• Stephen Fleming has bid adieu as a New Zealand cricketer and captain, when he could have played - always a tricky choice - and when old enough to decide he had had enough. He would have had a major role in enabling his successor, left-arm spinner, Daniel Vettori - a man after his heart and temperament - to take over with no questions asked.

    One will always remember Fleming as the modern role model as captain, even with Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting on the scene, as he matched wits and tactical skills, despite lacking top quality resources, which has always been the history of his country's cricket.

    There have been exceptional individuals of course, batsmen, bowlers and wicketkeepers. New Zealand, like its closest neighbour, Australia has produced athletic citizens, and this has to do with their interest in the outdoors. Without a population to worry about - there are certainly more sheep if not deer than people - life is comfortable for most and the climate sport friendly.

    Read More »from Fleming was an ideal captain
  • The Indian Premier League had a dream finish that Hollywood scriptwriters may not have dared put in their scenarios. Form a start in Bengaluru to a spectacular show to a finish serenaded by Bollywood stars, the six cricket-crazed weeks had everything fans could have asked for. Here are some Three-three moments from the grand spectacle:

    Three great moments:

    Elation: The hug Warne gave in his latest incarnation as captain-coach of Rajasthan Royals to a young Pakistani in a new stadium in Mumbai captured the great unifying power of sport.

    Effort: It's a bird, no it's Yuvraj: The Punjab XI skipper's run out off the last ball, Jonty Rhodes style, captured the essence of effort in Twenty-20 cricket with its accentuated do-or-die situations.

    Fireworks: More than 60 per cent of the nearly 18,000 IPL runs came in boundaries. Spectators could not have asked for more by way of instant entertainment.

    Three worst moments:

    Misplaced elation: Shah Rukh Khan's jigs were so overdone they became an

    Read More »from Best and worst of Indian Premier League
  • T20 has fired up Gambhir

    Was the usual frisson missing from an IndiaPakistan encounter or did we simply think so because India won so easily at Dhaka on Tuesday night? With reports suggesting the rain clouds kept people away, the National Stadium was far from full and the ambience was somehow not the same, or so it seemed from television images.

     

    In such circumstances that are not overtly inspirational, the Indian team are usually the first to succumb.

     

    Remember the World Cup of 2007 where the team simply slumped at the Queen's Park Oval? There is, however, a new zing to the cricket of Team India now and we have to thank the IPL for it.

     

    By forcing players to focus their talents in a narrower range and perform against very sharp deadlines, the condensed format has opened up new vistas for Indian cricket. And yet, in Dhaka, it was the supercool head of a man who has been seen frequently to lose his bearings in the shorter forms of the game who kickstarted the Indian innings.

     

    One season down the road they

    Read More »from T20 has fired up Gambhir

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