Friday, May 31, 2013

How about Gurunath getting a 3rd degree called "24 hours of compulsory attention to Shastri's commentary"

Ravi Shastri is selected in BCCI's three member committee for probing spot fixing. 

Hope he can fire on all cylinders and drive some tracer bullets into fixers, make them disappear like huge sixers before the contest goes down to the wire. it's his for the taking, that's what the doctor ordered. 

However Shaz's greatest achievement would be bringing down the (BCCI) president if he can...he has got good credentials as a 'president shooter' to start with: a three letter initial (same as LHO and JWB) !! 

That will set the cat among the pigeons...c'mon Shaz, throw caution to the wind and be like greased lightning. The situation is touch and's a pressure cooker, and something's got to give.

Can almost hear him commentate on the findings: "what Indian cricket needs now is a wicket...what Srini needs now is a partnership. Srini is rapped on the pads and the finger goes up....the umpire knew exactly what he was doing there. This decision sets up rest of the enquiry nicely Guru..edggeeed, and should be taken...aah, Delhi police have dropped it. Unbelievable - they will take it ten out of ten times. the atmosphere is there another twist in the tale? One gets a feeling Guru may have injured himself there..."


Thursday, May 23, 2013

IPL-6: Moment of the tournament

THE MOMENT of IPL-6 just came up in today's Eliminator between Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Delhi play-offs.
38 yr old "foreign" Brad Hodge finds a little time to use between deliveries of this knock-out match, and walks up to a forever-amused-looking "local" wonderkid (Samson) - less than half Hodge's age - to teach the latter a chapter from the book of stealing singles. 
"Don't hit it boy, work it and get that crucial extra run." The old man gestures, but only after having demonstrated it. 

Almost justifies the existence of IPL...such moments.

Monday, May 06, 2013

IPL-6, Rajasthan Royals, Uttar-Dravid, Sanju...and Uttar-Process

"Manzilein unki hoti hai jinki sapnon mein jaan hoti hai
Kyonki pankhon se nahi, hauslon se udaan hoti hai"

Sidhu goes overboard to describe Dravid's achievements as player and skipper this IPL season, coming back from "packing sandwiches for kids" to powering his team towards a high scoring chase tonight against Pune Warriors.

Gavaskar had a more unique line of tribute, from a Mumbaikar to Bangalorean:
"These guys from Bangalore are underrated - they are such nice guys who achieve but have no self-promotion."

But beyond this Rahul celebration (which is every bit deserved for the old man) a little story may be emerging in Rajasthan Royals backyard for Indian cricket fans. We may be hitting upon the next big thing in batting. I can't believe a batsman, even an 18 year old in-form talent, can strike a first ball cover driven four of THAT class. This was the first I saw of Sanju Samson - and I am already hoping for more, much more.

Since he is 18, he is also the right person at the right place at the right time: playing for RR just when the team is buying Rahul's "horses for courses" theory, backed by the vision of "get the processes right and worry not of the results"....something that he developed with Chappell as his vision for 2007 world cup but could not sell to the Indian team due to "over-aggressive selling" tactics of his then coach.

This RR team, quite like RR of 1st IPL season, seems to be working to "process is king" theory this year. It shows in the lack of tension on the faces of the players. May or may not be the best / only way to win, but the journey sure becomes more enjoyable. Imran Khan used to speak of it during the later, more successful phase of his career - but can't even compare a modest team lke RR to the men Imran had at his disposal. So THIS really is the first case study of the "process + Horses for courses" theory in a sub-continent setup.

PS: In that 2005 article which predicted that Chappell-Dravid will be adopting this "horses for courses" theory in 2007 WC instead of set teams and batting orders, I had given almost all credit to Greg Chappell for the theory. But subsequent to that article, Chappell's way of handling shows that he was only the father of the idea. It is Dravid who, inspite of then failure of the concept, kept believing in it and now the man has found a perfect platform to try it out amidst a sea of youngsters. This time these guys do not have conflicting signs to confuse them as there is no Chappell around.