Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dear Sachin

Dear Sachin,

Before starting this letter I was contemplating whether it should be Respected Sachin Sir or should it be Dear Sachin for a long time, then I went with Dear Sachin coz I have looked at you only like a younger sister since I was in 5th std and I still do the same. I am sending this letter to a couple of newspapers and I don’t even know whether it would be published, but I am still going ahead with this so as I get to tell you what people like me feel about all that’s been happening for a while now, though you might have heard the same from all your loved near and dear ones.

I all these 23 years of your career, you have given me umpteen times to cheer about sach. Today I am only talking as a proud younger for whom her brother is a hero. There might be million other people who might say this, but for me no one can say it with the same pride and affection I say it with. I understand that and very sadly see that you are undergoing a very difficult phase, but it will pass through. Don’t worry.

After watching you for all these years, it’s when you enter the field, the first time you are shown on screen we can actually feel what’s up with you that day and I haven’t felt that you might get a 100 @ all. That cheerfulness / the aura which is generally seen on your face its missing. I started feeling I am the bad omen and stopped watching the matches @ all for the past 3 or 4 ODIs. I know deep within me it’s not time yet for you to move on as suggested by half the world, so just don’t bother. Please try and get whatever is bothering your mind out of your system and it will all fall in place.

Even after all these years, it’s very disheartening to see people using  The BRAND Sachin for the sake of selling themselves or to make a place on the headlines. I know you are not perfect, You are GOD but you are not perfect (No God is…. Otherwise there won’t be some many other issues), but never forget that people who are making news and selling themselves with your name don’t have half your perfection. They all talk it all coz they know that you are too humble a person to give out your replies in the media and that they would be raped in public if you even open your mouth.

Sach, forget it all sach, forget all of us and our expectation even your own and just play like yourself and I know no one can even dream about matching you. You are Sachin Tendulkar The God Cricket, Hit the ball like it’s there to be hit, think only of those things which keep you happy, The sharjah Sand Storm, The Perth Century, The WC innings to destroy Pakistan.

Aside to Indian Public ( Including Current players, Ex-Players, Media etc..)

How about we all just mind our jobs for some days??? This is the guy who has been the reason to smile for thousands of us for more than 2 decades and are we all repaying him by talking only crap about him. I understand that we all have a freedom of speech, but this freedom has to stop @ a point where it doesn’t affect others. What happiness do we all find by saying he is not doing his job, are we all perfectionists in what we do? Have we never faced failures in life? All those Professionals, Students, Ex-Players and every other person look at yourself first. You probably do more mistakes than Sachin has done in the whole career collectively. When he doesn't comes calling for your head, you also better behave professionally and sensibly.

If just sitting at home and watching the match, we are feeling all these disappointments think of the him. He will be more than disappointed than all of our disappointments put together. If you can tell the him, it’s ok boy, there is always a next time; else please go and do what you are being paid to do! Else some other team mate of yours might tell you are not working and cost you your job. The perfect Indian Mentality!

The general public’s comments all over, Uff that’s something I can’t get my head over. Sorry TOI, I am an avid reader of your newspaper, but please think 57% of India says Sachin should Quit ODIs, are we doing justice to our jobs, Did the whole of India vote on your Online poll or did the complete cricket watching population did it…. I fall into both these categories and I didn’t vote and I know hundreds of other people who didn’t, so why such a news? What are we trying to prove here??

I would say that time has come for Sachin to dump all of us, instead of we dumping him. We are the absolute reason for his performance. Can we all feel what would have been on his mind, every time he walks out or rather gets up every day. The fear of the failure is gripping him so hard that he will hardly be able to concentrate on the game. Half of India is crying for his retirement, Okie a new player comes plays well for 3 series u make new GODs, then they fail and you again dump them is it? What are you all joking at? India fails if Sachin fails, this is still happening, only good thing the frequency of failure is reduced. I am not saying Sachin played great this series but still he cannot be replaced. That would be like having 100 sleeping tablets, when you already falling into a well.

