Tag Archives: Rajasthan Royals

Indian Street Cricket From The Eyes Of Jack Hoyle – 2

Here’s presenting the second part of the three-part series on Street Cricket in India from Jack Hoyle. Watching these pics and his travel, one thing is sure, he definitely has a good book in his camera. 

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The batsman makes a dash for it and picks up a quick single.

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Any patch of land will do. A recently ploughed field hosts an impromptu game.

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The ball gets lost down a rabbit hole

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A young batsman takes a swing.

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That’s what mostly happens in the ultra-short format on the streets. A big swing and a miss.

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No space is free from cricket. Local common ground in Khajuraho is taken over by a group of cricket players.

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Rebut To The Author Who Wrote “Rebut To Chennai Super Kings Fans vs 1.230 Billion Indians”

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By Shwetha Kalyanasundaram

Pretty lousy in your rebuttal Mr. Author! For starters, if the article written by Anuj was “unnecessary”, you needn’t have published it in the first place. You ought to be careful of your words when you write dude! Being a critic is alright, but you’ve gone the extra mile, hurting the sentiments of many with your HATRED!

So, here goes my rebuttal of certain points you’ve made.

1. Dude, all the teams playing in the IPL have the same amount to spend on their players. It’s no different for CSK/MI and for the rest of the teams. Ain’t our fault if RR and Punjab spend their money on unknown players. N all the franchise players pockets runs “deep” (quoting you)!

2. As far as exploitation by the auto drivers, what has that to do with cricket dude?!? Makes no sense. N FYI, exploitation by auto drivers happens in other states as well…not jus limited to Tamil Nadu! I ve faced the heat in Bangalore despite being a “South Indian”! And up north, the first question the auto/cab drivers ask is “Madamji, aapp “Madrasi” eh?” Ain’t that exploitation??? Dude, you oughta realise that it happens across the length and breadth of the nation. not jus in CHENNAI!

Guess this link would tell you how gracious we the Chennai crowd are to any team – regional/international whenever a match is played in MAC

http://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/a-rewind-of-indiapak-matches-in-chennai/article4256150.ece

3. Music is the passion of every Chennaite! You’ve jus touched a raw nerve there. True, Halla Bol & Korbo are catchy – pockets of the two Bollywood stars there run “deep”! The two teams spent more money on advertising than on their players…ha ha ha! We were sensible enough to create a simple, yet effective anthem for our team. No stars – focus remains on the true flavors of Chennai

“Kolaveri Di” alone doesn’t explain the music of Chennai. We are a state which dives deep down to the fundamentals of music, providing the nation and the world with some of the best Carnatic musicians! Come December, we host the entire nation and people across the world to some delightful music and dance, n mind you, it’s not jus Carnatic but also Hindustani vocalists from across the country. Music runs deep in all of us. Looks like you turn a deaf ear…I ll send you season tickets for December tis year and then I dare you to talk about our music!

4. As far as your wonderful embrace to us, thanks (but no thanks!) It’s people like you who create a divide n rule policy and it sucks dude! Quoting you again “Change YOUR thinking, embrace US, and believe me the feeling will be mutual”

5. As much as you put up a disclaimer that you don’t mean to hurt us, IT HAS!

For someone who jus said that you were angered by only the fanaticism, this article throws light on how much of hatred you have to a state which is a part of the nation we all belong to. It’s people like you who create the divide. Tis article was totally uncalled for and shows you in poor light! Disgraceful Mr. Author!

CSK rocks

 

 

 

 

Rebut To “Chennai Super Kings Fans vs 1.230 Billion Indians”

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For me the IPL was over the moment Mumbai Indians won it and the trophy was given over to the winning captain. A Chennai fan though Anuj Chennai, wrote an unnecessary article on why Chennai fans are subject to global criticism and why they are the best side in any case. A rebut point by point was needed and here it is.

1. Most consistent team: Go find out how much your team was brought for, how much was paid for some marquee players and how much someone like Sir Ravindra Jadeja got. Now let’s compare it with spends by some teams like the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab. If with that kind of spend, those teams can win and reach best four, its a shame for teams like CSK and MI if they do anything less than winning. On the same yardstick, don’t compare a franchise based model with a national model (Australian cricket team). Here if you can pay and you have deep pockets (by now we all know where the deep pockets were coming from) you can buy the best, in Australia it’s not money that players are bought for. I hope you are getting the point drawn.

2. CSK fans and Madness: This is something I would somewhat agree to. Even an auto-rickshaw driver in that state and city comes down to exploitation of anyone who he figures out cannot speak the language. That’s how they border everyone and chuck them out. As far as praising Pakistanis are concerned, this is a serious case of split personality disorder.

