Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Best Indo-Pak encounter I have ever watched!

Yesterday was the best Indo-Pak cricket encounter I have ever watched in my life. Although it was such a high octane World Cup semi-final over-hyped by media and the presence of diplomats, Prime Ministers of both the nations, celebrities etc, the players did not lose their cool at all. Sehwag started it off with his usual spirit putting a score of 50 in first five overs. Then Pakistani bowlers taken the game under control with superb spin and seam combination from Ajmal, Hafeez and Wahab Riaz and restricted India to a score of 260 in a ground where people don't consider a score below 300 as defendable. But Indian bowlers fought really well specially Nehra and Munaf. There were lots of doubts when Dhoni included Nehra in place of Ashwin (who was performing very well in fielding as well as bowling), but Nehra did not let the pressure get into him and performed much beyond expectations. Yuvi and Bhajji also did a great job with their spin attack. From Indian side it was a perfect team-work which led them to victory, but in the Pakistan camp, there was one guy who performed exceptionally. Yes he is none other than he young bowler Wahab Riaz..I don't remember when I saw such reverse swing before. He was the best performer in yesterday's match although that was not enough for Pakistan to win.

One thing which surprised me was the friendly attitude of both the teams during the entire course of the game. In every Indo-Pak encounters I have ever seen, there were couple of heated exchanges between players and of course people were expecting similar drama yesterday as well. But the players played with such a good spirit that there were no rooms for such vulgarity. The friendly gestures, comments from players like Afridi, Ajmal were really mind-blowing. It was a victory of cricket I would say, not just a victory for India. Hope these two neighboring nations will show such spirit both in and off the field in future :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

What a match it was....

While making my first post here about the world cup cricket, I hardly thought that I will have to mention about it again and probably that has made my first post look like an essay describing India's world cup campaign as someone pointed out. But things seem to be changing a lot. India registered their first ever victory over Australia since 1987 in a super-entertaining world cup match at Motera, Ahmedabad. Since I have started watching television or following cricket, this is something which has happened for the first time. I was thinking India will be under tremendous pressure due to their earlier losses to the Aussies (specially in 2003 world cup final), and being in a home ground would add more to it rather than taking it off. But the way they performed was simply brilliant. Unlike in the earlier matches they played in this tournament, I did not have a single world of criticism for them yesterday. They looked quite energetic in bowling as well as fielding in the first innings. Although the Aussies were restricted to a score of 260, the tension was not yet over since India's lower-middle order batting have not performed at all in this tournament. They performed like chokers (which South Africans used to do) in most of the games. But yesterday was special, except Dhoni, there were no single digit score by any of the seven batsmen who played. Three of them scored half century as well which I consider much better performance than one batsman scoring more than 150 and rest having single digit scores. Indians did a great teamwork in all three departments and this is the very thing which was missing in them in earlier matches. And with such teamwork, Indians are simply unbeatable in this tournament. Hope they will play with this same spirit in the biggest ever match in this tournament coming on Wednesday: clash of two arch-rivals India and Pakistan.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bharat Bandh 24th March!

One of my friend from Germany (who never heard of Sachin Tendulkar) today was asking whether we will get food in the mess tomorrow or not. I asked him what makes him think so, and he said he heard somewhere that tomorrow India is going to play a very crucial match against Australia and it could be possible that everything in India comes to a standstill. Well, up to a little exaggeration, this is true in fact. Such things won't surprise anyone in a cricket crazy nation like India. People across the country must have postponed or preponed various things so that they don't clash with the match timings tomorrow. In our department also, we have postponed one discussion session from tomorrow evening to sometime in the next week. But fortunately our mess will remain open and we will continue to get food ;) Hope tomorrow's match will live up to the expectations of these crazy cricket lovers!

Friday, March 18, 2011

ICC World Cup 2011

I had couple of posts during the FIFA world cup last year and it will be surprising if I don't have a single post about the ICC world cup this year where India is considered to be one of the favorites. But, no matter India plays or not, watching football has always been very exciting to me. I was a great supporter of Brazil as well as Argentina during my childhood just because most of the people around me were supporting either of this two teams. On the other hand, cricket does not seem to be so interesting to watch nowadays. But playing cricket feels as good as it did in childhood. Cricket has grown to a very different stage in the last couple of years with couple of new rules introduced, a new format of the game called 20-20 introduced etc. Watching cricket has become boring because of too much cricket happening around I guess, for example 20-20 world cup, Indian Premier League happens every year plus there will be at least three different tours India will make to some other cricket playing nations, and some home series as well. I wonder when these players get any rest. Anyway, ICC cricket world cup is still the most interesting one among all these tournaments and this time its happening in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Unfortunately India is not playing up to the mark in the home grounds. In the group stage, they had struggled to win against minnows also. They could not even defend a score of 327 against England, they always face the problem of losing too many wickets within few overs towards the end, their fielding never improved etc etc. There were serious errors in decision making steps which also cost a lot, for example, the batting order. India never seemed to stick to a batting order, they tried to change it in every match and got the treatment. Fortunately the team management accepted that abrupt changes in batting order was in fact a big mistake and they stick to the initial batting order in the last match against West Indies. But they are yet to overcome the problem of rapid fall of wickets during the slog overs or during power-play. Hope it won't happen in the big match on Thursday against Australia. India can make much better with the existing resources and hope they will. I also hope Indian fans, media will be with the players, won't put unnecessary pressure on them. It often happens that, Indians think a cricket match can be won by one-man effort(Sachin for example) and similarly it can be lost due to one man (Nehra for example). This kind of attitude create too much pressure on the players which is good for nothing. We need to realize that cricket is not a one-man game and only a combined team effort can make us win. Like Sachin's two tons in this WC could not save those two matches for India, similarly one bad over or spell from a bowler can't be held responsible for the defeat. Hope the cricket fans will realize this and be with the players all through the tournament.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan 2011 disaster!

