Month: December 2012

England win Test series

On 17/12/2012 at 3.20 p.m. Nagpur Test ended in draw. With that England versus India Test series came to an end. England won the series 2-1. James Anderson was man of the match. Alastair Cook was man of the series. Last time England won in India was in 1984-85 when David Gower was the captain.
It is said well begun is half done. For India that happened to be quarter done. India won Ahmedabad Test. England won Bombay and Calcutta Tests. With Nagpur Test as draw they won the series.
After Ahmedabad Test, Umesh Yadav was out of the team due to back injury. Zaheer Khan was not effective in next two Tests. In Calcutta, he would have got Alastair Cook’s wicket if Cheteshwar Pujara had held on to the catch. Cook was on 17. In Bombay Test, Harbhajan Singh missed a wicket due to a dropped catch. Lost catches cost matches. Harbhajan Singh played only one Test. He, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan were dropped after Calcutta Test. Sunil Gavaskar said Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh were made scapegoats.
Ravindra Jadeja made his debut at Nagpur. Piyush Chawla made a comeback after four years. Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat. The pitch was difficult to score runs. India had the upper hand when England were 139/5. They were all out for 330. England had the upper hand when India were 71/4. Then Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni put on a partnership of 198 runs. Virat Kohli was out on 103. The match was in India’s favour. Then India lost Jadeja who made 12. Then came Dhoni’s run out on 99 by a superb throw by Alastair Cook. Soon Piyush Chawla was out and India were 297/8. The match was evenly balanced. On the fourth day Indians were unable to score quick runs. Dhoni declared on 326/9, four runs short of England total. India wanted to win the Test and level the series. For England draw was enough. England’s third wicket fell at 94. No further loss on Day 4.
The fifth day of Nagpur Test began with hope for India. England were 161/3. Taking seven wickets and restricting England to 225 in the morning session was a possibility. That did not happen. The day ended with England on 352/4. The remaining part of the play was called off with the consent of both captains. Otherwise play should have ended at 4.30 p.m.
Umpiring in Nagpur Test came under criticism. Kumar Dharmasena ruling out Alastair Cook in both Innings, Cheteshwar Pujara’s dismissal, Jonathan Trott ruled not out, were some of the controversial decisions.
Rahul Dravid’s absence as slip fielder is felt. At Nagpur there was a placard asking him to leave the commentary box and come to the field. India does not have specialist slip fielders. Virender Sehwag has not been good at first slip. He does not crouch. Sometimes the ball strikes him, mostly on his legs. Once it hit his hands.
There are calls for change of captain and sacking of Sachin Tendulkar. Bishen Singh Bedi on Headlines Today to Rahul Kanwal said Dhoni is 100% luck, 0% ability. Some have called for sacking of coach Duncan Fletcher. Virender Sehwag once said when the team does well captain gets the credit and when it does badly coach gets the blame. There is talk that Fletcher’s contact will not be renewed. The new coach should not be someone who has played cricket with present players in the team. Some say Gary Kirsten was a great coach. One opinion is that Gary Kirsten left at the right time. The team had won the ODI World Cup. He left on a high. Some have suggested three captains for three formats.
Some feel the attitude of the players changed after they won the World Cup. They felt they did a favour to the country. Some blame IPL. There is more money in IPL than in Tests.
India were unprepared for the series. They took victory for granted. England had lost against Pakistan. They had not done well in Sri Lanka. England had come prepared. After the first Test loss they practised hard. They won Bombay Test on a rank turner. People who spoke spin and batting as our strength suddenly found our spinners were inexperienced, and our batsmen had to do more.
Fitness of fast bowlers has been a problem. Many come, play a few Tests or ODIs, and then are injured and gone. Ishant Sharma was out for some time. S. Sreesanth and Praveen Kumar are not seen.
There are T20 and ODI matches ahead. Australia will play a four Test series in India. Lessons are to be learnt.

