Tag Archives: Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Why We Still Cheer For Team India

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Ankush Kumar tells us why some fans will always cheer for Team India and nothing to the tune of fixing, conflict of interest and media hype will bother them

The only conflict is his interest in the success of Team India perhaps. The silence at the final press conference before MSD left for English shores was a damp squib. The media still generated their masala and hounded him no end. His integrity was questioned; social media and its lame authors nailed him from all quarters.

MSD and his boys were cornered tigers, and like they do a step backwards was taken. Only to make a giant leap forward and here they are crowned winners of the last edition of the champions’ trophy.

The final yesterday was robbed of a great contest by the weather. For a long period the beer in the refrigerator disappeared with each thundershower that hit Birmingham.
By the time the contest actually began I was left sipping only cold water. Mind you that was equally intoxicating as India scripted a win from the jaws of defeat.

Last time when South Africa choked at the international stage, England was their nemesis. This time the English relived the same tag that has haunted them since 1979. If ever a time machine is invented, England should go back in time and erase the memory of inventing the sport.

They way they have lost big-ticket finals since 1987; they don’t deserve such great tags. India on the other hand played outstanding cricket from the word go. When they won the first two warm up matches, lot of us felt they were flattering to deceive. But the way they romped home against quality sides reconfirmed their tag of being the number one ODI side in world cricket today.

Today as it stands MSD has become the first captain to win all major ICC titles; this would not have been possible without the support of the technical team yesterday.
The ICC goofed up for not having a reserved day for a big final, but quick thinking by them ensured that we at least had a rain-curtailed match. The high drama in those forty overs was enough for the audience who had waited patiently to make their monies worth.

Last time when Team India won the CWC, Nasser Hussain had said ‘since they haven’t beaten England the win is not complete’. Today as it stands sir ‘Shut up & Bounce’. Every time the sport has hit by an alien source, Team India, has countered the demons and come out triumph. This one though is sweeter as it has come in overseas conditions. Well not quite! Yesterday Birmingham looked more like the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai than in England.

It turned out to be home territory for us. The crowed jeered the Pommies and cheered us. The pitch that should have been bouncy turned square, Alaistar got cooked and MSD was yet again crowned Mr. Cool!

Captain Cool did not miss an opportunity to thank the BCCI for their contribution in developing great infrastructure that has helped Team India grow as a fielding unit. He in a very subtle manner also highlighted to the west that ‘India are the big daddies of world cricket today’.

This victory means a lot to fans like us, who have stood by our heroes in times of crisis, we have never questioned the integrity of our soldiers, we have always believed that theories like conflict of interest or scandals like spot fixing can never be a deterrent for the love of the game, and today our superstars have repaid us back by not just winning the championship but by doing it in style.

P.S: England is supposed to be the mecca of cricket, but it’s Team India that ‘Lords’ over the world today.

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No Ind Vs Pak Is A Dead Rubber

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So if you thought that this India Vs Pakistan match is a dead rubber considering Pakistan is already out of the tournament and India are through to the semis, think again. This is the most fancied rivarly the game of cricket has had and no game could go without its shares of eye-balls, bigger than that of any other sport in the history of earth. 
Misbah-ul-Haq has already equated the game to the final, only echoing the millions of fans back in Pakistan who would forgive them to bow out even before the business stages of the tournament, if they manage to win this one, the one that the world is thinking to be a dead rubber. And no matter what the successful Indian skipper MS Dhoni says of the game, he knows that if loses this, there would be a certain faction in his own country who would not even take the Champions Trophy 2013 victory as consolation.
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The recent form goes to India but if you go a little back, just at the beginning of 2013, when Pakistan toured India for three ODI’s, they beat the hosts 2-1 and opened up many a holes in the famed Indian batting line-up. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have done fabulously well, having stitched two century opening stands at a run-rate of better than a run-a-ball but they would all know what Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan can do. The last time these bowlers breathed fire, India were struggling at 29/5 before Dhoni came and rescued them with a fighting 100, only to end in a losing cause.
India’s batting has done well but it can go all so wrong in case they lose a few early wickets because unlike the Australia attack, against which India came back pretty well in one of their practice games, this Pakistan bowling attack will not let them breathe easy. They will come back hard after every blow and Wahab Riaz and Saeed Ajmal would do their best to continue the good job done by the new ball seam bowlers.
The problem for Pakistan would be their batting. None of their batsmen, except for Misbah, have raised the hands when in trouble and someone will have to raise his hand if they want to win the game today. India’s bowling on the other hand is known to be weaker of the two but the bowlers have done well as a group. India would except another day when the seamers would do well and the spinners support them as much as possible.
The pitch and weather conditions look similar to what we have seen in Birmingham. Its a good batting wicket which will turn slow as the day progresses. There are chances of rain but we all hope the rain gods stay away for the day.
Pakistan will still feel the pinch of the loss they suffered at Mohali in the World Cup 2011 semi-final. This is their chance of redemption, even if it would not take them any further in the tournament. For India though the win will be about winning against Pakistan and also making sure they carry the winning momentum into the semi-final stages.
Dancers hold India and Pakistan national flags before the start of play in the ICC World Twenty20 cricket final match in Johannesburg

Why Dhoni’s Silence On IPL Spot-Fixing Is Not Justified!

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Ravi Sharma, Sports Editor, Novosol Mobile Magic writes why Dhoni’s silence on the entire spot-fixing scandal does not justify his position as Indian captain and also shakes the faith of a cricket fan on him. 

The last few days in Indian cricket have been the darkest since the 2000 match-fixing fiasco which saw the fall of stalwarts like Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja amongst others. The names of famous players went for a toss as Indian cricket’s image got tarnished. After 13 years, the rot of fixing is back but with a new name… This time, it is called spot-fixing! But the fact of the matter is that fixing of any sort remains ‘fixing’ and courtesy that, the sport and the ordinary cricket fan have suffered the most.

From cricketers to bookies to team owners… From spot-fixing to betting to conflict of interest in the Indian cricket board… From Delhi Police to Mumbai Police to the crisis in the BCCI, this scandal has got murkier by every passing day! IPL’s credibility has hit rockbottom and a cricket enthusiast will find it difficult to believe what he sees on TV is true from now onwards! So, what happens to this fan, who has seen, followed and loved this game so passionately for all these years? How does his faith in the game get restored?

A statement from the legends of the game would help the cause. The Sachins, the Dravids, the Dhonis are players people trust. And few words from them will help cricket’s diehard fans getting their confidence back in the game and its players. However, Sachin and Dravid have commented on this issue but the biggest name in Indian cricket at the moment is silent… MS Dhoni is tightlipped on this whole issue! He is yet to speak on the burning topic in Indian cricket.

It was a mockery of a press conference from the Indian skipper ahead of India’s departure to England for the Champions Trophy! The Indian skipper chose not to respond to questions related to the spot-fixing case. He didn’t even say ‘no comments’. And that too, many times! Evidently, the BCCI had gagged him over this issue. Since the time this scandal came into light, he has skipped two press conferences also.

Yes, Mahi is a contracted employee of BCCI. But why can’t Mahendra Singh Dhoni understand that he plays cricket for INDIA! MSD is a national icon apart from being the Indian skipper and he shouldn’t succumb to BCCI diktat! He is answerable to millions of fans who have followed Indian cricket like a religion all these years!

It’s high time Dhoni should retain his dignity and answer the ordinary cricket fan! A man of such high dignity, so much credibility and a true leader is fast reducing to a mere puppet of a corrupt cricket board! Time to break your silence, Mr Captain Cool!

CSK rocks

IPL 2013 – Dream Eleven

Ganesh Subramanian draws out his dream 11 based on the performances of stars in IPL 2013. Do you agree. 

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1. Mike Hussey: The orange cap winner can walk into any team based on his reputation alone. But as is the quality with great players, they hardly rest on their laurels. Mike Hussey takes the opener’s spot in the playing eleven purely on the basis of his consistency this season. Only in four innings in this year’s IPL does he have scores of less than 20. That should tell us something about this Western Australian’s amazing run of form this year.

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2. Chris Gayle: If we look at consistency, Gayle would have struggled to find a place. But given that he has changed his game a little bit particularly in this year’s IPL where he took his time, saw off the threat of the new ball (atleast for 2 overs. I know threat of new ball in T20 hardly makes sense) and then went about his merry ways and pulverized bowling attacks, makes him even more fearsome. I am sure Pune Warriors would agree with this.

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3. Rahul Dravid: Having batted at this position for India for years, he is no stranger to walking in and trying to repair the innings in case of early loss of wickets. Although Dravid opened in most of the matches for RR, still I slotted him at number three for the stability factor.

Shane Watson, Rajasthan Royals

4. Shane Watson: This batting mainstay of Rajasthan also finds a spot easily purely on his allround abilities. Providing crucial breakthroughs with his bowling & batting with a demonic power makes Watson an invaluable asset to any team.

5. A B Devilliers: A brilliant fielder, an excellent wicketkeeper and a freakish batsman, ABD has the ability to turn matches on its head by his sheer genius. His unorthodox batting at the death overs has left many a bowler bewildered.

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6. Dwayne Bravo: The purple cap holder on current form finds a place in the eleven. Despite getting his wickets at a higher economy rate, he has been the go-to man for CSK in the death overs often tilting matches in CSK’s favour in the end overs. Plus with Dwayne around, there would be no need of an entertainer too.

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7. M S Dhoni: Captain of India has also continued his success story well into the IPL. Leader of the most successful and the most consistent franchisee in IPL history, MSD’s finishing capabilities will see him walk into any playing eleven with ease.

8. Azhar Mahmood: This Pakistani born British citizen has often helped Punjab with hi experience this season. Apart from picking wickets regularly for Punjab, his promotion to the No. 3 slot helped him rediscover his batting abilities as well.

