Sunday, June 30, 2013

The hosts West Indies vs World Champions India - Tri Series 2013

West Indies vs India

The first match of the tri-series 2013 went to the hosts when they comprehensively defeated Srilankan team. A long awaited big knock from Chris Gayle was accomplished when he scored a ton. He posts a threat to India today when the West Indies team play India in the second match of this tri series. Ten Cricket and Ten Sports will telecast the matches live in India on TV.

India would begin all the matches as favourites because they are certainly dominating the ODI cricket all overs. After clinching the ODI world cup in 2011 they continue to rank at the top of ICC ODI rankings. Adding to their success they also won the recently concluded last ever edition of Champions Trophy 2013. This team looks unstoppable.

The golden bat and golden ball winners in the Champions Trophy viz. Dhawan and Jadeja are a part of Indian squad in this Tri Series. They also have strong batsmen like Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Dhoni and the batting can go down till Bhuvaneshwar Kumar!

The bowling attack looks decent and dominating with Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvaneshwar, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and couple of part time options like Kohli and Raina. If needed even the wicketkeeper skipper Dhoni and come in and bowl a few overs.

West Indies were eliminated from Champions Trophy on a disappointing note. They have to prove a lot now in front of their home crowd. This team is much better than the depleted West Indies team we saw in last two decades. They are the T20 World Champions also.

With the likes of Gayle, Samuels, Bravo, Pollard, Sammy, Rampaul, Narine, etc. this team looks really strong! And a win against Srilanka in the first match have boosted their confidence. Can they beat the World Champions India remains a question.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

West Indies vs Srilanka Cricket Match - Tri Series 2013

West Indies vs Srilanka

West Indies hosts a tri nation series consisting of Srilanka and India. The first match of this tri series is to be played between Srilanka and the hosts West Indies. Ten Sports and Ten Cricket network will provide live TV telecast of this triangular series in India.

West Indies looked strong at the start of the Champions Trophy. They defeated Srilanka in the warm up match and also managed a win against Pakistan in the group stage. This was followed by a loss against India and then a do or die match against South Africa that ended in a tie. Lower net run rate eliminated West Indies out of the Champions Trophy. West Indies are currently the T20 world champions and all they need is to try better in the longer format of limited overs cricket. 

West Indies has a strong team to compete at home. Darren Bravo, Smith and Gayle at the top of the order can provide flying starts. Middle order is strong with Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Pollard and many more to name. Bravo along with Rampaul leads the bowling attack and has a good support of Sammy, Narine and many part timers.

Srilanka will play cricket in this part of the world after a long time. They last featured here in the 2007 World Cup where they lost to Australia in the finals. Dilshan who was injured in the semis of Champions Trophy will miss this series. Herath and Mendis will play a major role as spinners here.

Lasith Malinga can prove vital here in the pace friendly conditions. Kulasekara can come in handy with his all round performance. Skipper Mathews will seek to regain his lost form while experienced Sangakkara and Jayawardene would like to score more runs and drive team to more wins.

World Champions India plays West Indies in the second match on 30th June.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

India vs England - ICC Champions Trophy Final 2013

India vs England 

The stage is set for the grand final of ICC Champions Trophy 2013 final. Top 8 teams battled it out to reach the finals and we have India and the hosts England here in the last match. Indian TV viewers can enjoy this final live on Star Cricket, Star Sports 2 and Star Cricket HD. India were joint winners of 2002 Champions Trophy and England managed to reach the finals once. 

India were crowned the ODI world champions in the 2011 world cup. They are also the top ranked ICC ODI team. India have a far more experience in playing ICC events' finals than England. The hosts England won 2010 T20 world cup and that is the only ICC event they have won. MS Dhoni has led India in many big finals that includes 2007 T20 world cup final (won it), 2011 ODI world cup final (won it) and on the other hand this will be Cook's first ever big final for England.

But the history doesn't matter as who plays today will win. On one hand we have a team that has been unbeatable in this competition and on the other hand we have a good team which also enjoys the home conditions.

For team India; batting, bowling and fielding have been exceptionally well. Infact for the first time this team is considered as the best fielding side in an ICC event. Each and every win of this team has been pretty convincing. 

