Monday, August 22, 2011

Freedom at Last!! - a tyrst with destiny

After the stroke of the cricket bat, when the last ball is bowled and England rejoice, ‘Team India’ will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, a test series ends, and the soul of a cricket team, long demolished, finds utterance in T20’s and ODI’s. It is befitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to 'Team India' and the still larger cause defined by BCCI.

Today as we move beyond the evil whites we celebrate our liberation from the Poms who invited us for a test series, promising an enthralling contest and a respectful summer befitting us - the World Champions. Instead, hour after hour, session after session, day after day we were treated with an array of in-courteous bowlers, determined to annihilate their unsuspecting guests and followed by a pack of run-hungry batsmen who made our fine young men toil in the field match after match as they feasted on our depleted resources – no remorse no act of mercy shown.

Nevertheless, the past is over and it is the future that beckons to us now. The event we celebrate today is but a step, an escape to the greater world of coloured clothes, batsman friendly pitches and limited fielding hours. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?

That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we may fulfill the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. It means the ending of run-droughts, wicketless overs and embarrassing press conferences.

The ambition of one of the greatest batsman of our generation has been to play every ball to its merit and wipe out the run deficit from every innings. That may be beyond us now but so long as there is swing and pace, our work will not be over.

And so ‘Team India’ has to labor and to work, and work hard, to give reality to the dreams, dreams of those who tweet and blog, of those who log on to cricinfo through proxy servers and of those who remain glued to their tv sets in far away lands. Victory has been said to be indivisible, so is hope now - as proved by those who after each humiliating day returned back expecting a free flow of runs like days of yore, who waited for long partnerships, inspiring bowling spells and finally – for Rains.

To the fans of Indian cricket, we make an appeal to join us with faith and confidence in this great adventure. This is no time for petty and destructive criticism, no time for ill-will or blaming others. We have to build the noble mansion of ‘Team India’ where all followers may dwell.

(Written on the penultimate day of the much hyped India - Eng test series. Eng lead 3-0 and 4-0 is the most expected result tomorrow)


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Myth of Youth


Sunday, May 17, 2009

The MNS Effect

General Elections 2009

Inference 1: Mumbai has voted for good governance, i.e INC/NCP

Inference 2: BJP/SS/MNS and their philosophy has been rejected

Reality Check:



How to lose a T20 match - the KKR way

Just go out and Play

(Posted after the KKR vc DC match on May 16th)


Friday, May 15, 2009

Chase and Choke in a T20 match – the MI way

1. While Chasing make the most innocuous score look absolutely insurmountable

2. Pick an extra bowler, If he takes a wicket pull him out of the attack

3. Economical bowlers should only bowl the last over

4. Shuffle a successful batting order

5. Good batsmen should bat down the order, lest they might make some runs

6. When you require 8 runs per over, try some defensive strokes

7. When you require 6 of 9 balls – go for the big hits

8. Demote hard hitters, promote unknown faces

9. Play the first 10 overs like a 5 day match, let the pressure build, then lose wickets

10. If still you are close to victory – Choke

Written out of sheer frustration after MI VS RR T20 match (May 14th 2009)


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Nothing, Really

India Reacts to a calamity

What next?

Nothing, Really.

Disclaimer: This is not an actual screenshot. Image has been edited.


Monday, November 3, 2008

A Tribute to the Gentle Giant

6th Jan 2008, Clarke bowls, Ishant nicks, Hussey completes the catch and Australia rejoice. At the other end – after 5 acrimonious days, innumerable bad decisions, 111 deliveries and a few hours at the crease he waits for Ishant to come over and gives a small pat on the back as if saying – never mind…. Leadership is as much about grace and honor as it is about winning….. For many Antigua 2002 or Kotla 1999, but to me Sydney 2008 was the pinnacle for the 18 year old untiring shoulder carrying the hopes of a nation. The words I write will be lost in the millions of testimonials which will be written in the next 24 hours or so but what will not be lost are the words, “Only one team played in the sprit of the game”.

“It does not spin”, they said when he started- it never did, but when the cap came off it had spun a different tale – “619”, it said. Not with spin or pace but with a nip off the pitch and a zip on the lip, a legend was made. A broken Jaw, sliced fingers and a determined hand scripted a fairytale, ‘Dignity’ it was called. Arrogance was dispelled and discipline befriended as a student of the game taught himself the subtle art of playing the game beyond the 22 yards within the realms of his heart.

Destiny did not give him the prodigious turn that spinners stake a claim to but it did turn around at the Oval in 2007 by giving him a Test Century – the most romantic moment in the history of cricket as Harsha Bhogle put it. It bowed again in November 2007 to a man’s will and could not deny him that which it had staunchly denied his contemporaries – The test captaincy.

What does it take to raise the bar of achievement continuously for around 2 decades?
How does it feel to fall short of performance just because you have raised the bar too high?
Do the shoulders tire or the does the chest swell after having carried the burden of expectations of a million people for about half of your life?
And how does it feel when a rival captain says, “Every member of my team is delighted to have played against you?

It took the man who romanced the game to kill my reason and make me believe that legends never die, to expect, to hope and wait over the last 5 days for the bar to be raised again and again…

Kotla watched with moist eyes today as its favorite kid played for one last time in its lap, and then it smiled silently as one of the finest competitors that India has ever produced was being applauded for one last time. The applause was not for a performance, it was for a Man.

From Alan Lamb in 1990 to Mitchell Johnson in 2008 there has been a sprint in the step, a spit in the delivery and a spirit behind it.