Saturday, February 09, 2008

Adam Gilchrist Vs Kumar Sangakkara

World has hailed Adam Gilchrist as the greatest Wicketkeeper batsman of the world after he decided to hang his gloves this season. I too am his fan, especially in ODIs. In fact he is still playing ODIs. He has only retired from Test Cricket.

His is an illustrious career. I think he has most dismissals against his name for a wicket keeper. And to top it he is a great batsman, coming in late in the innings he has been the rock of Gibraltar for Aussies. No team has ever breathed easy when he is on the crease.

Thats clearly awesome. But calling him the best ever is taking it too far when we have a worthy contender in our neighborhood. The great Lankan Kumar Sangakkara.

Lets compare them side by side in test cricket

Adam Gilchrist
Test matches played 96 (1999-2008)
Test Runs scored 5570
Ave -47.6
100- 17
Dismissals 416 (Ct-379 St 37)

Kumar Sangakkara
Test Matches played 71 (2000-)
Test Runs 6032
Ave - 56.37
100 - 16
Dismissals - 170(Ct- 149 st -20)

Kumar is clearly blocks ahead in Batting Dept. He has scored more runs in less tests and at a phenomenal rate of 56.37. For comparisons, thats better than Tendulkar's 55.5 or so.

Coming to Wicket Keeping. I believe that its a combination on how good you are, and also, how good are your bowlers. Australia being the leading world side has a clear advantage there. They have the best bowling attack in the world. McGrath and Warne were awesome bowlers. No wonder the batsmen kept nicking the ball or misreading the ball and stepping out of the crease and to that extent any Australian Wicket Keeper is likely to have good statistics there. Though Lanka also has Murali and Vaas, they do not seem to generate as many behind the wicket dismissals as Australians. Or maybe Kumar Sangakkara is a terrible wicketkeeper... How is one to judge?

Another thing is age, Kumar is 30 and is likely to be around for another 4-6 years. That would mean he has a fair chance of reaching 9000-10,000 runs in test cricket and may have chance to better Gilchrist's record in dismissals.

Lets wait a few more years and see where Kumar Sangakkara performs. Right now he seems to be doing better than Tendulkars and Pointings of the world. Don't forget he is a wicketkeeper too.

All said and done, Adam Gilchrist is a legend and will an inspiring player...

Amores perros

The first movie of the director Alejandro González Iñárritu I watched was 21 grams. I think it was a good story, but the best part of the movie was the narration. The non-linear narration made it an interesting watch. I later followed it with Babel. I loved its music but the story telling style was the same.

Today I watched Amores perros, the movie they say launched the director. Its 2000 movie, way before Babel was made. Its in Spanish. During all these movies, there are multiple threads, the stories have remained dark with an element of redemption, the movies show some gruesome shots, may be for the effects, and all these threads then converge through a singular incident, here shown as the opening shot.

The dog fights are gruesome, and convey the gritty nature of the movie. The homeless hitman is perhaps the master stroke. An ex militia who does not think twice before killing a human gets a dose of his own medicine when a fighter dog he saves from a road accident kills all his other pets as soon as he recovers from its injuries. And yet the hitman can't bring himself to kill it for he was the one who saved that dog in the first place.

To me that was the master stroke of the film. Later when he leaves two brothers in a duel like situation is genius.

A lengthy, gruesome, yet great movie. Enjoyed the last 20 minutes of the movie.

Thats where the twist is.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


One of the best things about US is Netflix (Another is its libraries). Movies that I'd never have had a chance to watch in India are available here.

Watched an Irish movie called Once. Its about a street singer and part time mechanic coming to know a Czech street hawker (sells roses and magazines) and together they composing some touching music. Writer, Director John Carney creates magic on the streets of Dublin. 80 minutes of movie flows gently deriving its sentiments from mellow romantic songs. Guy, a street musician sings popular songs during the day. At night however, when no one is listening, he sings his heart out through self composed songs. One such night, Marketa Irglova , an immigrant street hawker, notices his songs and tips him 10 cents.

From there the story takes off as the couple works together to compose songs. She herself is a piano player and plays at a music shop as she can't afford a piano herself. Any regular Hollywood movie, the leads would fall in love. For "Once" this movie is refreshingly different. Here, finding strength from each other and their music the protagonists find their lost loves. The subtle romance and their passion for music anchors the movie. Together, and with help from other street musicians they piece together an album. The transformation of the indifferent recording technician to an admirer (almost a band member over just 2 days of recording) captures the fact that ordinary ppl can create extra-ordinary things.

Its a short, simple and yet a memorable movie. I'm editing my favorite movies list to add this one.