Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A tale in the twist!

I was panting. Beads of sweat trickled down my back. It was hot. It was the summer of 2005. And that definitely was not the best day of my life. As i lay on the cold tiled floor of my apartment in the ninth floor worn out and exhausted, my head swirled and my eyes drooped. Dont pass-out, i said to myself. Just hang on. This will get over soon. It finally did get over. As the merciful sun faded down its usual nest in the west, i recuperated from the wounds of the day. It was one of the hottest summers i had ever seen in my life. That particular day and half a dozen similar ones that followed left a scar so deep that i sat down to compose a post on the depressing heat of chennai. I called that a 'dreadful melacholy'. Now, exactly seven months later i sit in my hostel room not very far away - in bangalore - totally craving for that heat, the sunshine and the sweat. Dark and gloomy skies, a permanently cold bed and floor and an eternal shiver can do that to the best of us. Well as they say, the grass is always green on the other side.

Going back to that april, life was completely different from what it is now. I was working, not literally though. At least i was in the payroll of CTS and that brought certain liberties. Money, for one, seemed to be always available. I flaunted the new found freedom of debit cards everywhere. Dinner meant exploring new restraunts. And there was always a movie dvd to be enjoyed later that night or a trip to 'satyam' was always on the cards. In between i sometimes went to work! I had by that time got the good news of the CAT results and my spirits were soaring like the temperature. A great apartment and interesting roommates. I always forget how pseud the flats look for a new-comer. I still remember the first day when i came to check it out. My mouth was permanently prised open in a wow. It was nothing like a bachelor hole i had imagined. It was a proper two bedroom apartment , on the ninth floor, with a beautiful view through huge french windows that adorned the balcony. When booby (one of my room mates) said "Well?" , I said "yes". And that was how i shifted from the little cell where i was put up far away from chennai to this cool place in tiruvanmiyur.

Well it all started at the little 'training camp' that cts puts us through before being launched into the battle field. On june,2004 i was officially an employee of cts but was placed at St. Joseph's college for a training period of two months. It was class room all over again. Girls sat in the front rows and guys at the back. Some things never change. Session after session we sat through technical lectures and organisational seminars. That was where i met the three guys who were to become my roommates later. Arjun, Boobesh and Pradeep. Well, i met a lot of interesting characters there and we had a common passtime during those tea/snack/lunch breaks - appraise girls from the various other batches that were having their training. Well, it may sound pathetic, but it was fun. There were also sessions of fiercely competitive NFS fights between me and Arjun which he always ended up losing(Well its my blog ;) ). Well, one thing got firmly established during the two month period - that i was crazy. When i started looking for a place to stay, they popped up the question on whether i want to stay in their place. I said i needed to evaluate. And that is how one day i took this long bus trip to tirunmiyur to check out the apartment and said 'Wow' seeing the beautiful looking apartments.

Interestingly, two of those three guys were also aspiring for CAT. So we made a pact the day i moved in to work regularly for the same purpose. The pact stayed a pact - it never materialised. We planned to wake up at 5 am ever morning to work. I always managed to get up three hours later. Soon this infection spread among everyone and in the end CAT lay forgotten. Meanwhile, CTS threw up rather dull projects that forced us to go to movies and do other things that helps you live. A few months later i transported my bike from coimbatore to chennai and that resulted in a new mobility. The trouble now was who got to take it out. Meanwhile CAT was nearing and a new urgency gripped us. In a mechanistic flurry of action, i joined 'time' for the test series but ended up bunking quite a few of those too ( i bunk everything!). However, it became a sunday routine to go to adyar and write a mock cat and have a good lunch at a restraunt we had identified there whose sambhar tasted exactly like annapoorna in coimbatore. It was motivation enough to go for the mock cats. Well by now booby had also joined the fray.

