Thursday, October 28, 2010

Arspective: Post Manchester City, Pre NewCastle

A good performance against City. But defensively, we were not great. We need TV back ASAP. Djourou can be a backup, but we cannot have him play week in week out. The way he went tackling into to Tevez in the opening minute of the match showed his inexperience. Koscienly should be back today against Newcastle. Signing two defenders in the transfer period (Squilacci and Koscielny) seems to have been another master stroke from Wenger. People were calling him to sign midfielders but that was not the case. The goalie situation seems to have eased a little, but I will still wait. Fabianski has been good in the last few matched. But, he still hasnt done enough to convince me (and a lot of gunners) that he is "world-class"

Wenger's attitude towards Carling cup is much different this time as compared to the previous years. We saw an almost senior team against the sp*rs and Wenger said that will be the case again. Players like Bendtner, Walcott and Koscielny, who are short of match practice will be tested against a New Castle side which beat Chelsea in the last round and look to be rejuvenated after coming back into the premiership this season.

There will be probably a couple of young faces (Lansbury and Jay Emmanuel Thomas). It was interesting listening to AW talk about Jay Emmanuel Thomas. I have never seen Wenger praise so much. He says that JET can go on to become a "great player". JET is terrific in front of the goal, "left-foot", "right-foot", power, pace, he has it all, according to AW. That is really good to hear. We do have Chamakh now, and Bendtner is a decent squad player, but JET seems to be "The Man" and the next AW product to look forward to.

Speaking of Nasri , Wenger says has "matured". Seven goals this season and counting. Nasri has been in really good form. To me, there is still a cause for concern, not with Nasri, but with our mid-field. When Cesc was injured for a few games in between our performance was not great. We drew with Sunderland (admittedly with 10 men), lost to WBA at home and then lost to Chelsea. Cesc comes back and we win Man City away and give Shakhtar a pasting at home. Coincidence?..... I hope it is.....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Test cricket, India Vs Australia

Wow! What a Frenetic end to a fabulous test match. Australia held all the aces at lunch on day 5 if they dint already the beginning of the day. But India had the joker of the pack to turn the game on its head. Unbelievable scenes at Mohali when Ojha turned the ball to fine leg two most crucial runs he did not score in his life (they were leg byes!!) There were a paltry 15000 spectators to witness one of the best test matches in India. Nowhere near the the massive crowds drawn by IPL. Ian Chappell, for once, seems to be correct.

He said "People say India is a cricket-crazy nation. India is not a
cricket-crazy nation. They are a star-crazy nation"

Laxman, meanwhile, continues to amaze us. It is hardly surprising that in a nation that is more "star-crazy" than "cricket-crazy" that his efforts are so much undermined. He was determined and fired up, yet calm and composed except for one moment when young Ojha went for a "walk in the park". Yet another half-century under pressure, yet another gem against the Aussies, yet another battling effort with the tail. Ishant Sharma, what a turn around for him. Started the test match the worst possible manner and forced off the field. Comes back, picks up three crucial wickets and scores 31 crucial runs.

Ponting still waits for the first win on Indian soil. He injured himself in 2004 when Gilchrist led them to a series victory. In 2008, India bt Australia in a four-test series.

What a shame that this is only a two-test series. In fact, originally we were supposed to have seven ODIs and no tests before the BCCI realized that India could lose the number one position in test cricket and made it a 2-test, 3 ODI tour. The timing of the visit is also questionable. On the one hand, we have the biggest sporting event held in Indian history going on in Delhi (the common wealth games). Ad then, here you are, with the biggest test series of the modern era going on at the same time. BCCI is such an idiot! They are also an idiotic bully! They say no to UDRS and ICC has no option but to not have it. India almost paid the price with the Ishant Sharma dismissal. While the UDRS is not always correct and conclusive, there is no doubt that there are fewer incorrect decisions with the UDRS.

Enough of that. Lets enjoy the Indian victory for the moment!!