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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

Sourav Ganguly completes 7,000 Test runs

Sourav Ganguly reached a personal landmark on Friday when he became the fourth Indian batsman to cross 7,000 runs during the first day’s play of the second cricket Test against Australia at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium here.

Ganguly’s feat came just an hour after Tendulkar surpassed the record of West Indian Brian Lara as the highest scorer in Test cricket.

The Prince of Kolkata, who will retire from international cricket after the four-Test series, crossed the milestone while on 40 after gliding a Johnson delivery to sweeper cover for a double.

Tendulkar and Ganguly stitched a crucial partnership after India lost four wickets with 163 runs. The reached the duo in the post-tea session of the first day’s play here.

Ganguly took 111 Tests to achieve the feat, in his 12-year illustrious career.

The other three in the 7,000-run category are Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar and Rahul Dravid. Ganguly is the 33rd batsman in world cricket to cross the 7,000-run mark in Tests.

October 20, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

India ride high of Dada’s ton

India were all out for 469 on the second day of the second cricket Test against Australia today (Oct 18). While Sourav Ganguly scored his 16th century (100 of 219 balls) in the longer version of the game, skipper MS Dhoni was unlucky to miss out on a much-deserved ton, when he was declared LBW to Siddle for 92. Earlier, Ganguly, playing in his farewell series, added more than 100 runs with the stand-in captain to frustrate the Australian bowlers on an unresponsive pitch. The former skipper batted for more than five hours, hitting nine fours after adding 142 runs for the fifth wicket with Tendulkar on Friday to rescue India from 163 for four.

Resuming on 311 for five, India lost night-watchman Ishant Sharma (9) in the fourth over of the day and much of the credit goes to Australian captain Ricky Ponting who plotted the dismissal with a field setting that was spot on. Peter Siddle banged one short which Ishant fended and Simon Katich took the looping dolly at leg gully, completing the cycle.

Dhoni announced his arrival by hitting the first ball, from Brett Lee, to the ropes and then whacked Siddle over fine leg ropes for the first six of the match. Siddle was again worked past point and Shane Watson thumped through covers as Dhoni decided to impose himself on the Australian attack.

All along, Ganguly was quiet, dealing only in singles and twos. Playing his last series and with a century in sight, the left-hander was content grafting it at one end. Not for once, he went for the aerial route and even Cameron White could not draw him out of the crease as Ganguly nudged along and pushed more than he drove. He pulled Brett Lee for his first four of the day early this morning before retreating into a cocoon. Little before the lunch break, he flicked Mitchell Johnson and on-drove White for two more boundaries to get into the 90s.

Earlier on Day One, India finished day one at 311 for five wickets, which involved couple of partnerships. Openers Gautam Gambhir (67) put up a 70-run partnership with Virender Sehwag (35) and later Tendulkar(88) and Ganguly (batting 54) propped up India with a 142-run stand.

October 18, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

After battling draw, it’s the war of words

Australian captain Ricky Ponting greets Sourav Ganguly after the first cricket Test ended in draw in Bangalore.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting greets Sourav Ganguly after the first cricket Test ended in draw in Bangalore.

As soon as the on-field battle ended in a draw, the war of words kicked off. While collecting his Man of the Match award, Indian pacer Zaheer Khan said that the Aussies hadn’t been aggressive enough. And that triggered an exchange of words between the two camps.
Since there have been quite a few on-field scraps between the rival players during this hotly-contested Test, and in most contests between these countries in the recent past, should mean an entertaining few days between Tests.

Zaheer’s comments were in context of Australia’s run rate — which stayed under three — in both the innings, as well as the defensive fields set by Ricky Ponting, who employed a sweeper on both sides of the wicket for most parts.

But Ponting, who addressed the media after the match, said that the Indian pacer didn’t know what he was talking about. “We were the only ones here trying to take the game forward. We played aggressive cricket. I’m not sure what he means by that (statement). He can have a little bit of a chuckle to himself on the inside, that’s what I have to say to him. I don’t think it means too much to us,” he said. Later he added that it was the Indian team that was known to play for draws.

And once Ponting was done, Zaheer walked in from the Indian camp, ensuring that the issue simmered. “They generally play at four runs an over, but that was not the case here,” he said. After that he went on to comment about the Australian bowling attack. “Look, they (Aussies) couldn’t get us out twice, they couldn’t pick up 20 wickets… they couldn’t even get me and Bhajji out so what are they talking about?” he said.The Indian pacer also commented on the Australian spin-department. “On this fifth day pitch the spinners looked a long way from getting a wicket. Not just that even their seamers didn’t get many,” said Zaheer.

