Hollywood this Summer : Movies,Stars to Watchout

Yea , this summer seems to bang us with biggest movies ever , right from superheroes to lets say , whatever , I don’t have words but I do have the movies list down there , watch them out !!

Here we go ->

The Dark Knight Rises

This must be the most awaited movie of the summer as you know , Christopher Nolan defined how movies should be  ,yea Nolan die hard fan🙂

The Avengers

Most hyped movie of the year and definitely creating lot of buzz. Finally the time has come !!!

The Hunger Games

This was released already and liked by many and seems to be. But it failed to meet the standard of the original of this.

G.I. Joe : Retaliation

Seems the cast of the movie and trailer rises the expectations and its going to be The Rocking flick for Rock fans , haha !!

The Bourne Legacy

Even though Matt Damon was not doing this or the script was not from the author of the first three , Bourne series has taken assasin movies to a new level and this movie focusing on making of Bourne ,its definitely worth a try .

Prometheus

It’s the story of creation; the gods and the man who stood against them. We need to wait and see how its going to do !

John Carter

Star Wars, Avatar, and John Carter. That’s the cinema progression although by now everyone knows that the John Carter books came first and inspired both Lucas and Cameron.It lives upto the expectation and you wouldn’t want to give it a miss.

BattleShip

Even though this is one of the most awaited , it couldn’t live up to the expectations but you can watch it once for cgg.

Last but not the least I think

Snow White and the Huntsman

This seems to be a promising one with a great story/tale and the movie cast.

That’s a lot for a good summer !!

Bootable USB for Windows and Linux OS

Most of the times , we would be faced with failure of cd/dvd rom or for fast installations, in which case we tend to use USB for installtions.

Below is the information on how to create your usb installer using different tools.

For Windows :

Microsoft provides a tool Win7-USB-DVD Download .

Download the tool and follow the instructions which is simple and 3 clicks away.

In short the steps are :

1. Download the ISO file of OS.

2.Install the tool mentioned above .

3.Open the tool and select browse your iso file , select your usb device in the drop down.

4.Click begin copying .

For Linux:

Fedora : Live USB creator

Fedora LiveUSB sticks can be created in Windows and Linux using the liveusb-creator.

For Windows using the following steps:

Download liveusb-creator from http://fedorahosted.org/liveusb-creator

Double click ‘liveusb-creator’

If you are using Fedora, you can use Add/Remove Programs and search for liveusb-creator, or use the command line:

$ su -c "yum install liveusb-creator"

To start, run liveusb-creator on the command line, or on the GNOME menu, go to “Applications -> System Tools -> liveusb-creator”.

For more details , instructions on live-usb-creator can be found in Fedora Wiki .

For any Linux Distribution : Universal USB Installer

With this you can create bootable usb for any linux distro after downloading the corresponding image.

For download/details on instructions , visit here

Screen Shots on Usage

MultiBoot USB installer🙂

This seems interesting , try it out if needed.

For Usage visit here .

Cheers !!

Transconnect : Installation , Issues

Its good to be back !!

This post is regarding the problems with the transconnect while installing it on 64 bit operating systems.

As usual to install :

Download transconnect from source forge  link

Unzip , go to the location
make
make install

The above should do the installation .

In some cases you would have errors

One of the errors that bugged me and me being lazy whatever had wasted lot of energy on googling.

Here the error and the solution for that

make
cc -Wall  -shared -ldl -o tconn.so tconn.c
tconn.c: In function ‘connect’:
tconn.c:190:9: warning: format ‘%d’ expects argument of type ‘int’, but argument 8 has type ‘long unsigned int’ [-Wformat]
/usr/bin/ld: /tmp/ccQCo64G.o: relocation R_X86_64_32 against `.rodata’ can not be used when making a shared object; recompile with -fPIC
/tmp/ccQCo64G.o: could not read symbols: Bad value
collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
make: *** [tconn.so] Error 1

This seems to be a warning but when you do make install , it wouldn’t simply install.

Simple solution for this following the warn message is

Add -fPIC to the line (4th or 5th from top) LINUX_LDLIBS  = -ldl

Now ,

make clean and the standard installation steps would be successfull . Ignore the warnings thrown this time if any.

