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E R Ramachandran
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Join Gavaskar in demanding transparency


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The events of cricket in India are getting bizarre and are turning from Shakespearian comedy to one of Theater of the Absurd. Let me elaborate. The Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee that named N. Srinivasan in its report has found the ICC chief not guilty of either match-fixing or of scuttling the probe. I don't know if one should receive the news with jubilation or not. That will indeed be the day if the man holding the highest position of office in Indian cricket, at whose seat the buck is supposed to stop, is probed into fixing match or scuttling the probe ordered by the highest court in the country. However, the Mudgal committee has accused him of inaction after fully in the know of a player having indulged in irregular activities. This is as serious an offence as the first two mentioned; and if this is not serious,....


Saturday , October 25, 2014

India have lost the power to stay


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On a television show recently, Mr. Sunil Gavaskar said, and I quote: "You need bowlers who can take 20 wickets for a period of 2-3 matches at a stretch. And I am afraid, India have always missed such a bunch of bowlers. If they can do this, only then they will have chance." He was, of course, talking of India's chances in the forthcoming Test series in Australia. Incidentally India will also be playing in Australian and New Zealand pitches in the next World Cup in 2015. Gavaskar, one of the shrewdest observers of the game, must have been worried about the consistency, or the lack of it, in our attack, especially in games played abroad. Equally important, too, is the performance of our batsmen. Here again consistency seems to be a worrying factor. Let me elaborate. A Test match is played over....


Tuesday , August 26, 2014

BCCI needs to plan India's revival in Tests


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Now that dust has, for the moment, settled on India's Test series in England, it is time to see what went wrong in India's dismal performance in the series. However, it will help to have a glance at how Test matches have gone recently. In 2013, when Australia toured England, England beat them 3-0. When England went to Australia, Australia whitewashed them 5-0. Practically, same members played in both the series with results that astounded pundits and laymen. Let's see how India fared in the past in England. In 2011 when India went to England, the visitors were swamped 4-0 in a four-match series with the legends still part of the team, including Sachin Tendulkar who was searching for his 100th international century. In fact, Sachin was in London well before the series trying to adjust to the English weather and pitches, but still the century eluded....


Thursday , April 26, 2012

Dravid and Ganguly lead from the front


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Each year, the IPL brings with it its own unique facets as the tournament unfolds. And this year, where teams like Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore have a pool of big guns to choose from, it is the teams like Rajasthan Royals and Pune Warriors India that have created a mini havoc of sorts by beating their more fancied opponents. The difference here is that they are led by the past stalwarts of Indian cricket, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly respectively. Make no mistake about it, they are not captains just on paper but are throwing themselves into each match like some enthusiastic 18 year olds. Their commitment has been infectious to lift the spirit of the whole team to rise above the mundane into giving sterling performances. Ajinkya Rahane has confessed Dravid is his role model. Be it his batting style or looks, Rahane somewhat resembles Dravid. Undoubtedly....


Thursday , April 19, 2012

Youngsters steal the thunder in the IPL


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Young left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem's confidence would have soared sky high when he helped his team Delhi Daredevils skittle Harbhajan Singh's Mumbai Indians for 92, so far the lowest score in IPL 5. The kudos he earned from his team-mates, namely the stalwarts Virender Sehwag, Mahela Jayawardene, Kevin Pietersen and Ross Taylor, would act like a permanent boost all through his career. It's that kind of a dream debut any youngster hopes for. Ajinkya Rahane took on even the wily legend Muttiah Muralitharan and scored one of the finest innings of this year's IPL. He created an IPL history when he scored a boundary off each ball of an S Aravind over. With that innings of 103 in 60 balls and good scores throughout, he has shown he is ready to play for India. Earlier, he had narrowly missed a century when he scored 98 against King's XI Punjab. Siddharth....


Thursday , April 12, 2012

Yuvraj Singh, a gutsy cricketer


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Making his debut in October 2000, standing at cover-point Yuvraj Singh served notice to batsmen. From then on fielding in the Indian team would take a quantum jump from leisurely accompanying the ball to the fence - as was generally the practice - to an attitude that it the ball had to be stopped come what may. While Yuvraj was patrolling the point region no batsman dared steal a single or try an aerial route in that direction. In essence, fielding had arrived in India. Rock-hard fielding was one of the building blocks that formed the foundation on which India raised its hopes of winning the World Cup. Yuvraj, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli wove such a stifling stranglehold on Sri Lanka in the 2011 World Cup final that even a seasoned pro like Mahela Jayawardene found it difficult to break the wall formed by the trio. In the first....


Thursday , April 05, 2012

The IPL: A peek into the future


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The Bollywood Cricket Confederation of India (BCCI) has signed a contract with the Association of Straws & Sons for a jaw-dropping $100 billion, the breakup being: team sponsor $ 30.22 billion, kit sponsor $19.67 billion and media rights $ 50.11 billion. The IPL commissioner of the BCCI, Mr Cricket Czar, recently announced his plans for the future of the IPL at the start of IPL 6 which was relayed all over the planet including the island of Litla Dimun, the volcanic island of Aogashima and Sing Sing. The Curiosity Rover, on the way to Mars, picked up the signals and cosmonauts aboard the international space station Soyuz saw it live and had a hearty laugh over it. The function was held at the Taj Mahal Hotel's Crystal Ball Room II which was built a kilometer from the Gateway of India on the Arabian Sea to be used only....


Friday , March 30, 2012

With 2015 in mind, India need genuine allrounders


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Kris Srikkanth, the chairman of the BCCI's selection committee, was gracious enough to own up responsibility for India's failure in England and Australia on national television. There is no shame in losing and a candid admission demonstrates a rare candour towards correction and plan improvement for the future. With his usual swashbuckling batting style, Srikkanth remarked that the future will be bright and India will be on top in all forms of the game in a period of two years. One hopes it really will be the case. Perhaps Srikkanth has in mind the 2015 World Cup in Australia where India will go there to retain their status as world champions. Australian pitches, with their natural bounce, help fast bowlers and are quite a different kettle of fish compared to placid subcontinent tracks where India have little difficulties winning. If recent series are an indication, then teams are likely to....


Friday , March 23, 2012

India's bowling is losing sting


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"The Asia Cup is vital for the reputation of the country," said Kris Srikkanth, chairman of India's selection committee, to the media when he announced the team the for four-nation tournament earlier this month. It was also the day he lost his cool in front of the media. India's captain MS Dhoni had this to say after the thrilling win over Pakistan recently: "We've got the talent in the bowling department also. It's about how you handle pressure, they will learn from games like these." Twice in a space of one month the World Cup winners were thrown out of an ODI tri-series, first in Australia and second in homegrown conditions in Bangladesh. Twice, even after some frenetic batting heroics from Virat Kohli, India were left looking for favours from another team in order to qualify for a tournament final. Twice, they failed to receive any favours. That....


Saturday , March 17, 2012

Dravid, the epitome of grit and grace


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"Play the game in the spirit of the game," exhorted India's first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru while inaugurating the first Asian Games in Delhi in 1951. Rahul Dravid retired from cricket in a graceful manner without much flourish or extravagance, having taken it to the highest level of his ability. Even his retirement function in Bangalore was deliberately underplayed - just the way he played his cricket - as the three gentlemen on stage at the Chinnaswamy Stadium started off right on the dot. An envelope of sadness hung around the gathering but it was tempered by grace and dignity, like the man himself. Dravid's amazing career, with ups and downs and the way he tackled them, stands as a testimony for what he stood for. "When the going gets tough, the tough get going," is a common adage that describe some who are tough as nails. This was....


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More about E R Ramachandran

E.R. Ramachandran, a corporate manager-turned-columnist has contributed to Hindustan times and Deccan Herald. He is a regular contributor to the Churumuri blog and writes a weekly column for Mysore Mail, a local Newspaper. Satire being his forte, he combines cricket and other sports with politics, in 'tongue in cheek' articles. He firmly believes that another 22-ball century can never happen again in any format of cricket like the one Don Bradman did in November 1931. And feels it is time for BCCI to do something to improve India's fielding and running between the wickets.
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