Friday, April 29, 2011

In the line of fire.

In the battle between Senior and Junior, the junior prevailed. Thanks to some thoughtless approach by Sehwag’s think tank.

Even before the game against Kolkata, Sehwag publicly admitted that Delhi’s success depends on himself and Warner. It could be true; however admitting the same publicly does not communicate a good message to the team. Does Sehwag meant to say the remaining 9 in the team are just fillers?

Chasing a total of 148 was not a marathon task for Delhi. Having said that, Hopes coming at no.3 clearly defied logic. Was he supposed to play the role of pinch hitter?
If so, does it meant to say Hopes is a better attacking batsman than Sehwag? Then the choice of Irfan Pathan at no.4 was even baffling. When you already have a pinch hitter in the form of Hopes to do the role, what does Irfan bring to the table? In my opinion, it was a message to Hopes that he is not doing his job right. Just as expected, both batsmen tried to outwit each other perished to an imaginary pressure.

It was heartening to see proper batsman like Ojha and Venugopala Rao getting the captains confidence only to be slotted at 6 and 7. These players definitely needed a better treatment; after all they have established themselves at least in IPL in the last 3 years.

While Pune’s ploy of sending Mishra, Pandey and Manhas ahead of Uthappa and Yuvraj explains the chicken out attitude, Daredevils approach to save Ojha and Rao for desert creates a faithless attitude. The truth is both these teams are led by tactless captains. The master minds behind the recruitment of Sehwag and Yuvraj for captaincy needs special appreciation. After all, had these master minds used the brain effectively; I’ve no doubts that these teams would be led by Ganguly and Lara today for better performance.

Bottom Line: Despite the forecast of Yuvi leading India for the ODI leg of WI tour looks bright, thankfully Yuvi and Viru are not the prospects of India’s captaincy for the future.

Cricket Lover

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tuskers Cart Reeling...

Moment the ball bounced and moved for Tuskers seamers against the Punch Bags, I was in a hurry to finish off my post “Bouncers” yesterday. After all I got the article for today, however I did leave prelude for this post.

Definitely felt the curator and the management of Kochi including Jayawardane must be insane for preparing a wicket like this to the likes of Dale Steyn and Ishanth Sharma. Having Sreeshanth, RP Singh and Vinay Kumar in the lineup, the idea of preparing such wicket is super good, but the choice of opposition to execute it is super bad.

Deccan not only had the advantage of Sangakara and White who were blessed with skills to take the challenge on this wicket, they also had the fire power of Steyn and Sharma to seal it for them. If you read the Deccan scorecard, you could interpret that there was hardly anybody apart from these two, had the ability to play on the wicket. To Kochi’s fate, except for Jaya there was no cricketer in the lineup to handle that wicket, leave alone the likes of facing Steyn & co. Sadly for Kochi Jaya perished early.

If you have followed IPL 2010, you must have noticed that Ray Jennings successfully deployed this tactics for RCB. But then Bangalore was blessed with Steyn and Dravid in the lineup to execute the plans. Hopefully Tuskers or any other team do their homework right prior venturing such experiments.

Bottom Line: Ishanth Sharma must have sensed a ray of hope for the wearing national jersey in the near future.

Cricket Lover

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

IPL: ஒரு கோலிவுட் பார்வை

சினிமாக்காரங்க IPL பத்தி discuss பண்ணினா எப்படி இருக்கும்னு ஒரு கற்பனை:

வடிவேலு, "sss அப்பா, இப்பவே கண்ணை கட்டுதே, சித்திரை வெயில் சுட்டெரிக்குது, இந்த பசங்களுக்கு கிரிக்கெட் ரொம்ப அவசியமா விவேக்?"

"அதெல்லாம் யூத் culture, இன்சல்ட் பண்ணாதே, straightaa மேட்டருக்கு வா"

வெண்ணிற ஆடை மூர்த்தி, "அந்த முள்ளம்பன்னி தலையான், அதாம்பா RCB owner, தீபிகாவ எப்படி kiss அடிச்சான் பார்த்தியா?

விவேக், "யோவ், மேட்டருக்கு வான்னு சொன்னது தப்பாப்போச்சே, முதல்ல எந்த மேட்ச் பத்தி பேசறதுன்னு decide பண்ணுங்கப்பா"

"நம்ம சச்சின் கஷ்டப்பட்டு ஒரு 100 போட்டாரு, ஆனால் பாவம், ஏண்டா அடிச்சோம்னு மனுஷன பீல் பண்ண வெச்சுட்டாங்க நம்ம ஊரு அறிவு ஜீவிங்க. இந்த ஆள் ஆடினாலே விளங்காதுன்னு வரிஞ்சு கட்டி பேசறாங்க"

"அவங்கள எல்லாம் வரிசையா நிக்க வெச்சு மலிங்கா தம்பிய வுட்டு கால் மேலயே பௌலிங் போடச்சொல்லணும்"

"கங்குலி இல்லாத கல்கத்தா, background மியூசிக் இல்லாத ஷகிலா படம் மாதிரி எபெக்டே இல்லாம இருக்கு"

கமல், "நுனிப்புல் மேய்ந்ததில் MI , CSK, KKR தவிர யாரும் சிந்தனையோடு ஆடவில்லை. கொச்சின், புனே புதிதாக வந்த மருமகள்கள், தவறுகள் இருக்கத்தான் செய்யும். அந்த மண்குடம் பொன்குடமாக மாறும் என்கிற நம்பிக்கை எனக்குள் துளிர் விட்டுள்ளது"

விவேக் "நல்ல பேசறீங்க, அப்படியே ஒரு அகராதியும் குடுத்தீங்கன்னா தமிழ்ல translate பண்ணிக்குவேன்"

சந்தானம், "நம்பிக்கை துளிர் விடுதா? 5 ரன்னுக்கு 6 விக்கெட் போவுது, இந்த ஆள் மூஞ்சில வாட்டர் பாக்கெட் பீச்சி அடிங்கப்பா"

ஷண்முக சுந்தரம், "இந்த ஸ்ரீசாந்த் ரொம்ப பாவம்ணே, என்ன தப்பு பண்ணிச்சின்னு இப்படி போட்டு அடிக்கறாங்கன்னு தெரியல, இருந்து இருந்து ஒரு நல்ல பால் போட்டா, நடுவர் நோ பால் அப்படின்னு சொல்லிட்டார். - என்ன கொடுமைண்ணே இது? ஹ்ம்ம்... எல்லாம் அந்த மாரியாத்தா பண்ற வேலை.