And finally : Installation will create a .tconn folder

Set your IP and port in tconn.conf in .tconn folder and

export LD_PRELOAD=~/.tconn/tconn.so

Done and Happy Ending🙂

Dreams are made of these…



The moment of victory - Indian players  converge after winning the World Cup. 

The moment of victory – Indian players converge after winning the World Cup.
Every street in India had turned into one  giant party. 

Every street in India had turned into one giant party.
Sachin Tendulkar carried on the shoulders of  his team-mates - no one deserved it more. 

Sachin Tendulkar carried on the shoulders of his team-mates – no one deserved it more.

“Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.” – Red to Andy Dufresne in the classic ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, 1994.

India started the day with hope. Zaheer Khan was un-hittable by the Lankans, and the fielding made one suspect that coach Kirsten had injected some South African genes into the Indian team. What had been injected though was much simpler and much more visible: desire. The Indians were leaping, diving, running as if they had to train with Usain Bolt and the Sri Lankans found the going tough in the initial few overs. Visions were raised of a bowling choke, leading to a sedate chase. Then Dilshan and Sangakkara built a stand, after which Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene got the scoreboard ticking over much more regularly. Sangakkara went, and Mahela – who had started the World Cup with a 100 off 80 balls against Canada, before losing his form, decided the final would be the perfect place to recapture it on the way to a 100 off 84 balls. Sri Lanka scored 63 runs off the final five overs of the innings, turning a average-competitive total into a very tough one. Hope, that had been steadily growing in Indian fans’ hearts, must have done a quick about-turn and headed straight into insanity territory.

The scene had to be seen to be believed. It was midnight, there wasn’t any store open and yet there was a teeming, swaying, gathering mass of humanity. Men and women, old and young, inebriated and sober, on vehicles and on foot – all bound by one fact and one only: They had discovered the Indian in them.

Roads that had never seen this kind of movement at this hour were jam-packed. Vehicles were stuck, moving 10 metres in half an hour, but that was alright – no one was trying to get anywhere, everyone simply wanted to be a part of the festivities. At one point, I thought I should ask the group of people I was with to get back inside the car because I had spied a police car coming from the distance. Then I paused – there was a hand that was coming out of the police car as it neared a throng. That hand was raised in an unmistakable gesture of high-fiving the revelers. There wasn’t going to be a crime committed today – not for the next two hours. Not when the country was in the throes of a collective happiness the like of which it had never seen. Tonight, the police were part of the delicious madness. I didn’t get back in my car – I waited till I could bump hands with the man behind the wheel of the police vehicle.

Sri Lanka had ended up with a very good total, it was true. No batsman hitting a century in a World Cup final had ended up on the losing side – this was also true. No side playing the final at home had won the World Cup, yes. And no side had chased as many as 275 runs to win in a World Cup final. Yet hope had not completely disappeared. After all, no chasing side had a set of openers like Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar did they?

As it turned out, after just 6.1 overs India didn’t have them either. Sehwag had gone off the second ball of the innings, trapped plumb in front by Lasith Malinga. He took with him a sizeable chunk of hope and one needlessly wasted review. However, Tendulkar was still there, and it is an axiom of an Indian fan’s life that as long as he is there at the crease, hope is never fully banished from the heart. For 13 glorious balls he made us believe. It was written – he would get to his 100th century while anchoring India’s chase and bringing home the trophy that he most wanted and yet had never got, in front of an adoring home-crowd. God had rested on the 7th day, in twice the number of balls, the God of Indian cricket chased a ball from Malinga that was going away and had to leave to stunned silence.

31/2 in 6.1 overs with the two principal match-winners back in the pavilion. Bye-bye hope, welcome Insanity.

There was a man in a corner waving a giant India flag. He didn’t look like he had come with anyone else, and yet he was bear-hugging every body within arm-reach. He was draping the flag over someone else, and high-fiving every passer-by on vehicle. There was a man on a motor-cycle. He didn’t have anyone riding with him. And yet, from a moving vehicle he found the energy and the insouciance to holler a ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and exchange fist-bumps with whoever seemed to be passing him. There is a pedestrian, but he’s not on the footpath. He’s in the middle of the road. And he spontaneously starts a chant of ‘Sachin…Sachin’. what feels like 50,000 voices immediately join in. They might have come alone, but there was nobody who was alone on this night.

Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli. Two Delhi boys. Two future India captains maybe. Also most importantly, two men with limitless stomachs for toughing it out and who had the cojones to probably think to themselves, “So what if Tendulkar and Sehwag have gone? We are still there.”

They dusted off the early dismissals and focussed on the task at hand: how to get India to 275 in little steps. Gambhir looked fluent from the start, Kohli first settled down and then started opening up. Visions of this match cropped up. Irrestible parallels were drawn – India chased a much higher total in that match and the combined score of Tendulkar and Sehwag was 18 then too, as it was today. Would Kohli and Gambhir repeat their heroics? Kohli, it turned out, would not. 114/3 in the 22nd over, and India was once more on the back-foot. Out walked MS Dhoni, ahead of the in-form Yuvraj Singh. He had – he said later – a point to prove: to himself. And he backed himself to prove it. It was a courageous decision on the part of a man who hadn’t been scoring too many runs so far, knowing that if it back-fired, he would have had to face a barrage of questions.

It didn’t backfire. Dhoni didn’t allow it to. Gambhir and Kohli had taken India from despair to uncertainty. Dhoni and Gambhir took them from uncertainty to looking increasingly likely winners. Gambhir had already got to a superb fifty, and during the course of the stand Dhoni joined him. “We see your Mahela,” the Indian fans seemed to be saying, “and we raise you a Gautam.” The stand had crossed the century mark, and Gambhir was nearing his own. He would have got it too, except for a rush of blood that saw a fairly straight ‘you miss, I hit’ ball from Perera duly miss Gambhir’s flailing bat and head for his stumps. Nevertheless, with 97 off 122, while chasing in a World Cup final, Gambhir had entered the pantheon of the select few who have played great World Cup final knocks.

Out walked India’s World Cup talisman – Yuvraj Singh. The game was in the balance, with India having a slight advantage. Recognizing the moment and realising that he needed to seize it, MS Dhoni turned it on. He had been scoring at almost a run-a-ball until Gambhir’s dismissal. After Yuvraj’s entry, he unleashed a brutal square-cut for six. When Malinga came back for his final spell, there was one quiet over, after which he was taken for 11 runs, with 9 of them coming off Dhoni’s blade. With that, India’s required rate was 5 runs to win off 12 balls.

Grown men are not supposed to dance like this. Since when did the streets of a city become a post-midnight celebratory meeting place? And India will not be allowed to forget this party. 1983 exists as televison recording. 2011 will half be remembered by the street videos. For every man who is dancing, there is one taking a video – on a cellphone, on a camera, on possibly other sophisticated devices whose names I don’t know. Yes, India will not be allowed to forget this party – there are just too many recordings of it!

However, perhaps I should pull my friends – respectable, intelligent, mature men in ordinary lives – away from the throng where they are dancing without a care in the world, without a music beat to be heard and with only the accompaniment of a thousand screaming voices? I would, but I find that I’m part of the throng. My voice is contributing to the collective roar. My two left feet are dancing in wild abandon.

5 off 12, becomes 4 off 11 with a single and MS Dhoni is back on strike. He finishes it in the way only he can. Ice-cold eyes, even cooler head and a mighty swing over the sight-screens. He’s had a previous highest of 34 in this World Cup, and he ends it by scoring 91 not out off 79 balls. For the first time after 28 years, a nation erupts with joy.

O Captain, my Captain! Our fearful trip is done, The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won. [Link]

The events of the night play back in memory. The first of many re-runs. The men who have won the Cup will be over the moon. And I’d wager that the men who might not have been a part of the winning squad, but who had just as much of a hand in bringing India to this summit on this day, will be just as happy. I raise a silent toast to Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid. To Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. To John Wright and Javagal Srinath. And of course to the entire Indian team of today. And to Sachin Tendulkar. You beautiful champion – who cares if you did not score runs. You had a date with destiny and you kept it.

The images continue to flash: There was emotion on the field from MS Dhoni. There were tears from many Indian players and millions of fans. I had walked out in the streets after the win. I was greeted, hugged, and fist-bumped by people I did not know. The last time I had greeted and hugged so many strangers was at my wedding.

Eleven men have won a trophy in a sport that only 10 countries in the world play at any sort of competitive level. But don’t tell me that it’s ‘just a game’.

“Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” – Andy Dufresne, in reply to Red. From, ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, 1994.

The dive that defined gambhir – World Champions of Cricket

 

Gautam Gambhir dives to make his ground , India v Sri Lanka, final,  World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011 

The day Gautam Gambhir dived, and how © AFP
Enlarge
 

There is a photo from the World Cup final that Gautam Gambhir can be truly proud of. Yes, he will enjoy the victory pictures along with his team-mates, but this one is more personal. And no, he didn’t score a century, so this is not a celebration photo. It is a picture of his completing a second run after he had punched Muttiah Muralitharan in the 19th over, two runs that took him to 49.

Gambhir doesn’t like the 40s and the 90s; he prefers racing through those phases. He had tried to cut the previous ball even though there was a slip and two backward points at an arm’s length from each other. Gambhir was a bit edgy, and the shot was uppish but fell short of one of the points. The next ball he punched straighter of point, and immediately called two. Midway during the second Gambhir realised he was struggling, and what happened next was the defining moment of his innings. He dived full length, legs and waist forming an inverted C along the ground, elbows scraping against the pitch, head inches above the turf. It will be a significant image in Gambhir’s career.

Twice in the past Gambhir has had two potentially great ODI knocks cut short by careless run-outs. Had those innings reached appropriate completion, they would have taken him from being a very good batsman to an absolute class act.

The first was against Pakistan in a Champions Trophy game in 2009. To say Gambhir was charged up that day would be an understatement. India had been shoddy in letting Pakistan get 302, but Gambhir was a man possessed during the chase. He stepped out and slashed, he cover-drove like a dream, he flicked off the pads, and despite Sachin Tendukar’s early dismissal, he stunned Pakistan. But just when a match-winning knock against Pakistan at a world event was being played, Rahul Dravid hit powerfully to mid-off, and both he and Gambhir took few instinctive steps, then decided against the single. Gambhir, 59 off 46 then, turned around to see Younis Khan hit the stumps direct. Had he dived then, or attempted to hurry the fielder by trying to, he would have been allowed to continue what was looking like a dream effort. Instead he had to walk back, cursing himself, and India collapsed.

Against Australia in the quarter-final a week ago, Gambhir had begun another match-winning effort. He came in early at the fall of Virender Sehwag and serenely took India to a position of control. In the 40s, he started running absurdly. Twice either Yuvraj Singh or Gambhir could have got run out, and on the third occasion Gambhir ran himself out, giving Australia an opening. That time Yuvraj absorbed the pressure and took India through, but Gambhir was cursing again. It could have been perfect riposte to those who were calling for his head in the initial stages of the tournament.

Failures, especially these careless errors, torture Gambhir, an introspective person who is hard on himself. And so they should. He is an intense person, a fiery character, a superb batsman who loves the big occasion and the strife. And yet he can be casual with the running. Not sliding the bat, not diving, overestimating his legs. Tonight he dived, and the moment he did, it seemed he was onto something special.

Gambhir played the second half of his innings with obvious back pain; he even seemed to have taken a painkilling tablet during one of the unscheduled drinks breaks. For this special occasion, however, Gambhir was not only charged up, he was prepared to be a workman too. Diving was not the only new thing he did. He also played the orthodox sweep, something he rarely does. The paddle sweep that guides the ball fine yes, but not the proper sweep, where he needs to get down on one knee.

Perhaps Gambhir is so good a player that he doesn’t need to play the sweep. He uses his feet to get to the pitch of the ball, and also to go back after a decoy half step forward, creating a cuttable length. After he had looked good against pace, Gambhir tried to come down the track against spin. The first time he tried it, he nearly lost his wicket to Suraj Randiv, who got extra bounce because of his height and tall action. Then Gambhir swept the next ball. It wasn’t a pretty shot, it was a shot of a man who doesn’t often need to sweep. It was an effective shot though. He went on to, awkwardly again, slog-sweep Randiv for four. Kumar Sangakkara had blocked the chip and the cut with strong off-side fields, and Gambhir was improvising. Charged up for the big night he was.

In the 90s Gambhir got edgy again. Tiredness, back pain and edginess are hardly good bedfellows. He reached 90 in the 38th over, and in the 42nd he was still on 97. Those who have seen Gambhir enough knew he was going to charge at the bowler. Charge he did, and played a tired shot, falling three short of a match-winning century in a World Cup final, at a ground where he also has a century in a Ranji Trophy-winning final. Had he got those three runs, he would surely have been Man of the Match too.

