Tuesday, March 29, 2011

India Vs Pakistan: A Detailed Analysis

In the months leading up to the World Cup, this mouth-watering fixture was always talked about. Everyone wished that these two arch rivals pit their cricketing wits against each other. And Ravi Shastri secretly hoped that he could use the phrase "Mother of All Games" in this world cup. Well, he wasn't disappointed. Now, whenever there is a match of such epic proportions, it is human attitude to dust the old books and come up with mind-boggling statistics. The stats-gurus dig in so deep and try so hard to give us irrelevant statistics like: "Whenever Laxman Sivaramakrishnan commentates, Sehwag gets out" or "Whenever Navjot Sidhu wears a purple turban (and a green tie), it is a good omen for Sachin". Good omen for Sachin might not be the same for millions watching those hideous colors on TV. All said and done, statistics are really interesting and always make up for a nice read. Here is a detailed analysis of India-Pakistan clashes in all forms of cricket. And yes, that includes Gilli-dandaFrench Cricket, Book Cricket and Hand Cricket.

Gilli-Danda is, and I quote Ravi Shastri, the "Mother of All Forms of Cricket". Technically, there has never been a Gilli-Danda World Cup as the Aussies refused to play a sport without any balls. Hence, it was an informal tournament between Indian and Pakistan just after the independence. The match was supposed to be played within the spirit of the game but hell broke loose when Aamir Sohail's grandfather disrespectfully asked   Venkatesh Prasad's grandfather to fetch the Gilli. That was the last time a Gilli-Danda match between Indian and Pakistan took place.
Gilli-Danda: Head to Head Record

French Cricket
This informal,rather complicated, version of cricket is the only form that hasn't been mastered by the teams from the sub-continent. The number of runs scored is equal to the number of times one revolves the bat around his hips until the ball is touched by the fielder. Big name players such as Inzamam Ul-Haq, Ramesh Powar aren't particularly huge fans of the game. India-Pakistan match was the dullest affair that took place in the tournament in France and both teams were disqualified for their "mischievous banter" about the game. However, few Indians and Pakistanis are members of the elite group with strike rate below 100( in French Cricket, a strike rate below 100 is considered to be very rare and very unimpressive).

Strike rate is measured by the formula RPM*100/Hip Size

Book Cricket
This form of cricket has had so many World Cups at so many venues and yet, the lack of media coverage still haunts this sport. The following statistics will concentrate on a particular small time school in Dubai called as Our Own English High School,Dubai. The major World Cups take place daily in the classrooms of VIII 'A' and VIII 'B'. Despite being one of the simplest forms of cricket, book cricket has had its own share of controversy. The Indians wanted to use a huge book by R.D.Sharma while the Pakistanis wanted to use a book that had page numbers in Urdu to confuse the Indians. After several debates, Lord of the Rings was chosen as the book but was discarded due to the hardly visible page numbers it had. At present, players generally use any book that they can catch hold of during the match. 
The head to head record of India-Pakistan encounters is not available due to improper documentation and contempt shown by the media. However, here is a pie-chart showing some grueling statistics about book cricket. Pakistan might hold an edge over India according to this data. 

Indians tend to be over enthusiastic and take the Glossary page quite often.
When they calm down, they take the Index page

Pakistanis tend to mark the pages ending with 6 quite brilliantly

Hand Cricket
This form of cricket should not be confused with Oongli cricket, a corruption of Hand Cricket by Idea. Hand Cricket has had its own ups and downs and the Pakistanis are responsible for the the downs. Pakistan has never lost a single match in Hand Cricket thanks to their flamboyant player's six-fingered alter ego. Yes, Kamran Akmal is a formidable player in this form of cricket and has never gotten out. All nations have withdrawn from IHCC (International Hand Cricket Council) until Kamran retires. 

No one knows how Kamran manages to start an innings with a score above 1000

Looks like Pakistan has the better record over India in these forms of cricket. But the Indians are not impressed by statistics and they don't care about history either. " Well of course, at the end of the day, it is important how we play our cricket on the day" said a very confident M.S. Dhoni. Let us hope he plays the right people for the match and then play the right cricket to win the match. 

PS: For a less detailed but reasonable analysis , please read this.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Karunanidhi,Jayalalitha deny election campaign at Chepauk. Vijayakanth offended.

Chennai.Following the promotion of 'Dum Maaro Dum' in the India-South Africa nail-biter at Nagpur, rumours are afloat that big names in Tamil Nadu politics will promote themselves in the India-West Indies match at Chepauk. With just few days left for the election, socio-political scientist and versatile vaudevillian veteran, Mr.T.Rajendar, suggested that this campaign would define the course of the election. "Cricket matches in Chepauk have always yielded a larger number of people who come to watch cricket," he said, in a very thoughtful tone, before adding, “I think both Mr.Karunanidhi and Ms. Jayalalitha will speak to the crowd between overs and present their cases vociferously. But, Mr.Vijayakanth will be one to watch out for". Despite the smooth interview, Mr.T.Rajendar suffered from a psychological break-down as he couldn't implement his trademark rhyming dialogues in any of his sentences. 

Amma reveals her crush on Piyush
Ms.Jayalalitha, however, vehemently denied the reports and expressed her opinion in an irate manner. “Can’t I even see a match peacefully at Chepauk? I am a huge fan of Indian Cricket Team and using a cricket match as a platform for election is very disrespectful," she fumed. "Moreover, I am sick of listening to Ravi Shastri's commentary and the best way to get rid of that is by watching the match live at Chepauk," she said, taking an unexpected dig at Ravi Shastri. On the lighter side, she answered questions which weren't political quite cheerfully. "Piyush Chawla is my favourite bowler. The way he bowls..you know..I don't know what to say..Umm..His balls are awesome," she stammered, out of unbridled excitement.

"I am the only 'Captain' in this country"
Mr.Karunanidhi was an animated figure as he thrashed the election campaign claims by Dubakur Daily as 'preposterous' and 'fake'. He said he had plans with his third wife on March 20th and didn't even care for the match as much as he cared for his hair. But the presence of forty yellow towels on the chairs in the Pavilion stand from March 16th didn't help his cause. However, Karunanidhi was quick to his defence and retorted “I have three wives. Each wife has at least three sons. And each son should be having at least two wives. And each wife must have two sons and a daughter. Now, do the math and tell me if forty seats are enough for them."

Mr.Vijayakanth, who has been avoiding the journalists since these claims had sprung up, obliged to give his expert opinion on the matter. "I am not a fan of cricket or football or any team game. If a group of people is led by a person, he should be called a 'Team Leader' or a 'Group Leader' and certainly not a 'Captain'. The meaning of the word 'Captain' has been diluted and I honestly feel offended," said a visibly upset Vijayakanth. “I am the only 'Captain' in this country," he thundered at the end of the interview and left for his lunch hurriedly. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Chuck Norris of Cricket

Look! I can hold five balls at a time without gloves. 
With gloves,it is a different story all together.
He was just another Pakistani cricketer when he started his career in 2002. He caught the attention of the media for his Bugs Bunny like teeth, which is used as case-study in the dentist schools in the sub-continent. His career growth increased slowly but steadily and in recent times his cricketing prowess has overshadowed even Sachin Tendulkar. Now, he is every Pakistani bowler's nightmare, a batsman's talisman and his reputation is such that pundits such as Ravi Shastri and Navjot Sidhu have christened him as the Chuck Norris of cricket. Ladies and Gentlemen, he is none other than Kamran Akmal. Due to his sudden raise to fame, 'Heavily Not Enough' Production company has received several scripts which demand Kamran's presence as a lead actor. Since, we at 'Heavily Not Enough' Production Company find every script as shambolic as the other, we request your inputs to make these scripts a wee bit better so that we attain unimaginable profits. 

12 Lakh Angry Men

This is a low budget movie as it has only one scene in which Kamran faces the public to defend his performance in the world cup. What follows is a one hour Mark Antony-esque speech that wins the hearts of the angry men and shifts the blame on his own brother, Umar Akmal. Here is an excerpt from that speech.
Akmal: Friends, Enemies, Terrorists, Match-fixers and countrymen, lend me your ears. I have come to bury Akmal, not to praise him.
First Citizen: Methinks there is no reason in his sayings. Let us burn him alive.

Catch Me If You Can

This is an animation-psychological thriller: a new approach in the world of cinema claims the script-writer. The movie follows the life of a budding wicket-keeper who faces hallucinations of anthromorphic images of cricket balls talking to him. As literacy in his area is below par, Kamran can't quite follow the words spoken by the balls initially. Every time Kamran keeps the wicket, he is tortured by this balls  which taunt him by saying "Catch me if you can". The mysterious plot unfolds slowly and ends with a riveting climax where Kamran discovers the hallucinations are not images of cricket balls but his own.

One Flew Over The Keeper's Head

Kamran Akmal pretends to be a wicket-keeper to escape the dog-like running in the outfield and to hide his hideous bowling skills in the cricket selection. The cricket selectors are astounded by Kamran's talent and select him when he gathers 5 balls at a time (See picture) and gives a triumphant look. He tries to liven the matches up a bit by dropping dollies and missing stumpings, but the media is after him at every turn. How Kamran emerges successful against all odds forms the crux of the story. The script has no ending but the script writer says he has planned for 3 sequels : Two flew over the Keeper's Head, Three flew over the Keeper's Head and Many flew over the Keeper's head.

Dr.Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Catching and Drop the Ball

Kamran is supposed to play three roles for this movie. The roles are: a wicket-keeper, a wicket-keeper who drops catches and a part time scientist and wicket-keeper suffering from Alien Hand Syndrome. This movie promises to be a laugh riot for all ardent cricket fans. The movie ends with Kamran taking a blinder of a catch of a no-ball and exclaims with joy " Captain! I can catch! " but fails to appreciate the irony.

Other half-baked scripts include: To Catch a Ball, Cool Hand Kamran, Snatch, Invasion of the Ball Snatcher. Kamran will play the pivotal role of the wicket-keeper in all the movies. This is the first time 'Heavily Not Enough' Production Company has received so many scripts designed for just one person. Rumors are going on that we will have many scripts adapted from popular books shown in the comic below. 

Courtesy: Cricinfo

Friday, March 4, 2011

Anti-Chokera Mechanism

They possess one of the strongest batting line up in this tournament. They have a devastating bowling attack and quite surprisingly few genuine spinners which they have lacked over the years. They have always been  the best fielding side. And yet, they are most famously known for their exceptional skills which has earned them the reputed tag of the " Perennial Underachievers" or in layman terms : "Chokers". You can't blame the South Africans. In the very first World Cup they played in 1992, they were shell-shocked to see 21 runs from 1 ball on the screen after taking a short break due to a shower. From then on, they have been psychologically affected more than anything. Every World Cup, they discover new ways to get defeated or they get right royally raped like in 2007 semi-finals against Australia.
However, this World Cup ,the South Africans are certainly going to win the trophy thanks to the innovative measures taken by Cricket South Africa (South African cricket board ) . This program was quite bizarrely titled " Anti-Chokera Mechanism".

Initiative#1: Deep Penance in the Hlatikhulu Forest to the God of Rains

It is believed that the entire South African squad were forced to pray to Varuna bhagavan (this man is responsible for the rains in the sub-continent) to avoid the aforementioned 1992 WC scenario. However, few IPL players initially disregarded this idea as " waste of time" since they were certain about climatic conditions and rainy seasons in India. The penance did go on well but reports suggest that Varuna bhagavan wasn't impressed with Amla's incessant beard scratching and felt it was disrespectful. The prayers seemed to have worked so far but still there is a possibility that Varuna bhagavan might unleash a Tsunami in their match in Chennai. Fingers crossed.

Initiative#2: Recruited Reverend Mathematicians

Cricket South Africa did take the advice of few players and held special Mathematics class for the players. The special class turned out to be a disaster. It seems the teacher resorted to realistic problems which affected the players very much. The teacher asked Morkel to calculate how many runs he had to hit per ball if SA required 9 runs from 3 balls. Boucher, who was uninvited, posed a very intriguing question: "9 runs to draw or win, Sir". Meanwhile, Morkel had successfully calculated that he had to hit 3 runs per ball. As an extension of the problem the teacher asked  " What if you ran one short? You need 7 runs from 2 balls. What will you do?". The South Africans were disgruntled when they heard Morkel had run one short and Tsotsobe broke into tears wondering how he would hit 3.5 runs a ball. Hence, the South African cricket board has appointed the kids from "Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain? " to take away the mathematical burden on the cricketers.

Initiave#3: New Selection Philosophy

When every other cricket team in the world followed the traditional approach of selection based on the players performance and other cricketing attributes, South Africa did something very different. One of the selectors, being an avid fan of Vadivel comedy tracks, was inspired by this following comedy clip and that is why we see the likes of Imran Tahir and Tsotsobe in this team.

Initiative#4: Appointing Darth Vader as the leader of the Anti Choke Squad
I am the Choker, you punks!

Alas, South Africans are definitely bound to choke. To tackle that inevitable situation Cricket South Africa has appointed Darth Vader. However, the exact role of Darth Vader in this 2011 World Cup remains mysterious. 

With all these groundbreaking initiatives, it would be unwise to put your money on some other team than South Africa. Don't you dare say you "Bleed Blue" for you shall be beaten black and blue by Darth Vader.
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