The Ascent

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He stood at the gates of Heaven. He was happy. He had lived a  contented life till the age of seventy-eight. It was then that one day during the shooting of his movie “Kahin Toh Mera Pyar Hoga” opposite the granddaughter of yesteryear actress Madhuri Dixit, that his heart missed one too many beats during the song  “Yeh dil kyon dhak dhak dhadakta hain”.

The nation had gone into mourning, Times of India blackened out its front-page and Dev Anand and Hangal had spoken touchingly, to the cameras, about what a great man he had been.

He turned around. Standing behind him were a bunch of farmers who had committed suicide a few decades ago but were still there, looking forlorn lost and desolate, outside the gates.

‘God probably doesnt know they are there’, he thought. ‘After all he only reads Mid-Day.’

But the fact that he had arrived at Heaven’s door was well-known. The gates had a huge poster that said “Welcome King  Baazigar.” In the distance, he heard a remix of “Dard-e-disco” being played by the angels who, as we all know,  have long since abandoned their harps for DJ stations.

Presently a man stood in front of him. Old, bespectacled in a rather dirty dhoti, he was holding a clipboard and just looking up at him.

“Are you God?” he asked.

“No I am not. I am just the guy you need to pass in order to go to Him.”

“Oh hello then.”

‘My name is Chitro Gupto, a Bengali from Kolkata. Now here is where you have a problem. You see, I  am the person who decides whether you can even meet God. In other words, I have the power to make you wait for a million years right here. It’s not a coincidence that I also work at Writer’s Building, the seat of Bengal’s administration in my spare time.’

‘Kolkata. Oh no. I am so….Please it’s the whole Knight Riders thing isn’t it?’

‘Yes of course. In three years of IPL’s existence, we were the only team that never made it to the semi-finals. And for that, I as a Kolkatan, demand an answer.’

‘Mmm…I mean…it’s a game…I mean honestly….pyar ka har mor asaan naheen hote, jeet ke haarne waalon ko Agarkar kahete hain….’

‘Please. Your dialogs won’t work here. Listen to me carefully. In 2008, while other franchises assembled a team with the express aim to win games, you created a squad so as to appeal to the Pakistani market—-with crazy buys like Shoaib Akthar, Salman Butt and Mohammed Hafiz. More criminally, knowing that batting is the heart of T20, you did not take a single top 15 Indian batting star—not a single one. This left you to depend critically on foreigners for batting power, who you were not allowed to play more than four of.

And then in 2009, even after a disastrous season 1, while other franchises like Bangalore rectified their team situation you chose to now target the Bangladeshi market buying for 650,000 USD a player who you played for one match where he gave 21 runs in the last over. Finally in 2010, you just went ahead and bought a has-been fast-man on pitches where pace-varying bowlers were seen reaping the most benefit. You never cared for our city.  I spent so much money on buying the official KKR jersey and then you changed it so that you can milk us again. In the meanwhile you tried to get the name Kolkata dropped from the franchise name—the only owner who tried to ditch his city, a city which reciprocated by packing in stadiums even for your dead rubbers. Sorry sir. You only existed to make money.’

He scowled. The urge to shake his lips and make his eyes red was immense. But he couldn’t make this dude angry.

‘First of all sir with due respect, IPL isnt about winning. It is about sweating for equity. It is about making money. The competition is not between Knight Riders, Daredevils and Super Kings. No it is  Nokia vs Karbon vs Maxx Mobile. The only heavenly presence in IPL is the MRF blimp that floats above and even the Lord’s name would not be uttered unless he got a company to sponsor the word. So let’s first get this “winning-losing” thing out of the picture.

Second, when you say I didnt care for the city, among all the franchisee owners I spent the most amount on that blasted team. I got that wretched Buchanan based on some nut’s recommendation—-I remember his exact words of endorsement “What you are to acting, Buchanan is to coaching.” It was two seasons later that I realized that ass was being tongue-in-cheek. But by that time I was paying through my nose to support Buchanan and his extended family—all of whom he had hired as expert consultants. Then next season I got Wasim Akram—WhatMore could I do?

Third, I just had some rotten luck. Every player be it Gayle, McCullum or Hussey, the moment they appeared for KKR. they would hit the nadirs of their form. All other franchises had their stars and their dodos. I only had the latter. We were just a black hole for talent.

And lastly, and I hesitate to say this because I know I may be shooting myself in the foot here, it was Dada who should get a lot of the blame. The man would come out to open and score at a strike rate of 110 match after match when other openers in other teams would be going at 170 in the first few overs. Dada was playing big shots true but he was wasting too many balls, moving legside and not rotating the strike. When the ball was the hardest and coming onto the bat on slow Indian pitches, we lost deliveries thanks to his inability to get off strike and consistently hit boundaries.’

Chitro Gupto looked angry. It was then that he noted a wrist-band on Chitro Gupta’s hand which said “Dada Forever”.

‘Hah. If you had only bothered to select some decent Indian batsmen to follow then Dada wouldnt have to take the responsibility of anchoring the innings. Look at the record books. Even at a strike rate of 110, he was the most consistent batsman for your team. Your strike-rotators and big hitters, great as they must have been, were cooling their heels in the dugout since they rarely lasted more than three overs. Maybe if Dada could have been able to trust those who came after him, he would have been able to open up. We never found out did we?

In 2010, you must have realized the mistake of your selection. When the ICL players were available, you had a chance to rectify the situation of the lack of quality Indian batsmen. What did you do? You let the best ICL performers—R. Satish, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Ambati Rayadu be taken by other teams. By mistake perhaps, you did buy one half-decent guy named Ganapathy Vignesh. Yet you never once played him. Instead you played your other ICL star—-Rohan Gavaskar who was not called to bowl and batted after the bowlers.’

He stayed silent. It was futile arguing with this guy. So he tried another track.

‘Come on sir. Don’t you know I was only doing God’s work at the IPL.  Didn’t God say “Take in those that are weak and you shall obtain mercy.” I took in Akash Chopra and Sanjay Bangar. Didn’t God say “Embrace those that cannot see and you shall see light.”. I hired Murali Kartik. Didn’t God say ” Give shelter to those that are dumb and you shall be wise.” I hired Ishant Sharma. Didn’t God say “Remember those that are forgotten and thou shallst live for ever?” I hired Rohan Gavaskar, Hokkaido and Tatendra Taibu.  Didn’t God say ‘Heal those that are sick and you shall be well?’ I paid top dollar for Shoaib Akthar and his genital warts.

‘And even if you did not consider any of this, you should remember that I hired Ajit Agarkar. You of all people should know that he is no ordinary mortal. Like Jesus Christ who was brutalized by the Romans and still he rained mercy down upon them looking to God with a “Forgive them for they know not what they do”, Agarkar match after match took the worst form of punishment from the batsmen, equivalent to crucifixion and still came back, again and again, asking the sinners to do their worst, giving the world an idea of what true ethereal love is, the love that only gives and does not take. Just for giving the world that, if not for anything else, I deserve an audience with God. Please.’

Chitro Gupto looked up at him through his glasses, sadly shaking his head.

But just then there was light everywhere. Chitro Gupto trembled in fear.

Another presence was there. White, glowing, with a flowing beard, extending from eternity to eternity.

God spoke. His voice was shrill like a teenager.

‘Aaaaaaaaaaa I just cannot believe it……………… I have like seen Mohabbatein a million times…. Oh my God it is YOU….’

Relieved now, He looked at God, flashing that smile to the side.

God blushed.

Then he glanced in victory at Chitro Gupto, who looked away in shame.

His dimpled cheeks now radiated the halo of  eternal light.

98 thoughts on “The Ascent

  1. ‘pyar ka har mor asaan naheen hote, jeet ke haarne waalon ko Agarkar kahete hain….’
    too cool.although i guess it is spelt as “pyar ke har mod”.

  2. Once again a very humorous article, unnecessarily firing from one man’s shoulder though. Loved this paragraph

    “‘Come on sir. Don’t you know I was only doing God’s work at the IPL. Didn’t God say “Take in those that are weak and you shall obtain mercy.” I took in Akash Chopra and Sanjay Bangar. Didn’t God say “Embrace those that cannot see and you shall see light.”. I hired Murali Kartik. Didn’t God say ” Give shelter to those that are dumb and you shall be wise.” I hired Ishant Sharma. Didn’t God say “Remember those that are forgotten and thou shallst live for ever?” I hired Rohan Gavaskar, Hokkaido and Tatendra Taibu. Didn’t God say ‘Heal those that are sick and you shall be well?’ I paid top dollar for Shoaib Akthar and his genital warts.”

  3. awesome one sirjee. especially the part wher u quote the god,s quotes is just mind blowing. hmmmmmmmm… kkkkkkkkkkkkkkr…

  4. I think Gandguly’s selfish attitude is responsible for KKR’s exit. Even though he scored many runs in IPL3, his Strike rate is very low. I don’t think his strike rate is even in top 25.

    Day before yesterday, when KKR had to win remaining last two matches with huge margins, Ganguly batted slow in initial overs and even though KKR won, it didn’t help improving net run rates. Shame on Gandguly.

  5. Excellent stuff GB! dont have words to comment on u r demented mind which creates this kind of sarcastic humour again and again.

    ‘First of all sir with due respect, IPL isnt about winning. It is about sweating for equity. It is about making money. The competition is not between Knight Riders, Daredevils and Super Kings. No it is Nokia vs Karbon vs Maxx Mobile. The only heavenly presence in IPL is the MRF blimp that floats above and even the Lord’s name would not be uttered unless he got a company to sponsor the word. So let’s first get this “winning-losing” thing out of the picture.’

    very funny.

  6. was expecting such a post from u “GB”….really, even though i m not from kolkatta but my sympathy goes all way to the sports lover of this mind blowing city…..even in a dud match like the last one between KKR and MI(which bear no effect on the point table) fans were in full attendance….such a support to these “Baazigars” is just awesome….shame is to the person who give such knee-jerk reactions(the original Baazigar….SSSSRukKKKKKhan)….lately have begun to dislike everything he does…..

  7. Frankly speakin, i think KKR (read Kolkata) r gettin back what they hv given. Who cn forget the treason-like attitude when Edens booed Indian team n Dravid jst coz they had dropped Dada. Awesum no? Indian n its team cn go to hell, we only support Dada. Trust me, if he wsnt in ths team, Edens would b near-empty. So, if SRK thought of droppin ‘kolkata’ frm KKR, i cant blame him fr that. He is only to blame fr stupid decisions regardin selection n ofcourse “bhhokha-naan” (ref.: fake ipl player) . As for Dada, he was n still remains the god of offside..but he should admit hes losin his touch fast. KKR shld hv opened wit Gayle n McCullum while dada cmng at no 3.. bt neways, another year of ‘almost!!!’ fr KKR….

  8. @Richandfamous- Bhai let him live yaar. U will not be richandfamous by referring his surname as Gandguly. He has won so many matches for india and even for KKR especially in this season.he has made all of us proud several times in his carrer. what more u expect from a 38 year old captain who alone carrying the responsibilities of a team filled with jokers and whose owner is a person who dance in marriages of wealthy people.whose loquacious tongue often slips and that too intentionally. who thinks pakistan is a great neighbour to have. moreover Ganguly is not responsible for the pakistani and bangladeshis imposed on the team by the king of bhadwas(his own words)in IPL 1 and 2.

  9. small correction: mortaza was bought for USD 600,000 (not 650,000).
    you know GB, initially when you said srk bought players to satisfy the pak and blore market, i didn’t quite agree with you, but now i think the theory does have merit.

  10. All I have to say is without Ganguly, this team would not even have got 6 points. Most of the victories were through his contributions in batting and fielding. The tragedy is that at 37, with slow reflexes, and creaking joints, he is still the best player in KKR by a distance.

  11. GB, Excellent one…made my morning!!! Your best in recent times!!

    “Didn’t God say ‘Heal those that are sick and you shall be well?’ I paid top dollar for Shoaib Akthar and his genital warts.

    Priceless!!!

  12. Hilarious and yet profound. The part of SRK buying players for appeasing his fan-following demographic is spot on! Not a single top 15 Indian batsman in KKR is a shame. No wonder KKR is the only team to not reach IPL semis in three editions. Down with KKR owners, but long live Great Bong!!

  13. I loved it.But the simple fact remains that KKR did play well this IPL.It was only coz of that Ravan from Lanka that we didnt reach the semis.
    Taking SRK into consideration,how come he come with ideas like Main Bhi Coach??He wants everybody’s ideas.wtf!!who makes those ads neway(Though i recently recieved a proze from the contest).Agarkar(Agar aacha khaelta),Ishant(Shanti hi shanti wen he went away).None played.I was expecting some good contribution from manoj,Pujara,Saha but it was dada all the way.God Hail dada…
    I wish KKR comes back strongly in the next season with q8 a few changes.Please use Main bhi Coach ideas in to consideration or else use common sense..

  14. Nice one to read when I thought IPL was over for KKR fans.

    For all criticism of Ganguly and ‘Indian’ players in the media, Mac and Gayle weren’t exactly Symmo or Warner. Till IPL iV

  15. @ rich and famous and all other Ganguly haters…shame on u..

    without the dada..kkr would have definitely come last…at least thanks to some gutsy batting by dada…they put up a better show than last time…kkr simply did not have any backup indian batting besides dada…

    thanks to the owner insisting on pleasing our great neighbour

  16. 20-20/ IPL, has got little to do with the team and skill. its more about luck. look at Delhi Daredevils,even with the strongest team at hand they couldn’t even make it to the Semifinals.
    @GB: Semifinals or no Semifinals there’s only one winner. So plz give KKR a break. Korbo, Lorbo Jeetbo… :)

  17. I am not a fan of Dada, but I think he did well in this IPL. He didn’t get support from his big guns Gayle and McCullum or Hussey. (Similar to how most players underperformed when Dravid was captain though that was put down to his uninspiring captaincy.) So I also agree with Mayank’s comment above.

    However, I was still wishing for KKR to fail, not because of Dada, but because SRK is the owner. Dada has my sympathies for that.

  18. Superb….Your best in the recent times GB.

    ‘pyar ka har mor asaan naheen hote, jeet ke haarne waalon ko Agarkar kahete hain….’
    – Though grammatically incorrect…Priceless !!

  19. I think all KKR fans should stop supporting their team until SRK is forced to sell it to someone who will manage it professionally.

  20. Just one thing, God didn’t have a flowing beard, instead only a half grey french cut on his chin, and he said “Paaa…”

    @Richandfamous: Ganguly is the 3rd highest run getter this time around.

  21. As usual, Arnab, you have gone overboard in apportioning the blame on shah rukh.
    For example: ‘Please. Your dialogs won’t work here. Listen to me carefully. In 2008, while other franchises assembled a team with the express aim to win games, you created a squad so as to appeal to the Pakistani market—-with crazy buys like Shoaib Akthar, Salman Butt and Mohammed Hafiz.’
    By the same logic, did MI aim for the West Indies “market” or RCB for the south african market?
    Yes, the buy of Mashrafe Mortaza was stupid, and unthought-out.
    However, a “has-been” fast man? Are you talking about Shane Bond? Or have you confused KKR with Punjab Kings XI (and Bond with Lee)?
    Also, Murali Kartik has played consistently nagging left-arm spin, good enough to contend with the best spin performances in IPL. Not something a “Dumb” man can do.
    And how in the world can you use hiring Akram as another point? He’s the greatest fast bowler the world has ever seen (when did you see Akram being belted around apart from the 2003 world cup against sachin).

    And I believe that the team (not the squad) is the captains’ prerogative. Ganguly made many mistakes in selecting the teams. He did not use enough spinners (Abdulla was used when all hope was lost). He’s included Agarkar in every team that he could since Agarkar’s bowling at the Adelaide test match. Murali Kartik once sledged Ganguly, and has lost his career in Indian team as a result. He was not given any responsibility in the earlier IPLs too. Ganguly has kept all his faith on the batting foreign imports like Hussey and Matthews, rather than Indian batsmen like Lakshmi Shukla or even Cheteshwar Pujara. Ganguly is clearly at fault for this failure too.

    As I see it, all of these mistakes by Ganguly could have been covered, IF some things had gone KKR’s way. But, the fact is, this years’ KKR was always gonna feel the effects of last years’ “BhookhaNan-Giri”. The multiple craptains theory has led to Gayle and McCullum being isolated. Ishant Sharma is yet to recover from the psychological horrors of bowling with Agarkar. Ponting refused to come and play this year. And ppl like Manoj Tiwary (who’s a 2008 version of the attitudinally-challenged Robin Uthappa) continue to decieve to flatter.

    All in all, it’s fitting that KKR finished just above the talentless Rajasthan Royals and the bulking and sulking Punjab XI.

    As for the article, a strictly ordinary one.
    Somdeep

  22. And btw, a few too many agreements with you here. Where are all your analytically-oriented critics of old? Where have they gone man?
    Somdeep

  23. OK. So why is that dude dealing with Chitragupt? I thought there were different heavens and different Gods for people with different faiths ;-)

  24. Somdeep,

    There is a slight difference in T20 class between those that SRK got for KKR (and you only need to look at Cricinfo stats for that) and Bravo and Pollard. Those incidentally were the only two West Indians that MI had. Murali Kartik was called blind not dumb—-and thats because he dropped catches left and right. Strictly ordinary attempt on your part to even read through what I had written. Kartik sledged ganguly once. Right ! That’s why Ganguly even took him into KKR in 2008. And how much did Pujara score? I actually saw him bat live at Eden and he couldnt move the ball past the in-field. Not that he is a bad batsman but he is not as of yet T20 material.

    As to the rest of your assertions like “Ishant Sharma is yet to recover from the psychological horrors of bowling with Agarkar” and “Ponting refused to come to KKR” when of course he had been dropped (if one refuses to come, one doesnt get “paid out”, Ponting’s contract was bought out)—-they just made my day.

    Thank you.

  25. I kinda agree with Rajdip here. We played well except that debacle in the Bangalore game and those missed chances off Jaya in the Punjab game.

    I think after the collapse in the Bangalore and later Chennai game Dada lost confidence in his middle-order. However in such a format and tournament, you canot afford to do that. You have to back your team despite a few bad ones. His midset was a bit defensive while batting. I think McCullum is no good anymore. Gayle played 1-2 good innings…that’s it . Next season let’s get Shane Watson and Suresh Raina !!!

    PS : Dada has said he will be back for IPL4. A bit of a stretch I think.

  26. are u religiously biased GB ?? I thought shah rukh would have a different version of heaven, since he is a muslim ….great article btw :-D

  27. “The man would come out to open and score at a strike rate of 110 match after match when other openers in other teams would be going at 170 in the first few overs. Dada was playing big shots true but he was wasting too many balls, moving legside and not rotating the strike. When the ball was the hardest and coming onto the bat on slow Indian pitches, we lost deliveries thanks to his inability to get off strike and consistently hit boundaries.”

    For once, we thought that you were doing an honest analysis of Dada…Alas.. once a bong always a bong

  28. Absolutely hilarious article…oh wow…the humour…the innuendos…oh GB you are great.

    Well, I guess like Somdeep said…that is all that remains here now. I don’t know what your fixation is with SRK. Nobody called you to dance at any weddings or what?

    KKR was one match away from a spot in Semis…yes, so were quite a few other teams, but if they had snuck in am sure GB would’ve waxed eloquent about how KKR made it despite SRK.

    It’s like Senator Beck here in the US..he is so angry about the Icelandic volcano that has caused such confusion in the airspace. He knows its Obama’s fault…he just don’t know how. [From one of the talk shows]

    But it is your blog….

    Cheers,
    Rahul

  29. Amazing . Really you have found a truth which is even not present in the Vedas , i.e what is working for SRK all these years . haha . ‘God spoke. His voice was shrill like a teenager.’ – stroke of a genius I say. And I fear since time for God is slow he will remain a teenager for millions of earth years . hence expect
    more SRK movies for a million years at least.

  30. @ashwin.
    maybe a lot of nostalgia.

    1. the first Indian bowler I saw who swung it both ways, consistently touching 140kmph+; with the attitude as well, Srinath could bowl faster at times, but always seemed a ball smacked, or a misfield away from bursting into tears.

    2. the first time I saw an Indian bowler hurrying the Australian batsmen on a pitch like Sharjah, where our fast bowlers were usually treated like young “tinku” or “bobby” from gully cricket.

    3. He was the best Indian bowler on display during the 1999 series in Australia. I still remember how Langer was all at sea against him. He was generating swing at genuine pace.

    4. He is the best practitioner of reverse swing in India (when he gets it right). At his best there is no one better. His death bowling during the 2002 ODI series in England was a sight to behold. He was tailing the ball in by as much as 2 feet; right into the block hole. He probably got his death overs bowling right only 40-50% of the times, but when he did, it was right up there with anyone else.

    5. Had the best yorker (don’t say Zaheer, because he doesn’t swing it as much), and the second best bouncer after Srinath.

    I admit he is not world class. Would have had difficulty getting into an Australian state side (though so would any of our other fast bowlers) but he was responsible for a lot of firsts (along with Srinath) as far as fast bowling in India is concerned, and was “consistently” quick far longer than anyone else. I also admit that his tendency to pitch it short or bowl full tosses at the wrong time make him a target for mockery, but I believe he deserves more respect than he is given.

    Disclaimer: when I say consistently quick, I mean by Indian standards. not Australian, South African or Pakistani standards.

  31. This para sums it all…hilarious…u are good…don’t let the hardcore SRK and KKR fans deter you from going ballistic on your unbiased comments :-)

    Second, when you say I didnt care for the city, among all the franchisee owners I spent the most amount on that blasted team. I got that wretched Buchanan based on some nut’s recommendation—-I remember his exact words of endorsement “What you are to acting, Buchanan is to coaching.” It was two seasons later that I realized that ass was being tongue-in-cheek. But by that time I was paying through my nose to support Buchanan and his extended family—all of whom he had hired as expert consultants. Then next season I got Wasim Akram—WhatMore could I do?

  32. GB,

    a bit of a long response but would love to see your comments on my observations on the KKR saga over the last 3 years:

    A) i think SRK would have given the mandate to the team CEO and Saurav to select their team at the first auction but would have insisted that a few Paki players be taken for sure. i do not think there is any religion angle to it but i feel it is more about him trying to portray (which he did two years later in the media) how he is contributing towards the indo-pak friendship – simply because pakistan as well as their diaspora has a huge fan base for him. beyond that i do not think he made any contribution to the process apart from money and general presence albeit substantially clownish at times. i also recall that he was the most stable in his reactions amongst the owners whose teams were struggling (unlike vijay mallya) in the first instalment.

    b) I am a huge fan of Saurav but i think he substantially lost the plot in the auction itself. while i would still agree with his selection of some of the big names (Chris Gayle, David Hussey, Umar Gul), his choice of Paki players was pathetic (salman butt, shoaib akhtar, hafiz). i am sure SRK would not have insisted specifically on these names.

    c) Ishant was actually the best thing in India when the auction had happened but he rapidly fizzled out. In fact, Zaheer was the struggler and through the last 3 years, the situation has simply reversed and you are stuck with Ishant.

    d) I feel Brendon McCullum was a redundant purchase because he is definitely better-known for his batting but not the better ones in that. I would have gone for an Indian keeper (like dinesh karthik, who is always of great utility) and gone for a far superior foreign batsman.

    e) Biggest mistake was the poor selection of the Indian contingent – the youngsters were pretty average including tiwary, pujara, wridhiman, debabrata, laxmi, etc and they were average in almost all departments. thats the reason, we have not found a single one knocking on India’s doors over the last 3 years.

    f) then Dada also went on his path of nepotism (like prince did for kaif and dravid did for sunil joshi) – not only selecting people like Agarkar but making them play as well (regularly !!). Agarkar has been instrumental in single-handedly handing over a few matches. i cannot comprehend why a player who has been a consistent failure in indian cricket and has not been around since 2007. can find a selection in 2010 in crunch matches.

    g) Chris Gayle unfortunately never came to the party but thats the way he is and thats the reason he is not termed a great despite having amazing talent. He came good against Punjab and his effort was rendered fruitless by absolutely shoddy fielding and bowling.

    h) Bond – I would not definitely call him “has-been” because he has done well recently; however in this format when the ball comes at this speed even a top-edge goes for a six; so i agree that he has not been able to adjust to this format well through yorkers or slower deliveries (which Malinga does).

    i) another big thing was the nadir the team sank into in 2009 edition – anything that happened initially in this edition was an automatic improvement, so i sensed some complacency the moment the first few games were over. also i felt Dada had a personal point to prove after last season’s treatment and that could have pushed him to see certain situations with a coloured mind.

    j) there was no focus on the end-objective of winning the tournament from the first match – i hate the statement of “we will take it one match at a time”. it does not work. in the second match, i was virtually screaming at the tv set when Dada came in after the fall of tiwary-hodge (after their flying start against Bangalore during the chase) and what was supposed to be finished in the 14th over was dragged till 20th by Dada (and Dada alone). there was a perfect opportunity to drag the NRR up on that day if they had a vision towards semis.

    k) Saurav – i would put his performance in this tournament as a simple indicator towards the fact that he still has the ability to do reasonably well in 50 overs format (if he fields the way he did) but the truncated format is still a bit difficult for him because his shortcomings of poor running between the wickets and inability to rotate strikes (which sachin does so brilliantly). he did assume the role of the anchor but then should not have come up the order and should have been in the batting order as a floater (like collingwood). he played the same role as Jacques Kallis (similar stats as well) but Kallis did find some solid batters playing well with cameos around him, which nobody in KKR did around Dada.

    he also fell for big names during team selections and while i feel angelo mathews should have been a shoo-in everytime, he believed otherwise. same for langeveldt till he got injured.

  33. Pingback: IPL Round up -Part 1 « Bond Wannabe

  34. I was watching Sailaab. Aditya Pancholi is a better actor than Sharook. Just wait for Calcuttans to place him in place of mahishasura in this Pujas.

  35. @S

    And you missed out on Agarkar being the fastest to 50 wickets in ODI’s before Mendis took him over. Hell that man has got almost 300 ODI wickets, A brilliant 6 for in a rank turner in Adelaide The fastest ODI 50 by an Indian (I guess it still stands) and a Test century at Lords.
    But,and it is a big but,he has been notorious throughout his career,even when he was bowling well in the late nineties and early 2000’s,to have this uncanny ability of being able to deliver the perfect half volley or short ball outside off stump when there is pressure on the batsman.He has made a career out of lost opportunities for Indian cricket. He has always failed when the Captain has looked upto him and asked him to contain. He is the last person to go to in tight situations (Irfan is following suit) and out of favour and performances for the last 3-4 years. he has this wild knack of bowling a team to defeat from incredulous positions. He almost did in the last match of note he played for India, remember the T20 Final against Pak?
    Someone has rightly said,
    “No score is Agarkar proof” :)

  36. Dear Arnabda,
    Let me tell you first that I am a big fan of SRK and also have great liking to the style of your writing – Now I know this a perfect example of oxymoron but cant help it :P
    Now that I have cleared my stand I would like to ask a few questions regarding your post ( a damn hilarious one no doubt!!). According to you SRK bought Pakistani players to promote his movies in Pakistan.. that was the reason for “crazy buys like Shoaib Akthar, Salman Butt and Mohammed Hafiz.”
    Now one may argue that Akhtar and Butt were not as crazy buys as you think as they have made life of many indian players hell during prev Indo-Pak face-offs– but I am not going into that. You had already eaten crow once in your blog when Akhtar blew apart the Delhi Batting Line up (The best in the IPL according to you) at Eden Gardens. My question is slightly differnet- SRK also appointed a certain Pakistani called Wasim Akram as KKR’s bowling coach – the action was definitely to promote MNIK is Pakistan, somehow You missed to mention it anywhere in your blog!!
    Also according to your blogs (the present and prev ones) SRK is solely responsible for the crazy buys of KKR and also it is SRK who was responsible for the final 11 selection, now though I have no insight into SRK’s influence in selection of players for the time being I assume that you are right which immediately leads me to a contradiction- Your reply to Somdeep’s comment…”Right ! That’s why Ganguly even took him into KKR in 2008.” I could sense bias in the statement..correct me if I am wrong!!
    Also I am not too sure whether the likes of Gayle,Hussey,Mathhews are not of the same T-20 quality as a Bravo/Pollard. And I refuse to accept the fact that Shane Bond had directions from SRK that he will not be paid if he bowled a single yorker/slower ball in IPL!!
    Rajasthan Royals are one of the most ordinary teams (even weaker than KKR on paper) but they managed to win the first IPL when they played as a team and when they failed to do so they ended up below KKR in the points table. Now whats your stand on Shilpa Sheithy ?? Should she be given all the credits for the first IPL ?? Is She solely responsible for RRs dissapointing performance in the next two IPLs?? If answer to the last two questions is yes then I will ask what the hell did she do wrong in the last couple of years so that RR slided from no.1 to no.7?? KKR could have made us proud ( in spite of its owner’s autocracy and unparalleled hunger for money) had their ordinary players made contributions commensurate to their talents.
    We all have our heroes and villains but will it be asking for too much for a little bit of unbiased view from someone like you!! Blaming a single person ( in a straightforward manner or sarcastically) for the big massacre called KKR is surely not the right thing to do.
    On a final note..probably you also forgot to mention that SRK has categorically told KKR players to play like losers so that 15 years later he can come up with a sequel of “Chak De” – a movie where he will don the cap of the coach of the IPL champion KKR women’s team lead by Sana Ganguly :P

  37. Once again there is a post whatever bad happen, ot happend because of SRK. Nonetheless it is your blog. i think in IPL-3 it is the dada’s batting,poor Selection of playing 11 and faulty batting order which cost KKR the cavoted Semifinal post. now i don’t think SRK is responseble for that. And what one can say about ishant Sharma. In present form i will take anyone from gully cricket who can through the ball the to take ishant in my team.

  38. an one more thing ok as you said we assume that SRK bought paki player without knowing there talent. it is possible because of his busy schdule he doesn’t know about cricketer. but who stopes ganguly to bought 1 or 2 indian player from top-15 indian players.

  39. Arijit,

    I never said that SRK bought players from Pakistan and Bangladesh to *promote his movies*. He did it to promote KKR and make it have a “base” in Pakistan and later on in Bangladesh. When the Bangladeshi Tiger was taken for 600,000 USD, Buchanan called it a business decision. I hope you know what that means. Blaming Dada for these selections is of course nonsense. It was to cater to this pan-South-Asian crowd that SRK even tried to remove the Kolkata from KKR (it is as far as I know registered as Knight Riders—-the only city-based franchise to be officially independent of the city). Now he knows that Kolkata is so “passionate” that inspite of that they would support KKR. They did packing it on a dead game. Which is why SRK was never really concerned about getting acceptance in Kolkata.

    My point about M. Kartik was that if Dada really hated him (as Kartik supporters would like us to believe) he would definitely have *prevented* him from being taken in the KKR. Dada did not. He was also accused of having ruined Akash Chopra’s career. Guess which franchise that guy also played for.

    BTW Shilpa Shetty wasnt an owner of RR when they won it the first time.

    I mentioned in my post that KKR was a black-hole for talent. Good players came here, one by one, and turned in their worst performances. That was bad luck.However SRK’s persistently moronic belief in the charlatan that was Buchanan considerably contributed to the disaster that was KKR. Note once Buchanan was removed, KKR did much much better and yes they came very close to a semi-final spot this time.

  40. @Greatbong: What do you have to say about Saurabh Tiwary after what we witnessed in the semi-final match today?

  41. Raja Banerjee: Arnab Bong won’t respond to your comments cz he knows SRK was resposnible for everything that is going wrong with KKR. He may not be able to tell you why..but he knows.

    Cheers,
    Rahul

  42. @Arijit: Would like to disagree with you here.. I think a large part of greatbong’s appeal lies in the fact that it makes no bones about being biased or unbalanced.. GB has always been about passion and sarcasm first.. And that, in my view, has made this blog pretty cool to read, even if I don’t agree with some of the articles.
    One thing that was missing in this post’s comments section was the lack of rational arguments against GB (which used to be present in all the earlier posts of GB).. Maybe the effect of ppl moving to twitter more & more.. Good to see some counter-arguments coming up here rather just sycophantic mind-numbingly boring “agree with u” messages.
    Somdeep

  43. Ha ha ha…. why do take the piss out of Agarkar everytime?? If you have something personal against him, i would love to hear. I think you got to give some credit to the guy…after all he has defied medical science and other body constraints by becoming a fast bowler lasting more than a decade just like Manoj Prabhakar was considered a certified all-rounder (not necessarily by Wisden Cricket).

  44. Now with Modigate it seems more or less feasible. Another angle
    Its still his hard earned money and I can’t give SRK so much credit to sound that business savvy. May be SRK is front end for someone else’s money who has keeen interest on a larger market. In IPL3 he didnt take any Pakistani player in auction but when his big brother slapped him, he took a favourable stance. Was it only to promote movie MNIK. Who was the was the source of courage to stand so strongly this time (last time KJO went begging). Was it Rahul baba or big brother.

  45. Baazigar.. IPL.. TwitterKing..Sweaty equity

    Chhupaana Bhi NahiN Aataa
    Jataana Bhi NahiN Aataa
    HameN Tum Se Mohabbat Hai 2
    Bataana Bhi NahiN Aataa, Chhupaana Bhi
    Hatheli Par Tumhaaraa Naam
    Likhate HaiN Mitaate HaiN 2
    Tumhi Se Pyaar Karate HaiN
    Tumhi Se Hi KyuuN Chhupaate HaiN 2
    ZubaaN Pe Baat Hai Lekin
    Sunaanaa Hi NahiN Aataa

  46. IPL 1 – Captain – Ganguly, Coach – Buchanan, Standing – 6th
    IPL 2 – Captain – McCullum, Coach – Buchanan, Standing – 8th
    IPL 3 – Captain – Ganugly, Coach – Whatmore, Standing – 6th.

    oh what a great improvement from 1st season.

  47. @Kanda
    The improvement is overall performance which may not have reflected in rank.
    7 wins is definitely a decent improvement, only 2 teams have registered more wins.

  48. Well I have been reading your post for a while….and i must say you have some wit to rip ppl apart..

    As for this post i am sorry but i think you r getting emotional…Plainly speaking lets assume if i had been an owner of a team my thought process will be to create a brand for my franchise because i have invested so much money and have to break even….IPL is not a charity venture…..and nobody likes to loose money….do you???

    Secondly…..the selection is bad i agree with you….but in the first place you have to look @ the facts that KKR bought some economical players in the first action because SRK is not a multi millionaire like AMBANI/MALLYA/MALIKAARJUN/REDDY/SRINIVASAN who are business stalwarts…..he is an actor and has his limitations….KKR was just second least expensive bid after RAJASTHAN…..(KKR-$ 67.0 m and RAJASTHAN-$ 75.1 m)REFER WIKIPEDIA..

    AND LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST……BUCHANAN failed….Whatmore has…..and even WASIM AKRAM(the best around could not influence the bowlers….)

    what can the owner do????……go out and bat….
    somebody has invested loads of money…..and trying to hold on without the dismal performance……..and not pinning up the team for sale like PUNJAB….

    BE JUDGMENTAL……ITS NICE TO BASH PPL AROUND BUT A WORD OF APPRECIATION HERE AND THERE TOO COUNTS….

    ANYWAYS…..STILL LIKE YOUR WRITING STYLE…..THATS MY PERCEPTION(NO OFFENCES @ ALL)

    ALL THE BEST!!!!!

  49. @Anon,

    IPL 1: W – 6, L – 7, N/R – 1, Pts – 13, NRR – (-0.147)
    IPL 2: W – 3, L – 10,N/R – 1, Pts – 7, NRR – (-0.789)
    IPL 3: W – 7, L – 7, N/R – 0, Pts – 14, NRR – (-0.341)

    Honestly to tell , apart from 1st season KKR were never considered favourite to reach S/F.
    There was no distinctive improvement when you compare with 1st season. Actually they were far better in first season. Whatever improvement it was only wrt last season.
    It is easy to blindly criticise anyone,a little perspective or background check will reveal a lot.

    And one more thing, do u all think Ganguly is someone who will take whatever dished out to him?. If that is the case i think i have to change my opinion about him.

  50. Dude, Agarkar was one of ybetter bowlers this season. Get your facts right! Poor guy is a butt of all the jokes even when he performs.

  51. i think the ipod ipad or whatever should be awarded not for the first one to comment, but to the first one who gets g.b. worked up enough to respond ;-).

    want to share a link, just in case you guys have not seen this site

    – s.b.

  52. Yar Murali Kartik ki to mat mar.Dada anyway left no stone unturned in screwing his career because of a tiff that goes back a long long way.Kartik had one of the best economy rates this IPL and I believe he is one guy who got a truly raw deal.He should have been India’s left arm spinner this T20.Anyway, Dada ki Ma

  53. Just saw that you have talked about the Kartik conspiracy earlier.You can kind of take it from the horses mouth here.Karthik is a good friend of my friends brother.This thing is kind of on the record although it is off the record.Anyway, does not change the fact that Karthik was one of the most economical bowlers this season.I find him to be incredibly talented, unfortunately its a little late now.

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