Tuesday, October 23, 2007


In the earlier days I always hated him for the fact that he almost always played well against India. I called him Inzamam Ul ‘Fuck’ whenever he played against India. But in later years, it was an altogether different matter when my brain got the cricketing capability to understand the beauty of his shots. I started to wait for his turn at the crease and I cared little even if it was against India. I badly wanted India to win after we posted 350 in the first match of the 2004 tour of Pakistan and at the same time I didn’t want to see the end of Inzamam’s brilliant innings. In simple words I wanted Inzy to score a century and India to win but there was no way that both could happen and something had to give way. I thought he would never make it to the pavilion when he finally began his slow walk back which seemed like an eternity, after 122 brilliant runs and eventually Pakistan fell 5 runs short.

He has all the shots in the book but there were others too who had it. It was the way in which he executed those shots made him special. His cover drive was a crouched half-defence, half-shot with minimum movements while his on-drive was just a flick of the wrists. His pull shot was fast and furious with the nimbleness of a ballet dancer and the balance of a skilled ropewalker but the secret behind that shot was the speed with which picked up the length. He always seems to have so much time to play the shots. I have never seen a fast bowler making him hurried through a shot and he was the best player against fast bowling in the last decade along with Ricky Ponting, be it a bouncy Perth or a spongy Durban or a seaming Headingly. And for a long long period he was arguably Pakistan’s best batsman until Mohammed Yousuf came of the age in the last 18 months.

I cried with him when he retired from one-dayers with tears in his eyes but the pure joy he has given for millions around the world over a career of 15 years is invaluable. This time he kept his emotions to himself but his current captain Shoiab Malik broke down at the ground and it showed what he meant to others in the team. He was uncertain while he was asked about his future after his retirement but all of us will be lucky if he takes his bat again to play in IPL. It is difficult to put it in words what we are going to miss but it is time to thank for what he has given and what we have seen and experienced. We all should feel privileged to be a part of an entire generation of cricket lovers who were enthralled to see the magic wave of his bat, which sent deliveries from the world’s best bowlers to outside the ground with the nonchalance of a man who plays backyard cricket with little kids. Bye bye Inzy. Thanks for the memories.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


India celebrated its 60th birthday last week and the Indian cricket team gave her a magnificent birthday present by winning a Test rubber in England, the first in the last 21 years and only the 3rd in 75 years of Indian cricket. It was a wonderful present for a nation, which lacks sporting heroes and sporting moments at international level. Our team played effervescent and excellent cricket and apart from that is a mixture of all the good values our nation has been known for. It is captained by a person from south, its premier batsman is from north, batting and bowling opened by two Muslims, one of them bagged the Man of the Series award, other bowlers and our keeper from mostly villages and recently one of our bowlers from a cricketing backwater place like Kerala single-handedly won an epic Test match at Johannesburg, India’s first in South Africa. As John Wright wrote in his wonderful book, “There is no typical India and no typical Indian. Each and every part of India is as different as different can be”. This summer our team gave us one more reason to shout “Proud to be an Indian”. Salute our team, salute our country.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Last week was a happy one. India produced a magnificent victory at Trentbridge and Indian judiciary gave a flawless verdict on the Mumbai blasts, which included a 6 year rigorous imprisonment to Sanjay Dutt. And as expected there were protests against it, exclamatory remarks and surprises from people who belong to every walk of life and shameless opinion polls in each and every news channels!

Several news papers remarked that a person as good as ‘Munna Bhai’ should have been avoided from such a severe punishment but what they conveniently forgot was that Munna Bhai was a good human being existed only on the silver screen and in front of Indian Law Sanjay Dutt was a part of the conspiracy which killed hundreds of innocent people in Mumbai. One main argument was that the agony of waiting for the verdict for 14 long years itself was a punishment for him, as if only Sanjay Dutt knows what is agony! What about the agony of the judge who went through 14 years of mental exasperation of handling such a high intensity case along with numerous threats from politicians and underworld kings? What about the agony of those people who lost their father, mother, son and daughter? What about the agony of those living victims of the blast ? For those who lost their life, for those who lost their hands and legs, for those who never recovered consciousness but still live as breathing corpses, for those who lost their mental balance, agony is an underrated word and so is the verdict. Serial blasts, heaps of dead bodies, hospitals filled with innocent victims, people wondering where the next blast is going to happen and millions of sad people. Don’t you see agony here ?

