Tag Archives: Cricket

“High Impact” batsmen – a study

Is having a healthy batting average alone a measure of “impact” that a batsman is creating on the game? Is having a 100+ strike rate alone enough to create an impact? Batting Average or Strike Rate of a batsman alone doesn’t tell the complete story about the impact he creates, which is why Cricket Statisticians came up with a hybrid metric called “Impact Factor”.

Impact Factor = Batting Average x Strike Rate / 100

I understand your concern. Can’t we just add Avg and Strike Rate? Why multiply?

Let me explain the difference with an example. Look at Batting Averages and Strike Rates of three players who were completely different in the way they approached batting – Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Bevan and Shahid Afridi.


Now, if you just add Avg and Strike Rate, you’ll end up concluding Shahid Afridi’s batting in general creates much more impact than Bevan or Sachin, which is foolish and wrong. I am sure even Afridi will not agree. The moment you multiply Average and Strike Rate, you arrive at a hybrid metric which is more meaningful and easily comparable across batsmen.

Enough Theory. Let’s get to the numbers.

Over the last 48 years of ODI history, there’s been a gradual but steady evolution in the game, decade over decade. Grounds becoming smaller, rules of the game being changed, Power plays, Field restrictions, bat sizes, etc. The game has without doubt become more batsmen friendly with every passing decade and with T20 cricket coming into the mix in the last decade, the way batsmen in general approach batting too has changed.

This is very evident when we compare Batting Averages and Strike Rates (and Impact Factor) for Top 50 run scorers in each era (decade).

Have a look.


In this context, it’s unfair to compare Impact Factor of a batsman in 2019 vs a batsmen in 1975, I understand. Nevertheless, I’ve compiled the list of Top 50 run scorers in ODI history, ranked by their Impact factor. What do you notice?

ODI history

Among the Top 5 Ranked Impactful Players of all time, there’s an obvious bias towards batsmen from the recent 2 decades, but one man stands out. Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards. He is the only pre-2000 batsmen to make it to the Top 5 list. Woah! It’s difficult to imagine or guess what his numbers would look like had he played his cricket in the modern day. Hats off Sir!

I’ve also compiled the Top 5 and Bottom 5 ranked players by Impact Factor, decade by decade. While you can review the stats in tables published below, here are a few of my observations.

Note: Stats only for Top 50 run scorers in respective eras

  • 1970s and 1980s – There’s no one even close to Sir Viv on Impact Factor @ the quantum of runs he’s scored – 6k+ runs; his strike rate of 90+ in the 1980s was phenomenal


  • 1990s – Despite an average strike rate, Bevan tops the list due to his supreme batting average; he averaged 56 in 1990s when the mean was 35. Sachin Tendulkar is # 2 in the list, followed by Lara, Ganguly and Saeed Anwar. No surprises there


  • 2000s – Sachin sustains his place in the Top 5, a list topped by Michael Hussey and MS Dhoni; emergence of AB de Villiers


  • 2010s – The ABD & Virat Kohli Era; both of them average ~62 post 2010; with ABD striking at 111, his impact factor of 69 is the highest ever for any batsman in any decade. Let it digest. AB de Villiers has scored 5500 runs at an average of 62 striking at 111.


Do you think there’s any other way of measure a batsman’s impact on a game, apart from Impact Factor? Do you have any other observations from the Stats? Feel free to share them in comments.




Cricket World Cup 2019 Build-up Part 1 #SriniStats

In this edition, as a build-up to the Cricket World Cup 2019 which is just round the corner, we’ll be analysing the performance of the participating teams (10 teams) over the past 4 years since the previous World Cup (March 2015).

Note: All numbers presented in this post are for the duration Apr 1, 2015 to Mar 10, 2019 for matches played by and against the teams participating in CWC2019. So matches played between India and Zimbabwe, Ireland and UAE, England and Scotland, etc. aren’t included. All Teams on an average have played about 50-70 ODIs in the past 4 years (basis above criteria) except Afghanistan which has featured only in 11 ODIs against the other 9 competing teams.

While analysing overall team performance in a format, I thought looking at W/L (Wins/Losses Ratio) was a good start. Basis W/L ratio for the past 4 years, the 10 teams could broadly be clustered into 5 groups

  1. Favourites England, India; Expected to definitely finish in the Top 2 in League stage. Anything less than Top 2 Finish will be considered an “upset”
  2. Likely Top 4 Finish – New Zealand, South Africa; obvious choice to complete the Top 4, alongside India and England
  3. ChallengersAustralia, Pakistan, Bangladesh; Top 4 finish is not a given, but cannot be completely ruled out
  4. Namesakes West Indies, Sri Lanka; added into the mix just to complete the pool. No chance of qualifying for Semi Finals. It’s sad considering these 2 teams together have won 3 World Cups in the past. I’ll shave my head if either of the teams qualify for Top 4 in 2019 CWC.
  5. Dark HorseAfghanistan; you never know!

The grouping broadly does justice to the W/L record these teams have demonstrated over the past 4 years.

Take a look at the Stat below:

WL Overall

England is leagues ahead of everyone else. India is a clear #2.

India’s phenomenal W/L record took a beating thanks to the recent Home series against Australia where they lost thrice.

Another interesting aspect to note is that Afghanistan have won more matches than they’ve lost. Considering their phenomenal bowling stats (best among all teams), don’t be surprised if they cause a couple of big upsets in the league stage. Afghanistan vs England will be a contest to watch out for (Best bowling team vs explosive batting team).

In run chases, England’s W/L ratio stands out further, while India is consistent both while chasing and defending a total.

WL 2

If you’re one of those teams playing England in the World Cup, here’s a free tip. Win the toss and don’t dare let England chase!!! Thank me later.

I’ve also put together Batting and Bowling Stats by team, separately for “Overall”, “In Wins” and “In losses”.

While all the stats are available in tables below, some observations:

  1. England have been this successful predominantly because of their batting; in fact, their bowling performance over the past 4 years is one of the worst (comparable to Sri Lanka)
  2. England is the only team that strikes at 100+ with the bat; secret of their success. Unleashing their explosive and deep batting line up on the poor bowlers. Even though India average better with the bat (best in fact), because England bat real deep, they score ~30 runs higher on an average per innings, compared to other teams, which gives them the edge, despite their below average bowling
  3. There’s no match to Afghanistan in the bowling department – they have the best Bowling Avg, best Economy Rate and best Bowling Strike Rate. India is second best in terms of bowling average and economy rate, among all teams
  4. New Zealand and South Africa’s Overall Bowling Stats exactly mirror each other; South Africa has a slight edge over NZ in the batting department
  5. SL and West Indies – well, let’s not waste time there. Whoever wins the SL vs WI contest will finish 9th in the League stage

Battin Stats overall

Batting Stats in wins

Batting Stats in losses

Bowling Stats overallBolwing Stats in WinsBowling Stats in LossesNRR

Can you infer anything else from the Bowling and Batting Stats? Do you want me to look at any other stats in specific? Shoot them in the comments section.

Brace yourselves, #SriniStats is back!




Ask Srini – Cricket Quiz #5 – IPL

Catch all the Cricket Quizzes at one go, here. 

How well do you know the Indian Premier League? Take this Quiz to know!


Today’s theme – IPL

15 questions. 15 hints. 15 answers.


  1. Out of all the hundreds scored in IPL, who scored the slowest hundred (complete innings)?
  2. What’s the highest score in an IPL final for a winning cause?
  3. Who has got out for duck the most number of times in IPL?
  4. Who has the most number of 50 plus scores in IPL?
  5. Who has the highest career strike rate in IPL?
  6. Who holds the record for the worst economy rate (Inns) currently?
  7. There have been a whopping 14 hat-tricks that have been taken in IPL. Who are the only 2 players to pick more than one hat-trick?
  8. Which legendary bowler ended an innings with bowling figures of 5 for 5?
  9. Who has the worst career economy rate in IPL?
  10. Who delivered this best all-round performance of scoring 83 off 38 and picking up 4 wickets in the same innings?
  11. Which two pairs of players have the most century stands in IPL?
  12. Who has won the most number of matches as Captain?
  13. Who is the only player to win the Purple Cap twice?
  14. Which team has won the most consecutive number of matches?
  15. Which team has lost the most consecutive number of matches?







  1. It was his only IPL hundred
  2. It was scored by someone who is now an established Test player
  3. Remember that famous streak where he got our for a duck 4 out of 5 matches? 🙂
  4. No. It’s not Virat Kohli. He doesn’t hold all the records, at least as of now 🙂
  5. Maxwell, Sehwag, Gayle, ABD, Pollard and Yusuf Pathan are 2,3,4,5,6 and 7 in the list
  6. One of the following legends – Dinda, Aaron, Ishant, Umesh, Piyush Chawla 🙂
  7. Both Indians
  8. Spin bowler
  9. He has scored a century at Lord’s
  10. Mallya loved it
  11. One player features in both the pairs
  12. No hint for this 🙂
  13. No hint.
  14. They won 10 matches on the trot
  15. No hint







  1. Sachin Tendulkar. S/r of 151.51
  2. Murali Vijay’s 95 against RCB in 2011
  3. Shared by Gautam Gambhir and Harbhajan Singh. 12 ducks each
  4. David Warner, with 32 fifties.
  5. Andre Russell. 173.41
  6. Ishant Sharma. gave 66 runs (at 16.5) playing for SRH against CSK in 2013


    Beat that!

  7. Amit Mishra (3) and Yuvi (2)
  8. Anil Kumble, aginst RR in 2009
  9. Ajit Agarkar. 8.85


    Agarkar, take this!

  10. Yuvi. In 2014, against `Rajasthan Royals
  11. Kohli-Gayle and Kohli-ABD. 7 frickin’ century stands each


    Legends of the format. Legends of the Game!

  12. MS Dhoni. 82 wins. Second in the list id Gambhir with 60. Third is Gilchirist with 35. MSD you beauty!
  13. Dwayne “Champion” Bravo
  14. KKR. 2014-15
  15. PWI and DD. 11 matches.

Most consecutive losses in IPL. Look at the number of times PWI and DD feature in this list.




Ask Srini – Cricket Quiz #4 – Who am I?

Catch all the Cricket Quizzes at one go, here. 

Well, it’s Stats Saturday again. Time to test your knowledge on this beautiful game and enhance the same!

Let’s get into business.

10 questions, 10 hints, 10 answers!


Who am I?


  1. “I have scored more than 8000 ODI runs, but I haven’t played a single innings that lasted for more than 100 balls.”
  2. “Grant Elliot and Luke Ronchi hold the record for the highest 6th wicket partnership in ODI history with 267*. We’re second in this list.”
  3. “I am the only player apart from Don Bradman to have scored 4 consecutive 2nd innings Test centuries.”
  4. “I have bowled more than 900 overs in ODI cricket but not bowled a single wide. I hold this World record”
  5. “I’ve played more than 100 ODIs. I’ve been the #1 bowler in ICC rankings several times. But I haven’t got a single Man of the Match Award in my ODI career”
  6. “I have scored centuries in both World Cup Semi Final and Final”
  7. “I have picked a hat-trick spread across 3 overs, in Tests”
  8. “I have grabbed my first wicket in my first over on debut across all three formats”
  9. “I’m a batsman by nature. But in my very first ball of my bowling career, I picked a wicket, that too Brian Lara’s.”
  10. “I’ve won 4 consecutive man of the match awards in ODIs”







