Thursday, December 31, 2009

Zoom Barabar Zoom

Here is a look back on the top few sporting moments in this decade

2001- Laxman's 281 and India's victory over Australia in Kolkata after following on. This series was played around the

Feb-Mar season. Despite board exams, and all those Engineering tests hovering, for the last 3 days of this test everything else was switched off.

2001- Goran wins Wimbledon.
First Croat,
First Wild card entry and the only wild card entry to date to win the men's grandslam,
200 + aces
Beating Rafter in the Finals
Espn/Star Sports Did not broadcast this match live

2003- Sachin hits 19 off Shoaib's first over. A Six over thirdman, flick off the wrists for 4, and the classic Sachin on-drive set the tone for India's visctory over Pakistan at Centution. Me and Chotu were just in time at the Off-campus hostel to watch this. If anyone wants the mp3 version of this innings of Sachin, email me. I listen to it when I feel low.....which is everyday I go to work!

2003- Jonny Wilkinson kicks England to world cup win
Yes, England did win the world cup. But it was not cricket or football. With the score tied at 17-17, Jonny steps up to take the "free-kick" and with it the Rugby world cup 2003.

2003-04: The Arsenal invincibles go 49 unbeaten. Henry, Pires, Bergkamp, Ljungberg, Vieira, Gil, Campbell, Toure, Cole, Lauren, Lehman backed up by Wiltord, Edu, Kanu.
I can sense a deja-vu is soon going to happen! Come on you gunners!!

2005 - Mission Impossible to Mission Istanbul
As much as I like AC Milan (my second, Gattuso, Kaka, Pirlo, Gerrard and Co still bring goosbumps when I look back at this night. Me, kure, vind, sycho, shiki, andy, pawan, havish, gudi, arku, desi, alok, chotu were in the off-campus hostel that night.

"Forza Milan" was the Banner held by the Milan supporters and Desi, Shiki and Havish were going home till we convinced them to stay back as Milan ius leading 3-0, having 75% of the posession and Liverpool cant get our of their half. And then Rafa brought in Hamman for Finnan. They say that was a "Masterstroke". But whenever a manager plays a "Masterstroke" I always wonder, did he err in the first place by not starting with him. Anyway, Jerzy dudek does the "Jelly fish" as pool complete an amazing fightback to win on penalties.

2005 - England tip Australia by 2 runs at Edgbaston. Flintoff offers solace/sympathy to Brett Lee. Kodak Moment!! clik!! Could not watch it live :(

2007 - Joginder Bowls, Misbah scoops, but alas, he forgot there is Mallu in every corner of the world! This was the headline on TOI as Dhoni and Co. erased the memories of the debacle in the Carribean within 20 days of 20-20 magic.

Picture sources: Cricinfo, BBC etc

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

World Cup Pots

So, FIFA announced the 4 "pots" of next year's world cup. The 8 pools will be decided this Friday with one team coming from each “Pot”.

Pot 1 (seeds): South Africa (Group A), Argentina, Brazil, England, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain
SA, because they are the hosts are in Pot 1. Obviously, they are the weakest in Pot 1. Everyone else looks strong except Italy.

Brazil and Argentina, with their South American flair and also histroy/mathematics favoring them. For the last 40 odd years, the world cups have been won alternately by a South American and a European Nation. (Italy 06, Brazil 02, France 98, Brazil 94, Germany 90, Argentina 86, Italy 82, Brazil 78, Some european nation 74, Brazil 70, ENGLAND!! 66, Brazil 62). So, will it be Argentina or Brazil this time? I dont like Maradona. So no Argentina please.

England is everyone's favorite. Because of all this EPL broadcast. But, now there is a growing sense of feeling that English players among people are over rated. OR are they?

My favorite--Italy looks bad on paper. But they looked worse in 06 and yet won it. And also, they brought back the coach who won them the 06 world cup, Marcello Lippi.

Pot 2: Australia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Honduras, Mexico, USA, New Zealand
The Socceroos and the USA look the strongest here with Tim Cahill, Mark Schwarzer and Dempsey, Tim Howard, Donnavan etc.
Weakest would be NK and Honduras.

Pot 3: Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay
Wouldn't we love to see an African Nation going all they way?
IVory coast with Drogba, Toure Brothers, Aruna Dindane, Salomon Kalou, Eboue look really strong.
Algeria looks the weakest here.

Pot 4: Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland.
Slovakia, Slovenia- Weakest.

There is every chance that we could have a pool with Argentina, USA, Ivory Coast and France in one pool. Or England, Australia, Ghana and Portugal in another.

Countries and players to miss out on WC 2010:
Bulgaria (Berbatov), Sweden (Zlatan), Togo(Adebayor), Russia(Arshavin and GUUS HIDDINK!!), Ireland(Given and Roobbie Keane).

Don’t miss the draw. Its on Friday 8:30 pm India time.