Archive for the ‘Cricket’ Category


IPL 6 FINAL

Finally Mumbai Indians win the IPL trophy, and with this the most star-studded team finally get a hold of the trophy that eluded them for the last 5 years. And with this Sachin Tendulkar gets hold of a probably the only trophy that was missing from his trophy cabinet.

Mumbai Indians have always been a heavy spender at the IPL auctions trying to get hold of players that could possibly win them the trophy. They had won the Champions League in 2011 but somehow IPL trophy has eluded them. This year around they made many strategic changes like appointing Anil Kumble as the mentor, John Wright as the chief coach, and Ricky Ponting as the captain. This gave the world the opportunity to watch Sachin and Ponting open the innings together, definitely a breath-taking sight.

Though Ricky Ponting in the playing eleven did not work for them, but the courageous step of dropping him from the playing eleven and appointing Rohit Sharma as the captain proved to be a master stroke. Though I do believe that Ponting would have played a huge role from the sidelines, of mentoring Sharma to take on the captaincy.

Also Mumbai was one of the strongest team in the IPL with a very strong bowling attack of Jhonson, Harbhajan, Malinga, and Ojha (and all the other youngsters that got a chance proved themselves). Again the batting was bolstered by Karthikh, Sharma, Pollard, and Smith in supreme form ably supported by Rayudu and Sachin when required. But what took the cake was their fielding. Ponting and Pollard were involved in some breath taking catches, and their ground fielding was also superb with the likes of Sharma, Rayudu and Smith diving around and why should it not have been when they were being mentored by none other than Jhonty Rhodes.

Finally Mumbai Indians lived up to the expectations of their fans and they created that magic by being unbeaten at their home venue (Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai).

B_Id_388796_mumbaindiansipl6

But to be honest I am not really sure if all the Mumbai Indian fans were excited by this victory, as soon after the victory, came the announcement that Sachin had retired from the IPL. Probably we might get to see him one last time in the Champions League donning the MI clothing. I don’t know if the IPL would remain the same from next year with the absence of Sachin. Also, I am not sure for myself, as my alliances have been with Mumbai Indians for all these six years and that has largely been due to Sachin’s presence in the team. Though maybe he still would be around next year in a mentor’s role but I am not sure if my alliances would still remain with the team.

Also, came the announcement from Rahul Dravid from IPL, unfortunately since he is out from international cricket, this year’s Champions League would probably be the last time we would get to see him play on the screen. Again, towards the end IPL was surrounded by this spot fixing controversy. I really don’t know, why would any player indulge in such an activity, as IPL already a very high paying league, and all this has done is brought dejection towards the league in the minds of the fans all over the world.

All I can hope is that IPL would remain the same as it has been over the past 6 years with or without legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, and amidst all the spot fixing haphazard that happened this year.

Rohit_Ojha_Harbhajan_Sachin_IPL_Trophy

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Sachin Tendulkar turned 40 yesterday, and as I could not write down a post yesterday, I believe it is never too late to wish the legend. So I would like to take this opportunity to wish him a very happy birthday and also thank him for all the glorious days of cricket I got to witness when he played for India, whether be it in tests or in ODIs. And his records in both the formats speak for themselves.

It is really unfortunate that he announced his retirement from ODI cricket in December, or else he could have become the first Indian to do so. Anyways, he missed on the longest ODI career due to his retirement, and since he did not play an ODI since Feb 2012, that would be considered as his last day of ODI career irrespective of the fact that he announced his retirement from the format in December. Though I would have loved to have watch him play against Pakistan in that series, and it could have been a fitting end to a career and against a team with which it all started in 1989. Though now he would seventh Indian player to play test cricket in his 40s, and the first to do it after since 1960, but this is subject to the fact that he should play a test match after this. Hopefully he would play against South Africa towards the end of the year. The most precious memory of his birthday I have is of 15 years back in 1998, when he turned 25, and when he smashed the Australian bowlers all around the ground to win the series. Yesterday he could not play a big innings against Kolkata Knight Riders, and was dismissed cheaply, but yes his team did not let him down and spoil his birthday party.

Anyways, I would want to wish him a very happy birthday again, and I hope to see him soon playing the test matches, and playing it for a few more years.

Sachin_turns_40


20121221133537!Pepsi_IPL_LogoWell this year’s IPL is definitely one of the toughest in terms of competitive level. One-third of the tournament is over, and yet there is no certain team that would make through to the final 4. It is on Delhi Daredevils that look to be out of the reckoning for the final 4 spot as they have all of their first 6 matches, which they might need to win 8-9 matches of their remaining 10 matches something that looks difficult, but anything can be possible in cricket so they are not yet out of the tournament.

Well at the start of tournament, one would have bet 4 out of Delhi Daredevils, Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Royal Challengers Bangalore should make it to the top 4. Not much was thought of the other 4 teams of making it to the top 4. But surprisingly, team Delhi one of the strongest on paper has lost their first 6 matches, which probably make them the first team to be knocked out of the tournament. Again all of team Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Bangalore have should a little indifferent form in their first 5-6 matches. Though team Bangalore is placed second at this point, team Chennai at fourth, team Mumbai at fifth, team Kolkata at seventh, and team Delhi at ninth (last). The other underdog teams (especially Rajasthan Royals) have done well and in fact are at the top of the table at this stage. The other teams like Kings XI Punjab and the debutant team (Sun Risers Hyderabad) have shown indifferent form but have managed to scrape to victories on most of the occasions and they are placed sixth and third in the table respectively. Also, Pune Warriors have not played to the expectations of the fans but have defeated the big teams like Chennai and the I form Rajasthan and are currently placed at eighth, but yes they still have a very good chance to qualify.

Well who all are going to make it to the top 4, definitely looks like a surprise that would be awaited. Let’s wait and see what happens, I hope that at least Mumbai Indians makes through to the top 4.

Rahul Dravid turns 40 today!

Posted: January 11, 2013 by Shishir Gupta in Cricket, India
Tags: , , , , ,

Rahul Dravid turns 40 today, and here I would like to take this opportunity to wish him a very happy birthday and also thank him for all the glorious days of cricket I got to witness when he played for India, whether be it in tests or in ODIs. Although he was always branded as a test player, his cotribution to ODI cricket has not been any less.

With whatever has happened in the test series against England at home last month, all I can say is I really missed him on the field. I really felt we needed him on the field especially since the tracks in Mumbai, Kolkata, and in Nagpur suited his style of batting more than that of the stylish strokeplayers we have in the current side. He definitely would have been an asset (as he has been throughout his career), in that series despite his growing age.

