All posts by ShamsnWags

We - Saurabh Sharma aka Shams and Paresh Waghela aka Wags are super enthusiastic and die hard cricket fans. Sharing our take on cricket matches, players comes with a lot of passion. We eat, drink and sleep cricket.

Right from the Mecca of Cricket- Lord’s Prelude

In an era of muscling the balls into the stands, waiting for the first day of Lord’s Test still gives goosebumps to cricket lovers. Yes, T20 has made it possible for us to watch a cricket match in 4 hours. But nothing can replace the excitement of walking into MCG on a Boxing Day test, or walking into Eden Gardens and see Wasim Akram running into ball, mind you , that time Eden could hold up to 1,00,000 spectators. Hence, my idea of real contest is still a game played over 5 days where pendulum would be shifting from time to time and the team with never-say-die attitude will come up winners. While some say 5 Test series is too long, the old fashioned like me would say, that’s clear opportunity of 25 days of real hard cricket.

The Mecca of Cricket-Lords
The Mecca of Cricket-Lords

The occasion in Lord’s and I hate to say this that I traveled from India to London, just to catch the first day at Lord’s, see the captains walk to toss, see umpires throw the new ball to the bowler, the bell ringing, everything. But, God had other plans and an extremely painful personal loss has deprived me of this honor but only for this time. Nevertheless, I am in London and I hope to catch up one of the days in between.

In the meantime, as stated before the heat wave has been extremely killing. But suddenly, yesterday (7th August), the weather Gods changed their minds. It did not rain but cloud covers had covered London. It was pleasant for a change, not to mention, I love rain. But if you are cricket lover and specially an Indian fan, you would know English weather is flirting with Virat Kohli. Till now, grass has been left on the 22 yards, weather is swinging between hot and cold, Andy Flower goes on to record and say Kohli has to play more years to reach Sachin and become one of the all-time greats, Bumrah is not fit, India has lost the first test within the first 4 days, and adversary are still hitting Indian Team. I am sure in my mind that Kohli is already quite baffled about what to do with the batting order and now with the weather playing its part, he sure will be confused with his bowling combinations.

It is pretty easy for all us fans and the commentators say a few things while the game is on or after the match is done and dusted. But, Kohli is leading the team right there. He is feeling the heat and he is taking some bold decisions. I think he will still back KL Rahul since one test is not good enough to judge someone. Now, Dhawan should not be dropped since that might press the panic button in the dressing room and bring in more insecurity amongst the players, so would guess Dhawan sticks again. Rahane will stick on for past performances. There is really no need to change the batters at this point of time. We also need to bear in mind Pujara has done nothing extra-ordinary in these conditions. But if Kohli wants to get in the extra batsman, it has to be Pujara and where do you fit him.

If Pujara comes in, then automatically Umesh goes out. Now, permutations and combinations looks very interesting given this is a must win game of India. It will be a real test of character and mentality of these players. But above all, it will be an opportunity to see if these players are ready to amend their mistakes. Since, this looks like the last chance for many in the team. Kohli himself needs to think before finalizing the final 11. He has never played the same 11 in consecutive Tests and that could and might have created doubts in the mind of the players like Vijay and Rahane. If you look at Vijay’s batting, it has not been the same from the time he had been dropped from the time. He is poking and prodding outside the offstump and God knows why. Similarly,Rahane has not found his magic touch yet after being dropped in the SA series after being the vice-captain of the team. However, Pandya keeps getting the captain’s backing even after some really ordinary performance, but definitely some lighting of brilliance from time to time.

Kohli will be the big difference between the defeat and win once again and I hope to make my presence felt in one of the days in between.

Hope you liked Lord’s Prelude. Until then, stay tuned and keep reading www.shamsnwags.com

Special thanks to Debdeep for sharing this article. Debdeep Bhattacharya is a cricket fanatic with an analytical insight of the game, a hardcore Dada fan who believes everything cant be measured in stats!

India v/s England Test Series : Round 1 of 5

So, India travels to England after a span of 4 years and this time they come with a lot of expectation and one of the main reasons of that expectation is Virat Kohli. Kohli happens to be the man who has scored heavily across the world and across formats. If you are a kid and wanting to play cricket, you want to like Virat Kohli. He is setting the trend with fitness and his batting.

Virat Kohli & Joe Root with Pataudi Trophy, 2018
Virat Kohli & Joe Root with Pataudi Trophy, 2018

The only place where he has to stamp his authority is England. A dominating century in England is still missing from his long list of achievements and CV. Having won the T20 series and lost the ODI series, it was time to get ready to face English fast bowlers. With the heat wave being nothing less than torturous in England, it was expected to help Indians since much swing was not expected but the Duke ball had a different story to tell.

England wins the toss and elects to bat. Kohli brings in a major change and drops Pujara for KL Rahul. I have always maintained KL Rahul has a problem against the moving ball but captain trusts his former IPL team mate. Again, with only Ashwin in the team, it looked a little heavy in the pace department. While we talk about the different players, it is an absolute must to mention that just like Kohli, Ashwin as well did not have a great performance in England last time. So, another one to set that record right.

As the Test match started, England looked pretty comfortable against Indian attack and looked to set a big score. There were no demons on the pitch and I still maintain that it was 400+ pitch. However, keeping Kohli out of the game is just impossible. You can call it half a chance, but it did come in the form of Bairstow mis-judging a run and taking a chance against Kohli. I simply call it stupidity. A direct hit at the bowlers end and the priced wicket of Joe Root, probably the best batsman of England. This turned the game and England collapsed for 287. Not to forget, Ashwin showed his guile and experience by bagging 4 wickets and some superb bowling from the senior pro Shami.

I was almost certain that India would bat only once and score something around 450 since this wicket has got nothing. Vijay and Dhawan was alright at the crease. But more importantly, Broad and Anderson did not look threatening at all and I was quite confident that this series is going our way from hereon. As the old saying goes ‘ Little knowledge can be dangerous’ and thats what exactly happened with me. A 20 year old left arm fast bowler was marking his run up and I was of the idea that he would not be much of a threat given the experience our batters have.

But, suddenly we had lost 3 wickets of our Top 3 within 8 runs. I looked at the replays 10 times and I could not understand whether we threw the wickets away or our batsmen are that stupid. As Geoff Boycott would say “ Even my mum would have left those balls”. Highly disgusted and disappointed with our batters, I continued my optimism since Kohli and Rahane was at the crease. Now, the whole match had narrowed down to Anderson vs Kohli.

Kohli eager to stay put and stamp his authority, as the couple of reckless shots would indicate and similarly, Anderson, being old wily bowler that he is, kept tempting and probing Kohli and at times challenging Kohli to satisfy his ego and play that expansive drive. But for the next 4 hours what I saw is a normal guy changing himself and maturing to a man.

The innings had 3 dropped catches and 2 catches fell short of the slips, thats 5 balls and in the rest 220 balls, this man re-wrote history, wiped the past away and created his own legacy which would be part of cricketing folklore for ages to come. The innings was not filled with beautiful shots but tremendous willpower, the innings did not have the power of Kohli but the mind of Kohli and finally it got the result for which millions had tuned into cricket for that day. Scored a superlative 149, took India to 274. Conceded the lead but not by much.

England comes into bat, again Ashwin weaving his magic around the English batsmen and snatching 3 wickets. Ishant joins the party takes 5 superb wickets. At one stage 87/7, looks like game over England. But again, walks in that under-rated player named Sam Curran and smashes 63. What was disgusting to see is Dhawan kept dropping catches and kept smiling. What on earth was he thinking???? Did he think Kohli would say “Sardar khus hua???” If that stupidity was not enough , he would thigh slap every time he took a catch. What does that even indicate??? Anyways, finally England was bundled out for 180. With the famed batting line up of India, it was almost given that we would win this game. Target 194, should be done by lunch Day 4.

In comes the opening pair of the world no. 1 team, Vijay and Dhawan, oh sorry, I should be saying in comes the fashion stars of the World No. 1 team. Since what followed for the next 3 hours is called Fashion Parade by the Indian batting stalwarts. You name them and they are ready to go to Lakme Fashion show or something in Paris as well. They can give the best model in the world a run for their money. What was unfolding in front of me, is called callousness, unprofessionalism and I felt like cheated and I would like to know if Kohli and the Indian bowlers felt any different.

If there is a term which is worse than throwing away wickets, I would like to know since, looked like Vijay, Dhawan, Rahane, KL Rahul did not care what was going in the middle. They did not even have the heart to fight it out. And at the other end, there was this man who has so much pride of playing for India that he kept trying and trying. He even tried to shield them but at the same time tried not to insult the so-called batsmen. The Indian captain was stranded, dejected and all this was apparent when he walked back to the pavilion after another superb 51. As a fan and cricket lover, I felt sorry for him.

I have not seen an Indian batsman in a long time to play like this, not seen someone to carry a team like this. I am sorry to say but the rest of the batters do not deserve our love or our criticism. They are not worth it.

Its time to bring the Shaw and Gill into the team because it cant get any worse than this. It pains us , as a fan , to see Kohli going through after that kind of efforts. Its a sad state of affairs.

Hope you liked the review of the first test match. Until then, stay tuned and keep reading www.shamsnwags.com

Special thanks to Debdeep for sharing this article. Debdeep Bhattacharya is a cricket fanatic with an analytical insight of the game, a hardcore Dada fan who believes everything cant be measured in stats!

Virat : An emotion not just a cricketer| Arpit Awasthi|

One fine afternoon while Randomly surfing a TV channel in a summer afternoon at Melbourne, in 2008, I came across a live match and saw a chubby youngster full of energy, emotions and adrenaline rush batting like a man possessed.

They say love at first sight exists in romance but here I was falling in love with an U19 kid, who was 2 years younger to me. I predicted to my house mates that he will be the next great of Indian cricket, to which, my mates ridiculed me!
In matter of 10 days, he was the captain of the U19 World Cup winning team. Some people labelled the celebration over the top and arrogant maybe it was, I don’t know!

Arpit Awasthi with his Idol- Virat Kohli
Arpit Awasthi with his Idol- Virat Kohli

He made his debut few months later, thanks to his potential identified by then selector colonel Vengsarkar!

It was a Luke warm beginning. In fact, till a year up until Dec 2009 he just another fringe player and then he scored his maiden century against Lanka at Eden garden. The greatness nipped under the bus was about to emerge!
He made his way to be a permanent member of the team. By the time 2011 World Cup started, he made a century in his debut World Cup match, however, he is remembered more for his quote on SRT after the World Cup Final in that tourney.

He was picked for tests in WI and was found out against shirt bowling, dropped for tests against England, and was on verge of being dropped after 2 tests in Australia. Then Perth and Adelaide happened.

The knock against SL at Hobart in ODI elevated his career to the next level. The now ill famous tour of 2014 happened ,134 runs in 10 innings, but Incidentally this was when he became more than a cricketer for me! He didn’t give up went to Australia 6 months later and scored 4 centuries and rest they say is history!

While Virat Kohli, the cricketer is well known, the qualities that I love about him are :

1. Fitness freak: The journey from chubby cheeks to six pack abs.
2. Passion: I learnt from him that we must be extremely passionate about the profession we are in.
3. Style: The way he carries himself in public his commendable just so classy.
4. Hard work and Grit: he may not be naturally gifted like Rohit but with his sheer determination and dedication he became a world class athlete.

Hope you like Aprits emotions for Virat Kohli. Stay tuned and keep reading www.shamsnwags.com for more on cricket.

Special thanks to Arpit Awasthi for contributing this article. Arpit is an avid cricket fan who carries passion on his sleeves,firebrand of Viratian. This article stands testimony to his undivided devotion. May his god smile on him.

UK Diaries- By Debdeep Bhattacharya

India plays their first Test match at Edgbaston from 1st August, which about 2 hours drive from my place but I do not have any intention to watch the match there. However, the weather is pretty English at this point of time. Unpredictable rains has already forced all clubs across London to cancel all their matches which also means my own induction to my local cricket club got halted for another week.

Edgebaston- All set to host  1st Test Match
Edgebaston- All set to host 1st Test Match
So, what is Edgbaston?? It is one of the most affluent suburbs of Birmingham, rather central Birmingham and it is also home to Warwick County Cricket Club which again happens to be the home club of Ian Bell and Jonathon Trott, 2 of the most dependable players of England.

First Test is expected have majority of Indian crowds due a number of reasons but the most important reason is, everyone wants to see Virat Kohli score that elusive hundred. Don’t be surprised if you hear “Jeetega bhai jeetega, India jeetega” loud and clear on your television sets!!! They will chant “Kholiiiiii Kohli” and that too repeatedly.

The atmosphere is there, Indians need to turn up on 1st August and play to win, that’s what few of us Indians think. Any defensive approach will put back Indians but with Kohli at the helm of the things, we don’t expect anything else other than positive cricket. So, I am expecting out of the 25,000 seats available 15,000-17,000 would be filled with Indians by the third day itself. We are not only fanatic about cricket but we worship our cricketers and our recent Demi-God is Kohli.

Now, the twist is, as Indians, we don’t want this hot and humid and so-called Indian weather. We, and we believe, Indian team also wants the English conditions to turn up when the day comes. Not only do we need to just beat them, but also but beat them in their home conditions and home weather so that Cook and Root wouldn’t have much to complain and next time Ricky Ponting gives an interview about the best batsman of the world, he is forced to take Virat’s name. We want to win it in style this time and bring it back home!!!

Hope you liked first hand experience right from Edgebaston .Until then, stay tuned and keep reading www.shamsnwags.com

Special thanks to Debdeep for sharing this article. Debdeep Bhattacharya is a cricket fanatic with an analytical insight of the game, a hardcore Dada fan who believes everything cant be measured in stats!

Kapil Dev da jawab nahi!

Born on 6th of January 1959 in a humble timber merchants family on the outskirts of Chandigarh, coached by an (then) unknown Desh Prem Azad, a career spanning 17 years from 1978 to 1994 amassing in 131 tests 5248 runs with 8 centuries, highest of 163 and 434 wickets in tests; becoming the highest wicket taker in the world at that time, still the only cricketer in the world to complete the double of 5000+ runs and 400+ wickets- we are talking about none other than our very own Living Legend- Kapil Dev Nikhanj.

Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev lifting the most coveted Prudential World Cup- 1983

In the career spanning across 225 ODI’s, Kapil scored 3783 runs, and 253 wickets. But his most important innings – the one that really mattered was played on the 18th of June 1983 -the 175 run innings. It was and still is the most striking and outstanding innings in our memories. It was a hot sultry Saturday afternoon in Bombay. I was at work trying to wrap up all my work early, so that I could leisurely listen to India play Zimbabwe, at a small unheard-of country ground in England: The Nevill ground in the village of Tunbridge Wells.It was the 3rd edition of the cricket world cup. The Prudential World Cup 1983.

India’s record at the 1st and 2nd World Cups in 1975 and 1979 had been so dismal and pathetic, that we- the fans, BCCI and even the only possible broadcaster then, Doordharshan- had zero expectations from our team. Only the finals on the 25th June were scheduled to be shown live. But we were getting live, ball by ball, radio commentary. However, this Indian team surprised us. Lead by a newly appointed captain in Kapil Dev, they beat the might West Indies In their 1st round match, lost to Australia, beat Zimbabwe, lost to the West Indies In the 2nd round. And then won against Australia. And suddenly we were with a real chance to qualify if we won this 20th match of this World Cup against a lowly Zimbabwe.

A friend of mine, Giresh joined me, as full of pleasant anticipation, we tuned the radio on to BBC , expecting an easy victory.
India batted 1st. And started disastrously. In no time Gavaskar was out 0-1, Shrikant followed 6-2, as did Mohinder Amarnath 6-3. It only got worse as Sandeep Patil was out 9-4 and then Yashpal too left 17-5. By now the alarm bells were ringing. Disheartened, frustrated and angry, I chased Giresh out of my office, switched off the radio and resumed work.

And so, I missed out hearing live, the epic and iconic, 175 runs, Kapil Dev century. By the time Giresh called me to tell me India was past 200, and I switched the radio back on, Kapil Dev had gone on to hit a ton and catapulted himself into the annals of history. The legend of Kapil Dev was born on this day.That he marshaled his troops so well and India won the World Cup is now a part of historic lore. His words to his team mates- ” only 11 can play” have now gone down in history, as have his instructions to Balwinder Singh Sandhu to bowl only out swingers;luckily the Sardarji disregarded this and bowled Greenidge with an in swinger. The most abiding memory is his catching Richards off Madanlal in the finals.

