Friday 20 November 2009

It Just Happened for the third time in Test Cricket - Halley's Comet of Cricket

Last year India's tour of Srilanka, I was eagerly waiting for this event to happen. It is such a unique thing that, it has happened only twice in the history of Test cricket. Unfortunately, it didnt happen and I had to wait a full year and few months for this moment to come.

This happens to be just a thing for cricket fans like me and their silly desires to watch something that is comparable to that of Halley's comet (rarity). I am not sure whether I will ever watch Halley's comet in my life, and this cricketing moment looks very much heading that way.

When the night watchmen, Amit Mishra got out this morning, out walked Sachin Tendulkar, needing 35 runs to get to his 30,000 runs in International cricket. These records come and go, I was more keen on him taking strike. At the end of 57th over, Sachin faced Muralitharan for the first time since 2008.

This was the moment, I have been waiting for. The prospect of watching the Test's highest run getter facing the Test's highest wicket taker.

For the record, it has happened twice before in the history of Test cricket, previous one being that of Brian Lara facing Shane Warne at Adelaide Oval in 2005, when he went Allan Border's record to become the highest run getter.

The first instance was way back in the history, at a time when test cricket was evolving. It was in 1886-87 season when Arthur Shrewsbury of England faced the might of Fred Spofforth.

Looking forward, I can safely say, it will take a while before something like this can happen. My only guess is Ricky Ponting facing Muralitharan, being a Sachin fan, I wouldnt like this event to happen.

Monday 14 September 2009

Oh Kimmie..... Its not a dream after all

One of the most exciting news this year in the world of tennis was to see Kim Clijsters back in action. A wild card entrant, went on to defend her 2005 US Open title in a special way (she didnt play in 2006 owing to injury and retired in 2007). Records are meant to be broken, the first unseeded woman to win the Open and the first mother to win a grand slam tournament since 1980 achievement of Evanne Googalong Cawley at the Wimbledon are just some of the facts that appeases the statisticians. This victory means more to the ever changing world of women's tennis.

It was a rare sight to see married women competing and winning against top tennis players; Chris Evert and Henin previously were just the few names that comes to my mind to have won a grandslam title while being married. Clijsters went a step ahead.
Kimmie (as she is affectionately called) broke the resurgence of William sisters, none of the Russian women came close and ensured, the Dane (Carolina Wozniacki) chose yet another day to win her maiden title.

Offlate, women's tennis has become quite unpredictable with several players winning titles. The victory of Clijsters may seem like a dream to most mother tennis players, but it is possible. I wouldn't just call this as being lucky, it was afterall the case of a former No 1 coming back to action with a better determination, focus and looked rejuvenated after a 19 month hiatus which saw her recovering from the injury she had sustained in 2006, getting married and becoming a mother.

The only other player I saw winning a grand slam with a wild card was Goran Ivanisevic in 2001 when he ousted the Aussie Pat Rafter in a 5-set thriller at the Wimbledon.

This victory acts as an inspiration to every aspiring mother to reach the top of their game in any field. Hope the success story of the Belgian paves the way for more players to live a dream like she just did. The very fact that a mother winning grabs the headline when compared to a father winning explains what she just managed to do.
On a personal note...... Thank you Kimmie for a wonderful comeback !!!

These pics (with her daughter Jada) will remain in my memory for years to come......

Monday 29 June 2009

Back to the Old School of Cricket

After a long hiatus, it was good to see ball dominating the bat . For the past few months, minds around the world were fuelled in by the shots played all around the park in the 20-20 format; today at Sabina Park it was a different scene.
Oh yes, a 50- over match after IPL and T20 World Cup was a different diet for many cricket fans (new ones).
a. India struggling to score on a placid mirror track at Jamaica,
b. Indian batting undone by accurate bowling of the WestIndian pacemen,
c. There is nothing to look at the Indian score card barring, Dhoni's 95, R P Singh's 75-ball 23 and Yuvraj Singh's cameo of 35.

It was a pity, I couldnt watch this live after India were reduced to 82/8 in the 22nd over. The ninth wicket partnership of 102 runs gave India a formidable total to bowl at the Windies. In the end, it wasnt enough, Dhoni with his 95 has showed that, he hasnt lost his brains when most people thought he must regain his lost touch of striking the ball a long way.
Each cricketer goes through these phases, and Dhoni isnt just a slogger these days in the team. He is a wicket-keeper, middle order batsman and captain of the team. It was good to see him play a captain's knock.
Due credit to Windies and this game was easily won with 15 overs to spare in the end. This was a match that showcased, what 20-20 has done to most of the batsmen; the inability to hang in there and respect the bowlers early on when there is some assistance for them from the pitch.
No offense to the 20-20 format, its just that cricketers are at fault not 20-20. It's just a excuse when people accuse 20-20; and very few acknowledge that cricket is a different game because it gives a chance to showcase the versatility of cricketers in three different formats in International cricket. (5-day test match, 50-over One day International and 20-20)
It was good to see cricket going back to the Old school of having an even contest between bat and the ball.
Although games like this do not attract new spectators, it does keep the interests alive for the purists. Experiences such as today is a rarity these days for the Indian team and it can only help the team and indiviuals to work out their game thereby improving their approach to avoid similar situations in the future.

Complete match details at: http://www.cricinfo.com/wivind2009/engine/current/match/377314.html

Monday 22 June 2009

Sports Imitates Life

The name 'Sports Imitates Life' is based on my experiences as a kid and my growing years; where I always related sports activities to life in terms of results, joy, sadness, tears, laughs etc associated with it.

Personally, I have benefitted from sports immensely, though I have never been an athlete at a elite level. I just played for the sake of pleasure, but I fought it hard and always played to win. I was a bad loser as a kid, with time, I realised, the analogies of sports and life; and this enabled me to accept things and look at things in a different way. I have attempted to look at Sports from a life's perspective.

Sports as a tool of motivation in everyday life. Yes, people have different ways or should I say create different ways to motivate themselves. Some are external and others are internal. But the external and internal parameters are mutually related and will always continue to be.
After having done my Chemical Engineering, winning few Sports Quizzes, having watched Sports, I have always felt the gamut emotions of Sporting world to be a constant source of motivation in my life.

The title was also partly inspired by a book I read early last year by Gary Kasparov titled 'How Life imitates Chess'. When i finished reading the last page of the first part, my perspectives on sports, life and their correlation were justified.

As a Candidate Master of Sports Technology and Administration, I am convinced each day about their inter-connection. Someday my aim would be to apply what I have learnt in life to sports. Hence I decided to create a blog as a first step on 'Sports' and how it imitates 'Life'