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.

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

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.

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
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13
Part 14
Part 15

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

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

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


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

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.

Hope you liked- Settling the scores-From Wankhede to Lords.Until then, stay tuned and keep reading

Journey to MCA Pune MI VsCSK

Here’s have a look at the journey full of fun and entertainment of the cricket fans to the MCA stadium Pune to watch the battle between the 2 giants Mumbai Indians Vs CSK. Its ShamsnWags’s journey along with Arpit Awasthi and Gavin.
It was a beautiful journey from Mumbai to Pune.

The squad for Mumbai Indians was :
Ishan Kishan (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Evin Lewis, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Akila Dananjaya, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah, Mustafizur Rahman, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Tiwary, Ben Cutting, Pradeep Sangwan, Jean-Paul Duminy, Mitchell McClenaghan, Tajinder Singh, Sharad Lumba, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Anukul Roy, Mohsin Khan, MD Nidheesh, and Adam Milne

CSK Squad:
MS Dhoni (c & wk), Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Shardul Thakur, Faf du Plessis, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Karn Sharma, N Jagadeesan, and David Willey.

सुबह का भूला, जो वापस न आया….

सन १९८४ की बात है. बाबा का ट्रांसफर बॉम्बे से नासिक हुआ था, और हम सब नासिक चले गए. नया शहर, नया स्कूल, नए दोस्त, सबकुछ नया. दो पुराने साथी साथ आये थे, मेरा क्रिकेट और हमारा ‘भारत ‘ ब्लैक एंड वाइट टी वी. टी वी बस मैच देखने के काम में आता था , बाकी खाली समय घर के सामने वाली सड़क पर टेस्ट मैचेस खेलने में गुजरता था और अखबारों में क्रिकेट फॉलो करता था. सारे अंतर्राष्ट्रीय और रणजी मुकाबलों की जानकारी कंठस्थ होती थी.
१९८४ में अजहरुद्दीन के बारे पहली बार पढ़ा . दुलीप ट्राफी में २१२ रन की उनकी शानदार पारी के बारे पढ़कर लगा की यह तो कोई नया खब्बू बल्लेबाज मिल गया है भारत को. लेकिन कहाँ जगह पाएगा टीम में, जिस में गावस्कर, गायकवाड, वेंगसरकर, मोहिंदर अमरनाथ, संदीप पाटिल और रवि शास्त्री पहले से ही जगह जमाए हुए थे. १९८५ की इंग्लैंड के खिलाफ सीरीज में दिल्ली का टेस्ट भारत हारा. कपिल देव और संदीप पाटिल को चयन समिति ने गैरजिम्मेदाराना बल्लेबाज़ी करने के जुर्म में टीम से बाहर कर दिया, और संदीप पाटिल की जगह ली मोहम्मद अजहरुद्दीन ने. कलकत्ता के इडन गार्डन्स में यह टेस्ट खेला जाना था. १३ साल की उम्र में, मुझे फ़िक्र हुई अजहर की. एक लाख दर्शकों (हां, उस ज़माने में ५ दिन का टेस्ट मैच देखने भी इतनी तादाद में दर्शक आते थे) के सामने उसे अपना करतब दिखाना था. उम्र मात्र २१ की थी. भारत के ३ विकेट १२६ के स्कोर पर गिरे थे, और अजहर मैदान में उतरे. उनके बारे जो पढ़ा था, उस से मेरे मन में एक मज़बूत शरीर वाले नौजवान की छवि बन गई थी, मगर टी वी पर उन्हें देखते ही यह छवि ध्वस्त हो गई. किसी अकालपीडित ऊँट के जैसा दिखनेवाला यह लड़का क्या कर लेगा, मैंने सोचा !

