News
  • Join the TWP Fantasy League. Code: 12550

Monday, December 28, 2009

And The Awards (2009) Go To.................



The following awards are awarded to the various players and teams on the basis of performance in 2009.



TEST CRICKET OF 2009
Best Rookie Player - Umar Akmal (Pakistan)
Best Bowler - Mitchell Johnson(Australia)
Best Batsman - Gautam Gambhir (India)
Best All-rounder - Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)
Best Captain - Andrew Strauss (England)
Team Of The Year - India

ODI OF 2009
Best Rookie Player - Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka)
Best Bowler - Daniel Vetori (New Zealand)
Best Batsman - M.S. Dhoni (India)
Best All-Rounder - Shane Watson (Australia)
Best Captain - Ricky Ponting (Australia)
Team Of The Year - Australia


T20 OF 2009 (Excluding IPL and CLT20)
Best Batsman - Tillakaratne Dilshan  (Sri Lanka)
Best Bowler - Shahid Afridi (Pakistan)
Best Captain - Younus Khan (Pakistan)
Team Of The Year - Pakistan

Domestic T20 of 2009 (IPL and CLT20)
Best Bowler - Brett Lee (Kings 11 Punjab and New South Wales)
Best Batsman - Ross Taylor (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Team Of The Year - New South Wales

Best Of 2008
Best Rookie Player - Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka)
Best Bowler - Dale Steyn (South Africa)
Best Batsman - Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka)
Best Captain - M.S. Dhoni (India)
Best Coach - Gary Kirsten (India)
Best Umpire - Simon Tuffel
Best Commentator - Tony Greig; Laxman Sivaramakrishnan; David Lloyd
Best Team - India

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The name's Bond. Shane Bond.



The year 2009 started with an Australian giant calling it a day, and ironically it ends with a Kiwi giant calling it a day.  Mathew Hayden and Shane Bond may have been as different as an apple is to an orange, but they both were similar as they both were vital members in their respective teams and both had the spirit to fight.  The similarities end there.  While Matt Haydos became one of test match most famed batsman, Bond became a famed quick, who unlike Hayden never did fulfill his potential.


A raging phenomenal 

A cop turned pace bowler, New Zealand found their best strike bowler since Sir Richard Hadlee.  Shane Bond despite having played just a handful of tests for New Zealand, he became one of the vital members of the side.  A pace bowler with plenty of speed, bounce, and an amazing seam position,  Bond had it all, and could have been Sir Richard Hadlee of the modern era had fate been kind to the roaring lion.



Bond always was plagued by injuries and people will probably remember the talented pacer for his injures more than the wins he has scripted for his team.  Bond probably because of the ICL and his injuries has never proved himself as a legend, but he already has done enough to win to win the viewers hearts.

Bond in his 18 tests for New Zealand has taken 87 wickets at an astounding average of 22.09.  Bond was the   teeth of the New Zealand team and with him Fleming and Vettori showed an formidable side bearing fangs, but without Bond, the side was mediocre.  This is clearly seen in their records.  New Zealand with Bond have won 10 of their 18 matches and lost only 2, while without Bond, the record is woeful.


New Zealand with and without Shane Bond....

Tests
Won
Lost
Drawn
Bowling ave
Strike rate
With Bond
18
10
2
6
26.71
51.6
Without Bond
49
10
24
15
36.51
71.1

Bond also is a proven match winner and he has four man of the match in his 18 matches.  And how fitting is it, that he won a man of the match award in his final match.  How many players have retired after being awarded a man of match award?  Surely, the lion who was more times than not had a thorn stuck in his paw, showed the world rare glances of his true potential.


Bond has left and with it a legacy of trial, hardships, betrayal, romance and injury has gone.

Friday, December 25, 2009

India's finest moment in pictures....



On this Christmas day, I take a look at the making of India's Finest Moment in 2009, when India became the Number one Test team in the world.

Having played only 5 tests in the year, one would imagine, there is not much to write about, but plenty did happen in those 5 matches, as......

