Thursday, August 30, 2012

Politicians never retire and so Sachin

PIC from -

No wonder Sachin is a politician now, just before his nomination to Rajya Sabha, answering to a question on his retirement, he said ".. critics don't tell me when to retire.." and this was the time when the congis would have felt - yes, he is a man now, make him a politician. Politicians never retire and so Sachin.

We all want see him play, but how long, in the stake of someone. People who played with him are retired now, not just from playing cricket, even from commentating. He can play as long as he can, good, if he is so obsessed for batting, he can very well play for Mumbai in domestic cricket or in the IPL. Just because he doesn't lose his form, it doesn't mean that the selectors has to pick him. Srikanth, we all know Sachin debuted under your captaincy and you said this million times in your interviews, now you be the first selector to drop him. If his ( Sachin ) predecessors didn't think of retirement then he wouldn't have debuted at the age of 15.

A mark of true legend is to quit when he is in a peak form, like a raging bull and not like a wagging bull. Sachin now got a good chance of becoming a true legend, before the selectors show the door. You got much to do, playing cricket is not the only way to serve the country.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Very Very Special Laxman

The day when the invincibles became spectators                                                                                                              

Last week one of the greatest Indian test cricketer retired from the game, VVS Laxman, fondly called as Very Very Special Laxman, of course he was very special. Not the greatest in terms of statistics of him, but certainly the quality of his batting and especially the way he played batted in the company of the tail enders, as usually a lower middle order batsmen will have to play.

Of course the one knock that changed everything was the 2001 Kolkata Test. I personally feel that I have seen (TV) the greatest inning in the test (in all form of cricket). Just to rewind to those days, I used to see all 5 days of a test match on the TV. It’s strange now, that I don’t even see one full one-dayer.

Aussies landed to India under the captaincy of Steve Waugh (The Man with the Red Hanky), media claimed their (Aussie) quest to capture the final frontier.

First Test – Mumbai

The worst defeat for the Indians. The scores India (176 & 219 ) and Australia ( 349 & 47/0 ), aussies won by 10 Wickets. As expected from Sachin as he was playing in his home ground scored 76 and 66.  Laxman scored 20 and 12. (The data is not presented to compare Sachin and Laxman ). I felt India will mincemeat the Aussies as they did in their previous outing in the same ground, but it was other way around. Steve and his team’ dream of conquering the final frontier was just one victory away and they all left to Kolkata.

Second Test – Kolkota

Kolkota has always been a favorite ground for Indians (Excluding the 1996 WC Semis). I was in Chennai to write an exam and all my thoughts were in the match. The first half of the day 1 was the Aussie way as usual, but then Harbajan Singh took a hat-trick to make the collapse of the Aussie middle order, as I saw some cheer in the Mount Road VGP Showroom. 

On the second day, Australia still made a good total of 445, Indians again crumbled for 171, VVS scored 59 and he was the last batsman to fall in the Indian inning on the day 3 morning session. India to follow-on got a good opening partnership of 52 by Ramesh and Das, now came a decisive moment of match, Ganguly sensing how VVS played Aussies in the first inning, sent VSS as a one-down, which was meant for Dravid. Day 3 ended with a little bit of good partnership with VSS – Ganguly, but it was not enough, Ganguly fell in the final overs of the day, which left Dravid ( 7 ) paring with VVS ( who was in 107 ).

Day 4 – VVS and Dravid, played an inning which all the batsmen in the world will dream after, that is not getting out and bat a full day. This was not day 1, this was day 4, a good pitch, but its old. Over-after-over, hour-after-hour, session-after-session the both batted like as if a dinosaur was swallowed by a snake. There was not even one close-call in the VVS inning. This was the day when the invincibles became spectators. And, as they say rest was history.

India won the third test in Chennai and grabbing the advantage from Aussies to win the series for 2-1. Not often one can see a Day 4 VVS inning, and that was the good reason why it was made in the top 10 innings on Wisden. Adieu Laxman.

PS: Watch the Chennai Test wining moments, my friend screaming on the third man boundary line.