AdSense

Search This Blog

Labels

Thursday, June 30, 2011

the feat of ever reliable VVS Laxman

The second day’s play was spoilt by rain and WI were 98/5.  On the first day, during his good innings Laxman achieved a personal landmark – completing 8000 runs in Test Cricket – an elite club of 22 cricketers with 4 Indians in that.   He is in the exalted company of Sachin, Ponting, Dravid, Lara, Kallis, Border, Steve Waugh, Gavaskar, mahela Jayawardene, Chanderpaul, Gooch, Miandad, Inzam ul haq, Hayden,  Vivian Richards, Alec Stewart, Sangakkara, Gower, Boycott, Sobers, Mark Waugh – Virender Sehwag needs another 304 to join this list.  The fastest to get there was Sangakkara in 152 innings, Sachin took 154 – Laxman in his 201 innings.  



It must be remembered that Laxman has held the innings together on treacherous fields and was instrumental in recent wins at Mohali [where he had Ishant as partner] and at Colombo.  Laxman has thrown away his good starts many a times and consistency was never his forte in his early years – reliability has been.  Remember that he bats low down the order and has the tail for company most times.  Yet he has some record partnership including the epic one at Kolkatta against Aussies which turned the fortunes of India in Tests.  

After his debut in Ahmedabad against SA in 1996-97, Laxman’s first ton came in Australia in 2000.  A good 167 in a losing cause.  His epic 281 at Eden Garden will ever be remembered as it was instrumental in victory from a no-hope situation.  He has always reserved his best performance for Australia

He has remained an exceptionally nice person performing for the team cause all the time.   Here is the statistics of the Indians in that 8000 club

Career Average
At 8000 landmark
Batsman
Tests/Inn
Runs
Avg
100/50
Inns
Avg
100/50
Sachin
177/290
14692
56.94
51/59
154
57.58
29/32
Dravid
152/262
12220
52.44
32/59
158
57.16
20/39
Gavaskar
125/214
10122
51.12
34/45
166
52.39
29/35
Laxman
122/201
8000
47.05
16/50
201
47.05
16/50


Even in a tribute to Laxman, one has to admire Sachin whose towering performance remains unparalleled.  In  177 Tests (290 innings) he has made 14692 runs with an average of 56.94 with 51 centuries and 59 half centuries.  In One dayers, he is perched exceptionally on top with 18111 runs from 453 matches / 442 innings – averaging 45.16 – 48 tons – 95 fifties and strike rate of 86.32.  Amazing indeed.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The first day battle at Barbados – India Vs West Indies 2nd Test 2011.

Being consistent sometimes makes one becoming predictable.  

I have the habit of sharing my posts in pdf form with a large group of friends.  In fact this is two stage – one group of colleagues from my official ID and to another set of friends from my personal ID.  Sure it would have a caption and some description of what is contained therein also.  When I am about to send a newsitem on a marine occurrence at Spain and if title it ‘update from Spain’ – some of my recipients are bound to misconstrue it as something happening at Port of Spain and hence think that to be a cricket update.  

Not to disappoint those who might not have followed the match status of the second test – it was close to repeat of the abject surrender by Indians on the first day of the first test.  At lunch Indians were 44 for 4.  last match there were 3 debutants and Virat Kohli perhaps was the most dominant, having made some runs in ODIs and touted as prospective captain material for the future, he failed in the first test and this time he almost froze to another short pitched delivery described as ‘ball played him’.  – so for innings to come, sure he would be tested by short-pitched deliveries and whether he would come back in style – only time can tell.  

Ravi Rampaul is no Malcolm Marshall and but does what Marshall did.  He sliced through the top order with figures of 8-5-4-3 at lunch. It was on a pitch that aided bounce and Fidel Edwards kept bouncing everything.  There was a good partnership between the ever reliant VVS Laxman and Suresh Raina -  155/4 and then again late order collapse to 201 all out.  Only solace was when WI played each of the bowler Ishant, Praveen and Mithun got a wicket a piece to leave WI tottering at 30/3.  Perhaps, Indians can still hope of getting a slender first Innings lead going by the bounce that the pitch offered.   

This test also could prove to be decisive which is good advertisement for the enthralling Test Cricket

Regards – S. Sampathkumar

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The mayirkonrai [nazhal] connection to Barbados

Have you heard of :   Caesalpinia pulcherrima  -   a species of flowering plant in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to the tropics and subtropics of the Americas.  It is commonly known Peacock Flower, Red Bird of Paradise, Mexican Bird of Paradise, Dwarf Poinciana, Pride of Barbados, and flamboyan-de-jardin.  It is native to our land as well and tamil literature has lots of reference to this flower (as Mayirkonrai – nazhal); Krishnachura (in Bengali); Settimandaram (in Malayalam); Sidhakya (in Sanskrit); Ratnagandhi (in Telugu)

After the euphoric win in the First Test, the venue now shifts to Barbados.  At the famous venue occurred the finals of WC 2007 when Australia thrashed Srilanka with Adam Gilchrist making a fine 149 with a golf ball in his glove.    On 16th May 2010, at the same venue was held the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 Final – match was won by England beaing Australia.

Barbados  is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is 34 kilometres (21 mi) in length and as much as 23 kilometres (14 mi) in width, amounting to 431 square kilometres (166 sq mi). It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic.  Barbados is outside of the principal Atlantic hurricane belt.  Barbados was once a Spanish and Portuguese possession till it became a British colony.  Many famous cricketers hail from this Nation which include Sobers, Worrel, Walcott, Weekes,  Gordon Greenidge, Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall.

The Test match will be played at ‘Kensington Oval’ at Bridgetown, Barbados and has Malcolm Marshall End, Joel Garner End – named after the legendary fast bowlers.   India has never won at Barbados and once failed to chase 120 in 1997.  the track is likely to have plenty of bounce and is known to be result oriented.  The Kensington Oval has also hosted many non-cricket events such as matches of the Barbados national football team, hockey, inter-school athletics, Miss Barbados pageants, and concert events.

WI has dropped its VC - Brendan Nash but in all probability the failed debutants Virat Kohli, Abhinav Mukund along with Vijay are likely to get another chance. Going by indications, India is likely to leave out Amit Mishra who had a good success and go in with 3 pacers.  The line and length bowler Munaf is expected to bowl lengthy spells but as in the past is carrying an elbow injury and is likely to give way to Abhimanyu Mithun.   Harbhajan is on the threshold of getting 400 wickets – just 4 away and could capture them in this Test.  The only solace for the visitors is the form and abysmal record of WI in recent years.  WI did not lose a single Test between 1935 to 1994 and in the 80s dominated the World beating every Team that toured leaving most of them battle-bruised.  The present attack is a pale shadow of what WI used to be and thus Indians do stand a good chance of winning the Series here itself. 

Caesalpinia pulcherrima [mayir konrai] referred in the first para is the national flower and pride of Barbados.  During Apr 1998, the Parliament of Barbados passed the Order of National Heroes.  The act also declared that there are ten national heroes of Barbados and that includes Garfield Sobers

Regards
S. Sampathkumar.

Demystifying Insurance – What is Winchester drive in Electronic Equipment Insurance

What has a .30-30 lever action rifle to do with Insurance terminology ?

The Insurance Policy in its simplest form is the contract between the Insurer and Insured which determines what is insured, what is indemnifiable and the insuring terms and conditions – the contract comes into play after offer, acceptance, payment of premium and formalising the document.  Mostly Insurance Policies are standard forms, prepared by the Insurers. 

Most policies do draw reference to the proposal form as forming the basis of the contract.  Obviously understanding the policy by reading the terms and conditions to which it is subjected to is the expected duty of the Insured.  Other than Marine Cargo Insurance written in MAR form – generally all policies have a similar flow.  There would be the Title, Recital clause, Operative clause, Schedule, Exclusions, conditions, endorsements and attestation clause.  Most insurance policies are either ‘specified peril’ coverage which lists out those perils covered against or ‘all risks’ – which are exclusion driven. 

The Operative clause often referred as ‘insuring clause’ or ‘insuring agreement’ defines the obligations of the Insurers and defines the extent of liability and circumstances of indemnification.  Life would be simple if the spirit of drafting is understood in the same league by the Policy holder – however real life does keep throwing out surprises.  There is the oft quoted ‘contra proferentem’ rule – a rule of contractual interpretation which provides that any ambiguous term will be construed against the party  that imposed its inclusion i.e., it will be taken against the interests of the Insurers who drafted the policy document.   But before going to that the general principles are that : 
-         words will be given their ordinary and natural meaning
-         the context in which the words appear in the Policy will be considered
-         the main object or the purpose of the policy will be taken into consideration
-         if words are ambiguous then contra proferentem rule shall apply.

However, each policy is to be judged on its own.  A certain phrase contained in one policy may not  be determinative of the meaning of the same phrase in a different policy.  In India we have two regulations of IRDA which have direct bearing :  protection of policy holder interest and File & Use requirements.  It is expected that policy contracts are in simple language comprehensible to common man…

There surely would have been times when upon reading a policy, you  felt that life would have been easier if only the terms had been direct, simple and easy  to comprehend !!!!  Here is a classic example of a Policy which I stumbled upon. 

Electronic Equipment Insurance Policy has been in vogue for decades.  This is a very comprehensive policy containing 3 sections and in Sec I which covers equipment – provides indemnity against sudden and unforeseen physical loss or damage from any cause, other than those specifically excluded.  Now this post is on insuring terms, conditions, coverage and what is excluded but more on the simplicity and how easy are the terms to understand !!!

The policy is intended to cover all equipments with ‘electronic components’ and not restricted to Computers alone – thus would encompass host equipments like bio-medical equipment, X-ray equipment, Audio/Video equipment, micro processor equipment and more.  There has to be a schedule which would describe the items covered i.e., the subject matter of insurance and the Excess is also specified. 

This was a Tariff product for long and most Insurers have similar wording.  The Policy Excess is defined under following criteria:-

a)     for equipments with value upto 1 lac / above 1 lac
b)    equipments other than Winchester drive / for winchester drive.

Looks pretty simple and straight forward – but what is this winchester drive and why a distinction based on that, when the Policy is not intended to cover Computers alone !! – may not have a straightforward answer even from those who have been underwriting and handling this insurance for ages.   Here is something on Computer hardware before we try and answer what is a ‘winchester drive’

A PC or a Desktop is made up of multiple physical components of computer hardware, upon which can be installed a system software called an operating system, and a multitude of software applications to perform the operator's desired functions.  The major components of a computer are :  Monitor, Mother board,  Central Processing Unit, RAM, Expansion cards, optical disc drive, hard disk drive, key board, mouse, speakers and more.   The motherboard is the main component inside the case. It is a large rectangular board with integrated circuitry that connects the other parts of the computer including the CPU, the RAM, the disk drives as well as any peripherals connected via the ports or the expansion slots.  RAM (random-access memory) stores resident part of the current running Operating system.     Still what is Winchester Drive ???????? 
There are several interface standards for passing data between a hard disk and a computer. The most common are IDE and SCSI. Winchester being the name of one of the first popular hard disk drive technologies developed by IBM in 1973.   It is  the computer hardware that holds and spins a magnetic or optical disk and reads and writes information on it.  It could be termed as the other name for the Hard disk drive.  HDD is a non-volatile, random access digital data storage device. It features rotating rigid platters on a motor-driven spindle within a protective enclosure. Data is magnetically read from and written to the platter by read/write heads that float on a film of air above the platters.  This was introduced by  IBM in 1956.  As is with the electronics and components its costs have fallen and size shrunk whilst its capacity increased dramatically.    The modern day  HDDs operate on high-speed serial interfaces; i.e., serial ATA (SATA) or serial attached SCSI (SAS).

The .30-30 cartridge was first marketed in early 1895 for the Winchester Model 1894 lever-action rifle.  The .30-30 (thirty-thirty), as it is most commonly known, was the USA's first small-bore, sporting rifle cartridge designed for smokeless powder.  Winchester Model 1894 is a lever-action rifle which became one of the most famous and popular hunting rifles. It was designed by John Browning in 1894 to chamber rounds loaded with smokeless powder, and was produced by Winchester Repeating Arms Company through 1980 and then by U.S. Repeating Arms under the Winchester brand until they ceased to manufacture rifles in 2006.

For computer hard drive, the name  winchester’ came from an early type of disk drive developed by IBM that had 30MB of fixed storage and 30MB of removable storage; so its inventors called it a Winchester in honor of its 30/30 rifle. Things have changed repeatedly  - the modern disk drives are faster and hold more data, the basic technology is the same, so Winchester has become synonymous with hard disk drive. 

In 1953, when developed by IBM it was Random Access file with high capacity, rapid random access at a relatively low cost.  Its commercial usage began in 1956  - those were HDD of large, sensitive, cumbersome devices.  Reportedly, drives with removable media resembled washing machines in size and often required high-current or a three-phase power supply due to the large motors they used.  Inb 1980,  Seagate Technology introduced the ST-506, the first 5.25-inch hard drives, with a formatted capacity of 5 megabytes.  During the mid-1990s the typical hard disk drive for a PC had a capacity of about 1 GB. As of  2010, desktop hard disk drives typically have a capacity of 500 to 1000 gigabytes, while the largest-capacity drives are 3 terabytes

The capacity of the HDD are generally represented in megabytes.  (1 MB = 1,000,000 bytes), gigabytes (1 GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes) or terabytes (1 TB = 1,000,000,000,000 bytes.  When the unit prefixes like kilo- denote powers of 1024 in the measure of memory capacities, the 1024n progression (for n = 1, 2, …) is as follows:
          kilo = 210 = 10241 = 1024,
          mega = 220 = 10242 = 1,048,576,
          giga = 230 = 10243 = 1,073,741,824,
          tera = 240 = 10244 = 1,099,511,627,776,

With all the changes,  should our Policies still fancy ‘winchester drive’ or should they have a direct reference to the hard disk drive  - One need not be any Expert to answer this !!!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Reserve Bank of India withdraws 25 paise coin effective 30th June 2011

There existed host of little things which yielded big pleasure !-  salaries have increased, so also the purchasing power of the people – not to speak of the price increase and inflation.  Till a couple of decades ago, the salary day represented the most awaited day of the month – on that day morning each Office would draw cash from Bank [Insurance coverage for cash in transit drawn for wages – from the Bank premises to the Insured premises and extending to cover that unpaid cash that remained in the cashier’s till or office locker]

The smell of hard currency, especially a new note would enthuse many.  There were some who relished the salary cover taking it home and starting the month only after some offering to God out of the earned salary; there were some who started their expenses with a savings and there were some who had their covers re-written to narrate a different tale back home !!

A few decades ago, there would be make shift shops on wheel before every school compound selling host of edibles including cut pieces of mangoe to sweets [remember kammarkat !!] – all these used to cost 5, 10 and 25 paise.  Honestly, how many children or those born in the present century, would have seen those coins or handled them !!

Now, from 30th of June 2011 – coins of denomination of 25 paise (and below !!) will not be accepted as legal tender.  Yes those coins would cease to have any value !!!

The Gazette Notification no. 2529 of Dec 20,2010 notifies that ‘in exercise of the powers conferred by the sub sec 15 A of Coinage Act, 1906 the Central Govt. hereby determines to call in from circulation the denomination of 25 paise and below issued from time to time, with effect from June 30, 2011 and from this date, these coins shall cease to be a legal tender for payment as well as on account.  On Feb 1, 2011, RBI instructed all banks maintaining small coin depots to arrange for exchange of coins of denomination of 25 paise and below till close of business hours on June 30, 2011. 

This is not going to change the life of anybody and you are not going to run in panic, not knowing what to do.  May be you have some, which would total to less than Rs.20/- - just keep them with you for antique value. 

The principal currency of India is Rupee.  As is with most other countries, there is decimal currency also.  Decimal currency is the term used to describe any currency that is based on one basic unit of currency and a sub-unit which is a power of 10, most commonly 100.  Decimalisation is the process of converting an existing currency from traditional denominations to a decimal system. The logical appeal of decimalisation in general has generally been much more popular in currency than in physical measurements.  So, in India it is Rupees and naya paise.  100 paise make one Rupee !!!

History has it that India India has been one of the earliest issuers of coins in the world (circa 6th Century BC). Few countries rival India for the sheer diversity of its coinage be it minting techniques, motifs, sizes, shapes, the metals used or for.  In history, Indian coins have played a crucial role in documenting political and economic changes over time.    The Indian Coinage Act, 1906 was passed which governed the establishment of Mints as well as the coins that would be issued and the standards that would be maintained.   Acute shortage of silver on account of World War I, led the British Government to issue paper currency of One Rupee and Two and a half Rupees. The silver coins of smaller denominations were issued in cupro-nickel. The Quaternary Silver coins were issued from 1940. In 1947 these were replaced by pure Nickel coins.

After Indian Independence in 1947, the existing coinage continued but those were not the days of naya paise but of a monetary system called pies.  One Rupee consisted of 192 pies.   Those were the days of ‘annas’  -  it was equal to 1/16 of rupee – there were 1 anna, 4 anna etc.,  Four annas would be the equivalent of the modern day 25 paise – an anna would be roughly 6 and ¼ paise.  The anna system continued till 1957 when India decimalized its currency. 

‘Naalana and Ettu anna – meaning 4 annas and 8 annas representing 25 and 50 paise respectively were in vogue and I have seen those annas and still have a couple of them, though have never used them for purchase.   In the present era, the Government of India has the sole right to mint coins. The responsibility for coinage vests with the Government of India in terms of the Coinage Act, 1906 as amended from time to time. The designing and minting of coins in various denominations is also the responsibility of the Government of India. Coins are minted at the four India Government Mints at Mumbai, Alipore (Kolkata), Saifabad (Hyderabad), Cherlapally (Hyderabad) and NOIDA (UP).  The coins are issued for circulation only through the Reserve Bank in terms of the RBI Act.

The denominations in vogue included – 1 paise, 2, 3, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50 – all called small coins and Re 1, 2, 5, 10. called  'Rupee Coins'. Coins can be issued up to the denomination of Rs.1000 as per the Coinage Act, 1906.

Most Coins have become redundant long back as you literally can buy nothing with them !

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sachin “Tendulcar” – Ferrari – and shades of Colour

Have you heard of Cerise, Chestnut, Coquelicot, Flame, Fuchsia, Garnet, Mauve taupe, Persimmon, Rosso Corsa & ………

India won the Test at Jamaica – the architect was Rahul Dravid – Sachin is miles away taking rest – still he is making waves.  There was lot of coverage in media about a Surat builder [Jayesh Desai] buying  “tendulcar” – yes the Ferari presented to Sachin by Michael Schumacher on behalf of Fiat in 2002 when he equalled Sir Don Bradman's record of 29 Test centuries.  Reports are agog with the description of Desai driving away the red two seater from Sachin’s Bandra flat – not sure whether it was a straight drive !  No doubt it would make heads roll as it would whizz past by – but do we really have roads for such sports models ?

The famous symbol of the Ferrari race team is the Cavallino Rampante ("prancing horse") black prancing stallion on a yellow shield, usually with the letters S F (for Scuderia Ferrari), with three stripes of green, white and red (the Italian national colors) at the top. The road cars have a rectangular badge on the hood (see picture above), and, optionally, the shield-shaped race logo on the sides of both front wings, close to the door.

This is nothing about why Sachin sold this prized possession or what Desai would do and where it would be parked. There earlier was some controversy in 2003 when there were reports that Tendulkar had sought customs duty waiver as he had got it as a gift and the car was not a prize in any tournament.   There were also reports that in Aug 2003,  the finance ministry had exempted Tendulkar from paying around Rs 1.13 crore (approximately $245,000) towards import duty for the vehicle, valued at Rs 75 lakh (approximately $162,600).

Recently there were repots that Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials  at Chennai seized an imported Maserati car whose ownership was traced to somebody of the political family.  The car was seized as the vehicle  worth about Rs 1.75 crore had been shown at a much lesser value at the time of landing. 

Maserati is an Italian luxury car.    Ferrari is also from Italian stables -  Ferrari S.p.A. founded in 1929  is an Italian sports car manufacturer based in Maranello, Italy. Throughout its history, the company has been noted for its continued participation in racing, especially in Formula One, where it has had great success.  It is told that  Enzo Ferrari never intended to produce road cars when he formed Scuderia – but the  first Ferrari road car was the 1947 125 S, powered by a 1.5 L V12 engine, which reportedly was built and sold.   There are reports that in May 2009  at  Maranello, Italy, a 1957 250 Testa Rossa (TR) was auctioned, by RM Auctions and Sotheby's, for $12.1 million — a world record at that time for the most expensive car ever sold at an auction. That was however eclipsed by the auction of  a Bugatti Atlantic.   

It is claimed that most Ferraris were  given designations referring to their body style.  Conventionally  M ("Modificata"), placed at the end of a model's number, denotes a modified version of its predecessor and not a complete evolution. 

Recently,  India had the honour of having the official presence of Ferrari – becoming the 58th market of the Prancing Horse, as the first dealership in the heart of New Delhi opened. The Grand Opening, dedicated to the local and international medias, was hosted by Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa, Ferrari Commercial and Marketing Director Enrico Galliera, and Ashish Chordia, Chairman of the Shreyans Group, the Ferrari importer for the country. The Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, already in Montecarlo for next race, sent their greetings to the guests through a video message, looking forward to coming to India in October for the first Indian GP. The street facing the New Delhi location was panelled for the occasion with great images of the Ferrari past and present, to tell the story of the passion, the races and the style. The special preview for the medias was held in the over 500 square metres on two levels of the dealership, with the ground floor entirely dedicated to the range, and the personalization area to support the client to uniquely configure their new Ferrari.

What you read at the beginning  are the ‘shades of RED’ -  Rosso Corsa is the red international motor racing colour of cars entered by teams from Italy.  Since the 1920s Italian race cars of Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Lancia, and later Ferrari and Abarthhave been painted in rosso corsa ("racing red"). This was the customary national racing colour of Italy as recommended between the world wars by the organisations that later became the FIA. In that scheme of international auto racing colours French cars were blue (Bleu de France), British cars were green (British racing green), etc.

Those were the colours not determined by the country of make nor of the driers but  by the nationality of the team entering the vehicle. National colours were mostly replaced by commercial sponsor liveries in 1968, but unlike most other teams, Ferrari always kept the traditional red but the shade of the colour varies. Since 1996 Ferrari F1 cars are painted in a brighter, almost orange day-glo to adjust for colour balance on television screens. The original Rosso Corsa may appear almost dark brown in older television sets.
I have always held that colour is the visual perception i.e, what meets the eye and what we can differentiate.  There are basically some – Red, Blue, Green, White, Yellow, Orange, Black…..

Scientifically some would say that white is not the colour as colours derive what they are from the spectrum of light.  Color categories and physical specifications of color are also associated with objects, materials, light sources, etc., based on their physical properties such as light absorption, reflection, or emission spectra.   Colour stems from the cone cells in the retina and the science of colour sometimes is called chromatics.  It includes the perception of color by the human eye and brain, the origin of color in materials, color theory in art, and the physics of electromagnetic radiation in the visible range – which simply is referred as light.

This photo tells it all : 



For others who perceive so well and are well informed  :


Scarlet is a bright red colour with a hue that is somewhat tinted towards orange and is redder than vermilion.  Lust is a rich shade of red.  Taupe is a dark grayish brown and Mauve taupe is shade of red.  Raspberry is the colour that resembles the colour of raspberries.  Rufous is a  colour that may be described as reddish-brown or brownish-red, as of rust or oxidised iron.  Cerise is a deep to vivid pinkish red.  Sinopia (named after the Turkish city Sinop) is a reddish-brown ochre-like earth color pigment used in traditional oil painting. Rose Madder is the commercial name sometimes used to designate a paint made from the pigment Madder Lake - a traditional lake pigment, extracted from the common madder plant.  Persimmon is a color that closely resembles the tint of a very ripe persimmon fruit. Persimmon can also be described as a medium orange-red. The color flame is a medium scarlet hue.

With regards
S. Sampathkumar.

Back to back wins at Sabina Park augurs well for Indian Cricket

India won – with a day to spare – good news for Cricket fans.   Over the years the record of Indians overseas has been improving – thanks to astuteness of Ganguly and now the icy Dhoni.  Now it is a win with a day to spare at Kingston, Jamaica, the dreaded pitch where Indians once witnessed bloodbath !   On a ground where West Indies believed in dishing out only raw pace served hot with bouncers and beamers, a debutant who bowls military medium but seams the ball has succeeded.  

Do you know that Brendan Nash who has been struggling to make runs is the Vice Captain but as Shriram Veera wrote -  Chris Gayle is in the stands, he is at Courtney Walsh's restaurant, he is on the radio, he is at the hair saloon, he is in the newspapers, he is in the media releases, he is on Twitter, but he is not where he should be - on the cricket pitch.

There was some ray of hope for Windies with 195 needed with 7 wickets in hands – Chandrapal 24* and Darren Bravo 30* were at the crease – Indian attack is relatively inexperienced save Harbhajan. 

The wall had demonstrated to the World how to bat – on a dual paced wicket when everyone else struggled even to play out some overs, Dravid was elegant revealing his class…  he went on to make a classy 112 – the  ninth-wicket partnership between Dravid and a fighting Amit Mishra  was worth 56 added a few more in the stand with Ishant Sharma;  and the victory margin was 62. 
 Praveen photo courtesy : cricinfo.com

Once the debutant Praveen removed the overnight batsmen Bravo & Chanderpal, wickets fell in a heap and soon WI were 188/8 – needing 138 more runs.  The big hits of Darren Sammy & Ravi Rampaul only delayed the inevitable – in between DEvendra Bishoo too made some runs.  It is a well known fact that West Indies are not what they used to be and the slump has been too steep – still a win in an away Test and that too at Jamaica makes one feels happy. 

In the midst of silver lining do remember that Indians are without Gambhir, Sehwag, Tendulkar, Yuvraj – perhaps the time for youngsters to grow in the space offered – in the first essay it was Raina and Harbhajan who made runs and in the second it was the eer reliant wall – who is most likely to succeed when others can only struggle..  may be we will see another good innings from Laxman and perhaps the time for grooming  Cheteshwar Pujara ----


Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What is cooking at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica

Historically, India fares badly on the first match of the Tour and coupled with the history at Sabina Park where India in 20 innings have crossed 300 only  times – the highest being 444 made way back in Mar 1953 – the present performance is good. 

After making a paltry 246, Indians have now a handsome lead thanks mainly to the debutant Praveen Kumar slicing the middle order.  When a 5 for.. beckoned, he was done by his poor run –up.  He ran three times on to the danger area and was kept away from bowling anymore in the first innings.  Ishant bowled well.  In the second, India lost Murali Vijay for a duck, Mukund for 25 and VVS failed to trouble the scorers.  It would be an ungainly sight when Laxman gets out as he would look at the bowler and proceedings as if wonder-struck and would regain his memory only after a few seconds. 

After only two days, the test is intriguingly poised and Indians are hopeful of a victory looming large.   In some ways, Praveen was in only as Munaf Patel pulled out for yet another time.  This is becoming a phenomena.  Munaf would go with the party play a couple of matches only to announce that he is unfit – as if a tear away pacer getting injured in action……

Invidious are the comparisons to Kapildev  - the greatest of cricketers India ever produced performed so well outside Asia against tough opponents and carried the burden lonesome.  The new crop thrives only on tailored wickets.  Kapil could walk to these teams in the merit of his batting alone – not to speak of his fielding and throwing abilities.  A true genius. 

Munaf, operates  at speeds of 120 to 130 kmphs and sort of selects his matches – the luxury which none of his predecessors had.  Besides being a liability on field, his fitness issues are public knowledge: his ankle injury restricted him to only one Test innings throughout the tour of South Africa last year. He was then sent back from Bangladesh because of a back injury. Later, after having spent time at the MRF Pace Academy, he said he was fit and was selected for the one-dayers in England. Now he is out of the First Test at WI again.

An Indian win would perhaps outwit many lacunae and when India wins at Sabina Park, it should do the Team a World of Good.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.