Sunday, December 13, 2015

Aamchi Mumbai - The City of Dreams!!

Mumbai, The city of dreams... The city that never sleeps... The city whose 'Never Say Die' spirit runs in the blood of the people who live here... The financial capital of India... The adda of Indian Film Industry 'Bollywood'... The home of Indian Cricket...

I can continue my post in this way and still I won't run out words to describe my beloved city but I'll try to do full justice to Mumbai as half-baked efforts are not something that this city appreciates!!!

Mumbai is named after Goddess Mumba Devi before which it was known as Bombay!! Life in Mumbai starts in the wee hours, when the whole country is sleeping, Mumbaikar's are already up and about, ready to catch the local train which will take them to their place of work or study! The humble 'Local Train' is the lifeline of this great city which connects every citizen to one another! It's a thread that binds all of Mumbai together, the link between the different parts of this huge city. It does not only link the vast city it also links the very hearts of Mumbaikar's, no wonder it's also referred to add the 'Heart of Mumbai'. It is also very well connected with Auto-rickshaws, Kaali Peeli Taxis, BEST Buses and Metro Rail System!!

The food of Mumbai is something that drives it! Literally! In a city where a huge amount of energy is spent on traveling to and fro between two places, there are a lot of hungry souls. People of this city are food mad and the city offers enough variety and choice to satiate everyone. From the delicious Indian burger 'Vada Pav' to the spicy 'Pav Bhaji'... From Bhel Puri to Pani Puri to Samosa, to exquisite high class dining options.. There is something for everyone no matter what your budget or taste!!

Mumbai is a city which is designed to enthrall anyone who lays his out her eyes on it. Take a walk along the Marine Drive for sheet beauty, take the blessings of Lord Ganpati at the famed Siddhivinayak Temple, listen to sufi songs at Haji Ali Dargah, marvel at the architectural wonders of the Gateway of India and the CST Railway Station, watch the kids play a game of cricket at the numerous maidans that dot this cricket crazy city, visit the Prince of Wales Museum or the Hanging Gardens... Or just sit back and relax at the Chowpaty or Girgaum beach and watch the sun set gloriously in the horizon. You will never run out of options in Mumbai, your bucket list of 'Things to Do' will keep on burgeoning until it bursts at its seams!!!

There are so many aspects of this city that I want to talk about, I feel I have barely scratched the surface! There are so many things which are unique to this coastal city of India. It's reverence of its Bollywood superstar's, the 'Tapori Bambaiyya' language, the daily trials and tribulations of its people, the maddening hurry of its people but still them finding the time to help others when needed, the killer traffic, chants of ‘Sachinnnn Sachinnnn’ reverberating through the Wankhede stadium, the Ganpati Festival, etc... The city embraces all with a smile, a reason why it’s also fondly known as ‘Aamchi Mumbai

All I can say is that it is the best place to live in India, a person who has lived in Mumbai will not like any other city in the whole world. There is Order in Chaos, Symmetry in Disorientation... Something in its humid and sticky air makes the person cling to this magnificent city like a magnet!!!

PS - This Post is Written for the Tata Motors #madeofgreat Zonal War

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Hashim Amla brings out the Dead Bat!!

As South Africa suffered humiliating loss after loss in the 4 Test Match Series, another big defeat was on the cards and another 4 day finish loomed large as India set South Africa a mountain to climb.

But their captain, Hashim Amla, batted and batted and is still at the crease with 23* off a staggering 207 balls. Giving him company is Superman AB De Villiers who is himself playing a stone-walling innings and he is 11* from 91 balls.

It is set to be a classic final day at the Kotla tomorrow, will the South African resistance last or will the Indian spinners have the final laugh?

Choco Chips and Strawberry Ice Cream Sugar Free Milk Shake!!

Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like
 and let the food fight it out inside ~ Mark Twain

Food – It is something that triggers a wave of goodness, joy and happiness coursing through the body and mind, like electricity, when it satiates you completely. It is probably my saviour when I am in a bad mood and I need to elevate my mood, it is my good friend which gives me company when I am happy! In short, we share a very unique relationship, Food and Me, we love each other deeply, madly and truly and have been through many thick and thins but our bond is too strong to be broken by a few stray incidents when we have been at loggerheads with each other for days on ends!

I am a self-proclaimed foodie and though my love for cooking may not be as high as my passion for eating but I still love to get my own hands dirty on some occasions. It is in these moments that I realise that cooking and creating a dish, which, when appreciated, can be such a fulfilling thing in itself! While making the main course can be tiresome and requires some level of expertise, making a dessert is where you can really let your imagination run wild and experiment to your hearts content. Even a novice like me and someone who is short on time can really get in to the thick of things when a dessert is considered.

Now, I love having Milk Shakes after eating like a horse and that makes my stomach feel much lighter and I am filled with a sense of happiness and joy when the sweetness effused in the shake is transferred in to my body!

Here, I will share with you one of my favourite Dessert recipe’s – The Double Trouble (Chocolate Chips and Strawberry Ice Cream) Milk Shake!!!

Main Ingredients:
2 medium scoops of Chocolate Chips Ice Cream.
2 medium scoops of Strawberry Ice Cream.
1 glass unsweetened milk.
2 teaspoons of Sugarfree Natura.

Optional Ingredients (for Garnishing):

1-2 square broken in pieces of any chocolate of your choice (I used Lindt Intense Strawberry and Cadbury’s Bubbly). You can also opt for 2 Fresh Strawberries finely chopped when available.
1 scoop of Chocolate Chips Ice Cream.
1 scoop of Strawberry Ice Cream.

