Category: Columns (Page 1 of 2)

Kumble-Kohli rift or smoke without fire?

Anil Kumble

The rift that nobody can confirm has made speculation rife

When did you stop beating your wife?

More children died in Iraq because of US bombings than Hiroshima, was it worth it?

Should a slap delivered to a naughty child as part of responsible parenting be considered violent behaviour?

These are only obvious examples of the concept of a loaded question, one which cannot be answered in any satisfactory manner without the respondent either implicating himself or sounding positively evasive.

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An Indian Premier League XI to take on the Men in Blue

Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir is easily the best captain of the latest season of the IPL © Sportskeeda

After dust settled, at least temporarily, in the fracas between the International Cricket Council and the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the three-man selection committee was finally allowed to do its job and pick a team to play in the Champions Trophy. As choices go, this was not a terribly challenging task.

The Indian One-Day International team wears a fairly settled look and with the key characters in the show fit, there was little doubt about what India’s best eleven would be. In the backdrop of the Indian Premier League, however, a certain buzz was created around the selection, with several young Indian cricketers having made a splash in the tournament.

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Hurting Indian cricket may be fun but it is good for no-one

Economic Times

Shashank Manohar may think he has saved cricket. But what has he actually done?
© Economic Times

If turning wine into water was a skill in demand, Shashank Manohar would be the most sought after man on the planet. The man who claimed he was returning for a second innings at the helm of the Board of Control for Cricket in India to save the game, left with his association in tatters. This was not so much abandoning a sinking ship as taking a speedboat from one to a luxury cruise liner that was on a speck on the horizon. And now, the man liberally misidentified as a messiah has applied his reverse-Midas touch at the International Cricket Council.

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One man’s Wisden is another’s IPL

April is Wisden and IPL

April is synonymous with Wisden in England and IPL in India  © Economic Times

There are very few things that purists and modernists agree on in cricket. The older, wiser, more traditional lot believe that Test cricket is the only form of the game that really counts, that whites are colour of cricket and that anything else is not quite cricket. The younger, fresher, more mobile lot have no appetite for games that go five days without a clear winner, want their runs and wickets bookended by pom-pom wielding cheerleaders and that anything longer than a feature film is a waste of time.

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Kohli deserved more backing from the BCCI

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli’s strong statements should have been backed up more strongly by the BCCI
© Economic Times

The video that you’ve been waiting to watch has downloaded 99% and just as you get ready to click play, the connection drops. The ATM that hasn’t been refilled in a week is finally working and after waiting patiently in the queue, it runs out of cash just as you reach the door. The European vacation you’ve been planning your whole life is within reach thanks to a bonus, but you can’t get a visa because your passport is about to expire. These are the kind of third-world problems that readers of this column will only be too familiar with.

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Umesh Yadav, always giving back to the game

On a crackled pitch tailormade for spinners Umesh Yadav returned the best figures © Economic Times

Indian cricket has been besieged with all that is bad about how the game is administered, tales of mismanagement and corruption, backhanders and nepotism gathering such momentum that judges constantly berated the cricketing powers that be before passing stern judgment. But, at the recent Indian Premier League auction the other side of this beautiful game emerged.

To take only three examples, there was Thangarsasu Natarajan, the left-arm seam bowler from Chinnapampatti near Salem in Tamil Nadu, who went from being unknown to bagging a contract worth Rs 3 crore annually.

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The BCCI administration, with all its flaws, is just a reflection of how things work in this country

If, in every walk of life, we are uniquely Indian, for better or worse, why do we expect cricket, and how it is run, to be any different?
© Economic Times

An English journalist friend and colleague, a veteran of India visits, a man who knows his curry from his Balti and his Kingfisher from his Kalyani Black Label, was frankly mystified just recently. Not by Englands dramatic collapse in the final Twenty20 International against India in Bangalore, where they lost eight wickets for eight runs he has seen enough and more England implosions than to be taken aback by such mundane events but by the other big cricket thing that was hogging column inches. The judiciary versus the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) might be a juicy subject, but it is not one the world at large understands too well.

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Parvez Rasool doesn’t need to prove his patriotism by any means other than on the cricket field

On Republic Day Rasool made his Twenty20 International debut for India against England
© Economic Times

It’s not easy being an Indian cricketer, what with the constant pressure to perform, the piercing scrutiny that is the result of the tyranny of the 24-hour news cycle and the need to perpetually shoulder the burden of expectations of millions of fans. But it is downright difficult to be the first Kashmiri Muslim to play cricket for India, as Parvez Rasool, the all-rounder, is finding out.

On Thursday, Republic Day, no less, Rasool made his Twenty20 International debut for India against England. Rasool made five runs and picked up 1for 32 from his four overs as India were thoroughly outplayed. It was a forgettable debut by any standards, but attempts to make it memorable for completely non-cricketing reasons defy logic.
When the two teams lined up before the game for the national anthems, Rasool would have been a bundle of nerves, as you would expect of any player making his debut in a highoctane format. As many players do, out of habit or to stay calm, the 27-year-old Rasool was chewing gum when the national anthem played. He was not horsing around, not chatting idly with a neighbour and, yes, he was not singing the anthem. This has angered a broad swathe of Indians, who have predictably taken to Twitter and Facebook, making the short video clip viral.

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Yuvraj Singh’s newest chapter – a chance to turn the clock

People say Yuvraj Singh is not the same as before. They’re right. He’s better. © Economic Times

Yuvraj Singh is back in the Indian team for the limited-overs games against England for two simple reasons. He scored 672 runs from eight Ranji innings at an average of 84 that included a 295-ball 177 against Madhya Pradesh in Lahli, the venue where seamers of all kinds fill their boots, spinners stretch out on the couch in the dressing-room and batsmen are happy to just last half an hour at the crease. Yuvraj is also back because the selectors genuinely believe that this Indian team needs some experience in the middle- and lower-middle order.

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The removal of Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke is also a warning to those who will replace them

It is said that the new broom sweeps clean. But in this case, it is the oldest hand that has proven most firm.
© Economic Times

In 1980, Robert Benton won two Academy Awards, for direction and best adapted screenplay. But even he would not have anticipated just how inspiring his movie’s title would be, decades down the line. Kramer vs. Kramer won a total of five Academy Awards that year.

The faithful manner in which life has imitated art in the past week is nothing short of stunning.

In Uttar Pradesh, you had Yadav vs Yadav, Akhilesh and Mulayam with a few more Yadavs thrown in for good measure. In Tamil Nadu it was Sasikala v Sasikala, the newly anointed All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader, Natarajan, taking on the expelled member of Parliament, Pushpa.

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