As he walked back, Gambhir kept admonishing himself. Only when he was near the stairway to the dressing room did he realise the huge cheer from the crowd and acknowledge it. Despite that shot, though, Gambhir had done his job tonight, leaving MS Dhoni, Yuvraj and Suresh Raina not many to get. And that photograph is just as priceless as the hundred he should have got.

There is a photo from the World Cup final that Gautam Gambhir can be truly proud of. Yes, he will enjoy the victory pictures along with his team-mates, but this one is more personal. And no, he didn’t score a century, so this is not a celebration photo. It is a picture of his completing a second run after he had punched Muttiah Muralitharan in the 19th over, two runs that took him to 49.

Gambhir doesn’t like the 40s and the 90s; he prefers racing through those phases. He had tried to cut the previous ball even though there was a slip and two backward points at an arm’s length from each other. Gambhir was a bit edgy, and the shot was uppish but fell short of one of the points. The next ball he punched straighter of point, and immediately called two. Midway during the second Gambhir realised he was struggling, and what happened next was the defining moment of his innings. He dived full length, legs and waist forming an inverted C along the ground, elbows scraping against the pitch, head inches above the turf. It will be a significant image in Gambhir’s career.

Twice in the past Gambhir has had two potentially great ODI knocks cut short by careless run-outs. Had those innings reached appropriate completion, they would have taken him from being a very good batsman to an absolute class act.

The first was against Pakistan in a Champions Trophy game in 2009. To say Gambhir was charged up that day would be an understatement. India had been shoddy in letting Pakistan get 302, but Gambhir was a man possessed during the chase. He stepped out and slashed, he cover-drove like a dream, he flicked off the pads, and despite Sachin Tendukar’s early dismissal, he stunned Pakistan. But just when a match-winning knock against Pakistan at a world event was being played, Rahul Dravid hit powerfully to mid-off, and both he and Gambhir took few instinctive steps, then decided against the single. Gambhir, 59 off 46 then, turned around to see Younis Khan hit the stumps direct. Had he dived then, or attempted to hurry the fielder by trying to, he would have been allowed to continue what was looking like a dream effort. Instead he had to walk back, cursing himself, and India collapsed.

Against Australia in the quarter-final a week ago, Gambhir had begun another match-winning effort. He came in early at the fall of Virender Sehwag and serenely took India to a position of control. In the 40s, he started running absurdly. Twice either Yuvraj Singh or Gambhir could have got run out, and on the third occasion Gambhir ran himself out, giving Australia an opening. That time Yuvraj absorbed the pressure and took India through, but Gambhir was cursing again. It could have been perfect riposte to those who were calling for his head in the initial stages of the tournament.

Failures, especially these careless errors, torture Gambhir, an introspective person who is hard on himself. And so they should. He is an intense person, a fiery character, a superb batsman who loves the big occasion and the strife. And yet he can be casual with the running. Not sliding the bat, not diving, overestimating his legs. Tonight he dived, and the moment he did, it seemed he was onto something special.

Gambhir played the second half of his innings with obvious back pain; he even seemed to have taken a painkilling tablet during one of the unscheduled drinks breaks. For this special occasion, however, Gambhir was not only charged up, he was prepared to be a workman too. Diving was not the only new thing he did. He also played the orthodox sweep, something he rarely does. The paddle sweep that guides the ball fine yes, but not the proper sweep, where he needs to get down on one knee.

Perhaps Gambhir is so good a player that he doesn’t need to play the sweep. He uses his feet to get to the pitch of the ball, and also to go back after a decoy half step forward, creating a cuttable length. After he had looked good against pace, Gambhir tried to come down the track against spin. The first time he tried it, he nearly lost his wicket to Suraj Randiv, who got extra bounce because of his height and tall action. Then Gambhir swept the next ball. It wasn’t a pretty shot, it was a shot of a man who doesn’t often need to sweep. It was an effective shot though. He went on to, awkwardly again, slog-sweep Randiv for four. Kumar Sangakkara had blocked the chip and the cut with strong off-side fields, and Gambhir was improvising. Charged up for the big night he was.

