10 posts categorized "Cricket"

The Oval

-Karthik Gurumurthy



Based in Kennington, The Kia Oval has been the home of Surrey Cricket Club since 1845, a stadium iconic the world over for its history and unique gas-holders that have overlooked every game played at the ground since 1853. Oval has also staged International cricket since 1880 and was the ground where the Ashes were born in 1882.






India Secure Series Win in Thrilling Ranchi Test

-Karthik Gurumurthy

India clinched a hard-fought victory over England at Ranchi, winning the fourth Test by five wickets and taking an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series. The match was a captivating battle, with both teams showcasing their talent.

Key Highlights

  • Ashwin's Spin Magic: Ravichandran Ashwin was exceptional with the ball for India. In England's second innings, he ripped through the batting order with a magnificent five-wicket haul, once again demonstrating his mastery of spin bowling. I personally feel Rohit missed a trick during the first game for not giving the new ball to Ashwin. Ashwin  has a great history against Pope and Duckett but I am not sure how Rohit missed seeing it. Sometimes it feels  like watching a movie where everyone knows the glaring error in the main character but for the main guy.  I sincerely hope and pray they know how to effectively use the team well.
  • Jurel's Gritty Resilience: Wicketkeeper-batter Dhruv Jurel showcased nerves of steel for India. His unbeaten 39 in the fourth innings, including a crucial partnership with Shubman Gill, proved critical in steering India towards victory. He'd also scored a valuable 90 runs in the first innings which won us the match. The way Kuldeep and Jurel played was simply outstanding and that partnership made all the difference between the teams along with Ashwin's wizardry.
  • Gill's Composed Chase: Shubman Gill's unbeaten 52 guided India home. His composure under pressure was outstanding, and his partnership with Jurel sealed the deal for India.
  • Rohit's Opening Salvo: India's captain, Rohit Sharma, set the tone for the match with a fluent innings early on, providing a solid platform for his team.
  • Root's Lone Fight: For England, Joe Root was a lone warrior, playing a valiant innings despite a lack of support from his teammates. I felt bad for Root and felt irritated when Anderson and other tailenders got out irresponsibly. They could have rotated strike and have him bat longer but for some reason dug their own grave in the first innings.

Overall it  was a great match to watch which is a good advertisement for the test game.

Congratulations, Australia! Better luck next time, India

-Karthik Gurumurthy



Congratulations Team India on this incredible journey of winning 10 games in a row, creating unforgettable moments and made us proud. The final result may not have been in our favor, but you created unforgettable moments and made us proud!
Anybody who's a true cricket aficionado will know that yesterday we were done in by the conditions! Well and truly done in!
Please don't blame even a single player. That's quite unfair.
I'm definitely speculating here, but I would have bet if Aussies batted first, they would have lost.
It's what all of us thought were quintessential Indian conditions. Low and slow wicket. Dry wicket taking spin early and one needing hard attritional cricket. Something that the Indian team does very well. Was it our own doing? Meaning, did the BCCI curators play a part in it, as it requires ICC to agree too? Or was it just ill-fated timing as by the end of a large tournament there mostly used pitches and not much can be done to freshen them up anyway?
From what I could see, when batting, the Indians didn't put a foot wrong. We had a good start- 80 for 2 in 10. The moment Shreyas Iyer's wicket fell early, KL and Kohli had to buckle down and play with caution till at least the 30th over. Say, in the name of playing bold cricket we would have been 90 for 5, then the game would have been lost right there! We would have had Shami coming into bat with 30 overs left!!!
So we did it just right. And the slow pitch wasn't helping us even get the ball off the square. so much that Marsh & Head, their part-time bowlers, bowled 4 overs between them for 10 runs! That we got to 240 was a pretty good effort given the conditions. And then when the Aussies started batting, they had to face a huge challenge too in the 1st 15 overs and that's why the match was evenly poised till then. And then the ball started coming on nicely, completely negating our bowling! By the 30th over the match was gone.
In the very 1st world cup match between England and NZ at the same venue, the latter had chased down England's target with ridiculous ease!! We had even seen it in the IPL. At the Wankhede and Ahmedabad, it gets much easier to chase under the lights.
One can't help but feel sorry for the players. As a team we are better than the current Australian team. The toss and the conditions favored Australia yesterday and the champions that they are made full use of it & won!
Just absolutely stunned at how Rahul Dravid can turn up an hour after a soul-crushing final defeat after two years of hard work, and still answer all sorts of questions with honesty, dignity, and even a smile. 
A message for every one of us, lets uplift each other!! I feel for my team, I hope they find comfort around their family and for fans, let us uplift each other instead of bringing each other down!!

Rest in Peace, VB Uncle

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Former India and Tamil Nadu opener, VB Chandrasekhar, died a few minutes ago. He was 57. He had represented India in seven ODIs. Chandrasekhar was a tearaway batsman who once scored a century off 56 balls in in the Irani Trophy, an Indian record in the First-Class cricket then. 92 of his eventual knock of 119 (78 balls) came in 19 scoring strokes - 11 fours and eight sixes.He later coached Tamil Nadu, was a state and national selector and was also a commentator.
He was director of Chennai Super Kings and was instrumental in getting MS Dhoni to CSK. He owned the VB Thiruvallur Veerans team which plays in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TN Premier League). He ran a coaching academy in Chennai.
A deeply religious man, he used to be seen with 'vibhuti' on his forehead even while he was in a smart suit. 
He was very attached to my dad and always used to chat about upcoming new talents from TN/India.We remained in touch on WhatsApp/FB. He was very proud of his two girls who are excellent Carnatic singers.  I briefly met him last year for coffee. Never in my wildest nightmare I thought that was the last time I would meet him.
Om Shanti 🙏

Cricket Player Auctions

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The auctions for the DLF Indian Premier League (IPL) were held at the Oberoi Hilton in Mumbai and after the first six rounds there have been many players who have been laughing all the way to the bank while some are still waiting for their suitors.

India Cements, which has the Chennai franchisee, bid the maximum amount for India’s One-Day International and Twenty20 skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni for Rs 6 crore ($1.5 million).Dhoni will be joined by Sri Lanka’s spin wizard, Muttiah Muralitharan, who was bought for Rs 2.4 crore ($600,000), in the Chennai team.
In what may surprise many cricket fans, Hyderabad came up with the second highest bid for Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds who has not been very popular in India for his frequent spats with Indian players. Hyderabad paid Rs 5.4 crore ($1.35 million) for Symonds while Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne, who retired from international cricket early last year and was the first player to be auctioned, was bought by Rajasthan for  Rs 1.8 crore ($4,50,000) with Adam Gilchrist, too, going to Hyderabad for Rs 2.8 crore ($700,000).
In the second round Indian Test skipper Anil Kumble was won by Bangalore for Rs 2 crore ($500,000), off-spinner Harbhajan Singh Rs 3.4 crore while marauding Sri Lankan opener Sanath Jayasuriya will ply his trade for the Mumbai team. The bid for Jayasuriya was Rs 3.9 crore ($975,000).
Sri Lankan wicketkeeper/batsman Kumar Sangakkara will play for the Punjab team for Rs 2.8 crore ($700,000).
Reliance Industries owner of the Mumbai team and with star batsman Sachin Tendulkar as their ‘Icon’ also dug deep to get Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya and Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for Rs 3.9 crore ($975,000) and Rs 3.4 crore ($850,000) respectively. A total of 78 players are up for grabs and they will be bought by eight franchises over the next 11 hours. Around Rs 160 crore ($40million) is at stake during the auctions.
Each of the eight franchisees of the IPL - Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai , Punjab and Rajasthan- will be allowed to spend a minimum of Rs 13.2 crore ($3.3 million) but not more than Rs 20 crore ($5 million) during the auctions.
This will open up lot of opportunities for the local talents. One doesn't have to go through  just Ranji Trophy to represent India. Talented players can use this league to do well to get the attention of selectors. This will open up more opportunities and will open floodgates for many. Let us see how this goes over the years.
The player contracts are for a period of three years with the 44-day IPL starting on April 18 and will feature 59 matches.
Players Teams Auctioned Price
MS Dhoni Chennai $1500000
Muralitharan Chennai $600000
Anil Kumble Bangalore $500000
Harbhajan Mumbai  $850000
Adam Gilchrist Hyderabad $700000
Shane Warne Rajasthan $450000
Shoaib Akhtar Kolkata $425000
M Jayawardene  Punjab $475000
Sanath Jayasurya Mumbai $975000
Kumar Sangakkara  Punjab  $700000
Ricky Ponting Kolkata  $400000
Brett Lee  Punjab $900000
Andrew Symonds Hyderabad $1350000
Daniel Vettori Delhi $325000
Matthew Hayden Chennai $375000
Brendon McCullum Kolkata $700000
Jacob Oram Chennai $675000
Steven Fleming Chennai $350000
Graeme Smith Rajasthan $475000
H Gibbs Hyderabad $575000
Chris Gayle Kolkata $700000
Shoaib Malik Delhi $500000
Shahid Afridi Hyderabad $675000
Md Asif Delhi $650000
Kallis Bangalore $900000
Zaheer Khan Bangalore $450000
Sreesanth Punjab $200,000 $625000
Dinesh Karthik Delhi $525000
AB deVilliers Delhi $300000
Parthiv Patel Chennai $325000
Boucher Bangalore  $450000

