Thursday, December 17, 2009
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
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
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
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
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
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
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Which is why I'm happy that the competition is opening up, SA is number one, Aussies number 4, etc. Its all good on the western (eastern and northern) but not southern front, haha.
I do think that the interest in IPL needs to be tempered with test cricket- Wasim Akram trying out for a coach's position for KKR becomes big news. Perhaps it is the off season, after all.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Yeah, you heard that right- this series just hasnt compared to the last one in England, primarily because the standard of cricket between these two teams isn't really as good as it was. Consequently, the team that has played "less bad" has prevailed. Even if it is a big climax, and a tightrope on paper, the action has rarely been electric.
My prediction? Dull draw, with the Aussies retaining the ashes in a bore. Unless the guy playing his last one does something different...
Sunday, August 2, 2009
I have never heard anyone complain about a film actor doing too many commercials ,adding to his bank balance or buying an expensive car , but the player who has the Ferrari is expected to go out face the fastest ,best bowlers in the world and win us everything that he plays in,a very blatant case of double standards but who cares.
So who's the 'Pampered' ?
Monday, July 27, 2009
I dont know if things have remained the same anymore for fitness levels- and I mean mind as well- take Trescothik's plight for example. What would you have done, Wasim Bhai, if you faced these temptations and hurdles? Would you still go to the nets and practise hard- what you recommend- or would you rest your weary body and mind?
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I have this memory of watching a certain Dennis Lillee charging in to bowl the first ball of a test match to a another certain Roy Fredricks , wearing the 'Maroon' baggy on a hard Waca/Gabba/Sabina park wicket ,He lets go a quick mid pitcher, Fredricks hooks over long leg for six ............Lillee almost kissing distance to Fredricks ,frothing in the mouth letting go mouthfuls a plenty and Fredricks not valuing his life at all giving him the 'two finger salute'such similar 'friendly gestures' all this after the first ball of a test match is bowled........game on. Consider the slippers then Ian and Greg Chappell, Doug Walters and of course the keeper Rodney Marsh not the quietest lot ever,have you started expecting the drama to follow,the trend thats being set here, just the excitement of a heated battle between two very talented,proud and competitive sides. The thing i do not like to do is compare eras,but if you compare today's proceedings an equally quick bowler lets it rip,a batsman cuts or pulls for a boundary and the fast bowler smiles even occasionally taps him on the back or shoulder ,give me a break guys and these magnificent players too, just let them be.
I, as a spectator watch the game because of the massive entertainment factor is provides via talent and temperament of the players and Iwould not want to subdue it one bit.I do not believe in the old cliche that its just a game ,no one would tear a intercostal(abdominal) muscle were it 'just a game'.
This is entertainment and so it should be,a no holds barred contest, a complete freedom to win.
Then, in more ways than one ,we have a 'WINNER'.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Do you think Shane Warne's right when he derides the modern cricketer and coach and their training methods? He says that if it wasnt for Jump tests, hell, he'll still play test cricket.
He must have been non- serious when he said this, but the point is worth considering. Or would journeymen cricketers be better off with the amount of training that they do unlike an obvious talent like Warne?
And then there are some salty olds like Boycott and Chappell who swear that all a bowler primarily needs to do to be match fit is to bowl a lot of overs instead of hitting the gym.
And these guys were batsmen. Everyone's talking for everyone else here!
The experience I would like to share here is of leading a side which includes my friends,contemporaries and well wishers, but the description goes on as these people are also directors ,officers,clerks and workmen in their own professional lives. The Team , then has a very interesting twist and cocktail of personalities for e.g here is a guy who works on the shop floor of a engine making multinational sharing the pitch with a director of a software company,now the challenge for me is to keep them pursuing the same goal or we have a rudderless ship . The difference gets more evident as we field , here i want you to visualize the picture its usually sunny and hot so thats a factor we have to bear in mind,the shop floor guy is the wicket keeper and the director is say at third man or fine leg and I am the opening bowler so here is what i hear after i bowled the first ball ,WK: Ranjya , lai bhari ball ,tu ani me khelu ya bas (this is a response to a ball which pitched close to the stumps and swung away ,beating the batsman and ended in the keepers gloves ) this also is an encouragement for the bowler,on the other hand the Fine leg says remember Hadlee(in this case Richard or so i feel), I take this also as an compliment but he also means that,for the next ball I should plan and execute as Hadlee did......huh!!!!
The LESSON here is to understand where the two schools of thought are coming from, the WK is a shop floor guy has to do tough,physical work on his own and do a creative job (assembling an engine) while as the director has to do smart ,responsible work on his own while making his team do the complete job(whatever he does god bless him and his team).
In between these two different extremes, are nine more personalities , ideas and tactics in multiples of nine and players who all want the same result.......a win.
...................the reason for me not to dwell on it anymore is that I want to save some for my 'BOOK'....and the lord save you then...
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
This is my first blog of sorts after being convinced by Siddharth that I could write one , so here goes.....
The most basic of 'joys', as the name goes the 'joy' of cricket to me is more a passive one,
Don't get me wrong when i say this, having played the game at different levels and in different environments, conditions its given me enormous pleasure and enjoyment but I consider myself extremely fortunate to have played the game but there are a lot more people who could not play it due to various reasons ,My point: joys of cricket are not limited only players, certainly not the most basic and as I like to call it the 'Essential' joy , The sheer enjoyment of a heated discussion or potent mixture of extreme views of how the last match could have been won or handled better by the captain or even better if their personal favorite was the captain or included in the XI is what the most common 'joy' of cricket is and it is this passion and cauldron of extremes that make it the game that it is .
To me, if there weren't people at every nook and corner talking about cricket,how it could be bettered and how they themselves could serve the purpose better in the 'being discussed capacity' people who run the Paanchi tapri,Chai /Amrutulya stalls and Wada Pav stalls, would be out of business in a jiffy.So people , in these most recessed of times and of cautious spending please understand the need to keep the 'Essentials' going
I'm sure he was inspired by the Mecca of Cricket, but I think the reason that he forgot that he was retiring due to a body that was more broken than not was cause he got it right in his mind.
And by the way, what a nice way to start this blog: The Joy of Cricket with my fellow bloggers. Ranjit and Shree have joined up and we'll keep this running. Anyone else want to contribute, do apply to yours truly.