Tuesday, July 31, 2007

India's Tour of England - Second Test review

Some jelly beans, Great inspired bowling by Zaheer Khan, the unintentional beamer by Sreesanth which made Kevin Peitersen too loose his concentration, excellent batting by the Indian top order and some really helpful conditions on the first day made it possible for the Indian team to register its sixth win in England, Micheal Vaughan's century not withstanding.

It was a great contest between India and England and a treat to watch. Every time you checked the scores from office on www.cricinfo.com something had happened and you rued being in office.

Read an interesting statistic on www.cricinfo.com post match - in its last 12 tours India has a won at least one match in 10 of the tours and in at least 4 of these series against major cricketing nations, India has drawn first blood and taking a lead in the series only to let it go. Lets hope this does not happen this time around against England.

In my first article on this series I had said almost all of the earlier tours of England, India have lost the first test and that has caused them to loose the series. The only tours they have not lost are the ones where they have not lost the first test. After the rain gods saved them, it seems that history will be repeated, India will now not loose this series and there are high chances that we may even win the series given that the pitch at the Oval has always been a belter.

Lets hope that it is not a repeat of India's famous tour to Australia in 2003-4 where we drew the series after saving the 1st Test, by some inspired batting from Saurav Ganguly and then winning the 2nd Test after a memorable knock by Rahul Dravid.

Postscript: the advertisements on Star Cricket are on the rise again and Sachin Tendulkar's Aviva advertisement is now on air again after a hiatus. Happy days are round the corner for the sponsors of the Indian Cricket team and the players.

Back to normality.

Eldeco is at it again

Imagine a brand new housing complex, less than an year old, where residents are charged around Rs. 3000 per month for maintenance service and then what are they provide with:
  1. muddy water in the taps
  2. seepage in the walls,
  3. a fountain which is not even fitted, let alone not working,
  4. overflowing drains which are not rectified even after 4 days of complaining, (I have not seen this problem even in 20 year old houses and this building is hardly an year old)
  5. street dogs freely roaming in the campus,
  6. power backup which takes an eternity to come in action.
  7. centralized complaint system, but there is no one to pickup the calls made by residents to make the complaint. And when the poor residents walks down to the office, there is no one there too.
  8. Prepaid system for electricity system with an IVR that does not work, so that the helpless residents are not able to know if there is any balance left in their account or not. They have to rely on their memory or wait for the electricity to get cut to know when the account recharge is required.

Can't believe it? Come to Eldeco's Ananda Apartments in Sector 48, Noida and you will get to see all of this and much more.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

India's Tour of England - First Test review

After a tantalising fight, India was finally able to save the match courtesy some gutsy batting by MS Dhoni and the Rain God. Had it not rained for the last 3 hours of the match India would have surely lost this match. Today's papers are full of reasons of Indian teams sorry state in this match. My own analysis is not very different from them. We bowled really bad on day 1 of the match and that was the major difference between the 2 sides. After that India was always catching up with England.

One thing that surprises me these days about the Indian cricket is the way we play spinners. Gone are the days when we used to treat the spinners with disdain. Shane Warne's performance against India is pathetic. Muralitharan's average against India is worst when compared against other countries. Performance of spinners from other countries against India in past is not even worth mentioning. So it is very surprising when one sees Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly giving respect to spinners from Bangladesh and then again to Monty Panesar, both when he toured India and now when India is touring.

I don't know what has caused these changes in the playing tactics of Indian batsmen against spinners, but we continue to play this way then one thing is for sure that we are going to loose out on what is our strength. In our continuous pursuit to improve our performance against the quickies it seems that we are forgetting the art of playing against the spinners. And this is not going to take Indian cricket forward. Nobody ever improves by forgetting ones strengths while removing the weaknesses.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

India's Tour to England -- Pre tour thoughts

The Indian Cricket team starts its tour to England tomorrow with a Test Match at the Lords Ground. The newspapers have been carrying articles on the past tours of Indian Cricket team to England. The one consistent feature of all the tours barring the 1986 tour is that we have lost the first Test always. Even in the famous last tour where we almost one the series had it not rained in the last Test, we lost the first Test quite easily, with only Ajit Agarkar saving grace with a cherished hundred at the Mecca of Cricket.

This time around, my patriotic self, would like to see that we repeat the 1986 tour, winning quite comfortably. But my realistic self, says that given the Indian performance in the tour matches till now and the still undecided batting order, we may land up in a familiar situation. This is the last chance for the famous trio of Indian batting, Sachin, Saurav and Rahul to leave a lasting impression. Sachin has already shown his intents in the tour match with a match saving knock of 177 against the England Lions team. Saurav, though lacklustre till now, have in the recent times shown a penchant of staying on the crease for longish periods in both versions of the game, so he can be counted on for at least staying on the crease and wasting time if not on scoring runs. This may be helpful for us in case we have to save a Test. Rahul have always been reliable and had been India's best bat overseas. He is sure to come up trumps this time around too.
Of the other players I have great expectations from Dinesh Karthik. He has shown a lot of improvement in recent times and I would place my bets on him.

In the bowling department, the Indian pace attack, though dependent on Zaheer Khan, I would trust Sreesanth to get wickets and along with the ever reliable Anil Kumble could be the match winner. I don't have much faith in the other bowlers. But to win a match, it is the bowling that has to come good. Lets hope it comes good this time around, like it did in the first Test in the latest series against South Africa.
And lets also hope that the Indian team does not let go the initial advantage like it did in South Africa.

Best of Luck India!!

Eldeco update - Power woes

The residents of Eldeco Ananda have had some meetings with the Eldeco officials in the last few months. One of the issue raised by us was the need of a UPS backup for the EPABX system that has been installed at Ananda.
In the first of such meetings in June Eldeco readily agreed to get this done. The residents have yet to see the UPS working. There was another meeting between the residents and the Eldeco officials on Saturday June 14, 2007, where Eldeco said that the UPS has been commissioned. However at the time of writing this post, there is no electricity in the complex for the last 4 minutes and I tried to check out if the EPABX was working or not and guess what it was NOT working. I wonder where did the UPS go. Seems like it too failed along with the generators for power back up.
While the power was down at Ananda, I couldn't help notice that the lights of the building next door, Kesar Garden Apartments, didn't even blink. I wonder what was the talk about uninterrupted power supply mentioned by Eldeco in their marketing brochure for Ananda. It still seems a distant dream.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Freakonomics Blog » The False Altruism of Alumni Giving

Mellisa Lafsky in her posting The False Altruism of Alumni Giving on the Freakonomics blog mentions an interesting study about how the alumni donation are correlated with the child's age and likelihood of applying to the school. My take on this:

there could be another reason for the increase in alumni contribution which is that as the child's age increase so does the alumnus' too and so does his/her income. Which can directly result in higher disposable incomes which in turn would lead to higher contributions to any charity including donations to college.

My personal thinking in this matter is that I would not donate to my college if I think that could have an impact on my kid's chances of getting an admission. It would be unfair on my part to think so and it would be even more unfair on the part of the college to consider the amount of my donations as helping the cause of my kid. I would like my college to take the best students no matter what their pedigree is and no matter what their parent's contributed to the college.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sleep Your Way to Better Fitness - lifehack.org

Recently read this interesting article on fitnees at lifehack.org: Sleep Your Way to Better Fitness - lifehack.org
This makes an interesting read for especially a person like me who is not into a fitness program, regular or irregular, but I do give a lot of stress on sleeping and eating right. Maybe that is the reason why I have been able to maintain my weight at nearly the same levels for the past 5 years. I think a weight of around 66-70 kgs is good for a body of 5' 5".

But that is not to say that exercise is not to be done. At times I do feel that some exercise is required for the body so that the muscles do not become hard.