Commentator Omar Abdullah says sorry to Yuvraj (Lead)
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah literally turned commentator Wednesday as he flooded Twitter with his ball by ball analysis of the India-Pakistan World Cup semifinal and in the end when India won, he tweeted a sorry to Yuvraj Singh for a dig at the southpaw's failure with the bat.
"Yuvraj Singh I'm sorry for my dig at your batting. You more than made up with the ball. Hat's off to you dude. :-)," Abdullah said, as he was apparently glued to his TV set
The young chief minister, a known sports lover, launched a volley of tweets, some directed at Yuvraj for getting out on a duck, some mocking the decision to play seamer Ashish Nehra, and some on and off remarks on everything in general.
Earlier he had written: "Local hero my butt. He spent more time putting on his pads than he did using them."
"Now for the poor local hero to pull something back and do his magic with the ball. If he does, I promise to say sorry for earlier tweet here," he wrote later.
Peppering a comment with sarcasm over the choice of a fast bowler in place of a spinner, he wrote: "We restricted Australia to 260. If Nehra can bowl a bit of spin, we can win this."
But he had to take his words back later. "Nehra turned out 2 B a bit of inspired captaincy on the part of Dhoni. Amazing how many experts called that 1 wrong. Lots of humble pie."
Omar had a take on captain Mahinder Singh Dhoni as well.
"Need to see the Dhoni of old now not the new sober captain of these days. Why is it every time the commentary box says India is aiming for 350+ we struggle to get to the high 200s?????"
When master-blaster Sachin Tendulkar got out, he wrote: "Ooooooooooops. Well Afridi said he wouldn't allow Sachin's 100th century & he wasn't wrong."
Earlier, when Sahin was getting dropped every now and then, he wrote: "Another dropped catch? Okay Sachin, pliss to make your 100th century and then get out. Thank you :pliss"
"Enough is enough, I think Sachin should "walk" on next drop catch now ;)" came a funny one.
Some of his other comments were: "Kashmir valley is sucking more than 780MW power at the moment & grids R tripping. Please switch off some heaters & lights so more TVs work."
Earlier, during the drink break in Indian innings, he wrote: "Drinks break. Wow, what a heart stopping first 14 overs. And where are all those celebrities the media told us about?????"
"Anyway enough of Twitter for now. I'll come back after the match if I'm not back during the interval. Have a good match tweeple."
"Which jinx ends today? India has never won a CWC (Cricket World Cup) Semi in the sub-continent & Pakistan has never beaten India in a CWC match."
"update: Vodafone's 3G zoozoo has been shot down for flying over #mohali no-fly zone." News prokerala
Shahid Afridi apologises to fans for defeat against India but hopes Pakistan's dark days are over
Captain Shahid Afridi apologised to Pakistan's cricket fans after his side suffered defeat in their highly-anticipated semi-final against arch-rivals India at the World Cup.
By Telegraph staff and agencies 8:31AM BST 31 Mar 2011
Pakistan fell 30 runs short of clinching a place in Saturday's World Cup final against Sri Lanka in Mumbai after failing to chase down an achievable Indian total of 260 for nine.
"Sorry to our nation," Afridi said. "We tried our level best."
Afridi was gracious in defeat after the high-profile contest in which partisan feelings inevitably ran high.
"I want to congratulate the Indian cricket team and all the Indian nation for this great victory and wish them well for the final," he said. "In the end, they played better than us."
He acknowledged that a sloppy performance in the field had held Pakistan back Sachin Tendulkar was dropped four times on his way to 85 and criticised Pakistan's lacklustre run-chase, saying: "We didn't build partnerships and played some irresponsible shots."
However, Afridi eventually held the chance that ensured his pre-match prediction that Wednesday would not be the day when Tendulkar scored his 100th international hundred came true.
"Like I told you, Sachin didn't score a hundred."
Afridi was pleased with Pakistan's performance throughout the competition, and believes that the last weeks have shown that Pakistani cricket can recover from a year blighted by scandal.
"We have played really well in this whole tournament, and the boys did a great job. I am very proud to be captain of these guys."
"I'm proud of my team, the boys have really done a great job in this competition. We played as a unit and no one was expecting us to play cricket like this so I'm very happy as a captain," said Afridi.
