Most improved cricketing teams in recent times

cricket-150559_1280Most improved white ball team since 2010…

England.

1975-2009: Zero Big Tournament wins (Comprising 5 or more teams).

2010-22: 3 World Cups.

Most improved red ball team since 2015…

India.

9 straight Test series wins from 2015-17.

First 3-0 Test series win (and whitewash) on foreign soil, Sri Lanka, 2017.

Home whitewashes:

3-0, New Zealand, 2016.

3-0, South Africa, 2019.

First ever Test series win in Australia, 2019, repeated in 2021.

Topped the rankings for inaugural Test championship in 2021.

Undefeated at home since 2012.

But most missed opportunities without winning…

2014: T20 World Cup Final.

2016: T20 World Cup semis.

2015: ODI World Cup Semis.

2017: ICC Champions Trophy Final.

2019: ODI World Cup semis.

2021: Test Championships Final.

2022: T20 World Cup Semis.

Fact. Israel is pro-India. Palestine is pro-Pakistan (& anti-India).

India historically always diplomatically attacked Israel…

Palestine flag1. India was the only non-Muslim country from the Asia-Pacific region to vote against the creation of Israel in 1947 even though it had just won its Independence from the British.

2. Indira Gandhi openly wooed Palestine Liberation Organization leader even though many considered it a terrorist organization and shared excellent personal ties with PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

3. India refused to have anything to do with Israel till 1991. Even after 1991, while India benefited greatly from Israel in bilateral ties, it tried to keep everything behind the scenes, a sort of backdoor diplomacy. A Prime Minister of India officially visited India only in 2017.

Despite that Palestine always abuses India…

icon-2027661_6401. Palestinian Abdullah Yusuf Azzam was a co-founder of the dreaded Lashkar-e-Taiba which has been involved with the 2001 Indian Parliament attack, the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the 2003 Nadimarg Massacre, the 2005 Delhi bombings, the 2006 Varanasi bombings, the 2006 Doda massacre and many many more.

2. In 2015, the then President Pranab Mukherjee had to cancel his visit to Al Quds University as Palestinian students protested him, got violent and there were also reported incidents of stone pelting.

3. Recently the Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan shared a stage with anti-Indian terrorist Hafiz Saeed, who was also one of the co-founders of the above mentioned LeT.

4. One of his predecessors had equated Palestine with Kashmir.

5. Pan Am air hostess Neerja Bhanot, who posthumously got the Ashok Chakra, was killed at the hands of hijackers and terrorists who were fighting for the Palestinian cause.

6. The West Bank is ruled by Hamas, a terrorist organization. Even the Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did his PhD in Holocaust denial.

Despite everything Israel always helped India…

israel-2131247_6401. Israel always tried to have friendly relations with India.

2. Israel helped India with arms on the eve of the 1971 war.

3. Israel did the same during the 1999 Kargil war.

4. India has given great help to India in the fields of military, security and agriculture.

5. When Modi visited Israel in 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally greeted him when he arrived; he rarely does that, and spent the whole trip with him cancelling all other appointments.

© Sunil Rajguru

Musings post India’s loss in the Champions Trophy…

stadium-580364_640In the 1983 World Cup final, we made just 183 runs in 60 overs.
We shouldn’t have won that.
The West Indies batting line-up was the most powerful in the world.
In the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy final, we made just 129 runs in 20 overs.
We shouldn’t have won that.
England were former T20 World Champions too and were further playing on home soil.
In the 2000 ICC KnockOut final, we beat the best teams of the tournament—Australia and South Africa—and yet lost to a much weaker New Zealand team and till date that remains their only ICC tournament title.
In the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final, India was a vastly superior team.
Yet Pakistan gave the vastly superior performance both in batting and bowling.
I guess it all evens out in the end.

We lost to England in the 1987 ODI World Cup semi-final.
We lost to New Zealand in the 2000 ICC KnockOut final.
We lost to Australia in the 2003 ODI World Cup final.
We lost to Sri Lanka in the 2014 T20 World Cup final.
We lost to West Indies in the 2016 T20 World Cup semi-final.
We lost to Pakistan in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final.
No team is our bogey.
We are our own bogies.
If we don’t show up on that day, we lose miserably.

After playing brilliant cricket throughout the tournament, India choked in the finals of the 2014 T20 World Cup and the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy along with the semis of the 2015 ODI World Cup.
After this dastardly performance, whenever we enter the finals, we can’t be called the favourites but will always be the underdogs.
The glorious golden 2007-13 MS Dhoni era is well and truly over.

After the Sri Lankan team attack in 2009 when Pakistan is facing a virtual home boycott, it won its first T20 World Cup the same year, its first Asia Cup in 12 years in 2012 and its first ICC Champions Trophy in 2017.
Amazing how it keeps coming out with a superlative performance once in a while with all the turmoil and chaos compared to the solidity and stability of say a South Africa!

2014. Congress. Out!

2015. Labour. Out!

2016. Democrats. Out!

Hat-trick!

Prediction: In 2009 when the Congress won, they told us that by 2014 the party would get 272 Lok Sabha seats and the BJP would be finished.

Reality: The BJP got 282 and the Congress got decimated and faces terminal decline.

Prediction: In 2015 they said Labour would make a comeback and the Tories would really struggle.

Reality: The Labour got wiped out, the Miliband brothers went into oblivion and Corbyn is slowly banging nails into the party coffin.

Prediction: In 2016 they said Hillary would win, Trump would be disgraced and the Republicans would fight themselves to decline especially in the face of the declining white population.

Reality: The Republicans will soon control the White House, Senate, House of Representatives and have the most Governors too, not to mention a conservative Supreme Court.

The Democrats on the other hand just had a Civil War between Hillary and Sanders’ supporters and are currently running around like headless chickens.

The axis has turned. The world has turned Right.

© Sunil Rajguru

General cricketing musings…

Champs for 10 years and counting…
2007-09—T20 World Champs.
2009-11—Test World Champs.
2011-15—ODI World Champs.
2013-17—Defenders of Champions Trophy.
Pakistan.
Shortest T20 Champions 2009-10: 329 days.
Shortest Test champions in 2016: 42 days.

Have you seen the Rocky series?
Sir Ravindra Jadeja: No I am busy creating the Ronchi series.
There’s already Ronchi 1, 2, 3 and 4.
I am looking forward to Ronchi 5 in the next match.

When he comes in to bat.
JadejAA.
When he takes a wicket.
JadeJAA.
#IndVsNZ

ICC Test No. 1 rankings began in 2003.
Ganguly-Dravid-Kumble couldn’t take us past No. 3.
Now both Dhoni and Kohli have taken us to No. 1.

Our bowlers carry our #SurgicalStrikes against Kiwi batting and Pakistan loses the ICC Test rankings No. 1 battle to India.
#IndVsNZ
Headline…
MS Dhoni Biopic makes Rs 66 crore in first weekend.
All I see is Dhoni and 6 6. Makes perfect sense!

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

Engaging Pak over Kashmir…

Pak began Kashmir terror group policy 9 years before they officially became a nuclear power. A year after they lost a war.
N-threat is irrelevant, India’s tolerance the key.

The two biggest stakeholders of the Pakistani Army are America and terrorist groups.
The government is a mute spectator.
Who will you talk to?

Kashmir has already destroyed Pakistan and hasn’t even realized it and still claims Kashmir.

These versions by Sunil Rajguru