Docu series 'Down Underdogs' will leave Indian cricket fans in nostalgic tears
(Cricket news) It's been almost a year since the Indian cricket team against all the odds defeated Australia in an away Test series. Now Sony Sports has released a 4 part docu series on India's triumph where they won 2-1 away against the mighty Australia despite numeral setbacks. The series is available to watch on SonyLiv
In the docu series, viewers will see players Hanuma Vihari, Mohammed Siraj and Marnus Labuschagne talking about their experiences. Former cricketers turned commentators Sunil Gavaskar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Nick Knight, Isa Guha, Vivek Razdan, Lisa Sthalekar, Micheal Clarke, Jason talked about the series and also their own experiences in similar situations. Journalists Harsha Bhogle, Ayaz Memon, Joy Bhattacharjya, Gaurav Kapoor and Rajdeep Sardesai highlighted several points about the series and the historical context of it.
The topic of the documentary was such that fans of Indian cricket would enjoy it regardless of the quality of the end product because it is still fresh in people's mind and the memories of it would trigger the nostalgic factor in people's brain who have experienced the series even if it is through their T.V screens. Each episode focused on the 4 Test matches titled Adelaide Aberration, Melbourne Magic, Sydney Siege and Brisbane Breached.
Throughout the series there were stories and anecdotes about players like Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, T Natarajan and Washington Sundar. The series brilliantly portrayed important parts of the series like Virat Kohli leaving after the first Test, Ravichandran Ashwin's battle with Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane's hundred, India's multiple injury woes, racist abuse, the unexpected debuts of inexperienced Indian players and Tim Paine's sledging.
The main thing missing was that Marnus Labuschagne, Hanuma Vihari and Mohammed Siraj were unable to enlighten the viewers about their mindset during and before the games. What the atmosphere was inside the changing room was not really talked about. The main takeaway from the series was that it depicted the beauty of Test cricket and why it is the best format of the game and must be preserved. Overall the series is definitely a must watch for all the cricket fans. The high drama along with the ebbs and flow of the Test series is highlighted and enhanced in the docu series.
How Sachin Tendulkar scored his 1st International hundred on this day in 1990
(Cricket news) Sachin Tendulkar is undoubtedly the biggest name in cricket. Widely regarded as the god of cricket, Tendulkar played 24 years of international cricket for India. In the 24 years he played 200 Test matches and 463 One Day Internationals scoring over 34,000 international runs.
Tendulkar grabbed eyeballs as a young 15 year old kid. He went on to make his International debut in the 1989 Karachi test against possibly the best bowling attack in the world. With Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram and Imran Khan bowling against him, Tendulkar struggled in his first innings. In the second test in Faisalabad, he scored a fifty while batting at number 6. In that tour he ended up scoring 215 runs in 6 innings.
Sachin Tendulkar has scored a record 100 international centuries. His first century came on 14th August 1990 in Manchester. India were playing England in a 3 match match series. After losing the first test at Lord's the teams met at Old Trafford, England elected to bat first and scored 519 thanks to centuries by Graham Gooch, Mike Atherton and Robin Smith. In reply skipper Mohammed Azharuddin scored a quick fire 179 supported by Sanjay Manjrekar's 93 and Sachin Tendulkar's 68 to help India to a total of 432.
Also read: India still ahead despite Anderson-led England fightback on day 2 of 2nd test
After taking a lead of 87 England scored 320 for 4 in their 2nd innings and declared leaving India a target of 408 runs to chase. India lost a few early wickets and then came Sachin Tendulkar. Tendulkar scored an unbeaten 119 of 189 balls and with the support of Manoj Prabhakar who scored 67, saved the test match and subsequently the series. India managed to draw the next test match as well. This was Tendulkar's first international hundred
Sachin Tendulkar then became a phenomenon in the cricketing world. He ended up scoring 51 centuries in Tests and 49 in ODIs. The innings was not just remembered because it is the maiden hundred of a cricketing icon but it was extremely important in the context of the game and the series as well.
