• As I write, the 100-day countdown for the ICC Cricket World Cup has just started and the excitement may have officially begun. Already talk has commenced about which team will win the mega event to be held in the sub continent and if the atmosphere is not exactly at fever pitch it will soon be.

     

    The months will become weeks and the weeks will become days and before you know it, India and Bangladesh will be squaring off in the tournament opener on February 19. And, then for the next six weeks our lives will centre round the happenings in the ICC Cricket World Cup and nothing else will matter.

     

    This has happened every time without fail since the inaugural edition in 1975. Even though the media hype was predictably not as high as it is these days, I remember we could not wait for the action to start on June 7 of that year. There were just eight participating teams but among them were West Indies and Australia, the two leading competitors for the title. Everything pointed out to these

    Read More »from The gap has narrowed
  • - SR Tendulkar who has an aggregate of 6473 runs prior to the start of the second Test require 27 runs for his 6500 runs on home soil. If he gets them he would be the second batsman in the annals of Test cricket to score 6500 plus runs on home soil, the first being RT Ponting of Australia who has amassed 6790 runs.

     

    - SR Tendulkar who has scored 48 fifties {22 C plus 26 HC} requires to more fifties for 50 fifties on home soil. If he gets them, he would become the second batsman in the annals of Test cricket to score 50 fifties. RT Ponting of Australia is the other batsman with 54 fifties {21 C plus 33 HC} to his credit. SR Tendulkar would become the first Indian batsman to score fifty fifties on home soil.

     

    - Prior to the start of the second Test, SR Tendulkar and R Dravid have scored 26 and 25 half centuries on home soil respectively. R Dravid would require one more half century to catch up with SR Tendulkar, provided the latter does not score a fifty.

     

    - Prior to the start of the

    Read More »from Approaching milestones ahead of second Test at Hyderabad
  • I must confess I am baffled by the steep fall of the Aussies. Admittedly, it is not easy to replace players like Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, Adam Gilchrist, Damien Martyn and Stuart MacGill overnight, but the Australians have depth in their reserve bench and it was thought they had discovered cricketers good enough to maintain a tough challenge at the top. 

     

    Ricky Ponting was still around as elder statesman and the batting and bowling seemed to be in capable hands. At worst, it appeared that they might struggle to stay No 1. However, it was taken for granted that they would still be formidable at home. All these theories have been hit for six.

     

    The Australians are now starting to experience a slump similar to the one they endured in the mid-80s when the simultaneous retirements of Greg Chappell, Dennis Lillee and Rodney Marsh saw the team's fortunes nosedive. They were beaten by almost every team at home and abroad. In fact, one recalls how New

    Read More »from An uphill task

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