Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Indian Cricket Fan-base is perhaps the single largest sporting entity in the world that outnumbers the total fan-base of all the opposing teams put together. Yes, including the associate teams.

Today, the BCCI and the Indian Fans are called arrogant by the Aussies and even Bangladesh. The Aussies conveniently forget that they, along with England held the veto powers and made rules for well over a century. It lasted till Jagmohan Dalmia shifted the base of Cricket for good and changed the way Cricket as a spectator sport was sold.

From an Indian perspective, I see India sitting in the position Uncle Sam sits in the world politics. Everyone needs India but everyone hates India; for the same reason: Money !

Now let us turn to Bangladesh. It is a country as big as West Bengal and has a team that can be beaten by the Karnataka Ranji team most of the times. They have won just 3 matches against India in all these years. And one wrong decision and there is a huge outcry and Anti-BCCI and Anti-India noise in our neighborhood with even their Prime Minister going berserk.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

World Cup 2015 - Quarter-Final Predictions

The battle-lines are drawn. The Quarter-finalists identified. 7 games remaining, 7 teams to be knocked out. 1 winner. On the eve of the first of the 4 Quarter-finals, its Divination time – the time to predict the teams still left standing after four days of hopefully intense battle.

Quarter-Final 1 – South Africa vs Sri Lanka

The foremost question - Will South Africa choke again? AB de Villiers has said they won’t. History suggests otherwise.

It’s an intriguing clash between two teams with very evenly matched records against each other. Both are coming in with 4 wins each. South Africa have a suspect record while chasing and a tendency to not make through to the knock-outs. Sri Lanka on the other hand have regularly been reaching the last stages of ICC events. They also have been losing players through the tournament and have a question mark on their bowling.

The toss will be crucial. Both would want to bat first and avoid the scoreboard pressure while chasing.

Prediction – Sri Lanka to win toss, bat first, put up a fairly decent total. South Africa would begin the chase in earnest, then falter, and asphyxiate, resulting in a Sri Lankan victory.

Monday, March 16, 2015

9 Interesting Facts About Pakistan Cricket

A few deduced facts about #Pakistan #Cricket...
Total population of Pakistan is 183 million.
Male population of Pakistan is about 93 million.
There are about 92.9999 million fast bowlers or ex- fast bowlers or future fast bowlers in Pakistan.
Of the 92.9999 million fast bowlers, almost 57 million are left arm fast bowlers.
There are about 10 or 11 batsmen in Pakistan. Half of them play in or for England or South Africa.
There are about a dozen spinners in Pakistan. Almost all are alleged to have suspect action. Those with clean action play for South Africa or England.
There are approximately one and three quarters of wicketkeepers in Pakistan and all belong to same family. The 'One' ran away to England. The 'half one' has dropped more catches than he has ever held on to. The 'quarter one' is confused if he's a batsman - wicketkeeper or wicketkeeper batsman.
Yet, Pakistan is a fantastic team because they're not English and they don't speak English.

Govind Raj Shenoy for DieHard Cricket Fans

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Five Alternative Professions for Dhoni !

Captain of the reigning CWC Champions and one of the finest players of the death game, Mahendra Singh Dhoni will go down as a modern day legend.

For all his failures in Test Cricket, his ODI records as Captain as well as player are beyond compare.

He's made a life out of chasing down targets from absolutely hopeless situations. But if he weren't a Cricketer, what profession would have suited him best ?

Here are the 5 professions that Dhoni would have done equally well, if he weren't a Cricketer.

1. A Marathon runner: He's that kind of guy. Looks as if he's taking a stroll in the park. As if he doesn't exist. As if nothing is happening there. And then before anyone could realize, he'll be there at the winning line before anyone could blink.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

4 Reasons Why India Won't Win this World Cup

India's performance so far in this World Cup has been beyond everybody's expectations. No one would have imagined that India will win the opening matches by such huge margins. Some fans are secretly fearing that the team has peaked too early in the tournament. In the last edition which India won, they raised their game to the next level in the knockout stages. It will be hard for them to do that this time around or to maintain the form they have shown thus far.

Death Bowling has been India's nemesis for as long as ODI cricket has been played. It didn't play a part in the matches so far as the oppositions faltered before reaching that stage to exploit this weakness. It would be impossible to escape in the later matches and that is when the real test would be for the Indian bowlers.

Batting at the Death. It has been a worry for India for some time now. Other teams, having players like Maxwell n AB De Villiers, have redefined the rules of batting at the death. Double the score at the end of 30 overs rule is a passe. New rule is triple the score at the end of 25 overs. With a fragile lower middle and lower order, it would be very difficult for India to catch up. 

Last and the most important factor. Ravi Shastri is not commentating this World Cup. Do you remember any glorious moment in the Indian cricket history in the past 2-3 decades when he was not up in the commentary box? Yuvraj's 6 sixes, WT20 triumph, WC triumph !

Monday, March 2, 2015

World Cup 2015 - Aus vs NZ, Match of the Tournament?

Forget the famous India vs Pakistan rivalry for a moment.

Forget the Ashes, England have descended back into the 90s and don't look like coming out.

If we are talking cricketing rivalries, surely Australia vs New Zealand is now the most anticipated match up in world cricket.  This match was no exception.


  • Both teams are co-hosts and equally red hot favorites to win
  • It was 23 years ago at this very venue when Martin Crowe's men stunned Australia
  • The Trans-Tasman rivalry has been shelved in favor of the "big three" playing each other endlessly, we are deprived of Chappell-Hadlee battles.
The entire nation was humming, four million cricket nuts pumped and ready to dream big, boo David Warner and outplay the Aussies back over the ditch. For once we actually had eleven players capable of the feat, but even so it was an incredibly tough game to pick as both sides are extremely similar. Madness at the top, class in the middle, terrific bowling & fielding and a bloody mindedness to win at all costs.

Have we become a warm friendly version of the win hungry-Aussies, is little brother now an identical twin?

The match was arguably the most extraordinary world cup game of all time (top three at least). It was one of those rare surreal experiences in sport where the contest is so much more than just a bunch of guys on TV bashing a ball around with sticks. The history, the context, the emotion were all brewed in a perfect cocktail of cricket.

Like any truly memorable game the match swung like Wasim Akram in-swingers on grass:

1. Southee Nails Finch - Those first few overs were Zaheer Khan 2003 territory, a nervous wreck spraying the ball everywhere and runs leaking like a sieve. Was Australia going to repeat the 359-2?  Southee cleaning out Finch squashed that theory quick fast and got a nation of 4 million sighing with relief.

2. The Old Pro - The bespectacled king finally has the luxury of an actual bowling attack to work his magic around. His spell changed everything as no Aussie managed to make anything of his seemingly innocuous but unplayable balls. They tried to hit him out and that's when the rot began.