Saturday, May 24, 2008

To Prove a Point

A quite often repeated statement is “Whenever Sachin hits a century, India loses”. It is frustrating to hear about the person with maximum centuries in the whole wide world, who has won numerous matches for India. But still as they say in share market – it’s all about sentiments. Some stupid media wala must have said somewhere on his Breaking News. And the trend caught on. As He lets his batting do the talking, let’s have the stats do the talking here.

The details have been taken from this database at cricinfo.
Focus here is only on the fact on how many times India wins/loses if Sachin makes a century. And bit of insights on why we lost those matches.

From records, we can see that out of 42 ODI centuries that Sachin has till date, only 11 times has India lost a match. 11 out of 42. That means approx 74% times India wins. Almost 7.5 out of 10 times India wins when Sachin hits a century. A probability of 0.74 which common sense says is quite High!!
Let’s have a look at the matches which India lost when Sachin made a century.

1. ODI match 2414, 14 Sep 2006 (vs WI)- WI won by D/L when they were given a target of mere 113 in 20 overs after india made 309!!!
2. Match 2324, 6 Feb 2006 (vs Pak): India made 328. Again poor performance by bowlers. Pak won by D/L. Can’t really blame Sachin. Can we??
3. Match 2238, 12 Apr 2005 (vs Pak) – India made 315.. Pak won on the last ball. Again how on earth can you blame a batsman for half the runs in a 300 plus total. To add to it, Sachin took a wicket and had 3rd best average among 7 bowlers used.
4. Match 2114, 16 Mar 2004(vs Pak) : Chasing a massive 330 to win. Sachin made 141. Rest of the team made 139. Next highest after 141 were extras – 37. He simply ran out of partners as India were all out for 317.
5. Match 1752, 5 Oct 2001 (vs SA): Again India batted 1st and made 280. Bowlers responsibility more than the batsman.
6. Match 1658, 8 Dec 2000 (vs Zim): Again with Sachin’s knock, India made283. Bowlers let down yet again as Zimbabwe won by 1 wicket and 1 ball to spare.
7. Match 1060, 20 Oct 2000(vs SL): Comprehensively beaten by SL. India made 224, Sachin again making 50% of the runs.
8. Match 1325, 22 Apr 1998(vs Aussies): Everyone remembers this match!! That awesome match in Sharjah. Sachin given out of a No Ball. Mr Duckworth and Mr. Lewis coming in again. Aussies made 284 in 50 overs and India were asked to make 276 in 46. Sachin playing out of his skin. Even after aussies had won the match, it felt like India had!! And everyone also knows what happened in the next match. Anyways, if you want you can blame Sachin here. 3 overs remained when he got out and the rest of the team made.. guess what ?? just 8 runs in those 3 overs.
9. Match 1106, 28 Aug 1996(vs SL): Comprehensively beaten, again by Sri Lanka. A big Century by Jayasuriya. A small point to be noted: only 1 Sri Lankan wicket fell. Guess who took it!!
10. Match 1091, 5 Apr 1996 (vs Pak): A disappointing 1st innings total again. Don’t know if only Sachin can be blamed here – 50% runs being scored by him.
11. Match 1070, 2 Mar 1996 (vs SL): Sri Lanka again. Decent total in 271. A massive 137 by the master blaster.

Cricket is a team game. Whenever India loses, it is everyone’s responsibility including Sachin. And when it wins, it is everyone’s victory. That is my view but for all others who believe India will lose whenever Sachin hits a century, I really hope this settles it for once and all!!

Friday, May 09, 2008

What does MBA teach us?

Management or MBA to be specific has become a buzzword lately. With inflated salaries and a lot of hoopla (IIM’s placement getting to the front page), it often makes people wonder, what is that these guys learn that makes them get so much attention. Well, I haven’t seen what the scenario is in the hundreds and thousands of B schools around India, but can comment on the experience I had over the past 1 year. So here we go in no particular order.

Working under intense deadlines: Consider the scenario. - 2 days for trimester end exams to begin and people are running around from morning till evening. For what? To find one of the basic necessities of humans – the ‘Makaan’ of the famous trio of Roti, Kapda aur Makaan. The college doesn’t provide residential facilities as it trusts the managerial skills of its students who will find a home to live in – in one of the prime locations of Mumbai at affordable prices. Mind you there are plenty of other constraints put up by the ‘invisible hand’ of the market. Just a small example – the landlords of the area don’t really prefer students of some particular religion. Mind you, no deadline can get more realistic and pressurizing when you know that you don’t have a roof on your head after you get over with exams.

Improvement in Patience levels: people today are joining yoga classes; going to baba’s to learn to be patient. But learning to be patient comes as an integral part of the whole college experience for us. The teacher is the Internet speed. When it takes an eternity to open a google search page and you know you have to do it because of that project submission next day, it really improves your self control. Sometimes our young managers try a detour through the computer center where around 20 – 30 high class computers are kept for students to help transcend horizons. I once had a look at the super computer’s specs. The RAM was 128 MB – certainly beyond any logical horizons.

Boss is always right: A famous saying and a rule to follow if you want to grow in your job. However absurd the boss’ decision or reasoning is, you need to follow that – at times against all your natural logic. Well, our college obviously wants us to succeed. We are groomed to do this. Plenty of rules which many times go beyond your abilities of understanding. But still you have to follow them. Just a small example which many times you notice at the entrance itself – you are allowed to enter through 1 gate but are not allowed to exit through that – and mind you it’s not a small Jallianwala bagh kinda gate.

Dealing with Customers: ‘Customer is the king’ – goes a popular saying, especially in the marketing circle. It is fine to read it and appreciate it. But to understand it deeply, you need to practically feel it. Now how does the college help? By showing it to you, how the customer feels when he is NOT treated properly. Now, you may not be a customer literally but it is something similar when you go to a library. And there, quite often you feel what a customer can feel when someone loses customer focus in his activities.

Taking on Responsibilities: Another important aspect of a corporate life. You will be asked to lead teams, launch brands, handle mergers and acquisitions etc etc. So you need to be responsible enough. How is it achieved without students knowing that they are learning something? Again consider a situation. The internet in your hostel is not working (of course we students don’t know it’s part of a training module called “working in constraints”) and you go for the person concerned to get it rectified. Complaint noted but nothing is done. After 2 - 3 complaints too, nothing is done. Finally we are forced to take the responsibility and handle it ourselves. In fact many times we are asked to do it, forcing us to think if it was really our responsibility in the first place.

These are only a handful of learning which I could derive out of the first year experience. I guess there would be many more to come. My friends reading this are most invited to share their learning apart from the above

Sunday, May 04, 2008

IPL: Random Thoughts

Some random thoughts on the current craze – which aimed and to an extent beat the saas-bahu stranglehold.

Royal Challengers
That name, of course comes from the popular liquor from the owner - UB stable. But consider the name – Challengers. The name itself suggests that they will be always be only challenging others – winning is.. well.. tough… Best luck for the future challenges to Rahul - One of the greatest batsmen India has ever produced. It’s a pity to see him struggling with his “test team” in 20-20..

Chennai Super Kings
Dons the colors of Australia – and not surprisingly is performing like Australia (though they are on the verge of their 1st defeat as I pen these words). I read somewhere that yellow – the shining bright color of Sun, is a color of the king who rules everyone. I won’t be surprised if the Chennai Super Kings turn out to be the Kings of IPL too.

Delhi Daredevils
Along with brightness, comes the darkness too. There is a constant struggle between both of them to win. Darkness – represented by the Devils of Delhi (the color of the dress is black too). This is the other strong contender in IPL.

Rajasthan Royals
Before IPL began, the Royalty seemed as it didn’t have teeth (read good players). But the royal people, especially in Rajasthan have the history of being warriors. And so it turned out for this team as well. One of the best performing teams having the potential to reach the semi finals.

Kings XI Punjab

If we have the royal families of Rajasthan, we have the Kings of Punjab too. Lion hearted – they definitely are. Seen them working at close quarters (watching a match from just above their pavilion), I can say that they give their fullest – see Brett lee. But again, I am not very sure of the captaincy of the Yuvraj Singh. On the field, I found Jayawardhane (Sri Lankan Captain) more active in getting the angles right, making sure field placement is right when there are left and right hand batsman on the crease etc. May be our wannabe captain is on his learning curve.

Mumbai Indians
The team which has my Favorite player as the captain – who unfortunately has not played a single game. Well, till now I am defending lack of performance by Mumbai among my friends circle with just 1 excuse – No Sachin. This is about to change with a tough tough match against Delhi on Sunday where Sachin makes his IPL debut. I really hopes he has all the answers to all questions which the Mumbai Indians have not been able to answer. It is the Guru vs Shishya (sehwag) on Sunday.

Kolkata Knight Riders
They are the mavericks. It comes out in many ways - their brand ambassador/owner, the colors of their dress – I really like the Golden Pads. Another unthinkable – having Saurav Ganguly and Ricky Ponting in 1 team – 2 people who have been one of the best captains of their sides and both of whom love to be at the helm of proceedings.

Deccan Chargers
One of the strongest team on paper – Gibbs, Afridi, Gilchrist – arguably the World’s 3 top dangerous hitters. But their charges have not been very effective. Again, hard not to notice the dull colored dresses – may be taking the vibrancy of some of the classy players. Ya, it is a very earthy color but who needs to be on earth in T20. We want high flying sixes sir.