Posts Tagged ‘Dhoni’


Niranjan K

By the time you read this, IPL’s relevance would have been long gone. And its only 3 days since the great Indian circus got over. Ever wonder why IPL is losing popularity? It is because of the controversies that when it’s over, people gasp with a ‘Finally!’. So, movie channels can now shift their premier movies to their original prime time of 9pm. New programs are launched in various channels. People start reading books again. We don’t have to endure Navjot Singh Sidhu and an array of stupid presenters in MAX who sell products rather than call the match. (I wonder how IPL will look like if ESPN broadcasts it with Harsha as the host).

IPL has a new champion in KKR and deservedly so. In fact the four teams that made it to the playoffs took their rightful place. I know a lot of you will go bonkers that CSK didn’t deserve to be there. True CSK had a lukewarm season in their standards but then none of the 5 eliminated teams grabbed their chances did they? KKR and Delhi looked like finalists from the first weekend. In the business end, one team choked and the other kept its resolve. MI were their usual underachievers self while CSK showed in the end why they are a champion side, brushing aside MI and DD in the playoffs with such disdain. I can hear a lot of “fixing” groans already. Let’s debate it in the end and keep Cricket first shall we?

The question doesn’t seem to have a conclusive answers

The Kolkata Knight Riders had but one agenda when they started the campaign. Win it. It is not like other teams did not but they had that resolve about them. DD were lazy at times I thought, just like their captain. KKR flourished with a captain who was all out to prove, both about his leadership and his team’s capability. Sunil Narine was their trump card while Kallis and Balaji contributed immensely. But if Gambhir struggles then KKR will struggle big time. That they won despite Yusuf Pathan woeful form tells something. Mumbai Indians faltered to deceive while CSK didn’t really set the tournament ablaze like how they were supposed to. They were poor by their own standards (except fielding that is) and didn’t really deserve the hat-trick.

But the real questions lay outside the cricket ground. That IPL needed controversies to improve RATINGS is a shame on the game itself. Initially, IPL was driven by the frenzy of cricket madness. With 5 seasons behind, there is still not a single defining rivalry in IPL. CSK-RCB has the potential but will take years to reach where a Liverpool-Manchester United rivalry is now. Both neighboring cities and both have beaten each other in crunch games, though CSK is ahead in the rivalry. But when are we going to see an El Classico types? That improves ratings, not some SRK bullshit. Ever consider why people don’t talk about IPL weeks after it’s gone like the Ashes or an Indo-Australia series? I guess the onus for this soon-will-be failure of IPL has to be put on both the organizers and the people. The organizers are happy with providing what people want rather than what they should have. And people are dumb enough to care about gossips. Is it because more women watch cricket these days? Just kidding!

Now the whole “fixing” game… With so much money involved and that too in India, it is so much easy to connect the dots to match fixing. Sure one can’t refute it. But people tend to get over emotional about the whole fixing part. See the thing with high octane matches is, you can really have a plan. So if it is about a bowler bowing low full tosses and it turns out to be a yorker, where is your planning there? The best thing about cricket is its unpredictability, even for the players. And people talk about how CSK got into the finals despite being out of form. They point to the fact that Chepauk is the venue for the final and a “crowd“ is needed at the ground. CSK played their first qualifier in Bangalore and the stadium was full, filled three quarters with yellow. Last year I watched the 2nd qualifier and the final at Chepauk. The 2nd qualifier between MI and RCB was watched by over 30000 people and the ground was buzzing for Gayle and Sachin. So I don’t see the stadium-full theory as convincing from people who are quick to post “IPL is fixed”.

Here’s my point. If IPL is fixed, then logically the players are the cheaters. Those include the likes of Dravid, Ganguly (Who famously lead India with distinction after the match fixing era), Hussey, Steyn, Kallis, Fleming and a certain Mr. Sachin Tendulkar. Are these great players, cheaters in their country colors too?  N Srinivasan heads the most influential cricketing board in the world whose country won the World Cup last year. So the ones who are quick to brandish him as a fixer, are they ready to say that him and Sharath Pawar scripted the World Cup win for India? There is only so much in sport that is run by the brain. Mostly it is the heart and instinct that fuels the players in that less-than-a-second time to react to a ball. Can’t cheat that can we?


Niranjan K

There is a lot of bullshitting about the Chennai Super Kings over how they make it to the playoffs every season. N Srinivasan scripts all of CSK’s wins from his bathroom, politics, blah blah blah. While there is no denying that the IPL is full of controversy, why is that CSK always paraded as the team to hate just because they are so good? Now, I am from the same state but that’s not the reason why I like the CSK.

So for all those who hate CSK, read this if you have any idea how a premier league has to be played. For those who love CSK, here are tem seasons to know why.

