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Sight Screen

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Harsha, Shoaib and a few others

Harsha screams Yaahooo in his write-up after India demolished the Lankans at Nagpur. Of course, most of it was on Tendulkar's resurgence as a batting bully. He suggests that the maestro's problems were in his mind.

It happens to the best. The mind is made up and instinct is buried. We seek to become conformists, from making the rules we bow to them. Sometimes we grow weary with battle, the next conquest becomes daunting. We start looking at obstacles rather than opportunities, worry about getting out rather than think of scoring runs; once again we see the fielders not the gaps between them.

I for one think that it was Tendulkar's physical problems which made him prolong his cautious approach to batting. The injury so obviously hampered his ability to play some of his best shots and reluctant as he might have been, Sachin was forced to curtail his agressive approach.
Something I like about Harsha's columns is his optimism and I thought this was lacking in recent times. Hopefully, the coming days will continue to provide him (and us ) with more joy.

Elsewhere, Shoaib continues his life in normal fashion. His latest grievance is against someone who remarked on his unchanging attitude to discipline, using the analogy of a dog's tail that never straightens.

"This TV channel aired derogatory remarks against me without any rhyme and reason and tomorrow they can also do so against my country. I will fully pursue litigation against this TV channel instead of accepting an apology from them."

It is funny how people resort to grandiose arguments when they have nothing else to put forward. Shoaib in this case seems to think that Pakistan as a country is under threat from unsuspecting ESPN. I say, Pakistan will be well served if he is engrossed with the litigation processes and misses the England series as a result.

WI suffered their first casuality when Wavell Hinds fractured his little finger. Devon Smith will now accompany Gayle at the top. The team desperately needs Lara to fire on all cylinders and the rest to provide able support if they are to pose any kind of challenge to the Australians.

Finally, in the Guardian, Mike Selvey writes on the Englishmen touring Pakistan. The article is a day old but Inzi's fitness and training methods under Miandad's able tutelage are particularly interesting.

It all bypassed Inzy, who had yet to leave the airconditioning of the dressing room. Fielding drills followed, during which he emerged, tracksuited and padded up. He wandered across to a large wicker chair by the nets and slumped down to observe the efforts of his team-mates.
Then came a net session that he also viewed nonchalantly for a while before deciding it was time for a spot of batting. So he unzipped his top, removed it, placed his green Pakistan helmet on his head, and strolled into the nearest net, where for 20 minutes he proceeded to bat like a prince, before deciding enough was enough. Out he came, collecting his extraneous gear on the way, and disappeared back to the dressing room, not to be seen again. Next day, of course, he made a century.

I wonder if Inzi is given the same kind of treatment with Woolmer in charge.


  • I think the comment on Shohaib was made by Siddhu - is that correct ... sounds very much like him

    as for Inzy -- wish Sourav could have done that - i mean the century part not the prince part

    By Blogger @mit, at 13:53  

  • I guess SG used to do that and people never bothered about the training part. It was only when his batting went down that people started micro-analysing him.

    By Blogger Toney, at 13:59  

  • Boy, I don't care what anyone else says. In my book, Harsha has got to be numero uno in hte legion of cricket writers. Beautiful construction, effortless references (the Bachchan reference made me smile), and cheerful enthusiasm for the game are hallmarks of his writing that were missing in the past few weeks. Harsha is back, too! It's amazing the kind of effect one small man can have on his teammates, the opposition, the media and fans.

    Ala re ala! (I was tempted to make some witty connection to "Govinda ala re", given that Muralitharan is synonymous with Govinda, but didn't feel I could pull it off; any of you are welcome to try!)

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 14:09  

  • alvin, it is funny. I remember my college days, whenever India wins, especially a tense/close game, the mood is different and even if none of us speak about the match, there is still that extra bit of joy in the air. SRT has that something which no previous or present sportsperson in India possesses

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:14  

  • toney,

    Thanks for the HB article (and other articles too). Always looking forward to Thursdays for this reason! And agree with you that HB's optimism is a refreshing change compared to others...I think the striking difference is that HB tends to write mostly from the heart whereas others tend to be guarded abt their thoughts but try to use an analytical approach (sometimes over-analytical) to analyze the whole situation. I can almost imagine HB himself behaving like a little boy and gleefully jumping around while he watched SRT's batting!

    By Blogger rp, at 14:18  

  • Just goes on to show how dependent we are on India and particularly SRT's performance for our emotional espressos.

    Just the very notion that SRT is back made me do a little jig in my lonely cubicle in the midwest. And now I see Prem and Harsha doing it too!

