India has been choking for quite some time now

virat-kohli-5835741_1280In the 2014 T20 World Cup India played spectacularly winning 5 matches in a row including the semis where they comfortably chased a target of 173 against South Africa.

Then in the final they crashed to an abysmal 130 in 20 overs to lose.

In the 2015 ODI World Cup, we bettered this league performance winning a whopping 7 matches in a row including a 300+ score versus Bangladesh in the quarters.

In the semis, we crashed to 233 all down chasing 329.

In the 2016 T20 World Cup in the semis, we couldn’t even defend a score of 192, as West Indies won by a good 7 wickets and 2 balls to spare.

In the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, we were humiliated by Pakistan, crashing to 158 all down chasing 339.

In the 2019 ODI World Cup semis, we couldn’t even chase a target of 240, getting 221 all down.

In the inaugural Test World Championship, we topped the global rankings but crashed to 170 all down in the second innings when even a 220 might have been enough to draw the match thanks to all the rain delays.

And in the recent T20 World Cup we got thrashed by 10 wickets in the semis.

If we had bad teams and lost to a better team it would have been different. But we have been doing consistently well in the leagues and then crashing at the last moment.

The only silver linings have been the Asia Cups we won in 2016 and 2018.

We really are missing MS Dhoni (he was in severe decline in the above-mentioned period) and his Golden Era when from 2007-13, we won the T20 World Cup (2007), the ODI World Cup (2011) and the ICC Champions Trophy. Apart from the 2016 Asia Cup, Dhoni also won us the 2010 edition and our first ever tri-series win on Australian soil in 2008.

Our previous golden period was 1984-86, when we won the ODI World Cup in 1983, the Asia Cup in 1984 and the Benson & Hedges World Series in 1986 apart from other smaller tournament wins.

Let’s see when the next golden period begins.

Why Indian cricketers aren’t poor travellers and ace foreign tours

plane-841441_960_720England is yet to win a major multi-nation ODI tournament outside England. South Africa and New Zealand have not won any World Cup anywhere. Forget a Test series—Sri Lanka has never even won a single Test in India. Pakistan won their first Test series in West Indies quite late in 2017 as against India way back in 1971.

The truth is that when you combine all three formats of the game, then only Australia and India are the best travellers. Only these two teams have won maximum multi-nation tournaments in maximum countries. It’s a myth that Indians are poor travellers in international cricket overall.

We have won in…

united-kingdom-1043062_1280England.
1 ODI World Cup—1983.
1 ICC Champions Trophy—2013.
3 Test series—1971, 1986, 2007.
1 ODI Tri-series—2002.
4 ODI series—1986, 1990, 2014, 2022.
2 T20 series—2018, 2022.
Total = 12.

sydney-3680862_960_720Australia.
1 Mini World Cup—Benson & Hedges World Series 1985.
2 Test series—2019, 2021.
1 ODI Tri-series—2008.
1 ODI series—2019.
2 T20 series—2016 (Australia’s only whitewash in any format on home soil ever since 1877), 2020.
Total = 7.
(India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Aus by tying the Test series in 2004)

South Africa.
1 T20 World Cup—2007.
1 ODI series—2018.
1 T20 series—2018.
Total = 3.

Lanka-2099225_1280Sri Lanka.
1 ICC Champions Trophy—2002.
1 Asia Cup—2010.
3 Test series—1993, 2015, 2017.
3 ODI Tri-series—1998, 2009, 2018.
5 ODI series—2008, 2009, 2012, 2017, 2021.
Total = 13.

West Indies.
5 Test series—1971, 2006, 2011, 2016, 2019.
1 ODI Tri-series—2013.
6 ODI series—2002, 2009, 2011, 2017, 2019, 2022.
2 T20 series—2019, 2022.
Total = 14.

pakistan-641446_960_720Pakistan.
1 Test series—2004.
2 ODI series—2004, 2006.
Total = 3.

New Zealand.
2 Test series—1968, 2009.
2 ODI series—2009, 2019.
1 T20 series—2020.
Total = 5.

dubai-1113262_960_720UAE.
7 multi-nation tournaments—1984, 1985, 1988, 1995, 1998, 1998, 2018.

Bangladesh.
2 Asia Cups—1988, 2016.
4 Test series—2000, 2004, 2007, 2010.
1 ODI Tri-series—1998.
3 ODI series—2004, 2007, 2014.
Total = 10.

Canada.
2 ODI series—1997 (Pak), 1999 (WI).

clover-445255_960_720Ireland.
1 ODI series—2007 (SA).
2 T20 series—2018, 2022 (Ire).
Total = 3.

Zimbabwe.
1 Test series—2005
4 ODI series—1998, 2013, 2015, 2016.
2 T20 series—2010, 2016.
Total = 6.

Grand Total = 85, that includes 5 World Cups/mini WCs, second only to Australia’s 6 away such wins.

India has won at least one 5-nation plus tournament in Australia, South Africa, England, Sri Lanka, UAE, Bangladesh and India.

(This blog was first published on October 1, 2018. This is an updated version of the same)

How India fares in Tests at home and abroad

cricket-5251804_1280The last time a visiting team won a Test on Indian soil…
Sri Lanka: Never.
Bangladesh: Never.
Zimbabwe: Never.
New Zealand: 1988.
West Indies: 1994.
Pakistan: 2005.
South Africa: 2010.
Australia: 2017.
England: 2021.

The last time India won an away Test…
Pakistan: 2004.
Zimbabwe: 2005.
New Zealand: 2009.
Bangladesh: 2010.
Sri Lanka: 2017.
South Africa: 2018.
West Indies: 2019.
Australia: 2021.
England: 2021.

MS Dhoni musings…

Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost!
—Bollywood ka Baadshah.
Last over abhi baaki hai mere dost!
—Cricket ka Baadshah.
‪#‎LastBallDhoni‬

March schedule…
19th: Bura na maano, Kohli hain.
23rd: Bura na maano, Dhoni hain.
24th: Bura na maano, Holi hain.
‪#‎2016T20WC‬ ‪#‎HappyHoli‬

Dhoni: Aaj kuch toofani karte hai!
Kohli: Last ball Victory 6?
Dhoni: Yaar woh bahut kar chuka hu.
How about last ball Victory Run Out?

The film “M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story” should actually be called “Jo Jeeta Wohi Mahendra”.

Andheri raat ke baad teen din ki chandni…
Overs 1-19.3: Pathetic fielding.
19.4: Good catch.
19.5: Great catch.
19.6: Brilliant run out.
‪#‎IndVsBan‬

Before India used to panic.
Now Dhoni induces panic in the opposition.
‪#‎IndVsBan‬

Hardik Patel ko mila jail.
Hardik Pandya ne diya Team India ko bail.
‪#‎IndVsBan‬ ‪#‎2016T20WC‬

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

Feroz Shah Kotla Test musings…

Ultimate irony.
Feroz Shah Kotla stands named Viru 309 & 319 after his blitzes.
AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla pay their respects by scoring super slow 43 off 297 and 25 off 244 in first match after that.

AB de Villiers is the only batsman in the world who can hit both 100 off 30 balls and 30 off 100 balls.
‪#‎IndVsSA‬ ‪#‎FerozShahKotla‬

First Extremist Shastri…
Fast: 200 off 123 balls in a First Class innings.
Slow: 10 off 63 balls in an ODI innings.
Second Extremist ABD…
Fast: 149 off 44 in an ODI innings.
Slow: 43 off 228 in a Test innings.

Green pitch: Bad!
Spinning pitch: Bad!
Dead pitch: Bad!
Great pitch: That which produces result in last over of Day 5.
(Meaning rocket scientists will now have to design Test pitch)

The Test conundrum…
Amla and ABD played brilliant cricket.
It was also a brilliant cure for insomnia.

#‎RohitTalentSharma‬
ODIs: Debuted in 2007, scored 200 in 2013.
Tests: Debuted in 2013, will score 400 in 2019.
Keep the faith!

Unke dus aadmi hamare ek ke barabar hai!
Rahane: Challenge accepted!—127.
South Africa—121.

(Ref: Fourth India-South Africa Test)

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

India-South Africa Nagpur Test musings…

The level of intolerance against South African batsmen shown by Indian spinners has reached new depths.

South Africa requires 310 runs in 1704 balls (284 overs) and they’re still not the favourites!
Welcome to Test cricket!

Strange team South Africa.
Hasn’t lost a Test series abroad in 9 years.
Hasn’t won a Test series at home against Australia in 45 years!

Even though it’s the Third Test, today is the 5th day of the India-South Africa Test series.

Nagpur opens with a 5th day 3rd session pitch on the 1st day 1st session!

These versions by Sunil Rajguru