AB De Villiers: A living emotion

Adam Gilchrist: ” He’s the most valuable cricketer on this planet.”

AB Can Do Everything! The ABcDe of world cricket shines with a string of many exciting, blissful memories attached to it.

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“It’s about running out of gas and feeling that it was the right time to move on. Everything is supposed to come to an end.”

AB De Villiers’ final adieu to intl. cricket has left every follower of the game shell shocked. At 34, ABD still seemed to be at the peak of his career. Be it the longer red ball formats or the shorter versions, ABD continued to add a flair with his exhilarating presence. His recent IPL performance too goes on to reflect similar scenarios. Striking the ball at a healthy SR of 160, providing those consistent impressive performances and ensuring total commitment to the game made him one of those players to watch out for. Who can ever forget that superhuman catch down the boundary line off Alex Hales! Passionate, skillful, innovative, patient yet dangerous for any bowler to face, AB De Villiers revolutionized cricket.
Born in Bela-Bela, South Africa, Abraham Benjamin De Villiers grew up as a multi-talented individual. Gifted with an extraordinary cricketing talent, it took him mere 14 first class games before debuting for South Africa in 2004. Initially, he was well utilized by the Proteas as a floater who could open, bat down in the middle order as well as keep wickets. His prowess in each of these roles earned him a place in the ODI side in 2005 and corresponding T20I squad in 2006. With every game, he continued to impress and his presence soon triggered a positive energy across the whole South African cricket circuitry. His fielding gained a lot of applause especially when he caught Simon Katich off guard with a Johnty-like dive in 2006.

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Shaping up well under the able captaincy of Graeme Smith, AB’s honest and continuous strive to develop his game brought out the best innovations and improvisations to the cricketing world. His fruitful form continued through the 2007 world cup and he then became the first South African to score a test double century against India later, in 2008. ABD was awarded as the ICC ODI Cricketer of the year in 2010, ‘14, ‘15 and is a part of ‘ICC ODI team of the year’ ever since. He matched the improbable when he recorded a 50+ average in ODIs for 7 consecutive years (2009-2015). Post 2011 World Cup when Smith hung up his boots, AB shouldered the responsibilities as a captain.

Harsha Bhogale: “For AB de Villiers, playing cricket was an adventure. There’s nothing he could not do on a cricket field.”

As they say, ‘Responsibilities get the best out of you’. AB De Villiers realised this phrase to maximum effect. His game reached new highs during this period and South African cricket found high regards in the cricketing fraternity. The iconic shuffle outside off, the exuberant sweeps against the fast bowlers, the efficient cuts and the forceful pulls, all became frequent during this period. Cricket was lent in a new definition and this South African star grew more popular as “MR. 360”.

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India’s worst nightmare also revolves around his heroics(119 of 61) as South Africa powered their way to a record 438 at the Wankhede in 2015. Not only would he hit the ball hard and time it crisply but he would also pick out gaps like a computer and would play along with the bowler and his field. “Ask the West-Indians, and they’ll explain that fear better.” His 149 off 44 balls wherein he shattered fastest 50 and 100 record in process seemed like an inhuman massacre of the cricket ball. He almost repeated the same feat against the same opponent when he took them to all parts in 2015 ODI World Cup at the SCG. His 162 of 66 balls recorded the fastest 150 and propelled South Africa to the highest ever score at the venue. But his utmost dream was not meant to be fulfilled as the unfortunate chokers gave away once again to the rain-gods in the semi-finals against New Zealand.

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Along with the limited overs format, De Villiers also expanded his reigns in the traditional red-ball cricket. His belief in his techniques, the ability to soak in pressure and his temperament to anchor the innings when needed made him a standout in the South African dressing room. Carrying the responsibility of the nation on his shoulders, AB rarely faltered to this challenge. One still remembers his gutsy fightback of 43 in 297 deliveries against India at Delhi on a bid to save the test match.

