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Sight Screen

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The Paper Round -- July 9

Coaching camps are great opportunities to sit down with individual players and talk to them, at length and in depth, about the game as they see and play it. The reporters covering the Bangalore camp however seem to be content with the obvious sound bytes -- here are specimens from Parthiv Patel, Mohammad Kaif and Virender Sehwag.
Reading of a more interesting kind comes from Akash Chopra, in the latest installment of his diary; elsewhere, there is a roundup of county action, highlighting Saurav Ganguly's all-round turn and Bajji Singh's strong case for replacing Sachin Tendulkar in the Indian batting lineup.
Elsewhere, some items of Ashes interest; Mike Selvey in the Guardian says Lee's beamer at Trescothick the other day could well have been innocent, but he can recall a few from previous offenders that were deliberate. And dangerous.
Andrew Ramsey, in the Australian, suggests that Michael Hussey nicely fills the shoes left vacant by that premier one day finisher Michael Bevan.
In the Independent, Paul Collingwood tells Angus Fraser there is a place for every player and every player in his place.
"When they (Flintoff, Pietersen) start whacking it around it is sometimes difficult to do this. You stand at the other end and think 'I can do that', and at times you have to pull the reins in because you want to join in on the fun. But then you have to realise that his job will change if I get out and he will no longer be able to play as freely as he likes."

You like? Good -- there's more of Collingwood in the Times, courtesy Richard Hobson.
Stephen Brinkley says the recent terrorist strikes in London gives Pakistan a counter to the Karachi question.
Javed Miandad, the country's former star batsman and coach, who remains a firebrand, entered the fray yesterday. "They can play in London despite the loss of life in that city yet they are not willing to play a Test in Karachi despite security assurances," he said. That argument will not disappear.

Brinkley, elsewhere, suggests that England's nemesis of Ashes past could be in decline -- and in Warne's ebbing skills rest the home team's best hope of an Ashes turnaround.
"They have to decide whether to take him on or see him off," said Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan coach who saw Warne from close and uncomfortable distance last winter. The leg-spinner took 14 wickets in a three-match series. "He's still very competitive and I don't think anybody should underestimate him, but I don't think that physically he's quite there.
"My view from the side is that he has changed from five years ago, and is now without the dip and curve that he had once. His variations are not as lethal. But he tries to make up for what he lacks now with brainpower, and that can be extremely potent. His leg-break still turns a long way."

Will Swanton, elsewhere, suggests that Warne is vulnerable on another front -- the game's premier sledger has given the opposition too much ammunition to shoot back with, this time.
Scyld Berry examines the credentials of three players who are vying for two slots on the England Test team, and suggests Kevin Pietersen may not make the Ashes cut after all.
While on Ashes picks, Mike Atherton and Stuart McGill both argue a strong case for Lee's inclusion in the Aussie Ashes team. Says Atherton:
For if the one-day preamble has told us anything it is that, without Lee, Australia's attack looks ageing, one-paced and medium-paced. McGrath remains Australia's pre-eminent quickie but both Michael Kasprowicz and Jason Gillespie will be looking anxiously over their shoulders in the run-up to Lord's. The axe for either could well signal the end of their Test careers at the same time as giving Lee the chance finally to live up to Waugh's star billing.

And finally, it's time for me to head off for a party. Tomorrow is the second of the Natwest Challenge games, previewed here by Jenny Thompson -- see you there, and I'm hoping I get to bed in time to wake up in time. :-)

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