An Open Letter From a Cricket Fan to Those In Charge of Indian Cricket

After the defeat, or ‘thrashing’ India received from England in the 2022 WC semi-finals, fans worldwide were frustrated at another disappointing finish. Here are my honest thoughts for Those Who Care and Run Indian Cricket. An open letter, “Enough is enough.”

Dear Indian Cricket Administrators,

Enough is enough.

2014 T20 World Cup Final. 2015 ODI World Cup Semi-Final.
2016 T20 World Cup Semi-Final. 2017 Champions Trophy Final.
2019 ODI World Cup Semi-Final. 2021 World Test Championship Final.
2022 T20 World Cup Semi-Final.

9 Long Years. 7 ICC knockout matches. 3 captains. Different coaches. Same result.
So close, yet so far.

When India suffered 0-4 losses to England & Australia in the 2011 disastrous Test tours, MS Dhoni frequently said, ‘It is the process that matters.’ The same talks continued throughout the decade.

Process. Journey. Learnings.
Yes, learning is good. Making mistakes is good…if and only if, they lead to tangible changes. Not if they result in the same mistakes again.

We have Questions. More questions. LOTS of questions.
What is the exact process? Who decides these processes? Because if the same story plays over and over again, and India keeps losing in key moments, then there is an inherent problem with the process itself.

Then the blame game starts. IPL vs internationals. Not able to play in overseas leagues. Injuries. Handling the ‘pressure.’ Retrospective selection debates. Rest & rotation.

Excuses. Enough is enough.

This letter is not to single out individuals, players, coaches, team management, or even the system. I’m not questioning the commitment or the lack of trying. These are professionals, and they try to do their best on and off the field.

Rather, I’m questioning the status quo.
The Hero Worship. Administrative bias. Selections and Experimentation. Media leaks. Lack of the winning mentality.

The current England team is doing something right. After the 2015 World Cup debacle, they took some tough decisions. The team of Eoin Morgan, Andrew Strauss, and Nathan Leamon invested in a system that would produce results and backed players that fit their system.

Enjoy the journey. Learn from the process. Keep improving.
All this is good, but at the end of the day, results matter. The IPL wouldn’t still exist if it wasn’t a profitable venture. Brazil (5), Germany (4), and Italy (4) wouldn’t be as feared in the soccer world if they hadn’t won that many trophies consistently over time.

You know why West Indies in the 2010s were so good? Because they won World Cups AND had fun doing it. That’s the ideal situation. Process plus results. Why can’t India get there? Why can’t India win both bilaterals and World Cups?

The Power of the IPL and depth of India’s pool of talent—A blessing and a disguise. There is a key difference between gradual progress and stagnation. It is high time that Team India starts converting this golden generation of players and financial power into trophies.

Lost opportunity. Enough is enough.

The fans are just as much as stakeholders in the game as the administrators and players themselves.

When Tendulkar hits a straight drive, a child smiles in Mumbai. When Kohli hits Haris Rauf for a straight six, a nation halts in awe. When India loses, the nation griefs in despair. Passion. The sport means the world to us. When the fans hope, the nation rises.

One of these days, the confidence in the team might be a disappear. The team needs to start winning world tournaments. That’s it.

And this is not to say that India is a bad team. Not even close. Coming to the semi-finals in almost every competition ten years in a row is no joke. However, the final hurdle is sometimes the most important step. And not getting over that step points to deeper issues.

It’s a well-known idiom to “Hope for the best and Prepare for the worst.” But maybe, just maybe, that is not the right way to go.

Don’t play safe. For once, just go all out. Try something new. Take some risks. Make courageous selections.

Indian fans can live with defeat. What they can’t live with is manner of defeats and making the same mistakes over and over again.

Something needs to change. Otherwise, all that will be left is Broken Dreams.

Because enough is enough.

Sincerely,
A Cricket Fan

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© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2022. Originally published on 11/12/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Virat Kohli’s 25 Best Innings Across International Formats (RANKED): Mohali 2016, MCG 2022, Hobart 133*, Adelaide 141…Which One is Your Favorite?

Ranking Virat Kohli’s best innings is no easy task.

With 71 hundreds, 127 fifties, and countless other important knocks out of his 529 international innings, picking the Top 25 is a challenge. As Roman philosopher, Lucius Anneas Seneca is credited of saying,

“It is a rough road that leads to the height of greatness.”

– Lucius Anneas Seneca

Kohli’s consistency and the ability to rise to the top from the depth of hardship is what makes him truly great.

The winning moment at the MCG give cricket fans chills. Literal chills. This match reminded us of Virat Kohli’s eternal greatness. No man has been as dominating of a cricket player in all the three formats. Here is our Top 25 ranking of Virat Kohli’s best innings across T20I, ODI, and Test cricket.