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One also remembers his attacking game-play scoring 106 against Australia helping SA chase down a mammoth 414 in the 4th innings at Perth. A player who adapted to all situations like no one else, a player who responsibly stepped up when his team needed and a player who possessed the ability to turnover a match on its head at any moment, this 4th highest centurion of South Africa laid all their worries to rest.
Meanwhile, his stints with Delhi Daredevils (2008-2010) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (2011-present) in the IPL too brought him into spotlight. Almost reestablishing a depleted RCB side, he along with Virat Kohli developed a force bowlers are still scared of. The same continued across the globe around various T20 leagues where AB continued to win hearts. His unbreakable sublime form with the bat and his sensational heroics in the field made him a real superhero for the entire cricketing world.

Virat Kohli : ” ABD is the best batsman is the best batsman of this generation and he proves it again and again!”


Today, as he bids farewell to international cricket, we would only hope him to reconsider his decision and do a Afridiar comeback soon. He’s left a huge void to fill not only for South Africa but for the world cricket as a whole. The teary-eyed wishes of every cricket fan would forever cherish the bountiful memories and unbelievable shots he gifted all along. Chasing his dream to do well for his country ABD not only left back a legacy but also a huge emotion one would never forget.
Put down in his own words: (from De-Villiers’ first solo album)
” It’s the time
Be the best that you can be
To believe in anything you dream
To live it, to breathe it
Just feel it in your heart
Stand up tall and make a noise
Just be the one,
Show them who you are!”

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When Cricket was tampered….

Cricket is often regarded as a Gentleman’s Game. However, in recent times this sport has traversed a few dark patches. Amidst the numerous match-fixing allegations, unnecessary verbal controversies and ball-tampering scandals, cricket has lost its reputation and interest around the globe. From winning the World cup on 29th March 2015 to imposing bans on its cricket captains (often referred to as Australia’s second citizen) on the same day 3 years later, stories have traveled multiple extremes. Here’s a sneak peak at what ball tampering is all about:

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In 2006, Pakistan forfeited a test against England for unjust tampering accusations.

Ball Tampering: It’s termed as an external change brought about to the shape or skin of the cricket ball to ensure more movement. The shine of the ball determines its swing and it’s therefore necessary to be apt for it. In greed of such success, players at times resort to aesthetic methods of using sandpaper, shining solutions or scratching methods to increase the lateral movement. Especially when the ball is made to reverse, tampering of seam is commonly tried. Against the spirit of the game, such incidences suffer heavy sanctions and also result to match bans from ICC. Shame for the nation as well as the sport, such evil practices are ought to be eradicated.
Previous Incidences:

  • John Lever: Tracing as back as 1970s, on a dry Chinnaswamy pitch in Chennai. The English had a commanding 2-0 hold over the series. John Lever, along with Bob Wilis continued to create a turmoil in the humid conditions. On one hand where the Indian seamers struggled to attain swing, the English bowlers did it with ease.
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    John Lever wearing the vaseline tape.

    It was later found out that the bowlers used a Vaseline gel to keep the shine of the ball intact. The gel was explained to be a sweat repellent used by the bowlers but it certainly made a noticeable difference. Though no charges were imposed on the players, this was perhaps the first time when BALL TAMPERING concept actually came into picture. The fact that England’s lead of the attack John Lever could never ever equal his records from that test match, also gives you an impetus to the suspicion. Not much investigated then, England sneaked out of this possible controversy and went out to win the series 3-0.

  • Michael Atherton: This was perhaps an incidence where world cricket came to an awareness about the seriousness of ball tampering. In 1994 at Lord’s against South Africa, English captain Michael Atherton was accused of using dirt from his pocket to roughen the surface of the leather. It not only increased the swing but also helped the ball skid through. Atherton however, covered this act as unintentional as he only wanted to use the pitch sand for drying his hands. The explanation pacified the punishment and the English captain was only financially penalized.
    Bringing out Ball Tampering into spotlight, ICC had to reframe its rules and guidelines in order to keep such practices in check.
  • Waqar Younis: Caught altering the conditions of the ball, legendary Pakistani swing bowler became the first ever in cricketing history to be suspended for ball tampering in 2000. Found guilty and left with no room to cover up, the ban also included a 50% match fee penalty.
  • Indians at Ball Tampering (Tendulkar and Dravid): Two Indian legends, and passionate lovers of cricket also faced two separate ball-tampering allegations.
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    Dravid and Tendulkar were both accused of ball tampering multiple times.

