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Sight Screen

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The India Round Up

1. This link is a touch behind the times, but a para in here, in Harsha Bhogle's take on the New Zealand side, caught my attention:
Crucially too they have a settled captain. Teams often play at their best when there is a clear line of authority. When two people are in the running for the same spot, ambitions can become narrower. Fleming is a fine captain, he is also a secure captain.

That bit about two people contending for one post is clearly aimed at India; strikes me that increasingly, reporters such as Harsha, Anand Vasu et al have been hinting at an unsettled Indian dressing room. It is very clear, very evident, that the team is not pulling together as it did not so long ago. All of which makes me wonder just how bad the infighting really is -- and how long it will be allowed to go on before the national selectors settle the issue in the most logical way, by settling the captaincy question, including the logical succession, for once and for all.
2. A coach cannot publicly trash his team -- any targetted criticism is ideally left for the confines of the dressing room; but I find myself wondering if Chappell means what he says here, about seeing improvement in the batting. I likely wasn't watching close enough, because frankly, what I've seen since halfway through the Lankan tour is a regression. Just one more thing to keep an eye on for the rest of the series, I guess?
3. Rajaraman's piece in Outlook on Vinod Kambli is cause for concern, surely? Hopefully, Deepti/Harish at Rediff will be able to provide some added insight; will keep you guys posted. Meanwhile, how many of you saw Iqbal? Any take/review on the movie much appreciated -- haven't gotten to see it yet.
4. Just about halfway through the Videocon Series, Fleming identifies bowlers -- especially the swing variety -- as holding the key to the trophy. Which means a recalibration of how you approach batting -- with the focus on innings building, keeping wickets in hand for a late order assault; timing that charge a touch earlier, say around the 35 over mark as opposed to the 40-over mark, in order to maximise run scoring potential and budget for the odd tight over an opposition bowler might send down at the death... In other words, a total revision of the game plan. Given that, can't wait for September 2 -- when India plays the Kiwis next; mainly to see if a batting side seemingly in a demoralized daze has the nous to change things around against high quality opposition.
5. And in passing, this Cricinfo interview with Irfan Pathan gave me a personal a-ha moment. Remember all those discussions about why his bowling had fallen apart? Started when India hosted Pakistan earlier this year? I was asked the question a few times and my answer invariably was, the guy's overdoing the weight training. Must confess that after a bit, I began to wonder -- that assessment, after all, was being made on the basis of television images of how he looked and how he was bowling. Good to know it was the right call -- helps make up for the other one dozen things I got wrong. *L*
Be back, in about an hour or two, to go through your comments and respond if needed -- and the international update, especially Ashes related, by about 7 pm my time. Cheerio for now, guys.


  • Sad to hear abt VK. Also equally disturbing is the fact that his liver isnt holding up. Am I jumping to conclusions or is VK known to have a problem of too much to drink?

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:21  

  • Talking about Kambli, cricketers still have it better than other sports persons in India. There was this junior hockey player in the late 90s called Rajiv Mishra, I remember hearing about him on "The world this week" as being the Tendulkar of hockey. He did some special things in the juniors world cup too (I think India won it or came 2nd) and then few years back I was reading something about hockey and wondered how come we never hear anything about this guy.
    Did a quick google search and found that he had a knee injury and the lack of proper support from the IHF basically killed his career. At one point he could not even run without discomfort and had totally given up hockey and was working as a TC in Indian Railways.
    Here is an article about him http://www.indianhockey.com/html3/sundeep6.php

    By Blogger Mayank, at 14:35  

  • But there were good instances too in hockey too, Jugraj Singh for instance being hurt (he was a national team player, so perhaps not a fair comparison). I think he received a decent deal. I agree though, cricketers are comparatively better but I am not sure how the Ranji level players have it.

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:52  

  • Prem, how come none others picked up the Kambli story ?

    By Blogger worma, at 14:56  

  • could not understand the whole story actually.What report says he is ill and no body knows as said his team members.But i dono if it means he is alone currently or in financial crisis or falily and others had left him or...
    b'ze its reporters who finds out whts happening and i guess by this time around SRT might allready be there.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 15:04  

  • not falily, family.

    raja could have called hospital and find out whats actual reason.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 15:05  

  • One of the negative aspects of India's shaken confidence in recent times has been the lack of and arbitrariness of the so-called experiments that Greg Chappell promised in order to build a team for the World Cup. First, we get mixed signals from Sourav ("team has not been selected with the World Cup in mind) and Greg (who has always stressed a long term goal as a cornerstone of his strategy). Then when our batting collapses against NZ we bring in Vengopal Rao as an opener. Since our bowlers are doing quite well in this series, no experimentation there. Does it mean so much to us, winning this series, I mean, that we are not even willing to give RP Singh or Karthik a chance. Couldn't they have been given a chance against Zimbabwe? The truth is that our confidence (including Greg's?) has been so shaken that we are not willing to take a chance against lowly Zimbabwe. When are we going to give them a chance - against SL, England, Pakistan? The stinkfulness is terrific.

    By Blogger hjrsingh, at 15:26  

  • Prem,
    Sania Mirza is in 2nd round of US Open...are you planning on watching her match live?
    If only Indian cricketers play with half her enthu, we will not be doing so much analysis about AA/YS/SG etc failures.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 15:41  

  • rajg,
    What you mean by planning on watching her match live?
    Where do you think Prem has been for last 1-2 weeks? :-)
    He went to CT to watch her, and since then has put up a tent at the stadium, so he can see her practice and see her play

    By Blogger santa_from_NJ, at 15:45  

  • Santa_from_nj: hahahaha...good one man.

    Prem....i bet it is worth the trouble..;-)

    Azza life is under threat by mafia.

    Even today, he can walk into current team and perform better than MK or YS.

    "Mafia gang threatens to kill Azhar

    Hyderabad, Aug. 30: After a threat from the mafia, city police has provided security cover to former Indian cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin. Two gunmen of the City Security Wing have been posted round the clock at his residence. Additional Commissioner of Police (Coordination) Tejdeep Kaur Menon told this newspaper that Azharuddin was provided with the security a month ago following intelligence reports about threat to his life."

    By Blogger Rajg, at 15:54  

  • Midday (diary) reported the same (about Kambli's illness) about 10 days back (suspecting flood disease). Hope it isn't anything serious.

    By Blogger vishnupavan, at 16:15  

  • Prem,

    please hear it from the horse's mouth:

    He is right! Sensational news sells.

    What happened against NZ in the Tri series is easily lack of application on the part of 8 Indian batsmen against what I thought was decent bowling!


    Ven Sharma

    By Blogger FreeThePeriayavaal, at 16:57  

  • Prem...
    what is your opinion on GC's coaching methods as you have seen him till now?

    By Blogger Kannan, at 17:02  

  • “A coach cannot publicly trash his team -- any targetted criticism is ideally left for the confines of the dressing room; but I find myself wondering if Chappell means what he says here, about seeing improvement in the batting. I likely wasn't watching close enough, because frankly, what I've seen since halfway through the Lankan tour is a regression. Just one more thing to keep an eye on for the rest of the series, I guess?”

    Well don’t you think there is some improvement in the batting. I know it’s still not up to the mark and GC is just trying to encourage his batsman. And plus you are miles away from what Chappell can sense. If he can see improvement in the batting, then that’s what he means. He reckons Ganguly is in good nick and only a matter of time before he delivers. Ganguly appears confident and that is a good sign.

    We should encourage our players in every way rather than constant chopping and changing.

    By Blogger jgohil, at 18:43  

  • as for GC. give him some time. We should all back him fully, including the board and the players. Now the Indian players are finding their feet and getting used to the conditions, so expect a much fighting performance from them on Friday. Personally, at this stage, even if we aren't playing well, all I want to see is a fighting performance, just like how the Aussies were defending the mere 127 lead.

    By Blogger jgohil, at 18:46  

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