Mohammad Azharuddin
Mohammad Azharuddin

लेकिन अगले ही ओवर में मुझे जो देखने को मिला, उसकी कल्पना भी यह १३ साल का क्रिकेट सीखने की कोशिश करनेवाला बच्चा कर नहीं सकता था. नॉर्मन कोवान्स ने लेग और मिडिल स्टंप पर एक तेज़ योर्कर फेंकी. अजहर ऑफ़ स्टंप की तरफ सरकने लगे. पलभर के लिए लगा की वह इस तेज़ गेंद से अपने पैरों की उंगलियाँ डर के मारे बचा रहे है. मैंने सोचा, गया अब बन्दे का लेगस्टंप, और ख़तम हो गया इसका करियर. उतने में अजहर ने गेंद के साथ बल्ले को इतनी नाजुक नज़ाकत से भिड़ाया, कि गेंद जितनी तेज़ी से उनकी तरफ आई थी, उस से दुगनी रफ़्तार से फाइन लेग बाउंड्री के पार हो गयी. कोवंस के हाथ, जो विकेट मिलने की उम्मीद में ऊपर उठे थे, इस असंभवनीय स्ट्रोक को देख कर सर पर आ गए, और वे अपना सर थामकर पिच पर बैठ गए. यह था अजहर का टेस्ट क्रिकेट का पहला स्कोरिंग स्ट्रोक. मुझे अब भी याद है, मानो जैसे कल ही देखा हो. उसके बाद वाले दो टेस्ट में भी अजहर ने दो और शतक जडे, और अगले १५ सालों तक वे भारत की टीम के अविभाज्य हिस्सा बने रहे. इस दौरान उन्होंने कई जबरदस्त पारियां खेली, और गेंदबाजों को अपने निराले तकनीक और अनोखी बल्लेबाजी से भौंचक्का करते रहे.
१९९० में वे भारत के कप्तान भी बने, और अपने समय में भारत के सबसे यशस्वी कप्तान भी रहे. कई लोग, जिनमे बड़े बड़े पूर्व और विद्यमान क्रिकेटर भी थे, अजहर की बल्लेबाजी के कायल हो गए. मुझ जैसे सामान्य फैन्स की तो गिनती भी मुश्किल थी. यह वह दौर था, जब भारत ने १९८३ का विश्व कप जीता था, और क्रिकेट को भारत में अच्छा ख़ासा ग्लैमर प्राप्त होने लगा था. १९८५ की बेन्सन एंड हेजेस विश्व प्रतियोगिता भी भारत ने जीत ली, और फिर तो भारत में क्रिकेट एक धर्म बन गया. क्रिकेट में पैसा भी बहुत आने लगा. अजहर के लिए यह माहौल बड़ा ही अच्छा था. हैदराबाद की गलियों में पला एक सामान्य मुस्लिम परिवार का यह बच्चा अब देश की धड़कन बन गया था. घर में अच्छे पैसे आने लगे थे. नौरीन से शादी हुई, दो बच्चे हुए, फिर शायद नौरीन अजहर के साथ कदम से कदम मिलाने से नाकाम रही, अजहर से ज्यादा उनका ध्यान अजहर के द्वारा कमाए पैसे पर ज्यादा रहने लगा, और शादी टूट भी गई. जिसे मूवी देखना बचपन में मन था, उस लड़के ने एक फिल्म हीरोइन से (संगीता बिजलानी ) दूजा ब्याह रचाया. अजहर सोशल लाइफ में सीढियां तेज़ी से चढ़ने लगे थे. हालाकि इस का कुछ ख़ास असर उनके खेल पर कभी न पड़ा. वे रनों की बौछार लगते रहे, और अपनी मुस्तैद फील्डिंग और क्रिकेट की अच्छी समझ से टीम की जान बन गए. सारे देश को इस छोटे परिवार के लड़के पर नाज़ था, जिसने देश का नाम ऊंचा किया था. अरमानी के डिज़ाइनर सूट्स और गॉगल्स, BMW की कारें, आलीशान घर, क्या नहीं था अजहर के पास ?
Mohammad Azharuddin
मगर पैसे की लत बड़ी बुरी ! १९९६ के साउथ आफ्रिका के सेरिज में कुछ बुकीज से अजहर के सम्बन्ध होने की, और उन्होंने साउथ अफ्रीका के कप्तान हैन्सी क्रोनिए की पहचान एक बुकी के साथ कराने की खबर बाहर आई, और अजहर क्रिकेट की दुनिया में खलनायक माने जाने लगे. एक फ़रिश्तानुमा क्रिकेटर , जिसकी शोहरत और दौलत देखकर हम सब बड़े खुश होते थे, अब लोगों को चोर नज़र आने लगा. मुक़द्दमा सन २००० तक चला, और अजहरुद्दीन के क्रिकेट खेलने पर आजीवन प्रतिबन्ध लगाया गया. हालाकि वह प्रतिबन्ध सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने २०१२ में शिथिल किया, लेकिन तब अजहर ४९ सालों के हो चुके थे, और अब अंतर्राष्ट्रीय क्रिकेट खेलने के काबिल नहीं रहेे. १९९९ में उन्होंने अपना आखरी टेस्ट खेला, जिस में भी उन्होंने शतक लगाया, और अपने पहले और आखरी टेस्टों में शतक लगाने वाले चुनिंदा क्रिकेटरों की फेरिस्त में वे शामिल हो गए.
अब जब भी किसी से अजहर की बात करूँ, तो लोग पहले मैच फिक्सिंग की ही बात करते है. लेकिन इसके बावजूद मुझे अजहर बहुत पसंद है. नासिक में हम सब फैन्स उन्हें “मामू” कहते थे. मामू बल्ले को ऐसे पकड़ता था, जैसे कोई चित्रकार अपना ब्रश पकड़ता है, और उस बल्ले से कई सुन्दर पारियों की तस्वीरें हमारे लिए मैदान के कैनवास पर बनाता था. उसकी कलाइयाँ किसी मजदूर की कलाइयों सी मजबूत थी, लेकिन उनका मुड़ना किसी नर्तकी के विभ्रम सा मनमोहक होता था. मानो वे गेंद को बहुत प्यार से दुलारता था, और बाउंड्री के पार भेजता था. जैसे कोई माँ अपने बच्चे को किसी की बर्थडे पार्टी के लिए तैयार करके भेजती हो. मामू का हर स्ट्रोक ऐसा ही रहता था, किसी क्यूट बच्चे जैसा. जिसे देखते ही चूमने को दिल करे. जैक बैनिस्टर ने मामू के बारे कहा था, “ He nonchalantly eases into such strokes, which the greatest of batsmen can’t dream to dream of.” हिंदी के सबसे बेहतरीन कमेंटेटर सुशील दोशी कहते थे, “इनकी कलाइयों में मानो बॉल बेअरिंग है, वे चलने लगती है तो रूकती ही नहीं.”
मुझे ऐसा ही मामू याद है. मैंने उनका मैच फिक्सिंग वाला मुक़द्दमा फॉलो भी नहीं किया. मुझे अपने मन में बनी हुई मामू की तस्वीर बिगाड़नी नहीं है.
अभी भी किसी क्रिकेट प्रेमी से मामू की बात करता हूँ, और वह आदमी मैच फिक्सिंग की बात करने लगता है, तो मेरा मन चीख उठता है,
“ये क्या कर बैठे मामू ???”

