November 11, 2008

The Final Roar Of The Bengal Tiger – A Tribute

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:04 pm by techtwist

Irrespective of whether its a young tiger or an old one, when it roars, it does bring shivers down the spine. Similar has been the Prince Of Kolkatta’s career too. He came into the International scene with a bang scoring a century on debut and followed it up with another making it two for the debut series in England. As Sourav admitted, it was indeed amazing to make a mark at the Mecca of Cricket – Lords.

Since then, there has been no turning back. He has gone through a lot of high’s and low’s. He with Tendulkar formed a formidable opening pair and their record for the aggregate together still stands atop the charts. Sourav Ganguly has played some breath-taking innings when it has mattered the most. He has also come up with some special performances time and again.

Till date, there is no one to better his performance at Toronto. He exploited both with the bat and the ball. He holds the record for winning four consecutive man of the match awards. He also holds the record for being part of most number of 200 runs partnership. Along with this add the most ODI runs in a calender year thrice ( in 1997, 1999 and 2000 ). He was also the fastest to 7,000 ODI runs ( in 174 innings ) and also to 8,000 ( in 200 innings ) and 9,000 ( in 228 innings ).

He also stands third on the list of World’s big hitters with a tally of 190 6’s in ODI’s and 57 in tests. He was also the first left-handed batsman to get past the magical 10,000 mark and third in the world to achieve the feat. He is currently fourth in the list of most centuries by an individual. This is by no means an easy achievement.

Add to this his exploits as a Captain. He lead India in 49 matches and has an amazing record of 15 consecutive victories bettered only by Australia till date. He has been India’s most successful Captain. During this tenure, he also became the second in the World to aggregate 5,000 ODI runs as Captain. He brought in a new feel into the Indian team and took it to great heights. He laid the platform for where we are today, a competitive team anywhere around the world. He changed the phase of Indian Cricket and redefined the term aggression to the Indian Cricketers.

Under him, cropped up a group of gifted youngsters, notable among them is Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif and Harbhajan Singh. He always backed youngsters and ensured the selectors understood the need of the youngsters for the balance of the team. A lot has been said about his inability against the short ball. But his record in Australia speaks for itself. No one can forget his efforts in the 1999 World Cup where he specially carrassed the Sri Lankans. So was his efforts in the 2003 World Cup scoring two crucial centuries.

He seemed to be an ocean of talent unless the unfortunate incident in 2005 after which everything changed. Even then he proved himself and he has done it to such an extent that he can be called the man of comebacks. His last test summed up his career. A strokeful 85 in a tough situation in the first innings and a golden duck like the great Don in the second innings to bring an end to a glittering career. He has seen everything. After all Dada in Hindi means Don. The Cricketing fraternity will miss the shots that he played through the off side.

He was deservedly called the Bengal tiger for he combined brute force with sheer timing like a majestic tiger. I’ve put together loads of videos and photos here. Don’t mind it as this is what my heart asks me to do. I’m filled with loads of emotions. We will surely miss you Sourav Ganguly.


October 8, 2008

Countdown Begins

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:32 pm by techtwist

One of the most amazing clashes of recent times, India versus Australia, is set to begin in under twelve hours from now. The very effort put in by the Aussies as a preparation for the series should sum up the story. When was the last time you heard a Aussie Captain say that his teams were the under dogs? Thats how close a fight that the Indians have putforth when playing Australia.

Talks are already on with Hayden admitting that Harbhajan Singh fires him up and Ponting saying that they will work on India’s weakness in the field and during their Batting while running between the wickets. Indians on the other hand are playing equally hard with Harbhajan Singh predicting a 4-0 victory for India and Virender Sehwag predicting a 3-1 victory for India.

The series has very well gained the necessary momentum and in the middle of all these begins anouther count down. Saurav Ganguly will be playing his last International Series after which he will be retiring from all forms of the games. This came as a bolt from the blue sky and Ganguly was defying the logic of Voluntary Retirement Scheme ( VRS ) bring offered to the players.

Amidst all this was another confusion. Anil Kumble said that this would be his last test in front of his home crowd and a win against the Aussies at home is something he wanted to achieve. Media took it the other way and they concluded saying that this would also be Kumble’s last. Kumble cleared the confusion later today. Ricky Ponting said that this would put pressure on the other ageing Indian batsman and they would try to exploit it.

Saurav Ganguly was very diplomatic when he said that he announced his retirement at the last few minutes of the press conference as team came first and as he never really wanted to make this an issue. The Prince, I feel, has made his own decision. True, that he was done in by some harsh decisions by the Board and the Selectors, but then this seems to be his own decision.

All eyes will surely be on Saurav Ganguly and let us hope that he fires well and leaves the game in prime style just the way he entered with a bang. I personally feel that it would have been fitting had he retired after the England series following this series. But then, everything has happened in a flash. Everything is for good. England series could see either Rohit Sharma or Yuvraj Singh trying to fill in the void.

