It was a blue brigade at the Wankhede stadium on 22nd December as India took on England in the second T20 match. There were lots of English supporters in the crowd cheering for their team.
This time around Shams n Wags were all out supporting India, unlike IPL matches where we both have separate favorite teams.As the match progressed, the crowd kept on pouring in. Although the stadium did not witness full occupancy, yet the entire Stadium was covered in Blue.
The spirits of the crowd were high and they kept on cheering for the Indian brigade. In between, there were some English supporters who were chanting ‘Barmy Army’
Even as Virat Kohli stepped in the ground, people started cheering for Kohli. It’s a treat to watch when a fielder is fielding at the boundary line. Be it Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina or Dinda, the crowd was cheering for them. Young Awana would have different story to tell though. He committed two blunders near the boundary for which he received ample stick from the crowd. As a result, he was intelligently removed from the boundary and was placed in some other position.
North Stand was chirpy as ever. I am sure that they would have given some ear music to the English fielders and ofcourse Awana.
Till 8 pm, people were flocking into the stands after waiting in the queue for more than an hour.There was a buzz in the ground with people blowing horns and whistling.The ultimate treat to the eye was the Mexican Wave followed by a huge roar.
The match went down the wire and on the last ball; entire crowd got stumped as Eoin Morgon hit Dinda for a six on the last ball when just 3 runs were required to win.
Its always a privilege to watch the match at Wankhede and the icing on cake is when Shams n Wags go and watch it together.
Many more opportunities to come and we will keep on writing more.
We are not talking about any peace, or political talks between the two nations. All we know is cricket. By no means is it going to be Aman Ki Asha (Hope for Peace) as one of the recent ad campaigns has made it very clear. “Ye T20 hai boss, na tameez se khela jaata hai na tameez se dekha jaata hai” (It’s T20, it’s not played or seen with etiquette)
The Super Sunday is waiting for the mother of all games as India takes on their arch rival Pakistan tonight in the Super 8 round. A sigh of relief for Pakistan as there is no Joginder Sharma or Sreesanth, the pair that claimed the wicket of Misba Ul Haq on the final delivery, who had almost taken them towards victory.
Having won the titles one time each, both the sides are looking to make the score look 2. While the Men in Blue won in the inaugural season in 2007, Pakistan went on to win the second in 2009. Since then, both the sides have emerged as powerful team in recent parts.
Indian’s have balance in their batting; while Pak has much stronger bowling and all round performance which makes the two side’s favorite to win the title.
It was one sided affair of the two dangerous ‘W ‘in the India Australia game. David Warner and Shane Watson milked the Indian bowlers and hit them all across the park. While Men in Blue started their Super 8 campaign on a shaky note against Australia, Pakistanis fought back with through their lower order against Proteas. But you cannot take away anything in an India Pakistan match. It will be a fresh day and equally fresh contest. All we suggest is that sit back and enjoy and please do not watch it with Aman ki Asha (Hope for Peace)
Sunday’s match will take us in flash back as India take on the defending champions England at the Premadasa. It was the first edition of the T20 World Cup in 2007, none other than our come back man, the ‘Yuvraj’ of Indian Cricket, belted Stuart Broad all over the park for maximum on all delivery in that over. Broad tried everything he could, in order to keep the ball with in the boundary limit, but all his efforts went in vain as the ball kept on crossing way beyond the boundary line. That ‘Broad’ over was the game changing moment of the match. Six-sixes in an over is a rare occasion and even more rare at an event such as World Cup. Ravi Shashtri‘s commentary was icing on the cake and we all are privileged that he was on air that moment.
Here are some of the zealous and exciting articulate lines from Shashtri:
“That’s huge, it’s a biggie”. “It’s smoke in the cloud”.”Just a flick of the wrist and off she goes into the crowd”.
“Second new ball has been taken as the first one is lying in the gutter”.”He has got the license to go for the full monty- six sixes”
Coming back to the current time, Yuvraj is looking fresh and strong and it does not give a feel that he has come back from cancer. He was out of cricket for more than a year. While playing for the T20 against New Zealand, he almost got India home. Had he stayed back on wicket, India would have won the match Against Afghanistan, he got wicket on the very first over. He was on a hat trick but could not get it. Yet he finished off with 3 wickets.
Indian top order is looking fragile at the moment with Sehwag and Gambhir failing to make partnership. It is just one man, if we might say so, Virat Kohli who is holding on the fort in every single match he is playing. Be it Test Match, ODI, T20 or warm-up match for that matter. He has proved every one that he is the right choice to Captain Indian side in near future.
The bowling attack looks very tired with Zaheer and Irfan not being able to create impact. Only the spin department is getting the wickets and holding on to the runs. In the fielding department, India has to hide Zaheer, Balaji and Ashwin in the field as they are amongst the slowest fielders.
What more to say about Rohit Sharma. He is enjoying his free vacation. It was surprising to see him bowl before Yuvraj and Ashwin. It was a pedestrian over in which he got clobbered for 10 runs.
It was pleasing to see Afghanistan putting up a brave show. They almost came closer towards the victory toying the Indian bowling attack. The key takeout is that they have to show patience and not throw away wickets.
England would give a fierce competition under the leadership of Stuart Broad.
Luke Wright, Stuart Broad, Morgan, Ravi Bopara, Gramme Swann are the key players for England.
Will history repeat? Will Yuvi will go for six sixes in an over is all we hope and pray for.
Till then keep watching the T20 Worldcup and keep following us on www.shamsnwags.com
….And the kangaroos may get back to normal cricket singing Tagores’ famous line “Where the mind is without fear”. Stalwart of Indian test cricket Vangipurapu Venkata Sai Laxman has decided to call it quits. 16 years and over 134 matches and one more match to follow, Laxman has always proved that he is a world class test player. He could have very well pursed his MBBS degree, but he opted for his first love – Cricket.
A thorn in the arm is the way Aussies describe him. He was not just a defensive batsman, but also a good attacking batsman. Be it spinners or pacers, they all had the same story to tell. He has given every bowler a good run for the money.
Selfless is an adjective that he always carried. As an integral part of the famous quartet- Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS, he ensured that he stood apart from the rest with best performance in the second innings.
His decision to hang his boots in his home town after the first test match against New Zealand has left an open point for discussion and questions are raised whether he has taken the decision under pressure. Is the fear of 8 losses in 2011, while he was the vice captain, playing on his mind or he really feels that youngsters should be given their due to get a place in the test squad? Or even worse, are the team members not getting along well with the senior pro. Sachin is the only player of the quartet, still playing after the ‘Wall’ and the ‘God of the off side’ called it quits. It’s just VVS who can really answer this question.
A couple of years would have been still fine with him to serve for the country .It’s absolutely no one’s business to tell him whether it’s the right time or wrong time to retire, it’s an individual’s decision.
In his playing days, fortunately or unfortunately it has been always against Australia that he has played superb innings. He was instrumental in stopping Steve Waugh’s Final Frontier. Australia had won 16 consecutive test matches. His innings in Eden Gardens not only saved India from blues of losing the match by an innings, but it also crushed the hopes of Australia as he sailed India through the victory. With a touch of elegance and classic style, he has always denied his wicket and changed the course of the match.
His batting style always reminds us of his Hyderabadi counterpart and former captain Mohammed Azharuddin. A wristy flick from the off side and the ball disappearing on the on side racing towards the boundary was his signature shot.
Often referred as week legs, he struggled to take quick singles and convert the ones into two’s.
In spite of being such an important member of the Test squad, he has never played any World Cup match. Yet that does not take away the fact that even in the ODI, has played some excellent cricket. It was against Australia, he had scored 3 centuries in a week’s time in Australia in year 2002.
Some of the quotes of the Australian Players on VVS
Steve Waugh: If you get Sachin, brilliant. If you get Laxman, it’s a miracle.”
Ricky Ponting:I hope his back’s pretty sore for next week as well and he can’t play.”
Let’s agree the fact that he will not be missed in the odis or t20, but he will always be missed in the Indian middle order in the test matches.
Good bye to yet another classical test batsman of the Indian squad and wish him luck for his future.
(Special thanks to a dear friend for contributing his thoughts)
The game will miss the services of few of safe pair of hands behind the wicket. Sudden retirement call from Mark Boucher (South Africa) , Tatenda Taibu( Zimbabwe) has sent a huge set back to the entire world of cricket. While Taibu’s decision was purely based on personal commitments, it is really sad to miss a player like Boucher who was forced quit playing cricket due to eye injury. He was on the verge of retirement towards the end of England’s tour, but he had to prematurely retire courtesy- Eye injury. This is not for the first time that a cricketer had to end his career due to injury.
Sayed Saba Karim of India is one such example. In year 2000, he was hit on the eye of Kumble’s delivery while Saba was behind the wickets. Partial loss of vision forced him to quit his international career.
Boucher’s injury comes as an eye opener to the cricketing world. Wearing helmet should be made mandatory. Why just players, also to the umpires. This reminds of 70’s cricketing era where bowlers of West Indies were so fearsome that any batsman in the world would not risk walking in to the ground without helmet and all the available gears.His stunning career has unfortunately come to an end with 999 dismissals. Now he will not be able to make it to 1000 dismissals.
Some of the player has just lost the career due to injury, but some players have also lost their lives.
In 1998, Raman Lamba of India was struck on his head while fielding in the short leg position. He lost his life for not wearing a helmet.
