Friday, January 09, 2009

Must See India!

A friend from my engineering days has come up with a great website So if you are heading for mumbai or delhi or rishikesh - you know you can find it all up here!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nine Memorable ODIs of the 90's

1. India Vs South Africa
10 nov 1991,
First Match of three match series,
Eden Gradens

South African squad was put together in a week and their first match in more than twenty years was in front of a crowd of 100,000. "I know how Neil Armstrong felt when he stood on the moon", said their captain Clive Rice. Clive Rice was 42 and a subject of much amusement in those days. South Africa struggled to 177 in 47 overs.

India had difficulties batting against Donald who kept striking on fifth ball of his overs and took 3 wickets in his first 4 overs to finish with a five-for. Tendulkar scored his highest ODI score to save india the blushes (62) but India lost seven wickets in the process. Probably the most hyped match in the pre-cable TV days.

2. India Vs West Indies
6 December 1991
Benson & Hedges World Series, 1991/92, 1st Match
W.A.C.A. Ground, Perth

India had got a pasting in the tests from Australia in 91-92. This was the last (but long) ODI series before the WC down under. First match and India got bowled out for 126 with Shastri making 33 in 110 balls. Ambrose returned figures of 2-9 in 9 overs. WI was expected to cruise to the target.
But India fought back when Kapil Dev struck on the first ball getting the prized scalp of Haynes. India had WI reeling at 76-8 with debutant Subroto Banerjee taking three crucial wickets (and once falling in the delivery stride!). Cummins and Ambrose had a 40 run partnership before Ambrose was run out and Tendulkar had Cummins caught by Azhar with the scores tied. Probably this was the start of the golden arm which won India many matches in the decade.

3. India Vs Pakistan
9 MArch 1996
Quarter Final, Wills World Cup

India 287/8 in 50 overs (Sidhu 93 and Jadeja 45 in 21)
Pakistan 248/9 in 49 overs, Prasad 3-45

I have not seen the same excitement for a cricket match ever again in my life. It appeared that India had come to a standstill. There was no one on the roads when I went to get some milk during the interval and to my surprise even the mother dairy booth was closed.

India's innings was steady till the time Ajay Jadeja blasted 40 runs off Waqar Younis' last two overs. He made 45 in 21 balls. Although Waqar Younis was coming back from injury, he still was considered as the premier fast bowler of the world at the time. If you see the clips today, you may see Jadeja to be quite tense to start with!

But the most thrilling moment of the match was when Venkatesh Prasad bowled Aamir Sohail through the gate. Aamir Sohail had hit a boundary on the previous delivery and had pointed his bat arrogantly first to the boundary and then to the bowler. Watch it here, what a moment!

One famous tikki wallah in Rani Bagh had distributed his tikki's for free to celebrate!

4. India Vs Australia
3 november 1996
Titan Cup Last league match, D/N

India 289 in 50 overs (Tendulkar 62, Azhar 94)
Australia All out 284

It was a do-or-die situation, the winner had to play the unconquered South Africans in the final. India played well to make 289. Australia responded well with Taylor scoring 70 odd. But India put on the brakes in the middle overs till Slater ran away with the match with 52 off 38. Five runs were needed of the last over with Brad Hogg at the crease. Azhar gave the ball to Tendulkar and Hogg was run out on the first ball. The midas touch of Tendulkar again and boy was it exciting!

5. India Vs Zimbabwe
9 February 1997
Standard Bank International One-Day Series, 1996/97, 9th Match
Benoni, South Africa

Zim 240/8 in 50 overs
India 241 in 39.2 overs

Well this was the time when Zim had improved quite a bit as a side (their bowling attack was good with Streak, Rennie, Strang and Brandes). They tied the first match with India, beat them in the second and it meant it was a do-or-die situation for India to get into the finals. Eddo Brandes had proved to be quite a handful for the Indian batsmen.

But it turned out to be Tendulkar's day and he made a magnificent hundred with some exceptional strokeplay. One shot that will be etched in my memory forever would be his straight six off Eddo Brandes. Tendulkar made 104 and Brandes went for 50 in his five overs.

The final of the series was also a forgettable affair with India chasing a large total. Tendulkar made a quickfire 40 odd before he was snapped by Jonty Rhodes, a catch which i consider to be illegal till this day. Rahul Dravid hit Donald for a six over his head and he had Donald fuming like a snake! India eventually lost the game by some 30-40 runs.

6. India Vs Pakistan
30 September 1997
2nd ODI of 3 match series, National Stadium

Pak 265/4 in 47.2 overs
India 266 in 46.3 overs

India was touring pakistan after ten years and there were incidents of stone pelting and crowd disturbances. Pakistan had won the first match and set up a big score for India to chase. Ganguly and Kambli played good hands to keep India in the chase. Waqar Younis had bowled a tight penultimate over and eight were needed of the last over of Saqlain. Rajesh Chauhan stepped out and hit a six on Saqlain's bowling. Batsman to follow - Kuruvilla, Mohanty, Kulkarni. Exciting result for Chauhan but a brave decision to step out!

