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Cricket World Cup 2011 : Sachin Walks & The World Talks

India’s match against WI on Sunday, 20-Mar, was an important one for India. Other than the fact that Sachin was out in the open in a bid to score hundred 100’s, it was more essential that India beat WI and go up the points table. It was a pressure match for both teams. And in such scenario, although the field umpire turned down the appeal, Sachin walked off the field as his bat faintly nicked the ball.

This was yet aother instance of Sachin not waiting for the umpire’s decision and walking back to the pavillion on his own. I vividly remember that during the famous Sharjah Cup, when India were on an important run chase, then too Damien Fleming appealed for a caught-behind which the umpire did not acknowledge but Sachin walked off the field after having scored a brilliant hundred. Its incidents like these that earns him respect from everybody, even the belligerent opponents stop by to praise him.

Sachin of course listened to his conscience and walked off, but that has stirred off an age old debate: whether to walk-off or not. Basically the decision to walk is based on 2 important things:

a. is cricket still a gentleman’s game where individual honesty and sportsman spirit is necessary?
b. is cricket a game where shrewd thinking and cunningly nature is required?

Lets see point [b] first. The most glaring example of this was the underarm bowling done by Trevor Chappell on instruction from his brother and captain Greg Chappell to prevent the opposition batsman from hitting a six on the last ball of the match. Chappell brothers played a wily card by exploiting a loophole of the game, but it was against spirit of the game. Winning was the most important thing for Greg Chappell and he did just that, win the match but lose respect.

From then on, Australians have been known for using sly ways to keep the winning streak. Be it sledging or standing the ground after having nicked a ball or be it claiming a catch after grassing the ball, they have done it all. Ponting and other Asutralians just continue the tradition of standing until the umpire does not raise the finger. In fact, Ponting and co. believe in grassing the ball and yet claiming the catch, thereby putting the responsibility of judging on the shoulders of the umpires. Gilchrist, on some rare occasions, has walked off immediately. But he too does not have a 100% track record of walking. He has stood his ground or walked off based on team’s situation. When the team needed him at the crease, he stood his ground and waited for umpire’s decision. But when he took a call that Aus is in safe position, he has walked off. Anyhow, one Gilchrist cannot be an example for the entire team.

Lets see point [a] now. Most of the greats have always walked-off without waiting for the umpire’s decision. In the past, Gavaskar, Shastri, Vengsarkar have walked. Even Richards, Greenidge, Gower have walked. But in this day and age, it has become a rarity. That’s why Sachin’s walking off has raised a debate. Honest players like Andy Flower, Jacques Kallis, Dravid etc have also walked; but just that it hasn’t happened so often with them.

Walking-off shows courage, honesty and respect for the game. It shows that individual records don’t matter much, but playing the game in the right spirit does. Its the selfish, cunning and timid people who stand their ground because they want to score more runs for themselves. But they don’t realise that in the process of not walking, they are belittling themselves in the eyes of their fan. With so many cameras and microphones, super slo-mo and snickometer, they cannot escape. They may score a few more runs but they cannot earn respect.

In my opinion, walking-off is sportsman spirit and restores the respect of the game, as well as it instils honesty and brings dignity to the sport. In this tough competitive championship, there should be moments of selfless behaviour too, so that we can keep alive the adage of cricket being a gentleman’s game.

This post was first published on Yahoo Network

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Posted by on March 22, 2011 in cricket, sports


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Cricket World Cup 2011 : India’s Performance Until Now

After having watched yesterday’s match against Ireland, I have my doubts about India being a champion team; let alone being favourites for winning the cup. The way Irish have played is worthy of applause, but India must now do some introspection. The manner in which we went about our run chase of a paltry target of 207 was shameful. We made a mess of it and finally when India did win the match, it looked like we had staged a major upset by beating Ireland. I just hope we continue to perform this way and cause another upset by beating Netherlands in the next group match on Wednesday, 9th March.

