Category Archives: cricket

IPL Coverage

IPL has been underway for almost a week now. And going by the opinions of the fellow bloggers, it has been fairly successful. I can imagine Lalit Modi and Sharad Pawar smiling in glee with their mouthlines extending from one ear to another and dancing on their toes when in private, even though they present a sober figure when they are under a public gaze!

Lalit Modi had been hell bent on not providing the rights to the media for publishing the images shot during the matches. Only the print media were allowed and even they had to pay hefty sums and also need to provide a copy of the images to the BCCI. Check out how pissed the media were – http://www.hindu.com/2008/04/10/stories/2008041055681000.htm . There are a lot more such opinions of the pissed-off variety and threats of total media pull out from the event.

However, one just needs to search the youtube for the amount of IPL videos available on it. Media boycott or not, one can watch all the highlights on youtube. Three cheers to the free world and the open-source and open-market protogonists!. Even the Live coverage is available through the peer-to-peer broadcasting. One just needs to install Sopcast and search for the available channels. And Lo, you have soo many sopcast channels broadcasting the IPL matches from CBN and Set-Max. Sitting here in Korea, i do not miss any action!

Even though i got high quality videos of IPL from sopcast, i am really pissed off about the cricket coverage from Set Max. Reasons are a plenty:
a) 5 ball overs are a norm for Set Max. Either you lose the first ball of the over or the last ball and it is entirely Set Max’s prerogative!
b) Immediately after a ball is bowled, the screen becomes L shaped to accomodate an embedded advertisement. And the worst of all is that the audio of the advertisement is not muted. So, you miss out on the comments of the, supposed to be expert, commentators.
c) Ajay Jadeja. He seems to be more intent on chasing the Cheer Leaders than catching up the action on the actual cricket field.
d) Where the hell is the dumb noodle-straps Bedi? The import of the redskins from Washington may have had her running for covers!

There is an online petition here – http://www.PetitionOnline.com/savecric/ . If you are also a pissed off viewer like me, please sign it. I have already signed it.

Bring me ESPN or Star Sports anyday. Their coverage is so polished and professional. A team of Harsha Bhogle, Ian Chappel, Tony Greig, Geoffrey Boycott and Ravi Shastri is anybody’s dream.

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Test Cricket needs a change!

I have been following the happenings in the current test series between India and South Africa. The first test could have gone upto 8 days and the chances of getting a result even at the end of 8 days were grim. The second test lasted for a mere 3 days. The second test though had been a exciting one for the South Africans and the India baiters. The first one was stale. Barring Sehwag’s audacious stroke play, the first test was a real dud. The India-Pakistan Series in Dec 2007 also did produce a couple of most boring test matches.

After all, why do two teams compete for over a period of 5 days. For nothing? They strive for a win and if there is no assistance for the bowlers, how can one expect a result. For that reason, i do believe that a green top or a square turner is a better test wicket than a flat track. Whenever there is something in the wicket for the bowlers, the matches turn out to be interesting and on most occasions do produce a result. Howover, when the players realise that getting a result within the 5 days is not possible, they play out for a draw, they play for records, they conserve energy, the effort level and the commitment is of a lesser degree. This is not what one, as a spectator, wants to see.

So, how about making test cricket more interesting, more alive, especially when playing on flat tracks?
Here are a couple of suggestions:

Each test spans for around 450 overs, considering that 90 overs are bowled on each day. Each team is entitled to bat for a maximum of 225 overs. The batting team can decide on the number of overs they want to bat on each innings (e.g. 125/100 or 150/75 etc) . They can declare whenever the going gets tough, or when they had enough runs, keeping in mind that they can get to play the remaining overs in the second innings.

The second suggestion is restricting the maximum number of overs a batting team consumes during an innings to around 150. This can be implemented to only the first innings as the dynamics change during the second innings and the parameters like the Lead, etc do come into picture. The second innings can then be a lmited overs affair, based on the amount of time left in the test match.

These changes would definitely make test cricket more interesting and the players more involved and committed to the cause.

I am a fan of test cricket, but i hate boring draws!

Purists definitely are gonna oppose changes to the older format. But the authorities have to decide whether they want to cater to just the purists or they want test cricket to be more interesting and more appealing to a common man. Boring draws and 20-20 are taking the spectators away from test cricket. Test cricket does really need some drastic changes. Sooner than later.

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The Real Test

Here is a classic one from Ramachandra Guha
“In my opinion, Test cricket may be compared to the finest Scotch, 50-overs a side to Indian Made Foreign Liquor, and 20-20 to the local hooch. The addict who cannot have the first or the second will make do with the last. The pleasures of the shortest game are intense but also wholly ephemeral. There is no time to savour delights offered in such a rushed and heady fashion. The medium form allows one to take in the booze more leisurely. Here, a batsman can bat long enough to develop an innings, to play strokes other than the hoick over midwicket or mid on.

But proper cricket can only be Test cricket. Spread out over five days, the game unfolds as in an epic drama. No restrictions are placed on anyone. As with the finest Scotch, one savours every sip; and yet, as with the finest Scotch, the whole is infinitely greater than the parts.”

Check out the complete article at: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080329/jsp/opinion/story_9055430.jsp

I have often been involved in coffee table discussions wherein the debate is over Test or One-day or 20-20, which one is going to be more popular, exciting and interesting. The above liner is a clincher. I will remember that!

No doubt, that 20-20 cricket will be a crowd puller, an instant hit. The IPL has left no stone unturned by roping in popular film stars into the fray. Moreever, ShahRukh and Preity Zinta are owning cricket teams and Cricket is becoming more of a tamasha or a mega bollywood bash. This will no doubt increase the TRPs, but where will all these lead cricket to. Are we seeing the beginning of the end of the gentlemans game?

20-20 cricket is more a show of brawn over brains, strength over strategies. Be ready to see more of the upper cuts and the hoicks over the mid wicket.

The BCCI seems to be hell bent on spoiling the test cricket in the country, by preparing some of the flattest wickets ever seen for the test matches. The match at Chepauk was a dud. Sehwag provided the much needed spark, but overall, the match was a hugely forgettable one.

It was very heartening to see Dravid crossing the 10,000 runs mark at Chepauk. It is a very coveted milestone and i for one, do feel that there is no more a deserving candidate than Dravid. Javagal Srinath pours his heart out in this interview and flowers a lot many accolades (all deserving!) on dravid – http://cricketnext.com/news/dravid-an-icon-of-test-cricket-srinath/30643-14.html.

Dravid has been the No.1. batsmen for India in test cricket during the period from 2002 to 2007. There were a lot many centuries and double centuries towards a winning cause. Tendulkar was more of a dud during this period and there were occassional brilliances from him and Laxman. Ganguly, with a suspect defence, has never laid claims of being a Test great.

2007 has been an off-year for Dravid, which included the world-cup debacle and some low scores in tests. His work ethics and attitude are of the first grade and he is a role model for any youngster in any profession. I just hope that he survives at least the next 2-3 years of test cricket and scores tons of runs.

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Tantrik’s story and the cricket round-up

I have been off-blog for quite sometime. This has more to do with some serious work loads and ridiculous schedules on the professional front.

Check out this link:- http://www.rationalistinternational.net/article/2008/20080310/en_1.html

The guts of the tantrik should very well be appreciated here. He tried the tricks in front of the cameras of one of the prime indian channels. This was hilarious stuff. “The tantrik tried. He chanted his mantras (magic words): “Om lingalingalinalinga, kilikili….” But his efforts did not show any impact on Sanal – not after three minutes, and not after five.”

Here is a very funny situation that a guy got into because of dowry!. The guy goes around saying that he is from City A even though he is from City B, coz his wife is from city A. His hands are all shaky and sweaty whenever he hears a high decibel “hello” from his wife..The world is so round and funny..Hope the guy finds some peace..

