Sunday, 2 April 2017

Team India: The World No. 1

We saw many era of Indian Cricket, right from Lala Amarnath to Mak Pataudi, Kapil Dev - Sunil Gavaskar era to Sourav Ganguly - MS Dhoni era. Indian Team was "Best in the World" during MS Dhoni's captaincy but throughout his regime we never saw the performance like we witnessed in Virat Kohli era, statement may looks censorial but unfortunately its a fact. This Team got flexibility which proved in the entire season which had long series of 4 Tests or 5 Tests along with Limited Over Games. Start from Zimbabwe series at June last year "Men in Blue" was consistent, yes they fall short in some games but mostly they utilizes their home condition or their opponents of away games quite well. We saw many stars arise during a course of 1 year on different format, at the same time many establish players like Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan lost their spot followed by injury and poor run with the bat. 

Photo Courtesy: 

During this season we saw many surprising comebacks like Gautam Gambhir and even Parthiv Patel who returns to National side after 12 years !! These surprised comebacks are made only due to concern in opening department which is yet to overcome, India struggled and still struggling in opening spot and tats why Team saw most number of opening pair in the particular season. Opening spot are always known as a back bone for the Team but the concern not pinned the most because team got dependable batsman like Cheteshwar Pujara who proved to be the next Wall of Indian Team after scoring 2000+ runs in this season, even glamour boy Virat Kohli's bat sparkled this season with back to back 4 Double Centuries against Windies, New Zealand and against England twice. His bat may be was quite against Aussies but he was equally aggressive and led the side the way Aussies likes to play Cricket.

Input by BCCI as broadcast in STAR SPORTS

In Modern Era Cricket, Teams become flexible and selecting side as per the formats. Their commitments are increased too since Boards are now concentrating on revenue factor hence increasing more Home Matches despite of FTP schedules. When BCCI announced such a big home series most of the Cricket thinkers start doubting on how India will able to manage such odds which they never faced. Anil Kumble made a valid point after conclusion of 4th Test against Australia tat he always motivates team to focus in sessions rather then in a particular Test Match or in the Series as its all about a Mental game, India some how survived the 1st Test between England in Rajkot when visitors took 7 wickets in 50 overs and had England declared 10 more overs ago then we must have a different Result of the series. Same way when India had a healthy lead of 152 in 2nd Innings it looks like the results is possible but some how Aussies skip through with their brilliance from the bat against our Bowlers tired effort. Although India knows the taste of victory in flat turf when they beat England in Chennai Test but scenario was different in Ranchi Test.

Input by BCCI as broadcast in STAR SPORTS

During the start of modern day cricket we saw partnerships of Akram - Younis in 90s then Warne - McGrath era in 20s which used to be a sheer dominance from Pakistan and Australia respectively, against every Team of the World. Indian fans honor to witness the same dominance by Ashwin and Jadeja during this period of time. They equally shared the Spot of World No. 1 Test Bowler for a Week. After Kohli took over the Captaincy, India saw 19 Consecutive Test Wins and the succession of Test Win started from August 2015 against Sri Lanka. Indian Cricket was facing difficult time when India lost their last Test before the mammoth series of Victories before loosing to Australia, Board's Politics, IPL, Failure of Away series was one of the reason people was moving from the game they loved the most. I wrote very critical few words after that match "Does India looking on India's Performance ?" though during this entire time duration Team played in Home Conditions and won Series in Sri Lanka and West Indies respectively.

Input by BCCI as broadcast in STAR SPORTS

But few matches specially against England where we thought that results will end up as Draw, India pull up the victory in Last few Sessions of a Test Match and this is why I wrote about 4 Day Test Match when "Cricket Intellectuals" and then "ECB Chief" starts advocating about 4 Day Test Match, since Ashwin and Jadeja anchor India's victory at a 5th day when result looks to be impossible. Tats why for the first time in history 2 bowlers of same team at the same season was in the all time list of leading wicket ticker. Ashwin made a history on bowling more overs then anyone in the past as well which also proves the importance of Ashwin infront of his Captain and his Team. During this season India finds another diamond known as Umesh Yadav after Mohammad Shami was out most of the matches this season due to injury. Umesh Yadav played a important role to win the last Test against Australia shown his aggressive bowling, his mental strength and his fitness which allows him to play 12 Matches in this Home Season.

Input by BCCI as broadcast in STAR SPORTS

Current Indian Team in Test looks to be quite flexible with Batting and Wicket Keeping, at the same time it lacked seriously in Bowling department despite of some outstanding performance apart from Ashwin, Jadeja and Umesh Yadav. Test Cricket is not only scoring big but also a kind of a fightback like Chetshwar did against Australia in Ranchi when he scored a Double after consuming 525 Balls who also broke a previous record of Rahul Dravid which happens to be Pujara's idol and was "Wall" of Indian Cricket for many Years. KL Rahul, a big find of Indian Cricket despite of Shoulder injury was a part of some outstanding knocks after avoiding some big shots in later innings as precautionary basis though in many occasions he found throwing his wicket when he had a chance to score a big one.

When Opening was a concern for the team, Karun Nair created a small doubt in Team plan by scoring Triple against England in Chennai. This is probably a rarest incident in World Cricket when a Triple Centurion has been dropped from the very next Test Match against Bangladesh and Rahane feels the pressure during his innings of 80 odd runs because both Coach Kumble and Captain Kohli defended Rahane individually before the only Test and who knows the same Rahane will be ask to captaining the side in a "Decider". This team has broke many previous records and set a new ones, they got legacy to maintain and some revenge to take. Nair ended a drought in Test Triple from a Indian after Virender Sehwag, India beat England in India and maintain the record against Aussies. Now how they will do outside is still a question mark but they already made a point that its their fortress and its not easy to beat Team India in India and this Home season is a kind of a statement they got for the visiting Team from now onward.

