Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Legends don't retire

I was in no mood to pen down anything after witnessing a one sided affair between Lankan Lions and Proteas but this is the picture seen on social media that has forced me to pay a tribute to both the legends Mahela and Sanga.

It took almost 23 Years for South Africa to put a full stop on its knockout hoodoo. RSA has become the first team to enter Semi Final of the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. Kumar Sangakkara and Jayawardene wouldn't have expected such a retirement !

One must really feel for Sanga and Mahela....why mostly legends end their careers in a tragedy! Be it Dravid, Sourav, Sachin or Ponting .

The leading run scorer of world cup (541 runs in 7 matches) with four consecutive centuries was looking annoyed at the other end while no one stayed to "make it a day" memorable for them.

Cricket has produced many greats and pair across International arena but the jodi of Mahela & Sanga will always be remembered as the greatest ambassador of cricket.

The pair of Sourav- Sachin had also enjoyed many more success but personally i feel watching this pair bat was eye soothing. There is a common saying that Legends don't retire and same is the case with this pair.

Sri Lanka takes the 'C' word from South Africa :
The first quarter-final between the two more schizophrenic teams of the tournament yielded a below expected result, perhaps we as an spectator were looking for some fight, grit and determination from both sides but the unnecessary experiment costed SL a home ticket.

It was looking that they have taken back the most talked tag of chokers "C" from Proteas. I am still thinking that has SA really brushed aside the tags of chokers by chasing down the shortest World Cup knockout target of 133. We will have to wait for the Semis now..May the best team win.

On big days, you are looking for early signs that everything is going to be all right. Too much experiment sometimes yields the worst result for you. If you can remind April 02, 2011(Final) an experiment at the wee hours of game was introduced by SLankan side in that match also.

2007 (Final) , 2011 (Final) and 2015 (QF) SL has been the most consistent team in big tournaments but the irony they  couldn't win it.

Sri Lanka tried all sorts of verbal gamesmanship. introducing debutant offspinner Tharindu Kaushal as a "duplicate Murali" and "mystery spinner". They made mystery moves, too. Kusal Perera was asked to open although Lahiru Thirimanne had scored 261 runs at the top of the order this World Cup.

A small margin of error brought an exit for Srilankans and disappointment for the most passionate Srilankan fans but the two legends will be missed in ODIs.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

World Cup 2015 : Three more hurdles !

'It's a six....Dhoni finishes in style ! India after 28 years lifts the world cup and the party begins in Mumbai' these were the words of Ravi Shahstri way back on April 02, 2011.

India team is three games away to win the heart of 1.252 billion people and it will have to face three more hurdles to write the history.

As an avid fan of cricket we cherished the moment most because I was no where in 1983.

6th Match of ICC World cup 2015 @Seddon Park (Hamilton)... again it was MS finishing with a six but it was a group match ! Perhaps Dhoni has got the habit of finishing the games with winning runs. Stat portrays him the best captain India has ever produced.

First and foremost before reading this piece i wanna assure you that ; this is not a negative thought but a precaution to the team which may help to bring glory and pride to the Nation again.

Probably India captain MS Dhoni doesn't follow much into stats and records as he can be seen saying but this world cup is pouring many more stats in his kitty. MS became the topmost ODI skipper for India as he lead his side to his 176th game as skipper, against Zimbawe in their Pool B match.

He surpassed former skipper Sourav Ganguly as the most successful Indian captain in terms of ODI victories achieved on foreign shores. A win over Zimbabwe was his 60th victory on foreign soil. Even in the lexicon of cricket pandits Team India has become 'the favorites' in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 !

Once the weak and talking point of team India slowly and steadily has become the strength. Kudos to those bowlers who got a "dramatic change" from nowhere down under to taking 60 wickets in six matches except some run outs ! I have rarely seen Indian bowlers bowling with 135-145 km/h speed. These feel very pleasant to eyes.

Team India is on Seventh moon with 10th consecutive World cup win on a trot and 6th win on a trot in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, bowling out the opponent and taking 60th wicket when Umesh Yadav scalped his 10th wicket.

Forget talking stats too was somewhere diving in stats...Here comes the knock out stage and this team probably needs a little bit introspection before going for it. There are still some weak points that needs to be focused.

Team India has outplayed, oufielded and outbowled every single opponent in group matches. There is no dearth of doubt that ' For Men in blue the journey from being sidelined to becoming the favourites' is more than a fairytale. But there are some stats, some strong and some weak points for team India before they march to knock out ! Team India has reached at a stage where even a margin of error can be lethal.

(a) Rohit Sharma's Form :
He may be the first man on planet who has scored two double hundreds in ODIs but for me he is still struggling to middle the ball out of the park in the ongoing world cup. He is player of more caliber than making some runs against the teams like Ireland and Afghanistan.Wish he would come good in next matches India will play.

(b) No plan 'B' or 'C'
A team winning the event like world cup is a milestone in itself. For me this team has no genuine all rounder as it was Yuvi in last world cup held in 2011. Team India looks devoid and bamboozled when their bowlers are being attacked. 75 Runs conceded by Ashwin in his ten overs, the most he has ever conceded in an ODI while Jadeja ended  with a figure of 10-0-71-0. For me these stats may prove vital against  the likes of Kiwis and Aussies. India hardly looks with plan B or C on the field. Don't know why i am saying this ? A match can be won by one-player isn't it but why eleven players then.

(c). Sir Jadeja a consistent headache :
Fondly called "SIR Jadeja" by tea mates and MS himself Ravindra Jadeja has proved out to be nothing, 6 Matches so far 18 runs after batting in 4 games and took 7 wickets after bolwing 48.4 overs. Why the much talked Sturat Binny is not in the team, bcz Dhoni lacks trust in him or no Axar Patel (as an all rounder). Where is the young team, the new team with fresh bloods.

Forget it .....the captain is as good as his team is ! You can't put everything under carpet. The team only gets praise till it is winning....Everyone will start raising questions once or a while perhaps it will fail in any of the knock out matches. Perhaps Ms would be able to pick those middle stamps as souvenir.

Fingers crossed....! not as a fan but fanatic Wish this team to win just three more games QF, SF and Final to bring the glory and pride for a cricket crazy nation. India...India !

Thursday, February 12, 2015

All eyes on India !

The Delhi assembly election is over, Arvind Kejriwal led AAP has got a landslide victory and broomed out BJP securing 67 seats out of 70! Perhaps he will take oath on Feb 14...that will again become the history and he will be CM of Delhi ....! plz someone talk about World Cup 2015 now !!!

When the clock struck 5PM at the Adelaide Oval, Color, Dance and Songs have formally announced the beginning of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

There were claps, whistles, a few smiles and a lot of joy in the eyes of cricket fans who had made their way to the stadium to catch a glimpse of their favorite cricket stars.

14 teams, 49 matches, 14 different stadia across Australia and New Zealand and in the end we will get one world champion. We Indians are no different, every Indian who loves cricket is not just a fan of this game but fanatic when it comes to special occasion like world cup.

I remind the matches of 2007 world cup when as a student we had no TVs we use to listen tuning on ball by ball commentary on All India Radio and used to watch the matches standing for hours on street before a shop or even praying to the almighty God to bring light after a light cut during the match way back in 90's. This was the height of craziness.

The "I-N-D-I-A, I-N-D-I-A" chants will be heard the day-long @ Adelaide Oval where all is set to stage the big game between India and Pakistan on the 15th. There is a tournament to be won. And there is a cricket match to be won. The first must be the destination, the second the milestone you drive by.

As an Indian We hardly accept less than a win against Pakistan.This would not be first time when more than 1.25 billion people back here in India will keep all eyes on team India to do a miracle once again and defend the World Champion title.

The India team will be facing the arch-rival Pakistan in a High voltage match at Adelaide Oval, a venue that has been home for Team India for quite some time now.

Hundreds of thousands of people will watch this match again, there will be a packed house, don't know about the results but the fact is Pakistan has never ever won any match in world cup. But one thing is sure even according to cricket pandits India team is not among the top favorites but there will be an unseen burden of the cricket lovers on the shoulder of Indian Players.

South Africa, Australia, New zealand are the most favourite. Don't know why but the guts feeling is saying that the chances of "Won't give it back and chalo phir se dekhein wahi sapna" are looking slim. After a lack luster preparation and winless down under aussies tour ( If i am right Team India has last won an ODI match way back in November 2014 at Ranchi) , only this week against Afghanistan did they finally manage to win a match. The Body language of team India is portraying a different picture.

