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Sight Screen

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Open Forum

Right guys, outside of Aussies starting off with a Twenty20 win, nothing much happening, so will shut this down for the day.
Before I do, though -- if you want your daily dose of pre-Ashes hype -- much of which centers on how this England side is better, more talented, more confident, more all-round, than its predecessors -- there's this one, from Reuters via the Hindustan Times; seems the build-up to Ashes past saw players drop out with 'injury'. But this time -- it's all about confidence, see? -- even injured players are recovering at warp speed.
Reminds me of a classic from Steve Waugh. When Nasser Hussain's England landed in Australia, there was a lot of stuff about how that England team was better, more talented, more confident... et cetera.
At a pre-series press conference, a journalist pointed out to Waugh that Hussain had waxed confident about England's chances. Deadpanned Steve: 'Isn't that what they always say?'
Before I do that, though, there's this: 19 years ago today, India won it's first ever Test at Lord's. Indian Express has a small quote or two from Dilip Vengsarkar on the game.
Which puts me in mind of a question for you guys: If you were writing the capsule history of Indian cricket; if you decided it would contain ten chapters, each detailing one seminal moment Indian cricket, which ten moments would you pick? Triumphs, disasters, off-the-ball events -- whatever; the only criterion being, the ten moments you pick must be the ones that in your mind changed the way we play/watch/approach/administer the game in this country.
Go for it. Good night, all, stay safe.


  • Top 10 moments in Indian cricket (not necessarily all positive for Indian cricket)

    10)India's victory at the World Series of Cricket in 1985 - the most professional Indian triumphs

    9)India beats Pakistan in a close one in Sharjah - India 125 all out (Imran 6/14) and Pakistan 87 all out (Sunny - 3 catches)

    8)India's run chase in 1976 at Port-of-Spain - chasing 406 successfully - the highest total successfully chased in the 4th inning. http://usa.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1970S/1975-76/IND_IN_WI/IND_WI_T3_07-12APR1976.html

    7)Match-fixing scandal involving Azhar, Jadeja, Mongia, etc. Has made the most ardent cricketer fan a bit of cynic.

    6) Natwest trophy win - this defined the new look Indian team that kept up the momentum leading to the World Cup

    5) Miandad's six of the last ball in Sharjah - Ouch!!! that still hurts

    4)Kapil's 175. I remember huddled around the radio, touching the antenna throughout the game to get good reception, savoring every moment

    3)Kumble's 10 wickets - a feat that is probably the toughest to achieve in any form of cricket

    2)The Laxman test. The Dravid-Laxman partnership. Sachin's three wicket haul in on Day 5. Only third instance that a team comes back from follow-on to win.

    1)And finally, India's win at the World Cup 1983 - gave India credibility in International cricket.

    By Anonymous Rajan, at 21:11  

  • My top 10 moments in Indian cricket history....in no particular order

    1. 1983 world cup win....many wonderful memories of the final match with WI...still cannot believe how Greenidge of all people shouldered his arms to a Sandhu inswinger and got bowled...such was India's day

    2. Run chase at Port of Spain 1976...Vishy, Gavaskar, Mohinder..all in top form

    3. 2001 Calcutta Test vs Aussies...nothing more to say

    4. 1985 B&H series win...probably the best Indian One Day side of all time...great performances all through...Srikkanth, Vengsarkar, Shastri, Kapil (his 4 fours in one over off Hadlee are etched in my memory), Siva, Sadanand

    5. The match fixing scandal

    6. The tied test at Chennai, 1987. For sheer drama, nothin can compare to the final session of this match

    7. Kapils's 175 vs. Zim....the best ODI innings ever for India at a clutch time

    8. Sehwag's 300 vs. Pak

    9. the 1974-75 series with WI..in my mind the most exciting series that India has played..just go back to the score card of the 5 tests and check it out!

    10. Miandad wins it off a last ball six! man, that still hurts..can never forgive chetan sharma for that one.

    By Blogger Ram, at 22:03  

  • Prem,

    Not in any particular order, am limiting my focus on Indian cricket after 1980 --

    1. World Cup 1983 win

    2. Benson Hedges Cup 1985 (Ravi getting the Audi and Champ-of-Champs)

    3. India defending their total of 125 against Pak in Sharjah (I believe, SMG got 4 catches in that match)

    4.(This I will carry it with me till my last breath..sniff...) Javed's last ball six off Chetan.

    5. Maninder being adjudged lbw in the tied test in Madras (1987? I hate that punk Greg Matthews..I still remember Ravi raising his hand to indicate something to Mani and that punk Matthews yelping around in joy.)

    6.Sachin's arrival as a ODI opener (that innings of 82 runs in Auckland...man...he belted Danny Morrison, I belive, for 4 fours in an over...classic stuff..another comin-of-age experience)

    7. Venky Prasad's rebuttal to that ****** Aamir Sohail in the 1996 Blore World Cup. If you lip read his rebuttal you knew what he was saying too Aamir..classic... (will never ever forgive KSCA for not giving tickets properly to fans who had gathered outside the stadium for the whole night)

    8.SM Gavaskar's 96 against Iqbal Qasim and Tauseef (he was too much on that minefield of a pitch man) in Blore in his las test. Also, his 10,000th run off Ejaz Faqih in that Ahm'bad test...that late cut..aahhh Sunny...man....

    9.The whole match fixing thing with Azhar(I loved him so much man, once upon a time). For me, I was coming of age at that time. It killed the innocence in me as far as cricket was concerned. Probably, the single most, hideous incident to ever occur in modern Indian cricket. Azhar should have never ever done it. I think we Indians are too forgiving. Mongia, whom I consider to be a terrific keeper, was made a patsy. Prabhalar, Jadeja, Ajay Sharma..why guys why...you guys ended my adolescence/youth...you lost my goodwill forever...sniff...)

    10.VVS and Bhajji doing wonders in the Indo-Aus series in 2001(?). Had just come to the US then....was keenly following the goings-on through the Internet...their performance was awesome in that series...

    Wish I could include Kumble and his 10 wickets...but a lot of these memories are associated with my childhood moments..very very special.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 22:13  

  • let's see...

    * The Kolkata Test 2001, Laxman's 281 and Bhajji's brilliance

    * 1983 World Cup Win

    * Tendulkar opening instead of Sidhu in that '93/94 ODI match

    * Match Fixing scandal

    * Appointing Ganguly as captain and Wright as Coach

    * Definitely Javed Miandad's last ball sixer. Pakistan had the upperhand on us till probably last year.

    * Dalmiya's rise and take-over of BCCI

    (we don't have very many great Test moments huh)

    * The end of Kapildev's career, we havent had an allrounder since.

    * Wadekar's team beating England in a Test series in England ('71 I think).

    * Virender Sehwag's Test debut. He is our Viv Richards and I think he is going to make history for us.

    By Blogger Dhruv Deepak, at 00:43  

  • first a few disclaimers. I started watching cricket around 1985, my first memories are India winning 1985 Benson and hedges. So, there might have been instances like India playing the 1st test in 9132 or Ajit Wadekars team winning in England, and WI etc. But, for me, its hard to objectively judge those.

    10. Gavaskar breaking bradman’s record of 29 centuries. Because it was the first time an Indian players was acknoledged as one of the worlds best
    9. Appointing John Write as the coach of the Indian team. First step towards making the Indian team more professional
    8. advent of Tendulkar; first time India had a REAL superstar who broke all the financial rules and got multicrore endorsements, because the way he played. First time in India there was a player who had an out and out aggressive attitude and never say die attitude. Very different from Kapil and Gavaskar days
    7. Last ball six by Javed. I think it somehow killed the confidence when playing against Pakistan for a few years after that.
    6. India winning the 1985 Benson and hedges cup
    5. India winning in Pakistan against Pakistan in 2003 and drawing the series in Australia. Probably the best season India has had in test matches after wadekar’s 1971 exploits abroad.
    4. India hosting the world cup in 1987. Proved the other countries that india has the capability to host big events successfully and can get sponsorship
    3. cricket on cable, and TWI covering Indian cricket in 1993.. created tremendous market and India became the powerhouse of the world cricket
    2. match fixing. the worst thing to have happened to Indian cricket
    1. 1983 world cup win. Generated tremendous interest, and did wonders for the confidence of the nation’s psyche


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 01:16  

  • My top 10 in no order:

    1. The 83 WC triumph. Especially the catch that Kapil took to dismiss Viv.

    2. The B&H 85 World series win...Kapil's knock against the kiwis

    3. The NatWest trophy final

    4. India's win against Pak in Sharjah in a low scoring match ....asia cup?

    5. The complete 2001 Ind-Aus Test Series.

    6. The tied test in Chennai

    7. The match against Pak in Bangalore in 1996 WC. Sohail's wicket and Jadeja's six off Waqar...Well, I like all the 4 WC wins against Pak.

    8. Kapil's 175 in 83 WC. If only we cud get hold of a video of this match :-(

    9. India's win against aussies downunder(2004) in adelaide. Especially that moment when Dravid hit the winning runs and kissed his cap. Oh! What a moment.

    10. Finally..Miandad's last ball six. It completely changed the equations in Ind-Pak ODIs!! I get irritated everytime Miandad mentions this in his interviews.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 01:18  

  • <1>Eden test against Australia - VVSL's 281, Dravid's century and Bhajji's hatrick and not forget Sachin's 3 wickets on the final day
    <2>Adelaide test in 2003 when India beat Australia in Australia after a loooong gap
    <3>India's series win over Pakistan - another first time ever
    <4>Tied Test at Chennai against Australia - the best test ever in terms of swinging fortunes, super human efforts (Dean Jones), brilliant bowling (Greg Mathews), audacious declaration by Border challenging the Indians, Indians being up to the task, 347 runs on a last day pitch. Too good to be true.
    <5>Hirwani's magic spell of 16 wickets on a chennai turner - absolute delight when he foxed Viv with a googly - that was a genuine wicket and not due to the vagaries of the pitch
    <6>1984 - Benson and Hedges cup in Australia - against England. Having set England a good target, England crusing along at a good clip. And suddenly Sivaramakrishnan and Shastri pick wickets by the buckets to have England fold up for 140. That match made me believe that we could go all the way. The other turning point in that tournament was Vengsarkar and Kapil Dev tearing the Newzealand attack to shreds when one thought it was going to be a very tough ask.
    <7>Sachin Tendulkar's single handed demolition of Australia during Operation Desert Storm
    <8>Almost clean sweep of 1986 series against England - awesome bowling by Kapil, Binny and Chetan during the series. India won 2-0 most convincingly.
    <9>Sunny Gavaskar 221 chasing a tough 400+ fourth innings target against England - India gave quite a few anxious moments in that test to England
    <10>India's win against WI in 1976 chasing 400+ - brilliant batting by Gavaskar, Mohinder and I remember Brijesh playing a decent knock too
    <11>Kapil's fantastic 175 against Zimbabwe after being 17/5
    <12>Sachin and Azhar's rollicking roller coaster partnership against SA in SA - Azhar scored at such a clip that I thought he might be the first Indian to score a double century in two sessions
    <13>Tendulkar's 97 against Pakistan in WC2003 - one of the best ODI innings by an Indian.

    I can add a lot more....but these are top games by India in cricket.

    By Anonymous ShankarV, at 01:49  

  • Hmm,
    To begin with..


    * Sachin as an opener! Changed the way we approche one-day cricket, in turn that sachin only gave us likes of Sehwag...

    * Ban on Mongia and Prabhakar for that last 10 overs batting against WI, changed the way people think about cricket now, gave a smell of match fixing, followed by that hughe scandal

    * 326 Runs Chase at lords + 1983 world cup..

    * Loosing to AUS in world cup final, it has created a mental block in indians that WE JUST CANT BEAT AUSSSIES IN ONE DAYS !!!

    * One-off Wins in England, Australia, West Indies earned us some respect!!

    *Believe or not, imergance of DALMIYA!!!! He has worked a lot for taking the game to heights it is in today in Asia, and because of him only the Aisan countries have some say, else we were treated so badly before that...whatever u think about him..u have to give some credit to that guy !!!

    Thats it!!
    Rest all centuries ..all bowling records..and here and there..but nothing to write about....

    By Anonymous Abhay, at 02:46  

  • I am listing the events of which i was a part of as a spectator:

    10.) Benson and Hedges WC win and everyone sitting on Ravi Shastri's Audi car taking a lap of the ground.

    9.) Maindad's last ball six off Chetan Sharma....I don't know when that hurt is going to go away....:)

    8.) India-Pakistan 1996 WC cup match at Blore...esp. Prasad's awesome rebuttal to Sohail.

    7.) JayaSuriya forcing Prabhakar to bowl off-spin in the Kotla WC match thus ending his career.

    6.)Sachin opening with Sidhu in NZ. i think he made 80 odd runs off 49 balls...Awesome stuff.

    5.) Sharjah games against AUS in 1998 where Sachin was at his best. Cricinfo was just launched at that time and they were showing the matches live. It was a great experience to watch the matches in our CS lab while the rest of students were wondering what the hell these indian students are cheering about when they can't even see the images clearly.

    4.) Kumble bowling in WI with a fractured jaw.

    3.) Laxmans and Dravid's stand in the Calcutta test in 2001. DD were showing the games live on the net. Didn't move an inch from my pc and stayed up till 4 am to watch it without feeling tired the next day...:).

    2.) Madras test against AUS in 2001

    1.) India's test performance in AUS & Pakistan win in Pak.

    By Blogger Blabber Guy, at 04:44  

  • Not being part of the generation that saw Kapil lift the 83 World Cup or Gavaskar lift the 85 World Series, here are my 5 -

    1. The Laxman test - Following on from being so far behind to win proved that India had more than a fight in them. Forget Ganguly's mindgames with Waugh, forget Bhajji's brilliant bowling, the partnership between Laxman and Dravid, proved to India and Indians that you can never count us out of a game. Dravid's batting since then has been of the highest class and Laxman has shown more steel to his makeup since then

    2. Tendulkar's ferocious assault on Pakistan in the recent world cup - Those who feel Miandad's six dealt a body blow to the collective morale of Indian cricket, should take note of the impact this assault has had on the Pakistani psyche. IMHO, its more than reversed the effect of Miandad's six. Every encounter with Pakistan has India starting as favorites. True they've lost quite a few games, but those were games where India did self-destruct. There is no sense of impending loss everytime we play Pakistan, but a sense of an opportunity to mete out some lessons to the pesky neighbors.

    3. The Headingly and Adelaide wins - One showed that our batsmen could put up massive scores when the ball was seaming around and the other showed they could do it on the trampolines of Australia. If Agarkar can stay healthy and produce those heroics consistently, our bowling could see a resurgence too.

    4. The debut of Javagal Srinath - I know he is no McGrath (and I remember your piece on the comparison between the two during the 99-00 series down under) but when he arrived on the scene, he was fast. He beat Border for pace on more than one occasion on the 92 tour there and on one of the days in our first tour of SA in the 90s, bowled quicker than any Indian in recent memory. I can't recall which test it was (I think Kapil got a 50 or a 100 in it), but his pace was up there with the quickest bowlers of the time - Waqar and Patterson. Agarkar, Nehra, Zaheer wouldn't have been around if it wasn't for Srinath. Kapil may have been India's greatest bowler ever, but Srinath (atleast the early Srinath) made us prouder. Now if only he had hit a few more guys.

    5. Ganguly becomes the captain - Rather than view this as a positive development, I actually think it was one of the worst things to happen to Indian cricket. The excellent win record he has is certainly commendable, but it needs to be viewed in light of the fact that India has 4 of the most talented batsmen in world cricket (and Ganguly deserves credit for only one of them - Sehwag), two excellent spinners (I would give him credit for Bhajji, but its more than compensated by his neglect of Karthik, who IMO is a superior spinner), and a host of promising seamers. Any other captain and this team would be #1 in the world. Despite the obvious talent of Agarkar, Nehra, Pathan etc., why hasn't he been able to extract some good performances from them? Where is the accountability for Zaheer Khan, who knows he's going to play if he's fit and Ganguly's the captain? Ganguly has formed a good side, but the neglect meted out to the likes of Murali Karthik, Sadagopan Ramesh and Hemang Badani smacks of elitism and favoritism. So outside of Sehwag, Ganguly hasn't really done anything by way of discovering talent. Everyone knows Ganguly is no strategic genius, as opposed to all of his middle-order teammates. So what is the big charm of this guy, apart from the fact that he's on good terms with the fuhrer of Indian cricket.

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