AR Hemant

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Somewhat of a contrarian.

Blog Posts by AR Hemant

  • Is India’s glass half-full or empty?

     

     

    With the World Cup less than a month away, there could be two ways to look at India's disastrous batting in the ODIs series against South Africa. One, look at it in absolute terms - in which case, India's top order without Tendulkar, Sehwag and Gambhir was a train-wreck.

     

    Murali Vijay made 18 runs in three innings, and in five innings each Rohit Sharma 49 runs, Yuvraj Singh 91, Suresh Raina 111 and captain MS Dhoni 75. There were bright spots in Yusuf Pathan and Virat Kohli, but this isn't enough.

     

    With that unbelievable hundred in Centurion, Yusuf looks like the man whose time has come.And if that is so, he should no longer be pushed down to No. 7 while an off-colour Yuvraj continues to bat higher up. The lessons of the 2007 World Cup have been forgotten; India still judge players by their reputation rather than form.

     

    Let's not kid ourselves with Yuvraj's bowling, or even Harbhajan Singh's batting. Yuvraj needs to score runs, Harbhajan needs to strike out batsmen. Anything

    Read More »from Is India’s glass half-full or empty?
  • The strange story of Rajasthan

     

    Aakash Chopra was one in the motley group of cricketers who moved to Rajasthan this season. The former Delhi opener can't pin-point the exact moment when this bunch from different states and cultures came together — he calls it the "McDonald's moment", a la Chak De India — but one incident stands out in his memory.

     

    "We were playing in the Buchi Babu Tournament against Tamil Nadu," Chopra says. "The light had faded away, and it was a really tight game. Suddenly, Deepak Chahar decided he wanted to bowl. He grabbed the ball, wiped out the Tamil Nadu tail, and we won by five runs."

     

    It was one of the many incidents that united this motley bunch, which had cricketers who'd left their home states and their comfort zones, coming to a politically volatile cricketing set-up in Rajasthan. The turmoil may not have been incidental to the fact that Rajasthan took the wooden spoon in the Ranji Trophy Plate Division in the previous season.

     

    From being one of the lowest ranked domestic teams

    Read More »from The strange story of Rajasthan
  • Who will be the new IPL captains?

    As the IPL auctions for 2011 come to an end, we cast a glance on the new line-ups, possible captaincy options, team spend and players retained.

    Some quick thoughts:

    Defending champs Chennai have retained an astonishing number of players, 10 11. The next best are Mumbai and Rajasthan with four.

    There's lots of noise about fans boycotting KKR at the Eden. They've got to realise Ganguly wasn't a KKR problem; the other nine teams didn't consider him either. It's clear there's a non-cricketing reason behind Ganguly's removal. He was the fourth highest run-maker in IPL 2010.

    On a whole, it is sad Ganguly waited to be shown the door. It's a lesson for Dravid and Laxman. Kumble played it smarter, withdrawing at the last minute from the auctions.

    Lara's exclusion wasn't surprising either. He's in no fitness for this level of cricket and seemed like he was only in it for the money. The ten teams showed him place, and rightly so.

    Delhi, one of the most consistent teams in the IPL, will have a

    Read More »from Who will be the new IPL captains?
  • IPL Auction – Who Went Where?

    Saurabh Tiwary Bangalore 1,600,000
    AB de Villiers Bangalore 1,100,000
    Zaheer Khan Bangalore 900,000
    Cheteshwar Pujara Bangalore 700,000
    Tillakaratne Dilshan Bangalore 650,000
    Dirk Nannes Bangalore 650,000
    Daniel Vettori Bangalore 550,000

    R Ashwin Chennai 850,000
    S Badrinath Chennai 850,000
    Doug Bollinger Chennai 700,000
    Michael Hussey Chennai 425,000
    Dwanye Bravo Chennai 200,000
    Wriddhiman Saha Chennai 100,000

    Dale Steyn Deccan 1,200,000
    Cameron White Deccan 1,100,000
    Kumar Sangakkara Deccan 700,000
    Kevin Pietersen Deccan 650,000
    Praghyan Ojha Deccan 500,000
    Ishant Sharma Deccan 450,000
    Shikhar Dhawan Deccan 300,000
    JP Duminy Deccan 300,000
    Amit Mishra Deccan 300,000

    Irfan Pathan Delhi 1,900,000
    David Warner Delhi 750,000
    Morne Morkel Delhi 475,000
    James Hopes Delhi 350,000
    Aaron Finch Delhi 300,000
    Naman Ojha Delhi 270,000

    Mahela Jayawardene Kochi 1,500,000
    Muttiah Muralitharan Kochi 1,100,000
    Ravindra Jadeja Kochi 950,000
    S Sreesanth Kochi 900,000
    RP Singh Kochi 500,000
    Brendon
    Read More »from IPL Auction – Who Went Where?
  • To wrap up the day's proceedings: the day opened with Gautam Gambhir and it turned out to be the costliest one of the day at an astounding $2.4 million for Kolkata Knight Riders.

    $57,900,000 were spent today at IPL auction. Kochi had the most buys, 11. Mumbai and Rajasthan bought the least: four each.

    Reigning champs Chennai Super Kings bought six, out of which four were retained. They lost Muttiah Muralitharan to Kochi, but went after R Ashwin, taking him for $850,000, their costliest buy.

    Indian players were in great demand - Yusuf Pathan was also bought by Kolkata, for 2.1 million while Robin Uthappa went to Pune Warriors for the same price.

    Rohit Sharma (2 million, Mumbai), Irfan Pathan (1.9 million, Delhi), Yuvraj Singh (1.8 million, Pune), Saurabh Tiwary (1.6 million Bangalore) were the other top picks.

    The highest paid foreign player is Mahela Jayawardene, taken for 1.5 million by Kochi.

    The big news from India's point of view was Sourav Ganguly going unsold, along with his

    Read More »from IPL Auction: Gambhir, Yusuf & Uthappa top picks; Ganguly, Gayle, Lara unsold
  • The Khadoos Indian

    In Mumbai’s cricketing circles, being khadoos is a highly respected trait. The Hindi word literally means stubborn in an Ebenezer Scrooge sort of a way. In a cricketing sense, it means not giving your opponent an inch; being single-mindedly focused on winning, becoming bruised, battered and bloodied in the bargain, but holding on to that inch, and if you still must perish, do so with your pride intact.

    Tendulkar’s 146 in Cape Town typifies what Mumbai’s cricketing mandarins have been talking about all this while. Those who saw him face Dale Steyn’s first over on Day 2 would swear he had no idea what the ball doing. Having dominated the best part of 21 years of international cricket, Tendulkar was made to look like a novice by Steyn.

    But he hung on. The series hinges on this hundred. He knew it. Despite the repeated humiliation of not being able to get bat to ball, despite the non-stop chatter from the bowlers and close-in fielders, he focussed on the next ball. India were not about to

    Read More »from The Khadoos Indian
  • Do The Sprinkler Dance

    Graeme Swann is not only a terrific cricketer, he's also one hell of a comedian. When he's not tweeting funny stuff on Twitter, he's busy shooting his popular Swanny's Ashes Diary.

    The Diary has popularised the Sprinkler Dance, which has become a craze in the England team currently doing well in the Ashes.

    Today, England performed the dance after beating Australia at the G to retain the Ashes.

    Here are photos of the dance.

    And here's a fan video. Enjoy!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnvevEUzWvs]

    Read More »from Do The Sprinkler Dance
  • Why Dhoni is more likely to spot a UFO than win a toss

    Today, MS Dhoni lost the toss. Yet again. He has lost 13 of his last 14 tosses in Test cricket, and surely the statistical odds of that are mind-bogglingly small.

    Since I’m not very good at math, I asked my friend, sports enthusiast and math wiz Mahek Vyas, to calculate the probability for losing 13 tosses out of 14.

    He says the magic number is 0.000854, or one in 1170.

    Long story short, you’re more likely to experience one of these freak incidents than lose 13 tosses out of 14:

    1. You have never heard about global warming: 1 in 8
    2. You will see a UFO: 1/14
    3. You will get hemorrhoids: 1/25
    4. You will be on a plane with a drunk pilot: 1/117
    5. An airline will lose your baggage: 1/138
    6. You will date a millionaire: 1/215
    7. You become a New York Times best-selling author: 1/220

    To put things into perspective, India were given a 66 to 1 chance of winning the 1983 World Cup. Those odds are huge when compared to Dhoni's phenomenally bad run with the toss.

    The last two lost tosses have resulted in South

    Read More »from Why Dhoni is more likely to spot a UFO than win a toss
  • Will Pujara click in pace-friendly Durban?

    It wasn’t quite quantum physics, but we did tell you so.

    Suresh Raina’s problems with pace are well-known. We had pointed out before the Test series that he could make way for Che Pujara.

    Reports say this is likely to happen in Durban, where the high-stakes Boxing Day Test will be played.

    In this space, we had also argued that there’s a case for resting Rahul Dravid in the New Zealand series to allow Pujara a longer (and much-deserved) look-in. This didn’t happen.

    For whatever this Durban opportunity would be worth, we think it is terribly unfair to shove Pujara into the mix so late, given India are 1-0 down heading to a venue that holds horrors of pace and bounce.

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    Do you remember 1996? Allan Donald had the same effect on India as a bulldozer has on an orange in its path.

    In 2006, South Africa played four pacers and Andrew Hall. Another massive defeat resulted. Both times, India’s bowlers outperformed their batsmen.

    One wonders if South Africa would leave Paul Harris out of their

    Read More »from Will Pujara click in pace-friendly Durban?
  • What Would Sachin Tendulkar’s CV Look Like?

    Ever wondered what the CVs of famous people would look like? No doubt, these would be extremely impressive and hard to emulate.

    Here's Manmohan Singh's CV and here's Barack Obama's before he became president of the United States. [PDF links]

    Some months back, this writer had compiled Sachin Tendulkar's CV, just for the kicks.

    Here's an updated version of it. [You can download the PDF here]

    [scribd id=45739067 key=key-1m0ihdh09i92lw3fxcr4 mode=list]

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