Japan has been one of the worst sufferer of natural as well as war disasters throughout the ages. And none of them could stop them from becoming one of the most developed nation in the world. The latest such disaster in the March 10th quake of 8.9 magnitude in the Richter scale which brought Tsunami as well as nuclear disasters by triggering blast at couple of nuclear power plants. Japanese premier has called it the worst disaster since world war II. So far there have been three blasts in the nuclear power plants which is slowly increasing the radiation leak. Even the city of Tokyo which is around 25o km away from one of such nuclear plant, has detected a minute increase in radiation level (not a threat to human life so far). If further such radiation leak is not controlled, this can prove to be much worse than the Tsunami itself which killed more than 10 thousand people. Not a single good news is coming in the media till now about the situations in Japan. Instead of asking the people to be united and calm at this time of disaster, some stupid media is trying to related this quake with a possible end of the world hypothesis in 2012, creating a panic among the common people. There is nothing new happening, such natural disasters have been happening since the beginning of life. This time the situation has become critical due to the blasts at Nuclear power plants. But I hope Japan will prove to be strong like before and will restore their development, their economy. Hope the whole world will stand united and will do whatever then can for this beautiful country and its people.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Losing the last motivation I had for an extra fermion family!

As we all know, the Standard Model(SM) of particle physics is a gauge theory of three families of quarks and leptons. Recently there were lots of discussions in the community regarding one more family of quarks and leptons, bounds on their masses and mixing with the observed fermions etc etc. Although the precision electroweak data still allows the inclusion of one more chiral family into the SM (not more than one), it hardly provides a solution to any of the problems SM suffers from. But "anything which is not forbidden must happen" attitude forces one to study the implications of four generation SM in colliders as well as cosmology. LEP II results constrains the mass of the fourth generation neutrino to lie above the Z-boson mass threshold i.e. around 45 GeV. Similarly there are various lower bounds on the charged fermions coming from precision data at LEP as well as null searches at Tevatron. From cosmology also, there are restrictions on number of light (~eV) neutrinos which prevents us from incorporating one more light neutrino into the model. One additional problem arises with the perturbativity. Since the fourth generation fermions get masses have to lie above the experimental lower bounds, their Yukawa couplings are quite large. And they become non-perturbative around few TeV scale when evolved under the Renormalization Group Equations (RGE). This demands new physics around the TeV scale which can keep the couplings perturbative. However, I have not seen any good candidate so far which can achieve this purpose. Enlarging the gauge symmetry or incorporating Supersymmetry do not help. TeV scale Extra dimensions might help although. Adding a large number of vector like particles in an ad-hoc fashion seems to work. This serious issue has to be addressed in any models involving four generations and no good models have come up so far. One motivation for fourth generation seems to come from the like sign dimuon charge asymmetry seen in Tevatron last year which was around 3 sigma deviation from SM predictions. Four generation models seems to have an explanation for this. But there are many other new physics explanation for this anomaly and there is no good reason to prefer four generation models over others. One more motivation could be related to Dark Matter. However it turns out that such a heavy neutrino will have very little abundance in the present Universe due to too much self annihilation. However if it's mass is as heavy as few TeVs then it can account for the correct abundance of Dark Matter in the present Universe. But to explain the origin of mass of such a heavy neutrino, we need non-perturbative Yukawa couplings. Also, such a heavy neutrino with SM couplings to the Z boson will give too high cross-section with a nuclei in direct detection experiments and hence will be ruled out from CDMS and XENON upper limits. Thus four generation scenario do not seem to be very motivating like the other beyond standard model frameworks. I would not be surprised if LHC rules out its existence :-)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bye bye winter :(

My most favorite season in India, the winter has suddenly disappeared. For me specially it has become difficult to adjust to this sudden change in Bombay weather as I was in Delhi where the winter was departing very slowly with couple of frequent showers in the evening. Bombay is awfully hot now and comparatively dry than usual. The sudden change has brought cold, cough, sneezing etc etc and I am really sick of all these. The weather in Bombay will be like this only till the arrival of monsoon and there are still three more months to go for that. I have no idea how I will spend these three months. Thank God, I made a sudden plan last month of going home in April. At least 20-22 days will be spent in a place with much better weather than this. Usually there are lots of pre-monsoon rain in Assam in the month of April. I hope they will visit Assam this time as well. After all, rain and mango are among the very few things I like about summer.