• Today, MS Dhoni lost the toss. Yet again. He has lost 13 of his last 14 tosses in Test cricket, and surely the statistical odds of that are mind-bogglingly small.

    Since I’m not very good at math, I asked my friend, sports enthusiast and math wiz Mahek Vyas, to calculate the probability for losing 13 tosses out of 14.

    He says the magic number is 0.000854, or one in 1170.

    Long story short, you’re more likely to experience one of these freak incidents than lose 13 tosses out of 14:

    1. You have never heard about global warming: 1 in 8
    2. You will see a UFO: 1/14
    3. You will get hemorrhoids: 1/25
    4. You will be on a plane with a drunk pilot: 1/117
    5. An airline will lose your baggage: 1/138
    6. You will date a millionaire: 1/215
    7. You become a New York Times best-selling author: 1/220

    To put things into perspective, India were given a 66 to 1 chance of winning the 1983 World Cup. Those odds are huge when compared to Dhoni's phenomenally bad run with the toss.

    The last two lost tosses have resulted in South

    Read More »from Why Dhoni is more likely to spot a UFO than win a toss
  • It wasn’t quite quantum physics, but we did tell you so.

    Suresh Raina’s problems with pace are well-known. We had pointed out before the Test series that he could make way for Che Pujara.

    Reports say this is likely to happen in Durban, where the high-stakes Boxing Day Test will be played.

    In this space, we had also argued that there’s a case for resting Rahul Dravid in the New Zealand series to allow Pujara a longer (and much-deserved) look-in. This didn’t happen.

    For whatever this Durban opportunity would be worth, we think it is terribly unfair to shove Pujara into the mix so late, given India are 1-0 down heading to a venue that holds horrors of pace and bounce.

    ++++

    Do you remember 1996? Allan Donald had the same effect on India as a bulldozer has on an orange in its path.

    In 2006, South Africa played four pacers and Andrew Hall. Another massive defeat resulted. Both times, India’s bowlers outperformed their batsmen.

    One wonders if South Africa would leave Paul Harris out of their

    Read More »from Will Pujara click in pace-friendly Durban?
  • We are going to be focused for Durban and will go for a 2-0 win - Graeme Smith

    Scary, aye!

    But India, still licking their wounds from the Centurion drubbing, can watch a DVD of the England vs South Africa match here and say "We know what England did last summer."

    England produced a sensational innings and 98-run win over South Africa at Kingsmead in the second of the four-Test series. The series ended in a 1-1 draw with South Africa saving the series in Jo'berg.

    Attention Bhajji: Graeme Swann took nine wickets on the famed Kingsmead's fast and bouncy wicket to trigger a South African collapse and ran away with the man-of-the-match prize. My boss will say, "Why is he still talking about Harbhajan?" But the fact is that he is still there in the team and he will play. God knows why.

    Beware Durban jinx, SA!

    In March 2009, Australia achieved a series-clinching win over South Africa in Durban. The visitors thrashed the Proteas by 175 runs in the second Test to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in

    Read More »from We Know What England Did ‘Last Summer’

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A Yahoo India blog that parks itself just beyond the boundary line, to observe, annotate and comment on happenings both on the field and off it.

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