Interview of Cricket Fans – 93
Jay – Thank you for your participation in this interview, tell us your early memories of this sport.
Earliest memories are of Silver Jubilee Independence Cup, 1998. A series played between India Pakistan and Bangladesh. The target in the final for India was 315 courtesy centuries from Saeed Anwar and Ijaz Ahmed.
Back in those days, it was something rare and no one had ever thought that India would chase down 300+. That too in 48 overs as it was curtailed. But it was possible and India went on to win the final with a century from Sourav Ganguly, 80+ from Robin Singh.
It was a memorable chase. Saw India chasing 300+ for the first time that too in a final.
Jay – What’s the positive impact of cricket in your life?
Well, it has taught me a lot of things in life.
Patience: watching Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman’s partnership against Australia in 2001 at Eden Gardens, they batted an entire day without losing a wicket. That made me realise that with patience and dedication we can achieve anything which might look impossible initially.
Never say die: Sourav Ganguly took charge of a team which was hit by controversies, match-fixing etc. Brought in new players and inculcated new ideas into the team. Saw matches like NatWest series final in 2002 where 326 was chased by two young lads Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif even when we were 146/5.
Today it’s Yuvi Paji’s birthday too so a special mention is well deserved. (Interview was taken on 12th December, 2020)
It has also taught me to have mutual respect for our competitors. Relationships at work and off the field are best learnt from cricketers.
Jay – Your views on Indian Cricket at the present scenario?
Indian cricket at present is doing well. The middle-order in limited-overs is still in a mess though. Hope it gets sorted with new guys like Shubman Gill and SKY knocking the door of selectors.
Jay – Talking about the new guys, which young player has the potential to make it big in the international arena?
For me Ishan Kishan, Mohammed Siraj and Shubman Gill. Pretty young and raring to go. Given chances from now, specially Siraj in tests, I feel they’ll do pretty well and emerge as big names in future.
Jay – What would our batting line-up in the ODI format look like in the next 5 years?
I don’t see Shikhar Dhawan hanging around beyond 2023 WC, so it’s Rohit opening with KL Rahul or Shubman Gill then as usual Virat at 3 followed by either KL or Gill at 4, Iyer, Rishabh, Pandya, Jadeja.
Jay – Tell us about IPL now, which team do you support and how has the experience been so far?
Well, it’s my hometeam KKR from 2008 itself. Started with one of the best knocks in T20 by Baz against RCB then there was a slump in between until Gautam Gambhir took up the responsibilities and changed KKR entirely by winning 2 titles.
Presently it’s again in a mess. KKR needs experienced Indian cricketers too along with uncapped talents. Let’s see how they do in upcoming seasons and auctions.
Jay – 2012 or 2014?
Very tough to choose. I’ll pick 2014 as we lost 5 in a row, Gautam himself wasn’t doing great, scored three ducks in a row but everything turned around when Uthappa was sent up. He went on to win the orange cap.
Jay – Do you feel it has brought a divide amongst the fans?
I feel it’s just temporary during the matches and then later it’s all fine when team India plays. But some people take IPL too seriously and create a divide among themselves.
Jay – Do you have any controversial opinion that you would like to give through this interview?
Well, I feel limited-overs captaincy should be passed on to Rohit Sharma.
Jay – Reason?
He’s a great motivator, a true leader who backs his team members, makes the right moves.
Jay – Your thoughts on the ICC test championship? Has Covid-19 affected this initiative from ICC?
It’s a great initiative from ICC. But COVID19 pandemic has affected it pretty badly. Such a long gap and then the new protocols have made it worse.
Jay – Your all-time XI?
I’ll pick a test XI.
Ricky Ponting (c)
Quinton de Kock
Thank you so much for reading. Hope you liked it. You can follow me on Twitter by clicking on my name @bhavsarJ2_0 and make sure you don’t miss out any other cricket related interviews.