Friday, April 17, 2009

Can they play for us? Not anymore Arsenal predicitions have come good so far. So you better read this one too. and if you have not read the Arsenal predictions, then go down and read my Arspective before you read this.

NRI. Is it Non-resident Indians? or Non- returning Indians as she said in that movie? Or is it Not Required Indians?

I recently read an article which talked about the latest policy(You guys may be already aware of this policy) adopted by the India's Sports Ministry. From now on, only the Indian passport holders can represent India in international sporting events. My intial reaction to this article was "What the......You mean this rule was not there till now. I mean its not even a 'rule' per se. Its just common sense. Of course, non-Indians cannot represent India." But as it turned out, the reference was made to ABCD's. That is, people with foreign passport but Indian origin. But still, how can a non Indian-passport-holder represent India?

Well, till recently that indeed was the case. And that indeed was one of the reasons, why India did well in some sports at least at the Asian level, if not at the international level. Shikha Oberoi, born in Mumbai and brought up in the US, has had a career-high singles world ranking of 122. She won India the silver meda in the Doha Asian games. With a world- ranking of 210, the US-passported Prakash Amritraj is among the top-ranked Indians. Leave him out, and you come to the "citizens" of India, then you are looking at Rohan Bopanna with a world ranking 333. Among women, leave Sunita Rao(Us citizen) ranked at 197, and then you are looking at Isha Lakshmi at 362. Tennis, it seems, is the hardest-hit victim. It faces the hardly enviable task of either dropping these players or convince them to change their passports. Shikha Oberoi, for one, has already stated that she will let go the American citizenship and dig into her old locker to revalidate the Indian passport.

OK STOP. Stop staring at the picture above and continue reading the post.

It could take India a long time to recover from and start performing even at the Asian level. The impact this policy may have might be so deep/long that it could
outweigh the long-term gains of this policy. Critics also say that this policy could be unfair to the foreign-born Indian kids, depreiving them of the opportunity to represent their homeland because of a slight change in a technical document(the passport I mean....ok slight change in a technical book if you like it that way). In this era of ever-increasing globalization, has the Indian government erred by inflating the value of a passport? If Gary Kirsten could be our coach, Gregory King our trainer, whats wrong if we allow the ABCDs to represent India?

Whats wrong? Whats wrong is that the local players will always remain in the shadow of the ABCD's. With lesser training facilities the local talent will always fail to compete with their ABCD(ABCD = American Born Confused Desi.....for those who are condering what the f... it means. Its a general term used for someone with a foreign passport but with an India origin) counterparts. And hence, the abyssmal state of Indian sports, the poor facilities will remain unexposed for ever. Perhaps, the grassroots will be cleaned up. And rather than waiting for the next ABCD kid delivered, the Indian government may improve the facilties to develop the local talent. Let HOPE SO!!

One more question that came to my mind was. " Had Prakash Amritraj been good enough to represent the USA, would he even consider playing for India?" Chances are that he would not. So, should we allow a US reject to represent our country. Well, the answer I think, unfortunately is, YES if he is better than our best.

Vishy(Grand master Vishwanathan Anand) suggested a solution to solve the problem at hand.

His vision:
1) Long-term: No non-citizen should represent India.
2) Short term: Donot enforce the policy immediately. Announce the policy and tell everyone that it will be enforced in a year.

This will give the various federations time to think, time to talk to the players. It would also give the ABCDs time to think if they would want to give-up their foreing passport to represent India. I totally aggree with "Namma Tamilian".

Come-on Arsenal !!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chelsea vs Liverpool (4-4) UEFA Match Highlights

Watch the highlights below

Chelsea v Liverpool

Football Development in India

"Maradonas made in India" This was the slogan which caught everyone's attention when Maradona was here in India in December last year. He inaugurated the private academy which has some big plans for football development in India. I was browsing through the slideshare and came across their presentation and thought to share it to you all. Football is catching everyone's attention in India. Hope to see India playing in 2020 world cup.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

India ratings : Pappu and Munna reunion

Once upon a time there were two kids, pappu and munna, who never got marks in their classes, they got zero, once again again and again and again. And one day they decided that they would hit back on the face of this world by creating their own marks their own rating and their own scores. And they came up with this list, Pappu has already done it in the earlier post and here is Munna doing it. We did it Pappu, we did it Pappu.

Virender Sehwag - 3 - Can't blame him for getting out on spinners even on crucial occasions that's how it is. Either its his day(and thus India's day) or its the bowlers' day. A lot of starts but not even a single half century, and a ordinary match as a catpain in Napier test gets him a 3, more because of the great expectations he set.

