Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yet another post..

..on Sachin T. Yup, and given his purple patch over the last 2 years why not I say! It seems to me, at least, that he has finally put to rest the very real fear (in minds of his rabid supporters) that Ricky Ponting will go past his aggregate of test runs and / or test match 100's. His batting itself has transformed majestically over the last 2 years - is it just me who feels that an erstwhile Team India coach - actually contributed to his decline over the 2005-07 years? :)

Anyway, here is to the master. May you keep scoring runs like you are now; till the day you choose to retire!

PS - for the record, this has been the FIRST post on this blog for all of 2010! Either all of us cricket fanatics are tired of writing, or the sport, or both?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Have test match pitches flattened out for real?

I could not bear to watch the Rajkot ODI between India and Sri Lanka the other day. We basically removed one element of the game (bowling, if that was not obvious) and were much poorer for it.

Which has gotten me thinking about the current thinking related to pitches. Test match pitches in particular. Have test match pitches really flattened out?

I hope our good friend - The Sleeping Ninja - can provide us with stats about winning and losing ratios etc. here, but my focus is slightly different. How does one really pass judgment on a "flat pitch"? If one team plays on it and scores 700+ runs and proceeds to win by an innings, is the pitch really flat? Is the pitch flat when both teams rack-up 600+ runs in the first innings and the match peters to a draw? And, most interestingly for me, how are the pitches in Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa judged on the "flatness quotient"?

The last question set me thinking. Is the pitch "lively" so long as batsmen from the subcontinent fail to amass runs on them, and are regularly nicked out / bounced out by the home bowlers? Is the pitch flat if subcontinental batsmen fare well on these pitches? I have heard arguments that Sehwag (amongst some other modern destructive batsmen) would not be as much of a success on pitches of the 90's. Really? Let me see - I remember him scoring runs on some pretty lively surfaces (his debut 100, the one at Trent Bridge opening the innings, the 195 he smacked at the MCG, plus his astonishing 200 playing Mendis and Murali in Sri Lanka when no one else in the team managed to score 75). Would all these pitches be termed flat simply because a subcontinental batsman (who does not play to please technical purists) was successful on them? Ganguly once scored a match saving 144 on a second day Brisbane wicket, where most touring teams generally get routed well within the 5 days complaining about being undercooked for combating the bounce and movement. Was that pitch flat as well, because Ganguly was not "supposed" to play fast bowling well?

I am beginning to think that the general decline in the quality of bowling may have more to do with the complaints about pitches being flat. Since when were subcontinental pitches a hindrance to Marshall, Akram, Donald and McGrath?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The consistent Viewer

Nothing peculiar about this one, about the last test played India V Sri Lanka, Team India outplayed in the test for a large amount of time ie: days / sessions whichever way you look at it .....no issues ,agreed & accepted.
Moving on as an Indian its important that atleast I do and look ahead, what I got from this match as a spectator
a) We won the toss batted ,
b)Almost lost the game in the first hour /saved it when we shouldn't have
c)Extremely good defensive batting while staging a comeback in the game by Dravid ,Yuvraj and Dhoni
d)Played out five sessions to draw the game (we certainly would have lost it 10 years ago)
e) At the end of the game Sangakara was annoyed and we had the usual cheerful captain,
These observation might not sound like the usual positive & optimistic Indian spectator, but that's just me.
Regards to all

Monday, November 2, 2009

The purpose of commentary

I don't seem to understand it at all. Isn't it supposed to inform, entertain, provide expertise, and show insider knowledge?

Well, if Shastri keeps using the same stock phrases, and Mr. Gavaskar seems bored most of the time, Bhogle speaks first and regrets later, Yardley keeps talking of "bowling in the right areas", and Nicholas only fawns up- I could go on here- but I just think they should all shut up. And rethink how commentary should be in today's viewing age.

Cricket viewers have, I believe, become most sophisticated in recent years- and I don't think having experts mouthing well -parotted phrases helps anymore. I know Benaud has his critics, but one thing that he did say was to add value to the screen or shut up.

We may perhaps need a complete rehaul- I have a few suggestions but I'd like to hear from you guys first on how commentary can be improved. Any takers?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The 'Champions' trophy

Guys ,sorry for the absence, but I did not have anything to write about or for that matter nothing happened. On to the recently concluded "Champions trophy " which went by a very predictable script.The two/three high profile teams namely India ,Sri Lanka and the perpetual chokers South Africa came and went without a whimper.The surprise was England, always a team which has players who have played more cricket(all formats) than any other team , but never win the knockout games having played three world cup finals in 79,87 and 92 lost all three, to be fair to them they do provide a certain flavour.Sri Lanka ,never a deserving 2ND or 3rd team* started with a fantastic win over South Africa and then lost steam, South Africa, tried to gain momentum couldn't and India never began anything disappointing to say the least.West Indies are fun to watch whether they have the players or just play plain athletes they all look and play the same way ,they couldn't care less.New Zealand as usual a good and competitive one day side at best consistent.Pakistan ,well are Pakistan full value for money bowling and batting was awesome.
The least talked about team came and without a lot of fuss won the damned thing,the reigning 'Champions' of world cricket literally no media ,no talk , high calibre cricket = victory
This was always the 'Champions' Trophy(pun very much intended).

* Read the one on ratings

Monday, September 14, 2009

How can they?

Compare Sachin to Ricky at all, was my feeling as we won yesterday's match with his special effort. Forget statistically. Gazillions of international centuries more than Ponting. With hundred times the pressure from Indian fans. And facing first names like Shane, Glenn, Craig, Brett, Jason, etc- something Ricky as been singularly lucky with. No offence Ricky, you are a nice player, but I'd like to have seen you face your team mates and come up on top like my man did. Sorry for sounding like a rabid supporter- but I am one, and shut this blogpost away if you dont like what you are reading.
You know what- they used to call Ricky "Sachin" at his training camp in Australia- because he had potential. I'd like to end at this note.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The 'Phantoms' of world cricket

The recently concluded 'Ashes' series was as poor as the ratings of the two teams involved,a contest between a 3rd now 4Th rated team ( and it lost) and a one bordering on the 6Th and was on 7Th before it began. Ashes to ashes ,the series was a bust but enough said of the Ashes,its the ratings that are real sad reflection of the true picture.I ,for one am at a loss how South Africa ,who was beaten by Australia last time round are no.1 ,Sri lanka who have lost the last series to India are no.2 and India besides beating Australia ,England And New Zealand are no.3 .
These are the official rankings of the best team in the world or the order in which they should be rated ,here's is one question that remains to unanswered over the last decade, Australia was the dominant team and out of the 7 /seven series played between Australia and India it stays tied at 3 each with one drawn, in this event India should have been really close to being no.1 if not no.1 at least no.2 but how many remember India being no.2 and at the moment India is at no.3 with the 'nakli' teams South Africa and Sri Lanka at no.1 and no.2 .The 'phantoms' of world cricket