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Sight Screen

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

County update

Rahul, commenting below the post titled News in Briefs, has an eyewitness report from the Middlesex-Surrey game -- given it fleshes out the scoreboard-based news, quoting it here in full:
Caught the final session of the surrey middlessex game on Sky just as Ifran walked in. Initially looked all at sea, playing and missing everything that Ormond & later bicknell were bowling to him, the low point being 3 balls in one over that all pitched on middle stump and all missed the off stump by varying degrees. There was also a definite strategy to bowl short chest high with a bunch of slips and a leg gully leading to one commentator to comment that it was a change from the flat beds of Bombay.(Mumbai he corrected himself..they all seem to do that).
To his credit Irfan didn't look flustered or intimidated and kept practising rhearsing his pull shots everytime he missed until he finally got one in the zone and unleashed a fabulous cover drive drawing immediate comparison with Sourav of old.
And a few more followed in the following overs. So he definitely appears to have the temperament, may need to tighten technique a bit. (Bat coming down at an angle and so on..but that's my view).
Bajji on the other hand was just OK and helped a lot by some really good support in the field. Looked a bit rusty but overalle seemed to be gradually getting in to a groove. His wicket came from some tight overs before (thanks to the fielding)..and also generated some interesting conversation between charles colville and nasser hussain about the whole throwing controversy. Charles kept prodding nasser into giving his view on the doosra since the wicket ball appeared to have been the doosra and nasser interestingly said he couldnt see any problem and that it was good for the game that offspinners had come up with this sort of delivery and essentially he couldnt really be bothered about the degree that his arm was bent or whatever the mechanics were about the throwing controversy...he couldnt tell with the naked eye and that was that. Refreshing to say the very least.

Thanks much, Rahul. Will get to some of the other questions posted, in my tomorrow morning -- it;s 11.15, dinner, a must-read book, and sleep call, in that order.


  • Thanks Rahul,Prem... Yeap i caught up a bit of the action on Sky as well and i must say that i was impressed with the way Irfan was batting. The good thing about his batting is that he seems to be able to keep out good balls. Martin Bicknell was swinging the ball big times and i think Irfan did well to keep him out.This bloke has genuine batting talent and i just hope and pray for the sake of Indian cricket that Irfan doesnt dissapoint with the bat. Am i being a bit optimisting or jumping the gun a bit in thinking that he can be an Abdul Razaaq in the making?? Abdul Razzaq can block all day as he did on Mohali or smash the living daylight out of you. Irfan i am convinced can do both and is moreover a much much better bowler than Razzaq. I hope that Greg Chappell and the team handle Irfan well. He is the closet that Indian cricket has found to a fast bowling allarounder since Kapil.

    By Anonymous Harsha, at 07:03  

  • Bicknell can hardly get it up to 75 mph. Swing - yes, at pace - no.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 07:29  

  • Just read this coloumn on rediff.com about Greg Chappel quoting that some senior players may not want to work hard enough for greater successes of the team and that Discipline is a must.GC 24x7 has been doin a lots of rounds in news these days.electronic or otherwise. I hope he manages to upto something decent and not like the other australian we had earlier.Anybody rememeber Bob Simpson ??? I wonder what he did and what what the players gained. Of a few things he promised and claimed was " You'll see Robin Singh playing more shots on the "OFF" side. I have no doubts he(Robin Singh) was the fittest , fastest on the field but playing shots on the OFF side ..eeerrr...can't recollect a single cover drive , leave alone a whole array of shots on the OFF side. Prem please pitch on this and enlighten us what changes Bob Simpson bring about in Indian Cricket or did he manage to change the batting style of Robin singh (who was pre-dominantly a ON side player) I know Bob was not a coach , if i can remember correctly he was more of a consultant.Prem please let us know a few more things about Bob and the work he did in his tenure as a consultant

    By Blogger Vijayendra, at 08:29  

  • Bicknell and Ormond are good swing bowlers.. who could have troubled Pathan.. his technique needs to be tightened.. no doubt... bat coming at an angle def is one of the problems.. Greg - r u listening??

    On another note.. Prem.. watch Tonite show by Jay Leno.. it is really gud.. just suggesting :))

    By Blogger Vivhyd, at 09:14  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger chatura, at 09:50  

  • On Pathan, yep he is a good bowler but probably was hyped a little too early by our all too eager media. He did well against Pak last tour along with Balaji. While Balaji seems to have continued on that track, Pathan had a poor season. Maybe he was injured and was rushed back too early.

    Another area of concern for GregC - Indian cricketers tend to hide niggles and injuries. They also tend to make hasty returns. Shastri, Azhar, Tendulkar all have done this in the past. Seems it is catching up with the current brigade too - Zaheer, Bhajji (his finger injury was not treated for quite sometime although he continued to play tests/ODIs below par), Irfan being the latest. If GregC can make the unit as professional as the Aussies in handling injuries (who would have thought McGrath could make a comeback at 34?) that could resolve most of the issues plaguing Indian cricket.

    Could someone tell me who Greg is poking at when he says 'some seniors may not want to work hard?' My guess is Kumble and Saurav - the two poor fielders in the team; Saurav's poor running between the wickets.

    Among the others, Nehra needs a kick in the rear - he cannot rest on the WC2003 laurels for a lifetime.

    By Anonymous ShankarV, at 10:23  

  • Caught a little bit more county action this afernoon.Pathan bowling a good tight line, steady pace (77-78) with not too much assistance from the conditions(8-2-10-0). His opening partner, Alan Richardson on the other hand extracted far more from the pitch and was rewarded with a wicket and a dropped catch. Pathan will obviously benefit from the experience but he does need to work on adding that yard or two of pace to make him a bit more effective in unhelpful conditions. Overall doing well and seems to be enjoying it too.

    On the Greg Chappel front, it is worrying with all the media attention surrounding Chappel's appointment, that we may start building him up as the next messiah of Indian cricket , our Mr Fix-it to get rid of our perpetual underachievers tag.
    His request for 2 additional technical experts would also have re-inforced that belief especially since they're exact roles are not very clear right now and anything technical sounding must be good.
    Like in IT, we expect our 400$ an hour high flying consultants to come and fix system issues instantaneously primarily because we refer to them as experts and secondly because they cost so much, lethal combination. Experience shows that any problem requires analysis and grasp of the core issues and any 'quick' fixes result only indelaying the inevitable to a point in the future. But I digress.
    Similarly, we need to invest at grassroots development as well, rather than just the National side.
    The intention appears to be there with the BCCI quoting that Greg would spend his spare non holiday time at the academy but it remains to be seen how much of this intent metamorphosises into reality.
    Not being abreast of all recent developments, this opinion may be slightly ill informed.
    On an another note, I wonder if greg's note about discipline is a warning to senior players (by the ill advised media route) or plain Insurance. Forgive my pessimism...

    By Anonymous Rahul P, UK, at 10:46  

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