Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thank You and Good Bye

So, we have reached the 365th day of the year 2011. 
A year full of Happy memories and Sad memories. I have seen events which made me Delighted and Excited and there were events which made me Shattered and Heart broken!!
2011 was the year of change and it did change my perception towards the life, I realized "Jeta chhilo na chhilo na seta na Paoai thak, sob pele noshto jibon". It helped me grow and find happiness from certain aspects of life which I did not try out seriously earlier.
As usual this year was a year of great Friends and awesome friendships!! Made lots of new friends, some of them are now very close to my heart, lost touch with some old ones and obviously there are some eternal ones to fall back on when you need them.
In Summary, 2011 might have more bad memories than good but being that eternal optimist let me call this as a 'Mixed Year'!!
Bring it On, 2012!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Missed Chance

You go to a foreign country. In the first test you face a difficult bouncy pitch and overcast conditions.  And you guys fail. Collective batting failure in both the innings and you lose by a huge margin.
I will accept that. I will take that loss. Obviously it's difficult to go to new country and play your best immediately. 'Fine' I will tell myself, "This guys will play better in the next test."
But what you did today? I mean seriously. You guys were in control. very much in control. Still you let it go. Yeah, I am not upset with Ponting and Hussey's partnership yesterday. Those are great players and they would fight till their last innings, but James Pattinson! How come?? This kid with 3 test matches in his bag scored 37!! How??? Low intensity? Just waiting for things to happen? Taking things easy??
You made me upset. Gautam gambhir, VVS Laxman, Virat Kohli, I love you  guys. I am so proud of you. Gautam, my 'T-20 Don', VVS who made me write 'Why fight for Ram when we have Laxman' as my Facebook status message after last year's Mohali test and Virat, the best of his generation, or is he?
333 and 240 are not big scores. At least the pitch was not so bad that, I would expect Australia to score less than that. Yes, still we could be more attacking. Some more close-in fielders to Aussie 9-10-11 was required. But that's part of the strategy. Overall bowling looked good. Zak looked awesome, Umesh looked threatening, Ashwin looked working on a plan in the first innings.
But batting? Still problem continues. SRT and RD looked solid till they bat and then suddenly got out to good balls. Sehwag, I will not make any comment, he is like that only.
I am not watching the match any more so don't know how MSD is batting.
The most disturbing part is, what can we change in the next match? Yes we can bring Rohit Sharma in place of Virat. What else? Any other change in the team? I can't see any.
Strategy wise, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, please be attacking. Please talk to Sourav Ganguly. Please use couple of players in both side for bat-pad catches while Ashwin is bowling. put more pressure. Trust me, this Aussie team is vulnerable. There are lots of self-doubt in their batting line up, exploit that. Attack that.

I know I should not do this, I should not write this piece till the 10th wicket is down. I should have faith on MSD, Zak, Isshannt (that's the new spelling of his name which he changed after consulting a numerologist) and Umesh to fight hard, keep grinding and bat as long as they can.

But this is not a match report. Even if India win or draw this match with any divine invention (they call Melbourne, the city of four-seasons a day, how much I would like Melbourne to have a monsoon, starting in next half an hour and continuing for next forty-eight hours) that would not change the fact that you guys have missed a chance. A great chance to stamp your authority and run away with this series.

All the best for remaining matches. Just remember, cricket is just like life. Life rarely gives us a second chance, I hope cricket will give you another chance in the new year test.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ravindra Jayanti

         Till 2007, the name ‘Jadeja’ in India would identify with a man with true all round ability, a prince, who debuted during a world cup match in Australia, who went berserk on Waqar Younis in the next world cup quarter final in one of the most anticipated sporting encounter of that decade, who was one of the greatest ODI finisher for India in late 90s, who is holder of a bowling world record, who also flirted with a young Bipasa Basu in a Close up ad and starred against Celina Jaitley in ‘Khel’ after his cricketing career was over due to his alleged involvement in match fixing during early 2000.
         It changed somewhat post 2008. I still remember, I was in my office and going through cricinfo pages in a lazy evening when I came to know the just announced Indian team for the U-19 cricket world cup in Malaysia. And it was kind of fun to find a team with super ambitious names like Napoleon Einstein, a Bengali wicketkeeper in Sreevats Goswami, a MS Dhoni look-alike in Saurabh Tiwari and a captain called Virat. Among all these I could have missed Ravindra Jadeja, but then I suddenly noticed his birth date and became an instant fan! 6th December, 1988! The year was not important but here’s this guy who is playing for India, even if U-19, whom if I wish ‘Happy Birthday’ then he should reply back with ‘Thanks and same to you!
          So, I obviously decided to follow this guys performance in the tournament and he was kind of star. With his slow left arm spin he did bamboozle a lot of those English, kiwi and South African kids and was quite tight with his economy rate.
          India won the tournament and with the first season of Indian Premier League around Jadeja was picked by Rajasthan Royals. And for rest of the season the story was quite magnificent. RR won the IPL; Jadeja was recognized by the Great Shane Warne as one of the most notable young talents in India and he became a star which followed up with a great Ranji season with 739 runs and 42 wickets.
           He was picked to play for India and scored a gutsy 60 in losing cause in his first game. All was good. He was fighting for the all rounder spot with Yousuf Pathan and did come on the top for the battle of the number 7 position till 2009.
          Then the path towards downhill started for him. He was mediocre in 2009 IPL, still picked for world 20-20 in England, where he had a very poor match against England. Chasing 153, India was lost by 3 runs and Jadeja, coming at number 4, ahead of Yuvraj and Dhoni, scored a scratchy 25 of 35 balls. His technique against moving ball was questioned. Poor form continued. His ability to tackle the pressure situation was questioned once again when he was run out 3 balls after Sachin’s dismissal of 175 in india’s epic chase of 350 which they end up being 3 runs short again.
          Big blow came before IPL 3, when he was suspended by Rajasthan Royals for trying to make unauthorized deals with other teams, a big disappointment for a youngster like him and it also shows that success was going in his heads. He sat home during the entire length of the IPL but promptly selected by Indian team for 2010 world 20-20, to be held in West Indies.
          The poorest display came in the match against Australia. 12 balls in his two overs went for 0,1,0,6,6,6  6,6,6,0,0,1. 38 runs in 2 overs and then he was again run out for 4. It was the final nail in the coffin and most of the Indian cricket fans wanted his head.
          He still got selected for the tour of Zimbabwe, Asia cup and tri series in Sri lanka and after his moderate success was dropped. A victorious world cup campaign came and gone with no Ravindra Jadeja in it and lots of pundits in Orkut and Facebook were glad to see that team management’s obsession with Ravindra Jadeja is gone.
         After a decent IPL-4 with the new team Kochi Tuskers Kerala and a not so noteworthy Ranji season Jadeja was picked for the Indian ODI team in their disastrous England tour in 2011.
His comeback match was once again a close loss for India, but unlike earlier times Jadeja was the only saving grace for the away team. After 0-4 thrashing in the test series and already 0-1 behind in the ODI series, India collapsed to 25/4 and then 58/5 in the 19th over when Jadeja entered. He was out in the 50th over after reaching his highest ODI score of 78 and pull India to 234. England finally won by 3 wickets in D/L method but with his 2 wickets Jadeja got the man of the match in his return.
         Post this he has played all the following 9 ODIs for India till today, scoring runs at an average of 39.80 coming at number 7. His bowling was more note-worthy with 18 wickets at and average of 23.44, more importantly in all the 10 matches after his return he took at least 1 wicket with 33/4 being his best in this period coming against England in Eden Gardens.
          In his second coming, Jadeja looks solid with the bat and effective with the ball and he is always a wonderful fielder. But a new urgency can be observed in his cricket now, may be finally he has realized the importance and the immense pleasure of getting a chance to be in India’s playing eleven. With his captain supporting him strongly, I will hope that this guy will make a very successful career of his own. He is one of those true all rounders which India craved for long and if he can make himself good enough for number 6 spot in tests that would give India lot of variety, specially in foreign conditions.
           So, Happy Birthday dude! Play well, play sincerely! Let me be proud of another player who shares his birthday with me after the Freddy- Shirt waving- pedalo riding-beer drinking- Flintoff, and Rudra Pratap- Raw Pace- Singh!

Post Script: I finished the above piece on Sunday morning and decided to post it on 6th. Then I realized that he has a match on 5th and decided to add those stats with his stats after making a comeback to India team. But for the first time in his return he went wicket less, got run out again for just 11 and India lost a close ODI. I just hope his terrible form is not coming back and it’s just the effect of law of averages.

Carry on the good work boy!! Happy Birthday and All the Best for the coming year!!

Friday, December 2, 2011


Finally, celebrating my first published story in a web magazine!!

It's an awesome feeling!!

Thanks 'kotha to bolar jonneyi' team!!