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List of Virat Kohli’s Best Innings

All the scorecards and some video highlights are linked for your reference.

Embed from Getty Images

1. 82*(52) vs Pakistan, 2022 T20 World Cup

  • Format: T20I
  • Opposition: Pakistan
  • Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Melbourne, Australia

Context: Melbourne Cricket Ground. 90,000 crowd. India 31-4. Pakistan pacers all over India. The ghost of 2021. The 71st hundred wait. Questions on his form. Mental health break. And then came that innings. Then came that shot—The Shot Heard Around the World. From 31-4 to needing 28 runs in 8 balls to winning the match on the last ball. The chase master is back. The King is back.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Pakistan vs India 16th Match, Group 2 2022/23 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

Embed from Getty Images Embed

2. 133*(86) vs Sri Lanka, 2012 CB Series

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: Sri Lanka
  • Venue: Bellerive Oval, Hobart, Australia

Context: A love story begins in Australia. The coming of age for Virat Kohli. Needing to chase 320 in 40 overs, Kohli and co did it in 36.4 overs. Malinga’s figures of 7.4-0-96-1 says it all. The way Kohli handled the pressure, accelerated…this was only the signs to come for the record chaser he was about to become.

Video Highlights: Kohli Hobart Innings – YouTube

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Sri Lanka vs India 11th Match 2011/12 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.comScorecard: Full Scorecard of Sri Lanka vs India 11th Match 2011/12 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

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3. 82*(53) vs Australia, 2016 T20 World Cup

  • Format: T20I
  • Opposition: Australia
  • Venue: Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali, Chandigarh India

Context: Must-win game. A virtual quarter final. Australia & James Faulkner run into Virat Kohli at his absolute peak. Steady innings to begin with but flourish at the right time. The running, six hitting, and MS Dhoni, this innings had everything.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Australia vs India 31st Match, Super 10 Group 2 2015/16 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

4. 141 (175) & 115 (184) vs Australia, 2013-14 Border-Gavaskar Trophy

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: Australia
  • Venue: Adelaide, Adelaide Oval, Austral

Context: A glimpse of Virat Kohli, the captain, before he was the official captain. India had never won a Test series in Australia and chasing 364 on Day 5 was unthinkable. Enter Kohli. Centuries in both innings. Aggressive approach. Got India so close, but he was caught on the boundary with sixty runs still to go. India continued their positive approach and collapsed agonizingly short.

Video Highlights: 2nd Innings, 1st Innings

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Australia vs India 1st Test 2014/15 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

5. 119 (181) & 96 (193) vs South Africa, India Tour of South Africa 2013-14

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: South Africa
  • Venue: New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa

Context: One of the great Test matches of the 2010s. Will always be remembered for the Faf-De Villiers partnership as South Africa almost chasing 438 before the draw was announced eight runs short. However, the game was nicely setup by the dominance of Kohli in both innings.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of India vs South Africa 1st Test 2013/14 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

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6. 169 (272) vs Australia, 2013-14 Border Gavaskar Trophy

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: Australia
  • Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia

Context: This match will always be remembered for THAT partnership. Virat Kohli & Ajinkya Rahane smashing Mitchell Johnson’s bouncers. The transition from the Dravid-Tendulkar-Laxman era to the Kohli-Rahane era was complete.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Australia vs India 3rd Test 2014/15 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

7. 149 (225) vs England, 2018 Pataudi Trophy

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: England
  • Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham, England

Context: 134 runs in 10 innings. Six single digit scores. 2 ducks. And a Jimmy Anderson. Probably the lowest point in Kohli’s career, technically and mentally. To come back in the next tour, score 593 runs, dominate Anderson, and conquer his inner demons is a life lesson for us all. It all started with this 149 in tough conditions.

Video Highlights: Kohli 100 England 2018

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of England vs India 1st Test 2018 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

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8. 100*(52) vs Australia, 2013

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: Australia
  • Venue: Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur, India

Context: Some of the best shots you will ever see. Dancing down the wicket, straight over the bowlers’ head, numerous inside out shots. The series will be remembered for the emergence of Kohli-Rohit duo as the next stars of Indian cricket.

Video highlights: Virat Kohli 100* off 52 Balls | Ind vs Aus 2013

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Australia vs India 2nd ODI 2013/14 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

9. 49 (51) vs Pakistan, Asia Cup 2016

  • Format: T20I
  • Opposition: Pakistan
  • Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Bangladesh

Context: The scorecard doesn’t tell you what we all felt that day. Pakistan 83/10 and India won by 5 wickets. Easy, right? Wrong. Due to the comeback kid, Mohammad Amir. Rohit, Rahane were gone for ducks. Raina soon followed, India 8/3. Then came Kohli’s masterclass, one full of patience, perseverance, and maturity.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Pakistan vs India 4th Match 2015/16 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

10. 115*(66) vs Australia, 2013

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: Australia
  • Venue: Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Jamtha, Nagpur, India

Context: One of the highest scoring ODI series in memory. Although he was already scoring loads of runs earlier in the series, this chase was the best of them all.

