• It feels like only six months have passed since the opening game in Dhaka, but suddenly, and just as I was getting the hang of it all, this World Cup is about to end. 48 matches have been played, millions of air miles have been accrued by players, journalists and fans alike and Shastri, Morrison, Nicholas and co. are almost out of hyperbolic superlatives.

     

    Yes, we really are on the brink. Only one more match stands between us and the terrifying prospect of having no cricket to watch until the IPL begins next Friday, but what a match it promises to be. The two pre-tournament favourites go head to head in Mumbai in a contest that will once more bring the entire Indian sub-continent to a standstill.

     

    If we thought Wednesday's semi-final between India and Pakistan was the biggest match of the century we must now re-calibrate our hysteria monitors as the winners of the Mumbai showdown will have their exploits witnessed by, if the broadcasters are to be believed, the best part of 1.5

    Read More »from India certain to win, unless Lanka beat them to it
  • India’s final countdown

    "Till the full stop
    doesn't come, the sentence is not complete."

     

    It's the latest analogy from Indian skipper Mahendra Singh
    Dhoni during India's 2011 World Cup campaign. It's also not the first; Dhoni previously
    compared his teammates to Formula one cars who were tuned up for a Sunday race,
    and then equated their fielding talent to old engines that don't improve with
    hybrid fuel. His latest comparison comes a day before his team attempts to
    complete their journey and establish themselves as ODI world champs.

     

    Always associated with the adjective 'cool', Dhoni had no
    plans to change his approach on the eve of the big final. His interaction with
    the media in Mumbai saw him harp on the fact that they were not dwelling on the
    result, which could hamper their preparation: "One good thing was that we
    didn't have a long break in between the semi-final and the final. Yesterday was
    a travelling day and today a practice day. That really helps you not think
    too much ahead of the future. You

    Read More »from India’s final countdown
  • It is only fitting that two stalwarts of the game will cross paths for one last time in the final of the 2011 World Cup at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium. While this will be Muttiah Muralitharan's last international match; it is more than likely that though Sachin Tendulkar will continue playing international cricket, the final on April 2, 2011, would be his swansong in World Cups.

    Tendulkar and Muralitharan have had contrasting careers. Tendulkar's career has mainly been controversy-free, but the same can't be said of Muralitharan, whose bowling action was under the scanner for quite a while before it was finally and rightly deemed to be legal. It is a testament to his talent and spirit though that Muralitharan didn’t let these controversies affect his performances on the field; in fact, he came back stronger more often than not each time after his skill was questioned. Tendulkar has had to deal with the expectations of more than a billion people for most of his 21-year international

    Read More »from An ode to the two masters

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