Sidhu flays Moin Khan

I started laughing aloud in my cubicle as I read this from Rediff. This man Sidhu has some sense of humour

Former India batsman Navjot Singh Sidhu says former Pakistan wicketkeeper Moin Khan should be sent to a mental asylum in Amritsar so that he can go and meet him there.

Speaking to rediff.com on Monday after Sachin Tendulkar hit his 39th one-day hundred as India posted 328 in the first One-Day International against Pakistan in Peshawar, the cricketer-turned-Member of Parliament from Amritsar said, “Mad dogs keep barking at the elephant, but the king elephant does not bother about them at all.”

Sidhu was obviously hitting out at Moin, who criticized Tendulkar, after India lost the three-Test series to Pakistan 0-1, saying the decline of the little master has begun.

“Sachin has scored a big hundred and this would be enough to silence his critics in the media as well as those like Moin Khan, who had started writing off the master batsman.

“The man who has scored over 70 hundreds in both forms of the game does not need to be reminded about his class and stature.

“Sachin did the right thing by not responding to such mindless criticism. Instead, he let his bat do the talking. Such comments are made by foolish people only,” Sidhu added.

Just cannot understand

I don’t know why a match of cricket should affect me so much as it does. I have wowed a lot of times not to be disturbed by it but neverthless feel extremely dissapointed whenever our Team India loses and they did so often a few months back.

Things were really good after Dravid took over, but till this happened. The 3rd test match between India and Pakistan and the first day I turned on the T.V to see Pakistan reeling at 13/4 and I told my wife “See these pakistanis were playing it safe for the first 2 tests and now they are not able to play against india once the pitch becomes favorouble to bowling”

But what followed was a total dismal performance from India. Pakistan made 250+ and we made 7 short, not even one of the batsmen making it to 50. The pakistani 2nd innings saw a world record. For the first time in 1800+ tests all 7 batsmen have scored 50+. We were set a target for 606 and we are crumbling right now with only 1 of our batsmen reaching 50+.

What a show? Well just wait. See how the Indians are going to bounce back in the ODIs. Hmm.. How stupid can a cricket lover in India become?

Diwali Gift by Indians

While the people were busy celebrating this year’s diwali, the Indian cricket team was busy celebrating another diwali – the death of the complacent and lazy attitude. They too burst crackers at Nagpur, Mohali, Jaipur and Pune. In fact Dhoni sent a lot of rockets (10 of them) in Jaipur and gave the perfect Diwali gift on the eve of the grand day. Soon after Diwali the team came up with a home series win, first time in about 20 months.

One thing is for sure, Ganguly is going to have one hell of a time trying to get into the team where once he was the proud prince. There is no doubt in that he is a world class player and he can get to his best form sooner, but form wasn’t his problem. (A rigorous practise can save him against the fast bowlers) It was his ATTITUDE and they don’t change too soon. I am not very sure if Greg said only truth in his mail, but there were certainly glimses of what every Indian felt about Ganguly at that stage. His running between the wickets was pathetic to say the least and his attitude of keeping the strike (running 2s instead of pushing 3s and even stopping those who did push) was too bad.

He built this team when it was in shambles. Azar was convicted of  match-fixing and the team was at its dead end. Ganguly stepped in and turned things for the team. He was a captain who lead from the front and showed all the way. His aggression kindled a hunger in the youngsters and he nurtured them in their growth. But at one stage about 3 years ago (just after the world cup), Ganguly started suffering from ATTITUDE problems. He was trying to ride on the occasional wins and instead of making him and the team any better, he started to avoid problems. And that is where the trouble started.

But old days are gone by. When they started to chase 298 and Tendulkar was out in the very first over, I said ‘Not again’  and waited for the rest to crumble. But surprise, As I was waiting for Dhoni to play a rash shot and get out, he went on to hit 183 and that rash shot never came. What more, he seemed to have decided to stay till the end. But the closer match was the 4th ODI when chasing 261 almost everyone contributed. Tendulkar and Yuvraj went in quick succession leaving india 34/2. In came Dravid and he is no more the old Dravid who takes time to settle. Straight away he took the match under his control. Sehwag looked a lot mature too and they went on to around 130. When Sehwag was out I did not expect Venugopal Rao to hit 38 of 37 deliveries and help Dravid. But the greates surprise was when India was 180/6 and requiring 80 runs from 81 balls, in came Dhone and Raina and they played absolutely superbly. Raina made 39 from 30 balls while Dhoni played so sensibly that I thought I was dreaming. He finished the match in style with 2 sixes of arnold (He finished the earlier game too by hitting a 6 off Dilshan) and made 45 in 40 deliveries.

I just pray that this young team should always feel this hunger for victory and even when they lose they must ensure that they fight till the end.

Check Mate

After a looooooong gap, I had the chance to participate in a Chess tournament conducted as part of the annual day celebrations at Broadcom. I participated only in Chess as it would be conducted only in weekdays and not in weekends when I would be in Pondicherry. 16 players had given their names including me.

In the first round, I was up against Ramki. We tossed and he got white. He is a senior manager and was also playing really well. The game was getting ready for a nail-biting finish when he received calls for a meeting. That did have some effect in his play and he made a blunder wihch cost the match and he resigned. We played the regular e4 opening and he even attacked my 0-0 castled king.

In the second round I had to play against Ananthan and there was no air of tension as he was very amiable and much against the norms of chess, we did have a few chat during the play. We also played the game in the crowded Library which eased the tension further. He played some decent chess, but he went on to sacrifice his bishop for which I could not see any advantage. I took it and forced his resignation very soon. I was playing white as ananthan was brave enough to ask me choose my color.

The semi finals was against M.P.Reddy and this time we tossed and I got white and resumed my favourite e4. The game was poised on equal terms when he made a blunder and thinking that my queen was unprotected against his he took a pawn with a bishop. I removed the bishop and he realized that he had lost the bishop as my queen was protected by a knight. From then on I easily forced his resignation.

The other semi final match was between Dhanraja and Baskar and Danraja was easily the better of the two and eventually won the game. The finals was on 2nd September and Danraja and I sat down to play the game at 1.10 P.M We tossed and I got white. I opened e4 and he replied with e5 and it was a closed Giucco Piano (I played d3 and ensured a closed position). We exchanged queens the result of which I had a doubled pawn on f file. Then the game went on as we exchanged pieces and pawns. But he made a mistake and lost a pawn which resulted in a passed pawn for me, which I threatened to make a queen. After two hours of tough play he resigned. (initially it was agreed as 1.5 hrs with 15 minutes stop watch after that, but after an hour’s play I asked his permission for a 2 hour game and then a stop watch of 15 mins if required and he agreed). I was happy that I could pull it off. It was a sweet victory after many years. Also in the annual day report they had written “CHESS – Helped discover the shelved brains of a few in BRCM. Only singles event to get a BSE guy as a winner – Hail Simon Peter”. What more when I wen to the lab, people referred me as Broadcom Grandmaster and the HR too said that I was the Chess Champion.

Round 1:

   1. Sumeet Sinha Vs Vijay Ananthan (9th Aug)
   2. Ramki (Ramakrishnan) Lakshman Vs Simon Peter (10th Aug)
   3. Srinivasa M.P.R Vs Kishore Sriadibhatla (9th Aug)
   4. Rangarajan K Vs Magilarasan (8th Aug)
   5. Rajesh Natarajan Vs Dhanraja K (8th Aug)
   6. Vikas Agarwal Vs Arun G (10th Aug)
   7. Madhva Anandhamoorthy Vs Arul T (9th Aug)
   8. Mala Baskar Sherigar Vs Naveen Raina (8th Aug)

Round 2:

   1. Vijay Ananthan Vs Simon Peter (11th Aug)
   2. Srinivasa M.P.R Vs Rangarajan K (11th Aug)
   3. Dhanraja K Vs Vikas Agarwal (11th Aug)
   4. Madhva Anandhamoorthy Vs Mala Baskar Sherigar (11th Aug)

Semi-Finals:

   1. Simon Peter Vs Srinivasa M.P.R (18th Aug)
   2. Dhanraja K Vs Mala Baskar Sherigar (31st Aug)

Finals:

      Simon Peter Vs Dhanraja K

I was awarded 1500 Rs Worth Gift Voucher from Sodexho Pass. That is really wonderful !!

The making of ‘History’

No one could have imagined it. It was monumental achievement by the Indian cricket team to beat pakistan in pakistan both in the one day series and the tests. It was the result of some very good attitude exhibited by both the experienced and the new comers alike.
The one dayers began with a burst of runs from both the teams. If India made a huge score, the pakistanis came close enough and it was a last-ball-to-be-hit-to-six affair. Moin khan failed and India began the saga.
The second and third one dayers were lost, but not so meekly. The fourth was the change in tide and our Kaif came to form in time to win the match, a rather close one. The fifth one day was rather nerve racking as both teams were tied 2-2. The indians did it this time unlike their natural ability to lose in the finals.
Then came the tests, Viru bhai hit a triple century, the first Indian to do so and India piled a massive first innings score to topple the pakistanis with an Innings victory. History was made with Dravid as captain, but it was just the beginning and dravid had a bigger role to play. The second match, India elected to bat and realized a hyperactive Gul in action. We lost the match and the stage was set for the decider. The skipper returned back and opted to bowl. The pakistanis never looked set. They lost quick wickets and gave India an ideal setup to win. However it required the mastermind of Dravid to hit 270 to backup India with the required boost to win the match and the series. History should repeat itself from now on…