Daily Archives: 5 March 2007

All (the) Time “I thought I was in” India’s XV

While we are beating this topic to death, let me dig up the grave!! Here is a list of XV Indian players who could have been/may have been/may have thought to have been/should have been/dreamt of/claimed to be/threatened to/pretended to/had the potential to play for Indian one day team but remained on the fringe for a considerable period or never made it. This is the “Golden Rasberry (Razzie Awards)” of Indian one day cricket.

In Batting Order:

1. VB Chandrasekhar – Played an out of the world (I saw it, believe me!) innings in an Irani Trophy game, got into the side, threatened to take New Zealand apart, fizzled out into complete oblivion, came back to become a selector and is now a commentator for Ranji Trophy Games

2. Gagan Khoda – Did this fella give Tendulkar a run for his money (in his dreams!!!), Rajasthan’s CK Nayudu but a man from Mars in the Indian team

3. Raman Lamba – Poor soul got killed fielding at forward short leg in Bangladesh, his stance was moving to say the least, played a poor man’s Sehwag shot over third man for six quite often

4. HH Kanitkar – I have no idea how this chap managed to play 35 games for India but he did and got away with it, threatens to take away the captaincy from Bahutule for Maharashtra but manages to retain No.3 batting slot for that side…

5. H. Badani – I feel sorry to place Badani in the side because he really had potential (really, I mean it!!), has scored a hundred for India, and along with Dinesh Mongia will always figure in the Indian 30 probables for all his life (literally!!), is fit enough to play for tamil nadu leagues – I am sorry enough to make him captain of the side!

6. A. Bedade – Boy! did we believe we had an Afridi on the Indian side; he was left handed too (a rarity those days), his big sixes never came and he went!!

7. Surinder Khanna (WK) – It was a tough choice for the wicketkeeping role (( had pick from Saba Karim, Pankaj Dharmani, Sameer Dighe, Vijay Yadav etc, C. S. Pandit, S. Viswanath etc.) but went for him since he shook the Sharjah crowd when he played for India, those Delhi thugs did rule India for a while didn’t they (include Ajay Sharma, Atul Wassan etc.. in the scheme of things)

8. Sanjeev Sharma – Another Delhite (didn’t I say!), could have been Kapil Dev’s opening partner, could have been a big hitter, ended up could have been!

9. Chetan Sharma – I know that some people may not like to see him in this team since he may have played a decent role for India. I am not so sure I would agree, the century he made against England being sent in at N0.3 by Srikkanth may have been a feather in Srikkanth’s cap and Chetan Sharma’s record, the last ball six by Miandad may have just about neutralized that! By the way, another could have been Kapil Dev opening partner

10. Murali Karthik – I am sorry friends but this is where he belongs! a highly overrated player, still mystified as to how he got to play for Middlesex (one may very well ask, so what?) but even more surprised that he was one of Dravid’s favorites. I think it is curtains for him as far as India is concerned.

11. Nikil Chopra – It was a tough choice between him and Arshad Ayub, but I decided to go with the “Bash Delhi” theme and retain him in the side.

The remaining four are:

12. Arshad Ayub

13. Kirti Azad (The innings at the JN stadium in Delhi against Pakistan was an aberration)

14. Amay Khurasia

15. Raju Kulkarni

– Srikanth

Brief paper round for the day: Monday 5 March 2007

  • Jason ‘Dizzy’ Gillespie has sprung to the defence of Australian bowlers, who’ve received a thrashing in recent times. Saying that the criticism has been overstated, he the went on to eloquently state, “To suggest they’ve lost their aura of invincibility is a load of crap.” Aaah! Who said the Aussies weren’t forthright?
  • Glenn ‘Pidgeon’ McGrath’s solution to Australian fast bowling woes is, he says, to “claim the new ball” for himself!

  • Meanwhile Andrew ‘Roy’ Symonds feels he is ready and recovered from his bicep tear, to have his first net session.
  • While teams can play upto 13 players in the World Cup warm-up games, Australia will only have 12 players to choose from when it takes on Zimbabwe in a warm-up game to be played today. Adam ‘Gilly” Gilchrist is yet to join the squad while Mathew ‘Matty’ Hayden (toe) and Andrew ‘Roy” Symonds (bicep) are injured. But Ricky ‘Punter’ Ponting reckons “she’ll be right mate”.
  • BCCI Vice-President Rajiv (I am not important enough to have a nickname!) Shukla has taken exception to Vengsarkar’s Sehwag-bean-spill. Yashpal (I played cricket… really!) Sharma and BCCI Secretary, Ratnakar (Believe me, I am the BCCI CEO) Shetty also weigh in to the debate.
  • Meanwhile Sachin (I am so big, I do not need a nickname) Tendulkar says he feels “no pressure” as India embark on its World Cup campaign.
  • Greg (why have people forgotten my nickname) Chappell indicates that India will reach the semi-finals.
  • In the same story Rahul (do people really call me ‘The Wall’) Dravid says, “Over the next two months we want to be able to take part in the sites (sic!) and sounds of the Caribbean while playing some good cricket.”
  • Sachin Tendulkar warns of a strong and wounded Australia on the rebound.
  • Sandeep (who am I?) Dwivedi analyses why Australia cannot win the 2007 World Cup. Apparently, they could if they had an Andy ‘Bich’ Bichel in the side!
  • India are genuine contenders, says another piece.
  • Here’s a list of players who may feel aggreived at having been dumped for the World Cup by their respective national selectors!
  • Meanwhile Scotland has lost even their warm-up to their official warm-up game to a Barbados Select XI! Anyone betting on a 500+ score in this World Cup?
  • And USA Cricket Association has been suspended. Really? Like anyone cares!
  • Mukul (Men In White) Kesavan blogs about Cricket and Commerce.

— Mohan

India’s worst World Cup moments

In an earlier article, Srikanth Mangalam wrote about his Greatest Indian Moments at the World Cup. But what about India’s worst moments? Here is my list in chronological order.

1975: Gavaskar’s 36* in 60 overs

In the first match of the first World Cup, India batting second needed 335 to win of 60 overs. India just managed 132, but it was the manner in which it was achieved that makes it rank as one of India’s worst World Cup moments. Sunil Gavaskar opened the batting and batted for the entire 60 overs making a paltry 36 off 174 balls – that is a strike rate of around 20! There was also a recent Cricinfo article about this farce.

1979: India’s 1979 World Cup campaign

Nothing ever gets written about this campaign. The reason: India lost all games, even the one they played against Sri Lanka – this was three years before Sri Lanka even became a test playing nation. The less said about this campaign, the better.

1987: India’s loss to England in semi-finals

India looked the best team in the tournament — until they played the semis. First they let Gooch literally sweep his way to a hundred and then let the English offspinner Hemmings take a four-for. The organizer’s dream of a India vs Pakistan final just wilted away (Pakistan lost the other semi-final against Australia)

1992: India’s 1992 World Cup campaign

This was a disaster all the way. They started by loosing the first match against England after looking good midway through the run chase, to then threw it all away. The second match against Sri Lanka was abandoned after playing just 2 balls. Then, India collapsed after a Mohammed Azharuddin runout against Australia and lost by 1 run. That was just the beginning: the disaster continued throughout the whole tournament and the only highlight was a win against eventual winner Pakistan. The other consolation win in the tournament was against a lowly Zimbabwe.

1996: India’s loss to Sri Lanka in the semi-finals 

Set to chase 251, India were 8 down for 120 after being 98 for 1 at one stage. The collapse occurred after Tendulkar was stumped for 65. The Eden Gardens crowd, disgusted at the collapse, started a mini riot and set the stands on fire! The match was stopped and the game was awarded to Sri Lanka. After the match fixing scandal episode, this probably ranks as India’s second lowest moment in cricketing history  – and I am not referring to the loss.

1999: India’s loss to Zimbabwe by 3 runs

With Tendulkar back in India after his father passed away, India could not chase down 252 after being 174 for 4 in the 33rd over. The loss eventually meant that Zimbabwe qualified for the Super Six Stage ahead of England and by the bizarre way in which the points were counted, India ended up in the last spot in the Super Sixes. If England had qualified, India could have gone into the semis as they had already beaten them in one of the Group matches!