Thursday, March 25, 2010

Today's quiz question

Connect these cricketers :

Answer to last week's question:

Both those teams were called "The Invincibles". The top photo is that of the 1948 Australian cricket team led by Don Bradman. The bottom photo is that of the 2003-04 Arsenal team.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Super Over Farce

Why on earth can't a cricket match end in a tie? When you can play 5 days of test match cricket and still end up with no result, why can't a few hours of T20 cricket end in a tie. Mind you, a tie is a result. It just means that both teams didn't deserve to lose or win. In this case, they didn't deserve to win. KXIP were just a touch more desperate than CSK since they were zilch before this. Hence they ended up getting the points. But they are not definitely the winners of this game.

The Super over is grossly unfair to the team batting first in the super over. It is so much more easier to "chase" a target in one over. The team batting first invariably tries to just blindly smash everything out of sight and you end up getting out more often than not. It would be interesting to know the results of the matches decided by the super over till now. I bet most of them would have the chasing team winning. I don't think Hayden watched the ball from Theron's hand (who had bowled superbly earlier). It was a beautifully bowled slower delivery but had Hayden watched the ball he would have dispatched it duly. The super over nerves got to him. Mahela was just plain daft. After smashing Murali over long on for six the very first ball, he tries the same shot again when only 4 runs were required of 5 deliveries. It just goes to show that experience doesn't always translate to smart cricket.

The match was entertaining to say the obvious. Murali was outstanding. Powar used his lack of pace and short stature well. Chawla mixed his googlies well. Theron was awesome. His brilliant penultimate over set up the final over. And not to forget nerveless Kaify taking the finalcatch. CSK should have won the match in a canter. Twice in two matches they have stuttered after Hayden departed, losing the match this time. Vijay looks clearly out of his depth in this version even though he got a poor decision in this match. He is a fine young player but not in the T20 version. CSK is missing Hussey. Take Hayden out and with Dhoni injured, CSK looks marginally better than KKR. The IPL just got a touch more interesting. Vetti boys of CSK!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Today's cricket quiz question

Not completely cricket related. Easy one though. What words connects these two snaps?

Answer to yesterday's question:

They were the people involved in the last dismissal in the two tied tests. Joe Solomon ran out Ian Meckiff in the first tied test at the Gabba in 1961. Greg Mathews got Maninder Singh lbw in the second tied test at Chennai in 1986.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cricket quiz series

Starting a cricket quiz series from today. This ensures a regular series of posts. Smart eh?

Who are these cricketers and what is the connection between them?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Thoughts on VTV

When i came out of the hall after watching VTV there was more a sense of relief that it was over which is a pity given it was engaging for long stretches. It was beginning to wear thin towards the end and was playing with my patience. The problem with love stories is that no matter how much you play around with the script, you can have only two possibilities. The guy gets the girl or he doesn't. So the narrative style is the key. Gautam has a gift for romantic yarns. He does seem to derive a lot from personal experience. Vazhkaila romba adi pattutaaru pola irukku. Lines like 'one way ticket to heartbreak city' can't be made up by a 'kal nenjam' who hasn't ever fallen in love.

Simbu as Karthik gives a very sincere performance. That should have been easy for him since he starts loving his heroines anyway so he just needed to be himself. Trisha as Jessie looks great. Her costumes are beautiful and simple. She is dressed in saris for the most part and looks elegant and sexy. She hasn't looked this good ever since the days of mounam pesiyadhey and saami.

The first half of the movie is breezy and entertaining. I liked the cinematographer guy who hangs around with Simbu. He was fun with his deadpan dialogue delivery. But the strength and weakness of the movie is the second half. Generally in movies, characters always seem to be cocksure of what they are doing. They know exactly when they fall in love (of course cue music always helps) and they know that they are made for each other etc. Real life hardly is that straightforward. A zillion thoughts are racing through the mind. The mind is always playing tricks. Which is not the case here. However Gautam has made his jessie character very real, so real that after some time you just want to say - please cut the crap and let us all rest in peace. One can understand the pain the character goes through but not feel it and hence it starts to get annoying. It is like having a 'sarakku' session with your friends and one of them starts to tell his own sad story. You want to empathise with him and be comforting but in the end it ain't your story. All you can do is nod your head and come up with some pearls of wisdom.

I have often wondered why do even very good movies have so much drama? Why can't they be a bit more subtle? Even a beautiful movie like Mouna ragam had this dramatic finish towards the end when a dazed Mohan jumps and slips like Kamal in Moondram Pirai and hops on to the train to be reunited with Revathi. But it seems that the emotional high that one gets with such moments in movies is what makes them tick and VTV could have had some more of those. For example there is this cheesy scene where Simbu knocks out Jessie's brother and his goons. For a very short while i was emotionally attached to the scene. Felt like bashing them up myself. It was a shallow scene and quite unnecessary. But i felt the connect. For large portions of the second half, the frustrating behaviour of Jessie is very real and possible to empathize with. But i just didn't care. Maybe VTV could have done with some more drama.

The climax is simple and feels right. That had to be the only way the movie had to end after rambling directionless just like this post.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The lone bright spot

in Neo sports' brain dead cricket coverage is

yes , u gueesed right - Archana Vijaya.
She is charming, articulate, knows her cricket and has even
played cricket at the state level. Ok, kidding. She doesn't know
much cricket. She is smoking hot and the only reason to keep
watching Neo sports between the actual cricket.