Abhaya Sharma Presents

(April 30, 2010 - May 16, 2010) 

Congratulations - 
  • Congratulations England for a comfortable entry into the finals of the third Twenty20 World cup of cricket beating Sri Lanka in an almost one-sided first semifinal
  • Suresh Raina for being named the captain of team India as the BCCI decides to rest senior cricketers for the triangular series in Zimbabwe
  • Suresh Raina for the first T20I Hundred by an Indian. A magnificient and magical effort from his blade registers the first century of the world cup 2010 and only the second Hundred in T20 world cup.. Only the third Hundred in the T20 Intermational cricket. I salute thee and thy batsmanship..
  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni for winning the game that you wanted to loose
  • Mohammad Aamer for unbelievable 20th over five wickets  (though two were run outs!) and sending down the last over of the innings a maiden. 
  • Australia and Pakistan for getting the opposition all out in the same game of T20. It may never happen again in years. 

Now I would be doing injustice to cricket if I do not support Pakistan.. It is a different matter that they are facing Australia i semifinas rather than finals..

A few things about cricket. it is a funny game.. funny being equated to uncertainties.. yet not as uncertain as someone doing harakiri of batting first when it is known that it is easier to make required runs in lesser number of overs to thwart the NRR complexities.. not as complex as dropping the top scorer of IPL in Murali Vijay when you needed him most.. or rather even not as simple as Times of India who give away 5.5 out of 10 to Harbhajan Singh arguably the best spinner playing in the tournament for probably going wicketless.. or may be for all those important runs that he conceded when Sri Lanka could probably have not reached had he been his normal self.. it coud be too big a reward for bowling that first maiden over against Australia.. and yet conceding quite a lot of runs later.. someone could check his figures in that game as well..

I am sorry was not here to chide the Indians.. had come to cheer up Pakistan.. sorry Bhajji you got unnnecesarily fried as brother had been more than compassionate for yur captain and his decisions and his fate.. it is all right.. take it sportingly.. samajh lena ek chhakka abhaya sharma nme bhi maar diya bina maidaan mei aaye.. Ok I can see you smiling.. that is more like you.. take the criticism smilingly.. and not finding lame excuses.. which can’t stand much to the scrutiny of some weird characters like me.. because I love the game so much..

Coming to Afidi’s chances.. man to man he has a weaker team.. his side’s batting is no match for Warner-Watson pair.. that could mean a win-win situation.. Aamer is way behind Nannes.. and Razzaq is not half as good as the countering all-rounder in David ( Apun Aakhiree rasta vale david ka baat nahi ich karata hai malloom.. David the Hussey ka baat karata hai.. haaann.. vo hi ich.. haan haan vo Bat ka saath-saath bowl bhi karata hai.. maloom.. humko malloom hai.. apun bhi cricket jaanata hai.. )

nly thing ha goes in favour of Pakistan is the venue.. the game is not being palyed at Kensigngton Oval of Barbados but at Baesreyjvour.. I bet if any Indian could correct the spelling of this french ground of St. Lucia.. I could refer some site.. but that is not my way of doing things.. arrey yaar ground ka naam agar theek se nahi pata hai to kya cricket mei fail kar doge.. That alone could come handy for Pakistan.. yet it is a bit uncertain if Pakistan spinners barring Ajmal could really do much about.. when the batsman like Watson and Warner are at the crease or even Hussey brothers are doing duty for Australia one can not be so sure.. yet spin is the one department where Pakistan outscores above the yellow-greens.. I would not know what Afridi should differently with the bat.. I can only pronounce if the captain does not take the onus of scoring some big runs himself.. say a 40 or a 45.. he would not be able to command much respect for his bowlers if they have to bowl second.. in such a case a score of 160 to 170 is what is a minimal requirement.. I know he is capable of surprising the Australians by a hundred if he is determined and decided to win tonight..

I would like him t bat first.. even if the new ball bowlers are able to keep the runs checked below 160.. he does have the slowing down wicket which should be more useful for Ajmal and himself.. and maybe Rahman if he plays him..

Akram bhaai.. who is this Azam.. from under-19.. I doubt that Afridi would take that kind of risk or on loosing he too would face the wrath of Pakistani board and media like Dhoni has to do for some of his decisions..

I would prefer to open with Butt and Akmal, followed by the junor Akmal, then Afridi himself and it does not matter who comes in what order but if they are batting till fifteenth over these four they should together make 120 runs so that the rest could press the gas button to take score past 170 or 180.. Australia would certainly loose if Pakistan could get 175 or more.. but question is woyuld they really get there with three top class pace bowlers and Smith as the fourth full time regular option.. They will have to make good use of their skills..

Australia if they bat first which is very likely if they win the toss would see to it that they get around the same score and eventually win the game hands down.. that is team batting first should go ahead to win if they could go past 175..or maybe even 165 should be enough given the bowling resources the two teams possess..

I would beg Afridi to bowl spinners in separate time intervals than tgether.. he has to mix Aamer and Aasif with Rahman and Ajmal.. might suggest to rest Razzaq to give an opportunity to the guy Wasim bhaai was suggesting.. let him taste the blood of international cricket in a big way in the big game..

If I were betting.. unfortunately I do not.. I would have put more than half of my money on Pakistan kept the other half divided between Australia or for savings..

England would love to meet Pakistan rather than Australia in he finals.. they know Aussies are playing systematic cricket likem them and are not 19 to them in the game of Twenty20..

My best wishes are with Umar Akmal.. I don’t know what kind of magic has he used to charm me with his mannerism.. he looks too keen to perform.. he looks so determined to give hundred percent.. he looks every bit a potential winner for his team.. if he fails with the bat.. I would probably loose lot of sleep for him..

I would yet again say May the best team wins.. as my not saying that in India Sri Lanka game did not change the maening of the phrase on ground..
Expected Star Performers -
Australia - Nannes, Warner and Clarke
Pakistan - Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Aamer

The game could be one better than the final.. As pakistan is highly unpredicatble side and Australians are unbeaten in the tournament..

Hae a great game of cricket.. what if Inda is not there..Twenty20 International is much much more interesting than ther Test or ODI..

Match 1 : New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 2 Wickets
Match 2 : West Indies rout Ireland by 70 Runs
Match 3 : India win over Afghanistan with 7 wickets intact
Match 4 : Pakistan escapes Bangladesh scare and win by 21 runs 
Match 5 : India beats South Africa by 14 runs 
Match 6 : Pakistan looses to Australia by 34 runs  
Match 7 : Srilanka wins over Zimbabwe by 14 runs (D/L)
Match 8 : England loses to West Indies by 8 wickets (D/L)  
Match 9 : New Zealand wins over Zimbabwe by 7 Runs (D/L)
Match 10 : England and Ireland no Result
Match 11 : Australia beats Bangladesh by 27 runs
Match 12 : Afghanistan looses to South Africa by 59 Runs
Match 13 : Pakistan loose to England by six wickets
Match 14 : South Africa win over New Zealand by 13 runs
Match 15 : India looses to Australia by 49 runs
Match 16 : West Indies looses to Srilanka by 57 runs
Match 17 : Pakistan looses to New Zealand by 1 run
Match 18 : South Africa looses to England by 30 runs
Match 19 : India looses to West Indies by 14 runs 
Match 20 : Australia beats Sri Lanka 81 ryns
Match 21 : Pakistan vs South Africa (May 10, St. Lucia)
Match 22 : England vs New Zealand (May 10, St. Lucia)
Match 23 : India vs Sri Lanka (May 11, St. Lucia)
Match 24 : Australia vs West Indies (May 11, St. Lucia)

Inida is to beat Srilanka by some huge huge margin to nullify nearly 1.0 difference in the net run rate.. in some ways it means they have to beat them convincingly maybe to the tune of almost 60 runs and then expect West Indies to loose to Australia.. the latter may not be impossible yet the former is somewhat doubtful in dpite of the great loss Sri lanka suffered at the hands of Australians..

Pakistan's fate hangs in better balance as they can enter the semifinals almost ..  if the two results tonight favour them.. Pakistan beating South Africa and England beating New Zealand.. and than the net run rate equation for them is not as unfavorable for them as it is for India in the other pool..

Selectors have done only half as good job as they could have had a few of the other in-form players as well for the triangular ODI series.. especially the omission of Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan and to some extent even Abhishek Nayar.. True one can only have 14 or maybe 15 players in a team.. Yusuf could easily be rested for Robin and Pankaj Singh a surprise inclusion could make way for Irfan and maybe Jadeja could sit down for Nayar.. it is all right.. it is not such a bad team even if it is quite an imbalance team.. Vijay amd Karthik have been lucky to be given another go and maybe deservingly too.. Vijay should capitalise if India decides to keep two team for Test cricket and ODI (and T20).. I do not believe much in India A kind of matches..it is still important event for the tracing of the talent.. I am especially happy for the recall of top three bowlers in Ojha, Mishra and Yadav.. They should all make it to final eleven.. Vinay Kumar was denied the important game at Barbados when the other Kumar was indisposed.. he should capitalise on the additional chance provided to him.. 

The last word on BCCI's new look team.. even if they maintain he word resting.. it is good to see some new talent and some of the old talent to make their presence felt at the International level.. Zimbabwe is a good side especially their spin combinations and fielding.. Sri Lanka even in their inconsistency are far too good.. indeed Raina and the new look team under his captaincy would face stiff challenge in the three-nation tournament in sometime..Good luck Raina.. Go ahead and prove your worth.. 

On the eve of Pakistan- New Zealand and South Africa England games and chnaces of India and Pakistan into the next phase of the tournament.. as written to Amitabh Bachchan on day 746 of his blog bigb.bigadda.com ...

Dearest Brother
Sadar Charan Sparsh

I know what depression and disoriented look could do.. I know I goofed up in my yesterday’s second match.. It was not Pakistan New Zealand but West Indies Srilanka.. it is all right.. I think chachaji ki maut ki khabar sunkar mere hosh-havash ude huye hain.. chalo khair.. jaana to sabko hi hai ek na ek din.. he lived a good and full life and almost free of any suffering ailment..

Vastav mein kal ki haar vaakai sharmanaak haar thee.. How could Dhoni be so uncricketing to have gone for the use of spinners n a pace and bounce friendly wicket.. irrespective of the fact that Bhajji bowled a maiden and that Australia could not substantiate much from 145 for 2 in 15 overs to a bigger total.. the kind of strokes some of the players played especially Gambhir, Dhoni and to an extent Raina.. it did not make up a good match to watch.. I swear Rohit deserves a few pats on his back for those marvelous strokes and carrying India into some respectability even if not of any hope of a place in the semi finals..

Coming to the tw games tonight.. Pakistan should not havemuch problems in winning but would that be sufficient as they have to face South Africa for their third game.. it is all rght.. one step at a time.. I would still love some scope for Pakistan and India to remain in the race for semifinalists.. I know India’s chances are much poorer than their neighbours.. Sri Lanka are relying on Jayawardene and it would be time that Dilshan may also find some form as dd sangkkara found his.. it would be little too difficult to beat them and bea them convincingly is what may finally be required if net run rate comes into play.. for India can not even take West ndies lightly.. Pakistan would hope for some luck against South Africa but they must first beat New Zealand tonight..

I think Pakistan like India are not able to apply themselves well on the international scene.. the belief in miracles is OK but to hope the occurrence on every time is too far fetched.. Afridi has not been doing justice with his batting.. the absence of Gul is best summarized here..

Gul ke gul ho jaane se
gul hoti paak ki ummeedein
Aamer akela kya karta
jab toot rahi hai buniyaadein…

I feel there is every likelihood that there is some more good cricket expected from the top two teams in the world in India and Pakistan.. if the absence of Gul has been the case of darkness for Pak Bowling India is almost blinded by the absence of Sehwag among their batting line up..

South Africa meet England and Pakistan would be wanting that Proteans take substantial win over the former rulers.. though the presence of Pietersen, Collingwood and even Morgan in their line-up it would be a far more even contest than any of the first four super eight games.. For India the main hope would be Lankans loosing their remaining two games that is a sort of dependency that they are forced upon.. their fortunes would come to an end the day Lanka wins their second game.. the net run rate Lankans would be far too ahead of the Indians or West Indians..

Let cricket win.. IPL had superior cricket to some extent yet it also smells of bad taste after whatever has surfaced in public with its chief brand ambassdor in Modi.. I would say BCCI is also responsible for some of teh actions.. the case of Srinvasan is definitely going to cough up some more ugly faces.. I did write about nationalization of IPL and the suggestion for National premier league as a precursor to team selection.. it is under the IPL 2010 link on my web at abhayasharma.net

More later
Love Affection and respect
Abhaya Sharma

Top Guns to be in action tonight
The game between India and Australia would not be anything less than a rehearsal of  the finals.. it is quite expected that after they meet each other the two teams are likely to reappear in a biger battle on May 16, 2010 when the finals would be played..
The News is that Dhoni is not going to have the services of his main wicket taking bowlers in such conditions.. Praveen Kmar the swinger has returned to India due to some stomach problem.. India may be forced to play Vinay Kumar ahead of  Umesh Yadav, who is to join as replacement for Kumar.. I have nothing against Vinay.. he was amongst the wickets in IPL 2010 and he is a good prospect.. yet if I were Dhoni.. I would rather prefer to induct Yadav ahead of him.. in case he reaches in time does not have a jet lag and is willing to shoulder the responsibility..
At the outset it appears if the bowlers are going to dominate the proceedings.. that is not necessary even at Barbados though.. the Australia have an edge over India.. yet I would put my money on Dhoni's cronies.. no, no not because I am  an Indian but more for the solid batting depth that India enjoys.. My line up would be
Gautam Gambhir, Murali Vijay, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav (or Vinay Kumar) and Ashish Nehra
I could have actually opted for Jadeja ahead of Nehra or Khan but then given the nature of wicket I would rather have the paceman in. The retention of Chawla might surprise a few.. as I always wanted Ojha ahead of him in the team yet against Australia I would rather prefer the young Chawla to the all-rounder Jadeja for he can probably buy wickets with his legspin.. I know Dhoni has seldom heard me right.. and he would do what he feels is best.. and let me reassure you that  he is definitely a better judge than I could for selecting team for the first super eight game..
I am sure Nannes, Johnson and to some extent Tait may produce extraordinary hostile bowling options to Australia.. if two of them succeed with the ball India would be on the backfoot.. Given the fact that I wanted to promote Yuvraj could only help to India's advantage.. they should shield their best batsman in Suresh Raina for some overs having been bowled with the new ball.. Though ustralian batting appears equally dominant.. I feel if  Warner and Watson could be contained.. then half the battle would have already been won.. ood luck Dhoni.. you are a fortunate captain yet I know you would not mind some extra luck in this first super eight game which could go to the wire.. Please do not bat first if you win the toss.. let your bowlers have the first use of wicket it could be doubly advantageous.. to avoid the Australian attack as the first thing in the match and secondly knowing how much would be needed in case rain do come all the way to barbados as well.. Rains had weakened the latter part of group stages.. I wish the rest of the tournament has dry spell..
Yet May the best team alone win the game..
Preview Super 8 : England vs Pakistan
It is going to be a good contest if the rains do not play spoil sport as in several games.. If England were lucky against Ireland to survive their chances in the rest of the tournament would not be known for sure..
Pakistan lost their last game to Australia.. they would like to have a different result than that.. Afridi has to bat well if his side has to win.. there are good bowlers in this Pakistani side.. only fewer batsman who can really be counted.. Akmal has played a good knock so has Butt.. it si the turn of captain to lift himself above his own form and guide his side to victory.. Aamer is their best bet.. if he could be punished by Morgan and Wright and the rest of the Englishman Pietersen among them it would be severe on Pakistan.. if I could bring in Asif.. this would be the time.. If I wanted Razzak to put up an all-round performance this is the game.. if Umar Akmal has to show his powers with the bat.. this indeed is the time.. a good win in the first game can set the Pakistanis on their course.. they say nothing succeeds like success.. I give more weightage to English batting yet Pakistani could do better in bowling them out to a managable score of say 150 to 160.. yet May the best team win..
In the other super eight game tonight New Zealand would need to pull up all their stockings and try to emerge superior to the Number 2 ranking team in the world T20.. They have to improve on ther batting front as they have struggled if not faltered against Lankans.. South Africa almost won the game against India that they would have actually lost badly.. thanks to some fine performances by their batsman.. yet Vettori is no Dhoni.. he would not experiment with 15 overs being sent down by spinners.. and why should he when he has Shane Bond , Southee and Oram.. I hope he is playing them all.. he should.. South Africa with Kallis, Smith and De Villiers amongst others should not fiond any total unassailable.. so would not mind fielding first and knowing how muc they need from 20 or even less overs.. if something.. the team batting second has huge advantage in rain affected games.. especially if the two sides are equal in their strengths.. South Africa is more likely to win.. though I could be wrong as well..

I f you would like all T20 cricket world cup records in just one page you are directed to refer the link below..


Speculations are for lighter reading.. Niether Pakistan nor Srilanka may loose their places in super eight unless Australia really does manipulate and Srilanka play really poor cricket..

The games are good enough even if we are not able to watch the second game live due to odd timings.. it is all right..


