Archive for March, 2010

A POINT TO PROVE?

Posted on March 22, 2010. Filed under: CRICKET, IPL, IPL 2010, IPL3, SPORTS | Tags: , , , , , |

By his standards, Sachin Tendulkar did not have a good time so far in the IPL.But in the third edition, the great master seems to be determined in putting up a good show.

Sachin is all guns blazing and the latest team to fall prey to his bat is the one captained by Saurav Ganguly.The pitch seemed a bit tricky when the Knight Riders were batting but Sachin put all that to rest with another of his grand exhibition of stroke play.It was in the match against the Anil Kumble led Royal Challengers that Sachin paid dearly for his experiment of playing inside the line of the ball to the leg side.

The rich vein of form continues and recently a show on television wanted to know the reasons why Sachin is not willing to play T20 for the country.Let Sachin enjoy doing the thing that he loves the most-scoring runs for the team that he plays for.

Looks like Sachin wants to prove a point about playing in the IPL.

That is not good news for either the rival teams nor their bowlers.

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TRUE COLOURS

Posted on March 10, 2010. Filed under: POLITICS | Tags: , , , |

M F Husain, the painter of Indian origin(now) has accepted the citizenship of Qatar.

The initial reaction to this decision was along predictable lines with the champions of secularism crying over the loss to India. They berated the opposition to some of the works of Husain from the Hindu ‘fundamentalists’. When the secular champions talk of artistic expression, they could not or cannot explain why the painter did not take any liberty with his own religion.

So long as there was no protest from any quarter over the portrayal of Hindu symbols in an extremely poor light, Husain was proud to be an Indian. But when the protests first broke out, the ‘great’ painter fled away to foreign shores. From time to time, the news channels showed how Husain was desperate to get back to his country.

Husain feels liberated in his new country. Wonder if he can ever show his liberal ideas on canvas in the new environ.

I am not ashamed of being a Hindu and I do never regret the treatment meted out to Husain.

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SUMMER OF 1985

Posted on March 10, 2010. Filed under: CRICKET, INDIA, SPORTS |

 

I could only listen and read about the win of India in the 1983 Prudential World Cup.I was very young and it was my father who told endless times the story of the famous win to me and my younger siblings.

By the time the 1985 Benson and Hedges World Championship of Cricket took place in Australia, I started to play cricket. With no television, the print media and the radio were the only sources of information.

But there was a problem. The event was to be followed by 10th class examinations that in many ways are life defining for most of us, even now. My mother would not let me have the radio near me and so while she was busy with her school or household chores, I would get the scores from my younger brothers.

The win made me take to cricket after the examinations.It is true that I could not make much of an impact on the cricket field as well on the result sheets of later examinations, but cricket has remained with me since that eventful day of 1985.

Months after the famous win in Australia the son of a successful businessman of my town started to make money by showing the video footage of the finals between India and Pakistan.It was not that difficult to ask for money from father much to the chagrin of my mother.

The win in 1983 was considered a fluke but the win in 1985 suddenly made India a team to reckon with in the future.It is this win that heralded many innovations. The carefree batting of Srikkanth at the top and the inclusion of two spinners in the team coupled with a large number of players who could bowl and also bat made the difference to the way one dayers have been played since. Also, let us not forget the fielding display put on by the Indians.

Two decades after the win in Australia, I could watch the recordings on the television and whenever I watch the same, I am taken back in time to the good old days.

In many ways, 1985 shall remain the most important year in my life. It was the year I stepped into the college minus the uniform and the opening prayer. It was also the year of the great victory for the Indian cricket team.

It was also the year when Boris Becker won the Wimbledon.

Let us all tip our hats to the winning team of 1985.

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A GOOD SERIES IN PROSPECT

Posted on March 5, 2010. Filed under: CRICKET, SPORTS | Tags: , , , , , |

 

The first one dayer of the Chappell-Hadlee series played at Napier went in favour of New Zealand. With this win, the Kiwis have ended the 12 match winning streak of the Aussies. The second match at Auckland will surely see the Aussies going all out to keep their standing intact.

New Zealand always have the habit of pulling out all stops when it comes to their trans-Tasman rivals and more so in their home conditions. It is true that the Kiwis are much more of a capable team in the shorter form of the game.The New Zealand team also has the advantage of playing at home on some of the smallest and sometimes very funny shaped cricket grounds.It is here that people like Brendon McCullum can make the ball sail over the ropes even with mishits and edges.

The Aussies will never take their opponents lightly since the last time round the Kiwis managed a 3-0 whitewash over their much celebrated opponents. But this time things are going to be tough for the Blackcaps since their skipper Daniel Vettori is doubtful for the second match and their influential allrounder Jacob Oram is out of the whole series.Oram has the ability to clear the longest boundaries and also bowl a rather heavy ball. Vettori is a world-class albeit an understated spinner who often does well against the Aussies.Also, the tactical acumen of Vettori is also invaluable.

In the first match, Scott Styris played a winning knock down the order. It is interesting to note here that Styris came into the team only at the last instance following the fitness problems of Vettori.He will want to do well in the remainder of the series.Ross Taylor has to continue his good touch with the bat.

The Aussies have to post a really big total and their bowlers need to keep the opposition batsmen in check. Ricky Ponting needs to come up with a brutal and a big innings to take his team to the shores of safety.

It is time the Aussies learnt to put their emotions under control. The sight of Mitchell Johnson having a verbal go at Styris was something unbecoming of a champion team.I wonder if the match referee would have stuck to the 60 percent fine if an Indian player were in place of Johnson!

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THE QUESTION REMAINS THE SAME

Posted on March 4, 2010. Filed under: HOCKEY, INDIA, SPORTS |

Another loss by the margin of 5-2 and this loss to Spain puts to rest all the speculation about India’s great hockey revival story. There is no way India can now reach the last four with England winning its three encounters.Australia is looking pretty solid with the demolition of South Africa. Now India has to do something great to win the remaining matches, at least to provide some consolation to the followers.

If anyone thought that the loss to Australia was an aberration, team India proved them wrong with yet another display that lacked conviction. Chances were not taken and in the end, the scoreline reflected the opportunities that were squandered.

Indian teams have never been comfortable with penalty corners, but the success rate of 1 from 8 is not expected from a team that is supposedly on the path of revival.The forwards just could not push the ball into the net and the midfielders were unable to keep in possession the ball for any length of time.Time and again, the defenders were made to look very ordinary in the face of the counterattacks from the Spanish.

As in the past, the scapegoats will be found and they will be made to accept all the responsibility for the poor showing.It would not be a surprise if the absence of Shivendra is cited as the main cause of the defeats.

The proverbial question of India’s revival still remains unanswered.

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FLASH IN THE PAN OR AN ABERRATION?

Posted on March 2, 2010. Filed under: HOCKEY, SPORTS, WORLD CUP 2010 | Tags: , , , , |

It was the same old story, the same old failings and the same old result-a defeat after raising the expectations to very high levels, in fact, leaving some to dream about the glory days of long gone by decades.

The hockey team that suddenly became the focus for all the right reasons after the stunning victory over Pakistan, was stopped in its tracks by the team from down under.The stronger physique of the rival coupled with a stronger strategy was too hot to handle for team India.

This match between India and Australia grabbed the headlines in the manner that has been given to cricket matches between these two nations since 2001.This was a proud moment since hockey became as fashionable as cricket.Over the years, hockey matches between India and Australia were considered one-sided and there was very little hope for the fans.But now after the win over Pakistan, things appeared rosy, to say the least.

Team India could do no wrong in its match against Pakistan, while nothing seemed to go right in its encounter with Australia.Penalty corners, never a strong point with the Indians, proved to be very costly and decisive against Australia.Three penalty corners were squandered away and that made the difference to the final scoreline.

It is argued by some that the suspension of Shivendra for foulplay after the first match was the reason for the defeat to Australia.But the other members of team India could not raise their play seemingly exhausted after the effort against Pakistan.

The World Cup is not over by any means, but after this defeat, one is discouraged to look ahead to the rest of the matches.

It is either a case of a flash in the pan(the win over Pakistan) or just an aberration(the defeat to Australia).

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