Also, it is unfortunate that he announced his retirement 10 months back as  had he been playing today, he could have mastered another record of becoming the seventh Indian player to play test cricket in his 40s, and the first to do it after since 196o. Unfortunately the record would have to wait for some more time.

Anyways, I would want to wish him a very happy birthday again, and I hope to see him, again with the Indian team (maybe as a coach) sometime soon.


It is time now for VVS Laxman to step down and way for the youngsters who have been trying to get a chance to make it to the playing XI in the test matches. This retirement has come 5 months after Rahul Dravid announced his retirement. I believe this is what the media pressure can do to you, by making you take such a strong step. To be honest 5 months back I was really shocked on hearing Dravid’s retirement, as at that time I was probably expecting Laxman to take that step as media was more harsh on him after the failures in England and Australia. But after Dravid exiting the show no one would have expected Laxman to retire too. In fact now with Dravid gone, everyone was expecting Tendulkar and Laxman to help the youngsters like Raina, Kohli, Rohit Sharma and mentor them to help them perform consistently at the top level. So now this news of his retirement is a shock to the complete nation and not just me. This shock only increases as Laxman was not dropped from the side, and was selected for the upcoming New Zealand series. And his sudden announcement will surely make many people vary to know why this actually happened. To be honest I would have loved to watch Laxman to play one last time at least and why just him, even Dravid, as given that they really are legends of Indian cricket they definitely deserved a better farewell. All I can say, is that this loss will have to bared entirely by Indian cricket. As now on 23rd when the Indian team walks out onto the field, they will do so without the services of Laxman and Dravid (not just the two of the finest batsman India has had in recent times but also the two highest catch takers in the history of Indian cricket).

Here is the complete article covering his retirement from the ESPNcricinfo site:

VVS Laxman has announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect, ending a 16-year career that will be remembered for several innings of extreme grace under extreme pressure. Laxman, 37, had been included in India’s squad for the home series against New Zealand starting next week but said he took the decision over the past few days.

He announced his decision at an emotional press conference in his hometown Hyderabad, which he will represent in the Ranji Trophy this coming season.

“I would like to announce my retirement from international cricket with immediate effect,” Laxman said. “I have always kept my country’s success and need ahead of my personal aspirations. And while I would love contributing to the team’s success, especially against England and Australia, I think this is the right time to give the youngsters a chance in home conditions ahead of international assignments coming up next year.” The chance he said, could be, “no better than against an inexperienced New Zealand bowling attack.”

Dressed in a sharp, formal suit, Laxman made his announcement in a conference room at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, in Uppal to the north east of his home city, Hyderabad. Several members of family, including his parents, wife and two children, were present at the function. Shortly into his speech the lights of the conference room went out, and Laxman grinned, an otherwise sombre occasion turning informal.

He admitted that this sudden retirement had been “a tough decision to take,” adding, “I have always listened to my inner conscience. I have always done that right through my career. There was a lot of debate in the last four days. I felt this is the right time to move on.”

The decision to quit had been arrived at only on Saturday morning after Laxman admitted he had toyed over the idea over the last few days. “Till last night I was unable to make up my mind, but in the end I listened to my inner voice and arrived at my decision to retire. I informed the chairman of selectors (Krishnamachari Srikkanth) this morning that I would not continue playing for India. I also spoke to many of my team-mates, they were surprised that I was retiring before the series. It was all very emotional.”

Laxman read out a prepared statement in which he thanked everyone who had been part “of my journey” in which he said he had been able to “live his dream” and felt “blessed that I had got the opportunity. Very few get the opportunity to play for their country.” His voice shook only briefly in the early part of his statement and his wife Sailaja was seen wiping away tears. Laxman gathered himself, finished his statement and took questions about quitting only five days before the first Test against New Zealand in Hyderabad. He said that while his family had waned him to play in the Hyderabad Test but he had made up his mind in what had been the “toughest three or four days of my career.”

In a touch of the dramatic after he had read out his prepared statement, the president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) G Vinod appealed to Laxman to change his mind about retirement and agree to play in the Hyderabad Test versus New Zealand next week. In response, Laxman only smiled.

He did admit however that until a few weeks ago, he had not thought about quitting the game before the Test series versus New Zealand. It was the “internal debate” over the last few days that led to this decision. It was not however, made in haste or with regret. “I have always read and listened to a lot of sportspersons who have excelled in their careers and they have all said that at the end of their career, there will suddenly be a feeling, a thought within you that a day has come that you have to leave the sport and move on. It is what I have experienced in the last four or five days… I feel really satisfied that I have left the game with the same ideals that I have played the game.”

When asked whether his decision to retire had come about largely due to adverse criticism following two poor series in England and Australia, Laxman said, “Those comments have definitely not allowed (sic) me to make the decision.” The Australia series he said was, “very disappointing. No cricketer would want to lose in such a fashion.”

Responding to being criticised, Laxman said, “Right from the start of my career there have been a lot of people who wrote negative about me and there have been more people who have been well wishers and talked positive about me. In a country like India, where cricket is more like a religion than a sport, if you try to satisfy each and every one, it’s next to impossible.”

Laxman represented India in 134 Tests, scoring 8781 runs at 45.97. He made his debut against South Africa in the home series in 1996 but shot to the limelight with a knock of 167 against Australia in Sydney in 2000. Perhaps his greatest achievement was his 281 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 2001, against Australia, then the highest score by an Indian batsman in Tests. Part of a record stand with Rahul Dravid, it set up a stunning victory for the home team after following on and ended Australia’s consecutive 16-match winning streak.

Laxman last played an ODI in 2006 but had, by then, become a regular in the Test side and played his 100th Test in 2008, against Australia in Nagpur. Laxman made six of his 17 Test centuries against Australia, with an average of 49.67 in 29 Tests and success both home and away.

His performances in the eight Tests during India’s disastrous tours of England and Australia in 2011 were disappointing. He averaged 22.75 in England and 19.38 in Australia, prompting some to call for him being dropped from the side with a long-term view of grooming a youngster to take his place.

 


Probably this years IPL has been the most unpredictable of all, we have already crossed the two-third mark of the tournament, and so far only one teams looks certain of qualifying, and only one is certain of not qualifying (this too has been decided in just the  match yesterday). Yes, the tournament is still very much open, and finally which four teams will make it to the second stage, and which three teams will make it to the Champions League is still a big questions with almost every team as of now has a chance of making it to the top four.

