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Mahendra Singh Dhoni- Test Retirement!

Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Having salvaged the situation for India at the MCG, what happened in the end is something that no one would have expected. For us, it was surely shocking news, more of a disbelief. With the end of the test match at MCG, we saw closed curtains for Mahendra Singh Dhoni from the five-day format of the game.
Was it sheer pressure, or the timing was planned is something that only MSD can tell us. With recent debacle of the team in test format, and more so, in the overseas matches, India lost on 15 counts, two drawn matches and only one victory to boast about.
Starting as a small town basher, the guy went on to become one of the most successful Indian Cricket Captain. He placed India at the top in all the three formats of the game, winning the T20 and ODI world cups, and also getting India ranked at Numero Uno in the ICC Test Rankings. A goodish wicketkeeper (wouldn’t call him one of the best), a very aggressive batsman, when he gets in, and a very astute, and attacking leader, for most of his career (He appeared a bit lackluster due to loss of motivation probably, towards the fag end of his Test Captaincy career).
Coming from the Steel City of Ranchi, MSD was like any other School kid, wanting to play sport, rather than studying. He had to get working as early as the age of 19, when he got recruited in the Indian Railways as a Ticket Checker, but kept playing the sport he loved. Our earliest remembrance of Dhoni was a double century partnership of his with Shikhar Dhawan against Pakistan, in 2005-6 and both were slaughtering the hapless attack going hammers and tongs. He didn’t change this style of batting all through his career. Just backed himself, and let it go. A few innings of his “attack is the best defense” approach which come to our mind are, a couple of 90s he scored in England, his top score innings of 224 against Australia, and his batting in the last series in England. In all these situations, he looked by far the best batsman in the Indian batting line up. Explosive batting, out of the book Technique and strokes employed, and refusing to get bogged down, had been his forte all his career.
As a wicketkeeper, he never had the best technique, had hard hands, but made up for it by his cat like reflexes. He did drop a few catches, but has still ended up having the maximum dismissals in test cricket by an Indian Wicketkeeper. He did prove it here too, that not going by the book, isn’t always wrong!
As a captain, we would rate Dhoni as inspiratory. He never appeared to be agitated, irritated, or never did his shoulders sag in adversity. Dropped catches, bad batting displays, typically Indian bowling woes overseas, nothing could ruffle his feathers anytime when on the field. He looked like a tower of peace, notwithstanding what was going on around him. That doesn’t mean that he was off guard or unaware of his job. He did it well, most of the time. He gambled quite a lot, and also had the guts to back himself in tough situations. More often than not, he was also able to inspire his players to rise to the occasion. It is not so easy to captain a team which has a Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, and Kumble in it, but MSD did this with consummate ease, and to a very good effect. He didn’t like criticisms. He kept backing players like Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, though they were not always consistent performers, and could extract flashes of brilliance from them, nurtured Virat Kohli’s potential, and also the senior players were not far behind in contributing.
People who go by stats, forget that by changing or sacking or blaming a captain, they are doing no good to the game or to the team more so in case of Dhoni. 9 years back , MSD made his test debut for India against Sri Lanka on 2nd December 2005.Seldom did he know that one day he would lead India in all formats of the game and become a successful captain ever. But one thing he did, was he had a dream and had a belief in him to achieve it. With years passing by, he achieved one dream after the other and set a benchmark that are difficult to surpass.

As the year comes towards the fag end, Dhoni has decided to quit Test Match format and that will surely have lot of impact in the entire cricketing fraternity with the kind of leadership determination, and success he has lead the team all these years.

What is the legacy MSD leaves behind then?
1. Back your instincts, and go all out
2. Keep your restlessness in your mind. Once it reflects in the body language, your team panics, and your opposition senses an opportunity.
3. Back your decisions and stand by them
4. Don’t pay heed to criticisms

Finally it was a typical MSD type cool Signoff.In a flash.No farewells,and no emotional speeches!
With the baton passed on to Virat Kohli, who is yet another example of a good leader, we hope he will be able to fill in the big shoes of the cricketer we love and admire- Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Credits to Sanjeev Sathe for sharing his views and thoughts, who himself,is a class batsman and an ardent cricket fan.

Much Awaited India Tour of England 2014

In the midst of the Football World Cup fever, there’s a most awaited Cricket  series which will draw back the attention of the sports lover back to test cricket as India take on England from 9th July onwards in the Investec Series .We all are so much used to associate India’s test match with England in England as Natwest Series that it takes time to register as ‘Investec Test’

As far as the big matches are concerned removing aside the practice matches or the Side matches, there are 5 Test and ODIs and a single T20 match.

Here’s a quick look at the schedule:

 

Wed Jul 9 – Sun Jul 13  1st Investec Test – England v India
10:00 GMT | 11:00 local 15:30 IST Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Thu Jul 17 – Mon Jul 21  2nd Investec Test – England v India
10:00 GMT | 11:00 local 15:30 IST Lord’s, London
Sun Jul 27 – Thu Jul 31  3rd Investec Test – England v India
10:00 GMT | 11:00 local 15:30 IST The Rose Bowl, Southampton
Thu Aug 7 – Mon Aug 11  4th Investec Test – England v India
10:00 GMT | 11:00 local 15:30 IST Old Trafford, Manchester
Fri Aug 15 – Tue Aug 19  5th Investec Test – England v India
10:00 GMT | 11:00 local 15:30 IST Kennington Oval, London
Mon Aug 25 (50 ovs)  1st ODI – England v India
09:30 GMT | 10:30 local 15:00 IST County Ground, Bristol
Wed Aug 27 (50 ovs)  2nd ODI – England v India
09:30 GMT | 10:30 local 15:00 IST Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
Sat Aug 30 (50 ovs)  3rd ODI – England v India
09:30 GMT | 10:30 local 15:00 IST Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Tue Sep 2 (50 ovs)  4th ODI – England v India
09:30 GMT | 10:30 local 15:00 IST Edgbaston, Birmingham
Fri Sep 5 (50 ovs)  5th ODI – England v India
09:30 GMT | 10:30 local 15:00 IST Headingley, Leeds
Sun Sep 7 (20 ovs)  Only T20I – England v India
09:30 GMT | 10:30 local 15:00 IST Edgbaston, Birmingham

Keep enjoying Cricket like always with Shamsnwags and we are sure that the following would start moving from Lionel Messi , Suarez, to Dhoni, Kohli , Alastair Cook   and we will be more than happy if our reader friend would like to contribute an article.

World At Your Feet

With 60 over format, white traditional costume & red cherry, the biggest colloseum of cricket started on 7th June 1975 in England. Yes the Cricket World Cup. The Cricket World Cup is an international One Day International (ODI) competition in men’s cricket. Organized by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the tournament has taken place every four years since it was first held in 1975 in England.For the first three editions it was called as Prudential Cup which was consequently played in England.
History Of World Cup:
1975

West Indies tasted the Glory of the First WC in 1975, continuing the trend in second edition as well in 1979. The 1975 world cup final was played between West Indies and Australia. Under the leadership of Clive Lloyd, WI won the finals by 17 runs. 

1979

 In 1979, again under the leadership of Clive Lloyd, West Indies reached the finals. This time, they defeated the host England by 92 runs.

1983

 In 1983, a new rule of field circle with in 30 yards away from stumps  was introduced. It was mandatory to have 4 fieldsmen inside the circle at all times. Basking in the glory of victory for the first two Wc finals, WI entered the finals of third edition. To spoil their party and shatter their dream run, Kapil’s Devils gave a big jolt to Clive Llyod & co. We clearly remember the sight of Joel Garner falling flat on the ground and weeping following the defeat.

 
1987
By 1987, Reliance group had grown big time world wide. This was for the first time,the tournament was played outside England and moved to Indian Subcontinent and was called Reliance Cup.
Considering the sub continental conditions, the format was reduced to a 50 over format. It was Australia who defeated England with a close margin of 7 runs.
 
