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Sight Screen

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

E=MCsquared

With no real intent to diss my peers, there's some pretty wierd stuff floating around out there -- the Greg Chappell 'formula', as reported here, being a case in point.
Former coach John Wright had employed the 'seven-four' strategy which seemed to have had lost impact in recent times — India could win only 8 of the last 22 ODIs.

*Sigh!* So now we know why India slipped from second place to eighth, in the rankings -- because of the 7-4 formula. And um, we got to second place because? Or Australia tops the rankings because?
What I suspect happened here is the cricket reporter's version of the old party game Chinese whispers. Someone said something to someone else that a third person heard and misinterpreted and passed on to a fourth who added his own take to it and made a story out of the whole thing...
GC is not naive enough to imagine that reversing India's fortunes in ODIs is as simple as changing the batsmen-to-bowlers formula; heck, if it was that simple, the selectors could have done it themselves.
What I *suspect* happened here is that GC, while discussing the new supersub rule and its implications, made the point that it makes sense to pick five bowlers, five batsmen and a 'keeper in the playing eleven -- with a batsman, or batting all-rounder, as your supersub.
That way, if you win the toss and opt to chase, you have the services of five regular bowlers, *plus* the irregulars (and no, I don't believe GC would have said Yuvraj and Viru should not bowl -- come *on*, Chappell comes from the Aussie school of cricket, which is all about using every available resource). You then drop a bowler and bring in the extra batsman for the chase.
And if you happen to lose the toss and are inserted, you go with the flow -- if your five batsmen, plus keeper (remember, your keeper is Dhoni, a guy capable of getting you plenty of runs at a cracking pace) are doing the job, you leave well enough alone and still have the advantage of an extra bowler when going out to defend your total; if your batsmen are having problems, you bring in the sub to add beef to the lineup, and when defending, rely on the supersub's bowling skills, plus those of the irregulars, to fill in the fifth bowler's quota.
Not rocket science -- this formula has in fact been discussed on many fora, including here.

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