England have been good in fielding. Batting and bowling has been good in patches. Sans the loss against Srilanka in the group stage, this team has looked pretty good. Cook, Trott, Bell, Bopara, Root, etc can contribute well with the bat. James Anderson is leading the bowling attack right from the front. Broad and Bresnan haven't been too impressive so far. Tredwell has done a good job with his spin wonders. Bopara has played a good role of an all rounder.

Shikhar Dhawan's hunger for run can't stop. After hitting two back to back tons, he is still scoring runs consistently. He doesn't look stopping. Raina and Dhoni haven't got too much of opportunities to bat as the top order has been winning matches for India. If England can get rid of the top order quickly, the middle order will be exposed. Even though Dhoni, Karthik and Raina are capable of winning matches, but the winning march of India can be hurt if the top order fails.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are also scoring runs consistently. The bowling trio of Ishant, Bhuvaneshwar and Umesh Yadav is doing pretty well. Umesh Yadav has been a bit expensive and falling short of wickets. R Ashwin finally found his golden touch as he clinched few wickets in last couple of matches. A lot relies on 'Sir' Ravindra Jadeja as he would come out with his golden arm when he bowls.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

India vs Srilanka - 2nd Semi Final of ICC Champions Trophy 2013

India vs Srilanka 

Another face off between two familiar rivals - India vs Srilanka. This time another big one - Champions Trophy Semi Final. Last time these two teams clashed in a big ICC event was the 2011 World Cup final. India thumped Srilanka to become the new World Champions. Today is a good opportunity for Srilanka to make things even stevens but looking at the dominating form of Indian team it would be rather difficult. Star Cricket and Star Sports 2 will telecast this match live on TV in India.

Indian team is seen in electrifying form this time. They have been the best fielding team and also one of th  best bowling sides. Their batting has been indispensable. Shikhar Dhawan  batting at the top is accumulating a lot of runs. He already has two centuries to his name in this competition. Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma is also in good touch and providing a good foundation of the innings. Dinesh Karthik and Virat Kohli are capable enough of scoring good runs in the upper middle order. They were seen in sparkling form in the warm up matches. Karthik scored two tons in warm ups against Srilanka and West Indies. Suresh Raina hasn't got too many opportunities to bat and on the other hand Dhoni is always in good form.

Ravindra Jadeja is in exceptional form with bat and ball. He has scored runs when needed and provided regular breakthroughs with bowling. R Ashwin is slowly regaining his form. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is doing a good job with the ball. Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav need to pull up their socks today.

Srilanka on the other hand has drastically improved in this competition. They didn't start well when they lost both their warm ups against West Indies and India. Their group stage begun with a loss against New Zealand. They had no other option but to bounce back hard. Spirited performances from Sangakkara, Dilshan, Jayawardene and Kulasekara brought success to them and then they never looked back. In a virtual quarter final they won against Australia and registered a seat in semi finals.

A lot would rely on Lasith Malinga, Kulasekara and Eranga's quick bowling. Herath would need to provide breakthroughs in the middle patch.Overall with India starting as favourites and Srilanka having nothing to lose this promises to be a thrilling match!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

England vs South Africa - 1st Semifinal of Champions Trophy 2013

England vs South Africa - England reaches finals

The stage is set for the knock out round in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. After a long bit of confusion especially in Group A, finally have our four semi-finalists. England takes on South Africa in the first semi final and later tomorrow India will play Srilanka in the second semi final. Indian TV viewers can watch live TV telecast of these matches on Star Cricket, Star Cricket HD and Star Sports 2 channels.

South Africa lost against India but they bounced back against the Pakistanis to clinch a convincing win. Later they played West Indies in a do or die match where they observed a tie due to Duckworth Lewis method due to rain interruptions. With better net run rate South Africa qualified to the semi finals and hence will play the Group A topper England.

South Africa is currently one of the two strongest teams in the world. But the well known fact is they somehow don't perform to their potential in big ICC events. The biggest ICC event they won was way back in 1998 when they clinched the first ever ICC Champions trophy. Since then they have dominated various forms of cricket but haven't lifted any other ICC trophy. This being the last ever Champions trophy, South Africa would be eager to win this one.