1992
The popularity of WC was immensely increasing. Considering that, 1992  event  saw lots of changes in the format. It was from 1992 WC in Australia/NZ we (Shams&Wags ) started following the game closely as we were of the age where we started understanding all aspects of game. The traditional whites made way to colored clothing. The red cherry was replaced by the white balls. Day & Night matches came into picture. South Africa was allowed to participate in the event following the end of the ban on them due to racism. Out of no where; Pakistan rose to the occasion and defeated England by 22 runs. To England’s plight, it was their third time defeat in the Finals.
 
1996
In 1996, the cup came back to the subcontinent. Under an inspirational leadership of Ranatunga, Srilanka emerged with flying colors due to their attacking cricket by flamboyant opening pair of Jayasuriya & Kaluwitharana and awesome Aravinda D’silva. They defeated Australia by 7 wickets in Finals at Lahore.
1999
In 1999 the event was hosted by England, with some matches also being held in Scotland, Ireland, Wales. Australia entered the Semifinals.
There were many anxious moments in the match. The most famous incidence was when Herscelle Gibbs dropped a easy catch of Steve Waugh. Waugh was quick enough to tell him “You have dropped the World Cup Mate’ . In the final, Australia dismissed Pakistan for 132 and then reached the target in less than 20 overs, with eight wickets in hand. 
2003

South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya hosted the 2003 World Cup. Australia again featured in the finals. This time against India. This was for the first time after 1983 when India featured in finals of World cup. Australia made  a quick fire 359 runs for the loss of two wickets, the largest ever total in a final, defeating India by 125 runs. It was at Wanderers where Ricky Ponting   played a super attacking innings scoring an unbeatable 140 runs

2007

In 2007 the tournament was hosted by the West Indies. This cup saw some serious and shameful defeats for India and Pakistan. Bangladesh defeated India and entered to the second round for the first time and they later went on to defeat South Africa in the second round.  Pakistan faced similar shameful defeat by the minnows Ireland. Following the defeat against Ireland, the Pakistani coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room; it was later found out that he died of heart failure. Australia defeated Sri Lanka in the final by 53 runs (D/L), extending their undefeated run in the World Cup to 29 matches and winning three straight World Cups. 

ICC Trophy
Trophy Design:
The current trophy is made of Silver and gold. The Golden Globe is held up by 3 Silver Columns. These columns are in shape of Stumps& Bails that represent 3 fundamentals of cricket ie, Batting, Bowling and fielding. The Globe characterizes cricket ball. It stands 60 cm tall & weighs approximately 11 kgs. The names of winners of previous editions are engraved on the base of the trophy. The original trophy is kept by ICC and a replica is awarded to the winning team
Prior to 1999, different trophies were designed for each world cup. In 1999, the ICC world Cup trophy was created. It was designed in London by a team of craftsman from Garrard & Co in over 2 months.
Individual Performances:
Swashbuckling Master blaster from India Sachin Tendulkar holds a bouquet of individual records in the World . Tendulkar has made more scores over fifty, hit more centuries and scored more runs than any other cricketer in World Cup history. In his 36 appearance in World Cup, he has  4 centuries, 13 half centuries against his name. In the bowling department, Australian Glenn McGrath(Pegion) dominates the individual bowling records, having featured for his country in four World Cups. He has taken more wickets at a higher strike rate with a better economy rate than any other bowler, and has the best individual bowling figures in the history of the tournament.7/15 is his best record and in his 39 appearance, he hs taken 79 wickets. 
Australians Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist lead the individual fielding records. Ponting is the leading fielder in terms of catches made, in both an individual World Cup tournament and in the competition’s history. Wicketkeeper Gilchrist has made the most dismissals in a single match, an individual tournament and in World Cup history. Australia hold several team records, including those for the most wins, the highest win percentage, the most consecutive wins and are the current holders; they were undefeated in the 2007 Cricket World Cup campaign.
Let’s wait and watch whats in store for every one in this world cup that will be held in the Subcontinent again. The opening ceremony will be held in Bangladesh and the Final match will be played at Mumbai’s very own Wankhade.
Till then lets keep our fingers crossed.