All Nerves, No Game

T 20 World Cup India vs Bangladesh

“Things have a tendency to go south if you believe they will.”

That’s probably what happened to Bangladesh in the last over. Needing 2 runs of 3 balls to going nowhere. That is just losing nerves. Superb last ball, an elegant sprint and hat-trick of wickets had all the nerves. However, it was never India; they did not do it right this game. Batsmen did not flow, bowlers found hard to contain and fielders just could not hold on. It was mayhem. From being the favorites, to struggling against Bangladesh, in their own backyard seems hard to digest. “What the margin of win will be?”, was the only question any Indian was asking, because nobody thought it be 1 run. It was at best an attempt to better Net run rate. It was indeed the best of games for cricket fans and thanks to the result, Indian Cricket Team may be spared of widespread criticism but they sure deserve it.

“Form is temporary, class is permanent.” No one argues there but a comfortable win asks of both. Indian Cricket Team is capable, that’s class but they seem jittery on the form front. It makes me skeptical on their chances to win World Cup T20. If it weren’t for Kohli and Dhoni, they’d trail. I came across an insightful article that talks of Form and how to sustain it. If instincts can translate to measured performance. With enough analytics pressing the game, preparation is to capitalize on strengths and circumvent weakness, to be aware and exploit, to practice towards its realization. Form is identified over a period and for this period “T20WC”, we are short on Form and need it badly.

Openers in general are hard hitting batsmen, more into boundaries, kind of short on time. Sehwag come to mind. This T20WC, they have either gone early or just sacrificed on run rate, there exists little timing or conviction against good bowling attack. That’s worrying given it has been 3 games already and the saga continues. Kohli is a great Number 3 but how much dependent do you wanna be and bet a win on his performance every single game. Raina and Yuvraj entice us with their potential but I hope we see it soon. I see them contribute but they are not convincing enough. Dhoni down the order is a glimmer of hope and we need it much. Don’t expect much of Pandya and Jadeja, they just push the agenda, it isn’t coming since few matches from the top order. On the bowling front, Bumrah is good find and he continues to impress. We were never a great seam attack so never have I ever been unreal, but its good to know that we have been clinical given Indian Team has been the most economical this year. Ashwin’s spell was a treat to watch in the game versus Bangladesh. Jadeja is impressive and quite productive. Fielding has become our forte and it is perfectly acceptable to drop a few if you don’t make a habit of it.

In the shorter format, you have little time to settle, you are expected to go big very soon but does come with a silver lining that even one partnership is enough many a times. The current Indian Team is apt on paper but it is failing on field. Is it fare to expect a T20WC from them on those lines? They did do it in Australia and Asia Cup, but what keeps us hoping that they continue? If it were left to their form, I wouldn’t bet on it. But it isn’t the form, is it? It is their class, their potential, that keeps us at it.

I do hope they are preparing enough to that end. They for sure need it.

Concussion Movie Review

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It would be fair to say that Concussion is more about Dr. Bennet Omalu and his discovery than it is about football, its players and their concussion. Any glimpse of football was probably players bashing their heads. Any glimpse of a player was probably his suffering. The mere objective was, “they have to know” and the man to make it happen was Dr. Omalu.

The movie has been consistent on its objective front. It is an outside perspective but an American one. Add science to that perspective and comes forth a Nigerian pathologist who wants America to know that their favorite game is killing their players. The favorite part did help NFL sway people in believing he was non-American and thus an outsider. He probably realised that having a TV set is the same kind of American who’d deny accepting the problem just for the fancy of the game, and he did depart from that idea of America. The idea was to let them know, but he lost that battle. The truth did come out and since he had sowed the seed, he was the voice.

The quote from the movie does summarize it perfectly,

By dying, they speak for the living.
And I speak for them.
That is all I do.

The movie was pleasant. The performance of Will Smith was admirable. The accent perhaps takes the cake. The script did make him the ultimate geek, be it his numerous degrees or his devotion to theoretical explanations. However it lacks drama, rather it was mellow, seemed like a way of life. The threatening NFL was short on the corporate villain. Prema was just a comforting voice and their love marriage seemed arranged by church.

If you were expecting something more than “just knowing”, you’d be dissapointed. It fails to break free into full blown war between NFL and Omalu, even though it was hinted at by Dr. Bailes. His wife, Prema’s miscarriage after being stalked has little back story and that in addition to FBI invading his boss, was too fast paced for him having left town. There were too many jokes in there to seriously reach that conclusion. Plus, Dr. Omalu’s voice probably did not even go above 70 decibel in the entire movie, or may be it did when he was tearing through that wall.

The saving grace has been its true nature allegedly. It is consistent in its approach. The TRUTH was realised and he came out an AMERICAN. “Let’s solve the problem” was overshadowed by “tell the truth”. It was never about football, but more to do with Dr. Omalu. If you can stomach that you football fanatics, you have a chance at liking this movie but I am not promising anything.

What worries about Cricket in India

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There are many things going wrong with Indian Cricket, period. The overseas defeats, seven in a row, nobody wanted and believe me the Cricketers themselves must be devastated, for raining onto them are awful reviews of their own misfortunes. In India, Cricket is a fast paced game, and it does not matter if its test or ODI. The tidings of a win sweep the sub-continent effortlessly, and a loss is more so rapidly conversed. It’s more of a balance scale, a tarazu if you may, that never attains a state of equilibrium. If the team wins, the weight of fans on one pan is so overwhelming that prospects of Indian Cricket and cricketers at the other end, reach Mount K2, however that does not last long, for a loss makes them the fastest sliders in the world, as if fans at one end kept jumping off the pan, and putting “to be blamed” entities on the other simultaneously, inverting it altogether. Continue reading