CSK: Giants of the IPL

1. CSK is the only team to embrace the concept of a domestic league in the right way. There is a very CHENNAI flavor in every aspect of CSK. The ‘Whistle Podu’ theme belongs to Chennai. Isn’t there one flavor that you can connect to a Mumbai or a Kolkatta or a Jaipur? Do Punjabis really need Priety Zinta to dance for them..?

2. CSK is the only team to have embraced the concept of a club properly. Faf Du Plessis was an unknown when CSK signed him 2 years ago. Now he’s our leading scorer. That’s what successful EPL teams to. That’s what we do.

3. The dressing room of CSK is widely known as the happiest of all if IPL teams. The pranks, the way newcomers are made comfortable is a mark of great teams.

4. When CSK plays and a batsman hits a four, they don’t have to show Shah Rukh Khan clapping, when a six is hit, they don’t have to show the Shetty sisters hugging or when a batsman gets out they don’t have to show Priety Zinta cussing and discussing strategy with the coach. It’s strictly the players and the fans and that’s how it should be. The lesser the distractions, the better the team.

5. After the recent incident involving Shah Rukh Khan at the Wankhede Stadium, Juhi Chawla was quoted as saying “If today Shah Rukh Khan were to get upset and quit the IPL I wonder if there’d be any people watching the matches… in Wankhede or any stadium.” Seriously, if Wankhede comes to watch Shah Rukh Khan rather than Sachin’s batting, then God save cricket.

6. Despite the dash of IPL, Chennai still and will remain the most knowledgeable of all crowds in India. That’s a mark of fans who will remain loyal to CSK all life. If you think about it you will understand what I am saying. Remember, Sachin was booed once in Mumbai. That will never happen to any cricketer in Chennai (Except Virat Kohli when he plays for RCB)

7. As a team, CSK is not dependent on one player like how RCB have in Gayle and Kolkatta in Gambir. Every time we find some player finishing it in tight situations. Morkel, Bravo, Dhoni, it’s a finishing line up to dream.

8. One of the most important factors is how well the local lads and generally the Indian players have played for us. Vijay, Badri, Anirudha, Ashwin and Balaji have all won games for us. Name one team that has so many local lads in their team and doing well. Add to that Raina and Dhoni. So the over dependence on overseas players is negated in CSK.

9. Harsha Bhogle tweeted this after the last season win he said “Eventually the best team, the best organized, the best selected and the best led won the IPL and that is how it should be”. Need anything more to say.

10. Actually, there is one more thing to say… “We are the Bloody Champs”! Distracters talk about N Srinivasan’s role in the team and his influence as the BCCI’s big fish. Let me clarify. His India Cements Company is involved with cricket for 60 years now. They are responsible for bringing up players like Rahul Dravid. So here’s the thing… N Srinivasan is the president of the most powerful cricket board in the world. Would you credit every Indian Win as his script?

The truth is CSK, even for IPL’s short history has to go through these phases like how great teams go through. Barcelona is constantly accused of diving despite the beautiful football they play. The Australian Cricket Team was accused of too much sledging when they dominated world cricket. But didn’t they change the way cricket was played? Like those great teams, we will endure and play the way like only we can and whistle the way like only we can. Go CSK Go..!

Taking Guard In Style

Posted: May 11, 2012 by binisajan in Cricket, IPL, Opinion
Tags: , , ,

Bini Sathyan

Some of the big hitters of the game whom I admire very much have peculiar styles when they come out to bat. A few of them I felt really peculiar are Chris Gayle who I think comes in like the Predator, Morne Morkel who always looks lost, Virender Sehwag who gives the impressions of a lazy goose and Dhoni who is emotionless. Read on.

Chris Gayle: When he comes out to bat with the helmet on, the locks hanging from behind his ears and the black bandana shielding his neck, he looks like the alien from Predator in full body armour. Moves around sluggishly as if unbothered about the territory he is in and has a cold stare. The bat looks like a small club like weapon attached to his left hand whenever he is in armour. He looks menacing. Before taking guard, he will look around sluggishly once again as if to find a target. Then just like his cold looks and slow movement, he will start tapping his bat in slow motion which means he is ready. Now he fixes his stare on the bowler running in. Once the ball is delivered, his hands move so swiftly and the ball is hit so hard with the bat that it more often than not lands in the stands and sometimes attains escape velocity. He launches his attacks with such ferocity that bowlers start erring in line and length. It is immaterial where the ball lands on the pitch as Gayle ensures that it lands in the stands after that.

