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Sight Screen

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Ashes thread

In the interests of nursing a fever, woke late. Been watching the Edgbaston Tet for the last hour, and there are a couple of things I don't get -- most notably, why would a captain bowl first on this deck and two, having gotten a chance thanks to Ponting's generosity, did England give it away a touch by playing a few shots too many too early? Trescothick, Strauss, Vaughan? Anyone watching -- would the conditions and the bowling in the morning and afternoon have been better reflected in a score of about 200-220 for two, say? Seems, from all I can see, like a great opportunity to grind Australia down -- not forgetting that Aus gets to bat, too, on this deck and you wouldn't want them batting any time before late evening tomorrow at best?
Your take, guys?

282 Comments:

  • looks like Flintoff is on fire

    By Blogger The Suds, at 09:58  

  • Vaughan and Trescothick played some silly shots and got themselves out. The only one who got out to a good ball was Bell

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 09:59  

  • Too many hard-handed shots now, too, against Warne.

    You dont need to, I would think -- deliveries are sitting up nicely, even without being this aggressive, you can still pile up runs at a cracking pace. One mishit, one wicket and England will be kicking itself here

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 10:03  

  • One other question, which maybe you guys in England, or others who have been watching all day, can answer -- wouldn't Tait have been an interesting choice? Slow, gentle pitch as far as I can see, not sure what a Kaspar type bowler brings to the table here. At the least, a real quick bowler with an unusual action England hasn't played before would provide something extra, no? Or does none of it really matter, once Ponting decided to do a Nass Hussain and insert?

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 10:06  

  • what a rollicking run rate! At this rate England will have 400 in less than a day! Goes to show what a difference McG makes to the team

    By Blogger Tiger, at 10:06  

  • I am listening to the match on BBC and its going on at break-neck speed. Great stuff from Freddie and KP man. I think this way atleast they are taking the fight to the Aussies.

    By Blogger Malay, at 10:09  

  • Malay - Lets see how far they can sustain it. They flatter to deceive!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 10:09  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Malay, at 10:09  

  • what a partnership! 100+ runs in 16 overs!

    By Blogger obelix, at 10:10  

  • ha, thats true tiger. I am debating whether or not to go to the pub to watch the post tea session.

    By Blogger Malay, at 10:13  

  • Run rate is totally brilliant -- and I hate being the cassandra on this -- but I believe if the hour and a half I have been watching, and what I make of the pitch in this time, is any indication England needs to put 550-600 on the board to be a chance here; occurs to me Australia can bat, too, and if this is how the pitch is going to behave, lord knows how they'll go.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 10:14  

  • ah - so u are in the UK.. might be fun to watch it while it lasts!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 10:14  

  • Prem: what do you make of the english media who seem to conform strictly to the laws of simple harmonic motion...their team is horrendous one day...world-beaters the next?

    By Blogger obelix, at 10:15  

  • Go Freddie Go \m/

    By Blogger ClannZú, at 10:15  

  • Prem - wouldnt england be better at the containing, boring line - like Giles!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 10:15  

  • Rahul blames the defeat on batsmen quotes "In the end, we were a few runs short and the batsmen that got set were not able to convert into big scores". Ganguly quotes "But I still can't understand how we can lose such a game after having them 95 for six."

    Its pretty much obvious they are hinting/blaming each other, though both of them sound correct

    By Blogger justfun, at 10:17  

  • obelix: *L* always been that way, at least as long as I have followed them, so what's new?

    tiger: saw warne bowling. sight unseen, i would think if giles went to his round the wicket line on this deck, the aus batsmen will be licking their lips. that line is even marginally tough only if you fear the odd ball doing some little thing, and forcing a mistake. here the only doubt is do I hit this guy for two, four or six.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 10:19  

  • I have a feeling we might yet win the Final - law of averages mean Sehwag is due for a big one.. and Jayasuriya et al are due for a loss.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 10:19  

  • Tiger I am in Switz. But there is an English Pub close to where I work. But this is one bloody expensive country man. And I am sure as soon as I get a beer Freedie will be out !

    Prem, you are forgetting that England have the King of Sp(a)in in their ranks. After all the media wars I think he's gonna bounce back like a wounded tiger. Any takers !!

    By Blogger Malay, at 10:19  

  • SG blamed the bowling which included himself. and RD is trying to shift the blame to the batsmen. quite silly.

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 10:19  

  • justfun: i think cracks are developing or have developed in the current team...GC has a very tough task on hand!

    By Blogger obelix, at 10:20  

  • Reading GC's comments that they would like to give everyone a chance, I think Kumble and Yadav will be in the team against WI
    instead of Raina and Balaji

    By Blogger Tiger, at 10:21  

  • Geez, this really is a huge screwup by Ponting -- just watching the highlights, Gillespie pitching short and Flintoff coming on the front foot and cover driving a waist high delivery? Now I am more convinced than ever that for all that the score now looks brilliant, Strauss, Vaughan and Bell are at least marginally at fault for not milking this to the death.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 10:21  

  • I had always maintained that the first test was not indicative of what this England team can achieve. They sure have worries, especially with Giles, but otherwise they are a combative unit. If Vaughan strike form, the Aussies are in for a scare. Let's hope England do not blow up this chance. As David essex sang once "rock on" England.

    By Blogger rahul, at 10:23  

  • Does anyone else think that Ponting kinda looks a bit like Bush ?

    By Blogger ClannZú, at 10:23  

  • I guess GC is more hype than substance. What happened to his phrases "commitment to excellence" and "controlled aggression." Have'nt seen anything like that....

    By Blogger justfun, at 10:23  

  • Prem...really I cant understand what RP was thinking. Waugh would have chosen to bat with blindfolds, given the team and pitch reputation etc. Btw, Eng bowlers can still do better, cos they hit the deck harder. Gillespie that way could have made the differece, sadly out of form. And Lee, we all know, is horrible. Some of the Aussie friends in Will's blog were trying to convince me that he had improved, and I said lets wait and watch. Anyone looks twice the bowler when going in tandem with McG.

    And yes, Eng should be kicking itself for getting less runs. If anything they should learn from Aus mistakes, its that too fast scoring is bad for health. Aus would have too much time to grind it out against Eng bowlers, and some of them are looking to grind. I'm looking forward to Martyn (and Katich as usual) doing well here.

    By Blogger worma, at 10:23  

  • Glad to see you back Prem.

    Strange day in Edgabaston. Freddy and KP and Tresco have put the Aussies -McG to the sword.

    On the subject of Ponting, I am at a loss as to why he put England in after knowing McG is injured. And I agree with you that they missed a trick with not including Tait.

    On Ponting it may be interesting 2+ years in his captaincy to examine his body of work. The ODI performance earlier this summer was not good both his team and his tactics. The comments as to how he missed Lehmann in the side was very instructive. I can't imagine Steve W, Allan B or Mark T saying something like that. Did he actually say it or did someone say this might be the case? Anyway I think he is overrated as a captain. It has been hard to judge because his team almost functioned on auto pilot before this summer. But this is interesting as a discussion point.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 10:24  

  • I think Ian Bell has played his last test of this series. He's not good enough to face the Aussies. One big hundred against the Bongs does not a good summer make.

    By Blogger Malay, at 10:25  

  • I think most of all Michael Vaughan will be kicking himself for wasting a great opportunity to get back into Test match form.

    By Blogger Harsha V. Madhyastha, at 10:25  

  • Prem, do you think that the Aussies will be a force to reckin with once McGrath and Warne retire? I mean we totally manhandled them in Aus a couple of years ago when there was no McGrath and now todays performance from Eng.

    By Blogger Malay, at 10:27  

  • The english have finally found a way to play Warne. Everyone has come out with a game plan to attack him. 17-1-89-1, shocking figures for Warne

    By Blogger Rohan, at 10:29  

  • prem: have you read slater's autobiography? i heard that he had some interesting things to say about SW and his approach to captaincy

    the last 5 years have been tough on slater...the divorce, dropped from the team, premature retirement and then the debilitating illness

    By Blogger obelix, at 10:29  

  • Justfun: What, in two games? Wouldn't it, you think, take a month of play at the least for a coach to actually get a fraction of his thinking to translate into action?

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 10:30  

  • Obelix: no, mean to get hold of it. will check the cricinfo shop and see if I can buy it from there

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 10:31  

  • The groundsman said he hadnt had enough time to prepare the pitch what with all the rain and tornado.. wonder what it'll do to the pitch as the match progresses..

    By Blogger Tiger, at 10:32  

  • The rate at which England are scoring is indicative of the fact that Australia are half the team they are minus Mcgrath. Hope they can continue in the same vein and grind Aus down. Would love to see Gillespie manhandled even more.

    By Blogger rahul, at 10:32  

  • Rohan: would be surer of that after watching them play him on anything other than the feather bed this track is.

    Actually, this is what scares me -- the Brit press on the evidence of this innings so far will likely write reams about the team having turned the corner.

    IMHO, this innings proves just two things: that RP is not the captain his team has made him look like, and that England missed a golden opportunity to really, really put the boot into the Aussies.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 10:33  

  • England badly need to get atleast 525 in the 1st innings here. Anything less than that would be below par.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 10:33  

  • oh bugger... Freddie is gone !!

    By Blogger Malay, at 10:34  

  • Warne might now have nightmares about Flintoff hitting him for sixes.. Has he ever been hit for 4 sixes in an innings?

    By Blogger Tiger, at 10:34  

  • My personal opininon is no coach can improve the lot of Indian cricket. We can get a cricket equivalent person of the stature of Franz beckenbauer and we will still be a very mediocre team. Maybe it's just my frustration writing, but that's just my opinion.

    By Blogger rahul, at 10:35  

  • me thinks the Cricketing Gods did not approve of the brash talk of McGrath

    Extract fromm bbc.co.uk.sport
    "..health experts say this type of injury typically needs six weeks to heal, which could mean McGrath missing the rest of the series.
    "

    i can vouch for that having experienced that myself while playing basketball...i agree i am not a supreme athlete like mcgrath

    By Blogger obelix, at 10:35  

  • Fish! Is what I've been saying -- too many shots, not enough application. Eng like a bunch of excited kids, trying to thumb their noses at the school bully... on this track, would you accept 5 wickets down under 300 against an attack which has kaspar, gillespie, and no mcgrath for god's sake?

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 10:36  

  • Rahul, but just look at what Warne is doing on day 1. The ball that took Strauss spun a foot ! They could have given defended even 150-200 on this pitch in 4th inning, if only RP didnt decide to leave his brain back when he went out to toss.

    By Blogger worma, at 10:36  

  • Rahul: *L* You are right, it is just frustration. *LOL*

    Tell you what -- write your feelings about the team down, right now while it is hot. Put it away someplace safe. And take it out on December 31 and take a look -- and if you think then that I am wrong, gimme a call, dinner and drinks on me

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 10:38  

  • Now that India is going to play Tests in Zimbabwe, I think we can look forward to our first series win outside the subcontinent in 20 years!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 10:39  

  • there goes freddie! good ol' tea break gets another wicket

    By Blogger obelix, at 10:39  

  • Flintoff is gone

    By Blogger Shyam Prasad, at 10:40  

  • Off for about 15. Be back

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 10:40  

  • Prem...so whats ur take would happen to Indian team...by dec 31 ?

    By Blogger worma, at 10:41  

  • Prem
    Dinner and drinks..is that a deal. It would give me a reason to come down to Manhattan and see the lovely city again.

    By Blogger rahul, at 10:42  

  • Not to worry folks. this is just the begining of a new season and its too early to be predicting dire concequences. come finals we'll beat SL comprehensively

    cheers

    By Blogger JD, at 10:44  

  • Prem, you really believe that things are going to turn around with Chappell and the team? How much of an improvement do you reckon?