Tired, too long away from home and the loved ones, lack of form and fitness, injuries, no right opening combination, Dhoni still in doubt on a perfect playing eleven and the right batting and bowling combination are forcing many ifs and buts in the minds of spectator like us. The team was still struggling to get 10 wickets even in a warm up match against Afghansitan. In recent past three years the team has lost the tempo winning away from home.
Wish May the team will do good demolishing all the ifs and buts and will do good in the tournament. As a cricket lover defeat is unacceptable and victory is a reason of joy.

Tears were rolling through my eyes when Ravi Shastri had said "Dhoni finishes in style and lifts the world cup after 28 years, the party begins in Mumbai" way back on April 02, 2011. Wish the team India will do the miracle again.

Good luck team India for ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. Bring the glory and pride of being world champion back home !!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Make "Winning the Habit"

Being an avid fan of sports writing anything on it gives me immense pleasure. The Asian Games 2014 has forced me to pen down something about this mega sporting event.

A spectacular ceremony at Incheon has brought an end to two weeks of intense competition, drama and controversy that shone a light on the best and worst of a region that will host the world's biggest events for the next decade. 

Doing GOOOOOGLE for everything has become our daily lives habit...whether you agree or not but this is the hard truth. I am no different....doing the same before writing this piece about the 2014 Asian Games revealed altogether a different story.

We have the habit of making comparison.....India ended its 17th Asian Games campaign at the eighth spot on the medals tally, a drop of two positions from the previous edition of the mega-event which drew to a close with glittering ceremony in Incheon. India signed off with 57 medals -- 11 gold, 10 silver and 36 bronze. The tally dipped considerably compared to the 2010 edition in Guangzhou, China where we had ended sixth with 65 medals -- 14 gold, 17 silver and 34 bronze.

My intention is not to pin point the number of medals that we lost or we remained short but to instill the habit in our athletes of winning medals. We won the Gold medal in a
nerve-wracking penalty shootout to end 16 years drought if winning Gold in Hockey. We won both the Kabaddi Gold medals (Men &Women) and some of the medals in Individual games as well while some of the big names couldn't live to the expectation.

Winning should be the habit :
As a nation there are many question that flashes within second in mind that why the Nation of 1.25 billion people always stands from the bottom on podiums in medal tally ? Why the attitude of our sports authority are huffing and puffing to these games? Why the athletes don't get the basis infrastructures in such games with a hunger of "Go for Gold" ? There are many whys that need answers....! 
Another GOLD for Mary Kom

Perhaps this is the high time when we should avoid the habit of being complacent and look to improve this medal tally and try to bring more pride and glory to the country. Our sports authorities and sports ministry must introspect and the answer will be surely before us.

This is the irony of of our country that the athletes don't get the support as they want. The controversial bout of Sarita Devi was a candid example of that. Once she raised the voice for justice and truth our sports authorities were to take action against her was she in tears for no reason? The sports staffs enjoy the honeymoon period during these events and forget such incident by a fighter who gives everything (she was saying in an interview to a TV channel that her one and half year child doesn't recognize her because she was preparing for the bout since one year being away from home)  to bring glory and pride for the country.

Lack of preparation, the huffing and puffing attitude of our sports authorities to these sports and the unavailability of basic infrastructures are the prime reasons that force us as a nation to finish low on podiums.

This attitude must be changed, the country is going through a transition period of change then why not to bring a change which may inculcate the habit of winning. The political pundits say that our Prime Minister is a great visionary...i urge him to make some vision for the sake of these sports and athletes as well. 

Mr. Prime Minister is keen to make India of 21st century...hope he would pay attention on bringing glory to the country. It will certainly help bring more respect and pride. If we will provide the basic facilities to the athletes and groom them accordingly we may stand high headed in the medals tally.

Being an avid fan of sports these words seem harsh even to me but we as a nation have the habit of hoping and expecting more and more.

Look for Bright Future :
Our athletes win the medals, we feel proud, sometimes we see some officials going to the airport to receive the medlains. But there is different story behind winning the medlas for country, standing on the podiums, seeing the National Flag being hoisted on the tunes of National Anthem. Sometimes we should try to peep into the story behind the success.

Lots of hard work, dedication, devotion and fanatic love for the country propels an athlete to pour out their skin to get a medal. Those athletes hardly get the due credit and honour as they deserve. Rigorous training despite lack of basic facilities, concrete resolution and the faith in oneself yields an athlete among 1.25 billion people who brings honour and pride to the country.

Why not special coverage for Asian Games...why there is no live telecast of Asian Games on our National Television ; If our national channel DD can cover more than one hour speech of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and the PMO can retweet his speech why this step-mother behaviour to those athletes who give everything to bring pride to the country ? There are many whys and we always strive for an answer...still waiting and will this wait end ?

The Govt must work out to build training camps in every state and districts of the country to churn out the athlete and better this medal tally. Working on paper will never yield athletes and medals for country but the ground work will. A hunger must be invoked in the desired athletes to give out their skin to "Go for Gold". The win- win word must be in the lexicon of every athlete and the Government and every citizen of this country must pay the due respect to every athlete they deserve in whichever manner they want.

Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom popularly known as MC Mary Kom would have hardly earned so much money doing boxing in her entire life while Priyanka did by acting in a biopic inspired by her life. I wish the adequate royalty would have been paid to her. 

This is the irony of our country that the athletes don't get the due credit what they deserve. But thanks to those directors who are making such movies by which the nation has come to known about  Milkha Singh, Pan Singh Tomar, Mary Kom and many more in the queue .

With a hope that Incheon has brought glory and pride to our country and Indonesia, the hosts of the next Asian Games in 2018 will bring more glory and medals if the attitude of our sports authority change in coming years. We must hope for the change in attitude and medal tally both !!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Will miss you Sachin!

Being the die hard fan of Sachin the first sentence that comes in our mind after his retirement from ODIs is that flick would be missed; the delicately placed shot off the pads, the trademark straight-drive with the manufacturer’s logo so visible; the punch to cover; it will all be missed.It was an amazing night of April 2, 2011 when Sachin lived his dream as India won the World Cup after 28 years at the Wankhede Stadium.We will miss every run scored by you and every ball that you have faced to serve the Nation.

I could feel the tears in my eyes twice first when India lifted the world cup after the gap of 28 years and second when Sachin called it a day from ODIs.

yuvraj singh ‏@YUVSTRONG12

Yuvi considers him as GOD,there is no dearth of doubt that he is really god as Sachin not only inspired him in his lean phase but he won the world cup for this living legend.This remarks says much of it "In my heart and fellow indians! The pride of our country I salute to u for ur contribution to indian cricket @sachin_rt this has been retweeted 1501 times shows the love and affection that Sachin holds.  

Not a sudden decision:

He must be thinking for this day since long time,he must have talked with family and his friends.The decision to say good bye to one-day cricket was not sudden. For some time he had come to realise that the body was not listening to his brain. Fatigued legs and arms at the end of the day were clear indication to Sachin that he had to take the call. Test or one-day cricket, the choice was easy. He had valued Test cricket higher even though his recent form has meant a dent in his reputation.Sachin has conveyed a strong message to the world of cricket that Test cricket is still the best cricket.He would have retired from test why from ODIs.

Why not good bye on ground:

When you would have seen Sachin's retirement news either on TV or have heard it one question must have come through your mind why Sachin has not announced his retirement playing ODIs why living off the field.Sachin is great in test but greatest in ODIs and he will remain as same in the heart of millions of fans.I am still searching that what prompted this tough decision to quit ODIs?

Keen Observer:
Sachin was a great observer of the game either doing shadow practrices or seeing the wind blowing direction on the field are some important things that you must have witnessed during his palying game.He was a keen observer of the game and always thinks for the pride of country as he hanged his boot to prepare for 2015 world cup.

Experts say:

Sunil Gavaskar

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar says consistent criticism might have played a part in influencing Sachin Tendulkar's decision to quit one-day cricket and it would have been fantastic had he gone after completing 50 ODI centuries.

Harsha Bhogle ‏@bhogleharsha
on such a sad day for india a man who gave more joy than anyone else says he has had enough of odi cricket.

Sachin you are legend and will remain as the legend either you play or not.The moments that you gave to the nation will always be in the bottom of the heart.One sentence that i will always say is we will miss you in number 10 blue jersey.

Virat Kohli

"Emotional moment to not see the person who inspired me to play for india not play one dayers anymore.hats off paaji.we all love you.respect"India batsman  via Twitter

Rahul Dravid

If you look at the statistics, his greatness becomes even more evident in the sheer volume of runs he has scored and the huge gap between him and the next batsman. To bat consistently at the top-order and the aggressive manner in which he did that is a staggering achievement."
Commentator and former India batsman


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