New Zealand

This category contains 19 posts

Jonah Lomu: Never been fully fit


​”I always say to people that you have never seen the best of me, and that’s what I mean – I’ve never been fully fit.”

—Jonah Lomu. 

Martin Crowe—an obituary


I never watched Martin Crowe bat.

At least, I don’t think I did. If I did, I can’t recall much anymore. Perhaps, clips of his batting are available on YouTube to refresh my memory.

Remember these were the days before satellite television and the matches telecast were mostly India games or the World Cup.

Russell and Martin Crowe

Russell and Martin Crowe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Martin Crowe, however, will go down as New Zealand’s greatest batsman accompanied by Sir Richard Hadlee as their greatest all-rounder.

It was an era that saw a small cricketing nation punch much above its weight.

Besides his stellar batsmanship, Crowe is also remembered for his innovative ODI captaincy during the 1992 World Cup.

This was the Cup that saw a prodigal South Africa return to the fold. Jonty Rhodes’ fielding exploits and a heart-breaking exit in the semi-finals against England defined their World Cup campaign.

The Cup was Pakistan’s though; from almost being eliminated to clinching five games in a row to secure Imran Khan’s dream of a cancer hospital named for his mother.

New Zealand were co-hosts—much like last year’s World Cup where they went one better and made the final under Brendon McCullum’s stewardship.

Crowe made some dynamic changes to the game—opening the batting with a pinch-hitter, Mark Greatbatch. This set the stage for Sanath Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharna’s pairing in the 1996 World Cup co-hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

But it was his utilization of off-spinner Dipak Patel at the top of the bowling that paid rich dividends and had their opponents in a tizzy.

Martin Crowe continued to love his cricket, writing for CricInfo while battling his terminal disease. He also returned to the first-class game temporarily but his cancer relapsed.

The Kiwi great is no more. His funeral was held yesterday.

May his soul rest in peace.

God bless.

Pink ball, pink ball: Sunny does the honours (Humour)


The pink ball made its Test debut in the recently concluded day-night encounter between Australia and New Zealand.

The match ended in three days with no one complaining about the vagaries of the pitch.

No sand trap there.

It was all about the ball—a pink one shining under the lights with a thin film retaining the shine.

It sparkled all night—a bright orange on the television screen with a luminescent glow.

The makers of Hate Story 2 could rededicate their hit number ‘Pink Lips’ starring the gyrating Sunny Leone and sung by Meet Bros, Anjjan and Khushboo Grewal.

The reworked lyrics could be as follows with a different Sunny ushering in Pink Ball cricket in India.

Pink Maiden deserves a fresh version of a hit. Every batsman, bowler and fielder needs to welcome the Pink Ball thus.

The red cherry could soon be a creature of the past.

Pink Ball Lyrics

Oh come to me
na na na na..
I came to see
Na na na na..
Honthon pe beimaaniyan
Karle karle, thodi nadaaniyan
Honthon pe manmaaniyaan
Karle karle, thodi nadaaniyan
Mujhe aadhi raat ko sataane lage
Mujhe apne saath tadpaane lage
Tu aaja paas, ye bulaane lage
Tujhe chhoona chaahe
Mere ye, mere ye, mere
Pink ball, pink ball , pink ball
Pink ball, pink ball, pink ball
Pal-pal tujhko karte miss
Pink ball, pink ball, pink ball
Pink ball, pink ball, pink ball
I know you want my new ball
Na na na na..
Hello-hello bol ke
New ball khol ke
Harqataan kare naughtiyan
Missing tenu whole day
Love you menu bol de
Adaavan teri hegi naughtiyan (x2)
Meri khwahishon ko talab hai teri
Aa qareeb aa, ab kar na deri
Meri khwahishon ko talab hai teri
Aa kareeb aa, ab kar na deri
Tere faasle muje jalaane lage
Raftaar saanson ki badhaane lage
Tu aaja paas ye bulaane lage
Teri baat maane
Mere ye, Mere ye, Mere..
Pink ball, pink ball, pink ball
Pink ball, pink ball, pink ball
Pal-pal tujhko karte miss
Pink ball, pink ball, pink ball
Pink ball, pink ball, pink ball
I know you want my new ball
Na na na na..
Oh come to me
na na na na..
I came to see
Na na na na..
Dil baarishon mein tarasne lagaa
Teri pyaas mein ye dhadakne lagaa
Dil baarishon mein tarasne lagaa
Teri pyaas me ye dhadakne lagaa
Tere seam mein haath jo aane lage
Mere soye armaan jagaane lage
Tu aaja pas ye bulaane lage
Tere hona chaahe
Mere ye, Mere ye, Mere..
Pink ball, pink ball, pink ball
Pink ball, pink ball, pink ball
Pal-pal tujhko karte miss
Pink ball, pink ball, pink ball
Pink ball, pink ball, pink ball
I know you want my new ball
Hello-hello bol ke new ball khol ke
Missing tenu whole day
Love you menu bol de
Pink Ball..

 

ICC World Cup 2015: Australia are champions of the world


To tell you the truth, I did not really watch much of this World Cup’s final featuring Australia and New Zealand.

Switching on the telly after returning from morning Mass, with Brendon McCullum gone cheaply, it would be an uphill task for the Kiwis to compile a formidable total. Two more quick wickets followed and I switched off the set-top box.

For a partisan Indian supporter like me, the final held no thrills or attraction. Most World Cup finals have been one-sided affairs and there was no reason for me to believe otherwise.

Catching up with the morning news, Michael Clarke’s farewell announcing the final would be his ODI swansong caught my eyes.

“A World Cup victory would be a great way to sign off,” were my immediate thoughts. And I dwelled again on  the emotional eulogy he delivered at Philip Hughes’ funeral. Clarke will always have his share of detractors but that was the day he displayed how far he has travelled from being ‘Pup’ and the ‘Bad Boy’ of Australian cricket.

Noon and the Kiwis had folded up for 183. Despite Sunil Gavaskar’s vain attempts at drawing comparisons between the ’83 final and Sunday’s mismatch to keep viewer interest in the game alive, it was evident that barring a miracle the Australians were well on their way to being crowned five-time champions.

It was so, with Clark crafting a well-made 74.

Australians were world-beaters yet again.

ICC World Cup 2015: It’s Australia versus New Zealand


Stephen Rodger Waugh, former professional cric...

Stephen Rodger Waugh, former professional cricketer and captain of the Australian national team, photographed at the Sydney Cricket Ground at the start of the Test match against South Africa in January 2002 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s final.

The home sides will face-off in another Transmanic match-up on Sunday the 29th of March 2015 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

The Australians clinically demolished Team India’s cup hopes with an all-round display of aggression and intent with the bat and ball. They backed it up with tight fielding barring a few hiccups,

Who will it be?

New Zealand can take comfort from the fact that this is probably their best side ever and that they have beaten the Aussies in the league phases.


http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/148860901

Now the crucial encounter is in their arch-foes’ backyard.

Do they have the gumption to seal off their World Cup campaign with a zealous kiss of victory?

The demeanor of their gum-chewing skipper Brendon Mcullum in the field against South Africa suggests so. He reminded me of tough-as-nails Steve Waugh. Will Australia drop the cup that cheers?

Michael Clark rebuilt the crumbling edifice of Oz following the exit of the best and brightest of their 3-Cup wizards.

Can Clark win his first World Cup as skipper?

Fortune favors the brave and the brave are not easily felled at home.

My pick: Australia. Can McCullum and his chums spell otherwise?

Kane Williamson: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Kane Williamson is mighty quiet when batting with Brendon McCullum.

What he said:

“It kind of felt like I was the library in a theme park.”

Kane Williamson played second fiddle to his skipper Brendon McCullum at Christchurch where the latter ratcheted up 195 off 134 balls to set up a victory over tourists Sri Lanka.

Williamson said:

“After lunch on that first day, I was struggling in Christchurch and Brendon was whacking it to all parts. It kind of felt like I was the library in a theme park. He was doing everything and I was watching. It’s fantastic the way he’s going – it’s something most of us have never seen before.”

He added:

“When you’re playing with him you can’t compete with what Brendon’s doing. You just stick to your game. Sometimes it highlights the fact that you need to stick around so he can keep playing with that freedom. When he is playing like that and doing what he’s doing, he develops the game and pushes it forward in our favour. It’s slightly dangerous at the other end – you have to watch it, but it’s something special to watch.

When Brendon’s in that mode he looks very relaxed. You can get excited when he’s doing that, and think ‘jeepers’, but I’m sure everyone has been thinking that. At the same time he’s been very calculating. Sometimes it doesn’t look like it, but from ball one, he’s been measured with his approach. In the last match it was tough to drive so he wanted to hit through the line. He did that and it went a long way.”

