Showing posts with label Sports Talk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sports Talk. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

From Sprinter to football, Usain Bolt en-route to new tracks

The worlds fastest man was floating with the idea of playing football professionally for quite a long time after retiring from his sprinting career and now Bolt will actually be seen donning the football boots.

Bolt, 31, retired from athletics last summer after a glittering running career in which he won eight Olympic gold medals and holds world records in 100 m and 200 m. Back in 2016, Bolt had frequently hinted at a career as a footballer stating that he would like to join Manchester United - the Club he supports.

Earlier in the year, while speaking to Daily Express Bolt had revealed plans of trials with Dortmund, "In March we're going to do a trials with Dortmund and that will determine what I do with that career, which way it goes. If they say I'm good, and that I need a bit of training, I'll do it."
On Sunday (25th Feb), Usain Bolt teased that he had signed for a football club, making the announcement on Twitter, although he did not reveal the club he had signed for, he asked his fans to wait till Tuesday (27th Feb). A South African top division club soon came up with a sly tweet stating "Football will never be the same".
Soon enough the football frenzied world started linking the world's fastest man to the south African club. However in the recent tweet by the Jamaican Legend things has cleared out a bit. 
So apparently Usain Bolt is donning the football boots but only for a game as he will lead Soccer Aid World XI against England XI in a charity game for UNICEF. The match will be held on 10th June at Old Trafford and while Usain Bolt's wish for signing for his favorite football club Manchester United may have to wait, nobody is stopping him from dazzling the world with a ball at his feet on the red devils home ground.

Monday, December 25, 2017

The Future of Indian Football

By comparison with Cricket, scope in Indian football was very limited. Although there has been a huge paradigm shift in the last couple of years.
Football always had a particular set of loyal fans(considering only Indian clubs and Indian football team) while there are European football fans too who would know more about an El Clasico rather than a Mohan Bagan-East Bengal derby.
Over the last few years, a lot has been happening in the Indian football circuit. While the national team ranking has touched a 21 year high - 96th position in FIFA ranking this July, interest and excitement around clubs and league has also been high.

The domestic Clubs circuit in India has shown a rise in number of followers, while the game always had huge number of fans from the NorthEast, Kerala and Kolkata. IMG-R’s Indian Super League brought in a wave of new fans from other cities to the game.
A file photo of football fans during the Kolkata derby
Although AIFF and IMG-R are often criticized for poor scheduling of ISL and ignoring the Domestic league of India, one cannot ignore the fact that the ISL has definitely improved the picture of Indian Football. While the I league clubs has kept Football in India running over the years, ISL with its new franchise based clubs has brought in a new set of Indian football fans to the picture, while also bringing international interest to Indian football.

Domestic Leagues has also grown in quality and excitement, with even smaller clubs producing some extra-ordinary performance. Aizawl FC, a team that was relegated in 2016 season and played this year due to many others clubs pulling out, had a Leicester city kind of run in this year's I league. Winning the league beating the likes of Mohan Bagan, East Bengal and Bengaluru FC. Such was the fairy tale turnaround that apparently there will be a Bollywood movie regarding them.
While there is a long road for India to reach the World class level, among the Asians, India has seen a lot of Improvements. Bengaluru FC a club born in 2014 has already created a name for themselves with consistent performances both at the domestic and Asian level. The Club has already won 4 trophies in 4 years and finished as runners-up in 2016 AFC Cup (The Europa Cup of Asia) and a semi-final finish in this years edition.
After the disastrous world cup qualification run in 2015, the Indian National team went on to improve a lot, winning games regularly and eventually qualifying for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup - Only the second time in 3 decades.
Jeakson Singh - The lad who made billion dreams come true with a moment of brilliance. Indian U17 football teams lanky defender. Pic Credit: Nikhil Patil
Football in India is slowly picking up with possible merger of the top two leagues- ISL and I league by next year. The recently concluded U-17 FIFA world cup has given Indian football a much needed boost with more and more youths getting interested in sports, while clubs are to getting involved in developing these talents by creating youth Academies.
So scope for Indian football may not have been the best, but now is the time for any youngsters to get into the game as they have the best possible chance to change the football scene in India.
For more of my work on Indian Football, visit Football Counter

Also Read: Are the popularity of other Indian sports back?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

From Cricket to Football - Street Games

The reason we are so good at this game - Cricket, is because it is played all over the country by almost everyone. From 60 year old to 5 year kid. A Bat, a ball and a piece of stumps or any wooden ones and it becomes play ground. A game for all age groups of life.

Picture Credit: @Vipin Sharma
Growing Football Frenzy

With Indian Football team's ever improving performances, Indian Super league bringing in fans from other parts of country and then FIFA U-17 World Cup hosted in our country with India itself playing.
Football is slowly picking up pace and it won't be long before we see football on par with cricket.

If you want to use any Pictures from our collection for your Website, Blog, Magazine or any other stuff feel free to contact any of us here

Friday, July 7, 2017

India to face USA in the FIFA U-17 World Cup opener

Host India are grouped alongside USA, Colombia and Ghana and will play all their games at New Delhi as per the official draw conducted in Mumbai on Friday evening

It will be India’s first FIFA event both as a organiser and Participant across all age groups. Numbered as A1, India are slated to play all their home matches at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi against USA (A2) Colombia (A3) and Ghana (A4) that make up Group A.

The Luis Norton de Matos coached side will open their campaign against USA on the opening day of the tournament on 6th October, this will then be followed by a game against Colombia and Ghana on 9th and 12th October respectively.

Earlier stated to play all their games at D.Y. Patil stadium, Navi Mumbai, FIFA then changed it to National capital New Delhi on the behest of Indian government, which hasn’t gone down well with most football fans of India. D.Y. Patil now host group B teams i.e. Mali, New Zealand, Paraguay and Turkey.

One of the favourites for the tournament, Brazil, have been drawn in Group D alongside Spain, North Korea and Niger while Germany are placed in group C alongside Costa Rica, Iran and Guinea. England are placed in Group F against Iraq, Mexico and Chile while in Group E it is France, Japan Honduras and New Caledonia.

The 24 participating teams have been divided into six groups of four. The top two teams from each group and the next four best 3rd placed team’s progress to the round of 16 knock-out games.

Group A: India, USA, Colombia and Ghana Venue: New Delhi

Group B: Paraguay, Mali, New Zealand and Turkey Venue: Navi Mumbai

Group C: Iran, Guinea, Germany and Costa Rica Venue:  Goa

Group D: North Korea, Niger, Brazil and Spain Venue: Kochi

Group E: Honduras, Japan, New Caledonia and France Venue: Guwahati

Group F: Iraq, Mexico, Chile and England Venue: Kolkata

Official Draw

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

FOOTBALL: India Brush past Nepal Challenge 2-0

Second half goals from Jhingan and Jeje ensured an easy 2-0 win for host against neighbour Nepal in an International friendly at Mumbai
After an unconvincing first half in which the best chance came for the visitors in the dying moments of half, India stepped up the gear as they routed Nepal 2-0 in an dominant second half display. Goals from Sandesh Jhingan at the hour mark started the proceeding as Jeje soon followed up with his own to double the score, as a lot of other chances were wasted.
India started in a familiar 4-1-3-2 formation sans Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh, who were spotted in the stands recuperating from their injuries. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu led the team while Mohammed Rafique was chosen ahead of Eugeneson Lyngdoh in midfield. Holicharan Narzary and Jackichand started on wings as Robin Singh and Jeje Lalpekhlua led the attack. At the other end, Nepal had Biraj Maharajn to led the side as Rohit chand manned the midfield while young star Bimal Gharti Magar started alongside inform Nawayug Shrestha in the attack.
In a cagey first half, three players went down injured early in the game due to collisions, while Md. Rafique and Rohit chand came back on field; Rowlin Borges had to be substituted at the half hour mark with Lyngdoh. Jackichand Singh and Narzary looked to sent in crosses, one such cross in the 24th minute was met by a leaping Robin Singh but the striker missed the target by inches. Eugeneson Lyngdoh soon created a good move with some slick passing with Jeje but failed to finish off as Nepal’s Anant Tamang put in a timely block.
Few minutes later Robin Singh once again failed to connect properly from a promising position as another chance went to waste. By the end, Nepal had the best chance of the half to open the scoring. A quick counter attack saw Nawang Shrestha running with the ball shrugging off his mark Anas but as Gurpreet came off his line to block the shot, Shrestha fluffed up the chance has the ball went wide. Both sides entered the tunnel without opening the score.
Looking to turn things around Constantine brought on Jairu and Daniel Lalhlimpuia in place of Jackichand and a wasteful Robin Singh. Soon Jairu looked threatening with his pace on the right as his first low shot was denied by Kiran Kumar diving to his right. Finally at the hour mark India broke the deadlock as  Jeje brilliantly chested the ball for defender Sandesh Jhingan, who slammed the ball past the diving keeper into the net, to open the scoring.

Few minutes later in a quick counter attacking move Gurpreet’s long goal kick found Jairu running with ball in to the box but Nepal skipper Bimal Maharjan brought down the winger just outside the box. Maharajan was given his marching orders as the visitors were down to ten men. The resulting freekick turned out to be poor as India failed to capitalise on the chance. In the 78th minute, Mohammed Rafique burst out from the right flank and his low cross into the box was slotted past the Nepal Keeper by an onrushing Jeje with a clinical first touch to double the lead. Second half substitute Daniel Lalhlimpuia too missed few chances like Robin Singh as the youngster came close to scoring his first goal.

India gained a much needed momentum as they won their sixth consecutive international game before the big game next Tuesday for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifier against the Kyrgyz Republic in Bengaluru.

Final Score: India 2 (Jhingan 60’, Jeje 78’) – 0 Nepal

Monday, October 24, 2016

Are the popularity of other Indian sports back?

Recently in an interview former Olympic gold medalists Abinav Bindra remarked, "I'd follow Team India's performances, but have stopped doing so after Sachin called it a day... He was different, definitely, a cut above the rest," For once the focus in Indian sports seems to be shifting from cricket, ever since Sachin's, Saurav's, Dravid's retired, the Indian sports audience seemed to look for new alternatives. With new sporting hero coming up in every other sport.

This week saw Indian sporting fraternity achieve new heights, while some were historical, some were regulars, while one was a game against arch rivals. We all know Indian cricket team has won the third one day International against New Zealand and that the heroes were Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, probably one of the few reasons Cricket still has huge followers in India. But there were few others that were worth the news.

1. Indian Kabbadi team wins World Cup beating Iran 38-28

India won an unprecedented third successive Kabaddi World Cup title defeating Iran 38-28 in the final. After suffering a shocking defeat to South Korea in the tournament opener, the Indians came back strongly winning all their games to the final. In the final, there was little slip up at half time, when India were trailing by 5 points, but came back stronger to win the game.

2. Bengaluru FC creates history to become first Indian club in the AFC CUP finals

For Indian football, Sunil Chhetri's two goal burst ensured Bengaluru FC script history by becoming the first Indian football club to reach this far till the final of AFC Cup, Asia's equivalent of UEFA Europa League. What was more heartening to see was, the game got support from all corners of the country from celebrities, sports ministries, Athletes etc. Rival clubs too came out in support of Bengaluru's FC's asian venture with age old legacy clubs Mohan Bagan FC and East Bengal FC issuing club statements regarding thier support.

The game itself had a good quality football as the Indian champions managed to defeat the defending champions Johor Darul Tazim from Malaysia 3-1(4-2 Aggregate). The Match was witnessed by more than 21000 fans who came down to the game to witness history.

3. India come from behind to defeat Pakistan in their Asian champions trophy Clash

Although It was just a group stage match, a game against arch rival Pakistan is always meant to be won. And after trailing 2-1 at one point, Indian team came strongly to win the game 3-2, as they moved to the second spot on the Table below only to host Malaysia. India are still unbeaten in the league and looks like they would qualify for the semifinal and being one of the top ranked team in the competition, they maybe even expected to win.

As the final of Hockey result are awaited so is the final of Bengaluru FC's game in the AFC cup. A win at both the ventures will surely open up more doors for Indian sports enthusiasts to enter.

Over the last few decades, Cricket was one reason when the entire country stood together, Now its changing, the support this games garnered has ensured the other Indian Sports fraternity as a new opportunity to rise up, with the Bengaluru FC's game against JDT, India's Kabbadi world Cup Victory and the victory over Pakistan becoming the top trending topics in the country.

It's Time Indian sports media start mentioning other sporting achievements in their news channel. While the Kabbadi world cup victory and Indian Hockey's victory against arch rivals is getting coverage by mainstream media, its time Football and others get the same mentioning too.

