Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How can India win against the mighty Aussies - Strategy

The ICC World Cup 2011 has seen plenty of humdingers especially with matches involving England in Group B. The barmy army have surprisingly won against tough opponents at Chennai and lost to Ireland and Bangladesh on their way to the quarterfinals. While India on the other hand have played reasonably well with a good solid batting performance expect for the hiccups during the batting power play. Saving from a couple of good performances from Zaheer and Yuvraj, our bowling has looked depleted and slack.

With India placed second in the group, they will have a big roadblock ahead of them against the Aussies. An unexpected finish to the league match for the Aussies losing to Pakistan in the group stage puts them on third place, their first lose in 34 world cup matches. The quarterfinal match up between the heavily loaded India batting lineup against mighty Aussies is almost a pre-final of the World Cup.

Gary Kirsten and MSD will having to put their thinking hat to get rid of the Aussies in a grand fashion and giving them a good chance to face Pakistan in the Semi's at Mohali (all possibility that Pakistan will beat Windies in the other quarters).

Team Selection:
Looks very straight forward to me, They should stick on to the team that played the previous match against Windies at Chennai with Sehwag replacing Suresh Raina.

I think the team needs to be patient with Yusuf, he is such a big match player who can single handedly turn the match on its head and also comes very handy with his off breaks. Not to forget he is a outstanding fielder on the boundary ropes.

The Pitch: - The toss is critical

India by all measures would want to bowl second, we might not want to make a mistake by putting Aussies to bat, they we did in WC 2003 finals and got thulped badly. I am sure Zaheer khan will never forget the horrendous first over giving away 13 runs.

This will play a major part in the match, am guessing that the curators are well-aware of what kind of pitch to prepared given that we have 4-5 slow bowlers and on the other hand Aussies have a good pace attack. I would expect the pitch to be flat and slightly sluggish, absolutely no grass what so ever. Sidhu the other day commented "It is our home ground, we are not here playing for charity, we are here to win and we need to prepare that suits our style of play". I completely agree with his comments, lets play to our strengths. With Harbhajan, Ashwin , Yuvraj and Yusuf operating it is a daunting task for the Aussies to see them off.

In simple words, i would expect a track to similar to the one we played in Chennai the other day against Windies. Very placid during the first innings and later on giving some assistance to spin.

Batting - Batting power play needs to be addressed

The key to indian batting is to learn how to NOT LOSE wickets in batting power play. We have not understood the art of batting through the power play. If you have noticed closely the problem is with a well-set batsmen trying to go over the top which is completely unnecessary. On 2 occasions one against SA and other one against WI, Tendulkar and Yuvaraj tried to accelerate by going down the track. The new batsmen will not go for his shots right from the word go, and eventually makes it difficult to start picking singles and twos when the field is set in. This is when we lose out on trying to go over the in-field giving out dolly catches.

Bowling - Our strength is Spin and Zaheer khan

MSD is very tactical in his approach on and off the field, waiting on Ashwin till the last league match and was right on the money. All credit goes to Ashwin giving a good solid performance with the bowl picking 2 wickets and being introduced from the first over. This ploy could have easily played against India had Gayle played the match. Otherwise Zaheer has been the best bowler so far, giving the conditions he asked to bowl. He came back to pick up crucial wickets in his second spell both against England and West Indies, he has come of age and as always been the trump card for MSD. Harbhajan has few good performances to back him up, but we have seen that Aussies and especially Punter is vulnerable playing against the turbanator. That will be a interesting sequence of play, MSD will be eagerly waiting to introduce Harbhajan when his counterpart captain is on the crease.

The key challenge for India is to keep wickets during the batting power play, and someone like Yusuf or MSD can go bang bang.
Not to forget Yuvraj is a big match player, am betting heavily on him to take India past Quarters.
As expected if Sehwag gets going, Aussies are in for cover. Indian batsmen should look to pick Krejza and make heavy weather of his bowling.

if India bats first, we would look to score some where between 280 - 300. Looking at the previous records, the highest first innings score is 360.

If India bowls first, we would look to restrict them to 250 - 270. We saw that chasing against Aussies is always a uphill task, Pakistan made heavy weather when chasing a small score of 176.

Given all the possibilities and form, India has a upper hand to win this encounter. The key match players to me are Yuvraj and Ashwin. Aussies have not seen much of Ashwin before this and it will be tough to pick him off early.

Aussies have couple of big match winners, Brett Lee is a genuine match winner. The other day if the Aussies had another 25 odd runs to defend, Pakistan would have been sitting in a deep hole.

Everything said and done, an intriguing match on cards at Motera. The men in blue should scrap through this one and will be a bitter revenge for their lose during their WC 2003 finals at Johannesburg.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Discussion Table : Investments & Tax returns

The very fact that information available is abundant allows me write about any random topic. This has amazed to the extent that i have to write a small blog on investments and tax returns.

The strategy here to investment is simple "You are the master of your wealth", You need to plan your investments at the right moment.

Few weeks ago, group of our friends were discussing about investments and tax returns. You know the reason, its time to submit to investment and tax proofs. If you have not planned your investments earlier, then you will surely feel the pinch in your pocket during this time of the year. Durin this period with lot of haste and hassle we might end up being a scape goat to financial products.

Here is a small list of things that we (friends) thought will be useful for tax savings and financial investment.
Rule of Thumb: Double check your investment portfolios every 6 months.

Current Day Scenario: With the interest rates that are afforded by the banks on FD, NSC , PPF (6 - 7%) and the current inflation rate is surging ahead with 6-7 %. Our Profits earned on returns on these investments after few years will be cancelled out by the growing inflation rate.

Another financial advice that i learnt a hard way is not to invest on health insurance as a "Software Engineer", the key here is the profession.

Investing on more than 1 Life Insurance policy might not be a good option, proper analysis and guidance is required in this case. In the current scenario, small investments as "buckets" with immediate returns ( 6 - 12 months) is required and helpful.

With the above intiative other friends joined the discussion and gave their thoughts and view.
This is what Arun had to say,

1) Insurance is for Insurance, returns are only for ur family in case something happens to you, hence always go for Term insurance(which has 0 returns). If you want returns invest in MF. Never invest in LIC for returns.
2) Do not invest just to save tax, sometimes u lock the money unnecessarily, when you want liquidity.
3) Dont go for ULIPs(never)
4) Open a PPF acc, min amount per year is 500, so good to open.
5) Health insurance is good. But if your company covers for you and your parents, think about it. Most health insurance companies
donot issue new insurance after 60. So in case, you are planning for your parents, do it when they are around 55-59.
6) Another type of quick investment is : "Ultra Short Mutual funds". these funds provide mimimal returns but will yeild dividends per day, hence if you do not have a place for storing liquid cash which you may use up in next 3 months, this is a very safe place with returns.
7) Please read this blog regurarly, very good one :
jago investor

With the above comments/views the discussion went on to the next level and we had more people on the discussion table.
Another friend of mine Gopalakrishanan had interesting views,
if you are looking for investments over and above the 1 lakh cap , you should seriously consider investing in gold which is time-tested.

Although we know about buying physical gold , investor also has the option for buying GOLD ETF's. This eliminates the burden of safe guarding physical gold, but it comes with a small extra charge, but will be pretty less than the locker deposits in banks. Benchmark Gold ETF's are presently pretty good since they have the least charges. One can also trade on other commodity ETF's which have a good upward trend.

As you all can see the information just kept flowing, it was great and amazing medium to exchange information about something you are not aware of.

I just pulled this out from my friends comment "Advice is cheap, hence think over and decide about what you should do and what is good for you about investments". The idea here is to be a proactive investor and not a passive one.

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Best Friend Wedding

Destination Thanjavur (Feb 4th 2010): Once the capital of Chola empire is now our destination for our Best Friend Wedding - Vijesh. A place with a long history of cutural importance dating back to the Sangam period. After their fall it was ruled by Pandyas, later on Vijayanagar Empire , Nayaks , Maratha ,then by the British and finally it all came down to wedding ceremony of Vijesh&Abirami.

On our arrival, we could see at a distance the Gopuram(Temple Towers) of Brahadeeswara Temple. The towers of the temple can be viewed from across the town and is the tallest of its kind around the world, the construction dating back to 11th century.

Focus shifts back to the marriage , I was distinctly surprised on how the whole wedding ceremony took place, my friends reflected on to me that it was a typical "Tamil Marriage", all the mantras being recited in Tamil. I was more enthusiastic with my new Canon 500D (Rebel T1i) trying my very best to cover the entire ceremony. With my ameaturish photographic skills could manage to capture few snaps and you can find them at the end of my blog. The entire marriage ceremony was executed with great elan. Could see the anxiousness on the parents face as the muhurtham was ticking away. Our man after some minor stuggle with the Pattu Veshti, along with the help of our friends, hero(Bridegroom) arrived to a great asounding reception. The Brides brother was ready with the garland and the stage was now set for the Bride to arrive.


Now its entry time for our bride(typical of tamil cinemas) accomponied by ... amidst excellent background scores done by our Nadaswaram (music) team takes the centre stage. Then the priest announce the time for Mangalyadaranum were the bride ties the knot(mangalsutra). It's done with that, and it was now time for all our friends to get some snaps and roll back to the past to visit the big Thanjai temple.

we had a sumptuous lunch at the wedding, could hardly remember the items served, such was the list of items. Adding to the heavy lunch we were served with icecreams werein i was resisting to eat, but the temptation grew more and couldn't hold on to that. Last not but the least Betel leaves filled with mixture & paak summed up the events of our lunch.

