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Saluting the Wall!!

March 11, 2012

Memories:
In 1996,we witnessed a Sourav Ganguly who scored a brilliant hundred in his debut test at Lords…n there was a Rahul Dravid who was also making his debut alongside him in the same match..n scored 95…
In 1999,I remember Ganguly smashing 183 against Sri Lanka in a crucial World Cup Match…n there was a Rahul Dravid who walked back with 145…
In 1999,I remember how we cheered Tendulkar for his 186 against New Zealand which led India set up their highest ODI total…n there was a Rahul Dravid who walked back with 153….
In 2001,I remember the historic Kolkata test when Laxman humbled the australians with a historic 281…there was a Rahul Dravid who walked back with 180….

I still miss a breath when I remember this match....Good Bye Dravid...:(

In 2002,I remember his 3 hundreds in England..which he repeated in 2011….
In 2003,I remember how we jumped to Ajit Agarkar’s outswingers when he teared through Australian batting lineup…there was a Rahul Dravid who walked back with 233….
In 2004,there was a historical Pakistan tour which is remembered for Sehwag’s 309…there was a Rahul Dravid who scored 270 in the final test…
THERE WAS A RAHUL DRAVID…AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER ONE…
So many historical innings…n yet he never took any credit…such was his greatness….n when asked to chose his favourite innings,he gave an answer which can delight every cricket fan like me who has followed the game all those years…
“How can you chose between your sons?”
Such was the love of the man for the game….
Hats Off to you Dravid…
The game will miss you…
So will the millions of fans like me…

A much awaited victory finally comes!

February 9, 2012

Virat Kohli probably would have read my last post before padding up for the last evening’s inning.He accepted my advice to the fullest & scored a ‘full of patience’ 77 to confirm a much needed victory for the men in blue.Me as a blogger is becoming popular in the cricket world day by day.Lol.:P

While reading the cricinfo commentary just around the toss time,I fully agreed to a commentator saying Dhoni hasn’t learnt from his mistakes from the last game & is playing two spinners on a Perth pitch.I fully agreed to guy & was expecting Angelo Mathews thrashing Ravindra Jadeja some time around in the match.But Jadeja,even after hearing criticism after criticism,comes back stronger than before.The guy has a bright future in Indian cricket & I reckon he will play test cricket someday.

Although,no doubt,Ravi Ashwin was the hero of the match.God listened his ‘no-bounce’,’no help’ complaints & the Chennai guy went through his next ‘island’ neighbours’ batting line-up to restrict them to 232 only.Much more joyful was his batting,tough.In sleepless nights,in your half-awake dreams,you might see a Laxman in him some time around.Yes,that away from the body cover drive using strong wrists.Ok,I should not mention Laxman at this time.People don’t wanna read about him & moreover,Kapil Sibbal might ban me from blogging.

 

The new Micheal Bevans??

The master blaster looked in great form & was set up for a quiet & away from the eyes of the media 100th ton,but that one over from Angelo Mathews set him up from dragging one on to his stumps.The only mistake the great man was doing is playing that late cut through the gully again & again.Four consecutive dot balls in that over bored the lion & he almost lost interest & dragged one on.Something similar to the World Cup semi-final.

Though,a great relief for Dhoni & his lads.But they should be aware that this was Lanka’s first match of the tour & they will come back strong in upcoming matches.Let’s see what happens on Sunday when the men-in-blue take on men in green or navy blue or yellow or whatever!

 

Our ailing Batting Line-Up.

February 6, 2012

Winning the second T20 match was a big relief for the Indian Cricket Team.At least they registered a win the current tour,which was the first thing they wanted at the current time.Hopes were high after the win & the Indian media was already singing the “Great Indian Comeback” melodies.

But it didn’t last long,alas! The affected the first match of the tri-series & the dark clouds of a continuously failing batting line-up returned.

Too harsh on Vinay Kumar,who took two early wickets to put India under control at the start of the game.The rain poured heavily for a few hours & when the covers were off & it looked like the D/L system will help India snatch another win,events took place in the reverse order.

For Micheal Wade,the rain came as a blessing & allowed him  switch to T20 mode,which he likes the most.He took on the Indian bowlers & reversed the momentum & the D/L advantage.

India had to chase 217 from 32 overs & it was a great chance for the openers,Gambhir & Tendulkar.But it didn’t take long for very talented Starc to bring Kohli & Rohit Sharma to the crease.

Kohli’s too much aggression  on the field makes me think how will this guy survive the ‘patience-required’ situations of breathtaking Test Cricket yet to come?

 

Keep your emotions in control mate!

The gem was playing so well before he couldn’t keep a square-cut to the ground & hit it straight to the safe hands of the old horse,Ponting.Kohli is the future of Indian batting is too old of a statement.He is the present,we must admit.He is currently at his best & we must conserve it.That’s where the role of the coach & the senior players comes in.He must be taught to keep the patience.He is a good chaser & that’s a very important possession for a country’s no.3.Present no.3.Yes.

Next game against Sri Lanka  is a big game for us & will decide the future of India in this series.A win there is very very important for the Dhoni’s lads.

Would be interesting to see Sri Lanka under Jayawerdene again.Dilshan was never apt for the captain’s job,IMO.It’s good that Sri Lanka got rid of him quickly.

 

Revenge of the Youth!!

February 1, 2012

Aaah!! Finally,I am back to my blog.

It’s not easy for a geeky fan like me to keep away from any comments while the star-led team is getting thrashed in the battleground.But that’s life.All other life events have kept me out from blogging (wait,when was I a popular blogger about whom the world would care? :P)

Two 4-0 doctorates have led to a madness wave,not that much in the public,but more in the media.Yes,those husky voices are back & this time with the support of some past “legends” who are desperate to see the “current” legends leave the fields & accompany them in their evening coffies .But whether they are able to de-thrown the legendary trio or not,only time will tell.

The defeats have been humiliating & very very surprising,I must admit.After a great World Cup win,this was the last thing expected & Dhoni must be cursing himself as to why he didn’t step down as the captain after the World Cup.These defeats will surely put a question mark on his abilities which were said to have been proven last year after the World Cup win.

But as Sehwag said,we must move on,we must move on.And there aren’t much better options my friend Viru.

The 1st of the two T20 matches scheduled is to be played today.And the youth brigade has a big task ahead.

Can long benched Rohit Sharma bring the fire India needs??

Players like Raina,Tiwary & Irfan Pathan are expected to clean the blood stains Siddle & company has given.Indian media must be having a very close look they won’t let a single “played & missed” away form an expert opinion.

Also looking forward to the Australian Debutant & captain or Captain-Debutant (or whatever) George Bailey.

Let’s see what can the Indian youth produce where the veterans have been grounded!!

A great test in the making!

July 31, 2011

Trent Bridge.India vs England.2nd Test,Day 2.

Dravid scoring a ton on a pitch on which the whole English middle order struggled.Enough swing & excellent conditions for seamers.

Yuvraj Singh reviving his test career again with a half-century.

India taking an unlikely lead.

India loosing 5 wickets in the space of 6 runs.

Stuart Broad taking a hat-trick & career best haul of 6 for 46.

Another failure for man in great form,Alistair Cook.

All this happened on a single day.Inside 8 hours,people who say test cricket has died must hidden themselves somewhere.

This test may go down in the list of best ever test matches.And it won’t be surprising at all.After getting used to 3 hour action,some people may find it hard to digest.Too much action,five days back to back.

This was bound to happen when two seriously good test teams play each other.Along with players like Dravid & Broad,things become exciting as hell.

Dravid first of all.A great player who was to being questioned about retirement quite frequently these days may not find himself in a comfortable position looking at the media hype these days.But it’s Dravid & only Dravid who can trash all the crap by the so called ‘experts’ of cricket & make a comeback like this.It wasn’t surprising to see England captain Strauss joining the applause process with his clapping when the crowd cheered Dravid for reaching his 34th test century.Equal to Sir Don at 34.Yes,Sir Don.

Dravid : Only he can do it.

The technique that Dravid has & many young & promising players lack,can keep him going for ages.Fifteen years of top class cricket must have made him mentally so tough.Otherwise,he may have hung his bat a long time ago.

Now Stuart Broad.No one would have thought in his far dreams that this kid who got hammered by Yuvraj Singh for six sixes in an over would go on & become something like the giant Flintoff.He batted bravely & took calculated risks to get his team to a quite respectable,quite good on this pitch,total in the first innings.Then he came back on the field with a new ball in his hand & even after catches being dropped & close LBW calls,he wasn’t out of confidence or frustrated.This lad showed he has in him what it takes to be a top class test player.

Broad after taking a hat-trick.A new Flintoff in the making?

This test is becoming as exciting as ever minute by minute.Excellent pitch,with batsmen scoring tons as well as bowlers taking 5-wicket hauls & hat-tricks.Excellent environment for cricket.This series is turning out to be a fan’s delight.

And more importantly,Test Cricket lives on.

A tough match for the visitors

July 24, 2011

Indians got ‘hamstrung’ on the very first day of  the historical Lords test.A pain-struck  Zaheer walked back into the pavilion without completing his 14th over.Although he had already got rid of both the English openers,including man in excellent form,Cook.But India needed him in the whole test.

Praveen Kumar took the responsibility on his shoulders & achieved something any young cricketer would always dream,a name on Lords’ honourary board.But even Praveen’s 5-for couldn’t stop the South Africa born English Kevin Peitersen.An excellent double century by KP took his team to 474/8 from where they declared.

India went through the second day’s 6 overs without loosing any wicket but lost Gambhir too early in the morning of the third day.Mukund followed soon after an impressive 49.

Then came the man for whom everyone on the ground was waiting.Tendulkar scoring his 100th ton in the 2000th test would have been perfect for the history of this game.But this wasn not to happen.Tendulkar edged an out-swinging beauty from Stuart Broad to Swann standing on second slip.And with this,surely,a lots of TV sets would have been shut down in India.

Tendulkar walks back after missing out on the historic hundred.Broad (in background) was impressive the whole day.

But Dravid carried his team,as he has ben doing doing for last 15 years,through & saved the follow-on.Apart from this he achieved something which would have been in his mind since he got out for 95 on his test debut at Lords,fifteen years ago.He celebrated his 33rd test hundred with a run & punch in the air.I wonder if he is getting younger day by day!

Dravid : Changing styles of celebration!

Broad looked excellent & justified his selection in the final XI over Bresnan.

India have a long way to go if they want to save this test.They are a bowler short & it will be really tough in these conditions.It would be interesting to see at what score does Strauss declare.Will he give the visitors a full session to bat on day 4 or just pile up a huge lead & horrify India enough to go for a draw.

Former is a better option,for the sake of test cricket!

Going beyond their abilities

July 19, 2011

There has been a lot of praise for Dareen Sammy after India-WI test series.Rightly so,he has been brave & the reason behind the West Indian team playing as a unit.He is an un-experienced but a really good captain IMO.
People have been doubting his own place in the XI.Looking at the bowlers WI currently have,Rampaul,Roach,Edwards & Taylor,Sammy would surely not fit into the XI.He can also bat but guys like Dwayne Bravo & Pollard would take the spot of an all-rounder.

A honest Sammy has been doing well with his 'boys'.

What I want to talk about is despite being not such a good talent,Sammy has been doing well.IMO,he has done more than expected.He may,in future,go beyond his abilities.
There have been players like him who after being given the responsibility to lead a side,have done really well as captains & apart from that improved their own performances & records.Such guys probably do well in pressure situations.
The first name that comes to my mind is the late Hansie Cronje.He wasn’t much of an exceptional player before becoming the nation’s captain.But he did so well as a captain & even boosted his own record.He played some magnificent innings as captain,taking the whole responsibility.Apart from that,he bowled some good spells too with his medium pacers.He wouldn’t have been a great name if he wasn’t a captain.Hansie – the captain is what we remember.

Hansie could be a great inspiration for Sammy.

The next name that comes to my mind is Hansie’s successor,Shaun Pollock.He wasn’t particularly that good with the bat before he started captaining South Africa, but scored a few tons after that.
Stephen Fleming was never rated such a good batsmen,but with captaincy & responsibility,his game improved.Shakib Al Hasan has done quite well as a captain & his bowling has been superb since last two years.We can take the reference from ICC rankings.
The world is full of captains that have lead by example.If Sammy could pick the right inspirations,he may well go on to adding to this list.

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