Mar 26, 2007

Cricket World Cup 2007. Post 1

I'd expected to write some posts analyzing India's performances in the World Cup, how the others were doing, and so on, as I'd done with Italy (my favorites in that tournament) during the Football World Cup last year. The past week I was busy with work, and before I could start writing, India's campaign has prematurely ended!

So here goes a series of posts about what went wrong, and maybe one or two about what actually happens in the WC this point on.

First thing - in the press conferences that followed India's loss to Sri Lanka, both Dravid and Chappell asserted that the planning was fine, the players just didn't play well enough. There's no arguing about the players' poor performance, but to say the planning was fine, is turning a blind eye to obvious mistakes.

Error no 1 - choosing to bat against Bangladesh. It's well accepted now that the team batting first has a major disadvantage in these conditions. India's opening match was the 6th or 7th in the tournament, on the 4th matchday. The B'desh captain later said that they'd arrived early in the Carribean and knew that the ball does a bit in the first hour. India still chose to bat first, ignorant of the conditions, and over-confident about their chances against their opposition. This unnecessarily made things tougher for the players, and the team mgmt, thinktank or whatever, should accept this and learn their lesson.

Error no 2 - The playing 11. Ajit Agarkar has been around for more than a decade and it is well known that he is erratic. He was played in all the matches inspite of poor performance in the first, ahead of Sreeanth and Pathan. Sreesanth may be erratic as well, but he is young, and has shown enough promise and passion to be given a chance. Pathan, even bowling poorly, as probably as good a bowler as Agarkar and as useful a batsman as Uthappa. He could have replaced both alone, bringing more balance to the team, and allowing the captain to play both Kumble and Bhajji, or any other additional player.

Error no 3 - Munaf not taking the new ball. What all good teams seem to be doing, is starting with two good bowlers who give nothing away, creating pressure, and forcing the batsmen to make mistakes. India had one bowler capable of providng tight starts in Munaf, but he bowled first change. Agarkar was given the new ball alongside Zaheer, and he allowed all pressure to dissipate.

Error no 4 - Yuvraj at no 6?! I dont know how many would agree, but I'm convinced Yuvraj is the best bat in this team. Look at his record in the last year or so. Even against Bermuda, Sehwag worked his way back into form, but the guy who shepherded the innings and took India to a position to cross 400, was Yuvraj - who came in at no 4. An accepted principle in ODI cricket is 'Best Batsman First'. Aus has Gilchrist and Ponting in the first 3, SA has Smith and Kallis, WI have Gayle. India - in their best times - had 3 of Sachin, Sehwag, Gangualy or Dravid in peak form. In the current tem, Yuvraj has to be among the first 3.

This is not to say we had a great team done in by a few bad decisions. India didnt have the wherewithal to go far in this tournament - that will be taken up in another post. But they could have done better than this, if they'd got some basic choices right. More later

Mar 2, 2007

Stacion Matrimonia

Disclaimer: All people is this blog ARE REAL. Any resemblance to people living (and people you think you know) are completely intentional, and not co-incidental at all.

Episode 1: Don Captured

Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahi, namunkin hai.
Don went home innocently to enjoy holi.
Don thought he'd have some banaras-wala paan, consume loads of bhang, and do some sing-song.
Don was captured in the web of matrimony by his parents.
Baat shuru hui, aage badhi aur pakki-si ho gayee.
Don pakda hi nahi, poori tarah phas sa gaya.
What happens next? Watch this space...

Episode 2: CashMan in Catch 22

CashMan wants to get married.
CashMan meets a gal who doesnt fit his 'list of desired factors' perfectly, but he sorta likes her.
CashMan wants to meet her a few more times, to be sure.
But if CashMan meets her, its taken as a certain 'signal of intent to marry'.
To meet or not to meet?
What happens next? Watch this space...

Epsiode 3: Matrimony fairy turns LilShininLight into a puppy

LilShininLight was enjoying single life in Traffic City.
LilShininLight was going for treks, rafting, Goa trips, rave parties and generally enjoying herself.
LilShininLight had no plans to marry for a year at least, and was having a good time with her large circle of friends, including quite a few guys.
LilShininLight was also trapped by her parents, and couldn't resist the charms of a certain seedha-aur-samajhdhar Nawab, and got transformed into a lovesick puppy.
What happens next? Watch this space...

Episode 4: Yours truly is truly confused

Yours truly had no matrimonial plans.
Yours truly was busy gettin drunk and organizing fabulous parties for all his friends.
Yours truly was also makin some new friends, mostly from the fairer sex.
Yours truly is too damn confused now to write any further.
What happens next? Watch this space...

To repeat one of my favorite cliches, life is a journey. And now everyone is at Stacion Matrimonia (like Hotel California). Everyone seems to have gotten here sooner than they were expecting to. There are some apprehensions, but also a lot of excitement and hope.

What happens next? Watch this space...


Friend of mine wrote about distance in relationships a short while back. I shall take it forward.

Before we discuss distance, lets see what relationships are ideally like. Quoting from my earlier post about arranged marriage:
Whatever route you choose, it is a tough journey with lots of ups and downs. You need emotional support through your lows, and someone to share your joys with.

And from 'A closed chapter':
people who will like and admire every thing you do, and want to be a part of it, no matter how stupid it seems to the rest of the world?

Basically, two lives are supposed to be inter-twined. Thats probably where the phrase 'better half' comes from - someone who shares your life, bringing more joy and sharing your sorrows.

Now what happens when there's distance. The two lives are no longer shared. You are in a different town, among different people, doing different things, and your erstwhile partner has no role left to play in your life. He/she becomes an unnecessary and useless piece of baggage. You cling on, unable to let go of the memories - of great times spent together, and the hope - that those times will return. They never do. The spark dies down, then patience runs out, and finally its all over.

(A common, misplaced belief is that such problems shouldn't arise because people have phones. No. Phones only allow you to talk and keep in touch. They dont allow you to actually play parts in each others lives. And no matter how many hours you spend on the phone, the de-linking of lives and breakdown of the relationship will happen. Its only a matter of time)

Friend-of-mine also wrote about 'mental distance', and I guess he's right. You dont necessarily have to be in different cities for things to deteriorate. You can just as easily drift apart, in the same town, maybe even in the same house - if you dont nurture the relationship and invest the time, effort and emotions it requires.

This usually happens when you dont realize the value of what you have, and take it for granted. It's only after its over, that you realize the value of what you once had, and what you've lost.

Ending with another quote from an old post:
if u r genuinely in love, dont let little things mess it up. cherish it - a few bumps on the road are fine, if the journey of life is better on that path. u dont want to end up lost, just because you wanted to avoid a few bumps. Add to that - just because you didnt make the effort when it was required. The effort that it worth.