Ponting did admit though that his side missed a quality spinner. “A quality spinner might have made things a little different today. We’ve got a couple of days to recover from this game now and we hope to play hard Cricket in Mohali as well,” he said.

October 14, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

நான் ‘பலிகடா’: கங்குலி ஆவேசம்

பெங்களூரு: “”தேர்வு குழுவினர் என்னை மோசமாக நடத்தினர். இனிமேலும் என்னை பலிகடா ஆக்க வேண்டாம் என்ற எண்ணத்தில் தான் ஓய்வை அறிவித்தேன்,” என்கிறார் கங்குலி. இந்திய அணியின் வெற்றி கேப்டனாக திகழ்ந்தவர் கங்குலி. இவர் ஆஸ்திரேலிய தொடருக்கு பின் சர்வதேச கிரிக் கெட்டில் இருந்து ஓய்வு பெறப்போவதாக திடீரென அறிவித்தார். இதற்கு இந்திய கிரிக்கெட் போர்டின் நிர்ப்பந்தம் தான் காரணம் என கூறப்படுகிறது.

நெருக்கடி கொடுத்தனர்: இந்நிலையில் வெங்சர்க்கார் தலைமையிலான தேர்வு குழுவினர் தன்னை பலிகடா ஆக்கிவிட்டதாக கங்குலி குற்றம் சாட்டியுள்ளார். இது குறித்து அவர் அளித்த பேட்டி: தேர்வாளர்களின் கருணையில் விளையாட வேண்டிய அவசியம் எனக்கு இல்லை. ஒரு தொடருக்கு வாய்ப்பு தருவார்கள். ஆனால், அடுத்த தொடரிலிருந்து நீக்கிவிடுவார்கள். எப்போதும் என்னை தான் “பலிகடா’ ஆக்குகிறார்கள். இது நீடிக்க வேண் டாம் என்ற எண்ணத்துடன் ஓய்வு பெற முடிவு செய் தேன். உங்கள் தலையில் துப்பாக்கியை வைத்தால், அதை எவ்வளவு நேரம் தான் பொறுத்து கொள்வீர்கள். 450 போட்டிகள் விளையாடிய பின்பும் எனக்கு நெருக்கடி கொடுக்கிறார்கள். தூக்கம் வரவில்லை: இரானி கோப்பைக்கான அணியிலிருந்து நீக்கப்படுவேன் என கொஞ்சமும் எதிர்பார்க்கவில்லை. இதனால் ஏற்பட்ட காயம் ஆறவில்லை. சொல்ல முடியாத வேதனை காரணமாக ஒரு மாதம் எனக்கு தூக்கம் வரவில்லை. புதிய தேர்வு குழுவினர் மூன்று ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்னரே பொறுப்பேற்றிருந்தால், நிலைமை வேறு மாதிரி இருந்திருக்கும். சிலர் தாங்கள் சேர்த்த ரன்களை விட அதிக முறை “ஹேர் ஸ்டைலை’ மாற்றியுள்ளனர். இவர்களுக்கு அணியில் தொடர்ந்து இடம் அளிக் கப்படுகிறது. சிறப்பாக விளையாடிய போதும் என்னை நீக்கிவிட்டார்கள். எனக்குரிய மதிப்பு கிடைக்கவில்லை. இவ்வாறு கங்குலி தெரிவித்தார்.

October 11, 2008 Posted by | Cricket | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life after Cricket for India’s ‘Seniors’

One down, four to go. The clock is ticking, and after Sourav Ganguly decided to hang up his boot, it is ticking at a rapid speed for the rest of India’s ‘senior’ players. Anil Kumble has already hinted that he might go the Ganguly way and call it a day after the Australia series. Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, all on the wrong side of 30, will be now facing the heat.

It is just a matter of time before the other pillars of Indian cricket decide or are told that it is time for them to go too. So, what next for the men who have lived with the bat and the ball as constant companions?

Sourav Ganguly: In an international career that has spanned over 16 years, Ganguly has paid keen interest to his off-field businesses. A chain of restaurants are only an add-on to the publishing business his family has owned for decades. ‘Dada’ also has a stake in a multi national sports management company.

Considering his demi-god status in West Bengal, if he considers politics as a career option, it can be safe to say that unlike the Indian selectors, political parties will go all out to have him in their ‘team’.

Sachin Tendulkar: Cricket has always been his life and India’s master batsman will surely have a tough time when he decides to live life after cricket. But he has a thriving business in the form of a restaurant called ‘Tendulkar’s’ in the heart of Mumbai.

Commentary might not be a great idea for Tendulkar for obvious reasons but a cricket academy in his name will surely rake in admissions nineteen to a dozen with the hopes of parents across the nation to breed the ‘next Sachin Tendulkar’.

Anil Kumble: India’s Test captain, Anil Kumble is a qualified mechanical engineer and along with his brother Dinesh, promotes a software company called ‘StumpVision’ which has spinned several softwares for cricket lovers.

With his deep baritone, the eloquent Kumble might be already on the radar of several sports channels to hire him as a TV commentator.

Rahul Dravid: ‘The Wall’ of Indian cricket has had his focus just on the game so far and when he decides to quit, he will need a different thinking hat to consider his options. With his orthodox defence and copybook shotmaking ability, Dravid might do well as a batting coach.

He is also said to be one of the most good looking men to have played the game and a career in movies, can mean India finally gets its first cricketer-turned-filmstar, though he might have to work a tad on his emoting skills.

VVS Laxman: Born in a family of doctors, Laxman made the bat his instrument and with almost surgical precision cut the lethal Aussies in several pieces more than once.

He left his MBBS course midway to take up cricket as a full-time profession. Now that the time to bid adieu to the game is not far, the Hyderabad batsman might like to hit the medical books instead of cricket balls a la Main hoon na.

October 9, 2008 Posted by | Cricket | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I was hurt so I quit: Sourav Ganguly

He stunned the media and the cricket fraternity with his sudden announcement to retire from international cricket.

Now Sourav Ganguly has finally broken his silence on the move and says he was hurt at not being included in the squad for the Irani Triophy.

“I didn’t like the way I was dropped from Irani Trophy and that is when I decided to quit. It took me around 2 weeks to come to this decision,” he said.

Ganguly also said his family has been supportive of his decision. “I didn’t want to create a big fuss over this. I know my family will be disappointed but I had to do this sooner or later,” he said.

The “Prince of Kolkata” also recalled his favourite moment. “That has to be my first Test at Lords,” he said.

Fed up?

Chairman of selectors Krisnamachari Srikkanth on Tuesday revealed Sourav Ganguly was fed up with the uncertainty over his place in the side and decided to end his international career with his head held high.

“We had a chat in the morning. He (Ganguly) also talked to the coach and the team members. I think he has taken the right decision. Probably he felt every now and then the axe was on him. He felt he wanted to play without such things on his mind,” Srikkanth was quoted by agencies as saying.

October 9, 2008 Posted by | Cricket | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ganguly voted Bengali No. 1: Oh Calcutta!

The Bengali No 1 poll on CNN-IBN has come to an end. Cricketer Sourav Ganguly wins the poll with 59 per cent votes.

“It is great to win. Whether number one or 100. I am proud to be a Bengali”,says the cricketer after winning the poll.

Here is a gist of the final result of the poll –.

At the bottom of the list, at number five are Ganesh Pyne and Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri. The two who draw inspiration from Bengali culture, only managed to inspire 0.1 per cent of the vote.

Sarod Maestro Ali Akbar is at number four and it may not be music to his ears to know. He got 0.3 per cent of your votes.

It’s a crowd at number three. Economist Mohammad Yunus, Sitar maestro, Ravi Shankar, Physicist Ashoke Sen, Chess Champion Dibyendu Barua and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen come away with 0.5 per cent of the votes.

She sets the big screen on fire. But Bollywood star Rani Mukherjee doesn’t rule this chart anymore. With a 38 per cent of the votes, she’s at number two.

And at the number one spot is Cricketer Sourav Ganguly. His current cricket career notwithstanding, Dada is the winner of this poll, with a cool 59 per cent of the votes.

  • Sourav Ganguly 59.154 per cent
  • Rani Mukherjee 38.921 per cent
  • Amartya Sen 0.612per cent
  • Dibyendu Barua 0.483 per cent
  • Ashoke Sen 0.183 per cent
  • Ravi Shankar 0.166 per cent
  • Muhammad Yunus 0.145 per cent
  • Ali Akbar 0.12 per cent
  • Ganesh Pyne 0.098 per cent

October 9, 2008 Posted by | Cricket | , , , , , | Leave a comment