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IPL 2016 – At a Glance

Indian Premier League, 2016 – At a Glance

Results, Fixtures, Points and Ball Difference
GL 18pts,-13bd 3 19/5 -33 21/5 3/5 12 1/5
RCB 14/5 16pts,105bd 2/5 15 11/5 -7 7/5 18/5
KKR 8/5 16/5 16pts,73bd 22/5 -7 35 14/5 4/5
SRH 6/5 30/4 -12 16pts,34bd 15 12/5 -44.1 13
MI -2 12 12 8/5 14pts,-19bd 15/5 -34 13/5
DD -2 22/5 12 20/5 2 14pts,-27bd 5/5 39
RPS -2 -8 -5 10/5 1/5 17/5 10pts,14bd 21/5
KXIP -16 9/5 -19 15/5 -20 7/5 8 8pts,-109bd

Home Team appears in rows
Away Team appears in columns
Fixture scheduled at 10:30 GMT | 16:00 Local
Fixture scheduled at 14:30 GMT | 20:00 Local
Home Win for Fixture scheduled at 10:30 GMT
Away Win for Fixture scheduled at 10:30 GMT
Home Win for Fixture scheduled at 14:30 GMT
Away Win for Fixture scheduled at 14:30 GMT
Number of points and Ball Difference appear diagonally
All underlined cells are links to iplt20.com

Points table using Ball Difference
Teams Mat Won Lost Tie NR Pts Ball Difference
GL 14 9 5 0 0 18 -13
RCB 14 8 6 0 0 16 105
KKR 14 8 6 0 0 16 73
SRH 14 8 6 0 0 16 34
MI 14 7 7 0 0 14 -19
DD 14 7 7 0 0 14 -27
RPS 14 5 9 0 0 10 14
KXIP 14 4 10 0 0 8 -109


Indian Premier League

Largest Margin of Victory and Top Player Contributions

Largest Margin of Victory
# Match Summary Result Ball Differencec
45 rps 103/6(17.4 ovs); KKR 66/2(5 ovs) Kolkata Knight Riders won by 8 wickets (D/L method) (with 53 balls remaining) 53.3
37 SRH 177/3(20 ovs); mi 92(16.3 ovs) Sunrisers Hyderabad won by 85 runs (with a difference of 48 balls) 50
50 RCB 211/3(15 ovs); kxip 120/9(14 ovs) Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 82 runs (D/L method) (with a difference of 49 balls) 49.1
44 RCB 248/3(20 ovs); gl 104(18.4 ovs) Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 144 runs (with a difference of 45 balls) 45
22 srh 118/8(20 ovs); RPS 94/3(11 ovs) Rising Pune Supergiants won by 34 runs (D/L method) (with 42 balls remaining) 44.1
Most Valuable Players
Name Team Mts Runs Scored Balls Faced Balls Bowled Runs Conceded Wkts Cts St Run Outs Avg Contribution Total Contribution
DA Warner SRH 17 848 560 4 09.89 168.13
V Kohli RCB 16 973 640 6 13 6 1.0 09.21 147.42
AB de Villiers RCB 16 687 407 19 07.38 118.10
YK Pathan KKR 15 361 248 36 33 1 3 07.17 107.54
CH Morris DD 12 195 109 264 308 13 8 2.3 08.83 105.97
B Kumar SRH 17 43 27 396 490 23 6 1.0 06.06 103.02
SR Watson RCB 16 179 134 339 485 20 6 2.5 06.16 98.50
KH Pandya MI 12 237 124 187 236 6 2 0.5 07.75 93.00
S Dhawan SRH 17 501 429 5 1.0 05.32 90.49
RV Uthappa KKR 15 394 289 10 4 4.0 06.01 90.22
Most Valuable Batsmen
Name Team Matches Runs Balls Avg Contribution Total Contribution
DA Warner SRH 17 848 560 09.86 167.62
V Kohli RCB 16 973 640 09.12 145.94
AB de Villiers RCB 16 687 407 07.22 115.47
YK Pathan KKR 15 361 248 06.63 99.50
S Dhawan SRH 17 501 429 05.24 89.08
Q de Kock DD 13 445 327 06.49 84.42
RV Uthappa KKR 15 394 289 05.61 84.13
AJ Finch GL 13 393 299 06.20 80.65
G Gambhir KKR 15 501 411 05.23 78.47
RG Sharma MI 14 489 368 05.58 78.07
Most Valuable Bowlers
Name Team Matches Balls Runs Wickets Avg Contribution Total Contribution
B Kumar SRH 17 396 490 23 05.40 91.73
Mustafizur Rahman SRH 16 366 421 17 05.15 82.39
R Ashwin RPS 14 264 319 10 05.13 71.76
SR Watson RCB 16 339 485 20 04.44 70.99
YS Chahal RCB 13 295 401 21 05.39 70.06
Sandeep Sharma KXIP 14 300 366 15 04.89 68.52
DS Kulkarni GL 14 294 364 18 04.81 67.29
A Mishra DD 14 276 344 13 04.81 67.28
JJ Bumrah MI 14 312 406 15 04.76 66.65
MJ McClenaghan MI 14 320 436 17 04.66 65.23
Top Overall Performances
# Name Team Runs Scored Balls Faced Balls Bowled Runs Conceded Wkts Cts Sts Run Outs Player Contribution
45 YK Pathan KKR 37 18 0 40.35
50 V Kohli RCB 113 50 1 27.55
47 KH Pandya MI 86 37 13 15 2 0 0.5 25.26
44 AB de Villiers RCB 129 52 2 24.58
15 DA Warner SRH 74 48 0 24.45
12 DA Warner SRH 90 59 0 22.40
23 CH Morris DD 82 32 24 35 2 0 22.15
50 CH Gayle RCB 73 32 18 25 0 1 20.60
11 Q de Kock DD 108 51 0 19.50
51 SK Raina GL 53 36 2 19.29
Top Batting Performances
# Name Team Runs Balls Batting Contribution
45 YK Pathan KKR 37 18 40.35
50 V Kohli RCB 113 50 27.37
15 DA Warner SRH 74 48 24.45
44 AB de Villiers RCB 129 52 24.23
12 DA Warner SRH 90 59 22.40
47 KH Pandya MI 86 37 21.46
11 Q de Kock DD 108 51 19.50
51 SK Raina GL 53 36 18.95
8 G Gambhir KKR 90 60 18.53
1 AM Rahane RPS 66 42 18.19
Top Bowling Performances
# Name Team Balls Bowled Runs Conceded Wickets Bowling Contribution
49 AB Dinda RPS 24 20 3 15.57
22 AB Dinda RPS 24 23 3 14.55
22 MR Marsh RPS 24 14 2 14.02
7 A Mishra DD 18 11 4 13.56
49 A Zampa RPS 24 21 3 13.23
51 DR Smith GL 24 8 4 12.74
22 R Ashwin RPS 24 14 1 12.21
2 AD Russell KKR 18 24 3 11.04
37 A Nehra SRH 18 15 3 10.81
28 AR Patel KXIP 24 21 4 10.72

India becomes #1 Test side during Rio Olympics

Day 16 has ended at the Rio Olympics 2016. It is the eve of fourth and last Test match between West Indies and India at Port of Spain.

India is yet to win any medal at Rio Olympics. Indian cricket team has become the #1 Test side after beating West Indies in 3rd test match at St Lucia on 13th August after a gap of over 20 years.

Great Britain is placed 2nd in medals tally despite starting slowly. About a week earlier Piers Morgan lamented the lack of gold medals for Team GB.

Contrast it with the Olympic Creed –


Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee,  adopted the quote after listening to Ethelbert Talbot, an Anglican bishop from Pennsylvania speak to Olympic athletes during services at the 1908 London Games who said,  “The important thing in these Olympics is not so much winning as taking part.”

A few days before Piers Morgan, Shobhaa De took a dig at the Indian contingent.

Two athletes set new national records at Rio Olympics. Lalita Babar improved the national record by 7 seconds in 3000m steeplechase clocking 9 minutes 19.76 seconds to become the first Indian woman athlete in 32 years to make it to a track final at the Olympics despite finishing fourth in her heats. She lost automatic qualification to Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya (9:17.55), Emma Coburn of USA (9:18.12) and Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia (9:18.71). In an 18-woman final race decided over 4 heats, she was amongst the 6 top performers excluding 12 automatic qualifiers. Sophie Hitchon became the first British woman to win an Olympic hammer medal by setting a new British record of 74.54m. She managed to win only a bronze because Pole Anita Wlodarczyk broke her own World Record to throw 82.29m on that day. China’s Zhang Wenxiu earned a silver with 76.75m. Sometimes an athlete’s personal best, which could also be the national best, is not enough when we judge it on Piers Morgan scale of ‘Gold or not’.

Sri Lanka was playing Australia in the 3rd test at Colombo when I started writing this post. Chasing 324, Australia folded in 45th over for 160 as player of the series Rangana Herath scalped 7 for 44. In the process, Australia handed over number one ranking to India in the official ICC Test Rankings developed by David Kendix. ICC provides historical rankings going back to June 2003. India has twice topped this list – for 21 months between Nov 2009 & Aug 2011 and briefly at end of Jan 2016.

I have my own Test Rankings. According to my methodology India topped this list after winning the 3rd test on 13th Aug. This methodology accounts for the margin of victory (or defeat), the nature of draw, current ranking of opponent and the home/away performance with dynamically diminishing weight for performance in older tests (unlike the ICC method where only two weights of 100% and 50% percent are used and rankings may change overnight at the end of May when weights change overnight). According to my method, updated after every single test, India last reached the summit in 1995 when debutant Lee Germon captained New Zealand at Bangalore in the first of 3 test series. ICC ranked India ahead of England until the end of India in England series of 2011 which England won 4-0. My methodology placed England at the top of rankings starting from Nov 2010 when England started winning Ashes away to Australia. South Africa was the top nation between Nov 2009 and Nov 2010 twice losing the crown to Australia – once after a drawn test at Port of Spain and later when Australia beat Pakistan at Lord’s.

That was a digression. This post was not meant to be a comparison between my methodology vis-a-vis ICC version. It was about how well a player/team may perform on its own and yet fail to reach podium. And the corollary – winning the top spot due to poor performance by others. Since Cricket gets far more resources than other sports in India and I own a custom database of cricket analytics, it will be easier to make the point that Olympics (or any other sport) is primarily about participating to best of own ability. The results are secondary which are decided by the (non-)performance of others.

Let us restrict the coverage to last 5 years – the period after India lost 4-0 to England despite #1 spot in ICC rankings. It began by India beating West Indies 2-0 at home in a 3 test series. This was followed by a loss, another 4-0 whitewash away to Australia. Then beat New Zealand at home 2-0 followed by a loss at home 2-1 to England in a 4-match series. An emphatic 4-0 win at home against Australia was followed by a hastily arranged 2 test series against West Indies when Sachin Tendulkar retired after playing 200th Test. India reached its highest score of 56 (out of 100) by beating them by an innings in both tests. Even though Sachin failed to score a Test hundred in that series, it can be argued that he left the scene when India was strongest. During this period, India rose to #2 rank behind South Africa. The proteas were unbeaten in that period who beat Kiwis 2-0 at home (both by an innings), then defeating Pak 3-0 at home (by 211 runs, 4 wkts and an innings),  drawing 1-1 against them in UAE (lost by 7 wkts and won by an innings), and finally beating India 1-0 at home (this included a memorable draw where South Africa reached 450/7 chasing 458 which I covered in this post followed by a 10 wkt win).

Now let us compare this scenario with India reaching #1 status after more than 2 decades despite reaching only 53 (out of 100) points. In this period other teams dropped more points than India. India dethroned Australia to reach #1 who held this spot since Aug 2015 when they lost the Ashes 3-2. They beat New Zealand & West Indies 2-0 at home which was followed by a visit across Tasman to win by same score. But they were hovering around 52-54 points which got pulled down by losing away to Sri Lanka 3-0.

Since the 2-0 loss down under in a 4 test series, India has played a rain affected draw against Bangladesh,  beaten South Africa 3-0 on spinning minefields, posted a rare 2-1 away win against Sri Lanka and are now leading 2-0 against West Indies away. This sequence has lifted India to just above 53 points when other teams are struggling. England drew 4 match series against steadily improving Pakistan. 4 teams India, Pakistan, Australia and England are placed in a tight band of around 51-53 points which means they may swap ranking spots quickly with one another; but qualitatively there is not much to separate them.

And there we can see that India has regained the top spot after a long time partly through good results but helped by average performances by its contenders. On the other hand, its much better run coincided by an even stronger performance by South Africa who are a miserable 7th with about 40 points now.

Chapter 2, verse 47 of Bhagavad Gita is addressed to all the sportspeople –

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन |
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि || 47 ||

They may work on individual performances but they are not entitled to a gold medal.




Galatea and the Flower Girl

Pygmalion and Galatea (Gérôme) Back

Pygmalion and Galatea (Gérôme)

We returned to the room of photographic art, and there another thick curtain was pulled aside so that we stood before an alcove I had never seen before. There in the alcove was the statue of a man, six feet tall and nude, which was, as far as I could see, anatomically correct to the last millimeter.

Elderberry pushed a button and the statue slowly turned on its pedestal, its smooth symmetry and perfect proportions evident from every angle.
“My masterpiece,” breathed Elderberry.

I am not myself a great admirer of manly beauty, but reflected in Elderberry’s lovely face I saw a panting admiration that made it clear she was suffused with love and adoration.

“You love that statue,” I said, cautiously avoiding the impersonal ‘it.’

“Oh, yes,” she whispered. “I would die for him. While he exists, I find all other men deformed and hateful. I could never let any man touch me without a sensation of disgust. I want only him. Only him.”

“My poor child,” I said, “the statue is not alive.”

“I know. I know,” she said brokenly. “My poor heart is shattered over that. What shall I do?”

I murmured, “How sad! It reminds me of the tale of Pygmalion.”

“Of whom?” said Elderberry, who like all artists was a simple soul who knew nothing of the wide outer world.

“Of Pygmalion. It is a story of ancient times. Pygmalion was a sculptor just like you except, of course, that he was a man. And he carved a lovely statue as you did, except that, because of his peculiar manly prejudices, he carved a woman, whom he called Galatea. The statue was so beautiful that Pygmalion fell in love with it. You see, it is just like your case, except that you are a living Galatea and the statue is a graven   – “

That was an excerpt from Isaac Asimov’s science fiction story named Galatea. In Greek mythology, Pygmalion was a king of the island of Cyprus and a sculptor whose earliest mention can be found in Philostephanus‘ history of Cyprus. Roman poet Ovid’s Latin narrative poem Metamorphoses comprising 15 books contains over 250 myths. Pygmalion’s familiarity is down to Ovid’s tenth book about Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus sings about a number of myths. He mentions Ganymede, Hyacinthus, Propoetides, Myrrha, Venus, Adonis and of course retells the story of Pygmalion.

Pygmalion had seen them, spending their lives in wickedness, and, offended by the failings that nature gave the female heart, he lived as a bachelor, without a wife or partner for his bed. But, with wonderful skill, he carved a figure, brilliantly, out of snow-white ivory, no mortal woman, and fell in love with his own creation. The features are those of a real girl, who, you might think, lived, and wished to move, if modesty did not forbid it. Indeed, art hides his art. He marvels: and passion, for this bodily image, consumes his heart. Often, he runs his hands over the work, tempted as to whether it is flesh or ivory, not admitting it to be ivory. he kisses it and thinks his kisses are returned; and speaks to it; and holds it, and imagines that his fingers press into the limbs, and is afraid lest bruises appear from the pressure. Now he addresses it with compliments, now brings it gifts that please girls, shells and polished pebbles, little birds, and many-coloured flowers, lilies and tinted beads, and the Heliades’s amber tears, that drip from the trees. He dresses the body, also, in clothing; places rings on the fingers; places a long necklace round its neck; pearls hang from the ears, and cinctures round the breasts. All are fitting: but it appears no less lovely, naked. He arranges the statue on a bed on which cloths dyed with Tyrian murex are spread, and calls it his bedfellow, and rests its neck against soft down, as if it could feel.

‘The day of Venus’s festival came, celebrated throughout Cyprus, and heifers, their curved horns gilded, fell, to the blow on their snowy neck. The incense was smoking, when Pygmalion, having made his offering, stood by the altar, and said, shyly: “If you can grant all things, you gods, I wish as a bride to have…” and not daring to say “the girl of ivory” he said “one like my ivory girl.” Golden Venus, for she herself was present at the festival, knew what the prayer meant, and as a sign of the gods’ fondness for him, the flame flared three times, and shook its crown in the air. When he returned, he sought out the image of his girl, and leaning over the couch, kissed her. She felt warm: he pressed his lips to her again, and also touched her breast with his hand. The ivory yielded to his touch, and lost its hardness, altering under his fingers, as the bees’ wax of Hymettus softens in the sun, and is moulded, under the thumb, into many forms, made usable by use. The lover is stupefied, and joyful, but uncertain, and afraid he is wrong, reaffirms the fulfilment of his wishes, with his hand, again, and again.

‘It was flesh! The pulse throbbed under his thumb. Then the hero, of Paphos, was indeed overfull of words with which to thank Venus, and still pressed his mouth against a mouth that was not merely a likeness. The girl felt the kisses he gave, blushed, and, raising her bashful eyes to the light, saw both her lover and the sky. The goddess attended the marriage that she had brought about, and when the moon’s horns had nine times met at the full, the woman bore a son, Paphos, from whom the island takes its name.

Above prose is from A S Kline’s version of Metamorphoses. Click here for the lyrical version by Rolfe Humphries. It is clear from the text that the ivory girl does not have a name in the classical version. Galatea in Greek means ‘she who is milk-white’. There is an independent myth in Book 13 of Metamorphoses that refers to another Galatea – whiter than the snowy privet petals. 18th century writers named this milk-white ivory statue Galatea displacing the earlier one in familiarity stakes.