  1. No hint
  2. Asians
  3. I love Kamran Akmal
  4. Commentator
  5. No hint
  6. No hint
  7. Known for my mush
  8. Asian
  9. I’m quick between the wickets
  10. Captain


  1. Shahid Afridi. 8064 ODI runs.
  2. MS Dhoni and Mahela Jayawardene. 218. Africa XI vs Asia XI in 2007 in Chennai
  3. Gautam Gambhir. He also holds the record for getting dismissed for ducks in 4 consecutive 2nd innings. Bizarre in dee.
  4. Michael Holding
  5. Saeej Ajmal
  6. Mahela Jayawardene
  7. Merv Hughes
  8. Shaminda Eranga (Sri Lanka)
  9. Inzamam Ul Huq
  10. Sourav Ganguly

Ask Srini – Cricket Quiz #2: The Ashes

Catch all the Cricket Quizzes at one go, here. 

Today’s theme: The Ashes!

A replica Ashes urn is seen on the Gabba cricket ground in Brisbane

The Ashes Urn

5 Questions. 5 hints. 5 answers. Here goes!

  1. Who has taken the most wickets in all Ashes encounters combined?
  2. Which batsman holds the record for the highest individual score in an innings in the Ashes?
  3. Glenn McGrath, Ian Botham and Shane Warne all have one thing in common with respect to their batting stats in Ashes. What is it?
  4. Which bowler holds the record for the best bowling figures in an innings in the Ashes?
  5. Which player is second in the list of most Ashes 100s scored by an Aussie, after the Don himself?






  1. Marlon Samuels loves him
  2. It’s not Don Bradman
  3. Agarkar Agarkar Agarkar Agarkar Agarkar Agarkar Agarkar Agarkar Agarkar Agarkar
  4. We know him because of Anil Kumble
  5. No hint







  1. Shane Warne. 195 wickets

Shane Warned! 

2. Len Hutton. 364. Second highest is Sir Don Bradman. 334

3. 10 ducks. That’s what they have in common. 10 ducks in the Ashes.

4. Jim Laker. 10 for 53. Kumble became only the second player in Test History to pick 10 wickets in an innings, against Pakistan in Feroz Shah Kotla in Feb 1999

5. Steve Waugh

Ask Srini – Cricket Quiz #1 – ODI Batting

Do you know your Cricket well enough? Want to know a lot of interesting Cricket Trivia?

If your answer is yes, well, you’re at the right place.

This post hopefully marks the beginning of a series of posts on Cricket related Quizzes.

Let’s get into business right away.

Today’s theme is batsmen and ODIs.

Answers at the bottom of the post. Hints in between. 


1. Who is the unfortunate batsman who was given out for “Obstructing the field” while he was batting on 99?

2. Who is the batsman who has been “Run Out” most number of times in ODIs?

3. VVS Laxman has only 6 ODI hundreds, 4 of which came in a single calendar year. Which year was this?

4. Which batsman got out on 99 three times in ODIs?

5. Ricky Ponting has 20 ODI hundreds as Captain for a winning cause. Who is second in the list?






  1. We all love his commentary. #Sarcasm
  2. It’s not Inzamam. He is #3 in the list
  3. No hint
  4. No hint
  5. It’s not Ganguly


  1. Ramiz Raja

Ramiz Raja


2. Marvan Attapattu, with 41 dismissals. Rahul Dravid is #2 with 40. Inzy at #3 with 39.


Marvan Attapattu

3. 2004. Out of his six ODI hundreds, 4 came against the Aussies, 1 each against Pakistan and Zimbabwe

4. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. All three dismissals happened in the same year – 2007. Jayasuriya got out on 99 twice. There are 39 other players who got out on 99 once each.


So close, yet so far!

5. Mr. 360, AB de Villiers, with 10 centuries as Captain for a winning cause


Mr. 360

Virat Kohli: The Chase Master – Some Numbers

In yesterday’s post (click here to read), we looked at what Virat Kohli has achieved in the 50 Over format in his 8.5 year old illustrious career, so far.

Today, let’s take a look at why he’s considered one of the best Chasers to have ever played the format.

The data we’re looking at is only for matches where the team batting second “successfully chased” down the target. In other words, it’s a reflection of match-winning acumen of batsmen or their contribution towards taking their side home while chasing.

Let’s start with Innings per Century. Kohli is a Captain’s dream when it comes to chasing. “It’s easier if you know what number you have to chase”, he remarks casually, as if it’s the easiest thing in the world, when asked about his chasing appetite.

He scores a century every 4.4 innings while he chases down targets. That’s ridiculously awesome isn’t it? Anwar was impressive too, with 6.6 innings per Century.

Innings per Century

Stats for successful run chases – Innings per Century

What does your Captain expect you to do while chasing? Convert those 50s into 100s. Our man tops that list too. He has a 48% conversion with 13 hundreds and 14 fifties in successful run chases. Ponting’s number was 22%, to put things in perspective.

50s to 100s conversion

Stats for successful run chases – 50s to 100s Conversion

While chasing, you’re expected to stay till the end and see your side through. Best way to measure that is Batting Average. Kohli is just behind MS Dhoni and Michael Bevan in that list, and averages 84, so far amassing 3275 runs while chasing down targets successfully. Dhoni stands tall at 105.77.

By Average

Stats for successful run chases – By Batting Average

Kohli is just 1 hundred behind the Little Master himself in terms of absolute hundreds scored in successful run chases. Mohammad Azharuddin has 1 hundred in successful run chases to his credit.

Absolute hundreds

Stats for successful run chases – Absolute 100s

More posts in this series coming up. Suggestions welcome.

Stats courtesy: Cricinfo

Virat Kohli – ODI Numbers in perspective

All sorts of comparisons have been done. Virat Kohli vs God of Cricket (Sachin Tendulkar), Virat Kohli vs AB de Villiers.

Virat Kohli has been deemed an “All Format Great” already by many. He is 27 years old. Few critics would still want to see his longevity and consistency in the longer format of the game before putting him in that league of “All Format Greats” which currently possibly has only one batsman. AB de Villiers. Tendulkar wasn’t a T20 Great mainly because the format gained prominence towards the twilight of his career.

Let’s put aside qualitative comparisons and for a moment,  look at what Kohli has achieved in the 50 Over format and put it in perspective to what other Greats of the game have achieved or ended up achieving.

The data set considered is the list of Top 50 ODI batsmen sorted by ODI hundreds and features most of the best names that played this format and mastered it (in Batting).

Let’s start with this metric “Innings per Century”. Kohli scores one ODI century every 6.5 innings. Isn’t that an insane number? Tendulkar took 9.2, Ponting took 12.2, Ganguly 13.6 and Sehwag a whopping 16.3. There are only two players in the World currently, who score hundreds at a faster pace than Kohli – Quinton de Kock (5.7) and Hashim Amla (5.8). I’m sure if we just look at the last 2 years data in isolation, Kohli’s rate would be less than 5 innings per Century. He’s been in that kind of form.

Innings per Century

Top Players – sorted by Innings per Century

Centuries per Year, another metric which is a reflection of the century scoring appetite, tells us the same story.

Kohli scores 3 ODI centuries every year. Sachin used to score 2, Sehwag 1.

Centuries per Year

Top Players – sorted by “Centuries per Year”

Let’s move on to Batting Averages. While looking at these numbers, I realize how frickin’ awesome a career AB de Villiers too has had. He averages close to 55 and strikes at 100+ and has 24 hundreds. He doesn’t even open the innings for his side. A dedicated ABD post coming up later. Let’s stick to our man, Virat Kohli for now.

He is the only Indian who averages above 50 apart from the legendary MS Dhoni (who has 67 not outs to his credit). Viv Rishards averaged 47, Hayden 44, Dravid 39.

By Average

Top players- sorted by Average

Let’s now look at a really interesting view. Numbers stacked up by all players in the duration Kohli has played the game – 2008 till date. Some really interesting observations from the table below.

Top 2 ODI run getters in the last 8 years are Sri Lankans mainly because they’ve played more ODI Cricket than any other country. Sanga and Dilshan have scored 7.5k+ runs each at averages of 48 and 44, which is commendable. de Villiers averages 63.4 in this duration, which means his initial few years in ODI cricket were pretty ordinary, to his standards.

Kohli has scored more hundreds than anyone, in the last 8.5 years. Dhoni averages a staggering 56 in the same duration, a testimony to the fact that he’s been the go to man for India when it comes to ODIs.

ODI numbers for duration Jan 2008 till date

ODI numbers for the duration Jan 1, 2008 till date

Let’s move on to absolute centuries scored. God stands tall, right up there with 49. It’s a matter of 30-35 innings before Kohli goes to number 2 in the list with 31 hundreds. The question remains. Will he surpass Sachin Tendulkar to end his career with 50+ ODI hundreds? My hunch says he will surpass Sachin before he turns 34. And if at all that happens, we all know who the happiest man on earth will be.

“I’ll be happy if an Indian breaks my records”.

By hundreds

Top Players – sorted by Hundreds

Next post in the series – Virat Kohli, the Chase Master. Read it here.

More posts in this series coming up. Suggestions welcome.



India (11) – Pakistan (0)

With so much cricket being played these days in all three formats, cricket lovers are finding it difficult to recollect memories even from matches which happened in the recent past. For example, I find it hard to recollect top battles in the recently concluded Asia Cup. All I remember is the Kohli-Amir battle and Dhoni’s 20* off 6.

Because these are mere cricket matches, where two teams come out to exhibit their talents and end on the winning side. Certain matches however, rise above the game of cricket into something else. Needless to say, India vs Pakistan encounters rank right up there in the list, may be closely followed by the Ashes (I remember certain Aus cricketers returning early from a World Cup to prepare for the Ashes).

The build-up to yesterday’s encounter between India and Pakistan was no less than any match they had previously played against. May be lesser than the Ind vs Pakistan Semi Final in the 2011 50 Over World Cup; because of the things at stake (a berth in the Final).

To add on to the build up, India had lost to New Zealand in a rank turner just a few days ago, making yesterday’s game against Pakistan a must win to stay alive in this World Cup, hosted by us.

The rest is history.

As we speak, Dhoni and team would already be strategising on their upcoming games against Bangladesh and Australia to book their Semi Final berth. They are professionals. We are fans. I’d like to register my best moments and thoughts from yesterday’s encounter.

Multiple goosebumps moments even before the first ball was bowled. First, “God” coming on stage and speaking a few words; next, listening to our National Anthem in Big B’s baritone. Hair-raising stuff! Didn’t know Amitabh ji could sing so well (with “Gamakams” and all).

Apart from the rare partnership between Damaad ji Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal, Pakistan weren’t really on top of the game, at any point of time during the first innings. The Indian supporters felt the pressure merely because this happened on the backdrop of a disaster run chase against a lesser bowling side (on paper) on a similar pitch, 4 days ago.

119 was not tough, but a tricky target on a pitch where where ball was turning by more than 90 degree, against a team renowned for their world class bowlers. Flat track bullies might find it tough to get a start, but India’s batting powerhouse was more than commensurate to pull off this run chase.

Rohit I thought was under the pressure created by his own words on the “ordinary bowler” Mohammad Amir, and succumbed sooner rather than later, on his favourite hunting ground where he has historically been scoring runs for fun.

Dhawan never really looked settled in his short but troubled stay in the middle. Raina (unfortunately) followed suit immediately. Mohammad Sami who was expected to bowl 23 no balls, 43 wides and 13 byes turned out to be India’s nightmare,. uprooting Dhawan  and Raina in back to back deliveries.

India, suddenly were put on a back foot. 7.5 RPO required, 3 wickets down and Pak bowlers on top form in favourable conditions. Mortals are bound to succumb to these conditions; Champions thrive under pressure. 70k capacity crowd at the Eden Gardens, silenced, required run rate mounting in a must win game, Kohli entered the middle.

As my friend Dadak remarked on Twitter, “Kohli bats with very cool head. His face is angry. His heart pumping but his head is cool. As cool as Dhoni”. I couldn’t have agreed more. Some fans (including Twitter King Bhaskar NH) had already given up on our prospects of winning the match. But with most of us aware of Virat Kohli’s extended purple patch in all forms of the game, we knew that as long as he was just there in the middle, India was there in the game.

Even though the dependency on Kohli is not as much today (we have some other classy match winners too currently), as was the case with Sachin in the 90s, it is at least there to an extent for us to draw a parallel. And boy, didn’t he deliver, exactly when it was required?! Not for the first time, definitely not for the last.

It looked as if Kohli was batting on Wankhede and the others on the Eden turf. Those scorching cover drives where the ball travelled all along the ground at the speed of Japanese super fast trains, were hair-raising stuff. And when Kohli did a bow to God after reaching his 50 and Sachin waved back with a brimming smile, our day was made, and our eyes wet. We Indians are emotional fellows. Like Harsha Bhogle remarked, Virat Kohli has targets for dinner.

At times, we forget to acknowledge crucial contributions by second fiddles; Gambhir on Apr 2, 2011; Yuvraj yesterday. The fact that he stayed there to wither the storm proved vital in the end. Not to forget Ravi Ash’s 3 over spell. The Pak batsmen were as clueless as I was during my Digital Signal Processing Viva test back in college.

Overall Head to Head in limited over cricket, we might still be behind Pakistan, but 11-0 in World Cups is a record we can all be proud of. Good luck for the next time we meet, Mauka man.





A Very Very Special Follower

It’s been a while since I live-tweeted during a cricket match, before today’s 5th and final ODI between India and Australia at Sydney.

Today, I was set in my couch, TV remote in one hand and mobile phone with Twitter open in the other. It’s on days like these that my Twitter followers (~500) regret following me the most (My Twitter handle – @snitinsrinivas). I wouldn’t miss the smallest of opportunities to conjure a tweet and expose it to the World, thinking in my mind that it’s going to reach out to millions of like-minded people on that awesome platform.

Now we all know what a great batsman VVS Laxman is. We’ve all awed at how sweetly he caresses wood over leather to produce some beauties. Cricket commentary however is a new domain for him he’s yet to conquer. He’s still learning with time.

Today, during the nail-biting run chase when Dhoni was increasing the average pulse rate of the nation well above average (which he usually does), Harsha Bhogle was in the commentary box with our man, VVS, when I tweeted this.

“When Harsha Bhogle speaks, words flow like a river. Wish I could say the same about VVS Laxman.”

And guess what happened after a few hours?



VVS Laxman followed me on Twitter. And as if this was not enough, he also sent me a direct message.


I was lost for words (much like VVS in the commentary box)!

Just typed “Sure, thanks a lot VVS!”

For all you know, he might unfollow me tomorrow (or someday in the near future), but that doesn’t matter.

I have enough proof to tell my grandchildren with a puffed chest, “VVS Laxman follows only 262 people on this planet, and I am one of them”



Photo Diaries Series #1: BDM, the heart and soul of Amrita ECE 08-12

We could have survived 4 years in our UG hostel without Oxygen, Water, etc. but not without this (image below).

When I look at this pic, I remember all the fun we had in the open grounds of Ettimadai, all the inter-section rivalries, the early morning matches and a plethora of other stuff.

In our final year, we even staged a grand AECPL (Amrita ECE Cage Premier League) on the lines of IPL, with auctions being conducted to sort players in three teams.

BDM kit, the heart and soul of Amrita ECE batch of 2012

BDM kit, the heart and soul of Amrita ECE batch of 2012

Writer’s note: Read about the Photo Diaries Series here, if you haven’t already.

An evening with the Chennai Super Kings

There are followers.

There are fans.

And then, there are maniacs.

When it comes to the Chennai Super Kings, I fall into the third bucket.

The company I work for is one of the sponsors and the official e-Commerce partner of the Chennai Super Kings for this edition of Indian Premier League. So when I got to know there was a  meet and greet function organized, where we’d get a chance to meet a few CSK players, I wasn’t going to miss it!

Paaru and I reached the gates of ITC Maurya, realizing (as we walked to the entrance) that we were a bit over-dressed for the occasion.

Right at the entrance near the reception area, I spotted Ishwar Pandey, Pawan Negi, Mohit Sharma and Russel (the CSK manager who is hyper-active on Twitter). With players so accessible, I though it was going to be a great evening. Realized later that I wasn’t disappointed.

All three players were into their phones. Talk about heights of technology overdose. Just for a moment when Ishwar Pandey looked up, I seized the opportunity to request him for a pic. He obliged. We wished him good luck for this IPL campaign and clicked a selfie with him.

With Ishwar Pandey, Chennai Super Kings

With Ishwar Pandey, Chennai Super Kings

Just when I was about to meet Mohit Sharma, a bouncer whose biceps would have made Dwayne the Rock Johnson jealous pushed me aside with a stern look. “No more pictures”. That’s all he said.

Shortly, the players vacated the reception area, still deeply engrossed in their phones.

A little while later, I bumped into Irfan Pathan near the loo. “Irfaaaaan, big fan!!! One pic please”, I exclaimed. “Hi (looking into his phone), give me a moment. I am trying to figure my things out”. And off, he vanished.

After 2 futile attempts of giving those big players a chance to get pictures clicked with me, I gave up.

The event kick-started at 8 pm. The CSK players made it to the stage with a huuuge roar from the crowd. Non-stop whistles as Mike Hussey, Suresh Raina, Ravi Ashwin, Irfan Pathan and Ronit More made it to the stage one by one.

Hussey wore that infectious smile all through the evening. What a gentleman! Ronit More was a sub for Sir Jadeja who was initially slated to attend the event. Raina, Ashwin and Irfan Pathan didn’t miss a single opportunity to kalaaichify (make fun of) Ronit More. Ashwin called Ronit the upcoming Waqar Younis of India, while Raina and Irfan set him up with a girl, who made him blush all through the evening. Hussey and Ashwin played Dumb Charades with loud cheers from the audience. Irfan sang a couple of songs. Raina judged people from the audience who went on stage to enact their favorite “Sholay” scenes, Sholay being Raina’s all time favorite movie. Raina and irfan enacted a few scenes too.

To see the CSK stars laughing their hearts out just a day after a thumping defeat against the Delhi Daredevils was a lesson in itself.

The crowd was well organized and all of us got a chance to get clicked with the CSK lions.

I managed to say, “Huge fan Sir!”, to Mike Hussey who was sitting in the corner. He smiled back!
Something I can tell my grandchildren. “I have a pic with Mr. Cricket!”.

Mike Hussey, Ravi Ash, Ronit More, Raina and Irfan Pathan, Chennai Super Kings

Mike Hussey, Ravi Ash, Ronit More, Raina and Irfan Pathan, Chennai Super Kings

An evening with the Chennai Super Kings that I’ll remember for a long time!

Photo with a Dhoni standee is good enough

Photo with a Dhoni standee is good enough

The Sachin vs ABD debate!

A conversation between a set of cricket crazy people on who is the best batsman who has ever walked on this planet, follows! 

What do you think about this debate? Share you views/opinion in the comments, below 🙂

21 Apr 00:07 – Bhaskar NH: ABD vs Sachin.. Anyone up for a debate?

Sachin says, "I'm in"

Sachin says, “I’m in”

21 Apr 00:07 – Me: No debate bhai… One is Shiv, one is Vishnu. Both Gods!

21 Apr 00:09 – Bhaskar NH: 👍👍

21 Apr 00:10 – Bhaskar NH: Poda..I thought we could have a healthy discussion on this.

21 Apr 00:10 – Me: Seri start

21 Apr 00:15 – Srikanth: With the respect to abd, Sachin is the only God in my book

"Sachin is our God! Period", says Srikanth

“Sachin is our God! Period”, says Srikanth

21 Apr 00:17 – Srikanth: Simply because Sachin played the way he did against McGrath Walsh Akram Warne all in their primes… Abd is no match in this battle😜

21 Apr 00:19 – Srikanth: BJ so finally you have given up supporting sehwag😱 as it is evident in you starting a debate without him has never happened before😂😜

21 Apr 00:20 – Sud: Sachin laam waste, compared to ab

21 Apr 00:29 – Bhaskar NH: Sudarshan👍👍👍 .. Cheeka, ABD can play like Sachin..but can Sachin play like ABD?

Could Sachin have played this?

Could Sachin have played this?

21 Apr 00:30 – Srikanth: Sachin can, just with more orthodox shots itself

21 Apr 00:30 – Bhaskar NH: Orthodox shots ellam okay… But ABD is a freak da.. 26 off Steyn llam I doubt if Sachin can do

21 Apr 00:32 – Srikanth: Dei, in a flat track with no assistance even Steyn is not as potent a bowler. And if I remember right sachin took Steyn to cleaners in his 200 innings…

21 Apr 00:32 – Srikanth: Maybe not 26 in an over but that innings not possible

ABD vs Steyn

ABD vs Steyn

21 Apr 00:32 – Bhaskar NH: Sachins 200 was also a flat track fyi

21 Apr 00:32 – Bhaskar NH: 😄😄

21 Apr 00:34 – Bhaskar NH: Remember ABD’s match saving 33 of 246 balls in a test match in Oz? Also the fastest 100 and 150…

21 Apr 00:35 – Srikanth: Accepted that Abd played some scintillating innings that rank along the best

21 Apr 00:36 – Bhaskar NH: Only thing is that Sachin had the longevity

Sachu baby

Sachu baby

21 Apr 00:37 – Srikanth: But remember Sachin in Perth when he was only 18 or 19, countless sharjahs, and that 200 was done never before, the situation of that game, the format and the heat! Both had different roles in their teams, so not fair to compare Sachin’s innings with the fastest innings and all…

21 Apr 00:41 – Manoj: Sachin’s bowling is very underrated IMHO. He has over 150 ODI wickets

Sachu bowling

Sachu bowling

21 Apr 00:44 – Srikanth: Manoj👍👍👍👍👍

21 Apr 01:21 – Ajak: Apdi paatha abd is a rugby player so abd > sachin. Comparison is in batting. Ab >srt IMO

21 Apr 01:23 – Me: I agree with BJ for once. ABD can play like Sachin. Sachin has not played the kind of knocks ABD has. ABD is an all format great! Sachin hasn’t scored 41 off 10 and would never have

21 Apr 01:27 – Ajak: Sachin would be never have scored 33 off 220 too

21 Apr 01:27 – Me: The fact that he carried on for 24 years (with consistency and class) is unparalleled. In my books, Dhoni, Dravid, Lax, Dada, Sehwag, Ponting, Lara were all great batsmen of their times but Sachu and ABD have the “Gods of the game” status

21 Apr 01:31 – Sibi: Sachin stood the test of time. ABD has to stay like this for few more years.

21 Apr 01:31 – Sibi: Other wise it would be an extended purple patch

21 Apr 01:32 – Srikanth: All said and done, Abd’s fastest 100 and 150 in times with the field restrictions, which is a great advantage, and Sachin was already around 37 I think when he scored the 200. Maybe he didn’t play much in the last 2 years of his career, and also didn’t face the same bowlers that AB thrashed around, but I think he would have thrived even more. Perhaps not the 150 off 60 odd balls, but he didn’t need to play that kind of game, and it was one time innings by Ab,

21 Apr 01:35 – Ajak: 2 times in the space of 1 month. That’s not a 1 time innings. And when you hit 10+ sixes

21 Apr 01:36 – Srikanth: I am not taking anything from AB, but as all say above, given the longevity and pure masterclass, AB is not as great as Sachin

21 Apr 01:36 – Ajak: Size of ground or restrictions don’t matter

21 Apr 01:36 – Srikanth: Ajak, accepted, my mistake

21 Apr 01:37 – Ajak: It’s an opinion macha unakku sachin enakku AB avlo dhan

21 Apr 01:38 – Srikanth: In this generation, AB is the best. But Sachin has been the best since the time of Lara, Steve Waugh, Ponting and even when AB started to thrive

21 Apr 06:36 – Hari Haran: Getting run a ball was good enough few years back.. Just because of t20, batsman have become more mature and fearless Also they have more exposure.. Unlike before.. Dhawan has styne bowling in nets.. That’s a good practice for him to play very fast balls.. Dravid used to wet rubber ball and ask his coach to chuck and throw it fast at him.. That’s the was he practice.. So, the exposure level were different before and now. 20 years back, entering into iit means u r great.. Also, u can get into iit with mere 20-30% . topper would be say 50%.. Now with these many coaching classes, topper are scoring 80% .. Now u just cant arrive at conclusion telling this topper of 2015 is best. Fastest 50 in IPL is Yusuf pathan.. That sums up all.. Stats can’t just be compared



21 Apr 06:48 – Srikanth: Captain Hariharan, pulli vevaram spot on🙏

21 Apr 06:49 – Hari Haran: 🙏🙏

21 Apr 06:54 – Sud: “Pure masterclass” is subjective but I think longevity is the only thing that stands between ab and emulating tendulkar. If ab isn’t pure masterclass, who is? He can play the tank shot over the keeper’s head, reverse sweep for six over third man. If you’re saying he isn’t as pleasing on the eye, take a look at his straight drive in the semis against the kiwis. Also, I don’t think Sachin is capable of playing the 42(233) knock he played against Australia to save a test

21 Apr 06:56 – Hari Haran: Yeah..

21 Apr 06:57 – Sud: And Sachin isn’t capable of playing the 41(11) he got against the Mumbai Indians. Having said that, we have to account for run inflation. Sach was scoring at six an over every match when 200 was par and 250 was a match winning score. Plus he averaged 45. Simply put, he combined the skills it took to play the 42(233) knock and 41(11) knock

21 Apr 06:59 – Hari Haran: Neither sachin nor ponting was part of mi playing 11 .. Tare scores better than both.. But just can’t conclude with this stats. Those two were dropped after few matches

21 Apr 06:59 – Sud: So if ab can play like this for six more years, we will have a winner

21 Apr 07:00 – Hari Haran: He is awesome.. I love AB .. I hate sachin.. Hez selfish. But can’t conclude anything as the generations were different

21 Apr 07:00 – Ajak: AB has pushed the limits of what is possible in limited overs even in this era

21 Apr 07:01 – Sud: Selfish vera. Sachin and ab have one thing in common. In spite of their inhuman talent, they don’t win enough matches for their respective teams. And they aren’t big match players. That’s why I rate ponting, Lara and smith, kohli in this generation higher

21 Apr 07:02 – Hari Haran: KL Rahul scored 100 in Australia in his debut series.. That’s a great task 15 years back.. Not now

21 Apr 07:03 – Sud: Kohli has  lot to prove but he has done enough to be considered one of the best in this generation I guess. Ponting is the best. Vera level. Mavaney what a player. Lara too. Australia ah ye azha utaan. And if I had to choose between Lara and Sachin as to who I’d pay to watch on their best days, lara any day. Sheer domination. Ommaley

21 Apr 07:25 – Hari Haran: But can’t conclude. Agreed. But sachin 175 against Australia in a chase of 300+ 🙏🙏 the team just let him down in that match

21 Apr 08:07 – Bhaskar NH: @Sudarshan- I agree whatever u said except the point about Pointing.. Dei, what’s his record in the subcontinent.. Bhajji llam avana uttan da😄😄

Ponting - Bhajji's bunny!

Ponting – Bhajji’s bunny!

21 Apr 08:19 – Bhaskar NH: And Kohli is not a big match player yet.. I’d rate Steve Smith higher..

21 Apr 08:52 – Ajak: Second BJ on both counts

21 Apr 08:58 – Me: AB’s shots aren’t pleasing to the eye? Then neither is Aishwarya Rai

21 Apr 09:24 – Me: Anyway, who is in for a Negara vs Steyn debate?

Nungambakkam Nehra

Nungambakkam Nehra

Take a bow, Proteas!

On the one side, you had a team which had played 6 World Cup Semi finals (I repeat, 6 World Cup Semi finals) and was yet to feature in a single World Cup Final. On the other, you had a team whose worst enemy was luck.

You always knew that when NZ and SA would clash for a spot in the World Cup 2015 Final, the result was going to be unfortunate, irrespective of who wins. Both teams truly deserved to play the World Cup final (IMHOHO). If one team had bowlers hunting in packs and batsmen who strike at 200 (or above, BMac, case in point) for fun, the other team had too many awesome players (both on the field and off it) for anyone to even think about hating them.

So, when Grant Elliott nailed the match with a six over long on off Steyn, there were a million hearts broken; not all of them were of South Africans’. I (like millions of others) could not just move on. We were gutted. We felt cheated. We didn’t see it coming. We completely empathized with the Proteas. We just couldn’t resist breaking down, on seeing sights of SA players crying on the field. Eden Park suddenly seemed a holy place.

AB de Villiers and his army were men on a mission. They really really wanted to make it to the World Cup final. And this edition was their best chance. AB de Villiers! Whatte man! I don’t think any of us acknowledge how fortunate we are to live in an era when this man ruled cricket! Think about it. We are living in a time when Abraham Benjamin de Villiers is playing cricket. Can we safely assume he’s the best ODI player ever? (In a list that includes Sachin Tendulkar, Sangakkara, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli). I will.

Truly heartbreaking moment

Truly heartbreaking moment

A rational person could argue, “It’s just a match. One team has to lose, after all”. Agreed. But now, it’s not about being rational. It’s more than that. SA dropped two potentially match-winning catches and missed two run out chances at crucial points. Logically, by committing those mistakes, SA deserved to lose. But it was beyond all of that. When emotions seep in, rationality takes a back seat. I am sure even die hard supporters of the Black Caps would have felt for the Proteas. Today, I am officially ashamed of calling SA “Chokers”, in the past, even jokingly.

Talking about NZ supporters, what a crowd they were today, at Eden Park! Giving a standing ovation to the losing Captain ABD was truly special. In my mind, they’ve risen above the Chepauk crowd that gave a standing ovation for the winning visiting team (Pakistan) in 1999.

That’s how awesome Cricket as a Sport is! Neutral observers experience heartbreaks, crowds cheer for opponent teams after a match, players console each other after the game! The guy who called Cricket a Gentleman’s game didn’t call it without reason.

Talk about Sportsmanship

Talk about Sportsmanship

AB de Villiers and Co., all I have to say to you is there’s no shame in this defeat. You were truly sensational! You can go back to South Africa with your heads held high!

Written by a gutted Proteas supporter after the 1st Semifinal of Cricket World 2015 between NZ and SA on 24th March, 2015 at Eden Park, New Zealand.

The build-up to India vs South Africa!

Come Sunday, the 22nd of February, Dhoni & Co. would be put to the real test. We’ll get to know if India’s first win on Australian soil (last week against Pak) in three months was really the beginning of something spectacular. Before going to the battle on 22nd, let’s revisit the previous three instances when India and South Africa met in World Cups.

Clash #1: Benson and Hedges World Cup 1992

The match, held at Adelaide Oval was reduced to 30 overs a side due to rain. After putting India to bat, South African bowlers restricted India to 180 for 6, with “White Lightning” Alan Donald striking twice, in 6 overs. Donald dismissed Kris Srikkanth for a duck. It marked the end of Kris Srikkanth’s illustrious World Cup and ODI career (His “seedan” Virender Sehwag would go on to play three World Cups for India). South Africa chased down the target with 5 balls to spare.

India exited in Round 1 while SA would go on till the Semi Finals, when Duckworth and Lewis decided to give them a target of 22 runs to win in 1 ball

Clash #2: ICC World Cup 1999

This match marked the debut of Stalwarts like Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, among others in World Cups. After Azhar decided to bat first, Dada-Dravid partnership of 130 (Dada – 97 run out Rhodes, Dravid – 54 b Klusener) helped India put up a decent total of 253 in 50 overs. Kallis’ Man of the Match winning 96 and Rhodes’ quick 39 off 31 helped South Africa effect a second consecutive win against India in World Cups.

Rahul Dravid against South Africa in 1999 World Cup

Rahul Dravid against South Africa in 1999 World Cup

India exited in the Super 6s while SA would go on till semi finals yet again, to choke against the Aussies. That match, in many ways, was the beginning of the rise of Australian cricket. Australian cricket never turned back, for the next 8 years. They would go on to rule the next decade.

Clash #3: ICC World Cup 2011

267 for 1 to 296 all out. Indian middle order never looked so pathetic before or after this match. At one point, it looked like India would reach 350 (at least), before Morkel triggered a collapse in the 40th over with Sachin’s wicket. Dale Steyn ran through India’s middle and lower middle order, picking up 5 wickets. Sachin scored his 99th International Hundred in this match (the 100th hundred would elude him and his fans for a long long time).



A combined batting effort helped South Africa reach the target with two balls to spare. Ashish Nehra was back to form, conceding just 65 runs in 8.4 overs.

What the faf!

What the faf!

Clash #4: Mauka pe Chakka?

South Africa has never looked this world beating coming into a World Cup. Steyn is preserved and fresh. Hashim Amla is scoring centuries for fun. AB de Villiers is in red hot form. They have a bunch of other kids (faf du Plessis, Morkel, among others) who are equally motivated and prepared.

Too many match winners in a single frame!

Too many match winners in a single frame!

India, on the other hand, has had a patchy 3 months down under. The win against Pakistan will by no means make India complacent. Dhoni will know that South Africa is the real test. If they can beat this South African team , early on in the tournament, it will be a huge morale boost for the men in blue.

Steyn vs Kohli, Ashwin vs AB de, Indian Pacers vs Mighty Hash, lot of battles to look forward to. Can’t wait for the clock to tick 9 am, on 22nd.


Oh, and if you are not regular on social media and haven’t caught hold of the ambushes to Star Sports’ “Mauka Mauka” ad, you MUST see these videos.

Star Sports’ initial video on Ind vs Pak.

Star Sports’ “Mauka Mauka” video on Ind vs SA

Ambush #1

Ambush #2