September 23, 2008

Irani Trophy

Wet, wet, wet

Aakash Chopra
Virender Sehwag in the nets ahead of the Irani Trophy, Vadodara, September 22, 2008
 © PA Photos
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Hi guys

We reached Baroda the day before yesterday for our Irani Trophy game against Rest of India. There was a nice air-conditioned bus waiting for us at the airport. You must be wondering as to what the big deal is about the AC bus, but let me assure you that there most certainly is. In case you're inquisitive, please keep watching this space throughout the season, and you'll come to know.

After reaching the hotel a little after 8pm we spent a few hours browsing various rooms before settling down. Some of the rooms were really small while the rest had double beds. Except for the captain everyone shares his room with another player, which is fine, but sharing the same bed doesn't sound too exciting.

The idea for coming well in advance, though, is good for a couple of reasons. Firstly the heavy rains in Delhi had put paid to any hopes of practising before the biggest game of the season. Secondly coming to the venue a couple of days in advance would help us get used to the conditions, especially the red soil found in the west. The ball tends to bounce a lot more on red soil as compared to the black soil found in the north. Once the bounce varies considerably, the way one approaches the game changes accordingly: which balls to leave - sometimes you can trust the bounce and just allow it to go through to the keeper, which balls to go forward to or back to. The bowlers can work out the length they need to bowl. All of these change with the pitch.

But luck deserted us here too as it has been raining heavily in this part of the country as well. We did get a hit in the nets, but the track was wet and so was the ground. But then something is better than nothing.

Another thing that I noticed today was the enthusiasm of the people in a small town. We'd gone to a nearby gym in the evening and the word got out. There were more than a few people queuing outside the gym to catch a glimpse of their favourite cricketers. This would never happen in a big city, but then Baroda isn't a big city.

Cheers

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Out of the Blue, an account of Rajasthan's 2010-11 Ranji Trophy victory. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

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Posted by rajesh chauhan on (September 29, 2008, 17:04 GMT)

whith what kind of mental setup u play each ball

Posted by rajesh chauhan on (September 29, 2008, 17:02 GMT)

hi akash i want to ask what kind of mental setup u take in to a big match an which type of preparetion u do before d match

Posted by Shyam B.Tewarie on (September 28, 2008, 14:20 GMT)

Dear Aakaash, You are doing a great job!.carry on! What are your chances to get back in the National Indian team?? Warm regards.

Posted by gautham chandra on (September 28, 2008, 12:22 GMT)

HELLO AAKASH...NICE WRITING TO YOU....WHAT DO YOU THINK WENT WRONG IN THE SECOND INNINGS YOU PLAYED AGAINIST ROI...YOU PLAYED THE BALL TOO AWAY FROM YOUR BODY....ARE YOU DISSAPOINTED THAT YOU DIDNT MAKE A MARK WHEN YOU NEEDED THE MOST...I THOUGHT PROBABLY IN FIRST INNINGS YOUR 42 WAS GOOD BUT YOU COULD HAVE CARRIED ON AND GOT A BIG DOUBLE HUNDRED...AAKASH WE WANT YOU TO BE SELECTED FOR INDIA AND SCORE BIG RUNS NOT JUST 30 OR 40 BUT 100 OR 200...WE WISH YOU TAKE VIRU AS AN INSPIRATION FOR SAME... THANKING YOU

Posted by Ashok on (September 24, 2008, 16:47 GMT)

Sharing the same bed in an Irani trophy match! I thought the rising tide of the IPL was supposed to lift all the first class boats. Unless there is a leak in the lake? Sharad Shameless Pawar.

Posted by Joseph Abraham on (September 24, 2008, 6:36 GMT)

I've been an ardent fan of your writing since you were playing county cricket. The simple yet elegant way you get your point across is a refreshing change than the heavy dosage I read from some of the established columnists. I will eagerly wait for your book. All the best - Hope to see you in the test team soon !

Posted by anusha on (September 24, 2008, 5:07 GMT)

hai aakash, good work u r doing on and off the field keep it up

Posted by Param on (September 24, 2008, 3:32 GMT)

As always insightful - looking forward to your blogs through the season. Promises to be a hectic and an exciting one. I am hoping that the Irani trophy turns out to be a good battle.

Posted by Manhar Patel (Toronto) on (September 24, 2008, 2:43 GMT)

Aakash, congrats to make it to Board precedent’ XI. It is about time you have to sneak in to our national team. Soon you don’t have to share your room with your buddies. It surprise for me that domestic cricketers has to share bed with team mates. Shame on you Sharad Pawar! Why can you spend some money on these boys? BCCI make so much money for what? What they treat you with lunch? “Khara chana” Fortunately they didn’t ask you guys to sleep in Pathan’s back yard or near by temple!

Posted by Surajit on (September 23, 2008, 19:15 GMT)

Aakash,

It's disappointing how BCCi doesn't care about our domestic cricket infrastructure and players facilities. I hope this trend changes sooner. I hope we can have a full Irani trophy match without any rain interruption. Wish you a successful match as I would love to see you back in national squad. I love your traditional approach as an authentic test opener. We need solid technically correct players like you to strenghten India's test batting line up. All the best and carry on your previous match's great for the rest of the season.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra is the 245th Indian to represent India in Test cricket. A batsman in the traditional mould, he played 10 Tests for India in 2003-04, and has played over 120 first-class matches. He currently plays for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy; his book Beyond the Blues was an account of the 2007-08 season. Chopra made a formidable opening combination with Virender Sehwag, which was believed to be one of the reasons for India's success in Australia and Pakistan in 2003-04. He is considered one of the best close-in fielders India has produced after Eknath Solkar.

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