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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ending the year on a high!!

The Proteas ended the year on a very high note by defeating the Kangaroos in their home ground. It took 16 years of unbeaten run in the home series and that too at the end of the year, spoiling the Boxing Day test match ending up into a loss and to add to it, a series loss.
It has been an outstanding performance by the South Africans winning the first two matches at Perth and Sydney. All praises for the debutant Duminy .The way he played in the first match was commendable. Even in the first innings of the second match, he scored an amazing 166 runs. T he way he has displayed the talent; it’s an announcement of the great player in the making.
They have also a world class captain in Smith. He plays the captains knock when the team needs the most.

Perth has always been the ground where the Australians are known to win under any circumstance. It was India, and now South Africa who broke the shackles at Perth and defeated Australia in Perth.

No doubt the Australians have been the rulers over the decade at the number one positions, but they have been given quality competition by word class team like India and South Africa, and they run neck in neck for the number 2 position and with this kind of form the Aussies are into, the Kangaroos losing the top spot is most certain.

Punter seems to have regained the form but the entire team has to contribute in the event the team wants to keep winning.
With Brett Lee not up to his mark, Shane Watson out coz of the back stress fracture and no one as good as Warney in the Bowling department, the Australian bowling attack has already depleted. They are sorely missing the likes of the Gillispies and the McGraths.

The batting department looks very pedestrian as again Hayden not playing havoc at the top, trying to find his form in what one could call the concluding matches of his career, its only Hussey who is performing consistently. The Aussies have lost the charm. It’s about time that some of the other teams’ would take over the number one slot.

All credit to Smith & Co and here’s Shams & Wags wishing the very best to the Proteas for the third match and may the series end up in a White Wash.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Identify These Umpires

People always tend to forget the efforts of the umpires who are on the field for the entire day. They have to be on the toes for the entire day. Unlike bowlers and batsmen, theres no change of umpire. They really do a commendable job.

So here's a small quiz on the umpires. Hope you would like it.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Body Line Game

Hey Guys,
Play and Enjoy
Do Give your reviews.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fizzing Strauss

With Strauss adding the fizz on the top in both the innings, playing a peach of an innings,only Paul Collingwood played a support role for England.
After the loss of three quick wickets in the second innings, Strauss and Collingwood steadied the England ship. At the loss of 9 wickets, England declared for decent total of 316.
In came the deadly opening pair of Sehwag and Gambhir. With the task of scoring 387 runs to win, they came heavily on the bowlers. Hitting over an average of 5 at the top of the innings is what one can expect from this opening pair and they obliged yet another time.
Sehwag was all guns blazing and smashed he ball all over the park. With him attacking and Gambhir playing a support role, India ended on the score of 131 for the loss of Sehwag wicket. The task ahead of Indians is to score 256 runs in a day and lets wait and watch how the Indian achieve the target.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Watchful Englishmen!!

It was a well cooked partnership at the top of the innings between Alistair cook and Andrew Strauss.
A good half century by cook indicated that he is going to go for the bigger one until he tried to over do and got out to Bhajji.
The England players were very watchful and were paying due respect to the Indian bowlers. Strauss looked in a good knick and he played a superb innings scoring a century, and his consecutive second one in India.
Zaheer Khan was bowling in top of his form so much so that he was moving the ball in both the direction and now he gives the feeling that he can give coaching on how to bowl a reverse swing as he has mastered on the reverse swing.
Even Strauss acknowledged the fact that in the middle of the innings he was signaling to some one in the dressing room that Zaheer is moving the ball in both the directions and that it was difficult for him to pick it up.

Yuvraj has become a thorn to the Englishmen as he is continuing to trouble them, but with the bowling this time. The Englishmen were being extra watchful. The main thing to watch would be his batting. He has to cash in given the fact that Dada has retired. Yuvi’s agenda should be to prove that his selection has to be by default and not by chance.
Kevin Pietersen got out to a reckless shot and balooned in the air which was gleefully taken by ZAK.

Freddie getting out to Amit Mishra and England 6 wickets down, its just the matter of time for England.
Enjoy day 2 as we sign off .
Cheers !!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Some Cricketing Action At Last.

Last few days had been a disaster for India due to the terrorist attack.
England had to abandon the tour, probably that was the only option left with them to save themselves from a shameful 7-0 loss, even though they had to still face the music for the 5-0 loss.
Mumbai has overcome the attack and life has got back to normal. One thing will still be at the back of the Mumbai crowd is that they are refrained from the Test Match which was scheduled to be played in the Brebourn Stadium. Nevertheless, England has agreed to continue with the test series and here we are at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai live as England is facing the beauty of deliveries from the Indians.
A grand welcome from Shams & Wags coming back once again after the Border Gavaskar series.Sit back and enjoy the reviews for the coming days.

Friday, November 14, 2008

CrickRules- Crossword!!

Hey Guys,
Try Solving this Cricketing Crossword

Monday, November 10, 2008

Taming The Oz!!

It could well be said that it was an end of an era even as Kumble and Sourav Ganguly retiring in the series. It’s time for the youngsters to bear the flag and move further. No words are as pleasing as ’India has won the Series'. With this test victory, India has earned second position on theICC test ranking surpasssing South Africa.
The series win is going to be remembered for various reasons and will always remain in the memories of the cricket fans of the country.What better way to tame the Kangaroo’s than crushing them!!

The Aussies have been outclassed in all the departments. Their plus point of playing aggressive cricket let them down in the last match. While that’s their way of playing the test match, it was seldom seen in the series and while the aggression surfaced, it back fired in the final match. They could have saved the test match had they applied their mind and stayed on the crease.
The match was well in the grip of the Aussies during the tea session. They should have forced the issue. There again as always Harbhajan stood as the Thorn in their Arm along with Dhoni and played as savior by scoring half century.

It was a series full of milestones.“I have turned all stones to milestone” are the famous words of the batting maestro who crossed 12000 runs. He also completed his 100 test match catches. Laxman playing his 100th test match went on making 1000 runs in the calendar year,Harbhajan took 300 wickets and one can only be happy for the fact that he took his favorite victim, Ricky Ponting.
Surprisingly enough Ponting was his 250th victim as well.

Kumble’s retirement was a shocker for every one as he was never vocal about it and no one had known about it. One can’t find a person with better commitment than the silent assassin Anil Kumble. He has been around in the team for 18 years and he has always carried the responsibility of the spin department for the entire career.

What an honor it was for Sourav Dada while he was asked to lead the side in the final moments towards the victory. It was exactly 8 years ago on the same day where he started his stint as the captain and lead the side. Eventually he left as captain, courtesy MS Dhoni.
The next best person to god on the off side has retired now and Sourav's retirement will be felt through out the country.

MS Dhoni has been a good team person as one can easily say from couple of his gestures. First he allowed Dada to lead the team in the final moments and while it as time to lift the Cup, he asked Anil Kumble to come up and lift the cup along with him.

