Mar 272016
 

Oct 142010
 

A double hundred and the record of being the only person to cross 14000 runs in the longer version of the game, during the first innings. An elegant fifty ensuring that India demolishes the Aussies, in the second inning. A record of 49 centuries in test, and that of 46 centuries in the one day game. Being the only person in this world to score the 200 runs in a single game and a total of more than 17000 runs in his one day career. An impressive performance in the shortest version of the game, a game which is customised for youngsters. Commanding a high respect from the greatest batsmen and bowlers of our era. And many more achievements. All this speak the greatness of the man, rightly called as “The Little Master”. Still it took more than 20 years for people to recognize him as the biggest contributor to the game. The very rare, emotional roar, by Sachin, moments after winning the Bangalore test was the most fitting reply to all the critics who think that he is not a match winner.

Cricket, as people call the game in which 11 people try to find the ball hit by one man, is a team game. A team game is any game that requires the efforts of the entire team to get the best results. A weak link or a two in the team can be a liability for it. In a relay race, a slow runner can ruin the chances of the three fastest runners in the world. But we will never say that the three runners do not have the winning ability. In a soccer game, a weak defender may effect many goals, and we blame the weak person not the best player(if he has not messed up). An out of sync member in the boat race, will slow down the entire team. Whom do we blame here?

But when Sachin single handedly scores half of the target, and rest of the 10 players manage to total less than half of his score, effecting a loss, Sachin is to be blamed. How fair is that? Is it the case that he alone is paid to concentrate on field, whereas others do it for charity? When a ball is bowled, and passes the batsman, its easier for the commentators to assert that the batsman should have driven it for four, or swept it. Because he sits in his air conditioned room, with all the time in the world to analyze the situation from multiple cameras. The batsman has a fraction of a second to decide where to hit the ball. No hawk eye, no replay, no slo-mos…Just play the ball. In the face of such adversities, Sachin has managed to amass so many records. His records shouldn’t be considered as a sign of his selfishness(which they are not), but as a gauge of how much he has contributed towards Indian cricket.

Rest all depends on the team. If it was for him to win the match alone, he would have to bat in place of the other ten batsmen. Then it would be justified to blame him entirely for the loss.

A match winner is not the one who stays till the end, to hit the winning run. A match winner is the one who paves the path for his team to win the match. Its rests upon the team to do their bit.

Remember the golden word before blaming Sachin. Team !!

Jun 052010
 

Woke up this morning to read the news flashed by the (good/bad)times of India that the NCP chief Sharad Pawar had been distanced by friends and foes alike. Though he has negated his involvement in the IPL bid, the reports by the times of India claiming his involvement in the bid, through a company owned by him, is damaging enough for him to be left alone.

But will the veteran politican be bowled out by this delivery? It’s for time to tell. For me, I believe that this person is capable of coming clean out of every situation. If politics is a board of chess, Sharad Pawar is not the queen on it. He is the person who handles the queen, king, rook, knight, bishop and pawn. And he has managed to win by his moves, each time.

So, even if the media, who will stop pursuing this case in short time, has managed to enforce a check in this game, lets find who the checkmate will be.

Jun 042010
 

Events after events are going by in the world of sports. We had that controversy filled IPL, then the T20 world cup. The Roland Garros is on at the moment. And up next is the much awaited FIFA 2010. The enthusiasm around the world is highest during the soccer world cup. Every one is getting busy preparing for the event at this moment. But long before the even will start, the books are open around the world and bets are being accepted. Few people play by heart and bid on their hot favourite, and others play by mind to maximise the chances of winning.

I would be glad to bet on someone for the first time in my life. But I am in India, where gambling is illegal, except on horse racing, at few casinos and the online lotteries run by few states. The only bet I am allowed to take is by travelling in a suburban train compartment, and I have managed to come out alive till now.

Anyway, why is it not legallised in India? I do not understand the logic behind it, if the government is unable to curb all the illegal betting that goes on during the sporting events. I was recently told that the bets are accepted even on the propability of the rains in India, illegally. Stock market, which many consider as a gamble is legal in India. But betting on sporting events isn’t.

India has an estimated $60 billion turnover per year through betting channels. This proves how inefficient our governance is in curbing it. So why not legalise it. First of all the government would surely do well with additional revenue that will be generated through legal betting. Secondly the bookies will be under government scanner, reducing the chances of matches being fixed. Black money will have restricted access into circulation. Of course, illegal betting will still flourish as the bookies have lots of tricks(and powerful men) under their sleeves, but the common man will prefer legal channels, reducing the load on them. Lots of new jobs will be created for the man at the betting hubs and kiosks( and I do not intend sarcasm in that statement).

So if the government of India legalises betting, they manage to reduce the fiscal deficit, they curb illegal practices in sporting events, they create employment, they put some bottle neck to the flow of blackmoney.

And Nilesh Gonsalves here gets to bet on one of his favourite FIFA worldcup teams.

Mar 112010
 

Its a week of new starts in the world of sports. And the population on this planet is ready to rejoice.

