Friday, December 16, 2005

Just stop & think

Saurabh Ganguly has been dropped from the squad for the third and final test match against the Lankans. That's the news, delivered by the chairman of the selection committee, Mr. Kiran More.
  • The media, as usual, is aflutter.
  • The cricket "fans" are aghast at the news and there is a groundswell being created to restore SG
  • The Bengalis, even those who don't know cricket, are up in arms
  • Everybody and his uncle is pointing his finger at Chappell as the reason for Ganguly's "ouster"
  • Even Dravid's silence is being dissected.
But, all this furore is only nailing Ganguly's cricketing coffin tighter!

The media and former cricketers, by quoting the example of Cricket Australia giving Steve Waugh a deadline to gracefully retire, are only indirectly saying that Ganguly should retire!. They are saying "India's most successful captain should be treated better", which means, that he should retire with fanfare!

What was that again?

Does anybody have doubts as to Sourav Ganguly's credentials as a batsman? Obviously and definitiely not! So, why are they talking about graceful exit, better treatment, breaking the news nicely, etc.?

If they drop a player, does that mean that it is the end of the road for him? Certainly the chairman of the selectors doesn't say so.

Therefore, my request to all my fellow cricketers and fans is please do not read a conspiracy where there is none. Let us stop being emotional and start getting real, guys.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Indian Selectors need to be Proactive, not reactive

There is a lot of debate going on on the exclusion of Sourav Ganguly from the Indian squad for the 3rd test match. Of course, the way in which it has been carried out is hardly gentlemanly and draws comparison with SG's own unceremonious method of nixing Akash Chopra. However, IMO, all these discussions are reactive and will matter zilch when India go to Ahmedabad and, later, to Pakistan.

While the selectors say that they are looking into the future and are, therefore, creating backups for openers and #6 positions, what struck me the most was not the issue of batsmen, but the issue of bowlers.

For this one has to look not much further than the last two test matches. Take a look at the scorecard of the Delhi test, particularly the Indian bowling card for the two innings (taken from I have combined them for the sake of this analysis.


PO: percentage of overs; PW: percentage of wickets; PR: percentage of runs

Count Tendulkar out of the equation as the number of overs he has bowled is not significant. That leaves us with four bowlers, who should ideally share the workload as well as the wickets and the runs given. More or less, except that in practice, one of them would be the "strike bowler" while the others rallied around.

But that is not what the figures tell!

Kumble and Pathan have taken 70% of the wickets giving away only half the number of runs scored by the Lankans (extras excluded) while sharing the burden of 57% of the overs bowled. Harbhajan, has taken a fifth of the wickets while giving more runs (30%), but atleast he has bowled a quarter of the total overs bowled. The ever-generous Agarkar, on the other hand, has shared the least of the workload and taken just 10% of the wickets.

What it means is that 82% of the workload and 90% of the wickets are shared between Kumble, Pathan and Singh, Agarkar comes out to be the "also ran". This is not only true for this test, but also happened along more or less similar lines in Chennai.

So, there are three things that come up out of this analysis:

1. We are terribly short of strike bowlers. Agarkar looks good only to take the shine off the new ball, like Gavaskar and Solkar used to do in the earlier days, neither striking (low PW) nor playing a stock-bowler / support role (low PO).

2. We can't go into a test match with 4 bowlers and expect to get the opposition out twice, especially in overseas conditions. What happens if one of the bowlers (now reduced to three effectively) has a bad day?

3. Kumble is getting old (not maturing but getting on in years, mind you) and will soon retire, or get axed. That would leave us with just 2 bowlers with match-winning or 20-wickets-taking capabilities!

I mean, shouldn't we be looking for bench strength in the bowling department?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Mistaken Identity?

I think I need to go to the oculist and get my eyes checked. Or, maybe a shrink to get my memory back in order. Otherwise how do you explain this "turnaround" from LP Sahi? Check these sample from the good correspondent. These are "pure gems".

" ... captain Rahul Dravid’s decision to open in the first innings (at the Kotla) had two objectives — making a statement and scoring with the element of surprise..."

" Perhaps, the entire Team India dressing room now sees the captain somewhat differently. "

Check out the full piece!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Well that is the score posted by the Sri Lankan cricket team at the end of the 4th day's play. Kumble, the most humble cricketer & star, leads a game that is spinning towards an Indian victory. See this score card and related story.

Caught "Nappying"...

What will law enforcers and Animal Rights activists think of next? I mean, if this is not bullshit, then what is it? Read this hilarious piece of law here!

Elsewhere, former Aussie paceman Jeff Thomson makes no shit about what he thinks of the ICC. Read this!

One more blog!

This is not the last straw! My old pal and favorite mind-gamist has started his own blog - at last! Here, check it out.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Bangalore is NOT the IT capital of India anymore!

That is because it is now Bengaluru! Well, it had to happen - following on the heels of Beijing, Myanmar, (yeah..yeah) Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, Bangalore is changing to Bengaluru. How does that affect you and I? I don' t know, check this poll. And what will happen to the "Official government website about the IT industry"? Will they change their domain name to reflect this? By the way, the domain is already taken by an enterprising Arvind Krishnaswamy! In the meantime, there is an interesting piece that says "namma Bengaluru has moved". And I thought it had just arrived. lol.

Also check this out to get a dekko at Neelakantan's attempt to redefine Bangalore.

R.I.P. Richard Pryor

"One of the funniest motherf*ckers in the world has died", posted by Shelley "The Machine" Levine. Read on.

Many of us know of only the standup comedian Richard Pryor. But, he was also a great human being.

Steve Jones writes in USA TODAY: "Some imitators misunderstood his genius, seeming to think they could reach his heights by simply being foul-mouthed. But Pryor's liberal use of the F-word and the N-word (which he would renounce after an eye-opening 1979 trip to Zimbabwe) was just a residue of his self-expression. The real humor was in the meaning of what he said. "What I'm saying may be profane, but it is also profound," Pryor was quoted as saying in Richard Pryor: Black and Blue.

Pryor bared himself to the world using his own wild trainwreck of a life as fodder for his routines. His real-life exploits with alcohol, drugs and women were an open book. He would share his hurt and have you splitting your sides even as he horrified you". Read the full piece.