4 Times World Champions!

Victorious U-19 Team India
World Champions

A successful person Is the one who has got determination, aspiration, who believes in hard work and discipline. An individual success can well be translated into a team success. The future of Team India, presently the World Champions, is secured with the strong wall- Rahul Sharad Dravid.
Not taking anything away from the U-19 boys, it’s the guidance of Dravid that has seen Team India win the Under -19 World Cup. He was always the captain’s Go-to man. Donned Wicket keeper’s gloves when the captain required, opened the innings, played a sheet anchors role in the middle order, rolled his arms- were some of role that he has often played.
Commitment towards cricket during his playing days was so addictive and irresistible that he carried on the mantle into coaching the Junior team. No reward could have been better than a World Cup Victory by his Under- 19 boys!
4 times World Champion-Under 19 Team India. This was an unbeaten performance as India didn’t lose a single match. Ironically, India played its first match and last match Australia. This tournament has seen India produce some wonderful players. To name a few- Captain Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Manjot Kalra, Nagarkoti, Ishan Porel & Shivam Mavi . This victory will remain in the memories for a long time to come. Some of them can walk into the senior team anytime.
Prithvi Shaw marshaled his troops very well. He missed on his century by 6 runs in the first match against Australia. Had he stayed on to the wicket, he could have scored a century in the Finals. Shubman Gill scored a brilliant unbeaten century against Pakistan in the semi Finals. A brilliant bowling spell by Ishan Porel made sure that India Won by a whopping margin of 203 runs. Manjot Kalra made the most of it when it mattered. He sealed the victory with an unbeaten 101 runs. Kamlesh Nagarkoti has been sensational in the U-19 Circuit. He crossed almost 150 Kmph in the speed gun in one of the match.
A big congratulation to the Under-19 Team India and Big Salute to Rahul Dravid.

Stand by you

Stand By You
Stand By You

It was Day 5 of the second test, with a very heavy heart and thousands of thoughts, I pushed myself to drive back home. The day went quiet as India lost the second test match and the series to the Proteas. I could feel how millions of Indian fans would be going through. Let down, dejected, angry and emotions flowing all over. I called Shams and to my anticipation, he too was feeling the same. In no mood to discuss cricket further, I didn’t have much courage left to ask him the obvious question, yet I gathered myself and asked, “When is 3rd test starting?” An awkward silence that was created for 30 seconds, broke with his firm reply – “From 24th January”.
I said “ok…Let me call back in sometime”. As I started driving and tune into FM (which is usual) there was this song playing ‘Stand by you’. I called up Shams again and said “Everyone is criticising the team for the poor show. Do you still believe in this team?” I knew the answer but somehow wanted to check. In came reply “Yes very much”. The background music ‘Stand by you’ suddenly sounded loud and clear. The self-belief started building once again. We may be certainly down, but not out. Don’t write us off. Fortune favours the brave. Fighting back strongly is one of the trait of this current team.
A ‘Green Top’ at the Wanderers is waiting for the Indian batsman who will be found wanting. It will be grit and determination with which the Indian batsman will have to play to shoo off the demons and the critics. We are very much sure that the team selection will be done on the basis of the requirement and not due to non- cricketing reasons.
Our bowlers are doing a commendable job and as MS Dhoni rightly said Test cricket is all about taking 20 wickets and batting for longer sessions. We are accurate on former, have to work on the later apart from not making silly mistakes. In both tests, we have witnessed that the basics of cricket were not followed. Dropping catches, run-outs and sloppy fielding are considered as crime. But that’s what test cricket about.
The batting and fielding department will have to make amends. The batsman will have to value their wickets, and will have to refrain from playing any false or loose shot, making the South African bowlers toil hard to earn their wicket.
Nothing to take away from the South Africans who scored on all aspects in both tests matches and will be really pumped up for a white wash.
Virat & Co – Lot has been written and spoken about the team’s loss and the way team has played. All we need is a strong fight back. Winning the third match is the only way to salvage the pride. This is not the end of the road. All teams have one through this and our team is no different. It’s just a learning curve and we will sail through.
Signing off by cheering loud -We stand by you!