Interview of Cricket Fans – 133
J – Thank you for your participation in this interview, tell us a bit about yourself as a cricket fan and your early memories of the game.
Thank you for inviting, Jay. One of the earliest matches I remember watching as a little kid, is the NatWest Trophy Final, though have very blur memories. Watched the 2003 World Cup and memories of Sachin’s and Sehwag’s wickets in the final still haunt me. I watched test cricket for the first time in 2004. Sehwag’s Triple century, Dravid’s 270 and Sachin’s 194* are some of my memories from the series.
J – What is the positive impact of this sport on your life?
Always been a fan of this sport and it repaid me pretty well when I needed it the most. 2020 was a bad year for me, like many others, from a mental health point of view. Months of non-stop cricket from September onwards came as a rescue. It was as soothing as the first rains, sunny afternoons in winters and breezy evenings on a hot sunny day. I am in a good space now and I owe it to cricket and the amazing people who play it.
J – Which is your favourite cricket book you read till now?
I have read Sunil Gavaskar’s autobiography which helped me develop more respect for the game. Remember him mentioning Anshuman Gaikwad playing even after sustaining a head injury, without a helmet in West Indies. Thoughts of these men playing while Windies pacers aiming for their head, taught me that it’s never fair to call it just a sport.
J – The introduction of two new balls from both ends in the ODI format of the game is a boon or bane? What is the major impact in your view?
Despite the rule favouring the batsman more, I still have a positive view of the rule. It was brought in to make matches high scoring, thus bring the audience in the ODI’s, a format which seems to be dying already. Purely with that point of view, the rule should continue. Though replacing Kookaburra ball with the Dukes could be looked in.
J – Do you feel IPL is still a threat to the longest format of the game?
Ideally across three formats, India wouldn’t play more than 30 players in a year. Whereas IPL gives a chance to at least 60 Indian players to have game time against top-notch teams. This preparation helps them to shape their character which helps irrespective of formats. IPL can’t be a threat to test matches until it keeps sending Washington Sundars to pull the likes of Pat Cummins for a six, announcing their intent to chase and win test matches.
J – Thoughts on the recently concluded Border Gavaskar Trophy?
Apart from all the on-field heroics displayed, I regard this win as an amazing by-product of the work that started around the 2018 tour of South Africa. Building of a lethal pace attack, building character for giving a tough fight overseas, increased frequency of India A tours, are some of the factors that helped in the win. Also, this win is like an assurance that whenever the time of transformation will come, the quality of cricket from this team will only improve.
J – Your 3 favourite Under-23 players?
Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Paddikal and Ravi Bishnoi.
J – How has your experience been so far in terms of Cricket Twitter?
It’s an altogether different experience to watch the match along with the live reaction commentary happening on Twitter. A lot of Joy, I must say. Apart from all the fun, I love learning from all the threads and the stats people post. Regular knowledge updates help me to keep my opinions reasonable. Apart from this, I have made a few close friends too. Cricket Twitter has been a good value addition in my life.
J – Who is your favourite account here on Twitter?
I have different favourites in diverse areas such as threads, memes, stats, banter tweets. There are too many, tough to pick one.
J – Do you have an all-time XI?
In the current players, I am a big fan of KL Rahul and Virat Kohli. I have yet not given thought of putting my favourites into an XI but can share a non-format specific list of a few Ex-players that I enjoyed watching.
Openers: Virender Sehwag, Sanath Jayasuriya, Graeme Smith, Chris Gayle.
Middle Order Players: Rahul Dravid, Ab De Villiers.
Wicket Keepers: Gilchrist, MS Dhoni, Tatenda Taibu.
All-rounders: Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis.
Pacers: Zaheer Khan, Dale Steyn, Mitchell Johnson.
Spinners: Anil Kumble, Muralitharan, Shane Warne.
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