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BCCI felicitates ‘Fab Four’


VVS Laxman, Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly, and Sachin Tendulkar during a felicitation

Former captains Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly reposed faith in Mahendra Singh Dhoni and expressed hopes that under him, India would emerge as the number one team in the world.

“I know for the fact that this team under MS and (coach) Gary (Kirsten) will soon become the number one team. We have that talent,” an optimist Kumble said after he, along with Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman were felicitated by the BCCI.

Ganguly, India’s most successful captain ever, shared Kumble’s view and said, “MS and Gary are our two torch-bearers and I hope they would take Indian cricket forward.”

Ganguly, who is playing his last Test here, took the occasion to thank all and said though he didn’t endear to all, he always had the team interest in mind.

“It was a long journey with lots of ups and downs, victory and loss but it was wonderful. Sharing the dressing room with the likes of Anil, Sachin, Rahul (Dravid) and Laxman has been an honour and privilege.

“During the journey, I made both friends and enemies but it was all for the good of Indian cricket,” said the left-hander.

Kumble individually thanked almost each and every teammate even though Tendulkar came in for special praise. “When he first came into the international scene, whole India said ‘you’d break every batting record’ and he had the talents to prove all right…

“With Rahul, I have shared a special bond, he was my Karnataka teammate as well. We have had some fantastic moments and I say ‘you have been the backbone of Indian cricket. All the success we had came because of your contribution’,” Kumble said.

Kumble was equally effusive in his praise for Ganguly and said, “Under you, we’ve learnt how to win Tests abroad. Besides, we have always cherished your batting.”

On Laxman, who is playing his 100th Test here, Kumble felt the right hander didn’t get his dues despite bailing out the team from difficult situations.

For his spin partner Harbhajan Singh, Kumble said, “I will miss bowling with you from the other end. From now onwards, you’d lead the (spin) attack. You are close to a personal landmark (of 300 Test wickets) and I’m sure one day you’ll become the highest wicket-taker for India.”

On Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan, Kumble said, “I have played lot with both Veeru and Zak. Veeru is a very special talent and both he and Zak would lead the Indian batting and bowling.

“To all other members of the team, I wish you a great career ahead. Before this Test series against Australia, we sat and decided in Bangalore that we have to win this series. We are very close to that and I hope you guys will win it.”

Talking about Kumble and Ganguly, Tendulkar paid a rich tribute to both and said, “Sourav had lots of ups and downs in his career but has shown great determination and delivered tremendous performance. We’ve opened in lot of ODIs and know each other’s game very well.

“Anil too showed 100 percent determination. He broke his jaw in West Indies but returned with a plastered jaw and removed Brian Lara,” Tendulkar said.

“We’ll miss Sourav and Anil, as will the entire country,” he added.

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November 7, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rajinikanth must enter politics: Chiranjeevi’s advice

STAR TO STATESMAN? Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi formed his political party in August.

STAR TO STATESMAN? Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi formed his political party in August.

Tamil superstar Rajinikanth must enter politics, and he should decide about it now. That message comes from Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi, who formed his own political party this year.

“I think he (Rajinikanth) should have joined politics. I think he should have come (into politics). He has got some much charisma—people expect him,” said Chiranjeevi in an interview.

Asked whether he had discussed the issue with Rajinikanth, he said: “Yes, oh yes! Several times—we discussed it. We discussed it many times. He said when I enter 60 years it would be the right time.”

Chiranjeevi wanted the Tamil actor to decide about joining politics now. “Yes. You are right—something like that,” he said when asked if Rajinikanth should make a decision now.

Rajinikanth has refused to accept his fans’ plea to enter politics at least thrice since 1996. Last month, his fans formed a ‘political party’ but he scolded them and warned no one can “force” him to enter politics.

He also warned of legal action against people using his name for political gains.

“While no one can stop me from entering the political arena, nobody can force me to do so as well. Legal action will be initiated against those who use my name for political ends,” the actor said on October in a statement to media organisations.

Chiranjeevi, who for years had been under similar fan pressure, jumped into politics when he formed the Prajarajyam party in Tirupati on August 26.

Chiranjeevi has promised that his party will work for the poor and the landless but is yet to sketch out a clear political ideology.

November 7, 2008 Posted by | Cinema, General, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Krejza 6th to claim 8 wickets in debut innings

Jason Krejza on Friday became only the sixth bowler in Test cricket history to claim eight wickets in an innings on debut. He is the first to do so since Lance Klusener.

Interestingly Klusener also performed this feat against India. Australia’s Bob Massie and India’s Narendra Hirwani took eight wickets in both innings of the Test.

Bowler Wkts Runs Opponent Venue Season
AE Trott (Aus) 8 43 v England Adelaide 1894-95
RAL Massie (Aus) 8 53 v England Lord’s 1972
ND Hirwani (Ind) 8 61 v West Indies Chennai 1987-88
L Klusener (SA) 8 64 v India Kolkata 1996-97
ND Hirwani (Ind 8 75 v West Indies Chennai 1987-88
RAL Massie (Aus) 8 84 v England Lord’s 1972
AL Valentine (WI) 8 104 v England Manchester 1950
JJ Krejza (Aus) 8 215 v India Nagpur 2008-09

November 7, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sourav Ganguly misses century; Five for Jason Krejza

Ask any purist and he would tell you what a sight it is when Sourav Ganguly dances down the track to loft a spinner over his head. The frequency of those humongous sixes has diminished over time, but in his final Test match, the southpaw put the sublime on display as he moved to 80 not out in perhaps his penultimate innings in Test cricket. Not just did he dance down the pitch but threaded the offside with the timing people now associate him with his retirement.

The Indians had made their intentions clear on the opening day of the final Test itself, and Ganguly kept it going as Jason Krejza was dismissed over long-on for a six, and then repeated the act for a boundary after completing his half-century. India saw off the first session to be 404-5 at lunch on a day when Australia’s bowlers not only looked flat but pedestrian. Along with Dhoni, the sixth wicket stood on an unbeaten 101 runs.

Australia started the second day with Jason Krejza despite operating with the second new ball. Brett Lee took the ball from the other end, but it was more than a tactical error. Mitchell Johnson, the pick of Australian bowlers this series, has been off-colour in the final Test, often spraying wide of off-stump and far too full.

India’s first day total of 311-5 was more or less identical to that of Mohali, where the hosts established a 1-0 series lead with a 320-run victory. The turn of events were also similar, with a mini-collapse followed by a resolute stand before losing Sachin Tendulkar towards the end of day’s play.

Even the start to the second day was similar, with Ganguly and Dhoni putting on 56 in the first hour of play. The only difference was the role reversal between the batsmen, with Ganguly taking the attack to the bowlers while Dhoni’s knock was comparatively reserved to his whirlwind 92 in Mohali.

November 7, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment