Posts Tagged ‘N Srinivasan’


 

In this episode, The CouchExpert discusses the last decade of IPL cricket – specifically with regards to Royal Challengers Bangalore & Chennai Super Kings. The panel discuss key memories, what went right, what went wrong and the road ahead for both these franchises. Specific questions around Kohli’s captaincy invoke raw emotions from the RCB camp, while the CSK camp ponder over who the right man will be to replace MS Dhoni when he calls it time on his career.

 

 

Introduction Music: Composer and singer – Rakesh Salian

Panelists: Goutham Chakravarthi, Akshay Balachandra, Suhas Srinidhi, Srikaanth Niranjan Anand

Moderator: Chandrasekhar Jayaramakrishnan

 


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..!


Goutham Chakravarthi

After another humiliating defeat at the WACA, with India facing its biggest crisis post the match-fixing saga at the turn of the century, N. Srinivasan, the president of BCCI was seen hurrying into 221B Baker Street in central London to consult Sherlock Holmes to save the cricket and interest in cricket in his home country of India.

Two hours later N. Srinivasan called the media for an announcement. “Unlike the Argus review that spanned across many meetings involving 61 cricket oriented personnel and claimed to be independent when it involved three ex-captains in Steve Waugh, Allan Border and Mark Taylor along with former CEO of Cricket Australia, Maclom Speed, this review into overhauling Indian cricket lasted all of half hour and involved two fictional characters, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John H. Watson. Surely, there cannot be a more independent or more competent panel to investigate the short comings on Indian cricket. And, neither was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in anyway connected to the IPL or the BCCI,” said N. Srinivasan as a matter-of-factly.

The Watson-Holmes report overhauls Indian cricket as we know

“A 2,311 page detailed report on the findings has been submitted. It is a fair and honest review investigating the issues with Indian cricket ranging from problems, issues and limitations spread across players, selectors and administrators. I am here to share a three-point summary of the Watson-Holmes report,” said N. Srinivasan pulling out copies of the summary sheet and sharing it with the gathering.

The report had these recommendations:

1.  M.C.C. to replace M.C.C. as the custodian of cricket laws:

M.C.C (Marylebone Cricket Club) have had their time writing the laws for cricket since 1788. It only shows ICC in poor light all these years. It is a well known fact that the size of the ball was reduced in the 1920s because the English bowlers had little hands and that the imposition of limiting the number of leg-side fielders behind square was to nullify Indian spinners in the 1970s. With us, BCCI, running the cricket world, we have decided that M.C.C (Madras Cricket Club) will take over these responsibilities and rewrite the laws of the game to suit the Indians. Some of them will include:

  1. Indian captain will be given the option of declaring the opposition innings should the opposition not lose a wicket every twenty minutes or if their total exceeds fifty. Also, the Indian captain can make bowling changes and ring-in fielding changes for the opposition team when his side is batting to best suit his batsman
  2. There will be no standardizing of equipment and it will be left to the discretion of the Indian team management to decide per its wishes.
    • Its batsmen can choose to wield a bat that is longer and wider than a surf board should they feel like it. Also, they can choose not to have any stumps while batting should getting bowled or out L.B.W be of concern.
    • Batsmen out of form can ask the opposition bowlers to bowl with even a football, so that they are indeed “sighting it like a football”.
    • The Indian bowlers can bowl to three sets of four stumps each spread across the entire square and hit any of them and the batsman will still be out bowled.
    • India can choose specialist fielders from the opposition team to field for them and cancel their IPL contracts should they fail to hold on to catches. Specialist slip fielders like Ricky Ponting, Mahela Jayawardene and Jacques Kallis will be expected to field in the slips even when they are batting
    • All opposition batsmen will be asked to play without pads and shoes. If they still score runs, which is quite likely, they will be asked to bat without a bat
  3. All opposition fast-bowlers will bowl at least 20 kmph lesser than the fastest Indian bowler. If it means, the fastest Indian bowler playing is Praveen Kumar, the fastest an opposition bowler would be allowed to bowl is -2 kmph (negative two kilometers an hour!)

2. IPL franchises to buy out all cricket boards

Most of the cricket boards around the world are not as rich as the franchises that own IPL teams. Also, most of them are in the docks because of infighting. All cricket boards will be auctioned before IPL V and will be run by people anointed by the franchise. That way, all Test nations come under the purview of the BCCI and all Tests and bi-lateral series be deemed “domestic games”. This will ensure the Indian domestic standards are raised to Test levels or vice-versa and no longer can India not be a winner outside of the sub-continent as any team that wins will be owned by an IPL franchise. Going forward an Indian team will lift The Ashes, Sir Frank Worrell trophy and every other trophy. And no one can say IPL is killing Tests or one-dayers any more!

3. Hack Cricinfo’s Statsguru

It is reliably learnt through cricket’s 800-plus-year journey that recorded history is all that matters. Just like we don’t know if the French lady who is first recorded to have bowled a version of cricket ball 800 years ago liked scrambled eggs or roasted bread, 400 years from now no one will want to know if Sehwag had a hair transplant, but only want to know how many triple hundreds he made.