Pace Bowling- my tips

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Yesterday, I went over the tips for leg spin bowling. Today,  I will go over few tips about pace bowling. I used to mimic initially Michael Holding's bowling action and then Patrick Patterson's action. Most of my school folks remember me as Patrick Patterson as I used to bowl with his action. Pace was nowhere close to his pace (Mostly the pace of Derek Pringle which is a different story altogether).

Here are some tips to help someone become a good pace bowler:


  • Master the basics: Focus on developing a smooth and efficient bowling action. This includes a proper run-up, front foot landing, arm swing, and release. Seek guidance from a coach or experienced bowler to ensure your technique is sound.
  • Build strength and flexibility: Regular training to strengthen your core, legs, shoulders, and back will improve your power and stamina. Stretching and mobility exercises will enhance your flexibility, ensuring a smooth range of motion in your bowling action.
  • Practice consistently: Dedicate time to regular practice sessions, focusing on both accuracy and pace. Use drills and targets to refine your technique and control.

Pace and control:

  • Don't prioritize pace over accuracy: While speed is important, it's crucial to develop good line and length early on. Aim for consistency before pushing for sheer pace.
  • Vary your deliveries: Learn to bowl different types of deliveries like inswingers, outswingers, yorkers, and bouncers. This will make you more unpredictable and challenging for batsmen to face.
  • Develop seam position: Understanding how to manipulate the seam of the ball will allow you to generate swing and movement, making your deliveries more deceptive.

Mental aspects:

  • Develop a competitive mindset: Believe in your abilities and approach each match with a positive and determined attitude. Learn to handle pressure situations and stay focused under competition.
  • Analyze and learn: Watch professional bowlers and learn from their techniques and strategies. Analyze your own performances, identify areas for improvement, and work on them during practice.
  • Stay patient: Becoming a good pace bowler takes time and dedication. Don't get discouraged by setbacks, stay focused on your goals, and celebrate your progress.

Additional tips:

  • Maintain physical fitness: Regular cardiovascular exercises will improve your stamina and endurance, allowing you to bowl longer spells effectively.
  • Warm up and cool down properly: Before bowling, perform dynamic stretches and light throws to prepare your muscles. After bowling, cool down with static stretches to prevent injuries.
  • Stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet: Proper hydration and a balanced diet will ensure your body has the energy and nutrients needed for intense training and game performance.
  • Enjoy the game: Remember, cricket is a sport meant to be enjoyed. Have fun, learn from your experiences, and most importantly, celebrate the spirit of the game.

By following these tips and dedicating yourself to practice and improvement, you can develop the skills and mindset necessary to become a successful pace bowler. Remember, every bowler is different, so find what works best for you and adapt these tips to suit your individual strengths and weaknesses.

Mastering the Art of Leg Spin: my tips

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I started out my cricket journey as a pace bowler but over the years it got changed to bowling leg spin. One of the main reasons for that shift was because of Sriram Sridharan's recommendation.  (One a side note, Sriram currently plays for India  and has been in and out of the team from 2000. I remember more as a left arm spinner than a batsman. I remember him doing well for U-19 Indian team when they toured to SA in 1992-93. VVS Laxman played under his captaincy in 1994. I am not in touch with him after 1994 but it is exciting to see him represent the nation).

When I was in grad school I got to play couple of games in Washington league- Thanks to my kindergarten buddy Vijay who took time out of the schedule to take me to the local games where I played a few games between 1998 and 2000. I spent about 6 years playing serious cricket between 1984 and 90 attending cricket coaching from different Pro cricketers who represented TN state. Thanks to my dad for providing me great opportunity to learn from the best and whatever I know is because of the interactions with him. 

Becoming a skilled leg spinner takes dedication, practice, and a deep understanding of the art. Here are some key tips to guide you on your journey:

Technical Essentials:

  • Master the Grip: Experiment and find a grip that feels comfortable and allows you to impart spin effectively. The classic two fingers up, two fingers down is a starting point, but variations exist. Focus on consistency and control first. My dad was the one who helped with this first. Thank you for patiently going over your time with me.
  • Develop Wrist Action: Your wrist is the engine of spin. Practice snapping your wrist with a flicking motion while maintaining a locked elbow and a straight bowling arm.
  • Understand Seam Position: Learn how to seam the ball for different deliveries. The seam position dictates the type of spin generated, so mastering this aspect is crucial.
  • Control Your Flight: Leg spinners thrive on variations in pace and flight. Practice bowling deliveries with different trajectories to keep the batsman guessing.

Tactical Prowess:

  • Develop a Diverse Arsenal: Master the basic deliveries like the leg break, googly, and top spinner. Then, explore variations like the slider, flipper, and zooter to expand your repertoire.
  • Understand Batting Psychology: Learn to read the batsman's mind. Set traps, utilize flight and variations strategically, and exploit their weaknesses.
  • Master Line and Length: Accuracy is paramount. Bowl to your strengths and consistently hit specific areas on the pitch to build pressure and create opportunities.
  • Develop a Decoy Ball: Have a delivery that looks similar to your main weapon but spins differently. This can deceive the batsman and lead to wickets.

Practice and Development:

  • Bowl Regularly: Consistent practice is crucial. Find a bowling partner or practice against a net, focusing on accuracy, control, and variations.
  • Seek Expert Guidance: Coaching from experienced spinners can accelerate your learning. They can identify your flaws and provide personalized guidance.
  • Study the Masters: Watch and analyze how legendary leg spinners like Shane Warne, Anil Kumble, and Muttiah Muralitharan bowl. Learn from their strategies and techniques.
  • Analyze Your Performance: Reflect on your matches and practice sessions. Identify your strengths and weaknesses, and develop a plan to improve.
  • Maintain Physical Fitness: Strength, flexibility, and endurance are essential for leg spinners. Include training routines to improve these aspects.


  • Patience is Key: Mastering leg spin takes time and dedication. Don't get discouraged by setbacks, stay focused and enjoy the process.
  • Embrace the Challenge: Leg spin is a demanding but rewarding skill. The ability to bamboozle batsmen with your magic deliveries is a truly special experience.
  • Have Fun: Ultimately, cricket is a game. Enjoy the camaraderie, competition, and the satisfaction of mastering a complex skill.

By following these tips and focusing on continuous improvement, you can well be on your way to becoming a force to be reckoned with on the cricket field.

Happy Birthday, Viv!

-Karthik Gurumurthy

In Manchester's heart, where shadows grow long,
A cricketing giant, where legend belongs.
Viv Richards, the master, with bat in his hand,
Unleashed his fury, across the land.

The Windies in peril, 39 for 4 they fell,
But Richards stood firm, dispelling the spell.
Hooks and cuts, square drives bold and true,
Each boundary a roar, the ball painted anew.

The bowlers wilted, their deliveries tamed,
As Viv Richards feasted, his hunger untamed.
He danced down the track, with footwork so light,
The ball disappearing, taking to flight.

Runs flowed like water, a tropical stream,
A hundred reached, a mere passing dream.
Onwards he marched, past 150 with ease,
The crowd in a frenzy, swaying in the breeze.

189, the landmark, finally did appear,
An innings for the ages, etching away fear.
Manchester witnessed, a maestro's delight,
Vivian Richards, the king, shining ever so bright.

So raise a glass, to the master's display,
Where cricket became art, on that glorious day.
The highest score, a memory to hold,
The legend of Viv, in stories untold.

Happy Birthday, Kapil Dev

-Karthik Gurumurthy

From Haryana's fields, a legend did rise,
With fiery spirit and glint in his eyes.
Kapil Dev, the name that rings true,
India's hero, with deeds bold and new.

His bat, a wand, conjuring runs untold,
Hooks and pulls, stories bravely unfold.
At Tunbridge wells  he stood, defiant and tall,
175 runs, a champion's call.

The World Cup gleamed, a distant desire,
Underdogs they were, fueled by inner fire.
With ball in hand, he unleashed his might,
Swing and seam, taking wickets in flight.

Zimbabwe's despair, a final stand made,
But Kapil soared, victory displayed.
The cup held high, a nation took flight,
Cricket's new dawn, bathed in golden light.

More than runs and wickets, a spirit he gave,
Never say die, a belief brave.
His captaincy, fierce and fair,
A team united, a challenge to dare.

From Ranji grounds to international fame,
Kapil Dev's legend, forever the same.
An inspiration, a story to tell,
The Haryana Hurricane, etching his spell.

Happy Birthday, the Greatest allrounder India has ever produced!