    While Dravid was guilty of using a cough lozenge to shine the ball against Zimbabwe in 2004, Sachin was alleged of scratching the seam against SA at Port Elizabeth in 2001. Dravid was fined 50% of match fee for his wrong-doings. Sachin fought hard out of it after he clarified that the attempt was to just remove the dirt off the seam. It took India vigorous off-field discussions and a potential backing out of the tournament for Sachin to get rid of accusations.
    The current Indian skipper, Virat Kohli was also accused of ball tampering against England in 2017 but was proved innocent for any punishments.

  • Marcus Threscothick: In his Autobiography ’Coming Back To Me’, the English opener empathized on how he used the mint-induced saliva to keep the shine of the ball intact in 2005 Ashes series. “It was my job to keep the shine on the new ball for as long as possible with a bit of spit and a lot of polish. And through trial and error I finally settled on the type of spit for the task at hand.” Threscothick was never caught with evidence on camera and thus eluded all accusations.afrdi.jpg
  • Shahid Afridi: Pakistanis have been quite innovative when it comes to ball tampering. In a series against Australia in 2012, the skipper was caught biting the seam on camera. The act made no significant difference to the result as Australia cherished a convincing win. However Afridi’s evident and obvious crime was sanctioned with a two match ban.
  • Faf Du Plessis: Not once, but the South African captain has been caught tampering the ball twice. In 2013, he was found scuffing the ball with his zip in order to make the seam upright.faf.jpg ICC handed him demerit points for this offence and took away 50% of his match fees. He repeated the same a couple of years later where he used his mint to shine the leather. 100% match fees and demerit points were sanctioned for this Level 2 offence.
  • Steve Smith and Cameroon Bancroft: Perhaps the most celebrated Ball-Tampering saga of all times, it came into scene when cameraman caught Bancroft using what seemed like a sandpaper for polishing. The controversy grew further when Smith admitted that the conspiracy was planned by the leadership group comprising of him and vice captain David Warner. Revealed later that Warner was the mastermind behind it, ICC banned Smith for a match and took away 75% of Bancroft’s match fees.
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    #balltamperingsaga #sandpapergate


    A shame for Australian cricket, Cricket Australia had more harsh ideas on store. They banned the two leaders for a year and young Bancroft for 9 months. The incidence also started a rebel in the island nation against such malpractices and the players were criticized from across the globe. Termed as one of the harshest punishments ever, this sanction brought about mixed opinions from cricketing fraternity. It remains to be seen how the ‘lenient ICC’ cope up to such occurrences in future.

With time and technology, cricket has evolved and so have the methods to cheat. Ball Tampering is certainly a black spot on cricketing culture but is it really that big an offence? ICC is set to look into the matter and the required prevention.

The U19 bliss: Champions with purpose!

India is perhaps one of the most integrated cricketing nations across the globe. WIth cricket being the most popular sport in the country, it’s no surprise that almost half of the young blood worship cricket. The legends Indian cricket has produced over the years, the supremacy it has established in world cricket and the recent success it has been adhered to, has increased the interest and participation manifold. Indian cricket has a well laid foundation with organized inter school and college tournaments distributed around the country. Nurturing young talents, giving them the right facilities and ensuring their all-round development has always been a prime agenda for BCCI. India’s recent U19 triumph is also a clear reflection of the same. Showered with millions of blessings and social media wishes, these young guns have certainly made the nation more proud.

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Lead by Prithvi Shaw, under the able guidance of Rahul Dravid, the Indian colts have finally broken India’s Finale jinx of ICC Tournaments. Having lost last 7 ICC tournaments in the last 4, it was important for Indian cricket to finish this tournament on a high. Consistent performance, passionate gameplay and smart, intelligent and wise utilization of the skillset has been the highlight of this tourney. However, the thing that impressed the most was the ability to stand up for the team when needed. In the 6 matches played, India has had almost 6 different match winners. Starting from the watchful openers in the inaugural match to the blistering hundred from Manjot Kalra in the finals, every Indian player has been aware of the situation and his consequent responsibilities. Though India’s lower middle order was never tested, their swiftness in the field and involvement in the game has been second to none.

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Manjot Kalra
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Shubhman Gill

Man of the Tournament, Shubhman Gill also bought an interesting balance to the squad. Hard hitter of the ball yet well constricted to text-book cricketing strokes, the temperament and hunger to score big that he possessed impressed one and all. His hundred against the arch-rivals Pakistan is perhaps regarded as the best in the tournament. Coming in at a crucial time, he along with Anukul Roy, another young exciting talent, steered India home to a safe total. Roy also turned out to be India’s best spinning bet along with Abhishek Sharma and Shiva Singh. The trio snatched up almost 30 wickets in the competition. Anukul’s 5-for against PNG, 4-for against Zimbabwe and the 2 crucial wickets in the finals stimulated the India’s path towards glory.

HArsha Bhogale empathized, ‘You expect a young Indian side to bat well. And this team batted splendidly. But the big difference lay in the quality of quick bowling.’

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The Indian bowling attack

Along with the spinners were the ever-so-fast Indian seamers. Ishan Porel and Shivam Mavi provided the perfect support and blasted round the opposition along with Kamlesh Nagarkoti. Being the talk of the town from the inaugural match itself, Kamlesh’s ability to hit 145-150kph consistently also earned him a Rs. 3.5cr contract in the IPL. Ishan too kept the batsmen busy and guessing with his thoughtful variations to make him an undoubted highest wicket-taking Indian seamer. The efforts these young guys put in, the sincerity and perseverance they showcased and the ability to switch gears that they possess is something Indian cricket would look forward to. With great power comes greater responsibility, it’s up to these players to make it count on the senior level and it’s something everyone would expect from the champions.

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However, contribution of Rahul Dravid and Paras Bhambrey along with Venkatesh Prasad led selection panel cannot be neglected. Battling controversies, Dravid prioritized coaching the U-19 team against a lucrative IPL deal. He sowed in the sense of belonging into his players, he introduced discipline and stood tall as a protective WALL when needed. Along with worthy support staff, Dravid and Paras worked on every aspect of cricket. The title is certainly a fruit to the cricketing tree they’ve been nurturing for the last 2 years. Another creditable cause of success is the scheduling of matches for the colts. BCCI ensured that everyone was given the required playtime and proper infrastructure was provided for improvement. It’s these little things that has propelled India against the stream to glory.

Rahul Dravid had it spot-on. “The challenges and the hard work starts from here. The hard work begins for them and for us as well, as to how we manage these boys over the next few years. Even if not a lot of them go on to play for India, it can happen. It’s not easy to get into the Indian side.”  

It will be interesting to see how the colts keep up with the game pressure. The sincerity and promise they have showcased strengthens India’s hopes of being a cricketing superpower. Worth a wait, this 3rd U19 championship is deservedly the most celebrated.

The FAB 4 ERA

“We are fortunate enough to witness two different generes of world cricket.”

The first decade of the 21st century is largely regarded for its competitive spirit. Early 2000s witnessed uprising of many cricketing legends. From Sachin Tendulkar to Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting, from Steve Waugh to Michael Vaughan, from Shane Warne to Muralitharan and from Mark Boutcher to Adam Gilchrist. They introduced different dimensions to the game of cricket. The transformation they bought in not only increased the pace of the game but also ensured that the spectators would always be tied to the game. Their skill was second to none and this ensured that every international team struck a perfect balance. Even the minnows in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and West Indies justified their presence boldly at the international level. However, every purple patch seeks some dark, every good phase ends with a slight tumble. This time, the retirement of big guns stimulated the transition. All big names succumbed to form and age and the young blood filled its place. India’s loss to Bangladesh in 2007 World Cup was perhaps our moment to initiate change.

The transformation was uniform and steady for a few teams while it went worst for a few others, for some it was quick while for others it went prolonged, for some it was gentle while for others it became harsh. It was the time where someone had to step up for a cause and drive their team back to winning ways. Teams like India, England, Australia, New Zealand were quick to bury the consequent gap while teams like Sri Lanka, West Indies and Pakistan still find it difficult to cope with the increased standards. Virat Kohli, Joe Root, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson share a huge credit for reviving the competitive spirit with a modern touch. Their on-field aggression, confident techniques and positive approach has traced back the replenishing joy of cricket. Now with all four being the captain of their respective teams, safe to quote “It is the start of the FAB FOUR ERA.”