WWE Wrestlemania 33 Prediction

Its quite a tricky thing to predict that what WWE going to offer in Wrestlemania 33! As most of the thing nowhere days are not as per the Fans, specially after launching of WWE Network Fans of Old School Wrestling are disappointed, WWE is now looking for contents they don't wants to end the fun straight away they want their fans to stick around with WWE for whatever the want.

Logo of Wrestlemania, belongs to WWE inc.

Before WWE has a plan for Smackdown Women Championship Match in Kick Off show since their stakes are quite high in Raw Women Championship Match and with this we might see Nia Jax to be the next RAW Women Champion as well and then in upcoming days we might see feud between Nia and Charlotte for the title, indeed we may witness Rock to make a appearance as well in the Show with that.

Now Nia is Maternal Cousin of The Rock, he's also a Paternal Cousin of Roman Reigns and Uncle of Jimmy Uso with whom Naomi got married who is also in title hunt, looking to reclaim her Smackdown Women Championship in her Home Town we might see Wrestlemania to "Glow" and tats why Smackdown Women Championship is now in Main PPV rather then Kick Off as announced earlier. But we may see Naomi to drop the title again in the following Smackdown Live who knows it !

Since Cruiserweight Division is more like filling the air time of Monday Night RAW it doesn't matter the outcome of the Match since there is no one in the Division who actually in compare to Austin Aries and its totally upto Austin Aries till how long he wants to be the face of 205 Live, hence best wishes to him if he's the new "King of No Ones".

Now since André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal is happening in Kick Off Show hence its again a not to expect match otherwise like Baron Corbin last year Shinsuke Nakamura could have a opportunity to make a grand debut in a Main Roster but lets see what WWE has planned for this Match and for Nakamura.

RAW Tag Team Titles are going to defend in a Ladder Match and I believe that Sheamus and Cesaro is winning it and may be going to wrestle against some surprise entry of Tag Team Division or if not ! then also Sheamus and Cesaro has very good memorable performances with Ladder Match in a past.

WWE presented quite a weak storyline for Baron Corbin vs. Dean Ambrose or if say there is no storyline at all, its like a match which is requires to happen in Wrestlemania for the sake of the biggest PPV of the Year which needed Intercontinental Championship to be defended. 

Chris Jericho's latest run is quite long then expected, Wrestlemania matches for Jericho was like giving the opportunity to the new guys. His last few matches was Fandaaaaango's Debut, Aj Styles's 1st Match in Wrestlemania and now Kevin Owens. Loosing to Fandaaaaango must be hurting to Chris and more then him its WWE who wanted the Fandaaaaangoing stuff but unfortunately it all blew away and Jericho's lost gone into vain. Chris Jericho is now committed to Fozzy which will be touring next Month May, we may witness Jericho to drop the title against Owens and say good bye from Wrestlemania itself like he did loosing to Fandaaaaaango years ago.

Match of Aj Styles vs. Shane McMahon is just another match, Aj Styles may be improving his Wrestlemania record but with Shane McMahon, WWE getting a part time Wrestler who's win or lost doesn't matter since he's a Corporate guy who believes to settle thing in "Square" ring. McMahon may not be there in WWE for a very long time but his matches will always infront of his fans to define legacy of Shane McMahon wrestling.

John Cena - Nikki Bella vs. The Miz - Maryse ! any expectation from this match ? Need not to tell who will gonna win but yes post this Wrestlemania we might be engaged with their new status of Love Life and all those stuffs except Wrestling.

Seth Rollins vs. Triple H, a Non - Sanctioned Match is quite interesting to me. Seth Rollins is injured not 100% fit, Triple H will be playing some dirty games but I believe some surprise brief returns during the match may be one of those is Mick Foley. But overall how WWE wants to finish this match will be the key, since Seth Rollins was a part of shocker finish of Wrestlemania Main Event 2 years ago. 

Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt for WWE Championship is another weak storyline from SD Live and it seems like it will not end or settle down in Wrestlemania but the feud may continue till the advance stage in upcoming SD Live PPVs hence match could have a surprise win for Bray Wyatt.

Ever since Goldberg returns to WWE he proved himself a Knockout guy who finishes a match in less then 2 Minutes, I think the time duration of match will remain the same but this time we may see other guy Brock Lesnar to dominate and beat Goldberg for the Universal Championship. Brock Lesnar could appear in another PPV before to drop the title but I don't think stretching a brief return of Goldberg is a best decision.

Now The Undertaker vs. Roman Reign is bit tricky match, may be its a Main Event of Wrestlemania too. Undertaker have to loose the match to retire and Taker has nothing to loose as his streak is already broken at the other hand for Roman it will be a career defining moment, people don't like Roman is a good guy so let it be a heel, a big heel dog who takes whatever he want.

Overall the card is long and to fill the time slot of 4 hours we might see some matches short after the inclusion of Smackdown Women Championship in Main PPV. Again people don't care much about it if the matches and the Event is something excite with. People also know that WWE is now a Content Provider and its not that every one will be happy infront of pure business but yes can wish whatever they missed for next Wrestlemania.