It is really amazing how this tournament has come out as of now. I guess everyone expected Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Royal Challengers Bangalore to make it to the top four. But it is Delhi Daredevils who surely should make it to the top four. So one of these three heavyweights will have to lose out from the second stage. Though when the tournament was at mid way stage, it was Rajasthan Royals, Pune Warriors, along with Delhi that looked to make it through the top four, and the big ones missing out. But slowly the big four have started to come back to winning ways. Though one cannot really count out Rajasthan, Pune, and Kings XI Punjab out of the tournament as yet, as just a couple of wins will get them back in the top of the table. In fact this has been the nature of this IPL year ever since it started. For a long time now, a team placed at seventh or eighth position with just one win rockets into the second or third position and maybe with two consecutive wins into the first position as well many a times. Such unpredictable has been the nature of this edition of IPL.

Though all has not been good for Deccan chargers as they are now the only team that is out of contention for the second stage, as they have just managed to win twice in 10 games in the tournament so far, both of them coming against Pune Warriors. But honestly they have lost very close games, many of them which could have been won. In fact their batsmen have done well so as their bowlers, it is just that they have not performed well as a team. The opposite has been of Mumbai Indians, their bowlers have been outstanding and their batsman equally disappointing, but they have just managed to click as a team and have won close matches, winning on the last ball three times while chasing and once by defeating an opposition by 1 run.  

Who will win the tournament is nowhere in the questions as yet, in fact which will be the final four teams is the bigger question. Being a big Mumbai Indians fan I hope they play much better from here on and go on to win their first IPL title.


Unfortunately the dream run Bangladesh team had so far in the tournament did not continue in the finals, when they lost to Pakistan. But surely their performance in the tournament has won many hearts all over the world, and definitely would have made their nation proud.


Finally the monkey is off Sachin’s back. The year long wait for his 100th hundred is over. Sachin Tendulkar scored his 100th international hundred, which is also his 49th ODI hundred today against Bangladesh. Ironically this is his 1st ODI hundred against Bangladesh, strange but yes that is the fact.

Sachin’s game in the past year looked like he was under tremendous pressure, and now once this mark has been surpassed, probably we will be able to see the kind of play he showed in 2010. With this also, he has created a record which probably looks to stay for a very long time. It will take a huge career for someone to break this. I remember almost a decade ago, 35 international centuries was the world record, which was broken by Sachin, and since then that record has stayed with him. And now he has stretched it to 100 international centuries. Probably when he must have started playing he would not have even dreamt of reaching such a record, so saying “it to be a dream come true” is not really appropriate I believe. But surely, this record is the testimony of the kind of cricket Sachin has played for the past 22 years.

In the end I wish his all this record, and hope that he will give us many more such moments in future. I also hope that this does not act as a demotivator for him, which motivates him to quit cricket, as now many people will surely start talking of his retirement plans. But I sincerely hope that it should take a lot of time for that announcement to come.


Well this analysis was published on the ESPNCricinfo site immediately after Rahul dravid announced his retirement from international and domestic cricket on Friday 9th March, 2012. So surely this analysis is not done by me, and also since it comes from cricinfo it can be taken to be very much accurate, legitimate, and correct.

This article was published under the heading: India’s overseas hero, and much more, with definitely sums up Dravid’s career correctly.

Here is the complete article:

Rahul Dravid scored more runs in India’s overseas wins than any other batsman, and his contributions go beyond his aggregate and hundreds.

The stat that perhaps best sums up Rahul Dravid is not the runs he made or the the hundreds he notched up, but the number of balls he consumed over a Test career that spanned fifteen-and-a-half years. In 286 Test innings, Dravid played 31,258 balls. Given that no other batsman has faced more than 29,000 deliveries, it puts into perspective the amount of hard work and sheer effort that went into scoring those 13,288 runs. There were other batsmen who had more natural talent, and were more elegant, aggressive, and exciting to watch. In terms of dedication to craft and working on achieving perfection, though, Dravid ranks second to none. That dedication fetched him just rewards, ensuring he scored runs in every country he played in, and finished his Test career as the second-highest run-getter, next only to Sachin Tendulkar.

From the time he scored 95 in his first Test innings against England at Lord’s, it was clear he was an exceptional batting talent, but even so, not many would have envisaged a career that spanned 164 Test matches and 344 one-day internationals. His maiden Test century, a sparkling 148 against a tough South African attack in Johannesburg, further confirmed his class, and from there it has been a journey of several highs, interspersed with – as every career must have – its share of lows.

For most of his career, consistency was one of Dravid’s fortes. For instance, of the first ten series that he played in (excluding one-off Tests), he averaged more than 40 in seven of them. His best phase, though, was the four-year period from the middle of 2002 to 2006, a stunning spell when he scored heavily pretty much everywhere he went: in 16 series during this period, 13 times he averaged more than 49, and nine times over 75. More importantly, he scored those runs in tough batting conditions, and in overseas Tests that led to wins abroad, a phenomenon that till then had been pretty rare in Indian cricket. During this period, his overseas average was an exceptional 77.07.

A slump followed, almost inevitably, from the middle of 2006 to 2008, when he struggled in South Africa, England, Australia and Sri Lanka. There was talk, inevitably again, that Dravid should quit Tests, but in his last three years he came out of that slump pretty well. He was among the runs in New Zealand, West Indies, and – in what must rank as arguably his best series, given the lack of batting support – in England in 2011, when he fought the England pace attack almost singlehandedly, scoring 461 runs at 76.83. His last series was admittedly a huge disappointment, but despite that he averaged more than 52 in his last 33 Tests.

Rahul Dravid’s Test career

Period

Tests

Runs

Average

100s/ 50s

Home ave

Away ave

Till Mar 31, 2002

55

4329

50.92

9/ 24

48.91

53.20

Apr 2002 – Jul 2006

49

4720

68.40

14/ 22

55.71

77.07

Aug 2006 – Dec 2008

27

1460

31.06

3/ 7

31.60

30.66

Jan 2009 onwards

33

2779

52.43

10/ 10

75.31

42.54

Career

164

13,288

52.31

36/ 63

51.35

53.03

At home overseas
As mentioned above, perhaps the most significant aspect of Dravid’s Test career was that the runs he scored contributed significantly to India’s wins, mainly overseas. Overall, Dravid scored 5131 runs in Test wins, next only to Tendulkar’s 5594. However, in overseas Test wins, he was often India’s main man, even more than Tendulkar. India won 15 Tests abroad during Dravid’s career (excluding matches in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe), and in those games he scored 1577 runs at 65.70 – both aggregate and average is higher than Tendulkar’s.

Quite fittingly, Dravid was Man of the Match in the last overseas Test win that India achieved during his career – his second-innings 112 and match tally of 152 were largely instrumental in India winning a low-scoring game in Kingston by 63 runs. In all, eight of his 11 Man-of-the-Match awards came in overseas Tests, and five in overseas wins, including unforgettable performances at Headingley (2002), Adelaide (2003), Rawalpindi (2004) and Kingston (2006). Tendulkar won only five out of his 14 Man-of-the-Match awards overseas, and only one in a win (excluding Bangladesh). In fact, no Indian has won as many match awards overseas as Dravid has. (Remember, though, that this award wasn’t always around during the days of some of India’s earlier players.)