    My take on it is that Chappell's real ability as a coach is going to come through once the batsmen rediscover themselves and their love for the game. As an outsider looking in, it looks to me that the current problems with the team lies in the space between their ears. Chappell is better placed than most to get the batsmen out of their current funk, but I think his real skills lie in his reading of the game. As of right now, the team doesn't put itself in a position to apply what he's trying to teach.

    Be good to hear what you think.

    By Blogger Abe, at 10:47  

  • Whats missing from this team as Prem pointed out is the hunger/desire to win at all costs ? Unless GC can do that like John Wright early in his coaching stint, we will continue to be a team of great talent on paper, with not corresponding results.

    By Blogger Rohan, at 10:48  

  • i dunno if chappell will be able to motivate every one in the team. he comes across too erudite, too high-brow for most of our players. same with RD.

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 10:48  

  • JD
    It's not the new season or rustiness or we have a new coach or we have a new captain or we are missing tendulkar or why don't we play Kumble..it's our impotency to finish games off that's the problem. And we have never been able to finish games off since the day we started playing cricket. Makes me very sceptical that a coach (even of the stature of Chappell) can makes us turn the corner in a few months.

    By Blogger rahul, at 10:49  

  • well, GC got irritated with the "killer instinct" question.

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 10:50  

  • England have again self destructed.

    By Blogger rahul, at 10:50  

  • thats the end of jones!

    the poms sure have screwed this thing

    they seem to be in a more benevolent mood than RP

    By Blogger obelix, at 10:52  

  • Rahul: Yes of course. Deal! Take me up on it any time.

    Abe: It is not just about Chappell. He will bring much to the table -- but finally, it is up to you how much you take in.

    Is like this -- was thinking, 16 years ago, a lot of us young ones all got their early breaks under one superb editor, who had much to teach. Not all of us developed the same way, though -- some learnt a lot, some a little, some fell by the wayside.

    That's pretty much true of all fields, cricket is no exception -- so what Chappell brings, and who learns what, is not what I am primarily looking at.

    Thing is, I believe this team has to work a few internal things out... but by the time the SL home series and Zim tour are over, I would expect it will all be settled... and consistency will come in.

    Meanwhile, what's with England? The scoreboard disguises a huge worry -- four caught behinds on this deck???!!!

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 10:52  

  • I like how Kevin Pietersen is playing the ball on merit and he didn't try to match Freddie's incredible hitting. This cat has got lots of self-belief and plays according to the situation.

    By Blogger ClannZú, at 10:52  

  • eng need to re-think their batting line-up...KP at 5 is wasted

    By Blogger obelix, at 10:55  

  • Abe, yes I also feel the problem is in their minds...basically related to their role(s) in the team, and their own ability to adapt. I hope GC is not going into too much of theory about this...most of them do not need too much theory...or atleast not directly. Guys like Sehwag are quite complicated for a teacher like GC, I think. But I am still hoping (and believing) that he may have the answers, going by what he has said so far.

    And btw, I dont feel India has too many problems in test matches. Things are more-or-less in place. Except for the bangalore test against Pak, I didn't see too many signs of serious issues.

    Also, I have a feeling that India would perform better in ODIs (even today) if they play outside the subcontinent. But thats not gonna consistently happen for a while, is it ? (ODI series in zimbabwe?)

    By Blogger worma, at 10:55  

  • rahul
    totally agree with you about us not being able to finish the games

    my point was that fact has not been emphasised enough in the media and in this blog with most of the comments being on gang/dravid relations and who is a better captain(its too early to comment on those)

    By Blogger JD, at 10:57  

  • worma: i dont think we are ok in the Tests...i still think we have a problem taking 20 wickets..yeah maybe the dust bowls at home gut what about away!!

    By Blogger obelix, at 10:57  

  • Clannzu: Totally. Something about if you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs... :-)

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 10:58  

  • On another note, this England side, and Aus bowlers, are making Ponting look a far better captain than he has any right to look, at least in this game. If an Indian skipper had done this, he would have been crucified... and quite right too

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 10:59  

  • 'Afternoon folks!
    Just got through the blog red tape to get here. Hows it going?

    By Blogger Painfully Sinstripe, at 10:59  

  • worma
    We have issues (even in tests) and we have to face up to it. First is the way we are not able to finish games off (mohali test). Second is the inconsistency wherein we win one game and then invariably lose the next. Third is when we do not go for the jugular when we are on top and hand the initiative back to the oppostion (mohali test again where we, for no reason, start playing slowly scoring at 2 runs an over even though we had two stroke players in tendulkar and ganguly at the crease). Then our pace bowlers never run through batting lineups (when's the last time any of them took 5 wickers in an innings). I guess I could go on and on...but what I am trying to get at is that we have issues.

    By Blogger rahul, at 11:01  

  • Obelix, why do you say we dont have ability to take 20 wkts outside the subcontinent ? Haven't we been doing it for a while in away series ? When time has come guys like Balaji, Khan, Pathan, Kumble..even Agarkar have raised their game. Dont judge them by the ODIs. (well to me, most of the team seems to be suffering with Sehwag syndrome in ODIs).

    By Blogger worma, at 11:01  

  • So Prem who would you say are the best captains around now ?

    By Blogger ClannZú, at 11:02  

  • hey prem
    do u seriously think this will stop all the ridiculous comments u got the other day.
    All u got to do is give a random email id

    By Blogger JD, at 11:03  

  • That's the thing -- of the guys I have seen (I haven't seen enough of Graeme Smith; I dont think anyone can judge the Windies; I dont think the cricket teams like Zimbabwe and Bangla are playing call for rating their captains) I haven't seen a captain with the sort of nous that makes you sit up and take notice. Stephen Fleming comes close, but even he looks good in comparison with the others around. Okay, in a word, frankly, none

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:04  

  • Prem: what do u make of Srinath the columnist and commentator? in fact what do make of all these ex-players who pass comments like they were the most cerebral players to don cricket whites!!

