” England Makes History in World Cup 2019 ” – July 14, 2019.

 

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Angels from the Heaven sprayed flowers with their blessings on to the England team in Lord’s ground as they etched their proud name on the World Cup 2019.

           Eoin Morgan’s heroism prevailed in the end.

           In my previous piece, yesterday, I said : “Watch closely the faces of the two captains when they go for the National Anthem. It’ll tell clearly about ” heroic leadership” – a predictor of the finals.”

           First, given below is the expression of the New Zealand Captain, Kane Williamson. 

Kane Williamson’s expression at National Anthem.

Kane Williamson stood with a grim face ;  seeming unduly anxious ;  and he also seemed uncomfortable. Overall, it was the mark of negative expression(s) and that reflected the lack of energy, though not explicitly.

Second, given below is the expression of the England Captain, Eoin Morgan.

Eoin Morgan at National Anthem.

Eoin Morgan was relaxed ;  he was sprightly ;  and he also clapped his hands high up in the air just at the end of National Anthem. That put him as an individual full of positive energy and he was able to spread that facial energy through the entire match along with his associates. He won the match even before the first ball was bowled ! 

Now turning to the key details that I gleaned from this match briefly :

           New Zealand batted first and scored 241 for 8 wickets in the allotted 50 overs.

           First to the characteristics of the England bowling :  Figure below represents England bowling succinctly :

England bowling is characterised by (1) its overall rate of ‘economy of their main bowlers (under 5 per over) reflecting it’s accuracy ;  (2)  astute variations by each of their main bowlers, with special acclaim and reference to Jofra Archer in his second spell of 5 overs in the match ;  and  (3)  the generally tight control exercised by the main bowlers making big shots difficult and risky for the New Zealanders. England’s bowling plan has been excellent.

            Second, to the characteristics of New Zealand Batting : Figure below represents New Zealand Batting succinctly :

New Zealand batsmen (1) failed in judging the pace of the bowling either missing or taking body blows (Neesham and Grandhomme in particular) with impunity ;  (2)  failed to convert the reasonably good start with all 7 front line batsmen crossing double digits but only one getting to the fifty mark with no big scores in reality ; and  (3)  failed to accelerate the score in the middle overs (specially 15 to 35 overs) adding pressure to the batsmen in the final overs. Overall slow pace of batting has been responsible for the less than ideal score in its innings.

           England batted second and scored 241 for 9 in the allotted 50 overs. The score was tied and the match had to be decided by the “Super Over”  for the first time in the history of World Cup Cricket.

           First, to the characteristics of the New Zealand bowling :  Figure below represents the New Zealand bowling :

New Zealand bowling is characterised by (1) better bounce and movement ;  (2)  speed and aggression which was effective in checking the flow of runs ;  and  (3)  controlled accuracy which enabled them to concentrate more on taking wickets than just controlling the runs leaked. New Zealand bowling plan has been effective to the extent of not exceeding their total even by a single run, and taking 9 wickets – one more than what they lost. Their bowling plan proved adequate.

           Second, to the characteristics of England Batting :  Figure below represents England Batting :

Elngland (1) adapted well to the conditions making the only 100 runs partnership of the match  between Ben Stokes and Jo’s Butler for the sixth wicket which really catapulted them to reach the New Zealand score ;  (2)  achieved excellent stability in batting consolidating their batting and position through the middle overs better with ones and twos and occasional boundaries ;  and  (3)  the team overall played a very positive game setting the stage for an aggressive assault in the final overs better. England Batting plan put them mentally and emotionally ready for the Super Over.

            England made 15 in the Super Over bowled by Trent Built with two fours, one three, one two, and two singles. Set to score 16 in one super over for a win, New Zealand could make only 15 and the match was decided in favour of England on the basis of the boundaries made by them in their innings which stood better.

            Eoin Morgan of England (Captain) is the ultimate victor of the Big Test. He proudly holds aloft the World Cup with all his associates in Lord’s signalling the arrival of a new, energetic, and transformed English team.

            Ben Stokes was adjudged the player of this match for his 84 not out, the highest individual score in this match.

            Kane Williamson,  NZ Captain,  amassed 578 runs in this tournament to become the  “First World Cup Captain in history to score maximum runs in a single edition of World Cup”,  a feat that every Captain in future will try to emulate and surpass.

My verdict :  1.  At the end of the stipulated 50 overs NZ scored 241 for 8 wickets, and in reply England scored 241 for 9 (or is it all out ?).

2.  NZ lost fewer wickets than England for the same score in the stipulated 50 overs.

3.  ‘Super Over’,  whatever be its merits, cannot substitute for and decide the winner between the teams which fought valiantly through 50 overs in nearly a 6 hour plus ordeal. It is pure luck and not toiling performance;  and akin to deciding by a ‘toss’.

4.  If anyone were to judge by either team’s overall performance taking into account the missed opportunities during the course of the match –  NZ will out beat England by a mile.

5.   The final outcome based on just one  “Super Over”  is grossly unfair to NZ. A fair decision will be to  (a)  declare NZ as the winner;  or  (b)  to  share the trophy. This alone can do justice to the tournament,  justice to the teams,  justice to the organisers, justice to the spectators and sports enthusiasts, and above all justice to the game of Cricket. Otherwise, it will look as though the victory has been snatched unfairly from the real winner.  This will only mark the debate and discussion whenever anyone looks back with interest the Cricket World Cup 2019. World Cup 2019 has not done the game proud.

 

   ” Dieu avec nous “

   Monday, July 15, 2019 –  1.29 a.m. (IST)

   Tidbit :  ” England made history in the World Cup 2019. They learnt their mistakes and made efforts to correct them for years and achieved their goal of securing the World Cup. Kudos to the team, management, and the Cricket Board.”

 

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” Lord Anjaneya’s Blessed Medicine Mountain in Tamil nadu ” – July 13, 2019.

Lord Anjaneya.

I am a staunch devotee of Lord Anjaneya, the Monkey God. 

Lord Anjaneya’s prowess and strength coupled with His unflinching Duty to His Lord, Ram, can speak volumes about “Leadership” anytime, anywhere, and to anyone.

           Lord Anjaneya bestowed Tamil nadu with the best of Ayurveda Medicine which draws its curative power from herbs, shrubs, and bushy plants. It was termed the ‘Medicine Mountain’  in the early/ancient days.

           ‘Medicine  Mountain’  is situated North of  Cape  Comorin in Tamil nadu. It used to be, and still is, shapely and beautiful to look at. Indigenous doctors from southern Tamil nadu used to frequent the Medicine Mountain for their medicinal needs ; collect the herbs and leaves from the shrubs ;  process them in their own characteristic, antediluvian ways with profound effect ;  make medicinal pastes and powders ;  and apply and supply them to their visiting patients. 

            With the growing needs of the pharmaceutical industry in India, many manufacturers in the South had even established farms, where they cultivated useful herbal plants. Even they weren’t fully aware of the wealth and resource of useful plants found in “Medicine Mountain”.

           The origin of the Medicine Mountain is very interesting. It is traced to the period of Ramayana.   “Lakshman, brother of Lord Sri Ram Chandra, had fallen unconscious in the battlefield in Lanka (Sri Lanka). To save him, ‘Hanuman’, the Monkey God, was entrusted with the task of fetching a particular herb from a mountain in India. Having forgotten the name of the herb, the mighty Hanuman, picked up the whole mountain on his palm and leaped to Lanka. A small chunk of it seems to have accidentally fallen down! Where that small rocky bit fell, it became a scientific,medicinal, and holy spot for  Hindus. It came to be known as the Medicine Mountain “.

           Today it has transformed itself into a highly frequented pilgrim and picnic spot even while retaining its medicinal and curative value.

           Independent India witnessed mostly the tillers of soil in and around the areas. They were mostly peasants and climbing the mountain was a pastime between planting and harvesting. Quite interesting to learn how they make it.

