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Hercules Champions

Deep Dasgupta

Deep Dasgupta In the course of a single season Deep Dasgupta has swiftly emerged from the depths of obscurity to become an India prospect. As the season got underway, Dasgupta did not even figure in Bengal's scheme of things. But Saba Karim's eye injury in the Asia Cup in Dhaka last June opened the doors for Dasgupta and he seized the opportunity with alacrity, the 23-year-old's crisply efficient display before and behind the wickets in the Ranji and Duleep Trophies pitchforking him into the selectors' consciousness. [More]

Hemant Kumar

Hemant Kumar To score a century in your maiden first class innings is a rare enought feat. To score centuries in your first two innings is even more uncommon. Tamil Nadu lefthander Hemant Kumar did just that in the 2000-01 Ranji Trophy season, joining an exclusive club comprising only three other Indians, Nari Contractor, PC Poddar and Sameer Dighe. [More]

Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan Singh One man, Anil Kumble, has been intrinsic to India's tremendous run of successes at home over the last decade. Without Kumble, India did not stand a snowball's chance in hell of bowling Australia out twice to win a Test match. Hamlet without the Prince, shouted the doomsday prophets. In the span of one month, Harbhajan Singh Plaha, a wiry 20-year-old from Jalandhar, had smashed that theory into smithereens. [More]

Ashish Nehra

Ashish Nehra Ashish who? was the overwhelming refrain when a gawky 19-year-old left arm quick was plucked from obscurity into the Indian team against Sri Lanka at Colombo two years ago. One Test later he was lost in the murky depths of domestic cricket, just another selectoral quirk, we all thought. Until the 2000-01 season, that is. [More]

Dinesh Mongia

Dinesh Mongia Dinesh Mongia's spectacular burst of rungetting in the Duleep Trophy has added a compelling sense of authority to the elegant lefthander's claims for recognition on a grander scale. After two double tons in the competition, stacked up alongside a triple against Jammu & Kashmir earlier in the season, Mongia virtually commanded a place amongst the 25 probables for the series against Australia. [More]

Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir A delight to watch, the grace and elegance of Gautam Gambhir is a refreshing sight on the Indian cricket horizon. His remarkable double century against England U19 in the second Test at Chepauk in Chennai was embellished with shots of every description. Here's a young man who believes in getting stuck into any ball which is there to be hit. For a lad who started out as a bowler in school cricket, Gambhir has come a long way. [More]

WD Balaji Rao

WD Balaji Rao The sighting of wrist spin bowlers in domestic cricket has become increasingly rare. The advent of the shorter version of the game has led to diminishing patronage for them, ill-suited as they are to perform a containing role, at the grassroots level. However there are still a few promising practitioners who, with the encouragement of understanding captains, are seeking to redefine the art. [More]

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