Meanwhile, Arjun was having his own pursuits. I briefly mentioned about our passtime during the training period. What happened was Arjun took a liking to one particular girl and kept calling her kaaka for no apparent reason. He got so hooked on to her that he began investigating her and in less than a month had her whole biography with him and in less than two months he had started having those long conversations through cell phones. His motive in life then was kaaka, booze and generally having fun and working a bit. Its an altogether different matter that he got bored off her by the summer of 2005. Wel life meandered for all of us with no motive but filled with fun and enjoyment. Around march the f1 season started and in chennai you cant get to watch it unless you have a set-top box. So we bought it. Weekends were awaited in anticipation of those races. Lunches would be skipped or planned so as be there from the beginning. There were two camps : intially started with shumi vs alonso then morphed into kimi vs alonso. Well, i am not going to bring f1 into this now. Enough words have been spent on that. Sometime during 2005, arjun got himself a bike. A brand new, pulsar 180cc with its gleaming bulge, alloy wheels and nitrox shocks. I just spent a lot of time oggling over it. And it was great to drive especially on the ECR, in the night.

(to be contd.)

The captain takes his side home

Dravid validated the claims of being 'the wall' as he steered india to a series tie in mumbai. It was a solid, unglamourous and dogged effort; a typical dravid-style. For a better part of the match he was partnered with Yuvaraj singh whose booming drives and ferocious pulls kept the south african bowlers in check. On a pitch that offered both the batsmen and bowlers a chance the south africans were done in by the toss. Yet again, in this series, the captain winning the toss chose to bowl and won the match. Dravid was relying on his bowlers to make the break-throughs. Although, there was never a collapse from the south africans, they were stifled and chocked for runs and finally could only manage a meagre 221 although they had lost only 6 wickets. Jaques kallis once again played his lynchpin part to perfection although he might have been guilty of playing too cautiously.

221 was always gettable and it looked easier with tendulkar at his aggressive best and sehwag pulverising the bowlers although they had lost gambhir for a duck. However, sehwag departed after having decimated pollock for 14 runs in an over to a dubious decision and the game predictably slowed down. Tendulkar shifted down gears and one anticipated a long innings from him. That was not to be. He departed for a spectacular flying catch at point and indians were on flimsy grounds at 70-odd for 3. Dravid walked in and steadied the ship along with Yuvaraj who played a magnificient little knock that unfortunately ended at 49. Later Dhoni and kaif made little contributions and dravid made sure that the series wasnt last.

2-2 result does not tell the right story. The south africans had the upper hand in the series. Be it their drubbing of the indians in the last match or their fighting defeat in this one, their superiority was evident. The indians on their part were admirable in their come back and finished the series clinically. However, a few lessons need to be learnt and the team needs to improve. Looking forward, he team takes on the lankans in the test series. This is chappell's first in india and it will be interesting to see what tactics they adopt. It will also be interesting to see how well the lankans respond after their 6-1 one-day drubbing.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Shameful exhibition of dissent!!!

The kolkatta match was a disgrace if anything. Indians batted woefully on an alien pitch, surrounded by an alien crowd and pegged back by some classy bowling by pollock. Kolkatta did its reputation no good by booing the indians and hoarsely crying for the south africans. Is it a part of this country? Did they realise that it was the indians that were playing? What if andhra started booing for laxman like this. Ever state will have some reasons to boo thanks to our selectors. But axing ganguly was perhaps the sanest decision they had ever taken. There can be no better way to disgrace our country in front of a visiting team. A shameful day not only for Indian cricket but for the nation itself.

Indians approach mumbai with uncertainty. Surely, they must be a shaken lot after the kolkatta debacle not just from the result on the field but the antagonism off it. That a city was ready to forget the country for the sake of an individual who for all logical purposes didnt deserve a place in the team is shameful. Mumbai was a watershed for the indians in the australian series and they would be hoping to come back in a similar fashion against the south africans. The south africans for their part have launched into the mind games without mercy. Boucher's remarks on ganguly is a blatant exhibition of an attempt to throw the indians into a disarray. Hopefully the indians come back strongly after this. It will reflect the character of the team.

