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Test Championship may cause disharmony

17 Aug

Have you enjoyed dethrone ceremony of Australia’s legacy?

Have you enjoyed dethrone ceremony of India’s Number 1 position?

Have you enjoyed England being number 1 test side at the moment?

Are you eagerly waiting for certain team who will dethrone England in few months? Aka South Africa?

Are you eagerly waiting for Australia 2.0?

Are you eagerly waiting for India Fightback to top 2.0?

Are you waiting for a massive upset coming by Pakistan, West Indies and surprise surprise Zimbabwe, who may dislodge bails of Top Test Team?

Are you optimistic about Sri Lanka the Test team post-murali?

If the answers for above questions are yes.

Then, where does Test Championship fit in?

ICC is planning to replace ca$h cow tournament ICC champions trophy (ODI series) with ICC Test Championship.

Are they doing this because they want to ‘save’ test cricket? No.

ICC Test championship is nothing more than making more Ca$h. I can say, It is basically another ICC World Cup or another T20 Domestic Tournament (IPL, FT20, Big Bash, etc.)

There is no difference between them. Here, ICC (mainly) and respective boards, who take part will make money, whereas, in T20 Toruny, hosting board and player’s board make money.

There is no early intention reveled by ICC that what are they planning to achieve here. I bet they will be happy if only ICC Test Championship go on and no bilateral team touring series in future. If that happens, say goodbye to traditional bilateral test series.

I am not sure if I would like that, because on one hand I can’t wait for revenge test series against England when India host them, on other hand, I am still sulking about Zak’s terrible fitness, and amount of tests India will play on top of IPL and Zillion ODIs.

Schedule is quite hefty for Indian players. As much as I like player to be fresh for IPL or ODI world cup that much I want my players to be fresh for Test Tournaments. So, I am not sure what is the ICC and other boards’ plan is.

What I can assume from FTP, that ICC’s plan is to just add another Test championship on top of hefty schedule, just like how they added T20 World Cup. (thanks to India, who won the first WC, against epic contender Pakistan)

(It’s ridiculous that IPL has gotten this much of scrutiny and people have started to think IPL = T20 cricket, and ignored FT20, ICC T20 World Cup, T20 Tourny in Pakistan, T20 Tourny in SA etc etc.)

So, Why would Test Championship may cause disharmony? I mean first thing first, if tournament is won by number 4 ranked test team, it just totally disturbs the team that is at the top of ICC ranking. Now, many people argue that ICC Ranking doesn’t make sense. Well, I don’t want to go in detail, but it is applied on all teams.

Another thing may happen that it will start to devalue or belittle or cause buffering in Bilateral Test Series.

Just like how media and many fans massively value Ashes (Australia vs England), people will start to value Test Championship so much that they will stop carrying about bilateral test series. What do you think will happen to tournament between not so strong test sides?

Now, fan like me will watch any kind of cricket, whatever is on!  What about the fan wanted more of test tournament between particular nations? Now, tournament will go on, as per FTP, but what if players start preferring Test Championship more and don’t play or rest for normal bilateral tourny? What will we do then?

Let’s say they have no choice but to play then what about freshness of players for bilateral test tourny compare to Test Championship?

I expect disharmony is just waiting to happen. Either players will not be fresh or will break down for particular tournament due to load of tests. Also, bantering and preference of particular Test Tournament will always be there.

Imagine the scenario E.g. England who are at the top of ranking, losing to India, but media/fans will say, well, we are still at the top, no?

or another scenario, SA is at the top of ranking, but Australia beats them fair and square in one test ergo winning the semi-final but losing to India in the final, which team is the best test team then?!

It will be interesting to see how ICC, Media and Fans will give importance to test championship before or after the winner of the first test championship.

For me, test championship is nothing but to make more money but not to save test cricket, just like ICC T20 World Cup.

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How India can turn it around!

8 Aug

Have you read enough of filth and blaming game in media? I am sure you have and must have felt very sad if you were Indian fan but would have felt very excited to see England doing well, if you were supporting England. 

Don’t hyperventilate yet. 

It’s not over yet. 

Final ‘Bhramastra’ ( a weapon in Hinduism mythology, that can’t be stopped before eliminating the target) has arrived. 

There is not one ‘Bhramastra’. In fact, there are 2. 

Names are Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag. 