In the 90s Gambhir got edgy again. Tiredness, back pain and edginess are hardly good bedfellows. He reached 90 in the 38th over, and in the 42nd he was still on 97. Those who have seen Gambhir enough knew he was going to charge at the bowler. Charge he did, and played a tired shot, falling three short of a match-winning century in a World Cup final, at a ground where he also has a century in a Ranji Trophy-winning final. Had he got those three runs, he would surely have been Man of the Match too.

As he walked back, Gambhir kept admonishing himself. Only when he was near the stairway to the dressing room did he realise the huge cheer from the crowd and acknowledge it. Despite that shot, though, Gambhir had done his job tonight, leaving MS Dhoni, Yuvraj and Suresh Raina not many to get. And that photograph is just as priceless as the hundred he should have got.

India to World Cup glory — Champions of World Cricket

India 277 for 4 (Gambhir 97, Dhoni 91*) beat Sri Lanka 274 for 6 (Jayawardene 103*, Sangakkara 48) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

MS Dhoni slaps one through the off side, India v Sri Lanka, final,  World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011

MS Dhoni played a masterful captain’s innings to steer his side to World Cup success © Associated Press
Enlarge

Twenty-eight years on from the match that transformed the history of world cricket, India recaptured the crown that Kapil Dev and his men first lifted at Lord’s in 1983, and this time they did so in their very own back yard. An iron-willed 97 from Gautam Gambhir was matched for intensity by the finest captain’s innings since Ricky Ponting in Johannesburg eight years ago, as MS Dhoni trumped a poetic century from Mahela Jayawardene to pull off the highest run-chase ever achieved in a World Cup final.

Against a triumphant backdrop at the Wankhede Stadium, victory was sealed by six wickets with 10 balls to spare, as Dhoni – who had promoted himself to No. 5 to heap extra lashings of responsibility onto his own shoulders – rushed through the gears as the victory target drew nearer. With 15 required from 17 balls, he flicked Sri Lanka’s only true threat, Lasith Malinga, through midwicket for consecutive boundaries, before smoking Nuwan Kulasekara over long-on to finish on 91 not out from 79 balls, and spark the most delirious scenes of celebration ever seen on the subcontinent.

However, the final margin did little justice to the tussle that had preceded it. Even the toss ended up being disputed, as Kumar Sangakkara’s initial call was drowned out by the crowd, but it was the ebb and flow of Zaheer Khan’s day that epitomised the fluctuations of a compelling contest. Zaheer opened his account with three consecutive maidens and the scalp of Upul Tharanga in a peerless spell of 5-3-6-1, only to be clobbered for 17 and 18 runs in his ninth and tenth overs, as Sri Lanka monstered 63 runs in the batting Powerplay to post an imposing 274 for 6.

And India’s day got much worse before the team’s fortunes began to inch upwards. Virender Sehwag had hit a boundary from the first ball of six of India’s previous eight innings in the tournament, but this time Malinga’s slingers dealt him a second-ball duck, as he skidded a full delivery into his back pad. And then Sachin Tendulkar, for whom the script had seemingly been written, was drawn into a loose drive by a fast Malinga outswinger, having set the stadium on standby for instant history with 18 sumptuously accumulated runs from his first 12 deliveries.

At 31 for 2 in the seventh over, India were struggling to keep their toehold in the contest, and it was all too much for a faithless few in the crowd who turned their backs and set off for home. But Gambhir and Virat Kohli epitomise a generation that does not easily accept defeat, and their third-wicket stand of 83 laid the foundations for an epic turnaround. The prospect of a seam-friendly surface, allied to the grievous loss of Angelo Mathews to a thigh strain, had tempted Sri Lanka into four key changes to the team that had triumphed over New Zealand in Colombo, and with Muttiah Muralitharan lacking bite in the final wicketless appearance of his 19-year career, Malinga alone could not carry the day.

Gautam Gambhir crunches one through the off side, India v Sri  Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011

Gautam Gambhir held India’s fortunes together in the final © AFP
Enlarge

The hard-hitting of Nuwan Kulasekara and Thisara Perera had been instrumental in hoisting Sri Lanka’s total to such heights, but in their primary role as front-line seamers they lacked menace and were all too easy to squeeze as 119 runs came from their combined allocation of 17.2 overs. The newcomer to the squad, Suraj Randiv, caused a moment of alarm with his high-kicking offspin when Gambhir, on 30, was dropped by a diving Kulasekara at long-off, but as the innings progressed, his lack of guile proved costly. The decision to omit both Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath, whose combined efforts had been so effective against England and New Zealand, is one that will haunt Sri Lanka for years to come.

