AR Hemant

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Somewhat of a contrarian.

Blog Posts by AR Hemant

  • It wasn't bad bowling from Stokes, just really good hitting from Brathwaite

    And why the third six was the best of the four.

    Carlos Brathwaite stunned the cricket world with four booming sixes that sealed the West Indies' second World Twenty20 title at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

    England entrusted Ben Stokes with the job of defending 19 runs in the final over of the title clash. Stokes had done a good job of bowling yorkers in the preceding games, and the odds of the Windies pulling this off were poor.


    Stokes set a leg-side field and tried to fire balls into Brathwaite's pads. The powerfully-built 27-year-old batsman did a great job of getting under all those balls and clubbing them with fearsome force.

    Looking at the replay, it wasn't all bad bowling from Stokes -- just really, really good hitting. Here's why.

    SIX # 1

    The first ball was angled into Brathwaite's pads -- perhaps the worst of Stokes' four balls of the over. The Barbadian swung powerfully to the leg-side and the ball comfortably cleared the long-leg fielder.

    SIX # 2

    The second ball was a yorker. It may seem that Stokes

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  • The over of the year

    For a brief bit before India walloped Pakistan, Mohammad Amir created magic.

    Rahane looks on in disbelief as Amir celebrates his second wicket of the opening over of the chase. Rahane looks on in disbelief as Amir celebrates his second wicket of the opening over of the chase.

    The first ball was fast and full.

    If you have never seen Wasim Akram bowl, this delivery would serve nicely as a taste of Wasim’s viciousness. Mid-air, what happened to the ball wasn’t a change in trajectory. The magical curve towards the off-stump and the rapid dip were what Mohammad Amir had always intended as the ball’s destiny.

    Rohit Sharma probably sees things in slow motion. He was on to Amir’s deception. But even he was slow on this ball as it speared into his toes. Rohit jabbed his bat down in a hurry but failed to connect. A most confident appeal for LBW from Amir followed. But it failed to sway umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge.

    Amir was at his wit’s ends. Shahid Afridi got in Palliyaguruge’s face. What was the ball missing, Afridi wanted to know. Nothing, the replay showed. Maybe Rohit’s front-foot was a moonbeam outside the line. A lucky escape.

    In 2010, Wasim – possibly the greatest exponent of left arm bowling, and the man we keep comparing Amir to – commented that even he

    Read More »from The over of the year
  • Everything You Need To Know About Pranav Dhanawade’s World Record

    The Mumbai schoolboy has become the first cricketer to score 1000 runs in a match, shattering the earlier record set in 1899.

    Who is Pranav Dhanawade?

    Pranav is a 15-year-old school cricketer who plays for KC Gandhi English High School, Kalyan, near Mumbai. He is the son of an auto-rickshaw driver.

    What did he do?

    Pranav scored 1009 runs not out against Arya Gurukul, Kalyan, in a school match during the U-16 HT Bhandari Trophy Inter-School Cricket Tournament. This is the highest individual score at any competitive level of the game. Only one other person has scored a sextuple century—Arthur Collins. We will discuss his record below.  (Here's the scorecard from the match.)

    What happened in this match?

    On Day 1 of this game, Arya Gurukul were bowled out for just 31 in 20 overs. In response, Gandhi English High raced to 956-1 by the end of the day. Pranav, with 78 fours and 30 sixes, had moved to a world record 652 not out. His team-mates Akash Singh (173) and Siddhesh Patil (100) also cashed in.

    What happened on Day 2?

    Pranav continued batting at an astonishing pace, becoming the first cricketer ever to score a

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  • Ashwin Had AB de Villiers For Breakfast This Morning

    The world's best batsman had no clue how to counter the India off-spinner.

    The foundation of AB de Villiers’ brilliant stroke-play is the precision of his movements: limbs, eyes and willow moving harmoniously to set up the perfect platform that launches ball after ball into the orbit.

    Today, however, AB was all arms and legs against Ravichandran Ashwin.

    AB was struggling to read the off-spinner, coming down one ball, playing back on another. Ashwin was getting acute turn and getting the ball to drop out of AB’s reach.

    In the 24th over, Ashwin got an offie to rip past batsman and keeper for four byes. This played on AB's mind and forced him to rethink his tactics.

    Next ball, he tried to sweep Ashwin and missed.

    Then, he charged down the pitch and barely managed to pad the ball out of the reach of the close-in fielders.

    The next ball, AB played back and completely misread the carom ball, probably expecting the delivery to turn a bit.

