Tendulkar October 15, 2010

Traicos trumps Tendulkar

When Andy Zaltzman realised Sachin was destined for greatness (though he will never surpass a certain Zimbabwe offspinner)
74

All cricket fans cherish moments when they first see a player, and think to themselves: “This lad is something extraordinary.” They cherish them even more when they turn out to be correct. Few would boast that when they saw Paras Mhambrey bowl for the first time, they just knew deep down that he would go on to take 400 Test wickets; or that they happened to catch a glimpse of Blair Hartland’s debut Test innings whilst on holiday in New Zealand in 1992, and instantly wrote a series of postcards home telling their parents that Wally Hammond himself had been reborn as a Kiwi opener.

Many will have thought it during Cheteshwar Pujara’s mesmeric, match-sealing fourth-innings 72 on debut in Bangalore, for his timing, his decisiveness and precision of shot, and his ethereal stillness at the crease. Time will tell. Time is often a bit of miserable sod in these matters. When Phil Hughes added to his debut 75 with two stunning centuries in his second Test, against Steyn, Morkel, Ntini and Kallis (and Paul Harris), who would have thought that he would be dropped just three Tests later? Not me, and probably not Phil Hughes. And almost certainly not the then bits-and-pieces allrounder Shane Watson, who replaced him and has since reached 50 in 12 of his 26 innings, the highest ratio of fifties-per-innings of any baggy green opener with 10 or more half-centuries.

Debuts, the deceitful little minxes that they are, have made many false promises. Particularly with legspinners. Narendra Hirwani took 16 for 136, Warne took 1 for 150. Kumble returned an inauspicious 3 for 170. Ian Salisbury twirled his web around Pakistan to take 5 for 122. Where did his 600 other Test wickets go? And maybe England should have stuck with Chris Schofield a little longer. Warne’s debut gave perhaps the falsest and cruellest promise of all to England fans – that Australia had unearthed yet another cannon-fodder legspinner to be marmaladed by England’s batsmen. That little reverie took one ball to shatter. It was sweet while it lasted.

I remember when I first realised that Sachin Tendulkar could turn out to be the truly special player that he had been rumoured to be by the world’s cricketing press. It was when he reached 10,000 Test runs. It was clear at that point – in his 122nd Test, with an average of 57 − that the young man was destined for greatness. (Others had suspected it before then, but I like to reserve judgement on players until I am absolutely 100% sure about them, and the 10,000-Test-run barrier seems as fair a benchmark as any. Bradman, Sobers, Richards and Ken Rutherford I remain to be convinced about. The logic is simple: you can easily score fewer than 10,000 Test runs without being a particularly good batsman. But only good players reach 10,000. I therefore acknowledge that Tendulkar is a useful bat. Very useful, in fact – 95 international centuries constitutes a solid effort.)

Bangalore was one of the great highlights of his statistics-boggling career, a display of complete technical and tactical mastery that first transformed the game and then completed it, played with a vigour that suggests he may have several more good years left in him. Once he has ticked off 50 Test centuries and 15,000 runs, perhaps Wilfred Rhodes’ 31-year Test span will be the next major record in his sights.

Tendulkar’s continuing resurgence has been the highlight of a compelling microseries that again highlighted the desirability of macroseries. India finished looking like the world’s top side, playing three days of majestic cricket to seal the series, and Australia ended as a team with more question marks than a transcript of an unusually urgent police interrogation of a hard-of-hearing and inquisitive suspect.

Ponting’s captaincy on Wednesday attracted widespread criticism. To my layman’s eyes it seemed intended to distract the Indian batsmen through sheer bafflement. As they tried to figure out Ponting’s extremely well-concealed masterplan, they could easily have becoming distracted and perturbed, and smashed their own stumps down in confusion. Not really trying to take wickets when he needed to really try to take wickets was an obtuse approach. I have heard rumours that every night Ponting goes back to his hotel room, makes little papier-maché dolls of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, says to them: “Right, Glenn, you bowl from the bathroom end, and Shane, you take the bed end. I’m going for a snooze, and when I wake up I expect you to have bowled the opposition out. Night night.” Admittedly those rumours are ones that I have made up and said to myself, but still, no smoke without fire. There has to be some truth in them.

