Sunday, April 4, 2010

CSK vs RR

A lovely match to see in the stadium! It is not often that you see a classy innings with the bat (Vijay) and a good bowling performance (Bollinger) in the same T-20 match. I doubt Bollinger has ever received such a reception! Vijay's innings was great to watch, no slog at all and Morkel's six hitting is always good fun.

But my first reaction in the stadium was "hats off" to the teams who actually play in the 4.00pm Chennai sun. We were in the newly renovated stands which is supposed to allow "breeze" to come through. However only part of the stand is covered. Reaching at 3.20pm, we did not find places under the covered part and we "roasted and sweated" in the sun for the next 2 hours. After 6.00pm it become pleasant.

But I am not sure if these new stands are good for Chennai. Imagine watching an ODI or a test match from these stands without the benefit of a roof. Having watched test and ODIs at chepauk, I will not willingly spend a day in the sun like this. There was atleast a 5 degree difference between being in the sheltered portion and the uncovered part. Even these couple of hours were barely tolerable.

To add to this, the refreshment stand was not well planned. Since you are not allowed to bring in any bottles, the entire stand wants water and soft drinks more than anything else. However there was only one kiosk selling this for our stand. The food ones were relatively empty. Also for some reason, they would not sell bottles. Imagine selling a glass of water only at a time -- we ourselves went thrice for water and there should have been atleast 3 kiosks per stand selling drinks! I hope they fix this issue for the next matches.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Badri

I am not qualified to give advice nor is it sought, but I am going to anyway, as there is no one to stop me:)

Scores in the 20s and 30s with a strike rate of less than 100, without taking the team to victory == not good.

Exude some confidence. If you don't believe you can do it, how can we?

Don't know what your role is, but at this point, the teams would rather have you on strike than any of the other csk batsmen. They then bring in the fielders, add a slip, making it hard to score even singles. Take a risk or two, otherwise scoring becomes impossible.

Take sensible risks. Scoop shot to fine leg for a single -- what is the logic behind that?

As far as your career goes, you have nothing to lose, please play fearlessly. There are other batsmen now looking better for the test spot (and definitely for the ODI).

And practice running between the wickets? Not to lay the blame at your door, but you can't keep colliding.

[PS: if someone does recall the two matches where Dhoni and Badri collided -- what is going wrong -- are they both running where they are not supposed to? ]

Monday, March 29, 2010

The MRF blimp

I watch many of the matches on TV with my nephew (avid cricket fan and 9 year old).

We try not to be cynical during the match and don't comment about the quality of commentary and clich├ęd phrases or that "like a tracer bullet" are trademarked :) so that we don't spoil his experience.

So yesterday as SMG and others went on and on about how MRF is pioneering some cutting edge technology by bringing the blimp, at some point in the second match, he turns around and says

"Why do they have to say that so many times? They almost say it 50 times a match. Won't once a match be enough?"

Dear IPL commentators: Hope you are listening. Some of the marketing is getting too much for a kid! And isn't the MRF blimp just a big balloon? Hearing the commentators, one would have thought that the blimp is a great technical marvel!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

From a Mongoose

Dear Matthew,

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that a bat has been inspired by me. Just look at this, isn't the connection between a bat and me immediately obvious!

However my fraternity have felt left down. After so much hype, they don't understand why you are choosing us after 6.8 minutes in every innings. It seems distracting, halting the momentum and you are not doing our reputation any good by getting out soon after that. So for the future of all mongoose, please select a bat at the start and stick to it.

Also, the intelligent and cynical among us want to know why, if you were the leading run scorer in the IPL last year with a fantastic run rate and average, a large & strong man, doing very well with the conventional bat, why would you want to change it? You don't get 8 runs for a longer six do you?

The kind hearted among us, have felt empathy for the bowlers and have started a research fund for pig ball. Pig ball is to a ball what mongoose is to a bat. The ball will travel faster from the bowler's arm and if you look at it creatively you will see a pig in it.

Please also settle this question between us: when there are several of us around are we mongooses or mongeese?

Also while you are at it, please check if there are more than 1411 of us left?

Sincerely,
(from a concerned and friendly neighborhood mongoose)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chennai Open

A evening out at the Chennai Open (tennis) a few days ago watching Cilic and Marcel was quite a lot of fun. This is my second trip in the past few years and am I pleasantly surprised. The price of three tickets was less that what I would pay for one ticket for an IPL match -- yeah!
There is no fencing, so one gets to experience the match much more than in a caged in atmosphere at a cricket match.
The weather was pleasant (dare I say cool)? Parking, food etc. was much better organized that at Chepauk (though I guess, the number of people attending a tennis match is much lesser than a cricket match) and it looked like there were no mosquitoes in Nungambakkam!

However there were no tickets to be had for the weekend and tickets cannot be bought online, nor can daily tickets be bought a day in advance, making it tough to buy the tickets and requires detailed planning to watch a day of tennis!

A couple of years ago when Nadal came to the tournament, I foolishly assumed that one could walk in and get tickets for the weekend but none were to be had. But looking at the coverage this year, the stadium was not full though there were no tickets to be had for the weekend. So if the same had happened a few years ago, I would be very, very mad of being deprived of watching a player of Nadal's calibre, only because people had tickets but failed to attend!

There are lots of kids outside the court wanting tickets, so I wish the sponsors would give free tickets to schools nearby. With a general lack of interest in sports, I wonder why we spend crores on hosting CWG?

PS: Even DD sports did not cover this event during the week!