Gmail ok?

I have had intermittent problems with Gmail today. When sending a message I get the “sending…” sign at the top right followed by “oops….try again later”. In general, it also appears to be very slow today. I don’t think its anything at my end because all other sites work just fine.

First ODI: Pak wins close match

It was a tough and exciting match. Ultimately India lost firstly because of D-L and secondly because India’s batting in the last five overs failed miserably. The Indian fieldng overall was brilliant. Sachin’s uncharacteristic yet productive knock ended prematurely, robbing India of his presence for the final onslaught. He had only himself to blame for a needless reverse sweep. Crtics could argue that relieved at having reached a landmark Sachin momentarily forgot that he had a bigger responsibility of keeping one end up till the end.

Murali Karthik appears to be hopelessly short on confidence and seems terrified to bowl to the Pak batsman. Its best to give him a rest irrespective of whether Bhajji is available or not. In his very first over, Mallik launched him for a straight six followed by a four.

I thought Mohammed Asif deserved the MoM award. He bowled brilliantly on a batting pitch and troubled all the batsman he bowled to in addition the three wickets he picked up.

The after match interviews were interesting. All Pak players appear to be taking English lessons. To start with, many of them seem to thank Allah in English unlike before.

Inzy’s interview was hilarious. When asked about his dismissal he innocently said, “I don’t understand these rules. Last time (referring to his Faisalabad dismissal against England) I didn’t touch the ball and they said I was out! This time I touched the ball and still they say I am out!”

Rameez Raja’s commentary is way too biased. The guy comes across as being so excited or upset depending on the Pak situation. Someone needs to tell him that commentators need to at least appear and sound neutral.

First ODI: Pak vs. India

India put up a fine batting performance. Having sent in all its big strikers up the order India sorely missed a big hitter at the finish. I think India did the right thing with regard to the batting order. Unfortunately for India Sachin succumbed to a poor decision. He definitely appeared set to play the entire 50 overs.
A true bowling all rounder (like Romesh Powar) could have helped India pick up an additional 20-30 runs.

It remains to be seen if India can survive the Pak aggression as they chase. The total is definitely within the reach of the Pak team. Depends entirely on India’s ability to pick up quick wickets.

Unnecessary trouble: Mohammed Cartoon

In an already divided world why would someone unnecessarily create further tensions by publishing cartoons of Prophet Mohammed. Firstly, why would you exercise your freedom of expression when you know fully well that it could deeply offend others? Secondly, why now at the peak of tensions with the Muslim countries? All the concerned Govts must come together and put out this fire before it gets out of control.

While one can sympathize with free speech champions and endlessly debate this issue, I think it is important that free speech proponents give up this fight in the larger interest of the world. Not everyone in the world is educated enough to understand and appreciate the free speech views which are accepted and practiced in the western world. The supposed desire to spread freedom and democracy across the globe has already caused the Western World enough trouble. The world could do without the spread of one more western principle, at least for now.

Interestingly enough these cartoons were published four months back. The public outcry was the result re-publication of these cartoons!

It is heartening to see some Muslim organizations like the Free Muslim Coalition condemning the reaction in the Muslim world to these cartoons.

Ganguly and Retirement

Ganguly has no plans to retire apparently. Sure, he can continue but please stick o Ranji trophy and other domestic tournaments.

He actually batted quite well against Pak but he is expected to do much more and help the side. He claims to have done his part because he was involved in 100 run partnerships. Thank you very much. This simply ain’t enough, Dada.

Day 4: Pak crush India

India suffered a huniliating defeat at the hands of their arch rivals Pak. Hats off to Pak for a spirited performance. Woolmer deserves a lot of credit for forging a winning combination.

It was a classic test of resilience and character for the star studded Indian batting side, and sadly, they failed miserably. As an ardent ricket fan more than a few thoughts come to mind (not to mention the frustration!)

  • First and fore most comes a look at India’s so-called batting strength. Too much revolves around Viru and Dravid. If both these guys fail chances of India putting up a decent show are very suspect.
  • Maybe its time to clean up the middle order. This will involve some tough calls. Ganguly has probably played his last Test and needs a break. With a fighting century, Yuvraj has earned his middle order spot. VVS has been repeatedly getting bowled or lbw to the same incoming delivery that its proabably time for the selectors to seriously evaluate his spot in the team. There is no shortage of bench strength — S. Sriram, Venugopal Rao, Hemang Badani come to mind and there are many more out there.
  • Sachin needs to make up his mind about preserving himself to survive longer. He has to pick between ODIs and Test. Getting clean bowled twice in a Test match when he seemed well set is a sure sign of decline for the master batsman. I hope he bows out gracefully rather be forced out like Ganguly. He definitely has plenty of cricket left in him but he can’t score 60 runs in three innings and expect to have a permanent place in the team.
  • Players in form must be given a chance when they are in peak form. India lost a good opportunity to try out Wasim Jaffer.
  • Chappell certainly has a point about Shoaib Akhtar chucking. Check out this video and decide for yourself. The short ball he bowled to get Sachin out in the last World Cup certainly looked suspect and this one her just confirms his tendency to chuck intermittently, especially when he ends in his bouncers.
  • India’s bowling is very weak and unreliable. India is in desperate need of a tearaway fast bowler. Its time to bring in some new comers to the Test side and give Agarkar (in particular) and Zaheer Khan a break. VRV Singh, Munaf Patel, Sreesanth etc. might be worth trying out.