December 20, 2009

IPL contenders – Part Deux

The list of contenders for the auctions is just getting stronger day by day. Especially now with the Pakistani players getting their visas approved from the Indian high commission and Lalit Modi enforcing that they have to go through the players’ auction once again. But, it remains to be seen which teams go aggressive during the bidding process. Today, we will discuss a few prospects for the Indian Premier League.

Mohammad Aamer

Ideally, he must be one of the top picks in this format of the game. After the success of Sohail Tanvir with the Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural IPL, many teams would be tempted to get their hands on the current sensation Mohammad Aamer. His consistency, discipline and charge that he carries are all plus points in his game. This lad can only get better from here and shud not be a very pricy deal. Whichever franchise get hold of him, have made a point.

Steam’s shot: HOT (worth if you get him cheap)

Michael Clarke

Now that Pup has been named the captain of the Aussie national T20 side, he seems to find the need for competitive T20 games a lot more and has announced his availability for the 3rd season of the IPL. But, it remains to be seen if any of the franchisee owners will spend big bucks for this star player, keeping in mind the limited budget and his contract will be valid only for this season, as fresh auctions will take place for the 2011 season onwards.

Steam’s shot: HOT pick but NOT likely (2011 perhaps)

December 11, 2009


Murray Goodwin

Muzza as he is known, born in Harare, Zimbabwe grew up in Australia. If that sounds strange he later returned to Zimbabwe and played international cricket for Zimbabwe and when things got difficult he moved back to Australia. In all of this a true quality cricketer was lost, I say lost because most people do not recognize the man and his talent. Goodwin after returning to Australia was a regular member in the Western Warriors line up of Western Australia domestic team. He possessed what quality top-order batsmen required. He has played a lot of cricket for Sussex domestic side as well where his numbers boast of his caliber. He scored a club-record 335* against Leicestershire to seal Sussex's first Championship title in their 164-year history. Later he broke his own record scoring 344* against Somerset in 2009. In the 2008 pro-40 championship requiring 3 runs off the last ball, Murray hit a 6 off Charlie Shreck against Nottinghamshire CCC, his 87 not out from 64 balls steered Sussex to victory. He also featured in the controversial ICL (Indian Cricket League) in which he represented the Ahmedabad Rockets. Later quit the league to commit to Sussex and rightly so. To describe his potential, he is most definitely a talent we have missed watching.

Salim Durani

Salim Durani is described as an unpredictable genius for his potential of changing games be it with the bat or with the ball. His numbers were not the greatest so, he never would be listed in the likes of Sir Gary Sobers, Sir Richard Hadlee, etc.. But his ability to knock the ball over the ropes was no less ordinary. With the ball he won quite a few games for India, and it was then he was hero-worshipped across India. Durani had a special rapport with the spectators, who once agitated, when he was inexplicably dropped for the Kanpur Test in 1973, with placards and slogans like ``No Durani, no Test''. Durani a very good looking gentleman, with huge public admiration featured in a film in the 70’s as a point to showcase his charm that he had amongst the public.

Subhash Gupte

Gupte is regarded as one of test cricket’s finest spinners. So as to say Sir Gary Sobers described him as the best leg spinner and it was a pleasure to see. Gupte was a big spinner of the ball with a very effective googly as well. In fact he possessed two variants of the googly in his armory. Gupte had a very immaculate line and length which proved why he was very effective. In fact his average suggests he was more effective away than at home. He once took 9 wickets in an innings against West Indies. Lance Gibbs, the only wicket he missed was dropped by the wicket keeper. But, he did manage to take all ten in an innings in first class cricket against Bahawalpur CC, and once in Lancashire league for Rishton. It is sad that a man of his talent is not well known and not recognized with the likes of Bedi, Chandrasekhar or Prasanna. The manner in which he was sacked is a tale for another post. He later settled in the West Indies as he was married to a girl from Trinidad.

Tim Southee

Amazing how we have written about quite a few kiwi pacers already, Tim Southee is another to join the bandwagon. When we spoke of either Ian Butler or Chris Martin it shows the quality and the numerous options of seam bowlers right now available in Kiwi-land. The only things to have changed since then are the injury to Bond (nothing new) and O’Brien announcing his retirement. This doesn’t mean that New Zealand is on a drought of seam bowlers. They have ample storage in their kitty. Tim is fairly young (turns 21 today) and is a great find. He moves the ball, particularly away from the right handed batsman. He impressed a lot during the u-19 World Cup picking 17 wickets @ 6.64 and was rightly awarded the player of the tournament. On his test debut against England he took 5-fer and destroyed the English top order. He dented quite a few reputations like Strauss, Vaughan, Pieterson. Southee to me is an exciting talent in the days to come. And if, you haven’t seen much of him, you better watch out.

