Yuvraj Singh scored a hundred for the Rest of the World XI in the exhibition match against MCC XI the other day at Lord’s.
It was a vintage Yuvraj knock. With a lethal combination of power and timing, he devastated the MCC bowling line up and took the total of his team close to 300.
Yuvraj’s effort was not enough though as the target posted by ROW got hunted down quite easily by MCC at the end, but, the shots that the Punjab leftie played during his knock, the spectators at Lord’s would remember that for some time.
Yuvraj was not fluent when he walked in first up. He was struggling to pick Saeed Ajmal’s incoming delivery, but, once the left arm spinners i.e. Daniel Vettori and Aaron Finch were given the ball, he started finding his touch slowly.
Finch helped Yuvraj with a couple of full tosses which got launched over midwicket, deep into the stands.
The opposition captain Sachin Tendulkar tried a bit of short stuff too against Yuvraj by bringing Shaun Tait into the attack, but, it didn’t work as the southpaw was getting on the top of those deliveries efficiently.
It was Sachin himself who got Yuvraj out at the end by bowling him a straighter delivery with a leg sinning action.
Yuvraj tried to loft it over long on with the spin, but, since it didn’t come in, he couldn’t get it right in his hitting arch and thus, mistimed it. The fielder who was being placed on the boundary did the rest of the work by completing the catch.
Yuvraj while returning to the pavilion received a pat on the back from each and every MCC player and he deserved that for rising to the occasion and playing that kind of a knock.
Hashim Amla has been appointed as the captain of the South African test team. His appointment was announced yesterday.
Amla was not one of the frontrunners when the hunt for the new captain had started after Graeme Smith’s retirement. It was one of AB De Villiers or Faf Du Plessis who was supposed to take the job, but, surprisingly, the selectors gave it to Amla.
Amla used to be considered as someone who didn’t want the leadership role. He had even resigned as vice captain of the South African One Day International side in 2012 in order to focus more on his batting. So, it’s a bit surprising how he accepted this responsibility of leading the test side.
Now, the biggest challenge for Amla would be to create a happy environment in the dressing room because there would be a couple of disappointed people there including De Villiers who was considered to be the strongest contender for the captaincy post.
Talking to an Indian Cricket Website a couple of weeks back, De Villiers had made it clear that he was ready to captain the test side. So, there is no doubt that he would be a bit upset after being overlooked.
Now, after Amla’s appointment, South Africa has three different captains in three formats. Amla and De Villiers are in charge of the test and the One International side respectively, while, Du Plessis is the T20 captain.
The first assignment for Amla as the test captain of South Africa will be the tour of Sri Lanka.
Playing in Sri Lanka has always been a tough task for the overseas teams. There has hardly been any overseas team which hasn’t struggled there. So, Amla will have his work cut out on that tour.
The defending champions Mumbai Indians have been performing pathetically in the ongoing 7th edition of the Indian Premier League. They are presently right at the bottom of the table with no point which has left the pundits absolutely surprised. If seen on paper, Mumbai has got some really talented players, but, they have not been able to pull it off on the ground at all.
Some pundits reckon that the presence of too many legends in the Mumbai Indians’ support staff is actually not helping the team.
Mumbai has got John Wright as the head coach, Jonty Rhodes as the fielding coach, Anil Kumble as mentor, Sachin Tendulkar as icon and Ricky Ponting as advisor. No other team in the tournament has got this many number of former greats as help.
According to the pundits, the more heads in the camp means the difference in opinion and that creates doubt.
The teams which are actually doing well in IPL 7 so far has got very few decision makers. For the Chennai Super Kings who are topping the table, it’s Stephen Fleming (the coach) ad MS Dhoni (the captain) who makes all the calls. Sanjay Bangar and George Bailey do the same for Kings XI Punjab which is at no. 2 in the table.
If Mumbai has to stay alive in the ongoing IPL, they will have to turn things around pretty quickly now. Nine of their games are remaining and they need to win at least 8 out of them which is an uphill task. They will next take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad tomorrow at the Wankhede Stadium which is their home ground. That will be their first match in the second leg of this year’s tournament. The first leg was played in UAE.