Thursday, October 16, 2008

Kabali Times: Gavaskar Changes Coin Toss Probabilities

Batting Maestro and idiot commentator Sunil Gavaskar stunned the cricketing world and mathematics world by announcing that the probability of getting a "tail" in a fair toss of a coin was actually 0.9. Mathematicians, statisticians, obstetricians, gynaecologists, cobblers and Kabali kovil pichaikaarans were all stunned to hear this profound observation on the so-far-well-hidden weighted bias towards the "tail". It also gave cricket viewers tremendous insight as to why Gavaskar won more tosses than test matches. He had spent all his time practicing hard to get the accuracy of his toss-call as high as 90%.

After Navjot Sidhu was fired, Gavaskar was largely expected to fill the gaping void called the "buffoon commentator". However, not many expected him to out beat Sidhu in the subject of "probability and random theory". Gavaskar has redefined both "probability" and "random theories" better than Sidhu. Leading journal "Vaara Malar Thoonukku Mootai" has been conducting a poll on "Greatest Idiot to have embarrassed India in the name of patriotism" for the past 100 years. Gavaskar has strongly announced his intention to win this award for the 5th straight year. His fantastic efforts to show his "genuine patriotism" for India was reflected in his nitpicking and in his irrelevant, insignificant and immature (The 3 I's) comments on Ponting, Ponting's underwear and Pontings dirty finger nails. If Gavaskar wins this award, he would be 2 short of Navjot Sidhu's 7-year winning streak.

15 time award winner Y.G. Mahendran was extremely disappointed with Gavaskar's comments. He went on to call his tactics "under arm tactics" and laughed all by himself for a few minutes. Y.G.Mahendran sympathisers argued that by Gavaskar was trying to cheat the poll by expanding his stupid observations to realms outside of cricket. "Avar saar Y.G was disciplined and stuck to one area. Sunny saar is cheating" was their karagosham. Y.G. Mahendran disclosed that, for quite some time, he had been dreading the possibility of Gavaskar saying something incredibly and mind-numbingly stupid. Gavaskar's desperation to blabber anti-Ponting comments reminded Mahendra of his childhood experiences and forced him to do a quick dash to Pazhani and seek divine intervention. But it was of no avail. Mr. Pazhani Malai Muruga couldn't prevent the inevitable from happening.

After Gavaskar had made a series of desperate attempts to criticise just about anything Ponting did, a Kabali times reporter was stunned to hear Gavaskar criticise Ponting's coin-toss capabilities. While commentating with Mark Nicholas he said, "Ricky Ponting always call heads when he tosses. A 50 paisa Indian coin can be tossed in such a way that it will fall down as tails. Ponting's strategy of calling "heads" always is very stupid. If you practice hard enough you can make the coin fall the way you want it to and easily defeat Ponting in the toss". Mark Nicholas, after recovering from a massive cardiac arrest, attempted to confirm if Gavaskar was kidding. Sunny bhai put the matter to rest by saying "if you practice hard enough 9 times out of 10 it will fall the way you want".

Author's Note: The last Paragraph is not a work of fiction. Gavaskar really said that about 30 minutes prior to lunch on Day 1 of 2nd Test.


Mannaru said...

he also said something about the poor guy hughes who was killed...

Anonymous said...

"..Mark Nicholas, after recovering from a massive cardiac arrest, attempted ..." LOL

YGM and NSS must be thinking.. "Yaruda intha hawkeye.. yaru comedy pannalum, engalai pottu gummurane..." :)


Arun Sundar said...

karagosham means 'clapping hands'nu I think.

Ram Prasadh said...

LOL. I too heard the comment and was quite surprised by his idiotic statement. I remember that he also said "If the visiting captain changes his mind and calls tails then the captain is at risk. :)"
The way MarK Nicholas was looking at SG was like
" Dei Naaye!! I hv known Indians to b gr8 Mathematicians and statisticians but ur probability of getting 9 tosses out of 10 tosses of a coin in ur favour sounds similar to probability of picking 9 fools out of 10 intelligent people = probability of picking 1 fool out of 10 intelligent ppl. because the picker(fool) always thinks the rest of the intelligent ppl. as always fools.