வடிவேலு, " நம்ம டோனி தான் சூப்பர் கேப்டன், எப்படியெல்லாம் சமாளிக்கறாரு"

விஜயகாந்த், 'ஏய், அப்போ நான் யார்ரா?

வடிவேலு மனதுக்குள், "ஐயோ, இந்த ஆள் ஏன் என்ட்ரி ஆவுறான்? பல்க்கா அடிப்பானே, முருகா நான் என்ன செய்வேன்?"

சிங்கமுத்து, "சரி சரி சண்டைபோடாதீங்கப்பா, பிரசாரம் தான் முடிஞ்சிடுச்சே?

விஜயகாந்த், "தமிழ்நாட்டுக்கு தண்ணி தராத எந்த டீமும் ஜெயிக்ககூடாது, கொச்சின் கிட்ட தோத்ததுக்கு டோனி உடனே பதவி விலகியிருக்கணும்"

கவுண்டர், "இவன்ட்ட இருக்கற கெட்ட பழக்கமே இதாம்பா, ரொம்ப பேசுவானே"

சத்யராஜ், "ஒரு விஷயத்துல I am வெரி ஹேப்பி, நமக்குதான் வேலையில்லேன்னு நினச்சேன், ஹிந்திகாரங்களும் காஞ்சு போய்த்தான் இருக்காங்க. எல்லா பயலும் கிரௌன்ட்ல தானே குடித்தனம் பண்றானுங்க"

கவுண்டர், "இந்த cheerleader எல்லாம் யாருப்பா செலக்ட் பண்றாங்க, நல்ல இளசா, +2 படிச்சா பொண்ணா போடுங்கடான்னா கேக்கறாங்களா?"

விவேக்,"அதுலயும் CSK cheerleaders ரொம்ப மோசம், பனியன்ல "mansion ஹவுஸ்" எழுதிட்டு "ஆடாம" இருக்காங்கப்பா, சும்மா வாங்கிப்போட்டு குத்த வேண்டாமா?"

குஷ்பூ, "இது ரொம்பவே ஆணாதிக்க tournament , பெண்களுக்கும் இந்த மாதிரி ஒண்ணு வேணும். Actually IPL should be "இந்தியன் பெண்கள் League " யு நோ.

ரஜினி, "ஐயையோ, இந்த அம்மா நம்மள எங்கயாவது சேர்த்துட போவுது, எஸ்கேப் ஆயிட வேண்டியது தான்"

சரத் குமார் "சரி ரஜினி, யாரு ஜெயிப்பாங்கன்னு உங்க பாபாஜி கிட்ட கேட்டு சொல்ல முடியுமா?"

ரஜினி யோசிக்க ஆரம்பிக்க.. கௌண்டமணி "யப்பா சரத், இந்த ஆள் ரொம்ப யோசிப்பான், எப்பவுமே நீ தான் நாட்டாமை, நீயே சொல்லு"

சரத், "சந்தானம், நீ தான் லேட்டஸ்ட், உன் ஸ்டைலில் மிமிக்ரி பண்ணி சொல்லிடுப்பா"

MI = opening nallarukku, fnishing சொதப்பாம இருந்தா சரி.

RR = சரியான ரெண்டும்கெட்டான் டீம், ஏர்ல பூட்டின எருமை மாதிரி

RCB, KTK, DC = இதுல நான் விஜயகாந்த் கட்சி, (அப்புறம், நம்மள தமிழனே இல்லைன்னு சொல்லிடுவாங்க!!)

KKR = வரும்....ஆனா வராது

பஞ்சாப் = வெரி குட் டீம், ரொம்ப நல்ல அணி, chances are there, வாய்ப்பு இருக்கு.

டெல்லி = நம்ம government மாதிரி தான், தானும் படுக்க மாட்டாங்க, தள்ளியும் படுக்க மாட்டாங்க

புனே = 1700 Crores போட்டு கெஞ்சி கூத்தாடி சஹாரா டீம் வாங்கியிருக்காங்கப்பா, இப்படி சல்லி சல்லியா நொறுக்கறீங்களே,

So, CSK தான் ஜெயிச்சாகணும்.

எல்லோரும் புறப்பட தயாராகும்போது ரஜினி. "அது ஆண்டவன் கையில தான் இருக்கு" என்று சொல்ல,

"அப்பாடா, பினிஷிங் பஞ்ச் சொல்லிட்டாரு, தி மீட்டிங் இஸ் ஓவர்."

New Delhi

Bouncers !!!

20 runs required of 14 balls, 3 wickets in hand, Umesh Yadav bowls one on the pads of Syed Mohammed only to be flicked for a four. Sehwag walks immediately to Yadav to share his portion of wisdom. Though not good at lip reading, could make up those lines. “Abe Chu… kaiku leg pe daaltha hai. Off pe daal”. Guess what? The next ball Yadav bowls outside the off stump only to be cut for four by the same batsman. Wonder why the Desi boys haven’t learned the art of death bowling from the stalwarts? Are they not supposed to use this platform to make themselves a better package when they become ready to wear the India cap?

On an impulsive note Jr. Mallaya started shaking the iron grill (separates the crowd from players) ferociously to celebrate the victory and followed it with a tight hug to Padukone lady to cool himself. The defeat to Bangalore boys has set the tone for the Delhi - Kolkata encounter. After all who wants to lose to the junior?

