• Open mike

    So yesterday I was reading this column by one of our legendary former players and it freaked me out.

    Here it is.

    What strikes you about it -- besides the fact that the background music is the sound of an axe being ground -- is how neatly it divides itself into two parts. The first part talks about how stupid the 'so called experts' (having observed the gent's style for the best part of two decades, I'll make an educated guess that his target is someone, or a few someones, who are part of the panel on one of those TV talk shows) are in calling for the inclusion of Ravichandra Ashwin. And the second half of the column is about how Ashwin is a real talent and deserves to be included.

    Duh!

    Putting the signature stamp on this is the throwaway line: "Remember these 'experts' wanted Greg Chappell as India's coach too." Nice. Plays right into the anti-Chappell ethos that is still prevalent even as his successor, having finished a full stint, counts down to departure.

    But in the spirit of

    Read More »from Open mike
  • West Indies all out 187

    Perhaps it was in the fitness of things that Ashwin got the final wicket -- his bowling was the lone bright spot during the opening exchanges of the chase, and largely responsible for the Windies not being able to break entirely free.

    And with that, it is India versus Australia on Thursday. Thanks for the company, I'm off to do the match report, which should be up on Yahoo in the next few minutes.

    West Indies: Overs 36-40:

    Just once in a while, cricket provides an extraordinary sight -- the sort you can dine out on for decades. This phase provided one such, courtesy Munaf Patel.

    His fielding at fine leg and third man has been a positive embarrassment, but that is nothing compared to his time honored practice of never, ever, backing up when he is bowling. His typical ploy is to stand in mid pitch, gesticulating wildly, contorting his face in disappointment when a fielder's dive fails to live up to his exacting theoretical standards, and generally allowing

    Read More »from Live Blog: India versus West Indies in Chennai
  • Thanks to England's brinkmanship, Ireland's rare courage, Pakistan's unpredictable traveling circus and suchlike, news that otherwise would have made the front pages has been flying under the radar.

    There was the incident during the India-Netherlands game at the Kotla, when a news channel spotted a certain Pradeep Agarwal in the Indian dressing room -- an area that, per ICC rules, is strictly for players and accredited officials only.

    Agarwal has an unsavory history, laced liberally with words such as 'bookie'. The same channel had, back in 2008 during an IPL fixture between Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals, kicked up a fuss about Agarwal's presence in the Daredevils changing area and had him evicted.

    Now he is back, as the DDCA's media coordinator for the World Cup -- a role that gives him access, however temporary, to the Indian dressing room. The entry of non-accredited persons into the dressing room requires the clearance of the ICC's anti-corruption unit. Post the event RN

    Read More »from Out, damned spots!

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