Gayle: The predator

Albie Morkel: A 6 foot plus giant, he strides into the middle unassumingly and in no hurry and looks like a child lost in the forest. Looks around in surprise, as if he was suddenly awakened in the middle of his sleep and finds himself in hostile territory. Looks around once again and realizes that he is in the middle of a cricket ground. Takes guard but still looks surprised. Prods at the first couple of balls and then suddenly understanding dawns. The next ball probably lands in the stands. He is probably the most powerful hitter around. Some of his sixes have hit the roof and threatens to go overboard.

Virender Sehwag: The laziest goose around. The man with the most laidback attitude. His body shape and movements will never reveal that he is a sportsperson. Comes out to the middle in a very casual way. And in the middle, he simply refuses to leave the crease for a run. And when he does, his running looks funny. You realize that he simply does not love moving around too much. Left to face the bowler, he takes his stance in an easy manner and waits and waits like a cat for the ball to be released. Then all of a sudden there is transformation. His eyes widen. The bat swings in his hand. It’s all over in a flash. The ball vanishes in thin air and reappears outside the field. Fetch is the call to the fielder. All this while his feet doesn’t move. To know what happened, the television crew invented slow motion replay. He is a magician. A man gifted with such perfect timing. He relies only on his eyesight. Once his eyes spot the ball, his brain knows where to despatch it. The hand just executes the order. No coaches will prescribe to their scribes to learn from him because he does not follow the copy book. But has written one for himself.

The TV crew inveted slow motion to study Sehwag’s stroke-play

M S Dhoni: He seems to be a man in a hurry. Comes out to bat in a hurry. Before taking guard, looks around, keeps moving and exhibits plenty of gestures. He touches his pads, hits his gloves, touches his face and the motions continue for a while before he settles down to face the bowler. This peculiar action sequence is repeated before every ball. He is a slow starter to bat. But once he gets going there is no stopping him. The speed at which he moves the bat and the power which he garners when he hits is matched by none. He remains unfazed when he comes out to bat whatever the situation. Out in the middle he expresses no emotions. If he hits the winning runs, still the emotions are hidden. And when he is out, he still seems to be a man in a hurry. He walks quickly back to the pavilion again without revealing any emotion.


Chandrasekhar Jayaramakrishnan
12 September, 2011

It is hard to decide whether to laugh or frown after witnessing the scenes at The Lord’s on Sunday. While the result was clearly unexpected, the belligerence within was revealing through the body language of players from both camps, during different instances.

Dhoni’s frustration is understandable – the battle has gone bonkers with every route to success having brick walls with loaded artillery. Once again, the D/L method proved as hard to comprehend as The Grand Unified Theory, and as ruthless as terrorists as both camps underwent nervy moments when the rain gods intervened towards the end. A neutral, whole heartedly would state that a tie was a fair result. Not before both camps showed their reluctance to enter the field when the numbers were inclined to their side.

Quantitatively, India got off to a good start by weathering the new ball in order to prevent a repeat of what happened at The Oval. Qualitatively though, Rahane’s rather slow start to his innings witnessed moments of lunatic madness as he tried to whack the leather out of the white ball as frustration seeped in. Rahane would have completed an entire team’s innings had he been playing baseball instead of cricket.

Parthiv, at the other end, dismissed anything that was short of length by quickly shifting his weight on to the back foot and pulling the ball with confidence. Both the openers had luck on their side and trudged along at close to five-an-over. While the numbers seemed convincing, the approach, especially from Rahane, wasn’t. He’d have done well to learn from this innings on how to approach the game when shots keep finding the fielders.

Raina and Dhoni unleashed the pyrotechnics to get India up to 280

Another miniature collapse, following the dismissal of Dravid and Kohli almost immediately after one and other, saw the Indian skipper work on rebuilding the innings once again. With Raina, heart in sleeve, hoping to become a part of the reconstruction, a solid partnership was built to suitably daunt the English attack.

The run rate during the last ten overs headed towards the stratosphere, as over a hundred runs were gathered in a passage of play that helped India reach a more-than-respectable total of 280. It seemed as though the world had absorbed a lesson on Indian resolve, a characteristic that had made them world champions a few months ago.

The English reply was an unpredictable scatter of method and madness. Only Ian Bell’s fifty stood out amongst the top four batsmen, after the openers had departed in search of quick runs. Ravi Bopara, one of the heroes from The Oval, played an innings of undoubted steadfastness by building valuable partnerships with Bell, Bresnan and Swann. Signs of sloppiness on the field from the Indians were vivid once again with RP Singh being the culprit for a chance that he left begging at long on. Another instance of a frustrated Jadeja’s overthrow, way off radar, would surely have brought a smile on to the face of Steve Harmison, who definitely needed chaffing after publicly expressing his disgust over Durham CC when they had released his brother Ben.