The first event that starts tomorrow is the IPL or the Indian Premier League, the shortest version of  cricket so far. I am not at all a huge fan of this form of the game. I prefer the longest version of the game, the test cricket. I feel that a five day game gives enough time for a team to prove their strength. Of course, I am not the one to buy a ticket and watch the game at the stadium for five whole days(who has that much time these days?), but I do follow the progress of the game through media, when two strong teams are playing each other. I feel the 20 over version is sort of a hit or miss affair, with the luckiest team ending up as champions. People get fascinated by this series due to the amount of entertainment provided in the shortest possible time. And hats off to the organisers, who have come up with such a brilliant idea for generating higher revenues to the players involved, and have managed to make this affair a grand success.

The second sport that starts this weekend, is the one which fascinated me much more. The Formula 1 Circus is back, and along with it has come back Micheal Schumacher the seven times world champion of this sport. Also I am happy for the new face from my country, Karan Chandhok, and an upgraded version of the car from my favourite team, Force India.

Nothing creates more buzz than the return of Schumi after two years out of the sport. This has offset the drop in enthusiasm about formula 1, due to many different rules introduced. One of them being the ban on midrace refuelling. This has taken away most of the excitement, that was generated due to strategic fuel loads in the car. Now there won’t be any strategies for pitstops. All cars will be loaded to maximum, and will go round and round till tires wear out, forcing a change, which normally happens almost around the same time for cars with similar tyre compound. Overtaking during pit stops will be minimal, and will lead to the pole position driver winning quite frequently. Where’s the excitement in that?

Karan Chandhok is signed up as a driver for the team HRT(Hispania Racing F1 Team). Its a good opportunity for the youngster, who has been aspiring this position since long back, and have put in lots of efforts towards this. Though we do not have any over expectations from him, since its the debut of him and his team, we do expect him to prove his worth and consistency.

And before I end, its good to see that Force India has begun its season with good performance at the test drive. They had put up a very notewrothy performance last year, being in points with a podium finish. I will put down my money on this team to be up amongst the middle order(or may be among the top, who knows!!).

Feb 242010
 

And he has done it again!! Scaling one more peak in his remarkable career, which no other batsmen had ever scaled in history, Sachin Tendulkar, the Master Blaster, broke records after records to set a new record of over 200 hundred runs in a one day international game. Those who have not seen the inning, have missed quite a lot of cricket. Achiving this feat, is quite a big task in this format of game, as the time is limited. Many a batsmen have come close to it, but in the end they ran out of time, or their energies. But Tendulkar, who was on the pitch from the start of the innings till the end, looked fresh as ever. And that too at the age of above 35. He has managed to keep himself as one of the fittest player in the Indian contingent. He has never been in news for missing a practice session for absurd reason, or never found to be placing personal achivements ahead of the needs of the team. May be thats the reason why it took him so long to achive this target.

But he has reached there. And he will stay there for quite some time. Many a times, comparisons are made with the Australian player Ricky Ponting, where he is labelled as another successor to Tendulkar. But I don’t think the next Sachin is in the game yet. People trying to compare other batsmen to be of Tendulkar’s calibre, is itself an indication of his greatness. Previously it used to be a comparison of players with Sir Donald Bradman. But now its with Tendulkar, which speaks of the heights Tendulkar has reached.

At this rate, and by his form, it seems, he will be in th game for quite a long time from now. And we want it too.

Go ahead Tendulkar!! We love it when you are in full flow.

Dec 132009
 

Though I am not a huge cricket fan, I manage to sit through the entire ordeal sometimes. Such was the day yesterday. I watched the match till India won, and rejoiced!!

No now I wake up in the morning, and on the front page of the times of India, it proclaims that the birthday boy was instrumental in the victory. And it amuses me. Whats so special about birthdays, that sportsmen manage to shine on these days? Of course, its a very happy day for that person, but is it the only day that theparticular sportsman can perform. I have always noticed the same thing with tendulker. A game coincides with his birthday, and he scores!!

Brilliant plan follows. As you all know, analysts and coaches for this game have struggled hard to find people who could make a winning combination. Left-right handed combinations, all rounders, hard hitters, fast bowlers(by fast I the word exclusively represents speed, not line, length or some brain behind the delivery), sloggers have all been tried out. You know what…they are blind to the fact. India has a huge population of cricket aspirents, and I am sure that the birthday calander would take up the entire 365 days of the years if noted for all these people. So, induct them all in the team, and combine the people with birthdays on the day of the game. And then we will have the most successful combination, and the no. 1 team for life.

Please note though, this can be successful in one day and the more shorter version of the game. For test cricket( for which I still keep high regards), It would be a faliure, since you cant have a birthday on all the five days, and the shine is limited to only one day for that person. Also no offense meant towards tendulker, sehwag, dravid etc, who have managed to shine few more times.

Nov 052009
 

17000…finally!! And there is no sarcasm in my tone, rather a very deep respect for the man.

Though there is not much significance to this figure except the hype created by media, each and every bit of it has been thrilling.

Alone, he has held many a war posts in his career. Alone, he has steered his country near to victory. Yet people say that he has never helped gain victory. All his valor out on ground has been lost to a pathetic display by his mates.

Though I have stopped watching cricket long back, Sachin Tendulkar manages to amaze me with his game. The only reason I might stay glued to a cricket match is Tendulkar being on the Pitch.

It will take a lot of time for him to pass his age and for India to replace him.

Keep Going Sachin!!

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