A master completed 20 glorious years......


A youngster matured into a senior batsman and scored 4 centuries in 5 matches.......


A humble man crossed the 11 thousand run mark........


A dasher scored his sixth score of 200 and above........


A nation become ranked number uno........

MERRY CHRISTMAS








MERRY CHRISTMAS


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Re-polling for Cricket Website Awards 2009....





The cricket website, World Cricket Watch  (WCW) has introduced the Cricket Website Awards 2009.  WCW have decided to conduct a re-poll. 

WCW has circumnavigated the world wide web to give cricket fans an idea of the wealth of cricketing websites out there that they maybe haven’t discovered yet. They have introduced the awards that is supposed to be the Oscars of cricket and new media.  The nominations are in a series of categories – best cricket news site, best cricket blog, best new cricket blog, best cricket forum, best cricket video site and best cricket games site.
 

Please do vote for Poshin's World at http://worldcricketwatch.com/feature/introducing-the-cricket-website-awards-2009/#comments.  The poll is starting from scratch, so even if you had voted in the earlier poll, you can vote in this one.


What? Cricket Website Awards 2009 (The Cricketing Oscars)

How to Vote? Simply vote at  WCW<link>, you have until December 30th

So lets get to it…..and make Poshin's World win the Cricketing Oscars....
.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cuttack ODI



Yesterday, Cuttack witnessed a dominating performance by India as India went two-one up in the Royal Stag ODI series against the Lankans.  [scorecard].  India can take a lot of positives from the match while Sri Lanka need to head back to their drawing boards and rethink their batting.

Sehwag, leading the team in Dhoni's ban led from the front with a quick fire 44.  Tendulkar (96*) saw the team through along with Karthik.  Earlier Sri Lanka raced ahead in the powerplays due to a Dilshan onslaught but then wickets fell regularly and Sri Lanka were folded for 239 with Jadeja picking up four wickets.  



India's fielding has been in the limelight so far and Mike Young, has been taking a lot of criticism, but in the last few matches, I have observed that the Indian fielders are now having a go at the stump regularly, trying to effect an run out.  South Africa and Australia always have a good throw at the stumps, sometimes even when the batsman is inside, so that they can keep him on his feet, and not rest.    India has been doing that and yesterday it was seen clearly.  The plain logic of the matter is that the more you throw at the stumps, the more chances of you hitting the stumps and thereby effecting a run-out.  It is the catching that has been a sorrowful tale, but given time and some harsh work outs in the field, it will surely improve.  I am really appreciative of the BCCI in appointing Mike Young.

Ishant Sharma has lost his pace, his action, his line and length, and his confidence and yet he finds a place in the team!  This is one thing I cannot understand.  Ishant came in as a bright talent but he has faded away and the magic is all gone.  Bowling short and wide at just a little above 120 kilometers is asking to be hit, and with players like Dilshan and Sangakara, the ball is made to enter space every now and then.  I feel Ishant should be dropped and not picked till he finds form.  After all he is only 21, and has a long way to go.



Dinesh Karthik is quite a live wire, and with him on the field the fielders look more attentive, I feel.  He is a great fielder, and yesterday kept wickets well.  His batting is also good and I don't understand why he struggles to find a place in the playing 11.  Watching him after he hit the winning runs, one would think he'd just got out.  That's how disappointed he was at denying Sachin a century.  Such commitment and unselfishness must surely be rewarded.  Playing only in Dhoni's absence is not a great career.  I just hope that Karthik won't be criminal waste of talent due to the team selection.  He is talented to be in the Indian team and he is strides ahead of Kohli, as Karthik has played test matches for India and has opened in places like South Africa, Australia, and England with success.

Sachin Tendulkar scored his 18th nineties, and his first not out score in the nineties.  Who said he had every record in the book?

Here's hoping that India win the series, giving it's billions of loyal fans a very merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Best of 2009 - (My favorite articles by my fellow bloggers)



2009 has been a wonderful year on a personal front for me and for Poshin's World.  In this post, I take a look at some of the pieces written by my fellow bloggers that I truly enjoyed much.  Choosing this list was really difficult and I would like to thank all my fellow bloggers for continuing to write and provide people like me with your views on the game.  I may have overlooked a really good article, so please bear with me - after all I'm human too.



This is the list of the Best of 2009 - (My favorite articles by my fellow bloggers).

7 Predicaments of being Sachin Tendulkar - By + Doosra
One of my favorites was an article by Som where, he did a humorous take on Sachin.  And 2009 being the 20th year of Sachin Tendulkar, this article definately makes it to the list.

AoL - By + You miss, I hit
You miss, I hit was a blog that I found only this year and instantly I fell in love with it.  The blog consists of various pictures, all with a short sweet message.  Manoj did a truly a great job and his creativity is clearly seen in his pictures.  My favorite picture was of Dravid - the man who became the 5th highest run scorer in test cricket this year.   AoL stands for 'Art of Leaving'.

Starving lions in my basement - By + Cricket Minded
Purna is a proud South African supporter who will probably never see her team in World Cup finals.  Still she is a great writer who at every possible time takes a dig at her arch enemies, the Australians and the English.  This is one of her best posts taking a dig at the touring English team.

Ricky Ponting asks Younis Khan a Question - By + Well Pitched
Umair aka 'Q' is a well known blogger in the cricketing sphere, but his finest moment came when he created this amazing comic with Ricky asking Younis a question, 'how on Earth did you win the T20 WC, when you didn't even want it'.  This is definitely the best cricket comic of 2009.

Why would you want to blog on cricket? - By + TCWJ
This year, I once came to a point where I really thought of quitting from the blogging scene, but somehow I held on and the motivation returned.  After some time I came across this post by Soulberry, and it explained the question 'Why blog?'.  The question I couldn't find the answer to earlier when I was considering walking out.  This is one of TCWJ's not serious articles.  TCWJ is probably the best cricketing blog that gives so much in depth analysis on a match and also is very thought provoking.

The Punter Files - By + Thoughts from the Dustbin 
Kirby aka 'Sidthegnomenator' is an Australian living in England who rues the loss of the Ashes and lives dreaming about Nathan Hauritz.  She is a great friend whom I got to know this year and her funny takes on her own team makes a great read.  She also was the runner up in the Poshin's World cricket quiz.  The post by her that I enjoyed the most was her humorous take on Ponting's various expressions.

Mail Time (Dravidappa special) - By + Maidenbowling
Leela is one of my favorite bloggers as she writes in an unique way.  She often refers to herself in the third person and the players in the first person and often writes letters to them.  It was in one of this letter that Leela and I had a thoughtful disagreement discussion.  But in this process I learnt a lot, and also got to see her views on cricket.  She happens to be one of the most knowledgeable writers of the game.

Top 10 complaints of wives during the IPL (and how to counter them) - By + Daily Humor
This was perhaps the most funniest post I've read about cricket this year.  The year when the IPL was switched to South Africa, and we missed live matches, this post certainly livened it.  Rohan's take on subjects related to cricket involve an angle never thought before, and this was certainly an example of that.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cricket Website Awards 2009....



The cricket website, World Cricket Watch  (WCW) has introduced the Cricket Website Awards 2009.

WCW has circumnavigated the world wide web to give cricket fans an idea of the wealth of cricketing websites out there that they maybe haven’t discovered yet. They have introduced the awards that is supposed to be the Oscars of cricket and new media.  The nominations are in a series of categories – best cricket news site, best cricket blog, best new cricket blog, best cricket forum, best cricket video site and best cricket games site.

My blog, 'Poshin's World' has been nominated in the category best cricket blog.  Please do vote for my blog by visiting http://worldcricketwatch.com/feature/introducing-the-cricket-website-awards-2009/, or by voting in the poll below.

What? Cricket Website Awards 2009 (The Cricketing Oscars)

How to Vote? Simply vote below or go to the website, <link>, you have until December 25th

So lets get to it…..and make Poshin's World win the Cricketing Oscars.....


Thank you for all your votes.

My Two Prized Possessions



Two of my most prized possessions are two books autographed by the authors.  The books are Out of the Box: Watching the Game We Love and John Wright's Indian Summers.  These two books are probably my most precious books in my entire library.  The pictures below show the autograph of the authors.

Out of the Box: Watching the Game We Love



This is a collection of best writes by Harsha Bhogle in his weekly columns for the Indian Express.  Some of the articles here in the book are just plain gems.  His article on the future of T20 written in 2005 shows his amazing foresight and understanding of the game.  The man who is probably India's leading cricket journalist is a all time favorite of mine and recently he got to see my views on the game thanks to Castrol Cricket.  For a cricket fan who wants to become a writer, this book is tailored made for you.

John Wright's Indian Summers



This is a memoir by John Wright on his experiences as the coach of the Indian team.  He talks of the happenings of the dressing rooms, and gives an insight into the functioning of cricket in India.  There's an amazing chapter in the book titled 'Hard Roads' which gives an amazing insight into the becoming of some of the best known Indian cricketing stars.  From the Calcutta test against the Australians to the Pakistan tour in 2004, the book has it all.  This is truly a must read for Indian cricket fans.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cricket Quiz - 7 (End of 1st season)



In the past 5 months I hosted a series called Poshin's World cricket quiz, in which I asked 5 questions relating to cricket. It was a quiz contest. I have finally decided to end the first season's quiz. So this is the last article in the series, for this season.




The answers to the previous quiz, Quiz - 6 are,

1.) Who are the only father and son combination to have ever played in a World Cup. [HINT - The father played for East Africa and the son for England]
Donald James "Don" Pringle - East Africa and Derek Raymond Pringle – England.


2.) Who invented the 'Leg Glance'?
K.S. Ranjitsinghi


3.) Which country has the unenviable record of being dismissed twice in the same day during a test match.
Two sides have been dismissed twice in a day,
India (58 &amp; 82) v England
Zimbabwe (59 &amp; 99) v New Zealand



4.) Which famous umpire said, "I married cricket"?
Harold Dennis 'Dickie' Bird


5.) Name this cricketer [in the picture].
Clive Lloyd

The Winner(s) of the previous Quiz are, Deepak Balamurali.
- Congrats


The winners of the Poshin's World Cricket quiz are,
1st place goes to the undisputed leader Deepak Balamurali
2nd place goes to Kirby Meehan 
and the 3rd place to Chirag Joshi.


The winners can post the above award in their blog by copying and pasting the HTML code given below in their blog.  
The following is the HTML code for the picture award.

__________________________________________________________________________________
<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
<a href="http://christopherdavid007.blogspot.com/search/label/cricket%20quiz"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_V_iR8wGVsas/SyifkZ5sNPI/AAAAAAAAALM/dHaM56oZ5Z4/s320/trophies+281.jpg-for-web-normal.jpg" /></a>
</div>
__________________________________________________________________________________

It was a lovely experience doing this quiz series and I want to thank all the participants.  Without your participation this never would have been possible.  And another round of applause to Deepak, Kirby and Chirag.

I now host the quiz at Royal Challenger's Bangalore's website titled RCB Friday Trivia.

Cheers;


A Cricketer's Tribulations



Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB - for whom I also happen to write) are looking out for future players and have introduced 'Future Challengers'.  It's recruitment into the RCB team.



And out of the many entries, one entry certainly did catch the eye.  It had the following letter, in which the candidate explained his trials and tribulations as a cricketer and his life as a whole.
The letter is heart touching, and just shows the lives and reality of millions in India who dream of playing cricket.

The following is the letter*.
__________________________________________________________________________________
Hope this mail finds you in good comfort!
Please do not consider this as selection criteria, but felt as sharing this with you as this will be my last attempt to try for any Cricket Selections …. In fact I do not where to start and where to end this mail of mine.
This mail is about me, I am in my early 20`s now , I'm working as a Assistant in Bangalore .
In 1997 (age 13) I was in my 8th std ,during mid term test I couldn’t perform well in my exams and my dad was a very strict about my studies and if I couldn’t perform well I used get beatings from my dad always as he wanted me to score above 90 every time. Today I realize that all which he did was his love towards me to make me a better person. During my test I couldn’t perform well in 2 off my papers and after my exams my teacher wanted to meet my dad cause of my poor performance .With my fear I couldn’t tell this to my parents and I took a decision without even thinking about my future. I left my home ,my parents, my studies everything .   I was the only son for my parents.  I was 13 then (1997).  My journey started in Bangalore railway station ,I went everywhere - Chennai, Hydrabad, Nagpur, Lonavala, Pune...Mumbai...sleeping a good section in trains.
Finally I got tired and landed in Mumbai…yes Mumbai.  In Mumbai I went to an hotel in Pillohouse....started working there then started selling tea, cigarettes, on a cycle...worked in chowpaty in dosa stalls...you might think why I am telling you all these things..but...I don't know...
During this period I used to work for Rs.800 as my monthly salary in that hotel...I used to save all my money without spending on anything because I wanted to join Bengal cricket club in Dadar, where Sangam Lad sir use to be the coach. I came to know about this in a newspaper there where I used to read daily in fear thinking my photo might come up in papers... after 6 to 8 months I collected 4500 Rupees.  I paid sangam sir the money and stated playing for the club....my struggle went on....after some time Amir Chahcha passed away the hotel got closed and I was left homeless....I then went to agripada,which is near lower Parel....got a job in dosa stall....where I used to work and sleep on the table to luk after the stall which was there on footpath.  But my struggle and love for cricket never died.... I still remember one day, I didn't had money to get the train ticket from Mumbai central to Dadar and the previous day I had seen the conductor TT catching a person and handing him over police who was caught travelling without ticket ...having that fear I ran from Mumbai central to Dadar morning 4 o clock.
Years passed on and I kept on doing the same thing every day.  Morning practice, evening work in food stalls. Later Amith Bhate uncle from National Cricket Club in Oval Maidan told me to practice there and I started playing for national cricket club in 2003.  He also got me a job in a courier company .
And during the same year I was transfered to banaglore, may be by Gods wish...I came here wrote letter to my parents (after 7 yrs) that is something which I cannot express nor I can tell in words...it was as beautiful as it can get...I came to B'lore started working and I couldn't miss my routine even here....I joined Brijesh Patel Academy...Ananth sir was the coach then ( hope he still remembers me, Selector now for the state ), I used to play around Ganesh Satish, Amit Verma, Nikhil Kashap, … Ganesh and Amit are now playing for Karnataka and Nikhil for Bangalore Brigadiers.  (You might think that even though I got so many chances to play for so long why I haven't been a proper professional cricketer yet. As you read, every time I am in my peak of getting into teams I always had something else happening on the other side of my life which kept me pulling back from cricket)
By now I had realized my mistake which I made 13 years ago by leaving my studies, I then planned to continue my studies and got my Diploma in Web and Graphic Designing thru Aptech Academy. Started hunting for jobs as I had realized that I should settle and leave the cricket madness forever.
When I saw your message on twitter about playing for RCB, my body said YES got your chance, but my mind still says don’t repeat the same mistake. Coming to a happier note I just got married a month ago and leading a good married life. But I still pray to God.
“Give Me Some Sunshine, Give Me Some Rain,  Give Me Another Chance I Wanna Grow Up Once Again”
Please please keep me posted on any selections update and wish you good luck for your future.
Thanks for your time
Regards,
__________________________________________________________________________________
*The name has been removed due to the personal letter.
**The letter was bought to my knowledge by Nidhi@RCB - So thank you Nidhi@RCB.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Rajkot Revelation



Today's match in Rajkot is truly one of the best matches India has played in recent times, and in this article I look at a few of the revelations that the Rajkot ODI <scorecard> brought to the fore.





The Indian batting was on song with the top three batsman scoring above 50, and hence enabling India to post their highest ODI score of 414/7.  This is largely thanks to Sehwag who absolutely ensured beyond a shadow of doubt just why he is one of the most feared batsman of our times with a breath taking 146 of just 102 deliveries.  But Sri Lanka needing more than eight an over, batted in dazzling style as they fell just 3 runs short of the Indian target.  Dilshan (160) is surely the Sehwag of Sri Lanka.





The Indian batting in the last few years has been in full flow, and this can be seen from the number of results that have swayed in India's favor in the last 3 years.  A clear reflection of this is that India's top four highest totals have come in the last three years.
  1. 414/7 - This was scored today.
  2. 413/5 - This was scored in 2007 World Cup against Bermuda.
  3. 392/4 - This was scored earlier this year earlier this year in New Zealand.
  4. 387/5 - This was scored last December against the English in the same venue.
The Sri Lankans too have been in good nick with the bat mostly thanks to the reborn Dilshan, ably supported by the evergreen Sangakara and Jayawardna.  And they made most of a pitch tailor made for batting.  Another revelation is the nature of the wicket prepared for the match.  It was a featherbed.  A total bowler killer pitches that had no sympathy for the bowlers.  It was clearly the bat that dominated the proceedings.  This is sad to see considering that cricket is a game of a evenly contested match between the ball and bat.  That was amiss today.  Oliver Brett, a BBC cricket writer commented, 
"Sri Lanka and India - Best batting sides in world cricket, or worst bowling sides?"
Thankfully as the match ended as an humdinger, cricket was the winner instead of a pitch that bowlers suffered.  The pitches are killing bowlers and with it quality cricket.
Another revelation was the pathetic Indian fielding on display again.  India have dropped 11 catches in 90 overs in the past week alone.  Is this team even trying to become world champions?  Today 3 catches went down, and unsurprisingly no one was surprised at the usual habit.  Poor Micheal Young is being blamed for the mishaps in the field.  The former Australian fielding coach has spent less than two weeks in office and people expect results!  Mr. Young and the Indian players better right their mistakes soon before they prove too costly costing India a match.
Also the Indian bowling is very inconsistent and look uninterested and lack the ability to think straight and execute plans at times.  This is a major case of worry, but the bowling department has been let down by the fielding and have been cheated out of 11 wickets in the last two T20 and this ODI included.

Hopefully India will pull up their socks in the field and find consistency in the bowling before the second ODI.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thanks to IPL...



IPL has done plenty to cricket.  It has redefined cricket in a way like never before.  Thanks to IPL, money is so cheap and the accusations against cricket competitions involving money continue to rage.  The most common debate is the country vs. money debate.  But today I can say that there is no such thing.  Players always prioritize country over club.  At least James Anderson and Stuart Broad do.

 Thanks to IPL we now have,


The Indian public now trusts Rupees more than Dollars.


We spend more time seeing Ads than seeing the match


I think Stuart and Jimmy would fit this bill.

And yes, older players revel in IPL...

Surely without IPL, cricket would be a lot boring....

Picture Courtesy - Kunal 

Friday, December 4, 2009

K.I.S.S.



Once when Steve Waugh was asked to describe Virender Sehwag's batting method, he summed it up in four letters: K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid).  Sehwag's batsman-ship is perhaps one of the simplest in the world.  His mantra is 'See ball, Hit ball'.  And with his overflowing confidence, tremendous hand-eye co-ordination and his amazing bat-speed to back up his simple mantra, Sehwag is definitely one of the most devastating opening batsman of our times.


Sehwag is one of the few batsman who remains unaffected by the condition of the pitch, the climate, or the reputations of the bowlers.  The Nawab of Najagarh in his sublime best can disintegrate any bowling unit single handedly.  His feats on the field has left him as a reoccurring nightmare to bowlers, and opposition captains.

