Heavy Teams Heavy Strategies #IPL7 #KKR #MI #CSK


The Indian Premier League will be reaching up to its 7rth season with the upcoming 2014 championship. According to sources the IPL 7 team composition would be determined by a fresh auction that would be held in the coming year. The auction format is mostly the same as that of this year but it’s just that the IPL council has incorporated some significant tweaks in the existent auction protocol for the league. Are you intrigued to know about latest updates on the 2014 IPL auction? Well, here goes a brief highlighting on the chief aspects of the soon to start auction event.

The IPL governing council has already declared the date for the auction. It’s going to be held on February 12 and might stretch to February 13, if necessary. The governing body would soon confirm about the auction venue.

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  1. Every IPL player, uncapped or capped/ Indian or overseas, has to sit for the auctions- the retained players are the only exceptions.
  2. Each squad will have minimum sixteen & maximum 27 players- 9 of whom should be from overseas.

The IPL 7 franchises are allowed to retain up till 5 players in advance who won’t be traded in the auction. The retained players could be capped or uncapped. In regards to capped players, the salary would vary from 12.5 crores INR to 4 crore. The uncapped retained cricketer would be getting 4 crore INR. The franchise retaining all the capped 5 players, would have to pay up the remaining players of the squad with the left 21 crore INR balance.

Unlike the previous IPL auctions where the payments were decided on dollars, this time, the payment would be given in terms of INR.

The IPL 2014 has introduced a new rule called “right to match” for the franchises where the team owners have the right to buy back the “sold” players.

#‎MI‬ likely to retain their Captain R.Sharma and pinch hitter K.Pollard , though they have Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Johnson and Dwayne Smith on their priority foreign players and Indian Players like Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha are on their wish list .

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#‎KKR‬ likely to retain Captain Gambhir, and Sunil Naraine . They have their wishlist extended for Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan and Shakib Al Hasan .

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#‎CSK on the other hand likely to retain Thala MSD, Sir Jadeja and Raina on their side , but on their wish list are Du Plesis, Bravo, Aswin and M.Vijay …
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Heavy Teams Heavy strategies.. Every team has the right to retain 5 of their players this season .
The last date for the submission of the retention list is January 10 and the teams are working overtime to finalise the names.

According to this season’s retention policy, a franchise can release a player in the auction pool and buy him at the February 14 auction through the matching-card system – this system allows teams to buy back their original players after the other teams have finished bidding for them.

With Various Inputs – MI

Most Followed Trending Topics On Twitter in 2013


From breaking the news of a royal baby to a presidential election or the retirement of the cricketing legend, twitter continued to be the platform for mass interaction. So, let’s have a look at some of the most tweeted topics in 2013 that rocked the internet world.

Presidential inauguration, United States

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The United States ushered in a second term for Barack Obama this year. Many people recorded the event by collecting social media and updates from around the Web, especially from twitter. The White House story drew heavily from the official presidential social media accounts, and continued with the updates even after the day of the actual event. There were around 1.1 million inauguration-related tweets during the ceremony. First Lady, Michelle Obama too tweeted: “Honored and blessed to be joining so many of my fellow Americans gathered to watch the Inauguration.” With over 34.7 million followers, U.S. President Barack Obama is the most followed head of state in Twitter.

Sachin Tendulkar Retirement

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As cricketing legend, Sachin Tendulkar, played his 200th and final Test, tributes poured in on twitter in honor of the Master Blaster. From cricketers to politicians to celebrities from all walks of life, all took to twitter to express their feelings and to pay their tribute. In tribute to Sachin, BCCI ran a campaign in twitter called #ThankYouSachin, which generated over 3 million tweets. #ThankYouSachin was used not only by common Twitter users but also by celebrities like Mahendra Singh Dhoni. As Sachin acknowledged the campaign, he wrote on Twitter page, “I am really touched with #ThankYouSachin messages. Your support all these years have inspired me to give my best,” reports TOI. The tweet was retweeted over 16,000. This makes it the most tweeted news in India, reveals Twitter. “I am really touched with #ThankYouSachin messages. Your support all these years have inspired me to give my best,” tweets Sachin.

Death of Nelson Mandela

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After the former South African president—Nelson Mandela’s death, Twitter spiked at 95,000 tweets per minute  and has been flooded with tweets that are  tributes to this great legend. Madiba, also became a trending topic on Twitter with public figures, including former president Bill Clinton, tweeting affectionately about the leader. Over six million tweets were recorded and even the funeral ceremony generated around 328 000 tweets.

