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Radhakrishnan Sreenivasan
Monday , June 24, 2013

India (and DRS) gave the Champions Trophy a fine farewell

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Thanks for the memories India, for being brilliant at one level and the tournament and the ICC Champions Trophy itself, at another. However, how will history remember the tournament? An event by the way, that started off as the next big thing to the World Cup was reduced to nothing more than a transit lounge for a few teams ahead of their future engagements. Even as I sat back and admired this Indian team for easily being the most consistent in all departments of the game over the fortnight, I wonder what will be its place in history for having won a tournament in a format that's no more the most popular and in an event that has been phased out too. Don't get me wrong, it was an amazing performance in testing conditions by the Indian cricket team. But at a micro level, its as good as....

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On and off the field, timing is Tendulkar's core

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I'm not too sure if there are any adjectives that remain in the thesaurus to describe Sachin Tendulkar. If there are indeed a few more in the queen's language, it's just that we haven't heard them ever. It comes as no surprise to me with respect to Tendulkar, who I'm sure many will agree, is one of the biggest reasons why we stuck around with this game called cricket. He not only inspired, but also initiated a generation to the game. So what is it that makes him so special? Besides the many array of strokes on the cricketing field and the humility that he displays off it, I think the core of Tendulkar is timing. That's the one word around which his personality has revolved. His timing on the field; his adherence and value for his and others' time off it. Ask any journalist,....

Thursday , April 11, 2013

The hero this far in IPL 6 has been the pitches

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Its early days in IPL 6 and understandably the teams are settling in. The scores have been modest in comparison to the previous editions held in India, with bowlers establishing their credentials on good surfaces making it really pleasing to the eye. Central to this script has been the surfaces that we have got to see at most venues. There's generally a lot more bounce and carry on the surfaces allowing the ball to come on to the bat a lot more while at the same time giving the bowlers a bit more encouragement. The average score in the first ten overs hover around the 60-run mark and not too many totals above or even close to 200 mark indicates, thankfully, that there is a bit more of a balance and contest between the bat and the ball in IPL 6. Maintaining a pitch for 40 overs....

Saturday , March 30, 2013

Wicketkeepers have come a long way

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From being a slightly secluded breed to being an integral match winning component of a side, if we are talking evolution in the world of cricket, wicketkeepers should take centrestage. And no surprisingly, a third of the teams in this edition of the IPL will look up to their wicketkeepers to lead from the front while the others will expect contributions for most of the 40 overs in every game they play. Their adaptability under different situations in different continents in different formats of the game has been astonishing. Maybe we have come to expect it almost always from them. Doesn't matter the conditions - hot or cold, the pitch - green or dry, you almost always expect them to perform. The bars set are always set differently and higher for that breed. You may pardon a spinner for being ordinary in South Africa or for that matter,....

Thursday , March 21, 2013

Controversies continue to plague Australian cricket

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The final Test between India and Australia at the Feroze Shah Kotla is perhaps one of the most important Test matches for the entire Australian cricket hierarchy. In the wake of what's happened over the course of the Indian tour on and off the pitch, it's imperative that the powers that be and the observers of Australian cricket Down Under evaluate the situation and circumstances before arriving at conclusions. It's not the first time Australian cricket finds itself in the situation they are in and probably this won't be the last time as well. Talking of circumstances - If Michael Clarke and Australia lose this Test, it will be the first time since 1982 that Australia would have been blanked in a series that comprises of three Test matches or over. Bill Lawry and Kim Hughes hold that dubious distinction in the last century besides Tup Scott in....

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

India must keep searching for winning combinations

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A win under the belt should give the home side some comfort and without much time between two Test matches would mean India will most likely persist with the same XI and allow a few members a few more hours to regain their confidence. But if India want to get back to No. 1 in Test cricket, they might want to look at a combination that would equip them going forward mentally towards bigger challenges. Perhaps this series presents itself with a good and very realistic opportunity to understand a different combination for the future. In more ways than one, the two teams started the series on a similar note. While Michael Clarke's men had an almost flawless summer in Australia, the Indians, with the exception of a defeat against England, have been consistent in churning out series wins at home. It is tough to see much change....

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pietersen's problem is Pietersen himself

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Packed schedules more often than not don't allow players and teams to reflect upon what's happened with them. While India will not have trouble picking a team for the second Test, England might want to sit down and ponder over whatever options they have available. But more than the management sitting down to analyze where they need to be heading, guess its not such a bad idea for individuals to look within themselves a bit more. Maybe spend time to think about the qualities that, in the first place made them the players they are in this format of the game. More often than not, in sport, as in life, it's only a question of re-enforcing beliefs and traits that made you successful - searching for inspiration that might be at some quarter of your own dressing room. Luckily for England, they don't have to look....

Saturday , October 13, 2012

Are we selfish in applauding West Indies?

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One of the overriding challenges of being a cricket journalist in this part of the world is to sit back and think of a story idea. Not because there's hardly anything happening but primarily because there's so much around you that you struggle to justify whether you should review a tournament that just concluded or in fact preview the next tournament that's already underway. For a cricketing fanatic, I would suppose this translates to oscillating between joy and sorrow unless you just sit back and enjoy sport for what it is and therefore celebrate the champions. The club fanatics would ideally be looking at South Africa even as the entire cricketing community marvels and is still applauding the popular champions - West Indies. I suppose I can take the liberty of speaking for the people because I have yet to come across a cricket fan that hasn't....

Friday , September 28, 2012

Striking a balance is the challenge for new selectors

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When it comes to picking and choosing players, there's always this statement from my good friend Sanjay Bangar - also a blogger in these pages - that crops up in my mind. In India there is sometimes a tendency to reward talent over consistent performances at the domestic level as opposed to say, an Australian system where you always go through the grind before graduating to international cricket. It's this balance for starters in the relevant departments and the formats that the new selection committee will have to strike going forward. First up, what is it that the Indian team has got on their itinerary going forward? The next 12 months till just before the away tour of South Africa shouldn't worry them too much; at least in the Test format where we are looking at areas of improvement. Primarily, India are playing Test cricket at....

Friday , September 21, 2012

Do T20s promote globalization or merely emphasize greater polarization?

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Having watched the first four games of the ICC World Twenty20, I can safely say the matches involving the non Test-playing nations thus far have been lopsided. While Zimbabwe were finding out which way the ball will turn facing up to Ajantha Mendis, and then struggling to cope with South Africa's battery of fast men as they crashed out of the tournament on day three, Australia beat Ireland with five overs to spare. And we still yearn for teams like Afghanistan to tell us bigger and better stories. The shorter the game, the tighter it would get was, one of the aspects promised by the shortest format of the game. Therefore the inference was, the excitement generated will allow more countries to take up and compete with the test playing nations going forward. That was one of the premises, but evidence suggests it has been anything but so....


More about Radhakrishnan Sreenivasan

S Radhakrishnan, better known as RK, is a sports freak. After dabbling in the world of Physics at the Madras Christian College, he did his Masters in Business Administration from Mumbai. Working in a corporate world didn’t suit him and he decided to enter the world of journalism. During his stint with ESPN Star Sports, RK covered the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2003, before moving on to join NEO Sports as their prime anchor. He is now the face of NEO Prime and NEO Sports.



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