Kapil’s 1st tour was to Pakistan in 1978 as a raw teenage pace bowler. He showed a lot of promise and went from strength to strength, cementing a permanent place in the team as an all-rounder. He has many matches for India, both with the ball and the bat. In 1991 he took a ‘fiver’ to beat Australia, in their den. His 9 for 81 in Ahmadabad, albeit in a losing cause against the West Indies was a lion-hearted effort. As was his hitting Embury for 4 consecutive 6er’s in England to save a follow on.
He also led India to a test series victory in 1986 in England.

The trip to Australia in 1993 was to be his swan song but he bowled his heart out there finishing as the leading wicket taker form both sides with 26 victims, going past 400 career wickets. It took him to within sight of Sir Richard Hadley’s world record of 431 test wickets. He retired immediately on making this record his own- 432 test wickets, having served his country for 16 long years and having played 132 tests and numerous ODI’s.

My admiration for this humble but great legend doubled when I witnessed his gesture of consoling Dilip Vengsarkar after he led Haryana to a narrow 2 run win against Mumbai in a Ranji final. A living Legend!

Hope you liked revisiting the memory lane of the Prudential World Cup 1983. Until then, stay tuned and keep reading www.shamsnwags.com

A special thanks to Hemant Sood for contributing his wonderful piece of article. In his own words, as he likes to be introduced- वेला बंदा is a retired businessman.But surely he is surely a busy man. An avid cricket fan, and an encyclopedia of Cricketing Knowledge, Hemant is a very welcome addition to Shamsnwags writing panel. Hemant has been following and living cricket since his childhood and has carried the passion to his second childhood uninterrupted.

Binge Read-From CK to VK- Indian skippers in England

We are glad to inform that we have received tremendous response from various platforms and forums on our series- ‘From CK to VK- Indian skippers in England’. In today’s era where people love to ‘Binge’ watch the video series, we are glad that we have been getting queries on where do we find all the articles at one place so that we can read it on the trot. To make it very simple for the readers, we thought of providing a quick access to all the articles of the series so far.

Here’s where you find all the articles so far from the series- From CK to VK- Indian Skippers in England.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Lots more to be covered under the series and we are midway through. Until then, stay tuned and keep reading www.shamsnwags.com

The little master-a fan’s ola and adeiu

The start:
For a sport mad enthusiast, the late 1960’s and early 1970’s was a disaster. Indian sports were nowhere. 1968 Olympics had been dismal. The one bright spot was that our cricket team had finally won an away test – albeit against lowly New Zealand in 1969. Most of us were unaware that India was going on a tour of West Indies. And those of us who did know of the intended series were expecting another 5-0 result. The 1st surprise came when Vijay Merchant used his casting vote to appoint Ajit Wadekar captain causing Pataudi Jr. to pull out of the tour.

The Little Master- Sunil Gavaskar
The Little Master- Sunil Gavaskar
The team was on expected lines. Durani, Sardesai, Jaishima, Jayantilal, Venkataraghavan, Abid Ali forming the nucleus and there were also a few youngsters, Vishwanath who had debuted against the Australians the year before and a kid named Sunil Gavaskar. He had excelled for the University team.

At that time, there was only a sporadic radio commentary available to follow the series. And what with the matches ending well beyond 3 am, the failure of the radio signal and the papers reporting action a day late, we were unaware of history being made at Port of Spain.

A young hero – soon to become a cult, was born. He joined hands with Dilip Sardesai to give India a victory. Scoring 774 runs in 4 tests, winning against the likes of Sobers and Kanhai. Suddenly we had a new sports icon. One who could look a fast bowler in the eye and score against them. Hence began a phenomenon named Sunny Gavaskar, a little man who mastered fast bowling.

And the End…

The 5th and final test at Bangalore, of an intriguing India verses Pakistan in 1986 showcased the genius of Sunil Gavaskar.
It was a wicket turning square. After a very even two innings, Pakistan went into bat in the 3rd inning with their best player of spin opening. Javed Miandad used his pads and feet to negate the Indian spinners. By the time the Pakistan innings ended, India need some 200 runs to win. However, by this time the wicket was a mine field with puffs of dust raising each time the ball hit the turf.

In Tausif Ahmed and Iqbal Quaim Pakistan had probably the best spinners to exploit these co editions. But Gavaskar had other ideas. He was fluent in his batting, stepping out and playing the spinners on merit. Without any support from the other end with wickets tumbling to the experienced spinners, Sunny almost got India to victory. An umpiring error cost India the game. Gavaskar was given out, caught at slip off his forearm guard for 96. An epic inning had ended so had the official test match career of a colossus.

Sadly, this was his last game in Indian colors; he did play the ROW against England 1st class match at Lord’s making 188, caught off Ravi Shastri, and added the one missing piece to his otherwise excellent curriculum vitae. A Century at Lord’s. Adieu legend.

Hope you liked the small tribute to the little master- Sunil gavaskar. Until then, stay tuned and keep reading www.shamsnwags.com

A special thanks to Hemant Sood for contributing his wonderful piece of article. In his own words, as he likes to be introduced- वेला बंदा is a retired businessman.But surely he is surely a busy man. An avid cricket fan, and an encyclopedia of Cricketing Knowledge, Hemant is a very welcome addition to Shamsnwags writing panel. Hemant has been following and living cricket since his childhood and has carried the passion to his second childhood uninterrupted.

8th Consecutive T20 series victory for Team India

With Rohit Sharma scoring an undefeated century of 56 deliveries, punctuating with 11 boundaries and 5 sixes, India registered their eight consecutive T20 series victory. England were well 20-30 odd runs short of what could have been a winning score. England was pretty much on the money with the opening batsman giving them a fiery start. They were going strong till the 14th over where they lost Alex Hales. They managed to score 198 of 20 overs.

Hardik Pandya was the pick of the bowler who broke the back of England innings by picking 4 wickets, despite for having got clobbered for 22 runs in his first over, came back strongly to give only 16 runs of the rest 3 overs. As ‘Shri Alan Wilkins’ was referring, the grass was puffy citing the example of how the hair would look if they are done in the opposite direction of the regular partition. The expert commentators thought that there would be extra swing, but there was hardly any movement. The straight boundary was short. The England team lost the trick in the quest to over attacking.

Team India- Winning T20 Series  against England 2-1
Team India- Winning T20 Series against England 2-1
On the other hand, India was going strong steadily. After the first 3-4 overs, there was not a single over when the asking run was crossing over 11. Hard luck for Dhawan and KL as they were brilliantly caught in the field. There was clean stroke play from both the English and Indian batsmen.

Even in the first match, England comfortably scored 50 runs of first 5 overs. Kuldeep Sharma cleaned them up in the first match with the ‘Fiver’. The second match would well have gone India’s way had it not been for Alex Hales’s brilliant onslaught throughout and especially in the last over of Bhuvi where he hit 6 of the first ball and 4 of the second ball where in 12 runs were required of the last over. In fact, the English batsman handled the spin very well, not allowing Kuldeep to settle in by hitting him across the park, resulting of him being dropped from the 3rd and the Final T20.

It was an extremely positive and confident move to send our Hardik Pandya at No. 4 position ahead of Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni. Rohit Sharma was hitting cleanly and was nearing the century. India needed someone who could attack from the other end to be at par of the asking rate and allow Rohit to get to his century. Hardik played to his potential and displayed why the captain and team management has high regards for him. Rohit Sharma was awarded as Man of the Match and Series.

With the series win, India will go on a positive note and will have an upper hand against England. All the Indian batsmen are looking in prime form. Just matter of time as they head towards the ODI series starting from 12th July.

Until then, stay tuned and keep reading www.shamsnwags.com

Harfanmaula

हरफनमौला- इस शब्द से आपका परिचय क्रिकेट हिंदी कमेंटरी के दौरान अक्सर हुआ होगा होगा !खेल में बल्लेबाज़ी, गेंदबाज़ी और क्षेत्ररक्षण में उम्दा प्रदर्शं करने वाले खिलाडी को हरफनमौला कहा जाता है जिसे क्रिकेट की सरल भाषा में ‘आल राउंडर’ कहतें हैं! एक संतुलित टीम का निर्माण बहुत हद्द तक इस बात पर निर्भर करता है की दल में हरफनमौला की उपयोगिता और संख्या क्या है और वे किस हद तक परिणामकारक हैं ! भारत का इंग्लैंड दौरा शुरू होने को है, तो आइये नज़र डालें भारतीय टीम श्रेष्ठ हरफनमौला खिलाडीयों पर और देखें मौजूदा दौर में इनका क्यों अधिक महत्व है ! यहाँ चुनिंदा खिलाडियों के बारे में कहा जा रहा है जो की लेखक के अपने ज्ञान और अनुभव के अनुसार है! पाठको से अनुरोध है की वह अपनी प्रतिक्रियां हमें दें ताकि इस विषय पे एक संपूर्ण श्रंखला हम लिख सकें!

Lala Amarnath
Lala Amarnath
भारत के क्रिकेट इतिहास में लाला अमरनाथ का नाम लीजेंड के रूप में लिया जाता रहेगा। वह भारत के पहले क्रिकेटर है जिन्होंने टेस्ट क्रिकेट में शतक बनाया! १९५२/३ में वह टीम के कप्तान रहे तथा गेंद और बल्ले से उनका प्रदर्शन हमेशा मील का पत्थर साबित हुआ! २४ टेस्ट में उनका बल्लेबाज़ी औसत २४ तथा गेंदबाज़ी औसत ३२ के क़रीब है!

Vinoo Mankad
Vinoo Mankad
वीनू मांकड़ ऐसे हरफनमौला खिलाडी रहे है जिन्होंने पारी के आगाज़ से लेकर ११ नंबर तक हर स्थान पर बल्लेबाज़ी की! भारत की और से ४४ टेस्ट में उन्होंने ३१. ४७ की औसत से २१०९ रन बनाये जिनमें ५ शतक शामिल हैं तथा गेंदबाज़ी में 32. की औसत से १६२ विकेट्स लिए जिसमें ८ मर्तबा एक पारी में ५ विकेट्स लिए! १९५२ के लॉर्ड्स टेस्ट में उनका प्रदर्शन अविस्मरणीय रहा जहाँ उन्होंने पहली पारी में ७२ तथा दूसरी पारी में १८४ रन बनाये वहीँ पहली पारी में ७३ ओवर डाल कर में ५ विकेट लिए!
Salim Durani
Salim Durani

सलीम अज़ीज़ दुर्रानी एक बेहद प्रतिभावान खिलाडी रहे. उनके हरनौला खेल ने कई अवसर पर मैच की काया पलट की. मिडिल ओरेर में उनकी उपयोगी पारी हो या विकेट टेकिंग क्षमता , दुर्रानी ने हर मैच में अपनी छाप छोड़ी ! उनका २९ टेस्ट में औसत बल्लेबाज़ी २५. और गेंदबाज़ी ३५. रहा. दर्शकों की मांग पर चक्के जड़ने का उन का हुनर बड़ा ही मशहूर था.

Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev
इस कड़ी में अगर सबसे प्रभावी और सबसे ऊपर किसी का नाम लिखा जायेगा तो वह निसंदेह कपिल देव होंगे! अगर हम शब्द हरफनमौला के लिए किसी खिलाडी का रूप ढूंढें तो वह कपिल देव से शुरु होकर उनही पे ख़तम हो जायेगा! भारत के १९८३ वर्ल्ड कप के महानायक और अब तक के सर्वश्रेष्ठ आल राउंडर रहे कपिल देव ने टीम की कप्तानी से लेकर एक खिलाडी के रूप में वह कीर्तिमान स्थापित किया जैन जिन्हे भारतीय क्रिकेट इतिहास में स्वर्णिंम अक्षरों में लिखा जायेगा! टेस्ट हो एक दिवसीय अंतर्राष्ट्रीय , कपिल ने हर मैच एक वीर योद्धा के जैसे पूर्ण समर्पण से खेला! उनके खेल में जीत की ललक और जुझारूपनन हमेशा से दिखा!

१९८३ में लॉर्ड्स की बालकनी में वर्ल्ड सीप थामे हुए कपिल देव की छवि हर क्रिकेट प्रेमी के दिल ओ दिमाग पर हमेशा के लिए अंकित हो गयी है! इनके औसत और अन्य पहलु पे शायद एक सीरीज लिखना भी कम् है, पर हम फिर कभी कोशिश करेंगे!

Mohinder Amarnath
Mohinder Amarnath
लीजेंड क्रिकेटर लाला अमरनाथ की विरासत को मोहिंदर अमरनाथ ने आगे बढ़ाया और भारत ककी १९८३ वर्ल्ड कप जीत में उनका योगदान हमेशा स्मरणीय रहेगा! याद कीजिये वह पल जब अमरनाथ ने वेस्ट इंडीज का आखरी विकेट लिया और भारत विश्वविजेता बना!

मोहिंदर अमरनाथ एक ऐसे खिलाडी रहे जिससे हर कप्तान अपनी प्लेइंग ११ में रखना चाहेगा. बल्लेबाज़ी में बहुदा संकट मोचक बन के उभरे तथा गेंदबाज़ी में छोटे छोटे प्रभावशाली स्पेल्स से उन्होंने हर जीत में अहम् भूमिका निभाई! वह हमेशा से ही एक साहसी खिलाडी रहे. १९७६ के वेस्ट इंडीज टूर की ४०६ रनों प्रसिद्ध इनिंग्स दूसरी पारी में खेली गयी उनकी ८५ रन की पारी ऐतिहासिक है! मोहिंदर अमरनाथ का टेस्ट में ४२. बल्लेबाज़ी औसत रहा जबकि गेंदबाज़ी में ५५. ६८. उन्हें कप्तान अक्सर साझेदारियां तोड़ने के काम के लिए आमंत्रित करते!

Ravi Shashtri
Ravi Shashtri
भारतीय टीम के मौजूदा कोच रवि शास्त्री अपने दौर के शानदार प्लेयर रहे. हालांकि बहुत से लोग उनकी धीमी गति से की गयी बल्लेबाज़ी से नाखुश रहे मगर रवि अपने आल राउंड खेल के दम पे टीम के अभिन्न अंग बने रहे. दाहिने हाट बल्लेबाज़ी और बाएं हॉट के स्पिन से रवि ने कई यादगार प्रदर्शन किये. जरूरत पड़ने पर रवि काफी तेज़ी से भी रन बनाने की क्षमता रखते थे. फर्स्ट क्लॉस में ६ गेंद में ६ छक्के मारनेवाले वह पहले भारतीय क्रिकेटर हैं!. १९८५ की वर्ल्ड सीरीज में वे प्लेयर ऑफ़ थी टूर्नामेंट रहे. इंग्लिश कमेंटरी में रवि शास्त्री एक मशहूर नाम रहे जिन्होंने अपनी अलग शैली से सुनाने वालो के लिए खेल को और भी रोचक बनाया. इन के कई क्लिशे अब तक मशहूर हैं. उनका टेस्ट मैच वा करीयर शानदार रहा जहा गेंदबाज़ी में ४०. की १५१ब्विकेट लिए वही ३५. की औसत से बल्लेबाज़ी जिसमें ११ शतक शामिल हैं. ऑस्ट्रेलिया के विरुद्ध सिडनी में बनाये २०६ रन उनका सर्वश्रेष्ठ स्कोर रहा. लेकिन यह उन की आखिरी टेस्ट सीरीज भी थी!
Manoj Prabhakar
Manoj Prabhakar
८० और ९० के दशक में मनोज प्रभाकर ने भारतीय टीम में अपने आक्रामक खेल और हरफनमौला प्रदर्शनं से बहुत संतुलन बनाये रखा. उन्होंने पारी के आगाज़ से ७ नंबर तक बल्लेबाज़ी की और अपनी माध्यम गति की स्विंग से गेंदबाज़ी में विविधता लायी. प्रभाकर हमेशा से सुर्ख़ियों में रहने वाले खिलाडियों में रहे! टेस्ट में उनका औसत : गेंदबाज़ी ३७३० और बल्लेबाज़ी ३२.६५ ( १ शतक)!

९०’स का दौर – अजय जडेजा और रोबिन सिंह:
९० के दशक में काम या यूँ कह लीजिए कोई भी ऐसा हरफनमौला नहीं हुआ जिसका प्रभाव हम सब पर हमेशा रहे. कुछ अनूठे रिकार्ड्स के अलावा टीम में हमेशा आल राउंडर की कमी खलती रही.अजय जडेजा और रोबिन सिंह ने ९० के दशक में कई आकर्षक एक दिवसीय पारियां खेली. उनकी रनिंग बिटवीन विकेट्स और आपसी तालमेल गज़ब का था. कई मौको में दोनों ने टीम को संकट से निकाल जीत तक पहुंचाया। क्षेत्ररक्षण में जडेजा और रोबिन सिंह लाजवाब रहे या यूँ कह सकते भारतीय टीम जो आज एक बेहतरीन फील्डिंग यूनिट भी कही जाती है इसकी नीव उस वक़्त इन खिलाडियों द्वारा राखी गयी. टेस्ट मैचेस में दोनों का प्रदर्शन कुछ ख़ास नहीं रहा जहाँ अजय जडेजा ने १५ टेस्ट खेले वहीँ रोबिन सिंह ने अपने करियर में केवल १ टेस्ट मैच खेला.

Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan
१९९६ वर्ल्ड कप से मनोज प्रभाकर की विदाई के में हरफनमौला खिलाडी का अकाल इरफ़ान पठान के प्रदर्शन से ख़तम हुआ. बाएं हात के फ़ास्ट मध्यम स्विंग से उन्होंने सबका ध्यान आकर्षित किया और बल्लेबाज़ी में भी वह आक्रामक दिखें!२००६ के पाकिस्तान दौरे में उनको हैट-ट्रिक टेस्ट क्रिकेट इतिहास के सबसे अच्छे ओपनिंग स्पेल्स में गिनी जाती रहेगी. टेस्ट में पठान का गेंदबाज़ी औसत 32. २६ रहा तथा बल्लेबाज़ी ३१. ५७!
Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh
२०११ वर्ल्ड कप में भारत की जीत के सूत्रधार रहे युवराज सिंह किसी परीचाय के मोहताज नहीं. उन्होंने गेंद और बल्ले दोनों से जो प्रदर्शन किया उसका परिणाम भारत ने २ अप्रैल २०११ का वर्ल्ड कप २८ साल बाद जीत को चखा. उनकी गेंदबाज़ी में हमेशा विविधता रही जो की रन रोकने के साथ हमेशा ब्रेक थ्रू की तालाश में होती थी. फील्ड पर युवराज एक चीता की क्षेत्ररक्षण कटे और उनकी बल्लेबाज़ी के तोह क्या कहने. किसी प्रेमी से पूछिए युवराज की बल्लेबाज़ी आत्ममुग्धा करती हुई दिखती है. इनके बाद यूँ तो कई खिलाडियों ने टीम में पदार्पण किया प्रार्शन विशुद्ध हरफनमौला की श्रेणी में नहीं रखा जा सकता!

आज का दौर:

मौजूदा दौर में जिन्हे हम आलराउंडर की संज्ञा दे सकतें वह केवल हार्दिक पंड्या और रविंद्र जडेजा तक सीमित है!

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja
नाम से मशहूर रविंद्र जडेजा भारतीय स्पिन जोड़ी के महत्त्वपूर्ण स्तम्भ है! उन्होंने समय समय पे अपनी उपयोगिता सिद्ध की क! गेंदबाज़ी में जडेजा हमेसना एक विकेट टेकर के रूप में देखे जाते जैन हालाँकि बल्ले से उनका प्रदर्शन बेहद औसत रहा है परन्तु अपने चुस्त क्षेत्ररक्षण से वे टीम को एक संतुलन अवश्य प्रदान करते है! जडेजा के घरेलु रिकॉर्ड इस बात का की वह एक लम्बी रेस के खिलाडी हैं. वे भारत के अब तक एकमात्र खिलाडी हैं जिनके नाम फर्स्ट क्लास क्रिकेट में तीन तिहरे शतक शामिल हैं! टेस्ट में उनका गेंदबाज़ी का औसत २३. है जिसमें मैच में ९ दफा ५ विकेट और एक दफा १० विकेट ( २०१६ इंग्लैंड के खिलाफ चेन्नई टेस्ट) तथा बल्लेबाज़ी औसत २९.१७ है. उम्मीद करते है आगे इंग्लैंड दौरे पे उनके प्रदर्शन से भारत की जीत की चमक बढे!
Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya
मौजूदा समय में हार्दिक पंड्या एकमात्र खिलाडी हैं सर्वश्रेस्थ हरंमौला कह सकते हैं. हालाले साउथ अफ़्रोका दौरे पे उन्होंने बल्ले से ऐसी पारी खेली की उनकी तुलना महान कपिल देव तक से कर दी गयी. हालांकि उन्हें अभी काफी लम्बा सफर तये करना मुश्किल दौरे में उनका योगदान बेहद महत्त्वपूर्ण है फिर वह चाहे खेले किसी भी प्रारूप में क्यों न हो. पंड्या का टेस्ट में गेंदबाज़ि औसत ३६.७१ तथा बल्लेबाज़ी औसत ३६.८० है जिसमें एक शतक/३ अर्ध शतक शामिल हैं! उन्होंने अपने पहली ही टेस्ट में एक आतिशबाज़ शतक लगाया है!

भारत का इंग्लैंड दौरे शुरू हो चूका है ! जुड़े रहिये www.shamsnwags.com

Settling the scores-From Wankhede to Lords

If all of us suffer from ‘Brain Fade’ at some point in time, there are few moments from the lovely game of cricket that never fades off, instead, gets etched in the memories and we cherish it for ever. Be it sheer joy after victory or be it feeling of revenge and vengeance. At this point, let’s go back down to the memory lane, straight back to the 2002 Natwest Trophy’s final match in our latest edition- Settling the scores-From Wankhede to Lords.

Even in the middle of his dream, Saurav Ganguly would never have thought that he could ever do the most shocking thing in his life. Never will he will ever do this in future. I clearly recall Dada’s action as a response to Andrew Flintoff’s shameful act at Wankhede, which is considered as Mecca of Cricket in India. It all started in January 2002 when England came down to India to play 6 ODI’s. India was leading the series 3-1. One victory for India could have helped to seal the series. 5th match (at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi ), England posted 271/5 in their stipulated 50 overs.

Skipper Hussain missed out on his half century by one run while Nick Knight got run out at 105 Runs. Flintoff scored a quick fire 52 of 39 deliveries. In reply to England’s total, India fell short by 3 runs even after a good start at the top order. Flintoff managed to get rid of Dinesh Mongia.

England had won the 5th game and the last match was at Wankhede- Mumbai. Harbhajan Singh was on a song and took a Fifer, restricting England to 255-10. Indian openers Sachin and Sehwag out early. The match was evenly poised and results could have been in favour of either of the teams. Skipper Hussain brought Freddie Flintoff toward the 39th over. He was in good form and his luck with the batting had made him confident. He was charging down and his body language was very different. He dismissed Mohammed Kaif at 20, who was trying to build his innings. Ajay Ratra and our very own Bombay Duck- Ajit Agarkar got out in quick succession. He didn’t manage to trouble the scorers and went off for a duck.

Settling Scores - From Wankhede to Lords
Andrew Flintoff celebrating after victory in Mumbai

England needed 3 wickets. The stage was set for Freddie Flintoff. The only way he could salvage back pride for his team was by taking wickets and winning the game. He managed to dismiss Bhajji in the 48th over. India needed 11 runs of the last over with 2 wickets remaining. Hussain had saved Flintoff for the death overs and possibly for the last over. Freddie was pumped up and raring to finish off the Indian innings. From the looks of it, it gave a feel that he was on some energy enhancing substance.

Anil Kumble was on strike and Hemang Badani was on the non- striker’s end. First ball, Kumble hit towards the extra covers. The ball was traveling quickly towards the boundary until the Ashley Giles gathered it. It fetched 2 runs for Kumble. Badani was still not on strike. Next Badani sent him back.

8 runs needed of 4 balls. That was the equation for India. Badani was on strike. There was some hope left. He stepped towards the off side and hit the ball on the leg side towards long on and scampered through for 2 runs. Now then, India needed 6 runs of 3 deliveries. It could have been anyone’s game.

Hemang took strike. Flintoff came charging in. Badani missed and the ball went to the keeper. Kumble had made it half way towards the pitch. The keeper tried to throw the ball on the stumps and missed. Flintoff was clever enough to gather the ball in his follow through ran towards the stumps and threw himself along with the ball on the stumps before Kumble could cover his ground. The umpires were in doubts and hence called for third umpires decision. The replay confirmed that Kumble was run-out by a mile.

The score card looked 250 for 9 with India wanting 6 runs of 2 deliveries. In came Javagal Srinath. Flintoff had planned to bowl him an in-swinging Yorker. Srinath went towards the offside and tried to glance it through leg side, ended up getting yorked. The entire Mumbai crowd went silent. Flintoff was running towards the keeper, removed his T-Shirt and propelled it in the air and was running on the ground. It was the most shocking and heart-breaking scene on the cricket ground for the Indians and it certainly didn’t go down well in the minds of the Indian players and supporters. Many a times, people don’t remember what was outcome of the series. The only thing they remember certain moments and actions happening on the field. The series was tied yet they were under shock after the Flintoff’s T-shirt incident feeling as if India had lost the series.

Later in the year in June, India were traveling to England to play the Natwest Series. Out of the 5 matches till the finals, India had lost only one match, and one match was washed out. The expectations were high to win the finals.

It was 13th July 2002 in Lords, India were up against the host in the Finals of the Natwest 2002 Series Naseer Hussain had won the toss and elected to bat. Marcus Trescothick and skipper Hussain had taken the complete measure of the Indian bowlers and compiled good partnership. Andrew Flintoff scored a quick fire 40 of 32 balls. Captain Hussain was in complete control and was guiding the team to a big total in the big final.

Settling the scores- From Wankhede to Lords
Saurav Ganguly- Settling the score at Lords

England managed to score 325/5 in 50 overs. This was a highest total for a team to chase back then in the ODIs. In reply to England’s innings, India were at 314/6 and needing 12 off 16 balls. In came the big Freddie steaming from the bowling end. The memories from Wankhede were still very fresh. He had already created scars in the minds of the Indians with his act in Mecca of Indian cricket- Wankhede.

Flintoff had taken 2 quick fire wickets dismissing Bhaji and Anil Kumble in the 48h over. The score didn’t move. India still need 12 runs of 13 balls. Kaif was playing sensibly and positively and was not missing a single opportunity to grab a single. India still had to score 6 runs of 7 deliveries. Defeat was staring at India’s feet. A wicket there would have been the final nail on the coffin. It was 49th over and Darren Gough was running quickly to finish off his over. Kaif tried hitting the ball towards Mid-off but it took an outside edge and went up in the air towards the boundary at the third man region and Flintoff could not cut it off. It was a sigh of relief as

India needed 2 runs of 6 balls. Zak (Zaheer Khan) was on strike. The situation in the dressing room was very intense. Dada was standing at the famous balcony of Lords biting his nails. Like in the last match at Wankhede, Flintoff came to bowl the final over. He was charging towards his bowling mark-up He had already created a dent in the Indian innings by striking twice in the his last over (48th over). It was as if he had come out to rub salt over the injury. There was something else running in Saurav Ganguly’s mind. Freddie came steaming towards Zak. He wanted to bowl a Yorker, ended up bowling a full toss. Both batsmen ran for a quick risky run. It was a throw and a miss and Kaif had to dive and stretch full length to cover his ground. Kaif got up and charged back for another run as it was an over throw. India managed to chase the highest total back then. Ganguly had glued his eyes on the victory run. As soon Kaif took the second run, he took off his T-shirt, propelled in the air and of course gave a mouth full and returned the insult done by Flintoff in India’s Mecca of cricket- Wankhede.

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