When emotions win.

How much ever we try to elude the inevitable question, an India – Pakistan Cricket Match isn’t a Cricket match any more, it never was. More significantly, it’s even more illogically placed if it is a Cricket World Cup. And, that’s exactly what unfolded today. Our emotions were more pertinent than the significance of a World Cup match, though you will see diplomacy and kind words doing the rounds when men are talking in front of the cameras. But we know, what’s going on inside.

Both nations have seen turbulence together, our hatred for each other is born out of sheer legacy of discard, gore and admonished fervour. Both nations also have a strong history in Sporting events like Hockey and Cricket. But with time and tide, Cricket has gone to another level, not particularly in the ascending curve. Most of our dispensed feelings is attributed to devious political minds and a self destructive plague of concurrent events. But, the those feeling are mutual. For sure, it looms large over the prospects of such glorious events like Cricket World Cup.

We don’t want to play them but we can’t escape playing them in big ICC events due to the massive logistics involved. Big Money, Marketing, Sponsorships and Betting flies high in such encounters, it makes things more obvious that India holds centre stage today in World Cricket and has to abide but cannot be dismissive of their opinion which oscillates between Patriotism and Realism.

Today’s victory was clinical, no doubt, but it was another prominent reminder to Pakistan that India have kept their winning streak in World Cup intact. And, the battle will always continue offline, off the ground and off the limits.

Impeccable Kohli

Not a T20 guy but 2 on the trot brilliance and Kohli has bought me back in Cricket. Honestly, I have not watched such blemishless batting in a long long, very long time to come. First with Pakistan and then today, Kohli had an array of strokes in the diaspora that used to be visible in the Sachin-Dravid era. 

Pic Credits: India Today

 No offense but I take a lot of pride in the school of generation I come from. And, with the growing fondness for the T20 format, Cricket is a dying art. But, for players like Kohli, I see a semblance of the magic still alive. 

Cover drive, flattish square drive, the classic on drive, the flat pull and the hook, the flick on the leg. Kohli was brilliant today and showed why T20 must stay with all the good things the game has given us – authentic cricketing shots. No slam bang, no slogging, no bull shit. Just, pure, unadulterated game of Cricket.

Kohli’s innings today revived fond memories from my younger days and few epics from the stalwarts I grew up watching, adoring, falling in love with.

Viral Kohli – I don’t care if India doesn’t take home the trophy but I want your batting to enrich the basics of the game for which it is known and predates in.

moving past, and fast

Yes, truly forgotten. Rather, beloved and forgotten. 

 An army distinguishes itself from an individual who is a hero. If it’s vice versa, then we witnessed a created history that was never seen. This is one such moment of pride and anguish. #historyoflight

Till next time.

“Slogans die, hopes don’t”. @msksmiles 

After a dismal Aussie tour and an equally ignominious triangular series, India was left wanting in areas of cricketing aspect. Except for couple of individual brilliance, rest of the team just fell flat on their knees. Team was in tatters, media slaughtered them for lack of sustenance and India’s overseas woes in the original format of the game were in a brink of disaster. 

That was before the World Cup began. 

Then the Indian Renaissance began. We stormed through the initial stages, beat top teams like Pakistan, South Africa and West Indies to reach the semis. It was a turnaround that surprised us but India is known for such comebacks in the shorter format of the game. Our bats made runs, bowlers took wickets in plenty and suddenly, the ambushed team had risen like a Pheonix. I think we must take a lot of heart from these performances so far. Honestly, I didn’t think they were going past the quarters and they did outperform my chances of them in this World Cup. Yes, we do expect us to win once we reach the semis but then, I don’t think we really had the bite today to counter the Aussies. Nevertheless, I would still say that my expectations were met in this edition of the CWC for India. 

