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Friday, April 30, 2010

Poshin's World gets 3 awards!

After finishing third in the Interblogatic IPL battle, Poshin's World has captured 3 awards from Paddlesweep Interblogatic IPL Awards.

Just wanted to thank all the readers for following the IPL action through Poshin's World.

You can still catch all the past Interblogatic IPL battle action here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The rise and fall of Lalit Modi

Lalit Kumar Modi entered D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai in his usual good looking suit, with the air of arrogance and confidence around and with his head held up high, yesterday for the IPL finals between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians. The IPL finals started and as the television cameras every now and then zoomed on the man who had made the front page of every news paper for the last week for all the wrong reasons, Lalit Modi managed to give his ever self-assured smile and for the most part tried to look like he had no idea that he was on the screen. The man, who created a huge storm and now in the very eye of it, tried to be strong and resolute and showed his absolute adamant character as he tried to hide what was happening in the surroundings. With almost haughty arrogance he had shrugged away that the IPL mess was a small issue a week ago, and he did look every bit like he still thought that it was no big issue despite a week full of events against him. Modi very self-conscious always had a smile on his face as he tried to forget and hide the tempest that raged all around him and also within him.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) wanting to take some stringent action against Modi sent him a mail suspending from any further activities with the board for the next six month pending an inquiry just minutes after the last ball of the finals had been bowled. The man who had made the Indian Premier League possible was given his exit notice.

The rise of Lalit Modi is a very interesting story itself. Being born into a rich business oriented family; Modi became the President and managing Director of Modi Enterprises and also the Executive Director of Godfrey Phillips India (India’s largest tobacco company). Modi came into cricketing forefront when he was appointed the youngest Vice President in BCCI in 2005 after being involved in the power struggle with Sharad Pawar against then BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya. Dalmiya was served a suspension and taken to court over charges of corruption and money laundering. Ironically, then Lalit Modi had gone to the extent of telling that Dalmiya must be put in jail. He was involved in the commercial department of the BCCI and during his tenure the revenue increased sevenfold between 2005 -2008. It was during this time that BCCI’s profit went above the one billion dollar barrier. In 2007 the plan for IPL was conceived and was born in 2008 with the inaugural edition taking place. Modi from that time on had risen to a whole new height and rode on the clouds. He was hailed as the messiah of Indian cricket, and in a pulse question asked during the second edition of IPL, more than 80% of the people voted Lalit Modi as the saviour of Indian cricket. Lalit’s rise to power is an amazing saga, and it was achieved in quick time, but his fall from grace has been faster.

The Income Tax Department raids and the various allegations brought forth by the Indian politicians, media and from inside BCCI sources, had Lalit Modi left to answer some very uncomfortable questions. The decision to suspend him just hours before the Governing Council meeting held today shows that BCCI wants to make Modi an example and would probably be taking a similar action as done to Dalmiya.

The fall from grace for Lalit Modi is something that has attracted the media’s attention not only in India, but the world. But Lalit Modi is like a cornered boxer who is bound to go with a fight, resisting as much as he could. In the presentation ceremony of the IPL, Lalit Modi took his final punch at BCCI. Like an injured wolf that is surrounded by its prey, Modi took his first bite yesterday as he came out and announced to the world that he still is indeed in power. The man who once was rated among India’s 30 most powerful men today at a few minutes past one lost everything. Yet Modi with a distinguished, and a small irritated smirk on his face came and said,
“I want to tell you that all decisions have been taken by the governing council and approved by the general body. Still as leader of the team I reassure you that if there is any flouting of the rules and regulations or any other irregularities. On this occasion, I assure millions of passionate fans of the league and the game across the globe that the IPL is clean and transparent. We should not allow this brand to be diluted and we will not." 
He quoted the Gita, appealed to the public and in an aroused self-righteous speech left the stage with a few eyes being raised. There’s still much more to come from him, I feel.

BCCI has come down hard on Lalit Modi in an attempt to set their house in order. Lalit is to be blamed for the mistakes he did despite all his good and must not be sympathized with, as he brought a bad name not only to the game but also the very laws that govern us. He was a autocrat and now he’s a prisoner of his own making. Modi is made a fall guy, of that I have no doubt, but when results must be shown and issues to be dealt with the board has little options left. The BCCI must now look to make sure that this never happens and take the league in the right direction. Tony Grieg once said that India must look to take leadership in international cricket, and it’s time for India to do that, but before that this mess must be cleaned up.

Lalit Modi’s time has come to an end and surely yesterday must be his last hurrah. Tomorrow brings a new dawn and hopefully with it a more transparent and cleaner Indian Premier League. The self-righteous, proud, arrogant man, who revolutionized Indian cricket, now stands as a man hounded for his life. How the mighty have fallen! The war isn’t over, but right now the score is BCCI - one and Lalit Modi - zero.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Third place isn't so bad...

Royal Challengers Bangalore booked a place in the Champions League T20 later this year after a clinical 9 wicket win over Deccan Chargers in the third place playoff [SCORECARD]. Deccan won the toss, elected to bat, but that was the only thing that went their way as Adam Gilchrist was removed in the very first over by a Kumble full toss. Things didn't get better for the Chargers as they lost 3 wickets within the powerplays. Some brilliant bowling and bizzare shot selections had Deccan all out for a miserly score of 82 runs. The last 5 wickets fell for just mere 4 runs. Kumble bagged 4 wickets while Praveen and Kallis took two. With only 83 to get, the Challengers had already won the game, but the formality had to be completed and it was done in great style by Dravid and Pietersen.

