Category Archives: Boycott

Onwards to Adelaide.

 There are seminal, never to be forgotten times in every one’s life. One such for me was actually being present at the Adelaide Oval during India’s famous victory there in 2003.

I contrived to travel to Adelaide on Business and finish all my meetings by lunch, whereupon I took a taxi across town to the Adelaide Oval to a press pass organised by a relative who was with ESPN.

I watched Dravid get his double from the George Giffen stand and post lunch, went up to the press box from where I watched Ajit Agarkar get his immortal 6-for. This was as close to cricketing heaven as it got. I was directly behind the bowler’s arm. On either side were the Channel Nine, ESPN, ABC and other media boxes.

Tony Greig, Ian Healy, Wasim Akram, Ravi Shastri, Harsha Bhogle, Geoff Boycott-they all came to stretch out in this area and grab a drink or two. Gavaskar played tennis ball cricket with, I think, Jim Maxwell’s son while he was waiting for his lunch of naan and subzi from the local Indian restaurant.

Various print and internet journalists flitted about-Roebuck especially stood out in his kurta-particularly appropriate wear for that hot day. When I gushed to Sambit Bal that Cricinfo was my homepage, he asked politely whether I also subscribed to Cricinfo magazine. When I said no, his look, I imagine, seemed to say “Kanja Pisnaari payal” (Tight fisted so-and-so).

It was an unforgettable day, made particularly eventful when India won the next day.

Here’s hoping there’s an encore this time around and we are celebrating it in full measure over the Australia Day/Republic Day long weekend!

Soundar

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Heck, we can still beat England!

Thank the Rain Gods
The first Test is over, while most of the fans were disappointed to see the sixth wicket fall with over 50 overs remaining and resigned to the fate of another Lord’s defeat, I had started my rain dance and heartfelt prayers to Varuna. The rains came, and yes, India were lucky to get out of jail; and to be fair England deserved to win. But life isn’t always fair and that’s that.

But still, there were positives
While a lot will be written about the positives and negatives of this match (Mohan Krishnamoorthy already has some incisive comments after Day 4), Dravid can take heart for the fact that 3 of his youngsters put their hands up to be counted – RP Singh, Karthik and Dhoni.

What was most impressive was that our inexperienced pace attack helped to dismiss England twice for under 300.

The middle order of Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman didn’t have a spectacular outing but there were periods where they looked in control, even if not on top of the bowling.

The English bowling
Apart from Monty, India haven’t faced much of the English pacers in the Test arena. Sidebottom is a much-improved bowler compared to his disastrous debut in 2001. The Indian line up except for Ganguly is all right handed and it is not easy to face a lefty who consistently swings it in. I am certain the Indians would have learnt their lesson and play him just a fraction late and mostly on the front foot (tip by Jeff Boycott on BBC) at Nottingham.

The real surprise package was James Anderson who bowled exceptionally well. The Indians need to come up with something to tackle him at Trent Bridge. For starters – a positive attitude will be of great help.

The Laxman question
India is likely to go in with the same eleven and so will England. Laxman is likely to get the nod again ahead of Yuvraj.

Laxman is a class act but needs time to settle down before he can let loose his array of strokes. This often means he will be a slow starter. Another problem is that if Dhoni gets out early, in my opinion Laxman doesn’t have the ability to shepherd the tail. He can be slow to adapt to the changing situation of the game.

I believe (much to the chagrin of Tendulkar fans and fellow bloggers), Tendulkar and Laxman should swap places. Tendulkar has the ability to shift gears as well as rotate the strike better than Laxman. For once, let us be bold and try something different.

Heck, we can still beat England. Just win the toss, put 400+ on the board and get Pietersen cheaply 😀

– Vish

England Vs India — Running Comments 1st Test: Sreesanth and Zaheer Khan blow it… but…

After Vaughan won the toss and elected to bat in the First Test between England and India, Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth proceeded to blow it for India by spraying the ball. We had Sreesanth bowling down legside to Cook and Strauss. We had two generous wide-down-the-leg byes for 4 runs each — one each by Sreesanth and Zaheer Khan. We also had a wide from Zaheer Khan. Whether the two Indian pace bowlers were nervous or whether they were just incompetent or whether they could not get a handle on the Lords’ slope, we won’t know. However, England quickly raced to 50 off 52 balls in 39 mins! Strauss, who was playing tentatively still got enough bad balls to stay at the crease and score runs merrily.

India will have to bowl with much better discipline and purpose to pull things back from here.

Edit-1:

After a shocking opening hour, Ganguly gets the breakthrough… Good move by Dravid and good response by Ganguly…

I am listening to audio commentary on BBC Five-Live. Boycott is one of the commentators and has just said, “I haven’t seen a tougher cookie from India than Ganguly. I’d love to have Dravid as a son, but I would like Ganguly the tough-cookie in my team any day“, or words to that effect. Boycott started off his stint at the drinks’ break with the words, “There is only one word to describe the Indian pace bowling this morning… Rooobbish!

Edit-2:

For those that want the URL for live audio commentary, it is http://www.bbc.co.uk/fivelive/

The commentary team includes Chris Martin-Jenkins, Sunil Gavaskar, Henry Blofeld, Geoff Boycott, Angus Fraser, Graham Thorpe, et al. Good stuff…

Edit-3:

And just before lunch Dinesh Karthik has dropped an absolute sitter at straight point. Sreesanth, the bowler, would have been absolutely livid, while Strauss let a huge sigh of relief. That should have been taken… And so we have a ‘keeper who was supposed to be going through a rough patch, who has let through a few byes because the bowlers sprayed it around. And we have another ‘keeper in the team who is supposedly in great nick who has dropped a sitter that a novice player would have taken! Hmmm!

Mohan