Monday, February 28, 2011

Opinions on... Billy Bowden

Best Blog Tips

Billy Bowden secretly wishes he were a baseball umpire. He sees the "freedom of expression" they are allowed in American Major League Baseball and he lusts for job as a home plate umpire. He grew up with pin ups of great American baseball umpires.

And as an adult...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

India Match Report #2: England (A gentleman's agreement)

Best Blog Tips

Another match; another couple of fake reports about real games, credited to fake people whose given names have no express intention on our side to indicate real people

This report comes from Real Sunil Gavaskar and Real Michael Atherton.

India v England

Best Blog Tips

India's innings against England was the script that I hoped for barring the flurry in the end. Sending Yuvraj ahead of Kohli at the 29 over stage was a perfect move. Yuvraj is a cleaner hitter and with the impending power play, Dhoni and the leadership team rightfully gave Yuvraj the chance to come good. Plus, the left hander bit. Yuvraj will get better as the tournament progresses.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pak make a statement

Best Blog Tips

Pakistan took care of business despite the foolishness in the end. By doing so, they have made a very important statement. The old adage that bowlers win matches comes very much into play with Pakistan. Abdul Rehman and Shahid Afridi have got to be the best ODI spinner combination in this world cup. What was surprising for me was the disciplined bowling display by Shoaib Akhtar. In fact, his action looks completely clean now and he's bowling at 142 plus. I wonder what rehab center he was sent to. The results are fantastic.

Sri Lanka Match Report #1: Pakistan (Make room for Pakistan)

Best Blog Tips

This is a fake report submitted jointly by Real Sarfaraz Nawaz and Real Rashid Latif

Sri Lanka had done well to restrict the opposition to just 277. Considering that Malinga was not playing; obviously due to....

Friday, February 25, 2011

India v England: Anticipatory Revenge

Best Blog Tips

The India-England rivalry at the world cup has, over the years, produced mostly mildly existing contests, without any game really going close. England won in 1975, 1987, 1992 while India have matched it with wins in 1983, 1999 and 2003.

India, led by a great man's misplaced and unnecessary, stubbornness, never treated the 1975 game as a "contest". Knowing how Gavaskar's mind works, he perhaps saw the new format as a "white man's conspiracy" against their former colonies and chose to revolt with non-violence

But today the context has illustrated by how India's team meeting is going.

South Africa Match Report #1: West Indies (Yesterday someone bowled a googly)

Best Blog Tips

The World cup has finally come alive.

Yes there was Sachin, Tamim, Afridi, Ponting, Steyn, Gayle, Pollard, Pietersen the opener and all the other big names. Yet the big entertainment was coming from broken TVs, Sehwag's straight faced, matter of fact bravado in speech, and the "we-want-to-win-the-world-cup-for-our-dog" comments.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

World Cup win for Golandaaz

Best Blog Tips

Yep, that's right. I'm joining the bandwagon. Like Sehwag, Kapugedara, Harbhajan and others I too want a win for Golandaaz. He has provided immense service to the world making pictures, writing blogs and generally being a nice chap.

Portraits: Sir Ian Botham

Best Blog Tips

I vaguely remember being aware of Ian Botham as a 8 year old, as I was following India's unlikely chase of 439 at the Oval in 1979.

A few years later, in a Test Match in Bombay, that I was very much aware of, Ian Botham scored a century and took 13 wickets. I haven't checked but its unlikely that such a feat has ever been surpassed.

The match however was discussed for completely different reasons in India. With India well ahead in the Test match, Gundappa Vishwanath, played umpire, overruled Hanumant Rao and recalled wicket-keeper Taylor, who was ruled out by the umpire. From that point on, Ian Botham won the game for England; on his own.

A few more years later I read, re-read and tried to recreate in my mind, a set of cricket matches I had never seen or followed, when they took place. The book, which I still have was "Botham Rekindles the Ashes: [Daily Telegraph] Story of the '81 Test Series"

No one person has influenced a Test Series the way Ian Botham did this one.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Warm ups continue in World Cup

Best Blog Tips

Well, round one isn't exactly done, but I can't wait. First up, Sehwag came good on his promise to bat through. So the criticism that he couldn't stay put if Tendulkar has a bad day in office can perhaps be put away. On all wickets except perhaps Mohali and Mumbai, India therefore have a huge advantage.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

England Match Report #1: Netherlands (England win the Ashes)

Best Blog Tips

After getting into legal trouble with the BCCI for faking a report and attributing it to Harbhajan Singh, we are now forced not to reveal the real names of celebrities when we produce fake reports using their names

Today's report is submitted by "The Real Darren Gough". Its a fake name and if the fake name hints references to any living, intelligent human, then we can produce quotes made by Darren Gough to prove our case.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Opinions on... Shakib Al-Hasan

Best Blog Tips

An evening that started with a chance encounter at a bar had turned deliciously promising, when a very willing Katrina Kaif  accompanied Shakib Al-Hasan to his room. It was then that Shakib remembered reading an article that had appeared in the "Amercian Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases". Unprotected intercourse is 68% more likely to result in genital warts.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

India Match Report #1: Bangladesh (ICC Concerned as India fail to score 500)

Best Blog Tips

So the World Cup has begun well for India. The only other time India beat a permanent ICC Member in a World Cup opener was in 1983. And we know how that ended.