As well as helping India win overseas, Dravid also scored mountains of runs in draws overseas, averaging more than 75 in those matches, with ten centuries in 32 Tests. Two of those hundreds were in the drawn game in Hamilton in 1999, one of two times he scored a century in each innings of a Test. In fact, he is one of only three Indians to achieve this feat – Sunil Gavaskar and Vijay Hazare are the others.

Indian batsmen in overseas* Tests, in wins and draws

Batsman

Won Tests

Runs

Average

100s/ 50s

Drawn Tests

Runs

Average

100s/ 50s

Rahul Dravid

15

1577

65.70

4/ 7

32

3083

75.19

10/ 17

Sachin Tendulkar

13

1219

60.95

5/ 3

42

3484

71.10

11/ 18

VVS Laxman

14

1111

52.90

2/ 8

26

1931

58.51

4/ 14

Virender Sehwag

11

965

56.76

3/ 1

15

1386

57.75

4/ 4

Sunil Gavaskar

9

756

50.40

3/ 3

30

2697

64.21

9/ 12

Sourav Ganguly

9

617

51.41

1/ 5

21

1601

59.29

5/ 8

Gundappa Viswanath

6

533

53.30

2/ 3

19

1040

40.00

2/ 8

* Excluding Tests in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe

No. 1 at No. 3
India didn’t always have the luxury of solid opening pairs through his career, which made Dravid’s presence at No. 3 all the more important. He is the only batsman at the moment to have scored more than 10,000 runs at that position, and he did it at a superb average too, scoring close to 53 runs per dismissal. At No. 3, though, his home record was better – he averaged 54.81 in India, and 51.35 abroad. In overseas Tests excluding Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, his average at No. 3 fell marginally below 50, to 48.75.

Highest run-getters at No. 3 in Tests

Batsman

Innings

Runs

Average

100s/ 50s

Rahul Dravid

219

10,524

52.88

28/ 50

Ricky Ponting

196

9904

56.27

32/ 43

Kumar Sangakkara

158

8702

58.79

27/ 36

Don Bradman

56

5078

103.63

20/ 10

Richie Richardson

107

4711

47.11

14/ 21

Rohan Kanhai

90

4689

52.68

13/ 20

David Boon

111

4412

45.58

13/ 20

Ian Chappell

91

4279

50.94

13/ 22

Dravid’s stats at No. 3 sorted by the score at which he came in to bat present some interesting numbers. He averaged only 38 when the first wicket fell with ten runs or fewer on the board, but on the 18 occasions when the first wicket fell at zero, he averaged 51.94, with three centuries and as many fifties. In fact, his highest Test score, 270, came when he came out to bat second ball, after Virender Sehwag had fallen to Shoaib Akhtar off the first ball of the innings in Rawalpindi. He also had plenty of success when he came in to bat fairly early, with the score between 11 and 20. The 148 at Headingley in 2002 came after the first wicket fell for 15, while the 217 that followed in the next Test, at The Oval, was scored after the first wicket fell at 18.

He obviously relished coming in to bat after the openers had given the team a solid start. On the 66 occasions when they added more than 50, Dravid averaged 62.41. Among his key knocks in such situations was the 233 in Adelaide in 2003 – that match-winning effort came after the openers had added 66.

Dravid at No. 3 by point-of-entry scores

Point of entry

Innings

Runs

Average

100s/ 50s

10 or below

66

2322

38.07

4/ 12

11 to 20

45

2482

60.54

7/ 9

21 to 50

42

1913

53.14

4/ 11

51 and above

66

3807

62.41

13/ 18

Staying through partnerships
Dravid’s ability to spend long periods at the crease meant bowlers had to invariably work hard to get his wicket. On an average, he played 123 balls per dismissal, which works out to 20.3 overs. Since the year of his debut, the only batsman who has faced 10,000-plus deliveries and has a higher rate of balls per dismissal is Jacques Kallis, who averages 125.55 balls per dismissal. They’re the only two batsmen with a balls-per-dismissal figure of more than 120. Further down the table below, Tendulkar and Kumar Sangakkara have similar numbers: both have higher averages than Dravid, but their higher scoring rates also mean they don’t play as many deliveries per dismissal.

Highest balls per dismissal in Tests since Jan 1996 (Qual: 10,000 balls faced)

Batsman

Innings

Not outs

Balls faced

Average

Strike rate

Balls per dismissal

Jacques Kallis

253

39

26,867

57.28

45.62

125.55

Rahul Dravid

286

32

31,258

52.31

42.51

123.06

Shivnarine Chanderpaul

221

33

21,365

48.79

42.93

113.64

Thilan Samaraweera

114

20

10,497

53.42

47.84

111.67

Steve Waugh

137

21

12,705

53.06

48.45

109.53

Gary Kirsten

143

14

13,841

47.19

43.98

107.29

Sachin Tendulkar

256

25

23,781

56.22

54.61

102.95

Kumar Sangakkara

179

12

17,191

55.97

54.37

102.94

Dravid’s ability to spend long periods at the crease obviously meant his contribution to the team was much more than just the runs he scored. His solidity at the top of the order allowed the other, more extravagant, strokeplayers in the Indian team to express themselves freely, knowing that Dravid would hold his end up for long periods without losing concentration.

The table below shows that when Dravid was at the crease, the team scored 32,039 runs (60 of those runs were in the Test between Australia and the ICC World XI, so 31,979 runs were scored by the Indian team). Given that the entire Indian team scored 89,668 runs, it means 35.6% of the total runs that India made in Tests involving Dravid were scored with him at the crease. The corresponding percentage for Tendulkar is 29.9, and 32.6 for Kallis. Dravid is also the only batsman to be involved in more than 700 partnerships; in fact, no other batsman has even touched 650 so far.

Every time Dravid walked out to bat, he was involved in, on an average, 2.58 partnerships. Among batsmen who’ve played at least 100 innings, only Shivnarine Chanderpaul has a higher partnerships-per-innings number (2.66). So, while Dravid scored heaps of runs himself, his batting style also meant many more runs were being scored from the other end while he was around, all of which helped the team’s cause.

Partnership runs for batsmen with 10,000-plus Test runs

Batsman

Partnerships

P’ship runs

100/ 50 stands

Batsman runs

Percentage

Rahul Dravid

738

32,039

88/ 126

13,288

41.47

Sachin Tendulkar

646

30,278

85/ 121

15,470

51.09

Ricky Ponting

496

26,703

85/ 110

13,200

49.43

Jacques Kallis

578

26,107

64/ 119

12,260

46.96

Allan Border

617

24,500

63/ 104

11,174

45.61

S Waugh

590

23,457

64/ 87

10,927

46.58

Brian Lara

508

21,495

62/ 84

11,953

55.61

Sunil Gavaskar

519

21,080

58/ 85

10,122

48.02

Mahela Jayawardene

420

20,635

63/ 78

10,086

48.88

Dravid has also been involved in more century stands than any other batsman: he finishes at 88, with two other current players about whom there has been plenty of retirement talk – Tendulkar and Ponting – on 85 each. Dravid is also the only batsman to have ten or more century stands with four others. And with Tendulkar, Dravid scored more partnership runs and century stands than any other pair, including openers: 6920 runs in 143 partnerships at 50.51, with 20 century stands.

Batsmen involved in most 100-plus stands in Tests

Batsman

Century stands

Partners with 10+ century stands

Rahul Dravid

88

Tendulkar (20), Laxman (12), Sehwag (10), Ganguly(10)

Ricky Ponting

85

Hayden (16), Langer (14)

Sachin Tendulkar

85

Dravid (20), Ganguly (12)

Jacques Kallis

64

de Villiers (12)

Steve Waugh

64

Allan Border

63

Mahela Jayawardene

63

Sangakkara (14), Samaraweera (10)

Brian Lara

62

Sarwan (12)

Shivnarine Chanderpaul

60

Sunil Gavaskar

58

Chauhan (11), Vengsarkar (10), M Amarnath (10)

Beyond the batsman
And if all those achievements as a batsman are not enough, Dravid was captain of the Indian Test team for 25 Tests, a period during which the team had an 8-6 win-loss record, and won series in West Indies and England. Among Indian captains who led in 20 or more Tests, only MS Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly have a better win-loss ratio.

Indian captains with best win-loss ratio (Qual: 20 Tests)

Captain

Tests

Win/Loss

Draw

W/L ratio

MS Dhoni

37

17/ 10

10

1.70

Sourav Ganguly

49

21/ 13

15

1.61

Rahul Dravid

25

8/ 6

11

1.33

Sunil Gavaskar

47

9/ 8

30

1.12

Mohammad Azharuddin

47

14/ 14

19

1.00

And on the field, he snaffled a record 210 catches, mostly in the slips. That was another aspect of the game where his immense powers of concentration stood him in good stead.

There’s plenty to like about Rahul Dravid’s Test career. The one aspect that’s disappointing, though, is his record against Australia and South Africa, arguably the two best bowling sides during his playing period. His poor final series in Australia meant his overall average against them dipped below 40 (38.67), while against South Africa he averaged only 33.83. Thus, in 54 Tests against those two teams, he averaged 36.75 with only four hundreds; in 27 Tests in those two countries, he averaged 36.53, with only two centuries. He never scored another Test hundred in South Africa after that 148 in Johannesburg in 1996-97, while the 233 in Adelaide remained his only Test hundred in Australia. Those, though, are minor blips in a career that largely stayed at an exceptionally high level through more than 15 years.


In just my previous post, I had written about Dravid’s career reaching towards its end. But I did not know that it will end so soon. Today Dravid announced his retirement from international and domestic cricket. Surely that is a big step taken, unfortunately this is what media pressure can do to you. But the loss will have to bared entirely by the team and his fans. Unfortunately, we will never see him play for India again. However, he will play in IPL this year, but surely the Great Indian Wall will be missed on the field.

Here is the complete article covering his retirement from the ESPNcricinfo site:

Rahul Dravid announincing his retirement

Rahul Dravid’s retirement from international cricket was announced at his home ground, the Chinnaswamy Stadium, in a function room filled with more than 200 people. Family, team-mates, friends, KSCA members, officials and journalists had gathered – as did fans watching a live broadcast on national television – to mark the end of a remarkable career and a “reassuring presence” in the Indian team. Dravid, the second-highest run-getter in the history of Test cricket, possibly the last of India’s classical Test batsmen, was a cricketer who successfully straddled the old school with the new age, becoming a pivotal figure in the growth of India’s Test team in the 21st century.

The press conference began on schedule and, within three-quarters of an hour, Dravid left the room and international cricket as he had walked in. Swift, smooth, business-like, and, on Friday, to the sound-and-light burst of camera flashbulbs. The significance of Friday’s announcement will be understood only six months down the line, when India play Test cricket for the first time in 16 years without the most reliable one-drop in their history.

The decision to retire was not sudden, he said; the period of contemplation had lasted over a year as he assessed his game series after series. The disappointment of the Australia tour had not given him any ‘eureka’ moment around his decision to leave the game. “I didn’t take the decision based on one series… these decisions are based on a lot of other things, it’s the culmination of a lot of things. I don’t think it’s based on what happened in the last series. For each one it comes differently, for me it’s come with a bit of contemplation, a bit of thought, with friends and family.”

On his return from Australia, Dravid spent a month, taking out the “emotion” from the overall result in order to “look at things dispassionately,” he said. At the end he said, “I came to this decision and when I came to it, I was very clear in my mind.” It had, he said, been easy as it was difficult, that he had known “deep down in his heart” that it was time for the “next generation of the young Indian cricketer” to take over.

It was tough to leave “the life I have lived for 16 years and, before that, five years of first class cricket. It [cricket] is all I have known all my grown life … it wasn’t a difficult decision for me because I just knew in my heart that the time was right, and I was very happy and comfortable in what I had achieved and what I had done. You just know deep down that it is time to move on and let the next generation take over.”

Dravid entered the function room straight into a scrum of photographers, looking almost apologetic at having caused such a fuss. He was dressed in his India blazer and seated on the podium next to BCCI president N Srinivasan and his former team-mate, captain and now KSCA president, Anil Kumble. The walls around him were lined with portraits of Karnataka’s Test players, in the front row of the audience were members of his family, team-mates and the cricket community of the city.

He began by reading out his statement, his voice steady as he listed the people who’d played a part in every stage of his career – coaches, selectors, trainers, physios, officials, team-mates, family, even the media. He ended with the Indian cricket fan. “The game is lucky to have you and I have been lucky to play before you… My approach to cricket has been reasonably simple: it was about giving everything to the team, it was about playing with dignity and it was about upholding the spirit of the game. I hope I have done some of that. I have failed at times, but I have never stopped trying. It is why I leave with sadness but also with pride.”

With the statement ended and applause breaking out, Dravid looked at his wife in the first row. There was both relief and calm on his face and something other than television lights reflecting in his eyes. After the contemplation and the deliberation, the conversations with people he trusted, it was over.