For more of my work on Indian Football, visit Football Counter

Share your opinions on what do you think about the Indian sports present situation.

Monday, August 8, 2016

How Insensitive? Shobha De gets trolled for her pathetic tweet on Indian Olympic team

Its easy to criticize sitting from a comforting home chair and judging players without acknowledging their hard work behind it, Famous Columnist and Author, Shobha de tweeted a pathetic tweet about the Indian Olympic team and as expected started getting trolled.
She tweeted,“Goal of Team India at the Olympics: Rio jao. Selfies lo. Khaali haat wapas aao. What a waste of money and opportunity,”
While former Olympic Gold medalists Abhinav Bindra tweeted back politely, Shuttlers Kashyap and Jwala Gutta and actress Gul panag didn't take it lightly

Kashyap termed the tweet 'Stupidity not deserving a reply from Bindra'
Jwala Gutta questioned the attitude

Even the common public trolled the author,

Although the author seemed to repair her mistake with another tweet supporting Abhinav Bindra
by calling him the Dependable, champion and the only hope, it just irked the people even more. The damaged was already done after the previous tweet.

While the trolling continues, the Indian olympic teams journey has been topsy turphy so far. While it has been a heartbreaking loss for Women's archery, Indian Hockey team and Abhinav Bindra, with one losing the game in quarterfinal by shootouts. other with 3 seconds to go and latter one just finishing outside the top 3, there has been some encouraging performance in other games. Earning a point after 36 years in Women's hockey, First Indian Gymnast to qualify for the finals, Indian Olympic contingent has managed to get some positives. With Wrestling, Boxing, Gymnasts, Badmintion and some Hockey still to come, the chances of improving previous medal tally is still on.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Vijender wins his 7th bout becomes first Indian to lift WBO title.

In the biggest match of his Professional Boxing career, Vijender Singh came up with his seventh victory to lift the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title in the process becoming the first Indian to do so. It is for the first time that Vijender had to fight till the 10th round, as all his previous 6 victory has finished with a knockout inside 5-6 rounds, highlighting the fact that his opponent Kerry Hope this time gave him run for his money. And score line suggested the same 98-92 98-92 100-90

Singh Vs Hope
This historic match had enough fire power in the audience with around 10,000 people in the stadium rooting and shouting for every move Vijender did, even if he missed his blows or dodged some the crowd didn't stop. Among the audiences were B-town celebrities, Politicians, Cricketers
With the huge expectations and pressure around him Vijender started strongly putting up a good even fight and took charge in the final couple of rounds trying to come up with that one decisive blow to settle the game. In the end it was blows traded through the ten rounds that mattered and by the unanimous judges decision, Vijender won.
Knockout Ka King had to run for his money this time.
This is definitely the best answer he could have given to his critics who had once questioned his decision to join Professional boxing. The ones who had questioned his dedication for his country may have got their answers too, when after the match he said, "Thank you India, Thank you so much, It is all about the nation, our country, finally we did it."
"Kerry fought really well," added Vijender - the new WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight champion.
He was supposed to be the Boxing Icon of India, the one who would revolutionize the game in this cricket crazy nation. Well with today's game he has surely ignited some spark among some budding boxers in our country.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Olympic legends #3: Indian Hockey Team

With the silver medal performance in the recently concluded hockey champions trophy, where the Indian men's hockey team lost in the finals to mighty Australians in the Penalty shootout, there is a renewed hope that this time the team would be coming with a medal from the Olympics. There was a time up until the late 1950's when India was the boss of the world hockey, Winning Gold in its first 6 attempts and a total of 8 golds in all, along with 1 silver and two bronze. last of which, was a gold medal that came in 1980 Moscow Olympic, since then the once great hockey team is yet to come up with a Olympic medal.

The first Gold medal winning team
The greats of the game like Dhyan Chand, Balbir Singh Sr., Leslie claudius, Ajit Kumar and many others have been instrumental in winning the gold for the country, Showcasing not just their talent but also creating a name all over the world. During the first half of the the 20th century, India was at least sure of one gold medal whenever there was an Olympics, that surety was given by its Men's hockey team.
Indian team in action
The fine dribbling of ball through a stick by the Indians not just mesmerised the crowd but made the game popular all over the world. The teams strong defence along with the goal thirsty forwards, was one of the reasons why it became closer to impossible for even scoring a single goal against the Indian team. 29 goals scored against none in 1928 Olympics, 35 scored against 2 in 1932, 38 against 1 in 1936, 25 against 1  in 1948, 2 goals against while 13 scored in 1952 and 38 against 0 in 1956 Olympics. Overall in the span of 6 Olympics games, only 6 goals were scored against India while they Pumped up a staggering 168 Goals. Surely a Legendary Hockey team.

Time to get the Glory days back
 It has been 36 Years since India last won the Olympic, for a country that once produced a team of unbeatables, It is sad to see the team struggling to get even in the Top 5. And that is one of the reason why the game lost its shine over the years, while there is no lack of talent in the present side as shown by the team in last couple of years, It only needs the right mentality and Temperament to perform at the big stage. 

Its Time we bring back the Glory days.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Olympic legends #2: Carl lewis

Frederick Carlton "Carl" Lewis is an American former track and field athlete, who won 10 Olympic medals, including nine gold, and 10 World Championships medals, including eight gold. His career spanned from 1979 to 1996 when he last won an Olympic title and subsequently retired.

Inspiring runs
Lewis was a dominant sprinter and long jumper setting world records in the 100 m, 4 × 100 m and 4 × 200 m relays, while his world record in the indoor long jump has stood since 1984. His 65 consecutive victories in the long jump achieved over a span of 10 years is one of the sport's longest undefeated streaks.

From 1981 until 1992, Lewis topped the 100 m ranking six times (seven if Ben Johnson's 1987 top ranking is ignored), and ranked no lower than third. His dominance in the long jump was even greater, as he topped the rankings nine times during the same period, and ranked second in the other years.

Emulating Jesse Owens
At the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Lewis was entered into four events with realistic prospects of winning each of them and thereby matching the achievement of Jesse Owens at the 1936 Games in Berlin.

Lewis started his quest to match Owens with a convincing win in the 100 m, running 9.99 s to defeat his nearest competitor, fellow American Sam Graddy, by 0.2 s. In his next event, the long jump, Lewis won with relative ease. But his approach to winning this event stoked controversy, even as knowledgeable observers agreed his approach was the correct one. Since Lewis still had heats and finals in the 200 m and the 4 × 100 m relay to compete in, he chose to take as few jumps as necessary to win the event. He risked injury in the cool conditions of the day if he over-extended himself, and his ultimate goal to win four golds might be at risk. His first jump at 8.54 m (28 ft 0 in) was, he knew, sufficient to win the event. He took one more jump, a foul, then passed his remaining four allotted jumps. He won gold, as silver medalist Gary Honey of Australia's best jump was 8.24 m (27 ft 01⁄4 in). But the public was generally unaware of the intricacies of the sport and had been repeatedly told by the media of Lewis' quest to surpass Bob Beamon's legendary long jump record of 8.90 m (29 ft 21⁄4 in). Lewis himself had often stated it was a goal of his to surpass the mark. A television advertisement with Beamon appeared before the final, featuring the record-holder saying, "I hope you make it, kid." So, when Lewis decided not to make any more attempts to try to break the record, he was roundly booed. When asked about those boos, Lewis said, "I was shocked at first. But after I thought about it, I realized that they were booing because they wanted to see more of Carl Lewis. I guess that's flattering."

Following the footsteps of the great

His third gold medal came in the 200 m, where he won in a time of 19.80 s, a new Olympic record and the third fastest time in history. Finally, he won his fourth gold when the 4 × 100 m relay team he anchored finished in a time of 37.83 s, a new world record.

Numerous Accolades
Best in the world
He has been voted "World Athlete of the Century" by the International Association of Athletics Federations and "Sportsman of the Century" by the International Olympic Committee. "Olympian of the Century" by Sports Illustrated and "Athlete of the Year" by Track & Field News in 1982, 1983, and 1984.

Life after games
After retiring from his athletics career, Lewis became an actor and has appeared in a number of films. In 2011 he attempted to run for a seat as a Democrat in the New Jersey Senate, but was removed from the ballot due to the state's residency requirement. Lewis owns a marketing and branding company named C.L.E.G., which markets and brands products and services including his own.

Despite being embroiled in controversy over failed drugs tests during US team trials for the 1988 Olympics and Character misconceptions, Lewis stunning career demands an enormous amount of respect. He won four gold medals and was undefeated for over a decade in his favored event, long jump, while he also managed to set world records over distances between 100m and 4x100m with the American relay team.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Olympic legends #1: Jesse Owens

The Buckeye Bullet
  With 72 days to go from today for the World's biggest Sporting spectacle, Its time to Know about some of the greatest sporting legends to be a part of this event. While I have already written about Karoly Takacs, one of the biggest inspiration in the shooting sports or in any difficult life experiences, this post is regarding another such inspirational runner, who overcame racism, poverty to become of the greatest in track and field games.

The Buckeye Bullet
Also known as,"The Buckeye Bullet" Owens won 4 gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympic, that included 100m, 200m, 4x100 and long jump. For Hitler and Nazi's this event was the stage to showcase the world its Aryan race supremacy and inferiority of other races, But Owens proved it wrong, winning 4 medals and breaking two records along the way.

Defiance in the face of Evil
During the games and afterwards, there were even reports that a furious Hitler, after witnessing Owens 100m win left the stadium without shaking hands with the winner. Although years later Owens himself denied this reports. But even then he wasn't fairy tale story back home for Owens, After having lived all his life in poverty and struggling to ends meet by working at young age, and training without Scholarships despite being eligible. Owens was disappointed although not entirely surprised that he was not even congratulated by his own president.

 “I loved running because it was something you could do all by yourself, and under your own power.” - Jesse Owens

After the 1936 Olympics, Owens opted out of few games to earn some financials gains through advertising and using his physical talents by racing against cars and horses. As a result of this he was never picked again. Later in his life, he was appointed as the goodwill ambassador of US.

One chance is all you need - Jesse Owens
In 1980 Owens died of cancer having played only one Olympic Games.
The dormitory used by Owens during the Olympics has been fully restored into a living museum, with pictures of his accomplishments at the Games, and a letter (intercepted by the Gestapo) from a fan urging him not to shake hands with Hitler.

In the London 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, just after the Olympic cauldron had been lit, the 80,000 individual pixels in the audience seating area were used as a giant video screen to show footage of Owens running around the stadium.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sachin Vs Virat - Great players in their own way

That day, I realized his greatness when he scored that unbeaten 133 in 86 balls against Sri Lanka at Hobart, it was a sign what was he about to become for the country of billion fans. Obvious comparisons with Sachin Tendulkar had started long time ago but it was not agreed by everyone, After all he Started his career when the legend was still playing. He had one thing common with the great at that time, and that was his penchant for runs, and century accumulation just like Tendulkar did in 90's.
With the victory in the T20 worldcup match against Austrilia, India qualified for the semifinal thanks to virat's tremendous world class knock, which reminded people of sachin's Desert storm against the same opponent almost 18 years back, No doubt comparisons between them has come out.
Is It Fair, Comparing the Two
Almost Similar
There is no doubt that both are one of their kind but are they similar, or Is it fair to compare them. As an Indian, we never stop comparing with one another, then be it our parents comparing us with Sharmaji's son or us comparing Irfan Phatan as next Kapil Dev, it just doesn't stop. This results in buildup of unnecessary expectation and pressures among the young ones, which not everyone can handle.
Few things that are similar between these two players is the stats and their dedications for the team. Here I list out some features what makes them apart:
The class of opposition:
The battle Against Warne and Shoaib Akthar was always treat to watch, while Virat is yet to get such Challengers
When you consider the oppositions class, Sachin stays ahead hands down, He played extra-ordinarily against the mighty Australians, one of the best teams for a decade, a team that consisted the likes of Mcgreath, Gillespie and Warne. And also excelled against bowlers like waqar, Akram, Muralitharan, vaas. He has also played against most of the current lot of best bowlers like Malinga, Steyn, Morkel etc When it comes to virat kohli, I would say he can play against all the bowlers of the present generation, but it must be noted that although this age of fast pace cricket comes with a added responsibility of scoring quickly, the quality of bowling has also reduced to some extent.

