Category Archives: Favorite

Harsha Online!!

If some one were to wake me up at 2 am in the mid night and ask me to name one commentator, with out slightest of hesitation, Harsha would be the first name that will come out of my mouth. Some of the other names that would come while one talks about commentators (but not at mid night) would be Sunny Gavaskar, Shaz- Ravi Shastri, Wilko- Allan Wilkins, Waaz-Wasim Akram , Ian Chappel, Tony Greig and mums favorite boy Geoff Boycott.
Harsha A. Bhogle was born in Hyderabad, 19th July 1961 in Maharashtrian Konkanastha Brahmin family. Advertising was his first love. He graduated from IIM-Ahmedabad in 1985. His first commentary stint was a Ranji Trophy Match played between Hyderabad and Kerala, when he was just 19!!
Any guesses on his international debut as a commentator? It was way back in 1992, he was invited by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation during India’s Australian Tour. Incidentally it was our Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar’s first tour of Australia. Since 1998, he has been presenting live cricket from all around the world for ESPN-Star Sports. He has covered more than 50 test matches and almost 300 ODIs.

He has been hosting shows like Harsha Online and Harsha Unplugged.
In any wild stretch of imagination one can’t imagine that he is Indian Cricket’s first non player celebrity. One peculiar style I have noticed about him and that’s what makes me wonder whether he is a left hander.Whenever he speaks  his left hands does lot of movements and his fingers keep on moving as if he were writing in air. His face is all smiles and always wears a stretched smile on his face all the while and he doe not have any qualms about scarcity of hair on his head.

Anil Kumble would be a proud person to know the fact that he is Harsha’s all time favorite player. Anil is a big heart, very tough and extremely understated soft spoken person. He likes the players who let their performance speak for themselves which includes Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. He likes Ganguly for his aggression. As a child his cricketing idols were Sunil Gavaskar and BS Chandrasekhar and he used to copy their style more often than not. His personal favorite test match is the one India beat England at Leeds in 2002.According to him, India took bold decisions, batted brilliantly in bowler friendly conditions and the spinners won the game on the last day.
One thing I remember is that in one of the matches, there was some discussion going on about the coaches using too much of technology, they use laptops etc. So the fellow commentator asked him if he uses a laptop, to which he quietly replied that
“I am still working on my desktop to earn a laptop”
Harsha clearly sets an example of how a person can be extremely witty yet have his feet on the ground!!

Test Of The Character

It would be a cardinal sin to say that the Test Match is on the verge of a downfall. There is no comparison when it comes to Test Cricket. People have their own set of opinions that by the advent of the T20 or better called as IPL, there would be a downfall in Test Matches. The T20 is an interesting format of the game and it gets over fast, but it is no match with the Test cricket.

A person has to earn his Test Cap by proving that he has the capacity to play for long hours.It is not a bang bang kind of cricket. It’s all about survival on the wickets. The temperament of the person is put to test. The best part is that it’s played in sessions. The morning session is the vital one where the first hour of the play decides the forte of the match. It swings and bends. If the wickets start falling in the first session, it becomes very difficult to stay in the match.
In the shorter format of the game, even if the wickets fall, if the score is at par, still there are chances to win. However, in test cricket, even if you have score on the board, it does not make much of difference if you cannot survive for time. Test match gives affair chance to the bowlers.
The team will certainly win who knows how to take those 20 wickets. There’s a proper test of the character of the bowler, how much purchase he can get from the wicket. When it comes to limited over cricket, the economy rate of the spinners is too high. In test cricket, spinners can be lethal from the third day onwards. Bowlers like Muralidharan, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble can take the game away from the opponents almost single handed.
The bowlers of high caliber go on and on and they always want to be in the game and bowl the maximum overs. The moment they see there is turn and bounce, there’s a bright and a killing smile on the face of the spinners.

There is no doubt whatsoever that Yuvraj Singh is extremely talented player and he can fit into any team in the 1 when it comes to a T20 format or a limited over format. But he himself is never sure of his inclusion in the 11 member in the Test Side. He has been playing the ODIs for a long time now and has pretty good scores against his name. He is a tremendous fielder as well. Yet the beauty of Test Match is that still his place is not cemented his place in test side.

Test cricket is all about playing big innings and having the metal to stay on the wicket. The Australians are more worried when VVS Laxman is on the crease. They respect Sachin, but they fear VVS Laxman because he has always come for Indians rescue when they play against Australia. Even the best looking balls are sent to the boundary line by him such is his timing.
It is the Test Matches that has given him such amount of respect. He is called as Very Very Special Laxman although his name is Vangipurapu Venkata Sai Laxman .When it comes to ODI, even his place is not fixed in the playing 11 and he is not considered as a threat. The moment it comes to Test Match, he is considered as the ‘Thorn In The Arm’

Test Match is played only in white uniform, that thing is not yet tampered with in the Test Matches, while limited over games are played in colorful uniforms. Earlier even ODIs would be played in Whites.

The best of the reverse swing is seen in the Test Match. Unlike ODIs, test match is played with the red ball, so it does not get that much dirty that a player can’t cite it. Reverse swing is always on when the ball is old. The ball has to be worked on. One side of the ball has to be looked after and continuously shined. Pakistanis have this art of looking after the ball. One would always notice this in the test matches that ever player would shine the ball and pass it on to the other. There will be a fielder placed near to the bowlers starting mark so that he shines and gives the ball to the bowler.

In ODIs there’s less chance of playing with the old ball as it gets very dirty and it’s mandatory to change the ball after 35 overs. In test matches, one has the option to change the ball after 80 overs. They can still play with the old ball if they want to.
I can go on writing on and on like the Test Match will be played on for years from now on and on. On the ending note, please post your comments on What’s your Take on the Test Matches!!

Mumbai’s New Rocking Stadium- D Y Patil .


Day 27th of April 2008, all roads lead to this new stadium which was waiting to host first match of international reckoning for itself. I was on my way to watch this debacle. Even before I could go to the stadium my day was made. We were on the road while suddenly I could listen to the siren of the security jeep. Some thing passed whistling besides us.
My eye caught the glimpse of this bus and this bus was none other than Team Mumbai Indian Team Bus.

I had already gone mad even as I saw this bus, chasing it was the only thing in my mind. There I caught the glimpse of some players, but the thing that mattered most and that made my day was to get a sight of Swash Buckling Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar himself. He was seated in the front seat of the bus and there my eyes like an x-ray from the dark glass spotted him. I went berserk and started chanting his name. Soon I waived at him and the biggest reward I got was that he waived back to me. Soon the team bus passed whistling into the stadium and then we had to give up the chase as we were not allowed to enter from there.

Enter the stadium after lots of chaos regarding the entry gate; there I see the absolute treat. Lush green outfield and absolutely good seating arrangement. The entire look of the stadium was mind blowing and with the crowd of Mumbai filling in, it was absolutely amazing. As usual the chanting off ‘Sachin Sachin’ was going on top of the voice even though Sachin was not playing in this match. The crowd was enjoying every bit of it, but only point of loosing interest was that the home team was loosing the match.

The match was very well organized at the DY Patil stadium wherein you could find less of police man, but more of security guards and the college volunteers guiding the spectators.

Even Adam Gilchrist who hit a superb ton was amazed of this stadium and crowd that he went on records saying that DY Patil stadium is at par with any other International Stadium. The Mexican waive was amazing as usual and the pitch was also good.

Only point of worry that after 3 matches, rest of the matches are shifted from DY Patil to the Wankhede Stadium. There’s nothing wrong with the ground or stadium only point of consideration is that it’s far away from the players hotel. Its some 40 km away from the hotel. The players had to travel a lots and there is no single ground close to their hotel.

But what ever DY Patil Ground had to offer, it was awesome and the people are going to cherish the memories.

Legendary Role Model!!

While it comes to cricket and even as one talk about Role Models, the 2 names that would surface would be our Master Blaster Swashbuckling Mumbai Bomber
‘Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar’ and the Sultan of Swing ‘Wasim Akram’

As a youngster, any one would definitely look upon to the Master Blaster as a Role Model. He has played over two decades and still going strong…
His bat speaks for all, and it really speaks in tons and volumes. He does not have to show his aggression other than with his bat. A little grin of his and there goes the ball off the park when he smashes the bowler with utter disdain.

One has to really learn from him how to maintain that craftsman ship while playing and also how to handle stardom. Sachin … Sachin is the chant that goes all over the stadium while he plays in any part of the world. Can’t even think that he would have ever let his ego come on to his way in his illustrious career so far. I think in the current Indian Team, some of the players should have a look at it and make amends in their way of batting and behavior. One person I would like to single out would be Sreesanth. He is an aggressive lad but he needs to channalize his aggression and energy in to his bowling and he has to let the Cherry do the talk on the field rather than his mouth.
Sachin is one of the living legend and way ahead to go and he is owner of the company
‘Most Number of Test & ODI Hundreds’ .

One of the sign boards at the Sydney Cricket Ground(SCG) displayed “Go and commit mistakes they would be ignored coz even God watch when Sachin bats”( Source- Saurabh Sharma)

Moving on from the batting talks to the bowling, who can forget the all time lefty bowling legend yes that’s Wasim Akram aka Wasim Bhai.

I am very sure that every left arm fast budding bowler would have Wasim as a Role Model. There would be the likes of the McGrath’s, Pollock’s and Lees, but while it comes to leftarm bowlers, the list would not have those many names featured in it. Some times I do feel that he used to talk with the ball. One thing to worry as a batsman was he could bowl six different deliveries in a single over. The way he had command over the ball was really commendable. He could move the ball either ways and he was very lethal with his ‘In Swinging Yorkers’ and ‘Reverse Swing’

Little would you know that he was a diabetic and used to take insulin every day, even on the match day. Leading a life as a diabetic patient is as it is difficult for a person, so hats off to this Left Handed Role Modle of mine.

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