The IPL Saga continues

As much as the known remain known and the unknown remain yet to be known, it can be guaranteed that Lalit Modi will stir you up every time you are least expecting it. He is at it again. Yes, the little weasel he is. After the 7 Pakistani players got their visas approved from the Indian high commission, Mr. Modi has announced it is too little too late. Now the players cannot be fit into their franchises as the franchisees have already replaced those players and under “new” contract policies it is impossible to reverse the player’s contract. So, he pulls a rabbit out of the hat. He added that the players have just one way to play in the 3rd season and that is to fall into the auction list. Yet another deadline to apply and laws to be followed. Wonder if any Pakistani player is that desperate to participate in the money-minting IPL. Or will they stand up and say, “We are the T20 world champions so, you take your shitty tournament and come when I have the time.” But, what if they don’t? What if the players are keen to play some good club cricket and earn a few extra bucks? So, does KKR now have to bid for Gul/Razzaq against 7 other franchisee owners? The same applies for an Afridi or Misbah, Tanvir or Akmal and the rest of the folks. Mr. Modi you have outdone yourself congratulations!

December 10, 2009

B.B.O.T.D. – The Bald & the Beautiful

Today’s Bday Bum is both BALD & BEAUTIFUL. Hence, justifying the lame title. Chris Martin, born in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1974 also called “The Phantom” (I would really like to know how he got that name). Making his test debut way back in 2000, CM is very much a test match contender in the Kiwi’s line up. Which shows why, he hasn’t played too many limited over games for his national side. He has featured in over 50 tests though, and picked up 174 wkts @ an avg of 33. This is fairly good but, what makes it interesting is that he has scored just 83 runs in those games @ an avg of 2.3. His batting inability is the talking point by many senior cricketers and has resulted him being out of the limited over games. In fact, taking more wickets than the runs scored gives him the dubious distinction which is only shared by B.S. Chandrasekhar of India. He currently holds the record for the most pairs in test cricket.

December 9, 2009

IPL Aspirants – Part i


I am aware that the IPL is still a long way to come but, the season of team changes is round the corner, which means we should be keeping an eye on the key picks for the 3rd season of the Indian Premier League. Keeping in mind that the contracts end at the end of the 3rd season and the money banks are also not heavily loaded for new purchases, the buying is gonna be less and needs to be sharp and spot on. So, expecting a Mashrafe Mortaza style auction is highly unlikely. And also, since the teams are going to bid fresh for 2011 onwards bringing in two more teams making that 10 teams fighting for the league title. So, no point in signing big for just one year of the league (unless, that’s the only way to win). Most teams have already started recruiting in the wilderness. Mumbai Indians, have made a lot of changes in the staff and team, Robin Singh is to don the role of coach while, Pollock and Rhodes are continuing their stints. They have also roped in Stuart Binny, a high profile ICL player, a great prospect indeed. Kolkata Knight Riders have made Watmore as their coach and signed Abdul Razzaq, who is again a big hit at ICL but, the news of no Pakistani players will hurt them the most. Rohan Gavaskar has been signed by KKR for the 3rd season as well.

Steam’s shot:

Stuart Binny: HOT

Likely to give competition to Dhawal Kulkarni but, definitely given a shot for his reputation of performing with bat and ball.

Rohan Gavaskar: NOT

Way past his prime, another one added in the KKR list of dummies. Should pick some younger talent instead.

Abdul Razzaq: NOT (if IPL continues to avoid Pak players)

Doesn’t look good at the moment. We could be in for a surprise(not really) if, Pak players are given the green signal. He is sure to make an impact. Smart pick, bad timing.

We will continue to keep a close eye on the IPL franchises and all the movement across teams. And additionally pick players and match their profiles in our HOT n NOT segment. Review not only international but also local talents. Some of the names to feature are Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Clint Mckay, Doug Bollinger, Wayne Parnell, Hashim Amla, Eoin Morgan, Luke Wright, Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad, Trott, Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons and many more exciting talents, with some local flovor from India (and Pakistan if they are permitted to participate). So, till then keep the excitement rising and say “Wah! Cricket”.

p.s. – Yuvi to be axed from the Kings xi captaincy. News still building up, catch more of it right here!

December 4, 2009

Tribute to the greatest Cricketer..

