R Mohan

  • Like

Blog Posts by R Mohan

  • Long weekend for couch potatoes

    The country’s richest man combined with the world’s richest cricketer to form a cricket team. Even so, the Mumbai Indians do not find themselves in the IPL semi-finals. This just goes to show that there are some things like winning cricket teams that money can’t buy.


    There were cheerleader groups from all over the world of sport, including the high profile group of girls from Washington Redskins of NFL fame. The girls from Down Under that Deccan Chargers put together were consistently the best — full of good cheer and high energy right through the league. Again, the most expensive or expansive did not mean the best.


    Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the most expensive buy at the player auction. He has delivered the minimum performance in terms of leading his Chennai Super Kings into the long IPL weekend of semis and final even if he was not the best performing batsman of the league. At under half a million dollars, Shane Warne the player was a bargain but to buy his brain they had to double

    Read More »from Long weekend for couch potatoes
  • Sky is the limit for big strikers

    Do not be surprised if the 300-run barrier is downed one day in Twenty-20 cricket. For that matter, a total of 500 is a distinct possibility in the now old-fashioned One-Day International played to the 50-overs a team format. What the IPL has shown is an incipient fearlessness to stroke players. Batsmen are prepared to throw the bat at even the good ball, hoping to hack it somewhere for runs. What Sourav Ganguly and Umar Gul showed in the course of the thrilling win they shaped for Kolkata Knight Riders against an asking rate of 14 runs an over was the sky is the limit. The story was repeated by two virtually unknown Rajasthan Royals middleorder batsmen who also made 15 in the final over against Mumbai. Cricket came in for a major surprise when Australia scored 434 two years ago on a pluperfect batting pitch at the Wanderers. Surprise of surprises, South Africa met the target, making 438, on one of the game's most sensational nights of big hitting. Such uninhibited striking of the ball

    Read More »from Sky is the limit for big strikers
  • Duckworth-Lewis in T20 leads to bizarre results

    The two ‘rain’ games at the IPL created huge suspense before the results were out, courtesy Messrs Duckworth & Lewis. The games were a total lottery. The very nature of limited-overs cricket is in its unpredictability. But when the weather intervenes to reduce the overs further from the already severely limited 20, the results cane be quite bizarre.

    While the match at the Kotla could have easily gone the other way had there been no interruption to the flow of the Sehwag innings, the Delhi Daredevils captain did not show sufficient understanding of the complex D&L laws to help his team’s cause.

    He was too naive tactically to give his side the best chance of sealing a semi-final slot.

    While Twenty-20 cricket is relatively new, the variables that captains have to take into account in D&L situations are old. For a player who has been around the national team for more than seven years and who has led the country in ODIs and in a Test match, the Delhiite did not reveal the tactical nous

    Read More »from Duckworth-Lewis in T20 leads to bizarre results
  • There’s something about Warne

    Who writes the scripts for these guys? The question crops up quite frequently when these larger than life characters take a hand in shaping events. And there is none bigger than Shane Warne, the man they call "Hollywood" who has been shining through the IPL glitz like a beacon.

    It is amazing that the bargain basement team Rajasthan Royals should be heading the table well into the second-half of the preliminary league. Ridiculed as the cheapest of the franchises, said to be a bit of a steal at $67 million, and fined for not using the full salary cap of $5 million at the auction, the team from the Pink City has painted the competition red.

    It is typical of Warne's luck that he and his teammates should be holidaying in Goa when all hell broke loose in Jaipur in the wake of terrorist blasts. This is not the first time that the cricket rebel who would rather have been a beach bum has had people wondering how he manages to come through every event and incident unscathed.

    Down at the

    Read More »from There’s something about Warne
  • IPL godsend for domestic players

    Strip away the sequined glamour. Take away the money sufficient for a king's ransom. Even without the hype and the hoopla, the IPL would still be a godsend for many. A planeload of Aussies may have been running away with the praise and monopolised the match awards.

    Even so, the Indians have not been all that far behind.

    Would a clean striking Abhishek Nayar have been known to the cricket world if not for the exposure that the IPL has given him? Who would have heard of the opener Swapnil Asnodkar if not for the flashy innings or two that he has played for the Rajasthan Royals on prime time television?

    The pace bowler Ashok Dinda, who is said to come from a nondescript village in Bengal, has been so impressive that international stars have been praising him.

    Wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha may never have got close to the Bengal Ranji squad if not for Deep Dasgupta throwing in his lot with ICL. Within a season, Saha has stepped up to the plate and struck the best IPL bowlers around.