Back in 2007, people all hungama was created for his retirement and he answered it all back in the next year which made people eat back their words, let’s all not jump to decisions and make conclusions for his sake, just like how you are the best @ knowing what you are doing, he is best to know what he is doing.

A Final Note to all Ex-Players: Please think about what happened in your careers, be truthful to yourselves and think, how did you play, how did you retire and how did you achieve certain landmarks (specific cases) and after you go through this process think again and decide if you are fit enough to talk about this man…

Come on Sachin! Show it to the world that you are still better than any of them and we are here to stand up and cheer you.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Team India – Is it or Isn’t it?

Congratulation to Dhoni and his Dare Devils!!!

A team of young men with nothing to lose & no reputation to ruin - played their hearts out and won the WC. There were no Super Stars which the Indian team is so used to having. There were no expectations to keep up with. These guys were predicted to be out by the first round or Super 8. But throughout the tournament, they played with a refreshing energy and optimism which, on top of their natural flair, has endeared them to the fans. Not surprisingly, they have featured in the most exciting contests in the tournament. There is no taking away credit from these guys for what they have achieved -- Its Tremendous. But, is it not premature to call this a new dawn?

All of India is out on the roads, cheering for their new stars, calling them as the ones with team spirit in heart and not the individual record, saying that this is the team which should play the ODIs too, but this is a game. This very team will lose. This very captain will make mistakes. These youngsters will have a lean patch. How tolerant will we be then?

Do we have the perfect team in place for future matches? Can these players manage the Aussies for 50 overs in Home pitches forget doing it down under?? What I see is none of the players in the current team has the class (the kind of stroke play that Tendulkar has demonstrated time and again). They all have flair, but not class. Class is what matters in longer versions of cricket and when playing against good bowlers and with no field restrictions. Current Indian team has to have someone like Tendulkar who can take on any bowler in the world and score runs. We are not there yet.

Perhaps Dhoni's team has that rare and raw talent to become the world champions in all the other formats of the game; however I would say that we should give enough time to the boys to so they can rebuild themselves for test and ODI 50-50 format. They need to have consistency in test and ODI as well. They need to prove their mantle as test cricket would definitely test their character. A team India line up without Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly is still highly unimaginable. Twenty20 is a game where sporadic moments of brilliance outweigh concentration, temperament and co-ordinate effort. It is all a matter of swinging the bat with no effort towards preserving wickets. The real test would come when the same team plays against an Australian team in the one day or test format of the game and yet ends up on the winning side! Till then we cannot comment on whether this is the real Team India.

I don't think that because of the final match results we can conclude the real quality. It's always the consistency that matters. The fact is that the big three should be there in the team and at the same time the performance of the newcomers should not be ignored. Everything looks rosy in a shorter version of the game, if a batsman makes 20 runs in 12 balls he is a hero and if a bowler give 30 runs in 4 overs he has bowled well, but do you think the same would apply in the 50 overs game....70% of the team is same which toured England.. What was their performance if compared to big 3 or bowlers when compared to Zaheer Khan?

This is not the real team, T20 is fun game and not proper Cricket, in England Sachin, Rahul, Zaheer & Ganguly were the most successful player and not Dhoni or Yuvi, so we need younger players as well but we can't go further without exp. players. What needs to be done is have them always in the touring 16 and play them in a match or 2. With Sachin saying he will be choosy in ODIs, there will some matches he won’t play; those are the times to be used to groom a new comer. Not at the cost of the Big 3.

Words of caution for Dhoni as well; Because We have seen it all before. With Dravid as captain, did India not win a record number of matches batting second? Under Ganguly, did India not get into the finals of the 2003 World Cup? After reaching those heights, we still got beaten by Pakistan and Australia at home, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in 2007 World Cup, South Africa in S Africa! Our batsman played badly, bowled poorly and fielded miserably! It's good to see the youngsters doing well. Let us groom them to take on the footsteps of Sachin, Rahul, and Saurav. But let us not go overboard with this victory as we have in the past! There is still a lot to do and a hell of a lot to prove!!

