Archive for August, 2010


I had written about this sometime earlier, almost a month back, in fact once I had reduced 15 kgs, that my target was to further reduce 5 kgs. And yes I have finally achieved the target. It took me a little over a month to reach 20 from 15, and yes almost 5 and half months to touch the figure of 20. And now I have effectively reduced 23-24% percent of my initial weight, now that is what really makes me happy. And now when I meet someone who had seen me six months back, then almost each one of them do recognize the difference in me. In fact I had uploaded some of my photographs on my facebook profile and a few of my friends came back to me just by seeing those pictures. And even more amazing was the fact that I had not met one of those friends for more than 3 years (though she must have seen my other images), but still she came back and said “It looks as if you have lost a lot of weight”. And that made me realize that I have reached a level where I was some 4-5 years back and that is what makes me get even happier.

I had never believed that I could do something like this about six months back. The target started from 7 kgs went till 10, then 15 and finally 20 kgs. Though my mother is still saying that it would be great if I could reduce 5 kgs further. But I really don’t think that that figure is easy to achieve. Though I had mentioned that reducing 5 kgs after touching the 15 kgs mark would be tough, but I did reduce it with ease. It took me a little more time but yes it was not very difficult to do. Contradicting to this all my colleagues in office (including my team head) have asked me to stop from reducing further, as probably I will start looking weak after this.

Thinking about achieving this figure is almost like as if I am in some dream sequence. So I am not really sure if I would reduce down further. In fact since it has been six months time, I want to give my body some break, say of some 4-6 months. I may resume this process sometime in December of next March and that is the time I can think of the further 5 kgs suggested by my mother. After these strenuous six months all what I can say is that reducing weight is not very tough, in fact the tougher part will start now maintaining this weight for the next 4-6 months, so that I do not gain any additional weight that I might have to reduce once I restart this process again. And yes I was talking about taking a break. Well to clarify on the break, now since my body is used to so much of exercise I really cannot go on a break as I will end up gaining all the weight that I have reduced so far. So with the break what I meant was reducing the amount. Now I am planning to take rest on 2-3 days in a week and also gradually reduce the number of kilometers I was running daily. With this I will probably not reduce any weight (though if that does I will be more than happy) and also I should not gain any weight. I would be able to maintain the weight and also with this I will be able to maintain my stamina levels as well, they too probably will not drop.

Talking about how to reduce weight I did write on the procedure I had followed in my previous post. Since then I have not changed anything except that I have stopped playing on the weekends, in fact that has automatically stopped since it has been raining heavily on the weekends, stopping me from playing. But now if I look back it has worked as an advantage as I have already reduced some of the exercise and still managed to reduce the weight.

In the end all I can say is that probably reducing weight is not very tough, it is all about mindset. Initially it was very hard for me to wake up early morning and go for a run, but now that has become a daily schedule. I automatically get up early and go for a run, in fact if I don’t go for a run then I feel as if I have missed something that day. So as I had said earlier that motivation is very important, and I would say is that if one starts on this then that person should not back off in the middle as it might just backfire and the person might end up gaining weight. This what I actually tell a lot of people, as many of my friends and colleagues have started to follow this path ever since they did read my last post.

Well I am very happy about this achievement, and I am getting even happier as I have another achievement lined up. Well to just give a gist, I have always been prone to accidents and a lot of injuries. And it has been close to six months that I have not had any. Though I can say that I did not have time for all this in the last six months since my complete concentration was on reducing the weight, but yes I am about to touch a new personal record of not having met an accident or injuring myself in six months (it has never happened in the last 6-7 years). If this does happen (just a few days to go), I will definitely write about that achievement as well.

And again I will like to add that I am not writing how to reduce the weight in this post. I have already written it in one of my earlier posts.

The change in my body structure in 1 year

The change in my body structure in 1 year

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The appraisals are just round the corner in my company and I guess that will be the case in most of the companies. Another common thing in the appraisals is the 360-Degree review. At least most of the companies are following this policy. Well this is a much used policy since it has got a lot of positives, and if correctly implemented can be very useful as it breaks the barrier of juniors and seniors in the company and makes them come up with their points and thoughts much more freely. Though this policy does have a few negatives as well but its positives are so many and equally effective that this policy has become highly preferred. But in all this one must not forget the negatives that this policy can apply. So in this post I will be more concentrating on the negatives in this system.

As I had written earlier that the appraisals are just round the corner, I also happened to receive a very good e-mail regarding how to bounce back from a negative 360-Degree review, a few a days back. So I thought that it is really very good time to share this information. It is very helpful even one can keep all the points in mind. Though I don’t think that I would probably need it in my case but keeping the points in mind is not bad at all. If anything it will only help ones case.

Here is the complete article:

Bouncing Back from a Negative 360-Degree Review
Unlike traditional reviews and other types of feedback, 360-degree reviews include input from a comprehensive set of people: peers, managers, direct reports, and sometimes customers. One of the most valuable aspects of this tool is that the opinions are voiced anonymously, which encourages a higher level of honesty than you might normally get. However, the truth is not always pretty, and receiving a negative 360-degree review can be upsetting, especially when the opinions are echoed at many levels. But with the right attitude, you can still create a positive experience. How you handle a bad 360-degree review is far more important than the content of the review itself.

What the Experts Say
Before you begin the 360-degree review process, it’s important to have an open mindset. Remember that no one is perfect and every manager, no matter how seasoned, has room to improve. “The best leaders aren’t those who don’t have a lowest score on a 360. The best leaders have standout strengths,” says Susan David, co-director of the Harvard/McLean Institute of Coaching, founding director of Evidence Based Psychology LLC, and a contributor to HBR’s The Conversation blog. It’s your job to figure out what to do about those low scores. Larissa Tiedens, the Jonathan B. Lovelace Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Business School and co-editor of  The Social Life of Emotions agrees. “Being reflective and changing after a negative review is often more impressive than getting positive reviews from the start. Thus, a negative review is an opportunity to show that you can listen and learn,” she says. Here are several principles to follow if you receive a less than stellar 360-degree review.

Reflect before reacting
After you receive the feedback, let the results sink in before you do anything. “Sometimes people want to respond too quickly before they have sufficiently reflected upon it,” says Tiedens. Try not to be defensive. “Receiving feedback can bring our most vulnerable and self-critical parts to the fore,” says David. Counter this instinct by asking questions and being sympathetic with yourself and those who gave feedback. “The stance that is most helpful in receiving feedback is when you consciously try to draw on your curious and compassionate parts — those aspects of you that genuinely want to learn, hear, and understand,” says David. Once you’ve taken time to process it, ask yourself whether the feedback rings true. Does it echo what you’ve heard in past reviews or from other people in your life, including those outside of work? Sometimes it can be helpful to talk with a colleague, your manager, or a mentor and get an additional perspective from someone you trust.

Avoid a witch hunt
While 360-degree reviews are intended to be anonymous, it is sometimes easy to tell who said what from the comments. It may be difficult to resist doing this type of deciphering, however, you should resist the temptation to reach out to your reviewers and address their input. “Typically, the respondents provide their feedback with the understanding that they won’t be sought out to discuss their individual comments, so you risk harming the process and the general level of trust if you try to discover the individual source,” says Tiedens. Rusty O’Kelley, a partner at Heidrick & Struggle’s Board Consulting and Leadership Consulting Practices who has conducted hundreds of 360-degree reviews as part of his work on CEO succession planning and transition management, echoes this point. “It’s important to protect the people who gave you feedback so that they can be honest. Where 360s often fail is when people are diplomatic instead of straightforward,” he says.

Decide what to respond to
Remember that the review is made up of opinions. This means you don’t have to react to everything. A 360-degree review is different from a formal review by your boss in that you aren’t obligated to address the feedback. Instead, be selective about what you are going to change. Responding to every piece of feedback would be a colossal waste of time. “Just as you wouldn’t rush out and replace your car because someone didn’t approve of it, it isn’t necessary to rush out and try to change yourself and doctor your personality or behavior because of a piece of negative feedback on a 360,” says David. Instead, she suggests that leaders use three criteria to decide when to attend to a low score:

  1. Is this a consistent problem? Has it come up in previous reviews and from different raters?
  2. Is the problem a fatal leadership flaw? Does it point to lack of integrity, authenticity, or honesty?
  3. Is it incongruent with your values? Does it conflict with the type of leader you want to be? “Your values are your anchor and they should inform the leadership principles that you try to live up to,” she says

Many 360-degree review tools cluster feedback according to its source, whether it comes from direct reports, peers, customers, etc. Take note of what level the feedback is coming from. “In some ways, it is even more important to be responsive to what you hear from those lower in the hierarchy,” says Tiedens. “Subordinates took a bigger risk in raising these issues and have fewer avenues to discuss them with you, which suggests that these things are really bugging them and may mean they are even more confident of their views.”

Commit to change
When making a plan to change, focus on the future. Don’t start immediately altering things that will make you feel better now. Often this won’t help you achieve your goals in the long term. “While the pull of bad is stronger than good, if you are choosing an area to develop you might be better served by attending to an average score rather than your lowest score,” says David. It is unlikely, even with a great degree of work, that you will be able to move a low score to an off-the-chart strength. “Think about concrete behaviors you can engage in that would be responsive to negative feedback,” says Tiedens. David suggests creating mini-experiments where you choose one or two focus areas and create opportunities to try out a new behavior or way of being. Ask yourself: What’s the smallest thing I can do that will make the biggest difference? Then, once you’ve done that small thing, assess how it went. “Start developing proof points that show it will work,” says David. This is the foundation for change.

Talk with your manager or team
“The instinct is to hide and not talk about it, but since everyone participated, they are anticipating that some things will change,” says O’Kelley. Talk with your team and share an overview of the feedback you received. “You don’t need to give them every data point, but a general characterization of what the feedback said, both positive and negative, can be very useful for your team to hear,” says Tiedens. Make a commitment to your team or your manager as to what you are going to change and how. To keep you focused and to include them in the process, invite them to call you out when you aren’t living up to your promises.

How to handle outliers
Sometimes it’s clear from your 360-degree review that only one or two people had a certain negative opinion. Instead of completely dismissing that feedback, it’s important to reflect on it. It’s possible that others agree with the feedback but were afraid to express it in the assessment. If you have an outlier critique, do more research and try to assess whether it holds any truth. Then apply David’s three criteria from above to decide whether it deserves a reaction.

Principles to Remember
Do:

  • Remember that feedback — positive or negative — is an opportunity to see your leadership in new light
  • Ask yourself what the value of changing a behavior is before you spend time and energy on it
  • Commit to what you’re going to change and how with your team or manager

Don’t:

  • Try to seek out your detractors for more information
  • Attempt to change every negative behavior — be discerning about which ones to focus on
  • Instinctively focus on the negative — most reviews contain both good and bad feedback

Case Study #1: Deciding when not to react
When Aimee Fieldston’s small strategy firm was acquired by one of the big consulting companies, she received a much-deserved promotion to partner. About six months into her tenure, she was offered coaching and a 360-degree review as part of a development program for new partners. When she met with the coach before the review, she asked that he interview specific people. Aimee knew she had many fans in the organization but she was more curious to hear from some of her new peers and potential detractors.

The feedback report was primarily positive but included some useful areas of development around building a more commercial approach and developing a stronger team. The review also included some harsh feedback about Aimee as a person, indicating that some of her reviewers thought she had an irritating style. The coach noted that this was something he heard from a very small number of people. Aimee was taken aback as these were criticisms she hadn’t heard before. “It just wasn’t aligned with my sense of who I am,” she said. She was upset but rather than reacting right away, she took the time to reflect on it and consulted a more senior partner who had given her some frank, career-changing advice in the past. He agreed that the feedback didn’t resonate and asked her to think about whether there was any truth in it. If there wasn’t, he advised her to let it go. “Feedback sometimes is a gift that comes with a gift receipt,” he said.

Not responding was hard for Aimee. “I believe in feedback and I believed in this process,” she said. Ultimately, she chose to work on the things in the report that had ringed true for her.

Case Study #2: Listening to your team
In 2004, Torrey Cady, a Battery Commander, was mid-way through a tour in Iraq. In accordance with the Army’s culture of feedback and continual improvement, Torrey decided that the tour midpoint was a good time to take the temperature of his roughly 100-person organization. Torrey had been in service for almost 20 years and had done several Command Climate Surveys (CCS). The CCS, the Army’s version of a 360-degree review, surveys all soldiers in a unit on issues of morale, leadership, and performance.

