Nov 102013
 
Shami storm: India's new pace sensation

Shami’s journey from being a nobody to marking India’s best bowling debut against West Indies last week should certainly serve as an inspiration to India’s next generation of fast bowlers

Shami storm: The rise of India’s next bowling superstar (© PTI)

PTI

The Mohammed Shami story is not exactly a rags-to-riches tale. It’s a story of hard work and persistence. It’s as much about self-belief and dedication as it is about faith shown in a player by his family and his coaches.

Born in the small Bengali town of Jonagar on March 9, 1990, Shami’s journey from being a nobody to marking India’s best bowling debut against West Indies last week should certainly serve as an inspiration to India’s next generation of fast bowlers.

Shami’s impressive performances at club level earned him a regular place in Bengal’s Ranji squad and it wasn’t too long before he caught the eye of the national selectors. He was selected in the India A squad that toured the West Indies in 2012 and made his international ODI debut against Pakistan in January 2013.

Shami storm: The rise of India’s next bowling superstar (© IANS photo)

IANS photo

It was during the home series against Australia in October that Shami really announced his arrival to the national scene. Featuring in three of the seven ODIs, Shami managed 7 wickets at an average of 22.85. In a series which saw most bowlers get thrashed around, it was a respectable performance.

You can’t ask for more than 9 wickets from a Test debutant. Even if you put aside West Indies’ lacklustre batting, which helped Shami run riots, some of his reverse swing during both his spells was just world-class.

At 23, the future looks bright for Shami. But early success doesn’t exactly guarantee a glorious career, especially in Test cricket. But if the focus and the confidence he displayed on his debut is anything to go by, we could be looking at India’s next bowling superstar.

Nov 082013
 
Mamata felicitates farewell man Sachin

Mamta Banerjee showered gifts on Sachin Tendulkar in his last Test match at the Eden Gardens

Mamata felicitates farewell man Sachin (© IANS)

IANS

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday felicitated batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar who played the penultimate Test match of his glittering career here. Handing over a basket of goodies, Banerjee had a broad smile on her face as she placed a silk stole around Tendulkar’s shoulders.

She also gifted him one of her paintings – that of a tree – and presented a beige turban which was placed on the maestro’s head by former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly.

Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Jagmohan Dalmiya handed Tendulkar a memento – a banyan tree bearing 199 golden leaves – in addition to a golden coin used for the toss of the match.

Kolkata Police Commissioner Surajit Kar Purkayastha also gifted a Durga idol to the cricketing genius.

Nov 082013
 
Mumbai Test will be emotional: Ashwin

Ashwin confessed that Sachin’s final Test in Mumbai will be an emotional affair for everyone

Mumbai Test will be emotional: Ashwin (© IANS)

IANS

Kolkata: Having seen the hype around batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell series here, Ravichandran Ashwin is finding it difficult to imagine the scenes in Mumbai, where the legend will play his swansong Test match.

He said the Test will be an emotional moment for the man and the team.

“Having seen what has happened in this match I can’t probably imagine what will happen in his 200th match. We will know only when we get there,” said Ashwin.

“At one point of time I had my stomach cramped up watching him bat and getting out. Every youngster has gone through that whoever loved the game but being in the dressing room is different from when I used to watch him. It will be emotional for him and for us as well,” added Ashwin.

Nov 072013
 
Promises of a packed Eden remain unfulfilled

Only 33,000 people were present on Day 2 of the 1st Test at the Eden Gardens – a number, far away from the 66,000 full capacity of the stadium

Promises of a packed Eden remain unfulfilled (© IANS Photo)

IANS Photo

achin Tendulkar’s swansong appearance at the hallowed Eden Gardens against the visiting West Indies failed to live up to its billing the second consecutive day Thursday when vast rows of empty seats belied the organisers’ tall claims of a full house.

If the presence of 33,000 spectators – half of the stadium’s capacity – on the first day can be excused on the fact that the visitors opted to bat first, the prospect of seeing the maestro create magic with his willow on the 22 yards, failed to attract the otherwise cricket mad Kolkata crowd.

The atmosphere turned sour further when Tendulkar’s stint at the wicket was cut short by a contentious umpiring decision.

The crowd which was lustily cheering every move of the maestro since he came out to bat at the fall of India’s second wicket, was stunned into silence when Llong raised the dreaded index finger after left-armer Shane Shillingford trapped the man in front. Incidentally, Tendulkar had taken the West Indian’s wicket Wednesday.

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) which had promised a series of celebrations including the spectators greeting Tendulkar wearing his mask on the first two days of the match, yet again failed to deliver on its promise.

“Had Sachin batted for an hour more, the turnout would have been higher during the latter part of the day,” was what a CAB official could give as explanation about the missing crowd.

About the non-existent masks, he said they would be distributed on the third day as they were still under print.

However, much to the delight of the crowd present debutant Rohit Sharma hit a scintillating century to propel India towards a commanding position in the match. While Sharma sparkled with the bat, homeboy Mohammad Shami who too made his debut in the match, rocked the Windies batting line-up to return with figures of 4/71 on the first day.

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