Posts

Showing posts from February, 2012

Tri-Series Cricket: India Do The Improbable! Now Wait, Watch and Pray!

Image
A divided, devastated and demoralized team accomplished the impossible today at Hobart in the 11 th ODI of the Commonwealth Bank Cricket Tri-Series in Australia . It was an improbable technicality, but finally it became a roaring reality. Miserable Team India had been losing the tosses too apart from the games, but today they won the toss and skipper Dhoni elected to field first without any hesitation as India wanted the exact target before them and needed to chase it down within forty overs to win the bonus which could alone keep them alive in the tournament. The story was no different with listless bowling and fielding by the Indians and Sri Lanka making merry from the very start. Dilshan and Sangakkara had their centuries in quick time and a total in excess of 300 runs looked possible. Sri Lanka amassed a huge 320 runs for 4 wickets in allotted fifty overs. Facing a target of 321 runs to chase down within forty overs and an asking rate of 8 runs per over India seemed ready

Suspense At Midnight!

Image
The family of four had frayed nerves, flying tempers and irritability throughout that miserable Saturday. Everybody quarreled with everybody over petty domestic issues or watching TV. Nobody could pinpoint the exact reason why though! They had a quiet dinner. When they assembled again in the sitting room for their drinks they just froze. Their attention got riveted on the dining table. Knives of varying sizes were arranged there delicately. Night light shone ominously on those. Loy looked at his younger sister Zuma who gave back an intrigued stare. ‘What’s happening? An inside job to be executed?  Then who is against whom? Or an outside assignment? Even then, someone from inside has to be involved!’, thought Loy furiously. Zuma was getting frightened. There were recent reports of a serial killer at large in the city. Pop Dinesh sized up his children staring furtively towards the kitchen door with fear written large on his face. His wife told him nothing about what to e

Cricket and Hockey: A Mixed Sunday For India!

Image
India fielded a full-strength team today against Australia in its do or die match in Sydney . But, when you concentrate on rotation-experimentation instead of trying to win matches, when your ego-play gets prominence over cricket and when you mess up things unnecessarily even God does not help you when you finally wake up to reality. Team India exemplified that fully today in the tenth match of the CB Series one-day cricket played in Australia . They wanted Zaheer Khan desperately today, but he was declared unfit. When he was fit you did not consider taking him! Even then, the Indian bowlers did a decent job getting Aus restricted to 252/9 in allotted fifty overs—a total that was very gettable. This time captain handed over the ball too to the vice captain Sehwag who obliged him with three wickets bowling the last over of the Aussie innings too. For the first time the Indian captain placed his full faith in the big three of top order. But it came too late. Sehwag failed

Tri-Series Cricket: Sri Lanka Beat Australia Again! Do or Die For India!

Image
After winning the toss and electing to bat first Australia did post a challenging total of 280 runs for 6 wickets in allotted fifty overs at the ninth match of the Commonwealth Bank Cricket Tri-series yesterday played at Hobart in Australia .   Dashing new-comer Forrest scored a brilliant century with masterly support from skipper Clarke who scored 72. But the total did not prove to be enough with the Sri Lankans going great guns while chasing. Skipper Jaywardene led from the front making a quick-fire 85 opening the innings. Chandimal proved his consistency by making a superlative 80 that almost saw Sri Lanka through. Sri Lanka achieved 200 runs as early as in the 37 th over and seemed to be coasting to an easy and emphatic victory. But after his dismissal in the 45 th over Australia made a temporary comeback with wickets falling and the asking rate rising. Spirited Sri Lankans overcame that and achieved an exciting victory by 7 wickets with just 4 balls to spare. Now, Sri La

The Celebrity Punch!

Image
Hindi movie (read Bollywood) superstar hero  Saif Ali Khan punched  a South African businessman of Indian origin at a restaurant of five-star hotel in uptown Mumbai on the night of February 21, 2012. The superstar was in the company of his Bollywood-heroine wife Kareena Kapoor and few other friends including more celebrity actors. Saif was arrested and released on bail the next day evening. The day following the midnight brawl all Indian news channels started devouring the huge story carrying bytes of the victims—South African businessman Iqbal Sharma and his dad-in-law. Saif Ali Khan could not be traced the whole day and the Mumbai police visited his residence leaving summons to come to police station immediately. The superstar was to be arrested anytime, cried on the news channels. Iqbal Sharma revealed that he went to the restaurant along with his dad-in-law for dinner and they were deeply distracted by the noise emanating from the adjacent table occupied by the superstar

Tri-Series Cricket: Team India Demolished!

Image
Team India has gone down to the last position from the top of the table in the Commonwealth Bank Tri-Series one-day cricket being played in Australia . In today’s match at the Gabba, Brisbane Sri Lanka thoroughly demolished Team India though not being able to earn the bonus point thanks to some resistance displayed by the ‘youngsters’. And breaking news! Rohit Sharma was finally dropped or rotated or rested.  Scorecard The buzz is that the ‘senior’ players have let the team down. Yes, they did let down the team in the Test series earlier and you did not consider rotating or resting or dropping them then. Now in the one-day tournament you have hardly allowed them to play! They never know when they are going to figure in the team and when not. Sehwag came in as the skipper in today’s match and captained the team where he does not even find a place most of the time. The rotation policy had been consistently followed, but even then Gambhir or Tendulkar played when they were not due to b

Temples of Alandi and Dehu, Pune.

Image
On a visit to Pune recently we found some time for visiting a few famous temples at Alandi and Dehu in the outskirts of Pune, a major city of Maharashtra, India. We found peace and tranquility in the temples and the surroundings. Here are some of the moments captured:       Saint Dnyaneshwar (1275-1296) Temple at Alandi.       Leading to the Temple     And Surroundings....     Saint Tukaram (1608 - 1650) Temple at Dehu. GathaMandir or Temple at Dehu Have peace of mind and enjoy! 

Cricket Tri-Series: India Restore Australian Pride!

Image
Australia had been in bit of a spot after its last-ball loss to India in the fourth match and the thrashing in the hands of Sri Lanka conceding a bonus point too in the sixth match of the cricket Tri-Series played in Australia. But when there is Team India, there is always a way! ‘ Hum hain na! ’(We are there, not to worry!). And, they have risen to the occasion at the Gabba, Brisbane for the seventh one-day international of the Commonwealth Bank Tri-series today in all glory! Australia won the toss and elected to bat. India started in their generosity mission by dropping catches. Thanks to rotation Zaheer Khan came in, but out went R Ashwin who had been consistently bowling well and also providing good and crucial batting knocks too. Because Irfan Pathan, the weakest link, needed to be kept in the team maybe to prepare well for the IPL-5 that is round the corner. In the earlier match the last ten overs gave Australia only 57 runs. Nothing doing, Team India vowed. So, 110 runs wer

Cricket: BCCI--Sahara Truce!

Image
Article first published as Indian Cricket: The IPL Stakes on Technorati.   The Sahara Group , main sponsor of Indian Cricket for 11 years, suddenly decided to withdraw sponsorship and withdraw also from the Indian Premiere League (IPL) just before the Players’ Auction extravaganza on February 4, 2012 for IPL season five. Long standing disagreement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the BCCI’s arrogant behavior had been cited as the main reasons for this ‘emotional’ decision . A hue and cry followed across the country and raged on with the media playing a crucial role. It signified a huge loss of money for Indian cricket and also for the cash-rich BCCI. While Sahara Group said new sponsors could very well be arranged very soon by the Board the BCCI kept silent till a written communication was received. Then the hard negotiations started between the two Indian business giants. Of course, the imprint of Sahara on the uniforms of the Indi

Postscript!

More than half of Mumbaikars did not vote yesterday. In fact, the miserable 30% finally rose to 45% at the end of the polling day. Almost equal to the voting percentage in 2007. We can call it Mumbai's genetic apathy to casting votes! Status quo maintained.  And, status quo maintained too in the governance of the Municipal corporation. Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI alliance came roaring back to power. They have won 107 wards in the 227-ward corporation, falling just 7 short of the magic majority figure of 114. With a sizable number of independents the majority can be achieved easily without having to look for support or allying with Raj Thackeray's MNS who won 29 seats--a huge beginning.  Approximately 54,00,000 Mumbaikars did not vote and it will never be clear to which alternative they would have voted for. Maybe the state ruling coalition or even MNS would have come to power if they voted. Now, they will have to accept the status quo in all civic matters and they will hardly be able t

Voter Apathy: Mumbai Shows The Way!

Image
Polling was held today for Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (BMC) and nine other municipal corporations of the state of Maharashtra. Low turnout has been the trend almost everywhere with average voting in the state put around 45% and the highest being just around 60%,   For BMC, the richest civic body of India, the turnout was a dismal 30% till the latest reports came in. This is even lower than the poor 46% recorded in 2007. This is despite the huge propaganda and campaigning and the continuous educative messages to citizens to definitely exercise their basic fundamental democratic right. This is despite today being declared a holiday for all state government and private offices, banks and establishments. Mumbai just did not want to vote.   What could be the reasons? Maybe due to the hundred-something potholes in the city that plagued Mumbaikars throughout the rainy season and even afterwards. Or maybe they just wanted an extended weekend to go out for a trip. Or maybe

Cricket Tri-Series: Rotate, Experiment And…Tie!

Image
 Winning the toss and electing to bat first Sri Lanka made 236 for the loss of 9 wickets in allotted fifty overs. India replied making 236 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in allotted fifty overs. So, it was India’s first tied one-day international (ODI) cricket match against Sri Lanka and total six against other teams. It was also the first ever tied ODI at the Adelaide oval in Australia. Both the teams earned two points each at the fifth Commonwealth Bank Tri-Series played today. It was the perfect thriller swinging either way all the time down the wire. On a flat and slow wicket Sri Lanka made a modest 236 despite cruising at one stage with Chandimal and Jaywardene in full swing. Indian pacer Vinay Kumar again did an excellent job by capturing 3 wickets and the Indian fielding effort was also commendable. So far in the series, Sri Lanka has not been able to put its batting in top gear as evident in the earlier two matches it played and lost. Midway in the Indian innings if you

Cricket: India Beat Australia! Headline Most Wanted!

India almost fielded the best possible team today and pulled off a dramatic nail-biting victory against Australia in the fourth Commonwealth Bank Cricket Tri-series in Adelaide. Gambhir came in as Tendulkar was rested as a continuation of the weird rotation policy. Now, Tendulkar had not been a regular in India's one-day team except for the World Cup-2011 and so this time the weird policy did not affect the team much. As the take-it-rough policy continues we have to keep our fingers crossed for next time! If Tendulkar comes back it should never be at the cost of either Sehwag or Gambhir. Australia made a challenging 269/8 thanks to India's tight bowling in the last ten overs of the innings that yielded only 57 runs. But the target of 270 was the biggest target for India to chase successfully against any team in Australia. The big game was set up perfectly. The opening pair of Sehwag-Gambhir started well both looking to be in good nick. But as usual in this tour Segwag fell ag

Aggressive Marketing: Are You Game For A Ride?

Image
Even if you put your cell phone number in the National Do-Not-Call Registry you can hardly escape from this aggressive tribe of telemarketers. Somebody somewhere somehow will find your number and call you up asking you for a minute to describe the offers that have to be taken immediately. You can cut the line rudely, but because most of the callers are ladies you cannot be too rude either. Banks are becoming masters of this art and they have the ability to shower you with pre-sanctioned personal loans, credit cards and the like anytime. Not that only your mobiles are vulnerable, they stalk you in every corner of your everyday existence. Sometimes you win and sometimes they make a perfect fool of you. That day my mobile rang and on answering the same sweet-talking lady voice resonated through it. ‘Sir, I am calling from ----finance company. Can I talk to you for a minute?’ ‘Well, regarding what?’ ‘We have pre-sanctioned a personal loan of -----rupees for you on the basis of your home l

Karnataka's Shame: Debauch Ministers in Dirty Business!

Image
Article first published as Debauch Ministers in Dirty Business! on Technorati. The ten day session of the Karnataka Assembly was going on debating heatedly on an intriguing local issue. And television cameras covering the session found something unspeakably dirty going on in the same floor. Karnataka is a southern state of India and the lone domain of the main national opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in entire south India. Recently the then Chief Minister of the state, BS Yeddyurappa , was charged and convicted with a land scam, arrested and put in jail. After much brainstorming the BJP decided to dislodge him, but the next government could be installed only with the tacit support of the tainted ex-chief minister himself who ruled from his jail. The BJP never wanted to lose the only southern state it ruled and the tight number game compelled the party to fall in line with Yeddyurappa. Two ministers of that government were found to be glued to a porn clip in the cell phone o

Cricket: India Beat Sri Lanka in Perth One-Dayer! Rotation Continues!

Image
Virender Sehwag came back into the team, but Gautam Gambhir was out! It was some weird kind of a rotation policy that drops one established or maybe a ‘senior’ player and takes in one youngster that is to say Rohit Sharma—to be more specific. He was kept out of the Test series consistently and now somebody is trying to make amends! The pertinent question is why rotation? For a team that almost forgot the winning habit overseas winning must be the main objective and for that you have to put in the best team possible. That India managed to win against Sri Lanka by four wickets in the second match of the triangular series in Australia was not a masterful statement of authority, the team with rotation in full swing is still suspect against Australia or maybe even Sri Lanka in matches to follow. Zaheer Khan came back too into the team and kept the Sri Lankans at bay by capturing two wickets. With disciplined bowling and R Ashwin’s great bowling of 3 for 32 restricted Sri Lanka to 23

Cricket Australia: Contradictions Galore For Team India!

Image
Just when Indian dashing opener Virender Sehwag was needed most he was dropped or rested or whatever! In the first one day international cricket match between India and Australia in Melbourne on February 5 th Indian top order failed again and Team India had a disastrous start in the triangular one-day series too.      The argument was that youngsters needed to be encouraged. Where were these youngsters when the ‘seniors’ failed and failed and failed in the Test series? During that time Sehwag and others were not considered as ‘seniors’! We have always maintained here that young Indian cricketers should be trained and prepared for test cricket—the real format of the game. If you have no faith in them for the real cricket then your encouragement is immensely ‘short’ sighted! Sehwag has proved his worth in the shorter format more effectively than in the real one and just one explosive innings from him can turn a match on its head. Then again, on Australian bouncy wickets you go for two