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Sight Screen

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Good news...

...comes in strange packages; like this story that says Sachin has pulled out of the Zimbabwe tour.
Never could understand the selectors' insane rush to bring him back, without even waiting for a full-fitness report -- it was almost as if the five wise men figured that without Sachin, India wouldn't be able to beat even Zimbabwe in Tests.
Now that Sachin has decided to spend more time on his recovery, it is an opportunity -- for the team, to see how to rearrange the bits and pieces and to identify who will step into the breach when Sachin, sooner or later, finally calls it quits. And for Sachin, to work on his fitness, and his game, well away from the glare of the spotlight, and time his return for when he is really match-fit -- and the matches on the schedule are worth the while.
A question for you guys -- given the opening combo is likely to be Sehwag and Gambhir, is Dheeraj Yadav the best pick as SRT's replacement? Thing is, I have never seen him bat, so I have no take on that part of his game. Merely curious about where the selectors, and the team management, are coming from in picking another opening -- could it be Gambhir and Yadav opening and Sehwag slipping down to Sachin's number 4 slot? I hope not... but hey, stranger things happen...
2. So what did Azhar do *now* to get the D-Company all riled up? By way of non-sequitur, Bill Maher in the Real Time show was making the point the other day that you really have to stop giving these hurricanes cutesy names -- Katrina, being the latest. They are killers, the comic pointed out, not the girl you hope to score with tonight. On a similar vein, what the hell is with this D-Company business -- these guys are a bunch of cheap gangsters, for christ's sake, not the next Reliance.
3. Shriniwas Rao, in the Express, suggests that Mohammad Kaif batting at 3 is the future of Team India. Some of the recent experimentation has been easy enough to understand; the one that beats me though is this dicking around with the number three slot. Rahul Dravid has been a natural for it -- more so after he retooled his one day game and developed the capability of guiding the ball into the gaps and working singles. The position ain't broke -- so why fix it?
4. A Shane Bond column in Outlook is all praise for the Indian seamers. A little nugget, relating to his changed mental approach to the job of fast bowling:
Previously I was an emotional bowler who would just be fired up with the ball in his hand and try to bowl as hard as I could. Sustaining such methods throughout was a tough act to follow and sure the harder I tried, the more I opened myself to injury.
Now I am smarter and can switch to speed because my energy levels are better spaced. It is also a good protection against injury.

Interestingly, there is this suggestion that Shane Bond could sit out the September 2 game -- be surprised if it happens, though; Fleming is the sort of captain who knows the value of mentally psyching out a team, and given how the Indians collapsed at the sight of Bond the other day, the Kiwis would want more of the same, if possible, rather than rest him and run the risk of the Indians making runs, and gaining confidence, against the lesser bowlers.
5. Lokendra Pratap Sahi has the dope on impending changes to the laws of the game as relates to slow over rates. I'd rather wait for the final, official version for the exact wordings, but on first read, what this seeks to do, seemingly, is nail down the provisions so there is no future cause for conflict, appeals, and other theatrics.
6. And finally, who among you watched the New Zealand-Zimbabwe game? I only saw the first 10 overs, before sleep called -- but that left me with a thought the final scoreboard only reinforces: The Kiwis bat *deep*, yes, but they don't bat *well*; not, at least, against bowling of fairly decent quality. Which means that for all the gulf between the two sides in terms of ICC ranking, September 2 doesn't really need to be a one-sided affair; the key for India really is aiming for a 230-240 on the board, not in playing the all or nothing game aiming at 280-plus and failing by a mile. And that in turn means they can afford to give Bond some respect, and milk the rest, wouldn't you say?
That pretty much concludes the India round up... will be back, with the international one, later in my day as per the new schedule, and also with comments on your commens. Adios for now, guys


  • Prem,
    If Dheeraj Jadhav is a good player with sound technique as someone mentioned, isnt it worthwhile to try him in the opener's slot? SRT, RD and SG are all 32 and more. So, it could mean losing all of them within a short period of time, in which case it will be nice to know which guys can replace them comfortably. So if Jhadav opens and VS comes in at No 4, is that such a bad thing?

    Maybe, as worma or somebody else suggested, the plan, all the while was to get Kaif or YS inducted into the team, Jadhav will be just the drinks guy. So, then, MK/YS will take SRT's position or maybe SG and VVS will move uo and MK/YS will occupy No 6.

    Totally agree with the No3 position and the needlessnes to experiment with MK there. Not because RD is doing well, so he'll continue for ever but because MK is a not a good enough replacement. WhenRD's time is up, there's no one in this current Indian team who has shown the technique and skill to replace him.

    By Blogger Toney, at 12:13  

  • Prem,

    Azhar may owe them some old debt.

    Looking Sania match...checked USTA website...supposed to start at 11.00AM EST...no update..anyone know score?

    By Blogger Rajg, at 12:17  

  • We should probably give Akash Chopra a chance again if Jadhav fails...

    The guy has great technique against the new ball... only problem was that he was too slow.