Mutta(zero) kandupidica oorula ippadi oru muttaal."

maxdavinci said...

believe it or not, I actually tried tossing a 2Re coin. SMG gaaru is great, engeyo poytaanga...

paavam, you start with ckt and still manage to end up with YGM!

Sriram said...

Wrong usage of the word karagosham. However you redeem yourself by bringing up thunukku mootai.

sundar said...

good one. I really can't believe he would go on air to express this level of stupidity..

I agree with Raj :)!

Anonymous said...

what do u have against YGM ?

Anonymous said...

hey bharath,
listen to yuvvraaj( latest arr release) eagerly awaiting ur views on the album.

sweety said...

LOL !!!!!!!

I dont know much about cricket ... but this is a partial eye openeer :P


venkiraja said...

You left out several newbie contenders for the title including Veera Thalabathi JKR,Sam anderson and the one and only Little superstar Silambarasan!

Anonymous said...

ada poda, ricky ponting himself will walk away with the international award in the same category.
There are many other Aussie Cricketers and commentators who wil vie for the same award at the international level. Sunil ellam local dhaan. He cant match the Aussis in stupid patriotism.

gradwolf said...

ROFL kalakitenga hawkeye aar. Lol @ bringing poor YGeeeeM into the debate......

Anonymous said...


I know you dont like sunny bhai... but maybe he was kidding too.. who knows... ;-)

And mark Nicholas is one guy who loves to lick aussie's arse... he is not even an aussie.. so i'm sure he would have had a cardiac arrest seeing wow sunny is more patriotic than me... agree sidhu is a caricature.. sunny bhai is good.. but maybe this time he lost it..

but let me tell u this... if u toss a US quarter... more ofthen than not u get tails than heads... LOL. Thats my observations..


S said...


you are a kosai. if ever there was one. 10 years after college and innum thirundhalai..

if i meet you in person.... mavane.

Anonymous said...

Dei S,

Vennai... whoever u are... which part of my comment u dont understand.... dont try to chink chuk bharath... too much.. LOL

and ithulla periya anonymus vera... pera solda nayee....

- Ganesh

S said...

oh! I understand you entire comment. It reeks of stupidity that you were famous for in college.

A US quarter gives more tails than heads?!! WTF??? ithula "LOL" vera. Maramandai. Nee ellam padichavan.

Thats why you chin-chuk gavaskar. Both of you are fools.

Hawkeye said...


it was david hookes.


who is NSS?

arun sundar,

Thanks. ya i knew the meaning but used it wrongly.

ram prasadh,

mark nicholas seems to be a big fan of Indian cricket and tendulkar. Gavaskar is trying his best to convince him otherwise.

mad davinci,



yes thunukku mootai is god's gift.


i cant believe i was a fan of his commentary through the 90s.


nothing. i love YGM.


will check out yuvraaj. was only moderately impressed by sakkarai katti.


thanks :-)


who is JKR?


i doubt if anybody can match sunny in stupid patriotism. barring sidhu of course. that aussies are stupid doesnt esxcuse sunny from being stupid. both are separate topics.


romba asingam da nee.

after reading a post making fun of people who think they can game a coin toss, you still go on to give comments on the US quarter. even if you give allowance to the possibility that some coins are biased towards a particlar side - i don't know why you would want to commit to a comment without enough samples or testing a million tosses.

plus read my comments on mark nicholas to ramprasadh above. If you think mark is a aussie lick-ass (he is a tendulkar lick-ass) you have some "vellai kaaran" phobia or something.

you are better off commenting as anonymous. i can still recognize you if you are anon but the knowledge will be restricted to just me.


enna kolai veri? yaar nee?

yaar nee?

Anonymous said...

Dei S,

You still dont want to reveal ur identity.. potta dog...

Anonymous said...


I dont know if mark is a big tendy fan or not.. but have u seen him comment during the ashes series... he sounds so cupid... he has a crush on symonds... trust me... and abt US quarters... i told it was my personal observation... and it is just an observation.. if u want to do million samples.. pls do so... i dont have the time... ;-)

I dont care if u recognize me or not.. it's all in good fun... hope u dont take it serios...

- Ganesh

Anonymous said...

Dei S,

Vennai.. where did i chink chuk gavaskar. i just told my observation that us quarter gives out more tails than heads.. i didnt say it was always the case.

bharath wanted to conclude after testing million tosses so u can do that.. for urself.. to see the results..:-)

and by not revelaing ur identity ur just being an ass .... anyway let me take a guess.. are u that light post who used to live in annanagar...??

Bharath, I know u told his name... i forgot again... can u give me his name once more....


S said...


you moron! Do you have comprehension problems?

Bharath just asked you to not express an opinion without having tested for it adequately (i.e w/o tossing it a million times don't say that it has a tail bias). Can't you even understand that?

The million times is for you to do. Not me. Not Bharath. Not munnusami. Not kuppusami. Its for you to do it. If you don't have the time to do that then please stop making stupid claims about the US quarter's tail bias.

How did you pass 12th standard man? Did you get the question paper in advance or something like that?

Hawkeye said...

ganesh babu,


/* i just told my observation that us quarter gives out more tails than heads.. i didnt say it was always the case. */

Did you read the first sentence and the second sentence again? Really, you should stop commenting now and save yourself.

Anonymous said...

Dei mutta s,

U still have not come out of ur closet..? moron.. i never said that i was going to toss it million times.. @$$... he wanted to make a conclusion after that... so he can do it or better u can do it for him... i said it was just my casual obserrvation...

again u have not revealed ur identity... would u be that shanmugam by any chance... ??

- Ganesh

S said...


read the following sentences carefully.

The only person who needs to do a million tests on a coin is the person who claims that there is a bias in the coin. If you are going to claim that a US quarter has a bias towards the tail do not make the claim until you have tested this a million times. If you have not tested it and do not have an "official" statement regarding it don't make the claim.

Anonymous said...

Dei s,

coin toss aside...whats next... u still have not come out with ur identity....did i guess u correctly moron? ;-)

- G

Saro said...

Hey wait...., I saw that on TV. He was only trying to say that he knows a person in mumbai who could flip the coin to show you heads all the time. He added that it was probably possible because you know the weight of the coin and the grasp of the earth and so with practice it could be perfected (There is a similar theory I read while doing a course on reliability engineering that claims nothing is random!., and it points exactly to this experiment!)

He said that if the call that the rival captain is going to make is pre-known this trick can be done., else not...
Probably you sampled what he spoke there...really din't expect this from you..desperately wanted a kabali post huh?

Anonymous said...

delete pannittiya en comment. ROmba enanvo budukku maadhri sonnae oru dhadavai - profanity is allowed here-nu. Ellam empty bluster - no wonder you like the Aussies.

S said...


Yes. You are correct. That is what Gavaskar said. And he needs to be made fun of exactly for saying such stupid things. You deserve to be made fun of also for mentioning some "engineering" nonsense.

Mark Nicholas was dumb founded for a moment and did ask Sunny if he was kidding or not. Sunny did say " If you practice hard enough you can get what you want 9 times out of 10"

Hawkeye said...


/* you know the weight of the coin and the grasp of the earth */

what do you mean by "grasp of the earth"? yow! ennaiya nadakuthu inga.


Many factors work to influence the coin's path starting from wind interference, earth's magnetic field and gravity.

S said...


Stop taunting me. Or I'll kill ganes babu.