Sometimes life gives you a shock and makes you realize that cricket is only a game and there are some greater things in life than cricket. The last time I felt this was when I watched on television the havoc crated by tsunami and seeing the helplessness of Man over the fury of nature. Now reading about this verdict and thinking about those difficult times in 1993, brings me the same feeling. But the greatest irony is that this realization came again on a day in which India registered one of its most memorable overseas victories. Kudos to Indian team for their superb victory over England. Hats off to Indian Law for its much-needed victory over evil.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Yesterday night, I stayed awake until 2 o clock to see India defeating South Africa and clinching a series win against them for the first time outside the subcontinent. I was happy that India won but felt happier because of another incident, Sachin Tendulkar sharing the Man Of the Series award that he got with Yuvraj Singh. It was a wonderful gesture from a man who holds almost all the batting records the game can have. He understood that Yuvraj deserves it than him as he was the one who finished both the victories and Sachin was genuinely happy sharing it with him. His broad smile told that even though the pain of the world cup was still visible behind it to those who have been following him for the last 18 years.

It was just a series win over a better opponent but Sachin was visibly excited and he was like a child with a new toy in hand! Forget the perfection of his technique, forget the glory he has brought for India, forget his personal integrity, this child like enthusiasm and excitement when wearing the Indian cap is what makes him truly special. And he is one who has never been blinded by fame and money.

In international sports, it is difficult to deal with failure and adversity and so many have perished before reaching their goals. But some times handling success and its after effects is a greater challenge. Australia needed only 10 days to recover from the Ashes defeat and start a journey to bring it back. England took 1 year to digest the success and subsequently lost it 5 – 0! After one world cup win, Maradona turned his attentions to drugs. Marat Safin stagnated after one Australian open crown and still remains as a one slam wonder. Compare this with the desire and commitment sachin has shown over the years. He is a man with more than 75 international centuries but even now after a century, the smile and happiness on his face match the same we saw 18 years before when he scored his first Test century, a magnificient 119 at Old Trafford.

Sachin and Kambli made their debuts almost together and during a interview, their coach Ancharekar, when asked about who is more talented between the two, took some time to reply and later remarked that kambli possess more natural talent. And now looking back, it seems almost impossible. Can you believe that kambli is the only Indian batsman to score back-to-back double centuries? But somewhere he lost his way. That is where Sachin’s greatness should be valued. Amidst all the success, glory , fame and money he kept his head and was true to basic human values. It is difficult to think of another sport person who was this much famous and at the same time this much devoid of controversies

We should understand that cricket is not only about fame, money and endorsements but also days and weeks and years of back breaking work and only those who are really committed to the cause will embrace glory. I wont call him the greatest batsman India has produced. Sunil Gavaskar or Rahul Dravid may put a better claim for that. But his place is surely there at the top. Sachin is aged now, he is nearer to his retirement, he is lacking that spark in his batting but his joy in playing for India and the joy he provides to millions around the globe is still undiminished.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Ted corbet , one of the greatest cricket reporters of all time , once said “ All my instincts from 50 years around cricket tell me that Muttiah Muralitharan’s action is illegal” . I and thousands like me believe in those words. Obviously the first question that you are going to ask is why then he has so many admirers around the globe . The answer is that whatever the methods the results are so fascinating , so wonderful to watch, so devastating that we don’t like to miss a ball that he bowls. But in simple language he throws and in cricket it is not allowed. We know the arguments supporting his action that he has a born damage and he can’t rectify it. But it is not an excuse to break the laws. Does murali bowl like Alfred shaw bowled in the 19th century, as Bill O’reilly bowled in the 20th century and as mcgrath bowls in the 21st century ? I bet after comparing we won’t call Muralitharan legit. The fact is that you don’t need a biosensor or super-slo camera to see that he is bending his elbow. you can see it with your naked eye. John arlott , the greatest commentator of all-time, after the 1948 test humiliation by Australia said “ somewhere there is a youngster who has seen Miller and Lindwall and who is ready to answer their fire with fast bowling of his own” . and so it happened that within 3 years Fred Trueman was devastating , within 5 years Brian statham was Starting his marvelous test career and frank Tyson was unleashing thunder bolts as if he were the god mars. So the problem is that with Murali gaining so much success from his twirling action, there will be 10 or 15 Muralis in international cricket within years.

Statisticians around the globe has found that Muralithran has supporters which is almost square the number of people who oppose him ! and most of them are in the subcontinent because those who oppose him are mainly the English and the Australians and frankly we don’t like them, one for their previous authority over us and the other for their bloody-mindedness. But the sheer amount of the number of his supporters doesn’t make him legit. Of course he is a great entertainer, he is a bring-me-on-the-edge like performer. But there has been so many like him before he came and if we approve him it will b irreparable injustice towards them. Wisden chose him as the greatest bowler of 20th century . If the criteria was only the on field performance but not the other controversies, where was Shane Warne? We don’t know how dinosaurs disappeared and we don’t know why Courtney Walsh who on and off the field was glittering was omitted. We don’t know how Wasim Akram, arguably the greatest left armer of all time if we tend to ignore the comparatively shorter career of Alan Davidson, didn’t come first in the list. The fact is that murali is using his bent arm to gain an unfair advantage over the batsmen and also over other bowlers just like performance enhancing drugs. Change your perspective about his twirling arm as a performance enhancer, and you will feel the seriousness of the occasion. The argument that we should go on with him for purely his entertainment value is fully absurd. Tomorrow Marian jones will eat up kilos of steroids and run 100m in 5 seconds, only to entertain the spectators. Adam Gilchrist will use a wider bat, though he doesn’t need it, and blast all the bowlers, only to entertain the spectators. The laws are for everybody to obey. A certain muralitharan is not excempted from it. ICC conducted a secret poll among all the 12 elite panel umpires after the 2003 champions trophy in srilanka , about various matters which included a question involving muralitharan’s action. Eleven umpires agreed that he is chucking and no marks for you for guessing Asoka Desilva as the name of that odd umpire who supported him. So he knows it and all others know it and still he goes on. It is amazing that his greatest supporters in contemporary cricket are Australians like Gilchrist and Ponting. But are they trapping him? There is a thing which the Australians call the Tall Poppy syndrome, deliberately blowing the image bigger and when the time comes, cutting it to original size. And if someone gets hurt in that process who cares. With this they showed how to handle murali in the last test series between them in Srilanka in which they thrashed them 3 – 0. I admit he is a great competitor. He waded through all these controversies and still wading successfully. We always like to see champions struggling , struggling against their opponents and also against themselves and coming out with flying colours. In the 2004 test series against Australia in Australia, Sachin Tendulkar suffered a terrible series low scores. In the last test in Sydney also, he was struggling. He struggled to make 300 odd runs in that test match and almost brought a series victory. But he did nothing outside the laws. Recently Kobe Bryant was spending his time setting up a defence against charges of rape. On four occasions this year Bryant has flown from pre trial proceedings straight to a game, literally moving from court to court. Yet his response has been 42 points against San Antonio Spurs, 36 against sacamento, 31 against Houston Rockets and a shot to win the games versus Denver. But he did nothing outside the laws. And We expect Murali to be so.

