As the Indian cricket team was slowly moving towards defeat against Australia in the World Cup semi-final, many commentators, the normally erudite Allan Border among them, were still convinced that Indian captain M.S. Dhoni would explode at some point and carry India to victory.
It looks like Border and all the others of his ilk were dreaming earlier in the summer when Dhoni called time on his Test career, indicating that he was unable to handle that job any more. He did not step down from the captaincy, he quit Tests altogether.
Quite simply, Dhoni has lost it. He is past it and his sticking on for the World Cup was a typical reaction from a cricketer in a country where the selectors do not pick people on form alone. The same applies to Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan, and Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi. All are past it, yet were allowed to play on by their respective countries’ selectors, for so-called sentimental reasons.
Continue reading “Myths about Dhoni shown to be just that”
India has continued its incredible run in the World Cup cricket tournament, bowling another team out as it recorded a 109-run win over Bangladesh to enter the semi-finals.
But this could not have been achieved had one umpiring error not gone India’s way.
At three for 196, India looked like it would go on to make a big total at the MCG, having chosen to bat after winning the toss.
Continue reading “When will India’s luck run out?”
Over the 20-odd years of its existence, the website Cricinfo has grown into some kind of authority as far as cricket goes.
The site was bought by the American sports broadcaster ESPN in 2007 and is now known as ESPN Cricinfo.
The site has a big archive with statistics, all of which are claimed to be correct.
Continue reading “Is ESPNCricinfo riddled with errors due to incompetent staff?”
AFTER 90 Tests, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has called it a day as a Test cricketer.
He will continue to lead India in the one-day and T20 formats, with a one-day World Cup around the corner in 2015.
Dhoni was not a great captain but he had limited resources at his disposal. To win a Test, one has to take 20 wickets and having batsmen who can pile up the runs is simply not enough. The West Indies, during their incredible run of 15 years without the loss of a Test series, were often bailed out by their bowlers — and boy, did they have some bowlers! — when the batting failed. Yes, even the powerful batting line-ups of the Windies did fail on occasion.
Continue reading “Dhoni quits Tests: an era ends”
At times, the manner in which a batsman makes runs provides evidence of his ability. But the reverse is also true: at times, the way a batsman scores is indicative of reasons why he should not be picked.
Phillip Hughes of New South Wales has again been awarded a contract by Cricket Australia. On the tour of India in February and March, Hughes failed repeatedly. He showed an inability to tackle spin – and that was about all that was doled out by the Indian team.
Hughes’ scores in the series were 6, 0, 19, 0, 2, 69, 45 and 6 as Australia was hammered 4-0 in the four-Test series. During the knock of 69, he was like a cat on hot bricks. He survived 166 balls through sheer luck, and zero ability. He was as jumpy as he had been during his previous five innings.
Continue reading “Phillip Hughes rides again”
Back in 1967, the then Indian finance minister Morarji Desai had the brilliant idea of raising taxes well beyond their existing level; the maximum marginal tax rate was raised as high as 97.75 percent.
Desai, who was better known for drinking his own urine, reasoned that people would pay up and that India’s budgetary problems would be more manageable.
Instead, the reverse happened. India has always had a problem with undeclared wealth, a kind of parallel economy which is called black money. The amount of black money increased by leaps and bounds after Desai’s ridiculous laws were promulgated.
Continue reading “Black money drives the IPL”
Last month, Australia completed a miserable cricket tour of India during which it lost all four Tests, the first time this has happened since 1970.
On that occasion, a strong Australian team went to South Africa and was creamed 4-0; the South Africans were captained by Ali Bacher and included legends of the game like Graeme Pollock, Mike Proctor, Peter Pollock, Barry Richards and Eddie Barlow.
But in India, a weak Australian team came up against opponents who were not that formidable. The one thing that was clearly observable was the fact that the shorter forms of the game have had a bad effect on the Australians’ ability to stay at the crease and grind out the runs.
Continue reading “Brownwash leaves Australia shattered”
PATIENCE is a virtue that Australia’s national cricket team seems to lack. And impatience does not serve one well in Test cricket as the results from the first two matches against India indicate.
Australia has not merely lost, it has been humiliated. When the first Test ended early, with India registering an eight-wicket win, it looked bad. But given the nature of the wicket, some blame could be placed on it
But worse was to come when India thrashed the Australians by an innings in Hyderabad, on a wicket which was much better than the one in Chennai. It was all over and done with after one session on day four.
Continue reading “In Test cricket, patience is a virtue”
IT COULD only happen in Australia. Two DJs stage a prank call to the hospital where a member of the royal family, Kate Middleton, had been admitted as she was suffering from morning sickness; they pose as Queen Elizabeth and her son, Charles.
The call is passed on by an unsuspecting nurse who is doubling as a telephone operator, and her colleague in the ward provides an accurate rundown of Middleton’s condition.
The DJs, from 2Day FM, play the recorded conversation without asking the hospital for its permission as they are required to do by the rules of their own station. The recording was played by several other stations and the nurse involved, Jacintha Saldanha, was made to look like a fool.
Continue reading “When the offenders become the story”
IT’S strange that one has to get far away from one’s own home to think about one’s roots, but that’s what happened to me on Sunday (September 23) night.
Sitting in a theatre in Columbus, Ohio, watching an Indian singer on stage, it came home to me with some force that no matter where in the world they are, expatriate Indians can be very boorish.
The night was obviously not meant for those of no means; everyone at the theatre had paid at least $US30 a seat and those in the seats from where they could focus properly had forked out a hundred big ones.
Continue reading “In India or in the US, boors are boors”