28 September 2008

The age of Kris

We might be in for a change in attitude towards transparency in selection matters. I am hoping, against all history and most logic.
If there is one thing that Kris is, it is that he is talkative. Straighttalking? I can't say. Probably more of someone who has little control over what he says, is what he is more likely to be.
The BCCI does not stand a chance with a gag order.
So either we have a very short Kris Srikkanth tenure or the BCCI comes to accept the fact that Kris will talk and write bullshit.

23 September 2008

Yuvi's back OR Will someone show me the method in this madness?

In what is probably the first piece of real good news that Yuvi must have heard since his name was announced for the tour of Australia (getting nominated for a meaningless ICC Award notwithstanding), he has been named captain of the Board President's XI that will take on the Aussies in a four day encounter starting Oct. 2.

Clearly behind Kaif and Badri in the race for a Test spot, it seems that some of us were wrong to conclude that Yuvi was behind Sharma and Raina as well. If Kaif and Badri do not make the most of their opportunity, Yuvi could be back in whites sooner than we expected.

As ever, the selectorial brain continues to excite and befuddle. If his obvious outrageous talent is the reason he was in the scheme of things, then casting him into Test wilderness after two bad matches in OZ was premature. Similarly, if his percieved inadequacy on tough wickets against tough bowlers was the reason he was dropped, he certainly has not demonstrated any great improvement in technique to merit a recall.

And what of those thoughts that flew in the wind - something about a knee surgery to prolong his career?

But I am sure there is great method in this seeming madness.

Others who seemed to have slipped off the radar, but have made the cut for this team include Chopra and Sreesanth.

19 September 2008

McGain's pilgrimage

CWB's Bryce McGain is an IT geek.

Is it coincidental that he is likely to make his international debut in Bangalore?

A city that is not only famous for its trees, pubs, bad traffic and embarrasing policemen, but is the spiritual home of the global IT industry.

Are his surroundings likely to inspire him to emulate the Bangalore geeks Dravid and Kumble?

Has Ranatunga just broken a murderer's heart?

If someone had to grow some balls, it is not very surprising that Ranatunga inspired it. Anyway, it is quite sad that it needed one of the smaller, less powerful cricketing nations for the breach to occur. Any suggestion that the acts of the SL cricket board are motivated are entirely lacking in evidence. But this is not a courtroom. Mr Chandra is a known International Man of Mystery.

The BCCI had been a good provider. Puts food on the table. Buys the silk and took you out to the movies. The sex was just about all right. Did not move mountains, but satisfactory.

As Ranatunga grew fat and sedentary and spent the afternoons watching The Bold and the Beautiful, something just wasn't right - it was never perfect of course, at the back of his mind and elsewhere, and now it was festering..

Now you have eloped and left the BCCI wondering what's he got that I ain't got?

Can Ranatunga handle the wrath?

"There are consequences to breaking the heart of a murdering bastard."

Bhogle vomits

Harsha Bhogle has repeated the argument seen on blogs ever since the ICL rose - test cricket is like classical music, franchise cricket is pop - what the market wants - by demanding Tests, are we not forcing our opinions on the market, and if the market demands differently, won't it rebel??

"We can make it aware of the glory of classical music, continue to offer it, even give it a premium tag but we must be aware that in the end the consumer wins."


Question is: will we continue to have performers like MS Subbalakshmi who refresh and revolutionise classical music - sticking to that discipline despite the riches and fame that popular music offered.

18 September 2008

A Soulberry epic and the nature of the beast

Soulberry's patience with a blogpost means that we have what is an epic by blog standards. Sure, it is a derivative work, tipping its hat to both Orwell as well as JRod, but in the end it is more than a sum of its parts. And as if my sense of anticipation wasn't already peering over the edge of the cliff, this post has me licking my lips in anticipation of a free fall (one that I know will hurt from memory). Well done!

The hurt from Sydney required the euphoria-balm of Perth. If not for Veeru and Pathan and the rest, I can imagine the dark feelings I'd have been harbouring right now. Those sections of our personalities that we spend an entire lifetime attempting to surprss, require only one cathartic moment (or a series of events) to grow and take control - The Exorcist, Bhool Bhulaiyya style..

I saw the ugly Indian cricket fan grow inside me, and I wrote about it, disdainfully observing the effigy-burners outside my self, but fully aware that there was one within me. Thank god for Perth, thank god for the tri-series, for the ruffian within had a good reason to go back within his shell. Phew, I am sophisticated again, I can glibly talk about the games many 'slings and arrows of outrageous fortune', how you 'win some and you lose some'..

Or did he?

What is the nature of this beast? Is he separate from the remaining, more respectable (the reading, English newspaper reading, DVD-purchasing, argumentative) parts of my self? How different is the effigy burner from the joyous dancer at India Gate when the young ones took everything at Jo'burg, or the one who lost his voice in the swooning Mumbai crowd? Are they the same person, only manifesting differently to a changed cricketing environment? Very primal - comfortable when winning, or even losing by an inch, but lose badly or raise a suspicion of being cheated out of a win, and there is no damming this ugliness, like an mother beast with its cubs and back to the wall.

I am without sophistication. This is me, the cricket fan.

17 September 2008

Kohli throws his hat in

Virat Kohli seemed competent in the just concluded ODI series. He did not cement his spot because he was filling in for Sehwag, but clearly Dhoni likes him, and so does Sehwag - so we will see a bit more of him in the one-dayers. And now, he has scored a valuable hundred (unbeaten on 167 at a strike rate of 77 as I write this) in the Mohammed Nissar Trophy against a more than competent attack.

Chopra's hundred was less significant because he is trying to break into an opening partnership that seems to have been sewn up between Sehwag and Gambhir, with Jaffer still in the mix somewhere. But Kohli wants a spot in the Test middle order. Kaif, Badri, Raina and Rohit (even Yuvi) are still ahead of him in the queue, but he will get another chance to perform in the Irani trophy to shout even louder.

By itself, this is a good reason to pay the selectors.

15 September 2008

Giving up the ghost. Not!!

For those who do not already know, the new ICL ads are out, and to my jaded eye, they were refreshing. None of the crass Bollywood nonsense and the superstar hype that characterised the IPL ads, and the ICL marketing of previous years. Here's a sample:

Are they trying to be the Thinking Man's (okay, let me rephrase: The Non-Vegetable's) domestic 20-20 competition?

In other news, the ICL has poached some Bangla heavyweights (this is not an Inzamam joke) of yesteryear, as well as a few promising youngsters.

The ICL is not giving up yet. Let's hope they can carry on until they break the BCCI monopoly on domestic cricket.

06 September 2008

Irani chai

Few questions for the selectors when they pick the Rest of India squad:

Since both Test openers will be playing for Delhi, what is our second choice opening line-up?

Will the middle order comprise the same people that were befuddled by Mendis? Any chance we might get to see Badri, Yuvi or Rohit?

Who will share the new ball with Zaheer? This selection might give a clue regarding Sree's future, and the selector's plans for Praveen in the Test side.

The break from blogging was prompted by a job and location change. With a new job and an apartment in strange Mumbai, I will try to be more regular.