Despite being continuously ignored by the national selectors last year, Harbhajan Singh remained calm and did only what he needed to do i.e. to bowl well in domestic circuit and his patience and hard work have eventually started to pay off now. The off spinner who is 33 years old has been named in the list of probable Indian players for the World T20 2014 and he is glad and at the same time a bit relieved to be in with a chance of representing his country yet again. As per ICC, India is placed in Group 2 in T20 World Cup Groups 2014
However, this is not the eventual squad for the tournament. The list will cut down later on, but, given Harbhajan’s performances in the shortest form of the game in the last year or so, there is a certain possibility that he will be there in the eventual squad of 15 too.
Harbhajan was once India’s first choice spinner even ahead of Anil Kumble, but, his loss of form after the ODI World Cup 2011 and the emergence of young spinners like Ashwin and Jadeja through the ranks resulted in him falling down the pecking order. But, he never gave up. He went back to the domestic set up and tried to rectify things that had been going wrong.
After being selected in the provisional squad, the veteran bowler who is fondly called Bhajji by his teammates and fans was quoted as saying “Happy to be back in contention. I hope that I get included in the final squad too.”
The two match Test series between South Africa and Pakistan ended with each team winning one match. While Pakistan overpowered South Africa in the first test, the ICC World Number One Test Team, South Africa, came back strongly in the second test to dominate the match from ball 1. Post the conclusion of the Test series; both the teams have locked their horns for contest in the ODI format. At the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, South Africa won the toss and decided to bat first in the first match of the ODI series.
In stark contrast with the South African run fest of the second Test match, the first ODI came out as a bowler’s outing on the field. South Africa could only manage 183 runs in their innings. Saeed Ajmal was the chief tormentor for the South African batting line up, bagging in 4 wickets for just 30 runs in his 10 over. All rounder Afridi also chipped in with 3 wickets. It took Wayne Parnell’s half century down the batting order to take South African total to 183 runs.
What seemed to be an easy chase for Pakistan was filled with immense trouble courtesy of South African bowlers’ genius with the ball. Even though the chase started on a positive note with Shehzad getting half century as an opener and Misbal ul Haq also adding 31, South African bowlers managed to trigger batting collapse and won the match by a whisker of a margin of just 1 run.
Champions trophy 2013 is not just a much-awaited tournament for the viewers, but also for the betting community. The tournament is said to the ‘mini world-cup’ of cricket and bets are placed in huge number and amounts on every match.
Traffic has already been heavy on numerous websites that offer betting services for those who wish to bet on different international and domestic matches. However, with many scammed websites also running on the web, betters need to be careful and shall rely only on reputed and famous betting websites. For instance, betters can bet at William Hill Cricket betting website, that enjoys a good reputation. Over the website, there are many options on which viewers can bet on. ICC Champions trophy 2013 Group A winner, Group B winner and tournament winner are three of the most famous categories on which huge bets are placed.
The current betting odds for teams in Group A are as follows: 13/8 for England, 15/8 for Australia, 10/3 for Sri Lanka and 5/1 for New Zealand. The same for teams in Group B are 11/8 for south Africa, 5/2 for India, 10/3 for Pakistan and 9/2 for West Indies. The betting rate for all teams playing in the tournament are as follows: 4/1 for England, 4/1 for South Africa, 9/2 for Australia, 9/2 for Australia, 6/1 for India, 13/2 for Pakistan, 7/1 for West Indies, 8/1 for Sri Lanka and 12/1 for New Zealand. Thus, betting wise, New Zealand is the most unlikely team to with the tournament.
ICC Champions trophy 2013 will also be hugely bet on because of the fact that it is all set to be replaced by ICC Test Championship in 2017.
Kolkata Knight Riders started the sixth edition on a positive note and cricket admirers were hoping to see a sturdy defence of IPL title. However, half way through the season, KKR are struggling to keep alive in the race to the qualifiers of ipl 2013. Out of 7 matches KKR have participated until now, they received just two victories. Their 8th contest would be against Kings XI Punjab. Kings XI Punjab, on the other hand, has produced resurgent results after woeful start to the tournament, with four victories in 7 matches.
Gilchrist might not be yielding through his bat until now; but his behind the stumps skills and his captaincy shows no signs of ageing. Youngsters have performed well and full credit goes to their captain backing them at such high intensity matches of sixth ipl schedule. On the contrary, things are different for Kolkata Knight Riders. Gautam Gambhir has led the side from the forefront and has been the top contributor with the bat. Sunil Narine is among the highest wicket taker for the season.
What does not seem to click for KKR, is that they have failed to click as a side. Yusuf Pathan is yet to score a half century for KKR even after having played almost 30 matches. Kallis has failed to replicate his batting genius which ipl highlights of past seasons have had in flourish. KKR need to pull themselves up as a team and win this match against KXIP to remain alive in competition.
It is rightfully said that in T20 cricket, form of any team and its past performances are immaterial and the only thing which matters is how they perform on a given day. This conviction was proved aptly by Kings XI Punjab in their ipl 2013 encounter against Kolkata Knight Riders. KKR are the defending champions for IPL title this season, and even for the ongoing season, KKR are in formidable touch. There seems to be very few loose ends for the opponents of KKR to hang on. However, Kings XI Punjab seems to have done exactly that. Kings XI Punjab has been slowly reviving their performances after rueful start of the season.
The win of Kings XI Punjab against KKR would have sent the alarm bells ringing for those IPL teams who had thought Kings XI Punjab were done and dusted for this ipl schedule. After batting first, Kings XI Punjab posted a total of 157 runs, a competitive total; but certainly not unachievable for KKR considering their recent batting performances. However, when KKR came to batting, the Kings XI Punjab put a show of inspiring bowling and fielding.
The statistics were reduced to 25 runs required in 10 balls for KKR. The 6 balls 16 runs by Rajat Bhatia which included 2 sixes, almost stole the show. However, Bhatia was dismissed and the match momentum shifted. The KKR tail succumbed to the pressure of the situation and fell short of just 4 runs to register their 3rd win in ipl 6.