RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Wisden India Almanack 2017
Wisden India Almanack 2017
- Edited by Suresh Menon

Published by John Wisden & Co. An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
50, Bedford Square, London WCIB 3DP
Published in India by Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt. Ltd.,
Second Floor, LSC Building No.4, Pocket C - 6 & 7, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi - 110070

Pages 861
Price Rs.699/-
ISBN 978 93 85936 47 0

Picture Courtesy: Bloomsbury India

Website: www.wisdenindia.com, www.wisden.com

Wisden India 2017 is the Indian arm of sport's oldest and prestigious publication.

David Warner, Virat Kohli, Yasir Shah, Shreyas Iyer, Kusal Mendis and Mustafizur Rahman have been named as six Cricketers of the Year. Players can only be honoured once in their careers. Suresh Menon, editor, Wisden India 2017, has remarked in the preface: "In this edition, we break a convention by naming Virat Kohli cricketer of the year for the second time. Traditionally, you could be named for the honour just once. But Virat's transformation from a misunderstood "brat" to a dignified captain, his incredible all-round record and the manner in which he is shaping the Indian team in his own image just could not be ignored."

Hall of Fame features Vinoo Mankad and Sourav Ganguly. Nari Contractor considers Mankad as the greatest all-rounder produced by India. "It's 65 years after that first sighting and I am honoured to write an appreciation in Vinoo's birth centenary year.

I enjoyed watching him bowl. Accuracy, length, spin ... he had everything. He had everything. He had a good arm ball, but his most prominent art was the flight. Vinoo never relied on turning tracks. It was his flight that got him his wickets. Often, today's so-called top-class spinners don't reap rich awards when they encounter flat tracks. On spinning wickets, his spin could be devastating, and on good tracks, he got batsmen befuddled by his flight."

The standout feature of Sourav's character, according to VVS Laxman, has to be his resilience, and his whole-hearted commitment to every responsibility he embraced. The 2001 series win over Australia under Ganguly's captaincy, was to have massive repercussions on the way we approached the game, believes Laxman. Suddenly, there was this belief that we could win from any situation, in any condition, against any opposition.

In a chapter, namely, Leaders bow out under Farewell, Clayton Murzello has remarked: "McCullum's very name conjures up images of a dazzling strokeplayer, a rampaging destroyer of bowling attacks and, in his own assessment, someone who always chose an attacking option under duress." Other players to figure are - Nathan McCullum, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Tino Best, Fidel Edwards, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Robert Key and James Taylor.

Ian Chappell has paid a rich tribute to David Warner: "His skills and competitive nature have made him a very popular cricketer and he draws more young fans to the game than any other Australian cricketer. He also possesses an exceptional skill as an ambidextrous batsman who can hit sixes with either hand. This is the result of a coach urging him to become a right-hander for a short while in the formative years. While I don't believe the switch hit should be legal because it's unfair to the bowling side, it's an exceptional skill and no one employs it better than Warner."

In a section on Film Review, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story has been described by Rakesh Ramamoorthy as a thoroughly enjoyable film with a relatable rise-of-the-underdog narrative. The story of a young boy from Ranchi becoming one of the most loved cricketers of his time is one that needs little embellishment, and the movie's success lies in playing to the strengths of this source material.

Vaneisa Baksh, in a special tribute to Tony Cozier, who died on May 11, 2016, has remarked: "He was a pioneer in a field that had hitherto been dominated by English voices and he brought a Caribbean perspective. Like CLR James, he analysed cricket and cricketers within the context of their roots and culture, deepening the understanding of what had been deemed a distinctive West Indian style of play. Tony developed a phenomenal encyclopaedic knowledge, which he wove into his commentary at a time when statistics and records were not easily available to broadcast teams.

All international series have been covered apart from a separate Records' section, covering Tests, ODIs, Twenty20 Internationals, First-class and Women's Cricket.

All in all, a most stimulating book, which no lover of the game should be without. An indispensable companion at the game.