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Sanjay Bangar
Thursday , March 21, 2013

Series victory over Australia a result of thorough planning

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Indian Team has been an absolute winner against a struggling Australia. They deserve all the accolades for their outstanding performances during the series after what has been a tumultuous period for them over the last 18 months or so. While it is true that the quality and spirit of the current Aussie team is not what one expected, it will be unfair on the Indian team to discount the significance of the Test wins. It will be important to remember that you cannot choose your opponents and hence their quality. Even the aura that the Australian team commanded in the Steve Waugh era or in the earlier days of the Ricky Ponting era, when they were notching up record-breaking consecutive Test wins, was not always necessarily against top-quality opponents. Sehwag The victories achieved recently are extremely important for Dhoni as purists are now....

Thursday , March 14, 2013

The issue of over-age players in junior cricket is rampant

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Post my retirement from first-cricket, I have been a regular visitor to cricket grounds across Mumbai to drop or pick up my son who has just started playing school cricket. It has also provided me an excellent opportunity to bump into cricketing colleagues with whom I had played cricket in my formative years. After initial pleasantries, the conversation usually revolves around the present day state of cricket and the issues that could either help the game going forward or of issues that might be detrimental to amount of young talent that our country possesses. The foremost among the topics is the issue of overage players playing in Under-16 and Under-19 levels. Many stories of how players are getting fake/forged birth certificates are mentioned. Instances of malpractices of registering birth dates in the municipal records also came to light. There are also cases of players born in a particular year....

Tuesday , January 08, 2013

The factors that lead to a cricketer's retirement

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It was indeed a difficult decision to announce my retirement from first-class cricket, which I did a few days ago. It's too early to assess the impact that call will have on my life as I need to find another passion to fill the void left by what I did for the better part of the last 25-odd years. However the number of factors that a sportsman takes into account while retiring, could be as highlighted in the paragraphs to follow, at least from my thoughts over the last few days: Maintaining performance level: For a sportsman, something that which is very important is self respect and the respect earned in the dressing room on account of performances. No matter how long an individual has played the game, he cannot live on past history. He needs to be consistent enough so that he continues to be an....

Saturday , November 24, 2012

Pujara a product of domestic success

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At the end of round three of the Ranji Trophy more than 40 centuries have been scored in around 35 first-class games. There were certain sections in the domestic circuit who were critical of the high scoring games. While it is certainly justified in being critical of matches where even first innings of both teams was not completed, we need to try and look for certain positives from such high scoring games. As the domestic matches are coinciding with India-England Test matches one glaring example of Cheteshwar Pujara, who stood out in the Ahmadabad Test and on the first day in Mumbai, points towards the certain positives of playing on good batting wickets. Pujara's double-hundred in the first Test was a monumental effort in terms of patience and putting a price tag on his wicket. He was very fortunate to play most of his cricket in his formative....

Tuesday , October 30, 2012

Railways won't be overawed by Tendulkar's Mumbai

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The Railways team which is used to starting its cricket season on placid tracks of Karnail Singh stadium in front of hardly any spectators is in for a surprise in their season opener. Due to the lack of adequate first-class facilities none of the matches played by Railways on its home ground was ever televised, thereby denying the limelight to some of the deserving players. However this season will ensure that the attention of the entire cricket loving fraternity of our country would be on the match between Railways and Mumbai at Wankhede Stadium starting on Friday. This would not be because of a newfound love for Railways but solely for the reason that the finest craftsmen ever to play the game of cricket will be playing the match to get his rhythm back. Yes, the nation will be watching how Sachin Tendulkar faces up against the underdog Railways....

Sunday , October 07, 2012

Railways out to create a home away from home

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Last season the home ground of the Indian Railways cricket team, the Karnail Singh Stadium, was banned for a period from staging a first-class match for a period of one year for continuously providing substandard pitches. Even the practice facilities were way below substandard. Despite regular pleas from the team management the conditions did not improve, which ultimately resulted in the ban. However, it is an opportunity in disguise to take corrective measures for improving the current state of affairs by zonal railways. As a home ground to me for the last 18 years, it is with great sadness that one has to come to terms with the fact that Railways will not be able to play any of our matches in the 2012-13 season. For the most part, the wickets at the Karnail Singh were low and slow. It was hard work for both bowlers and batsmen to....

Saturday , September 22, 2012

An uncluttered mind makes a big difference in sport

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It is a usual phenomenon for a professional cricketer to enter a rough patch or poor form. The recent failures of Gautam Gambhir in Test matches and Rohit Sharma in the shorter formats of the game are examples of poor form. While Gambhir is vehemently denying being out of form by saying that he is unable to convert starts into notable performances, Rohit is continuing to find favour with the selectors and the Indian team management who prefer to play him ahead of Manoj Tiwary. It is a difficult proposition for a gifted player like Rohit to understand poor form, as he most probably will continue playing the same way. Players who are less gifted can manage a drop in performance better. They will find out a way to plan and play within their limitation and fight their way out. Hence it is difficult to comprehend Gambhir,....

Thursday , September 13, 2012

Coaching isn't just about opening an academy

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It is beyond doubt that today cricket is the most widely played sport in India. More and more young children are getting attracted towards playing the game because of the performance of Indian team and its cricketers. Many conservative parents are allowing their children to aspire to be cricketers due to the success of IPL, which is providing financial security to a higher number of players. However, in the process of embarking on their cricketing journey the first step of choosing the right place and guidance for honing the skills is important. There are thousands of clubs and academies spread all over the country. If the child is inducted into an academy where there are no entry barriers, then it turns out that they are placed in a group of around 50 kids at one time during a session wherein one's turn to bat is given on every third....

Tuesday , August 28, 2012

The importance of team-building exercises

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It is often said that the families that eat together, stay together. There is no better way of relaxing after a day of effort by coming home, having a chat at the dinner table, cracking a few jokes, unwinding and eating the delicacies served. The easiest way to gauge the mood in the household can be addressed at the dinner table. Somber the mood, the quieter the dinner table, and the chirpier the mood, there will be open lines of communication. Likewise, even the mood of a cricket team can be linked directly to the happiness quotient in the dressing room. If a player finds comfort in the dressing room, knowing well that despite his best efforts, if things have not gone as per plan for him, he will still be accepted as part of the unit. Adam Gilchrist once told us at Deccan Chargers that....

Sunday , August 12, 2012

The importance of a support system in cricket

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It is common sight nowadays to see Indian players who have done well in international event being showered with rewards from their respective states and being given a royal welcome back home. However, to reach to a particular level it not only takes enormous dedication from the player, but he also has to have the right support system outside the playing arena for his physical and emotional well being. First and foremost among them have to be parents as they make immense sacrifices to allow their child play the sport he loves. It could be financial constraints, where the sport pursued by the child is beyond the financial resources of the parents or it could be shifting place of work/residence close to the place of practice. At some stages, families also have to contemplate shifting cities or states to gain the competitive exposure required for the child. In such....


More about Sanjay Bangar

One of the most experienced active cricketers on the first-class circuit, Sanjay Bangar is a two-time Ranji Trophy – in 2001-02 and in 2004-05, when he led the side – and Irani Trophy winner with Railways. He played 12 Tests and 15 ODIs for India and was part of famous victories from 2001-2003.



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