The results of Torrey’s CCS surprised him. His soldiers indicated that they thought he was unapproachable and was too busy speaking with Iraqi mayors and sheiks to spend enough time with them. This negative feedback was especially difficult for Torrey. “One of the strengths I thought I had, because I came up through the ranks, was being approachable, easy to talk to, and down to earth,” he said.

While his initial reaction was shock and disbelief, when he read the comments, he understood more about what was going on. Every day Torrey and his men went out on patrol so that Torrey could meet with an Iraqi official about rebuilding the country. His team would wait outside, patrolling the area to keep Torrey and themselves safe. When the meeting was done, Torrey would hop back in the Humvee and say, “Ok, let’s get going,” and they’d head back to base. He rushed them back because he wanted to keep his soldiers safe and give them as much time off as possible. The sooner they got back to base, the sooner his team could eat, call their families, etc. But it turned out that they wanted to know what had happened in Torrey’s meetings and why they had to wait in the hot sun all day. “From their perspective, I hadn’t done a good job of explaining what it was I was doing and why,” he said. “I realized that I was so task-oriented and mission-focused that I was ignoring the very people who were helping me achieve the mission.”

After taking in the feedback, Torrey sat the team down and shared what he had heard. He explained that while it had not been intentional, he now knew that his behavior was having a negative impact on them. Starting then, at the end of each patrol, Torrey committed to debriefing his team (not just his supervisor) on the meeting and how it went. He also made a concerted effort to spend more casual time with his soldiers. Three months later, Torrey did another CCS and the difference was drastic. His team clearly appreciated what he had changed and they now felt included in the mission.


Ana Ivanovic’s great run and return to form at the 2010 Western & Southern Financial Group Masters, Cincinnati came to an disappointing end when she limped off the court after playing just 3 games in the semifinal match against Kim Clijsters. It was a little bizarre end as she did not fall, neither twisted her ankle nor did she hurt herself. She just pulled out after a her forehand, dropped her racquet and called for the trainer. Then after some treatment she came back on the court played a shot and retired from the match.

So far in the tournament she had played some really great tennis. She showed some good character on the court and gave the glimpses of the form of 2008 when she had reached the top spot in the WTA rankings. In the first match she defeated Azarenka (a top ten player) in three sets, then defeated Shvedova in straight sets in the second round. In the third round she smashed Vesnina 6-0, 6-3 and then in the quarterfinals defeated Amanmuradova in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 before retiring in the semifinals against Clijsters.

I was not expecting her to do so well, especially after her performance in the last few months, and to add to that her first match was against Azarenka, a player ranked in the top ten. But to the surprise Ana played some very good tennis in the tournament to reach to the semifinal stage. Certainly it looks as if she has returned to her top form, but with an injury and the US Open just round the corner, I am not really sure if she could display her top form in the last grand slam of the year.

Though the semifinal match ended in a disappointment for all the Ana Ivanovic fans, especially for me since I would have loved to see Ana and Maria Sharapova (two of my favourite players) compete  in the finals of the touranment. Now it will be Kim Clijsters and Maria Sharapova who will compete for the trophy.

Earlier in the year Ana had dropped out of the top 50 rankings, she was placed at 63 before the start of the tournament. Her performance here has been very good and will definitely see her rise, I hope she comes back into the top 50, and I also hope that by the end of the year she makes her way back at the top (top 10).

I hope that her injury is not very serious and she recovers completely before the US Open starting at the end of the month. Especially since it looks she has regained her form, so the injury should not force her out of the tournamnet.


On the 64th Independence day celebrations the President has approved awards of 144 gallantry awards to Armed Forces, Paramilitary and police personnel. This includes one Ashoka Chakratwo Kirti Chakras, two Bar to Shaurya Chakras19 Shaurya Chakras, two Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 80 Sena Medals (Gallantry), three Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry), and five Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry).