Therefore, Cricinfo’s Statsguru that is an enormous wealth of cricket’s documented history and perhaps the largest fall back option for future historians and statisticians will be owned and managed by the BCCI. Given that India is bound to be the epicenter of cricket’s financial well being in the centuries to come, it is in the game’s best interest if fans can recollect their cricket ancestors as the best in the game. It is in cricket’s best interest that future Mumbaikars recall Ajit Agarkar as someone who once scored seven triple-hundreds in a row and not seven ducks in a row. Or that Tendulkar scored more hundreds than there are hundreds in mathematics and that he managed to average a double infinity. Or than Anil Kumble twice took 15 wickets in an innings. Or that Irfan Pathan once took a hat-trick with only one delivery and so on.

“The full report covers how we restructure everything with cricket – locally and globally and how we have the best of Indian and world’s cricket at heart. Even what you journalists write will be monitored and what has already been documented insofar will be doctored to best suit Indian cricket. It is after all a game and you guys don’t know how to play it. It is time we showed the world how it is played. The future will remember us as the greatest custodians of the game. And yes, we are pleased to appoint Dr. Watson and Mr. Holmes as our permanent under secretaries and all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works will also be doctored to carry out their characters as BCCI’s permanent under secretaries solving mysterious cricket puzzles including cracking the Duckworth/Lewis formula,” said a triumphant N. Srinivasan as he signed off.


Goutham Chakravarthi

In an attempt to make India a fitter unit, BCCI has roped in the services of Usain Bolt as India’s running coach with immediate effect. Indians are expected to train with the world 100 meter record holder for a week in their quest to give them an added edge before they head to Australia for a 4-Test series. Talking of the appointment, K Srikkanth said, “Taking a leaf from Gavaskar’s famous commentary usage of converting ones into twos and twos to threes, Bolt will help team India convert each single into a three at least – and in some cases to a five or even a seven – and thereby helping our batsmen increase their scores three-fold!.”

Talking of his appointment, Bolt, who joined the team at Vishakapatnam, said, “The last day of the third Test at Wankhede had the whole island interested and I had a couple of friends wake me up at the dead of the night to catch the game when my phone rang. N Srinivasan was on the line and I told him the super slow motion pictures were outstanding and I congratulated the BCCI on the quality of their TV production when Srinivasan told me that it wasn’t super slow motion pictures I was seeing, but Ashwin running in full throttle!”

India train to sprint their way to success in Australia under the supervision of Usain Bolt

He added, “I couldn’t believe someone could actually sprint so slowly. When asked if I would help them fix the problem, I was skeptical. But when they dangled a 2 million dollar contract for a week’s training, I couldn’t resist. I asked Fletcher to send me tapes of their running training, and now I am here in India for a week to help them train.”

Of all Indians, Laxman and Ashwin seemed the most excited after their first training stint with Bolt this morning. Laxman said “I sprint the 100m in just a little under 44 seconds just behind Ashwin who does it in 41.43 seconds. Bolt has given us specific training routine that should ensure both Ashwin and I break the 40 second barrier by the end of the week. Finally, there is hope for us to look for the quick second run.”

Ashwin added, “He seemed to be able to point to the mistakes in my technique straight away. He could pin point to my technique that I seem to have followed from my childhood subconsciously – that of Rajnikanth running in slow motion in his high adrenaline fighting sequences. I am unlearning the technique and move towards the modern running method of complicated leg strengthening exercises that will give us enough power to our legs. Also the key is to ensure that the feet not being in contact with the ground for more than 0.2 seconds while in full sprint. Laxman and I, the smarties that we are, have already come-up with a formula that’ll help us get there. Expect us to run like the wind in Australia.”

Bolt is also introducing the sprint runners’ set block positioning for the non-striker while backing up. You will see the likes of Suresh Raina now crouched on one knee without the bat and both hands just behind the popping crease with his upper body in a 45 degree angle that the sprinters use to generate pace off the starting block. Bolt claims that Raina this way is able to run his twos in one-sixth of time he would take otherwise – in the traditional method. Bolt claims that this technique will ensure that there will not be many dot balls as it ensures players are quick enough to run a single even when the batsman lets go of a delivery to the keeper. He insisted that in places like Perth where the keeper tends to stand far back, Raina, Kohli and Dhoni would be able to run twos to the keeper and promised that we will see byes contributing more to team scores going forward. If the wicket-keeper is slightly slack, batsman might run a bye to him even off spinners!

Duncan Fletcher, the Indian coach said “Bolt’s insight into running and the transformation that is possible with his inputs is quite amazing. Even I have been able to move from one side of the ground to the other in less than 20 minutes now. Munaf Patel, Aashish Nehra now run quicker than they bowl. That was the easy part. We are now trying to translate this to field positions as well. The increased agility of the fielders will ensure that each fielder can now control two positions. Jadeja will now man both point and covers and Kohli mid-off and extra-cover, where as, Raina will cover the whole of the on-side and Dhoni alone now will cover for the keeper and three slips. Our not-so quicker fielders will stand on the boundary and strategize thereby giving us an unprecedented edge over all teams that have played cricket before us. Sehwag now can charge down to spinners and hit it almost off the bowlers’ hands as he is now that quick!”

With the whole of the nation very excited by this development, Bolt was convinced that India would start favourites in Australia this time. He signed off by saying, “India will run away with the cup in Australia. I think they should. If they did, don’t think there is anyone in Australia quick enough to chase them down. Let’s just hope they don’t assign the task to Laxman or Ashwin yet. They will get chased down for they are not quick enough just yet”