The bowling department for RCB clicked and Kumble led from the front getting his counterpart in the very first over. Steyn, Kallis and Praveen bowled beautifully and made it look like the deck was a minefiled. The debutant Niyan Doshi showed some amazing charecter and bowled a brilliant first over and followed it up with a great spell. His father Dilip Doshi must surely be happy with his son's performance. I don't know why he wasn't played before this season, but he was brilliant yesterday.

The fielding was excellant and up to it's RCB standard as usual.

The batting has nothing much to tell. Rahul played some trademark cuts while Kevin Pietersen finished the game in great style.

It was a rollercoaster of a tournament for RCB and has been full of mixed results. I'm sure the Challengers could have done better this seaon but there's no shame in finishing third. RCB have booked a place in CLT20 and I'm looking forward to that.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The IPL Controversy: Blessing in disguise?

The Indian Premier League is probably one of the best things that has happened to cricket and its success in the last three years shows just how powerful and how well it has been accepted by the public. The IPL has come under clouds of controversies ever since it was conceived and amid many criticisms and allegations, it has grown to become the seventh largest sporting league on the planet and has brought cricket to all corners of the world. The league thrives and despite many being very highly critical of it, the IPL has proved all wrong and has taken the game to a whole new level that was beyond the imagination of the people governing cricket a couple of years ago.

The man who has made all this possible is Lalit Kumar Modi. Being the youngest Vice President of the BCCI, Lalit Modi has redefined cricket and changed the topography to an extent that even the soil has changed. Much like how Kerry Packer revolutionized cricket, Lalit Modi has done to a greater extent when compared to Packer. Modi brought together some innovative entrepreneurial expertise and mixed it with some brilliant management and marketing aptitude. He redefined management in the field of cricket. Modi represents the third generation of entrepreneurs who are eccentric and believe that the world is theirs for the conquering. Cricket has never seen anyone like this, and with the approval of BCCI and ICC, Modi set up the dream called Indian Premier League. He mixed a concoction from glamour, cricket, and money. Modi had Bollywood, industrialist and business tycoons and politicians play an active part in the league. He captured the Indian middle class’ attention with the quality of cricket on display and the glitz of the cine field. Bollywood and cricket make a deadly combination in India, and with it the IPL formed the perfect formula.

The success of the Indian Premier League is largely based on its creditability and its huge brand name. IPL has gone from heights to heights and the brand name that once was truly dependant on the parent body of BCCI, has risen to stand independent. Now, after three years of wonderful cricket and entertainment, IPL faces its biggest controversy. With the Indian Income Tax Department showing financial irregularities of the IPL and its commissioner, Lalit Modi, the IPL faces its biggest battle. The credibility and the very name of the Indian Premier League are now at stake.

Various allegations have been made, and the IPL is being turned into a political warfare in India. Various allegations have been levelled and a few ministers have been linked to the league. Shashi Tharoor stepping down as the cabinet minster of External affairs being the prominent example of how political the IPL has turned into. With allegations ranging from financial irregularities and money squandering to conflict of interests between politicians and members of the BCCI, to even match fixing and illegal betting. IPL is in the eye of a huge storm and the open feud now between Lalit Modi and BCCI shows just how the grave the situation is.

Lalit Modi may have been an outstanding person who revolutionized cricket and made people see it in a whole new dimension, but what he has done in the process is also stain the very image and brand he so dearly built up. Financial irregularities and money squandering are very big allegations against him. Added to this are various other assertions such as using his position to benefit personal interests, confidentiality breach, having proxy holdings and also contacts with various bookies. The allegations and speculations go on and on and a new one surfaces every day. The line between speculations and allegations has dimmed to a certain extent in the past few days. The many allegations levelled against Lalit Modi and IPL continue not only to shock the BCCI and the Governing Council (GC) of the IPL, but also the public. Lalit Modi has tarnished and destroyed to a certain extent the very product that he created and nurtured. Modi with his larger than life image tried to be bigger than the game and is now paying the penalty of that as numerous probes have been initiated against him. IPL nor any cricketing league or body for that matter can be run by an autocrat. No organization can be a one man show and if that is the case, then there are bound to be conflicts within and outside the institution. The IPL stands as an example to that.

The BCCI and the Governing Council of the IPL are also in the wrong and are to be blamed. Tiger Patudi, a member of the IPL governing council said that they had not much say in the workings of the IPL and as long as the results was shown by Modi, they went happily along with him rather than to pause and question him. The Governing Council is at fault for not being conscientious and attentive of the dealings of the commissioner in relation with the IPL. The BCCI is the parent body of the IPL. Despite IPL being independent, it still is a sub-commodity of the BCCI and for that very matter they are also at fault and have to bear the consequences.

All the muck and slime associated with the IPL, will have a telling a damage on its name and more importantly its credibility and reputation. The Indian Premier League and BCCI have the perfect opportunity to retrospect and do a clean up operation of their workings and reorganize the failed structure. Lalit Modi is certainly all set to be shown the exit door no matter how resolute he is, and I’m sure that the power given to the IPL commissioner in the future will be much less when compared to now. The damage to the brand name is yet to be seen, but it will have an impact and investors will think twice or more before they commit to the IPL in the future. The very establishment and bureaucracy of the BCCI will be tested and this is perhaps a blessing in disguise and the perfect opportunity for BCCI as the guardians of the game to show the world that it indeed cares about the game and also to set its own house in order.

The Indian Premier League is a simply amazing league and helps promote cricket. With the amount of money involved it provides a good financial backing to cricketers and also helps bring hidden talent to the fore. It helps fringe cricketers and others rub shoulders with legends of the game and provides a fine opportunity for the younger and domestic players to learn from the best. Players like Hameet Singh, or Ambathi Raydu would never have been known had it not been for the IPL. It is the perfect forum for fringe players to showcase their potential and talent and also learn. It also provides fantastic entertainment and some wonderful quality of cricket. For cricket’s sake I hope that the Indian Premier League comes out of this storm stronger and better. It really would be a shame otherwise.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A heartbreaking exit

Royal Challengers Bangalore ended their pretty ordinary IPL 2010 campaign as Mumbai ruthlessly marched into the finals with a 35 run victory [SCORECARD].  Mumbai winning the toss elected to bat and they made almost messed up the advantage of the toss, as they lost 2 wickets with just 29 runs on the board.  Mumbai then slowly rebuilt their innings with Raydu and Tiwary getting into the act again.  But what knocked the lightings out of Bangalore was the assault by Mumbai in the last 5 overs, which yielded 76 runs.  Pollard came to the party justifying his high price tag as he blasted 33 runs of just 13 balls.

185 runs as a target is a huge task, but when that is the target to get in a pressure match like the semis, then the task gets even more difficult.  RCB started badly losing Kallis early.  Kevin Pietersen and Rahul Dravid kept the target within range as they built a platform, but some brilliant thinking by Harbhajan and amazing glove work by Raydu had RCB in a spot of bother.  Robin Uthappa threatened to take away the match, but the double blow of Robin and Dravid in the same over, knocked the living out of the RCB chase.  In the end, Ray Jennings was left sitting on the ice box with a ball in his hand left pondering another choking act by his batsmen.

The bowling was brilliant for RCB till the 15th over.  The Challengers had the grasp of the game till the 15th over, and after the assault from Pollard, RCB was left gasping for air.  The last 5 overs yielded 76 runs for Mumbai and it must be said that RCB bowled some very poor death bowling.

The fielding was really good and a little over exited at times, where a couple of throws at the stump resulted in overthrows.  Kohli's run out of Dhawan was some brilliance and showed the sparks of youthfulness.

The batting once again crumbled under pressure highlighting the story of RCB throughout the series.  The batting under immense pressure was put under even more pressure by some very good tight bowling and the double loss of RU and RD (Uthappa and Dravid) put RCB fully on the back-foot.  Ross Taylor was at his bad form yet again, and in hindsight, maybe it would have been better to have him sit the match out.

Tendulkar hurt his hand and had to have 8 stitches on his webbing after failing to catch Dravid's wicket.  Tendulkar has done an amazing job with Mumbai this year and it would be really really pitiful if he couldn't make the finals.  I do hope that Mumbai win this IPL because they are the only team that deserves it.  The only team that came close to them is now knocked out.

Kumble walking away with his head down after the defeat left me wondering whether this could be his last IPL?

In the end it was the better team winning and Mumbai truly deserves to win this IPL season.  RCB have a chance to redeem lost pride and book a place in the CLT20 later this year come this Saturday, and all eyes will be on the Bangalore boys then.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Live Commentary on Poshin's World!

There's going to Live commentary on Poshin's World for the Indian Premier League's semi-finals and the final and also throughout the world cup T20 in the West Indies.

The live commentary is brought forth by Test Match Sofa.  Test Match Sofa provide some incredible alternative cricket commentary, that is humorous and truly a treat to hear.  The commentary is based in England and have some of the most funniest people on board such as Jarrod Kimber of Cricket with Balls.  Check out the commentary team.   They also provide some amazing cricket podcasts.

The commentary audio widget will be found on the right side of Poshin's World, where you can follow every single ball of the World Cup Twenty20 between April 30th and May 16th and of course the IPL semis and the final.

Happy listening!

*Allow 10 seconds for buffering. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Mumbai show...

Bangalore was given a wake up call by Mumbai as Mumbai trashed Bangalore by 57 runs two nights ago [SCORECARD].  Bangalore is almost in, unless KKR can make a miracle like scoring 284 runs in a ball.  Bangalore is certain to meet Mumbai in the semis, but if Saturday's match is anything to go by, Mumbai truly hold the edge.  The match on Saturday was marred as a two low intensity blast took place outside the stadium in the generator room, causing an inevitable delay.  The match started and Mumbai played simply amazingly, helped by some very sloppy fielding and poor bowling.  Raydu scored 46 while out of form Duminy showed magnificent touch as he raced to 42 of just 19 balls.  Bangalore started the chase disastrously, losing Kallis and Pandey with just 31 on the board.  Things only went from bad to worse as RCB lost 6 wickets before even reaching 100, with only Kohli as a reputed batsmen left.  In the end, RCB lost by 57 runs and the NRR took a nose dive.

