Abhinav Mukund – The comeback man

First Class Career | Mukund has 8548 first-class runs, at an average of 48.6. Since his Ranji debut in 2007, no other batsman has surpassed his tally of 5919 runs in Ranji Trophy. Left Hander Advantage| Mukund is the leading run scorer amongst left handers in last two years of Indian first class cricket. Test Recall | Mukund has been recalled to the India test squad after 6 long years. He last played a test against England at Nottingham in July 2011. Abhinav Mukund got his first call up to the Indian squad in 2011, and he did not have the best time with the bat. He just ended up scoring only a single 50+ score in his 10 inns. Now, he has been recalled to the Indian test squad after an impressive performance in the Ranji Trophy last season. During Ranji season 2016/17, he has gone past 50 run mark seven times out of fourteen innings. He is likely to slot in for the opening position after Dhawan, Patel and Gambhir could not make an impact in the limited opportunity they got in test. His making the XI might be difficult though, considering Vijay and KL Rahul are India’s

The Unbeatable Kohli

The Unbeaten streak | Kohli is unbeaten in 18 test matches as captain, equaling Gavaskar’s 18 unbeaten streak as test captain for India. At Home| While captaining in India, Kohli has a win% of 83.3%, highest among those who captained minimum 10 matches for India in test. Across Format| After England T20I series win, Kohli equaled Dhoni’s 8 consecutive series wins as captain across all formats. Kohli added another record to his kitty going unbeaten in 17 matches as captain in Tests. He surpassed Kapil Dev after winning the 5th test against England and winning the series 4-0. Virat Kohli’s performance as captain of the Indian Test team has constantly improved with each passing match. India’s 321-run victory over New Zealand in the third and final Test at Indore on Tuesday handed Kohli his first series sweep as captain. Kohli is one century short of leveling Azharuddin’s record of 9 centuries as captain, behind Sunil Gavaskar’s 11centuries as captain in Tests. The highlight of Kohli’s captaincy career is the number of innings he has taken to reach the landmark. Leading a young side, Virat Kohli has now bettered MS Dhoni’s record of most consecutive wins as Test captain. India earlier

IND v ENG – 2nd T20 – INSIGHTS

England Pacers keeping it tight in PP Knowing well that the Indian batsmen are good off the front foot and through the offside, the English pacers came out with a plan. The plan was straightforward, the Indian pacers bowled just short of length, aimed at the body of the Indian batsmen. The idea of cramping the Indians worked, they were not able to get away in the PP overs. Eng Pacers v Indian Openers in PP KL Rahul v England Spinners Dawson and Rashid bowled fuller than Moeen Ali, whose flatter trajectory and shorter length was able to keep the Indian batsmen under check. KL Rahul was able to get to the pitch of the ball against Rashid and Dawson and so was able to score boundaries against them. On the other hand, Moeen Ali pulled his length back and did not concede a boundary in his whole spell. Slower ones working for England in the Death Once again it was Tymal Mills and Chris Jordan who bowled four overs in the death. They read the pitch well and used the slower deliveries well. England conceded only 36 runs in the last 5 overs and only two boundaries were scored

IND v ENG – 3rd ODI – Review

Kedhar Jadav scored another 50+ score in double quick time to take India to the threshold of victory, but the hosts fell a hit short of England’s target, conceding their first game on this tour and winning the ODI series 2-1. Many whispers hinted at the last over finish England lost against the eventual World T20 Champions West Indies. It looked finished when Chris Woakes, having 16 runs to defend, conceded a six and four of the first two balls in the over, but the right-arm pacer magically conjured up four dot balls including the prized wicket of Jadhav to punish the right-hander for leaving it till the last over. The pair of Jadhav and Pandya got India that close from an unlikely position. It was a valiant effort from the both of them, an effort that underlined Jadhav’s skill of not giving away too many dot balls and Pandya’s  ability to stick around the when the team needs him. The English bowlers though were guilty of playing to Jadhav’s strength which is to play from the crease, the pacers later in the innings bowled fuller to him attempting to stem the flow of runs. Chris Woakes bowled two full

IND v ENG – 3rd ODI – Insights

Perfect execution by Indian pacers up front Knowing that the English openers, Roy and Billings, are strong on the leg side, the Indian pacers were smart enough to bowl predominantly in the outside-off line channel, making full use of the movement on offer in the pitch. By bowling in that channel, they removed the flick and pull-shot out of the equation. By the end of the 10th over they just conceded 43, but they were unable to pick a wicket, which could be attributed to England’s circumspect batting. Jadeja’s Bunny – Jason Roy If it was Alastair Cook who was Jadeja’s bunny in the test series, it is Jason Roy in ODIs. The left-arm orthodox bowler has now dismissed Roy three out of three times this series. His dismissal in this game was a throwback to his wicket in the 2nd ODI, the right-hand batsman went on the backfoot and tried to cut a length ball, missing it completely. Having been dismissed six out of nine time against SLAO in ODIs, Roy would look to improve his numbers against the orthodox bowlers. Full and wide to Kohli The best possible time to take the wicket of Kohli is when he

IND v ENG – 2nd ODI – Review

India – 381/6 (50 Overs) England – 366/8 (50 Overs)  India won by 15 runs England’s inability to get breakthroughs in the middle overs was yet again the difference between the two teams as the visitors end up 15 short of India’s target of 382. The English bowlers again were able to pin India down but just like the last game one partnership undid all their hard work.  The pacers reduced India 25/3 by the fifth over of the innings, Woakes clinching three wickets, including the prized wicket of Kohli. Woakes finished his new ball spell with figures of 14/3 in five overs, a spell which contained 25 dot balls and three maiden overs in a row. By the end of the power play, it looked like a good toss to win for England who elected to field first with dew influencing Captain Morgan’s decision. The third wicket brought in former Indian captain Dhoni to the crease. While walking into bat before the fifth over in ODIs Dhoni averages 86.2 which underlines his ability to stay calm in times of pressure. Along with Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni shared a record partnership of 256 for the 4th wicket, the second highest fourth wicket

IND v ENG – 2nd ODI – Insights

The Calm before the Storm Walking in within the first five overs, a cool head like Dhoni was what India required. His approach in the first forty balls did not indicate that India would finally be able to make a 381 at the end of 50 overs. His ability to play in himself and then unleash the big strokes is important for India considering Dhoni would be batting at #5. Dhoni innings builder – 2nd ODI – Ind v Eng England’s Middle Phase Struggle England found it difficult to control the Dhoni-Yuvraj partnership. The pair were able to rotate the strike constantly and were able to maintain the run-rate at a run-a-ball. India conceded runs in the middle phase, leaking runs at a rate of 6.8 rpo, but they were somehow able to pick four wickets in the phase unlike England. The visitors really miss a spinner who can pick wickets in the middle-overs, maybe Liam Dawson would get a game in the last ODI. England Bowling – Phase wise – 2nd ODI Ind v Eng India’s Discipline with the New Ball The Indian fast bowlers constantly maintained their line outside-off stump, tempting the England batsman. They were strict not to

Has India found their #6?

Adaptability | It was 60/4 when Kedar came into bat in the 12th over, adapted himself to play the long innings and put up a partnership with the skipper to chase down a target of 351. India’s new #6|Since his ODI debut in 2014, he has scored 2 centuries from his 7 innings at #6 to become the first Indian batsman to score 2 centuries at #6. Quickest at #6 | Jadhav has become the fastest player to score 2 centuries at #6 in just 7 innings. There were instances where India chased down a total of 350 but the innings of Kedar is something special in terms of handling pressure after losing wickets in quick succesions during the start. It involved the calculative approach from Jadhav to get those singles from good deliveries and at the same time dispatched the lose balls to boundaries. Batting at #6 and scoring centuries at this position is not such an easy task but Jadhav has already scored two centuries in this short span of time. He has crossed the 50 run mark only twice in his 9 innings and on both occassions he went on to score a century. No. of Centuries

The English Stallion – Joe Root

Friendly Conditions | Root has an average of 57.9 in Asia, best amongst any English batsman who has scored 500+ ODI runs in the subcontinent. Poor Conversion| Even though Root has had a good time batting in the subcontinent, he has been able to convert only one of his six 50+ scores in 100s, which continued in Pune as well. Consistency | Since his debut in 2013, Root has managed 600+ runs every year, started this year with a knock of 78 from his only innings. Joe Root batting year wise – in ODIs If Kohli is India’s key batsman for India, Joe Root would be his English counterpart. Root in 2016 has had an equally exciting year as Kohli. Last year, would go down as Root’s best year in ODI cricket, he averaged 61.2 in 14 innings in 2016 and continuing his run in 2017. Since his debut he has played at #4, but after the 2015 World Cup he was promoted up the order to #3. Root now averages just above 50 batting at #4, an improvement from his average of 41.4 batting at two down. Best Average for an England batsman in sub-continent – in ODIs (min

IND v ENG – 1st ODI – Insights

Building Partnerships in the middle England started well, Roy and Hales putting 39 runs under seven overs, Root at one-down support Roy well as the latter registered an ODI fifty in less than 40 balls, the first of three such fifties in the game. One of the important reasons why the visitors were able to set a challenging target was that they did not lose cluster of wickets in the beginning of the innings. None of their top four wicket partnerships were less than 30, which meant Stokes could come into the 38th over and score big in the final ten overs. England score phase wise – This match Poor death Bowling by Indian Pacers Bumrah despite conceding close to 7.9 per over, he was the only pacer to complete his quota of 10 overs. Umesh Yadav too was going for near nine runs per over pushing Kohli to fill his quota of overs with Yuvraj and Kedar Jadav. Bumrah has been India’s primary death bowler, but he was unable to land his yorkers, which ended up as no-balls, taking India’s extras to 22 extras by the end of the game. England Pacers on the Money England pacers keeping it