    By Blogger Kannan, at 12:19  

  • I think the problem was that he could block for hours, and never cash in. The blocker getting out before Sehwag should really be unacceptable. If Sehwag is the wild card that can win the game off his own bat when on song, shouldn't the other guy be a dependable sort who can consistently score 40-50 ? Chopra averages in the low 20s.

    By Blogger NB, at 12:22  

  • Replying to Kannan in the previous post.

    By Blogger NB, at 12:22  

  • Why cann't Jadhav open with Gambhir..if Sehwag has to be moved. Otherwise, may be he is ok at 4 if played. I do not know if he belongs in the playing 11.

    As far as I am concerned, Dravid and Tendulkar must be given the slot they want. Tendulkar has enough protection but for God's sake, do not abuse the Dravid's position in ODI or Test.

    Dravid is officially part of the team management and I believe SRT also has a place on consulting basis. When they are part of that management, they DO KNOW what is good for India.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 12:26  

  • Prem...lots of comments on the Zim-Nz match in your previous posts, check those out.

    I guess the point with pickig Jadhav was that there is already competition for the vacant middle order birth. Why add to it, rather creat one for top order. So e.g. if GG fails in the warmup...and the first test (and heaven forbid, we are not able to win the game) then jadhav may come in as opener in second game....or replacement for an injured opener ? I hope its not the case of moving sehwag down the order...this isnt just not broke..its sparklingly fit and fine...they cant surely be fixing this :-) ?

    And as I said earlier to your comment, I think MK was moved up to give him exposure to the role of anchoring the team, which seems to be the new identified role for him. I agree he shouldnt operate regularily from num 3, RD is much better, but just letting him face that situation in non-risky games as much as possible.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:27  

  • prem,
    In my opinion V rao was good option, thats what i was talking other day that this guy is made for tests and he may end up loosing at both.
    Same with dinesh karthik, Dont understand why he is labeled for tests only.

    just reading on rediff Gangs got fever.VS allready had. GC says they are having trouble in settling these conditions(when did they came?? ohhh thats irelevent)

    So what u think about flemming's psychs?? Remember other day??

    By Blogger MAHER, at 12:36  

  • Hindustan Times says...New Zealand thrash Zimbabwe by 27 runs...Thrash???? that is some poetic license...:-)


    By Blogger ilovecricket, at 12:42  

  • rajg,
    sania's match is the second match on that court. A men's game ( i think taylor dent vs lars burgs...) is on right now....once that is done her match will start.

    By Blogger cartan, at 12:43  

  • Not sure about Dheeraj Jadhav as a batsman, but I don't think they should futz around with the opening combo.

    Sehwag is a good fit there with Gambhir and as long as they produce the decent opening partnerships, I would not mess around with it.

    Dravid, VVS, Kaif and Yuvraj would be my order, but like you said, stranger things have happened.

    I feel this is Yuvraj's blessing in disguise. If he wants to stamp his place in the test squad, he has to make sure he does not go out of sight/out of mind.

    By Blogger RPM, at 12:46  

  • Bracewell(NZ coach) gone home after learning his mother in-law's death.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 12:50  

  • Cartan..thanks for update.

    YS does not show any tendency to stay at wicket, which is essential for Test inn. He never played long inn. even in Ranji. He carried a tag..Talented and promising...whic helped him secure place.

    Rao may be a better option.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 12:51  

  • 1. When did rahul performed well @ 3 spot? he has done well at 5(sometime @ 4) because by that time the field inside the circle is well spread out. most of the time you only have 4 fielders left inside the circle and there are enough gaps to pick. Rahul always need easy singles at the start of his inning. And if you send him back to 3 he will again start giving practice to the fielders. Kaif @ 3 fit the bill. he can go on top if he comes inside 15. can play the anchor if required and is quick btn the wickets so singles woouldnt dry out most of the times.
    2. Dheeraj Jadhav was originally a middle order batsmen who started oepning couple of seasons back. So he sure can bat in middle if its required. Also his selection may be because of this rumour in KhaleejTimes http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?section=sports&xfile=data/sports/2005/August/sports_August512.xml

    By Blogger Vick, at 12:58  

  • toney u here ?? Do go and read the rediff and cricinfo match reports today. Not a single negative word for Nz. Tell me still that you dont agree with the point about media reports.

    By Blogger worma, at 13:00  

  • Oh Worma, I do agree partly but not wholly with you :). I thought I made that obvious. What Ifeel is the problem is that when the Indian team plays, some Indian reporters take it personally (this is MY team kind of thoughts). So they either hammer a lacklustre performance or worship a good performance against lowly opposition, simply because they think they have the license to do that. Whether they have a right to do that is a different matter.
    Frankly, would you or I care a lot if Zim defeated NZ today? No. But we do care for India's performances, sometimes this leads to excess criticism because the team is under a microscope all the time. What can we do but accept it? The only ting that can be done is, ifyou strongly feel that a certain reporter isnt doing a gr8 job, write him about it. Ignore him if he doesnt accept your viewpoints. There are scores of good reporters out there, so why bother with one?