The bowling was disastrous barring Steyn.  Steyn bowled a lovely line and asked plenty of questions, while all others including Kumble bowled some very ordinary deliveries that was deposited into the stands.  Pankaj Singh was taken over 50 in his 4.  This is surely a warning bell, and RC must do some serious tinkering with their bowling to get it up to the mark in the semis.

The feilding was woeful with 3 catches being dropped.  The ground fielding was pathetic and worse was the catching as sitters were dropped.

The batting was under tremendous pressure and wilted under some very intelligent and tight bowling by the Mumbai bowlers.  With the run rate ever climbing and some tight bowling, only increased the pressure.  The batting was done and in the end, it was a very unforgettable day.

It was a rare day when everything that one does goes wrong but hopefully, the semis will be contrary to the display witnessed on Saturday.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The KP show

Bangalore are virtually in the semifinals now.  They have one firm foot inside after their win against Rajasthan a night ago [SCORECARD].  The game started with Warne electing to bat first, and things went horribly wrong for him as a couple of run outs and bad shot selections had the Royals reeling at 21 for 3.  Things got worse as Watson and Pathan departed soon after with the scoreboard at 72 for 6.  With a good rear guard action by Voges and Raut saw the team to 130.  RCB started badly, with inform batsmen, Kallis departing for a golden duck, but Kevin Pietersen shattered any hopes of victory RR had with Kallis' wicket as he smashed the bowlers all over the park.  Robin Uthappa joined him and he became the batsmen with most sixes this IPL season.  In the end, RCB romped home with a 5 wicket victory.

The bowling was spot on, and it is seen on the scoreboard.  Steyn has finally found his touch in T20 and has been in fine form.  Pankaj Singh, playing his first match of this year's IPL showed some wonderful basic bowling discipline and Vinay Kumar keeps on justifying his World Cup selection.  Kumble is bowling as well as he has ever been.  Kallis has been on and off, but he still manages to get those breaks and the bowling unit looks much stronger and meaner now.  They have been able to execute their plans well and I'm sure this is a team for the finals.
The fielding is simply astounding and surely RCB save some 15-20 runs on the field.  

The batting is a little worrisome, with Kallis going into a shell in the past few matches and Manish Pandey not striking the ball all that well.  Good news is that Dravid, Uthappa, and Pietersen are in good form, while Ross and Kohli haven't had much time in the middle.  Seeing the depth and power of the batting, it mustn't be a problem.  Kevin Pietersen's assault on the Royals shows just how valuable a player he is and with Kevin at 3, the team looks all the more powerful.

Surely RCB is a team for the finals, and anything less would be highly disappointing. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Gigantic Legend...

Anil Radhakrishnan Kumble is definitely beyond doubt one of India's greatest match-winners, perhaps even the greatest. Anil Kumble is a legendary figure now in Indian cricket after 18 years of distinct service to the country. He remains still a larger than life image and continues to be a role model and inspiration for the generations to come.

Anil Kumble is a bowler above par who has beaten the odds time and time again to do one thing he loves - play cricket in his country's colours. A medium pacer turned leg spinner, Anil Kumble has a very unorthodox bowling style. He is faster through the air, and unlike a genuine orthodox leg spinner, he fails to turn the ball much. Despite this, his unique bowling style has resulted in the fall of many batsmen and Kumble stands tall as the highest wicket taker from India with 619 test wickets and the third highest, behind only Warne and Muralitharan in the world. Kumble relies more on bounce and seam rather than the conventional flight and turn and with his consistent nagging line and his subtle variations, he sure made life a hellish experience for even the best of the lot. His control and accuracy was enormous and he could bowl and get wickets on an ice rink. Jumbo is most famous for his trademark 'flipper' and the faster one which has trapped countless many dead in front of the stump.

Kumble's accomplishments on the field are jewels. The figures he has accumulated are just astounding. He has to his name, 619 scalps in test cricket with 35 five wicket hauls and 8 ten wickets haul, and in the shorter format has 337 wickets. Kumble's finest moment with the ball came against Pakistan on Feburary 4th 1999, when he emulated Jim Laker's efforts by picking up all ten wickets in a single innings. This statistical anomaly is surely one that will not fade with time. Kumble's figures of 26.3-9-74-10 (read as O-M-R-W) is something that happens once in a millennium or rarer. Added to this magical spell, Kumble has a test century against England, which is something the great Shane Warne lacks in his trophy cabinet.

A fierce competitor on the field, Kumble would come at the opposition with all his strength no matter what. He was a tiger who roared before every fight and was a courageous warrior every bit. An African lion would envy such qualities. Added to those warrior qualities were, virtues such as patience, perseverance, and a confidence that knew no bound. Kumble was a fierce rival who would keep coming at the batsmen, and any resistance by the batsmen only made him more determined and to keep coming harder. Perhaps the greatest witness to this is former Australian skipper, Steve Waugh when he said,
“This man is amazing, he never tires and keeps coming stronger over after over."

