Interview of Cricket Fans – 104 – INDIA
J – Thank you for your participation in this interview, tell us your early memories of this sport.
My earliest memory of cricket is without a doubt the 2003 World Cup, starting from the game against the Netherlands where India were restricted to 200 odd but still managed to win.
J – What has been the positive impact of this sport in your life?
Cricket has been the biggest teacher in my life. It has taught me more about life than what anything else could have taught me. It has taught me things which one would never learn in any classroom and will only experience on the field.
There’s so much to learn even following the journey of your favourite cricketers (or sportspersons) that one can’t even begin to explain.
Cricket & life go hand in hand. For every situation in life, there’s a cricketing equivalent.
J – Which cricketer’s story inspires you the most?
There are many. Can’t single out. Sachin, Dhoni, Kohli, Bumrah, Hardik, Natarajan, Siraj etc all are stories which are extremely inspiring and tells you how strong an individual can be.
However, if I had to pick one, it would be Virat’s because we are from the same part of the city and I relate to him as a person.
Virat was my inspiration behind me losing 15 kgs in a year. I told myself if Virat, a Delhi Punjabi boy can leave butter chicken for 5 years and become one of the fittest individuals, then so can I.
J – You featured in NDTV, you also featured in Delhi Capitals where you share your story of being a DC fan from your early days, tell us how does it feel to be a part of all this?
Feels to be a dream come true. When I realised that I won’t be able to live my dream of being a cricketer, talking & covering cricket was the second-best thing. While I am not doing it professionally, I am still happy with where the game is taking me, and I am extremely grateful to all the people involved in all the opportunities.
J – Your bio reads ‘wannabe sports analysts’, tell us which are the other sports that you are interested and how has your journey been so far.
So I started out with a website of my own in college which I ran for 3 years. Then I got into a Data Analytics firm, only to realise that it was never my calling.
So I quit that job and joined an amateur football league which then organised Delhi NCR’s first Semi-Pro Football league where I was the content & operations manager. I learnt so much about football in that one year that I had never learnt before.
I like to watch football, but don’t get that same kick because I don’t support any team. After that, I started working in a digital media firm, where I covered Hockey and went to Bhubaneswar to cover the Men’s Hockey World Cup in 2018. Then I was working with Delhi Capitals in the 2019 IPL. Tennis is one sport that I watch during grand slams, but I haven’t been able to work in that sport. Hopefully, someday will do that too.
So it’s been quite a journey for me. And it’s been thoroughly enjoying one.
J – Your thoughts on Indian Cricket in the present scenario?
We certainly can be the best side in all formats without a doubt. Our bench strength is second to none. Just that we need to back right players in the formats they are suitable. And give them 10-15 games in a specific role.
J – Which are some young players that you are looking forward to the most this year?
Rishabh Pant & Shubman Gill are certainly those who I think have it in them to go the distance as Indian cricketers and I hope they realise their potential in the long term.
Both the players seem to have so much time on their hands that hardly look under any apparent discomfort.
J – Your favourite format of the game?
Used to be test cricket, but now it’s T20. Because I feel in the shortest format, the tactics can cover up for the lack of quality. In Tests that isn’t possible.
So the tactics & the match ups interest me a lot.
J – Thoughts on the ICC Test Championship?
Think it’s a good initiative to popularise the test format. However, feel some changes need to be made. For starters, all teams need to play the same number of home & away tests. And think away test wins need to be awarded more. Plus, don’t like the fact that teams are losing points for slow over-rate when the match has completed with 1.5 days left.
I don’t think there should be over rate offences if the match ends up in a result anyway.
J – Your thoughts on fan groups here on Twitter?
Fan groups have become so toxic that sometimes you feel there aren’t any Indian fans left. And they have reached such levels that very casually they have started to troll the families of the player involved.
It’s no less than abuse in any form. It’s almost as if we are punishing players for their personal life. I hope there’s an end to it in the near future.
J – What is your all-time XI?
As far as all-time XIs are concerned, I am not big on them because I don’t think anyone can be completely objective while making them. Not only there’s a recency bias as we saw with ICC, but comparing eras is also difficult because of the change in playing conditions, rules etc. So feel it’s impossible to make an XI which will be completely objective.
T20: Gayle, Warner, Kohli, AB, Pollard, Butler, Russell, Rashid, Gul, Malinga, Bumrah
Test: Cook, G Smith, S Smith, Sachin, Kallis, AB, Gilchrist, Warne, Steyn, Anderson, Akram
ODIs: Rohit, Sachin, Kohli, AB, Shakib, Buttler, Dhoni, Starc, Murali, Zak, McGrath