Steyn doesn't seem to be fit and he will miss today's match. So South Africa will rely on the likes of Morris, McLaren, Tsotsobe, etc. AB de Villiers, Ingram, Amla, Faf du Plessis all look in good form. All they need is to give their best today and who knows they may find themselves in the finals.

England on the other hand have a similar story. Apart from one or two major ICC events, they haven't had a good time. So they would also be striving hard to clinch this match and enter the finals. England won their first match against Australia which was followed by a disappointing loss against Srilankans. England bounced back in their third match to beat New Zealand and register a place in the semis.

James Anderson has been the best bowler for England and also one of the best in this competition. A lot will rely on his early spells if he can get important wickets of Amla, Ingram, etc. Broad has been expensive at times but all he need is to provide breakthroughs and the same applies to other bowlers as well.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Australia vs Srilanka - Virtual Quarter Final

Australia vs Srilanka 

Australia takes on Srilanka in a virtual quarter final that would decide the last semi finalists emerging from Group A. Australia has slimmest of the chances and we will find out how. Srilanka has a brighter chance to reach the semis. Star Cricket will telecast today's match live on TV in India.

If  we have a look at the points tally of Group A, England has already qualified for the semis. If Srilanka wins today they will reach the semi finals. If Srilanka wins with a big margin and topple England with respect to the net run rate then Srilanka will play South Africa in the semis and England will play India. If England finishes first then England will face South Africa in the semis.

Australia too has a slim chance of making a semi final berth. If they beat Srilanka today with a huge margin to  topple New Zealand in terms of net run rate, then Australia can reach semi finals.But if Australia wins today and can't topple New Zealand in net run rate, then New Zealand will go through to the semis.

You all still with us? Agreed its confusing but that is how cricket is so interesting!

Australia would hope a comeback of Clarke and a big knock from him. Even Shane Watson is due for a big knock. The acting captain Bailey was consistently scoring runs. If he can convert his half centuries into centuries that would be a big boost to the team's total.

Considering the overcast conditions a captain would like to win the toss and bowl first. In such a scenario the bowlers have to make sure to restrict the opposition to a low total. Also while chasing the batting team has to stay in tandem with the ever changing Duckworth Lewis targets.

Srilanka provided a spirited performance against England when they chased 295. Almost all the batsmen were in good knick. Sangakkara smashed bowlers all over the park and scored a ton. Biggest surprise came from Kulasekara who scored quick fire fifty and took Srilanka home. Srilankan team would hope all their departments should fire today to clinch a win and berth in the semi finals.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

England vs New Zealand - Big Match!

England vs New Zealand 

England vs New Zealand is certainly the biggest match for the fans down there in England and New Zealand. Reason? This is a must win match for both the teams to secure a berth in the semi finals. Group B relaxes out there with India and South Africa already in the semis while Group A is still wide open. Indian fans enjoyed their match against Pakistan yesterday and they can enjoy today's match live TV telecast on Star Cricket and Star Sports 2.

England was doing so well until they saw Srilanka pulling a rabbit out of their hats and beating England. After positing 294 runs on board, it seemed to be an easy win for England in those tough batting conditions. But Sangakkara had something else in his mind. Sangakkara smashed a big century and had good support from Dilshan and Jayawardene. Kulasekara who was sent for pinch hitting just turned the whole course of the match. England bowlers were heavily criticised for not bowling yorkers and in the end all they saw was a defeat. Now England has to win against New Zealand today to make sure they reach the semi finals.

Alastair Cook, J Trott, Ian Bell and the other top order batsmen need to score big runs today. Ravi Bopara is doing an exceptional job with the bat as he scored vital quick runs in the death overs. The strong Bresnan can also hit some mighty blows out of the boundary.

James Anderson is their frontline pace bowler who is not only taking wickets but also bowling economically well. Stuart Broad is lacking wickets and leaking away lot of runs. Bresnan is good in patches. Swann needs to pick more wickets.

New Zealand have had a good bowling experience thanks to some exceptionally well bowling figures from McClenaghan. He has clinched eight wickets in two matches. He can get good support from Mills. Experienced Vettori adds a lot of quality and value to New Zealand bowling department. Nathan McCullum comes in handy with his bowling as well as batting.

