This is the Indian cricket team I can relate too!!

I have a confession to make. Few months ago I said that this generation would not understand the plight of an Indian cricket fan in the 90s and late 2000s . I am here to wholeheartedly apologize and accept that I was wrong. I am convinced that after seeing the recent NZ tour and the Asia cup, this generation exactly knows how I felt back in the 90s (I can’t wipe the ironical smile off my face while typing this)

India Vs Nz 2014

I guess it was all getting bit boring.. Dhoni taking India safely to victory.. No more heartaches.. no more losing close matches…no more cursing hopeless players. I am not sure about you but I had stopped worrying about the Indian team ( read as stopped being a fan anymore). I was just not able to relate to the Indian team for past few years. But I must admit –  it feels good to experience the pain, agony, frustration all over again. I think I can be an Indian cricket fan again as this is the India cricket team I always knew !!

Lets do a quick test and you tell me if you agree

Did this team raise expectations and then disappointed? 

Yes !! The 2nd test in NZ .. guess I need not say anything more

Does this team have characters which can frustrate any fan (or captain) ?

Yes !! Case in point Ishant Sharma .. enough said

Has this team perfected the art of losing close matches?

Yes !! Asia cup.. If the Sri Lanka loss did not convince you then the Pakistan one will..

Is this team over dependent on 1 single player?

May be .. Virat Kohli seems to be the new Tendulkar (oh sorry I guess it is Dhoni..but whatever)

Does this team lose to lower rank test teams abroad (read as NZ)

Yes .. oh yes !!

Does this team lose close matches to Pakistan (apart from world cup)


Does this team have a lot of overrated players?

Yes.. Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Jadeja… Take your pick !!

As a fan, do you still feel that this team can win something some day ?

Yes .. They almost made me stay awake at night for the NZ 2nd test

May be this is the lull before the storm. May be this is just a phase ( in the 90s it wasn’t) and just may be I would not have to write a post like this again. Till then, I might just become a fan of India cricket again cause this is the team I always knew !!

Surendra Phatak

An Indian cricket fan from the 90s

Tale of 2 mavericks – Pietersen and Sehwag

Wikipedia defines the word as – ‘an unorthodox or independent-minded person’. Assuming that this is correct, I am sure these two characters are the very definition of the word ‘maverick’.

I am sure there is enough written about Pietersen in past few days but if you need any proof that Sehwag is in the same category then just read this gem of a post by sidvee

Tale of 2 mavericks – Pietersen and Sehwag

Image courtesy – Hindustan Times


Here are few other things which are common about these 2 individuals

  • Both have given cricket fans memories which sometimes defy logic
  • Fans will always pay to watch these 2 gentlemen play
  • Both are match winners on their day
  • Both are capable of the audacious
  • Both ironically would be retired from the game they love prematurely

For all that is similar between these 2, there is 1 big difference that will dictate how history will remember them and the difference is ironically that they are both mavericks..

Let me explain. I believe that each one of us is a maverick in their own way. Some of us eat crazy, some work out crazy , some read crazy and I have seen enough drive crazy.. So being maverick is nothing special or even unique. It’s how and where of it that makes it special. This is exactly where our two leading characters of this post differ..

The funny thing about Sehwag is that he is maverick only on cricket field. As an Indian cricket fan, Sehwag has not caused me any heartache with his off field antiques. He has not texted anything to the opposing team. Has never given any statements against any of his team mates. Has never walked out on his team. Now remove the ‘never’ part and you get Pietersen !!The problem with Pietersen is that he is compulsive about being maverick !! In personal life or professional , he just cannot help it and thank god for Indian cricket team that Sehwag can..

Pietersen’s retirement might be one of the greatest tragedies of modern sport but the real tragedy is that no one is crying !! The real tragedy is that history will remember Pietersen with too many buts and ifs . His genius will always be cursed and his performances will always be scarred. Worse is that history will read as  – ‘English cricket is better without Pietersen’. Whatever your views about Pietersen are, that is just not true !!

