Author Archives: rishabh

Harbhajan Exonerated, Aussie incensed

Australia incensed by Harbhajan reprieve. This article appeared in Cricinfo.

Harbhajan Singh’s exoneration for his alleged “monkey” comment towards Andrew Symonds has been hailed as a victory for justice in India, but the decision has incensed Australia’s cricketers, who believe their board has caved in to overwhelming pressure from the game’s financial superpower. Continue reading

Dominance Over, New era begins

THE contrast could not be more stark. At the very venue they reclaimed the Ashes last summer, the Australians yesterday witnessed the end of their record-equalling 16-Test winning sequence, though not before an enthralling late-innings fightback. [Alex Brown for Sydney Morning Herald] Continue reading

Symonds: Kumble’s 600th test victim

Anil Radhakrishna Kumble or AK 37 is the most lethal weapon in Indian Cricket’s armoury. AK made Symonds his 600th test victim in Perth on Day 2 of the 3Mobile Test Series. India took some quick wickets today but partnership between Andrew Symonds and Gilchrist steadied the Australian innings. The wicket came at the right time when Symonds looked dangerous. Symonds edged to Dhoni, the ball jumped off Dhoni’s glove, reached Dravid’s hands, who was in the first slip. Indians were ecstatic, but Rauf kept quiet. Indians kept appealing. Here goes Rauf’s finger up! Celebrations begins! History is made at Perth.  Anil Kumble not only broke the partnership Continue reading

Viren Rasquinah Quits Hockey

VirenTHUMBING his nose at the mighty establishment that runs Indian hockey, former India captain Viren Rasquinah announced his retirement from international hockey today. Does anything shock in hockey anymore? Please don’t ask this question to “RESPECTED” selectors – Surinder Singh Sodhi, Harmik Singh, Ajit Pal Singh and Gurbux Singh. They have been after Viren’s head for quite some time now. Viren is one of the many player who has become the victims of politics continuing in IHF. Continue reading

Change your Ways Mr KPS Gill

THE FIH (Fédération Internationale de Hockey sur Gazon, or International Hockey Federation) and the IHF (Indian Hockey Federation) are at loggerheads. The reason being that the International Federation wants to see Indian hockey back to its glorious days. But a section of Indian bureaucracy and officials refuses to budge. Continue reading

The Wall Collapses

Rahul DravidIn a shocking decision taken by the 5 wise men, Indian ex-captain Rahul Dravid finds himself out of ODI series openers against Pakistan. He has been replaced by the erratic Sultan of Najafgarh. This series also marks a new era in Indian cricket team selection. For the first time since its inception the selection committee are going to rake in heavy moolah for their services. All this for ensuring accountability from the selection panel.

Dravid, the rock of Gibraltar of the middle order has seen his fortunes spiralling downwards from being the captain of the side to being a “drinks man” and now out of team. The last match of recently concluded Future Cup has marked only the second occasion of Dravid being left out of side since his debut. The selectors say that he has been “rested”, probably they don’t have courage to say that they have dropped Rahul. But this is unfair considering the past record of Dravid as an ODI batsman. He averages close to 40 in his last 15 games or so. The technically most correct batsman in the side and without whom we wouldn’t have won test matches and series abroad. There is something wrong within the board. There was shocking announcement by Dravid after England tour and decision to quit captaincy that took everyone by surprise. Then his body language in Australia series was questioned and he was not in his grooves as well. He was dropped for final ODI, challenger series and now for first two games against Pakistan.

You just cannot hope to regain form if you don’t spend time in the middle. But i will not be surprised if there is no hue or cry from the fans and media on this decision of the selection panel.

If Dravid was going to be dropped from the ODI then why wasn’t he given a chance in the ongoing Challenger Series like Sehwag, Kartik etc. Dravid as a cricketer had always been a true team man from opening in the tests to keeping in 2003 world cup. Dravid has always given the preference to team than himself. An underrated, low profile sportsman will hardly find any support from public as well. There will be no protests, no burning effigies, no rail block, no discussions in Parliament as was in the case of Ganguly and may be not even a prime time debate on any primary news channel.

The wall has finally collapsed and the way things are going on in Indian Cricket this might be the beginning of the end of Dravidian era.

Racism, Cricket and India

If a random trawl of the blogosphere is any indication, Indian players travelling to Australia this winter should expect to cop more than a bit of heat in retaliation for the repeated barracking of Andrew Symonds by Indian crowds. Crowds at the fifth and seventh one-dayers in Vadodara and Mumbai taunted Symonds — Australia’s best performer by far and player of the series — with repeated cries and gestures seen as being racist by the Aussie players and media (Hindustan Times dated 19/10/07)

Gestures made by section of crowd in Wankhede StadiumRacism is not a subject that crops up much in India — when it does, it is usually to comment on how Indians are its victims, rather than its perpetrators. So it is with bemusement that we see Indian cricket fans being accused of racist behaviour against the visiting Australian team, specifically against one of its star players, Andrew Symonds. He has been the victim of jeering and ridicule and on Wednesday, five fans were detained by the police for indulging in such shameful activities at the Mumbai match.
This said, is one sensing a sort of snobbish put-on among both the Indian spectator crowd and some of our players? And, one wonders whether this snobbishness has anything to do with our new found status as a fast growing Asian economy and the richest cricketing country in the world? Are we coming across occasionally as the new upstarts in the block?
Racial abuse is prevalent across the sporting world of Australia, including its cricket grounds, says the report titled ‘ What’s the Score? A survey of cultural diversity and racism in Australian sport’ that was released recently by Australia’s Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC). On Australian cricket, the report points to “racial sledging” of South African cricketers who “were referred to as kaffirs by a small section of spectators” at Perth in December 2005. It says that cricketers from Sri Lanka were “subjected to calls of ‘black c——’ at Adelaide, and adds that an ICC security official was punched by spectators in Melbourne.
But we should not worry about the Australians — we need to set our house in order. The BCCI, which rules Indian cricket, will have to now look at the issue seriously to conform to international regulations. Remember, we owe a lot to Cricket for giving us lots of moments of pleasure when we were not what we were, not very long ago, and it is our duty to see that we do not take the game into disrepute in the country or even internationally. Vadodra and Mumbai, apologize or give up your right to watch cricket on the ground; BCCI take action more for the love of the game than for love of money.

Get the basics right to win against the best

India and AustraliaThe party time is over. India have lost the home series against the ODI World Champions in the ongoing Future Cup. I just hope India wins the next game. After a superb and immaculate performance by Andrew Symonds, Australia sealed the series with some good bowling and temperament when Sachin and Sourav were going well.
Being an ardent fan of Indian Cricket, i was hoping that India win win this game anyhow. They started well with the wicket of Clarke in first over. After the second wicket partnership Aussies lost the way and lost 3 quick wickets and score read 129/4. Then came the man who has been the most consistent performer for Australians in this series. Andrew Symonds spoke of his annoyance few days back at certain Indian cricketers and also at the manner in which he was heckled in Vadodara. In Nagpur, he channelised his ire to hit the Indians where it hurt most, and a glorious 82-ball century made sure that Australia get to good total on batting beauty.
India started well and Sachin and Sourav hit the boundaries regularly. Despite a good opening stand India lost the way in the middle and late flourish by Uthappa was also not sufficient to keep series alive. Australians played like true champions but India are themselves to be blamed for some lack of basics on the field.
Starting with the fielding India dropped couple of catches and that of two very crucial batsmen in opposition side. First Gilchrist was dropped by Dravid when he was on 4 and then he went to make on quick fired 51. The second chance was put down by Sreesanth of Andrew Symonds. He was on 2 then. He grabbed the chance and played a series winning knock for his side. The way Indians bowled at depth is the matter of serious concern. In all the matches Australians have scored almost 100 runs in last 8-9 overs and today too they scored 94 off last 9 overs. Apart from Zaheer none of the bowlers tried variations and yorker length. The main feature of Aussie innings was that apart from the boundaries they scored 85 singles, 20 twos, 3 threes. On the other hand Indians never looked for quick singles, doubles and forgot that they can take three runs as well. Ganguly was not interested in 2s and left quite a few 1s as well. In the end that what made the difference between the winning and loosing side.
These problems are not new to India but the problem is that they are not rectifying these. Unless and until they get the very basics of Cricket right we are not going to defeat the best team in the world. This is the time to set the things right at the grass root level.

Are we Cricket fans, lunatics or extremists?

The way we react to results of cricket matches indicates whether we are just fans or lunatics or extremists. Our reaction has always been temperamental. No wonder Rahul Dravid quit as captain and Dhoni’s family declined to join in the celebrations!!!!!

Indian Cricket’s so called FANSTHE RECEPTION accorded to the Indian Cricket Team after it won the Twenty20 World Cup was unbelievable. The team deserved it because we won an international trophy after a gap of 21 long years. But the huge number of fans that gathered in Mumbai to receive the team and the celebrations that followed across the country set me thinking – are we just cricket fans or lunatics or extremists? Are we the same people who performed the Indian team’s last rites after its debacle in the Caribbean? Are we the same people who stoned Dhoni’s house in Ranchi? Are we the same people who wrote Irfan Pathan off and gave the verdict that Virender Sehwag’s days as a cricketer were over? Yes we are. But in one fell swoop, everything is right again.

Dhoni can do nothing wrong now. Irfan is a star again and Harbhajan, a loser until a few weeks ago, has redeemed himself. Money and rewards are flowing in like anything. For three days, cricket hogged the limelight in the media, be it the print media or electronic media. Cricketers had become “God.”

But I wish that the youngsters did not become complacent after the frenzied welcome they received. A couple of more losses to Australia in the ongoing series will make them demons yet again. The clamour for sacking a few players will arise again and the same fans and media will lead the charge. Why? We are a nation of cricket extremists. No wonder Rahul Dravid quit as captain.

This schizophrenic behaviour on the part of the Indian fan is enough to dismantle the toughest wall. Dhoni’s family perhaps realised this and therefore declined to join in the celebrations outside their house. The crowd baying for their son’s blood a few months back was still fresh in their memory. So boys, we love you and your game. But just keep winning, alright. We can’t bear losses!