The Indian team returned victorious from the tough Australian Campaign. Not that they won the test series. The fact that they won at Perth, on a bouncy track, is in itself a victory of sorts. That the Indians were at the receiving end on most of the erring umpiring decisions, robbed them off the Sydney test and most probably a test series victory. Sydney had proved elusive during the 2003-04 series as well. A typical fighting innings by Steve Waugh in his farewell test eluded us of what could have been a historic win on that occasion.

A lot has been written about the controversies surrounding this year’s Sydney test. A “maa ki..” comment is less derogatory to Andrew Symonds and the match refree than a ‘monkey’ comment! But for a billion cricket fans, Harbhajan has been a big disappointment. “maa ki..” is a terribly derogatory comment to make in India and he has set a bad example for all young cricket enthusiasts.

India, of late, has found quite a few talented young cricketers. These youngsters seem to have the right attitude to survive at the highest level and take India forward. For once, the retirement of the Pancha Pandavas ” sachin, dravid, kumble, ganguly and laxman”, does not seem to leave behind a big void.

The squad for the first two tests against the South Africans have been announced – http://content-www.cricinfo.com/indvrsa/content/current/story/342851.html.
Hope the Indians continue their winning momentum – lot easier to do in home conditions!

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Bhajji’s bunny

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Dravid Dropped!

The Indian team’s selection for the Pakistan tour has evoked a lot of strong opinions. A lot of them are due to the dropping of Dravid from the team. I think that this was a right decision taken by the selectors. Start grooming the youngsters and gradually phase out the oldies.

Its great to see that the fans have not resorted to effigy burnings and protest marches. Tells a lot about the civilised behaviour of the Bangaloreans! There are a lot of other issues of national importance which require such acts. Neways, if either Ganguly and tendulkar were to be dropped, then there sure would have been a lot of profits for the effigy makers!
And coming back to the team, there are 6 openers, 5 bowlers, 1 wicket keeper and 3 middle order batsmen. Now the headache is to pick 2 openers from 6 and somehow get 4 middle order batsmen from the 3 chosen. A task only the Indian selectors can do! Dhoni, am sure, will miss Dravid against a tough opposition like Pakistan. And am sure that Pakistan will be happy to hear this news.

And coming back to the openers dilemma, Sachin will not bat anywhere else (his feelings are of paramount interest to the team management and the selectors than the results ) and Saurav cannot bat anywhere else. So, the other openers picked would probably be warming the benches on all the 5 matches.

Let the action begin. The build up to this series is quite encouraging for the Indians. They have done well in England, won the Twenty20 World Cup and performed up to their expextations against the tough aussies. Hope the better team wins! And that obviously is India on current form!

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We are the World Champs ;) !

Finally we watched the culmination of the World Twenty20 Cricket Championship. And it could not have been better scripted for an Indian Cricket fan. The final match was worthy of the occassion. Any match between India and Pakistan is bound to attract a lot of attention. The fact that the two teams conspired to meet each other in the finals made the final match a lot more spicier. The final was a humdinger of a match and am sure that quite a few finger nails have been chewed all over the world.

Shoib Malik’s statements during the presentation ceremony have sparked off a lot of controversy. Those sort of comments were definitely not on during such an important occassion. Sports and religion are miles apart and mixing them will definitely produce sour results. Read this nice article about the Final match and the controversy – http://blogs.cricinfo.com/meninwhite/archives/2007/09/scenes_from_a_final.php

There were a lot things to remember from this World Cup. A few that come to mind are follows:

1) Australia losing their first match to Zimbabwe
2) India winning the Bowl out 3-0 against Pakistan
3) SriLanka slamming a record 260 against hapless kenya
4) Yuvraj’s six sixers

There are a lot of positives to take home for the Indian team. The youngsters took the oppurtunities and made them count. The future of Indian cricket does look a lot brighter now. Dhoni’s captaincy was of first grade. He has a nice, cool and a calm head on his shoulders and leads the team with a mixture of maturity and aggression. The series against the Aussies is definitely bound to challenge his leadership skills. The Big 3 are gonna figure in the scheme of things once again. Whether their inclusion is gonna help Dhoni or prove to be a hindrance in his execution of his plans is anybody’s guess.

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