India vs South Africa and Pakistan vs Australia
The two defining games are being played on the same day involving probably the best four teams in the tournament. one among these could easily be the champion on May 16, 2010. 
Important for India to prove to their counterpart as to who is going to top the pool.. though niether the points are carried to super eight nor does it make much sense for qualification into the next round. The other game again like yesterday is going to be far more absorbing.. more so for Australia were stunningly left out from the super eight last time.. Bangladesh could beat them if they loose to Pakistan.. so a very important game for the Michael Clarke's side.. 
India should probably make just one change by bringing in Piyush Chawla in place of Jadeja so as to not to expose too much of unseen Jadeja ( he was not in the IPL this year)  for the rest of the tournament. Sanjay Manjrekar does not like Kumar.. he missed to tell in his comments that the man was on a hattrick.. as if the hattricks come every other day.. it is rather sad that the commentary is of poor standard as is the umpiring.. Nehra was gifted a wicket off the caught behind off the helmet.. maybe it would not have made a big difference..  the hat-trick or the wicket to Nehra.. don't be so passive to comment when someone is on a hattrick.. had he got there.. Majrekar.. would surely have to cut a sorry figure or issued some least impressive comment then.. Praveen Kumar is going to be pick of the bowlers.. though Dhoni may just drop him from the coming game itself.. like Kumle did not give the only hat-trick boy of IPL 2010 all the games he deserved to play for his IPL side.. 
One does not expect such lapses in International tournament.. Kumar should not loose heart and Nehra should know that he did not bowl as well as his figures reflect.. in fact his wicket taking deliveries could all be despatched for sixes.. I could have even rested him against South Africa just to try out batting spinner Rohit Sharma some practice of the conditions.. yet I must hurriedly add here that Dhoni is one of the best judge of what comination he wants to play.. Nehra may not be as much a threat as Chawla could be so if Dhoni does not want to include Rohit and does not want to drop Jadeja he could possibly make room for Chawla replacing either Nehra but I know he would rather drop Kumar who was on hat trick and nobody in the box wanted to utter that is quite strange.. South Africa against any combination that India plays is slightly better than their opponents. 

South Africa stars who did not get much exposure in IPL like Graeme Smith, Mark Boucher, Van der Merwe. Langeveldt and the others in Kallis and Steyn who did have successful IPL would like to have a thumping victory over India and qualify immediately for the super eight.. that they would eventaullay qualify even if they loose is a different story..
The other game would be a real fierce battle.. Pakistan would know that if they could defeat Australia now they would have psychological advantage in the most important T20 fortnight at West Indies.. Australia may not have to bow out this time but then Bangladesh are the toughest third team in four groups and can not be taken lightly at all.. very important for Australia to impose a win for themselves here.. 
I would be unsure of what kind of players Australia may choose.. Watson, Clarke, Warner, Nannes are sure to impress a few others may also wish to make their stamp visible.. yet Pakistan could be the toughest opponents in this format of the game.. I know Afridi would like to make a few changes such as Asif to be given a game.. I would have also included Ajmal the spinner and give batting options for younger Akmal ahead of maybe himself and few others.. he looks so determined in his eyes to do well for his country.. 
May the best team.. the team that bats, bowls and fields well win in the encounters tonight yet I feel the subcontinent teams might both end up on loosing sides.. I would love the opposite results.. it is difficult to pick the winners here.. I shall sleep in the day time to keep myself fresh for the second game.. I am sure I would love to watch every ball of the game between Pakistan and Australia.. it could be as interesting as the final itself.. or maybe both may fight each other in the finals as well.. 
Preview : The first game for India in the world cup 2010 of Twenty20 should not pose too many problems yet if I were Dhoni I would still play to my full strength. That is if I win the toss I would go onto bat first and tell all my bigtime batsman to get amongst some quick and huge runs against their names.
Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra.

I had earlier wanted to play just two pacemen yet I chose to include Nehra ahead of Jadeja, I would love to retain Rohit for his brilliance in the field and attacking cricket. The team should easily cross 200 mark and play with some authority to settle an image in the mind of other teams of things to come upon them during the super eight stage. I might also be tempted to use Pathan, Harbhajan and Praveen Kumar in the early part of the game with the bat as well as with the ball. Thus we might not get surprised if Pathan and Vijay open the batting and Gambhir follows them. Similarly Kumar may be joined by one of the pathan or Harbhajan instead of the other two seamers immediately. It is the time to promote some of the big hitting guys ahead in the powerplay period.