Archive for April, 2006

Wii. Whee?

Sure sounds like another way of saying “Whee!”. The actual product name for Nintendo’s new game console that was hitherto known as Revolution.

Wiird! (Hey, if they can say that “Wii” is pronounced “we”, I can write wiird!)

So is it money that pulled back Afridi, 26 (or 36?), back into Test cricket? A quick chat, a realisation that he would lose money and viola! He’s back! Whatever!

Afridi, who has played 24 tests and 224 one-day internationals, has
been given a grade one central contract by the PCB. Shaharyar made it
clear that if he did not play tests the terms of his new contract would
have to be reviewed.

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Venkatesh Prasad v Aamir Sohail
1996 World Cup, Bangalore

Chasing India's score of 287-8, pakistan got off to a flyer of a start, Amir Sohail and Saeed Anwar went about tearing the Indian bowling attack. Pakistan looked all set to win as they reached 110 odd for the loss of just 1 wicket within the 15 overs. And then Sohail lost it.

Play a Great Shot…
Amir Sohail was completely bent on demolishing the Indian bowling to pieces, charging down the track to the faster bowlers (if you can call Prasad that!) and in this particular case, he came down the ground (a good 4-5 steps; anymore and he would have hit Prasad too!) and slashed the bowl over vacant extra cover area… the ball disappeared into the fence in a flash… what followed has been etched in the memories of every cricket fan in the subcontinent.

But don't get too cocky!
Aamir Sohail is no Javed Miandad. But he tries to be,and fails miserably. Sohail, after hitting the aforementioned shot, pointed his bat the area where the bowl had disappeared and then towards Prasad, apparently gesturing where he will send the next one .

Its not everyday that you see a batsman sledging the bowler, and Sohail was about to learn just why.

Else, this is what happens!
Aamir Sohail, attempting a repeat of the earlier shot (albeit with his feet stuck to the ground this time), made room and exposed his stumps, and his weakness, and in return lost his wicket… and face. As the wicket lay uprooted, Prasad returned the favour to Sohail, pointing to the pavilion this time.

The comeback was truly remarkable, almost a miracle… Prasad has bowled thousands of deliveries and taken hundereds of wickets in his career but, it was this one granted him a place in the History of Indian Cricket!

Watch the video.

Disclaimer: This is not original content (not all of it, anyways) and has been taken from a mail forward. All copyrights rest with the original author(s)/compilors. Should any of them have objection to it, do let me know I will take this off. Let's not fight, ok!

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If this report is anything to go by, chances are that Australia may just rest some of their key players at the suggestion of Jeff Thomson.

His sentiments about the event and his views on it are nicely summed thus:

“In the end, if we don’t win the Champions Trophy who really gives a toss?” Thomson said.
“For Australia, as long as these other guys are getting a game and learning something, then they are ready to go when they’re picked (later).”

India have had a hectic couple of years. As have the other top teams. But isn't that the price to pay for being good? Everyone wants to see you in action. So you play…

To be honest, it's not too different from a football club. Take Manchester United for example. In an average month, they play 4 EPL (English Premier League) matches and as the season progresses, European duty starts as do other domestic tournaments like the FA Cup. In the thick of it, they sometimes play as many as 10 matches in a month. And if they do better in a tournament like the Champions League, then more matches. But roughly, at the peak of the season, it's more like a match every third day or so.

Now, which is their main focus? They all are. There's a price on winning. Each player gets only 12 years or so to have a go at winning as many tournaments as he can for his team. This, actually, applies to almost all sports. There are tennis players who play from January 1 to December 25. And again, the better they play, the more they have to play.

While you would say comparisons are not fair since tennis and football matches can last at the most 3-5 hours and that too, once a year, maybe but cricket matches are routinely 8-hour affairs. True. Let's take the team in focus: India. From August 2005, they have played the following matches:
India in Zimbabwe: Aug-Sep 05 – 2 Tests (Ind won 2-0)
Sri Lanka in India: Oct-Nov 05 – 7 ODIs (6-1 Ind) and 3 Tests (2-0 Ind)
South Africa in India: Nov-Dec 05 – 5 ODIs (Ind 2-2 SA)
India in Pakistan: Jan 05-Feb 06 – 3 Tests (1-0 Pak) and 5 ODIs (4-1 Ind)
England in India: Mar-Apr 06 – 3 Tests (Ind 1-1 Eng) and 7 ODIs (5-1 Ind)
India v Pakistan (Abu Dhabi): 2 ODIs (Ind 1-1 Pak)

This makes it a grand total of 11 Tests and 26 ODIs (2 of which were abandoned).
Hours played (estimated): 330 hrs (Tests) presuming each Test lasted 5 days; 6 hrs each + 182 hrs (ODI); 7 hrs per match.

Total on-field hours: 512 hrs. Sure there's travelling and off-field activities and practise that needs to be considered and it definitely is a big part of the game. But assuming teams like Manchester Utd and players like Roger Federer are also travelling just as much and practising the same amount, let's leave that out.

Also, a player is not necessarily on field throughout the match. There are times when his team is batting and he is in the pavilion. Especially in ODIs. So let's assume each player spends half of this time on the field: That's 256 hrs = 11 days roughly. That is, on-field only. No breaks. No time to waste! Play!

Man Utd, since August 2005 has played:
UEFA Champions League: 7 matches (including qualifying)
FAPL: 34 matches (Premier League up to their last match against Tottenham on Apr 17)
Carling Cup: 6 (including the final that they won)
FA Challenge Cup: 4 matches

Total matches (till August 17; next match on Aug 29): 51 matches
Assuming each has lasted no more than 90 minutes, that's 76.5 hrs. That's about 3 days and 4 hours. No breaks. Run. Score. Dive!

Again, the reason I have not looked at some of the top players is because they do take a break from time to time—like Dravid did for 2 matches and Dhoni did—so consider that a constant. In the end, though, when you look at the numbers, they say that an Indian cricketer would play 11 days consecutively as against 3 days for a EPL player and the difference in monies is massive.

So based on numbers, there definitely is too much cricket!

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And he’s going nowhere for another 3 years at least… I hope. Man this guy has done it all… just hope he rises to the top of the Test run-scorers’ list soon.

Brian Lara, Allan Border and Steve Waugh are above him. Two of the three are retired and that should make catching up with Lara easier!

Go Sachin, go!

That immortal 'art' that has now been fine tuned by the Aussies has been around for as long as the game has been…Wiki refers to sledging as 'exchanging words with opposition player(s) which can put him(them) off their usual game; it is an attempt to "psych out" an opponent'. Cricket is a very interesting game, and sledging adds to it the extra spice that make it much more than just game.

Here is a compilation of the best sledging related incidents, witnessed in the history of cricket


Sledging has always been a part of cricket.
Even the great WG Grace did it.

Once in an exhibition match given out leg-before, he refused to walk and told the umpire: "They came to watch me bat, not you bowl". And the innings continued.
Grace's ability to stand his ground would have done Sunil Gavaskar proud. Once, when the ball knocked off a bail, he replaced it and told the umpire: "'Twas the wind which took thy bail orf, good sir." The umpire replied: "Indeed, doctor, and let us hope thy wind helps the good doctor on thy journey back to the pavilion."

The best WG Grace sledge was on him, though, not from him. Charles Kortright had dismissed him four or five times in a county game – only for the umpires to keep turning down his appeals. Finally, he uprooted two of Grace's three stumps. Grace stalled, as though waiting for a no-ball call or something, before reluctantly walking off with Kortright's words in his ears: "Surely you're not going, doctor? There's still one stump standing."

More to follow…

Disclaimer: This is not original content (not all of it, anyways) and has been taken from a mail forward. All copyrights rest with the original author(s)/compilors. Should any of them have objection to it, do let me know I will take this off. Let's not fight, ok!