In the next few posts, I’d be posting a few videos of Saurav Ganguly as a tribute to the ” Prince Of Kolkatta “. He is surely one of my favourite Cricketers and it is his never say die spirit that has seen the team transform as a unit. He has been the backbone of bringing in some good talents namely Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif to name a few. He is one of the most successful Indian Captains till date and an architect of the modern Indian Team. Kudos to this great fighter!!!

Just One Last Thing, Lads : ( Courtesy : Youtube )

October 1, 2008

Ganguly – The Man Of Comebacks

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:39 pm by techtwist

The history repeats. To my liking ( or even to Ganguly’s for that matter ) it has happened very quickly. Saurav Ganguly was again on the verge of being pushed aside and out of International Cricket for once. But his strong record has saved his head again. One of the selectors said his experience, character and resilience has put him ahead of the youngsters like Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif. They feel these three qualities are very important for a tough series against Australia.

As a build up to the series, Saurav Ganguly is expected to play a India A test against New Zealand A as he has not been a part of the current team who are at a conditioning camp at Bangalore. Ganguly has an impressive average of 50.67 aggregating 1571 runs since his comeback in December 2006 during which he has also scored a maiden double century. The surprise packages were Amit Mishra and Subramaniam Badrinath. Both made it to the 15 member squad.

Badrinath said he expected a call up. What the selectors have done is that they have sent a strong message. Badrinath will be under the shadow and will me the most likely one to replace Ganguly. Meanwhile Mishra will be the third spinner and likely to be the successor of Kumble. Too ealry to make a call. But this seems to be the pattern. Pragyan Ojha and Piyush Chawla were left out. I felt Ojha deserved a place in this squad.

Meanwhile the news from the camp is that the team has been really working hard on its fitness and the bowlers on getting their rhythms right. They were made to bowl with teh fifth stump just to get thier ” just outside off stump ” line right. The first Test starts in Bangalore on October 9. The second is in Mohali from October 17-21. The squad for the remaining fixtures, in Delhi and Nagpur, will be named after the second Test. Here’s the squad :

  • Anil Kumble
  • Virender Sehwag
  • Gautam Gambhir
  • Rahul Dravid
  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • Saurav Ganguly
  • V.V.S. Laxman
  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni
  • Harbhajan Singh
  • Zaheer Khan
  • Ishanth Sharma
  • Munaf Patel
  • R.P. Singh
  • Subramaniam Badrinath
  • Amit Mishra

August 23, 2008

Where Is Sreesanth???

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:12 pm by techtwist

After being ruled out with a side strain injury that he suffered during the Indian Premier League, Sreesanth must have felt the sting after some good show by Ishanth Sharma and Praveen Kumar. He would be eagerly waiting to have a crack at the big stage sooner so as to be in the wings before its too late. He was left out for the Kitply Cup in Bangladesh, the Asia Cup in Pakistan and the Sri Lankan tour. He has also been left out from the squad for the Champions Trophy.

But Sreesanth has made it to the squad for the series against Australia A team which will be touring in September. This should help him to get some match practise. They will be here to play a couple of three-day games. Tamil Nadu’s Subramaniam Badrinath will lead the India A team for this series. He succeeds Mohammed Kaif who lead the India A team for the previous major tie against the South Africa A team in 2007. The squad also sees Akash Chopra and Wasim Jaffer not included and instead they have the out of form Robin Uthappa and Piyush Chawla who would be wanting to make the most of the opportunity to get back into the ranks. The squad is listed below :

  • S Badrinath (capt)
  • Parthiv Patel (vc)
  • Shikhar Dhawan
  • Ajinkya Rahane
  • Mohammed Kaif
  • Cheteshwar Pujara
  • Robin Uthappa
  • Piyush Chawla
  • Sreesanth
  • Vinay Kumar
  • Sudeep Tyagi
  • Dhawal Kulkarni
  • Mohnish Parmar
  • Sahil Kukreja
  • Amit Mishra

The first game commences on 3rd of September and the second on the 9th of September.

April 7, 2008

Indian Team For Kanpur Test

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:54 pm by techtwist

The Indian team for the crucial test at Kanpur has been announced. Ishanth Sharma and Munaf Patel have made it to the 16 member squad while R.P.Singh has been left out of the squad. Ishanth Sharma’s presence brings in some freshness into the Indian pace attack which has managed just 3 wickets in this series so far compared to the 26 by the South African pacers.

I’m disappointed to see Gautam Gambhir left out of the squad. This will make sure that if Wasim Jaffer is left out, then Yuvraj Singh or Mohammed Kaif would get in and even might be forced to open the innings in that case. The batting line up must pull up their socks and put up a strong show so as to level the series.

If we get to see square turners at Kanpur, then even Piyush Chawla might get a look in. Meanwhile, Romesh Powar has been called in as an replacement for Anil Kumble who is suffering from a groin injury as well. With Tendulkar already out the match, this would be a big blow for the Indians.

I would be thoroughly disappointed to see both, Munaf Patel and Romesh Powar, play together as I feel both are incapable of putting up a decent enough show on the field.

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