Monthly Archives: September 2011

No Motown-MCA Team in Great Lakes Tournament

The captain of Motown C.C., in consultation with officers of MCA, has decided that it will not be possible to field a team in this year’s Great Lakes Tournament, due to start this weekend. Motown and MCA are sorry to have to make this announcement, but with the tournament beginning so late in the year and with the College Cup also starting soon, it proved impossible to put together a playing squad for this weekend, and it was feared that it would be almost as hard to do so next weekend.

Motown and MCA players who wish to play in the GLT and have not yet found alternative teams are advised to contact MichCA President Shahid Ahmed and/or Vice President Pankaj Mahajan.

MCA continues to build its squad for the College Cup (8/9 October). Please confirm your participation as soon as possible.

An indoor tournament is planned for the winter months. Check the web site for announcements and details.


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Willow Talk: Dr V. V. Giri Assesses India’s English Summer

For this week’s Willow Talk distinguished former first-class cricketer and coach of international players Dr V. V. Giri, who conducted High Performance coaching sessions for MCA this year (and made a huge difference to the performances of the Academy’s fortunate youth players), takes a final look at India’s tour of England, from which the touring side emerged without a single international victory. For more on Dr Giri, check out MCA’s Profiles page.


What proper planning can do – this was most evident in the recently concluded Indian tour of England. The English team and their management planned things meticulously and beat an Indian team led by a man who doesn’t believe in planning. India couldn’t win a single international match on this tour. Andy Flower’s men defeated the Indians royally in all aspects of the game.

Selecting Andy Flower as a coach over other top English coaches was itself the result of very well calculated, careful planning and it paid rich dividends. Andy, with his meticulous and tough approach, created a ‘world-beating’ side and England promptly the became number one ranked test team. First, he focused on the fitness and fielding aspects of the team — always the nemesis of English cricketers.

Having successfully done that, he focused on the batting. He had clear opinions on good technique and perseverance and kept Jon Trott and Ian Bell as the nucleus of the batting line up. By the way, Bell, in my opinion, is a great bat, who hasn’t had sufficient recognition. The other batsmen revolved around these two. Strauss and Cook are both perfect back foot players, which is very important in swinging & bouncing conditions. KP, though not as strong in technique as the others, was in a great form and filled up the fifth position. Eoin Morgan took the 6th place over Bopara. And England, with such a strong line-up and reserves, were able to rest KP for the ODIs. Prior took the wicket keeper’s position and contributed very well in batting, too.

England played 3 fast bowlers in tests. Anderson led the attack, supported by Broad and Tremlett. When Tremlett was injured, they had Bresnan and Finn as a stand-by. All these pacemen were trained well to utilize English conditions. Kudos to the English management for planning and using the Dukes ball manufactured before 2010, which was known for wild swinging. The spinning option went to Swann, who, in my opinion, is the best spinner in the world today.

England analyzed the Indian batting line up and knew exactly what to do. India had only two batsmen who could bat well in the English condition – Dravid and Sachin. Others had deficiencies in handling swing bowling. The plan was very simple and it paid off. Bowl short-pitched balls, push the batsmen back, and produce an over-pitched swinging delivery. Result – the batsmen fall for it by driving without control. Except for Dravid, all the other Indian batsmen – Gambir, Mukund, Sehwag, Laxman, Raina, Yuvraj and Dhoni — fell for this simple basic plan. The Indian batsmen simply had no answer at all, as the conditions were too tough for most of them. They were so used to low bounce & no swing, back in the India, where the ball comes up only to shin level. On this tour, the English fast bowlers were able to bring the ball up to the face. This shin music to chin music was just too much for them.

So, this white wash was a reward for thorough planning and execution. On the other hand, India had no planning at all. The bowling was just substandard, the batting was horrible, and added to these we witnessed some poor captaincy. Above all, the Indians had no fitness. As many as nine players were injured and most of them went home. For the Indians, the English tour ended in a disastrous manner in September 2011, which I feel, can be termed the ‘9/11 disaster’ for Indian cricket.

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MCA and Motown News, 15-18 September.

With Motown-MCA now eliminated from the MichCA 40-overs competition, attention turns to the upcoming Great Lakes T20 Tournament (schedule to be announced) and the National Collegiate Cricket Championship (24-25 September).  Motown captain Sathish Thandapani is preparing the Motown-MCA roster for the GLT, please let him know of your availability for the tournament.  Meanwhile, MCA is finalizing its roster for the NCCC (U-25 players only, as specified in the tournament playing conditions).  Please let MCA know of your availability (or otherwise) as soon as possible.

The Junior Instructional League is scheduled for its regular practice session on Friday, 16 September, at Lyon Oaks Park, Wixom, starting at 6 pm, but with the autumn weather now unpredictable, participants are advised to confirm with MCA that practice will indeed take place before heading for Wixom.  It is hoped to stage a small tennis-ball tournament for the junior players later in the month — watch this web site for news.

Finally, readers may be interested to note that the Diversity Cup,  one of the Midwest’s most significant tournaments, played this year over the Labor Day Weekend, saw a comprehensive victory for Shahid Malik’s powerful World XI, as the tournament summary shows.

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Motown-MCA 40-overs Season Ends with Defeat to Lions

On Saturday at the Hartland Ground Motown-MCA were knocked out of the MichCA 40-overs competition by a strong Lions team, led by captain Shahid Malik, whose 50 helped his team to what was a solid total of 151 in a match reduced to 33 overs because of rain, and on an outfield that was very slow indeed.  Kishan Patel took 2/16, Murali 3/40, Mani 2/29, and Hari 2/26.  In reply, openers Shyam Mayasandra and Gordon Makin were cautious, struggling to move the score along as the pitch dried and added skiddy bounce to the problems, and after Shyam Mayasandra was out for 27, no one else could take on the bowling, although Anurag Yerabati fought a valiant rearguard action.  Wickets tumbled, and Motown-MCA were bowled out short of the target.

More to follow.

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MCA and Motown Schedule, 8-10 September, Other News

The Motown-MCA practice scheduled for Thursday evening has been cancelled because of the weather. The MCA Instructional League scheduled for tomorrow is also under threat from the weather. Please check with MCA to confirm that it will go ahead.

On Saturday, Motown-MCA play Lions CC at the Hartland ground in a crucial fixture. Motown-MCA must win to stay alive in the MichCA Cup. Please notify Motown-MCA captain Sathish Thandapani immediately of your availability for this match.

MichCA’s Great Lakes Tournament (T-20) is about to start, and Motown-MCA must form a squad. Please notify Motown-MCA captain Sathish Thandapani of your availability for the tournament (schedule to be announced shortly, MichCA anticipates first-round matches beginning as early 17 September).

Other news:

MCA Players, Coach Prominent on MichCA Team in Unity Cup (Chicago)

MCA Player on DreamCricket ICC Americas U-15 Northern Division All-Tournament Team

Willow Talk: Dr V. V. Giri on Dravid and DRS

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Filed under Calendar, MichCA 40-overs League, Motown Cricket Club, Tournaments

MCA Coach, Players Prominent on MichCA Team at Unity Cup

While the Diversity Cup was taking place in the Metro Detroit area, MichCA was represented by a league team at the Unity Cup, organized by the Midwest Cricket Conference in Chicago, and held this year to commemorate the life of Shekhar Aravind, the late President of MWCC. Because so many of MichCA’s top players were involved in the Diversity Cup, the Unity Cup team offered an opportunity for some of the area’s younger and less experienced players. Eleven cricketers represented MichCA in Chicago this weekend, under the management of MCA’s Information Director, the captaincy of MCA Joint Head Coach Shyam Mayasandra, and the Vice Captaincy of MichCA Vice President Pankaj Mahajan. The other members of the team were: Joydeep Singh and Ravi Teja Varma (GRCC), Naresh Kondepati and Sandesh Murali (MDCC), Dawood Zebri and Simar Singh (MPCC), Anurag Yerabati, Ani Mayasandra, and Gordon Makin (MCA and Motown).

This inexperienced team faced what turned out to be the toughest possible opponents in group play: a Chicago youth team which included several USA U-19 players, and the Chicago Bulls (one of MWCC’s Chicago teams, put together by draft). As it turned, MichCA’s opponents would both go all the way to the tournament final, where the Cubs would defeat the Bulls off the last ball of the match, so the MichCA men could with justification conclude that they played in by far the hardest of the four groups.

They entered Saturday’s match with modest hopes of a quarter-final berth (which one good win would probably have guaranteed), and were well set against the Chicago youth team, newly renamed as the Cubs, before Shyam Mayasandra was very narrowly run out on 37. Heavy rain then delayed the match for several hours, and the MichCA team had doubts about the wisdom of continuing when the rain stopped, with bowlers’ run-ups still very wet and the matting wicket itself a possible hazard. However, play continued, and MichCA struggled to 106/9 after 20 overs (Dawood Zebri, 13, and Gordon Makin, 10, the only other batsmen to score in double figures). When MichCA bowled the conditions were very difficult in the field, with several bowlers slipping and fielders finding it hard to keep their feet in the outfield. USA U-19 player Fahad Babar, dropped in the slips in the first over, found it easy to dominate the hesitant bowlers, and brought the Cubs home for the loss of only two wickets with some outstanding stroke play.

Thus, on Sunday morning, MichCA faced a must-win match against the Bulls (victors on Saturday over the Cubs), knowing that only a big win would see them through. That looked a possibility when the Bulls, put in, were 21/3 after seven overs, thanks to excellent opening spells from Ravi Varma (4-1-14-1) and left-armer Sandesh Murali (two wickets), but after that MichCA’s bowling became ragged and many catches went down in the deep. The result was a monster target of 181. Chasing it down looked a possibility with Shyam Mayasandra at the crease: he effortlessly dispatched three balls in the first over across the boundary, to give MichCA 14 off just six balls, but when he was out for 27, the game was, essentially, up, despite 19 from Simar Singh, batting one-down. The seventh wicket partnership between Gordon Makin (20 not out) and Ravi Varma (8 not out) did take the Michiganians into three figures before twenty overs were completed, but the match was long gone by then.

Although the results were disappointing, the experience for the young team seemed positive – the tournament was extremely well organized; the atmosphere was excellent and the welcome very warm; and the quality of cricket high. Discussions are already taking place about teams for next year, and it is hoped that, again, there will be a role for youth cricketers.

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Willow Talk: Dr V. V. Giri on Dravid and DRS

For this week’s Willow Talk distinguished former first-class cricketer and coach of international players Dr V. V. Giri, who conducted High Performance coaching sessions for MCA this year (and made a huge difference to the performances of the Academy’s fortunate youth players) turns to topics that have generated much discussion during India’s current tour of England: the DRS system, which India’s board dislikes; and the performances of Rahul Dravid, which every cricket fan in the world has admired.

DRS – ‘Dravid Removal System’

Rahul Dravid continues to be at the receiving end of controversial decisions on the current England tour as he was once again ruled out caught behind (in the subsequently abandoned first ODI at Chester-le-Street) despite ‘Hot Spot’ not detecting an edge off his bat.

England paceman Stuart Broad appealed for a catch behind the wicket off his own bowling, but umpire Billy Doctrove ruled the appeal not out. After England asked for a review, despite several replays, the edge off Dravid’s bat could not be detected. How on earth Dravid was still given out can only be told by one man – third umpire Marais Erasmus. The umpires have become jokers in this series. Earlier, in the third Test, Dravid was ruled caught-behind off James Anderson in India’s second innings even though his bat had hit his shoelace, and not the ball. Then, in the fourth Test, he was again given out caught-behind in India’s second innings after a referral by England, even though the snickometer apparently showed that there was no contact between the ball and bat before it landed in England wicket-keeper Matt Prior’s gloves. These incidents are sure to fuel the DRS debate and add strength to BCCI’s stand, as they have opposed the adoption of DRS expressing doubts on technology.

On a different note, this England tour seems to have everything to do with Dravid. When India need runs, it’s Dravid. When India need batsmen for Twenty20 and ODIs, it’s Dravid. And when it comes to DRS controversies, it’s Dravid who has to be on the receiving end of it.

This is ridiculous. There is literally only one player in the Indian team who challenges England in this current tour and he is also not allowed to carry on with his duty by the three umpires!!

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MCA Player on DreamCricket ICC Americas U-15 Northern Division All-Tournament Team

MCA’s Gordon Makin has been picked by DreamCricket for their ICC Americas U-15 Northern Division All-Tournament Team (selected by Peter Della Penna).

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