As for the match, what we didn’t want was what exactly unfolded. I don’t think we can do much when Australians are batting first in a WC semi-final, wickets are the key as containing wont really yield dividends. Once you have a score of 300 plus to chase, its always going to be tough. Worst, our batsman chose the wrong day to fail in tandem. I expected Kohli to fire but he went cheaply. So did Raina and Rahane, Dhawan’s resilience wasn’t enough. As always, MSD held the fort to deny the inevitable but we probably realise that he was waging a lost battle. He was left alone to scamper through with zero support, and that were gruesome signs of India going down without a fight. The earlier semi-final was a great advertisement for the game, this wasn’t to be. 

If you go by the degree of disappointment, I have largely maintained that our 2003 WC loss to Aussies will always hurt, forever. In terms of performance, leadership and class, that was one of best Indian outfit to play the shorter format of the game. Sourav’s immaculate captaincy, our bowler’s evolution as match winners and Sachin’s single handed brilliance to take us to the final was an achievement of epic proportions. As much as I hail Dhoni & Co. for bringing the cup home in 2011, the 2003 outing would have been right there with Kapil Paaji’s Lords triumph. It was not be. Today’s loss shouldn’t be such a dampener though. 

Our rivalry will continue with the Aussies for the next few years, to avenge our 2003 loss in a CWC will have to wait for sometime now. I am not talking about test matches here, don’t want to. 

I still think India is a great one day side, and few changes need to happen. Flak will come in its way, and they have to take it in as a backlash is normal back at home. We really need to introspect if players like Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja are to be retained. Bowlers did well in this tournament (we never expected them to perform), I would laud their efforts for coming out of a CWC with 70+ wickets in as many matches. MSD is the best we have got to lead our one day format and this defeat shouldn’t let him to take some harsh decisions – his post match conference statements gave me something to relish about. I think he was fantastic throughout the tournament, we must not forget that he led a relatively young Indian side with maturity and perseverance. 

Till next time, that is.

10

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When God leaves fraternity, there is an unearthed celebration within the veins of mourning.

I have to admit that his departure from the game will bring a platonic end to the childhood within myself. My passion persists for the game notwithstanding, feels like a great amount of melancholy lies within the era that saw us emerging as world champions as the Master plundered, conquered and steered us through abundant pride amidst crazy chaos.

119 in Manchester, 114 in Perth, 169 in Cape Town, 134 & 143 in Sharjah, 155 in Chennai and Bloemfontein, 141 in Dhaka, 136 in Chennai, 217 in Ahmedabad, 176 in Nagpur, 193 in Leeds, 176 in Kolkata, 241 in Sydney, 141 in Rawalpindi, 194 in Multan, 141 in Kuala Lumpur, 153 in Adelaide, 163 in Christchurch, 160 in Hamilton, 175 in Hyderabad, 203 in Colombo, 214 Bangalore.

These epics were stunning exhibition of his rhetoric dynamics and appetite for big match mantles. Not to forget, his World Cup exploits remain at the helm as he plundered oppositions at a spectacular 65+ of an innings (includes his powerhouse 90-ish against Pakistan and his menacing run in 2003 edition that took the tournament by storm).

Geographies, pitches, weather conditions and opponents bowed for his unwavering blade and wider were his array of strokes. 53 of his tons fetched India sublime victories at an average of just below 60. Stunning and staggering! Yet, our maniac ridden cricketing world asks for more as he continued to deliver with the caricature that defined Sachin-ism.

Cricket will never be the same without him.

guilty? pleading could be a way of life..

“Punishment isn’t defined, it remains a warhorse of a susceptible battlefield”.

way back in 1993, events jolted and stunned us. as a matter of fact, they did so nonchalantly, in Dec ’92. it was unreal, it was deemed barbaric, it was inconsolable. but what made it all so vulnerable was the entire prognosis of the events that unfolded and screamed with morons of our sugar coated system that died to admire their own demons.

an analysis today is as futile as it was, 21 years ago. I am not trying to create a placard out of it, neither am I trying to swell wounds. but the drama surrounding our lives for the past one week has been nothing short of fuelled gas. the verdict was delayed by ages. the verdict was ought to be the most significant the Supreme court has ever handed over to a group or individual. yet, it became a verdict, that stands as a symbol of mockery for those unscrupulous individuals who knew and understood our lousy governments much better and much earlier than you and me. Perhaps, the fundamentals of law making were in knees as we stood like fools, expecting a verdict with folded hands (I am sorry but we were never in a couch to demand verdicts).

