November 29, 2009

Bad N.E.W.S


Yes, its been difficult times already. Not even a month has passed when Mock n me started posting to u guys but, already we have hit roadblocks, dead bodies heck even got caught for drinking and driving. Yes, it is the BAD times, the most difficult perhaps, and like everyone else we too want to get thru this highly emotional and physically challenging period ASAP. We need you guys, your love, your money actually! So Mock has been hospitalised becos his male organisms were "mal"functioning. Hope, he can get things STRAIGHT soon. He needs ur wishes (n money like I said earlier) So, hang on guys we wont be posting much for few days. Its gonna be very very quiet, and rare posts of some good quality. I know I have not been able to dedicate myself totally to this but,(with just a few crappy B.B.O.T.D. posts) this makes me want to change and honestly I am trying. So, Mock or no Mock in the next few days I will decide on how to take this blog forward. So, never say goodbye. There's lots of quality cricket on, like Kenya wants to play Netherlands soon so, (I know u wudn know it) keep visiting for the latest.

Love,
Steam

November 24, 2009

B.B.O.T.D. - The line up

Little was I aware this day; 24th November is the birthday of many cricketers. Some of the more interesting ones are sharing the honor of bday bums on sloshedcricket. There’s an entire line up, openers, pinch-hitters, all-rounders, spinners, fast bowlers and even crap players! You name it..

Herbert Sutcliffe –



Undoubtedly, the first one to get mention has to be Herbert Sutcliffe, regarded by many as the greatest ever opening batsman. And it is because, he averaged over 60 when he retired from the game. It is not just that he ended up with mind blowing figures but, also because never in his career did his avg drop below 60! Now, that is some achievement. Sutcliffe possessed the most remarkable self-belief: he believed no bowler was capable of dismissing him and this gave him the will to fight in circumstances which daunted others. Sutcliffe's feats compared with Bradman's in numerical terms. Sutcliffe's first-class career batting average of 51.95 (according to Wisden, though Cricinfo claim 52.02) is bettered among batsmen who finished their careers with over 50,000 runs only by Wally Hammond. His Test batting average of 60.73 is the sixth highest overall.


Sir Beefy –



Sir Ian Botham, arguably the best all-rounder from England, perhaps anywhere in the world. Botham called Beefy by his mates, was famous for his activities both on and off the field. Botham was a true all-rounder, he could bludgeon any attack with the bat and take apart any batting line-up with the ball. The sense of his greatness is such that, the 1981 Ashes series is also known as the Botham’s Ashes. During which he amassed 399 runs and also picked up 34 wickets. Needless to say, Botham was adjudged the man of the series. Botham had done more harm by good by making all England believe, as he did, that cricket matches are won by inspiration not preparation. He always tried to be No. 1 - "The competitive edge makes us all tick."



Kalu –



A little bloke called Romesh Kaluwitharana first burst up onto the scene with an unbeaten 132 on debut against Australia in 1992-93. But, it was during the 1996 WC in the cub-continent when Kalu along with Jayasurya were sent up the order to accelerate right at the front. It was very new; the first 15 overs with mandatory field placings helped these two break many clich├ęs and winning Sri Lanka their first world cup, when there was not much expectations from the island side. There were no limits, reputations were meaningless. This pair had put Sri Lanka on the map with their power plays and smart hitting. Undoubtedly, changing the way the game is played. Under the captaincy of Ranatunga, Sri Lanka grew as a cricketing nation. Kalu, however changed his style of play and was eventually replaced with the arrival of Sangakkara.


Neil McKenzie –




McKenzie made his test debut against Sri Lanka as an opener back in 2000 He soon cemented his place in the side as a middle order batsman. During the time when Cullinan and Rhodes were already present, McKenzie had quite easily established himself as a first choice in both versions of the game. But, soon his ability to play long innings, face quality spinners raised up. He was dropped from the side. He eventually did make a return to the national side as an opener, due to the dry run Gibbs was facing. He was involved in a record opening partnership with Graeme Smith for 415 runs. He was also awarded the Wisden cricketer of the year 2009.