A downbeat note, this, to end an upbeat round-up, but what the hell - it's a rare moment of triumph undiluted by background controversies, and it is ours to enjoy. Soon enough, the circus will start again - with Australia for opposition, and the new captain facing, for the first time, the pressure of playing at home, with a team studded, with three former captains.

Good Luck Team India.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Indian Fans & Indian Cricket

Don't Buy products endorsed by cricketers..
Sachin should retire..
Indian Cricket is in Dumps
Players care about nothing but money...
Uff.... Can we give it a break people? Even i am a die-hard Cricket fan, i follow cricket as you all do, i am utterly disappointed with the dismal show by our cricketers in the World Cup but i still love my cricket team and i m not ditching them coz they had a bad tournament. Tell me something, does Sachin or Dravid come and tell ur PM to throw you out of your job when you make all those mistakes in your coding? Give them a break cricket is their profession and like any other profession they are absolutely allowed to have a bad day. Just that our guys had a couple of bad days at the wrong time.
All of us say that our guys concentrate on making money and in modelling and cricket is just their hobby. If you are so sure about such stuff prove it and stop using those products. Sachin has hundreds and hundreds of followers and that is teh reason he is being asked to endorse so many products. If you are not happy with Sachin you can stop using it,but dont make statements like advertisement is his primary motto. In all Software companies every team will have 1 or 2 people who would do the extra bit of arranging birthday parties or having fun and stuff, can you make a statement like these people don't work. You can't right? Because thats something they do extra, it will be ridiculous if you say i will not attend that party. Its the same. Thats something extra they do. You cannot expect cricketers practising 24*7 365 days, i dont think even you work like that.
I would rather say the players have to dump the fans, instead of we dumping them. We are the absolute reason for their horrid performance. Can we all feel what would have been on their mind when they took the field for Lanka's match. The first thought would have been, if i fail today what would the fans do to my family and properties. And there is nothing wrong with that thought too. The fear of the failure was gripping them so hard that they could hardly concentrate on the game. Did any cricketer ask us to treat them like GODs? No. Do they tell us leave all that you do and follow how we play? No. It is our mistake that we make GODs out of human beings and then blame them for failing.
Whole of India is crying for a change in the team, Okie a new team comes plays well for 3 series u make new GODs, then they fail and you again dump them is it? One of the National daily had today mentioned that Sachin's position in this team is under question and he needs to replaced by some player.They had mentioned a guy of abt 20 / 21 years of age. What are you all joking at? India fails if Sachin fails, this was yet again proved in this world cup. I am not saying sachin played great this world cup but still he cannot be replaced. That would be like having 100 sleeping tablets,when you already falling into a well.
Lets be logical friends, Cricket is just a game and not a war. And for the people playing it, its their profession. They will have their bad days like you or me can have in our professions. Stop acting as if they have lost a war and made the country go into dumps. They have just lost a tournament. All those Software Engineers, Politicians, Ex-Players and every other person look at urself first. You probably do more mistakes than the Cricket team collectively does. When the cricketers don't comes calling for your head, you also better behave professionally and sensibly.

If just sitting at home and watching the match, we are feeling all these disappointments think of the players, who have gone all the way there with the hope to win the cup. There were tears in their eyes that day. I didnt see any of them dancing happily because they lost. They are more than disappointed than all of our disappointments put together. If you can tell the team, its okie boys, we can do it next time else please go and do waht you are being paid to do! Else some other team mate of yours might tell you are not working and cost you your job. The perfect Indian Mentality!

To the Team:

Guys, i still believe you all tried your best but that just was not our day. We will take the lessons and work for the future.

All the Best!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

1 Player and 10 Jokers???

When many people say how many of Sachin's hundreds have come for a winning cause, check the Cricinfo stats and here are the results.

Out of the 41 hundreds, 11 hundreds have gone in vain.

Let us analyse each of them.

1. 137 off 137 balls Vs SriLanka at Delhi in 1996 World Cup.
India scored 271/3 in 50 overs. The only other 50 score was from Azhar. SL made 272 in 48.4 overs. Manoj Prabhakar had 4-0-47-0. He also opened in the innings with Sachin and scored 7 of 36 balls.

