Thursday, March 31, 2011

Opinions on... Shahid Khan Afridi

Best Blog Tips

Shahid Afridi is a joy to watch. Like Virendra Sehwag his game is untouched by modern coaching techniques. Both offer such tremendous value to their teams that often strategies are formed around the pure skills they offer. Both have evolved their skills, keeping a strong connection to their roots and culture.

Born, a Pathan, in a tribal areas near Afghanistan, where the word of the Afridis was the law, Shahid Afridi considers gun toting 12 year olds as "part of the culture". Shooting a gun is a "normal thing" to him and he often goes to a shooting range near the Afghanistan border to fire M16s.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Catches win matches

Best Blog Tips

At some point you have to stop feeling sorry for Pakistan. Like South Africa who always choke whenever they are on the verge of greatness, Pakistan never give themselves a chance just when you expect something reasonably rational from them.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crude Oil and Gasoline

Best Blog Tips

Crude oil and gasoline are both combustible, highly inflammable and can devour anything when raging into a full blown fire. But both have completely different characteristics.

Pakistan and India's cricket teams are like that. Pakistan is like crude oil, earthy, raw and needing a refinery. India, on the other hand, are refined under John Wright and Gary Kirsten, methodical and in full bloom.

But both teams on their day have the same impact. They annihilate the opposition.

Portraits: Shahid Khan Afridi

Best Blog Tips

Should I play Shoaib Akhtar?

See Also

Monday, March 28, 2011

India to concede '92 and '99 wins to Pakistan

Best Blog Tips

There is no such thing as the 'Law of Averages'. I first heard this term during the 1987 World Cup, when after a streak of Indian wins, Ajit Wadekar in a television interview, suggested that India are due for a loss as indicated by his mastery over the 'Law of Averages'. 

Now, I am no mathematician but there is wikipedia.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Portraits: Yuvraj Singh

Best Blog Tips

That India needed Yuvraj Singh to fire to come anywhere near the World Cup was the pre-tournament wisdom. That in spite of Sachin and Zaheer on top of their games; it is Yuvraj who is the most valuable player on the team; is a bit baffling.

It tells a story. Yuvraj Singh is truly an ODI great. This is the good part of the story. The bad part; is that everyone else pretty much are passengers on the train en route to get Sachin a World Cup

See Also

Saturday, March 26, 2011

England Match Report #5: Sri Lanka (Ashes devalued)

Best Blog Tips

In these uncertain economic times. there is bad news for cricket. The ongoing ICC Cricket world Cup may guarantee a blockbuster closing but Test cricket's marquee event "The Ashes" has lost 75% of its valuation over the last few weeks. This according to the "American Institute for Valuations of all things Sports"  (AIVS)

Valued at well over $500 Million of today's dollars just before World War II, its valuation according  to AIVS Chief Valuator, Guesty Mate, peaked to about a $750 million dollars; also in today's dollars; in the 1950s. Its valuation has declined steadily since but what we are seeing now is an unprecedented acceleration in its devaluation.

Quarter final predictions - Time for introspection

Best Blog Tips

We suck at predicting out comes of cricket matches. A 50% accuracy rate is not shameful but its getting kind of difficult to back our 100% guarantee.

Okay, so we got the West Indies and England losses wrong. 2 of the most boring one sided games in the World Cup. One way of looking at it would be that we were way off the mark. We weren't even in the frame.

Another way to look at it; which we prefer; is that we got the South African upset right and we correctly predicted that India will dethrone Australia as champions. So if you notice, we are big match predictors. Give us a big game and we will rise to the occasion.

Our previous predictions

Juicy Semi-Final Line ups

Best Blog Tips

The monetary health of cricket has been assured by this World Cup. What better semi-final line up than the three power-houses of the sub-continent to line up in the semi-finals. An India Pakistan semi-final or final is the dream of TV broadcasters world wide. Move over superbowl, an Indo-Pak semi-final or final is the ultimate. Should Sri Lanka get past New Zealand, a sub-continental team is assured of winning the World Cup. This is stating the obvious and I assure didn't take any genius on my part to figure out. The reason I even say it is because the death of the ODIs is now delayed. Golandaaz and I were both not huge fans of ODIs due to their becoming stale. But this world cup has definitely re-energized the format. However, sundry bilateral series still have no worth.

South Africa favorites for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup

Best Blog Tips

We bring you a preview of the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup to be held in Australia. Something tells us, we are safely the first ones off the block.

We at Opinions, on behalf of our South African readership (which stands at 2)  like to let go and move on. We, in our minds moved so far ahead that we find ourselves in the Australian summer of 2015...