It isn’t that Sehwag is the player that he once was or he is not on the brink of retirement; but as and when he retires, it will be for cricketing reasons and not because he cannot be integrated in the team or any other stupidity like that. For the sake of all Indian cricket fans, Sehwag will be remembered without all the ifs/ buts or regrets !!

To think of it, that is the problem with a lot of us … We are compulsive and most of the times we just cannot help it !! Those unlucky among us end up being  Pietersen and for the rest , we can hope of being the maverick that Sehwag was !!

तुम क्या जानो के तेंदुलकर हमारे लिए क्या था !!

This is a poetic tribute to Sachin Tendulkar and a generation that loved him

एक जमान था जब हम २ सवाल पूछा करते थे

एक ‘स्कोर क्या हुआ है’ और दूसरा ‘तेंदुलकर है’ ?

आज तेंदुलकर नहीं तो पहला सवाल पूछने का मन ही नहीं करता

और इंडिया कितने भी रन बना ले , आजकल हमारा दिल नहीं भरता !!

तुम क्या जानो के तेंदुलकर हमारे लिए क्या था

हमेशा की डूबती हुई नय्या का वो एक ही तो सहारा था…

तेंदुलकर हमारा ख्वाब और हमारी सच्चाई भी था

और क्या बताऊ तुम्हे वो हमारे दर्द की वजह और हमारी ख़ुशी का इन्तेजाम था!!

तेंदुलकर के रिटायर होने पे तुम खुश हो सकते हो

तुम्हारे पास द्रविड़, गांगुली, लक्ष्मण, धोनी, युवराज, रैना जो थे…

पर हमे माफ़ करना, हम गम छुपा नहीं सकते

क्यों की आज की दुनिया मैं अब और तेंदुलकर नहीं बनते !!

तुम क्या जानो के तेंदुलकर हमारे लिए क्या था

वो हमारे सब सवाल और सब सवालों का जवाब था…

सच कहेता हु यारों दुनिया के हजारों Goliath थो के लिए

हमारे पास हमेशा वो सिर्फ एक ही तो davidथा!!


दिसम्बर २०१२

There is something about Sachin… that only my generation will understand !!

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar (Photo credit: R@VITH)

May be this generation would not understand the Importance of Tendulkar to our generation – those who started following Indian cricket before the Ganguly era.

There was an era before Ganguly started swinging his shirt from the Lords balcony .. An era before Indian won a test match after conceding a follow-on … An era before the advent of Ganguly, Dravid and VVS

Today even I do not switch off TV after Sachin gets out cause I know there is Kohli, Raina, Dhoni, Yuvraj … But there was a time when I used to. This was the time when we thought Manoj Prabhakar or Nayan Mongia was good enough to open batting for India…

I understand the relief that this generation feels after Sachin’s retirement from ODIs… There is logic to that.. There is a lot of young talent waiting in the wings. That was not the case when Azar was captain of the Indian Team.. This was the pre-96 era when Dravids of the world were still making their debut.. That was the reason why Tendulkar had to wait for so many years to win a world cup cause we never had a good enough team to play around him..

Tendulkar gave me and every Indian cricket fan hope and pride in a time when there was none… He was the only good thing about an Indian cricket team with an aging Kapil and a pedestrian bowling attack.. And that is where the term of ‘carrying the weight of an entire nation’ started .. He literally was the Indian Cricket team and he did make us proud numerous times be it the desert storm or the 117 against Pakistan..

He was the one who always stood between India and Defeat .. He was also the one who stood between embarrassment and Indian Team…. There were others who showed talent but never had Sachin’s discipline ; a case in point is Vinod Kambli … So that is why my generation just had Sachin… We did warm upto Ganguly, Dravid , VVS and now Yuvi, Kohli, Pujara but for my generation Sachin was always the First Love and I am sorry but you can never forget your first love

Thank you for all the Memories Sachin

Just a cricket fan
Surendra Phatak