Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The Nice Guy Who Finished First

A Biography of Rahul Dravid: The Nice Guy Who Finished First by Devendra Prabhudesai 

Once when I had to fill out an overall career goal, I wrote “To Be The Nice Guy Who Finished First”, borrowing the byline of this book. Sailed through that presentation and interview, reaffirming my belief that one can’t go wrong with an apt sports analogy. However, I hadn’t yet read the book. An aberration which has been corrected! 

The Nice Guy Who Finished First is not a conventional biography. It barely tells us anything about the persona of its subject. All we get is a collection of match reports. For the Dravid fans, it’s a good way to re-live the roller-coaster ride that the 90s and the early 2000s were for Indian cricket. But hardly anything else. There are some comments about Dravid from his contemporaries but hardly anything from the man himself. Only the very last chapter which lists the different “schools” of India batsmanship shows some insight. Otherwise it’s like reading a highlights reel of Dravid’s first decade in international cricket with barely a mention of what happened around him. 

Funny thing, the writer chose 2005 as the stopping point of his work. After all the entry of Greg Chappell into the Indian dressing room has to be one of the more interesting phases in Indian cricket history.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy 2021: Bihar Review

Bihar had a good run in the tournament. Won all their games in the Plate League and with Nagaland-Chandigarh match called off got sole pole position to qualify for the Quarter-Finals. The Ashutosh Aman lead side had its moments against Rajasthan but fell short in the end. This was the first televised game for this lot, so lets see if any of them have got the eye of the IPL scouts. 

Game 1: Bihar 122/10 (20) beat Arunachal Pradesh 104/9 (20) by 18 runs 
Highlights: Ashutosh Aman 3/17, Sachin Kumar 3/22 
T20 Debut: Amod Yadav, Rahul Kumar, Sachin Kumar, Sakibul Gani, Vikash Yadav 

Game 2: Sikkim 110/8 (20) lost to Bihar 111/2 (19.1) by 8 wickets 
Highlights: Ashutosh Aman 4/18, Mangal Mahrour 55 (46) 

Game 3: Meghalaya 89/9 (20) lost to Bihar 92/4 (16) by 6 wickets 
Highlights: Anuj Raj 3/15, Ashutosh Aman 2/15, Shasheem Rathour 2/17 & 33 (28) 
T20 Debut: Anuj Raj, Akash Raj 

Game 4: Manipur 105/8 (20) lost to Bihar 107/1 (17.1) by 9 wickets 
Highlights: Amod Yadav 4/17, Shasheem Rathour 60* (40) 

Game 5: Mizoram 83/8 (20) lost to Bihar 84/4 (12.4) by 6 wickets 
Highlights: Ashutosh Aman 4/9 
T20 Debut: Mohit Kumar 

Bihar topped the Plate Group and reached the Quarter-Finals 

Quarter-Finals: Rajasthan 164/5 (20) beat Bihar 148/4 (20) by 16 runs 
Highlights: Mangal Mahrour 68* (58) 
T20 Debut: Suraj Kashyap 

Season Stats 
Highest Scorers 
  1. Mangal Mahrour 168 @ 33.60, 2x50s 
  2. Shasheem Rathour 142 @ 28.40, 1x50 
  3. Babul Kumar 108 @ 27.00 
Highest Wicket-takers 
  1. Ashutosh Aman 16 @ 7.63 
  2. Amod Yadav 7 @10.86 
  3. Samar Qaudri 6 @ 17.83 
Best Batting: Mangal Mahrour 68*vs Rajasthan 
Best Bowling: Ashutosh Aman 4/9 vs Mizoram 
Players Used: 15 
T20 Debut: 9

Coming Up Next: Vijay Hazare Trophy 

P.S. Incidentally, this is the 500th post on this blog!