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For once, there seems to be some sense about this business in China. A court has ordered Carrefour to pay LVMH damages for use of their logo on fake goods.
Wonder whether the same ruling would have happened if the offending company was a Chinese local one and not a multinational.

One wonders…
Full Story here.

It would sure seem as though that were the case especially where it concerns India-Pakistan cricket. What?

Read more about the next 18 months of competition between these teams.

Dhoni is #1

M S Dhoni has finally scaled it to the top of the rankings of the LG ICC ODI Batting Rankings. He displaced Ricky Ponting to reach the landmark and interestingly, it has taken him just 37 ODIs to reach the spot.
Powered by seven 50s and two 100s, Dhoni has had a huge impact on the Indian cricket team since he debuted on Dec 23, 2004 against Bangladesh. What makes his performance even better is the fact that he scored only 22 runs in his first 4 matches (3 against BAN and 1 against PAK) until he hit a magical 148 against the Visitaing PAK team at Visakhapatnam.
Since then, there has been no looking back. A place in the Test team followed soon and MSD was India's most promising 'keeper-batsman since Nayan Mongia.
Helped immensely by the rise of other stars such as Irfan Pathan and Suresh Raina, MSD—one of the most popular players in the team—has fed off their successes as well and is one of the mainstays of India's ODI team.
Career Stats | Current ICC Rankings

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India-Pak boring?

Have to say that I do agree with this to some extent. Too much cricket between these two nations. And what's with the niceties?

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Running on nude?

Jason Gillespie and Matthew Hayden, it turns out, were planning to run nude after Dizzy's double hundred in the second Test against Bangladesh. Thankfully, they have reconsidered it:
As Dizzy said,

…""Don't know about that one, being in a Muslim country," he told the
Australian Associated Press. "I don't know if it would be perceived
right."…

Of course it won't be! Keep your clothes on, please!

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The start of the end?

With Tendulkar deciding to skip the ODIs in the West Indies, is this the start of the end of his career? Can one expect him to altogether give up one form of the game soon to extend another? Which would he choose?

Tough call, indeed!

Tossed!

Camera toss is a technique that involves literally tossing the camera around to capture an artistic image. Like the one of the Indian flag below.

Check out more such photos by offstage4 on Flickr and here is some more information about the technique including more awesome pics.

India flag

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And no, we are not talking about India’s population for once! That is the number of Kalashnikov rifles (AK-47) that have ever been manufactured. Interestingly, only 12 per cent of these have been in Russia. Hm.

AK 47

Seriously, is it something to be proud of that you have created a weapon so deadly that it is ‘reliable and durable’ in most conditions? Mr Kalashnikov seems to think so.

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Jack Dawson is back. Meet him all over again, as he gets ready to explore a new world.

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Censored Comments?

Now the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) can be held responsible for a lot of things. But censoring on-air commentators is something I would have thought they would not indulge in. Apparently, that opinion stands altered. Or should it? For one, the man raising the stink is none other than former England captain Michael Atherton. The important word in that is England. He also waited till the series was over. If the BCCI was censoring his comments, why not say it before? He was also commenting for Sky Sports and if he was so annoyed with the censoring, he could have just stopped talking on the Nimbus-produced telecast. Or was it the money that held him back? No Indian commentator—or for that matter, English or Australian—has come out with these comments. Sure the quality was poor, but if what he can say was being censored, then the plot thickens, indeed. The BCCI has already imposed its logo onto the telecasts and the number of ads on the screen (and between overs) have risen dramatically. In his column, as reported widely, Atherton says:

"Nimbus are petrified of upsetting their ’employer’, for fear of not getting any future rights, so any criticism of the BCCI is strictly frowned upon. Local commentators are already asked to wear the BCCI logo and are asked not to mention sensitive subjects like the spat between Greg Chappell and Sourav Ganguly, or controversial selection issues, no matter how germane they might be to the action," Atherton said.

And why not? Haven’t we all heard of how the ICC manuevres its decisions to accomodate the ECB schedules and requests and abstains from saying anything against them? How many times have we heard anything negative about the ECB on a Sky Sports Telecast? Mr Atherton, the money is in India, which is why you endured this ‘force’ upon you. Now that you have submitted, grin and bear it.

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Hear, hear!

Finally, someone else says what I have been harping about for a while. Whew!

"…Those of us who thought things couldn't get worse than DD's coverage,when we almost invariably missed one ball per over, have now been greeted by a brand new cricketing phenomenon – the four ball over – courtesy Nimbus via Sahara One. In addition to the first ball of an over and often, the end of the last, we miss the bowler running in to the batsman and the batsman taking his stance; the production has been so shoddy that we've often even missed following the ball to the boundary too…."

Let's hope something is done about this.

There are plenty of exciting cricket teams in world cricket today but South Africa is definitely not one of them. Ever since Cronje-gate hit them and they plunged into the depths of match-fixing (one outcome of which has been that Gibbs does not come to play in the subcontinent), they have not been the world beating team they were under Cronje.

Watching them lose miserably to Australia – both in AUS and at home last month – was one thing. It's Australia. But watching them take on New Zealand yesterday in the first Test, was a rather bore. They have no batsmen save Smith and Gibbs who can excite the cricket lover. And I don't mean this only in the slam-bang Dhoni style of batting… there is Dravid who is so correct even in defense and defiance, that it's a pleasure to watch. Instead, SA have the bumbling likes of Ashwell Prince and Jacques Rudolph (so he saved a Test in Australia, but nothing of note since).

An observation of this batting line-up has been that they attack to start with and if that works, all is well. Of course it is. The foundation has been laid and the others can play their natural game and consolidate. But if the openers and #3 don't make enough (which is how it normally is), then the middle order is rather lost. They don't know if they should defend and get set or just attack like cornered fighters. In the end, they do nothing and just try very hard to show as if they want to hit the ball. All they manage are nicks and edges.

At 266-8 after Day 1, SA owe most of these runs to the likes of Pollock and Boucher, but these guys are not going to be around forever. And neither is Kallis. He used to be this destructive batsman who has suddenly, it would seem, discovered the fine art of blocking. Why? I have no idea. But in the end, he has no runs to show for it.

As for their bowling, it's one-dimensional at best. The mercurial and influential Donald lent much firepower and with Pollock, was a destroyer. But Ntini, Nel (who depends more on his facial expressions to scare batsmen into submission) and bowlers like Hall, Steyn and who have you, Boje are rarely going to go through quality sides twice with any regularity.  With all due respect, I agree with what Geoff Boycott had to say about Nicky Boje's bowling: "My mum can bowl better"!

Desperate measures are called for to revive this Test team and I can't help but think it needs to start with the captain who has too much on his plate. Let him develop as a batsman first for there is potential there. He hardly commands any respect on the basis of his performance. It's mostly on position. That can't work… Look at a Ponting, Vaughan, Dravid, Fleming or even Inzamam. These guys command the team's request. He needs to get into this league. And why not Kallis till he is around? I think he would make a fine captain. Worth a try… 

The much-vaunted Indian bench-strength has been exposed and pretty badly at that after today's loss. Virender Sehwag, captaining in the absence of Rahul Dravid, lasted exactly five balls and did not even bowl. Why don't Indian captains who can bowl, don't bowl? Ganguly was another such captain.

Mohammed Kaif continues his bad form, but at least he contributed
more than Sehwag (15 vs 4). In a recent article, Sunil Gavaskar had
said
that India needs to test the bench players so they are match-ready
whenever required. By continuing to play disastrously out of form
players like Kaif and Sehwag, this will never happen. In his column, he
wrote:

"…The form of Mohammad Kaif for example is worrying, as he has not scored
runs for some time now and still holds on to a place in the squad. Not
many others have been so fortunate to stay in the squad after so many
games without scoring runs, and unless the same yardstick is applied,
how will we find out if we have a bench-strength if others aren't given
at least half the chances that some players are always given?
…"

I can't help but agree with this simply because it makes horse sense. Playing your reserve players in non-pressure (or consequence) matches is important to have them "match-fit" and give them international exposure and experience. Take the case of R P Singh… after some pretty good performances in Pakistan where he picked up 8 wickets (second only to Irfan Pathan's 9), he was completely ignored for this series so far. R P Singh also had the best economy rate and average for the Pak ODIs.

Sree Santh is one for the future as are VRV Singh and Munaf Patel and they should get chances in the same ratio. It is not fair to expect these guys to just turn up and have a winning hand immediately. If Sehwag and Kaif, after being there for more than 10 matches on the trot can't do it, why expect these newcomers to?

Sehwag's bad form has continued for far too long. He is supposed to be one of the 'seniors' and top players in the team now. But he just does not show any responsibility in his batting at all. While he started with a bang today, his technique let him down again. Would it be asking for too much to if I said he should take a month off and go back to the nets? Maybe even miss the first Test against the West Indies?

I hope that Kaif does not get the nod for the WI tour. There are players who are far more deserving (like S Sriram mentioned above) who should tour. As for the middle order, bring back Laxman. He is a specialist in that position and still has at least a couple of seasons left in him.

What was on display today was the lack of bench strength. India have had either Dravid, Tendulkar or Ganguly in every single ODI over the last 10 years and they are being sorely missed here. But looking ahead, the time is not too far when neither will be available and that would be a permanent situation as against the temporary one right now.

Tendulkar will return but we all know he is not the same old batsman of yore. Dravid will play the way he know and will continue to dig in and show results. Ganguly may never play again. Of these stars from the last decade or so, Laxman is the only one with enough experience to guide the middle order (assuming Tendulkar would be in and out of the team with injuries) and must be treated well.

And please, play the back up. You never know when the mainframe will crash. Always have back up ready. Golden rule…

Captain of the West Indies cricket team, Shivnarine Chanderpaul has resigned. In a statement, he said:
“…I would like to take this opportunity to tender my resignation as captain with immediate effect. This would give me an opportunity to focus on my batting and other areas of my cricket …where I would be able to make a more significant contribution to the team, by being more focused on my batting etc…”

As captain, I would think he had done an average job. His batting record is good, but win-loss is utterly disastrous. Well, he did have a team of some odd-balls!

Chanderpaul Records:
Batting:
Tests- 14
Runs- 1038
Avg- 47.18 (better than career avg)
Best- 203* 100s/50s- 3/3

Win-Loss:
Wins- 1
Losses- 10
Draw- 3

Interestingly, he did play more away matches as captain (8 vs 6). On the whole, he was rather clerical as a captain. Not inspiring, and always understated. Most notably, on their current tour of NZ, when WI had the last Test in their grasp, he hardly led from the front and as a result the batting caved in meekly on the last 2 days.
On the field too, he was almost absent and one had to look hard to know that he was the captain. While the WICB has said that a replacement would be announced soon, I shudder to think who it would be. Lara? Doubtful, but not improbable. Sarwan? Hmm… that would be interesting. Perhaps it would help him as a player too, the extra responsibility, that is. Gayle? Why not? He can do a lot of thinking in the dressing room… he doesn’t bat too long and has all the time in the slips. His bowling sure has come along well!
These three apart, I really don’t see anyone who could lead the WI team ably till the World Cup. That would, one guesses, their target considering they are hosts.
More turmoil for the already beleagured, once-powerful cluster of islands…

Bad Ad?

Following is the transcript of a radio ad for Kaya Skin Clinic:

Wife: Darling, how do I look?
Husband: Ummm… nice
W: Just nice?
H: Lovely
W: Only Lovely?
H: You look beautiful.
W: You know, that’s what I like about you. It’s 5 in the morning and you think I look beautiful.
H: You know, I mean it.
VO: Kaya Skin Clinic. For those who know beauty begins with skin and not make-up.

Just a few points:

  1. Why in god’s name is the poor husband being tested at 5 am?
  2. Of course this is a trick question and there is no right answer.
  3. Doesn’t it sound like the wife is coercing the answer she wants (i.e. beautiful) out of him?
  4. After getting two wrong answers (listen, if “nice” and “lovely” were correct, he would have gone back to sleep), he had to say the b-word.
  5. Doesn’t she sound rather conceited? Why would you want to know how you look when you are just waking up? It’s another thing if someone volunteers a compliment. But this is like extortion.
  6. Are the women of the world approving of this ad? Doesn’t it show them in poor light?

Just some things I thought I should ask. Any answers?

The above are not keywords for SEO. Back in 84, that did not exist. But Apple, advertising and technology did. And how brilliantly they came together in this campaign that ran in Newsweek’s November/December Special.


Take a look
and drown in the nostalgia that is Apple. They are still as good, btw. Just wish they would not be so keen on bringing Windows on to their platform

And another PhD. student joins the ranks or Larry and Sergey. And more revolutionizing of the search engine to happen. I will be truly amazed only when a search engine can throw up a result as I think of a query. Hmmm… there’s an idea for a PhD!
Whooppee!!

Leander Paes reminds me of the Duracell ad (or was it the Energizer one?) where the bunny (I think it was Duracell) just keeps going on and on and on (or maybe Energizer…). 17 years he’s been there and will be around for some more. One hopes. Either way, he has more then outlasted both Energizer and Duracell together!

And Hesh was right in saying that “It had to be Paes”.

Only if you are in China, though! For this mobile service provider has cancelled services of 19,000 people. Wonder if the Indian cellcos would comply like this with the government. In times when numbers mean more numbers (you get the drift, eh?), it’s unlikely.
What?

Second run

This is the second time that India is in the middle of a good run of victories. The last time it happened was back in 2003 during the World Cup. And obviously, I would like to rate that higher despite opposition like Namibia and Kenya (twice) figuring in the list. But India’s current run against countries like Pakistan and England would definitely rate much higher. So while India has won 8 games in a row and look favourites to make it 9 (not counting the washed out match at Guwahati) when they play on April 12 at Jamshedpur, the real stat to look at is this: 14 wins in 16 games.
The two losses in question have been against Sri Lanka and Pakistan but the record is still just as impressive. Austraila’s run of 14 wins was great because they were on the trot but this is almost as good.
Chasing targets for some reason has suddenly become India’s strength. I clearly remember a time in the late 90s and early part of this decade when India could not chase easy targets without making them difficult. But of late, they seem to total punters at doing so. Of course, playing in the subcontinent helps… but I would think this would not matter even on quicker, bouncier or more seaming pitches either. So the West Indies should watch out!
Speaking of which, I really hope that the Indian tour to the West Indies this time around is a successful one and not like the last one when they should have won, but lost hopelessly. This time around, the opposition is better equipped, but I have to put India as the favourites. Getting ahead of ourselves, aren’t we? Ah, well!
Coming back to the original point I wanted to make, I hope India can continue this run. Not just for the records, but because it always keeps the team in a winning frame of mind. A stray loss here or there would not matter as much then. In such a scenario, playing a two-match series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi may not be the best idea. India have had the better of them in recent years, but a 2-0 loss here could demoralise the team just before the WI tour. Also, with nothing really at stake, motivation could be low and could lead to a loss.
That’s where the beloved BCCI needs to step in and be firm. These matches could well have been played after the WI tour when there is a longer break in cricket. And the time after the 7th ODI against England could have been used to rest players, many of whom have earned it while all of them definitely need it.

But there is money to be earned and the BCCI will do so (even if a good cause is involved, the cricketers will tire themselves). Just hope there is no adverse effect on player fitness and psyche.

I’ll be damned…

At first I thought, I was dreaming. Then I pinched myself hard. Let me tell you that can hurt. But once I confirmed that I was indeed awake, it was rather interesting to note that the minnows of world cricket were totally whipping the big boys. Bangladesh ended day 1 of the first Test at some 350-plus for 5. And they continue on day 2. 

The best thing of this, though was the fact that Shane Warne got taken for plenty for nothing! At last check he was in the dressing room with a niggling shoulder and had given away 112 runs from 20 overs without joy. Obviously! Most interesting of this was that the Bangla batsmen seemed to have a plan of playing him… see ball, hit ball. Simple. And it worked. Perhaps the best compliment for their performance was when Nafees was finally bowled for 138 by MacGill and he then let fly a range of excited words. I mean, guys, this is Bangladesh v Australia and not the Ashes!

I can't believe that I am about to say this, but Australia are in trouble against Bangladesh. It may not last too long and knowing the Aussie batting line-up and the Bangla bowling prowess, the match may turn on its head in the next 2 days. An expert had virtually counted on the fact that the match may be over by Tuesday evening. That does seem unlikely not, eh?

Whatever happens, this is an intriguing match. Enjoy while it lasts! LIVE SCORES.

Who da vice-captain?

I was pretty sure that the vice-captain of the Indian team was Yuvraj Singh. Then why is it being said that it's Virender Sehwag? Worse, still, if Yuvi was the vice-captain, why is Sehwag the captain in the absence of Dravid?

And it sure is nice to know that Pres. Kalam is interested in the cricket team's fortunes! He spake thus:

President APJ Abdul Kalam congratulated Team India for winning the seven-match series against England. In a message to captain Rahul Dravid, Dr Kalam said, "My heartiest
congratulations on your team's victory in the one-day series." The President said the triumph was a result of the planning and homework put in by the squad and the team management.

Again, the fans lose

For a long time now, I have controlled the urge to comment on this, but I no longer want to do that. In it’s so-called effort to ensure that there was no one channel monopolising the cricket coverage and that it got the maximum money out of the broadcast deal, the BCCI has once again compromised on what the fans want.

There are specialists in the world for a reason. An ENT specialist does not dabble with ones heart. Similarly, Ekta Kapoor does not produce sports telecasts. Hence, cricket matches should not be shown on Sahara One (or two or three). Because this is what happens.

Doordarshan can show matches and very well cut the first and last ball of each over. If the BCCI argument that DD has the maximum reach matters, so be it. Their audience want it. I am not a DD watcher. Neither am I a Sahara One watcher. I want to watch cricket and I want it on a sports channel. Why?

  • Because they know what sports lovers want.
  • Because they show highlights the same night and the next morning and the next evening.
  • Because they respect the match.
  • Sure they show ads covering half the screen, but they at least show what matters.
  • Sahara and DD have done well to switch into ads even after the 5th ball of an over only to return and show Dhoni running a single. No viewer knew why in God’s name Dhoni was running berserk between overs. Fact is, that was not in between overs, rather in the middle of it.
  • Sports channels put effort into their production. DD also tries. But it fails miserably. K Srikkanth, M Amarnath, V Mehra, A Wassan and the inimitable C Sharma are not my choices of presenters.
  • K Dev and I Khan with N Hussain and S Manjrekar are better. They are more contemporary. S Gavaskar and R Shastri with H Bhogle are even better.
  • I want to see the pitch report and the toss, no matter how stereotypical it has become. Do I complain about the soap operas you see? So show me the toss.
  • Between innings, I want to hear something new, something honest and insightful. I don’t want K Srikkanth saying, “Yindiya yees in trubbel. Dey neeeed to play Gaaangoolie becozz hee yiss derr mwosst yexxperienssed byatsmann.” Tell me something I don’t know and in a way I understand it. I am paying to watch this. So I have a right to demand this.
  • Who is V Mehra? When was his last international match? Is he truly aware of the pressures these guys are under to talk about them? Has he travelled enough to know of it? (No disrespect meant to him as a cricketer, merely as a presenter).

So if DD/Sahara One/any other non-sports channel can digest and correct this, bring it on. Else, please let me see the sports-friendly ESPN-Star or Ten Sports or even the infant, Zee Sports. I demand this.