Thursday, April 22, 2010

Post Mortem!

RCB has done it yet again. From treading on the right path at the initial stages, to losing it mid way: the team never capitalized on the initial advantage it got. Blazing away to four straight victories gave the team a cushion, from where they could comfortably proceed to the semis. But pathetic performances, coupled with some mindless decisions by the management created all the road blocks. So what were the ingredients that cooked up the perfect recipe for disaster? Complacency? Overconfidence? Laid back attitude? What went wrong?

An analysis:

- Jacques Kallis: Unfair to call him THE culprit. Yet, he was in some manner, responsible for the sloppy start in terms of run rate. The top contender for the orange cap, the way every innings of his was paced, somehow reflected that the orange cap perhaps was the reason behind his cautious batting. Prime example would be the match against the Rajasthan Royals, where the bowlers managed to restrict them to a modest total. What seemed to a cake walk, was complicated because of a snail-paced batting by the burly South African. However, one cannot really overlook his contribution with both bat and ball.

- Batting order: RCB never had a fixed batting order. Goswami was an utter failure. No fixed opening pair, no fixed middle order batsmen. It could have worked in the team’s favour, for the intention was right: to keep the opposition in the dark, so that they would be unable to come up with a substantial strategy to combat the batting line up, that looked pretty strong on paper.

- Team Selection: More often than not, having a constellation of stars in the team, and being made to pick and choose from them leads to a happy headache. Some of the top international faces: Kallis, KP, White, Merwe, Boucher, Steyn, Taylor, Morgan are unbelievably, a part of the same team. However, the dilemma arises when the management’s hands are tied to picking up only four of them. With such quality players, it becomes difficult and confusing to drop the axe on some of them. That leads to a rather distorted vision regarding the ideal team combination.

- Bowling Attack: The bowling lacks sharpness. Apart from Steyn, no bowler could generate pace while not compromising with the basics. Vinay Kumar was impressive, yet, lack of experience did play a role. The spin department was spearheaded by Jumbo, which, undoubtedly was effective. However, The semi finals witnessed Jumbo’s deliveries being thrashed, with the no balls adding insult to injury. Bowling needs to be focused and clinical.

- Fielding: Inconsistent. From coming up with blinders, to dropping sitters, RCB has done it all. Ground fielding was average; field placements were not attacking. Strategic Time Outs were inconsequential. Leaking singles and doubles spelt doom. 

- Batting: Despite having a 60% winning rate while chasing, it was ironical that RCB lost all the crucial matches batting second. A solid batting line up, they seemed to be in a wild goose chase, even when the target was meagre. In the blitz form of the game, every dot ball ticks the required run rate higher, and after the piling run rate, it is more or less an uphill task.

Despite the issues mentioned above, there have been a number of postives that have emerged post the IPL. Robin Uthappa’s towering sixes, Vinay Kumar’s and Appanna’s lethal bowling, Rahul Dravid’s superb catching…These are positives not just for RCB, but for the national side as well.

Whatever happened will be heart-breaking, yet we will continue to cheer loud and clear…..We are Game For More….always!!!! :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Looking Back.....

As the clocks tick, as each second passes, little do we realize that these are the moments that will haunt our memories and become a part of our identity. The unpredictable journey of life takes us to unknown destinations, and each of them endows us with memories; some heart warming, some heart wrenching. We meet people; faces of some are intertwined with our personality; faces of others fade away into the darkness. 

The footsteps towards every new junction, compels us to learn and de learn. One never knows when one step could be a giant leap. We move in a linear manner, but somewhere down the line, the mind wanders off…recollecting all the moments of bliss and melancholy.

One of the most important pitstops in my journey was TSJ. Met a lot of people, shared a cordial relationship with most. But there were a few with whom I struck an instant chord. The first meeting itself sparked off what would be a bond for life. In a city where relationships are short-lived; where friend turns foe in a split second, relationships that endure all hardships are a rare occurrence. I am, therefore, extremely glad to have come across people whom i would love to keep in touch forever.

From testing mental endurance to emotional capabilities, every individual at TSJ reached his or her tipping point. As the journey reaches its fag end, there is a gush of memories. The first day, where every person’s eyes reflected their aspirations. Some faces that had the gloom of leaving behind their families; the excitement of exploring a new world altogether; the apprehensions of surviving in the rough and rude industry. 

The Monday morning blues that robbed us of our peaceful slumber, the piling assignments that we despised. The classes that facebook made tolerable. The canteen, the lab, the corridor: every part of this BCCL building will be etched on to our memories. From friendly fights to hair pulling disasters, every moment is worth recalling. 

Tausif, the “chacha”, with a political inclination. Rachit, the philosopher lost in his own sweet world. Arora, the avid blogger. Aaheli, the sweetheart and visionary; the Argumentative Indian. Aryani, the tomboy. Shaily, the damsel. Rudrani, the lethal combination of beauty and brains. Viraj, the boy next door. Purba, the self proclaimed hard core feminist. Annanya, the unassuming. Gandhi, the efficient worker. Payal, the grammarian. Neha, the journalist with a mission. Shuvait, the storehouse of immense knowledge. Karthik, the techno guru. Kumari, the prolific writer. Sasha, the chilled out chick. Pallavi, the architect of the pages. Vani, the super talented. Upasana, bubbling with energy throughout the day. Akshita, the fashion consultant. Sunanda, the potential star alumni of TSJ. Navjot, the excellent orator. Dipika, the able leader. Sneha, the silent achiever. Tista, who never hesitates to lend a helping hand; “Misshap”, “ Misty” (m sure tiss u mustv understood!!). Binesh, the superlatively talented; the macho man. Poonam, the smiling beauty. Sandeep, the man of few words; the next big thing in the field of political journalism. Shweta, the invincible. Ragini, the girl with a golden voice. Alpa, the cutest and the friendliest of all.

With such a diversity and variety of individuals, coming from across the country, this class has been rightly christened as “Mini India.” With every individual exceptionally talented, one thing is for sure: it will not be long before each of them carves a niche of his or her own. This batch will go places, and I am sure, Sunny sir will be will be beaming with pride.

As this journey ends, marking the beginning of a new and exciting phase, recalling every single event will bring about nostalgia. From hysterical bouts of laughter to intense debates, from sustaining under pressure to blossoming due to competition, from gossip sessions to hanging out in the canteen, all memories are frozen in time.

I will definitely miss TSJ!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sniffing a Victory....

With a crushing defeat vs the Mumbai Indians, and almost no credible reason to take solace in, the team morale is down in the dumps. So what should the perfect strategy be to combat MI, who are in peach of a form, perching comfortable at the top of the table?

Firstly, what happened at the preliminary level is of no use now. It is a question of taking it one match at a time. The batting order needs to be revised. The bowling options are limited, but Jumbo spearheading the attack, opening the bowling with his lethal and deceptive spin, could be effective. Catching, after the last match, has become a sphere of concern.

Another question is KP or White? Thumbs up for KP, keeping in mind his consistent performance and ability to chip in as a part time bowler. Appanna and Vinay too have been impressive. But then again, comes the question of picking up one. Steyn can be devastative with his blistering pace. Kallis, who is in the eye of the storm, needs to perform, and perform with an awesome run rate. VD Merwe deserves a chance, but serious doubts on whether the management would take a gamble.

If Kallis makes an early exit and returns to the pavilion, the ideal strategy would be to promote Dravid up the order, to render consolidation to the innings and pumping up the run rate later. With a hard hitter on one end, and an anchor on the other, setting a target or chasing down one should not be impossible.

Fielding needs fine tuning. Catches need to be scooped out of thin air. Dropping sitters is a sin. RCB needs a sharp fielding attack, with the fielders always on their toes and a shrewd field placement, that will put a lid on the leaking out of singles and couples in the slog overs.

MI is a formidable team, and the kind of winning streak they are in, a bit of both brawn and brain is a prerequisite to cruise through the semis. Analysing the blunders made in the previous matches and trying not to repeat them is the key to victory. The top order needs to fire, and one of the batsmen should always aim to up the ante, and put pressure on the bowling side. Bowlers need to stick to their basics, and not err in line and length.

For all RCB fans, this is the time to be a solid mode of energy revival. The team needs our support, and all RCBians need to cheer for them wholeheartedly.

The venue of the semi finals being shifted to Navi Mumbai is definitely gonna play a crucial role, as the Chinnaswami Stadium is known for the awe inspiring support it lends to the home team. Nevertheless, playing excellent cricket will compensate for that, and playing with the spirit of being only two steps away from that beauty, should be inspiring enough to see us through to the finals.

Time to roar like the Royals. Time to answer back. Time to rise from the ashes. Time to Win! We are Game for More!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

C(h)at Fight!!

Chat: One of the saviours that prevents you from dozing off in the middle of a class that can put you to a state of opium induced sleep! Sit next to your friend and gossip and bitch big time, apart from sharing your problems, without the rest of the world getting a hint of what you are up to!

I was multi tasking last evening. Profound and very professional it may sound though, for everyone’s benefit, let me clarify that I was watching the IPL and chatting on Facebook!! With the entire class fragmented because of internship, and with a lot of my friends scattered, chats do help in keeping touch with them.

I was chatting with the Cricket Guru and Master Geek, Karthik. Both of us were on the opposites sides of the pole. One, a hard core CSK fan, the other, a die hard RCB loyalist. It was indeed a clash of the titans. With one battle on field, there was another one, a miniscule one on Facebook. It was Karthik Krishnan Vs Parvathy Gopalakrishnan, engaged in a battle of words! It was time for Chat Fight! Every development in the match paved way to a new twist in the tale, in the CSK vs RCB replica on Facebook.

Multitasking at its best! One glance at the match, and a brainstorming for a perfect one liner that could give one an edge over the other. As the match reached its final stages, the Facebook Battle also intensified. Smileys were also thrown in to compliment the witty comments and counter comments we were coming up with!! Every boundary led to smirks from his side and the fall of every wicket invoked a devilish smile on my face, translated through words and smileys!!

The match ended with CSK screwing us up! Karthik Krishnan, for sure had the last laugh; and I could only copy him in saying, “What Misery?!!”