Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Oil the black gold of the world today stands at a crucial juncture. No I am not going to blabber about the emptying or the replenishment of the same. But I would like to state its importance in world politics today. For example today just recently Russia had hit a big oil reserve round about the Siberian region. It is more popularly known as the Sakhalin project. Of course it has on its own lead to much controversy. First of all Vladimir Putin’s bold decision to state that Russia would not let anyone have its piece of cake no matter what. That Russia’s in mood to enter into a trade agreement with any of the states. But one thing that Russia forgets here is that for refining the crude oil it has its centers in China, Japan and other such countries. However with Russians planning to get into the Refining business it would be costly decision that Russia has to take, because of the capital intensive market that oil sector currently is.

Coming to India with its nuclear agreement on the right path its time the government took some measures to get into oil sector and sort out the long standing controversy of oil with its neighboring states. First of all India comes after China in terms of oil consumption. Its the sixth largest consumer of oil all over the world.Still India has grave problems regarding this sector which is leading to huge economic losses. First of all the long standing pipeline from Yemen and Turkmenistan which if laid will go a long way in resolving India’s major chunk of problems. But India’s not so good relation with Pakistan leads to a failure of laying the pipelines from Afghan till India through Pakistan. Even though India is ready to pay something around $500 mn in transit fees Pakistan cannot guarantee the transit of the pipelines. The other option that India has is to go around the Pakistani state from the Arabian Sea and enter into India. But that too is a costly affair, which would require huge capital investments which at present would not be feasible.

On the left of India lies the oil rich Burma, but that too being China friendly doesn’t do the situation any good. Even if they do agree there is a problem of Bangladesh flexing its muscles to stop India from getting the crude? Even though an agreement of $125 mn been offered as transit fees were made as an offer, Bangladesh is keener on being China friendly. China on he other hand is on its way to creating a string of pearls all alon from Nepal to Pakistan and back to china.This would be major blow to India ‘s chances of being the Asian supremacy.Anyhow right now with the U.S. nuclear deal being signed chances are there that India might just get to sniff oil after all.


Shifting of the IPL could be one big factor which could decide the winner of this years cricket bonanza. Starting from the 18th the IPL has been shifted to South Africa which had successfully held the T20 world cup. The new venues could create problems for the teams heavily dependent on local talent. For example Rajasthan Royals could this time find it quite difficult to retain their championship crown. A quick look at their team and we could see the obvious. Lots of huge heavers and agricultural stroke players, but except a few like Smith and Watson we don’t find any quality striking prowess in their ranks. You have Yousuf Pathan the find of last year’s IPL. But how successful would he be on pitches are not entirely bating friendly. As we found out in the T20 in Africa. The score of 160 is said to be a competitive score over here. Instead of in India in which 160 is hardly competitive. The pitches here are bouncy with swing taking place in Durban which is closer to sea. In the nights it becomes impossible to score on. How the local Indian players who re fed on flat tracks over here in India, only time will tell.

The team to look out in this edition are Chennai with Dhoni at the helm and quality players like Hussey, A Morkel,Ntini,Hayden,Oram,it seems that Dhoni is all set to take home the country gold. Apart from these players the others to look for are David Warner,Owais Shah, Flintoff,Peitersen,Tyron Henderson and others alike. However its been strange that not many teams have concentrated on their bowling department. I think they are happier to do away with their bits and pieces bowlers who can stop the flow of runs and give them their bonus wickets. Shaun tait has been a fresh entry.Players like Johan botha ,Brett jeeves etc have not been considered seriously. Of course the change in the venue comes as a big surprise to everyone, but you got to have the right balance.

The other important matter to look into is that the Indian Board is going to lose a lot in the stadium rights and revenue.However the major chunk of their revenues comes from Television rights and sponsorships,but still its loss for them and India.The younger brigade would find it tough to adjust to the African conditions of pace and bounce although we are sure that the organizers would do enough to ensure flate decks.However even if the decks are juicy and responsive it is an excellent opportunity for the selectors to pick good quality stroke players who can adjust to the home and away conditions as well.Another thing is that over here in India lots of our bowling talent gets murdered even before it has a chance to get into the international arena.However it is a great opportunity for our local bowlers who might find ti helpful to bowl on such responsive condtions.

Whatever might be the case we are sure to enjoy it as many people are actually looking forward to it.With success of the first edition ,this time with the entry of English players into the setup things are certainly looking rosy ahead.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The 2nd Test IND VS NZ

The 4th day of the India versus NewZealand series saw for the first time in years India’s fighting spirit abroad. Usually the Indians aren’t like this .While not in the sub continent even against lower rung bowling attacks India wilts under pressure.Not so in this case India’s dogged performance lead by the old warhorse Dravid, showed that the famed Indian batting lineup still has the fight in it to claw back in the situation. Not only Dravid the manner in which Gambhir controlled his natural instincts for the team showcased how well the team is right now jelling with each other. At one point of time Gambhir hadn’t scored a run in more than six overs on the trot still he had the temperament to stay cool and not give his wicket away till the end of the day. His concentration levels were really very high. With him coming last evening and staying unbeaten till today evening showed that he has evolved as batsman .That too when the tails of Kiwis were up and running. With both Martin and O’Brien firing on all cylinders he had the patience to stay there and fight it out. Quite unlike his captain who in the end of the day gifted his wicket away to Patel with an expansive shot. However people might argue that it’s the way Sehwag plays .But I like to add that there is little more maturity required over there as he was the captain of the Indian cricket green top and really testing Indians on the turf they are more unfamiliar with, instead of providing with dead flat tracks which is like fodder to canon.

However we might be happy with what the team has achieved so far but there is one problem that we have sought out very fast. And that is we are too dependent on our old war horses. If we look at the series apart from Gambhir no one has played any crucial knock or played a long innings. WE are very good when we know that we can attack but while it comes to scrapping our way out we tend to falter.Yuvraj,Sehwag ,Dhoni can be very good for a flashy fifty but that is not Test Cricket. The essence of test cricket is the ability to pace our innings according to situation demands. That is why Australia is so very good at Test Cricket. If we see they have players like Clarke,Hussey,Katich who can pace their innings beautifully to win their games.

Our gennext has a lot to learn from our senior pros when it comes to Test cricket. The time is short because it will feel a sudden void when all of your defence mechanism has run out. And you have warriors without a back up support. Either all will kill or get killed that is where we are headed.team.

Although we still have a day in hand and anything can happen on the last day wearing wicket .But at least our wheels did not fall off at the finish line, This would be great moral wicket if we can pull off a draw in the last day, The kiwi captain would have to do a lot of rethinking for the last game. Given the situation he is in for the last game I think the ground staff would have to help him out here by providing him with a

Monday, March 23, 2009

The race is on :EPL


As Saturday came to an end we are about to see a scrappy,dappy race till the end of the Barclays English Premier league. With Manu going down to Liverpool in a crucial tie at Fulham, chances of Liverpool catching on the league champions this time around looks very much obvious. With Liverpool captain Steve Gerrad in the form of his life Sir Alex has to do more than just strategize to get this done and dusted. The down slide started from the home game against Liverpool. The Nemanja Vidic error gave Liverpool the much needed space to get the goal and then dominate the entire game with utmost arrogance. They thrashed the world champions like they were some 3rd division clubs. This is where Liverpool has improved in the past .Earlier after securing the lead they used to sit back and defend the game out. Actually Manu were a wee bit surprised with the new found attacking vigor that Rafa has instilled in their players. That was seen when they defeated the Spanish side Real Madrid in their champions league tie. They absolutely routed the Spanish runner up team. The combination between Torres and Gerrad has been working very well for the reds. The team it seems has started to amalgamate and they are true like true champions. Their defense led by English defender Carrragher has been very well organized and their wing attacks have also started to find precision. This time around however they are not relying on pumping long balls into the box and more importantly are not relying solely on Gerrard to find them those crucial goals.

However there are certain flaws that might just stop them from getting their hands on that coveted trophy that they have so long desired. First of all is Chelsea threat .Under Guus Hinddik they have found the organization threat they so lacked during the Scolari era. Their attacks are now more purposeful with less unforced errors Chelsea are a team to watch out for during the title race. This will be more clarified during their champion’s league clash. However Rafa is known to be an expert at winning tournaments, but this time around can Gerrard really stop the Chelsea juggernaut, let’s see.

The second threat is Manu itself. Although they are wounded for now but they still stand a very good chance as they have their flaws not that late in the season. With the return of Vidic they will find their feet back .With Ferguson he knows how to win in these crucial situations because he is really a veteran and nobody knows it better to win this league than the old guy himself.

The third threat for them is the flaws within. Firstly they rely too much on the crankshaft mechanism of Steve Gerard and Torres very much. Teams might just play and dirty and might just make them drop two points which in Liverpool’s case would be disastrous. Secondly except for Torres nobody in the Liverpool ranks are innovative in their attacks which might just make the opponents think less. The opposing teams simply have just one mantra against Liverpool, stop Torres and block Gerrard things would be smooth later on. Although this is easier said than done this would require a lot from teams to stop these two world class players.

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