    Do you mean to say that RD's No 3 slot is not deserved? Thats a first, I think. MK brings a lot to the team, great fielding, great team spirit, running for your partner's singles etc etc. But he is just not in the league of RD yet. This is not to start off another debate (think this would be a lot one-sided unlike the AA episode, right?) but MK has shown problems against fast-medium bowlers. I dont think he's a technicially sound batsman either, in the mould of RD. Would he do well against the moving ball (say in an ODI where India bats in the morning)? Dont think so, at least RD has better chance to succeed there. MK also takes time to kick-start his innings, I think RD is better in that respect.
    The initial part of the SL tourney is testimony to what RD does in the No 3 position.

    By Blogger Toney, at 13:19  

  • vick,
    About your 2. Wonder where Khaleej Times got all this from. Do they have a mole in the team? You cannot take such things as these at face-value. There have been past instances where writers deduce team spirit from what they see. I think Prem and some other guys commented on that. Unless you are there and saw for yourself that VS and GC had problems, how would you know? Same applies for the reporter too... Interesting reading, but then when is gossip dull?

    By Blogger Toney, at 13:28  

  • toney, yeah I also never meant that its a wholesale problem. Infact I did write in comments to prem's post (on the media thing) that there are good ones in India also (including him, harsha etc) but there are good number of the other variety in almost all channels. And they help in nurturing the public attitude of in-toleration (not saying they are solely responsible for it).
    Anyway, would let this issue rest now ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 13:30  

  • yeah that was really 'interesing'...as in good fiction ;-)...this reporter even saw a weight problem in Sehwag :-))

    By Blogger worma, at 13:33  

  • Vick,
    Did you also notice that there was another article (http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayArticle.asp?col=§ion=sports&xfile=data/sports/2005/August/sports_August529.xml) which said that India and NZ are already in the finals.

    I know that Zim are a poor team but it is technically possible for them to be in the finals if NZ win their final match against India and Zim inflict a heavy defeat on India, right? This maybe just oversight but it could also show that they dont set great standards with their write-ups.

    Finally, the writer's name is not given in any of those articles unless of course, "Cricket News", "reuters" etc are names of reporters.

    By Blogger Toney, at 13:33  

  • Just one question...couple of days back SG said that he did well in Sri Lanka!!!
    What did he do there??!!!

    By Blogger rushe111, at 13:40  

  • Joke....
    India plays Lanka and Mahela Jayawardhene secures a win for Lanka and MOM...
    SG is asked what happened...he says what can we do hum log mahela(!!!) pe haath nahi uthate!! so we lost!!!!

    By Blogger rushe111, at 13:42  

  • rushe111, you made a few enemies with those two posts :-))
    Where did you read him saying thathe did well in SL? Maybe, he's referring to that (glorious) 50 off 90 balls.

    By Blogger Toney, at 13:48  

  • Prem - Is SRT era Finally over ?? I am not cricizing but just thinking If we will ever get to see Tendulkar play an international match again ? His is clearly a case of TOO Much Cricket. He started playing International cricket since he was 16 and played 350 ODIs and 125 tests. IMO since his debut he has spent more time in the middle than any International cricket I have watched.

    By Blogger Oracle Guy, at 13:49  

  • I believe Sriram should have selected as the replacement for the middle order. Here's a guy who has scored tons and tons of runs for the last 6 years in the longer form of game and the only chance he gets is in ODIs. Sriram's record in Type-A ODI isn't great and I cannot understand why he would be picked for ODIs in the first place.


    By Blogger Prabu, at 13:50  

  • for those interested.....sania mirza's 2nd round match is all set to begin

    By Blogger cartan, at 13:54  

  • cartan, keep updating on her match for those of us who cannot watch it live

    By Blogger Toney, at 13:54  

  • Remarkable. Just when we thought we had seen it all; an Australian captain not only acknowledging the existence of a "spirit within the game", but even accusing the opposition of not playing within it.

    Where will it all end, you might ask, and who knows? Brett Lee condemning beamers?

    Shane Warne promoting fidelity? What about the chances of Glenn McGrath discovering humility?

    If ever England needed confirmation that they have Australia on the run, it came with Ricky Ponting's bleating after his fourth test run-out, and this week's subsequent complaints about the use of replacement fieldsmen.

    Not since 1932-33, when Bill Woodfull made his famous crack about Douglas Jardine's great leg-theory, has an Australian skipper ventured so publicly into the field of morality, and with so little justification.

    The most besieged Australian captain since Kim Hughes, Ponting was fined 75 per cent of his match fee for remonstrating with the umpire and shouting at the England balcony following his second innings dismissal.

    But possibly more amusing have been his ensuing comments, and particularly the notion that his team have been somehow disadvantaged by England's unwillingness to work within Australia's home-made code of ethics.

    "I think it is an absolute disgrace that the spirit of the game is being treated like that," he told a Melbourne radio station this week.

    "[Duncan] Fletcher has known right through the summer this is something we haven't been happy with, but it's continued.

    "He knows it's something that's got under our skins and I've had enough of it, and I let him know that, and most of his players too."

    Ponting's anger involved the belief that England were deliberately spelling their bowlers for the maximum allowable time, so that they could receive massages and physiotherapy before and after bowling.

