MakeTimeForSports makes an attempt to get India Test skipper Virat Kohli to clarify his stand on MS Dhoni’s leadership.
1) How are you today? Are you able to express yourself freely?
Yes, without a doubt. I wouldn’t be talking to you otherwise.
2) Suresh Raina and Ravichandran Ashwin have come out in support of your predecessor and current ODI skipper MS Dhoni. What are your views on their remarks?
It’s not disrespectful to be willing to die for your skipper but the skipper is just a representative of the team and you should be willing to die for all your teammates. That’s the essence of team spirit. The spirit of Dhoni will linger on in the dressing room long after he’s gone and, in Ashwin’s case, on the field as well. Besides, this is probably the best and last chance for Raina and Ashwin to be dubbed Sir Suresh and Sir Ravichandran by his Royal Highness Maharaja Mahendra Singh Dhoni the First—or so a tweeting bird informs me!
3) Dhoni’s coach Chanchal Bhattacharjee and yours’ Raj Kumar Sharma have commented on India’s abysmal showing in the ODI series with Sharma terming the 2nd loss the ‘Black Sunday of Indian cricket’. Your thoughts?
Look on the other side. It was a Bright Sunday for Bangladesh. You win some, you lose some and make some remarks about the team not being able to express itself freely. Sunny side up, my man, sunny side up.
4) What do you think should the Indian team do to be able to express themselves more freely and with more clarity?
For a start, they should grow beards like mine and curse and glare when they are adjudged out. They should also consider dating film-stars and models. I’m sure Anushka can introduce them to some of her single colleagues.
5) Would you have considered stepping down if it had been you in the driver’s seat and not Dhoni yet the same outcome?
Huh! The possibility never crossed my mind.
Disclaimer: The character(s) are real but the interview is fictional.
What he said:
“Even my mother asks me every time I come to Lucknow, koi ladki toh pasand nahi aa gayi wahan (have you selected a girl yet)?”
Suresh Raina is perturbed that no one including his mother believes that he visits Lucknow simply to catch up with his school friends.
“But I actually come here to just unwind with my friends. I have very few friends, and I share a special bond with them. I have a lot of matches coming up after the Champions League, there’s the West Indies tour in October. I know I will not be able to meet my friends for a long time now. So I made a short trip to Lucknow between two tournaments. She(my mother)’s been after me for a while now to get married, especially since my closest friend has also tied the knot. Each time I go back home, my marriage is the topic of conversation.But I have put off any wedding talk till after the World Cup. Abhi ussi pe focus karna hai. (I have to focus on that.)”
The Chennai Superkings star revealed the secret behind his recent success in the ODIs and T20s against England.
“After I was dropped from the Asia Cup squad earlier this year, I did a lot of introspection as far as my game was concerned. I had to go back to basics, and just perform very well. I spent months with single-minded focus on training, fitness, discipline. I trained at the Lucknow Sports College and in Mumbai, and I spent a lot of time with my friends and family to regain my confidence. You can’t take everyone’s advice, because everyone has a different opinion, so you need to depend on your friends to give you the right advice. That confidence helped me to play my natural game, and tackle the pressure. Pressure tha (there was pressure), but I knew I can turn things around. When I got on the flight from Mumbai to London, I was ready to give my best. And I am so happy I did. It was very important.”
What he really meant:
“My mother wishes I’d make the most of my trips to Lucknow and kill two birds with one stone. Find a girl and meet my pals too. She’s pragmatic that way.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“What?! And be embroiled in a senseless wrangle with the press about the presence of a girlfriend or wife on tour?”
What he said (via Times Of India):
"No, I was only on 30 at that time. So, I did not."
Suresh Raina, unlike his batting partner Virender Sehwag, preferred not to make a song-and-dance of his modest score—in comparison.
Raina was replying to a query whether he joined his illustrious senior in humming Kishore Kumar melodies during the Delhi blaster’s record-breaking 219 at Indore.
"He was playing very well with no tension. That day, he was singing some Kishore Kumar songs. He was not feeling any kind of tension."
The young southpaw was addressing the India Today Youth Summit.
What he really meant:
“I was left spellbound and breathless by Viru’s audacious shot-making. How could I?”
What he definitely didn’t:
“I’m a Mohammad Rafi fan.Ghazals are more my scene.”
Mahendra Singh Dhoni had this to say about the first Test loss at Lords: “What could go wrong, went wrong.”
The Indian skipper attributed the defeat to three factors: Zaheer Khan’s injury, the lack (consequently) of a third seamer (the Jharkhand native rolled his arm over) and misfortunes (Gautam Gambhir’s elbow blow and Sachin Tendulkar’s viral flu) that forced the reshuffling of the batting order in the final innings.
Cricket lovers have Graeme Smith to thank for enriching their vocabulary last weekend.
The South African Test skipper was “Mampara Of the Week”—selected by the nation’s leading daily, The Sunday Times. It is a moniker reserved for politicians and businessmen but ‘Biff’ trumped all contenders last week with his “wishy-washy apology” to the South African public for his side’s early exit at this year’s ODI World Cup in India.
Mamapara roughly translates to “idiot”. I must admit—“You b****y Mampara” has a nice ring to it.
Sachin Tendulkar—in the sunset of his career—is an inspiration to older cricketers. Simon Katich is the latest to pay obeisance. The West Australian cricketer—in his press conference—slammed Greg Chappell ,rightly questioning his credentials as a selector as he pointed out his inability to predict the master bat’s recent heights.
“Elder cricketers of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose but bad selectors.”
Rushing to Katich’s defence was minister of defence for the realm, Stephen Smith. Australian politicians love their cricket and their cricketers.
“If he’s not in the top 25 Australian cricketers – and I can’t find one better opener than him on that list, let alone two – then I’ll go hee for chasey.” said the minister. An Aussie phrase learned here—take note,English language lovers.
The West Indians have been shafted once more. Zaheer Khan and S Sreesanth have opted out of the India-WI Test series citing injuries. Indian fans don’t seem to care. The boys in blue have ratcheted up wins—rising to the occasion. Who’s to say that Praveen Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun won’t?
The trio of Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli seem natural replacements for RahulDravid,Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman.
There’s oft a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip, though.
Remember the dynamic duo of Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif?
Kaif languishes in the minor leagues of domestic cricket whereas Yuvraj "blundered" from strength to strength.
ODI success does not instinctively translate to Test level. Yuvraj Singh will testify.
Quote of the day:
Anything not worth doing is worth not doing well. Think about it. – Elias Schwartz
A point of similarity between Gabriela Pasqualotto and Mahendra Singh Dhoni:
Until today, the two were content playing the game “Maybe I will, maybe I won’t”.
Pasquallotto, of course, was referring to whether she’d make her story public to the tabloids.
She will—if she’s paid and if she’s allowed to write it herself. Fair enough.
Image via Wikipedia
The BCCI, of late, are more than a little adventurous in their selection of the Indian cricket team for the ODIs.
The line-up for the India – New Zealand ODI series is along expected—and unexpected—lines.The resting of seniors for the ODI series—namely Sehwag, Tendulkar, Zaheer,Harbhajan Singh and skipper Dhoni— was expected.Unexpected is the naming of Gambhir to lead the ODI team and the drafting of Wriddhiman Saha as the sole wicket-keeper in the ODI side. The rumour mill had Sehwag in the captain’s role.
A few inebriated fans at the 3rd Test Match between India and Sri Lanka decided that they were not quite ‘having a ball’ imbibing various liquors,the cricket was not entertaining enough and hence decided to vent their spleen on the players and cricketing officials.
Yuvraj Singh was the target of their ire; ‘water boy’ was the insult they came up with when he was performing 12th man duties for the Indian team.
Yuvraj Singh, however, was not one to take it lying down and decided to retaliate in kind.