Kumble is one of the big thinkers and is studious by disposition. He has a degree in mechanical engineering which he got with high distinction. Kumble is a bowler, who thinks on his feet and is street smart. Behind him, is an ever constantly working mind that plots the demise of batsmen. He knows when to go all out and attack with fire and when to step down and bowl a constant nagging line. He plays with the batsmen's minds and toys with them by setting them up for the faster, straighter delivery. Many world class batsmen have gotten more times than not, trapped plumb in front after a few loopy deliveries outside the off stick or the leg. Kumble is a bowler who can bowl aggressively as well as defensively and was the perfect bowler any captain could ask for. Like all bowlers, he hated getting hit away for runs, but if getting hit meant wickets, Kumble would happily oblige. If the opposition got away and was having a run riot, the skipper would often turn to his best bowler, and Kumble would respond positively by strangling the flow of runs or getting a break through. Kumble was one of the rare players who revelled under pressure and big moments. He enjoyed bowling against the best and continually tried to improve his game. Kumble was a bowler who would bowl for a long spell under hot and humid conditions and always with a smile. He enjoyed the responsibility and made sure that he gave his everything to do justice to that. He was a fighter who loved combats and would fight with his last ounce of energy even in a losing cause. He was a great asset and Mohammad Azharuddin, and Sourav Ganguly were more than lucky to have such a weapon in their ranks. The greatest tribute for Kumble and his value to the team was paid by former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly when he said,
“When the score is 250 for 1 and you are looking around the field, there is always Anil who looks you in the eye and is ready to bowl, no matter what the situation is.”

He was a selfless cricketer who played for the joy and pride of playing for his country and never played for records. His work ethics and commitment are unquestionable and the many sacrifices he has gone through only make him every bit more legendary. One of his finest moments came in Antigua in 2002, when he bowled with a broken jaw that was heavily bandaged. Under the influence of painkillers and pure determination, Kumble with stitches in his jaw, sent down 14 overs eventually getting the price wicket of Brian Lara. Kumble will be remembered for his high standards of work ethics and commitment. Even in his last match, he bowled with a heavily bandaged hand and his last wicket, his 619, was one that he caught of his own bowling. Kumble will be remembered as a perfectionist and a selfless cricketer who did his best for the team every time. In his last match, when asked if he had any regrets, he replied in the negative and said,
"I'd like to be remembered for giving 100 percent for the team every time I went out there."

Kumble the player might have been a fighter, and a warrior who loved to see the fall of a batsmen, but he never let any success or victory go against his principles and the game. He played in the spirit of the game, in an era, where principles and morals often get overshadowed. He stood his ground, when he was right and backed his morals and principles. Kumble is the perfect ambassador of the game, who after 18 years of International cricket has a very clean report card. He is respected and admired by teammates and opponents alike, not only for his achievements but also for being a gentleman. He has never tarnished his name, or the game which he proudly plays. In the midst of fire during the 2007 Australian tour, Kumble the skipper stood firm and resilient, amidst racism allegations, foul play, and bad umpiring. He echoed the famous words said by former Australian captain Bill Woodful during the devastating 'body-line' series,
"There are two teams out there, and only one of them is playing in the spirit of cricket..."
The words showed just how much the game meant to Kumble and that nothing could differ him from that. He was hailed world wide and even people in Australia came out in direct support.

A story of Kumble can't be complete without mentioning his love affair with Feroz Shah Kotla, New Delhi. Kumble has an amazing record at the ground and his figures at Kotla are simply mind numbing. He has 58 wickets in seven Tests at Kotla, including his perfect ten against Pakistan. Perhaps it was destiny that the giant bid adieu to international cricket at Kotla.

Kumble the bowler was devastating, but Kumble the batsmen showed just as much temperament and logic. He was a player who put a prize on his wicket and never threw it without a fight. He has been part of so many rear guard plays for India and often the lone resistance from the lower order. Kumble has a century to his name, and perhaps it is this that separates him from Warne.

One of Kumble's finest moments came when he was appointed as captain of India in November 2007. Being of the most senior player, India with Kumble at helm had one of the best people for the job. He was well experienced, and had all the qualities to become a successful skipper. And this he did, with great success. Kumble became a mentor and a great role model in the side. He was a great a teacher, and helped the younger players adapt to the international level. Youngsters saw Kumble as a role model and a warrior who would not lift his hands to kill even a fly, but someone who would certainly do all to destroy a batsmen on the field. He was a warrior with a big heart who would only topple over batsman. Kumble's discipline and preparation before and during matches and his words of guidance always helped the new-comers feel at home. Leg spinner, Amit Mishra who considers Kumble as his mentor revealed that it was Kumble who first called him to tell him of his selection, rather than the selectors. The team's admiration towards their captain was seen during his send off at Kotla.

Kumble was also another player who made many a comebacks. His comeback in 1992 made him a permanent player for the team. His comeback in 2001 after a shoulder surgery only showed his resolve and temperament.

Kumble after retirement has taken to spending more time with his family and pursuing his hobby of photographing, but cricket continues to a very active part of his life. Being part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Kumble continues to showcase his brilliance. In the first season, his team finished second last, and after some big power shifts within the team, involving many sackings and step downs, Kumble found himself at helm. In the second season, the team looked rejuvenated and with Kumble at the steering wheel, RCB came within 6 runs of victory only to take the second place. Kumble had taken a team from the very bottom of the tables and turned it to a winning team that was hungry for victory and feared by opponents. Kumble's exploit with the RC team is now legendary and under him, RC look to take the title that so dearly eluded them last year.

