Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year?

2007 is history now. The memories of the first test loss to Australia aren't. In just under 4 days, India were 1 down. If not anything else that gave them an extra day before the start of the next on a crowded tour.

I'm not sure I'm looking forward to the next test. I wonder if anyone on the team is. Happy New Year?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Rawalpindi Express takes a detour. Now to run around trees.

Looks like 'CHUCK DE' might still happen. The Express from Rawalpindi famous for throwing tantrums among other things round and red, has apparently signed up a Bollywood flick. Ho, ho, ho. It's called Mein aur Meri Himmat and will be directed by Sanghamita Chaudhri. Let's give her a big hand, and a bravery award.

You have to read this.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sreesanth. Cold shouldered?

We know that Sreesanth won't be running in Down Under when the first test commences on Boxing Day (Dec 26). But he's all set to bowl for his home state in a Ranji Trophy game which starts a day earlier.

Doesn't look like a shoulder injury does it?

Click here for more on this smelly rat.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sledging and the language barrier

Zaheer Khan. RP Singh. Ishant Sharma. Irfan Pathan. Pankaj Singh. The Indian pace attack does look a little raw but that can be remedied with a positive attitude and due diligence. People win Grand Slams in their teens, so I really don't see age being a reason for an average performance.

That's one aspect of the duel on hand. The other is the war of words. (Andrew Symonds must be licking his lips and getting cream in his mouth.)

How are the men in blue going to win that shoot-out? Let's assume for the moment that they are ready and willing to take the verbal attack to the Aussie camp. How? The Aussies understand English and nothing else. And if you've heard our bowlers at the end of a mike, you will know that their line of attack is baffling to say the least.

So what's the solution now? There isn't enough time to 'Learn English in 30 days'. But we might just be able to squeeze in the 4 letter words before the first test.

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Bengal tiger at the dinner table

He's the only reason my mother watches cricket.

He's my dad's only example when he talks about Indian cricketers who have displayed evidence of a backbone.

He is the drift of conversation in our living room when the finest innings by an Indian is discussed - standing on the balcony at Lords, bare top, shirt in the air, Flintoff 1 - Dada 2.

So if there's anyone celebrating Sourav Chandidas Ganguly's return to monarchy in the Indian batting line-up, it's my parents. No, they aren't Chatterjees, Bannerjees or Mukherjees, but they do share a fondness for fish with the tribe. And of course, a very strong affection for Dada.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

What's turned for the kings of spin?

In the final lap of their careers, Murali and Kumble have firmly pushed Shane Warne to second place. Murali's got ahead in wickets. Kumble's scored a century, and now leads India.

Barmaids? Now that's a different story.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Lame game

The ICL may have started, but it hasn't quite taken off. The attempt at cooking up excitement for the TV audience falls flat without a doubt. Shrieking commentators, unknown players, rehearsed celebrations, a 7000 crowd, a Kareena show. It all looks like a carefuly choreographed effort. Even the parts that are supposed to look spontaneous.

It's obvious that the best efforts, deep pockets and noble intentions aren't sufficient. The ICL needs better players. Only that will ensure that the matches turn out as exciting as this TVC.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Runs and running between wickets

As Sourav Ganguly nears 6000 runs in test cricket, I cannot help but wonder how many more he would've had if only he showed a little more enthusiasm in running between wickets.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

India shining

The man under pressure to perform, once the Eden Gardens was named as a venue for a test against Pakistan, was always going to be the curator. What he laid out on the 22 yard strip in the middle was going to decide the longevity of a cricketing career or two, and in turn his own. You see, Dada hadn't scored a ton in 4 years, and has been at best wobbling along on the unsure support of 30s, 40s and the odd 50. And opinions on how Very Very Special a player Yuvraj is have also not been rare.

Now with 2 days of the match on a supremely placid pitch, 1 double hundred, 2 hundreds and a smiling Indian batting line-up behind us, all is hunky dory. The superstars have risen from the ashes. Yuvraj's place on the benches has been cemented. The squad to Australia has picked itself. The curator's got a sore back from the all the pats he's received. It's India shining all over again.