Sehwag first entered the international arena as a dasher whose aggressive styles instantly won him popularity.  And now 10 years later, the 31 year old still is a young boy at heart who dismantles bowling attacks of reputations such as Lee,  Muralitharan, Akthar, McGrath, Pollock and Steyn with passion.  Sehwag's aggressive styles does have it's downside, and Sehwag learned about it when he was dropped in 2007 due to some inconsistent performances.   It was during this time when Sehwag learned some valuable lessons.  The hurt of being dropped was evident, and Sehwag soon learned to curb his aggressive instincts just a little bit and started concentrating on his leg-side game.  But after some time in the wilderness, the Nawab walked into the Adelaide to score an imperious 151 against the Australians in their own backyard.  After that the man has never looked back.


Later in the year, Sehwag followed up the century down-under with a splendid triple century in Chennai against the South Africans.  This got him in the record books as the only man after Bradman, and Lara to score two triple centuries. In his next Test series against Sri Lanka, Sehwag thrived while the famed Indian middle-order struggled against the mystery spin of Ajantha Mendis.  He scored a double century in that series.  In the Border-Gavaskar series that followed Sehwag gave India some brisk starts, but his true genius and ingenuity was seen in the first test against the English in the winter.  Sehwag set the platform brilliantly as India chased an improbable 387 runs in the fourth innings.

Sehwag has been in brilliant form and yesterday he showed yet again his amazing ability to weave magic with the bat.  Against a bowling attack containing Muralitharan, Sehwag raced to 286 runs at better than a run a ball.  Sangakara was left in a state of shock and Muralitharan was taken to all parts of the ground.  The world's highest wicket taker was made to look ordinary as he conceded more than 5 runs per over.  Dilip D'Souza described the situation best: "Could this be the first time a Test team has scored nearly 400, gone out to field thinking they are essentially safe in the match, and then watched the 400 reeled in for the loss of a single wicket? I mean, start of the day SL must have felt safe; end of the day they must feel like they are on the fast track to going down 2-0 in the series."  Today he had a chance to make history by becoming the first person to score 3 triple hundreds, but fate had other plans as his tormented took a return catch to dismiss Sehwag just 7 short of a well deserved 300.

Sehwag loves the ball coming onto the bat and ruthlessly attacks fast bowlers.  But his real strength is against the spinners, and it is against the spinners that he is most vulnerable.  Sehwag sometimes goes overboard against the spinners and ends up losing his wicket cheaply.  John Wright once wrote that he just wished that Sehwag would consider spinners as bowlers.


Sehwag is a monster on field who has committed all kinds of atrocities against bowlers.  But off the field, he is a simple, humble, contented man who is never short on self-confidence.  His confidence level is extraordinary.  Sehwag backs himself to hit the ball to the ropes and is not scared to take the risk of hitting it in the air.  Often Sehwag hits the ball straight where the fielder is positioned, and the poor fielder can only watch the ball sail over into the stands.  He goes into every shot knowing he'll clear the fence.  And when on song he can clear any boundary in the world at will.  Sehwag is always seen with a smile and even after falling agonizingly 7 short of his third triple century, he goes and says, "At least 293 runs.  Not many people have got two triple centuries and followed that with 293, So there is nothing to be disappointed about."

Surely, Sehwag is worthy of all adjectives used to describe his wild, innovative, dashing style of play.  Whenever the criticisms come up, Sehwag's bat has talked.  And how it has talked!  More high scores are definitely in store for the Nawab, and I won't be surprised if one day he does beat the record he came so close to pass today.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Why India never dominated cricket...



Why has India never dominated the cricketing world over a period of time?

This a question I often ask myself. It is only common sense that India should be the team that sets the standards in cricket. After all it is backed by the richest board in the world who happens to hold the ICC under it's sway, and the talent pool found in India is so vast. The population of India is a billion while Australia has only 20 million people. Therefore India practically has 50 times more talent pool than Australia and also the money to properly cultivate that talent. In India, cricket alone dominates sports and is followed like a religion, but in Australia cricket has to compete with other sports such as rugby, and football. Despite the straight forward advantages India, has failed to dominate cricket over a period of time.

I analysed the causes and was surprised at some of the reasons.


The main reason I say that India is not like the West Indian team of the 60's and 70's is because of flawed domestic structure. I don't mean to criticize the structure itself. The domestic structure is sound, but the running of it isn't. Most of the times selection is based on 'influences' rather than performances. In some cases the selection is even rigged. But in the past decade, the Indian structure has got a lot of attention from corporate businesses and rigging of selection is not so prevalent as before. The IPL has surely helped this, but still it exists. Also another saddening thing about the administration of cricket in India is the amount amount of politics that exists. Many decisions not are based on sound cricketing knowledge but politics. Board room politics is synonymous with the BCCI. The Pawar-Dalmiya fall out is a clear example to this. This is definitely not good for the game.

Also the coaching system in India is not the greatest when compared to other countries. Many rural areas in India are still not reached while others still lack basic cricket facilities. I also feel that fitness and fielding is not emphasized enough at the beginning stages. The quality of coaching is a worry. But the good thing is that we see parents encourage more children into cricket nowadays due to the money involved in it. Even if a player doesn't reach the international or national arena, he is guaranteed to earn decent money playing cricket for clubs and teams in the 2nd division. Also the standard of cricket in the Ranji trophy needs to improve. The transition level between a Ranji trophy match and a International match is too high unlike the Australian domestic structure which is very much equally contested as an International match.

Another reason I feel is due to the fact that India lack the self belief that every game they play they will win. The teams that had Vivian Richard, Micheal Holding, Steve Waugh, Shane Warne went into every match believing that it was theirs for the taking. And they were expected to win every time they stepped into the field. But India lacks that belief specially when touring. India at home, believes that they are invincible and are very tough team to compete with. The 2001 test series against the Australian's bears this fact as India came back from behind to script history. When touring this self belief seems to suddenly disappear. John Wright, former Indian coach describes a scenario to explain this. He says that the Indian team when playing in India is not bothered about anything. Even if they are 20 for 3, they know they'll play well, but when touring that belief disappears and if the scoreboard reads 30 for 2, shock waves run through the dressing room and the panic button is pressed. This is clearly a lack of self confidence and belief. But in the last decade or so, India under Azharuddin, Ganguly, Dravid, Kumble and now Dhoni have defied the trend and have started to win matches overseas. A new generation of cricketers who play aggressive and competitive cricket have evolved. The public and the team is no more satisfied with a draw match overseas.

India entered cricket late, and this is a certain set back. Teams such as England, and Australia have been for more than a century and they enjoy a certain 'legacy' and the country's and the board's have had more time to promote the game. Another team with this distinct set back is South Africa. They entered cricket a little late only to be banned later.

India is also a team studded with talented players such as Dravid, Azharuddin, Kumble, Tendulkar, Ganguly, Laxman, Jadeja, Javagal Srinath that can easily compete with Ponting, Border, Richard, Waugh any day. Young players such as Dhoni, Yuvraj, Harbhajan, Sehwag, Gambhir can also be added to the list. The team has never lacked talent but has lacked more often in the past to play to the full potential of their talents. The New Zealand team is not star studded like India, but they perform well, because their 'whole is larger than the parts' mantra. India in the last decade has started to instill this team spirit and now it can be seen clearly. But still India has a long way to go. A lone warrior in Tendulkar or Dravid fighting alone to salvage some pride is all past.

These are some of the satisfying reasons that I came up with to answer the question that has haunted me in the past and does even now. Hopefully that question in the near future would become 'What took India so long to dominate world cricket?'. Surely that day is not far off, and the 100th test win is just another sign that a new world order is arriving.