Some big batting names in the New Zealand batting line up haven't impressed yet. Guptill who scored loads of runs against England in the ODI series is lacking his good touch. Even Ross Taylor looks out of sorts. Skipper McCullum has to play his natural game to return to his golden form.

England looks favourites here due to the home advantage but the early hours may give seamers a lot of help. So whoever bowls first may have bigger advantage but batting second in rain interruptions with the Duckworth Lewis targets changing all over the place; it would be tricky to win the toss and decide something.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

India vs Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy Cricket Match

India vs Pakistan - India wins by 8 wickets (D/L method)

It really doesn't matter to some of the India or Pakistan cricket fans if their team is already eliminated. All they want to see is their team winning in an India vs Pakistan match. And the wait is over. The big match is here. India takes on the arch rivals Pakistan here at Birmingham for ICC Champions Trophy 2013 Group B match.

We are into the 10th match of ICC Champions Trophy. Group B already has two teams qualified to the semis - India and South Africa. West Indies and Pakistan are already eliminated from the competition. Still India vs Pakistan match can never be a dead rubber. We will surely see house full stands in Birmingham cricket stadium. We will also see most of the cricket fans around the world glued to their TV screens today. Indian TV viewers can enjoy live telecast of this match on Star Cricket and Star Sports 2.

India looks the best team so far in this tournament. How? Well India has played four different teams in two warm ups and two Group B matches. These matches were held on two different venues. Twice India batted first and twice India bowled first. And on all the four occasions India won! If we talk about the individual performances, Ravindra Jadeja bowled the best figures for India in any Champions trophy match. He took five wickets against West Indies. On the other hand, Shikhar Dhawan scored two centuries on the trot in Group B matches. He is in firing form! A lot is expected from him today.

R Ashwin hasn't pulled up a good performance so far. It would be good for India to try their bench spinner today. On the other hand the quick bowlers have done a decent job so far. Kumar and Yadav were better against the West Indies. Ishant is bowling a good line and length.

Pakistan has suffered the most due to its batting in this competition. They never looked like posting big totals on the board due to their shaky starts to the innings and brittle middle order. The only man who stood tall and scored runs freely was their captain Misbah.

Bowling for Pakistan was very good. Mohammad Irfan was highly impressive with his quick bowling. Saeed Ajmal did a decent job this time. If the batsmen can provide a defendable total to the Pakistani bowlers, the results could have been different for this team.

Anyhow Pakistan is now already eliminated. So they will strive hard to perform better today and end their Champions Trophy campaign on a high note. On the other hand India would like to continue their winning momentum. Three more wins to them and they can be crowned the Champions Trophy winner.

Although India looks favourites today, let us expect some spirited performances from Pakistan. Let us wait and watch who would be the winner! 

Friday, June 14, 2013

West Indies vs South Africa - ICC Champions Trophy Cricket Match

West Indies vs South Africa - Match tied (D/L method)

Here is a big match between West Indies and South Africa. Why do we call it big? Because it acts as a quarter final for both these teams. The team that wins proceeds to the semi finals and one that losses unfortunately flies back home with Pakistan in this group. India has already qualified to the semi finals after beating South Africa and West Indies. Indian fans eagerly await their last group match against Pakistan which in the competition perspective is just a formality but means a lot to the fans in both the countries. Live telecast of Champions Trophy 2013 can be enjoyed on TV channels like Star Cricket, Star Sports 2 and Star Cricket HD in India.

Cardiff has overcast conditions and we may see rain interruptions. We just hope for a match here rather than the points being shared. If that would be the case, South Africa will topple West Indies in terms of a better net run rate.

South Africa were beaten by India and before it was too late they played well against Pakistan to win by 67 runs. The big strength for South Africa has been their good batting so far. They lost to India but managed to score over 300 while chasing. Thanks to some good batting from Amla, they scored decent against Pakistan to win by a good margin. 

AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Duminy, Miller and McLaren provide a lot of depth to the batting line up. Even in the absence of Smith, Morne Morkel and Kallis, the team looks strong enough to beat best of the teams. Dale Steyn is set to return which will be the biggest boost for the team. Morris did a good bowling job on his debut. 

West Indies struggled in their win against Pakistan and lost easily against India. They need to put behind the past and give their best in this match. This is a must win situation and they should play as if they have nothing to lose.

If the likes of Gayle, Sarwan, Bravo, Pollard, Sammy or Rampaul get going, it can be a big trouble for South Africa. West Indies are known for depth in their batting and bowling line up. And they are also known for their powerful hitting.

Overall this match has to be a nail biter as both the teams are strong enough to provide a tough tussle. Let us hope for another quality cricket match and let the team that plays better win!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Srilanka vs England - ICC Champions Trophy 2013 Cricket Match

Srilanka vs England 

Result - Srilanka won by 7 wickets

The host England plays Srilanka in a Group A match today. While Srilanka looks out of form still they would carry some past experience of ICC events with them as they have almost reached finals of all the recently concluded ICC events. On the other hand England has struggled in almost every ICC events and couldn't win any of them so far. England would love to win this match and make a place in the semi final whereas Srilanka will have to win this one to stay alive  in the competition.

The pitch here at the Oval suits the batsmen. So we may hope a little high scoring match. On the other hand the bounce this pitch would offer would help both bowlers and batsmen. The bounce would help the bowlers to trouble the batsmen and at the same time the batsmen would love to time the ball well with the bounce. Ideally the captain winning the toss could be tempted to bowl first as the pitch can offer an early movement to the seamers.

Deadly Malinga could be a big factor in today's match. Although England batsmen are good against pace but Malinga has been successful against almost all the teams with his unplayable yorkers. New Zealand batsmen already faced the wrath of his fulltosses, yorkers and slow balls that almost got the match in Srilanka's grip.

On the other hand England's Ian Bell is in good form. He scored 91 runs against Australia. Trott and Bopara are scoring runs freely and guiding the England innings to a respectable total. Anderson, Finch and Broad can take a good care of the pace battery. Good news for England is that Swann is declared fit so he may replace Tredwell. Although Tredwell is doing a good job in ODIs he has to make way for England's best spinner Swann.

Overall we certainly expect a tough match today because both teams are desperately looking for a win. One teams wants to win to comfortably make an early entry in the semis whereas the other team wants to win for a survival in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. Indian cricket fans can enjoy today's match live telecasted on TV on channels like Star Cricket and Star Sports 2.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Australia vs New Zealand - ICC Champions Trophy Match

Australia vs New Zealand

While Indian team wins against West Indies and brings another good news for the Indian cricket fans, Australia prepares hard before they take on New Zealand in a must win situation. Australia, the defending champions are striving hard to stay alive in this competition. They haven't performed upto the mark in the warm ups and they have already lost a match in this Champions Trophy against England. Australia vs New Zealand match will be live telecasted in India on channels like Star Cricket and Star Sports 2.

New Zealand did well to beat England 2-1 in the ODI series. They faced Srilanka in their first match of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. It was a real hard fight for both the teams. One would have lost all the nails while watching that match. Sans few, most of the batsmen from either of the teams failed to score well. It was good to see the bowlers dominating on that day. Somehow New Zealand managed to go past Malinga and win the match.

Kyle Mills bowled very well and so did Mitchell McClenaghan. Daniel Vettori bowled well but he seems to be unfit for the match against Australia. Nathan McCullum came up with a brilliant allround performance that also helped him win the Man of the Match award.

Australia banks a lot on the openers Warner and Watson. If these two get going, they can have a strong base to build a good score. Skipper Bailey managed to score well against England but he ran short of partners. The team still looks strong in terms of the bowling department. Watson can clinch some wickets. McKay and Faulkner are consistent wicket takers. Inclusion of a spinner would be smart move for Australia.

This is the seventh match of the tournament. Few more matches to go and very soon we would land up in the knock out stage. Very soon we would also be aware of the four teams that would make it to the semis. Until now everything is uncertain and hence exciting!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

India vs West Indies ICC Champions Trophy Match

India vs West Indies 

India vs West Indies promises to be an exciting match as the winner would get more closer to the semi finals! Star Cricket and Star Sports 2 channels in India will provide live telecast on TV. India already as win against South Africa and so does West Indies have against Pakistan! West Indies are slightly above India in terms of net run rate. Winner of this match will top the table with two wins.