Gautam Gambhir - 10 - Post ODI tournament, we had this discussion that Gauti is due his knock. Other than the sudden rush of blood in the first inning at Napier he has been the epical centre of Indian batting line up. His centuries in back to back test matches ensured that we have a solid start. Napier knock will stay as a Indian classic on foreign soil. The 'serious' guy continues to make an impact on Indian test matches' results. Meanwhile, he also reached a milestone of the top Indian scorer in his first 25 tests.

Rahul Dravid - 8 - Rahul Dravid the way we love him, the wall. We don't need no 'edge'ucation and he made his batting look like fluent floyd numbers. He has returned back to his gritty form and reminds that there is a lot of good test match cricket left in him. He will also remember this series for his catching records as we moved past Mark Waugh to become the test cricketer with most test catches. Wall is stronger now.

Sachin Tendulkar - 8.5 - Two 60s one 49 and one massive 160 in his 5 innings and making it all look so easy, he continues to rule the batting world. I would confess that I am always a little pro-tendulkar in all my statements (but tell me a reason why I should not be, or anyone should not be for that matter!). The innings were well placed, he failed only once in an inning where we were already on the top of the match. Two wickets in the last inning of third test match left us all happier than before.

VVS Laxman - 8 - While writing this and looking at the scorecards for three matches, I can so clearly see that India's series was eminent in all circumstances. VVS captured the other half of the southern hemisphere as well at Napier. Specially the second innings with 25 fours made the kiwi audience laugh and cry at the same time. Elegant as ever, people may call him lazy but who cares to run when you can hit them all along the ground with sheer perfection.

Yuvraj Singh - 5 - One good knock at Napier, but otherwise he looked ordinary. Yuvraj is a massive world figure when it comes to the shorter forms of game, but at tests he is still fighting for his place. With Pujara and Badrinath and others around it may get difficult for him in future. All of us love to see him once he gets going (but once he gets going!)

MS Dhoni - 8 - MS makes the other team feel aM aSS, apart from his captaincy he impressed by his keeping and the way he batted with tail whenever required. He has an invisible presence which was exposed in the second test where we let kiwis score 600 plus. And when he was back it looked that things well back in place. I sometime wonder if it is all a matter of stars, or its all planned. But as long as India wins, its three cheers!

Harbhajan - 9 - These were not the spinning Mumbai tracks or some other Indian dry pitch. He impressed by his controlled aggression throughout the series. The funniest Indian cricketer and still one of the most effective bowlers of his time. The turbonator acts as the sankat-mochak batsman for India.

Zaheer - 9 - Spearhead. Its difficult to bring adjectives when a team is doing good as a 'team'. And for those who write for Indian cricket, this is a dilemma we faced never before in such intensity. Zaheer's early strikes always led the floor for the rest of the bowlers and like bhajji he has become a very effective lower order batsman. This is revival of Zak.

Ishant - 6 - There were great expectations from him as well, he fared decently well but we have seen better of him and specially when situations were conducive for pace bowling. He is still one for the future.

Munaf Patel - 5 - India's third seamer worry is still eminent, in spite of decent performance from him in bits and pieces. Munaf has the tendancy to surprise by switching good and bad performances to and fro in no time at all. He has certainly worked on his fielding which can help him cement his place at least in the shorter versions of the game.

Gary Kirsten - 9 - I think he must be now busy in writing a book that he must write - 'The dos and donts of an Indian foreign coach'. Doing what he has to at his best. The players are happy, the captain is happy, the press is happy and the Indians are happier. Nobody knows a lot about what he is doing but its working and as I said earlier as long as it works its hurray!!!

Ind V NZ ratings

Indian Team, individual rating for test series.......I did this before cricinfo

9.5-- Zaheer Khan.
Bowlers win you test matches, batsmen win you one-dayers they say. To win a test match, you need to pick 20 wickets. ZAK wasbeen brilliant. Always in and arround the off-stump. Using the bouncer sparringly. Reminded me of Wasim Akram, in his glory days. I dont know who was given the the MOS (Man of the Series). But to me, it surely is the Baroda express. We have always had a decent batting line-up. But, I think its the vast improvement of the bowlers thats helping India win test-series' abroad.
And to add to that, he also made some good contributions down the order.

9 - Gambhir
The dimunitive southpaw from saddi dilli showed tremendous application in the second test. Should have got the MOM in the 2nd test to me. His 137 off 436 balls drew compairsons with the Greatbatch knock of 146 off 485 balls at Perth against the Aussies. The resemblances are startling. For New Zealand the rescuer was a man who would turn into an innovative pinch-hitting opener. In Napier it was one who until last year was considered a one-day specialist.
Brilliant in the 3rd test too. Another reason for India's overseas victories. Successful and aggressive opening partnership.

