England

Alastair Cook: The quintessential Test batsman!

Cricket

 

Albeit cricketing standards have lowered, last decade has witnessed men with strong character & temperament like Cook, Dhoni, Misbah. Yes we have observed abatement in cricketing standards as well as in interest of the audiences for Test cricket. May be that’s the reason we don’t get to see the temperament and technique that we saw a decade back. I still remember and miss few nail biting test matches that I saw as a kid. The fad for test cricket was no less in those days. This inflow of T20 and rapid cricket has reduced interest for test cricket noticeably. That said, there have been some brilliant players in the recent times as well, a few I mentioned in the initial statement of this blog post.

 

I have always believed that the true potential of a players is put under test only in Test cricket. T20 is all about throwing the kitchen sink and doesn’t apparently involve a lot of technique. Test cricket requires patience, technique and is not restricted to mere talent. Albeit it may appear a tad monotonous to some but a true cricket lover who loves quality cricket would always love test cricket. The red new ball is not that easy to face as a batter. As a batter at times you need to play out the overs to avoid a debacle. As a bowler you have to wait for that ‘lapse of concentration’ of the batsman to get his wicket. Test cricket indeed can be testing and challenging.

 

Alastair Cook is one such phenomenal player, someone who looks like a complete batsman. His style and approach of batting befits test cricket. His stats speak for him but it is not just about the stats! He adds so much to the game and is indeed a treat to watch for any cricket lover. We have seen him play few brilliant innings under adverse situations as well and that is what makes him special. Cook has also led the side as a captain. As a skipper as well he has always kept his cool and has led the side pretty well. On 30 May 2015, Cook became the leading run-scorer in Test matches for England, surpassing Graham Gooch.

 

Currently Alastair Cook is in the elite group of men with more than ten thousand test runs, now that is some achievement. That said Cook is not a done deal yet, he is still fit and batting brilliantly. He is still ‘work in progress’. Cook currently has more than eleven thousand runs under his belt and he still has a lot of cricket in him. The current England-South Africa test series would probably witness him surpassing few more greats of the game! Alastair Cook looks disciplined, focused and temperamentally strong. We want more men like these for the benefit of Test cricket.

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The FANTASTICO feeling you get whenever India wins a cricket match!

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The fad for cricket is simply enormous in this nation. Cricket is really like a religion in India! The fantastico thing about cricket fans in India is that they are emotionally attached to the cricket team and they are always optimistic about the Indian cricket team. I am an ardent fan of cricket as well! I must confess that this sport has given me some fantastico moments and memories in my life! Cricket has always been like a part and parcel of my life! I still remember my childhood days when I used to either watch or play cricket whole day long!

 

I think a lot of people who are born in the 90s would remember Sachin’s fantastico innings at the Sharjah! The cricket matches at Sharjah used to be extremely exciting! That was truly a fantastico moment for all the cricket fans of the nation. We still remember that innings and whenever we watch it still excites us! That’s the beauty of cricket in this fantastico nation! The craze for Sachin is also huge in India.

 

We still remember the final that the Indian cricket team won in the Natwest series. Chasing a three hundred plus score was never easy against the English cricket team. It was a major win abroad for the Indian cricket team. All thanks to Kaif and Yuvraj who helped us make a comeback in the match and then eventually we won the match as well! That truly was a fantastico partnership between the two youngsters that helped us win the match! We still remember that match and we still relish it!

 

India winning the T20 world cup was also a fantastico moment for all the Indian cricket fans! It was a new format of the game and we performed really well to grab the world cup! This world cup gave the fans some really close encounters. The way Indian players adapted to the latest format of the game was really fantastico and amazing! The Indian team winning the T20 world was a special thing for all the cricket fans of the nation!

 

Then came the big thing, we won the world cup 2011 and it was a fantastico moment for all the people of the nation! People came out on the streets to celebrate the victory of the world cup. The final was played at Mumbai and our captain finished the match with a majestic six! The thrill was truly fantastico and the entire nation danced in joy! The Indian captain holding the world cup was a proud moment for all the citizens of the nation! This was the second time that we won the cricket world cup.

 

Whenever the Indian cricket team wins, we all get a fantastico feeling! Let us wish that our team keeps winning to bring more pride to our nation!

 

 

 

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

We want KP back- Bring back Kevin Pietersen! #BringBackKP

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Well let me make it extremely clear initially itself that I am not English! I haven’t even visited England ever in my life so far (although I would love to)! I am writing this article or rather blog post just as a mere cricket fan, someone who has grown up watching cricket. The fad for cricket in this part of the world (Asian subcontinent) is amazing. We love cricket beyond boundaries and borders. That’s the reason that players like Wasim, Akhtar et al. have a huge fan following in India as well! Likewise Sachin, Virat are loved in Pakistan as well! We love the game and we want the game to maintain its standards.

 

Well, let’s talk about KP now! We have always heard that he may be a hard to control bloke at times! He is a tad mercurial and may become a tad undisciplined at times as well but isn’t he the most talented English batsmen in this contemporary times! There is no doubt that when KP is batting it’s a treat to watch! Every shot is scenic and pleasing to the eye. The current team needs him as well! They have tried enough to shun his presence in the team but they’re still in a limbo!

 

Players that are extremely talented and passionate at times may be a tad eccentric as well! As a captain or the mentor of the team you must know how to handle such players as such players are talent personified. Handling talent is an art as well! We all love such players like Kevin Pietersen who bring the style quotient into the game! Such players are the reasons the people watch the game for! The youth imitates such class acts and that is what brings the glamour into the game. We don’t want a dull show, do we? We don’t want boring 40 year old men playing cricket with no fire or zeal!

 

Kevin Pietersen’s latest run in the domestic cricket has been fabulous as well! He made a triple hundred, what else you want him to do to get a place in this English side! To be very candid, in my opinion there is no one even half as talented as KP in this entire English cricket team. He surely deserves a place in any team of the world, as long as it’s a cricket team. I have been following Piers Morgan pretty closely on twitter just to stay updated about Kevin Pietersen. He is extremely correct when he says that the trust issues that Strauss has stated as a reason for KP’s rejection makes no sense at all! Seriously, Strauss should have concocted a better story for the rejection of the class act KP. We all know that Strauss is not even ten percent of what KP is as far as batting is concerned! On any day, I would prefer watching KP’s fluent thirty plus innings over Strauss’ ton. A moment of rapture is far better than hours of boredom.

 

I would again request English Cricket Board to rethink about their decision and bring back Kevin Pietersen in the side. I am saying this as a pure cricket fan who loves the game of cricket. Personal behaviour or nature of a player shouldn’t be a problem as long as he is performing and is an asset to the team. Please bring back KP to the side otherwise it will be a huge loss to the game and a really sad waste of talent!

 

#BringBackKP

 

 

 

 

A Tribute to Saadat Hasan Manto! #mantospeaks


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 People love to hate him! They label him vulgar, cheap etc. But for me, Manto was a man with exceptional talent. I still remember, I read his story while browsing randomly on the internet and man it was goose-bumping stuff! The title “Thanda Ghosht”, itself was enough to give you an adrenalin rush. The story had everything; romance, fury, emotions, separation and of course sex- after all it was Manto stuff. I got sort of addicted to his stories since then, and believe me they take you to a different level every time you go through them.

 Manto’s stories may appear to be quixotic at times, but with the creative hat on- they do make sense. My gut feeling says Manto was too deep to comprehend for the people of Pakistan. His story “Khol-Do” which demonstrates the atrocities of women, the barbaric act of men- was taken as a piece that will instigate people to rape! Saadat Hasan Manto once announced in public- “If you find my stories dirty, the society you are living in is dirty. With my stories, I only expose the truth”.

 A man of Kashmiri origin, Manto was an iconoclast personality. He used to say- “To be a Kashmiri is to be handsome. And to be handsome, I don’t know”. Normally spotted in a white shirt or kurta, Manto had immense calmness on his face. Manto was an ardent wine lover and it is believed that it was his love for wine that brought about his early demise. Although he had all the fun elements in his stories, but on closer study and introspection you will find a flood of emotions. It was his unique style of masquerading emotions as desires!

 I personally feel the partition in 1947, gave him tremendous sorrow. This can be easily felt in his classic satire on partition- “Toba-tek Singh”. The protagonist, who is a lunatic Sikh, finds it impossible to believe that “Hindustan” and “Pakistan” are two separate nations. He denies living in either of the nations and prefers dying on an unknown land between the borders of the two nations.

“… इधर-उधर से कई अफ़सर दौड़े आए और उन्होंने देखा कि वह आदमी जो 15 बरस तक दिन-रात अपनी दाँगों पर खड़ा रहा था, औंधे मुँह लेटा है-उधर ख़ारदार तारों के पीछे हिंदुस्तान था, इधर वैसे ही तारों के पीछे पाकिस्तान ; दरमियान में ज़मीन के उस टुकड़े पर जिसका कोई नाम नहीं था, टोबा टेक सिंह पड़ा था.” – Saadat Hasan Manto.