Amit Mishra, Ian Butler and Kabir Ali –




Sorry, due to lack of time and considering the length of this post, I will be summarizing the info on these 3 bday bums. Amit Mishra, Indian leggie not a very nice birthday for him, finds himself dropped from the team giving space for Pragyan Ojha. Mishra did pick up a 5 wkt on his test debut against Australia; his debut itself seemed a lot late considering his performances in the domestic Indian league. But, when senior pros Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh are playing for the national side, there is not an inch available for younger prospects. Mishra too has suffered the same in this case.



Ian Butler, Kiwi fast bowler, fairly inexperienced. Made his way into the team due to injuries to first choices and absence of Bond, Tuffey. Impressive lad, 6ft 3in tall, uses his height well, key to any quick bowler. Kiwis always have choices in the bowling dept so, many find themselves in and out frequently. Now, with the return of Shane Bond and Daryl Tuffey it adds to the list of Martin, Butler, O’Brien, Oram, Franklin, Diamanti, Gillespie, Southee and Thompson.



Kabir Ali, another seamer who plays for England and Worcestershire in the English County championship. Having played only a handful of games for England, Kabir finds himself outside of the first choices. England another side with unlimited resource for seamers. Kabir however, had his moments when he bowled the final over against South Africa and won England the game. Lack of consistency, inability and some tough competition has kept him away from the national side.

November 23, 2009

B.B.O.T.D. - Coaches and Roaches

23rd November happens to be a very special day in the calendar year for me, for years now. It’s hardly surprising that cricket is not left out. Today, two cricketers share their birthday namely, Gary Kirsten and Merv Hughes.



In 1996, during the WC in the sub-continent I was surprised by the talent of one namely – Christian(was what I was told). Weird that, it was my mistake and a means to remember him. I dint even know the South Africans could play cricket. It was more so because of the ban they were under, which I was unaware of.. But this guy just kept improving and impressing me, also because he opened the batting and was left-handed was enough to grab my attention. Then in a match against U.A.E. he was calling in the fire engines, he smashed 188, with ease. Kirsten, going on to become a well known opening batsman for his style of play and the ability to play a long a patient innings as well. Like his 275 against England or his match saving patient century on the 5th day. Kirsten’s style of play is much appreciated and applauded. Kirsten held most batting records for South Africa, only to be over taken by Jacques Kallis in almost all categories. Kirsten, today is the coach of the Indian cricket team and has received quite a lot of appreciation from the team. Inspite of some senior pros like Sachin, Dravid, Kumble, Ganguly and younger players like Jadeja, Raina, Rohit, Ishant… the team has had no problem with the coach or his coaching methods. Improvement in Gautam Gambhir’s game can be directly complimentary to Coach Kirsten.



The other man, celebrating his birthday today doesn’t need any introduction. The picture says it all, Mervyn Hughes very well known for his fiery bowling and his famous moustache. He even got them insured for 38,000 US$!! Phew.. But, it was sure worth every penny. Just the vision of Hughes running in was a sight to watch. Like many other Australian quicks, Merv was selected to play the longer format only. He dint have much success in ODI’s. He ended with 212 wkts from 53 tests for Australia, with a one of a kind Hattrick against the Windies. He got Ambrose of the last delivery and picked up Patrick Patterson of the very first ball of his next over. Only, it was the final wicket to fall in the innings. Later, in the second innings he got Greenidge of his very first delivery. Winning him a rare format of hattrick.

November 20, 2009

B.B.O.T.D- Birds of the same feather




Nov 20th is a special day in Kiwi cricket. Not only their grandfather like figure Chris Harris, was born today but, it is also the birthday of Dion Nash. Regardless, this small nation has produced some giant cricketers like Sir Hadlee, Cairns (both of them), Crowe, Fleming, Astle, … In this list is also the mention of one particular Chris Harris. Harris was pre-dominantly an ODI specialist, as seen by his peers. He was the first New Zealand player to feature in 250 ODI’s, the first to get 200 wickets in ODI’s. He was trash to some, and tricky to others. He was regarded as a good fielder, taking 90 catches and many run-outs, mainly standing from square leg if I’m right! He shares the record of most caught and bowled dismissals with Muralitharan. His performances with the bat are unforgettable. His knocks against Australia and India, where he single handedly won them games. Undoubtedly, he earned respect from the cricket community in New Zealand for his services.



Dion Nash was one such cricketer, whom many imagine might have achieved glory if not for his injury bread career. He bowled at a lively pace, and the very mention of his name reminds me of his performance at Mohali years ago on a seaming track. The Indians were left huffing and puffing and managed a mere 75 odd in a test match, such was the performance by the Kiwis courtesy Dion Nash. It is so, that I love the way Kiwis play their cricket, with a mix of brain and brawn, they have never failed to impress. Today, the same can’t be said about the New Zealand cricket team, filled with talent but lack in execution. The still do garner respect from every opposition, and are a feared side in any form of the game. Chris Harris and Dion Nash are just two Kiwi cricketers, and they share their bday on nov 20th so they are in the honorary birthday bums of the day.


November 19, 2009

Tale of 2 centuries -- by Steam





Recently, we witnessed two very well compiled knocks, two knocks very contrasting in nature, in style, in almost every aspect. Very much like Mock n me, but what was common in the two knocks at Hyderabad and Ahmedabad was the pressure the two men handled in circumstances where most fail to deliver. Sachin and Dravid have for years been the responsible for some brilliant knocks under pressure.

Sachin’s knock at Hyderabad chasing a 350+ score in a 50 over game against the no.1 team in the world silenced a lot of critics who, have questioned his place in the team. When you are chasing a mammoth total from the word go, you don’t have time to settle in and take measure on how the wicket is playing. But, with no less than 20 yrs of experience in hand, Sachin showed his class with a brilliant 175, although it was for a lost cause many agree it was one the best innings Sachin has played.




Dravid’s innings in the first test against Sri Lanka at Ahmedabad on the opening day was not in the same pace but the pressure of the home team being at 32/4 on the first day of the first test dropped from the one-day side, playing for pride and honor. It was all visible, clearly Dravid had a point to make. And he did that with the bat in hand. Scoring 177 on the first day taking India past 350 in a single day’s play along with Yuvraj and then Dhoni, he showed all maturity and a cool head that was required to bail out from that situation. Undoubtedly, he had played a solid and typical Dravid inning, also scoring at a brisk rate for which he has, time and again been criticized.

So, which knock was one better? Experts argue, favoritism, test cricket/ODI’s, yada yada.. I’m sure Mock would pick Sachin’s knock, as it hit back at the opposition, giving them a blow for a blow, burdening the opposition captain as to how to get the great man out? Only, Sachin could have given his wicket away, seen by the quality of his game. And that is exactly what happened when he played one to short fine leg. And then India lost the game! Really? I thought India had lost it predominantly in the first 50 overs when they were on the field. Allowing the opposition to a herculean total was the first sign of defeat. But it was heart-warming to watch Sachin, tame the Aussie bowling at will. Dravid on the other hand, played with caution since India had lost their top order in the opening session of play. Then along with Yuvi and MSD he built his innings, to secure the position for India in the match. Score of 386 in a day was India’s second highest ever achieved in tests. Dravid too got out early on day 2 and from there India lost their grip on a match that was theirs for the taking. As I write the Lankans thanks to a brilliant double century by Mahela Jayawardene, centuries by Dilshan, Prasanna Jayawardene and runs from Samaraweera have taken the control from India. Final two days on a sub-continental weary pitch facing the likes of Murali, Welegedra, an co. could result similar to what happened at Hyderabad. As of now it’s not the writing on the wall.. and which knock was better? That is not what you and I can decide over ten minutes of analysis. Both innings deserve the respect and love they got. Both men are widely admired and worshiped; it is for this very reason. Their passion for the game, honor of representing their country is seamless. They take pride in representing 1 billion Indians and do it in style.



November 18, 2009

What if ... ?



