Five Minutes Before Lunch on Day 3

India had just lost Murali Vijay. Mitchell Johnson was fired up. Five minutes before lunch – one of the worst times to come in to bat.

The slips opened their eyes a little wider.  The other fielders crept slightly closer to the bat. Virat Kohli, captain of India, swaggered in, took guard and looked around. Twirled his bat his bat a couple of times before settling into his stance. Read More …

Australia v India, 1st Test Match, Adelaide Oval : Preview

Every morning the alarm would go off at 5.55 am. Praying that India was not more than 2 wickets down in the first 30 minutes of play, I would switch the TV on to Star Sports and watch it with just one eye open. It used to be pitch dark outside (Delhi’s winter sun was not out yet). As kids, watching India play in Australia was a cold, early morning affair.

Those days are back again.

Except time zones now work pretty well for me (play starts at 8 am) and Singapore has no real winter to speak of!

Since the first test begins tomorrow, we thought it’d be interesting to write about team composition. Read More …

Can’t bat, can’t bowl and can’t field. Say hello to the Indian test team (Part 2).

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose – Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

So…nearly two weeks have crawled by since the first part of this post (read part 1 here.)

Ravi Shastri is the new team director. Derbyshire has signed Cheteshwar Pujara. Virat Kohli’s horror run has merely traded formats and coloured clothing for flannels. India lead a series against England 1-0 after the second game (familiar scoreline, anyone?).

The test series defeat still hangs in London’s air like a pall of gloom.

It’s not the defeat that hurts. It’s the gutless manner in which we capitulated – dropping catches, bowling poorly, collapsing innings after innings.

But it was only to be expected. I think it’s rather stupid for anyone to expect our test team to do well abroad. In all honesty, it’s a miracle we still manage to win at home.

Why, then, do we lose test matches?

Read More …

England v. India: 4th test match, Old Trafford

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england-v-india-2014/content/image/768589.html?object=667693;page=1

There is no DRS in this series OK?

Watching our beloved Indian team play on Saturday brought back a few memories.

Remember Durban, 1996?100 all out in the first innings. 66 in the second. Oh, we were an inexperienced batting line-up in alien conditions. Did you see that ball from Donald to Sachin?  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyaqXf2_l9k). Totally ridiculous!

And what about Barbados, 1997? 81 all out chasing 121. Come on man, super dodgy fifth day wicket! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XkxHvXE2fY)

As Indian fans, we’re great with coming up with reasons for our inexplicable results.

Which bring us to 9 August 2014, Manchester. 152 all out in the first innings. 161 all out in the second innings. Each Indian innings was shorter than the average Karan Johar movie. As a rational (?) Indian supporter, I’m struggling to justify why we lost. But maybe our superstars can explain things better (starting at the top):

Read More …