Monday, October 15, 2012

Wodehouse at the wicket - the cricketing connections of the legendary writer

PG Wodehouse at the wicket - the cricketing connections of the legendary writerPG Wodehouse, the greatest humorist in English language, wrote quite a bit about cricket and was a useful cricketer himself. Arunabha Sengupta explores the cricketing connections of the great writer on his 131st birthday.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The day Kapil Dev and Kiran More became Little Brother Big Brother

October 14, 1987: Memorable Hindi commentary praising Kapil Dev & Kiran More heroicsThe old days of Hindi commentary did have some memorable moments. Arunabha Sengupta remembers one such from this day 25 years ago, when the heroics of Kapil Dev and Kiran More were described in a delightful sentence.

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John Snow - The cricket rebel and fast bowling poet

John Snow - The cricket rebel and fast bowling poetFew batsmen ever managed to play him comfortably, but John Snow had plenty of trouble dealing with his own captains and management. However, despite his rebellious nature and the menace he carried, he also wrote poetry and could be philosophical. Arunabha Sengupta pays homage to the unusual fast bowler on his 71st birthday.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Vijay Merchant - his First-class average is next only to the legendary Don Bradman

Vijay Merchant - his First-class average is next only to the legendary Don BradmanAlthough he managed to play just 10 Test matches in his career, Vijay Merchant still stands as one of the greatest batsmen produced by India. Arunabha Sengupta remembers the legendary opener on his 101st birthday.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A near-miracle by Dave Houghton which ended with Martin Crowe's unbelievable catch

A near-miracle by Dave Houghton which ended with Martin Crowe's unbelievable catchIn the early days of the Reliance World Cup 1987, David Houghton conjured up a magical century to take Zimbabwe within a gasp of victory against New Zealand. It took another miracle to stop them from striding through the home-stretch. Arunabha Sengupta recalls the two amazing events of that day 25 years ago.
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Monday, October 8, 2012

The day Kapil Dev's sporting spirit cost India a World Cup match by the narrowest of margins

The day Kapil Dev s sporting spirit cost India a World Cup match by the narrowest of marginsOn this day 25 years ago, Australia rode a wonderful gesture of sportsmanship to win a cliff-hanger against India in the 1987 World Cup. Arunabha Senguptarecalls the day when two runs added during the innings break proved decisive.

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Simon Taufel retires as one of the greatest umpires who ever officiated

Simon Taufel bid adieu at an age when most of the erstwhile umpires used to break into the international arena. Yet, he has carved a niche for himself with sterling decision making for nearly one and a half decades. Arunabha Sengupta salutes the man who exited as an international umpire after officiating the 2012 World T20 final on Sunday.

Humour: Sachin Tendulkar's talk of retirement sends media houses in a tizzy

By Arunabha Sengupta

Sachin Tendulkar’s unexpected announcement about his contemplation on retirement has sent major media houses scrambling for ways to handle the colossal amount of resulting repercussions. People, process and technology are all set for a massive upheaval in the world of sports journalism.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Richie Benaud: A great all-rounder and the voice of cricket

Richie Benaud was a great leg-spinner, a trend setting all-rounder and one of the most successful captains, who later became the voice of cricket. Arunabha Sengupta pays tribute to the most influential cricket personality since the Second World War on the great man’s 82nd birthday.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ray Lindwall: The grace and greatness of poetry in motion!

Ray Lindwall was sheer poetry in motion as he ran in to bowl, yet was one of the most dreaded fast bowlers ever to play cricket. Arunabha Sengupta pays homage to the first genuine paceman to take 200 Test wickets  on the occasion of his 91st birthday.

Mohinder Amarnath's axing as a selector - the reasons why

Was it his opinion that there should be a change in captaincy? Was it his refusing to open his mind to suggestions? Or, did it have to do with the strange case of Lala Amarnath’s bat? Arunabha Sengupta tries to look at the reasons for the unceremonious exit of Mohinder Amarnath from the selection panel.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The man behind the biggest cricketing superstition

The man behind the biggest cricketing superstition
Batsmen and teams fear 111 and its multiples and such scores led David Shepherd to execute a quaint hop and leap. Arunabha Sengupta remembers Admiral Horatio Nelson, the man who gave his name to this strange superstition, on his 254th birth anniversary.
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Looking back at careers of Sandeep Patil, Roger Binny and other national selectors

No one quite matches the achievements of the axed Mohinder Amarnath, but the newly appointed selectors do have quite a lot of experience between them. Arunabha Sengupta looks at the careers of the five wise men who are set to guide the fortunes of Indian cricket.

It was perhaps too soon to jump to conclusions about Harbhajan Singh

After his sensational four for 12 against England, Harbhajan Singh was touted to have returned to his best, and was even seen as the biggest hope in India’s World Cup campaign. After he has been brought down crashing to the ground by David Warner, Arunabha Sengupta wonders if the media is perhaps a bit too quick in making such sweeping conclusions.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Amarnaths among father and son pairs who have appeared in the same match

Recently, Shivnarine Chanderpaul added a double century stand with his son in a club match.Arunabha Sengupta looks at the several instances in cricket history where father and son have appeared together in First-class cricket.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Brothers-in-arms 6: Bill Lawry & Alastair Cook - similarities in substance

In Part Six of the series, we look at two cricketers who could easily be mistaken for siblings in the way they went about their game. Arunabha Sengupta compares Bill Lawry and Alastair Cook - two men at the top of the order, linked by the penchant of putting substance over style.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The King of controversies - a man who was unafraid to take on the most powerful

On this day 66 years ago, one of the most ebullient characters of Indian cricket and the greatest left-arm spinner produced by the country saw the light of the day. Arunabha Sengupta traces the life and career of the legendary Bishan Singh Bedi.

Interview: Player of the history-making '71 Indian team reveals little-known secrets

In an era of four spinners, Devraj Govindraj bowled quick – and well enough to be a part of the victorious tours of West Indies and England in 1970-71. Although he did not play in the Test matches, there are many fantastic memories. In an exclusive interview to Cricketcountry’s Arunabha Sengupta, Govindraj speaks about his wonderful experiences during those historic occasions.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The dramatic last day of the Tied Test at Chennai between India and Australia

Twenty six years ago, a hot gruelling day in Madras witnessed an epic encounter ending in the second Tied Test in the history of cricket. Arunabha Sengupta relives the pulsating moments of that final day.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fire in Babylon - may be far-fetched in some aspects, but a cricket lover's delight

‘Fire in Babylon’ releases in India today, a riveting behind-the-scenes look at the evolution of the West Indies cricket team into a fearsome superpower running on a battery of pace bowlers. Arunabha Sengupta turns a critical eye at the movie which shows some of the scariest spells of fast bowling.

A grandson of slaves' amazing journey in life to earn the title of Baron!

Hundred and eleven years ago was born the first great West Indian cricketer to capture public imagination. Arunabha Sengupta recounts the all-round genius of Sir Learie Constantine – on the field of play and in the greater arena of life.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

V Jayadevan points out loophole to be exploited in D/L method if it rains in T20

With the T20 World Cup under way, V. Jayadevan, creator of the VJD system of target revision, recommends throwing bats around whenever rain is in the air, to take advantage of the loopholes in the Duckworth-Lewis system. Arunabha Sengupta looks at the shortcomings of D/L in the Twenty20 format.

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Unbelievable, but true - Three seven-ball overs in an international match!

Thirteen years ago, umpires Steve Dunne and Dave Orchard became engaged in a game of gaffes, somehow officiating through three seven-ball overs in a game between West Indies and Pakistan in Toronto. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the curiously confusing contest.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fraternal Feat: Zimbabwe makes history by fielding three pairs of brothers!

Fifteen years ago, Zimbabwe made history by fielding three pairs of brothers in the Test side. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the fascinating fraternal feat and other brothers in the history of Test cricket. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Little-known secrets of Tendulkar, Dravid, Sehwag & Dhoni

BCCI recently rejected the new design of the Indian jersey, insisting that the team play the upcoming T20 World Cup clad in the lucky colours worn during the 2011 triumph. Arunabha Sengupta says that superstitions in cricket is not new and looks at some of the queerest in cricketing history.

Two hundreds, 11 wickets to complete season's double in an unbelievable finale

Twenty four years ago, Franklyn Stephenson managed to reach the double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in a county season by scoring two hundreds and taking 11 wickets in the final fixture of the season. Arunabha Sengupta recalls his heroic feats.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sachin Tendulkar or Brian Lara? Who is greatest of the two modern maestros

Brian Lara has been inducted to the International Cricket Council (ICC) Hall of Fame. Arunabha Sengupta takes this opportunity to contrast the career of the great left-hander with the other supreme batsman of his times, Sachin Tendulkar.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A week of celebration for Sussex - with Ranjitsinhji and CB Fry

This is a week which connects two partners who piled up runs for Sussex – KS Ranjitsinhji and CB Fry. Arunabha Sengupta covers their immortal partnerships which kept English crowds enthralled at the turn of the last century.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

When Inzamam-ul-Haq almost smashed a provocative spectator's head with a bat

Fifteen years ago, the perennially gentle and largely lethargic Inzamam-ul-Haq leapt into the crowd, bat in hand, charging towards a megaphone wielding heckler. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the day when cricket was faced with a hot-potato situation. 

Shane Warne: Remembering the legendary spinner on his 43rd birthday

Forty three years ago, the greatest leg-spinner of modern times saw the light of the day. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the larger than life exploits of Shane Warne on and off the field.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hero Yuvraj Singh gets an ovation hitherto reserved for Sachin Tendulkar!

In one of the most emotional moments in Indian cricket, Yuvraj Singh returned to the side and batted like the man everyone knows. Arunabha Sengupta retells how the match was lost, but the battle with death was won.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Memories of the horrific on-field collision between Steve Waugh and Jason Gillespie

Kyle Mills and Brendon McCullum collided while attempting to catch Yuvraj Singh, but got away without serious injury. Arunabha Sengupta recalls a similar collision with far more damaging impact that took place almost exactly 13 years ago.

Sachin Tendulkar's retirement will be more than a cricketing decision

Clamours of retirement notwithstanding, whenever Sachin Tendulkar fields a ball on the field, the whole stadium erupts. Arunabha Sengupta writes why he continues to be an icon and why the retirement of the maestro will be more than a cricketing decision.

How cricket has suffered in the aftermath of the tragic happenings of 9/11

When the two planes plunged into New York’s iconic twin towers, ripples were felt in far corners of the cricket world. Arunabha Sengupta traces how cricket – especially in Pakistan – has been affected by 9/11.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Shivalkar, Rice, van der Bijl... a list great cricketers who never played Tests

Would Padmakar Shivalkar be considered among the best left-arm spinners of his day? Wouldn’t it make sense to rank Vince van der Bijl ahead of Rodney Hogg as a fast bowler, although the former never played Test cricket?  Arunabha Sengupta lists 20 cricketers who were the best of their day, but never got to play at the highest level.

Why Dhoni's value to the team is unparalleled in history of Indian cricket

Stemming the mini-collapse and taking the team from 166 for five to the target of 262 exemplified the way Mahendra Singh Dhoni goes about his business. Arunabha Sengupta argues why his combined value as batsman-wicketkeeper-captain is an asset the nation has never known before.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The first man to get into Test record books as 'retired out' - and how!

Marvan Atapattu walked off after scoring 201 to allow teammates to feast on a seriously inept Bangladesh bowling attack. Arunabha Sengupta recalls the day, eleven years ago, that saw the dismissal ‘retired out’ for the first time in Test cricket.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Cricketers who moved into other sports before Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff delivered a knock-out punch by announcing his intentions of becoming a professional boxer. Arunabha Sengupta looks at cricketers who moved to other sports once their cricket careers were done and dusted.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Zaheer Khan's decline is a matter of worry for Team India

From the beginning of 2007 to the summer of 2011, Zaheer Khan enjoyed a golden spell during which he was one of the very best in the world. However, the returns of the last year and a bit have been alarming. Arunabha Sengupta wonders whether these are warning signs that he is going down the hill.

September 6, 1880 - WG Grace's century on debut and the first Test in Engla

Exactly 132 years ago, the first Test match was played on English soil. It was also the debut of the great WG Grace. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the historic match at The Oval which culminated in a thrilling finish.

Gautam Gambhir's shocking slump in Test cricket

Two and a half years ago, Gautam Gambhir was seen as one of the best emerging batsmen in cricket. Since then the 21 Test slump has been shocking.Arunabha Sengupta traces the plummeting fortunes of the opener in Test cricket, wondering whether he is focused about the five-day game.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Is it fair to target Tendulkar: Analysis of over 38 batsmen in Test history from Hobbs, Bradman to Dravid

Three times on the trot the ball has crashed into Sachin Tendulkar’s stumps and we are reminded of the similar dismissals of Rahul Dravid not too long ago. Arunabha Sengupta does a statistical study if batsmen are more prone to getting bowled as they age.

September 5: John Wisden and Dr S Radhakrishnan - cricket and academia

One was an all-rounder who started a publication that became synonymous with cricket. Another was a philosopher, statesman and President of India with a deep love for the noble game. Arunabha Sengupta traces two men born on September 5 who curiously combined cricket and academia.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Is it time to look beyond Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir as openers?

India did triumph against New Zealand, but the glaring failures of the Virender Sehwag-Gautam Gambhir combination at the top of the order continue to because for major concern. Arunabha Sengupta looks at the abysmal figures of the duo ever since the England tour and wonders if it is not time for change.

Monday, September 3, 2012

September 3, 1939 - Second World War stops cricket - but, not quite

Seventy three years ago, Britain declared war on Germany and cricket vacated the stage for the Second World War. However, the game went on and in its own way served in the war effort.
Arunabha Sengupta traces the fortunes of cricket and cricketers during the six years of madness and mayhem.

Mystery of the missing bails that held up a cricket match!

Sixteen years ago, a Singer World Series Cup match was delayed by eight minutes because the bails could not be found. Arunabha Sengupta recounts the day and how the four little pieces were ultimately unearthed.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

September 2, 1980 - Kim Hughes & John Arlott share centrestage in Centenary

Thirty two years ago, the much anticipated Centenary Test at Lord’s petered out into a dull draw. Arunabha Sengupta revisits the match which had beckoned stars of the yesteryear from far and wide, and was also the last Test described by the voice of John Arlott from the commentary box.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September 1, 1939 - Hedley Verity signs off with seven for nine

Seventy three years ago, Hedley Verity played his last First-Class match, taking seven wickets for nine runs. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the exploits of the great left-arm spinner whose life was tragically cut short by the Second World War.

Friday, August 31, 2012

August 31, 1968: 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6 - Gary Sobers blitzes his way into history

Forty four years ago, Malcolm Nash of Glamorgan bowled the most famous over in the history of First-class cricket. Arunabha Sengupta does a ball by ball analysis of the day Gary Sobers launched into an explosive exhibition of his genius.