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Cricket

Can India make its dream run count against South Africa on bouncy tracks?

Can India win the test series slated to begin on Friday? Can India draw level the series with face-saving performances? Can India break the back of Proteas who showed Indians door in Mumbai in 2015 ODI series? Answers will slowly emanate. If, by any chance, you have missed this write up on India and its batting woes, here is the link to India in Australia 2014-15. 08, January 2018. Oh, yeah. The first answer arrived at the unbelievable moment, when for most Indian illiterates  educated with B.Techs and M.Techs and working in PAN-India companies in night shifts it was ‘happy lunch’ hour time. When they descended already the result was there for the taking. Who will take the reality? Harsha Bhogle shied away from discussing the most fanatical of failures from an Indian context -  the utter flop shop of India’s Sachin successor Virat Kohli. Media houses like Times Of India and the mother of all analyses – the editorial column either in sports or general section of The Hindu didn’t feel it was necessary to educate the toppers of Indian cricket analysis flying back and forth on ESPNCRICINFO and CRICBUZZ making ridiculous comparisons and treating the game like they do in appraisal meetings which seldom contain any stuff beyond frivolities for munching. The first one, of course, was that of his dismal surrender in the Semi final at SCG against a side which was not quite the side it was under Steve Waugh, the arguable invincible, and under Ponting, the arguable better. As usual, the Indian bowling under MS Dhoni’s stewardship lacked intent to perform on a momentous day. What’s more, they conceded 27 runs to Mitchell Johnson, a bowler who played second fiddle to quality toppers in McGrath, Gillespie, Lee, and even Bracken at times. Douglas Bollinger too played a similar role as that of Mitch. What could have been a score of 300, which might have been a par score considering home advantage for Aussies, suddenly scaled up a bit, eventually making the notion of chasing under lights and that too in a semi final a tough call for the batsmen, whose ranks were without quality of VVS Laxman (why VVS? it’s against Australia!) and Sachin Tendulkar (did he perform when it mattered against McGrath and co. in 1999 Super Six and 2003 Final? no, his quality matters!).

India and Newzealand cricket schedule announced CC: Vizag, Indore, Kolkata, Mohali, Dharamshala, Kanpur, Ranchi, and Delhi

Vizag is all set to host the final ODI of the series against Kiwis #IndvNZ on Oct 29. Turn up at the stadium and support #TeamIndia @BCCI — Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) June 28, 2016 A tweet from Indian head coach Anil Kumble reveals that final and fifth one day international will be played at Dr. YSR ACA-VDCA International Cricket Stadium on October 29. Visakhapatnam is set to host England in a test match later this year and dates are yet to be finalized and if unconfirmed guesses are to be believed, the venue might become the first to host pink ball test under lights!

Happy Birthday, dear Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar! CC: Raina, Rohit, Kohli generation

ScoopLense wishes the Indian batting premier Sachin Tendulkar, a name that resonated back and forth for nearly quarter of a century in India, on his 44th birthday (born on 24 April in 1973)! Words and phrases run short, and if attempted, they might as well clear the fence of basic comprehension, typified as common sense. Here is an article, written not too long ago, with a sharp adjustment of views to readjust certain unhelpful criticism on Maestro’s batting contribution to Indian cricket. The post was written with an aim to classify shortcomings and rearrange them in the most unpopular theory that Tendulkar’s centuries yielded only in losses for his team. And there is another such, albeit less in intensity of defending Sachin against irrational arguments which didn’t seek his professional advancement but to marginalize euphoria and admiration of his growing fan base!  https://singlemagneticpole.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/india-will-not-lose-when-sachin-scores-a-century-india-will-not-win-if-sachin-falls-short-of-hundred-either/ https://singlemagneticpole.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/february-15-2003-super-sport-park-centurion/ Excerpts from second post: Before I explain you the comparison of an ODI knock prospect of World cup league game and a fourth innings fruitful knock between two batsmen rated ahead of peers, I would like you to draw your attention to the following. Australia and West Indies at Barbados, March 1999 – Result West Indies beat Australia by 1 wkt. Brian Lara inspired with SR of 59.76 in 355 minutes    to post a win on the fastest windies wkt. against  MCGRATH, GILLESPEI, AND WARNE with WI facing 120.1 overs for 311/9 in day and a half. India and Pakistan at Chennai, January 1999 – Result India lost to Pakistan by 12 runs. SR Tendulkar inspired with SR of 49.81 in 405 minutes     to take his side closer to win on a turner against AKRAM, WAQAR, AND SAQLAIN with IND facing 95.2 overs for 258 all out in > a day. “Sourav Ganguly won an important toss and decided to bat on a track that was quite similar to the one we had at The Wanderers where Aussies crushed Pakistan’s world class bowling line-up days ago. The conditions were as good as those on offer to every visitor in Brisbane, that if you just play average, it could be your game. Good rotation of strike, build up of partnerships, and good wicket-taking deliveries.” “And when you play against Australia that was in the shape, thanks to the heritage of Steve Waugh’s attacking mindset, you need to catch a few notches just in case. You definitely need to be an aggressive unit because you wouldn’t know when they talk down and when they do it they go to any extent, but that’s only on the field. Off the field, they are as better as anyone, probably offer you little comfort with words.” “Sachin at the non-striking end had to choose between the two ends; either attack Aussies and force them to commit mistakes and plunder some useful runs as it became evident he wasn’t going to get support, or, at the most see off overs and stay till the end of over quota. Things became clear to many of us back home…
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VVS Laxman made his test debut today 19 years ago. Class was redesigned. CC: Raina, Rohit, Kohli generation.

Santhosh, ScoopLense. And that was another Wednesday morning of November 1996 that got up to a good morning from sensuous cold wave in India. At the rearer part of west coast was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad keenly awaiting the visitor in Hansie Cronje, the man who almost threw away the Wills World Cup only months ago by choosing to bowl first against Richie Richardson’s West Indies at National Stadium in Karachi on the morning of the third quarter final match. As the legend went across breadth and length of sub continent it was over confidence and higher degree of adrenaline that Hansie and his safari men would have to contend with, slightly more than what the might of West Indies’ pace and strategy would have challenged as South Africa successfully continued its losing streak just when things mattered in a multinational tournament. That was 1996 and it’s a surprise that world’s beatable team crumbles even today as it did against New Zealand’s Grant Elliot at Eden Park in Auckland six months ago. And what a coincidence! Back to where we began. India started off its innings as if batsmen were still juggling around to find strong coffee. Slightly after an hour, the six feet and a bit larger figure named Vangivarapu Venkata Sai Laxman, who got himself imbibed with all that matters – perseverance and potential – in Hyderabad Gymkhana grounds walked into bat against hefty names in Fanie de Villiers, Allan Donald, Brian McMillan, Lance Klusener, Pat Symcox, Nicky Boje, and the one and only Adams. The last name, of course, became familiar more for his spiralling ball throwing ability than the off break. The Indian side under Sachin Tendulkar introduced to the world of cricket the demeanour that would in half a decade become nemesis for Aussie juggernaut under Steve Waugh, the man whose introduction is simply a waste of time but in that a delightful distraction to the generations to come. This post is part of tribute series to game’s own men. Other post can be read here on Kapil Dev.

Scenic cricket venues set to have a blast in white and white. CC: Visakhapatnam.

Cricket stadiums in Pune, Rajkot, Indore, Visakhapatnam, Ranchi, and Dharamsala have been declared eligible to host visiting teams in the longer version of the game. While Pune is the third venue in Maharashtra to get the iconic test status and Rajkot the second in Gujarat, other venues are the first of such kind in their respective states. India will host Bangladesh (one test), New Zealand (3 tests), England (5 tests), Australia (4 tests) starting August 2016 till February 2017. As England and Australia are heavy weight test nations which will demand best grounds with best tourist facilities, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Mohali might get better of the new venues, and Hyderabad and Ahmedabad will most likely host England in December 2016. Pune should get ready if Delhi fails to obtain permission to host South Africa now and Ranchi will likely host New Zealand in 2016, while Vizag and Dharamshala might get surprise tourist – either accommodate one of Australia’s four test match venues or Bangladesh’s one off test match series. ICC standards for test match venues require, inter alia, best lighting facility and large umpires and lounge rooms, and as the test teams arrive at least two days prior to start of matches and likely to stay an additional day star hotel accommodation also assumes prominence. Source: http://www.wisdenindia.com/cricket-news/manohar-replace-srinivasan-icc-chairman/186850

Titans of 1996: MS Dhoni can take cue from October 21, 1996

First of all, I wish all the readers and devotees a very happy Vijaya Dashami (Victory on tenth day) that’s being celebrated to mark Victory of Lord Rama over evil headed Ravanasura and also remember the victory of Goddess Durga over evil Mahishasura. The festival starts off with nine day festival in which Goddess Durga is decorated in nine forms representing divinity and power. Brahmotsavams during these nine days are organized annually at famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala Tirupati. Garudotsavam, the eagle vehicle for carrying out procession of deities of Lord Malayappa Swamy, is the most famous and well attended and glued festival of the Brahmotsavams. Let’s pray for success of all for betterment and prosperity. Now, as you skim history books of Indian sports you will find in October 21 of the year 1996 a recipe for strength from Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, when the then India skipper Sachin Tendulkar scripted a famous win over Australia, the runner up of the Wills World Cup organized by Pakistan India Lanka Committee (PILCOM) from February 14 to March 17. Indian skipper for World Cup Mohammad Azharuddin called it wrong right from the toss that usually meant winning the spin of the coin was half way down victory – because that venue is none other than Eden Garden at Calcutta. There was lot of noise around Calcutta as India arrived at Dum Dum Airport soon after it convincingly thrashed Pakistan minus Wasim Akram on the 9th of March. And India succumbed half way down the stiff target facing tidy line and length from Lankan spinners. India were four for forty seven chasing 215 facing McGrath, Fleming, Gillespie, Hogg and all rounder Steve Waugh, who had built a 92 run partnership with Mark Taylor to get their total to a modest yet defensible total on a turning track, and the crowd at Chinnaswamy didn’t relent till Azharuddin made a fervent appeal not to disturb the match proceedings regardless of whoever would win. Many television sets turned mute as viewers had limited number of options those days even with a top class remote controller. The partnership with Jadeja and Mongia pepped up moments for India and Sachin (88 of 111 balls) got out for a leg before decision off the slow delivery from Steve Waugh at 164 with India needing 48 off 30 balls where from Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble took India home. That fighting spirit was something that India more often than not used whenever possible. October 21, 1996 was a prelude to India’s famous win in the Natwest series 2002 at Lord’s notwithstanding many a close match which India lost or won. Undoubtedly. MS Dhoni can just see those score cards as he spins the coin tomorrow at Chapauk in a must win game. Incidentally, tomorrow is Dusserha and a win is the most sought after for any Indian sport lover. Wait, the opponent is South Africa and they have much balance and disposition which can haunt India’s resurgence plans. My favourite, of…
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Stardom to be redefined. CC: Raina, Rohit, Kohli generation.

Santhosh, ScoopLense. How are heroes made? Overnight? may be. Work for that night would have taken them years of hard work with grit. Let’s see here also how Kapil Dev changed face of Indian cricket into an attractive marketing success. So, how many of us remember the era post match fixing by South African players in India’s tour in 2000 and Azharuddin’s alleged role in that dark episode which was later talked down by High Court of AP? Sourav Ganguly took over reigns of Indian on field cricket after Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar expressed his inability to cope up with the stress dictating his own game shortly after the 2-0 drubbing in test matches. Ajay Jadeja danced as if it were a Indo-Pak quarter final game in world cup after the half century (92 off 109) that won the first game for Sourav’s Indian cricket team. India sealed the series with vital knocks from Sachin (Player of the series), Sourav, and Robin Singh at crucial junctures as nation looked set to regain lost glory, and more importantly the refurbished Tendulkar. While the series win against Proteas gave pride back for India, it was the scandal that shook the entire nation as player after player from the Indian dressing room during the ODI series remained mute – possibly out of context. And that’s the story as India entered into Champions Trophy in Kenya to face one day world champions Australia under Steve Waugh. And, that’s Yuvraj Singh. A man with no media tantrums walked on to bat for the first ever time against a resurgent Australia slowly clamouring their sportsmanship after a brief onslaught from Master Batsman who took on McGrath early on in the innings. Steve Waugh was a master strategist at taking on opposition without any inhibition whatsoever but Yuvraj made sure his name would be heard for a long long time with that masterful innings and India advanced in the competition with a win by 20 runs as Venkatesh Prasad, Ajit Agarkar, and Zaheer Khan shared six wickets between them while Sachin got rid of Ricky Ponting at 159.