for me, this is buried. the ghosts of those horrendous moments still languish with pain but it doesn’t matter any more. the usual suspects are still beneath woods or grass, our leaders, administrators and the governments are oblivious of their darling presence, I would rather quote them to be pretentious.

we capture, we feed, we protect, we make them listen to our lullabies and we get them back to their cells, safely. few, thanks to their domineering presence or privileged inheritance, get a hangover and are allowed to make a better person out of themselves with a sword that wakes them every morning. they still live, make money and make money with discretion less pounding. one fine morning, when the sword wakes up before you and cuts you naked, you realize that the time has come. not yet, please hold on, the time came in years back, but I lived in froth, today I call it ‘fate’. oops, we digressed. let’s get back to the roots.

my question has never been ‘why’, it has always been and am still asking ‘how’. the aftermath is never an example, because it isn’t. for those who lived it, I don’t think they care. you think they should? well, this time, my question is ‘why’!

When dominance was ecstasy..

As I watch the ‘Agneepath Series’ at the spectacular MCG, I had my notions revisit the legacy of the OZ juggernaut.

When Sehwag was dropped by the wicket keeper (few minutes before tea), I was like “Omigosh, this isn’t the Aussie side I have witnessed in the last 18 years” and my pandora wasn’t hinting at nothing.

I still remember those days when I used to cuddle myself up to watch a series down under (I refused to replicate those efforts when I had my exams knocking the door and usually, I am under prepared) and an inevitable Indian scorecard of 33-3 or 21-2 would invite my sober eyes. We would end up losing the series by miles (Boss would have scorched few relentless knocks during the course of those defeats but for a losing cause) and we would end the tour with McGrath and Warnie going home with buckets of wickets. I am talking about the world champion Australian side of my era. It doesn’t belong to them any more.

With due respect to the Pontings, McGraths and Warnes, but they were an admonishing asset to the Aussie armoury for years and I, by all means, miss their valour on the inimitable cricketing field. An Adam Gilchrist will be hard to find in the vicinity for half a century, to say the least. Evidently, great bowling attacks had the demeanour to destroy the famous line ups of the world and to our dismay, this generation doesn’t have even one to it’s credit.

The Windies were a Prophet in the cricketing annals for heralding such fire with the ball. Garner, Roberts, Holding, Marshall, Walsh, Ambrose.. I look back at those names with awe and their superiority was stuff that legends are made of. The OZs had that touch of blemish-less arrogance for almost 2 decades but then, as they say, “Even Caesar’s rule came to an end”.

I loved watching those stalwarts as much as I hated watching India crumble. Today, we are the world champions, but with all my oscillating emotions in close quarters, I don’t think we have an Indian bowling side that could take 20 wickets in a test match. We are a phenomenal batting colossus (my equations would change when I fork out the Big-3 out of the playing eleven but I will talk about that in my next ordeal) but our exploits with the adjacent quarter is pedestrian.

As I craft my thoughts over, we are at a steady 147-2. I am smiling with plummeted resistance.

Global Economic Recession. How serious is it?

We all are aware of the current ‘Global Economic Recession’ that the entire world is going through. But I am really curious as to know how far would all this be affecting our lives, personally and professionally, and the entire world as a whole.

Top notch organisations like AT&T, Nokia, Sony and TCS to name a few, have adopted strict cost cutting measures to counter this current scenario, be it reduction of work force or alterations in payroll or cutting down on production costs and variable costs. Market shares of the companies have been largely inconsistent, to say the least. Not to mention, the dollar rate has been the cynosure of all eyes for the past 2 months. All this does raise a few eyebrows here and there, but I am extremely positive and hopeful about the rejuvenation of the current situation of recession. I do believe that this is probably just a passing phase and it is a matter of time before things fall into place, bringing the entire nation and the world into a state of normalcy.

After all, there is always light at the end of every tunnel.