Election of Pope Francis

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The election of Pope Francis does clock in as one of the biggest Twitter event of all time in the tweets per minute range. He is the most influential world leader on Twitter, with the highest number of re-tweets worldwide. Pope, with 7.2 million followers is also the second most-followed leader of the world, after U.S. President Barack Obama. The new Pope’s papal inauguration generated more than 130,000 tweets per minute at its peak. Cardinal of Buenos Aires Jorge Mario Bergoglio‘s election dominated online discussion to such a degree that it became the subject of eight of the top 10 trending topics at one point, says Twitter.

The Birth of Royal Baby, UK

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The news of the new born Prince of Cambridge earlier this year, brought Twitter close to meltdown as millions from around the world shared their excitement and offered congratulations. Incredible 487million Twitter users have posted about the Duchess of Cambridge going into labour even before the baby’s birth was announced. A spark of conversation came in the minutes following the initial announcement, with over 25,300 tweets per minute. According to Twitter, the highest volumes of tweets came from the UK, the United States, Canada, France and Italy. It was thought to be one of the busiest days the social network has ever experienced.

Government Shutdown, United States

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The government of U.S. when shutdown for 16 days after Congress failed to enact legislation appropriating funds for fiscal year 2014. Regular government operations resumed after an interim appropriations bill was signed into law. During that period, millions of tweets have been generated all over the world. Social media like twitter served as a megaphone for dozens of politicians airing their opinions to masses.

India’s Mars Mission

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With India’s mars mission successfully launched, it became the first Asian country and fourth nation in the world to leap into the interplanetary space with its Rs.450-crore exploratory mission to Mars, about 400-million km from earth. Even this event took lots of netizens to voice their opinion in the social media especially in twitter. Here are some of the tweets- “Actually that’s how I celebrate #Diwali. By firing small rockets like #Mangalyaan. #MissionMars #MarsMission #IndiaMarsMission #lol.” “Its incredible that @ISRO_India managed to put together #IndiaMarsMission is just 15 months!”

The Boston Marathon Bombings

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Twitter have brought the best and worst scene of the Boston Marathon Bombings that took place in April at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Gossip and poorly reported news spread like wildfire over social networks, creating some confusion regarding the identities of the suspected bombers. But Twitter also provided a way for people to spread accurate news, and more importantly, come together in grief and support. There were more than 27 million tweets sent related to the Boston Marathon Bombings.

MS Dhoni’s 32nd birthday: A summary of greatness in three sixes


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Six #1

That electric evening at Wankhede. Excitement spilling into the ground from the packed stadium in echoing waves of anticipation. The atmosphere sizzling with concentrated focus of the entire nation. Nuwan Kulasekara running in with five runs to win. The scene played over and over in the euphoric memories of the Indian cricket fan. And then down came MS Dhoni’s willow, the uninhibited swing resonating with the momentous occasion, and the white ball streaked through the night sky, soaring over long on, into the ecstatic crowd.

After a 28-year wait, India had won the World Cup. Dhoni had been having a less than ordinary tournament till then. Every move of his had been mercilessly criticised, severely hauled over calumnious flames of downright abuse. With the benefit of hindsight, a loss and a tie in the initial games had been piled up as the sins from which he could get absolution only through a win in the final. His lack of form with the bat had been placed under colossal microscopes for relentless censure. Every small stutter along the way, of every member of the outfit, had been crucified in the media — print, electronic, television and social. In such circumstances, on the final day, the captain had promoted himself ahead of Yuvraj Singh, had walked right into the epicentre of action, and had struck the match-winning 91 from 79 balls.

As the ball was sent into the orbit, Dhoni’s celebratory display was a momentary smile after which the triumph reflected only off the stump in his hand and a twinkle in his eye. The innumerable poison darts of denigration had struck the placid, impregnable, ice-cool equanimity of the Indian captain and fallen away neutered and impotent. He had not made the one mistake that mattered, that of not winning the Cup.

The moment of triumph was a defining snapshot of MS Dhoni. He has hit 247 sixes in international cricket till now, 75 in Tests, 152 in One-Day Internationals (ODI) and 20 in Twenty 20 Internationals (T20I). But, this one stroke stamped the essence of the player and the man. And perhaps two more underline the story of this phenomenal cricketer.

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Six #2

The first was hit at Faisalabad in 2006. At that point of time, his experience was limited and his hair long. He had already made his presence reverberate across stadiums with his power-hitting in ODIs.

His fifth appearance had fetched 148 at Vishakhapatnam, the second Indian wicketkeeper to hit a century in ODIs — and here we must add that the first was Rahul Dravid. Six months later, he had clobbered the Sri Lankan attack at Jaipur to chase down a target on the brink of 300, hitting 15 fours and 10 sixes in an unbeaten 183. Yet, his flair had been only mildly visible in the four Test matches till then. Now he walked in at 258 for four, with the huge Pakistan total of 588 looming ahead, follow-on very much on the cards. Shoaib Akhtar was breathing fire with the second new ball, Mohammad Asif sending them down at scorching pace. An injury-plagued Sachin Tendulkar was struggling to negotiate the furious attack. The Pakistan bowlers had tasted blood and were moving in for the kill. Sohaib charged in and bounced the newcomer. Dhoni rocked back and pulled. The ball came off the middle of the bat like a crack of thunder, and sailed over square-leg for six. If Pakistan had doubts about Dhoni’s pedigree, they were laid to rest with this one stroke. Tendulkar departed soon enough, but Dhoni continued to flay the bowling, driving and lofting off the front foot when they pitched up, and merrily unfurling the hooks and pulls when targeted with the short balls.

Dhoni hit 148 that day, and India ended up with a slim first innings lead. The realisation did briefly dawn on the nation that here was a wicketkeeper batsman the like of whom India had never known before. It would be a while before the public would quickly transition into their favourite pastime of looking a gift horse in the mouth.

By the end of the tour, Dhoni had struck 68, 72 not out and 77 not out in the ODIs that followed, to win India the series emphatically and earn sumptuous praise for his batting and hair style from Pervez Musharraf.

Six #3

There was a third special six. It came about at Chennai against Australia earlier this year. It was the first Test of the series and a titanic tussle had ensued for the upper hand.

Australia had scored 380 and India were in a spot of bother at 196 for four when Dhoni walked in. Not only was it a crucial phase for the Test and series, it was also a moment of reckoning for Dhoni himself. After the World Cup win, India had lost eight away Tests, four in England and four in Australia. Seven of them had come under his leadership. In the interim period, home series against West Indies and New Zealand had been won, but they had been largely taken for granted by the press and public. India had struggled abroad with poor bowling and ageing senior cricketers.

And once a new-look line up had been fielded, they had been defeated 2-1 at home by a superbly equipped England side. The calls for Dhoni’s head had risen to a deafening chorus. It was primarily the lack of alternatives that had saved his job at the helm. Now Dhoni proceeded to script his destiny with his bat. After a period of sensible consolidation, Moses Henriques was brought on for a fresh spell. Off his first ball, Dhoni planted his left-foot down the wicket and launched him over mid-off for a spectacular six.

The stroke will continue to send shivers down the spine of the hapless bowler for a number of years to come. It will also go down as an audacious triumph of strategy. The Indian captain picked the bowlers to hit and the spots to hit them with aplomb. And when the ball was new and hard, he shrewdly capitalised on it to plunder a flurry of boundaries, snatching the initiative briskly and surely out of the grasp of Australia.

Dhoni went on to hit an epic 224 and Australia never recovered, not in the match, not on the tour. India won the series 4-0, like so many of Dhoni’s achievements a first for the country. In the course of the demolition, Dhoni became the most successful captain of India. He also silenced the rather ridiculous line of reasoning, driven by specific agendas or glaring errors of perception, that he did not possess the technique to bat in Test matches. Dhoni’s saga of successes is plentiful, but these three sixes provide a snapshot of path through which his brilliant star has risen across the skies of Indian cricket.

This article was originally posted on CricketCountry.com. Read the complete feature here: MS Dhoni, a saga of stupendous success

Indian cricket’s mega-rich: Djokovic, Alonso poorer than Dhoni; Sachin richer than Rooney


Forbes rich list has two Indian cricketers richer than many global sporting icons

Normally, it might be seen as something to be proud of.

A game coming of age on the global stage.

However, Indian cricketers do not want the spotlight on their wealth. Not at this time when the Indian Premier League T20’s 6th edition– one of the biggest cash cows for cricketers across the globe – is under a huge cloud of illegal betting and spot-fixing.

India’s cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is in the Top 20 of Forbes’ latest list of the world’s highest-paid athletes.

MSD is at number 16 on the list with Forbes citing his total earnings at $31.5 million, salary and winnings at $3.5 million and endorsements at $28 million.

Dhoni is currently battling questions raised by the Indian media about a conflict of interest he has by holding a stake in a sports company that manages some of the players in the Indian cricket team.

Dhoni also captains the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), a team that is in the eye of the IPL match-fixing, betting scandal, with one of its owners in a police probe over spot-fixing.

Dhoni could have done without the focus on his wealth at this point in time.

What is really impressive about the Forbes ranking is Dhoni’s position vis-à-vis other global athletes.

Consider this.

There is only one other cricketer in the top 100.

Sachin Tendulkar, despite his age and his drop in form, still pulls in the bucks.

Wayne Rooney. (AFP)

Forbes has his wealth broken down as Total Earnings: $22 million; Salary/winnings: $4 million; Endorsements: $18 million. Where is he on the list? At number 51.

Much lower than Dhoni, but, higher than Wayne Rooney who can only make it to number 61 on the list with total earnings at $21.1 million, salary/winnings at $18.1 million and endorsements at $3 million.

Dhoni sits high above these two global brand icons and leaves some other big name sportspersons way down the list.

Maria Sharapova (Getty)

Among those that cannot match the owner of cricket’s ‘helicopter shot’ are Fernando Alonso at number 19 (total earnings: $30 million), Maria Sharapova at 22 (total earnings: $29 million), Novak Djokovic at 28 (total earnings: $26.9 million), Rafael Nadal at 30 (total earnings: $26.4 million) and the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt, who can only make number 40 on Forbes’ list with total earnings of $24.2 million.

Dhoni is rich. So rich in fact that he is now in the company of boxing’s elite. Dhoni at number 16 on the list has two of the richest sportsmen in history sitting just above him. These two have more often than not been at the top of this list.

Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao both sit at number 14, just above Dhoni. Floyd’s total earnings according to Forbes is $34 million as is Filipino legend Pacquiao’s.

May be one more IPL and MSD will over-take them as well.

The World’s Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes

#1 Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods (REUTERS)

Total Earnings: $78.1 million
Salary/winnings: $13.1 million
Endorsements: $65 million
 
#2 Roger Federer

Roger Federer (AFP)

Total Earnings: $71.5 million
Salary/winnings: $6.5 million
Endorsements: $65 million
 
#3 Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant (AP)

Total earnings: $61.9 million
Salary/winnings: $27.9 million
Endorsements: $34 million
 
#4 LeBron James

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Total Earnings: $59.8 million
Salary/winnings: $17.8 million
Endorsements: $42 million
 
#5 Drew Brees

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Total Earnings: $51 million
Salary/winnings: $40 million
Endorsements: $11 million
 
#6 Aaron Rodgers

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Total Earnings: $49 million
Salary/winnings: $43 million
Endorsements: $6 million
 
#7 Phil Mickelson

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Total Earnings: $48.7 million
Salary/winnings: $4.7 million
Endorsements: $44 million
 
#8 David Beckham

David Beckham (AFP)

Total Earnings: $47.2 million
Salary/winnings: $5.2 million
Endorsements: $42 million
 
#9 Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo (AP)

Total Earnings: $44 million
Salary/winnings: $23 million
Endorsements: $21 million
 
#10 Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi (Getty)

Total Earnings: $41.3 million
Salary/winnings: $20.3 million
Endorsements: $21 million
 
List courtesy Forbes.com
 
Boxers down, Tiger on top

Manny Pacquiao (AFP) and Floyd Mayweather (Getty/Gallo)

Tiger Woods, whose four wins this season have seen him return to the top of golf’s world rankings, is also back on top of Forbes’ list of highest-paid sports figures.

An article posted on the magazine’s website this week gives the rundown of the 2013 list, which will appear in the June 24 issue.

Woods had topped the Forbes list from 2001-2011 — staying there despite the loss of some sponsors in the wake of the sex scandal that engulfed him in November of 2009.

But he fell to third last year, behind boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

Forbes calculates he is back on top, raking in $78.1 million over the 12 months from June 1, 2012 through June 1, 2013 from prize money, endorsements, appearance fees and golf course design work.

His resurgence on the course has seen him double his prize money from the previous 12 months.

According to Forbes, Woods’s victories have further boosted his income thanks to bonuses tied to wins from sponsors Nike and Rolex, while his course design business is improving after some setbacks.

Swiss tennis great Roger Federer ranks second on the list with earnings of $71.5 million, while Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is third at 61.9 million.

Miami Heat star LeBron James, the NBA Most Valuable Player whose team is battling to repeat as champion this season, came in fourth with $59.8 million and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees completed the top five with $51 million.

Mayweather dropped from first to 14th this year — tied with Filipino fight king Pacquiao.

Mayweather had earnings of $34 million from his fight with Robert Guerrero in May, while in the period covered for the 2012 list he fought twice.

Pacquiao netted $26 million from his December fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, according to Forbes, which reckons Pacquiao also pulled in an estimated $8 million in endorsements.

Russian Maria Sharapova was the highest earning woman on the list, in 22nd place. Fellow tennis players Serena Williams of the United States and Li Na of China were the only other women in the list of 100 sports figures.

Forbes based its earnings figures on salaries, bonuses, prize money, appearance fees and licensing and endorsement income for the 12 months between June 1, 2012 and June 1, 2013.

Tendulkar’s Aussie moment of reckoning


Sachin Tendulkar’s desire to play and the hunger to compete have not diminished, but it is the other intangibles — of sinews grappling with age, of rival bowlers sensing a tentativeness and a dressing room that is increasingly featuring an entirely new generation — that he has to shrug off, writes K.C. Vijaya Kumar. 

 

The legend of Sachin Tendulkar had its finest first exposition on a Perth pitch, always known to be the strongest ally of pace and bounce. During that February in 1992, Tendulkar’s 114 in a losing cause, proved that he had the skill to conquer all odds at an individual level though the rest of the team, hamstrung by its own drawbacks at that juncture, may not have rallied around his genius.

Most importantly, Tendulkar had truly arrived at that moment though a few cricket historians may look at his famous assault on Abdul Qadir in Pakistan in 1989, as the first steps to his becoming the ‘forever dispenser of hopes’ to the Indian Diaspora. It is an image that has lasted nearly 24 years and it looks as though the maestro’s cricketing life has come a full circle with Australia setting foot in Chennai as a prelude to a four-match Test series.

This surely would be the Lord of Batting Numbers’ final tilt against Australia, often his rousing opponent in a chequered career. He would turn 40 this April and there is only so much his body can endure. If the 1991-92 tour was all about Tendulkar proving that he was indeed the numero-uno of Indian batting then despite the presence of Dilip Vengsarkar, Mohammad Azharuddin and Sanjay Manjrekar, the current joust against Michael Clarke’s men is all about proving that his skill-sets have not dimmed.


Sachin Tendulkar with a gen-next player, Ajinkya Rahane. As one gets on in years one should guard from going out of ear-shot.

 The first flowering was relatively easy as he had age on his side while this final act would draw every physical and mental resource in his body. A familiar foe might well provide him the needed impetus, a trait that he has amply revealed over two decades. Be it countering Shane Warne’s leg-breaks with a blistering attack in India, be it the ‘Desert Storm’ knocks in Sharjah, be it eschewing the cover-drive while compiling a double-century in Sydney in 2004 or be it the ungainly sight of him sledging Glenn McGrath in an ODI, Tendulkar has revealed his multiple layers while squaring up against Australia.

Past masters like Sunil Gavaskar, G. R. Viswanath and Vengsarkar were largely judged by their runs against the West Indies but when Tendulkar reigned, it was runs against Australia that defined a batsman’s pedigree though he did script knocks of pathos (Chennai 1999) and panache (Centurion, 2003 World Cup) against Pakistan.

Yet, for a man often spoken of in the same breath as Sir Don Bradman — the latter having also referred to the Mumbaikar as the closest to his batting style — it is often Australia that has provided a peg for Tendulkar to hang his coat of greatness. More than ever, in the aftermath of Rahul Dravid and V. V. S. Laxman’s retirements, India needs Tendulkar to wear that coat again and do battle against his old rival.

 

The extreme dependence on him to provide stability to a weak middle-order despite the promise of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara and his own travails against diminishing reflexes will test Tendulkar.

In the lead-up to this series, Tendulkar has scored a 108 in the Ranji Trophy and an unbeaten 140 in the Irani Cup. It is a good augury and yet his back-story in Tests has revealed a despondent streak broken by a few incandescent outings.

Tendulkar’s last Test hundred (146) came against South Africa in Cape Town in January 2011. After that brilliant knock, he has played in 30 innings without reaching the three-figure mark. The runs have not matched up to the stratospheric standards that he himself has set. His last 10 innings read: 13, 19, 17, 27, 13, 8, 8, 76, 5 and 2. It is not that only Tendulkar struggled and the rest have prospered because with the exception of Dravid in England and the few outings of Kohli and Pujara, the others too are equally guilty of a run-drought.


