.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sight Screen

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Stray thoughts on the second innings

Today is one of those days -- first, the comments thing got messed up; now, Willow has lost the visuals!
Oh well... won't try to comment with any surety based only on scoreboards, but this one thing needs mentioning: This is the second time in two games India is struggling to shut out a won game. And leading from that, this bowling on this track would likely have failed to defend 262 against Sri Lanka -- which points to serious problems with the bowling attack. It is increasingly difficult to see how India can make a go of the final (assuming it gets there, which is by no means certain at the time of writing this, with Windies 195/6 in the 39th and two set batsmen at the crease) with anything less than a five-man bowling attack, where both spinners play and, IMHO, they team one left arm seamer (Pathan being the obvious choice) with one right arm seamer (Balaji, obviously) and bring in JP Yadav as the third bowler, because the team will need his contribution with the bat as well. And that last underlines the huge folly of not having given Yadav a go in the league games.
Will shut down here for now... mercifully, visuals are back (and Windies are now 7 down), so can watch through to the end; will be back with regular blogs, and thoughts on the finals, tomorrow around noon my time. Adios till then, guys.


  • Agreed. Zaheer has been a liability in ODIs for sometime now. We will need both Harbhajan and Kumble in the finals to make a go of it against SL.

    How about a team like:
    (Assuming that SG can be persuaded to remain injured for a few more days!).

    By Blogger c111, at 11:55  

  • Prem, check out my comments on bowling problems and RD use of bowlers in your "Random thoughts on the Indian innings" post. Wud wait for ur take.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:24  

  • Not sure why you would want to play balaji or even bhajji for that matter. Hasn't been all that impressive against the lankans. I'd be very surprised if there are any changes at all to the team that played today and for good reason. Agreed the west-indians ran us close, but don't think there was ever a time they seriously threatened to overtake the Indian total and besides Indians looked purposeful today after a long while. Sehwag bowled well, got some turn, which is a good sign, will do no harm to his confidence. Well for the final at least I'll stop experimenting and play exactly the eleven that played today IMHO.

    By Blogger Anurag, at 12:28  

  • Absolutely. It's amazing this team is unable to take the last four wickets. WI has almost won today from 112/6. The team for finals should be Sehwag, Ganguly (Laxman, if he is not fit), Dravid, Kaif, Yuvraj, Dhone, Yadav, Pathan, Balaji, Kumble, and Harbhajan.

    By Blogger Mohan, at 12:28  

  • Why take Balaji for Nehra. Nehra is doing fine, except for one bad over in the middle of the WI innings. Dravid preferred Nehra over Pathan for the last over, I agree with this.

    By Blogger c111, at 12:35  

  • Dravid is a very defnsive Captain like his batting .His captaincy more suited for test cricket.He seems to not use the bowlers cleverly in ODI.

    If you look at his carear at the begining he struggled in the one day matches.. he was very defensive ..the same pattern you notice in his captaincy .

    Dravid needs time to become a good captain in ODI ...just like his batting.

    By Blogger Podi, at 12:51  

  • Prem, VVS might have played his last ODI for India. Zaheer and Nehra are not economical today.
    Ind bowling options IP,Balaji,Nehra,AK,HS. They should select 5 bowlers and drop VVS.
    VVS is a big disappointment in ODIs.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 13:01  

  • i think most critical is to solve 5 bowler option play harbjan drop either ganguly or VVS . In 3 continous games whenever we bring 5th bowler the game just drifts after we have opposition dead and buried , imagine in cases where we have flintoff or symonds coming in at N06 we have no chance then .

    By Blogger Karthik, at 13:07  

  • prem today i am convinced u hate ganguly. india some how managed to win today against 2nd string wi lead by some sylvester-congrats to india for making the match competitive and exciting and u start ur blog criticising ganguly for his sad injury- against a man who has got 10,000 ODI runs ahead of jaisurya, lara, s and mwaugh. u r ultimately biased against ganguly. u told it urself against ganguly getting injured with a 3rd rate fast bowler - and u say about, Md. habib, akbar and victor manjila in santosh trophy?


    By Blogger Dennis, at 13:41  

  • Prem,

    I don't think going with 5 bowlers is an option. We had YS (#5) and Kaif (#6) score most of the runs today. Dhoni comes in at #7. I don't think any international team can afford 5 bowlers especially in the batsmen-friendly one-day games. They even go in with 4 bowlers in tests.

    My point is that we have to come up with a good set of part-timers who can bowl 10 overs. GC couple days back talked about making VS into a good 5th bowler. Good one. Aussies had Lehmann, Clarke, and Mark Waugh as their 5th bowler. That will help India to go in with 6 frontline batsmen, Dhoni and 4 bowlers. Now they can shuffle around to go with a 2-2 or 3-1 combination. I would prefer 2-2 combination so that we can get Kumble and Bhajji work in tandem.

    I personally feel Kumble is not over the hill. He still has some juice in him to be successful in the one-day game. We should give hima chance. He is a real fighter. Arjua R.. had the same thought and I think we should go with him along with Bhajji on the Lankan wickets. Drop Zaheer and we have a good combination at work.

    GC should make Sehag and SG practise real hard. HE should also strategize and see how they can and should bowl. SRT when fit along with YS as the backup and we have a long list of bowlers who can turn the arm. Even RD has a one-day wicket. He can bowl too. I think we are just to utilizing these players. These guys should be told their roles and should be held accountable for them. All we want from them is to keep it tight.

    Lastly, I think Sehwag should be moved to the middle order. I think he just goes berserk to score in a frenzy when he sees just 3 guys out of the 30 yard circle. When SRT returns, he should join SG to open the innings. Till then VVS is a good option.

    My order will be:
    S Ganguly
    VVS Laxman
    R Dravid
    V Sehvag
    Y Singh
    M. Kaif
    MS Dhoni
    IK Pathan
    H Singh
    A Kumble
    A Nehra

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:18  

  • i cant wait for your next blog post, when like the rest of those suckers like us, who bury their mind in inconsequential inanities of one-day matches between two of the most ineffective sides, dissecting down to last gutless organ, you will writing glowing tributes to the wonder that is Test Cricket.

    Not since Hrishikesh "one-boundary-wonder" Kanitkar did his bit in a low-lit Dhaka evening, have our nails received so much grinding. I feel priviledged to be tuned into this match whence Kaif-Yuvi were trying to relive some of their natwest magic, but the Daniel Vettories, Brett Lees, Brendon McCullums, Harmisons and Kasprowicz were the real winners of the day. ( And I cant wait to see Shane Bond back in action tomorrow, even he is rattling up poor li'l Zimbabweans with unpronounceable names)

    When will we realize, that one-dayers have become so utterly pointless, that one could re-telecast any match from just a year back with a "Live" logo and most people would be fooled by it. We allow the Ganguly's to brag and inflate their statistics about their international records of umpteen hundreds when actually it's their test mettle in question. When any ODI player worth his salt and arriving in the top 4 of any reasonable batting side is bound to rattle up a 50 or a 100 every 10 matches or so even sleepwalking. When ODI no. 122 on your CV is just another one after you played ODI no. 121.

    I hope the Dalmiya's of the world wake up to it. It takes Ian Healy 9 yrs and 9 months to reach a 100 tests and a Steve Waugh finishes 162 of them in 17 years. By that statistic, Tendulkar should be well past his 150th test and beyond Border and Gavaskar in the record stats. Or Azhar should have easily played a 120 tests to go with his 300+ one-days. Thank ICC, for coming up with the Test Championship plans. Even then, there is an imminent threat that Jaques Kallis may someday go over Tendulkar on the run-pile.

    It REALLY doesn't matter in the larger picture of the game over who wins in tri-series at Sri Lanka when Old Trafford holds so much life and promise.

    (And India anyway make heavy weather of reaching a tri-series final, always making their last match like a semi-final, where thankfully it is always a Zimbabwe or WI to beat. The one time we had the Aussies and the Pakis to fight it out, we lost 7 of the 8 matches. So much for quality one dayers)

    By Blogger Ayon, at 16:40  

  • WI did give a scare to the men in blue, what a fightback. Apart from this one-day, I was amazed at how Aussies fought back to bring within 3 runs!!