Players who can turn around the match in India Vs England Series
Cricket news: England are all set to host India for a five-match Test series. England lost 3-1 in India earlier this year and will be keen to use their home advantage this time to turn things around. India on the other hand would be looking to win a test series in England for the first time since 2007. The youngsters had a good series versus the Sri Lankans and will be looking to perform well in the longer format of the game. This time they will be up against experienced players but will be backed up by senior Indian players. The England players will have the home advantage and will use it to baffle the Indians. James Anderson and Stuart will spearhead the bowling attack and will be a force to reckon with. Anderson’s swing can be devastating at times and can disarm the batting force. Umesh Yadav is back on the squad and will try to inflict damage on the English soil along with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Pujara has lately been criticised for his strike rate most recently in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand. But he has the calibre and patience to let his bat talk and deliver. He has been the backbone of the test team many times, standing strong against tough conditions.
Here are five Indian Players to look out for:
1) Ravichandran Ashwin- Ashwin was named man of the match in the last India versus England series that happened earlier this year. This time around the all rounder might not have much help from the conditions but will still be very crucial for India. Ashwin’s overseas record was never impressive before 2018. Ashwin had played nine test matches in SENA countries before 2018 and managed to scalp 24 wickets. After 2018 the off spinner has racked up 48 wickets in 12 Test matches in SENA countries although an overseas five wicket haul is still missing from his record book. Ashwin was the pick of bowlers in the three tests he played in Australia last time around. Although his record in England has not been the best, a series of matches in county cricket will surely work in his favour to change that. Ashwin also picked up five wickets in the WTC final against New Zealand which is another sign of things to come. The Tamil Nadu stalwart is also just five wickets away from overtaking Harbhajan Singh to become India’s third highest wicket taker with only Anil Kumble and Kapil Dev.
2) Mohammed Siraj- Siraj burst onto the scene in the Border Gavaskar trophy. The pacer made his debut in the second test match and instantly showed signs of greatness. Siraj ended the series as India’s highest wicket-taker with 13 wickets including an astonishing five-wicket haul in the second innings of the legendary Brisbane test. Despite the success in Australia the Hyderabad seamer was left out of the WTC final against New Zealand in favour of an experienced bowling attack. Siraj might not be the first name on the team sheet yet but if given a chance could prove to be very effective in typical English conditions. Siraj’s ability to hit the deck hard consistently and generate the odd swing makes him a tough player to keep on the bench for too long.
3) KL Rahul- KL Rahul has been handed a golden opportunity of a comeback in the Test team. KL was India’s opener in the 2018 away season but was subsequently dropped from the side after poor performances in England and Australia. After good performances in the shorter formats and especially in the IPL Rahul was brought back in the red ball squad for the Australia tour. His return to the side caused a lot of debates with former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar saying that his comeback sends a wrong message and demotivates Ranji Players. The Wicketkeeper expectedly didn’t play a single game and to make matters worse sustained an injury before the final test. Rahul scored an impressive hundred in the warm-up game against the county 11 in which he batted in the middle order and also kept wickets. With Shubham Gill ruled out of the series and Mayank Agarwal out of contention for the first test due to a head injury KL Rahul might have to open the batting. In his last match in England, Rahul scored a 4th innings hundred at the Oval. The series will be a great opportunity for the Banglore Batter to cement his place in all three formats of the game for years to come whether it is as an opener or in the middle order is a big question.
4) Virat Kohli- It’s difficult to not include Virat Kohli in this list for various reasons. The most prominent being his unbelievable performance in this very series three years ago. The Indian captain scored 593 runs scoring two centuries in the process in 2018 and was awarded the man of the series. Kohli hasn’t scored an International ton since his 136 in November 2019 against Bangladesh. The Indian skipper will be very keen to end his century drought and what better stage to do it. Apart from his captaincy, Kohli’s performance with the bat will be very key from India’s point of view. If India do decide to go for six pure batsmen as they have been doing recently then the pressure on each batter will increase and Kohli will have to step up for India to win.
5) Shardul Thakur- The Indian squad is very well balanced in all departments. The only thing missing is a fast-bowling all-rounder. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya missing from the squad leaves a big hole in the setup, especially while touring England. Shardul Thakur has shown incredible signs of having the potential to fill that hole. The pacer made his Test debut back in 2018 against West Indies but got injured after bowling ten balls. Thakur was part of the T20I and ODI squad for the Australia tour but stayed back for the test series to act as a net bowler. He along with T. Natarajan and Washington Sundar was handed a golden opportunity to play the last test after unexpected injuries to players. Shardul grabbed that opportunity by picking up 7 crucial wickets at the Gabba but his most valuable contribution came with the bat as Thakur played a fiery first innings knock of 67 runs. His aggressiveness with the ball and firepower with the bat could be India’s wild card in the series. Thakur might be down the current squad’s pecking order in terms of bowling but his prowess with the bat makes him a valuable asset considering the much highlighted weakness of the Indian tailenders.
