13 Nov 2012

POST # 21: SUNNY SIDE UP


Sachin Tendulkar scored 137 against the Railways in the Ranji trophy recently. Times have been so bad that a "Tendulkar 100" in Ranji Trophy makes headlines. Sunny bhai, for instance, said that it is a good sign that Sachin is getting some runs. Sunny was soon reminded of his comment during the last test series that Sachin's mode of dismissals (getting out - bowled) was concerning.
Sunny quickly turned himself on the other side of the fence and changed his stance faster than Kevin Pieterson does during his "switch-hit" and remarked, "That was the early part of the season. Some people can be very rusty". Sunny also forewarned people around that Sachin’s 137 would make the Test matches  extremely interesting.  What Sunny didn't remind the people around was that the Railways bowling attack had the  likes of Bangar, Upadhyay, Karthik, Shukla etc.

We had news of Sunny making a comeback into the Indian cricket team. Ravinder Jadeja was the most excited of the lot until someone told him this Sunny was not Leone. At a time when Dhoni is trying to look out for options of keeping Manoj Tiwary and Ajinkya Rahane out of the team, more Cricketers of yesteryears seem to be fancying their chances. We have information that Sunny was almost sure to make a comeback until the AP High Court lifted the ban imposed on Azharuddin and he was available to play. We asked Azhar how he felt now that he was exonerated and he said, "Boys played well...I mean...I mean...the lawyers played well". We asked him if the news of his making a comeback was true. Azhar said he was so busy that he wasn’t even aware of the next fixture... against England that is.
After Sunny said that Sachin's century against a Railway bowling attack is a good sign we feel there are other players who have played some wonderful innings in the recent times which have not made headlines:

Rohit Sharma scoring 173 off just 70 balls during a Kojagiri Pornima night on a building terrace (popularly known as Gacchi Cricket in Mumbai)
Ravinder Jadeja scoring 142  only off 80 balls in the Navratri Pandal in Jamnagar (this innings later helped him to score 300 in domestic cricket)

NOTE: Both batsmen got out in a freaky fashion. Rohit Sharma did not know the basic rules of Gacchi cricket in India that if you hit the ball out of the terrace (without a bounce) you are out (unless the ball used in the match is yours or your father has the terrace keys of the building society by virtue of being the Chairman of the society).
Ravinder Jadeja on the other hand was unstoppable until he hit the shot which hit a lady wearing a backless choli at the Navratri festival.

Joginder Sharma starred in a T20 match with a blistering 78 in only 34 balls in a match of Class VI-A v/s Class IX-B in the Night School. Joginder Sharma is in Class VI, and Arun Lal, we are told, is their coach.
With so much of competition Manoj Tiwary and Ajinkya Rahane are going to have a tough time making it to the final eleven. In fact just when these two were about to break into the Indian final XI there is some news of injury to both these players. They are diagnosed with sore posteriors, thanks to Dhoni keeping them on the bench for so long. Last heard, they were taking advice from Sunny, who has advised them on how to strengthen the butt muscles. The only way he seems to have strengthened his, is by sitting on the fence all the time.

(pics courtesy:in.com, khelnama.com)
Disclaimer: Not intended to be derisive. Interviews are not real. Only fun intended. No outrage please.

19 Sep 2012

POST # 20: UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

In what seems to be a move to pacify Dhoni, after VVS Laxman refused to invite him for his private function (no, not Sherlyn Chopra style), the BCCI chief Sreenivasan hosted a party for the Indian Captain. Our source had an occasion to attend the party which was otherwise open only to past and present day cricketers, IPL team owners, and Srini's coterie. Obviously, our source didn't fit into any of the above categories. Srini's numerologist, who happened to be a distant relative of the owner of a Dosa outlet in Goa, came in handy and allowed our source to sneak into the party just like the ball sneaks into Tendulkar's defence these days.
After a few drinks the players dropped their guards, tongues started loosening alongwith tie-knots and most of the guests couldn't tell Rohit Sharma from Joginder Sharma. That Joginder Sharma would have batted better than Rohit today, is a different story.

We headed straightaway to the part of the crowd where Sachin Tendulkar was and as usual he was surrounded by a lot of people. Though the ball finds his wickets more than his bat nowadays, his popularity hasn’t dented even a bit. People threw a lot of questions at Sachin and he answered them effortlessly. We had the good fortune of listening to Sachin's pearls of wisdom. Here were a few questions Sachin was asked:
Q: What do you think about Unmukt Chand? Can he become the next Virat Kohli?
A: I will play cricket as long as I enjoy playing. There is no question of retirement.
Q: Do you think the public outcry regarding Lata Mangeshkar trying to sell the Jayaprabha studio is justified? What do you think of this, as a Maharashtrian?
A: I will play cricket as long as I enjoy playing. There is no question of retirement.

Q: Do you think there will be a rollback on the reforms by the Congress now that opposition is demanding it?
A: I will play cricket as long as I enjoy playing. There is no question of retirement.

Brilliant! All the leaders who abandon Karan Thapar's show should take a cue from the Master Blaster. In fact we think Sachin should start a preparatory course for all the guests who are invited on Arnab Goswami's show.
Finally we got to question the Master Blaster, with better results.
Courtesy : cardheko.com

Q: Sachin, you just said you would play cricket as long as you enjoy it, but you kept getting out, bowled, in the NZ series. Can you still say you enjoy your cricket?

A: Most definitely (laughs).  What it has got to do with me getting bowled? I enjoy my cricket. I attended the Ambani's bash the other day at Antillia, attended the launch of a premium car, did some LED Television Commercials. I really enjoy my cricket. And did you notice how in that LED TV ad I middled the ball to perfection in slow motion?
Before we could ask him any further questions the MI guy whisked him past us. We saw Ravi Shastri, and headed straight to him to ask him if he thought India had any chances of winning the T20 World Cup in Lanka. Ravi said "Juss get a feeling that it maybe Pakistan this time". Suddenly the waiter approached Ravi with a Blue Martini and Ravi said "not for me...that's what the doctor ordered" pointing to Dr. Vijay Mallya who was taking the BBM pin of the PYT just a few arms away. The embarrassed waiter went to Mallya like a tracer bullet.

With great difficulty we managed to get the Indian captain and only after it was confirmed that we were Srini's personal guests did he speak to us.

Q: What is this thing about Laxman saying you weren't reachable? Don't you think as the Indian Captain, you should be available to the players?
Dhoni: “Well of course, more often than not, I am always there. Laxman overreacted I feel. For the past year we have played so many matches against Sri Lanka that my wife calls up Mahela Jaywardena when I am not reachable. I spend more time with Sangakara and Mahela than the very special mahila in my life.  So its not only Laxman, its Sita... I mean Sakshi too...” said Dhoni with a sheepish grin.

Q: Some players in the team say you are the great finisher…what you have to say?
Dhoni: Well of course, I love to finish the game myself and don't want to pressurize the tail enders.

Q: No, no we weren't talking about finishing the game… Manoj Tiwary and Ajinkya Rahane feel that you have finished their careers by playing Rohit Sharma instead of them.
Dhoni: Look, Rohit is star material. Look at the way he enters the ground with a swagger. In fact he is like Shah Rukh Khan who charges a lot of money to make 5 minute appearances at weddings and inaugurations etc. Have you seen Rohit make his appearance last more than 5 minutes on the crease? Didn't he steal the thunder from Yuvraj the other day at Yuvraj's comeback match? Rohit survived two deliveries and was not out!

Q: What about Laxman not inviting you for the his private party? We were informed you were quite upset with Laxman leaving you out?
Dhoni: Well of course nothing like that. More often than not whenver I have been invited by overseas captains, it has been miserable. So I am actually happy to not be invited by anybody.

courtesy: indiancelebrity-photos.blogspot.com
Q: This is news to us! Which other captains invited you? Strauss, Ponting? And where were their parties? You must be one of the luckiest Indian captains!
Dhoni: Well of course I was invited. When we played overseas, the opposition captains won the toss and invited us to bat on grassy tops and gave us the thrashing of our lives…

19 Aug 2012

POST # 19: THE WRITING IS ON ‘THE WALL’


Courtesy : www.homeshop18.com

Book: Rahul Dravid TIMELESS STEEL
Published by: ESPN Cricinfo /Disney
Pages: 232
Price: Rs.599/-


Last month, Disney India along with ESPN Cricinfo launched “Timeless Steel” an anthology of articles on India’s former cricketer Rahul Dravid. The book, all of 232 pages has 30 articles by people who came in contact with India’s rock solid, low profile and understated cricketer.

The book contains, like Sambit Bal says in his introduction, “A collection of fresh pieces and once previously published on ESPN Cricinfo and some of its sister publications is an exploration of the cricketer and the man, and it employs a wide range of voices – those of writers, teammates, opponents and even Dravid’s wife."

Courtesy : www.sportzpower.com
Mukul Kesavan describes Rahul’s batting as the opposite of effortless - elaborate, flourishing and effortful. He further goes on to describe how his arabesques resulted in ball dropping at his feet for a single. Suresh Menon describes how talent without hard work withers early and how hard work without talent gets you nowhere. Sambit Bal’s article is an effort to show how greatness can exist outside genius and why V.V.S. Laxman and Mark Waugh fell short of greatness. Interestingly, Sanjay Manjrekar feels that Rahul Dravid can be a more realistic batting model for young Indian batsmen than Tendulkar, Sewag or Laxman as Dravid is the least “gifted” in that list.

Among all the writers in this Book, the former India cricketer Akash Chopra appears to be “the Dravid” of all writers. He writes how Dravid used to crouch a lot more in his stance in his initial days or how his wide backlift also made him a good cutter of the ball. I feel Rahul Dravid would personally like this article by Akash Chopra.

Siddharth Monga throws a spotlight on Dravid as a Captain and how he made team meetings more interesting and how he opened an ODI innings with a spinner. 

John Wright emphasizes the importance of Dravid as a calming influence as he and Ganguly were emotional people

Perhaps one of the better articles in the Book is the one penned by Dravid’s Kent teammate Ed Smith. He gives an insight into Dravid’s “Gentlemanliness”. Jason Glillespie admits he didn’t beat Dravid more than a ball in a row.

Greg Chappell’s article, surprisingly, is non controversial. Though there is no acrimonious harangue against Ganguly but in the end he does take some potshots at Ganguly without taking his name. Greg Chappell explains how Dravid had the ability to interpret his suggestions but at the same time does not glorify the fact that it was his (Chappell's) suggestion and that it worked wonders for Dravid.

Rohit Brijnath’s article is a treat. He tells you how Dravid fell off his bed when he saw him (Brijnath) take some casual swipes with Dravid’s bat and how Dravid was prompt in telling him “don’t ever write about technique”.

Jerrod Kimber tells you how Dravid was instrumental in him getting married and Gideon Haigh tells you how the enfant terrible of cricket Ricky Ponting told Dravid to hang on when he hit a rough patch. Sharda Ugra on Dravid’s 2011 Nottingham innings is brilliant. Sanjay Bangar relives the Headingly moments and Siddharth Monga’s description of the epic Kolkata 2001 match is sheer magic.

What makes the book more interesting are the nuggets mentioned by Suresh Menon as he unearths Dravid’s ability to laugh at himself. Sample this : “people want me to get out quickly so that they can watch Tendulkar bat” and when Dravid was asked if he could make a 300, he replied by saying “that it had to be a 10 day match”. The best part about this book is no writer allows the focus to shift from Dravid.

