Recent Articles

Sport Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Multi National Company

Just as Penny of Big Bang Theory tells Sheldon “it’s not what it looks like” the above topic is not what it actually means. I am not writing for or about any MNC as they are famously know, but it’s working in the company of multi-national personal. Ever since I have started working in San Francisco finally the feeling of working in a foreign country has struck me. I realized that working abroad isn’t just about living far away from home missing home only when you are alone and down.

In the last five professional years and 2 student years I have mostly lived in and around INDIAN’s and have pretty much spoken the national language. Pretty much shared the INDIAN festivals and tasty yummy food. Every food I ate had to taste similar to a paneer or aroma had to have rasam’s tanginess to it and every discussion had to end with politics and corruption and of course cricket.

Nothing has really changed, I still miss all the above mentioned and much more as I write, but being in the company of multi-national professionals is a different experience. I have met and interacted with people of Russian, Thai, Japanese, Israeli, Spanish, Venezuelan, Kenyan, and Brazilian, German, Swedish, British and even Canadian origin. This is along with the usual Chinese, Pakistani, Korean, Vietnamese and Mexican forks that are predominant.

Finally it made sense why and how much we geographical Asian’s are similar in our culture, not only in the aspect of obeying our parents and family values but even in approach to money and what constitutes for worth every penny. Only when you interact with a Buddhist Chinese / Japanese / Thai you realize that their culture there is much more than INDIAN-ness in them considering Buddha was from India.

Part of Buddhism is preached in Bali language which is sibling of Sanskrit and hence their prayers are not just similar but to akin how a Hindu worship and Rudraksha beads aren’t just about restricted to Indians anymore. This also explains why the Bangkok Intl Airport is named Suvarnabhumi. One could only wish one of our airports had a similar sacred name associated with it.

Interacting with a Kenyan revealed his penchant for tropical fruits like Guava and their hatred towards Australian cricket team, and found a friend in a Brazilian who likes juicy pulpy Mangoes as much as he enjoys getting burned under the sun. A political discussion with a Venezuelan about oil and the role of Chavez in controlling it is very interesting to know. The fact that there aren’t many authentic burrito places in the United States reminds him of his favorite restaurant back home. And one can only imagine what he meant when he keeps telling that American’s do not know how to party during festivals.

Lengthy discussions with an Englishman about how British sabotaged Chicken Tikka Masala as theirs yielded successfully when he had a spicy one from Rajjot Punjabi restaurant. Everyone knows Raj Kapoor’s connection with Russian’s through his movies, but little did I know that I would be discussing about a movie where a policeman’s hands are chopped and two robbers are hired to hunt down a dacoit with a fellow Russian 4 decades later. It’s astonishing to know that most Russians of the 70s and 80s have watched Sholey and Amitabh was still the heartthrob among the Russian ladies.

And hopefully as time goes by I could experience and share enjoy the company of multination personals.

The Caltrain Experience

It’s been 10 months since I have been commuting to office with the combination of caltrain and bike. For someone who has never worked in a city using public transport for commute was something new and exciting. Life is different and the value of the minute hand on the watch begins to take importance. Difference between 7.59 am and 8:00 am is just a matter of waiting 30 mins for the next train and frustration doubles when you are on the platform and yet the conductor refuses to open the door that just closed.

Little bit if background for people unaware of caltrain’s services towards bikers; they have two cars dedicated for bikers where you are allowed to park your bike on the lower floor and be seated on the upper floor. And be prepared to get the dirty look when you step into that car if you aren’t a biker. Typically people bike to the caltrain for around 15 mins, spend 45 mins in the train and then finally bike back to their destination.

Since you spend close to 45 mins in the train people one-way people have various activities to keep them busy. Techies open up their mac and start working right away without wasting any time. Elderly folks spend time either reading on their e-reader or some traditionalist have paper books. Some gamer geeks start playing with computer games, while some watches movies or their favorite shows on ipad. Majority of them just have their ear/head phones plugged and immerse in their favorite music. Seldom will you see a painter who sketches the mountain terrains while gazing across the window.   
Train commuting could be tiresome and some folks are lucky to have found a group of like-minded people or their colleagues with whom they chat forever. For some individuals caltrain ride falls in their breakfast time and for some it’s their makeup time and for rest it overlaps with their sleep time. Stressful day, light music, cozy seats, tropical temperature, moving train, cradle effect all add up-to a power-nap. Some make the evening ride back home an event, no sooner the train departs the six pack is out; creative part is that they don’t repeat the beer brand each day.