At 173-5, bearing in mind Broad’s injury, the game seemed India’s to lose, with less than fifteen overs remaining. However, Bopara played intelligent cricket – strokes that demonstrated the work put in by a man who is clearly trying to cement a place in the current English setup. He targeted gaps, and slow fielders, to convert ones into twos and keep the rate ticking. The consequences of the Indian bowlers’ inability to walk through the lower order batsmen may become more apparent once the series is over, but England, no doubt, have enjoyed their role in the melodrama of lower order batting.

Ravi Bopara played a crucial innings for the second time in two games this series.

When rain intervened, the story had two parts to it: one, when the Indians were on the driving seat, and another, after another over, when the Englishmen took charge. With the score at 242, when the second spell of heavier rain hit the city, it seemed as though that England had clinched the game with the demanded D/L score at that juncture reading 240. Earlier, the Indians had a brief advantage but the spell of rain vanished by the time the teams could leave the ground.

But play resumed, much to the delight of the sport, to witness a spell of wickets falling in quick succession. Bopara departed by holing out to deep mid-wicket for a well constructed 96, but rain played spoil-sport again and used the D/L tenets do declare that the game was tied with England, at that time, further requiring 11 runs from 7 balls with a couple of wickets in hand. D/L doesn’t take into account the case of injured players who can’t bat.

Just like how an organization’s balance sheet doesn’t capture the true costs and risks of business activities, The Lord’s scorecard did likewise. The verdict would simply pose that England clinched the series with India yet to record a victory this summer. As the focus shifts to Cardiff, there is still no ballast to raise any hopes within the Indian camp.


Chandrasekhar Jayarama Krishnan

Head of Cricket, The CouchExpert

13 August 2011

The Englishmen are the new World Number One.

Their ruthless, convincing and highly competing display of cricket has taken them to the top of the tables with their path seemingly more convincing than the ones taken by the Indians not too long ago. James Anderson’s devastating spell to take four top order wickets was good enough to hand England the momentum, and Dhoni his first series loss as captain.

England has evolved into a unit which is greater than the sum of its parts. And most importantly, every member of the playing XI seems to have had a clear role defined for him. How well they’ve executed it! The margins of victory over these three tests, if browsed through a decade from now, will contain no evidence to showcase that the visitors came into the tour as World Number One.

Anderson's four-for put an end to any hope of a recovery from the visitors

As the Indians found themselves a beset under a swarm of criticism, during and after the course of events on the third day of the Edgbaston Test, it seemed as though it was only going to be a matter of time before England ascended the throne of Test Cricket.

Signs of optimism were scarce and scattered across minds that hoped for a repeat of Napier in 2009, where India battled through seven sessions to save the Test. Considering the visitors’ current run of form, this feat seemed more unlikely than possible.

The theory’s correctness was soon proved as Napier’s hero Gambhir departed to the first ball he faced, during the second over of the day, as he, quite literally, guided an Anderson delivery in to the hands of Swann at second slip. The optimist’s ride stumbled across a roadblock, while the red cherry in Anderson’s hand possessed movement that would have easily pierced through every point in the trajectory of a simple pendulum with relatively large amplitudes.

It makes no sense to conduct a post-mortem over the dismissals that followed, barring two – one strange, and another unfortunate. If the current economic downturn forces global corporations to attempt running their business with shoestring budgets, Dravid’s shoestring was the cause for his misery as he, for reasons unknown, walked after thinking that he nicked a James Anderson delivery to Matt Prior when in reality, it was the contact between his bat and his shoe laces. It is perplexing to try and understand what might have gone through Dravid’s mind at that time. Some things are best left unsaid.

Tendulkar, on the other hand, was caught off-guard at the non striker’s end when MS Dhoni played a shot that reflected off Swann’s hands and crashed into the stumps at the other end. His dismissal, followed by the eventual plummet to defeat pretty much summarized the Indian summer.

The Indians failed to cross Cook's individual score in either innings. Cook was awarded the Man of the Match

Having not managed to cross Man-of-the-Match Cook’s individual score as a team in either innings, Dhoni’s performance with the bat this test, inconsequential as it may seem remains the solitary positive.

This victory presents an excellent opportunity for England to throw debuts to their much awaited young prospects – something that the “English Cricket relies on Foreign Imports” community might keen to witness. At the same time, England might look to go for the kill and target a 4-0 whitewash at The Oval.

From the perspective of an Indian fan, there could still a breathtaking cynicism to this prospect, but this isn’t a case which is as unreasonable as it might have sounded a month ago. Three tests into this dreadful series, the question, surely for the Indians will revolve around how much worse it can get. Their display, thus far, has bordered disreputable incompetence. Excuses can, and surely will, fluctuate between injuries and overload, but what will remain imprinted are the results, never the reasons.

For the British fan, this is the start of a new era. Let him cherish it for as long as it lasts, and if England continue to play the way they did this series, this is bound to be a long spanning tenure at the top.