9 - God
Ab god ke baare main kya bolein. Oh god, tussi great ho. On every April 1st, someone tries to post that "God to retire". I fear, one day, its going to come true :(

8.5 - Dravid
When Laxman is out of form, play him against the Aussies. When Dravid is out of form, play him overseas. To be fair, he did regain his touch with a century agains England in the last test of the previous test series. But, if ever there was any doubting and critics saying that he should now retire, he has shut them up now. Given out incorrectly in the 2nd test, when he and Gambhir looked to draw the game for India on their own. But he and Gambhir combined well and their success more than made up for Sehwag's failures.
Also, congrats to Jammy(no one calls him that these days), for becoming the highest catcher.

8.5 - Laxman
He has probably been India's most consistent in Test for the last 3 years. Comes lower down the order. So, gets overshadowed by the top 4. But, whenever we needed him he delivered. Even in the 2nd test 1st Innings, when most batsmen failed, he was at his silky/smooth best and got out only because he tried to push the scoring (since he was batting with the tail).

8 - Ishant Sharma
Bowled well. Ideal foil for Zaheer. Must be having nightmares for the dropped catch off Sachin in the 3rd test.

8 - Sardar
Sardar ne achi karayi. Lekin 50/3 pe aake achchi daalna badi baat nahi hai. Would be interesting when he comes in to bowl at 150/0, against a good opposition. He has this habit of not really flighting the ball when the opposition have runs on the board. But, to be fair to him, he bowled well whenever he was given the ball by Dhoni.

8 - Dhoni
Batted really sensibly and played a couple of crucial innings. His half-century at the Basin Reserve was a classic case of ugly-effective batting. What an important knock that was. Will have to face critics for not declaring earlier in the last test. But, I, for one, am totally in support of the decision. Why leave them even a sniff of a chance when we have the series lead of one-nil. Remember the 222 by Astle on this versus ground when NZ were set 550 to win by the Poms back in 2001.
The fact that India dominated the tests in which he played in speaks about his captaincy.

5 - Munaf -
Behti ganga main haath dho liya ladke ne. RP Singh and Sreesanth are better than him.

5 Sehwag -
Tried to dominate. Failed mostly. His 2nd test, 2nd innings, dismissal came under lot of criticism. But, thats how he plays. He would not have 2 triples otherwise.

4 - Yuvraj
Has lot to prove in test match. We should and probably will persist with him though.

Dinesh Kartik - theek hai yaar. Parthiv Patel se to better hi hai

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Arsenal vs Villareal UEFA Champions LEague

Posted by Giri

Whats up in April? The "Ars"pective. (Arsenal Perspective. Sorry Bad PJ)Wow!! Its an absolutely mouth watering month to look forward to. I will hopefully buy my first car in the US. And then I will hopefully get my work visa. I know it was funny when I completed my Masters in Computer Science. But its funnier to think that I am working full-time as an Engineer.

Coming to the Ars-pective (haha....I like my jokes/pjs)Arsenal Vs Villareal - Gooners Vs The Yellow Submarine. Ya thats what they call Villareal. Looks a pretty easy match up on paper. But, as some of you may remember, it required a last-minute penalty save from Lehmann, Jens not Darren, in the 2006 CL semi final. Would be nice to have Pires back at our home ground. I am sure he will receive a great reception. When Henry used to score those countless goals, this man's contribution was often forgotten. But the avid/ hardcore arsenal supporters, which I must admit I was not in those times, will know that he was one of the most important of the "Arsenal Invincibles". RVP has been ruled out. Arshavin is cup-tied. So, that leaves us with Adebayor and probably Bendtner up-front. The mid-field should be, Fabri, Denilson, Nasri, Walcott. I think, however, Bendtner might make way for Alex Song. Back four should be Clichy, toure, gallas and Sagna. And Almunia between the sticks.

The players to watch out for in Villareal would be Pires, of course. Though he would be playing after being red-carded in his last Primera Liga outing. Giuseppe Rossi, the Man U reject will be keen to prove a point. John Dahl Tomasson, (I wish Bendtner starts playing half-as-good as his compatriot) is a natural Goal scorer. Even though age is running against the Dane, Arsenal will do well to keep this man in check. Marcos Senna, he was regular member the Euro-winning Spanish team. Joan Capdevilla, I think he is the captain, but more importantly, this defender has the uncanny ability to come forward and score crucial goals. Edmilson, I remember this guy's brilliant over-head kick in the 2002 world cup for Brazil.
My prediction (Villareal 1 - 2 Arsenal)

18th Apr- FA cup against Chelsea.
We should have Arshavin and RVP back for this one. I hope Arshavin/Nasri rapes Ashley Cole.
My prediction(Chelsea 0- 1 Arsenal)

15th Apr- CL Home Vs Villareal
I think we will give them a spanking at home if my first prediction is correct. If it is wrong, we will spank them even harder at home. LOL
My prediction(Arsenal 3- 0 Villareal)

21st Apr- EPL against Liverpool

Then Arsenal travel to Anfield (The is Wigan in between that). Playing in front of 'the kop' under lights is one of the most daunting prospects in football they say.

My prediction(Liverpool 1- 2 Arsenal)

29th Apr- Champions League ***CL semifinal Vs Man U
Wow.......Porto Vs Arsenal would be interesting. But there is a slight chance that Man U might make it to the semis. Wow!!That would be an intersting one. I hope Macheda gets red-carded, Ronaldo is injured and Vidic starts fighting with Rooney.
My prediction(Man U 0- 2 Arsenal)

***if Man U beats Porto

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sachin to Retire from Test Cricket

Sources are telling that Sachin is planning to retire from test cricket after the last test in New Zealand. He has said that he has achieved so much in Test cricket, he wants to focus on one day internationals and focus on winning the 2011 world cup .

"It has been my long cherished dream to lift the world cup" He said that in a press conference

Retirement from test cricket will give him time to stay fit and spend time with his family which right now he is unable to do in hectic season. He said that lot of youngsters are coming and he is sure they will keep winning.

International Players in IPL Franchisses

Kolkata Knight Riders:
Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Brad Hodge, Ricky Ponting, David Hussey, Angelo Mathews, Moises Henriques, Mark Cameron, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Ajantha Mendis
Opening pair is looking deadly this time as both Gayle and McCullum will play this year. I expect Ricky ponting may not be playing all the matches.

Mumbai Indians:
Lasith Malinga, Jean Paul Duminy, Graham Napier, Ryan McLaren, Dilhara Fernando, Sanath Jayasuriya, Dwayne Bravo, Mohammad Ashraful, Kyle Mills and Luke Ronchi.
Kyle Mills though he is thrown all around the park in NZ, I expect he will be able to give good start to the team. MI will have home advantage in form of Duminy. Mohammad Ashraful will get a big platform to prove his worth and talent. Jayasuriya is a legend and he has some experience of playing with south african twenty-20 franchise.

Rajasthan Royals:
Shane Warne, Graeme Smith, Shane Watson, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Morne Morkel, Robert Quiney, Tyron Henderson, Shaun Tait, Shane Harwood and Lee Carseldine.
All players I find to be dark horses. I have not seen much of Henderson,Harwood and Lee but they can be what Shaun Marsh was last year.

Kings XI Punjab:
Brett Lee, James Hopes, Shaun Marsh, Luke Pomersbach, Simon Katich, Kumar Sangakkara , Mahela Jayawardene, Burt Cockley, Ravi Bopara and Jerome Taylor.
All hopes for Brett Lee to be fit by the time tournament starts, Sreesant also will not be playing due to injury. Ravi Bopara will bring in some stability down the order.

Deccan Chargers:
Adam Gilchrist, Herschelle Gibbs, Scott Styris, Andrew Symonds, Ryan Harris, Fidel Edwards, Dwayne Smith, Chamara Silva, Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Zoysa.
We had lot of expectations from the team last year, perhaps the burden on star players was unbearable or they didn't click properly. Team of power hitters and Sri Lankan bowlers. I have a gut feeling of seeing this team in Semis this season.

Delhi Daredevils:
AB De Villiers, Daniel Vettori, Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood, David Warner, Andrew McDonald, Dirk Nannes, Glenn McGrath, Farveez Maharoof and Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Watch out for Warner , De Villiers. I dont know Glen McGrath will be the same as he was last year. McDonald is a dark horse.

Chennai Super Kings:
Muttiah Muralitharan, Matthew Hayden , Michael Hussey, Albie Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Jacob Oram, Stephen Fleming , Thilan Thushara, Andrew Flintoff and George Bailey.

Jacob Oram injury is a blow, Fleming will be doing the role similar to what Shane Warne did last year. Costliest player Flintoff will be under huge burden of expectations. Team is looking stable with nice combination of international stars. They might play Flintoff,Hussey,Morkel/Ntini,Murli frequently.

Royal Challengers:
Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher, Dale Steyn, Dillon Du Preez, Cameron White, Nathan Bracken, Ross Taylor, Kevin Pietersen, Jesse Ryder and Roelof van der Merwe.

Mallaya will be after them this year expecting a semi final finish atleast.