End of an Era

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  • Rahul Dravid is the first batsmen who has registered a score of century in all test playing nations.
  • He has played 93 consecutive five day test matches for India
  • The first player to score 10000-run at No.3 position
  • Rahul Dravid has a record of most number of catches in Test Cricket.
  • His highest knock of 270 runs is the longest innings played by an Indian batsmen in terms of minutes.
  • He holds a record for not being dismissed on a duck for 120 innings consecutive one-day matches.
  • He is only the second non-English cricketer to have hit 3 or more centuries in a two different test series in England, the other being Sir Donald Bradman.

Now if some player  has so many achievements on his CV then he ought to be the most famous personality of his national team. But for Rahul Dravid it wasn’t so. Playing alongside some of the finest strokemakers like Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman has its own disadvantages.

I started following cricket since ’97-’98 and the first player that I started admiring was Sachin Tendulkar and the Second was none other than Rahul Dravid. No matter he would go for any shots but he was the person who always held the innings together for the Indian cricket team.

Playing in an era when everyone gave too much importance to strokemakers, rules were changed to make the game more suited for dynamic batting; very few gave chance to Rahul Dravid to survive in the limited overs game. But the silent guy that he is, always proved everyone wrong with his bat. The turning point being the ’99 World Cup where he came out as the top scorer. After that he was the backbone of the Indian batting lineup.

The qualities that made him unique were temperament, determination, dedication and his patience. Such was his dedication for his team that he even started to keep wickets for the balance of the team. Changing his batting position whenever the team needed. Such was his patience that bowlers would drift away from their line and length but he wouldn’t fell to the temptation for hitting the good delivery. But at the same time he would let any bad delivery get away.

Surely the world of cricket will miss one great player and the Indian team will find it difficult to find another player of his caliber.

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The world at their feet

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After 28 years creating renaissance in cricketing world by defeating the ‘unbeatable’ looking West Indies,  India again won the World Cup becoming only third nation to have won the tournament more than once. West Indies and Australia being the other two. Most notably Both the times India have won ending the World Cup winning streak of these two teams.

With Australia loosing too many tournaments in the past few months they weren’t really the out and out favorites like they were in previous two editions. (In 1999 South Africa were the favorites.)  South Africa had probably the best balanced side on the paper for the second time after 1999 but their choking history was standing against them. India and Sri Lanka had a really strong teams but home pressure was a factor going against them. So there was no clear favorite in this tournament. And that also showed on field as the tournament finally got a final that was interesting to watch.

When the tournament started India were rusty in their bowling and were putting a lot of pressure on the strong batting line-up. A tie to England that lost 6-1 to Australia just prior to the tournament created some doubts in many fans minds. The scraping wins against minnows Ireland and Netherlands didn’t help in clearing those doubts and the loss to South Africa just increased that doubt manifold. But those group stage fears were dusted by the Indian team by some convincing display in the knockout phase. The best thing in these matches was the fielding of the side that was always criticised. The highlight of the final was a 38 year old Tendulkar diving to stop a boundary. Just heartwarming for any Indian cricket fan.

On the other hand Sri-Lanka had entered into the finals with authority. The loss to Pakistan being the only blip on the radar. The washed out match against Australia was also not out of their hands and according to me they were in really good position to end the Australia’s unbeaten run in World Cup before Pakistan did it later in the group stage. But just when the final hurdle was in their sight something started going wrong for them. Murli and Matthews weren’t fit They got cover for them but once the winning combination gets altered it gets tough to get the right combination. But still having said that they had done everything right for almost 45% part of the game.

And finally the celebrations started and the whole nation refuse to go to sleep on the night of the first saturday of April. The roads of Mumbai and its suburbs which were quiet for whole day came alive with youngsters dancing, singing, drinking and shouting out patriotic slogans like ‘Bharat mata ki jai’. Some of the celebration, though, I think was not in the good spirit. Some youngsters tried to do a wild stunts on bikes putting risk to their as well as others life, some shouting obscenities at the Sri Lankan team which had played a nice match giving run for money to their team and also obscenities at some tourists if they spot one.

Watching those celebrations also forced my mind to go back 4 years. At that time India was out of World Cup in the group stage itself and people even carried out the last rites of some players.

The best quote came from a friend, ” I haven’t seen these many Indian flags even on our Independence day or Republic day rallies”. A sport can truly evoke more patriotism than many other occasions. 🙂

Cricket Crazy Nation

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Everyone knows how cricket crazy Indians are but to what extent can this go up to?

Just one encounter to judge this fact. Just after India won 2nd ODI of the just concluded India-South Africa series by just 1 run from a losing position, I was gossiping with my friends about it while we were walking down a road. Suddenly a man stopped me and just said, “mala kay vatata ki te makar sankrant hoti mhanun match aaplyala jinku dili nahitar aapan naste jnklo.” (I think the match was fixed on our favour just because the match was on the eve of Indian festival Makar Sankrant)

My only reaction was 😀 😀 LOL 😀 😀

England are T20 champions

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Congrats England for winning the T20 World Cup emphatically. Even though Australia were the best team throughout the tournament they were second best to England in the final. They were beaten fair and square by their Ashes rival in all departments of the game.

The bowlers were excellent to restrict the Aussies to a low score of 148. Maybe the Aussies missed the trick by not sending Mike Hussey up the order as he was the batsman in form. Atleast thats what most people had been saying. But I can understand Michael Clarke’s problem as he couldn’t have send any other batsman up the order due to class of every batsman of their lineup. The English bowlers were nicely complemented by the English batsmen as they chased down the total against the famed Aussie bowling lineup, which had tormented every team in the first 5 matches, with 3 overs to spare. Surprisingly for the Aussies their bowlers were taken to the cleaners in the semi as well as the final. You won’t like that to happen to your team in any condition. Fielding was also great with Collingwood leading by taking a superb catch of his opposite number.

The Indian Connection

Noticing a bizarre pattern the team that had defeated Indians in any edition of the World T20 haven’t won the tournament (in that edition) as of yet 🙂

In the first edition New Zealand defeated India, they could not manage to go past semi finals. In the second edition, West Indies, England and South Africa defeated India, England’s march was halted in the Super Eight itself while West Indies and South Africa were shown the door in the semi finals. Now in this edition, Australia, West Indies and Sri Lanka made light work of India but no one still winning the cup. Aussies falling at the final hurdle, Windies couldn’t make it to the semis while the Lankans fell to the Champions in the semis.

So in the next edition, don’t defeat India and brighten your chances of winning the tournament 😀 😛

Nothing to post

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These days I am more surprised with myself. As normally I would have written about the topics I have skipped them this time. Also my frequency of posting has dipped nowadays. Not that love for blogging has dipped but still I found myself not posting more often.

As the regular by-passers(off course readers I mean) of this blog would have noted I normally post about sports especially cricket and though so much happened in the cricket world in the past month still no posts from me 😯 . The IPL happened, a controversy took place around the IPL, Sachin had his birthday (and I didn’t even wished him here sorry Sachin. But better late than never happy belated birthday and thanks for entertaining us for so many years. Hope you will win world cup for India next year) and still no posts from me. Even in other sports there was a lot of activities EPL is at the business end as well as Champions League. India getting a tough draw in Asia Cup 2011. Saina consistently reaching semis and quarters of various tournaments. Anand fighting against Topalov. And above all a sporting marriage (really?) of Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik.

Most surprisingly for me I am finding myself a little loss of words or creativity to come with posts with regularity. So looking for some creative ideas to post. Do you have any? (Oh my! this has been one of the most creative post of mine 😉 )

Incredible Hulk

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Sachin - The Incredible Hulk

This is the post that I was writing when Sachin scored the first 200 in the history of ODI but somehow I didn’t complete it and am posting it now.

He is very small when compared to Hulk in respect to his size but when it comes to scoring runs he matches Hulk’s size. Well if you haven’t seen him batting you only have to look at his records.

Batting and fielding averages

Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 166 271 29 13447 248* 55.56 47 54 55 104 0
ODIs 441 430 40 17398 186* 44.61 20254 85.89 45 93 1902 182 134 0
T20Is 1 1 0 10 10 10.00 12 83.33 0 0 2 0 1 0
First-class 268 422 45 22336 248* 59.24 74 100 172 0
List A 528 515 54 20950 186* 45.44 56 111 169 0
Twenty20 25 25 3 750 69 34.09 599 125.20 0 5 95 17 14 0
Bowling averages
Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10
Tests 166 130 3994 2299 44 3/10 3/14 52.25 3.45 90.7 0 0 0
ODIs 441 267 8020 6817 154 5/32 5/32 44.26 5.10 52.0 4 2 0
T20Is 1 1 15 12 1 1/12 1/12 12.00 4.80 15.0 0 0 0
First-class 268 7359 4191 69 3/10 60.73 3.41 106.6 0 0
List A 528 10196 8445 201 5/32 5/32 42.01 4.96 50.7 4 2 0
Twenty20 25 8 93 123 2 1/12 1/12 61.50 7.93 46.5 0 0 0

The figures are also before the 200 he scored. Its a real wonder how he manages to score so many runs even at the age when others thinks about hanging up their boots. Maybe he always is motivated by the will to win the ODI world cup the only missing trophy in his trophy cabinet.

A Salute to a great sportsman

Whats this controversy

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Well many have written about this issue but I am writing it now as I hardly found time to visit my blog these days due to my college and project work. OK moving on to the subject this is about the BCCI v/s ICC (again!!! ) due to the WADA’s anti-doping code. The ICC wanting all its member countries to sign the WADA’s anti-doping code as ithas its ambition to get included in the olympic games and the Indian players objecting to the whereabout clause citing privacy and security issues.

Actually it has been many days since when this issue started and lot has been came in front in the media. A lot of views has been aired on this issues. Many other sportspersons trying to persuade the cricketers to sign the contract because they think that they owe this to the game. Its their duty to keep the game clean and the doubts about their security are not reasonable as their data is being handled only by the concerned official of WADA. While there also had been some who supported the cricketers supporting their arguments.

I think the ICC, BCCI and Indian cricketers had goofed it up all. The Indian players had the problem from the beginning. So they and the BCCI should have communicated this problem to the ICC before the deadline so that the ICC could have arranged a meeting with the BCCI, Indian players and a representative from WADA to iron out the differences, clearing the security doubts of the Indian players and making some changes to the clause if necessary. Because now if ICC decides to punish India then we have to be devoid of cricket for some time.

The only thing that I didn’t understand is that why other international cricketers in the testing pool from other countries agreed to abide by it within the July 31 deadline eventhough they had  practicality concerns about the clause?

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