RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Out of the Blue
Out of the Blue
Aakash Chopra

Published by : Harper Sport, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
A joint venture with The India Today Group

Website : www.harpercollins.co.in

Pages : 262

Price :

Executive, Digital Marketing : Abhishek Hazarika
Email :Abhishek.Hazarika@harpercollins-india.com

Former Indian opener and present member of the Rajasthan Ranji team opener and now a cricket writer Aakash Chopra's Out of the Blue has just been released.

Out of the Blue is Chopra's second book following
Beyond the Blues: A first-class season like no other in 2009.

Published by Harper Collins, the book tells the story of Rajasthan's incredible run to their first ever Ranji title in the 2010-11 season. This interesting book goes deeper with gripping stories of the personal suffering of many of those who made the dream come true.

Chopra, who played ten Tests for India between 2003 and 2004, aggregating 437 runs at an average of 23.00, including only two fifties, has termed the wickets prepared for domestic cricket lifeless and too easy for any batsman to make runs. "Surfaces in the domestic circuits are too easy to bat on"

According to Chopra, the points system prevalent in Ranji Trophy games, should be changed as the same is flawed and should be altered. "There has to be a change in the points system in Ranji matches. A team cannot be given three points for taking even a single-run lead in their first innings," Chopra remarked.

The fun facts and figures and trivia, compiled by Mohandas Menon and Arun Gopalakrishnan, occupying the corner of every other page, are the highlight of this book. Some of the interesting ones are:

# Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, who was batting at number eleven, made 115 for Tamil Nadu against Delhi at Chennai in 2000-01.

# Ranji Trophy's highest run-getter (Amol Muzumdar 8,237 runs) and wicket-taker (Rajinder Goel, 637 wickets) have not appeared in Tests for India.

# During the 1997-98 season, Tripura's Hemulal Yadav was given out 'timed-out' (under Law 31) against Orissa at Cuttack, because he apparently showed no inclination to go in and start his innings after a drinks break.

# Himachal Pradesh's Rajeev Nayyar has the misfortune of remaining unbeaten on 99 on two occasions in the Ranji Trophy - against Delhi in 1996-97 and Haryana in 2001-02.

# Hyderabad's VVS Laxman (1997-98 and 1999-2000) and Mumbai's Wasim Jaffer (1996-97 and 2008-09) are the only batsmen in Ranji Trophy to manage two triple centuries.

# Tamil Nadu's S.Reuben Paul did not concede a single bye in Karnataka's large total of 716 runs off 219.2 overs at Bhadravati in February 1996.

# Bengal's P.C.Poddar (in 1960-61) and Bombay's Sameer Dighe (1990-91) are the only batsmen in the Ranji Trophy to post two centuries in a row after their debut.

According to Chopra, the Duleep Trophy's knockout format, had robbed the tournament of its stature. "I used to love the Duleep Trophy, performing in it meant performing against the best in the country. But with a knock-out format. it is meaningless because your chance has gone if your team loses."

Out of the Blue is the inspiring true story of the players' motivation, their passion for cricket and of a cricket association that changed the rules of how domestic cricketers are groomed in India. Together, they resurrected Rajasthan's cause - against all odds.

The scorecards in the book are incomplete - e.g. Toss won by and the fall of wickets have been completely ignored apart from the bowling analysis in a few cases e.g. Rajasthan's bowling in the second innings against Hyderabad at Sawai Man Singh Stadium, on page 143.