Day: December 22, 2005

Kumble’s 100 is a memorable one…

This was surely his test although the Man-of-the-Match was Harbhajan. The test began with Kumble getting felicitated for his 100th test appearance which is no mean feat for an Indian bowler. He was his usual polite and modest self and felt bad that his Karnataka team-mate, Rahul Dravid who had played in every match with him since his debut in 1996 could not be there on this occasion.

However the Indian team was not going to spoil the occasion for their match-winning spinner despite a horrendous start on day one. I mean on a day one track, although not that conducive to batting, how can you be reeling at 125-5? But I’m really glad they have picked up that fine Aussie trait of one batsman batting with the tail to give a healthy total. I did not expect India to land up with 398 after their showing on day one. But Laxman, Dhoni, Pathan, Agarkar and Kumble had other plans up their mind. I really enjoyed their batting. Relaxed and calm, none of them seemed in any kind of hurry and hit the ball on merit. Laxman’s hundred has got to be the slowest till date but it will rate very highly for standing by and batting so well with Pathan and Dhoni to get India out of the doldrums. Whatever Agarkar and Kumble got later was a neat bonus.

My shot of the innings was Kumble’s straight six of Murali. What a shot! Tendulkar would have been proud of him that day. Not many batsmen do that to Murali and definitely not tail-enders.! Kumble always had some potential as a batsman and I still don’t know why he neglected it over the years.

Post a 398 from 125/5, SL knew they had lost the advantage and it was going to be a huge fight from then on as Motera track is known for its notorious turn. With Kumble and Bhajji on the Indian side it was going to be an uphill task and none of their batsman apart Sangakarra looked up to it. Attapattu has been getting good starts but failed to convert any to good knocks.

This time Bhajji took centre stage and decided that he’ll pay his tribute to Kumble in his own fashion and I’m sure Kumble must have enjoyed it. 62-7 is one hell of a bowling feat in any conditions.

Second innings was nothing great for India and again the lower order came to the rescue. It’s not a good sign and the top-order has to look into what’s going wrong. Now you see why Dravid is important? His ability to hang in there, concentrate and his level of patience is unsurpassed and the others need to learn a thing or two from their captain when he is back.

Sehwag needs to re-look at himself. I don’t want him to change his natural game but he surely needs to go back to the books and get back into runs else he will soon find himself struggling to keep his place as well. These days you really can’t trust the selectors!

The batsmen need to do some serious thinking as we are welcoming the New Year in Pakistan and with no camp and not much of practice matches I’m wondering how we will fare there what with Pakistan high on confidence after defeating England in both forms of the game convincingly! The things are reverse this year. In 2004, we went there after a drawn series in Australia with our confidence soaring high, now it’s even Steven’s and Pakistan is probably in a much better situation.

Once SL was set 509 there were only two possibilities Indian win or draw. Latter looked highly improbable considering the time on hand and the form of India’s spinning duo. I wonder why Sehwag waited that long, anything above 350 was a winning total on this track. But I think he chose to be safe than sorry and with so much time on hands made sure he would not lose the game.

Kumble ended his game with a fiver. A memorable match for him indeed and he must’ve been glad to have his mother come to the stadium to see him earn his honor. I have really liked t hat fact. I can never forget her face when Kumble-Srinath stole that famous victory against Aus in 1996 Titan Cup league match in Bangalore. That was a moment to remember…and so will this match be for Kumble, his team-mates, his family, his friends and his fans.

Cheers Anil…

Chameleon Calling…

If this is true, God save the Indian team! He is the worst chameleon I’ve seen; forever changing his stands and comments. Not that any one sane here really cares. All that his presence can do is ruin the Indian team. For heaven’s sake I hope Chappell, Dravid and Co. take a stand and refuse his appointment as the manager to the Pak tour.

Well known for the statements he has made:

Here are few to refresh your memory:
Ok, assuming that the 1983 world cup was a fluke. I’ll welcome the fluke any day. Does WI losing the match make our victory any less credible? Is his memory poor or what? India was consistent throughout the tournament having beaten the WI at their home ground before and even in the league match of the tournament. Surely it was anything but fluke.
If this was a fluke then so were Australia’s 1987, Pakistan’s 1992 and Australia’s 1999 world cup victories. None of the above champions were consistent in the league matches and could have been very well on their way out before the finals. I don’t see their countrymen citing these victories as flukes and undeserving. Then why is ours? It is men like these that really hamper Indian cricket.

When Wright and Ganguly were building a young team trying to wash off the ugly ghosts of match-fixing instead of rendering support he came out bad mouthing both of them. I really wished he would shut up but that is not a quality he has.

On the Ganguly-Chappell Saga

He has hated Ganguly’s guts right from the word go. Well Saurav committed an offence, he paid for it and now has been unceremoniously sacked. Dungarpur has an opinion on everyone and everything. How BCCI should be run, how the selectors should go about their jobs, how the players should be playing, how the coach should be coaching.

If I’m not mistaken he was in the BCCI in 1990 and responsible for Srikanth’s ouster after a decent Pak tour (Before the 1989 tour no Indian team had gone to Pakistan and returned without losing. We did not win but we kept our pride intact by not losing either) The manipulator that he has always been he was quick to spot the shy Azhar as the ideal bait for a captain. Shrewd wasn’t he? If my memory is correct, India did not exactly enjoy the greatest of periods until we won that series at home against England in 1993 where we got back to our winning ways. But our performance abroad remained pathetic until things began to take shape under the Wright-Ganguly leadership. So surely Ganguly has done Indian cricket a world of good than Mr. Dungarpur has!

In the above article I cannot believe Wright would have disclosed things to this man, I think it’s purely his biased observations. Of all the people in the world, Dravid need not turn to him for his batting problems of getting bowled often. He has some good people in Gavaskar, Vishvanath and even his team-mate Sachin to get some answers.

Does anyone really care for his opinions that he goes about mouthing them. Does he care for Indian cricket at all when all that he has done in his lifetime is take pot-shots at the teams when they have performed well and undermine Indian victories?

No one who cares for Indian cricket needs to listen to this guy and now the Pawar-run BCCI intends to put him up as manager for the Pak tour. Did they get impressed by this? Should they not know it better?

No wonder whoever is in power seems to be making any difference to the state of cricket in India. Along with the selectors even the Board comprises of nothing but a bunch of jokers. What would you call them if they consider appointing this man for an all important tour!

All he is capable of is bringing about a rift by his inane talk among the team rather than help build the team Chappell is trying to put together. The sooner they realise their folly the better.

On another note I sure as well would like to see Chappell shoot another mail to the Board on how competent Mr. Dungarpur was as a manager. I’m sure Ganguly would be pleased as well and wait for that moment too.

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