Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Exit interview with the Indian team

If I were the coach of the Indian team and I had to conduct exit interviews with some of the Indian players in the aftermath of the Test series, this is what I would have said to them.

Friday, August 19, 2011

TGIF: Songs to hum - 5

On Friday afternoons, after I am done teaching (or preparing for teaching, as the case is this week) for the week, I sit in my office, put my feet up on my desk, lean back in my chair and softly hum songs to myself, unwinding and releasing the built-up tension of the week so far. Youtube is a good companion during these times and I have my own version of Chitrahaar, with the songs following some unfathomable pattern, changing per my mood and wishes. 

Here is today's trip through Youtube:

How could I not start with a Shammi Kapoor song? I should probably elaborate on this some other day, but for now let me just say that the songs of Junglee were the first songs I knew the lyrics to. All of them. Bar none. And I still know them after all these years. (More on that some other day, I promise). In that movie, this was my favorite song, though it not the one that is most commonly associated with Shammi Kapoor.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Time to channel the inner Dhoni

Dear MS Dhoni,

Plenty of knees will be jerking helter-skelter. Don't let that get to you. (Though, of all the captains India has had since I have been following the sport, you appear to be the one who is best equipped to deal with the highs and lows of being captain).

You've captained exactly half (30) of the Test matches you have played (60), which let's us have a wonderful exercise in comparative stat-play.

If they say your batting has become worse since you became captain, tell them this:
As a captain, you've scored 1800 runs at an average of 45 with 3 centuries and 14 fifties, strike rate 58.
As a non-captain, you've scored 1422 runs at an average of 33 with 1 century and 9 fifties, strike rate 62.

If they say, your captaincy sucks and you have put up a good record by beating up on a couple of teams, tell them this:
You have registered Test victories against 7 different nations (Zimbabwe and Pakistan are missing but you've never captained against them). In those victories you average over 56 runs an inning.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Future rewards

Dear MS Dhoni,

Things are not as dire as they may seem. This Indian team reached the #1 ranking over a period of time. You may have lost consecutive Tests to start a series for the first time ever, but fret not, you are still India's best option as a captain. Just as you did not become a splendid captain overnight, you did not become a horrible one in the span of two Tests either.

The Bell run-out fiasco is done and dusted with. However, there is one unintended consequence that will play into your hands as the series progresses. By invoking the nebulous "Spirit of Cricket", the two Andys may have put you in a bind but in the long term it is going to come back to haunt them. Can you imagine the furore the next time they are in a position where they have to uphold the "Spirit of Cricket" and fail to do it? The media will be more than happy to pull them up for their double standards. In time, this decision will reap its rewards. For the rest of their career, Strauss and Flower will have this millstone hanging around their neck. After all, they instigated the whole thing by knocking on your door at tea time.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Travel: Day 6 - Puerto Rico - In the footsteps of James Bond

One of the advantages of teaching at a small liberal arts institution is the freedom to design and offer courses that are close to your heart. In January 2011, I was fortunate enough to lead a group of 6 students through the world of Tropical Ecology. Apart from not being in the right ecosystem, Nebraska in the winter is definitely not the place to have field trips about Tropical Ecology. Consequently, one portion of the course involved a 10-day trip to Puerto Rico where we got to see for ourselves all the things we talked about in the classroom.

This is a travelogue of our adventures together, the sights we saw, the things we did, and the lessons we learned. (You can see all the previous posts in this thread here).

After 4 fantastic days at Guánica, it was with a heavy heart that we bid adieu to our temporary home. MB and LP let us know in no uncertain terms what they felt about heading back to San Juan.

(Miranda Beran 2011)

So, one final photoshoot later we left Mary Lee's By the Sea. (If you are ever in Puerto Rico and are looking for a place to stay, you have all the information you need!)

(Andrew Jacobsen 2011)