The Preamble of cricket says “ Cricket is a game that owes its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its laws but also within the spirit of the game. Any action which is seen to abuse this sprit causes injury to the game itself “. We request Mr. Murali to keep the laws and spirit of this great game by stepping OUT. I admit Muralitharan is a superb athlete, but more suitable for baseball. Let him join the White Sox, the Yankees, or the Dodgers. THER IS NO PLACE FOR HIM IN CRICKET.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


A flashing victory in the first round and a shameless defeat in the second. How often have we seen that from Sania Mirza? It is time for us to accept that she is not good enough to win matches consistently or she can’t win matches if she holds the same attitude. And I feel pity towards the supporters who are behind her because she doesn’t make any effort from her side to improve or improvise. The first step towards solving a problem is to identify and admit that you have a problem, which she is not ready to do. She has immense potential but turning potential to performance is an altogether different matter, which requires a lot of sacrifices.

And more embarrassing is her pre match talk. It reminds me of WWF. She will announce how scant respect she holds towards her opponent and how she is going to destroy her opponent. She gives us a feeling that she just needs to turn up to move to the next round. And as usual after the match, which obviously has ended in a defeat, she would sheepishly make some excuses in front of the flashing cameras. She thinks that uttering some nonsense against her opponent is fashionable. Sachin Tendulkar never talked about attacking bowlers but has dominated almost all the bowling attacks around the globe for 16 years. Pete Sampras won 14 Grad Slams without uttering a single word about the guy who stood at the opposite side of the court. After defeating Andre Agassi in the 2005 US open final, Roger Federer said that it was his privilege to play against Agassi in a slam final. This is the stuff champions are made and it is high time that Sania should learn it.

Once after beaten by a 100 odd ranked player, during the following press conference Sania said that she was off colour that day and also even her opponent was not playing well. But unknowingly what she meant was that a player who is much below her in rankings doesn’t even need to be at her best to defeat her! With money, fame and short skirts she can be in spotlight for some time but over a larger period when she hangs up her boots( or racquet) she will be evaluated in terms of her achievements which is a big zero at this time. Sport persons or teams are always defined by certain moments, which stay with them until the end of their life. Maradona and the hand of GOD, Borg and the 81 Wimbledon Final, Manchester United and their 99’ treble of FA, EPL and Champions league,Australia and their hatrick World Cups and 16 Test wins in a row. These are the moments which will stand the test of time. And it is unfortunate that India’s latest tennis star doesn’t even have a single notable moment in her career.

It is completely up to her to put a wholehearted effort and start her journey to glory rather than concentrating on latest fashion and media hype. And if she is not ready to do that, it is time for her stop playing tennis.

Monday, April 30, 2007


1) Looking back, the most comic prediction about this WC was this one being the most open WC ever in the history. And after 54 days as usual Australia steamrolled everyone who came in their way and normal service was restored.

2) Looking back, the most poignant moment this WC produced was Inzamam Ul Haq leaving the field amidst tears after his last match in coloured clothing. Such a huge man both in status and stature, crying and leaving the field was really emotional.

3) Looking back, this WC was an absolute disaster for Pakistan. They crashed out of the WC in the first round itself, their captain resigned from captaincy and retired from one day cricket and as if this was not enough their coach was murdered and they were asked to play in spite of that. Pakistan cricket is in shambles and it is time for us to rally behind them and give our support. No cricketer or for that matter no true cricket lover would rejoice at the sight of a cricket tradition being turned to rags and bones. There is no better sight in cricket than Inzy playing the cover drive with that lazy elegance with the air of a man having a leisurely stroll in his backyard or a full tilt Shoaib Aktar steaming in. We must do everything to see those moments as long as possible.

4) Looking back, the one disappointment for me is I wanted WI to win their last match and see Bria Lara saying good bye with a smiling face. That didn’t happen. But the match was a true reflection of his entire career. Being run out by his team mate, there was a tinge of sadness when he walked back to the pavilion. And after rallying his team for almost 100 overs when the team lost, one couldn’t stop thinking about the disappointments he had in his entire career. But after the match, during the prize distribution ceremony, when he asked “did I entertain?”, the answer was thunderous cheer. Hearing that, the pure joy and happiness of watching Brian Lara for the last 16 years came all of sudden to my mind.

5) This was the most boring WC I have seen. No, not because India crashed out but too many one sided matches, too many unwanted incidents, less crowd and less excitement. The feeling of watching cricket in Caribbean without the involvement of people is so void, so hollow and so empty. It took 7 weeks and 50 matches to find out that Australia is the best, which we already knew.

6) Looking back, personally this has been a satisfying WC. My favourite team Aus won the cup, an effervescent batsman such as Gilchrist won the MOM and my all time favourite McGrath got 26 wickets and Man of the series. But all these things don’t make this a not boring one.

7) Looking back, I am sad that it got over. Now there is nothing to watch at 7 o clock. I am feeling an emptiness inside. And I cant wait for 2011 when it returns to India. It will be wonderful spectacle and I already started the countdown.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


I got the following piece as a forward and found it very interesting and true. May this serve as an eye opener for many third rate fanatics who consider themselves as cricket fans

Daily we are receiving countless mails, showing pictures of Indian cricketers as barber, milkman, coolie, cook, butcher etc etc. Just answer these questions before we go ahead…

1. We go to temples, make lots of wishes to god, some of them come true, some don’t…will you start burning effigies of gods and goddess.. If god can fall short of our expectations…they are just human beings!!!!!!!

2. India is still a developing nation; most of us come from average middle class families. Tell me if tomorrow..microsoft,google or sun comes to you and offer you ten times what infy is paying. What will u do????Every one of us is striving for more money..these cricketers are not the family members of TATA n Birlas…like us they do ve every right to make money. They do so cuz they have the stuff. Like ur here in infy cuz ur gud enough for it.

3. India ranked no.6 prior to start of wc-2007…!!!!!!!!!!if a no 6 team can so easily win the wc….guys n gals…be ready all of u r going to onsite tomorrow..as a PM/GPM/SPM or who knows Nandan might nominate you as the next ceo of ITL tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4. How many among us are IITians or have come even from top 10 engg colleges of India…(????)but be honest haan…you must have taken all these exams n entrance..after class 12th but u didn’t succeed!!!rite as simple as that!!accept ur failure!!!what ur parents did…they started mourning over the dummies kept as your dead bodies..or they also burned your effigies..did ur mother stop giving you food or father stopped giving u pocket money!!!!haan..they backed you..always supported you paid heavy donations and fee to let you complete ur engg and beared all your other expenses till u got the right job!!!!!!these cricketers are our fellow Indians our very own blood…they are going through a rough patch of time so instead of backing them up we are abusing them..

5. Your mom n dad calls u late in the night ur still at ur office..they say ..son ..go n have ur dinner..work hard..do your best….when u will get salary hikes..promotion..or remember your college days…dad calls u..son why r u getting less marks in every subject…YOUR REPLIES::::::::::”oh common…dad,mom u don’t understand..it really tough,only I can understand bla bla ….guys….same is the agony of these cricketers…no one can understand how it feels to be in the middle..n burdened with expectations of a billion ppl….shame on us we hardly live up to expectations of merely two persons(our parents!!!!)!!!!

6. We produce false certificates,claims to get posted at our desired locations..or if not we will run away to our hometown..on a leave…saying “I am feeling homesick”!!! Remember Sachin…wc-1999 his father died in India…while he was in England he came n rushed back to support and play for his team n country!!!!!!how many of us can even think of this !!!

7. Lastly it’s the mistake made by ourselves that we don’t consider a game..just as a game…its we the ppl of India who made these cricketers dummy gods..simply fanatic..thank god fans in Zimbabwe,Canada and Netherlands are not like us or imagine what they would have done to their teams if expecting them to win world cup!!!Try to live up within the spirit of the game…take a game like the way it should be.

8. Frnz…this is a tough time for our cricketers and their families..stand beside em’ support them they badly need it..they are already upset don’t add up to their agony n pain..

N lets get together n say…HOO-HAA INDIA…..PHIR “AAYEGA” INDIA!!!!!!!!!

