The Indians who can do it all

Being a cricket journalist while on holiday in India has its advantages, no doubt. Most people I encounter are keen to know my job (and even more importantly which company employs me), and quite a few know of Cricinfo and are desperate, it seems, to prove their cricketing worth. One young chap today (whose friendly nature threatened to descend into irritating begging) is surely the future of Indian cricket, if not the world.

He bowls leg-spin better than Shane Warne and models his off-spinner’s doosra on Murali; he opens the bowling at the speed of light, not unlike Darren Gough apparently; he keeps wicket with the feline-feet of Alan Knott (!) and bats like Marcus Trescothick, Michael Warne (it’s the accent, but I couldn’t help chuckling) and Adam Gilchrist. A killer player, then, if fantastical.

Watch out for him. He, and the identical dozen other youngsters who I’ve come across, will be dominating the world shortly…

The Nilgiri Mountains

Excusing India’s defeat

I’m in India, hence the total lack of any posts here (bar Ian’s – thanks), but while I was wolfing my breakfast this morning I read a curious sub-header in today’s Hindu. I don’t have it in front of me now, so forgive me if it’s not entirely accurate, but it said of Dravid’s decision to field first: “Probably due to extensive cloud cover”. The partisanship here is like no other country. Face it; England outplayed you.

The channel I watched it on contained commentators who shared a mixture of English and Hindu. But when Sachin was scratching around, as is his modern wont, any drive which pinged off his bat was met with “What a shot! What a shot there from Sachin Tendulkar…and it’s fielded in the covers preventing the single”.

Anyway, it’s a topic for another day. Here’s the brilliant contraption in which I was pushed up 46kms of India’s “Blue Mountains,” the Nilgiris. It really is spectacular here.

A steam train, the Nilgiri Express, pushed us up the mountain