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glenn mcgrath

This tag is associated with 7 posts

Michael Clarke bites the Ashes dust


“Another one bites the dust

Another one bites the dust

And another one gone, and another one gone

Another one bites the dust

Hey, I’m gonna get you too

Another one bites the dust

How do you think I’m going to get along, 

Without you, when you’re gone

You took me for everything that I had, 

And kicked me out on my own

Are you happy, are you satisfied

How long can you stand the heat

Out of the doorway the bullets rip

To the sound of the beat”

The above lines are the chorus to Queen’s famed song, “Another One Bites The Dust.”

How much must it mimic the state of Michael Clarke’s mind as he bid adieu to international cricket on the back of yet another Ashes loss in England?

Clarke would have loved to win in England as skipper and would certainly have believed that the urn would be his at the outset. They had just won the World Cup and were on a high.

Steve Waugh never conquered the Final Frontier that was India. He never captained the Aussies to a series win on the sub-continent.

A cricket shot from Privatemusings, taken at t...

A cricket shot from Privatemusings, taken at the third day of the SCG Test between Australia and South Africa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Similarly, the Ashes remained Clarke’s bugbear, his Waterloo.

A bad back, a sore hamstring, an injured then retired Harris, a missing Haddin and a lackadaisical Johnson all added to his woes.

The cup overflows and not with Ashes.

The skipper’s out, stumped.

Clarke leaves behind a great legacy as a batsman and skipper. Many believed that he did a wonderful job of rebuilding the side after the departure of Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and later Ricky Ponting.

But the replacements were not quite bunnies and thus the task of rebuilding anew falls on the young shoulders of Steve Smith.

The Pup is an old dog.

Clarke will always be remembered for his tact and sensitivity in tackling the shocking demise of Philip Hughes. He was the epitome of a gentleman and statesmanlike in his demeanour. His emotional oration moved his listeners to tears.

He will be missed on the cricket field.

He will always be welcome everywhere else.

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Australia versus England: Who shall have the Ashes?


I really didn’t want to write this article; I haven’t been catching the Ashes—the war of the English roses  and the Australian wattles—a tradition itself within a traditional game.

It’s not that I don’t like cricket or that I’m overly patriotic and catch mostly India games (which I do) but I simply cannot bring up any passion for watching this series.

The Ashes—on television—are a visual treat; the commentating is excellent and there’s everything very attractive about the packaging of a historic rivalry that evokes memories of battles past.

I wish Indian television were able to come up with a better presentation of the  Indo-Pak rivalry but aside from the jingoism it revisits, there’s little to recommend for couch aesthetes.

The five-match series began with the Aussies favoured by one and all. After all, they were the ODI world champs and had thrashed their Trans-Atlantic foes comprehensively in the series Down Under. The pundits predicted that Alistair’s goose was Cooked.

England surprised one and all by winning the first Test. But the Aussies were out for blood in the second and prevailed in a somewhat one-sided encounter.

Steve Harmison in action at the Oval for Engla...

Steve Harmison in action at the Oval for England’s One Day International side against Bangladesh on 16 June 2005 Image created by the author with Nikon D70 + 70-300mm Nikkor G lens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To everyone’s surprise, the third Test ran along similar lines. Except this time, it was the home side that dominated from Day One. The return of Steve Finn implied that England now had three wicket-taking pacers; the weakness of this side has been that the support pacers are  there simply to make up the numbers; they never were strike options.

Can Finn be the Steve Harmison of this side? Remember Stevie, from the 2005 Ashes in tandem with Freddie Flintoff pushing the Aussies on the backfoot in the absence of Glenn McGrath and the first signs of what was to come once  Warne and he exited the greats.

England , not too long ago, were number one; they ascended to that pole position when they beat India at home in 2011. It is a number they have since ceded to South Africa.

Can they lay the foundation for another push at that supreme figure?

The next two Tests are crucial. Has the momentum shifted in England’s favour?

Will the Aussies bite back with venom?

The urn beckons.

 

Legends and Superstars: T20 cricket goes global


Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne have launched a Legends T20 Cricket League to be held in the USA in August-September.

Shah Rukh Khan has gone a step further and extended the Kolkata Knight Riders brand by buying Caribbean T20 team Trinidad & Tobago. Mark Wahlberg and Gerard Butler are other actor-owners of Barbados Tridents and  Jamaica Tallawahs respectively.

This confluence of acting and cricketing giants to promote the sport overseas is welcome.

The more the merrier.

Ageing superstars and retired cricketers have much more in common than their age. They enjoy a hold on their fans way past their expiry date.

The Legends T20 League will test this theory. More power to them.

English: Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan with fami...

English: Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan with family at premiere of Drona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rahul Dravid: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Rahul Dravid

What he said:

“I am a married man, do you think I would have any other answer?”

Rahul Dravid is not averse to wives and girlfriends joining cricketers on tour. The former India No. 3 pooh-poohed notions that the practice adversely impacts players’ performances.

Interacting with the audience after delivering the keynote Dilip Sardesai memorial lecture, he said:

“On a serious side, cricketers travel 11 months in a year, I think wives and girlfriends should be allowed to travel with players. You can’t start blaming wives or girlfriends for performances, that’s not done.

Since I’m married, I would say yes. Wives, girlfriends, or a partner of any gender should be allowed, because the Indian team travels for almost the entire year. You can’t start blaming them for the players’ poor performance. In fact, if you don’t allow them, that would be a bigger problem!”

 

What he really meant:

“Do you really think I wish to argue with my home minister (wife) about this? Spare me the torture.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“I’m going to be the best man at Virat’s wedding.”

Cricket World Cup 2011:Has Yuvraj Singh turned the corner, at last?


Yuvraj Singh at Adelaide Oval

Image via Wikipedia

When I think of Yuvraj Singh, I recall his unbeaten 84 in just his second one-dayer against the mighty Australians facing quality fast-bowling in the form of Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee.

His knock powered India to an unlikely win. A star was born.

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IPL: Player auctions, Australian absences and Pakistani stalemate


Brian Lara batting for West Indies against Ind...

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.

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Is The Captaincy Running Out On Ponting?


Australia's captain Ricky Ponting looks on during the trophy presentation ceremony after they lost to India during the fifth day of their second test cricket match in Bangalore October 13, 2010. REUTERS/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds (INDIA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET)

Five series losses.

Two Ashes in England, the loss to South Africa down under and the two series losses to India in India.

Ricky Ponting is the most unsuccessful Australian captain in recent times. And that is saying something or maybe nothing.

Australians love their cricket and their cricketers but most of all they love to see them win.

And in recent times (not so recent), they had grown accustomed to being masters of all they surveyed.

Players like Shane Warne, Glen McGrath, Matthew Hayden, Steve Waugh, Mark Waugh and Adam Gilchrist ensured that they were at the top of the totem pole. This venerable list would have to include the Punter as well.

The ruthlessness exhibited by the formidable Aussies – over the last decade and a half – is best exemplified by the sixteen test victories (a world record) on the trot , not once, but twice.

Interestingly, their sequence of victories was interrupted by the very same opponent – India.

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