test cricket

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.

Haseeb Hameed carrying the legacy forward!

Cricket

 

Players of Indian origin playing international cricket for England has apparently been a culture. In this ongoing test series Hameed makes a debut and carries the legacy forward. The young guy looks calm and has got the quintessential English technique as well! The young man’s patient innings in one of the test matches showcased his temperament as well. Never easy for a debutant to play in India when the whole crowd (apart from a few tourists taking sun bath) is hostile and the ball is turning like anything.

 

Hameed isn’t the first one of Indian origin to play for the English. There have been many players of Indian origin who played for England and were pretty known faces in the cricketing world. It all started with Ranjitsinhji, the king who played cricket for the England team. Ranjitsinhji is regarded as one of the greatest batters of all time. The Ranji Trophy is named after him and carries a cardinal significance in the domestic circuit. After Ranjitsinhji his nephew Duleepsinhji carried the legacy forward and player cricket for the English at the international level. The famous ‘Duleep Trophy’ is named after him and is pretty famous in Indian domestic cricket.

 

In recent times as well many Indian origin men have played for the England cricket team. Nasser Hussain, Ravi Bopara, Ronnie Irani, Monty Panesar are players of Indian origin who have played for England at the international level. These players have done well at the highest level as well and they are known worldwide. So Haseeb is just carrying the legacy forward and the young guy looks promising as well. Tour of India is always a fantastic learning experience.

 

A Get-Together in London before ICC Champion’s Trophy!

London PubsIt was a bright sunny day in London, one of those typical British summer days! People were moving inside a Pub (mind you it’s not called Bar in London). You could see people of different origin, different characteristics, different vision and different beliefs! I was sitting just next to a round table, where some of the celebs were sitting!

 Shah Rude Khan, enjoying a mock-tail was cursing Uncle Sam! Show-Abs Akhtar enjoying a Beer was thinking about the times he used to bowl at 100 plus miles! MSD who usually prefers milk over other beverages, was having a mock-tail for a change as well! Captain Cook who looks like a typical British gentleman was busy pouring scotch in his glass! Shame Warne the spin-wizard was busy spinning beers on his table!

 Then Shah Rude broke the ice- “Well, with due due due respect to all the teams of the world, I guess KKR is the best”.

“I agree, I was a part before my depart. The team has everything, good and bad. Sometimes I feel, our team is nothing but just an extension of our attitude and personality”. – Show-Abs Akhtar said, flaunting his biceps!

“Well, we British play cricket in the good spirit. That is exactly what turns me on the game; Flint-off was the only turn-off! Statistics and mathematics are not as important as ethics for us”. – Captain Cook said, gulping his drink!

“Hey, I played cricket for style. That is the reason all the models in this city are crazy for me. I know how to spin the Balls”- Shame Warne said, flipping his Beer Cans!

“Hey Dhoni, I bought a new Versace watch, can you touch it. I heard whatever you touch turns to Gold”- said Shah Rude Khan with a tint of arrogance in his voice. He was the only one laughing at his joke!

“Well, if you want that I will do that as well! Right now, I am just Enjoying The Moment. And trying to keep myself as calm as possible”. – said MSD, with a smile on his face that had all the calmness of the world!

“Hey, anyone wants Kabab, I have some”- Show-Abs Akhtar said!

“Why you brought Kababs, we could have ordered here”. – said Shah Rude Khan, in a stammering voice!

“No Bhai, this is a DOOSRA type of Kabab, specially made by Saeed Ajmal”- replied Show-Abs Akhtar!

“Okay Lets go, we have a dinner today at Imran Khan’s place”- said MSD!

“He is here in London, I thought he was there in Lahore”- said Show-Abs Akhtar!

“He goes there once a week, he is an ardent traveler you know”- said Captain Cook!

“Okay, can I take a model with me to the dinner party, I guess Khan Sahab will like it”- said Shame Warne!

“Yes, yes sure”- said Shah Rude Khan!

And they all left for the dinner party!

 

 

 

 

 

Cricket in IPL is like Alcohol in Beer! Also published in Half Baked Beans

Rohan!

Web-Link: http://halfbakedvoices.blogspot.in/2013/05/cricket-in-ipl-is-like-alcohol-in-beer.html

Cricket is more than a sport in the Indian subcontinent. The fad for cricket in this part of the world is just enormous. Cricket has seen a dramatic change in the last decade. A new version of the sport has evolved, that is the T-20 format. The new format befits this era of rat-race! But with the evolvement of new methods and new formats the quality of cricket has undergone abatement as well! A cricket match is now a packet of entertainment that has everything, but the essence of the sport is missing! So cricket has undergone a great change in style and approach. T20 cricket has appeared as a great equalizer. It is easier for a team like Bangladesh to beat a team like Australia in a T20 match! Thus, margin for error is almost zero in this format!

 Indians are just crazy about cricket. We eat cricket, drink cricket, sleep cricket and obviously think cricket as well! This fad for cricket in our nation has served as a hotbed for IPL. IPL has everything;glamour, big players, big names, lavish preparations-But the “cricket” is missing. Well, cricket is about the three “T”- Talent, Technique and Temperament! A good player must have all the above mentioned! Test cricket is a format that requires all the three. That is the reason Test cricket is a real test of a player. But T20 cricket is all about talent, not a lot of technique or temperament is involved! These days IPL is turning out to be an epidemic and there is no antidote to it either! People are so absorbed in it that everything plays second fiddle to it. Although, we don’t get to see quality cricket in an IPL match, but it is full of “masala” and that is what gets everyone absorbed in it! A Beer can make you feel “high”, but that feeling is for a short-span of time. You experience a surge of intoxication for a while, but then it decays exponentially as well!

So, we get to see only some percentage of actual cricket in an IPL match! It is actually a “cricket show”, instead of being a “cricket match”. Just like having a Beer or two may satisfy the urge of alcohol, but it is not real alcohol intake! But again IPL is the need of the hour because of the busy schedule that people have these days! But someone who really values the sport will prefer a Test match over an IPL match. Cricket in IPL is actually titular cricket! Sometimes I feel, IPL should add a cognomen to its name-“The Pseudo Cricket”!