    "It's within the rules of the game, but it's just not within the spirit of the game, which is what we're all trying to uphold," he said, without so much of a choking noise, or a burst of sarcastic laughter.

    Hypocrisy apparently knows no bounds within the Australian dressing room.

    No sooner had Ponting made his comments, than McGrath, who patronised England with his "5-0" jibe at the start of the series, was jumping in with support and perpetuating the myth that the Australians had a cricketing conscience.

    "Test cricket to us is played by the guys who are in the team," he said. "If you are not fit enough or you are looking at ways to keep your players fresh, I think that's not quite in the spirit of the game."

    Well, he should know, shouldn't he?

    After all, it was McGrath who opted to bowl full pitched and wide outside off-stump when the heat went on at Brisbane four years ago to prevent Chris Cairns from stealing the first test on the wire.

    And who spat in the direction of Brian Lara a few months previously?

    Faced with playing within the spirit, or the rules of the game, Australian captains have invariably settled for the latter - as demonstrated by Greg Chappell's decision to employ an underarm bowler in 1982, Steve Waugh's go-slow against the West Indies at the 1999 World Cup, and again with his instructions to bowl wide of the crease at Brisbane in 2001.

    The ultimate irony is that the existing time constraints on players were only imposed after the antics of the 1981 Australians and, in particular, fast-bowler Dennis Lillee, who took to enjoying a shower and a change of shirt at the end of each spell.

    Ponting probably doesn't appreciate it at the moment

    By Blogger MAHER, at 13:55  

  • thats from NZ herald.

    was curiousely checking what reports NZ media did reg our earlier debate here, there interesting things, check out article about Bond too, What fleming said after our match etc etc, and yeah NZ Herals was hoping black cats were all set to score 400 today. ha ha ha...

    whats your take on Ponting drama??u have sidelined that one.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 13:59  

  • maher, I don't think anyone is taking the 'spirit of cricket' part seriously :-) They are looking at the legality of Eng use of substitutes (because there is a legal issue of the umpires being ok with the reason for substitution) but not at the 'morality' of it. I dont think even Aussie fans take that bait.

    By Blogger worma, at 13:59  

  • toney,
    even i am following it only on the net.....www.usopen.org . Should be starting anytime :)

    By Blogger cartan, at 14:00  

  • maher, can you please post the links here ? thx

    By Blogger worma, at 14:01  

  • Maher,
    nice post, that. Wonder what he would have done had he been punished fairly with a couple of matches on the bench for not upholding the spirit of the game after his ro. I dont think there was anyone left in England who didnt receive a share of him mouthing off his frustrations. Poor chap!!

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:03  

  • I think Prem is tired of talking abt hypocrites in Aus or anywhere else...

    Talking of poor ways to express oneself, I saw a headline in CNN abt the effects of Katrina,'It's like being in a Third World country'. The term Third World Country (which even we use to describe ourselves!!) itself is derogatory, I think this was plain stupid at best. But not commenting on that at length on a cricket site :)

    Inzi and the PCB made a ruckus about him not being in the world test or ODI teams. With SRT having been sidelined because of injury and possibly not recovering in time for that series, I wonder whether Inzi would be selected. And if he is, I wonder if his ego would allow him to accept it.

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:08  

  • Worma,
    is it only because they struggling agnst feddie and co. or is this the first time any team did this smart thing??

    we should have carried one canny for sri during his whole career then.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 14:09  

  • sania a break up!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 14:09  

  • camerin breaks back :(

    By Blogger Tiger, at 14:12  

  • camerin serving 1-2, 1st set

    By Blogger Tiger, at 14:12  

  • Toney...

    liked one gujarati comedian once joked about cnn( said its just "see and and...and ),As prem said was thinking how they name it?? charlie,franci....
    well leave them just there.
    no wait how about Flintoff on Larry king Live.....Dont go away...

    will try again and will put those links.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 14:13  

  • toney...i think Sachin's replacement would be chosen from the selected 14(15?)

    maher, I think its done earlier also, thats why Aussie did bring up this issue before the start of the series. But Eng is just exploiting the rules. Its like, as you said, bowling negative for a draw. There are rules for that, but those can also be exploited.

    By Blogger worma, at 14:15  

  • sania 3-1 up

    By Blogger Tiger, at 14:16  

  • Sania leading 2-1 and 40-15 in the 4th game

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:17  

  • for live scores..

    By Blogger Tiger, at 14:17  

  • sania' serve speed showing up as 102 mph..

    By Blogger Tiger, at 14:19  

  • 4-1 , 1st set

    By Blogger Tiger, at 14:19  

  • First set Sania leads 4-1

    By Blogger Bedoon_Esam, at 14:20  

  • Prem:

    Obviously the board knows something we don't vis-a-vis Jadhav. I say, more power to them. And while they are at it, let them replace all established players with fringe players. Do we really care whether we win a test series against Zimbabwe or not? Is it really going to hurt our ranking (it may, I'm not so sure about that). Anyway, if we don't experiment now and find out what the depth of India's bench is we are never going to have the balls to do that anytime soon. We can replace players like Ganguly, Sehwag, Bhajji, Dravid, etc. and induct new blood against Zimbabwe. I'm pretty sure even with this team we will be able to beat Zimbabwe. As someone pointed out, most of the senior players are in the same age group and one day, bang, they'll be gone. Is that when we are going to bring in the new brigade and do a baptism by fire?