ASHOKA CHAKRA:

1. MR-08609 MAJOR LAISHRAM JYOTIN SINGH ARMY MEDICAL CORPS / EMBASSY OF INDIA, KABUL (POSTHUMOUS)

KIRTI CHAKRA:

1. IC-70151 CAPTAIN DAVINDER SINGH JASS 1ST BATTALION THE PARACHUTE REGIMENT (SPECIAL FORCES) (POSTHUMOUS)
2. SHRI VINOD KUMAR CHOUBEY SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE, RAJNANDGAON  CHHATTISGARH POLICE (POSTHUMOUS)

BAR TO SHAURYA CHAKRA:

1. IC-58637 MAJOR THONGAM JOTEN SINGH, SHAURYA CHAKRA, 21ST BATTALION THE PARACHUTE REGIMENT (SPECIAL FORCES)
2. SS-39651 MAJOR AJAY SINGH, SHAURYA CHAKRA 11TH BATTALION THE MARATHA LIGHT INFANTRY

SHAURYA CHAKRA:

1. IC-55217 LIEUTENANT COLONEL ADITYA NEGI, SENA MEDAL 3 GORKHA RIFLES / 32 RASHTRIYA RIFLES 
2. IC-61307 MAJOR DEEPAK YADAV ARMY EDUCATION CORPS / EMBASSY OF INDIA, KABUL(POSTHUMOUS)
3. IC-61324 MAJOR NITESH ROY ARMY EDUCATION CORPS / EMBASSY OF INDIA, KABUL(POSTHUMOUS)
4. IC-66201 CAPTAIN SUNIL YADAV PUNJAB REGIMENT / 37 RASHTRIYA RIFLES
5. IC-68043 CAPTAIN AMIT KUMAR SINGH, SENA MEDAL 2ND BATTALION THE BIHAR REGIMENT
6. IC-69150 CAPTAIN SUNIL NARANG 4TH BATTALION THE SIKH LIGHT INFANTRY
7. SS-42657 LIEUTENANT NAVIN NIROLA 4TH BATTALION THE KUMAON REGIMENT
8. JC-413360 NAIB SUBEDAR INDER KUMAR 1ST BATTALION THE PARACHUTE REGIMENT (SPECIAL FORCES)
9. JC-560161 NAIB SUBEDAR SHIV PUJAN SHARMA 2ND BATTALION THE BIHAR REGIMENT
10. JC-2300474 NAIB SUBEDAR RANG BAHADUR YADAV 23 ASSAM RIFLES
11. 13621161 LANCE HAVILDAR RAJAN 1ST BATTALION THE PARACHUTE REGIMENT (SPECIAL FORCES)
12. 2602065 NAIK BAIJU B 7TH BATTALION THE MADRAS REGIMENT
13. 4366857 LANCE NAIK NENGMAITHEM RAJESH SINGH 21ST BATTALION THE PARACHUTE REGIMENT (SPECIAL FORCES)
14. 4001514 SEPOY RAVI KANT DOGRA REGIMENT / 11 RASHTRIYA RIFLES(POSTHUMOUS)
15. 4002995 SEPOY SURENDER KUMAR DOGRA REGIMENT / 62 RASHTRIYA RIFLES (POSTHUMOUS)
16. 13627069 PARATROOPER MAKUNG SARANG HUCHONG 21ST BATTALION THE PARACHUTE REGIMENT (SPECIAL FORCES)
17. 15619321 GUARDSMAN KRISHAN KUMAR BRIGADE OF THE GUARDS / 21 RASHTRIYA RIFLES(POSTHUMOUS)
18. COMMANDER DILIP DONDE, (03593-T)
19. COMMANDER NITEEN ANANDRAO YADAV, (03965-K)

Well I have just listed out the list of major gallantry awards. For the complete list of awards that were declared please click here.


Should Rahul Dravid be dropped from the team. This is the question many people around the country, in fact all over the world are asking the national team selectors. Well I feel, this should not happen, as one should not judge a player that too of the caliber of Dravid by one poor series. I agree that Dravid had a bad series in Sri Lanka, but one can notice that he did not look out of form; it was just that he played some bad shots which cost him his wicket. Maybe this was because he did not have enough match practice before the start of the series (he is not a part of the one day squad). Also, it has not happened that this is the first time a player has not performed in the series. Dravid has been consistent for India for many years now, and this can be seen as not many players have scored more than 11000 runs in test cricket.

