As the curtain comes down on the 2015 cricket World Cup, we get into geek mode and take a look at the major teams in the tournament. By imagining they were smartphones. Hey, we told you we were in geeky mode!
Australia: iPhone 6 Plus
Well, just as the iPhone 6 Plus took flak for being too big and not as well-designed as its predecessors, the current Aussie team was criticised by many for being too one-tracked and for not being innovative enough (“no proper spinner” screamed some cricket experts, very much in the manner in which some geeks moaned about the absence of a quad HD display on the Apple flagship). Like their cellular Cupertino counterpart, the Aussies did not have everything but managed to do what they did a whole yard better than anyone else. And we guess that makes them tops.
New Zealand: Moto G (2013)
Oh yes, there were phones with much, much better hardware than the humble Moto G. And they came from brands that were doing much better in the market than Motorola, which seemed on its last legs. But the Moto G delivered a sucker punch with its amazing price tag and went on to be one of the bestselling phones of the year and also became one of Motorola’s most successful smartphones. It was small, relatively lightweight in terms of specs, but still triumphed simply because it punched well above its price point. Ditto the Kiwis – they had no massive superstar players, but the sum exceeded the parts comfortably, and what the price was to the Moto G, Brendon McCullum was for New Zealand.
India: Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
India is to the cricket world what Samsung is to the smartphone one – not every pundit’s cup of tea perhaps, but pretty much the boss in terms of sheer volumes (and in both smartphones and cricket, volumes do count. A lot.) And the Indian cricket team was pretty much like Samsung’s Note-able flagship. Terrific on paper. Unbeatable on its day. With no discernible weakness. But yes, with a penchant to be, well, edgy at times. The cynics rolled their eyes at both the Edge and the Men in Blue, both shrugged their shoulders (one real, one digital) and did very well, although they might have fallen – just – short of the expectations of their own fans!
South Africa: LG G3
Just as South Africa must be wondering just what it has to do to win the world’s premier cricket tournament, so too must the folks at the Korean company be wringing their hands at not getting their due. Like the South Africans, the G3 is a super performer with no apparent weakness and terrific innards, and yet has not quite been considered the barnstormer that its supporters know it is. Just like the South Africans, LG too innovates, but just like them, for some reason is not quite kept on par with the likes of Samsung and HTC in the final reckoning. Life ain’t fair. To the Proteas. As well as the G3.
Sri Lanka: Sony Xperia Z3
The news that Sony ‘might’ be considering moving out of the mobile business was as much a shock as that of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene calling it a day. And this surprise stemmed from the fact that just like the cricketing duo which was in fine fettle, Sony had actually come out with a fantastic device in the Xperia Z3. Unfortunately, just as the good performances of the duo were not being able to put Sri Lanka in the contender category, so too did the Z3 not quite rock the smartphone world as Sony would have expected.
West Indies: Lumia 930
Brilliant at its best but vulnerable when not so – that sentiment captures both the West Indies and the Lumia 930. Just as the Lumia 930 takes on all comers with ease when it comes to camera quality and multimedia, so too do the West Indies obliterate all in front of them when the likes of Gayle and Samuels start firing. The problems start when you go beyond those strengths – just as the Lumia does not quite have the apps to make the most of its excellent hardware, so too do the Windies tend to stutter when one looks beyond their big guns. And yes, neither has been well-served by the exclusion of key players – Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard from the West Indies, Nokia Music from the Lumia.
Pakistan: Nexus 6
It looks great and is capable of staggeringly good performance. And yet, it somehow does not always get up to the levels it deserves. We can say that both about the maverick Pakistan team and the Nexus 6. The Pakistan team on paper and on its day is capable of tearing apart just about any team in the competition, and the Nexus 6 is capable of doing the same. The problem however comes in terms of actual performance – both are moody, erratic (the Nexus 6 camera is about as mysterious as Shahid Afridi – brilliant one moment, bizarre the next) and as a consequence, manage to win rave reviews from time to time, and also have people shaking their heads in frustration. The day either gets its act right, the competition can take a walk.
Bangladesh: Android One
A lot of potential. A lot of supporters. And yet, things don’t quite work out the way you would assume they would. Such is the case with both Bangladesh and the Android One range. Just as Bangladesh’s arrival in Test cricket was welcomed, so too did the Android One movement makes its entrance with applause. However, in the time since, neither has really delivered and has actually seemed to be standing still as newer players overtake it. No, we are not doubting the promise that either holds. It is just that neither is actually delivering on it. Which considering the support base of both Bangladesh and Android, is a pity. A massive pity.
England: BlackBerry Classic
Do we actually need to explain this? Oh all right, we will. Two former masters of what they surveyed have seen their kingdoms snatched away and have gone from making the rules to trying to keep in step. Holding them back is a perhaps-mistaken commitment to the past – England insist that slow and steady is the way to go just as BlackBerry persist in believing in the QWERTY keyboards. The purists (who have a tendency to be sentimental) of both cricket and tech are actually rooting for them, but the game and markets simply seem to have moved on. Both need a radical overhaul.
Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan: YU Yureka
When Micromax announced its YU brand, critics sniggered. So too did many cricket observers at the inclusion of the likes of Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan in the World Cup. Just like the Yureka, none of the cricketing threesome was expected to do much. However, just as the Yureka kept selling out in minutes, so too did Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan surprise so-called better teams time and again. Proving that there was room in the tournament for lesser known teams, just as Yureka proved that a new brand could carve a niche for itself even in the highly competitive Indian market.