We at Opinions On Cricket are pleased to announce that we have netted a big celebrity blogger. To report on the opening match of the 2011 ICC World Cup

Opinions on... Suresh Raina

Best Blog Tips

It doesn't matter how good a batsman you are. To be a great Indian batsman, or viewed as a long term prospect in India, your name counts. I mean the way it sounds.

Suresh Raina isn't going to cut it.

Its a name good enough to make a successful actor; may be. A respected poet; perhaps. A singer too.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

India v Bangladesh: Its just another Do-Or-Die game

Best Blog Tips

Mahendra Singh Dhoni: So team...we have a big one first up on Saturday.

And Dhoni kicks off Team India's team meeting on the eve of the 2011 ICC World Cup opener. Dhoni continues

Mahendra Singh Dhoni: So, our process calls for establishing a "theme" for this match. Gary here is taking minutes of this meeting as usual and Suresh you fill up the "World-Cup-Campaign-Kick-Off-Meeting-Checklist" and send it to Greame Smith.

Cricket on Ambien

Best Blog Tips

As far as warm up matches go, none have truly met the objective. Things appear still fairly cool as my fellow opinionator Golandaaz has blogged. But some of these games have revealed a few insights into teams and their performances. A few centuries have been scored, some wickets have been taken and some teams have demonstrated intent.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Idle Minds

Best Blog Tips

The world cup has no buzz. This is official. I can tell because my normally savvy blogger buddies are down to nitpicking. They have collectively arrived at the conclusion that Dhoni is a leader but not a great captain. If I didn't know these guys, I would have thought that they deserved an unescorted vacation to Waziristan.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Opinions on... Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Best Blog Tips

We will perhaps never know how good Mahendra Sing Dhoni is as a leader. Like Steve Waugh and Ponting, Dhoni is the beneficiary of greater efforts of men that came before him. At the same time the resume he has built up is phenomenal.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The World Cup: 15 years on...

Best Blog Tips

There was a certain buzz within me as India embarked on the tour to South Africa late last year. It's entirely missing as the World Cup approaches.

I am not sure what it is.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Upset Predictions for WC

Best Blog Tips

How about those people in Egypt? Many thought people in the muslim world were incapable of non-violence. The stereotypes were between Iraq style insurgency and suicide bombings or religious theocracy of the Iranian kind. Also, the "experts" who thought that democracy and Islam were incompatible. And that dictatorship therefore was the only course. Many brains hopefully have been reset. And once again, we are reminded of the genius of the Mahatma.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What If...

Best Blog Tips

Perhaps this is one of the most "open" world cups in a long time. Thanks to the Ashes defeat of Australia. So instead of picking favorites, we said lets envision a "What if..." for each team

So here goes.

Monday, February 7, 2011

World Cup Campaigns Begin

Best Blog Tips

True to form, England began their World Cup campaign by doing what they do best. Whining! Two "slams" to the schedule by the English cricketing nobility - Pietersen and Maclaurin. This time strangely the schedule is being criticized for too much rest between games by Pietersen. The other guy is slamming the combined Ashes and WC schedule for being too busy.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Eng v Aus 547th ODI: Tram Drivers v Bus Conductors

Best Blog Tips

In joint statement the ECB and CA said....

"The mercifully last and positively final game of England's temporary migration to Australia will be a game between Australian Bus drivers and England Tram Drivers. "

They clarified that their lawyers have prevented them from using the word "tour". Which is a completely misleading; if not an entirely wrong word to describe England's visit to Australia

World Cup Game Changers

Best Blog Tips

This has been a dull couple of weeks cricket-wise. A few ODI series winding down, but none really indicating anything more than what's already known. Australia refuses to be written off. They have combined well against England. The latter are the strangest team of the lot. They are T20 Champions and just thrashed Australia in the Ashes. But they appear to be an ODI dud. It's hard to imagine England suddenly becoming ODI World Cup contenders.

Portraits: Imran Khan

Best Blog Tips

At a time when the West Indies and their battery of fast bowlers were at their fiercest and conquered all; Imran Khan led Pakistan in 2 series against the West Indies; home and away.

They could not beat him...

People talk about the greatness of Jacques Kallis. He perhaps may be the the greatest all rounder ever. 

But he is no Imran Khan

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Indian team reacts to the Eden move

Best Blog Tips

Eden Garden's India v England World Cup game will now be played in Bangalore. A place where a bomb explored before an IPL game; and led to a subsequent IPL semi-final to be moved from there to Bombay.

Misbah for Captain

Best Blog Tips

Misbah Ul Haq is doing every thing he can to make the potential announcement of Shahid Afridi as Pakistan Captain for the world cup, look ridiculous.

During the 4th tie-breaking ODI against New Zealand, while Shahid Afridi, was in the dressing room waiting his turn to bat, biting his fingers, muttering his prayers and holding his bladder like a bride waiting for her late and reluctant groom; with 70 odd to get in 9 overs; Misbah was masterminding a calm chase; ignoring all calls from Afridi to go 'free hitting'.

Unless Ijaz Butt is waiting for Salman to to acquitted; appointing Misbah as Pakistan's captain seems to make the most logical sense to me.