Fantastic Mr. Stokes

 

Hear that on repeat at least three times before you proceed any further. It’s of utmost importance. The importance of you doing that can’t be overstated. The mission if you choose to accept is to follow everything I say.

Last Saturday evening, lord lord lord
Last Saturday evening, lord lord lord

I went to the stadium, lord lord lord
I went to the stadium, lord lord lord

And I took along my placard, lord lord lord
I took along my placard, lord lord lord

Along came Jesus, lord lord lord
Along came Jesus, lord lord lord

So I picked up my placard, lord lord lord
And he hit one over, lord lord lord

He was bowled soon after, lord lord lord
But he had done enough, lord lord lord

He came on to bowl, lord lord lord
And he took a wicket first up, lord lord lord

He took another wicket, lord lord lord
And he took another wicket, lord lord lord

The main batsmen were all gone, lord lord lord
And he took some more catches, lord lord lord

I went home happy, lord lord lord
I went home happy, lord lord lord

That’s the story of big Ben Stokes, lord lord lord
That’s the story of big Ben Stokes, lord loooord looooorrrrd.

Vivo IPL 2017 M44 - SRH v RPS

Now stare at the photo while listening to this song.

 

fantastic-mr-fox5

 

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Andy Murray: Man or Machine?

The suspect

Remember ‘Space Jam’? The Michael Jordan movie where the Looney Tunes family challenge the alien invaders to a game of basketball to determine their future as slaves or not slaves? Remember that Hrithik Roshan movie where there was something similar?

Watching Murray v Djokovic reminded me of something like that. It was like as if the machines and humans had nominated one of their own and were tussling for the upper-hand. On the one hand, we had Djokovic coming up with equal measures of brilliance and mistakes, and on the other, we had Murray doing nothing apart from looking to minimize mistakes, playing a solid serve game, and not going for any flamboyant winners (read: winners). The only colorful thing about Murray was the colorful language he employed while admonishing himself. Was that a feature added by machines to make him appear more emotional and ergo, human? That and the blisters. They could have just stuck some spare human tissue, lying around left behind from his creation, up there for all we know. Come to think of it, even Murray’s girl looks like a robot designed by robots to appear human.

The more I think about it the more intrigued I am about how a Murray winner looks like. Even when he bullied Federer over the course of 5 sets, that was largely thanks to his powerful strokes, reliable serve, and defensive prowess. Were there any innovative plays on display from his side that couldn’t have been innovated before hand and fed into him? I don’t think so. Sure, there were a few bugs hindering his performances early on in his career but they only served to align his course of development with that of his human peers, and thereby taking care of any suspicion that might have arisen if that had not been the case.

The presence of these bugs raises another interesting question. Was Murray the machine designed by machines themselves or was he designed by humans hired and kept as slaves by the machines? If we are to assume he was created by the machines, then we’d also have to assume that those bugs were a deliberate ploy designed to keep us humans in the dark, since we all very well know that machines don’t make mistakes unless they want to, like in this case.

As for machines hiring humans, this could be happening already, that too in the open. What if Eric Schmidt, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs et al are replicants* sent by humans from exo-planets with the aim of colonizing us? First, they “develop” a technology, then they offer us a pay package we can’t refuse, then they enslave us.  What is the end point of this enslavement, you ask? I say world peace. With the rise of these multinational corporations, and increasing economic linkages between countries, and globalization and cultural homogenization, more and more countries are disinclined towards warfare. The humans who sent us these replicant masters may in fact be looking out for us (their brothers) and liberating us from the trauma of world wars.

This could also explain the coming onto the scene of nuclear technologies which, if anything, have acted as a further deterrent  to war**. Yes, the replicants sent by the humans from another mother (planets are mothers and humans of a plant are its children obviously) provided us with nuclear technology to take care of us is what I am saying. My original motive was to start a petition demanding the subjection of the likes of Schmidt and Zuckerberg and Bill Gates to a Voight-Kampff test, but having subsequently discovered their noble intentions, I am less inclined so now.

Where does Murray stand amidst all this then? The replicants discussed above are involved in more crucial matters like war and peace, and have little or no time for trivial sport contests. Maybe that  makes him a simple machine built by the gambling mafia.

P.s: This post was written more than a week ago and placed in a time capsule. I apologize to the 3 unlucky readers who’re likely to stumble upon this post, but I’m guessing only 1 of you will last long enough to read the apology.

*Replicants are an intellectual property of Phillip k. Dick, as far as I understand; seen originally in Blade Runner.

**By war, I mean that conventional sort between two nations.

 

The Proteas Exposed: How they are nowhere near being at the top and how they are just pretenders

We do an excellent job pretending guys!

Gut feel number 1: When the opposition bats first, either they collapse or the South Africans collapse.

Facts: Lets define collapse as one where the team gets bowled out for below 200, so as you can see, whenever they fail to bowl the opposition out for below 200, their batting panics and they instead collapse. This has happened in each of the last 5 tests the opposition batted first.

India vs South Africa 1st test: Ind- 136, RSA-620

India vs South Africa 2nd test: Ind-205, RSA-131 (Ind batted 2nd in the 3rd test)

South Africa vs Australia 1st test: Aus-284, RSA-96 (Aus batted 2nd in the 2nd test)

South Africa vs Sri Lanka 1st test: SL- 180, RSA-411

South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2nd test: SL-338, RSA-168

Interestingly, all these happened in front of their home audience. Looking further back at tests played at home when the opposition batted first, we find

South Africa vs England 4th test: Eng- 180, RSA-423/7 (England batted 2nd in all three remaining tests)

South Africa vs Australia 1st test: Aus-466, RSA-220 (2008/09 series)

South Africa vs Australia 2nd test: Aus- 352, RSA-138

South Africa vs Australia 3rd test: Aus-209, RSA- 651 (yes, the 200 model doesn’t fit to a T but a similar pattern is quite glaringly visible)

So the gist of it all is if you happen to bat first against South Africa, get a decent total, sit back, and enjoy them press the self-destruct button.

—————-

Gut feel number 2: Mark Boucher and Ashwell Prince are walking wickets/ South African tail begins at no.6

Facts: Since December 2009, Prince has come out to bat on 26 occasions, he’s passed 50 thrice and two of those were against the West Indies. 

Since Boucher isn’t in as a pure batsman, let’s reduce his cutoff to a random looking lowly 18.Even then, he’s managed to pass that figure just thrice in his last 14 innings dating back to June 2010. 

The South African tail indeed begins at number 6.

—————–

So, when it comes to South Africa, the gut is indeed right. Also, can a team with such mental fragility and ridiculously short batting line up seriously aim to be no.1? My gut says they aren’t good enough for even no.3!

Lighthearted banter

Sachin’s fans are up in arms and screaming their lungs out holding datasheets showing the percentage breakdown of match results following Sachin scoring a century. Why this outpouring of bookish defensiveness? A few of us were cheeky enough to latch on to the string of results ever since the WC and dared to poke fun at the God.

Using the same argument, Torres has a great overall record too, but has that stopped anyone from poking fun at his recent slump? No, it hasn’t. So I guess it’s only fair to admit not every Sachin’s century leads to a defeat and not every game finds Torres failing to score. But right now, that’s what’s happening and the mischievous ones have every right to indulge themselves.

I guess what I want to say is all of you with your bowels in an uproar, take your datasheets and stuff them in there.

Will Sachin score a match-winning century or will Torres find the back of the net first? The race is truly on, and until then the jokes won’t stop. Grin it and bear it.

P.S: Came across this classic tweet following Arsenal’s fuck-up against Liverpool- “Did Sachin score a century for Arsenal?”

Rain, Raikkonen n Reliability

The surreal run of Hamilton was bound to come to a halt but the way in which it ended was really unfortunate considering the fact that his position on the starting grid was compromised due to the slackness of his pit-crew. Having said this, he did bounce back by gaining as many as six positions in the first two corners of the race but once again, he was forced to slow down due to some technical glitch. When everything seemed to be back to normal, the clouds opened up and he found himself struck in the gravel trap and by the time the race restarted , he found himself two laps behind.

Raikkonen was back to his erratic best as he over-shot the pit lane and ended up doing an absurdly slow lap in the equally absurd wet track on his dry-weather tires. He somehow managed to claw his way back to third place before his reliable reliability problems forced him to retire.

Massa was in complete control right from the moment when he over took Alonso in the first lap but the race isn’t a one lap show and the Brazilian was once again humbled by the hungry Spaniard who literally muscled his way past him with just a handful of laps remaining.

The race will mainly be remembered because of the havoc created by the rain and as the first non-podium finish of Lewis Hamilton.

“If the European GP were a movie, it would be a cult classic”–Steve Slater

Cult movie or not, it surely ruined the hopes of Raikkonen who started on pole and was looking good for a hat-trick of wins.  Marcus Winclehock deserves a special mention because he found himself leading the race after just four laps in a Spyker in his debut race.(That was something which even Hamilton couldn’t achieve)