Monday, January 31, 2011

Eden & the World Cup - The "Hate" Affair Continues

ICC has deemed Eden Gardens unfit to host the India-England match and there are doubts about the other 3 matches as well. It is a real shame as Eden Gardens is supposed to be the ground with the best cricketing atmosphere in the country. Maybe it is just a jinx but the ground's connection with the World Cup is troubled to say the least.
My memories of the World Cup associated with Eden Gardens are all bad. The opening ceremony of 1996 which was a total fiasco specially the much hyped up laser show (then quite an innovation). It was followed up a month later by one of the most painful games for an Indian cricket fan. The semi-final against Sri Lanka, a game where we were beaten on the field and our image took a beating with all the bottles which came flying in from the stands. A crying Vinod Kambli just made the picture more pathetic.
And now 15 years later the matches are being moved out of Eden. The Eden Gardens - World Cup hate affair just continues.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Another Impossible Chase - Well Almost

What is it that Yusuf Pathan likes about chasing seemingly impossible targets? (Written about his domestic exploits here). The 5th ODI against South Africa saw another blazingly murderous Yusuf Special. From 113/8 to blaze through to 219/9 in the company of Zaheer in South African conditions required some special hitting. And he provided just that. And it is not as if its something new. He had been chasing down these impossible targets in domestic cricket. Now its the international arena. And its now to see some consistency.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

IPL Discard???

I was reading Saurav Ganguly's views on the team selection for the World Cup in Times of India. What irked me was the way the journalist uses the term "the IPL Discard" to refer to Ganguly. Is this the way we treat our former heroes by taking cheap shots at them? I haven't been a big Ganguly fan any time but still felt hurt on reading this. Calling India's most successful captain ever with such a term is disrespectful to say the least. I don't know how editors permit these articles to appear?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Just One Word

South Africa lose by 1 run to India in a match they had no business losing.
And as usual only one word comes to mind for the South Africans.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

If you get another chance

Came across this video via Facebook.
It offers an alternate ending to one of the worst incidents in international cricket, the underarm ball. What if the situation was same in a repeat match???

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust...

The Ashes are done and dusted. Australia have been thrashed beyond recognition. In fact the 3-1 margin actually is quite flattering towards the Aussies. The previous series in England had been a close fought one with Australia being the better performers inspite of being on the worng side of a 2-1 scoreline. Andrew Strauss had then commented that "When we bad we were awful, when we were good we managed to be just good enough". This time after 3 innings victory there is not much to review, except what exactly happened in Perth?
The SCG could have been the farewell venue for Ricky Ponting's Test career. Instead it was Paul Collingwood who got the perfect farewell from Test cricket. The totally dominant Aussies were reduced to a joke in the light of England's throughly professional performance. Underperforming players and some muddled selection policy made the Autralian cricket time of quite a few jokes. The cricketing world rejoiced to see them suffer. Here are a few highlights.
  • What do you call an Australian cricketer who is world class? Retired.
  • After winning the toss, Strauss to Ponting, "You lads can bat". Ponting, "No mate we can't. We really can't".
  • What is the Australian version of LBW? Lost, Beaten, Walloped.
  • Michael Clarke wanted to captain Australia very badly. He did just that.
On the cricketing front the highlights would be the surreal score of 1-517, Collingwood's catches, England's pace attack, Bell's 1st Ashes century, Trott's batting, Hussey's lonely battle. And above all Alastair Cook, for whom the picture is the most apt description.

And if we add the Sprinkler dance, an almost perfect Ashes for the England team.

P.S. Now I am waiting for the Indian tour of England later this year.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Phantom's 100th Test Run

It might have taken 60 Test matches and 87 innings but its a milestone no less. Chris Martin, the legendary New Zealand batsman has finally reached 100 Test runs. Martin took a 3 off Umar Gul in the Kiwi 2nd innings against Pakistan to move from 97 to 100 career runs in test cricket. And then promptly celebrated it by hitting a boundary. Now this might be some record which will probably go on for ever. Here is the legendary video on "How to bat like Chris Martin".

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Battle for No. 2

India finally managed to escape undefeated from South Africa. The 3rd day was a nervy one. India did not try to score the 341 runs (not likely on a 5th day pitch against Steyn, Morkel & Harris) while South Africa could only take out 3 wickets. The end might have been quite anti-climatic given the build up but in the end a 1-1 result was an apt one. There are quite a few people angry at India not trying for the chase but I am sure they would have been the first ones to call our batsmen irresponsible, useless etc if they had perished while going for shots.
The series did provide some great cricket from the masters. Jacques Kallis got his 1st double century, then scored 2 in the 3rd while suffering from a side strain. Sachin Tendulkar's 50th & 51st centuries. Steyn's sustained hostile bowling. VVS Laxman's 96 at Durban. Sreesanth's extra-ordinary deliveries to Kallis, de Villiers & Prince. Dravid's 200th catch. Gambhir's 5th day 50 in Newlands. Quite a memoried packed into a 3 Test series.
India retained their No. 1 ranking by a huge margin. Hopefully there will be less questioning of this status now. However India does have to find a back up for Zaheer. His sheer presence changes the team's bowling outlook. And when he is not there then we see what happened in Centurion.
In the end all I can say is that this wasn't a battle for No.1. After all India had a chance to take it when South Africa were 130/6. And South Africa then blew it by not declaring on the 4th day itself. As both teams opted for safety first in the end, it truly was a Battle for the No. 2 spot.
I can't help but feel that India blew a great chance for victory. Firstly no warm-up match (Contrast this with the Ashes where England played 3 first class matches before the Tests began). Then some muddled selection. Jaidev Unadkat was preferred over Abhimanyu Mithun. Unadkat looks too raw to be playing Test cricket. He hasn't even played a full season of Ranji Trophy as yet. While Mithun must be wondering what wrong he had done in the 3 tests in Sri Lanka to be dropped from the squad.

Now time to switch over to some mindless limited over action to occupy the time till the world cup.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Nervy Day Ahead

January 6, 2010, Newlands
India vs South Africa, Test 3, Day 5
Equation is simple - 90 overs, India need 341 runs to win, South Africa needs 10 wickets. Winner takes the series.
After a phenomenol performance by Jacques Kallis on Day 4, this is the scenario.
Being an Indian fan, hoping for Sehwag to go berserk and get the the victory. Or at worst India holding out for a draw. Being practical and seeing the pitch conditions and the South African bowling attack, a South African victory seems most likely. But when has a sports fan listened to logic.
So its going to be a really nervy day ahead as I wait and watch the scores refreshing every minute. The heart does tend to stop when the page updates.

P.S. Score is 22/0 after 10 overs as I type this. So the Indian victory chances are looking pretty low now.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The 1st Birthday with a Century

January 4, 2010 - A comment posted on the cricinfo website about Ian Bell was the push needed to start a cricket blog. And thus was born Slipstream Cricket (then known as The Crickblog).

January 4, 2011 - The blog celebrates its 1st birthday while completing its century. This is the 100th post on this blog.

From that debut to the century its been an interesting journey. Covered quite a few matches international as well as some Indian dometic, Test cricket, ODIs, T20s, some Arbit Statistics, some quotes, a few pictures, selecting random XIs . It was nice to have a platform to write about my own passion for the game. And it felt good to see that this blog has started getting noticed.

Now for a list of people I would like to thank
  • Ian Bell. A comment about Bell's inablity to get a century by himself was published on cricinfo. And that was the push needed to start the blog. Since then Ian Bell has got this monkey off his back. And is batting better than he ever has.
  • Cricinfo. For publishing the comment. And for providing such a massive database for the links.
  • The BCC! (Bored Cricket Crazy Indians). For having linked this blog on to their site and bringing itout in the public domain. Also thanks for the tweet.
  • Peter Siddle. For being the biggest traffic driver.
  • The readers of this blog. It was nice to see the score get past the 1000 mark.
Hope to continue blogging more and more.

With Best Wishes

Watching the 3rd day's play in Newlands between India & South Africa seemed a perfect way to celebrate the 1st birthday. Steyn's bowling, Sachin's century and some fighting cricket by both teams. Thanks for joining in the birthday party.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Wishing a very Happy Twenty11 to all readers (I know there are a few).
So the new year is here, and it seems to be filled with lots of cricketing action specially for the Indian fan. So here is a look at what to expect in Twenty11.
  • The battle for No. 1 (right now on in Cape Town, as I write South Africa losing wickets in heaps).
  • The World Cup. I have already begun dreaming about the sight of the Indian team holding the World Cup in Wankhede. What a finish that would be to SRT's ODI career.
  • Tours of West Indies, England & Australia.
  • IPL
In other news currently Australia battling on with England in Sydney. Usman Khwaja has made his debut. (In my opinion should have made his debut earlier replacing North rather than Steve Smith). And it seems @theashes is there in Sydney watching the match in company of Steve Waugh. Now I am feeling really jealous of this American girl.

And finally hoping against hope that there is no further drama in Pakistani cricket.