Ashes: Strange Not To Ask Eng To Follow-on

Ricky Ponting’s decision to bat again was highly questionable. The only possible reason might be that the ageing Glenn McGrath needed a rest before having another go at the English. Even if this were true it made little sense since the rest of the bowling attack was well eqipped to attack the deeply demoralized england batsmen. Besides a 400+ runs lead is not sufficient for the world’s strongest team?

If the match is drawn for some reason (weather intervening or a superlative show by Eng on the last day), Ponting is bound to draw some serious fire.

Yahoo’s Peanut Memo-Gate

Brad Garlinghouse’s (a Yahoo senior vice president) internal memo was leaked to the press. It does a lot of damage to the company without a doubt. The outside world has expressed deep concerns about Yahoo in general of late (as reflected in its stock price). This memo just confirms that these concerns are most valid.

The first thing Yahoo should do is to investigate and identify the source of the leak. Its completely stupid to leak this memo. Its hard to believe that Brad did it himself (as some in the blogosphere folks claim).

Murtha-Hoyer Vote: Pelosi Shines Despite Defeat

Nancy Pelosi supported John (lost to Steny Hoyer) in the race for No. 2 spot in the House. It shows the Ms. Pelosi stands up for what she believes in no matter what the outcome of any polls might be. It also shows that she values loyalty. Considering the margin of Hoyer’s victory, its hard to imagine that Ms. Pelosi might not have had a sense for it prior to the actual vote. Yet she stood up for John Murtha. In general, this is a good sign as opposed to the conventional “she started with a defeat” take on the issue.

Cricket: Two Spinners Strategy Might Work Best

The SA Tour is going to be a tough one for India. With Viru out of the first ODI and Yuvraj out of the series, it gives the team and its players a golden opportunity to unearth some new talent and possibly make a final call on a few players. The pace department seems to be a good mix of youth (Sreesanth, Munaf) and experience (Zaheer, Agarkar). (Pathan is best treated as an all rounder). But the spin department is where India’s real experience lies in Kumble and Bhajji.

It might be a safe bet to play three seamers (Munaf, Sreesanth and Agarkar) and two spinners (Kumble and Bhajji). Dhoni, Sachin, Dravid, Kaif, Dinesh Karthick and Pathan to make the rest of the team for the first ODI. It might be worth giving Dinesh Karthick who is known for his ability to accelerate the scoring rate with unorthodox shots, a chance in place of Raina, who appears to have run into horrible form. In Viru’s absence India might do well to send Dhoni out with Sachin, followed by Dravid at number three. This would leave the task of accelerating the scoring in the last 10 overs to Karthick and Pathan.

Cricket: Ashes Fever picks up

The Ashes fever has certainly picked up down under. Deniss Lillee, Bobby Simpson and others have criticized the lack of youth (or rather the presence of too many 30+ aged players) in the Aussie side. Richie Benaud meanwhile has gone on record that Ponting is the best Aussie captain ahead of the likes of Mark Taylor and Waugh. England meanwhile is struggling and have already lost Trescothick. The Aussie selectors has brought in Tait, Stuart Clarke and Mitchell Johnson to back Brett Lee ands McGrath. Along with Shane Warne, this seems like a more than formidable bowling attack.

On paper the Aussies appear way too strong. It remains to be seen how things turn out on the field. My guess is that England will do a lot better than anticipated.

India: Fighting Corruption

Check out this recent report on President Kalam’s idea of an independent commission to tackle corruption. Its good to see that corruption has caught the attention of visible people like President. The Right to Information Act passed by the Government of India in Oct 2005 was great step in this direction. It will certainly help if the President influenced the Government to follow through and prevent any roadblocks for the implementation of the RTIA. Ironically, the RTIA appears to be stuck in bureaucracy with a huge backlog of cases!