"I think the youngsters really performed well. Asad Shafiq and Umar Akmal played well and I hope they will do well in the future. I think we have played better than in the 2003 and 2007 World Cups," said Afridi.
Pakistan cricket has been under a cloud since last year's 'spot-fixing' scandal in England which led to bans for new-ball duo Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif as well as former Test captain Salman Butt.
"It has been a difficult 10 months for us," Afridi said. "I am thankful to my board officials and team management for backing me.
"We had a rickety team coming into the World Cup and considering that it has been a good performance."
As for Riaz, he added: "We didn't bowl well with the new ball, but because of his bowling we came back, otherwise I thought they would have scored about 300. It was a great bowling performance from him."
Riaz was selected after Pakistan felt they could not risk Shoaib Akhtar, meaning there was no fairytale farewell for the 'Rawalpindi Express', who had said he would retire from international cricket after the World Cup.
"We wanted Shoaib Akhtar to play but he was struggling," Afridi explained. "We could not play someone who is at 50 per cent or 60 per cent of peak fitness. Riaz played in his place and you have seen his performance."
The 25 year-old fast bowler finished with figures of 46 for 5, in stark contrast to his more experienced team-mate Umar Gul, whose eight erratic overs went for 69 runs.
India now face Sri Lanka, beaten by Pakistan in the group phase, in Saturday's final in Mumbai and Afridi could not pick a winner.
"Both teams are playing very good cricket, both teams are well balanced."
India vs Pakistan Full Match Highlights : India beat Pakistan by 29 runs in a thriller. Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar provided a flying start to India before Sehwag was struck down by Wahab Riaz. India posted 260 on board which proved too good in the end.
India vs Pakistan: India win Mohali encounter by 29 runs – Highlights
MOHALI: Despite of a manful innings by Misbah-ul-Haq, India defeated Pakistan by 29 runs in the second semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 at Punjab Cricket Association Stadium at Mohali here Wednesday.
The victory has taken India in the all-important final against Sri Lanka who defeated New Zealand in the first semi final the other day. The final would be played on April 2 at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Pakistan were looking good after a promising opening start of 44 runs but it changed completely when Mohammad Hafeez played a horrendous shot trying to flick one delivery from outside the off-stump to the long-leg.
Wickets kept falling at one end while Misbah-ul-Haq stood like a rock at the other but runs never came easy for him due to consistent fall of wickets. In the end, he ran out of partners and decided to take things under his control but lost his wicket in the fifth ball of the final over and Pakistan left 29 runs short of the target.
Earlier, Virender Sehwag gave India a flying start and Sachin Tendulkar then kept the momentum. Sachin scored 95th half-century but not only after getting dropped on at least four times by the likes of Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal and Younus Khan.
Wahab Riaz was the star for Pakistan, who was preferred over Shoaib Akhtar, and the lad never disappointed the skipper as well as the nation with his lethal fast bowling grabbing his first fifer in One Day Internationals.
During the course, he got rid of batsmen like Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Saeed Ajmal also bowled well and grabbed two wickets for 44 runs and kept bamboozling Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar right throughout his spell but it was Umar Gul who was out of sorts today as he went for 69 runs from eight overs. Skipper Afridi remained wicketless but two catches of Sachin Tendulkar were dropped off his bowling.
That’s where Suresh Raina took things under his control and battled it out till the final over as India managed to reach 260 runs for the loss of nine wickets from 50 overs.
Sachin Tendulkar was declared Man of the Match despite of playing one of his not-so-pretty innings but still it turned out to be a match-winning one.
India vs Pakistan Semi Final Highlights World Cup 2011
अपने फॉर्म को लेकर विश्वकप से पहले आलोचकों के निशाने पर रहे हरफनमौला युवराज सिंह ने इस महासंग्राम के लीग मुकाबलों और क्वार्टर फाइनल में जो प्रदर्शन किया है, उसे देखकर लगता है कि मोहाली में उनके गृहनगर में पाकिस्तान के खिलाफ होने वाले सेमीफाइनल में भी युवराज ही मैच के महाराज बनेंगे।
टीम इंडिया को अंतिम चार तक पहुंचाने में अहम भूमिका निभाने वाले युवी पाकिस्तान टीम की आंख की किरकिरी होंगे। इस टूर्नामेंट में अब तक चार बार मैन ऑफ द मैच बनने के बाद स्पर्धा के सर्वश्रेष खिलाड़ी बनने वालों की सूची में शीर्ष पर युवराज ने बल्ले के साथ गेंदबाजी में भी जमकर हाथ दिखाए हैं।
युवराज के प्रदर्शन को यदि बारीकी से देखा जाए तो प्रतीत होता है कि युवराज ने बल्लेबाजी के अंदाज में कुछ परिवर्तन किया है। सामान्यत: विस्फोटक अंदाज दिखाने वाले युवी ने प्रतिकूल परिस्थितियों में धैर्य भी दिखाया है। यही धैर्य पाक की मुश्किलें बढ़ा सकता है। गेंद-बल्ले के बीच होने वाले भारत-पाक महासंग्राम में युवराज और पाकिस्तान के उमर गुल की टक्कर देखने लायक होगी।
Highness Crown Prince will become!
About their form before the World Cup all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, the critics are on target for league matches and the quarter-finals of Battleground, which is demonstrated by looking at that against Pakistan in Mohali in his hometown in the semis as crown prince Match will become the chef.
Team India Yuvraj played a crucial role in informing the final four of the Pakistan team will Kirkiri eye. Far in this tournament four times since becoming the Man of the Match competition Sarvsresh be the list of players at the top of the bowl with Yuvraj bats are shown in the fiercely hand.
Prince's performance would seem that if you looked closely Yuvraj batting style has some changes. Typically explosive style by showing Yuvraj has also shown patience in adversity. This patient's problems may increase baking. Ball - the bat between the India - Pakistan and Pakistan's Umar Gul Yuvraj in Battleground competition will be worth watching.
For the first time in my life there have been claps in a press conference. I am sure this is a special moment for me, guys." Yuvraj Singh made a telling opening statement. The whole media room was in splits. For the next 17 minutes Yuvraj played the role of entertainer effortlessly, his answers laced with wit and charm.
It was difficult to imagine the man sitting there as the same one who had fought doubts, conditions and the formidable Australian fast bowlers and stood tall and strong for one-and-a-half hours to eventually take India into the semi-finals. Still, it was not entirely a surprise; Yuvraj has now been named man of the match in four of India's seven matches so far this World Cup, so he must be getting used to it.
"I've been batting really well since the England game," Yuvraj said. "The plans are working for me: trying to work till the end, trying to hit the ball down the ground into the gaps. I just kept telling myself to bat till the end, stay till the end."
With 12.3 overs left, 74 runs required and just one specialist batsman in Suresh Raina for support, Yuvraj was left to hold the Indian innings together and take it past the finish line. The Aussies were steadily closing in, having picked up the wickets of Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni in quick succession.
Yuvraj had come up with an all-round performance in India's 80-run victory against West Indies last Sunday. His 113 in that match was his first century since June 2009. It was a knock of determination, as he fought hard to stay on his feet in the Chennai heat while suffering from dehydration; he even threw up a few times while batting. Later in the evening he returned to pick up two wickets to expedite the Indian victory.
Even in the earlier matches in the tournament, he had restrained his attacking instincts admirably to stay put, and brave India through tense moments in victories against Ireland and Netherlands after the main batsmen had lost their way easily. Coming into the quarter-finals, Yuvraj had run the whole gamut of experiences, which only helped him survive the high-pressure situation at Motera, which he said had drained the players both mentally and physically.
On Thursday, he turned up match-fit and was one of India's best bowlers with two top-order wickets and followed it with an unbeaten 57, an innings he described as one he had built in his dreams exactly a year ago. "The emotions, I really can't explain them, because it was tough out there. From last year I have been dreaming of playing Australia in a crucial game. I don't know why Australia; probably because they are three times world champions. I'd been thinking about this moment for the last 365 days and it actually came true. I just believed in myself, I envisioned that moment from time to time: me staying there till the end and hitting the winning runs for India. So it is a very emotional moment for me."
There were a few jitters, especially the child-like indecisiveness between him and Gambhir while going for tight singles. Gambhir fell victim to one such moment of confusion and was run out. Yuvraj accepted his role in the mix-up. "It was a bit of a mishap with Gautam. We haven't batted too much together and the running between the wickets was just out of order. And I think it was my mistake and I apologise."
It was not an isolated incident, as there was immense pressure on both teams. Experienced hands like Brett Lee failed to come through when Yuvraj and Raina began turning the screw on the Australians, at the start of the final eleven overs of the match. Lee had taken the wicket of Dhoni in his previous over, but in the 40th, the pair took him to the cleaners, with Yuvraj hitting two scorching boundaries.
In the next over, Shaun Tait was wayward and gave away 13 runs. Those two overs proved to be one of the catalysts of India's win, but Yuvraj said it was not a planned counterattack. "It was very difficult to control the emotions because the heartbeat was racing in the pressure situation. If we made one mistake in a situation like today we would be out of the World Cup. Various thoughts run through your mind, but I decided that I would only watch the ball, keep it simple and as far as possible not hit in the air. Unless the asking rate peaked to seven-and-a-half, only then I would go for the big hits; till then I would hold back."
Yuvraj revealed that there was a driving force behind his recent success, a person he will unveil if India make the final on April 2. "I am playing this tournament for a special person. That special person always comes into my mind whenever I am in a pressure situation. Hopefully it will work out in the end."
Not only was he a bit secretive, he even turned philosophical about his good work against Australia. "You have a lot of thoughts [in the mind while batting] but whenever you want to desperately do it for your country and your team it somehow works out. It is great it is working at the right moment in the World Cup. It is a great victory for us."
Yuvraj had planned for every eventuality. On the eve of the match, he was the last batsman to face throwdowns from coach Gary Kirsten. Yuvraj knew the Australians would fire a lot of short-pitched stuff at him to unsettle him. "I just wanted to concentrate on hitting everything down the ground while leaving out the short balls."
That planning came to fruition on Thursday. He checked his shots and emotions till the victory stroke was unleashed. Once the job was done, he came crashing and sliding down on his knees, the way football players rush to the flag after scoring a goal. Then he let out a victory roar. A little later, he trotted out the jokes.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
Media frenzy over Yuvraj's 'special someone' at World Cup
India's swashbuckling all-rounder Yuvraj Singh whipped up a media frenzy on Friday by refusing to identify the 'special person' who is the driving force behind his World Cup success.
The left-hander, 29, conjured up a magical performance in the quarter-final win against Australia on Thursday, grabbing two wickets and making an unbeaten 57 to shape India's five-wicket victory over the champions.
The victory sets up a semi-final with arch-rivals Pakistan in Mohali on March 30.
Yuvraj, named man of the match for the fourth time in the tournament, then revealed during the post-match press conference that there was someone special in his life behind his recent success.
"I am playing this tournament for a special person. That special person always comes into my mind whenever I am in a pressure situation."
Yuvraj promised to reveal the identity if India made it to the April 2 final in Mumbai.
"Hopefully it will work out in the end," he quipped.
Yuvraj's half-disclosure was lapped up by hungry Indian news channels, one of which promptly started a programme urging viewers to send in their opinion on who they thought was the mysterious person in the cricketer's life.
The Punjab player, who has 341 runs and 11 wickets in the tournament so far, joked it was the first time he had been applauded at a press conference.
After recent struggles with form and fitness, he was asked if everything he was touching was now turning to gold.
"I think so. Last year, whatever I was doing was turning into mud," he said. Yuvraj admitted his success against the defending champions was the stuff of dreams.
"I have been thinking about beating Australia in this World Cup for a year, that I would be there till the end and winning the game for India.
"I honestly thought about this 365 days of the year. I have been dreaming of this. Probably because Australia are three-time (successive) champions," explained Yuvraj.
Yuvraj's fourth 50 in six innings, also including a hundred, took his average at this World Cup to an astonishing 113.66.
It also represented a remarkable turnaround after he'd not that long ago found himself out of the side.
"This is a moment we live for," added Yuvraj who said the match against Pakistan would be another 'dream game' for India.
However, asked about the tactics for that match, he joked: "I'm sure whatever plans we have for Pakistan, MS (Dhoni) will tell you at the next press conference.
India 268 (Yuvraj 113, Kohli 59, Rampaul 5-51) beat West Indies 188 (Smith 81, Sarwan 39, Zaheer 3-26) by 80 runs
Oh West Indies, they have done it again. For the second match in a row they had a chase all wrapped up but some desperate inspiration from Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh and some mindless cricket from the batsmen who followed Devon Smith ensured that West Indies remained without a win over a Test side other than Bangladesh since June 2009. With Smith playing as well as he has ever played, West Indies almost mocked India for the first 27 overs, getting up to 146 for 2 without a care in the world. Then came a maiden by Harbhajan and a wicked Zaheer slower ball to remove Smith, and West Indies lost the last eight wickets for 34.