One of the biggest reasons I admire Kumble is because of his humbleness and simplicity. Despite his mountainous achievements, he continues to be a very ordinary being, and it is this that makes him truly extraordinary. I had the privilege of meeting the great man a few months back, when I went to cover an event for Royal Challenger's Bangalore. Meeting him was an amazing experience and it showed me just how down to Earth Kumble was.

India was privileged to have a player called Anil Kumble, and likewise we are privileged to have watched him play. He is a legend whose name will go alongside Bill O'Reilly, BS Chandrasekhar, Erapalli Prasanna and Bishen Singh Bedi. One of the images of Kumble that is etched in my memory forever is, Kumble down on one knee bellowing out "Hozzzzzzzzaaat" to the umpire, with the bemused batsmen left wondering his fate. Hopefully many more of such incidents occur in the IPL. Kumble was the perfect team player who served the country selfless, but more than that it is the man that he is, that makes him a true legend.

"Legends are defined not by what they achieve but by who they are."
- Anonymous

Wide Angle By Anil Kumble
This entry is posted as a part of the Contest by

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


No other word can describe RCB's performance against DC yesterday than the word 'choked' [SCORECARD].  The team was well on top during most part of the match and played some very ordinary cricket in the decisive parts handing the Chargers a important victory.  RCB started in grand style with Gilchrist departing first ball and Suman the very next all.  Gibbs soon departed and Steyn looked like a Olympian god as he got RCB of the ideal start, sadly it wasn't to last as Monish Mishra and Rohit Shrama steadied the ship and with Symonds got to a respectable target of 151 runs.  RCB got the chase of to the worst start possible losing Manish Pandey first ball.  Dravid and Kallis built a good partnership, but the run rate kept on increasing.  Going for quick runs, the RCB team fell apart apart from Robin Uthappa.  With 18 runs needed from the last two overs, Harmeet Singh bowled a beautiful over, foxing Robin (which turned out to be turning point) and soon, RCB found itself without two precious points.

Dale Steyn bowled his heart out, and found himself among the wickets.  He bowled a lovely line and was fast, furious and damn accurate.  It was a pity in the end that he couldn't end up in the winning side.  Kumble bowled well, and so did Vinay Kumar, but Kallis and Appanna bowled very ordinarily and let the Charger's reach a respectable total.  There are still plenty to be desired from the bowling attack and the shaky screws must be tightened soon.

Chasing 152 runs wasn't going to be difficult, but RCB made it difficult thanks to themselves.  Credit must be given to Harmeet Singh and Pragan Ojha.  Dravid batted beautifully and so did Robin Uthappa.  Kallis for the first time looked out of sorts and not sure of his role.  He played a slow innings of 27 from 37 balls, which I feel was the difference.  So far, Kallis had scored a run a ball or better, but yesterday he looked completely out of sorts and touch.  If Kallis wants to use so many balls, then he must see the team through, which he failed to do.   Kumble hit the nail right on the head when he said, 
"He [Kallis] has won us a couple of games earlier but today he got stuck," Kumble said after the game. "He should have gone after the bowling in the first six overs but it did not happen today. He should have made a move-on which did not happen today and that put pressure on the guys coming in. You can't expect someone like Robin [Uthappa] to see you through [every time]."  
Kallis is a match winner and a great player but yesterday's loss was largely due to his batting.  He just didn't get going yesterday.  The other batsmen fell going for runs and RCB turned what was to be a comfortable chase to a nightmarish experience.  Robin Uthappa was in his zone once again, but unfortunately he couldn't get through this time.   I feel that RCB fail to use the Powerplay well and depend on Robin Uthappa too much near the end.

Hopefully RCB will rectify their mistakes and come out all guns blazing against Rajasthan in their next game, which is a must win one for both teams.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A step closer

Royal Challengers Bangalore came a step closer to a semi-final berth after a convincing 7 wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders at Bangalore [SCORECARD].  Kumble winning the toss put in the Knights to bat, and things looked like it was a horrible decision as Ganguly's team raced to 100 runs for the loss of only a wicket by the eleventh over itself.  The team got of to a brilliant start with Kolkata scoring 61 in the Powerplay thanks to Gayle and Ganguly.  This is their highest score in the Powerplay this IPL.  RC bowlers struck in the 11th over removing Ganguly and Tiwary, Mathews followed him in quick succession.  The middle order fell like a pack of cards, but Brendon McCullum looked in a dangerous mood, playing some very unorthodox shots.  Kumble took McCullum in the 16th over as he tried clearing the boundary.  KKR lower order then decided to take some suicidal runs and in the end posted 160 for 9 as their score.  RCB opened with Kallis and Sriram (a Tamil Nadu player).  Kallis was dropped early by Ganguly but failed to make the most of the opportunity as he departed soon after.  Dravid came at his legendary first down position and played a simply amazing  knock (52 runs of 35 balls).  There were trademark Dravid shots with plenty of aggression.  His two sixes in a single over, showed that class is permanent no matter the format and established just how big the RC batting is.  Robin Uthappa then played a blinder of an innings scoring 50 runs of just 22 balls.

RC bowling finally came good.  The bowling has been under immense scrutiny and except Kumble, the others have been very inconsistent.  Praveen Kumar took a belting, but the others performed really well.  Man of the match, Vinay Kumar bowled his heart out and maintained a very tight line.  He bagged 3 wickets.  He got able support from Steyn and Kallis who took 1 and 2 wickets respectively.  The standout bowler was Anil Kumble who bowled his four overs giving less than 5 runs an over and bagging the all important wicket of McCullum.  The bowling looks good and the executions of plans are good like it was in the beginning.

The fielding was good with all the catches being taken, but the ground fielding of certain fielders has to improve.

The batting was exceptional once again and it was a treat to see Dravid get going this IPL.  A player who didn't get much opportunity, came out with all guns blazing.  Dravid's innings showed that a quality player can adopt to any format and he did that yesterday showing a side that is not often associated with Dravid.  His strike rate of almost 150, surely shows that he is game for T20.  Robin was also in great touch as he sent the KKR bowlers all over the park.  Seeing him switch hit Mendis for two sixes and a four shows just how much confidence the young lad has.  Ross Taylor got a few balls to face which will be crucial as the tournament progresses.

RCB are back and with that win are a step closer to the semis.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Heartbreak for RCB...

It was another disappointing play by Royal Challengers Bangalore yesterday as they went down to a seven wicket loss to Deccan Chargers at home [SCORECARD].  The pitch was a good T20 wicket with nice bounce, carry through and nice pace.  It also had something early on as it aided the seamers.   Winning the toss, Gilchrist had no objection but to field and put the Challengers in.  RCB dropped Kevin Pietersen and looked to play some serious cricket and this was evident by their daring decision to drop their most expensive player.  Saldy things didn't pan out that way with Manish Pandey being bowled neck and crop by Harris.  Rahul Dravid was sent up the oder for the first time this IPL and Kallis and he got the ship moving, but Dravid fell trying to up the ante.  The next few batsmen followed Dravid quickly with RCB in deep trouble.  Virat Kohli (58) and and Kallis (68) played slowly compensating and RC was sitting at a rather uncomfortable position at 96 for 4 after 14 overs.  The next six overs all hell broke lose as Kallis and Virat chased the bowlers all over the park!   In the end thanks to some magnificent hits by Virat and Kallis RCB made 184.

Deccan started slowly going at less than a run a ball in the first six, but will Gilchrist there, the match was very much alive.  Soon Gilchrist kick started with Suman playing the anchor role.  Gilchrist was soon removed by a Kumble beauty.  Soon followed the DC skipper Rohit as he was caught of Vinay Kumar.  With still nearly 100 to get Symonds and Suman played some outstanding cricket helping the team cross the finish line.

The top order batting was woeful except for Kallis and Dravid.  Dravid played a good short knock but didn't make it a big innings, while Uthappa and Taylor hardly troubled the scorers.  Leaving Pietersen out was a daring move and I believe it to be a positive as well as a desperate move.  Virat Kohli showed his talent once again and  sent a strong message to the selection team for dropping him for the T20 World Cup.  One of moments of the match was when Kohli hit a six and lost his balance but thanks to youthfullness and lightening quick reflexes, he avoided falling on the stumps like Roy Fredericks did in the 1975 World Cup.  Kallis was at his extraordinary best yet again and got yet another brilliant fifty.  I'm pretty sure that the orange cap will be with Kallis till the end of the IPL.   Cameron White slammed two big sixes in the last two balls helping RCB go past the 180 mark.

The RC bowling was good upfront but after the 8th over, things started going badly until the Challenger's pulled things back in the tenth over with Gilchrist's wicket, but still the Chargers ran riot.  All the bowlers were taken for runs this match, including Kumble who has been the most economical bowler this IPL.  The bowling was woeful and conceded too many runs at the death.  Steyn, Praveen and Vinay Kumar bowled erratic lines and some very big full tosses that were rightly deposited into the stands.  Suman played with great maturity and showed his potential for perhaps the first time so far in the IPL.

Congrats to Suman, Symonds, and the Deccan Chargers team.  We were outplayed just a little and in the end we were so close yet so far away.  This makes life more difficult for RCB but I'm sure a semi spot is theirs.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The 40 Most Exciting Cricket Blogs On the Web...

World Cricket Watchers have fabricated a simply amazing list converging of the 40 most exiting cricket blogs found on the net.  The list consists of big blog names such as 99.94, BCC!, Cricket with Balls, Iain O’Brien's Cricket Blog, Sarah Canterbury, The corridor, and TCWJ.

Poshin's World is also featured on the list.

So here's presenting the

The 40 Most Exciting Cricket Blogs On the Web

Monday, April 5, 2010

A forgettable outing

Royal Challengers Bangalore yesterday in front of a full house at Kotla were handed their fourth loss of the season by the home team as they inched closer to a semi-final spot [SCORECARD].  Electing to bat first Delhi made a good start scoring 41 runs for the first wicket, before Sehwag departed soon followed by Gambhir.  Warner and Paul Collingwood (75*) notched up a partnership in quick time but Warner departed just in time and Karthik in quick succession.  Paul Collingwood and Vettori saw the team through putting up 184 runs for the Bangalorean boys to chase.  Bangalore started badly with the experiment of White opening failing badly.  Pietersen was sent first down and he along with Kallis played some very interesting cricket that can be termed very well as preposterous as the run rate went high into the sky.  With Pietersen dismissed and the asking rate over 10, it called some big hitting and the RC batsmen fell in pursuit of quick runs falling 37 runs short.

The RC bowling was lacking sting without Dale Steyn.  The pitch might have been slow, but still I feel the express fast bowler would have done better.  Mithun was good in patches and was inconsistent.  Kumble bowled well and probably for the first time this IPL was taken lightly by a batsmen as Collinghood hit two sixes of him. Appanna bowled well but without Praveen Kumar and Dale Steyn the bowling lacked venom and in the end conceded some 20 odd extra runs which eventually decided the match.

The batting was horrific as the Challengers chasing 184 with the run rate above 9 scored at a slow pace getting only 55 runs in the first half of the match.  The experiment to send White opening failed and Manish Pandey being dropped looked like a bad move.  Pietersen than played an innings of utter ineptitude as he made a scratchy 16 of 18 balls.  He failed to score in the power plays and only made the run rate go up. Kallis' role was to be an anchor but with Pietersen also not scoring put heavy pressure on the batsmen.  Credit must be given to the Delhi bowlers who bowled a brilliant line.  In the end it was too much too get and a little too late.  Here's the strategy explained by the Chief blogger of RCB - Aneesh Surender.
"Stifle the batsmen by taking off the pace and unleashing the deep batting line-up on the opposition. Dale Steyn left out on a slow pitch to accommodate the spinning all-rounder in Cameron White. Manish Pandey rested as Ross Taylor came into the side, and Praveen Kumar replaced by Abhimanyu Mithun."

One thing I love being a RC fan is that the RC team is willing to get inputs of it's fan and I had quite a wonderful experience reading through this thread where various people analyzed where things went wrong.
To view the thread.

The fielding was a let down and few runs were leaked.  All in all Royal Challengers were outplayed in every department and alot must improve.  Changing the whole team composition for the inclusion of Taylor wasn't such a good idea.  I'm sure they'll bounce back though!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Back to winning ways

Kings XI Punjab's seventh loss in as many as eight games has left them needing a miracle to stay in the tournament [SCORECARD]. Their batting never exploded, the bowlers lacked the venom to stop Royal Challengers Bangalore, and their fielding can be described only as deplorable.  Punjab yesterday had yet another forgettable day as they lost the game against Royal Challenger's Bangalore at home.

Royal Challenger's being put to field first on a green top that slowed down as the game progressed looked good and took out Shaun Marsh early, but the joy ended there as Kumar Sangakara and Bisla went about building good platform in quick time.  They both were removed in quick succession thanks to some tight bowling by Kumble and self destruction by the Punjabi batsmen.  Yuvraj and Bopara built up the momentum but Yuvraj fell just when Punjab needed him to push the score.  Pathan came in and provided a small cameo.  The batting was pretty good but the only problem is that none of the four top order batsmen who got starts converted it to anything big.  The bowling for RCB was good in patches, with Kumble, Vinay Kumar and Steyn bowling well.  Praveen Kumar had yet another off day and Kallis with the ball was hit all over the park.  There is still much to desired from the bowling department.

The Royal Challenger's ground fielding was very ordinary with brief glimpses of brilliance.  The catching was good and the catch Dravid took at slip to dismiss Marsh shows that, but still there is much area for improvement.  Comparing to the Kings XI Punjab team's effort at fielding, RCB looked like they had fielded like one of the best sides ever.

The batting for RCB for once revolved not around Kallis.  Kallis was dismissed early and Manish Pandey got himself out in the most unfortunate circumstances.  Kevin Pietersen came in at three and played his best IPL innings by far.  He top scored 66 runs from 44 ballsproving more than a point to his critics and deservingly got the man of the match award.  Virat Kohli promoted up the order also played an innings of vast importance.  He scored 42 runs and must have sent some serious message to the selectors for excluding him from the team.  Virat and Kevin played slowly to start of and saw some brilliant tight bowling.  The asking rate touched double digits due to this, but soon after Virat cut lose and at his fall, Robin Uthappa - the monster entered.  With 48 runs needed of 24 deliveries, the two men for the job were at the crease, Robin and Brett Lee.   Lee bowled a brilliant over giving away 25 runs and also giving away the match.  Lee so far this IPL has had an horrendous run with 111 runs given in three matches so far with no wickets against his name.  What is even more frightening is his economy rate of 10.57.  I have no doubt that Brett Lee is a class act and will bounce back, but it will all be in vain as Punjab need a miracle to stay afloat in this season of IPL.

It must be said that Bangalore were helped by some sloppy fielding with as many as five catches going down and some straight forward ordinary ground fielding fielding resulting in boundaries.  Catches win matches, and that saying has just bitten Punjab hard.

Robin's little cameo of 22 runs from 8 balls sealed the deal for Bangalore.  With this win, RCB look like a much better team and are back to winning ways and more importantly closer to a semi-final spot.