1. Blend all the main ingredients (2 medium scoops of Chocolate Chips Ice Cream, 2 medium scoops of Strawberry Ice Cream, 1 glass unsweetened milk, 2 teaspoons of Sugarfree Natura) till you achieve a smooth consistency and a thick froth.
2. Fill the Shake in two glasses and place them in the freezer for 30 minutes.
3. Garnish with 1 scoop of Chocolate Chips Ice Cream and 1 scoop of Strawberry Ice Cream.
4. Garnish with broken pieces of Lindt Intense Strawberry and Cadbury’s Silk.
5. Serve Chilled!!

Drool over my Double Trouble and get down to making yours, now!!

Try a Variation!!

You can also play around by first blending only Strawberry Ice Cream scoops with the milk and Sugar Free Natura and filling only half a glass and letting it set in the freezer.
Till this sets, you can blend your Chocolate Chips Ice Cream scoops with the milk and Sugar Free Natura.
You can then pour this over the set Strawberry, garnish as you wish and can enjoy a layered Double Trouble!

I am sure that when you will all try out this Double Trouble and you find that all your troubles are blown away in a jiffy!!

PS - This Post is written for the Sugar Free Dessert Challenge contest being held at Indiblogger.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Real Joy of Togetherness

We live in a world that has been spiraling towards digitization at a maddening pace. Out on the roads or indeed inside the homes or even the schools and colleges, wherever we cast a glance all we can see is people of all ages and genders immersed in their mobiles or laptops. School children, instead of playing on the streets or playgrounds are spending more time with their heads immersed in a mobile phone. College students, when they should be enjoying their best days talking and interacting with their friends in real time are instead wasting time 'Liking or Re-Tweeting or Updating their Status' on various social media sites. Colleagues in offices are submerged in either writing long drawn e-mails or worthless chatting.

Two of my very close friend's celebrated their birthdays just last week. The best that I could do for them on this special occasion was WhatsApp them a 'Happy Birthday' message. Throughout the day, I thought about calling them and wishing them but office work had consumed me so much that I kept putting it for later. By night I thought it was too late to call anyway and dropped the idea finally. And they were my very close friends, people with whom I have practically lived in a single room for 4 straight years.

Last night, I remembered what birthdays meant to us in those heady engineering days when we lived in a hostel and when upcoming birthdays meant an almost festive like atmosphere amongst us. I remembered those Birthday bumps where the Birthday boy co-operated with a large heart. Those dinner parties where the amount of cake applied on the faces was much more than what was left to eat by the end. Those short trips to a beach where we would spend time playing cricket or just sit on the warm sand, watching the sunset and saying nothing as if silence and nature was everything that was needed to magically transfer our thoughts to each other. Ah!! How I miss those beautiful days, when we connected with each other by talking to one other and by being there physically in times of both joy and sadness or indeed madness!!!

Today I feel both, the warmth of happiness and the pang of sadness inside me - happiness because I have been lucky enough to have lived a life when we were not slaves of technology and sadness because I know that however hard I may try I will never be able to replicate those good old days again.

It is imperative that we give more importance to face to face communication, where we spend time with our family and friends and where we laugh and cry together, where we increase our happiness by sharing them and reduce our sadness, where we discuss our problems and try to lend a helping hand to others. We must live a life where we are still connected to people around us as indeed with our own selves!

Do watch this beautiful video of Kissanpur that talks of bringing back the 'Real Joy of Togetherness' :

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Final Walk Into the Sunset

Kumar Sangakkara was given a rousing welcome by the crowd and a respectful guard of honor by the Indian Cricket Team and the Umpires as he made his way out to the centre for his Final Innings...

Friday, August 21, 2015

Browsing Internet with Airtel 4G: Are You Ready?

Cricket and Mobile Internet: Where is the problem?

I am a cricket freak, as you all know. Caught between a full time grueling office job during the day and a busy cricket calendar, it is the internet that often comes to my rescue. That’s how I satisfy my cricket cravings in office or on the move.

Sounds perfect, right?!

Wrong. Imagine the disappointment when the same solution also doubles up my problem. Thing is my internet browsing network, which works at 2G internet data plan, is horrendously slow. This means I am left with videos that keep buffering endlessly only to stream at low resolutions, making it difficult to track the ball and the scores, when refreshed, take an eternity. Leaving my dream of matching matches LIVE just that – a dream…

Saying hello to high speed internet - Airtel 4G:

If you find your own story mirrored in mine, worry not, my friend - The power of 4G service is now here to our rescue! Get ready to jump to the next generation because gone will be the days of  ever-buffering cricket downloads & low resolution video streams. Thanks to India's leading service provider Airtel 4G, is the first telecom operator to do a nationwide roll out of high-speed 4G internet services across 296 cities in India! Isn’t that exciting news?!

It definitely is, for me! You know what this would mean -

Living all my cricket dreams with Airtel 4G data services:

This would mean now I can watch cricket matches – LIVE – yes, you got that right - LIVE that too in high resolution videos. No frustration of the low buffering speeds, so I get to watch the game as it is happening.

This would mean ball-by-ball commentary refreshed in mind-blowing accuracy and timing. As on TV, so on my mobile. Seriously, that is the only way a game like cricket can be enjoyed.

This would mean browsing at a neck-break speed! Faster than any available network out there and swifter than any we have previously known. Videos, text, graphics – everything at the touch of my fingertip, in full clarity and with no lag time whatsoever.

