Monday, March 18, 2019

IPL 2019: Indian Premier League is often considered a platform

March 18, 2019 0
Indian Premier League is often considered a platform for domestic players to shine. The past seasons have seen the likes of Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson, Jasprit Bumrah among others grab the opportunity and have even gone onto represent India on the back of some impressive performances. This year too, the auction threw some surprises when it came to local players and we at CricketNext take a look at the five players who will look to make an impact in their debut season.

Varun Chakravarthy (Kings XI Punjab)

IPL 2019: Indian Premier League is often considered a platform

The spotlight will firmly be on the mystery spinner who was picked by Kings XI Punjab for a whopping Rs 8.4 crore. Though his first task will be to make it to the playing XI in a team which is led by off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and also has Afghanistan's Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman. His first-class record doesn't really speak much as he has played only one first-class match and nine list A matches. He has picked 22 wickets in those nine matches at an average of 16.68, including a best of 5/38. He was a net bowler for Chennai Super Kings last season where he impressed the likes of Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir, with Harbhajan going on to say that he is someone selectors should keep an eye on. His price in the auction has ensure that all eyes will firmly be on him but how he responds to the pressure is what everyone will be watching out for.

Anmolpreet Singh (Mumbai Indians)

IPL 2019: Indian Premier League is often considered a platform

Mumbai Indians had plenty of problems in the top order last season with the team struggling to find a settled opening combination. This year, team has invested in openers with Quinton de Kock coming in from Royal Challengers Bangalore and big hitting Anmolpreet Singh being picked up from the auction. The left-handed opener is known for his aggressive stroke play and isn't afraid to take on the bowling from the word go. He averages above 54.95 in first-class cricket, and 52.45 in List A cricket. He will also have an able mentor in his state teammate Yuvraj Singh in the dressing room.

Shivam Dube (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

IPL 2019: Indian Premier League is often considered a platform

The big-hitting all-rounder is capable of winning games with both bat and ball. He came to the limelight when he smashed five sixes in five deliveries against Baroda in the Ranji Trophy. His numbers this year read an impressive 632 runs in eight matches with two centuries and three half-centuries. He bowls right-arm medium pace and is more in Hardik Pandya mould, RCB would want him to have the same impact on their fortunes this year. He will be shouldering the responsibility of carrying the lower order of RCB, which has often been a problem for the team in the past few seasons.

Prabhsimran Gill (Kings XI Punjab)

IPL 2019: Indian Premier League is often considered a platform

A local player, 18-year-old Prabhsimran Gill stunned everyone when he was picked by Kings XI Punjab for a whopping Rs 4.8 crore. He has never played for senior Punjab team but is someone who is seen in the Virender Sehwag mould. He vented out his frustration of not making it to the India U-19 team by smashing 298 runs in a district level game of just 301 deliveries. He is also a wicket-keeper, a spot Punjab wanted to fill after using KL Rahul as the makeshift keeper last season. Interestingly, he is the cousin of Anmolpreet Singh and the family will certainly be keeping a close eye on both the players this year.

Prayas Ray Barman (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

IPL 2019: Indian Premier League is often considered a platform

Prayas Ray Barman had dreamed of getting a picture clicked with his icon Virat Kohli and he will certainly get an opportunity to do that when he turns out for Royal Challengers Bangalore. The 16-year-old was bought in the auction for a price of Rs. 1.5 crore, despite thinking he will not be picked. Not the biggest spinner, Barman is known for his accuracy and the ability to create pressure. Chinnaswamy is known to be a graveyard for the bowlers and how the teenager reacts to pressure is something that will be worth watching. He was also the highest wicket-taker for Bengal in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Team India and Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya

March 14, 2019 0

What's the story?

Team India and Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya recently tweeted a video of himself practicing MS Dhoni's famous 'helicopter shot' at the Wankhede Stadium.
Team India and Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya

The background

An indispensable member of the Indian Cricket Team across formats, Pandya was dropped from the Indian ODI squad against Australia back in January for his controversial statements on a reality TV show. After serving a suspension due to this incident, he came back stronger and performed well against New Zealand in the five-match ODI series which the visitors won 4-1.

While he was expected to continue his good run against Australia at home, he was ruled out of both the T20I and ODI series due to a lower back injury. A perfect all-rounder, the 25-year-old from Baroda is someone who can contribute heavily with the willow down the order as well as provide major breakthroughs with the ball.

The heart of the matter

Now fully fit, Pandya linked up with the Mumbai Indians for a pre-season camp on Tuesday (March 12) and was seen practicing in full swing at the nets. Pandya tweeted a video of himself performing Mahendra Singh Dhoni's 'helicopter shot' with a caption that read: "Guess my inspiration behind this shot?".

What's next?

Since he is coming off an injury coupled with the fact that he is one of the vital cogs in the Indian line-up, Pandya's workload will be one of the key aspects during the 2019 IPL.

With several players like skipper Virat Kohli and Bhuvneshwar Kumar speaking about the significance of reducing the workload during the IPL, Pandya is likely to miss a few games this season for the three-time winners, who begin their campaign against a new-look Delhi Capitals side at home on March 24.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The year 2019 should see normalization for the auto sector as a whole,

March 05, 2019 0

Expect muted growth numbers for auto sector: Motilal Oswal Securities
The year 2019 should see normalization for the auto sector as a whole, said Rajat Rajgarhia of Motilal Oswal Securities.

The year 2019 should see normalization for the auto sector as a whole,

Rajat Rajgarhia, Managing Director-Institutional Equities, Motilal Oswal Securities is of the view that Nifty level is no longer a relevant indicator because it does not reflect anything in the last six to 12 months.

"Nifty may remain within the range of 200-300 points but we can see few weeks of strong rally continue for broader markets, which will bring in a positive sentiment," said Rajgarhia in an interview with CNBC-TV18.
If this optimism were to continue, it has to reflect in the midcap and smallcap space more than the largecaps, he added.

When asked if it was a good time to buy into oil marketing companies (OMCs) now, he said: "The stocks are likely to stay range-bound and it would take a long time before the old valuations come back. It is unlikely that they would react strongly even if crude fell down by $10-15 from here. Most investors have deserted these stocks after holding them for three to four years and most would look to exit them on rally than buy on decline. Other PSU names look attractive than these OMCs, said Rajgarhia.

Moreover, PSU allocation in the portfolio of investors is not on the rise." he added.
Furthermore he added, "With regards to autos, they are a reflection of both the cyclical and structural slowdown in the system. Things might not get worse for the sector but it could be a long time before things recover. However, it has been a highly profitable sector for last five to seven years, and 2019 should see normalisation for this sector as a whole."

He expects growth numbers for the sector to be muted even though the absolute numbers will start bottoming out. He doesn't see volume numbers lower than what they are trending right now.

Talking about the housing finance companies (HFCs), he said, "18 months back there was nothing wrong this sector could have done. However, this is a space that will remain exciting and longer time outlook remains very positive," he said. Players that survive this liquidity crisis will just have to remodel their business growth rates, focus on liability franchise and the growth outlook.


Source: CNBC-TV18

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Opinion | Who needs Nasscom’s guidance, IT is on the fast track

February 21, 2019 0

The IT sector offers a good defensive play in the current scenario

Opinion | Who needs Nasscom’s guidance, IT is on the fast track

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) has said it will stop giving forward-looking guidance for the IT sector. The markets, however, completely ignored this bit of news.

That’s because few people set much store by Nasscom’s projections. It has also been criticized for its methodology on which the forecasts were made.

Nasscom chairman Rishad Premji said "Rather than collating a number, we feel having a perspective would be better. We are not sharing the number as a philosophical decision." Nasscom president Debjani Ghosh put it bluntly when she said guidance is a thing of the past and not the right thing for the future.

In any case, apart from the media, there were no takers for Nasscom’s guidance. Analysts preferred following the spending budget of big clients and international software players rather than basing their analysis on Nasscom’s guidance.

The changing dynamics in the IT sector was one reason why the guidance number was not close to reality. Indian software companies took time to understand the changing nature of the IT sector, which moved from body-shopping to the digital space and to automation.

But now, Indian companies have adapted themselves to the new business conditions and focused on training and re-skilling their staff to align with the changing times.

In a report on Indian IT, HDFC Securities has points out that the sector has ‘hit refresh’, with reinvention across multiple tech cycles and is now tuned to the all-encompassing and ubiquitous ‘Digital’ shift.
The Digital space has grown at a much faster pace of 32 percent as compared to the IT sector growth of 8.8 percent in the third quarter, on a year-on-year basis. The report says that digital is becoming more mainstream as projects move from the pilot to the production stage.

The sector has now reached critical mass and its investment in re-skilling and acquisitions will open up a larger market with better pricing power.

The sector is also seeing robust M&A deals. A brighter future goes hand in hand with strong hiring momentum. The core vertical for the IT space – BFSI (Banking, financial services, and insurance) has also revived, offering better visibility for the companies.

True, there are some headwinds in the form of a slowdown and regulator issues in the US and Brexit, but the positives out-weigh the concerns as of now.

So if the companies and analysts are bullish, is the sector worth investing in?
Taking a simplistic approach and looking at companies purely on a price to earnings (PE) basis, the IT sector is trading close to its long term average PE of 18. With the visibility of growth, the sector does look promising.

But what especially works in favour of the sector now is the uncertainty in India on account of the impending elections. The IT sector offers a good defensive play in the current scenario.

BCCI drafts letter asking ICC to ban Pakistan from World Cup 2019

February 21, 2019 0

BCCI has reportedly drafted a letter asking International Cricket Council (ICC) to ban Pakistan from the upcoming World Cup 2019.

BCCI drafts letter asking ICC to ban Pakistan from World Cup 2019

The Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has reportedly drafted a letter asking International Cricket Council (ICC) to ban Pakistan from the upcoming World Cup 2019 in England in the wake of terrorist attack in Pulwama.

As per the letter, if ICC decides against BCCI’s demand, India might consider withdrawing from the tournament itself.

According to The Times of India, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai has given his approval to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri to shoot the letter to cricket’s global governing body. However, a final call on whether the board will actually send the letter will be taken on Thursday.

“In the light of the recent terrorist attack in Kashmir, the Board is of the view that the ICC should ban Pakistan from participating,” TOI quoted a BCCI source as saying.

However, the report further quotes various sources as saying that the letter is nothing but a political gimmick with no practical implications. BCCI can only decide upon its participation in the event but cannot ask ICC to ban any other participating nation.

“Either way, BCCI can’t take a stand on this. Nations have suffered disputes but that hasn’t led to nonparticipation in global events like FIFA and Olympics. This is merely a political gimmick,” a source said.

BCCI has also been cautioned to ‘not make a fool of themselves’.

“BCCI can’t do anything like that. Asking a governing body to ban a country from participating in a global event is easier said than done. It’s a multi-nation tournament, not run at one member board’s personal discretion. They should try not to make a fool of themselves here,” sources said.

The Indian cricket board will have to reach a general consensus with other cricket boards of other nations through voting, something which hasn’t been thought of yet. On their part, the ICC is yet to receive any official or formal communication on this front from the BCCI.

“How the ICC works is simple. It will be put to vote. It’s not India’s discretion that’ll work here – that is if things go to that extent in the first place. There has to be a general consensus on the matter and BCCI still hasn’t worked out if there is any,” sources add.

“BCCI is being foolish here if it actually sends this letter. It can take a call on its own participation. Not that of another country. Either way, there will be heavy legal consequences involved.”

India are scheduled to face Pakistan on June 16 in Manchester with ICC claiming it received 4000,000 ticket applications from the match.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Copper prices to trade firm on higher deficit!

February 16, 2019 0

Higher copper imports in China and lower mine supply from Indonesia are expected to provide support to prices in 2019.

Copper prices to trade firm on higher deficit!

Last week,the energy complex witnessed a divergent move with crude oil prices rising 3.5 percent, while natural gas prices fell by 2.5 percent. Crude oil prices reversed prior week's losses after lower-than-expected release of OPEC production data.

Precious metals stayed strong as the release of dismal US retail sales reinforced expectation of continuation of dovish Fed policy in future. Base metal prices reacted negatively as China's markets opened after the week-long holidays. However, prices bounced back due to optimism over better than expected trade numbers from China.

Investors are eagerly awaiting the outcome from the US-China trade meet particularly after the positive comments from the US President.

The global copper market is expected to witness an undersupply scenario ahead as the pace of new mine supply is expected to slow due to decline in output from the Indonesia copper mine, while the demand growth will remain strong in the coming years.

The global copper consumption will be driven by stable infrastructure growth in China and a rising demand from the electric vehicle sector. Also, China's copper scrap import restrictions will likely provide support to the copper demand in 2019 and lead to higher imports in China.

China's copper imports in January have risen by 8.2 percent at 4,79,000 tonnes. Also, another supportive factor is the global copper stockpiles currently not so far from decade lows.

Looking at the fundamentals, we believe copper prices are likely to trade positive in the coming quarter. Higher copper imports in China and lower mine supply from Indonesia are expected to provide support in 2019. We expect the global copper market to show a higher deficit in 2019 surpassing ICSG forecast of deficit of just 65,000 tonnes.

From the macro perspective, a positive outcome from the US-China tariff talk in future and possibility of stimulus from China, we can expect LME Copper prices to test $6,350-$6,400 per tonne in the coming months. Currently the LME Copper prices are trading at $6,170 per tonne.


Is this India’s final World Cup squad?

February 16, 2019 0

India’s 15-member squads for the upcoming Australia ODI series at home will most likely travel to England in May for the marquee event.

Is this India’s final World Cup squad?

With India announcing their 15-member squads for the upcoming Australia ODI series at home, their final international series before the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, it seems certain that this bunch will most likely travel to England in May for the marquee event.

While in New Zealand India’s mantra was to experiment and provide opportunities to fringe players, the squad for the home series against Australia is a clear sign that the two-time champions are done messing around.

Reports of resting vice-captain Rohit Sharma were unfounded, while the returns of captain Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and KL Rahul led to the the axing of Dinesh Karthik and Khaleel Ahmed from the ODIs.

Since the time India entered the home stretch of their preparations for the World Cup – from July 2018 with the England tour – Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit have played the maximum games for them – 21 each – while the polarising MS Dhoni has had 20 ODIs to his name, followed by Kuldeep Yadav (19), Ambati Rayudu (18), Yuzvendra Chahal (17) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (17).

A total of 26 players played for India from the England ODIs, with only 11 players playing more than ten matches. And from those who played less that ten matches, Mohammed Shami, Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant, and Rahul find a place in the squad for the home series against Australia. The two who miss out, despite playing more than ten matches, are Karthik and Ravindra Jadeja.

Karthik, during the period, averaged 40.33 with the bat largely donning the finisher’s role, while Jadeja averaged 19 with the bat and 30.87 with the ball. Looking at those numbers, Jadeja doesn’t merit a place in the World Cup squad – add to that the phenomenal numbers racked up by the the other two spinners – Kuldeep (21.28) and Chahal (26.89). The duo has also taken 66 wickets between them.

While the head of the selection committee, MSK Prasad, emphasised that this is not the end of the road for the Tamil Nadu batsman, but as far as the World Cup is concerned, it sure seem that way for Karthik.

Apart from the regulars, there were two spots up for grabs and they have gone to Shankar, who provides both batting and bowling option for Kohli, and Shami, who was marred by injuries last year, but pushed a strong case with consistently good performances. He pushes out left-arm seamer Khaleel, who started well, but suffered a dip in form in the New Zealand series.

Pandya and Rahul’s suspensions in December last year had led to an imbalance in the Indian squad, but with both back now and with decent enough forms, that balance has returned. Pandya slots in like the last piece of the puzzle at No.7 for India while Rahul will be the backup opening option for Dhawan and Rohit.

While recent reports have mooted the idea of Kohli batting at No.4 with Rayudu at 3, an experiment that can be tried out against Australia, but logic will dictate your best batsman to bat one down.

Which brings us to 5 and 6 – Dhoni and Jadhav/Pant. Dhoni, since July 12, 2018, has scored 448 runs at 40.72, hitting a purple patch in Australia. That pretty much settles the No.5 debate. His prowess of finishing games with brute power might be on the wane, but for somebody who has 338 ODIs to his name, you might as well back the veteran to have a big final hurrah in India colours.

Pant is just three ODIs old, but has an opportunity to present a strong case for the No.6 spot in competition with Jadhav, who will have the advantage of being a bowling option as well. Man-to-man, some may want Pant at six donning the finisher’s job, but Jadhav has his experience to bank on.

The bowling line-up is fairly sorted for India with Bumrah back in and Bhuvneshwar finding his rhythm again. Siddarth Kaul, in for the first two ODIs against Australia, can only hope to travel as a backup and if he fails to seize the opportunity, Khaleel would be the one to benefit.

Shami’s return to form is particularly good news for India as he is more than just a back up to India’s leading pace duo. Out of Khaleel, Mohammed Siraj, Kaul, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar and Umesh Yadav – all of whom have been tried in the last nine months – Shami stands tallest among them all.

And finally, Shankar. A late surge in to the Indian mix, the Tamil Nadu allrounder only had four ODIs – in New Zealand – to show his worth, and that seems to have been enough. It is highly unlikely that the 28-year-old will get any playing time, even against Australia, and will most probably travel as Pandya’s understudy to England.

He did not get to bowl much in the New Zealand tour, so it is tough to assess whether the Indian team is banking on him as a backup bowling option or as a batsman. Either way, Shankar is that one player who manages to find a place in India’s World Cup scheme, and for some inexplicable reason doesn’t seem an automatic choice. Hark back your memory to Mohit Sharma in 2015, Yusuf Pathan in 2011 and Robin Uthappa in 2007.

India’s predicted World cup squad: 1. Virat Kohli (capt), 2. Rohit Sharma (vc), 3. Shikhar Dhawan, 4. Ambati Rayudu, 5. MS Dhoni (wk), 6. Kedar Jadhav, 7. Hardik Pandya, 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9. Kuldeep Yadav. 10. Yuzvendra Chahal, 11. Jasprit Bumrah 12. Mohammed Shami, 13. Vijay Shankar, 14. Rishabh Pant, 15. KL Rahul