Also read: India Vs England series, youngsters waiting to shine
Here are five England players to look out for:
1) Ollie Robinson- Ollie Robinson made an incredible test debut just a couple of months ago in the first test against New Zealand. The pacer took seven wickets and then got caught in a wave of controversy when his old racist and sexist tweets caught attention. Robinson later apologised but received a suspension and missed the second test. After an investigation, Robinson’s suspension was lifted and he was named in the squad for this series. With the absence of Jofra Archer, Robinson is the perfect candidate as a third quick bowler along with Broad and Anderson. His ability with the bat is an added advantage against a side like India. Robinson’s ability to consistently seam swing the ball is something which might be difficult for the Indian’s to deal with.
2) Sam Curran- After the recent withdrawal of Ben Stokes, Sam Curran’s importance in this England team has become much more than what it was before. Curran's ability with the ball and the bat makes him an almost perfect replacement for Ben Stokes. Curran’s swinging balls caused India a lot of trouble last time around and the Surrey all rounder will be looking to have the same impact but this time with added contributions with the bat. Sam Curran who is still only 23 years of age has already stamped his authority on the international stage. Curran will be very crucial for England in this series with the conditions massively favouring a bowler with his particular set of skills.
3) Stuart Broad- Stuart Broad along with his partner Jimmy Anderson will lead the English troops in the series. While Anderson is at the back end of his career Broad still has a few years left in him. The Nottinghamshire bowler like every other pacer did not have any tangible impact in India but this time around Broad will have a lot of pressure to deliver results. The pacer will be keen to have a massive impact after an average performance against New Zealand.
4) Joe Root- The England captain will have a lot of burden as a batsman in this series. The English batsmen have been very disappointing in the post covid era. Joe Root single handedly won the series for his side in Srilanka and tried his best to do the same in India. Root is the only batsman in the current squad who has consistently scored runs. He was another player whose performance was below par against New Zealand. There is no denying the fact that Joe Root’s performance will determine whether England manage to get the better of India.
5) Jos Buttler- Jos Buttler was England’s highest run-scorer in the 2018 series against India and will be equally important this time around if not more. Butler was rested after playing the first match of the tour of India and hasn’t played a test match ever since. The gloveman has been in good form in the limited-overs format throughout. Buttler’s absence was clearly felt in the New Zealand series. With his ability to counterattack and bat aggressively Buttler can win matches single-handedly. Whether he keeps wickets instead of Johnny Bairstow remains to be seen but Butter's batting ability is more than enough to make him one of the first names in the playing XI.
Suryakumar Yadav’s quest for a spot in India’s WT20 squad
The India-Sri Lanka white-ball series that was scheduled to start on 13th July has been postponed to 18th July due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the host nations camp as per the latest cricket news. All Indian fans are eagerly waiting to see some of the young guns perform on the International stage for the first time. It is India’s only T20 series prior to the World Cup and all eyes will be on Suryakumar Yadav as he looks to cement a spot in India’s WT20 squad.
The 30-year-old Mumbai batsman has been in great form in the last two IPL and has also showcased his potential on the international stage. He has played 3 T20 international matches for India scoring 89 runs and has an average of 44.50. He started his international career in some fashion with a first-ball six over square-leg against Jofra Archer.
Since Virat Kohli is set to open the innings with Rohit Sharma in the WT20 the number three spot in the team is up for grabs. India has a big pool of players to pick from and in such circumstances, SKY will have to make sure that he delivers every time he walks out to bat. His aggressive approach will surely help his cause as India would love an attacking batsman at number 3.
In the 2020 IPL held in UAE, he scored 480 runs at an average of 40. Before the remainder of IPL 2021 kickstarts in UAE, he will have 3 T20 international matches to cement a spot in the squad. His performance in the 2020 IPL which was held in UAE will surely give him a boost as BCCI will be hosting the WT20 in UAE. He has been a consistent performer for Mumbai Indians in the IPL and would love to replicate that for the men in blue.
Former India cricketer and cricket expert Sanjay Manjrekar considers Surya one of the front runners for the number three-sport in the WT20, but, a lot will depend on how he performs in the limited-overs series in Sri Lanka and the remainder of the IPL in UAE. Shreyas Iyer, Rishab Pant, Hardik Pandya and Jadeja will make up the middle order of the team and the only position that seems to be available at this point in time is the number 3 spot. With the likes of Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson and KL Rahul pushing for a spot in the team it will be interesting to see who makes it.
Suryakumar Yadav can bat at No. 3 in T20 World Cup: Former cricketer Manjrekar
Mumbai, Jul 9 (Cricket news) Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar says since skipper Virat Kohli is likely to open with Rohit Sharma in the T20 World Cup, Suryakumar Yadav is an ideal candidate for the number three slot. Kohli and Rohit Sharma had opened for the first time in the fifth match of the home T20 series against England in March this year, raising a 94-run partnership. They had also opened together way back in 2014 against New Zealand. Manjrekar also felt that Suryakumar Yadav could be the front-runner for the number three spot, which otherwise belongs skipper Kohli. "Yes, I think he (Surya) is one of the front-runners, especially with the news coming out that Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are going to be India’s openers. There could be a number three slot open for me," Manjrekar said during a virtual interaction. "I don't know what plan they have with (KL) Rahul, there certainly is a place for someone like Suryakumar Yadav. I have rarely seen somebody bat like that in the IPL for the whole season and even more, the kind of batsmanship we have seen. "And makes him an ideal number three, he can hit good balls for fours, certainly one of the options," he added. The T20 World Cup has been moved to UAE and Oman from India. The event scheduled to begin from October 17.
Talking about the upcoming series agianst Sri Lanka, starting July 13, Manjrekar said he would prefer a more consistent Ishan Kishan instead of Sanju Samson. Manjrekar says the skills behind the wickets hold more significance in Test cricket, so in white-ball formats having a quality batsman is a much better option. "Ishan Kishan is my choice, purely because I am going for the more consistent batter. In ODI cricket keeping is not as crucial as it is in Test matches, in T20s it is not that vital, so you are really making a choice of a better batter," Manjrekar said. "Samson is incredible when he gets going, there is nobody better than him but consistency is a very important criteria for me and that is where I would like to back somebody like Ishan Kishan before I look at Sanju Samson," he added. According to the former batsman, the Sri Lanka tour will also be important for spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
"I am actually very happy with the way the selection has been made. It is nice to see that Kuldeep Yadav has been brought back. In the last year or in a couple of years, he lost his place. "In the Indian white ball team, there was a time he was a game-changer along with (Yuzvendra) Chahal. It is nice that the selectors have given him the opportunity to stake his claim, because he hardly plays for IPL.
"He has a chance and he will have to compete for a place in that Indian T20 World Cup side. He has to prove that he can be a better option,” added Manjrekar. Manjrekar also felt that all-rounder Hardik Pandya can play solely as a batsman in the team, having done so in the last season against Australia. "Hardik proved himself in Australia that he is perfectly capable of playing in the team as a pure batter, there is no doubt now that he can do that," he said. "I am also reading reports that he has started bowling as well. His bowling, all the more-better for India. He has shown that he has the ability to walk into the team as a pure batter in white-ball cricket," added Manjrekar. Manjrekar also said that the T20 team that India would put up in the upcoming World Cup would be one of the strongest. "The T20 World Cup squad is almost finalised. India’s T20 cricket is in a very healthy space, so it is not like the 2019 World Cup, where till the end we didn’t find our number four. "This T20 team, that India will put up, will be one of the strongest India has ever put up in a T20 format, so I think most of the players are already pencilled in. Former India batsman Ajay Jadeja, who was also part of the interaction backed young Karnataka batsman Devdutt Padikkal to open the innings against Sri Lanka. "I love Devdutt Padikkal, he is the future, but you have got Prithvi Shaw as well. It all depends on the guys who are running the side at that particular moment. "I don’t think it is a choice that Shikhar Dhawan would be making, it will be a choice that the selectors make and of course Rahul Dravid. It will show us what Indian cricket is thinking. It is a tough call between all these guys.
"I would have gone with Padikkal, he is very special,” said Jadeja, adding he was a bit surprised at Dhawan being made the skipper.
The ODI series between India and Sri Lanka will be aired on several Sony channels.
Also read: Hurt Langer keen to continue as Australia cricket coach despite criticism
News source: PTI