Kumble enters elite 600-wicket club

January 17, 2008

When I think of Anil Kumble, the first image that comes to mind is one of a tall lanky man with a heavily strapped broken-jaw walking out to bowl for his team.

Kumble bowls with a broken jaw against West Indies in 2002
Kumble bowls with broken jaw. Pic: Hindu

What a man! What commitment! After being heavily criticized for things like being able to spin the ball, not being as effective overseas and such, this very man has achieved many great deeds and has perhaps won India more Tests than any other bowler. His illustrious deeds are crowned by “the perfect 10” wickets in an innings, being only the second, after Australia’s Jim Laker, to achieve that feat.

Today, at the WACA, on a pitch that was said to be a pacer’s dream, on a day when the honors clearly belonged to India, Jumbo persevered with his typical line-and-length to bag his 600th and became the first Indian to enter the elite over-600 club along with Muralitharan and Warne.

Kumble claims his 600th

Kumble gets 600! Pic: Cricinfo 

Coincidentally, his fellow Karnataka-mate Dravid took the catch to dismiss Symonds to break a potentially dangerous partnership and become a part of this historical moment for Kumble and India.

Dravid with the catch. Pic: Cricinfo

I thought it was really apt it was Dravid who took the catch as many the duo have a combined tally of 54 victims. Incidentally, today Dravid becomes one with the 3rd highest number of catches at 165, going past Brian Lara’s 164.

Congrats to you, Captain Kumble. Wishing you 100 more very soon!

Aussie media digging up statistical dirt

January 13, 2008

The Sunday telegraph reports that the Indian cricket team is worst behaved in world cricket. Now see who is playing the “tit-for-tat” game; also perhaps another instance of “ready to dish out but can’t take it back.” The report is based on the number of book offenses against players in the last ten years.  India tops the list with 43, followed by Pakistan, South Africa and Australia with 39, 27 and 25 offenses respectively. According to this report, Sourav Ganguly, India’s father of “lets-give-it-back-to-them” aggro-cricket leads this “list” with 12 individual offenses closely followed by Pakistan’s Inzaman-ul-Haq with 11.

I think we know better than to believe such claims as they are merely statistical. If we were to count the number of instances of Aussie bad behaviour including dissent and abuse which went without notice, the report will read differently :).

The report comes in the wake of renowned English umpire Dickie Bird’s statement about Indian cricketers being gentlemen and a week long flurry of predominantly negative reactions in the media to the Aussie team’s behavior in the Sydney Test.

“Very Very Special” Laxman and Dravid stabilize India – Sydney Test, Day 2

January 3, 2008

Day 2 of the Sydney Test will be remembered (among other things) for a truly special one from VVS, saving the day, yet again with another Dependable. Dravid and Laxman seemed to be contrasts of one another: one agonizing, the other flourishing; but together, they saved the day and have set a solid base for India to build on. Siddhartha Vaidyanathan called it Will and Grace and very aptly said.

The ominous devil in Dravid’s form showed its face yet again today. He started with a spanking four off the first ball in the post lunch session, reminding us of the majestic batsman that now seems to be hiding under the same face. There were some aggressive, almost un-Dravidian shots, but there were other agonizing times when he was beaten and went run-less for a 45 minute period of over 40 balls. There was even a cheer from the audience when he broke this draught to move on to 19 and Dravid humoring them on by lifting his bat to celebrate the single! But what was important was Dravid’s fight, and that he was confident: just in some pain, not struggling. To put up this sort of fight, when everything seems to be going against you takes tremendous grit; and to open the innings when out of form is humongous. It takes warrior – not just a wall – to do that! Go Dravid! You’re definitely due for a big one. We know you will.

I don’t have words for VVS’s amazingly special innings, his third consecutive century at the SCG – one without help from the umpires :). To have watched it is a privilege. What more need I say? It’s is mental, not just bizzare to ever think of dropping this man for any form of the game.

On that note, I end this post today. Need to catch some highlights of the VVS Special. Hope the good-old Tendulkar-Ganguly duo come good tomorrow.

Go India! Go!