Dravid became the first of India’s senior-most cricketers – Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman being the others – to quit the game after a season of speculation surrounding their future. His decision follows a poor tour of Australia but he enjoyed a prolific run through 2011, scoring five centuries – including four in the Caribbean and England. However, he is set to captain Rajasthan Royals in the upcoming IPL season.

The biggest surprise of the afternoon, however – far more unexpected than even the finality of Dravid’s retirement – was to follow. It came from BCCI president N Srinivasan: a man famous for an undemonstrative, glacial public face made an emotional and heartfelt speech. He spoke extempore of an “irreplaceable” cricketer, his voice wavering more than once. Srinivasan recalled having watched Dravid “grow from the days he played club cricket in Chennai, from the Ranji Trophy days … to the time he captained India”. Dravid, he said, was an “ambassador for the sport, for the Indian team and for India”.

“None of us really want to see such great players go away, we like to think they are permanent,” Srinivasan said. “I think that deciding when to retire is possibly the hardest decision Rahul has ever faced. It is not easy to say adieu…”

Kumble called Dravid one of Karnataka’s “finest cricketing sons” and spoke of his “reassuring presence” for India in the dressing room and on the field. It was Kumble who got Dravid to eventually crack his first smile of the afternoon, when he said the KSCA would now “expect to see you often in the association wearing the administrative hat.” There were also a few tips on life after retirement, Kumble telling Dravid that apart from being busier “with exceptional demands made on your time, your ability to say no will be challenged like never before”.

Sitting in the audience was Dravid’s former team-mate Javagal Srinath, the current KSCA secretary, who had walked into the room before the event to check if the arrangements were in order. Dravid’s immediate future includes six weeks of the IPL and he offered no clues as to whether he would take up a post-retirement life as coach, administrator or commentator. “I truly believe that some time away from the game will be good for me, I’ve played the game for 20 years I’ve lived in a cocoon, in a surreal world, this world has been away from reality in some ways.” He did say though that because he loved routines, his return to the real world could include his new routines that involve dropping his sons off at school and shopping for groceries.

Among Dravid’s contemporaries, both Kumble and Sourav Ganguly retired just after Test matches and Dravid was asked whether he had not wanted to end his career that way, walking off a field of play. “Just to keep playing for the sake of playing just one Test match, I didn’t think was right.” He needed to play, “for the right reasons – to win Test matches for India. I’ve done that for 16 years and I feel the time was right, I’ve had a great run. I have given this some thought … at the end of the day when a player has to go, he knows he has to go and I didn’t feel the need to drag it on longer [in order to have a farewell Test].” Dravid was replying to questions in three of the four languages he speaks, taking particular pride in receiving special applause from the back of the room for working his way through a fairly long answer in Kannada.

Along with his wife, sons and brother, Dravid had walked onto the Chinnaswamy field for a short while just before he came in to speak to the media. The stadium was his finishing school before his graduation to Test cricket, and the adjacent NCA nets turned into a trusted training ground over the past decade where Dravid had always showed up early to work on his game.

Now retired, he will finally be free of the 7am gym and nets sessions. But what about the pure love of just batting? Of striking the ball with bat? Wouldn’t he want to steal into the nets just for a hit or two? Dravid paused for a moment, smiled and then said: “Probably in the quiet. I’ll come very late at night.”

On the day he left the international game, this became the perfect final image of Rahul Dravid. Not that of the obdurate competitor in the arclights of cricket’s ‘surreal’ centre. But of the “reassuring presence”, of the craftsman in the quiet of dusk, of the man who never stopped trying.

I am surely not the biggest fan of Rahul Dravid, but still he is definitely one of my favorite sportsmen. I found an article on yahoo, as a letter to Rahul from one of his fans like me and I found it so touching that I am putting it here on my site as a tribute to Rahul Dravid.

Dear Rahul,

This is not going to be easy. But I will try. One sentence at a time.

Congratulations. Is that appropriate? That’s what people at work say when someone quits. And, despite the anguish surrounding your decision, this is supposed to be a happy day. At least I would like to think of it that way.

I expected you to finish in Adelaide. The same Adelaide where, in 2003, you found gold at the end of the rainbow. The same Adelaide where another colossus, Adam Gilchrist, retired four years ago, his wife and children sitting among the press, his voice breaking towards the end of each sentence, tears trickling down his cheeks as the press conference wound down.

But the Chinnaswamy Stadium fits well. That’s where it all began. And that’s where it ends. Like Gilly, you leave with your family and former team-mates watching over your retirement announcement. And like him, you leave amid breaking voices and teary eyes. 

There is a constant temptation, especially when a cricketer retires, to draw comparisons. We live in a world that loves definitives. It frowns upon ambiguity. We want to determine your exact location in the pantheon. I will refrain from this. I am sure you are tired of being compared to other great Indian batsmen. And I am not about to bore you.

But I must tell you something that has bothered me for a long time. You are too conveniently slotted as a specialist batsman. I disagree. That’s too simplistic. For me, you are an allrounder – not in the way our limited imaginations defines an allrounder but in a broader, more sweeping, sense. 

I find it hard to think of a more versatile cricketer. You were one of our finest short leg fielders. You were, for the most part, a remarkable slip catcher. You have opened the innings, batted at No.3, batted at No.6 (from where you conjured up that 180 in Kolkata). I’m sure you have batted everywhere else.

You have kept wicket, offering an added dimension to the one-day side in two World Cups. You even scored 145 in one of those games. You captained both the Test and one-day teams. Sure things didn’t go according to plan but you were a superb on-field captain. More importantly you were India’s finest vice-captain, an aspect that is often conveniently forgotten. Jeez, you even took some wickets.

There’s something unique about this. In Indian cricket’s hall of fame, you can proudly share a table with Gavaskar and Tendulkar. But you can also share one with Kapil, Mankad and Ganguly – cricketers who excelled in more than one aspect of their game for an extended period of time.

The only people who will understand this are those who you played with. The only people who will begin to appreciate your value to the side are those who you propped up. Which is why it is not the least surprising when Tendulkar said yesterday, ‘There can be no cricketer like Rahul Dravid.’ Hell yeah. It’s too far-fetched.

Talking about Tendulkar, you know my best moment involving you two? Adelaide again. 2003 again. Damien Martyn c Dravid b Tendulkar 38. Ripping legbreak, spanking cut, screaming edge, lunging right hand, gotcha. That was magic. Pure magic. Swung the game. Ignited the series.

What else will I remember? Hmm. That shirt of yours immaculately tucked in. How did you manage to keep it tucked in every single time? I’ll remember the way you chased the ball to the boundary line, as if you were competing in a hundred-meter race. I’ll remember the intensity with which you studied the pitch before the game, like a geologist, scraping the surface with your palms, examining the grains of sand, gauging the direction of the breeze. You loved all these tiny details, didn’t you?

There is a general perception that you have not got the credit you deserve. I don’t know if that is accurate. I wonder if you feel that way. But just you wait. Wait for India to play a Test without you. Wait for the team to lose an early wicket, especially on a challenging pitch. You’ll hear a gazillion sighs, sighs filled with longing. India 8 for 1 and you sitting in his living room, sipping tea and watching TV. I’ll be surprised if you don’t palpably feel a nation’s collective yearning for a sunnier, glorious past.

But even that I may be able to somehow handle. What I won’t be able to come to terms with is not watching you bat. Over the years few things have given me as much joy as watching you construct an innings, hour upon hour, brick upon brick.

Here I must mention what the great American author, Edgar Allan Poe, once said about the importance of punctuation.

It does not seem to be known that, even where the sense is perfectly clear, a sentence may be deprived of half its force – its spirit – its point – by improper punctuation.

An innings of yours would be incomplete without the punctuation marks that you masterfully employed along the way: the focussed leaves, the immaculate dead-bats, the softening of the grip, the late strokeplay, the ducking, the weaving, the swaying, the head totally still, your eyes always on the ball, the focus, more focus, still more focus, even more focus.

There is no point watching an innings of yours stripped of all this. I’ve cursed all these TV producers who create highlight packages with fours, sixes, your raised bat after each fifty, a jump after a hundred, more fours, more sixes and done. Finished. Poof. That’s supposed to be a summation of your innings.

It’s the same with all these photographers who click away and the websites that use those photos to create galleries. None of them even begin to portray the painstaking manner in which you create these pearls. None of them can capture over after over of graft. There is nothing more exhilarating that being exhausted after watching you bat. But there is no technology that can capture that, no software that can simulate it.

So if my grandson were to ask me about your batting, I would be lost. The only way anyone can begin to understand your craft is by watching you bat through a whole day, by experiencing your pain. There are no short cuts.

There are a million links that pop up on YouTube when I type ‘Rahul Dravid’. All of them show you batting. None of them contain your essence. There is no Rahul Dravid in there.

That’s sad. But maybe that’s also a good thing. I was fortunate to be able to watch you bat. My grandson won’t be as lucky. He’s just going to be born at the wrong time. Let’s go with that. It’s much easier.

As I said, this is supposed to be a happy day. It’s the memories that matter. You’ve left us a world full of them.

So long, Rahul. Adios. Ciao. Auf Wiedersehen. Tata. Bye. Bye. Olleyadagali guru.

And thank you. It’s been a privilege.

Yours faithfully,

Sidvee


For the past couple of months what has happened down under in Australia has certainly raised this question amongst all the cricket experts, ex-cricketers, and to some extent amongst most of the Indians as well now. However this question has not just been hovering for Sachin, it has been even more gruelling on Dravid and Laxman two more legends of Indian cricket.

Two regretful overseas series in the past 6-7 months, in England in July last year and the one in Australia this January has certainly raised many questions in the big 3. Well certainly the 3 are the fag ends of their careers, but surely I feel they aren’t over as yet. Yes the age is against them, and that’s why probably with every batting failure the question gets bigger and bigger. I believe that players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Suresh Raina are the ones that are adding that extra pressure on these big 3, since they proved their worth in the ODI format and now are ready to play regularly at the Test level. Something that is not really possible till these big 3 fade away.
But if we see at their performances in the past matches I really do not feel that they played that badly. In England, Dravid was exceptional scoring runs at will and in a situation when the other batsmen were getting out cheaply. In Australia, Sachin started with a bang and only faded out towards the end of the test series. Well honestly this is not the first time they questions have been raised. Dravid was really under pressure in 2009-10, when even the likes Pujara were included into the side citing him as a replacement for Dravid in future. But, Dravid has survived backed up with decent performances, and some of them at such a level that he had to be recalled to the T-20 and ODI sides in England after a gap of almost 3 years. Then how can really be a bad series thereafter (that too, when all the innings were not failures) ask him to think of retirement.

Sachin too was under tremendous pressure in 2007 when he was struggling to score rums, to an extent a century getting out in the 90s on numerous occasions. I guess a similar situation has returned when the wait for his 100th century has extended over 10 months. But he came back from that slump with a bang and 2009 and 2010 were exceptional years for him, making him touch the heights nobody would have believed 4 years ago. So to write him out after a just one series is not a good idea I believe. Maybe the pressure of the 100th century is building on him and once that is of his back, he might just start scoring big runs at will again. But honestly this is for the first time I have seen Sachin being dropped/rested from the team when he is fit and available for selection, that maybe under the rotation policy but that certainly is a message.

Now talking about Laxman, yes he has had two bad overseas series but then he has always been the disaster management man for the past many years, bailing the team out of treacherous situations on numerous occasions. He has not had too many big scores in the past few matches, but he surely has been consistent. And he already out of limited over cricket, his survival in test matches would be critical for him, and in similar situation is Dravid as well.

Now with Ponting having announced his retirement from ODI cricket the pressure will be on Sachin to take a similar step and maybe Laxman and Dravid also think of hanging their boots. Now with Indian cricket team not playing any test matches in the coming 6-7 months would mean that would give enough time for Dravid and Laxman to think. But what that would also mean that they would be away from international cricket for that long. Also, with no overseas cricket for almost two years now means that Sachin would hardly play the ODI format, especially since he has been very selective in which ODI tournament he plays for the past couple of years. This surely looks like that there will be very chances of seeing him in the coloured clothing for the Indian team. And, with this giving ample opportunities for Raina, Kolhi, Sharma to cement their places in the team.

But still the question remains, whether the big 3 should retire. Definitely I believe it is always great to announce your retirement while playing then to dropped and then announce it from the sidelines. But then has that time come? Well only time will tell that I think.

The big 3: VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, and Rahul Dravid


Sehwag after scoring 200

Since Virender Sehwag emerged at the international scene he has always been called as the clone of Sachin Tendulkar, because of the many similarities in their batting styles. But today, probably he has proved this saying correct by doing what only Sachin has done it before, and not just doing it even bettering it. Yes, Sachin Tendulkar created history by becoming the first player ever to score a double hundred in a One Day International and now Virender Sehwag has become the second to do so and now after scoring 219 has the highest individual score in ODI cricket bettering Sachin’s 200 not out.

Now this is the fastest double hundred in ODI cricket, and now has also equaled the record of 25 fours in a single innings (incidentally Sachin is the other one who holds this record and he too had made this during his mammoth innings of 200 not out). Also, this is a great moment for him because he is captain the team in the series and this innings has led the team to a series victory. There was a lot of pressure on him regarding his form, but I guess now this innings has silenced all critics. But to be honest, I really don’t believe if the concept of being out of form really works on Sehwag. I think he just plays the same way every time, and sometimes he scores a zero and sometimes a double hundred or even at times a triple hundred. And yes honestly, the kind of player Sehwag is one can even expect a triple hundred from him in ODI cricket.

There was another comment which I read somewhere, that now Virender Sehwag has become the first human to score a double century in ODI cricket. By using the word human is not only something for Sehwag, but also is a great testimony for Sachin, since for every fan (which includes Sehwag as well) he is not a human but god. I remember after scoring the double century Sachin had said that it is just a record and can easily be eclipsed sometime. He also said that he would be very happy if an Indian can do that. Also when asked whom did he think can actually do that, the first name he mentioned was that of Sehwag’s. And now see all that has come true, it is like Sachin’s wish was Sehwag’s command. 

Sehwag after crossing 200 mark

But truly with this innings Sehwag has entered the record book in such a way that it would be very difficult to remove his name from the record books easily. Though, his style is best suited for the shorter format of the game Sehwag has excelled in test cricket more, scoring two triple centuries. And to certain extent has not really made his mark in the ODIs and Twenty20 cricket because of which he has come under a lot of criticism. But now he has silenced all the questioning mouths, and the way he has done it, I think only he could do it that way. But I just wish that just by looking at the bowling attack of West Indies Sehwag’s innings is looked down upon, as Sachin had scored it against the best bowing attack, South Africa. I am saying this because scoring 200 runs is not a joke, and once it scored the opposition bowling attack is inconsequential. Today was just Sehwag’s day, and proabbaly had it been South Africa or Australia also Sehwag would have scored a double hundred.

Also, apart from Sehwag, but majorly due to him India crossed the 400 run mark in ODIs for the fourth time which is again a record. The score of 400 has only been crossed 10 times till now of which India has crossed 4 times now, South Africa and Sri Lanka have done it twice and Australia and New Zealand have done it once. 
In the end I would like to wish Sehwag for his achievement and I hope that Sehwag’s fires big down under against the Australians, as his explosive batting would really be needed if India want to win in test matches and ODIs there.

Sehwag thanking the almighty after scoring 200


Amidst all the hype and expectations of Sachin Tendulkar’s 100th International ton, another Indian cricketing legend, Rahul Dravid surpassed a major milestone. A milestone, which only one player has achieved in the history of test cricket. That was crossing the 13000 runs mark in test matches, he became only the second batsman to do so, which is a memorable feat.

He had become the sixth batsman to reach the 10000 mark, the fifth to reach the 11000 mark, the third to reach the 12000 mark, and now has become the second player to reach the 13000 run mark. This proves why he is the backbone of the Indian cricket team, and why he has been given the nickname of “The Wall”.

Though unfortunately, he has always been under the shadow of another Sachin Tendulkar, and probably because of this his major feats have gone unnoticed. But certainly that cannot take anything away from this legend. Apart from the runs he has scored 36 test centuries and 62 test fifties. His number of centuries is only fourth in number behind Sachin’s 51, Kallis’s 40, and Ponting’s 39. His 62 test fifties is the second highest in number, both Sachin and Allan Border having scored a record 63 test fifties (if Sachin goes onto score a hundred in this match he would come down to a joint position with Dravid here). All these records have to be of a special player. Also, this year Rahul’s form has been exceptional, having scored over 1000 test runs in the calendar year. And this is his third occasion he has done so.

Dravid’s contribution to Indian cricket is legendary, and so in the end I would like to salute his contribution to Indian cricket and congratulate him on his recent milestone. Also I hope that he does cross many more and give us many more moments to cherish. 


Even as the world still waits for Sachin to complete a century of centuries, he manages to touch another huge milestone in test cricket. He has become the first batsman in the history of test cricket to cross 15000 international runs. Also, this is not the first time to cross the mark; he has also crossed the milestone in the One Day International format. For the matter of the fact he was the first batsman to reach the 12000, 13000, and 14000 run marks as well. If you see his ODI record he had become the first player to achieve the mark of 10000 runs and then also every subsequent 1000 runs, and now has over 18000 ODI runs. Overall he has crossed 33000 runs in international cricket which is a record in itself.

In test matches the player immediately behind Sachin is Rahul Dravid, who has scored 12859 runs, which means there is a difference of over 2000 runs between the two which is a massive difference.

All these records coupled with a record of 99 international hundreds, is something very special. And now he is batting on 33 as the day’s play ended. And if India needs to go onto win the match, the team would require Sachin to play a big innings, which means that maybe Sachin’s might not have to wait too long for the 100th century as well.

In the end I would like to congratulate Sachin for his new achievement, and hope that he would get many more in future. Also I would wish him best of luck for tomorrow and hope that he continues this great form, and not only wins the match for the team but also, hits the most awaited hundredth century.


Suddenly from nowhere has this team come out to win the title, defeating Royal Challengers Banglore. In fact I don’t think anyone would have ever imagined Mumbai Indians winning this tournament, since they entered this tournament on many injuries that included Sachin tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Munaf Patel, Dhaval Kulkarni, Davy Jacobs, and many more. This list was simply endless, but most of these players were the ones that featured in the regular playing 11. But I must say that youngsters rose to the occasion, they grasped there chances and made them count. This is a definite surprise as I never expected to see the younger (unknown) players perform so well, especially seeing what the indian players did during the England tour.

The start of the tournament was not at all good for them, though they won the first two games, but they were not at all convincing, infact they could have easily lost both the games. And then the third game they lost pretty convincingly at the end. It is only from the semi-finals that Mumbai side came together putting up some good performances. And then went onto win the finals very convincingly in Chennai.

Also what makes me feel very happy and does get me exicited as well, is that I am not sure whether players like Chahal, Kanwar, Satish, Abu Nechim would ever get to play for Mumbai Indians since in IPL next year when the injured players get fit, they will not feature in the playing 11. But yes they definitely have made a reputation for themselves , and managed to catch the eye of every IPL-Champions League fan and surely there performances will be remembered and appreciated for a long time to come.

Nevertheless, Mumbai Indians has showed that they have it in them to become the champions. For two years now they were playing very well in the IPL,  but the trophy eluded them. They were even started to be compared to South Africa, who play, but in the crunch situations somehow unfortunately get choked and miss the championship trophy. But I am very happy that Mumbai Indians have proved them wrong, and have won the big trophy, becoming the CHAMPION of CHAMPIONS.