3. Yeah, You Alienate Others: Anuj again makes a great point in number three when he says it can be frustrating for a fan supporting any other franchise in the stadium. The entire idea of IPL was to divide and if the so called literati of Tamil Nadu is being fooled by it, hats off to Lalit Modi, what a proof of concept this is.

4. The Anthem Is Pathetic: Frankly, I would not mince words in calling the Anthem as poor as it can get. Korbo Lodbo Jeetbo and Halla Bol are far better in lyrics and Music qualities. Just adding jingoism is not creating an anthem. Probably ‘Kolaveri Di’ best explains the music there.

5. No One Has Alienated Chennai: No hard feelings bro, your state and land is as much a part of this country as any other. Don’t feel alienated. This feeling of yours leads to the people there thinking everyone is an enemy around. Change the thinking, embrace others, believe me the feeling will be mutual.

This article did not mean to hurt anyone. It only meant rebutting a few erring points laid out in the one by a fanatic fan. 1.230 billion people love when AR Rehman wins an Oscar and when Sridevi gyrates her body to the tunes of Mr. India. We are proud of the Kamal Hasans and Rajnikanths of Tamil Nadu. We are proud of a Tamilian Muslim President called APJ Abdul Kalam but we do not like when someone proudly rants that he/she is more important because of their lineage and state.

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5 Times Our Heart Was In Our Mouth During IPL 6

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Action cinema and T20 cricket have many similarities, the most important being the fact that good ones in both do not give you breathing space. You have your heart in your mouth for most of the time as they happen. And though IPL 6 will always be seen from eyes full of doubt, there were moments when we all enjoyed the cricket on the ground. Here are the best 5 of them. 

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1. Gurkeerat Singh Flies: Did you see who was given the best catch of the tournament. The little unknown lad from Punjab, Gurkeerat Singh, took something most of us and even most cricketers would find hard dreaming. The batsman (Ross Taylor) had played one of his favourite shots and must  have added 6 to his tally but our man had better ideas. The celebrations after the catch were as good as the catch itself.

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2. Sanju Samson, the pocket sized dynamite: Rajasthan Royals have a habit of finding stars for IPL. If it was Swapnil Asnodkar once, it was 18-year-old Sanju Samson this time and if you listen to your heart this lad looks like having a longer shelf life than Asnodkar did. His innings against Royal Challengers Bangalore and the shots hit had to make you sit up and take notice. Rahul Dravid speaking highly of him was no-coincidence and if you thought the one innings against Bangalore was one off, the one’s after that broke the notion.

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3. Chris Gayle and his molestation of Pune Warriors: When Chris Gayle gets going the opposition do not stand a chance but when he molests a team, what do you do, that too a team with Allan Donald as bowling coach. Allan Donald admitted the assault left his bowlers ‘scared’. His 30-odd ball hundred and 66-ball 175 left an impression in the cricketing fraternities mind that no total is a good total in this format, provided you have in your ranks, someone who can tame any warrior.

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4. The Gambhir-Kohli Spat: How many occasions would two players from the same city fight with each other in front of the entire ground. Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli did not leave any mother-sister untouched when they took over each other in one of the games between their respective sides. Some event in a tournament which rewards fair play. As they say From among all the mysteries surrounding the Indian Premier League emerges one ever-lasting truth – you can take a Delhi guy to Kolkata or Bangalore, out can’t get Dilli of the said guy. 

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5. Pollard and his All-Round Abilities and Capabilities: We went about charming Shane Watson with all awards we had on Valuable quotient. We forgot though that we had someone called Keiron Pollard in the tournament who could bat like a monster, bowl like a miser, field like a agile leopard and in need sledge someone like Watson out of the match and even out of the dug-out. His catches will be known for more than just one season, his fielding would become education for the next of wannabees, his bowling in need was as awesome as anything and in need his batting was just one word, fabulously devastating (correction two words). Remember the final, it was he who actually made sure Mumbai had a total that was better than average. Sans he and Mumbai would have struggled against a menacing side like Chennai.

 

 

Rajasthan Royals: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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Having had its best year in the last five years, the Rajasthan Royals definitely won many a hearts during IPL 6, even with Spot-Fixing allegations initially surfacing from their own premises. 

Rahul Dravid was very clear from the outset that they were the underdogs and moneyball team in front of the mighty Mumbai Indians in the second qualifier. The fact that his team actually stretched the game to the last over from a position of losing it says much about a side which on paper look rank underdogs in front of the might of some teams in the tournament. There had to be some highlights of the team, some good and bad. Let’s look at them one by one. 

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1. Home Advantage: If there is one team which actually took the home advantage seriously, it has to be Royals. With that kind of a team winning 8 out of 8 at Jaipur is phenomenal. No matter how much we stress on home conditions, to be fair, no ground except for crowd support, which we know is how hollow sometimes during the IPL, can actually be called home to any team. All the teams being Indian and most players coming from India, makes real advantages like knowledge of pitch, weather etc redundant. Rajasthan though played like they know Sawai Man Singh more than any other team, any other captain. The results are there for all to see.

