Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tharanga and Malinga keep series alive

this is latest sport news. Also this is latest sports news.

Upul Tharanga's fourth one-day international century this year and a five-wicket haul from Lasith Malinga kept the series alive as Sri Lanka compiled a comfortable 78-run victory in Hambantota.

After two substandard batting performances in the opening matches, Sri Lanka finally found their rhythm and their 286 was too tall a target for Australia, who lead 2-1 as the teams head to Colombo for the final two games in the series.
It was a solid all-round performance from Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara contributed useful runs and the work of the batsmen was well backed up by the outstanding Malinga and his bowling colleagues. Especially impressive was the debutant seamer Shaminda Eranga, who struck in his first over and deceived Ricky Ponting to keep Australia on the back foot early in their chase.

Eranga, 25, needed only three balls to make his mark on international cricket, with a delivery that nipped through the ever-widening gate left by an out-of-form Brad Haddin, who made 5. But the moment that Eranga will be most proud of came when his slower ball was not read by Ponting, who pushed back a return catch on 22.

Already, Malinga had drawn an edge to slip from Shane Watson (5), and at 52 for 3 following the Ponting dismissal, Australia were in a major hole. Michael Hussey and Michael Clarke did their best to rebuild in a 71-run partnership but Clarke couldn't make it three fifties from three innings this series when on 46 he tamely fed a catch to mid-on off Malinga.
Hussey was his usual competitive self, ticking the score over and reaching his half-century, but he began to run out of partners when his brother David played on to Ajantha Mendis and Steven Smith was run out. Hussey gave Malinga his third wicket when he square-drove to point on 63, and from then, with 104 needed off 59 balls, it was only a matter of when Sri Lanka would wrap up the win.

Malinga ended up with 5 for 28 when his fast, accurate yorkers rattled the stumps of Xavier Doherty and Doug Bollinger, and the outcome wasn't what Clarke had envisaged when he won the toss and sent Sri Lanka in. After rain over the previous day, the pitch gave the seamers some assistance but Tharanga and Dilshan survived the early stages despite numerous plays and misses, especially against Bollinger.

Bollinger, who is not in the squad for the upcoming Test series, finished with 4 for 42 and was the only member of the attack who posed a serious threat to Sri Lanka for most of the innings. The problem was that he didn't make any of his breakthroughs in the early stages, and the 139-run opening stand from Dilshan and Tharanga set the tone for the rest of the match.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Srikkanth says fatigue not an issue

Kris Srikkanth, India's chief selector, has blamed the collective batting failure for series defeat in England, and said the loss had nothing to do with fatigue or poor preparation.
"If you see the FTP, all countries are playing cricket 365 days a year whether England or Australia," Srikkanth said. "It is not the Indians only. The fact is that cricket is being played the whole year in whatever format - Test, ODI or Twenty20. So I don't think that it is the fatigue factor for the performance in England." 
However in the last 12 months India have played more Tests than any other team and more one-day games than anyone except Pakistan. In addition to 14 Tests and 29 ODIs over the past year, India's players also took part in the gruelling IPL, which began within a week of the World Cup final.
In the first three Tests this series, India have not managed to post a total in excess of 300, and Rahul Dravid is the only batsman to have averaged more than 40. Srikkanth said the batting had failed to perform as a unit. "The batting did not click for us. In the Indian side, if batting clicks everything clicks. We also did not do well in bowling and fielding. England bowling attack is ideally suited for the conditions.
"It is a fact that our top five batsmen have not clicked in the series so far. But the same bunch of cricketers have been doing well during the last couple of years. The same combination had defeated South Africa in South Africa. It our bad luck that in this particular tour nothing has clicked for us."  
The BCCI has been criticised by former cricketers for its failure to prioritise Test cricket, but Srikkanth defended the Indian board. "Let us not indulge in the blame game - on the players or the administrators or the BCCI. Nobody is to be blamed and it's not the time for that. It is just that we are going through a bad phase."
England have replaced India at the top of the Test rankings, but while Srikkanth was confident India would be able to bounce back, he said it was time to rebuild the team. "We have to learn from the series in England, look into what went wrong. We also have to identify and support new talent when the time comes," he said.
"We all have to put our heads together and plan for the future," Srikkanth told the Times of India. "We have to start the process all over again without complaining. We have to try our various combinations to get the best team like we did before the World Cup. We even dropped Yuvraj Singh, who came back strongly into the ODI team and left a huge impact on the tournament. We want to do similar things now."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Former captains fear slide for India

India's dismal performance in England has seen them lose the No. 1 ranking in Tests, and several former captains and players concur that it could be a while before they regain the position. A lack of preparation has been pointed out as one of the chief reasons for India's three consecutive losses, and Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, the former India captain, does not think the Indian board will learn their lesson and plan more meticulously for future series
"I don't want to sound like a pessimist but I fear the players are going to say it's only a bad dream, just forget it and get on," he told PTI. "The BCCI is not going to show a great deal of vision. Cricket will continue the way it is but I sincerely hope that some sense does come in."
Sourav Ganguly, who led India to a 1-1 draw in England in 2002, said the performances were worrying and may not just constitute a one-off bad tour. "You can lose Test matches but losing three in a row and not scoring any big total, it is something to be worried about," Ganguly said. "Is it a one-off affair or the beginning of the demise of the side? We have to see."
What is particularly worrying for India is that their batting has failed despite the presence of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, who have 37,769 Test runs between them. Anil Kumble said things would only get harder for India once those three retired, and the challenge now was just to stay near the top rather than reclaim the No. 1 ranking. "You need to spot four-five players and invest in them, to ensure that they carry the responsibility of Indian cricket in future in place of the veterans," Kumble said. "We have Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir
"They have to be given a long rope. You may not see India come back at the top in quick time. But we have to ensure that with these youngsters, we remained in the top three and climb to top spot after a few years."
Kumble's sentiments on the need to blood youngsters were echoed by Arun Lal, the former India batsman, who also said the magnitude of the loss in England may serve as a much-needed wake-up call for India and ensure they are better prepared for future tours.
"You cannot go on with 35 or 38-year-olds till eternity. There might be slowing down of the reflexes, weakening of eyesight etc. So we need to infuse new talent," Lal said. "We have to ensure that we have enough preparation before such tough series. The series loss and World No. 1 Test ranking slipping away is in a way good. We need an awakening."