ICC Hearing: A Joke

Inzy is free of ball tampering charges. But he has to sit out four games. Darrell Hair has nothing to worry about. The match was long forfeited. Who compensates the public for the loss of a day and quarter of exciting play? If Inzy and co are not guilty of ball tampering, shouldn’t the Umpire be taken to task for depriving the public of some serious cricket?

Its probably the only instance where a serious charge was levelled against a cricket captain, hearing is held after several weeks and at the end of the investigation, everyone goes home smiling! A true win-win scenario.

Hair nailed?

The BCCI has finally spoken up on the issue and opposed Hair umpiring in the Champions trophy. It was a good move on the part of the Board. It remains to be seen how this plays out. I will be awful if the BCCI and the rest buckle down to various pressures and back out at a later stage.

iWoz ego trip

The legendary Steve Wozniak’s (Apple co-founder) new book is titled “iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon”

I always thought of him to be a nerdy guy. The title is a complete turn off –a marketing title more than a nerdy one. He is referring to himself as a cult icon! No matter how great he might be, a little humility won’t hurt. Its ok for others to refer to him as “cult icon” and shower him with titles. But doing it himself is a little too much.

Moreover, he is riding the iPod wave by using the iWoz in the title. Its a blatant atempt to cash in on present-day Apple which he probably has little to do with. This is still ok to some extent, but the self -proclamation as Cult Icon? God!

I’m not surprised that Steve Jobs turned down the request to write the foreword.

Mush is a master manipulator

Pervez Musharaff easily takes the cake for being the most shrewd head of state in the world. He has managed to remain in power despite the situation in Afghanisthan, his poor relations with India, the volatile situation in Pakistan, his constant need to kiss up the US etc.

His book release is another master stroke. He has started controversies all over, like dropping small bombs! Meanwhile, there are rumors of a coup in Pak! President Musharaff clearly belives in living for the moment. At present his priority is to sell books and that is now more or less “mission accomplished”

Spy Agencies Report: Confirming the Obvious?

Finally, an official report from the US Intelligence agencies that the Iraq war has made the world a more dangerous place. While its hard to commend them for what seems an obvious conclusion, it heartening to note that they at least didn’t chant the administration mantras –We are safe, but not safer, We have had no attacks since 9-11, so here is the proof that things have improved etc. etc.

So the right thinks this another false propoganda by the left? The spin should start from both sides, if it hasn’t already.

Nothing to prove that Dravid is not the boss

There was report that Shastri criticized the team management for shuffling the batting order. He went on to say that Dravid should assert himself more, the batting order must be decided by the captain etc.

How does Shastri know that the batting order was Chappell’s decision? I suspect that it was a joint decision. Dravid has had a good run as an opener except in this DLF series. Viru has been in pathetic form. Under the circumstances I think it was a worthwhile experiment to open with Dravid. When it failed, he was quick to return to the middle order. Dravid was right when he said the batting failed India. Viru failed (as always), Sachin failed when it was most needed as did Dravid and the rest of the team. I don’t think any of this can be blamed on experimentation. The only experimentation that was done was to bring back Mongia and it worked! The number 3 spot usually filled in by Pathan was now available. It had to be either Kaif or Dravid, and the captain decided to give Kaif a chance. In short, I suspect Shastri got it wrong this time around unless he is somehow privy to dressing room discussions!

Invincible Aussies vs the Unpredictable Windies

India fizzled out once again despite a very achievable target of 213. The Indian batting has struggled throughout this tournament. Viru is woefully out of form (bowled in three successive innings is a sign of serious loss of form) and needs a rest. It was very heartening to see that Dravid dropped down the order after the series of failures in the opening slot. (One can easily speculate that in same situation Ganguly would have continued to open the innings :-). Also, dropping Yuvraj was a fine move. He is another player badly in need of a rest. It was great to see Mongia seize the opportunity. It just goes to show that there is plenty of talent outside of the current bunch provided the selectors are willing to give others a chance.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the lower order batsman practicing their batting. Given this it is shameful that Bhajji, Agarkar, Munaf and RP combined could barely make 5 runs! This an area the Aussies always excel. After having lost the top half, the rest fought back to take the score to 213. Haddin is slowly being groomed to take over from Gilchrist. Clarke and Watson had to sit out this match. This just shows that the Aussie bench strength is simply unparalleled. On paper (and most often on the field), the Aussies are far ahead of all other teams. India for sure does not have what it take to beat the Aussies. At best, India can pull off an odd ODI victory or two.

The only thing that can stop the Aussies is some superlative on the field performance. At the present moment I think the only team that is likely to come up with of such a superlative on the field performance are the “hit and miss” WI. They are capable of such extremes that most teams are incapable off. The final tonight will be another test of the WI unpredictability as much as it is a test of the Aussie invincibility.