It’s a well known fact across the world that Cricket is a religion in India. In all 3 formats of the game India has emerged as champions. With latest Test Series win, it gets more concrete. This is certainly a big Transformation of Indian cricket. From Kapil Dev who made us win our first World cup to Mohd.Azharuddin who lead India to some of the greatest victories of its time , Sourav Ganguly who completely changed Indian cricket with his leadership to Dhoni the Golden man India cricket has been on a roller-coaster.
The current team is a blend of youth and seniors where the seniors have experience of having been around in the circuit for more than a decade.

With the way India is playing currently, one can never deny the fact that the Indians would dominate the world cricket, and a serious brand of cricket lies ahead.
Looking forward to see some great matches coming ahead.

Here’s Shams & Wags signing off for the end of yet another great edition of the Border Gavaskar Trophy. Keep reading more for the up coming series against England starting November 14th. Till then enjoy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Serious Opener and Double Ton!!

What a serious innings from the Flamboyant Southpaw. Scoring his first Double Ton in as low as 19 test matches is a big feat in itself. The very name of his suggests that he is a very serious player. He alongside with Sehwag makes a deadly opening pair as they score at a good rate. Yes we are talking about the Delhi south paw Gautam Gambhir. Scoring a Half Century, Century and a Double ton all in a row in consecutive innings, he has proved that he is there for many years now and that there are no doubts of his selection for the opening slot. His last 6 innings out of 9 have been of scores above 50 and this is the third consecutive innings he has crossed 50 run mark in three innings.

Shy person by looks, yet that does not make him a person who will take it from any one. One can ask the Australian bowlers about that as they got it back from Gauti both with the Bat and with the Mouth. While in form, he is a treat to watch and he plays very elegantly. Way ahead to go Gauti!!

The way has been playing against Australia suggest that the Australian have been out of sorts to get rid of the strong batting line up.Rickey Ponting himself rolled his arms to try his luck with the wickets. This is really frustrating for the Australians as they have yet again outclassed by the Indian Batsman.

On the other hand, VVS Laxman as he is always a danger man for Australia has again worked as a thorn in the arms of the Australians. Even he has the knack to score heavily against the Aussies. Yet again he scored a century against them in a very stylish manner. Out of the 13 centuries, he has made 6 of them against Australia which proves that Australians are his favorite opponents. He is Very Very Special to the Australians.He has now scored in excess of 2000 runs against them.

Laxman also has a knack to make a come back in a series and retain his side for the rest of the matches. Had Harbhajan Singh been fir to play for the match, it was Laxman who would have had to sit for the match to make way for the Captain Anil Kumble. But that was not the case as Bhajji was declared unfit. This was more than a chance or him and he ceased it with both the hands scoring a ton. Now the selection of the team for the next match is going to be all the more difficult.

Nevertheless,, lets not get too much into the selection, lets sit back and hope for a Great Indian Victory once again as we are all set for it.

That’s it from Shams & Wags for Now!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Incredible India!!

What an outstanding test match for the Indians. Defeating the Aussies with such a big margin of 320 runs is really a commendable job. Outwitting the Aussies in all departments is an achievement in itself.

Couple of milestones achieved by our veterans. Sachin surpassed Brain Lara and became the player with highest number of test runs and only player to have scored 12,000 plus runs in test matches. Ganguly returned it back to the selectors in style by scoring good runs and even he scored 7000 runs.

Saurav dada gave a superb reply with his bat by scoring the century, making the selectors quite. The way he is playing, it’s a treat watching him as it was always. He is an outstanding player who has always silenced his critics by scoring runs. Dada will be completely missed once he retires after this series.

What a lethal seam attack has it been for the Indians? We are basking in the glory of the new opening pair of bowling where Zaheer has his bunny in Hayden, while Ishant has his bunny set up in Rickey Ponting. The tactics of Hayden of sitting on the pitch before the start of match yet not working.

Unlike an Aussie onslaught, where attack is the only word, they were forced to pay attention to the Plan B of defense as Indian bowlers were too good to be handled.
Debutant Amit Mishra was impressive as he filled the void created by absence of Anil Kumble. It was a dream debut for him as he went on to take his first five wicket haul in his debut match.Harbhajan made it sure in the start of the second innings of the Aussies that they don’t attack. Both the openers fell into his trap and then the hopes of winning the match were up and live.

It was worth taking a leaf out of the books of Zaheer and Ishant as to how to use the ball for reverse swing as the Indians managed to use it so well. In the Australian camp, only Shane Watson used it well. The idea behind the reverse swing is to take care of the ball and make one side heavy by using sweat and constantly shining it.
On the fifth day, Zaheer cleaning up three wickets made an early announcement that victory was just about round the corner and then Amit Mishra cleaning up the tail.

Words of appreciation for our batsman as they scored at will and at a good scoring rate.
Captain Dhoni played his natural innings in the second innings and scored quick fire runs. The declaration came at the right time one feels as then we were able to force for the victory. What can one say about Dhoni, he is a complete opportunist, give him chance and he will prove his with. What ever he touches, gets converted in gold. With the victorious captain, he also got the Man of the Match award.
It’s about time for Laxman to perform as he is the only senior member to perform.

That’s all about it from Shams and Wags till we go on to Feroz Shah Kotla at Delhi
Until then Enjoy!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Second Test Of Character!!

Welcome to the Second Test Match between India and Australia at Mohali.
India has won the toss and elected to bat. India won’t be availing the services of Captain Kumble. Keeper Dhoni taking the honors of captaining the test side in absence of Kumble.

The next best thing to watch out for is the Master Blaster is inching close to the record of highest number of test runs. He is 15 runs short of the magical figure. Will he reach the milestone is the main attraction of the game. Sit back and enjoy till we come back with the days review. Till then enjoy
Shams & Wags.

Monday, October 13, 2008

ZAK Wins In The Tame Draw

The result on the last day was not at all expected. The entire anxiety and the enthusiasm were killed by the Draw.It was Zaheer Khan who lead from the front. 5 wickets and then scoring 57 runs made him earn the Man of the Match title.
The point of interest in the match was highly the batting of Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh. It was for the contribution of the duo in batting that made Indians go for a draw or else India would have lost the match. The so called Indian middle order again failed to fire. Only Dravid and Ganguly contributed runs while Sehwag had given a promising start.

It’s difficult to chase in excess of 250 runs on the last day hence it was pointless for India to go for the kill. Sachin Tendulkar falling one short of his half century and he is yet behind of 17 runs to score the highest runs and only he knows how many innings more would lead him to the front.

Australian’s batted superbly. Ponting lead the way in the first innings by scoring a magnificent century proving that he can bat well against Indians as well. He was followed by another gem of innings by Mike Hussey who is known as Mr. Cricket.
He is a super dependable bloke. His batting average speaks volumes. His batting average is in excess of 70.

In the entire runs galore, lets not forget the important support innings of opener Simon Katich. He supported well as in both the innings, Hayden got out cheaply. Katich is a superb player and he is the player to watch out for.

Here’s Shams and Wags signing off for the First Test Match. Catch up for more as we move on to Mohali for the second test starting 17th October 08.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Gritty Ponting!!

Attack right from the word go is the Australians way of playing. But that seems to be a passé now as they opted for a rather defensive mode. Having won the toss, the Aussies would have thought of scoring quick fire runs But not to be the case this time around as the third delivery of the over and Hayden tried playing the ball on the off side only finding himself caught in the gloves of Dhoni for a duck. Simon Katich was then joined by Rickey Ponting in the very first over. Ponting applied himself in front of the Indian bowlers and started accumulating runs in a rather defensive style. Interesting statistics is that 4 years ago while both the teams played in Bangalore, the score was identical at the end of session and for the loss of the same player Hayden. 75/1 at lunch.

It’s Festive season in India as everyone celebrating Dusshera . Crowd slowly melts up to the stadium and so does all Television viewers across country. Shams & wags prediction of Playing XI for both sides came in true. Only few changes in Aussies camp. Cameron White was handed his first Test cap – courtesy injured Bryce McGain.
Shane Watson filled the all-rounder's role after the Andrew Symonds was left out of the squad for disciplinary reasons.

Even though they had a slow start, the Aussies managed to score pretty decently and Ponting’s and Katich’s 166 run partnership ensured the Oz remained in the game.
Hayden has a pecular habbit of sitting on the pitch an hour before days play. May be he is trying to bribe the pitch by doing so, but taht didnt help him this time around.

In our last article, we had heavily criticised Ponting for getting into the mind games and letting his mouth talk rather than his bat. But it was surely Ponting’s day and he really proved that the quality players let their bat do the talking rather than mouth.

Katich played a good supporting play as he rotated the strike which ensured that the runs kept ticking.Ponting celebrated his first century in India while completing his third run before thriving his bat like a warrior with a sword. It was Ponting’s 16th as a captain, he was previously tied with Steve Waugh and Allan Border on 15.
At 201/2. there was loud appeal from Kumble.All the replays suggest thatit as a catch and not a bump, but as there was not a referral system in this series, it as not referred to the third umpire.
But with tea looming, it was the rookie Ishant Sharma who made the breakthrough as he induced an edge from Katich on 66 and the ball falling safely yet again in the hands of Keeper Dhoni. Mike Hussey was lucky to escape early as one of his edge on Kumble’s bowling going past keeper Dhoni’s thumb. By 75th over of the day Indian were looking tired as Kumble turned to Sehwag's part time spin to give some rest to regular bowlers. It made all easy for Ponting and Hussey.

With 226 on the board, Ponting tried to sweep Harbhajan, was struck low on the front pad and Umpire Asad Rauf raised his finger yet again making him Bhajji’s bunny.
3 overs before the close of the days play,Kumble took new ball and it worked for Indians on last ball of the day as Clarke was trapped in front for 11 by Zaheer.
So the opening wicket and the ending wicket were bagged by our very own ZAK.
Heres the Score Card:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Play Gentlemen- Attack

Come 9th October 2008 and all roads in Bangalore leads towards the M. Chinnaswami Stadium “Aussie Sucks, Aussies Suck will be the buzz in the ground as the series will be under way and till the time the umpires in the middle of the ground says “Play Gentlemen” . Hello and welcome to yet another edition of the
‘Border Gavaskar Trophy’ which is under way in Bangalore.
It will be the critical toss to win and India starts as the favorites in the first test match. The pitch appears to be moist due to the rains. As usual the Australians have started the mind game. Seems they don’t quiet like the idea of letting their bat and ball do the talking.

Punter is of the opinion that Anil Kumble and the rest of the senior pros are reaching the age of retiring and that their body shows signs of fatigue. He opened his trap at the eve of the Match conference at Chinnaswami stadium.
“That’s what we’re trying to achieve, pity their older guys under immense pressure”
Punter fails to understand that he himself is 33 and while he said” I pity their older guy” he should not forget that even he will be at the receiving end in some time to come. It’s high time that the player of his quality should let his work do the talking rather than depending on the words.

Rather than concentrating as to which spinner to be included in the side, punter is bothered about the age of some of the Indian players. I think he has forgotten his phone number like record when he had toured India and that Bhajji had mad him look like a fool as he could not play against him and time and again gave his scalp to Bhajji.

It’s about time for him to take a leaf out of his counterpart Anil Kumble and learn certain aspects of the game.
It’s the home ground of the lethal spinner and captain Anil Kumble. He will be rearing to go and right from the word go, am pretty sure he will be edgy as to when his chance to deliver the goods. Kumble is a kind of player who has earned respect as a player and captain over the period of time. He is silent assassin and commitment is always above 100 %.

It’s going to be a great test match between India and Australia as both the teams have quality players. The Aussies have a strong batting line up. Mathew Hayden stands tall as the player and every one in India is aware of his exploits with the bat. Mike hussy in the middle order and Ricky Ponting himself are good dependable batsmen. Ponting is a treat to watch while is in the middle and in form.
He looks very edgy while he starts the innings. The best time to get him out is to catch him young at the crease. They have the likes of Michael Clerk, Wicket Keeper Haddin who has a safe pair of hands.
In the bowling department, spin department is a weak link. They have a fearsome pace attack in the form of Brett Lee. Surprisingly he is yet to play a Test match in India.

The anxiety and the pressure level is building and it will be a treat to watch this absolute nail biting spectacle. Till then its bye from Shams & Wags and keep reading more for reviews of the day.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Late Swinging Yorker!!

Just a couple of days ago we had mentioned in our article about the princely come back of our Dada Saurav Ganguly. Joyful was the moment even as the news was flashed about the inclusion of Dada in the Test Series against Australia.

Suddenly the entire joy has turned down to sorrow as we hear yet shocking news.
Yes it’s rather hard and surprising to believe that Saurav Chandidas Ganguly has announced his retirement and that this will be his last series.
Retirement was there in the mind of dada but only he knew when its coming and he has chosen non other than the Border – Gavaskar trophy for his retirement.
It’s a celebration time in Bengal this time of the year for the Kali Pooja which is their biggest festival. I am very sure that the new s of retirement will bring certain amount of sorrow in Bengal, in fact in entire India for that matter.

This flamboyant south paw made his ODI debut in Brisbane on Jan 11 1992 against West Indies, on contrast he made his Test debut in England on 20th June 1996 against England and there he scoured two centuries in his debut match.

He played his last ODI against Pakistan in Gwalior on 15th November 2007.

The quality of the good players is that he knows when to retire. As famously said: “Its good to retire when people ask why retire, rather than why not?”

Same kind of jolt received by the Australians when Adam Gilchrist had announced his retirement from the test side while India had toured and played his last match there. Only god knows why players prefer choosing the Border Gavaskar Trophy to retire? I think this can be only a matter of coincidence.

The best ever compliment that Dada would have got was “On the off side, the one next best to god is Ganguly’ These were the famous word of Mr. Dependable Wall Rahul Dravid.

Finally it’s entirely the player’s decision and one has to respect it. Dada, all the best for your future and hope you will silence your critics in the last few matches of yours before you retire!!

Article by Shams& Wags.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Miles And Smiles

Hello Readers, We know many of you might have followed 4 day match against Board President XI in Hyderabad. The match ended in draw but there were more smiles in Indian side and worries in Oz’s camp.
Had the selection been done on 2nd Oct’08 instead of 1st for the early two tests, the picture would look different. Only player who’ve been picked up in Test squad S.Badrinath failed in both innings. Rise and shine time for Virat Kohli & Rohit Sharma in first innings as they both hit 105 each to put BP XI in strong position. With the likes of Kumble and Bhajji as a spin attack very little chances are left for other spinners to get into probable for selection. Yet Piyush Chawla & Pragyan Ojha bowled well against Oz’s and shared 8 wickets between them to bundle out Aussies cheaply in first innings. Punter’s bad patch in Indian soil continued. Only brave innings was played by Mike Hussey who scored century and some batting braveness for Stuart Clarke in lower order. Second innings brings more smiles for BP XI as captain Yuvraj Singh made century while Jaffer missed the same with 7 runs.
Aussies really wouldn’t have expected the worst news in the form of there main attacking spinner Bryce McGain being ruled out of entire series due to shoulder injury. The other spinner Kreja who also came with dream of making Test debut alongside McGain now has real chance to be in playing eleven. Aussies have also called all-rounder Cameron White who has performed really well in domestic circuit for them to join the squad. His leg spin can be bit handy apart from giving strength to batting lower down the order.
With just 3 days to go for the first test in Bangalore (now Bangaluru) playing conditions look pretty much similar to what we had in Hyderabad during practice match.Looking at the weather conditions captain Kumble will certainly be playing with 2 seamers and 2 spinners with long batting line up we have.
Shams & Wags’s probable XI for the Test are-
India – Anil Kumble(Capt.),V.Sehwag, G.Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar,Sourav Ganguly,VVS Laxman, M S Dhoni (VC & wk),Harbhajan Singh,Zaheer Khan,Ishant Sharma,Munaf Patel (12th man).
Australia – Ricky Ponting (Capt.), M Hayden, Phil Jacques, S Katich, Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey, B Haddin, Brett Lee, Stuart Clarke, M Johnson, Kreja, Watson (12th man)

Article By Shams & Wags

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Princely Comeback!!

Need of the hour is to take a leaf out of Dada’s book. Even if the odds are heavily stacked against your favor and even if the fat lady does not sing for you, one must definitely learn from Saurav Ganguly to how to keep focusing on the come back.
All started in the early 90's where he was a part of the tour down under. He was the 12th man and was asked to carry drink and towel. He belongs to the Royal family and at that point in time he refused to carry drinks which made him pay the price of being dropped of the squad. As one would agree, time works as a healer, he made his test debut in 1996 along side Rahul Dravid.Both of them scored magnificently and at that time itself they announced their arrival to the test arena Ganguly went on to make century in his century where as Dravid fell short of 4 runs.
Time and again he has found himself under an axe and there are always fingers pointing towards his selection. For a person who has been a thorn in the arms of Steve Waugh who considers him as an arrogant captain, it’s a cardinal sin to keep dropping him out of the squad. Dada exactly knew that the Australians do not get bogged down unless some one gets under their skin which is what he exactly did.

The title ‘Dada’ which is given to him means Big Brother is apt as he has been an instrumental force in building the young team and that he has been by the side of the youngsters and has always shown faith in them.
Seems Steve Waugh would have taken the slang meaning of Dada which means a bully or a Goon that’s why he has always criticised him.

He is one of the members of the Fab four of Indian Team. Records speak volume for him. He has been a player who has played well in both the formats of the games

Despite the fact that every one failed to score in the series against Sri Lanka, he was the first person to be axed out of the team. He has been dropped out of the test side despite of scoring decent number of runs if not scoring heavily. In the event of the failure, people start talking that he is not fit for playing and that the youngster should be given a chance ahead.
Sometimes one feels that the selectors have some vested interest in dropping him out of the squad. One should not forget that he has won India many matches under his captainship both in India and abroad.

Having said every thing, one also has to agree the fact that nothing can be taken for granted and hard work and perseverance is the name of he game if one wants to be a part of it. At the same time,let your performance speak volume rather than making noise.I think this is what is working for Dada as he has been considered in the Squad of 15 member for the action packed India- Australia Border Gavaskar series.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stump Vision!!

Difficult is the task to step in to the shoes of an outstanding performer and replacing him. The level of expectations only goes on top and comparison begins on all the takes.
Same is the situation at which Bradd Haddin has arrived at. The wicket keepers job is cumbersome. No respite whatsoever and concentrating on every single delivery is the biggest challenge. Unlike the bowlers, there is no change of wicket keepers at the end of the over. Cheering the team is one of the major jobs for the keeper. If there is no fall of the wicket, the wicket keeper has to work a wicket out by way of chirping behind the wicket and distracting the batsman. Loads of words are exchanged between the batsmen.
Ian Healy has done some outstanding work behind the wicket. He was replaced by Adam Gilchrist, who added new dimensions to the keeper’s job. Explosive batting was his style. He was the perfect replacement of for him. Gilchrist went on to change the definition of the wicket keeper and added a new dimension as an explosive batsman.
Gilchrist took the job of the keeper absolutely with the expectations and his retirement has created a void in the Australian camp and the expectation from Bradd Haddin has gone to infinity. Haddin the current Australian keeper has been in the waiting wings for a long time now. It was in 2001 series, he was touring India as the backup keeper for Adam Gilchrist. Other than injury, Gilchrist is too good a keeper batsman to replace. The entire 2001 was a tour for Bradd Haddin. Finally Bradd made the test debut as a keeper against West Indies this year.
Australia has produced some wonderful and world class keepers. Instantly recollected are Rod Marsh, Ian Healy and Adam Gilchrist.
It’s heard that Haddin is taking some valuable tips from the legend Ian Healy on keeping on Indian wickets. Can he handle the spin on Indian turf and can he step in the shoes of Gilly is the biggest point of concern for Australian camp. Even if he takes the tips from God, it won’t help him to gauge the bounce on Indian turf!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Most Luxurious Tourists

Hello Everyone. Welcome to Shams & Wags cricketing world. As we are eager for the Test to kick start against Aussies, you all must be feeling the same excitement.
The Official tour will start from 2nd Oct’08 but thanks to RCA (Rajasthan Cricket Association) and Mr.Modi the Oz’s team landed on 21st September and feeling MLT. Before anyone jumps or guess what MLT means let us clarify it stands for Most Luxurious Tourists. We just cannot digest the fact whether this is “Mehmaan-nawazi” for which we Indians are famous for or Mr.Modi wants Aussies to better be prepared for the big war.
Coming on to some stats to share with our readers there’s been a lot of criticism on our Fab Four which after exclusion of Ganguly from probable for selection has cut down to Fab three.
Our readers will surely like this one to read and to be proud of –
Total Test runs scored by Sachin, Dravid and Laxman are 28,100
Total Test runs scored by entire Australian team which is touring India – 27,834.
So one can imagine if the top guns fire and am very sure they would , Aussies will have to run down under for cover.

By: Saurabh Sharma

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cheer leader Rakhi-Grace or Disgrace?

I think people have still not over come the hype of the success of the IPL matches where the cheerleader would rock the boundaries. What was a success for one series cant be taken for granted for the other series.

There’s a buzz around that Rakhi Sawant is going to be the Cheer leader for the ICL matches. Goodness gracious, spare a thought on the Gentlemen’s game, they could not get any better than Rakhi Sawant?

Cricket is all about class. The presence of Rakhi Sawant would take the grace away from cricket. Well as it is ICL does not have much of attraction so it’s ok for them to have her as the Queen Bee of the Cheerleader gang.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

So Close Yet So Far!!

Seventy seven runs are all needed by the Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar.Can't imagine of the moment of joy that he would bring into millions of people when he will score that 77th run.
That very moment would be recorded in Golden words.
Will he make those runs in the very first match that's going to be played on 9th October is going to be a huge point of discussion and a hope as well.

Here's the list of the Top 10 batsman in terms of highest number of runs in Test Matches

Sitting on top is Brian Lara at the tally of 11953 runs. 77 run more and he will be replaced by yet another sensational batsman of all time. Already an owner of the various records like maximum number of centuries in both the formats, and maximum number of runs in ODI(16361), he will be owner of yet another record of highest runs getter in the Test arena.

Way ahead to go Sachin Tendulkar!!Make as many runs as you can for our country.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Action Packed October

Once again we come close to yet another edition of the Border Gavaskar Trophy.
Come October and the excitement level is going to reach satiety level as we would have action packed test matches. As every one knows, test matches are played in sessions and the tide can change from one session to another.
The side that plays the match session by session has a greater chance to win the match.
90 over in a day, 5 days of action, its damn exciting.

Keep reading more in the days to come as I am going to write more and more when the match begins.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Harsha Online!!

If some one were to wake me up at 2 am in the mid night and ask me to name one commentator, with out slightest of hesitation, Harsha would be the first name that will come out of my mouth. Some of the other names that would come while one talks about commentators (but not at mid night) would be Sunny Gavaskar, Shaz- Ravi Shastri, Wilko- Allan Wilkins, Waaz-Wasim Akram , Ian Chappel, Tony Greig and mums favorite boy Geoff Boycott.
Harsha A. Bhogle was born in Hyderabad, 19th July 1961 in Maharashtrian Konkanastha Brahmin family. Advertising was his first love. He graduated from IIM-Ahmedabad in 1985. His first commentary stint was a Ranji Trophy Match played between Hyderabad and Kerala, when he was just 19!!
Any guesses on his international debut as a commentator? It was way back in 1992, he was invited by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation during India’s Australian Tour. Incidentally it was our Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar's first tour of Australia. Since 1998, he has been presenting live cricket from all around the world for ESPN-Star Sports. He has covered more than 50 test matches and almost 300 ODIs.

He has been hosting shows like Harsha Online and Harsha Unplugged.
In any wild stretch of imagination one can’t imagine that he is Indian Cricket's first non player celebrity. One peculiar style I have noticed about him and that’s what makes me wonder whether he is a left hander.Whenever he speaks  his left hands does lot of movements and his fingers keep on moving as if he were writing in air. His face is all smiles and always wears a stretched smile on his face all the while and he doe not have any qualms about scarcity of hair on his head.

Anil Kumble would be a proud person to know the fact that he is Harsha’s all time favorite player. Anil is a big heart, very tough and extremely understated soft spoken person. He likes the players who let their performance speak for themselves which includes Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. He likes Ganguly for his aggression. As a child his cricketing idols were Sunil Gavaskar and BS Chandrasekhar and he used to copy their style more often than not. His personal favorite test match is the one India beat England at Leeds in 2002.According to him, India took bold decisions, batted brilliantly in bowler friendly conditions and the spinners won the game on the last day.
One thing I remember is that in one of the matches, there was some discussion going on about the coaches using too much of technology, they use laptops etc. So the fellow commentator asked him if he uses a laptop, to which he quietly replied that
"I am still working on my desktop to earn a laptop"
Harsha clearly sets an example of how a person can be extremely witty yet have his feet on the ground!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

And The Idea Is Ours!!

Wondering which idea I am talking about? Nopes I am not talking about Idea Cellular.
I am talking about the Idea Cup which we won in Sri Lanka. Although the result of the last match was some thing the Indians would like to forget, we won the cup with 3-2.
One could very well say that we dearly missed our captain Dhoni in test wickets. He is the best bet behind the wickets in India and every one knows his exploits with the bat. He can change the course the match single handedly as his come back in the ODI exactly showcased that.Raina again displayed super show as he latched on his aggressive mode.
The victorious captain of our under 19 team- Virat Kohli got a chance to bag the Indian cap in this series as he made his ODI debut in the first match. He even scored a half century. Chances like these should not be missed is what he should have known exactly by now.

Moving on to the bowling department, my eyes started glittering as soon as I saw his favorite & special delivery that especially jabs back into the left hander from out side off stump .Yes I am very much talking about ‘ZAK’. He showed signs of come back and he has proved his potentials as a senior pro while it comes to bowling. He was very well supported by Pravin Kumar and Munaf Patel. Patel for one looks like he has lost the sting as his very look gives a feeling that he is not up to mark. But with his immaculate line and length, he again proved that he has it in him and can be banked up on. Pravin kumar is that kind of bowler who does not have much of the pace, but he bowls in the right area and swings it well which makes him a good bowler. As they say Singh is King, our Sardar from Jullandar Bhajji is really a king as he was in good knick and turned the ball miles fetching some wickets against his name. He has become a peace maker now a days as who better than him would know about controversies that has revolved around him courtesy hot temper. One could see him in the fourth match while Dhoni was giving a peace of his mind to Yuvi, immediately Bhajji stepped in and was trying to make the situation lighter.

We missed the fifth bowler badly which means the part timers had to swing their arms.
When I say part timer, Yuvi is the one who was bowling, who is slightly better than the part timers as even he picked some wickets in the series.

Point to note is that our tagged All Rounder Irfan Pathan has forgotten to fire with the ball which he is supposed to do. He is not able to deliver with the ball and hence he is struggling to find the place in the eleven, which some years ago were a cemented place for him as he was considered as a lethal bowler.