The Team
Always carrying the teams responsibilities

There is a gulf of difference between the teams that these two played for, Before 2000 or the time fab 4 came to take the burden off Sachin, The Indian team mostly depended on Sachin to bail them out, stories of families shutting down their TV sets after Sachin's dismissal had now become a folklore of sorts, It cannot be said in the same way for Virat, because there was always a good top order at the start of his career and now a cool headed captain behind him in the batting order, so its not like all hope is lost.

But it is also one of the reason for these comparisons is the present situation of team, which reminds of 90's team, One man playing against all odds while rest of the team crumbles, with only difference being virat takes it home, thanks to one or the other playing stepping up with him, unlike 90's Sachin, whose valiant knocks mostly ended up on losing sides.

Great players in their own way
Over the years with each match-winning innings the comparisons has grown, although both are poles apart in personalities. while virat is more aggressive, outspoken and has a 'in your face' attitude Sachin was more humble, less spoken and used to answer critics with his batting. Sachin always avoided sledging or unnecessary fights on the field, While Virat believes more in giving it back to the opposition.
But both are respected and equally feared by their opponent because of their one true genius talent:Batting.

  While the comparisons will always be there between the two, I believe if Virat continues his hunger for runs and winning attitude for few more years, People will automatically stop comparing and he will be one of a kind on his own, just like people stopped comparing Sachin with Sunil Gavaskar. There is no doubts in coming years both will be termed as legends of their era and make us proud.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Cricket Fan Story

As a child I never had much interest in cricket since there was no one at home watching it. With dad living in gulf and mom watching mostly her regional serials, we brothers grew up watching cartoons, WWE, the occasional Hindi movies, even the AXN shows like 'Reply's believe it or not' but never cricket. So it was in 2002, when we shifted our home to new locality with lots of neighbors watching cricket, Talking cricket and playing cricket, that it finally sparked a curiosity.
The Utimate fan favourite, needed no Introduction

Before 2002, Sachin was easily the most recognizable name and face for me, Dravid and Ganguly were only heard about, while a lots of other cricketers name was not even known to me. It was the Netwest series of 2002 that changed everything, the excitement in the room full of neighboring uncles and kids during the match and the extraordinary run chase led by the two youngsters started a new Interest in my life: Cricket.

The aggressive captain
The unexpected success in the 2003 world cup gave rise to numerous cricketing dreams, shots that I enacted at homes although not a good cricketer on the field, I was always the best in my dreams, with the finals of 2003 being played numerous times in my head, of course ending the other way around. With the rise of Indian cricket team with this new aggressive approaches, I became a fan of Sachin, Sehwag, Yuvraj and slowly became to relish the success of the team as my success. I would become sad if a match day comes on weekdays and I would have to miss the game, sometimes During the day games, I would run to home after the my afternoon school just so that I could see the last few overs or balls and enjoy the winning moments. One of the reasons why I started reading newspaper is because of crickets. i would read up all the articles about the game, matches, articles of other teams matches, etc, even collect the cut outs of my favorite player just like the every other die hard fan. When their is no telecasts on Doordarshan, I would switch on to the radio to make sure I remained updated with the game.

Emerging youngsters of 2000
From 2005 the Indian teams downward graph begin with the Ganguly-Chappel controversy dragging along till the early exit of 2007 50 over world cup. This was the period where I had to choose more often than not between studies and cricket, Because of board exams. The Early exit and the controversy around the teams poor performances and the board gave rise to a new rebel league ICL and with the advent of T20 matches around the cricketing world, the focus slowly began to shift towards the quick paced game of cricket, where the result would be declared within 3-4 hours. The T20 world cup win of 2007 gave rise to a lot of new young promising players. And soon they began to replace the our seniors in ODI's . This was beginning a little uncomfortable for me, as Although I wanted the team to win, I also wanted to see the Dravids and ganguly in the game. Thankfully, the lack of application from the young players and the experienced and good performances of seniors in the Test matches kept them in the game.

The End of an ERA

Within the couple of years the seniors started to retire from the cricket, starting from Ganguly, followed by Kumble, Laxman, and Dravid and with them I started to lose interest in cricket part by part. The 2011 world cup brought back the the excitement in me, the performance of our cricket team was spot on and we went on to win the world cup and my cricketing interest was back on track. while we would win the occasional ODI's, we were terrible in the test after the Worldcup, going on to lose the string of matches. And so did my fluctuating Interest, Earlier I would watch a whole cricket match if given a opportunity, then it became only for Sachin, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Zaheer and Dhoni's finishing off the game.