2. 100 of 111 Balls Vs Pak in Singapore- Apr 96.
India 226 all out in 47.1 overs, When Sachin was out score was 186/4. Pak had a reduced target of 187 from 33 overs.

3. 110 of 138 Balls vs Sri Lanka In Colombo - Aug 96.
Again India 226 for 5 in 50 overs, Only other 50 score from Azhar (58 of 99 balls).Sachin has also bowled 6-0-29-1, the second most economical bowler and the only wicket taker (SL were 230/1 in 44.2) of the match next to Srinath. 7 bowlers were used by Azhar.

4. 143 of 131 Balls Vs Aus at Sharjah, Apr 1998.
This was chasing under lights. The qualifying match before the final. The whole world knows about this match. Still one interesting point, when Sachin was out India were 242 at 5 at 43 overs. Target was 276 in 46. Still India finished at 250/5 scoring just 8 of the next 3 overs. Great performance by Laxman and Kanithkar indeed.

5. 101 of 140 Balls against SL at Sharjah in Oct 2000.
Indian score was 224/8 in 50 overs. (No other 50 score). SL got 225/5 in 43.5, Sachin also bowled 5-0-22-0, better economy rate than everyone except Srinath.

6. 146 of 153 Balls against Zimbabwe at Jodhpur - December 2000
India made 283 / 8 in 50 overs. Sachin was the last man to be dismissed, score was 235/8 at 46.3 overs when he was out. Agarkar and Zaheer Khan propelled India to 283 in the last 3.3 overs. When Sachin has scored 146 of 235 in 46.3 overs, you can guess what the other 8 great batsmen were doing against the World class Zimbabwe attack. Second Highest scorer was Zaheer Khan with 32.
Zim got 284/9 in 49.5 overs. Agarkar bowled the last over. Sachin also got 6-0-35-1

7. 101 of 129 Balls Vs SA at Johannesburg - Oct 2001
India got 279/5 in 50, Ganguly made 127 of 126 balls. When Ganguly got out, the score was 193-1 in 35.2 overs. Sachin was the last man to get out at 263. SA got 280 in 48.4 overs. Sachin bowled 9-0-51-0, second best in economy rate next only to Agarkar (10-0-45-1)

8. 141 of 135 balls Vs Pak at Rawalpindi, March 2004.
India were chasing 329 and were 317 all out in 48.4 overs, 8 balls to spare. No other batsman made even a 50 (when chasing 300 ) and when Sachin was out, India were 245-4 in 38.4 overs. They needed 85 from 68 balls with 6 wickets in hand.

9. 123 of 130 Balls vs Pak at Ahmedabad, April 2005.
India made 315/6 in 48 overs (48 over match), again no other 50 score. Second highest was Dhoni 47 of 64 balls, (third highest was extras - 39). Pak made 319 in 48 overs. The three quicks (Balaji, Nehra and Khan went for 188 runs from 26 overs between them taking only 2 wickets). Sachin bowled 6-0-36-1. No Harbhajan and no Kumble.

10. 100 of 113 Balls Vs Pak at Peshawar, Feb-2006.
India were 328 all out in 49.4 overs. Pathan and Dhoni got 60 each. When Sachin was out when India were 305-5 in 45 overs. Managed only 23 in the last 5 overs.

Pak scored 311/7 in 47 overs and won by D/L method. Could have been anybody's game. Sachin did not bowl.

11. 141* of 148 balls vs WI at Malaysia.
India made 309 /5 in 50 overs. Sachin was not out. Pathan was the only other 50 scorer. WI made 141/2 in 20 overs and won by D/L method. Again could have been anybody's game.

In the other 31 instances India has won 30 times and once there was no result.

Now, please think again when you say sachin's 100s were in the losing cause and that he is not a team player. It is a fact that for the entire 90's India played International cricket with 1 player and 10 jokers.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Who is that???