It is imperative for India that Tendulkar gets back into the groove soon, for, his insight will be invaluable on the tour of South Africa later this year.

 The master’s desire to play and the hunger to compete have not diminished, but it is the other intangibles — of sinews grappling with age, of rival bowlers sensing a tentativeness and a dressing room that is increasingly featuring an entirely new generation — that he has to shrug off. A man can feel weary when most of his mates have walked into the sunset. However, playing for India is his biggest high and that coupled with the itch to make up for the losses against Australia during the last tour, will drive Tendulkar.

“As long as I believe that I can contribute to the team, I will play,” he had said last year. In the same breath, he added: “I take it series by series.” Ideally India needs Tendulkar’s guidance when the team sets foot in South Africa in November, later this year but it remains to be seen if he would will himself for another joust against Dale Steyn.

The series against Australia will throw pointers to the Tendulkar story. As ever, India needs him. Now.

PTI

First things first: Get Tendulkar off Dhoni’s back


India’s decline in Test cricket began in England last year, and it has touched its nadir against the same team here at home now. This 18-month period is also when Sachin Tendulkar’s batting has gone from bad to worse. The two are connected because he occupies the No 4 slot in the batting line-up, normally reserved for the best batsman in the side. His failure in match after match, with a solitary fifty in the last 13 innings from eight Tests, and not a single triple-figure knock in 17 Tests, has put huge pressure on the Indian captain.

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Others have failed too, notably the experienced opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, but not as badly as Tendulkar — they average around 35 this series compared to the former master’s 18. Besides, it’s far easier to bat at No 4 once the ball has lost its zing. Sehwag would love to change places with Tendulkar. Dhoni could also have been better served in the middle order by an Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma or Manoj Tiwary, who have been piling on runs in domestic cricket. After all, the only bright spots in India’s batting over the past couple of years have been newcomers Virat Kohli, who got centuries against Australia and New Zealand, and Cheteshwar Pujara, who got a double hundred and a century in this series.

It’s our administrators and selectors who are primarily responsible for our Test cricket having hit rock-bottom. They have been too slow to groom new talent in place of ageing stars. In Australia, the talented Rohit Sharma, picked for the series when he was in peak form, saw a regular procession of batting failures without getting to make a single appearance. Ajinkya Rahane, who came into the reckoning with 1,000-plus runs in a season, has been warming the benches for three series now while his more illustrious fellow Mumbaikar is allowed to carry on with impunity despite his flops.

MS Dhoni may well be a misfit as a Test captain, like a former selector said this week, but shouldn’t he first be allowed to lead a side without handicaps? It’s strange that Mohinder Amarnath says the selectors wanted a change of captaincy after the whitewash in Australia, but when it comes to Sachin Tendulkar they just want the great man to think whether it’s time for him to go. What if he is reluctant to let go of all the sponsorships that come his way by virtue of his place in the team?

Besides, it smacks of double standards. If Tendulkar can’t be dropped because of his past records, how can Dhoni be replaced? He has two World Cups under his belt, and a fabulous Test match record until 2011 when the Indian batting went into terminal decline in England. Amarnath may be quite right to be peeved at the board president interfering in selection and preventing him from sacking Dhoni. But the “bunch of jokers”, as Amarnath once described the selectors, have no locus standi to talk about Dhoni’s performance if they are going to continue to shy away from their responsibility to get the monkey off the Indian captain’s back.

Tribute: Ricky Ponting’s illustrious career


A rundown of former Australia captain Ricky Ponting‘s international career after he said on Thursday he will retire from test cricket after this week’s third match against South Africa.

* Born: Dec 19, 1974 at Launceton, Tasmania In tests:

* Matches: 167 (won 48 out of 77 tests as captain)

* Debut: Against Sri Lanka at Perth on Dec. 8, 1995

* Total runs: 13366 – Second highest scorer in the world behind India‘s Sachin Tendulkar (15562)

* Centuries: 41- Third highest number of centuries behind Tendulkar (51) and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis (44).

* Double centuries: 6

* Batting average: 52.21

* Highest score: 257

* Wickets: 5

* Catches: 196

In ODIs:

* Matches: 375 (won 165 of 230 as captain)

* Debut: Against South Africa at Wellington on Feb. 15, 1995

* Total runs in ODIs: 13,704 * Second highest scorer behind India’s Tendulkar (18426)

* Centuries: 30 – Second highest number of centuries behind Tendulkar (49)

* Batting average: 42.03

* Highest score: 164

As Australian legend Ricky Ponting announced his retirement from international game, the cricketing world congratulated the former captain for his brilliant 17-year-old career.

Ponting, who turns 38 on December 19, scored 13,366 runs at an average of 52.21 in 167 Tests. His highest score was 257. He also scored 41 centuries and 62 half-centuries. He played 375 One-Day Internationals, scoring 13,704 runs at an average of 42.03, including 30 centuries and a highest score of 164.

Glenn McGrath
Well done Punter on an incredible career. It would be great to see you finish with a ton. It was an honour to play alongside of you. legend

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Matthew Hayden
Punter, congratulations on a fantastic career. Your departure will be a massive hole in the Australian Cricket team.

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Shane Warne
Congrats to Ricky Ponting on an amazing career, well done Punter… Enjoy your last match in Perth buddy, was a pleasure playing with you!!!

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Kevin Pietersen
Ricky Ponting RETIRES…. ONE OF THE GREATS! I always got excited playing AUS, so I could watch him bat up close. Well done Punter!

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Courtney Walsh
Well played Ricky Ponting on a great career. Hope you end it on a very high mate. Good luck, as there is plenty life after cricket

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Herschelle Gibbs
What a player, entertainer of note and an all-time great Ricky Ponting! Always loved his approach to batting.

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Michael Vaughan
The best batsman I had the privilege to play against … Australia cricket will not be the same without him. Ricky was a very underestimated bowler as well… Quicker than he looks!

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Virat Kohli
Ricky ponting what an absolute legend. I am glad I had the honour of playing against him. Take a bow…

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Ajinkya Rahane
A legend announced retirement. The cricket world will miss Ricky Ponting on the field.

Sanjay Manjrekar
A a great driver and a great puller! That’s one thing that really stood out for me. Enriched the game by his feats. From this moment on, there will be only nice things said about Ponting :) Ponting came out of that very typical Australian mould of batsmen. He was the quintessential Aussie batsman in style and approach

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Murali Kartik
A very sad day for world cricket, Ricky-1 of the Greatest modern day bats, a former teammate and the consummate professional. Go well mate. Cherish the greats till they are playing, watching international cricket will never be the same without these champions.

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England bowler Stuart Broad via twitter: “Huge respect for how Ponting played the game. Tough competitor Aussies will miss him. 100 at Perth to finish?”

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West Indies batting great Brian Lara via twitter: “Ricky u will go down as one of the greats! “I batted with Ricky once at the MCG, what a great experience that was, 4 such a great cause Tsunami victims.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith: “I’ve played a lot against Ricky and he’s certainly the most competitive man I’ve played against. “I think the way he played the game and intensity with which he played the game is a credit to him. I think he’s always represented Australia with a lot of dignity and a lot of skill.”

Make Sachin Tendulkar Australian PM, says sarcastic Matthew Hayden


Upset at Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar getting the Order of Australia (AM), former batsman Matthew Hayden said the honour should be “exclusive” to his countrymen.

In an Australian radio show, Hayden said Tendulkar didn’t deserve the honour. “I think it should be exclusive to Australians… There are things that are sacred amongst our country. I understand the point that he is an iconic figure. If Sachin was living in Australia – give him the Prime Minister’s gong I reckon – but the reality of it is he’s living in India,” he said.

“I kind of understand the point of the fact that he has been such an iconic figure here in Australia and there’s an enormous population of Indians that are working here and living here very happily and in harmony with Australia that have naturalised and I think that’s a great part of our country, how multi-cultural that we are,” he explained.

Hayden was one of the few Australian cricketers to have earned a similar honour, inducted in 2010 for services to cricket and the community. The list includes cricket greats like Sir Donald Bradman, Allan Border, Dennis Lillee, Max Walker, Bob Simpson, Keith Miller and Steve Waugh.

Australian cricket fans have also criticised their Prime Minister’s decision citing Tendulkar’s role in the monkeygate scandal involving the countries’ cricket teams. Tendulkar was a key witness in the Harbhajan Singh-Andrew Symonds racism controversy in 2008.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Tuesday had announced that the iconic Indian cricketer will be conferred the membership of the Order of Australia, an honour “rarely” awarded to non-Australians. He become only the second Indian after former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee to get the honour.

Sorabjee was made an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia (AM) “for service to Australia-India bilateral legal relations” in 2006.

“Cricket is of course a great bond between Australia and India. We are both cricket-mad nations. I am very pleased that we are going to confer on Sachin Tendulkar, membership of the order of Australia,” Gillard, who is on a visit to India, had told reporters.

“This is a very special honour very rarely awarded to someone who is not an Australian citizen or an Australian national. The award will be conferred on him by cabinet Minister Simon Crean when he visits India,” she said.

“So, a special honour and a very special recognition of such a great batsman. The honour is very special and Sachin is a very special cricketer.”

Tendulkar is not the first cricketer to be made an Order of Australia AM as in 2009, West Indies legend Brian Lara was also made an honorary member.

Another West Indies legend, Clive Lloyd, is an Honorary Officer in the Order of Australia, having been conferred the award way back in 1985.

Tendulkar to review cricket future in November


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Sachin Tendulkar has for the first time admitted that at 39 he may not have much cricket left in him and will reassess his cricketing future next month.

Tendulkar’s retirement has been a topic of debate for quite some time now and the batting great said though he does not have any immediate plans, the thought of retirement has been on his mind.

He said that taking a decision on retirement after playing the game for close to 23 years will be a “hard one” and he will go by what his heart says.

“The moment of retirement is going to be hard because I haven’t experienced anything close to what I might go through when I retire. It depends on what my heart tells me then. I need not take a call right now. When I play in November, I will reassess things,” he said.

“I am 39 and I don’t think I have plenty of cricket left in me. But it depends on my frame of mind and my physical ability to deliver. When I feel that I am not delivering what is needed, and then I will re-look at the scheme of things. I am already 39 and no one expects me to go on playing forever,” Tendulkar told ‘Times NOW’.

India play a four-match home Test series against England starting on November 15 in Ahmedabad.

Tendulkar, who holds almost all the records in world cricket after playing 190 Tests and 463 ODIs, said that it would be a tough call for him to hang his bat and he will go by what his heart says.

“I don’t know. It is going to be hard because I haven’t experienced anything close to what I might go through when I retire. I cannot relate this moment with any other moment in my life. It will be a tough call. I will go with what my heart says,” said Tendulkar, who has scored 15,533 in Tests and 18,426 runs in ODIs.

The Little Master’s cricketing exit is a touchy issue. It took three deliveries and the cricketing world was buzzing with news and views on Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement. Click further to read what cricketing legends have said about the ‘retirement’ issue.

Defying all odds, Yuvraj Singh returns


If he takes the field on Saturday for the first Twenty20 against New Zealand, Yuvraj Singh will be the cynosure of all eyes. Saturday could be the first time the 30-year-old features in an international match since November 2011 after winning his battle against a rare germ cell cancer. His last international match was a Test against West Indies un Kolkata.

In late 2011, it was reported that Yuvraj had a non-malignant tumour in the lungs. The sad news startled everyone in the cricket fraternity. It was revealed that during the 2011 World Cup, in which Yuvraj was adjudged Player of the Tournament, he had bouts of coughing and vomiting, but he ignored those symptoms by taking pain-killers to keep himself going.

But his illness turned out to be malignant, and he received widespread support and warm wishes from all quarters. Skipper MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar expressed their grief at the news and hailed him as a fighter who would make a resounding comeback. Yuvraj went through chemotherapy treatment in the US while fans in India prayed for his speedy recovery. Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh visited him in the US to lift his spirits. His treatment went off well. Yuvraj returned home to a rousing welcome, and after three to four months of recuperation period, he started training at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.

Yuvraj kept his fans in the loop about his recovery on Twitter and expressed a strong desire to play the ICC World Twenty20 in September 2012. The selectors showed faith and selected him for the Twenty20 series against New Zealand as well as for the World Twenty20. His inclusion in the Indian squad evoked enormous mirth and elation.

While Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj’s staunchest supporter, showed concern and said that his inclusion worries him, Sanjay Manjrekar termed it as an emotional decision on part of the selectors. Yuvraj’s team-mates Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli welcomed the decision whole-heartedly and stated that Yuvraj’s presence in the team will boost India’s fortunes.

But while Yuvraj’s indomitable spirit is undeniable and the whole of India looks forward to his return, silent prayers will be read for his risk-free comeback less than six months after recovering from a potentially life-threatening disease.

Source : CRICKET NEXT

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