They have risen to the cause when their nation needed them, they have driven the transition along with some senior players and they have strive hard to reach this epitome of greatness.”

Kane Williamson has more so single handedly driven New Zealand to glory. 2015 World Cup being one of the recent highs, his test records too have been pretty impressive. The subtleness he brings into his game, his calm presence over cricket field and the simplicity he reflects from his game is worth watching. Following similar lines is the England skipper Joe Root. His recent form has been doing rounds and the ease he brings into his batting is admirable. Post Alastair Cook, Root has been successful getting England out of all controversies. He has bought in the sense of discipline within the team and has been organized with his way of working. Be it guiding England home from crunch situations or leading them from the front when needed, he never shied away from his responsibilities.

Talking about responsibilities, another legend who almost adores the responsibility of world Test cricket currently is the Aussie Steven Smith. Initially coming into the side as a young leg spinner from New South Wales, hardwork has seen him through as Australia’s most dependable batsman. Unorthodox batting styles, sound technique and a emphatic passion to take the team to glory, Smith has deserved every bit of his highest rank. Though his limited overs form still raises a concern, cricketing fraternity is sure of him replicating red-ball ride onto the shorter format. However, mastering the art of giving his best in all formats, Virat Kohli has ruled every batting department. Often compared to limited over greats like Sachin Tendulkar and Sir Viv Richards, Virat Kohli has came a long way to create an independent existence in world cricket.

From chasing huge totals with exuberance and grace to building up on one, from anchoring the innings through deep waters to aggressively giving it back to the opposition when needed, Virat Kohli presently tick-marks all batting requirements.

Confidence, perseverance, determination and grit is reflected back from all these 4 greats of the game. What distinguishes them even more from others is their consistency and the ability to soak in pressure.

Playing for the team and binding together with it, records haven’t bothered their priorities. Each of them possess a unique style of captaincy, each of them constitutes a unique game-plan and its this uniqueness they bring into their game that makes it more eventful and exciting. The aggression, passion and the eager to win will certainly be something to look up to in years to come. Not only with these four, but also other international stars like Rohit Sharma, AB De Villiers, Hashim Amla and David Warner will also strive to make a bolder mark in international cricket across formats. Be it scoring big runs or seeing it through to desirable destinations, world would always be glorified with a gutsy flaring cricketing stature.

“It’s time to give up on comparisons and enjoy the highest quality cricket on display.”

 

Cricketing Stock Market!

Cricket has witnessed tremendous transformations right from its in incision in 1844. Despite suffering setbacks from the two World Wars, the sport has progressed at a decent pace,especially in later half of the 20th century. Popularized by the English and the Australians, it spread wide and far across the globe. THE ASHES series between the two world-leaders still gathers most attention. Test cricket then paved way for ODI cricket which in turn set up the T20 format. Today, more than 100 registered countries play international cricket, while only 12 have been allocated a TEST status. ICC (Int. Cricket Council) initially found as Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by English, Australian and African representatives is now responsible for a smooth conduct. With time, the cricketing wave has fluctuated from one shore to the other.

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Andy Roberts, Micheal Holding, Colin Croft and Joel Garner were batsman’s worst nightmares!

England and Australia were largely regarded as global leaders till mid-20th century. West Indies, India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South (then East) Africa and Pakistan gradually cropped out their heads in the 1960s. For India, it took almost 2 decades to register their first win in 1952. While the subcontinental teams found it difficult to match the English and Aussie levels, the Windies cruised along producing probably world’s best swing bowling attack till date. The Aussie era that was largely initiated in 1940s post Bradman subsided to Clive Lloyd’s West Indies. They set a perfect example of how cricket can also be treated as a bowler’s game. Swinging yorkers, scary bouncers and unique batting strides are still a distinguished treasure in the cricketing records. Be it the tied Test match of 1961 against Australia, the supreme reigns at home or the world dominance in 1975-79 world cups, the team has blessed cricketing fraternity with bountiful memories. But, the purple patch was about to end. India’s famous 1983 World Cup final win saw the underdogs step up on a world stage. The reign however didn’t last long as Indians faded to an inspiring Australian side in 1987. Though Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Graham Gooch,Sir Viv Richards gained a lot of accolades, the Australian team struck the right chords under the efficient Alan Border. Their dominance through the 1987 World Cup continued till the next one at home down under. Fate however awaited a different end. Playing in colored jerseys for the first time, an unexpected Pakistan stole all the flare and deserved its glory. Imran Khan along with Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis made the most of swinging conditions. Post the loss against India in group stages, the fightback from Pakistan gathered praise and admiration. The prowess of England and Australia that persisted throughout that period was hampered to a large extent in the World Cup. 142396020-1573321.jpg

This tale continued for almost the entire decade. India, South Africa and Sri Lanka raised the bar and often stumbled the balance of higher rated teams. This decade of underdogs also saw Sri Lanka lift the Champion title in 1996 before Australia pounced back on it in 1999. From the unfortunate South Africa who perished to rain in the 1992 semifinals to the frustrated Kolkata crowd that lead to a walkover to 1996 Sri Lanka, this decade of minnows witnessed world’s most productive cricketing juncture.

The dawn of 21st century was perhaps the most competitive of them all. All teams staged a well balanced and a settled squad mixed with an even of experience and skill. Not only that, but the associate nations also stepped up. Kenya, in what is supposed to be the surprise of the decade progressed to the World Cup semi-finals in 2003. An all around development engulfed cricket to the fullest. This was the time when Australia again came back into reigns to stay champions for as long as 12 years. Termed as “THE INVINCIBLES”, the Ricky Ponting led side successfully expanded its prowess to every corner of the world. The gutsy 22 tests unbeaten streak to go in hand with Ashes triumphs was one of the highlights of this period. Parallely when T20 cricket was included, the subcontinent nations and the West Indies had gradually gripped a strong hold.

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The entire tale was destined to change when, India lifted the 2011 World Cup. Since then, owing to the retirement of a few legends cricket overall had to be reconstructed. And this time it was India, New Zealand and South Africa that transformed to the fullest. Though the later two still seek an ICC Title, their performance has been second to none. Despite Australia winning the 2015 World Cup, these 3 nations have been consistent right through the period. Bangladesh and Afghanistan add on to the list of impressions, as they have sported a spirited and fair existence in international cricket.

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India has been ruling over world cricket for a while now!

Cricket has moved rather quickly. Styles have changed, techniques have advanced, records have passed on and so has the cricketing baton. With ICC introducing Test Championship and ODI League from 2019, we are up for another cricketing joyride.

Fielding: A tale that transpired.

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Amongst the top in all-formats, India is now at the peak of it’s potential. The first time India ever experienced similar intensity of success was way back in 1983. The sport has evolved immensely in these 3 decades. However, cricket’s most neglected scene, FIELDING still holds the utmost importance. Fielding not only controls the run-flow but also annoys the batsman provoking him to commit mistakes. We all remember watching, hearing or reading about Kapil Dev taking a magnificent catch running backwards to dismiss Sir Viv Richards in the final, and so do we remember MS Dhoni catching Mustafizur Rahman inches of his crease during India’s famous victory over Bangladesh in 2016. Indian cricket has traversed miles between the two sprints. It was Kapil Dev who initially showcased how fielding could light up all scenarios and it was Dhoni who had guts to take bold decisions to increase the physical strength of Indian Cricket

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Eknath Solkar ghosted the batter from Short Leg.

Eknath Solkar proved key to India’s close-in fielding in 1970s. His presence made the batsmen uncertain. However, the change in approach post 1983 win caught more attention. Impetus was given to an overall development and even the domestic circuits took fielding seriously. Increasing the endurance levels, practicing sharp and accurate throws and improvising the outfield skills was given more importance. The typical thought of hiding the poor fielders was kept aloof and fielding had now started to evolve as India’s third essential.

Kapil Dev: “ Sandeep Patil was little lazy on field, hence we had to deduce a plan where the ball would never reach him. Throughout the 1983 WC, the field setup and bowling strategies was such that fielding and Sandeep were kept isolated”

Emergence of some exuberant athletes with quick reactions spurred India’s bid to success. A few, including Robin Singh, Rahul Dravid, Mohammad Kaif, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh laid the foundation to the India we see today. India’s dream-run in 2003 WC also experienced significant fielding commitments. BCCI and the selecters too gave a nod to the proposed revolutions. “Batsman and the bowlers might have a bad day at office. But it’s the fielders who will always save you runs.” Dhoni’s then controversial decision to dismiss the slow senior players in 2008 has now proved its worth. India’s young blood is not only enthusiastic and passionate but have also acquired the apt skillset when it comes to fielding.

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Raina has also been a revelation in field.

Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma are considered amongst world’s quickest cricketers. The quickness in the field has also stimulated the running between the wickets. Even the new recruits in Manish Pandey, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ajinkya Rahane have also mastered this department. It’s not only the players, the support staff and the coaches have also looked upon very well. R Shridhar along with Ravi Shastri have been pivotal in this recent transition. The fielding and keeping has also welcomed many new records for India. f3
MS Dhoni tops charts in ODI stumpings, Rahul Dravid still holds all reigns in slip catching while Indian team enjoys the leisure of lesser mis-fields. This has also helped the bowlers to be innovative and thus effective. The consequent release in pressure has also helped the cause on numerous occasions. The process which largely initiated during the 1983 World Cup now seems to complete a circle. India has went on to produce many Jonty Rhodes ever since. The fitness values are now inculcated to the ground level and every cricketer is aware about his responsibilities on field.

Fair to quote, “Fielding has restored India’s balance”.

Indian Cricket: The Youth that Promises!!

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Productive Evolution has adhered Indian cricket over the past decade. The fitness levels have gone unmatched, the batting and bowling skills have developed efficiently, the hpower standards have raised bars and the balance amidst the team has been restored. This transformation however has its base rooted deep in India’s domestic institution. The number of First class Matches played not only in the country but also abroad has evidently increased. Be it the renewed Ranji trophy format, domestic limited over tournaments or the frequent India ‘A’ tours, cricket in India has been richly benefited with talent and growth. The U 19 and women’s tours have also attracted attention from the cricketing fraternity.

BCCI’s initiative to give the deserving and talented a chance to prove their worth has amassed praise over the globe. New leaders in form of Manish Pandey and Karun Nair have emerged from recent first class tours to Australia and South Africa. Apart from boosting the confidence of these youngsters, BCCI has also ensured a pool of in-form players to choose from. Rising up to the occasion since MS Dhoni’s retirement in test cricket, Wriddhiman Saha stands a perfect example to how these domestic matches have lent India worthy match-winners. Likes of Pruthvi Shaw, Shubham Gill and Abhishek Sharma are few others coming in to fray from India’s junior cricketing circuit. The tours have benefitted the batsman to learn absorb pressure and bowlers to adapt to the foreign conditions.

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Sarfaraz Khan and Rishabh Pant have been a shining glory in junior circuitry.

Under the watchful eyes of Shashank Sharma, mentored by Rahul Dravid both the U19 as well as the India A team has also embarked success in recent past. Venkatesh Prasad and BCCI have done a stupendous job to identify the talent and shower them with opportunities. Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav have made a cut into the national side across formats and they un-hesitantly owe it to the Rahul Dravid School of coaching. Emergence of gutsy, confident and skilful players like Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Shreyash Iyer have also signified a certain Indian dominance in future. IPL too plays an influential role in shaping up of these youngsters with Washington Sundar, Sarfaraz Khan being an ideal example. Playing with the overseas legends, they have got acquainted to various cricketing cultures from around the globe helping develop their skills more efficiently. Stepping up when needed, leading the way from the front and implementing innovative ideas with firm basics has been a trump for all these players. Taking a leaf from Indian Captain Virat Kohli’s book, these youngsters are also seen striving for fitness and attaining required agility. The eager to play and win games for the country and the hunger to express freely on the cricket field has rubbed off from the senior players to these impressive toddlers.

With India all set to play another home season along with a short South African tour, these youngsters would surely look to make a cut.

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Virat Kohli has been a driving force in shaping the youngsters along with MSD.

They will certainly look to make the experience and the exposure count. Not only them but the domestic players will also look to make inwards to the first class sides proving their worth in the newly inducted Ranji Trophy format. World cricket today has reached a phase where it’s not only about consistency, hitting power standards or the skill of the players but also about the adaptability of the nation’s domestic institution as a whole to cater to all needs. India however ensures to have enough flare to build up to a glorious 2019 WC campaign.