Bowling is a major concern for India, and that has been demonstrated in all three matches until now. Ireland were 12 for 2 and we let them slip onto a hundred-run partnership. Our spin attack is toothless, its high time we replace Piyush Chawla and get Ashwin to play. Even Harbhajan is not performing to his potential. Thanks to part-timers like Yuvraj Singh that we were saved the blushes on the field. But we cannot expect Yuvi to do that all the time. Zaheer Khan is the only bowler who has looked like getting a wicket, someone we can bank on.

Although we caused much drama in our chase last night, our batting is good enough to win us matches. But how much can our batsmen shield the bowlers? Against England we made 338 which just did not seem good enough, thanks to the belting our bowlers received. They were hit around the park like rookies! We managed to ‘tie’ that match, rather we were lucky to tie that match; we actually deserved to lose.

If you can recall, even though we had a mountain of a score against Bangladesh, our bowling and clueless fielding let B’desh make 287 runs. The same B’desh team were all out against West Indies for 58! Not just bowling, our fielding has been lacklustre too. We haven’t taken crucial catches, we haven’t effected run-outs, we have given away easy singles’ and two’s because the batsmen know that the fielders are lethargic. Despite all this we have managed to be on top of the table.

But to be truly on top would require more motivation, inspired performance and a big heart. When Yuvi and Dhoni were playing the tom-and-jerry game, Yusuf Pathan showed us how the bowlers need to be handled. Two big hits and Ireland went into a tizzy. Sachin is in top form, he understands the gravity of the situation and he plays himself in before going for the big shots. In all 3 matches he had a start and thats good. Kohli is in good touch and so are Yuvi and Sehwag. But if we have to win the cup, we have to bowl well and take wickets. Batsmen are doing their bit, its high time that the bowlers chip in, stand up and become accountable. Its a team game after all.

This post was first published on Yahoo Network

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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in cricket, sports


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Ind-SA 2nd Test : India Wins, Series Is Drawn

It took some great batting from Sehwag, Tendulkar, Laxman and Dhoni to post the imposing total which finally got us the innings win. But Amla, the one man whose committment almost thwarted India’s chances of victory, almost achieved the impossible. Winning a test match in the last two overs was nothing short of a one-day experience. Harbhajan held his nerves to bowl that delivery.

India won the match, drew the test-series and retained the No.1 ranking in tests with that last wicket of Morkel. Great win!

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Posted by on February 18, 2010 in cricket


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Ind-SA 1st Test : Tendulkar’s Century In Vain India lost the first test to SA, that too on home soil in Nagpur, the only thing to cheer about was Sachin’s century. Sachin has scored 34 centuries in 1st innings and 12 in the 2nd innings. Of these 12, India have drawn 5 matches, lost 4 and won only 3 of them. Which means, more often than not, his century has been in a losing cause.


Tendulkar’s 2nd Innings 100s in Indian wins

Score Match Innings Opposition Venue Date
104* 3 Sri Lanka Colombo (SSC) 27-Jul-93
155* 3 Australia Chennai 06-Mar-98
103* 4 England Chennai 11-Dec-08

Tendulkar’s 2nd Innings 100s in Indian defeats

Score Match Innings Opposition Venue Date
122 3 England Birmingham 06-Jun-96
113 3 New Zealand Wellington 26-Dec-98
136 4 Pakistan Chennai 28-Jan-99
100 3 South Africa Nagpur 06-Feb-10

Tendulkar’s 2nd Innings 100s in drawn matches

Score Match Innings Opposition Venue Date
119* 4 England Manchester 09-Aug-90
124* 3 Sri Lanka Colombo (SSC) 24-Feb-99
126* 3 New Zealand Mohali 10-Oct-99
176 3 West Indies Kolkata 30-Oct-02
100* 3 Sri Lanka Ahmedabad 16-Nov-09
But Sachin is not to blame for the loss because we have always been defeated due to a weak bowling attack. To win a test match, its imperative that you get the opposition out in both innings, 20 wickets to be claimed. We could not even get 10, hence proving that the bowlers were neither effective in taking wickets nor in curtailing the runs. Even Sachin had stayed long enough he would have run out of partners because we had one more day of play left; too much to ask.
Hopefully we will do better in other matches and at least try to draw the series.
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Posted by on February 9, 2010 in cricket


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