In the meantime, Chennai registered another straight win against the Pune. The man who benefitted the most out of this outing was Suresh Raina. Dhoni’s insurance policy sufficiently covered him from being exposed too early when the wicket had something for the bowlers. Thankfully that led to the scapegoat Badri sizzling. Had the other batsman shown the same faith on Badri in the game against MI, CSK would have had 2 more points on the board. Unless Uthappa or Yuvraj going to come slightly up the order to take the challenge themselves, it will not be any easy for the Warriors here on.

Tuskers has prepared a seaming wicket against the punch bag Deccan. Glad if they don’t bounce out on their own bouncers.

In the meantime, Duncan Fletcher becomes the new coach of Team India for the next two years. For the first time a coach appointment came in without much fuss. The governing body did the smart move by locating and appointing the coach when the public and media had their attention diverted to IPL.

The Headlines “Worked hard to reach out Gayle” by WICB almost beat any comic caper. When a franchise from another part of the world could sign up Gayle in no time to play IPL, wonder how the local board could not locate the player.

Cricket Lover

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going…

That is exactly what comes to mind after witnessing the comeback win by the Chennai Super Kings. Chennai is mostly known for its conservative start, keeping their wickets intact, tickling the scoreboard about 6 – 7 runs an over; eventually go after the bowling towards the end of the innings. In the game against Pune, for a moment the approach appeared to have backfired as the runs were far too harder to come as the ball lost its sheen. In the end the men in yellow managed to put a slightly below par total of 142. While I was keeping my fingers crossed with ifs and buts theories, many must have ruled out the Chennai victory at this point.

In the end, the Super Kings truly bowled and fielded like champions to convince that the total 142 is actually too much to defend. It is my opinion that Pune failed to read the script, right from the start of their second innings. Had they opened the batting with Robin Uthappa, one of their best stroke players to have a go at the new ball, also the only time where run making was far too conducive on that wicket, Pune could have wrapped it in style.

I do agree that in the game of T20, individual brilliance often eclipse the team strength. But, you still need the team strength, chemistry and composition, complimented by good captaincy to run the long mile.
This is exactly where Super Kings are way ahead from the rest of the folks.

When people say Chennai would not make it to the last 4, in my opinion, it is equivalent to beating the gravitational theory.
Is it really possible that Dhoni, the new world cup winning captain, could not inspire his team to qualify for the IPL playoffs? I’m sorry readers; I would be the last soul to buy this. If you are still circumspect, you can wait to watch the climax with anxiety.

At the halfway stage, let us revisit how the others are doing.
Mumbai was earlier reeling heavily on Tendulkar shoulders, now slowly coming to scheme of things. Though the master is to be blamed for the run appetite to play full quota of overs, it is good to see batsman like Symmonds and Rohit Sharma coming to terms with the willow in the recent games. Now Malinga assured to play full length of the tournament, Mumbai is secured a spot in the top 4.

Despite a mercurial side, RCB is found wanting on captaincy thus far. However the management needs to be appreciated for signing Chris Gayle out of the blue. Dilshan, Gayle combo followed by DeVillers, Kohli and Tiwary should keep their hopes alive, if not a guaranteed spot in top 4.

Knight Riders surely look to be an all round side. They appear balanced in all departments. Though their captaincy hurts, there are not too many brilliant captains leading their IPL teams anyways.

Daredevils clearly don’t have any noble agenda of winning the title. They appear to be party crashers. Opposition Teams just have to keep their fingers crossed as they don’t get butchered by the devils.

Despite Lawson being a good addition to Warriors, Pune’s bowling lacks venom. Yuvi, Uthappa and Ryder have loads of work to do. Though Manhas, Mishras and Pandeys are wonderful talents, consistency doesn’t seem to be their folklore until now. At this point, Pune look like a side to finish at the bottom half.

Kochi is the tale of two warriors (McCullum and Jaya) aided by Jaddu’s all-round cricket. They have done the job well so far. It is only a matter of time before their bubble bursts.

There is hardly anything to talk about the punch bags of the tournament “The Deccan Chargers”. Looks like their tale will continue the same way and everyone of their win will only be considered an upset of the opposition.

The Royals are clearly the unpredictable. No idea what is their batting order, bowling line up or game plan. Warne’s trick continues to perplex everyone. Despite unpredictable they can never be discounted.

Kings XI definitely turned to be the sweet surprise package of the edition. My heart goes all out for Preity boys to finish top 4. For now they are surely the Royals of 2008. No one will believe until they actually make it.

Bottomline: Though the men in yellow are challenged, it will boil down to who can challenge the Super Kings.

Cricket Lover

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tendulkar Vs Valthaty?

At the end of Round 6, the battle gets intense. Except for Mumbai Indians who are marginally ahead, there is hardly anything that separates the remaining 9 teams in terms of points.

It is bizarrely surprising to see Dhoni’s boys standing almost at the bottom of the table. Usually a winning skipper is not getting favorable results in the past 3 games. Though the loss to Punjab could be attributed to individual brilliance of Valthaty and the defeat to Tuskers to stroke of misfortune, the failure to Mumbai is definitely closer to sin. None of the batsman had the faith or common sense to rotate the strike to well set Badrinath where the asking rate was hardly 7 runs an over during the second half of the run chase. Though Dhoni for a change was very kind to his players by not slamming them publicly during the post match interview, for sure the boys must have had a big ride inside the closed walls. I’ve no doubts that CSK is going to win some games from here to seal a spot in the last 4, if the not the trophy itself.

RCB suddenly found redemption with the arrival of Chris Gayle. The Gayle storm not only changed RCB’s kismet but surely dented KKR salvation to glory. Two back to back loses and KKR are up and against a hit and miss Delhi Daredevils on the Thu 28th Apr. Now KKR should be craving for Delhi to miss as Delhi already hit heavily against Punjab. Again no law of averages could defy Sehwag & Co. If Delhi happen to lose the game against RCB on Tue 26th Apr, then KKR’s defeat to Delhi is mostly certain.

Kochi’s inspirational victories against Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkatta ran out of gasoline against Warnie on Sunday. Kochi, mostly a two man army of McCullum and Jayawardane and some support from Jadeja in the middle found itself wanting with the absence of McCullum due to shoulder injury against Royals. I sometimes wonder what is special with Gomez as he keeps finding the faith of the skipper despite his repeated failures. Their next game against punch bag Deccan, should keep hopes high.

A spineless bowling attack of Pune with already two defeats in a row facing wounded Chennai Tigers is no good news. However the big ticket game for this week would be Mumbai Vs Rajasthan. Since Rajasthan is mostly on must win circumstances, don’t be surprised if they eclipse all too mighty Mumbai Indians.

With so many intense battles between Teams, there is another good battle between two Individuals for the orange cap.

Tendulkar Vs Valthaty...


I can understand if you still continue give me that perplexed look.

If somebody ever told you the phrase Tendulkar Vs Valthaty before the commencement of IPL, I challenge you would have wondered what that word Valthaty means. Is that a person or place or club or what the hell that word means? Sure to bet even google would have fetched negative results on the word Valthaty.
Today, the kid is truly taking on a battle with the World (Cup)’s leading run getter. On paper this clash is a complete mismatch. In reality, there is a very good chance that Valthaty (261) could finish ahead of Sachin Tendulkar (269).

For the first time I truly wish to see the lord of cricket to be beaten on this battle of orange cap.

Cricket Lover

Friday, April 22, 2011

Shah Rukh Khan Interview.

Knight Riders finding successive victories in IPL games CCL had the opportunity to have a quick chat with the owner, Shah Rukh Khan!!!

Hello Shah Rukh! You must be glad to see your team winning games regularly for the first time in IPL. What is the secret behind it?
Yeah it’s good to see KKR winning regularly. Basically we have decided to play for DADA instead of play under DADA.

Sounds like you got the motto right at the moment. What about the crowd? We still find poor response for KKR games at Eden Gardens?
Yeah that piece is still hurting. We had brain storming session about that in the team meeting. In the end we discovered that there is not enough crowd puller in the KKR squad. So I’ve decided to play for KKR myself.

What $&%#? You are an actor. Is it really possible to become a cricketer?
When I can build a body from skeleton, cricket is no big deal.

Is cricket that easy a sport to you?
You see, I’ve hired an Aussie coach, American physio and Buchnan’s brain. Trust me, I’m the next Tendulkar.

Even if you decide to play, does the rule allow you to play for KKR?
That is exactly the reason we are working hard to revoke the suspension issued to Lalit Modi. Once he is back we can bend the rules to our whims and fancies.

Appreciate your optimism. Between how did you boil down to Gautam Gambir as the KKR leader?
It is simple. In cricket we replace a left hander with another left hander. That is exactly the logic we applied for KKR leadership too.

Good logic. However, can’t hold myself from asking this question. In Chak De India, you were able to inspire a hockey team to win the world cup. Why is that you are not able to inspire your own cricket team to win IPL so far?
You must understand that the Chak De hockey team composed of female players.

Wonder… how we missed it. Now that your team is amongst victories can they win IPL this time?
Sure. I bid for the trophy too during the player auction. Korbo… Lorbo… Jeetbo.

Thanks SRK. We wish KKR all the success for the remaining games.

Cricket Lover

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Country Cricket Vs Club Cricket

This subject is steeply debated these days especially when Chris Gayle turned his back to West Indies only to play Bangalore Royal Challengers in IPL 4. As a matter of fact Chris Gayle along with Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo failed to sign the central contract for West Indies few months ago only to play IPL and other big buck leagues ahead of national duty.
The story of Chris Gayle could be interpreted differently when WICB dropped him for the one off T20 and the first two ODI’s against Pakistan. WICB’s idea of building a team for future did not sufficiently justify Gayle’s omission. After all Gayle is only 31 years and he still has good 4 – 5 years of cricket left in him. Poor Gayle wasn’t even communicated beforehand by WICB about his omission.
Gayle, being a smart lad quickly decided to cash on the opportunity. With Nannes out of RCB line up due to injury and Dilsan likely to leave on national duty, something must have triggered between RCB and Gayle. There you go; Gayle will be playing remaining part of IPL 4 for RCB.
However, after Gayle decided to play IPL, WICB came off with the explanation that he was dropped on fitness grounds. As a matter of fact the board was only waiting to evaluate Gayle’s fitness before including him for the remaining part of the series. This sounds insane. If this is to be true, then board should have intimated its intentions first to Gayle, then to the media before announcing the squad for the early part of the series. Even if it were to be assumed to true, it really did not explain why the other senior players like Sarwan and Chanderpaul are dropped from the squad.
Since the board is keen to play politics ahead of cricket, I’m surely behind the player here for giving up country for the sake of club cricket.
If you think this was fun, there is even bigger fun awaits you.
Today I’m certain that the Sri Lankan cricketers selected for England Tour are bound to leave IPL on or before May 5 reluctantly. Mind you in the 2008 edition, Sri Lanka’s tour of England were cancelled sighting IPL and SL board chose to honor player’s interest to play the big bucks league. Today political differences between the two boards and nations had forced Sri Lankan board to call off their players from IPL ahead of the originally agreed date of May 20. BCCI talks with SL board to hold players only went in vein. I’m pretty confident that this will not go well and BCCI will surely revenge by snubbing a Sri Lanka tour sighting player exhaustion or security threat.
It is almost certain that Tendulkar, Dhoni, Gambir, Zaheer Khan are likely to pull out of the ODI leg of the West Indies tour that commences immediately after 7 days of IPL conclusion. Sehwag is likely to pull out of Test leg too. In this case the board itself is going to back the player’s decision and give them much needed break for playing club cricket and over look the national needs. Since West Indies is supposedly a weak team no one cares to create any fuss, after all it is going to create opportunities for few youngsters. Had it been for Australia or England Tour, I wonder what would have been the boards stand.
Bottom Lines: Who cares if it is country cricket or club cricket? Ego clashes and the power of money continue to rule cricket. Some players are pawn to these battles. Some powerful personalities could make the system work their way. For ordinary human beings like us, we find few more stories to debate.

