Assorted IPL Ramblings: of the Fab Four of Indian cricket

May 15, 2008

Tendulkar flops and Jayasuriya rocks. Sachin’s most awaited IPL debut came and went without much noise. On a day that was supposed to be Tendulkar’s, it was the Sri Lankan opener’s fireworks that enlivened the Mumbai crowd. I did not watch most of the Chennai Super Kings’s innings, so I cannot comment on that. But Jayasuriya turned it on big time so much to make Sachin look like a high-school boy, except for one four. Sachin looked a bit out of place, to say the least – it might be too early to say this, but for now he looks no better than Laxman or Dravid in the batting department. In fact the latter might end up with more runs (after factoring in the number of matches played).  From the CSK’s end, for a change it was nice to see Dhoni – and no, he is not part of my fab four, for whatever it is worth – on the receiving end of batting heroics. Even lucky-charm Joginder Sharma couldn’t stop Jayasuriya. It was just Sanath all the way.

While Royal Challengers’ Dravid is being lambasted from several sides, support has come from a like minded team India colleague and Deccan Chargers’ captain VVS Laxman, and this coming from someone in relatively similar position. Laxman has come be known for good gestures, this must be added to the top half of his list. In the match against Kings XI Punjab, Dravs seemed more stressed that ever seen before. When asked about Mallya’s salvo, he refused to comment citing reasons for want of a proper forum. I’m wondering what Dravid will do now – quit IPL or wait to be traded? Judging by the anti-auction mindedness of him, I guessing he will probably resign; might be just a matter of time. While that would seem fitting to many, I think he might do a little better in someone else’s team, batting at 5 or 7, playing the role of the innings finisher – a role he successfully played for India in some ODIs during his reign as India captain.

Ganguly seems to be on cloud nine after Shoaib’s dream IPL debut. Way to make a statement, Shoaib! And it was nice to see the latter on Ganguly side, rather than on the opposing. I had my doubts about Akthar – he is like a wild pendulum – might swing either way. Perhaps with the fitness problems that Akthar has had of later, T20 might be the game for him – all it takes is four overs of concentration.

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T-20 Final: Some great moments

September 29, 2007

Allright, I realize this post comes a little late, but I really can’t resist this. So here are some of my picks for great moments from the T-20 World Cup Final (in no-specific order). I rate these as great moments because of emotional appeal and/or match-swinging action so typical of an India-Pakistan match.  

1. Anthems of India and Pak being played
2. Yousuf Pathan walking out to bat for the first time in T-20
3. Yousuf Pathan’s 6 off Asif
4. Gul’s getting Dhoni
5. Sharma’s six in the death overs (it might have been a four, if it hadn’t been for the Pak fielder).
6. The first Pak wicket
7. Nazir’s runout 
8. Shahid Afridi’s wicket
9. Irfan Pathan’s double wicket over
10. Misbah’s consecutive 6s in the 17th over
11. Joginder Sharma being given the last over
12. Sreesanth’s catch to India’s sensational “almost not there” victory
13. Team India’s reaction to the victory
14. MSD gifting his shirt to a young fan: what was interesting here is how the media portrayed this later comparing it to Ganguly’s shirt waving on the Lord’s balcony after winning the NatWest series. This was not the adrenaline filled fist pumping action, but seemed to be a calm yet emotional moment for Dhoni. What was more touching was to see him help the lad put it on. A class act by a young leader!
15. Shoaib Malik’s apology to fans. (It seemed to be an honest and honorable one, but what I thought was unnecessary was the way he pulled the religion card. Pakistan still think they are a Muslim nation and that all Muslims belong there, don’t they?)
16. MSD’s bordering arrogant “We deserve a big celebration”. (But I guess he can be forgiven for he had just won the World Cup; however, I don’t think he would have even remote expected the celebration and welcome they were to recieve in Mumbai on arrival).
17. Ravi Shastri’s commentarry (the final over) and the teary eyed man at the presentation ceremony!