And ironically, these are excatly the times when i miss sourav ganguly. One can be darned sure he would have thrown in a piece of his mind for these psychological banters. ;))

Iimb diary: A weekend with nothing to do!

Had a fun weekend for a change. I had been on a virtual vacation ever since the summer placements ended. This weekend marked a culmination of sorts. Went out to dinner on friday evening at a nearby restaurant called 'adigas'. The food was good. I would like to say 'great' but i am still not sure if it was the good old einstenian relativity that made it taste so good compared to the iimb mess. A couple of dosas,a bhel and a nice hot cofee were the perfect ingredients to make me feel contented. It also gave a bout of nostalgia and i started missing my chennai life again. Somehow food makes me think of chennai. Just cannot wait to start working again. Feeling to active to sleep off i started watching 'Before sunrise'. It turned out to be the perfect lullaby and dozed off half-way through.

Woke up at around ten on saturday to grey skies. Bangalore is land of eternal coldness and darkness. Only the other day we were having this big debate on which is better: the man killing heat of chennai that kept u active or this shrouding, lethargic darkness of bangalore and i decided to settle for the perfection of Coimbatore. Well, i trudged off to the mess for some parathas. With the breakfast done, what next was the question. Strangely i have never had a situation like this in iimb. There always was something next. Somewhere in the back of my mind a voice wanted me to start studying but i just couldnt amplify it. By the time i had walked back to my room i began to feel very drowsy and promptly slept again at eleven thirty and had to be awoken by the shrill ring of g-talk. My friend was calling me for lunch at the mess. It was near one-thirty. After lunch, i settled comfortably before a movie and spent the rest of the time regaining my expertise in nfs5. Somehow i always sucked at nfs5. I still dont know the reason for that. Maybe its the handling. Spent the evening again playing games, chatting with the guys in the block and watching 'joey' for some time.

Went to the forum for dinner with joe and vengi, two of my classmates. I didnt realise how much i hated crowds until i had to stand at the pizza corner in transit for about 20 minutes just to place an order. Pizzas, cokes and subs can never match the beautiful taste of ghee dosa with sambhar and chutney. Strolled around the forum for sometime and then came back. Again a movie in vengi room with some vodka. And finally off to sleep at about 2.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The rise and fall of ganguly

Article from Cricinfo

By both leading from the front and with macho posturing, like when he famously doffed his shirt at Lord's, Sourav Ganguly ushered in a new era of competitiveness in Indian cricket. But after five years as the country's most successful captain poor form and obduracy finally did him in. Cricinfo brings a recap of his captaincy saga.

September 1999
Captains India for the first time in the Coca-Cola Singapore Challenge tournament, against West Indies as Sachin Tendulkar is rested due to a sore back. Brian Lara's cameo helps West Indies win the game.

Barely a week later, he leads India again in the Toronto Cricket Festival - with Tendulkar skipping the tournament due to an injury - against West Indies. India clinch the series 2-1.

February 21 2000
Tendulkar announces that he will step down as captain at the end of the two-test series against South Africa.

February 26 2000
Selectors name Ganguly as the captain for the ODI series against South Africa.

March 2000
Ganguly becomes full-time captain as India beat South Africa in the ODI series. He scores a magnificent century and two fifties as India win by a 3-2 margin.

October 2000
Ganguly heads a bunch of youngsters in the ICC Knock Out Trophy in Kenya. A spectacular win against Australia in the league game is the highlight as India enter the final, where they lose to New Zealand. India go to Sharjah for the Champions Trophy tournament where they get trounced in the final against Sri Lanka. But Ganguly, with his attacking captaincy, has done enough to restore the Indian fans' faith in the team.

November 2000
Ganguly leads India for the first time in a Test match, against Bangladesh - making their debut - at Dhaka. A one-off fixture, India romp home by nine wickets; Ganguly scores 84.