    The ball straightened to trap him in front of middle stump for what may be the easiest LBW ever given.

    Watch what happened:



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  • Brendon McCullum has a message for Indian cricket fans

    New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is up for the biggest game of his life when he takes on Michael Clarke's Australia in the final of the ICC World Cup at the MCG on Sunday.

    He's banking on the support of fans in India.

    Here's what he says.

  • Steyn’s Super Saiyan Scream

    A pumped-up Steyn’s animated celebration lit up the Sydney Cricket Ground.

    The momentThe moment

    One often wants to get a sense of what great players are feeling ahead of a big game like the one today between South Africa and Sri Lanka.

    Are they pumped up, ready to give their best? Or are they nervous, full of doubt, setting themselves up for failure? Their thoughts manifest themselves in different ways and rub off on other players.

    During the 1999 Birmingham semi-final, Australia’s morale was sagging. Then came Shane Warne’s impassioned shouts of ‘Come on!’ Like a shot of adrenaline to the heart, they famously revived Australia.

    Conversely, look at what Jacques Kallis’ dismissal did to South Africa in the 2011 quarterfinal. The tournament favourites were cruising when Kallis was brilliantly caught in the deep. The wicket spooked the team and led to another one of their famed respiratory attacks.

    Power level: 1,000,000.Power level: 1,000,000.Which is why it was refreshing to see Dale Steyn’s pressing urgency to set South Africa’s record right. He was ready. He was pumped up. If he were in the army, you’d give him his rifle

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  • What Happens When You Apply DRS To Real Life

    Watch this funny film about one of cricket's peculiarities.

    N. Srinivasan and Sachin Tendulkar may not agree, but the Decision Review System could have some massive benefits when applied to situations outside cricket. You could instantly find out who is stinking up the room. You could know immediately if you're been robbed. And it could help you score with the opposite sex.

    So -- if you had two challenges per day, how would you spend them?


  • Why A Good Misbah Performance Is Bad For Pakistan

    And why Misbah is not to blame.

    (Note—all stats are from October 30, 2012 to March 1, 2015, the period in which the current ODI rules have been in force.)

    ALSO READ: The Hardest Batsmen To Dismiss At The World Cup


    Yesterday, we had a look at hardest batsmen to dismiss at the World Cup. Kane Williamson and Hashim Amla led that list that also included an anomaly: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

    The anomaly is not that Misbah can bat for long durations. It is that, unlike other cases, Misbah's batting long typically don't help the team win.

    This needs to be viewed in two contexts. One: Pakistan’s overall stats in this period are poor. That’s a function of consistently underpar team performance. Since October 30, 2012, they have played 56 ODIs, won just 24 and lost 30.

    Two – Misbah, who figures in 52 of those games, has constantly battled the pressure of wickets falling at the other end. This puts him on the defensive and leads to the consumption of a large number of deliveries. In that sense, he’s merely the product

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  • This Is The Toughest Batsman To Dismiss At The World Cup

    A look at ODI batsmen who occupy the crease the longest.

    Indulge me for a bit, for this article looks at a rarely-discussed aspect of cricket statistics: average balls faced, and how crease occupation contributes to team’s success—or, in one case, failure.

    At the World Cup in particular, crease occupation and saving wickets for the end overs is proving a winning strategy. Hence, it is vital for key batsmen for any team to get a start and see off the shine.

    But first, here’s the criteria for this study.


    • All stats are from March 1, 2015 to October 30, 2012, the day the new ODI rules for fielding restrictions, two new balls and batting Powerplay kicked in.
    • This list rates batsman by how long they last at the crease, which is a function of number of balls faced. Average Balls Faced (AB) = (Total Balls Faced) / (Innings Played).
    • Average Runs Scored (AR) = (AB) X (Strike Rate). So, if a batsman averages 50 balls per innings at a strike rate of 80, his AR is 40. This completely negates the value provided by not outs.
    • We look at batsmen
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  • The Greatest Rant Against Cricket, Ever

    Cricket haters, this one's for you.

    The World Cup is a particularly traumatic time for those who hate cricket. India’s favourite sporting stars dominate public discourse. Everything else—even matters of national importance—takes a backseat.

    Which is why, in this 1994 Hindi film Tejasvini, the male lead played by Deepak Malhotra lets loose a rant for the ages, touching upon everything from corruption to inflation, and how everyone only cares about Kapil Dev's score while the country is going to pieces.


    As Bill Watterson said, "Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?"

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