More reports on the marriage were published here and here . It was my best friend Wedding.
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Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome Twenty10 !!!

Plenty of things happened over the past one year and another year goes by... Like birds, let us, leave behind what we dont need to carry.. :-)
Grudges, Sadnes, Pain , Fear & Regrets...

Have a great Twenty10 :-)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Violence !!! More Violence !!! reports Cricinfo

Today Virendar Sehwag(aka Viru) is already a trending topic in twitter sehwag. I was following cricinfo today and all the reporter had to do was to make sure they have all the boundaries recorded when sehwag blasted to 284 at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai against Lankans. I just love the way they report Violence when Sehwag goes for the maximum, for sometime i was in a deep thought that a T20 match was going on.

India today after getting SL out for 393 showed how brutally the pitch has turned bad for the Lankans. India is clearly in the drivers seat having scored 443 runs in 80 overs with the loss of one wicket. To me another 400 runs from the Indian batting side looks to be mere a number and Lankans will need to put on their thinking cap when resume on Day 3. Muralitharan playing in his last test match on Indian soil will never want to remember this bowling performance.

All the hopes came crashing down today for Lankans hoping to win their first test match on Indian soil after 16 years and again it looks to me that a win still evade the Islanders. Sehwag today was ruthless, punished the bowlers all around the park and never seemed to be in the mood to bog down. Later on someone reminded me that there is a test series being played between India and Sri Lanka at Mumbai. Such was the batting prowess that Sehwag displayed today, pretty sure it was worth the money for the spectators.

Sehwag's explanation of cricket "See the ball, Hit the ball hard". Lets hope that he crosses the 300 mark in style and then go on to score 400 runs and then to beat the highest individual score in test cricket scored by BC Lara (400* against England) in 2004.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

What are u doing now?

Am sitting down at my partner client here in San Diego, US. San Diego is a lovely place and am wondering what i should be posting on my blog. It has been recently flooded with too many sports thoughts so just gave it a break.

Yes am trying to put my thoughts about twitter - What are you doing?? I have been posting quite a few tweets until recently i joined. My friends have been crazy on this and they clock an average 15-20 tweets everyday. Lots of interesting , not so interesting, masala tweets and with the IPL in full swing lots of my friends are seen putting the match update.s I initially had a all together a weird feeling about twitter. I was in assumption that why i tell someone what am doing or am least bothered about what others are doing?? Huh , but until recently i found out its a kind of thing which is very short and easy to share. You can see it for yourself ,i never had to compose these many blogs which has information that few would have already felt that its just too much to take and boring. The thing that attracts me is that the messages you need to convey is short.

So different people have different thoughts but with that i was wondering how twitter was making revenue. Its an interesting thought that strike my so called brains and this kept me wondering how the business model worked. Give it a thought yourself and you will quite surprised. Twitter doesn't charge its users for the service (at least for now). It's our mobile phone companies who are making the money from our SMS usage. Check this blog here . So really they don't make any money but going forward i would be interested to see how their business model will work on a longer run.
Ways to promote Twitter are,
-> Become a distributor of third-party apps and services that use Twitter and take a cut in return.
-> Design and sell hardware such as a cellphone with “Twitter baked in”.
-> Or, better still, partner with mobile device makers and carriers to offer superior Twitter integration.
-> And finally, sell the service to a carrier.

Yes enjoy twittering and let us know what you are doing?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

NBA playoffs give me a kick - Amazing happens here

Those days when me and my bro used to wake up early mornings to follow the NBA playoffs. From then i used be a good fan of LA Lakers. The double team of Shaque and Kobe was mesmerizing for the opponents.

The days have come back, after office hours am hooked on to my television sets here to catch up with the NBA playoffs. Playoffs are fun, this is where every thing happens. I used play for the school team when i had a great interests for this sport then, now i feel all the energy has come back alive. I love watching Kobe play and the playoffs, its just keeps at the edge of the seat.

The Western conference with LA vs Houston Rockets and Dallas Vs Denver Nuggets are currently playing their semi finals. And on the eastern side where am now Boston is playing against Orlando and Atlanta vs Cleveland. With the LA vs Rockets game really fired up with a game a piece. There is very little between the two teams and anyone who wins has the best chance of taking the coveted NBA title. Already Lobron James winning the coveted MVP of the year, it will interesting to see how others play against Cleveland. Whatever it is am loving this sport, its very fast, its exciting and after all its where "Amazing happens".