This would also mean more of blogging and keeping my beloved blog, CricketWise updated with all the latest in the news. No excuses any more after watching a game and getting on the job right away - bang-on with my analysis and opinions!

Am I dreaming or is this really REAL?

Such speed sounds almost unbelievable, right? All I can say is that it’s a boon and the prices that the service is being rolled out is very reasonable as well (4G available at 3G prices). You just need to grab a 4G device from the market and request for a 4G sim - Airtel will do the rest for you. For Free!

So yeah - It is REAL. And for all of you skeptics out there, there's something in store too - Airtel is offering a free demo in their stores to experice 4G first-hand. You can even challenge them and if your network is faster, they will pay your mobile bills for life!

About me, well, I am already convinced and can’t wait to upgrade my services - so here's to my cricketing passion and here's three, umm... nah - Four cheers to Airtel 4G! Hip Hip... Hurray!!!!

Important features: Quick Glance and How you can activate?

•  Airtel 4G is the first telecom operator to roll out 4G services
•  Nationwide rollout across 296 cities
•  4G available at 3G prices
•  Getting a 4G SIM is just a tweet away - #GetAirtel4G
•  Free home deliverey of 4G SIM

*Image source credit:

Friday, July 10, 2015

Say NO to Crash Diets, Say YES to Honey Diet!

Who doesn’t like to look slim, tall, and slender and well, just - beautiful?

I, for one, do. For this, summer season is one of the best times to cleanse and detox your body to get in good shape. As the weather gets warmer, the body tries to remain cooler by yearning for less food and more water and watery fruits like watermelon that are seasonally available in abundance.

While detoxing or getting rid of bodily waste can be a great idea to keep your body energized and revitalized in general, it also means that the resulting health impacts resulting from your detoxification efforts will depend on how you go about doing it in the first place. Let’s try to understand this in detail… read on:

Why say NO to Crash diets?

In a bid to lose weight fast, crash diets allure – what with the shortcut promise of ‘instant results’ that they bring along but be warned: Indulging in a rapid crash course diet can play havoc on your body as well as the heart. A dangerous remark indeed, but one that most nutritionists and cardiologists all over the world confirm.

Researchers suggest that crash diets slow down metabolism causing a major imbalance obstructing the regular efficiency of the body. In return, even though the goal of getting thin fast may be achieved – the long term effect of the entire diet-quest can be hazardous to the health. The changed functioning patterns in the body start to manifest in drastic health problems like drowsy posture, lack in stamina and strength, dark circles, weak immune system and cardiac stress.

Here's a Sweeter and Safer Alternative: Honey Diet -

Now that we have crossed ‘Crash diets’ and anything and everything that is harmful for the body (including sugerated drinks, smoothies and ice-creams) out of our summer detox plan, there must surely be an alternative to losing weight – safely and sweetly while still enjoying the season?

YES, there is and that is: The latest Dabur initiative - Honey Diet.

Traditionally, the benefits of honey are many proven over the ages and recognized in the Ayurvedic healing system. A spoon of honey, laced in natural sugars and carbohydrates, taken early in the morning acts as a wonderful energizer helping you manage your weight and aiding in easy digestion. It’s moisturizing and nourishing qualities helps to protect the skin against the harsh sun-effects by keeping the skin soft and supple.

What you can do is get innovative by introducing honey as part of your recipes and daily regime. Or, you can chart your own personalized fitness plan by taking a 3 click online fitness test here.

Why say YES to a healthy balanced diet?

Say yes to a healthy balanced diet… why?

Because you respect your body. Because, you know that nothing worthwhile has ever been achieved by embarking on shortcut routes. Because you realize that the joy of achieving something, anything lies in the journey and not the destination.

And that journey - if healthy, if balanced, if natural - will reward you with your ‘beautiful’ dream in the sweetest (pun intended!) form, one that will be with you to cherish for a lifetime! Right?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Staying Cricket-Connected with UC Cricket!

I have been a cricket buff ever since I can remember. I guess my craziness for the game was inherited from my father, running through my genes even when I was born. This explains why I have been addicted to the game right from a young age. I could bunk classes, skip my homework, forget about my meals – someone just had to spell the word ‘CRICKET’ for me and rest assured, I would be glued – much to the chagrin of my parents and teachers.

My sister often remarked in vain: You are not the umpire, for goodness sake - you can move!

Hah! If I really cared?! What I did care about was if my favorite players were running in good form and the records being stashed and milestones achieved – all this was duly recorded and preserved in the mini cricketing cafĂ© I built for myself, in my cricket-captivated brain.

Unfortunately with the advent of times, with a full time job, a career to handle and ambitions to take care of, my first love – cricket had to take a backseat. I was literally left with no other choice. Missing out on cricket matches was now the norm. Browsing various cricket sites led to disappointment because of their huge lag in transmission and coverage speeds. Checking latest score updates on Google became a headache! Deep down, I felt a tinge of sadness on having to miss out on something I loved so much…

But as they say, patience bears fruits. So here, finally, came the good news: NOW - I have a solution!

And the solution is UC Browser - UC Cricket – Surf it all, Surf it fast!

UC Browser has introduced its new section, UC Cricket that comes pre-loaded with all the features promising to make life easier for professional people like me.

Just one click from the homepage of the UC Browser and you get access to UC Cricket (in blue icon) – it’s that easy to install!

Now, you don't have to miss the cric-fun - Download UC Cricket on UC Browser.

Browsing UC Cricket on the go has made my life so much easier and cricket-connected. Latest cricket scores refresh automatically so that I can keep an eye on it even while managing important work in my office. Browsing news while in trains or buses is super speedy too. Now, my work is no longer neglected in my craving for cricket. In fact, I have become so much more efficient that is well reflected in my interactions with my co-workers, colleagues and family.

The best thing, however, that I love about UC Cricket is the live streaming of videos – its seamless transmissions give me the same joy that I used to enjoy in my childhood days.

Really, for a true-blue cricket lover, UC Cricket has been nothing short of a Godly-boon for me. It’s so nice to have someone who understands and by dedicating a space exclusively for cricket fanatics like me, UC Browser, has indeed hit a sixer with UC Cricket that, I believe, is bound to break all boundaries and win many hearts.

Have you tried UC Cricket as yet?
How do you stay cricket-connected?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Kumar Sangakkara Announces His Retirement

Sri Lankan legend and one of the greatest ever to play Test Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara announced that He will retire after the 2nd Test against India to be played later this year.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bangladesh Blank India in the First ODI

I had recently written about how Bangladesh Cricket was finally looking up after they had 'BanglaWashed' Pakistan 3-0 in an ODI series. Yesterday, they displayed another show of their rapid improvement when they blanked a full strength Indian team with relative ease.

Debutant bowler Mustafizur Rahman fizzed out 5 Indian batsmen as his assortment of cutters and slower balls on a slow pitch in Dhaka were too much for the Indian line up to handle. Bangladeshi batting had been given a rapid start by Tamim Iqbal and a rampaging Saumya Sarkar as they raced to 100 in the 14th over. Although they lost momentum after the start but crisp contributions from Sabbir, Nasir, Shakib and Mortaza meant that Bangladesh had crossed 300 for the very first time against the Indians.

The batsmen were superbly backed up by the Bangla quartet of fast bowlers with the debutant Mustafizur leading the way. The raucous Dhaka crowd had got their moneys worth when Mortaza and Taskin repeated their World Cup chest bump, only this time it was sweeter as Bangladesh had ended up on the winning side.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Tips for Healthy Radiant Skin - Naturally!

Nowadays, with the busy hectic routine lives that we have come to be accustomed with, does it often seem easier and convenient to you to just pick a skin care lotion or a cream right out of the shelf for a few bucks instead of investing time and energy by our own selves as our mothers and grandmothers used to do in their era?

Yes - so, what is wrong in that? The results are fast and the skin glow –instant, isn’t it?!

Right. But, did you know - this beauty that you regale in is temporary! What’s more, instead of nourishing your skin, some of these chemical-laced products can have drastic consequences in the long run including dangerous disesases like cancer!

The only solution is to go back to our roots and follow the skin care regimes already outlined by our ancestors. This was a time when beauty was not a dictate followed by the market driven community but a wisely driven venture that was natural, healthy and ayurvedic (Remember that ad: Vicco Turmeric – Nahi cosmetic…).

Natural remedies for beautiful skin known over the years have many benefits over their cosmetic counterparts - one of them being that they are really really easy to incorporate in our busy lives. Let me share a few of these, passed down by my mother to whom I am and will forever remain indebted for my healthy and youthful skin:

1. Drink plenty of water.

My mom always tells me “drink lots of water” and it makes sense too. Our bodies are 65 % water. No wonder then, our skin loves it. Water hydrates our skin and keeps it supple, smooth, wrinkle free and ageless. The benefits of drinking water on our bodies are truly innumerable.

2. Use of Multani Mitti.

Dirt and grime are a part and parcel of my everyday life, thanks to the pollution all around. Owing to my oily skin, there are times when an odd painful pimple pops out suddenly. In times like these, I turn to my mom and she has a remedy: Multani Mitti. Multani Mitti or fullers earth is a natural clay substance that has amazing healing properties against acne and sores. I have used it on numerous occasions and it has worked wonders for my skin – always!

3. Avoid Junk Food.

Jaisa Ann waisa mann. My mom always stresses on eating home cooked food which is full in vital nutrients and cooked in a hygienic, loving manner. Who can deny the benefits of natural fruits, vegetables and spices like papaya, blackberries, oranges, turmeric, broccoli, etc. over junk food filled in artificial flavors and preservative? Natural foods are laced in essential vitamins and antioxidants that are needed for a blemish free radiant skin.

4. Get adequate sleep.

Sleep is the best form of meditation. So says the global spiritual leader, Dalai Lama. My mom agrees. Sleep is often one of the most neglected, overlooked and abused part of our lifestyle that can cause puffy eyes, increase anxiety that can lead to lackluster lifeless skin. Imagine giving an important presentation in such a state! A good night's sleep keeps you and your skin fresh and beautiful for any and all kinds of activities during the day.

5. Protect yourself from the harsh sun.

Proper skin care from the harsh UV rays of the sun is important. Roaming unprotected in the sun can wreck havoc on the naturally sensitive skin making it coarse severe and sometimes irreversible sun damage. Carry an umbrella or wear a hat before stepping out of the house. I also use Aloe Vera leaf gel which has tremendous moisturizing effect, an instant relief to soothe my ultra sensitive skin.

These are the tips I follow. What about you?
Share your natural and healthy skin care tips and tricks in the comment section too!

Friday, May 15, 2015

'My Airtel App' download kiya kya?

Look around you: in trains, buses, even while walking down the streets, almost everyone we see is well-equipped with a smartphone today. Like it or not but a smartphone has made its way as the modern age ‘friend in need’ of a lot of people around us, age no bar. It’s the age of digitization after all. In the recent times, it has been difficult to rationalize just how fast companies have rolled their app-lications out. Their demands have increased and companies are more than happy to find a place in the pockets of their consumers. A WIN-WIN situation for all.

The latest app by Airtel - 'My Airtel App' which speaks of managing all your Airtel services like mobile, DTH and broadband in a few clicks on your mobile screen is the latest entrant in this app convoy. When I first heard of it, I thought why not give it a try and decided to download it for a better understanding of its features. Here’s a low-down on 3 key easy-to-use and handy features that caught my eye instantly:

1. Wynk’ing / Cricket News.

Wynk is a music feature that lets you stream, pick, download and play music of your choice. I love listening to music when I have got nothing else to do. It’s an immediate stress buster. So, this one has got to be there high up on my list of favorites.

Cricket scores and news is again something I look forward to be up to date with, no matter where I am, at home or on the move. With the one touch feature of ‘Airtel Live’, checking scores and browsing through the latest happenings in the world of cricket has become super easy!

2. Surprise coupons and bargains with every recharge.

Gone are the days when I had to stand in long queues and wait my turn. My Airtel App has made it extremely convenient for users to recharge by designing an interface that’s not only intuitive but also pretty simple to understand. The payments are safe and secured, so that really makes the process really stress-free.

The biggest perk of going for an app recharge is that after every recharge - the app rewards you with exciting coupons and bargains that can be redeemed for a variety of categories like shopping, food, etc. I am yet to recharge my cell but it’s the first time I can’t actually wait to do it!

3. Alerts on low balance, low data, bill payment, etc.

In the busy schedule of my routine hectic life, sometimes I tend to miss important deadlines and significant dates when bills have to be cleared and payments made. There have been times when I completely forgot about the recharge and had to pay the price by losing my connectivity with my near and dear ones.

This brings me to this feature which is a huge relief for forgetful people like me who have always worried about keeping reminders and notes. Times have changed though. With its intuitive and personalized push notification on payment due, low balance and pack refills - My Airtel App does that for me now!

PS: All features are currently available on Android. IOS release - coming soon.

This has been my experience till now. What about you?
Have you tried the ‘My Airtel App’ yet?
Which key features would you recommend to your friends?

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Battle for the Purple Cap - Highest Wicket Takers of the IPL 2015 till Match 43

Here are the Highest Wicket takers of IPL 2015 till now -

Dwayne Bravo (Chennai Super Kings) - 17 Wickets from 11 matches at an Economy Rate of 7.52

Ashish Nehra (Chennai Super Kings) – 17 Wickets from 11 matches at an Economy Rate of 7.11

Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (Sunrisers Hyderabad) - 16 Wickets from 10 matches at an Economy Rate of 7.67

Mitchell Starc (Royal Challengers Bangalore) – 15 Wickets from 7 matches at an Economy Rate of 5.45

Imran Tahir (Delhi Daredevils) – 15 Wickets from 10 matches at an Economy Rate of 8.84

Which Bowler do you think will end up wearing the Purple Cap at the end of IPL 2015?

The Battle for the Orange Cap - Highest Run Getters of the IPL 2015 till Match 43

Here are the Highest Run Scorers of IPL 2015 till now -

Ajinkya Rahane (Rajasthan Royals) - 438 from 11 matches at a Strike Rate of 130.7

DA Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad) – 406 from 10 matches at a Strike Rate of 159.2

Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians) - 361 from 11 matches at a Strike Rate of 140.4

Chris Gayle (Royal Challengers Bangalore) – 357 from 8 matches at a Strike Rate of 160.1

Shreyas Iyer (Delhi Daredevils) – 349 from 11 matches at a Strike Rate of 130.2

Which Batsman do you think will end up wearing the Orange Cap at the end of IPL 2015?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Bangladesh Cricket Finally Looking Up, Whitewash Pakistan 3-0!

Bangladesh have been playing with the big boys since almost 20 years now. They were given Test Playing Status on popular sentiment but they never justified their place amongst the elite. They have struggled to compete even in the ODI format since 1999 when they beat Pakistan in a World Cup match in England. A few victories here and there, mostly against Zimbabwe and Kenya but they were never up to the mark. A few famous victories were also registered, against India, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka but they were so rare that they almost seemed to be lost in the darkness that accompanied a glut of terrible losses.

They seemed to have a nice nucleus when they beat India in that famous 2007 World Cup win in the West Indies. The memory of a 17 year old Tamim rushing down the pitch and slamming Zaheer Khan in the stands still gives me nightmares. Another 17 year old, Mushfiqur Rahim, had played a pivotal part in that historic run chase that doomed India. But Bangladesh never seemed to be able to capitalize on the talents of these young players even as Mortaza, Ashraful, Shakib and Mahmudullah also showed promise.

Until recently. The main problem for Bangladesh was not talent but the fickle mindset of it's batsmen. The batsmen would get the starts but throw their wickets away. They were unable to build a long innings, the big scores that win you matches. Bowling was another area that was plagued by lack of good fast bowlers. They always produced excellent left arm spinners but on away tours these left armers were more or less left redundant.

The recent World Cup could be considered a turning point in Bangladesh Cricket as their batsmen showed more application and grit. They played well in Australia and New Zealand, places where they have probably not toured in ages. Tamim, Mushfiqur and Shakib form the cornerstone of their batting but they have Mahmudullah and Soumya Sarkar who have also blossomed and seem to possess talent in abundance.

The fast bowling stocks have also started to fill as the young tearaway Taskin made an appearance. Mashrafe Mortaza is still a very capable bowler even though he seems to spend half his time in the hospital. They also have Rubel who is quick and moves the ball just a little bit. The spin department was never a problem for them and the ever dependable Shakib leads the way for them.

The rise in the Fast Bowling stocks has coincided with the upward swing of Bangladesh Cricket

The way that they reached the Quarter Finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and then blanked Pakistan 3-0 in the ODI's before defeating them in the one off T-20 as well means that their cricket is finally looking up and I hope that will be giving other teams a serious run for their money and become a force to reckon with in the near future.

A good, strong Bangladeshi team will be very good for the game of cricket. I wish them all the very best!

PS - The image used is courtesy

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Rajasthan Take on Chennai as the In-Form Teams Go Head to Head

IPL8: Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings at Ahmedabad, 19th April 2015 - Match Preview

Rajasthan and Chennai have been the best teams thus far in the IPL 8 and they clash today at Ahmedabad after which one will finally not have a clean slate. While McCullum and Dwayne Smith have been thrashing the living daylights out of opposition bowlers, Rahane has quietly gone on about his business. Raina and Faf have shored up the middle order for the men in Yellow while Smith and Faulkner have done the scoring for the Royals when the going has gone tough.

Both the teams also have enough firepower in their bowling line ups. The veteran Ashish Nehra has picked up a couple of 3 fer's already and he has the young Ishwar Pandey and Mohit Sharma for support. Rajasthan have Chris Morris and Tim Southee along with Dhawal Kulkarni who have made the early breakthroughs for the Rajasthan team. R Ashwin is the spin king for Chennai while the 43 year old Pravin Tambe still gives it a tweak that leaves the batsmen guessing!

Steven Smith has tormented Dhoni right through the last 5-6 months but now he finds himself on a ground where Dhoni can finally give it back. I look forward to this little battle between these two players, how they go about plotting each others downfall.

Key Battles: Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings

Tim Southee vs Brendon McCullum

R Ashwin vs Steve Smith

James Faulkner vs Dwayne Bravo

This one promises to be a good game of cricket with the two in form teams clashing with each other. These two are also the teams which met in the first ever Final of the IPL 7 years ago!

Which team are you supporting? Who do you think will win?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Redefine Your Smartphone Experience with the ASUS ZenFone 2

Smartphones today hold an important place in our day to day life. We can hardly live without them and they have almost become a part of our own body. It is thus imperative that we choose one that is made for us and one that will give us the maximum pleasure and the ease of use. With new models packed with all the latest and innovative features flooding the market every other day, it has become an arduous task to choose one fitting your bill.

The ASUS ZenFone 2 is about to be launched and I will give below 5 reasons why I think that the ASUS ZenFone 2 could redefine your smartphone experience!
  • Luxurious Ultra Thin Ergonomic Arc Design

The first thing that attracts an user towards a new phone is its look and design and this is where the ASUS ZenFone 2 wins the battle hands down. Coupled with killer looks that taper to extremely thin 3.9 mm at the edges for a stunning finish and a luxurious brushed metal finish with the signature concentric circle detailing the ZenFone will give bragging rights to anyone that will flaunt this beauty! It is also available in 5 different colors that you can choose to match your style and up the glam quotient.
  • PixelMaster

The 13 MP rear camera is perfect to capture stunning images and the 5 MP front camera with its 85 degree wide arc lens provides for terrific selfies and clear video chats. The low light performance is unbelievably good as the ZenFone, through its latest technology increases the light sensitivity by an astounding 400% to give pictures that will make heads turn. The shutter lag is zero which makes sure that you do not miss anything of importance and everything is caught in real time. The manual controls open up an entirely different horizon and the ZenFone 2 will almost feel like a DSLR in your hands.
  • Performance for Today, and Beyond

This phone is packed with an upto 2.3GHz 64-bit intel Atom Z3580 processor and a 4 Gb RAM that will enhance the phone experience by almost 3 times and the gaming experience by 7 times when compared to its predecessor. The Super Quad Core processor enables the apps to open in the blink of an eye, the games to run smoothly and the internet pages to open without any lags.
  • BoostMaster

The ASUS BoostMaster technology facilitates super fast charging of your ASUS ZenFone 2 device. The ZenFone 2 battery is charged to almost 60% in 39 minutes! Now that means that you no longer need to worry about constantly charging the phone and can enjoy watching movies or playing games at almost every possible moment when you want to. The high capacity 3000mAh battery means that you can probably go through an entire day without charging the device, thus enabling you to enjoy your phone!
  • Incredible SonicMaster Audio

The world renowned ASUS Golden Ear team provides the user with the best audio that a smartphone can offer. The SonicMaster technology delivers a crisp, crystal clear audio that remains unaffected whether you are on headphones or on speakers.

These are the 5 features that I look forward to the most when the ASUS ZenFone 2 will come out. Which of these features appeal to you the most?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Dream XI

My Dream Team from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Tillakaratne Dilshan - Picked him over Martin Guptill because of his consistency.

Brendon McCullum - Destroyed attacks left, right and center.

Kumar Sangakkara - The run machine, elegant, classic.

AB De Villiers - The most innovative batsman of this World Cup.

Steven Smith - The man for the knock-outs!

Glenn Maxwell - Awe inspiring batsman-ship, handy part time off spinner.

Grant Elliott - Ice-Man bat, all rounder to boot!

Mitchell Starc - Deadly yorkers, pace.

Trent Boult - Classic left arm swing bowler!

Wahab Riaz - Fast and furious!

Daniel Vettori - Accurate and economic, wicket taker in the middle overs.

Reserve Batsman - Martin Guptill

Reserve All Rounder - Corey Anderson

Reserve Fast Bowler - Mohammad Shami

Reserve Spinner - Imran Tahir

What will be your Dream Team from the ICC World Cup 2015?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

5 Cricketers Who Retired at the End of World Cup 2015

Two Fast Chums, A Batting Freak, Two Captains and Dan the Man!! All fade into the Sunset!! Goodbye!

Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka

The elegant left hander from Sri Lanka had announced that the World Cup 2015 will be his swansong from ODI cricket. He came into the Lankan side in place of the diminutive Romesh 'Lil' Kaluwitharana and through sheer hard work; determination and single minded focus blossomed into one of the best batsmen of our era. He constantly remodeled his game according to the time and the fact that he scored 4 consecutive hundreds in the World Cup 2015 remains a testimony to how he could still have continued playing the game some time. There was to be no fairy tale end to his long career though as Sri Lanka lost the Quarter Final clash against South Africa. He played 404 matches scoring 14234 runs at an average of almost 42 with 25 tons and a mind numbing 93 half centuries!!

A Fairy Tale Farewell eluded the Great Kumar Sangakkara
as Sri lanka crashed out at the 
Quarter Final stage with a huge loss to South Africa

Mahela Jayawardena, Sri Lanka

The close friend of Kumar Sangakkara and one of the most elegant stroke makers the game has ever seen had also indicated that the World Cup 2015 will be the last time that he will be seen playing an ODI for Sri Lanka. He started very early and was a champion school cricketer before he was leapfrogged into the Sri Lankan set up at a young age. He was one of the shrewdest captains that played the game and his presence in the middle order as well in the middle while the team is in a crunch position will be sorely missed. He steered Sri Lanka out of the woods with a composed century against Afghanistan and his centuries in the 2007 Semi Final against the Kiwis and his ton against the Indians in the 2011 Final will surely remain as his most cherished ODI innings. He played 448 matches for the Lankans scoring 12650 runs at an average of around 33 with 19 tons and 77 fifties.

Shahid Afridi, Pakistan

He seemed to have been around forever and he never changed his game right through his career. He had began his ODI career with the fastest ODI ton off just 37 balls against the Lankans in the 1990's and he went out in a trail of fire in his last innings against the Australians in the Quarter Finals as well. Known as 'Boom Boom' to fans all around the globe, he always provided thorough entertainment either with the bat or with the ball. His showman pose after picking up a wicket will always stir fond memories in those who watched him play. He played 398 ODI's for Pakistan scoring over 8000 runs at a strike rate of 117 and made 6 tons and 39 half centuries. He also picked up 395 wickets at an average of 34.5 and maintained an economy rate of 4.62 right through his long career.

Michael Clarke, Australia

Although many people do not give him the credit that he deserves for his ODI contribution to the Australian cricket the fact remains that he retires with an exemplary record and the numbers that he possesses are a testimony as to how much the Australian team will miss him. He was also a fine leader and his aggressive field settings and attacking moves meant that Australia played a brand of cricket that made the right sound, always. He was a brilliant player of spin bowling and shored up the middle order with class and panache many times. He retired as a World Cup winning captain at MCG as Australians beat the Kiwis by 7 wickets. He appeared in 245 matches for the Aussies making 7981 runs at an average almost touching 45 which included 8 tons and 58 half centuries.

Daniel Vettori, New Zealand

Vettori joined the Kiwi team as a young and gangly bespectacled boy and was soon one of the leading spinners of the game. He did not turn the ball much but his excellent control of the flight and pace along with subtle changes in line and length meant that he could always deceive the very best. The fact that he played for so long in the generally seaming conditions in New Zealand and prospered speaks volumes for the skills and quality of this man. He was the go to man for many a captain and was also a handy bat. He also led New Zealand briefly when they were in not such a good state and did so admirably. He will be remembered for his calmness and Zen like approach to cricket. He played 295 matches for the Black Caps picking up 305 wickets at an average of 31 while maintaining a miserly economy rate of just 4.1. He also scored 2253 runs at an average of almost 18 which included 4 half centuries.

Other Cricketers who retired at the end of this World Cup are Misbah Ul Haq, Kyle Mills and Brad Haddin.

Which of these cricketers will you miss the most and why?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Top 5 Bowling Performances of Cricket World Cup 2015

Here are my Top 5 Memorable Bowling performances from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015!

With Australia chasing just 214 to win in their Quarter Final match against Pakistan it seemed that they would romp home with the batting fire power that they possess. But Wahab Riaz had other ideas as he first got David Warner with a short ball that he top edged to third man. Then Wahab had the Aussie skipper Michael Clarke caught at short leg as he tried to evade a nasty bouncer. What followed though was mayhem as Shane Watson was tortured and traumatized by the spell of the World Cup. He was given bouncer after bouncer, each more nasty and pacy than the previous one as Watson's body convulsed in reaction. Had Watson been caught at fine leg while he was still in single figures the match would have panned out differently. Ultimately though, Australia weathered the Wahab storm and won by 6 wickets!

