November 2009 - Posts
One had always wondered why Kamikaze pilots wore helmets during WWII. That puzzle was solved today after watching T Dilshan face 14 balls from the Indians.
Every ball was there to be hit. Dilshan’s bat (DB) was behaving like Shakti Kapur with the ball being the innocent heroine.
The dialogue went something like this –
Ball – “MSD ke liye muze chhod do” (Please leave (sic) me for MSD)
DB – “Agar MSD ke liye chhod diya to mein kya karunga?” (If I leave you for MSD, what’ll I do then?)
Even though Dilshan was on a self destruct mission, his inherently proud nature disallowed any external factors to have the honour of forcing a body blow to his team’s slim chances to carve out a draw. That honour was to be his and his alone. The absence of a helmet would have caused some discomfort to his already broken nose and that would not do. If he were to retire, no one else in the team was capable to finish the job that quickly.
Another question that was answered on Day 3 of the Kanpur test match was the reason for the Lankans’ fascination with Bruce Lee. Every time a new batsman came to the crease, he would enact the ‘Enter the drag on’ scene.
The pitch wasn’t a ‘13 wickets in a day’ pitch and one was really disappointed with the Sri Lankan performance. As well as Appam bowled, SL had no business to be staring down the barrel on the 3rd day of the test match.
One question that hasn’t been answered is that why is Ricky Ponting so concerned about the batting paradise in Ahmedabad. The stated objective is to show concern about Test Match cricket. But has it got anything to do with Ton # 43? And is a pitch the only factor for disinterest in “watching” Test Cricket on the ground?
Uneven contest don’t happen only between the Bat and the Ball. They also happen between 2 teams. Isn’t a potentially ‘no contest’ Test Match inimical to the paying public’s interest?
The Captain’s aggressiveness or lack of it has also contributed to the final outcome of the spectator’s satisfaction levels. One can make a small start preparing as an ideal captain in that direction by bowling 90 overs in a day.
Another question that has not yet been answered is, “Do talking Mirrors actually exist?” The ones that people go and look into and get back a truthful answer. One is waiting.
A couple of weeks back one visited a campus of a reputed Management school in the country to hire summer recruits. Having gone through a similar process a decade back in its southern brethren, one expected it to be a rather tame affair. A couple of companies came to the campus every weekend and picked up some interns.
One had heard of the madness that is the recruitment process today but it was more about the final placement, one imagined. All that a summer intern was supposed to do was a project in a particular field that would look good on his/her CV in his/her quest to land up a decent job. For the recruiting firm, it was a goodwill gesture that would hold it in good stead during the final placements as well. A significant number of summer internships offered on a campus would more or less guarantee a Day 0/1 slot.
There are some factors worth mentioning beforehand. Most students on the campus even today are fresh from their bachelor’s course and have had little or no job experience. They have landed up at the institute just 4-5 months back and have finished only the 1st term fully. So there is no CGPA to go by for a recruiter. Basically there wasn’t much to go on in the selection process but the fact that all of them had cracked the bats and cats of the world was thought of as a good enough filter.
The CV’s were an interesting read. Almost everyone had played Badminton/Table Tennis at the district level. One wondered why one found it so difficult to get through to the 3rd round of the District Badminton Championship during one’s younger days. On being quizzed about the current Men’s/Women’s Badminton/Table Tennis World Champion one drew a blank stare. But that’s a story for another day.
The concept of day slots for summer recruitments, it seems, has been an age old feature at most campuses now. So there are 2 Day Zeroes then Day 1 and so on and so forth. Two Day 0’s, Two Day 1’s is a marketing gimmick but that’s what the bright pupils are supposed to be good at, right?
The entire selection process hardly took a few hours as there were some 10 renowned firms trying to attract top talent from a very limited pool. If some candidate was liked then the decision had to be taken quickly. Else there was always some other firm waiting to pick him/her up.
The trend of Pre Placement offers to a summer intern has picked up considerably among MNC firms and a candidate is almost assured of a job on that basis unless (s)/he goofs up entirely.
One was just wondering about the motivation for someone to study seriously over the next 5 terms when someone is assured of a great paying job at the end of it all.
A summer intern working for a Big Name, may today be getting a better monthly package than someone who has worked for years in the industry. Some Alumni actually suggested in jest their intention to do only the summer internship every year instead of doing their normal round the year job.
That set one thinking. Does the summer intern remind anyone of a Viraat Kohli /or a Manish Pandey. Does the Alumni wishing for a summer internship remind anyone of an Andrew Flintoff or a Jacob Oram?
Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Sachin Tendulkar, the highest scorer
in international cricket, may be capable of lifting India’s
share market, if history is any guide.
The CHART OF THE DAY shows that the Bombay Stock Exchange’s
Sensitive Index rose 76 percent of the time after Tendulkar, who
celebrated his 20th year in international cricket last weekend,
scored at least 100 runs on home soil in the past decade.
Sensex has risen each of the past seven times he’s reached a
century in India including his 175 against Australia on Nov. 5.
“Sachin is the God of cricket,” Jagannadham Thunuguntla,
head of equities at SMC Capitals Ltd., said in an interview in
Mumbai. “When he plays a good innings even the gods smile and
maybe they bless the markets. Also, our mood is better after
seeing a Sachin knock.”
The 5-foot-5 Tendulkar, 36, known as the “Little Master,”
is currently playing in his 160th Test match against Sri Lanka
in Ahmedabad, western India. He scored four yesterday.
Statistics on Tendulkar’s hundreds were taken from ESPN
Inc.’s cricinfo.com. The Sensex has risen 76 percent this year,
on course for the biggest rally since 1991.
Now I know who to blame for my inability to buy a decent house in Mumbai.
With stock markets booming over the past 2 decades, this non-believer (in stocks) and perennial
bear could never afford a house amidst booming property prices.
Guess I'll have to wait another 5 years to buy that dream house when we enter a
permanent bear phase (?)
Reproducing some of Gary Kirsten’s thoughts penned on his website (before the BCCI implemented the gag order on the poor chap).
His priorities on taking over the Indian Coach’s role were crystal clear in their straightforwardness.
Results are everything in professional sport. And sometimes they can be nothing, too. Results determine the short to medium term future of players and coaches and the longer term future for administrators, but sometimes it is crucial for all of those directly involved in professional sport to take a small step back from the importance of next week's game in order to ensure the best results for the next year or two, or five.
It has been fantastic to have Paddy onboard for the start of my time with India and I have no doubt it will have a significant bearing on India's long-term prospects. Having said that, I cannot lie. Just like every Indian fan, I want to win EVERY game! Paddy and I may advocate the long-term view, but we are both winners and will stop at nothing to make sure we win next week!
These are his ponderings on the bench strength and rotation policy issues before the Sri Lanka tour in July 2008.
Mental techniques in cricket have occupied as much time as technical issues and it has been extremely important for all of us to get to know each other individually because the one-day squad is now substantially different to the Test squad.
And I am happy with that situation. I believe age does play a role in the performances of most players and, equally, I don't believe that many players are suited to all three forms of the game. In fact, I don't even believe, necessarily, that those players who are suited to one-day cricket should play in every game.
One of my most important tasks as head coach will be to implement a rotation policy for the national squads in order to keep our best players rested and fresh. It won't be easy – it never is – but I'm sure there is a sufficient level of maturity and understanding among the players to accept that there is simply too much cricket for any single player to perform at his best all the time.
Anyway, it will take time to get it right. And it won't be a perfect science.
His reading of the differing requirements for the 3 versions of cricket too made for a fabulous reading.
Many people have asked me about my thoughts on the IPL and whether this style of cricket will influence the way 50-over cricket and even Test cricket is played. In my opinion, they are three totally different formats, each requiring completely different sets of skills.
The most successful batsmen in the IPL appeared to be the players who could get the ball to the boundary, in unconventional ways, more consistently than others. A lot of this was pure "power hitting" - baseball style, with players setting a good base to swing from, squaring up there shoulders through contact and driving through with their hips to gain maximum power.
Naturally, because of variable conditions, the risk of this style of play is high and not necessarily suited to the 50-over format where boundary options with less risk are required.
I believe the more ‘conventional’ player, who still has boundary hitting ability, will be more successful and not exploited by quality fast bowling in 50-over cricket. Whereas a 50 run partnership in five overs will play a huge part in the success of a T20 game, the same result in a 50-ver game, whilst being very handy, will not necessarily prove to be match-winning.
50-over cricket requires a combination of good hitting ability and the skill to manipulate the field and ‘work’ the ball around the field so as to eliminate risk (as far as possible) and enable the team to reach scores in excess of 270 on good surfaces.
With the help of Paddy and the rest of the Team India support staff, we are trying to set up an environment where each and every player feels comfortable in his role, what is expected of him and what he can achieve for the team.
Each player comes to the team with a different set of skills and it will be our responsibility to find his place in the team, where he is most effective and where he can optimise his abilities. In this way, he benefits the team and optimizes the effectiveness of the unit.
We still have a way to go in understanding what our most effective combinations are, but I'm very excited about the talent that is on display and our goal is to put a squad of players together which can dominate this version of the game over a sustained period.
The man is obviously a keen thinker of the game. The irony is that India is still grappling with it’s rotation policy, still just vaguely aware of the different batting approaches needed for different cricketing versions, still losing mental battles (MSD said this, not yours truly) and most importantly, still thinking about the treasure buried under the rainbow, while struggling from one pitfall to another.
Temporary setbacks are part and parcel of the modern game and it’s not really ‘ringing alarm’ time for Indian cricket but the man in the background will have to shoulder some responsibility along with the skipper. They have to come up with solutions and quickly at that.
A mere promise of that elusive ‘all conquering champion’ team has seen surprisingly mature response from the common Indian fan to a ‘series of unfortunate incidents’. How long it will last is the moot question.
Kirsten writes in his Autobiography – Gazza :
“On my study wall at home I have pictures of my team mates and me in more than a dozen countries, pictures of me scoring hundreds and pictures of me shaking hands with Nelson Mandela and the Queen of England. There are pictures of me celebrating victories with a Castle and a cigar as well as pictures of Debs and me visiting some of the most famous sights in the world.
There aren’t any pictures of the times I was dismissed for nought or when I sat in the change room and cried because I was so disappointed or angry. And there also aren’t any pictures of me during a day of winter training, cold, wet and exhausted.”
There were more good times in your career than bad, Gary! But as you have mentioned yourself, people don’t like revisiting painful memories. Not for long
Courtsey - HT
The world's premier batsman of his generation was watching a decentish innings from an average batter who was getting old and battle weary. The Old Man had reached a milestone of his mundane career on the same day and was trying to do a bit more after reaching it. The Old Man almost won it for his team single handedly, but had to leave the field, a dejected soul. While leaving the field, one imagined the Old man saying to the 'Best Batsman of his era' - "Picture abhi baki hai, mere dost."
The dialogue in the movie OSO (Om Shanti Om) goes something like this (in Hindi)-
"Humari zindagi mein bhee end tak sab kuch theek hee hoo jata hai
Happies (sic) ending aur agar theek na ho,
To woh 'The End' nahi. Picture abhi baki hai mere dost."
The rough translation of this typical Bollywood dialogue is -
"Every thing becomes all right in our lives at the end. And if it's not a happy ending, then it's not 'The End'. The movie is unfinished, my friend!"
You may not be the 'best batsman' of your era Old boy (I am a member of the Old Boy's club as well) to many Sandals and Boy (s)couts, but who cares for their opinions.We are just waiting for the happies ending.
Former tennis star Andre Agassi wore a wig held
together with pins in his first Grand Slam final, excerpts from his
autobiography have revealed.
The hairpiece - in his famous
mullet style - had fallen apart the night before the 1990 French Open
final, which Agassi lost to Andres Gomez.
Before the match he prayed "not for victory, but that my hairpiece would not fall off", he writes in Open.
Earlier excerpts revealed his use of drug crystal methamphetamine in 1997.
39-year-old, who retired in 2006, admits that - in order to escape a
ban - he lied to tennis authorities that his drink had been spiked with
the highly addictive drug.
Further excerpts describe his distress at the hair loss which led to him wearing a hairpiece.
morning I would get up and find another piece of my identity on the
pillow, in the wash basin, down the plughole," he writes.
after the wig fell apart in the shower the night before the Paris
final, his brother helped him clamp it together using about 20 clips.
writes: "Of course I could have played without my hairpiece, but what
would all the journalists have written if they knew that all the time I
was really wearing a wig?
"During the warming-up training before play I prayed. Not for victory, but that my hairpiece would not fall off.
each leap, I imagine it falling into the sand. I imagine millions of
spectators move closer to their TV sets, their eyes widening and, in
dozens of dialects and languages, ask how Andre Agassi's hair has
fallen from his head."
Agassi went on to win eight Grand Slams during his career and is one of only six men to win all four major titles.
Andre Agassi didn't lose to Andre Gomez at the French Open in 1990. He lost to his own coiffureal insecurities, he claims. This surely must be the weirdest reason to lose a Tennis match. Poor Andre Gomez must be tearing his hair in frustration.
This seems to be the modern day version of the ancient story of Sampson albeit with a few twists and turns. Agassi, like Samson, suffered due to his gradually disappearing mane. But he shaved his head voluntarily, regained his Tennis skill and power without the tresses and walked into the sunset holding hands with Steffi.
Samson, on the other hand, devoid of his locks was blinded and locked up by the Philistines. Unlike Agassi, Samson grew back his hair, regained his superhuman strength and when presented the opportunity, pulled two central pillars of the Philistine temple destroying himself and the Philistine rulers in the bargain.
Agassi was smarter. He lived in the modern world with remote controls. All he had to do was write a book and attempt to pull down the ATP edifice and make money at the same time.
Or is it an attempt to come clean on the follies of his young days? If crystal meth consumption was a one-off incident and in no way performance enhancing, does it take away the lustre of his succeding achievements? Did ATP actually give him a second chance at redemption which he duly attained?
There are no clear answers. Just another reminder that heroes dating from the ancient times have always come had feet of clay with artificial hair to match.
P.S - For those who are not so sympathetic to his pleas
Courtsey - Amul india