Saturday, January 24, 2015

My IPL Diary# Niqueline

Which IPL team were you cheering for? 

My first team was Deccan Chargers (2011). My last team was the Mumbai Indians (and that year they won 2013 :) )

What were your expectations before coming for the IPL?

I heard a lot of stories about India and what to expect in India, some good some bad. But once I arrived I fell in love with India and its people.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Test Cricket Chronicles: MS Dhoni

"I don’t think anyone knew Mahendra Singh Dhoni. I don’t think anyone was meant to."
Harsha Bhogle was as right as rain in kicking around the Gordian knot.

Picture  Courtesy:
On December 30th, when Indians all across were not ready to throw over their fleeces, a certain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had stopped the ticking clock.

“The Indian Captain calls it a day!” my phone lit up, and face fell down. In a jiffy, I was leafing through the link that followed. MS Dhoni won’t be seen anymore in India whites. The Skipper retires from Test Cricket with immediate effect. A gob in the gullet made an immediate manifestation. The vision befogged with potbellied globules of brackish water.

And then it hit me! The much harrowed day had most assuredly egressed. His retirement was inevitable, everyone’s is. But who knew the game’s best finisher would call it a close in a manner so devil-may-care kind. With no farewell test match, no guard of honour, and no victory lap.

Monday, January 5, 2015

India's Probable World Cup Squad

2015 has arrived. And with it is coming the World Cup Down Under. There are a few weeks to go but the selection deadline is now imminent. January 7th is the deadline for the submission of the final teams. There may still be some changes on account of injuries and other issues though. India's selectors have already picked a 30 man probable squad and this is going to be pruned down to the final 15 on January 6th. While waiting for the date to arrive, Slipstream Cricket has decided to make its own selections from the probables squad.

This was the squad picked by the selection panel.
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Manoj

Saturday, January 3, 2015

My Love Affair With Cricket

It all began with a trip to Goa, India, in early December 2007. I didn't realize beforehand I was going to a cricket-mad country smack in the middle of a Test series against Pakistan. It turned out to be a vacation that changed my life. Literally.

PictureI became curious about cricket when I saw that the Indian newspapers were full of reports of the Kolkata Test – and found that I didn't understand anything of what had happened during the previous day’s play despite being fluent in English. Despite, in fact, being a translator. Returning home to Finland, I decided to learn enough cricket-speak to understand what was going on. Then I meant forget all about it.

But one thing led to another. As I read cricket reports online, I blessed Wikipedia daily. It has taught me pretty much everything I know about the Laws of Cricket. But it took more than a year of intermittent study, as understanding one term just presented me with more new words. Or, often enough, old words that proved to have entirely new meanings. There are the classics, like duck and beehive, but I was stumped (yes, stumped) by words like crease (clearly not a reference to ironing gone wrong) and beat (as in beating the batsman). And so many cricketing expressions leave big chunks of the action unsaid. Leg before, of course. But also It was going to hit the middle of middle and off. Imagine for a moment that English is your second language (or third, as it is for me) and you are faced with middle of middle and off. Trust me, you start looking for the word you missed on your first reading.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Crown of Thorns !

Indian Cricket Captaincy is a Crown of Thorns that rests uneasy on the heads of those that have dared to take it on. Very few have understood it and enjoyed it for long. From Sunny ‪#‎Gavaskar‬ and ‪#‎Kapildev‬ musical chairs to the taint that demolished the stylish Azaruddin; it has gutted people of great substance. Saurav ‪#‎Ganguly‬ relished it initially but was later hunted out of Captaincy.‪#‎SRT‬ was the most miserable Captain we saw in his era. Rahul the Gentleman ‪#‎Dravid‬ resigned after winning a test series in England. Nobody knows why. ‪#‎Kumble‬ was almost driven out by the Indian fans keen to see the Messiah of those days take over the reigns. Thus‪#‎Dhoni‬ ruled, enjoyed and had huge success that culminated in 2011 World Cup win. But before the next world cup could begin, the thorns had grown too long and were pricking and hurting all over. Even his place in the side was being questioned. His defensive style was criticised by all and sundries, including myself. But I must admit, ‪#‎MSD‬ could have done precious little with a bowling unit that could not defend 450+ fourth innings targets and could take 20 wickets in an overseas test just once in a blue moon.
The Crown now is on the volatile head of the hyper talented and hyper aggressive Virat.
Will he buckle under pressure like SRT and RD ?
Will he go the ‪#‎Dada‬ way ?
Will he get Dhonied by the pressure ?
Or will he just show his middle finger and carry on being ‪#‎Virat‬ ?
Let's wait and watch. But for now, let's pledge all our goodwill and support to the Champion as he starts a new chapter in Indian Cricket 

Govind Raj Shenoy for DieHard Cricket Fans

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Twenty14 Line-up

Presenting the cricketing line-up to remember the year Twenty14 A.D. by :

1. Phil Hughes, 63 Not Out
The cricketing world was united in grief at the shock demise of Phil Hughes after being hit by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield game. 63 not out and 408 acquired new importance in cricket. 

2. The West Indies Mess
The West Indies have been in a mess for years. But somehow they managed to reach even lower depths. Contracts disputes between the players, board and the players' association led to an unprecedented pull-out from the middle of a tour to India. Given all the financial troubles they are in, angering the cash-rich and supremely powerful BCCI seems to be a step of truly messed up minds. Wonder what new level they will reach next year.

3. Old is Gold
Younis Khan & Misbah-ul-Haq, combined age of 80 years, led the Pakistanis to a 2-nil whitewash of the Australians, their first series victory in over twenty years. Younis reeling off one century after another while Misbah became the first ever 40 year old to score twin hundreds in a Test.

4. The Beard Rules
Hashim Amla, Moeen Ali, Anton Devcich - need we say any more. Not surprising as the father of modern cricket, Dr. W G Grace had a magnificent beard of his own.