Tuesday, November 29, 2005

In summary

On Rediff, Prem Panicker has a thought-provoking piece, encapsulating most of what I have felt or wanted to say over the past few weeks about the off-field activities in Indian cricket.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Lara ascends another peak

A man with a penchant for big, big scores - Brian Charles Lara - added to his legacy with a fighting 226 (the next highest score was 34) for the West Indies against Australia at the Adelaide Oval. In the process he became the highest run-getter in Test history, a position that he may just be keeping warm for the other great legend of this era - Sachin Tendulkar. In a career spanning almost 13 years, Lara has had more highlights than a generation of cricketers combined.

Opinion is divided on who the better batsman of the current era is - my money is on Tendulkar as he is more compact and consistent - but there is no denying that Lara clearly outdoes Tendulkar in one department - getting a huge score once set at the crease. Only Don Bradman has more Test double centuries (12) than Lara (8 and counting), while Tendulkar's first (of 4) double century was the 21st century of his career. Lara's first century was a 277 against Australia! (Lara is also the only man to have posted scores in the 100's, 200's, 300's, 400's and 500's).

The return of the maharaja

In one of my previous posts (unhelpfully titled - L.P. Sahi in the news), I had mentioned that Sourav Ganguly did not deserve a spot in the ODI team, though I did feel that he could not be dropped yet from the Test team. The Indian selectors felt the same way, too, but stopped short of backing him on batting merit alone. By doing so, they intensified the pressure, not only on themselves, but also on Ganguly. The impression they have now created, due to their bumbling explanations, is that Ganguly is in the team solely because of the shenanigans of people behind the scenes.

The point I am trying to make is explained here, with greater lucidity, by Harsha Bhogle.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Two thumbs up, way up!

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of her show, Oprah Winfrey revealed that she owed a lot of her success to another Chicago televison icon - Roger Ebert. On his website, Ebert's recounts how it happened in his inimitable style.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Profiling a role model

VVS Laxman is the subject of an article, by Dileep Premachandran, in which his quiet dignity and simmering passion for the game of cricket is captured quite well.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Bird of Paradise

Native to South Africa, the Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is a large tropical herb that is a member of the banana family (Musaceae). The plant gets its name from the spectacular flower shape which resembles a bird's beak and head plumage.

The Biology department at WVU has a plant that flowers periodically. And when it does I cannot resist capturing it on film.

Night vision

The dust- and pollution-free atmosphere of the lower southern hemisphere allows photographers to capture the Milky Way and other galaxies very clearly at night. The above photo, amazingly, was shot without any additional or artificial light. Imagine lying on the ground at night and looking up at that. No wonder the great poets of the past rhapsodized endlessly about stars in the sky.

Tick, tick, tick...

In a couple of previous posts titled "Here we go again...(??)" and "The curious incident", I referred to two promises made by the BCCI, one on October 18th, 2005 and the other on September 27, 2005, respectively, and decided to keep track of any further news on that front.

It is December 26th 2005, today and the BCCI has sadly, but not unexpectedly, kept mum.

Laxman's other wrist work

My favourite contemporary cricketer is VVS Laxman. Apart from being a joy to behold when on song, I discovered that he is quite thoughtful and frank when he writes about the game.

Here are his views on sledging, playing our biggest rivals, the current kings of the game, the mental aspect of the sport, and finally, why he wields a bat and not a stethescope.

I hope the fellow Scorpio plays for many more years, and writes for even more years beyond that.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Empty pocket, empty....

He may be the most powerful man in the world, yet all President Geroge W Bush carries in his pocket is a white handkerchief. At least he is well prepared should he have to relinquish his position.

Riches cannot buy you everything

The BCCI is the richest cricket board in the world. And India is the hotbed for computer software engineers. Yet the Indian Board is the only one that does not have an official website. Obviously some marriages can be made only in heaven.