Monday, January 17, 2011

300*

It's coming a couple of weeks later than I had originally intended... but here it is. This is my 300th blog post on CRIC - SIS, and on this special occasion, I have decided to select my 10 favourite sporting moments of 2010. The 10 below are listed chronologically... because try as hard as I might, I just couldn't rank them in an order of preference.

1. MICHAEL HUSSEY STEALS IT FROM PAKISTAN AT SYDNEY

6th January 2010

There may have been lots of questions asked about this match later... but when it happened, it was incredible. I was certain of a Pakistani win for most part of the match, but one of my friends was certain that if there is any team in the world that can throw away a match from such a position of strength, it is Pakistan. And throw away they did, as Michael Hussey scripted a century for himself and a win for his team that really couldn't be deemed possible.




2. 200* (147)

24th February 2010

This one had to be there! How could it not be there! 147 balls, 25 fours, 3 sixes... and 200 runs! Sachin Tendulkar created history (once again!) at Gwalior and accomplished a feat that no man had ever done before him... and Double Century in ODIs. Like it's said, many have scaled the peak of Mt. Everest... but no one looks beyond Sir Edmund Hillary!




3. INIESTA PAINTS THE RAINBOW NATION RED

11th July 2010

It happened late in the second half of extra time when Andres Iniesta finally helped Spain breach the defense of the Dutch team. And as soon as it happened, we knew it! Spain had become the Football World Champions (in addition to being the reigning European Champions) in South Africa. Spain was one of the three teams I had backed right from the start to win the tournament... and they did!




4. PAKISTAN ERASE THE SYDNEY NIGHTMARES AT LEEDS

24th July 2010

Usually, when a team is bundled out for 88 on the first day of a Test match, there can be only one result possible. But with this match, no one could be quite certain. Eventually though, Pakistan managed to beat Australia at the end. This match comes in my list because of events that preceded it. Pakistan was thrashed at Lord's by Australia and Shahid Afridi resigned from captaincy. Salman Butt took over and had this amazing result straightaway. Whatever may have conspired behind the scenes, there is no doubt that at that moment, Salman Butt had won a lot of credibility for Pakistan cricket (unlike another Butt).




5. WE ARE NOT TERRORISTS: AISAM-UL-HAQ QURESHI

10th September 2010

It was written somewhere up there... this entire journey! The unheralded 16th seed pairing of Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi (alias the Indo-Pak Express) reached the finals of the last Grand Slam of the year... the US Open at Flushing Meadows. Though the scoreline might not suggest it, it was a very hard fought match with both teams throwing everything they had at each other before the better and the more experience team prevailed. The match in itself was brilliant, but what Aisam said after the match was even better. It was heart-warming to see the standing ovation that Aisam got when he finished his speech that told the world that Pakistanis are not terrorists! What a way for Aisam and Rohan to finish their campaign!




6. RAFA!

12th September 2010

Rafael Nadal became just the 7th man in history to complete a Career Grand Slam (and the youngest to get there as well) by winning the US Open at Flushing Meadows. A tremendous final, a brilliant opponent in the form of Serbian Novak Djokovic... and Rafa capped a brilliant year for himself and his country Spain!




7. LAXMAN = HOUDINI

13th October 2010

Even Houdini wouldn't have managed the escape that VVS Laxman engineered for India in the company of first Ishant Sharma and then Pragyan Ojha (and of course, Suresh Raina all the while). It was the closest Test match in India after the tied Test of 1986 between the same teams - India and Australia! There is no way this list could have been completed without this event. And yes, CRIC - SIS had it highest ever number of hits after this match... so that's another reason for the match to be there in the list.




8. CHE ARRIVES AT THE BIG STAGE

13th October 2010

I had waited for young Cheteshwar Pujara's chance for a long time. When he did get his chance, he also got a wretched shooter third ball from Mitchell Johnson. His Test career couldn't have started with much worse luck. But he came back... given a chance to bat at No. 3 in what could have been a tricky run chase, Che impressed everyone by taking the attack to Australia and when he reached his half-century in the illustrious company of Sachin Tendulkar, we all knew that Che had arrived!




9. VETTEL PULLS OFF THE UNEXPECTED

14th November 2010

The day dawned at Abu Dhabi with anticipation high in the Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber camps. Though Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton were also in the race, nobody gave them much of a chance. At the end of that race, it was Vettel who sported the biggest smile as he realised that he was the World Champion... the only German other than Michael Schumacher to lay his hands on the sport's biggest prize.




10. THE URN IN THE BAG, THE SPRINKLER ON THE FIELD

29th December 2010

England managed to retain the Ashes away from home for the first time in almost a quarter of a century... so the celebration was bound to be different! And different it was... the Sprinkler dance! What a way to finish a brilliant year for England... a year where they also won their first ICC Trophy - the Twenty20 World Championship.




I do know that there are a few moments that were very close to making it to my list... but have missed out! There was Razzaq's monstrous hitting to steal a game for Pakistan, there was Afridi's monstrous hitting to almost steal a game for Pakistan... there was Chris Gayle's triple hundred, there was India's win at Durban... there was Barcelona's 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid, and there were a lot of others.

But the list end
shere... and I do hope that my readers have enjoyed my journey of 300 blogs as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Now for the next target: Brian Lara's 400!

5 comments:

Golandaaz said...

If you are talking about "sporting" moments and not just cricket; you have to include this one from India. It beats Sachin's 200 any time, any day, any which way

Golandaaz said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kezboiU3l-w

Shridhar Jaju said...

Yes Gol, there were a number of others from CWG and Asian Games. Specially Saina Nehwal's CWG Gold Medal that gave India the second position on the overall medals tally, but I had to chose only 10!

ali said...

chateshwar pujara????????????/
was the moment that special?

Shridhar Jaju said...

Oh yes, Ali! It definitely was!

For long I have been frustrated by India's policy of giving Test spots to players who had performed in ODIs rather than looking at First Class performances.

Here was a classic case of a player, as Ravi Shastri would say, "coming through the ranks".

I have seen our selectors destroy what could have been a good Test career for Badrinath and Kaif by preferring Yuvraj when replacements were needed. I don't blame them entirely... but I did not want to see the same happen to Pujara.

Thus it was amongst my favourite moments of 2010.

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