Suprisingly India never played against West Indies in England since the historic 1983 World Cup final win! That match made India the world champions and coincidentally India are World Champions at this juncture and facing West Indies after long 30 years in an ODI in England!

India has a formidable batting line up. Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma did a brilliant job against South Africa. Especially that ton from Dhawan was worth watch! Even the middle order looks firm with Karthik, Kohli, Raina and Dhoni. Not to forget, Karthik scored tons in both the warm up matches and even Kohli scored a big century against Srilanka.

Allrounder Ravindra Jadeja can come in handy in English conditions with some powerful hitting and part time bowling. Umesh Yadav took five wickets against Australia when they were bowled out for 65! If he gets going, West Indies batsmen will have a tough time. Even Ishant and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar can bowl good length balls with swing to create problems for West Indies batsmen.

West Indies are at the top of Group B table above India. Both have one wins each but West Indies has a slightly better net run rate. MS Dhoni is well aware of the Gayle storm but he is relieved that his bowlers will bowl with two new balls and also the overcast conditions to be exploited.

Darren Bravo needs to provide a good stand to Chris Gayle. Charles, Samuels and Sarwan can stick to the wicket and keep the scoreboard ticking. And if it comes to some hard hitting, Dwayne Bravo and Pollard are always there in the middle order.

Roach bowled exceptionally well against Pakistan. West Indies has a good bowling line up consisting of Bravo, Roach, Pollard, Narine, Rampaul and they may also include Best or Sammy. This team looks really strong on paper.

India could be considered as favourites for this match but by no means one can write off the strength of this West Indies team. Two heavy weights face off plus the unpredictable pitch at Cardiff make things more interesting. Let us sit back, relax and enoy this interesting match!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Pakistan vs South Africa ICC Champions Trophy Match

Pakistan vs South Africa 

Four matches concluded so far and three of them were low scoring yet highly interesting matches. Srilanka vs New Zealand match was one of the best low scoring games you would ever see. When both the teams fell short of reviews some decisions went the other way and match grew more tight! As of now, India and West Indies are leading Group B and now we have another match from group B which includes Pakistan and South Africa. TV viewers in India can enjoy live telecast on Star Cricket channel.

Pakistan and South Africa have both lost their first matches. So indirectly this is going to be a do or die match for both the teams. Pakistan's batting was disappointing against West Indies. Apart from skipper Misbah, everyone else didn't score to their potential. Misbah stood alone and scored not out 96 meanwhile others fell like cards.

Pakistan bowlers bowled their heart out and tried to pull out a rabbit from their hat. But ultimately the match went West Indies way. Mohammad Irfan and Saeed Ajmal were pick of the bowlers. A lot is expected from Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz. Pakistani fans would be expecting a repeat of the warm up match where South Africa lost against Pakistan.

South Africa were considered to be one of the favourites to win this trophy. But they are missing the services of Kallis and Smith. They gave away too many runs to the Indian batsmen. Batsmen tried they best but fell short of the big target! Morne Morkel who bowled few overs has been ruled out of rest of the tournament due to a quad strain. Chris Morris comes in who had a good IPL season. He can support the other quickies Tsotsobe and Klienveldt. If Steyn plays, that would be a confidence booster for the team.

As we have reached 5th match of ICC Champions Trophy, we expect this to be one of the biggest matches this year as two big teams clash in a must win situation.

Srilanka vs New Zealand ICC Champions Trophy 2013 Match

Srilanka vs New Zealand

Big Sunday from the Champions Trophy and a big match for us - Srilanka vs New Zealand to be played at Cardiff. ESPN Star network will again bring live telecast of this match in India on channels like Star Cricket, Star Sports 2 and Star Cricket HD. We cricket fans in India can't miss match isn't if? Especially if its the mini World Cup!

Statistically this is going to be a tough match to pick a favourite. Srilanka played New Zealand last time in second half of 2012 and won the ODI series 3-0. Overall in last 11 matches, Srilanka has beaten New Zealand on 10 occasions. But if we talk about the venue, New Zealand has recently won 2 matches at Cardiff. And out of all the teams in this Champions Trophy sans England, New Zealand is the team that has got a lot of idea about the climate and cricket conditions in England because they are here since last few months for test and ODI series.