But this was a victory that still had to be grasped, and India found the men who were willing to do so. The 22-year-old Kohli, who was greeted with a stern word of encouragement as he replaced the outgoing Tendulkar, showed all the mettle for the big occasion as he eased along to 35 from 49 balls before falling to an outstanding return catch by Tillakaratne Dilshan, who dived full-length across the crease to intercept a leading edge. But it was Gambhir and Dhoni to whom the ultimate duty fell. Their 109-run stand was the highest by an Indian pairing in three World Cup final appearances, and even when Gambhir gave away the chance for an unforgettable century with a tired charge and slash at Perera, the result was no longer in doubt.

Gambhir struck nine fours in a 122-ball statement of indomitability, and both he and Dhoni required treatment for stiff backs as the sapping Mumbai heat took its toll. Dhoni at one stage looked so immobile that a precautionary retirement seemed the only logical response, but after some harsh work from the physio he resumed his stance and responded with another trademark filleting of the extra cover boundary, an area in which he scored six of his eight fours – three of which helped to blunt Murali’s attacking instincts.

Both teams contained numerous veterans of World Cup final defeat, with no fewer than five Indians still remaining from the team that lost to Australia back in 2003, and as a consequence this was a match thick with performances that spoke of the wisdom of experience. Though each of the previous five centurions in finals had gone on to lift the trophy, as well as seven of the nine teams that had had the chance to bat first, Jayawardene had the misfortune to become an exception to both rules. His stunning 103 not out from 88 balls was proof that finesse has as much of a place at this level as brutality, but ultimately it was not enough to deny India their destiny.

Four years ago at Sabina Park, Jayawardene produced a supreme century against New Zealand to carry his side to their second World Cup final, but this was an innings of even more exquisite application. He came to the crease with his side under the cosh at 60 for 2 in the 17th over, having been throttled by Zaheer’s supreme new-ball spell. But he responded with a tempo that scarcely wavered from a run a ball, until with Kulasekera for company, he opened his shoulders to power through to his hundred from 84 balls.

For an occasion of this magnitude, cool heads were the order of the day, and though his final figures did not show it, no-one was cooler in the opening exchanges than Zaheer. On his watch, Sri Lanka were limited to 31 for 1 in their mandatory Powerplay, their lowest ten-over score of the tournament, and the hapless Tharanga was restricted to two runs from 20 balls before snicking to Sehwag at slip, whose sharp low take epitomised a fielding effort that was rarely less than totally committed. Then, when he returned in the 37th over, Zaheer deceived Chamara Kapugedera with a beautiful slower ball that was driven to short cover, on route to equalling Shahid Afridi as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker, with 21.

And yet, the speed with which his figures were vandalised was astounding. Though each of Jayawardene’s 13 fours was a classy stroke in its own right, none was better than the last of them, an inside-out cover-drive to one of Zaheer’s trademark outswinging yorkers, as he premeditated the late movement and filleted the ring of fielders on the off-side. The outright acceleration came from the other end, however, where Kulasekera made 32 from 30 balls before his sacrificial run-out led to a pat of gratitude from Jayawardene as they parted. And then, by the time Perera, who made 22 from nine balls, had sealed his onslaught with a dismissive thump for six over midwicket, the decibel levels in the Wankhede had plummeted.

But run by run, over by over, minute by minute, India picked themselves up, dusted themselves down, and turned the screw on Sri Lanka with a determination that a lesser group of men could not have begun to muster, amid the sure knowledge that several billion countrymen were investing all their hopes in their actions. And though he himself played just a walk-on part in the wider drama, it was Tendulkar who was chaired from the field as the celebrations began in earnest. “He’s carried the burden of our nation for 21 years,” said the youngster Kohli. “It was time to carry him on our shoulders today.”

Perfect timing by MS Dhoni — Cricket WC2011Champions

 

MS Dhoni slaps one through the off side, India v Sri Lanka, final,  World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011 

The back-foot punch was MS Dhoni’s most favoured shot and helped keep the required rate in check © Associated Press
Enlarge

MS Dhoni had just sent the Wankhede Stadium into delirium by upper-cutting Thisara Perera for a six over point. That made it 37 required off 41, with six wickets in hand and the World Cup in sight. He dabbed the next ball towards point, took a couple of steps and stopped, and then hared across, realising Yuvraj Singh had come too far down. The single was completed, everything seemed all right, but Dhoni smashed his pad with his bat. The thud was so loud it could be heard from near the sightscreen, despite all the noise from the stands, where the crowd was going crazy.

It is rare that Dhoni makes such shows of emotion. The one other notable time he did so was during an IPL game in Dharamsala, when he upper-cut his own helmeted face after he had just hit the winning six. He had felt under pressure then. The pressure he will have been under coming into this final is quite perceivable. Before Saturday he had managed just 150 runs in seven innings. He had also made a few unpopular calls as captain during the course of the tournament. And after a poor finish to their bowling effort in this match, and an ordinary start batting, India’s World Cup dream was coming apart.

When Virat Kohli fell to a fabulous return catch by Tillakaratne Dilshan, the seemingly out-of-form captain promoted himself ahead of the eventual Man of the Tournament. It was a sensible move. As Dhoni himself said later, he wanted to split the cluster of left-hand batsmen in India’s middle order, but he also thinks he reads Muttiah Muralitharan’s doosra better than the others in that middle order.

Sense or no sense, it was a risky move. “It was a big decision,” Dhoni said later. “I knew that if I promoted myself and didn’t score runs I would be asked why I couldn’t stay back.” Even though Dhoni has become a much safer captain than he was at the start of his captaincy, he still has it in him to come up with inspired moves in big games.

Just making the move was not enough this time, though. He had to go out himself and make the move work. Dhoni certainly can’t be blamed for not having a sense of occasion or timing. On the night of the big final, out came the calculating Dhoni, the perfect mix of caution and aggression, strong as an ox, fast as a hare, the same batsman who, not long ago, was quite deservingly the No. 1 in ODIs.

During that golden period which took him to the top of the rankings, Dhoni instinctively knew how he’d have to react in any situation. He could absorb pressure, he could accumulate, he could explode. The last year hasn’t been that good, but a World Cup final is not a bad time at all for a reprise.

On the eve of the final, all Dhoni practised in the nets was hitting big sixes. He batted on the pitch adjacent to the one used for the match, and kept smashing bowlers towards Marine Drive. That was not what was required in the actual match, and Dhoni knew that. When he came in to bat, the required run rate was headed towards six, but it also needed to be maintained for 28.2 overs. It would require a lot of ones and twos, and the loose balls would need to be punished wholesomely.

No loose ball went unpunished once Dhoni was set. He did take his time getting set, and relied on Gambhir to maintain the momentum. He was itching to charge down to the part-time offspin of Dilshan, but didn’t want to take the risk. In his head the rate was worked out. For the first 10 overs of his stay Dhoni didn’t hit a single boundary. Then Muttiah Muralitharan pitched short, and in his own special way Dhoni managed to punch it powerfully enough to beat sweeper cover. That shot alone kept the rate in check, accounting for all of Dhoni’s first four boundaries.

It takes more than just timing to beat the sweeper cover with shots along the ground in the middle overs. That seems like a safe route to go to, but it generally only provides singles or twos. Dhoni, though, gives those punches a solid whack; the power is generated as his massive legs rock back. In between, he and his India A partner from the start of their respective careers, Gambhir, ran well, ever alert to overthrows and misfields.

Once Gambhir tired, Dhoni took over the responsibility of scoring. In the time that Gambhir moved from 87 to 97, Dhoni went from 29 to 60. A perfect transition was taking place when Gambhir got out. Dhoni took some more responsibility then, waiting for the batting Powerplay, but not risking taking it earlier. He knows better by now. It began with India needing 30 off 30, and a good over from Lasith Malinga made it 27 from 24.

Now another Dhoni special surfaced: the drag-flick-like shot that he plays with a much-defined bottom hand and an extravagant flick of his wrists, keeping the ball along the ground but imparting immense power. Three bottom-handed blows, and the game was over. The stylist in Dhoni, though, remains. With five required, he almost pulled Yuvraj out of his crease to get on strike.

And then he put his pre-match practice to use, lofting Nuwan Kulasekara for the match-winning, hell-raising six. India’s World Cup began on Dhoni’s terms; how could the end be different?

%d bloggers like this: