Saturday, November 29, 2008

Absolutely hiralious !!!

Below is genuinely funny piece regarding the dearth of spin bowling options in the Australian team. Reading this was wonderful in light of what is otherwise happening around us !!!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Change in the world order !!!!

So finally, the much-awaited and much-hyped Indo-Aussie clash for the Border-Gavaskar trophy is over with (and even before the dust has settled on that contest, the Indians are back on the road taking on the English - such is modern day cricket !!). And, looking back in hindsight - which is always such a great thing - the most ardent of Indian supporters can even dare say that the series was a cakewalk for the home team. Let us not kid ourselves on that count. True, the Indians looked the better team throughout (except for the first 3 days in Bangalore) and neither of the two wins were even close. But in the end it was a well-fought and therefore, well-deserved victory.

This victory has no doubt had grave ramifications in world cricket. Now, even the most die-hard of Australian supporters are admitting that their decade-old dominance has come to a close. Not that the Aussies will slip into the decline that the Windies found themselves in after 1995 (their domestic structure is too strong for that), but the days when they simply bulldozed the opposition are now past. Now even the baggy green will have to earn every bit of its victory. Talks of the 'empire crumbling' are already doing the rounds, and, as is customary, even the English are talking about retaining the Ashes the coming summer. But, as they say, never underestimate a tiger when it is injured and hurt. And injured and hurt no doubt the Aussies are. Otherwise, I cannot think of any other reason behind Hayden's unfortunate and uncalled for comments. To blame sight-screen movements for poor over rates is beyond comprehension. The comment has inadvertently exposed the Aussie frustration which happens to every sportsman and every team who is now forced to toil hard after a prolonged period of dominance.

Coming back to the series, one of the key sessions in the series was the post-tea session on the 3rd day in Bangalore. Along with the subsequent heroics of Gambhir, Sehwag, Sachin, Laxman et al, India also has to thank, in no small measure, the partnership between Bhajji and Zaheer that day. The 'fab four' had flattered to deceive, and had not that partnership flourished, India would certainly have lost the first test and, given our penchant (or lack of it) in bouncing back after early losses, it would meant kissing the BG trophy good bye in Bangalore itself. The other key reason was, of course, the absence of a certain blond leggie. Forget him, even his impostor would have done better instead of Messrs White and Krejza (while the latter is a decent bowler, most of his 12 victims came because of the opposition underestimating him). To add to that, the pace attack proved ineffective, which meant that Gambhir and Sehwag provided India with excellent starts in almost every innings. This sure seems an opening combination as good as Hayden-Langer or Greenidge-Haynes.

Now where do India go from here ?? They must guard themselves against any complacency against the English. And of course, they now need to starting filling the shoes of the stalwarts of the previous generation. The first test will immediately be when either of Rohit Sharma or Raina or maybe even Yuvraj gets Ganguly's place in December. And for all his successes against the Australians, Amit Mishra should know that he has miles to go to even catch the shadow of the great man he replaces. All the right signs are there, it is just a matter of putting them together and sustaining it.

So many congratulations to the Indian team on its victory !!!!..