    By Blogger traveller, at 14:35  

  • Regarding Shoaib's threat of litigation:
    Speaking from a law student's perspective, I assure you the man will be laughed out of court. Well, actually, he'll never make it to court. His case will certainly be dismissed on summary judgment (essentially before the case starts, ESPN will admit to everything Shoiab alleges in the complaint, but the law is on ESPN's side, so the judge should rule in their favor on summary judgment; and the judge will). Shoaib will apparently file a case of libel against ESPN. To succeed under such a claim, the first requirement is that the statement is untrue. Second, the party making the defamatory comments must know or ought to know it is untrue. Third, the remarks have to be made out of malice towards the other party. Unfortunately, Shoaib fails all these criteria miserably. The purpose of libel suits is not to end parody or comic relief on television. Then you would have no, Jay Leno, David Letterman, or Shekar Suman. Any lawyer that takes this case will be doing so for the money and publicity alone, knowing full well that there is no case. You would think Shoaib would actually get some proper legal advice before shooting his mouth off about litigation-- but that's not Shoaib. Oh, and here's the kicker, he won't accept an apology. Last I heard, you have to be offered an apology to accept one. No, I refuse to have sex with Aishwarya Rai (don't worry guys, I'm not crazy-- she never offered). What I find surprising is that even though the Shahryar Khan admitted that the PCB would not recommend litigation since there is no case of libel, they still sent a strongly-worded objection to ESPN. Huh? For what? I didn't realize it was illegal to crack a joke about a public figure on television. Where do you think George Bush would be if he had people sending a strongly-worded objection about everyone that made a joke about him (that's all it was- a joke; no reasonable person can see any malice in that statement). What the PCB needs to do is kick Shoaib up his *** and tell him to shut the f*** up. All he does is continue to be an embarassment. In fact, if I was a lawyer for ESPN, in order to protect the image of the channel, I would reply witha strongly-worded letter (leak it to the press) about what a farce Shoaib's threat of litigation is. Shame on him and shame on the PCB for even remotely supporting him in this "cause."

    By Blogger Sahir, at 14:40  

  • Sahir:
    Great analysis.
    Does the song "na na na na..na na na na .. hey hey hey ..goodbye!"...ring a bell?
    Was the roof open or closed? Which part of the "angan was teda" (from the proverbial "naach na jane,angan teda")?

    Chicago White Sox. World Series Champions. Amen!!

    By Blogger losing now, at 14:50  

  • Sahir/Toney,

    Agree with ur take on Shoaib. The guy should shut up and concentrate on his Cricket.

    By Blogger Poondu, at 14:53  

  • toney: wierd font.. is it me?

    By Blogger losing now, at 14:59  

  • losing now,
    allright, I'll say it:
    The White Sox are the Astros' daddy!
    No points on the "original" celebration song though.
    But still cannot understand why commisioner had to interfer and require an open roof- that was a huge blow!
    Certainly an issue that needs to be resolved, even if it requires litigation. The playing conditions should be the sole perrogative of the home team, unless it is dangerous. I mean if it was the World Cup finals, the ICC can't interven and mandate the final be played at a certain venue or on a cretain pitch. What if the home team prefers a venue favorable to spin or pace? That should be their choice.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 14:59  

  • sahir:
    I agree - Bud Selig shouldnt have a say in that..but what do you expect from him..this guy is competing with GWB on incompetence!

    Chalo.. roof or no roof...what matters is winning in baseball basics - which is pitching, timely batting and good defense. The Sox were ahead of the Astros in all (some areas marginally) of these areas during this particular series..and they won.

    Good luck .. i'm heading to Chicago for the parade. I know it aint happening again in my lifetime ;-)

    By Blogger losing now, at 15:07  

  • Sahir
    ///Regarding Shoaib's threat of litigation///
    This write-up was superb. Thank you so much

    By Blogger J, at 15:12  

  • losing now,
    "what matters is winning in baseball basics - which is pitching, timely batting and good defense. The Sox were ahead of the Astros in all (some areas marginally) of these areas during this particular series..and they won."

    Agreed, they were simply the better overall team

    Have fun at the parade :)

    By Blogger Sahir, at 15:13  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 15:14  

  • j,
    you're welcome

    By Blogger Sahir, at 15:14  

  • I think more then anything else Shoaib needs counselling. It is a well recognized practice world over but in Ind-Pak, the thinking is only pagals go for counselling.

    And with people like Shaharyar ( Shoiab said Shaharyar will support him) around to advice, it is not going to help.

    Shoaib must play against England and win matches for Pak. He has the ability to do it. He needs proper guidance and I think Pak is definitely missing someone like Imran or to some extent Wasim to shepherd him. I see good intentions from Bob but then again Shoaib is a tough nut.

    By Blogger J, at 15:21  

  • j,
    "I think more then anything else Shoaib needs counselling. It is a well recognized practice world over but in Ind-Pak, the thinking is only pagals go for counselling."

