indian Premier League over the last month, but the team management had appeared unsure at the weekend over his actual arrival date. A part of the Pune Warriors side, the allrounder has scored 124 runs in 8 matches so far, while also picking up 8 wickets with an economy rate of 7.53.

His absence, and that of the two Guyanese left-handers, meant the West Indies faced Sussex in the opening three-day match with just 11 available players. Fast bowler Fidel Edwards sat out the game injured.

The Windies were able to get just 34 overs out of the game as rain wrecked the encounter at the Probiz County Ground. Only 16 overs were possible on Monday’s last day as rain ended play before lunch, with the West Indies on 90 for three in their first innings.

It has been a bumpy start to the tour for the Windies, with cold weather conditions and the late arrival of players marring their preparation. The first Test starts in ten days at Lord’s.

Pakistan to tour Sri Lanka next month

Pakistan will tour Sri Lanka next month for three Tests, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 games, Sri Lanka Cricket said on Monday.
The Pakistanis will kick off the six-week tour with two Twenty20 matches in the southern port town of Hambantota on June 1 and June 3.
The first two one-day internationals will be played in Pallekele on June 7 and June 9, followed by the remaining three at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo on June 13, 16 and 18.
The three back-to-back Tests will be held in Galle (June 22-26), the Sinhalese sports club in Colombo (June 30-July 4) and Pallekele (July 8-12).
Pakistan last toured Sri Lanka in 2009 where they lost the Test series 2-0.
The two sides met in the United Arab Emirates last year where Pakistan won both the Test and one-day series and also clinched the lone Twenty20 international.

Tour itinerary:

June 1: First Twenty20 international, Hambantota

June 3: Second Twenty20 international, Hambantota

June 7: First one-dayer, Pallekele

June 9: Second one-dayer, Pallekele

June 13: Third one-dayer, Colombo

June 16: Fourth one-dayer, Colombo

June 18: Fifth one-dayer, Colombo

June 22-26: First Test, Galle

June 30-July 4: Second Test, Colombo

July 8-12: Third Test, Pallekele.