AR Hemant

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Somewhat of a contrarian.

Blog Posts by AR Hemant

  • ‘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
  • The Curse of The First-ball Wicket

    Nathan Lyon took a wicket first ball in Test cricket. Nathan Lyon took a wicket first ball in Test cricket.

    Nathan Lyon took a wicket first ball in Test cricket — and it was Kumar Sangakkara no less.

    Australia's Nathan Lyon recently became the 14th bowler in history to claim a wicket off his first delivery in Test cricket. He capped the performance with a fiver — making it a remarkable debut for the 23-year-old off-spinner from New South Wales.

    Here's the full list of bowlers who've achieved this feat.

    Despite this fabulous start, very few of these cricketers have had long, successful Test careers.

    Half of them didn't last three Test matches. Only two of them could be considered successes at the Test level.

    England's Maurice Tate, who played 39 Tests, took 155 wickets and also made 1198 runs.

    Intikhab Alam of Pakistan, the leg-spinner all-rounder scored 1493 runs and took 125 wickets in the 47 Tests he played.

    Here's how the first-ball heroes stand.

    Will Lyon buck this trend?

    Read More »from The Curse of The First-ball Wicket
  • 1st ODI: Chester-le-Street

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


    Question for readers: What does India need to finally beat England on this tour?


    The match has been rained off. India's first win over England on this tour will have to wait. India took steps forward in this game with the refreshing batting of Parthiv, Rahane and Kohli. But the injuries to Rohit and Tendulkar have brought them back to the wretched situation they've been in throughout this tour.

    From here on, India have nothing to play with but the strength of their character. Any positives, any wins, India can achieve from this point — having lost eight of their first choice players — is a bonus. This blog will join you again for the second ODI. Till then, goodnight.

    Kohli consoles Parthiv after he missed a hundred. Kohli consoles Parthiv after he missed a hundred.

    Kohli consoles Parthiv after he missed a hundred.

    From a distance, Parthiv and Virat might seem like two

    Read More »from 1st ODI: Chester-le-Street
  • DRS: Solution or Problem?

    The LBW of Phil Hughes in the Kandy Test and prompted Simon Taufel to use it as a an instance of Hawk-Eye's failing. The LBW of Phil Hughes in the Kandy Test and prompted Simon Taufel to use it as a an instance of Hawk-Eye's failing.

    Phil Hughes' LBW in the Kandy Test has prompted Simon Taufel to use it as a an instance of Hawk-Eye's failing.

    During India's 2002 tour of England, a primitive version of today's ball-tracking technology was in use. The DRS was still a few years away, but since the idea was to illustrate points for the benefit of viewers, no red flags were raised even when there were doubts about its accuracy.

    Then, in the Leeds Test, it finally threw up explicit evidence of its fallibility. Harbhajan Singh bowled Andrew Caddick in the first innings. The ball made faint contact with the top of the stumps and dislodged the bails. But the replay showed the ball going over the stumps.

    It proved we were still years away from "fool-proof technology". It's a wonderful expression. Fool-proof technology. Like unicorns, elves and fairies, it exists in our heads.

    Fast-forward nine years to the Phil Hughes dismissal in the Kandy Test.

    Umpire Simon Taufel has been prompted to use the dismissal as a case against

    Read More »from DRS: Solution or Problem?

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