AR Hemant

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Somewhat of a contrarion.

Blog Posts by AR Hemant

  • 1st ODI, Hyderabad

    England were clueless against Indian spin on a slow, low pitch. England were clueless against Indian spin on a slow, low pitch.

    England were clueless against Indian spin on a slow, low pitch.

    Match Coverage: Scores | Action Images | Match Report | Stats: Dhoni's unique wicketkeeping feat

    9.32 pm - 126 runs is the margin of victory. India have posted their second biggest win over England in ODIs, thus ending a winless streak of 11 games this year, and four at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad.

    England's collapse was so swift, we've barely had time to pause for breath. From 111-2, they've lost 63-8, with Ashwin and Jadeja sharing six wickets.

    That's all for tonight. Thanks for joining us and sharing your views.


    9 pm - Spoke too soon. England are in disarray, and by the looks of it, this ODI series will be a contest between their batsmen and India's spinners.

    At the moment, the traffic is one way. England are 126-6. Jadeja has 3-17 and Ashwin 1-19. Trott, Bairstow and Bopara have fallen in quick time, all displaying poor technique against spin.

    Ashwin's carrom ball and straighter one is troubling England.

    Read More »from 1st ODI, Hyderabad
  • India’s ODI Squad: Some Unanswered Questions

    First of all, let's give India's selectors credit where it is due. Harbhajan Singh had to go. Young players had to come in.

    Bringing in youngsters wasn't optional any more, given the injuries to first-choice players. But a message had to be sent out that fitness is key to selection. So far, well done.

    Harbhajan has gone from match-winner to passenger. He had done little to be in the Indian team this year. [We know why he was still around].

    But if one must pick a problem with his much-deserved axing, it is this: why has he been dropped for only two games? Is he magically expected to return to form in the two-three Challenger Trophy matches?

    If not, a better idea would have been to give him a longer break from playing for India — while telling him what he needs to do to earn back his place.

    Then There's Ashish Nehra

    Despite the faults we find with Nehra, he is India's leading ODI wicket-taker since 2009. After dropping off the radar for four years, Nehra returned in 2009, took 65

    Read More »from India’s ODI Squad: Some Unanswered Questions
  • Tiger Pataudi: First Among India’s Great Captains

    Mansur Ali Khan 'Tiger' Pataudi: Jan 5, 1941 - Sep 22, 2011Mansur Ali Khan 'Tiger' Pataudi: Jan 5, 1941 - Sep 22, 2011

    Mansur Ali Khan 'Tiger' Pataudi: Jan 5, 1941 — Sep 22, 2011

    ‘Tiger’, as Mansur Ali Khan Patuadi was often called, was the son of Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi, who had the distinction of playing Test cricket for England and India.

    Born into royalty, Mansur Ali Khan was the ninth and final Nawab of Pataudi, a princely state which merged into India in 1947.

    Cricket was in the family. Pataudi Senior made a hundred on Test debut for England before his playing days prematurely ended when he opposed his captain Douglas Jardine’s tactics in the 1932 Bodyline series. He later captained India before he passed away on his son’s 11th birthday in 1952.

    It is said Pataudi Senior had asked bat-makers Gunn and Moore to manufacture a small-sized bat for his son, who was five at the time. Gunn and Moore didn't make bats for kids, but they agreed to make a special one for the boy who would be India's youngest Test captain at the age of 21.

    India’s Finest Captain

    Pataudi, an Oxford alumnus, went on to play

    Read More »from Tiger Pataudi: First Among India’s Great Captains
  • ‘I have earned my place in the Indian squad’

    Stress fractures of the back, recovery, a delivery that clocked 153.4 KMPH, signing up for Delhi Daredevils, the Emerging Tour and now the Indian squad — Varun Aaron has had two interesting seasons that have put him on the fast-track to international cricket.


    The 21-year-old didn't get a chance to play the England ODIs, but had experts like Wasim Akram and Sourav Ganguly arguing for his place in the Indian side. Aaron hopes he'll break into the XI soon despite stiff competition.


    Excerpts from his chat with Yahoo! Cricket today:


    Talk a bit about your growing-up days.


    When I was about 8-9, I slowly started with school cricket. Then I played for the Jharkhand U-15. And then on to the U-17 team and then for the Indian U-19 probables. There were no U-19 tours at the time. In 2005, I got selected for Pace Foundation and I was shortlisted for their finals. It's been great there since I joined them at a small age. Early on I learnt the importance of training and the mechanics of my action.


    Read More »from ‘I have earned my place in the Indian squad’
  • Swann: Joker Becomes King

    Graeme Swann fools around during his career-spoiling tour of South Africa in 1999-2000. Graeme Swann fools around during his career-spoiling tour of South Africa in 1999-2000.

    Graeme Swann fools around during his career-spoiling tour of South Africa in 1999-2000.

    Of all the things written about Graeme Swann, what stands out is this bit from the book Twirlymen, journalist Amol Rajan's wonderful book on the history of spin bowling.

    This pertains to a couple of incidents in 2000, when Swann, 21, was trying to establish a place in the England squad amidst talks of his perceived attitude problems.

    Rajan writes: "At Bloemfontein one morning during that tour, the selectors, coach and a few medical staff were in discussion, and happened to all be facing one way during practice. Swann was walking behind them when he decided to do a very funny thing. He stuck his right hand into his trousers, took his penis out, waved it at the selectors in mock invitation, twirled it round a few times, slipped it back in, and walked off, a giant smile moving across his face."

    "On that same tour, as Darren Gough was discussing the finer points of Kierkegaard with an attractive lady

    Read More »from Swann: Joker Becomes King
  • Democratic Pretence & BCCI Elections

    Presenting N Srinivasan, the new president of the Board, owner of Chennai Super Kings, member of the IPL governing council, president of Tamil Nadu Golf Federation, president of All India Chess Federation, President of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, and... sorry, we're out of caption space. Presenting N Srinivasan, the new president of the Board, owner of Chennai Super Kings, member of the IPL governing council, president of Tamil Nadu Golf Federation, president of All India Chess Federation, President of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, and... sorry, we're out of caption space.

    Presenting N Srinivasan, the new president of the Board, owner of Chennai Super Kings, member of the IPL governing council, president of Tamil Nadu Golf Federation, president of All India Chess Federation, President of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, and... sorry, we're out of caption space.

    Even a dictatorial figure like Pervez Musharraf had to hold elections, setting up his own exile from Pakistan. This makes us wonder why the BCCI has been seeing unopposed elections year after year. Aren’t there enough suitors for the job of conducting the sub-continent’s most popular sport?

    An election is an occasion let your constituency rate your performance and abilities. Unopposed elections mean the constituency is happy. This is odd, since the sport itself is messed up in more ways than one. [Y! Cricket has been highlighting these issues for long. Some links: Aakash Chopra on our out-dated domestic set-up; Harsha Bhogle on player burn-out; and your writer's attempt at pointing out how the

    Read More »from Democratic Pretence & BCCI Elections
  • Jonny Bairstow: Like Father, Like Son

    England debutant Jonny Bairstow sends one into the river on Friday night. England debutant Jonny Bairstow sends one into the river on Friday night.

    England debutant Jonny Bairstow sends one into the river on Friday night.

    In cricket, the question of what has been achieved is often dwarfed by the question of how. Which is why the story of Jonny Bairstow needs retelling. Unfamiliar to most of us Indians, the 21-year-old from Yorkshire arrived on the big stage and bashed India's bowlers to bits in wet-weather conditions in Cardiff.

    It was Bairstow's England debut. The robustly-built boy announced himself by coolly bashing his fifth delivery in the England jersey into the cloudy skies over midwicket. Sophia Gardens isn't a particularly big ground, and two more deliveries were launched by him into the river behind the park.

    Mind you, this was a tense finish. And there wasn't the slightest trace of nerves on Bairstow's face. India kept bowling at him, he kept bashing them to the boundary, collecting 41 off 21, making it a memorable debut.

    Bairstow is the son of former England wicketkeeper David Bairstow, who committed suicide in 1998

    Read More »from Jonny Bairstow: Like Father, Like Son
  • The Significance of Dravid: A Statistical Look

     

    Rahul Dravid's order among the greatest run-makers of all time
    is often brought into question. There are those given to berating him for his conservative
    methods of scoring.

     

    His colleague, friend and rival Sourav Ganguly yesterday
    said he wouldn't call Dravid a ‘great' in ODIs, but merely a very good player. In
    the past, Ganguly had said he would rate Tendulkar, Gavaskar and Sehwag ahead
    of Dravid in Test cricket.

     

    So we ask a question.

     

    What does Dravid mean to Indian cricket? We set out finding the
    numbers which would determine where Dravid stands among the greats.

     

    First, here's a list of the highest run-scorers in
    international cricket. With 26,695 runs in Tests, ODIs and one T20I, Dravid is
    only behind Tendulkar and Ponting.

     

    It's no sin trailing those two geniuses of batting.

     

    Batsmen with 15,000 International Cricket Runs

    No

    Batsmen

    Team

    Total

    Tests

    ODI

    T20I

    1

    S Tendulkar

    Ind

    33,086

    14,965

    18,111

    10

    2

    R Ponting

    Aus

    26,462

    Read More »from The Significance of Dravid: A Statistical Look
  • The Character Artists

    Rahul Dravid and PranRahul Dravid and Pran

    Rahul Dravid and Pran

    Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion.

    — Aristotle

    It’s tough not being the hero. Ask Pran Sikand. The iconic Hindi film actor raised villainy to a high art over hundreds of films, practically monopolising that job. Pran lied, cheated, murdered, raped and stole in countless craftily-performed roles. His screen presence and grating voice filled film-goers with such terror, the name ‘Pran’ became synonymous with evil. As with Osama post 9/11, people stopped naming their new-borns after the actor.

    Pran was a brilliant character artist and a consummate professional. With no apologies to the talented Aamir Khan, Pran is the original perfectionist in Hindi cinema. He would spend days with art directors and make-up artists — usually over scotch and cigarettes — going over granular details of his role, costumes, wigs and make-up.

    Then he would go beyond the garb and find subtle mannerisms to sharpen his villainy. In Jis Desh Mein Ganga

    Read More »from The Character Artists
  • 2nd ODI: Southampton

    (Note to readers: we will post live match updates, analysis and expert views through the course of the second ODI between India and England. New updates will appear on top. Please hit the refresh button periodically.)


    It's no surprise that a full-strength England have outplayed a depleted Indian side yet again. India's batting seems to be returning to top shape, but they must think of adding variety to their bowling. As said earlier, Vinay, Munaf and Praveen all operate at the same pace. There's Varun Aaron on the bench. He is India's fastest bowler. As Sourav Ganguly said, why not play him since it can't get any worse than this for India.

    Do India have anything left to throw at England? We'll find out at the next match at the Oval. Till then, goodnight.


    England 103-1 in 10 overs - You know it's not your day when you bowl six bowlers in nine overs. The point made about lack of variety stands. England have been barely stretched and they're piling the runs on at 10 an over.

    Ashwin was

    Read More »from 2nd ODI: Southampton

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