Ravi Shastri traces a bullet.
What he said:
Ravi Shastri, the Indian head coach, can’t stop gushing about latest boy sensation, Prithvi Shaw, and his exhilarating debut against the West Indies at home.
What he really meant:
“Shaw bats like a dream. He’s a kaleidoscope of the bright colours of Tendulkar, Sehwag and Brian Lara. He’s my rainbow.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“Why did I omit Viv Richards in this comparison? Kohli wouldn’t permit me. That’s why. He insists that sobriquet’s exclusive to him.”
Should we sympathise with Virat Kohli?
I mean, come on, the guy’s been performing like a maniac over the past few months—first for Team India and then surpassing himself and everyone else with his mind-blowing feats in this year’s IPL.
Almost single-handedly taking his team to the knock-out rounds and yet so near and yet so far.
He cut a forlorn figure at the prize-distribution ceremony post the final.
The Indian media and fans have compared Kohli to that all-time great, Sachin Tendulkar.
The comparisons sometimes seem apt, sometimes odious, but it’s been about the statistics, the numbers and their stature in their respective sides.
Longevity will tell—it always does.
But what Virat has recently had a taste of is what Tendulkar and ,to an even greater extent, Brian Lara, experienced throughout their careers—their inability to carry and inspire their sides across that intangible finish line
That kind of frustration, that kind of heartbreak where you have to stand alone among the ruins requires a special kind of resolve.
Virat has it and that is what’ll make the man truly great.
Not the numbers alone, not the glory alone but the losses—the losses that hurt, the losses that build.
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Much has been made about Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s unceremonious ouster from the West Indian side. The veteran left-hander was left out from the Caribbean outfit for the series against Australia following a poor run of scores against England recently.
Was it the right thing to do? The southpaw is 40+ and is not getting any younger. Age should never be a criteria and rightly so. Form and class play an important role. Australia are a top side and playing an out-of-sorts Chanderpaul, however, would not have been fair to the rest of the side.
Sachin Tendulkar was given a farewell Test series by the BCCI against a weak West Indian side at Mumbai; he was able to go out on a relative high. Many would have preferred if the great had called it quits after the 2011 World Cup. The Master Blaster lingered on. It is a human failing fans have witnessed in so many wonderful sports persons. They do not know when to bid the game goodbye.
Ironically, the first Test saw the resurgence of a wonderfully talented Australian batsman Adam Voges making his Test debut at 35. Australian selectors are ruthless when cutting out-of-form or aging players to make room for younger champions.
Little credit is given to them for their bravery in choosing older players who would be considered journeymen in countries in India or Pakistan.
Thus, Matthew Hayden made a comeback at 32. Look where he finished!
Michael Hussey made the best of the chances that came his way the second time around. Adam Voges is probably another of this breed. Team coach Darren Lehmann himself was a beneficiary of the selectors’ long memories.
Should Chanderpaul have played and contributed a ton à la Voges, he would have been lauded by one and all. But, alas, that is wishful thinking reflected upon by the mawkish.
Sports, like business, has no room for sentiment. Winning is serious business; so is modern sport.
The curious case of Christopher Henry Gayle grows stranger by the day.
Here is a man who has two Test triple hundreds under his belt; his ability to scorch opposition bowlers with his big hitting has the best demoralised and he continues to take the West Indian domestic league, Regional Super 50, by storm.
Middlesex are yet another team that seeks to have the buccaneer in their midst.Gayle is perhaps the most successful free agent in the cricketing realm.
Following the exit of Brian Charles Lara, Gayle dons the mantle of ‘Entertainer’ with typical Calypso swagger . However, he has no place in the current West Indian scheme of things.
His running feud with the West Indian Cricket Board is well-documented. The West Indian Players Association (WIPA) rallied to his defence but to no avail.
Gayle rubbed the high-and-mighty in the corridors of power the wrong way with his damning indictment of their high-handed ways. His displacement from the national side following disagreements with Dr. Ernest Hilaire of the WICB forced him to cast aside the kid gloves and slam the board’s idiosyncratic ways.
The Indian team, in the 3rd Test, accepted a tame draw instead of grasping a victory within reach.
Much has been said and written about the Indian batting line-up’s unwillingness to take up the challenge of scoring 180 runs in 47 overs.
Not much has been made of the Indian bowling’s lack of incisiveness and penetration when they should have gone for the kill. The last five West Indian wickets added 121 runs between them.
The Indian and international press have unflinchingly condemned the No.1 team’s tactics.
WICB chief Ernest Hilaire’s comments about the West Indian team hit a raw nerve—Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s.
When he termed the West Indian cricketers of the past 15 years as lacking application and discipline, he overlooked the chip on Chanderpaul’s shoulder.
The Guyanese bat of Indian origin who uncomplainingly carried Windies hopes, oft receiving less than his share of glory—overshadowed first by Brian Lara and later Chris Gayle—, came out strongly in a letter addressed to Hilaire .
Questioning the use of ‘we’ in his interview, the Guyanese asked him, “Are you speaking for yourself, albeit as CEO of the West Indies Cricket Board or are you speaking for and on behalf of the West Indies Cricket Board itself?”
Chanderpaul threatened to take whatever action necessary to safeguard his reputation.
The boot is truly on the other foot.
Image via Wikipedia
The dust has settled on the IPL auctions.The players have been bought (or not).The teams have been formed (or not). The franchises are happy (or not).
The rumour mills ,however, have been overactive.
Among the numerous reports floating around, these are the more salient ones:
Image via Wikipedia
The IPL show moves on.
The IPL player auctions are scheduled for January 8 and 9 in Bangalore. Over 400 players will go under the hammer.
Each team has a cap of $9 million to be played with.
Only two teams have opted to retain their full complement of four players—Mumbai Indians and Chennai SuperKings. Their kitty is whittled down to $4.5 million.
The cricketers have been classified into six brackets—ranging from $20,000 to $400,000.
The BCCI created some kind of legal precedent by forcing former Justice BN Srikrishna—the court-appointed arbitrator for the legal battle between BCCI and Kings XI—to seek recusal from his engagement.
The legal luminary represented the Wadia group over 35 years ago when he was a young lawyer. Ness Wadia is a stakeholder in Kings XI Punjab.