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My dear friend Nitin writes in his 'Foodi' blog that there could be more to the history of the humble dosa than what we think. Could the continental drift have something to do with it? Could the similarities between the tortilla and the chapaati also be due to it?
History created today. Matthew Hayden becomes the latest member of the elite club to make the highest individual Test score. Over the last three years he's pretty much been the leading batsman in world cricket. In 2001 he scored nearly 1400 runs and in 2002, it was 1200 and while this year had been quiet so far (450 runs), the record and the next few tests will possibly push him upto 2002 levels, if not 2001. All this from a man who played 12 Tests between 1994 and 2000. While it is totally great watching him bat, sometimes you really do feel kind of unreal. The power he imparts to his shots is amazing, as is his timing etc. I'ven't seen too much Gordon Greenidge in his prime on live television (except in the nostalgia stuff you see sometimes) but from whatever I've read, he was a bloody murderous hitter of the ball. Hayden seems to be in that league. He scored 380 in 437 deliveries with 38 fours and 11 sixes (I think that's joint 2nd with Astle). I sincerely hope these 380 runs (and whatever he scores in the next test against Zimbabwe) are all that he'll score till the end of the season.
What is it about southpaws and triple centuries? In fact the last two holders of the batting record were also lefties (Lara & Sobers). Out of the 16 triple centurions (17 triples in all, Bradman scored 2!), 7 were lefthanders. The numbers get skewed when you consider only post 1990. Out of the 6 triple centurions, only Gooch and Inzamam were righthanders. Taylor and Jayasuriya make up the other two triples (aside from Lara & Hayden). Surely over 40% of triple centurions being lefthanders is an odd thing. 66% since 1990 is plain bizarre. There must be something fishy happening.
Another achievement today, completely overshadowed by Hayden. Kumble took his 350th test wicket. He's now 14th on the list of wicket-takers and is 4th among those currently playing tests behind Warne, Murali and McGrath. Waqar, despite his claims to the contrary, is pretty much finished. I think 400 isnt an impossible goal for him, although getting past Kapil could be tough. Perhaps one way to do that would be to stop playing one-day cricket? While Kumble's record is quite stunning overall, it is difficult to oversee his poor record overseas. Then again, nobody's perfect, eh?
Ignoring off-field antics, Warne's record against India (and in India in particular) will always be held against him. Even if Murali takes 1000 Test wickets, there'll always be divided opinion on whether his balls are clean or not. Its difficult to find something imperfect with McGrath, so I'll just say something stupid like he's such a boring bowler to watch (unlike the 3 spinners) and his batting really does suck. His on-field antics are something which go against him for sure.
The Ahmedabad Test is nicely poised for an India win. New Zealand need 18 runs to avoid the followon and India need two wickets to think about making the Kiwis bat again. I do expect New Zealand to fall short of 200. But even if they do get past, I think India'd still have the upper hand in attempting to win. They'd have nearly 2 days to get New Zealand out. The pitch is bound to get worse [relatively speaking, for I've not seen anything misbehave!]. A followon would be a nice way to start off the revenge process. I wonder why captains are nowadays so politically correct. I'm not saying the captain should do a Richie Richardson and claim that the visiting Aussies have been the worst side to play West Indies in the last 20 years after losing the series. Tony Greig's attempt to make WI "grovel" backfired spectacularly. But why does Steve Waugh not say Australia is going to crush Bangladesh or Zimbabwe? Why dont Ganguly and Fleming accept the fact that in the eyes of the public, this series is all about badla? Speaking of which, I wonder why none of the rhetorical captions like badla, qayamat etc. have been used for this series?
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