Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My IPL Diary# Sasha


One day I found myself staring at an email that read IPL Cheerleader and decided to go for the audition. At the time I was still working. My office job which consumed most of my time. I pleaded with my boss if I could go and just try and see what would happen. To be honest I didn't really think I would do well but turned out that I did a good job. So thats how I found myself in India dancing for the IPL.
What brought you to IPL? Cheerleading or the chance to explore a new country?
I believe the answer is both, I absolutely adore dancing, I started dancing from the age of 3 or 4, started out with ballet and now I do almost anything just purely out of love for the art. Then my heart and soul yearn and desire to travel and see the world. I guess this is what made the opportunity so rewarding is that I was granted the opportunity to do both and enjoy it at the same time

Which IPL team were you cheering for?
Kolkata Knight Riders

What were your expectations before coming for the IPL?
Expectations, interesting because I never really had any. I asked a few girls about the basics of how it works etc but no expectations which I believe helped me enjoy my experience that much more.

India: 500 Not Out

India play their 500th Test match at Kanpur against the Kiwis. Could have been just another game but cricket (and its fans) love statistics. So becomes one of the most significant games in India's Test history. To celebrate this milestone, its time to pick up an XI of India's most memorable moments in the Test arena.
Disclaimer - The memories are the ones which happened on my watch. So all are post 1989 or as we cricket tragics mark the event, after Sachin Tendulkar's debut.

1. That Partnership at Eden Gardens, 2001
The greatest turnaround in the history of the game at one of its greatest centers against an all-conquering Australian side who were treating the series as the "Final Frontier". They were well on their way to achieve their goal till they were stopped in their tracks by VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid. The 4th day's play was not just match or series turning, it permanently instilled a belief in all Indian fans that miracles do happen.

2. The Chase in Chennai, 2008
By itself it would be remembered as one of our greatest victories. India chased down 387 with Sachin Tendulkar hitting the winning runs after Sehwag had given a turbo-powered start to the chase. But then it wasn't just any other game, being played in the aftermath of the horrific Mumbai attacks. Sometimes sport can provide just that bit of healing touch to a whole nation.

Rahul Dravid hitting the winning runs on the 5th day. An image firmly etched in the memories of the Indian fan. Australia had scored big, but they ran into a pair of familiar foes. The Dravid-VVS combo ensured that both teams are on equal footing after the first innings. And then the much maligned Ajit Agarkar produced his best spell of Test match bowling to knock out the Australians. And he was there at the other end with Dravid to see it through to the end.
On a green pitch, India chose to bat first and the English team had the absolute privilege of being the only team to witness centuries from Dravid, Tendulkar and Ganguly in the same innings. And they followed it by slumping to an innings defeat against the spin duo of Kumble & Harbhajan on a green top.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Ranji at Nets

Sometimes the internet can come up with gems. 

The black and white video depicts Kumar Shri Ranjitsinghji (better known as Ranji) practicing in the nets. The video was shot during the 1897-98 Ashes tour in Australia by Henry Walter Barnett. He made three more such films during the tour but those are now lost.


Although the video is not from any game, but it is probably the oldest cricketing action of any kind captured on film. The silent film depicts Ranji practicing an array of shots. We hardly see the bowler or any other player. Except for the gentleman standing behind the nets in a waistcoat and hat, watching the proceedings while barely moving.  

Observations from the film 
  • Players of earlier time wore different kind of clothes. The white shirt, cuffed to the wrists, wouldn't have looked out of place in formal gatherings.
  • There are no bails on the stumps

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Arbit Stats: Nervous 9990s

Test Match #2204: England vs Sri Lanka

Before the start of the series Alastair Cook needed 36 runs to become the first Englishman to reach the 10,000 career Test runs mark. However this seems to have become a big bugbear for him as he has fallen short twice in the pursuit. In the 2nd Test of the series, he has become the 3rd batsmen to be dismissed in the nervous 9990s in Test tally.

Previous members of the nervous 9990s club - Lara & Jayawardene. (Elite company).

So the wait becomes longer for Cook.

Nishant Kumar for DieHard Cricket Fans
Follow Nishant on Twitter @NishantSKumar

Monday, May 23, 2016

Virat - The new God of Cricket !


He taps the ball to short mid-wicket and sprints like a hare. He carves it wide of sweeper, races two and turns for a third while his partner will be panting to finish the second run. As the shock wave of the ball scorching the stitches on the webbing of his hand, he allows the nerves to absorb it without flinching. When long time aggressor Gautam gets unruly, he grins to himself and leaves Gambhir even more frustrated. When Morris tries to play mind game on Rahul, he doesn't ask him to cower but express positively and what we get is a six over fine leg by Rahul.


When Gayle, AB or Rahul is on song, he doesn't dance but plays the second fiddle to perfection. He doesn't compete with team mates playing well, he tries to complete them. He scores eighty and admits in post match conference that he took 10 balls too many. When boys his age are chasing girls and targets, he's chasing monuments. If you're playing against him and win the toss, don't bat first. You've lost it there, unless you pile up runs that a single human being can't chase.

Batting first, he piles runs and then hopelessly watches his bowlers leak runs like the municipality taps without anyone to bother. He comes back in the next match and scores even more. Winning is what matters to him as he seldom shows as much passion on personal achievement as he shows when he knows the team is winning. Given a choice between scoring a hundred and losing a match against scoring 99 and winning, he would choose 99, every single time. Very few have been where he is yet he admires Gayle and ABDV and backs Rahul to the hilt.

We have seen great players, match winners, record makers, record breakers, legends, absolutely selfless team players, God of the off side, the God and pretty much everything on the Cricket field. We have seen the Dravid tenacity. We've seen Tendulkar straight drive. We've seen the Sehwag upper cut. We've seen the Ganguly cover drive. We've loved the Laxman pull shot. We thought we have seen all that we could have hoped to see.