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Archive for the ‘Thought For Food’ Category

Test cricket -What’s testing us?

Posted by farkandfunk on July 11, 2009

As I pen this down, the Ashes are well and truly under way- which would translate to England getting their customary beat-down in this famed series.  For all the noise that was made,  if the way the first test is progressing is any indication, it’s not going to get any better for England .  Their batting still shows some promise – with the likes of Kevin Pieterson and Flintoff sure to contribute in the future, but the tall order is to beat this Aussie demolition squad.  A simpleton (Katich),   Cribber Ponting , an offspring of a backstreet boy  copulated with a pomeranian Clarke , a compass North all are piling on the agony for the english.

The questions on both sides remain the less than inspiring bowling attack. Australia is currently undergoing a makeover of sorts,  with stalwarts such as Mcgrath , Warne etc being replaced, and the newbies are not exactly the greatest discovery since sliced bread.  England’s attack on the other hand blow hot and cold depending on the situation, conditions, weather and other such things as UFO sightings and the chances of a successful Harman Bewaja movie.

In test matches, I feel that it’s the bowling that can make or break a test match (along with the pitch and conditions). Recall the nightmare of a game where India took on Sri Lanka at Columbo (952 runs scored) etc. True , it was a world record, Jayasuriya scored a shitload of runs, and Nilesh Kulkarni (remember him??) took a wicket of his first ball delivery.  But what else can we possibly remember from it, except that it was just a miserable game no matter how you break it. Similar to this on-going game, where we know that an English win is highly unlikely in this game even by the end of the 2nd day and almost impossible by the end of the 3rd day ( unless the englishmen metamorphize into Laxman, Dravid, Harbhajan etc).

Games such as those,  drawn test matches, and the fact that there are fewer folks coming in to watch a game at the stands,  have caused many sections to ponder how to modify the format (4-day test matches anyone?)  so that we have less of it. The purists in all of us wouldn’t change a thing of course. If was the case, there would have never been any 50-over games, and there wouldn’t have been T20 games.  We’ll never know what’s good or not, but lets assume we HAD to change something (since change is permenant and all that blah), what would it be?

Typical to my (lack of) style and character(lessness), I’m coming up with  a couple  of random suggestions here.  I’d like you all to spit at, germinate, nurture, these and more ideas, and see what  do we think of all this.

1.  Have a first innings run-rate limit which the teams should be on par or over. This can be calculated and set through statistics (ground, teams involved,  seasonal conditions,  what not).  Not being on par with this could lead to some form of penalization – negate some of the runs scored for example .

Pros: run rate is probably a big criteria in test cricket for forcing a result in a game. If there can be some way of upping the run rate – it might go in a long way of making it more interesting

Cons: This might get too complicated . Similar to the DL method, enforcing teams to think in statistics might attract too much flak.  It is highly likely to cause more controversy if not thought through and tested well enough.

2. Keep the 5 day format – but allow substitutions (perhaps 2-3) .  Increase the stake for both teams in the deal. Imagine some of the possibilities. There could be a situation in the 3rd and final test of a series which a team is leading 1-0. There could be a situation where one team might have 7 bowlers (5 + 2 all rounders)  in the 2nd innings, and just 3 premiere batsmen in the game, just to force the result. Or a team is chasing 350 of 40 overs for a win, and you bring in someone like Yousaf pathan in (who’d normally find it tough to break into a test squad), to try to win it.

Pros:  It might add some excitement to the game, where some new permutations and combinations of players might cause renewed interest and increase possibilities of results.

Cons:  The strategy might not really be endearing to the purists, and the desired results (results, crowds) might not happen.

What do you folks think?  The rotten eggs and tomatoes are in the comments section. Feel free to throw some at this.

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Posted in Sports, Thought For Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Jacob Oram reveals his true colours

Posted by farkandfunk on June 2, 2009

When Jacob Oram was drafted in the Chennai Super Kings squad, there was a lot of hope and anticipation from its legion of fans. One hoped that they’d see some destructive hitting when he would bat, and some tight stump to stump bowling at the death for CSK, choking and clogging the opposition worse than the public loos in a local train station .  Dhoni, who seems to have a weakness for all-rounders of the Ajit Agarkar caliber (how else can one explain the inclusion Joke-inder Sharma in so many matches that even he,  if given the option, would  bench his own arse), promptly persisted with Oram in almost all the matches this season. Oram would then proceed to promptly appear in the chennai yellows as consistently as a paan stain on the walls of a government building, a fungus on moist brittania bred, a rash due to a tight tantex underwear… well, you get hte picture.

We all know how Oram did this season of the IPL.

Webster Definition

Webster Definition

In IPL 2.0 (since its SOOO cool), here are his figures:

M    I    NO    Runs    Avg    SR
11    8    2    88    14.66    94.62

Bowling
M    I    Runs    W    Avg    Eco    SR
11    8    133    5    26.60    8.58    18.60

All rounder. Right.

For someone with a strike rate of below 100 in this format, an economy rate in bowling that looks like batting average (never a good thing for an all rounder no matter how you look at it), an experienced bowler who had  “Smack-me-coz-I’m-AKON’s-Biatch” tattooed on his forehead every time he came on to bowl at the death, he didn’t exactly have an argument in justifying his selection in the team.

Yesterday, India plays NZ in a warm-up game, and surprise surprise, Jo is included in his team. As team India cruises along, JO is brought in to the proceedings. A casual observer and follower of the game in the last few months would think that, oh alright, I guess the teams want this to get over fast, so that they can all go back to their rooms, get some food,  make long-distance calls to their families (or1-800-LoNELY in the case Warnie) /or simply do whatever it is  they do when they are alone in the rooms…

What we witness next is a 3-0-18-1 performance by Oram, taking the wicket of his clubmate Raina , and punking his other clubmate and captain Dhoni in the process. More disturbing would have been the fact that he bowled 2 relatively tight overs at the death, making Dhoni and the CSK think-tank scratch their respective heads and groins in no particular order in shock of what could have been when they sorely needed such control during their IPL adventure.

For Team India, it’s probably a little too early to panic. It was a warm-up game, and a loss here is better than a loss in the real thing. It also must have provided a few insights, such as:
1. the team composition didn’t exactly light the world on fire
2. Ishant sharma can do some damage in those conditions
3. Jadeja is pretty good -but he isnt there yet  – seems to lose his mojo when the going gets tough
4. Take nothing for granted (read: oram)
5. Rohit and Raina are the best bet for consistency – hope they continue on that vein
6. You can suck/not participate in IPL and still do well in the world cup
7. It’s good not to have hear/see/smell Modi

All said and done, the team will probably look like this:
Viru, Gautham, Raina, Yuvraj, Rohit, Dhoni, Y.Pathan, I.Pathan, Bhajji,RP, Ishant  (if Zaheer is fit , he probably replaces Ishant).

But the final word goes to Oram and his likes- thank you for raising the warning bell!

Black Caps ku whistle podu!

Black Caps ku whistle podu!

Posted in Thought For Food, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Thought For Food

Posted by farkandfunk on March 7, 2008

I’ll try to make this a regular weekly/fortnightly column, a slightly serious one. Every now and then , all of us have this moment of inspiration, this idea that comes out of nowhere. We have this sudden social responsibility, the need to feel like the hero from Shankar movies. This could happen at any moment – a walk in the park, a ride in the auto, sitting on the pot etc.

Well , I heard once that behind a bunch of very screwed up ideas lies the beginning of the great one (now don’t go extrapolating it to men-women you twisted folks). So let it begin. I’m going to share a few thoughts and keep it open ended. I’d love to hear your comments, modifications , improvements on them. Do spread the kind word and lets try to get as many new perspectives as we can! Of course they might sound insanely crazy , but what the heck! In future we might see variations on the same, and if that’s the case, I’d like to be the first to trademark it right here. Y’all are the proof. Just don’t shoot me if this has already been done.

This edition deals with the the basic needs of mobility and transportation in an increasingly crowded and chaotic place.

1. Buildings as part of road networks.

This one’s a wild one. Imagine if we were to design this big satellite town. What if all the major buildings, malls, apartments etc effectively start from 2-3 floors up , with a huge gap that is the ground floor? The ground floor are part of our road network all over the place. Vehicles can take turns THROUGH buildings!!!! Friggin weird isn’t it?? The 3rd floor of the buildings onwards – there are multi level car parks, generator area, air conditioning area, and what not- what we typically have on the basement level now. Thus, the ground level of the building would have nothing but support structures, and an area for ramps, lifts for pedestrians etc, the rest of the base would just have the continuation of the roads. This would help network our roads better, free turns , free flowing traffic. From the road, there will be 1 ramp to the 2nd floor of the building for cars that need parking in the building, and cars coming out. Sort of like this (a very very quick paintshop work,so dont blame me :

Future Buildings in my satellite town
2.I was thinking that a BMP or other such municipalities can implement something like this to encourage walk-to-work or use less cars policy.

a. Neighbourhood-Work-Areas

Create small office spaces or areas in collaboration with a slew of companies, and encourage the employees living in that area to use this office space. Networking, access, security will be a challenge but still its a thought. If you notice – there are lots of places where you can go pay your water bills, electricity bills at one point. That is what i had in mind. What if the government actively participates in designing the corporate working environment as part of the whole ecosystem? That’s what I’m driving it.

b. Incentives for good Samaritans :

Create a process to incentivize walk-to-work or public-transport-use for corporate folks. Maybe something like amounting to tax reduction. The checks could be like bus-pass swipe cards on a daily basis , and other such simple documentation

c. Innovate services offered by the public transport.
I’m sure many of you guys know that the Bangalore volvos are actually quite decent, and that you can sms to a number and find out where the position of the next bus is. For all those who don’t know how to use it , click here.

That’s a “pull”based system. How about a “push” based system. Go to the organizations, and the interested employees are automatically registered for an SMS update system which will send you an SMS on the bus that YOU ARE interested in , in your route on a daily basis.

Other options – provide wireless connectivity in their buses! 🙂 And how about some live cricket etc on that beautiful flat screen.

Bring it on.

Posted in Thought For Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »