Empty thoughts and mutterings

Friday, March 31, 2006

Looking at 2007..

A lot has been going on in Indian cricket lately. The never ending Ganguly-Selectors controversy, the chappell-Ganguly spat, escaped e-mails, sachin being booed in bombay, the mumbai debacle, quiet dominance in ODI's and the list goes on. Building for the future has been the selection committee's mantra. I agree with the concept, but not with how it is being executed. Closing the doors on ganguly might not have been a bad thing for the future, but doing it after some decent performances leaves one bewildered at the goings on. Somebody has to pay the price for all the messy politics up top, and Saurav's the chosen victim. Although I sypmathize with how a great indian captain has been shown the door awkwardly, If I were building a team for the world cup, Saurav would not figure in the scheme of things as well. Ofcourse, a string of good performances, could get him back in, but as of now, he's a non starter.

Pace: The Indian pace department looks promising after ages. Pathan will continue to be the backbone, because of his ability to break big partnerships and his ability to swing the ball both ways (that is a terrfic skill IMO). Sreesanth has very good mechanics and uses his shoulder to generate good pace and bounce. Although there's not great swing, his length is impressive, and his attitude as a fast bowler has impressed me. Munaf patel, can bowl a lot of wicket taking deliveries on his day. More so than any other seamer in the team. But he is very unpredictable. Slips one way down the leg slide after two good attempts at a yorker and lets the pressure slip up. A little more grooming will help. RP singh, has the left handers line going for him, and has the knack of picking up wickets. A yard of pace added will suit him well. Zaheer khan is out as of now, unless he can get himself back in with a string of wonderful performances. Agarkar in my opinion should be out and not considered !

Spin: As for the spinners, the selectors seem to have got it into their head that playing kumble in ODI's will not work for us in the long term. So I guess he's out for sure. I don't quite agreee with this. You can call him old, and you can call him tired, but today, he's still our best bet for a wicket ! Harbhajan is a good one day bowler, and is a definite help and his selection is a formality. Piyush chawla needs a few more games in the domestic circuit. A few good tours, can make his case. Romesh powar is a bits and pieces cricketer at best, and I don't have a great feeling about this guy. He's about 5'5 and must weight like 200. He does field well and run well given his size. But he really looks unfit. And also, his bowling has nothing to write home about. If it were left to me, I wouldn't get his hopes up too much. It might be worth spending more energy on some richer, raw "er" spin talent than focussing on the likes of powar.

Wicketkeeping: This really is simple. Dhoni's gelled into the team real well. He has a great head on his shoulders. His keeping has been decent but can be improved. The important thing is that he's becoming a match winner that we have always yearned for (not just with slogging, but also with responsible batting). Dravid should don the pads, in case of injury to Dhoni. That way, we can save a slot, for another position.

Batting: Sehwag could have had a bad patch. But if he can find his groove, he can take the match away in a matter of a few overs. I will always take that chance with him. Sachin had a good run in pakistan and I believe his expereince should help India a lot. Gambhir will be my #3 opener in the event that he's required. Dravid at #3 and Yuvi at #4 pick themselves easily. Kaif I believe is a great team man and he should walk in at #5 and one good innings will make all the non believers eat their words. Raina is a great talent. Looking at his style, he's more a top order batsman than a #6. But till a slot opens up in the top order, he has to prove himself at #6. Pathan and dhoni add solidity to the line up. Venugopal rao and Dheeraj Jadhav will have to wait in the wings.

So here's my consolidated list (If I had my way):

1. Sehwag
2 Sachin
3. Gambhir
4. Dravid
5. Yuvraj
6. Kaif
7. Raina
8. Dhoni
9. Pathan
15.R.P singh

Waiting in the wings

1. V.R.V Singh
2. Venugopal rao
3. Ramesh powar (reluctantly :))

What do you have to say ? Do you have anybody else in mind ?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Oh him ? He has a balanced head on his shoulders. He’s the one to talk to, if you need help.
Oh him? He’s irresponsible. Can’t take his own decisions himself. How’s he going to help you ?
Oh him ? He’s a nice guy. Helpful and caring and generous!
Oh him ? All he does is talk trash about other people ! Look at his smile. So fake !
Oh him ? He’s so down to earth and easily approachable. Wish I could do it like he does.
Oh him ? He doesn’t have the time for us. He’s too busy with those important people.
Oh him ? He’s the one that made me do the things I didn’t know I could.
Oh him ? He’s the one that puts a road block on the spirits of talented youngsters.
Oh him ? He has so many friends, he won’t need me.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Wildcat madness, Steroids and WBC

As much as I’d like to see UK go far in the tournament, I realize the prospects for a final four are slim to none. We have been mediocre all year through, losing at home to far inferior teams and not gelling as a unit. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember one high profiled win that we can write home about. Beating Tennessee at Tennessee is probably the closest, but I don’t know about Tennessee being a # 2 seed, I have my reservations about that! I ask myself, what is the problem here? Where did we lose the big battle? It starts with Tubby Smith. Don’t get me wrong. I love Tubby. Just like those big guys say on TV, if I had a choice, I’d like my kid to play for him. He’s just the thorough professional who understands the value of a good college education. But his recruiting abilities have come under the microscope. Sometimes I get the impression that the concepts of “Team Basketball” are over emphasized. Extremely talented players like Randolph morris, Rajan Rondo, Joe Crawford are made to don the role of team players and are forced to come off the bench, or given a paltry 16 minutes per game and team players like sheray Thomas, Lukaz obrzut and Bobby perry that have zero ball handling skills and shooting skills, play about 20 minutes a game. It is important for a team to gel together. But I think Tubby’s going overboard with his policy. After all, your best players have to play the longest, come on, it’s just common sense. You can’t make Sachin play at #9, because Harbhajan scored 2 fifties, can you ? ! "Kaathaadi kku vaal irukkudhu ndrathunaala korangu parakka mudiyuma ?" :)

Are Sammy Sosa, Mark Mcgwire and Barry Bonds Juiced? There is no question in my mind that they are/were. The solution to this is not extremely simplified however. Everybody wants to know if they deserve to be in the hall of fame. The answer is simple. No. They don’t. They clearly got an added edge over their predecessors. That is simply not allowed! They tarnished the reputation of the game, and for that reason, they should not be allowed to go to the Hall. I don’t understand Bonds’ repeated indifference to this question. I understand his irritation. But not once has he answered the question! I say, just come out clean and give all the details. It’s not like people still believe he didn’t use it. Everybody knows he used it. It’s well documented. Who is he hiding from? Coming out clean, may actually salvage some of his lost reputation. That aside, I wonder... Whose fault is all this? Rewind 5 years.. “Sammy sosa and Mark Mcgwire are on a HR fest. I (Bonds) am technically a better hitter than either of those guys. My technique should allow for more HR than either of them. But why do I hit 37 in a season and watch these guys hit 65 and 70? Everybody seems to be using this crap. Am I the only one missing out on some solid numbers here? Yes. If I get caught, my reputation’s going for a walk. But what the heck, it’s MLB, they don’t test here!”. And it is hard for people not to think that way. Because if you’re a rookie and looking to make a mark in the majors, a couple of extra HR’s can only help your cause. And if you’re a mid level guy and earning 3 million a year, those HR’s can get you $ 7 million a year. What? Am I stupid to miss out on those extra millions ? I know who’s to blame. Bud selig and the baseball players union ! That’s who !

“Idhuekkellam kaaranam yaaru ? suhrawardy a ..ille?
Barrister jinnah va ? NO
Gandhi. Barrister Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi”

Did any of you happen to notice the batting line up for the Dominican in the WBC? I did and was stunned. 1. Alfonso Soriano 2. Miggy Tejada 3. Albert Pujols 4. David Ortiz 5. Adrian Beltre 6. Moises Alou. This because Vlad Guererro was not healthy. Imagine the line up if he had been. For non baseball fans, that’s the cricket equivalent of 1.Sachin 2. Gilchrist 3. Lara 4. Ponting 5. Inzy and 6. Pietersen .Mahanadhila shobana sr. solra dialogue dhaan nyabagathukku varudhu. "Ponga da dei, ethanai per ra" !!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Monday morning rambling:

When people complained about Monday mornings, I always thought they were complaining because they loved to complain. But, guess not. This is real ! At first, I thought this was a one time thing. But 6-7 weeks later, I know this is a trend, that’s going to stick to me for a while. Mondays are when have you have the most work to do, and the least enthusiasm to do it with. All the good feelings you had about your “team” on friday is now all gone, and you feel like a loner, not wanting to talk to anybody. The same song you were singing loud with on Friday evening plays itself out unnoticed! It’s so ironical, it’s almost funny. But you don’t see the humor in it. It’s Monday!

Just want to write a little note on 2 songs that I listened to recently.

“Enga area kitta varaadhe” from Pudhupettai – In spite of this being a lift from “who let the dogs out”, I liked the song. Captures the “housing board” mood of madras, to perfection. The hip-hop mix, is a thing that I am starting to enjoy. Yuvan’s ability to adapt it to Thamizh movies, is admirable. Dhanush’s voice fits like a Tee !

“Kaattile” from Pattiyal – A great mix of “Nethu oruthara oruthar paathom” and “aadaludan paadalai serthu”. Raja’s voice was youthful and refreshing. Good hip-hop feel to the song.