    Looks like the day is very good for waging "fightbacks" :))

    By Blogger Mungi, at 17:27  

  • I saw someone commenting about Ganguly getting 10,000 runs yet not countering the short ball well. Steve Waugh was another example of a player troubled by the short ball. But he eventually found a way not to get out or injured to it and maximised his returns from his more productive shots. I think Ganguly did that when he was at the peak of his form. But watching him counter the short ball was painful to watch. And for the matter until Yuvi-Kaif, all the batsmen were absolutely leaden-footed against the opening bowlers. As for VVS, I think its a lottery these days to pick him on the team as his cricket is purely one-dimensional. If he doesn't bat well he doesn't bring anything much to the table. Unfortunately, the backup doesn't seem to fill anyone with confidence and I seriously hope that Dravid and Chappell somehow find a way to include 5 bowlers in the team and ultimately desist from the 7 batsmen nonsense. The man to go for me would be Laxman.

    By Blogger Ashwin Ramachandran, at 17:40  

  • I dont see why we should persist with VVS after so many failures. Give JP a chance in the finals even though he has not played in any matches so far. Maybe the pressure of a high voltage final will bring out the best in him. It will also give us an idea of what stuff he is made of.

    By Blogger Raghu, at 18:15  

  • my X! wud be:
    Sehwag, Ganguly, Dravid, Yuvraj, Kaif,
    Dhoni,Yadav,Pathan, Bhajji, Kumble & Nehra.

    Sure JPY may be untested, but there is no other near decent all-roundrer in the 16. if GC and RD have guts and can take the flak, they shd drop VVS or SG and play Venu Rao instead. the lad did well in his only outing, is an accumulator and better on the field than both VVS n SG. Raina, i think has dissappointed and needs a few more years to cut it at this level.
    between VVS n SG wud prefer if SG stayed injured for a bit longer. he has scratched his 51 for this series and it will be foolish to expect another significant contribution from him. VVS on teh other hand i sfighting for his place. that cud help him come good. even though he failed in the last two games, teh few runs he got came from great shots, unlike SG, who was a shadow of teh player he was 6-7 yrs ago. i also think we shouldn't expect anything more YS for a few games.

    By Blogger suresh bala, at 18:25  

  • Sorry for sticking to the context of the India game, but can anyone who's read anything interesting in re the second test at Edgbaston please post it here. I watched.....and IMHO, I have NO idea how some people believe that the future of the game is 20:20. Nothing, but nothing, beats a good cracking Test...

    By Blogger Nandu, at 01:00  

  • When people call 20-20 the future of cricket, what they mean is that it is the best way to bring more nations into the sparse fold of cricket, and entice more spectators to the game. It is the hook which gets people in, who then (hopefully) stay for the main course of test cricket.

    I have a trifling issue to point out. Like everyone else outside Australia, I hope someone topples them from their pedestal, but I'd rather it be someone other than England. I like the team, and they have some quality players, but it is the English media which irritates me no end and makes me root against a fine English side. Relentlessly down on the players when they're not performing, it takes very little success to crank the hyperbole machine up. But I guess that's a bitlike the pot calling the kettle black, because the Indian media is guilty of the same charge.

    Another point - Andrew Miller's article on cricinfo, calling the Endgbaston game the greatest one in a generation. Erm, we had, in my opinion, the greatest game in this or any other generation, 4 years ago in Kolkata, and that lasted a full five days, and had way more twists and turns than this one. But it is typical of the Anglo-Saxon media to not give much credence to anything achieved by the sub-continentals on their home turf, and everything is dismissed as the result of a dustbowl, or "a raging turner". Edgbaston was a good game, but some perspective please, people.

    By Blogger Rajesh, at 01:25  

  • rajesh...this wasn't the best game because too many missed chances, lost initiatives were there by both teams. You can have a close match when two teams are playing below par, but close to each other...and then you can have a close match when two equally matched teams are playing at full blast...matching strike for strike...thats what Kolkata was. But I forgive the (Eng) media....after all they have been harping on about their 'world class' batsman/captain for such a long time :-)...imagine if Laxman was a Brit !...he wud have replaced the Queen ;-)....its typical hyperbole language (which they invented)...another 'ball of the century' talk !

    By Blogger worma, at 02:07  

  • "Not only is this England team competent, it is the only team of the past five years which can compete on equal terms."

    This is the quote today in The Australian . Such short memories some people have. To refresh, India's record against Australia in the past five years reads 4 won, 4 lost and 3 drawn. Just because India's stuttering now doesn't mean it was never competitive with Australia a couple of years ago. And just because England have finally won a meaningful match against the Aussies in 8 years doesn't mean that they are on level terms again.

    By Blogger Rajesh, at 02:07  

  • rajesh, to be fair, iirc, i think the press went gaga over the whole match at kolkatta. but thats nearly 5 years back. the press, like all of us, have short memories. every thrilling game is the "greatest game ever".

    of course, the hype does intensify a bit when eng-aus is playing, which is also fairly justified because its the oldest cricket rivalry.

    i am not here saying there is no bias in the anglo-saxon media. it was a great test match and lets all savour it. why "oh, they don't care about India" at this point of time? we should probably reserve it for another day.



    By Blogger Hari, at 02:29  

  • Hari

    Point taken, and acknowledged. But I have to take issue with the comment about this English side being the first to compete on level terms with Australia in the last five years, which is patent nonsense.

    By Blogger Rajesh, at 02:46  

  • Prem, there's a website out there which marks the popularity of blogs based on visits http://blogsoftheday.com/

    I wonder if their server would crash if you subscribed to it :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 03:35  

  • Just wanted to add this to the comparison between the the Kolkatta game and the Edgbaston game.

    In both games Aussies made some poor decisons tactically. In Kolkatta the follow-on was enforced and the Aussies played far too aggressively (throughout the series). It was a fantastic game at Kolkatta but probably one of the greatest Test matches. But at Edgbaston, the game was more action packed. The final margin in Kolkatta was huge. India were either going to draw or win in the end. So there was more at stake in the match at Edgbaston.

    There were dropped catches and mistakes made at the Kolkatta game too. This does not make that game nay less thrilling. In fact it is hard to find a game where both sides play error free cricket and make the right moves all the time. That is fantasy. At Edgbaston, for three and half days there was not a second that you could afford to miss. It may not be the greatest but I think it is definitely in the top 5 because of the runs scored and the pace at which the match was played. If some people consider it the best then you have to respect that as personal taste.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 03:58  

  • jiet...my point, as made earlier, being that Kolkata was about teams playing at their best, and matching head to head (in fact same in Chennai)...while Edgbaston was about two teams playing below par (esp Aus) in batting...
    Anyway...agreed with what you said also. And I guess, in the long run it doesnt matter.

    Btw...Zim 11/4 against Nz. Here's a question..Franklin took 3 wkts in 4 balls (one of these was a no-ball in between). Is this a hat-trick ? Any other bowler ever done that ? Anyone knows ?

    By Blogger worma, at 04:32  

  • Hmmm. Don't think that should be a hat-trick, Worma. I am sure 3 in 4 has happened before but I don't know if the delivery not taking wicket was a no-ball in any of those cases.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 04:38  

  • if it's a no-ball, then there's no hat-trick

    By Blogger Rajesh, at 04:44  

  • Ok...thanks for replies. Intersting to watch Nz surge in Zim....since we r going there next...wud be good to learn some tips..wonder if the Indians are watching.

    By Blogger worma, at 05:36  

  • Here's a tip for the ICC: NZ should really not be playing test matches. 59 all out.

    Guess its going to be a really riveting series when we go there.

    By Blogger Sidhant, at 07:54  

  • hey sidhant i think u talking abt ZIM not NZ not be playing test cricket right?? ... but what i was surprised that they now have a few of the old guys like carlisle,wishart, streak etc who arent that bad still they are playing so awfullly .. and dont worry the way india plays we will def give ZIM a chance and rem last tour was 1-1

    By Blogger Karthik, at 08:28  

  • What are india's chances in the IOC Final?

    Please visit

    By Blogger madhugr, at 10:11  

Post a Comment

<< Home