October 2008 - Posts
Well, this might seem an arbitrary heading to most Indian sports lovers. It isn't. On a day when one is writing this, Anand is leading by 3 points against Kramnik after 6/12 games, India is leading Australia 1-0 after 2 tests and ISRO is sending an unmanned rocket to the moon tonight.
The first moves are going right for the first 2 guys. The moon mission frankly hasn't got off yet; but these 3 events happening on the same day, tie them together too tightly to destiny. Maybe all of them will give us different results. But till then one can hope, all of them pull it off.
But going over the moon is something that is not warranted at this point in time for any of them. India, in cricket, have got a lead, but given their inconsitency over the past few years to win a series after leading, they have to be careful. The Kotla record notwithstanding. One can gloat about the opponents going to pieces and falling apart. But sporting victories can't and should not be based upon your opponents. You have to play better than them at the end to win!!!
India and Anand surprised the opponents by being different. When every one expected the opponents to be coming up with different strategies; they were the ones who emerged the innovators. But its only the half of the test for both of them. They have to keep their concentration and keep on innovating to surprise their opponents to emerge victors at the end of it ALL.
India did get a couple of decisions in their favour in this test. And a lot of Australians are very stuck up about them saying why aren't the Indians saying anything against it a la Sydney. Now Sydney if one can say was a 6 sigma event. If I can find 20 Australians (w/o Indian origins) who can explain me that without referring to google, I'll be surprised. If they can ever claim to have a victory without a bad decision in their favour, all the best to them. A website commentary actually said that MSD appealed on a bump catch. If one watched the match, MSD asked for a 3rd Ump which was not referred to. A margin of 320 runs can't be rubbished and even a Ponting (keeping in mind his KKR contracts) was pretty fair about them.
A few lasting moments from the test match at Mohali were the Ricky Ponting scalp by Ishaant, Guru Greig shaking hands with the Indian team (one still remembers an article in DNA about what GG didn't teach us, after the first test(thank god he wasn't Ishaant Sharma's batting coach, because he would try to convert him into a batter ala Irfan) ), and SRT's catch at point off Katich where he celebrated more than when he broke Lara's record. All this does is give RD and SRT to play another test (because they scored a few in this test), VVS is still out in the wild, thanks to our ever 'match ka mujrim' media. But let's forget about the future and celebrate one of the greatest moment in our cricketing history (I still believe Perth was the best, from a cricketing perspective).
Way to go Vishy; maybe you deserve our better luck (and the ozs don't even know what one is talking about?)..Brains over brawn that's what it's called.
As it usually happens in Indian sport, many outstanding success stories get lost in the juggernaut called cricket. Mind you, that one is a staunch sceptic about all the so called - anti cricket lobby who cry foul at a drop of a patka. But one BIG match up which may be bigger than the current test series in India is the World chmapionship finale between Vishy Anand and Vladimir Kramnik.
There are a lot of similarities between the contest. Vishy might be more affable and liekable than the Indian cricketers among their peers, but then he has been one of the most affable guys around. One of the most humble champions, almost shunning publicity. Maybe he doesn't carry the weight of expectations that a SRT does but to all Indian sportslovers he may be the 'One' champion.
Kramnik, even post 'Toilet gate', even post all his comments and actions, may be more affable than the Australian cricket team. But the underlying tension between the two can't be overstated.
All the best Vishy and thanks for everything!!
Well, if any trophy was aptly named, it has to be the Border-Gavaskar trophy between India and Australia. In Australia 2007-08 it was only the Border trophy since Sunny G wasn't called to give the trophy to the winning captain, inspite of his presence in Australia. Thats the way the Ozs have been known to play their cricket - 'Hard but Fair'.
One was thinking of writing the summary of the first test match but after listening to Border and Gavaskar, both commentating on TV, one changed one's mind. It seemed more like a Border v/s Sunny series. The only difference was that AB was winning hands down in being partisan to his country than what his country was doing on the field. He actually praised Ponting on his aggressive captaincy at the end of the match, He thought Cameron White was given great bowling practice when the match was being played on Ponting's insisence. Mitchell Johnson's short pitched ball 4 stumps outside the leg stump over SRT's head was acclaimed as a great reminder to the batsman to not come on the front foot. These are but a small illustration of the wuthering heights his commentary achieved. It was as surreal as reading Kafka. Maybe one can claim to understand Kafka better.
Read on this gem - http://www.cricketnirvana.com/interviews/international/2008/October/interviews-20081013-9.html
Neutral anyone?, the spokesperson of the oz team?
And one has heard Healy, Taylor, Lawry and even Mark Nicholas, so one understands what partisan means. AB thanks for showing us innocents, new heights of neutrality, fair play and sportsman spirit which maybe even Ponting aspires for..
Do unto others as they
have done to you
But what the hell is this
world coming to?
Blow the universe into nothingness
Nuclear warfare shall lay us to rest
Fight fire with fire
Ending is near
Fight fire with fire
Bursting with fear............
Dedicated to the man who made one proud just for the fact that the Australians hated him. He, who showed his 3 packs much before SRK, his team owner did. He, who was born a prince, became a king and ended a commoner. He, who always had something prickly to say to the opponent. He, who always had statistics at his fingertips to throw at his critics (many times factually incorrect). He who was the first cricketing representative of a changing, confident, abrasive India. He, who jogged a single when there were three for the taking. He, who could pierce the off side with the precision of a swiss watch. He, who was a demigod in his city, an en(i)agma to many. He, who kept on rising like a phoenix. He, who taught us how to fight. He, whose autobiography, will be one of the most eagerly awaited in India. He, who, even in his departure will garner attention, as the captain/ selectors can't drop him for the next 4 tests against Australia. Master stroke from a master striker. Au Revoir Dada!!
The BP XI v/s Australia warm up match! Piyush Chawla bowling to Ponting! Ponting goes on the front foot completely misreading the length of the ball. Being beaten all ends up to the googly, his middle stump lies uprooted like so many of the Indian origin English authors (one is relating to the uprooting from the authors’ home soil).
One was reminded of a program on the Star Cricket channel the other day where the point of discussion seemed to be batsmen of the current era who have been equally dominant against both pace and spin over their careers.
Ian ‘the mirror’ Chappell opined that Tendulkar and Lara were two batters who were equally comfortable playing both pacers and spinners. Then he went on to add another name to that list. Ricky Ponting!!
When the Australians talk of the ability to handle pace, they will normally hold the batter’s record in Australia as a litmus test. So one thought of taking a look at Ricky’s record against the Asian sides IN Asia.
17 Tests 933 runs at an average of 35.88. Excluding Bangladesh it is 15 matches 742 runs at an average of 30.91.. And the guy has played 119 matches till date. 102 test matches outside the subcontinent!!! Was Chappelli correct in declaring him to be a great player of spin? Maybe the sample size is too small. But what sticks out as a fact is that he hasn’t played too many matches in the sub continent. And one won’t want to consider his record against Ashley Giles et al away from home.
Maybe Ponting proves one wrong in this series itself. But even in that event, IC seems to have run ahead of himself, as he was talking about batters who have already been proficient at both.
Well, one rests one’s case mi’lord.