    Read More »from IPL godsend for domestic players
  • Shoaib’s career sees Bollywood resurrection

    The Rawalpindi Express never comes to a halt. The maverick fast bowler who is often referred to by the name of the train that speeds to and from his home town has had this extraordinary ability to change the lights from red to green at every turn. His latest escapade had all the ingredients of a Bollywood thriller with an Indian actor backing him while he fought the Pakistan establishment.

    Shoaib has to thank the international nature of the Indian Premier League and its embracing culture for the latest break he is getting. It may sound strange that while he cannot play cricket in his home country he is eligible to chug in for the Kolkata Knight Riders. If he does indeed play, his four overs for the Kolkatans on Thursday night will establish the extraordinary sweep of player power. 

    It may sound strange that while the Pakistan Cricket Board wishes to wash its hands off its temperamental fast bowler with an avowed behaviour problem against authority it still wishes he should be allowed

    Read More »from Shoaib’s career sees Bollywood resurrection
  • Bhajji ban might help Indian cricket

    Not even an Indian cricketer who may one day find himself on a
    Forbes list can scoff at a handy sum like Rs 2.5 crore. The cricket
    establishment well knows that hitting a player in the pocket is where
    it really hurts. Harbhajan Singh loses a lot more than a hefty pay

    A psychiatrist digging into his life may come up with a
    theory on how some childhood deprivation may have left its scars on
    Bhajji. There is always the thought that he is somehow a child in a
    man's world even though he is said to have grown up fast because he had
    to shoulder the family responsibility on the death of his father when
    he was young.

    The sardar of spin, who has been known to be a
    feisty competitor before the day he stepped on to the international
    stage, had hardened his attitude towards opponents so much he was bound
    to get himself into trouble from which there could be no easy escape.
    In his first series in the big league he had shown his attitude when he
    walked into Ponting's path after having taken

    Read More »from Bhajji ban might help Indian cricket
  • In many ways Warne is IPL’s ambassador

    even the peripatetic Lalit Modi could have ordered the fireworks on the
    field. Brendon McCullum did the match commissioner's creative child,
    the Indian Premier League, a huge favour by setting the cricket on
    fire. And then came the Michael Hussey century in just the second game
    in a record number of balls, which meant two batsmen had instilled
    excitement at the very beginning to get the event off and running as if
    it were a sprinter on steroids.

    IPL is here to stay. No doubt about that. It might be impossible to
    sustain such brilliance even within the narrow confines of Twenty20
    cricket. What the cricket on show has done so far is to captivate an
    audience with the fantastic possibilities of the format in a set of
    matches each of which has brought out so many different aspects, from
    the ball-bashing, sixer-hitting galacticos to the cerebral twists and
    turns given to a cricket ball by the genius of Shane Warne, the
    ultimate spin doctor.
    darkly predicting the death of spin

    Read More »from In many ways Warne is IPL’s ambassador
  • Short men stand tall at the crease

    In describing new wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose's maiden Test century the former England captain and columnist Mike Atherton made the interesting point of how short batsmen have been world beaters.

    Of the 10 highest Test run makers, as many as five are below 5'9 while Allan Border at 5' 9 is a borderline case, perhaps belonging to the short class among batsmen.

    The four comparatively taller men among those with the highest Test aggregate are Steve Waugh (4), Rahul Dravid (6), Jacques Kallis (8) and Graham Gooch (9).

    The gigantic figure of Inzamam-ul-Haq comes up at 11 and the barrel-chested Viv Richards is 12th on the all time list.

    It is fascinating that the world's finest Test batsman ever was Sir Donald Bradman who at 5'7 would have been as welcome in a club of jockeys. Even shorter than the Don are Sachin Tendulkar at 5'5 and Sunil Gavaskar at 5' 4 while Brian Lara would tip the gymnasium height scale at a modest 5'7.

    While history records that some of the finest batsmen have been short

    Read More »from Short men stand tall at the crease
  • Will Motera break the spell of high-scoring draws?

    In the Test arena, India have absolutely no reason to fear anyone, not even world champions Australia against whom they have won as many as five Tests in the new millennium. There is very little point then in trying to make home pitches suit Team India. A few such attempts towards designer pitches have also bombed.

    In the last three Tests on Indian soil - all drawn - 4,577 runs have been scored while 81 wickets have fallen. From the statistics alone it is clear that the playing surface is something Indian cricket is getting very wrong. The demand for results in this day and age is almost as strident as it is for entertaining cricket in all forms of the game.

    It s possible to produce irresistible cricket as Virender Sehwag did in his innings of 319 on the flattest deck at Chepauk. Even then, the clamour for a result could be seen in the eloquent silence in which most of the rest of the Test match was viewed by what is avowedly the most sporting crowd in the country, which applauds every

    Read More »from Will Motera break the spell of high-scoring draws?


(20 Stories)