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/records/batting/most_runs_career.html?class=1;id=2010;type=year

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/records/batting/most_runs_career.html?class=1;id=2009;type=year

Both averages very high in 2 consecutive years. 

If you have been following test cricket, it is not surprise that they have been very vital part of India’s success, in either saving or winning tests. High averages being opener means strong partnerships for long … long time.  

India has lost one ‘Bhramastra’ (Zaheer Khan) but gained 2 more. So, 2-1 = 1. 

Another Bhramastra lies under belly of Sreesanth and Praveen Kumar. 

You see both worked at certain point, but due to high gas prices, they could not reach destination. They could not reach to main ‘Mother’ where evil continued to reproduce and took over by attacking back. 

You see in Lords test, 2 wickets fell in tandem on first day. Then, suddenly due to bad quality of Oil, machine of Bhramastra couldn’t kill the core of evil. Evil got away. Rain helped them. Next day, ‘Maha Evil’ – KP that is. Gained power from sunlight and conquered against India. Again, semi-Bhramastra, Ishant that is .. destroyed half of the ‘sena’ (troops) and then stopped right in between. Why? Same problem, high gas prices. 

You see Bhramastra need better gasoline. And enough of it so it reaches the target.

At Trent Bridge, Bhramastras worked beautifully on first day. It was all good, people were enjoying and all. But you see this time ‘Batting’ Bhramastras were missing. There was no bunker … not much of partnerships. 

You can’t expect ‘Mukunda’ to become Bhramastra right away.

So, this is how India can win now.

Strategy side number 1

GG, VS, RSD, SRT, VVS, Mukund, Raina, MSD, PK, Ishant, Sree

If there is Green Wicket, this is very ideal side. India didn’t need 4th bowler to all out England cheaply, in good bowling condition. 

You must have noticed one amazing thing inside. First 5 batmen are the best bat, and they have been doing so well with this batting.  order. 

Strategy Side Number 2

GG, VS, RSD, SRT, VVS, Raina, MSD, PK, Ishant, Sree, Munna

You see there is massive addition there. I am sure first 5 will be feeling very comfortable batting at their position, and they promise to produce at least 2 decent partnership. Add Munna, the 4th seamer. This become very attacking combo. Non-Tired pacer bowling in short spell, Zoom … Zoom. India lost 2 match, and they surely will be looking to turn it around, then this is the combo they should be looking for esp. for Edgebaston. 

Strategy Side number 3 

GG, VS, RSD, SRT, VVS, Raina, MSD, PK, Ishant, Sree, Ojha

Now, you see England have two batsmen who fancy showing their middle and leg stump. KP and Trott. If they continue to do that, then they should be Bunny of this guy, Ojha. Left armer who can pitch out side of leg and still trouble both of them. Also, for left handers if Ojha manages to rip the ball harder, he can get lots of LBWs against left handers, Strauss, Cook, Broad, Jimmy … 

Strategy Side number 4 

GG, VS, RSD, SRT, VVS, MSD, Mishra, PK, Ishant, Sree, Munna

GG, VS, RSD, SRT, VVS, MSD, Mishra, PK, Ishant, Sree, Ojha

Now these two are fantasies. But you know what, it is possible. MSD can call for this, and get lots of stick but IF even 3 out of 5 can pull of then England can lose both tests in 4 days. It’s totally possible. All they need to do is burst in. Rush in. Attack with all guns fully loaded. If Raina will have trouble scoring runs, why not have a bowler who can bat a bit, and take wickets (less runs) and score as much as Raina. This shouldn’t be called as a bad call. Imagine the addition of another bowler Munna or Ojha, they will take wickets and less runs as well. 

You MUST back your team. You MUST trust in team. Any strategical team from above I mentioned will test England depth. Heck, they DID test their depth even with 3-4 regular guys down. 

Yes, England played good, but they didn’t played the best. They had to bat twice in both tests. Then, how can you act like ‘OMG this is big setback for team’ ‘What’s now?’ 

Please stop. England is very good side in their backyard so is India. 

Must Believe in ‘Bhramastras’ 

India can turn it around and it can happen. Don’t be surprised if they do. This is very resilient side. 

Watch out England … here comes the India. 

Watch your back. 

MSD needs to start enjoying test batting

31 Jul

Believe it or not MSD debuted in test cricket only in 2005.

Here is another shocker, started his captaincy against NZ only from 2009. He has captained side only for 14 tests. To be honest, he is still very new test captain in my opinion. New test captain, but fair to say veteran captain overall.

