December 30, 2010

The Lord's sham, the Twenty20 scam

ESPNcricinfo's editors on the best and worst in cricket in 2010
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Peter English

Australasia editor

Best: Clarke's Wellington century
Michael Clarke has had to endure too much talk in 2010 about his suitability for the captaincy whenever Ricky Ponting walks away. He's not batting well at the moment - slumps are part of the game for elite batsmen - but here's why he should be the next leader. In March he flew home briefly from the tour of New Zealand to deal with his high-profile engagement to a model. It was easily the biggest story of the week in Australia and he made a life-changing decision. Clarke broke off the long-term relationship, returned to the team in time for the first Test, and despite a huge amount of public and private criticism, scored a century. (He also posted a hundred under severely trying circumstances in the West Indies in 2008.) If you want a captain who shows that sort of commitment and focus to the team, and delivers success under such scrutiny, Clarke's your man.

Worst: Australia's seven-match losing streak
Australia's losing streak of seven games in all competitions was their worst since the late 1800s. Sure, the sequence included defeats in Tests, ODIs and Twenty20s, but the manner in which the side kept failing - and kept saying all was fine - just weeks before the Ashes was the most disturbing factor. It wouldn't have mattered as much if the avalanche of defeats hadn't come in the lead-up to the squad's biggest Test series of the cycle, or just a few months before the defence of the World Cup. Both events are carefully planned years ahead by the Australians. Almost everything fell apart in October. In the Mohali Test, and the Melbourne ODI against Sri Lanka, Australia needed to remove some pesky tailenders to seal the wins and provide a peak to the trough. But it was not until they were delivered a hangar full of criticism before the Ashes that they realised the extent of the problem. It was a key reason why the side started the Ashes so poorly.

Jayaditya Gupta

executive editor

Best: The IPL mess
Yes it was depressing and yes it cast a dark shadow over cricket's otherwise healthy state, but it burst a bubble that had grown too large on too little. Lalit Modi's tweet back in April forced into the open a lot of doubts and misgivings about his billion-dollar tournament, and brought many of them under the ambit of India's government and judiciary - and therefore made them subject to rather more thorough and transparent scrutiny. There is even hope that in its Modi-fied avatar the IPL will focus more on the cricket and less on the celebrity. One thing's for sure: no more lingering soft-focus shots of the IPL "commissioner". Things can only get better.

Worst: Tendulkar's 50th
Not the feat itself, obviously, but in the emotions it evoked back in India - which, with their hype, jingoism and myopia, showed up everything that is wrong with Indian cricket. The media, largely overlooking the fact that India were on the verge of an embarrassing thrashing, focused on the individual's success rather than the team's failure. A debate that began, that Monday night, with "Is Tendulkar greater than Bradman?" (and daring you to say "no") had extended by the weekend to whether Tendulkar was the greatest sportsman of all time. We're all guilty.

Andrew McGlashan

assistant editor

Best: England retaining the Ashes
Tim Bresnan finds the edge of Ben Hilfenhaus' bat, Matt Prior takes the catch and 24 years of hurt are over as England retain the Ashes in Australia at the MCG. It was an epic display, bowling out Australia for 98 before piling up 513, then running through the hosts a second time. Australia don't get beaten by an innings and 157 runs. Well, they do now. It was a success four years in the planning, from the moment England were whitewashed in 2006-07. It wasn't a seamless climb, far from it, but in Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower, England found a perfect combination. However, they are a team, a proper team. A few moments after the final wicket, Graeme Swann was leading a rendition of the "sprinkler dance" in front of the Barmy Army to launch a mass celebration. A day to savour.

Worst: the sham at Lord's
When Graeme Swann can barely bring himself to celebrate another Test match five-wicket haul you know something has gone badly wrong. England completed a record-breaking innings-and-225-run victory against Pakistan at Lord's, to take the series 3-1, but nobody's focus was on the action in the middle. The previous evening Pakistan had slid out of the ground without honouring their media commitments. It was presumed they were embarrassed by the performance, but a few hours later the News of the World revealed the sport's biggest corruption crisis in a decade, this time in the guise of spot-fixing. Given three of Pakistan's players - Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif - were splashed across front, back and many inside pages, there were serious thoughts the Test might not continue. Pakistan did appear, albeit briefly - England showed commendable professionalism to just get the job done - but it was one of most solemn atmospheres ever at Lord's. A match that saw a world-record stand between Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad was forever tarnished. Amir, fittingly, bagged a pair, and when he collected his Man-of-the-Series award, Giles Clarke could barely look at him. It was a feeling shared by many cricket fans.

Sidharth Monga

assistant editor

Best: Laxman's Mohali rescue
It was ridiculous actually. I was a guest on Test Match Sofa during lunch on day four of the Mohali Test. India had no business being in the match at that point, having collapsed to 124 for 8 chasing 216. VVS Laxman, fighting back spasms, running on injections and painkillers, had put up a semblance of a partnership with Ishant Sharma by the time TMS called. They sounded a bit grumpy, talking about the match state: being largely English, they hated that Australia were going to win. Instinctively I said: not until Laxman was there. On second thought, I should have known. The previous Test I had covered had featured a similar - though not as unbelievable - effort from Laxman, again fighting back spasms, in the fourth innings, as he guided India's chase of 257 from 62 for 4. As a journalist too, the two occasions were the best: I got to speak to Laxman immediately after, getting an insight into how the body and mind coped. What I drew was: there is something about crisis that brings out the best in Laxman, something he can't quite conjure when the going is smooth.

Worst: the IPL saga
This year the IPL, the most brazenly commercial of events - never mind the poor quality of cricket, it's a free market and if it sells, it sells - was shown up for the corrupt entity it was. This space is not enough to list what was and is wrong with it, but there is enough for an example. In the state of Maharashtra alone, the IPL, involving some of the richest men in the world, enjoyed waivers of US$2.2 to 2.6 million in taxes. Cricket's Stephen Glass, Lalit Modi, is gone, but unlike with the New Republic, the changes with the IPL are merely cosmetic. Must the show go on?

Andrew Miller

UK editor

Best: England clinching the decider against Pakistan
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. But for all the wrong reasons, the right vibe was created for an end-of-season party that throbbed with raw and real intensity at the Rose Bowl. In short, the spot-fixing saga was at the root of everything. The first half of England's one-day series against Pakistan had been a chore, and a grotesque one at that, with allegations and ugly confrontations undermining an already ill-conceived campaign. But then, in the manner that only they can manage, Pakistan got their act together. They won at The Oval and Lord's to square the series, with Ijaz Butt fuelling the bonfire of emotions by casting his extraordinary and soon-to-be retracted aspersions against England. But before they could clear their names, there was a series to be won and lost, and on a glorious late-summer's evening, under a blaze of floodlights, England showed immense poise and ferocious determination to snatch a win that prompted arguably their wildest celebrations since the Ashes victory 13 months earlier. It was only a one-day game, but it meant so much more than that, and it showcased a unity and determination to triumph over adversity that would stand England in perfect stead for the challenges to follow.

Worst: the Cardiff Twenty20s
The Lord's revelations were the most shocking moment of the summer, but the full squalid horror of the whole Pakistan match-fixing saga was not realised until the following weekend. Miserable weather greeted the first of the two Twenty20 internationals in Cardiff, which began with the Pakistani squad in full lockdown at the team hotel in the city centre, 24-hour news crews camping in the rain outside, and doubts circulating about whether the England team would be willing to play. The one-sided pair of matches did go ahead in the end, but in front of pitiful crowds, whose faith in the integrity of the sport had been rocked.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andre2 on January 2, 2011, 0:33 GMT

    Dear Indian fans, YES Tendulkar 50 hundreds + a 200 in ODIs and plenty other high ranking performances are great achievements, but Dravid 200 th catch in the slip is also something wonderful + Laxman rear-guard action in the Mohali test + the 1st inns in Durban are two of the best inns from VVS (with the 281 runs in 2001)... Nevertheless, RT Ponting has won THREE world cups ! (and 2 as captain with a 140 not out in the 2003 final against India) ! Will this Indian team (the one ranked n°1 in Test cricket) win the next World Cup ?

  • on January 1, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    Jayaditya Gupta, you are a brave man! Of course it is fine, and indeed, obligatory to salute Sachin's incredible achievement (I can't believe that I saw him score his first century 20 years ago, and he's still going strong!), but some of the hype was distasteful, as is any attempt to turn a team game into the worship of an individual. It was not as nauseating, though, as the West Indies' hyperbolical reaction to Lara's meaningless 400 in a drawn match in the dead rubber of a series in which those once proud nations had been drubbed 3-0. Especially as the Windies (especially the captain, Lara) seemed to go through the motions in the rest of the match, not even trying to win. Lara got showered with honours, and land, by the Trinidad government. There might have even been a public holiday. The gradual replacement of the team by one man's ego is actually the cause of a lot of the WI's current problems. India, beware.

  • on December 31, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    Not one mention about Pakistani players getting caught for spot fixing! Seriously? Tendulkar's hard earned 50th century was worse than 3 idiots fixing games? Get a life, you guys.

  • NALINWIJ on December 31, 2010, 15:01 GMT

    Overall India had a good year and is number 1. It is worth counting the number of matches that India would have lost had Laxma nnot saved them from defeat and even managed to win these matches. Laxman's 96 won the last test and Tendulkar's 50th century was a mere statistic that was inconsequential in the last match. Indians can talk of Tendulkar's greatness but he has not won as many matches as Laxman and should have been picked ion the Indian AT XI as he is the man for a crisis.

  • ashish514 on December 31, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    I totally understand that Jayaditya Gupta wasn't criticizing Sachin, but media and the fans. And i still disagree with his criticism. WHAT WAS BEING CELEBRATED IS NOT ONLY THIS ONE CENTURY, BUT ALSO THE 49 OTHER CENTURIES MANY OF WHICH HAVE COME IN WINNING AND MATCH SAVING CAUSES. Though we were disappointed at this loss, but what he achieved is greater than this loss. I would have agreed to the criticism if it would have been a loss against zimbabwe in India or a series loss against Pakistan or Bangladesh or even if this single loss had pulled India down from no.1 or if India had not shown any signs of revival in 2nd innings( though in that case the century wouldn't have been there). Criticizing Sachin's achievements and people reactions to them as become as big a cliche as idolizing and praising him. The man totally deserves the celebration. Though i too didn't like "Sachin better than Bradman" thing. That was foolish and childish, i never like such comparisons.

  • on December 31, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    If India win the Series then the first test loss is insignificant. But a 50 (100s) & a first 200 are HISTORY and here to stay long.

    I see this 50th Ton as a Pain reliever which makes us to overcome the loss. The same happend in 1997 in Chennai & PAK took credit for a victory lap...

  • george204 on December 31, 2010, 10:16 GMT

    @Rahul Verma - tha dance in the picture is the "Sprinkler dance".

    Apparently, it was started in Australia by drunk people standing around a bbq (where else?), Paul Collingwood heard about & showed it to Graeme Swann, who did a rendition of it in a video diary which became something of a cult hit among England fans on Youtube. After the Melbourne victory, the Barmy Army started chanting for the England players to do the dance & the players obliged. So that's all there is to it - not a long standing tradition, just a bit of fun.

  • on December 31, 2010, 10:06 GMT

    definitely ..the laxman's mohali innings was best of the year.

  • sachingod on December 31, 2010, 9:08 GMT

    I don't know why so many people have become cynical of sachin's achievement. And somehow sachin tendulkar has come out looking bad out of all this which is not fair to the great man. I guess we as Indians over react to every 100, but this achievement deserved every bit of the attention it got becoz no other cricketer has been there. He also showed great character in both the inngs and he was the last man standing so instead of blaming sachin blindly for the defeat blame the others also.

  • on December 31, 2010, 7:33 GMT

    It's realy unfortunate for sachin's supporters to be criticised in such a way. One should never forget that it was not the first moment in cricket history when India lost the test match but 50th ton was the moment that have never seen and no one will see atleast in this generation. So sachin's fan have every right to celebrate and critics to criticise coz this moment will never be repeated.

  • Andre2 on January 2, 2011, 0:33 GMT

    Dear Indian fans, YES Tendulkar 50 hundreds + a 200 in ODIs and plenty other high ranking performances are great achievements, but Dravid 200 th catch in the slip is also something wonderful + Laxman rear-guard action in the Mohali test + the 1st inns in Durban are two of the best inns from VVS (with the 281 runs in 2001)... Nevertheless, RT Ponting has won THREE world cups ! (and 2 as captain with a 140 not out in the 2003 final against India) ! Will this Indian team (the one ranked n°1 in Test cricket) win the next World Cup ?

  • on January 1, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    Jayaditya Gupta, you are a brave man! Of course it is fine, and indeed, obligatory to salute Sachin's incredible achievement (I can't believe that I saw him score his first century 20 years ago, and he's still going strong!), but some of the hype was distasteful, as is any attempt to turn a team game into the worship of an individual. It was not as nauseating, though, as the West Indies' hyperbolical reaction to Lara's meaningless 400 in a drawn match in the dead rubber of a series in which those once proud nations had been drubbed 3-0. Especially as the Windies (especially the captain, Lara) seemed to go through the motions in the rest of the match, not even trying to win. Lara got showered with honours, and land, by the Trinidad government. There might have even been a public holiday. The gradual replacement of the team by one man's ego is actually the cause of a lot of the WI's current problems. India, beware.

  • on December 31, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    Not one mention about Pakistani players getting caught for spot fixing! Seriously? Tendulkar's hard earned 50th century was worse than 3 idiots fixing games? Get a life, you guys.

  • NALINWIJ on December 31, 2010, 15:01 GMT

    Overall India had a good year and is number 1. It is worth counting the number of matches that India would have lost had Laxma nnot saved them from defeat and even managed to win these matches. Laxman's 96 won the last test and Tendulkar's 50th century was a mere statistic that was inconsequential in the last match. Indians can talk of Tendulkar's greatness but he has not won as many matches as Laxman and should have been picked ion the Indian AT XI as he is the man for a crisis.

  • ashish514 on December 31, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    I totally understand that Jayaditya Gupta wasn't criticizing Sachin, but media and the fans. And i still disagree with his criticism. WHAT WAS BEING CELEBRATED IS NOT ONLY THIS ONE CENTURY, BUT ALSO THE 49 OTHER CENTURIES MANY OF WHICH HAVE COME IN WINNING AND MATCH SAVING CAUSES. Though we were disappointed at this loss, but what he achieved is greater than this loss. I would have agreed to the criticism if it would have been a loss against zimbabwe in India or a series loss against Pakistan or Bangladesh or even if this single loss had pulled India down from no.1 or if India had not shown any signs of revival in 2nd innings( though in that case the century wouldn't have been there). Criticizing Sachin's achievements and people reactions to them as become as big a cliche as idolizing and praising him. The man totally deserves the celebration. Though i too didn't like "Sachin better than Bradman" thing. That was foolish and childish, i never like such comparisons.

  • on December 31, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    If India win the Series then the first test loss is insignificant. But a 50 (100s) & a first 200 are HISTORY and here to stay long.

    I see this 50th Ton as a Pain reliever which makes us to overcome the loss. The same happend in 1997 in Chennai & PAK took credit for a victory lap...

  • george204 on December 31, 2010, 10:16 GMT

    @Rahul Verma - tha dance in the picture is the "Sprinkler dance".

    Apparently, it was started in Australia by drunk people standing around a bbq (where else?), Paul Collingwood heard about & showed it to Graeme Swann, who did a rendition of it in a video diary which became something of a cult hit among England fans on Youtube. After the Melbourne victory, the Barmy Army started chanting for the England players to do the dance & the players obliged. So that's all there is to it - not a long standing tradition, just a bit of fun.

  • on December 31, 2010, 10:06 GMT

    definitely ..the laxman's mohali innings was best of the year.

  • sachingod on December 31, 2010, 9:08 GMT

    I don't know why so many people have become cynical of sachin's achievement. And somehow sachin tendulkar has come out looking bad out of all this which is not fair to the great man. I guess we as Indians over react to every 100, but this achievement deserved every bit of the attention it got becoz no other cricketer has been there. He also showed great character in both the inngs and he was the last man standing so instead of blaming sachin blindly for the defeat blame the others also.

  • on December 31, 2010, 7:33 GMT

    It's realy unfortunate for sachin's supporters to be criticised in such a way. One should never forget that it was not the first moment in cricket history when India lost the test match but 50th ton was the moment that have never seen and no one will see atleast in this generation. So sachin's fan have every right to celebrate and critics to criticise coz this moment will never be repeated.

  • Point4 on December 31, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    Is Peter english a part of NSW brigade whom i know from comments posted by Aussie supporters here.Picking Clarje's century against a below par Kiwis in neighboring Oz as the best of teh year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!and that ensures he is captain material (better not to mention the life changing decision and all thta crap mentioned here..)ATROCIOUS..Aussies's best should beany of these 1)any of the 2 centuries by Hssey in this Ashes. 2)Siddle-Hussey partnership which won them Sydney match 3)or Mitchell's spell in Perth which gave them teir solitary win after 7 losses..any takers!!!???

  • Psyc_s on December 31, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    Now Mr.Jayaditya has got his due attention, Great Victories and Heart Breaking defeats are common in any sports, it can happen anytime. As you mentioned i was worried that India was on the verge of an innings defeat and was still happy about Sachin Gettings his 50th Ton because i knew i am seeing this for the first time and might be the last time also. It is our very Indian Culture to celebrate even the smallest of victories. Someone had mentioned about Sachin not saving the innings defeat by not taking strike when tailenders came around, it is a strategy which, team captain, coach and the individual players in the middle decides about how to approach and it may not be successful all the time.

  • Neutral_man_2010 on December 31, 2010, 2:56 GMT

    Tendulkar's 50th century was highlighted whereas the fact that he exposed the tailender's werent given due attention. He is a brilliant player but his ability to adapt to match situations are questionable.

  • on December 31, 2010, 2:38 GMT

    Regarding Sachin's feat, (total respect for him) however, he could have really shown his team mentality had he refused press conferences or media exposure before the match was over. It would have diluted the media's intense hogging over his achievement and focused more on the team rather than Sachin himself.

  • Maui3 on December 31, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    Yet another tendulkar thread! 50th century is quite a big deal and so would be 100th international hundred. It might never be repeated and no surprise that it overshadowed an innings defeat loss. How many of you even remember what happened when Sobers hit 365 or lara hot 400 or Laker took 19 wickets or when (sure, you can make guesses, but do you really remember what else happened in that game). 50 centuries in tests and 46 more in ODI and still look good for more. Selfish or not, this is mind-boggling. The next best is 30% less by Ponting. This is indeed Bradmanesque in a different dimension.

    Now, regarding Ashes, the 7 losses was not the reason why the Ashes started so poorly for Australia. The obsession with Ashes while playing international matches with other countries was the reason for 7 losses - Peter, you have got it backwords.

  • on December 30, 2010, 23:54 GMT

    Peter English, you are kidding about Clarke aren't you? 2 "tough" centuries over 3 years makes you captain material? Oh dear. Where was his captain material in the Ashes? He got out to poor shot after poor shot after poor shot.

  • Knocker12 on December 30, 2010, 22:44 GMT

    Somebody very wisely posted that there were two teams to follow this year, India and England, so I think for 2011, we look forward to seeing them lock horns. And Jayaditya, thank you for a brave piece of text - absolutely - Tendulkar is great, but his worship tends to gloss over the team thing and I am sure Sachin would be the first to support the team ethic, so well done for raising this.

  • Sameer-hbk on December 30, 2010, 19:30 GMT

    So according to all the batting legends in the comments section here (and there seem to be many), Sachin should weigh his options, think carefully and score runs only after being certain that India will win the match. Every other time he should just let India lose by an innings and 225 runs instead of innings and 27... Awesome... Yes, centuries in losing cause do not matter one bit. And one batsman can play at both ends and bowl, take 20 wickets and win the match all by himself... You got the concept of team sport allright!!

    @Jayaditya Gupta... I repeat myself... You are all about positivity, aint you? :))

  • viva_cric on December 30, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    Yeah. Amomg all Laxman's innings at P.Sara, Mohali and Durban are the best in the decade. No questions about tendulkar's integrety. COming to Australia this is their fate went into shades after they badly fraud india in SCG test 2007-08 . Since then Australia went to undermined. it's all because of their attitude. two culprits in SCG test were Clarke and Ponting. OZ will be improved when these two guys are out of the team and Great Hussey take the leadership.

  • on December 30, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    Anyone know what kind of dance the English team was doing at the end of the test match? Is that an Ashes tradition or something?

  • krdharmesh on December 30, 2010, 18:09 GMT

    There is no doubt we Indians tend to glorify individual achievements. Individual achievemnts should be lauded, but more importantly the team should win.

  • on December 30, 2010, 17:23 GMT

    Absolutely .

    Tendulkar could have avoided the innings defeat but like Graeme Smith said he was shamelessly rotating the strike to tailenders in a hope that he remains not out and improves his average in SA and of course overall average .

    Plus after the 50th Ton people people forget that this generation itself has so many batsman who have made more than 10000 runs @ 50+ average and the debate is being done with Don Bradman who average something like 100 and the next best was like 58 ? ... 42 runs lower ... Jeez how insane can people get ... ?

    Wally Hammond reached 7000 runs in 1947 and 7000 runs then was so massive than it took 23 years long years for somebody else to scale it ( that too after playing a good number of test matches more than hammond) ... All these years nobody questioned if Hammond was greater than Bradman or not ... Then why this hype now in Media ? Especially after an innings defeat ?

    LOL

  • Nata on December 30, 2010, 17:13 GMT

    With due respects to all who say Sachin's 50th was in vain - India was under same pressure at Centurion as much as Durban to save the test and bat two full days. None, including the man I like VVS, could stand and bat TIME with Sachin & Dhoni. These five [ Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly, Kumble and Lax] are the real heroes of Indian cricket. Let us enjoy the moments they provide without arguing who is the best!

  • cricPassion2009 on December 30, 2010, 16:13 GMT

    What is with English team doing Sprinkler Dance ?! The picture looks like a scene out of a Bollywood movie !

    Best of the year certainly belonged to 2 teams: England and India.. both rose and rose and rose. England has started realizing the immense potential they've always had and are now a force to reckon with. India is running high thanks to combination of cavalier, steady and match-saving players.

    Australia and Ponting's fall looks tragic.

  • P.James on December 30, 2010, 14:55 GMT

    Oh, so they were critising the FANS, and not SRT? May I ask why? Did Tendulkar fans go about vandalising, or creating a ruckus? They just tried look at a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy loss. How is that the worst 'cricketing moment' of the entire year. And do the job responsibilities of some editors now include tutoring people on how to react? Please remember they are just fans not fanatics and there is no violation of social norms involved. I think Mr Jayaditya is the only one of the four editors, who is referring to public's reaction as the worst moment while other three focus on actual cricketing moments. I wonder why..?

  • djfw666 on December 30, 2010, 14:23 GMT

    Are the Tendulkar fans even capable of reading properly? They were criticising YOU, not SRT. They were criticising the fact that none of his worshippers seemed to remember that he was scoring a futile century in a walloping at the hands of the no. 2 side in Test cricket. While scoring that 50th century no doubt was feted as it should be, the fact remains that his stats get far more airplay than the rest of world cricket combined, even the games he plays in become footnotes. That's what was being said here.

  • P.James on December 30, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    Jayaditya, I think what you mention might be the worst 'media moment' not 'cricketing moment.' I thought the essence of article was to describe best and worst on-field moments, not public reactions to what happens on field. Perhaps you might want to read this article: http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/voices/the-worst-sachin-arguments

  • praume2001 on December 30, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    how come none of the editors mentioned Sachin's 200 in ODI as the best moment... that was historical...no one has ever done it...and i dont think so in near future its possible even... i can understand anti Indians being jealous abt our jewel Sachin... India loosing the match is not an out of the world thing...or for tht matter ne other team too...but tell me how many players in the world till now has made 50 test centuries... and we Indians believe in being happy...so we celebrate whtever we can...forgetting out losses...bcoz we knw our team is a fighter and it will bounce back...as it did... as for IPL ... i just luv it... whtever u may call it...money minting machine or corruptive or whtever...but still we luv it...

    best moments : Sachin 200...laxman's three second innings knock...angelo matthew's and malinga's partnership in the ODI in AUS...and Ricky's crashed egoistic face...

    worst moments : Pakistan selling cricket's pride and honesty... new zealands loss to bangladesh...

  • on December 30, 2010, 13:25 GMT

    Finally someone said the right about the "MEDIA HYPE" on Sachin's 50th ton. Leading the gang was TOI, they put out 4 full pages on this achievement .. you will wonder if India just won the world cup. This is not the 1st time this has happened. Yes, the achievement should be praised, but with some context. This is just public manipulation by media (read TOI), to sell more of their copies and distort ad charges.

  • on December 30, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    there r some so called ''experts'' whose main agenda is to criticise whataever SRT achieves, after 5-10 yrs no1 is goin 2 remember them but the GOD will be. besides it's just a game ,if som1 don't want 2 enjoy forget it. but surely it was not ''worse''(if some1 consider some tabloid kind of electronic media as standard ,forgive me)

  • george204 on December 30, 2010, 12:59 GMT

    @Ajay Kumar Reddy & Gourab Goswami (& not doubt the hundreds of similar replies that will soon follow): I think you just proved Jayaditya Gupta's point...

  • on December 30, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    @ prathyush , ajay , y2sj You all have to understand that nowadays it is in fashion ( to criticise SRT .... just for a change ..you know .. sports editors are too tired of heaping praise on him ... afterall this guy in most rarest of the rare conditions give an inch to the sports writers all over the world to criticise him ... even though it is unduly criticism ...

  • on December 30, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    Completely agree with Jayaditya Gupta's comment on Tendulkar's 50th test century! Our obsession with individual records is one of the IMPORTANT reasons for a lack of consistency. Nothing to take away from the great man, but at least some focus should have been given to the resounding thrashing that we had received too. If you did not know better, you would have thought that India had won the match & the series too, reading/ hearing the media blitz :)

  • on December 30, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    Best moment of the Year was the India-Sth Africa test match at Kolkata, watching Hashim Amla fight a superb day long rearguard battle but ultimately India were not to be denied. Test match cricket at its ultimate best, Harbhajan's reaction at the end showed how much it meant. Worst moment? Edgbaston Test match - Stuart Broad pathetically & petulantly chucking the ball at Haider, as a hopelessly outclassed Pakistan side were just starting to rally. Even worse than that was the slip-on-the-wrist punishment handed out to him

  • on December 30, 2010, 12:21 GMT

    Jayaditya: Are the best and worst interchanged for your post any chance?

  • Farce-Follower on December 30, 2010, 11:57 GMT

    At last a Cricinfo editor with courage. I totally agree with the SRT hype and hyperbole. It was the worst. Aghast at seeing a front Page headline asking, if he was the best ever. Again an obsession with statistics and not outcomes. Whatever, may be said of Ricky Ponting, he was an integral part of three WC triumphs and that matters.

  • AdityaMookerjee on December 30, 2010, 10:18 GMT

    The performance of India at Durban was the biggest comeback since Saurav Ganguly won that Headingley test match, as captain for India. Dhoni is indeed lucky for India. India couldn't ask for a better New Years Eve celebration. I'm surprised that the reaction back home was lukewarm. The batsmen did their job, but the bowlers did an exemplary job. The team from Australia, is the team which fascinates most, when they are not doing well. I remember the team under Kim Huges(?) when India won the World Championship of Cricket, beating Pakistan in the finals. It was an unusually interesting sight watching the men in green and gold playing against India. That team was also among the best in the world, and it is hard to think of Ponting's team as not among the best. I believe, the Australian team is not playing like a team. All the men, have to be involved as a unit, and not be concerned about individual form.

  • on December 30, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    I think the best moment was Sachin 200 in ODI and Laxman's Mohali Win. Worst could be Randiv-Sehwag clash

  • on December 30, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    @Jayaditya Gupta I guess your best and worst have been interchanged please correct it. Be extra careful when involvling tendulkar

  • Y2SJ on December 30, 2010, 7:19 GMT

    @Jayaditya Gupta - The way India celebrated Sachin's 50th Century is based on the way Indian team has been playing before Kumble's captaincy. How many times have the Indian public see herioc efforts from kapil Dev, Viswanath, Amarnath, Sachin etc go in vain. We as a nation have had very few success to celebrate until recently. Only in the past decade, the Indian team has started to win test matches outside the sub continent. This mentality will change once Sachin retires as there wont be any player after him who is capable of winning games single handedly. Hence the future victories will be more of a team effort than super human effort by a single player.

  • george204 on December 30, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    My best & worst could be packaged into a single event miles away from the test (or even the first class) arena: young Armaan Jaffer's mamoth 498 for Rizvi Springfield High School in the Giles Shield.

    Best: that schoolboys in India play 3 day cricket & learn the disciplines of batting (& bowling!) all day.

    Worst: That schoolboys in India play 3 day cricket, yet here in England players don't encounter the two innings format until they reach county 2nd XIs or the Minor Counties championship in their late teens/early 20s. Worse still, the ECB imposed a stupid ruling than players under 18 cannot bowl more than 12 overs in a day, so even if a school DID stage a 2 or 3 day game, almost the entire XI would need to bowl in order to complete a day's play where the batting side were not bowled out. Might this have something to do with why India is enjoying a golden age of batsmanship yet England haven't produced a world class batsman since David Gower?

  • BeautifulGame on December 30, 2010, 6:33 GMT

    IPL is for indian cricket fans and not for Media Pundits.Large number of indian fans like IPL.So IPL must or rather i should say is going on.

    Also the best and worst moments this year for me r:

    Best: Winning test 3rd test and drawing the series in SSrilanka.In a place where every team is usually white washed we(India) played exceptionally well to draw the series considering we were behind the 8 ball till last day of the series.

    Worst: Decline of Aussies.As much I envied their success over the last 20 years its sad to see the decline of their team.Hope they rebuild lish English did in 90s and avoid going down the path of WI in 90s

  • on December 30, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    @Jayaditya Gupta, I totally disagree your point that Media hype on Sachin's 50th century was worst. You should consider how much effort he had put in to minimize the margin of loss in terms of runs.

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  • on December 30, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    @Jayaditya Gupta, I totally disagree your point that Media hype on Sachin's 50th century was worst. You should consider how much effort he had put in to minimize the margin of loss in terms of runs.

  • BeautifulGame on December 30, 2010, 6:33 GMT

    IPL is for indian cricket fans and not for Media Pundits.Large number of indian fans like IPL.So IPL must or rather i should say is going on.

    Also the best and worst moments this year for me r:

    Best: Winning test 3rd test and drawing the series in SSrilanka.In a place where every team is usually white washed we(India) played exceptionally well to draw the series considering we were behind the 8 ball till last day of the series.

    Worst: Decline of Aussies.As much I envied their success over the last 20 years its sad to see the decline of their team.Hope they rebuild lish English did in 90s and avoid going down the path of WI in 90s

  • george204 on December 30, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    My best & worst could be packaged into a single event miles away from the test (or even the first class) arena: young Armaan Jaffer's mamoth 498 for Rizvi Springfield High School in the Giles Shield.

    Best: that schoolboys in India play 3 day cricket & learn the disciplines of batting (& bowling!) all day.

    Worst: That schoolboys in India play 3 day cricket, yet here in England players don't encounter the two innings format until they reach county 2nd XIs or the Minor Counties championship in their late teens/early 20s. Worse still, the ECB imposed a stupid ruling than players under 18 cannot bowl more than 12 overs in a day, so even if a school DID stage a 2 or 3 day game, almost the entire XI would need to bowl in order to complete a day's play where the batting side were not bowled out. Might this have something to do with why India is enjoying a golden age of batsmanship yet England haven't produced a world class batsman since David Gower?

  • Y2SJ on December 30, 2010, 7:19 GMT

    @Jayaditya Gupta - The way India celebrated Sachin's 50th Century is based on the way Indian team has been playing before Kumble's captaincy. How many times have the Indian public see herioc efforts from kapil Dev, Viswanath, Amarnath, Sachin etc go in vain. We as a nation have had very few success to celebrate until recently. Only in the past decade, the Indian team has started to win test matches outside the sub continent. This mentality will change once Sachin retires as there wont be any player after him who is capable of winning games single handedly. Hence the future victories will be more of a team effort than super human effort by a single player.

  • on December 30, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    @Jayaditya Gupta I guess your best and worst have been interchanged please correct it. Be extra careful when involvling tendulkar

  • on December 30, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    I think the best moment was Sachin 200 in ODI and Laxman's Mohali Win. Worst could be Randiv-Sehwag clash

  • AdityaMookerjee on December 30, 2010, 10:18 GMT

    The performance of India at Durban was the biggest comeback since Saurav Ganguly won that Headingley test match, as captain for India. Dhoni is indeed lucky for India. India couldn't ask for a better New Years Eve celebration. I'm surprised that the reaction back home was lukewarm. The batsmen did their job, but the bowlers did an exemplary job. The team from Australia, is the team which fascinates most, when they are not doing well. I remember the team under Kim Huges(?) when India won the World Championship of Cricket, beating Pakistan in the finals. It was an unusually interesting sight watching the men in green and gold playing against India. That team was also among the best in the world, and it is hard to think of Ponting's team as not among the best. I believe, the Australian team is not playing like a team. All the men, have to be involved as a unit, and not be concerned about individual form.

  • Farce-Follower on December 30, 2010, 11:57 GMT

    At last a Cricinfo editor with courage. I totally agree with the SRT hype and hyperbole. It was the worst. Aghast at seeing a front Page headline asking, if he was the best ever. Again an obsession with statistics and not outcomes. Whatever, may be said of Ricky Ponting, he was an integral part of three WC triumphs and that matters.

  • on December 30, 2010, 12:21 GMT

    Jayaditya: Are the best and worst interchanged for your post any chance?

  • on December 30, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    Best moment of the Year was the India-Sth Africa test match at Kolkata, watching Hashim Amla fight a superb day long rearguard battle but ultimately India were not to be denied. Test match cricket at its ultimate best, Harbhajan's reaction at the end showed how much it meant. Worst moment? Edgbaston Test match - Stuart Broad pathetically & petulantly chucking the ball at Haider, as a hopelessly outclassed Pakistan side were just starting to rally. Even worse than that was the slip-on-the-wrist punishment handed out to him