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:04  

  • Rahul, we are not the best in the world when it comes to test. I'm saying we dont have a problem 'as compared to our own previous form' ! That means that unlike ODIs, we haven't fallen off the track (the track on which Wright put us along with Gang) in tests. There's still a long way to go. We still havent won a series outside the subcontinent. I am well aware.

    And Mohali test was an aberration, well proven by Kolkata test next up. Bangalore test was where we really messed up the defence/chase badly...a truly strategic failure. Nothing to do with ability or talent (even by our own standards, going by what we have been achieving)

    By Blogger worma, at 11:05  

  • JD: Sure, and you record your IP with Blogger when you do it.

    Can delete comments one click, on this -- and if it gets bad enough to warrant any action, then I know how to work through friends in google to do what needs doing.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:05  

  • You're right prem. Different people, different sponges. It's just surprising tho that a top international side needs this much tinkering with their lineup

    By Blogger Abe, at 11:06  

  • worma: what i meant to say is that we do not have the wherewithal to take 20 wickets away from home on a consistent basis...how often have they not struggled to finish off the tail

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:06  

  • :)
    u need not have mentioned the last part though

    By Blogger JD, at 11:08  

  • But what use is talent if it does not translate into results.
    I know of one tennis player of the 80's, Miloslav Mecir, I thought he was the most talented tennis player ever. But he could never win. Talent and ability alone does not win games. Mcgrath is not incredibly talented and so was'nt Jonty Rhodes or Gary Kirsten for that matter. But I can remember endless priceless knocks from Jonty Rhodes that would win games for them. Talent is one thing, but application is another.

    By Blogger rahul, at 11:08  

  • obelix: That is actually two issues masquerading as one.

    I dont buy the theory that ex cricketers dont have anything to contribute, or that the way they played makes them less than credible. (I've seen guys do brilliant analysis of Anand games, who couldn't stay 20 moves with him on the board, for instance -- what you see of the game standing out, and what you do on the field, are two different things).

    I do think, though, that ex cricketers will work if they are prepared to be frank, not looking to butter up their own interest groups -- and would take *some* trouble to learn the basics of the journalist's craft.

    I remember for instance working with 9 ex cricketers, all huge names, for our WC coverage -- not the last one, the one before. Initially, they wrote cliches. Then we introduced this thing where we told them what subjects to cover (not what to say, mind). And asked them to send their columns two days before deadline -- what we would do is scan them, and if we thought some point needed more elaboration, or something of the kind, we told them, they reworked, and then we published -- and the columns were superbly received.

    I think ex cricketers working with good editors is the perfect solution.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:09  

  • Prem...I dont think Smith is also that good as a captain. Ofcourse he (and fleming) have had to play with limited talent in crucial situations. Btw, who in recent times, do you think was a good captain ? Sanath ? Arjuna ? Waugh (you've already commented to some extent in our chat on him) ?

    This brings me to a long time pending question...I wished to ask you (since 2000)...how do you judge Sachin as a captain ? I remember you once talking highly about him as a motivator...this was when he was going low as a captain (or he had resigned) ? Anyway...do you think he was good..just hopelessly alone in that team ? Do you think he would have done a good job in Wright era ? (when board, players etc are much better) ? Loaded question ? You can leave it for the time being...but I wud realllly like to know sometime

    By Blogger worma, at 11:10  

  • Even the King of Spain has hit 4 boundaries today. KP has got another 50 btw.

    By Blogger Malay, at 11:10  

  • good point rahul...i googled 'quotes on talent' and found a good one...epitomizes the predicament of the indian team me thinks

    "Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.
    --Roy L Smith "

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:11  

  • Pietersen compiles his third fifty of the series. Celebrates with two more boundaries.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:12  

  • Looks like the king of Spain has decided to take his anger out with his bat than with his pen. Let's hope it stays that way.

    By Blogger rahul, at 11:12  

  • A classic example of talent vs application is the Waugh brothers. Mark was the more fluent and talented batsman and fielder but Steve could grind it out and if you needed someone to bat for your life he was the one. Also he was a very shrewd bowler and if not for his back and groin problems could have been one of the greatest all-rounders. So I think Steve played with his limitations and made the most of it through sheer mental strength and determination while Mark was often guilty of throwing his wicket away.

    By Blogger ClannZú, at 11:14  

  • abe: actually, not very when you think about it. two regulars not being available; a coach needing to know more about the bench than about the regulars; the start of a season that comes at the end of the previous one where the team was anything but the best -- I'd think given all that, you would want to play around with composition now, when it is early and there is no great pressure (you knew for instance, going in to this series, that you would make the final, so how does every individual game matter?) so that you can have all elements -- including you preferred bench -- in place by the time the real key games begin.

    And this year, I think we have just two of those, really -- the home series versus Sri Lanka, because it is a way of racking up valuable points (remember the qualifying rules for WC 2007) and the series at home versus South Africa. The rest, we can use to experiment with and that is a damned good thing, imho

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:14  

  • prem, with all this ip recording stuff, the big brother is really watching us, eh?

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 11:16  

  • You're right prem. Different people, different sponges. It's just surprising tho that a top international side needs this much tinkering with their lineup

    By Blogger Abe, at 11:16  

  • Prem...that is the second time that Shane Warne has shown dissent towards the umpire. Is anything going to happen about that?

    Ah should have been given out the next ball...

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:16  

  • Prem, I always thought Sachin should've been made captain once he got older and more mature (32-33). He's one of the best cricketing brains there is. In your interactions with Sachin, how would you rate him as a thinker of the game? Do you think he will make a good captain now?

    By Blogger Malay, at 11:16  

  • Jesus, why was that not out?

