• The Wong Kar Wai movie, In the Mood for Love, has the lines: "That era has passed, Nothing that belonged to it exists any more..." How often must those words, or sentiments to that effect, pop into Ricky Ponting's mind these days? Having come into a team that was on the cusp of world domination, he became an integral part of a side whose like we may never see again, but has since been asked to pick up the pieces as a golden generation moved on.

     

    When Brian Lara, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh raged against the dying Caribbean light at Bridgetown in 1999, Ponting was still making his way in the game. The century that he scored in the first innings of that game was only his third, but he had already played in a World Cup final [and lost], been part of an Ashes-changing partnership [with Matthew Elliott at Headingley in 1997] and been at the wrong end of a fist in a Kolkata nightclub.

     

    As it turned out, that Barbados defeat would be no more than a pothole in Australia's path to

    Read More »from Oz cricket in search of its soul
  • I began writing this even as the unflappable VVS Laxman, yet again, demonstrated his uncanny ability to rise to the occasion, to shepherd the tail, and to win for his team matches that were written off as lost. The backdrop to my piece, therefore, is yet another come-from-behind win scripted by this most unassuming of cricketers - a great climax, a photo-finish ending, and yet another compelling chapter in the history of India-Australia Tests.

     

    Not to rain on this parade, but mixed in with the euphoria of the win and the manner of it is a sadness that so few people chose to come to the stadium to watch the drama unfold. There was a time when Tests filled stadiums in India; today, unfortunately, there are very few takers for this format.

     

    While researching this column, I stumbled upon a few interesting backgrounders that help understand this phenomenon better, and that lead to the conclusion that the BCCI should take the lion's share of the blame for this public apathy, which owes to

    Read More »from ‘India needs to embrace Test cricket’
  • - Bangladesh's win by nine runs under DL Method in this game was its 58th win in one day games and represents its second win against New Zealand. The first win had come at the same venue on 09.10.09 when Bangladesh had won by seven wickets.

     

    - Shakib Al Hasan scored 58 in this game to provide the eleventh occasion of a Bangladesh batsman scoring a fifty against New Zealand. It is also his first fifty against New Zealand, the previous best being his 36 at Christchurch on 11.02.10. It also represents  his 15th one day half century and 19th fifty.

     

    - Shakib Al Hasan's 58 in this game provide the 199th occasion of a Bangladesh batsman scoring a fifty in one day games.

     

    - With 15 half centuries to his credit, Shakib Al Hasan is on par with Tamim Iqbal who also has scored 15 half centuries. Both these two batsmen occupy the joint second place amongst the Bangladesh batsmen who have scored most half centuries. Mohammad Ashraful leads the list with 20 half centuries. Shakib Al Hasan went

    Read More »from 1st ODI: Bangladesh vs New Zealand at Mirpur – Statistical Highlights

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