The book may not excite many but would certainly disappoint none. It perhaps would be made more interesting if there was an article by Saurav Ganguly on his “go to man”. 

Harsha Bhogle is conspicuous by his absence in this book. A book on Dravid without Harsha is like a Yash Chopra musical without  a solo by Lata Mangeshkar. I think in terms of controversies, readers would have loved John Wright or  Siddharth Monga to have thrown more light on the infamous declaration by Dravid with Tendulkar stranded at 194 in Multan.

Inside Cover describes Rahul Dravid’s 180 in the epic Kolkata 2001 test as the 'most famous supporting act' which may make Dravid look like the Reitesh Deshmukh of the Cinema called “Indian Cricket”, and that’s sad.

What leaves the reader shortchanged is the absence of any of Dravid’s ODI innings. Sad for a cricketer who has scored more than 10,000 runs in ODIs for India.

The most hilarious part of the book comes from Dravid’s doctor wife who unwittingly exposes David's diplomatic style when she tells you that once in a phone conversation she told him “Hello I’m your wife. Don’t speak as if this is a press conference”.

What makes this book a collector’s item is the Bradman oration which Dravid recently delivered in Australia which finds a place in this book.

Dravid all his cricketing life played the second fiddle to the other three cricketers from India’s “Fab 4”. On his debut, Dravid scored a 95 only to be out scored by Savrav Ganguly with a 100. In Kolkatta 2001, Dravid scored 180, and V.V. S. Laxman overshadowed him with the 281. In 1999 World Cup when he scored a 145 at Taunton, Ganguly stole the thunder from him with 183.

If tomorrow, Dravid, while coming home, decides to surprise his sons by picking up a game of Chinese Checkers for them, chances are his wife may have already picked up a Sony Playstation for them that day.

By this book, ESPN Cricinfo has ensured that for the first time, no one else except Dravid will hog the limelight. 

29 Apr 2012

POST #18: DUMMY'S GUIDE TO BE A WANNABE IPL 2012 FAN

As I write this piece, IPL 2012 is into the 24th day and the 36th match. Dinners are planned around matches; jersey clad friends get together to cheer their respective teams. Saying "I don't watch IPL" is as outdated as Rameez Raja's hairstyle. After I started this blog, lot of my hardcore cricket loving friends have turned into football lovers and some of them have been moving around with tranquilizer darts to defend themselves from me and cricket. The newly formed Government in Goa has declared Football as the State game. In this background it would only be fair that we enlighten poor misguided souls with this dummy's guide to be a wannabe IPL 2012 fan:

First things first. Do not say anything against Tendulkar. You should also remember that Tendulkar is not the captain of Mumbai Indians, Bhajji is. Even if you feel that Tendulkar has been asked by Nita bhabhi to hand over the captaincy in view of Bhajji winning the Champions League Trophy, then please remain quiet. Sachin will up the ante during the match whereas Bhajji, as pointed out on Twitter, will up the aunty after the match.


If you see a bowler walking up to the bowling mark like the coolies who went to collect their daily wages in the blockbuster "Deewar", then make no mistake, that is Munaf Patel of the Mumbai Indians. It requires only 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown and years back Munaf couldn't identify those 17. After being coached by none other than Jonty Rhodes, Munaf flexed his biceps to compel the umpires to refer a decision against Sangakara upstairs and his behaviour in this IPL has been such that noone misses Sreesanth. Munaf has been paying the price for this – literally. The other day Sehwag asked him how he was and he said "I am fined".

Contrary to rumours, the Volkswagen Vento you see on TV will be awarded to the most valuable player of the year and not for the person who can make Dale Steyn smile. 
 
Brad Hogg and Brad Hodge have not been created as a result of spelling mistakes, but are two different cricketers, both playing for the Rajasthan Royals. 

Courtesy : www.daylife.com
Robin Utthappa of Pune warriors is the only wicketkeeper in the IPL who hides his wicket-keeping pads inside his trousers. Don’t be confused when you see Kumar Sangakara in a similar fashion - it only means he has entrusted his job to Parthiv Patel so that he can be near Daniel Christian when he bowls the last over. 
Ashish Nehra on the other hand makes no effort at concealing his toothy grin. That the Pune Warriors had their teething problems with Nehra against the Royal Challengers, is altogether a different story.
Irfan Pathan and Yousuf Pathan play for Delhi and Kolkata respectively and there isn't a Reliance type situation between the two brothers. There is a third Pathan as well - Asad - who plays for RCB. 

It may be illegal to drink and drive in Pune, but with Jesse Ryder its different. He can drink and cover drive. And his favourite shot is not the tequila. 

Four important winners for Kings XI Punjab are Gilchrist, Shaun Marsh and Preity Zinta's dimples. The person you see running to hug the gorgeous gal when others win matches for Punjab is Piyush Chawla. 

The ammunition which the Kolkata Knight Riders have is amazing - McCullum, Gambhir, Pathan, Bisla, Kallis. The only problem is that this ammunition blows into Shah Rukh Khan's face. 

Its....DIZZA PEE....means Danny Morrison shouting from the commentary box  "the ball has disappeared". And if you have mastered that you must be a fool not to understand that  "Its a Kharrrrrbbbbkhhhmmmmaalcash" means  "Its a Karbon Kamaal Catch" in Danny Morrison’s orgasmic style. 

"Free Hit" refers to an extra delivery the batsman gets after the bowler bowls a 'no ball’ and has nothing to do with Shah Rukh Khan slapping Shirish Kunder.

Chris Gayle's six broke the nose of a young spectator in the stand. That does not mean Gayle will do a "nose job" on his fellow teammate Cheteshwar Pujara which is long overdue.

The midwicket stand is the most dangerous place to sit for a spectator when Suresh Raina bats. If Sehwag is batting, then no place in the stadium is safe.

DLF Maximum is a term used in IPL for every six that is hit and the IPL sponsors DLF love it when Piyush Chawla bowls. Spectators are requested to carry their own helmets in the stadium when Piyush Chawla bowls as the ball is likely to land in the stands most of the times. For the same reason its dangerous to park your cars in the stadium parking lot. For the same reason, Chawla and Nehra are likely to be named as brand ambassadors for DLF. 

Any ongoing cricket match is a disturbance between the two Strategic time outs for the people sitting in the VIP lounges.

Keep watching this space for more!

25 Mar 2012

POST #17 : WHAT EXACTLY IS GREG CHAPPELL SUFFERING FROM?


Courtsey : http://images.idiva.com
Greg Chappell, the former Australian player and former team India coach needed attention; but this time not of the medical kind. This time, he wanted to market his book  'Fierce Focus'.  Chappell knew that his  book would have less takers than Google Plus (+). His marketing tactic, therefore, was a tirade against Indian Culture and Cricket.

 
To put things in the right perspective, Greg Chappell gave an instance of the infamous 'underarm delivery' which he asked his brother Trevor Chappell to bowl in 1981 to rob New Zealand of what could have been a sensational last ball victory. He said he was the true exponent of Australian culture - cheat, deceive, chuck cricketing spirit in the nearest drain - but do not allow the opponent to win! He said that any Indian in his place would be stupid enough to bowl a fair delivery and  that is what he means by 'not taking responsibility'! He further advocated his point by saying that the incident of Javed Miandad raising his bat on Dennis Lillee after Lillee kicked Miandad, showed what he meant by aggressive cricket.

Chappell, in the recent past, has demonstrated this kind of behaviour when he runs out of his Foster’s, when his psychiatrist is on a sabbatical,  when he exhausts his antipsychotic pills,  when he sees the Indian tricolour or the BCCI logo, or simply a photograph of  Saurav Ganguly smashing through the off side.  During this phase he has called Ganguly, a 'panicker' and Sachin, 'mentally fragile'.


Courtsey: bleacherreport.net



The Global Council of Psychiatrists (the cricketing chapter) has recognised this disease* as Paranoid Schizophrenia 'INDIANA' in which the subject shows great hostility to anything good that happens to the Indian Cricket team . Here's how the disease profile looks:

*Courtesy: Insanity and its Manifestations, (with a special reference to Cricket)
A Text-book by Mr. M.A.D. Shrink, 509th Edition
 
- The Munnabhai MBBS University of Distance Education.


Courtsey: www.idiva.com

Name of the disease: Paranoid Schizophrenia 'Indiana'

Incidence:  #Greater in certain pockets of Australia, also Rawalpindi in  Pakistan
# Higher incidence especially among those who have been associated with Indian cricket as opponents, failed Indian coaches,etc.
#Greater incidence of the disease is reported in post  cricket matches, wherein India emerges victorious
#Peak incidence seen in the immediate period post-Sachin's centuries and Indian victories in major tournaments.

Risk factors: Sublime form of the Indian cricket team (most important). An acute exacerbation may be precipitated while being interviewed by the media. Failure in past-life as an Indian coach and the low self esteem arising out of a recent rejection  by Cricket Australia may make the subject upto 5 times more susceptible.

Symptoms: 
a) A psychosomatic perception of an abdominal colic (sometimes accompanied by a generalised burning sensation and pale face)  on seeing Indian players perform well in cricket tournaments.   A pseudo-sense of painful anal obstruction following the purple patch of senior players and especially  after Sachin Tendulkar's centuries.

b) Homicidal tendency reported towards the replacing object such as the next coach of Team India. (Gary Kirsten)

c) Symptoms of mood disturbance, volatility of emotions (mostly seen when  India is on the brink of a famous victory or when Tendulkar is in  90s)

d) Flight of ideas, loosening of association, incoherence of speech, irrelevant talk such as mixing leadership issues with Indian culture.

e) Hallucinations:   
1. auditory: eg "Shame on you,Chap!" (often followed by a roaring laughter) 
2. visual: Imagines being stripped on a cricket ground, finds his face painted black in the mirror reflection, images of BCCI officials all around.

 f) Feeling of worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness compensated in 99.99% of the cases by a  baseless accusation or degradation/defamation of the opponent or their skills

 g) Eliminating all possible evidence of self-failure and that of grandeur of the inciting object- eg. tearing of newspapers carrying pictures of the victorious Indian team, Sachin Tendulkar, etc.

 h) A violent hysterical outburst on seeing objects such as the Indian tricolour, on hearing the Indian national anthem etc.

Duration of illness: An acute attack may be controlled with the help of specially formulated antipsychotic drugs. However, the disease exhibits 'iceberg phenomenon', and as such may exist in a subclinical or a chronic form in between the periods of the exacerbation. 
A below-the-mark performance of the Indian team, failure of the senior Indian cricketers, retirement of legends like Ganguly, Dravid, often serve as relieving factors and are known to contribute in the well being of the seriously affected patient.

Complications: Depression, insomnia, excessive talking, lack of appetite, temporary blinding immediately after an Indian victory in a cricket match, desperation and writing autobiographies.

Treatment: A) Preventive measures : 
# Removal of any colour combination which resembles the Indian tricolour from the patient's room  
# Ensuring that no person with name 'Sachin' visits the patient
# Strict ban on media interactions in any form
# Avoiding Bengali food. Hilsa fish a strict no-no
# Destroying all Saurav Ganguly photographs

B) Curative measures- Drug Treatment with Antipsychotics:  1.Tab. Muhkaalazine 13mg thrice a day  
2.Tab.Egobustol
  500mg daily with breakfast  and 5 tablets STAT to terminate an acute attack. (Note: 5 times higher dose may be required on the day after India win a cricket match).

Prognosis:
 Poor. May be improved with active rehabilitation of the patient, or by 'occupational therapy'- for example, by re-appointing the patient as the Team India coach.





5 Mar 2012

POST # 16 :HOW SLOW IS SACHIN TENDULKAR?

Dhoni calling Sachin and Sehwag, "slow" in the field hasn't gone down well with Sehwag. Sehwag is not the only person who is livid. There has been tremendous criticism around the world against Dhoni. 

In India, Venkatesh Prasad, who has been an inspiration for developing ultra slow motion technology has been in dissentful disagreement with Dhoni.  Prasad, in an elaborate and slow explanation (as if to drive home the point) emphasizes that Sachin does not possess any of his own characteristics, and as such he just can't be slow. Anti-speed demons like Madan Lal and Mohinder Amarnath have also rubbished Dhoni's statement. 

FOVK , a club with membership of 6 people, including family, coach and friends of Vinay Kumar (no prizes for guessing the expansion of the acronym) have alleged foul play in branding Sachin “slow” as their idol Vinay Kumar has toiled hard to snatch the "slow' tag from the likes of Irfan and Munaf. 

In a press note released the club members have stated that there cannot be anyone slower in the field than Vinay Kumar. As an illustration, they demonstrated that the Vinay Kumar delivery reaches the batsman long after he completes his follow through. As empirical evidence they reiterated the fact that Vinay Kumar played both games in which Dhoni was handed a one match for the slow over rate.

Sanjay Manjrekar, perhaps the greatest cricketer after Sir Don Bradman, (now a  commentator), and perhaps the slowest living being to have moved between the wickets ever, also dismissed Dhoni's claims at a recently held press conference. Details however are not known as no one turned up at the said press conference. The media representatives reasoned with us by saying that least when Manjrekar is on Television, one can use the mute button.
Picture courtesy: topnews.in

Steve Bucknor, the former West Indian umpire, has alleged conspiracy in this whole issue of calling Sachin slow. According to him team India is trying to get back at him for those horrendous decisions given by him against them. He said that he was the rightful owner of the “slow death” tag for in the time he took to raise his finger, Ram Gopal Verma used to complete a film and announce another.

Prof. Dhoni, on the other hand has claimed to have based his allegation on some deep research and has stood by his reasoning despite the criticism. His reasoning is:

1. Suresh Kalmadi has been in and out  of Jail and Sachin still remains on 99. In the meanwhile, even Ashwin has scored an international hundred.

2. Sachin hasn't even been able to score a century at Lord's for all these years. What is significant is that even a batsman like Agarkar has one at the Lord's. What's the point in scoring 99 centuries when you can't score one in the Mecca of cricket?

3. Sachin has scored 204 runs in only 2 one day internationals he played in 2010. In one innings he scored 4 and in the other, he scored.......never mind...let's go to the 4th point.

4. Joginder Sharma has played more international T20s than Sachin. Joginder has played 4 International T20s and Sachin has played only one. Moral of the story: Sachin is slower than Joginder. 

5. Even off the pitch, Sachin has been slow in reacting to digs against him by cricketing giants like Manjrekar. He hasn’t even reacted to charges of ball tampering till now.

6. Sachin is stuck with just cricket whereas legends like Atul Wassan  and Maninder Singh haved moved on to commentary, umpiring etc.

This information was leaked to us by the young cricketers in the team, initially on the condition of anonymity. Later on, they called us to say that they had dropped the condition. "In any case even if Duncan finds out, it really doesn't matter...he doesn't even know our names.” said the young Indian cricketers.

19 Feb 2012

POST #15 : 2G and Cricket

The Adelaide Oval was supposed to be an ideal venue for team India to salvage some pride as it is known to be the most batsmen friendly pitch in Australia. And batsmen friendly it  was. Ponting and Clarke hammered double centuries and the Indian team looked like the 2G operators after their licences got canclled by the Supreme Court Judgment.

THE TWO  2Gs
If cancellation of 2G licences made headlines in India, the other 2G , Gautam Gambhir didn't have a clue where the ball flew after hitting the gloves, knuckles, handle,  and everything except the bat. His  bewildered look which involved fixing his gaze at one spot on the wicket  (as if to show there was an awkward bounce) was the finest piece of acting one could ever see. The videos of  the Gambhir expression  are going viral at the  acting schools in India, and other places.Now only if Karnataka ministers were watching these videos then there would be far less trouble.
Gambhir has around 2,25,000 followers on twitter but follows only around 12 and in his spare time, follows the ball outside the off stump.

THE AUCTIONS: 2G and the IPL

 Going by the  Supreme court judgment, the 2G auctions now look a reality , but  the IPL auctions took the centrestage with Ravinder Jadeja getting the highest bid, bought by CSK and the 2011 World cup sensation  Irishman Kevin O'brien going unsold.

The other person who hit the jackpot was  Ritesh Deshmukh who got married to Genelia D'souza. Not used to the solo hero films for a long time, Ritesh had to be reminded that he was the only leading man at the wedding and there was no need to wait for the main lead ,thereby  resulting in a slight delay.
The way things are going , people feel even Uday Chopra may strike  gold by getting a movie opposite Aishwarya Rai or for that matter get a movie in the first place.

PERFORMANCE AND RETIREMENT

Speaking of the 2G, the  Supreme Cout Judge, Justice Ganguly delivered the judgment and retired, unlike the aging Indian cricketers who neither deliver nor retire. Sachin, it seems,  has decided to retire only after Karunanidhi retires from politics which means  Sachin is likely to open the innings with his son Arjun in the World Cups post  2019.

