Will history go against England again?

england

If you look closely at England’s performance in Cricket  World Cups (T20s or otherwise) over the last 8-9 years, there is one pattern which is quite peculiar and which Afghanistan would be keen to see repeated. The pattern shows us that England -when they have not self-destructed their campaigns otherwise –  have consistently ensured that they either lost a match against an associate team in each edition of the World Cup or lost so many to associate teams over the last six editions that a team like Afghanistan could not have prayed to face any other full member more than England.

Let’s start in the reverse order, shall we? In the 2015 Cricket World Cup, they lost to Bangladesh. Now, I know you might call Bangladesh a nearly-full-member, but did you really expect England to lose to them? Let’s move on. In the 2014 T20 World cup, they lost a crucial match to Netherlands. In 2012 World T20, though they beat Afghanistan by 116 runs, they did lose to West Indies and Sri Lanka in the same round. England is surely a much better team that this. You Think?

In the 2011 Edition of the World Cup, though they beat teams like South Africa and West Indies and tied a thirller against India, England did go on to lose to both Ireland and Bangladesh before they were finally knocked out by Sri Lanka in the quarter-finals.

The pain hadn’t started there, with England already having lost to West Indies and Netherlands in the 2009 Edition of the T20 World Cup, just two years after they were knocked out of the Super 8s after having lost half their matches in that stage of the 2007 World Cup.

All this happened despite England having won the T20 World Cup in 2010 and, though that year might sound like an aberration, what is interesting is that England did concende one point to Ireland in that tournament as well when their match in the first round itself got washed out due to rain. Until then England had lost the opening match to West Indies.

So, what do we deduce from this data? Though I am no statistician, I can quite comfortably argue that patterns show that England either self-destructs and gets knocked out early or makes sure to hand over some points to the associates almost every World Cup. Hate me and my analysis as much as you like for this conclusion, call it irrational and driven by prejudice, but you cannot deny that England are, historically, the most favourable team – if there is such a team other than them – to lose to an associate nation in World Cups. Given that they have done really well against South Africa and lost to a highly competent West Indies in this year’s WT20 campaign, I would look at today’s match as that moment in this tournament when England continue to hand over another associate team some points.

Will England keep up playing Santa? Or will they show this year to be another aberration? Will they, or won’t they?

Edit: I started Writing this post just Before England was about to start their batting and it took me some time to get my data together and I did not get the opportunity to look at the score card until I published this post. At that time, I had to immediately come back and say that the score right now is England batting at 65/6 between 10-11 overs.

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What Dhoni’s 104m Six probably did to Bangladesh

Despite all the criticism by the Indian media over his form in recent times, MS Dhoni, during the Asia Cup 2016, has shown exactly why he is the world’s most dangerous cricketer, and India’s Captain Cool at the same time.

What stood out the most for me was the first sixer Dhoni hit off the bowling of Al-Amin in the supposedly penultimate (and which invariably become the last) over of India’s chase. Until that ball (ov. 12.1), Bangladesh had sneaked in a tiny toe before the door to the Trophy was about to shut on them, and based on their own recent good form and a deservedly improved level of confidence, they did believe that they could give India a shock. This was a belief that they carried for months after beating India in their previous tour to Bangladesh and it somewhat overshadowed the fact that Bangladesh were never really in control of the match, even after the untimely dismissal of Shikhar Dhawan just a few deliveries ago. Bangladesh, their spectators more than the players, were upbeat and for a moment imagined a future where their bowlers would be able to restrict the battering ram of Indian middle order within 20 runs of the target. And so they brought their best bowler of the day in the 19th over to bowl one good over and choke India.

But they forgot who they were going to bowl against. What followed can only be termed as cruel. Even if Dhoni had hit him for 5 boundaries in a row, Al-Amin and Bangladesh might still have had some fight left in them, but the power of the six showed a cruel and utter disrespect for the confidence of an emerging team and seemed to have opened the eyes of 160 million Bangladeshis to the utter domination this Indian team, and their captain in particular, has enjoyed over them in this tournament. The metaphorical door slammed shut and took the Bangladeshi toe with it. Being such a master of the game, what Dhoni’s super-hit did to Bangladesh and their fans can’t really be explained any more than this. You need to be a Bangladesh fan to be able to feel it’s impact. If I had been a Bangladesh supporter, I would have cried in my sleep. Thankfully, I slept well.

Countdown to my 30th Birthday

For the last many years, I’ve dreaded my 30th birthday. I always knew that the 30th would be my most undesirable one simply because I thought I would cease to be the guy-in-his-20s anymore. 30th birthdays do not have the same charm as 20th or 24th or 27th. Makes me feel older, entering the 4th decade of my lifetime. They just sound too morbid to me.

So, taking cue from the fact that each my birthdays over the last decade has turned out to be a fiasco in some way, I have been expecting my 30th to be no different and have been preparing for the stupid day with no excitement at all.

MagicWandThough my birthday is only in the end of august, yet last night something magical took place that has turned things around when I got a magic make-a-wish wand. All I need to do is wave the wand and utter a wish and it will be fulfilled. Sounds childish, right? But it made a difference to me. It made me feel as if it is not my 30th birthday that I am approaching but my 3rd.

I am super excited now that I have been told this month is a special month and that I can expect lots of surprises. I feel that age again when I would stay sleepless the night before my birthday because I would be so looking forward to the excitement of the day and the gifts that would come rolling in.

Obviously, at 30, you don’t care much about the gifts money can buy anymore. What you do care about is the fact that you have people to make you feel on top of the world.

So, the gong has been sounded and the countdown to my birthday has begun.

29th August, 2013, I am looking forward to you.

Dawkins debating a creationist

Dawkins vs Wright

I have always found this quite amusing. Creationists themselves have no evidence except, “I believe so,” but when it comes to talking about evolution, they close their eyes to all the physical evidence and say there’s no evidence.

Watch the complete interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFjoEgYOgRo

My New Shorter Blog Address – shitijbagga.net

it is party timeMy Dear Readers,

I have finally gone ahead and bought my own domain name for my blog. Hurrah!

It was proving a little difficult to mention my blog’s URL to friends and colleagues as shitijbagga.wordpress.com. They could remember my name but to ask them to remember “wordpress” as well was complicating matters a bit.

So, finally here it is, my shorter and better new URL: shitijbagga.net

Who said shorter can’t be better?

My Cruel Gym Instructor

Cambridge University Boat Race Team Preparations

I joined a local gym last week near my house and my purpose is to improve fitness. I am not overweight anything but my job requires me to spend the entire day sitting at my desk, so there is hardly any physical effort required.

I have joined a gym a couple of times in the past as well, but never been able to stick with the routines due to the hectic schedules at work. But this time, it is quite different as it takes me only five minutes to reach the new gym.

After the first four days spent enjoying cardio routine such as treadmill, cycling, etc. it was finally on the fifth day that fate slipped on the misery gloves. After 15 minutes of enjoying a treadmill run, I was asked to do the one exercise I hated the most: Push-ups. Not that I am too physically unfit – I’ve been quite athletic throughout my life – push-ups and I don’t go well together.

“Three sets if twelve each,” screamed the instructor.

“Ha! We’ll see,” I screamed back but only in my mind.

I moved to an undisturbed area on the gym floor and got down on my hands and stretched back my feet.

“One,” “Two,” “Three,”

Wow! Going great.

“Four,” “Five,” “Six”

It’s becoming tougher by the second.

“Seven……” “Eight……………..”

Perseverance, my boy. It will get you places.

“Nine…………” Huff huff! Seems like my face is going to explode.

“Ten……” “Eleven…………………..” “Twelve!!!!!!!”

I did it. Euphoria. One set knocked over.

Oh No, two more to go!

The remaining two sets were short-lived, Six and Four.

After this, the instructor rallied me around for another hour of grilling exercises for chest, back, biceps, triceps, abs and what not. Finally, when I was allowed to leave, I was so worn out that I couldn’t even drive back home properly.

Next day turned out to be even worse with my first set of push-ups allowing me only 3 and the second set only saw me go down the without coming back up ever again. After a lot of trying to convince the instructor, I was allowed to proceed with the remaining exercises. Yippee!!

But everything else was also horribly below the dismal standards from the day before. From that night onwards, I have been in a state of constant pain of my muscles, or the sort that I cannot describe in words than to say that 48 hours have passed since that second session (yesterday was a rare day off) and I still can’t even lift a cup of tea and bring it to my mouth. I can’t sleep well at nights or turn in the bed without moaning in pain. I can’t even put on my jacket quickly enough.

And today, just as I am about to publish this post, I am again ready to head for the gym. I hope my cruel instructor has some mercy on me today.

The new iPad – Black or White?

Oh my God!!

I think I am going to go crazy trying to decide whether to buy the new iPad BLACK or WHITE. Yes! You read it right. Since last few weeks, I’ve been contemplating which model (Wifi or Wifi+4G), which config (32GB or 64 GB) to buy. Once I decided to go for Wifi+4g, 64 GB model, I went to the store last night to finally buy it.

BUT. Solid confusion set in the moment I looked at the iPads. Black or White? Shit! Stuck again. I had decided for White beforehand and there was no question in my mind about it, but somehow it struck me that the White model on display had become quite dirty and somehow the elegance of the white, as seen on so many websites and ads, was totally lost. I couldn’t understand if the white would really look as great as I thought?

My sister was with me and suggested me to buy the white one only, since my mobile (Samsung Galaxy s2) is already completely black, and the black iPad would just look the same style. She was right and I gathered enough courage to stick to my initial choice of White.

Disaster struck when the store told me they were out of White ones. Hell!! Back to black. Now what? More confusion!! I couldn’t make up my mind. After all, I was about to spend 51,000 Rupees (it is much more expensive in India than it is in US) on a device in which I was not even getting the one color I had little confidence on.

So, I gave up completely and came back home, asking the store to inform me again when the White one is in stock. It’s an awful experience trying to decide this color because:

1. White is Nice and unique. Black is just like my current mobile.
2. White gets dirty easily, Black stays black.
3. White is distracting when watching pictures or movies, Black dissolves in the surroundings.
And the worst reason:
4. I want White. Maybe I should buy Black.

Back to square one!

Please guys, save me from this dilemma and help me decide by voting below. I cannot take this indecision anymore.

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