9. Sunil Narine: Amongst the top 5 wicket takers in this year’s IPL, Sunil Narine is a definite pick for the spinner’s slot given the mystery he brings with him. Even if he doesn’t pick wickets, he has ensured that the run rate doesn’t increase by bowling economically.

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10. Lasith Malinga: The slinga from Srilanka after a quiet start to the tournament has got his rhythm back in the last few games. He was instrumental in derailing Chennai’s chase in the final by picking up Hussey and Raina with well thought out deliveries. His variety at the death makes him indispensable.

11. Amit Mishra: Again on current form in the IPL, Amit Mishra picks himself. With crucial wickets in the middle overs and a potent googly making his leg break more effective, Amit Mishra has played a major part in Sunrisers getting into the playoffs.

This list aims at picking at the eleven best possible players to form the dream team. Lot of excellent players may have been left out and this list in no way should be considered demeaning them.

Twitterati On Dhoni Playing ‘The Silencer’

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These are 10 great tweets about Dhoni’s Silence act at the Press Conference today. Must read. 

Kunal Pradhan (@_kunal_pradhan): Another demonstration of how nothing will ever change in the Indian cricket. #ipl #Dhoni #Srinivasan #bccirot

Eagle Eye (@Eagleeye47): #Dhoni #Tendulkar & the greats of the cricketing fraternity all surprisingly silent, on Spot Fixing & the BCCI ; Strange & Pathetic !

Shashank Sourabh (@shankyn): @bhogleharsha so do u jst write moral stories in ur books or do u hav an opinion abt d farce indian cricket hs become. #dhoni #disappointed

Piyush Kaul (@piyushkaul): Country is headed by MUM Mohan Singh & India Cricket team by MUM Singh #Dhoni 😉

And media was also not let go

Rohit (@rohitsakunia): If the press was so angry on #Dhoni not responding on #spotfixing why didn’t they walk out. They should have na

Back to MS though and there were some who also dragged BJP and Mrs. MS Dhoni

gurujoth_kohli (@gurujoth_kohli): #Dhoni MUM on Questions posed by the Media abt IPL.Will the #BJP ask for his resignation?Or stall the Parliament for this #JustAsking??

Gaurav (gauravarora_123): #Dhoni is silent because Sakshi Bhabhi wont allow him to speak #GharGharKiKahaani

Saurabh Gandhi (@gaggycool): When Sakshi said ” Kuch toh log kahengay” , it was probably a cue for Dhoni to shut up. #dhoni

And then came some real bad allegations (unwanted considering nothing was proved)

Vikram Sharma (@vikram_sharma09): apart from Azhar, only other Indian cricket captain who has been so hand in glove with establishment & under an ethical cloud is #Dhoni

And lastly came the fans. Oh how poor Indian cricket would be without us and them. 

Pranay Mehta (@PranayMehta_PM): People who are criticising MS Dhoni are the same people who know zilch about how he led India to WCs & No. 1 in all formats! Respect #Dhoni

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IPL, Regional Divisions & Hatred? You Are Kidding Me!

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Ganesh Subramanian talks about how he hates the ones who think supporting any one franchisee in the IPL is anti-India. He says one can support one team and still be patriotic, end of the day; this is just a tournament and a sport.

Ever since IPL started, people started supporting teams based on their birthplace or because they work there or more simply, just because they love the city. At the same time another group sprung up claiming that for them India is India and they do not have any regional biases when it comes to teams. They are here to enjoy only good cricket.

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All this is done in the name of fake patriotism. This group makes it appear as if they are demi-gods sent to protect the last ounce of unity in India. Utter nonsense! Trust me; having spoken to a few of the so called “I support India, not any state” supporters, they have much more anti-region sentiments than the other franchisee supporters. I ask them, “Why not apply the same yardstick to Ranji Trophy, India’s premier domestic tournament?” Next time when Mumbai wins the Ranji Trophy, I would like these people to say that India won the Ranji trophy.

I mean, it flummoxes me to understand why people can’t like what they want to like. How often we have seen people wanting their franchisees to win but a player from the opposition to do well? Sachin Tendulkar and M S Dhoni are classic examples for this. Chennai rooting for a good innings from Sachin or Bangalore wanting an M S Dhoni helicopter shot are not uncommon.

IPL must be enjoyed for what it is – A domestic Indian tournament with a world-wide fan following and that too of a sport which is revered and worshipped in India only next to religion. You are free to like and support a team, but that doesn’t mean you demean other teams. I am all for regional support of teams, but not at the cost of speaking badly of other teams. Hate groups against teams in social networking sites like Facebook only leave a bad taste in the mouth of a true cricketing connoisseur.

IPL is a welcome diversion in the trouble-ridden lives of lots of people. Let us enjoy IPL in whatever way we want to for the 2 months of this magnificent spectacle. Let us also remind the other group that people who support a particular franchisee/city/state team in IPL are as much patriotic, are as much Indian, as everyone else.

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