New Zealand lost the test series to England but defeated them 2-1 in the ODI series. That shows that New Zealand are in good form when it comes to the limited overs' version of the game. Especially Guptill is at the best of his forms. He has scored two tons in three ODIs against England. He is well supported by Ross Taylor in the batting line up. If other batsmen start clicking with these two, New Zealand could rise as favourites to win this year.

Meanwhile Srilanka who generally does well in ICC events is under a little bit of pressure. They lost both the warm up matches and their form looks out of sorts. The top order in batting is doing good with Dilshan and Kusal Perera but middle order with Jayawardene, Sangakkara and Mathews looks brittle. 

Thisara Perera is a good allrounder to have in the team and so is Kulasekara a good bowler. Malinga has to live up to his expectations in the match if Srilanka has to restrict New Zealand to a low total. Srilanka will also bank on its spinners to take care of the opposition.

England is leading this group with a win over Australia. Let us see if any of these teams viz. New Zealand or Sri Lanka can topple England with a better run rate.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

England vs Australia ICC Champions Trophy Match

England vs Australia

Cricket again treats us with pleasure as we are about to witness another cracker in ICC Champions Trophy today! Two arch rivals England and Australia lock horns just a few days before they would again face each other in the oldest test series "Ashes". So far so good, India has defeated South Africa and West Indies has defeated Pakistan in Group B clashes. Today embarks on matches of Group A. ESPN Star network continues its quality telecast in India as one can enjoy today's match live on TV on channels like Star Sports 2, Star Cricket and its HD version also!

Australia has dominated world cricket for almost fifteen years after the downfall of West Indies begun in the early 90s. This team is in a revival phase since last two years and they have seen mixed results so far. Australia faced a night mare whitewash test series defeat in India and they couldn't perform upto their potential in the Champions Trophy warm up games. The worst came again versus India when they were bowled out for just 65 runs. Bailey will have to continue as captain because Clarke is unavailable for the first match against England.

Australian batting looks brittle but bowling has an edge over the other departments. McKay and Starc are capable enough to provide early breakthroughs with their quick bowling. Even Johnson is in good form as he clinched number of wickets for Mumbai Indians in the IPL. Faulkner and Marsh can bowl well to pressurise the opposition.

England are good at home but more in the test arena. They can be beaten at home in ODIs and that has recently been proven by New Zealand. Captain Cook would love to see more success in this format of the game. He needs to click if the team has to perform well. Apart from him the team has many good batsmen viz. Trott, Morgan, etc and even the lower middle order consisting of Bresnan or Broad can contribute runs. England has a good bowling attack with spinner Swann and bowlers like Broad, Finch, Anderson and Tredwell. Overall this promises to be a nice match. So sit back and enjoy your Saturday with some cricketing pleasure.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

West Indies vs Pakistan ICC Champions Trophy Cricket Match

WI vs Pak

Back to back matches for Group B as India vs South Africa match is followed by a match of two other teams belonging to the same group. Star Cricket and Star Sports 2 telecast on TV in India continues as Pakistan faces West Indies. This promises to be another cracker as two teams are full of talented cricketers.

West Indies might have lost its dominance in world cricket the way they used to have in the 60s, 70s and 80s. But they have improved a lot in last one year. They are also the current T20 world champions and their performances in the Champions Trophy are always noteworthy. They won the Champions Trophy title in 2004 and finished second in 1998 (inaugural Champions Trophy) and 2006.

With players like Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Pollard, Bravo, Sammy, Narine and many more to name; one can't take this team lightly. After losing a warm up match against Australia, West Indies bounced back to win their next warm up match against Srilanka. Almost every player in the Windies team can act as an all rounder. That adds to their strength. Pollard, Gayle, Sammy, Bravo they all can bat well and bowl well too. Apart from this, the team is very good at fielding.

On the other hand we have Pakistan which is certainly the most unpredictable team in world cricket. One fine day they can lose an easy one and on the other day they can miraculously win a tough match. Although this team misses out big names like Afridi, Umar Akmal, Younis Khan or even Umar Gul; the team is extremely talented and Misbah is leading from the front.

