World Cup 2011: India World Champions

April 3, 2011

That’s a sentence I thought I might never say!

That punch of Dhoni’s that was sent high into the stands, brought a billion dreams come true. And those of some old souls who didn’t live to see. This is big! This is the World Cup and yes, it’s true. India have won it!

This team, ably coached by Gary Kirsten et all, has given us many wonderful memories. From Perth to Wankhede, it’s been a wonderful journey. Not a roller coaster ride, but a smooth nearly blipless one. Thanks to Kirsten and co. Thanks to Dhoni for the cool headed leadership. Today, not even the harshest MSD critic would have a gripe in saying that he deserved the man of the match, perhaps more than any other time – for Tendulkar yesterday did what he normally does in tournament finals and deciders for over a decade. Thanks to the young team for bringing us all this joy! But let us not forget those who, since ’99, have sown the seeds for this victory in spirit. I still feel bad about 2003, but this is not the day for that!

This day, we celebrate!
And yes, this victory is for the people of India!
Cheers Team India! Vande Matharam!


The Arrogant Boys Get a Slap – India vs. NZ T20

February 25, 2009

No, I’m not a NZ supporter in case you were wondering. But today’s T20 match between India and New Zealand at Christchurch could make many an Indian supporter emote in such a way.

It’s nothing but arrogance and over-confidence that many Indian batsmen displayed today. While there is some leeway to be given since this was a T20 and that success or failure in T20 doesn’t tell you much, many questions- old ones which were asked when an uninteresting Indian side landed in South Africa for the first T20 World Cup – come to mind. I will excuse Sehwag, for he plays the same way whether it is a Test, ODI or T20, and has been doing so from his debut. Just the same arrogance throughout, which comes with skill and a load of runs to back it. As for the other folk – Gambhir, Yuvraj, Dhoni and the Pathans – the true test begins now. Can Gambhir adjust to the NZ conditions? Can Yuvraj/Dhoni bat when the pitch isn’t flat and the opposition isn’t England or a meek Sri Lanka? Raina escaped today and played a decent innings. I would have bet (for an expensive lunch at a fancy restaurant) when Raina came to the crease that he wouldn’t last 2 overs. He proved me wrong and fortunately for me I don’t owe anyone a fancy lunch. 🙂 Harbhajan is becoming a very sensible batsman – maybe the IPL ban did the trick. I hope I didn’t speak too early on this.

The Indian bowling seemed fairly decent. It would have been hard to defend a total of 160 odd on a small ground. The score only gave us a chance.

What is most heartening about this match is that it gives us feeling that this series might be fun, not as one sided as some of the hype-inspired folk prophesied. Take it from me people, there will be failures, batting failures. The better batsmen will gain and the great, prevail. The bowlers might end up better than the batsman (given the quality of batsmen we have on tour).

Meanwhile, somebody called Manoj Tiwary might be pondering if his debut in T20 against Australia wasn’t so bad after all.

Well played, New Zealand!


From Chappell’s words of wisdom to the abysmal Vadodara ODI

October 11, 2007

Save them from the media! That was something Greg Chappell had said during his tenure as coach; I couldn’t agree more. There are some things that we, as TV/cricket watchers really don’t have to know. There are other things that need not be blown out of proportion.

On the eve of a interestingly poised Ind-Aus match, what do we hear in the news? Dhoni is smitten by Deepika Padukone. The headlines today segment yesturday made a great promo for a soap-opera. “Bollywood and cricket are the two things that sell..” sang the host. With a romantic number from “Om Shanti Om” playing, we were shown images of MS Dhoni walking the runway walk with his 1000 watt smile , followed by images of Deepika from the runway and from the new movie. MSD had apparently asked Shah Rukh Khan for a special screening of the movie and that was part of what the fuss is about. I won’t go into the details of the news segment. So what if he wants to see the movie? So what if he’s drooling over her?

Moving on, the segment before this was screaming about Sachin. “Its Sachin’s 400th ODI…” yada yada. Too much hype over all of this.

In case you haven’t heard, India performed abysmally in today’s match: partly due to umpiring errors, partly due to India’s own complacency. Right from Ganguly’s run out, disaster was written all over the scoreboard.

I’m pretty sure the media will have their stories circulating about this. People are already suggesting (here) that Dhoni should be chasing Deepika, not the cricket ball; that the Big three should retire and so on.

Cricket is a game and must be treated like one; one day we win, and a couple of days we lose. Why can’t we just leave it at that and cut down the hype?