Due to technical difficulties we were unable to post on time! So, we intend to make up for that presenting a few of the best from the best. Enjoy..

How sexy am I ?

We dont need umpires for my appeals, u can go baby.

Why take silly catches? I make them look cool.. see how I do it on one leg..

Then again.. i dont need legs to catch.

Try my methods, sure to work!! First forward..

Then backwards.. daily 3 times. U'll look cool.. not as cool as me tho'

See ?

B.B.O.T.D. – Bombay Duck

Today, is perhaps the most important day in Indian cricket.. Heck world cricket perhaps! For today is the day, the most swashbuckling entertainers to have ever played the game was born. Ajit Agarkar. Yes, his majesty was born on this very day some 30 years ago. It was not destiny that brought him to the game but, it was destined that if the game was to have a hero, a role model, an iconic image, a beasty profile it would be in the form of Ajit Agarkar. Agarkar was no ordinary cricketer, not just another one in a million boys, from Indian towns and cities who would play cricket for the joy of it. Agarkar was different, he was always special. Remembering some of his great achievements is like showing light to the sun. No ordinary feat but, Agarkar was the quickest to reach 50 ODI wkts at a record pace of 23 games (only). 50 wickets! not kidding, you can check all the stats you want. Only recently Mendis got the better of him but, he is now forgotten and forgiven. Agarkar was such a talent with the bat that he dint need runs to prove his selection in the team. Unbelievable? Yes, he had 7 ducks in the tour to Australia, 5 in a row. But, no Tom, Dick or Harry could question his selection for he was not chosen to score; he was not like the rest, not another mere mortal. He dint have to win games to show his patriotism for his nation, just his presence in the team was pride for the entire nation. Neither did he have to get wickets everytime he ran into bowl nor silence the runs scored, he knew that. He very occasionally picked wickets and very generously gave the boundary ball every over he bowled. Yes, every over. He scored the fastest 50 by an Indian in odi’s cos, it was impossible to think of any other doing it but him. His test ton against England at Lord’s came in the most difficult conditions, unimaginable for you and me. It is pure blessing from the almighty that, we were fortunate enough to have seen that knock. He could have played at the no.3 slot in odi’s as long as he wanted but, that was not what he intended, it was not meant for him. No slot was good enough for his class and stature. He dint have to be the next Kapil Dev for india cos, he was not set to be just Kapil, Kapil was nothing in front of Agarkar. For today is his birthday is a well known fact all around the world, for that very reason Sehwag decided, not to break another world record (scoring his 3rd triple ton)today and distract the millions in the joyous mood. Sehwag knows it, he respects it more than his triple. It is in honor of the mighty one, the only one.. Ajit Agarkar.

December 3, 2009

BBOTD-Maiden & her Keeper

Today’s Bday Bums are a classy combo, I have to tell that bcos the first ever woman cricketer to feature on sloshedcricket, “Mithali Raj” is sharing her bday with “Mark Boucher” today!!

Mark Boucher, is a well known glovesman all around the world. He just aint stopping! I wonder y? But he’s just 33 dressed as 36. Ah well, then he can play few more. Also, a good slogger who can intimidate any bowling attack with a few lusty blows. Conversely, I feel he never developed his batting any further. I mean he can be dependable to leave you when you needed him the most. Yes, of course he had a few unforgettable knocks like the unbeaten 50 he hit in the best match ever! When SAF chased Aus’s mighty 434. Wow!!! A few gritty match winning knocks, some crucial 50’s , few perfect finishes but then to have played so so so many games for ur national side and still playing the same level as he would 5 years ago is plain disappointing. He holds many records behind the wickets though; prized one might be the most no. of dismissals by a wicketkeeper in tests. His only competition Adam Gilchrist was a better batsman but, with the gloves they were on par. (Gilly holds the most dismissals by a keeper in ODI’s.) Boucher was the first wicket keeper to cross 400 dismissals in tests way back in 2007 itself. To this day, Boucher is an integral part of the South African team, yet to win a world cup! They are not called Chokers for nothing..

Mithali Raj, currently the top ranked bats-woman in the world, made her debut for India at a very young age, considering she is from an orthodox Indian family yet, representing the national cricket team. It is indeed a rare sight especially in India but, when u have exceptional talent like hers nothing can stop you from going. She has also captained the national side for a while, during which the team featured the 2005 WC finals losing to Australia.

