Saturday, 29 September 2007

clash in Siliguri

Mobs in Siliguri went on rampage damaging shops and buses protesting against a remark a RJ made in New Delhi against the current Indian Idol.

Wow! A remark made by a RJ (I don't know what the remark was, but going by the way RJs speak in Mumbai, must have been some take on Gorkhas) in Delhi has potential to disrupt life and stop an ambulance carrying a patient in Siliguri.

Talk about global village.

Here's the link:

The Indian Idol, Prashant has come out with a statement urging restraint from his fans. Hope better sense prevails.

Mercifully, none of the news portals and news papers have carried the actual remark. Looks like the media does have some good sense, after all.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Twenty/20 World Cup

There have only been 16 T/20 international matches played so far and we already have a World Cup! I feel its a bit premature to have a World Cup for T/20 matches so soon. There needs to be more domestic tournaments and international matches before organising a World Cup.

The Indian team (the BCCI one) comes to this World Cup with only 1 international match so far and it would be foolish for anyone to expect a good performance from them, especially after the disastrous World Cup. There are some fresh faces out there, the seniors are not playing and I would like to see if this improves our fielding and catching.

Going by the Chris Gayle innings yesterday (and the SA response), its all about big hitting and athletic fielding. No one was keen on running between the wickets. And with all the big hits clearing the boundaries easily, I really don't know what the fitter, leaner and more athletic fielders can also do. Every batsman was going for broke and the single or a double as a means of contributing to the score was not even thought of. Looks like leaving out SRT and SG might be a big mistake, for they can clear the ropes consistently and with ease. And with bowlers being there just for slaughter and flat tracks, SRT and SG would - probably - have hit their groove which would have meant good news for the ODI series later.

However, this might just be the opportunity for Sehwag, Yuvraj, Uthappa and Dhoni to go bang-bang. I would like Sehwag-Uthappa to open, followed by Yuvraj, Dhoni, Karthik and Gambhir. I'm not sure about the big hitting capabilities of players like Rohit Sharma and Joginder, if they can hit them hard and long, I would prefer them over Gambhir and Karthik. Pollock's and Ntini's mauling yesterday (Ntini bowled only 2 overs) proved that we really do not need specialist bowlers. Batsmen who can bowl are good enough at this level.

Irfan, Joginder, Sehwag, Yuvraj (not withstanding the 5 sixes in an over), Yusuf Pathan can be our bowlers. Sreesanth is too much of a lottery; so is Agarkar. I would play RP because a decent 2 over initial spell can be worth its weight in gold. My team would probably be

Yusuf Pathan
Gautam Gambhir
Irfan Pathan
Rohit Sharma (can he bowl?)
Joginder Sharma
R P Singh

Harbhajan can get us a few quick runs, he can be drafted as a specialist slow bowler in place of Rohit Sharma. I would be tempted to play Chawla in that position, but whatever little batting opportunities he has got has not convinced me of his batting skills. If one of the Pathans is having a bad tournament with the ball, then I would look at getting Chawla/Bhajji in.

Agarkar, Chawla, Sreesanth either need to be consistently good bowlers or need to be better batsmen to fit into the T/20 scheme of things.

But knowing the BCCI's way of selecting teams, I would not surprised if Agarkar, Chawla and Harbhan play a lot of the matches. Let's see how the BCCI's team fares!

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

So much happening around


Its been some time since I logged on to this blog and so many things happened around us. Hyderabad blasts, a bridge (or flyover) collapsed in Hyderabad and a IAF trainer aircraft crashed killing both its pilots (again in Hyderabad). Wonder, if Hyderabad has some planetary configuration gone astray.

India wins the Asia cup and what scores they ran up. 16 goals, 20 goals, etc. Hats off to Joaquim Carvalho and his team for pulling this off. The IHF also announced prizes of Rs. 1,000 for every goal scored and a penalty of Rs. 2,000 for every goal conceded. While I need not even go into the stupidity and silliness of this announcement, it serves a good point to talk about the remuneration provided to the players. In an interview to DNA after the Asia Cup victory (, Dhanraj Pillay talks about "paying some match fee" to the players. He also states that the coach "should also be paid". What The ****? IHF doesn't pay match fees to its players and the coach? No wonder our guys prefer to pick up cricket bats instead of hockey sticks!!!

Elsewhere, the T/20 World Cup is about to start and the Pakistan team is already in the news for the wrong reason. Shoaib has been sent back to Pakistan for hitting Asif with a bat and this time his threat of joining ICL may not work. Asif Iqbal ( feels that PCB is waiting till Shoaib commits mass murder before it starts taking action.

India lost the Natwest trophy 4-3 and though its not a bad scoreline considering that we were 1-3 down, I feel the time has now come to start replacing the seniors. With Gambhir & Uthappa showing promise and temperament, maybe we need to give both of them a longer reign at the top of the order. Gambhir has this tendency to play with Fevicol applied on his feet, while Uthappa's batting may be better suited to T/20 game, but both of them have shown enough grit. With captain and selectors showing confidence in them, maybe they'll probably come out with flying colours!!! Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj, Karthik, Dhoni can make the rest of the lineup, with someone like Kaif or Raina or Sehwag or even a Ambatti Rayudu challenging these positions. Sachin, of course, still has some cricket left in him. I would like him to concentrate in the ODIs and concede his Test position to some other youngster though many would say that it has to be the other way round. Among the bowlers, Zaheer, Sreesanth, Munaf (if and only if completely fit), Chawla, Powar, R P Singh, Harbhajan and Irfan Pathan (assuming he regains his form) complete the head count. Choose 11 from these, depending on opposition, surface, playing conditions, etc.

For the Tests, Gambhir/Uthappa/Karthik would be the openers. Laxman coming in for Sachin or Sehwag and Anil Kumble coming in for Powar or Harbhajan completes the list of probables. Of course, there may be better talent in domestic cricket, and some new names may crop up in the T/20 tournament; some names like Manoj Tiwary and Rohit Sharma are still untried. But I believe the nucleus of the team would be from the above names.

Amul has been voted as Asia's leading brand. And if you are among those who have always looked forward to the Amul hoardings (related to the current hot topic) like myself, then do join in the celebrations.