Friday, March 30, 2007

Sa(chin), Ra(hul) and Greg

I think Greg's tenure has already been extended secretly - Sorry Sir Viv.The announcement will be public pending the tamasha of World Cup post-mortem report/meeting. On several occasions Greg has stopped short of asking Tendulkar to quit, fearing the public rage - Remember his comment "Sachin's best days are over"?. Sacking Ganguly was one thing but Greg was quick to realize that Sachin is at a different level in India. He quietly "moota kattified" his idea of dropping Sachin and started asking him to be a mentor for the youngsters. Now he has sought his brother's help to achieve what he couldn't dare attempt. Ian has advised Sacin to retire. It is strange that he chose to advise Sachin through cricinfo or whoever, instead of talking to Sachin as a wellwisher. I smell something fishy. If Rahul is not dropped as captain or if Greg's contract is renewed, India will be pushed to a level that would require them to qualify for the next World Cup competition.

Having said that, I request you Mr. Tendulkar to resign gracefully. Have Kumble share his retirement letter, if you need a template. Also pass it on to Ganguly, if he needs help. This is the best time. I would have called you and requested this personally. But unlike Ian, I don't have your cell number.

I also think that we need a foreign coach. I don't think any former Indian cricketer can command respect from the current generation of cricketers. Imagine Nayan Mongia or Venkatesh Prasad trying to dictate to Sehwag or Yuvraj or Harbajan. Only a guy who can intimidate them with his English can control them .

My new Indian team XX comprises:
Gaurav Dhiman
Cheteshwar Pujara
Robin Uthappa
Shikar Dhawan (three out of first four must play)
Virendra Sehwag
Yuvraj Singh
Dinesh Karthik (wk)
Mohammed Kaif (c)
Rahul Dravid (should leave way in 2 yrs)
Suresh Raina
Mahendra Dhoni (Wk)
Irfan Pathan
Munaf Patel
Zaheer Khan
Piyush Chawla
Murali Karthick (may be long shot)
Romesh Powar
Jesuraj Rajamani
Harbajan Singh

PS: Vengsarkar - I can take over, if you need some rest. Afterall you have tried to do it all by yourself in the last one year.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Wearing Bermudas for the next two days.

Cricket has joined hockey as another sport that Indians used to be good at.
I could have spent all my energy wooing Viswanathan Anand or a Koneru Humpy who seem to be real champions. I remember this chess stud, K. Sasikaran, who was sponsored by my previous employer, DSQ Software for appearing in competitions around India.
If only cricket was a "low key" sport like chess, India would have advanced to the next stage. There is no motivation for them to win. The money comes from elsewhere. They just have to keep their spots in the team, money flows in from all over.

Rahul, go home, ask your mom to hold your cheek and comb your hair.

Sachin , what can I say!

JMM is already demanding Dhoni to give back the land that the Jarkhand govt. gifted to him

Why limit with the coach. Start getting foreign players to play for India. Afterall BCCI is registered in Bermuda (I think).

I still pray for Bermuda to beat Bangladesh and help India reach the second round albeit two points less. Last ditch effort to salvage some pride - I still don't want our zeroes to be killed.

Ravana killed Rama

I was right and I was wrong.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Good luck India

Srilanka showed no signs of hangover after their loss to NZ (thanks Ajay) in the warm-up game.
They came back well to dominate their first two games. Whereas India were buoyed by the warm-up victory and suffered a concentration lapse just enough for the Bongs to capitalize on. Whatever happened has happened. Now it is time for Indians to get their act together and prove that their are real heroes and not just reel heroes.

India should consider Harbajan in the place of Kumble but must replace Agarkar with Sreesanth or even Irfan or play two spinners at his expense. Leaving out Agarkar can make the difference between victory and defeat. I also think India must put Srilanka into bat, if toss favours Rahul. Getting Jayasurya and Sangakara early is key. I am not too concerned about Mahela but Silva can be a little dangerous too. Also in the chase, India should look to attack Vaas from the go. Victory is must and in the horizon. If India bat first Muralidharan will be the major threat after the initial spell of Malinga. India sould look for 240-270 minimum considering that there has been a lot of rain. Arial shots will help. Dhoni should be given a chance to come up. Whether Rahul will experiment has to be seen. Uthappa, Sachin, Sehwag, Dhoni and Yuvi can win it for us by clearing the stadium and rotating strikes. Ganguly will be a liability for this game considering the law of averages. Maybe he will get to bowl.

In the match against Bermuda, the banner read "Go to Barbados or stay back in Trinidad". I say every player should bear that in mind.

Finally like Pakistan did, pull one for Bob and our own Greg, who have gone through a lot these two years in the sub-continent. With Pakistan out of the tournament, I hope they will be rooting for us. On a Friday their prayers get answered, right guys!
For my part, I will recite Bhagya Suktam in the morning.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Out of context - Brings fame - Spoils humor

Omar has given a link to my blog that will result in adding a few extra eyeballs to the million patrons that already follow my writing. Alright!

However, to be quoted out of context is sadenning or rather frightening in this case. The extract does not portray the subtle humor (also attempted in the post scriptum - that few fellow Tamil patrons alone can get). This has resulted in me claiming that the Prez had ordered an assasination of some sort. Come on, a guy who took over an entire country in a bloodless coup would never do that. Atleast, a sane me would not seriously claim that.

It will be the biggest international cover up - next only to the assasination of Rajiv Gandhi, when not even a single prominent partyworker died - if this goes without investigation in the name of the World Cup.

Also the above statement has been partially taken somewhat making my claim serious.

Omar, thanks for the two-minute fame that you brought me. I, only, wish that you had taken the time to understand my fallible English and not gotten me into (this Presidential) trouble. I pray that not as many read your articles too :-) (atleast in this case).

Ajay, thanks for letting me know about this article. I will be scared to death for the rest of my life.

Announcement: I am not the suicide type. Nor am I suffering from any ailments. So, unlike Woolmer's case, you will be left only with two options for me.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Woolmer killed?

I am not being insensitive or anything. I am just not willing to wait for people to finish mourning before this doubt surfaces.

Who killed Woolmer?
1. A Paki cricket fan
2. A Paki cricketer
3. A Paki president order
4. The Paki coach himself

I think Woolmer, with all his experience would not have commited suicide. He is also known to be cool and sensible. So it cannot be a cardiac arrest. I have not known anyone to vomit during a cardiac arrest.

He was a pioneer. He introduced technology to cricket coaching. His innovative practise sessions were well received by players and his analyses were next to none. Inspite of all this, he made a big mistake, choosing to coach Pakistan. That proved costly and his family paid dear. These words will be echoing in the minds of his immediate family. It will be the biggest international cover up - next only to the assasination of Rajiv Gandhi, when not even a single prominent partyworker died - if this goes without investigation in the name of the World Cup. My heart goes out to his close family and friends. God give them the courage through this ordeal.

To me, his biggest achievement is sticking to his religion, despite coaching (in)Pakistan - where Yo Yo failed.

PS: Indian cricketing fans are no different. I prescribe two Tamilnadu constables(next only to Scotland Yard per Captain Vijayakanth) and sorbitol for Greg Chappell.

What's the point!

Anand Vasu has totally ignored the chances of the Bongs beating SL. Given their back to back wins over NZ and India, the possibility is equally high. That will not eliminate the need for India to win both her matches. However it will ease the need to up the NRR to qualify to the Super Eights even if it means that India will go with two points less. If SL manages to beat the Bongs, yes NRR will apply and if India manages to pull it through, it will carry two points to the Super 8 - ideal for India

Let us analyse the Super 8 with that assumption that India qualifies with the Bongs without the two pioints.
Assuming Aussies and SA will win all their games and qualify to the semis as the top two teams. Then India has to win all the remaining games beating NZ, WI, Eng, Ireland. This will give us a chance to qualify as the third or fourth team. If Bangladesh manages to surprise one of the above teams, it is even better for us. From the semis, it is anyone's game

But if we continue to lose, then what is the point? We don't want an India losing its way to the final, do we?

I also propose to replace Rahul with Sachin or Saurav as the captain from the very next game. There is nothing wrong in being proactive to win the WC. Otherwise it will be another four-year wait. And this proposal has nothing to do with the ongoing Cauvery row.
The reasons are
. Chosing to bat after winning the toss against the bongs
. Not being creative on the field.
. Not using the power plays to good effect.
. Bringing Sehwag late.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Day of Bengal?

With Pakistan out of focus, let us zoom in to how we can get India qualified for a berth to the second round.
India must beat both Bermuda and Srilanka.

With that given, there are two ways India can qualify.
External factor:
All Indians should take a day off and pray for Bangladesh to continue their impressive run and beat Srilanka and Bermuda also.

Bermuda upsetting Bangladesh or SL is a factor that I don't wan't to consider at this point

In India's control:
India should look to beat both Srilanka and Bermuda and in the process up their net run-rate. That will decide who qualifies for the next round in the event of a three way tie.

India should also try not to disqualify SL because we do not want B'desh in the second round. That will result in India carrying 0 points with them. Ideally still a SL, India qualification is possible with India carrying 2 points to the second round. If it fails to happen, Rahul should resign and die a natural death from cricket, for choosing to bat after winning the toss.

Elsewhere Ireland is almost sure of its second round berth unless Pak loses to Zimbabwe and and creates confusion during exit.

Patriotic (read disappointed) Indians will blame the tournament format, but I insist this format is the best possible that ICC can ever come up with.

England too should be wary of Kenya. In all I see the Aussies and the SAns enjoying every bit of this drama.

I think only Group A is certain of both the MAXO's qualifying.Group B and C still might see both Maxo's scraping through. One minnow has re

Sunrise will see Rahul's effigy being burnt alongside Sachin's allover India. Kaif and Laxman are happy men inside. Saurav, despite his slow fifty, saved his face on this day of Bengals!

Cinema or Cricket

If both India and Pakistan qualify for the second round and if the current schedule is to be believed, I may have to choose between Sivaji and Cricket. I cannot stay out for a full day in the theatre, considering Ishanvi's needs.
This is what will be running in my mind for the next 4 weeks:
Rajini or Rahul?
Sivaji or Sachin?
Cinema or Cricket?

I think I will settle for the WC game and watch Sivaji in thiruttu DVD.
Even better, if Pak does not qualify for the second round.

Verdict Update: It looks like I was half-correct. Seems like both teams won't make it to Super Eight. I will be whistling thru my ears cheering Super Star.