• Things Cricket Commentators Say [And What They Mean]

    'He’s no mug with the bat.'

    Venkatpathy Raju: No mug with the bat, not. Venkatpathy Raju: No mug with the bat, not.

    Venkatpathy Raju: Definitely a mug with the bat.

    Used for: Just about every No. 8 batsman in history.

    What it means: I’m just being polite. He has little chance of scoring runs today.

    'He's a gritty customer'

    Used for: Sanjay Bangar.

    What it means: He's going to annoy the bowlers all afternoon and score 12 runs.

    'He mixes it up nicely'

    Used for: Venkatesh Prasad, whose angry comeback ball after getting hit for a six was — you guessed right — a loopy leg-cutter.

    What it means: He can't bowl a fast ball even if his life depended on it.

    '… in fact …'

    Used for: Covering up an on-air gaffe. Example: "That's gone for a six! In fact... he's bowled!"

    What it means: God, how could I be so blind? Let me just correct myself with a clever turn of phrase and pretend nobody noticed.

    'He has huge powers of concentration'

    Used for: A batsman who has batted an unusually long period of time.

    What it means: He's going to block bowlers all day without hitting a four.

    'He's

    Read More »from Things Cricket Commentators Say [And What They Mean]
  • Darren Sammy: Wearing boots too big for him?Darren Sammy: Wearing boots too big for him?

    Darren Sammy: Wearing boots too big for him?

    First, their ego problems kept the in-form Chris Gayle out of the team. Then, they tried to beat the No. 1 Test team with three-and-a-half bowler — the half being captain Darren Sammy himself. Had situations in Caribbean cricket not been so contrived, Sammy would struggle to break into the team, forget leading it. Having to keep out express pacer Kemar Roach for his captain will haunt coach Ottis Gibson till he finds the cure to quieten the frustrated voices of Caribbean fans.

    "Our history has been built on fast bowling but we do not have the kind of fast bowlers that we had in the past. Therefore we have to find the right combination," Gibson clarified when asked if the West Indies skipper deserved a place in the team. It's unfair on Sammy. He wants to win. But he doesn't know how to. He's earnest, gives it his all, and takes questions about his inadequacies head-on. "My family sends up prayers and the blessings come down," he says. "The

    Read More »from How To Lose A Test Match, West Indies Style
  • Rahul DravidRahul Dravid

    It took so long coming, some of us had forgotten what a gritty Dravid hundred felt like. Here was the author of some of India’s greatest moments on a cricket field. Yet in the last five years, he had inexplicably struggled to score the hundred that would take Indian cricket and his own legend forward.

    Sure, there have been several memorable performances by him in this period. Between Sabina Park 2006 and Sabina Park 2011, there was the 93 at Perth. The 177 in Ahmedabad. The 62 in Napier. But what was missing was the one innings which typified Brand Dravid: the over-my-dead-body innings at a time everybody else had surrendered to the conditions.

    This was Dravid’s first Test hundred outside Asia in five years, and just his second since Adelaide. He’s had two fruitless tours of South Africa, and below-par tours of England and Australia. In recent times Dravid's overseas record had fallen from its lofty standards. With young talent waiting to break into the Test side, Dravid's clock is

    Read More »from In Praise of Good Old Grit

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