About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

30 September 2005

Ganguly vs Chappel: Indian Cricket's new Lows

In the past week, a lot has been said about the fallout between Indian Cricket captain Saurav Ganguly and the coach Greg Chappell. For those of you who don't know - sometime during the recent Zimbabwe tour (IIRC, it was before the 1st test), Ganguly asked Chappell on which player (between Yuvraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif) to leave out of the test squad. Chappell told him, that on current form, Ganguly should consider leaving himself out and rather play both Yuvraj and Kaif. Later, there was a leak of an email that Chappell sent to the Indian Cricket board detailing Chappell's points on why Ganguly should no longer remain captain.

While there has been a large outcry, one of the important points is that Chappell is essentially right. Ganguly, while he is an inspirational leader, does not seem to be performing on the field. And this is not a temporary slump - it has been going on for over 2 years! It is high time that other players, who are just as talented and who are actually on form.

Maybe India should consider the off-field captain. After all there are some sports - notably Tennis - that uses this approach. If captaincy is about strategy and inspiration, the captain could easily do the job on the sidelines (which Ganguly does anyway considering the number of times he goes off the field). There are just too many talented players (on form) that go in the Indian middle order and frankly there is no place for Ganguly. This will be a bigger problem once Tendulkar is fit (and ready to play).

26 September 2005

A1 vs F1

This past weekend marked the inaugural A1 GP race at the Brands Hatch Circuit in England. In many ways, A1 GP is a new concept in motorsport - its all about teams, and the driver does not matter. In A1 GP, dubbed the world cup of motorsport, the teams are essentially countries with each country having one team. The whole concept of the driver does not matter was well demonstrated by Malaysia which used different drivers for the race and qualifying (and it worked quite well too).

But the main point of A1 GP was to address the deficiencies in current Formula 1 series - a lack of overtaking, high budgets and a focus on the technology and not the show and the driver skills. A1 GP's first race shows promise - and there was plenty of entertainment. The qualifying was mesmerising, and even better than how F1 qualifying used to be before Mosley and Bernie screwed it all up. As for the race - there was overtaking and a lot of it! Although, Nelson Piquet Jnr and Team Brazil were obvious contenders for the win, the remaining positions were well contested right up to the checkered flag.

That does not mean that A1 does not have problems - the pit system was fun to watch but a bit too contrived IMO. And I would really like some live timing on the TV broadcast. But other than these minor factors, A1 GP was is well worth watching.

The same cannot really be said of F1. Along won the drivers title, becoming the youngest to do so, on Sunday but the race was boring except for the first few laps. I have not watched F1 qualifying at all this year, and while the production of the F1 show is brilliant, crappy directors (like cutting away to Ralph pitting instead of showing a rare pass on the track) really detract from the whole experience.

I have been a F1 fan for a very long time, I have gone to races, and rarely miss a race on TV - and if there was a clash between a F1 race and a A1 GP race, I am more likely to watch A1 GP ... Its just more rewarding.