 There has been a lot of talk about what has been India's undoing in Australia. A lady claiming to be a numerologist to many a star, attributed it to the  letter "P"   But when she was reminded  that only Ponting has a "P" in his name,and  not Michael Clarke, she looked at me just like Genelia's folks must have looked at her after she announced her plans to marry Ritesh Deshmukh. We also asked her if she was the person who advised CSK to buy Ravinder Jadeja.

Courtesy : news.com.au

 "Look, nicknames of both, Ponting and Clarke are  "Punter" and  "Pup" respectively...so all players with nicknames starting with "P" do well.  In fact Duncan should have nicknames starting with "P" for all the top Indian  batsmen like Ashwin etc.", she said.  She wisely didn't say  that it was her numerology that has helped stars like Bobby Deol and Harman Baweja.

Sachin showed why he is a great animal lover by offering his wicket, first to "Pup" and then "Lyon'.in the series.

Sources inform us that Vinay Kumar had once applied for a job at a pizza outlet as a delivery boy. He was rejected on two counts; he was slow and he couldn't deliver.

Umesh Yadav clocked his fastest delivery at 151 odd kmph. Vinay kumar also clocked 151kmph but only when the ball left the batsman's bat and crashed into the boundary.

Pakistan were all out for 99 in the test match against England. Now they  know what it feels to be like Sachin Tendulkar.

An insurance commercial made by some insensitive people is making a capital out of Yuvraj Singh's ailment. Sick. How we wish we could ask these people, to grow their nails,  make them bat barefoot, and ask Malinga to bowl those toe crushing yorkers at them.

We are pretty sure Yuvraj will treat this ailment just like he treated Stuart Broad's bowling in 2007 T20 World Cup- and send it out of the park.

There was a sudden rise in the viewership of channels telecasting matches with Hindi commentary. Inquiries revealed that the phenomenon occured whenever Sanjay Manjrekar entered the english commentary box and viewers were compelled to switch to a hindi  channel..

The Triangular series in Australia called the Commonwealth Bank Series. Kalmadi promptly clarified that he had nothing to do with it.
Courtesy : deshvidesh.com

Rohan Gavaskar announced his retirement from competitve cricket and everyone remembered that Rohan was still playing. Sunny bhai remembered that  he has a son called Rohan.

Angelo Matthews almost snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat against Australia. Despite his heroics, Channel 9 awarded the man-of the-match to Michael Clarke. If there was  a match between Bangladesh and Canada, Channel 9 would still adjudge an Australian as the man-of-the-match
India's performance in Test series in Australia meant anything other than cricket looked good on TV including the Harpic ads which appear  mostly when you have dinner

The Perth test was like Harman Baweja starrer "Victory".    It just lasted 3 days.

The new rotation policy has come and its only for the players and not the sponsors, which meant Sahara is back after snapping off the ties with BCCI.

Dinesh Karthik will be playing for the Mumbai Indians this IPL. There were some reports that some elements would not allow an "outsider" in the Mumbai Indians team. Karthik cleverly didn't arrive in Mumbai by train and as such, was neither stopped nor sent back.

The BORDER -GAVASKAR trophy was likely to be named as BORDER - PRABHAKAR trophy, considering the abysmal performance of team India in Australia. But the section of Mumbai fans opposed this and said that Gavaskar has to be replaced by a Mumbaite and not an outsider, and its likely that Prabhakar's name will be replaced by another Mumbaite. Agarkar.

www.thegoanpatiala.blogspot.com

23 Jan 2012

POST # 14 : AGNEE PERTH

Courtesy : http://cricketnext.in.com
Ahead of the Perth test, Rahul Dravid said "we are looking for inspiration". During the Perth test he was looking for his stumps which were getting rattled as frequently as Ajit Singh has changed Political Parties. If “the wall” doesn't plug the gaps in his defence, the day will not be far when the likes of Wasim Jaffer and Abhinav Mukund may start calling him "The hole". That the Indians are burning a hole in the pockets of Cricket Australia by ending all test matches in 4 days is altogether a different story. We have information that Cricket Australia is not stocking any 5th day tickets in the Adelaide test to at least cut the printing expenses.

If the Indians made their first innings look like a one-day international, David Warner made his look like a T20 innings. A century on the first day and that too in 69 balls made the Indian team as clueless as Munaf Patel would be in an astrophysics class. Warner lifted the Indian bowlers just like Anu Malik lifted tunes in the ’90s and like Anu Malik's music, the sounds of bat hitting the ball was certainly not music to the ears of Indian players. Indians prayed that if Friday the 13th was not unlucky for Warner at least Saturday the 14th would. But Warner was relentless and butchered the Indian attack. Its really difficult to  call it an attack when R. Vinay Kumar is your bowler but then, don't the Aussies call Lyon a spinner?

But one guy who bowled his heart out was Umesh Yadav. He was quick and bagged a fiver. Regardless of whether Ponting is in form or not, it does warm the cockles of your hearts to see Ponting's stumps do a cartwheel. Faced with a substantial lead, both Gambhir and Dravid lived up to the expectations of their fans by nicking and getting bowled respectively. Sehwag still bats as if he hasn't gotten over the Indore hangover.

Sachin missed yet another opportunity to score his 100th international hundred. This has prompted the shopkeepers of  "Buy anything for Rs.99/-" shops to use Sachin posters to promote sales.

With VVS going for a blob, it was left to Virat Kohli to stop the fall of wickets and he did by scoring a gutsy half century which meant that Virat, for a change, showed his bat and not the finger to the Australian crowd.

Courtesy : http://reviews.in.88db.com
Dhoni has lost his touch so badly, even his iPhone 4S refused to respond to his touch  when he wanted to call up  Srinivasan of CSK, but help came in form of Virat Kohli once again who used his middle finger, this time to dial the number. Elated Dhoni said he had never seen a player who could put his finger to so many uses. Despite the media, former players and critics breathing down her husband's neck, Mrs. Dhoni went ahead and got  "MAHI" tattooed on her own, along with his lucky number – seven. An elegant choice considering the Perth test was the 7th consecutive test match lost overseas.

With Australia taking an unassailable lead of 3-0, the Indian critics and experts are coming down heavily on Dhon i& Co. Incidentally, there are more critics and experts in India than "Being Human” t-shirts.

Speaking of experts, there is a remarkably hilarious show airing on one TV channel. At first glance, it looks like a normal post match analysis show. You want to know what's funny about it? Well, the experts on the panel are Vinod Kambli and Saba Karim.

16 Jan 2012

POST # 13 : THE SYDNEY OPERA


The century of international centuries waited for Tendulkar at the Sydney Cricket Grounds (SCG) where India was supposed to avenge the Melbourne defeat. After all, Tendulkar himself had said that the SCG was his favourite ground away from home. This test was also the 100th test between both the countries and Zaheer, Yadav, Ishant and Ashwin celebrated the occasion by conceding more than 100 runs each in the 2nd innings.


Courtesy : www.thatscricket.com
Gambhir was out cheaply. After Gambhir’s concussion after the fall while going for the catch off Pieterson in England, he is not the same person on and off the field. We were informed that the resulting blurred vision was creating a big problem for him and he was not able to recognize people in the dressing room, in the streets and almost everywhere. He confuses the senior members of the team with coach Duncan Fletcher, as they are almost the same age now. The last time the West Indian Team was touring India, the problem was so bad that he mistook Kangana Ranaut for Michael Holding.

Virender Sehwag's abysmal performance with the bat was a cause of concern, for which Fletcher decided to rekindle his form by showing him some old footage of his previous tours of Australia, but Viru being Viru concentrated on the part of the video focusing on the thick mop of hair he had then. This ultimately aggravated things for India, with his getting out just as he was looking good. Viru has been inspired by the video, however, and it will be used at his next hair transplant. Sachin dragged his 100th century further by dragging a Pattinson delivery on to his stumps. It looks like Afridi has got some prophetic powers, for he was the one who said that "Sachin's century will have to wait" just before the World Cup 2011 match against Pakistan. Now only if  miya Afridi could tell us when Sachin will score his 100th International 100 and while he’s at it, he could also tell us when baby Bachchan will get a name, and when Arjun Rampal would start acting. In return we promise that we will not laugh at his English at the next post match presentation party.

Rahul Dravid showed tremendous improvement in his batting by not getting bowled this time, thus silencing his critics that he had chinks in his defence after having been bowled three out of four times in this series.
 Zaheer, Ishant and Umesh got out on ducks as they thought that it was better if they could get Australia in to bat while the wicket still had some sting in it. Team India took it upon themselves to aggravate the miseries of Cricket Australia who were waiting to drop Ponting and Hussey by allowing Ponting and Hussey to  regain  their form. Clarke's 329 not out meant that Indians got out in the pavilion itself in the 4th innings.
 
Ashwin batted well though, and looked good enough to replace Laxman, whose  "vanvaas" from the team looked more imminent until he scored a half century in the 4th innings and his "maryada purushottam" elder brother Dravid kept getting foxed by Ravan Hilfenhaus and his gang. 
After the humiliating defeat Dhoni looked as cool as Munaf Patel would when asked to calculate the asking rate. Dhoni opined that, “…the team was improving by the day. In the 1st match we could not manage to score 400 runs in an innings and  we  managed to do it here. Its  a psychological victory over Clarke who managed only 329 as  opposed to our score of 400 in 2nd innings. If we were to play a 10 match test series, we would definitely draw the last match."

Courtesy : www.webmallindia.com
Ever the optimist, Dhoni continued: “Even though Gambhir mistakenly said "Hi Mr. Holding" again today, this time it turned out to be Mugdha Godse, thus showing remarkable improvement in his vision. Mughda  was quite flattered. Also, these matches getting over in 4 days has helped the team to be a cohesive unit" , said he, dismissing the claims of a rift in the team. He said the extra day was spent in some team bonding exercises where Gambhir and Sehwag went to deliver a DVD of the Hindi version of the flick "Dunston Checks In" to Andrew Symonds sent specially by Bhajji as a goodwill gesture. Apparently Symonds is trying to learn Hindi as it is going to help him understand the Mumbai Indians think tank better. Viru told him the Hindi version is titled "Ek bandar hotel ke andar" and went to translate it but timely intervention in form of an elbow nudge by Gambhir prevented the Indian opening pair getting socked by the burly Australian. In retrospect, Dhoni felt that perhaps Gambhir need not have been so concerned, going by their unimpressive opening performances in the test series so far.
 
Dhoni rubbished my suggestion that Ishant does not use his height to get that extra bounce. “Ishant's height  is  an asset to the team. The last time the light bulbs in the high ceiling hotel room fused we didn't have to call the electrician or send for the ladder. And when we travel, who do you think puts the cabin luggage in the overhead compartments?"

12 Jan 2012

POST # 12::BHAJJI' S DAY OUT



The way India succumbed in the Sydney Test made everyone remember
Harbhajan Singh.


courtesy : sportydesktops.com
"What if Bhajji was there... would Clarke have managed to score a triple ton?”
"Would he have allowed Ponting and Hussey to regain their form?
Would he have been as aggressive as before, now that he has lost his "doosra" and  that Symonds has lost his place in the team?”

And most importantly, where was he?

All these questions made us head straight to Mohali.

Finding Bhajji amongst the other Turbanators in the nets, was like finding an English speaking player in the Pakistan cricket team. Finally we zeroed down to the nets, where we heard the resounding thuds of the ball finding the sweet spot of the bat. "Harbhajan must be bowling there" I said to myself. After the exchange of pleasantries I asked Bhajji if I could get some juicy insights into his daily schedule so that we could publish it here. After some heated negotiations (involving, at some stage, requests for complimentary passes for next year’s "Sunburn festival" in Goa) Bhajji agreed to share an account of one day in his life for an undisclosed sum. The sum is undisclosed on Bhajji's request but we can inform you that it is anywhere between Gautam Gambhir's test average on the recent Australian tour and Munaf Patel's IQ. 

6 am:   Woke up early morning after a nightmare. Dreamt of Kevin Pieterson hitting me out of the park again and again. My bowling figures read 10-0-100-0. While taking the cap from the umpire, I see Sachin giving me an envious look for the 100 against my name. It starts raining. I start running towards the pavilion, more with the fear of getting hit than getting wet...KP runs after me...I keep running...the pavilion seems miles away, the rain is pelting down... I am completely wet...and I wake up...Phew!! No rain, no match and better still no Kevin Pieterson...and it was the sweat that drenched me. 

7 am: I reach the Mohali Grounds. I meet my coach Arora, who takes me to the nets. He tells me not to get affected by what media is saying about my form. He says, "The key to success is to keep your mouth shut and let your game do the talking. When you open your mouth, you don't perform." 

8 am: I start bowling and get hit by these new Ranji players. This younger generation has no respect for age, experience, or stature of a senior player. "Turn the ball, Bhajji!" says my coach. "I can't" I reply. How can I? The only things I've turned over the last few months are the parathas on the tawa at home! One Under-19 Cricketer walks up to me and with a smirk tells me "paaji ab carrom ball chalta hai, doosra nahi". No respect for the senior members. I couldn't imagine talking to Bishen Singh Bedi like this in my younger days, even if I'd understood what he was saying. 

11 am: The carrom ball thing gets stuck in my mind and I slowly sneak into the Indoor gymkhana and play some carrom.  Maybe I should change with times if I want to make a comeback by displacing Ashwin. I don't want to lose my place in the team, I don't want to be an umpire, then a commentator and later end up hurting myself breaking window panes – in other words, I don't want to be a Maninder Singh. I just can't seem to pocket the coins. A decade back, I was pocketing Australian wickets. Cricket is a great leveler they say. 

1.30 pm: I am off for lunch at the players' enclosure. My favourite Maa-ki dal  and Sarson da saag is on today's menu. I order for more Maa-ki dal  and the waiter unfortunately hears only the first part and the atmosphere gets vitiated as all waiters are up in arms against me. I had forgotten that "maa-ki' is  a bad word everywhere except  Australia.  My coach tries to diffuse the situation and asks me to keep my mouth shut. as a result of which I can't eat further. I don't even ask for more makki di roti  to avoid further misunderstanding. 

2.30 pm: I get a phone call from my "just good friend" Geeta Basra. She  says we have to attend a film function. Good thing about these filmy people is that no one asks me about my lost form. Some don't even know I play for India. They think all India players play for the Kolkata Knight Riders. On the other hand the watchman at Mukeshbhai's Antillia mansion refused to recognize me when I was thrown out of the team. The same watchman had got his and his family's photos clicked with me when Mumbai Indians won CLT T20 trophy. How people change in your tough times. 

3.30: I am hurt by India's loss in Australia though my chances of coming back in the team look brighter. Today I heard some kids say that if I were there in Sydney Test then Clarke would have completed his 400 in lesser time. It hurt.  More than me Dada (Saurav Ganguly) must be more hurt looking at the debacle through the commentators' box. Today he called me up and I was emotional. He asked me to continue my net practice but emphasized that I should concentrate on batting as there are more chances of me replacing Laxman and Kohli than replacing Ashwin. 

5.00 pm: I am inaugurating “Maninder Tyre Shop” specializing in mending punctured tyres. The local media hound me and ask me if  Virat Kohli was justified in showing the finger to the crowd. I tell them apart from Kohli's finger nothing has stood up for the
Indian team in Australia. From the corner of my eye I can see my coach
signaling me to keep my mouth shut, but I am confident of handling the media well. Then someone questions me about the delay in Sachin's 100th International century and I say that he should get the monkey off his back. Oops. 


6.30 pm: Visited my family doctor on account of the terrible dreams I get every night of batsmen hitting me out of the park. Last night it was KP, Sometimes its Andrew Strauss and sometimes its Jonathan Trott. On bad days, my dreams feature Marcus Trescothik and Shivnaraine Chanderpaul. The doc asked me to watch "Singh is King" as a confidence builder but how to tell him that Katrina aggravates my situation and I have lapses in concentration when I bowl? 

8.30: I am back at Mohali grounds for an ad shoot. I’m supposed to bowl the batsman with a classic off spinner's delivery and punch my fist through the air. The ball just refuses to turn. Finally the ball is bowled by a young Ranji probable who bowls "the one that comes in". I get to punch through the air, though. I am determined to make it large. 

courtesy :  Indiatimes,com
9.30 pm: Off to bed early. Lot of things cross my mind. What's the big deal about losing the "doosra"? I have Geeta Basra. I don't believe the coach when he tells me to keep my mouth shut. Umesh Yadav keeps his mouth open all the time and yet he performs so well. I thank my stars I am not in Australia with Australian batsmen milking the Indian bowlers. As I am falling asleep I hope I don't get dreams of bowling to Michael Clarke inching towards his 400.