What must hurt South Africa's fans is that the loss to New Zealand was not even a choke. They lost before one could argue they had a firm grasp of the game. New Zealand beat  them while never really allowing South Africa get in front.

It was a typical kiwi win but a very un-Protean loss. Anyways, as we said; time to move on towards the summer of 2015

Friday, March 25, 2011

Quarter final predictions 2 - Courtesy Update

Best Blog Tips

We are not the kind of people who get any thrills from saying.... "We told you so...." 

For that we'll let our work speak for it self - Quarter final predictions - New and Improved.

We certainly get a boost to hear from our customers who have come to depend on our predictions. The only ones in the industry that come with a 100% money back guarantee and did we mention accuracy and precision.

Express your satisfaction with our predictions by liking us on facebook and following us on twitter.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar

Best Blog Tips

I don't want Ricky Ponting to retire.

I think I now know what Ricky Ponting needs to do for people to start liking him. He needs to bat like he batted at Motera in the quarter-finals against India. We may all rejoice at an Indian win but now that the victory has sunk in, it feels like India teamed up to beat Ricky Ponting.

And for just a while Ricky Ponting was ahead.

India combine to dump Australia

Best Blog Tips

Finally, India came to the party as a team. The bowlers, fielders and batsmen all showed up and executed the script well. Munaf, Sehwag and Dhoni were compensated for with ease. Ashwin bowled like a frontline bowler. Zaheer and Harbhajan manned up and bowled the crucial overs. Yuvraj did his bowling part really well and Tendulkar and Kohli didn’t give it away.

Wicket keeping is overrated

Best Blog Tips

Pakistan's dismantling of the West Indies and qualification to the World Cup semi-finals has proved one thing. In modern times; especially in one day cricket; wicket keeping is over rated.

If you have a good bowling attack, a decent enough batting line up, fielding skills adequate enough to allow you run towards the general vicinity of the ball, and a captain who has experience eating balls in search of reverse swing, then you can make a serious run at the World Cup trophy even with Kamran Akmal in your side.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Quarter final predictions 2 - New and Improved

Best Blog Tips

Our stringent quality control process has detected a minor defect in the manufacturing of "Quarter final predictions". We have issued a worldwide recall of all "Quarter final predictions" products sold prior to today.

After working with our lawyers it was determined that with our prediction there was an implied assumption that it was for quarter final games. By definition all quarter finals are "contests". The match between Pakistan and West Indies was not a contest. This can be proved in any court of law beyond any reasonable doubt.

Thus legally we are not obligated to any warranty claims. It is entirely from the goodness of our hearts that we are issuing this recall and replacing the old predictions with our latest "Quarter final predictions 2"

Our loyal customers and casual customers who bought our product while looking for something more substantial who still feel they deserve a refund of their monies can get it by visiting this link - Product Refunds - and clicking the "refund my money" button which some may allege looks like a facebook "like" button. You can clearly see there; right next to the button; how many refunds have already been processed.

Alternatively you can get the refund without leaving the security of this site itself. Just look for the facebook "like" like button; which is really the refund button on the top left part of this site.

Now to our new and improved predictions. Enhancements have been clearly marked.

Australia have the advantage

Best Blog Tips

Australia should take care of business versus India based on recent form. India will have to lift their game up by several notches if they are to win. Australia can be counted upon to be disciplined in their execution. From a batting stand-point, they will likely blunt Harbhajan and Zaheer well and score against the remaining bowlers. Ashwin and Yuvraj will be the key to India's bowling fortunes because they are likely to be attacked by Australia. Ashwin is likely to be tight, but Munaf and Yuvraj could give it away.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quarter final predictions

Best Blog Tips

Earlier, before the tournament started Vidooshak correctly predicted 50% of the upsets. It could well have been 75% had Pollard not dislocated his finger. Even our predictions for 2011 were more or less accurate...Perhaps more on the less side; but as the year processes the less will dissolve into more. 

Emboldened by our ability to forecast all things cricket, correctly, we present predictions for the quarter finals. It comes with an absolute 100% guarantee. If for any reason you are unhappy with it due to things like DRS and match fixing; which are frankly beyond reasonable levels of control; we would be happy to refund your money back

Ponting's View

Best Blog Tips

During the 1980 Golden Jubilee Test - Botham's Test is more apt however, Indian captain GR Viswanath persuaded umpire Hanumant Rao to change his decision. The umpire gave Taylor out; caught behind to the bowling of Kapil Dev.

Taylor protested the decision and Gundappa Viswanath convinced the umpire to change his decision and rule Taylor not out.

In a low scoring game, Taylor's partnership of 171 with Ian Botham; who scored a century and took 13 wickets in the Test Match; was the game changer. Taylor got his reprieve when the partnership was worth 85

We asked Australia's Ricky Ponting to caption the 2 pictures

Ricky Ponting
A man of unquestionable integrity
Always undermined the
Umpires Authority

Monday, March 21, 2011

Asset Utilization

Best Blog Tips

The India team is much smarter than people are giving it credit. Financial analysts believe that if Team India were were a corporate stock that they were trading, they would be bidding it up much more than other teams.

In the ideal scenario, India would have had wicket number 10 fall on the last ball of the innings while running the 5th run or securing 5 wides. What journalists and bloggerazzi routinely term as a collapse is being laughed off by financial wizards as naivette and bumpkinry.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

How to bat 50 overs - A Finishing School for IPL batsmen

Best Blog Tips

Run by experienced professional ex-cricketers from across cricket playing nations, the ICC today unvieled plans for a "finishing school". The school will focus on providing a budding cricketer; typically from the Indian middle order; the finishing touches that will make him ready for the big leagues.

Finishing schools are a big phenomenon across the globe after a recent UN study found that traditional universities, sports academies and league structures are unable to produce skills required by the industry.

This includes cricket...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Indian team for West Indies

Best Blog Tips

India take on West Indies at Chennai over the weekend. They are desperately looking to gain some credibility as contenders. Australia and South Africa look like runaway favorites at this time. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have also asserted themselves at different times in the tournament. New Zealand too have won in style against Pakistan. England eked out a great win against South Africa.

Portraits: Shoaib Akhtar

Best Blog Tips

For most Indians Shoaib Akhtar will always be the man who silenced Eden Gardens.

An entertainer first, his personality seemed pretty one dimensional to me. Then he saved Kamran Akmal's life. By not killing him. Age does funny things.

Its time to say good bye he said. No one knows if Kamran Akmal caught it.

See Also

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Partnership

Best Blog Tips

They have just now ordered dessert.

That's according to the latest reports coming out of the restaurant where Rahul and Laxman are having dinner. The date was set a few weeks back. Both unaware that it corresponded with the 10th anniversary of probably the greatest day in India's Test cricket history.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dealing with India's imminent World cup exit

Best Blog Tips

Let's face it. We all know India ain't going to make it.

Win the world cup; that is.

We may be in denial but laborious wins against the minnows and Bangladesh and non-wins against South Africa and England; do tell a story. Team India has insulated themselves from the real world and also abandoned common sense in the process.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Its Dhoni's Turn

Best Blog Tips

To get their mind off the loss to South Africa, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar indulge in a game of scrabble.

Its Dhoni's turn...

Opinions on... Taj Malik

Best Blog Tips

It is mind boggling to think that today's World cup game between New Zealand and Canada could have easily been between New Zealand and Afghanistan or It could well have been Australia v Afghanistan instead of Kenya.

I am not much of a fan of too many associate nations in the World Cup, but I just finished watching a wonderful movie with the most endearing of cricket coaches and I am no longer sure that I agree with myself.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

India's Explosive Middle Order

Best Blog Tips

Steyn steps on India's hopes

For a more authentic match report...

India Out-Choke South Africa

Best Blog Tips

India conspired to deny South Africa their title of the ultimate chokers by laying claim to it themselves. In fact, they choked twice in a match and seemed to dare South Africa to out-do that. Robin Peterson decided that he couldn't do worse and robbed Nehra of 13 runs in the final over to let India be the undisputed choke champions.

Porterfield is wrong

Best Blog Tips

The LBW law is way too complicated. Just consider the data points to gather for anyone entrusted with making a decision.

The Line of the ball - did it pitch outside the line of the leg stump,

The Height - would it have missed the top of the stump,

The Point of impact - when the ball did hit the batsman? Did it hit he batsman in the line of the stumps,

What was the batsman doing - was the batsman offering a shot.

The Length - How far down the pitch was the batsman

Where did the ball hit? The bat, the pad, both and if so; what was the sequence

Friday, March 11, 2011

England Match Report #4: Bangladesh (England dig themselves a hole)

Best Blog Tips

- By Real Dave Richardson (Former South African cricketer and current ICC General Manager)

I am pleased to announce that the ICC has reconsidered its stance on inviting the "minnows" at the next World Cup in 2015. After careful thought, deliberation and consideration we have decided to invite all ICC Associate members to the 2015 World Cup.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Bowlers Bill of Rights

Best Blog Tips

In the age of revolts, there has been a similar movement led by Real Sarfaraz Nawaaz; on behalf of all the world's bowlers in LOI formats. The game is too batsman oriented he says. The benefit of the doubt is always with the batsman. If things keep trending the way they have been; with free-hits, field restrictions and strict leg-side wides; scores of 500 will be routine, he says.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A few thoughts on the contenders

Best Blog Tips

 The first spark in the world cup was undoubtedly Imran Tahir. He seemed to be that X-factor that South Africa have never had and to me for a brief time South Africa  looked like genuine contenders. Then they failed to chase 170 against England and things seemed depressingly the same for South Africa.And now Imran Tahir fractured his thumb. South Africa have seemed less and less appetizing as the tournament has progressed. Kallis is not in form and they don't have a real wicket keeper. The way Kamran Akmal has derailed Pakistan's chances, it is very likely South Africa will learn the same lesson. The wisdom of dropping Mark Boucher is lost on me. The loss to England is bound to have a bigger impact on their self confidence.

India Decimate Netherlands

Best Blog Tips

The title is deliberately misleading. This was the fantasy of most Indian fans who expect India to win the World Cup in style. This stems from how some of the previous winners have done it. Sri Lanka, Australia and West Indies dominated other teams and earned legitimacy as World Cup winners. India and Pakistan, the other winners, weren't as convincing but were fairy tale winners.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Opinions on... Kamran Akmal

Best Blog Tips

We have seen spinners bowling with the new ball. Wicketkeepers doubling up as opening batsmen. Spinners bowling in the power play is also not new. In fact this World Cup it self has seen many of these innovations in play; including Munaf Patel holding a catch while sitting on his butt; allegedly because there was no other way to avoid getting hit by the ball.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Best Blog Tips

Bangladesh today threatened to bounce back. This had England cowering in fright. But after Andrew Strauss read the Cricinfo article carefully, he recovered his composure. After the thrashing they received at the hands of West Indies, Bangladesh decided to take the day off and their mind off cricket and practiced relay racing. Don't believe me, Cricinfo tell us this.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

India Match Report #3: Ireland (India accelerate regression)

Best Blog Tips

India today further regressed in their campaign for the world cup. It was a day the, 3 legitimate contenders from Group B made differing statements.

England showed they have "True Grit"

South Africa showed that the stammer in the "King's Speech" is as chronic as before

India in huffing and puffing their way to a win over Ireland seemed to have embraced their dark side like Nina from "The Black Swan".

The breaking news of the day however is the resignation of Yusuf Pathan...

England Match Report #3: South Africa (England deliver another thriller)

Best Blog Tips

-- By Real Robert A Eckert (Chairman and CEO of Mattel Toys)

I would like to thank our customers world wide for the success of the Mattell "toy cricketers" . Kids have loved our new concept; of cricketer dolls in their country colors.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

India v Ireland: Its just another game

Best Blog Tips

Apart from the usual problems of player ageing associated with such a long tournament; the organizers also have to deal with the seasons. A tournament which started in winter in one part of the host country has now entered the monsoon season in another.

Friday, March 4, 2011

What a waste of time!

Best Blog Tips

One swallow does not make a summer. Barring one game where the Irish upset England spectacularly, the associates and minnows have been a perfect waste of time. Today's games were over even before I switched on my television set. Bangladesh, Canada, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Ireland should play in the Deodhar trophy and not in a World Cup. In fact, I would shudder to even put them into Australia's or South Africa's domestic tournament. Kevin O'Brien, Shakib and other good players in these teams can display their wares in the IPL for spectators to relish.

Shahid Afridi - The Lion King?

Best Blog Tips

Shahid Khan Afridi - The Lion King

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pakistan Match Report #1: Canada (Pakistan need a cause)

Best Blog Tips

- By Real Imram Khan

There are 3 elements to my world famous "Cornered Tigers Theory"

  1. You need to be a team of tigers
  2. You need to be cornered
  3. You need a noble cause (Like building a cancer hospital)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Naked World Cup

Best Blog Tips

This is a World Cup full of exposes. England exposed India a few days ago by nearly hunting down their massive total of 338 runs. India's bowlers ended up looking really awful, except for Zaheer who produced the sole highlight for them.

India, however, did their own by exposing the DRS. Ian Bell's non-dismissal exposed DRS's and ICC's (no intentional pun) shortcomings. Dhoni was upset at the "adulteration" of technology by humans. How dare they? Humans have only the right to invent technology with limitations. They cannot interfere with it. Let technology take over the world.

England Match Report #2: Ireland (England O'verwhelmed)

Best Blog Tips

- From Real Darren Gough

Let the St. Patrick's day celebrations begin. To mark England's Ashes series victory in Australia.

For some reason a lot of Irish cricketers were cheering England's Ashes win at a game in Bangalore, immediately after Stuart Broad conceded a boundary off the first ball of his and England's last over. Immediately after that boundary, the Irish cricketers erupted in celebration. Perhaps news of England's Ashes win took its time to reach the Irish players and dressing room