The game of cricket has become more of a batsman oriented one, it is not because of lack of bowlers; It is because of the administrators, the supporters and obviously mind-boggling batsmen. The 90s and early 2000s has seen batsmen like Sachin, Lara, Ponting, Waugh, Inzamam, Kallis etc. But now the most debated topic is who is best Sachin or Lara, Ponting does not come into the league coz he has not played much cricket like these two and one more reason which makes it easy for Ponting to score is he does not have to face the most terrorizing attack in today's world Cricket.

Now for Lara and Tendulkar, who among them is the best? Me being just software professional and a scribbler (Don't think am good enough to be called a writer ;-)). I can't give a verdict on this but I seriously can make a study about these two greats to find the greatest of the greats. I am not going to restrict myself to batting lets see what these two legends are made up of.

Brian Charles Lara, the prince-of-port-of-Spain started with cricket at an early age of 6. After playing fist class cricket a Youth world ups he made his debut against Pakistan at the age of 21. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, the Little Master started his cricket at an age of eleven but his persistence and sheer brilliance brought him into the national squad at the age of 16.

Both Lara and Sachin have had their shares of great moments, injuries, victories, bad patches and losses. Though Sachin is the longest serving in international player, Lara is just a year behind him. Both these players average more than 50 (55 and 53 respectively) in Tests. Having played more than 125 matches, Lara has 34 centuries to his name compared to Sachin's 35.

If we look at how their careers have progressed Sachin had a solid start and was in an awesome form between his 51st to 100th tests. The progress has been deterred by injuries after that and the tests 126-132, is not a record the master might want to look at. Whereas Lara's was a good start followed by some dip in form but after his 75th test Lara's charts are just showing a rise. Lara his 34 centuries to his credit out of which 9 are over 200. He has been known for his ability to play long innings and has also been time and again accused selfish for the same. Sachin does not have these many doubles centuries to his credit. Lara made his first double in his 5th match but Sachin's came very late in his career. If a batsman is to be adjudged as the greatest only by the amount of huge scores made then Lara wins it hands down. But will just huge scores help us win matches. Nopes most of them just end in a draw.

Test matches are all about innings and if we compare them both based on their various innings averages, they play equally well in the 1st match innings, Lara plays it better in second match innings, Sachin is way ahead in 3rd match innings and better by a whisker in 4th. If the second innings which team plays is more important then Sachin is a better player (I am saying this coz time and again I have read arguments as Sachin does not play well in the second innings of his team). Also Lara has been a part of a losing team in 62 tests when compared to Sachin's 37, this is given the fact that Indian team is accused of being big time losses. Sachin holds averages over 50 in tests played at home and away, whereas Lara's away test average is much below his home average and Sachin's away average.

Okie now if people ask me, is it just averages which define a batsman's greatness. The answer is big NO. In today's cricketing world a batsman can be called great for his runs (of course), skills, technique and his contribution to team's cause. This just need not be winning but it could also be saving from a loss. Both of these have amassed a lot of runs, their skill talent and techniques are time-tested. Their contribution to team's cause, well the stats suggests Lara has been a part of a team which has won 32 tests and drawn 35 (61 & 68 averages) compared to Sachin's 41 (64 & 72). Sachin can also help by bowling.

With one day's ruling the contemporary era of cricket lets look their performances here too, before we can think of a conclusion. Sachin has played more ODIs than Lara (nearly a 100). He has 14,479 runs and 142 wkts to his credit against 9948 runs and 4 wkts of Lara's.

Sachin has 40 centuries to his name out of which 15 are at home. Out of Lara's 19, 6 are at home. 1993 was the only year when Lara scored more than 1000 runs in a year where as Sachin has done it in 1994,1996,1997,1998,2000,2003. Though Lara has lost 134 out of his 283 matches (165 out of 371 for Sachin) he has better comparative average in the matches won for his team and in matches won while chasing.

But when it comes to the biggest of all, the world cup, Lara's figures stand way below Sachin's. Even after being accused of unable to deliver in finals time and again, Sachin seems to have performed better than Lara there. It can also be noted that Sachin has played about 36 finals compared to Lara's 19. Is this criterion to question the ability of the prince to bring his team to finals? With the recognition part of Match, Sachin holds the world record with 52 awards to Lara's 30.In this entire span of career Sachin has been captain and played under various captains but his name has not been a part of a lot of controversies whereas Lara has had his date with it all.

