Friday, 18 February 2011

India; World Cup 2011 Winners?

People in fourteen countries will be united in praying for and supporting those 11 men who will be carrying the hopes and pride of their respective nations. As I start to write this blog, there is only a day, nine hours and four minutes left for the greatest spectacle in cricket to begin; the Cricket World Cup. Returning to the subcontinent after 15 years, the 10th edition of this cricketing extravaganza is sure to be the biggest and the best till date.

The Indian team apart from the carrying the huge expectations of a billion people at home will also be carrying the tag of favourites as they enter the World Cup. It is maybe for the first time since the World Cups began, that India is being considered as strong contenders to win. It is hardly surprising considering India is ranked first and second in tests and ODIs respectively. They also go to the World Cup on the back of a strong season where they hardly lost any series home or away.

The closest rivals this time will be the South Africans and the Sri Lankans, but with one of them still battling the tag of ‘chokers’, the only real competitor to India will be the Sri Lankans. The champions Australia are on a decline like the West Indies of the 80's and are a mere shadow of their real selves. Though England had a brilliant Ashes victory and Pakistan are on a revival, they are highly inconsistent. New Zealand are resilient but are still trying to find a right combination for their team and while West Indies and Bangladesh can spring the occasional surprise, they are hardly what we call challenges. Though it is a bit harsh, but the rest of the teams will be more like spectators than competitors.

Captain Cool
Certainly under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Indian team has shrugged off all its stereotypical problems like bad fielding and poor form away from home and have become a force to be reckoned with. Under his leadership the team has constantly evolved until now, when they have finally found a winning combination.

On the batting front, with openers like Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir who complement each other so well, more often than not the team gets off to a flying start. Sehwag goes on a rampage from ball one, while Gambhir holds the fort on the other side, slowly building an inning. They are followed by the legendary Sachin Tendulkar who in his last World Cup looks anything but old. Looking at his performances over the last season or so, it won’t be far from the truth if it is said that he is in his best form ever.

The top order is followed by a very formidable middle order comprising of the young and versatile Virat Kohli, who has been a revelation be it when he is batting or on the field stopping a ball. Then there is the swashbuckling southpaw Yuvraj Singh, who on his day can destroy any kind of bowling attack on any kind of pitch. He is followed by another southpaw Suresh Raina who is a very valuable asset to have in the middle order. The captain comes in next and according to what the situation demands; he can either play a blistering innings like the one he played against the Kiwis in the warm-up match or hold the fort with a constructive innings. Last in the middle order is the hard-hitting Yusuf Pathan who can hit the ball out of any stadium in the world.

The lower order batsmen though never known for their batting prowess, have shown time and again that they too can contribute valuable runs whenever given a chance. Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan have contributed a lot of runs very low down the order and have won a couple of matches for India too. Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Piyush Chawla and Ravi Ashwin too can be handy on their day.

to win again?
On the bowling front Zaheer and Nehra have spearheaded the attack and even on good batting surfaces have given some very decent performances. Munaf with his very tight line and length can slow the rate of scoring at any given point of the match. But the real strength of this Indian bowling line up is spin with Harbhajan Singh leading the attack and a choice of Ashwin and Chawla to follow him. The spin attack also consists of part-time bowlers like Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan who do a very decent job in the middle overs.

Under the captaincy of the cool headed Dhoni, the amount of resources at his disposal, the home advantage for most of the games and the tremendous fan support wherever they play, India has a strong chance of bringing home this World Cup. I wish the team Good Luck and only wish that I was back home so I could have gone to the Wankhede Stadium to the see the finals. Go India!!!!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

To Say or not to Say...

Oxford dictionary defines the term 'Communication' as a way to convey or transmit an emotion or feeling to another. Man being a social animal, communication is in his very nature and something without which he cannot live or function in a society. Over the years it is only the means of communication that have changed and not its definition. 

First, man started communicating using sign languages. As he evolved he went on to use complex words to communicate, both verbally and symbolically.  Communication was revolutionised when the telephone was invented. From then on communication has evolved with leaps and bounds. With the invention of satellite, communication across the globe became accessible and with the development of the internet, communicating across the globe became a reality for almost every human on the planet. Today its not very uncommon for a person sitting at one corner of the world to talk to a person at the other corner as if he or she is sitting in the other room. I personally do it when I talk to my family or friends back in India. 

Yet with considerable knowledge about technologies and being a human myself, I have always been told that I am really bad at communicating with others. They say communicating is an art and I am as knowledgeable of it as Bush was of Osama's hideout.

Be it family, friends, someone special or relatives, everyone at some point of time have complained about my communication or rather about the lack of it. I have had to face firings, disappointed friends, angry friends, a failed relationship and much more due to it. When I went home for vacations, I spent most of my time with friends and didn't contact any family friends or relatives. This didn't go down well with my parents. I also only spent time with a very few friends, thus angering the others whom I didn't even contact. Due to this, and I kid you not; I have a fatwa declared in my name by a friend for if and when I go back to India. Bet even Salman Rushdie would be proud of me!

What is really funny (or not) is that I know about all this but somehow I have not been able to overcome this problem. I have faced endless lectures from my friends, read articles about it and my parents have tried their best, but to no avail. There is no denying the fact that over the years I have massively improved on my flaw, but there is still a long way to go. Communicating is still hard-work for me and being a lazy-ass, I see quite a rocky road ahead. Wonder what I have in store for me....