The Tendulkar Generations!

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My first memory of Tendulkar was way back in 1989. India was touring Pakistan and the broadcast on Doordarshan was grainy. I grew up in Mumbai and the 16 year old child prodigy was already being talked up in the local newspapers. There was anticipation in the air and the prodigy was expected to just about make it through the series. It is now stuff of legend, how the precocious child-like batsman smashed Abdul Qadir, one of Pakistan’s best leg spinners around for sixes and fours. Tendulkar had arrived and in style.

Tendulkar means a lot more than just a sporting icon in India. Like Matthew Hayden says, Tendulkar is now culture. Yes, he is part of modern Indian culture. A culture of excellence, hard word, ambition tempered by fair-play and the occasional emotion.

Anyone in their 40s could be called the Tendulkar generation. The generation that grew up listening to tales of Sunil Gavaskar’s feats but secretly admired the West-Indian dasher Viv Richards for his audacity and stroke-play. India was coming of age, the young were born decades after India had become independent and did not carry any colonial baggage.

The economy too was opening up and the young Indian was looking to take risks be audacious. Tendulkar embodied audacity and risk taking in his batting. But as if the past had not to be forgotten, he had also managed to fashion a near perfect batting technique for defensive stroke-play.

That Tendulkar generation is now in its 40s. But the Tendulkar generations kept growing. A thirty year old today remembers possibly the best phase of Tendulkar’s career from 1998 to 2004 – when he was playing blinders against Australia in Sharjah and square cutting Shoaib Akhtar over point for a six during a world cup match. All this while avoid endorsements from tobacco companies. Bats with MRF stickers sold like hot cakes. This generation not only admired Tendulkar but wanted to become him.

The 20 year old generation looks at Tendulkar a little differently. As the tough competitor who silently goes about doing his job without talking too much to the press giving interesting quotes. This generation looks at Sreesanth’s antics on the field and Gambhir – Kohli on-field spat and say “Tendulkar and Dravid would never do this”. This generation has enough audacious role-models but admire Tendulkar for being understated.

There will be critics and there will be accolades for Tendulkar written. Some will settle for nothing less than “God” to describe him, some will try to cut him down to size. But the several Tendulkar generations will have their own Tendulkar story, their own Tendulkar moment to remember and their own reason to toast him on his 40th birthday today.

Life of Sachin Tendulkar [Infographic]

Sachin Tendulkar was 16 when he made his debut and watching him on TV, I was only nine years old. Since then, my favourite cricketer has been Tendulkar and almost 22 years later he still remains my favorite.

He is probably the only current cricketer still playing who also played in the late 1980s.

Here is an infographic which celebrates the master blaster turning 38.

Life_of_Tendulkar_38_infographic

Click on the image to get the full-sized image. You are free to share this image as long as you give credit to our blog. Also do drop in your comments and let me know about your favourite “Sachin Moment”.

Related: List of World Records by Sachin Tendulkar

Afridi quitting Test cricket again!

Afridi is a bit of a wild card for Pakistan. He has lost of talent which is evident when he scores big runs in a hurry once in a few years but more or less he has always been a talented cricketer with very little to show in terms of performance. He has been fined a few times and had run ins with opposition players and was caught on tape in one of the most bizarre cases of ball tampering. Afridi bit the ball to tamper with it. Yes! He actually did bite it.

If Afridi has been inconsistent as a performer, it seems that his thinking or decision making is also inconsistent. He has been threatening to quit Test cricket for ages. He quit it finally and strange ended up being the T20 captain and also ODI captain. Then he came out of retirement form Test cricket and captained the Pakistan side in England against Australia.

Afridi is quite representative of the state that Pakistan cricket is in right now as it also has been changing its mind quite often. So the latest news in the cricket world is Afridi has quit Test cricket once again. I won’t be surprised if he comes back out of retirement in a year and then retires again.

What do you think? Is this the final time for Shahid Afridi? Do let me know through your comments.

Image Link: Flickr

Dhoni Video Hit the Internet with his Local Friend[NSFW]

Recently we discussed about Mahendra singh Dhoni, Captain cool to captain clueless and at the same time one video hit the you tube featuring Dhoni and his bunch of local friends. This video seems to be original as this has been recorded by his friend.

Few abusive words are part of this video and I will suggest watch this video only if you have nothing better to do.

Disclaimer: We take no responsibility for this video. This video has been uploaded by Youtube user Gyan1317.

Such video hitting the internet might be a bad thing for Dhoni, specially at this moment when people are criticizing Indian cricket team performance in T-20.

Sachin Tendulkar 200 Moment Video

Watch how Sachin Tendulkar set the world record of 200 run by scoring single against south Africa. This is one such moment which no Indian cricket lover will ever forget.

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Sachin tendulkar after Scoring 200

Sachin broke the world record of Saeed Anwar, Pakistan cricket player who held the record of 194 run against India. Here ar

Do share your view about Sachin Double ton and world record.

Note: Do read Tendulkar is the Titan of Cricketing mythology

The Best and Bravest Warrior

A match between the Caribbean Kings and India (in the old times when the Windies were really kings)

India is batting and every Indian batsman is wearing heavy helmets and pads, Which could weigh more than themselves. It’s all for a shield of protection, from Gavaskarthe battery of fast West Indian fast bowlers. One more man down – A new batsman enters the field. He did not have a helmet on his head. Just with a lousy cap and a bat, he stood there, calmly to face the thunderbolts aimed by the Malcolm Marshall and crew. Each and every ball at a speeds more than 150 Kph. Yet he scored a 100 in a very cool fashion.

That’s the Sunil Gavaskar, commonly called as ‘Sunny’. He was the Bravest  and Best player of that time. His bravery – started a new era in the history of Indian cricket. It was a new experience to everyone and with his defensive style of interminable batting, he sometimes even bored his own teammates. But he had been really enjoying it. Due to his this approach, discipline and his own classic style, he managed to become a man whom the cricket will never forget. He successfully managed to score about 30 centuries which was a record at that time- and became the first man to score 10,00 runs in test series.

After his retirement too, he had been actively taking part in the cricket matches, not as  a player but as a Commentator. There too he has his own ‘interminable’ style. He has been a dearest friend of scandals, and many of them has affected him seriously. Yet ‘Sunny’ is cool

Anyway, players like him are really a boon to the cricket.

Image Credit with thanks


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The Man who made kangroos jump higher

A chubby body and a childish face – That is the physical appearance of the Australia’s best captain – Ricky Ponting. Quote the word ‘physical’ in bold letters, because his mental appearance is far from this childish physical features. Inside that chubby face there is a mysterious, cunning and sharp mind which could bring homePoting victory and supremacy in the match.That’s the reason why he still wears the Aussies captain’s cap  !

He is the man who led the Aussie team which won the World cup in 2003 and 2007. A captain who led the team to victory, twice – itself shows us Ponting’s class ! Ponting, a good captain, with aggressive ideas, clinical batting and agile fielding proved him to be leader of the best cricketing team in the world. His Velcro-hands and bat has always created terror in the opponents minds.  He is the one and only threat for the world’s best batsman – Sachin. As Ponting  has records which are very near to Sachin’s records. He has scored more than 30 centuries and broke Gavaskar’s record last year, which Sachin too had broken. If Sachin retires now, it’s sure that at-least some of his records would be overwritten by Ponting.

He had been the captain of  ICC ODI team for several times. Remember that ICC team is formed by selecting only the best players around the world. Choosing Ponting as the captain of the ODI team itself shows his value.

He will truly be remembered by every cricket lover for his enthusiastic captaincy and batting skills ……

A Prince called Ganguly

9-1-2009 1-56-28 PMHe started his career way back in 1992 in Australia. It was a complete disaster and he went back into the oblivion of domestic Indian cricket. Then in 1996 when Vinod Kambli was dropped for a series in England and the selectors replaced one mercurial lefthander with another from Bengal was taken.

Considered to have weak footwork, not much of a power game and a questionable attitude Saurav Ganguly entered the Test arena with a lot of detractors and a lot of questions. He answered them all with a century on debut and then another in his second Test match. Over the years he rose to become one of the most stylish left-handers in Test cricket and the most profilic run getter in ODIs after Sachin Tendulkar.

After the match-fixing scandal hit world cricket Saurav Ganguly was made captain of the India team. In this role he came into his own. At times brash, agressive and sometimes almost as if he did not care he led a team where young players were brought in and the team was being rebuilt. He led from the front and often rubbed the opposition the wrong way.

One of the most famous encounters Ganguly had was when he made Steve Waugh wait at the centre of the pitch before the toss. This angered Waugh who was on a winning streak that stretched for 16 Tests and one more win would give Australia a series win in India which was dubbed the ‘final frontier’ by Waugh. The constantly unapologetic Ganguly fought back the Australian strategy of ‘seldging’ with an Indian brand of ‘sledging’. Ganguly did not personally have a great series as a batsman but as Captain he was the only second Captain in history to win a test match even after being told to follow-on. India won the series 2-1 and Ganguly won the respect of his opponents as a tough competitor.

Ganguly lead the team and is the most sucessful captain for India in the number of Test wins. Bouncers troubled his doubtful technique but he hung in with simple guts and got glory. The iconic image of him taking of his shirt and waving it aloft from the dressing room at Lord’s when India won the Natwest Series still brings a smile to any cricket enthusiast. He ended his career amassing 7212 runs at an Avg of  42.17 with 16 centuries in test matches and 11363 runs at an Avg of 41.02 with 22 centuries. The records are impressive but more than his records no one forget his style and class because of which he was aptly nicknamed as “God of the Off-Side” by his team mate Rahul Dravid.

Link: cricinfo

Preview: India Vs Ireland

clip_image002Match Details

Group A | Match No 12

Date: Jun 10, 2009

Time: 10:00 PM IST

TV Coverage: On Star Cricket in India

Venue: Trent Bridge, Nottingham

Playing Conditions

Weather: High: 15°C, Low: 8°C, Mostly Cloudy, Humidity: 94%

Teams Form

In chronological order from left to right

India: LWLLW

India has already qualified for the Super8. Although there is no significance of this match on the rest of the tournament but India would not like to give away this match. They will be looking to try out the bench and also give some rest to the members who have recently recovered from an injury.

Ireland: WWWNW

Ireland has already qualified for the Super8 and they have nothing to lose in this match. They have not lost any T20 International matches that they have played so far. However, 138 is the highest total that they have managed in any T20. Playing against the world champions could be the real test of their skills.

Team News

India

Sehwag has been ruled out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury. Dinesh Kartik gets a chance to replace him. India would be missing Sehwag in the Super8 where it faces stiffer competition from West Indies, England and South Africa.

Gautam and Rohit have been handling their job well at the top of the order and Dhoni need not worry about that. The middle order could be one thing where Dhoni would be using his own ideas deciding who goes in to bat. I would personally like to see Yusuf Pathan getting a free license today to hit the balls out of the ground.

Ireland

The heroes of the match against Bangladesh – O’Brien brothers to hold the key to the team’s performance. Niall O’Brien scored 40 off 25 balls in the early part of the innings while Kevin O’Brien scored 39 off 17 in the end confirming the win against Bangladesh.

Possible Eleven

Looks like Zaheer will be asked to rest in this game. Sehwag has been ruled out of the tournament and it is less likely that Dinesh will be available for today’s match.

Dhoni might give chance to Ravindra Jadeja and might try to play with only one specialist spinner.

India

  1. Gautam Gambhir
  2. Rohit Sharma
  3. Suresh Raina
  4. Yuvraj Singh
  5. MS Dhoni (capt./wk)
  6. Yusuf Pathan
  7. Ravindra Jadeja
  8. Harbhajan Singh /Pragyan Ojha
  9. Irfan Pathan
  10. Praveen Kumar / R P Singh
  11. Ishant Sharma

Can India Retain the World Cup?

clip-imageThis time when the Indian team starts its campaign in the World T20 Cup, there are two major differences more than any other.

First, the team looks stronger and better prepared for the shortest form of cricket.

Second, the expectations from the fans are way more than expected.

Given the balance and experience of the side, fans have all the rights to demand nothing less but retain the cup.

Pick any playing 11 out of the 15 member squad and you will have around 8 batsmen and 9 bowlers, courtesy – a big bunch of the all-rounders… A world class seam attack, superb spin attack, very successful part time spinners, a great opening pair, a solid middle order and a super cool minded captain!

If the trophy was to be given based on the cumulative talent of the players on papers, India would have already won it. J No doubt, they start the tournament as the favorites. With a very narrow margin loss to New Zealand and a huge win over Pakistan in the warm-up matches, India has announced that they are in England to win the title.

The line-up

Opening

Be it Shewag and Gambhir OR Rohit and Gambhir (in case Sehwag is not fit) both the pairs have the potential to make the opposite team’s captain run out of ideas. Gambhir got back his form in the match against Pakistan and Rohit looked good filling in Sehwag’s place in his absence during the warm-up matches.

Middle Order

Raina, Dhoni, Yuvraj and Yusuf

All of them are so good in hitting the ball outside the stadium and rotating the strike at almost every ball other than that. The middle order of the team is like a big fort wall and any team playing against India will have to work really hard on their strategy to stop them.

Batting Depth

Jadeja, Irfan, Zaheer and Harbhajan

Jadeja got some good practice in the warm-up match against New Zealand and has placed his candidature well to be in the playing eleven, but then who will sit out to give him space? Not at least in first few matches.

Spin Attack

Harbhajan and Ojha

Both are in good form and have the potential not to allow opposition take middle overs easily.

Pace Attack

Zaheer, Ishant, RP Singh, Praveen and Irfan

Ishant looked good on English pitches during the warm-up matches… good to see him getting over the IPL non-performance in a quick time. The only question that remains is who amongst these five will sit out from the playing eleven?

Part-time Bowlers

Yuvraj, Jadeja, Rohit, Raina, Sehwag and Yusuf

Plenty of options for Dhoni… he can comfortably use them to complete at least one bowler’s quota of 4 overs.

The overall balance of the side displays an immense talent and energy required to defend the title. But, the format of the tournament is such that a single ‘off’ day can put the team out of the contest.

Overall, it should be exciting to see how team India plays and progresses during the tournament to defend its title.