Good starts are expected from Mohammed Hafeez whereas the middle order depends a lot on skipper Misbah and experienced Shoaib Malik. Spinner Saeed Ajmal is their biggest prospect in the bowling line up and they have a good number of quick bowlers too.

After a lovely match between India and South Africa that went to the India's way, let us expect some exciting cricket from Pakistan and West Indies.

India vs South Africa ICC Champions Trophy Cricket Match

India vs South Africa

India vs South Africa cricket match kicks off the last edition of ICC Champions Trophy 2013 which was long awaited since 2009. Since that year we all couldn't witness the exciting Champions Trophy. The sad part is that we would never see the glorious Mini World Cup again which begun in 1998 but let us expect some exciting matches.

India seems to be in supreme form after playing couple of good warm up matches. India will look forward to continue this form in the Champions trophy matches. After registering a 5 wicket win over Srilanka, India bowled out Australia for 65 runs (chasing a target of 309). Thus India clinched two comprehensive wins over two good teams. That should ideally act as a confidence booster for the World Champions.

As far as the head to head record of India vs South Africa matches in Champions Trophy is concerned, South Africa has never defeated India. First at Nairobi and then at Colombo (2010 and 2012 respectively) - India were the winners.

Indian batsmen like Kohli, Karthik and Dhoni looked in great form during the warm up matches. Form of Murali Vijay, Raina and Rohit Sharma could be a worry for the skipper. These three are very potential batsmen and once they get going, they can win matches. But they all don't look in good touch. Meanwhile Indian bowling looked average against Srilanka but Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma bowled exceptionally well against Australia.

For South Africa, AB de Villiers will lead the team in absence of Smith. The team will also miss the services of their greatest all rounder Kallis who won't be playing in this Champions Trophy. South Africa has a strong batting line up with AB de Villiers, Petersen, Duminy, Miller, Amla and Faf du Plessis. Dale Steyn, Tsotsobe and Morkel make one of the most formidable bowling line up in world cricket today.

There are many more exciting matches to follow in both the groups. Let us sit back and enjoy the trophy!

Monday, June 3, 2013

India vs Australia and Srilanka vs West Indies Champions Trophy Warm Up Matches

Ind vs Aus and SL vs WI

After few interesting warm up matches we are again all set for couple of big practice matches lined up for the day. India takes on Australia and Srilanka play their final warm up match against West Indies. This would be the last day for the warm up matches. ICC Champions trophy begins from 6th June with an enthralling contest between World Champions India and South Africa. Let us review the matches for the day:

India vs Australia

If any match is being loved the most in India after India vs Pakistan, then it has to be India vs Australia. Since the start of Border Gavaskar trophy, these two teams have regularly played against each other even apart from the test cricket. That has strengthen the relationship between these two cricket nations and fans have enjoyed every single match being played between India and Australia.

Australia very recently suffered a 0-4 test series loss against India in India. They would love to register a win here at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. Australia already has a big win to their name as they defeated West Indies in their previous warm up match. Starc had impressive figures of 4 for 29. Shane Watson was the main contributor in the Australia's win. 

On the other hand, even India started their warm up campaign with a huge win over Srilanka. After giving away 333 runs, India chased this huge target with six balls to spare. We witnessed brilliant batting performances from Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik. This promises to be a tight contest between two in form teams.

Srilanka vs West Indies

These two teams are yet to win a match in the warm up stage. Srilanka's first match against Pakistan was washed out due to rain. Their second match against India ended in a defeat. Meanwhile West Indies played on warm up game against Australia and lost it. So both these teams would fight hard to enter the Champions Trophy with a win.

Few of Srilanka's batsmen including Dilshan were seen in good form against India. Their bowlers need to pull up their socks. On the other hand West Indies is one of the most dangerous teams in this tournament. They are full of talented players viz. Bravo, Sammy, Pollard, Gayle, etc. Each of them are capable enough to turn tables on the oppositon.

ESPN Star network continues to provide excellent telecast of the Champions Trophy warm up matches. One can enjoy live telecast on Star Cricket and Star Sports 2 in India.