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Sachin TendulkarSachin Tendulkar by Vaibhav Purandare

Most of the facts and stories about Sachin in the book would already be known to his fans, but reading the book refreshes the memory and lets one relive those moments of joy and torment. Somebody who has not watched cricket during the 90s and early 2000s or is not a fan of Sachin, is unlikely to find the book interesting.

So read the book if you fall into either of the above categories.

View all my reviews

With the resignation of M. S. Dhoni, Virat Kohli takes over the mantle of the captaincy of the Indian cricket team. The press has been raving about a new era dawning for the Indian cricket. Virat is seen to bring in the aggression which is missing in most Indian cricketers (Saurav Da could possibly considered to be an exception). This aggression is expected to spurn the team to perform and the opponents to wilt.

While aggression does lead to success to a certain extent, one needs to have a mature head to complement the aggression. Virat comes out as a brat who has tasted success very early in his life. There would be lots of things going on in his head to make him heady. The captaincy will only add to his headiness. Sachin Tendulkar tasted success very early in life too, but he was a level headed person who never seemed to wish to stand out in the crowd. The way he blunted the aggressiveness of Glenn Mc Grath, Shoib Akthar, Shane Warne is a standing testimony to his maturity.

Being aggressive in words and not measured words at that does not help. It only brings a bad taste to the speaker and the person hearing it. It further aggravates the situation. A better way to counter the kind of aggression that the Australians bring in is not just not react to their comments, but also to ignore it as if one does not understand the language. Let the bat and the ball do the talking. It will silence everyone.

Reacting to the taunts of the Australians only disrupts the rhythm of the players which is their ultimate goal. By reacting to their taunts we are showing our weakness. A school bullies like to taunt the ones who are most upset by their taunting, the ones who react most to their taunts become constant targets for the bullies. The Australians are like the school bully. As the other party reacts to their taunts their taunts go up, flustering the opponents and leading them to lose their rhythm.

We have to learn to ignore them and not get flustered. Virat does not seem to have this characteristic. While he is no weakling he is another bully. He tries to pay back the other bullies in kind. This can work as long as one can be sure that one has an upper hand. This may not be true all the time as each team has weaknesses and one will only end up looking like a fool. (Remember Zaheer Khan and the World Cup finals).

While I would wish him all the very best, I doubt if he will turn out to be a good, successful captain. He may end up winning a few matches in India against the weak sides, but it is doubtful if he will notch up any significant wins.

then read
Isn’t Australia is doing what England did to them a few decades ago.
The extract from Wikipedia (Bodyline) “A bodyline delivery was one where the cricket ball was pitched short so as to rise towards the body of the batsman on the line of the leg stump, in the hope of creating leg-side deflections that could be caught by one of several fielders in the quadrant of the field behind square leg. This was considered by many to be intimidatory and physically threatening, to the point of being unfair in a game once supposed to have gentlemanly traditions, but commercialisation of the game has subsequently tended to elevate the principle of ‘win at all costs’ above traditional ideals of sportsmanship.”
Now read this from the rediff article “It’s a delivery, which is aimed at batsmen’s body rather than at their bat or stumps.”
Only the name has changed from “Bodyline” to “Perfume”. 
So can the same be said of the Australians, or has is it only un-sportsman like to bowl to batsmen like Bradman or should we read white man to white man?

It will be minomer to call the Indian Cricket team a juggernaut, but it will now be hard to stop the media juggernaut from creating a hype about the Indian victory Down Under. India won the Tri-Series finals against Australia for the first time in 23 years and the media is gushing with hyperbole as to how India has triumphed against the might and sleight of Australia.

To top it the BCCI has awarded close to a crore to the cricketers. Compare this to the 15 lakhs that was offered to the under 19 team which won the World Cup and compare this to what the hockey and other players get through the year. Will they now fine the players a crore if they exit the next world cup as ignominiously as they did this time?

Definitely the cricketers are a pampered lot and its high time the BCCI was audited. Every Pawar, Laloo and Dalmia wants a piece of the BCCI cake. Why would they not with Shah Rukh and Ambanis and the other corporates willing to offer millions to buy cricketers.

One only hopes that the players are able to remain level headed and don’t overboard. Going by history that is unlikely to happen. Victory does get into the head of the players in a big way. Victory is a great booster. But our players seem to get boosted out of this world. They get into their own world leading to disaster on this world. They tend to lose the next set of matches very badly. And then when they get brick-bats from everywhere they wake up.

That last bit sounds very Indian.



How easily we go gaga over cricket. One match won and our media goes raving about the supremacy of our team. No doubt beating Australia is a big task, but the fact that beating Australia, being such a big deal, is a clear pointer to who is the better team.

When we reach a stage when the world considers it a big deal to beat Indians, thats the day we can declare ourselves to be supreme. till then our chest beating is just a chauvinstic gesture, at the least, or a means for promoting readership/viewership for the media.

Read any of the newspapers yesterday and invariably India beating Australia in the first of the finals has been made a big deal and that as the first page news. Some like the Free Press even went on to claim that Little Wimp (Bajji) has had the last laugh. It is not doubt a catch, jingoistic headline, but they have forgotten that this is just the first match, there are two more matches to go before knowing who has the last laugh and the Australians are known to claw their way back from more precarious situations. They should have waited for the outcome of the final and then given the headline and then it would have made more sense.

Sometimes it is better to speak with your bat or ball than with your mouth and its high time our media learnt that.