ALCS wild card and the Ranji Trophy commencement

The first game of the postseason, the ALCS Wildcard game is on in Toronto: the noise and excitement are unbelievable. Elsewhere across the globe, the Ranji Trophy is going to start (probably in a sleepy fashion) in several venues all across India.

Also, for nostalgic purposes, when Indore gets to host its first ever test match, here is the scorecard from an old game that was played in Indore, way back in 1955.

http://cricketarchive.com/Archive/Scorecards/21/21456.html

This was the first time Tamil Nadu (it was called Madras then) won the Ranji Trophy. It has won it only once since, in 1988, about which there is this nice write up.

http://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/twentyfive-years-on/article5290809.ece

The cricket archive is a lovely website to look up old cricket matches.

http://cricketarchive.com/

Paul Simon: American Tune

This is beautiful:

Many’s the time I’ve been mistaken
And many times confused
Yes, and I’ve often felt forsaken
And certainly misused
Oh, but I’m all right, I’m all right
I’m just weary to my bones
Still, you don’t expect to be
Bright and bon vivant
So far away from home, so far away from home

I don’t know a soul who’s not been battered
I don’t have a friend who feels at ease
I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered
or driven to its knees
Oh, but it’s all right, it’s all right
for we’ve lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the road
we’re traveling on
I wonder what’s gone wrong
I can’t help it, I wonder what’s gone wrong

And I dreamed I was dying
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying
And high up above my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying

We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age’s most uncertain hour
and sing an American tune
Oh, and it’s alright, it’s all right, it’s all right
You can’t be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow’s going to be another working day
And I’m trying to get some rest
That’s all I’m trying to get some rest

The Eden Gardens test match

First day thoughts: What a lovely day of test cricket. NZ won the first session, beautiful batting by Pujara and Rahane post lunch and NZ definitely winning the post tea session as well. Eden Gardens, what a ground, what memories from childhood (India winning the Hero Cup semi final and final in 1993, VVS Laxman in 2001, India beating South Africa in 2010 after a massive reargaurd action by Hashim Amla in 2010). The ground is almost empty, very sad, reflects the new age and it’s priorities. But some things remain constant: the stunned silence when Pujara got out which slowly morphed into a massive ovation for his knock is something one can only expect from Eden Gardens.

Day two thoughts: Matt Henry’s sensational catch at fine leg to dismiss Mohammad Shami generates a warm applause from the sparse but noisy crowd. Lovely swing bowling from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. In this age of weight / strength training in gyms etc, cricket still requires and encourages skill based players with not much strength: swing / seam bowling and slips catching (Rahul Dravid was one of the finest for India) are skills not requires massive amounts of strength. Always nice to watch test matches with proper wicketkeepers like Saha, who exhibits such neat technique and is nimble and dexterous and of course BJ Watling keeps beautifully for NZ. Two beautiful shots by Luke Ronchi: a pull shot followed by a gorgeous straight drive.

Venkatesh Kumar

The greatest Indian Classical musician (Hindustani and Carnatic included) is a quiet, unassuming lecturer of music at Dharwad University. I hope he is suitably honored (i.e., the honor would be more for the awards than for him, people with an order of magnitude lesser accomplishments have been awarded the highest honour of our land) one day. He leaves you speechless and stunned with his deeply moving, beautiful and meditative rendition here: