The captain of the Indian cricket team, MS Dhoni, has said that the practice matches will help his team get adapted to the English conditions.
India has to play two practice matches before the start of the Champions Trophy. The first of them will be played against Sri Lanka on 1st of June, while, the second one will be played against Australia on 4th of June.
Talking to the reporters in a press conference in Mumbai, Dhoni said, “It’s important for us to get adapted to the conditions in England and I think the warm up games will help us in that. We will face two quality teams before the start of the tournament and that will be beneficial for us.”
India’s ODI record in England hasn’t been that good. The Indian team has always struggled in the seaming conditions in England. The last time that the Indian team had played an ODI series there, they had been defeated by 0-3.
When asked about that series, Dhoni said, “I don’t think we had performed badly in that series. Rain had played a major role in almost every game in that series. It was almost impossible for our spinners to show their skills with the wet ball. Also, we had lost the toss in every game which made things even more difficult for us.”
“If you see the outcome of the series, you can imagine that we played badly. But, that was not the case.”
When asked about the inexperienced openers in the squad, Dhoni said, “Both our openers, Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan, had performed fantastically in the test series against Australia. Yes, in ODI cricket, it’s a bit different. You need to attack at certain times, but, it’s also critical to build a solid foundation on which the middle and the lower order can capitalize. These two guys are natural stroke players and I am sure they will do well in ODI cricket too.”
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The former Indian captain, Sourav Ganguly, has said that the careers of Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer khan are not over yet and these guys will definitely be able to make a comeback.
Sehwag, Harbhajan and Zaheer have not been included in the provisional squad of the Indian team for the Champions Trophy. There are 30 players in the provisional squad.
When asked about the omission of these three players from the provisional squad, Ganguly said, “They are great players. Currently, they are going through a tough period, but, I am sure they still have plenty to offer.”
“I have played with all three of them and I know them inside out. They will not give up. They are tough characters and they will take this as a challenge.”
“It has happened with the senior players before. Even I was dropped a couple of times and I made comeback on both the occasions. It’s about keeping your spirits high and working hard on your fitness. Also, you must have belief in yourself that you can play at the highest level again.”
Four players from West Bengal have been included in the provisional squad. These players are Ashok Dinda, Manoj Tiwary, Mohammad Shami and Wriddhiman Saha. Ganguly expressed his happiness over the selection of these four.
The prince of Kolkata said, “I am very happy for these four guys. They have been in the Indian team before and I had expected them to be in provisional squad. So, it’s not surprising at all for me.”
When asked about him not taking part in the IPL this year, Ganguly said, “You can’t continue playing forever. I played in IPL for five consecutive years and I enjoyed it. Now, it’s time to watch this wonderful competition from outside.”
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The Indian Cricket team has defeated Australia by an inning and 135 runs in the second test match which was played at Hyderabad. With this victory, India has taken a lead of 2-0 in the series.
At the end of the third day’s play, the score of Australia was 74 runs for the loss of 2 wickets. They needed to score 192 more runs to avoid the inning defeat, but, they didn’t manage to do that.
The first batsman who was dismissed on the fourth morning was Shane Watson. He tried to flick Ishant Sharma towards fine leg, but, he played the ball too fine and the Indian captain MS Dhoni took a fantastic catch diving towards his left.
Clarke came to bat after the fall of Watson’s wicket and he was looking comfortable against the spinners. But, he was knocked over by a beautiful delivery from Ravindra Jadeja. That was an absolute ripper. The ball pitched on the leg stump, turned square and beat Clarke’s straight bat to hit the off stump. Clarke was stunned. He couldn’t believe that Jadeja had gone through his defense.
The Australian batsmen kept getting out at regular intervals and the Indian spinners were having a ball out there. It seemed that the Australian batsmen didn’t have enough skill to tackle this kind of spin bowling. They were looking helpless at the crease.
There are still a couple of test matches to be played in the series. The third test match will be played at Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali, while, the fourth one will be played at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi.
Australia still have chance to level the series, but, the way their batsmen have handled the spin bowling in the first two test matches, the whitewash is certainly on the cards.
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