Saturday, February 19, 2011

World Cup is upon is!

2011 ICC World Cup. Who will win it this time ?

In the last presidential and general elections in SL, I had few predictions but didn't dare publishing them. Ironically, final results came very close to my predictions and I'm determined not to do the same mistake this time.

Besides, there is really nothing to loose by having a go and let the world know what your 'predictions' are. If they work, you may get some attention/recognition/glory/nothing at all or whatever. If not, you will be just like what you are right now. see, nothing to loose at all!

Many say India and Sri Lanka are the favorites. Really one doesn't need to be genius or an expert in cricket to say that, it's just obvious. India and Sri Lanka has to be among favorites, beside rankings and recent form, most of matches they play will be on their home grounds!

However, here is my prediction on India.

1) India will not be in Finals!

There, I said it...

Reasoning ? well, it's not a difficult one either if one look into history. India is not well known for putting up with the extra large pressure and expectations put up by billions of Indian fans. If one looks at their current team, it has many stalwarts at key places on whom the team relies upon. Tendulkar, Sehvag, Dhoni, Harbajan, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj etc. These players were the backbone of many Indian teams before this tournament, unfortunately, they don't have a good track record of (while offering a mild apology to Tendulkar) putting up with the pressure put up by home crowd. There is simply more chance for the same things to happen again.....

On the record sheet and statistics India are on top. psychologically, billion fans and billion expectations (and the little bit of extra pressure generated by the knowledge that their houses will be stoned and burnt by the 'loving' fans in case of poor performance) would be too much for them.

hmm.. what about Sri Lanka ?

Champions in 96, semi finalists in 2003, finalists and runner up in 2007.. although that look good on paper, Sri Lanka has had a little problem of winning big matches since late 90's. apart from above mentioned 2003, 2007 campaigns, they lost another worldcup final (20-20 format, against Pakistan). I think Sri lanka will come to finals but I'm not putting my money on what will happen in the finals. It could be any man's game at that stage....

2) SL will be in Finals

Dark Horse : it is funny to see the Kangaroo as the dark horse. After all, AUS are the current champions and number one ranked, continuously champions since 2000! Still, not many are rating them among hot favorites considering their recent form and subcontinent conditions. However I think AUS are pretty underrated. If one compare the current squad with the winning squad in 2007, many faces are still there. Ponting, Clarke, Hussy, Lee, Watson are players who can win matches.

3) AUS will be in Semi Finals (at least, and a likely candidate for finals)

SA has acquired a reputation as a side haunted by bad luck in world cups. However, there is an end to everything, likewise this haunting too has a place it should eventually end. Mr Smith has a very competent side with him which recently managed to mauld India.

4) SA will be in Semi Finals. (at least, and a likely candidate for finals)

Many rate ENG as a top side in world cricket these days. Indeed their fast ascend in the ranking ladder and the recent results are very impressive. Yet, I'm not totally convinced. Their recent drubbing at the hands of out of form australians in australia reminded us of old England. More importantly I feel this England team is not tested enough in subcontinent pitches yet. (despite noting that they have a world class spinner in Swann) Also, most of their team members havnt proved them selves in the subcontinet. (yet)

5) ENG will not be in Semi Finals

One last prediction :

6) BA will be in Quarter finals! (this is the riskiest prediction yet and I think as the one which is most likely to backfire on me, yet I will say this) most probably, at the expense of WI.

Let's see how many of these will come true!

I guess most of you have already figured out which team I'm supporting my self.

Go Lions !

The New Blog

Today I started a new blog to dedicate to my long term hobby, Artificial Intelligence in games and puzzles.

This blog will discuss on gaming theory, algorithms and my experiences of developing games. More than theory, the blog will attempt to discuss individual puzzles/games and the challenges in solving/playing them.

It will also concentrate on winning strategies for AI engines. While I intend to share some of my code/algorithms to facilitate discussions among developers, the blog will mostly for anybody who has an interesting in solving puzzles, programmers or not.

see you there... !