India seek quick return to third spot

A good showing in the ICC Champions Trophy will push India to the coveted third spot in the ICC One-day International (ODI) rankings behind Australia and South Africa.

The India team have the same number of 111 rating points as Pakistan and New Zealand but sits below both the sides at fifth spot as they dropped two places after failing to reach the final of the DLF Cup tri-series in Malaysia. But as hosts of the high profile event, India will nurse hopes of leaving these teams behind and moving up the list.

India look to restore faith in own backyard

Indian fans are steadily losing faith in their high-profile cricketers who have promised greatness but delivered little ahead of the Champions Trophy.

A 4-1 defeat in the West Indies in May and one win in four one-dayers in the recent triangular series in Kuala Lumpur have raised serious questions about whether Rahul Dravid’s Indians are capable of hitting the jackpot this time.

Nothing went right for India in Malaysia, despite innovative training methods, experiments in the batting order and the presence of exciting stroke-makers. Indian players trained with army soldiers in commando fatigues before the start of the Malaysia tournament. But Kuala Lumpur showed that the team required more than just off-field training to taste on-field success.

Tendulkar, Lee top DLF Cup averages

Dravid, not Chappell, needs to call the shots

dravidRavi Shastri, the former Indian all-rounder-turned-commentator, has stated that Rahul Dravid needed to assert himself more as captain of the team.

Shastri came down heavily on India’s team management in the wake of their disappointing showing in the recently concluded DLF Cup. “It’s time Dravid exerted himself and told Chappell that in future he will call the shots,” Shastri told Gulf News after India failed to qualify for the final of the tri-series. “A coach must only help the captain but the final decision must rest with Dravid. He should decide who should bat at No. 3 and not the coach. Dravid should stand up and say that he is the boss and that he controls matters once he crosses the boundary line. He should get an eleven of his choice.”

Australia yet to peak, warns Ponting

Australian cricket team’s captain Ricky Ponting believes his side have yet to peak despite winning the DLF Cup tri-series One-day International (ODI) tournament, and warns they will be hard to beat at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy.

Australia taught the West Indies a cricketing lesson on Sunday with a crushing 127-run victory in the final of the DLF Cup here at the Kinrara Oval. Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath, Nathan Bracken and Shane Watson proved unstoppable and are expected to spearhead their attempt to win the Champions Trophy for the first time next month.

Dravid holds poor batting responsible for DLF Cup flop

dravidCaptain Rahul Dravid blames poor batting for India’s failure to reach the final of the DLF Cup One-day International (ODI) tournament and has told his players they need to stop the rot before the ICC Champions Trophy next month.

The dejected Indians left Malaysia with plenty to dwell on after throwing away a chance to beat Australia on Friday — their ninth loss in 10 matches to the world’s top team. It cost them a place in Sunday’s final against the West Indies.

Lee on fire as Australia outclass Windies in final

Bret LeeAustralia crushed the West Indies by 127 runs to win the DLF Cup final at the Kinrara Oval here on Sunday and send a chilling warning to their rivals ahead of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy next month.

Set 241 to win, the West Indies were skittled out for 113 from 34.2 overs, unable to deal with the power and accuracy of Australia’s top-notch bowling attack.

Brett Lee took 4-24 while his partner Glenn McGrath bowled six overs for just six runs, two of which were extras.

Highest opening stands in a lost cause

West Indies lost to Australia in the first match DFL Cup at Kuala Lumpur, after putting on 136 for the opening wicket in pursuit of 280. Last nine wickets of the West Indian innings fell for just 30 runs. This provided the ninth occasion in ODIs when a side put on 125 or more runs while chasing and ended up as the losing side. Overall this is now the fifth highest opening stand while chasing for a last cause. For reader’s interest the accompanying table has the complete details.

Longest Ducks in ODIs

In the final of three-nation DLF Cup at Kuala Lumpur, Runako Morton created a new world record of slowest duck by any batsman in terms of balls faced in one-day internationals. Morton consumed 30 balls without troubling the scorers before Nathan Bracken eased him off the 31st ball. The previous record holder in this regard was another West Indian, Phil Simmons, who stood without scoring for 23 balls in the Wills World Series match at Margoa in October 1994. However, the previous longest duck against Australia was by England’s Derek Underwood (off 18 balls) 29 years ago.

Lowest totals unsuccessfully chased

During the fifth match DFL Cup at Kuala Lumpur, West Indies crashed to a paltry 146 runs while chasing a modest total of 163 against India at Kuala Lumpur the other day. Incidentally, this was West Indies’ sixth worst total chasing a target of 170 or less runs. The worst still remains of 87 runs while chasing 102 vs Australia at Sydney in December 1992. For reader’s interest the accompanying table has the complete details.