Considering the fact that the match were played in Sri Lanka in this season, its always a point to wonder as it rains in that part of the world yet they scheduled the series at such time. This affects the course of the match. The fourth match was affected and was played on the reserve day which India won comfortably. Even the last match was delayed and interrupted. This ends up into the Rain Marred Matches

All said and done, the Idea Cup is already ours!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

All He Needs Is Lactose Power!!!!

What bigger pride than donning India’s Cap?
Captaining the side is even a bigger honor. What more is in the store? His satiety level is more. Coming from a small home town and reaching this height is really a commendable thing. The best thing that would have happened to the deserving sports person is what has happened. Yes he has been conferred India’s one of the biggest award in sports category. The Khel Ratna Award.

Born on July 7th 1981, in a Small town Ranchi seldom would have thought that he will make a big name for himself. It was against Bangladesh on 23 December 2004 that Mahendra Singh Dhoni made his debut in the ODI. It would have been the most forgetful match as he didn’t trouble the scorers as he got run out on a duck. Since then with his hard hitting prowess, he has become the back bone of Indian cricket team. One can really say that he is continuing the good work carried out by dada to build up a strong team. He is a man who would speak straight from his heart. One can clearly remember the IPL finals where Chennai Super Kings lost, he did not pin point anyone and he said we lost as a team.

Wining T20 world cup for India was the major event. He is a very cool and calm customer. Making him the captain of the side was the wise decision as he is the most deserving person. He is never short of words and also has the ability to handle the so called media very cleverly.

Be it his hair style or his batting style Mahi has always earned accolades. Even Pakistan’s President Gen. Musharraf also praised him for his hairstyle

Back in school, he was a goal keeper of his football team. The transformation from a goal keeper to wicket keeper has not been as difficult as has steel grit. Right through out his career he has played some wonderful cricket and he is the best bet behind the wickets.

Like Adam Gilchrist,Mahi has shown a new dimension to Indian cricket.
And can you imagine what he needs after all to be strong and powerful?

Yes all he needs is the Lactose Power!!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


All of a sudden you come to know that in as less as 3 matches, he goes on to score 300 Runs. 2 Tons and one 80 odd in 3 innings. Yes I am talking about the lad from Ghaziabad (UP), the south paw Suresh Raina. Making his debut in Srilanka in Dambula in the Indian Oil Cup in 2005; he always had the fire in him. Although he didnt open his account as he was cleaned up by the Magic of Murali for a Golden Duck.
Its not that he is new to the Indian Team. He was around during the reigns of Dada and Mr Consistent. Not getting enough of the chance was his fate then, while he was always a live wire on the field. Post the IPL, things have changes and this live wire has started electrocuting the opponents with his cover drives and pull. He is a superb timer of the ball and hits them hard. He plays some of the shots with utter disdain.

While he didn’t play to the expectations, he was dropped out of the squad and was sent back to the domestic circuit. I think that was the time when he made up his mind and mate himself work hard; the consequences are open for every one to see.

He makes the singles count. He does not miss on taking the twos and the threes while he is flamboyant while hitting the ball out of the park and it’s a treat to watch and hear the sound of the timber while it meets the ball. While he comes into bat in he second innings he always would have stopped some 20 odd runs which boosts his confidence.

He like other left handers proves time and again the left handers are born with some talent and their way of playing has more flexibility than the right handed players, but nothing to take anything away from the right handers.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Test Of The Character

It would be a cardinal sin to say that the Test Match is on the verge of a downfall. There is no comparison when it comes to Test Cricket. People have their own set of opinions that by the advent of the T20 or better called as IPL, there would be a downfall in Test Matches. The T20 is an interesting format of the game and it gets over fast, but it is no match with the Test cricket.

A person has to earn his Test Cap by proving that he has the capacity to play for long hours.It is not a bang bang kind of cricket. It’s all about survival on the wickets. The temperament of the person is put to test. The best part is that it’s played in sessions. The morning session is the vital one where the first hour of the play decides the forte of the match. It swings and bends. If the wickets start falling in the first session, it becomes very difficult to stay in the match.
In the shorter format of the game, even if the wickets fall, if the score is at par, still there are chances to win. However, in test cricket, even if you have score on the board, it does not make much of difference if you cannot survive for time. Test match gives affair chance to the bowlers.
The team will certainly win who knows how to take those 20 wickets. There’s a proper test of the character of the bowler, how much purchase he can get from the wicket. When it comes to limited over cricket, the economy rate of the spinners is too high. In test cricket, spinners can be lethal from the third day onwards. Bowlers like Muralidharan, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble can take the game away from the opponents almost single handed.
The bowlers of high caliber go on and on and they always want to be in the game and bowl the maximum overs. The moment they see there is turn and bounce, there’s a bright and a killing smile on the face of the spinners.

There is no doubt whatsoever that Yuvraj Singh is extremely talented player and he can fit into any team in the 1 when it comes to a T20 format or a limited over format. But he himself is never sure of his inclusion in the 11 member in the Test Side. He has been playing the ODIs for a long time now and has pretty good scores against his name. He is a tremendous fielder as well. Yet the beauty of Test Match is that still his place is not cemented his place in test side.

Test cricket is all about playing big innings and having the metal to stay on the wicket. The Australians are more worried when VVS Laxman is on the crease. They respect Sachin, but they fear VVS Laxman because he has always come for Indians rescue when they play against Australia. Even the best looking balls are sent to the boundary line by him such is his timing.
It is the Test Matches that has given him such amount of respect. He is called as Very Very Special Laxman although his name is Vangipurapu Venkata Sai Laxman .When it comes to ODI, even his place is not fixed in the playing 11 and he is not considered as a threat. The moment it comes to Test Match, he is considered as the ‘Thorn In The Arm’

Test Match is played only in white uniform, that thing is not yet tampered with in the Test Matches, while limited over games are played in colorful uniforms. Earlier even ODIs would be played in Whites.

The best of the reverse swing is seen in the Test Match. Unlike ODIs, test match is played with the red ball, so it does not get that much dirty that a player can’t cite it. Reverse swing is always on when the ball is old. The ball has to be worked on. One side of the ball has to be looked after and continuously shined. Pakistanis have this art of looking after the ball. One would always notice this in the test matches that ever player would shine the ball and pass it on to the other. There will be a fielder placed near to the bowlers starting mark so that he shines and gives the ball to the bowler.

In ODIs there’s less chance of playing with the old ball as it gets very dirty and it’s mandatory to change the ball after 35 overs. In test matches, one has the option to change the ball after 80 overs. They can still play with the old ball if they want to.
I can go on writing on and on like the Test Match will be played on for years from now on and on. On the ending note, please post your comments on What’s your Take on the Test Matches!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Man of the Match, Hat-Trick Super King Balaji!!

The world seemed to have forgotten him, there were questions asked as to where has he disappeared, up he comes and answers to all his fans with his smile and the Hat-Trick.
Yes Lakshmipathy Balaji, the first to get a Hat-Trick in the IPL fixtures. His spell was a turning point. The Punjab kings were going great guns. In comes Balaji, takes 2 wickets in his first over. It was a pulsating moment .Pathan was on the verge to get his side to
a victory. Balaji bowling the final 20th over, first ball, off it goes for a six by Pathan.
The Chennai Super Kings were on the gas. Second ball of the over, Pathan goes for a biggie, but his effort going in vein as he gets caught. Chennai crowd celebrates. He would have not yet thought about the Hat-Trick. Third ball, Chawla gets out.
It was at that time when he would have thought of a Hat-Trick He goes to his bowling mark and comes up pacing towards towards the stump. VRV Singh gives a wild swing and up goes the ball in the air and captain Dhoni grabbed it with two hands.

This was the first Hat-Tick of the IPL. Every one were so joyed that they forgot that there was one more all to be bowled and the match was not yet over completed the spell and Victory for Chennai Super Kings was the result. He ended up with figures of 5 for 24 which by any means show up as a good effort on the score card.
Man of the Match- Lakshmipathy Balaji.

Injury can do anything to the fate of the players. He was back with fame while he returned from the Pakistan and the tour down under( 2004). He was the most popular man amongst the Indian players in Pakistan. He has won the heart of people with his simplicity, modesty and his sweet killer smile. Balaji Jara Dhire Chalo is what I can recollect that was the popular song being chanted in the tour to Pakistan. Post that tour he got injured and since then there was no coming back for balaji. People had almost forgotten him.

Bouncing back is the name of the game. And that was exactly what balaji did.
There are some players with their very own charm. He won accolades with his charm in the days where he played for Indian national team before he got injured.

There are so many bowlers in the IPL in the peak of their form yet they could not achieve in the IPL what Balaji did. No wevery single time balaji comes to bowl, he will get all the attention for sure.

Looking back for your come back Balaji!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mumbai’s New Rocking Stadium- D Y Patil .

Day 27th of April 2008, all roads lead to this new stadium which was waiting to host first match of international reckoning for itself. I was on my way to watch this debacle. Even before I could go to the stadium my day was made. We were on the road while suddenly I could listen to the siren of the security jeep. Some thing passed whistling besides us.
My eye caught the glimpse of this bus and this bus was none other than Team Mumbai Indian Team Bus.

I had already gone mad even as I saw this bus, chasing it was the only thing in my mind. There I caught the glimpse of some players, but the thing that mattered most and that made my day was to get a sight of Swash Buckling Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar himself. He was seated in the front seat of the bus and there my eyes like an x-ray from the dark glass spotted him. I went berserk and started chanting his name. Soon I waived at him and the biggest reward I got was that he waived back to me. Soon the team bus passed whistling into the stadium and then we had to give up the chase as we were not allowed to enter from there.

Enter the stadium after lots of chaos regarding the entry gate; there I see the absolute treat. Lush green outfield and absolutely good seating arrangement. The entire look of the stadium was mind blowing and with the crowd of Mumbai filling in, it was absolutely amazing. As usual the chanting off ‘Sachin Sachin’ was going on top of the voice even though Sachin was not playing in this match. The crowd was enjoying every bit of it, but only point of loosing interest was that the home team was loosing the match.

The match was very well organized at the DY Patil stadium wherein you could find less of police man, but more of security guards and the college volunteers guiding the spectators.

Even Adam Gilchrist who hit a superb ton was amazed of this stadium and crowd that he went on records saying that DY Patil stadium is at par with any other International Stadium. The Mexican waive was amazing as usual and the pitch was also good.

Only point of worry that after 3 matches, rest of the matches are shifted from DY Patil to the Wankhede Stadium. There’s nothing wrong with the ground or stadium only point of consideration is that it’s far away from the players hotel. Its some 40 km away from the hotel. The players had to travel a lots and there is no single ground close to their hotel.

But what ever DY Patil Ground had to offer, it was awesome and the people are going to cherish the memories.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Nawab, Sultan…..The Butcher ……

November 3rd, 2001 was the day when the explosive batsman from Delhi had made his debut against South Africa at Bloemfontein. A century on his debut match was his exploit against the Proteas. 7 years down the line again he is up with yet another peach of an innings.

Yes I am talking about our very own Viru...

This Nawab of Najafgarh made history when he became the first Indian to score a Triple Ton again Pakistan in Multan. 'Sultan of Multan' is what he was called post that feat. The beauty of the sultan is that he does not have a text book foot work but has some terrific hand eye coordination which makes the gurus of cricket wonder about his success. He understands only one language, which is ‘Attack’. When ever he is nearing any mile stone, he would go for the biggie that would fetch him the maximum and send the cherry right out of the park. He is the owner of a very surprising record. In the last 10 occasions whenever he crossed the 100 run mark, he has crossed 150 runs which forces every one to agree that he is a big century getter who is not satisfied with just hundred. His style of attack can dent the psyche of any opposition, better to acknowledge are the Aussies.

On 28th March 2008, yet again he entered the record books by scoring a Triple Ton and storming himself in the elite club. The club of members who have made more than one triple ton. The elegant left hander Brian Lara and Sir Donald Bradman are the member of that club.

The way Viru is playing at the moment seems he is here for sure to achieve many such records as his timber speaks volumes. Scoring in less than run a ball is his biggest feature.
It is very difficult for any one to over look his efforts and drop him from any test matches. He was not included in the Home series against Pakistan, which made him work even more hard and now his determination is very well reflected on the scoreboard.
Way ahead to go Viru……..

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Thunder Down Under!!

The last 'Hope' that the Aussie had of going into the third final was over while Pravin kumar caught the Kokaburra. And the celebrations begin with the Men in Blue running all over the park at the GABBA.The way the Men in blue showcased their class was commendable.
Sachin again leading from the front and making the life miserable for the Aussies. He took us a decade back where he had played a same sort of innings against the Oz in Sharjah.

Time and again he reminds his critics to shut up. Every time and again one would debate that Sachin is not a big final player. By showcasing his class, yet again in the similar fashion with his willow, he made his critics seal their mouth. I think he has a very own mantra that every one should follow as a batsman - All it takes is a Willow Power!!
His innings took us a decade back where he had exploited the Aussies in Sharjha.
He is a man with a mission and no matter what his age is as some his critics would suggest, the grit and determination is same as of the new guys. His mere presence on the grounds makes a huge deal of difference.

One fan went up to Sachin asking for the autograph, while he was obliging, the fan asked so do we see you at Adelaide?
Instantly there was a calm reply, no mate we will win the series by then!! It was as if the fan checking out Sachin's humor.

Our Men in blue had great answers for the arrogant Oz who lost coz of utter arrogance and complacency.They were best in all the departments.

Our fully charged Turbunator who played a hand in dismissing his dear friends Symo and Haydos was a treat to watch as he showed deadly positive body language that would motivate other players as well. It was fun listening to what he said finally in his interview with Gautam Bhimbani,
"I am happy that things will get settled now that we have won".

Dhoni was at his best marshalling his recourses. Especially the youngsters and new comers. A young lad who would never had thought that he would play with the God who made the debut while he was 2 years old. Yes I am talking about Rohit Sharma. The entire team was seen as working as a unit.

The First final saw the baptism of Sydney Cricket Ground. A hoarding suggested the full form of SCG as Sachin Cricket Ground, where every one witnessed the maestros first century down under, also that he carried his bat through.

Not only on ground, one could see the enthusiasm in the commentary box as well. Even there it was an Indian show. Who better to comment than our very own Ravi Shashtri. Kudos to him as well.

While we al bask in the Glory of our famous win after so many years in Australi(Ravi Shastri’s Audi is what I recollect even as we won last time around), lets not forget the feat achieved by our U-19 boys in blue. A Fabulous effort in winning the U-19 World Cup.

For the time we win another series anywhere in the world,let’s cherish the memories of the Commom Wealth Bank Triseries.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow!!

It was a record in itself, one of a kind for me. Ya for having grown the hair to the maximum length I could for a period of more than a year’s time.
It was for my long hair that I used to get looks and was also got starred many times.
Reason being strong resemblance to our Wicket Keeper Dhoni.

I remember going to Delhi to Yahoo office-Gurgaon. It was then that India had won the T-20 world Cup. I was celebrating the victory guzzling down beer in the guest house.
So the day when our victorious team was supposed to return to India and there was a grand welcome in Mumbai, my friends kept on asking me that what are u doing in Delhi, you should have been in Mumbai as you are the biggest cricket fan. My instant reply was 2 captains cannot be together at the same place hence I am here and he is in Mumbai.

Even while I had gone to Bangalore one old man passed by me, he stopped and came back and said you strongly resemble Dhoni, gently I said ‘Do you need my autograph sir . ..’ he bursted out laughing and told me you should be at the ground and incidentally it was India Vs Australia at the Chinnaswami Stadium Bangalore.

I had got used people starring at me or giving me looks and murmuring ‘He looks
like Dhoni’ , even on the streets some one would say “A Dhoni...”

Even as Dhoni had a haircut, people would tell me that now its your turn for a hair cut, to which my gentle reply would be He has Deepika, I don’t have Deepika!!

One Saturday some thing came to my mind and I headed straight to the saloon and got rid of my long hair, and post that I am getting looks again.......

One interesting thing I would like to share would be that earlier while i used to have small hair, I was addressed as Parthiv Patel and while with long hair, Dhoni.
I fail to understand why my life is revolving round Wicket keepers!!


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Legendary Role Model!!

While it comes to cricket and even as one talk about Role Models, the 2 names that would surface would be our Master Blaster Swashbuckling Mumbai Bomber
‘Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar’ and the Sultan of Swing ‘Wasim Akram’

As a youngster, any one would definitely look upon to the Master Blaster as a Role Model. He has played over two decades and still going strong...
His bat speaks for all, and it really speaks in tons and volumes. He does not have to show his aggression other than with his bat. A little grin of his and there goes the ball off the park when he smashes the bowler with utter disdain.

One has to really learn from him how to maintain that craftsman ship while playing and also how to handle stardom. Sachin … Sachin is the chant that goes all over the stadium while he plays in any part of the world. Can’t even think that he would have ever let his ego come on to his way in his illustrious career so far. I think in the current Indian Team, some of the players should have a look at it and make amends in their way of batting and behavior. One person I would like to single out would be Sreesanth. He is an aggressive lad but he needs to channalize his aggression and energy in to his bowling and he has to let the Cherry do the talk on the field rather than his mouth.
Sachin is one of the living legend and way ahead to go and he is owner of the company
‘Most Number of Test & ODI Hundreds’ .

One of the sign boards at the Sydney Cricket Ground(SCG) displayed "Go and commit mistakes they would be ignored coz even God watch when Sachin bats"( Source- Saurabh Sharma)

Moving on from the batting talks to the bowling, who can forget the all time lefty bowling legend yes that’s Wasim Akram aka Wasim Bhai.

I am very sure that every left arm fast budding bowler would have Wasim as a Role Model. There would be the likes of the McGrath’s, Pollock’s and Lees, but while it comes to leftarm bowlers, the list would not have those many names featured in it. Some times I do feel that he used to talk with the ball. One thing to worry as a batsman was he could bowl six different deliveries in a single over. The way he had command over the ball was really commendable. He could move the ball either ways and he was very lethal with his ‘In Swinging Yorkers’ and ‘Reverse Swing’

Little would you know that he was a diabetic and used to take insulin every day, even on the match day. Leading a life as a diabetic patient is as it is difficult for a person, so hats off to this Left Handed Role Modle of mine.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Kudos Gilly!!!!!!

All Good Things Come To An End!! Kudos Gilly!!!!!!

While we saw a wonderful Test series come to an end, there was one thing to admire a lot amongst many things. Well, forget all the controversies that happened and also for the time being lets forget the number or runs the batsman have scored or the wickets the bowlers have taken, lets give our thought for worlds deadliest ever wicket keeper cum stylish attacking batsman from New South Wales ‘ Adam Craig Gilchrist’

Making his ODI debut in 1996, it was for his high quality as a keeper who could demolish the opposition's bowling attack that got him his place in the side .Remember he had to replace the likes of Ian Healy who was a very brilliant keeper at that time and to replace a person like him required a great deal of quality.

Best thing about Gilly was that he would walk out if he felt he was out or if he felt that he has knicked the ball.

A keeper who does the most difficult job is seldom appreciated and his hard work is over shadowed by some good bowling or good batting. A batsman gets his share of rest if he gets out, and the bowler might get a breather at the change of the over which lasts for minimum 6 balls, and if he is tired, he is replaced by other bowler. But for the entire day or innings, the keeper has to have his footwork and glove work going and his work is always unnoticed.

He added a new dimension for wicket keepers and expectations from the keepers have only increased. The likes of Dhonis and Bouchers definitely owe big time to Gilly.

Gilly’s decision was a big surprise to the entire cricketing world and he is the best judge to make the decision. And it’s always good to retire when in prime form and sounds good when some one question's as to why do you retire rather that asking why don’t you retire?


About Shams n Wags

Saurabh Sharma & Paresh Waghela aka Shams & Wags, the deadly cricket crazy duo promising to cover the reviews, comments and more on cricket.

It was way back in Feb 2007 when the duo met in a company where they used to work. Besides working, discussing over cricket matches, watching cricket and enjoy their favourite player play was the best way they could spend the time.
About Shams:
Shams is originally from Jabalpur, now working in Mumbai. He  is a Hindi Guru. He comes up with some deadliest of words in Hindi which makes even a serious person laugh. He plays a major role in stats and facts that appear in the article.Cricket is his passion

About Wags:
Paresh, born and brought up in Mumbai is a simple yet stylish tall left hander who likes to play around with words.Coming up with small tag lines or crisp articles is his speciality. Needles to say, a die-hard cricket fan.
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