Why veteran captain overall? Well, he has won first T20 WC, 2 times IPL winner, champions trophy T20 winner for CSK, and an ODI WC.

That’s  4-5 different types of team, but lead them to victory. Logically, he had filled his cup board with all important trophies for shorter format. If he retires now and after 20 years, people will still remember him as one of the successful captain.

However, he holds very vital role as a test captain at the moment. He hasn’t lost a test series as a captain yet. This is his only 6th series and possibly one of the hardest tour of his career as a captain.

Now, the thing about him as a batsman is … he can easily get ignored at that position. Number 7 is very weird place to bat at in test cricket. People will remember you for your failures more than your success at that position. Another two wicket-keepers come to mind, who have batted under batting line up like India, are Mark Boucher and Adam Gilchrist.

Both batted under lengthy experienced batting line up in their career. There are many reasons that you can’t expect MSD to do what those two have done. Main one is Gilly has played 96 tests. Boucher has played 139 tests. And MSD? only 59 and as a captain 14.

There is huge difference in responsibilities as well. When you compare players and look at who is better, you don’t go by one test to another. You look at whole career span. Consistency. Match situations. Opponents etc.

Look at who MSD is batting under, normally, under Sehwag, Gambhir, RSD, SRT, VVS, a newbie trying to prove as a batsman, and then him. I mean even if you want to bat under them, you rather feel like watching them bat instead. How will you get a credit batting under them? How will you put yourself above them or at least getting close to that class? I mean logically, even if 3 out of 6 promise to bat good and lengthy, game is set. But, test cricket doesn’t work that way, does it? There will be collapse. There will be opportunity, there will be exposure out of no where at any given moment! But my main question is how will you find enjoyment in batting at that position?

And that position is like a barrier between established batsman and tail. Imagine how dynamic that is. Sometimes you will be protected .. and sometimes you have to protect the tail. Sometimes you have to rush for the runs to give target quickly, and sometimes you have to bat out overs with tail to save the test match. It is harder place to bat at than we think, especially, when you are in good test team. Pressure is always there. Something will be always happening in that position. Someone is always at you. Situation will always demand something from you.

So, despite all the pressure and responsibilities, and saying all that, I think MSD somehow needs to start believing like a test batsman. He needs to start enjoying batting in test. I am not saying he is not right now. He needs to start showing strong intent. Start teasing bowlers, up his wicket’s price, improve his technique, if he has to, plan which bowler to attack in initial inning, which to see off, shoulder arms 50 deliveries, if he has to. Grind your inning. Protect tail. Must start to enjoy those things.

I know it’s not easy, as match situation might not allow him to do certain things or lack of exposure against decent bowling attack force him to play his natural attacking game.

I strongly think he needs to start believing that he is very good test batsman. I know he is not. Not experienced enough. But, start believing, start acting that he is. He must start believing that he is as good as RSD, SRT, and VVS.

It may sound weird, but what happens when you start believing that you are as good as mammoths, that will make you to price your wicket. Your mind will force you to stop chasing those juicy good length deliveries in your early innings. If there is a bouncer, you will want to duck when you just step in the middle.

Well of course, you can’t avoid beauties, and will get out with very good deliveries. But, at least you won’t play shocker of a shot, and then walk back to pavilion telling yourself, ‘Meh, they still have to take another 10 wickets’. No. That has to stop. There is nothing wrong with shoulder arming even filth that is bowled at you. Why? because naturally, you are very strong backhand player. It takes you a fraction late to touch a ball. So, must let your eye adjust with pace and bounce. That will compensate for fraction late bottom hand movement.

I mean he, himself, has played some powerful knocks in ODIs, recent being WC final 2011. He has allowed himself to get in the rhythm of aerodynamics then start solving problems. Somehow, I think he hasn’t forced himself consistently like this at test level. Yes, he is new, he is even newer as a captain + batsman + wicketkeeper, but being at 7 he has to step up his enjoyment level.

He must look to bat for longer time. Must use his whatever time he gets. Change your batting style if you have to. It’s not that he doesn’t have skill, he has to respect those skill, needs to evolve technique. I know it’s bit harsh to expect you to become good test batsman and asking you to improve batting at 7. But you must. Team requires you to. And more importantly, when team will go under transition, people will expect from you to take responsibility as a batsman. They aren’t blaming RSD, VVS or SRT, whenever they fail, they will look at your stats. After they are gone, they won’t blame new comers either, they will again blame you to take charge, since you would have played 80 odd tests, by then.

It will be very late at that time. So, time has come to lift your game. Time has come to start enjoying test batting. Especially, if you want to retire as a successful test captain.

I know you can, that’s why I am asking.

England was good but also very lucky

25 Jul

1) India started with Viru-less side.

2) 13.3 Zak was out of the match, the same Zak, who can dominate England in England, the best flat pitch bowler at the moment. 

3) KP survives PK’s spell. If you watch highlight and count how many times KP ‘just’ misses out edges, you will forget SRT’s scratchy 2nd inning for a while. 

4) KP was dropped at 67.2, he was at 49. He ended up scoring 202* match winning knock. 

5) Trott was also dropped when he was at 17 and 32. 

6) In 2nd inning, Ishant produced magic spell, Enter Prior, faced only 3 balls from Ishant before going to Lunch. This, I think, was the turning point point of match. Ishant is kind of bowler, who starts landing ball perfectly, you don’t want to break his rhythm. His whole career is like this. Believe it or not, this has been the case with Zaheer Khan as well. Once they are in the ‘Zone’, they have to bowl for decent amount of time. This is the beauty of the test match. Mind set, Trapping tactics, Timing, environment have to be just right to produce magic match winning spell. Once that is lost or batsman survives that, it can cost a game. And that is what happened. Despite no Zak, Ishant DID produce match winning spell, but unfortunately, it was just half way. 

7) Gambhir not opening, SRT couldn’t come on due to Viral infection. Speaking of viral infection. It’s the worst thing to have, being sportsman. Your body aches really bad. It is basically your normal Flu. I am sure you must have experienced that at some point in your life. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting any runs from SRT. 

8) Broad LBW was denied, by Asad Rauf in 2nd inning, only a bad call by him, but vital one. 

So, basically, despite a main strike bowler down, this test match had enough elements, which kept it alive till last day. Now, you must be thinking, I am making excuses and it is unfair for England players. No, don’t think that way. I don’t want to take away any credit from brilliant resilient performance by KP and Prior with the bat and one of the best bowling spell by Stuart Broad, even after under so much pressure he was in. But, let’s not forget, England bowlers in England are very good as expected. 

Taking out Zaheer from team is like taking Jimmy from England (who took 7 wickets, highest, tied with Broad in this match) or like taking out Steyn from SA in England. 

1) The way PK was bowling under overcast condition and imagine Zak bowling with him (he almost got Trott’s wicket, remember?) 

2) The way Ishant bowled amazing spell in 2nd inning and now imagine Zak bowling with him, with same intensity. 

Ishant is not a swing bowler, he is a seamer. So he has to get both ‘just’ right: line and length. So, he has to stay in rhythm. 

PK is a swing bowler, so it’s all about getting proper length right and expect it will swing ‘just’ right from there acc. to speed/condition.

Zak can do both. He can seam and swing and little bit of both together. Imagine losing bowler like this at ‘right’ time. 

Bhaj. DID provide much needed breakthrough taking out Strauss (left handed) but if you have seen how England has used Tremlett, Andersen and Broad, they kind of complemented each other. Helped each other. e.g – CT troubled SRT a lot in 1st inning, but Broad was rewarded wicket, playing full out swinging bowl, in attempt of breaking shackle. England didn’t use Swann to put pressure on India, though he bowled well. It looked like they had to bowl him for speeding up overrates. 

Whole plan was messed up as soon as Zak was gone. How much can you expect from tired PK and Ishant? 

So, what is the conclusion? 

If I was England’s thinking tank, I would be worried about imminent threat of collapsing at any moment of the match. India will come back hard, not with just bowling, assuming Zak/Sree will play, but more importantly with batting. 

India was on back foot before stepping on the ground for 2000th test, having no Viru, but they went even few step further losing Zak bowling just 13.3 overs. 

With only 2 pace bowlers + Spinner on flat track for these many overs and still India manages to create ‘chance’ for wining test at some point should be England’s worry. 

Watch out England, India will most likely make a come back.

Watch your back, don’t close your eyes, it’s far from being over! 

P.S. : It was really good test match, very entertaining. 

The Lords Of Cricket – The Tin Towers

24 Jul

You must have seen The Lords of  the Rings – The Twin Towers 

You also must have seen, The Lords of Cricket, The Tin(Three) Towers

My Bowlers Don’t Get Credit and I don’t like it

20 Jul

Yeh, that’s right … This is Angry Post … so if you are batsman or masturbater-kind over glorious cover drives … FO. 

All Of you … Every single Indian of You … cricket lover of you are guilty of this sin … those who said India produces Great batsmen only. 

FUCK YOU.

“Ooohh wow Great WI bowlers … legends. Oooh Great Pakistani Duo. Ooooh Oooh Murali. OOoo Australian Bowlers …. Ooooh Dale Styen. Oooohh English bowlers in English Condition”. 

 

Shut Up. 

Who the fuck … who the fucking fuck has been taking 20 wickets from 2000-2011. My Dady? No! Your Daddy? No. Then, Shut up your mouth … you have cavity. 

India has played 42 test series 23 WON 10 Draw series = 33 = not lost. 33 out of 42 test series NOT LOST. 

Did your batsman come down from hell and took 20 freaken wickets???? NO.

My Bowlers Did. Yes .. Those Skinny Bastards. Those Skinny Bastards also .. had to bat and bared taunting from commentators the way they bat … the shady techniques they have … laughed at while they took a rapid signals to get off the strike after bowling under ugly sun. (I hope Sun doesn’t read this)

How many times your ‘batsmen’ … your 3 Gods + Your Dasher … Bowl and helped taking 20 wickets? Once … thrice .. I will give you 5 tests. Then … who took those wickets? My Daddy? Your Daddy? NO .. You? NO … My Skinny Bastards. 

Let say you have full respect for Kumble. I agree. But what after him? Did we crash like Aus did Post-Warne? Did we ..? No right! 

Were there only Mammoth BATTERS responsible for those wins? 

You rated them recently … Gave them least score … gave Australia FULL mark. Then, Worshiped Dale Styen. Masturbate over English bowlers in English Condition .. but WTF happened in WC. 

Oh WOW the WORST rated bowling team WON the world CUP. Didn’t they? 

You You You … Pseudo supporter of Indian bowlers. You haven’t done great in giving credit to my bowlers too. One say Zak is God, rest are meh! Really?, Zak had done great against Aus and Bangla in last 3-4 years. What about other series? What have you done?

You said ‘Oh Oh Ishant is inconsistent, IPL has ruined him, Oh oh Bhajji should have been dropped, He is SO bad that he is dragging our team down, oh oh Plaha sucks, Oh Oh Sree .. ‘he is Lunatic’ ‘Overrated bowler’ He is more of an actor than performer, Ojha oh we don’t respect left arm spinner, they ‘AREN’T’ actually real spinner, Munaf!? ‘He has become spinner’  … 

Are you getting it what I am trying to say?

Put one hand on your heart, look at the pitches my bowlers bowled at …  look at the scorecard for last 5 years. I say, look at the score card for even whole decade. And tell me, are you doing enough justice to my bowlers. 

Are my bowlers (plant) lost among three giant batsmen (trees)? Has proper sun-light reached them? Shouldn’t they be praised more in Media, because they are the one who took 20 wickets, no?  for 32 NO LOSS test series? 

What is more easy … playing 200+ dot balls and be MOM or bowling 1oo deliveries running hard … jumping hard .. and still occasionally been asked to play ‘Night Watchman’ to shield your batsman? Just tell me now, what is easier? 

My Bowlers are Work Horses. They are like factories, who never say no, till their system failure due to overload. They are Stallions. Your Batsman are Just Bull Dogs. 

And I like my Stallions as much as I like my Bull Dogs. And you should too. 

– By Angry Knowledge_Eater’s Bowler’ Mind.

 

 

Podcast: India Vs England Preview

12 Jul

I am sorry for sounding boring, as I was lying (not laying) down while recording, I didn’t mean too 😦  

P.S. : When I say ‘dominating’ (I said it like Zillion times), what I meant was ‘attacking’.  

MSD’s dream run continues

11 Jul

Is this the outrage post on ‘no result’ of final test between India vs WI at Dominica? 

No. 

Why? Because this is the blog not a twitter page. 

Also, it’s been more than 24 hours. So, epinephrine is not firing at the same velocity. 

I support my team. I am fan. I am blind.

So, let’s really look at what was the team that went to WI. 