Hope this makes sense to at least some of you..So please stop forwarding those nonsense mails/jokes on them…

CRICKET is only an entertainment for us…but its LIFE for them…They always wish more than us to “WIN”.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


What makes a cricket shot so splendid to watch, so exhilarating to ponder and so difficult to forget? Is it the technical brilliance with which it is executed or the sheer power of it? Or rather the context in which it is executed? Or the impact the shot has in the game? Javed Miandad’s last ball six of Chetan Sharma in the Australasia cup final is a part of the cricket folklore because it did win the match and more importantly established a psychological edge over India for years. And so is Mike Gatting’s ill-fated reverse sweep against Australia in the World Cup final of 1987 when England was cruising to victory even though it is cruel to accuse Gatting of England’s failure.

The beauty of a cricket shot is unique. Cricket is the only game in which the most of the actions are sideways. Both bowling and batting are sideways actions, which are quite opposite to the natural orientation of human body. To play a straight drive in an international match you need to play it 1000 times in nets. The co ordination needed between mind and body to play a cricket shot is immense. And most of the time batsmen need to rely on their instincts, which are honed through the hours spent in the nets. Endless hours of playing time and complex rules make cricket a hard game to learn. A Tendulkar straight drive is awe inspiring to watch. You can admire its beauty, drop your jaws and watch it 100 times but you can’t reproduce it from your bat. I didn’t know the meaning of the word perfect before I saw that shot. The body right behind the line of the ball, front foot to the pitch of the ball, head standstill, full face of the bat meeting the ball and the ball speeding past the bemused bowler with 10 times the velocity he delivered. Aaahhhh… Pure pleasure!

Talking about cricket shots, one still boggles in my mind. Rahul Dravid’s pulled four against a Bret Lee bouncer in the Adelaide Test match of 2003. It was the second new ball of India’s first innings and the Australians were looking for a breakthrough. Lee thundered in and fired a lethal bouncer. It is said that it takes around .6 of a second for the ball to reach the batsman when Lee is operating in full tilt. Within this time Dravid’s mind calculated the line of the ball, spotted the length as in the shorter side, rocked on the back foot, bottom hand grip became loose, upper hand looser and pushing the bat handle down as the loose bottom hand acted as a fulcrum, the bat making a curve and its end pointing towards thirdman, as the bat reached a horizontal level his left hand started giving power and right hand direction, eyes on the ball, head right behind the line, body twisted, gap between legs according to the height of the ball, just what MCC coaching manual says. And still he had enough time to play that shot and dispatch that ball to deep square leg fence.

But when you think about the big picture it gives you a better perspective. A young bowler steaming in and firing a bouncer and the batsman willing to take the challenge. That is the essence of Test match and more importantly that is the essence of life, meeting challenges and facing them. And that makes cricket a unique game and cricket shot a beautiful moment.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


1) For me The Lords is more sacred than any of the temples or mosques or churches that you can find in this whole world.

2) My girlfriend says that she will leave me if I don’t stop my obsession with the Australian cricket team. Of course, I am going to miss her.

3) When India plays nothing is going to move me from in front of the TV set, not even an earthquake!

4) I am not living in a particular time zone. For me the wake up time is the Test match time. 10 AM for India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh 2.30 PM for South Africa, 3.30 PM for England, 7.30 PM for West Indies, 3.30 AM for New Zealand and 5.30 AM for Australia. The sight of Brett Lee steaming in with a red cherry in his hand is more stimulating than any hot cup of tea.

5) One-day cricket may provide the edge of the seat kind of thrill but for me this circus won’t come anywhere near the majesty that Test cricket provides. Test cricket is the greatest game Man has ever seen, with its plots, sub plots, twists and dramas.

6) After each match I will sit down with my pen to update my personal charts of records, which includes, of course, the number of games I covered.

7) While walking I may play a cover drive with an exaggerated back lift or a back foot punch with a high elbow, or the loveliest of leg glances or sway away from an imaginary bouncer, which may appear quite comical to others. Sorry I don’t care about others.

8) For some people the match fixing scandal meant end of watching the game. But for me it was the time I wanted to show my gratitude towards the game, which gave me so much pleasure. And I did so with pride.

9) Sir Don Bradman might have played his last test even before my father was born. But still he is the God of batting.

10) Michael Jackson may be the greatest dancer the World has ever seen, but Brian Lara’s deft footwork when dancing down the track and and hoicking a left arm spinner over midwicket is more beautiful.

11) Music has never influenced or inspired me. But the sound of a cricket ball meeting the bat often sends pulses of adrenaline through my nerves.

12) Cricket is not a sport. It is a science.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


I am facing a curious problem this year. I have no motivation or desire to watch this year’s Formula1 season. Last year at this time I was busy going through the schedules and circuits and planning my less important remains. But this year I haven’t even checked the starting date of the season. I keep on saying to myself that Formula1 is not about a single man or a single team but somehow I fail to convince myself. The thought that I will never see a certain M.Schumacher in a red Ferrari speeding past others or performing a breathtaking, life-risking maneuver at a 180-degree corner puts me down.

Was Schumacher greater than all the other drivers we have seen? May be yes, may be not. Ayerton Senna and Alain Prost were better than him on pure driving skills. But they lacked one certain quality that shumi has in abundance. Ruthlessness and it was very much visible even in his last race. With a punctured tyre when he went back to the pits we all thought of the cruel anticlimax sport provides. We were certain of the fact that he is going to finish outside the point range, nearer to 15th rather than 5th. But from that point onwards what the world witnessed was simply vintage. With the increased weight of full tank fuel as well as expectations he restarted his last race from 17th position. Remember, 17th. The way he was overtaking was marvelous to watch. The car twisted, slipped, turned angles, which were non existent and sped past lesser mortals and the man didn’t eve flinch a bit. His overtaking of Fisichella was breathtaking as well as awe inspiring. And after a series of overtaking he finished on 4th. Watching his last race was as satisfying as watching any of his championship winning races.

Was he greater than the game ? No, not at all. No man can ever be greater than the game in which he performs his skills. Analogies can be drawn with Sir Don Bradman in cricket, Jack Nicholaus in Golf, and Pete Samprass in Tennis. But in one way or another Schumi was different from all of them. All those champions were playing games which already had a huge popularity and fan following. In Schumacher’s case he is the one who made F1 famous. He was the reason millions watched the game. All those champions were unanimous world champions and loved by everyone where as Schumacher was the man most of us loved to hate. Still there are people who believe that he is not the greatest eventhough he posses almost all the record that the sport can have. It is partly because of his ruthless image and partly because of his driving maneuvers, which left other, drives in the sidelines with their car crashed. It was a known fact that he will do anything to win a race. But when you are driving a Formula1 car that is the minimum thing expected from you, and for true lovers of Fomula1 he is the ultimate champion.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Let me make it clear first. I am neither a Ganguly fan nor a member of Ganguly hate club. But what he has done to Indian cricket was tremendous and what he is doing now is marvelous. His return to international cricket was least expected but he made that occasion special by being the top run scorer in the Test series against South Africa and hitting a match winning 98 against the West Indies.

What happened previously between Greg Chappell and Ganguly was not merely the clash of two personalities but the clash of two ideologies. As Chappell said, the successful return of Ganguly should be portrayed as a success story I Chappell’s CV. At that time Ganguly was completely out of sorts and more perplexingly he was reluctant to work in nets to rectify that. And someone was needed to tell him to go back to domestic circuit and get it rectified. Chappell to his credit did that admirably even though the media made a huge cry about the incident. After the dust settled Ganguly did go back to domestic circuit and worked hard for his runs and on his technique. To rectify a problem, first you have to realize and admit that you have a problem and Ganguly did just that. He understood that there is something wrong with his technique and mindset and started working on it and he was determined to make him ready for the new benchmarks set in Indian cricket. And as it is always hard work pays off and he came back with a bang,

Ultimately Ganguly and chapel settled on what was good to Indian cricket. Chappell has already expressed his desire to stay even after world cup and Ganguly has already shown enough hunger to stay for a long time. And that will be hugely beneficial for India.

Monday, January 15, 2007


What separates Test cricket from other games is neither its timeframe nor the endurance level but its amazing similarity to life. There is no other game which posses all the qualities that make you a successful person; just as well it makes you a fine sports person. You go through the annals of Test cricket and you will surely come across triumphs, which are characterized by courage, character, concentration, dedication, discipline and audacity.

There is no other team game, which is played across five full days. At the outset this seems a small proposition but controlling your physical and mental attributes over 5 days and having relentless concentration is by no means a small task. Cricket at international level is a hard business. It is not only about fame and money but also days and weeks and years of backbreaking practice and work.

It is a game, which keeps great faith and pride in ethos and traditions of the game. The preamble of cricket says “cricket is a game which owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played only within its laws but also within the spirits of the game. Any action which is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the game itself.” In other words it teaches us the need to have respect towards the elders and certain values in life. It is no coincidence that the most disciplined batsman of modern times, Rahul Dravid , is also one of the most disciplined personalities that you come across on the cricket field. Dravid’s high elbow when playing the back foot punch is a celebration of the MCC cricket manual as much as his discipline and dedication towards his work and job. His monumental kolkata 180, inspiring Rawalpindi 271 and awesome Adelaide 233 are all examples for that. There is no other modern cricketer who embodies all the facets of cricket both in his game and life. Last year on a difficult pitch at Sabina park he constructed two exceptional half centuries and thereby clinching the match and series for India. And no other batsman scored half centuries. India won a test series I the carribean after 35 long years and it was appropriate that Dravid was the mainstay during that , for he is the best Indian batsman India has produced along with Sachin Tendulkar in the last 20 years. Let us hail this true warrior of Indian Cricket Rahul Dravid

Friday, January 5, 2007

IT IS 5 - 0

Congratulations Australia... The pain of the last ASHES is now history and that series seemed a lifetime ago. Thank you Australia for giving their fans gr8 joy. the cricket that played throught the series or for that matter through out the last year was excellent. No other team was able to catch up with them and England was no Exception. Cheers Aussies. Itz surely party time

Thursday, January 4, 2007


Barring a huge huge miracle, surely England is heading towards a 5 - 0 defeat. On the ither side it shows how much the astralians were hurt by last year's ASHES defeat. It seems they were preparing for this series from then onwards. Therz no point in saying that England's performance was below par, it was excellent performance by Australia, which England were not able to catch up. may be that explains why so many of their stars are retiring at the end of this series because this is the ultimate prize they wanted after they lost the last ASHES. May be after the series win they are finding it difficult to motivate themselves.


As if it is their wont, england again squandered their advantage and handed back the momentum to australia in the 5th and last test. It was a glorious opportunity for england to win atleast one Test in this disasterous tour. they were bowled out for 291 and a lead of even 50 will put huge pressure on England. By the close of second day's play there were 2 perfect batsmen for the situation for australia at the crease. And considering the way Warne has batted in this series , the lead for australia may spill over 100, if not bigger than that. If no miracle happens England is surely heading for a 5-0 whitewash. And ricky Ponting will be more than happy to emulate Warwick Armstrong's magnificient outfit of 1920 -21 , after the debacle of the last ASHES.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007


With the series and his career on line Wasim Jaffer produced an absolute jaffa to put India in a strong position in the crucual 3rd Test.He showed tremendous judgement outside offstump. His temperament was exceptional and shot selection spot on. Now virendar sehwag can take a leaf out of Jaffer's innings and make use of the chance that he got down the order. Now it is up to the rest of te batsman to make use of the excellent start the openers gave. If they bat out today the series will be in India's pocket because the pitch is already showing some wear and tear and once certain Anil Kumle will be more than handfull on that. Well done India.