December 2000
Ganguly is in fine form, scoring a big century (144) in the second ODI against Zimbabwe and turning in an allround display in the fourth to clinch the series for India. Rahul Dravid leads India for the first time in the fifth and the final match of the series.

March 2001
Ganguly's first outstanding achievement as captain. A resurgent India clinch an epic series at home against world champions Australia, after trailing 0-1, with a thrilling two-wicket win at Chennai. Ganguly's contributions with the bat are minimal, but his aggressive, innovative leadership and heroic marshalling of the younger players usher in a new era of competitiveness for India. Further, this series signifies the strong relationship forged between Ganguly and John Wright, the coach, and promises better times ahead for Team India.

July 2001
India start their bad habit of losing in the finals. In Zimbabwe, they win every league match but go on to lose the final against West Indies.

August 2001
India lose in the final of the Coca-Cola Cup. The tournament marked the first time Sehwag opened the batting.

Amidst claims of a slump in batting, Ganguly hits an unbeaten 98 in the second Test against Sri Lanka at Kandy, after India again trail 0-1. Ganguly and Dravid put on 191 runs as India chase a fourth-innings target of 264. However, Sri Lanka clinch the third Test to win the series 2-1.

October 2001
Another final, another loss, this time the Standard Bank Trophy to South Africa.

November 2001
In an unprecedented and highly controversial action, Ganguly and five other Indian players are summoned by Mike Denness, the match-referee, and warned for excessive appealing during the second Test at Port Elizabeth. Ganguly is also accused of not controlling his players, and is punished with a suspended ban for one Test match and two one-day international matches. India lose the three-Test series 2-0, and the third is deemed unofficial by the ICC amidst threats of a revolt by India and the BCCI.

February 2002
Another final-like situation awaits India. India lead England 3-2 as they face off for the sixth and final one-dayer at Mumbai. Despite Ganguly's 80, India, chasing 256, come close but lose by five runs. Andrew Flintoff takes off his shirt and runs on to the field, irking Ganguly who would do his revenge act at Lord's a few months later.

March 2002

Ganguly hits 136 against Zimbabwe at Delhi, his first hundred as captain and his first since November 1999, as India win by four wickets. In the ODI series, India recover from a 1-2 deficit to win 3-2.

May 2002
India lose the fifth Test against West Indies to lose the series 2-1, and Team India looks to be running out of steam. Ganguly still manages to score 322 runs at 53.66, his unbeaten 75 in the second Test at Port-of-Spain contributing to a 37-run win.

For the first time after eight tours and almost 50 years, India win a match at the Kensington Oval in Barbados and India go on to win the three-match ODI series.

July 2002
India go to Lord's, for the final of the Natwest Series, with an awful record of nine final losses in a row, six of them under Ganguly. But a redemption awaits them at Lord's as Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif star in an amazing win. Ganguly doesn't forget Flintoff's celebration in India and does a little war dance after removing his shirt in the balcony of Lord's.

August 2002
Ganguly scores a brilliant 128 against England in the third Test at Leeds as India rack up 628 for 8 in its first innings. India draw the series 1-1, and walk away with the plaudits after a gritty show in the series.

March 2003
It's World Cup time. Ganguly's scores three centuries albeit against weak sides in the league games and leads India to the World Cup final after 20 years. But the spectre of losing finalists comes back to haunt them as they are vanquished by Australia.

October 2003
Another hundred in a tepid draw at Ahmedabad against New Zealand, does its job in silencing Ganguly's critics. However, he is ruled out of the second Test after having to undergo surgery to remove a boil from his inner thigh.

December 2003
Ganguly's finest Test hundred as captain. His 144 in the first Test at Brisbane sets the tone for a fantastic series against the Australians. The rest of the team responds admirably as India draw the four-Test series 1-1, and return home as heroes.

February 2004
India lose their way in the VB Series and lose another final.

March 2004
India head into the fifth and final match against Pakistan on March 23 with the ODI series tied 2-2 and they manage to clinch the series, winning by 40 runs at Lahore.

April 2004
Ganguly returns from a back injury to captain India in the final Test at Rawalpindi, scoring 77 out of India's mammoth 600 as they win their first overseas Test series in over a decade. The victory also made Ganguly the first captain to lead India to a series win in Pakistan, and he also became the most successful Indian captain with 15 Test wins, erasing Mohammad Azharuddin's record of 14.

October 2004
India lose the first Test against Australia at Bangalore by 217 runs. Ganguly struggles both as a batsman and as a captain, and his withdrawal from the last two Tests due to injury leads to much media speculation and controversy.

December 2004
Consecutive fifties against Bangladesh cannot quell calls for his sacking, and he looks uneasy at the crease against an energetic Bangladeshi attack.

March 2005
The signs of his decline are obvious after a dismal showing in a drawn series at home against Pakistan. Inzamam-ul-Haq's side triumphs in the decider at Bangalore, virtually signaling the end of the successful Ganguly-Wright relationship. Ganguly's batting hits an all-time low, with every bowler giving him a torrid time; even Shahid Afridi's inconspicuous leg-spin finds him wanting.

After the fourth ODI against Pakistan, with the 6-match ODI series tied 2-2, Ganguly is banned for six matches for a slow-over rate - he served out a four-match curtailed ban - and has to watch from the sidelines as India go down 2-4 to Pakistan.

September 2005
The final act that brought the man down. An uncharacteristically slow hundred against a depleted Zimbabwe at Bulawayo sends the critics into raptures, only for the controversial Ganguly-Greg Chappell saga to blow up in everyone's faces. Ganguly goes public with his dismay at Chappell's suggestions during the match that he step down from the captaincy, and the media goes wild. Chappell is not amused, maintaining that the Indian captain asked him for his honest opinion on his form and leadership in a private meeting between the two. The tour goes on, with India unsurprisingly sweeping Zimbabwe 2-0, but on the team's return to India Ganguly is publicly ostracised and calls for his sacking are the order of the day. Forty-eight hours after saying that he respected the Indian captain and looked forward to working with him in the future, Chappell fires off a damning memorandum to the BCCI.

October 2005
Ganguly refuses to fade away. He hits a century in the Duleep Trophy match against a strong North Zone attack to remind the world that he is not done yet.

November 2005
Ganguly bags a pair, dismissed both times by the man he had handpicked, Zaheer Khan. And on November 22, the selectors end his five-year reign as Test captain when they pick Rahul Dravid to lead India in the Tests against Sri Lanka.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Oops We've lost the match! ; Pakistan come out blazing on the final day

Well thats exactly what trescothick would have been saying as the last wicket fell. As england realised that they might just get defeated in a test, the match was over. Pakistan, true to its strength, came out blazing on the day when it mattered and made a mockery of the english plans. There was a certain amount of disdain with which england had approached the test match - one brewed by the ashes victory. After all they had beaten the Australians. However it takes one day to turn fortunes over and england might be realising that they were on the better side during several moments in the ashes. Now the full circle. Well, its just one defeat. After all, England came out strong after their lords defeat tosnatch the coveted trophy didnt they? This is different. For starters, they are not playing in the manicured lawns of the english counties. This is the subcontinent. The cauldron where the best have been left gasping. And spin takes a whole new meaning here. Its no longer a defense weapon but a lethan attack mortar. Kaneria spun a web around the baffled englishmen as he went about twirling the cherry to his hearts content. Clueless was what characterises the day england had today. As batsmen after batsmen walked back to the shade of the pavilion, the coach must have realised that he had run short of men. They had just eleven to win the test. This is not to chide england or pull them down but to put teams in perspective. Pakistan are strong in their home and they look dazed until the moment of calling comes. Today was that moment of calling and they came out with a savage war cry. After having dominated the test for most of the sessions england must feel betrayed. Betrayed by the disintegrating pitch. Betrayed by pakistans sudden surge. And above all betrayed by their own complacency. Wake up poms, we have a situation on our hands now. The rest of the test matches will be more savage as england look to wrest this initiative back and silence doubters.

South africans begin with a bang!

South africa stretched it winning streak to 20 games as they prevailed in the opening one day against India. The chinks in the indian armoury materialised sublimely when pitted against a south african side that oozed of quality and confidence. For the proteas it was just another day in the office. We are in India? So what? Indians have thrashed the sri lankans? So what? No fuss. Put us in a stadium and we'll win matches. The match lived up to its expectation of being competitive but barely. Indians at times just failed to realise that the match was going out of hand.

Early on, the south africans began by rattling the Indian batsmen to good measure with a fiery opening burst. The famed top order was consumed in a flash of good bowling and the score board read like a pin-code. Five wickets down at 35, the Indians were rudely shaken awake and Yuvaraj found himself in the hot seat. It is difficult to deliver when eyes filled with bloodlust are staring at you. Its even difficult if you are the lone man standing. But Yuvaraj put his hand up. Occassionally he carves out these exquisite innings that make you wonder why he is not rated as one of the best in business. He found a partner in the new found batting star pathan and the duo did the dog work of pulling India out of the dumps they had landed themselves into. A shocking late burst from Bajji ensured that the Indians had something to bowl at. A great recovery which reflects the attitude of this team.

Grame smith and kallis are the lynch pins of south african batting and both of them played a part in today's victory. Smith thrashed the opening bowlers with disdain by taking the attack to them ; something the sri lankans had failed to do. The Indians bowlers have a hard series ahead and they might do well to realise that they have been bowling at a sub-standard sri lankan batting in the last seven matches. Indians however pegged back strongly snatching up wickets at crucial moments and checking the flow of runs. The extra bite, however, was missing. At 160/5 the match was precarious for south africa and the Indians looked to possess the momentum but Kallis, the south african wall ensured that he saw the team through till the end. Although the runs and balls kept neck to neck, they were never under pressure thanks to the calm presence of kallis and some insipid bowling by the Indians. Dravid waited too long for something to happen, hoping that the batsmen would commit some mistake rather than forcing them to make mistakes. For the indians this match was like a reality check, they were placed in perspective. The fielding was below par at times and the bowling went astray under pressure. However, i wouldnt read too much from this defeat and still maintain my earlier final score line of 3-2 for India.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Indians blow away the Lankans

Indians finished what was left of Srilanka's pride when they thrashed them in the final ODI. Having reduced their batting to mediocrity they left the lankan bowlers feeling humiliated by doing what they had done well throughout the series - taking them on. Dhoni was once again in the act showing his repertoire and flexibility in adapting to different situations. He perished trying to end in style but the job had been done. The lankans had been mauled to death by then. Indians have batted throughout this series with a shocking ruthlessness brushing aside the lankans as if they were dust. What one must gaurd against is this ruthlessness translating into a lack of respect for the opponent. With the south africans starting their one days a couple of days down the road, the indians will do well to put their head down and assess them rather than getting intoxicated by their hedonic victory. Having said that the indians were near perfect this series knowing what to do when and doing it right. The most pleasing aspect has been the way different players have put their hand up at different instances. Dhoni,dravid,tendulkar,yuvraj,pathan,raina have all delivered and one must not forget the little contributions by kaif and sehwag. When it came to bowling pathan, rp singh, sreesanth, agarkar and bajji have shone. That nearly completes a squad. This is what playing as a team means. Call it fear for spots, enthusiasm of a new leader, beginner's luck or a chance coincidence the truth is that the indians are on a huge roll right now. Grame smith will definitely be having troubled sleep wishing that his unbeaten record doesnt come to an end. Dhoni must especially be giving him the jitters. But again, a man waiting to explode is sehwag. He is due for something huge. And he relishes the south africans.

