Archive for November, 2012

India vs England Test Series 2012 Preview

November 14, 2012

I have done this exercise a couple of times before. Once when India toured New Zealand in 2007 and when India toured Australia last year. I was quite close to the actual result on both occasions (1-1 in New Zealand and 0-3 in Australia).

I hope for India’s sake that no one in the team is looking at 4-0.  If they do they might end up losing the series.

I think these three things will be key to the series.

Pitches: Efforts will be made by curators to make all pitches turn -if possible – even from day 1. But what is also crucial I feel is the pace and bounce. The pitches that were used against New Zealand had some pace, so that once a batsman got beaten in the air by a spinner he could not adjust. If we get similar pitches, India should fancy their chances.

Reverse Swing: To me England have just one world class spinner. Apart from Sehwag and Gambhir, I think others in the Indian team would treat him with respect ( provided the pitch is turning ). I think it is unlikely that he runs through the Indian top-order ..  England ‘s fast bowlers would have to help out Swann and reverse-swing might be their friend.  I think Anderson and Bresnan are quite capable of getting it going. Reverse-swing in India becomes prominent in some series  (like against Australia in 2008) and is almost non-existent sometimes. If the squares are lush, then reverse swing might not appear and hamper England hugely.

Sweep: It is likely that this shot is going to be the shield and spear for most English batsmen. Apart from Prior, none of them like to leave the crease. They do have two players who have employed it with great success  in India in their coaching staff ( Flower and Gooch )who can help out the current lot. The problem to the fielding team with the sweep is that it is impossible to defend. It can be  hit anywhere from very fine to wide of mid-on.  The Indian team needs to come up with an answer for this shot.

Now let me try to predict the result of each Test.


The wicket is known to be a sleeping beauty.  Only 5 out of the 11 Tests here have produced results. The main problem with the pitch is that it gets too slow too soon.  There is very little bounce for the faster bowlers . Even if there is turn for the spinners, they get played off the back-foot.  The only way I see a result in this match is the team bowling first using the first day life to grab some wickets. So it might be a blessing in disguise to lose the toss here.

I also feel India might be slightly be vulnerable on the first morning if  they are batting. There is a lot of talk of revenge going around and a hothead and a maverick open the innings. They might try to prove the England bowlers something and  if they are too aggressive, we might be looking at 10/2.

India win:20%   England:10%  Draw:70%


I feel the Wankhede pitch will be the one turns the most. Remember this one ?   The pitch also doesn’t get very slow like Ahmedabad (at least very early ).  It  produces two results for each draw (which is fantastic by Indian standards .)So we can expect a result here and most likely in India’s favour.

India win: 60% England win:30% Draw: 5%


The history of the ground suggests almost Ahmedabad like situation (18 results and 19 draws ) but off late there have been a lot of results.More precisely, since the beginning of the nineties there have been 9 results and  draws. So we are looking at another result here. Also, one stat the Indians would be quite happy to look at is that they have won the last 5 Tests that have produced a result here. There is probably something in 100,00 people screaming for you.

India  win:85% England win: 10% Draw:5%


There are  grounds  in Nagpur and the match is going to be played on the newer one. There have been 3 Tests and all have produced results.  Also, the wicket might be the fastest of  the four , which isn’t saying much. If my predictions so far are holding good, India are likely to 2-0 up by now and they will slack off.  The wicket might offer a bit for the English seamers like it did against South Africa.

India win:30% England win:40% Draw:20%

Result: 2-1 to India ( Sorry folks, no 4-0)

I have made a lot of big statements here. Let’s see how much comes true.


November 12, 2012

I woke up this Sunday very determined. The previous day had been really bad while playing cricket. It was the worst thing that happens to someone on a cricket field – dropping catches. It is quite easy to get over a duck or an over where you get thrashed for 20 odd, but dropping a catch should be the most embarrassing and it keeps hurting for each run that batsman scores. I had dropped not one but two. One was at cover – the ball hit hard slightly to my right . I stuck my hand out . I got it in the middle but it popped out. The second one was a dolly at mid-off . The sort of pace and loop that people use to throw the ball to the umpire. I still can’t quite figure out how it came out. I consider myself a safe catcher and this was completely unacceptable to me.