December 2, 2009


December 2nd happens to be the birthday of one of the most versatile Pakistani all-rounder, Abdul Razzaq. Highly under-rated for his batting and bowling skills, Razzaq slowly built a reputation in every department of the game. He has time and again rescued the team from loss and turned them into victories, such is his caliber. His bowling might have drawn flack of late but, his batting has improved for which, he is one of the most feared lower order hitters in the game. He has the potential to turn games around and it is due to talents like his and Azhar Mahmood Pakistan reveled in the late 90’s and gained much success. Razzaq was dropped from the team, mainly due to drop in pace in his bowling. He later joined the ICL, where he played for the Hyderabad Heroes. He was one of the star performers for them and they even won the second edition of the ICL, beating the Lahore Badshaahs in a best of 3 finals. His impressive performances in the ICL, paved way for him into the national team. He along with several senior cricketers quit the ICL thus, making him eligible to play for their national teams. In 2005, it was revealed that he was suffering an addiction to spinach which was causing him to suffer from nausea and sickness whilst playing. This led to him being known as "Popeye" by teammates.

Not so LATEST Ooohs & Aaahs

Yes, since the time we posted the BAD N.E.W.S. Mock is feeling a lot better. A lot of his organs are responding now, still many important ones to function. Anyways, this gave me some time to post a lil on what else, yes! Cricket. I’ve missed so much, so much that I feel horrible. So, let’s get started.

The Pak-Kiwi 1st test was a cracker; I did miss writing about it but, not watching it. Even on the fifth day with Umar and Malik at the crease Pak were cruising, until they dug up their own grave. Kudos to both teams, for some fab cricket nevertheless. Bond was at his best (a lil off-color here n ther) which means it was time for him to get injured. And he obliged, Shane Bond’s been ruled out for the rest of the series. Some things haven’t changed a bit. Aye, Shane? Looking forward to the rest of the series, Asif looked good.. real good!

Steam’s prediction: Misbah comes in at 3 instead of Fawad Alam

By the way, can anyone solve this mystery behind this Pak cricketer’s name? Friends from Pakistan, pls feel free. Name the cricketer u see below:

Is it?
a) Mohammad Aamer
b) Muhammad Aamir
c) Mohammad Aamir
d) Muhammad Aamer

What’s the new trend with confusing ppl with ur names? C’mon guys, decide ur name atleast! I remember Younis Khan a.k.a Younus Khan. Now, don’t follow senior cricketers in all this.. Is this happening due to Urdu to English translation? I can’t figure out anything better.

Well, elsewhere in the beautiful land of South Africa, two South African teams played a few T20 intl’s and ODI’s. The South Africans representing England have done well so far. They are even ahead on numbers, that’s cool! But when they lose, they get thrashed! No sympathy for u guys. Anyways good to see Trott getting along well with his SAF buddies, Anderson my God, deserves an Indian wedding : ) he’s been quite good. Old man Collingwood, the one of the few non-SAF-ers playing has shown intent but, for what nobody knows. When the time comes he will be axed no matter what so, jus chill dude and enjoy the safari. Eoin Morgan and Luke Wright have been by far the biggest newsmakers to me. Looks like the time for itsy bitsy all-rounders and sloggers is back.

Steam’s suggestion: Injuries beware!

Down under in Australia, another West Indian team landed to play some.. yea, Cricket!!! I wonder why? Seriously. The boys dint look like they were playing for the same team. I wonder how long that will take to settle. Calypso King Gayle made a fine return, the team losing the first test by more than an innings. No Sarwan, he’s injured or faking it! Chanderpaul seems lost in his hiatus. These three are the key with the bat no doubt; Adrian Barath scored a century on debut, good luck to him but, lot more to improve. Is Jerome Taylor injured? And Pollard? Australians on the other hand meant strict business; only room for improvement might be sending Watto to the middle order and going with a genuine opening pair. Mike Hussey got a few runs to silence some critics for a while, how much is needed to shut them completely? No one knows!

Steam’s take: Aus win. Win big!

India actually managed to win the 2nd test played at Kanpur against Sri Lanka who played 3 genuine spinners + Dilshan. Indians just batted like nothing cud be more simple, scored 600+ but, this was also the return of one peculiar human species namely, Sreesanth. He picked a 5-fer in the 1st innings, helping Ind enforce follow-on the Lankans and then the Lankans collapsed again in the second innings. It was suicide stuff especially when Murali+Mendis+Herath failing miserably. Captain Kumar Sangakarra still believes they can win the 3rd test (starting today) and level the series. Well, they sure have started well 117/1 at lunch on day 1, good going guys!

Steam’s quote: “Fortune favors the brave.”

For lots more keep tuning in to sloshedcricket. Just say, Wah!