January 2010 - Posts
Q - What's the name of the just announced movie that Shahid Bhai is starring in?
A - Mein Chew
Q - Why is Shahid Bhai signed as the brand ambassador for Singer?
A - Because he is the best chewing machine out there
Q - What do new age editors explain the concept of "news" to a greenhorn journalist?
A - SB biting a ball is not news.. Ball biting SB is news
Q - What will be the headlines of such "news"? (ball biting SB)
A - Reverse Ch(e)wing
Q - What message did Kookaburra send to the ICC?
A - SOB (Save Our Balls)
One wants to apologise to everyone in advance before being bombarded with angry rebuttals and hurt sentiments. No animals were hurt in the making of this piece. This work of f(r)iction bears extreme resemblance to some person/(s) alive and any similarities are intended.
Andy Murray’s campaign at the Australian Open coincided a lot with the absolutely brilliant 'Ishqiya' released at the same time. It started brilliantly, had some excellent performances, was great music to many a people’s ears (in Murray’s case mostly to the Brit years), had moments of genius but ended rather tamely with too many inconsistencies.
Ishqiya refused to be a tear jerker but was awash with histrionics. Murray’s campaign too was full of interesting comments, actions and media bytes. But at the end of it all he refused to cry. There was a dig in that refusal as well but that's Murray for you.The chase doesn’t stop at the end of the movie. For Murray’s campaign too, the chase of that elusive Grand Slam is still on.
Both Ishqiya and Murray are quality products. It’s just that the media overkill may get irritating for some.
The Pakistan cricket team’s campaign in Australia reminds one of ‘Veer’, doesn’t it? Both flopped miserably at the box office. At the end of the ODI series, their stand-in captain - Sahahid Afridi was reduced to chewing leather, an exercise undertaken by the 'Veer' viewer by its close.
It seems Shahid Afridi is banned for 2 games for that intelligent piece of chew-type action. Only if Veer were banned too!
There’s this extremely fast and furious (run up only) gentleman called Shahadat who has laid bare the Bangladesh strategy to take on India. The plan is simple, yet effective. They have discovered the weakness of every Indian batter and have stuck to the plan admirably. They also have planned various methods of tackling the Indian bowlers.
Let’s start with the Indian batters first –
Sehwag – Can’t handle the short ball well. Bowl short. Even the spinners have to bowl short to him. Don’t disclose his weakness to the media before the start of the series. Say this when you know that you are not going to bowl at him again for a year or so.
Gautam Gambhir – Can’t handle the short ball well. Bowl short.That will prevent him from getting 6 centuries in a row.
Rahul Dravid – Can’t handle the short ball well. Bowl a bouncer at him at your speed (70 mph) and he may duck into it too early.How this man scored 10k + runs is beyond belief. Other teams failed miserably in noticing this *** in the armour.
Sachin Tendulkar – Bounce him out.
Yuvraj Singh – UV hates chin music. But this plan can be put into action only if he comes out to bat.
Murali Vijay – Haven’t seen him bat yet but why don’t we try the short ball to him?
MS Dhoni – Achettup*
Bhajji, Zak, Ishant, Ojha, - Hail Achettup*
For the Bangla batters there’s another highly effective plan.
If they bowl full, hit them for a six.
If they bowl short, pull/hook/cut them for a six. Only weaklings like those sissy Indians leave the short ball. The ball going to the wicket keeper’s gloves should be taken as a personal affront and for every ball left the batter has to pay 10 takas to the team kitty.
One four/ six per over is the required minimum to qualify as a good batter.
This is what Shahadat had to say about the Dravid injury -
Shahadat, who had hit Ricky Ponting on the helmet at Fatullah in April 2006, said Monday's incident was a greater achievement. “Against Ponting, it was with an old ball. It was a new ball today. Even then, it feels good to hit someone like Dravid, who was batting past 100,” he said.
“We had a plan to bowl short, particularly to Sehwag and Dravid, because Indians do not play bouncers very well. We have seen they keep leaving short balls. We did that and almost got them. It was a pity that Dravid's was a no ball,” Shahadat said.
It is a real pity that Shahadat and his other compatriots can unfold dread and terror in the Indian batters’ mind only for one.something innings in this Test. It's a pity that all those wild and over the top jubilations after every Indian wicket may be seen no more in this test series.
* - short of a length for those non believers who don't read serious cricket blogs.
Fernando Gonzalez was playing some incredible Tennis at the Rod Laver Arena. Some amazingly accurate forehand winners, some wonderful single handed back hand down the lines and suddenly he was leading 2 sets to 1 against Andy Roddick. It was an intense match with some high quality Tennis on display. Roddick had never reached the finals of the Australia Open, Gonzalez had tasted a defeat at the final hurdle once at the hands of the Master. Both players had everything to play for and they hadn’t disappointed.
The fourth set was a tense affair with both players trading body blow after body blow. Gonzalez had seen off 4 set points in the 10th game on his own serve with a mixture of some audacious shot making and some crucial unforced errors by Roddick. It seemed that Roddick had failed to seize his opportunity and that Gonzalez would prevail in the tie break.
“I am not going anywhere!” Roddick shouted to himself. His goal was clear and simple. He was going to hang on and make it as difficult as possible for Gonzalez to reach the next round. The only way to counter Gonzalez's inspired game was to be tenacious.He would wait for that small 'moment of weakness' in the Gonzalez game to show and then he would pounce.
And then it happened. Serving at 40-0 down 5-6, Gonzalez some how lost it. And in the matter of minutes he was staring at a set point against him.
Roddick’s forehand cross court was called out and Gonzalez gave up the chase. When Roddick called for a review; the ball was found to be brushing the side line. The chair umpire awarded the point to Roddick and Gonzalez’s plea to replay the point fell on deaf ears.
That most overused word ‘momentum’ saw a clear shift. It was almost like one could see ‘momentum’ get up from near the net and walk over to Roddick’s side. Gonzalez was never the same again and it was all over very quickly.
Was the chair umpire right in awarding the point to Roddick instead of calling for the point to be replayed? One thinks not. At the end of the day technology can help immensely but it’s the human being who has to take the correct decision.
The unbreakable bond between UDRS and Daryl Harper springs to one’s mind.
So many sporting moments have been decided on human errors. And even in this world of hi tech tools, they are still being decided by the human factor.
“Guns don’t kill people, people do”
The complete and utter absence of a single bid for any of the 11 Pakistani players, who were available at the IPL auction, was greeted with a stunned silence, in the period immediately following the bidding process. This situation of a muted universe in the aftermath of an epic of such gigantic proportions couldn’t last for ever and was expectedly followed by exclamations of indignations, punctuated with a few high fives.
There will be debates on national television anchored by Charakha Dutt about ‘Should politics be mixed with sport’. Telecommunication companies will rake in the moolah when passionate viewers will send their opinions via extremely expensive SMSes either talking of November 26* or about how sport binds peoples together. Imran Khan will surely make an appearance on NDTV and opine that were he the PM of Pakistan, such a blunder would never be dared. One of the T clan may take the credit for not allowing Pakistan players to set a foot in India. Ian Chappell will say that this is another reason why India will not remain the top Test playing nation. The Australian Deputy PM will say that Pakistanis should not make such a noise about bias by India, such things happen in Australia too.
On a serious note though; it pains one to credit the Indian government with any diplomatic finesse; maybe it is just haphazard handling; but here’s the thought process. It may be completely foolish and utterly illogical. But that is the case with most arguments on this blog. Here goes.
IPL is a private body with individual/corporate franchisees owning teams. So, all players who play for any IPL team are doing so in their personal capacity. By just gently indicating to the IPL owners that it may be disinclined to give visas to the Pakistani players, the GOI put the fear of monetary loss in their minds.
Finally the IPL is all about money and no IPL franchisee would knowingly sacrifice his hard earned (?) money at the altar of a Pakistan cricketer’s retirement plans.
Someone may come forward and hint at Visa issues but is there a written communiqué from the GOI that it won’t allow players from Pakistan to play in the IPL? Did the IPL disallow Pakistan players from taking part in the auction? The answers to both these questions are a resounding No! (from what one has read till now).
Allegations of the Indian government’s behind the scene machinations will abound. But there is no real proof.
If one remembers correctly, another government acts innocent by citing lack of evidence and hence the lack of many arrests demanded by another country.Nothing can be done about it.
Politics and Cricket make strange bed fellows, indeed!
* - Thanks Mahek for pointing out the blooper
There were smirks all round yesterday evening with statements like ‘so who is ordinary now?’, ‘serves him right’, ‘the finger on your lips act by Shahadat was a fitting reply to Viru’s arrogance.’ It felt like Sehwag’s act of bravado had been exposed for what it was - bravado.
Everyone loves a good needle in a contest and Sehwag provided an extremely sharp one to Bangladesh by calling them ‘ordinary’ in the course of the pre-match press conference.
Many in India were quite shocked and to the eternally headline hungry Indian media, the chance to drum up a story and how the shabbily treated cousins across the border had taken 8 Indian wickets in 63 overs for next to nothing was a dream come true.
It was all about India being in doldrums and how fired up the Bangladeshis were after Viru’s comments. Fond remembrances of the World Cup shocker and how the Indians’ arrogance about reaching the next stage led to their downfall, were recounted.
To put Sehwag’s interview in perspective; what exactly had he said? He basically said that Bangladesh could not get the 20 wickets that are needed to win a test match. The unsaid thing was also that they have to get those 20 wickets for lesser number of runs than their own total.
The’ordinary’ remark when taken with his assertion that Bangladesh could surprise India in an ODI but not in Test matches because a team can have 1 good day but it needs to have more than one good day to win a Test match. When he called Bangladesh ‘ordinary’; he was questioning their ability to win session after session against a strong Indian side.Given their Test record, Sehwag wasn't too far away from the truth.
Given the gentleman's culture where a commentator talks of Cricket being the game of glorious uncertainties even when a team needs 1 run to win with 7 wickets in hand and 20 overs to spare, a frank and almost ruthless assessment is 'not cricket'. Sehwag has created his own brand of batting, now he is creating his own brand of interviews.
As of now the media has fallen in the same trap that Sehwag was talking about. Taking the honours on one day was a fine performance but it needs to be sustained across the five days. Bangladesh can still beat India in this test; weather permitting and some one replicating a SRT innings. But one just wants to point out that the extremely English savvy Sehwag may not be as arrogant and / or as rude as he was made to sound. Maybe Sehwag himself was taking a swipe because the World Cup loss still haunts the Indian team?
Basically one can write/say anything if one is an ‘expert’ or an ‘ex-player’. One remembers Alan Border writing a syndicated piece in an Indian newspaper, exhorting the Indians to give a better fight after India’s first Test loss at the MCG. McGrath routinely predicts a 5-0 white wash in the Ashes. Maybe Viru was just taking some tips from his DDD team mate. Or maybe he was just being a Delhi guy. :-)
A long time ago, one remembers being caught in the midst of the most violent and a roller coaster ride of emotions watching a Ranji Trophy final. On one side was the greatest Indian all rounder ever, pitting his wits and cunning against a fearless warrior. A man possessed, a man who fought like a lion, trying to climb an impossible mountain. He almost took Mumbai to the summit but only to watch helplessly from the non striker's end, his side falter at the final hurdle.
That Haryana - Mumbai final is still etched in one's memory and those solemn moments still haunt one's memory. One had never imagined that watching Kapil Dev lift a trophy would ever be a painful experience. And the utterly broken down Dilip Vengasarkar sitting on his haunches, tears swelling up in his eyes, is an image never really forgotten.
To a Mumbai supporter, the Ranji trophy has always felt like a family heirloom. Always pawned, never sold.
The nail biting finish at Mysore today and the sweet taste of victory may have somehow exorcised the ghost of that defeat. Mumbai is not a star studded team any more and arguably the Karnataka team had more 'stars' at the finals than Mumbai. But Mumbai was famous for getting the job done. And Mumbai didn't let one down.
A scrap is what a Mumbai cricketer loves and boy, what a scrap he got into at Mysore. Much was made about Mumbai's farewell gesture to Robin Uthappa and Ajit Agarkar's supposedly 'over the top' celebrations. Some references about the trophy being named after the 'noble' Ranji were made, suggesting that it was unbecoming of the Mumbai team to behave in such a manner. All one can say from the limited information that one has gathered is that the friction was created by both sides and Karnataka were not exactly saint like in their on field behaviour.
Agarkar's celebration was an expression of what all the Mumbaikars felt. Immense pride, joy and finally relief. A loss in another closely fought final would be unbearable. #39 is special. Life in the forties starts next year. Take a bow Mumbai!
There were tears in Umar's eyes as his entire life flashed in front of him. He remembered all those shared joys, laughter, tears and even beatings by their Abbajaan. The day when K bhai took the blame of making a defective bat on himself, was forever etched in his memory. Those were the days of tooth made bats where the wood was finely carved by the maker's teeth. Only if Abbajaan had taken K's buck teeth into account, he would have figured out that it was Umar who had made the defective bat.
He fondly remembered all those catches that K had dropped off him as a keeper in the mohalla so that Umar could bat a bit more. He felt a lump in his muscle and a twitch in his throat as he tried to fathom the reasons why those duffers were dropping K. He was to blame as much for the dropped catches as K. He couldn't let this happen and he wished to take the moral responsibilty for K's failures. There was only one way out and he was going to take that.He was going to back (spasm) his brother to the hilt.
What Sachin Tendulkar never tried for Vinod Kambli as per Kambli in Sach ka Samna (the Indian version of 'Moment of Truth), what Yusuf Pathan tried to do for Irfan at a press conference after Irfan's omission from the Champions Trophy probables, was finally done by Umar Akmal for brother Kamran at Hobart.This is the definitive proof that blood is thicker than water. Kambli and Tendulkar were just friends. Irfan and Yusuf are half brothers (Wikipedia says so). Kamran and Umar are brothers. The world saw three different reactions from three different sets of relationships.
In fact Umar is supposed to be insisting on the team management to include one Lakmal from Sri Lanka in the team as well. The reason given is that he suspects that L. Akmal is the brother they had lost when the Sri Lankan land mass broke away from the sub continent. Arun Jaitley is being demanded to be managing all the pitches that Umar plays on since Arun is a senior member of the BJP, whose symbol is a lotus which in Hindi is, you guessed it right, A kamal.
On a serious note, if Umar Akmal really tried to make his displeasure known by feigning injury, sending him back home seems to be the only option. But one has to remember that the news item and the so called 'feigning of injury' is reported by the Australian media. Being the first line of defence to an Australian cricket team, especially in Australia, the Oz media can't be remotely described as 'fair and impartial'. So maybe Umar deserves a chance to clarify matters.
Else the Pak score board will look like -
Kamran bowled Umar Gul*
*gul in Bambaiya hindi is to disappear
The two test matches that ended this week in the Southern Hemisphere have finally come out with the exact difference between 'poor' and 'unfit'. Whenever the wife asks what the brouhaha about 'poor' and 'unfit' is all about the
Ghotala Kotla pitch, one has to scratch one's alreading balding pate. The resultant hair loss will now be a thing of the past and the impending hair transplant (like the grass one at Kotla) may become redundant.
Poor - ENGLAND
Unfit - PAKISTAN
A poor pitch doesn't get the axe from the future tour itinerary and has hopes of making a comeback. England managed to snatch a draw from the mouth of a defeat, which itself was snatched from the mouth of a draw. And they did it twice. Sometimes a 'poor' pitch can also be involved in creating 'one of the great' test matches, unintentionally, of course. England were involved in 2*. Sometimes a match ref may not even term a pitch 'poor', if it behaved evenly for a couple of sessions. If it was swinging like a yo yo for 3 days and then became dead for 2 he may actually call it 'superb'. England lead the series 1-0.
An unfit pitch has no friends. Every body wants to blame some one else for the fiasco and sometimes the curator takes the blame (but for the wrong reasons). Daljit faced the axe in Delhi. Yusi may be facing one in Pakistan.
* - This is supposed to be sarcasm
Before commencing with the article, one would like to thank Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Rajkumar Hirani who are the creators of the title 'Three Idiots' which in itself is inspired by 'Five Point Something' by Chetan Bhagat. No 'ooh, so downmarket!' rolling credits for them in this piece.
- The ICC for actually condemning the
Ghotala Kotla pitch and threatening to take international matches away from the venue. The pitch had everything that could promote Cricket. As suggested in a piece somewhere else on this site about making the game popular in the US, the pitch was trying to celebrate the stark brutality of the game of cricket. Dilshan, Sanath being hit on the body was such a breathtaking scene. The pitch was also well suited for cricketers to show their 'true character' in an ODI when there has been so much talk of Test Cricket being the real test of a cricketer's true character. The passing the buck game played by Chetan Chauhan and Niranjan Shah on national TV was by far the better entertainment provided by ODI cricket than those 800+ run games. The ICC instead of lauding these valiant efforts of the DDCA and the BCCI to give excitement to the paying public, is trying to paint them in a poor light. This makes ICC Idiot # 1 in this episode.
- The CAB (Cricket Association of Bengal); If they had made a similar pitch, the Batti Buzao (Turn off the lights) scandal would never have taken place at the Eden Gardens. In addition it would be their own small contribution to the environment by saving electricity.
- The writer of this piece for inserting the namesakes of the title of this piece on top of the article. Surely VVC and Hirani won't bother about publicity on a small blog after their film's super success. Chetan Bhagat may actually go to a television channel citing this piece as another attempt to brazenly copy his work of art or he may actually mention this blog on his blog. On second thoughts, maybe I am not such an idiot after all :)
Oh and before I forget; wishing all ye a very happy and idiotic year ahead