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Showing posts from August, 2007

Kumble!

Who'd a thunk it? Anil Kumble scored his maiden Test hundred today. And it confirmed India's first series win in England for close to 22 years. It was a fighting, assured innings, dotted with predominantly off-side boundaries. Seriously, he frustrated the heck out of England, adding 97 for the second wicket with Dhoni, and 62 and 73 for the eighth and tenth wickets. Well played, Jumbo.

Notice the difference in batting averages of the two sides so far (up to day two of the final Test) - England's batting order: Strauss 35.80, Cook 32.75, Vaughan 60.50, Pietersen 50.75, Collingwood 23.75, Bell 15.00, and Prior 15.25. India's batting order: Jaffer 37.00, Karthik 51.00, Dravid 28.50, Tendulkar 45.40, Ganguly 48.00, Laxman 39.75, and Dhoni 57.66. The key difference? The last three of each. Thats made all the difference.

Spare a thought for Prior, who dropped a couple of catches and let through 33 byes, which is the second-highest in a single Test innings.

Remembering Azhar

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Helping a friend and colleague form a Sachin Tendulkar quiz, I popped the question: "Sachin Tendulkar was the first player to score 10,000 runs in one-day internationals. Whose record did he break?" The answer, of course, is Mohammad Azharuddin. I wanted to see how many ODI runs Azhar finished with, so I went to his player page, and soon found myself looking through images of him. It brought back memories of a batsmen I used to love to watch. Forget Tendulkar, on his day, Azhar was the man to watch.

I didn't watch cricket when he scored those hundreds at Auckland, Lord's and Old Trafford (England couldn't stop him from the moment he made his debut) early in his career, but how can I forget that century against South Africa at Eden Gardens, off just 74 balls? India up against it, 119 for 6, and then bang! Lance Klusener is hit for five successive fours as he tries to pepper Azhar with the short stuff. Or the hundred in partnership with Tendulkar at Cape Town? Or t…