When I hit the ground again, I took close to 20 very high ones during practice. Only one did I miss. And many more fast flat ones. I told myself, “Let that ball come anywhere within 20 metres of me. The batsman’s a gonner.”

The first match started and we batted first. It was 15 overs per side. I got a hit for the last two and managed 4 runs of the 3 balls I got. It didn’t bother me much, it was the fielding I was looking forward to.

I was fielding once again at mid-off and not much action in the first 10 overs. In the eleventh over the batsman tried to hoick one over long-on, slightly miscued it and it started to come straight towards me. In fact, as I realized mid-way it looked like it would sail over me. I turned around sideways and kept running for what seemed like a minute to me, with images of Kapil’s famous catch off Richards flashing inside my head. I was within two steps of the mound which we were using to mark the boundary when the ball hit my cupped hands. It came out slightly, but I managed to hold on. Ah! Redemption at last! I have taken a tough catch that is often missed by international pros. I turned right, threw the ball over my back and started running around the boundary pumping my fist Brett Lee style.

Just then I realized that no one else was celebrating. And I heard a big yell from the bowler. “It’s a no-ball, you fool. Throw the ball in. They have already run three”.

“Now, where did that ball go ?”

(Based on an old hearsay cricket story).

மரபுக்கவி முயற்சி

November 7, 2012

வெகு நாட்களாகவே மரபுக்கவிதைகள் எழுத வேண்டும் என்று ஆசை. முதல் நான்கு இங்கே. இவற்றில் முதல் இரண்டும் கலிவிருத்தங்கள் , அடுத்த இரண்டும் நேரிசை வெண்பாக்கள்.
அனலும் புனலும் புவியும் வளியும்
பனியும் வெயிலும் கதிரும் மதியும்
வனமும் வரையும் உடலும் உயிரும்
உனையும் தந்தான் உணர்வாய் மனனே

அந்தி மழை
யாக்கை நடுக்கிடும் நள்ளல் அடைமழை
ஊக்கம் கெடுத்திடும் காலைப் பெருமழை
நோக்க நனைந்திட மோப்ப இனிதாம்
பாக்கள் புகழ்ந்திடும் மாலை மழையே

மழை நம் விருப்பத்துக்கெல்லாம் பெய்யாது  எனினும் , மாலை மழையே மனதுக்கு இனியது என்பது என் கருத்து. காலை எழுந்த உடன் மழை பெய்தால் திரும்ப தூங்கத்தான் தோன்றும் .

என் மருமான்
வளியைப் பிடிக்க முயன்றிடுவான் போன்றே
களிப்போடே ஆட்டிடுவான் கையை – தளிர்க்கரமோ
நாற்றமுடை மென்முடியைப் பற்றி இழுத்திட
ஆற்றா(து) அழுதிடு வான்

ஒன்றரை மாதம் நிறைந்த என் தங்கை மகன் பற்றியது. தன் தலை முடியைத் தானே பிடித்து இழுத்துக் கொண்டு வலியில் அழுவான் .

கடல் நீர்
நாவுணரா நுண்ணளவு உப்பைப் பெருநதி
மாவேலை கொண்டு கலந்திடும்  – ஆவியாய்
வெப்பத்தில் நீருயரப் பின்கீழே தங்கிடும்
உப்பால் உவர்க்கும் கடல்

இது நம் செந்தில் கவுண்டரிடம் கேட்ட பல கேள்விகளுள் ஒன்றுக்கான பதில்

சில  சொற்கள் வழக்கில் இல்லாதவை. அவற்றின் பொருள் கீழே .

வளி – காற்று

யாக்கை – உடல்

ஆற்றாது – தாங்க முடியாமல்

ஊக்கம் – ஆர்வம்  (mood, enthusiasm )

நள்ளல் – நடு இரவு

நோக்க – பார்க்க

வேலை – கடல்

உவர்ப்பு – உப்புச்சுவை