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli 115* of 66| India Vs Australia 2013

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Australia vs India 6th ODI 2013/14 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

11. 72*(44) vs South Africa, 2014 T20 World Cup Semi-Final

  • Format: T20I
  • Opposition: South Africa
  • Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Bangladesh

Context: Before Melbourne, before Mohali, there was Mirpur. He himself said it was his ‘best T20 knock’ until that point.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of South Africa vs India 2nd Semi-Final 2013/14 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

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12. 153 (217) vs South Africa, India Tour of South Africa 2017-2018

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: South Africa
  • Venue: Supersport Park, Centurion, South Africa

Context: Under testing conditions and batting against the trio of Philander-Rabada-Morkel, Virat Kohli was excellent. Next highest score was just 46.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of South Africa vs India 2nd Test 2017/18 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

13.160* (159) vs South Africa, 2018

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: South Africa
  • Venue: Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa

Context: Kohli at his absolute peak.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of India vs South Africa 3rd ODI 2017/18 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

14. 123 (257) vs Australia, Perth, Border Gavaskar Trophy 2018-19

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: Australia
  • Venue: Perth Stadium, Perth, Australia

Context: “Masterclass in mind and skill. One for the ages.” The commentator couldn’t have described it any better.

Video Highlights: Full highlights of Kohli’s Perth classic

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Australia vs India 2nd Test 2018/19 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

15. 183 (146) vs Pakistan, 2012

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: Pakistan
  • Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Bangladesh

Context: Smashed Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, and Shahid Afridi on his way to his top ODI knock.

Video Highlights: Kohli 183 vs Pakistan 2012

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Pakistan vs India 5th Match 2011/12 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

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16. 103 (197) & 97 (152), 2018 Pataudi Trophy

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: England
  • Venue: Trent Bridge, Nottingham

Context: Test matches mean a lot more when the team wins. Although India lost 4-1 in THAT Sam Curran series, Kohli’s 97 & 103 ensured at least one win in the series.

Video Highlights: 1st Innings, 2nd Innings

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of India vs England 3rd Test 2018 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

17. 243 (287) & 50 (58) vs Sri Lanka, 2017

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: Sri Lanka
  • Venue: Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi, India

Context: A marathon 7-and-a-half-hour knock followed by a fifty in the second innings.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of India vs Sri Lanka 3rd Test 2017/18 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

18. 35 (49) vs Sri Lanka, 2011 World Cup Final

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: Sri Lanka
  • Venue: Wankhede, Mumbai, India

Context: Among his plethora of centuries and fifties, this one is usually forgotten. After 31-2 with both Sehwag & Sachin back in the hut, Kohli & Gambhir’s steady 83-run partnership got India back in the game. Useful, impact knock.

Video Highlights: 2011 World Cup Final Highlights

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Sri Lanka vs India Final 2010/11 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

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19. 154* (134) vs New Zealand, 2016

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: New Zealand
  • Venue: Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali, India

Context: Exhibition of the cover drive, pull shot, flick, and the straight drive.

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli 123 off 111 balls vs New Zealand 1st ODI Napier

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of New Zealand vs India 3rd ODI 2016/17 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

20. 89*(47) vs West Indies, 2016 T20 World Cup Semi-Final

  • Format: India
  • Opposition: West Indies
  • Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, India

Context: After Rohit-Rahane 40s provided India a decent start, Kohli took the mantle to finish the innings off. From 50*(33) to 89*(47), but it was not meant to be.

Video Highlights: 2016 T20 WC Semi-Final Highlights

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of India vs West Indies 2nd Semi-Final 2015/16 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

21. 211 (366) vs New Zealand, 2016

  • Format: Test
  • Opposition: New Zealand
  • Venue: Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore, India

Context: A Top-25 Kohli series should probably include one of his seven double centuries. A marathon 365 (673) partnership between Rahane & Kohli. NZ were out of the game in the first innings.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of India vs New Zealand 3rd Test 2016/17 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

22. 94* (50) vs West Indies, 2019

  • Format: T20I
  • Venue: Ranjiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad, India
  • Opposition: West Indies

Context: Kohli’s highest T20I score. India chases 209 in a T20 with 8 balls to spare. 6 sixes and 6 fours. Destructive.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of West Indies vs India 1st T20I 2019/20 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

23. 107 (126) vs Pakistan, 2015 ODI World Cup

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: Pakistan
  • Venue: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, Australia

Context: A solid knock. India win against Pakistan via Kohil magic, a theme over the last decade. Better yet, India started the 2015 WC well and went onto play the semi-finals despite dismal preparations.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of India vs Pakistan 4th Match, Pool B 2014/15 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

Embed from Getty Images

24. 122*(105) vs England, 2017

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: England
  • Venue: Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune

Context: Known as the ‘Kedar Jadhav match’ who scored a 120 (76) from #6, Kohli held the innings together. From 53-4, a 200-run partnership followed between the two before Pandya finished it off.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of England vs India 1st ODI 2016/17 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

25. 123 (111) vs New Zealand, 2014

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: New Zealand
  • Venue: MacLean Park, Napier

Context: Not all matches have a positive ending. Although India lost, Kohli dragged India close. The next best score was 40, and India lost by 24 runs.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of New Zealand vs India 1st ODI 2013/14 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

26. 107 (114) vs Sri Lanka, 2009 (Bonus)

  • Format: ODI
  • Opposition: Sri Lanka
  • Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata, India

Context: Things have to begin somewhere, don’t they? Virat’s maiden ODI ton, including a 224-run partnership with Gautam Gambhir. Rescued India in chase of 316 after they were 23-2 after 3.4 overs. A glimpse of greatness for years ahead.

Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Sri Lanka vs India 4th ODI 2009/10 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

Honorable Mentions – Virat Kohli’s Best Innings – Which Knock Missed Out?

  1. 129*(96) vs South Africa, Centurion, 2018 (ODI)
  2. 70*(29) vs West Indies, Mumbai, 2019 (T20I)
  3. 90*(55) vs Australia, Adelaide, 2016 (T20I)
  4. 116 (213) vs Australia, Adelaide, 2012 (Test) – 1st Test Hundred
  5. 123 (95) vs Australia, Ranchi, 2019 (ODI)
  6. 107 (119) vs West Indies, Pune, 2018 (ODI)
  7. 131 (96) vs Sri Lanka, Colombo, 2017 (ODI)
  8. 140 (107) vs West Indies, Guwahati, 2018 (ODI)
  9. 157*(129) vs West Indies, Vishakapatnam, 2018 (ODI)
  10. 114*(99) vs West Indies, Port of Spain, 2019 (ODI)

Frequently Asked Questions – Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in Each Format

Other Virat Kohli Content

What is Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in T20I Cricket?

Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in T20I cricket are as follows: 82* (52) vs Pakistan (2022 T20 World Cup), 82*(53) vs Australia (2016 T20 World Cup), 72*(44) (2014 T20 Worl Cup Semi-Final, 89* (47) vs West Indies (2016 T20 World Cup Semi-Final), and 49 (51) vs Pakistan (2016 Asia Cup). Virat Kohli flexing his arm

What is Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in T20I Cricket?

Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in ODI cricket are as follows: 133*(86) vs Sri Lanka (2012), 100* (52) vs Australia (2013), 115*(66) vs Australia (2013), 160*(159) vs South Africa (2018), and 183*(146) vs Pakistan (2012).

What is Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in Test Cricket?

Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in Test cricket are as follows: 141 vs Australia (2013), 119 vs South Africa (2013), 169 vs Australia (2013), 149 vs England (2018), and 153 vs South Africa (2018).

Here is some of the other content on Virat Kohli:

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 10/27/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Is SuryaKumar Yadav the Most Complete 360 Player in T20 Cricket?

Yes, Suryakumar Yadav, also loving known as SKY, is one of the most complete 360 degree batters right now in world cricket.

Table of Contents

  1. What is a 360 Player?
  2. What shots of Suryakumar Yadav make him unique?
  3. Can Suryakumar Yadav Keep It Going?
Embed from Getty Images

The entire list of 360 degree players is as follows:

  1. AB De Villiers
  2. Kevin Pietersen
  3. Glenn Maxwell
  4. Jos Buttler
  5. Suryakumar Yadav
  6. Dinesh Karthik
  7. Glenn Phillips

The next generation of cricketers will add to this list, I am sure.

What is a 360 Player?

A 360-degree player is someone who utilizes each and every open area of the cricket ground. Traditionally, cricketers have been trained to play in the V, but due to limited overs cricket, the run scoring areas has expanded.

Suryakumar Yadav has shown that even though he was built with traditional cricket training (as can be seen from those perfect straight drives and classic shots), he has a lot more shots.

What shots of Suryakumar Yadav make him unique?

He has three shots that sets him apart:

  1. The sweep — Most modern day cricketers have the sweep shot, but what sets SKY apart is his range. Due to his beautiful wrist work, he can hit the ball anywhere from Deep Mid Wicket to Deep Square to Fine Leg behind the 45.
  2. The swipe — This swipe shot is something indescribable by the human eye. Most cases, it is used to hit a fast bowler over Square Leg for six. However, as seen in his marvelous 117 (55) vs England in 2022, he utilized this shot to great effect. One shot, in particular, caught my eye. He swiped the ball behind his leg and guided it almost straight behind Jos Buttler’s (WK) head for a one bounce four he
  3. The inside out shot — Another shot that has become a Suryakumar Yadav trademark. This can be employed against both spin and pace. As seen once again during that 117, he has perfected this shot. He hit an inside-out shot behind 3rd man for a majestic boundary!
  4. The Pull — Suryakumar Yadav began his career with a first ball pull over Fine Leg. Usually, boundaries here a bit shorter, and the fact that he can almost choose where to hit it makes him an effective 360 degree player.

And not only can he hit these wristy tricky shots, he can also play the classic straight drives. Another one of his shots that caught my eye during his incredible innings was that straight six with a little dance move. Here is highlights of his innings. If you have watched it once or twice, I request y’all to watch this innings again because it was that good.

Can Suryakumar Yadav Keep It Going?

There is no doubt that Suryakumar Yadav is in the form of his life.

These are just some of the many shots that help SKY cover what was once thought the unreachable areas of the ground. I hope he continues improving and stays in immaculate touch at the international level.

He has had to wait his time, but we have seen his gradual evolution from a finisher at KKR to a complete middle order batter at Mumbai Indians.

Surya did not receive his international cap as early as he should have, but he is making every innings count at the international level. That 117, with 14 fours and 6 sixes was a coming of age for him, and I just hope for the best for him going forward.

Keep going!

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 07/12/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

It’s Time T20 and Test Cricket Had a Separation

Cricket Food For Thought #3: Time for T20 & Test Cricket to Separate?

By Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, @BCD 6/10/2022

New Zealand’s first Test against England started on 2nd June, 2022, a Test match in which Trent Boult played right after playing the IPL final on 29th May, 2022 representing the Rajasthan Royals. In fact, New Zealand’s tour of England began much earlier on the 20th May. Two tour matches had already been played before Boult reached the shores of England.

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David Miller & Hardik Pandya starred in Gujarat Titans’ road to IPL glory. Ten days later, they were playing for opposing teams when the 5-match India vs South Africa bilateral series began.

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This series is going to end on 19th of June. Then, India play in Ireland on the 26th and 28th of June, before they play their Test match against England beginning on the…1st of July.

The situation has reached such a point that a special flight is being arranged for coach Rahul Dravid, Shreyas Iyer, and Rishabh Pant.

Warning For Test Cricket

The World Test Championship, although not perfect, has put some context for Test match cricket. However, with T20 leagues overtaking the yearly calendar and T20 World Cups occurring every two years now, ICC Chairperson Greg Barclay has warned

“…Some of the smaller Full Members will have to accept from a resourcing point of view that they can’t play the amount of Test cricket that they wanted to. So we may see a lessening of that, maybe they play four or five Tests a year whereas England, Australia and India I think will be playing Test cricket as they are now.”

– Greg Barclay, icc chairperson

Radical Proposal

I have spoken at length about overkill of cricket and T20 leagues, mental health issues many a times before, but radical times demand radical actions.

Also Read:

Today I propose a separation of T20 and Test cricket as sports. Jonny Bairstow might disagree but workload management and overburdening the cricket schedule is about to hit the edge.

Just like football and futsal are treated as different sports, T20 and Test cricket should be classified as separate sports as well. So what should this separation entail?

  • A player cannot play both T20 and Test formats at any level.
  • Separate coaches, teams, players, tournaments, and scouts for both sports. So Rahul Dravid should not go fly and coach the Test team.
  • Separate governing bodies and budgets
  • Women’s and Men’s Test matches managed under the same administrative body. Similarly women’s & men’s leagues managed under the same body (Men’s/Women’s Hundred, IPL, Big Bash, CPL, etc.)
  • Instead of distributing budgets, resources, etc. to these two formats, have a separate funding base

Distance the Heart & Mind

We all would love Virat Kohli playing for RCB and India in all formats all the time, but that is no longer possible. I claim, it is no longer necessary either.

When the IPL begun, each franchise had a marquee player (Dravid – RCB, Ganguly – KKR, Laxman – Deccan, Tendulkar – Mumbai, Yuvraj – Punjab, MS Dhoni – CSK). This was to develop a fan base and for continuity.

Fast forward to 2022. No Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli & Rohit Sharma had off years, MSD was good but we only saw glimpses. IPL 2022 was rather about T20 specialists, The Mohsin Khans, Dinesh Karthiks, and Tim Davids.

T20 as a sport has become self-sufficient. Virat Kohli is needed at Ranji, not Royal Challengers.

Instead of franchising County Cricket or looking to forcefully promote Ranji Trophy, high profile players in domestic tournaments will raise the levels of first class/Test cricket, drive finances, and evolve as a sport faster.

