Test Cricket is like life

As spectators or lovers of the game, we don’t have any control over the outcome. More so when you are watching the game from a distance and your cheer can’t reach the players. The reverse is not true though. The outcome of the game can actually impact your day.

Test Cricket, however low attendance it might be having nowadays, is the closest sport to real-life as possible. There are no shortcuts in it. It is long, dull, scary, and entertaining if you know how to enjoy it. Sometimes it is just boring as nothing happens. But it takes a toll and toughness get tested thoroughly.

The concept of a Drawn match (be it Cricket, football, or even boxing) is amazing. Sometimes nobody wins or gets beaten. It just ends with nobody having the last laugh. It is sometimes about just survival. How more realistic can it be!

Photo by Craig Hughes on Unsplash

Morning Motivation Served On A Platter

It took more years than I have been alive. And not only me, whole generations, in fact. It took so many alarms not at all snoozed and waking up early to see the leather brushing off the noses and the chins of Indian Batsman. It took so many sledging lessons. It took many greats which were deemed equivalent to Gods. It took so many VVSs, Dravids, and Sachins but the dream was still a dream.

Till today. Today, it has finally been achieved.

Congratulations Indian Cricket Team for defeating Australia 2-1 in the tests for the first time ever.

The Indian players pose with the Border-Gavaskar Trophy David Gray/AFP/Getty Images
The Indian players pose with the Border-Gavaskar Trophy via David Gray/AFP/Getty Images

I believe in Dravid

I have decided. That I am going to stand by and support Rahul Dravid’s team during this season of IPL 2013 because it is a Rahul Dravid led team. Also, I believe that because of the recent events, Dravid won’t participate voluntarily in the next edition of the cursed cricket tournament. This post is also a long pending tribute to the man himself, Rahul Dravid.

But first, if you haven’t read Sidvee’s post about him after he got retired, cut short reading this and just go there and read it (http://sidveeblogs.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/goodbye-dravid/). Else, continue…

You want to go to a place and you have two options. You can take the shortest route possible and reach within no time. Or you may take a longer route at a slower but steadier pace, savoring the moments of journey and then reach the destination. The route which one takes defines the person, I think. Same goes with life. It is a weird span of time. We all fall into the trap and try to lead a life following a certain dream based upon the expectation of others and set standards of the society. That ambition of ours, to succeed in life where the term success itself is very complex, makes us to crave for milestones and work towards achieving the aim. Everyone tries that, some are able to do it, most don’t. The trick is how you do it. Of course you want to be born in a well-doing family where all the amenities already exist. But some people want a different life. They want to work hard and achieve everything on their own. They toil day and night to learn new tricks. They keep trying till they are perfect in the technique. They live life and not just zoom past it. There are some terms like ‘meticulous’ specially made for those individuals who work towards their dream. They represent the average guys who are born with a certain potential but it can work for them only if they extract the kinetic energy out of it by grilling themselves on a regular basis. They have to better themselves every day or they will lag behind. They are also the responsible and dependable. They know that along the journey, many things will fail around them but they have to keep their cool, keep the concentration intact, keep the blood flowing in their veins and most importantly keep their integrity. They fail yet they keep coming back. They are stubborn. They are called slow, tortoise like but still they complete the journey. The never dwindling will makes them transform their average backbone into tough tortoise like back as if it is some therianthropy. During the journey, they become strong. They become tough, cynic by not getting perturbed by the crumbling and yet optimistic. They resemble a wall. It stays there. Others feel safe around it. Others know that if the wall stays, they are safe and this instills the confidence in them that they can win, even if they are plain average.

Such is Rahul Dravid.

There are innumerable instances where he did what was expected of him. From 96 till last year or so, he kept performing. The belief in Indian cricket came back after the April 2000’s findings. I risked my 2001’s final exams (which happened to be the X Board exams) because he was creating magic with VVS during this http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/current/match/63920.html and I don’t regret it all. He, along with few other names, did his best to take Indian cricket to its heights, thereby making platform for them to win the subsequent No. 1 positions and a few cups in limited over tournaments. He never complained of the over-shadowing because he was just doing his job. We already know the achievements. What makes him stand out more that he is still strong in his will. The integrity is still intact. Now he is not there anymore wearing white kits. Just after he retired, India lost a couple of series with blatant whitewashes. You might not realize directly but the backbone of Indian batting had been taken out, when he retired.

He is now playing, most surely, his last professional cricket, IPL. I am going to miss him so I support him for a couple of matches more. I should. I must.

I believe in Rahul Dravid
I believe in Rahul Dravid

Sun raha hai na tu

One billion articles have been written about how IPL is sexist and a capitalist paradise. Nobody wants to say bad things about Rochelle Rao but those cheer girls (same set of girls everyday!) dancing in SET Max studio are of no use to the game of Cricket and also because of another gentleman named Siddhu already present in the same room to distract the viewer from the girls is already a menace we are being subjected to. Another billion articles have been written over Hansie Cronje’s life and other match fixing scandals surfaced a decade ago. Poor Gibbs still avoids coming to India and tries to remain unsold at the IPL Auction every time. (He doesn’t know about the OLX ad as far as I know). One more billion articles are being written about the spot fixing catastrophe which has embarked upon the team of Rajasthan Royals today. Consider this article as One Billion and oneth.

Consider, you’re sitting at your home at night listening to Saliva’s ‘Lades and Gentleman‘ and electricity gets cut, thanks to 2 namesake drops of rain. It becomes all dark (IPL match starts). Now even if nothing is visible (not a Test Match kind of genuine Cricket format but still…), you still know where to go (all your favorite players are there) and get emergency light (which are never charged by the way) or candles (quickfire sure shot excitement of T20). You know that on the way you will have to evade furniture to avoid getting hurt (meager faint-ish chances of matches being rigged) and you actually do cover your ground with great success (reaching play offs). But just before you reach the destination, the smallest toe of your right leg (Sreesanth) hits the bottom most corner of the dining table (spot fixing) and you utter a sister-related swear word (Kohli’s catchphrase) under your breath, trying to hold your tears from coming out because of immense pain you have to bear. This feeling is like that. Moreover, when 2 more names of Chandila and Chavan came up, it felt like something hot being pressed on the same little toe which was subjected to pain in the last sentence.

I am devastated beyond repair. Why this? Why this now? Why Rajasthan Royals? Agreed they are the poorest IPL team of the lot but being poor is not a legit reason to indulge in bribery and all. Even if they may be the poorest franchise but their poorest player still earn more than me. Some people have to be on bench, Sir, I also have to be on bench (IT company policies). If it had been some other team, I would have at least taken it as a sour burp and moved on. I am like that. But it is bloody Rajasthan Royals. The Royals for which I am rooting, hooting, shouting, modulating BP, changing DP and cheering for the last 6 years. The Royals which have their fortress mere 2.8 KM from my actual home. The team which has no Rajasthani players (who cares) but their captain as the most gentleman cricketer of my era Rahul Sharad Dravid. Also, its ex-captain was the most playboy cricketer of my era Shane Keith Warne. You know, cheering for the team which is least expected to win, the underdogs is an absolute joy when it comes to Sports. Also, trash talking about the genuinely deserving team nobody likes like CSK is also fun. Rajasthan Royals is the poor hero (while IPL Cup being the rich heroine) which you want to do good. You want the poor guy to beat the hell out of strong Shetty and Delhi Ganesh kind of villains (pun intended) and their right hands (other useless teams like Pune Warriors India). If the poor guy himself gets corrupted, where will be any room for optimism then? Further saddening part is that the IPL and in general Cricket haters (read unpatriotic Indians) keep poking you about the recent turn of events and embarrass you more than you were embarrassed after JEE. That is where the pain becomes unbearable. The most shameful day of my IPL viewing career.

I know Sidin Vadukut is not showing as much drama as I am showing but Sreesanth and Sidin were like conjoined Siamese twins as far as IPL was concerned. Thanks to his Dork series, the rapport with Malayali humor people like these two had only improved. Disgusted and ashamed now. I can feel for you Sidin, I sincerely do.

On a serious note, watching a person of stature like Rahul Dravid defending his team in IPL Rajasthan Royals is one of the saddest moment I have seen on TV. I almost had tears in my eyes, well almost. Genuinely saying. Now question is where we go from this. Should I keep my support intact for RR for the playoffs and see Watson beating the hell out of Pollard? Sigh. Tough call, let me think over it and revert.

At least WWE is openly calling itself as Entertainment. Have some shame yar!


P.S.: Listening to ‘Sun Raha Hai Na Tu’ song from Aashiqui 2. Fitting.

Dear Dr. Anjali, Why Sachin Should Not retire now!

Hello Anjali Tendulkar Ji,

I hope you are doing good, ahem, unlike your husband, err, no offence, as compared to his usual standards I mean. And what do I call you? Anjali Didi, Anjali Bhabhi or Anjali Aunty or let me call you Dr. Anjali, simply.