That collapse outdid India's own - 7 for 50 - that had threatened to undo Yuvraj Singh's century on a track whose bounce West Indies and Ravi Rampaul exploited, but not to the fullest. Rampaul, the hero of West Indies' last win against a major side, took his first five-for in ODIs on his World Cup debut to hurt the start, the middle and the end of the Indian innings. However, West Indies' insistence on opening the bowling with Sulieman Benn despite the helpful track, and the obvious plan of trying to bounce India out meant they couldn't capitalise on a first over that claimed Sachin Tendulkar. Then there was Yuvraj, with his maiden World Cup century, fighting dehydration, vomiting on the field, and then coming back to take two wickets.
The game might have ended in a whimper, but it began explosively. As they successfully did in the last two World Twenty20s, West Indies came out with bouncers for India. Inside the first 11 overs, two deliveries bounced over the keeper's head for byes, two batsmen got out to deliveries dug in short, one was dropped off another short delivery, but Benn went for 21 off his three overs to ease the pressure. To make matters worse Darren Sammy dropped Yuvraj twice, chances not easy but not impossible, at 9 and 13.
Working with Yuvraj was Virat Kohli, for whom it was almost a homecoming to bat at No. 3 in the absence of the injured Virender Sehwag. In familiar environs of not having to score at a strike-rate of 150, Kohli did just what was required on a tough pitch after a tough start, scoring 59 off 76, letting Yuvraj take the majority of the strike in a 122-run partnership, after the two had come together at 51 for 2.
Even after Yuvraj was reprieved twice, the bouncers still kept coming, the odd ball still misbehaved - especially for the left-hand batsman. He got dehydrated and threw up but nothing seemed to be able to stop the Yuvraj specials in between, shots that kept the scoring rate up in the middle overs. Kohli was smart too: he had played 21 deliveries when Yuvraj came to join him, but so good was the strike manipulation that Yuvraj had played 12 more deliveries than him by the time their partnership ended.
During the partnership, Yuvraj pulled over midwicket, cover-drove for fours along the ground, swept the legspin of Devendra Bishoo, and on-drove Sammy over long-on for a majestic six. It was one of those days when Yuvraj was feeling it, one of those days when he plays one level above the game around him. His mates, though, managed to engineer another collapse from 218 for 3 in the 42nd over.
Buoyed by that good finish with the ball, West Indies came out positive. As Rampaul stood up in the absence of the unwell Kemar Roach, so Smith did in place of the injured Chris Gayle. He cut furiously - almost every bowler got a taste of his trademark shot - he picked singles straight to infielders, doubles straight to those in the deep. However, R Ashwin, who got his World Cup debut at long last, was difficult to hit with the new ball. He used his carrom ball to remove the potentially explosive Kirk Edwards.
Still Smith and Darren Bravo first, and Smith and Ramnaresh Sarwan thereafter kept knocking off the runs calmly. The running between the wickets, and then the odd boundary to break a string of dots, remained a feature. The panic and rush that characterised their effort against England was conspicuous in its absence. With Smith scoring at will, and West Indies needing just 123 in the last 23 overs, only West Indies stood in the way of West Indies.
Turned out they needed a bit of help from India to kickstart the collapse. It came through a maiden from Harbhajan, who came back remarkably after an uninspiring spell of four overs for 23 with the new ball. Harbhajan and Munaf Patel put together a spell of 19 balls for just eight runs before Zaheer was called upon to provide the exclamation mark.
And how he did, with his new knuckle slower ball, where the middle finger doesn't hold the ball tightly, thus taking the pace off without giving any indication to those who are watching from the front. With that slower ball, he removed Smith's off stump after a virtually faultless innings. After that, the procession began. Kieron Pollard holed out to long-on at the first sight of pressure, Sammy was sold down the river by Sarwan, Devon Thomas and Andre Russell fell to the wiles of Yuvraj, and it was all over.
The way West Indies and India collapsed, conspiracy theorists will waste no time in suggesting that both teams wanted to avoid Australia in the quarter-final. As it turned out, West Indies finished fourth in Group B, thus getting Group A leaders Pakistan in Dhaka. And India renew hostilities with Australia in Ahmedabad.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
India star Yuvraj Singh has told his team-mates to seize the moment and capitalise on Australia's vulnerability when the teams meet in Thursday's World Cup quarter-final.
Yuvraj scored a century and took two wickets with his left-arm spinners as India beat the West Indies by a convincing 80 runs on Sunday to set-up a last eight clash against champions Australia in Ahmedabad.
India will go into the match buoyed by victory, Australia -- aiming for a fourth successive World Cup title and fifth in all -- suffered a four-wicket loss to Pakistan last time out where they were bowled out for just 176.
Defeat ended Australia's 34-match unbeaten streak at the World Cup dating back to 1999 and it was their batting, particularly the poor form of captain Ricky Ponting, that encouraged Yuvraj.
Ponting fell for 19 and in five innings at this World Cup has managed just 102 runs in all with a best of 36.
Not that Yuvraj, who hadn't turned two when India won their lone World Cup title back in 1983, was writing off Australia's chances completely.
"They've won four games at this World Cup. Teams are equal at the moment, it's just who plays better on the day," said Yuvraj, whose 113 was the centrepiece of India's 268 all out against the West Indies.
"Australia are a top side, they've won three successive World Cups but Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden are not there.
"You can get into the middle-order and Ponting is not in great form. If we can get into their weaknesses, we can win the quarter-final."
Injuries and loss of form have blighted Yuvraj's career in recent times.
But runs -- he'd also scored three fifties -- and wickets have come his way at the World Cup where he has been named man-of-the-match in three of India's four wins to date.
Sunday's innings was especially pleasing for Yuvraj as it marked his first ODI hundred in nearly two years since he made 131 against the West Indies in Kingston in June, 2009.
"Batting at number four, you get an opportunity you don't get at five," explained Yuvraj, who battled stomach cramps that led to vomiting during the course of his innings.
"I wanted to hit ball down the ground and not in the air."
India can expect to be roared on by a partisan crowd in Ahmedabad but Yuvraj, while grateful for the support, said motivation was primarily a personal issue.
"You are playing a World Cup quarter-final for your country -- you have to give 100 percent. It's the moment of our lives, the moment you live for as a cricketer."
Sun, 20 Mar 2011 - India vs West Indies, World Cup 2011, 42nd match Group B - Preview
With team's much-vaunted batting coming under flake following the dramatic collapse against the Proteas in the last game, redemption will be at the top of priority for India when they take on West Indies in the last group match of the world cup in Chennai on Sunday.
India's bowling was never billed as hot and with batting too coming under scrutiny, Dhoni and company would like to bring everything back on track before moving into the knockout stage.
The defeat of Bangladesh at the hands of South Africa means that India is already assured of quarterfinal place and therefore the team can afford to experiment and work out the right combinations for matches to come.
West Indies are also almost assured of their place in the knockout stage except of course a catastrophic unprecedented defeat. Though the team has shown improvements in this world cup, it still needs to prove itself against top nations.
For all the hype and hoopla that surrounded men in blue's world cup build up, they have not been able to live up to the expectation. While bowling continues to be team's weak link, the fact that batting, too, collapsed on more than one occasion, has clearly added to the woes of team management.
Of late, skipper Dhoni has also come under the radar of media and fans with his decision to persist with Chawla and not giving Ashwin a look-in receiving widespread criticism.
The pitch of Chennai has been a spinner's paradise. And with Swann and Tredwell scripting an English win over the West Indies a few days ago, India may play Ashwin to accompany Harbhajan and Yuvraj in spin department.
Bowling at death has also been a concern for India and this will be the last opportunity for Dhoni to work out the right candidate to do that job.
However, on the brighter side, India's first three batsmen have been in imperious form throughout the world cup with Sehwag, Sachin and Gambhir all among runs.
Tendulkar has scored two centuries in this world cup and with his tally of international tons reading 99, Indian fans would hope for the master batsmen to bring up his 100th ton on a ground he has always loved playing on.
West Indies would look to avoid the kind of collapse they had against England in the last game. Batting collapse has now almost become a pattern for the Caribbean team as the side twice let the game off their control when playing top teams in the world cup.
The team is full of stroke players with Gayle, Bravo and Pollard all capable of tearing apart any team single handedly. However, the lack of patience and ability to mix caution with aggression among the batsmen have proved the team's undoing on too many occasions.
In the bowling department, West Indies will be led by their charismatic new ball bowler Kemar Roach who has been in sterling from in this world cup. Andre Russell was also impressive in the last game and with young Bishoo impressing one and all with his spinning prowess against England; West Indies appear a bit ahead as far variety in bowling is concerned.
Andre Russell, Chris Gayle Darren Bravo Darren Sammy (c) Devendra Bishoo Devon Smith Devon Thomas (wk), Kemar Roach Kieran Pollard Kirk Edwards Nikita Miller Ramnaresh Sarwan Ravi Rampaul S Chanderpaul Suleiman Benn
Pune Warriors (Marathi: पुणे वॉरियर्स) is the Pune franchise for the Indian Premier League. The franchise is owned by the Sahara Group. Geoff Marsh is head coach, former England all rounder Dermot Reeve is the assistant coach. On 8 March 2011, The Warriors announced that Yuvraj Singh will be their captain for IPL 2011.
In March 2010, the franchises of Pune and Kochi joined the league of eight original IPL teams for the 2011 season. Sahara Adventure Sports Limited had made the winning bid of $370 million for the Pune franchise. The bid is the highest bid by any company in the short history of IPL.
Founded:March 21, 2010
Home ground:MCA Pune International Cricket Centre (Capacity : 55,000)
During the 2010 franchise auction for two new Indian Premier League teams, Subrata Roy of Sahara Group purchased the Pune IPL team. Pune and Kochi will join the current eight teams from the fourth season of IPL to be held in 2011. On March 22, 2010 Sahara group bought Pune IPL team for Rs 1,702 crore.The Videocon Group lost the bid for the Pune IPL Team. It was named Sahara Pune Warriors on 24 April 2010 at a function held at Pune.[
Yuvraj Singh has been named captain of Sahara Pune Cricket Team
Warriors for the fourth season of the Indian Premier League. Debuting in the IPL this year, the franchise includes South Africa captain Graeme Smith, hard-hitting New Zealand opener Jesse Ryder and Sri Lanka allrounder Angelo Mathews among others.
Yuvraj had captained Kings XI Punjab - and initially was their icon player - in the first two IPL seasons, leading the team to the semi-finals of the first edition. In 2009, Punjab finished fifth in the group stage, after which Yuvraj was replaced at the helm with Kumar Sangakkara. Yuvraj was in poor form in the 2010 IPL, and came in for criticism for his batting and attitude.
Yuvraj's appointment as Pune's captain comes soon after his man-of-the-match performance in India's World Cup tie against Ireland on Sunday, in which he picked up five wickets and scored a half-century. The team had previously appointed Geoff Marsh as chief coach, and Dermot Reeve and Praveen Amre as assistant coaches. The set-up also includes India domestic players like Manish Pandey, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala and Mithun Minhas.
Pune will take on Punjab in their opening IPL match on April 10 in Mumbai.
Yuvraj Singh put in a superb all-round display as India survived some anxious moments to post a five-wicket victory over a fighting Ireland in its World Cup match on Sunday.
The part-time spinner bagged a maiden five-wicket haul to restrict Ireland to a modest 207 and then hit an unbeaten 50 to help his side achieve the target with four overs to spare in the day-night match in Bangalore.
India were wobbling at 4 for 100 before Yuvraj and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (34) added 67 runs for the fifth wicket.
Yusuf Pathan gave the finishing touches to India's second win in three matches with an attractive 24-ball 30 not out, which included two sixes and one four in one over from left-arm spinner George Dockrell.
"I think the most important thing is that everyone got a chance to bat. We were batting under pressure," said Dhoni, whose side now sits top of Group B.
"We are showing signs of improvement. I feel it's important to peak at the right time because it's a long tournament. What we have seen is slow and gradual improvement in the bowling side."
Ireland captain William Porterfield, who made an impressive 75 as opener, said his side was 40 runs short of a challenging target.
"I think we got ourselves into a great position after losing two early wickets. We're fighting well and we fought right until the end. An extra 40 runs could have been interesting," he said.
Ireland, who upset England in its last match at this venue on Wednesday, made India struggle for runs with its disciplined bowling and brilliant fielding.
Paceman Trent Johnston, who became the third Irish player to figure in 50 one-day internationals, jolted India when he dismissed Virender Sehwag (5) and Gautam Gambhir (10) in his opening three overs.
Johnston, who sustained an injury after falling on his follow-through, did not bowl after five overs.
India looked in trouble when Sachin Tendulkar (38) was trapped LBW while attempting to sweep Dockrell and Virat Kohli (34) was run out. The pair added 63 for the third wicket.
Left-arm spinner Yuvraj (5 for 31) earlier played a key role in restricting Ireland despite an impressive 75 from Porterfield.
His victims included Kevin O'Brien (9), who hammered the fastest century in World Cup history against England, as Ireland lost its last eight wickets for 85 runs in a dramatic collapse.
Yuvraj gave the capacity crowd plenty to cheer about after left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan had rocked Ireland with two early wickets.
Porterfield, dropped on 0 by Pathan in the slips off Zaheer, went on to complete his fifth half-century in one-dayers before being caught in the covers off Yuvraj. He hit one six and six fours.
Ireland was on course to post a challenging total following a 113-run stand for the third wicket between Porterfield and Niall O'Brien (46) before it slipped from a healthy 2 for 122.
It suffered a crucial blow when well-set Niall O'Brien was run out after completing 1,000 runs in one-day internationals. His brother, Kevin, failed to repeat his heroics from the last match as he offered a return catch to Yuvraj.
There was no hint of the slide when Porterfield and Niall O'Brien were steadying the innings after Zaheer's double strike. The Irish pair never looked in trouble, comfortably gathering runs against both pace and spin.
Zaheer struck with the fourth delivery of the match when he bowled Paul Stirling for a duck before having Ed Joyce caught behind for four.
BANGALORE, India — Yuvraj Singh admitted on Monday that he's thriving in his role as India's World Cup terminator having made history with his five-wicket haul and half-century against Ireland.
India were struggling at 100-4, chasing a modest 208-run target in the day-night match in Bangalore on Sunday, before Yuvraj steered his side home with an unbeaten 50 under pressure.
The left-hander also excelled as a part-time spinner, taking 5-31 for a maiden five-wicket haul in one-day internationals, the first player to achieve the double feat.
He was named man of the match for his superb all-round performance.
"Finishing a game gives me a lot of confidence going into the next match. I'm just happy about how I am hitting the ball. My responsibility is to bat till the end whether we are batting first or chasing a target," said Yuvraj.
"I missed quite a bit of cricket over a year and a half due to injuries and now to come back and play my part in victories is very satisfying.
"Maybe I don't have my 100 per cent strike-rate right now, but more than that I am helping to finish matches and that is important. Overall, it was a very good day for me."
Yuvraj said India needed a batsman to stay till the end after Irish paceman Trent Johnston and left-arm spinner George Dockrell had taken two wickets apiece to put his side under pressure.
"The pitch was slower than the one used for the last game and as we were under pressure at 100-4, it was important that somebody batted till the end," said Yuvraj, who also scored a half-century in a tied game against England.
He was also instrumental in restricting Ireland after the visitors were strongly placed at 122-2 following a 113-run stand between skipper William Porterfield (75) and Niall O'Brien (46).
Yuvraj, who has scored 7,797 runs and taken 99 wickets in 268 one-day internationals, said he was happy with his five-wicket performance.
"I am a part-time bowler and when I got those five wickets I was as happy as I was when I scored my first one-day international hundred. I think it's an achievement for a part-timer to get five wickets," he said.
"I won't say bowling has helped me regain confidence. Whether I take wickets or don't take wickets, I want to go and get runs. Just because I got five wickets it does not mean I have overshadowed other bowlers."
The victory also boosted India's chances of making it to the quarter-finals as they remain unbeaten in Group B, having defeated Bangladesh and Ireland, and tied their match against England.
But Yuvraj said India were capable of lifting their performance more in the coming matches.
"There is always room for improvement, like taking early wickets and fielding better. But the main thing is that in every situation every member of the team is doing well and that's a good sign," he said.
India meet the Netherlands, South Africa and the West Indies in their remaining matches. The top four sides from the group qualify for the quarter-finals.