Virender Sehwag’s feat of fastest 300!

29 03 2008

NEWSFLASH: Hurricane Sehwag hit South Africa real bad today. There have been no casualties reported yet, but chances are many South African players are going to have heart burn, some like M Ntini most probably will have nightmares which will prevent them from getting sound sleep for quite some time… Economic damages are likely to run into millions as South African player’s brand value might tumble.

Alright, time to be serious, What a blinder of an inning… brilliant attack… daring, swashbuckling… but never ever did he seem in trouble. If one saw the innings, they would see that Sehwag was never in trouble. He was in control.

South Africa having made 540+ in their first innings, now see their lead drop to 40 odd runs with India having batted just 4 sessions… South Africa definitely seemed out of any ready answers to get wickets. Conditions are not easy for them… Chennai pitch is flat… but it has a history of dramatic crumbling in the last day.

Chennai is hot… I am an Indian, when I say hot, I MEAN IT IS HOT AS HELL!!! It is so humid in chennai and to see the South African players toil so hard, run so far… I feel bad for them…

Coming back to the hero of the day (and possibly for a lot longer time if he can break Lara’s record! ) . This was Sehwag’s 2nd score of 300+. That makes him only the 3rd person to ever have done so (Lara and Bradman are the only ones who have done that previously). He now holds the record for being the fastest in terms of balls faced to get to 300!

Sehwag never comes across as a typical test batsman, but he is the only one from the Indian team who ever seemed capable to make that big a score. He scores fast, relieves pressure of others, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman & Ganguly, they always seem to lose focus or run out of partners when attempting that.

Watching Sehwag play is a pleasure, that guy looks like he is out to enjoy his game… his last ten centuries have all been scores over 150… just that they are spread out…

Many scenes from today’s game are etched in my mind, one being Smith running all the way to the boundary and getting beaten by the ball at the last moment!!! Such was their day… no chances came their way, nor did they ever look like creating one…

So, at end of day 3 the score stands at (for complete scorecard click here) :

SA 1st innings – 540 all out

India 1st Innings – 468/1 Sehwag 309* Dravid 65*

Will Sehwag break Lara’s record??? I certainly will pray for that… looking at the way he batted, surely does not look like he needs any prayers!!!

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Hair Restored

20 03 2008

Hair today?Darrell Hair – the umpire sacked and left out in the cold for nearly two years over a controversially abandoned cricket Test between England and Pakistan, has been reinstated as one of the game’s top officials.

Ever since Hair and colleague Billy Doctrove penalized Pakistan five runs for alleged ball-tampering during the fourth and final Test against England at The Oval in August 2006, Darrell Hair has not officiated at the top level in cricket.
The decision incensed the Pakistani team, and their captain Inzamam-ul-Haq refused to take the field. This resulted in the match being abandoned after tea on the fourth day with England awarded the first victory by forfeit in the history of the game.

A meeting of the world’s top cricket-playing nations cleared Hair to umpire at the game’s top levels (ODI’s & Tests). Of late, Hair’s only been officiating one day internationals involving minor cricketing nations.
Even though Darrell Hair has been cleared to officiate after taking part in a 6 month long (ahem) ‘rehabilitation program’, it’s unlikely that Pakistan will change their belief that he is unfit to umpire at the elite level.

For his part, Hair maintains that he made the right call on that fateful day.

“It’s easy to say, look, if I’d known how to deal with that sort of issue, the communication and management issues then, if I knew then what I know now I may have done things differently.
But I don’t believe so because there’s a certain limit to what the umpire needs to do under those circumstances and I believe that both the umpires fulfilled those obligations both with the ball tampering and the refusal to play.”

Hair believes that the way he was treated – compared to Billy Doctrove who also officiated at the match (and wasn’t penalized) – is an indication of the influence the very strong Asian Bloc has over the ICC.This had to be just prior to Hair removal…

This is something that was mirrored in the way the ICC dealt with the furor that erupted Down-Under during the Sydney test match between India and Australia. India responded to contentious decisions with the tried ‘n’ true bully-boy approach of ‘well-then-we’ll-take-our-bat-and-ball-
and-go-home’.

Both issues serve to highlight the growing gulf in international cricket. The old nations England and Australia in the corridors of power, are finding themselves challenged by the economic giants on the Asian continent.
And it’s an economic power that we’ve seen India bring to the fore in recent times…
I for one am not entirely sure that it’s good for the game.

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Hell No, We Won’t Go

16 03 2008

As often as not, when sports and politics collide, sports-fans decry the meeting. Without a doubt, it’s a nasty pairing. One is pure escapism – verily ‘games’, and the other is – or rather, should be – of the utmost seriousness. And with the Olympic Games looming in Beijing, more sports/politics unrest could follow.

No Aussie Cricket for Pakistan…

Just recently the Australian cricket team pulled out of a tour to Pakistan, due to fears over safety whilst the tour would be on. Officially, the word ‘postponed’ is used – but in reality, it’s been canceled. Tours of other countries within cricket happen on a relatively regular basis – ‘postponing indefinitely’ amounts to ‘well-this-time-we’re-not-coming’.

James Sutherland, CA’s CEOCricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said in a recent interview with Australia’s ABC

“There are a couple of windows in 2009 and 2010, there might be a little bit of massaging in order to make that happen… but I guess that’s where we are setting our sights at the moment.”

Pretty much just platitudes, but at this point in time, Cricket Australia has very little else to offer Pakistan.

The tour was due to begin at the end of March, but current players and CA itself had continually expressed fears over Pakistan’s ability to maintain security in a country where conflicts appear to be escalating. The recent bomb blast in Lahore (one of the venues slated on the tour) which killed 20 really forced CA into this decision… a decision that received supported from the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith.

Hopefully, this will all facilitate a speedy and equitable resolution to the issues that exist there. Yes, a cricket tour of Pakistan by Australia being canceled is only a small drop in the ocean… but it is a drop.

Eventually there’ll be another tour, and that will be good for cricket. But Australia deciding not to tour Pakistan because of the current problems there, and with the support of the Australian government… that’s good for cricket too.





Streaker NAILED Down Under

5 03 2008

During a One Day International cricket final in Australia – Australia vs India (Australia lost… sigh), a streaker managed to avoid security and take the field, but stupidly ran very near the rather large Andrew Symonds.  Symonds – unimpressed – lands a vicious, punishing hip & shoulder on the guy… take a look for yourself:

Security quickly moved in and apprehended the miscreant.
Interesting to see that the way this is dealt with is the same in both hemispheres…





Aus Vs India, 7th ODI CB series 08

17 02 2008

Cricket discussion with Kapsii, who’s a lil’ bit like ‘Daniel-in-the-lion’s-den’ here – an Indian fan in what’s predominantly an ‘Australian-cricket-site’. He does ok tho’… 😉 Kapsii normally writes over at ‘People and things that annoy me‘.

Well, guess its too late to have a live discussion, with match over and Australia winning comprehensively. But there is always a scope for post match discussions… 🙂

India had Australia (almost) . As an Indian fan it does disappoint me to add this “ALMOST” every time. What went wrong? Australia were 112/6 but how did they get to 203?

Australia as a team have that “Never Say Die” spirit so if as an opponent team, you do have them looking down the barrel, one should never take the foot off them… one should never take the pressure off. I was baffled when Yuvraj came on to bowl. India were playing 5 specialist bowlers, why did Yuvraj have to bowl?

When Hogg was at the crease I expected a seamer to bowl in tandem with Harbhajan Singh. Seamer would have had the capability to take wickets, while had they played out the seamer, they would have had to attack Harbhajan which would have again increased his chances of getting the wicket.

That is one thing I do miss in Indian team, the lack of confidence (as it seems) to go for the killer punch. For the Indian batting, I could not see much of it hence no comments.

For Australia, Micheal Clarke batted well, had he stayed there till the end, the target would have been much steeper. With the absence of Lee, still the bowling held together. Bracken looked good. But from what I hear, Hopes did a fine job too.

What do you guys think?

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Australia v India, CB Series, 4th ODI, Melbourne

10 02 2008

Start the game already… I have been repeating this phrase since the last two hours… I am starved to see a good game of cricket…

Well, in this 4th ODI, weather looks good & seems like the weather gods heard our prayers…

Australia have won the toss & decided to bat first… they also have made two changes, Haddin & Stuart Clark in for Hogg & Hopes. That does make them one specialist bowler short.

With India’s performance record in MCG, inexperienced team and again a lack of 5th bowler… Australia are the favorites… but this being cricket I would keep my money in my pocket.

While we wait for the match to start, I do hope every one saw the Lasith Malinga run out the other night… horror!!!!!!!!!!! thats what it was…





Goodbye Gilly – Australia vs India ~ 4th Test (Day 5 In Play)

28 01 2008

Huge.
Slow.
Ponderous.
That would describe the innings Australia amassed during Day 4 of the Adelaide test.

Adam Gilchrist - his last day of Test CricketStill, by having India bat part of the last session, and by taking Pathan’s wicket oh-so-cheaply… there is a glimmer of hope. A small shimmer of possibility… a tiny little sparkle of … well, you get the idea. In yesterday’s thread I stated that Australia needed to bat viciously during day 4, and amass a huge lead – sending India into bat in the last session of day 4 with a lead of 150 or so… they did send India into bat, but the batting was a little forgettable.

Day 5 finds India ahead by 8 runs, with a first innings tally of 526 and a second innings of 45/1 (thus far)… to Australia’s 1st innings of 563.
Whilst there have been some very good individual scores, neither side’s been particularly dashing. Centuries to Tendulkar (153), Hayden (103), Ponting (140) and Clarke (118) were all great… but only Sachin’s had anything remotely resembling a swashbuckling performance.
India’s first innings had a run rate of 3.44, Australia set a pedestrian 3.11.
Yawn.

It’s a pity that this test will be the last that Adam Gilchrist plays in – as it’s likely that it will end in a draw, and his first innings total of 14 is in no way indicative of the man’s ability. Hopefully, the ODI series will provide sufficient staging for his fare-thee-well.

So… Day 5. Verinder Sehwag’s on 31, and Rahul Dravid’s 11.

Let’s go.

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