Skandan Sampath

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Blog Posts by Skandan Sampath

  • Has the gentleman’s game forgotten the ladies?

    How many of us are aware that the Women's T20 World Cup starts on September 26th?

    Ellyse Perry has played both cricket and football for Australia

    It was a rare instance, to watch the Indian men’s and women’s cricket teams practice at the same time, at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore. The press would make it a point to monitor every single ball that the batsmen faced in the nets, jotting down the names of local practice bowlers who managed to beat an Indian jersey, watching and waiting for the big names to get up from the plastic chairs, so that pen could meet paper. Nobody would notice some ladies sporting the same official crest, as they slipped past the media onto the field for some fitness and fielding drills in their corner. There is really no need to investigate if their bytes were taken or even published.  Since we are discussing the leeward side of cricket, how many of us are aware that the Women’s T20 World Cup begins on the September 26th in Sri Lanka?

    The issue here has more to do with public perception than anything else, with a common impression being that the cricket being played by the opposite

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  • This god is human

    The swan decides when to sing, so don’t organize a concert when it has a bad throat.

    Much like the arrow that lodged itself in Achilles’ heel, every Indian wants to know which Trojan has infected Sachin Tendulkar’s batting program. So much so, that if cricket fans had the choice, they would love to file an RTI application to find out why the 39-year old is getting bowled so often. But the question is why? Didn’t the team just win a series 2-0? Why are we fretting over a batsman’s dismissal, than celebrating the team’s success?

    The ‘three jeers’ question is prompted by Tendulkar’s inability in the last fortnight to protect the three stumps that he is known to guard fiercely.  For a batsman, watching his bails fly is worse than getting hit on the box. It is possibly the worst way to get out to a bowler, for it inflicts a loss of pride that can take even the best some time to recover.  Ask a goalkeeper how it feels to watch the ball go past him into the net, but he at least gets the luxury of staying on, on the field.

    Trent  Boult, Doug Bracewell and Tim Southee are the Read More »from This god is human
  • VVS Laxman: The wrist in the tale

    A look at the Hyderabadi legend's place in Indian cricket history

    Even if India’s opponents handcuffed Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman, the man would still come out, tap the bat on the pitch, and take his stance. The bowler would soon complete his delivery stride, as the Hyderabadi would have moved on to hammering the crease, bat flapping between the knees, elbow jutting out, before the minimal back lift, synchronized with footwork belonging to a stiff danseur… Pause. Imagine this silhouette for a second, for when the ball lands on the pitch, VVS would have used his carpals, to drive the ball for four, before shaking hands with the fielding captain, garlanding him with the broken handcuffs, as a token of his appreciation for the clumsy experiment.

    Too much?

    If one has to measure VVS Laxman’s greatness, it would be prudent not too compare him with anybody. Difficult, given that most of his success has come with a partner too playing an equal part, like two comets coming together to light up the sky. Let’s try to make him the chief guest. We want to

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  • MP Vs KP: One goes, the other doesn’t

    How does Pietersen want to be remembered when he's done with the game?

    So Kevin Pietersen has apologised to the ECB, but just like the switch hit, has forced the cricket world to play third umpire, with people thumb twiddling over whether to press the red or the green button. But when he does actually retire, will fans react the way they usually do? Tears may not flow with the tributes, but writers will try to balance the salt from the batsman’s perspiration, with the runs made from the sweet spot of his bat. Sour moments would be included without a moment’s hesitation, old rivalries brought back, with David winning, and Goliath losing, like always. Or will they choose to ignore his legacy completely?

    The peroxide skunk might have given way to a smart crew cut, but KP never really made an effort to stop himself from getting into people’s hair. He wanted to extract better returns by playing for an Indian city in the IPL, than for the three lions tattooed on his left arm — a nation that gave him a county and a country to play for. By choosing to swim in Read More »from MP Vs KP: One goes, the other doesn’t


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