Monday, March 03, 2008

Pointless quotes beget pointless posts

Meaningless quote of the day:

"He has scored 16,000 runs. I haven't even played 16,000 balls."

- M S Dhoni, asked about Sachin Tendulkar not doing too well in the Commonwealth Series (before yesterday's match, of course)

First, the answer has absolutely nothing to do with the question. It's just another way of using past achievements to brush aside any talk about current form. Also, this peculiar interpretation of Authority: if cricketer A has 16,000 runs and cricketer B has 3,000 runs, the latter has only 3000/16000 x 100 = 18.75 per cent authority to comment on the former (even if the latter is the former's captain). This in turn leads to the misbegotten idea that someone who hasn't actually played cricket at the highest level has Zero per cent authority to make statements about Test-level players. (It applies to other fields too. As a reviewer I'm often asked things like: "What gives you the right to say mean things about Jodhaa Akbar when you've never even stood behind a camera, much less got Aishwarya and Hrithik to writhe together on a palace floor?")

But even looked at on its own terms, Dhoni's quote would have made sense only if his batting strike rate was something like 20 runs per 100 balls (which means he would have needed close to 16,000 balls to score the 3,000-odd ODI runs he currently has to his name). Going by his actual strike rate, if he had faced 16,000 balls, he would have scored close to 15,000 runs. So the difference between balls faced and runs scored isn't as large as the quote makes it sound. A more useful answer would have been, "He has scored 16,000 runs. I haven't even eaten 6,000 omelettes."

Sorry, it's one of those Monday mornings...

24 comments:

  1. It is the mark of respect that DHONI has for Tendulkar that forced him to make this comment. This time I think you have gone over the top in criticising somebody.

    I just see it as an innocous remark , more to see off some irritating journalist than anything else. On the other hand one would be more happy to see the Indian captain keep up his high standards of playing than worry about his remarks.

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  2. Criticism is still a bad word in India....Sigh!

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  3. Jokey and flippant Monday morning post, Shwet, written more so I could get in that Jodhaa Akbar reference and the omelette crack than for anything else. So relax! Btw, I'm well aware of the devious ways in which quotes are collected (and blown up) by journalists, especially the lot covering Indian cricket.

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  4. hahahaha.. omelettes??!! hahahaha

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  5. hey I agree with your view... I was thinking the very same thing when I read Dhoni's comment! :)

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  6. What's wrong with journalists covering cricket, Iebhu?

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  7. Shamya: everything. You're all a bunch of kangaroo-eating scumbags.

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  8. To make an omelette you have to crack an egg.

    *ducks*

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  9. Once more you are insulting noble vegetarian culture of our holy motherland??!
    Why omelette?? You could have given example of mango or banana or even the milk from our holy cow mother(or almost-holy buffalo) that dhoni is drinking so often in public. Instead you bring in animal products that only vile non-veg eaters will consume.
    Shame on you for propagating such dietary habits which are against our culture!!
    DD

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  10. Ash: as Groucho famously said, "Take two turkeys, one goose, four cabbages, but no duck, mix them together, and you'll duck soup for the rest of your life". I would add one serving of No Eggs to that recipe.

    DD: it's not an animal product, it's just a harmless little foetus. Also, I object to your bringing bananas into this. Bananas have feelings too! As Groucho famously said, "Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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  11. [Alert: henceforth I will reply to all comments on this blog with a Groucho Marx quote]

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  12. In point of biological fact, the eggs you eat are ovum - nobody eats fertilised chicken/ duck eggs (ovum + sperm) except by accident.
    As Groucho would have said: "The two hard-boiled eggs you order are ones where the body the first has not met the body the second".

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  13. dont see much sense in that quote really.

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  14. Poor India - its only heroes are people like Dhoni and actors like Hritik and A Rai.

    What a nation! Is there anything else going on there? Any room for the intellect to function?

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  15. And possums, Kahaksur. Finally had a baked possum at this Aboriginal restaurant last night.

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  16. DD: am trying very hard now to imagine the sort of accident that would result in someone eating a fertilised egg.

    W.r.t your "watch Night at the Opera" comment, I think Trailblazer was referring to the original Dhoni quote, not the Groucho quote you made up.

    BMR: As Groucho would say, "Outside of a baked possum, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a baked possum it's too dark to read."

    "Kahaksur" sounds like one of those ship-building asuras in our holy texts - an asura who built a kayak that he could use to sail to the heavens and kick wimpy Indra off his throne for the umpteenth time.

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  17. jai......i love it when your acid tongue punctures all those pompous idiots full of gas.......but attacking an enthusiastic young sportsman like Dhoni who has one of the most demanding jobs in the nation.......this does not suit u man!

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  18. Given that any questions about Sachin's "current" form get answers like the two finals, I guess Dhoni was just brushing off the issue. That could be the third reason, which we can add to your list. I think it was his equivalent to, "Wait and see".

    That said, it was a Monday, so I will stop here ;)

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  19. ...but attacking an enthusiastic young sportsman like Dhoni...

    AMJ: isn't "attack" a rather strong word? Have I actually written anything nasty or personal about Dhoni anywhere in the post? Also, do check my first comment.

    Amey: I've been one of Sachin's biggest fans and defenders (in the face of all criticism) over the years, and I'm very pleased about the runs he made in the finals, but I can't quite agree with this statement: Any questions about Sachin's "current" form get answers like the two finals. That hasn't always been the case, especially in the past 5-6 years. Which is why I'm glad he seems to have found this new vein of enthusiasm/form in the past few months. Hope it lasts.

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  20. Or drunk 6000 liters of milk.

    Good point. Maybe the comment was a dig at the system as a vent of his frustration at not being able to criticize Sachin more than anything else.

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  21. What did one kahaksur say to the other?
    "You can't have your kahak and eat it too!"

    *slinking away before someone hurls a baked possum at me :-O*

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  22. Oh, oh, I get it.
    You waqnt to be sure you have a license to say nasty things despite not having a formal degree, gnaw-ledge or talent.
    Yes, I saw that soon enuff, partner.

    Jodhaa

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  23. poor dhoni, first he has to face an awkward question about the form of a senior then he is hauled over coals for his reply. he he

    mayb in jharkhand that is appropriate way to respond when asked questions like 'has your old man lost it?'

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