I thought, ‘theoretically’, there was only one player out of 12 or 13, who was 100% ready to roll in WI. (Ready to roll = expected to pwn WI) 

One should understand that this was not a normal XI.

Mukund: (Newbie, trying to make a name) Vijay: (still a newbie, trying even extra hard to make an impact)

Dravid (Out of form)

Raina (was under severe pressure coming off from bad ODI series and bad SA tour),

Kohli: (Newbie was under pressure too)

MSD: (he still never had enough batting opportunities or batting experience on ‘pitch’ like this, also, having to bat below the Mammoths)

Bhaji: (bonus, not a batsman, lost ‘that’ bowling zip)

Ishant: (who was literally main bowler for the first time in his career, was under pressure too)

PK: (Newbie, had to make impact too) Munaf: (was injured in first two tests, had to come and bowl on slightly spinning track)

Mishra: (who was under pressure after getting picked over Ojha) Mithun: (overlooked in SA, had to make massive impact, again, same story)

So, basically only player who was inform, experienced and ready to roll or expected to do well was Laxman. He was the one, who scored decent runs, in last two tests. If not for the rain, would have been India 3-0.  Guaranteed. 

Did India do better than expected? Actually, they did. They really did well. Why? because WI fought really hard, surprisingly, even without Chris Gayle, which is still kind of sad. 

Castro. Kirk. Bishoo. Chander. Bravo. Samuels. Baugh. Barath. Ravi. did massively well. Sammy lead them well. (again) 

I tell you on this pitch, if you add Chris Gayle and if WI invites other teams, any other teams, and their FULL side. This side will give you very good fight. (Keamar Roach was missing in Barbados, Ahem, where is Benn?) 

Note: ‘same’ Pitch.

Was I entertained? Absolutely, yes. 

The most entertaining test team at the moment. Undisputed. 

Thank you for reading,

Bye. 

P.S. : read the title again. 

Bye again. 

BCCI arm twisted ICC for associates

28 Jun

BCCI are in the power at the moment. They have deliberately arm-twisted rest of the Boards by showing their power and FORCED inclusion of Associate teams.

It has been learned that they bring lots of hits for blogoshere, sports sites, and daily columns, which keeps Cricket Floating. So, they have used their power to change ICC’s decision to include minnows for upcoming WC.

Poor Countries like Australia and New Zealand  have opposed this decision and didn’t want their tournament to get any dead matches. They insisted that they can barely tolerate how Bangladesh  and West Indies are playing their cricket then how can they allow even more minnows! It would cost them a lot.

However, It was again that powerful force .. evil force you can call it. BCCI. India. They are the one raised their big legs and crushed helpless countries like Australia and New Zealand, the host country of next world cup.

What were ICC doing at that time? Nothing. Or wait. As Kamran Abbassi told us that ICC = BCCI. So, I take that as God’s words and I am sure BCCI … ooops .. sorry ICC or BCCI have arm twisted other poor nations and forced them to play dead, boring, and one-sided matches against minnows.

So, I request all of you. To Create fake accounts with names like.

1) BCCI_Killing_Cricket

2) No_Veto_F0r_BCCI

3) BCCI_Are_BULLIes

4) Anti_BCCI

5) EVil_BCCI

6) InDia_Cant_Play_short_ball_BCCI

and then show your support against this decision for allowing super-minnows, who will destroy the image of Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket in next WC. Go to the Blogs and @ESPNcricket comment pages and spam them that it was the evil India behind this disgusting act. Go and tell them they have destroyed cricket by allowing Super-Minnows in the next WC.

Cricket died today because of BCCI. 

Cricket, Me, and Tardness

24 Jun

It was fun growing up in 90’s. Watching Cricket in 90’s was even better.

But playing cricket, but not just watching, was the best.

For me, there was no such a thing as DravidTards, SachinTards, AustralianTeamTards, KumbleTards, WarneTards etc. etc. I liked all of them. I liked the whole team. I was fan of Nayan Mongia, Ajay Jadeja, even Vijay Bharadwaj, Kambli, Prasad, Srinath, you name it .. everyone. I wasn’t even old enough to evaluate or understand, who was skillful in the team and who was wrongly picked. Nothing sort of thing. I just wanted team to win.

I never had lust of having their autographs or never bought their wall-portraits and fantasied like many teenagers do. I didn’t even ask that I want Sachin’s picture notebook or Rahul’s. Or neither I cared to find out what state is that player from!

Whenever my team won, I got happy. Whenever they didn’t, I felt sad.

It was THAT simple.

As we touched 2000, I grew up. (very cool right 🙂 ) I got wiser. Started to understand even further about the game. 2003 WC came. India played many ODI’s. I didn’t get to see whole 2001 epic Kolkata win against Australia. We had temporary BW TV, as we were shifting to new house. I didn’t even get to watch much of test cricket as my school time was 9-5. I come home, if there is any day-night ODIs, I watch them, IF I had done my homework. There was no such a thing as internet. Forget the highlight, not even score card. Was I even keen enough to check every single scorecard in newspaper, as I am right now? No. Only when India won. I would barely even look at it, if India would have lost.

Then, What was I keen to do at that time, related to cricket? Play cricket. Play real cricket. I used to get at least an hour everyday to play gully cricket. Not only cricket, I played all kinds of games. Marbles, hide and seek, Kabbadi, and there are zillion other games which doesn’t have English name. And of course, if you have read my earlier post, I did Judo as well, in depth.

So, what do I want to say? What is my point in all this?

My point is that I never actually had specification or THAT teen-age sportsman love or that eagerness or that bias feelings like I would be happier if certain individuals have scored runs I would be happier that certain others in the team scored. I mean I felt same happiness. Even right now, I would be happier if certain individuals score run without a doubt, but I always had that kind of feeling that let it had to be Indian batsmen or bowlers.  Let it be from the team I supported from childhood. I never had or even today, I never had ill feelings if one player from the team should score more than others.

There was no that crazy ‘Tardness’ developed in my brain, it has lot to do with my age, very limited media exposure, I had no access or interest in Ranji. Nothing.

It was simple. Team won. Tendulkar scored runs, Kumble took wickets, Jadeja played cameo, Azhar caught splendid catch.

It got even simpler around late 90’s and mid 2000’s. Dravid scored, Ganguli scored, Sachin Scored. They all scored. Tons of runs. Mammoth partnerships. Team won. Yay.

And then enter: Access to internet

Statsguru, Forums, Blogs, Videos, More stats, Ranji trophy numbers, which player come from what state, who are Sachins Dravids Gangulys Kumbles competitors in terms of wickets runs … etc. etc.

It just got messy. You start to wonder, ‘Can player actually do that?’ ‘Is this player better than others?’ ‘Is he really the special one in the team?’

Then you tend to follow game very closely, you tend to compete players within team. You tend to question importance of the players within one single team more than you compare your team player than others.

The Tardness was born.

Has tardness ever entered my soul? Has tardness ever polluted my mind? Has tardness ever made me to hate players within a team?

It wasn’t easy. In rise of Internets, access to scorecards, stats, reading articles, reading zillion hate comments, it wasn’t easy. It just wasn’t easy to pick side. It wasn’t easy to adore just one … just one player from team so badly that you can strip any other player with vicious arguments, backing up with specific knocks or specific bowling attacks or specific situations.

The answer is no.

How can it be? I played cricket more than I watched. I never had access to internet, when my consciousness was strengthening. I didn’t even care about what player is from what state. I just supported team. I still support team.

That’s why I have never let Tardness enter my brain. Yes, I might like watching certain players more than others, but Tardness is different. It’s like teen-age love. It’s an obsession for player, that I have never developed in my brain. I never grew up that way. I was very sane by the time, I had access to internet.

I mimicked Dravid’s batting style personally, loved watching Sachin, thrilled when Ganguly stepped out of the crease to hit 6, said ‘YES’ loudly when Kumble’s googly came at > 90 km/hr crashed into stump, widen my hand in air (afridi-style) when Prasad knocked of Amir Sohail’s off stump etc. etc. The list goes on.

I might have Tardness for team. I am not sure if I have ever insulted or question players within team. I might have defended my players. All my team players, all the time. Hack! I even adored Robin Singh.

But right now, with technology, statsguru, videos, score cards, IPL, Ranji, all things available, growing up without having tardness is almost impossible.

If you were born in 70’s and 80’s, and were aged >6-7 entering 90’s, I am sure it was just easier to avoid tardness, unless you had access or immense interest in Ranji and team selection.

And I am glad that I was never involved or never perceived my team or team players that way. It was just easier supporting whole team, though my team was losing quite often. 😛