Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The speck in God's eye

This one's for you, GS.

I am sure you have heard of The Shard.  The next time you are in London you should try to do what this blogger did.  (Either way, I'm sure you'll enjoy the piece, once you get past the initial paragraphs that are not really helping his narrative.)

A much better piece on that architectural project comes from Roger Ebert's blog.  Ebert may have lost the ability to speak but he has definitely not lost his voice.

(For more photos of the structure itself, click here).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A tale of two chases

I give you two scenarios:

A)  The #1 ranked team in the world is playing the #7th ranked team.  The #1 team has 47 overs to chase 180 runs to win on the 5th day of the Test match.

B)  The #4 ranked team in the world is playing the same #7 ranked team.  The #4 team has about 50 overs to chase 192 to win on the 5th day of the Test match.

One of the teams won the match and the other drew the match.  Which was which?

Team A was India in the West Indies last year.  Team B was Australia in the West Indies yesterday. India settled for the draw despite losing just 3 wickets (with Laxman, Dravid, Dhoni, and Kohli still not out)., Australia chased the win, not letting up even though they lost 7 wickets along the way.

A year later, the botched Indian chase (and its farcical end) still stings.  Yes, it helped preserve India's #1 ranking but it also betrayed a safety-first mindset that came back and bit the Indian team really badly on the next two away tours to England and Australia.  MS Dhoni's timid captaincy shocked me and, in my mind, he has never shaken that tag since then. The seeds for the winter of discontent had been sown a few weeks earlier, but the weeds began to flourish on that sad day in the Windies.

It would not surprise me one bit if Australia continued to climb the rankings and overtake India in the near future.  They deserve to because they play to win.

If you do not fear failure, success will soon follow in your wake.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Hat tip

One Saturday evening, RT and I exchanged text messages in anticipation of the final round of the Master's tournament.  One thing we agreed upon was that the winner would not come from the final pairing of Peter Hanson or Phil Mickelson.

My pick was Louis Oosthuizen.  RT picked his namesake - Bubba Watson.

20 holes later, Bubba came through with a shot for the ages.

This post is to acknowledge how prescient RT was.  Too bad he wasn't as prescient when he picked Duke to go all the way a few weeks ago.

Anyway, I owe him a G&T the next time we meet in August.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Georgie Porgie

Here's Darren Sammy's take on how the recent Test series against India played out:

"In India, where teams don't go there and win, we went out and played and dominated India in two out of three Test matches. "
Darren Sammy

Are you reading this MS Dhoni?  Are your teammates in the Test team listening?  India won the 3-Test series 2-0 and the third one was an insane "draw" where the scores were level at the end!!  But Darren Sammy thinks that the Windies "dominated India in two out of three Test matches."

Do you know the sad thing, Masada?  Coming as the series did, sandwiched in between two 0-4 drubbings, I had to think for a few minutes before remembering how the series against the Windies played out.

More importantly, does it even matter to you that a vanquished opponent is now revising past history and no one even cares to remember that it was probably otherwise?  Do you care?

Oh wait, I forgot, you have more important matters to attend to...

Why do I even bother?

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Why I hate Rahul Dravid...and other random musings

....I hate Rahul Dravid.    I hate him for making me believe that as long as he was batting we had a chance to save/win a Test match.  I hate him for being such a team-man that he sacrificed so many of his preferences just so the team could do well.  I hate him for timing his retirement so perfectly that even the BCCI could not botch it.  I hate him the fact that, for years, he prevented VVS Laxman from occupying the #3 spot that he was best suited for.  But the thing I hate most is that he is no longer going to be there in the Indian line-up at #3.  *sigh*  I hate that he has gone away and I will never see him in whites again.  Good luck, Rahul, may you find that retirement is just the starting point of the more meaningful phase of your life.

...VVS Laxman should be seriously contemplating playing county cricket in England.  Any sort of cricket to keep him "match-fit" for the Test matches later in the year will be a must.  Unless, of course, he already knows that he is going to retire soon and not play those Test matches.

...If folks can change their stance and switch hit, then I say we abolish the amnesty that batsmen get from being adjudged LBW to balls outside the leg-stump.

...I do not want Sachin Tendulkar to retire.  (There, I said it, BRB....bring it on!)

...I don't follow the IPL but I also do not follow the logic of folks who claim that the IPL is a domestic tournament.  As long as the strength of an IPL team is determined by the strength of the foreign players in the roster, it can never be a domestic tournament.   Having said that...let me know when the tournament ends so I can go back to reading CricInfo regularly again.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Cold dishes

365 day ago (or was it 366?) was the last time I cried.  One year removed from that day, it is hard to imagine that I may be crying for an altogether different reason.  What a price to pay!

The world has turned upside down and, yet, there is reason for hope.  New Zealand will be here for a tour, followed by England, before Australia comes back to face the music as promised by the miserable tourists when they were being pummeled by Australia.

But before that is the beast that needs to be fed, the IPL.  May the best team win.  I would rather watch Sri Lanka and England battle it out.