    Ooops, as I was typing that, just saw the hawkeye thing. precisely -- that was hitting middle

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:16  

  • Obelix, Rahul : I repeat...all I wanted to say is that I dont see too many alarm bells in our test performances...I dont think its falling apart from the improvement track we were on. That said, ofcourse there is lots to work on...we are not half as good visitors as Eng today, or even Pakistan. And ofcourse we are not justifying our talent (we didnt justify even on that Aus tour, we should have won otherwise), but hopefully thats constantly developing.

    By Blogger worma, at 11:17  

  • Hi guys,

    This one is a little bit out of the topic. Do any of you guys know how is Sachin's recovery coming along? Any word on that would be greatly appreciated.

    Prem, do you have any info on this?

    Thanks,
    Fernado

    By Blogger S Fernando, at 11:17  

  • sorry...had a repeat

    By Blogger Abe, at 11:18  

  • Sachin is an ultra-defensive captain as the commentators were discussing during the game

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:18  

  • I am praying for Sachin to come back early.

    By Blogger Shyam Prasad, at 11:19  

  • Are the English back to English ways? 324/6 (62.5) isnt the greatest reflection on a slow pitch. Should they have scored 60 runs less and lost 3 wickets lesser in the process? Ashley Giles seems to be treating this as the vegeance game. He's got 19 runs already :-). I wonder what he is going to do with the ball....
    I always prefer watching the orthodox batsman more than the modern one (SRT and RD Vs VS and KP any day). But people like Kevin Pietersen (never seen him play) seem to have a technique of their own. I guess if something works for a batsman, it is good enough technique for him.

    By Blogger Toney, at 11:19  

  • Prem - isnt the WC grouping already decided? How is our performance vs SAF and SL going to affect the WC?

    By Blogger Tiger, at 11:19  

  • Jiet: I would think yes.

    Malay: I wouldn't, if I was picking. I personally like leaders who are calm, collected, and not apt to get hyper when things are not going well

    Sachin's problem as leader is two fold -- one, he can't get into the mind of a mediocre player and see why despite his best efforts things are not going well. And two, when things are not going too well, he tends to keep jabbering, is all over the plave and in your face, and doesnt let you get your breath back, calm down, figure things out for yourself.

    That sort of leadership might work if you have a team of genuises, but this team needs a more patient leader, someone who will do the basics just right, and not panic when things go badly

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:19  

  • will they dare book warne/ponting for dissent? or is it reserved only for gangulys, inzys and sehwags of this world?

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 11:20  

  • Prem: what I am alluding to is the holier-than-thou approach taken by the ex-cricketers turned commentators and columnists seem to take while judging the current team...what do u make of that...i feel that it is misplaced...coz the ex-cricketers might been there but they have done zilch

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:20  

  • I just love the fact that one dayers have influenced the test so much that unbelievably, England is now scoring at 5.25 runs per over, over 64 overs!

    Must be quite entertaining.

    No wonder we get results pretty much every test. The first innings is usually over by the end of the first day at the same time, the score is quite competitive too.

    By Blogger RPM, at 11:20  

  • back in ten

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:21  

  • On the topic of captaincy,

    In my opinion, SG and RD have to be really thankful that they only need to deal with the morons in our team. I really pity SRT in that respect, he not only had to deal with the morons, he had to also deal with the match fixers in the team and the board as well. You've got to feel sorry for anybody who has to go through this! (And then of course, he himself would get the majority of the bad decisions to go on top of that!)

    I have always wondered if some of the umpires were in the match fixing net as well! Has anybody ever heard anything on this front?

    Thanks,
    Fernando

    By Blogger S Fernando, at 11:22  

  • toney...

    Nobody ever complained about Viv Richards favoring the leg side, not technically correct all the time. He was an absolute treat to watch. From what i have seen of David Gower he did not exactly move his feet much.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:22  

  • 242 out of 337 in boundaries!!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 11:22  

  • Prem
    agreed, this was just another mickey mouse one day match...agreed, there is experimentation going on, nothing wrong about that. But what losing games like the last one does is play is very demoralising to the team. When you keep losing from winning situations and lose every tight game you play, it plays on the mind. Add to that our problem with getting tailend wickets or knowing how to bowl to players like Afridi, I think it's not something that's going to go away in the short while at least

    By Blogger rahul, at 11:23  

  • srinath makes a very poor commentator.

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 11:23  

  • B Lee has given 90 runs in 13 overs ! Thats atrocious.
    and the king of spain is out !

    By Blogger Malay, at 11:24  

  • finally got blog id ....

    prem :- about shaun tait .... if he is all pace and no control like lee .. then eng wuld be 400 by now ... saw lee bowl today ... bowled too many rubbish balls ...
    i think RP's decision to bowl today was not all that bad .... if only kasper had managed to avoid overstepping ...

    By Blogger srik, at 11:24  

  • Boycott recently suggested bringing back 4 day tests...as it is most tests end within 3 days with Australia playing.

    By Blogger ClannZú, at 11:24  

  • I am not so sure SRT was an ultra-defensive captain. A natural leader of men, maybe not. Unlucky during his captaincy stints, yes very.
    But remember that against reasonably good WI and SA attacks, he came close to winning a test (1996, Johannesberg, then the one where Ind folded for 80 runs in the Caribeans).

    I think SRT's main flaws were that his personal batting records were not at par with what he showed in his pre-captaincy days. And that he probably had unrelaistic expectations of his team mates. He also had to look after the egos of people like Azhar who re-styled their approach to batting, as pleased them. One other flaw that I could remember was, he was never a big fan of technology. I read in one of Srinath's columns that the bowlers in the team (AK and JS, I guess) wanted computer technology to analyse the opposition and self but SRT was never for it.

    By Blogger Toney, at 11:25  

  • Actually prem, we don't need to worry about our rankings for the WC because we've already been pre-seeded. The ICC did that with England, Australia, India and WI because of the large fan following they have.

    With talk of experimenting and tinkering, do the rankings not matter to the team? Every game counts for points. Granted there is no real reward that you get from being number 1 or 2 given the seeding is already done for the WC. Roger Federer could just focus on the Masters tournaments and the Grand Slams and skip the tournaments inbetween but that would mean giving up the No. 1 spot. I guess it depends on what you set as your priority and as of right now, we don't seem to be in a position to aim for both

    By Blogger Abe, at 11:25  

  • Sorry to say this, but England's cricket today has been totally, completely irresponsible.

    What do you suppose the Aussie batsman, coming out on *this* track tomorrow, are going to make of a total anywhere under 600? Geez -- this is very schoolboyish; let me kick the bully a bit, never mind if I am apt to get flattened when he gets up again sort of play

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:26  

  • abe and worma: sorry, wasn't thinking, re the WC thing. :-)

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:26  

  • is the wicket going to slow down...i read about the tornado and the lack of prep..etc..etc...how is it playing now?

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:28  

  • yeah prem .... flintoff esp , batted as if the score was 450/4 .... too many played and misses .... on the other hand KP if playing sensible cricket ....no slogging ....

    By Blogger srik, at 11:29  

  • srik: sure, not bad at all when you look at the scoreoard, but bad I thought if you look at the match conditions.

    nothing on the pitch justified batting last on it, for starters. two, if england had, going in, told themselves right, this is the sort of wicket we can bat till tea tomorrow on, RP's goose would have been well and truly cooked. Just look at that shot KP got his 50 from? Short, from Lee, and he is on the front foot, waiting, and cross batting it through mid on from outside off -- it's that easy, this track. Aus batting first would have scored fast, but would have put so many runs up there, England would have been out of it...

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:29  

  • Unbelievable shot by Pietersen...over cow corner for six

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:30  

  • 'Morning Prem, and everyone else. Geez, what is Eng thinking? They are scoring so fast... why not grind the Aus bowlers for 2 days and try to bat them out of the game? Anyways, the tail is now exposed. Looks like a score of 400 odd is what Eng is probably looking at. That's definitely on the lower side given the pitch condition..

    By Blogger saum, at 11:30  

  • There you go!!! :-(((

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:31  

  • Obelix,

    yea, it seems rather irpnic that Srinath talks about keeping your head up and being mentally strong when he was rather the opposite. What about the match when he played an innings of about 76 runs and then refused to open the bowling saying he was too tired! Not to mention the WC final where as the senior bowler he should have been the one to take charge. Instead he gave away 80 odd runs by bowling slow ball full tosses

    It really grates to see ex-players criticize the current lot about things that they themselves didn't do.

    By Blogger Abe, at 11:31  

  • Warne got that wicket on a full toss..is it ??!!!!....Eng players are really spooked by this guy I think. Even more than by McG

    By Blogger worma, at 11:32  

  • Well Saum your prediction of 400 goes kaput i guess!!

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 11:33  

  • what was duncan fletcher thinking? Did he tell the players just to go out and play shots and not worry about the consequences.

    By Blogger rahul, at 11:33  

  • KPieterson is gone

    By Blogger Shyam Prasad, at 11:33  

  • obelix: only saw the last two hours or so... and I suspect an up close inspection is what will really tell you much

    But even at this distance? I think it will be at its best for batting day two, which makes this batting performance criminally stupid, btw... and morning of day three... I think it will slow down as this game goes on, but will turn pretty sharply... it already is, actually, at times, with warne turning it a foot or more... and all said, i think i wouldnt want to bat 4th on this...

    Will bet the Aus game plan is going to be, pile up the runs, go for 650 if they can... and make sure they dont have to bat again... England let them out of jail losing all these wickets, this is a 300/4 at end of day pitch, tops... three down would be the mark of a good batting side in form

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:34  

  • Sigh, what are we seeing here? Bad english play or the aussie bowling clinic? Prob the former

    By Blogger Abe, at 11:34  

  • i think eng need some1 to graft and grind ... like thorpe .... for the lower middle order to be effective .... hope bell is able to do that ....

    and KP goes .... despite all the mauling the aussies r on top ....

    By Blogger srik, at 11:34  

  • Ha ha, KP gone. The Poms seem to have left their brains in the hotel. I really wish the Aussies would score 700+ and rub the English noses in.

    By Blogger Toney, at 11:35  

  • 3 Eng batting wasting good starts...not even one going on to score big. What a criminal waste..esp against Aus. Now I am sure they cannot win the series, and looks likely not even a match. It took me this long yes, after lords I still felt that Aus anyways always have the first round.

    By Blogger worma, at 11:35  

  • Prem: Aus is attacking despite the Eng batsmen making merry. Buchanan and Ponting must be thinking, since there is not much for the bowlers, let these folks make the mistakes and fall all over themselves.

    Eng is walking right into the trap. I think the first morning at Lord's Eng got bitten by the same bug: overagressiveness. Eng are thinking: We are able to rattle their batsman on a bowler friendly pitch so we are on par with them... and now when the pitch is batsman friendly they are attacking like it's Armageddon tomorrow. Suicidal is the word for their strategy.

    By Blogger saum, at 11:36  

  • Team ranking in the ICC list ONLY matters as to whether you are #1 because you get the Super Series. Aus is the #1 team currently in both ODI and Tests so they play the super series vs ROW in OCT. But there was some talk before 2004 NZ vs Aus series that if NZ could get a winning record during the winter vs Aus they would have been #1 in the ODIs by the cutoff date and would have played the ODI part of the Super series vs ROW. As it turned out they got pummeled by Aus and their ODI ranking has dropped since then.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 11:38  

  • this eng innings reminds me of the Indian innings at Melbourne - after sehwag's 195.

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 11:38  

  • abe: very very bad english play. The "I'll show you", thumb your nose at the bully, kind -- I know if India had done this, never mind the fours and sixes, we would have been brutal on the team. You dont get gifts like this and toss it in the trashcan

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:38  

  • the poms would not have got a better opportunity to draw the series:

    no mcgrath
    ponting puts them in
    good opening stand

    and then this!

    The lost art of batting for time!

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:38  

  • My lasting memory of srinath is after he gets hit for a 4, his hands are on his hips - saw that too often in his career.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 11:39  

  • when did vaughan last score a decent knock for Eng?

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 11:39  

  • saum: totally. sort of like a guy who can hold only one idea in his head at one time.

    this team has been repeating like a mantra: we are not like previous teams, we are not scared of the aussies, we are aggressive, we will take the fight to them...

    goody gumdrops, but there is more than one way to do that... and hitting out at everything is probably the worst of those ways, gives bowlers a chance on a track where they dont deserve to get one

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:40  

  • mock turtle : you can atleast forgive the Indians in melbourne for not getting the starts...here 3 of them got big fifties, were playing comfortably. got out to foolish shots.

    By Blogger worma, at 11:40  

  • srinath needs to DESPERATELY improve his diction, if he wants to be a commenteator. he can't even get Ganguly's name right and pronounces it "gunguly"

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 11:40  

  • Mock tutrle, v correct. But in that match, other than Sehwag, nobody else was on the attack. Here, almost every single guy perished to poor shot selection.

    By Blogger Toney, at 11:40  

  • You said it, Prem. Eng is running towards the edge of the cliff very very fast. Aus will aim to bat first and put a HUGE 1st innings total so they don't have to bat again.

    By Blogger saum, at 11:41  

  • well, this is the only day Eng fans will smile - so let them enjoy while it lasts :-)

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 11:42  

  • Prem....what the Indians did right against Aus was balanced agressions...I wish Eng had learnt. Even Sehwag did not go beserk like these guys tried to.

    By Blogger worma, at 11:42  

  • The problem with ex-crickets turning commentators and columnists is the ones who hire them. Just becuase you have played the game doesn;t make you an expert...especially with commentary you need to have basic broadcasting skills. And I fell lot of the columns are ghost-written. Fuck Sony Max and DD for ruining cricket broadcasts.

    By Blogger ClannZú, at 11:42  

  • toney, true. sehwag got out to a stupid shot there trying to hit a six off warne to get to 200 (if i recall right)and SG scored a few runs. the rest collapsed.

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 11:43  

  • tiger: also the guy didnt know how to run between the wickets...the number of times he made a clown of himself while doing that...

    as a bowler its not like he was a terror...at times he was..only a handful...but very inconsistent....he had no variations...he developed a straighter one only later in his career...very rarely bowled a slower ball or yorker ..be it the slog overs or when he was getting creamed by the likes of anwar, jayasuriya, afridi, gilchrist, etc

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:43  

  • I find it hard to stay optimistic when so many predict doom for England. However, I have not had so much fun watching cricket in a while.

    And as much I respect the Australians we have seen this team get too aggressive before. Apart from Katich and Martyn, not sure if anybody would look to grind in the Aussie team

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:43  

  • Peter Roebuck is one of the finest ex-cricketer commentators..

    By Blogger Tiger, at 11:43  

  • Back in about 2, guys

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:44  

  • it is a joke to see Healy ask srinath for expert comments. he sometimes puts words into srinath's mouth to get him to say something insightful...

    rameez and srinath make a good pair tho - dumb and dumber kind :)

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 11:44  

  • Prem: by the way, how are you feeling today? Hopefully better.

    You know, having just one idea stuck in their head is a very good description of this Eng side.

    India's 2003/04 tour to Aus, in that sense, was a whiff of fresh air from the side. Remember Rahul's comment after the famous Adelaide victory (paraphrased here) 'We batted time against Aus, because they like to play a very fast, aggressive game'.

    By Blogger saum, at 11:45  

  • *L* the BBC commentators keep harping on the fact that most of the batsmen have their eyes shut when they're pulling or hooking. england's had tremendous luck today and they've frittered it away

    By Blogger Abe, at 11:45  

  • They should play a clip of the ex-cricketer when they criticise ! would be fun watching a clip of srinath getting a pasting while he waxes eloquent on the line and lenght of Zaheer and company!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 11:45  

  • mock turtle: *LOL*

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:46  

  • Prem:

    How did Dizzy bowl today? Was he all over the place or was he okay?

    By Blogger S Fernando, at 11:47  

  • What is astonishing about the first day is the number of sixes hit. Lee has been hit for 5 and a total of 9 sixes has been hit so far. I think I like this approach. Beat the Aussies at their own game. The worry is that if this pitch is as good as the batsmen are making it look like, then Langer, Hayden and co. could as easily get stuck in. And the wheelie bin (Ashley giles for the uninitiated) might get the stick from the Aussies.

    By Blogger Ashwin Ramachandran, at 11:48  

  • Once Mohinder was commenting on a WI-India game and I recall atleast 10 times he must have said "short ball and he hooked it for 4 runs" -that was the WI greats Haynes, Greenidge, Richards and Richardson making merry against the Indian bowlers.. But there was no variety in Jimmy's comments..
    On the other hand Jonathan Agnew, Henry Blofield and also Boycott pepper their comments with humor..

    By Blogger Tiger, at 11:48  

  • shame on Eng - can't even get to 400 on this. i predict 100's from ponting, martin and heck, even gilchrist.

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 11:49  

  • The most humorous (unintentional) commantator was Jaisimha..would come drunk (or so it seemed) and then slaughter the names of players.

    By Blogger rahul, at 11:50  

  • srinath is SO inarticulate. maybe he should get a coaching on cliches from shastri :)

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 11:50  

  • mock turtle: in addition to the ones that warne and lee have got ;-)

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:50  

  • Holding and Hussain have been a riot so far. I love these guys. Such a nice change from Srinath and Rameez

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:51  

  • obelix : aha, this reminds me of the Indian tour of aus, where Lee and likes were taken to the cleaners!

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 11:52  

  • This match reminds me of the only test match I have seen in person in its entirty. 1984-85 England in India in Madras. India scored 295 in 70 overs one first day, Jimmy Amarnath top scoring. England spent the next 2.5 days scoring 630 grinding Indian into the dust. So India's second innings of 410 or so was in vain leaving Eng with a small chase. This was the second of the three tests of Azhar's debut three centuries. He scored 100+ in the second innings.

    Link to that scorecard: http://usa.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1980S/1984-85/ENG_IN_IND/ENG_IND_T4_13-18JAN1985.html.

    Would be interested to know if anyone else was there for that match.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 11:52  

  • The Subject of Srinath's column in rediff is "Sourav's return could shut doors for Laxman"

    lol

    By Blogger Shyam Prasad, at 11:54  

  • one heck of a series that was...that was also the series that got away...they could so easily have won that..they shouldnt have lost at MCG and they should have won at SCG...boy the very thought

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:54  

  • this is the last wicket, why not give warne more than one slip? a second, plus man in front, given the turn he is getting? Jones is not Pietersen

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:55  

  • Holding is good - even Ian Bishop has interestng things to say.

    y'day, when Ian Healy and Manjrekar were on, the umpire had to make some touch decision and Healy poses a (rhetoric) quesion to sanjay "isn't umpiring the hardest job around?" and our bright sanjay replies "no, i think wicket-keeping is harder". Healy was dumbstruck and just smiled. :)

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 11:56  

  • prem: u scared me...dont sneak up on us like that, man :-)

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:56  

  • prem, you really announced your departure from here for 2 mins?? I thought u were gone for 2 hours!

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 11:57  

  • Gopal: I was, but not for the whole game... was there all of day one, a bit of day two, most of day three and day four. Member's stand, thanks to dad.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:57  

  • that heading could be REDIFF's making..:)

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 11:57  

  • One reason why commentary is not the forte of ex-Indian cricketers (generally) is the language problem. I am sure some of these failed commentators do have good analytical skills. But they are not natural English speakers. And in any case, its not fun hearing commentary in Hindi. (Kapil sayin, "Ab genth balle per lag gaya aur boundary kee aur ja raha he. Ballebaaz dowd raha he" is more fit for old sub-std radio commentary where there are no visuals).
    Actually, there are some wonderful radio commentators, so good that you can almost imagine seeing the game.

    By Blogger Toney, at 11:58  

  • Hussain is funny

    " You know there is a cunning team plan at hand when you see Matty Hoggard slash outside the off stump a la Richie Richardson"

    By Blogger Jiet, at 12:00  

  • *grin* no, will leave the longer absence for after the day's play ends

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:00  

  • Will Aus come out to bat today or will they stop play to show some Mickey Mouse tv show?

    By Blogger rahul, at 12:02  

  • damn, you are polite, announcing even 2 mins departures..would have taken you 2 mins to type that message up :)

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 12:02  

  • Prem

    Great to know you were there in Madras in 1985. I can still see Azhar in my minds eye. Young and innocent. What highs at the begining and what depths he fell to, a shame!

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 12:02  

  • turtle: well brought up, what to do, blame dad. *L*

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:02  

  • would make a great comedy if azhar started doing the commentry.
    Every sentence would have a
    "I mean.." for sure.

    By Blogger The Suds, at 12:03  

  • hehe, prem. he didn't spare the rod, eh?

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 12:04  

  • hey, gopal, i was in madras too in 1985 but not watching cricket.

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 12:04  

  • gopal: Yes... actually, I remember the amount of talk there was, among the viewers where I was, about his lazy elegance on the field. lots of comparisons with guys like Abbas Baig... the whole Hyderabadi, Nawabi thing

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:04  

  • turtle: wasn't too much into rods and things... more a question of he could shame you into doing things his way :-)

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:05  

  • Lets see if Harmison and Flintoff can work their magic on this pitch...I want Oz all out for 250. \m/

    By Blogger ClannZú, at 12:06  

  • Prem
    Do you have any other site which has all your old writings (non-cricket).

    By Blogger The Suds, at 12:06  

  • well, a psychological spanking, then. those are the worst.

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 12:07  

  • Suds: Nope, whatever is on Rediff is all there is. dont even have clippings, unfortunately

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:07  

  • Prem...Eng playing carefully now ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 12:07  

  • Hi prem,

    SG said can't believe we lost,RD said its batsmans who failed,one who were settled did not carry on, i don't believe they are pointing each other but if they are then its really dangerous for team(remember last column from harsha)And am just waiting what srinath gonna say and again feeling is become stronger that some players are spending time in preparing what he has to say at eve.dono its just too many cricket pundits or just game as usual.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 12:07  

  • worma: *laughing* Yeah, on the never too late to learn theory.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:08  

  • did Eng all of a sudden realize that 'hey, this is test cricket and not a twenty20 game' ? my SMS must have reached them, it seems :)

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 12:09  

  • Prem,

    Whether Ganguly will change his batting attitude during the rest of series ? i am kinda worried .

    By Blogger Shyam Prasad, at 12:09  

  • Prem: Why doesn't Rediff obtain the copyrights and start archiving video clips of old matches.
    Hell, it can even be a monthly subscription service ala Napster.
    Pay 20 bucks per month and watch all the archived matches.

    By Blogger Mr. V, at 12:10  

  • Maher: I've been carefully not going there. Judging by the comments alone, there seems to be some jockeying for power, which IMHO could be unhealthy.

    Would have said so, but didnt want to read too much into comments that I didn't hear myself, on a topic like this... I know how one word here, one word there, is sometimes altered to present a totally different impression

    But if taken at face value, then yes -- SG and RD seem at least as worried about the captaincy for the next series as they are about what they need to do right now, and that is bad news -- coz if that is true, then whoever wins, politics will return to the side.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:10  

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