Review: Azhar, the movie

“Who are you?” Steve Wozniak (played by Seth Rogan) asks Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) in the midst of an incandescent argument in the Danny Boyle-helmed biopic on the Apple founder. “What do you do?”

The questions are equally central to any exploration, fictional or otherwise, of the life and times of Mohammad Azharuddin.

Who was he? More crucially, *what* was he?

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Writings on drought versus cricket

THE Bombay High Court activism in re the IPL has become the gift that goes on giving. But as with most gifts, some of the writing that is emerging from the mess makes you wish you could exchange it for something else, something better.

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On Harsha Bhogle

“Even in regard to cricket commentary, games organized by the BCCI have a contractual condition that there can be no criticism of the BCCI or its selection process, thereby curtailing an exercise of free speech. Objective commentary ought to be permitted about everything connected to the match, allowing the commentators to express themselves freely and objectively. “

Brevity was the soul of the latest news item from the cricket world:  commentator Harsha Bhogle had been unceremoniously axed from the ongoing 9th edition of the Indian Premier League.

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On the smile we never saw

24 hours — almost — after that magical World Cup final, some thoughts on the moments that made the game, and on the smile we never got to see. In other words, my “match report”.

‘The first Virat Kohli’

That is how Ramesh Srivats assessed Virat Kohli’s place in the pantheon, in response to a reader question on whether VK is the next SRT: “He is the first Virat”.

The full “beer pe baashan” video above. (Okay, not “full” — the full version of conversations that take place when we get down to beer sessions is strictly NSFW. Oh, and apologies for the delay — things got unexpectedly undone).

In a piece as immaculately paced as the innings it celebrates, Siddharth Vaidhyanathan cuts to the beating heart of a Kohli special. By the end of it, Sid says, the real shock of what was accomplished is that it came as no shock at all.

That sense of inevitability is what kept Ramesh Srivats and I going over several more beers after we were done recording the latest episode of Gyandromeda, above. That, and the conundrum of the “thinking cricketer”.

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Rage of Angels

The best shot that Virat Kohli played this Sunday came after the match.

As he coped with the aftertaste of adrenalin, and as adoring teammates, past greats and present opponents took to social media to exhaust their stock of superlatives, Kohli’s first thought was this:

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India vs Australia

When Ramesh Srivats and I were chatting over beer the other day, some questions about the team composition came up and Ramesh brought up two names: Rahane, and Harbhajan. The chat continued for another three hours after they turned the cameras off, and at some point the question of use of resources came up.

At what point in a league do you cut your losses and make changes? Ramesh’s point was that if changes had to be made, it should be for the game against Bangladesh, so there would be an opportunity to test the reserves out before what was clearly going to be a crunch game against Australia.

Didn’t happen. Or, as Ramesh put it:

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