What he really meant:

I felt like I was a studious student watching an explosive expert at work.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Boom Boom Brendon! Silent Knight Kane!”

Gavin Larsen: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Gavin Larsen

What he said:

“What we did was in the first game of the tournament, we were playing the Yellow Team. We just called them the Yellow Team. We played Zimbabwe at Napier, we called them the Red Team. Pakistan was the Green Team. That made us focus on what we needed to do as a team to beat that Yellow Team. That took away some of the emotion.”

Former New Zealand seam-up bowler, Gavin Larsen, reveals the psychological mindset behind the extraordinary performance of the Kiwis team at the ’92 World Cup.

He said:

“We had some good experience in the team. A lot of guys had played a lot of cricket domestically and for New Zealand. It wasn’t a young, raw, immature team. First and foremost, there was some mental strength across the individuals in the team. The other thing that I do remember is how Martin Crowe insisted that we depersonalised each of the teams. New Zealand has played Australia in the past and you can get caught in the Trans-Tasman hype – playing the old enemy from across the ditch.”

Russell and Martin Crowe

Russell and Martin Crowe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What he really meant:

 “We, of course, were the All-Blacks. It wasn’t that hard a stretch to color code our opponents. And we certainly made them eat Crowe.”

What he definitely didn’t:

 “How’s that for Emotional Intelligence?”

Martin Crowe : Batting six hours in a Test is better than sex


Martin Crowe preparing to bat during a charity...

Martin Crowe preparing to bat during a charity cricket match (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Scott Styris: What he said, really meant and definitely did not


Scott Styris Scores A Ton—On The Golf Course!

What he said:

“Disappointed to hear I’m probably the only Nz cricketer to score a hundred today!”

Scott Styris tweets his reaction—from the golf course—to Team New Zealand’s dismissal for a paltry 150 runs in the second Test against Australia at Hobart.

James Pattinson claimed his second five-wicket haul in two games to put Australia in the driver’s seat on Day One.

What Styris really meant:

“At least, my handicap is not a guy named Pattinson.”

What Styris definitely didn’t:

“Hey chaps, keep this up and you can join me on the golf course from days four to five.”

Ross Taylor: What he said, really meant and definitely did not


Ross Taylor Wishes For More Catching Practice From Philip Hughes

What he said (via ESPN Cricinfo):

“I’d love him to be in the team.”

Kiwi skipper Ross Taylor cannot hide his glee at Philip Hughes’ performance in the first Test at Brisbane.

The belligerent opener scored 10 and seven in his two outings in the middle.

The New South Wales batsman’s troubles outside the off stump continue.

Taylor said:

If Hughes plays in Tasmania then obviously Chris Martin will be bowling at him and hopefully Martin Guptill takes a third catch too.We had a lot of video footage of all the Australian players and Hughes got caught at second, third slip and gully a lot in the Ashes and in South Africa. That was definitely an area we wanted to target, and with the way Chris Martin bowls, he bowls across the left-hander.

Chris Martin bagged Hughes in both innings.

Michael Clarke put his hand up in defense of his young team-mate.

Clarke said:

I look forward to a press conference where I don’t get asked about Phillip Hughes.Once again, not concerning for me. I have confidence that Hughesy will come out in Hobart and perform. He got a hundred not that long ago, 80-odd not that long ago. I’ve seen Hughesy cut that ball for four a number of times. I’m sure he would be disappointed personally that he hasn’t made any runs in this test match, but I’m confident he can put his hand up in Hobart and get a big score for us.

Clarke believes that Hughes can deliver the goods and is a much improved batsman since his Test debut.

Clarke added:

I think his technique has improved out of sight.Every one of us has deficiencies in technique. And these days with the footage you can get on players, it’s very easy to find out what those deficiencies are. It’s no different for any batsman. I have seen a lot of improvement. I continue to see him scoring runs. Probably not as consistent as he would like, but he’s still scoring them. His record for NSW is better than any 23-year-old in this country. He’s scored three great hundreds for Australia and I’m confident he can score a lot more.

What Ross Taylor really meant:

“More slip catching practice for us.”

What Ross Taylor definitely didn’t:

“I’d love to have Hughes bat for my life.”

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