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Mid Wicket Tales With Nasseruddin Shah - E8 Stylist left handers

In early 20th century, there were few left-handed batsmen. In 1932 there was one left-hander in a squad of 18 to tour England. But times are changing. In India’s 2015 World cup squad of 15 there were 4.

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    Captaining the Indian cricket team is like leading a battle for the country. This episode tracks the warriors who led the team in a journey from being everyone’s whipping boys to becoming World Champions. We trace the footsteps of the first Test captain Col. C.K. Nayudu and how a common man in the pre independence era became the first captain. As we move forward Nawab of Pataudi Jr. changes the mindset of the players while Ajit Wadekar achieves historic overseas results for India. The episode traces how under the leadership of Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar India started to win One Day International tournaments including the 1983 World Cup. While Saurav Ganguly’s captaincy started a new era for India which culminated with MS Dhoni lifting the World Cup on Indian soil after a gap of 28 years.

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    An opening batsmen defines the game. The role and approach of an opener has evolved through the years. Back in the day an opener had to steadily craft an inning and plot his game. Today the opener’s role is to give the team a flying start. This episode highlights one of India’s most conservative and technical openers from the pre independence era, Vijay Merchant, to one of the best Test openers in the world, Sunil Gavaskar. The show also explores the rise of Tendulkar and Sehwag who took opening batting to a vibrant, aggressive and exuberant level.

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    India has talented spinners who have bamboozled batsmen all over the world. This episode traces the origins of these spinners beginning with the unknown quality of Baloo in the times of the Raj to Vinoo Makand’s left arm spin which was the backbone of the team in the 40’s and 50’s. Uncovering the stories of the famous spin ‘quartet’ in the 60’s and 70’s in particular Bishen Bedi and Chandrashekar to Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh who single handedly won historic matches in the 90’s and 21st century.

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    The nation’s cricket fever rewinds into history. Go down memory lane with Naseeruddin Shah to see the evolution of the game with contributions from the British, the Maharajas and the masters themselves.

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    This episode is celebrates few men who have engraved their names in the annals of Indian cricket history as world class pacers. Mohammed Nissar and Amar Singh in the pre independence era have raised eyebrows as a pace duo more than once, for instance the first test of India at Lords in 1932. Post-independence, Kapil Dev stormed in and broke every taboo attached to an Indian pacer to become the leading wicket taker of his time in tests. Javagal Srinath showed the world that a fast bowler can be intimidating by his pace alone. Thereafter Zaheer Khan has stood tall amongst his peers as India’s finest left arm seamer.

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    A cricket hungry nation and world cup fever go hand in hand. Relive heart pounding victories and disappointing exits. From Kapil's devils, Dhoni's boys and Sachin's team live the moments with added trivia and quirky anecdotes.

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    Indian Cricket has seen many inflection points. From a crisis to a triumph, a controversy to an experiment. For each of these crossroad moments, a towering personality made a path that changed the game.

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    In early 20th century, there were few left-handed batsmen. In 1932 there was one left-hander in a squad of 18 to tour England. But times are changing. In India’s 2015 World cup squad of 15 there were 4.

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    Turn back the clock to visit the cricketing relationship between India and England. The history rolls back to 1911 with the countries finest players, victories and losses to the present day game.

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    Great cricketers have overcome injuries braving their way onto the field. Nari Contractor to Yuvraj Singh, a broken hip to cancer, these bravehearts personified the adage cometh the hour, cometh the man.

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    Wicketkeepers are the core of the team who make or break the game. Meet India’s finest, most talented wicketkeepers from Janardan Navle to Farokh Engineer and MS Dhoni.

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    Meet India's all-rounders.Beginning with the 1932 Test at Lords, bowler Amar Singh scored the first half century. Vinoo Mankad, Madan Lal and Kapil Dev followed his steps to set new goals for cricket.

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    Brothers by geography but rivals by fate; Indo-Pak cricket matches have always brought in the crowds and views. From 1951, when Pakistan toured India for the first time, the teams faced pressure to win but in the midst of the tension, some great friendships evolved.

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    Child prodigies exist all across the world in various skill areas including music, maths, arts and science. Indian cricket is no exception with a slew of talented cricketers who showcased their skill quite early in their careers. Mushtaq Ali, Vijay Mehra, Mahinder Singh among others, caught the fancy of cricket lovers by their sheer talent at an early age. Indian cricket has also witnessed many unfortunate prodigies who failed to live up to the expectations and faded away into oblivion. However, the most famous Indian cricketer of all time, Sachin Tendulkar's greatness as a prodigy is part of the cricketing folklore and qualifies as a shining example of a teenage sensation who went on to dominate world cricket for over two decades.

