The glorious Draw!

“When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure.”
― Alice Hoffman

You could easily add cricket to the above and it would still hold true. Predict in cricket at your own peril, who could have predicted the Australian’s winning 3-0 in the Ashes and who could have predicted India’s intensity going into the first test after their uninspiring show in the ODI’s. The game of glorious uncertainties was at its best at the Wanderer’s at Johannesburg.

A team was written off, Steyn and co mocked at the uncomfortable Indian’s against genuine pace, the pitch was hailed as bouncy and pacy, a grave had been dug to bury the Indians. Yet, India won the toss elected to bat, surprising the commentators and fans, the captain perhaps sent a message to his own team about a belief in its abilities. The team stood up and fought. A wonderfully crafted innings by Kohli forming the back bone and India raised a moderate but fighting total of 280! They did not cow down to the short stuff and actually most of their wickets on the first day were to their own faults more than the bowler’s skill. The pitch had enough in it and yet India buckled and put out wonderful judgement of the off stump and played judiciously. At the end of day 2 India could say they had their noses ahead.

Day two saw a comeback of sorts and after bowling India for 280 and the score at 130/1 you had to say SA were running away with it. Amazingly when you are just ready to give up hope, cricket bites you back and India took 5 wickets for 16 runs to wreck the African top order and all of a sudden they could think of a BIG lead! Yet again an African allrounder fought and ensured not too much was given. Whilst India again ended day two ahead, on day 3 morning almost all of that initiative was wrested back and a slender 40 run lead was yielded. Africa were to bat last which meant they were behind the game. End of day 3 and India had completely taken control of the Test. Two young batsmen from India dug their heels in whilst the bowlers were fresh and fought it out and pulverized the home team in the last session that gave 175 runs to make all three days belong to them. Day 4 was sort of the same, however, India could not post 500 lead, they had 450+ which was perceived by one and all as enough.

458 has never been chased successfully in the history of the game in the 4th innings of a Test Match. 8 wickets in hand Africa started day 5 with caution, Indian’s attacked and pitched up the ball a lot more than African bowlers and leaked runs but looked for wickets. Two African star’s though had other idea’s from judiciously batting and punishing the lose ball and displaying amazing restrain the two went into tea on day 5 with the Test match alive and left the crowd in huge anticipation of what could be in the last session.

As the end came neigh the Indian’s were perhaps staring at an unlikely loss, Africa were favourites and by the time the mandatory last hour began you almost started regretting why India bowled that one over extra. The game was Africa’s however, unlike in a limited overs match in a Test match apart from a win and a loss there is the draw as well as a possible result. I think that adds more drama, when players are not sure whether to go for a win or a loss. De’villier’s getting out at such a delicate situation threw major drama into the event. A silly run out of Faf Duplesis who had played most wonderfully ensured that crowd could not bear to watch the nail biting stuff.

A match where both teams gave all they had and yet could not come up with a result, however, the display put up was more interesting then any win or loss you might have witnessed.

A match where both teams gave all they had and yet could not come up with a result, however, the display put up was more interesting then any win or loss you might have witnessed.

Its easy to say South Africa should have gone for the win or criticise India for bowling bouncers at Steyn, but when faced with such a situation it is difficult to predict how most would go about it. In the end you also had a feeling that both the teams had fought tooth and nail and that neither deserved to lose. In the end cricket won, the uncertainty of the game won. Not the teams but the sport won. There are victories and there are losses and then there are these wonderful draws that are unmatched!

Pics Courtesy : Espncricinfo.com

Coming of age…

Apparently the match was evenly poised with India’s noses slightly ahead at the end of day two, however, day three was something no one expected. Everyone thought the match was going to be a close one and with lots of ups and downs. Day three though was a day when India went up and South Africa went down.

Philander and Duplesis had forged a partnership that ensured India did not lead by too many, the first over of the day started badly for India with Ishant not fully warmed up and gave away a couple of boundaries and it seemed like South Africa might get away if Indian’s let up their intensity, however, Zak was on the money and Ishant got his lines right and South Africa were soon dismissed. It was also heartening to see Steyn getting some lifters and being rapped on the fingers. Morkel not getting behind the line and Philander too struck on his fingers. So many times has India had to face this and it was good to see it being dished out back.

Whilst India led by 36, there were still murmurs of dismissing India cheaply keeping a chase around 200, India though had completely other ideas.

This is a new India it seems, they do not want to flash and show talent or go for that boundary. This team was ready to buckle in, patient, determined, skillful and harsh on only the lose stuff. They respected the good balls, did play and miss on a few occasions but by and large did not play loose shots and kept a big prize on their wicket. South Africa had to get them out, Shikhar Dhawan might have been disappointed with his dismissal in the first innings, but in the second he can take heart that he was picked by a very good piece of bowling and that he did not throw it away. The ball before he got out was the one that made him play that ball and got him out.

Vijay and Pujara together gritted it out, however, you were wondering if just staying in and not scoring too many might mean the game goes no where. Aided by the unfortunate injury to Morne Morkel though they found that South Africa’s back up bowling after Steyn and Philander was just not going to be able to trouble. Kallis at 38 can maybe deliver 5-7 good overs. Vijay was unfortunate to fall the way he did, he missed out on a golden chance to bat whilst the bowlers were tiring and the sun was out.

However, Pujara knows nothing else but how to bat and bat and bat. This guy has some tremendous appetite for batting and in many ways reminds me of England Captain Cook, nothing seems to affect him nor too bothered, he just bats and bats and bats. After tea the way he cashed in and made sure his hard work earlier paid plenty of dividends was wonderful to watch. Kohli on the other hand was again calm and reassuring, any Indian fan who was worried about the loss of the legends might have breathed a sigh of relief.

Indian Batting Order's no3 and no4 prove their worth in their first challenge.

Indian Batting Order’s no3 and no4 prove their worth in their first challenge.

In the end it was good, proper, basic Test match cricket that India played better in the three days gone by. The batsman have applied themselves and tried to stay in and score of loose deliveries without doing anything flash or trying to do anything extraordinary. The bowlers have tried to bowl in the right areas with good intensity and not allowed too many pressure free moments. The fact that India have 3 proper seam bowlers is something we have not always had, plus the fact that Bhuvaneshwar and Umesh Yadav sit on the benches is also a heartening fact.

South Africa have been left with many questions really, frankly none of their top order batsman can claim they looked comfortable in their stay on the wicket, not even Smith who got a shaky 68. Infact Philander looked like the best batsman in this innings by a distance, he too was aided by a tiring bowling attack on day 2. Their bigger worry though might be their bowling, I was wondering why they never tried to give a bouncer work over to Kohli and Pujara? I thought they did not test the Indian batsmen enough in this area. Their lines and their lengths in my opinion can be still a little more closer to the wicket. India gave away a few straight drives and cover drives but I think that is what also got them wickets.

India must also thank the sun for coming out when they batted, whether it was the sun or their superior batting we can only find out if South Africa get to bat in the sun and they are still bundled out. All said and done the match has shifted completely in India’s favour by some wonderfully determined proper Test Cricket by our boys.

They can feel proud about how they have played so far and keep up the intensity as there is a Test Match to be won here.

Photo’s Courtesy ESPNCRICINFO

2 days to go…

For the African Safari to start.

Yes, its a short tour, but it won’t be any short on the competition. The Proteas will be out to get us, we will have to play out of our skins to keep our pride intact or come back with bruised ego’s and can’t play on fast pitches adage.

The crowd maybe nasty with the team as well as they have been robbed of a long series and the way they can get back to our cricket administrators is via the players.

Steyn – Dhawan
Morkel – Kohli
Ashwin – De Villiers
Philander – Rohit
Amla – Pujara
Zak – Smith

Boy… this is going to be one heck of a short series and I promise to cover it here! 😀

Baffling…

The selection policy off late is baffling really…

Why is Vinay Kumar played ahead of Shami Ahmed?? Beyond me…. unless the selectors feel that its better that Vinay is bashed about more in such conditions and want to protect Shami from losing his confidence there is no reason why it happens.

Why Ishant can’t be released from the ODI and Test team and allowed to play Ranji away from the limelight is beyond me. His confidence must be in tatters after the Mohali mauling and it would only make sense to send him away for a while. He is 25 and might still become useful if he can learn to convert potential into performance.

Why Zaheer is not in the Test team against the West Indies is another shocker!! Selectors are also saying that he is in very much in their plans for South Africa and yet they ignore him against the West Indies. Would you not atleast make him play one Test and check it out if he is fully fit rather than directly allowing him in a Test in SA?

It is completely beyond me how the selectors are going about their work as far as the bowling is concerned.

I also seriously hope that MSD does not alter his theory of 5 batsman in Tests. With Jadeja now out though his resolve on this issue will be really tested.

To consider that West Indies will be no match will be foolish, I actually think if West Indies bat well, it could be a close series.

I hope Sachin’s retirement is downplayed by the team atleast and they focus on playing. As much as Sachin has been a joy to India, Sachin’s joy is in India winning and lets hope the team can focus on just that.

less than 24 hours to go and the wait cant get any longer…

The butterflies in the stomach cant flap their wings any more stronger, the adrenalin rush continues unabated, all sites giving all information have been read out, all views taken, all opinions read, heard, seen. Nothing still seems enough and you just cant pass the day. Being a holiday its even more difficult to pass, the constant highlights the past whole month on Star Cricket have not helped make matters any easier.

Tomorrow at 5.00 am(IST) its time to begin the games…

Over my growing up years it has always been the most exciting place to play and watch cricket, Australia. The country with hard sun-baked pitches, huge playing grounds, sea-gulls, flies, traditions, hats, beers and the crowds that were tough to win over. Also the fact that after I took to cricket around 1985-86 and the growth of the Australian aura coincided made me an even bigger fanatic of the tour of Australia. Ever since 1998 when Sachin after being made a bunny in the first innings by Warne in Chennai churned up that brilliant 155* the battles between these two teams have been most engrossing and mouth watering. The only abberations could be the 1999 tour of India where they were white-washed and subsequently M S Dhoni paying the favour back on Australia’s last tour of India where they beat them 2-0 in a series of 4.

Those two series apart the 2001 series was one of the best ever seen by me, if not the best ever played, where the world champion team was brought down to ground by rookies. Waugh’s Australians were on a record streak of consecutive Test victories they had won 15 consecutive tests and came to India to Mumbai. Waugh billed it as the Final Frontier for this all conquering team and India had a new captain and were without Anil Kumble. It seemed the Final Frontier was going to fall. Whilst India had a slender chance when Australia were 99/5 in their first innings in Mumbai the game changed after Gilly and Haydos decided to simply sweep the Indian off-spinner, apparently turning the ball square, to individual hundreds. The Aussies thereafter romped to victory after 3 days. I was in Wankhede to see that pasting we got. 😦

Surely, after 16 consecutive test wins it was only upto Steve Waguh’s men to turn up at Kolkata and victory would be theirs. India were following on with a deficit of 274 runs and it was all but over. The biggest optimist of Indian cricket could not have fathomed what was to come. Two men batted as if they were possessed, the best bowling line up of my era had gone wicketless a full day, a Hyderabadi artist would collar the world’s best leg spinner and a defiant Banglorian would not cave in. They scored and scored and scored, the bowlers went from grumpy to red hot angry to eventually wow at the contest and applaud what they had just witnessed. Herculean efforts was what it took to stop Mcgrath and Warne and deny them a wicket one whole day. The last day a young brash captain inspired his equally brash off spinner and they decimated the World Champion batting line-up in little over 2 sessions. The visions of that Test Match and the mad crowd of Eden Gardens is stuff of Legends.

India took the final Test in Chennai and it was 2-1.

Indian cricket turned a new chapter in their history, for me Indian cricket has two era’s one before this series and one after this series.

The 2003-04 series which was seen as a chance to avenge the rude shock in 2001 by the world Champions. Quite contrary to the talks of Chin Music it turned out to be one of India’s best batting display down under. The Australian’s were wowed by the batting line-up and they genuinely even admitted that at times they got a feeling the Indian batsman were meditating!!!  India failed to seize the initiative in Sydney where they didn’t enforce the follow-on in the last Test after being 1-1. Winning in Australia still eluded India.

Australia finally won a Test series in India with a stand in captain, India was robbed of their chance in Chennai by rain and the series went 2-1 to Australia.

The following tour of India to Australia under Anil Kumble in 2007-08, was most troublesome and the Aussie captain was lambasted for his win at all costs attitude. Anil Kumble’s remark of only one team was playing in the spirit of the game after Sydney rankled the Aussie media and public and they all went after their team, after being 2-0 down India put on a steely performance that mirrored the image of their captain and they won a famous victory. Once again Australia had won 16 consecutive test matches and were poised to win their 17th in their favourite hunting ground where astonishingly India stopped them and although India couldn’t push victory in Adelaide the 2-1 series ensured India’s pride was restored and Australians were left with a victory 2-1 but a bitter taste in their mouth.

Then began the Aussie fall and India’s rise and India blanked them 2-0 in a 4 test series. This series was slightly one sided with India going to become the best team in Test Cricket atleast in terms of ranking.

Now in 2011 on Boxing Day these two teams take will be in combat once again on the biggest stage of all at the MCG. This time though both teams don’t seem confident, which is new for the Australians, especially in Australia. Plagued by injuries and form loss they converge on the most awaited Test Series of the year. Its this series that will make some careers where as some will bid good bye to their legendary careers.

I can’t wait for tomorrow to see Sehwag take strike and Pattinson bowl to him with wind behind his back. Its show time… let the games begin !!!!! 😀 No I am too superstitious to make any predictions. 🙂 **touchwood**

Hey btw I read this very encouraging and interesting article inquiring when is the first 500 in tests going to be scored !!! No prizes for guessing who is the batsmen being expected to do this  ! He is no one else but our very own Veeru 🙂 🙂 🙂 and the writer and Australian !!!!!!

Time for an encore Veeru !!!!

Cheers to this love, hate & admiration between Indian and Australian Cricket !

PICS Courtesy : Cricinfo.com

Sabina Park, Jamaica conquered again !

Indian have gone 1-0 up at Sabina Park, the field where India sculpted a series victory in the Carribean after 35 years in 2006 has again been a happy hunting ground. Gone are the days when we could only play well in Port of Spain and always be pummelled in Barbados and Jamaica !

At 80 odd for 6, India were in a tricky situation, but than as someone mentioned on twitter, we got to know exactly how Australian fans felt the last decade and a half when someone or the other would always stand up and be counted. It had to happen, Bhajji came in and slogged a few and rattled the Windies, runs then just flowed and at 246, I think the game had slipped from the hands of West Indies !

The ball was turning square and India would be greatly disappointed with the performances of Bhajji & Mishra with the ball, Bhajji was steady to say the least and Mishra would be rather unhappy with his performance, he just wasnt consistent and accurate. Mishra might just miss out in Barbados as Munaf will most likely take his place on the bouncier track that awaits us in Barbados.

Praveen Kumar was a revelation in this test match, I for one used to think he just doesnt have the pace and that after the first 10 overs when the ball will stop swining Praveen Kumar will be a liability but he exceeded all expectations I think. Infact it will be difficult for Dhoni to ignore him in the next Match.

The one message that is clearly going to all Indian players is dont miss matches or your spots could go. Pujara will curse his luck, his injury came at the wrong time and I think the only place vacant has now 4 competitors Raina, Pujara, Virat and Yuvraj all will slug it out for that no.6 position as the other 5 are already taken. Thats what surprised me when Yuvraj skipped the WI tests. He is not an automatic selection in Tests and why he let go of this oppurtunity to cement his place for the England series is beyond me.

On the other hand the Windies just dont seem to help themselves, dropping Dravid at 6 sealed their fate. Dravid is starting to move his front foot well and now with runs under his belt and calmed nerves I think the second wind is all set to begin. Mountain of Runs beckon.. !

India’s performance was scratchy, not upto the mark I’d say, however, a Test after 7 months, without any practice match is an excuse I am tempted to accept. Though, if India would want to build an aura that the Windies team had through the 80’s and early 90’s or the Australians had during the late 90’s and the last decade India would do well to crush oppositions when they are down.

At the moment there are a lot of murmurs still, lots of people although they cannot beat us still keep whispering about our problems on green, lively, bouncy, fast tracks which I think is a whole load of crap. But then India will get their chance to quell these doubts on the trips of England and Australia later this year.

In many ways a bouncy track at Barbados will be great for the Indians and if the West Indies can get in Kemar Roach to accompany Fidel and Rampaul, it will be great preparation for the English trip. The conditions will be entirely different but atleast they get practice against some good quality pace, which apart from Ishant no one in our team can give them unless, ofcourse the bowling machines are that good. I seriously cannot understand how Sammy can be the captain when he doesnt deserve a place in the team. A bloke as quick as Kemar Roach is in the 12th man while Sammy plays ahead of him !!!!!! *BLASPHEMY*

If the WICB really need Sammy, make him the non playing captain !!!!

The case of the Indian skipper is much easier he has few things to worry about, his players fight when pushed into a corner and be it Bhajji with a 80 or Mishra with the plucky lil innings with Rahul, someone or the other puts up their hand and India sails through. Admittedly the Windies tail wagged a bit, but then our spinners were not upto scratch this match. Expect Harbhajan to improve, Vijay & Virat to contribute more in Barbados, Mukund to get rid of his nerves and VVS to show some of his masterclass.. Remember India were without their devastating opening pair, their best batsman, their chief bowler and in Praveen Kumar they fielded a fast bowler that they didnt have in their original plans.

India need to play to potential and the contest will not be as close and as an Indian fan I wont complain if we have a boring one sided victory !

-x-x-x-x-

P.s – Chris Tremllet, the English seamer currently considered as the ‘new BIG thing’, some want to complare him to Joel Garner already, wants Lively tracks against the Indians during the 4 Test Matches… !

All I can say to English Groundsmen regarding Tremllet’s wishes is – BRING ON YOUR FASTEST, LIVLIEST, BOUNCIEST AND GREENEST track. We need them more than you to squash all the murmurs !!!!

so begins the world cup !

Yes…. the world cup has started and I have not yet made a single cricket post !!!!!! Geeez…. !!!! If only I would be able to sit more on the computer.

I even missed the most colourful opening ceremony live… and the pre show for the India Bangladesh match… but I was there before the national anthems started… ! I frantically drove my scooter from office parked it and made a dash to the hall & put the TV on.

Albeit I am not the biggest fan of T-20 and ODI cricket, I am a die hard Test Cricket fan, however my favourite team India must be watched in all forms.

Over the years I have always blindly supported them, I can never hear anything against them. Yes I do take in the criticism about their play, but if someone talks about their intentions being malicious or their integrity or anything other than their cricket, they immediately become my non liked people !!!! I seriously hate such people, infact wonder why they watch or discuss cricket if they think so…

Yes… do take note of that.

I consider myself to be their biggest fan, I never quit watching even when they are losing. I always have my logic that all will leave the team when they are losing but how can I leave my heroes when they are having a bad day. Infact if I were asked if Cricket was my first love or the Indian team… I did really have a tough time replying to it.

My team is my team and I dream of being in the midst of them in the dressing room one day… STILL !!!!

Sigh….. AMEN… !!!

Anyways… for this World Cup I am too scared to make my prediction… I dont want to jinx anything… ! I wont discuss my team and their strengths and their chances…. Let it just wait till the cup ends… !!!! I am praying and hoping for an Indian Victory.

But before I would end the post… following are the 3 new young players that I think are going to be the ones to watch out for in this world cup and the future… !

Virat Kohli – well this post is a day late… he already proved quite a bit… but he is the one to watch out for in the future… A huge future I think lies ahead for this starry eyed boy… !!!! and I mean HUGE !

Darren Bravo – I think this junior of Dwayne is a sensational batsman though I would like to see a bit more of him…there are so many shades of Lara in his style… ! Watch out for him !!!

Steve Smith – I think this Aussie Leg Spinner is very talented, however I think the Australians dont give him enough backing. He has a lot of potential… lets see how the Aussies use him…

and I have lots of predictions… but I will keep them to myself… !!!! I am too Superstitious to share them… !!!!!!

For the moment I guess all of you sit back and just enjoy the Runs… yes there will be wickets too but few and far in between…

God save the bowlers this World Cup !!!!!!

The Renaissance Man

French meaning of the word : Renaissance : from ri- “again” and nascere “be born”

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“The key to change… is to let go of fear” – Rosanne Cash

Accepting changes to the norm is never easy, bringing them in is even more difficult even more so when it involves getting others around to accept that change and get them to channelise their energies towards the change…. If ever an Indian were to be named the man who brought about a change to Indian cricket it would have to be Sourav Ganguly.

SOURAV GANGULY – The man who taught us to look in the eye of the enemy and not blink !

People who have followed Indian cricket closely since the late 80’s to till date would definitely know what has changed. Indian cricket was a bunch of talented cricketers before in the twentieth century. Some magnificient players, super talented who on their day could single handedly put any team down but consistently and regularly be beaten by a more organised unit. The twentieth century also witnessed an Indian team who were tigers at home, however the less said about our performances abraod the better. A few victories apart, cricketers abroad licked their lips at the prospect of a visiting Indian team.

However in the beginning of the 21st century one temperamental Bengali often termed as spoiled child or quota player was given the reins of the Indian team at its nadir.

India under Sachin had been badly bruised in Australia 3-0 in tests. In 8 one dayers against Pakistan and Australia we managed to win 1, incidentally in that 1 ODI win it was Sourav who scored a century. Coming back from that tour Sachin had lost the will to lead but he was asked to carry on for the South Afrian Tests and that was the time disaster struck and the Proteas sneaked the Test Series which was after a very long time that a visiting test team won a series in India.

Ganguly was made ODI captain and we won the series against Africa but that was not the headlines, it was Hansie Cronje…

People lost faith, people like me who loved the game dreaded discussing it as people would only say one thing… Its FIXED !

Sigh…

Indian cricket couldnt be any lower than that point… faced with another THRASHING… as Steve Waugh’s side was to tour India. This Steve Waugh side was being compared to the invincibles of Bradman. They were the best team that ever was, better than the windies in the 80’s as they even had a spinner and were not only reliant on pace. It was all conquering and they didnt even play draws. The only thing missing in Steve Waugh’s portfolio was a Test Series Win in India…

They had won 15 consecutive Tests and won the first in Mumbai inside 3 days convincingly to make it 16 in a row. In Eden Gardens in the second Test India were staring down the barrel having been made to follow on. The only hope India had was if Steve Waugh inflicted the follow on. Steve Waugh was ultra aggressive and in the process he left a door open for India. It was slight, but in the second innings what followed was mind boggling as two men played as if possessed. VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid batted out the fourth day without losing a wicket.

On the fourth day evening after Harsha Bhogle interviewed VVS & Rahul he went to Sourav to discuss how would the match progress and Sourav just put his hand around Harbhajan and told Harsha this guy will win me the test match tomorrow and the rest as they say, is history!!!!!!

Yes, Sourav will forever be indebted to VVS and Rahul who enabled the fightback, but leadership is about belief, it would have been not at all a worthy Test had it been drawn. The belief that Sourav had in Bhajji and the confidence he gave his players was something extraordinary.

“Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn’t have it in the beginning.” – Mahatma Gandhi

More than just the victory in this series one thing was most noticeable, the Aussies are sledging champs and they prided in the fact that they never could be gotten back at. This was the series, this was the time when the Indians learnt to give it back as good as they got. No one could get away saying what they liked. The new confident India which was economically becoming a strong power now seemed evident on the cricket field.

Sourav’s keen eye for talent has given India discoveries that we are still gushing about. Sehwag, Yuvraj, Zaheer, Dhoni they all came in while Sourav was at the helm.

I also remember this particular story when Mr. Pradeep Magazine was going to a Indian Airlines match and met Sourav on the way and he told him to watch out of the the keeper, saying he was a “Chabook Player” !!!

That Chabook Player is no one else but our own M S Dhoni !!!!

Yes, it was Sourav who told Veeru that he is too good a player to be sitting out and that while there was no space in the middle order he must open the innings and today we all gush about our greatest possession in Virender Sehwag’s Dare Devil Act.

Sourav’s belief in his men and the confidence and security he provided them led to some famous overseas wins like Headingly and Adelaide. Indian team was no longer just one or two talented spinners or a wristy batsman… They were a team, a galvanised team. Not many captains preceeding Ganguly could claim that feat.

Sourav’s contribution to Indian cricket cannot be measured, but all who follow Indian cricket understand what changed since 2001.

Another favourite Sourav story…

When Andrew Flintoff in Mumbai after equalling a ODI series took off his T-shirt and ran amok in Wankhede, Ganguly caught on camera smashed a bottle of water in disgust as his team was unable to pull off the series win. The hurt man never forgot this act it was to be returned yes, a world record chase by two young kids was set up and the response to the series levelling win in Mumbai was a series win in England. Yes the brash in Sourav was out there at its best on the Balcony when he took off his T-shirt and waved pronoucing the choicest words… !!!!! The guy didnt forget and yes, what was given to him was returned with interest.

Hisaab Chukta...... !!!!

We were most proud then Sourav… Most proud even now of you… !!!!! As you hang your boots and retire from cricket you can rest assured you will never retire from our hearts, we shall always remember you as a man who changed Indian cricket forever, the man that brought in the change, the man that injected the steel, the man who galvanised the team.
handing over the baton... !
Your contributions are second to none !!!!