What’s in a name? Goethe calls her Elise based on Elissa the Queen of Carthage. He was fascinated by Kalidasa‘s Abhijñānaśākuntalam but that is a topic for some other day. Another Roman poet Virgil in his Aeneid retells Elissa from the original sibling rivalry story by Junianus Justinus in which daughter Elissa and son Pygmalion are joint heirs to the king of Tyre.

First American publication, November 1914

George Bernard Shaw named her Eliza Doolittle in his 1912 play Pygmalion – A Romance in Five ActsHenry Higgins, a professor of phonetics, metaphorically brings Eliza to life by teaching her upper class manners while refining her accent. The term ‘romance’ is generally associated with a love affair but Shaw called it ‘a romance because of the transfiguration it records seems exceedingly improbable‘. The 1916 print edition includes his postscript essay ‘What Happened Afterwards’ to explain why it was impossible for his story to end with Higgins and Eliza getting married. He declares, ‘Galatea never does quite like Pygmalion: his relation to her is too godlike to be altogether agreeable.‘ The play had a very successful run in West End. It was lauded by both – critics and audiences. Everyone, except Shaw, wanted a happy marriage mirroring the original myth.

Shaw was a fan of motion pictures since the days of the silent films. He disliked the German version of the 1935 film about Pygmalion. Gabriel Pascal was once picked with the Pope and Hitler as one of the ten most famous men of 1938. Shaw found him to be an honest film producer. The British film produced by Pascal released in 1938. Against Shaw’s wishes a happy ending was added.

While reading the play, Pu La Deshpande, the Marathi playwright and a lot more, imagined the characters delivering equivalent lines in local dialect. A diary entry dated 19 May 1949 mentions Pu La mimicking Eliza, Higgins and Alfred Doolittle to his own text at the residence of Vasant Joglekar.

George Bernard Shaw refused permission for Pygmalion to be adapted into a musical. When he died in 1950, Gabriel Pascal asked lyricists Alan Jay Lerner & his partner Frederick Loewe to adapt the play into a musical. The project was abandoned after two years. Pascal died in 1954. Lerner and Loewe reunited to write the show and then acquired the musical rights from Pascal’s estate. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1956 and two years later appeared in West End as ‘My Fair Lady‘. It was followed by the 1964 film adaptation written by Lerner and directed by George Cukor. The film won 8 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor.

Pygmalion is dark and realistic. My Fair Lady is a light comedy. In Pygmalion, Higgins treats Eliza with arrogance and contempt. Even though it has been omitted from the Gutenberg edition, it is well-known that Higgins scolds Eliza: “Yes, you squashed cabbage-leaf, you disgrace to the noble architecture of these columns, you incarnate insult to the English language! I could pass you off as the Queen of Sheba!“. He softens towards the end in My Fair Lady singing “I’ve grown accustomed to her face“. In the final act, Higgins crosses the limits of decency forcing Eliza to abandon him. She returns to him in My Fair Lady with a suggestive end hinting she might fetch his slippers.

Several adaptations surfaced in India after the runaway success of My Fair Lady. IPTA produced the Urdu Play ‘Azar ka Khwab‘ in July 1970 written by Begum Qudsia Zaidi. Swarasamradni written by Vidyadhar Gokhale showcased in December 1972 about the transformation of a Tamasha artist into a respected classical singer. Madhu Rai’s Gujarati version ‘Santu Rangili’ was produced by Indian National Theatre in Jan 1973. In January 1974, Satish Dubhashi, an extremely talented actor, requested Pu La to write a new play for him. Pu La was very fond of Satish and knew that he would do a great job playing Higgins. He decided to resurrect the characters he had developed in 1949. He completed the first two acts within 48 hours yet required about 4 and a half months to complete the play. Pu La directed the show himself which made its debut in Mumbai on 29 January 1975. Its script was published 19 years later in June 1994 as the play continued its successful run.

I prefer Shaw’s resolution to the musical. I like P L’s denouement even more.

What’s in a name? The original Greek myth & Ovid did not name the female statue turned wife. It does not make sense to assign modern sensibilities to the classic text yet it is clear that original myth was all about Pygmalion. He sculpted the statue, he fell in love with his creation, he made a wish, his wish was granted, he sired a child. Shaw’s version is not all about Pygmalion. He created a strong feminine protagonist. In his own words: ‘Eliza, in telling Higgins she would not marry him if he asked her, was not coquetting: she was announcing a well-considered decision‘. Eventually the play is titled Pygmalion despite the well known fact that it was originally written for the actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell. Incidentally Shaw rejected its provisional title – Fair Eliza. It is the story of Henry Higgins who while being good at his job lacks other attributes. The screenplay and dialogues are deliberately structured to reach the only possible conclusion that Eliza and Henry can’t live happily ever after.

Pu La named his play Ti Phulrani (ती फुलराणी – The Flowerqueen ) borrowing the title from a very famous poem by Balkavi, a pen name of Tryambak Bapuji Thombre, well known for his delicate and picturesque nature poems. Poems by Balkavi can be divided in three broad groups: poems depicting subtle phenomenon in nature, poems depicting emotional strife and finally the agnostic, meditative and philosophical poems. The title poem discussed here illustrates Balkavi’s approach to Nature poems where he personifies aspects of nature with human emotions. In this poem, stars fill the earth with love and hope, the brook dances and rejoices and the ray of the rising Sun makes love to the Flower.

नवरदेव सोनेरी रविकर – नवरी ही फुलराणी सुंदर !

The literal translation of this famous line: ‘Golden Sun is the Groom who marries his Beautiful Bride, the Flower’ is more relevant and applicable to our play. The title of Marathi version borrows its name from a classical nature poem that implicitly refers to marriage of the female protagonist through allusion to the term Queen. Pu La does not make superficial changes to Shaw’s plot for an alternative ending. In his tribute to Shaw, he faithfully retains skeleton of the original to build his own castle which reflects the times and his own sensibilities. [Click here for the similarities and dissimilarities between Wordsworth and Balkavi.]

We have seen that Shaw calls his heroine Eliza following Goethe referring to the lead female from a different Pygmalion story. This is how we find out her name in the play:

PICKERING [very courteous] Won’t you sit down?

LIZA [coyly] Don’t mind if I do. [She sits down. Pickering returns to the hearthrug].

HIGGINS. What’s your name?

THE FLOWER GIRL. Liza Doolittle.

HIGGINS [declaiming gravely] Eliza, Elizabeth, Betsy and Bess, They went to the woods to get a birds nes’: PICKERING. They found a nest with four eggs in it: HIGGINS. They took one apiece, and left three in it.

They laugh heartily at their own wit.

The Bird’s nest is a nursery rhyme where Eliza, Betsy and Bess are all forms of the original name which is Elizabeth. Hence only one egg is taken leaving three behind. We can see both Pickering (who is a gentleman and very courteous to Eliza) and Higgins mocking her at the outset. Now compare this with the equivalent introduction by P L:

विसुभाऊ:(खुर्ची उचलून) बसा बाई, बसा.
[मंजुळा खुर्ची स्वच्छ करून बसते]
अशोक : नाव काय तुझें
मंजुळा : मंजुळा … दगडू … साळुंखे
अशोक: वा, काय गोड नाव आहे! विसुभाऊ लक्षात आलं का? साळुंकी मंजूळ बोलतसे वाणी …
विसुभाऊ: शिकविता धनी वेगळाची, वेगळाची!

Visubhau: (places the stray chair) Madam, please sit down.
[Manjula wipes the seat before sitting]
Ashok: What is your name?
Manjula: Manjula (sweet) … Dagdu (stone) … Salunkhe [myna bird]
Ashok: Wow, what a sweet name! Visubhau, did you get it? The myna bird sings sweetly ..
Visubhau:  But the master who teaches her is different altogether!

This extract demonstrates how the structure is retained while making subtle refinements. Visubhau isn’t merely acting like a gentleman; he believes that Eliza is his equal by addressing her as Madam and placing a chair for her. (Later he extends the same courtesy to Eliza’s step-mother.) Eliza may belong to a lower social circle but has already learnt some of the upper class manners by observing others. Upon hearing her name the two men, instead of mocking her with a children’s rhyme, appreciate it by remembering a famous hymn:

आपुलिया बळें नाहीं मी बोलत । सखा भगवंत वाचा त्याची ॥
साळुंकी मंजूळ बोलतसे वाणी । शिकविता धणी वेगळाची ॥

Between 14th  & 17th century, a spiritual movement swept through India led by a group of Saints including Saint Tukaram who was a prominent spiritual poet from Maharashtra. His devotional poetry, called Abhang meaning flawless, had themes varying from humility, equality, concern for ecology and God’s Grace. The partially quoted hymn begins with the assertion that the words I utter are a grace of God (and not of my own accord) in the same way that a Mynabird sings sweetly by the grace of her Master.

The hymn differentiates Henry from Ashok. I think Shaw’s Henry is based on a José Mourinho like coach who believes that he buys only those footballers that have the talent and desire to excel. He won’t waste his time on a player if he felt differently about him. So the success of his team is a result of his planning and acumen. On the other hand my subjective opinion is that Ashok is like Arséne Wenger – grateful that he gets an opportunity to coach players who arrive at the club with a strong desire to improve.

By the way, both Manjula & Eliza react in the same way calling the men silly for leaving the thread of conversation and quoting obscure poems. When Eliza arrives at Wimpole street to pay for her lessons Shaw’s descriptive notes in the script make a few things clear:

MRS. PEARCE [returning] This is the young woman, sir.

The flower girl enters in state. She has a hat with three ostrich feathers, orange, sky-blue, and red. She has a nearly clean apron, and the shoddy coat has been tidied a little. The pathos of this deplorable figure, with its innocent vanity and consequential air, touches Pickering, who has already straightened himself in the presence of Mrs. Pearce. But as to Higgins, the only distinction he makes between men and women is that when he is neither bullying nor exclaiming to the heavens against some featherweight cross, he coaxes women as a child coaxes its nurse when it wants to get anything out of her. [emphasis mine]

HIGGINS [brusquely, recognizing her with unconcealed disappointment, and at once, baby-like, making an intolerable grievance of it] Why, this is the girl I jotted down last night. She’s no use: I’ve got all the records I want of the Lisson Grove lingo; and I’m not going to waste another cylinder on it. [To the girl] Be off with you: I don’t want you.

The book was released 19 years after the first show of the Marathi play which was originally directed by the author and that may be the reason we do not find any equivalent notes in Marathi text. When Eliza offers to pay a shilling, Higgins assumes that she earns about a half-a-crown which would be two-fifths of her day’s income. On the other hand, when Manjula offers to pay ₹10, Ashok calculates her monthly income to be roughly ₹40 after inquiring about her daily earnings. Soon after accepting her as a pupil, Henry mentions that within six months Eliza ‘shall marry an officer in the Guards, with a beautiful moustache‘. Needless to mention that in an otherwise faithful adaptation of this act, Pu La discards this line about Eliza’s marriage and later one about Henry’s bachelorhood. When Pickering demands a character certificate from Henry, he replies:

HIGGINS [coming off the piano restlessly] Oh, Lord knows! I suppose the woman wants to live her own life; and the man wants to live his; and each tries to drag the other on to the wrong track. One wants to go north and the other south; and the result is that both have to go east, though they both hate the east wind. [He sits down on the bench at the keyboard]. So here I am, a confirmed old bachelor, and likely to remain so.

After everyone agrees that Eliza will remain at Wimpole Street for her lessons, Mrs Pearce calmly lists the things Henry must follow such as being tidy and avoid swearing. He agrees to improve his behaviour. Later he moans to Pickering that despite being a diffident sort of man he gets portrayed as an overbearing boss. In the same situation Ashok jokes to Visubhau that he may be the only bachelor in the world who lives with his mother-in-law.

Shaw hides Eliza’s qualities in the first two acts. Her intelligence, superb memory, ability to produce sounds etc are revealed when she visits Henry’s mother in the third act. She is ‘devoted’ to the two men in this act before becoming independent in Acts IV and V. Perhaps it was a deliberate attempt by Shaw to surprise the audience as the play unravels but I prefer Manjula who displays her native intelligence from the opening act.

Alfred Doolittle, the garbage collector, is the undeserving poor. His last name indicates that he wants to get around without doing much. The character is created to make satirical barbs at middle class morality – ‘But my needs is as great as the most deserving widow’s that ever got money out of six different charities in one week for the death of the same husband ‘. Higgins and Pickering are delighted to hear his Poetic English – ‘I’ll tell you, Governor, if you’ll only let me get a word in. I’m willing to tell you. I’m wanting to tell you. I’m waiting to tell you‘. Dagadoba in PL’s version is as good and unlike Alfred he continues to sprinkle rhyming couplets throughout the play. I am quoting a few examples without transliteration and translation:

जीव कुट जडलं आन कुठलं झाड कुट वाडलं
सौदा पटवा माल उठवा
आपुन केल्यालं आपुनच भोगनार आन आपुन खाल्यालं आपुनच हगनार
गुरं हाकनाराच्या आन बाया राकनाराच्या

My gripe about the Marathi adaptation is limited to the weaker version of Henry’s mother. Both Mrs. Higgins and Aaisaheb chide their only son for his lack of manners. In fact, Higgins is responsible only for improving Eliza’s pronunciation and rudimentary knowledge. The real transformation is in her manners which Henry can’t teach. In Pygmalion, Mrs. Higgins gets to speak the following lines in the third act:

MRS. HIGGINS. You certainly are a pretty pair of babies, playing with your live doll.
MRS. HIGGINS. No, you two infinitely stupid male creatures: the problem of what is to be done with her afterwards.
MRS. HIGGINS. No, dearest: it would be quite proper—say on a canal barge; but it would not be proper for her at a garden party.
MRS. HIGGINS [flings down her pen; grips the table angrily and exclaims] Oh, men! men!! men!!!

And a few in the final act:

MRS. HIGGINS. Please don’t grind your teeth, Henry.
MRS. HIGGINS. Very nicely put, indeed, Henry. No woman could resist such an invitation.

I believe that Pu La compromised the strong mother character in lieu of civilising Ashok. Aaisaheb does put down Ashok but not with the ferocity of Mrs. Higgins. It is a common misconception that Ti Phulrani is based on My Fair Lady which can be easily cleared by placing the script of both versions next to each other. Or we can point to the fact that Freddy Hill does not have a sister in Lerner’s version. Clara Eynsford Hill speaks the opening line of the play complaining to her mother that Freddy could not fetch a cab on time. In the third act, all three Eynsford’s visit Mrs. Higgins’ Chelsea flat on her at-home day. Henry invites Eliza to test her skills in upper society scrutinising how she pronounces and what she pronounces. She does well on how but ends up encouraging Clara to learn ‘the new small talk‘ in terms of what.

Act III in both versions is very similar barring a clever change in the Marathi version albeit at the cost of weakening the mother character. It opens with Henry turning up uninvited on the at-home day of Mrs. Higgins. He explains his bet with Pickering and the social experiment with a common flower girl. Mrs. and Miss Eynsford Hill arrive just before mother can make any protest. Freddy, Pickering and Eliza join them soon. Eliza makes an impact with her pedantic speech. But when the conversation moves to Influenza, she slips into her native accent revealing alcoholism in the family. Henry explains the slippage as the ‘new small talk‘. When Eliza gets up to leave, Freddy offers to walk her but she exclaims, “Walk! Not bloody likely. I am going in a taxi.” Clara is smitten with Eliza and tries to imitate her speech. After the guests leave, Mrs. Higgins admonishes Henry and Pickering in a series of criticisms quoted above. The act ends when she is left exasperated gasping ‘men! men!! men!!!‘.

Ashok appears unannounced on a Friday afternoon at a time when guests are expected. He gets his mother up to date about his bet with Visubhau and his invitation to the common flower girl. After hearing him out she points out, in a relatively gentle manner, the difficulty of Manjula’s new station at the end of their experiment. The three members of Patwardhan family from the opening act arrive. They are joined by Visubhau and Manjula. Manjula impresses everyone with her diction. The conversation moves to influenza. Manjula slips into her accent and describes family history using colloquial verbs like खपवली, लाटली, फूटवली which are used to describe theft and murder. Vasant (Freddy) thinks that she is merely imitating “the new small talk”. When Manjula gets up to leave, Vasant offers to walk her but she exclaims, “हितं कोन रांडीचं चालायला बसलंय!“. Suma is smitten with Manjula so Ashok encourages her not be afraid and use the new small talk at other parties too.

During 1930s, Motion Picture Association’s code prohibited the use of word damn in the film. An amendment was passed to allow the word in special situations a month and half before the release of Gone with the Wind  which paved the way for the iconic, ‘Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn‘ line. All the other actresses, except Mrs. Patrick Campbell, refused to say the taboo word ‘bloody’ spoken by Eliza when Pygmalion made its West End Debut. With passage of time, in an élite setting, Damn and Bloody got replaced by the asterisked F word to shock the audience.

रांडीचं used by Manjula is the equivalent shock word for Shaw’s ‘bloody’. Relatively It does not seem out of place when uttered by supposedly uncouth Manjula. Suma is a middle class Brahmin girl expected to carry the burden of middle class morality. Ashok instigates Suma to use some of Manjula’s choice crass phrases. At his prompt about not being afraid, Suma retorts, “हितं कोन रांडीचं भ्यायला बसलंय!” (“Who the F$*@ is afraid!”) just before the curtain falls.

Shaw’s 1912 version does not waste any ink in Educating Eliza but his 1941 film script includes the famous pronunciation exercises “the rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain” and “In Hertford, Hereford, and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly ever happen”. According to The Disciple and His Devil, the biography of Gabriel Pascal by his wife Valerie, it was Gabriel who introduced the famous phonetic exercises. Elizabeth’s lessons were further expanded by Lerner in My Fair Lady to the extent that she gets frustrated and dreams of various ways to kill Henry.

Manjula’s education is covered in depth by PL. It begins with prose in a traditional ‘once upon a time’ story and right at the beginning Pu La makes fun of superficial politeness using a sweet exchange in native dialect between Manjula and Visubhau to highlight their camaraderie. Visubhau and Ashok brainstorm about an appropriate poem and settle on two nature poems by Balkavi. One of them is the popular monsoon rain song and the other one is the Title poem discussed earlier. Ashok buys Manjula a ring when she flawlessly recites that poem after 15 days of hard work. Henry too buys a ring for Eliza in Brighton but we don’t know whether it was a reward for any specific act of hers or in general. In between when the going gets tough, Manjula too gets to daydream on stage wishing awful things for Ashok.

There is a small difference between Eliza and Manjula’s fantasy. Eliza dreams of shouting out “Ready, aim, fire” in the concluding verse of “Just you wait, ‘enry ‘iggins, just you wait“. Manjula’s reverie ends with ‘शरन आल्यावं देऊ नये मरन‘ – ‘pardon the death sentence for those who surrender’.

नांदी or a benediction/precursor used to be the first piece of text in Sanskrit dramas including the celebrated plays by Bhāsa, Śūdraka & Kālidāsa. It is kind of opening prayer generally praising Shiva followed by a short dialogue between the narrator and members of the troupe to introduce title, author and theme of the play. Pu La brilliantly reuses that tradition to introduce vowels and consonants in a Balkavi-like personification of the letters. He explains the origins of guttural, palatal, retroflex, dental, labial, approximant and fricative sounds without getting technical. He goes on to declare that ego set in immediately when sounds came together to form words resulting in discrimination based on pronunciation. He ends his benediction by crediting Shaw for Pygmalion and himself for its adaptation in Marathi.

In his introduction to the 1914 script, Shaw boasts that:

 .. Pygmalion has been an extremely successful play all over Europe and North America as well as at home. It is so intensely and deliberately didactic, and its subject is esteemed so dry, that I delight in throwing it at the heads of the wiseacres who repeat the parrot cry that art should never be didactic. It goes to prove my contention that art should never be anything else.

Pu La is more Rakjumar Hirani than Rakesyh Mehra. He knows his audience thoroughly – a few lessons will do but never get preachy. He does not want to tell the audience how ignoramus they are. Mehra tried that in Delhi 6, soon after the success of Rang de Basanti, asking people to look in a mirror and correct their own biases. Not unexpectedly, viewers disapproved a film whose solution wasn’t gunning down the politician to solve all the problems. Pu La is loved universally. An artist/sportsman manages a larger following by keeping his personal views to himself.

Shaw joined the Fabian Society, a socialist political organisation, in 1884. The society championed systematic, progressive legislation based on mass education and persuasion. The society started releasing essays, written by famous and prominent figures, including Shaw and attracted a lot of literary and speech talents, thus ensuring influence among British intellectuals and eventually government officials. Many Fabians participated in the formation of the Labour Party in 1900. His plays dealt with issues such as women’s rights and poverty and implied that socialism could help solve capitalist problems. Shaw’s popularity declined after his essay Common Sense About the War (1914), which was considered unpatriotic. With Saint Joan (1924), portraying Joan of Arc four years after she was declared a saint, Shaw was again accepted by the post-war public.

In Act IV, after a triumphant evening, Eliza’s independent spirit stands up to Henry’s bullying. In the beginning she fetches Henry’s slippers like a loyal puppy. By the end she taunts him until he loses his temper and enjoys the spectacle. Their argument in Pygmalion is decisive with no reconciliation in final act. Pu La retains the skeleton of the argument but leaves the bitter stuff so that Ashok can regain common sense in the final act of reconciliation. Shaw gets preachy in this section managing to put his finger on the society even after a hundred years:

If you’re going to be a lady, you’ll have to give up feeling neglected if the men you know don’t spend half their time snivelling over you and the other half giving you black eyes.

If you can’t appreciate what you’ve got, you’d better get what you can appreciate.

Independence? That’s middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.

In the postscript essay ‘What Happened Afterwards’, he quotes Nietzsche: “When you go to women, take your whip with you.” Then he adds:

Sensible despots have never confined that precaution to women: they have taken their whips with them when they have dealt with men, and been slavishly idealized by the men over whom they have flourished the whip much more than by women. No doubt there are slavish women as well as slavish men; and women, like men, admire those that are stronger than themselves.

In conclusion, if Pygmalion is adapted again, the creators can characterise Henry and Pickering in a civil partnership at the beginning and the play can end with Eliza, Henry and Pickering as ‘three old bachelors together instead of only two men and a silly girl.

Pygmalion and Galatea (Gérôme) Front

Pygmalion and Galatea (Gérôme) Front

Reserve Day for a Knockout Match

Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka hosted South Africa and Sri Lanka for the first semi-final of Wills International Cup on 30th October 1998. Damp ground delayed the start and match was reduced initially to 40 and eventually to 39 overs. South Africa scored 240/7 batting first. Rain returned during the break. Match committee reduced Sri Lankan innings to 34 overs and the first Duckworth Lewis target of 224 was set.

1999 World Cup started about 6 months later. England faced India in a must win match at Edgbaston on 29th May. India scored 232/8 on a slowish pitch. After 20.3 overs, England reached 73/3 when a downpour ensured the match could not be continued. D/L targets were used in two other matches before the World Cup and it was time to apply it for the first time in a World Cup match. But ICC had decided to make use of a reserve day. England’s target of 233 from 50 overs  was unchanged when the match continued on 30th May. Hosts were bowled out for 169 in 46th over. D/L did not come into play as the scheduled 50 over match was completed on the reserve day.

A week later, New Zealand and Zimbabwe played a Super Six game at Headingley. Zimbabwe innings was interrupted twice due to rain but overs were not reduced. New Zealand, facing a target of 176 in 50 overs, reached 70/3 in 15 overs when bad light stopped play. Reserve day was used once again. At least 25 overs had to be completed to constitute a game. No play was possible on 7th June and the match was abandoned.

Few months later, Reserve day was used in the 4th ODI between West Indies and New Zealand at Wellington. At close of Day 1, West Indies reached 43/1 in 11th over. A 50 over game was continued on the next day when New Zealand successfully chased the target of 172 from 50 overs.

ICC Champions Trophy played in September 2004 witnessed 4 rain affected games. England beat Zimbabwe on reserve day after reaching 198/5 in 38 overs on Day 1. There was no play on scheduled day between Kenya and Pakistan but a 50 over match was completed on reserve day. South Africa beat West Indies over 100 overs on 18-19 September. England v Sri Lanka was the sole exception. England reached 118/3 in 32 overs at close of play eventually reaching 251 in 50 overs. Sri Lanka reached 95/5 in 24 overs after which play was not possible. England won the match by 49 runs according to D/L method.

ICC World Cup 2007. Super Eight match between West Indies and Australia continued on reserve day. Australia scored 322/6 in 50 overs on 27th March. West Indies was bowled out for 219 on 28th March in the 46th over.

A reserve day to continue a 50 over match in a multilateral tournament. If the match still can’t be completed then a result is still possible in case the second innings has progressed sufficiently. Side finishing higher in league stage to qualify in case of a knock-out match with no result. Appears fine to me.

It does not appear fine to ICC though. In the recent first semifinal between South Africa and New Zealand, rain interrupted the charge by Proteas after 38 overs. 216/3 in 38 was projected to culminate in 324 off 50 if the momentum was maintained.

The revised playing conditions for this edition required a curtailed game to be completed on the scheduled day. The reserve day would come into play only if team batting second did not finish playing 20 overs. After the interruption, the match was reduced to 43 overs which means South Africa had 5 more overs to get as many. They added 65 runs in those 30 balls. A projection is just a projection but around 320 in 50 overs remained likely. Kiwis successfully chased the revised D/L target of 298 in 43 overs despite remaining slightly below par score until the winning six.

My earlier post proposed Wicket Adjusted Run Rate (WARR) as a simpler alternative to set revised targets.

What if West Indies had to play towards a target of 178 in 50 overs with the knowledge that only 30 overs are possible? This means that the target for the loss of 0 through 4 wickets is still 107 but it increases to 122/5, 139/6, 153/7, 163/8 or 172/9. In order to win the match by wickets, West Indies had to score the 50 over target in less than 30 overs and in that case the match would be deemed complete as a heavy victory saving more than 120 balls. To tie the match the tenth wicket falls with scores level.

By that logic, India would get a target of 224 in 47 overs for the 1992 WC match against Australia as long as it lost no more than 8 wickets else it must score 230/9. To win the match outright with wickets in hand, the target of 238 must be achieved in less than 47 overs.

It is based on the principle that 10 wickets are proportional to 50 overs. In a shorter game, team batting second will find it easier to chase a stiffer asking rate if the target is not scaled by wickets lost. In the first semi-final Kiwis scored at nearly 7 runs an over losing 6 wickets in 43 overs. It can be argued that South Africa would have defended an assumed target of 325 in 50 overs despite the lower asking rate of 6.5. The best thing about that scenario is that the goal post would not be shifted for one of the teams.

This post is not about the method to be used to decide an interrupted game. It is about playing a 100 over match. If required use the second day. WARR is mentioned because it calculates a wicket adjusted 50 over equivalent. Team batting second can’t lose too many wickets because the face fewer deliveries.

On a side note, there were too many fumbles in the semifinal. The argument is that a knockout game creates such pressure that mistakes happen. Another recent post argues that there should be only 1 knock out game – The Final! Teams progress from one stage to another based on good overall results. One bad day should not mean curtains for an otherwise consistent in-form team. If medicority is par for course at the business end of a marquee tournament then we are better off by keeping it down to just one game.

ODI Double Hundreds

The first ODI double hundred was scored in match #2962. It took too long. One may expect Viv Richards to achieve the feat in the 55/60-over era. Richards is, and will likely remain, the best ODI batsmen because he combined occupying crease with quick scoring at a rate significantly higher than his peers. He twice scored over 180. Facing Botham and Willis in 1984 at Old Trafford in a 55 over match, he remained unbeaten on 189 after facing 170 deliveries. 9th wicket fell at 166 after which he carried West Indies to 272 in the company of Michael Holding. There were 21 fours and 5 sixes in that knock where others struggled. During 1987 World Cup, he came in facing the hat-trick ball. Took him only 124 balls to reach 181. He had a chance to beat his own record of 189 and also become the first to score a double hundred. Instead he was caught aiming for his 8th six. The second instance was the realistic chance which did not materialise.

Tendulkar,  a notch below Viv, was an extremely good batsman in ’90s especially after he started opening. An opener carrying the bat did not accelerate in the closing stages during the period when Sachin was ahead of his peers. There were fewer boundaries and more singles to be run. Fitness regime was different and the bats had not become axes. Tendulkar was an unlikely candidate to score 200. There were some one-off scores close to 200 when scoring rates improved in general. I expected Sehwag or Dilshan to reach the milestone because they had the ability to score quickly in the early overs and carry on batting quick until the last ten. Gilchrist was lower in that list as I did not expect him to pace the innings just to get to a milestone. Watson got very close to getting the first double hundred that too batting second. Alas the target was only 230.

On 24 Feb 2010 at Gwalior against South Africa in the 2nd ODI, Tendulkar scored his 46th ODI ton in the 28th over in 90 balls without hitting any six. The next 50 runs were scored in 28 balls which included 1 six. India scored 264/2 in 37.3 overs at this stage. Enough time to get the remaining 50 runs. at 300/3 (41.1), Dhoni joined Sachin and took charge of scoring. Tendulkar scored 191 at the end of 45th over. There was plenty of time to get the remaining 9. He got those by scoring 2, 2, 1, 1, 0, 1, 0, 1 & 1 while Dhoni scored 68(35). It took 147 balls with 25 fours and 3 sixes. Barely 3 balls remained when the summit was reached. It was an unusual 200. The others to follow used a different approach.

Gayle scored the first double hundred at the World Cup at Canberra against Zimbabwe exactly 5 years later. He reached his 100 in 105 balls after 35.3 overs despite the 5 sixes. At the end of powerplay and 40th over he raced to 134. 150 was reached in 126 balls including 10 sixes. The next 12 balls were dispatched for 1, 6, 4, 6, 4, 6, 6, 6, 1, 6, 1 & 4 for the fastest 200 in 138 balls. Only 46 overs were bowled at this point. After that Samuels took over the demolition job while Gayle finished with 215 out of the team total of 372.

In less than a month Guptill trumped Gayle when he scored 237* in the fourth quarterfinal against West Indies. His 100 came off 111 balls with 12 fours and no sixes in the 35th over of the match. He reached 145 at the end of 40th. With the help of 8 sixes and 21 fours, his milestone was reached in 152 balls. Unlike Gayle and Tendulkar, he remained aggressive till the last delivery to finish at 237* in 163 balls.

Then there was Sehwag who achieved the feat in Dec 2011 at Indore. He reached 150 in 36th over with 16 fours and 5 sixes in 112 balls. When he reached 200 off 140 balls only 43.3 overs were bowled. He was dismissed by Pollard in the 47th over after scoring 219 in 149 balls. This was an innings where the number of runs scored were inconsequential. He played his innings at an even tempo in a way that only he can.

Rohit Sharma scored his first double hundred by reaching the milestone in the last over. He started cautiously but his second hundred was scored in only 42 balls. This innings was a practice run for his second double hundred to set a new record.

Second time around, Rohit Sharma scored 100 off 100 balls in 32nd over. By 39th over he had reached 150. He ensured facing as many deliveries as possible. Double hundred was scored in 46th over after facing 151 balls. Par for a typical score of 200. He hogged the strike in last 4 overs, adding 8 more fours and 4 sixes to take his personal tally to 264. in other words, he scored at roughly 16 an over after reaching his double hundred. And that is the template for a massive individual first innings score. Bat First. Bat High. Bat through. Face around 150 deliveries out of possible 300. A run a ball hundred by 30th over, consolidation by 35th followed by an assault in the last 15 overs. Do not fret about dot balls at the top of the innings as long as you back yourself to hit sixes – plenty of them – in the slog overs.

Tendulkar’s 200 is a link to a different time. It is not enough to get runs in singles and boundaries. The future 200s rely on the ability to wield an axe and make use of the generous fielding restrictions.

Does that mean 300 is also possible? It may not happen soon but whenever a side batting first scores over 350, I will look forward to the second innings where  top order batsmen gets the chance to reach the first double hundred while chasing.

Tournament format for 28 teams

Champions League is played in two halves – round robin followed by knockouts.

First half is played between September and December. It involves 32 teams in 8 groups of 4. Each team plays 3 home and 3 away games. Top two from each group qualify for knockouts played in second half.

Second half is played between February and May. Finalists get to play 7 more matches over four rounds. First three rounds – round of 16, quarter final and semi final – are played home and away. A single final is played at a predetermined venue.

32 teams are seeded and split in 4 pots. A draw decides the formation of 8 groups. Generally there is no surprise in which two teams qualify from a group. Only 1 or 2 groups with evenly matched teams from pot 2 & 3 make the double round robin phase unpredictable.

The second half is partly influenced by luck. Generally the best team wins. Occasionally an inspired team pulls it off.

Any performance, whether individual or team, is part skill and part luck. In an unseeded knockout tournament like FA cup, evenly matched teams may get drawn against each other in earlier rounds. This system may eliminate strong teams while promoting weaker sides based on luck.

An off day means bye-bye for a contender in a knock out tournament. League format ensures that on occasional lapse does not cost the most consistent winner but can’t offer that dramatic showdown between the best on a widely telecast sold out final.

13 games are played by two finalists. They face a maximum of 7 teams out of remaining 31. These 13 games can be played in an alternate league format which involves 28 teams (not 32).

28 teams will be seeded but placed in 7 pots of 4 instead of 4 pots of 8 teams. A draw decides the 4 groups with 1 team each from the seven pots. Top 4 teams in pot 1 will be placed in Group A, B, C & D initially. Repeat the process for teams ranked 5-8 from second pot. Then 9-12 from third pot etc.

Each team will play 6 matches in first round between September and December. If the draw puts pot 1 team at home against pot 2 team then it will play team from pot 3 away. Another draw determines the home/away fate against 4/5 and then 6/7. Thus each team plays three matches at home and three away.

There will be 4 (groups) * 7 (teams) * 6 (matches) / 2 (teams in a game) = 84 matches. 96 games are played over 12 match days in the current format with half the teams playing on a Tuesday and other half on Wednesday. It means 6 mid-weeks are earmarked for group stage. An additional week 7 will be required in the alternate format. 1 of the 7 teams in each group will rest in every match week while other 6 play in three matches.

Presently winner and runners-up move to next round and 3rd team qualifies for Europa League. Top 4 teams will qualify for second round in the proposed format. No thoughts on Europa League in this post.

A draw determines how the old 4 groups are matched to form new group E and F. Let us assume that A will play B and C plays D. We have 2 groups of 8 teams. Each team must face 7 others or in other words 4 new teams from the other group because each team carries forward points against 3 other qualifying teams.

Round of 16 is played in 4 match weeks of February & March. Half the teams play and the other half takes rest during these weeks. It is followed by Quarter Finals in 2 match weeks of April where everyone plays. This proposal recommends that each team plays in 4 of the 6 match weeks while other 2 are rested. At present 24 matches are played in R16 & QF. 32 matches are required in proposed format.

Group winners and runners-up qualify for third round to form the new group G. Points earned against the fellow group team are carried forward. Each team will play one home and one away game in the first fortnight of May against teams from the other group.

Final will be played at a predetermined venue either in second fortnight of May or early June.

In both these formats, finalists get to play 13 matches and 2 other teams play 12 matches. But the proposed format guarantees 10 matches each for the other 12 qualifying teams. This means an involvement for more clubs to remain in contention until April.

How long since the two sides that regularly reach Round of 16, Arsenal and Real Madrid, faced each other? This format ensures 4 Group G teams will face 12 clubs, 12 Group E/F teams get a game against 10 sides, and remaining 12 have an opportunity to play 6 teams. Playing in Europe should be actually about playing as many sides in Europe as possible. That is what this 28 team format offers.


The above proposal required fleshing out equivalence for three qualifying and one play off round of Champions League. Besides no thoughts on Europa League. I prefer league format and dislike penalties so above text remained in my drafts folder when I suddenly noticed that 6+4+2+1= 13 = 6+2+2+2+1.

Tendulkar called for a 25-team Cricket World Cup in 2019. I believe that more teams should get a chance to play official ODIs. I also prefer a shorter World Cup involving Associates. Since I have thoughts for a 28-team tournament I took the opportunity to update above draft version.

I have dreamt up 28 teams and placed them in four groups:

India South Africa Australia Sri Lanka
New Zealand Pakistan West Indies England
Bangladesh Zimbabwe Ireland Afghanistan
Scotland Kenya Netherlands UAE
Canada Uganda Nepal Namibia
Bermuda USA Malaysia Singapore
Italy Tanzania Cayman Islands Argentina

Pot 4 team Scotland will host the bottom 3 Canada, Bermuda and Italy in a quadrangular. Pot 3 team Bangladesh will independently host these three teams in another quadrangular at a different time. Pot 3 & Pot 4 teams are likely to host each other in a regular bilateral tour and one of those games will count towards the group match.

Pot 1 teams will host three other teams from their group for a quadrangular and Pot 2 teams will host 2 remaining countries for a triangular tournament two years before the World Cup. Assume India plays Bangladesh, Canada and Italy and New Zealand plays Scotland and Bermuda. Next season, in year before World Cup, India will play Scotland and Bermuda and New Zealand will host other 3. Bottom 5 teams will be exposed to both the top 2 teams AWAY which will further help if these teams are allowed to play in domestic first class seasons too. Top 8 teams play bilaterals so any 1 of those games will constitute as the group qualifying match.

Top 2 teams will face bottom 5 only once but other teams will face each other more often. Top 2 are unlikely to have any appetite for further games but bottom 5 would like to participate in as many official ODIs as possible (but only one of the several encounters will count towards group standing).

I am not in favour of associates getting games opposite various A teams in lieu of an official ODI. Top 8 teams may choose to field a reserve side but every performance from lower ranked teams should count in official statistics.

Tennis tournaments are categorised. Every game is official but fewer points in Challenger events. Winning an upper tier tournament could fetch 250, 500, 1000, 1500 or a maximum 2000 point for a Grand Slam. Relative Value Model converts runs, wickets, catches etc to points which makes comparison across disciplines feasible. Total points for a match are incremented based on the stage of a tournament and number of teams involved. On the other hand matches involving Associates are discounted to level points earned against weaker sides. Lower ranked teams will improve quicker with official ODIs even if stats are discounted. It is better than the stats not getting recognised at all.

Phase 1 of 28 team World Cup will be spread out across seasons to be played in several countries. That means we will not have the same 15 for the entire tournament. FIFA labels its marquee event as World Cup Finals. The matches played a year in advance are World Cup Qualifiers. Practically every nation participates while a player who did not play the qualifiers may get selected for the main event. Here Phase 1 is largely the qualifier stage to narrow 28 teams to 16.

The main event should begin with two matches per group: One between Pot 1 & Pot 2 teams and another between Pot 3 & Pot 4 teams. After these 8 matches we will be able to identify top 4 teams from each group ending the qualifier stage, Let us assume Group A faces Group B during the World Cup and Group C is pitted against Group D. Effectively we are at Super 8 stage played in two new groups. India will face South Africa, Pakistan, Zimbabwe & Kenya during main event while carrying forward the points against New Zealand, Bangladesh and Scotland. In another group Australia will face Sri Lanka, England, Afghanistan & UAE while carrying forward points against West Indies, Ireland and Netherlands. There will be a total of 32 matches in the second stage of main event.

Group winners and runners-up qualify for next round. Points earned against the fellow group team are carried forward. The 4 teams left will play 2 more matches against opposition from the other group. Assuming Pot 1 teams qualify: India will face Australia and Sri Lanka and carry the points against South Africa. South Africa will also play Australia and Sri Lanka. There will be 4 matches at this stage.

Top 2 teams will face a single final. Thus we will have a short world cup with 8+32+4+1=45 matches with at least 16 teams involved in the main event along with some context for 12 more lower ranked teams.

The Paramount Utility of the 10th Wicket

We observe. We measure. We try to be accurate. Assuming we have enough reliable observations we measure centrality of the data. The central value (or average) can be computed in a number of ways so we choose the most appropriate method. The central value need not be the most frequent observation. In fact it need not match any observation. Still it offers a benchmark which can be used beneficially.

Representing a whole set by a single value is bare bones modelling. Models are used to reduce an object. The object may or may not be complex. Complexity is stripped by focussing on essentials to understand what lies beneath. Earth is not a perfect sphere but its model will be spherical.

Of course we need more than a basic model. We observe a system; we understand its guiding principles; we try to find the chief causes that affect its core behaviour. And then we try to build a model that mimics most of whatever happens.

George Box said:

Now it would be very remarkable if any system existing in the real world could be exactly represented by any simple model. However, cunningly chosen parsimonious models often do provide remarkably useful approximations. For example, the law PV = RT relating pressure P, volume V and temperature T of an “ideal” gas via a constant R is not exactly true for any real gas, but it frequently provides a useful approximation and furthermore its structure is informative since it springs from a physical view of the behavior of gas molecules.

For such a model there is no need to ask the question “Is the model true?”. If “truth” is to be the “whole truth” the answer must be “No”. The only question of interest is “Is the model illuminating and useful?”.

The Relative Value Model to determine player contributions in a limited overs match is wrong. But is it useful?

The model is driven by:

  • Actual values only. No predictive element.
  • Most of the matches are equal. A select few are more equal. A bilateral between any two teams is equal. The same encounter in a World Cup tournament is more equal.
  • Total points for a match will be same irrespective of who played whom in an uniterrupted match. Fewer match points when matches interrupted.
  • A uniform margin of victory will determine the share for each team. Points will be shared equally in tied matches.
  • The difference in scoring rate of two teams and ‘averaged‘ scores from earlier matches determine whether batting unit contributed more towards margin of victory (or defeat) or bowling. This ‘advantage’ will be used to calculate the share of total team batting points out of total team points. In tight matches, whether low scoring or not, this advantage will be close to zero as both sides found it equally easy(or difficult) to score. In one sided matches, the entire credit may go to bowling or batting unit but usually it will be shared proportionately.
  • Team batting points will be divided amongst all batsmen based on runs scored and scoring rate when the team bats through an innings. Otherwise it will be based on runs scored.
  • Team bowling points will be determined using number of overs bowled, runs conceded, wickets taken and when the wickets were taken by each bowler. The value for wickets is higher if opposition is bowled out and even higher when it is bowled out early. Wickets are valued less when the top order bats till the end but a bit more when the lower order batsmen are facing the final delivery.

The current Relative Value model relies solely on information recorded in scorecards. The model is called Relative because Value of every performance is measured against remaining 21. It does not scan the scorecard against a set of tests to create an index by allocating weights to each measure. In future ball by ball data will also be used to determine Relative Value. This is required to measure runs scored or conceded based on match situation. When plenty of wickets fall too soon, the absolute number of runs added will matter and not the rate of scoring those runs. Which brings us to the topic of this post. The value of taking the 10th wicket vis-a-vis the price paid for not taking all ten.

The longer version played in two innings format is won by bowling out the opposition twice and scoring an extra run. It does not matter whether runs were scored quickly or not. Margin of victory is determined by extra runs scored or innings/wickets saved. A limited overs match, on the other hand, is won by scoring an extra run in fewest possible deliveries. It does not matter how many wickets were lost. For example a bonus point is awarded when a side batting second wins by more than 10 overs. Teams are willing to sacrifice wickets to achieve this objective.

A specialist batsman does not bowl but every bowler must bat. In the longer format bowlers do not have a choice because an innings will not come to an end until the 10th wicket falls (or the captain forfeits remaining wickets) but in the limited overs edition a typical tailender often does not have to face bowling when batsmen do their job well. McGrath had to face a delivery in about 25% ODI matches only.

Openers have an advantage. A bowler is restricted by the maximum overs allowed in a match. An opening batsman can bat through the innings without any restriction on number of balls faced. In general, the top 4 batsmen will get a chance to bat and it is their job to bat for bulk of the innings. Others may not get a chance and when they do, it should be for fewer overs. Best to send your best early.

Of course some teams choose to play their best batsman much lower. Think Brian Lara. Misbah-ul-Haq is a more recent case. I think Shaiman Anwar should bat higher for UAE. Does the team’s best batsman need protection? The answer is NO if it is understood that failure is certain but the odds of a longer innings are higher. In any case a team needs more than one good batsman. Anything may happen but playing the strongest quartet at the top means they are more likely to survive collectively as a unit despite individual failures.

The lower order batsmen usually bat towards the end of an innings and are expected to score quickly. It is a different responsibility when a lot of overs remain. An in-form bowler (or a pair) may have done bulk of the damage. The primary task at hand is to see off that spell even if scoring remains attritional for an extended period. When wickets remain in hand then lesser bowlers will have to bowl.

If a team gets bowled out for 120 it does not matter whether they got there in 40, 30 or 20 overs scoring at 3, 4 or 6 Runs Per Over. The effective run rate will be 2.4 in all these cases. On a difficult surface both sides will struggle when the contest is between near equals. Then there are times when bowlers earn bagful of wickets. This is about the times when wickets are gifted while trying to unnecessarily attack.

There is no value in re-iterating common knowledge. Here is a handy guide for a team keen on giving its entire XI a chance to demonstrate its batting prowess. If you are in a situation similar to Pakistan (4 wickets down after 3.1 overs) then the task for 5th wicket is to bat until 34th over. If a wicket falls earlier then the task in hand for 6th wicket partnership is to last until 39th over.

Pakistan scored 160 despite losing 4 wickets for 1 run. Bunch of wickets can fall at any point. England scored 123 after losing 4 wickets for 104 runs. Relative Value model does not use predictive element in allocating points at present. It will continue to use actual match data in future. Pulse, WARR & FIPS  map current match status with projections based on past data. These models are getting tested during CWC 2015 to understand whether match situation is read properly. The next step involves deriving raw data for the Relative Value model after each delivery to replace the current macro model with its micro version.

What is a good first innings total? A team may win after scoring 150 and lose even after scoring 300. FIPS projects team score after each delivery against an ‘average’ score based on past first innings data. It makes 3 projections after each delivery out of which 2 are shown in the chart: one favouring batting side and another favouring bowling team. The model projects that batting team will initially aim to score 300 and bowling side will try to restrict them under 200. Model will reveal revised projections as we fill in the actual runs scored and wickets fallen after each delivery. The projections do not assume uniform scoring rate throughout the innings.

England lost 3 wickets before 15th over and the run rate was slightly below par. At 57-3, we can assume that bowling side had an advantage. Model projects restricting England to 175 after 13.1 overs. At half way stage the 4th wicket partnership has made a mini recovery lifting projected score to about 200. Two more quick wickets reduce England to 104-5 after 26.2 overs. projected score is down to 175. The main difference between 13.1 & 26.2 is that we have double the actual data and lost 5 of Top 7 batsmen. 70 more runs in about 24 more overs is possible and a decent partnership may take England further.

The next 8 overs witnessed an exceptional collapse. An exception means it is an uncommon event. It is unlikely to happen often.

Oooo fiesty one #cricket #billboard #australia #england #LOL 😂😂

A photo posted by Jodie Sharp (@jodiesharp) on

Aussie fans wondered how England got in that tangle. A run fest making use of smaller boundaries was expected. There is no need to play a game if we can anticipate what happens next.

Australia started briskly. Lost an early wicket. Kept scoring at a rate healthier than par. Yet found themselves at 80-3 after 13.1 overs. Not much unlike England then. They continued to aim for batsman favoured ~300 instead of less than 200 favouring New Zealand. No 4th wicket partnership this time and soon it became 97-6 after 17.4 overs. Plenty of overs remain with Clarke and Haddin at crease. No doubts now that the match situation favoured bowling side. The projected score was under 150. A good partnership would certainly left Australia above 150 with 32 overs remaining. There was a partnership. It was for 10th wicket. Australia eventually bowled out for 151 with about 18 overs remaining.

There have been games where 10th wicket partnership rescued a side. There will be more such games in future. We can make very good projections about how a team will fare after losing bulk of the wickets. Projections get better once we have more data. Extra data comes in two forms: plenty of balls played without losing equivalent wickets OR plenty of wickets lost irrespective of balls played.

To differentiate between actuals and projections the very obvious rule must be kept in mind. Losing 9 wickets does not reduce the balls available resource. The fall of 10th wicket is the key event where remaining balls are forfeited. Try not to lose the first 9.

If the game halts suddenly then victorious team will be decided based on the match situation at the end of that delivery. The chasing team is expected to stay ahead of the par curve throughout the match. A typical successful above average score chase comprises of saving wickets in the middle overs and scoring just around or below required scoring rate and upping the tempo in the last lap. If sufficient wickets are in hand, it is expected that the team batting second will significantly increase the run rate once the target is in sight. It means the winning team stayed below the par curve for most of the match as part of a plan. A last ball six is sometimes sufficient to win the game even if scoring remains below par curve throughout the match.

McCullum scored 50 in 24 balls and took New Zealand to 78-2 after 7.4 overs, way above the par score. Fall of two more immediate wickets put them behind par. If the match stopped at that point, the game will be declared no result because 20 overs were not bowled. Since this is a low scoring game where more than 50% of target has been chased it is possible to call a winner within this blogspace. At 79-4 after 8.2 overs, Australia is ahead based on WARR and will be declared victorious if the game stops. This is based on the actual state of the match. The Pulse projection puts New Zealand firmly in command. With 6 wickets in hand, overs taken out of the equation and less than 75 runs remaining – an easy win with lots of balls to spare is projected. That is the projected state of the match.

PULSE allocates points out of 100 for both team after each delivery relying on projected scores. No projections required at the end of the match where points allocated by PULSE based on ball-by-ball data match the scorecard determined result values of Relative Value model.

I created the Pulse model based on my understanding of the game relying on fewest assumptions and recent historical data. One of my checks for the model is calling who is ahead during the game. I have my biases and I try not to conquer them. I rely on who is batting, who has overs left, recent form etc. The model does not care. It relies on runs remaining, wickets remaining, balls remaining and the recent historical trend. At 79-4 I told myself that the game will get interesting if Williamson departs. In other words I agree with the model even though we use different data.

5th wicket partnership secured the game. There was a wobble not unlike the Scotland match but it was too close to the target. Vettori departed at 145-7 and it still does not matter with only 7 runs needed. Model predicts a win for New Zealand with plenty of balls to spare and so did I.

Malinga fails to make it 5-in-5

Malinga fails to make it 5-in-5

World Cup 2007. Sri Lanka v South Africa. Chasing 210, South Africa sitting pretty at 206/5 after 44.4 overs. Malinga took 4-in-4 to leave them at 207-9 after 46.2 overs. Despite those 4 wickets, South Africa was ahead because WARR Par was 204. Sri Lanka needed the 10th wicket as Malinga tried to make if 5-in-5.

 46.3 Malinga to Langeveldt,no run,beaten Just kissed past the off stump. Tremendous nerves out there. Full and just outside off, yorker-length, Langeveldt pokes at it and gets beaten 

It did not happen. Eventually South Africa edged past Sri Lanka with 10 balls to spare. It was a tense finish to what should have been an easy one. Something similar although less dramatic happened in 23rd over bowled by Starc.

Williamson took a single on the second delivery. 146-7 with 6 needed. Next we get 2-in-2, both bowled by Starc making it 146-9. What if he made it 3-in-3?

A narrow 50.5-49.5 win for Australia, 7/28 by Starc would have fetched over 200 points relegating Boult’s 5/27 below 150 points. It is the magic of taking the 10th wicket. No need to guess what could have happened. The model was predicting a win for New Zealand until the hat trick delivery but updates values in favour of Australia once the improbable win is secured.

But the 10th wicket did not fall. Scoring a few runs is easier than taking a wicket. Wickets need to fall regularly while defending a low target. McCullum’s innings made the job easier for Williamson. New Zealand has stumbled twice while chasing an easy total. In these two cases the late clutter made the job tense without putting the chase in serious jeopardy. There will be other cases where a lot of wickets fall early and a late partnership secures a win with plenty of overs to spare.

A limited overs match is won by scoring an extra run in fewest possible deliveries. It does not matter how many wickets were lost. For example a bonus point is awarded when a side batting second wins by more than 10 overs. Teams are willing to sacrifice wickets to achieve this objective. Wickets play an important role during the match. The primary objective is reducing the run rate. Taking wickets is a good way to achieve that. Bowling out the opposition will limit the target. Bowling them out as early as possible is the best way to restrict runs. A side may not get bowled out. In general a team will score more runs if less than 5 wickets fall. Getting into the tail without getting the side out is helpful too. In a hypothetical scenario one team may set the target without losing any wicket. Side batting second can win the match while losing as many as 9 wickets. Wickets are secondary. It helps to take the 10th wicket which will happen only if the first 9 have fallen. Wickets are important. But it is extremely important to get the 10th wicket. It may decide whether a team wins or loses. Failing to do that and margin of victory gets decided by balls saved.

Relative Value model awards points by the size of victory. A narrow win or a loss conveys good performances by other team. The Relative Value of a very good performance can’t be significantly better than the rest in such matches.

How does one compare Starc’s figures with those by Boult?  Relative Value model evaluates these on the basis that it is a team game. The bowling performance that helps in bundling the opposition is more valuable. The bowling performance that sets up a win is more valuable. The bowling performance that sets up a very big win is even more valuable. Boult’s 5 wickets helped his team to bundle Australia in less than 32 overs. Starc’c 6 didn’t. His performance would have fetched far more points if he took the 7th or his team took the 10th.

This is about the Paramount Utility of the 10th Wicket!