Sachin the Greatest!


..Not because he scored a double century but because he could score that many runs after rising from the lowest point of his career..after everyone had written him out..even questioned his abilities.  The man is made of passion, resolve, coolness, grit and yet an overdose of humility!

What a great man!! Simply amazing!! Perhaps Roger Federer could take a page out of the humility chapter!

We are lucky to have been born in times when Sachin plays!

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Not Just Another Brick In the Wall


The Wall is mending itself – is the headline in most of the sports news. We are talking about Rahul Dravid here who after a year long dry spell, deep trough, scored a 136 in Mohali today. The runs came slow and steady but they came and brought with each of them a return to his original self and confidence. He said it was relieving to be contributing to the team and doing what you can do with the bat. that is why it is not just another milestone ( or a brick in the wall) for him. It is a significant milestone. I can empathize totally. Just imagine that for a man who is in the top 5 most run scorers of the world, it would be like to be said to have run dry, to have cast doubts on himself from critics and fans alike. Such is the nature of failure. Everyone doubts even the previously established facts. One has to reestablish and the circle of non performance is viscious. It sucks you deeper and deeper. It is a demon which feasts on one’s confidence and spawns self doubt and nrevousness. What else could explain the continuous faltering of Dravid at the crease who is considered the maestro of technique? Earlier, even on his worst days he at least stuck on the crease without giving his wicket: hence, THE WALL. But of late, he was out within an over or two. To have him say today that Gambhir’s runs took pressure off him made me feel very bad. This is not the Dravid we have all loved and praised to heaven. He is just a shadow of that one. But the shadow is returning to merge with the body and it will unite gloriously. He will shine and outshine others.

It is a happy day for Dravid, for me and for India. We are your walls here Dravid. Stay strong

Captain Cool!


I am talking about none other than Mahendra Singh Dhoni, fondly called MS.

CAPTAIN COOL - MS DHONI

CAPTAIN COOL - MS DHONI

I think that would it make for a great comic book character which will be based on Mahendra Singh Dhoni who is a superhero with a bat. He is that- a superhero!! He is just so amazingly calm and yet so aggressive and has a perfect winning record under his captaincy. Some say he has got the midas touch. Well, lucky for us!! But also he is so cool and calm and composed and so positive. There is hardly anyone who does not like or appreciate Dhoni. Initially, some people criticized that he only did pinch hitting and that he was not really a fine batsman. Well , over the past many matches he has proved otherwise by scoring consistently. That pinch hitting is his strength should not be a problem. In him, India has got a wonderful gift. I am beginning to wonder if Indians are genetically gifted in cricket. The Britons, the inventors of the game have now been completely sidelined and are whining and complaining about the Indian ascendency on the cricket scence.

With IPL, we have just launched forward into the next tier of cricket and there will be no looking back now. Right now, it is all very positive and happening and looking good. With Dhoni at the helm, we can relax and leave it to his luck or demeanor or talent or whatever you call it. He will take us forward. He is our Captain Cool and we all love him.

He has been named the Man of the Match for the astonishing test match that India played against Australia. This match will be remembered for a lot of reasons. Of which, one of the bigger ones is the solidification of Dhoni on the test scene.

Cricket


In India, there is no national religion except CRICKET.  Yeah, we worship cricket here. And, there is a reason for that. Make that two, if you will. First, we are mad about cricket and second, it is only in Cricket where Indians dominate the world, more often than not, as splendidly as they did in Mohali Test against Australia. Our men in Blue wearing white though, made us extremely proud this last week. What a display of magnificence. Every one just shined and shined on and the Aussies got some bashing alright.

Sachin became the highest run scorer in the whole wide world ( Beat that!! ), Dada showed us why we love him and why he is so formidable, the Captain Cool was cool as usual and wielded his bat marvelously. Zaheer Khan came back with a vengeance, Ishant Sharma stood tall ( literally and figuratively ) and Amit Sharma made himself visible with a bang!! And I should not forget Gautam Gambhir and Bhajji .Super Performance and a knockout for Australia. Wonder what Symonds must be thinking?? 😛 Ponting is naturally disappointed. This was Australia’s heaviest Test defeat since April 1991, when West Indies had beaten them by 343 runs in Barbados. It was also only the tenth time in 96 matches since 2000 that Australia were bowled out for less than 200. [ source: cricinfo ]

It is only Team India which can get beaten in worst manner and yet turn around and beat the hell out of others. It was simply world class play at display and the fact that it was against Australia is the cherry on th cake or lets say the cake for the cherry. Oh, that is what makes us mad about cricket. It is the single most phenomena which can transport us Indians to the top of the world and above in a matter of days. Indian cricket makes us taste victory. It makes us feel proud. It makes us raise our heads after defeating the best, arguably.

Dhoni said he has never seen Australia being outplayed so much and he is damn right!! What with all the guns from our squad firing, and theirs a little rusted, Indian team did it. Now we have a lead of 1-0 in the series. Only if this could be maintained and India win the series to wash the stain of being defeated on the home ground by Australia after 20 something years, I would be max happy. But that is another thing with Team India, they are very very unexpected. The next thing we know, they could be miserably beaten in the next match.

However, the men in Blue have won some million more of admirers to the already billion numbered fan club.

Hoo Haa India, Jeetega India.

I love cricket!!

I love Sachin, Dhoni and Dada and others too but not so much. I want to write on them too but later.

Royal Bengal Tiger is leaving


Sourav Ganguly, the Royal Bengal Tiger, Dada, The Maharaj, former skipper, gangu teli and a person of many other names and perceptions is leaving. He has finally announced his retirement after the Australian test series. This is a big event in Indian cricket.

Ganguly, apart from being a fine batsman and spectacular run scorer has also been Indian team’s most successful captain, both on and off field. He introduced  the aggressiveness, the desire , the rawness and the much needed energy to the team. He was the one who taught the Indian team to dream high and talk big and then walk that talk. He diffused a new sort of electricity and it was under his captaincy that Team India finally looked like a TEAM. The fielding improved and there was visible bonding.

But this successful skipper has also seen many controversies and conflicts in his career. And every time, he has fought and come back. First, when he entered, he was sacked after his first series and remained so for four years. Then he came back four years later and shone and kept on shining. He became the part of dependable and revered Indian batting trio. Then, came the captaincy and the start of wins. It was all good when there was a very public tiff with Greg Chapell and he was asked to step down. He was said to be being manipulative and ruining the dressing room atmosphere. He was then very publicly ousted from the post of captain and later from the Indian team. People said that this was the end of his career and that he could not come back. But, the fighter within Dada never rested. He played at the domestic turf, scored runs and was once again chosen. Controversies, however, did not leave his side and he was said to have faked injury to avoid playing so that he cannot be blamed for poor performance. Again, all very publicly and a couple of matches and poor performances later, he was again dropped from team India. He then went back again the previous route of playing in the domestic turf but this time around Ranji team also did nor choose him. That’s how low it went for this once star of India. But, he persevered and swore that he would not go without a fight, that he would not go this way, that he would leave when he chooses to. And he did so. He has been chosen for the Australian series and this will be his last series and he hopes to end it on a winning note. He wants to go with his head held up high.

The story of Dada is one of patience and tenacity and perseverance and struggle. His is the spirit which never takes no for an answer. His is a courage which dares. He is the one who can battle the whole world and make his stand. As much as I admire him for his skills on the field, I admire him much more for what he is as a person, for what his values are. I admire him for his standing tall when everyone turned his back on him. I admire him for his determination and will to come back when everyone had written him off.

Now, when he says goodbye, Indians should salute him for giving us some fine cricketing moments. Indian team should thank him for giving them the momentum and the taste of winning back. And I thank him for the fire that his story lights up in my belly and the inspiration that he provides. We may get many left handed openers and successful skippers but there will be no other Dada , Royal Bengal Tiger, Gangu Teli or Maharaj.

I wish him good luck and good life. Oh, and my favorite moment of his was when he took off his shirt after the win at Lord’s stadium in England. 🙂

IPL drama!


It is but that. Total drama! I would call Indian Premiere League as the Mac Donald’s of cricket which serves Twenty-20 as the fast food which is spicy, hot and makes your senses rush, gives you instant entertainment. I do not know how much positive impact is it going to have on the cricket as a game but it certainly has done its best to merge the already popular game with celebrities and industrialists pushing in further in the face of media. With all this focus and attention, there are bound to be dramas happening, events to be blown out of proportion and tempers flying. Now, the most accomplished actors or stars in this that have emerged are the Harbhajan Singh of the “symonds-monkey-actually-maa ki” fame and fiery temper who already has one hit episode in his kitty with the australian tour. Following closely is the Sreesanth pretty known for his antics on field, of his affinity in picking up fights and dramatic abilities. What happens when in short match of 40 overs these two meet as the captains of opposing team? One loses and is fingered by the winner. Mumbai loses and Punjab emerges the winner. Result? Harbhajan Singh slaps Sreesanth? You are shocked? You say that winning and losing happens in almost every match and yet slapping has never happened before? Well, you are right and at the same time let me welcome you to the new age of ungentlemanly cricket where temper control is a thing of the past. Sreesanth cried like a baby on yesterday’s front page of newspaper and today both Bhajji and Sree were splashed all smiling and hugging. Histrionics of the third class totally in play. They have taken the level of twenty20 to a new low.

In any sport, what a player first learns is the sportsmanship ie to win and lose with grace. Neither to jump when happy nor to break down when low, to treat the opposition with respect while being competitive at the same time. That is the true spirit of any game. But i guess, in today’s world there is no place for things like values and spirits in any field, let alone sports where testerones are flowing high and much is at stake.

Whatever, one may say, this episode has earned a bad name for IPL. Harbhajan totally deserved the ban. It should not have gone unpunished. These both players should learn to behave much more maturely and control their on field temperaments. Rest, well I hope that some good comes out of IPL in the coming future,