Day 4: Pak vs India

India is very very likely to lose the Test. India should at least put up a fight before losing. It would be sad to see the match end in 4 days! Full marks to Pak for a fine batting display and some spirited bowling in the first innings.

Innovative Movie Release

The movie Bubble is being released on the HD Network the same day as the movie is released in the theatres. The DVD is being released 4 days later. Its quite a new way of aproaching film distrbution. I am sure its been done before, but with the growth of the Internet this approach is pretty significant.

The producers are obviously experimenting. It is a low budget film made at a cost of $1.6M. I had written earlier about a movie being sold directly on Google. I think the entertainment industry is going to see some dramatic changes especially with the likes of Jobs at Disney.

Day 2: Pak have the Upper Hand

India seems to have slowly lost the advantage after Irfan’s fine opening day hat-trick. As always India let Pak tail enders make big scores and frittered away a solid start. To make matters worse the batting failed miserably leaving the tailenders with the responsibility of reducing the leading. Dada blew a golden chance to respond to his critics. Maybe he’ll grab a bunch of wickets and become a hero overnight 🙂

At this stage, Pak definitely have the upper hand. A target of over 300 will be hard to chase in the last innings. As things stand now a Pak victory appears to be likely. At least this Test appears headed for a result. That’s a relief in itself.

Team India for the ODIs against Pak

Ganguly was not included in the team. Fine. I think it was a good decision.

But why two spinners Karthik and Bhajji after the thulping Indian spinners have been subjected to on those dead Pak pitches? India is never going to play two spinners and either one who plays is bound to be thrashed by Afridi and co. It would have made sense to play a spinner all rounder like Romesh Powar (who has had a very good domestic season) who can provide the slog needed in the last few overs. I think they should have picked Murali and Romesh Powar and given Bhajji a break. Otherwise I think India has picked a good team. It would have been nice to see VRV Singh (India’s fastest rightnow apparently) in the team, but I believe that he is injured.

Third Test: Pak vs. India, Dada’s Golden Opp.

Finally, an interesting Test match!

Great hat-trick by Pathan! Followed by some terrific batting from Pak, particularly Kamran Akmal.

Sachin seems to be struggling once again. Abdul Razzack seems to be a permanent danger for him. He is been bowled by the same bowler more times than probably any other? Moin Khan thinks Sachin is finished! (“Sachin’s controversial dismissal reminded me of a few batsmen who preferred walking off the pitch on their legs rather than being carried away on stretchers when the great Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis were at their brilliant best.” – Moin Khan reckons that Tendulkar bottled it at Faisalabad.) Sachin has done little this series to prove that he isn’t.

Dada has a golden opportunity to make a big score and bid farewell in style. In the interest of Indian cricket, I hope he makes a decent score and announces his retirement! (what are the odds of that happening? 🙂

Ganguly to return to 11?

Check out this piece about a possible return of Ganguly to the Indian team. It makes no sense to include Ganguly when the seamers have done a decent job in the Faisalabad Test. It makes sense to drop Bhajji and play Agarkar. His bowling is definitely a better asset to the team than Ganguly’s bowling!

India goes flat out at Davos

India is going flat out in promoting itself at the World Economic For (WEF) in Switzerland with the budget of $5M for the PR campaign and travel.

From the WSJ…

The number of WEF delegates from India jumped to 80 this year from 30 last year – the latest sign of India’s rapid integration into the world economy. And to judge from the Davos program, India is the country of the moment, the Financial Times says. Of the 244 scheduled sessions, a dozen are devoted to India, twice as many as last year, while 60 feature Indian speakers. India’s high-profile “India Everywhere” campaign is a tacit recognition that the nation may have only a limited window to translate today’s unprecedented interest into hard investment, the FT says. The government has dispatched what it calls its “dream team” of economic reformers – led by P. Chidambaram, finance minister, Kamal Nath, commerce minister, and Montek Singh Ahluwaliah, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission. They will carry a simple message: trust us and invest, the paper says….

If you subsribe to NYT don’t miss “India Everywhere in the Alps”

Hamas’ Election Victory

It will interesting to see how the Palestinian crisis evolves with the Hamas in control. At present it looks bleak with the US denouncing Hamas for its anti-Israel stance, its terrorist branding etc. My guess is that it won’t be that bad. After all the Fatah party has tried to make peace with the Israelis for so many years and not succeeded. Now there is a newly elected Govt. (chosen by the Palestinians) under Hamas. There has been a 77% turnout in the election, so the US in particular, as the self-appointed torch-bearer of freedom and democracy around the world, can’t ignore the results.

When in power it might actually prove harder for Hamas to pursue violence because of potential UN sanctions etc.

So you never know, this unprecedented change of power might just work.

The situation is vaguely similar to the RSS backed BJP coming to power in India. There was widespread concern that India will no longer be a secular state, Muslims will be attacked etc. Indo-Pak war will break out etc. It wasn’t the case for the most part, barring the incident in Gujarat, and the Pak instigated Kargil war.

Summons to US Ambassador in India

Us Ambassador, Mr. Mulford warned that India should back the US motion against Iran to help the US-India nucler deal through Congress. India should be commended for summoning the Ambassador for his comments.

Interestingly enough, the State Dept. said Mr. Mulford was expressing his personal views! Mr. Mulford on the other hand is clearly on the defensive stating that his comments were taken out of context. Damage control from all sides I guess!