• Join the TWP Fantasy League. Code: 12550

Monday, November 30, 2009

Excuses for sleeping at work

If you get caught sleeping at your desk at work, then try the following excuses.

1. They told me at the blood bank this might happen.

2. This is just a 15 minute power-nap like they raved about in the last time management course you sent me to.

3. I wasn't sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm!

4. This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people!

5. I was testing the keyboard for drool resistance.

6. Actually I'm doing a "Stress Level Elimination Exercise Plan" (SLEEP). I learned it at the last mandatory seminar you made me attend.

7. I was doing a highly specific Yoga exercise to relieve work related stress.

8. Darn! Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem.

9. The coffee machine is broken.

10. Someone must've put decaf in the wrong pot.

11. Boy, that cold medicine I took last night just won't wear off!

12. Ah, the unique and unpredictable circadian rhythms of the workaholic!

13. I wasn't sleeping, I was trying to pick up contact lens without hands.

14. Amen.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Dravid Transformation

Rahul Dravid is a man who is known to be the go to man in crisis and has shown the world the personification of the word 'consistency' by living it all through his career. But 24 months ago, the same man was struggling to get the bat to meet the ball and looked like a pale shadow of the Dravid of 2004 and 2005. The high standards set by himself was never being met and huge question marks emerged on the future of his career. But Dravid the wall taught us a few other words from the dictionary that we had forgotten. The words resilience and perseverance.

Just 18 months ago in Chennai, I witnessed Dravid go past the 10,000 run mark as he scored a century that was full of determined hard work and sweat. In a hot and humid condition when the pitch turned out to be nothing more than a gully cricket pitch, Sehwag went lose hitting the hapless South Africans all over the park with a better than a ball triple hundred. Batting could never have been simpler. And at the other end was Dravid struggling to score on a batsman friendly pitch. But he hung in there and scored a century that was full of edges, blows to the body and unconvincing shots and scored at a pitiful strike rate of just above 30 in a 100% batsman friendly track. But he hung in there and showed the world that the hunger and will to fight is still there and also showed his critics that he valued his wicket as his life.

And now just 18 months after Dravid is back to his sublime best, flicking the ball of his pads, square cutting, driving, and using his feet well against the spinners. The adjectives used to describe his text book technique are back in the mouths of the commentators and Dravid is back among the runs. The silken touch, the timing, the powerful horizontal bat shots, and the runs are back as a transformed Rahul is back with intent in his eyes. His 177 in the previous match came at a strike rate of 70. The Dravid of the old has returned and has returned in style. Surely even an exiled king returning to his kingdom in fanfare would be jealous of Dravid. I think his celebrations on reaching this hundred shows just what it meant to him.

If his back to back hundreds mean anything, I say it just means the start for something special.

I wrote this article for RCB. [Link]

Remembering 26/11

Mumbai and India is slowly recovering after last year’s unfortunate terrorist attacks in Mumbai. After 365 days since the storm hit Mumbai, India has moved on, but hasn’t forgotten the heroics and the pain of 26/11 and definitely remembers the ugly face of terrorism that continues to destroy humanity. Terrorism has no place in a civilised world.

"Heal The World"

There's A Place In
Your Heart
And I Know That It Is Love
And This Place Could
Be Much
Brighter Than Tomorrow
And If You Really Try
You'll Find There's No Need
To Cry
In This Place You'll Feel
There's No Hurt Or Sorrow

There Are Ways
To Get There
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Little Space
Make A Better Place...

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

If You Want To Know Why
There's A Love That
Cannot Lie
Love Is Strong
It Only Cares For
Joyful Giving
If We Try
We Shall See
In This Bliss
We Cannot Feel
Fear Or Dread
We Stop Existing And
Start Living

Then It Feels That Always
Love's Enough For
Us Growing
So Make A Better World
Make A Better World...

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

And The Dream We Were
Conceived In
Will Reveal A Joyful Face
And The World We
Once Believed In
Will Shine Again In Grace
Then Why Do We Keep
Strangling Life
Wound This Earth
Crucify Its Soul
Though It's Plain To See
This World Is Heavenly
Be God's Glow

We Could Fly So High
Let Our Spirits Never Die
In My Heart
I Feel You Are All
My Brothers
Create A World With
No Fear
Together We'll Cry
Happy Tears
See The Nations Turn
Their Swords
Into Plowshares

We Could Really Get There
If You Cared Enough
For The Living
Make A Little Space
To Make A Better Place...

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

You And For Me

In the first anniversary of the 26/11, I really can’t find a better song that drives the message of love, hope, forgiveness, and peace as the famous song by the late Michael Jackson titled ‘Heal the World’.

Truly the world can be a better place if we just understand the views of the other person, and learn to see life through the other person’s eyes.

It was great to see the Indian cricket team pay homage to Mumbai attack victims today.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Wall Stands Tall

Rahul Dravid walked into bat at the fall of Gambhir's wicket when the scorecard read 14 for 1. But little did he know that in the next 30 minutes, the famed Indian batting would fall like cards around him leaving the Indian camp stunned at 32 for 4 with the likes of Laxman, Tendulkar and Sehwag back in the hut, thanks to an inspirational performance from Welegedara. But Dravid with years of experience, tons of concentration and overflowing with confidence showed us again just why he is known as Mr.Consistent. 'The Wall' played one of his best knocks ever as he surpassed the 11,000 mark becoming the fifth-highest run-getter in Tests. Ahmedabad and the Sri Lankan team witnessed one of the finest displays of how to progress through an innings.

Rahul Dravid, one of India's greatest gem, just showcased his worth as he smashed 177 runs of 251 balls, lifting India from a miserable position of 32 for 4 to 385 for 6 at stumps. Dravid was involved in two century partnership with Yuvraj (68) and Dhoni (110), as India drew itself to an commanding position against the Lankan lions in the first day of the Ahmedabad test.

Dravid's innings was a treat for the eyes, and I am sure that it would be one of his memorable knocks. Dravid was at his sublime best as he cut, pulled, and drove the hapless Sri Lankan bowlers at will once he consolidated. The innings was well paced as Dravid first looked to see of the devastating spell from Welegedara, as he tried to consolidate India's position. But once he did just that, there was no stopping Dravid as he unleashed a well calculated attack that is not normally synonymous with Dravid. Dravid made plenty as he ended the day with a strike rate just above 70. Who said this man wasn't for ODI's? The silken touch of Dravid, as he flicked of his pads, the gentle caressing through the off-side, the ruthless square cut, and the pull shot were some of the amazing shots that were on view today. But for me the best shot he played was the six he hit of Herath.

Also in the process Dravid surpassed yet another milestone as he crossed the 11K mark, becoming the 5th highest run getter in Test history. Truly a stellar performance!

The hero of Ahmedabad is generally not given his due by the media that often lavishes rich praises on Sachin and others, but still his achievements are second to none. I just hope the selectors were watching the marvelous display of Rahul's batting. I think he has made a strong case for an ODI comeback, and with a strike rate of 70's who can say he's slow at getting his runs?

Hoping to see Jammy score a double century tomorrow. Good Luck Rahul, and Congrats on your wonderful century and also for breaching the 11K mark.

Sensational Sachin...

When Sachin walks in today to play against the Sri Lankans, he would have completed 20 years of playing test cricket at the highest level.

Congrats Sachin and Thank you for all the memories.

And keep going.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

When Sachin Plays

When Sachin plays, big-city roads are easy and trains and buses ply empty at rush hour and the markets take a beating...

When Sachin plays, grandmothers who know next to nothing about the game forget knitting and resting and medicines and pray to their gods as they sit frozen, staring nervously at their television screen...

When Sachin plays , busy, ambitious executives ignore their calls and cancel their appointments and avoid their clients and miss their deadlines and their careers on hold...

When Sachin plays, college Common Rooms are dense and tense and hushed as an entire generation sits on pins and needles...

When Sachin plays, school-yards are silent and playgrounds are deserted because those who normally make such a racket imitating their hero are all too busy watching him make batting look so ridiculously easy...

When Sachin plays, fathers who want the news and daughters and mothers who always want soft stuff and brothers who fight for action, for once all agree on what to watch...

When Sachin plays, bowlers and fielders and opposing captains feel their impotence and inadequacy like at no other time and curse themselves and wonder what they can do, if anything, to end the shame, the nightmare, the humiliation...

When Sachin plays, commentators and experts run out of adjectives and expressions of wonder and comparisons...

When Sachin plays, lay spectators have no need for words at all and just jump and scream and whistle and clap and hug each other and cry and wave their flags and banners and thank their lucky stars for being there...

When Sachin plays, India forgets its differences and divisions and teeters between tensions and exhilaration and breaths and laughs and cries as one, as its heart fills with pride and joy and patriotism...

When Sachin plays, all else is IRRELEVANT.

Courtesy - Adidas

Compliments to the 'little champion' we call sachin...

These are some of the many compliments that Sachin Tendulkar has earned from the cricketing fraternity over the years.

  • In terms of technique and compactness, Tendulkar is the best: Desmond Haynes.
  • I saw him playing on television and was struck by his technique, so I asked my wife to come look at him. Now I never saw myself play, but I feel that this player is playing much the same as I used to play, and she looked at him on Television and said yes, there is a similarity between the two... his compactness, technique, stroke production... it all seemed to gel: Sir Donald Bradman.
  • There is no shame being beaten by such a great player, Sachin is perhaps only next to the Don: Steve Waugh.
  • Sachin is cricket's God: Barry Richards.
  • He's the best in the business: Mohinder Amarnath.
  • Sachin is an attacker. He has much more power than Sunny. He wants to be the one to set the pace. He has to be on top. That's the buzz about him: Jeff Thompson.
  • If I've to bowl to Sachin, I'll bowl with my helmet on. He hits the ball so hard: Dennis Lillee.
  • l'll be going to bed having nightmares of Sachin just running down the wicket and belting me back over the head for six. He was unstoppable. I don't think anyone, apart from Don Bradman, is in the same class as Sachin Tendulkar. He is just an amazing player: Shane Warne.
  • When it comes to judging the best among these fabulous band of batsmen, my vote goes to Tendulkar. He has an uncanny ability to come out on top under different circumstances and under different conditions, whether it is Test cricket or one-day internationals. And more importantly, he has done this so young: Shane Warne.
  • Don't bowl him bad balls, he hits the good ones for fours: Michael Kasprowicz.
  • He is a perfectly balanced batsman and knows perfectly well when to attack and when to play defensive cricket. He has developed the ability to treat bowlers all over the world with contempt and can destroy any attack with utmost ease: Greg Chappell.
  • It's scary, where the hell do we bowl to him?: Allan Border.
  • I'd like to see him go out and bat one day with a stump. I tell you he'd do okay: Greg Chappell.
  • He has defined cricket in his fabulous, impeccable manner. He is to batting what Shane Warne is to bowling: Richie Benaud.
  • Sachin's the best. I've had this view since I saw him score that hundred in Sydney in 1992. He's the most composed batsman I've ever seen: Mike Coward.
  • The pressure on me is nothing as compared to Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin, like God, must never fail. The crowd always expects him to succeed and it is too much pressure on him: Mark Waugh.
  • I still think Tendulkar is the best batsmen in the world ahead of Steve Waugh and Lara: Glenn McGrath.
  • He is currently the best batsman in the world: Sir Gary Sobers.
  • There's no doubt about it. He is the best: Tony Grieg.
  • Cricketers like Sachin come once in a lifetime and I am privileged he played in my time : Wasim Akram.

But one of my all time favorites has been, a small conversation between Micheal Kasprowicz and Denis Lillee. During the Bangalore Test, frustrated, Kasprowicz went to Dennis Lillee and asked him, "Mate, do you see any weaknesses?" To which Lillee replied, "No Michael, as long as you walk off with your pride that's all you can do".

But the finest compliment must be that bookmakers (bookies) would not fix the odds - or a game - until Tendulkar was out.

Courtesy - My special thanks to Ritesh Chandra for the special quotes.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

20 Glorious Years

Sachin Tendulkar has played the game at the highest level against the best of players for two decades, and still the same hunger, intent, and dream rages inside the little man just as it did when a sixteen year boy walked to the middle with the Indian cap.

After 20 years of playing top class cricket, the maestro still remains a demolisher of bowlers, a prized wicket, and a fierce and respected competitor. Sachin has broken all records, and bench marks and has gone to the extent of setting new ones in the former places that will surely be never breached. But the romance in Sachin's career is definitely his longevity. 20 years is more than half his life that has gone in just a flash.

When Sachin first donned the Indian colors, he was just a teenager of sixteen. This was when Nelson Mandela was still languishing in a prison, Allan Border was the captain of Australia and when the iron curtain has just been destroyed. The sixteen year old Mumbai lad with eager eyes and his tussled hair stood alongside Kapil Dev, and Ravi Shashtri. Now he is an 'elder' in the Indian team with the same sparkle in his eyes, and still the hunger and impudence of youth remains.

Tendulkar's feats are mountains and each one is an Everest in it's own way. Tendulkar has scored everywhere in the world. He has piled runs overseas and also in his own backyard. He has faced the best of bowlers in their prime and has survived the ravages of time and injuries. He still remains as the 'God of Cricket' and truly in every Indian's heart.

Tendulkar's numbers tell a story by themselves. But as any cricket fan would tell numbers aren't everything. The man who has conquered everything, still remains an excellent human being and his priorities is always family. In a world where, priorities tend to lose meaning, here stands a man who reminds us all. Surely Peter Roebuck is right on spot calling the little master 'India's proudest possession'.

This full week, I'll be concentrating on his truly amazing man, who has defined the word 'prodigy', in a series called 'Celebrating the genius of Tendulkar'.

Monday, November 9, 2009

40 minutes of Horror

Within 40 minutes into the match at Guwahati, half the Indian team was back in the hut with just 27 runs on the board thanks to some amazing bowling by the Australian seamers [scorecard]. The game was probably over in just the first 40 minutes. The Indian batsmen didn't last long as India was bowled out for 170. This was a miracle score considering that India were down and out at 27 for 5. The Australians clinched the series with a game to spare as Doug Bollinger picked up 5 wickets. There is no honor in losing and definitely no honor in losing miserably to a team reduced to half it's side. The Indian batting needs to learn a word call consistency.

All odds seemed against the Australians this series. Their four key players were missing before the tour and they lost four more during the series. The casualty list kept on growing and as Ponting said, the Australian team struggled to field 11 players at times. Yet after losing 8 of their top 11 player, the Australian list-A team beat the Indian national team 4-2 with a game to spare. Forgive the bad joke, but the Australian did field a team, that very much looked like a List-A team, and some how managed to win with them and that too in India's own backyard. Definitely the Australians were the deserving winners.

The Australian's have found new world class performers in Bollinger, Watson, White, Hauritz and Marsh. This young team has defied the odds and has managed to upstage a tough team in it's own ground. Well done Australia and well done Ponting.

If India plan to achieve their dream of becoming world champions then they better start winning matches, at least at home.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sachin's Everest

Yesterday, the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, in Uppal, Hyderabad experienced first hand one of the best One Day Internationals ever. I would even go as far as saying the best One Day International match had India won, but despite a valiant knock by Tendulkar, India fell agonizingly 3 runs short [scorecard].

Yesterday's match would forever be remembered as the match when Sachin Tendulkar finally climbed the summit of 17,000 runs that he had created for himself. This is one Everest that probably will never ever be scaled. This is definitely the epitome the great man's achievement. The little mater who had done little so far proved yet again his masterly class. Congrats Sachin on yet another milestone.

Signs looked ominous as Sachin pulled a terrific catch in the outfield as the Australian's set India a target of 351. Seeing Sachin advance onto the the front foot first ball was a good sign, but never would I have thought of the innings he played yesterday. Sachin bought back memories of old as he drove, cut and pulled the Australian pacers. His six of Watson which he pulled was one of the many highlights of Sachin in his best. His foot work against the spinners was magnificent and he took a liking towards Hauritz as he had done before to a blonde Victorian years before. His straight sixes against Hauritz surely emphasized the class and temperament of Sachin. His 175 surely personified the saying, 'Class is permanent, form is temporary.' It was only fitting that he was awarded the player of the match for his amazing knock that consisted of big hitting, subtle touch, flamboyance and the masterly class of Sachin. Sachin once again mersmerised the world, as he had done for the past 20 years.

But Sachin's innings also brought vivid memories of the Indian team of the 90's, where Sachin alone more often than not played solos and breath taking innings in losing causes. Sachin probably endured as much heartbreak as never before as he single handily chased 351 falling just 3 short. This was only clearly seen in Sachin's face when he, with the target in sight, got out triggering yet another Indian collapse. Only Raina played and gave the maestro any support, as the Indian top order in Dhoni, Yuvraj, and Gambhir fell meekly.

India in yet another close match would be disappointed with their efforts on the field. Their fielding was atrocious as they dropped opportunities and failed to support the bowlers. The bowling sans Harbhajan was also another wreck as the lines and length the bowlers adopted were all run giving. Full tosses, leg stump line, and short and wide were the highlights of the Indian bowling.

The match was truly dominated in the first half by the Australian's as they posted a mammoth 350 runs asking India to chase it's highest ever in Indian soil. Australia rode on the backs of hefty contributions from Shaun Marsh, Shane Watson, and Cameron White. I always wondered why a talented player like Marsh was still not a regular in the Australian squad. Seeing him in the first season of the IPL, he truly emerged as one of the most talented players. He doesn't lack the skill or talent that he has gracefully inherited from his father Geoff Marsh, but rather the self belief that he can excel at the highest level. But yesterday I was in for a treat as I saw Shaun play his best ODI innings till now. He took time to settle down, but the way he made up for his slow start later clearly shows his distinct class. I personally feel that Marsh has a long long way to go with all his talent and promise.

Another Australian hero in recent times has been Shane Watson. I have been tremendously impressed by his work ethic and his will to crawl back into the national side after having his share of disappointments with injuries. Watson is one of the few who revel having given responsibility. He adores opening the batting and his attacking style is well suited for the powerplays. His bowling speed has suffered, but that is only understandable due to injuries. His bowling is effective and Watson is capable of getting wickets while containing. In other words, Watson is a better all-rounder and I would not be surprised to see him up to the standards of Flintoff and Kallis soon. India would so dearly love to have a player like Watson.

In the end, the evening witnessed a tremendous match of cricket, that truly deserved no loser as cricket emerged triumphant. India have work to do as they try to catch up with the Australians and level the series. The Australian's and the Indian's would now be vary of the little giant that has finally awoke.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Moment of Success...

In the past month, I had a great time writing in the Expert Fan Speak hosted by Castrol Cricket. I got to air my views on many subjects regarding to cricket and also got a insight into the views of other cricket fans and the resident expert Harsha Bhogle. It was an amazing experience getting Harsh to read my views and then giving his comments on it. Four of my answers got chosen as the answer of the day and eventually one of them won the answer of the tournament. Here below I give excerpts of my work at castrol cricket.

The answer that won the Answer of the tournament.
Question -
Which batsman would prove to be a handy player in T20? A Pinch hitter (lofted drives in to the stadium) or a technically sound batsman like Dravids or Laxmans.........?
My answer -
T20 is about piling heavy runs in 120 balls and depositing the balls into the stands, but when a player looks to attack and score heavily, there is a high percentage of risk involved. Pinch hitters can clear the boundary but due to their extremely aggressive and risky styles they more often than not play small cameos rather than match winning knocks. A technically correct batsman would look at the way the pitch is behaving and play accordingly to the current situation of the game. This is why big hitters like Kevin Pietersen and McCullum have taken a back seat when compared to the batsman who are more technically correct as Jayawardna, Duminy or De Villiers. The mark of a good batsman is adaptability that is generally seen in mature and more technically correct players as they can more easily control their shots depending on the nature of the wicket and the current scenario.

Harsha's Reply -
Correctly put Christopher. But also, technique is not the only thing in the world of sport. One needs to have flair, flamboyancy in their playing style which makes watching them enjoyable.
To view the full thread.

Question -
Cricket started as Test, emerged into ODI and is now the fast and fiery T20. Which will die first ODI or T20 as the purists of the game will not allow Tests to die?
My Answer -
Definitely test cricket will not die and will be held due to it's history and traditions. It may have seen low viewers in the last few years yet in may places test cricket is favored and cricketers and die hard fans alike find it the most fascinating game. The ashes are still favorites and the Border-Gavaskar trophy may attain a lesser degree in the years to come. T20 is another format that the crowd loves and so do the organizers for it is an easy revenue maker. T20's are watched by wide range of audience and it is an cash rich format. The IPL is the standing example for this. ODI's looks like the format that might die. The viewers have decreased for this format due to it's predictability. Despite the various changes such as the batting powerplay by the ICC, the format still doesn't attract such a big crowd and is slowly dying. The restructuring in the English and South African domestic circles is a direct reflection of this. The success of the Champions Trophy might have delayed the inevitable, but One days will only continue to survive as long as the organizers make the game interesting and fun. Another repeat of the 2007 world cup would surely spell disaster. I certainly hope that we would have all three formats as cricket is one of the few games that has three lovely formats.
Harsha's Reply -
Neither needs to die. The BMW exists, the Honda city exists and so does the Alto or the Santro. Just as there are different price points so too will there be different popularity and return on investment points. but eventually it is the public that will decide, not the purists.
To view the full thread.

Question -
As Sunil Gavaskar once pointed out, nowadays parents are encouraging their kids to play cricket luring after the revenue earned by IPL players. In the time of competition, would it encourage the level of cricketing talents or prove fatal for the existence of ODI and Test cricket?
My Answer -
In India, parents have started encouraging cricket to their children in the last few years seeing it as an way of life and a job that can bring in good money. With the advancement in cricket and commercialism, it is turning out to be a game where money flows like water. And with India dominating the commercial aspect of cricket, Indians are encouraged to play and earn their livelihood through cricket. I think that this is wonderful as it increases the talent pool and gives a clear insight of the game's development. With more people in the game, it can only do the game good, and surely the level of cricket in the domestic circle will increase as more players join it.
Harsha's Reply -
One of the things we have learnt in india, which to be honest we always knew, is that protectionist policies aren't good. So if we try and artificially prop up test cricket and one day cricket, someone else will use the opportunity thus generated. But these are early days of the IPL, I believe the supply demand equation will soon find an equilibrium. But the reason children are being encouraged to play cricket isn't only the IPL. A first class cricketer makes a pretty decent living out of cricket now and so even if you don't make it to the top or to an IPL contract, there is still a decent pile to be made.
To view the full thread.

Question -
Most of the Indian batsmen still struggle to face the short balls outside the off stump.Is there any fault with coaches or with the batsmen?
My answer -
Subcontinent players have generally struggled with the shorter ball. This is mainly due to the lack of bounce that pitches in the subcontinent tend to have. Many players have been vulnerable to the short ball and have struggled greatly in places such as WACA, Perth, where the bounce is really steep. I really do not think there is much fault in the coach. It is the player who must come out of his comfort zone and adjust to the rising deliveries that are not so frequent when playing in the subcontinent. Players must watch the ball till the very end when leaving a rising ball and must be technically correct to pull and hook a ball. Rahul Dravid has shown just this and is one of the best players of the short balls in modern day cricket. This is because of the fact that Dravid watches the ball till the very end, and when pulling, his balance is perfect and his head is so still. Also when playing the short ball one must have plenty of courage since eventually a ball is bound to rap you. Adam Gilchrist is perhaps one of the fearless hookers of the game who never looks to back down when a speedster bangs the ball short.
Harsha's Reply -
That is not entirely true. Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman were fine. and Sehwag looks ok too. It is only some of the younger players and they need to get better. But I am a little concerned at the haste with which coaches and the system get blamed. If players are ambitious and have the right work ethic they should find a way out themselves. I am also worried by the number of coaches youngsters have. If they have to go to a coach for everything, when will they learn to think for themselves!
To view the full thread.

I thank my family, who always stood by my side and gave me the confidence that I could do it. I also thank all my friends who inspired me on, and all the people who voted for me and of course Harsha for selecting my answers as the winner. I would also like to thanks Nidhi for introducing me to Castrol Cricket Expert Fan Speak. And finally I thank my God for giving me this opportunity.

Please visit my Castrol Cricket profile.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The 5 Most Celebrated Numbers Found in the Game

This is yet another article in the series '5 Straight Points'. Here I look at 5 numbers that stay etched in the minds of cricket watchers everywhere.

5.) 10 for ______

Jim Laker's 10 wicket haul in 1956 is one of the few records that can never be broken lest be tied. But of course the latter was done by Anil Kumble against Pakistan. Jim Laker against the Australian's came up with a dream spell picking up 19 wickets in the match with figures of 10 for 53 in an innings. A statistical anomaly that no bowler has come close to beating since. Only Anil Kumble has emulated Laker by taking all ten wickets in an innings and this was against a Pakistan team where the scoreboard read 74 for 10. These two are numbers that will probably never be tied ever again and numbers found in every cricket watchers brain. Surely impassable records.

4.) 400*

Brian Charles Lara holds several world records for high scoring. He has the highest individual score in both first-class cricket (501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham in 1994) and Test cricket (400 not out for the West Indies against England in 2004). His 400 not out forever rewrote the record books of cricket. The only player close to Lara is Hayden who is still 20 runs short. Lara faced 582 deliveries, hitting 43 fours and four sixes in Antigua to bring up his quadruple century. This is yet another unlikely peak to be ever scaled by anyone ever.

3.) 6 x 6 = 36 (Six Sixes)

The most runs that can be legally hit of a single over is 36 runs, which requires the batsman to deposit all six balls of the over into the stands. This incredible feat has been done only by four people so far. Gary Sobers and Ravi Shashtri set the record in first class, while Herschelle Gibbs became the first person to hit six sixes in the international arena when he whacked Netherland's Dan van Bunge all over the park in 2007. Yuvraj Singh emulated the feat in Durban when he too hit Stuart Broad all over the park for 36 runs. This is perhaps one of the most celebrated incident in Indian cricket.

2.) 438

The 5th One Day International cricket match between South Africa and Australia, played on March 12, 2006 at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, has been acclaimed by many as being one of the greatest One Day International matches ever played. The match broke many cricket records, including both the first and the second team innings score of over 400 runs. Australia batting first, under Ponting's brilliance (164 of just 105 balls) posted a World Record total of 434. South Africa needing 435 to win faced a mammoth task but under Herschelle Gibbs' 175 they overcame the target setting a new World Record in it's place.

1.) 99.94

This is definitely the most celebrated number in cricket. It's the most famous statistic in Australian sport, familiar to most who love cricket, and to a great many who do not. 99.94 is the batting average of the probably greatest batsman ever. Sir Donald Bradman has the highest average in test cricket. In the final Test at The Oval, Bradman walked out to bat in Australia's first innings. He received a standing ovation from the crowd and three cheers from the opposition. His Test batting average stood at just a shade above 101. Facing the wrist-spin of Eric Hollies, Bradman pushed forward to the second ball that he faced, was deceived by a googly, and bowled between bat and pad for a duck. An England batting collapse resulted in an innings defeat, denying Bradman the opportunity to bat again and so his career average finished at 99.94; if he had scored just four runs in his last innings, it would have been 100. A story developed over the years that claimed Bradman missed the ball because of tears in his eyes, a claim Bradman denied for the rest of his life. Sadly in his last innings Bradman scored his first duck shocking thousands forever and hence creating a cricketing folklore.