Champions Trophy 2013 – India Wins

A fine tournament, really. There’s life in the old dog yet.

India wins the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 (Photo from ESPNCricinfo site)

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Recap: When West Indian Fast Bowlers Played in the Ranji Trophy

Asked this question at a quizzing forum. Good info, I think, so am sharing this again here:

Q.There were four of them. One was a quiet guy, who had a startling debut to his international career. Another was an apparent madman. The others turned out to be of a more academic vein, and after their cricketing days got over, one became a finance and accounting professional, and the other got into healthcare. What innovative cricketing experiment were the four of them a part of?

Lester King, Roy Gilchrist, Chester Watson, Charlie Stayers. The four West Indians who played in the Ranji Trophy in 1962-63.

The apparent reason to get the West Indian fast bowlers was to improve the Indian batsmen’s ability against genuine quicks. While that purpose was not achieved until recently, the four of them performed well. Lester King (who had previously taken five wickets in the first four overs of his Test debut, opening the bowling) played for Bengal. Roy Gilchrist played for Hyderabad, Chester Watson (who later became an accountant) for Delhi, and Charlie Stayers (the would-be healthcare professional) for Mumbai, for whom he took a six-for (and nine in the match) in that season’s Ranji final. I remember having read an interview of Pankaj Roy many years ago, when he described a heated exchange before the Quarter finals between Hyderabad’s Gilchrist (rather predictably) and Bengal’s King. Both took five-fors in the first innings. The match, though, was decided by Pankaj Roy’s centuries in both innings.

The scoreboard is an idiot?

Click here.

But it was just Bangladesh, you will say, when you reminisce about this innings five years from now. And when Ponting stops (I am guessing, at) 2 centuries less than Sachin at the end of his career, you will ask to take Sachin’s centuries (including this) against Bangadesh out of the equation.***

But.

But this is an innings of the top order. Not the best, but a very, very good knock.

*** Why is that needed, I ask? Ponting will remain a great, albeit someone who was never comfortable against off-spin, and comfortably shy of being a legend. Whatever the record books say, in my book, the three best Australian batsmen I have seen will always be Border, then Steve Waugh, and then Ponting.

All-time Bengal XI – Ranji Trophy & other domestic leagues

Pankaj Roy – of course.

Gopal Bose – poor, unlucky Mr. Bose. And he, as coach, gave the world Sourav Ganguly and a plethora of others.

Arun Lal – Heard on IPL… “a soft corner for Kolkata? Me? I am all soft for Kolkata”. Honorary Bengali. Features as walking into the Kolkata Metro Rail in ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’.

Sourav Ganguly – as captain. But he would captain the all-time India team too.

Ashok Malhotra – Not as much a Bengal man as Arun Lal, but he contributed with bucketloads of runs…

Shyam Sundar Mitra – Oft forgotten. The older ones say, he should have been a mainstay for India. A 50+ average testifies. But nobody from Bengal were taken into the India teams those days.

Probir Sen – Khokon Sen played quite a bit for India. Khokon Sen made people laugh. And Khokon Sen was, like Tim Zoehrer years later, a reasonable bowler. Sambaran Banerjee and Deep Dasgupta can stake a claim too. Saba Karim was never from Bengal.

Barun Barman – Had speed. A rare commodity.

Utpal Chatterjee – David-da was named so after Alan Davidson, when he used to be a medium pacer. Should have converted to left-arm orthodox much earlier.

Shute Banerjee – What an injustice!

Soumen Kundu – Again, the older ones say that this leggie from days of yore was quite brilliant. A sub-20 average testifies.

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On second thoughts, how can I keep the second best Indian left arm spinner of all time out of the team?  Bye bye, David-da, welcome in, Dilip Doshi.

Zaheer Khan gets a Pfeiffer

And I am glad. I am a fan of Zaheer’s, pretty much the same way I used to be a fan of Srinath.

Take away the pretense and the glamour and the showbiz, and all you have left behind is just bat and ball. And in that game, these two, considerable-but-not-extraordinary talents both, had done good. Had done enough.

And Zaheer has a few miles more to travel. A few miles more to travel, now as the craftiest fast-medium bowler in the world.

If only he could learn to pick up tail-end wickets….

India in New Zealand 09 – Observations

Will India ever be the ruthless world champions of cricket like the West Indies were? Or like Australia was? I have my doubts. India’s team will get better, and might even be the dominant team of the world, the ‘first among equals’ if you will, but that one bane, complacency, might prevent this generation from becoming the Baggy Greens of the 2010-2020 time frame.

And do we know anybody who does not like Jesse Ryder? And Ross Taylor?

I do dislike the fact that it took his foibles to be evident to the cricketing world for me to go beyond the respect / admire and actually become a fan of Sachin.

Arun Lal! Arun Lal! I liked him when he was playing for Bengal and making a proper cricket team out of a rather tag-rag bunch.. and I like him as a commentator. Not spectacular, but solid and consistent. Just like the cricketer, the batsman he was. Will have to write a post on Arun Lal the cricketer some day.

Isn’t Iain O’Brien’s blog (click here) exactly the way you always expected a New Zealand cricketer’s blog to be like?

Can I request all Indian cricket fans to not troll the abovementioned blog?

Dhoni is really the heartbeat of the Indian cricket team.