Wednesday, May 30, 2012

IPL 2012 – What did we learn about Indian Cricket?

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That Gautam Gambhir was a good vice-captain choice and had he not burned his bridges with Dhoni, would have become the next captain.
That Virender Sehwag is a version of Big Moose from Archie comics. He needs to limit his brain to thinking batting and not captaincy. Dropping Morkel was perhaps the stupidest move ever in a cricket game of extreme importance.
That Rohit Sharma is a fantastic prospect if he sorts out his mental troubles. His shot selection at times was too risky. He perhaps has the talent to pull those shots off, but he is playing for the galleries instead of the team.
That Ajinkya Rahane with somewhat less amount of talent than Rohit Sharma has outdone his Mumbai team-mate due to his discipline. And that he will score better runs (maybe not more) than Rohit Sharma.
That Manoj Tiwary and Murali Vijay have the class to play at the highest levels if only they had good coaches and a sustained run.
That Rahul Dravid continues to inspire in ways that Sachin Tendulkar has never managed to.
That Sachin Tendulkar has become a caricature of his exalted self. The best batsmen the world has ever seen will also be the one with the worst retirement plan ever.
That Saurav Ganguly has finally realized that his batting and captaincy like his hair-style are passé.
That Virat Kohli still has some time to go before he becomes one of the elites. See number one above. India would do well to transition from Dhoni to Gambhir instead of moving Kohli up the food chain.
That India has fast bowlers galore, but they need Wasim Akram to coach them and not Venkatesh Prasad or TA Sekhar.
That Paul Valthaty, Saurabh Tiwary, Manoj Pandey, Yusuf Pathan and Manvinder Bisla have all already had their 15 minutes of fame.
That India has no spin bowlers with heart worth their name except R. Ashwin.
That Harbhajan Singh’s test career is well and truly over.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kapil Dev does not exist : BCCI

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The BCCI today denied a well accepted fact that Kapil Dev exists.

“As far as we are concerned, such a cricketer never played for India and that is the only reason why he has not received any benefit payment” said Mr. Ratnakar Shetty, BCCI Chief Administrative Officer

When reminded that a certain Kapil Dev led India to a series win in England and got India its first world cup…

“Look, this is all created by the media. We have yet to receive in writing that such a player existed. See, you guys talk and write about some 175* scored by a certain Kapil Dev, but that simply is not true, no one even has any video evidence…not even India TV” he added

There were many who were initially shocked at BCCI’s largess in distributing $12.7 M USD among India’s ex cricketers.

This was not the BCCI many have grown to know, it appeared at that time. The conspiracy theorists too were shocked to even conjure up a conspiracy around why the BCCI is doing this. Then the BCCI showed its pettiness and there was a collective sigh of relief…”Yeah this is the BCCI we know…”

Even their generosity cannot mask their pettiness, vindictiveness and a collective meager intellect

We at Opinions have received (through our sources at the BCCI) a list of Top 10 recipients of the benefit payments. The list should not surprise any one. Here it is in order of sums received

  1. Ravi Shastri – The tail ender
  2. Harsha Bhogle
  3. Ravi Shastri – The opening batsman
  4. Ravi Shastri – The bowler
  5. L Sivaramakrishnan
  6. Ravi Shastri – The captain
  7. Ravi Shastri – The all rounder
  8. Ravi Shastri – The Champion of Champions
  9. Sunil Gavaskar
  10. Danny Morrison

The 11th man on the list is Ravi Shastri – The middle order batsman

We see no point in questioning why Harsha Bhogle and Danny Morrison are on that list.

Monday, May 21, 2012

IPL 5 Playoff Predictions

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KKR will beat DD in the first qualifier.

Juhi Chawla will tweet that KKR should thank SRK for the win because had he not showed up, none of the cricketers would have turned up to play either.

Rahul Sharma will not give up cricket.

CSK will eliminate Mumbai Indians.

Stories about cricketers sleeping with cheer leaders will fail to shock anyone. Least of all the players' wives and girl friends.

Aamir Khan in his episode for Satyamev Jayate will expose the 'casting couch' that forces young 'budding' cricketers to perform sexual favors for franchise owners and owneresses in return for IPL contracts. Aamir asks all of us to dig deep within us to find a solution.

Kirti Azad will break his fast.

CSK will win the second qualifier

Sachin Tendulkar will appear (to celebrate 43 days and 234 seconds since his 100th 100) on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Edition. In blonde hair and a polka dotted male bikini. Sales of Playboy and subscriptions to porn sites among Indian males will take a hit; across the world. Sachin will say   "I am a sportsman not a bikini model, the cover photo is in recognition of my contribution to the field of sports"

Indian government issues show cause notice to IPL franchises for failure to pay adequate taxes on IPL income. The franchises, in response, will fire all the security guards and to show how seriously they take their corporate responsibility suspend the cheerleaders for 35 seconds. 

CSK will win the IPL5

Some obscure TV channel will claim "proof" that the RCB v DC game was fixed. The tape will show school kids talking about Harry Potter. 

SRK's Wankhede ban will be over turned and millions will show up at the stadium even when no match is taking place, proving Juhi Chawla was right.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


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Gaelic: Is an adjective that means “pertaining to or belonging to the Gayle style of batsmanship”. The style originated in the vicinity of the not so ancient Caribbean islands with modern historians interpreting ancient African manuscripts as providing the precise origin to be Jamaica.

While historically most batting styles can be described using scoring methods and rates, stroke preferences, feet movement there has never been a common understanding of what Gaelic batting precisely involves. The parameters used to describe it are vague and often debated.

However one can tell in an instant if a given innings was Gaelic or not.

Researchers argue that the predicament exists because the style focuses on attitude rather than the process of batting.

It involves a complex, hard to measure mixture of disengagement, a mocking smile without even the hint of a smile ever flirting onto the lips, an outward display of boredom, extreme boredom to the point where the practitioner appears to be sleep walking and renders modern slow motion technologies useless.

It is said that slow motion pictures of the same shot take as long as the shot took in real time. The ability of the practitioner to slow things down during a Gaelic innings is its true mystique

There is a branch of Gaelic historians (historians who reasearch Gaelic batting) who have a more bookish and mathematical view of Gaelic batting which suggests that all batting that produces scores commonly found in book cricket is Gaelic.

This view is banned in Jamaica and the IPL.

Due to elements of mocking involved, Gaelic batting is often confused with Boltic running which also originated in Jamaica however the difference is; wherein a Boltic run appears to slow the opponents down leaving ample milliseconds for the Boltic runner to celebrate even before the finish line of the shortest of races; Gaelic batting makes the batsman appear in slow motion

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spot Fixing: Its all a media creation

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So this is what we know...

There are enough players in Indian and Pakistani cricket that are corrupt.

Both with the Lord’s episode and the one in the IPL recently the guys actually orchestrating the spot fixing were media outlets. It tells us that if legitimate (as in real and not legal) bookies were to get access to players, matches could be ‘spot fixed’. The question of whether this is a common occurrence in India and Pakistan is still unproven. Spot fixing by real bookies that is.

To tow the standard BCCI and Sachin Tendulkar line, spot-fixing does seem like it is literally ‘created by the media’. I think we need someone to do a sting operation on these sting operations to suggest that the media does this to gain short term recognition and viewer ship. Media benefits from scandals and if one is not forthcoming they will manufacture one.

I am no fan of the IPL but I recognize why it is so popular. Fed on a diet of dull drab draws from the late 70s and 80s, I have fallen for the pure excitement that only a Test Match can provide. Now these exciting finishes in Tests are few and far in between but when they do happen, its well worth the wait for me. T20 by contrast seems manufactured, assembly line excitement.

The IPL is India’s pride and it has understandably provoked prejudiced reactions in the foreign media, where every drop in TRP ratings is cheered. I believe the IPL is a solid product but also disruptive to India’s national team and the West Indies; for now.

I don’t think the latest revelations by India TV are going to do much to dampen the enthusiasm around the IPL. The good thing about the franchise model is that they are owned by reputable businesses run by highly successful and respected people. The BCCI board it self has reputable names. No one can afford to be seen as corrupt.

In that, I inherently believe the IPL model protects itself from rampant corruption. The steps the BCCI and the franchises take to root out corruption will be genuine and quick. Additionally, as the franchises get more powerful over time, the power to make all kinds of decisions will get distributed.

To use the example of a few stray cricketers who succumb to TRP hungry news media, and paint the entire IPL as corrupt would be an opinion for sure; but not a reasoned one.