Now all these are just numbers though they are huge, both these are master craftsmen, both their team struggles when they lose they get out but I should say Sachin has had more pressure on his shoulders. Tendulkar has been burdened with the traditional comparison with Bradman — an analogy made by the "The Knight" himself, who likened the diminutive Indian to himself in his younger days and he ahs carried the hopes of the Indian Crowd, the most emotional of the Cricketing crowds.

Now let us think of a conclusion (difficult part) who amongst these two will use call as the greatest batsmen, If it is ODIs Sachin wins it heads up, if it is tests there is a stiff competition but can still be called as 60-40 to Lara due to the sheer amount of runs and massive sores. If the argument is taken for the greatest cricketer then Lara doesn't stand anywhere near Sachin because Sachin is an all-rounder (At least when compared to Lara), a team man and the best cricketing personality around. (This is the Sophi touch :-))

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mother of All Matches...Best of all Innings!!

Long time back i was given a TAZ in my team...(For Non-Wiproites , TAZ means Thanks a Zillion), a voucher from landmark for 150 rupees. After too much of introspection and roaming about i decided on a CD. The CD of the India Vs Pak 2003 World Cup match. The match which saw a new face of Indian Cricket. I was in college during that WC and yeah we just enjoyed that Roller coaster ride of Indian team in that series. With Sachin being in prime form, we loved every match of it and every bit of it except the finals. Though all those matches can be written about and talked about as there was something special in each of them, like The Six in Caddick's ball by Sachin in the England match, the Straight drive which could have seriously hurt Aleem Dar in the Namibia match, this match is real real special and so a recap of it all.. Lots would be about Sachin and you have to bear it as you know you are reading the blogspot of Ms.Nitya!
The Build up:Okie, titled as the "Mother of all matches" , India met Arch-Rivals Pakistan in a group match on March 1st 2003. It was a Sunday and the whole of India was hooked on to the TV Set. The Indian line up for the match was Sourav(C),Dravid(VC),Sachin,Sehwag,Kaif,Yuvraj,Pathan,Zaheer,Nehra,Mongia and Kumble. Both the captains exchanged official ties before the start of the match. The toss was won by the Pak Captain Waqar Younis and they elected to bat.
Pak Innings:Pakistanis batted was pretty well i should say. Saeed Anwar(101) led the attack with a century.All the other batsmen played around him.taufeeq Umar(22),Youhana(25),Younis(32) all of them played their parts well.It was all down Rashid Latif and Wasim Akram in the last few overs and they literally stole runs at their pace. At the end of their 50 overs Pakis had scored 273 runs and looked all set to win against India for the first time in a World Cup match as India's highest successful WC run chase till then was 222.
Behind the Scenes: Once the Indian team went into their dressing room, Sachin did not speak to anyone. Was involved in any of the discussions about the chasing.He took a bowl of ice-cream, put his headphones on and went and sat in a corner.Got up from there and padded up just in time (This was shred by the master himself in the recent interview in NDTV). When Sachin and Sehwag started walking down the stairs, Sehwag told Sachin "Don't tell me anything other them Jao aur Lage Raho" and Sachin supposedly answered "I am going to take it to these guys".(Excerpt from John Wright's Indian Summers)
Indian Innings: The Pakistani players who weren't aware of all these, and who had a awesome bowling line up came into the field with all the confidence in the World. Sachin who generally prefers batting second faced the first ball. With Akram opening the bowling the first runs on the board came with Tendulkar flicking Akram to the on-side fence for a sweetly-timed boundary. The Second over is the one which set the tone for the match.Akthar came in at the speed of Rawalpindi Express (;-)) just to be hit all over the ground. The first hit was cut shot, inside out and over the top, sending the ball into the stands several rows back at point for a 6. This was followed by two boundaries in the same over. At the other end Sehwag joined the party very soon by playing a similar cut for 6 in the first ball of Waqar Younis.The Indians raced to the team 50 in 30 balls. When the score was 53, Sehwag got out playing a loose shot. The next ball up Sourav Ganguly was walking back to the pavilion.(One more reason for me to like this match!!! :-) )
Phase 2: Promoted up the order, Kaif started slowly playing around Sachin.The master ensured that the RR was no where affected. When he was in 32 , Razzaq dropped Sachin and by that probably the match. Akram was visibly vivid with Razzaq for that. There was no stopping from then on. Sachin presented a bouquet to shots to entertain the 20,000 + crowd there.India reached 100 in 12 overs. Sachin crossed 12,000 odi runs. With the huge pressure and heat Sachin started to cramp badly, he was given assistance between the overs. Mohd.Kaif got out when the score was 155, which brought Dravid to the crease.
Finally:When Sachin was on 98, the pain increasing he got his clone as his runner.Shoaib who came in for his third spell bowled a brute of a delivery, rearing from a length that got the better of Tendulkar. The master fell just two runs short of a most deserving ton. Tendulkar departed on 98 (75 balls, 12 fours, 1 six) in the 28th over.At that juncture we needed only a further 97 runs for victory in more than 20 overs. Yuvraj Singh(50*) and Dravid (44*) played as sensibly as they can and took India to 274 with about 4 overs to spare. The smiles in the Indian dressing room said it all. After being bashed up and let down by the nation after they had lost to Aussies 10 days back,they were National heroes again. Sachin without any doubt was declared the man of the match yet again. This was a day when every cricket fan would been happy. Yet again, one man had played the game as well as it could be.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Indian Summers - A Review

John Wright's Indian Summers, for people who have not yet read it this books is something like an insight into John's memories. He has used a very simple language in his book and a very neat writing style. The best part being keeping to his topics, coz when you are talking about Indian Cricket its very easy that you dont stay with your topic at all. The book is racy and spicy at some points.The book gives details into the Wright and Ganguly led team which has Test wins overseas in less than five years than Indian cricket had achieved in the previous 70 while raising standards of fitness and professionalism within the team to unprecedented levels.
He has started the book with how life all of a sudden changed when he decided to quit cricket, some internals into his last series, then about working as a manager in a firm. Its after that John took up to coaching some of the local county teams and then how it all changed when he took his flight to India.It has its share of interesting anecdotes about various matches, places, and players. It also has some chapters, devoted to how team selection, the business of cricket and of how aspiring young cricketers in India are mercilessly winnowed down. These chapters are where Wright’s upright style and insider status is well utilized to give the fans an insight to the dressing room happenings.

The best thing about the book is the Wright’s obvious love for the game, for Indians and for Indian cricket, as well as his unpretentious honesty and his self-deprecatory humor. The thing that a serious fan of cricket and of the Indian team will find missing, almost painfully so, is the lack of any substantive information beyond a few platitudes here and there on what made the relationship between Ganguly and Wright so successful. It somehow looked as Wright is reluctant to reveal about his relationship with the then captain. Wright discusses a lot about his relationship with Leipus and Adrian Le Roux than his relationship with captain Ganguly or even vice captain Dravid for that matter. The one whole chapter has been dedicated for Jaggu, and that gives us some real insight to the Brains of the master tactitian.

Wright has also looked at himself critically ("I knew straight away that rather than ripping into Viru (Sehwag), I should have walked away, gone for a stroll around the ground or ducked into the nearest pub"), and admits to mistakes. Thankfully, he springs the odd "I told you so": more an acknowledgement that the joke was on him than any aspiration to righteousness. Also his notes on how he had to get it out of Sachin about where he wants to bat ( Sachin always replied as Wherever the team wants me to), what happened in SA following the loss to Aussies in the group match, the handling of the "HOT POTATO" problem during the Multan test ( Declaration when Sachin was on 194*).
On the whole this has come out as a neat autobiography style book but its only about 5 years of his life, when team India scaled real heights, but as far as my knowledge goes if at all Greg Chappel is going to come out with an Indian Winters, that might be even more interesting.