In 1992, Meyrick Pringle of South Africa was retired hurt while he was playing against India in Johannesburg. A scorching bouncer stuck onto his eyes forcing him to retire hurt.
In a freak incidence, Steve Waugh collided with Jason Gilliespie while fielding in a test match in Kandy in 1999. While Steve Waugh broke his nose, Gillespie broke his leg. They had to be taken to the hospital in a chopper.
In 2002, Anil Kumble was hit on his jaw by Mervyn Dillion. It broke his jaw. But as a true fighter, he came back with his face bandaged and bowled 14 consecutive over’s and got Brain Lara out.
Many more of such incidents have happened on the field. We request our fans to share more such instances with us.
The fourth edition of ICC T20 World Cup 2012 is scheduled to kick start on 19th September 2012. It’s the second biggest event after the IPL T20 2012 edition.For the first time it will be played in the sub continent. The first edition was held in South Africa,followed by England in the second year and West Indies in the third year.
This competition is played every year. India were the flying winners of the first edition under the leadership of Ms Dhoni who was just appointed as the T20 captain.The team that won the cup was considered to be the so called B team with big names like Sachin Tendulkar Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly not being part of the squad. India had very limited experience in the 20-20 format that time around.
We still remember the final ball catch taken by Sreesanth of Misba Ul Haq, who had almost won the match for Pakistan.
“I was blank. I did not feel anything,” Sreesanth said when asked about that catch which ignited a flurry of joy in the fans present in the ground and millions watching over the television. People do remember Sreesanth and Misbah for their heroics, but the unsung hero was Joginder Sharma, who bowled his heart out in the last over.
Coming back to this year’s edition, it’s going to be played in SriLanka, a very beautiful country to visit. 26 matches to be played over 18 days across 3 venues. The venues chosen for the matches are 1) R. Premadasa Staium, Colombo,2) Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium Hambantota and 3) Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele.
India will take on the second qualifying team from the qualifier round on day one.
Who will be the favorites and who will be the underdogs is what we all have to wait and watch. Until then, share your views and comments.
T20 World Cup 2012 Schedule:
19 September (D/N)
Group A – India v Afghanistan
R. Premadasa Stadium,Colombo
19 September (D/N)
Group B – Australia v Ireland
R. Premadasa Stadium,Colombo
20 September (D/N)
Group C – South Africa v Zimbabwe
Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium Hambantota
21 September (D/N)
Group A – England v Afghanistan
R. Premadasa Stadium,Colombo
21 September (D/N)
New Zealand v Bangladesh
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium Pallekele
22 September (D/N)
Group B – Australia v West Indies
R. Premadasa Stadium,Colombo
22 September (D/N)
Group C – Sri Lanka v South Africa
Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium Hambantota
With IPL moving into the second phase where there will be lots of surprises with any team featuring from bottom to top or vice versa, the excitement level will be going on to the next level.
The top 5 teams are as follows
1) DD – 14 Points
2) KKR – 11 Points
3) MI – 9 Points
4) CSK – 9 Points
5) RCB – 9 Points
Right from Season 1, we have always supported our favorite teams. While Shams supports CSK, Wags is very loyal with Mumbai Indians.It’s that time of the year when it’s will be Shams Vs Wags when the Mumbai Indians will take on Chennai Super King at the wonderful Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
What happens when the thickest of friends support different team that too sitting together at the venue?
Complete entertainment is all we can promise along with the madness. For the first time in these 5 Years, Shams n Wags will be watching the match together at the Wankhede on 6th May and supporting for their favorites. Let’s wait and watch what’s in store till Sunday.
Until then enjoy the rest of the matches.
It seems 183 has a special place in the history of cricket, especially in the Indian camp. In the ongoing Asia Cup, a scintillating innings of 183 from 148 by vice captain Virat Kohli was perfectly what the doctor had ordered for.
Chasing 330 to win in a do or die situation against Pakistan and an early loss of Gautam Gambhir, in the first over, Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar started building up the innings. A century stand amongst both of them made it sure that India was in control. Once the Master Blaster got out, in came Rohit Sharma. Everyone thought Suresh Raina would come in so as to have a lefty righty combination. Sharma was a bit circumspect in the beginning and was not able to read Saeed Ajmal.
On the other side was a rock solid Virat Kohli. His magnificent innings ensured India to seal a win and give a chance to his team to qualify for the final. An innings of determination and controlled aggression helped him build up a superb innings. All the corners of the Sher-E Bangla Stadium were obliged by his shots. This was kohli’s 3rd Century in last four matches. All scored while chasing huge targets.
While we talk about this magical figure let us see where it started from:
It was all stated by our very own Dada way back in 1999 World Cup match in Taunton against the defending champions Sri Lanka. Dada scored a smashing 183 runs. His partner on the other end was Rahul Dravid who scored 145 runs .Teaming up with Rahul Dravid, they made a record partnership of 318 runs which is still unbroken.
In 2005, Dhoni made the same score of 183 runs in 145 deliveries against the same team while chasing 299 to win in Jaipur. On all the three instances, India has emerged as winners.
While Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni have served as captain of Indian team, young Kohli has still to graduate as Captain from Vice Captain.
So far in his career of over 4 years, he has already hit 11 centuries and 22 half centuries. He has a long long way to go and rightly said by Sunil Gavaskar in the post presentation ceremony, the people around Kohli have to make sure that his roots remains grounded.
Let us all wait and watch the mother of all Match- India Vs Pakistan in finals provided Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh.
From a dream test debut at the Mecca of Cricket,to a premature retirement, he has seen it all. It was way back in 1996 at Lords where two youngsters had made their international debut together. One went on to make a century on debut, while the other was not so fortunate.He got out at 95. Yes we are talking about none other than Rahul Sharad Dravid.
A veteran of 16 years, 164 test matches, The Wall, Mr.Perfect, Mr.Dependable, adjectives you name it, are all short of words for this Indian Stalwart, called it a day on Friday 9th March 2012 at a press conference held in his home ground Chinnaswamy stadium Bangalore.
Dravid’s retirement has been an institutional loss. He was the perfect role model for the youngsters. Patience, grit determination was well imbibed with in him. Spare a thought for the Indian camp when they will just see photo frames in the dressing room, but will not find The Wall.
From opening the innings,to coming one down(many times in the first over itself), playing a sheet anchor role in the middle order, to taking great catches in the slips, rolling arms to break a partnership , to wicket keeping, Rahul Dravid has done it all for whatever is required on a cricket field.
A perfect ambassador for cricket, he has never been part of controversy except for one. In January 2004 Dravid was found guilty of ball tampering during an ODI with Zimbabwe. Actually it was just an innocent mistake that he had been trying to apply saliva to the ball when parts of a lozenge he had been chewing stuck to the ball; Dravid then tried to wipe it off. According to the ICC’s Code of Conduct, players are not allowed to apply substances to the ball other than sweat and saliva. Dravid was fined half of his earnings from the match. Former captain Sourav Ganguly also stated that it was just an accident.
Unbeatable technique, batting through sessions and dropping the anchor for hours together, he has always loved the game and had a great focus on the game. Nothing annoys him more than dropping a catch. His favorite fielding position was Slips where he has shared the slip cordon with Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman.
The winning stroke at Adelaide oval in 2003 Vs Australia will always be a part of our memory where Dravid, batting alongside VVS Laxman, batted through the skins of Australia and snatched victory out of the Aussie.
He is the only overseas player to have given speech during Sir Don Bradman’s Oration.
Let’s have a look at the stats of his illustrious career:
164 Test Matches,13288 Runs, 36 Centuries, 63 50s
344 ODIs, 10889 Runs, 83 half centuries, 12 tons.
In one of the off field instance, a prank was played on Rahul Dravid on the show MTV Bakra, wherein a girl proposed him. He became angry and he replied that at this age, she should concentrate on studies.
Although he might feel that he has retired at right time, Shams N Wags still feel that he could have called it quits on a higher note after playing a few more test matches. But as the famous statement of Sunil Gavaskar goes, better retire when people ask you why, rather than why not?
He will always be remembered as thinking and a selfless cricketer.
While announcing retirement, Dravid said he would enjoy buying grocery and picking up kids from school, the responsibilities he had to ignore earlier because of the busy schedule and overseas tour.
Dravid’s exit has created a big void in the Indian Camp and as rightly said by Sachin Tendulkar “there can be no other Dravid”
Shams N Wags on Rahul Dravid’s Final Lines:
You have failed at times, but you have always tried. You have left with sadness, but you are India’s Pride!
In the end we would like to share a very interesting Quote by one of the FB Fan
“1st Person: Sachin is god!
2nd Person: If Sachin is god, then Saurav is god on the off side.
3rd Person: Laxman is the god of 4th Innings.
Then who is Dravid?
4th Person: When the doors of temple are closed, even the gods are behind the Wall!”
All depends on how controlled an innings can a player play during the match and during the death over’s. Unfortunately for Runako Shakur Morton, he could not play controlled innings with his car, met with an accident and lost his life. He was driving along Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway in Central Trinidad.
He was a very lively and unpredictable character. His career was marred with controversy and he was expelled from the West Indian cricketing academy in July 2001 for bad behavior. He returned to the WI squad as replacement for Marlon Samuels in February 2002.
Morton was known for his hard hitting. Ironically he has a record of slowest ODI duck which lasted 31 balls.
Senior player from West Indies have expressed grief over Morton’s death.
May his soul rest in peace!