Hawkeye said...


You are SSLC. I am B'Com 1st class. I am right.

Anonymous said...

otha bcom first class-ke ithanai rausa? If someone publishes a comment which thugilurinjafies your garvam, you delete it. Unakkellam enna da thimiru?

Saro said...

You fail to catch the point and ridiculing about something else. Why don't you for a change look at the meaning of my previous post?

/* what do you mean by "grasp of the earth"? yow! ennaiya nadakuthu inga. */
English is not my mother tongue and I'm not bothered about these comments on my language(I have read your sarcasm for Kamal's pronunciation of "chaos theory" and many more...) but if you rejoice it...have fun

Is it such an unbeleivable thing to control the coin fall., havent we seen so many people perfect much more complicated things by practice?
You can praise somene for something without strong data to back yourself.., but for you to ditch someone you really need facts.., otherwise your comment/review will carry no value.

By now you must have understood that you it's the urge for you to write a kabali post made you go deaf about some of sunny's words. By your logic you can make anyone look stupid (Had I not seen this game live., I would have thought so about sunny).
You can go ahead and sample all the wise speech., propagate it as foolish and announce yourself as the sole genius living in the world...

I won't be surprised if you take a word/sentence from this passage and make a mockery of the language...(ennaa dorai US la laam velai paakkuthu..:) )

Saro said...

Mr. S.,
Can you please point out where you see "Engineering non-sense"? I wonder whether you have knowledge in probability or stochastic process or reliability engineering...The theory is that at minuscule levels., there is no randomness and everything is well behaved (the inspiration to this is from newton's (and later einstein) findings that at some level everything can be distinguished as quantum and no wave). To illustrate the theory., the first experiment that the professor explains is the flip of the coin. There are four or five parameters governing it with varying degree and if you are able to overcome the dominant two of them you could reach 90% perfection.
If you still find nonsense here., I'm willing to learn from you...just explain

Hawkeye said...


You have overestimated yourself. English is really not your biggest problem.

Raghu Ranganathan said...

I can't believe so many idiots are arguing in favor of Gavaskar.

Ganesh's comments seems ridiculous.

Saro - ennaba tamil sentimentu vechu tappikalamnu neneikaathe. What course are you talking about? summa dubakoor vidre?

"there is no randomness and everything is well behaved (the inspiration to this is from newton's (and later einstein) findings that at some level everything can be distinguished as quantum and no wave). To illustrate the theory., the first experiment that the professor explains is the flip of the coin. There are four or five parameters governing it with varying degree and if you are able to overcome the dominant two of them you could reach 90% perfection "

is this a scientific explanation? Where is the detail? summa 4-5 factors sonna podhuma? what 4-5 factors? What superficial explanation are your providing. Summa udaans vidaate da ambi?

Just because 4-5 factors govern a coin and just because 2 of those factors are dominant does not mean you can practically start controlling it. You cannot control all the non-random things in the world. You seem to have confused theoretical explanation of factors governing the toss of a coin with a possibility of controlling the outcome of the toss. Both are different.

Saro said...

Hawkeye...My entire point is that If you really feel that sunny's speech is fit to be ridiculed., you must have provided the complete story and not the small portions artfully sampled so as to make a gullible reader beleive that sunny is a stupid there (which is seen in most comments here).
Sunny has not completed SSLC and for him seeing is believing., so if he comes out and tells about something that he has seen and confirmed and which cannot be negated by one and all with utmost conviction should not invite this much of criticism.
If you are going to say that you are not going to learn anything else from what you did in high school mathematics.., please consider to stop blogging.

Saro said...

Mr Raghu.,
For everyone this will be something new and there will be inertia to accept anything that defies your current beleif and knowledge. Everyone in the class were hearing this in disbelief when the professor explained it.
BTW.., you are asking for scientific details and then trying to ask to explain how can it be practically done?...
I need to browse the books in my home to come out with the proper theoretical explanation of it....
The factors that govern the coin toss I believe are the flip force, weight of the coin, air resistance, g of that place, wind, time of the day, season of the year.
With practice the first three can be gauged. The last two have minimal effect and so you can make biased coin tosses if the wind does not play much of a spoil sport.

Raghu Ranganathan said...


I dunno why I argued. I totally give up.

1. You don't even have all the factors listed.

2. Anyone who thinks they can master "air resistance" deserves to be riidiculed.

3. to say that wind is a negligible factor is a crime.

I don't think Sunil Gavaskar knew even 1 of those factors. he shouldn't be talking about stuff he does has no clue about. So should you. I really didn't see the point of this Kabali post at first. Now that I see so many stupids in this world, I agree whole heartedly with this post.

This is my last comment.

Saro said...

Well Mr.Hawkeye and Mr.Raghu...the following link answers your questions and also has so many useful links...

A proof that it is taught in universities...
How Random is a Coin Toss? Bayesian Inference and the Symbolic Dynamics of Deterministic Chaos
author: Christopher Strelioff, Center for Complex Systems Research and Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois

There are many more scholarly articles that require ieee access or money

Saro said...

Mr Raghu.,

1. I never told you that I'm listing all the things here. I never boasted of even knowing them. I just told you as I heard it from a very reliable source
2. You can ridicule any one who bowls in-swinging yorkers at will or who has reverse swing at his command.
3. Why don't you read the post fully before you comment..Where have I said that the wind can be neglected.., I was praying for the wind to be cooperative....

Yes I too recommend you to stop replying...Take a few years to read it fully and then you can be here...

Anonymous said...

Wait... I'm getting confused here. With the 5 rupee coin, when you toss and catch it always lands on the side which was facing downwards to start off with. But I guess it's not random then. Is that right?

Also, if you balance a US penny on its edges and then allow it to land, it'll land heads up 80% of the time. And if you spin the penny, it apparently falls tails up 60% of the time.

I've too much time in hand. I'm gonna try a US quarter and see if what ganesh says is true. Of course you don't need millions of trials to disprove it. the onus is on the person who makes the claim.

- kuberan

Sowmya Srikrishnan said...

Post-a vida comments padikkaradhu was fun!!!

maduraiveeran said...

Am terribly out of touch with Cricket. It does seem like Batting and Commentating is completely different! Too bad SMG is overtaking Siddhu.

The Talkative Man said...

maybe it was just you who was too innocent - first batting kedaika coin-a knack-a toss panravanga irukaaanga :-)

Not surprised by Gavaskar's statement - as India's biggest drawmaster, he had to depend on twisting the roll of the coin to his advantage since rest of the 10 players were padu waste.

The Talkative Man said...

Coin Theory readers-a romba polarise pannina ICC-ku "In or Out" option pathi advice pannalaam.

S said...

Thambi Saro

What did you mean by 'gulliable readers'? Are you referring to everybody except you? So you think you are the only person who watched TV and listened to commentary correctly. Everybody else are wrong?

And you also think you arethe only one who has a free mind and rest of us have been druged by hawkeye?

dei.. nenuppu thaandi pozhappa kedukkum.

Now Gavaskar will ask dhoni to tke your dynamic engineering course and you will support it.

Are these people playing cricket or doing something else? Do you still hink a CRICKET captain should be talking about such detailed engineering concepts just to win a toss.

Rastafari said...

"Fair coin toss". If the toss is NOT a fair one, then??

Sriram said...


Coin toss is different from matching pennies. I believe, the person who tosses has no strategy to adopt. However if he could influence the outcome (the coin is not a fair coin in that case), the game becomes a variation of matching pennies in which mixed strategy is the better option. So it all boils down to the tosser influencing the outcome. If he can, Gavaskar was probably right and Ponting should not call heads all the time.


schuey said...

Awesome !!!

dude ........ :)