Wahab Riaz breathed fire as he was all over Shane Watson in a 
memorable spell of fast bowling at the Cricket World Cup 2015

England had started reasonably well against New Zealand and looked set to make a fist of the game but suddenly Tim Southee jolted them but a wonderful display of swing bowling. He first worked over Moeen Ali giving him a short ball and then pegging his off stump back with a hell of a yorker. Then Bell was taken as the ball first came in and then left him slightly to take the top of off pole. He went on to take 7-33 as he routed the English top order, the ball swing to his whims and fancies!

New Zealand and Australia met at Auckland in the Pool stage and with short boundaries bowlers were given no chance and a high score was predicted. Australia started reasonably well and were 70 odd for 3 when Trent Boult returned for a second spell. He broke the back of the Aussie middle and lower order in a spell that left the Aussies gasping for breath. That spell read 5-3-3-5 as he snaffled Clarke, Maxwell and Mitch Marsh among others! Australia were eventually bowled out for just 151.

In the same match where Boult bowled that magnificent spell, Starc made that match more memorable by almost snatching victory from the jaws of a defeat for the Australian team. He bowled Ross Taylor and Grant Elliott either side of the lunch break and with his yorkers finding the target, the batsmen had to be extremely wary. He bowled Adam Milne and Tim Southee off successive deliveries and had two cracks at Boult but Boult somehow survived and Williamson hit the first ball of the next over for a six to seal the match. Starc took 6-28 but still ended on the losing side!!

New Zealand were in trouble early on but they had recovered sufficiently, reaching 150-3 at the start of the batting powerplay, ready to launch an assault. That is when James Faulkner bowled a spell that changed the course of the match and tilted it in Australia's favor with certainty. He first got Ross Taylor caught at first slip and then bowled a peach of a yorker that cleaned up Corey Anderson the very next ball. He later picked up Grant Elliott, who was starting to just open his shoulders, thus punching the final nail in the Kiwi coffin!

Which was your favorite spell from this World Cup? Which bowler do you think bowled that magical spell tilted the match that should have been listed here?

PS - The image used is courtesy

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Top 5 Batting Performances of Cricket World Cup 2015

Here are my Top 5 memorable batting performances from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015!

New Zealand needed 298 runs in 43 overs for a place in the final as South Africa, aided by AB De Villiers, Faf Du Plessis and David Miller had made a big score. New Zealand were provided a rapid start by Brendon McCullum but they soon lost their way stumbling to 149-4 in the 22nd over. With around 150 runs still needed, Grant Elliot forged a partnership with Corey Anderson as they kept the runs coming. But Corey departed just as the match was beginning to fall in New Zealand's lap. Luke Ronchi went soon after. New Zealand still required 29 runs off 17 balls and then 12 off the last over. Grant Elliott was the Ice Man through all the ups and downs of this riveting match as he thumped a six off the penultimate ball off one of the leading bowlers of World Cricket, Dale Steyn, over long on for a huge six. As Dale Steyn slumped to the pitch after the ball, Elliot, like a true warrior, in a moment that epitomized just why we all love sport so much, gave him a helping hand aiding him get to his feet. He had won a cricket match just moments earlier but won hearts of millions across the globe almost immediately too!!

Grant Elliott - That was the Number 1 Innings in the World Cup 2015, wasn't it??

Steven Smith, 65 off 69 balls against Pakistan - 3rd Quarter Final

Although Australia were chasing a small target of just 214 they were in some strife after Finch and Warner had both departed without much contribution. Then the captain was out caught at short leg by a rip snorter of a delivery by Wahab Riaz. With Shane Watson burning in the fire of Wahab Riaz's hell next, Steven Smith cut a serene figure at the other end. He drove the ball as easy as you like and was never troubled right through. If Steven Smith would have gone without scoring much then I think that Australia would have probably lost that game. Steven Smith, that day, showed his class and his temperament and guided Australia's ship with unnerving ease.

It was the big Semi Final against India at the SCG and Warner had departed early. With Finch struggling to even lay bat on ball Steven Smith raced to his fifty and then to his hundred off just 89 balls! As other batsmen came and went at the other end, Steven Smith tormented the Indian bowlers like he had done all summer. He toyed with Shami and Yadav and Ashwin was rendered useless as Smith used his feet to unsettle his length. It was a masterclass in how to bat in a knockout game with a panache and class of a seasoned soldier!

AB De Villiers, 162* off 66 balls against West Indies at SCG

South Africa had won the toss and decided to bat first against the West Indians. The Proteas were having a good day but they lost 2 wickets in the same Chris Gayle over, both the set batsmen getting out. Out walked AB De Villiers, the man who had just smashed the fastest hundred in an ODI against the same attack off just 31 balls. carnage followed as De Villiers once again got in to the act. He batted like a man at the peak of his powers and played some absolutely remarkable shots. The West Indian skipper who at one stage had splendid bowling figures of 5-2-9-1 ended up with 10-2-104-1 as he was torn to shreds by his opposite number!

It was the Quarter Final and there was pressure on New Zealand as McCullum had departed early. Williamson had also not been able to impress and Ross Taylor was struggling for his timing. Martin Guptill decided that it was time for him to impose on the match and the situation. He had started slowly and reached his ton off 111 balls but he just exploded after that. The balls kept disappearing straight as there were no fancy or cute shots attempted. He brought up his 200 off just 152 balls as New Zealand ramped up 393, the highest score in a World Cup knockout match!

Which was your favorite innings from this World Cup? Which batsman do you think played an innings that should have been listed here?

The Top 5 Batsmen of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

PS - The image used is courtesy