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The two gods of Indian cricket

May 12, 2011 2 comments
A Saurav fan wants to touch his feet at Hyderabad. Nobody has ever wanted to touch Sachin, Gavaskars or Kapil Dev's feet. The first god of Indian cricket. (Picture courtesy - indiatimes.com).

A Saurav fan wants to touch his feet at Hyderabad. Nobody ever wanted to touch Sachin's, Gavaskar's or Kapil Dev's feet. The first god of Indian cricket. (Picture courtesy - indiatimes.com). Click for larger picture.

Great Indian cricketers

In the last 75 years of cricket in India, many world-class players have worn Indian colours.

Modern cricket’s focus on fielding started after Eknath Solkar and the four Indian spinners won overseas tour in West Indies and England in 1970-71. Aided by some superb batting by Gavaskar and Dilip Sardesai.

A fact most people forget today.

Kapil Dev, one of the best all rounders, Sunil Gavaskar, an awesome player in his times, who played the world’s most fearsome West Indian pace attack without a helmet come readily to mind.

Saurav Ganguly at Lords - giving it back to the English. As only he can.

Saurav Ganguly at Lords - giving it back to the English. As only he can. (Picture courtesy - bigshow.co.in). Click for larger picture.

Of Sachin Tendulkar, much has been written.

Supremely talented, these and some others   players, with skills, temperament and poise are remarkable people. But they stopped at being great players.

Coming to gods

To my mind there are only two gods in Indian cricket.

Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni.

Not because they are the most successful captains. Even Azharuddin was a ‘successful’ captain. These two captains changed the way Indians and Indian cricketers saw themselves.  The real change was the way these two played their cricket.

A hairier Dhoni - less burdened. (Picture courtesy - bbc.co.uk).

A hairier Dhoni - less burdened. (Picture courtesy - bbc.co.uk). Click for larger picture.

How different

Saurav, openly aggressive and gritty – willing to take nothing lying down. His demolition of Steve Waugh’s mind games, left a desolate Steve Waugh, with the dubious distinction of being the only modern captain to lose a test after imposing a follow on.

MS Dhoni, who has lost a lot of hair and grayed very early, in spite of an exterior calm, is quietly determined. To show that we have what it takes to take anyone in the world of cricket – and other fields too.

A graying Dhonio- burdened by his own his immaculate standards.

A graying Dhonio- burdened by his own his immaculate standards. (Picture courtesy - http://www.blog.procricketgear.com). Click for larger picture.

Earlier, during 1983-1987, by hosting the World Cup, Jagmohan Dalmiya brought about a change in the way the BCCI (Board for Control of Cricket in India) saw itself.

India Pakistan Cricket – new light or old wine …

Shadows across the playing field : 60 Years of India-Pakistan Cricket By Shashi Tharoor and Shahryar Khan

Shadows across the playing field : 60 Years of India-Pakistan Cricket By Shashi Tharoor and Shahryar Khan

Shashi Tharoor and Shahryar Khan in Shadows Across the Playing Field tries to provide answers by analysing 60 years of this intense cricketing rivalry, one, which has, on occasions superseded the intensity of the Ashes. (via something to hope for, and look forward to).

Nearly a year ago, 2ndlook wrote how Cricket administrators in India and Pakistan had managed to sustain a healthy business relationship for nearly 20 years.

This India Pakistan Cricketing relationship is very healthy – and has been managed by four people. Of course, there has been no case study, or a book or even a news report on this partnership. So some of this is my perception based on media interaction.

The four people in this complex relationship have been Jagmohan Dalmiya and Shahriyar Khan at the administration level. Between these two, they have managed a consensus between the Asian cricketing countries and South Africa. Jagmohan Dalmiya has a business background – and a career in cricket administration. Shahriyar Khan is a career diplomat and also a cricket administrator.

The other two are Sunil Gavaskar and Imran Khan – two well known and respected players in each of the countries. Between, these four, they have managed this complex cricketing relationship. Some of it is visible – but mostly, below the line. Especially, significant is the management of agreements.

Are things changing

This new book will probably throw some light on how this relationship was sustained and maintained – in spite of a adverse political climate and sometimes negative public opinion.

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