Biking is a serious hobby at least in the bay-area and with decent weather throughout the year facilitates it. Along with bikes come myriad types of bike gears people engulf themselves into. Chilly mornings and breezy evenings force you to cover up from head to toe; most people have gloves and winter jacket to counter the cold. Some take it to the next level by having a full body bike suit, bike shoes, water bottle in the stand, rear view mirror in the helmet and much more and giving a feeling that they just came back from Tour De France; sometimes it makes me wonder if Lance Armstrong was indeed a commuter before he took up biking.

Bikes mostly fall under Mountain aka fat types one, Road bike aka racing style and Hybrid ones which fall the in between ones. Road bikes are feather light and with over 90 PSI tyre pressures, they just glide through road like Tendulkar’s straight drive without any follow through. Mountain bikes are on the heavier side and since they have huge tires there is more friction with the road and it take the same effort Dravid takes to cover drive a ball. And we have hybrid ones that are in between the mountain and road bikes. Along with them we have few commuters who use scooter’s aka Koi Mil Gaya mike to good effect, looks ridiculous but one can travel a greater speed with that.
The interesting part is the types of bike that are seen on the Caltrain, some are branded ones worth few hundreds and some elite expensive ones worth few grand and custom-made cheaper ones and finally the foldable ones that reduce to the size of a wheel. Some bikes are 21 gears; some are fixed gear and a few single speed ones.

It has been a fun experience so far and will post more on my experience with biking.

Treat umpires as professionals


Cricket needs specialists

Two guys started a company, one had a problem which he wanted to solve and other knew how to solve it. Soon they started converting their idea into a more tangible thing and they called it a product. Now they need to sell their product to make money out of it, but nobody knows what their product is and what it offers. So they decide to promote and market their product so that people are aware of their products so they call this guy Product Marketer, his role is to increase or create awareness about the product. Once the product is popular they want someone to sell their product and actually generate customer and revenue and they call him Salesman. More revenue accumulates and now they need some one to manage it and make sure profits increase, unwanted expenses reduces and they call him Finance head. So what we observe it that as time advances a company gets more specialized people to do specialized jobs and this leads to building a successful company.

One-Day cricket is evolving and with lot of amendments in the rules each,  time has come that teams make the necessary adjustments needed not just to survive to thrive. Well if they don't prepare well in advance they will have to learn the hard way.

The new rule of 4 fielders outside the 30 yards circle during the non-power play overs along 2 new balls from each end have prompted teams to get away with part-times and invest more in the specialists. Of-course all these rules are more in the favor of the batsman piling more runs, two bouncers per over is the only solace pacers have. This leaves part-timers hanging in the mid air. In the hindsight it encourages spinners to be more attacking with their field placements with one more fielder either around the bat or close in catching. Imagine this off-spinner blowing with mid-off or leg spinner with mid-in, no easy single available for couple of balls and batsman gets bogged down and a big shot on the way. This translate to fun; either wicket or a boundary or big shot.

This also tests the captains ability to manipulate his fielders and this brings more excitement and new dimension to the game. Now we just can't have a part-timer bowling with having both long off and long on back, or having both deep point and deep backward square leg or having both fine leg and third-man back. So we now have only 4 players patrolling 6 field positions instead of 5. And with 5 inside the ring means no easy singles available at the batsman's disposal, so the game gets more cerebral more like a chess board.

Possible approaches captains could use is a genuine specialists to each of the 3 roles that opened up. 
a. swing bowlers to make use of the 2 new balls while its hard & shinny, 
b. quality spinners to build pressure on the batman and bog them down,
c. finally have death bowlers who would focus on hitting the block hole more frequently.

Sri Lanka have already start of pretty well using Kulasekara and Mathews to open as swing bowlers, spinners/medium pacers for the mid-overs and Malinga for the death. I only can hope that INDIA can go with this formula and succeed one day because with the current bowling line up depending too much on part-timers to get them out of the hole seems like a recipe for disaster.

Rotation by choice vs Rotation by lack of it

In software industry there is something called resource management where they manage the work load of its engineers so that they don't burn out. They do this by some sort of rotation with in the company. They are either moved to a different team which has less load which gives them breathing space & also a different perspective about the product. This is a win-win situation for both the employee and the employer as the employee gets the knowledge about the breath of the company and the employer has it more people who are versatile. 

In the ongoing AUS vs SL series we saw lot of new faces getting a go for both AUS and SL. While AUS choose to rest some of its players, SL were left with no choice but replace it's injured players. Though Australia learnt the rest-rotate policy the hard way when it's first string of fast-bowlers were injured right towards the end of the test series. So as a lesson it rested some of its batsmen anticipating heavy work load ahead. This also gave some of it's uncapped players chance to prove their worth and some clasped it with both their hands. As a result now Australia has bigger pool of batsman who have the ability to convert energy from potential to kinetic.

Back to the original problem what INDIA is facing, we have far too many players with potential energy waiting to give their kinetic kick. The biggest problem is that INDIA only plays their potential players when either we have a dead rubber or when our arse is on fire. Its always some sort of response-to-external-stimulus which is mostly from media.

So instead of just being reactive why not create a pool of players and give them fixed no of opportunities and judge their true kinetic energy. Say in a 5 match series rest a few overloaded players and feed a new breed and see how they react. This way you have rested some sore muscles and worked up some new muscles isn't it how you work out ? Rahane only got his chance when Sandeep Patil come into power, Sehwag was dropped and Sachin finally retired. 

Same would be true with bowling right now Ashwin is having a lose-connection in his circuit. Right at he point of release he stops as if current is cut-off and then delivers. He has moved from being the wickets taker to run stopper to run-bearer. Why not try Ojha or some fresh spinner and see how he performs against England in INDIA which might Ashwin to fix his lose-connection. Fast-bowler in INDIA are following Shane Bond's injury routine they breakup far too quickly and gone for too long. One more year and we will forget who Praveen Kumar, I already hear who? 

And whats up with Dhoni going for cent percent attendance, is he seeking for bonus points for attending all matches? With IPL looming around doesn't his body need the necessary rest and so who is our back up keeper? Can we learn from what happened to SL, 1st and 2nd keeper both injured. 

Right now INDIAN cricket is in a open book exam situation, answers are present just needs a proper index to find it. Hope this serves as an Index.  

My Name is Jadduu

Hello All,

            My name is Ravindra Jadeja, people fondly call me Jaddu but I would like to be called Mr Utility, because that is all I can do. If you ask any kid on the street what do u do in cricket ? He will answer I can bat and ball, same is the answer with me. I can neither win a match on my own with batting nor with my bowling. In INDIA I am the official all-rounder because I am a part-time bowler and part-time batsman. I am like the grad student who gets his tuition fees paid with half RA & half TA. 

I scored 2 triple hundreds in a span of 2 weeks in our first class season, selectors thought I was some sort of cheaper version of a Pujara or a VVS and they roped into the Test team to bolster the batting and what I do is pick wickets ahead of the two front line spinners and bowl a very meager spell. I could be the new Kumble of spin or lack of it; some beat the batsman with flight and some with viscous spin but I beat with lack of spin. So you can call me left arm darts, but I know I have a long way to go and sorry uncle for for comparing with you. 

And that's not the only problem I come with, nobody really knows what is my best batting position is. Every left-hander has a favorite shot that he is master at, Gauti has that square cut, UV has that big booming cover drive and Raina has the close your eyes and hit over the mid-wicket. I don't have the technique to bat up the order nor do I have the power to whack around in the end. I run well between the wickets but it is proportional to the no of ball I can face. I can neither play bouncer nor spin and lets not talk about pace please it's too fast. But I have won matches for Rajastan Royal over years, I need to look at what I really did well there.

Yes! I am a good T20 club league player where half no of players are of my league & I can excel. I was doing well with Royals, Warne uncle was very kind to me I got batting and bowling in all the games. Things got a better when I was moved to Kochi I was kind of their best player for a while. But all these money minded uncles played some cheap politics and took away my batting and bowling. They closed Kochi Tuskers.

I don't know what stone or ring I wore my fate changed and Srini uncle bought be for 2M + some under table money all in Dollars. But they didn't increase my salary; this is cheating man. In CSK I am proud to wear the yellow jersey but I don't get to bat or bowl its pretty boring man only fielding, Dhoni has so many players to play with that he forgets about me.

When every body plays well I don't get to bat or bowl too much, but when the top order fails they expect me to play and show my skill. See what they did in Kolkatta, I bowled well and took 3 wickets and when batting collapsed I had a good chance like Dhoni to play full 50 of batting, but sorry I couldn't make use of it. I will take inspiration from my beloved captain and get full batting next time.

I think I spoke too much good bye guys, this is my official letter. Atleast I wrote a letter to all not like Raina who put something bad on twitter and blamed his nephew. 

Pre-match Analysis

If 6 batsman can't do it 7 can't is favorite commentators cliche which Dhoni has taken it to the next level. Stuffing 8 batsman in a T20 game is like loading your pant pocket with handful of Parle-G biscuits, bound to crush. It's funny and tactful that his opposite number took a dig at Dhoni. It was clearly evident that INDIA lacked a front line spinner to pick wickets and stem the flow of runs. And it isn't a non-asian country that would tumble against our part-time spinners.

Dhoni's so called innovations read stupid moves some times go hey-wire and out of context and using Kohli when wickets have fallen down is criminal. Though Ashwin isn't in his best of the form would definitely do a better job that the part-timers. Omitting the prodigal son Rohit and including Ashwin is the way to go if we even want to salvage the lost pride. 

3 quicks and 1 spinner + 2 part-timer sounds a better plan atleast on paper. Ishant needs to to focus on his bowling rather that nourish his mane and picking street fights and it's not a Delhi thing to pick fight against Pak. Its not unfair to expect him to bowl at the death he is the senior of the lot and is capable of doing it. Expect B Kumar to be targeted this time, Pak will not allow him to settle this time, hopefully he will be prepared.

Jab tak hai shine

The first T20 played at Bangalore has spelled more dooms for the INDIAN team. Yet another close game loss and yet another reason to shield. With no rain and dew factor, it was the batting collapse this time that was blamed. Little would any one question or address the real problem. which is our bowling. Weak bowling can't be hidden by strengthening the batting which is what INDIA does far too often.
In the last couple of years there were very few games that we have lost where bowling is exceptional and batting failed to live upto its expectation. INDIA is a land that produces good batsman from all corners and if some patience and confidence instilled by the selectors we are all set.

The real problem lies in our bowling, both in the spin and pace department. Of the two spin might be of a lesser worry though, pace bowling is a major concern. Its not just about finding a new raw talent and giving him the T20 cap and forgetting about him, but nurturing and grooming him and making sure he learns the new tricks in the trade.

B Kumar is the new kid in the town nice action, great seem position and to top it with mind blowing results. He is a bowler who just didn't pop up from a single IPL season, but was a product of sustained bowling at the first class level. Much like how P Kumar, V Kumar, A Mithun entered scene.
The real problem with these bowlers is that if-its-is-new-I-will-swing condition, they shine with the ball as long as there is shine on the ball. The moment ball gets old they lose their magic wand and they become more of a liability than an asset. So technically they can be productive mostly in T20 as their spell is over before the shine is gone.

Secondly they rely heavily on the conditions ball, ground and atmosphere. They don't have an alternative weapon in case the first one fails, which is bouncer due to their lack of pace. So they would easily be pick and trashed in their subsequent spell even if their first one was a deadly. The real key to fast bowling is movement at brisk pace not necessarily express but at-least good enough to break a bone or two.

There was a time when world cricket had Adam Hollioake , Gavin Larson and Ronnie Irani types bowlers who excelled in what they do. But their time was limited and so was their career. So a lesson to be learned by new Kumars is that variation is the key, and continuous innovation of skills. It's a known fact that INDIAN bowlers aren't fast bowler tall so bounce is out of their question. May be hit the gym add bit more muscle and gain that extra yard pace or may be learn some slow ball variations just to keep the batsman at bay.

Or else it would just be "Jab tak hai shine".

The Great INDIAN Sambar

Back in the days during my Masters none of us knew how to cook and the person with a practical cooking experience was hailed the leader of the house. The food cooked by him was considered divine and since there was no golden taste to compare with, every other food was compared with it. The one who cooked well either had some magical powder that they would sprinkle or had a Harry Potter's magic wand.

Vijay used to make awesome sambar back in those days and would always credit the taste to his mother's magical sambar powder. Nobody really bothered to figure out the truth behind the magic until one day when hunger-the-mother-of-all-tasty-food-innovation led to it. Vijay was on vacation and they tried to replicate or mimic his 3 step process; 1-Open the cooker, 2-pour all the ingredients & sambar powder, 3-close the lid and wait for 2 whistles.

To their surprise it didn't taste the way it was supposed to; so religiously each day one person decided to try out their luck to replicate the magic sambar but in vain; no matter what they did it didn't taste the same. But in the due course each one had made his own version of sambar unique and tasty. They later realized that at the end of this marathon each one had learned the art of cooking through the hard way. And if not the absence of Vijay and urge for tasty sambar they wouldn't have discovered the cook with in them.

Vijay returned back and resumed his sambar, and everyone were happy and had forgotten about their potential until Vijay ran out of his sambar powder or his magic wand. Soon 
tension prevailed and urge for tasty sambar increased. Each of them had personal experience with this magical powder but the challenge was recreating it without the magic wand. With lot of hard work and determination and non-magical powder their sambar attempts were leading towards the goal. 

INDIAN cricket is in the state waiting for Vijay's magic to diminish, if they start now will they might discover their next captain. MS Dhoni emerged to scene amidst Ganguly sacking saga during which INDIAN cricket was in dire straits, Sachin no  willing to step up, Sehwag ignored for his care free attitude. Yuvraj and Harbhajjan ignored for unknown reasons. Selectors handed the cooking duty to MS Dhoni with some fore-thought beyond human comprehension. Giving captaincy to Dhoni was like handing the kitchen keys to a chef, like a seasoned chef Dhoni knew the exact combination of spices to produce the perfect sambar.

Just like nobody questioned Vijay's cooking methods which was very messy and crude because of the taste he brought to the table, nobody really questioned some of Dhoni's stupid and not-so-tactical moves because of his success. Once the magic powder and sambar was gone, there was restlessness in the house and finally someone began questioning his cooking methods. If Dhoni was applauded for this success it is fairer to point out his mistakes and give him a chance to improve. So the time has come for the selectors to wake up and smell that sambar aroma again. 

Much like Vijay's 3 step sambar, Dhoni's captaincy had the method of his own; not necessary the cook book style but methods based on street smartness and out right courage. He took the saying "Nothing succeed like success" to the next level. Just like how a late cut from middle stump against Murli looks classy and stupid depending on the outcome, Dhoni's captaincy had success to back him up and didn't look stupid. Because it worked every move of his had a theory and a postulate written by the cricket pundits. Moving up the order upon a good start and hiding behind when wickets tumbled wasn't mentioned even if was evident. Two world cups and 3 International club league tittles makes him the greatest captain INDIA ever had if result is what every thing matters.

IPL has given that opportunity for the selectors to assess one they many potential captains. Gambhir, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Virat, Harbhajan have had their stints as captains. Let neither age be the deciding factor for the future because it wasn't when Dhoni was selected, nor form be a factor which isn't with Dhoni currently. So its a matter of stepping into to the kitchen and trying out that sambar. It might not be the perfect in the first attempt, but eventually will get there. 

When kitchen starts to stink it's either the menu or the cook that gets a change, INDIAN cricket is ready for a change in cook. MSD has received enough accolades for what he has
done, time to re-access what he hasn't done. Mind you he is a great ODI and T20 captain but the same might not be true in tests. With recent form with Gloves or Bat he isn't an automatic choice, its a different story that there is not clear 2nd favorite to handle the gloves, that doesn't mean Dhoni can stay. Making me look ugly doesn't make you look beautiful should be the mantra here. 

 When the company is drowning its the CEO that takes the pink slip and hunt for new starts. Let the treasure hunt begin to find a captain who atleast can accept his mistakes rather than finding scapegoat. To be frank we are tired of pitch and weather blame game. Mr Selector I want my Magic Sambar back

Blogger templates

Powered by Blogger.