****

Oh and what about ODI cricket? I completely forgot about it!

Maybe few years down the line, you will as well.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 06/08/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Cricket Thought of the Day #2: Is Sachin Tendulkar’s 15921 Test Runs Record in Danger?

31 Years, 157 days.

The number of days it took both Sir Alastair Cook & Joe Root to break the 10,000 run barrier, incidentally the only two English two cricketers to do so. In comparison, it took the great Sachin Tendulkar 31 years & 326 days to breach that mark.

What a moment. 10,000 runs with the same shot as his 100 at Lord’s. Nasser Hussain, as he always does, chose the best possible words to sum it up,

“10,000 Test Runs for Joe Root. He joins the pantheon of all-time great batters and he does it, as ever, with a smile on his face.”

– Nasser hussain

The Tale of Three Legends—Joe Root, Sachin Tendulkar, and Alastair Cook

By Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, 06/08/2022

Root’s Run

What’s better? Since his debut, it has only taken Root 9 years & 171 days to achieve this landmark. In comparison, Jayawardene-Tendulkar-Gavaskar took about 14-15 years after their debuts and Younis-Chanderpaul about 17-18 years (And yes yes, you’re right. Root took 218 innings, Cook took 229, and England play more Tests than anybody else, but that is another story).

Joe Root is definitely in the prime of his career. There was a time when Root was going to be uprooted from the Fab 4. With Root inability to convert fifties into hundreds, Babar Azam’s glorious entry, Kane Williamson’s prime, & the god-level cricket Steven Smith & Virat Kohli were producing between 2016-2018, surely Root’s status was being questioned.

Post the pandemic, Smith, Kohli, and Williamson’s needles have barely moved, both in terms of runs and hundreds.

Joe Root, on the other hand, has been on a different level. 21 Tests, 41 innings, 9 hundreds, 4 fifties, 56.23 average since January 2021. And these 9 hundreds include 5 daddy hundreds—228, 218, 186, 180*, and 153. The fact that he did this as England’s Test captain, when they only won 1 out of 17 Tests, in conditions such as Sri Lanka, India, West Indies, and Australia makes his run even more unbelievable.

So naturally the question arises. In the prime of his career, relieved of captaincy pressure, with possibly another 5-10 years ahead of him, can Joe Root break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 15,921 Test runs?

Sir Alastair Cook

Let’s come back to Alastair Cook for a moment.

Cook scored his first hundred at at the age of 21. In the next 7 years, he racked up 25 total. In his prime, his record read:

  • 2009: 3 Tons
  • 2010: 5
  • 2011: 4
  • 2012: 4
  • 2013: 2

Tons in overseas Ashes win & subcontinental hundreds, Cook was at the top of the world. Even though he slowed down after 2013, by the time he climbed the 10K runs mountain, he had already amassed 28 Test centuries. And he was still young.

It looked like he was meant to break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 51 Test hundreds.

But then he didn’t.

He fell short. In fact, very, very short. Not by one, or two, or even 10 hundreds. By 18 hundreds.

Alastair Cook would only score 5 more centuries and retire from international cricket at the age of 33.

Sachin Tendulkar

In comparison, when Tendulkar was about 31 years & 157 days old, he had 33 centuries already.

However, his form was about to take a dip. Between December 2004 & May 2007, Tendulkar only scored one Test century, a 109 vs Sri Lanka in 2005.

Questions were asked. Retirement calls surrounded the media. He couldn’t seem to go past the nervous nineties in ODI cricket. Tennis elbow injuries, Greg Chappell controversy, 2007 ODI WC horror—you name it, it looked like the end for legend Sachin Tendulkar.

But then Sachin Tendulkar had a second wind (almost as long as other people’s entire career). From 2008-2011, he scored 14 Test centuries. That is 14 hundreds after the age of 35.

The rest, as they say, is history.

There is still a long way to go.

As Mark Puttick pointed out, Trescothick scored 5825 runs in his entire 76-Test career. Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh’s most prolific Test run-scorer, has scored 5235 runs after 82 Tests and 15 years.

Root needs 5906 more.

He either needs to continue his golden touch for couple more years or needs to have a Tendulkar-esque final phase.

So, Can Joe Root Overtake Sachin Tendulkar’s Test Run Tally?

Cook retired early not because cricket had left him. He retired because he had given his everything to the game and achieved what every aspiring English player would dream of. He might even have been burnt out.

It was just a personal choice. Maybe he just wanted to give back to the roots at Essex. He is still going strong at County Cricket. Currently standing at 72 first class tons and having a stellar season.

Life is nonlinear.

Unlike statistics on a chart, real-life will have its share of twists and turns. There will be bumps on the road. Us armchair critics just jump to conclusions too quickly. No individual can continue to be at the peak of powers infinitely.