Quality cricket ahead of Indian future – pitted against Australia in Australia, England in India in 2016-17 for full fledged tours!

Santhosh, ScoopLense. Merged with India’s tour to Australia 2016. No matter what happens with the outcome of the full scale series at home with South Africa the October and November 2015, India is bracing itself for the tours of Australia in early 2016 for five one day internationals and three T20 internationals, with the first One day international having to be played at the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) ground on January 12, coinciding with the Indian youth day celebrated in the memory of admiring personality Swami Vivekananda. The remaining ones will be played at Brisbane (The Gabba), Melbourne (MCG), Canberra (Manuka Oval), and Sydney (SCG) on 15, 17, 20, and 23 respectively. Three T20 internationals are also in the itinerary with Adelaide Oval, MCG, and SCG being hosting venues. The cancellation of the tour to Pakistan, expected to begin after South African tour this November, is a foregone conclusion and a similar retort is expected by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), when its team is scheduled to visit India in late December 2017. India will travel to West Indies in June 2016 for four test match series after which New Zealand will play three tests and five ODIs in India during October and November. England then will come to India to play five test matches, five ODIs and one T20 international and that reminds us of Graham Gooch’s team in 1993 summer in India when Anil Kumble, Rajesh Chauhan, and Venkatapathy Raju sealed 3-0 white wash for England. Mohammad Azharuddin was lucky to have the finest all rounder Kapil Dev, a performing Manoj Prabhakar, the spin trio, and Sachin Tendulkar-Vinod Kambli duo, besides having Kiran More as wicket keeping batsman. After 19 years, England made mockery of Indians by handing over a  2-1 defeat, after Trott and Bell took  on Indian bowlers without a hint of absent-mindedness on a dead track at Vidharbha Cricket Association (VCA) in Nagpur. England did it in India after 28 years with that series win. ICC T20 World Cup 2016 is slated to be conducted across eight venues in India from March 11 to April 3. India will take part in ICC Champions Trophy to be conducted in England and Wales in June 2017 as defending champion. The most successful player for India on skirmish tracks has been Shikhar Dhawan who was player of the tournament in 2013 edition, incidentally in England and Wales where pitches aid seam and swing from full fledged bowlers like Dale Steyn, Albie Morkel, Mitchell Johnson, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami. Courtesy of itineraries: ESPN Cricinfo.

Down Memory lane!

Birth anniversary of Deendayal Upadhyaya, on September 25. A special character of sorts, individual from socialism and capitalism, was formally introduced to Indian diaspora in the name of Integral Humanism whose fundamental objective is to carve out niche for indigenous (made in India by India) tool for welfare of people. Though the very sound of alienation from famous doctrines of economy, viz,. Marx C-M-C and M-C-M theories, and Roosevelt’s capitalistic idea of attacking nations under carpet of economic sops appear familiar, the manner in which Deendayal had proposed the matter of weighing merits of science, after having studied from BITS Pilani, was in a way unparalleled. Deendayal’s rejection of western influences barring science is comparable in parts to Jawaharlal Nehru’s ideology of respecting good of others and rejecting bad of others. Satish Dhawan’s birth anniversary is celebrated among fraternities of science and engineering today, that is September 25. SDSC (Satish Dhawan Space Center) got its name in recognition of services to mankind from this Aeronautical engineer, who served as Chairman of ISRO and Indian Space Commission. He worked as the director of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore after brief stint at Caltech where Richard Feynman instructed undergraduate students which were recorded and typed in famous publications named Feynman’s Lectures on Physics. September 25 also marks the day in history when French invaded German in Second Battle of Champagne in World War I in 1915. Anniversary of Akshardham 2002..Barbarians entered the holy shrine of Swami Narayan Temple on 24, September 2002. The drama continued for more than 40 hours even as the National Security Guards (NSG) took the positions hours after the brutal killings of innocent devotees. The incident brought to limelight the fact that India was still in the process of dealing with terrorist groups with little success! The incident was the major operation after Kargil’s success under Vajpayee rule which highlighted the importance of upgrading security and surveillance in the country with common sense! The following day, on 25 September, 2002, India surprised the mighty Safaris with powerful display of character at Romesh Premadasa, Colombo, under lights to seal clash with the hosts in 2002 Champions Trophy, thanks to hawk eye and position from Yuvraj Singh. John Wright led the team’s think-tank with chorus from seniors and Sourav as India eventually travelled to Semis while the TV world was joking at Indian players-the players were without fifth bowler and a sponsor. This tourney saw another match winner emerging for India in the form of Virender Sehwag with both bat and ball. Mohd Kaif’s impeccable ton against Zimbabwe helped India realize its fighting potential which raised expectations of world cup win in 2003. That India surrendered to Australia in the two matches it played on South African tracks is another story. Septmeber 30 had seen India and Srilanka sharing honours in the Champions Trophy 2002 after play was abandoned following heavy torrential rains. Lal Bahudur Shastri and Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi share same birth date. October 2 marked Operation Typhoon…
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The resurgence of India under John Wright – Beginning scene of fightback at the Natwest Series 2002.

The Natwest series had nothing new to claim, or establish someone as king or soldier. Neither was it meant to categorize elements into radioactive, inert, or alkaline earth. All the elements in the playing arena had already been classified as under three teams representing their cricketing boards with some prolific run machines and thinking bowling machines. Mutthaiah Muralidharan, Chaminda Vaas, Sanath Jayasuriya, Aravinda de Silva, Andrew Flintoff, Alec Stewart, Andrew Caddick, Darren Gough, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Harbhajan Singh had some of the finest performances against their names and the Srilankans arrived at the series with half their side which won the Wills World Cup 1996. The conditions of swing and temperate climate meant that any side familiar with these conditions would by default opt to bat second. For example, Graham Gooch made fun of bowlers when Azharuddin opted to field first in the test match in 1991. Mark Waugh cushioned his innings to perfection against moving ball and inconsistent seam positioning from Indian bowlers in 1999 World cup super six encounter at The Oval. Needless, this time too Azharuddin was the captain but he erred again in reading climate and Steve Waugh’s known grits and guts, notwithstanding world’s best opening pair that day in Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. Only Azharuddin knew what he would want to do after winning an important toss on an important day. Don’t call him mad, for he called it right 1996 World Cup Semi final at his favourite venue the Eden Gardens only to see his side losing the momentum after taking two important wickets in the very first over! The world cup winner in Srilanka would have surprised many including islanders but Vivian Richards already had seen that spark, thanks to the Carlton and United Triangular series in 1995 in Australia. The carry forward confidence from Faisalabad quarterfinal and Kotla carnage by the opening duo of Lankans would have prompted Azharuddin to take the field first despite knowing the nature of Eden Gardens, especially the vicious turn it could offer in the evening under lights. de Silva got his just another rescue act when his side needed him the most. Everything from that match was the history to be rewritten. The stage for the 2002 series featuring India and England was little different from the nature that a new look India under its Newzealand coach John Wright couldn’t be written off. At least in spirited fightback. I’ll mention in detail why India didn’t hand over final frontier to Steve Waugh, the nemesis of world cricket, and who would have sent VVS Laxman at no.3 that changed the nature of cricket and expectations from an ordinary Indian fan.