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    My 2006 Wish List

    Friday, December 30, 2005
    Christmas is over and Santa Claus is back in his north pole village preparing for next year's wish lists. I have lots of wishes for next year, some earthy and simple while others outrageously over the top.

    Here is a list of my "cricket wishes"...
    (a) India wins the ICC Knockout tournament.
    (b) Tendulkar reaches his 40th test hundred
    (c) Ganguly does well enough to be in the reckoning for World Cup 2007
    (d) Dhoni cuts his hair short
    (e) Arun Lal and Ranjit Fernando quit commentating
    (f) More use of technology - LBW appeals get referred to the third umpire
    (g) Super sub rule gets modified - the sub can be named anytime and can be anyone in the remaining squad
    (h) No game is played in Kolkata
    (i) Hussey finishes the year with 100+ averages in both forms of the game
    (j) Pathan makes atleast one century in either form of the game.
    (k) Warne and Kumble play ODIs again
    (l) Piyush Chawla stars in India's under-19 world cup win.
    (m) Taibu plays international cricket again
    (n) Shane Bond goes through the entire year without sustaining any injuries
    (o) England wins all its matches against Australia - the Ashes spill over into 2007
    (p) Railways wins the Ranji Trophy again (they are off to a slow start but..)
    (q) The Scorpio speedster event unearths the fastest bowler in the world.
    (r) Less high-scoring ODI games and more 210-220 score thrillers.
    (s) No rained out test matches (no cricket in chennai during the monsoon season)
    (t) Sehwag and Dhoni open together in an ODI and play out the entire 50 overs (I know this is in direct conflict with my wish "r", but still.. wouldn't you want to know how much they can score if they last that long?)

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    A degree in engineering and a PhD in legspin bowling

    Saturday, December 17, 2005
    Rahul on Anil..
    It was during the days when we both played Under-19 cricket. I was yet to gain a reputation and he, a few years older, already owned one. He was gathering wickets by the bucketful and was occasionally labelled 'the next Chandra', while I was the nervous wicketkeeper wondering how the hell I was going to keep to Anil on matting wickets.Fortunately, I was not totally embarrassed. Initial trepidation was also accompanied by bewilderment. With his thick glasses and grim demeanour, he appeared a fellow who might be more comfortable in the first row of a classroom rather than spinning a ball on a cricket field. Of course, Anil eventually proved himself in both areas: he has a degree in engineering and a PhD in legspin bowling.

    Anil on himself..
    I think at the end of the day, I have always looked at it in a very practical way. I have looked at my life in a very practical way and I deal with situations in a very practical manner. I’m not someone who worries too much about orthodoxy. At the end of the day, it’s the results what matter.

    Right from the childhood, results have been ingrained in our brains. What was your rank in the class? How much did you score in Mathematics? How much did you get in history? It’s all about numbers. Nobody asks whether you know everything, or whether you know the theory of relativity. How many marks did you get by writing that answer is just what everybody asks. And that’s how I’ve looked at cricket, as long as the last column keeps adding, and if it’s consistent that’s what is important and what I’m worried about.

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    Expensive cricket sneakers

    Friday, December 16, 2005

    Courtesy : Forbes
    Bottega Veneta makes a great pair of Pony Cricket sneakers, retail price $590, but it would be a shame to actually use them for anything athletic. We hear taupe doesn't do so well with mud.

    Wear them.. but just dont play cricket wearing them.

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    "Justice" for Sourav

    After making the post on Ganguly not being in Mysore, I ran into this in the Telegraph.
    Cricket board chief Sharad Pawar has assured Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee that he hoped to do “justice” to Sourav Ganguly when the team is picked for the tour of Pakistan.

    It was clear today, however, that a purely cricketing matter — though of great emotional content — had fallen almost irretrievably into the hands of politicians.

    It would be harsh to say that Sourav is now banking on the Lok Sabha to have him reinstated in the squad. He did not ask for it to be discussed there. What next? Do we need the Prime Minister to approve the squad for the next world cup? I still think that the best way for Sourav to make his way back into the team is by scoring runs and picking up wickets for Bengal. (and not by having his supporters burn effigies and declaring bandhs)

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    Sourav, why aren't you in Mysore?

    I know he is feeling dejected, betrayed and disappointed. But the only way he can make a comeback is by scoring runs (and also by picking wickets) in titanic proportions. And for that to happen he needs to play domestic matches. Given that, why isn't he in Mysore to play against Karnataka in Bengal's next Ranji encounter? If he doesn't do anything from now till the time the squad for the Pakistan tour is announced, then how does he expect to push the selectors to have him selected?. He can't just hope the middle order to fail miserably in the Ahmedabad test and let that influence More and co. to do a 180 degree rethink on his prospects.

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    Saturday, December 10, 2005
    The ball is pitched outside the leg stump. The right handed batsman gets his left foot inline with the ball and leans forward to play it to leg. The ball beats the batsman, drifts past his pad and his bat and crashes into the off stump.

    Nay, I'm not narrating that Mike Gatting's famous dismissal off Shane Warne. Nor is it about a right-hander's impersonation of those two Andrew Strauss dismissals in the Ashes earlier this year by the Wizard of leg spin. Heck no, this is not about something bowled by a leg spinner. This is about how MS Dhoni got out in the first innings of the ongoing Delhi Test off the bowling of Muthaiah Muralitharan. The off-spinner went round the wicket and delivered this astonishing delivery. It was a very very exaggerated version of a doosra and I believe it warrants a name of its own. Dooooooooooooooosra is my pick.

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    "No more chup chup type of cricket."

    Friday, December 09, 2005
    “For long we’ve played the chup-chup type of cricket. It’s about time we change that image of ours,”

    That was Deep Dasgupta justifying the over aggressive intent (read "mouthing grade-1 profanities" and "wagging fingers") displayed by the Bengal fielders on day-1 of their Ranji game against Mumbai in Mumbai.

    I like what Ehtesham Hasan says about this in the Mumbai Mirror.
    Had Chris Broad or any of his kind been around the Wankhede Stadium yesterday, the Bengal team would have had to apply for a loan to pay off the fines.

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    No Suspension?

    Brad Williams stormed out of a training session after being told that he had been dropped from a Pura Cup game. This resulted him in being suspended for the entire domestic season.

    Arjun Yadav, the Hyderabad skipper attacked Andhra's Ambati Rayudu with the stumps in a Ranji Trophy game in Anantapur last week. I thought he would be banned for that, but seems like he is playing against Punjab in the Mohali game that began yesterday. Wonder why there was no suspension?

    Oh wait, this wasn't in Australia. The rules in India are different.

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    Who will open?

    Virender Sehwag is down with fever and is unlikely to take part in the Delhi Test (it is always sad when you lose out on an opportunity to perform at your home ground) which is scheduled to begin in a few hours from now. Yuvraj Singh is likely to be named the replacement player and in all probability would walk into bat at the very top along with Gautam Gambhir. Sending in MS Dhoni seems like a very exciting ploy but I doubt the team management would burden the youngster with that in a test match.

    I personally would love to see Ganguly bat at that slot. (No, not because the chances of him getting to bat with Laxman and running him out minimize dramatically) He knows he has a lot to prove in this game and walking in to face Vaas with the new ball and making a big score would definitely do him a world of good. It is a question of "will" and if his captain and coach ask him to do it, would he treat it as a great opportunity or would he deem it as a sinister ploy by the powers that be to minimize his tenure in the dressing room. Feroz Shah Kotla isn't really a WACA and I dont really believe in the theory that the opening slot in test cricket is meant for specialists. (OTOH I do believe strongly that the wicket-keeper's slot in test cricket is a specialist spot, but that is a different topic). Ganguly has (as he keeps pointing it out) scored tons of runs in international cricket and I really really believe that he has what it takes to weather a new ball. The question is "will he?"

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    I'm back.. and so is Ganguly

    Friday, December 02, 2005
    I just came back after a week long vacation in Orlando. Apparently I'm not the only one who is back. Ganguly is back in the Indian team. Rain is back in Chennai. Sanjay Jagdale is back in the team of selectors. Zee is back with the cricket satellite rights. England is back to where they were when they last toured the sub-continent (Playing in the sub-continent isn't as easy as winning the Ashes at home. Is it?). Lara might not be back to play test cricket in Australia and the Windies dont seem like they would be able to go back to the form from their glory days.

    About the pic with the bearded man (no prizes for guessing who he is), I saw this in an Irish Pub inside Universal Studios. This trip to Orlando was also the first time where I watched live cricket on my laptop in the airport while waiting for the flight. Don't you just love technology? (My wife wasn't really that amused though).

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