I used to always blame that too much of T20 cricket, lack of Test victories or the good performances away from home as the reason for my declining interest in cricket. But it was far from true, I realized that there will never be the team I grew up with, the youngsters are new but are performing at the same level we did back in 2001-02, Its not their failure that caused me to lose interest, but it was life, the growing responsibilities and the pressures of education and job, had made me neglect the game.

As T20 Word cup 2016 begins, the Interest seems to be back in me. Virat's exceptional Batting performances, Old guns Yuvi's magical sixes, Nehra's swing and Dhoni finishing the game seems to be back. Even the new age bowlers like Bumrah , Shami look promising, while it would be unfair to leave out turbonator as he could still change the game. It would be Interesting and exciting to see this team go up against the world and although they seem to be favorites to lift the cup, It wouldn't be easy but that's just what I wanted to get the cricket fan inside me back.

Friday, March 13, 2015

KAROLY TAKACS- An example of rising up from ashes

Very seldom do we get stories of persistence but this one guy gave me one and after reading his story, I'm sure I’ll never forget him.

In 1938, Karoly Takacs of the Hungarian Army, was the top pistol shooter in the world. He was expected to win the gold in the 1940 Olympic Games scheduled for Tokyo.
But one day while training with his army squad, a hand grenade exploded in Takacs’ right hand, and Takacs’ shooting hand was blown off.

Takacs spent a month in the hospital depressed at both the loss of his hand, and the end to his Olympic dream all turned to ashes. At that point most people would have quit and spent the rest of their life feeling sorry for themselves but not Takacs, He was a winner and he decided to learn how to shoot with his left hand.
For months Takacs practised by himself. Nobody knew what he was doing. With time, He developed to shoot like a champion from his left hand.

In the spring of 1939 he showed up at the Hungarian National Pistol Shooting Championship. Other shooters approached Takacs to give him their condolences and to congratulate him on having the strength to come watch them shoot. They were surprised when he said, “I didn’t come to watch, I came to compete.” They were even more surprised when Takacs won!

After the cancellation of 1940 and 1944 olympics due to world war 2, It looked like Takacs’ Olympic Dream would never have a chance to realize itself. But Takacs kept training and in 1948 he qualified for the London Olympics. At the age of 38, Takacs won the Gold Medal and set a new world record in pistol shooting. Four years later, Takacs won the Gold Medal again at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Takacs – a man with the mental toughness to bounce back from anything.

Takacs could have let his terrible accident cause him to become permanently discouraged, and cry on his bad luck But instead Takacs set out to find a solution. To pick himself up and to learn to shoot all over again. Winners always search for a solution. Losers always search for a reason to escape.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A gesture that won hearts but lost the match

This is a piece of incident that I found on the internet and felt like sharing

The following incident happened during the one off Golden jubilee test between India and England  at Mumbai in the year 1980

A gesture that won hearts but lost the match

The ball from Kapil Dev went past Bob Taylor and was pouched behind the stumps by Syed Kirmani. The bowler and the ’keeper erupted in appeal and umpire Hanumantha Rao raised his finger. The Wankhede Stadium roared. The home team had not scored too many, but had fought back to have the Englishmen on the mat. The partnership between Ian Botham and Taylor, the same combination that had struck again and again on the previous day, had been broken, and England was struggling at 85 for six.

But were they? Taylor believed that he had not touched it, but that mattered little. Standing at slip, Indian captain Gundappa Viswanath — leading the country for just the second time — was convinced that Taylor had not nicked. As a bemused crowd looked on, he persuaded the umpire to change his decision. Taylor continued his innings, much to his own amazement.

He hung on well into the next morning, batting 275 minutes to score an invaluable 43. The incredible spirit of the game demonstrated by Vishwanath had to be lauded, but it perhaps cost India the Test match.

UNFORGETTABLE GESTURE: England's Bob Taylor is recalled by Indian skipper G.R. Viswanath in the Golden Jubilee Test at Bombay in 1980.

Vishwanath himself rued that while people hailed Dhoni's decision to recall Ian Bell, no one seemed to remember this incident from the past

“I didn't hear any of the commentators speak about that incident, neither did anyone refer to it,” the soft-spoken Viswanath seemed genuinely hurt

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