2. Inspiring Captaincy: Frankly if you ask me one highlight of the IPL, it has to be seeing Rahul Dravid cross bat and heave deliveries over mid-wicket. No one could have made him do that in his international career and he actually customized himself to suit the format. He came out at the top like a role model to his players as to how to take the challenges front-on. He created stars like Share Warne did and am sure players like Sanju Samson will be indebted for life to him. His strategies where-in he made his superstars wait till the threat of new ball was off paid off more times than one. All-in-all we know his was a stint cut-to-made to suit an underdog side.

3. The Good Things: Start counting 

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– Sanju Samson: Fabulous batting and what a find

– Stuart Binny: No one thought he is a threat, he proved everyone wrong

– Dravid’s tactics: Wrote about that above

– A brilliant seam attack – That came out of nowhere.

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– Team Effort: Someone or the other stepped up, raised his hand and did it for them. Kemon Cooper, Brad Hodge, Samson, Binny and even Trivedi.

Shane Watson, Rajasthan Royals

– Shane Mighty Watson: Do we even need to name him. He is one rockstar that always proved his mettle for the RR.

4. The Bad Things: A few of them are here

– No quality spinners: They always lacked one and especially at the business end because of wrong reasons. In fact in their last two games, on spinning tracks they actually went in with an all-seam attack and actually won one of them. Speaks some thing about confidence, doesn’t it. To add to this RR lacked a very threatening bowler and though Shaun Tait was in the squad, it would be correct to assume he is well past his prime.

– The rate of scoring: This is one area that the Royals struggled all-through. Except sometime when Watson got going, they hardly had a net run-rate of 8 plus to boast of. Even Rahane who otherwise has been seen as someone with a more than decent T20 strike-rate looked like playing safe this time more often than not.

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5. The Ugly: Enough has been spoken of the spot-fixing saga and for the sake of Rahul Dravid, let’s keep the ugly to only the three of the so called “Rotten Eggs”. We hope and pray not any other of that side is involved in the rut.

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6. Best Player: Without a doubt this could have gone to either Watson or Hodge. While Watson kept playing good cricket through, it was Hodge who proved what he is capable of in the all important eliminator when he took upon the mantle of cracking down on the best bowling attack on display and winning the game for his side, all this after his name was also being discussed in the fixing saga. Some mettle these Aussies are made up of, isn’t it? And yes, while we keep talking of the batsmen because of the format, we should not forget, it was James Faulkner who won all our hearts with some supremely good bowling in the tournament. Not many end up with two five-fors in the same IPL, do they? Faulkner actually did it. My prize for best player goes to the Purple Cap holder Faulkner.

This team has always been a surprise package and it would be extremely interesting to see what and who they buy next year when everyone goes under the hammer for only the second time. They though cannot afford to let go of the fact that they first need an inspiring captain to lead them like Warne and Dravid have done. 

 

 

Spot Fixing Cracked For Easy Understanding

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Listening to the chatter on social media on the spot-fixing controversy that has just erupted in the IPL, it makes sense to actually make people understand what the term really means. This post breaks it into what can easily explain the concept.

So S. Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila have been arrested on charges of spot fixing. Poor Sree, am sure that was the only way he could have looked forward to making quick bucks considering his extremely awry performance on the ground off late. Feel pity though for the other two as they fall prey to this evil at a stage where they could probably never come back to the game. Criminal activity though and has to be punished.

So what exactly is spot fixing? A few months back Pakistan bowlers Mohd Aamer, Mohd Asif and batsman Salman Butt were embroiled into something similar and we all know what has happened to them. They actually were caught on camera accepting money to bowl no-balls. The result of the match though was not a bet. Spot-fixing thus is not something that directly impacts the result of the game.

In his famous book “Gambler, Bookie, Fixer, Spy, a journey into cricket’s underworld”, author Ed Hawkins clearly demarcates between Spot and Match fixing. He says while we all know what match-fixing is, spot fixing is generally not fixing the result of the game but fixing “brackets” of the game.

This kind of bracket fixing is done for a period of overs, say 5 for example in which a bettor can bet on the number of runs that will be scored, number of wickets that will fall and so on and so forth. This bracket is a flexible one and changes with the number of runs scored in one over and the next over and then on. So basically if many bettors put a lot of money on a certain result in a bracket and the bookies fix-up the players to do the opposite (spot-fixing pays are pretty less), makes tremendous financial sense, doesn’t it.

Plus, with the kind of power hitting and fall of wickets that happen during a T20 game, something of this sort does not even raise eyebrows of the franchise owners, spectators and even the Police. With little loyalty quotient in a franchise model, the prospect of someone falling prey further increases.

Though the investigating bodies have done a fantastic job in nabbing the culprits pretty fast, it will still be better if someone can devise a method to fullstop these things. Utopia though is only a distant dream. IPL is anyways shrouded with hundreds of controversies, this does not help any bit to the brand value.

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Rajasthan Royals And The Art of Remaining Underdogs

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Everyone loves Rajasthan Royals, even the fans of the opposition teams. You know why? Because they are the eternal underdogs. Right from the time they lost their first game in the inaugural edition of IPL, they remained underdogs. Even after winning the tournament and creating a fortress at home from the very first edition, they continued being tagged the underdogs and today after a very successful IPL 6, where they have almost made it to the playoffs, have won all their matches at home, beaten Chennai in their own game, they are still being called the underdogs. 

Why are they underdogs? Simple, they never had huge stars except one or two. They created stars who made their destiny and fielded guys who came from the hinterlands with dreamy eyes of shining on the big stage. They were underdogs because they were the cheapest side to be bought during the auctions in 2008. They were underdogs because they look to be working more hard on their fallacies than anyone else.

They were underdogs because they did not get hyper on the cricket ground. They always smile at the opposition and go about their job methodically rather than aggressively.  They know that aggression cannot work in their favor considering they do not possess the likes of Gayle and Kohli, so they’d rather focus on hardwork and technique to control the outcome.

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The Real Difference Creators

1. Rahul ‘Gentleman’ Dravid: If there was one good example of a great servicemen of the game who always upheld the spirit of the game no matter what, Rahul Dravid’s name would come foremost. Remember what he did when Adam Gilchrist was short of his ground a few days back. He withdrew the appeal, thereby setting an example for his team. Though Dravid might not be as celebrated as a Sachin Tendulkar or a Sourav Ganguly, we all know who was the worker behind all great victories India had in the last decade and a half. This is what RD probably is ingraining in Rajasthan Royals. To win but remain nonchalant about it. Plus, the amount of trust he shows in his youngsters is something that would turn an example for any future captain in IPL. We know Sanju Samson because a Rahul Dravid made him a superstar, picking him up from nowhere. As Harsha Bhogle always says, “It is the process which matters the most, if that’s taken care of, the results take care of itself”. Rahul Dravid seems to embody this thought.

2. Shane ‘Watto’ Watson: As I write this one, am hearing that Watson has overtaken Chris Gayle in the Most Valuable Player in the IPL. With very little to go in the tournament and Watson himself being in great form, I would not be surprised if he actually pulls that off. Now that in itself is some achievement because IPL if anything is known for Gaylestorm and to beat that man in his own arena is a genius’s job. Watson brilliance lies not only in the fact that he is a great player from Australia but also in the manner he plays alongside the juniors around him in the Royals side. Probably playing first under Shane Warne and now under Dravid is helping his attitude immensely. He brings to the table extraordinary skills and am sure playing around him would be an academy for the youngsters of the side. Lastly, if he plays anywhere as good as he did in the last match, only God save the opposition from the harakiri this big guy can bring.

Rajasthan bowlers

3. The Bowling Attack: We often talk of how a batting unit has helped RR win the first edition and has helped them this year too to almost reach the playoffs (I am sure they will but am just not taking a risk). What we forget more often than not is that it is the bowling that actually without the presence of any big star pulled off what many teams in IPL could not with big names. Not that RR never had a great bowling attack. In the first season names like Shane Warne, Sohail Tanvir and Munaf Patel (he was a decent enough bowler then) did don their jersey but as time passed, these names went away and in came a fragrance of youth and they did well we must say. Just take yesterday’s match for example. Against CSK who have the most devastating batting line-up, the bowlers were Malik, Faulkner, Watson, Trivedi, Cooper and Binny. What did they do? made Chennai fold up for 141. This is no one-off, its a regular feature now that this bowling attack sans any superstars does to opposition. They are probably taken for granted and from there they show everyone who is the boss. Probably again being underdogs helps challenges them to do their best.

4. The Fortress That Cannot Be Breached: The team has now actually equalled their own record of highest home wins at a trot (8). It is something about the place that aids the home team like no other ground. In the last game against CSK the challenge was stiff. They were pitted against a tough team and Chennai’s record was simple, you give them to bat first and they don’t lose. Knowing this fully well, Dravid still allowed Dhoni and his men first usage of the helpful wicket at Sawai Man Singh Stadium and the result is for all to know. Teams would be thanking their stars that none of the qualifiers or the final is at Jaipur or else only one team would have come out on top.

With their non-violent style of cricket, this team has already made rapid progress. The next task would be to end the league stage on top and make a clear statement that this team can dazzle and well as be consistent. If they win this would be an additional jewel in the crown of The Eternal Gentleman Rahul Dravid.