           They form a party. Each member contributes a measure of rice and a rupee or two towards other items of expenditure. Utensils, vegetables, fuel, fowl, or mutton all form the collective baggage of the people. The party starts moving up the mountain at daybreak and ascend a flight of steps to reach the shrine, where Lord Shiva presides. They worship the Lord and subsequently climb up the irregular, winding, and steep one-man path. They have to pass several spectacular caves before reaching the top. At the top there used to be a well-chiselled rocky tub. Cotton seeds and coconut oil are poured in and a big flame is lit. This happens usually on the day of  “Kartikai Deepa”,  an auspicious and celebratory day specially for women.

           This Hill of Herbs has been the primary source and harbinger to the development of powerful Ayurveda practice and treatment in Tamil nadu. Many established practicing centres and many pharma groups owe their goodwill, prosperity, and fame to this Anjaneya’s Medicine Mountain as much as the patients who get cured leading to normal life. I owe a special obligation to express my faith and gratitude here.

            My Lord, Anjaneya, my deep prayers to you.

Panchamuga Anjaneya.

   “Dieu avec nous”

Saturday, July 13, 2019  –  5.59 p.m. (IST).

Tidbit :  ”  It cures faster than a doctor ? “

 

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” New-Zealand Team will Stand on the Lord’s Ground with their Minds Up on the World Cup ” – July 12, 2019.

New Zealand team is a “genuine contender”  for the finals of World Cup 2019 according to accepted rules, regulations, format of the tournament, guidelines for fair cricket, choice of venues, and the season when this tournament is conducted. Every participating nation is deemed to have accorded its full consent to these codes before and during the course of this World Cup. So, any discussion on the above at this juncture is not needed and should be dismissed. It is for the ICC in its meeting after the end of this World Cup to deliberate on the ifs and ans of individual matches and decide to seek the views of the various National Cricket Committees in an attempt to improve the organisation of the tournament in future.

             In fact, the ICC should have banned comments and observations, legitimate or otherwise, by any participating nation before the conclusion of the tournament, quite akin to the ban on exit polls and other conjectures before the completion of voting in Political Elections.

             That such comments and observations prior to the conclusion of the tournament can be a likely contradiction or impediment to the rest of the players in matches to be played with the ability to undermine, discourage, or even invalidate mentally the results must be recognised. “A play-off instead of a knockout”  is a glaring example of such unwanted comment (camouflaged as suggestion, unsought though, at this time) whatever be the extreme reason for a team’s loss. What if 30 or 45 minutes of play in the beginning for a team causes a set-back to lose the finals, when no such thing had happened in all matches prior to the tournament?  It is unsportsmanlike and extremely unfair in specially sports.

           Every match is a fresh match (a common utterance heard millions of times from almost all players), and players notwithstanding their performances in the earlier matches should always remain prepared and set themselves up for the fresh match.

          It is for every individual team to do a post-mortem ;  dig out the reasons ;  make a cause effect study ;  identify and practice new skills required ;  and increase its chances of winning and being successful in future.

           If you didn’t do this and start giving excuses or blame others (external environment or internal environment) it smacks of self defeat only. Excuse management and Blame management are two aspects to be learnt by every sports manager and player in any field. I neither do it nor will advise any individual to do it anytime even when they may hold true in circumstances. This will mark the strength of one’s character and credibility.

           Now to the Finals at Lord’s.

            New Zealand vs England on July 14 (Sunday) at Lord’s for the finals of the World Cup 2019. My case is that New Zealand can win.

           Forget what happened to the two teams in the previous World Cups ; Forget what happened at the present venue, Lord’s, to teams in the previous World Cups ;  Forget what was the maximum or minimum score in matches at this venue in previous World Cups. Not relevant now. This is a new match, a deciding one at that for both the teams.

            I see both teams are fairly balanced with 6 batsmen, a wicket keeper, and 4 bowlers. One or two of the batsmen of both teams can bowl too.

           Past performances in the same tournament for every player do not guarantee a similar outcome. It is like companies cautioning the investors with the statement ” past performances do not guarantee similar returns”. Each team will have to approach the match with a strong and positive mind. This is the key here.

           I prefer to call this attitude  “heroic leadership”;  a type of leadership that most sports enthusiasts of this new age will appreciate. We witnessed this in the semi-finals between New Zealand and India on July 9.

           A leader who is idealised, idolized, and admired ;  A leader who works out plans with exactness and details (of strengths and opportunities of players) to the greatest degree;  A leader who can weild a sort of superhuman powers ( the destiny, that which decides to bestow the powers to the leader )  –  becomes a heroic leader. I strongly believe in this factor.  Kane Williamson  displayed many elements of these three traits in the semi-finals he won.

             If Kane Williamson can bring the same energy, fullness, and details in the finals there can be no doubt that he’ll hold aloft (along with his proud and motivated associates ) the “World Cup”  on the night of July 14 at Lord’s.

 

   ” Dieu avec nous “

   Friday, July 12, 2019 –  7.09 p.m. (IST)

   Tidbit :  ” Watch closely the faces of the two captains when they go for the National Anthem. It will tell clearly about “heroism” “.  –  SR.

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” Heroism of New Zealand Cricket Team averts their Fall in Semifinals of World Cup 2019 ” – July 10, 2019

          The golden, prophetic words of the Australian legend, Steve Waugh, came true to the letter(s) ultimately. He said on the day of the semi-final match between New Zealand and India (when New Zealand was 211 for 5 ) when the match was pushed to the reserve day due to rain : ” If New Zealand manages to put up a total of 240 ( he didn’t give a range but a clear total ), they can make a good match out of this situation”. New Zealand made 239 for 8 setting a target for India that Steve Waugh thought can work in New Zealand’s favour. And New Zealand won.

(A)   Cricket analysts and pundits were critical of captain Virat Kohli’s decision to send MS Dhoni at Number 7. This, according to them, has been the main reason for India submitting to the failure.

          This is what I have to say :  The decision was neither a fault of Captain Virat Kohli, nor a revelation of the shortcomings of MS Dhoni to find himself at Number 7. On the contrary, it is, in my opinion, the ‘most favourable judgement’ that could have been made under the circumstances. Here’s why it is so :  1. The partnership stitched with Ravindra Jadeja for the 7th wicket ( 116 runs )  was not just an Indian record but a clear vindication of the judgement of Captain Virat Kohli. He was confident of ‘what Dhoni can do ?’  2.  Pundits forget the fact that it is also likely that Dhoni would have perished, succumbing to the wicket falling dominoes if he went at Number 5. Post result analysis can come out with any number of wrong judgements by anyone.

               (B)  What is the turning point of the match ?

               MS Dhoni’s suicidal run-out/Martin Guptill’s excellent shooting skills has been the “turning point”  of this match. Don’t blame it on 5 for 3 situation (yes, it does contribute to sudden setback and the likely shattering of confidence and morale of the players following ), but any great cricket team is expected to come out of the situation with disciplined effort and playing skill. Don’t blame it on ” 45 minutes of bad play contributing to the loss of World Cup for India ” –  it is the most ridiculous statement to make implying no superiority or authority on the part of the person who uttered it.

                Dhoni’s hit for a six off the first ball of Ferguson (49 th over) when everyone would have felt that Dhoni had found his traditional winning style belting the bowlers in the final two or three overs. The next ball was turned to the fineleg and Dhoni’s intention of coming back for the second run was purely driven by his interest to keep the strike for maurading the white ball in succession further. That it turned out to be his undoing and with that the exit of India in the World Cup is laced with the fortune of Martin Guptill ( who until that moment  had a disastrous World Cup showing ) and with that the fortunes of New Zealand.

               Implied  in my above observations is the fact that Dhoni could still have won India a spot in the finals but for the failure of his fatally adventurous  attempt for the second run.

              Conclusion   : 

              1. New Zealand as a team played in a superb manner with contributions from each member of the team, especially Martin Guptill avenging all his previous failures by that single act of a throw at the wicket.

                2.   New Zealand captain, Kane Williamson led from the front becoming a model to be emulated, be it in batting sequences, compiling runs at different stages in the game, bowling sequences, tactical placements, curtailing runs when the flow was about to go out of control, and the like.

                  3.  ‘Fortune favours the brave’ ; and New Zealand as a team displayed courage and heroism proving themselves to be a brave, new, and even a perfect competitor in this tournament.

                  It is the heroism of the mind of New Zealand captain during the game that gave vigour to the entire team.

                 Will this sort of fight be equaled  in future is what everyone will be wondering now.

 

   “Dieu avec nous”

   Thursday, July 11, 2019 –  11.09 a.m. (IST)

   Tidbit :  ” New Zealand vs India Semifinals is a marvelous story that each player can tell of cricketing endurance, courage,  and victory ” –  SR.

 

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” FM, Nirmala Sitaraman’s Presentation Skills to the Fore – Budget 2019-2020 ” – July 5, 2019.

FM, Nirmala Sitaraman presenting the Budget 2019-2020.

Ms Nirmala Sitaraman, FM, presented a 2 hour and 11 minutes  2019-2020 budget this morning in the Parliament.

           The budget presentation is befitting a scholar whose learning is broad and exact while being decisive and scrupulous.

           It is well substantiated by two facts : (a)  that the host of suggestions received in response to the pre-budget requests of the ministry is the largest ever ;  and  (b)  the approach to learning, comprehension, and retention of the budget details in terms of all its elements by the FM seem extensive.

           That Ms Nirmala Sitaraman’s resume boasting of being a research scholar plus credited training in  R&D in London bears ample testimony to this fact. This is also what separates her presentation from all of her predecessors’  in independent India.

           Call it insouciance or a deliberate tactic, the absence of spelling out data for most of the Programs detailed in the budget support my inference that the presentation was more in the nature of an academic mould. Reinforcing this interpretation is the emphasis ‘with repetitions’ laid on certain aspects like – PAN-Aadhaar interchangeability ;  building affordable homes;  deduction of interest on home loans ;  recapitalisation of PSU banks ;  GST’s pivotal role in economy  …  …

          FM, Nirmala Sitaraman’s tone ,  modulation with attendant gestures ,  addressing the speaker number of times ,  her references and positive actions for all sections of society ,  and her references to the various programs sector by sector gave the notion of treating the presentation as remedies to the ills, without explicitly stating either. FM, Nirmala Sitaraman, was in an indicative mode characteristic of an academician.

PM, Modi attentive as ever.

FM, Nirmala Sitaraman, had defined for herself the goal very clearly – that she’ll highlight the  “Vision”  for the next 5 years, i.e., to make the Indian economy a $ 5 trillion one.

          She has adjusted the content and structure of the budget to emphasize and support the Vision, be it infrastructure ,  disinvestment ,  raising FDI caps ,  borrowing in foreign currency,  PSU banks’s recapitalisation, or the host of other programs in various sectors of the economy.

           That  the presentation in effect was a logical flow of concepts (lacking in specifics and numbers) to make her points and to share information is clear to every discerning observer.

            Her passion was evident in her Presentation as also her efforts to connect with the legislators. No interruptions, and absence of any display of mockery make me feel that the legislators were either in acceptance or presented a new culture of harmony as opposed to the earlier presentations.

            Stock market response is a good indicator of whether a budget is favourable or unfavorable.  In this case, FM’s budget,  “failed” to accept the presentation as encouraging or favourable. BSE  S&P  Sensex was down 305 points (39606);  while Nifty slipped to 11846 just after the end of the presentation.

            The budget seems to be strengthening the belief that it is   “not beyond average”.  This will possibly be the correct verdict.

            FM Nirmala Sitaraman’s Presentation will be marked for an academic Presentation sans slides, power point, whiteboard, or flip charts in a setting of individuals keen on definite progress or advancement.

Congress leaders, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi listening to the Budget.

 

“Dieu avec nous”

Thursday, July 5,  2019 –  4.29 p.m. (IST)

   Tidbit :  ” You don’t need slides or power point if you know what you are speaking clearly.”

 

 

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