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Showing posts from August, 2012

Recipe For #1!

Cricket has evolved and so has the attention to performances in it. While the colored version of cricket has a World Cup to adjudge a champion, test cricket continues to recognize the best ‘current’ side via rating points. Today the position in the rankings table has a lot of relevance - reaching the pedestal today has a priority mark in the coaches’ to-do list, players pride on reaching the summit and seasonal fans keep a close tab on other sides as well! It has brought excitement, relevance to performances and a stock-market like buzz to test cricket. Like the crude oil prices, the test cricket pedestal has seen constant fluctuation in the recent past; in the last 5 years the position has had a different recipient 4 times! This is modern-day test cricket - one good season can push you up the ladder and a no clear outright world-beater. Dilution of home advantage or away disadvantage with constant tours or change in the quality of pitches or change in the attitude of players could be…

Adieu Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman!

It was coming, it was round the corner, it was catalyzed by his last season but very few would have expected it to have hit them so suddenly. About 8600 kilometers separate Adelaide & Hyderabad and in between that, two announcements have amputated the Indian cricket team with an experience of >20000 test runs, 298 test matches & 32 years of international cricket (combined) and left Indian cricket with a massive hole. 

Most of the 90s belonged to Tendulkar, the late 90s & early 2000s had Ganguly & Dravid in the spotlight and the late 2000s had likes of Yuvraj & Dhoni take over that role, and there was Laxman amidst all that quietly going about his job. It would astound those who aren’t stats-gurus that Laxman played his first test match just 4 months after Dravid scripted a dream debut at Lord's in 1996! He didn’t have an initial burst aka Dravid or a continuous run in international cricket at the beginning. His ODI debut too wasn’t a glamorous one; failing mi…

Should Cricket Embrace The 5 Rings?

Another glorious edition of the Olympics goes into the sunset. A couple of weeks that showcased the best athletes compete for the ultimate glory, an event that exhibited disappointment, defeat, joy, pride, victory, glory and a portrait that had participation from 204 nations! A rich history, a massive platform, unparalleled glory and probably the biggest show sports can offer, makes an Olympic Games edition stand out.
Ardent cricket fans/followers would feel left out from this marquee sports event. Unlike Motorsports, Cricket is a recognized by the International Olympic Committee. Though cricket wasn’t an outright success in multi-sport models previously, times have changed and today cricket has its T20 avatar to offer for such events. The ICC has 105 countries as its recognized members, spanning continents and covering most of the globe.

Technique vs Effectiveness!

“Skillfulness’ in the command of fundamentals deriving from practice and familiarity” is a dictionary meaning of the word technique. In cricket you often hear this word, with respect to certain players having that in abundance and others not necessarily accomplished with that attribute. So what are the fundamentals of batting? Can they be listed into bulleted points? Or is cricket or any sport for that matter an exhibition of diversity of skills, ability and methods to exploit talent? A boundary is a boundary, yet it appears vastly different from a Gayle’s bat than when it comes from say Trott. Sehwag and Gambhir open the batting for India, yet the former has a boundary (combined 4s & 6s) hitting frequency of 8.5 balls, while the latter clears the fence every 15 balls. So what brings about this difference? Is it mere batting ‘technique’ or does it have to do with approach?
Just like a bowler has to adjust his radar to left & right handers, he has to do that with respect to the …

One For The Future: Virat Kohli!

In the last 2 years India has won 25 ODIs chasing totals, and incredibly there has been only one player featuring in all those 25 contests - Virat Kohli! 5 not out innings, 6 hundreds, and an average of 69.65 during this period are numbers which illustrate the kind of impact this man has had in the Indian batting line-up.  He has gone out to overhaul a few records and with the kind of form he is in, many more won’t have a longer life.
He doesn’t belong to the Dravid-way of batting, neither Sehwag-like but has a game which can aptly be described by ‘controlled aggression’. There are lots of likeable things to his style of batting - straight bat strokes, quick feet against spinners, ability to play on both sides of the wicket and good hand-eye co-ordination. Of all the recent Indian batting talent that has been put to play, Virat Kohli has been the only one to have been delivering the goods with more-than-reasonable consistency. At 23 and going through the form of his life Virat Kohli pr…