Cricket · Peelasophy · random thoughts

A different Relativity Theory: Is Relative grading an intrinsic attribute?

Let me start by saying that the Theory of Relativity part has no real relevance to this post, but it is just there, hanging around with its buddy, the other sentence, a question on ‘RG being an intrinsic attribute’.

Absolute grading and Relative Grading – after endless discussions, multiple RG experiences (RG as verb is a term invented by B school junta and for the uninitiated, a typical RG character would be Chatur Ramalingam in 3 Idiots). Somehow, the concept of RG never felt fundamentally right!

If many test takers scored 96 and one star scored 97 out of 100 in say, Management Accounting, the grades could become B and A, respectively. The effective difference between grades would be 1 out of 10 in a 10 point CGPA system and not 1 out of 100 in an Absolute Grading scale. Hmm … so, its already sounding like RG was the handiwork of some disturbed soul. Or was it created by sets of like-minded souls coming together with the sole intention of causing chaos and spreading confusion? Of course, for someone like me, who could consistently score around 90 (hee hee, how I wish! ;-)), the difference would be a painful 3 points from the topper! For folks who were not in the top rankings (note: top could mean different ranks to different people), the Laxman type batting in the recently concluded Test never happened. We had all settled in our respective ranks from 1 to 180 and didn’t hit any 73 not out in the final trimester or semester.

When did grades ever matter? After all, it was the handiwork of people like ViruS (Viru Sahasrabudhe) from 3 Idiots, right?

Going back to the India win at Mohali, there can be no doubt whatsoever that VVS Laxman is one of the greatest batsmen of all time!

At the end, riding on predominantly, a great team effort, India went on to win an epic battle, the entire nation celebrated and went to sleep. No, wait!! A part of the crowd got too tired of celebrating and from somewhere, a seed of doubt was sown in the minds of people.
Sachin had scored 98 and 38, Zaheer had snared 8 wickets, Ishant had given his best and in the process impressed even Ishant bashers like yours truly. His wickets, 30 plus runs, tremendous attitude and the fact that he had faced more balls than VVS put Ishant as the natural hero.
So now, the question that was being debated was:”Who is the true hero?” – Laxman, Ishant or Zaheer or Raina or Sachin …. shouldn’t Ishant be the MoM or Laxman? Why Zaheer?
Justifications began to rain and it rained hard, flooding the news channels and news sites. All of a sudden, the original context was forgotten. The whole and sole purpose of beating Australia was dissolved in the new context of who came first in the imaginary or man made race?


Do we intrinsically like ranks and need to know who finished first? Maybe yes! The ViruSes have won. While X can be better than Y in any test, why can’t X and Y be equal sometimes? Survival of the fittest even when all can survive?

Here was a Test which saw contributions from everybody. So, why would we go through some secret complex math fest to calculate the Man of the Match?

• Assign weights to wickets, fielding, batting, bowling, and maybe even add more bizarre math to include parameters like assigning weights by quantifying the level of pressure at different stages of the match.

• Go about assigning higher points to same performance during pressure. So Ishant and Laxman would have scored very well in this scenario.

• From one simple perspective, no doubt it’s not such an easy task to pick the Man of the Match. You need DIL (Duckworth, Iyengar and Lewis) method for that.

If we look back, all this could have been avoided had we said, “Why bother? Do absolute grading and give the whole team a big bottle of champagne to celebrate!”

But maybe we have relative grading DNAs in our system. And THAT could explain several things. All this talk of equality of any and all forms is nice to imagine but difficult to accept deep down … Huh?


One thought on “A different Relativity Theory: Is Relative grading an intrinsic attribute?

  1. Thats a great post! Loved the match, what a nail-biting finish, and it made a Laxman-hater like me reconsider her sanity.. he was amazing! So was Ishant – what a confidence! Reminded me of the Srikanth-Kumble knock vs Pakistan.
    I liked the take on the true hero thing too! For sure, this was one of the few matches with no clear “one” hero. 🙂

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