Book Review: ‘Of Spins, Sixes, and Surprises’ by Shom Biswas and Titash Banerjea

A Captivating Odyssey Through the Heartbeat of Indian Cricket


Book Title: Of Spins, Sixes, and Surprises: 50 Defining Moments in Indian Cricket
Author: Shom Biswas and Titash Banerjea
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Number of Pages: 312
ISBN: 978-9357026291
Date Published: Nov. 6, 2023
Price: INR 249

Of Spins, Sixes, and Surprises by Shom Biswas and Titash Banerjea Book Cover

Book Review

Despite being the country’s official sport, cricket has captured the hearts of its population. It generates a lot of excitement and intensity among game lovers. Cricket is a religion in India, and the players are revered as demigods. It is the most watched sport in India, and many even avoid school and work when a major international match is taking place. Cricket players’ ardent love for the game has sometimes put them in danger. Furthermore, supporters will go to any length to express their rage or admiration. Cricket connects Indians like nothing else, and everyone, from children to seniors, keeps track of the cricket score whenever the Indian team plays. Cricket in its different versions is appreciated by people all around the world. Even corporate titans are investing in the game to capitalize on its popularity.

In this connection, “Of Spins, Sixes, and Surprises: 50 Defining Moments in Indian Cricket” by Shom Biswas and Titash Banerjea delves into the pulsating history of Indian cricket, where every match is a chapter in a collective narrative and every player is revered like a deity, and thus the book unveils cricket’s cultural tapestry. The book is divided into 50 chapters, where each chapter defines the defining moments, as said in the title.

Of Spins, Sixes, and Surprises: 50 Defining Moments in Indian Cricket” unfolds a captivating portal to bygone eras, tracing the evolution of Indian cricket from its nascent stages to its current status as the nerve center of the cricketing world. The authors skillfully navigate through pivotal moments, from the time when Ranji played for England to the emergence of women’s cricket as a key theme. The narrative captures the emotional roller coaster of cricket, immersing readers in the tension, euphoria, and joy that define the sport. Therefore, the nostalgic journey through cricket’s evolution is well explained.

The title aptly encapsulates the diverse facets explored in the book. From the artistry of spin bowlers to the thrill of sixes resonating through stadiums and the surprises that define cricket’s unpredictability, each chapter peels back a layer of the rich history of Indian cricket. It’s not just a collection of statistics; it’s a vivid portrayal of the moments that have left an indelible mark on cricket enthusiasts. Shom Biswas and Titash Banerjea achieve a literary triumph in presenting the history of Indian cricket in a unique, never-before-seen manner.

The language is simple, making it an engaging read that one can breeze through in a couple of sessions. The authors meticulously delve into archives, even covering domestic matches, creating a comprehensive narrative that resonates with cricket aficionados. The book effortlessly transports readers back in time, reliving cherished memories and monumental matches.

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Of Spins, Sixes, and Surprises” emerges as a scripture for cricket enthusiasts. Biswas and Banerjea meticulously unfold decades of defining moments, from the introduction of Ranji Singh to iconic matches like the 1993 India vs. England Test in Chepauk. The narrative encapsulates the rise of cricket legends like Sachin Tendulkar and the memorable partnerships between VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid. This book is not just a celebration of cricket but a nostalgic journey that resonates with the fervor of school days and the timeless magic of the game.

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