Book Review | Imperfect by Sanjay Manjrekar

Front Cover - Imperfect by Sanjay Manjrekar

Genre: Autobiography 
Format:  Kindle 
Language: English

I started following Indian cricket since World Cup, 1996, and as a result I don’t have many memories of Sanjay Manjrekar playing in India colors. I have followed him more as a cricket commentator and writer than as a player. However, one vivid memory I have of him as a player is from the 1996 World Cup semi-final match between India and Sri Lanka: I recall the catch Sanjay took, fielding at third man boundary, to get rid of Romesh Kaluwitharana from the bowling of Javagal Srinath. The Srinath has pitched the ball outside the off-stump and the dangerous Kaluwitharana, sensing a scoring opportunity, wacked the ball over the point region only to be caught by the fielder waiting at the third-man region. A vibrant and enthusiastic celebration followed.

Imperfect, a recently released memoir by Sanjay Manjrekar, digs deep into both his personal and professional life like no other biography of a public figure ever has in the past. Sanjay’s straight talk about his father, his colleagues and his life in cricket though might come across as brutal at times, but that’s the charm of honestly. 

Book Review | Based on Lies: It Begins by Debarshi Kanjilal

Based on Lies: it begins
Front Cover | Based on Lies: It Begins

Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Format:  Kindle, 
Language: English

Based on Lies: It Begins, a first of the 2-part novella, by Debarshi Kanjilal, is a psychological thriller in which the story unfolds through a series of journal entries by Anurag Sanyal. 

It’s through his journal entries—replete with love, sex, betrayal, lust and crime—that the story moves forward, unveiling the dark and twisted world around him. The narrative revolves around Anurag Sanyal, his wife, Aditi, his ex-girlfriend, Niharika and a local café owner, Sindhu Burah, and the author introduces them in the most matter-of-fact manner: 

"They all have lives of their own, and they all have a life equation with one another. And they each hide secrets darker than the other. They have all been involved in several violent crimes where they are sometimes the victim, sometimes the criminal, and sometimes an accomplice. There are no innocent people."

Book Review | The Insider - Decoding the Craft of Cricket by Aakash Chopra

Front Cover: Decoding The Craft Of Cricket | Pub: Harper Sports
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: HarperSport
Language: English

I bought this book (The Insider - Decoding the Craft of Cricket) soon after its release mainly because I have been a fan of Aakash Chopra’s columns; and, not to mention, of his commentary, too. Unfortunately, I could never start reading the book immediately, and all for a long time it was sitting pretty on my bookshelf. However, I have read it now and I am happy to share my experience of the book. 

Aakash Chopra is a familiar face in the commentary box. And, for those like me who follow cricket writings, would know Aakash can be trusted with his words too.

In his third book, The Insider, Aakash Chopra tries to capture the various nuances involved in the game of cricket: how players think, what goes into making great players, what makes a player successful, how a player fails. He has shed light on mind games that go on between players and teams. What factors determine a player’s form? How a player should prepare for Tests, ODIs, and T20s. How certain players are successful and how some players are not? Why most teams succumb under pressure? 

Book Review | A Century Is Not Enough by Sourav Ganguly

Front Cover: A Century Is Not Enough. Pub: Juggernaut Books
Front Cover: A Century Is Not Enough. Pub: Juggernaut Books

Hardcover: 296 pages
Publisher: Juggernaut Books
Language: English

While reading the book, A Century Is Not Enough, co-authored by Gautam Bhattacharya, it was about reliving the past. A sense of nostalgia. A Déjà vu. As someone who has closely followed the man from his first Test at Lord’s (1996) to his last one in Nagpur (2008), watched every match he played for India, read and heard every possible interview of his, followed his commentary over years, I thought I knew it all in terms of his cricketing journey. That was what I believed until I read the book. The book takes you a lot deeper, into his mind. The mind of a cricketer, a captain, a leader.

Among other things, the book has many instances where it reveals new things about Indian cricket and about players that played with Ganguly during the time. The book covers his captaincy period (2000-2005) in great details, highlighting what went behind the scenes towards making of a solid team that could compete against any opposition anywhere in the world. The stories of building ‘Team India’ are inspiring and they give us a sneak peek into the head and mind of an Indian captain who kept the interest of Indian cricket ahead of everything else.

5 Epic India-Pakistan Matches in ICC Events

Wills World Cup, 2nd Quarterfinal, 1996

For any Indian cricket fan, the 1996 World Cup is remembered largely for the 2nd quarterfinal between India and Pakistan, played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. Though I was a little boy then, I vividly remember the key moments from the match. With high-voltage tension, sledging, and brilliant performances, the match was a complete blockbuster. Batting first, India posted 287 runs on the board, helped mainly by the solid batting from Navjot Singh Sidhu (93 runs) and some late-over flourish by Ajay Jadeja (45 runs in 25 balls). Then came the moment of the match: the ugly verbal-spat between Aamer Sohail and Venkatesh Prasad. Aamer started playing aggressively and looked in hurry to finish the match early. After smashing Prasad for a boundary, brashly signaled the bowler to fetch the ball. However, the bowler had the last laugh. Off the very next ball, Prasad bowled Sohail and showed him the way to the dressing room and the Chinnaswamy Stadium erupted. After Sohail's exit, Pakistan lost their way and eventually lost the match.