God and guns

“Where was God?” “How could God allow this to happen?” Such are some of the questions which some people ask when some tragedy occurs. Some asked such questions after Adam Lanza shot dead 26 persons, 20 of them children, in Sandy Hook School, Newtown, Connecticut. Some Americans have said God was not at school because people have removed God from schools. Prayers and talking about God and religion is banned in schools. Display of Ten Commandments is banned. God is not present where he is not wanted and so such tragedies take place. Such a view has many supporters.
Wrong questions get wrong answers. Some years back two students had killed students and teacher at Columbine High School. One student had killed around 32 students at Virginia Tech. Crimes with guns take place all the time at all places. The question should be how we can prevent such killings. The answer is gun control. Repeal second amendment. Adam Lanza’s mother Nancy Lanza was a gun enthusiast. She had two handguns, two rifles, and a semi-automatic rifle. On 14/12/2012 Adam Lanza took the two handguns and the semi-automatic rifle and deaths of Nancy Lanza and others followed. NRA members should know they too can end up like Nancy Lanza.
That day another tragedy was averted at Bartlesville High School in Oklahoma. Police came to know of Sammie Eaglebear Chavez’s plan to kill his schoolmates and teachers and arrested him. He had a Colt .45 handgun. I do not know whether prayers were said in that school.
The talk of absence or presence of God in schools and public life and spaces should not divert attention from easy availability of guns.

Aam Aadmi Party

Arvind Kejriwal and others founded Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on 26/11/2012. The party does not have a hierarchy. It has a committee at national level. Arvind Kejriwal is national convener. Prashant Bhushan, Kumar Vishwas, Shazia Ilmi, Manish Sisodia, Yogendra Yadav are some of the prominent members of AAP.
Arvind Kejriwal said he will not be minister or prime minister. If AAP gets 272 seats in 2014 or whenever Lok Sabha elections take place he may change his mind.
Arvind Kejriwal is called Ambulance chaser, headlines hunter, and publicity seeker by his opponents. They say his tactics are hit-and-run, shoot-and-scoot. AAP has taken on Robert Vadra, Salman Khurshid, Nitin Gadkari, Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani and many others. AAP also had a press conference on the plight of some soldiers.
AAP does not have a high command. I suppose for selection of candidates they will choose a system similar to American primaries. To have a symbol at national level it is necessary to be recognized as a national party. For that they need a certain percent of seats or votes.
Arvind Kejriwal has lost friends and made enemies along the way. That happens when you fight against corruption and do not spare anyone. Kiran Bedi wanted to fight Congress corruption with the help of BJP. Arvind Kejriwal wanted to fight corruption in every party. She separated from him. Anna Hazare turned against him after he targeted Narendra Modi.
People will support AAP on its fight against corruption. On other issues like economic reforms, liberalisation, reservations, opinion will be divided. SP is opposed to reservations in promotions to SCs/STs. If AAP supports reservations SCs/STs/OBCs/EBCs it has nothing to gain. If it opposes, it will have lot of support. AAP should not worry about its enemies targeting it for not having representatives of some caste or community of say it is a one issue party.
AAP wants initiative and referendum in India. That is possible. Three states have right to recall at local bodies. Election Commission is open to right to reject.
AAP should strive for presidential system of government; single date for Lok Sabha, Legislative Assembly, municipality, panchayat and district council elections; abolition of Legislative Councils, Planning Commission, National Advisory Council, Animal Welfare Board, subsidies, freebies, public interest litigation; parole and furlough; and surplus budgets by governments and local bodies. It should fix 30 days as the time limit for deciding on mercy petitions of people sentenced to death. If no decision is taken to grant pardon or commute the sentence, the petition should be deemed as rejected. The policy of promoting students up to Std VIII irrespective of their academic fitness should be scrapped and those who fail annual exams should be detained. AAP should oppose buying foodgrains and allowing them to rot.
AAP should not go for alliance with any party. It should contest every seat in every election. If no majority it should not for coalition but sit in opposition and wait for its turn in next election.