Saturday, July 18, 2015

All Time India-Pakistan Test XI

We have a hyperactive WhatsApp group preoccupied with lists. Lists of any sort, Top 5 Bollywood directors, Indian Prime Ministers, Female Playback Singers, you name it, we have listed it. It was a matter of time before we reached the wet dream of every cricket lover in the sub-continent - India-Pakistan Test XI. Even as a Sri Lankan supporter of Murali-esque proportions, I have to agree the glamour and enigma of an India-Pak XI is hard to beat in the world of cricket.

Before you could say Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas all 10 of us had our 11s ready, and to a large extent they were mirror images of each other, with the difference of a Saqlain here and a Laxman there. I decided to take my favourite route, keeping all emotions, and nuances out of the debate and diving into the depths of that work of beauty, ESPNCricinfo Statsguru, to let the raw numbers speak for themselves. I know this approach is fraught with Swiss cheese sized holes, but at least it's one where there can be no debate over the facts, even though the process can be questioned.

I decided that my team will have the following composition:

2 openers
3 middle order batsmen
1 all rounder (min. 100 Test wickets)
1 wicketkeeper
2 seamers and
2 spinners

Again, you may question the strategy, but the numbers are there for all to see.

Also, due to the huge difference in tracks and quality of performance of players playing in the sub-continent conditions (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Banglades, and UAE) and the rest of the world I decided to create 2 Test XIs. Sub-Continent and Overseas.

8 players made it to both sides without any questions asked. Among the remaining 6 I feel there was one real surprise. So, without further ado, here's the India-Pakistan all time XI.

Both teams:

Openers: Virender Sehwag and Sunil Gavaskar

Middle Order: Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar

Wicketkeeper: Mahendra Singh Dhoni

All Rounder: Imran Khan

Seamer: Wasim Akram

Spinner: Anil Kumble

Sub-Continent ONLY

Middle Order: Younis Khan

Seamer: Kapil Dev

Spinner: Harbhajan Singh

Overseas ONLY

Middle Order: VVS Laxman

Seamer: Waqar Younis

Spinner: Bishen Singh Bedi (this was the big surprise for me)

The notable omissions were: Javed Miandad, Inzamum Ul Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Sourav Ganguly, Zaheer Khan,

Go ahead, share your all time XIs in the comments.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

55 Word Story

[Highly inspired by Diptakirti & Parth's 55 word stories]

The retired colonel was missing the action the army provided. So he decided to share moments of his past life with the Indian TV audience of the 80s. During auditions, a plain, short guy with a beak-nose appeared. 
“What do you want to do?” asked the colonel. 
“Become a superstar”, replied Taj Mohammad Khan’s son.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

How They Ended Up Here

Every few years I get this urge to find out what legacy am I leaving behind through this blog? Whose curiosity does Google fulfill by leading them to this online corner store? And the Internet rarely disappoints. 
Image via

Back in 2010 I held my nose and dove into the crevices of Google Analytics to find the answers to the questions above. What searches landed people on my blog? Here's what I found then. Yes, my blog was that bar where people came when "one of my clients said i am fat and ugly". Also for some innocent questions like "effects of loitering at cyber cafe".

Wanted to see if I have been providing able support to similar seekers of truth over the years, and so this evening I conducted the same exercise after five years. What keywords are leading people to my blog now? Was not surprised to see that the majority came from android, app download, johari window, and cricket related queries. Not surprising given the flavour of the majority of my content. Then came the the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. Here's to the hungry, and the foolish.

1. "kurkure dharosh bhaja" [Translation from Bangla "crispy okra/ladiesfinger fritters"]

As a self respecting pot-bellied Bengali I take it as a matter of pride that my little online diary has been providing life's answers to those craving eternal bliss.

2. "" (from a mobile browser)

If one keyword search embodies the story of the new India, this is it. In saftware we trust.

3. "sourav ganguly ki hindi me onki bate wo kisi insaan the"

I will assume that this person got carried away midway through her search and shared her deepest thoughts with the Internet.

4. "mouth full of cum at work"

Having worked at only two companies I really had no clue about what goes on in other offices.

5. "when arijit singh 23 year old where he did work"

Not sure who Arijit Singh is, but now I absolutely need to know about his early stage career choices.

6. "who is suhel banerjee"

Have to admit this was an ego boost. Someone out there wants to know all about me. What do I have for breakfast? Which is my favourite IPL team? What do I stand for? What's my online banking password?

7. "why srk absent from filmfare 2015"

This is a little ironic because I have wondered about this question a few times this year, and apparently I am one of those who has the answer to this. Wah Google!

8. "www suhel sex"

While I am flattered, I have a nagging feeling it's about that other Suhel who lives in TV studios.

9. "शुरत शे गोरखपुर तक कनफरम शीट अवथ एकशपेरेश" [Translation from Hindi "From Surat To Gorakhpur confimed seat in Avadh Express"]

After a point you just stop refreshing IRCTC and go to the site least likely to help you book your train tickets. I think that's what happened here.

10. "ugly fat bhoomihar girl"

And finally we come to the one that's bothered me the most. Did they find her? Or if it was a self search, did she overcome the complex? Is she alright?

The search is on...