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    In the game of cricket, a team needs good openers for a solid start but it’s the middle-order mainstays who play the role of the fulcrum in an innings. Stability, solidity and perseverance are the keys to success for these men of steel as they play the role of a sheet-anchor while building an inning. In the 1930s and 40s, India's middle order was shored up by Vijay Hazare. The next few decades belonged to Vijay Manjrekar. Followed by Dilip Vengsarkar, Ravi Shastri and Sanjay Manjrekar before the country got the Great Wall of Indian cricket- Rahul Dravid. In their respective halcyon days, these cricketers not only served to bind Indian batting together but were also architects of some of India’s best batting displays. This episode rewinds to those great batting stalwarts who helped the country win many battles on the cricket field.

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    This episode celebrates some of the land mark victories of the Indian cricket that impacted cricketing history in more ways than one. Since CK Nayudu’s boys made their historic debut at Lord’s in 1932, India had to wait for 20-long years to register the first-ever Test triumph. However, the first Test triumph on foreign soil came 16 years after the maiden Test win at Madras in 1952. The 1967-68 New Zealand was a path breaking series for MAK Pataudi’s side as they not only won their first-ever overseas Test but also the same series. If that was the beginning, the twin series wins in west Indies and England catapulted Ajit Wadekar’s side to the summit of Test cricket in 1971. Then came the crowning glory in limited overs cricket with Kapil’s Devils dethroning the invincible Caribbean side to script the 2nd red-letter day in Indian cricket at Lord’s on 25th June. That historic triumph set the ball rolling for Indian cricket on foreign soil as India registered a number of memorable Test wins alongside capturing ODI and T20 crowns in the subsequent years in all their rival countries- West Indies, England, Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand and South Africa.

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    Cricket is one of the most popular fan sports and it’s the moniker which brings fans closer to their idols on the field. Like international cricket, Indian cricket has also witnessed many monikers for some of its' greatest or most popular performers. ‘The Bradman of the East’ had a series of remarkable records during the early days of Indian cricket. Later, the ‘Little Master’ helped fans worship the game while the ‘Colonel’ , ‘Haryana Hurricane’ , ‘Prince of Kolkata’, ‘The Wall’, ‘Turbanator’ and ‘Captain Cool’ have built the edifice for India’s cricketing glory over the years.

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    Some careers transcend generations and the cricketing profession is no different. Indian cricket has witnessed several prominent cricketing families. This episode highlights the cricketing legacies and the masterminds of the game including the first Indian skipper CK Nayudu’s brother CS, the country’s first centurion Lala Amarnath’s sons Mohinder and Surender who were Test centurions. Among the other prominent Indian families, the Mankads, the Pataudis, the Gaekwads, the Roys, the Manjrekars, the Gavaskars have also played for the country while, Indian cricket has seen Yograj Singh’s son Yuvraj and Roger Binny’s son Stuart shining for the Men in Blue.

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    Cricket in India began with the British officers bringing the game to the country before the wealthy Parsis in Bombay overwhelmingly embraced the game by playing in the gymkhanas of that era. The city soon became the centre of cricketing activities in India with promising players from other communities including Hindus and Muslims joining the bandwagon in the wake of the erstwhile Bombay Quadrangular and subsequently the Pentangular. Thanks to India’s first-ever Test cricketer Ranji and other cricket-loving rulers and princes’ insistence, the erstwhile princely states of Nawanagar, Baroda and Rajasthan also emerged as one of the power centres of the game in the early decades of Ranji Trophy. Gradually the game made a southward push with Hyderabad and Karnataka also turning out to be the formidable fortresses of Indian cricket. Then came the dominance of the sides from North Zone like Delhi and Punjab before the smaller centres and erstwhile underdogs like Railways, Rajasthan started ruling the roost.

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    Some batsmen are like wizards, they cast a spell on their audience with a swish of their bat. This episode explores the talented cricketers who may never have been considered the best Indian batsmen but their style and strike was envied by contemporaries. From Polly Umrigar to Jaisimha and Viswanath to Azharuddin there have been a select set of cricketers whose artistry with the bat left audiences craving for more. In recent times, VVS Laxman and Rohit Sharma have been proclaimed as one of the most stylish stroke players of our time.

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    India and the West Indies have a long and concurrent history in the cricketing world. Both these cricket playing entities learnt the game from their erstwhile British rulers in the 19th century and gained Test status around the same time. On June 23, 1928, the West Indies, still under the colonial rule, became the 4th cricketing entity to play Test when they took on the mighty England at Lords. Exactly four years and 2 days later, on June 25th, India, still under the British raj, became the 6th nation to play Test cricket at the same venue. Interestingly, Douglas Jardine, the man who had made his debut in the maiden Test of the West Indies, was the captain of his side when England took on CK Nayudu’s boys at that historic Lord’s Test of 1932. After playing their first Test series in Australia, India’s first-ever home series post-independence came against the Caribbean side in 1948-49. Since then the India-West Indies rivalry has become a very intense affair with the battle between the Indian batters and the Caribbean pace batters take center stage.

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    Cricket has a huge fandom in India, with many Indians even aspiring to play cricket for their country on a national and international level. One person who succeeded in doing so, was Nagpur-born C.K. Nayudu, the first captain of the Indian cricket team in Test matches. Nayudu made his first-class debut in 1916 in the Bombay Triangular. Another cricketer, one of the latest and possible most well-known and loved is M.S. Dhoni. Born in Ranchi, Bihar, Dhoni will always be known for leading our Men in Blue to win the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011 with his Captain Cool” intellect and passion for the game. These are just two amongst the handful more Small Town Heroes” whose success journey this episode traces, from their simpler backgrounds to their becoming modes of inspiration for many.

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    1978 was a grand occasion for Bishan Bedi’s team as they landed in Pakistan, escorted by a huge cohort of journalists. There was a coach and a Toyota waiting for them at the airport. The manager, Fatehsinhrao Gaekwad was the erstwhile King of Baroda, Member of Parliament, ex-chairman of BCCI, honorary life-member of the MCC, renowned radio commentator and the biggest ‘celebrity’ of the touring party. He assumed that the Toyota was for him but when he made an advance towards the vehicle, the chauffeur asked him to take the coach instead: the Toyota, as he mentioned, was for Lala Saheb. That was the charm of Lala Amarnath- the first renaissance man of Indian cricket. India’s epic win in the West Indies in 1971 saw the re-emergence of two of its almost forgotten soldiers, irreplaceable Salim Durani and Dilip Sardesai, the original ‘Renaissance Man’ of Indian cricket. The tradition continued as Mohinder Amarnath and more recently, Sourav Ganguly, who rose like phoenix from the ashes. Watch this episode which glorifies the players who personified the proverb, cometh the hour, cometh the man”.

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    There are many people who have dedicated their whole life to something, yet not gotten enough credit for their contributions. In the game of cricket, these people are amongst coaches, commentators, team managers, journalists, and others; or what one can call the technical team. This episode celebrates the hard work and dedication of these hidden heroes in keeping the love for and spirit of cricket alive off the field and behind-the-scenes. A.F.S. Talyarkhan, India’s first radio commentator; P.R. Man Singh, who owns a museum with a wide variety of cricket mementos and books; and Dr Simon King who helped launch ESPNcricinfo are just some of those mentioned.

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    Indian batsmen are well-known for whacking boundaries from the pitch to the stands. Their enthusiastic demeanor and passion for cricket lands a place in the hearts of the myriad of fans watching the game both in the stadium and on television. From the likes of Mushtaq Ali, the only Indian in the 1945 World XI; and also from K. Srikkanth and Kapil Dev to Yuvraj Singh, whose batting score helped India achieve the Cricket World Cup 1983 and 2011 respectively, this episode celebrates the achievements of the most promising and blistering batsmen of India.

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    This episode guides us through the evolution of cricket as it slowly and steadily entered the world of glamour. Cricket and Bollywood began as two entirely different entities. The bond between them began to blossom with Tiger Pataudi, a Nawab with his own panache and extreme talent in cricket. Then, during the 80s, with the entry and exit of Sandeep Patil, the idea of glamour even threatened to overpower the spirit of the game. Today, however, there is a balanced amalgamation of one entity into the other, especially after the introduction of IPL, a cricket and business venture which saw Bollywood stars owning and actively supporting cricket teams both on and off the field. Cricketers too, though more involved in fashion and lifestyle and their respective public image, are still able to maintain focus on the game.

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