    By Blogger hjrsingh, at 14:20  

  • Me wonder if Sania can serve at 102mph, wat she'd do with a cricket ball in her hands...

    By Blogger Bedoon_Esam, at 14:21  

  • worma,,,




    By Blogger MAHER, at 14:22  

  • beddoom...

    better u explain, what she will do?

    By Blogger MAHER, at 14:23  

  • bedoon,
    No one knows what she can do with her hands...
    Is 102mph a great effort for tennis? I mean, I saw Roddick's match and he clocked 138+. And I do think the Williams sisters have pretty good speeds, 1120+. Correct me if I am wrong

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:30  

  • 5-2 NOW

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:30  

  • maher thx...would be interesting to see what they say about today's game. Would follow up.

    By Blogger worma, at 14:36  

  • Older article but this was interesting too, seems the Kiwis have taken a liking to Ponting and his captaincy

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:37  

  • crap, 5-4

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:37  

  • her faster serve was 108 mph. dont think leander's fastest was too much more. bhupathi though has the fastest among indians

    By Blogger JD, at 14:42  

  • another chance to win the set

    By Blogger JD, at 14:43  

  • wins the set

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:45  

  • 1st set to sania 6-4

    By Blogger Tiger, at 14:45  

  • dang a break down early second set

    By Blogger JD, at 14:48  

  • 0-1 in 2nd

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:48  

  • toney..

    For some reading that columist Richerd boock is new entry now,they NZ looks like enjoying this english summer.
    Always good to read comments from third(-: no not world) angle.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 14:50  

  • look@ sania fever, Even blog is affected.
    who says we indians are just cricket mad?? what u guys say, bring on players(of good talent) on any and we will support, right??

    By Blogger MAHER, at 14:52  

  • Sania is making far too many unforced errors. She has 24 so far. She holds a +15 edge in the winners.

    If only she could cut down her errors

    By Blogger Sridhar, at 14:58  

  • 105 mph
    still able to crank up the big serves

    By Blogger JD, at 14:59  

  • she is struggling now

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:01  

  • Prem should rename the blog from sightscreen to netchord :-)

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:01  

  • 3 break points saved

    By Blogger JD, at 15:03  

  • sania will win this match..just a gut feeling...

    By Blogger Rajg, at 15:05  

  • Toney,
    What Sania is doing right now is really great. She really deserves all the posts here. it is much better than talking about our Cricket Stars. I am die hard cricket fan by the way and even I hate their performance.

    By Blogger Sridhar, at 15:06  

  • rajg

    seems like she lost way in the second set

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:07  

  • Rajg,

    With 34 unforced errors her opponent should really play badly for Sania to win.
    I mean they only played 1 1/2 sets so far and 34 is too big a number. I guess she is playing Hit or Miss.

    By Blogger Sridhar, at 15:08  

  • maybe she got distracted by the huge crowd of supporters from the "sightscreen area" ;)

    By Blogger cartan, at 15:08  

  • if she is in trouble, she should go for super-sub.....

    By Blogger MAHER, at 15:09  

  • she is looking totally drained out...wonder why ? looks humid there...is she unfit or something ?

    By Blogger worma, at 15:18  

  • 1-6 in 2nd set!!!

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:18  

  • worms,

    it is very humid here today

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:19  

  • is someone taking an injury break
    has been no action for a while

    By Blogger JD, at 15:21  

  • hmmm....but an italian should suffer more in humidity...maybe she shud have practised in chennai :-) But seriously, not looking 100% to me

    By Blogger worma, at 15:22  

  • Ok,
    Let us play Quiz Time.

    How Many 4's and 6's did Sobers hit during his knock of 365*.
    (no refereing to Cricinfo)

    By Blogger Sridhar, at 15:23  

  • worma,
    look 4 prem in stands!!!!
    just drawing a picture how he looks there.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 15:23  

  • maher...they switched to the williams game here :-(
    btw, dont have clue what Prem looks like...what do I look for (if they switch back)!

    By Blogger worma, at 15:25  

  • down to 78mph

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:28  

  • worma,
    *l* just have one picture thats on sightscreen.he will go there only in hope to find out that blocking guy...

    By Blogger MAHER, at 15:28  

  • Man, looks like she is getting beaten. Anything wrong with her health ?

    By Blogger Poondu, at 15:29  

  • Is this Sania match live in US?

    By Blogger Rajg, at 15:29  

  • ps dont stack up reasons for her defeat or ways to improve here.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 15:30  

  • crap 0-2 in final set

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:30  

  • down 0-2 in the third

    By Blogger Sridhar, at 15:30  

  • broke her opponent at love.

    By Blogger Sridhar, at 15:32  

  • Prem:

    You could be right about the fact that the Indian media tends to laud sports stars more than criticize them. The Indian public certainly seems to go that way. Look at all the fawning over Sania Mirza as if she's the next Avatar and she's not even broken in the top 10 yet.

    Or is it the S-factor, guys? I did not hear such adulation when Paes-Bhupathi won several championships.

    The droolfulness is indeed terrifc.

    By Blogger hjrsingh, at 15:32  

  • prem, is sitting next to jesica parker, in the nth row from left.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 15:34  

  • what do u mean maher?

    By Blogger Poondu, at 15:34  

  • maher, what blocking guy ?

    By Blogger worma, at 15:35  

  • hasnt EVEN broken into top 10?? Well u certainly got high expectations for a country that hasnt got an olympic medal hopeful ( yeah one manages a medal somehow every olympics !) all these years!

    By Blogger cartan, at 15:35  

  • hjr....

    she is 50.and for us its as good as top 10. did u ever heard b4 any ind wmn playing in grand slam??
    whtever she is, is best what we have so why not adulation.
    bhupathi-paes got same attention.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 15:36  

  • i mean in 50.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 15:37  

  • hjrsingh,

    A women from India playing in a Grand Slam is a great thing. let us give credit where it is due. Regarding top 10 that is a very long shot.

    By Blogger Sridhar, at 15:38  

  • there u go.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 15:41  

  • now leading 3-2 in the final set.

    By Blogger Sridhar, at 15:41  

  • Is the match on Espn ?

    By Blogger sachin, at 15:41  

  • come on hjrsingh,

    what droolfulness- this is one woman who deserves credit

    Mahesh-Paes got adultation too- singles always have more following than doubles though

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:42  

  • When Leaden played for bronze in 1996 in Atlanta, it was same feeling...lot of us were following CNN score cards.

    Indian playing in a major event is a great feeling.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 15:42  

  • Back to cricket:

    On the issue of internal rift within the Indian team, we should not underestimate the long-term harm that the board did in dealing with the captaincy issue. A TEAM needs cohesion - when you have it, even bit players put in amazing performances, but when you don't, even the stars fall. Judging by how BCCI deals with the team, cohesion would be exactly the opposite of what they seem to want.

    When RD was made captain, we were not told - but more importantly, there is no indication that RD was told - that it was only because SG could not play. No matter how much of a team man he is, he can not but wonder what he could have done wrong to lose it (ok, he lost the tournament, but not too many ppl are blaming his captaincy for that).

    On the other hand, blame SG as much as you want for his recent batting performance, but you should not blame him for expecting to get the armband back if and when he got back into the team. Because, it does not appear that anyone has explained to him what he has done wrong to lose it (it is far easier to argue that he doesn't deserve a place in the team than to argue that he doesn't deserve the armband even when he is in the team, notwithstanding the recent level of performance of the team under his leadership). And to argue that, give the captain a break to regain his form, and he can then get it back – well, I think that is an insane idea! By the way, are there examples of this sort?

    You have to be naive to assume that this tension is having only some marginal impact on the team. I do not know how friendly RD and SG have been over time, but they have always appeared to have a pretty solid working relationship. Yet, apparently SG had not talked to RD since getting his thing back at least until his departure from Kolkata (he said something like, we're good friends, know what our roles are, no need to talk everyday. Yeah, sure! And now these reports.

    It is good to have team members competing for future leadership - that is part of succession planning in any successful organization. But it is a BAD idea to have members competing with the current leader. And Harsha’s article clearly states why that is so (I should mention at this point why I thought Prem’s idea that the team should continue with RD for the Zim tour and THEN settle the issue was a bad one; that would simply make bad things worse.)

    This HAS to have impacted the performance of other individuals - not sure where should the loyalty lie, not sure about his place in the team, etc., leading to open griping by AK, HS etc. for not being included in the team. Not only that, there are also probably quite a few leadership aspirants in the team who must be thinking why not me. And now that the BCCI has successfully created the situation, there is no easy way out of it.

    I worry much more about this than individual skills/talents. For me, the best thing that can happen now is for Ind to have a horrible showing here so that SG has to leave. Then, hopefully over time, GC and RD can rebuild the team over time. Sadly for me, who until very recently used to be a huge SG fan, I do not otherwise see any glimmer of hope.

    By Blogger cdewsxvfr, at 15:42  

  • cdewsxvfr,

    I agree- terrible handling by the board

    can't take mind off Ms Mirza for now however

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:46  

  • maher...you're being cryptic dude :-)...btw she's almost there..

    By Blogger worma, at 15:46  

  • you know what I would do if India lost one More finals. I will drop the whole team and field our Under-19 or 23 team. What is the worst that can happen. Especially if we new boys under a strong coach (like Imran Khan was for PAK) then things will improve. Currently every player in team is playing on past records. Now Agarkar has taken 4 wickets, he will go back to being the old Agarkar in the next 10 matches.

    We were a great team in March 04 now we are a sad team.

    By Blogger Sridhar, at 15:47  

  • sania needs to hold 2 service games and she will be thru.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 15:54  

  • 4-4 with camerin serving in the final set! This is an exciting match

    By Blogger Tiger, at 15:58  

  • now 4-4. sania was just broken

    By Blogger Sridhar, at 15:59  

  • She playing an opponent who is simpy waiting for sania to make mistakes and she is making them.

    By Blogger Sridhar, at 15:59  

  • Sania, please break her service

    By Blogger suraj, at 16:01  

  • damn it, its deuce on camerin's serve
    Go on, Sania

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:03  

  • 5-4 to sania

    By Blogger Tiger, at 16:03  

  • yeah..........

    By Blogger ilovecricket, at 16:03  

  • By the way, whats wrong in drooling on the performance of a woman who was a kid till not long ago? She's on her way up, hope she does good things for Indian tennis.

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:04  

  • sania serving for the match now

    By Blogger Tiger, at 16:04  

  • serving for the match, hope she doesnt throw it away now

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:04  

  • down 0-30 :(

    By Blogger Tiger, at 16:06  

  • match point

    By Blogger Tiger, at 16:07  

  • win!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 16:07  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 16:07  

  • Well played Sania!!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 16:08  

  • NICE...

    By Blogger ilovecricket, at 16:08  

  • Here's to women power in India

    By Blogger ilovecricket, at 16:08  

  • you go girl....well done

    By Blogger Rajg, at 16:09  

  • relief...could not follow last set..

    Tired of cricket....hearing bad news again and again.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 16:12  

  • Been lurking here for a long time.. finally couldnt resist and created the account :-). Bhupathi doubles match going on now .. anyone cheering for that? :)

    By Blogger indiansportsfan, at 16:13  

  • next she plays bartoli of france who is ranked 43

    By Blogger Tiger, at 16:14  

  • sania is ranked 42

    By Blogger Tiger, at 16:15  

  • ahh 42 v/s 43... interesting matchup.. was this on TV? did she appear physically exhausted?

    By Blogger indiansportsfan, at 16:15  

  • Worma,

    Cryptic bole to...
    my angreji is poor man, dont go that far.*L*

    By Blogger MAHER, at 16:19  

  • If Sania wins against Bartoli, she has a potential 4th round game against Sharapova! That'll make it two good reasons to watch that game ;-). Go Sania, go!!

    By Blogger rp, at 16:19  

  • Bhupathi is playing with Daniela Hantuchova in mixed doubles. thats 2 good reasons to watch right there. Hopefully he can look to the other side of the net while hes playing ;-).

    By Blogger indiansportsfan, at 16:25  

  • Sania has won.
    It was a nail biter.

    By Blogger Aniruddha Dutta, at 16:27  

  • Sania came as a breath of fresh air. Atleast for this blog.

    By Blogger suraj, at 16:28  

  • Ah Sharapova!! I have never ever wanted her to lose, hope that changes this Open :)

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:29  

  • Does anyone know if Sania plays mixed-doubles? If not, wouldn't it be gr8 if Bhupathi and her were to team up? I think playing mix-doubles will help improve her serve-volley game too...any more expert-fan comments?? :-))

    By Blogger rp, at 16:31  

  • Bhupathi was asked about it in a recent interview (since it is his company which is Sania's agent, takes care of her endorsements etc.) and he said that he is not averse to it in the future, but he would prefer that she concentrate on her singles game for now since she has got it going.

    By Blogger indiansportsfan, at 16:33  

  • Bhupathi had also said that he'd consider playing mixed doubles with Sania only after she breaks into the top 50.

    By Blogger Jai, at 16:34  

  • Bhupathi had also said that he'd consider playing mixed doubles with Sania only after she breaks into the top 50.

    By Blogger Jai, at 16:34  

  • More on Sania-mania:

    Some friends in Cincinnati got her autographs while she was playing in the Masters series. They said that she was quite polite to all the fans...she didn't say much but seemed friendly...looks like a level-headed youngster and so far it speaks volumes of her having the "right" attitude.

    By Blogger rp, at 16:37  

  • It looks like Bhupathi and his company are doing a good job. Looks like he's really into helping develop the Indian tennis scene.

    By Blogger rp, at 16:44  

  • from TOI's epaper:

    Ganguly to go back to coach

    By Indranil Basu/TNN

    New Delhi: Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, who is struggling to rediscover his form, is planning to get back to his childhood coach Debu Mitra to iron out flaws that have crept into his batting.
    Mitra, who is currently coaching the Saurashtra Ranji team and South Hamstead Club which plays in the first division of the Middlesex league, told TOI that Ganguly’s problem lies with his “muscle memory” and, of course, his technique. “But that is not a cause for huge worry... he has not forgotten how to bat. Yes, he is not able to play the way he used to because the current technique has taken a lot of space in his mind,” Mitra said.
    He further added that he had a three-day net session with the Bengal southpaw recently in England, where he discussed some minute details of his batting.
    “During his recent stint in Glamorgan, we shared a couple of net sessions but again that was not enough. Once Sourav is back in Kolkata, he is supposed to call me. And then, we have to address his basic problem, which he is also aware of,” Mitra added.
    And for those who think Ganguly should quit international cricket, Mitra had this to say: “They should know that he is still mentally very strong to get those big ones. He just needs time to do so.”

    By Blogger rp, at 16:54  

  • Prem went to watch match live.....no post from him this afternoon :-)

    By Blogger Rajg, at 16:58  

  • Going back to teh ashes, and to be fair to the aussies, the bbc commentators blofeld and co. were themselves saying that the use of substitutes by england is getting quite ridiculous (I heard this before Pontings run-out) and that its invariably their fast bowlers who are off the field right before or after their spells so yeah, the aussies shouldnt turn moral guardians of the game but they werent totally out of line with their complaints

    By Blogger indiansportsfan, at 17:22  

  • rajg,

    Prem updates only at 2 and 7 PM now

    By Blogger suraj, at 17:39  

  • Guy check this. yes i know its TOI but they are quoting Sanjay Jagdale who do have some credibility.
    So is Veeru getting the stick?

    By Blogger Vick, at 17:44  

  • SG should have talked to Mitra a couple of years ago. I guess if SW could talk to Jenner and revive his bowling, why couldnt SG... At least, he accepts that there are issues with his batting, which is a great start.
    Coming from TOI, its a wonder that there isnt any added gossip or a slide show which shows SG playing different strokes, with

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:48  

  • vick,
    Once again, coming from TOI, can we trust it? Did the writer actually see the manager's report? I wonder if it is available too the media at all.
    Sometimes, I think it must be frustrating for a reporter. He might get insider information about scandalous stuff, yet he wont be able to present the facts because he wont be able to use his source as proof of his story. And then, people wouldnt want to believe in it.

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:53  

  • Sab bakwas

    My sister works for TOI and knows the insides on their revised strategy to sensationalize news and gain audience. I don't believe a word of it.

    Thestrategy has actually worked as many people go to check out what nonsense they have come up with next.

    By Blogger suraj, at 18:01  

  • *LOL* Now this is cool -- Sania seems to be all over this blog!

    On an unrelated note, guys, that bit about Jagdale? Bottomline is, reporters do get to see the reports managers file. Not always, though -- in the sense you can't just ask for it and get it.

    What typically happens is, an administrator, past or present, is simmering about something or other, and he either knows a particular reporter well, or the reporter happens to catch him at the exact right time. And then the administrator spills his guts, smuggles him a copy of the report -- the whole ball of wax.

    Remember a lot of those stories Faisal and I used to do, about the BCCI's doings? Much of the basic material came that way -- we dug in the right places, tapped the right guys at the right time, and got them talking.

    A classic instance is Sunil Dev, the DDCA guy. I was in Delhi on some other work and had an afternoon free, so for the heck of it, went over to the Kotla. Turned out, Sunil was there, so I was like, hey, pal, how about we talk?

    We went back to his office, and Sunil cut loose. That was the interview (it should be there, in the Rediff archives) in which he first talked about the infamous 'one day before one day after' trick selectors and other officials play to earn more money.

    He also, while talking of mismanagement, whipped out the report he had filed when he went with the team on India's first tour of South Africa. Quite shocking it was, too -- he indicated the BCCI for not having thought of nailing down net facilities for the Indians, when negotiating with the South African board; he spoke of the problems the team faced because the SA board would only give them what was in the contract (very little, since the BCCI hadn't bothered to ask for what the players would need) and not an iota more. And the clincher was, he spoke of how the team went without official blazers (most players used their own, with hastily affixed BCCI badges) because of another screw up. The irony, said Sunil -- he mentioned it in his report, by the way -- was that when the team returned, they were met at the airport by, among others, a BCCI official who assiduously handed out the blazers in the reception area, so the team could wear it as they walked out of the airport.

    So yeah... it happens... you do get to see managers' reports. :-)

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 18:54  

  • Ok Here is HT the competitot of TOI coming up with this article.So everyone quoted and connected to the report published in TOI is denying it.


    By Blogger Vick, at 18:56  

  • Now, need to leave office, head home, shower, and settle down to a night of editing India Abroad stories... see you guys tomorrow.

    Oh, btw... Suraj, Toney, Worma... could you guys pl send me your email ids? To prem at us.rediff.com

    Tell you why later... just something I want to try out is all :-)

    Good night, you guys

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 18:58  

  • guys,
    what is it told in toi against shewag? can somebidy publish it in the blog itslef... i am not able to open the link ...

    By Blogger rajesh, at 02:40  

  • rajesh - here it is for ur entertainment..

    BTW, if an American saw that first photo of Viru and Yuvraj, he'd get some strange thoughts! One day a colleague of mine came to me and said in a low tone "you know that Indian girl.. is she a lesbian.. I saw her with her arms around this other girl!"..

    By Blogger Tiger, at 10:01  

  • Considering interstate netbank ? You'd do better by checking out Fee Free Bank .com . At least a $25 bonus for opening a new account, with bonuses as high as $1,500 ! You save more and get a higher interest rate to make YOUR money work for YOU.

    By Blogger clandis, at 08:02  

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