I have always wondered what If India-Pakistan never split? The political problems would have reduced et. al, but considering the fact that I am a cricket freak, I never thought about it that way . If India and Pakistan never split, undoubtedly, we would have been the undisputable champions in the field of cricket. Let’s see what would have the team, say around 10-12 years been back. 
1) Sachin Tendulkar
2) Sourav Ganguly
3) Rahul Dravid
4) Yousuf Youhana ( 10 yrs back , he was not Md. Yousuf )
5) Inzamam ul Haq
6) Abdul Razzaq
7) Moin Khan
8) Wasim Akram
9) Anil Kumble
10) Waqar Younis
11) Javagal Srinath


Let’s Imagine the present team
1) Virender Sehwag
2) Sachin Tendulkar
3) Gautam Gambhir
4) Md.Yousuf
5) Yuvraj Singh
6) M.S.Dhoni
7) Shahid Afridi
8) Zaheer Khan
9) Umar Gul
10) Naved ul Hasan Rana ( though he is under rated , he is quite a useful all rounder)
11) Mohammed Asif
PS. Leave the injuries, controversies etc etc. This is just my imagination. It can be a good team to some, worse to some.
Now also look at the things which wouldn’t have happened if India and Pakistan hadn’t split
1) We wouldn’t have seen the great “Venkatesh Prasad –Aamir Sohail” fight during the 96 world cup. I am sure, this incident remains fresh in the hearts of every Indian who follows cricket.
2) Virender Sehwag would have scored his first test century against South Africa.
3) Javed Miandad wouldn’t have hit Chetan Sharma for a 6 of the last ball.
4 ) I m sure Gavaskar wouldn’t like this idea, because he wouldn’t have got his only Internation wicket of Zaheer Abbas .
5)Misbah wouldn’t have played that horrible shot to lose the T20 world cup.
6)Saeed Anwar woudn’t have held the world record for his 194.

Many many more ….






November 16, 2009

B.B.O.T.D -Toe Crusher



The Burewala express, the sultan of swing, the partner in crime and I’m sure a lot more phrases were used to describe the one and only Waqar Younis. Waqar along with Wasim had very well become the odd couple in cricket, along the likes of Lillee & Thomson, Marshall & Garner, Walsh & Ambrose this pair would create fear in the batsman’s mind just as they began their run-up. They were very fierce cricketers on the field and dint bother about getting the stick treatment, mainly due to the mentality of former captain, Imran Khan, who believed wickets as top priority over economy.

Together they peppered batsmen with short stuff, and then the wicked in swinging Yorker that was nearly unplayable! Waqar-Wasim also famous for their use of reverse swing an art only a few have mastered and used effectively till date. Although, today he’s not so much in the swing with the mike, his destructive best will always be remembered and cherished. happy bday !

November 14, 2009

B.B.O.T.D - Adam Gilchrist





Nov 14th widely celebrated as Children’s day across India. But, in 1971 in a small town on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia this was the day when Adam Craig Gilchrist was born. Who knew this boy from Bellingen, was slated to redefine the way modern day cricket is played. Adam Gilchrist famously known as Gilly made his first class debut for his home state of New South Wales but, due to lack of opportunities in the dominant New South Wales outfit, Gilchrist joined Western Australia in 93-94. Gilchrist made his ODI debut for Australia in 1996, at that time the selectors preferred to go with Healy for the Tests and Gilly for the ODI’s. This was the reason, why Gilly had to wait upto 1999 to make his test debut for Australia.

Gilchrist along with his opening partner Mathew Hayden were the new face of the aggressive Australian team that built under the captaincy of Steve Waugh. Together they changed the way modern cricket is played. The first 15 overs that had mandatory field restrictions was when these two hard-hitting, fearless batsmen would strike the ball the farthest distances and breach the longest boundaries by the swing of their rists. The dominant Aussie force only grew bolder, stronger in years to come. They have won three World cups in a row, a record no team has managed to equal till date. They have won every major trophy barring the T20 world cup, which has seen just the two editions, and the time when the fearless Aussie side had lost some of the best known players who played the game, like Warne, McGrath, Hayden, Gilly, Matyn, Bevan, Langer..

Being part in a side so aggressive in nature and who played attacking cricket right through whether it was batting, bowling or fielding, it was never going to be easy for Gilchrist to fill in the boots of Ian Healy, regarded as many as the finest glovesman in the world. Gilchrist soon broke records not just batting but also with respect to wicket keeping. He is the most successful wicket keeper in ODI’s, with 453 dismissals to his name. Only Mark Boucher of South Africa is potentially near that figure.

Apart from the aggression and attacking style of play, Gilchrist was regarded as a true gentleman who served the game. He was one of the few cricketers around the world who would walk regardless of the umpire’s call. This drew a lot of attention and criticism, Gilchrist said in his autobiography that he had "zero support in the team" for his stance and he “felt isolated" and "silently accused of betraying the team. Implictly I was made to feel selfish, as if I was walking for the sake of my own clean image, thereby making everyone else look dishonest." Nevertheless Gilchrist is sure to be remembered as one the greats to have played the game and change the way we look at cricket as a sport.

Gilchrist was selected as the captain of Australia very occasionally, mainly as a stand-by. He held a decent record as a captain, in tests he played just 6 as captain winning 4, losing 1 and a drawn test. In the second season of the IPL Gilly was installed as the captain in place of V.V.S. Laxmam. The team under him began very well, winning four in four bu,t only merely managed to fit into the top four winning just 3 in the remaning 10 games. From the semis it was a pure Adam Gilchrist treat. He ripped apart the Delhi Daredevils in the semi-finals, and won the IPL in style against the Royal Challengers of Bangalore. Gilchrist was fittingly given the man of the tournament honour.

His after-effect in the game is such that, despite his retirement he is considered the finest in the game today. Australia, since his departure from international cricket have struggled to find a suitable replacement. Cos, its not going to be easy to replace the likes of Ian Healy or Adam Gilchrist over-night. This article is a tribute to the legend who, transformed the modern game and is loved by millions across the world. Yes, Gilchrist you are the Birthday Bum of the day. Wishing you a very happy and joyous life ahead.

November 13, 2009

BANG BANG CRICKET




Yesterday it was announced that team India will be facing their toughest over-seas tours in just a couple of months. The itinerary itself raised goose bumps in me. Come January 2010 Team India will embark upon their tour to the most fearsome and awesome side in cricket today “Bangladesh”. What’s more enthralling is that some no good test playing nation called Sri Lanka wants to participate in the ODI games, so they’re set to play a tri-nation series!

It’s been read that many top Indian cricketers have requested the B.C.C.I. for enough rest before this crucial away tour. So that’s that. In matter of 3 and half weeks the India cricket team will undergo the worst physical and mental pressures of the game. Below is the itinerary of the Bangladesh tour:

• Jan. 4: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka (day/night) at Dhaka

• Jan. 5: India v Sri Lanka (day/night) at Dhaka

• Jan. 7: Bangladesh v India (day/night) at Dhaka

• Jan. 8: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka (day/night) at Dhaka

• Jan. 10: Sri Lanka v India (day/night) at Dhaka

• Jan 11: Bangladesh v India (day/night) at Dhaka

• Jan 13: Final (day/night) at Dhaka

• Jan 17-21: 1st Test at Chittagong

• Jan 24-28: 2nd Test at Dhaka

November 12, 2009

For Steam


Live cricket scores for u from cricinfo :)

Wat-o-Watto



Shane Robert Watson, born 17th June 1981 Ipswich, Queensland, Australia.

Batting Style: Right-hand

Bowling Style: Right-arm fast medium

Role: All rounder, Opener

Yes, this post is solely dedicated to the hard hitting opening batsman from Jaipur Australia, Shane Watson a.k.a. Watto!

12 months ago no one knew whether Watto will ever complete a series going injury free and play an entire calendar year of cricket representing his national side. Believe me the unthinkable just happened. Watson was injured in the initial part of the Ashes test series, which as always brought question marks on his long term availability. But, no Symonds meant the Aussies and Ponting persisted with the half-fit Shane Watson. Poor show by Phil Hughes in the Ashes meant Ricky was looking at someone who can give it back to the Poms! In the 3rd test it was decided Watson would open the innings with Simon Katich. I thought it was ridiculous, but India had already done that with Dinesh Karthik, Sanjay Bangar in England so, it wasn’t the biggest surprise to come. Watson ended with knocks of 62 and 53 in that test and pushed aside all of Ponting’s fears. Australia did lose the Ashes to England but thrashed them 6-1 in the 7 match ODI series. This was just the beginning of things as far as Shane Watson was concerned. He continued partnering Tim Paine in the Champions Trophy ’09 in South Africa which the Australians won eventually and come the 7 match ODI series in india despite losing Tim Paine to injury, Watto continued his success story this time with another opener Shaun Marsh. Watto was adjudged man of the series in which the Aussies beat India in India 4-2

So, this simply is a matter of just one question. Is this what Australia is seeking as a long term plan or this just a make shift procedure? When specialists like Hughes in tests and the likes of Warner, Marsh in limited over games are available is it the best option to opt for someone like Watson to open the innings? This easily accommodates for an extra batsman or even bowler, which Aussies are now comfortable playing especially in these troubled times of injuries and hectic cricket schedule.

But, for now the reason for toast has to be the dedication Shane Watson has shown in whatever role his captain has asked him to perform. It’s an inspirational story with a not so inspiring idea.


November 11, 2009

Damp End to the Injury Series




Hopes washed!!


The most important fixture in the ind-aus 7 match ODI series was lost due to rains. Soon after the aussies clinched the 7 match series 4-2 at Guwahati. The only thing the world was looking forward to was the 7th ODI to be held in Mum. This was undoubtedly the entertainer with amateur players like Watson, Johnson being told to go back home to be ready for some unnecessary cricket in the West Indies. The Indians dint take anything lightly either but, the rain Gods had other plans.. It just ruined the party for everyone. No one will now come to know how a 7 match ODI series between the top 2 teams in one day international cricket came to an end.


Some local Indian politicians have demanded all interviews to be given in “Marathi” only. On asked Ricky replied “I love Marathi, Jai Maharashtra!” Now that the captain of the Knight Riders has been decided, Ricky has his own views of playing under Ganguly. He was quoted saying “The loss of John(Buchanan) is very heavy on the minds of the franchise, this may have resulted in Ganguly being made captain once again.” On the 7th ODI being washed out he said, “It is very sad, all of India, Australia and the rest of the world was looking forward for this crucial encounter, but you know when it rains it pours! Can’t help that. It’s been a good tour for us, winning in the absence of some key players has helped assess our bench strength.” Indian captain M.S. Dhoni was not available as he had scheduled an ad shoot in the rain. His views on the 7th ODI was very simple. The Aussies never play well on the 7th game of a 7 match series as noticed recently in England. The Australians were plain lucky this time around.

Drama King Younis again...



Younis Khan is at it again, after complaining about too much cricket being played (which never featured much of Pakistan) he now has asked for rest. So, the PCB has elected Md. Yousuf to captain the side in the upcoming tour to New Zealand for the 3 match test series. This comes after only recently, Younis decided to quit playing T20 intls and Afridi was chosen as the man to lead in the shortest format of cricket.

Steam’s corner: Yousuf becoming the man in-charge comes a little late in my diary. He is solid as a batsman and step ahead of Younis in every department of the game. If there was any senior player worthy of leading the Pakistan test side it has to be Md. Yousuf. Nice opportunity for someone to get a look into the test side probably Umar Akmal, who has been very impressive. The kiwi pitches are sure to test more than just his technique and temperament.

Mock’s shot: I don’t understand what’s wrong with Younis . I feel he is psychologically affected. He quit captaincy from T20 after winning the world, for God knows why. Then he created another drama of resigning the captaincy in ODI after his allegations of match fixing. C’mon dude you are not a kid. Apart from that, his captaincy has been inspirational. He has led the team very well. I don’t think Md. Yousuf can make a good captain. I don’t think he is tough enough to lead a team like Pakistan. My sincere advice to Md.Yusuf is, at least now improve your running between the wickets. You cannot set an example as a captain, if u doesn’t improve your running between wickets. Stats say that Yusuf gets run out once in every 6 matches.