It's been a long time since I wrote here... more than 2 months. The break was partly forced and partly self-imposed. But now that I get back to this blog, I realise how much I missed it... the blogging, commenting, tweeting, the entire package!
Since I last posted, a lot has happened in the world of cricket and other sports. In India, the IPL started, dragged along, and then finished, taking up almost 2 months of the calender. Yet, the champions remain unchanged as do the teams that qualify for the Champions League. After that, a youthful Indian side went to a Gayle-less West Indies, and won the Twenty20 and ODI series. On the administrative front, the BCCI v. DRS standoff continues. I will be writing a detailed post combining all my previous opinions on DRS soon.
The Sri Lankan cricket team is in England, fighting hard to gain something out of the Test series, while their Board is trying to convince the BCCI to send the Indian players to the SLPL. The English cricket team is, in the meanwhile, looking well-oiled and ominous for Indian fans. But there are certain chinks, as are bound to be in the best of teams!
The West Indies Cricket Board and Cricket Australia are involved in two different, yet similar standoffs. Chris Gayle and Simon Katich. "If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys" - that's the case in Cricket Australia. "If you have monkeys, you cannot expect much wisdom" - that's the case with the West Indies Cricket Board.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board continues to head the peanuts-monkeys scenario, with Ijaz Butt clearly the leader. The removal of Shahid Afridi and his temporary retirement, before fighting for his right to play cricket elsewhere in the Twenty20 format also made big news.
In South Africa, Gary Kirsten is the new coach and AB de Villiers the limited-overs captain. In New Zealand, cost-cutting is the word! The only Test-playing nation that has been relatively quiet with their cricket news over the last two months is Bangladesh... but then, that is how they have always been!
In football, the Champions League finals were played at the New Wembley, with Barcelona prevailing convincingly over the English champions, Manchester United. Though a Man-U follower myself, there is no denying that Barcelona is currently the best club in Europe, and it will take a super-human effort to beat them in their current form in a big match.
The Formula One news is all Sebastian Vettel! In 7 races, that boy has 5 wins and 2 second-place finishes! To think that it could have been 6-1 had it not been a final lap error at Montreal is just amazing! But Montreal did show that he does feel the pressure. And he is prone to making mistakes too. As the bandwagon moves to the European continent, McLaren-Mercedes and Ferrari will take heart from that Jenson Button victory in their efforts to fight back and close in the gap!
In Tennis, the Djoko-streak was broken by Federer, who was in turn broken by Nadal, who clinched his 6th French Open title. As the Wimbledon kicks off today with Rafael Nadal opening the proceedings on the Centre Court, the Gentlemen's Singles offers the most mouth-watering prospect of quality tennis, as the top-4 seeds look in great touch. The Indian presence too is quite strong in the Men's Doubles and to an extent, in the Women's Doubles.
Back to Cricket...
As the England - Sri Lanka Test series comes to an end today with England trying hard to press for a 2-0 win, the West Indies - India Tests will begin on the other side of the Atlantic. India's next 7 international matches will be Tests... and that is partly why I chose precisely this moment to get back to the blogosphere.
Though a Zaheer-less India may struggle a bit against West Indies, my mind goes back to a similar Zaheer-less India that won the Third Test in Sri Lanka not too long ago. I wonder if Praveen Kumar will get a chance to make his Test debut... it would be nice if that happens! And even though Virat Kohli is more or less certain to make his debut, which is a very promising development in India, my heart also goes out to Cheteshwar Pujara, who misses this tour because of an injury suffered during the IPL.
A hectic sporting season awaits... and I am delighted to be back!
1 hour ago