Add COVID-19, bio bubbles, media pressure, mental health, and overkill of cricket, how much can a modern cricketer take?

Only time will decide if Root can overtake Tendulkar. We can just hope to enjoy this legendary presence while it lasts.

****

Records are meant to be broken…or are they?

****

From the heavens, Don Bradman smiles.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 06/08/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Jersey Movie Review Hindi: A Cricket Movie about Inspirational Comebacks, Mental Health Struggles, and Societal Pressure

Jersey Movie Review Hindi By Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, 6/2/2022

After 83 and Kaun Pravin Tambe and Bandon Mein Tha Dum coming soon, another cricket movie hit the screen this year – Jersey.

Remake of the 2019 Telugu movie of the same name, Jersey explores the conflict of a promising cricketer who left the sport early and struggles financially but is inspired to make an improbable comeback due to his son’s wish to buy an official Indian cricket jersey.

Table of Contents

  1. Jersey Movie Detail and Information
  2. Jersey Hindi Movie – Summary
    1. The Main Conflict
    2. The Turning Point
    3. Spoiler Alert (you may skip this part if you have not yet seen the movie)
  3. Jersey Movie Inspirational Quotes
    1. Performances
    2. Jersey Movie Review Hindi: Watch It or Skip It?
  4. Other Cricketers Who Were Forced to Retire Early
  5. James Taylor
  6. Raman Lamba

Also Read:

Jersey Movie Detail and Information

Title Name: Jersey

Netflix Summary: Ten years after quitting cricket, a gifted but dejected ex-batsman pursues a spot on the national team, hoping to fulfill his son’s wish for a jersey. Netflix Link

Protagonist: Shahid Kapoor as Arjun Talwar

Major Cast:

  • Pankaj Kapoor as coach Baali
  • Mrunal Thakur as wife Vidya Talwar
  • Prit Kamani as son Ketan (Kittu) Talwar (grown up)
  • Ronit Kamra as son Ketain Talwar (young)
  • Anjum Batra as Arjun’s best friend, Amrit

Directed By: Gowtam Tinnamuri

Release Date: April 22, 2022 (Theatre release, now on Netflix)

Length: 2 hour, 48 minutes

Language: Hindi (English subtitles available)

Rating: 4/5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Jersey Hindi Movie – Summary

Jersey is a fictional story that revolves around the journey of a domestic cricketer named Arjun Talwar, who plays for Punjab.

The movie begins in present-day with Ketan Talwar, Arjun’s son, narrating his father’s story. The movie pivots back to the 1985-86 Duleep Trophy (North Zone Vs South Zone). Shahid Kapoor enters as Arjun Talwar to bat in the stadium with these phenomenal domestic career stats run as his introduction

106 half centuries, 52 hundreds, 9 double centuries, two triple centuries, the ‘best batsman of his time.’ Highest batting average in the country.

The Main Conflict

In the next scene, Arjun slams his fist on a window frame after his coach Baali exclaims that Arjun’s name was removed overnight from the Indian team squad due to a “printing mistake.”

Seemingly due of this internal politics and disappointment, he slams out the door and angrily yells, “I quit cricket.” At the age of 26, he leaves the sport, settles with his wife, and joins the Food Corporation of India.

Next, the movie fast-forwards ten years later to Ketan’s childhood and regularly flashbacks to Arjun’s early life. In the flashback, Arjun is portrayed as charismatic, confident, and one of the best batters in the Ranji system. In his current avatar, Arjun struggles financially, circles lawyers in court case for alleged corruption (although he is honest), is frequently argues with his wife, and generally stays away from society. Even when Baali offers him an assistant coaching position, he refuses.

The Turning Point

All of this changes when his son asks him for an Indian cricket team jersey. When no avenues for funds remain, he decides to participate in a charity match between Punjab and New Zealand. Even though he doesn’t get the money, he scores a 100 against all odds, gains attention of selectors, and regains his will to play cricket.

At the age of 36, he trains hard, excels in training camp, and is selected for Punjab’s Ranji team. He scores centuries after centuries, the team gels wells, and Punjab races towards the final. In the final, Karnataka scores 454/6 declared.

Punjab are reeling at 45/4 when Arjun Talwar comes in. However, this time he departs for a golden duck. Clean bowled. Punjab collapse. For four days, Karnataka is in charge. In the final innings, a draw would mean Karnataka would win. So, Punjab has to go for the win.

47 overs, 352 target, 7.47 target, Punjab needs a miracle. Talwar shift up the order to open. After surviving a brief hostile spell, he piles in the runs and scores another daddy hundred. He brings it down to 36 off 12 balls and 14 needed in 6. In the final ball, he hits the balls towards the boundary, runs a couple of runs and dives.

Punjab win. Movie ends.

Spoiler Alert (you may skip this part if you have not yet seen the movie)

Or does it?

At the end of the movie, Arjun’s life is being felicitated. It turns out that he had arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and the last dive effectively ended his life.

Here is the twist. Arjun already knew about the diagnosis and subsequently quit cricket ten years ago. However, he did not let his friends or family know about his condition.

Throughout the film, it is assumed that he ran away since he could not face his troubles. In reality, he was just safeguarding is family from the pain. Even though he was warned to not play again, he did so for the sake of his son.

Finally in that ceremony, it is revealed that Arjun was, in fact, selected for India’s ODI team after his domestic performances in 1996 and would have played had he lived. That jersey is given to his son and the movie completes full circle.

Jersey Movie Inspirational Quotes

“Should I play or not? Arjun asks his son.

Play papa, play. Play with your whole heart. Whenever you play cricket, you look like a hero to me his son responds.

“We always prefer hearing stories of successful people. Not just in cricket, but also in life. But not everyone finds success. Maybe one out of 100. Arjun’s story is not one such success story. It’s about those 99 people who failed and yet had to spirit to keep trying.”

With Rafael Nadal’s 14th victory at the Roland Garros, Joe Denly’s century in the Vitality Blast, and Dinesh Karthik & Wriddhiman Saha’s resurgence in IPL 2022, it looks like 36+ sportsmen are the flavor of the season. Arjun’s story is applicable to their careers as well. Even with injuries, ups and down, they just keep on going.

Performances

Shahid Kapoor is back with another great performance. Early in his career, he had an image of playing this nice, young polite character. In the last couple of movies (Udta Punjab, Haider, and Kabir Singh), he has played more aggressive roles and tried to change that image. In Jersey though, Shahid has combined the best of both worlds. On the outside, he is portrayed as brash and angry, but his demeanor is one of honesty, kindness, and love.

My favorite part of the movie was the chemistry between Shahid Kapoor and Pankaj Kapoor (real life father), who acted as his coach in this movie. Their relationship is depicted as one of friendship and Talwar’s only family. Pankaj’s acting is outstanding and keeps the story moving with his equally comic and emotional acting.

Special mention to Talwar’s friend group, the younger Kittu, and journalist for playing their roles to perfection.

Jersey Movie Review Hindi: Watch It or Skip It?

Definitely watch this one.

The main storyline that depicts the father-son relationship is done very well. Although the script itself is a bit far-fetched, the acting keeps Jersey going. The cricket scenes are not as realistic as 83, but they are good enough to not detract from the film (think Iqbal-esque screenplay).

Watch it for Shahid Kapoor, Pankaj Kapoor, and the inspirational we can take from a cricketer’s journey in our lives—keep on trying.

Other Cricketers Who Were Forced to Retire Early

James Taylor

James Taylor was diagnosed with ARVC (Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy). He was forced to quit cricket at the age of 26 due to this incurable diagnosis and immediately had a surgery.

He represented England in 7 Tests and 27 ODIs (1-100, 7-50s). His List A career numbers are stellar (136 matches, 9306 runs, 53.11 average, 15-100s, 30-50s). In FC cricket, he racked up 9306 runs, 20-100s, 47-50s at an average of 46.06 as well.

His story is written in his autobiography Cut Short. An excerpt from Alan Gardner’s review of this book encapsulates this real-life struggle

“For six weeks after having a defibrillator fitted, Taylor could not lift his arm above shoulder height in case it pulled the wires out of his heart.

He subsequently became England’s selector and is now a head scout. He still gives back to the game of cricket as well as creating awareness of his condition as an ambassador of some foundations.

Embed from Getty Images

Raman Lamba

Although not due to heart condition, Raman Lamba passed away on 22nd February,1998 on a cricket ground while playing in a domestic Bangladesh Dhaka Premier League after being hit in the head while fielding.

He played for Delhi and had a stellar first-class record (8776 runs, 31 centuries, 27 fifties, 53.84 average). He scored a couple of triple centuries including a 320 in a Duleep Trophy (1986-87) between North Zone and West Zone.

Lamba represented India in 4 Tests & 6 ODIs, including a Man of the Series performance in an ODI against Australia in 1987.

Embed from Getty Images

No Jersey is not based on a true story. The script revolves around the cricketing journey of fictional character named Arjun Talwar.

Although Jersey had a positive reception, it had a subpar run at the box office. Worldwide, Jersey grossed around 27.9 crores although the budget was about 10-15 crores higher.

Jersey is currently available on Netflix.

Raman Lamba passed away on February 22nd,1998 after being hit in the head while fielding in Bangladesh Dhaka Premier League.

James Taylor was diagnosed with ARVC (Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy). He was forced to quit cricket at the age of 26 due to this incurable diagnosis and immediately had a surgery.

After his sudden retirement, Taylor became England’s selector and is now a head scout.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 06/05/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).