    I agree, although I prefer not to use the word "pagals" for its obvious derrogatory connotation and the fact that people tend to group all mental disorders together. I'm not a psychiatrist, but have some experience with a close family member having bipolar disorder. Although I do not know Shoaib personally, I must say everything I have read or seen lends me to believe he is bipolar. The huge mood swings, the highly inflated ego, the perception that everyone around him is wrong and he is right, the promiscuity, the disruptive behavior, the thrill-seeking, the complete disregard for authority-- all classic symptoms of someone with bipolar disorder. The disease tends to be highly underdiagnosed, especially in the subcontinent, and I hope for his sake, that he has this checked out. It is essentially caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that can be dealt with if properly medicated. By the way, the suicide rate for people with uncontrolled bipolar disorder is simply astonishing. If I'm not mistaken, it may be as high as 25%. Sorry to get too serious guys...
    BTW, another celebrity I suspect may be bipolar is Salman Khan.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 15:33  

  • sahir,
    LOL on Salaman and Shoaib having bi-polar disorders. It seems possible to me too now :)

    Losing now, you really are rubbing it in to Sahir. One day, he'll explode. And as for the font, yup, weird to me too. I'll ask the rest what they use and modify accordingly. Sorry abt that

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:37  

  • toney..atleast I use the blogger default(compose the whole thing there). I guess you use a composer?...or word doc or something?

    By Blogger worma, at 15:42  

  • toney:
    Just like the Ginnie..*L* Boss, it is tough being a Chicago sports fan. We take more than we give. So we do it with humility ;-)

    By Blogger losing now, at 15:52  

  • I understand. As you said, Chicago is experiencing something it doesnt often get to :)

    I use the editor given by blogger.com too. But I used Arial font (normal and tiny per the site, I think). Do you use normal and small?

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:59  

  • losing now,
    "[I]t is tough being a Chicago sports fan."

    Get the heck outta here!
    The Bulls only won 6 championships last decade and now the White Sox-- you're blessed. Most other cities would kill for even one or two major championships.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:05  

  • sahir:
    I guess Chicago beats Houston ;-)
    Here are the Chicago championships ..since 1984 when I could relate to sport championships in US ..
    1985 Bears, 6 years of Bulls (with another "God" called Michael Jordan) and 2005 White Sox. That is 8 out of 105 (21 years x 5 pro teams - bulls, bears, cubs, sox, blackhawks) potential championships. I think it is definitely worse than NY (i'm not sure about LA)...and if we did not have MJ.. it would have been friggin ugly!

    By Blogger losing now, at 16:25  

  • losing now,
    The Rockets won 2 championships, and don't you dare forget about the WNBA-- Houston Comets who won 5! Additionally, the IHL (separate hockey league) champions Houston Aeros back in the mid-90s.
    Ahhh, clutching onto straws...

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:30  

  • Sahir : WNBA -- what's that? Is that a pro-league.. does anybody watch them? ;-)

    By Blogger losing now, at 16:31  

  • Toney, rp, traveller: It might be a little strange and early to feel too pleased and some caution might be in order. However, most Indian fans have seen so many losses over the past that a healthy dose of caution goes without saying. However, I think what has gladdened the hearts of many is the knowledge that Sachin isn't past it. Winning one game against SL may not mean much, but it shows that the foundation that had us on a magical run before this sudden slump, is still in place. Tendulkar is going to be agressive, Dravid is going to be reliable, Harbhajan will take wickets and Pathan will make things happen (hopefully with the ball as well). These 4 are going to be the pillars of Team India for the next few years. I do think though that Kumble and Laxman should be part of the make-up. They are both smart cricketers, and the former gives us some tenacity and consistency and the latter gives us undiluted brilliance and makes our line-up look truly intimidating.

    As for this unhealthy emotional reliance on cricket results, so what? Every nation has its own form of self-expression. I can't think of any city or country that doesn't have atleast one sport that affects its collective morale to the same extent that cricket affects India's. Just ask the gentleman from the south-side.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 17:38  

  • alvin et al,

    Undoubtedly Kumble and Laxman are wonderful in their bowling and batting respectively...but it's their fielding that has costed them their position more than anything else. Honestly, it seems that Kumble has lost his edge in ODIs over the last couple of yrs...but I am hopeful of him getting a few more opportunities and getting back into top form again...he's the war-scarred general that you would like on your side when the pressure is bulding on you...his mental toughness and grit is really rare to find. Laxman's inconsistency has also been his bane...he's a match-winner on his day...but again I'm hoping he will improve his fitness and add the "not afraid to go over the top" shots to his repetoire.

    By Blogger rp, at 18:44  

  • I think there is something to be said for Harsha's assertion about the mental attitude of Tendulkar. He didn't deny that the physical problem was there, yet I agree that he may not have played shots he could have, due to a more conservative mindset. Frequently, playing with injury is as much a mental hurdle as a physical one. I believe we're seeing a Tendulkar freed of the burden of a restricted shot selection and it's allowed him to adopt a better approach, especially against spinners. While spin bowlers like batsmen who try to hit them out of the ground, batsmen who do so effectively dent their ability to take wickets. Moreover, a batsman who stays in his crease is a bowler's dream, because not only will he get out, he'll place pressure on those batting with him while he doesn't score. My point- Tendulkar's controlled aggression against Muralitharan is exactly what the Lankan's didn't want. In Lanka, there wasn't a player in the Indian team who looked anywhere near as effective against Murali. It's showing in the results.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 02:24  

  • And on a lighter note than pure trial bike , check out the funniest trial transcript ever! If it's not serious enough of a topic, well, just pretend it's the Brit's version of trial bike !

    By Blogger TheDevilIsInTheDetails, at 18:56  

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