Dravid must feel contented and happy. A convincing victory for the team under his captaincy will only strengthen his hold. He has been quite shrewd and surprisingly aggresive in his captaincy throughout this series. Great job by him so far.

Moody tried to put up a brave face but the truth was that the lankans had been humiliated and their ranking torn to shreds. It will take all of the gap between now and the tests for their wounds to heal. They will come back strong and renewed for the tests. It will be interesting to see how this new look indian team performs in the tests.

As the squad was announced for the south african series, one got the feeling that ganguly has slowly been squeezed out of the indian team. The administrators seemed to have handled the issue quite cunnigly but it seems that greg had prevailed. I have myself screamed for ganguly's head in a few of my posts but i feel sad for him now. He needs to go out on a high not like this. I just hope that he gets his head down and notches up a few runs under his belt in domestic cricket. Then hopefully the selectors will look at him not as a captain but as a player in the indian team.

And as for predictions for the south african series, i think it will be much more competitive. The south africans are themselves on a roll and it will be an equal clash though indians will have a distinct home advantage. My prediction is 3-2 for the indians. If its better then indians are really special. It its worse then the sri lankan series had been just an aberration.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

More google earth snaps

Google's location

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Google Earth Snaps

The Bangalore airport

The IIMB Campus as seen from satellite imagery

the big circle is the ground...
the numerous little square blocks are the hostel blocks.....
the rest is the main building...admin,offices,classrooms,audi...etc

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hurricane Dhoni keeps the indian ball rolling

Indians have discovered the power pill. Its been quite some time since they had their last one. I guess it was in the last world cup. They were unstoppable then. Batting and bowling clicked quite beautifully except for the two occassions when they met real class - the aussies. The loss in the finals was a dissapointing let down. Coming back to now, Indians are on a similar roll. Dravid's gods of fortune are smiling rather benevolently on him much to the anxiety of the prince from the east of this country. Ganguly's heart must be sinking deeper into the pool of murkiness with each win. He is getting erased from the equation slowly but surely.

After three win - resounding ones at that - Indians look invincible. Sri lankans must be shaken. After complete drubbing in the first two matches they looked to come back in the third one and their batting clicked. Sangakarra, a class act, showed how well he can play. He is among the top in terms of style and poise at the crease. His essay would have been a spectacular one had it not been for the indian team's shaktimaan. In sport - like iimb - everything is relative. Its cruel but thats how life is. Sangakarra's essay was an amazing one, one of the top one day knocks. But the papers next day had very little of it. Enter Dhoni. If Sangakaara's innings was like a sweet breeze, Dhoni's was a hurricane. He came and incinerated the srilankans. There was nothing clinical about it. He came and tore them apart, like a hungry predator, thats feasts on a helpless prey. Everything was massive. With nearly half a dozen sixes and some serious smacks he threw srilanka out of the match and possibily the series too. On the way to a magnificient 183 he brushed aside a couple of records not the least being the highest score ever by a wicket keeper. At last, have the indians found a real keeper?. We'll have to see more but Dhoni is going to give the opposition jitters. He plays in the hyperzone!

Where do the srilankans go from here. Indians look unstoppable. They have got a momentum like an avalanche. Attapattu is now staring at a serious white wash scenario. I dont think however the lions will lie back and take it. They are ranked second for a reason. Although my opinion on the rankings range somewhere between useless to arrbit, it may have some significance. After all, it ranks the aussies at the top as it should! Srilankans will fight back but it would be very difficult if not impossible for them to save the series from here.Indians on the other hand will look to win it as comprehensively as they can. This series will be a big boost for dravid and greg - kind of a successful first real test. And momentum always helps looking forward.

So my dear dada, i think i might keep a farewell blog ready for you. What a character. Whatever said and done, he helped transform the indian team into a great unit and is one of the best indian captains. But you see sometimes even the best fade out ( premature to cite schumi here ;). After all, dada have given a lot for indian cricket and needs a proper farewell.