Monday, December 29, 2008

An overrated problem.

This was a comment in response to Over-rate blues by Michael Jeh


I think over rates are an overrated problem (sorry about that). The blame for the Mohali test is surely to be placed at the authorities for scheduling it there in spite of knowing that Mohali, as well as other test centers in North India, would be severely affected by fog and short days. Surely other centers, like Bangalore, Hyderabad or Kolkatta could have been employed.

Another point is how people say that the last Mohali test kills test cricket when there is no mention of the Ind/Aus Nagpur test. Ponting's "tactics" to speed up the overrate did more to kill off test cricket by robbing an absorbing contest. I think the spirit of any sport is that all teams would strive to win (or draw if that is not possible) at all times. When a team like Australia does not do it when there was a distinct possibility, it does a lot of harm.

Disclaimer: This comes from an Indian supporter. Even to me it was plain obvious that the tactics resulted in India escaping making the result frivolous.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


"He is literally making the ball talk" -- Arun Lal.

I would like to see that.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Optimal first innings score in a Test Match.

In this post, the optimal score that provides the team batting in the first innings the best chance of winning will be analyzed using statistics of matches gone by.

The thought occurred during the India - Australia series in October, 2008. India won the match in Mohali when they made a score of 400+ in the first innings. In Delhi, India made a score of 600+, but the match ended in a draw. At this point, I wondered whether a score of 400 - 500 would be better for the team batting first than a score in excess of 500. Sure enough, though due to idiotic 'tactics' by Ricky Ponting, India won in Nagpur when they made a score of 400 something in the match.

Closer inspection was warranted.

Using Cricinfo's stats guru, the following data can be obtained.

Team batting first scores 0-100 runs:

The stats show
Win Percentage: 0 / 12 = 0%
Loss Percentage: 11/ 12 = 91.7%
Draw Percentage: 1 / 12 = 8.3%

Team batting first scores 100-200 runs:

The stats show
Win Percentage: 8 / 84 = 9.5%
Loss Percentage: 65 / 84 = 77.3%
Draw Percentage: 11 / 84 =13.1%

Team batting first scores 200-300 runs:

The stats show
Win Percentage: 34 / 127 = 26.8%
Loss Percentage: 75 / 127 = 59.1%
Draw Percentage: 18 / 127 =14.2%

Team batting first scores 300-400 runs:

The stats show
Win Percentage: 33 / 94 = 35.1%
Loss Percentage: 35 / 94 = 37.2%
Draw Percentage: 25 / 94 =26.6%

Team batting first scores 400-500 runs:

The stats show
Win Percentage: 45 / 78 = 57.7%
Loss Percentage: 14 / 78 = 17.9%
Draw Percentage: 19 / 78 =24.4%

Team batting first scores 500-600 runs:

The stats show
Win Percentage: 23 / 55 = 41.8%
Loss Percentage: 2 / 55 = 3.6%
Draw Percentage: 30 / 55 = 54.5%

Team batting first scores more than 600 runs:

The stats show
Win Percentage: 13 / 23 = 56.5%
Loss Percentage: 0 / 23 = 0%
Draw Percentage: 10 / 23 =43.5%

The above records show the split for the matches over the past 10 years only. Considering only the first innings scores, it is clear that teams batting first win more when they score between 400-500 runs (win percentage of 57.7%) followed closely by when they score more than 600 runs (win percentage of 56.5%). Strangely, when the score is between 500-600, the win percentage drops to 41.8%. At the same time, when the score is between 400-500, the loss percentage is 17.9% whereas when the score increases above 500, it decreases dramatically to 3.6% when the scores are between 500-600 and 0% when it is above 600.

This is probably due to several reasons. A score of above 500 could indicate that the pitch is really good for batting making draw very likely. It could also indicate that to make scores of above 500 takes up more time than that required to make a score in excess of 400.

To conclude, if winning -- and not 'not losing' -- is the main objective, teams are better off scoring between 400 and 500 runs rather than more than 500 runs.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fall of "The Wall"

It is very apparent that through India's exceptional performance in test match cricket, one non performer has been Rahul Dravid. The downfall started in South Africa, 2 years ago. Coincidentally, it was same series where Saurav Ganguly famously made his comeback. Is there a relation to the two events -- Ganguly's comeback and Dravid's fall?

Dravid was one of the main reasons that Ganguly had become India's most successful captain. However, the fallout between Greg Chappel and Ganguly must have had its effect on Dravid. Also, Dravid may have had something to do with the removal of Ganguly. It is possible that Ganguly's comeback caused Dravid -- the then captain -- some mental discomfort that may have caused the downfall in Dravid's batting.

All this is pure conjecture, but when there is such a perfect alignment of events, there is a possibility of one event causing the other.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

On possible ways to prevent terror attacks.

As already posted earlier, one of the things that has not been very transparent in the aftermath has been the rejection and distancing of the attacks by Islamic leaders. The Muslim public has taken a distancing stand by not burying the bodies of the terrorists.

If there has been widespread condemnation by the leaders, I have missed it. These, if they exist, should be publicized by the major news channels.

Otherwise, I believe that the main leaders from the main Islamic religious bodies should condemn the attacks in a stronger manner. Barring that, the news channels should ask these leaders about their view. There is a good chance that they will disown the attacks. I believe that if enough leaders, both in India and abroad do this, then the impressionable youth perpetrating the terror could be positively affected.

I think this might get to one of the root causes of the problem and hopefully do something to try and eliminate it.

Update 1: More muslims have come together to denounce the attack as attacks on Islam. Links follow.

Muslims denounce Mumbai attackers as enemy of Islam

Indian Muslims unite against terror, hold peace march

Muslims forced to pick between good madarasas & bad

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Distancing of terrorists.

At least the citizens have begun distancing themselves from these terrorists who are disgracing their religion.

It is the turn of the leaders all over the world now. Hope they follow suit.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Attack on India -- possible solutions for prevention of such events

As the attacks on Mumbai are being resolved and the actual scale of the damage is being realized, the main question in most people's minds is why was this allowed to happen and what can be done to prevent something similar from happening again. Whenever bad things happen, mistakes are made, it is imperative that they are noted, that we try to recover from them. At the same time, it is necessary to remember these mistakes and ensure that they are never again repeated.

The identification of these mistakes and ensuring this is the task to the authorities. There have been several issues identified. Images of Mr Hemanth Karkare putting on his helmet and bullet proof vest have been splashed all across the news channel. How then was it possible for him to die due to bullet wounds on his chest. Is the bullet proof vest not meant to protect him from that? Are they of such low quality that they cannot perform the one task they are meant to achieve? The other issue raised is the well publicized one of the plane for the NSG commandos due to which they were delayed. This raises a few questions, one -- why a big cities like Mumbai do not have something similar to NSG commandos? two -- Why could commandos or maybe the army that may have been stationed at a nearby army base not called into action when the delay was communicated? three -- the well documented problem of waiting for the flight and its reasons.

There are several other mistakes that have been made and are being identified. However, an issue that has so far not been raised is one of trying to get to the root of the issue. To prevent these terrorists from being persuaded into being terrorists. These terrorists are believed to be islamists propogating terror in the name of a religion. Isn't it then a huge blot on the religion. Muslims, due to the doing of these people already suffering all over the world.

As a commenter on an article posted, isn't this more of a disgrace to Islam than the danish cartoons. Shouldn't the muslims of the world unite and protest against this -- much more than they protested the danish cartoons? Shouldn't the major leaders of the religion come out with condemnations of the event. I may have missed them, but these haven't been very visible. Is this relative silence from them an implicit condoning of the events?

I believe that if a large majority of the leaders come out against this event and distance themselves there maybe a realization in the minds of the impressionable youth who are recruited. In addition to the leaders, if a large number of muslims distance themselves and reject this violent form of Islamism, it is possible that the perpetrators may realize the folly. I really hope this happens.

The terrorists may still not be convinced, but maybe there is a chance. I do hope that the distancing these people from Islam happens, that the religious leaders condemn the attacks. India and the world deserves peace and get back to solving 'normal' problems like the economy.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

VMWare Fusion - II

It works!!
Ironically, the Parallels image that worked in VMWare did not work when I updated Parallels. After the conversion to VMWare, the windows on that image had to be re-activated though. It is a big pain that involved calling up an automaton lady and typing all the digits of PI, first on the phone and then on the computer.

Anyway, after all that, windows is now working over Fusion on my Macbook Pro. I am running the beta 2 of Fusion 2. So hopefully this will run for a while before I am tempted into buying it.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

VMWare Fusion.

VMWare Fusion is another way to run windows on OS X. I am installing it right now and it has a (hopefully) nifty tool that allows me to import my previous Parallels windows install. If things work out, there will be money spent..

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Impressions on "The Dark Knight"

If ever there was a hyped movie, this was it. Almost every reviewer had given the movie a thumbs up. On Rotten Tomatoes, the Tomatometer is almost at the maximum -- 95%. I am sure there are better reviewed movies on the site, but I haven't noticed those (or searched for them yet). I read quite a few of these reviews that raved about the movie in general and about Heath Ledger's performance.

As expected, I went to the theater with great expectations. It was the first time that there was a line to enter the theater hall in Swansea -- the hype machine in full swing.

After the viewing, I am still undecided if I like it or not. If I hold it against my normal barometer for films -- whether I want to stop watching it immediately, stay on just to see how it ends, or if I wanted the movie to continue for longer -- it would definitely be in the last category. That probably means that I liked the movie and had I gone into the movie without such high expectations, I would probably have a better impression of it.

As for the movie itself -- it's a very atmospheric movie that, especially for a superhero movie, moves at a slow pace. From the reviews, the expectation was that it would be more the Joker's movie than Batman's. I felt that this was not the case. Batman is in almost every other frame whereas the Joker is in maybe a fifth of the frames. I also felt that had the movie ended about 10 minutes earlier, with the Joker hanging down the building and explaining, it would have been the perfect ending. Instead of tying a few things up and leaving a few other things unresolved, I think it would have been more intriguing to leave a lot unresolved.

Finally, I decided that it deserved another viewing next weekend -- to enable me to make up my mind if I like it or not.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Interesting "infinity" fact.

If you hold two mirrors facing each other, would there be an infinite number of reflections?
While reading "The Infinite Book" - by John D. Barrow, I came across this fact that there wouldn't be an infinite reflections. Reason one is that the mirrors are not perfect and that the air between the mirrors diminish the light at each reflection.

However, even if the mirrors are perfect and the mirrors are in vacuum, there wouldn't be infinite reflections as the speed of light is finite. It would take an infinite amount of time for infinite reflections to be realized.

This fact was so simple yet something that most do not think about. I think it's quite fascinating.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Trip to London.

We decided to go on a trip to London to meet a friend there and show around people who hadn't been there.

The trip started with a dinner at a nice Mexican restaurant in Bristol.

Of the four of us, three had Chimichangas.

Desserts were great too.

Next day we started off after a wonderful breakfast.

We finally reached our hotel, in the outskirts of London, at around 4 in the afternoon.

It was time for a very late lunch.

The sun went down and it was time to head off.

..and so we did.

We reached central London - Trafalgar Square.

A reminder - Smoking is injurious to everbody's health.

One of the lions at Trafalgar Square.

The square is a very busy area and is near the Big Ben.

..and did I say very busy?

A short walk away is the Big Ben.

Another short walk brings us to a bridge with great views of the London Eye.

The bridge also has amazing views of the city.

It's dinner time. We decided to have dinner at one of the restaurants by London Eye.

London at night - as seen on the walk back to our car.

Next morning, we used the famous London public transport to get to the city.

A suburb of london, as seen from the train.

I am always impressed by the escalators taking you to and from the underground platform.

A train at the underground platform.

Overground - somewhere around Oxford Street.

Onto to Chinatown - where we had lunch, and some chinese tea.

Followed by ice cream at Hagen Daaz at Leicester Square - Highly recommended.

..but they are quite expensive too.

And thus our London trip was over. We return to Wimbledon, where our car was, using the escalators and the underground trains.