Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Interesting story

Such a joy to listen to Ian Chappell and Michael Holding comment on the Aus-WI series.

Got to know 2 funny incidents narrated by Chappell and Holding.

Firstly Chapell was talking about Sir Gary Sobers playing for South Australia at Adelaide. There was a match with New South Wales and Richie Benaud was captain of NSW. As usual Sobers was on the rampage, Benaud turning to Alan Davidson (a great bowler of Australia, a commited cricketer so typical of the Aussies) to "slow Sobers down". Well he got trashed for 4,6,4 and the 6 landed one bounce into the bar just behind the scoreboard. And the straight boundaries at the Adeliade Oval are supposed to be pretty far away.
Davidson though finally got Sobers out and remarked to Benaud "I sure did slow him down!!"

The other one Holding talks about the comments that the crowd in Adelaide keeps passing at the players. Apparently there was this English captain who was trying to swat a fly out of his sight. And pat came a voice from the crowd "Leave em flies alone!!" Well whats so funny, the fact that the English captain answered to the name of Douglas Jardine.

Sandys blog

My friend Sandy has blogged about the Ganguly-Chapell fiasco plus the Eden Gardens match as well here .

He makes some interesting observations :

1. Chappels gesture was a disgrace to Indian people.

2. The booing of the crowd at Eden Gardens.

3. How because of the booing people are after bongs in general asking them to explain something that some stupids have done.

Starting off with the first one the Chapell gesture, the explanation of the BCCI about the injured finger was laughable probably just as much as the inclusion of Ganguly as a "batting all rounder". What has irked me is the fact that Greg Chapell is considered to be a straight talking downright guy. Now then if hes that sort of a guy then he probably should tell us the truth and face the music/consequences. Everyone loses their cool and if this is not acceptable by Indian standards then Chapell must be fired and some one else found. But then the BCCI is never known to take any tough decisions. They always take the compromise path. And Sandy, Dravid is not a wimp of a captain but more about that in aother post.

Secondly the crowd booing the Indian captain off. First of all there are enough cowards in the crowd who know that their anonymity is the biggest weapon and use it to get away with anything that they can think of. Most Indians in general have never played any sport at a serious level and have no idea of the sort of pressure a sportsperson goes through. Even when I played at my hostel I could see the despair in my hostel mates eyes when we would yet again lose our semi final to the same team. The problem comes up when your own mates start abusing you, its almost unbearable. You turn to them for support at times of defeat and when they boo you off its gut wrenching. And finally this new phenomenon of crowds getting more and more fanatical. You could see it in Bangalore when India lost the test to Pakistan. Ganguly was booed off. Same thing happened to Dravid in Eden Gardens as well, probably prompting the gesture of clapping for the crowd at the end of the match in Mumbai. I sort of think that Star News which makes stupid shows like "Match ka Mujrim" would be unhappy each time India wins since it means they can no longer get people like Bishen Singh Bedi to shout whatever they want against Indias selectors the BCCI and the players. I have no idea why crowds bay for blood, it almost seems like people have stopped realising that its just a game and that sometimes you win and sometimes you loose. Thats the end point "ITS JUST A GAME". Passion is all OK but then at the end of it if you have been outclassed you just accept it and then appreciate what the other team has done and hope that there will be a better performance next time around. All one needs to look at is the Chennai (considered to be a unfriendly place for outsiders!!) crowd giving a standing ovation to the Pakistani team in 1999 after Sachin had easily played the best test match innings of his life. And all this talk of doctoring the pitch, well if you want to talk of yourself as the second best team in the world after the Aussies then you should play well on any pitch and not insist on playing only on slow low tracks.

The last point irritates me, why should some one who was not there at the ground be asked to explain something ? Eden Gardens is in Kolkata and you would expect a Metro to have people from all over the country and a fair population of non-bongs who would have booed Dravid as well. Why are bongs asked to explain the booing ? Just the sort of generalisation and regionalism that makes me frusth!!! And Bangaloreans were never asked for explanations for the booing that Dada had to put up with ?

Will blog about Gangulys selections, captaincy etc later on...

Friday, November 25, 2005

Sportsmanship ?

Much has been said and written about Flintoffs extra-ordinary sporting gesture. But I guess its always easier to be sporting when one has ended on the winning side or when you have a strong batting line up that you can walk.

But yesterday one incident took the sheen off Flintoffs impeccable conduct after the Edgbaston test match. Inzy was playing a great innings shepherding the tail very well and was looking to score his century quickly so that he could declare, and what does Mr Flintoff do, take advantage of the wide rules of a test match and spear it down the leg side so that Inzy has no chance of scoring off that ball. And it was not a ball that strayed down leg side because one could see the keeper move down the leg side even before the ball was bowled. It was good to see Darell Hair signalling it a wide while it was even funnier to see Flintoffs expression that looked as though "What!!! how could that be a wide even Geoff Boycotts mum would have hit that ?". So this sort of makes me wonder whether its always easier to be sporting and all that when you are on the winning side, not when you are out in the heat, on the final day of a test match and desparately trying to stem the flow of runs from a batsman who is one of the all time greats that Pakistan has produced.

But then there was one more incident to show that all is not lost. Sami was steaming in and was getting hit for runs, Inzy was looking for wickets when Pietersen drove at one in the air to Sami who did not claim the catch since he felt it did not carry to him, while the rest of the team was sure he had caught it.

Contrast the 2 incidents one a established player whose place in the team is assured and the other a person whos test spot is going to be under scrutiny now that he has had a bad game and could not take wickets on the last day when the team badly needed them. And what a difference in the way they reacted to the situations that they were facing!! It is in adversity I guess that character is revealed rather than in triumph.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Tag virii.

v. tagged, tagging, tags
To mark or vandalize (a surface) with graffiti

I suppose a collablog does lead to unpleasant situations. Ah well, when former cricketers request (very politely, too) that you should do something, you do them. So here goes:

  1. I hate cricket. Maybe not the game, but the idea of watching a bunch of walking advertisements chase a piece of processed leather. I'd rather play. Or sleep.

  2. I read. Though some of my tastes do tend to be too weird for normal consumption, there are others that might be of some interest. Or maybe not.

  3. A born spectator, with not too much to confess. Apart from a mild dislike for poetry that (thankfully) does not extend to inflicting awful rhymes onto the world.

  4. My normal state: Inertia. See this, though it tends to be a more pronounced reflection of Newton's law.

    Then again, the lack of brain function does indicate something. I wonder what.

  5. It's been a long time since I sat down and watched tv, apart from the usual gawk at what nature can get up to if you leave things alone long enough. I wonder what I've missed.

  6. Humour. PJ's - the P'er the J'er, Paresh Rawal. Brit comedy. Rowan Atkinson is god. Seriously. The only art form they've perfected (or are even capable of.)

    Further reference: Stuff like Black Adder and Bean, Minister and P.M., Tom Sharpe and some others.

  7. Food! The regrettable tendency north of the tropic of Cancer to drown it in red oil and smother it in alu usually makes me stick to safer stuff.

    That "special" veg food is not paneer must be pounded into some people.

  8. Curiosity. It might have killed the cat, but they have enough lives to spare a few for this particular vice. Besides, you never know what you don't know until you try.

  9. I watch movies that make me frust. The other kind runs out of theatres long before I get around to watch them. After all, it is the "way of the future".

  10. A devout follower of the dictatorial method, particularly in certain things.

  11. Did I mention that I read? "Speculative fiction" not completely influenced by grampa's Tolkien and Asimov is good, though sometimes finding good ones is difficult.

    Long-winded series are a particular pet hate, particularly when the author seems likely to leave the endings to his 'spiritual heirs'.Five (three, but why quibble) years to wait for a book, and then get only half of it? Not nice. At all.

    (Remember: Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but if the person you're imitating is long dead, the only result is a bunch of irritated readers.)

  12. I tend to get bored rather easily. Therefore:

  13. I'm lazy.

  14. I cheat, when I have to.

  15. Like when the effort is not worth the results.

  16. I suppose it is worth mentioning that der cricketer might like to blog. I don't. Too many things to do as it is.

  17. I can't count properly. Very useful, at times.

  18. A tendency to not complete things...


  19. Q.E.D. (see postum scriptum)

Since I "have" to tag someone, so the two absentee individuals here who might actually contribute stuff are invited. No links to you, so there.

Forecast for the day:
Sunday is close: Carrying a sign that says "will miaou for food" might help.

PS: random thoughts are not usually fit to print. Just enjoyed. Like thoughts of der cricketer getting slowly snowed under by an avalanche of work, too busy to even see what horrors he causes by getting me to post stuff...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Seems to be I have been tagged by Ranjan . Apparently it means that I have to reveal 20 random things about me.

So here goes:

1. I love cricket as is apparent from the posts. I open the batting for the team that I play for. And recently I took a hat trick while bowling. And when I bowl I bowl reallll slooow.

