• The victory in the ODI series in Sri Lanka has driven home the point that the way ahead is to concentrate on youth. Against this background it can be taken for granted that the likes of Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman might well have played their last ODIs and Sachin Tendulkar himself is under increasing pressure to hold his place.

    The Dilip Vengsarkar-led selection committee has made it clear that they are keen on building a team for the 2011 World Cup to be held in the sub-continent and as a means towards achieving that objective they have given avenues to many talented youngsters to display their skills.

    The Twenty20 World Cup triumph made their task that much easier and in the last few months as the transition period has commenced it can be said that the youth policy has yielded dividends. Close on the heels of the triumph in South Africa came a significant victory in the CB Series in Australia. And now comes the latest win that is also a creditable feat. Sri Lanka are

    Read More »from Another feather in Dhoni’s cap
  • It’s fascinating to watch Ajantha Mendis in action. There he is weaving his webs around the Indian batsmen reputedly the best players of spin bowling in international cricket. Against Mendis however they seem to be as helpless as a butterfly in a gale. Clueless to his mysterious deliveries they all just grope forward hoping for the best.

     

    Certainly at the moment he is more than a handful and it is clear that both the seniors and the younger brigade have not sorted him out. They don’t have a plan B so as MS Dhoni has said the only option right now is to play more and more against him and sooner or later the Indian batsmen might be able to pick him.

     

    I am sure that the Indian players and members of the team management have made attempts at reading him by seeing videos from various angles but at the moment even this deep study doesn’t seem to be working. Perhaps a more positive attitude would help as Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag showed in the  Tests but it would be a foolhardy

    Read More »from Cricket needs bowlers like Mendis
  • A disturbing trend I have noticed is that today’s generation of cricket lovers seem content to know about contemporary players. Their knowledge of the past greats is very limited. This is borne out through my inter-action with several hardcore cricket enthusiasts as also by a number of polls conducted by various publications.

     

    The questions pertaining to the greatest Indian team, greatest batsmen, greatest bowlers, greatest all-rounders and so on invariably have only cricketers stretching back at most to the seventies.

     

    Today’s generation of cricket lovers have been brought up on television and DVD’s and because there is so little footage of cricket played from the thirties to the sixties the younger followers of the game are quite ignorant of the feats performed by CK Nayudu and Lala Amarnath, Mohammed Nissar and Amar Singh, Vijay Merchant and Mushtaq Ali, Vinoo Mankad and Subash Gupte, Vijay Hazare and Vijay Manjrekar, Polly Umrigar and the Nawab  of Pataudi.

     

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