See Dr. Anjali, you all know him better than all of us, why does he adjust his abdominal guard every time before facing a delivery? Heh. Sorry. I mean you know what he goes through every time he comes to bat. More than a million people have already written that he carries the burden of billions of Indians who want him to perform every time he is out there in the middle. That pressure which he handles is enormous and no way anyone can even imagine. Still what he has achieved for the Country and himself is mind blowing. So no point writing about it again. This letter mainly focuses on the growing voices telling him to retire and all.

This ongoing CB Series is not going well for the Indian team as a whole. Sachin being a part of the team cannot be spared. When he was performing well say all his life and lately in the Cricket World Cup, everybody was quiet. And now when he is struggling, people are making jokes about him. Ex-cricketers who have nothing else to do other than giving expert comments are asking him to retire and hang his boots. Hanging boots might be difficult for him owing to his height but I also think that he should get retired. See the Aussies, they have all retired on a high note. Since I started watching Cricket, I saw Mark Taylor saying bye bye at the time he was brilliantly in form. Waugh Bros, Michael Bevan, Glenn McGrath, Mathhew Hayden and even Shane Warne bid adieu at the correct time. The best example remains Adam Gilchrist. These people will remain great. But, this Ricky Ponting, who is second only to the one who happens to be your husband tried to stick around. But Cricket Australia, the second strictest organization after the Nazis, dropped him and hence he had to say goodbye to ODIs disgracefully.

On the other hand, Indian Cricket has been sluggish when it comes to have an exit policy for the players. As far as I can remember, only Anil Kumble hung his boots at the correct time. All others have hung around. One of the best Captains we had ever, Saurav Ganguly, who played the most key role in shaping the team around the last decade so as to enable it to win the world cup under Dhoni, had the most shameful exit ever. Even the IPL franchisee didn’t want to bet on him. So, every voice from every nook and corner of the world wants your husband to retire NOW. Even I want the same.

But, see Dr. Anjali, if he retires now, history will be written. It will say, even though Sachin was, is and will be the greatest ever Batsman we could have, but during the end of his career, he was made to step down and not that he himself quit. It will be a small but visible blotch in his illustrative career. See, making 100 hundreds or one lesser won’t diminish his image. I cannot suggest anything to him as I am a nobody, but you can ask him to continue and keep all the allegations/advises/comments aside. I want you to tell him to go on and hit not just 1 but 10 more centuries and shut the critics up. I want you to make him believe, which he already knows, just that if you tell him, he will agree more, that if he quits when he is needed the best, I feel, his greatness, which needs no evidence to be proved, will increase many folds. Obviously we will miss the lofty cut over the 3rd man for six, the straight drive no mortal can play, the cover drive which goes faster than the Ravi’s tracer bullet cutting it in to pieces, the six over the long on which makes Shane Warne nights miserable but at least we will be slightly more happy to see him end on a high.

I have already promised to name my son Sachin, if I have a son and if the wifey (if I get married) agrees, I want you to tell him to stay.

Thank you Dr. Anjali, I hope your husband shuts up the critics one more time, for the last time though.

Still a believer that SachinIsGod.

Hope is a good thing, in fact the best thing ever

On 27th February when India tied with England, @VenkatAnanath tweeted that he was about to write an article on “Why India is not going to win this World Cup!”. As a knee jerk reaction, I unfollowed him instantly. Although following and unfollowing is not a big deal in Twitdays world but what I didn’t like was the pessimistic journalism. No doubt, these journos/authors/writers are meant to present the truth to the people in the most crude way possible but I have a philosophy that they have a big role to play when it comes to uplift or degrade people’s morale and mood.

It is not only about Cricket, lets talk about optimism in general. As Indians, we people are very optimistic. Since birth, we have been taught to be optimistic. If there is no water from the tap, we assume that one day will come where our Municipality Department will fix everything. If there are more potholes on the road than road, we believe that one day in future we are going to get roads as smooth as Hema Malini’s cheeks or Deepika Padokone’s leg, if you prefer that. A kid when dreams of becoming a Civil servant, try telling him that he cannot be unless he is some reserved category.

These journos need to understand one thing. India as a nation which is held with the adhesive of ‘Hope’. Their job is to find out the flaws in the current system or point of the flaws in the plans laid out for future. When they start giving their opinions, they put into their bias with emotions which result in something demoralizing.

There was a dialogue in the movie ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ where Red (Morgan Freeman) says, “Hope is a good thing, in fact the best thing ever. And no good thing ever dies.”