Cricket Lover

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

IPL 2015 !!!

As Napoleon Nayudu prepared to face another ball, several thoughts raced through his mind.....
After being bought by the Gummidipoondi Gumboils for an astronomical $5 million in the 2015 Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, he knew he had a reputation to keep up. Should he try a straightforward Toyota Front Foot Drive this time, or should he aim for a Bombay Dyeing Cover Drive ? Or perhaps an ITC Square Cut (Statutory warning: Smoking is Injurious to Health) would be a better idea? He realised he needed to hit an IBM boundary soon.

Ever since IBM had announced they would pay Rs 1 lakh per boundary and Rs 5 lakh for a six, he had been trying to run less and hit more. Unfortunately, he hadn’t been doing either in this match, because the Begusarai Bandits had some very good bowlers. The next ball, he played a Pepsi Inside Edge onto his Maggi middle stump and trudged wearily off the field to the accompaniment of boos from the Vodafone Zoozoo stand at the Kellogg’s Special K-Cereal stadium in Gummidipoondi.

Relaxing in the Parle Glucose commentary box, Saurav Ganguly ruminated on the momentous changes in the game that had occurred since the IPL came into being. In 2010, he remembered, the game started to really grow, with huge sums of money being paid for the Pune and Kochi teams. Teams soon started springing up like frogs in the monsoon. And when the Gorakhpur Gorillas won the IPL in 2012, every district town in the country wanted its own side.

The IPL season was extended to six months in the year, then to 12 months and soon, once the villages started having their own sides, you had matches on all 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Industrialists sold off their old companies and bought IPL teams. Twenty five of the 30 Sensex stocks were of cricketing companies.

Advertisers fought with each other to sponsor matches, stadiums, sixes, fours, shots, balls, wickets and what not. Every patch of the players’ clothing, his arm guard, helmet, and pads was covered in advertisements. Tendulkar Itch Guard Crotch Guards started a new trend in merchandising, selling like hot cakes.
As the money flowed in, players’ salaries zoomed. Everybody wanted to be a cricketer. Engineering and medical colleges were deserted and Indian Institutes of Management converted themselves into institutes of cricketing management. C.K. Prahalad lectured on the pot of gold at the bottom of the leg stump.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Lalit Modi mooted a radical proposal in the Lok Sabha for nationalising the Board of Control for Cricket in India , pointing out that its profits would wipe out the government’s fiscal deficit. Food production had suffered, he said, as villagers refused to till their fields and spent their time playing cricket instead. A law prohibiting the transformation of arable land into cricket pitches was swiftly passed. A resolution to install a statue of Lalit Modi in Parliament was also adopted unanimously.

Back in the commentary box, Ganguly did a rapid mental calculation and told his listeners that Napoleon was now being paid the equivalent of Rs 10 lakh per run. A twinge of regret passed through him — during the IPL season in 2010, he recalled, he had been paid only about Rs 1.8 lakh per run. He needed to make more money, he thought. Maybe he would join Navjot Sidhu in The Great Indian Laughter Challenge and be paid lakhs for laughing.... . For the rest of the match, he practised laughing hysterically at each ball.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Barrel on the Move!!!

In the past we did have players like Arjuna Ranatunga, David Boon and few others who did not have the athletic appearance but surely blessed with talent to create big impact in the game. As times changed we started witnessing cricketers appearing lean and mean with lots of athleticism.

Shane Warne, shed almost 8 kilos to appear slim and trim at the age of 42 for IPL 4. Rahul Dravid at 38 looks so young that he could almost beat a 20 years old model in ramp. It is hard to differentiate Ricky Ponting of the early 20’s with the Ricky Ponting of today in terms of appearance. Thanks to Dabar Chavanprash/Medical Miracle/Hair Transplantation – call whatever that thing is, Jacques Kallis look youthful as ever after he grew some hair to back his fitness. The legendary Lara hit the gym hard for a second innings in IPL 4. Shoaib Akthar went to another level to have liposuction to survive few more International seasons. Finally not to leave out Sachin Tendulkar, who stands miles ahead of the others by keeping in best of shape to be a force to reckon in the 2015 World Cup.

As Individuals work so hard to stay in shape, the spotlight on the fitness reached another altitude when Yuvraj Singh was shown doors from the Indian Cricket Team few months ago on fitness grounds.

In the modern era where size matters, it is really surprising to see the last reminiscence of Ranatunga’s on the field. Mind you he is not even the rarest breed of talent who could afford to take leverage on his size.
It truly baffles how the franchise picked him in the auction not to mention including him in the playing 11. When that happens it is heartening to see the bowler hardly putting an effort to stop the ball that runs inches away of his own bowling for four runs. When play resumed after rain delay, on a wet and heavy outfield, he could hardly run to save another four that came from the inside edge of the blades of Raina.

If he cannot control his body, I wonder how he could control the game as bowler or a batsman or as a fielder. Thankfully God did not bless with the minds of Ranatunga.

Bottom Line: For now, Ramesh Powar surely sets a wrong precedence for the players of future generations.

Cricket Lover

PS: Unfortunately I could not locate exclusive pics Ramesh Pawar. I hope you are able spot him in the above pic.

Monday, April 18, 2011

IPL: At the end of round 3...

At the end of Round 3 (for few teams it is round 4), one man continues his charm in IPL. This time he casted his magic with the ball too by picking 4 wickets followed by a gritty 75 to win the game for Kings XI against Deccan Chargers. The mental toughness, courage and steely resolve to succeed and to plant the seeds on his team mates assure a legend in making. To my limited following of the game, this is a first of its kind where a team is entirely dependent on a stranger. Not to say the least, the likes of Tendulkar and Kallis run appetite are being tested by an unknown commodity. I’m pretty confident that he has already earned a spot for the WI tour. And my love for Paul Valthaty continues.
But the biggest news of round 3 happened to be when a well made ton went in vein. You have to give it to Jayawardane for taking charge and opening the batting with McCullum. Eventually the duo made sure Tuskers registered their first win. Had Captain Tendulkar experimented with Rohit Sharma or Symmo during the bowling phase, may be Mumbai could have avoided the defeat.
Delhi was the last to join the party as they beat Pune at their home turf. Delhi win was always on the cards. Both teams are not known for their leadership, but known for their strong batting line up and weak bowling line up. The team that badly needed the win only lived up to the reputation.
Chennai back to winning ways, but the replacements Tim Southee and Suraj Randiv are not able to adequately fill the void created by Bollinger and Muralitharan.
The mostly losing captain of New Zealand is steering his new ship Bangalore on the losing side too. The choice of pinch hitters like Zaheer Khan and Asad Pathan is a good exhibition of incorrect calls and pessimism.
However, the Fortune wave has turned Bengal’s way as Knight Riders beat Royals back to back home and away convincingly. Good to see captain Gambir turning to party on both occasions.
To sum it up, Mumbai defeat is one off occasion. I won’t be surprised if the captaincy quotient and Malinga absence could hurt the team in the later stages of the tournament. Sincerely wish to see the Tendulkar, The Captain, on the winning side. Kolkata’s back to back victories put them on Tier 1 with Chennai and Mumbai.
Punjab, Pune, Delhi, Rajasthan and Kochi appear to be evenly poised at the next level. While Hyderabad remains to be the punch bag.
Waiting to see Pathan brothers, Suresh Raina, Sehwag, Jakati, Ojha to come good in the rounds ahead.

Cricket Lover

Friday, April 15, 2011

Are Sachin Tendulkar's Centuries Jinxed?

Are Sachin Centuries Jinxed?
Are you the person who believe it is a bad omen when a crow flies past the head croaking? Do you think a black cat entering a house is a bad premonition? Are you a prey to any other superstitious beliefs like this? If so, you can surely go on to believe that Sachin Tendulkar centuries are jinxed too.
For the others, be proud of yourself that you got the opportunity to witness a wonderful century. Unfortunately this time it wasn't meant to be on the winning side.

When so many cricketers struggle to score even a single hundred, this man is gifted with the ability to score tons at will. When most batsmen find the gap unpenetratable as they reach 80's and find their legs shaky as they reach the 90’s, the master is clearly a genius during this phase and scores hundred with ease. We witnessed exactly that when McCullum got into 80’s without a lot of fuss but failed to convert it to a century.

Every cricketer knows that it requires a marathon effort to score a hundred. A good cricketer would never utter from his mouth that Sachin's centuries are jinxed. Mind you, Sachin Tendulkar had to wait patiently 77 games before securing his first ton. Now, he has close to ton tons in all forms of the game.
In the game against Tuskers, it is my opinion that Sachin Tendulkar the captain failed to save Sachin Tendulkar the batsman. Had the captain, went to proven campaigners like Rohit Sharma or Andrew Symmonds instead of R Satish during the bowling session, may be the match would have turned in favor of Mumbai Indians. Even towards the end of the bowling innings, the captain played by the books and gave the ball to Pollard and Murtaza. These are the times a captain like Dhoni never feared to give the ball to a new bowler. 

The maestro has more addiction to runs than just the hunger for runs. Pl don't relate Sachin Tendulkar's century to the result of the game. It is the other batsmen failure to convert the 80's and 90's to ton, while the master is simply good at conversion. 

Bottom Line: The jinx is not in the ton. The devil is in the readers mind.
Cricket Lover

IPL Quick Bites

Paul Valthaty the latest IPL sensation was earlier associated with Rajasthan Royals. RR should be cribbing for not trying him last year.
Zaheer Khan, current RCB player was originally with RCB in the inaugural season. He was later traded to MI for Robin Uthappa. If Uthappa is such a crucial player in 2010, wonder why RCB did not retain him this season?
Chennai Super Kings is the only team to have qualified for playoffs in the all the 3 seasons of IPL. Can do they do it this year too?
Manish Pandey centurion in 2009 IPL is currently in 4 match suspension. He was earlier with MI and RCB.
Shane Warne rated Ravindra Jadeja big time. RJ went on to play for India. Shane Warne now rates Ashok Maneria very high. Can Maneria go on to wear the India Cap?
Deccan registered first ever victory in IPL at home ground yesterday against RCB. Surprised how a team could not win one game out of say 10 odd home games in 2 years so far?

The name of Manpreet Gony’s wife is also Manpreet Gony. Is this what they call ideal couple?
KKR bought Bangladesh all rounder Mushrafe Mortaza for $650,000 in the IPL auction 2009. The irony is he never played a single game that season. Is this what they call free meal? was the most visited blog for IPL scoops during IPL 2009. It is high time I become the next fake IPL player to generate so much traffic to crazycricketlover. Gotcha!!!

Cricket Lover

Thursday, April 14, 2011

At the end of Round 2 - IPL

At the end of round 2 in IPL, one man stole the show. Paul Valthaty. His pulsating 120 against Chennai Super Kings is no way inferior to Kevin O Brien or Strauss century that we just witnessed in the recently concluded World Cup. His knock set the redemption of Kings XI Punjab and I wish this does not go as a one match wonder.

It is just not Paul Valthaty, the other third tier cricketers like Mayank Agarwal (RCB), Mithun Manhas (PWI), Monish Mishra (PWI), Sunny Singh (Kings XI), Rayudu (MI), Wagh (PWI), Menaria (RR), Srikanth (CSK) are quickly making a name for themselves.

But the surprise package is the veteran Rahul Dravid. He looks like a man on the mission to make a statement. Don’t be surprised if he ends up to be the leading run scorer of the tournament only to hurt Bangalore badly.
Once again Shane Warne turned to be the pick of captains as he dropped Oram for Tait to crucify Delhi, after witnessing how Delhi performed against Lasith Malinga.
Definitely Rajasthan Royals are cruising along with Mumbai Indians. There is hardly a team that actually tested Mumbai till date. At this stage I could only feel sorry for Chennai for losing to Paul Valthaty. Otherwise these three teams look few steps ahead of the rest of the folks. Games between them should reveal who is better of the lot.
Bangalore, Pune and Kolkatta look like evenly matched teams at the next level.  These teams should also be creating more exciting contests between themselves in the days ahead.

That leaves to say Punjab, Kochi, Deccan and Delhi as the underdogs.

With the Lankan player’s bound to go back for national duty, fortune change await few teams. Wonder if that turns good or bad.

Cricket Lover

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Winning Captain… but a Losing Team!!!

Few days ago, we published a hypothetical article Losing Captain… but a Winning Team. Now, when we look at it the other way, Winning Captain… but a Losing Team, we don’t have to play around with imaginations. There is a strikingly true story. If you have guessed it Sourav Ganguly the winning captain and Knight Riders the Losing Team, you score full marks.

From the days of victory between defeats in the land outside India, Sourav Ganguly transformed Team India into a winning machine, home or away. Prior to World Cup 2011, you won’t be surprised if the majority of the population voted Sourav Ganguly to be the best captain of Team India and not Dhoni or Kapil Dev.

Mind you captaincy is an art. It is not you pick the best available 11 and name one of them to lead the side. It does not work that way in cricket. You have to first locate the natural leader to get the following. Sourav Ganguly was surely one among them.

Such a natural leader was found mostly wanting for Knight Riders in the management opinion. My take is little different. In the inaugural edition, the concept of T20 was relatively new to everyone. With so many larger than life stars in the squad, followed by frequent foreign players movement sighting national duty hurt the Knight Riders little too much. In the end Knight Riders finished better than Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Deccan stuck with Gilli the second season. Challengers finally made the right move of passing the captaincy from Dravid to the most natural leader Anil Kumble before experimenting with Kevin Pieterson. However Knight Riders messed around with the leadership and floated multi captain theory. I don’t know how others received the theory, but I read it as a theory to dump Ganguly from captaincy on political grounds. Much as expected Sourav Ganguly was dumped from captaincy after the team arrived safely in South Africa. Guess what, in the agony mushroomed a Fake IPL player and the team finished last in the season. The true catch was Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore finished top two teams in IPL.

It was hardly a surprise when captaincy was restored to Sourav Ganguly for the third season. If not for others I believed that the leadership was reinstated only to save public wrath and gate money. Many must have thought that the double DA will cast his magic and bring the glory for Knight Riders. That would have happened only when the captaincy was restored more on faith and trust than on political grounds. After all, when other teams have completed 2 full seasons to become the exponents of the game, Knight Riders were still fighting few personality battles. Despite all this Ganguly was able to carry his team to finish 5th that season.

You just read the brief story of a winning captain… but on the losing side.

That did not finish the climax of the article.

Fourth season… the dawn of new beginning. Majority of the players went to the pot for auction. That included yours truly. It was not a big surprise when Knight Riders snubbed Ganguly in the auction. Even the other franchises that badly needed a leader showed their back on the legend. I for one strongly believe that it was a political conspiracy to snub the icon in public. Might have been a huge victory for those money and power hungry owners, but it was a painful defeat for the millions of fans to see their icon go down. All we could do the best was mourn for the prodigy, but that hardly helps.

When all was over, a ray of hope came for the fans. Kochi franchise expressed their interest to hire the chief after the auction. Much as expected few franchises objected the move.

I strongly believe that enough is enough and Sourav Ganguly should quit after the auction snub. He has nothing left to prove and is etched in the hearts of million fans for what he had done to the nation. I feel this battle for supremacy with power hungry sharks is futile. Knowing his nature he is the last man to go down without a fight.

Now, here is a hypothetical situation for the legend to make a comeback. There is a clause in IPL that a player “X” can be replaced by player “Y” who has a similar or a lesser base price in the instance of injury or unavailability of Player “X” for the rest of the season.

Mahela Jayawardane the captain of Kochi has to leave before the 5th of May to join Sri Lankan Team for national duty in England. Kochi will need a new skipper. 5th of May Kochi also plays Knight Riders.

Is this the day the prodigal son will walk into that game leading Kochi to beat Kolkata Knight Riders???????

Cricket Lover and DADA Fan

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

IPL - the talent hunt show of cricket

As I'm still suffering from WC fever, I equate the IPL teams as follows.
Mumbai Indians  = India (power packed and peaking at the right time)
Chennai Super Kings = Australia (they never give up and every member try to win the match)
Rajasthan Royals = Pakistan (aggression, young faces, powerful captain - like Imran)
Kolkatta Knight Riders = South Africa (choked at the right time against CSK, but recovered in 2nd match)
Royal Challengers Bangalore = NZ (performers... yet very fluctuating, is it due to vettori?)
Pune Warriors  = Srilanka (full of energy and hungry for win, you can say SL of 96WC)
Delhi Daredevils = Bangladesh (unpredictably unpredictable)
Deccan Chargers = Zimbabwe (if they bowl good, they bat poorly and vice versa)
Kochi Tuskers Kerala = Ireland (new Entrant and some stars)
Kings XI Punjab = Canada (do you need any explanation?)

I am looking forward to see the competition between the future probables of Indian captain - Yuvi, Gambir and Sehwag (But BCCI will always throw us surprise)

Every club, corporate house, restaurants have arranged big screen viewing at their own premises with snacks and drinks. There are no wonders why stadiums are half filled? Moreover you have 3D LED HD televisions available. People love to watch with their preferred groups comfortably.

The absence of Lalit Modi is clearly visible (very dull cheerleaders). I think they are badly in need of some cheers!!! Request RCB owner to take care of this.

Batsmen should wear a "Toe Guard" when they face Malinga. Good to see an attacking fast bowler - probably the one and only ??

I expect the unknown faces to perform and become stars - Saurabh Tiwary, Trivedi, Rayudu, - young guns like these should wear the pink and purple caps.

The above predictions may go upside down and I would be happy if that happens

Jayaraman, New Delhi

Losing Captain but a Winning Team !!!

Losing Captain, but a winning side!!! This is a seldom episode in cricket. Vettori is predominately a losing captain for his country New Zealand. Victories are rare commodity for him. The nucleus of Dilshan, Kohli, De Villers, S Tiwary, Zaheer, Nannes and Vettori himself make Royal Challengers Bangalore a mercurial side. There is lot of energy and exuberance that should see this core mostly on the winning side in IPL.
Will this combination work?
I’m as curious as you. We have mostly witnessed an average side suddenly finding an inspirational skipper to turn them to world champions. Some classic examples are Kapil Dev’s India, Imran’s Pakistan, Dhoni’s 2007 T20 team. The next that we often witnessed is a Team built over years to become a force to reckon with. Australia, Arjuna’s Sri Lanka, Dhoni’s India, Strauss England Test team are some good examples.

Vettori’s RCB is definitely a rare occurrence. Though Vettori a sure shot candidate for captaincy, the appointment must have sweetly raised few brows. It is not the case that RCB left with any choice. They have Zaheer, who is more or less the captain of India’s bowling unit. They have Kohli. May be Kohli must have appeared little too early for leadership at this stage. Again there are always exceptions in cricket.
If Vettori can inspire this Team to glory, he should surely revisit his decision on quitting Kiwi captaincy. After all one glory, no matter how big or how small the stage is, it totally change the world upside down for the personality. Again if Vettori could not take this side anywhere near playoffs, the mantle will be passed to another RCB mate without much fuss.
Bottomline: Acid Test for Vettori and RCB
Cricket Lover

Monday, April 11, 2011

No Dada No KKR

A poor turnout at Eden pretty much confirmed that there is No Kolkata Knight Riders without the double DA. However, victories can heal any wounds. If KKR can go on to capitalize the momentum and lap few more wins after their victory against Deccan, they should attract more audience.
Again beating Deccan is hardly a challenge. After all the owners of Deccan failed to understand that the good bowling line up of Steyn, Ishanth, Mishra and Ojha will carry any sense only if there is some batting power to back it. Looks like Sangakara is already on course to relinquish Deccan’s captaincy for the benefit of the future captain to take charge when the unit is young.
With the return of Watson for Royals, KKR will have a tough game on Friday. It should be mouth watering contest considering Warne’s captaincy definitely has the edge over Gambir. After all it is Gambir’s thoughtless move of holding himself ahead of Tiwary and Morgan costed the opener against Super Kings. Also the return of Lee and Shakib should improve KKR bowling department, in their upcoming matches.
Kings XI is clearly on mission of becoming bad to worse in this fourth edition. There is no way this lackluster Punjab is going to stop the reincarnated Punjab Puttar Yuvraj Singh. All in all it looks like Kings XI and Deccan are going to be punch bag of the season. Will be curious to see who will triumph when these two battle between themselves.
Kochi Tuskers look completely a different side when the trio of McCullum, Jaya and Laxman fires with the bat. And it almost fired in the opener against Royal Challengers Bangalore. However one stupid move by Jaya to hand over the ball to Gomez an unknown commodity in the 18th over sealed the game in favor of Bangalore.
The story of Delhi Daredevils is like Diwali Crackers. Either they burst or they bust. Against Mumbai Indians they busted badly. Everyone wanted to emulate Sehwag in batting and poor Sehwag better emulate someone to change the script for the campaign here on.
From what I witnessed in the first round, I guess Delhi to beat Rajasthan, Chennai to beat Punjab, Pune to beat Tuskers and Bangalore to beat Deccan in the next few days.

Cricket Lover

Friday, April 8, 2011

India bought the World Cup.

It is painful to hear that the defeat of Pakistan and Sri Lanka to India in the World Cup are viewed with suspicion by some section of people.
The crazy cricket lover in me screams in agony, “What the crap are you talking? Why do you want to believe that these countries sold out to India on political and financial grounds? Is it so that India is politically and financially stronger than Australia to buy the Quarter Finals too? When Pakistan lose to New Zealand by 100 runs it’s a fair game, when Sri Lanka lose to Pakistan it is a fair game, but when a much superior Indian side beat any of these two teams, it becomes a conspiracy?
Come on. Give me a break.
If you still believe what you believe is right, then you can also go on to believe that India not only bid for the World Cup hosting rights, but for the World Cup Trophy too”.
Keeping the emotions aside, I wish to analyze this issue in a different perspective. The more I try find an answer, more the questions that pop up.
Why is the match fixing saga still bothering the subcontinent so much? Why is that we don’t embrace our defeat but view it with suspicion? When we suspect our defeats, why don’t we suspect and interrogate some of our victories that we won from no hope situations? Are we bad losers? Or are we bad losers to only certain oppositions? Why are the South Africans who were equally affected by match fixing controversies some years ago are able accept the defeats with grace?
A simple answer to all these questions would be, if we don’t have faith in the game, why do we have to follow. When our country is defeated in other sports we hardly care. Then why do we have to care so much for cricket?
Though it explains, the answer is hardly convincing. It is because we are emotionally attached to the game of cricket. Thus, we celebrate the victories wild. We grieve heavily on the defeats.
This is also the reason when our countries lose to another nation that is emotionally bonded to cricket, we raise eye brows. However, when our countries lose to another country like Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, England who are less emotionally attached to cricket, we only introspect the failure and not the fairness.
Finally, from cricketers stand point, no player want to lose the game. After all, the player achieves more glory, more money and more adoration only for winning the game. It hurts them even more when you question their loyalty.
I still have some faith left in cricket. I promise that the game is played fair these days. Despite a dark chapter, I’m sure match fixing is not something stone carved in our memories. The nightmares will heal as time pass by.

Cricket Lover
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