I don’t think that his career is over, in fact I do believe that he will also make a comeback something very similar to what Sachin has done. If I remember around 2006-2007, when Sachin was down with a lot of injuries and also was not able to perform the way he was known to, many people had started speculating the end of Sachin. It is almost 3-4 years from then, and if the selectors had dropped Sachin, we could not have witnessed so many records being broken. It was just a bad patch in Sachin life which he overcame with great ease, and now he is player better than he probably ever did. I guess Dravid also has a very similar character in him; he too is a great fighter and will surely comeback with high colors. And there is no point in dropping him from the test side.

Also there is one name Cheteshwar Pujara who is being claimed to take the place of Dravid in the team. I don’t agree to this either. Though Pujara has been performing consistently very well at the domestic level, he still does not have the international experience behind him. Test cricket is much more different from the domestic level. In fact if Pujara has to be groomed to play at that level and replace Dravid, he should be given chances to play the one dayers first, maybe when India had gone to Bangladesh, which would have been the best time to test Pujara, at least tried to get him used to that level.

Again even if selectors feel its time over for Dravid, why look at Pujara. I feel Virat Kohli has performed very well at the international level, he should get a chance before. Also what wrong has Badrinath done in the couple of test matches he played? They have the international experience behind them, and can be tried sometime during the home series. Also since Suresh Raina has made it to the test side there can be a possibilty of Laxman playing up in the order and Yuvraj Singh coming back into the middle order or with a similar set up get Dinesh Kartikh into the middle order. This might help Dhoni also relax form the wicket keeping job in the middle of the match if he wants to.

But I really don’t feel any changes required especially when Australia is coming here next. That will be a tough series and India will need Dravid in the team. Maybe if he fails then again then the other options as I have mentioned earlier can be tested in the next series when they face New Zealand. But the selectors will have to be very careful and intelligent with the changes since in December India will tour South Africa, where definitely, India will need the services and the experience of Dravid in the team.

In the end I would like to conclude as it is still very early to write of Dravid. And also if that is to be done maybe after a couple of series, I would like to suggest the selectors to go in for the options they have already tested at the international level.


I have not been watching the show for a long time now, in fact even before the leap. Though I was keeping myself updated about the show, I left that as well once the leap took place. After a long time I happened to watch the episode, and I was happy to see the changes.

It looks like that the main characters Gunjan and Samrat are back together, Diya is also back on the show, and yes the show might bring Nupur back (very Ekta Kapoor like story). But is this does happen I might not complain as I am happy that they are not spoiling the true love stories, something what the creatives of DMG have done. I do like love stories a lot, and to no surprises I like happy endings. So though getting back a character from the death sounds ridiculous I am still happy as it might mark a happy ending.

Although I am not sure if all this is going to happen, but it is just my understanding and interpretation of the three episodes I did watch, and my experiences that I have had for so many years watching various Ekta Kapoor shows. But I hope that my interpretation is correct. Also if that is true I am not sure why did the leap take place, what I mean is why were the new characters introduced in the first place, what has been their role so far in the show. Maybe I have not been watching the show that is why I am not aware of it.

Also if all this is true there is a possibility that MJHT might end or I can say wind up very soon, I mean after all the happy ending. Though again with all these extra new characters the creatives might bring in a lot many twists further, maybe extending the run of the show for a little longer.

I have just seen about three episodes so far, I have been happy to see Diya back, but also have missed Uday and Benji a lot. I feel they were equally important as the four leads, since their comic timing was something that never made one get bored after seeing all the old romantic scenes.

Again I hope that all this is true, and yes I also hope that Uday and benji also come back on the show to add that extra spice. And yes I hope that the DMF creatives are watching it and learn a lot more about love stories from here.


India win the third test match and level the series 1 all. There were many questions raised about the no.1 position of the team, especially after the loss in the first test. But India has managed to silent the critics. And they will stay at the top of the ICC test rankings for some more time. Well again India has not lost a test series. As I had written earlier that it has been a very similar story for sometime where India do not start well in the series and then go on to improve as the series progresses. In this test series also India lost the first, drew the second and won the third. Had they managed to draw the first (especially as more than a day was washed out) they would have won the series. But never the less eventually India has managed to draw the series, and with this India has not lost a test series for some time, more than a year (definitely since MS Dhoni has become the captain). I guess that is the one of the main reasons why India is at the top of the list.

This series has not been very easy for the Indians; first of all they were going into the series without their strike bowler, Zaheer Khan. And then before the start of the series, Sreesanth was ruled out which was a big dent in the bowling department, and had become over dependent on Harbhajan Singh especially seeing the form of Ishant Sharma. And then Harbhajan Singh failed to deliver. In the first test match despite more than a day being rained out, India lost the match. The bowlers failed to pick up wickets and the batsman just could not manage to live up the reputation. Overall it was a very much forgetful match for India, but not for Sri Lanka, as with it being the last match of Muralidharan, he also ended up with the magical 800 wickets figure and also the team ended up winning the match.

The second match was again a disappointment, not for the teams but for the game of cricket. It ended as a very boring match were batsman enjoyed, and broke a lot of records. The Indian batting lifted their level in that match but the bowling was disappointing again. Many including me were asking questions if the bowlers in the world number 1 team were capable of picking up 20 wickets in a test match. But that test match will be remembered for Sachin to reach his fifth test hundred. After this I did feel that India might not go back losing the series 2-0, but I also felt that levelling the series would have been very difficult especially after seeing the bowling attack.

Sachin has been, top scoring for India in the series

The third match was special for India as with this match Sachin would become the most capped test player ever. I must say what a record and what a journey he has had so far. But before the start of the test match Indian bowling department was again dented with the loss of Harbhajan Singh. Though after seeing the test match I think it worked in India’s favour as his replacement Amit Mishra not only picked 4 wickets but also scored very important runs down the order. Again India did not start well on the first day were India failed to pick up the wickets but they did come back on second day to dismiss Sri Lanka for just above 400 (though it would have been a very good total if India would have lost early wickets). India started off well with Sehwag and Sachin contributing well. Sehwag again played an outstanding innings. Laxman also contributed his bit for the team, and the new test find Raina again played well proving his selection in the team over Yuvraj. But the most important innings came from the bowlers Mithun and Mishra, both scoring 40s managed help the team cross the Sri Lankan total, and the Sehwag struck twice with the ball putting India a little ahead.

Virender Sehwag, player of the tournament

On the fourth day the bowlers particularly Ojha surprised everyone in the world (I guess that would include the team and yes himself also) by bowling a great spell and picking up three key wickets. And at one time the Sri Lankan team was 87 for 7 wickets. It never looked as if it was an Indian team bowling. I guess the team went into that day to prove the world why they are number 1 in test matches. But then again Indian team had to face the reality and Sri Lankan ended up scoring 267 giving India a target of 257. Then India lost three wickets for less than 50 on the board and again the match had shifted towards the Sri Lankan side. But I believe Sachin came on the field on the final day with a mission. And he was later joined by Laxman, to prove a point to the world. They both played well and laid the foundation for a great win. Sachin scored a good 50; while Laxman went on to score his 16th hundred. And finally the winning runs were scored by the new test team find Raina who again played a fine knock.

Laxman after scoring his hundred

In this series Sachin topped the batting charts scoring 390 runs, while Sehwag was next in line scoring 348 runs. In the bowling Ojha topped the chart picking up 8 wickets and the next in line was Sehwag with 7 wickets. Well I must say this series quite belonged to Sehwag as he contributed very well with both the bat and ball. Also Ojha bowled extremely well in the final match as his figures read 1 wicket for 311 runs before the start of the final match, while in the last match he ended with figures 7 wickets for 204 runs. I must say it has been the bowlers especially the spinners (Ojha, Mishra, and Sehwag) who have won the match for the team as they picked up 15 wickets between them which included 9 in the second innings. This is really a commendable effort if one sees that this bowling attack did have the names of Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh.

Pragyan Ojha, the highest wicket taker in the series for India

All what I can say at the end is that the bowlers really lifted their level and it could not have been a better gift than a win for Sachin who was playing his record test match. With this India have managed to maintain their no.1 rankings in test matches. Also for Sri Lanka it has been a good series as now they become third in the rankings, replacing Australia in the list.