Back to Tendulkar, officially the world’s best batsman again for the first time in eight years. Tendulkar’s Test career is about to celebrate its 21st birthday, and is now the 11th longest of all time, and the fourth-longest not to have been interrupted by a world war. The three players ahead of him on that little list are Syd Gregory (58 Tests from 1890 to 1912; his longevity can be ascribed to an undroppably assertive moustache), Brian Close (England’s youngest and oldest post-War Test player, his 22 Tests splattered over almost 27 years, dropped six times in his first seven matches spanning three different decades, and proud owner of the most sporadic career in Test history), and dual-nation legend John Traicos, more of whom below.

The Mumbai Methuselah has missed just 14 of India’s 185 Tests in the almost 21 years since he first plonked his 16-year-old feet onto the Test arena, giving him a 92.4% attendance-at-work rate. This currently puts him fourth on the list of highest-percentage-of-possible-Tests-played of the 16 players with Test careers lasting longer than 20 years.

If he stays fit, continues to set his alarm clock, remembers to turn up, and is not lured away by the promise of a stint as lead cricket bat player in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s forthcoming season of cricket-themed adaptations of the works of Mozart, then he could pinch the bronze medal from Sir Garfield Sobers (93% of Tests from 1954 to 1974). That is as far as he can hope to go. Two men remain unattainably in front: one-and-a-half South Africans and half a Zimbabwean. Dave Nourse did not miss a single Test of the 45 South Africa played from 1902 to 1924, and Traicos was never dropped in his 23-year Test career, from 1970 to 1993.

Traicos, who stands alone alongside Richard Hadlee in the Official ICC Catalogue Of Bowlers Who Have Dismissed Both Sachin Tendulkar and Keith Stackpole In Test Cricket, also remained undefeated until the final few months of his career. These facts in isolation might hint at one of the all-time great cricketing careers. Sadly for Traicos, his 23 years as an international cricketer were adorned by just seven Tests, sandwiching a 22-year sabbatical as a humble civilian – three games for South Africa before their ban in 1970, and four for Zimbabwe after their admission in 1992.

Recently unearthed relics from an archaeological dig at Kingsmead in Durban, where Traicos made his debut for South Africa, suggest that this Egypt-born son of Greek parents personally built a special altar with his cricket bag and sacrificed 100 head of oxen to almighty Zeus in return for (a) never being dropped, (b) having at least a 23-year-long Test career, and (c) not losing for the first 22 of those 23 years.

Zeus, always a deity with a wry sense of humour, granted Traicos’ wish with a flamboyant crack of his trademark thunderbolt, and the Egyptigrecozimbabweacsouthafrican tweaker skipped away in delight, visualising the forthcoming decades of batsman-shattering devastation that his tidy offbreaks would soon wreak. Zeus, meanwhile, giggled quietly to himself and muttered under his breath: “Sucker – you can have your 23 years undropped. And you can also have your seven Tests, your 18 wickets, and your bowling average of 42. Got you, Traicos, got you. Thanks for the barbecue. Yum, yum, yum.”

The King of Olympus then high-fived himself, and chirped: “I’ve still got it. Over 2000 years out of the media spotlight, and the Big Z has still got it.” It’s all in Wisden, if you read it backwards.

Some more on long careers in another blog later in the week. Unless the CIA suppress it. They fear needless cricket stats.

Lara has been deleted from the list of players the author is not 100% convinced about. Thanks to Anadi Bhatia for bringing the error to notice

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jazza on October 28, 2010, 8:02 GMT

    Great piece...it would appear that some people have had a sense of humour by-pass ...this is dry-humour ...you are supposed to think about it!

    Some of the best lines on cricket I have read in a long time...keep up the good work

  • NALIN WIJESINGHE on October 27, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    In the article Traicos Trumps Tendulkar you failed to mention that Traicos did dissmiss Tendulkar in Zimbabwe's first test match and this dismisal was historic in 2 aspects. This was the first dismisal adjudicated by the third umpire. Secondly this was the first instance when his current victim was not born when he achieved his previous dismissal. Tendulkar was not born when Traicos's career stalled when South Africa was banished in 1970.

  • Vikrant Vaidya on October 20, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    Absolutely loved the way its written - has an entertainment value for even a non-enthusiast of cricket.

    And one point well made - we have an habit of cranking up expectations from a fresher sky-high in our hero-starved nation. I agree with you that one should wait till the individual establishes soe sort of consistancy.

    Once again great work!

  • Samir on October 20, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    For the needlessly serious, and the pompous.... please guys, there are other writers and other places where you could go and satisfy your intellectual (sic) urges, we are simple people finding pleasure in simple things, please dont come here, and if you do... just smile at our shallowness and move on, you will not be missed. This guy is a friggin genius at presenting humour in statistics.

  • Shri on October 19, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    The best compliment that I can pay Andy is that the legendary P.G. Wodehouse would himself have been proud to write this piece...:)

  • rupayan on October 19, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    Tendulkar has one other record to break and that is to get a test hundred with his son Arjun at the other end..now if he made the team at 15, his son can also do the same which means that in 5 years time we might just see this record also.

  • Ali Shah on October 18, 2010, 2:15 GMT

    Great piece

  • Parth on October 17, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    Another wonderful read Andy... can't wait to hear more of you on Test match sofa!!

  • Prem on October 16, 2010, 23:13 GMT

    Thanks Andy for a hilarious read, spruced with some facts and % on cricket. My reading in the middle of the night has also left me with wide open eyes. I am going to blame you next morning if I cant get some sleep :)

  • Roy on October 16, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    Andy, Sachin has just been relegated to second place. With this article, ole chap, you have pipped the great man by scoring YOUR 50th. test century!!

  • Jazza on October 28, 2010, 8:02 GMT

    Great piece...it would appear that some people have had a sense of humour by-pass ...this is dry-humour ...you are supposed to think about it!

    Some of the best lines on cricket I have read in a long time...keep up the good work

  • NALIN WIJESINGHE on October 27, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    In the article Traicos Trumps Tendulkar you failed to mention that Traicos did dissmiss Tendulkar in Zimbabwe's first test match and this dismisal was historic in 2 aspects. This was the first dismisal adjudicated by the third umpire. Secondly this was the first instance when his current victim was not born when he achieved his previous dismissal. Tendulkar was not born when Traicos's career stalled when South Africa was banished in 1970.

  • Vikrant Vaidya on October 20, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    Absolutely loved the way its written - has an entertainment value for even a non-enthusiast of cricket.

    And one point well made - we have an habit of cranking up expectations from a fresher sky-high in our hero-starved nation. I agree with you that one should wait till the individual establishes soe sort of consistancy.

    Once again great work!

  • Samir on October 20, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    For the needlessly serious, and the pompous.... please guys, there are other writers and other places where you could go and satisfy your intellectual (sic) urges, we are simple people finding pleasure in simple things, please dont come here, and if you do... just smile at our shallowness and move on, you will not be missed. This guy is a friggin genius at presenting humour in statistics.

  • Shri on October 19, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    The best compliment that I can pay Andy is that the legendary P.G. Wodehouse would himself have been proud to write this piece...:)

  • rupayan on October 19, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    Tendulkar has one other record to break and that is to get a test hundred with his son Arjun at the other end..now if he made the team at 15, his son can also do the same which means that in 5 years time we might just see this record also.

  • Ali Shah on October 18, 2010, 2:15 GMT

    Great piece

  • Parth on October 17, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    Another wonderful read Andy... can't wait to hear more of you on Test match sofa!!

  • Prem on October 16, 2010, 23:13 GMT

    Thanks Andy for a hilarious read, spruced with some facts and % on cricket. My reading in the middle of the night has also left me with wide open eyes. I am going to blame you next morning if I cant get some sleep :)

  • Roy on October 16, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    Andy, Sachin has just been relegated to second place. With this article, ole chap, you have pipped the great man by scoring YOUR 50th. test century!!

  • Imran on October 16, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    Awesome stuff Andy!This was one of the best of yours!!!!!!!

  • deshvaasi on October 16, 2010, 5:51 GMT

    Awesome piece, Andy. Loved the question-mark bit, sheer brilliance. Some of the comments are a bit disappointing, though, don't mind those.

  • murugan on October 16, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    "I have heard rumours that every night Ponting goes back to his hotel room, makes little papier-maché dolls of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, says to them: “Right, Glenn, you bowl from the bathroom end, and Shane, you take the bed end. I’m going for a snooze, and when I wake up I expect you to have bowled the opposition out. Night night.” Admittedly those rumours are ones that I have made up and said to myself, but still, no smoke without fire. There has to be some truth in them."

    EPIC

  • Prabhu on October 16, 2010, 3:15 GMT

    Andy, your enjoying your writing requires an acquired taste. Initially, when I read you, I would often dismiss your writing and didn't find it funny. But now I just keep waiting for your next column! Bravo. Keep it up. Kudos to cricinfo for keeping you on as well. Takes a bit of courage. I am a big Sachin fan, and had thought that the old man had lost it a few years back. But he has reinvented his game. The turning point for him, according to me, was the Sydney test, where he curbed his instinct to pay the cover drive. That is the reason I maintained faith in him. Thanks to Ponting for allowing a runner for VVS. I thought that the outrage against him after the Sydney test was not very appropriate. He has done a good job thereafter of managing his people. In the past few years, he has acted as the one who plays hard but just. If Clarke and Hussey clicked, the series results would be entirely different.

  • hari on October 16, 2010, 2:07 GMT

    this should have been in page 1, not page 2!

  • knowledge eater on October 15, 2010, 23:36 GMT

    Lot of research has been done to write this. Brilliant. You know that you are really good cricket researcher, with the joke, its the perfect. Nerdy jokes, I love them.

  • Kris on October 15, 2010, 23:14 GMT

    Awesome blog..enjoyed reading every bit. Hurrah to John Traicos...what a man

  • Naresh on October 15, 2010, 22:32 GMT

    That was hilarious.

    " It’s all in Wisden, if you read it backwards"

    right on, lets rock'n'roll then.

  • Amarnath on October 15, 2010, 21:56 GMT

    simply Superb!!!!!!!! Very Humorous

  • Murshid on October 15, 2010, 19:17 GMT

    Thanks for the gem of a humor blog Andy.. I had a fever and after the shake all of my bones have gotten while reading it, I am feeling better now!

  • Avi on October 15, 2010, 19:16 GMT

    brilliantassimo inyourusualflair !!!!!

  • MB on October 15, 2010, 19:07 GMT

    Pretty poor attempt at making one read an article under false pretense by using headlines that have nothing to do with the body of the article or a logical message arising from the headline. Any one can make the reader go through garbage by using a catchy confusing headline, thats all this article does.

  • Joseph Williams on October 15, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    Sobers scored all these runs without a helmet and batting with 9.10 & jack and his pay package was way way less JOE

  • King Kong on October 15, 2010, 18:20 GMT

    “Right, Glenn, you bowl from the bathroom end, and Shane, you take the bed end. I’m going for a snooze, and when I wake up I expect you to have bowled the opposition out. Night night.”

    lollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

    Line of the year. Article of the year.

    Take that Ian Chappel, and H.Bogle!!!!!

    King Kong ain't got Sh!* on you Andy!

  • Rahulbose on October 15, 2010, 17:53 GMT

    Your best work yet on Cricinfo. Sachin is truly the second statistical anomaly of test cricket. For decades fans have tried to explain Bradman's average and for decades to come people will try to explain the century count and length of Sachin's career.

  • Rahul J on October 15, 2010, 16:47 GMT

    amazing, truly.... what a great read.

  • anilkp on October 15, 2010, 16:42 GMT

    My tone is different here. I feel terribly sad for those fellow readers of mine who fail to grasp tiny nuances of humour, satire. They make me feel like all genuine efforts of AndyZ are pure wastes. But I console myself. Some flowers blossom in forests, seldom someone witnesses. Your status is better than that. At least there are some people who notice the gem in your articles and who express their appreciation. Long live satire!

  • anilkp on October 15, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    WOW, Andy! This IS something! When I started, I felt you were off your road, heading towards George Binoy-Travis Basevi. Little did I know what waited ahead. 15 minutes after finishing the article I was still laughing--unconsolably rolling tears down my chick, trying fervently (in vain) to hide but all my co-workers ogling at me (I cant blame them: they do not understand cricket). My goodness! I am not sure if you are aware of Santoor; but it felt like just the build-up of Aalaap to teen-taal to drut-teen-taal. Just awesome! Cant wait for more!

  • sreekanth on October 15, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    "Warne to bowl from bed end"...haha may be texting while bowling?..Amazingly funny..:-) thx -sree,bangalore

  • Kapil on October 15, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    At present, Sachin has 46 ODI centuries and the rate at which he is playing ODIs(0 in last 6 months), he hardly seems like he wishes to get more. As far as tests are concerned, he can easily cross the barrier of 60 centuries by the end of 2011

  • Sunny Singh on October 15, 2010, 16:03 GMT

    Hilarious. Funny to the core....typical english wit that I enjoy so much...great to have you around amidst all the craziness and jingoism...comic relief that you provide is priceless ( just like mastercard)

  • Ravi on October 15, 2010, 16:03 GMT

    “Right, Glenn, you bowl from the bathroom end, and Shane, you take the bed end. I’m going for a snooze, and when I wake up I expect you to have bowled the opposition out. Night night.” This needs to be preserved as the funniest sentence ever written in the history of cricket writing... or even the history of writing I say.... take a bow Andy Zaltzman of 1974

  • Chris Sobolowski on October 15, 2010, 15:30 GMT

    "...and Australia ended as a team with more question marks than a transcript of an unusually urgent police interrogation of a hard-of-hearing and inquisitive suspect."

    My favorite amongst favorites. You are too awesome!

  • PD on October 15, 2010, 14:12 GMT

    Andy, It would be great if you could write onfield and offfield tactics aussies employ to unsettle opponents...

    e.g. aussies know very well that if sachin is unsettled indian team would be easily won...I observed ian chappell employing interesting tactics such as taking potshot at sachin by praising lesser and mortals ahead of sachin. Its indirect criticism to build pressure on him.

    another example: Offfield mental disintegration, While playing with poms, SA they announce bunny and target couple of players from opponent side...somebody begins criticism and slowly all aussies join the chorus right from retired ones to playing ones, mcgrath to chappell

    ........ It would be great if you could list down all those off and onfield tactics aussie employ in your unique hillarious fashion that only you are capable of!

  • Mohammad Asad on October 15, 2010, 13:47 GMT

    Good One ....................................................... Especially 'Right Glen, you bowl from the bathroom end, and Shane, you take the bed end...........' Keep it up Andy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Prashant on October 15, 2010, 13:23 GMT

    Traicos' fate could've been far worse. Zeus could've, after all, shown up in the form of an ox and carried him off.....

  • kundan on October 15, 2010, 13:05 GMT

    seriously!!! not to your usual standards.....i dont k now how others understood the pun....but for me it was long cryptic and boring......as one of your fans, thought better would inform you.....peace....

  • subho on October 15, 2010, 13:00 GMT

    oh... read these blogs for comedy.. this guy is totally mad.. he takes proud in making fun of himself by blogging so ridicully..

  • Rakesh Chandra Pradhan on October 15, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    Dear Andy, with due respect to all that you have written, what have you tried to prove in this article...that sachin's greatness lies in his untiring assiduousness and love for cricket, or are you cribbing for the fact that people have come and gone and couldn't last even a few years of both types of cricket (and mind you sachin is playing all the three types of cricket).... dear sir, its all about unwavering humility coupled with undeterred grit and love for the game and pure lasting performance..... So sachin prefers to be tramped rather than tramp anyone....rest of it his figures and demeanour speaks...

  • Vikram on October 15, 2010, 12:31 GMT

    You sir - are a true artist!

  • Jeet on October 15, 2010, 12:25 GMT

    Disappointing, Andy...it seems you have tried too hard to be funny this time. may be you should try less...

  • Ronnie Cadevar on October 15, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    Get a life, hari seshasayee, this was quite a witty and hilarious article. There are quite a few subtle points here, hidden among some refreshing humor, that need to be percieved.

    They do say humor and a sense of perception are two standard issue qualities of the intelligent. You lack either.

    If you want to read dry numbers and dates, there's plenty of that in this website. Avoid Andy's blog and proceed to read what, like, twenty five or so "experts" have to say about the same somone's inning in twenty five inane ways... Lots of stats and points and all that that should change your life, I am sure.

    Smile, and the world shall smile with you. Maybe.

  • suresh shukla on October 15, 2010, 11:56 GMT

    Wow, great work andy. I am eagerly waiting your article on ashes winning/losing Aussie team which you had promised to write after India-australia series.

    @ Anubhav, if the article really went above your head then you surely have a zero sense of humour. Try reading some serious articles, those you might find interesting..

  • Fazeel_Randhawa on October 15, 2010, 11:32 GMT

    Official ICC Catalogue Of Bowlers Who Have Dismissed Both Sachin Tendulkar and Keith Stackpole In Test Cricket...............oh andy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ady on October 15, 2010, 11:29 GMT

    i dont find the fact that a player could not play becos his nation was banned as funny...dry...very very dry

  • DK on October 15, 2010, 11:26 GMT

    @hari seshasayee; That is the point of the article - to be pointless, it is meant for a laugh. There are many people that enjoy Andy's articles and if you aren't one of them, then please don't bother reading them any further. People's tastes differ so just because it is not to your liking, does not mean it is to nobody's!

  • Steve Wood on October 15, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    I don't think I've ever heard anyone sum up Ponting's captaincy so succinctly!

    'I have heard rumours that every night Ponting goes back to his hotel room, makes little papier-maché dolls of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, says to them: “Right, Glenn, you bowl from the bathroom end, and Shane, you take the bed end. I’m going for a snooze, and when I wake up I expect you to have bowled the opposition out. Night night.”'

    Genius!

  • abhi on October 15, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    what has happened to you Andy!? You are not funny these days?

  • Anonymous on October 15, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    Tendulkar playing for more than 31 years you wish :P

    I think he's got another 3-4 years left in him , although I would love to see him bat for even longer I think it would be a sad day in cricket when Tendulkar retires from the game.

  • Asif Imam on October 15, 2010, 10:47 GMT

    I read your blog twice and what i realised is - that if you wanted to go to USA and picked a flight to North Africa , from there you came to middle east to ...and then again lost and dunno hot to reach USA. I personally did not like it. you should have concentrated only on one fact (it could be debutants or legends like Sachin)rather than making assumations of smoke and fire

  • Subhasish on October 15, 2010, 10:31 GMT

    Loved this article! Wit at its best. I pity those who were unable to 'understand' the humor in it. Traicos and Zeus, Ricky and his tactics, Paras Mhambrey and Ian Salisbury... each one was a gem!!

  • Tony on October 15, 2010, 10:20 GMT

    Yeah aadhish, I reckon your blogs are sooo much more funny than Andy's. Loser.

    Awesome stuff Mr Zaltzman! The Zeus story is gold!

  • parthasarathy on October 15, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    Sachin should be made to play as an honorary player in a test to be held after 14 Nov 2021 to make him having served longest career in teh history of test cricket...wouln't it be fitting honour?

  • Lakhmi on October 15, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    Sachin is always a great player. He will surpass all the long records.

  • Lakhmi on October 15, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    Sachin is always a great player. He will surpass all the long records.

  • ashish on October 15, 2010, 9:44 GMT

    does anyone have a list of debutants having dismissed Tendulkar ?

  • Jigar on October 15, 2010, 9:00 GMT

    "Admittedly those rumours are ones that I have made up and said to myself, but still, no smoke without fire. There has to be some truth in them." - Excellent piece of writing!!

    I have a request to write an article on those bowlers who were hit by Sachin Tendulkar badly and what they were thinking on same night at hotel room!! Nice idea, huh?

  • saurabh on October 15, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    Andy.. One more thing.. You are by far the greatest wit I have had the pleasure to read .. just stop twitching my innards so hard.. I get a stomach cramp everytime I read your articles :)

  • Anonymous on October 15, 2010, 8:54 GMT

    “Right, Glenn, you bowl from the bathroom end, and Shane, you take the bed end. I’m going for a snooze, and when I wake up I expect you to have bowled the opposition out. Night night.”

    ROTFL... Please you are making my sides hurt Andy :)))

    I feel sorry for Ponting, he led admirably , and he is far more humble now in his approach. It's no fun picking on Ponting now that he has lost his trademark swagger :(((

  • Anand Bhat on October 15, 2010, 8:50 GMT

    Traicos and Zeus and Egyptigrecozimbabweacsouthafrican !!! Hilarious :-)

  • saurabh on October 15, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    Andy, halfway through the above masterpiece, I am pausing to catch my breath and drop in a few lines on the delectable dish that you have served for your loyal supporters. Simply Mesmerizing.. Now let me read it .. I am laughing too hard :)

  • Anubhav on October 15, 2010, 8:44 GMT

    You are really weird.Everything you said went above my head.I really don't want to say Indians have low understanding of humor but if people can understand what you said I myself might have a HQ(humor quotient)=0

  • Gautam on October 15, 2010, 8:36 GMT

    Heheheh....! Andy you are great... there are many who try too hard to be funny or witty and fall short at both fronts... but you are something else!! Thanks for the many times u've made me chuckle looking at my screen... altho that has convinced some ppl around me that i crazy.. with my laughter fits staring down the monitor... but this ur reads are totally worth it... Great goin.. Hoping n always waiting for more!!

    ... and i had a request for the confectionary stall.. U'd done lists of Xis in the past... The Upredictables..and the Dullness Personafied... Hope we can have some more Xis in the future.. maybe... The greatest 'Sledgers'..or The Ones that 'Ate all the pies'(besides scoring/taking wickets).. or the greatest moustache sporting XI..

  • Anadi Bhatia on October 15, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    Magnificent!

    Big Z!! Unbelievable :)

    But Andy, I'm quite sure Lara has made 10000 runs. It may be a correction you should consider.

    And yes, Mumbai Methuselah was just priceless.. Thank you :)

  • Tom on October 15, 2010, 8:17 GMT

    "Australia ended as a team with more question marks than a transcript of an unusually urgent police interrogation of a hard-of-hearing and inquisitive suspect."

    Bravo.

  • hari seshasayee on October 15, 2010, 8:03 GMT

    Zaltzman has done his satirical wit some justice by appearing on BBC Radio, writing for The Times and so on, but consider this article metaphorical to one of his dropped catches at deep mid wicket before he gets dropped off the cricket scene altogether, writing included.

    not impressive, just expanded a few tables of statistics into a somewhat-pointless 1300 word article.

  • Wolf on October 15, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    lovely stuff once again!

    I must use this sometime "Admittedly those rumours are ones that I have made up and said to myself, but still, no smoke without fire. There has to be some truth in them."

  • Sanju on October 15, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    As dry humour as I've ever seen! which isn't a big deal.

  • Nilendra on October 15, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    Hilarious.. as always.

  • Pawan on October 15, 2010, 7:58 GMT

    Gr8! Just Gr8!

    Up to the Mark and Well Balanced Words Want more to Continue!

  • arvind on October 15, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    Andy, This time you have exceeded yourself. I wonder if one day you will do a blog on your blog (meta blog). 'Thanks for the barbecue'... thats just too good...

  • aadhish on October 15, 2010, 7:30 GMT

    not funny . fail !!

  • satish on October 15, 2010, 7:20 GMT

    ahh!!!!! such a long test career and so less test matches without being dropped!!!!!! tats really hilarious

  • Agni on October 15, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    Yeah!! Big Andy Z has still got it... Hilarious.............

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  • Agni on October 15, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    Yeah!! Big Andy Z has still got it... Hilarious.............

  • satish on October 15, 2010, 7:20 GMT

    ahh!!!!! such a long test career and so less test matches without being dropped!!!!!! tats really hilarious

  • aadhish on October 15, 2010, 7:30 GMT

    not funny . fail !!

  • arvind on October 15, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    Andy, This time you have exceeded yourself. I wonder if one day you will do a blog on your blog (meta blog). 'Thanks for the barbecue'... thats just too good...

  • Pawan on October 15, 2010, 7:58 GMT

    Gr8! Just Gr8!

    Up to the Mark and Well Balanced Words Want more to Continue!

  • Nilendra on October 15, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    Hilarious.. as always.

  • Sanju on October 15, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    As dry humour as I've ever seen! which isn't a big deal.

  • Wolf on October 15, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    lovely stuff once again!

    I must use this sometime "Admittedly those rumours are ones that I have made up and said to myself, but still, no smoke without fire. There has to be some truth in them."

  • hari seshasayee on October 15, 2010, 8:03 GMT

    Zaltzman has done his satirical wit some justice by appearing on BBC Radio, writing for The Times and so on, but consider this article metaphorical to one of his dropped catches at deep mid wicket before he gets dropped off the cricket scene altogether, writing included.

    not impressive, just expanded a few tables of statistics into a somewhat-pointless 1300 word article.

  • Tom on October 15, 2010, 8:17 GMT

    "Australia ended as a team with more question marks than a transcript of an unusually urgent police interrogation of a hard-of-hearing and inquisitive suspect."

    Bravo.