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!

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.


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 clichés 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


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 :)


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.