Monday, November 24, 2008

Many thoughts

Several thoughts in no way connected to each other run through other.

Ishant's hair: I have talked glibly about it in the past, but it is a loss to the cricketing world :) You know you are succeeding in cricket in India, when you can cut your long hair!

ODIs much too complicated.: I yearn for the days when you could look at the scoreboard and could predict what was needed in terms of runs/overs even in a rain restricted game. Now you score 166, but you mysteriously end up 198 and no one knows the powerplay rules in these cases -- perhaps not even the players, umpires or the ICC.

Rain: Won't the same rain system follow them to Cuttack?
I hear a lot about the ground cannot be covered completely -- but why can it not be? It is afterall a finite space, with clearly defined dimensions, and you don't have to cover it with a precious metal. How about some creative solutions like a low-level retractable roof to be used when it rains to cover the ground (not suggesting indoor cricket), just a mechanism similar to that...? That may be expensive, so how about creating semi-tent like covers or slopping roof facades so that the water drains in areas you want it to drain to? When you have hammers and moppers on the field, I am sure there are viable alternatives for covering grounds.

TV Coverage: To the folks producing this, please note that it is common courtesy to wait till the bails fall out when a wicket is taken, both feet land on the ground and the fielder is given a chance to throw the ball into the air after a catch, or allowing the commentators to finish a sentence before cutting to a advertisement break. You are now competing with DD on the level of coverage!.

Speaking of breaks, the RBS ad puzzles me. I doubt the target audience in India currently has much faith in a foreign bank - so perhaps a wrong time to launch a big ad campaign. And everytime I see it, I think what a nice ad Sachin has done for Raymond and don't think of anything related to RBS :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

KP's quote

Pietersen has this to say:

"We need the bowlers to take wickets and the batsmen to score runs"


Champions League

BCCI asks ECB to delay the start of the test series by a day so that Dhoni and perhaps Badrinath if he selected in the test team will have a chance to play in case CSK qualify. At the time of scheduling, they did not make this request - I wonder why now?

Assuming that remains unchanged and CSK qualify, I have been wondering who will be the captain. Fleming is expected to be the coach instead of Wessels? My guess therefore, is that it would make Hussey the most logical choice, thought whether he would want it especially if it is against his "other" team.

Here is the draw.

Does the four foreign player restriction apply for the champions league?

I don't remember seeing Murali Vijay in the CSK line-up for IPL -- was he in the squad?

This is going to be one odd tournament - Aussies and New Zealanders will fly down after their test series which ends on Dec 2nd and the champions league starts on the 3rd - won't they be jet-lagged?

Two of them (Morkel and Hussey) will play against teams they are currently representing, though they got their home teams $200,000 each for this release.

I for one can never imagine in soccer Real Madrid and ManU qualifying and say Beckham having to choose one!

Do you think the Champions League concept will generate as much interest as the IPL?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jeev Milkha Singh

Jeev Milkha Singh edges out Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington to win the Singapore Open. The son of "the flying Sikh", he scored 7-under-par to win about $790,000 in prize money in a field that included Phil Mickelson. Congrats Jeev! Other Indians who finished in the top 50 are Gaurav Ghei who finished 22 and Shiv Kapur 31.

Along with the cricket team which is doing well, there has been much more to cheer about in the Indian sporting world this year -- Bindra, Vijender, Sushil Kumar, Saina, Joshna, Jeev, Anand, Narang and others. Hopefully in the years to come, this will expand to a much larger number.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Joshna Chinappa wins a tournament

This 22 year old from Chennai, became the first Indian woman to win a Squash tournament in the Women's League ((WISPA).

She is currently ranked 39th in the world. Well done Joshna.

I hope she, Saina and others like them get some support from the corporates.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Exclusive interviews

What constitutes exclusive interviews in the Indian media?
Does it mean it is not a press conference?
Does it mean the room is exclusive?
Does it mean that the person conducting the interview is exclusive to the channel?
Does it mean that it is exclusive for 4-5 hours?

Just checking... because in the last 5-7 days I have come across atleast 5 if not more "exclusive" interviews with Ganguly in both Hindi and English news channels. The questions are mostly similar, the answers also. Why stamp it as an exclusive interview, when folks may watch it anyway?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dhoni's schedule

Wow! after wicket keeping in 4 test matches and captaining in 2, he now has to play 7 ODIs, captain, bat and keep as well - then participate in some Champions League matches (captain, bat and keep wickets there as well) and then go and play 2 test matches - captain, bat and keep again... And all of this is within the next 40 days. Except for 10 day break between a couple of tours, this continues until next July/August atleast.

Just thinking about it makes me exhausted. And he was limping, sniffing yesterday. I hope they give him a wicket keeping break in the middle and possibly rest him as well. But there does not appear to be an alternate wicketkeeper in the ODI squad?

Slow over rate

Ponting gets a gentle slap in the wrist - a 20% fine (of course the lost match is probably what is going to hurt him more)

Dhoni himself was guilty of slow over rate in some sessions, though the end of the day tally was generally okay.

The extra half hour has been used everyday- something is wrong - that should be for contingencies.

The fines and threat of suspension are not working. If this continues, the day is not far off when during the end of the day you see only 70 overs bowled and captain gets suspended for the next match (and given the hectic schedule, they will be glad to take that break!) ...

A different approach would be to penalize per session. If you are supposed to bowl 28 overs pre lunch, and if you are 4 overs short, then take the worst runs per over for a bowler (with a minimum of 4 runs per over) and add it to the team - and add it immediately - at the end of each session.

So if Ponting was 10 overs short, and one bowler gave away 6 runs per over, the opponent team would get 60 runs immediately.

We will see over rates come into control immediately, like how free hits has reduced the number of no-balls.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Only eleven?

It does not appear that to anyone outside the Aussie team the strategy after tea was remotely sane. Why was something that was so obvious to one and all, missed by Ponting and his team? I wonder if they were busy planning the next book. I would have loved to listen in on Dhoni's and Bhajji's conversation in the middle when they saw White, Hussey and Clarke bowl instead of Johnson/Watson/Lee.

And what was White doing with the ball - peeling off something from it? If Bhajji had been doing the same... what would the reaction be?

PS: the number of books promoted by aussies this series almost exceeds the number of felicitations. Knowing how "felicitation friendly" India is, that is a not an easy task.

Monday, November 3, 2008

random thoughts

It will be odd to see a test match without Ganguly or Kumble. Kumble had one of the better voices in the cricketing world :) As there are already proposals of him being a spin coach, I think he should give match refereeing a shot as well.

But as I watched the lap of honour around the stadium - I was well and truly stunned when Dhoni lifted him on his shoulders. Prior to that when Dravid and Zaheer lifted him, I was impressed but atleast there were two people. Now Kumble is no Sivaramakrishan and they were not stationary either... Could anyone else have carried him singlehandedly from the team?

What is the secret of Dhoni's strength (not energy -- mind it!)

Saina Nehwal wins junior title

Seriously, she is young enough to compete in the junior scene! After her excellent performance in the Olympics and other recent tournaments, it is indeed not a surprise to see her excel at this level. Congrats, Saina!.

By a solitary point

Lewis Hamilton is the new and youngest F1 champion edging out Massa by finishing fifth in the Brazilian grand just ahead of Glock in the very last lap of a rainy race. How disappointing for Massa. But it is always exciting to see the championship go to the wire - the last lap of the last race.

Force India did not score any point this season but finished ahead of Super Aguri. It has been a tough year for Mallya on all fronts.

I wonder what the future holds for Raikkonen at the Ferrari as he finished nearly 20 points behind Massa and Hamilton.