December 2009 - Posts
This is what Sachin Tendulkar asked Dinesh Karthik with less than 15 runs required to win and SRT in his nineties.
Dinesh Karthik (DK) on the field reminds one of a cat on a hot tin
roof. Not like a cat which has 8 lives safely stacked away in the kitty
and can still dance on the roof with a feline grace, caring two hoots
about the impending disaster. Nor like Stuart Broad's cat which doesn't need any extra lives.
resembles more like a normal cat on a mildly hot tin roof with 3 lives
under his belt. But at Cuttack he looked more like a cat with a nervous
twitching disorder and only one life left to play on a sizzling tin
roof. A cat which suddenly realised that on one side of the hot tin
roof was a boiling water filled bath tub and on the other was the top chef of a Guangdong restaurant.
This scenario is supposed to be the most horrible in cat nightmares and
fate seemed to have added Chris Broad somehow to it for DK.
exhibition of breathtaking passage of cricket by DK throughout the
Lankan innings was surpassed only by his extremely brainy little
batting display near the closing phase of the Indian chase. The Cuttack
ODI rightfully belonged to DK but the short sighted adjudicators upheld
Jadeja's claims to that title. The extremely hilarious moments provided
by DK were too many to be counted and too blatant to be forgotten in
one's life time.
He started with his piece de resistance - the
Dilshan run out that was never to be. With his back facing the stumps
and the ball in his hands DK was looking at Dillu some distance in
front of him. Dilshan's super handsome face was a mesmerising sight
and he couldn't take his eyes away. All those lovely matey moments
spent with his DDD mate flashed in front of his eyes at that instant.
The resultant back fllick; or was it a back loop?, flying harmlessly
over the stumps. The India captain and the DDD captain both came to him
and asked, "Boss DK why didn't you turn back and throw the ball?" DK
was too busy thinking about MSD's impending return to the team.
Sangakkara jumped down the pitch, confident that he could afford to
miss the ball and yet run, shake hands with the non striker and come
back again, secure in the knowledge that all would be well. DK had no
intentions of proving Sanga wrong, but for those damned pads of his.
Even DK with his immense talent was unable to stop the inevitable.
Viru, the bowler came down the pitch and asked, "Boss DK, why didn't
you collect the ball cleanly?" DK was too busythinking about MSD's impending return to the team.
ball went to square leg when DK ran like a terrier trying to collect
SRT's pants first and then the ball if possible. That could have been
the first instance when a match ref penalised a player for physically
assaulting his own team mate. It was not to be. SRT's modesty was
saved. He asked, "Boss DK why did you lunge at my legs rather than at
the cricket ball?" DK was too busy thinking about MSD's impending
return to the team.
Not letting SRT get to his ton at Cuttack was
DK's moment of crowning glory in the match. As Sfx mentioned later, DK
scored more runs than his IQ. SRT came down the pitch and asked him,
"Boss DK why did you hit the boundary when we needed 2 to win and I
could still go for my century?" DK was too busy thinking about MSD's
impending return to the team.
To the hindi knowing public 'BossDK' conveys the feelings perfectly. The non hindi speaking people will ask me, "Boss DK, what the hell are you talking about?"
After the Benn/ Johnson/ Haddin triple WWE match, cricket terminologies used in commentaries have undergone a sea change. A few that spring to mind are
- Haddin let his bat do the talking
- Johnson pushes the bowler back to the ball
- Benn charges towards the batsman and collides with the ball
- The batsman was beaten by a Johnson special; left upper cut i.e.
- That was a short arm jab by Benn
- Johnson was in no position to hook
- Billy Bowden was unmoved
- The Broad arm of law caught up with Benn but since it was not long enough Haddin and Johnson escaped
Even in football if a player who has been fouled against goes ahead and pushes the offender, the referee normally reaches out for his yellow card (for both players). Oh but one forgets that Cricket is not a physical contact sport and hence those rules don't apply.
When should such incidents be taken as 'the proof that the guys are really involved in the game and in doing so are bound to show emotions' and when should they be taken as 'it was unsportsman like and unnecessary'?
Maybe a bit of WWE action is the missing piece in making cricket popular.
The South African tour of India, the first one in the
post-apartheid era was historical in more ways than one. The origin of
the BCCI marketing and financial juggernaut can be found in that tour.
In his brilliant book 'A Maidan View', Mihir Bose has narrated the
events that led to the windfall gains. Here goes.
also the year when cricket finally became one family when for the first
time South Africa having shed its sporting apartheid past, played a non
white country, launching its rebirth with a one-day series in India.
That historic tour made the Indian cricket board realise that it had
television rights it could sell. Before that Doordarshan, the state
broadcaster, had televised domestic cricket, and far from paying
anything, had often demanded fees from the board to cover the cost of
Now two South African television channels
wanted the rights. Amrit Mathur, who worked for the then Indian cricket
board president Madhavrao Scindia, has a precise recollection of what
happened. Mathur recalls, ''We had to find out first who owned the
rights and then how much they were worth.' Mathur discovered that the
rights belonged to the Indian cricket board and their value was much
more than what had been initially anticipated. Mathur recalls:
checked with Doordarshan first about the rights and having found out we
had the rights I then asked them what figure I should ask the South
Africans. Then I rang Jagmohan Dalmiya, told him about the Doordarshan
figure and he suggested a higher figure. I thought I would ask for even
more. However when the South Africans rang, I did not disclose the
figure I had in mind but asked them what they were prepared to offer.
They gave me a figure that surprised me, it was much more than what I
or Dalmiya had thought of, let alone Doordarshan had suggested. The
whole episode revealed to the cricket board that it had rights and
these rights were worth a lot of money. Before that we had never got
any money for our rights or even realised we could sell our television
So in one of the great ironies of cricket, as
South Africa at last discovered what it is to play against a non-white
country, the Indians discovered that they were sitting on a gold mine
they had not known existed.
From - A Maidan View by Mihir Bose
its better to sit back and get a historic perspective of why and how
things stand today the way they do. Makes for a better T20 vision for
v Sri Lanka
Date: 30th February 2012
Captains: Yuvraj Singh and
Sri Lanka: Roy Mendis + 20 players.
Even the initials of the players could not be fit on the score board hence they
are allotted numbers from 1 to 20.
This match description at the start of the match looks
explicitly fake. What are the pointers to the made up nature of the virtual scoreboard.
Let's start with the obvious; Yuvraj Singh captaining any
side for any cricket match is a complete give away. He was always highly
susceptible to Mood(y) swings and his opponents sledge him by calling him
‘Captain' instead of ‘pie chucker'.
Mendis as a Sri Lankan can't exist. The absence of any other initials
before or after those two miniscule words - Roy and Mendis, will not fool
international Cricket at Brabourne in the foreseeable future is unlikely,
to put it mildly.
are many players in the Indian team who would have retired by the year
2012. Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina to name a few.
Singh and Yusuf Pathan being a part of the Indian team looks highly
improbable in the absence of MS Dhoni as the captain of the team.
Pujara and Amit Mishra are IN the team. That joke is in poor taste.
when does a team have 21 players in its side?
You have committed a folly about the final point, Dear
Reader! Both the teams have given the correct number of players on the team
sheet. Remember the year is 2012. The latest India Test, ODI and T20 rankings
aren't known yet. So the match will start as a Test Match. If India's Test
ranking is still #1 by end of Day 2 of the Test Match, Day 3 & 4 will be converted
into an ODI. With India
currently placed at #3 in the ODI rankings, 2 victories will guarantee it a #1
status. In that case Day 5 will be converted into 2 T20 matches.
Am meeting LM with this unique idea in the afternoon.
PS. LM said that part of this idea was lifted from the SA tour of India in 2010. He is suing me instead.
PPS. SA was scheduled to play 3 Tests instead of the ODI series. The Australian media had slammed BCCI about this move post India's climb up to # 1 Test ranking. This article could have either gone on to deride the BCCI for bowing down to the Australian media (hahahahahaha) or being too sensitive to the swing in ICC Rankings. BCCI bashing had to be done. One chose the latter weapon.
Some facts may have been ignored or twisted to suit the purpose. Kindly ignore and/or accept those transgressions. If you are not willing to, go take a hike.
Am planning to start a new 'Save the Tiger Fund' from all those illegal poachers who make money out of all the Tiger's body parts. The vultures have already gathered and we need to do something about it. As a member, you have to comply with the following rules. Complete inaction, apathy, lack of inquistiveness and letting the matters rest as they are.
Nice club to form no? You will do your bit for 'not fighting for a cause' for the year.
The logo of the club will soon be launched. Here's the insider's first glimpse
Kumar Sangakkara had a point when he mentioned that were the review system in place, Sri Lanka would have put up more of a fight than the 2-0 score line and the margin of their defeats suggest. Especially in the 3rd Test where they got a raw deal the innings defeat seemed unfair.
Dilshan was distinctly unlucky to be given out in both the innings and Rahul Dravid’s nick off Herath would be visible to the most visually challenged person. The fact that Dravid didn’t walk was overlooked by many.
Was this very different from Andrew Symmonds’s reluctance to walk in Sydney? It’s up to every one to judge and comment upon.
But given the way the referral system has been devised would all these referrals be adjudicated correctly? From what one has understood, in a contentious LBW decision the 3rd umpire feeds the on field umpire with 2 inputs; where the ball was pitched and whether the ball hit the pad in line with the stumps. He can’t give his opinion about whether the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps.
If we take the Dilshan decision in the second innings where he was not offering a shot, both the above mentioned inputs would be favouring Dilshan but Harper had adjudged him out because he thought the ball would be hitting the stumps. Would the decision have changed even if there was a referral in place?
One remembers Virender Sehwag being adjudged LBW in the 1st test at Colombo in 2008 where even the 3rd umpire failed to notice that the ball had initially hit Viru’s front pad outside the line of the leg stump and then hit his back pad in line. The Indians’ had enough reasons to feel hard done by the referral system then in the 2-1 series defeat.
The all too familiar cliché’ of ‘in the long term things even out’ can indeed be noticed from the evidence of this series.
Keeping this at the back of one’s mind; hearty congratulations are in order to team India for becoming the #1 Test Team in the world.
One missed the Viru innings today sitting 5 minutes away from a walk to the Brabourne wondering about the future of Test Cricket. One could almost almost hear the sound of his bat crashing into the ball. One has never tended to be superstitious but just didn't want to go to the stadium and be the catalyst for his dismissal. So it was in the confines of the office space that the extraordinary man's extraordinary innings was watched.
Why is this man never talked of as a contender for the best batter in the world? People talk about him only when he scores a double, else he is just Viru the man with the brain fades. Reinventing the wheel seemed a waste of time. Thus reproducing a piece written after his fabulous 200 in Sri Lanka. Here goes.
for the umpteenth time in is career on Sunday whether he felt any
pressure when he went out to bat, this time in the first innings of the
2nd test match between India and Sri Lanka,
after having lost the first one comprehensively, Virender Sehwag said
for the umpteenth time that he didn’t. He couldn’t understand what the
brouhaha was all about. He went there and played his natural game,
enjoyed himself, smashed the bowlers all over the park, scored a
century, smashed the bowlers all over the park, scored a double
century, carried his bat, came back for another crack, scored a fifty.
All this was done with minimum fuss and a jovial smile on his face.
Even his opponents couldn’t begrudge him his achievement. Murali almost
rushed to congratulate him when the 200th run was scored off
his own bowling. Rarely has one seen a bowler do that. It was a
wonderful gesture from one champion to another.
in December 2007, when Sehwag had been out of the Indian test team for
more than 6 months, the selectors decided to exclude him from the list
of 24 probables for the upcoming tour of Australia.
For a man, who was the only triple century maker for his country, this
was a cruel blow. In those 6 months, Sehwag had played a few ODI’s and
was also a part of the T20 World cup winning team, but had failed to
impress with consistently decent scores. To top it Sehwag had not
performed in the domestic matches as well and his previous record in Australia
was not enough for the selectors to augment a place in the list. Gautam
Gambhir, who was initially included in the list, got his shoulder
injured and Sehwag was surprisingly included in the final 14 declared
for the Australian tour 2007-08. It is widely believed that captain
Anil Kumble’s support tilted the balance in his favour. Kumble might
have lost a few crucial tosses after that, but had called it right on
one of the more important moments in Indian cricket.
the past few years, Sehwag had emerged as the man most feared in the
Indian Test team. For a man who came to the team as a SRT clone and who
had opening thrust on him due to a packed middle order, this was some
achievement indeed. Tendulkar was almost revered, Dravid was hugely
respected by their opponents. But when it came to pure unadulterated
fear, Sehwag was your man. When an opposition captain was asking the
Shakespearean “To declare, or not to declare” question, for setting the
final target, the Sehwag factor added a few more runs to the equation.
The sheer presence of the man contributed to the team in times of
crisis. The significantly lower second innings average,
notwithstanding. But he seems to have been coming to terms with that
statistic as well after his brilliant 154 at Adelaide.
The worrying factor for the opposition is that the man always seems to
tide over his short comings. The ‘Bowl short pitch at his body’ mantra
worked for some time, doesn’t work too well now, ‘bowl incutters to
him’ was temporarily effective but may not be any more. He is not a
complete player and one is not trying to attribute qualities to him out
of thin air. Just the fact that by the time you get the ball in the
right area he might have actually scored 50+ is a headache for most
evokes a gamut of reactions in fans of Indian cricket. Amazement,
wonder, awe, anger, frustration, disgust, one gets everything at the
Sehwag show. There’s a very thin line between amazement and anger,
wonder and frustration and awe and disgust. It’s as thin as the line
between ‘carefree’ and ‘careless’. Ask Kevin Pietersen. But the fact
that Sehwag averages above 50 reveals that more often than not, it’s
his ‘carefree’ approach that wins the day.
But how does one classify his approach to his batting and how does one put it in words. One came across this paragraph.
man hunched over his motorcycle can focus only on the present instant
of his flight; he is caught in a fragment of time cut off from both the
past and the future; he is wrenched from the continuity of time . . .
in other words, he is in a state of ecstasy; in that state he is
unaware of his age, his wife,
his children, his worries, and so he has no fear, because the source of
fear is in the future, and a person freed of the future has nothing to
fear.'' - Slowness by Milan Kundera
Sehwag’s batting style seems to fit the abovementioned fragment from
“slowness”. It seems like a daredevil approach to the game. He enjoys
his game and the absence of any fear of the future leads to his
pressure free game. One feels that some how it doesn’t capture the
essence of Sehwag’s batting. It’s not all wham bam. Maybe it is more
is not sure if this description of a speed demon applies to the top F1
drivers of our time. The present instant of his flight is what the
driver may be concentrating on, but at the same time he has to be
perfectly attuned to his current position, the condition of his car,
the track conditions, the weather, team instructions and the strategy
that he is running on. It’s not the straight line speed that can be
achieved by his car that matters as much as his ability to control that
speed and brake at the last possible instant on curves and bends. The
split tiny micro second more that he takes to brake than the other
drivers may be the differentiator for the championship standing. What
also matters is the reliability of the car, the speeds it can give on
various segments of the track and the car’s braking ability. Being a
relative greenhorn to F1, one may be excused for any unintentional
errors. But there is little doubt that F1 is one of the ultimate tests
of man - machine combination.
Sehwag’s essence can be described as this combination of man and
machine. He has the talent, the hand eye co-ordination required to hit
the ball better than most. Maybe he is the ‘natural born hitter’. But
at the same time his mind is not in a tizzy at times of his
exhilarating stroke play. He seems to be on the way to becoming a great
race driver as well. He knows what the team strategy is, he knows what
the conditions are, he knows whether he has to push himself or just sit
back a bit, he knows that he is control of the immense speed which has
been gifted to him. He is on the way to becoming a more consistent
driver. All F1 drivers make mistakes, so will he. It’s the consistency
that can propel him ahead.
does the protagonist’s description as a cricketer who bats phenomenally
and bowls occasionally does him service. One would tend to disagree.
There’s more to him than his cricketing skills. Ishaant Sharma’s extra
over to Ricky Ponting at Perth
which decided the fate of the match is a point in case. Sehwag has
shown a keen cricketing brain beneath his easy going exterior and the
fact that he is the vice captain for the SL tour bodes well for the
future of Indian cricket. Who will take over from Kumble when he hangs
his boots is an interesting poser, though one would believe that MSD is
going to be the front runner, his ‘rest’ notwithstanding. The selectors
have given enough hints about MSD’s elevation to India
test captaincy and they wouldn’t want to upset the apple cart unless
MSD is finding it tough to be in the Indian test team at that time. But
this is just speculation, and at present post Dinesh Karthik’s sterling
contribution in SL, the bike loving (no reference to the Slowness piece
intended) MSD would be the odds on favourite. But Sehwag is surely
going to be considered for the job.
Sehwag should do well to remember Shakespear’s quote from Twelfth Night
– “Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve
greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them”. Amen
They had been watching Him for some time now. He was sure of that. He could feel their eyes burn his back with their unwavering glare. His every move, every gesture, every wince, every joy, every pain was being closely monitored, analysed, discussed and debated. His smallest victory was being hailed, his tiniest discomfiture moaned. They claimed to be his staunchest supporters. They had begun to insist that all knowledge about him rested in their collective mind and reality was what they said. ‘The Inner Party’ (TIP), He had started to call them. The year was 1984.
It wasn’t always like that. Both He and his Observers had changed over time. So did their relationship. It had turned from something akin to friendship to a more Idol- fanatical devotee one. Any rational discussion about His place in the modern world was taboo. Criticism was a capital offence. The mere mention of any of His short comings would raise heckles.
He had become their absolute Truth.
In the beginning His Observers (a small bunch) were happy with His slow yet interesting ways. He was enjoying what He did and so did they. The pre-technology era complemented this happy state of affairs. He had His share of escapades and run-ins with morality. He had emerged unscathed with some help from them.
There had been times when His Observers raised doubts about His ability to sustain. The times when His followers had started to get distracted. He had managed to innovate and reinvent Himself with the help of His servants. He had moved on.
Then His world was thrown in turmoil by some commercial adventurer. He was able to attract His servants with promises of untold riches. He would be severely handicapped without His talented servants. His servants hitherto working almost free for Him were rising and something had to be done about it. This entry of lucre in His life was to have an everlasting and irreversible impact on Him and His Observers.
To prevent a revolt by the servants for higher wages, His guardians presented the world with His clone. The clone aka His younger sibling was shorter, faster and snazzier than Him. The younger sibling also was far more adventurous (some would say reckless) than Him. The Observers were aghast at the development and strongly condemned the move. Some of them compared His sibling to Pajamas, in disdain. But with His position of primacy being maintained, they soon settled down with the idea of His younger sibling.
While all this was happening, He had started to gain more followers outside of His birthplace. His religion was spreading to far and away places across the globe. His younger sibling was contributing handsomely to the effort. His guardians were waking up to their money spinning abilities.
His guardians had quickly realized that His younger sibling had the potential to make more money for them and he was adding new converts to their fold. He was himself looking younger, fitter and more exciting due to His sibling’s emergence.
With each passing day of their financial success the Observers’ tribe had started bloating and many of His own retired servants were joining their ranks. Some of them had served both Him and His sibling but always thought of His sibling as a necessary evil to be paid respects to. The thought of His sibling gaining prominence was beginning to gnaw at the minds of a few radicals.
When the followers began to tire of the younger sibling, the guardians had an easy way out. The younger sibling was cloned and thus another sibling was added to His family. The Observers had begun to harden their support for Him and the youngest sibling was scorned and termed a dastard with a b.
With the advent of His youngest and shortest sibling there was an unimaginable explosion of followers and riches in His guardians’ coffers. The blinding success of His siblings led to His neglect by his guardians. But He had his steadfast supporters who would stand through thick and thin and he was content with that.
The Observers themselves were getting paid better due to His family’s growing commercial success. They liked the money but they didn’t like the changes He and the religion were undergoing. They wanted Him to be the immovable polestar who gave them a sense of constancy in the ever changing world outside. They wanted to live their ideals of Old World charm through Him. They loathed the crass commercialism and the greed of his guardians. The guardians wanted to spread the religion through His siblings across the globe and they would have none of it. The extreme greed of the guardians was to be met with an equally radical opposition by TIP.
With the growing demand to know more about His family, the Observers had to continue to feed the insatiable curiosity of the public with daily updates. Their commercial interests in the changing world had to be forged with their firmly held beliefs about Him. Readership and their fierce devotion had to be combined profitably.
They found a perfect solution. They said that His younger, more market friendly and infinitely richer siblings were taking away His followers slowly but surely. They alleged that His siblings along with His guardians were planning to get rid of him and that TIP was the only one who cared about him.
The creation of a constant fear of His demise was their strategy. He felt like shouting at the top of his voice, “I am not dying!”, but their loud drums would never let his voice carry. He had become the Big Brother who was continually watched.
A vote of thanks to Sfx