Okaka thinks Balotelli could hhave been successful

September 22nd, 2014

Stefano Okaka, the Italian striker, reckons that his countryman Mario Balotelli could have been hugely successful at his previous club AC Milan if he had been as matured as Zatan Ibrahimovic.

Balotelli played for Milan for one and half seasons, while, Ibrahimovic was there for a slightly longer period i.e. for two seasons.

There’s not much difference between the strike rates of these two players at Milan, but, still, Okaka considers one as a success, while, the other one as a failure.

Speaking in one of his interviews recently, Okaka said, “I don’t think Mario managed to do as well as he could have here in Italy and his temperament is the reason for that.”

“Look at somebody like Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He had also come to Milan with big reputation, but, he was extremely calm during his time. He never tried to put blame on anyone for anything. He just played his game and scored a lot of goals.”

“Mario, on the other hand, was very different. He never introspects. You will always find him blaming others. I mean he is a fantastic talent no doubt and he might find that old spark at Liverpool, but, at Milan, he could have done much better.”

Ibrahimovic was actually placed on loan to Milan during the 2010-11 Season by his then parent club Barcelona and the Sweden international fired in 14 goals for the Rossoneri to earn a permanent contract the next summer.

The 32-year old was even more successful in 2011-12 striking at a rate of almost 1 goal per match in the Italian top tier.

However, that proved to be Ibrahimovic’s last season at Milan as he moved to the French club Paris Saint Germain in July 2012. He cost PSG 20 million Euros.

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Singh Proves He Is Not Done YEt

August 6th, 2014

The way Yuvraj Singh played in the IPL and then, in the exhibition match at Lord’s the other day, it’s quite evident that he is not done as yet. He has something to offer to Indian Cricket, probably in the limited-over format only, but, there is something there in him still.

There’s no doubt that Yuvraj’s performance in the final of the World T20 Championship is something that his critics would always talk about. They would try to press the point that the best days of the left hander are gone and that he is not good enough to represent India anymore. But, that isn’t quite the truth.

Yes, Yuvraj’s weakness against the short balls is known by the bowlers all around the world now. He had a problem against the spin bowling in his staring days and he still has that. So, his game is not flawless at the moment. There is no denying that. But, the middle order batsman is still one of the cleanest and strongest strikers of the cricket ball and he showed that in the last edition of IPL.

Many would say that Yuvraj’s best knocks in IPL 7 came at Chinnaswamy where the pitch is a belter. That’s completely true. But, to hit sixes as cleanly as Yuvraj did needs huge talent and high class no matter at what sort of surface the match is being played.

Even against the MCC attack which consisted of the likes of Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Saeed Ajmal at Lord’s; Yuvraj looked fluent. He was cautious against Ajmal at the beginning, but, not tentative. He took on the short ball confidently as well that day.

Considering Yuvraj’s experience and his record in the past World events, the Indian selectors might still have him in their plans for the ODI world Cup 2015 which will take place next year.

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Broad Ready For England Duty

July 2nd, 2014

Stuart Broad is ready to put on the England shirt again after remaining on the sidelines for a while. He had not been included in the squad for the 5-match One Day International series against Sri Lanka because of fitness problems, but, he is fit and fine now and is all set to make an impact for the Poms in 5-day cricket.

Broad was one of the very few members of the English side for whom the Ashes tour of Australia had gone well. He had created problems for the Kangaroo batsmen right through the series there and ended up getting more than 20 wickets.

He couldn’t carry on the same kind of form towards the end of the season though as his performances on the tour of West Indies and then in the World T20 Championship were not satisfactory, but, one could understand that. He had already played a lot of cricket in the season and thus, weariness was taking effect on him.

But, now that he is returning completely fresh, the English captain Alastair Cook can expect him to bowl sharp and keep the Sri Lankan batsmen on their toes.

Broad always likes bowling at home. The English conditions suit him very well, but, one thing for which he often suffers criticism is that he bowls short even when the ball is seaming. He gets carried away with the bounce that he gets because of his height. If he pitches the ball up quite regularly, he would achieve a lot more success that what he has achieved so far.

Despite being only 27 years of age at the moment, Broad has already become one of the most successful bowlers for England in test match cricket. He has more than 200 test wickets under his belt.