dale steyn

If I were N Srinivasan

“Hmm….go on…”

These days, the most hated person in the cricket world is not a non-performing cricketer or a bumbling umpire; that privilege goes to a soft spoken, bespectacled business man from Chennai. Narayanaswami Srinivasan, or N Srinivasan (or, Srini mama as “affectionately” known throughout the social networks) is the current BCCI chief, which in turn makes him the overlord of all international cricket bodies (allegedly). It takes a special kind of talent (sorry, Rohit) to be universally disdained by anyone related to cricket. Indian fans hate him for reasons pertaining to IPL, DRS and an autocratic approach to governing the Board. Non-Indian fans hate him for reasons pertaining to IPL, DRS and an autocratic approach which influences the governing of other national cricket boards. It is nice to know that in a cricket world divided by misplaced nationalistic fervor, we can all agree that the BCCI chief is a tool. And that Jade Dernbach’s tattoos make Mitchell Johnson’s look like a work of Picasso. Don’t even get me started on that.

“Cool story, bro….now get to your point!”

Anyway, I was thinking about it and it led me to wonder what I would do if I was the BCCI chief. If Twitter and Facebook is to be believed (and when are they ever wrong?), Srinivasan has unlimited powers through which he can fix IPL games in a way that the Chennai Super Kings make it to the final every year, bully other boards into selecting/dropping certain players, ensure that Dhoni remains the unquestioned ‘Super King’ of Indian cricket and fit in enough time to destroy the game of cricket as we know and love. If all that is there to it, I think Srini mama is selling himself short. Here is what I would do if I was the former Honorary Sheriff of Madras (see, you learnt something new today!):

  • First step – through brow beating, arm twisting and using Navjot Sidhu to make prank calls every day to each board chief, grab control of the ICC presidency (officially). Welcome to the era of Srini.

“Change you BETTER believe in”

  • Make MS Dhoni the Vice President. Well of course.

“Together we shall rule the world!”

  • Make some changes to the ICC constitution (if they have one!) and give myself unlimited powers to affect the internal functioning of all member boards. All with their “permission” of course.
  • Let’s turn to the Black Caps. Who is this Hesson fellow? Remove him and appoint Stephen Fleming as coach. Also, ask “Where the heck is Daniel Vettori?” More importantly, arrange for two series every year between India and New Zealand. There is bound to be some morale boosting wins. For one of them.
  • Australia. This John Inverarity makes Srikkanth look like a genius. Sack him and appoint Warne as chief selector. Give Elizabeth Hurley a role – perhaps fashion consultant? Most importantly, make sure to “rest” Michael Clarke from series against India.

“For Mitchell Johnson, I’m thinking….plastic surgery would be a good choice”

  • Next, Sri Lanka. They have already done their part by selecting a politician as their chief selector. What could go wrong? Go one step further, and ask the Lankan president to be the honorary coach of the team. Also, offer the post of fielding coach to the Sports minister. That is one way of bringing the Lankan fielding to Indian standards.
  • Moving on to South Africa. I love Dale Steyn. He is the future of fast bowling. Heck, he is the future of bowling. A legend of his quality needs to be preserved well. It is important to balance his workload and he should get rest from time to time. Ensure that his rest coincides with India’s tour to South Africa. Also, appoint Faf du Plessis as captain in all formats.

“psst…want to join the Super Kings?”

  • England has troubled us for too long. Time to bring them down a notch. Make Kevin Pietersen the captain again. Remove Andy Flower and bring back Peter Moores as coach and appoint Nick Knight as assistant coach. Make sure that Bopara and Dernbach get to play in every game. Also, give Alastair Cook mandatory rest during series against India and grant Indian citizenship to Monty Panesar.
  • Allow Pakistani players to feature in the IPL. Sign up Junaid Khan, Hafeez and Ajmal for the Super Kings. Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal will go to the team that annoys me the most. Shah Rukh, I’m looking at you.

“Ok…these impromptu dance performances SRK keeps asking us to do, is too much now!”

  • There are no entertainers like the West Indies cricket team. Allow them to feature as the 10th team in the IPL.
  • MS Dhoni will not only be captain, but will also be the chief selector of the Indian team. Say hello to RP Singh again! Make India Cements the official team sponsor. Grant Suresh Raina the “honorary” number 6 spot in Tests and assign R Ashwin as the “honorary” first choice spinner in all formats; no to forget, the official spokesperson of the team after every defeat. Also, replace Fletcher with John Wright.

An overjoyed Fletcher, on hearing the news

  • For my dear CSK, appoint Mike Hussey as the coach and ensure that they get to play all their games on slow tracks, be it home or away. Make a special allowance for the team, so that they get to play 6 foreign players in the XI. Rule of thumb: Chennai Super Kings shall always win the IPL.
  • Remove the DRS and institute “SRS” – any time a player wants a decision reviewed, the umpire shall call a special number through which the calls are routed to my private phone and I get to take the final decision depending on my careful analysis as to how the dismissal would affect Indian cricket. Even if the game does not feature India.

“but, Sir…we can only give one batsman out at a time!”

  • Appoint personnel to follow Twitter and Facebook for any unfavorable mentions of me; any culprits found besmirching my name will be spammed to eternal banishment from the World Wide Web.
  • After I’m done enjoying the fruits of my “labor” for a few years, I will go on Oprah’s talk show to confess that I had taken all the previously mentioned actions under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs (I foresee a drop in sales of my “What Would Srini Do” wrist bracelets). I will leave the public eye gracefully; but in one final act of defiance, I will ensure that Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar become the new ICC and BCCI chiefs respectively!

“You get a Shastri…you get a Sunny G….everybody gets a one-eyed BCCI puppet free!”

PS: Mr Srinivasan, if you’re reading this by any chance……I kid, I kid! I’m a big fan, sir. Please don’t banish me from the World Wide Web!  

“I’m watching you…”

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Four Quotes That Explain Dale Steyn

Dale Steyn’s bowling figures in the first innings of the on-going Test match against Pakistan in Johannesburg:

8.1 overs, 6 maidens, 8 runs, 6 wickets

What else is left to say about the best bowler on the planet right now?

Here are four quotes that explain Dale Steyn best:

He likes fishing, horror movies, all the gory stuff, you know. I think it comes out in his bowling sometimes.

Graeme Smith

“I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

Where else in the world do you get the opportunity to basically kill someone with two bouncers an over? Or try, legally.

Dale Steyn

“I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!”

I just said to him, I am 20ks quicker than he is so he shouldn’t bounce me

Dale Steyn on what he said to Neil Wagner on the second day of the Port Elizabeth Test

“I feel the need—the need for speed!”

I’ve said many times before, a 150 or 145 km yorker is absolutely no different whether you bowl it here in Nagpur, Chennai, Johannesburg, Perth… It’s the skill behind the delivery, what the planning is behind the delivery, that is what counts at the end of the day

Dale Steyn on their tour to India in 2010

“You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”

Keep living on the wild side, Mr Steyn. May the force be with you.

Belated wishes to….me!

It was yesterday I realized that it has just been over a year since I started this blog. Lately, the frequency of new posts have reduced, but I have always enjoyed writing about cricket whenever I get the time; and so, I intend to keep putting up new posts. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year of blogging, and I hope that most of you have too. Here are six of my favorite posts over the last year:

Who will write about the writers? – regarding my favorite cricket writers

My 2011 wishlist for international cricket – one of which came partially true!

Tendulkar vs Steyn – Immovable object meets irresistible force – one of the finest batsman vs bowler contests I had seen in a while

A date with destiny at Mumbai – India are World Champions – need I say more?

From Waterboy to Superman – One of my most satisfying posts, regarding Yuvraj Singh’s amazing performance in the World Cup

Future Indian Captain – Raina or Kohli – to date, remains as the most read post on the blog

Cheers!

 

Tendulkar vs Steyn – Immovable Object meets Irresistible Force

 

On the same day the Australian bowlers were bowling tripe in the Ashes, a thrilling contest between the world’s best speedster and the world’s best batsman, took place at Cape Town. There is a good article on Cricinfo about it. For me, watching the passage of play when Steyn was breathing fire at Sachin, at 4am in the morning, reminds me why I love Test cricket. Steyn was too good for all batsmen bar Tendulkar. He bowled missiles after missiles, tried engaging him in a verbal joust, all to no avail. Steyn might have had the better of Tendulkar throughout the innings, but he couldn’t prevent him from marching on to yet another century and putting India at level terms with South Africa. Hopefully, part 2 of this contest will be seen in a couple of days, and the winner of that, will decide the fate of this series.

These are Tendulkar’s stats against Steyn in the 2nd innings of this test:

23 runs from 83 balls with SR of 27.71 (72 dot balls, 5 singles, 3 doubles and 3 boundaries)

 

For the first few overs of the day, when Steyn got going against Tendulkar, take a look at this clip:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons from Centurion – 1st Test India vs South Africa

  • Gambhir and Sehwag seemed to have learned their lessons, in the second innings; but I won’t be too sure unless I see them again on another day of tough conditions.
  • Dravid is in the same stage as Ponting is. Some days, he will score big centuries, but most of the time, he is going to score painstaking 30s and 40s. A sad final phase of a glorious career.
  • Tendulkar created a new record. Yawn.

  • Laxman had a rare twin failure; but Raina’s continuing dip in form and confidence might warrant trying Pujara for the next test.
  • It’s good to see the return of the original Dhoni when batting. This is the kind of batting that suits him, and he needs to play his natural game every time.

  • As expected, Harbhajan barely had any effect. Will be surprised, if that changes anytime soon.
  • Sreesanth and Sharma were huge disappointments. Looks like Zaheer is turning out to be the ‘Tendulkar of 90s’ for the bowlers. Without him, the pace attack is very unreliable.
  • Unadkat seems to be a decent prospect, but there is no doubt, that he is too raw right now.
  • Smith, Amla and de Villiers – all played characteristic innings. It is hard to envision India getting through these bats easily, for the rest of the series.
  • It is one of the strangest piece of stats, that Kallis scored his first double century in his 242nd innings. Even Jason Gilliespie got a double before him!

  • Tsotsobe and Harris were the supporting acts, and they played their parts to perfection.
  • Steyn and Morkel – they have won the first round. Can the Indians tame them, next time around?