In the end I would congratulate India for a great win, and now as the focus shifts to the tri-series tournament, I would wish India all the best for the series up ahead.

Suresh Raina, the find of the series


India I can say have been a little lucky to maintain their no.1 test ranking because of the ICC ranking rules. Earlier it was being speculated that 2-0 series loss will see India drop down the list and with the wins Sri Lanka would replace India at the top. But that is not going to happen anymore. Because a sought of ICC cut off date (1st August) comes between the series. 

The rankings are calculated for a period of four years from 1st August. All the points get changed after this date. For example, now the points will be calculated from 1st August 2007 to 31st July 2011. So since Sri Lanka had won five tests and lost one test from August 06 to July 07, those points have been ceased. Similarly, India had won two and lost two in that period, and that has benefited the team. Their points have in fact increased from 124 to 130 despite losing the first test. And now they are 11 points away from the second placed South Africa. This change in points has seen Sri Lanka drop to no.5. After the Pakistan-Australia series they had climbed to no.3 position as Australia had dropped to no.4. Now after this change Australia are back at no.3.

Now due these change in points the result of the final test will not affect the position of India at the top. But it will definitely reduce the difference in the points. Yes this true, even India win the last test and level the series they lose 3 points and will end up at 127 points, such is the irony of the ranking system. This change has also helped India in the ODI format as well, as after the change they are back at the second place again.

Well now talking about the series so far. The Indian team’s performance has been disappointing so far. In the first game they were completely outplayed. They could manage to even the test match, something that one does not expect from the no.1 team in the world especially after almost one and a half day was washed out in the rain. The bowlers had a disappointing start, and then they could not wipe out the tail early, The Sri Lankans stitched a record partnership for the eight wicket, and I think that partnership was the primary cause of Indian defeat.

The bowlers have been very disappointing in the series so far. Though one may say it is a depleted bowling attack, I do not agree to it, they only have Zaheer Khan out of the side, the other three bowlers are regular members of the playing eleven. And they have only managed to 15 wickets in the two test matches, leave aside a talk of picking up the 20 wickets in a match. Yes one can give the benefit of the doubt that the second test pitch was not good for bowling, but still I feel the no.1 test team should not give any excuses. The fast bowlers have still been good in patches, the spinners have been disappointing as they have managed only six wickets in the two test matches, and too three of them have been taken by Virender Sehwag. Harbhajan Singh has taken two wickets for 304 runs so far, while Pragyan Ojha has just managed 1 wicket at the cost of 311 runs. Something that is not expected at all specially on the sub continent wicket. The performance of Harbhajan Singh has really been disappointing since he is been regarded as a prospect to break Muralidharan’s record.

The batting department has been okay; they were decent in the first match but still could not avoid the defeat. They all played well in patches, Sehwag, Sachin, Laxman, Yuvraj and Dhoni. Both Gambhir and Dravid were disappointing. Though the batting department came very good in the second match specially Sehwag, Sachin, Raina, Dhoni, and Murali Vijay. Dravid was again disappointing in the match. Though I feel that he is due for a big one and will come good in the final test match.

If I talk about the overall team performance then it has not been good, but the team has shown very similar performance in the past year and are still no.1 in the world. What I mean to say that they have faltered in the first match of the series regularly for more than a year now, have always managed to back strong in the rest of the series. It looks like a very similar situation so definitely I will count on India winning the last test especially after playing well in the second match.

In the end I want to wish India best of luck for the last test, and also hope that they will manage to maintain their position at the top for a long time to come.

The ICC standings as of  30th July 2010 after the change in points.

ICC Test Rankings

    Team            Points
1.  India                   130
2.  South Africa         119
3.  Australia             113
4.  England               111
5.  Sri Lanka             111
6.  Pakistan               84
7.  West Indies           79
8.  New Zealand        78
9.  Bangladesh           7

 ICC ODI Rankings

     Team            Points
1.  Australia              132
2.  India                    118
3.  South Africa          115
4.  New Zealand        114
5.  England               113
6.  Sri Lanka             111
7.  Pakistan               98
8.  West Indies            67
9.  Bangladesh           53
10.Zimbabwe            36
11. Ireland                35
12. Netherlands        32
13. Kenya                   0