Thursday, December 1, 2022

Diarrhea of Runs

First day of Rawalpindi test between hosts Pakistan and England became the first ever test where Umpires offered bad light to bowling team to save them from English batters.

On a day when England scored at 6.74 RPO, Joe Root with 23 of 31 balls was the miserable failure for England with a pathetic strike rate of 74.19.

Pakistan's most economical bowler conceded 5.64 RPO in 17 overs.

England had 4 centurions, with Zak Crawley scoring 4th fastest ton (86 balls) for England. That record lasted a session and a half as Harry Brook did better in 80 balls.

Ben Ducket's hundred was really pedestrian with a strike rate of just 97.27.

4 centuries and 504 runs in a day are new records for Bazballing.

If England were to bat full 90 overs for the day, they could have had a fifth centurion in Ben Stokes and a total in excess of 600.

England players were leaking till yesterday. But once the game began, only Pakistan bowlers were leaking.

England hit 73 fours and 3 sixers in 75 overs, making it at least one boundary every over and 310 runs through boundaries.

Pakistanis taught the English how to wash their arses during diarrhea. English players did a great job of it on ground. Dho Daala !

Finally, the Umpires saved Pakistan from English WMD.

Govind Raj Shenoy for DieHard Cricket Fans


Friday, October 28, 2022

SKY is an Illusion


While Indians are busy rejoicing Pakistan's loss to Zimbabwe, Suryakumar Yadav walked away with yet another Player of the match award. But the stunning fact is SKY, like "Sky" is an illusion.

Yet again tonight, Rahul prodded around, Rohit loitered and Kohli labored. Then arrived SKY. Or did he ? The sky was overcast but SKY wasn't. SKY was as bright and blue as SKY. Suddenly it rubbed on Kohli and there was Sunshine. We didn't notice and before that, SKY hit the last ball of the innings to bring up yet another fifty with a strike rate in excess of 200.

We can see sky but we cannot catch the sky. Ditto with SKY. Bowlers and fielders seldom get to catch him. SKY doesn't play to the galleries. The galleries plead with him to grace them and the spectators become gleeful fielders.

Other players hit the ball. SKY imposes himself on it. Others time the ball. He whispers into the ears of the ball in the last moment as to which direction to be taken. SKY is an Architect. He measures the distance between two fielders and then sends the ball between them inversely proportional to their respective speeds. The ball attains thrill in beating both the fielders to the ropes. No wonder he's been an Architect of many an Indian wins in a short period.

Friday, February 4, 2022

Indian Cricket's tradition of mistreating Cricketing Heroes

We continue our age old tradition of shabby treatment of our cricketing heroes starting from Vijay Manjrekar, the latest victim being the incomparable Virat Kohli. I felt very sad watching him play in the recent matches. It seemed someone had squeezed the life out of him and he was just going through the motions. As a captain he was on the go all the time looking for a run when batting and a breakthrough when fielding. He had the energy and reserve to lead in all 3 formats of the game. That by any standard would require an exceptional level of concentration not to mention a phenomenal level of fitness. And he proved right on both grounds. 
There never was a dull moment on the field with him on the field and kept all the other players on their toes. He led by example and always gave 100 %. It must be said that all 3 formats of the game requiring different tactics and strategies would have put extreme pressure on him physically and mentally but it was never visible looking at him. But in the later stages of his career it must have affected him in some way. 

In hindsight if he didn't take the mantle of captaincy and just concentrated on his batting he probably would have scored 100 centuries with consummate ease. Despite that he achieved great goals in Test Cricket and took India to number 1 position and competed fiercely in the other 2 formats and the least the BCCI could have done is to give him freedom of choice to make his decisions about his future. Instead they imposed sanctions on his free spirit and as a result we may not see the real fighter on the cricket field again. Under the circumstances he may play for a while but I won't be surprised  if he hung his bat and called it a day. I fail to understand why do the politicians or their dear ones need to get involved with the running of the game. We have such a superb array of ex-cricketers who performed exceptionally well on the cricket field and given the chance I am sure will excel at running the cricket board and the players will feel secure in the knowledge that they are under the care of the experts in the game. I really wish that we learn how to treat our heroes otherwise I am afraid Virat won't be the last one in the already a long list of our illtreated heroes.

Dr. K.K. Srivastava for DieHard Cricket Fans

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Virat Kohli – The Talisman Red Ball Indian Captain

“We want to be fearless, that’s the brand of cricket we would like to play”. Virat Kohli was chalking out a new roadmap for Indian cricket in the red ball format. His captaincy style discarded the defensive approach and drove the team to not settle for anything less than a win.
Kohli started his test captaincy in 2014, after Dhoni’s sudden retirement from test cricket during the Australian tour. In 2011-12, the team had been drubbed 4-0 in tours to England and Australia. It was at that time that Kohli took on the baton. A small teaser was the 2014 Adelaide test where the Indian cricket team fought for a win, going against expectations for a draw.

Virat’s mantra to win matches abroad was to get 20 wickets irrespective of the conditions. He, along with the support staff, created a pool of fast bowlers who were relentless and fearless. And, spinners took care of most test matches at home. Kohli’s tough period started with South Africa away tour, then England tour, finally to Australia. Though the SA and England test results were not in favor, there was a paradigm shift in Indian test cricket. The approach was bold, strategic, and most importantly, invoked fear in the minds of the opposition. Kohli always questioned the conventional wisdom, played 5 batsmen, 4 fast pacers and vouched more for all-rounders. At that time, it drew irks but the result was bound to come.