My World Through My Words

June 13, 2010

The Ball in My Court : 3

Filed under: Sports,Uncategorized — ashwinvk84 @ 10:11 pm

Well I must tell you what a bad week to be in my shoes, almost every team I like and support were beaten badly, or played badly enough to be beaten by me. Man I had such a lousy week that I was grouchy and uncommunicative throughout the whole time. I don’t think I had such a bad week in the recent past. Where do I start, Federer lost at Roland Garros, the Indians were pathetic in the West Indies, the Celtics didn’t turn up for games 1 & 3 of the playoffs, Yankees are on an inconsistent run with whole bag of injuries, Ferrari look lost to say the least, Armstrong and RadioShack don’t look like they are going to be a threat in the Tour De France this year and finally at the World Cup England were well the same old same old.

Federer lost at Roland Garros enough said about that, but on the other hand what a final match Soderling vs. Nadal. It may not have sounded good but was it a match for the ages. Soderling pretty much played the best match of his life, but unlucky for him so did Nadal. I mean Nadal did give him opportunities to get into the game but shut the door on his face every time he tried; it was as if he was teasing him by giving him small glimpses of hope. It was such a master class from Nadal that it looked scary sometimes. Nadal sent a clear message to all his rivals, he’s back to his best, all his injury problems are behind him and he is ready to live up to the expectation of being World No.1 which he claimed with the victory. For Soderling it was a case of so close yet so far, I believe the Swede will have his day of glory if he can match his heroics in the finals as well as against Federer, But the problem for him is that he must have the belief and the determination to keep trying. Nadal and Federer may be at a different level altogether but even they have bad days and it is his job to make their bad day into a miserable one if given the chance. But once again the match was a chilling statement from the 7 time Grand Slam winner that he is back and he is hungry for more.

Well the Indian tour of the West Indies went pretty much according to script. The team failed to deliver without putting up any kind of fight. I believed it was a great chance for the youngsters to stand up and be counted and also show off our bench strength; But was I wrong, I mean sure the experience of playing for your country would enrich all of them but at least we should have given the other teams a run for their money, it was a mediocre West Indian line up and a Srilankan side missing its big guns. I thought our fielding would have gone up a couple of notches being it was such a young team, but I was wrong again our fielding was poor, so was our running between the wickets, I mean these are the basic’s if you get them right then your entire game will be off. The youngster’s mindset was clearly in a T20 mode with all of them trying to hit out of their respective slumps, only Rohit Sharma showed some kind of batting form with couple hundreds, the bowling bar the spinners looked pedestrian at times. But on a good note they bounced back and won both the T20 matches. I feel the Indian selectors should sent mainly youngsters to the T20 world cup with a few seniors so that there is the unpredictability element, see T20 is such a short format that it is possible to restrict and frustrate good batsmen for a few overs till they try to do something unorthodox and get out. But if you have a batsman who is relatively unknown the bowler will have no clue on his strengths and weaknesses. That’s a topic for future discussions so I’ll leave it at that. And a great note the India A team is having a great tour of England they nearly walloped Yorkshire in a rain curtailed match and then thrashed West Indies A. The Batsmen led by captain Cheteshwar Pujara, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane and Abhinav Mukund have scored some big runs; and the bowlers have also done extremely well with seamers Jaidev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni and left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla taking bulk of the wickets; and also the fielding has been top-notch. Kudos to these guys and keep it up.

The NBA playoffs have been a wild roller coaster ride with the games swinging both ways throughout the series, it’s going to be a free for all with the last man standing taking the honors. The Celtics were brushed aside in the first game but shut down Kobe and the Lakers team in the second game and took the momentum into the Garden; and here they proceeded to give it all back and for a change it was Derek Fisher who took Lakers home in the final quarter though Kobe did score 25 points. There has been an alarming trend with the trio of Pierce-Garnett-Allen; the three are taking turns of having off days with Garnett going missing in game 1 and Pierce and Allen being subdued in game 3. And the good thing for the Celtics was that their bench is longing strong and rearing to go and in game 4 Doc Rivers had the audacity to pull all three of them from most of the fourth quarter and put in Glenn Davis and Nate Robinson who led the charge while the trio cheered from the bench. It was clearly a case of who wanted it more with Celtics showing more in hustling than the Lakers who especially Lamar Odom seemed dazed and confused for most of the game. Glenn Davis single-handedly outscored the entire Lakers bench. So I all can say is bring on game 5 and the trio starts playing well together and all of them show up with their A game.

The Yankees looks average at the moment, they are playing ok baseball and getting away with it. The injuries haven’t been helping either with Johnson on the disabled list, and Posada, Granderson, Swisher, Park, Cano all being out with some kind off niggles with the latest being A-rod. The pitching has been ok with Pettitte and Hughes having decent outings while Sabathia and Burnett were having some trouble here and there after the great start both had. Javier Vázquez also seems to be getting back to top shape after having a miserable few months. The bullpen looks shaky at best with even the ever reliable Rivera being taken for some. Chamberlain has taken over as the set up man for Rivera and has been doing well. But the remainder of the bullpen has not been up to scratch especially Park and Robertson hopefully both of them can find their feet soon. The offense has been slightly better off with both Jeter and Teixeira waking up from their respective slumps, the second this season in Teixeira’s case. The offense has been carried by the hot bats of Cano and Swisher with help from Gardner, Cervelli and A-Rod. Hopefully the Yankees can shake of their injuries and also the inconsistency and take the charge to the Tampa Bay Rays who are looking odd on the top of A.L East standings and take their rightful place on the summit.

Ferrari has lost it completely; the debacle that was Turkey is best forgotten and today the third place for Alonso was a mere gift thanks to tyre wear and a five grid place penalty to Webber. The Car hasn’t shown any significant improvement since the start of the European seasons albeit assurances from Domenicali and both drivers. Also the amounts of reliability issues have been staggering, as well as insane amount of driver errors. It makes me sad to say this but this season Ferrari has been a team who is following the championship contenders rather than being one of them. I think its time to rethink the team structure Domenicali is clearly not a great Team principal in the range of Jean Todt or Ross Brawn, I believe someone with more Grand prix experience like Christian Horner should be brought in to improve Grand Prix Strategies which to this point have been comical to say the least. And I don’t think signing Massa for additional years was a great move, he doesn’t look like a team leading driver but more like a perfect second driver; But without team orders that’s a complete waste. Massa is a driver who needs a fast car, but in a struggling car he’ll always fall behind case and point this season he has struggled so much while Alonso has been able to drive a slow car closer to the podium. I think Ferrari should have tried to sign either Vettel or Kubica, both are hard racers and are not scared to push it and overtake whenever necessary. They would have bought good competition into the team. Now clearly Ferrari has only one car on the track challenging for points while the other struggles around the track. Hopefully the words of the Ferrari management will finally bear some fruit and we can see a competitive Ferrari for the next weekend or else ponder over another season without any silverware.

Team RadioShack hasn’t set the world on fire even after the mass exodus from Astana after last years Tour De France victory. The team looks great on paper but hasn’t really caught anyone’s eye yet. Armstrong hasn’t been in the best of form with injuries and illness hampering his preparation for the tour. So can one right of all the other failures because this is mainly a team to help win Armstrong a record 8th Tour De France Maillot Jaune?, but if one looks at all the previous tours Lance has always shown some kind of form coming into the Tour De France. Contador looks like a safe bet right now, which was always going to be the case; he has youth, very good riding style and a good team led by Alexander Vinokourov who is back after serving a doping ban. But what Contador doesn’t have is Johan Bruyneel, the wily tactician behind Armstrong’s 7 tour titles as well as Contador’s two. Hopefully, Bruyneel who will be knowing Contador inside out, can find some chinks in his armor and exploit it using a battle harden Tour team with enough experience to tackle any kind of problems they face. Only thing going for them right now is the relative inexperience of the Astana team, which can be a huge factor in the grueling event.

Well finally to England, what can one say but nothing has changed; England still can’t play well at the World Cup. Ok the Robert Green howler was unforgivable but England never looked like a team in any kind of control of the game, USA was always in it. Plus the team’s heads collectively dropped after the equalizer although there was still a half to play. England didn’t show the desire and the effort to go forward and take the game to the US, which was sad. Rooney had a game to forget, he didn’t play badly nor did he do anything significant, he was backtracking most of the time into his own half to win the ball. Lampard was just poor; he didn’t control the game or put in enough passes, also Cole was disappointing, he didn’t move forward in support of the attack. Gerrard had decent game also scored the only goal for England. But I believe Capello got it wrong with Milner, he clearly hadn’t recovered from his illness and looked lethargic on the field. And hopefully King is alright and his injury not too serious. But I believe all is not lost for the Three Lions because they usually start the tournament strong and fizzle out in the middle, so this time it might be the opposite they play poor in the beginning and do well towards the end. Fingers crossed here. On another note, Germany just ripped apart Australia with goals from Podolski, Klose, Muller and Cacau; with poor old Timmy Cahill shown a straight red for a clumsy challenge on Schweinsteiger. I noticed Germany wasn’t on anyone’s list to lift the World Cup, yours truly included. Looks like the Germans noticed too and send a very clear message to everyone else, they are here to win.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: