Posts Tagged ‘India’

The return of Sourav Ganguly to the IPL …

Let me tell you one thing…

Sourav Ganguly is the KING of comebacks!

You have someone like Ajit Agarkar, who has made so many damn comebacks to competitive cricket that everyone keeps calling him the King of comebacks.

But this guy, Sourav Chandidas Ganguly, when he makes a comeback, he makes it count! (go back to December 2006 and IPL 2010)

His recall in December 2006 to international cricket coincided with one of India’s greatest moments in test cricket (India winning their first ever test match in South Africa) and his recall as captain of Kolkata in IPL 2010 saw him become the 4th highest run-scorer with 493 runs in 14 matches and saw the team missing qualification to the semi-finals due to net-run rate.

However, his reputation was tarnished big-time earlier this year when he went unselected in the auction (despite fellow old-timers like Dravid, Gilchrist and Laxman being selected). To rub salt into his wounds, this was after he had jacked up his starting price to $400,000 (from $200,000) after having been promised by a certain franchise owner that he would be picked up by them.

It all descended into a farce when someone wanted his name to be put up for a second round of auctions but no-one bid for him then as well. Subsequent attempts by Kochi to rope him in was also dashed by the other franchises.

However, he’s now back in the IPL, albeit with the man that ‘disgraced’ him, Subrata Roy. Funnily enough, as one article on Yahoo! Cricket mentioned, he’s back in the team which is being captained by a player who was brought into the Indian team by him!

Bengal’s love for Ganguly

I had the good fortune of working with a person from Kolkata on a project. When I asked him whether the public disappointment and outrage over Sourav Ganguly’s non-selection by any franchises was real or whether it was just over-hyped by the Indian news-channels.

He said that it was very real and that there were actually protests against Ganguly’s non-selection by the franchises.

He then told me of a match he had attended in the currently ongoing IPL. When I asked him whether it was easy to get tickets, he said that it wasn’t a problem at all. I was surprised at this. He then mentioned a line which showed how much Bengalis really loved him.

For every empty seat at Eden Gardens, there is a Ganguly fan out there who can’t accept a Kolkata team without Ganguly.

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Firstly, a heartfelt apology for disappearing once again! I was planning to write a post about 2 days ago but I suddenly re-discovered the wonders of tweeting (I say re-discovered because, about 6 months ago, I was tweeting) and found it easier to do rather than having to write posts every day or so. However, seeing as they only allow 140 characters (that’s not even 30 words!), I’ve come up with a post! 🙂

Yesterday was a special day. As far as i can remember, since the 2007 T20 World Cup, yesterday was the first day that 3 test matches were being played. This meant that I’d have a full day of test cricket. This is how it worked out:

5:00 AM – 12:00 PM : Pakistan vs Australia @ Hobart
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM : India vs Bangladesh @ Chittagong
1:30 AM – 9:30 PM : England vs South Africa @ Johannesburg.

Since I sleep at around 11:00 in the night, I’ll be deprived of just 2 hours of test cricket!

Pakistan vs Australia was plain frustrating. It’s one thing to see the team you support surrender meekly. When West Indies lost to Australia in the first test, I wasn’t too depressed, just disappointed a bit because West Indies didn’t put up a semblance of a fight.

However, when Pakistan had a good chance to make a fairly decent score (considering at least 4 out of those 6 batsmen were quite good) and didn’t do so, it was just outright disappointing. Moreover, it is quite befuddling to hear MoYo say that he wanted help on captaincy! It seemed more like he was asking for a ‘Captaincy Coach’!

I don’t think that any captain has ever said that they want help openly. Going and asking successful captains for tips is one thing, asking them how to captain is just plain tomfoolery! All this is made worse when you remember how MoYo openly craved for the captaincy!

Moving on to the England South Africa match, it was quite dejecting. The writing was on the wall once England got shot out for under 200 in the first innings. Smith, once again, played an ugly but magnificent knock (now, how many times do you hear ugly & magnificent in the same line?). Boucher continued his rich form in the series to prove that there’s still some fuel left in the old man’s tank.

I was personally gunning for South Africa to lose all 3 series so that Mickey Mouse could shut his mouth once and for all. After the T20 series, I was hoping for at least 2 series losses to SA but that didn’t materialize as well! Pity!

Daryl Harper has copped enough stick from everyone, so I don’t think I need to say any more. All I have to say is, ‘RETIRE DARYL‘!

The presentation of a fridge to Ashwell Prince was strange, to say the least. He didn’t do much of note in the series, but he wasn’t to be blamed. What can you expect when you put a player, who is very successful at No.5, in the opening slot? It’s disaster in the making. Perhaps it was a “We’re really sorry about all this” gift from CSA to Prince.

Last, but not the least, is the Bangladesh India match.

Sehwag, with typical candour, said that Bangladesh was an ordinary side and couldn’t take 20 wickets. The ‘quotable quotes’ have been summarised by someone from BCC!

Shakib (the Superman of Bangladesh Cricket) and Shahadat Hossain picked up 5 each to get halfway to the target. Though they’ve lost 3 wickets, they’re still in the hunt, IMO, and it has the makings of a fascinating competition, light permitting.

We really should encourage candour from more players like Sehwag. England is set to tour Bangladesh later this year without Andy Strauss and so this is what we can expect from the stand-in skipper, Mascaraman:

“Yea, Bangladesh are an improving team. We’ve seen how they played against West Indies last year and how they took the fight to India. They have a very good bunch of players, especially Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan. Mashrafe Mortaza’s coming back from an injury and so he’d be raring to play. It would be dangerous to take them lightly as they are a <i>very</i> good side.”

Now, I’m not trying to say that Bangladesh are a bad team. In fact, they really <i>have</i> improved in recent times, shown clearly by the fact that they crossed 250 in 3 out of the 4 matches in the tri series.

What I’m coming to say is that captains and players should be honest. They should be taught to speak their mind rather than vomit some diplomatic garb.

Of course, this should be done in moderation. You don’t want to have situations like what was seen with MoYo, where he publicly castigated Salman Butt for his poor running. Though he did score a century the next day, I’m sure Salman would’ve appreciated it if MoYo hadn’t done that. It’s akin to your parents scolding you in front of your guests when you were young!

That’s it for now, hang on to my tweets to hear more from me!

http://twitter.com/crickettragic

Stats Crunch – Abishek Nayar

Posted: September 12, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,


The ‘Stats Crunch’ is a new series of posts looking at some statistical quirks or some out-of-the-world stats, so hope you enjoy it!

The first is Abishek Nayar, who made his name as a hard – hitting all-rounder with the IPL team, the Mumbai Indians.

He got a maiden-call up for the team that toured West Indies immediately after the T20WC and played in 2 matches.

However, have a look at Nayar’s profile. He has dashes under all the columns (except, of course, the no. of matches), which effectively means that he didn’t bowl a ball, take a catch or bat!

Now, imagine this scenario. For some reason or the other, Nayar goes out of favour with the selectors.

Now that would result in him retiring from cricket with one of the most strange stats that you might ever see. Marvellous isn’t it?

Hope you enjoyed it!

It’s nearly a week since the Ashes ended, with Ricky Ponting mounting what seemed to be a reguard till the hulk, Andrew Flintoff, swooped in with a throw that put him among the all-time favourites of all England fans, and Michael Hussey making a century at the precise moment when Australia didn’t need it!

Meanwhile, last week was really busy for me, so I couldn’t really comment much on the Ashes, so here’s what I have to say about it!

The fact that England won seemed to be a travesty to everyone! I must be the umpteenth person reciting these stats like a trained parrot, but how can a team which scored 4 times the number of centuries, the team which had the most entries in the top 5 bowlers and batsmen lose to a team which, statistically, seemed inferior?

Yes, it’s true that stats don’t tell the full story, but England winning the Ashes was all due to England putting on some top-notch performances when it really mattered. Australia overslept at the moments when they had to keep their eyes open with 2 toothpicks each!

They failed to dislodge the last pair of Monty Panesar and Jimmy Anderson in Cardiff, bowled absolute nonsense in the first session of the Lord’s test and collapsed like a pack of cards in their first innings and, in the Oval, they, again, collapsed in the first innings. It was these pivotal moments that lost them the Ashes.

Looking at these takes me back to the two Twenty20 World Cup that have taken place.

In the first one in 2007, South Africa were cruising along undefeated and, in their last second round match against eventual champs India, their batting crumbled under the pressure (choking?) and they lost the match and exited the WC. Graeme Smith was incensed, no doubt, that his team had to exit after just one loss while a team like New Zealand got through to the semis even after they lost 2 matches. Smith’s boys just didn’t raise their game when it mattered and surrendered meekly to India.

Again, in this year’s WC, they really seemed to be the team to beat till the semis when Pakistan, who had lost 2 matches earlier in comparison to SA’s unbeaten record, put up a top-class performance to knock them over.

Again, Smith and Mickey Arthur, the coach, had to look back and see what went wrong. It’s simple. Again, they didn’t raise their game when it really mattered.

Therefore, it isn’t a matter of being consistent and winning most of the time, you have to win the matches that matter.

On a final note, the same happened to India in the 2007 WC when, despite being one of the favourites for the WC, got beaten by Bangladesh and exited. Yes, Bangladesh didn’t deserve to go to the next round but, heck, they won when it mattered!

Adios!

Hard luck on my part…..

Posted: February 5, 2009 in Sri Lanka
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I was due to go to the 4th ODI, but I only learnt today morning that the match was today. I was under the impression that it was tomorrow, and so I couldn’t go as I had a class today. Have to be content with the 5th ODI. Just hope that it’ll be a more even contest as its a day match.

Couldn’t get the ticket for the 5th ODI, but got one for the T20, so I’m gonna be rocking there! \/