7. India Vs Australia
22 April 1998
6th Match, Sharjah C.A. Stadium (day/night)

Australia made 284/7 in 50 overs
To make it to the finals, India had to make 254 to pass NZ on run rate. Bevan made a century in this match. In the preceding series against India, Steve Waugh had commented that Bevan was the best ODI batsman, Tendulkar responded with a thunderous hundred in Kochi.

And probably he decided to set the record straight this time as well. In what was probably, one of - if not the best, of Tendulkar's innings of the 90's, he made 143 in 131 balls with 9 4's and 5 6's. India made the required runs in a match disrupted by a sandstorm. Tendulkar had scored 143 out of Indias 250. Watch this innings here. The difference in class was evident when Laxman was all at sea at the other end. he made 23 in 34 when India needed quick runs.

8. India Vs Pakistan
18 January 1998
Silver Jubilee Independence Cup, 1997/98, 3rd Final
National Stadium, Dhaka

One of the rare times a "best of 3" final was being played in the subcontinent. It was 1-1. India had won the first final thanks to a 90 odd by tendulkar and Pakistan had steamrolled India in the second final. All the momentum was with Pakistan, On back of centuries by Saeed Anwar and Ijaz Ahmed, they made 314 in 48 overs. It was the highest score if it were to be chased.

India fought on the back of superb innings of 124 from Saurav Ganguly and 80 odd by Robin SIngh. India was up with the rate but kept losing wickets regularly. That wily old fox, saqlain was striking with his doosra. And soon there was no light- the match went on with nine needed of last over, Saqlain bowled - Kanitkar swung his bat. No one could see the ball, it raced away to mid-wicket fence. India had chased 314 and made history!

9. India Vs Pakistan
10 January 2000
Carlton & United Series, 1999/00, 2nd Match
Brisbane Cricket Ground,

India batted first and made 195 in 48.5 overs. Shoaib was proving to be a menace. He had knocked out India in a couple of other tournaments including Sharjah and he again took 3-19 in eight overs.

Pak came out to bat and were 71/6. Youhana soldiered on and made 63 befor getting out at 153-8. Waqar and Saqlain were the batsman who put on 43 runs for the last wicket. Saqlain had an image of being a bunny with the bat before this game but what a stage he used to shatter that image. Saqlains batting had improved after stints in county cricket, he made 27 from 52 balls and hit Srinath for a six over his head. Pak won by 2 wickets.

It was just the second match of the series and could never recover from the shock. Perhaps one of the most unsuccesful tours down under for India.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Best Cameo

I keep having these chats with Reshu about movies and music. Almost a feature of weekends these days, couple of hours discussing cinema. Reminds me of the good old undergrad days when we chatted up for hours discussing this stuff. We share this passion for hindi cinema. He is probably the only other guy (amongst folks who i know personally) who'd go alone to watch a movie (first one being me of course).

The discussion other day was about the best cameo in hindi film history. Read about it here. the friend in question in that piece is yours truly but the references to Shahrukh and Salman are not mine. Reshu picked Sunny Deol in Damini - a performance that is mighty impressive. But that was an author backed role - and Sunny was the 'hero' of that film. I would rate performances where the actor brought a new dimension to the role from the weight of his performance.

And probably then it is an easier choice than what Reshu had to make. The three performances that come to my mind are from 1967, 1973 and 1974. Malang Chacha in Upkar, Sher Khan in Zanjeer and Michael D'Souza in Majboor. And perhaps not so surprising is the fact that all three characters were played by Pran, an actor-par-excellence. An actor far ahead of his times, who actually experimented when experimentation was not a buzz word.

Anyway, If I had to choose one, probably I'll pick Sher Khan in Zanjeer. The scene where he pulls a hair out of his moustache as a collateral for a loan is something which only Pran could have pulled off. Imagine SRK or Salman doing that scene!

My personal favorite has to be Majboor though. I remember when Star Movies did some video on 100 years of cinema in mid-90s, the only scene from hindi films was pran lighting a match stick from a statue in Majboor. Pran enters the movie after maybe an hour but then dominates the film completely.

(Pran's mannerisms and acting was brilliant in Purab aur pachhim, very subtle but very very effective)

I chose Zanjeer because I felt that Upkar and Majboor were more meaty roles. Sher Khan was Sher Khan because of the way Pran played it. Probably I use the word 'great' so loosely that saying the performance was great would be an injustice. It suffices to say, Pran was peerless and this was one of his best performances!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Mumbai Again....

After two weeks in Mumbai, I'm beginning to think if communism too would be this bad?


Sunday, October 01, 2006

'Rocking' Metro