2. My cover drive is as good as anybodys. Lots of people tell me it has an element of lazy elegance about it.

3. My favourite batsman is Damien Martyn who I am sorry to say Australia have dropped after one bad series of his without thinking that he had won the previous 2 almost single handedly.

4. The bowler whom I most admire is Wasim Akram , the last of the thinking kind, they dont make bowlers like em anymore.

5. When I used to play in school, I would bat at #3 and had a reputation for hitting the ball into the Secunderabad club and in the process having to cough up a lot of money.

6. The stroke that I am working on right now is the pull, I just cant manage to keep it down nor hit it through mid wicket so if you know how please tell me!!!

7. The best innings I have ever seen in my life are the back-to-back centuries scored by Steve Waugh in the Ashes series of 1997, with a split webbing on his right hand in seaming conditions and clutching his bottom hand each time the ball hit the higher part of his bat.

8. The best dismissal I have seen in my life is in the Chennai test between India and Pakistan in 1999. Wasim Akram bowls a ball to "The Wall" Rahul Dravid , ball swerves into him in the air, Dravid totally impeccable with bat pad so close together that even Geoff Boycots's houses mosquitoes cant get through is playing forward and then what do we see, the ball pitches and then LEAVES Rahul Dravid, pegging off stump back. The wall is breached and Sachin plays the innings of his life but sadly India end up losing.

9. The worlds top 5 current batsman who would have survived even against the WI pace attack of the early 80's are Dravid, Sachin, Lara, Kallis and Inzy.

10. My favourite writer on cricket is Ramachandra Guha.

11. According to me the best Hindi movie ever made is Jaani Dushman.

12. I am a great fan of Mithunda and his movies.

13. I am allergic to the following : Shah Rukh Khan, Karan Johar, Yash Chopra, Aditya Chopra and anything beginning with a K.

14. Apart from the aforementioned movies one of the serious Hindi movies that I like is Achanak , the best "serious non entertaining" Hindi movie I have ever watched and which does not seem to be of the "inspired" kind.

15. I admire Nagesh Kukunoor's work. The fact that hes from Hyderabad is a big plus.

16. I read lots of books and have a collection now that has cost me quite a bit. Big fan of Inspector Morse .

17. My most valuable book is Lila though it just cost me 20 bucks.

18. Of course when it comes to humour Tom Sharpe is the best.

19. Also watch a lot of english movies. A movie I like but did not get its due since Forrest Gump was released in the same year is this one .

20. And of course to end it all be sure to watch this movie and get back to me about it.

I guess I need to tag someone so here goes
The Alternate Moebyus


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Titan

What can you say about a person who inspired a whole genration of players from a city, a person who is still considered to be the best the city has ever produced, and almost everyone who has played cricket in the city considers him to be his GURU.

What can you say about a person whom Cricinfo calls "A stylist in the purest sense", "No-one drove off the front foot - or knotted a tie - like him, it was said".....

I am talking about ML Jaisimha, the greatest batsman without doubt that Hyderabad has produced. VVS Laxman has a special place in my heart if for nothing else but for the fact that where he practices is a stones throw from my house and Azhar will always remain the first international cricketer I bowled to but these people were men, Jai was a legend, a larger than life great.

His test stats pale in comparison to the present lots 71 innings for 3 centuries and 12 50's at an average of 30.68. But then one has to remember that those were the days of unlimited bouncers, uncovered pitches and some of the greatest bowlers that the game has ever produced. His legendary innings at Brisbane of 74 and 101 are still talked about in Hyderabad, the fact that he almost walked off the plane to the match adds the icing to the cake and you can always find some old man telling it with relish at one of the innumerable grounds in Hyderabad. Another one of his performances much talked about is his rear guard batting at Calcutta against Australia where he batted through all 5 days of a test match. (Whats this with Hyderabdadi batsmen in Eden against Australia!!)

According to lot of people including Raju Bharatan and Pataudi he could have been one of Indias greatest captains. I have only read the way he would weave batsmen out and set fields with plans and more often than not how they would go right. Of course the fact that Pataudi was willing to play under him in the Ranji trophy shows the greatness of this man. His knowledge of pitches was legendary and he was the most feared captain in his time in the Ranji trophy.

His biography is being released "My Way" co written by a Hindu journalist A Joseph Antony and his wife Jayanthi. Cant wait to read it.

The only thing that I can remember when I think of "Jai" is "According to Greek mythology, the Titans were greater even than the gods. They ruled their universe with absolute power! Well that fcricket field out there , that was Jais universe. He ruled it like a Titan!" (From Remember the Titans a great movie)

To me he will always be a Titan